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Thread: Will there be a Thief 2 20th anniversary contest?

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    How about not having a contest at all, but instead collaborating on a small campaign? We could gather a solid team and make it epic. So, whoever decides to contribute would focus on the area they feel the strongest in - be it storytelling, texture creation, modelling, level design, motions, dromeding, scripting, project coordination etc... So, it wouldn't be about having a huge amount of missions to play, but instead a short to medium campaign but with the quality pushed to the limits. This way, people most likely would not have to spend entire year 24h on it, but just dedicate most of their time at only certain stage of production, which should be easier to fit between their RL and other personal projects.
    In the project like this, I would see a need for a project leader/main designer kind of a role - a person who has a vision. Actually yeah - there could be a contest - but a contest for the best idea, published on the forum (but without spoiling everything). Then, whoever wins would direct the team of volunteers. A bit like it happens in real companies, where everyone has their role. This would be to prevent a situation where everyone involved would like to push their own ideas and the project would never get past the concept design stage.
    Once selected, all the work and team communication would happen through separate communication channels with occasional update in progress on this board.

    I think this could be a good experience for the community, hopefully making it stronger.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: Cracow, Poland
    @PinkDot, I think your idea deserves a new thread. There already were projects like this - for sure you will find a few or more people here being interested.

    I think we can set contests aside for a moment or make one, but shorter. Year-long contest gave us 24 missions. That's good, because it's a lot, yes. On the other hand, there were less releases during that one year period.

    I generally like ideas to create things on collaborative basis. While PinkDot's idea sounds to me like a well known idea of team-made campaign (or mission), I would suggest to try something more independent than team-leader managed projects derived from big companies. There is nothing bad about it, but if you want a larger group of people to participate, you will face organizational problems, figuring out everybody has a real life, plus some of them already have a job and they are not interested in a job-fashioned activities. You will need to design a flexible style of organization or you will end up with a group of a few people. Maybe the solution is simple and you just divide the project in parts and everyone is doing their own part simultaneously. While one can easily achieve it with level building itself, still I think such initiative will require a full-time effort or really strong organizational rules when it comes to combine everything with a story, place objectives or other aspects of general gameplay.

    What I am trying to say is, if we decide to do something different than a classic contest, we should decide on something more decentralized and less flow-based. I don't know yet what it should be. I have a few ideas. Everybody, feel free to brainstorm.

    How about this one: A megaproject of a city-themed megamission, which might sound as a nightmare to a city theme haters but has a potential to be an epic product of collaborative dromeding between independent taffers.
    Rule: Everyone publish your own town house made in DromEd 2 with stock resources and derivs only.
    Optional: you can create the interior of the building, too.
    Bonus: you can make other buildings like museum, hotel, police station etc.
    Bonus: you are not limited to submitting one building only.
    Important: ROLES. We need at least two people with following roles:
    City Planner: A guy designing the city map and selling land to interested taffers, so that they can build their dromed architecture there.
    City Builder: A guy loading multibrushes submitted by participants and joining them together in one city, according to rules set by a city planner. The city builder should be allowed to glue everything with city walls, street vertical design, decorations and other details making it possible to receive something that resembles a city in a final product.
    If you ask me, you can either join these two roles into one person or split the roles to quarters if we want a larger city.
    Mission itself objectives: Loot objectives only
    Last edited by Marzec; 7th Dec 2018 at 19:46.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Boston MA
    As I think back in time, we were given a lot of fun missions because of contests in the past. I believe the TDP 20th anniversary has given the best, but that is my bias.

    Any contest is a good idea in my opinion. As an aside, I committed to the 20th anniversary contest and failed miserably to hit the deadline. Creating confines in size, time, type, etc. just makes it easier to get authors focused. I would be happy with a one year, stock resources contest. It would result in a good number of missions and also would create missions that are not huge and can be maybe completed in one sitting. That to me is a lot of fun.

  4. #29
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    The problem with working on a campaign for the T2 20th instead of a contest is, you're excluding all the beginner to intermediate dromeders who want to participate. Any campaign should be of the highest quality, and likely only the seasoned community veterans around here would be able to do it justice.

    Of course, there's no reason we can't do both (a campaign and a contest). Any group project like a campaign would require a strong leader, whereas a contest kind of runs itself and people are free to do what they want at their own pace.

  5. #30
    Very good point, Brethren. Ttlg should keep in heart encouraging new people to make maps for thief, and there's been plenty of newbies during this contest (includin me :c) which is awesome. And refreshing.
    Collaboration campaign sure sounds nice, but it's a much more complex endeavour.

  6. #31
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Never start a campaign unless you are absolutely, 1000% sure you can finish it within a short timeframe. In fact, do not start a campaign at all. If someone invites you on a campaign team, run.

    -- t. Guy Who Has Learned This Lesson At His Own Cost

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    The problem with working on a campaign for the T2 20th instead of a contest is, you're excluding all the beginner to intermediate dromeders who want to participate. Any campaign should be of the highest quality, and likely only the seasoned community veterans around here would be able to do it justice.

    Of course, there's no reason we can't do both (a campaign and a contest). Any group project like a campaign would require a strong leader, whereas a contest kind of runs itself and people are free to do what they want at their own pace.
    I see what you're saying. We don't want to exclude anyone in this fan-based community. And if contests is what brings more fun, I understand this. If we have enough man power to do both, that would be brilliant.

    My idea was to create a project of the complexity level of campaigns that normally take 10 years for a single person to do all the stuff on their own (well, usually still with a help of others, of course). But this time all the work would be better organized, with each mission being developed simultaneously and a team of artists working on custom resources, to make it a unique experience. Something that would bring the creations to the engine's limits. Using the T2 anniversary could be a strong motivational factor for such a thing to happen, as otherwise these ideas tend to stretch in time endlessly.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbb
    I would be happy with a one year, stock resources contest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marzec
    Everyone publish your own town house made in DromEd 2 with stock resources and derivs only.
    No, please no! Why would people enjoy imposing such strong limitation on themselves?!? OK, I kind of understood it for this T1 anniversary contest, but for T2 we'd need to think in terms of future and breaking the limits, rather than confining ourselves into something that we know just too well. Some of us play these days on higher than full HD screens and sticking to 64x64 px textures is just too harsh thing for the eyes and the brain to do.
    Then think about all the custom content, which is among the biggest contribution of the community - why would you want to exclude all this community effort?

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    Never start a campaign unless you are absolutely, 1000% sure you can finish it within a short timeframe. In fact, do not start a campaign at all. If someone invites you on a campaign team, run.

    -- t. Guy Who Has Learned This Lesson At His Own Cost
    Are you talking here about your TDM experience?
    Why not learn from it, instead of running away?
    If nobody dare to starts campaign, then the community will never have any more campaigns, right?

  9. #34
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Quote Originally Posted by PinkDot View Post
    Why not learn from it, instead of running away?
    There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

    Also, The Black Parade never ever.

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    If and when a Thief 2 Anniversary contest happens, I definitely think it should stick to stock assets. Firstly, because an Anniversary contest is a celebration of the original game, warts and all! Other contests will exist with parameters more conducive to custom assets. Secondly, if people have a long time to make an FM with custom assets for a competition, we will invariably end up with a load of bloated maps with massive poly counts that tank the framerate and ugly +512px .dds textures that cause insoluble temporal aliasing (unless you manually compress their resolution in GIMP etc!) because authors will want to demonstrate their DromEd prowess. It's amazing that NewDark runs as well as it does; far as I can tell, it doesn't even properly support multiple CPU cores.

    Some of us are lucky to have powerful modern computers, and even with these we have to deal with the limits of an ancient game engine. I have seen many people excluded from playing excellent newer FMs because they do not have high-end hardware; this should not be mandatory for ~20 year old games! I think Melan's Rose Garden has shown that you can make staggeringly large and impressive FMs without making them prohibitively performance-heavy.

    (...I also selfishly wish I could play everything at 120fps, and most FMs kindly oblige)

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2018
    I think another contest similar to this one would be good. It's a sensible way to celebrate each game, it would be a good opportunity for anyone who wanted but wasn't able to make an FM for this contest, and it seems to have been a magnet for new authors.

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkDot View Post
    Why would people enjoy imposing such strong limitation on themselves?!? OK, I kind of understood it for this T1 anniversary contest, but for T2 we'd need to think in terms of future and breaking the limits, rather than confining ourselves into something that we know just too well
    The limitations force you to get creative. Breaking limits doesn't mean better design and missions such as The Tower are great in no small part because of their constraints.
    Personally, after the Thief 2 anniversary contest, I would like to see a brush and object count restriction contest similar to Quake's 100 Brush Contest. It would be interesting to see what people come up with when they're compelled to ditch the greebles.

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by Schlock View Post
    The limitations force you to get creative. Breaking limits doesn't mean better design and missions such as The Tower are great in no small part because of their constraints.
    Personally, after the Thief 2 anniversary contest, I would like to see a brush and object count restriction contest similar to Quake's 100 Brush Contest. It would be interesting to see what people come up with when they're compelled to ditch the greebles.
    True, but *time* is always a constraint.
    Object and brush count sounds interesting though, just as long as it's a reasonable number. (100 seems like too little for anything interesting in Thief game)
    We could also try something like zip file constraint or resource files number constraint. So, you'd have a pool of let's say 100 files and it would be up to you if how do you spend this credit - books, cutscenes, map files, textures, models, motions etc...

    Or we could go for a "No XXX" kind of a rule, where XXX would be an element chosen from a predefined pool of common gameplay or world elements in Thief. For example: [blackjack, extinguishable light, electric light, a human guard, crate, lock pick, door, window, wooden texture] etc... So, you'd pick whatever suits you, let's say "No windows" and build a mission with no windows - so probably you'd have to come up with some dunegeons or forest or underwater etc...

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by PinkDot View Post
    Or we could go for a "No XXX" kind of a rule, where XXX would be an element chosen from a predefined pool of common gameplay or world elements in Thief. For example: [blackjack, extinguishable light, electric light, a human guard, crate, lock pick, door, window, wooden texture] etc... So, you'd pick whatever suits you, let's say "No windows" and build a mission with no windows - so probably you'd have to come up with some dunegeons or forest or underwater etc...
    This idea is similar to that of the Words Contest. I'd love to see another one of those. After the vanilla Thief 2 contest, of course.
    Last edited by marbleman; 8th Dec 2018 at 06:32.

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Location: Detox clinic
    A problem with having another contest using only stock assets is that there are a number of authors who will not enter the contest without being allowed to use custom objects.

    We've just had a stock assets contest so why have another one immediately on the heels of this one? There will be plenty of time later for another stock assets contest, after all it won't too be long before the 30th anniversary of Thief.

    Thief is 20 years old, Newdark is 6 years old, and too many people to mention have made a whole repository of custom objects in the intervening years, there must be 1000's of custom objects available to authors nowadays, so why ask authors to restrict themselves to the limitations of assets from 20 years ago?

    By doing that you are in some ways restricting the parameters of the judging criteria to the story telling abilities of the authors and the mission build quality alone, but with allowing custom objects and textures you are widening the contest massively.

    Lets celebrate the T2 20th anniversary by showing the world how far thief has evolved in 20 years.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by fortuni View Post
    By doing that you are in some ways restricting the parameters of the judging criteria to the story telling abilities of the authors and the mission build quality alone
    I mean, yeah. Seriously, what other criteria would you judge any mission by? Yes, you could add in a "looks" criteria, but honestly if people want to compete on art skills, the Dark Engine is really the wrong tool with which to do so. And anyway, people have made great-looking missions for this contest, even with the "stock resources only" rule. The Mages' Guild in An Enigmatic Treasure for example. And Catacombs of Knoss has done great things taking that limitation in a different direction.

    But then I've never been a fan of high res textures and high poly models in the Dark Engine, and doubtless many other authors will disagree with me on this point.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Location: Detox clinic
    I'm neither a particular fan of either stock items or high res poly, I can appreciate both with some recent missions using custom objects completely blowing me away with the authors stunning use of Newdark abilities, yet at the same time some recent missions being completely forgettable due to terrible plots, sloppy build quality or just being not engaging. On the other hand there are so many wonderful missions from the early days when authors had no option but to stick to stock items.

    I was only suggesting that allowing custom objects and textures in the next contest would introduce an extra dimension to how people would judge those missions. It wouldn't mean that the author who made the most stunningly good looking mission would win as they would need to also have a strong plot, good design etc. but it would add a layer of complexity over and above what we will all be voting on in this current contest.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    The campaign idea is an utopia, I'm afraid. Not only does it drastically limit everyone's scope, but it requires an amount of coordination that is plainly unfeasible with many contributors. I mean we already have enough troubles with The Black Parade with four people, just imagine the same thing but with 10-12, even if that campaign only has 4 missions. I think it's best to stick to individual mission releases rather than a coherent whole.

    I'm also more leaning towards the same limitations as the previous contest with this one, but I think it'd be a good idea to include T1 assets as well since LGS did have them at their disposal when they made T2 (and ditched most of them in the end).

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2014
    Location: Poland
    Stock resources are extremely boring

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurhhan View Post
    Stock resources are extremely boring
    This opinion is extremely wrong !

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Both arguments have their merits. Limitation breeds creativity and shows true talent and skill, but the same can be said for allowing people to go hogwild with anything they want. I'd think it makes no sense to have 1 contest be stock only and then the next contest, which is moreso just an extension of the first, get rid of that.

    It's also a year and a half away from completion, so I don't think that really qualifies as "immediately".

  21. #46
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurhhan View Post
    Stock resources are extremely boring
    The authors for the 23 recently released missions would disagree with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psych0sis View Post
    It's also a year and a half away from completion, so I don't think that really qualifies as "immediately".
    A T2 contest like the T1 one going on now would have to start in March 2019, which is less than 3 months away.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    A T2 contest like the T1 one going on now would have to start in March 2019, which is less than 3 months away.
    Sorry, I meant it as "when people with get to play these maps" not "when they'll technically be allowed to start building them".

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by marbleman View Post
    This opinion is extremely wrong !
    All opinions are good. I'm for authors doing what they want. And I want to see creativity and not few people who decide what is good or not for a contest. Let authors be free ! (yes it's my slogan)

  24. #49
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    Almost all of the other contests over the last 15+ years have been for T2 and have allowed custom content (while restricting in other ways, such as size or theme). We only have one 20th Anniversary Contest for Thief 2 and I don't see why we wouldn't want it to be like the current contest - plus allow usage of T1G content as well, and derived resources. Anything else is just another contest IMHO. One change I can see, though - perhaps allowing custom .bin files which are stock models with only the texture changed would be nice, as it would make it much easier to have a variety of objects and AI's without violating the stock and stock-derived only rule.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    One change I can see, though - perhaps allowing custom .bin files which are stock models with only the texture changed would be nice, as it would make it much easier to have a variety of objects and AI's without violating the stock and stock-derived only rule.
    I'd be in favour of that. I wanted to make a statue version of the apebeast in my T1 FM (by just desaturating and filtering the existing texture), but since there was no reskinnable version of the model, I ended up with a statue that looks like an actual frozen apebeast. Which is okay, but not ideal.

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