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Thread: Thief II: The Metal Age 20th Anniversary Contest - Mar 23, 2019

  1. #1
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach

    Thief II: The Metal Age 20th Anniversary Contest - Mar 23, 2019

    The 20th anniversary of Thief II: The Metal Age (well, the North American release anyway) is exactly a year from today, and we are announcing the official start of the contest NOW! You the Thief community have voted on the format between stock and stock-derived content vs. custom content, and stock and stock-derived has won! The poll is here.

    Starting today, you have exactly one year to build a mission for Thief 2 using stock and stock-derived resources. Please read the detailed rules below, for a select few custom resources are allowed for convenience’s sake. This year-long building period also includes beta-testing, so manage it carefully!

    Rules:
    • The mission(s) must be for Thief 2.
    • Collaborations are allowed.
    • Contestants are limited to stock and stock-derived resources (see below) but can use a custom gamesys (for custom schemas, scripts, unused objects etc…) as long as the mission doesn’t use any resources other than the stock and stock-derived ones.
    • Contestants can create texture families using the textures found in OBJ.CRF (useful for fake doors!)
    • Contestants can combine existing stock textures to create new ones (terrain/objects/meshes). Basic modifications such as hue, saturation and lightness changes are allowed, as long as the original texture it's based on is still recognizable, i.e. new textures need to be clearly identifiable as stock derivatives. A description of which textures you used to create new ones is welcome.
    • Contestants can use NewSky to have better starfields, as well as cloud decks, celestial objects and distant art. Alternatively, a skybox may also be used, but it must be a stock or stock-derived skybox.
    • Contestants can use custom scripts (NVScript, tnhScript, squirrel, etc).
    • Contestants can submit more than one mission.
    • Contestants can enter anonymously.
    • Contestants can use custom in-game maps for their mission(s).
    • Contestants can use custom video briefings, but not in-game cutscene movies.
    • Contestants can create new sound arrangements using stock sound files only. A new sound name needs to contain the name of the original file in it, e.g. m01drone_basscut.wav.
    • Contestants can use custom voice lines (new Garrett or guard lines for example).
    • Contestants can use Room-based weather effects and fogging.
    • Contestants can use up to two custom book arts per mission.
    • The mission(s) can be of any size.
    • The mission(s) can take advantage of NewDark. This includes: more polys and objects in view, zone-based ambient lighting and fog, sunlight, colored lighting, etc.
    • Contestants can manually port T1G resources to T2 and include them in their mission archive. These resources cannot be modded in any way outside of the rules listed here.
    • Contestants can include modified .bin files for both objects and AI meshes if they are stock .bin files where only the assigned texture has been changed (and remember, the new texture must also be stock or stock-derived).
    • Contestants may create stock-derived carry pictures for AI as needed. For example, if you modify the bluecoat watchmen to have red coats, you can modify the original carry picture to match.


    Dromed Startpack
    Brethren has kindly created a Dromed Startpack which is a mission with some basic stuff already set up for you to save time, especially for newer authors. Using this is allowed, as is the importing of small multibrushes (think small templates as opposed to large areas from an unreleased map). However, starting from an abandoned map or importing large areas from other maps is not allowed. Naturally this is on the honor system as we have no way of validating.

    Mission themes and contents:
    There is no requirement from a theme or story viewpoint, however contestants might consider that many players may expect or prefer missions to be celebratory of Thief 2 in this respect: banks, churches, mansions, warehouses, and the like, with a decreased emphasis on magic and the undead, and predominantly human enemies. This is entirely up to the authors, though, to follow or not - it is just mentioned here as an FYI and, while individual voters may of course choose to vote higher or lower based on this on their own, it will not be a criteria used explicitly in voting or scoring.


    Deadline: Mar 23rd, 2020 at 23:59 Pacific Time.
    Here is a countdown timer in case you aren't sure: https://www.timeanddate.com/countdow...=20200324T0759


    Submission:
    Please submit your missions to Yandros or skacky through private messaging or by sending an email to wearytaffer[at]gmail[dot]com or skacky2002[at]yahoo[dot]fr and put a subject for your email so we don't miss it/discard it (e.g. "Thief 2 Anniversary submission").
    The archive must be named TMA20AC_yourmissionname.zip. Make sure your missions are tested before submitting them!


    Voting period:
    The voting period will start on March 24th, 2020 and end on June 24th, 2020. Results will then be announced along with the unveiling of the identities of potential anonymous entrants, as well as the publishing of voters’ comments.


    General tips:
    - There are quite a few unused assets in the game’s CRFs. I recommend you check them out, you may find some cool stuff!
    - The contest is organized with good old 2000 vanilla visuals in mind. It’d be best if your mission was designed without HD mods, texture replacements or enhancement packs.
    - Since this contest is restricted to stock resources you don’t really need to go too crazy on the level of detail.

    Posting Screenshots
    There is a dedicated thread for sharing screenshots and updates here: https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149681

    Happy DromEding!

    - Yandros & skacky
    Last edited by Yandros; 31st Mar 2019 at 12:07.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: montreal
    Yess !!!

  3. #3
    There we go bois. Good luck everyone!

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    In anticipation for this contest, I've tried to outline what I think are the key differences between Thief 1 and 2. This shouldn't be taken a list of instructions to participants, far from it. But it has helped me understand what is distinctive about each game versus what they have in common, and I think these differences guarantee that this contest will not just be a repeat of the first one. Hopefully this helps inspire others in some way!

    Thematically, where TDP combines fantasy medieval/Tudor and steampunk, TMA combines Victorian and Art Deco. The grime, misery and nastiness in Thief 1 is thicker and more apparent on the surface, whereas the evil that permeates Thief 2 is repressed, hidden behind the opulence and formality of aristocrats, law enforcement and religious figures who depict themselves as holier-than-thou while scheming to further themselves.

    Visually, when I think of Thief 1, I think of saturated red roofs and yellow windows, blue-grey brick and cobblestone, stark white light between thick black shadows. In contrast, my vision of Thief 2 is predominately ornate woods in orange and brown, black and white marble, all basked in warm orange light. Lots of polished and sterile metal, and very little green.

    Gameplay-wise, Thief 1 is a pastiche of all kinds of styles. Sneaking, stealing and blackjacking guards is mixed with natural and supernatural fauna, as well as otherwordly creatures and spirits. Urban and wealthy country environments are threaded between missions with tombs, caverns, underworlds and ruins. Thief 2 jettisons most of the landscapes that had a lesser emphasis stealth gameplay in favour of a tighter focus on human environments that weren't properly available in a pre-modern setting -- banks, police stations, rooftops, warehouses and industrial sectors. In this way, the macro-level gameplay variety is supplemented for a more nuanced exploration of the possibilities offered by a single aspect of Thief 1 gameplay, namely that of sneaking/thieving. Importantly, every enemy AI can be dealt with in a stealthy way. Also, on average, the interior design and architecture is much less symmetrical than Thief 1 (see First City Bank & Trust and Blackmail vs Ramirez's Mansion in Assassins as examples).

    If anybody is looking for inspiration from FMs, I think older FMs like Hidden Agenda and Heist Society are a good place to start: they capture the spirit of Thief 2, while managing to expand (and improve) on many of the aforementioned elements.

    I am sure that Thief 2 means totally different things to many people (I would love to know what others associate with it!), and I am excited to see what we all make in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of a game that was surprisingly dissimilar to its predecessor, to the delight of some and disappointment of others.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2017
    Location: Saxony/Germany
    First of all, I wish all participants good luck (and hope the contest wont end in a failure of epic proportions for you )
    That aside, I am working on my first ever FM that I plan to submit for this contest.

    Lay stone upon stone, ‘til thy Builder's work is done!

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2012
    Location: Moscow, Russia
    Contestants are limited to stock and stock-derived resources (see below) but can use a custom gamesys (for custom schemas, scripts, unused objects etc…) as long as the mission doesn’t use any resources other than the stock and stock-derived ones.
    What are these stupid restrictions for? Many T2 authors have never made T2 OM-style maps.
    Artists should not be limited in their choice of means. Moreover, there was already a similar competition dedicated to the first part of the game. Let T2 be different in concept. Most of the masterpieces recognized by the community are built on custom resources.
    Who needs these endless clones of the original game? Hey dudes! Hello?
    Keep in mind that with such a rash approach the contest will lose a bunch of cool projects. Because some authors will not even participate.
    In this regard mappers will not get a lot of cool resources in their hands.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Soul Tear View Post
    Who needs these endless clones of the original game? Hey dudes! Hello?
    According to the poll, 104 people:
    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149530

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2012
    Location: Moscow, Russia
    So bad.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Argentina
    Quote Originally Posted by Soul Tear View Post
    Who needs these endless clones of the original game? Hey dudes! Hello?
    People who value gameplay, story and overall enjoyment over souless packages of 500 mb of aesthetics! And by the looks of it, it's the majority so I'm glad.

  10. #10
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    @SoulTear: You're a bit late to that discussion, which we already had months ago and we also had a poll to vote on the rules which ran for several months, and the community has spoken. You're not obliged to make an OM-style map if you participate, you are only obliged to use stock assets. If you were to go play the T1 Contest mission "The Scarlet Cascabel", it was made almost entirely from modified (but stock-derived) assets and looks about as different from a T1 OM as you can get, and it won the contest. So it is not only possible to make a mostly "custom" (stock-derived) mission for this contest, but it might even win it as happened last time.

    I found that the limitation inspired me to get creative and do things in new ways I would never have thought of without it. But I get it, though, that some authors just can't make missions without true custom resources, and I guess those folks will not participate. There were a few such authors in the T1 contest timeframe who said they would not participate due to the stock limitation, but in the end we had 23 entries and it was among the most successful contests in the history of the community. Ultimately, we asked everyone to vote and stock/stock-derived won the voting with about 72% in favor.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2017
    I hope this argument doesn't last the whole contest.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: WearyTaffer
    I've been a "custom resource crazy" guy in my FM's and I have to say the stock resource limitation is just fine, the T1 contest had some of the best missions I've seen in a long time! I think the limitation will force authors to be more creative in their work.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    There's no rules preventing authors who wish to make a mission in honour of the 20th anniversary of T2 can't make a custom resources mission and release it on the same day as the contest missions are released, they just won't be eligible for the contest itself.

  14. #14
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    Quote Originally Posted by Amorphous View Post
    I hope this argument doesn't last the whole contest.
    Don't worry, it won't. I will make sure of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Independent Thief View Post
    I've been a "custom resource crazy" guy in my FM's and I have to say the stock resource limitation is just fine, the T1 contest had some of the best missions I've seen in a long time! I think the limitation will force authors to be more creative in their work.
    I agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by fortuni View Post
    There's no rules preventing authors who wish to make a mission in honour of the 20th anniversary of T2 can't make a custom resources mission and release it on the same day as the contest missions are released, they just won't be eligible for the contest itself.
    Quite true! I would encourage any authors who feel restrained by the stock limitation to do just that and celebrate the anniversary with us in their own way.

  15. #15
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    Concerning the modified bin, I would like to know. When you're saying "the right to change the texture", is it allowed to change the UV of the model (how the texture are applied on the faces of the the model)?
    Same question about the amount of textures/material that can be applied on the model? I mean, if I take the glass object, am I allowed to change the transparency of the glass faces or even have different texture on the frames instead of sticking to the two lone textures that are the glass with it 50% transparency and the wooden ones?

    Or is it restricted to just swap the texture without any changes on the mentionned things?

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: swirling in the night wind
    Can the mission be made from architecture pulled out of a morgue folder, or does it have to be started fresh as of 23 March?

  17. #17
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2017
    Location: Saxony/Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Independent Thief View Post
    I've been a "custom resource crazy" guy in my FM's and I have to say the stock resource limitation is just fine, the T1 contest had some of the best missions I've seen in a long time! I think the limitation will force authors to be more creative in their work.
    I couldn't agree more on the creativity part

    Quote Originally Posted by redleaf View Post
    Can the mission be made from architecture pulled out of a morgue folder, or does it have to be started fresh as of 23 March?
    well, I think it would be nice if you'd just start it now. On the other hand: who's to say if you're re-using your own stuff from an abandoned project, as long as it doesn't directly violate the rules? (if you catch my drift)

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    Wonderful.
    Looking forward to this contest. Thief 20 was an absolute triumph, and a lasting testament to all the lovely people who inhabit these fora, authors and players alike.
    Best of luck to all concerned. May your missions optimise successfully.
    Here we go.....

  19. #19
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    The rule on the last contest was you can use small multibrushes of prefabricated things like buildings to build your mission, but you couldn't start from an abandoned map.

    Firemage, I'm waiting on an answer from skacky on your question. If you hear from him privately please let us know here.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
    Words cannot describe how excited I am for this contest! I find it will be much easier for me this time around to make a mission because Thief 2's stock textures are much better than the ones from Thief 1

    I felt so let down a few months ago when I didn't make it into the Thief 1 contest so I feel like this is a chance to redeem myself. I definitely will try to be more focused this time around and do less slacking off

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: The Inverted Manse
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    The rule on the last contest was you can use small multibrushes of prefabricated things like buildings to build your mission, but you couldn't start from an abandoned map.
    The reason for that question was redleaf and I were working on a T2 mission together a while back, but we had to abandon it due to the circumstances back then. We were hoping to revive the mission for the contest. So the question is...is it allowed to start from your own abandoned map?

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyGuy101 View Post
    I felt so let down a few months ago when I didn't make it into the Thief 1 contest:
    Sneaky, you've made your mark. I play 'A Thief's New Year' every year when the Holidays come round, just as I do with 'A Thief's Holiday' by Yandros. Go with the flow, don't pressure yourself. I'm sure your mission for Thief 2 will be a success. Best of luck, bro.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Purgator View Post
    Sneaky, you've made your mark. I play 'A Thief's New Year' every year when the Holidays come round, just as I do with 'A Thief's Holiday' by Yandros. Go with the flow, don't pressure yourself. I'm sure your mission for Thief 2 will be a success. Best of luck, bro.
    Thanks

    Sometimes I do put too much pressure on myself and it can be real overwhelming at times. What I really need to do is learn to be a bit more laid back because it would probably go a long way for me. Perhaps this contest will help me with that seeing as I have a whole year to make my mission and learn from the experience

    Plus not to toot my own horn or anything but it looks like my New Years FM is a bit of a classic

  24. #24
    Keyla the Otter
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Location: USA
    Best of luck, chaps!

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by Haplo View Post
    The reason for that question was redleaf and I were working on a T2 mission together a while back, but we had to abandon it due to the circumstances back then. We were hoping to revive the mission for the contest. So the question is...is it allowed to start from your own abandoned map?
    I would vote against using an abandoned map, but rather level the starting playing field and keep it to the default cube.

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