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Thread: UPDATED T2 FM: Finals at the Academy - v2.0 May 6 2012

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements

    UPDATED T2 FM: Finals at the Academy - v2.0 May 6 2012

    Finals..gif

    22 DEC 2011
    I take great pleasure in releasing Finals at the Academy. Over three years in the making, it is the first in a planned three mission campaign set prior to the action in The Dark Project.

    ====================== S T O R Y ========================

    Artemus brought Garrett to the Academy when Garrett was old enough to begin his formal training as Keeper acolyte. Garrett did well under the careful, balanced classwork. This mission opens as Garrett receives his instructions for one final examination as a candidate for initiation into the Keepers' Delphanic Order.

    =====================================================

    Download links:

    Finals at the Academy (ENGLISH) v2.0
    Finals at the Academy (GERMAN) v2.0
    Finals at the Academy (RUSSIAN) v2.0

    or

    Finals at the Academy (ENGLISH) v2.0
    Finals at the Academy (GERMAN) v2.0
    Finals at the Academy (RUSSIAN) v2.0

    URLs to Thief fan mission hosting sites will be added as I am notified of their availability.

    Mirror for Russian version at Dark Fate
    Mirror for English version at Keep of Metal and Gold
    Mirror for English version at Lord Soth's Taffers Paradise

    =====================================================

    Game-play in this mission includes some aspects not found in most Thief missions.

    First, you are asked to read and evaluate a fair amount of written material. To make your life a little easier, the most important texts are automatically copied to your map notes pages when you first read them, including any glyph images. You will hear a scratching sound of a pen on paper to let you know that you have a new note. If the text is less important, you will simply hear Garrett "Um" or "Ah" or "Hmm" after reading the text and nothing will be copied to your notes.

    Can you complete this mission without actually reading any texts? Well, there is one essential puzzle which depends on your reading and interpreting the clues correctly. All other puzzles can either be solved without reading anything else in the mission or are entirely optional and may be skipped.

    However, there are a lot of fun things in this mission which you can only do if you bother to read everything and think about what you have read and how it connects to everything else is in the mission. You will miss out on quite a lot if you skip the written materials.

    The second thing which is a little unusual is that most objectives are either OPTIONAL (you are given the objective but may choose not to complete it) or BONUS (you are not given the objective, but should you accomplish it on your own initiative, you will be rewarded with a recognition of your accomplishment).

    Finally, I have worked hard to allow for a wide variety of game-play styles and to present you with three distinct and progressively challenging levels of difficulty. The Hard level offers some challenges not found at the Normal level of play, and the Expert level has even more challenging situations. I believe that you will find that the Expert level requires a higher degree of Thief game-play expertise than is typical.

    So, having said all this, please do not post outright spoilers when helping the others playing this mission. You may post hints, even relatively strong hints, but please do not post out-and-out solutions to the puzzles or riddles. A lot of the fun in playing this mission resides in figuring things out on your own.

    =====================================================

    A special note about the spells and the spell recipes:

    Spells in this mission are prepared in advance by gathering together the necessary ingredients and combining them with the aid of a magic kettle and spell wand. When done correctly, this will result in the creation of magical glyph scrolls, potions, or other magical artifacts. When done incorrectly, an explosion may result.

    Each spell has a recipe, written in the form of a series of riddles. This is done to keep the spells safe from ignorant hands and to ensure that the person completing the spell has sufficient knowledge and wisdom. Some of the less important readables can provide you with information to help you decipher the riddles. Some of the riddles you will have to figure out on your own. They are all variants of historic riddles, set to rhyme and structured into a common "Who am I?" format. Some are simple to figure out, others are difficult. But then, if they were all easy, there would be little satisfaction in solving them.

    =====================================================

    Finals at the Academy is not a Christmas mission, but it is my holiday gift back to this wonderful community. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed making it for you.

    =====================================================
    UPDATE: POSSIBLE BUG DISCOVERY
    =====================================================

    Three players have reported a crash after completing an optional objective to quiet a colicky baby. I have not been able to reproduce this crash on my machine either independently or by loading up saves made by two of these players just before completing the objective. When I sent them a save made from theirs on my system, but just after completing the objective, they could continue play without the crash occurring on their systems. This may mean that the bug is computer system related or Thief installation related. I can say that this mission is right on the edge of what the Dark engine can support in terms of numbers of objects and terrain / scene complexity. And I do know that it plays best on up to date hardware. It should be OK on most systems. Most players, so far, do not experience this bug (and none of my legion of Beta Testers have). However I must caution you to make a save just prior to completing this objective. Since the objective is optional, you can go on and complete the mission without it. All you will miss out on is the tick mark next to the objective. (If you want, you can get out an erasable marker made for whiteboards and manually add the mark to the objectives screen, then erase it when you exit that screen. That would be OK with me. )

    As I get more data, I may be able to isolate the cause, and either fix the mission so that it does not happen or possibly advise you better about what hardware / installation conditions expose this problem.

    UPDATE 1/12/2012: Unconfirmed, but one theory is that the above bug may be sound file related. Accordingly, here is a replacement snd\KA folder with all the sounds converted to PCM uncompressed, 8 bit, 8000 Hz, Mono. If you think you are having sound related crashes or other sound issues, simply replace the snd\KA folder in the release zip with this. Please let me know if that fixes your issues. Once this is a confirmed fix that does not introduce other issues, I will update the mission zip.

    UPDATE 5/6/2012: Confirmed. Mission zips are updated above, replacing problematic wav files with ogg.

    UPDATE 5/20/2012: Finals at the Academy Hints & Lootlist.zip

    UPDATE 12/27/2013: The automatic note taking appears to be disabled by NewDark. The mission is still playable, I believe, just you have to take your own notes on books read, old school style, until I figure out a way around this. Or you can still play the mission with 1.18.
    Last edited by LarryG; 27th Dec 2013 at 11:41. Reason: Note taking not working with NewDark

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: shalebridgecradle.co.uk
    Congrats on the release, Larry! It's been a long road but well worth it. Stellar work!

    Might I suggest that you add the date to the thread title?

  3. #3
    Summer Vacation Contest Winner 2010
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: PacificNorthWest...Near Forks
    Congrats Larry ! Sounds like a cool mission ! Keeper Acolyte Garrett !

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Excellent! I look forward to playing this, just in time for Christmas as well.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2006
    Location: The Den
    I started playing this FM and it's great so far, but I saved a few times then when I tried to save again it told me I didn't have enough disk space, thus not allowing me to save. I have plenty of space. I tried rebooting the computer but the same problem occurred. Any solutions or suggestions???

    _________________________________
    can't be me, i washed a few days ago

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: shalebridgecradle.co.uk
    This is a common Thief problem on modern computers. Just delete a few megabytes worth of files from anywhere on the same drive that Thief is installed on. Or add a few megabytes. Either way will work.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    None of my Beta testers experienced that ... is it possible that your disk's amount of used space is close to a size boundary such that Thief thinks there isn't any more left? My guess is that if you either delete enough excess files, or duplicate enough (!) to get you off of that boundary, you will be able to save again. Thief is a really old game and has some limits hardwired based on the technology capabilities of the day.

  8. #8
    @She-Thief - is it when you save or when you try to start Thief? If the latter, that's a common bug, check the FAQ here.

    Larry, congrats on the release, I should have a mirror up at Southquarter by tomorrow sometime. Look forward to diving into the mission this weekend.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    Congratulations, Larry. Looking forward to digging into this one tomorrow.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2006
    Location: The Den
    Thanks everyone. Just had to delete a bunch of old save files. I guess I play Thief a little more than I thought

    _________________________________
    can't be me, i washed a few days ago

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Congrats Larry! I wait for this for a long time and here is finally. Downloading right now ...

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: ..is everything. UK
    Sounds like an excellent original mission and just intime for the Xmas break, well done. I'm looking forward to enjoying this.

  13. #13
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Congrats on the release, Larry!

  14. #14
    jtr7
    Guest
    My hat's off, Sir!

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    EDIT: Nevermind, i just worked out the solution! I was not sure if the game would react that way.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: May 2010
    Location: Taffer's Inn
    Congrats on this awesome release Downloading right now!

  17. #17
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: UK
    Congratulations on the release Larry! You've worked unbelievably hard to make this a wonderful mission for everyone. Fantastic job!

  18. #18
    BANNED
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Maw Of Chaos
    What a lovely treat to receive just before Yuletide! Many thanks.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Portugal/Porto and Lamego
    congratulations on the Release LarryG, donwloading now...

    Can anyone tell me what happened to Lady Jo thief site? i was trying to view some screenshots of this mission there, but it seems unavaliable.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: May 2006
    Location: Russia
    Congratulations with YOUR finals in DromEd Academy!

  21. #21
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Quote Originally Posted by cardia1 View Post
    Can anyone tell me what happened to Lady Jo thief site? i was trying to view some screenshots of this mission there, but it seems unavaliable.
    Screenshots.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Nampa, Idaho
    I hate magic. And I hate making potions. And I hate getting blown up trying to make them. But most of all, I hate writing a walkthrough on what appears to be an awesome, if not difficult, mission.

    Where is Nightwalker when we need her?

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2006
    Location: Italy
    Ooooh Larry, what a beautiful Christmas gift, thank you so much, and congrats for the release......I'm gonna start this hopefully this evening, when my Christmas duties are over.....

  25. #25
    Here's a couple of mirrors on Southquarter:

    Finals at the Academy (English)
    Finals at the Academy (German)

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