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

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by Marzec View Post
    After reading of what trefoilknot said, in the end I think the "vanilla mode" we all speak about here is making too strong limitations. I know you can make really good mission with stock resources only. On the other hand, if you want to make your plot interesting, you will add a new character or a special item, etc... Which is just not possible with these strict rules.
    Exactly - it's not about getting some people to win by throwing in all them mind blowing HD textures and fancy high poly models, to dazzle the audience. It's just about allowing authors to realize their vision and make more interesting missions for the fans.

    ---
    One could also argue why do we even allow for custom books? The talented people can then tell great stories and have unfair advantage over the ones who can only create pretty pictures but are crappy storytellers! After all string files are assets just like any other custom resources.
    Let's stick to stock books only!...

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    Of all the arguments you used in favor of custom resources, this last one is *by far* the weakest.

  3. #78
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    You can make new skins for AI, so long as you use stock assets, as was done for the recent contest.

    Sticking with stock resources is the best way to go, IMO. It is closer in keeping with the spirit of the anniversary of the release of Thief 2.

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    I feel like these complaints about the graphical fidelity of Thief 1/2 have been addressed by the half-dozen graphics mods and enhancement packs that exist. If you so desire, you can change the way Thief looks from stock to custom. The inverse cannot be so easily done.

  5. #80
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: The lovers the dreamers and me
    Thief FM contests missions, past and present, exist inside certain restrictions. That is the beauty of it: to challenge authors, new and experienced, to work within those boundaries, and to find out what can be done with it. It's fun, and it opens avenues not otherwise explored for those who participate, and hopefully, to surprise those who play. If there is any evidence that restricting to stock assets doesn't scare creators away, well, duh. It's with this 20th anniversary contest we are all enjoying, authors and players alike. If anyone isn't enjoying what this contest has gifted us, then I suspect they haven't played the 23 missions included in this set.

    We could argue that the challenges set by all previous contests weren't fun or fair.. so those who didn't want to participate, simply didn't. If we didn't want to participate, we made something else. It doesn't stop anyone from building.. it never stopped me, and we all want those missions, too. We have seen some great stuff from the ones who have worked inside those boundaries, however, that opened possibilities we hadn't thought of before.

    I love custom assets, too. But all contests have a specific set of challenges that authors must work within. That is the entire point. If people don't want to participate inside such boundaries, then just make a mission and release it outside of the contest. No one is being forced, here. If you don't like the rules of a contest, then don't participate. We'll probably love what you make, too. But at this point, the previous suggestions to make T2 anniversary a 'no-idea-what-the-rules-are-contest' are pretty lame.

  6. #81
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    Well said Pukey, I agree. And I get the feeling that some here may mistakenly think that the TDP20 Contest and the proposal here for TMA20 is for stock resources ONLY, but that's not true - it is stock and stock-derived resources only. Some authors chose not to do much customization by deriving new resources from stock ones, but others went crazy with it with brilliant results. One need look no further than Pukey and Tannar's own entry to see a mission which at first glance looks mostly custom, because it was so well done, and because they were challenged by the rule and found a way to realize their vision for the mission(s) using their creativity.

    In my opinion, allowing any custom content the author wishes goes against the spirit of celebrating the original game, would conflict with the TDP20 contest, and would make this pretty much just another FM contest, its only connection to TMA20 being the end date.

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    The Thief 2 anniversary contest could be a great way of reviving or even completing Thief 2 Gold

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by pukey brunster View Post
    Thief FM contests missions, past and present, exist inside certain restrictions. That is the beauty of it: to challenge authors, new and experienced, to work within those boundaries, and to find out what can be done with it. It's fun, and it opens avenues not otherwise explored for those who participate, and hopefully, to surprise those who play. If there is any evidence that restricting to stock assets doesn't scare creators away, well, duh. It's with this 20th anniversary contest we are all enjoying, authors and players alike. If anyone isn't enjoying what this contest has gifted us, then I suspect they haven't played the 23 missions included in this set.

    We could argue that the challenges set by all previous contests weren't fun or fair.. so those who didn't want to participate, simply didn't. If we didn't want to participate, we made something else. It doesn't stop anyone from building.. it never stopped me, and we all want those missions, too. We have seen some great stuff from the ones who have worked inside those boundaries, however, that opened possibilities we hadn't thought of before.

    I love custom assets, too. But all contests have a specific set of challenges that authors must work within. That is the entire point. If people don't want to participate inside such boundaries, then just make a mission and release it outside of the contest. No one is being forced, here. If you don't like the rules of a contest, then don't participate. We'll probably love what you make, too. But at this point, the previous suggestions to make T2 anniversary a 'no-idea-what-the-rules-are-contest' are pretty lame.
    This is probably the best post so far that explains the whole "stock/stock derived textures only" side. Well said mate.

  9. #84
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    The Thief 2 anniversary contest could be a great way of reviving or even completing Thief 2 Gold
    No. Just no. It's been well established that the content that was released is far too incomplete to really do this, which is one main reason why it's not been done in all these years.

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    One of the exceptions to "stock resources" in TDP20AC was having a limited number of custom book artworks allowed. This was vital for me, since it allowed me to include my puzzle with crucial information presented in a diagram that players could figure out, and not simply text. Allowing some, but limited, meant I could have these plot-critical, gameplay-critical elements in the mission, that were unique and important to the mission.

    But when we look at all the TDP20AC missions that want you to steal a McGuffin, the "no custom models" rule means I have stolen many identical scepters, horns of quintus, lucky hands of glory, and so on. It's in these plot-critical, gameplay-critical items that the rule is most detrimental.

    So for a Thief 2 contest, if it does have a general "stock resources only" rule, I'd love to see an exception that was limited. For example, you're allowed a "budget" of 20 (for the sake of example) completely custom resources total: then authors decide what those resources should be according to what's important in their design: models, textures, book art, movies, meshes, music—all are allowed just as long as there's no more than 20 all together.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    No. Just no. It's been well established that the content that was released is far too incomplete to really do this, which is one main reason why it's not been done in all these years.
    To be fair, I think that one mission in the "slums" district, and I use quotes cause it doesn't look anything like a slum at all, seems to be at least a good chunk of the way through to completion.

    Though from the looks of it, its really linear and looks boring and would probably need a map layout redesign to have any chance of being interesting. And at that point, you might as well just... make your own mission, lol.

  12. #87
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    Quote Originally Posted by vfig View Post
    So for a Thief 2 contest, if it does have a general "stock resources only" rule, I'd love to see an exception that was limited. For example, you're allowed a "budget" of 20 (for the sake of example) completely custom resources total: then authors decide what those resources should be according to what's important in their design: models, textures, book art, movies, meshes, music—all are allowed just as long as there's no more than 20 all together.
    This is something we're also exploring, and I like this idea the best I think. Stock + derivatives + a finite amount of custom resources.

  13. #88
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    I agree with Pukey completely. Having limitations in a contest is a good idea. Also, being limited to stock resources for this contest was challenging but forced us to really get familiar with them, and to be creative in their use. One suggestion I might make is that instead of true custom material, the authors be allowed to create new .bin files from stock objects. This will make it possible to have multiple versions of a stock object, just with recolored or otherwise altered stock textures. For example, the same couch model could be used with different textures so that every house doesn't have the exact same couch, etc.

  14. #89
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    That idea has been proposed as well, and I like it, probably better than allowing some finite number of "true" custom resources.

  15. #90
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Right, it isn't a contest without a challenge, and the challenge is what draws in builders. "Look at this thing I made with the same set of restrictions".

    I'm an HD guy but if I think of HD as chocolate cake and OM assets as cheese cake, then the talent here made cheesecake with the best toppings, but in biting in you remember, on yeah cheese cake is ----ing good. These last missions show that, and some made an arrangement of maraschino cherries in light puffs of whip cream that I sat there looking at it in awe before digging in.

    What am I saying? Not sure but I have a sweet tooth it seems. This contest had some of the best game play ever, showing a degree of where we are now in talent, regardless of stock resource restriction.

    Edit: I was in the fated Hammer Imperium team, so I get the fear of campains, but honestly, it can be done with teams like Pinkdot says, but you need some online tools and docs to manage everything, there has to be a central guy which can be a real tosser.
    Last edited by gamophyte; 11th Dec 2018 at 13:12.

  16. #91
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Exactly!

  17. #92
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    I don't think anyone was saying campaigns can't be done, just that trying to get one done in one year for, or in lieu of, the contest was unreasonable.

  18. #93
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    No. Just no. It's been well established that the content that was released is far too incomplete to really do this, which is one main reason why it's not been done in all these years.
    Yeah, but there's mission names, general storylines, and some concept art that could be greatly expanded by talented authors. It wouldn't be a stretch to recreate that Waking the Dead mission, a castle full of necromancers, etc

  19. #94
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    I didn't mean to imply the released material couldn't be of value or inspiration. Only that trying to complete Thief 2 Gold as a full blown campaign with strict adherence to LGS' original plans and vision probably isn't doable (if for no other reason than we don't have a complete picture of their plans and vision for it).

  20. #95
    Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Quote Originally Posted by pukey brunster View Post
    Thief FM contests missions, past and present, exist inside certain restrictions. That is the beauty of it: to challenge authors, new and experienced, to work within those boundaries, and to find out what can be done with it. It's fun, and it opens avenues not otherwise explored for those who participate, and hopefully, to surprise those who play...

    ...[A]ll contests have a specific set of challenges that authors must work within. That is the entire point.
    Quote Originally Posted by gamophyte View Post
    Right, it isn't a contest without a challenge, and the challenge is what draws in builders. "Look at this thing I made with the same set of restrictions".
    Absolutely, limitation can force creativity and thus spur clever innovations. No question. But we've got about two dozen recently released missions subject to the "stock only" limitation. It's hard to argue that we should reprise the exact same limitation, ~3 months later, for the sheer "limits force creative thinking!" factor. There are tons of other limitations that haven't been used [as recently] that would also force creative thinking. For example, I've always loved small map contests. Creating a 64x64x64 map that's worth spending several hours in requires tremendous creativity! (To clarify, I'm not saying we should go this route, just using it as an example.)

    Given the circumstances, I think the best argument in favor of the "stock only" limitation would be some variant on the following: "The goal is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Thief 2. Accordingly, we want the entries to mimic the look/feel of the original game as closely as possible. The use of custom content runs counter to that goal and should therefore be banned."

    Fair enough. That's a perfectly reasonable opinion to hold---I simply don't share the sentiment. It's perfectly valid to allow nostalgia to drive the rules of the contest, it just wouldn't be my personal preference. But if it is driven by nostalgia, we should be honest about it. Not try to argue that some other consideration is the reason for a "stock only" limitation. The other arguments (which I've seen so far) don't seem to hold water.

    If we want to impose limits for the sake of making the entries more interesting (a la pukey brunster's and gamophyte's comments), I'd be very much on board with that. I think there are a lot of interesting limitations that could be imposed.
    Last edited by trefoilknot; 11th Dec 2018 at 16:02. Reason: Wanted to incorporate pukey brunster's comments, which were also relevant.

  21. #96
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Just my 0.02, but I thought the real challenge of a contest was creating a mission that was better than everyone else's? Or at the very least, to create a "good" mission that players will enjoy. I don't think we need to limit ourselves to stock resources to provide a challenge for people.

    With the T1G contest, it made sense. T1G has a distinct style, much of which was changed when T2 came out. Plus, it was the original Thief game. So I get going old school there. But it just happened, is happening. Do we really want to have two stock resource contests in a row?

    There have been dozens of contests over the years, but most of the time any restrictions were usually centered around the fact that there was a time limit of 3-6 months to create something. So that made sense too. But in this case, with a year to build, I don't see why authors shouldn't be allowed to used some custom material.

  22. #97
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Planet Crazy Pants
    In a bit short of 20 years, FM's have gone from this:


    to this:


    I see no reason to limit an Anniversary Contest, which is really a celebration, to honor LGS' initial contributions and the FM Thief universe. Encouraging the continued inspiration within the community will ensure it's prosperity and survival.

    20 years. What are we celebrating if not the leaps and bounds made & abilities utilized by the fine authors here?

  23. #98
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    Newdark would allow you to do that second shot with mostly stock and stock-derived assets.

  24. #99
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2017
    Location: Saxony/Germany
    I doubt that the first fm's looked like your first screenshot, they were probably at 640x480 and didn't use high res textures

  25. #100
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Random_Taffer View Post
    Newdark would allow you to do that second shot with mostly stock and stock-derived assets.
    Yep, in fact 2-3 missions from the TDP20AC look more impressive and dense than the 2nd photo, all using stock/stock-derived.

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