Author Topic: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief  (Read 5872 times)

Offline Doc_Brown

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Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« on: May 06, 2006, 12:17:36 AM »
Welcome to the first ever installment of Singular Excellence!  This feature, which I hope the Foxhole will become well known for, is essentially a "best of" article showcasing the finest user-made single player mods for a particular game or series.  Singular Excellence is unique, however, in that the format can change with each edition as is appropriate, and that the winners are selected not exclusively by the editorial staff, but by the fan community itself.

The Classic Thief edition, in case you were wondering, encompasses those games of the Thief series made with the Dark Engine (ie Thief: The Dark Project, Thief Gold, and Thief 2: The Metal Age).  Considering the nature and diversity of Thief Fan Missions, this article will be divided into categories describing the common mission types, each of which in turn will have a few select "winners" to represent them.  Here's how it's going to work:

We, the Foxhole staff and community, will first have the chance to discuss and select the categories this feature will encompass.  Preliminary voting will then take place.  At that point, the voting process will be opened to the largest Thief community on the net, Through The Looking Glass.  After the voting has closed, the results will be tabulated and the article will be posted on the Foxhole.  Links to it will of course be provided on both forums.

I know there are many avid Thief fans and FM players on this forum, so this promises to be good!  Starfox, Silver, Rogue, bobdog... the list goes on and on.  We even have the honor of Nightwalker from TTLG joining us. *nods respectfully*

Let's begin, shall we?  If you were to divide Thief FM into categories, how would you do so?
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2006, 06:16:02 PM »
Since I'm barely sentient at the moment (my afternoon hibernation went well, although it didn't last a week like I'd hoped), this is more of a bump to get your post more attention than the new FMs thread. But I'll give it a try. Don't blame me if my suggestions are stupid, or if I've completely missed the point.  :lol:

Categories:

AI Sub-categories?:
(the undead isssue is important to some people; others cannot stand spiders at all)

Undead-only
Undead-intensive [a mix of undead and live (human) AI (and/or creatures), with undead predominating]
Live AI-only [guards, Hammers, Mechs, servants, thieves, what have you.]
Live AI-intensive [mix of undead, live, and creatures, live (humans) predominant]
Creatures everywhere [mix, but creatures are in charge]
Creatures-only [rare, but I'm sure they're out there.]

Mission styles:

Mansion
Crypt
Cathedral
Town [as in, going door-to-door]
Weird [all bets are off]
Caverns
Wilderness
Castle
A mix of any of the above; e.g., "mansion-crypt," "wilderness-caverns," etc.

There's more, there's always more. When I can think clearly again, I'll be back. You may want to attempt barring me from this thread in the meantime.  ;D
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Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2006, 08:38:32 PM »
Don't forget the various objective types!

- General Theft
- Specific Theft (Get Cap'n Orangebeard's third peg leg)
- Reconnaissance/Espionage
- Murder
- Ingress/Egress (get into/out of this place)

Of course, there's always combinations.

Wow, I've been away from Thief for too long....
"Choice one: we flank them using what military men called tactics, and what religious men call divine inspiration. Or, we charge at them head on screaming various obscenities, in what military men call bravery and religious men also call divine inspiration."

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2006, 10:14:42 PM »
I know what you mean. I fired up an FM today and forgot that you don't have to toggle sneaking in Thief.  ::)

Others:

Mysteries**[/color]
Snatch 'n' grabs
Night of the Living Dead / Zombie-and/or-Haunt Massacre
Traps
Keyhunts
Jailbreaks [getting out]
Jailbreaks [getting in]
Rooftops
T1/Gold Remakes

[**[/color] That reminds me: a while back on TTLG, Yandros mentioned that he was making a Clue-based FM. I wonder if he's still working on that? I could probably ask him, but hey...who the hell am I? ;)]
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Offline bobdog

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2006, 10:52:23 AM »
And of course, how do you break out multiple-level mods that encompass a variety of these various playing styles (Thief 2X, Christine's series, Calendra)? And some games switch gears mid-stream and end a whole other direction.

I don't know -- this may be fairly difficult to pin down.... I remember that Thief The Circle used to give out silver and gold hammers to highly recommended games -- how will this be different? Not trying to be difficult, but just want to know what we can add to the conversation that hasn't been said before a hundred other times.

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2006, 08:45:12 PM »
how will this be different?

Well, I think the categorization will be a major element of that.  General review listings are a bit too generic, which makes it difficult to say which of two productions with, say, five stars is better than the other.  Top ten listings, on the other hand, tend to be too specific--there is a single, solitairy mod that is "the best," and then only a handful of others worth mentioning.

Mind you, I'm not trying to bash reviews and top tens.  They each serve their own purpose in certain situations.  The thing about Thief fan missions is they are far more complex and varied than most mods, and of a staggering number in general.  What this feature proposes to do is hybridize the two approaches for a, hopefully, more useful analysis.

-------------------------------------------------

As far as these categories go, I want to suggest something to help you all focus.  Look back over your categories and consider what FMs would be eligible for each.  If you see overlap or can't come up with more than a few suggestions, consider dropping the category in question.  With a little work, I think we can cull this down into a lean, efficient selection.  :onethumb:
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 10:07:27 PM »
I've been giving it a bit of thought, and here's what I've been able to pare down from the lists of suggestions:

Scary - any setting (crypt, haunted mansion) and subject (undead, spiders) so long as it's frightening
Thieves' Highway - missions primarily concerned with travel on rooftops
City Streets - cityscapes where the action is focused on street level
Isolated - any (urban) area that's cut off from the streets such as mansions, castles, cathedrals, etc.
Natural - forests, caverns, that sort of thing
Unnatural - Trickster-style funhouses that pay no heed to reality, that sort of thing
Kleptomania - missions noteworthy for the fact that you are after no specific artifact, simply anything of value
Espionage - FMs where theft isn't the objective at all, but instead spying, blackmailing, and so forth
Assassin - those missions wherein killing someone is your raison d'├ętre
Campaigns - fan missions encompassing more than one map

Are there suggestions that you should be put back in, for example?  I figure there will actually be a bit of overlap (a mission that is, say, both scary and isolated), but I don't see that being a problem.  Thoughts?
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 11:31:38 PM »
I think those should be pretty good. As you say, there will be overlap, for example undead missions in cathedrals -- do you score it for both? But I think they also mirror the Thief original games themselves, because I can see each of the original Thief 2 missions in these categories.

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 09:45:11 PM »
I've been trying to think of a term to encompass these categories, and the one that springs to mind is the "defining element" of the FM.  Does that work for you guys, or do we need to consider another approach?

As for the scoring, bobdog, it really comes down to how good they are in the categories.  A FM can be both scary and isolated, but if there are better FMs dealing with isolation then it really wouldn't be in the running for that category despite meeting the qualifications.  In turn, a FM could merit numerous accolades by proving to be one of the top examples of multiple categories... does that make sense?
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2006, 09:45:04 AM »
"Defining element" is good. And you're saying to score it based on what that "defining element" is, and if it excels at various elements, then it will come up the ranks in those, correct?

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2006, 09:24:22 PM »
That's precisely it, bobdog.  ;D  If we consider something like Equilibrium one of the top frightening FMs as well as top isolation FMs, then so be it.  I only wonder if the categories will require further tweaking once we get down to the preliminary voting process...
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2006, 07:08:31 AM »
My problem is that I've forgotten most of what I've played!!  :o  I can remember the main ones like Calendra, but I just space out on everything else.... But I know the TTLG folks will be all over it -- they probably have them memorized, categorized, synthesized and electrified  :turnhappy:  !!

Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2006, 12:05:53 AM »
Sorry to be out of the thread so long. I've been thinking of a unique scoring system, and happened upon a possibility- loot scores! We can assign particular aspects their own "treasure"- minor things like proper construction, texture use, so on get say, "Copper Ring" scores of 25 gold, while clever usage of resources, being a "leading example" of its genre(s), etc. might get like "Uncut Diamond" scores of 500 gold. The better the FM, and the better it does in each category, the higher the loot score.

I imagine it needs a lot of work, and it's 1 in the morning which precludes me from giving it better thought (or typing coherently, for that matter) so I'll leave it how it is.
"Choice one: we flank them using what military men called tactics, and what religious men call divine inspiration. Or, we charge at them head on screaming various obscenities, in what military men call bravery and religious men also call divine inspiration."

Offline bobdog

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Re: Singular Excellence: Classic Thief
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2006, 07:57:12 PM »
Well, that would be different, and would at least make sense to rank by level. [For example, on the Underdogs forums, you move up in dog classes by your number of postings, but the dogs aren't really ranked by size (i.e. Chihuahua to poodle to great dane), so it doesn't really make more sense -- do I want to be a toy poodle by posting 1000 times?)]

 

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