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Thread: Thief: The Dark Project 20th Anniversary Contest: RESULTS! Mar 1 2019

  1. #51
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    You can publish all of ours too. And thanks for doing this work!

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Location: The Mystic's Keep
    Yep. I've got no problems with public criticism.

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2015
    Location: Wisconsin
    No objections here.

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    Congratulations to all for a truly unforgettable experience! A fitting tribute to a remarkable game.
    To paraphrase the bejesus out of Dryden:
    'Tis sufficient to say according to the Proverb, that here is The Builder's Plenty'.
    Bravo, my fellow Taffers. Bravo.
    Last edited by Purgator; 7th Mar 2019 at 02:51.

  5. #55
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2019
    Lost among the Forsaken from Drk ? Who made the Rockburgs series ? Well, I'm not really surprised. Zombies, scary creatures and creepy atmosphere that makes you want to play with the light on. That's his style.
    Anyway there is a lot of talent here, a big thank to all authors for these hours (weeks?) of fun.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    I am so sad I only got to play a handful of these before the voting ended. I surely have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months. Huge congrats to Tannar and Pukey Brunster on the win! And a huge thanks to all participants for all the hard work and great results, whatever the overall score. This contest has shown this forum truly is a special place.
    Last edited by klatremus; 8th Mar 2019 at 21:59.
    Klatremus' Supreme Thief Site - Walkthroughs, Loot Lists & Ghost Reports
    Let's Supreme Ghost Thief - YouTube Channel with Thief Let's Plays

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: São Paulo
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post

    They barely edged out DrK and skacky for the win!

    Attachment 2546
    Yandros, I "don't have permission to access" this and other images. Seems to be some problem with user permissions. I can`t edit my profile either. Could you see what is happening please? Thanks!

    ps: I cant acces your profile, so, I had to contact you here.

    By the way, congrats to winners!

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2012
    Location: Shalebridge Cradle
    Well done to one and all; there are some absolute gems amongst the many entries and every entry was enjoyable to play.

  9. #59
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Quote Originally Posted by leconbras View Post
    Yandros, I "don't have permission to access" this and other images. Seems to be some problem with user permissions. I can`t edit my profile either. Could you see what is happening please? Thanks!

    ps: I cant acces your profile, so, I had to contact you here.

    By the way, congrats to winners!
    There has been a problem in the past with certain email addresses and yours came under that criteria. I've made the changes to your account and you should be able to see what you want to see. Let me know if you still have problems.

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: São Paulo
    Thanks! Problem solved!

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2004
    Location: Cape Breton Nova Scotia Canada
    These were just fantastic missions so congratulations, you all showed incredible skills with these and some of them will go down as classics.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: Denmark
    Did Yandros ever post the comments for each mission anywhere? I would love to read them
    Last edited by Tommyph1208; 22nd Mar 2019 at 06:06.

  13. #63
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    No I didn't, because Tannar told me he would be doing it. However if he is too busy, I should be able to get to it this weekend. I will be posting the thread announcing the T2 contest within the next 12 hours as well.

  14. #64
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Yeah, I got busy and kind of dropped the ball on this. Sorry for that. I'll have them up later today, I hope.

  15. #65
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: The lovers the dreamers and me
    Just post all comments, yes? I don't understand this 'pick three of the best' idea..? Then, it's up to the mods to decide the "best". I, for one, would like to see all the thoughts the community wanted to say about our missions posted here, good, bad, and ugly.

    Does anyone object?

    I think it's wrong to not let the voices of the people who have played our missions, whether the players liked them or not, to not have a voice here.
    Last edited by pukey brunster; 22nd Mar 2019 at 22:54. Reason: Deep thoughts by Jack Handy

  16. #66
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    Authors (including you) were already sent all of the comments on their mission and several chose to post them all in their mission threads, so feel free to do that if you want all the comments on your mission to be made public. But don't ask for us to unilaterally do that for all authors, it needs to be their decision to do that or not. Some will not want all the comments left for their missions made public.
    Last edited by Yandros; 23rd Mar 2019 at 12:06.

  17. #67
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: The lovers the dreamers and me
    I can concede to that.. I hadn't fully considered that there may be some who would rather keep them private for a myriad of reasons, and there are a large number of missions (23) so it would be impractical to make such a loooong post.

  18. #68
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    The length of the post was never a concern, just the feelings and privacy of the different authors.

  19. #69
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008

    TDP 20th Anniversary Contest Comments

    Following is a sample of some of the comments made during voting for each of the contest missions. I did my best to choose a fair mix of praise and constructive criticism. Many of the authors have already posted a complete list of their comments in their own mission threads. This is just to give a sample conveniently in one place.

    An Enigmatic Treasure with a Recondite Discovery

    What the heck is recondite? I dunno, but it's a mission with good traps and mechanics.
    The visual is pretty simple but the story is done correctly.

    **********

    This is a highly atmospheric mission that mixes things up quite a bit. You have a city, an opera house, warehouses and a mages' guild. The first thing that's really striking with that one is the shadows, which look very sharp and dark, unlike anything else you've seen so far in Thief, I think. This makes it so that the very dark shadows and dramatic lighting give this mission a highly oppressive atmosphere that is reminiscent of Sperry's Shadow of Doubt, especially Walking the Edge. Overall, every area in this mission is well designed as far as visuals and sound go. The opera house is obviously modeled after Song of the Caverns and the warehouses are very much similar to Shipping and Receiving, but they all fit somehow. I also quite like the huge cranes near the warehouses.

    The main problem with this mission is visible very quickly: there's way, way too many AIs walking around. Looking for gaps in patrols takes a lot of time and hiding bodies correctly can be a challenge considering the guards can be very uppity. There are also a few un-blackjackable AIs wandering the streets. The warehouse is the only area that mostly doesn't suffer from this. Not only this, but the mages' guild with the detection mechanic can become incredibly frustrating too. Some of the puzzles are also a bit obtuse so you're encouraged to look around everywhere before you tackle them.

    Story-wise, this is nothing really special. It does the job quite well. Just a "simple" heist that turns out harder that expected. I will say that I dig the way the guild is hidden. All in all, this is a good mission that does have quite a few issues.

    **********

    Certainly fun with multiple areas, and the "suddenly, you're in the mage's hideout because you're wearing a magic bracelet" was a lot of fun. However, too many AI, too many hard floors (in both the opera house and the mage's hideout), and too much key-finding.

    **********

    As the readme prepares you, this is Thief on hard mode. Tight and frequent AI traffic, lots of tile and unextinguishable lights in two of the main locations, advanced opponents (lantern guards, alerts, enhanced vision, etc.) – making this, ironically enough, one of the easier GORT missions. If you enjoy a good challenge, this is challenging. If you prefer a comfortable and relaxing experience, look elsewhere. It is not always fair; tile abuse rears its ugly head, and the equipment you get is negligible. Sometimes, it is too large physically for its own good (there is a fair amount of backtracking, and a few keys are hard to miss).

    The mission itself pays homage to multiple classic missions: the streets of Assassins, the opera house from Song of the Caverns, the mages’ compound (although this treatment is more opera-like, and way more fun than Thief Gold’s absolute nadir), and, slightly out of contest bounds, the industrial warehouse complex of Shipping and Receiving. This is how you do a good homage: each look the part (with smooth visuals and moody shadows), each capture something essential from the kind of gameplay which had made those missions memorable, and each push their respective sources of inspiration a little further.

  20. #70
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Catacombs of Knoss

    Visual & Atmosphere : Perfect !
    Storytelling : You know your job !
    Gameplay : Redundant with the key hunts but quite rich !

    This is a perfect catacomb mission that will beat them all ! The city and hammerite parts are nevertheless less perfect despite the fact those have been well-made.

    **********

    Catacombs of Knoss was astoundingly atmospheric and creative. The city depicted in part 1 borders on surreal, with tall and imposing buildings and suitably gaudy interior design. The pagoda was a highlight. Part 2 contains a ton of puzzles that, thankfully, are not too challenging (the only one likely to stump anyone is optional). Although the catacombs are incredibly dark and spooky, there's an underlying sense of levity (the conclusion of the Mathematician's challenge and the amped-up escape from the water temple both made me laugh out loud). The only flaw here is that many of the puzzles are repetitive in nature - you'll figure it out, and then be asked to solve it again without much variation.

    **********

    This was my favorite of the mission entries because I had the most fun playing it. You really nailed the gameplay, especially in mission two. I love puzzle-style missions and yours were creative and fresh, not too difficult, and yet challenging. That, combined with a great map to explore, made for a fun gaming experience that left me feeling exhilarated even after four hours of play. Very well done! I love what you did with some of the AI - especially that crazy looking lantern ghost lurking near the Tower of Silence. Some of your effects were amazing (in particular the tower objectives) and you managed to create an even-better version of a Bonehoard in mission 2. I never needed to check the forums for how to proceed, and the only criticism I can think of is that some areas could have included more atmosphere in the sense of visuals and/or lighting. Given the sheer size of the mission, though, and time restrictions for the contest, that simply may not have been possible. I also want to point out that the ambient sounds you used were very well placed and thought out. Kudos and thanks for this great experience - your work went far and above.

    **********

    This is a tale of 2 missions. The first mission is a $%& damn GOAT. Super chill, fun verticality and challenge.

    The second mission was super frustrating, broke on me 3 times, and was too damn dark. Brings the score down for what honestly would have been the best damn mission of the contest.

    **********

    This is probably my favorite mission of the contest. The overall feel was not as atmospheric in many places as some of the other entries (for example some areas might benefit from some more moody lighting), yet at the same time it managed to capture the feel of the original missions better, for me, than any other entry. Add to that the jaw-dropping size of the mission set and its complexity, both in architecture and in technical details, as well as the numerous clever, well-designed and -executed puzzles, and you have an immersive experience that keeps you engaged from start to finish.

    In addition to all of that, the gameplay was top notch, and by far the highlight of the mission set. Numerous custom AI were creepy, unnerving and loads of fun. The AI number and placement was very well done and made for challenging, but never frustrating, gameplay.

    The story was well thought out and well told, with numerous hints and texts that aided in furthering your quests. I never had to consult the forum to continue and finish the mission. Some of the SFX were astounding. My favorites were the book page explosion, and the staged mage fight. The sound work was superlative and added immensely to the immersion and experience. The Talisman of Atunement was a great idea providing both a fun little diversion and a means of making the exploring and traversing less tiresome.

    I had loads of fun in this mission set, and didn't want it to end. This mission made me feel like I was playing the original Thief again, a true homage to the original missions.

  21. #71
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Darkness Walk With Us!

    Very good FM. I really wasn't anticipating there to be anything beyond the inn section, what with all the bonus objectives (Ramirez's diamonds, the paint set, etc) that were there. You got me good when I was going down that fireplace, into the tombs beyond.

    So yeah, the way things opened up like that was nice. That theme was pretty constant throughout, what with all the blocked doorways you'd end up opening with X or Y item, making it easier to traverse the level.

    One of my favourite moments had to be the gauntlet with the fire guardian and the crushing ceiling. Talk about pressure! It was immensely satisfying to pull off.

    Some of the solutions to problems left me scratching my head for a while until I figured them out, but then I suppose it wouldn't be a good puzzle if it didn't do that. Using the pressure plate trap to kill the second guardian felt a little unintuitive, if only because it felt like such a... seemingly supernatural enemy should die to conventional arrows; otherwise I really liked it.

    **********

    I loved what at first seemed to be a small hotel mission, but it turned out to have giant surprise areas (the tomb and the pagan areas). A lot of fun, even though the puzzles were a little tricky.

    **********

    What appears to be a throwback to the style of early Thief FMs (“I have just learned about cylinders, so I am making a circular window”) unfolds into a much broader puzzle mission. These are almost all logical (although opening up new portcullises from a distance does not really feel fair), and you are provided with the clues not to make them too frustrating. Some are highly original, going beyond the well-known ideas found in the base game. On the other hand, since you have to solve all puzzles to complete the FM, it is also quite linear in the way it progresses, concealed by backtracking which becomes a chore after a while. The same goes with the AI – at first scary, they eventually become tiresome speed bumps. It is not on the immersive side (and does some rather unpleasant things to the Thief canon), but the puzzles are just very good.

    **********

    Lacked all the issues I've had with previous Haplo missions (all personal preferences, rather than shortcomings of the author!). All the puzzles were intuitive, and whenever I got lost or confused, within five minutes of thinking and investigation I figured it out. Much less abstruse than other puzzle FMs I have played. The atmosphere was excellent, and it captured the feel of Bonehoard without copying its cavernous tombs; the many smaller rooms were creepy and tightly knotted, and the pacing and sequence of the puzzles gave the impression of slowly looping around and untying this said knot. The hotel was perfect appetizer for the main course, and provided a satisfying reprise at the end. Well done.

  22. #72
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Dewinder Manor

    Solid Beginner Mission, story is silly so can't give it any higher but earns points for novelty. Good, solid Gameplay. Not much in way of atmosphere, but can't fault it for that too much.

    **********

    The construction of this mission and how it played are very reminiscent of some early fan missions. This is far from a bad thing, as it is very fun to play and the story, albeit rather humorous, was developed well through in-game text. Nothing spectacular was done here, but this does not noticeably hinder the experience and everything works well.

    **********

    The brushes and textures are reminiscent of early FMs like 'Geller's Pride' and 'Order of The Vine'. While the interior feels somewhat one-dimensional, it is at least less repetitive than Ramirez's mansion in 'Assassins'. A larger and less symmetrical layout might have given 'Lord Bafford's Manor' a run for its money, and the author's posts to The Editors' Guild have already shown a gigantic improvement. The Intruder painting puzzle was perfectly intuitive, and there are no obvious faults. It is essentially 10 minutes of simple Thief 1 fun.

    **********

    This mission is a classical T1-style one : trespassing on a manor house, robbing an object and getting out. It was a bit too short, but the manor was well-designed, even if a bit too simple, and quite little. But I remember I enjoyed the classical architecture of it and really had an impression to play a little T1 mission, like if it was one of the first missions of the original game.

    For sure, it would need more polishing to be a more impressive mission, and above all, it would have deserved to be longer, but the author probably didn't have enough time to do so. Never mind, exploring the mission was nice, with not too few and not too many guards, and a little puzzle at the end to complete the objectives (taff, what is this thing people have with Dewdrop ?! ^^ ).

    I'd also point out the shortness of the story too. It was rather interesting, with this noble having changed his behaviour after a trip, but since the mission itself was short, the story suffered from this. I was expecting to see more but quickly understood I had to do with it. Too bad, but good ideas so far.

    So this mission deserves to be played, for it makes efforts to be a real T1 mission, with a classical and nice style within. It's too bad it's so short but it's worth the time to play it.

  23. #73
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Downtowne Funk

    One of the best in the contest in terms of atmosphere. Author made some adjustments to the original TG sounds to make them feel somewhat new, and I’d say it worked pretty well. Also, nice use of particles in many places adds to overall feel, and the city is built brilliantly. The mission definitely has a classic Thief feel.

    Generally, the mission plays well. It’s about finding your way, sneaking, and thieving. The city is very accessible with many additional locations to drop by. Usually, there are also multiple entrances. On the other hand, I found it really annoying that almost everything possible was locked up, interrupting the flow way too often and for way longer than necessary. Also, the guards’ patrol routes could’ve been thought-out better as many of them pass through the same spot so it’s easy to camp in one place and knock them down one by one, especially in the mansion area.

    I liked that the story was partially derived from the original game, expanding one of its chapters. This way the action was entrenched in the original universe while still offering something new. Many fine readables were included. At the same time I thought it’s been cut too abruptly – it’d probably be better without that little twist near the end as it didn’t bring much in and left the mission feel unrewarding.

    **********

    Your mission felt like part of a Gold addition to the Gold edition : ) In fact, I wish it had been, as it made the original feel much more interesting. I hope we see part two someday. The ambients you chose were excellent, and your map was just the right size for fun gameplay and exploration, without exhausting the player. I loved the readables and little vignettes of humor throughout, while making your way through the story. As you, yourself, pointed out, the mission was incomplete in ways, and that feeling of incompletion can be felt at times, but even so you managed to create something fun for us to play.

    **********

    This little mission is a sleeper, kind of a gem. I say "little", but it's actually quite large, with several city sections to explore, as well as Reuben's fairly large mansion. The atmosphere is deceptive in that at first you feel like you're in a simple T1-style snatch and grab, but immediately as you start to progress, you are slowly and subtly sucked into a much richer environment than you see at first glance. This is due in part to the visuals: excellent use of stock textures in lovely ways, pleasing architecture that is both reminiscent of the OMs as well as organic and natural, and numerous little touches here and there, such as see-though windows which give the player a clue that a building can be entered.

    The gameplay was engaging and immersive, and I had fun exploring this part of town and finding out how to proceed with my goals. There are many more places to explore than are first apparent, many homes and businesses contain entertaining glimpses into the lives of the inhabitants, with some clever and funny situations.

    But the highlight of this mission is the story which is seamlessly woven into the original Thief canon, and furthers the story following the Thieves Guild mission offering a "what if" scenario that fits beautifully with the original. The writing here is original, clever, fun to read, and exceedingly well done, moving the story forward naturally from what happened in TDP. This would have made an excellent addition to the OMs, and certainly makes a wonderful tribute to them for this contest.

    **********
    Ever wondered how much easier it’d be to go from The Overlord’s Fancy to Reuben’s mansion without getting lost in those damn sewers? Wonder no more! It turns out the aboveground route is shorter, easier, and goes through a much more pleasant neighbourhood – the posh quarter above the seedy underbelly. It is an atmospheric, elegant-looking city mission with one focus point: Reuben’s mission, somewhat touched up to look better, but otherwise leaving it familiar. Something is still off about the place, helped by remarkably well-fitting ambients. Eerie.

    The mission has more places to explore, with a whole lot of loot for the taking, but lacks a little direction – extra objectives for the higher difficulty levels would not have been bad. Colour light in a Thief 1 mission would be absolutely haram, but here, it looks fairly good, with bluish moonlit streets and colourful interiors.

  24. #74
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Heart and Soul

    I thought everything was amazing overall in this FM. Beautiful architecture. Lots of secrets. Very creepy and melancholic atmosphere. Really liked the ambient sound and the look of the greenish rooms where you find the unfortunate souls turned into the undead. Another great thing about it is that though it reuses all the classic Thief:Gold assets/textures etc., it feels like it doesn't do that at all.

    *********

    There is a dingy and creepy vibe to this FM. It is the vibe that made everyone fall in love with 'Valley of the Burned' and 'Widow's Ire' in 2014. It is incredible that McTaffer has managed to seamlessly design a mission in collaboration with an author who has established such a distinctive style. Nothing feels misplaced or clunky; it feels like the work of a single auteur, despite being a collaboration built from an abandoned base. This speaks volumes about the talent of both authors.

    This is like Thief Gold, but more in every way. Very well done.

    *********

    Nice effort and good textures, also good base idea for the story. But the superstrong undead can be really annoying at times, even for undead fans I think.

    *********

    Clearly the best “A Wizard Dun It” map since the original Widow’s Ire, this mission doesn’t delve too deeply into backstory, but delivers in spades when it comes to gameplay and atmosphere. Rather, it follows the rules of environmental storytelling: the location itself, a ramshackle and labyrinthine “wizard’s castle”, tells its own stories as you explore it. The place is irregular and maze-like, but never backs you into a corner: there is an astounding number of ways through the place, taking you through hallways, back rooms and dark oubliettes. (It is fun that a shop item buys you extra access through the complex). There are multiple access points and multiple exits for the crucial areas, all subtly different in the challenges they pose.

    Along the way, the puzzles you will find are fantastic, but well rooted in Thief gameplay, and flow very naturally. The stock resources are also admirably customised, perhaps nowhere better than in the castle’s eerie, off-key catacomb system. All in all, this mission is a triumph, not just featuring a lot of smooth, well-tested design, but giving you something of the wonder of Thief as we first got to knew it. It is not quite “The Sword”, but the Lewis Carrol is strong in this one.

  25. #75
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    In & Out

    Awesome tour of Thief 1 environments. Fun to ghost! Story was a bit of an afterthought, but I liked how it expanded.

    **********

    A mission you could call "How did I end up in the Maw of Chaos from this taffing tiny Hammerite church ?" That was a most original gameplay choice and a very nice tribute to T1, suitable for such contest : exploring different T1 original missions in one single FM : more or less Undercover, Thieves' Guild, the Catacombs, The Lost City and the Maw of Chaos. Even if all of these little universes have few in common, the way you came from one to another in this mission was smartly designed and settled, with a little background to explain each change of universe. This mission was then all but monotonous and offered different and revisited parts of the original missions, enough so that you could recognize the inspiring mission without being a simple copy of it. For this, bravo !

    I enjoyed the long-way-no-return feeling this mission gave me, like I had it in other games, above all platform games. You also go deeper and deeper throughout the mission , giving the impression it's long and vast. And it is, above all the catacombs part which I find the best designed and the most original. Hard when you see the numerous and well-designed catacomb missions in this contest, but it was definitely original too there. Also enjoyed the underwater-walking craymen, this function is so underused, it was more than clever and challenging to use it there.

    Now the story is not the best you could find in a mission, its gameplay remains standard, and of course, since this mission reuses parts of the original missions, it loses in originality regarding the architecture and sound ambience. But this mission still has its own feeling and its choice of story-design, from a sub-level to another, was a good one to make this mission a good one. Also, even if the Trickster's beasts invasion at the end makes ending the mission difficult and almost unghostable, I still felt it was welcome, for it avoided a boring ending and still gave a little tension until you reach back the streets. So I won't blame the authors for that. Good mission with good ambience !

    **********

    If somebody made a Thief Gold amusement park, or turned it into a smoothie, you might get something like 'In & Out'. Where 'Ultimate Burglary' blended the city and mansion side of Thief Gold (warts and all!), this FM blends all the mystical and supernatural elements. You might call it jam-packed.

    I didn't enjoy it as much as 'Ultimate Burglary', however, for two reasons. Firstly, I simply prefer the urban environments -- others have the inverse preference. Secondly, I feel as if 'Ultimate Burglary' fleshed out each of its four areas more, perhaps with the exception of its own zombie area. This might be a side-effect of that FM being non-linear, meaning I spent more time in each area, whereas this one is totally linear. Speaking of an amusement park, this FM is like a rollercoaster -- gripping, but over too quickly. None of areas were fleshed out enough to stand on their own. But they aren't meant to stand on their own! As a whole, this is an enjoyable pastiche.

    **********

    An in-and-out job.. Garrett often gets more than he bargains for. This one started out deceptively slow, but the build was good, and surprises kept coming. The tombs were well-built and maze-like, and the new enemies fun to interact with. The baby crays.. adorable.. and the she-monsters.. I literally laughed out loud getting killed by one or three. Had a great time playing this, and it was a fun tribute to the OM's. Also, thanks for the abundance of fire arrows.. it was truly cathartic making use of them.

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