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Thread: Vertical Contest Results

  1. #1
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon

    Vertical Contest Results

    I had 41 vote entries to sort through, but in the end we have a clear winner. Congratulations, Ottoj55, author of Third Time's the Charm!

    As you can see from the chart below, When Angels Refuse to Die, by Balboa, reached up to seize the victory in the Story department, so congrats to him as well!

    Marzec is planning on releasing an updated version of Lady Mossy soon, so keep your eyes open for that.
    Attached Thumbnails contestresults.jpg  

  2. #2
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: The Netherlands
    Hear Hear ....

    Gloria Creep
    There're angels who playThief and angels who don't ........ both go to heaven ............
    Dare to join .............

  3. #3
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Thank you Digi! Congrats Jason and congrats to all the authors! Three great missions. We are really the winners of the contest.

  4. #4
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Ouch, Lady Mossy was not that bad. It was a well built little mission. Did everybody vote relatively instead of generally.

    I do agree on the scores for both the first and second place scores though: for my scores 8 and 7.8 composite score for first and second. (Lady Mossy was a 7.2 composite for me)

    I felt none of the three really shined in the vertical aspect (all three were 8, so that is why my scores were so even).

  5. #5
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Congrats Jason

  6. #6
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: 11-11-11-11
    Well done Otto.
    Congrats on a great mission.

  7. #7
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceblade View Post
    Ouch, Lady Mossy was not that bad. It was a well built little mission.
    I agree. I thought the gameplay was fun and the story was very good. I especially liked the time travel element. It was well done. I also scored it much higher.

  8. #8
    I thought the style of "Third Time's the Charm" looked familiar--I should have known it was done by Otto.

  9. #9
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Congrats to Jason - great mission, a definite classic.

    (on a separate note, even though I liked all the missions, I didn't think any of them were all that "vertical." I expected some vertical elements to be far more integral to gameplay, something along the lines of either The Summit or A Long Way Down or the recent Keeper Investiagations #5. But oh well, good missions all the same...)

  10. #10
    Keeper of FMs
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA
    Congrats to Jason! And thanks to Jason, Balboa & Marzec for giving me something fun to distract me from the agonies of packing up an entire house.

  11. #11
    NewDark 64 Contest Winner
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Locked Inside Dromed
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Congrats to Jason - great mission, a definite classic.

    (on a separate note, even though I liked all the missions, I didn't think any of them were all that "vertical." I expected some vertical elements to be far more integral to gameplay, something along the lines of either The Summit or A Long Way Down or the recent Keeper Investiagations #5. But oh well, good missions all the same...)

    I agree to some degree. The opening part of Third Time's the Charm was mind blowing, where you could look up and see the tip of the monastery, and it makes you think: 'Damn, I have to get up there?'

    But I think anything that takes place inside a building is going to remove the 'feel' of verticality, just because the player doesn't have that dangerous fragility of looking up or down and knowing that one step could be instant death. I felt When Angels Refuse to Die achieved the theme the best with the outside stairs, and then again the portion with the elevators that makes you notice that you are climbing up really high.

    I love the contest missions for the new techniques that always seem to be a part of them.

    Congratulations first to Mr. Otto and second to the other two authors.

  12. #12
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Congratulations to Otto for a well-deserved win, and to all participants for delivering their missions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    (on a separate note, even though I liked all the missions, I didn't think any of them were all that "vertical." I expected some vertical elements to be far more integral to gameplay, something along the lines of either The Summit or A Long Way Down or the recent Keeper Investiagations #5. But oh well, good missions all the same...)
    There is a good point to that, and the reason why I gave relatively modest vertical scores (Lady Mossy 3, Angels 6, Third Time 8) despite really appreciating that kind of thing. To put my scores into context, I would rate Lady Rowena's The Tower as a straight 10, Uncadonego's Thieves Highway as a 9 and Sepulchre of the Sinistrals as an 8, prime examples of great vertical missions.

    I believe the vertical element was negligible in Lady Mossy. Just because a level is 3-dimensional, it doesn't automatically incorporate that element into gameplay. The gameplay of Lady Mossy takes place on discrete planes; there is no feeling of interconnection, no feeling of ascent and descent (except for the very first room) - there were potential rooftop opportunities in the town segment, but they were left unexploited by the author.

    WRT Angels, there is a very good part with the outdoor balconies and the various ways you must use to get up; climbing on the inside of chimneys, and ascending that pyramid were also cool experiences, and the latter presented an interesting strategic dilemma (do I use the crane to get up there and bust my cover, or choose the potentially more "lucrative" but metallic and heavily patrolled spiral ascent?). But I think Angels is not a vertical mission per se; its main strength is creative puzzle-solving, not spatial navigation.

    The strongest contestant is therefore Third Time's the Charm. It succeeds in presenting an organic, continuous 3d landscape where you are in almost continuous descent or ascent. It does not commit the typical error of thinking in separated planes, but gives you the monastery as it was built into an uneven mountainside. What Third Time's the Charm isn't, however, is a mission with strong vertical gameplay. The height differences are largely visual: there is little climbing (except potentially in the central courtyard), and maybe too little interconnectivity. You experience its spatial richness passively instead of actively engaging with it; you don't mantle, climb and jump too much, and there are only modest puzzles which relate to finding your way. (A similar example is An Old Friend, Lost Soul's entry from the TAC contest.) Nevertheless, it must be mentioned that where visuals, and the feeling of heights are concerned (walking on a tightrope above a void, seeing tower-tops loom above your head or descending into a deep dungeon in the bedrock), the mission delivers, and won the contest most deservedly.

  13. #13
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Very nicely put, Melan.

  14. #14
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: WearyTaffer
    Whenever there is a contest from now on-just go ahead and give the prize to OttoJ! Loved the layout of the Hammer structure, plus the new models looked good as well.

  15. #15
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Well, Otto has consistently participated in every contest as of late, while others were at work on personal mega-projects. He is also good at what he is doing. Therefore, he wins more often than others, which is only fair.

  16. #16
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia

    Also don't forget Evil Never Dies. Can't wait.

  17. #17
    Registered: Mar 2004
    Location: Marlborough,England.
    Congratulations to Jason...a job brilliantly executed, truly inspirational.
    All three mission editors here need to hold their heads up high, it is no mean feat to get that loveable rogue DromEd to work and to toil so hard for our enjoyment is a labour of love to all three of you...

    As Tannar put it "we are the winners here", I for one enjoyed playing them numerous times.

  18. #18
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: Tannar Appreciation Society HQ
    An upcoming mission in beta called the Sun Within and the Sun Without has a strong vertical vibe to it. I play it and think that this would easily satisfy the vertical criteria.

  19. #19
    Vertical Contest Winner 2009
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: The Great White North
    thanks for the votes. the thing about the vertical dimension is making a level that is believable and vertical, i navigate the monastery mostly by finding a way to the second level from the courtyard, and the tightropes. as for evil never dies, so much of it became a testing a lab for other ideas that theres not much to it that people haven't seen. the disguising system from the way of the sword was developed for it. the mission has sat untouched for so long i don't even remember where i was in the scripting and design, but thats no reason not to start it back up.

    i really felt like angels was a great mission built on puzzles, and i usually build a puzzle or two into my missions. real life prevented a lot of complex ideas from happening, no time, so its good to see a mission that is a good puzzler that is giving me lots of ideas.

  20. #20
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: Bulgaria,Burgas
    I haven't played the missions yet,but will play them soon.What's next a halloween contest? A little too late having in mind the preporation of this contest,but would be great.I don't know what happened to the time when 7 or 8 missions entered a contest.
    And congrats to you Ottoj55

  21. #21
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: in some basement in West Yorks
    Congrats to all the authors! I enjoyed them all...its always wonderful when someone creates something for all of us from nothing. Truly inspiring indeed.

    I have to say it was a dead giveaway who did "The Third Time's A Charm" had Jason written all over it.

  22. #22
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Thunder Bay, On., Canada
    Congratulation, Otto! A well deserved win but I'd also like to thank the other two authors. I loved When Angels Refuse to Die (betatested it actually so I got to know it very well) and got a blast of finally getting rid of Karras plus the elevator puzzle was a very nice vertical element. Lady Mossy has great promise but just needed a bit more polishing to work out some bugs. It was still fun with some really good ideas, like the time travel element and I hope we'll see more from Marzec!

  23. #23
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Girl with the Patreon Tattoo
    Congratulations to all three of you ! And well done Jason.

    I was clearly disappointed by the use of the vertical element of all three missions expecting huge towers to climb, deep pits to plunge into, immense trees to jump onto, etc. but that didn't prevent me from enjoying them thoroughly.

  24. #24
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    Otto, congrats on a tremendous mission, man! I knew it was yours right off the bat, but that in no way diminished my enjoyment. I loved the vertical component, and it has every element of a classic Hammer mission too!

    I couldn't vote because I didn't finish either of the other two missions (got close, though), but my votes would have closely matched the final results. I thought Angels was a really well done mission, and might have scored it slightly higher than Third Time on Vertical and Story had I voted. Lady Mossy has a lot of potential, and if some of the kinks can get ironed out I'd love to play an update all the way through.

    Congrats to all three authors! And Melan - very well said.

    Quote Originally Posted by BG_HHaunt View Post
    What's next a halloween contest?
    Not exactly, but I know of two and perhaps three missions, all horror-themed, which may be released on or about 10/31. A Halloween double- or triple-feature, so to speak.

  25. #25
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Germany
    Warning: Some mild spoilers ahead!

    I was just able to finish all three missions and kudos & thanks to all authors, even though I'm too late for voting.

    Interestingly, my own votes would be nearly identical to the final results with the exception being that I would give Angels higher marks in the story and gameplay departments.

    Third Time is probably universally acknowledged as the mission with the best built quality and the highest technical standard (special effects, new weapons for example) and it's a very, very slick mission with nice little edges like the "hidden" space with the mushrooms and arrows. It really shows off Otto's strenght: Building a very beautiful & detailed game world that's fun to explore.

    Gameplay was about on par with Angels but with different accents: Angels was more about puzzle solving to follow a pretty linear path while Third Time offers a bit more non-linearity thanks to it's level structure. However, if one progresses methodically and thoroughly room after room this mission becomes very easy.

    I agree with Melan on nearly all accounts concerning vertical gameplay, though, and I think that The Tower is still the best contest mission in this regard, followed by other missions including Melan's own effort Unbidden Guest, which I'd rate 9.0-9.5 when The Tower reaches a lofty 10.0!

    Even though the other Keeper Investigations missions are varied and in parts innovative (submarine stuff) the last mission really surprised me.
    I still think that Life of the Party is the quintessential Thief mission and this one really comes close and it has at least as much vertical gameplay.
    Now that I have finished all contest missions I think that the author should have participated in the contest with this mission and withheld his mission pack until he had a more fitting mission to end the story arch of the rest of the mission pack. It really cries out for some deep sea exploration to the mother ship!
    As for the contest this recent highlight would & should have clearly won the contest.


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