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Thread: The Dark Mod

  1. #2526
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2010
    Springheel interview is up at Moddb!

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-dark-m...heel-interview


  2. #2527
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia

  3. #2528
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Huh, after all that, not even a comment about the mod itself.

  4. #2529
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Well.

  5. #2530
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2010
    I wouldn't take offense.

    I spent ages collecting all my favorite arcade ROMs for MAME. After all that effort, do I spend any time playing them? Not recently. I have this full feeling in my belly knowing that I have them all but the need to actually play them has waned.

    I can't believe he didn't rave about the mission "Trapped!" though
    Last edited by nbohr1more; 27th Jul 2011 at 19:38.

  6. #2531
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Japan
    I always find that when Iím so eager to play a game or mod, then itís like life chucks everything in front of me, not allowing me to have any fun. Whereas all the games Iím not so amped about work fine. Murphyís, or Sodís Law, I guess: if something can go wrong, it will.

    But now I donít play TDM. It sits there on my HDD. At first I didnít want to play it or install any more FMs because I mightíve broken something, and Iíd have to reinstall and it wouldn't workÖ again.

    From the screenshots, you can obviously tell that I have played the mod, and at least several of the missions. But now I have TDM and all the FMs out there, and everythingís working Ė Iím not interested anymore. I spent nearly two years trying to get the mod - jumping through all sorts of hoops, getting around tons of obstacles.

    The chase is better than the catch, as they say.
    I don't empathize or sympathize. There are many download options and ways to get around his bandwidth problem (use torrent at fixed rate or with a cap setting, download at some local library, heck, have somebody from the forums mail him a DVD). He had a bug and he hit the forums, good call, but updating should have been a first reaction... and I find it hard to believe that nobody could/would solve his glitch. Downloading 340 MB or 2 GB is just not hard to do, see above and live with the times. Problems updating? I'm pretty sure that the updater grabs full zips named "1.03 to 1.06" or something like that which can be run manually (but again if 2 GB = brimstone, you've got your own problems). There's nothing about installing an FM that would break things, but he's scared stiff of bugs that no longer exist or were imagined, and by the end of it all - he's lost interest. But not so much that he can't write a non-existent review (starting with a cliff hanger!) that comes off as a hit piece (I know it's not, but it doesn't help the image).

    Now I feel a little guilty, like I'm a fanboi or some corporate PR shark, but I've seen the mod go from easy to play to even easier over time with consistent and strong support. Lastly, fuck bandwidth caps anywhere they are found: http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2...10_002683.html

    Bonus: If you remember OnLive, the founder thinks he's found some solution to distributing mobile bandwidth that would make mobile bandwidth caps/prices look even more like a scam than they currently are.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/foru...s-Breakthrough

  7. #2532
    jtr7
    Guest
    Caps aren't even the problem. Traffic jams and insufficient equipment are. When an entire city is choked in poverty, every upgrade is years behind the curve, and it's years before the next upgrade. Whether I see five bars or one, it's a trickle, stutter, drip, and drop/time-out, and a car driving by can cut the signal. The libraries here are open for less hours than the download takes. There's also the phenomenon of the longer the download is taking, the longer it has left to go. And this is not including taffers here who have to go to a neighboring town for Internet until prices become reasonable and income is steady.

    With parents dropping their kids off at the library to kill a few hours on the computers, and increases in new homeless who need a place to hang out and job search and research, and neverending problematic Internet porn addicts, there are time limits on the computers, and there are blocked sites (including Facebook and social sites), and there are places asking for credit card rental of time. All options suck or are still non-existent for many of us. Reliability is definitely non-existent.
    Last edited by jtr7; 28th Jul 2011 at 00:34.

  8. #2533
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Japan
    Seems like he actually wrote a review under this alternate blog:
    http://andr01d.hubpages.com/hub/The-Dark-Mod

  9. #2534
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Hi all, very long time no post - I just wanted to alert the dark mod team that the website seems to be down, including the listing of missions. Any indication when/if we can expect the website back up or where else to find the missions?

    Thanks for a great mod and any response

  10. #2535
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    We're in the process of moving our website. Missions should still be available through the built in downloader though.

  11. #2536
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Ahh thanks. Btw, sorry to bother you with another problem - ive been using the tdmupdate.exe to update and its taking quite a long time because it keeps redownloading files after the checksum is reported as corrupt.

    But the checksum comparison often reads something like this;

    should be - 266z588
    is - 0266z588

    As in, the checksum seems often have a 0 in front and the updater redownloads. Is this corrupt update files or some checking error?

    EDIT: I have updated my tdmupdate.exe, i had the old command line version. Maybe itll work now


    Btw, if any of you are ever in Syd, Aus we can have a beer (along with Dram) and i can thank you properly for this brilliant mod
    Last edited by irR4tiOn4L; 22nd Aug 2011 at 00:18.

  12. #2537
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by irR4tiOn4L View Post
    EDIT: I have updated my tdmupdate.exe, i had the old command line version. Maybe itll work now
    Yeah, that should fix the problem. The command line version of the updater is pretty out of date now, and although it should have updated itself to the latest version...I do recall some folks having issues with that. Hope everything works for you now.

  13. #2538
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by New Horizon View Post
    Yeah, that should fix the problem. The command line version of the updater is pretty out of date now, and although it should have updated itself to the latest version...I do recall some folks having issues with that. Hope everything works for you now.
    Everything works beautifully now thanks! Just playing through the 'training' mission which id never actually finished before but its really a full blown mission in its own right - and soo atmospheric.

    This is just such a masterpiece. All it needs is popularity and missions - which im sure will come with time

    EDIT - Just finished the 'training mission' that comes with TDM. Not much training, but then i didnt need any. I played on hard with no lightgem (frankly, you dont need one since its quite easy to tell which shadows are deep enough) and stealthed most of the mission although i did resort to copious amounts of blackjacking (blackjacked everyone except martha) and boosting the gamma in the more frustrating key hunts.

    Great mission overall, very creative. Wont spoil anything for anyone but the story and design was just top notch and the whole mission was extremely immersive.

    What i liked -
    interior design, attention to detail, backstory, architecture and the sheer creativeness. I wont elaborate but dont let brevity be a guide to magnitude!

    What i thought was fine but could be better -
    The starting location is fairly weak; it is not immediately clear where you want to go and when it is (The gate) its not the way in. Even once you find the barrel, you are dumped into an alley where on the one hand you are herded (no room to deviate) yet dont know where. You just have to trust the game and not until youve gone through the sewer and back up do you realise 'oh, THATS what i was trying to do'. Its also quite weak visually, especially between the sewer bit and barrel, as it doesnt look much like streets with just sheer walls (and THOSE white, giant windows).

    The parapet/guard towers are a bit of an afterthought. They are difficult to sneak through (without blackjacking), easy to get spotted in (from the mansion side) and filled with guards. Its the kind of thing a proper thief should stay away from, yet you are expected to go there (more or less, for the full story). Architecturally its also a bit strange (why are there towers facing a giant, sheer wall?) and visually, the whole courtyard is a bit weak - its an odd space, lacks interesting features or details and SEEMS bright, yet is filled with 'sneakable' shadows. Still, does the job fine.

    Guard and civilian patrols - they are fine (apart from the overcrowded guard towers and parapet) but not exactly 'lifelike'. In terms of patrol design, compared to thief the patrols are limited and short - the guards generally follow loops around, for example, the bottom hallways, or just along a stretch of hallway. But none take long, winding patrols that could catch a player by suprise or keep them on edge - and make the guards seem more likelike. Thief is also an old game and while TDM clearly supports complicated patrols to add 'lifelike' behaviour, this is more of a missed opportunity in the mission. Neither guards nor civilians do much beyond move between a few rooms/set areas endlessly - which doesnt create an impression of lifelike behaviour. Even lady edgridge has a rather short 'wander' (despite the tantalising clues of the window and her night activities). On the one hand the texts and readables bring the characters to life, on the other the characters do nothing but stand around. Im not suggesting full blown, animated reading and playing (thief didnt have this either) but some timed 'toilet breaks', waking, sleeping and wandering would have been relatively simple compared to the other details that went in the mission and gone a LONG way to making the characters come alive. Speaking of which - i would swear some characters just dont make an appearance at all, either asleep or wandering (and a heck of a lot of people are awake). Where are they?

    What i didnt like -
    As youve probably heard many times, the 'key hunts' (and some 'lever hunts') are just too much, too often. It doesnt always make sense why you can lockpick most doors but not the garden, maintenance opening, library or housekeeper's, to name a few. One door in particular remains locked the entire game and does not appear possibly to unlock (the final door between the bath and staircase hallway, although it is easily bypassed). It is irritating how often you come across things that cannot be unlocked with lockpicks or your current keys and for which the location of the key (or the location of the person from whom to steal it) is not readily apparent. Related to this are certain switches, levers and all kinds of secrets, many of which are extremely creative but just downright difficult to find. I appreciate such detail - but there is a limit to how MUCH of it can be in one mission. It took me almost 9 hours to finish this mission, and that was with the aid of a walkthrough! (I missed the second exit from Martha's)

    At times the mission also took on a bit of a linear structure, which was a bit inexplicable even in the context of the story presentation. Surely, with how well S is hidden, the interrogation room could have been lockpickable and the key hidden elsewhere? Likewise, the garden could have been lockpickable and the spare room and library accessible/lockpickable (after all, most would miss the martha detail). Eleanor's bedroom, while challenging and creative, is also a bit inexplicable given the ease with which other bedrooms are picked. By comparison, the lady and lord's bedrooms are picked easily - difficult to comprehend. Similarly, having to find the maintenance hatch AND the key for it (located nearby no less) because a HATCH is not pickable smacks of artificiality and needless complexity (though its still cool and creative).

    Because of these decisions, a lot of time is spent running around, backtracking and retracing steps literally just looking for keys, which soon detracts from the sneaking and turns it into a bit of a circus if you start blackjacking to make it easier. On that topic, the sneaking is generally satisfying but a bit on the easy side, particularly blackjacking, because guards are not sensitive enough to light (sound is fine), none are set up with 'anti blackjacking' helmets or other features designed to make it more difficult to blackjack and there is no limit to the number of people you can knock out (and honestly, it needs one. Knocking out 25 people makes the mission's difficulty a joke). A serious consideration might be enabling guards' sensitivity to opening of doors (that would catch me out on many an occasion) and some basic (nothing all knowing) patrol checkpoints so that if half the guards go 'missing' someone notices and does something about it. Speaking of which, guards relighting SOME important lights SOME of the time would help (nothing too drastic, but enough to stop them patrolling or standing in darkness) At the moment, guards are too happy to have half their colleagues go missing, half the lights turn out, have doors open and close randomly and yet still do nothing - the game is skewed a little too much to the easy side (but maybe its just too much experience). Again, all this without a lightgem.



    But all in all the criticisms should not detract from a fantastic mission (aside from the key hunting, which gets genuinely frustrating). This was a very creative, enjoyable and well crafted mission. Well done!
    Last edited by irR4tiOn4L; 24th Aug 2011 at 12:09.

  14. #2539
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    irR4tiOn4L,

    I'm a bit confused by your post. At first you talk about the training mission, but your 'review' sounds like you are describing 'Heart' (Fical's map).

  15. #2540
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    This is definitely Heart! Why don't you repost this review in the Fan mission review and discussion megathread, maybe with a few screenshots if you feel like it?

  16. #2541
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I was indeed confused too, until Dram enlightened me on the fact that The Heart of Lone Salvation is NOT in fact the 'training mission', and that something was wrong with the default fm config in my install. For some reason after updating my game had 'the heart of lone salvation' set as the training mission! That would explain why the 'training mission' had absolutely no training and was rather a bit longer than you would expect!

    Ill take some screenshots and repost/expand on the above in the suggested section. Although do people prefer reviews that mostly make vague references to ingame events, so as not to provide spoilers, or that discuss the ingame events more clearly to make more clear what issues are being identified?


    BTW - I notice many of the FM's are parts of a series - but must be downloaded individually. Unfortunately, the ingame and website mission listings do not support nestled download trees - so that i could, for example, click 'thief's den series' and then see a listing of the missions in that series - nor do mappers always name or put in the mission notes the fact the mission was part of series - leading to gaps and much hunting.

    As more campaigns and mission series are produced it would be a good idea to have mission listings/descriptions that reflect the episodic nature of the content
    Last edited by irR4tiOn4L; 27th Aug 2011 at 09:31.

  17. #2542
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Japan
    Quote Originally Posted by irR4tiOn4L View Post
    BTW - I notice many of the FM's are parts of a series - but must be downloaded individually. Unfortunately, the ingame and website mission listings do not support nestled download trees - so that i could, for example, click 'thief's den series' and then see a listing of the missions in that series - nor do mappers always name or put in the mission notes the fact the mission was part of series - leading to gaps and much hunting.

    As more campaigns and mission series are produced it would be a good idea to have mission listings/descriptions that reflect the episodic nature of the content
    I mentioned it recently and I just added it to the tracker.

  18. #2543
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    TDM is just getting to the point of supporting campaigns. So soon enough campaigns can just be one file instead of 3 FM's.

  19. #2544
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Yes campaign functionality is already halfway to implemented and should be in the next release or so. Didn't really need the tracker entry as it's already WIP (and I'm sure another entry is in there somewhere saying that), but probably better to err on the side of asking than not.

  20. #2545
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Hey people (TDM devs, that is)! Where did you get the lockpicking sound effects from? Because one of the "apply weapon mod" sound effects in Deus Ex Human Revolution sounds totally like one of the TDM lockpicking sounds.

  21. #2546
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Our lockpick sounds were recorded for us, by Dram, if my memory serves (could be wrong).

  22. #2547
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Well, it reminded me of TDM. Here's the sound anyway:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgrWQqpG7P4

  23. #2548
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2010
    September Updates:

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-dark-m...ember-updates1

    PranQster and Bikerdude have both revised their first mission releases for better game-play and appearance. (PranQster also optimized his mission for better performance.)

    The Dark Mod community is engaged in a Halloween Speed-build contest. Big guns such as Melan, Bikerdude, Mortem Desino, Fieldmedic, Stumpy (and possibly Sonsuke?) have entered the fray. Promising newcomers PranQster and Xcen are also on-board...


  24. #2549
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2009
    is it only me or darkmod forum is down?

  25. #2550
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    It's only you, unless I'm the only person who can access them at the moment.

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