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Thread: New Dark Novice Contest - Results

  1. #1
    Registered: Jun 2004

    New Dark Novice Contest - Results

    We had an excellent voter turnout for the New Dark Novice Contest. Thanks to everyone who played and voted on the missions and to the authors for providing such solid first missions. I as well as many commenters are definitely looking forward to your next missions. Also, thank you Al_B for the poll that helped facilitate scoring.

    With so many voting by category, I think our authors will get a good breakdown of their missions strengths and weaknesses.

    The overall score is determined by a weighted average of the 8 scores with the following factors:
    • Overall Enjoyment: 2.0
    • Gameplay: 2.0
    • Story: 1.5
    • Design: 1.5
    • Atmosphere: 1.0
    • Technical Effects: 1.0
    • Use of Space: 0.5
    • Uniqueness: 0.5

    For those who submitted a score out of 80, your score was divided by 8 and treated as an overall score in the average overall score result.

    The overall winner and winner of each category was Forgotten Tomb. Congratulations to Kurhhan for excellent submission!

    Listed below for each mission are their overall and category scores.

    Forgotten Tomb by Kurhhan
    • Total Votes: 38
    • Overall Score: 8.049
    • Total Category Votes: 31
    • Overall Enjoyment: 7.97
    • Gameplay: 7.55
    • Story: 7.58
    • Design: 8.52
    • Atmosphere: 8.84
    • Technical Effects: 8.65
    • Use of Space: 8.45
    • Uniqueness: 7.52

    Just My Luck by Grandmauden
    • Total Votes: 35
    • Overall Score: 7.001
    • Total Category Votes: 31
    • Overall Enjoyment: 7.56
    • Gameplay: 6.65
    • Story: 7.45
    • Design: 6.61
    • Atmosphere: 7.15
    • Technical Effects: 6.45
    • Use of Space: 7.29
    • Uniqueness: 6.74

    Shoes & Dresses by JarlFrank
    • Total Votes: 35
    • Overall Score: 6.794
    • Total Category Votes: 30
    • Overall Enjoyment: 7.63
    • Gameplay: 6.65
    • Story: 7.15
    • Design: 6.22
    • Atmosphere: 6.15
    • Technical Effects: 5.97
    • Use of Space: 6.27
    • Uniqueness: 6.53
    Last edited by Iceblade; 23rd Mar 2016 at 22:28.

  2. #2
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Voter Comments for Forgotten Tomb

    This was an excellent mission. I gave only 9/10 for story, because in my opinion it is not compatible with the thief-canon (the hammerites are banned thing, while keepers are still there)
    First off, I really do NOT like spooky/crypt/zombie missions; just not my cup of tea. I didn’t finish this one only because my frustration level kept rising due to having to solve one puzzle after another after another, especially after the zombies appeared and made things more complicated. Again, not my kind of FM. Gameplay was okay, except at the beginning with the big boulder covering the shaft to the crypts (awkward - too many attempts to move the thing). However, even though the crypt/zombie missions seem to have been done over and over, the use of puzzles and interactive gear/items was creative and the atmosphere was nearly perfect for that type of FM, albeit a tad too dark. A good effort for a novice (and I'm sure that a lot of Taffers who like zombie FMs enjoyed it tremendously ).
    Wow! A person who hasn't DromEd-ed before wrote this! Puzzles (especially non-intuitive puzzles, as some of these were) are not my cup of tea, but this is very well done! Especially the "Oh-s***" moment when you leave the tomb you just looted and all hell starts breaking loose (the missiles, the zombies upstairs, the unholy area at the front of the church).
    Visually quite nice, but it ended very abruptly and the undead were a little hard to navigate around. What's there is fine, but it seemed a but unfinished.
    A small map, but for a first mission its well design and offers a beautiful place to explore surrounded by a lovely atmosphere and a enjoyable gameplay
    The mission was so polished and made such good work of custom textures (loved those zombies) that it felt more like a pro mission. It blows the competition out of the water. The only possible improvement I could imagine would be animating the evil ghost instead of using a static model.
    No doubt a beautiful looking mission with good design, puzzles to make one think a bit and some good effects. I did find it a bit linear, following a line of A to B, but that's just cos I like a more open world, with options to get into places. The atmosphere was good - spooky with some unexpected surprises - the appearance of the AIs added another layer of atmosphere/challenge. Great effort, and I look forward to more from this author.
    Well done Mr K...looking forward to your next one
    Beautiful use of textures, creating a nice, immersive environment. Lots of technical tricks that added a lot to the experience. Quite impressive for a first-time author!

    The puzzles were fun and logical for the most part, but a couple things were either illogical or frustrating. Some things weren't accessible or frobbable until after you completed some task, but the clues for this kind of thing were occasionally either missing or too well hidden. I understand the need to control the player's progression in such a way, but it can be frustrating if not handled really well, and in moderation.

    There wasn't really much of a story, but there didn't really need to be one. You are there to rob a tomb and that's pretty much it. No real story needed, though the author did provide one or two snippets of backstory, which helped.

    But the gameplay was fun and challenging and I enjoyed myself a lot. This is an impressive mission for a first mission, so congratulations to the author on a job well done.
    This can't be a first mission?????? Thank you for this gem and PLEASE give us more!!
    Really liked playing this one. Good creepy atmosphere, good game play and puzzles - maybe the note hint for the Duncan Tomb secret could have been more direct or suspicious. Excellent for a first mission!
    Last edited by Iceblade; 23rd Mar 2016 at 22:21.

  3. #3
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Voter Comments for Just My Luck

    This mission was really good too. Though it didn't felt that scary to be a haunted place, but still it was fine.
    I found some of the gameplay to be rather awkward, especially towards the end where it was important. It took me about 20 minutes longer than it should have, first trying to jump out of the upper window of the poor guy’s house & onto the rooftop of the rich person’s house, then attempting to jump onto the upper window ledge of the Odds & Ends shop from the rooftop of the rich person’s house – basically that whole sequence was a royal pain. That kind of frustration will turn me off of a game very quickly. There was the issue of the hidden key to the poor guy’s house as well; I’m finding that some of the newer authors try to be too clever in hiding items and secret buttons and switches – to the point that even if you know where to look and what you’re looking for, you have to attain a precise angle in order for the item to highlight so you can frob it; or sometimes it’s just too cleverly hidden in the first place. There’s such a thing as being too clever (another turn off). The graphics were decent, if basic, and the atmosphere was pretty much perfect for the type of FM that this one is. I did like the fact that you could kill the ghosts with your sword because you didn’t get nearly enough water arrows/holy water and/or flash bombs to do the job. I also liked the fact that the AI were pretty alert. A good FM for a novice, but too frustrating for me in the area of gameplay.
    Pretty dark (subject matter, not light levels), but definitely an alternative idea - what if the Pagans created a "treasure" to punish those greedy sneaksies?! This was well done - only complaint was it was a little hard to find certain areas (getting in the right windows, getting the key that was under the stairs in front of a door, etc.).
    Quite a nice, small mission! The key hidden under the staircase could have used some visual indication or clearer textual clues, and the clue that you need to strike the merchant could have been more direct, but overall this was a fun if quick mission.
    For a first mission, this is of high quality, unique atmosphere, a good level design and enjoyable gameplay.
    Kinda frustrated with the keyhunt, spent a lot of time walking in circles before peeking at a walkthrough. My recommendation would be to use zombies in place of ghosts, as they are more difficult to remove and stay threatening longer. The way of developing the story through multiple diaries was pretty clever.
    This was a fun, slightly challenging mission with an interesting story. The AI patrols were good, making me sneak me best. The town design was basic with well-decorated rooms and a good atmosphere was created. I prefer open world exploration, so this was a plus for me. Very fine effort and I'd love to see more from this author.
    Cracking good fun. Superb effort, Thank you
    The mission had a good story, though the use of modern expressions in the writing were immersion-breaking for me. The final solution was a bit odd, and not exactly logical, but it served its purpose.

    The map was quite small, but that didn't really detract from the gameplay, other than to have an impact on how much time it took to complete. The gameplay was either really easy or quite challenging, depending upon whether or not you chose to ghost the mission. Ghosting was a lot of fun, but the mission was over in about 10 minutes when I just killed all the ghosts.

    Overall, this was a fun mission with a good story that was quite well done for a first mission. Congratulations to the author!
    This is a Great mission a lot to explore!!
    Very good solid mission. The story was particularly good and supported the gameplay well. The key under the steps was surprisingly easy to miss (the only note I found for it was actually in the house! I had got onto the roof and in the house from there - but not the simplest route). Great idea about having to kill the guy who I guess we all thought was dead already - perhaps the clue could have been more direct as needed help on the forum for that one. Very good work.
    Last edited by Iceblade; 23rd Mar 2016 at 22:23.

  4. #4
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Voter Comments for Shoes & Dresses

    The story of stealing one woman’s dresses and another woman’s favorite pair of shoes for another noble lady was very unique in my opinion and I got a kick out of that! I also liked the fact that JarlFrank included a map; that’s always a plus for me, as well as the fact that there were a lot of places to explore and loot. At first I thought it was going to be just a good old fashioned Thief sneak, break & enter, grab the loot, then go home type of FM (which would've been absolutely fine with me), but JarlFrank surprised me with a little twist towards the end; I LOVED the added gameplay in regards to the Purple Wizard and his tower (NEVER tell a Taffer NOT to touch something – lol). Graphics were great in some places and above average in others. Several of the readables tickled my funny bone, too (especially the one posted outside the Mechanist church). My kind of FM and a great creation for a novice author!
    This, too, is a somewhat off-the-wall idea. I will assume that the players in this drama have seamstresses and cobblers to re-fashion the stolen items, and they're not all the same dress or shoe size, and not hold that against the author. :-) At first, my reaction was, "Oh, bare rooms, square rooms, empty cemeteries - BORING", but later, I noticed the author was making fun of their "newbie-ness" with readables like "I have a totally empty room and need to sell it" and "Oops - here's a random cube sitting here in the sky, my mistake!" I frobbed the crystal ball in the tower without even seeing or reading the readable saying "Don't touch it" until I returned later after doing and escaping from the wizard's areas. I hope to see more from this author - quite a creative mission in terms of ideas!
    The author of this mission has a good sense of humour

    I liked a lot this mission too. What was a little wrong for me, that the streets in many case felt quite empty for me. Some barrels and such were to make it better, but this mission was also excellent.
    This was fun with some good humor. Level design was a bit plain but very good for a first attempt and was certainly good enough for the mission at hand.
    Poor Level design that needs alot of improvment, some interesting sense of humor but nothing else interesting to offer.
    The humor was fantastic and there was just enough unusual stuff going on (the mage's tower) to keep my interest going forward when things got dull. That said, there was a LOT of empty space and stuff that couldn't be interacted with at all.
    This was my favourite mission - it was fun, made me laugh and had good open exploration. Basic, but effective design; some rooms/areas could have done with a little more decoration. Mission was bigger than expected, and the surprise end area was enjoyed. A great effort, spot on humour and I'd love to see more from this author.
    Difficult to believe this was built by a newbie, so good, so professional, so much fun.
    This mission has most of the key elements that make a good Thief mission. There is the opportunity for good sneaking (it's even ghostable), there are some funny texts, some good clues, and there are even a few technical feats that are good to see in a novice mission.

    The mission has a few stumbling blocks as well, though none are severe enough to curtail the enjoyment in any significant way. The biggest let down for me was the story, or lack thereof. It's not a bad story, it's just not a good story. As the mission title implies, we're tasked with stealing some dresses and some shoes. I was hoping this was just a ploy, and that this would turn into a mission with some real depth, but alas, it really is just about stealing some dresses and shoes. There's nothing wrong with the idea of stealing dresses and shoes, but I can't say it makes for a very exciting Thief mission. So, for me at least, it was difficult to get very engrossed in the story.

    But that aside, the author got everything else pretty much right, especially for a first mission. And to put things in perspective, I enjoyed it more than I have some missions from well established authors in the past. So congratulations on a nice first mission!
    Great first mission!
    By far the biggest map of the releases which was great for exploring, which I like. Simple but effective storyline. Liked the quirky humour / fun throughout - credit to you for this as it allowed you to try out new things and fit them into thje mission (eg the wizard area and all the weird bankable items!) Was hoping for more to do in the cemetery but maybe I possibly missed something. Great first mission - please keep making them.
    Last edited by Iceblade; 23rd Mar 2016 at 22:25.

  5. #5
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Congratulations, Kurhhan, for winning the contest! Your mission was very well done.

    And congrats and thank you to the other authors as well. All the missions were good, especially for first missions, and I enjoyed all of them!

  6. #6
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    grats to all who were part of this contest,3 lovely missions

  7. #7
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Congratulations Kurhhan, a superb little mission. A pity there could only be one winner as the other 2 missions genuinely were superior missions. I enjoyed all 3 and consider everyone to be a winner. I hope all 3 of you make more missions.

  8. #8
    Registered: Aug 2014
    Location: Poland
    Thx for all votes and opinions about our missions. I hope more and more people will start dromeding and soon will be another "Novice Contest" with even more participants. It is never too late to start, especially with such a helpful community here.

  9. #9
    Thank you Iceblade for this contest, Al_B for the poll, contestants for this excellent job realized on your first mission and Congrats Kurhhan !
    Last edited by Athalle; 24th Mar 2016 at 08:07.

  10. #10
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Very well done to everyone. I thought the missions were really good and I enjoyed playing them all. And congratulations to Kurhhan.

  11. #11
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: France (Saint-Gobain)
    Congratulations to the winner

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