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Thread: 1 Million Units Contest - The Cinder Notes (Jan 8, 2021)

  1. #26
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Nice looking mission, albeit a little small. The level could work very well for a horror mission if the basement gets extended, leading to some new area. I think that would very cool to see if author ever decides to build more on it. Something like "A Better Tomorrow" from DrK.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    So I went down to the seminar basement and doused the generator with water, but the portcullis next to it didn't open
    OK, found the portcullis you need to use it. From front entrance to Seminary go left. Enter 1st room and use grate to go down to tight tunnels. Go south and turn left. This way you will enter sealed area.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post
    OK, found the portcullis you need to use it. From front entrance to Seminary go left. Enter 1st room and use grate to go down to tight tunnels. Go south and turn left. This way you will enter sealed area.
    Thanks!

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas!
    This was an awesome mission both visually and game play!!
    Thanks to the author.
    pwl

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    What a great mission! Amazing architecture, textures, decorations, lighting and sound. I didn't get to take a vacation to a sunny beach this December. This was almost as good. Finished on Normal in 50 minutes with 2471 of 3383 loot. I can see myself replaying The Cinder Notes on a higher difficulty level sometime.

    Some constructive feedback in case the author wants to release an update after the contest is over:
    spoiler:
    • I would appreciate an empty page on the map screen for ingame notes. I prefer this over alt-tabbing out of the game and writing in an editor.
    • All the new objects are great, but low-poly objects like the pot with the red flowers, the moneybox or the vase from Thief: The Dark Project now look out of place. If possible, these should be replaced as well.
    • Garrett's new footsteps on wood floors sound very loud. I was not sure if I was more audible when walking on wood or not. I would decrease the volume of these sounds.
    • If you remove a box from a shelf on the top floor of the old rectory, a robot part above it falls through the shelf.
    • I disabled the spider bot patroling beyond the portcullis with the number pad with water arrows. It fell right through the floor and disappeared after it was hit by the second water arrow.
    • When the player disables the generator in the basement, a guard spawns in. Where does he come from? I had already cleared the upper floors by that point. Bodies had piled up in the stairwell. This obvious spawning-in took me out of the game a little.
    • The wind sounds in the stairwell were unplesantly loud and hit the resonance frequency of objects in my apartment. With headphones, it was a littler better, but still not great. I would replace that sound.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    You know how you come to the Fan Mission forum for a hint to something you can't find or figure out, and then right after you post and before anyone can reply you find or figure it out for yourself?

    I sort of had that happen with my attempt to blind ironman The Cinder Notes on Expert.

    I had more than enough loot and all objectives completed, except I still hadn't found the stolen painting. I poured over the Art Dealer's apartment looking for it. Then I decided I better just take a break and try later with fresh eyes, so I created a save while standing in the Art Dealer's apartment, which in my mind "fails" the ironman run. Then as soon as I finished naming my save and returning to the game world, but before I quit, I spotted the coat hooks and within seconds of saving I triggered the opening of the secret alcove containing the painting. I mean, I literally created the save right next to those hooks, looking in their direction. D'oh!

    I know we have detailed rules for different levels and types of Ghosting, but are there similar rules for Ironmanning? If I saved once but never reloaded, is that still considered a succesful ironman run? Anyways...

    I very much enjoyed The Cinder Notes. It's a polished, well-paced and good-looking mission. The assets and style are so obviously SlipTip I can't help but wonder if it's a deliberate misdirect by somebody other than him. But maybe I'm getting too into the guessing game. Regardless, it's clearly someone who knows their way around Dromed.

    Some light criticisms:

    • I reached the loot requirement surprisingly early, and I don't know if it's a lack of AI or ambient sounds, but it just felt a little too empty. Despite ironmanning on expert, I never really felt all that stressed.
    • I wasn't crazy about some of the sounds. We already joke about Garrett wearing loud boots, but the sounds added for walking on wooden surfaces were kind of ridiculous, just way too loud and clompy sounding. The wind sound in the seminary was also disproportionately loud and something about its relative volume and frequency literally gave me a little bit of a headache.
    • I understand having to rebalance the challenge when the player turns off the lights by disabling the generator, but the timing and placement of the added AI felt a little abrupt and immersion-compromising.


    However, I loved having two different ways to reach the main objective, and I loved how disabling the generator relocked and disabled the code-locked gate to the final area. It made narrative sense and it gave the mission a fun little twist towards the end. I didn't disable the generator until after I'd explored the seminary, but I liked how it also disabled all the electric lights in the building and I'll be sure to exploit that on a replay.

    I look forward to replaying it; thank you for the great mission!

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2015
    Location: Shawano County, Wisconsin
    What a beautiful yet dusty cityscape! We need more daytime missions like this.

    Found 3153 / 3383 loot.

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Twist View Post
    I know we have detailed rules for different levels and types of Ghosting, but are there similar rules for Ironmanning? If I saved once but never reloaded, is that still considered a succesful ironman run? Anyways...
    I think that's fine if you never loaded that save. But no-one's judging!

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Soo this is the Ashen Age Pt. 2 that we have been waiting for 15 years? It was worth the wait

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Twist View Post
    I know we have detailed rules for different levels and types of Ghosting, but are there similar rules for Ironmanning? If I saved once but never reloaded, is that still considered a succesful ironman run?
    I personally don‘t consider it an Ironman anymore when I could fall back to a save. Having a save file removes the tension you get to experience when failure means in the loss of all the progress you have made.

    Nothing wrong about playing the way you like it best though.

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    I really liked this mission! It's not in my top 3, but just outside. Finished my first playthrough with 3243/3383 loot, so missing 140. I bet the rest is in the seminary. I was a bit disappointed that nothing happened once I took the cinder notes, and the catacombs overall were quite lackluster. Loved the verticality in the streets and the high-res textures.
    Thanks to the author!

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2011
    Location: Ferrol - Spain
    This mission only takes 1.5 seconds to load on SSD while the other missions which are way too smaller take 6-7 seconds to load.
    Why?

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    Quite a beautiful & challenging mission. Loving the architecture.

  15. #40
    New Member
    Registered: May 2020
    Finished the Mission.
    From the 6 Contest missions i ve played yet its the best designed mission.
    Things That I liked:
    Architecture and design belongs to the best i ve every played (I loved the smooth sun beams in front of the windows)
    The new textures and objects are smooth and beautiful
    ambient sounds fit well except the loud one in the seminary
    Additional Mission goal on expert difficulty is nice
    Interesting Readables

    Things I did not Like/could be improved
    the seminary ambient sound was loud and gave me head ache. I really loved the seminary design but that sound made me want to leave the building as fast as possible so i kinda rushed through it.
    Npc dialogues and briefing to make the mission feel more alive.
    In the missions readable its mentioned the there are strange things going on in the seminary (maybe Ghost, Pagan rituals ...) it would ve been great if we could ve experienced one of the strange things

    Overall very nice mission.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    I personally don‘t consider it an Ironman anymore when I could fall back to a save. Having a save file removes the tension you get to experience when failure means in the loss of all the progress you have made.

    Nothing wrong about playing the way you like it best though.
    You could always immediately alt-tab out of the game and then delete the save file.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Oof, this was amazing!

    If this wasn't made by Sliptip, then it's the best damn forgery I've ever seen.

    Beautiful architecture, lovely atmosphere, well-designed, balanced stealth and puzzles. Just wish it went on for longer!
    I agree 100%. I really enjoyed this mission, made to the rooftops, and now I'm trying to locate the last bit of loot.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2007
    Location: Leipzig (Germany)

    agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Akai™ View Post
    Finished the Mission.
    From the 6 Contest missions i ve played yet its the best designed mission.
    Things That I liked:
    Architecture and design belongs to the best i ve every played (I loved the smooth sun beams in front of the windows)
    The new textures and objects are smooth and beautiful
    ambient sounds fit well except the loud one in the seminary
    Additional Mission goal on expert difficulty is nice
    Interesting Readables

    Things I did not Like/could be improved
    the seminary ambient sound was loud and gave me head ache. I really loved the seminary design but that sound made me want to leave the building as fast as possible so i kinda rushed through it.
    Npc dialogues and briefing to make the mission feel more alive.
    In the missions readable its mentioned the there are strange things going on in the seminary (maybe Ghost, Pagan rituals ...) it would ve been great if we could ve experienced one of the strange things

    Overall very nice mission.
    I agree with Akai, what a wonderful daylight mission. Amazing "true looking" textures and friendly places. Much effort in the future!!

  19. #44
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Is it possible to raise the portcullis next to the City Watch (the one facing north behind which there is a stone staircase)?
    Very enjoyable mission, although I'm missing around 800 loot, as per usual.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    @taffercobbles: I don't think that can be raised no. As for missing loot, there is an apartment in the far southwestern area of the map, one that you have to swim under a divider to reach with 3-4 pieces of loot in it. I didn't find this place on my first playthrough. But then afterwards I was in that area to look for a missing pickpocket and I heard a door opening and closing. Turns out there was a patroller in that apartment even. He had a purse, there was a bottle behind a generator, and some coin stacks + ring in the bedroom (if I remember correctly).

  21. #46
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Thanks - I doubt I would have found that apartment without the hint. With the loot from there and another scout around, I finished up with 3103/3383, which I consider acceptable. There's a coin on the floor next to one of the front pews of the chapel, and more coins in a small brown bowl on the floor in an alcove near the City Watch. I also managed to miss a valuable rug next a grave in the crypt, first time round.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    There's a hammer on a ledge in the crypt also, in the room with the stairs. That was the last one I found. A purse in the water in sewers also, and a nugget in corner of underground passageway beneath seminary. Those are hard loot items off the top of my head.

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    There's a hammer on a ledge in the crypt also, in the room with the stairs. That was the last one I found.
    That was the last piece of loot I needed to get 100% loot. Thanks

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Thank fortuni. He nudged me in the right direction on that one.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I tend to agree with Username on ironman rules. For me the thrill comes from the total immersion and immediacy of accepting the consequence of every decision and action and moving forward. Having a save, even if I don't use it, changes my psychological state as I'm playing, so I considered that a failed blind ironman attempt. Karras judge me. Though for what it's worth, I did go back and successfully ironman the mission on expert afterwards.

    Having also replayed this mission with saves to experiment with some different things, I did notice something cool I'm sure some of you have noticed, but since I haven't seen anyone comment on it: If you choose to disable the generator and then fully explore the seminary after disabling it, you get a fairly different experience. The generator doesn't just disable the main lights, it also enables dim yellow safety lights throughout the seminary. Having dimmer lights with a different color lighting the space from different locations changes both the visual composition of the area and, by changing the shapes and locations of shadows, it slightly changes the gameplay. I thought that was a creative design feature, even if the flow of progress through the level makes it so many people won't have a chance to notice it.

    The other thing I noticed -- and maybe I'm wrong and it's just a coincidence -- but is the basement area of the seminary a bit of a Dishonored reference? The area where the boat floats in the water where the cellar connects to the canal looks quite a bit like the cellar in Lady Boyle's Last Party, where you take Lady Boyle if you're going for the non-violent (but very disturbing) solution to the mission. I suppose only the author can answer for that, and maybe it's just a coincidental similarity.

    If it is a reference, it makes for a nice callback to the earlier days of Thief FMs, too, as that mission in Dishonored is largely credited to Purah, of Calendra's Cistern and Calendra's Legacy fame.

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