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Thread: Authors please share your stories

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011

    Authors please share your stories

    How and when you started, how much time it took, how easy or hard it was etc.

    I have an idea for a FM that I think is great but when I started reading the Absolute Beginner's Guide by Nicked, it seems like titanic and tedious work. I don't know if I will have the patience for it

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Beyond boundaries of Magia
    Komag's DromEd tutorial learner there. I started pretty much of various maps, without even using grid. A first FM I had planned to make seriously was a protagonist's set in a big wooden house, surrounded by woods... That was the first time I encountered the poly crash, when it went over 1000 because of forest brushes (yeah, those were pre-New Dark times). Back then I enjoyed my work anyway and I started to learn things using the famous DromEd tutorial by Komag (if i remember his name correct). I learned pretty much of things...

    The first FM I've got to complete was Son of Deja Vu 1: Mountain Maya (Maja, bless my typos)... It was a merely experiment for testing objectives creating, which then got it's story and many-many rooms to explore (sadly had to cut like 55% of the map, because of both DromEd limitations and my weak PC).
    I then tried to make a sequel in a big deepsea underground, with icebergs and cold ocean around. Planned to be it like Lost City with elements of ice/snow and Opera... Another sequel attempt had an underground fort exploration with a prologue-mansion (I even started reboot of that map in 2013)...
    Unfortunately neither of sequels still haven't seen a public light.

    I've been trying various experiments, one of which was completed as a contest FM - "Anybody...home", which in my opinion would've been better, If i had clue that keyhunt can be plain-boring if used without arguments that'd make sense... Or the safe code that could use better clue (I should've mention that every floor has two rooms, but for some reason I didn't do that on my behalf to blame).
    Another experiment was like -- What if I'd turn a comedian show, just like Garry's Mod, in Thief? That'd be "This FM haz no SENSE", which went as a pretty fun challenge to make and I enjoyed it. The last FM I've released publicly was "Time is Gold, Dreamlord Episode I", which was in my opinion an upgrade in mapping to me.

    Sorry if my story took too long.
    The thing is that if you do enjoy mapping, creating plot for your actors there, and -- stay on your flow -- you can DO anything (mostly)! It can be tricky to both have fun and stay on flow while you're working on the FM, but you can figure it out if you feel that's yours... Experience, experiments, mistakes, building brick upon brick, while having image of what you want to accomplish... Oh... by the way, if something won't work like you're expecting - don't push hard on yourself. That's also why most of the authors do backups of their map, in case something might get freaky in process. DromEd is like a sneaky old witch

    Hoping that might help. Cheers!

  3. #3
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Dromed is pretty easy to learn, but start small. Save that huge, epic, multi-level campaign for later. First punch out a small, basic mission to learn the fundamentals, then go from there.

    nicked's tutorial is great, Komag's tutorial is less in depth and might be a better place to start for a complete beginner. Dale_ also has a good video tutorial on youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFIcXS4qx4E

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Thanks for replies so far.

    Come on introverts don't be shy, or lazy

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    I guess I need to come to terms that I'm simply not a creative person but a consumer

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: netherlands
    I started to work with dromed with the komag tut. being not a native english speaker the official documentation from thief/dromed was too much info for me. ( esp. not knowing/understanding all the tech. stuff)
    i remember the first time I created a airbrush and going in game. whoh... I made my own space in the digital world
    did follow komag's tut and made my first "mission"
    funny: Komag did make a few suggestions about changing some things in various files. He worded it as: you might want to change this and this... I did misunderstand that (being dutch). I thought he meant: If you really want to, if you insist, go ahead, your own risk. Being so glad I got everything working so far, I didn't dare to change it.
    started making my first mission. got it finished, what a hell, Komag never mentioned using area's..
    (can you imagine building a three floor building..)
    In those days i got in contact with lady Rowena and she offered to have a look at it. When discussing the mission she pointed me at using areas and the changes i should make in the config files(the ones Komag did suggest)

    my first "real" mission (real as in being act. released), was the librarian. One night is was, with my co-working, watching the movie "the Librarian" and my co-worker made a remark that it was nice to rebuild with dromed ( all the trapfloors etc)
    then I took my about nine years to get part 2 (the spear) completed. It started way too ambitious and, about to give up because of all the crashes ( the mission was way too big, even when splitted in two), newdark came and I could finish my mission ( no more worries about too many pollys)

  7. #7
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Kind of reiterating what I said above, but my first mission was an entry for Yandros' SSR contest - kind of the perfect way to start out because it didn't allow any custom material, you had to use the stock resources for T2. I think that's the way to go for newcomers, unless you're already a very technical person and/or understand editing from other games. I'd love to see another contest with these restrictions, but I think at this point in Thief's lifespan, most people want to use new, high res textures.

    Btw, here's a link to Komag's tutorial on my site: http://www.southquarter.com/komag/

    zajazd, dont' give up. Just make a few small connected rooms and decorate them, and you'll be hooked.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2013
    Location: Somewhere in a city of iron
    Kind of late for the party but here goes : I've been fiddling around with dromed for years before finally releasing something. Now this may sound cheesy but I feel like it's not right to spend time on dromed only to produce something. I feel like having fun is what matters, just learn the basics and start doing whatever you want. You'll eventually end up building something you'll be proud of and release it.
    There was a topic similar to this one (by redleaf I believe), you may want to check it out.

    Though I'm not that big of an author, I think this is the right way to tackle DromEd (plus you'll find that experimenting with it is quite fun)

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchDecay View Post
    Kind of late for the party but here goes : I've been fiddling around with dromed for years before finally releasing something. Now this may sound cheesy but I feel like it's not right to spend time on dromed only to produce something. I feel like having fun is what matters, just learn the basics and start doing whatever you want. You'll eventually end up building something you'll be proud of and release it.
    Do you see similarities between Dromed and Minecraft? I think I wouldn't be able to play that game even with a gun pointed at my head lol

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2016
    Location: MN, United States
    I started with Nicked's guide, which, imho, is pretty darn great. He did a fantastic job of explaining the fundamentals but also urging that you explore yourself to find out what kind of Dromeder you are.

    I like Komag's, but it being all text was too much for me personally, I need some imagery to get going.

    Currently nearly finishing up on my first mission, which has grown to be a bit bigger than I wanted it to be.

    Fiddle around and see what comes of it. Once you get in the groove, you start to wonder why it took forever to get a grasp of anything in the beginning. I thought I would never get to a decent point in Dromed, but now I'm almost done with my first FM!

    As others have said, having fun counts too. It's just really cool when you start actually seeing what you visualized come to fruition in the editor.

    Oh, and I haven't screwed around with any custom stuff, it's all been stock resources so far.

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Quote Originally Posted by ObservingEye View Post
    Oh, and I haven't screwed around with any custom stuff, it's all been stock resources so far.
    Some of us (me) still have rather basic pcs so I'm always more than glad for stock resources. And no matter how gorgeous something looks, I don't think you can ever beat good gameplay.

    (But my more beefy pc is coming out of storage this weekend and going for a bit of a tune-up so I might soon be able to play some of the more resource-heavy missions).

    I'm always delighted to hear about new authors and my apologies if we already knew this. I rather come and go a bit at the moment.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    Quote Originally Posted by ObservingEye View Post
    Currently nearly finishing up on my first mission, which has grown to be a bit bigger than I wanted it to be.
    Get used to that. Godbreaker started out as a single small mission for a contest entry.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by ObservingEye View Post
    I started with Nicked's guide, which, imho, is pretty darn great. He did a fantastic job of explaining the fundamentals but also urging that you explore yourself to find out what kind of Dromeder you are.
    Yes, his guide is really good. Only thing left to do is kick myself in the butt.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: The Inverted Manse
    I had a few ideas for a couple of missions, but I was hesitant to spend any effort on DromEd because I thought I was not going to be able to compete with all those talented authors around.
    My partner had done Komag's tutorial and convinced me to go through it to, and the rest is history. I really enjoyed my DromEd days, and I hope people also enjoyed playing my creations.

  15. #15
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    Nice to see you, Haplo! We love your missions and hope you return to Dromed some day, especially to enjoy the great enhancements that NewDark brings.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Argentina
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    Nice to see you, Haplo! We love your missions and hope you return to Dromed some day, especially to enjoy the great enhancements that NewDark brings.
    I couldn't agree more.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: The Inverted Manse
    Thanks guys...it would be so cool to do one more mission...
    How do you still find the time?!

  18. #18
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    It's hard when you're busy with work and family and everything else. I guess that's why my releases are few and far between, but the passion to create them is what drives me to carve out time. Case in point, the campaign I've been working on off and on for a decade is going to be released in the next few weeks.

  19. #19
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Haplo View Post
    How do you still find the time?!
    Hey, glad to see you around Ali. So, you put out about 10 missions in a 3 year span (which is nothing short of amazing). What changed for you? Kids? Work?

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    anyone know the background story on the grapes/fruits in thief 1/2 ,i always look for them in missions,usually i run across them in a group of three,same as the group of 3 coins

    and in some cases they are close to the intruder painting=the small painting of the trickster seducing a girl on a river bank,with a small hillside and tree,in the goldish frame

  21. #21
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    downwinder - How is your question relevant to this thread in the least? If you're going to ask insane and ridiculous questions, maybe you should start your own thread.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    I had ideas for FMs for a long time and thought "one day I'm going to build an FM". But the day I finally actually started to work on an FM was when the Newdark Novice Contest was announced early 2016. I learned Dromeding with the beginner tutorial, and then pumped out a small mission in a month... and I learned everything from scratch in that time! Shoes and Dresses was made in such a short time while I was still learning how to even use Dromed, so if you want to know what you can do as a beginner... just play that mission.

    I had no level editor experience at all prior to that, so it's actually pretty easy to just jump into it.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    i just posted to make sure you not slacking

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Deep inside mediocrity
    I started with KOMAG's tutorial. Learning some shortcuts to resizing things and moving placed objects will make life much less frustrating and save loads of time. I picked some of the fan missions that had things I liked and deconstructed them to see how things worked. When that failed I got a lot of help in the tech forum. I seem to have a lot of trouble with keys and locks. Also, the most fun I had was making Christmas lights, an idea borrowed from Yandros. Also, I think ambient sound triggers gave me a lot of grief and is real art to apply so that the transitions are seamless. I also played about 400 fan missions before I attempted making my own. I think I'm getting excited to build another mission now.

  25. #25
    Like a few others I started with Komag's tutorial some 10+ years ago. I had looked at DromEd before, but Komag's introduction was what really got me started -- although it took a bit of time to finish it, because I always got sidetracked while klicking on everything to see what would happen. Then I sort of kept on klicking on everything until I had something playable. I worked on several missions at the same time, but only a few of them ever got released -- and now I'm sort of retired from DromEd, although I would want to do at least one more thing.

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