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Thread: NEW TG FM: Down in the Old Vault (12 Nov 2019)

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2016

    NEW TG FM: Down in the Old Vault (12 Nov 2019)

    My newest FM for Thief Gold is now available.

    Download:
    Google Drive
    Taffers Paradise
    Darkfate

    Screenshots: https://imgur.com/a/HtFgQrJ
    Last edited by vegetables; 17th Nov 2019 at 02:25.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    oh BOY

    Can't wait to get my hands on it and grats on the release

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Having greatly enjoyed Lord Robert's Painting, I've been keenly awaiting this one! A bank heist in Thief Gold is a fantastic and underused premise.

    For now, congratulations on the release!

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2006
    Location: Nulli Secundi
    Sweet awesome sauce!!! Looking forward to diggin in!! Thanks!

  5. #5
    Keyla the Otter
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Location: USA
    I'll be sure to give this one a try! Thank you very much. I love me a solid Thief Gold mission.

  6. #6
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    Congrats, vegetables!

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    This is a very good FM. If you read nothing more than this, know that it is well worth your time, and engaging from start to finish. It was rewarding enough that I felt it warranted a proper review, to show my appreciation. Be advised this might spoil the experience if read beforehand.

    Specific praise:
    1) Once again, you've captured an authentic Thief Gold style in every way without being derivative or simplistic -- the brushwork, texturing, sound design and gameplay are all very faithful, plus the custom assets are suitably chosen, and fit perfectly. The premise and story are original, and well-realised. There are so few good bank FMs, and none that I know of in Thief Gold.
    2) The general attention to detail is fantastic, especially texture alignment. So many authors do not spend the time to make their texturing look realistic, so this is much appreciated.
    3) Environmental design and gameplay are excellent (if a bit game-y in places, with one or two arches seeming to exist only for climbing on!). Traversing ledges and terraces felt natural, and exploration was almost always rewarded. The secrets that I did find were sensible and satisfying; the Keeper key/chapel in particular were well executed.
    4) There were none of the usual FM pitfalls -- cryptic hints, extended lockpicking, malicious puzzles, bad roombrushing, overly long readables, high ratio loot goals etc. The lack of these annoyances does so much to improve the experience.
    5) The map was great. The style was faithful to the originals, while actually being detailed enough to be useful.
    6) You exhibited serious discipline on the technical side -- even with far view distances, the framerate stayed well above 120fps on my system. You didn't stuff any scenes with needless objects or clutter.
    7) The scripting is an additional benefit, ranging from cute (remove a vase, a book falls over) to really helpful (automatically keeping track of keys).

    I only have two real points of criticism:
    1) The street layout, while more developed than Lord Robert's Painting, is still very basic and uninteresting. Much of the exterior amounts to long stretches of flat ground. However, you mostly avoided bland 90 degree angles, and so much navigation takes place off the street, so this is not a deal-breaker.
    2) There were far too many fake doors in residences outside of the bank. A mission like Endless Rain suffered from this issue to a lesser extent, but that is because skacky was simply unable to squeeze more terrain out of the NewDark cell limit of ~32,750. Your mission is at 19,052. Of course, not every mission should be maxed out in this way, but I often thought that your interiors felt incomplete, given that many rooms had a single real door with two or three fake ones. For me, this was distracting and overly restrictive.


    However, these are minor issues in the grand scheme of things, and I was fully engaged by the mission for a few hours. It is easily one of the best missions this year. Highly recommended.
    Last edited by DirkBogan; 13th Nov 2019 at 01:08.

  8. #8
    Congrats on the release, vegetables. I agree with DirkBogan, also for me one of the best missions I've ever played for Gold. Thank you!

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2016
    Thanks everyone, and thanks for the review Dirk.

  10. #10
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Congrats on the release!

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    This mission is definitely worth playing for those curious about it, as it does what an FM needs to do and is certainly enjoyable from start to finish.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it wasn't a little underwhelming for what I had hoped for with your third trip around the DROMED block. Basically, both of Dirk's issues were things I noticed throughout my playthrough but I'll go into detail for my view points on them.

    Honestly, the flat and rather dull streets took away much of the wow factor from the mission and was a definite lowpoint. I'd also add that the lighting of the mission seemed too extreme and very blanketing, especially for the wide and empty streets. Even interiors had very few if any shadows, and many of them were pretty hard to distinguish and notice at first glance. It made some areas pretty unfun to work my way through, and also gave some areas a dull look.

    The interiors of some of the areas are hit and miss. The Fitzgerald Mansion is giant but dull and very symmetrical, whereas Bronson's or Randolph's estates were impressive and neat (that attic area in Ronald is probably my favorite room in the mission). Some side areas suffered from "enter in room, loot item, leave same way", but it was few and far between. But yes, a lot of fake doors made them feel not as big as they should have been and ultimately left a sour taste once I reached the "end" of some of them. Even the BANK, the main area of the mission, suffers from this, albeit not as much as the other areas. I mean, even the rooms that are blocked off are listed on the darn map ! Also, what's the deal with super steep stairsets? Was a little annoying if I went too fast and fell down some height, making some noise.


    But now I'll list off some good things so it's not all mean and negative, after all I did say the mission is a must play and worth everyone's time. Like Dirk said, this mission definitely has that vintage Thief Gold aesthetic oozing from it. It honestly felt like an OM style mission just buffed up and refined a little, which is always welcome. The brushwork, texturing, and just the overall attention to the little things gave me a smile whenever I noticed them. Some of the exploration above ground was fantastic, and really showed off what great movement the Dark Engine is capable of, and it seems you have a great knack for understanding and implementing that. The mission didn't try to play any tricks and was rather straightforward, and avoided many annoying FM tropes like key hunting (the key ring was an AMAZING idea btw god damn), cryptic puzzles (though I wish the "solution" to the timed alarm wasn't just given to the player right away), or overall dickish patrol routes and enemy placement.

    I just think, overall, the mission is just barely missing that extra layer of polish to make it a truly remarkable and amazing experience. But what is present is still very solid and definitely worth playing.


    Thank you for the release, and I hope to keep seeing you release more and more missions and get better with each and everyone one!
    Last edited by Psych0sis; 13th Nov 2019 at 17:01.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2011
    Woot!

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas!
    Great mission!!!! I kept asking myself why are there were so many health potions and then I found out why!!

    Thanks for this Gem
    pwl

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Congrats on the release Vegetables!

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Been playing for 5 minutes and loving it so far (this is one of those Skacky/Melan-style city ones that I adore ).

    I was wondering what does the Keeper glyph on the statue open?

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Congratulation on the release vegetables, it was a pleasure to beta test this mission.

    Azaran you need to find a Keeper key, it's not far from where you are.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    Location: Deutschland/Germany
    I can't subscribe to the criticism mentioned above. IMHO there are enough shadows to hide in.

    I also like the humor in some scenes as to mention the stealable gold fish or the three harps with different sounds when the 3rd one makes two as it turned out to be lootable.

    For me the FM is definitely outstanding because of some features I never saw before in other missions:
    The efficient system of adding all keys to a key ring and the dynamic entries in the book of objectives. I have to admit that I'm far away of having played all FMs but for me it was pretty new.

    Vegetables, thank you for creating such a masterpiece!
    My FM campaigns Garrett's Young Years XTra, Reunion With Basso
    Want your upcoming FM translated in foreign languages?

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK
    I'm enjoying this very much. On Expert, I've done pretty much everything I need to do, including some golden apple horticulture! The one safe deposit key that has eluded me so far is the one for box 1E. Any clues please?

    OK, found it. In the secret room above the rafters of the apartment with the lockable shutters.
    Last edited by Marbrien; 14th Nov 2019 at 07:55.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: May 2016
    I can't wait to play this this evening!

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Location: UK
    Ooo thanks vegetables and many congrats - looking forward to taffing about in your FM this evening

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: California
    Loved the keyring system. Thanks for the mission!

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Kent, UK
    Gonna save this for the weekend, looking forward to playing it.

  23. #23
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2017
    Location: ON, CA
    real excited to play this. liked what little i've gone through already. seems i'm having a texture bug of some sort though.



    also saw this with the sausage model in another room. not sure i'd run into this with other maps yet. haven't played too much Thief since the fresh install on Windows 10 and such so i'm not sure how much may be unknowingly broken on my end.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I can confirm that at least one other person is having the same issue that irg is having, and no other FMs or in-progress DromEd projects are broken in the same way. My suspicion is that it has something to do with obj/txt16 .gif transparency, because transparent .png files are displaying correctly, but I haven't nailed the issue down. Replacing the cam/cam_ext.cfg files for ones from installations that didn't produce the same issue made no difference.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by zappenduster View Post
    I can't subscribe to the criticism mentioned above. IMHO there are enough shadows to hide in.
    I have to disagree. It's very obvious in most of the very open and wide areas the shadows are pretty few are far between, or just barely distinguishable. Now that I look at it many of the lights of the interiors and exteriors show they are infinite radius (not good!) or use the dreaded "inner radius" variable, which creates annoying and frustrating "false shadows". Thankfully Thief isn't a very hard game, but I can only imagine it being a tad tedious for those who play a more strict gameplay style of Thief than me (or just aren't very good :P ). It's a minor issue in the long run but but worth pointing out for future improvements.

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