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Thread: TMA20AC Mission — Ten Little Taffers (Mar 24, 2020)

  1. #126
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: ...nothing but flames...
    Good point. I had assumed that since Gerard and Brenda were breaking a statuette after each kill, that the player would know what to do as Owen.

  2. #127
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2007
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Balboa View Post
    Good point. I had assumed that since Gerard and Brenda were breaking a statuette after each kill, that the player would know what to do as Owen.
    Oh wait, they did? Haha...i never realized that!! I think because it was never in my field of view and thought it could be this important...maybe it should be highlighted through a light spot or something. Apart from this all the time I was running through the house to find out who the killer is and never was in the ballroom again.

  3. #128
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    I don´t know if anyone else encountered this bug before or reported it here, since I dont want to get spoilered by reading the forum, but when I go to the side entrance (metal doors) of the mansion my objective with not harming the guests automatically fails. The same happens when Im inside the mansion and want to go outside through that side entrance.

    I play with FM selector.

  4. #129
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: ...nothing but flames...
    Samantha1, Yes, it's a bug , but easily resolved by the player. Just hit the sparking light with a water arrow before you go through that door. All better now.

  5. #130
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    All right, thanks! I just finished on "Garrett" and gotta say it was awesome. The story was sth. refreshing and it was so well made. Whenever I found a corpse I was like "oh hells!" And when Brother Gerard was the last one to be alive I was so shocked because I never would have guessed him to be the killer Really a nice one! I usually only play one difficulty, but since this one is not about difficulties but point of views, I´ll try out bumbleson and owen next

    Ah and not to forget: A big thank you very much to the german translator, everything was so perfectly nice translated! It made me enjoy this FM even more!
    Last edited by Samantha1; 27th May 2020 at 09:37.

  6. #131
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: ...nothing but flames...
    You can thank zappenduster for the translation.

  7. #132
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Balboa View Post
    You can thank zappenduster for the translation.
    Zappenduster is also the one that made the FM "Garrett´s young years xtra", right? I´m a huge fan thanks alot Zappenduster!!

    But to not get off-topic here, I encountered another bug in difficulty Owen: after killing some of the guests, some of them were still there, standing around like nothing happened. I could finish it normally regardless. And obviously, I did not kill Garrett in the end. No way I´d ever do that

  8. #133
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: ...nothing but flames...
    Yes, sadly, another bug. It's been fixed in the post-contest release, but at least it does not prevent finishing the mission, with or without the demise of Garrett.

  9. #134
    Registered: Jan 2014
    Location: Texas

    Something different

    This is one of the most original creations to come from the Thief community.

    Very well thought out and well-implemented.

    Definitely one of my favorites of the contest so far. (still six to go, though.)

    Congratulations to the taffers responsible!

  10. #135
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2019
    Location: Deepest Sussex

    Totally Hooked

    I've just played as Garrett and thought it excellent. I love the attention to detail, right from the opening Black and White title, in sort-of homage to the 1965 film. I don’t know what the blocky font is but you reproduced it exactly (1965 trailer). Things can always be improved but the craftsmanship and humour (humor) are very evident. I'm sure many references have gone over my head but like to think Agatha Christie would approve. It took a while to get used to guest sensitivity and why the game repeatedly ended even when I stayed motionless but I’m so glad I persevered. In my case I found Dorcas did not appreciate the 3 bottles I’d balanced on top of each other in the dumb waiter (and forgotten about, doh!). After that I treated her domain with more respect and things got easier. With shameful use of thread spoilers, YouTube play-throughs, and fortuni’s excellent lootlist I got all the loot. Five perished and I’d like to reduce the number. I’ve only played the first level and don’t know Brenda’s backstory but with 3 stripes shouldn’t she be Sergeant? Although you did say she’s misunderstood so perhaps she recently got demoted. Loved it. Thank You!
    Last edited by Aged Raver; 10th Jul 2020 at 12:08.

  11. #136
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: ...nothing but flames...
    And, the commentary. Thanks, everyone, it's good to be back.

    Ten Little Taffers Comments

    Gameplay is where this one really shines, and its concept is so much fun I'll forgive its flaws. It reminds me a lot of unusual gameplay FMs like "Benny the guard" where you don't play a straightforward Thief level.

    The level design is quite boxy and open. This actually gives it some feel of the OMs, as level architecture in 'modern' (2010s-present) FMs has actually far surpassed LGS' work these days (thanks to both newdark enhancements and FM makers having decades to hone their craft). In particular, the giant waterfall reminded me of the water in Shipping and Receiving, similarly large and unsightly. So I won't be too harsh if LGS did the same things.

    Atmospherically, the level could stand a bit more tweaking. That being said, there is an ominous air, especially when first playing it as Garrett. I think further work could really bring this aspect out better - in sound design, in level architecture, maybe even in the behaviour or dialogue of the AIs. One nice touch in this category was the change of player sounds based on which character you're playing as.

    In terms of the gameplay - this is where the mission earns extra points. While the Garrett gameplay is relatively straightforward - loot, keyhunt, escape, with some bonus objectives, the scripted events and the addition of 2 other game modes really sell this one.

    Trying to avoid dying as an extremely weak character was tense (though I would like it if there was more threat - such as some of the assassination methods happening to you if you aren't careful, with more traps).

    Playing as the killer was a great concept - but I'd love it if there was some better chances to carry out the murders as they happen in the other difficulties - you can do some of them but they're not obvious. I was particularly disappointed that no one goes in the steam room on their own.

    Finally, the gameplay is somewhat compromised by several bugs regarding the scripted events - some characters would appear to die without being listed on the end-mission screen.

    If the author wanted to make an updated version of this FM that refines these aspects I'd be very happy to play it. As it stands I can't rank it quite as high as some of the other entries, but it shows great promise.
    Great idea with a lot of cool dromed magic (loved the small chapel and sauna for example) and interesting storylines. Visually also pretty pleasing but
    with a little bit monotonous level design. It's fine for a story based FM like this tho.
    Great, varied gameplay. Good premise.
    kinda buggy. voting on it based more on your vision rather than execution.
    Good idea. Really. But the realization could be better. Still a very strong mission. And "very" in this case means "well, not the winner of contest but surely the 2nd or 3rd place"
    I really liked the chapel
    Intriguing mysteries set in beautifully designed environments have always been one of Balboa's hallmarks, and this adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel is no different, even if the gameplay on some difficulties is a bit lacking.
    This is a fun little mission - or rather: *three* fun little missions. While the premise was of course stolen (ha ha!) from Agatha Christie, it's a mix of thriller-drama and satire. It's design is clever but the plot is shallow (before the audio message / after it) and some spots (like the attics) feel severely underused. Verdict: It feels fresh but doesn't live up to its full potential.
    This is a really cool and unique mission! Basing a Thief mission on an Agatha Christie book is an intriguing concept to begin with, but the execution here is stellar, particularly with the use of multiple perspectives. The little touches like having each player character speak with their own voice and having the body carrying portrait change for Owen are great and really add a lot. I also think the use of stock Karras lines worked well. Despite the strengths, the NPCs occasionally had slightly weird and buggy behaviour, and there were a few opportunities for sequence breaking if you didn't follow the flow precisely as intended.
    The mission feels just right in terms of difficulty until the twist happens, at which point it becomes a cakewalk, sacrificing gameplay to enhance atmosphere. Map's well-built and its size is satisfying, though exploration doesn't feel as rewarding as it should due to a severe lack of secrets. While I welcome the creative use of difficulty, the two game-modes except Garrett's feel underdeveloped and, in my opinion, the time spent creating them would have been better placed to polishing the main segment of the FM.
    Lots of fun! Incredible concept that just slightly falls short in the execution, with various story inconsistencies and odd pacing at times. Impressive technical achievement nonetheless!
    Not very Thiefy. A "Who's the killer" type of mission, with a couple of great ideas. The player is three different characters at the three difficulty levels. It misses that SOMETHING that makes a mission really good and outstanding. Somehow it feels a bit empty and unfinished, despite all the effort. Tales from the Cleft: Vandal was so much better from the author.
    This mission combined two of my favorites: Thief and Agatha Christie. However, it has some flaws and bugs that - according to the forum thread - the author of the mission is aware of now. I hope he makes another release of this mission, because after some polishing it will certanily be one of my favorites. The three separate story in one mission was also a good idea, thumbs up for that.
    The most original fm of the context!
    What a nice murder mission. Very interesting to play 3 differents points of view. The way we killed guests could have fit more with the rhyming texts. I wanted to kill the guy in the sauna and the agent in the pool
    The gameplay was a bit empty other than playing Garrett difficulty, and other than playing Garrett, there were little options to do other finding who the killer is then run away or killing everyone. However I liked the triple story and anyways the implementation of the Ten Little Indians (though before reading the comment from the author, I thought it's based on the original story And Then There Were None from Agatha Christie).
    This one provided unique game play and an interesting story. It did have some glitches which held it back a little bit.
    Turning Thief into a murder mystery - very creative! The third difficulty of actually being the murderer is also very creative!
    after garrett route the game feels rushed and easy. Which kills the atmosphere, especially the Owen route. Besides I enjoy idea of tweaking with thief gameplay, and providing new story or context to sneak around. Extra love for title font, it is very thrilling 70s!
    An outstanding game concept, not easy/hard/expert as usual but different personas instead.
    Extremely fun mission. I really liked the idea and the detail that you can play with 3 different characters. Also really fun but not extremely hard puzzles. It does have some designs problems, like the fact that you can fail the mission if someone hears just a little step, or the way some things are hidden. But still it is pretty unique for a Thief mission, it has a pretty different style but still Thief-y enough to be enjoyed. And beatiful landmarks. Maybe it's not exactly what one is expecting from a Thief mission, but still I found it really enjoyable and original.
    This was just a brilliant concept. Playing the same events from different perspectives was a fantastic conceit, and the story's play on the Agatha Christie classic is very much appreciated.

    In a non-contest setting where time wasn't as much a factor it'd be cool to see more creative murder options for that run of the mission, but that's just asking for more of a good thing.

    While definitely good enough for the intended atmosphere and in keeping with the contest goals, I'd love to see this done with even better visuals and mood.
    I had to play this FM 2/3 times of each difficulty before I fully grasped how clever the map really is. There is so much to admire, so many clever ideas and jokes and to deliver a small and compact map with such complex scripting and to pull it off is a testament to the author.
    The storyline was interesting and thrilling and Ten Little Taffers was really a refreshing experience! I'd say the gameplay was the only part that was a bit weaker, compared to the story and atmosphere.

    When the quests start dying one by one, I really felt that the murderer could be lurking just aroung the corner. Garrett's part in this mission worked very well. Gerard really surprised me in the end and what a battle it was!

    I really had difficulties to find Gerard's diary that was the evidence that he is the killer. I was struggling to accomplish two of the objectives: finding the evidence and finding out who is the killer. Gerard was the only living person in the end, so he was the killer, but I just hadn't find the proof.

    So overall the mission was very interesting and the atmosphere was exciting!
    A novel experience, one that managed to be massively improved from its beta state. It has Balboa's signature creativity and clean design.

    The Garrett difficulty is enough mission for anyone to be satisfied, staying the closest to established Thief gameplay. The enforced ghosting might turn off some players, but it is tastefully done and meshes well with the unique feature of enemy AI disappearing one by one.

    The Owen difficulty in particular made huge strides from its original form, but had time and custom content been permitted, the gameplay could have been made to match the story far better. The methods of killing hotel guests is now much clearer, but the potential for more involved and complicated methods is begging to be released.
    However, this request is somewhat unfair. The mission is already a titanic contraption of scripts, and setting up specific ways to kill specific guests with whole new mechanics would likely have required breaking some contest rules, if not the engine itself. As an experience in the Dark Engine, it is very well realised.
    Balboa is a synonim for suspense and this mission (or if you want, three) reminds me a lot of Tales from the Cleft series.
    Kill everyone? This is a nice place to explore but this isn't Thief.
    This one was neat. The gameplay wasn't my cup of tea but the concept was fun. Having the story take place from different perspectives was also pretty cool.
    Incredibly creative approach of an FM, and also a nice rendition of Agatha Christie's "And then there were none"
    A nicely thought-out mission, which got pretty close to perfection.
    There’s nothing you could really complain about when it comes to the location. The house leaves a very good impression and fits perfectly to what you would describe as a thief-2-style summer residence. Small as it is, it still offers plenty of the attractive to be seen and makes you think it’s a great place for a fun party. Nice, wild outsides really make the location feel remote and isolated.
    The story of Ten Little Taffers is probably as good as it gets. We’re treated with a retelling of a classic crime story which fits surprisingly well within Thief 2 universe. After a very good intro and a briefing I was constantly immersed. The author made excellent (and presumably arduous) work with adapting the tale’s elements into the game, including such pretty details as rhymes and little figurines representing the characters. At the same time there are many nods towards the hallmarks of Thief and at least a few pieces of great humor (the mechanism in the chapel made me laugh my head off, as well as the “taffer” in-joke). Also, the idea of experiencing the same story from different points of view remains rarely pursued in Thief FMs, while it can produce some outstanding results as proven in this gem. On the other hand, a few discrepancies between the three levels were really confusing and directed the player in a wrong direction. Also, with some pieces of information you have difficulty interpreting whether they’re a clue, a background, or have no importance at all on current level. Just some issues to point here which probably were difficult to foresee as no one offered such gameplay yet. All in all, however, seeing all the attention given to the story and how well it generally worked, you simply cannot score it any lower than 10.
    The gameplay, though usually smooth, was occasionally marred by technical issues, the sound being especially weak around the level. There must’ve been something wrong with the room brushes, because you could hear all kinds of noises all over the place with no one in proximity (I understand some of the grunts were presumably given by the controlled character but that’s not the point here). Some characters got stuck in unexpected locations (toilets, sound booth, other guests’ rooms) though I tried hard not to interrupt when something was happening. Finally, I was a little disappointed on the final level that you couldn’t deal with the guests exactly as described in the rhymes (or as it happened on the Garrett level for that matter). I sooooo wanted to lock that servant in the steam room!
    In the end, Ten Little Taffers gave me a lot of fun. It seems like an excellent project which probably got a little bit too intricate and difficult for the contest’s limitations. If fully under control, it would easily be five stars out of five. The idea has great potential, however. I wish there were more missions like that.
    This is an interesting adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little [OH NO! OH NOOOO!] In Christie’s genius story, ten Britons representing a cross-section of society are trapped on an isolated island resort, and start getting killed in macabre ways that seem disturbingly tied to a nursery rhyme. The mission presents the same scenario in three parts, tied to the three difficulty settings. You play as an outsider, as the killer, and as the victim, seeing the story unfold from different perspectives (there are subtle changes to allow for replayability and not spoil everything). The focus is on investigation, with a little light puzzle-solving – not quite on the level of the author’s Vandal (one of the crowning achievements in puzzle missions), but in the same level. Perhaps due to the source material or the contest limitations, the experience is more walking sim than typical Thief mission – there is sneaking and there is problem-solving, but you by and large feel like an outsider. The illusion of the story is well crafted (and I assume, technically complicated), but it is closer to interactive fiction than healthy. However, it is a fun whodunnit, and looks good, with a bunch of small, creative touches through the fancy resort.
    Sometimes, we play a mission and at the moment we are reading the "Readme", there are questions coming, saying "What is this thing?" at first, then when the gameplay phase comes and the mission is done for the first time, we ends up with a nice original experience with a great surprise which is even more enjoyable as it's a mission which should be experienced thrice with different point of view bringing three different gameplays!

    This was a risky choice made by the author and it pays off! There's some element missing tho... It would have been better to have some more interaction in the Bumbleson mode or having a random killer, these kind of things

    But this hommage to Agatha Christie's novel was a nice little touch! Hopefuly we'll see an update and maybe more missions like this one!


  12. #137
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    I am replaying this mission (but this time version 1.1) and I either remember sth. wrong or am facing a bug. The code for the safe on Garrett difficulty should be either 3524 or 9161 right? I´ve also tried 9191 and 6161 but none of those worked. It´s the numbers shown on the dice in the basement room.

  13. #138
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha1 View Post
    I am replaying this mission (but this time version 1.1) and I either remember sth. wrong or am facing a bug. The code for the safe on Garrett difficulty should be either 3524 or 9161 right? I´ve also tried 9191 and 6161 but none of those worked. It´s the numbers shown on the dice in the basement room.
    I believe that the code on Garrett difficulty is date of the event: day and month. It's written on note in basement in room with dead guy in coffin.

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