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Thread: New T2 FM: Behind Closed Doors (6th Feb 2017)

  1. #201
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    Location: Krull Island, in the pub
    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    My initial impressions of this mission were mostly negative. Increased vulnerability in the dusky setting, ledges you can easily slide off, frustrating falls that make it easy to alert nearby AI, linear design with your prospective routes forward blocked off, a counter-intuitive way to proceed (there is a way that seems logical but isn't, and a way that doesn't seem logical but is). Not a good introduction.

    I was almost ready to put it away, but fortunately, I persevered and the mission got much better as it opened up. There is a lot of clever puzzle design in the central city area, and the mini-missions are just the right length/complexity. It also feels great traipsing around on the rooftops and finding new places to break into, or figuring out puzzle solutions using environmental cues. It is not always standard Thief gameplay, and the ledges are a bit convenient, but it is very entertaining. I loved the bank missions, the electric fence, and the little touches like the back garden and window-crashing a prostitute's room.

    After the middle part, the problems start cropping up again, as the mage's house and the sewers are less interesting than the urbancrawl elements, but the mission remains decent and ends on a good note. There is also the mood, a lazy, late-afternoon-in-a-Spanish-city feel, which is nicely helped by the music. Just like the enormous spaces and dizzying heights, BCD's style reminds me of Being Thief 2, although this is a better mission, where the scale is mostly right (it could be built a little tighter, but that's just me - NewDark certainly makes this style of building possible), and the objectives are less artificial. Less, but they still feel forced, and can result in a large amount of backtracking. I understand the reasoning, just don't agree with it.

    All in all, this is slightly uneven, but the good parts can be really good.

    Since authors make less fan missions, than in 2008 or 2007 for example, I really try to avoid being picky when it comes to writing opinion about a fan mission, so these lines were a bit unfriendly for me for the first time, but I also understand that even a high quality fan mission can't be everyone's cup of tea.

  2. #202
    Moderator
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Thunder Bay, On., Canada
    I think I'm almost done after hours and hours of excellent game play! However, I thought I saw a reference to something magical to be found in the wizard's house that might help with the sewer full of rats. Does such a thing exist and if so, where please? I've searched all over his place and found nothing. I've done all the other things in there that I'm supposed to and have the doors open, ready to leave.

  3. #203
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Land of enchantment
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightwalker View Post
    I thought I saw a reference to something magical to be found in the wizard's house that might help with the sewer full of rats.
    I am not aware of such a thing, and I have played it several times. I think the reference to magic was to a necklace that transports you to Faramund's house.. The only things I know to deal with the rats are ghost them, run like hell, or time the visits to the sewer (mostly before bridge activation), and take the one safe escape route.

  4. #204
    Moderator
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Thunder Bay, On., Canada
    Thanks, Peter! I've been playing this over several days and I just had a vague recollection of reading something. Off to tackle them then. Yuck!

    And...finished! What an outstanding mission to explore. I had so much fun. Thanks very much for all the time and effort you put into this, Nick.

  5. #205
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    I really loved this mission. I finished just 500 or so short of max loot. Will there be a loot list posted?

    In the sewers where the water falls into what looks like bubble bath I was able to pick up the bubble bath. Each bubble bath object appeared as a weapon in the lower left corner but disappeared after about two seconds. Can these be used for anything?

  6. #206
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: South Coast,England uk
    can someone help me move on.....

    I have the wax mold and I am now going round and round the factory with the rats and I cant find where to put it.....I am sure I have seen the machine before,earlier in the game...but now it eludes me.....

  7. #207
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: South Coast,England uk
    you can kill rats with arrows,but mostly I lured the rats till they all dropped through the metal walkway into the sewers and drown....but I think they respawn

  8. #208
    Member
    Registered: May 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by john9818a View Post
    I really loved this mission. I finished just 500 or so short of max loot. Will there be a loot list posted?

    In the sewers where the water falls into what looks like bubble bath I was able to pick up the bubble bath. Each bubble bath object appeared as a weapon in the lower left corner but disappeared after about two seconds. Can these be used for anything?
    I noticed this too. Interested to know if this is relevant or just an anomaly.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonesCrusher View Post
    can someone help me move on.....

    I have the wax mold and I am now going round and round the factory with the rats and I cant find where to put it.....I am sure I have seen the machine before,earlier in the game...but now it eludes me.....
    The machine you're looking for is in the factory, which is next to the church.

  9. #209
    Member
    Registered: May 2011
    I just finished. What a fantastic mission. As always, well done, nicked!

  10. #210
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by JonesCrusher View Post
    can someone help me move on.....

    I have the wax mold and I am now going round and round the factory with the rats and I cant find where to put it.....I am sure I have seen the machine before,earlier in the game...but now it eludes me.....
    You say you are in the factory, but it doesn't sound like it. The factory with the machine is the small room with the red light that is reached from the side balcony of the cathedral. You can also kill rats with your sword, btw.

  11. #211
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: South Coast,England uk
    no I was in the wrong part of the factory,I was "down" below the pagan sewer hatch by the church....I had forgotten that the way to the machine was in the "Upper part"....as I saw it way back in the mission then forgot where it was....

    I am all finished now thanks to that nudge to help me along......It truly was an awesome mission!!

    and to the Author....."Thank you Stranger"

  12. #212
    I'm about ten minutes into this one. The architecture is gorgeous.

    However, I've encountered several bugs so far:

    * I've seen two NPCs that were frozen upright, arms outstretched (a woman and a sleeping guard).
    * I've encountered two doors (a district gate and a sewer gate) which are invisible (but which I can't pass through).

  13. #213
    I also just encountered an urn floating above a nonexistent table, and (I think) some bits of geometry which weren't lit.

    Aside from these issues, it really is a gorgeous mission!

  14. #214
    One of the best missions I've played in a longgg time. Finished on expert in 3 and a half hours of game time (closer to 5 hours of total time), and found ~90% of the loot (still more work to do!). Absolutely gorgeous design, very immersive and stylistically consistent---nothing seemed out of place.

    Everything felt very logical. Items, keys, readables, etc... all seemed to cross my path in the right order, despite the sandbox feel. That's one of the most impressive things. I never felt constrained by my environs, but also never seemed to get off the 'right' track (except for the one time I taffed about and found my way outside of the playing area )

    I never spent more than 4 or 5 minutes at a time feeling lost or confused. Managed to beat the whole thing without once feeling a need to consult the forums. This is somewhat of a rarity for me, with any mission that takes more than an hour. Typically I'll have to get a hint for one thing, maybe two. Not this time. No frustrations, no interminable key hunts, just hours of clean, thief-y fun!!!

    Keep up the great work! I'll have to go back and play some of your older missions.

    P.S. I loved all the optional side quests. Especially the way they all converged on a single treasure.

  15. #215
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Top notch mission, Nick! I finished in about 5 1/2 hours, with 7447 in loot. That was a long ride, and I loved every minute of it. Since it was such a long mission, it deserves a long critique. I cover a lot of ground, so I'm just going to put a spoiler cover over all of it rather that try to find all the spoilers.

    The rooftop exploration was a lot of fun, and no matter how many times I went up there I never got tired of it. With the exception of Godbreaker's fourth mission, I haven't had that much fun rooftop hopping in a long time. The city is beautiful, the lighting is sublime; I love daylight missions at least as much as I love nighttime missions, and you really didn't disappoint on that score. The water in your missions is always impressive, and this was no exception. I loved the play of light on the water in the canal as it wended its way through the city, and I loved the water in the indoor fountains as well. So from an aesthetic point of view, I love what you did with the place. If I had any critique of that aspect, I'd have to say that the city seemed a bit too clean and sterile. I know you meant this to be a nice part of town, what with the bank, courthouse, legal offices, etc. But there was also a tavern and a few alleys that could have been a bit more rundown, as well as the warehouses and such. It's beautiful the way it is, but it might have felt a bit more lived in with some dirt and detritus here and there.

    The only other thing I thought was missing was people. I like the ones that are there, and there are some memorable characters (which I really like), but I wish there had been a bit more life. I don't know what constraints you were under, but some people on the streets besides guards would have been nice, though I know that was explained away with the curfew. Still, more folks around and awake inside buildings (besides guards), would have helped bring it to life more.

    I thought the puzzles were good for the most part. The mask puzzle was well done and I liked having to complete tasks to get the masks. Also, those are really nice mask objects. Did you make them? Also the animals for the festival? Generally I liked the puzzle in Faramund's place, but it felt a bit artificial, if I'm honest. I don't think that was a result of the concept, but more how you went about it. I didn't understand the need to have multiple notes, and have each appear only after you complete a task. To me, it would have made more sense if he had left her a note with instructions, and then the player would have just had to find all the ingredients and use them appropriately. The "treasure hunt" aspect of it is what felt artificial, because it didn't seem like a reasonable thing to do in that context. But maybe that's just me. I should say, however, that things like this don't really detract from my overall enjoyment of a mission. To me, they are just things you notice as you go along and might wish had been done a little differently. Still, maybe something to keep in mind.

    I really liked finding the magpie nests, but I wish you had made that an objective. It would have been nice to know if I had found them all or not.

    As Sly said earlier, those are some really well done sewers! I liked the architecture, textures and layout. And I really, really liked the rats! That was a nice bonus. However, I thought the fact that they were endlessly respawning was a detraction from their awesomeness. First, I just don't like endlessly respawning enemies. My personal view is that in general, in any game, it's a poor game device at best, and at worst it is used to cover a lack of imagination. And second, it just wasn't necessary here. The appearance of them in such numbers was sufficient to make the player squirm, believe me! But if the player wanted to wade in and take them all out, they should have been allowed to, to my way of thinking. I'm not sure what your intention was, but I'd be curious to know the reasoning was behind it. But again, this was certainly no deal breaker. After I had killed enough of them to notice that they kept respawning, I just ignored them and went on my way.

    The only other issue I had anywhere was a minor niggle. I loved the electrified fence, but I didn't understand the reasoning behind putting that one short length of it on the wooden deck railing right as you exit that door. To me, that smacked a bit of trolling the player. No one coming through that door is going to expect there to be a live, electrified fence right there in a walkway where you are bound to bump into it, so the player is pretty likely to get burned there. But more to the point, it doesn't make sense for the inhabitants of the place, so it felt contrived just to injure the player.


    So, I found a few things that seemed like they could have been executed a bit better, but truly overall this was an immensely enjoyable mission. None of those issues kept me from having a blast the whole time. I really didn't want the mission to end, and if that's not the mark of a great mission, I don't know what is. Thanks for bringing us this mission, and for all the hard work and inspiration that went into it. It's great fun, and I know I'll be replaying it in the future.

  16. #216
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Tannar, there is a bonus objective to find all nests I think there are 13 of them

  17. #217
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Ah, well, clearly I didn't find all of them. Thanks.

  18. #218
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Melan - thanks for the feedback; a lot of good points made there. It was definitely intentional to have the beginning sections tighter and more linear and then have it open up later on. As for tricky ledges - it can be so difficult to judge what is hard or easy with a movement puzzle when you, as the author, know exactly how to do it! There were a fair few difficult-to-traverse ledges that were widened during testing, but I still wanted it to be a challenge. I'm glad you persevered and enjoyed the more open-ended city areas. Ultimately, despite this being my 10th (?) release, it's the first time I've ever completed a proper city streets/rooftops mission, so I almost felt like I was starting from square one in terms of design experience.

    ticky - I can't speak for any other authors, but someone posting what they didn't like about the mission isn't gonna upset me or put me off making more. In a lot of ways, solid constructive criticism is far more valuable than straight-up praise (especially from expert city mission authors like Melan!).

    john9818a & itllrun10s - the frobbable water foam is a weird bug that rings a faint bell from when I had a similar setup in Sturmdrang Peak. I can't remember if I ever worked out why it was happening - I'm sure it wasn't as simple as just making the objects FrobInert. Anyway, it's just a cosmetic bug and it won't break anything in the mission.

    greenie2600 - this really sounds like it's not installed right. T-pose AI generally means the game hasn't loaded the default scripts. Are you using FMSel or Darkloader, and do you get the same issue in any other fan missions?

    slavatrumpevitch - glad you enjoyed it and didn't get stuck - "Managed to beat the whole thing without once feeling a need to consult the forums." is about the highest praise I could hope for.

    Tannar - Thanks for the feedback! More people is definitely a valid criticism; in hindsight I could probably have done away with the whole curfew idea and had the carnival stuff still going on. I was going for a sort-of austere, lonely atmosphere to fit with the clean, high-rent buildings, a "post-party, fun's over" kinda vibe. But I agree it can just come across a bit empty! I'm now imagining an alternate version where the Watch don't react to you unless you're above street level or actively breaking in somewhere, and there are crowds of drunk people everywhere - sort of like that New Orleans parade mission in Hitman Blood Money. The masks and papier mache animals were all models made by me, yes. For the respawning rats, I wanted there to be an unending tide of them, to try and maintain the horror. I personally think it would have lessened the impact if you could just completely clear the sewer of rats. Gameplay-wise, I can totally understand it becoming a frustration though. Also, the smaller electric fence was an unfortunate concession, in order to prevent the player being able to jump over the main electric fence from the wooden platform fence. I put a big sign on it to hopefully warn people before they electrocuted themselves.
    Last edited by nicked; 12th Feb 2017 at 07:15.

  19. #219
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Strumdrang
    Really?

    I really liked the bubble bug. Kind of a shame when you fixed it.

  20. #220
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by Tannar View Post
    You say you are in the factory, but it doesn't sound like it. The factory with the machine is the small room with the red light that is reached from the side balcony of the cathedral. You can also kill rats with your sword, btw.
    I just picked them off at a distance with broadheads.

  21. #221
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by nickie View Post
    Really?
    I typo'd my own mission name. I shall never recover from the shame of it.

  22. #222
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: swirling in the night wind
    Hi Nick - I started playing Behind Closed Doors, the first one I've played in over a year. I never thought I'd enjoy a mission that wasn't in dark and gritty, but I am loving this one - and PINK??!!!! Whoever thought I would love the pinkness of it! The letter to the real estate agent is a hoot, making me laugh right out loud. So many things to complement you on here, but I want to get back to it, so just saying congratulations on a mission beautifully crafted!

  23. #223
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK
    I’ve been trying to recall where I found the jewels/gems stolen by the magpies (on Expert). Here’s what I can remember so far (NB no. 8 may be a false positive).

    I must still be at least one gem short, because the Objective (saying I have found them all) has not yet appeared. Any clues please?

    1. On window ledge above sloping roof over Lady Miranda’s front door.
    2. In alcove above air vent on west side of Estate Agent’s building (above Dogbone Alley).
    3. On window ledge of Watch Station, near boundary with Lady Miranda’s house.
    4. On ledge above Boltgrime Lane, east side.
    5. On very high ledge, Boltgrime Lane, west side (almost exactly opposite 4, but higher up).
    6. Window ledge to the east of the open window above the north side of Taker’s Rise.
    7. On ledge above north end of Boltgrime Lane, near gate into Truckle Row.
    8. On ledge to the south and west of the Eldridge Estate. [There’s a flower pot there. But was there a gem in it?]
    9. Gastrule’s Offices, above window set into the roof, second from right window (as viewed from the front).
    10. Window ledge above the alley to the north west of The Stag.
    11. On the roof of shed on top of the City Electric building.
    12. Highmarket Bank, north side, upper level of exterior columns, at foot of west-most column.
    13. In the hand of the statue on top of the Court House.


    (Got myself up to 7717 loot in the process.)
    Last edited by Marbrien; 12th Feb 2017 at 11:25.

  24. #224
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Marbrien View Post
    Iíve been trying to recall where I found the jewels/gems stolen by the magpies (on Expert). Hereís what I can remember so far (NB no. 8 may be a false positive).

    I must still be at least one gem short, because the Objective (saying I have found them all) has not yet appeared. Any clues please?
    Yes, your number 8 isn't a nest - but check out the Museum for the last one.

  25. #225
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK
    Thanks for the tip Sagittal. The complete list of gem/jewel nests (on Expert, at least) is as follows.

    1. On window ledge above sloping roof over Lady Miranda’s front door.
    2. In alcove above air vent on west side of Estate Agent’s building (above Dogbone Alley).
    3. On window ledge of Watch Station, near boundary with Lady Miranda’s house.
    4. On ledge above Boltgrime Lane, east side.
    5. On very high ledge, Boltgrime Lane, west side (almost exactly opposite 4, but higher up).
    6. Window ledge to the east of the open window above the north side of Taker’s Rise.
    7. On ledge above north end of Boltgrime Lane, near gate into Truckle Row.
    8. Gastrule’s Offices, above window set into the roof, second from right window (as viewed from the front).
    9. Window ledge above the alley to the north west of The Stag.
    10. On the roof of shed on top of the City Electric building.
    11. Highmarket Bank, north side, upper level of exterior columns, at foot of west-most column.
    12. In the hand of the statue on top of the Court House.
    13. Highmarket Museum, above the upper ledge, east side, in a crevice between the Museum and the adjacent building whose window gives you access to that ledge.

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