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Thread: NewDark 64 Cubed Contest - RESULTS!

  1. #26
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Louisiana
    I had really hoped to play all the missions & vote on them, but right after I got started on the first, life grabbed me by the throat and things weren't too pretty for a while.

    But it does mean I now have a thrilling list of FMs to enjoy! That makes life a lot prettier, I must say.

    THANK YOU to all of the authors, and welcome to the newest Builders amongst you! You wonderful people are absolutely fantastic and ofttimes a blessedly bright spark in my life, because of how much I love this game and how wonderful (and, well, peaceful) it is to lurk in the shadows and plot and plan my moves. Though with this being Thief, perhaps 'bright spark' should be substituted with 'perfect shadow', the kind to wrap oneself in at exactly the moment it is most needed.

    Congratulations for first place, Xorak!


  2. #27
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Voter comments for Cell 6, by Yandros/Tannar/Random_Taffer:

    I'm very impressed, a thief feel with a new game play
    Difficult because of the undercover objective. Great story. Great textures!
    Great mission with decent lighting, voice-work and interior decoration. Simply tons of small details which are always nice thing to see. Also good plot and some interesting reading on this one. 14/15
    I wasn't particularly impressed by this one but it's still a very nice mission! I loved how the T1 ambients were used and undercover missions are very rare. Space was well used, the mission felt bigger than it was and all these corridors made for an interesting layout. It was clear enough and variation was nice. I like how the enhanced canon textures were used. The windows, in particular, look great. Nice use of music overall and one recording in particular is marvelously done. It's impressive how it never sounds cheesy, congrats on that! Nice effect on the ghost too, and great voice acting! I also liked the red lights when the power goes out, reminded me of Aliens for some reason. The readables were pretty cool and the story was enjoyable even though it was a tad predictable, but it's not really a problem. I liked the mystery and the atmosphere enhanced that. Overall I think this one is a great entry. It did not blow my mind but it was cool nonetheless. Definitely recommended.
    Impressive! I'm not usually into "horror"-type missions, but: there was a lot of plotting and explanation, the puzzles were "about right" (I needed only one hint, because I didn't see a key on a guard), and I was genuinely afraid to play the audio piece at the end of the mission (the "incriminating evidence"). Also, the space did not feel too small despite the size restriction. Great mission!
    /played on Expert/ "hopefully you can go rest in peace or something.." this conversation with Ghost? LOVE YOU GUYS! amazing approach with undercover, creepy story and poor Basil.. great mission, hats off!
    Amazing in every aspect! If I didn't know better I'd never say it's 64 cubes. The use of space is tremendous. And the setting never feels claustrophobic or unbelievable like many others. I also loved the story and it's, uhm, execution. And the special effects were just "wow!" The only problem I had was the amount of tiny little things I had to find in order to proceed. Sometimes too much is too much. Still the best one.
    Very nice mission that is more unique. I want to grant the author of this one a pat on the back!
    Best storyline of the contest, and some detailed level design to back it up. Undercover missions are normally a big broken mess, but this was pulled off beautifully!
    Very good mission with extreme voice acting. Only flaws i can come up with are that it doesn't really display itself to be 1.19 mission well enough. Cell areas could have looked more intresting rather than the usual brickwall stuff.
    This was a unique playing experience and though the storyline was dark, it was extremely well written. The voice work was also very well done. There was a lot to do packed in such a small space and I thought it was one of the best entries.
    This is my storyline champion. Poor Basil the rat. I would really appreciate a bonus objective for bringing him and the evidence back. The thing I was missing was the space usage (empty cells, come on, there could be something in there), but this is a quite unimportant issue since the rest is nicely elaborated and it was all in all well done.
    Nicely polished and interesting contest entry - albeit with a grim ending. Nice attention to detail: the voice-acting, leaking pipes /buckets, emergency lights and personal guard lanterns. Always having to judge who might be watching also added to the suspense. Felt there should maybe have been more of a reward for busting Sherman out of jail and more to do exploring the back stairs. Small points as still a worthy winning contender.
    Overall very nicely done, with a strong story and fairly good use of space. Excellent change of illumination, and funny use of a Mechanist. I wasn't quite certain where I was allowed to go, but fortunately the answer turned out to be "most everywhere". I hardly missed the blackjack except in the library area. A few minor flaws: There's one overly large empty corridor which probably would have some other use if it wasn't for the space limitation. That's the only layout problem that could have been solved a bit more elegantly. The secret switch in the Warden's room was perhaps overly difficult to find. The cell door didn't highlight even though it was unlockable, causing me considerable puzzlement. It would have been nice to frob the gift for the ghost rather than having to drop it, this also caused me to get stuck briefly. I had a patrolling civilian get stuck at the entrance to a room I needed to go into at one time. Fortunately this wasn't in my quicksave, it would have been very annoying otherwise.
    Great voice acting and scripting, save the few crappy bugs. Story was solid too.

  3. #28
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Voter Comments for Dead Night, Sweet Delight, by MysteryMan:

    From where and why does these undead come all the time? Great textures.
    Too many undead on the surface (although admittedly that matches the plots "no one else has escaped this cemetery alive"). Took a long time to kill enough of 'em so I could go exploring. Some well-hidden items (like the map - I didn't find until I basically had done everything else and looked at the forums (and placed the lantern at the right place). I liked the rock-busting part of the mission below-ground - that was different.
    I hope I'm not judging this too harshly out of mission fatigue. I gave it a second try once I saw the T2 version (both TG missions in the contest suffered from missing textures on my system). It has a number of things going for it: some new monster models (cool flaming skeletons), haunts that turn into skeletons when killed, _really_ cool bats and the ability to mine rocks with a pickaxe. Very Minecraft. However, the initial impression was that the layout was uninspired. A large squareish open area, one loot item on every grave, all nicely lined up... the graveyard didn't strike me as overly imaginative. Underneath, I was stumbling around in dark nondescript tunnels (it could have benefitted from a lantern implementation like the one in The Sinkhole). There were occasional technical glitches (getting permanently stuck, which happend both to me and one large monster that was wedged into a rock). At the moment I'm uncertain whether I'll be motivated enough to finish it (currently at around 4000 loot, and have found the missing thief).
    I was disappointed at first when I saw the cemetery lay out but when I got down below that all changed and was quite pleased
    A very good story and a great mission.
    It's Minecraft: Thief Edition! Is it weird that I enjoyed this mission most when I was just wandering around whacking boulders and finding loot? The opening graveyard was cool, but I love me some treasure hunting.
    I found this mission to be okay. For my playstyle there were to many enemies and there was to less working with the limited amount of space. Nethertheless, the pick axe working was nicely done as well as the pick-pocking from the dead, which awaked (unfortunately a little bit too often, would have been more shocking if it was more random which skelleton would run after me). But I encourage the author to move on in experimenting, there were nice ideas!
    I'm not a fan of undead-only missions; I find them generally monotonous and boring. But I liked the way this one was put together. It had some strengths and some weaknesses, like all good missions. On the weak side was the general layout and architecture. The cemetery was monotonous in terms of architecture, other than the caretaker's hut. Granted, most real cemeteries are monotonous but something could have been done to spruce it up a bit, some statuary added etc. And the texture(s) used on the caves was monotonous and made it difficult to distinguish features. This wasn't helped by the darkness. And while that was realistic, it would have been nice to have a lantern that stayed lit when you picked it up. Having to drop the lantern every time you needed light became tedious after awhile. The only other real criticism I have is that there was some sloppy roombrushing. It's possible that this was intentional but either way it made it difficult to understand what was happening because you could hear everything on the surface while underground and it was often difficult to know where a sound was coming from. But there were some clever bits to the mission as well. I liked the general story line, even if it wasn't developed extensively. And needing to do a little mining with the pick was a nice touch, quite realistically implemented. I think my favorite detail was the way the player had access to the underside of the graves, as if the soil and rock had eroded away exposing the skeletons from below. That was clever and well done and added a lot to the loot hunt. The fact that there were consequences for looting the dead was an added bonus! I wish I had found the map before going into the caves because I spent way too much time trying to find the rocks I needed to break. And the map makes it all very clear. I expect that playing this with a map for the first time is a very different experience than playing it without one. All in all this was a fun mission which could have been better with some fairly minor changes. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.
    /played on Expert/ deliciously crowded in here! those fire skeletons gave me a little heart attack when accelerated o.O"
    Loved the opening feel and atmosphere in the cemetery with the half-light - would have liked more to achieve above ground in fact. Some nice effects - the burial's breaking through into the tunnels and the fiery spirits/skeletons appearing to avenge their loot being stolen - also having to use the map to locate the rocks to break. Nicely worked entry.
    Too dark, for me. And there wasn't much technical fanciness. But it did give a certain eerie mood and that is important. But compared to some of the more top class FMs there like Zealot's Hollow and Cell 6, this was a bit rougher.
    I like the decision to take the loot and fight the spirits, or just leave it and escape

  4. #29
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Voter comments for Schizophrenica, by fibanocci:

    The narrow walk ways were troublesome at times. I felt like I was bumping into everything.
    best mission out of the 4 forsure
    I felt that this mission was particularly difficult to figure out what to do in. It was easy to obtain loot, keys, etc by frobbing past their hidden doors. I was able to complete the mission without ever going to the sewers. The sound brushing had some issues particularly outside. The spectacles down in the cell area were amusing, and the readables kept my interest in the mission.
    Very narrow. I often got stuck in the texture. Fun and surprising story.
    A very solid storyline and full of puzzles. Still needs tweaking.
    Technically sound, apart from some sticky geometry, but the gameplay was frustrating and illogical.
    Wow! At first I was annoyed as it was just "another find the key" mission with tricky bits that I had to get hints to in the forums - but I loved the use of space, the plot twists and turns (Garrett is having a fevered dream before he wakes up and does the second half of the mission), and the radical shift in gameplay between the hard first part of the mission and once you get into the main part of the house and (especially) get the blackjack. It feels great when you finally get the blackjack back after all this! Awesome mission!
    What appears to be a classic jailbreak mission soon turns into something else entirely. This FM is more like a well crafted acid trip rather than your usual mission, and it's pretty original. Great, great use of space overall, especially since it doesn't use a 64*64*64 cube like most of the other entries so far. The trick at the beginning to reuse space and open new pathways was pretty clever and I did not see it coming. Visually this mission isn't outstanding (the very last part is very nice though), even if some parts like the butler's room or the living room with the fireplace are nice looking. Shadows look very wonky and this blue hue is pretty unnatural looking. I like how the author used trims and arches. The plot is pretty cool overall with a nice twist that's very original. The readables are well written and some of them are pretty funny. I found this FM had a lot of black humor overall with some very uncanny situations (the basement in particular is hilarious, the high-pitched multi-language conversation was a very nice touch). I got a bit fed up with the key/switch hunt after a while, especially since some of them are very well hidden. Some areas might be a tad too devious too, and you'll have to think outside the box several times. Geometry was also a pain and I noticed a roombrush bug where Garrett did not make any footsteps. Overall I quite enjoyed this one. I just wish the geometry received more attention as I got through a problematic area by total accident while I was using the obvious way before. This FM is definitely something else, and I have no doubt it will enter The Mike's craziest FMs list.
    I was frustrated playing the first time. After completing it the first time I went back and replayed. Some objects were hidden in a way that it was impossible to find them even with the hints telling them the location. Key in the Drain pipe?
    There was a LOT if good game play packed into this small mission. I did have some trouble getting stuck in small spaces and having to reload to get out. Also some of the things you had to do, like having to pick up the bone twice to get the scroll in hand, weren't things I would have thought to do on my own.
    Bit too narrow in places.
    /played on Expert/ an interesting story here, double escape was kinda unexpected Cramped space created this unique claustrophobic atmosphere, well done! but.. way too dark for me. i mean, obviously it's a game for New Dark, however .. in order to make it playable you must help the player finding the way. the worst part for me was every time when i was forced to reload simply because i couldn't tell if i'm moving already or i'm stuck on some walls.
    This was my favourite mission, for its sheer creativity, until I got to Zealot's Hollow, and with some regret I had to move Schizophrenica to second place. Schizophrenica is not free from problems (far from it), but I'm willing to forgive them because the overall concept and the attention to detail is so good. There are minor niggles, primarily related to getting stuck in narrow spaces at times. Two things really ought to be fixed, though: Garrett's comment about a button in a window - at a time when I'm looking through a window, but not the one meant by the mission's author. The other is the climbing puzzle with the pipes; even after I discovered I could climb the pipes (and checking the forum to make sure that's what I was supposed to be doing) I had a terrible time trying to get on to the ramp. Also, I thought the placement of the switch in the pagan stuff room (in a place you can't really reach without alerting the guy standing in front of it) was unfair.
    It's impressive how much gameplay there is here and the author definitely poured a lot of creativity into this one...unfortunately it just didn't work for me (both figuratively and literally, as I also broke the mission and couldn't finish). I did really enjoy all the vent crawling- brought me back to my Gordon Freeman days.
    This mission was a bit of a mixed bag. It was a lot of fun but also unnecessarily difficult (for me) due to trying to cram too much into the small space. Just moving around was painful and tedious because you are constantly getting stuck on terrain and objects. I understand the desire to fit as much into the limited space as possible but this was just too tight and forced too many reloads, breaking the immersion and the rhythm of the gameplay. And while I realize that the seeming illogical and convoluted means of progression through the mission were probably meant to be due to the effect of the drug or psychosis, a couple of situations were just too difficult to find the way out of with the available clues. On the plus side, the story was well done with some fun, unexpected twists. There were many visual aspects that were appealing and cleverly done and I enjoyed those aspects of the mission very much.
    Creative and often challenging mission with an interesting plot. Could have used some extra hints here and had to seek help on the forum.
    I can't give this mission 15/15, because the some gameplay issue (get stuck; hard to solve the first riddles/puzzles/steps) spoilt it. But on the other side it was just amazing. The use of space was monstrous. So many areas revisited, so many things seen and seen later in advance. Also, the story really got me. Very, very nice idea.
    Trippy and awesome, but a little rough and frustrating.
    This mission had a nice premise that was ruined by cheap humor, claustrophobic spaces and tedious key/switch/loothunt.
    very confusing, many technical difficulties

  5. #30
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Voter comments for The Sinkhole, by Weasel:

    Now this is what I'm talking about! I've always liked exploration missions in dark conditions, and this one even involves climbing and sheer heights! Excellent use of space; it's a very good climbing mission in complete darkness with a lot of very clever spots that will require the player to stop and think a bit. Overall this one takes the cake as far as use of space is concerned. It's bloody brilliant, even if I wish the tomb was a tad bigger. Technically this entry is the best for me: cubemaps, high-res textures, cool architecture, excellent use of audio throughout and a good puzzle that's not frustrating but demands trial and error. Note that all of this can be a pain for weaker computers. The narrative was also pretty good, not outstanding by any means but I loved the fact that different clues about the enigma were available on different skill levels, and the story was interesting. The environment also tells the story and this is very often overlooked. Overall I think this one, and I mean no disrespect to other entries, trumps all the other releases so far and this is why I give it the maximum amount of points. It's just that brilliant, and I'd be shocked if this doesn't win the competition. Two thumbs up for this one; everyone should play it NOW.
    I liked the vertical orientation making it very different from other missions. The jumping wasn't too hard. I wish the tomb at the bottom was more interesting, but the puzzle was good.
    Really great interpretation of the space by making it really tall. Fun vertical mission, although the puzzle at the end was maybe a tad on the obscure side.
    Too short. Great plot.
    This one was a challenge! Darkness... And a way to finally use those darn flares I get rid of first hand on any mission. Fantastic job anonymous!
    Loved the concept of a sinkhole FM and would like to see this mission be further expanded into something much larger. Atmosphere was spot on and the sounds coming from the sinkhole echoed just like a bottomless pit. The sand falling into the hole was eery as if more were to collapse at any moment. Puzzle in the tomb was a little difficult but hey it makes one think! A great job to the person who did this mission.
    Very atmospheric mission with great use of both light and darkness.
    everything was alot better than average. space was used differently than the casual 64x64x64. visually i liked it alot aswell, the light reflecting textures in crypt were quite fancy, something i didn't really expect to see in crypt that is old and been underground for long time. Story wasn't breathtaking but atleast something new and didn't try to "overfancy" itself.
    This mission was beautiful and amazing. I had to start all over again when I was almost at the end, and I didn't even mind doing that. My only complaint - I wanted to explore more of it.
    Lost interest when it was time to climb back up. Quit about 1/2 way. Loved the puzzle!
    /played on Expert/ WOW. normally I hate dark missions, but this one was beautiful! During the game i was switching on and off my lantern in random places just to admire the differences.
    Originally my review was just going to be "I died and I died and I died and then I gave up." After finishing the rest of the (T2) missions I decided I'd give this one another chance, and a forum thread gave me the necessary hint: textures may be ropeable even if they don't appear that way. There are obvious wood textures around, and it never occurred to me that these wouldn't be the right ones to use. Thief players have certain expectations about gameplay and visual cues, and this mission violates one of them right at the start and almost had me give up on it. Another problem I had at the start is inherent in the engine and beyond the author's control: once you reach a point near the bottom of a rope arrow, you just fall off without prior warning. To your death, in the case of this mission. This is especially problematic if you can't see the end of your rope due to lack of illumination (and yes, I did notice early on that I had a lantern, but still). All this is unfortunate, since the idea is really quite cool. Once you get past the beginning, you can get to the bottom without too much difficulty. There's really only one puzzle which also has some design problems: it would be good for the animal designs to be closer to the player so you can actually see and recognize them (which I didn't initially, even after looking up). For a while I was looking for some kind of solution involving the torches and the cardinal directions they were located in. That didn't work out so well. If you pick the wrong animal and frob it, nothing happens - this needs some kind of auditory feedback, like a "locked" click. The map for the four locations is ambiguous as to the orientation of the room, it would have been better to ensure that you notice right away if you've interpreted it wrong (by setting things up so that one animal is then duplicated and another missing). Once you get past the initial difficulty, this is the shortest mission in the contest (out of the ones I've played). This doesn't have to be a bad thing, but I would have hoped for a larger tomb area as payoff at the bottom. I'm rating this one near TDDUP, a very different mission. The Sinkhole has a better concept, and makes much better use of the space. Without the gameplay issues and maybe a slightly expanded area at the bottom, it would have rated higher.
    At first I fell a lot but when I got the hang of it, it became very fun!!
    This one was visually amazing, great atmospheric use of lighting. As far as the story goes, the author made a lot with a little, using only a few scrolls but filling them with excellent writing. The last puzzle was brilliant, even though I solved it by frobbing things randomly like a neanderthal. Would have liked more sneaking gameplay though (only one AI is a bit of a letdown...).
    A very well done mission. Especially the idea of climbing down a dark hole is intriguing. The riddles are fun, and not too hard. Just the first way down was confusing and kept me falling and falling and falling.
    Great and original style mission with the truly vertical and dark elements. Fun to play and challenging - really liked it. Solving the tomb puzzle on Expert the way you are supposed to - using the graphic markings around the fish - was a bit too cryptic in my view but the poem and trial and error was just enough. My second choice.
    This was a lot of fun! Very nice concept, very well done and with lots of neat little touches. I especially liked the falling sand; that was nicely done and added a lot to the realism. The cavern was well-designed and fun to navigate and - unlike some - I found the puzzle to be well-executed. It was challenging and required that you really pay attention to detail and work it out but there was sufficient info to figure out what needed to be done. Just the way I like my puzzles. I wish there were more missions of this type and that this one was larger. Still, 20 minutes of in-game time but about an hour of great fun. Thanks!
    Reflective surface - never ever seen that before. For that alone this FM gets an extreemly high rating from me. And the idea of such a descent is also awesome and quite well done.
    Interesting mission, certainly not you'r usual taffing. A bit frustrating at times, but rather enjoyable overall.
    excellent little details, like the little dirt slides!

  6. #31
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Voter comments for The Unseen, by skacky:

    Unfortunately, this one was so very dark, I could not play more than a couple of minutes. After managing to get out of the door, I kept running into walls and getting chased after and killed because I could not see a thing, to a point that half the time I could not tell whether I was even looking straight ahead, or up or down. Even with Gamma turned up full it was not a lot better than playing on a screen that was turned off. My apologies to the author, but I do not find it fun trying to guess where I am, what I'm doing, and frantically trying to get out and do something when I can't see a thing. :P
    Impressive - a new monster, multiple areas, and it doesn't feel like a limited amount of space (as much as the other missions).
    Way too difficult, because of the invisible invincible monster. But at the same time very scary.
    Fantastic! Winner in my opinion.
    This mission did not feel very small, and the atmosphere and visuals were top-notch. I enjoyed it a lot!
    use of space and ambient of this mission is amazing. Story isnt anything new but wasn't bad either. Only thing i didn't like was that invisible npc which turned annoying after some time
    /played on Expert/ it's for Thief gold? seriously? this little piece of art?! architecture in the lowest part of the mission literally took my breath away! tricky enemy, not so difficult puzzle and annoying spider completed the game
    I had to put on some headphones so I could hear the ghost's foot falls. This was outstanding!
    Another one with some great atmosphere through lighting (or in this case, the lack of it). It felt a bit short overall, probably because the church area took up so much of the level design space, but it was fun while it lasted. The invisible monster made me thoroughly paranoid.
    A very creepy mission that made me play in a different way from my usual "knock out everybody" style. It took a few tries to figure out how to get around in the area haunted by The Unseen but it was fun and challenging.
    Really good novel entry that took Garrett out of his comfort zone. An invisible/unknown enemy is always the most scary ( eg Midnight in Murkbell, For a Better Tomorrow and Drymian Codex) but here there seemed no way to combat it: I found picking up on the change of sound too subtle - maybe my sound system though? Really relieved to finish the mission - in a good, whew, end of panic way.
    Despite that the amount of custom material I noticed was low, I found this mission to be very good. Missed the upper caves a long time, but needed them to finish and found them at last. The Unseen scared me to death and the hints to the lovecraft story of sarnath were... lovely ^^.
    At first I didn't care for this mission much. To start with, I am not a fan of absolute blackness in missions. Yes, visually it is striking and it presents a challenge of sorts. But that isn't the kind of challenge I'm looking for when I play Thief. Still, that's my issue, not a problem with the mission, per se. It was nice of the author to provide a version that was not as dark, though the difference was negligible on my machine. And I am also not a fan of invisible opponents. So right off the bat this mission had two strikes against it in my book. But again, this is more about my tastes than about whether or not this was a good mission. My tastes aside, there was one issue which detracted from the gameplay and that was the room brushing. It was very difficult in many places to tell where a sound was coming from. That was particularly detrimental when it came to the ghost and made it more difficult than it needed to be. Still, I tried to be as objective as I could and diligently persevered and I'm glad I did. I ended up enjoying the mission quite a lot. Roombrushing issues aside, the author managed to create a very tense, very difficult challenge using a single device. The mission is actually quite simple and straightforward but still quite difficult to get through. So for that, well done!
    Awesome idea with the scary, scary AI, but rather unpredictable and too hard to sneak through for my liking.
    Very nice atmosphere in this one, I'd love to see it expanded into a full-sized mission.

  7. #32
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Voter comments for Til Death Do Us Part, by MysteryMan:

    This one had an interesting story right out of the 'box'. The briefing caught my interest and I settled in to play. However, after trying for more than half an hour, I had to give up. I realize that it was not intended to be a 'typical' Thief mission, but some sort of 'speed play', however, I found that between the timer, the objective not to raise an alarm and the sounds, I could not really get started on this mission. I could go around the building and knock out the patrolling guards (and avoid the frog), I could get into the building, but I could not seem to get out of the little entryway without alerting guards that were on the other side of the wall, or clear across the room with their backs turned, no matter how slow I creeped. Nor could I find an alternate route in (the ladder upstairs. I could get to the ladder, but could not seem to get onto it without falling and alerting guards - again). That coupled with the 'timer' made the whole thing rather frustrating and I had to stop playing. Its a pity, it was a promising story.
    The author made good use of space however some passages were rather cramped. The architecture was interesting and creative. I only played on expert, but there were too many guards, and the initial gameplay became a system of KO most guards in the same fashion and/or place. I'm not particularly fond of timed missions, but at least there was ample time to complete this mission.
    Simply just great! :-)
    Author was very good at testing and made sure all was tested thoroughly, which creates a lot of fun.
    Fun little loot grab mission - felt like a 64 cube though.
    I really enjoyed the intro to this mission. The story had potential, and I really wished there had been a follow up mission to this. Liked the vertical aspect of this one though. Also, you can never go wrong with looting 14000~ in about 30 minutes.
    I loved the idea (looting under a time constraint). Also loved the multiple secrets. I also loved that this was "relatively straightforward" without the strange "find the key in a strange place" trickiness of the other missions.
    The space was well used, even though the rooms were a bit repetitive. I really enjoyed going through the museum. Good use of textures with nice trim work, and lots of custom objects and textures used. I like how the museum ambient from T3 was used. The story was pretty thin though, and the timed objective might be off-putting for some taffers. It's a nice little breeze of a mission, definitely recommended despite its timed objective. The author has released an alternate version without the timed objective, so you might want to look into that if you aren't a fan of timelimits.
    use of space doesn't impress me as it looks like its been made by making first one big empty 64 cube and then adding the house in it. visualy nothing new or stunning. plot is something i haven't heard before, but i think it interferes too harshly with thiefs original storyline. after all its only nice little castle type house which is spammed full npcs and trying to get bonus points by having T3 sounds
    Nice heist mission.
    Enjoyable enough, but ultimately nothing special. The architecture is very obviously a cube, and the three or four levels inside the building are a bit repetitive - turn off the lights, knock out the guards, collect museum loot and find the secret switch. I thought I'd hate the time limit, but it was generous enough, and I did like the ticking clocks in the mission. There's a useless purchase screen at the beginning of the mission.
    Normally I hate timed missions but this one was a surprise. The author made it challenging to complete your tasks in the time allowed but not impossible and I never felt frustrated. There were ample clues to hidden things and the gameplay was tense and enjoyable. I wish the space would have allowed for a bit more development of the story but overall I had fun.
    /played on Expert/ secret in secret?! Very clever! interesting approach with time limits, it gives the mission new momentum, besides it's more difficult this way. taffers love challenges story: not really developed, but it's managed to explain why we are here and what we're actually doing
    The part of this mission that I thought I was going to hate (the time limit) actually ended up being what made it interesting. This is a fun one to speedrun and go on some EXTREEEME LOOT GATHERING (seriously, loot is like everywhere in this). The level design has a bit of a copy/paste feel to it, but it's pretty detailed at least. I'd actually like to play this one again on a higher difficulty.
    "Use of Space": the floors seemed a bit copy-pastey, loot placement was all over the place and the patrols were unavoidable (or I may suck at Thief, but other missions didn't have this effect on me). I had fun exploring the little details here and there, but it's almost a given in this type of compact missions. "Technical": The (optional) time limit is a neat idea, alas the rest of the mission wasn't really a beauty, with many out of place textures and objects and the visible skybox edges. "Narrative": The premise was silly but original, the readables were adequate if a little out of charachter in the thief universe.
    I know some don't like timed missions but I enjoyed this one. Enough shadows and light switches to make you able to sneak around - or go for it on Slower / Hard with the BJ. Well put together and a good challenge.
    My Pros and Cons: What I didn't like was the quite standard architecture and the uneventful plot. However, the optics in this mission are very nice, maybe the best and the time race was fun.
    The idea was cool and a time limit occasion is fun to play every now and then, but the design was quite rough comparing to the other competitors and there wasn't much to it as far as taking advantage of the new engine goes. (At least not as far as I could tell)
    How many times can you save Basso? Seems like the only thing he's good at is getting in trouble. Not a very helpful companion, eh? Visuals were good untill I looked over the wall. This is the mission that was supposed to show us amazing abilities of NewDark? Seriously?!

  8. #33
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Voter comments for Way Home, by Notesthes:

    Brilliant joy.
    Very God mission!
    Quite an interesting mission. I quite liked that whisp thingy under the transparent stairs. Those stairs were beautiful! I want some of those in my place! lol (Yeah, now tell us how to find those whisps. . .) I like how things start out so simple, and we keep finding bonus objectives and the situation sort of expands outwards. My only 'complaint' would be that the mission does feel 'incomplete', when we are able to hear about going through the mirror, and possible treasure. . .but it ends before we actually get to do it. Even a 'sequel' does not feel like it would fit because of the general 'setup' of the story. 'On the way home, get 'locked' in this house and basically need a way out.' Just doesn't sound like a set up he would return to deliberately, after leaving it behind. Not when the promise of treasure is so vague. (And from children, no less, even if they are creepy children!) It would almost make more sense if the mission is *expanded* later, after the contest, to allow the story to be finished. And THEN G leaves and never returns. At least, that's my thought on the situation. : ) All in all a fun play! So much in such a tight little space! Note: Rated the story slightly lower because, to me, it felt unfinished. If it has been finished then the whole thing would have been good.
    Tough. I'm not as much into the "find a key, find the next key, find a readable that's well-hidden" type mission as more straightforward looting-type missions, but it was very well done. I liked the glass room above the courtyard, and the "mirror room", and the general plot involving the sisters.
    This mission had the best use of space and did not have any areas that felt cramped or confined. Everything was visually appealing, and the story was well presented. I was able to maneuver through the corridors without having the "pinball machine" effect - not bouncing off every wall and corner.
    Hoped to somehow save the girl. Fantastic story and texture.
    Different levels of difficulty and excitement and things to do. Graphics are solid and all scripts, and AI seem to work flawlessly. A slight challenge of the cube missions thus far and tied for the fun nest. Cheers to the author of this one as a great deal of thought was added into this.
    Interesting story, and a sense of progression - rare in such a small mission.
    Just a very well put together mission overall. Good use of space, interesting story, it kept you looking for more diaries.
    Excellent mission! I really enjoy the story! The space using was so awsome that we could think that the mission is bigger than a 64^3 cube! And the ambient was good too! Congratulation!
    use of space is good as it feels bigger than 64x64x64. technicaly its nothing too great as i'm kinda fed up already with stock stuff. only thing that stands out in storyline is that crazy sounding crystal dude. I personaly don't like swtch/key hunts at all, which battered my overall rating of this mission to be quite small number.
    This was GREAT use of limited space. The game play was very good, and the story excellent. Some clues were misleading, and there were other annoying factors like when certain areas are so very hard to find and get into (like the room with the good sister), there should be more reward. Also I was able to frob the bafford scepter through the door by accident, and the objective ticked off before I even knew about the 'sweet sister'. Still, this was a lot of work done in a rather short time, and in limited space - kudus to the author!
    I found the use of space to be very good in this one, it's amazing how much was squeezed-in and it never feels cramped. The mission is good looking, nothing too fancy but it gets the job done and nothing is jarring or out of place. The audio is correct and the crystal music tracks were a nice touch. While I think the story was cool and intriguing, some of the objectives were a bit far-fetched, figuring out you'll have to come back to the basement to find your other lockpick was a bit unintuitive, and loot might be too well hidden sometimes. Despite this last bit, it's a very solid entry and definitely recommended.
    /played on Expert/ interesting mission, however.. the story seems to be lost somewhere, it's like the author hadn't enough time to finish this one. with the mirror and th4e little girl, we could expect another bonus objective or something. just to end it properly, because the mission deserves it. on the other hand, Way Home pleases the eye all crystals, stairs and those japanese-like walls are really pretty.
    A good mission, but (playing on Expert) many items were a little too well hidden and obscure. I felt somewhat aimless most of the time and, starting when I reached the mirror room, I often had to resort to the forum thread to even have a clue what I was supposed to be doing. In the end, after I'd found everything, the story came together very nicely into a nicely fitting puzzle so it was a satisfying, if frustrating, experience. In terms of construction, it wasn't too obviously a 64^3 box. Also, I really liked the staircase with the light elemental. Some problems: There was a readable mentioning grinding the crystals, which had me going around with the blackjack trying to find some I could smash. No such luck. That ought to be replaced with something less misleading. The two books I had to find were too well hidden. (I also had trouble finding Max, but that was my own fault). In some cases, even after opening a crate, it was hard to see all the loot contained within it. The alchemist's door in the basement had me puzzled. I opened a secret and it revealed an unfrobbable impassable door. I would never have guessed that I need to find another button. This is an example of using the wrong visual language - a door means I need to find a key, and something like the sarcophagus or a wardrobe means I need to find a switch.
    Turned out to be way more of a visual treat than I thought it would be at first (unfortunately, it drops you off in the most bland section of level). Really well done, compact mansion mission with a solid storyline I'd like to see continued. Those glass doors make for tricky sneaking- me like!
    "Use of Space":It's a very believable house and the patrols placement shows that a lot of effort went into honing the gameplay. Then came the switchhunt and made me a sad panda . Also, f*** that book under the sofa, I almost ate my mouse when I found that... "Technical": There aren't a lot of impressive textures or effects, but what's there is well proportioned and the puzzles are very nice. "Narrative": The readables were very well made, I could write why I liked them so much but I think i'll do it LATER!
    On the one hand this mission was hard. I could not find the secret switch for the closing door, after hours and hours of searching as well as other needed goods. On the other side I really enjoyed the story of the mission and the technical stuff. Overall, a good mission.
    This was a clever mission and I enjoyed it. The inventor whose home it took place in had some novel ideas and it was fun to see those. The decor was well-done and the use of see-through doors and sliding panels added a lot to the gameplay and the ambiance. There are a few things I would have liked to see done differently, such as being able to free the little girl's soul from the mirror and a couple of situations that were just illogical. And there were some technical problems but they were minor and didn't detract too much from the enjoyment of the mission. It was a bit too much of a key hunt for my taste but overall it's a well-done mission and the story was based on a good premise and I found it interesting. I only wish it had been resolvable.
    This one was cool with all kinds of ideas put into it and the story was well done and engaging. I would have liked some new textures, however,
    one of the few instances of a timer working really well, much thanks to the clocks

  9. #34
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Voter comments for Zealot's Hollow, by Xorak:

    This one is the definite winner as far as use of space is concerned. It's The Tower of this contest. The place feels very complicated, sometimes too complicated, and very much alive. The fact that the architecture is so complicated gets frustrating very quickly, especially when playing sneakily. Slipping or failing to mantle happen very often, unfortunately. The FM feels extremely disorientating despite its small size, which is impressive. It's often hard to pinpoint one's exact location, which is really unusual in small-sized missions. I'm afraid that this mission is so cramped that navigating though it might be a chore for some people, but objectively I think this one is the definite winner, yup. Technically this FM is amazing. Lots of really good hi-res textures that create a really gritty place. Audio was pretty cool too with atmospheric ambients and good music. The sense of desolation was greatly conveyed with both the architecture, the use of textures and with the audio. It managed to lower my computer's framerate. Considering my rig is a gaming rig capable of running Metro 2033 on ultra, this is really something. The story was pretty cool too with some great readables and an interesting story to boot. I think that the objectives are, however, a tad complicated for nothing. The player basically has to scour the whole level several times to complete such objectives, and some hints are very obscure (at least for me). There were really a lot of AIs throughout the mission and some of them were really, really twitchy (the black haunt in particular; dousing a torch is enough to 2nd alert it). But still, it was a really enjoyable experience overall. I still think the Sinkhole is the winner, but Zealot's Hollow is definitely the challenger for me.
    A bit claustrophobic. Very impressive architecture. Great story.
    Very challenging
    Best vertical mission I've played in quite awhile.
    This was a fun mission (once I figured out from the forums what I had to do), but it's way too cramped. This is "in extremis" what you can do with a limited space - turn it into a twisting maze (in 3D) of passages, all different. Also, it wasn't all that clear why I was doing the things that I was doing in this mission. But, it definitely was a challenge!
    Too cramped.
    This is very unique and a good one if you like heights.. And you get to use the ground as well as Thieves Highway.
    Outstanding Mission very well build, spend 4 hours crawling, searching, climbing and jumping. well done!
    This was absolutely f***ing STUNNING. My screenshot's broken now. It can be a bit of a headache if you're trying to ghost and, even with new_mantle, the climbing can be somewhat finicky; it honestly doesn't matter though, it's just so damn fun to explore. My choice for winner!
    The best part of this mission is how it constantly lampoons the player's expectations: "Nice hut, but it seems overly detailed, and I can hear a Burrick, a Mechanist camera and a frogbeast from the starting point... Not a good sign." "I love bunnies and miniburricks and the detail continues to be mindnumbing in the rest of the mission; it feels a little cramped though, i'd love to go higher than the third floor." "Oh, at least there are backalleys, nice." "I scaled at least six floors, each full of shit to mess with and I realized you can make the same climb from almost every corner of the map. I think I have explored roughly 25% of the place. Crap." "Oh snap, a plot!" "Oh snap, Moral Choices(dun dun dunnnn)!!!!" "It's four A.M. and I hate myself!"
    This one is the best! (sofar) Everything is amazingly done. Ambience, brushwork, use of space, everything! oh well.. ambience kinda annoys me but it fits the ambience so never mind about that.
    This small mission made an immediate impression with a beautifully detailed small city area. Gorgeous textures and wonderful climbing puzzles made it great fun to explore. It was perhaps a bit too complex in spots making it a bit too hard to find things at times and there were some issues with the ghosts not appearing for some people, including me. Overall, an outstanding piece of work with couple of glitches. I hope there will be a sequel at some point to continue the story.
    Amazing, more amazing, most amazing
    Wow what a mission. Despite same gameplay issues (received the rope arrows very late; getting stuck in some place) this mission is wonderful. The storyline is enthralling and the space usage goes into very deep depths. Congratulations.
    /played on Expert/ story: amazing! use of space: bravo, so many places, ways to go, rooftops and other possibilities to reach different points!
    My first place and a wonderful contest entry. Such a complicated, twisty, vertical, atmospheric, challenging and novel mission created in such a short space of time. I have been watching Fen trying to ghost this and that seems quite tricky, maybe not so enjoyable, but it was a pleasure to play using the BJ. I have a suspicion who the author is but whoever it is ...... more please.
    I loved this mission. If I were an author building a small, seedy old part of town, it would look like this. A few places presented a challenge in terms of maneuvering around the terrain without getting stuck but for a mission this cramped there was surprisingly little of that. The story was well-conceived, though it lacked a little bit in execution. I wasn't always sure what was going on or why. But I think this is really due to the way the texts were spaced out in the mission. Almost invariably I had already finished a task before finding the text that related to it. The only other real drawback that I could see was that there was often very little to reward the player for some very challenging feats of acrobatics or stealth. It was frequently disappointing to struggle for what seemed like hours to reach a place only to find that it contained nothing but a bit of loot. And apparently there are some technical oddities. Reading on the forum I see that there were supposed to be ghosts present in the mission but I never saw any, nor did some other players. But the good far outweighed the bad. The architecture is jaw-dropping, the textures are stunning, the layout of the map is thrilling and the gameplay is by and large first rate. I played it on Expert and did not blackjack anyone. That undoubtedly made it more frustrating but also more rewarding to complete. Given the constraints of the contest in terms of time and space, I'd say this was a stellar achievement. Well done!
    Well... before playing this one, Schizophrenica was my favourite. However, while playing Zealot's Hollow it became clearer and clearer that it is just better. In every way. Other authors took the size limitation and thought, well, maybe a house will fit nicely. This author decided a city block would be just right, and he pulled it off. The graphics are about the best you can achieve with the engine, the atmosphere is great, the use of space is clearly by far the best I've seen in the seven missions I've played. I only got stuck once, and that was after about two hours of exploring and constantly discovering new stuff. This is also a positive record for these contest missions. I would love to see a full-scale city mission from this author. Minor problems: No way around it, movement in the Dark Engine is clunky at best, and narrow spaces don't help. In general it was possible to navigate the mission without too much frustration, but slightly more space would help - the mission might have worked even better outside the limitations of this contest. It is possible to get permanently stuck: one such issue occurs in a window high up, with a flowerpot on the inside, if you try to jump through that window from the outside. A box in the gruesome area where you find one of the three corpses has a lid that moves the wrong way when lockpicking. I got stuck because I knew that I could eliminate the undead after getting to the Sibyl's room, so it did not occur to me that I had to sneak past the undead lady (?) to get there in the first place (which was really tricky to execute as well). The door to the Sibyl's room was also invisible without actually going into the room with the undead thing. After realizing that the undead monstrosity wasn't the Sibyl, I figured her place must be elsewhere and wasted some time looking for it. The no knockouts objective seemed a bit out of place. I had no trouble playing Cell 6 or most of Schizophrenica without a blackjack, but here I realized quickly I wouldn't enjoy trying to navigate the maze with guards on patrol, so I decided to fail it. Forum discussion suggests there should have been three ghosts, but I only ever encountered the one I mentioned. I actually think it's probably better this way
    This FM did everything right. The use of space was amazing. I mean - AMAZING. I have never ever in any FM or game seen such a tightly designed FM. One might even think it's too tight, but I really enjoy that style. That was just URGH - amazing! This is why I didn't give the other FMs as high of a rating. And the visual enhancements and audio enhancements were even more stunning. Hands down, this mission has the best architecture I have ever seen in such a small FM, possibly the best texturing too. It's like DrK's architectural genius packed in a 64 cube instead of stretched out in a large mission. The story is also really well done. I was a little sketptical first, but that passed quick. Oh and the way we can take advantage of the new mantling in this is also superb. Out of all the FMs this was my absolute favorite.
    I don't know what is the max number of brushes one can use in NewDark... but I'm pretty sure The Author used them all. Great work with architecture. But the history was a bit too vague for my taste and the mission had some technical problems like dissapearing enemies or terrible sound propagation at times.
    a real standout, makes me want more

  10. #35
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Thanks Brethren. Interesting comments, I think. And I really need to get down to playing them all. I wish I'd had time before the contest was over.

  11. #36
    NewDark 64 Contest Winner
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Locked Inside Dromed
    Thanks to all those who commented. They are the most useful thing for moving forward, building more missions and trying to get better with each one. I'd even rather have bad feedback than no feedback at all.

  12. #37
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Museum of the Ancients
    Congratulations Xorak! Thanks everyone for making these missions!

    And thanks Brethren for holding the contest!

  13. #38
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    Quote Originally Posted by Xorak View Post
    Thanks to all those who commented. They are the most useful thing for moving forward, building more missions and trying to get better with each one. I'd even rather have bad feedback than no feedback at all.

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