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Thread: Hellerhouse TG FM Nov. 30/2003

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Thanks for the MISSFLAG.str, Unna! The mission loaded with FMsel after I created it in in FM/strings.

    Hellerhouse is a great effort for what the author calls a „newbie“ mission. Finished on Garrett (the only difficulty settings available) in 38 minutes with 1600 of 1700 total loot.

    I enjoyed the comparatively high difficulty. Believable journals provided hints for the location of the lost outhouse key and for the location of the blackjack. The guards inside where placed at locations where I could just barely sneak by them if I did everything perfectly. For example, getting to the door of the annex with the indoor pool without being seen is possible if you extinguish all torches in the main hall and then creep slowly along the wall. That is some great guard and light placement!

    I also felt pretty satisfied with myself when I finally got into Heller‘s room, despite there being a guard right in front of it. To do this, I had complete the following sequence: Enter the stairwell from the top floor. Shoot a rope arrow onto the ceiling of the stairwell. Shoot a moss arrow onto the stairwell in front of the door to Heller‘s room. Rope down and land inaudibly on the moss surface. Use water arrows to extinguish all the torches. In darkness, creep forward to the door and pick it. Then run quickly inside. Riveting.

    There are more nice touches: Early on, I found a bookshelf with amusing titles on the proper care for Burricks. At a later point, I came across closed grate with an interesting area behind it: the laboratory where the three mages experiment with the stolen sword. I could not immediately enter this interesting area and had to find another way in. Letting the player see new areas before they can access them later is good map design I think. It makes me want to explore, anticipating an interesting area I had seen earlier.

    There are several elements which detracted from the experience. I wish possible improvements were pointed out to the author more directly in 2003. He seemed willing to take constructive feedback and work on updates to the mission.

    First of all, Hellerhouse features one of the most devilishly hidden buttons I have ever seen. There is a hint in a journal, but even with the hint, I could not find it. That is because it is on the inside of a cupboard, facing away from the player and only partially visible if viewed from a very specific angle. This is guaranteed to get players stuck. A better position for the button would be inside the cupboard, behind the carrots, but visible if the player looks for something hidden among the vegetables.

    Secondly, the key to the secret laboratory is hidden in an unfair location: the kneehole of Heller‘s desk. The location itself isn’t too bad. I habitually look under all desks in a mission. The problem is, Heller is sitting at his desk. He is likely to obscure the player‘s view of the key. But even if you happen to notice it, you can‘t just grab it: I tried many times to stand or crouch next to Heller and then to lean forward to get within frob range the key. He always noticed me when I did. The only way to get to that key is to knock him out with the blackjack or to shoot him with a broadhead arrow.

    Thirdly, the exterior map design could use some touch-ups: When the mission started, I immediately noticed graphical glitches in the distance. The mission is surrounded by tall walls and the engine seems to have trouble rendering them. Lots of beginner missions have this basic layout: an open, rectangular area surrounded by walls and a mansion of in the middle (The Assasin at Lord Ganrish, The Prodigal Corpse, Hell‘s Motel Part 2, Mother Redcap‘s Last Request, even classics like Shunned). This much open space is never necessary and makes for a visually dull first minutes. It would have been better if the starting location was a smaller area, surrounded by rocks and some natural walls. That way, graphical glitches could also be prevented.

    Lastly, a NewDark 1.27 comment: The player can now easily mantle onto a tree and jump to the wall surrounding Hellerhouse. I never bothered with pushing the rock to get access to the tunnel near the Burrick pen.

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Unfortunately it looks like I canīt play this FM. The two links on the first post are down and when I try the link from cheap missions the first mission of the OM (lord baffords mansion) plays
    I have no idea why.

  3. #78
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Samantha
    You need to make a miss flag.str to make this mission work via FMsel. See Unna’s post a couple above.

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Unna Oertdottir View Post
    Here's a missflag for this FM. Installation:


    Create a txt file in FM/strings. Copy this, paste and save it and rename the txt file it to MISSFLAG.str

    Code:
    //missflag for Hellerhouse
    
    miss_1: "skip, no_briefing, no_loadout"
    miss_2: "skip"
    miss_3: "skip"
    miss_4: "skip"
    miss_5: "skip"
    miss_6: "skip"
    miss_7: "skip"
    miss_8: "skip"
    miss_9: "skip"
    miss_10: "skip"
    miss_11: "skip"
    miss_12: "skip"
    miss_13: "skip"
    miss_14: "skip"
    miss_15: "skip"
    miss_16: "skip"
    miss_17: "skip"
    miss_18: "skip"
    miss_19: "skip"
    miss_20: "no_briefing, no_loadout, end"
    Thanks fortuni, but I did try that and it didnīt work for me.

    Here is how it looks for me: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...P7?usp=sharing
    Did I do sth. wrong?

  5. #80
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Looks good to me. What text file did you save Unna's missflag with, Notepad?


    Another option: Try Angel loader, it may well work

    The reason why you need to make a Missflag file is that the author forgot to place one in the zip, and it's that file that tells your FM loader which file to load, without it the first mission of thief OM loads ie. Lord Bafford mansion.

    Darkloader automatically compensated for any missing missflag.str file but FMsel doesn't, but I remember pointing this out to Fen and he said he would include such a feature into Angel loader, don't know if he did in the end, but worth checking out.
    Last edited by fortuni; 6th Apr 2021 at 09:07.

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Thank you fortuni. Unfortunately using your zip file the same thing happens.
    I donīt have angel loader installed on my pc and I dont feel like putting the effort to do that now for one single FM, it doesnīt matter. Thank you for the help though!

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Germany
    The Hellerhouse.zip provided by fortuni triggered a strange bug for me, but only once. (I don't think that fortuni is responsible for that, by the way.)

    The game would not start anymore after I tried to play "Hellerhouse". After some comparisons with a backup from some hours ago, it turned out that the file cam.cfg just contained a single line now: "fm_language english". Everything else from the file was gone. As soon as FMSel or NewDarkLoader had prepared a mission and started the thief.exe, the computer would wait some time, and then Windows (Vista SP2 in this case - yes, I know it's old, but I can't change that at the moment...) would report that the .exe had stopped working. This even happened if I used "Skip FM" with FMSel, meaning that the OM's should start instead of any FM.

    After restoring an old cam.cfg, the game worked again as usual. Several attempts to recreate the situation which led to the crippled cam.cfg file were not successful. Maybe a random element was involved somehow when it happened.

    Anyway... Since the mission refused to start (instead, "Bafford's" came up always), I made a missflag.str on my own, and the mission started as it was supposed to. Later on, I ran into another bug: The rope arrows in "Hellerhouse" suddenly reacted to wood as if it was stone. Reloading a saved game that worked before that did not help. I gave up, then, for I did not like the mission very much anyway. However, I guess that the rope arrow problem was unrelated to the cam.cfg thing.

    I wonder whether NewDark has some bug that sometimes may cause cam.cfg to get crippled in this way if missflag.str is missing. Oh well.

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Hellerhouse

    Fixed version of this mission that includes MISSFLAG.Str
    Last edited by fortuni; 6th Apr 2021 at 18:04.

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Thanks fortuni, looks like new version launch normally without need of creating missflag.str.

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Yes this one works, thank you!!

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by fortuni View Post
    Hellerhouse

    Fixed version of this mission that includes MISSFLAG.Str

    Needs to be tested by someone who couldn't get this mission to start correctly previously.
    Unfortunately right after the first 2 minutes in game another bug appears for me. I manage to get inside via the burrick tunnel, the objective "find a way to get in" gets marked, but later itīs unticked again. When I jump over the wall instead of using the burrick tunnel its not ticked at all.

  12. #87
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha1 View Post
    Unfortunately right after the first 2 minutes in game another bug appears for me. I manage to get inside via the burrick tunnel, the objective "find a way to get in" gets marked, but later itīs unticked again. When I jump over the wall instead of using the burrick tunnel its not ticked at all.
    Don't worry about this objective. There are 3 places where this objective gets completed. After leaving these places, it gets uncheck. Just finish all other objectives and then return to burrick tunnel and mission will end.

  13. #88
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Courtesy Glypher, these dml's have been available on Darkfate for sometime.

    Fixes reversible objective in the tunnel, prevents mantling up onto all objects (trees, statues, boulders) surrounding the mansion so you need to find the tunnel to access the mansion, as was the only possible way with Olddark.

    PS. Both dml's need to be installed to activate the no mantle fixes.

    Code:
    DML1
    //TG FM: Hellerhouse by Stringgod / Fixes: miss20.mis.dml
    
    //goals
    +ObjProp 239 "Scripts"
    {
       "Script 0" TrigContained
    }
    +Link 239 344 "ControlDevice"
    {
    }
    +Link 239 345 "ControlDevice"
    {
    }
    +ObjProp 344 "Scripts"
    {
       "Script 0" TrapSetQVar
    }
    +ObjProp 344 "TrapQVar"
    {
       "" =1:goal_irreversible_0
    }
    +ObjProp 345 "Scripts"
    {
       "Script 0" TrapSetQVar
    }
    +ObjProp 345 "TrapQVar"
    {
       "" =1:goal_irreversible_5
    }
    
    //mantling
    +ObjProp 170 "PhysCanMant"
    {
    }
    +ObjProp 313 "PhysCanMant"
    {
    }
    +ObjProp 315 "PhysCanMant"
    {
    }
    +ObjProp 316 "PhysCanMant"
    {
    }
    +ObjProp 317 "PhysCanMant"
    {
    }
    
    //patti
    ObjProp 111 "AI_AlrtRsp"
    {
       "Priority" Very high
    }
    
    //sword (carmana)
    +ObjProp 138 "NoDrop"
    {
       "" true
    }
    
    //books
    -ObjProp 217 "PhysType"
    ObjProp 217 "Position"
    {
       "Location" -32.6151, -51.5731, -71.8502
    }
    +ObjProp 217 "PhysType"
    {
       "Type" OBB
    }
    -ObjProp 218 "PhysType"
    ObjProp 218 "Position"
    {
       "Location" -32.6151, -51.5731, -72.3202
    }
    +ObjProp 218 "PhysType"
    {
       "Type" OBB
    }
    -ObjProp 219 "PhysType"
    ObjProp 219 "Position"
    {
       "Location" -32.6151, -51.5731, -72.7902
    }
    +ObjProp 219 "PhysType"
    {
       "Type" OBB
    }
    -ObjProp 220 "PhysType"
    ObjProp 220 "Position"
    {
       "Location" -32.6151, -51.5731, -73.2601
    }
    +ObjProp 220 "PhysType"
    {
       "Type" OBB
    }
    
    //table
    -ObjProp 202 "PhysType"
    +ObjProp 202 "PhysType"
    {
       "Type" OBB
    }
    
    //barrels
    +ObjProp 263 "FrobInfo"
    {
    }
    +ObjProp 266 "FrobInfo"
    {
    }
    
    //pail
    -ObjProp 282 "PhysType"
    ObjProp 282 "Position"
    {
       "Location" 33.6441, -24.9831, -107.71
    }
    +ObjProp 282 "PhysType"
    {
       "Type" Sphere
    }
    
    //secret doors
    +ObjProp 469 "BlockFrob"
    {
       "" true
    }
    +MetaProp 469 -2420
    +MetaProp 645 -2420
    
    //levers
    +ObjProp 17 "RenderType"
    {
       "" Not Rendered
    }
    -ObjProp 643 "PhysType"
    ObjProp 643 "Position"
    {
       "Location" 2.16, -55.8556, -8.8922
    }
    +ObjProp 643 "PhysType"
    {
       "Type" OBB
    }
    
    //useless eye
    +ObjProp 118 "FrobInfo"
    {
    }
    
    //plates
    +ObjProp 633 "InvType"
    {
    }
    +ObjProp 634 "InvType"
    {
    }
    +ObjProp 635 "InvType"
    {
    }
    Code:
    DML1
    //TG FM: Hellerhouse by Stringgod / Fixes: gamesys.dml
    
    //trees
    +ObjProp -489 "PhysCanMant"
    {
    }
    
    //books
    +ObjProp -198 "FrobInfo"
    {
       "World Action" None
    }
    
    //table
    +ObjProp -38 "PhysDims"
    {
       "Size" 4, 2, 0.5
    }
    Last edited by fortuni; 13th Apr 2021 at 04:28.

  14. #89
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Germany
    BTW, your fixed version of "Hellerhouse" with missflag.str does work for me as well; without the missflag.str, the mission did not start correctly when using FMSel or NewDarkLoader. I did not test it with other FM loaders.

    The rope arrows, however, still get destroyed when I shoot them into the wooden ceiling above the large barrels labeled "Crate" on the outside of the house. No idea what's wrong there.

  15. #90
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Glypher made that dml sometime ago, it was posted on Darkfate, don't know if he knew about the rope arrow issue. I'll let him know.

    Edit: Not sure where you mean. Do you mean the over hanging ceiling where the trap door is? If your talking about that ceiling my rope works normally.

    I can't find any sign that says 'Crate'. Got a screenshot?
    Last edited by fortuni; 7th Apr 2021 at 12:54.

  16. #91
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Germany

    Yes, the spot where the rope arrows suddenly malfunctioned is the over hanging ceiling with the trap door leading to the attic. On my first attempt to go in there, I could shoot rope arrows into the wooden ceiling around the trap door, and the ropes would deploy, I could get into the house there, and then do my thieving there. Later on, without any apparent reason, this suddenly did not work any more, and the rope arrows got destroyed with a sound as if the ceiling was made of stone instead of wood. Reloading an older saved game where the arrows had still worked did not help - they were now also destroyed if shot at the wooden ceiling. BTW, I did not use any special DML fix for the mission so far; I have FMDML installed by TFix v1.27, but not any other DML fix. AFAIK, this FMDML so far does not contain Glypher's DML fixes for the mission.

    I had not time to do more thorough research, though, as I have to deal with a lot of real-life trouble just now.

    About the "Crate" barrels: The wooden barrels below this over hanging ceiling, standing close to several "real" crates there, can be carried. They will then appear as a junk object in Garrett's hands, and this object can be carried around or thrown away, but it won't really go into inventory. The barrels will not be labeled "Barrel" while carried, but "Crate" instead. So, there is no label in the form of, e.g., a sign on the wall, but the label that this object gets if Garrett carries it around. I do not think that this has to be fixed, though, as it does not harm progress in the mission in any way.

  17. #92
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK
    I just played this using the fixed version (post #83) and the two DMLs (post #89). The only issue I encountered was that the mission would not end, even though I had max loot and had achieved all objectives except 'leave the way you came in'. Not a big deal obviously.

  18. #93
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    I'm guessing you either read something in the forum or read in one of the walkthroughs that says that to finish the mission you are meant to return to where you started, but because the author had set things up badly you had to return to the burrick pen tunnel to complete the first objective for a second time in order for the mission to end.

    I said that in my walkthrough many years ago because that is what it says in the forum, but in those days I didn't know much about Dromed so never checked out the mission quest data all those years ago, but looking at the mission quest data now, yes you are meant to return to the tunnel between the grounds and the burrick pen. Not only had the author made objective #1 reversible he also made the burrick pen tunnel the finishing location, so that's all you need to do, go back there and the mission will finish. So what I say in my walk still stands, even if it's all a bit odd.

    But it's all very weirdly set up, so I'll talk to Glypher, it's his dml. I think it maybe best if we set the finishing point to be where you started if we can do that, but that would be a significant change to an author's original intent, something we do not do lightly or without very good reasons.

    Edit: We've amended the dml and hidden the lever by the gate, this now forces players to return to the burrick pen tunnel to exit the compound, thus making players complete the mission as the author intended before they have the chance to get back to the starting position. Hopefully this will remove all previous confusion.
    Last edited by fortuni; 13th Apr 2021 at 04:32.

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