PDA

View Full Version : FM discussion



THEthief
24th Jul 2002, 19:12
Hi. :)
This thread is to discuss fan missions - aspects you really enjoyed, and aspects that you thought could have been improved. Why you absolutely love some fan missions, and what made your favorite(s) favorite(s).
This is NOT a thread to slam FM authors, or their work - a little bit of polite criticism is fine, but if you can find nothing/very little that you like in the FM, it would most likely be best to ignore that particular mission, and go to one that you really like. :)

Vanguard
24th Jul 2002, 21:49
Rather than target specific FMs, I'll just mention some of my peeves for some of them.

Peeve #1:
Never ever spawn AIs in a player's face! Don't even do it nearby just because you think the player might be facing away. Spawned AIs should be created at a distance that the player couldn't possibly see them pop in, and far enough away that the player couldn't possibly run over, even with a speed potion, to see them get spawned. One FM had spiders spawn up in ceiling shafts so I couldn't see them get spawned but would only see them drop out of the shaft. That look good. Another spawned a spider right in front of face (I was walking backwards and the author figured no one ever walks backward to check what happens behind them). That sucked. Some FMs are so bad that they'll spawn almost a dozen guards right in your face.

Peeve #2:
Proximity triggers without an actual or physical trigger - HATE 'EM! You get to a boundary that sets off a proximity trigger. You weren't seen. You weren't heard. You touched nothing that itself was the triggering mechanism, like a floor plate or door. Nothing physical was the trigger. Just the author scripting the game to trigger by your proximity.

Peeve #3:
Severely increasing the time to pick a lock. What's exciting about having to sit at a lock to pick it for 3 minutes? That's just boring. Some authors have even violated the 3-pick rule. Normally you will never have to use the picks more than 3 times: first one pick, then the other, and back to the first one. Some FMs have violated this by making you switch 5 times or more on the picks to open a lock. Boring! And locking every frickin door also makes it boring to move around. If the room or passage ain't important, don't lock it.

Peeve #4:
Require only as many keys as there are unique and *important* doors or chests or whatever. One FM had me toting around 26 keys; some where multiples so there were 14 key "groups" but that still is way too many keys. Flipping through them all in your inventory is a nuisance. Remember, Garrett is a *MASTER* thief so he is supposed to know how to use those lockpicks!

Peeve #5:
Never start the mission with Garrett nude of his basic tools unless you give an explanation on why he lost all his equipment. If he starts out in jail, well, obviously he would've been stripped of all his tools. Again, he is a *MASTER* thief and much of that is dependent on his skills in using his mandatory minimum set of tools.

Peeve #6:
Stop trying to make Garrett a good guy. He is an anti-hero: he only commits a "good" action that will benefit himself, like monetary reward or survival. He saved Cutty from Cragscleft because Cutty is the one with the contacts and skill to fence off the goods that Garrett has stolen. If Garrett could fence the stuff off himself, he wouldn't need Cutty and he would've never bothered to save him - and, in fact, he probably would assasinate Cutty to shut him up to protect himself from Cutty ratting on him.

Peeve #7:
Don't use the Thief engine to design non-Thief missions. UFOs, space travel, torturing terrorists, emulating Quake or Half Life, is NOT a Thief FM just because you managed to use the Thief engine to create it. Stay within the atmosphere and genre of the game. If I wanted to play Half Life, I'd play Half Life and not bother with a pseudo Half Life mission created using the Thief engine. You could write an FM to duplicate the Congressional hearings on the Enron debacle but obviously that's not a *Thief* mission.

Peeve #8:
If your FM relies on custom scripts then include them in your FM's .zip file. Compared to the size of the FM, the script files are small. You guarantee your audience will have the scripts to run your FM. You guarantee the correct version of those scripts is included that you relied on when designing your FM. And since when is ease-of-use a bad thing? I have yet to see anyone clearly and definitely show that scripts represent a threat to us players, especially since these "scripts" are instructions to the game engine and so they execute only within the scope of that interpreter.

Peeve #9:
Don't put the loot requirement up so high that Garrett has to waddle everywhere and lick every surface hunting around for pennies. This belittles him from master thief to that of a penny scrounger. Some authors put the loot objective so high that you have to get every piece of loot, or there are N pieces of loot and you must get N-1 pieces. This occurs too often in Expert level. Give the guy some dignity.

Peeve #10:
We players cannot touch; i.e., there is no sense of feel in the game. So compensate by letting us see what we cannot feel. Up the ambient light level. Remember that in reality that our eyes will accomodate dark environs. I've had to skip some FMs because they are almost black when the light sources are doused or turned off. In real life, I can feel to find my way along but in the game this is not an option. I am not going to play in Blind Thief mode because the author didn't bother specifying an ambient light level. I'll just delete this FM and move on to one where I can see.

Danventry
24th Jul 2002, 21:51
One FM I liked: The Ties That Bind. This FM was a unique one (the purpose for the thieving) and the little side stories made the game very intertaining. Some places were very spooky, but without any real danger. And what I liked the most was the use of space. For such a small amount of space, the author used it all to it's full potenial (sp?).
Something else I'd like to meantion: Some FMs have very basic architecture, while others have so much the frame rate is choppy. Somewhere in between is the best.

RiCh
24th Jul 2002, 22:34
I pretty much agree with what Vanguard’s already said :) Especially Peeve #6 Garrett ISN’T a good guy! He’s a bloody thief after all! OK, maybe thieves are supposed to use cunning and stealth to avoid confrontation. But the end of the day, a character like Garrett in real life wouldn’t think twice about running someone through with his sword. I feel Garrett not being able to kill anyone in the EXPERT should at least be an optional objective! This way at least that gives the player a choice in how to play the level. If I decide to make anymore FMs this is how I’ll do it!

I also don’t like being forced into a style of play! I like to do things my own way not the way the author personnel likes to play! Thief offers a wide range of playing styles I like to see them all in an FM through the 3 difficulty levels.

The thing that really grates me more than anything else is searching for small amounts of hard to find loot! This does really annoy me! With all other objectives complete and I’m searching for a coin stack :( All loot should be on display with only a small amount hidden as secrets etc.

The end of the day I do like all FM’s (including the novelty levels like UFO etc they make me smile, and aren’t to be taken too seriously) and the effort all FM builders put into their creations.


Oh I forgot! 0% ambient lighting i.e. black! Not good :( I’m currently playing through all the T1 fms Many of which seem to be very dark...too dark to be any fun. I’ve actually more than once, loaded them up in DromED and changed the lighting level to a more playable and acceptable level.

Hengist
24th Jul 2002, 23:27
Actually been quite a while since I played an fm all the way through. My favorite thing in an fm is a medieval city with great architecture that really seems like a living city! Very hard to accomplish! I also love cool custom conversations where the ai really seem alive and it seems like you are really interacting with them. Things I'm not crazy about are undead focused missions and missions in caves and gloomy places like that. My only 'peeve' is when you can't walk around the city like a normal citizen - it's worse if there are other civilians walking around but you still get attacked by every guard or hammer - not very realistic in my book and ruins the mood.

Gosh there's been so many fms that I've loved - autumn in lampfire hills, benny's dead, calendra's cistern - the list goes on...
Actually I tip my hat to anyone who can create an fm from scratch!

Ps - (Shameless plug) check out The Secretway!!!!

:p

THEthief
25th Jul 2002, 04:19
I almost completely agree, Vanguard...except with Garrett not being a good guy. I suppose it's different to us all (our perception of Garrett will vary, per person), but the way I see him is a person who's lived a hard, cruel life, and has been hardened to a certain extent, but is still, in reality, a good person, deep down inside - he is, after all an expert; therefore, on expert mode (the REAL Garrett mode), you can not kill people.
Let's face it - how often does Garrett decide to rob some poor guy who's got a few shillings - barely enough to feed himself or his family? NEVER! He goes after the big, rich guys - the ones with lots of cash, that was probably aquired at the expense of other people!!
Garrett really isn't a bad person - he just won't ****ADMIT**** that he's a good guy! Why? Because his pride won't allow him too - he has made his solitary thief's life something different, in his mind - and that's what makes HIM different than all the other thieves; it's not just his skill, his wit, etc. - it's his personality; so cool, so collective, so deep, so seemingly un-caring, yet, at the same time, truly caring...THAT's what makes him so interesting and such a great character.


Remember Viktoria's agent, on Markhams' Isle? He was certainly caring then.
Remember in the mechanist cathedral (Eavesdropping), when he found the dead bodies? "I could really learn to hate these guys"...
Remember how he helped Basso? Of course, he had an excuse - "it's going to be worth it for loot, it's going to be worth it for friendship from Basso, I wouldn't bother otherwise", etc., etc.
And look at how worried he was with Viktoria - he was willing to risk his life (the ONLY thing he had in the world!!) for her!!
Remember how he saved Basso, in T1? Of course, again, he had an excuse (Basso's sister)...but he DID save him...

No matter how he justifies helping others, and no matter how much he pretends not to have feelings, and to be dumb and deaf as far as emotions go, it's not true - he is human, and he DOES feel; he simply does not allow his emotions to CONTROL him - he acts with them, not because of them.

Anyhow, that's my view. :)

frobber
25th Jul 2002, 05:05
I like missions that are genuinely normal when played on "Normal." I can see making an Expert version really hard -- this is the point. But sometimes I just want to spend some time sneaking around without feeling like I'm too close to the edge.

I like a mission where every scap of information is part of the story. Poetry and long religious or magical books glaze my eyes over unless I believe there is a clue in there somewhere -- and I'm usually pretty disappointed when I find out I've been carrying nothing valuable in my bag of books and scrolls.

I like missions where there is one major goal, rather than a long shopping list. For those who like a long list of items to steal, people to kill, etc., there are missions for that -- but I'm not into them. I like to focus on one big problem rather than being distracted. A few related smaller goals are okay -- but they should relate to the main goal in some sensible way.

I generally don't like manditory looting objectives. It's fun to find loot, and I'll grab as I go - but having a specific required amount seems contrived - unless it fits the story somehow.

I like it when Garrett (or whoever the main character is) makes a few pithy comments. But no more than about a half dozen per mission. Sometimes just the right comment really makes me laugh and lightens things up. In fact, all missions could do with a bit of humor, even if its dark humor.

I like it when missions try a few new tricks -- but too many custom objects and AI tend to be a bit of distraction. The best use of custom items is to add those things that really need to be there to tell the story, and having a few custom items can keep things interesting. But customization just for the sake of customization doesn't normally improve the gameplay experience as much as the designer may think.

I like all the attempts I've seen to make Thief 2 FMs a little less neat and polished. Thief 2 DromEd is set up best to make pretty terrain, and it takes some work to create an emotionally dark, crumbling, and creepy place.

I like to see an occasional personal reference like a family photo -- reminds me that this FM is a very personal creation -- not just some game publishing company trying to make a buck.

ChangelingJane
25th Jul 2002, 05:05
That's how I see it too, THEthief. He doesn't have a heart of gold, but it ain't stone cold either.

Now, onto the FM commentary. I absolutely looove beautifully constructed FMs. I flat-out won't play FMs that don't at least match the original missions in their build quality. It just ruins the experience for me. But then there are missions like The 7th Crystal that I load up just to look around, they're so pretty ^_^

I can't stand missions that don't give you any sense of direction--even though The 7th Crystal was a bit confusing at times, I still always had at least a vague idea of what I should be doing, even if I didn't know where to do it. Plus it had enough flow to where you felt like you were progressing. Some missions have zero flow, and you can't tell if you're doing anything right. That is not good.

On the other hand, some missions are so restrictive that you feel as if you're being forced to do what the mission designer wanted, which isn't good. This is the sense I got playing "Benny's Dead", especially in the beginning. It was like "what? oh, so THIS is what the mission designer wants me to do". You need to at least give the illusion that the player is figuring it out themselves.

[edit] I agree with frobber's view that a mission should have one main objective. The other objectives should be "mini-objectives" that are steps required to finish the final goal. This goes together with having a sense of direction and knowing you're making progress.

Belboz
25th Jul 2002, 06:56
I dont like it when you have to get every single bit of loot, when most of the loot is hidden in stupid places. I usually do the objectives, except the get all lot, then quit.

I dont like to be forced to ghost when it seams too bright to actually ghost.

Or limiting the number of knockouts, unless there is a really good reason, like the guards will miss each other if too many start to dissappears, not a reason like garrett is a master thief so no knockouts. Then you have no sword only a blackjack.

I dont like it when guards have had their vision altered so that they can see in the dark, or their angle of vision is changed so that they've got eyes in the back of their heads. Or their alert cap it set to high, and so they never relax. This is thief, not Garrett vs the x-men.

Or giving Garrett the lockpicks when there is nothing in the mission to actually use them on.

Komag
25th Jul 2002, 07:07
Originally posted by Vanguard
Rather than target specific FMs, I'll just mention some of my peeves for some of them.

Peeve #1:
Never ever spawn AIs in a player's face! Don't even do it nearby just because you think the player might be facing away. Spawned AIs should be created at a distance that the player couldn't possibly see them pop in, and far enough away that the player couldn't possibly run over, even with a speed potion, to see them get spawned. One FM had spiders spawn up in ceiling shafts so I couldn't see them get spawned but would only see them drop out of the shaft. That look good. Another spawned a spider right in front of face (I was walking backwards and the author figured no one ever walks backward to check what happens behind them). That sucked. Some FMs are so bad that they'll spawn almost a dozen guards right in your face.



Agree perfectly, UNLESS it's SUPPOSED to be like that, as when it's some magic ghost thing that is supposed to appear in your face or something.




Peeve #2:
Proximity triggers without an actual or physical trigger - HATE 'EM! You get to a boundary that sets off a proximity trigger. You weren't seen. You weren't heard. You touched nothing that itself was the triggering mechanism, like a floor plate or door. Nothing physical was the trigger. Just the author scripting the game to trigger by your proximity.



Mostly agree, but depends on what it's for. ALL of the OM's conversations (nearly) used this method to trigger the conversation, and it makes sense in that case. There are other times I think it makes sense, but if you're referring to being "caught" or trapped or something, then I agree that that sucks




Peeve #3:
Severely increasing the time to pick a lock. What's exciting about having to sit at a lock to pick it for 3 minutes? That's just boring. Some authors have even violated the 3-pick rule. Normally you will never have to use the picks more than 3 times: first one pick, then the other, and back to the first one. Some FMs have violated this by making you switch 5 times or more on the picks to open a lock. Boring! And locking every frickin door also makes it boring to move around. If the room or passage ain't important, don't lock it.



Agree 100% perfectly - I HATE HATE HATE long locks!




Peeve #4:
Require only as many keys as there are unique and *important* doors or chests or whatever. One FM had me toting around 26 keys; some where multiples so there were 14 key "groups" but that still is way too many keys. Flipping through them all in your inventory is a nuisance. Remember, Garrett is a *MASTER* thief so he is supposed to know how to use those lockpicks!



Agree 100% perfectly again. :D




Peeve #5:
Never start the mission with Garrett nude of his basic tools unless you give an explanation on why he lost all his equipment. If he starts out in jail, well, obviously he would've been stripped of all his tools. Again, he is a *MASTER* thief and much of that is dependent on his skills in using his mandatory minimum set of tools.



Agree. :)




Peeve #6:
Stop trying to make Garrett a good guy. He is an anti-hero: he only commits a "good" action that will benefit himself, like monetary reward or survival. He saved Cutty from Cragscleft because Cutty is the one with the contacts and skill to fence off the goods that Garrett has stolen. If Garrett could fence the stuff off himself, he wouldn't need Cutty and he would've never bothered to save him - and, in fact, he probably would assasinate Cutty to shut him up to protect himself from Cutty ratting on him.



Disagree partially. I think that Garrett can be a good guy if we want to make him into such. I DON'T think, for examplt, that Garrett would ever have assassinated Cutty. In any case, I think the mission author should have the free perrogative to make Garrett act like they want him to (though it would be rediculous to have him stealing money to help the orphanage or something I suppose)




Peeve #7:
Don't use the Thief engine to design non-Thief missions. UFOs, space travel, torturing terrorists, emulating Quake or Half Life, is NOT a Thief FM just because you managed to use the Thief engine to create it. Stay within the atmosphere and genre of the game. If I wanted to play Half Life, I'd play Half Life and not bother with a pseudo Half Life mission created using the Thief engine. You could write an FM to duplicate the Congressional hearings on the Enron debacle but obviously that's not a *Thief* mission.



I absolutely disagree 100% on this one (sorry Van). If you want to make a RACING game or whatever the heck you can make with the Thief engine, go for it. I don't understand why this would peeve anyone at all. Just don't play such a mission. Is the problem that you didn't know such and such a mission wasn't Thief style and then was "robbed" of a Thief experience when it wasn't? If that's the case, then I think a good compromise is for an author to clearly advertise that a mission is NOT Thief style, so don't load it expecting it to be.




Peeve #8:
If your FM relies on custom scripts then include them in your FM's .zip file. Compared to the size of the FM, the script files are small. You guarantee your audience will have the scripts to run your FM. You guarantee the correct version of those scripts is included that you relied on when designing your FM. And since when is ease-of-use a bad thing? I have yet to see anyone clearly and definitely show that scripts represent a threat to us players, especially since these "scripts" are instructions to the game engine and so they execute only within the scope of that interpreter.


It has never been an issue of file size, never. The entire issue is completely a matter of the threat. I don't know how viruses work or how they potentially could work, so I don't know why the script files are more of a threat potentially than the other types of files in mission.zips. If they really are NOT any more threat than the others, then I fully agree with this view. I honestly would like to know myself if they really are a potential threat.




Peeve #9:
Don't put the loot requirement up so high that Garrett has to waddle everywhere and lick every surface hunting around for pennies. This belittles him from master thief to that of a penny scrounger. Some authors put the loot objective so high that you have to get every piece of loot, or there are N pieces of loot and you must get N-1 pieces. This occurs too often in Expert level. Give the guy some dignity.



Agree :D 100% perfectly! I HATE HATE HATE loot hunts! I mean, c'mon, if Garrett really was there and couldn't find quite enough loot to meet his rent or something, he wouldn't spend hours looking for one more "mystery" coin - he'd just leave and loot somewhere else! Super high loot requirements are a BAD idea. Way back in The Great Tree my percentages for Normal/Hard/Expert were 25%, 40%, and 60%.




Peeve #10:
We players cannot touch; i.e., there is no sense of feel in the game. So compensate by letting us see what we cannot feel. Up the ambient light level. Remember that in reality that our eyes will accomodate dark environs. I've had to skip some FMs because they are almost black when the light sources are doused or turned off. In real life, I can feel to find my way along but in the game this is not an option. I am not going to play in Blind Thief mode because the author didn't bother specifying an ambient light level. I'll just delete this FM and move on to one where I can see.

[/B][/QUOTE]

Agree mostly, almost totally. Perhaps if there are enough flares or other optional light sources, then areas of near pitch black may possibly be okay. Otherwise, I agree perfectly. :)

Zaccheus
25th Jul 2002, 12:12
DELETED
:)

Zaccheus
25th Jul 2002, 12:25
The only things that I really hate are:
1) Getting lost again and again.
2) Not finding that last bit of required loot.
3) Hitting a dead end without a clue how to solve an objective.
Thieve's Guild OM comes to mind.

What I love:
> Going deeper and deeper into an FM, discovering more and more areas.
The Vigil was a classic example of this.

Lake
25th Jul 2002, 12:32
I am not a big fan of the Key Raider missions either.

Lytha
25th Jul 2002, 15:44
This thread reads quite depressing... :( So much that is <i>hated</i> in FMs. :p

Let me try the different approach...


- I seriously <b>love</b> it when a mission looks good (architecture - I'm not as much into "realism" here but into eyecandy)!

- I <b>love</b> it when I have the tools that I need (especially the <b>compass</b> and the blackjack; and in the marble floor missions: enough moss arrows to moss everything on sight, and for the torch missions: enough water arrows!)

- I love well made lockpick configuration of the locks! Yay for the metaproperties! (metaprop -> locktypes -> m12-13locks -> (pick your choice))

- I love to know what I am able to do (regular gravity, regular heights and distances for jumps, regular movement speed and AI awareness (at least for most of them)), what the effects of my items and weapons are (regular weapons are YAY!) :)

- I love to know where I am (yay for maps!!!) :D

- I love a good chuckle from "this is no thief mission" FMs every once in a while. I love chuckles too in any FM, be it dark humor or sillyness - chuckles just the same as getting <b>scared</b> and getting thrilled! Emotional involvement is <b>yay!!!</b>

- I like a good story background for the mission!

- Ambient sound! That can make a mission from slightly boring to an extremely enjoyable experience! It's analogous to Jorge vs. normal Textures or to Light_bright vs. Objcast Lightning - only in the auditive channel of the mission experience. :)

- And I love custom skins and custom sound for the AI. :)


Ooooh... and <b>snow</b> makes me melt away. But that falls into the "eyecandy" that I mentioned already at the top, and not all missions can or should take place in winter. :)

ChangelingJane
25th Jul 2002, 23:01
Originally posted by Lytha
- I love well made lockpick configuration of the locks! Yay for the metaproperties! (metaprop -> locktypes -> m12-13locks -> (pick your choice))

Ah, so that's how you're supposed to do it! Learn somethin' new every day :D

ChangelingJane
25th Jul 2002, 23:03
On the list of things to love about FMs...

Scary-@$$ lighting! When just the look of the room and shadows makes you jump out of your seat. I got this feeling in the top floor area of The Seventh Crystal. Very 7th Guest ^_^

schwaa
26th Jul 2002, 01:36
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Lytha
- I love well made lockpick configuration of the locks! Yay for the metaproperties! (metaprop -> locktypes -> m12-13locks -> (pick your choice))
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sweet, thanx for that tip, I'm going to scan Metaprops now, goodbye.

OH, Wait...
This is a cool thread, Its not negative about my missions but there are things I've done that I see here, this will help out on the Crom's Blade update.

I agree that Longpick times and Pitch aren't fun.

And that Komags loot requirements seem like a good rule of thumb. I think its cool to have coins in weird spots so the player is excited to find them, but its probably good not to make them HAVE to find them. And it does seem natural that Garrett would most likely be searching for one big money prize instead of twenty pounds of trinkets, but a few valuable ones on the side wouldn't be bad.

Did I mention longpick times? I remember one lock that didn't have very long pic time but it was in the light with an AI nearby. But the AI would shift so you had to duck in and out of the light, it was really exciting!
<b>Warehouse51</b> had a camera like this.:D
But the 3 minute pick (I think that was the longest I've had to do):mad:

Vanguard
26th Jul 2002, 02:43
From MSDN Library:

dynamic-link library (DLL)
A .DLL file that contains one or more functions compiled, linked, and stored separately from the processes that use them. The operating system maps the DLLs into the process's address space when the process is starting up or while it is running. The process then executes functions in the DLL.

Mapping the DLL into the address space for the program does NOT map the functions within that DLL to calls in the program that will access that DLL. Windows is not going to be making calls into the DLL unless that DLL is the one that programs for the Windows OS will use. DLLs for Thief are only going to accessed by the Thief game engine, not Windows. The only functions that are callable within the program are those that have been mapped inside that program to have equivalent functions within the DLL. The DLL is just a library of functions, a way of separating the collection of all these functions rather than compiling a large executable that contained them all. So it still is the Thief engine that will determine what function names it will recognize in the DLL and how they are called. However, the question remaining is whether or not the actions executed within a function in a DLL could be destructive when the Thief engine called that function. For example, the Thief 2 CLCD32.DLL has a function named _IsLoadComplete_32, so maybe you could write a replacement CLCD32.DLL that had this function rewritten to perform a Win32 API call to format your disk, then that would represent a threat. Use QuickView Plus or FileSnoop (from PC Mag downloads) to see the export table that lists the callable functions in a DLL file. This might be why Ion Storm never intended that DLLs be generated by dromed.

However, since Darkloader will replace the Thief files with whatever files are in the FM's .zip file that means that the DLL files that come with Thief can also be replaced, not just those needed for custom scripts. So I don't see that we incur any more a hazard including the DLLs for the custom scripts in the FM .zip files than we already incur for DLLs that might replace the primary Thief DLL files. I haven't checked the code for Darkloader to see if it explicitly will NOT copy DLL files from an FM's .zip file that are considered primary or essential DLL files for the Thief engine. Darkloader was written using Borland's Delphi which, I believe, is Object Pascal. I haven't touched Pascal coding in maybe 20 years, or more, so don't hold your breath on me figuring out how it might work.

<hr>

UPDATE:

Well, from a cursory scan of main.pas for Darkloader 4.1, there is the line:<blockquote>if not ((lowercase(extractfileext(filename))='.exe') OR (lowercase(extractfileext(filename))='.dll'))
then {don't extract *.exe and *.dll for security reasons}
... {code to extract} ...</blockquote>which makes it appear that Darkloader will NOT extract .exe and .dll files from a .zip file. So the entire discussion about providing custom DLLs in the FM's .zip file is moot. Even if they were in there, Darkloader won't extract them!

ChangelingJane
26th Jul 2002, 03:51
Originally posted by schwaa
Did I mention longpick times? I remember one lock that didn't have very long pic time but it was in the light with an AI nearby. But the AI would shift so you had to duck in and out of the light, it was really exciting!

IMO that's how pickable doors are supposed to be implemented ^_^ If there's no danger in standing there awhile to pick the door, it's just a hassle.

Zaccheus
26th Jul 2002, 07:20
DELETED
:)

Spitter
28th Jul 2002, 17:54
Funny. Darkloader isn't supposed to unzip .dll files, but I'm pretty damn sure that it does. You see, I'm in the assumption that custom scripts cannot work without an exterior .dll file to help them a bit, and I recall Calendra's Legacy and Hallucinations came with such files.

Correct me if I'm horribly wrong.

Lytha
28th Jul 2002, 18:09
Spitter,

there ain't no .dll's in CL.

Only new scripts: cl.osm & script.osm.

Also 3 gamesys, one for each mission (errrrmmm... why?)

And the dark.cfg, that's the file that I suspect to have caused the "movement becomes like moving through quicksand" for me in CL, but that's nothing important. :)


No .dll's.

That, uhm... that makes me wonder what that .dll in the script zip might have been! Err. That Darkloader-Thief needed a re-install anyway.

*hurries to check computer upside down for trojans & virusses*

frobber
28th Jul 2002, 19:28
Originally posted by Spitter
You see, I'm in the assumption that custom scripts cannot work without an exterior .dll file to help them a bit, and I recall Calendra's Legacy and Hallucinations came with such files.

Correct me if I'm horribly wrong.

Many thanks to the CL team for letting me borrow their cl.osm script for Hallucinations -- and no, it does not require a custom .dll (or .exe for that matter) -- just as the case for CL itself. The script cl.osm seems to use whatever dlls come with the standard Thief install.

BTW, Vanguard is right about Darkloader -- it is specifically designed to exclude .dll or .exe files if they are archived inside the FM zip file. Even if they are stored inside the zip, Darkloader will not extract and install them.

I also expect that this won't change anytime soon, since the safest method of distribution for dll files will mostly likely be to separately download from a known-to-be safe website -- which is no big deal IMO.

Perhaps we all could agree on some FM file naming convention that flags the need for a custom script or .dll download (with details in the readme file). How about ending the filename with _dlcs as in "download custom script(s)"

Spitter
3rd Aug 2002, 10:11
Ahh, thanks for correcting me.

Komag
3rd Aug 2002, 15:45
Originally posted by Lytha

Also 3 gamesys, one for each mission (errrrmmm... why?)


I'm currently working on a project that has a unique gamesys for each separate mission. There are just different things you want to do in each mission, and you build them independently. Sometimes it may be possible to use a similar gamesys for them all, but it's SOOO much easier to just have each its own and then you can be sure you're keeping things straight. And once in a while you end up making changes that are somewhat mutually exclusive, so it would hard to combine gamesys', though that's usually possible with some workaround I suppose.

Gumdrop
5th Aug 2002, 14:24
I'm not exactly the King of FM players, as I spend far to much time under the black wings of DromEd, but here's some of the things that help me enjoy an FM more:

Good architecture and ambient sound
I agree with Lytha here. A bit of extra time spent fleshing out each room or area with functional detail and textures that compliment each other, really boosts my enjoyment levels. It makes exploring much more fun, and adds alot to the overall atmosphere.
The same goes for ambient sound. Chosing the right ambients for each area of a mission is something which can really make a difference to how the player interprets his environment. Having 32 bars of Sepultura looping while delving in some dark crypt might be someones idea of cool, but it completely destroys the atmosphere for me.

Lighting
Well thaught out lighting just rocks! It is the most important part of the engine, it's what the game is all about - light and shadow. Creating realistic or dramatic lighting is difficult enough, but when the two are combined effectively, the results can be awesome. And ofcourse good lighting doen't just improve the visual side of an FM, it's a big part of the overall gameplay.

Humour
Ok, this is something that shouldn't be in every FM, but little in jokes, amusing letters etc...have their place and can enhance the story and your enjoyment. Just as long as it's not overdone.

The humble Burrick
Port 'em over from T1 by the cart load. Love 'em. :)

Side stories
Side stories are great to uncover and can help bring the world alive. They shouldn't interfere with the main story or objective, but are great for fleshing out the characters or setting.

Never forget your roots
Originality is ofcourse healthy, but there's nothing like a simple "Bafford's" style job to take you back.

I enjoy many other things in FM's, but I can't be bothered to type anymore right now. :)

ChangelingJane
5th Aug 2002, 16:11
o/` Lighting and burricks and Benny's that sing! These are a few of my favorite things! o/`

Gumdrop
5th Aug 2002, 17:54
Raindrops on rooftops and snow gently falling,
Good ambient lighting with shadows for hiding,
Cute sniffling Burrick's and Haunt's whispering,
There are a few of Gum's favorite things!

Dum da, da...da, da,
Dum da, da...da, da,

Cream coloured pearls and crisp tastey deer legs,
Crate stacking antics and gun powder beer kegs,
Distracting guards by throwing odd things,
These are a few of Gum's favorite things.

Dum da, da...da, da,
Dum da, da...da, da,

Servents in dresses with blue satin sashes,
Grumbling guards with greasy moustaches,
Silverware snatched - alarm bells don't ring,
These are a few of Gum's favorite things.


When zombies do bite, when arrows do sting,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel...Sooooo.....Baaaaaaaaaaad!

Bum, bum. :p

Etid: OK blackie?! ;)

theBlackman
5th Aug 2002, 18:35
Excellent Gummie, but where's the sound track? :p

Minor suggestion "when Zombies DO bite, when arrows DO sting..."

Gumdrop
5th Aug 2002, 18:42
I ton't untersdant...Dhe dwo keys aren'd even nexd do each odher. :confused:

GayleSaver
15th Aug 2002, 01:22
The room remains dark until the torchbearer enters....

Scripts are not the culprits here - not in any direct sense as C++ objects initialized and called by the Dark Engine to extend game functionality and provide professional designers with means to modify the behavior of the game through tools not integrated into Thief's editor. Scripts are also not indirect culprits; adding metaproperties should not erase your hard drive.

Nor, in truth, am I concerned about potential user interference. Users do not currently have the means or information to write hazardous scripts, and the byline is a clear enough indicator of the origin of an executable file. Even if a skilled author were to modify an OSM to damage the system, I hardly believe that author would be borne of TEG or this forum.

However, circumstances forge the danger. I have never forbidden against distributing my files. I have simply warned against such an action. My reasoning was very simple. First of all, I believed that a central install allows a more manageable system for publishing updates. Second, it was clear to me that authors who distributed script files would be imposing upon themselves a responsibility for the file's contents. Shall we have a referendum on accidental contamination - and the potential for legal consequences?

Install concerns for the apparently extraneous steps required to run missions utilizing the aforementioned scripts are understandable no less than my anxiety over the safety of the scripts.

I am floored by the ease with which the public ignores parts of documentation. Almost every word of the above proclamation may be found, in an abrdiged form, in OSM Release Info.doc in the developer release.

GayleSaver
15th Aug 2002, 01:25
Postscriptum:
I implicitly protect the user's machine when I protect the script files, for, per common ethics, the responsibility for a load lies with its hauler.

ChangelingJane
15th Aug 2002, 10:30
Heehee! Gumdrop, that was great!