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Thread: Halloween Contest 2012 Results

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales

    Halloween Contest 2012 Results

    Results have been verified and agreed by Al_B, Nightwalker, Tanner and myself.

    Congratulations go to DrK with his entry A Better Tomorrow.

    In 2nd place we have Tell-Tale Heart by darthsLair. 3rd place goes to Firemage with Evil Thievery and CMD was 4th with Unknown Danger.

    Thank you to all the contestants for taking part and for giving us some fantastic missions. And thank you also to everyone who voted. A total of 68 different people voted so another thank you to Al_B for creating the voting poll which encouraged more people to vote. Further details on the categories and votes will be posted later when everything has been collated.

    List of Prizes
    Thanks to the very kind donations by darthsLair, epithumia and Lord Soth we have the following prizes on offer:

    Three Thief Mugs - donated by Lord Soth
    Thief Deadly Shadows pc game - donated by darthsLair
    Hitman Blood Money pc game - donated by darthsLair
    $50 and $25 amazon gift cards (or equivalent in local currency) purchased from the regional Amazon store of the prize winner's choice - donated by epithumia
    Gift code for a copy of any Thief game from GOG also donated by epithumia.

    1st choice of prize and Thief mug goes to Drk. Perhaps you could post in this thread when you've made your choice Drk and then darthsLair can make his followed by FireMage and then CMD.

    Player comments for each mission:

    A Better Tomorrow
    Tell-Tale Heart
    Evil Thievery
    Unknown Danger

    While voters had a choice of voting in individual categories or just giving each mission a single overall score, over 88% of the total votes were given within the separate categories. So the average scores within the categories should be a pretty accurate representation of what people thought of the missions. Here are the rankings of the missions in each of the four categories (out of 5 possible points in each category):

    Last edited by Tannar; 19th Dec 2012 at 06:22.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Player Comments for A Better Tomorrow by DrK:

    (Beware: There are spoilers here if you have not played the mission yet)

    Nothing to add
    It's a good mission!
    This will quite literately scare the pants of most people, i myself jumped in my chair and almostdropped the mouse on at least 2 occasions..
    excellent use of audio to create tension; interesting new weapons/items; changing AI patrols and scripted events made it feel like my presence was actually having an effect
    This Mission is fantastic all round. As ever DrK has come up with the gold, again. The atmosphere is truly chilling and it filled me with apprehension and actual fear of moving, in places.
    I tip my hat to you DrK.
    This one wins for general "scary-ness". Yes, some of the battles are scripted, but you can sneak and run past the worst of them.
    Even though this was by far the most simple of the three mission from a design standpoint, it succeeded the most in what a Halloween mission is supposed to do: scare the poo out of you.
    Amazing mission! Such a gripping environment! Beware, it will scare the crap out of you from time to time...
    I'm not fond of B/W! :-(
    Very scary! :-)
    This is hands down the most terrifying mission I've ever played! The addition of the challenges was brilliant and added a lot of fun to the experience. Well done!
    Terrific black and white mission with plenty of frightening moments. Well done, DrK!
    The mission didn't really contribute anything new or anything to distinguish itself from the Rocksbourg series. It kind of felt like it was copy/pasted from Rocksbourg 3. Other than that, it was pretty solid.
    I have this mission to thank for my new anxiety disorder- THANKS DrK! I now scream every time I see a statue.
    That was scary man ! Really great mission , a lil bit short maybe ... good job sir =)
    Very good mission. We found the style of Drk, it's looking to the campaign "A night in Rocksbourg". The ambiance is good, and i was affraid to see these monsters: it's a good mission for Halloween.
    Story and Plot
    Although the story was a bit close from Rocksbourg (zombies invade the town), it remained interesting, the fact creatures weren't everywhere was a bit spooky because you didn't know when they appeared. The food bags thing was also very well thought. No, really, the plot was very entertaining.

    Use of Audio
    Very good too. Many effects were well done, and the ambient sound in town was a bit unsettling (which is a good thing!). I also loved the sound when you take food: it gives a bad feeling and reminds you how you are in a survivor mode. The only thing is that some sounds (the end above all) reminded Rocksbourg 3 too much. Nevertheless, they were still well used.

    Textures and Objects
    The textures are beautiful, that's for sure, and the objects are also wonderful. I just can't give the maximum note since these objects weren't made by the author, but still, using them remained a good idea. And making every texture in black and white was a good idea too!

    Gameplay and Enjoyment
    I enjoyed this mission, but I can't say it's the one who scared me the most. Sure, at the very beginning, you're put under stress because you know something will happen, and after the 1st thing you shudder a bit because you're expecting something else to happen. But unfortunately, once you come in town, the frightening effects are more rare, though effective when they happen (the statue above all, the guy in the library). As for the gameplay, I liked the fact we had to find food bags, and the black and white atmosphere was enjoyable, although it sometimes prevented from identifying loot (bottles above all). I also liked Greenbay, so it was cool to come back in, but I felt a little thingummy was missing. However, this doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the mission, for I still did.

    Overall
    I liked this mission and I encourage everyone who didn't download it to do it immediately. The only things are, some things remind a bit too much Rocksbourg (but it's not necessarily a problem), and I was expecting more shivers. Nevertheless, this doesn't mean you don't shiver at all when you play A Better Tomorrow. So that's why it deserves a good mark!
    Beautifully realised in B&W - almost as creepy as TDS Shalebridge Cradle. Riveting.
    It's awesome, despite recycling Greenbay. DrK took a great FM and made it 50% greater.
    Definitely the best so far, but this isn't surprising coming from DrK. The exposition is awesome with a more-than-real SlyFoxx narrating the plot at the beginning. The story is very well presented; though I would have liked if more readables were present in the level. I like the fact that no corpses were to be found, and I like the fact that the environment told the story. The audio was marvelous, from the victrolas to the use of ambient sound. Everything is here to make you jump, and it's freaking damn well done. The beginning of the mission was the most frightening part for me, the sewers being very close behind too.

    Textures are amazing, you can tell they have been made with care. Nothing looks bad, everything is in its right place. I found the modern fences to be quite jarring, but that's about it. I absolutely loved playing this FM, avoiding the fast monsters and getting all the bags and all the loot. It was a very fine and truly terrifying experience sometimes. I had to take some pauses in order to focus and jump in the mission again. I wish the mission was longer, which is the only complaint I have. So, yeah, awesome FM and definitely the winner as far as I am concerned, with Unknown Danger and Evil Thievery just behind.
    Once again, DrK proves he is the master of ambient horror. He knows that the best monster is the one unseen, the invisible monster that preys on fear of the unknown. A Better Tomorrow is fraught with tension, darkness and that familiar feeling that all is not as it should be. DrK happily and with ease uses an often neglected sense to heighten already perilous situations: sound. Before the player can even see the monster they can certainly hear it, and once they can see it, it is far too late. Perhaps the setting of the mission, the decaying city, could have been expanded further, but maybe that's DrK's point. The sense of dread comes from being trapped in this small city with these awful beasts that seem to follow the player and spawn out of nowhere. And in that last moment of the mission when escape seems imminent and the relief is almost palpable, DrK shakes his head and laughs once more, proving that the horror is never really over.
    Was never frustrating yet still challenging gameplay, keeps the player on edge throughout the mission so was never boring.
    Really, really enjoyed this one. Scared the shit out of me several times (esp. the moving statue). The story was enthralling, but some kind of dramaturgic turning-point or so was missing, can't describe what it was. I liked the hints to the rocksbourg events. The rest in a nutshell: great graphics, good, scarry gameplay and nearly nothing to complain.
    Another masterpiece of suspense from DrK. This is a scary mission not because it is filled with frightening things but because Drk builds the suspense right from the start and has you constantly looking over your shoulder and expecting something to happen every second. I hardly recognized the Greenbay map; the black and white textures changed it considerably and added a frightening aspect to it. I thought it would have benefited from a stronger story. It didn't hurt the atmosphere really but without any real story it seemed that the only point of the mission was to scare the player. It succeeded in that admirably but it made it a bit too contrived, I think. I would have preferred learning why I was there and what led up to these events. Still, a very well done, very scary mission. Kudos.
    A little gem, full of menace and fear! One of the more memorable openings for a fan mission I can remember! Good choice of black and white and great audio/sounds.

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Player Comments for Tell-Tale Heart by darthsLair:

    (Beware: There are spoilers here if you have not played the mission yet)

    Plenty of monsters, some cool architecture but this is offset by some basic geometry and medium polish.
    This mission was good about sounds, ambience and objects. But about story, I just can't undertstand why Garrett want to resurect Amanta, a woman that we don't know. And why Basso and Jenivere have ask Garrett to meet him in the house. Just the rescue, have a sense about story. It's true that we understand everything about Morris'madness, but I don't see the connection with Garrett.
    The mission is huge, but sometimes, we don't really know where to. And there are too many great texts to remember what we have to do because we can't care it. So, that things have reduce the enjoyment... too bad...
    But it's true that is a beautiful place with good sound used cautionly. The Vikgig with moans or Wolfenstein Spirits sounds with the catacombs ambience.
    Somewhat convoluted story and confusing architecture balanced by many secrets and nice variation in undead enemies.
    WOW....
    This mission was so HUGE I could have spent another hour or so just looking around Thanks!!
    Loved the large level, exploration, different types of areas (tomb raiding, hidden areas, the water tunnel). I liked the different enemy types but felt there were too many in the "Halls of Death" area. I wish there was a way to save the girl (as opposed to turning her into a demon). I also loved the multiple voiceovers (although some weren't completely understandable). Also liked all the secrets!
    Story was pretty interesting, the mystery was nice. The scope is pretty grand which is something I always enjoy. I liked the inclusion of excerpts of poems and short-stories by Edgar Allan Poe, nice touch. Too many sound cues at the same time ruined the atmosphere for me; there was no tension conveyed by ambient sounds, which is a shame. I, however, really enjoyed the voice-acting. The mission looks okay, nothing particularly impressive or bad-looking, nothing particularly out of place. The clashing styles were interesting, but the higher-res mortuary textures against the low-res outside felt weird somehow. However, I did not enjoy playing this FM due to forced combat, mainly enforced to gather loot from Haunts (since I'm a complete kleptomaniac), and the overwhelming amount of opponents. I know killing Haunts is not mandatory to get the required amount of loot, but the amount of AIs is so high, the amount of water arrows is so low and the rooms so bright that this made the mission rather tedious to play after a while, unfortunately. In the end I was just strolling through hordes of enemies.

    It's still a pretty solid effort, but it's just not my cup of tea.
    Weak point, a slaughter fest and the use of Dr. Frankenstein. Dr. F's inclusion breaks the Thief immersion factor. The story could have been served just as well buy introducing us to a similar character.

    Strong point, all the cool new stuff and imagination. Time machines and hacking off heads and brain scans...not so thiefy but who cares! It was cool and different.
    Unlogical map! :-(
    Nice new creatures! :-)
    A lot of the ambients were really distracting and the sound quality of some of the character dialogues were so poor I could barely understand what they were saying. However, this was an incredibly weird, but very imaginative mission and a lot of fun to play.
    Again, too many monsters. You can't move 2 inches in this FM without bumping into some sort of abomination- at least you're well armed though. Great voice acting here, the haunt that yells "HAPPY HALOWEEeeeeEEN!" was hilarious. Also, Frankenstein experiments- that's pretty damn cool.
    The map is well, but we can regret the mediocre quality of few textures. The mission is very difficult beacause there is many undeads and maybe too high density of undead in a "small" zone. The scenario is just a pretext to create a map with many undeads and we have a difficulty to immerse in the story of this mission.
    Story and Plot
    I'm sorry to begin by the lowest note. I'm also sorry to give a low note for it, but this must be pointed out notwithstanding. Although there was an effort of creation for the story, the story is a bit preposterous and banal. We go in a mansion at Halloween to meet Jenny and Basso, okay. Then a ghost, a crypt, and doctors. And here begin the problems. I didn't really understand what that doctor Morris was taffing in a crypt nor why he captured Basso and Jenny. His death is a bit ridiculous too. He comes from our world, and many objects and references from this one appear in the game, which is something IMO that should never be done in Thief: Thief is another world, and mixing it with our world kills Thief's world. I'm sorry if I'm harsh, but seeing toilets, a time machine, a Thief game box, skyscrapers and else in a Thief mission doesn't really suits to me. Also, why the taff does Garrett need to analyze Morris and to make her wife revive? Why were Basso and Jenny here? Why did they need to see Garrett? Many things are too weird in this mission, and some mispellings in the books were also problematic to understand everything and to find the story qualitative. Again, sorry to be that harsh, but it needed to be said.

    Use of Audio
    Some sounds were well used, and using the numerous voices of DromedDeluxe was good and varied the undead's voices. The novel voices from actors of TTLG were good too, but they unfortunately weren't always used correctly. The executioneer for example said a sentence that seemed cool but it said it while turning around peacefully, which yet didn't appear to be foreseen for that. Jenivere's voice wasn't also very audible while I didn't fully understood what Frankenstein and some ghosts said (although it seemed to be cool). And that's too bad.

    Textures and Objects
    That's better than other categories. Although I don't think all objects are from the author, they are good, despite not fitting all with Thief's world (DVD, other modern objects, etc.). Textures were better I think, and albeit many of the enemies came from DromedDeluxe (which can be boring after you play a lot of FMs), they were good nonetheless.

    Gameplay and Enjoyment
    The problem here is that this mission was supposed to be scary since it was a contest for Halloween. However, I can't say this mission frightened me. The only moment I quite didn't like (id est, I enjoyed it!) was when I saw that submarine beast. Spooky and original! The werewolves were also a bit frightening but you wonder what they are doing there though. Also, there were far too many enemies. It was almost impossible to avoid being spotted, and besides, even backstabing was unefficient since the loot the enemy carried alerted everyone. It also forces to kill everybody in order to get every loot, which should be avoided (and not only for the 'ghosters', but for the largest part of Thief players). The maze style of the crypt was a well done thing though. Eventually, there were good ideas such as the fact to poison the Lord of Death's steack, but backstabing him was the 1st thing you thought about (and managed to do!). Really, I don't say I disliked this mission, but many things made I didn't enjoyed it as I enjoyed other missions.

    Overall
    This mission is worth the download despite all the evil things I said, but it doesn't really beat everything. The mission isn't very scary and the story is very confused. The things you must do to win the mission are weird in that Garrett wouldn't logically need to do them. There're also a lot of enemies that will spoil the enjoyment of the game and will force you to fight (and sometimes lose). So I'm a bit disappointed, but I don't say Darthslair did bad work. It's good work, it's just that many things should be revised or used differently.
    Never got too far into this FM, but I thought it was OK. The creator (Darth) did a fine job. Also, that was a nicely designed mansion at the beginning.

    ... You can kindly disregard my vote on this one possibly. I've been rather busy so most of my votes are my overall mood towards the FMs, and not the whole 9 yards.
    The end content is not for the weak minded, very bizarre.
    The story got an orginality bonus; time travel is nothing I have never seen before, but for the first time bound in helloween theme. Audio was really well used with cool dialogues. Graphic were at a good niveau. Nevertheless, the gameplay was a bit "harsh" sometimes, mainly because I didn't like the (for me sudden) "hack-and-slay-aspect" in the zombie tunnels in order to get loot -- before I realised I could get loot out of them I try to ghost this part which gave me a freaking hard time. Overall, nice and well done mission.
    I thought this was a very well done mission. Solid story and very good gameplay. Many well done little extras to the mission that added to it greatly (e.g. the guillotine, the lab equipment, etc.) The architecure, textures, etc. were well done and worked well to create the right atmosphere. It is a large mission and I found it challenging but that is good. I had a lot of fun ghosting the mission and enjoyed the gameplay very much. Well done!
    Great horror mission - big scale, loads of enemies and some good puzzles.

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Player Comments for Evil Thievery by FireMage:

    (Beware: There are spoilers here if you have not played the mission yet)

    Not bad for a beginner mission, look forward to more mature mission from this author.
    Score suffered because of "keyhunt" gameplay, excessive undead, and a few "now what?" moments.
    use of texture and especially sound were very nice - even though there were no other AI for a long time, I was still creeping around afraid and jumping at nothing!
    The AI were Fantastic Though there were so many of them to deal with! This started out to be a key hunt and I usually don't like key hunts very much.
    I was enjoying it until after the undead came out to play. There were far too many of them and no way to avoid a lot of them so I eventually gave up on finishing it which was too bad. A good effort though!
    Loved the plot twists and the general big size of the level; didn't like fighting a million undead at the end or the keyhunts earlier in the mission. (Did enjoy the multiple new types of undead that we haven't seen before.)
    Pretty good overall, much better than first anticipated. The mission makes use of technical wizardry that's always nice to see. The plot is pretty good and well-written, although a tad generic at first. Nice little horror touches here and there, these are fairly effective. The audio is well-used, especially in the creepy sewers underneath the ruined city, that reminded me of Rocksbourg's with the rusted walls and the leaking pipes. Visuals in this mission are OK, not impressive by any means but it's not an eyesore either. Shapes used may be a little too simple for my taste, though. I like the fact that the ruined city looks somewhat like the Sealed Section from TDP, but it is emptier, more flat and bigger (meaning that there is too much space between buildings), which is a tad disappointing. The textures do repeat a lot too. The sewers are very well-made though, they are simplistic but good-looking and creepy enough. The Den is also pretty creepy. I liked the gameplay in this mission; I like the fact that most of it can be ghosted. No really tedious moments, the stroll in the sewers was nice and the puzzles are pretty simple. The abundance of AIs after a certain task is completed may annoy some players. The keyhunt may frustrate players too, but since I have finished the insanely hard Nightcrawler several times, I don't mind 'em. However, finding a specific key can be quite hard without a walkthrough given that the mission is very dark.

    A surprising and very good effort, albeit a bit lacking in visuals.
    A lovely bit of kit that fell short in two areas: too many locked doors and not enough resources to effectively deal with the hoards of zombies. The "what do I do next factor" was not too bad but given the laundry list of things a few more nudges in the right direction would have been welcome.
    Confusing map. :-(
    Surprising story. :-)
    The story got a little bit convoluted with the introduction of this Yant character, but otherwise it was a really interesting enjoyable mission.
    Great story and some interesting effects, but alternated between having too few monsters and WAY too many. The readable that tells you to "duck when you're done reading" might be the best moment from any of the contest FMs however...that was awesome.
    I think it's good mission. If the architecture "is not very complex" as others missions, the scenario is "bewitching".
    Nicely designed, but rather confusing where some things are.
    Expect the unexpected when playing this mission, too much depending on key hunts.
    It's a beautiful mission and was a lot fun in many ways. The suspense was well-developed and the story was engaging. The architecture, textures, objects etc., were all beautiful. It's a very good looking mission. The new AI were well done and scary. Unfortunately the gameplay suffered from two flaws. First, the mission is essentially a key hunt with lots of running around over a fairly large and complex map. There were clues but they were sometimes difficult to decipher or lacking in sufficient detail to truly guide the player. Secondly, the latter part of the mission suffered from an invasion of undead enemies and the player was not given sufficient equipment to deal with them. There is only a small handful of weapons capable of inflicting any damage upon them and the player isn't even given a sword. The lights are bright in most places and there are very, very few water arrows to be had. In short, this was not fun, it was just tedious. And this is unfortunate because it could have been a very challenging, enjoyable mission otherwise.

    It wasn't all bad. The story is good and the mission is indeed fun at times and I did enjoy it for the most part. But all the running around and the influx of undead at the end turned what should have been a first class mission into a second rate one.
    Story and Plot
    I liked the story. Although some moments sounded a bit confused when you read the books, I'm satisfied with the result: from the beginning, you don't know what's going on, and you don't even imagine something terrible will happen seeing as you start in a mansion with guards, in short, a classical beginning. And the author did well by surprising us like that. Though an undead curse is banal, the way the author used it was good because it is very late that you discover what happened, and very late that the undead come. What I meant is, we're constantly surprised, and the plot lasts, and lasts, which is a good thing and holds the suspense for a long time.

    Use of Audio
    Very good! Not only I liked hearing the Widow Moira's musics in the 1st part, which gave an impression something was going to happen later, but I also (and above all) loved the windy sounds, for both outside (you really felt alone hearing them) and the sewers (a real impression of confinement). Many sounds come from Deadly Shadows (Pavlock above all it seems) and are very well used, perhaps in a better place than in Deadly Shadows itself (like the prisonners screams used for the damned, or Pagans/Gamall's lair sounds in Yant's territory). Finally, the new creatures had also their own sounds sometimes, and although some could sound weird, they remain creepy. Also loved the kind of music you hear when knights awake (with the bell[?] sound) and when every undead die. Very good work!

    Textures and Objects
    Excellent too! There're textures I've never seen in previous FMs, and they're beautiful. As for the objects, the author's work is amazing! Almost all objects were redone by himself (too bad we can see the shapes of some however, but that remains nice), and there're even some new objects AND new AIs. I found the skeletons a bit odd but their awesome weapons are enough to satisfy me. Each undead is varied, each knight has an individual texture, there were mixes between some already existent meshes... Really, I can't do anything other than giving a deserved 5.

    Gameplay and Enjoyment
    As usual, I was pleased! The mission offers different phases when you play: a classical thievery in a guarded mansion, a lonely walk in town and in the sewers, a labyrinthine phase when you have several pathes to take (I was frequently lost despite having played several times the level, which is a good thing I think), a gates puzzle, two short but intense moments when you must runaway, and a combat phase, that you may however avoid (I already managed to win the game only killing two skeletons in the sewers). It was various and you have a final choice between killing everyone (provided you survive!) or sneaking, which is good. I also loved the ambience in town and Alienors' stronghold, where you feel so lonely; the blue torches additionally gave a good stressful feeling. As for the frightening effects, the mission doesn't lack of. First (it's more stress than fear at this moment), you're alone, very alone, and you don't know when things will worsen. Then, there was the moment with the captain wandering the sewers, which startled me more than one time. And more and more (the screams in Yant's lair, Yant running after you, the lower knights of the Mausoleum when you take the key, the eyes on the frame in Tarxax' den...). Really, if this mission is not the scariest in the world, the numerous moments which make you shiver, from the late beginning to the end, are enough to make me assert this mission is the scariest of the contest. I really loved it.

    Overall
    This mission is in my opinion the best of the contest. It does scare for a long time, it often surprises, it is well done, with awesome AIs, objects, sounds and textures, the plot is rather interesting, and the mission lasts long while you expected it to be finished several times (and fortunately you were wrong!). This mission explores a lot of things, and really, I can't tell you but one thing: download this mission!
    My story winner of the contest. Several turning points, not too much and not too less readables, and rememberable moments (like the arrow after the messenger from the dead keeper). Graphics where quite good and also in the audio use well done (maybe a bit too loud background music in the menu). In gameplay aspects I disliked the mix of absolute nothing to sneak around vs too much monsters. Very good mission.
    My favourite. Not quite as scary as For A Better Tomorrow but a big, complex and very well created Halloween mission.

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Player Comments for Unknown Danger by CMD:

    (Beware: There are spoilers here if you have not played the mission yet)

    Way too dark for my taste, I don't like having to use flares to navigate corridors and tunnels.
    Very nice exposition that reminded me of both Sperry's Brainchild and Amnesia: The Dark Descent! I like how this FM avoids the horror cliches and throws you straight into a very hostile place. Great atmosphere very reminiscent of the old horror FMs for T1 where the ambient light was very low. Nice to see some textures that seem to have been taken from Nightcrawler; we don't see them often and they remind me of fond memories. The architecture was quite plain, but the level was so dark it wasn't really an issue. I have spotted at least one Jorge surface, though, and some rooms weren't roombrushed properly, which made getting past the zombie in the prison more difficult.

    The sounds were well-used, but the lack of ambient sounds in the prison area was disappointing. The level suffers from various bugs that are downright frustrating; doors that do not open and frobable books you can't read. This made the FM appear very confusing when it's actually not. I think this level was not properly tested for Expert since you can die very easily in mandatory passages (This particular issue has been corrected afterwards). However, once a workaround was found for these issues the mission got a lot more enjoyable. I actually really like crawling in the dark with nothing but a flare that lights nothing around me, hehe. I liked the AIs, they were challenging enough, scarce and I always find fast monsters unnerving. I like the forsaken feel of this FM. I like this FM. Despite some pretty frustrating flaws, it's a pretty solid effort and I absolutely loved the throwback to the early horror FMs. Great work, mystery author!
    Sorry I couldn't give it a higher rating. Some of the annoyances are that the mission author's preferences aren't mine - using darkness (instead of interesting architecture/textures), contrived (e.g. "not realistic") puzzles, for example, having to rope up to the "lab" at the end and having to rope up to the other side of the library, only giving you a way to confuse the enemy (smoke bombs) rather than kill the enemy, and really hard to find keys, such as the one on the shelf in the storeroom near the snow area. (The grappling hook seemed to be overkill - rope arrows would have worked just as well.) Also, I didn't like the author's breaking of Thief convention - in particular, readables that frob but don't do anything (most of them), objects that frob but don't do anything (the coffin just off the library) and objects that go in your inventory but don't do anything (the gear, the small rocks). This may also be due to bugs. In general, if you're a mission builder and you know your mission won't be ready for a contest in time, don't release it in a buggy state. Instead, blow off the contest, and release the mission "when it's ready". We players are quite happy with missions "whenever" and people have previously released "I couldn't enter it in the contest because I was too late but here's this interesting mission now"-type missions before, and done well with them.
    Story and Plot
    This mission hasn't really got a story, which is too bad, because the mission's atmosphere and surroundings look really nice and would perfectly fit in some story. There was however something good with this lack of information, which accentuated the nervous side of the mission. However, too little information is extreme and disappoints a bit the player. I would have liked to know the story, or at least a piece of it, and I do hope the author shall add some in a forthcoming update.

    Use of Audio
    Very well used. Although it's always the same sound we hear for a large part of the mission (if not all), it's not that annoying because it fits very well with the atmosphere. There wasn't more, but I personally think it was enough, because this mission is wiring up (a good thing), and thus, the most quiet it is, the best it is.

    Textures and Objects
    Textures are very beautiful and well used. As for objects, they were also awesome and intelligently placed. The biggest problem was that many objects were selectable but not takeable, which was more annoying for books. Little rocks didn't seem to be useful too after all. However, this category still deserves a good mark, since objects were various, and the fact to absolutely need one of them (the flare), thus forcing you to make a little treasure hunt, was a good thing and added an interesting piece of gameplay.

    Gameplay and Enjoyment
    As I just said, the need to look for some objects made the game enjoyable. However, it was often hard to know what to seek and where to use what you found. I don't talk about the keys, because it's normal to do such things, but I rather talk about the useless gear, and the grapnel: it was too hard to discover where to use it, and I needed to save, throw torches everywhere in the library and then load many times in order to continue. Hiding things and pathes to go by is very good, but when it becomes too hard, the pleasure vanishes and transforms into impatience. As for the constantly dark atmosphere, I congratulate the author. I never played such mission and it was a very good concept. It was very dark and sometimes very hard to continue, above all because at the beginning, flares are too scarce. And the problem is, when you lost all your flares, you just cannot continue without changing the gamma, thus spoiling the game. I must also notify the dynamite needs to be improved since rocks aren't all destroyed when you use it, thus forcing you to still get hurt. Besides, if the gameplay is very good, and if I enjoyed all the places and the way they were made, the problem with objects you cannot take/books you cannot read, the too numerous useless places (although I know it was wanted), the zombies which are the same and the difficulty to find your way spoiled a bit my enjoyment. I had to look at what people said on the forum to know where to go once you get the grapnel (it's something I rarely do). But the fact is, this mission was enjoyable nonetheless. It doesn't really scare, but it at least wires up persistently.

    Overall
    Many things aren't perfect in this mission, but it's probably because the author had to rush, given the deadline coming. If the author improves this mission later, it will surely be a fantastic FM, with its own story. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is excellent and the gameplay is well made, as the textures and objects (although all aren't from the author I guess). The dark concept, annoying at the beginning, when you don't know the level, is a very good thing, and you can capitalize on later when you are in the courtyard (very well made). So ultimately, a hard but very good mission, which you will surely enjoy if you don't mind playing difficult mission with no weapon and few objects.
    So, to be honnest:
    This mission isn't very professional. If the maker is new in dromeding, I think that is a good begining. That explain why I have been lenient. But if not, it's a present from me.
    The mission itself was original, but finally, there is no story, we don't know what is the place etc.
    About audio, it was the same sound everywhere, or quit, but the silent wasn't used as it must be to create a frightening ambience.
    About textures and objects, that wasn't used as it must be. First, there is ONE skin for all undeads, so it's not really good. And about the objects... Some are good, and fit there they are but, some of it have strange properties. Frobable and useless dice, books, moreover, a quest object, a gear is useless! And I forgot to talk about golden plaques and some button!
    About gameplay and enjoyement:
    It was dark, yes! It was original! Yas! But It wasn't used to do a scary ambience!
    We can't see what is in front of us, but the only danger is a fast zombie! Putting more paranormal thing would be very nice! But I found nothing of that.
    And, more hints could be welcome, it wasn't easy to guess that we have to in several area in order, to know the name of the buildings. We are totaly lost, and we go in a area thanks to the hasard.
    And worst: Too many dead-end! The players became mad!
    This mission have been made very quickly! The author have to work on it!
    Loved the darkness in this mission. Nicely decorated and interesting gameplay with using dynamite, a grappling hook, flares etc. (even though not everything works flawlessly). Too bad it lacks any form of background/story.
    Too Dark! :-(
    Kind of scary! :-)
    Maybe this mission had redeeming qualities but how the heck was I supposed to find out? I can't see a damn thing! Missions that have zero ambient light go straight in the bin.
    I enjoyed the mission very much. It took a while to figure out what was going on but once I did I had a lot of fun with it. The use of near total blackness coupled with the interesting textures and objects worked very well, I thought. It was a bit scary at first but after awhile it lost the scare factor. But that's OK, it was fun to work my way through the mission and figure out what I needed to do next. The need to conserve flares added an element of tension that I thought was a nice choice on the author's part. I think it would have benefited from a bit more story and by having a few minor things cleaned up but all in all a well done little mission.
    Despite the low voting result I want to encourage the author to make more missions. The main drawbacks were the missing background story and some gameplay issues. Use of sound and shocking moments were average up to good. The mission had nice innovations like the grappling hook and the "minecraft-look" as well as the dark theme (despite seen before) made it something special.

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Thunder Bay, On., Canada
    Congratulations to DrK on winning the contest! I'd also like to extend a big thank you to all the authors for the very enjoyable missions.

    Also a very big thanks to Nickie and Al_B who did most of the work organizing this whole thing. Good job!

  7. #7
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    I think credit must go first to all the authors without which we wouldn't have had the missions to play. Thanks to everyone who voted - it's great that so many took the trouble to both vote and a special thanks to those who made the comments shown above.

  8. #8
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Congrats DrK, you mission really was tense and scared the crap outta me. A perfect Halloween contest winner. I really enjoyed all the missions though, in fact I need to replay all as I feel like each one had so much content that I missed a bunch of it along the way.

    Thanks to the mods too for all the organization - looks like we finally found the perfect way to do voting, judging by the number of people who responded. Question though - will you publish the scores generated by the voting survey, are you just planning on leaving everything simple with 1st place, 2nd place, etc.?

    So, what's the next contest?

  9. #9
    Summer Vacation Contest Winner 2010
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: PacificNorthWest...Near Forks
    I second that ! Couldn't have been said better ! Thankyou NightWalker ! Thanks to all the Authors for creating more games to play, and for participating in the contest. Thanks to all of the Taffing Players also !

    Drk, please post your choice of Thief Deadly Shadows (pc game ware), or Hit Man Bloodmoney (pc, game ware) Then, pm me with your physical mailing address. I will get it to you, along with my other Christmas gifts I will send out. Busy! busy!

    Firemage, you have won what Drk doesn't want, however, I can give a proper testimony to the greatness of both pc games. They both Rock !

    CMD, If by any chance the other contestants dont want either, or just one, you will receive what they dont want, that is if you want either of them.

    I figured to pass these down line, or if by chance no one wants any of the software, it can be used in the next contest.

    A special thanks to Nickie, and Al_B for their work in making the contest a great one !

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    Congrats to all the authors, this was a very good contest. And congrats to CMD for that first, powerful FM. I was one of the people who really enjoyed the crap out of it despite its flaws, weird things and bugs.
    I would suggest a small-size FM contest next, like the Thief Anniversary one, this could attract more people with something less 'difficult' to make.

  11. #11
    L'architecte de Rocksbourg
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Narbonne, France
    Thanks a lot to the voters who elected me as the winner. It was some kind of a challenge and an experiment for me, trying ideas I had for years but couldn't include in the Rocksbourg missions. I'm very glad you appreciated my work there
    Besides some good points were made in the comments, I'll keep them in mind.

    Thanks to the contestants as well for your work. The missions were solid entries, I enjoyed playing them and it allowed the contest to be interesting.
    Btw, can we have the global notes for each category (plot visuals etc...) ?
    Quote Originally Posted by nickie View Post
    List of Prizes
    Thanks to the very kind donations by darthsLair, epithumia and Lord Soth we have the following prizes on offer:

    Three Thief Mugs - donated by Lord Soth
    Thief Deadly Shadows pc game - donated by darthsLair
    Hitman Blood Money pc game - donated by darthsLair
    $50 and $25 amazon gift cards (or equivalent in local currency) purchased from the regional Amazon store of the prize winner's choice - donated by epithumia
    Gift code for a copy of any Thief game from GOG also donated by epithumia.

    1st choice of prize and Thief mug goes to Drk. Perhaps you could post in this thread when you've made your choice Drk and then darthsLair can make his followed by FireMage and then CMD.
    I'm not sure to understand how it works. There are more gifts than contestants. Do I take 1 gift from each donator ?
    Can we have pictures of the mugs, to see how they look like ?

    Darthslair thanks for the donations but I already own both games, in multiple copies
    Give them to Firemage and CMD.

  12. #12
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Well we have very generous prize donations.

    You should chose one prize from those donated by either darthsLair or epithumia and one Thief Mug. Then it will be darthsLair's turn, then FireMage's, then CMD's. I've been told that prizes not chosen will go through to the next contest!! I'll see if I can get some pictures of the mugs from Lord Soth.

    And yes, it will take a bit of time to put it all together but voting details will get posted up.

  13. #13
    L'architecte de Rocksbourg
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Narbonne, France
    Quote Originally Posted by nickie View Post
    I've been told that prizes not chosen will go through to the next contest!! I'll see if I can get some pictures of the mugs from Lord Soth.
    Oh Ok I didn't know.

    I'll take the $50 amazon gift card, and probably the T2 mug but I'll wait to see how they look like. It's Christmas, thanks a lot to the donators

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    I expect epithumia will be in touch about the details. As soon as I hear from Lord Soth, I/he will let you know about the mug.

    Next up is darthsLair.

    I am now retiring so if there are any questions, someone else will have to answer or it'll be the morning for a reply.

  15. #15
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    Not bad for a beginner mission, look forward to more mature mission from this author.
    I don't know who told that, but excuse-me guy, but I'm not a newby! It's my Fourth mission (Fifth If we account "La Fête du Voleur").
    It's the first mission where I beta-test & work on architecture and above all, in texture & 3D design. If the brush is the problem, excuse-me but I'm not an expert about architecture.

    About the others,
    NP, I admit that this mission is done for Ghost. Using shadows and leave them when it's time. If you have nothing to kill the undead, it's normal, it's not the goal.
    It's easy to pass the quarter because the shadows are "perfect", I mean that the undead can touch you, if you're crouched they can't see you.
    I havn't done like Darthlair a mission where you have to kill them (but no offense against you, Darth, your mission is good too ).
    And about the Keyhunt, yes, it's not the best gameplay of the world, but It's all that I found to force you to go where I want to guide you.
    Perhaps it's boring, but I just can't know how to do one of this mission where the player got one fate: To go to the worst place.

    I'm always trying to do better, don't worry!
    I'll remember your words and make again, and again a mission better than the previous.

    Darthslair thanks for the donations but I already own both games, in multiple copies
    Give them to Firemage and CMD.
    Lol! Me too! I already own both games too!
    Give it to CMD! ^^
    Last edited by FireMage; 15th Dec 2012 at 17:57.

  16. #16
    Summer Vacation Contest Winner 2010
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: PacificNorthWest...Near Forks
    Thankyou Nickie, okay, The $25.00 Amazon card would be great, and the Thief Deadly Shadows Mug.
    If there is any way to forward the Amazon Gift Card to TTLG, it would make a great donation to help keep the servers serviced. If not, then I am sure to find a book or something on Amazon worth picking up.

    Thankyou Epithumia, and Lord Soth !

    And a Big Thanks to all of the Thiefy Taffers who have kept Thief alive, and TTLG my still favorite gathering place.

    CMD, you now have your choice of Thief Deadly Shadows (pc game ware) , or Hitman Blood Money (pc game ware) If you want either of them, post here or pm me, and send me your Mailing address. Any where in the World is good.

    @Brethren
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    So, what's the next contest?
    Let the games begin ! How about another Reloaded contest ?
    Last edited by darthsLair; 15th Dec 2012 at 17:46.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    My congratulations to all four authors! I hope that I will find some time to finally play all the missions during the upcoming holidays.

  18. #18
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    Ok, so I have no choice:

    Mug Thief I!
    I wanted the Cash for Amazone, but I'm third and I accept it!
    Played for fun, not for money!

    Hum... About the Gift Code... I don't know If it would work with Thief 4 when it will be released...(I hope that I can use it for that later)
    Or I'll send it to CMD too. (the lucky man! )

    EDIT: Is it possible to make a contest?
    I have an idea, very, very original for a contest! But I have no prize.
    How to do a contest?

  19. #19
    Summer Vacation Contest Winner 2010
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: PacificNorthWest...Near Forks
    Quote Originally Posted by FireMage View Post
    Ok, so I have no choice:

    Mug Thief I!
    I wanted the Cash for Amazone, but I'm third and I accept it!
    Played for fun, not for money!

    Hum... About the Gift Code... I don't know If it would work with Thief 4 when it will be released...(I hope that I can use it for that later)
    Or I'll send it to CMD too. (the lucky man! )

    EDIT: Is it possible to make a contest?
    I have an idea, very, very original for a contest! But I have no prize.
    How to do a contest?
    Hi FireMage, just anounce the contest in your own thread, and see what happens. You dont have to provide any prizes, but there may be prizes left over from this Halloween contest. Good luck !

  20. #20
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    OKIDOKI!
    Let's do this when I got the time!

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas!

    THANKS!!

    Thanks to all the Authors: I enjoyed all of these missions!

  22. #22
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Congratulations to all the authors for turning out such well-done missions. As always, it's the community that really wins and we are very grateful to you all! Thank you all, I enjoyed all of the entries very much.

  23. #23
    Archivist
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Museum of the Ancients
    Congratulations with the victory, DrK! And thanks to all contestants for participating. Some nice bunch of missions.

    And thanks for the organizers for holding and marshalling this contest!

    Unfortunately I didn't got around to play (and vote for) all entries, but had a good time. It's great that authors continue to be interested in fast-building a FM for contests like these

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Rockwell, NC
    These FMs were all good but Drk... You never cease to amaze us. So I have to ask.... When is Rocksbourg 4 coming out?

  25. #25
    L'architecte de Rocksbourg
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Narbonne, France
    New year's resolution number 1 : release a Rocksbourg FM in 2013.

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