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Thread: TG FM - Ascend The Dim Valley [25 July 2020]

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    TG FM - Ascend The Dim Valley [25 July 2020]

    Hey everyone,
    My second FM and first for Thief Gold, Ascend The Dim Valley, has been released!

    I'm not entirely sure how to describe this mission, but it only has human enemies and shares a lot of gameplay with city/mansion FMs.
    It features two large locations and the area surrounding them.
    Hopefully it provides a unique but authentic Thief experience.

    It almost exclusively uses stock Thief 1/2 assets, many of which are faithfully modified.
    Also, the story is told, in part, through specific visual elements and the environment.
    For this reason and more, I seriously recommend NOT using any graphics mods. All of them remove or alter assets that I have used for specific purposes.

    DOWNLOAD:
    Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1djQ...ew?usp=sharing (29.6MB .7z file, 82.3MB uncompressed)
    Southquarter: http://www.southquarter.com/fms/link...ion_file&i=209 (thank you Brethren!)
    Darkfate.org: https://download.darkfate.org/fan-mi...imValley-V1.7z (thank you clearing!)
    Taffer's Pardise: http://www.taffersparadise.co.uk/thi...mValley-V1.zip (thank you Lord Soth!)

    BRIEFING:
    “My fence claims that, after years of searching,
    some eccentric old coot struck upon a way into Craggenmense,
    that sunken gash in the mountains up north.
    The whispers of riches from this ancient crevasse have been around forever,
    but nobody’s had the faintest idea how to get in until now.
    This geriatric wants me to make use of his discovery by acquiring The Iron Façade for him.

    Following a long stretch of decay after they were abandoned by whatever precursor culture built them,
    the immense ruins of Craggenmense became home to a tribe of supposedly human squatters.
    Either they forget how they stumbled their way in, or they found the debris so alluring
    that they ditched their nomadic lifestyle in favour of propping up their own ramshackle housing in its midst.
    Rumour has it that some parochial power struggle is raging between two clans in this overstuffed fissure,
    but sourcing reliable information has proven difficult. Craggenmense is legendary,
    but I’ve only ever seen mention of The Iron Façade in the Keepers’ most profane archives...
    heh, guess that settles who the old timer is.

    I always suspected there’d be some passage above ground.
    One look at the towering landscape should have put that suspicion to bed.
    Good news is the cave system dumps me out at the squalor infesting the base of the valley.
    I’m not likely to stand out amongst the filth.

    It’s a chore, but I wouldn’t miss it. Besides the trinket my client wants,
    there should be enough… material culture lying around to make the arduous trip worth my while.”
    SCREENSHOTS:







    This FM was made using NewDark 1.26, and is only compatible with FMSel, AngelLoader, or NewDarkLoader. It also requires Squirrel.osm, which has been included with NewDark since 1.25.
    Due to extensive decal usage and other limits, it is only available in English. You are welcome to make or play translations, but none will be official and I cannot vouch for their accuracy.
    This FM is stand-alone; you do not need to have played my first FM, Compulsory Egress, to get the full experience.

    BETA-TESTERS:
    -Korthak
    -marbleman
    -Psych0sis
    -Schlock
    -skacky
    -Squadafroinx

    All my testers provided invaluable advice, bug-fixes and suggestions. Without these, the mission would lack a significant amount of polish.
    To do their efforts justice, I’ve catalogued every alteration I made as result of their feedback in CHANGELOG.txt,
    with individual attribution to testers who made the suggestion.

    For further thanks, credits, or miscellaneous notes and tips, the readme files should have most of the answers you're looking for!
    Last edited by DirkBogan; 5th Aug 2020 at 04:11. Reason: Added Mirrors

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Congratulation on the release. Compulsory Egress was a superb first mission so I have high expectations for this one.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Location: UK
    Congratulations on your second FM DirkBogan. As per fortuni, Compulsory Egress was indeed superb. Downloading right now so I can crack on with this one - thank you

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Cool, think I'll check this out!



    Still just about the best danged game ever made...

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    I didn't start playing this mission and you seriously annoyed me. Just after installing this FM I realized that it's dark, so I went to my Gamma options and it was different. So I fixed that, but after restarting game I noticed that Gamma is again different. I realized that this is the same case like with nicked missions - forcing your settings through FM.cfg. I deleted line about Gamma from there, but I also noticed that you changed also other my settings. I ended deleting FM.cfg file. Please, next time don't do it. You can suggest your settings, but don't force them to players. It's really annoying to change them back to my favorite level.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    The mission will crash if you delete fm.cfg.

    Please only add a semi-colon in front of settings you do not wish to be changed. Your base settings will be restored. I apologise for the frustration.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by DirkBogan View Post
    The mission will crash if you delete fm.cfg.

    Please only add a semi-colon in front of settings you do not wish to be changed. Your base settings will be restored. I apologise for the frustration.
    Kinda figured out that playing without fm.cfg isn't good idea when some objects appeared after I approached them and guards were vanishing for split second in some places. Though I didn't have any crashes. So I just deleted 1 line for gamma and 2 for sound and it works fine.

    Mission itself is neat idea, but I just wouldn't enjoy it on your gamma setting - I can barely see anything. And some ambient sound is just too loud for me. Especially the most hated by me - wind blows sound, which I can hear only for 1 min and then I lower ambient sound to absolute minimum.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2011
    i've also the problem with gamma options.

    now i move in circle. i'm in the upper rooms .there is a grate, behind this grate there is girl but i cannot find a way to her.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2011
    Location: ���&#5671
    Why are you stuck on this place even

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    I can see a ladder on high wall above metal doors in the valley to left of Vizier's front door but can't see a way up to it, hint please!

    Also I'm hearing an annoying intermittent crackling in the background anyone else experience this, it's most clearly audible when reading a scroll or book, has anyone any idea how I can get rid f it?
    Last edited by fortuni; 26th Jul 2020 at 09:34.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Ukraine
    Unusual mission. First I had the impression that it is unnavigatable and with a useless map but later I figured out that there is no need to actually "navigate" -- the player just needs to go up and up and up. And then descend to the start. That is all. No puzzles or key hunt. The level is a maze but... linear maze

    Nuances:
    1) There was a scroll under some of the bunk beds which is pickable but not readable.
    2) Language. I'm sure that too many non-native English speakers will have too many problems reading those verbiages. Language is unnecessarily difficult.
    3) Some sound problems: at any moment I heard at least 3-4 guards and they heard me. Not a serious problem, just annoying.

  12. #12
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2019
    Location: Germany
    Congratulations on the release of this mission. It's a very fine one!

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    1) Check under the scroll when you pick it up, perhaps some people use things like paper and sheets to cover and hide things?

    2) OP clearly states the mission was designed for English speakers in mind. The onus is on the player to be one of MANY people in the world who have even a small grasp of the language. In FMs, the author has no obligation to cater for any languages other than the ones they design for.

    3) Happens with rooms stacked on rooms with balconies and stuff over each other, just how the engine plays.

    Also with regards to the fm.cfg - Don't delete it. If you have an install that isn't borked (or playing windowed mode), you should be able to change the gamma very easily. I see no issue with an author forcing settings for the player in order to achieve the mood and atmosphere they want. If I had the patience I'd set my missions up to force the textures I wanted and forever rid the world of those terrible texture packs.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2020
    Location: Bucharest
    This mission is great, clearly a masterpiece. But you need to learn to sell your work better, i was about to leave your mission after i seen the poor starting area. Always make sure your starting area look the best from now on.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    Maybe you should've quit right away

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Master of Dromed View Post
    This mission is great, clearly a masterpiece. But you need to learn to sell your work better, i was about to leave your mission after i seen the poor starting area. Always make sure your starting area look the best from now on.
    It's very obvious the start area was purposefully made simple so that the vista when you emerge has a big impact...

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Mission completed in almost 2,5 hours and I collected 5109 loot. The idea of climbing the city is very cool. As for mansions - they felt like mazes even with the map. And speaking about map - I don't like it's placement in 2nd mansion, because I beat 1st mansion and first 2 pages of the map is now completely useless. Definitely I would prefer to have map placed somewhere in 1st mansion. Unless it's there on lower difficulties. Also there was this thing with hearing someone walking all the time. I mean I KO-ed 1 guard, so I thought it will be quiet and then out of nowhere some guard is walking somewhere. So I need to look for him and KO him only to hear another guard walking somewhere. That was quite irritating. Mansions have a lot of guards, which is surprising, because starting area was really empty. Also loot placement could be better. Usually there is general rule of 1 loot piece in 1 room. There are few exceptions, but most of the time it works like this. And it makes exploration a bit dull. There needs to be more variations in numbers of loot pieces. Also what's with using 2 fonts in readables, that looked weird.

    Things that surprised me there are 2. First is fireplace with sign "The Iron Facade". My first thought was "Is Iron Facade is a fireplace? How am I gonna steal it?". Second is about Pagan Temple at the very top, which happened to be Vizier's Mansion Upper Floors. Climbing city and the view was the best part of this mission. Mission was fun.

    Also I hope that FM creators forcing their own settings isn't sign of new age of designing FMs. That's the third mission that does that. I hope it will not end with FM creators changing players Control Settings to their own or changing resolution.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Master of Dromed View Post
    This mission is great, clearly a masterpiece. But you need to learn to sell your work better, i was about to leave your mission after i seen the poor starting area. Always make sure your starting area look the best from now on.
    DirkBogan sells his work simply by putting his name on it.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Squadarofl View Post
    Why are you stuck on this place even
    can't understand your question but i stuck

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Ukraine
    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post
    My first thought was "Is Iron Facade is a fireplace? How am I gonna steal it?".
    Well, actually that Iron mask hanging above the huge inscription of "Iron Facade" is rather self-explanatory. I think there is a lack of coffee in your organism

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Radogoal look at the map of the first floor, there's an octagonal room on the east side with a staircase leading down to the servants quarters in the basement. There's a spiral stairs opposite the basement stairs with a bronze door at the top of the stairs that takes you back outside.....keep climbing.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by A.Stahl View Post
    Well, actually that Iron mask hanging above the huge inscription of "Iron Facade" is rather self-explanatory. I think there is a lack of coffee in your organism
    I don't like coffee. I prefer tea or mineral water.

    Edit: I read your comment one more time and realized something. Your statement above Iron mask hanging above the huge inscription of "Iron Facade" isn't true. This iron mask is located in completely different place, nowhere close to inscription. Maybe the reason for that is because I played on Expert and you just played on Normal or Hard. I don't know. But there was inscription on fireplace and iron mask wasn't anywhere close.
    Last edited by Galaer; 26th Jul 2020 at 13:46.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2020
    Location: Bucharest
    Quote Originally Posted by trefoilknot View Post
    DirkBogan sells his work simply by putting his name on it.
    DirkBogan released his work publicly so it's time to listen to criticism. I don't believe in statements like that that "X is some kind of a God and everything he releases is masterpiece by default". Beside of that it's only his second mission so i don't see your point..

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    The point being that you assume Dirk didn't make the start area right or pretty enough because he's not skilled enough when he did it like that for a specific reason. Dirk has a crazy attention to detail and every little element in this mission is meticulously thought out.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2020
    Location: Bucharest
    We are not posting our suggestions and impressions here with the intention to offend the authors, we just try to help them improve. I just posted my impressions about playing the start of the mission that's all. There's no point to see an offense in that. It's the author's choice to take the suggestions or ignore them.

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