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Thread: Upcoming FM: The Chronicles of Inspector Drept: St. Judes' Preparatory School

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!

    Upcoming FM: The Chronicles of Inspector Drept: St. Judes' Preparatory School

    Hello everyone!

    I've been dromeding for the past 5 or 6 years, but have yet to release an FM. With my return to university life impending in the next month, I'll have a good deal of free time between now and next June. As such, I have decided to begin work on an FM I've had in the making (in my mind) for around a month now. Hopefully it may turn into a non-linear campaign, but for now, it'll start as a single T2 release.

    The Chronicles of Inspector Drept is the tale of Drept's search for the Hag in the years between the events of the Cradle and the events of TDS. The Player Character will be the Inspector himself, and the missions will have less of a focus on thievery, and more of a focus on gathering clues and searching for evidence of the Hag. That said, there'll be a good deal of sneaking as Drept probes into places he shouldn't be. Firstly, I need to establish a rough timeline, to allow the story to fit.

    From Compendium of Precepts, Regimens and Rules of Conduct, Vol. 112.Inspector Drept's Notes

    Mine investigation, in truth, continues apace into years long gone. More deaths hath I learned of that fit the pattern. The City Guards care for naught beyond the tips of their noses, so no connection didst they see. In a death thirty years past, the skin of the victim wast destroyed or removed. Another case twas six years later, and the report says only that the body wast 'mutilated', though it dost note a bent and aged woman was seen nearby.
    This mission will concern the first murder discovered. It was 30 years before the events of TDS. Presumably, Drept only read the report, instead of investigating the murder just after it occurred. I therefore make the assumption that Drept was unable to investigate it at that time, which I put down to him becoming a Hammerite. I want to set my FM about 20 years before TDS, or 10 years after the murder. This will place it after the cataclysm in Old Quarter, and well before the rise of the Mechanists. Garrett will still be a young urchin on the streets of the city, and will have no part in this story. Presumably for Drept to have risen to the level where he is allowed to venture on his own, around 10 years of training and loyalty would have been necessary. Drept wouldn't have gone straight into the Order. In one of the cutscenes he says "When came I to my manhood and was saved by the Order of the Hammer...". There's a 10 year gap in his storyline with no information on what happened. There's two possibilities. One is that he was moved to another orphanage. Another is that he was committed to another asylum, due to his belief in having seen the Hag. Thus the timeline runs as follows:

    -55 years: Events in Old Quarter, Wall built next to cradle
    -52 years: Drept born and abandoned on the steps of the Cradle
    -44 years: Age 8; Hag kills Lauryl
    -43 years: Age 9; patients in the cradle revolt, fire and abandonment
    -42>-34 years: Age 10-18; either orphanage or asylum
    -34>-24 years: Age 18-28; Drept joins Order of the Hammer and Rises through the ranks
    -30 years: St. Judes' Murder
    -24 years: Drept begins investigations into the Hag, second Hag murder happens
    -23 years: Investigation of St. Judes'
    -20 years: Drept investigates second Hag murder
    -19-1 years: Drept Investigates an unknown number of murders, following the Hag's
    -4 years: The Dark Project
    -2 years: Rise of the Mechanists
    -1 year: Karras dies in Soulforge

    The FM will be set in St. Judes' Preparatory School, 23 years before the events of TDS. St. Judes' was a boarding school for the children of rich nobles on the outskirts of the city. A gruesome murder was carried out in which the skin of an adolescent girl was removed. No leads were ever found and the school closed within a year due to the nobles' uneasiness to send their children back there. Nowadays the only occupant of the deserted building is the caretaker, Kevan. He lives in a tiny room in the basement, and never ventures into the upper floors, or goes near the attic, where the murder occurred.

    The plan for the first mission is as follows:
    We are told in the briefing that Drept has been in correspondence with Kevan, and has been warned against coming, but will let Drept in if he cannot be dissuaded. We are also given some information about the murder and the circumstances. The Mission starts (if I can swing it there'll be an in-game cutscene where the camera follows Drept. Otherwise, it'll be done by the player.) Drept knocks on the front door. A small door off to the side opens and Kevan appears, beckoning Drept inside. We follow Kevan into an old storage room that Kevan lives in, stuffed with religious icons among all his possessions. A brief conversation is held where Kevan tells you that he's not coming with you, and gives you a rough map of the building. He gives you a keyring and some flares and tells you not to go near the attic. He also tells you that you can come back to him at any time if you need more supplies. He'll exchange supplies for anything of value you find in the building (this gives the player a taste of thieving experience)

    I won't give out any more spoilers for the moment. I have plans in place for several extreme jump-out-of-your-chair moments, as well as a plot twist and a few cool features that I think would make it a great FM, despite the non-traditional approach (a thief FM not focused on stealing). It's ambitious I know, but I have a very clear picture in my head of how I want this FM to look and feel. The main atmosphere of this mission will be suspense, ala Cradle. There'll be enough shriek moments to keep players jittery and afraid to go on. As for actual enemies, there won't be a lot of confrontation. Think of it as more Blair Witch Project than Silent Hill (although with a better ending ).

    The reason I'm going into such detail is that I'd like as much input from the community as possible as I progress through the various stages of development. I'll keep as up to date as possible with screenshots, scans of notes, and videos, as well as constantly asking for advice and tutorials. Hopefully this'll encourage me to actually finish an FM for once (I have three that are about 90% complete that I just didn't have time for, and I can't be bothered with now).

    For the start, I'm looking for good creepy images of old Schools and Asylums for inspiration. Interior is more important than exterior, as it's only really in the first few minutes of gameplay that you're outside (both would be much appreciated though). I've found a few good sources, and there's even a few good examples near where I live (two abandoned mental hospitals and and old Magdalene Laundry that's been partially burned down).

    Any input/suggestions/criticism?
    Last edited by Knock; 20th Aug 2009 at 13:18.

  2. #2
    Archivist
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Museum of the Ancients
    Very interesting plans, and it could definitely turn into a great FM.
    Seems like you've enough idea's to get started, as well as enough experience with dromEd.
    Good luck.

    PS: does this mean that you've abandoned "The Syndicate" ?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    For the moment, yes. Some day I might get a drive to finish it, but for the moment, it's abandoned.

    Inspirational Pics:


    St. Anne's Asylum, Cork, Ireland. Very creepy ambiance at night. Unfortunately the interior has been stripped entirely.


    St. Kevins, a short walk from St. Anne's. Only been inside once. It's in much better condition. hopefully I'll be able to head up soon with a camera.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbPyvF9fnhg
    Magdalene Laundry, Cork. Never been there, but I'll visit it some time soon.
    Last edited by Knock; 20th Aug 2009 at 13:57. Reason: Links added

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Toronto
    Sounds like a very cool idea Knock. I always liked the Inspector Drept character so I'm excited that you want to build on him. The idea of Kevan living in that place but not venturing to certain areas fills me with dread.

    I also like the idea of being able to go back to the caretaker for supplies and trading what you've found. I think it's good to provide the player with a "safe" place to go every now and again - and then take it away

    There's a really good thread around here about establishing a sense horror.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    Think this is the one?

    Thanks, Slip! I just hope I'll be able to live up to my promises

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Toronto
    That's actually not the one. . . and I'm currently pulling my hair out trying to find it (though that one does look useful). Bah! I'm sure it'll turn up.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    Could anyone tell me how to create a texture pattern that just runs horizontally? In specific I need something along the lines of this, that can be tiled horizontally along a long corridor.

    Any advice would be appreciated

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Toronto
    I can run you through it when I get home tonight if no one beats me to it. What paint program are you using?

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    Cheers!

    I generally use photoshop but I have GIMP too.

    Also, some more inspiration. This one looks a lot like the layout I'm planning to do (main building with 2 wings protruding from the front)

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2009
    Location: South Dakota, USA
    I think it's a brilliant FM idea (I'm jealous). Nice reference pictures, too. Would you keep the pool and hedges (such as using the hedges to block the player's view on either side, save for the looming building to the front)?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    No, I don't think so. In the opening cutscene, the camvator will follow Drept as he walks slowly to the front door, so I don't want to block the player's view. With the two wings protruding and surrounding the player on three sides (with a wall/hedge on the fourth), it should instill a sense of claustrophobia in the player. A water pool may hinder this, as generally water features make a space feel more open. I may test it at a later time, but for now It's not a feature I'm planning to use

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Toronto
    Here's a quick tut on tiling that texture. Hope you find it useful!

    I took the first pic in that serious and grabbed the medium size one.

    1.) We're going to eventually wind up with a 256x256 square image so crop out a rough square shape.


    2.) Now change the image size to something square (image->image size). In this case I chose 600x600 pixels. I don't think it really matters, but I find slightly larger sizes easier to work with.

    3.) Now go to filter->other->offset. Offset your image so that you can see how the edges will appear tiled.


    4.) Use the clone stamp to clone sections of your image and "paint" over the seams. alt-left click to select which area will be cloned, then start painting with it.

    5.) Now offset the image again and re-size to 256x256
    6.) At this point I usually go to brightness and contrast and darken the image -15 and increase the contrast by +15. Then I sharpen it. Sometimes I desaturate a bit too.


    And there you go. With a texture like that sometimes I'll split the original image in half and turn it into 2 textures.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    That's great! Thanks a million! Hopefully I'll have a some screenshots up soon!

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    Could anyone help me with a texture hunt? I need a window, reasonably high res. The idea is that the moon is shining in from behind it, but the window is dusty and grimy. Here's the window:



    It's 2x8 with the top 1.5 units in a gothic arch. The same type of window will be repeated a few times.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    Small update. Still haven't found a suitable window, but I'm sure I will soon. Here's some shots of the dormitory corridor.



    Peering down the corridor, you can just see the two windows with a dull gleam of moonlight shining in, barely illuminating the darkened halls.



    The entrance to the back staircase at the end of the corridor. Note the peeling paintwork after a decade of emptyness. It may be your only escape in times of need!



    One of the former dormitory rooms, on the corner of the wing. Any valuable furniture in much of the building was stripped and sold on after the school closed. However, reminders of its previous occupants remain scattered over the complex.

    Apologies for the darkness of the shots, but the level itself is only marginally brighter. I want the player to feel the darkness encroaching on them at all times! Anything could be lurking a few feet from you....
    Last edited by Knock; 23rd Aug 2009 at 14:18. Reason: spelling

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Deutschland
    Just one cent by me: Kudos for the respect to canon. Looking forward to this one.

  17. #17
    Archivist
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Museum of the Ancients
    Quote Originally Posted by Knock View Post
    Could anyone help me with a texture hunt? I need a window, reasonably high res. The idea is that the moon is shining in from behind it, but the window is dusty and grimy.
    Found some texture examples, Knock:
    http://www.thiefmissions.com/media/t.../html/ywin.htm
    http://www.wearytaffer.com/storage/t...Txt/LUXtex.htm

    Perhaps some of them fit the criteria.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    Thanks Beleg! Obviously there's some areas of the canon I have to fill in, and there's very little to go on with regards to actual dates. Purists will probably find some continuity errors along the way. There's plenty of mechanist objects (spotlights, gas lamps, etc) that wouldn't look out of place, but I have to steer away from them. Luckily for me, there's a good deal of technology present in the old quarter OMs, so thankfully I can still have electric power, if a little unreliable (nothing like flickering lights when you're in near pitch black )

    Anyways, just a couple more inspirational shots for the next section I'll be building- the washer room and the kitchen. Photos copyright AbandonedIreland.com, and taken in St. Kevin's Asylum, Cork, Ireland.


    Washer Drums


    Mixing Machines


    Kitchen- panoramic shot

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    I am really pumped for this, Knock.

    The screens you've shown thus far, though clearly early, look dark and brooding for sure!

    Best of luck with this rather ambitious project.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Toronto
    Hey have you seen this guy's photo's?

    http://www.opacity.us/

    I find it an excellent source of inspiration!

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    Cheers, slip! I'll check it out

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Ireland!
    yet another snippet for you



    When the school was operational, laundry carts would be brought up this ramp from the drying area next to the boiler, deep in the cellar.

    The generator will have to be powered back on and the various circuit breakers found, if you wish to have the luxury of this much light...

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2009
    Location: South Dakota, USA
    Wow, you work fast, and it looks great! I like how every detail has a purpose and history. Frankly, I'm jealous--what's your secret? Experience? Research?

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    Location: In the Present Perfect
    Last edited by Herr_Garrett; 24th Aug 2009 at 15:31.

  25. #25
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia

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