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Thread: Death's Cold Embrace: Status

  1. #1
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass

    Death's Cold Embrace: Status

    Prelude: Excuse the long-winded post.

    First of all, I'd like to say that this last week has been fabulous. I've played all the C5 missions (haven't finished them all, but that gives me something to do in the future), and there isn't a mediocre or even average mission in the whole lot. A group of very solidly designed, creative and diverse missions... I applaud all the authors for their efforts.

    I'm itching to get back to mission work, though. To that end, I'm going to impose upon myself a hibernation from the forums for the next 3-4 weeks while I get my next mission ready for Beta. I've spent alot of time here lately, getting help on the contest missions, helping out folks as I'm able in TEG, and watching for any problems with my own contest mission. Since it seems it's not giving players any problems so far, I think my absence won't be detrimental, and I know Nightwalker and Komag can field any questions about it that might arise, or contact me if need be. But I need to spend every available moment getting this one done, which means no TTLG.

    I'm really looking forward to my next release. OK, it's not really mine, at least mostly not mine. I'm taking with me into hibernation Polygon's incredible beta Cold Reception, which a few folks here had the pleasure of betatesting last year. I hope to emerge with a mission whose story, objectives and scripting are worthy of the wonderful mansion which Poly built. Although it doesn't quite match Saturnine's 7th Crystal mansion in scale, I feel it comes damn close in terms of architectural quality (although you can judge for yourself by looking at the screenshots below). His attention to detail is immaculate.

    Poly built a great mansion, but struggled at coming up with a good story, so that's where I come in. I'm working closely with both him and Moghedian at refining the storyline I've devised, and will be very soon calling on our wonderful SlyFoxx for a quick turnaround on some of his stellar voice work. My goal is to have it in betatesting within 4 weeks, and released within 6. It's possible it will happen even more quckly, but we'll see (knowing me, it's possible it will take longer too ).

    Anyway, the main point of this very long-winded post is that I won't be around much in the near future, that the finished mission will probably be called Death's Cold Embrace, and that I wanted to share screenies of Poly's work with you all. (Note that these are original Beta screens and don't include any of the minute changes I've made so far...) So here they are - links only since they're large:

    SHOTS REMOVED... SORRY! Look further down for more recent shots...

    Take care, everyone... see you soon!
    Last edited by Yandros; 26th Apr 2004 at 13:21.
    Death's Cold Embrace - Info and screenshots

  2. #2
    Let me be the first to admit that I had to collect my jaw from the floor before I could reply. Amazing screenshots! I like those details, like the manor's walls with brushed cornerstones. Great work

  3. #3
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Looks great, can't wait to play it

  4. #4
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: United Kingdom
    Those are certainly nice piccies. Poly certainly can build.

    As for you Sir, go away and don't come back until it's done.

    See you later Yandros.

  5. #5
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: Freetown PEI Canada
    This one looks like a nice large mission . The outside areas and kitchen look particularly well done . If you need another beta tester , give me a shout .

  6. #6
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Bay Area, N. CA

    Look like we're going to be seeing another wonderful FM coming our way That's a terrific idea Yandros to take Polygon's unfinished FM and make it happen! Good Luck to all of you in the coming weeks and will be waiting for this treat Ta and Good Hunting!
    It's not how you win, it's how you play the game! HAVE FUN!

  7. #7
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    Originally posted by sluggs
    Poly certainly can build.
    Quite true. 'Tis a pity he longer does so... real life sucks sometimes.

    Originally posted by The Fire Eater
    That's a terrific idea Yandros to take Polygon's unfinished FM and make it happen!
    It made me sick to think of that beautiful creation just sitting there on a few people's hard drives. I'm also finishing Dashjianta's Curse of the Carnival (next), and there's an outside chance AsyluM will let me fix up and release his unfinished mission (I think the sequel to Hidden Agenda)... Vlad is trying to reach him to get permission. Vlad says it's 99% done and just needs a few bug fixes....

    Cheers, everyone.
    Last edited by Yandros; 15th Mar 2004 at 20:23.

  8. #8
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: House of Sand and Fog
    This is truly ironic (great screens, btw); Yandros opens a thread of a heretofore unknown (at least to me) fan mission, and yet, his own contributions aren't displayed at all. Only Polygons are! If that makes any sense (and I know 'ironic' is nearly always misused). But it just seemed deserving of a laugh. Praises to you and Moghedian for fully bringing otherwise lifeless architecture (no insult intended) to life! And also for resurrecting the eerie classic Curse of the Carnival beta as well as that sequel to Hidden Agenda. Damn, this is some good news . And just disregard my above comment if it wasn't understood; I often manage to confuse (though not by being super intelligent or anything of that nature) !

    "I cannot see anything admirable in stupidity, injustice and sheer incompetence in high places, and there is too much of all three in the present administration." -M.M.Kaye, The Far Pavilions

  9. #9
    Registered: Jul 1999
    Location: Beta Grove
    Three letters - W O W ! ! !

    If gameplay and plot would be in the level of the architecture, you will get your Gold Hammer.
    Modeller and project leader of the Citadel Conversion Project.
    In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming

  10. #10
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    I rememebe beta testing this some time ago and was wondering what happened to it.


  11. #11
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Canada, Ontario, Toronto
    Yay. I shall check this one out for sure in zee future.

    The Hammerite Imperium Lead
    -Dromed Architecture Tutorial Supreme

  12. #12
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: PA, USA
    Wow, that's lovely... I particularly like the main staircase view.

  13. #13
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass

    Dear diary...

    Bad News: Haven't gotten as much done this week as I'd like. We discovered on Tuesday that one of our cats had cancer, and had to have her put to sleep on Thursday.

    Good News: Polygon is actively Dromeding again, taking an active role in finishing Death's Cold Embrace, and working on a small sequel FM! He may even get it done in time for a simultaneous release. It's drop-dead gorgeous, of course. I'll post a screenshot if he gives permission.

    What did I actually get done this week? Mostly finished the new AI skins...

    Hopefully there will be more good news next week. I am planning a nice camvator intro, the first I've ever tried.
    Death's Cold Embrace - Info and screenshots

  14. #14
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Thunder Bay, On., Canada
    Very nice new skins but very bad news about your cat! I've owned many cats over the years (I have 3 now) so I know how heartwrenching it is to deal with similar situations. My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your pet.

  15. #15
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    Thanks, Nightwalker. Our son was quite down about it, but we're working through it. She was 12.... when our 15-year-old goes (he has kidney disease, but it's under control), it will be even harder. We've had him since my wife and I started dating.

  16. #16
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass

    Dear diary...

    Unfortunately, this week was extremely busy for me both at work and home. I think it's safe to say my original estimate of 4 weeks to Beta won't stick - probably at least 4 more from now.

    Some progress this week:

    1. All conversations and voicework requirements hammered out, and sent to Slyfoxx, who's close to finishing his parts in record time. Thanks, oh Sly one!

    2. A breakthrough in the transparency/complexity issues in the front staircase area. Not only is the window still transparent, now it's purty too! I'll post a screenie once the design is finalized. Huge thanks to AsyluM (I borrowed windows from his beta).

    3. I actually have made my first attempt at voice acting. I'm still processing the files and will no doubt have to redo some work, and there's plenty left to do, but it actually turned out alright. You unlucky taffers will finally get to hear my voice.

    4. I've found three great pieces of music to use in the camvator sequence. I only need one. Don't know how on earth I'll choose.

    Death's Cold Embrace - Info and screenshots

  17. #17
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: In the kitchen with the rope.
    Love the shots! Keep it up!

  18. #18
    I decided it was time to post something here myself. Hopefully I wonít be bombarded with rotten tomatoes for never actually finishing the mansion mission. The main reason for me was the lack of Ďlifeí the mission had. I can blame that on the fact that the mission started out as a project for me to learn dromed. (yes. The mansion is my first thief mission.)

    You can thank Yandros for my return to dromed. His enthusiasm encouraged me to work on a small sequel. Here are some screenshots.


    They will probably be the only screenshots Iíll release until Iím almost done. There still early screens and might still slightly change.
    This time I started working with the right idea and not to learn dromed. Get a story first and then start building. Further updates will probably posted in this thread.

  19. #19
    Those screenies look incredible! It's great you're back dromeding

  20. #20
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    I'm certainly glad you're creating again too! Love those screens.

  21. #21
    Registered: Mar 2003
    Location: Still hoarding rope arrows

    Ripping off Robert Frost

    Poly's first FM is gold
    The hardest ranking to hold
    His early attempt is in flower
    Being built for another hour

    Then Real Life got in the way
    So Yandros saved the Day
    Plots thicken to enhance the Thieves play
    Death's Cold Embrace will be here soon, one day

    Originally posted by Deadman ...
    This is truly ironic (great screens, btw); Yandros opens a thread of a heretofore unknown (at least to me) fan mission, and yet, his own contributions aren't displayed at all...
    Yandros is working on the plot, the scripts for the voiceacting and some of the writings ... it would be difficult to show any of that without it being a major spoiler. Please be assured that it is a match for the rest of the mission

  22. #22
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Finland

    Yandros, Polygon -- you taffers!

    Sometimes when I see a particularily nice screenshot I get this warm and fuzzy feeling -- something about a mission just feels immediately right.

    I LOVE those screenshots! They are beautiful to look at and the architecture gives the place a very realistic feeling. I can immediately imagine myself walking in those surroundings. I desperately want to experience both those places, both missions that are in the pipeline!

    These missions went straight up to my "Can't Wait to Play" -list! Excellent work!

    - Mika L

  23. #23
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    I've just walked around the city streets in Poly's DCE2 mission, and it's just phenomenal. The screens he posted earlier don't even do it justice. And the story he has worked out for it... well, I can't give it away, but it will be great. I suspect we'll try and release them together as a pack, especially since the three of us (me, Poly and Moghedian) are working closely together on both missions developing the storylines.

    I don't have any new screens to share publicly this week, but progress has been made...
    Slyfoxx has all the scripts for the voice acting and is working on getting them finished up and in the mail.
    I've gotten a fair amount of one of the new areas done, as well as a few new objects and some voice and music work of my own.

  24. #24
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: the beach/ontario

    I can't wait

    it sounds great I can't wait...please i'm going through withdrawls. I need new mission.

  25. #25
    Registered: Mar 2004
    Location: Ireland
    Those screenshots look really great.

    I noticed the light switches in one of the rooms. If you turn them off, will the ai turn them back on if noticed, especially when they are searching that area?
    Logically it should be be done; it is easier than relighting torches.

    I ask this because I saw something similar in Lorgan's Web.
    I turned off all the lights in the mansion, and later startled some little idiot. He ran away and I chased him... all the way to the power generation room where he proceeded to through every lever to restore power.
    It was a very immersive moment which almost brought a tear to my eye :).

    If I could voice other feature requests, especially if the game is as good as it sounds:

    - all building accessable that are visible
    even if the area is empty of interesting items and all look the same. If they look like they are there, they should be.

    - all windows need to be transparent or if not, then either stain-glass or no glass.

    - no doors which are not doors.
    That is, pictures of doors on walls that don't highlight, which when you are searching for a way in somewhere and see the door, you discover that the door doesn't exist.
    Although you still can't open it, this is a totally different disappointment than finding a real door which is locked.

    - if there is a part where Garrett travels through the streets, there should be more people who aren't enemies, or are frightened of him. And if any are timid, they shouldn't notice him unless it is very bright and he stays close to them.
    Otherwise it has a doom-like quality: if it moves, it's an enemy.

    - there shoud be some people, lower servants, who don't react negatively to him, unless he does something violent near them.
    Most would be used to seeing guards and guests of their master, both the nobles and the dangerous.
    Most would have little love for their master and not really care who was around, unless directly a danger to them.

    - noone should be in one place the entire time of the game.
    This allows more opportunity to play like a thief. It isn't so great having to knock everyone out to get further, or having to draw a guard away by revealing your presence.
    NPCs need to look like they are living. Even if one character needs to be in a certain place for an objective to work, like a lord near some object, he shouldn't just stand near it the entire time. He should randomly visit other places, returning within a certain time window. If he isn't there when the thief gets there, Garrett will just have to wait.
    Life is unpredictable.

    - noone should be over sensitive, especially when not in search mode
    When there are noises all around, Garrett would be harder to hear. If there are people legitimately walking around, guards wouldn't be able to tell that some of them belong to someone not suppose to be there.
    Sleeping people shouldn't be very alert.

    These things heighten immersion, make the game world seem more real.
    Mission that have this, if they have a good story too of course, are imho the best kind.

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