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          Monday, January 19, 2009

FMs in Development News
- 2:35:53 PM - The Phantom
The latest Circle's FM News, based on the latest update from the upcoming missions list.

Two authors make an appearance in the list: Eternauta & nicked. Eternauta is working on a 3-mission campaign for Thief 2, called "When still". He posted several WIP screenshots and for a first ever project things are looking very good. A release date is still to be announced.

Nicked's next project has the working title "From Beneath the Sands 2". Instead of what it sounds, it won't be a sequel to his 2006 mission, but a complete redesign and remake. It's currently halfway finished, and should be released sometime this year.

First announced in 2004, Vlad Midnight released his Thief Gold FM "Invitation at Castle Morgoth". It can be downloaded from the archives of Southquarter and darklurker.

Queue revealed the name of his debut mission in progress: Plunkett's Point. The name comes from a historical thief whose adventures were used for a movie. It's currently at 50% complete, with no known date of release. Some preview screens were posted on the forums.

Balboa's Tales from the Cleft is making rapid progress. The first part, Vandal, has reached beta stage which means testing can begin soon. A preview video has been posted that shows good looking scenery, supported by a classical music theme by Beethoven. A release is set for January.

Some sad news comes from Sensut, who recently announced he no longer has enough time to continue working on the Bathory campaign. Luckily, he found a friend (Laszlo) to continue the work, while Sensut remains in charge as supervisor. Bathory IV is the part currently in the works. By revealing some WIP screens of the work done by Laszlo, it seems clear that the project is in good hands. Don't miss the youtube video that shows an insight into the castle area. Other news is that the campaign will get a total number of seven missions, so there's plenty to look forward to.

Short news:

  • R Soul revealed some interior screens from the mansion in his upcoming project
  • Amoral Dilemma by Krush the Second is getting close to completion, with 90% of the work now done.
  • CrackedGear's mission Silence Part 2 (T3) is getting close to release. The author is in need of beta testers for the first area.
  • A few new screens are posted from Death's Cold Embrace, the project on which Yandros and Moghedian are working on.
  • DrK's laptop died, which means work on Night in Rocksbourg part 4 cannot continue until a new one is bought. Instead of dromeding, DrK is now busy with textures.
  • Rose Cottage is still being worked on by SlyFoxx and Yandros. Both are busy with other missions as well, but they promise it will get done eventually.
  • Beta testing for The Book of Prophecy Part 2 has started.

    To end this update, there's news from The Hammerite Imperium. The first mission, Seven Shades of Mercury, is finally nearing release thanks to the contributions of several forum members. Many more missions were originally planned for this campaign, but those will mos likely never be finished.

    The full change list can be read here.

    Until next update,

    The Phantom

  •           Thursday, January 08, 2009

    Tales from the Cleft Part 1: Vandal Preview
    - 9:58:17 PM - pavlovscat
    Video Preview
    Check out this cool video preview! Balboa has released a video preview of his upcoming mission, Tales from the Cleft Part 1: Vandal. The mission is expected to enter the beta testing phase sometime this month. According to Balboa's mission description this should be a great Thiefy adventure:

    A story of love, greed, treachery, and all that other good stuff. And loot, don't want to forget loot.

    You can visit the Forum Discussion Thread if you would like to post a comment.

    Thief Tenth Anniversary Contest Results!
    - 5:51:54 PM - pavlovscat
    And the Winner Is...
    The Thief Tenth Anniversary Contest Results including scores and mission authors have been announced! You can congratulate the winners at the Contest Results Discussion Thread. A big thanks to all the authors who made FMs for this contest. I'd also like to thank Shadak, Brethren and Redface for their hard work in making the contest a success. Congratulations to all the authors for making some very fun and exciting missions.

    Now, without further ado, here are the final results:

    FIRST PLACE: The Tower by Lady Rowena, score 9.03; Discussion & Help Thread
    This mission rated the top overall score of 10 from me. It is so amazing. If you like scaling the rooftops and climbing everywhere, you will love this mission. Maximum use was made of the small size allotted for the contest with hidden passages and climbing puzzles. The Tower had plenty of classic Thief gameplay to distract from the small size. It's no surprise that Lady Rowena created the winning entry for this contest. Her most recent release, The Seven Sisters was equally amazing. Congratulations to Lady Rowena!!

    SECOND PLACE: Ashes and Dust by Random_Taffer, score 8.24; Discussion & Help Thread
    As my number 3 pick with an overall score of 8.75, this is a wonderful classic Thief styled mission. The story was compelling and raised my overall enjoyment of playing the mission. I was challenged but not frustrated. The mansion was very pretty as well. This is a very balanced mission.

    THIRD PLACE: A Weekend Getaway by Ottoj55, score 8.01; Discussion & Help Thread
    This was my number two overall pick with an overall rating of 9.75. It is a spooky little mansion with a lot of puzzles. As always, Ottoj55 has created a gorgeous mission. I thought that using the three difficulty levels for successive parts of the mission was an ingenious way to expand the mission within the restrictions of the contest. I really enjoyed playing this mission. There were many undead, but the fun new weapons made short work of them. I always enjoy playing with Otto's new toys.

    FOURTH PLACE: The Affairs of Wizards by Nameless Voice, score 7.73; Discussion & Help Thread
    Number four for me as well with 8.5 is this exciting mission. It starts off as a standard mansion mission but becomes so much more. You get to explore in various mages' demesnes which make this mission feel much larger. It is a challenging mission which is a lot of fun. The one issue which hurt the score for this otherwise excellent mission was difficulty in completing the ending sequence. I had to replay the entire mission to get the ending to work properly.

    FIFTH PLACE: Weak Links by ghost_in_the_shell, score 6.91; Discussion & Help Thread
    This mission tied for 6th place in my ratings with 7.5 overall. This is a nicely put together mansion mission with some troublesome AI patrols for the mandatory ghosting in Hard or Expert level. The mission is mostly standard but the game play never bored me and included lots of loot. This mission was updated on Jan. 09, 2009 to Version 1.0.1

    SIXTH PLACE: The Kindred Vault by eepcat, score 6.72; Discussion & Help Thread
    This mission achieved an overall score of 7.75 for 5th place in my voting. I liked the Egyptian styling and puzzle solving. The return trip presents new obstacles which makes the mission feel bigger. The mission was not particularly difficult on Normal which is good for those who aren't fans of the undead and all their charms.

    SEVENTH PLACE: An Old Friend by Lost Soul, score 6.41; Discussion & Help Thread
    Tied for 6th place with 7.5 overall points, this mission had inventive architecture which was very impressive for a new author. The mission had some obvious flaws which disrupted the flow of the mission, but nonetheless, I am anxious to see what Lost Soul can do without a deadline or space constraint.

    EIGHTH PLACE: Falling Down by TF, score 6.37; Discussion & Help Thread
    Coming in at 8th in my ratings with an overall score of 6.0, this mission has some interesting moments while exploring a cave system including sliding rocks, dust, a drunk guard and craymen. The mission is pretty basic, but the ambiance of the caves is well done. With some loot to find and some creative puzzles to solve, I did enjoy playing this one.

    NINTH PLACE: Flowers for a Friend by P Forth, score 5.72; Discussion & Help Thread
    I scored this mission 9th at 5.75. A simple trip to honor a deceased Keeper friend turns into a raid on a Theives' hideout. Though the gameplay and constructions are very basic, there are some areas that stand out. The autumn graveyard is very nice, and blowing up things is always a fun thing to do! The ending is pretty scary as well. Overall this is a competent mission.

    TENTH PLACE: Bad Intentions by Mirko, score 5.34; Discussion & Help Thread
    I scored this one tied for 12th at 4.5. Nothing particularly stands out in my mind about this mission. It is a very standard mission with the addition of the ghosting requirement. Mirko released an updated version on Jan. 08, 2009 with German language support added.

    ELEVENTH PLACE: Yume no Rozen by Sxerks, score 5.0; Discussion & Help Thread
    My overall score was 5.25 for 10th. This was a total "What just happened?" mission. The music was interesting, but I did not care for the forced ghosting. And the ending twist was just a bit to out there for me. I appreciate the creativity in making something very different from the average mission with an interesting story, but this one wasn't to my taste. Sxerks released an updated version on Jan. 07.

    TWELFTH PLACE: Vampire Skull by nicked, score 4.59; Discussion & Help Thread
    I scored this mission a 4.75, 11th overall. The only real stand out in this mission is the Vampire Skull which is pretty cool. This mission was very basic with little to excite me beyond the skull itself.

    THIRTEENTH PLACE: The Homeless Dude by John The Beggar, score 4.3; Discussion & Help Thread
    This mission tied for 12th at 4.5 in my scores. Probably the least complete of the entries, this mission was disappointing because it wasn't possible to complete due to bugs with the objectives. Otherwise, it is a basic mission with a basic story and basic gameplay.

              Wednesday, January 07, 2009

    Invitation to Castle Morgoth for TG Released!
    - 7:42:18 PM - pavlovscat
    New Mission
    Released December 30, 2008 - Invitation to Castle Morgoth a mission for TG by Vlad Midnight

    The Mission:
    Someone wants to hire Garrett and has offered a nice reward. Garrett must search Castle Morgoth to find this person. There are also rumors of a teleport coin kept in the Castle that Garrett may as well take with him. After his objectives are completed, Garrett must find a way to leave Morgoth.

    This is a dark, creepy mission suited perfectly to Thief Gold. The choice of music is excellent. I had many jump-out-of-my-chair moments while wandering through Castle Morgoth. There are several undead at the Castle. The mission is challenging, but, with carefull attention to details, you are provided the resources to complete it. The mission is very dark; however, nothing is hidden in the blackness. It adds to the spooky atmosphere and enhances certain areas of the mission. I highly recommend playing this mission.

    Playing on Normal, I finished in 1:41:09 with 3540/4015 loot.


    Need some help? Try the Forum Discussion Thread.

    Prowler of the Dark for T1 Released!
    - 5:49:28 PM - pavlovscat
    New Mission
    Released December 30, 2008 - Prowler of the Dark a mission for T1 by Melan
    Note: This mission is TDP compatible but uses some resources from Thief Gold. If you are using TDP, you will need to install the TGPatch.
    January 07, 2009 - Updated to version 1.2 to resolve TDP/TG issues.

    The Mission:
    Garrett has been hired to recover an ancient skull. The skull is reported to be held in a Hammerite compound. Surely there will be a safe way in and out for a Master Thief.

    This is a small city mission with a mere five days spent building it, yet it is a great little mission. Melan has created an intricate town with many areas to explore, including the rooftops. Explore everything thouroughly for there are many treasures. I thoroughly enjoyed playing. Prowler has all the classic feeling of the original TDP missions and the gritty visuals that many of us still appreciate. This is certainly one of my favorite small T1/G FMs. I recommend it.

    Playing on Normal, I finished in 32:29 with 1185/1300 loot.


    Head over to the Forum Discussion Thread and see what other taffers think about this mission.

              Friday, January 02, 2009

    Christmas Present for T2 Released!
    - 8:37:33 PM - pavlovscat
    New Mission
    Released December 27, 2008 - Christmas Present a mission for T2 by Naks & P Forth
    Updated January 4, 2009 to version 1.1 to fix a problem.

    The Mission:
    Garrett has been hired for an unusual mission. In a nearby village, all the Christmas presents have been stolen! They need Garrett to find their presents and return them before Christmas is ruined. Garrett playing Santa Claus...who'd have guessed?

    This is a lovely, snowy Christmas mission. Returning the presents was a nice twist for the season. The mission is not a large one, but it has a variety of problems to solve before you can get the presents. This mission will be a regular Christmas tradition for me!

    Playing on Normal, I finished in 47:46 with 800/1300 loot.


    Want to make a comment about this lovely Christmas mission? Visit the Forum Discussion Thread.

    Off the Record for T2 Released!
    - 7:55:42 PM - pavlovscat
    New Mission
    Released December 25, 2008 - Off The Record a mission for T2 by Yandros

    The Mission:
    Garrett finds out about a case file which details many of his past exploits. The file is being held at the City Hall Annex. Garrett needs to sneak in through a basement window, find where the file is stored, and make it disappear - permanently!

    Yandros intended this mission to be an entry in the 10th Anniversary Contest but missed the deadline. Off The Record meets the contest requirements for size, so it is a small mission. Yandros made a neat little mansion with a good story. The game play is fairly easy, but ghosting will add to the difficulty. Overall, this is a nice small mission that would likely have scored well in the Anniversary Contest.

    Playing on Normal, I finished in 27:15 with 1115/1895 loot and 2/3 secrets.


    Head to the Forum Discussion Thread if you have questions or want to comment on this mission.

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