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Thread: META: Why do we do this?

  1. #1
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Between dreams and shadows...

    META: Why do we do this?

    From this post in the Deceptive Perception 2 thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Sliptip
    . . .why is it we do we do this thing? (dromed)
    This got me wondering, why do you wrangle the awkward and often frustrating beast that is Dromed? What motivates you, why do you use Dromed, and what keeps you using it after all these years? What drives you to weather the idiosyncrasies of such a cantankerous engine to produce missions?

    I know there are obvious answers to this, but I wonder if there are more subtle, unusual, or deeper reasons people may have...

  2. #2
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    ... because I must.

  3. #3
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    It might be due to respect for the game and that it's fairly easy to make things that look good. Not being able to put too much detail into a scene, object or texture means that we don't necessarily get overwhelmed by expectations. I imagine making custom objects/textures for newer games is considerably harder since they need lots of detail merely to look acceptable.

    Secondly, Thief's focus on story/plot and freedom of movement encourages a similar strategy from Dromeders, and because we don't have to worry about high-resolution textures and objects with thousands of polys, it's easier to realise our ideas.

  4. #4
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Nampa, Idaho
    I've edited DooM, Quake I, II, & III, DooM III, and Boulderdash! Thief is the only game I find satisfying enough to work out whatever creative desire lying around at the time.

    Thief has attitude. It's gritty. It requires thinking, not just a steady crosshair and lotsa ammo. It doesn't make my subwoofer roar all night long as do other games.

  5. #5
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Two thoughts:

    1) The limits of the tool bring out creative energies to overcome them.

    2) The very lack of perfect realism allows the players to enter a true alternative universe where the rules are sufficiently different from our own universe to make it interesting and sufficiently familiar to allow suspension of disbelief.

    3) In a lot of regards T2 and DromEd2 are perfectly flawed.
    Last edited by LarryG; 16th Nov 2008 at 18:18.

  6. #6
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass

    It's a really good album, too.

  7. #7
    Registered: May 2006
    Location: Russia
    Because I love to fool people. To give them puzzles. To make them solve that puzzles. To give them clues and to look how they're going the wrong way. To give them another clues and to look how their brains boil. It's too problematic in real life. DromEd gives me the opportunity.
    And the other reason: DromEd is hardly limited, true, but it gives me freedom to create. Definitely, that's it: FREEDOM (limited edition).

  8. #8
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Nightfall View Post
    ... because I must.
    Not a bad point. I got back to playing Thief FMs early 2007 after a few years of absence, and while on a study tour to Katowice, I was suddenly struck by the irresistible urge to make a FM of my own. I was daydreaming in my apartment, and doodling a map about how I'd build a Thief level if I was dromeding, and one thing lead to another.

    Dromed is also a pretty good "crafts" type creative hobby; building architecture in 3d with music on the headphones and a cup of tea is a very relaxing way to pass a quiet saturday afternoon. And it coincides with my love for architecture and city planning, the chaotic growth of naturally developed cities (like in the Mediterranean, but also the Saxon towns of Transylvania). Thief goes very well with Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language, whose philosophy I am mostly subscribing to (a very inspiring read for dromeders, I can definitely recommend it).

    Finally, "perfectly flawed" is a good point - LarryG hit on an interesting point. Dromed has strong limits you must accept or work around; but maybe these constraints and quirks add to the magic of a generally pretty friendly editing interface. I certainly like it.

  9. #9
    1) Because it's such a chellange - to create a mission with that editor.

    2) Because I'm not experienced editor nor 3D model designer, and I feel comfortable in the Thief's 10-years old graphics quality I think...

    3) ...and my old PC can't handle much more anyway

    4) Because Thief1 and Thief2 are on my short list of best games ever.


    5) Because resistance is futile
    "Reliance upon others is weakness for the strong, but strength for the weak. Wisdom and balance lie in knowing your own nature over time"
    The Box, WL

  10. #10
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Toronto
    I think for me it's that even after 10 years I'm blown away by what you can still manage to do with it.

    It seems every week (thanks to the more seasoned Dromeders). I find new things to make (got my first double-axeled model working last week!).

    Personally I think this engine still has some life left it!

  11. #11
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    The same reason people still write games for the Atari 2600.

    Not that I'm entirely clear on what that reason IS, but it is at least probably the same one.

  12. #12
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    Wow, they need to move on to something more modern.

    Thief prehaps

  13. #13
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    You'd be surprised what they're still doing with that old beast. A few years back someone wrote a dead-on perfect port of Thrust. And someone else has a full port of Boulder Dash up and running. That's just the tip of the current 2600 homebrew scene.

  14. #14
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: France
    Because I have many, many ideas, stories and places in my head I am trying to make more real. And also because I know that if I don't get these things out by either way (DromEdding, writting, making films...) frustration will make me crazy. DromEd is actually, to me, the best mean of expression I have, and I don't need to do much to make FMs accessibles, by opposition with novels or films. DromEd is nothing else than sophisticated exorcism.

    Another reason is that I just love the world of Thief. I've always loved steampunk universes, and this one is very beautiful, though still mysterious. That's also another reason, the FMs I'm preparing try to explore the pagan mythology and the origins of the mechanists, this world is both great thanks to the general universe, and to the fact that the player is not told much about it (where do the Woodsie ladies come from ? What is exactly a Pagan God, what makes him, what drives it ?). It gives both general orientations and huge liberty to DromEdders.
    Last edited by Nightstroll; 17th Nov 2008 at 15:40.

  15. #15
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    The same reason people still write games for the Atari 2600.

    Not that I'm entirely clear on what that reason IS, but it is at least probably the same one.
    There is wisdom in these words.

    I think it's partially to do with doing something difficult, twisting the engine to do things that it was never designed to do, and in some cases to far exceed even modern games.

  16. #16
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    I don't really qualify to answer here except that in the time it took to do two tutorials, I became totally addicted. It was always in my head. Luckily, perhaps, events conspired to prevent me carrying on but the withdrawal was painful. And I do feel it stirring there pretty much all the time still.

    I hope soon though to be able to start learning how to make objects and textures as I'm also fascinated by them.

  17. #17
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Sweden
    Just because the newer and more recent games have way more developed graphics, doesn't necessarly mean that Thief is ugly. Just look at some of the recent missions that are very beautifull and nice looking.
    Just because a game is considered "old" doesn't necessarly mean it's bad. No other game has entered the gaming scene in this time that really matches Thief's atmosphere and way of playing. Untill that happens, great missions for Thief will continue to be developed.

  18. #18
    I have always liked building stuff and playing with words. As a kid I built models out of paper and now I build with my computer instead. A few years ago I built some for DooM I & II, but something was lacking. I wasn't sure of what until I met Thief.

    I didn't get sucked into DromEd immediately though. I had a story going in 2000 (something about a huge forest and helping a murdered Hammerite by collecting all the little pieces he had been cut into (or should it be "into which he had been cut" ) and putting them together (like some kind of Frankenstein's monster), so that he could get his revenge ), but other projects got the better of me and it took me somewhere around 5 years before I thought about making my own FM again (and yes, the (oh so) original story was long forgotten by then).

    What made me really like Thief from the start was all the story-telling devices that DooM lacked: the readables, the conversations, the scripted events and the likes. I didn't know what they were called at the time, but I knew I liked the effects of them when playing Thief and getting a story told to me and, after some persuasion, I started to learn DromEd and came up with a new story and that was when I really discovered how good Thief had been put together.

    Story-wise, Thief reminds me of those traditional story-driven point&click adventure games. Thief has the potential for story, but Thief also has potential in a lot of other areas too: more varied gameplay, more interactivity, different playing styles etc... Thief just has so much to offer over other games (and genres).

    I would probably never had gotten started with DromEd, though, if it wasn't for the very dedicated and good-spirited people here at TTLG and of course all the FMs that's been coming out over the years - and still are. A strong fan-base is what makes a great game even greater.
    Last edited by qolelis; 18th Nov 2008 at 12:39.

  19. #19
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Quote Originally Posted by LarryG View Post
    Two thoughts:

    1) The limits of the tool bring out creative energies to overcome them.

    2) The very lack of perfect realism allows the players to enter a true alternative universe where the rules are sufficiently different from our own universe to make it interesting and sufficiently familiar to allow suspension of disbelief.

    3) In a lot of regards T2 and DromEd2 are perfectly flawed.
    I have to fess up. While what I said before is true, it was just a technical answer. I was a bit reluctant to get bare naked and tell you my real reason. But after a few days to reflect, here I go.

    The real reason is you all. This community. Everyone: those who just play the missions, and those who voice act or design 3-D objects or build missions or test mission or blog about missions or ...

    You have all given me so much joy and pleasure and fun and help and stimulation and help and love and friendship and help and challenges and help (have I mentioned that I appreciate the help?) ... , that I want to try to give a little back. That's the real reason. And you know? I bet that for most of you that reason works for you too.

  20. #20
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    I think there is probably a bit of truth in that for everyone LarryG.

    I've modded for other games as well and the communities are NOT the same.

    Morrowind players deffinately respect/appreciate mods, but getting help with anything can(could) be tough.

    I've done a little TF2 stuff recently and the first time I posted a thread with pics/map description I got about 20 people telling me I was basically clueless and I might as well give up.
    When I offered my rebutal I got 'you are so defensive' type answers...
    Needless to say it turned me off pretty quickly to making maps for that community.

  21. #21
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: France
    TTLG is just great. Even if sometimes people don't reply immediately to some questions because they find it generally a bit stupid, you'll always find answers to your interrogations on the forum. Either after an hour or a week, no question is left with no help. That's what makes the Thief community so strong. Sorry for going into some pathos here, but that's what I think, really.

  22. #22
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    Before attempting to learn the ins-and-outs of Dromed, the extent of my "game-making" experience consisted of a racist version of space invaders coded via BASIC on an old TRS-80 Model III (way back in the day)--in other words, I'd never tried anything like this before.
    But, I'm fascinated by the potential, and the ability to create a world that one can explore based purely on my imagination.
    Dromed, for me, has become the interactive gaming equivalent of literature; it is a 3-D representation of writing.

    Now whether the community finds as much joy in playing my creation as I had creating it is yet to be seen. But, in the end, I am making it for me, much like one does with any bit of writing.

    So, I continue plugging away--inching closer and closer to a release.

  23. #23
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: Nampa, Idaho
    Quote Originally Posted by Queue View Post
    the extent of my "game-making" experience consisted of a racist version of space invaders coded via BASIC on an old TRS-80 Model III
    Right on, man! I loved coding Commodore 64 basic, slaving all day to make a bouncing cube. IFTHEN, GOTO, GOSUB! Brings back memories.

    Back then, gaming magazines were saying, "We'll probably not see (realistic) games, with life-like graphics, in our lifetime."


  24. #24
    The whole Dark Engine and DromEd creation along with Thief, offer so many fun aspects to wrangle with. There are the effortless aspects and the hair-pulling aspects and a whole spectrum of experiences in between. There's something for many different moods. There are so many disciplines to tap into during the creation of a mission or simply a map to inhabit virtually. It stretches and grows a person even while it consumes them.

    It can conform to our personalities while demanding something of us in exchange.

  25. #25
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Austin, TX
    I have always loved creating things, and this is just too awesome to pass i'm stuck with it! To have an idea in your head and then create it for others to enjoy is something I find extremely rewarding.

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