Marathon: Grendel

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Post Aug 15th '12, 05:04

PerseusSpartacus wrote:Well, if you exclude expository levels, Grendel is really just 23 levels long. So, yeah, this scenario isn't as ambitious as it was originally choked up to be. Oh well. 23 levels is still nothing to sneeze at. Nonetheless, I should probably have this done some time early next year. I already finished the first expository level (aside from terminal text), which only took a few days because I have very little available time per day currently. Gradually, this available time should increase, making work faster.

Cheers,
Perseus

Show some pictures of your expository level to shut us up.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Aug 15th '12, 06:23

PerseusSpartacus, feel free to just ignore everyone. There may have been a time in the past no one would bother to pay attention to you, and when you inevitably disappeared without releasing anything, no one would have even noticed or cared. Unfortunately for you, there's nothing else going on in the community right now, so you're actually getting some attention.
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Wrkncacnter

Post Aug 15th '12, 09:15

@ PerseusSpartacus

I'll give some more advice you don't want to hear. ;)

While some people on this forum may come off as... um... mean-spirited, they are actually a great source of criticism that should be taken seriously.

Their criticism was so good it actually killed my own project... (well, Raul Bonilla's project for those of you who remember him. I blame him for everything!). My project even had +30 levels completed, new graphics, and a lot of old graphics. I won't go in details (although for anybody who cares I'd answer PMs), but even though I was throughly annoyed by everything they told me, at the end of the day I realized that none of it was untrue.

Even though folks like RyokoTK and Shotgunllama are brutally straight forward, they both are exceptionally helpful at the end of the day (I won't call them softies at heart, they might yell at me).
If you would like to help the MaraPiD project, send me a personal message.

Download the Marathon: Pathways into Darkness Beta:
http://rapidshare.com/files/48405034/MPiD_Version_0.5.zip
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Winter_Wolf
The inner catacombs of a dark pyramid.

Post Aug 15th '12, 12:49

There's no rule against submitting a demo to the three level scenario contest. So, pick the best three maps you have at the end of September, take out any spoilers, and submit them. That would put people in their place.

Then you can still go on to make the other 20/27/next arbitrarily chosen number maps to finish early next year.

By the way, your name shows up to the left of your posts, so there's no need to sign each one. Ask Dugit. Also, it's P.P.S.
Last edited by treellama on Aug 15th '12, 12:51, edited 1 time in total.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Aug 15th '12, 14:16

Personally, I like short games. If a game has a good plot and aesthetic and I can finish it in one sitting (Portal), then that's awesome. It's like watching an interactive movie. 3-7 good levels is almost better than 30 in a way because getting up from the computer can break the feel of the game.

edit:
3 good levels is WAY better than 30 bad or even mediocre ones
Last edited by gmanyo on Aug 15th '12, 14:17, edited 1 time in total.
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gmanyo

Post Aug 15th '12, 17:46

gmanyo wrote:Personally, I like short games. If a game has a good plot and aesthetic and I can finish it in one sitting (Portal), then that's awesome. It's like watching an interactive movie.


Gravity Bone
Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est
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philtron

Post Aug 15th '12, 23:38

I don't understand why you all need to behave so negatively. If the man promises he will deliver, then you can wait until he doesn't deliver to crucify him. Has the community really became this mean-spirited?

PerseusSpartan, if you think you can do a 30 level scenario, then do it. If you think you can do a 3 level scenario, still do it. Content is content, and even if it's unenjoyable it still gives you an opportunity to improve.
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caffienemachine

Post Aug 16th '12, 00:40

Caffienemachine, it's not so much anything against him, (Heck, I don't think anybody has anything against him) it's just that we've seen to many projects announced, and then (much to nobodies surprise) nothing get done! I've been here less than a year, [spoiler] yes, xdedge included [/spoiler] and I've seen around three, four, maybe even five projects announced, and then nothing ever happens. It's sad to see good intentions die, but we've become weary and cautious (maybe even pissed off at) of scenarios announced with nothing done.

To quote.... I'm not sure. Maybe one of the main three.

Pictures or it didn't happen.
EDIT: Re-read this.

PerseusSpartan, if you think you can do a 30 level scenario, then do it. If you think you can do a 3 level scenario, still do it. Content is content, and even if it's unenjoyable it still gives you an opportunity to improve.


Yes, it will give him an opportunity to improve. But if it is mediocre, with a 3-4 level scenario we'll b able to give him constructive criticism . Right now, all we have to go on is past experience.

We've been burned too many times by this sort of thing.
Last edited by listener on Aug 16th '12, 00:54, edited 1 time in total.
listener

Post Aug 17th '12, 01:34

listener wrote:Caffienemachine, it's not so much anything against him, (Heck, I don't think anybody has anything against him) it's just that we've seen to many projects announced, and then (much to nobodies surprise) nothing get done! I've been here less than a year, [spoiler] yes, xdedge included [/spoiler] and I've seen around three, four, maybe even five projects announced, and then nothing ever happens. It's sad to see good intentions die, but we've become weary and cautious (maybe even pissed off at) of scenarios announced with nothing done.

Yes, it will give him an opportunity to improve. But if it is mediocre, with a 3-4 level scenario we'll b able to give him constructive criticism . Right now, all we have to go on is past experience.

We've been burned too many times by this sort of thing.

If that's all you guys are worried about, then don't fret. I won't let this thing go in the gutter. It's too important to me. This game will be finished, whether it takes months or years.

Anyways, I'll give you guys screenshots when I finish the second level (i.e. the first real level). I can't say you'll be impressed, but I don't think you'll hate it, either.
Powerful experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Aug 18th '12, 00:02

PerseusSpartacus wrote:If that's all you guys are worried about, then don't fret. I won't let this thing go in the gutter. It's too important to me. This game will be finished, whether it takes months or years.

Anyways, I'll give you guys screenshots when I finish the second level (i.e. the first real level). I can't say you'll be impressed, but I don't think you'll hate it, either.


Good luck man! Post some screenshots as soon as possible ;)
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caffienemachine

Post Aug 18th '12, 05:09

caffienemachine wrote:Good luck man! Post some screenshots as soon as possible ;)

I will once I finish the first room of the second level. I think it'll have some awesome lighting (awesome compared to stuff I've tried previously, though not compared to the kind of stuff scenarios like Rubicon pull off), and I want to show that to you guys once I have it finished.

Cheers,
Perseus
Powerful experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Aug 18th '12, 06:53

Hi,
This sounds like an interesting project, are there any screen dumps available? With a project having already generated three/four pages of comments, I'm sure there must be tons of material generated as well! If that's not the case, I'd recommend stop wasting time typing and start wasting time making maps.

Kindest regards,
Don-Martin
D-M.A.

Post Aug 18th '12, 06:57

D-M.A. wrote:Kindest regards,
patrick
末法

Post Aug 18th '12, 13:03


All this guy does is call people racist. He was on an episode of QI once and called Stephen Fry a racist. He pretty much said "are you fucking kidding me" and now Reginald Hunter hasn't been back on the show since.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Aug 18th '12, 13:53

D-M.A. wrote:Hi,
This sounds like an interesting project, are there any screen dumps available? With a project having already generated three/four pages of comments, I'm sure there must be tons of material generated as well! If that's not the case, I'd recommend stop wasting time typing and start wasting time making maps.

No, no screen dumps yet. I'm getting right on those maps as we speak, though.

Also, glad you're interested.

Cheers,
Perseus
Powerful experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Aug 18th '12, 15:39

Good news! I finished the first room of the second (i.e. first non-exposition) level, and the lighting in it is impressive (at least to me, it is, given that I'm not incredibly skilled at map-making). Therefore, I shall give you the first update, complete with screenshots. Note, this is a long post, and the screenshots may hog a lot of bandwidth.

01 - Getting Out of Bed:

A straight-forward exposition level. You come out of stasis on-board a captured Pfhor shuttle, and you're told to grab some weapons and ammo and an uplink chip. It is also revealed that the UESG (United Earth Space Guard) is planning a strike on a Pfhor battleship. You will get to play an important part in that strike.

[attachment=5730:Screen_s...50.56_AM.png]
The main area. The panels with the Red Cross symbols on them are closed stasis cells, behind which are a bunch of BoBs.

[attachment=5731:Screen_s...51.03_AM.png]
The terminal room. The panels with all the lights and symbols on them actually move sideways, like in some of the levels of Marathon: Phoenix.

[attachment=5732:Screen_s...56.56_AM.png]
What the Auto-map looks like for the first level. Obviously a small level, but I did like one feature. See those three blue blips? There's about 11 of them in all, in out-of-bounds areas of the level. They indicate BoBs, who are supposed to be in stasis. Thought you guys might like that little touch. [MSmile]

02 - Welcome, Nasty Primate:

This level picks up where the last one left off. The shuttle has just docked with the Pfhor Battleship, and all eleven BoBs (apparently commandos) have been released from cryo-stasis, as you can see below.

[attachment=5733:Screen_s...59.41_PM.png]
The BoBs with the slate-blue uniforms replaced the BoBs with the weird terracotta uniforms (you know, the ones that drop actual weapons instead of just ammo for those weapons).

[attachment=5734:Screen_s...23.33_AM.png]
This hangar bay is somewhat based off the shuttle bay from the Halo level "Truth and Reconciliation" (columns with glowing blue lights inside, large rooms with high-up ledges which have enemies perched atop them, etc.

[attachment=5735:Screen_s...22.50_AM.png]
A view of the same hangar bay, but from atop the ledge. The blue panels signify that there is a ship docked with the hangar bay. If there was no ship docked, those panels would be red.

[attachment=5737:Screen_s...29.19_PM.png]
Another view of the hangar bay from the ledge, but focused on the lighting up top and not on the bottom floor.

That's all for now. Please comment and tell me what you think of this first update.

Cheers,
Perseus
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Last edited by PerseusSpartacus on Aug 18th '12, 15:41, edited 1 time in total.
Powerful experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Aug 18th '12, 18:01

Those screenshots look alright. Architecture's boring, and you probably have way too many polygons (the lights on the ground have multiple levels, and look a bit weird anyway), but for a first effort, not bad. I really like the colors and shading, and how you didn't use too many textures. You seem to have a decent natural aesthetic sense.


But you are still going to need a lot of practice. You really should start small. I really don't see why you're so against it. The goal is to START small, not to END small. Here's a question: do you like your ideas for Grendel? Do you want your game to be mediocre? I can tell you right now that your game WILL be mediocre if you just try to do the whole thing now, without any training.

Let me try to put it a different way:
Starting small is thinking big. When you start small, you're trying to really hone your skills in so you can create a good product.
You said this yourself:
PerseusSpartacus wrote:P.S.S. - If you're curious why I went for a 30-level scenario instead of a 7-level scenario, it's because I'm not interested in some piddly little scenario that serves no purpose. I want to do this.
If you want to do this, then you cannot take shortcuts. And "starting big" is actually taking a shortcut. You don't get into the NCAA by shooting a few hoops, you have to practice practice practice. You can't just direct The Dark Night without first directing Doodlebug (and even when Nolan filmed Doodlebug in 1997, he already had years of training behind him). The reason starting small is annoying is because it's MORE WORK. But more work produces better things. Maybe if you start small, Marathon:Grendel will end up alongside games like Tempus Irae and Rubicon. If you try to skip the work required by "starting big", Marathon:Grendel will be terrible.



Here's the best way I can sum this up for you:
We're not telling you to think small. We're telling you to think big. You're the one who is thinking small here. If you do the hard things required to make better things later, you'll end up with something good. Otherwise, you'll have shit.

I believe you can do it. The question is whether you're willing to do the hard work.
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gmanyo

Post Aug 18th '12, 20:41

gmanyo wrote:Those screenshots look alright. Architecture's boring, and you probably have way too many polygons (the lights on the ground have multiple levels, and look a bit weird anyway), but for a first effort, not bad. I really like the colors and shading, and how you didn't use too many textures. You seem to have a decent natural aesthetic sense.
But you are still going to need a lot of practice. You really should start small. I really don't see why you're so against it. The goal is to START small, not to END small. Here's a question: do you like your ideas for Grendel? Do you want your game to be mediocre? I can tell you right now that your game WILL be mediocre if you just try to do the whole thing now, without any training.

Let me try to put it a different way:
Starting small is thinking big. When you start small, you're trying to really hone your skills in so you can create a good product.
You said this yourself:
If you want to do this, then you cannot take shortcuts. And "starting big" is actually taking a shortcut. You don't get into the NCAA by shooting a few hoops, you have to practice practice practice. You can't just direct The Dark Night without first directing Doodlebug (and even when Nolan filmed Doodlebug in 1997, he already had years of training behind him). The reason starting small is annoying is because it's MORE WORK. But more work produces better things. Maybe if you start small, Marathon:Grendel will end up alongside games like Tempus Irae and Rubicon. If you try to skip the work required by "starting big", Marathon:Grendel will be terrible.
Here's the best way I can sum this up for you:
We're not telling you to think small. We're telling you to think big. You're the one who is thinking small here. If you do the hard things required to make better things later, you'll end up with something good. Otherwise, you'll have shit.

I believe you can do it. The question is whether you're willing to do the hard work.


Listen to me guys. I am the real PerseusSpartacus. My account on here, along with my Facebook and email were hacked. I can provide information to prove I am the real Perseus. That map was the intro map that I had been working on for Ex Pluribus. I don't know why this guy posted this thread, but I can assure you, I had no intention of making a thirty-level scenario. If a mod could please contact me, I will be able to prove that I am Perseus.

Cheers,
Perseus
HelpfulHopeful

Post Aug 18th '12, 21:36

Hmm, when I read something like this, I do not know what to believe, so I believe nothing.
Last edited by goran on Aug 18th '12, 21:37, edited 1 time in total.
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goran

Post Aug 18th '12, 21:37

Well said, gmanyo. I agree with all of it.

As for specific feedback. Those lights are weird the way they're designed. If they have a limited range then the pillar should only have a short light at the top and a short light at the bottom, not one giant light all along the pillar's height. Or you could just have the light cast by the pillar extend to the walls.

The walls and floors need more detail. Everything is just one extended texture and you should break it up to make it visually more interesting. Floors could use shallow trenches, short raised areas, boxes, or pillars. The walls could use pillars to break the flat plane or be split vertically so the top half has one texture and the bottom half has a different texture. You could also include some extra detailing where the floors and ceilings meet the walls such as "benches" or buttresses.

In general it's all just to plain to look at; there's nothing going on visually or spatially. It would be fine for a smaller space, but when you have so little detail in such a large visual area it just looks bare bones and boring.
Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est
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philtron

Post Aug 18th '12, 21:59

For the time being, I'd appreciate it if we didn't discuss whether or not HelpfulHopeful is Perseus in this thread. I've messaged him as requested, but I don't want this thread to turn into an argument about whether or not he's lying.
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$lave

Post Aug 18th '12, 22:23

Good for you for sharing! You went to more effort with the screenshots and text than we usually see.

I like the look of that hangar bay. I also agree with skraeling that you would do well to break up large expanses of the same texture. That may mean making some rooms smaller, or carving them up to add layers of detail.

In a greater sense, though, I think you've pushed past that initial inertia, and are now on your way to becoming an accomplished mapmaker. I already see refinement going from the first level to the second. You're likely in a phase where you will learn more in the process of mapping than you will from the feedback you get here. Not that criticism isn't useful, but don't be afraid to disengage for a while and figure some things out for yourself.
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Crater Creator

Post Aug 19th '12, 01:09

Thank you for putting out screenshots, at least.

Look into differential shading to improve your visual style. As a general rule: two sections of wall not at the same angle should not have the same light.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Aug 19th '12, 01:18

HelpfulHopeful wrote:I am the real PerseusSpartacus.

This reminds me of a movie...
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Aug 19th '12, 06:48

Treellama wrote:This reminds me of a movie...


We're all the real PerseusSpartacus.
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Horkeldorf

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