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Thread: TDP20AC Mission Shadow Play (11/30/2018)

  1. #26
    Registered: Sep 2018
    Location: Poland
    WOW, what a beautiful mansion's mission :) Level design is just outstanding. Interesting things in almost every corridor and room in the mansion :) Outside also very well crafted and as Establishment says: "roof provided a splendid view" ;D LOL :)) Superb work man! I thought that nothing would surprise me after playing the other contest's missions, but as usual - next mission, next surprises in a good way ;)

    Took me about 2h and 17min with zero blackjacks/zero kills. Found 2909/2910 of loot ;DD Probably one, very last, single coin of gold is my challenge now ;) Of course don't tell me where it may be (not in the fountain ;P) but to confirm - I have: 1624 of gold now. Does full loot describes: 1625? As for loot - it's not super, extremely hard, it's just Demanding (by uppercase "D"). You need to watch, look, think, observe, and then about 90% should be yours easily.

    Not even one single spider in a place where it should be? :| And also I was expecting something to blown up... didn't find what it might be :(
    Last edited by Mat99; 14th Jan 2019 at 18:30. Reason: typo
    sorry for my very bad english :(

  2. #27
    Registered: Jan 2009
    Expert, 43 minutes, 2195/2910 loot. A straightforward mansion robbery, but never boring and with zero fluff. I ghosted because 1) the readme suggested a short mission, so I figured it wouldn't be tedious, and 2) because it seemed like it would help me appreciate the room connections and guard placement. And it did! Guards on the upper floors are particularly well-placed, and there are lots of tempting spots to use water/moss arrows, but without many to spare. Good design IMO. I need to replay it, but this time knocking everyone out and scouring the place for more loot.

  3. #28
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    This was a great mission, I really loved the simplicity and elegance of it. When's the last time anyone played a mission with effectively zero readables? Just straight thieving and sneaking here, pretty awesome. I was able to ghost it and not use any equipment, and even though it was difficult it wasn't frustrating or annoying. Well done. Finished in about an hour but really didn't want it to end.

  4. #29
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Thunder Bay, On., Canada
    I've just finished this one and it was a lot of fun to explore! I just wish there had been a story line as that would have been the icing on the cake. Thanks very much for this little gem.

  5. #30
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Replaying this mission, I think I've realised one key element that I find so engaging about this FM as regards the atmosphere -- it looks and feels the way I fondly remember Thief TDP with rose-tinted glasses, rather than the way it actually is with all its OldDark/1998 limitations. I remember the OMs with the thick shadows, angles and ornamentation that Shadow Play actually has... when I replay them, these features are conspicuously absent.

    For this reason alone, capturing the nostalgia and remembered magic of TDP without being constraint by its dated reality, this FM is definitely my pick for best of the contest. I think it most precisely captures the criteria of the contest as I envisioned it. If this FM gets penalised in the vote for its lack of an explicit narrative, it will be an absolute crime -- I found it more evocative than nearly every other submission, an it achieved this without a single piece of clunky exposition. Bravo, Schlock.

  6. #31
    Registered: Nov 2018
    Since DrK, Firemage, and Meh-lan are doing it, here are the review comments on Shadow Play for anyone who's curious. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and write out their thoughts!

    lots to see and explore,have a good nights sleep

    Great little FM, small and nice. Shadows are extremely dark and the atmosphere is thick as hell, level design is great. Didn't really notice the story much, just a basic "go there and steal stuff", but that doesn't matter much in a mission like this. Pure gameplay, pure level design, great mission.

    Really love the atmosphere of this one. classic gameplay

    Very nice mission, nice architecture and design. For me it's like of readable object.

    Apart from the high loot requirement, this mission is held back only by its complete lack of story, as it is architecturally superb.

    Really nice little mansion FM, very reminiscent of the original game.

    "A classic Bafford mission. Simple and efficient.

    A good layout, a good atmosphere, some streets to explore around.

    This is a decent mission I like. 18/30 is a good rating for such a mission."

    Nice interiors for a small mansion mission, but unfortunately, minimal story.

    A small but delightful experience, i love the map, the constructions are so well conceived, the atmosphere is deep and sweet, the light distribution is well done, the main mansion has an impressive design, very flexible and beautiful. The gameplay is very good, the readables are interesting. My score is 9 out of 10, if the map was bigger i would have given 10.

    This mission seemed to be heavily inspired by Lord Bafford's Manor. It was made rather well. The atmosphere was excellent and the level was diverse enough to be intriguing to navigate due to its interior design. The expert loot requirement was managed well, as it struck a balance in difficulty. Due to what it does well, I find this mission superior to Bafford's in various ways.

    "An excellent little mission, from the little urban zone to the Bafford-like manor house, which still had its own style per se.

    I really enjoyed the architecture and design of the mission : you can choose to enter directly the mansion, from different ways, or you can wander the little district, which is nicely designed. The mission has its own feeling, which made me think about another great mission author when I looked at the architecture style and the way to design the manor.

    The amount and disposal of loot was great, I really felt like I was playing a typical and classical T1 mission, with a simple goal but a T1 ambience, from the beginning to the end. I can say I felt pleasure when I played this mission, and can only regret it is a little too short and small. The story also suffered from this shortness for it was simple, but again, this didn't prevent me from enjoying this nice little mission.

    To conclude and recommend this mission for those who could have missed it, I'll just tell the sentence that came to my mind when I ended this mission : the best among the short missions of the contest !"

    A well-designed mansion with plenty of unique rooms and ways to move around, but there was little beyond that.

    Small rob Lord so and so. Nice map with decent, tight game-play. I ghosted until I got most of the goods and then just couldn't help turning my exit into one of the greatest "Na Na here I and jack the lot of 'em!" THINK YOU'RE SO CLEVER! Well, yes I do!

    Beautiful mansion, Bafford with an unlimited budget, fun classic gameplay. Basically no story, but setting is great.

    Nice mansion romp. I enjoyed it.

    "Atmosphere - 7

    Both the mansion and the available part of the city were designed very well. I liked the architectural style of the mansion. The mission provided an average range of sounds and visual effects. There could have been something more happening around, just to spice things up a bit, but generally the mood was all right.

    Gameplay - 8

    The mission provided a classic mansion heist gameplay, with lots of guards (and perhaps too few nobles and servants) wandering around the rooms and corridors. There were a few hidden passages around and multiple points of entry for most locations. The mission also offered some cleverly (but reasonably) hidden loot. Again, I felt like it all went too smooth here and the gameplay could have been made a little bit more interesting by something extraordinary happening around. I haven't come across any bugs or cheats on the level.

    Story - 2

    Staggeringly, such a well-crafted mission seems not to feature any storyline at all. It's all about getting inside, stealing the item and leaving. There are no books, no diaries, no letters (well, there are, but you can't read anything ;p) and no conversations to give at least a very brief outline of where you are and what's going on around. I really enjoyed playing the mission, but I feel I must give a very low score here not to disrespect all those authors who featured highly developed plots in their releases."


    Design=10 (Architecture/asset usage/room layout)


    This FM represents everything I was hoping for from this contest. A strikingly beautiful, angular, well-designed manor that absolutely oozes style and atmosphere. Totally unpretentious, while managing to really capture the unsettling ambiance characteristic of The Dark Project. Some FMs in this contest were old-school in a way that actually resembles Thief TDP, with all its OldDark/1998 limitations. This FM looks and feels the way I think we all REMEMBER Thief TDP.

    Personal highlights:

    -NO MONSTERS. This mission was unnerving purely through the use of lighting and audio; any supernatural beings would have cheapened the experience.

    -The somewhat hidden, dilapidated building with the Trickster/Pagan god face behind a locked door, complete with audio sting and gold nugget reward. The setup and payoff here was perfectly executed in under a minute.

    -The music room. It takes real talent to make something so everyday absolutely chilling.

    -Rosenfield in front of his bedroom window, and the sword dumped unceremoniously in a storage room behind his bed.

    -No switch- or key-hunts, or even any readables with obtuse clues. Just straight Thief gameplay in a rewarding environment.

    There was essentially no in-game story, and the author has indicated that he originally planned to include a city and scripted events, but decided instead to cut these elements entirely. This was absolutely the correct choice: no explicit narrative is better than a compromise crammed into expository readables, and neither the pacing nor the scope of the manor gave any indication that it represented a small part of a larger map. These are indicative of a skilled and prudent designer.

    The only way I can imagine improving this FM is by adding more of the same, but it still took me fifty minutes to fully explore so it was by no means short. Upon leaving the manor, a chill ran down my spine. This one's a real treat."


    Beautiful mission with good ghosting game play and nice ambients. The textures were outstanding. Some nice vertical elements. The loot was very difficult. I got only 2311 of 2910 in a lot of hunting. One window with pipes below that I could not enter. Unfortunately, the mission had no story to speak of, and story must be a scoring element.

    "A mansion mission that evokes the mystery and wonder of The Dark Project. The architecture is accomplished and varied. Great lighting with strong shadow-and-light contrasts establishes a moody atmosphere. This is helped by an expert use of sound: the author gets what made the original missions work, and the resulting soundscape feels like a creepier, weirder and more chaotic Bafford Manor (there is even a specific location of inexplicable dread which has affected everyone I know - that takes skill).

    The gameplay is also very good here. You have recon and infiltration, with multiple ways inside (and a few side areas, including a really cool easter egg!), followed by a lot of tense sneaking. There are always abundant shadows nearby, but crossing well-lit tile areas with interlocking patrols covering the territory makes it a challenge. Observation of AI patrols is a must for success. The mission is surprisingly strong on verticality, a rarity in indoors FMs - but it pulls it off, and how! It feels like an irregular, ramshackle old manor. Likewise, loot placement is thoughtful and a good challenge - observation, or scouting and nabbing risky pieces is well rewarded.

    Shadow Play has close to no formal story (no readables except for the odd plaque), although the environmental storytelling is strong - it has a superb contrast between a rich lord's opulent quarters, the dark holes his staff lives in, and the shadows of the surrounding city. Show, don't tell: here, we learn how it is done."

    "Shadow Play is exactly the kind of mission that could be found in the original game and that could easily replace Lord Bafford's Manor as the first mission. It is a very straightforward mansion heist but it's done so brilliantly it's a near flawless experience.

    The atmosphere with this one is through the roof, with excellent shadows, perfect architecture/setdressing and great use of sound. Some areas, such as the baths in the basement or the small music room with the electric wind ambient are just out of this world. Most of the mansion interior has this ominous aura of anguish that can only be found in the original game, and Schlock pulled it off quite amazingly indeed.

    Gameplay-wise, the mission is quite straightforward and offers multiple paths into and in the manor. Moving around rooms is never frustrating and the layout is far more interesting than your average mansion mission, with rooms with strange shapes and several overlooks/balconies you can climb to or drop from.

    The biggest issue, which prevents this mission from reaching the perfect score, is that the story is basically non-existent. Indeed, there are no readables and the plot itself is as simple as it gets. Still, this mission shows that you do not need readables or even a story to convey strong gameplay and atmosphere. I believe some authors should take a lesson or two from Schlock who, while being a newcomer and this being their first release, showed everyone how a mansion mission should be done."

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