Secret project coming soon

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Post Mar 19th '09, 18:51

Winter_Wolf wrote:Fair enough on the Enforcers. I have always been a fan of the theory that there is a time lapse between M1 and M2 that means Pfhor in M1 are using antiquated technology compared to M2 Pfhor. Whatever you decide to do I think it'll be cool, though. In retrospect, why not just make M2 Enforcers stronger in health and more expensive? I know I just switched sides on this debate, but giving the M1 Enforcers a shield blows the old vs. new technology theory. I'd still like them to be both called Willful Class but at least the M2 Enforcer will be what you wanted him to be (a combat enforcer).


Both M1 and M2 Enforcers will probably have a shield item option. If I can make one of those, which I think I will be able to.
For both Troopers and Enforcers, the M1 version will be geared towards speed, while the M2 towards damage resistance.

Winter_Wolf wrote:The Tau Ceti level sounds fun! I look forward to seeing it if you put it in! What's the status of Hunters in Marathon Freedom? They might make a great last wave on your Tau Ceti level... (just throwing ideas out there).


InfestedSmith has graciously offered to make an M1 style hunter for me. I guess I might get the M2 as well. Because of his, over my, superior modeling skills, I'm awaiting this. I have a model that's made from a redesigned Engine Zero one, but I haven't used it, as his will undoubtedly be better.
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Nitocris

Post Mar 24th '09, 17:46

I whipped up a icon on a whim for Marathon Freedom today. I'll make some changes to it later, probably change the black to green, and give it some nice gloss. But If anyones interested, here is the "Beta", if you will, icon.


:EDIT:
Does anyone know how to resize images? It's awfully big, and I can't find anything in the "BB Code Help" section.

Here is the icns file.

https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/99638/Marat ... eedom.icns
Last edited by L'howon on Mar 24th '09, 18:09, edited 1 time in total.
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L'howon
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Post Mar 25th '09, 18:29

Last edited by thedoctor45 on Mar 25th '09, 18:30, edited 1 time in total.
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thedoctor45

Post Mar 25th '09, 19:01

Hm, not too shabby doctor. The cartoon-y look is an interesting take. I updated my own icon, on the suggestion of the guys over at hl.bungie.org (Thanks to LegacyTyphoon for the idea to change the big F to something else.)



Download ICNS file
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L'howon
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Post Mar 25th '09, 19:33

I've come down with something and it's impairing my work. I'm still moving forward, though, but very leisurely. Otherwise I was hoping on a new release friday. We'll see.
Just so you all know.
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Nitocris

Post Mar 25th '09, 22:25

CubicCircle wrote:I've come down with something and it's impairing my work. I'm still moving forward, though, but very leisurely. Otherwise I was hoping on a new release friday. We'll see.
Just so you all know.


Sorry to hear you are not well.

I'm very excited for your next release though!
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
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Post Mar 25th '09, 22:41



[MGrin]
Last edited by ukimalefu on Mar 25th '09, 22:45, edited 1 time in total.
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ukimalefu

Post Mar 29th '09, 13:41

A new release will come soon. Three new levels. I just wanted to tell you this now so you won't skip reading this and just download instead.

Replay God of Dread, if you please. My new solution is more in keeps with my original idea of sneaky aversion. Not a big change, but you might like it.

New levels:
Hasting Sewageplant
Nightmare Descent
World Arena

World Arena is a sporting event, where you bet money on the outcome of random team matches. Two teams by default, but if you bet on the third team, it becomes in play. Winning enough lets you buy XP, losing all your money and you'll have no choice but to go back to the Main Menu.
This is a much closer look at how everything is designed.

I'm holding of the defense level on Tau Ceti one release. It's the all-out level and I think it will make anything after it looks small. You'll still see the new weapons in the Arena, and long to wield them yourself, perhaps?
Last edited by Nitocris on Mar 29th '09, 13:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Mar 29th '09, 15:33

CubicCircle wrote:A new release will come soon. Three new levels. I just wanted to tell you this now so you won't skip reading this and just download instead.

Replay God of Dread, if you please. My new solution is more in keeps with my original idea of sneaky aversion. Not a big change, but you might like it.

New levels:
Hasting Sewageplant
Nightmare Descent
World Arena

World Arena is a sporting event, where you bet money on the outcome of random team matches. Two teams by default, but if you bet on the third team, it becomes in play. Winning enough lets you buy XP, losing all your money and you'll have no choice but to go back to the Main Menu.
This is a much closer look at how everything is designed.

I'm holding of the defense level on Tau Ceti one release. It's the all-out level and I think it will make anything after it looks small. You'll still see the new weapons in the Arena, and long to wield them yourself, perhaps?


Sounds awesome! I look forward to playing the new levels immensely! Especially since I have a feeling I'm going to absolutely love Nightmare Descent ;)

I'll also replay all of the levels and let you know if I encounter any new problems. World Arena sounds fairly fun as well! I'll be betting on the Pfhor if they're a team!

I kinda wished I could have seen Tau Ceti in this release, but I understand your reasoning and it is very sound. A question though. Since you are holding back the release why not vary the monsters you are fighting in the level? Originally you had said it was 60 fighters and 20 troopers. Why not throw in some Hunters or a Hulk or two (assuming you got the models for them). A hulk with hunters as the last wave would be pretty awesome!
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 Mar 29th '09, 21:10

Winter_Wolf wrote:Sounds awesome! I look forward to playing the new levels immensely! Especially since I have a feeling I'm going to absolutely love Nightmare Descent ;)

I'll also replay all of the levels and let you know if I encounter any new problems. World Arena sounds fairly fun as well! I'll be betting on the Pfhor if they're a team!

I kinda wished I could have seen Tau Ceti in this release, but I understand your reasoning and it is very sound. A question though. Since you are holding back the release why not vary the monsters you are fighting in the level? Originally you had said it was 60 fighters and 20 troopers. Why not throw in some Hunters or a Hulk or two (assuming you got the models for them). A hulk with hunters as the last wave would be pretty awesome!


It's beefed up enough to be back at "impossible" status now, but I have a wave system developed, and the syntax of evil german scientist.
First wave is Conditioned, then comes Aggregate. Ugh. Most my boyos have bit the dust before the troopers even bother showing up.

World Arena spawns three random characters in each team.
Faction Arena, which will be in the next release again, lets you bet on a specific team of either Human, Pfhor and S'pht.
Needless to say, World Arena is more balanced.
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Nitocris

Post Mar 29th '09, 22:59

A.) Sounds really cool, especially the betting part.
B.)Syntax of a German Scientist?
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L'howon
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Post Mar 29th '09, 23:08

I like the sound of the wave system and Faction arena!

When are you planning on releasing the new version?
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 Mar 29th '09, 23:20

\\ i know you said you did it on purpose but strafing is my biggest complaint. if just bipedal classes could strafe that would make all the difference. also sometimes when i get hit i stop dead and cant shoot back .
acks45
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Post Mar 30th '09, 11:10

Winter_Wolf wrote:I like the sound of the wave system and Faction arena!

When are you planning on releasing the new version?


Veeery soon. Possibly today. Maybe tomorrow. If nothing unforeseen comes up. All the levels work, it's just details I'm caught up in. They seem a bit empty as usual. But everything is a work in progress, I suppose. So I might as well release it and update it continuously while working on more levels.

EDIT:
And here we are.
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=a86a474...be6ba49b5870170

Bugs I've found already:
The Arena mode uses completely different level dynamics that apparently lacks a quitting function. I'll fix this as soon as possible.
Last edited by Nitocris on Mar 30th '09, 14:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Nitocris

Post Mar 30th '09, 14:51

CubicCircle wrote:Veeery soon. Possibly today. Maybe tomorrow. If nothing unforeseen comes up. All the levels work, it's just details I'm caught up in. They seem a bit empty as usual. But everything is a work in progress, I suppose. So I might as well release it and update it continuously while working on more levels.

EDIT:
And here we are.
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=a86a474...be6ba49b5870170

Bugs I've found already:
The Arena mode uses completely different level dynamics that apparently lacks a quitting function. I'll fix this as soon as possible.


What's the difference between versions 036 17-07-52.ip and OSX045.ip ?
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ukimalefu

Post Mar 30th '09, 15:06

ukimalefu wrote:What's the difference between versions 036 17-07-52.ip and OSX045.ip ?


.36 is the outdated version I just haven't gotten around to deleting. It contains only three levels.
.45 is the current version, but new bugs keep popping up of course.

EDIT: Correction, .46 is the current version. I fixed all the bugs I found and made new builds.
And to avoid confusion, I have also deleted the obsoleted files.
Last edited by Nitocris on Mar 30th '09, 16:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Nitocris

Post Mar 31st '09, 07:30

Warning! Incoming Review!

I loved the new version of Marathon: Freedom. It adds a lot more to the game and it is fun to play! Here is my review:

First off, the scale I'm using:

Excellent
Good
Okay
Poor

Main Menu: Excellent

I don't think it can get much better at this point. The new level slide bar is a very good change.

God of Dread: Excellent

This is a decent starting level. I was hesitant at first about there being two Hulks but I've decided I'm okay with it. That being said, thank you so much for putting Hulks in game! They are possibly my favorite creature from Marathon! Thank you, thank you!

Tears of K'lia: Okay

This level is one of my favorites and yet I have to rate it low for some reasons. Mostly, it has the potential to be a truly epic battle but it is not epic! This is because: 1. There are not enough Pfhor compared to S'pht (a couple more fighters would really beef the Pfhor but not add a whole lot of strength to them). 2. The accursed back corridors. The main battle is in the map's center so just cut out these back corridors! They distract from the fight and lead to some pretty pointless chases of that one last S'pht. Make this battle as epic as it could be, with a large battle in the main room.

Some technical issues, the Enforcer is still called "Beauacrat Enforcer." Compared to the Aggregrate Class the Beauacrat Enforcer just sounds out of place. Please make it the Willfull Class! Also, at the start of the level it takes a few seconds for the monsters on the map to activate, if at all. Why change this so that all monsters immediately attack towards the center of the map, with the Pfhor possibly teleporting in like they do in Hastings Sewage Plant?

Also, thank you for adding the visual range increase gear! It really helps when using enforcers, although it has a bit of a text error where its credit cost cuts into the sliding bar next into it.

Prodigal Sons: Excellent

My only recommendation is that you add a few more, weak Pfhor to the level to increase the body count. Otherwise its a pretty good level.

Nightmare Descent: Okay

I gave this level an okay rating because it seemed like it did not have as much effort put into it as other levels did. Do not get me wrong, I really enjoyed this level and I want it to stay! But it could use some key improvements such as:
1. The mission text was quite lackluster compared to the other, simply amazing mission texts you wrote.
2. Also, I feel the Headlesses need more blood effects (just for visuals). The Headlesses need their sounds increased in volume or the music decreased in volume because I could barely hear the Headlesses and one of the best things of PiD was the Headlesses screaming. Also, take the Headlesses current projectile and make it green please! This fits with how it looked in PiD and it'll make the projectile easier to see when its passing over the dark textured ground.
3. Third, you need more monster variety. The Headlesses got boring quickly. I believe three PiD monsters would be a sufficient amount of variety for this level.

I see what you mean about FPS mode as well. I have to experiment more with it but my initial assessment is that you were completely correct about it.

I LOVED the inclusion of a PiD level! The clothes and weapons were all VERY well done and the Headlesses look good. I think solving the above concerns will greatly help this level.

Hastings Sewage Plant: Good

This would be my favorite level if there were a few more monsters and I could figure out how to win. I flicked three switches but nothing happens that I detected. I'll look around some more... But on a whole I love the quick start to this level. A few more Pfhor and S'pht/Flick'ta would be nice!

World Arena: Excellent

I loved this level! You did really well with this. I have not figured out the mechanics fully yet but the battles are great to watch.

Overall: Excellent! Loved it as usual.

Suggestions:

Aside from the above suggestions and bug reports, I have two queries for you which I hope you'll answer.

What is your opinion about a Tau Ceti level sized battle where the player is a Pfhor assaulting a human and S'pht held stronghold? I think this would be really fun and a good go along with the Tau Ceti level.

Also, what is your opinion about a silly idea of mine, a Doom versus Marathon level? The player could chose ANY class every put into Marathon Freedom and take part in a battle where all of the Marathon monsters attempt to destroy a large force of Doom monsters? The age old competition between these two games would finally have a real venue to battle it out. Also, I could probably find you 3d models for Doom monsters, so you would not need to make any new models! I have the sounds for the Doom monsters too.

Sorry for the long post, but I think your work is worth the post length. Excellent job! I look forward to your reply!
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 Mar 31st '09, 08:44

I can't work the quote system efficiently, so this will do.

I never did anything to Tears of K'lia, because I am a swamped idiot with a lot of bigger issues to resolve. I'll try to remember it for the next release. I'll fix the Enforcer name too. Probably just call them "Willfull (A)"

At the time I did the level I did not have teleport technology. Honestly. I could have the Pfhor Forces teleport into the thick of it. More Pfhor would make the battle too simple. It's supposed to be a massacre, not an epic battle.


>>>Also, thank you for adding the visual range increase gear! It really helps when using enforcers, although it has a bit of a text error where its credit cost cuts into the sliding bar next into it. <<<

Really? I should shorten the name. Any suggestions?

>>>My only recommendation is that you add a few more, weak Pfhor to the level to increase the body count. Otherwise its a pretty good level.<<<

Not a problem.

>>>I gave this level an okay rating because it seemed like it did not have as much effort put into it as other levels did. <<<

Really? Compare it in size and complexity to the other levels. It also sport several models that are unique to it (the MP-41, the crystal, the ladder etc). Few other levels can make that claim. I did, however, fall short of my jungly vision.

>>>1. The mission text was quite lackluster compared to the other, simply amazing mission texts you wrote. <<<

I didn't know what to say. Most of the other mission briefs are from the actual games.

>>>2. Also, I feel the Headlesses need more blood effects (just for visuals).<<<

How do you mean?

>>>The Headlesses need their sounds increased in volume or the music decreased in volume because I could barely hear the Headlesses and one of the best things of PiD was the Headlesses screaming.<<<

OK. I'll look into that.

>>>Also, take the Headlesses current projectile and make it green please! This fits with how it looked in PiD and it'll make the projectile easier to see when its passing over the dark textured ground. <<<

The first argument is sound, the second is not. The floor is green. But I'll make it green anyway. It wasn't green on the sprites you gave me.

>>>3. Third, you need more monster variety. The Headlesses got boring quickly. I believe three PiD monsters would be a sufficient amount of variety for this level.<<<

It's in the future. Would you have preferred waiting a few more weeks?

>>>I see what you mean about FPS mode as well. I have to experiment more with it but my initial assessment is that you were completely correct about it.<<<

OMG I left the FPS-mode in! It's an obvious oversight, since it's based on a completely different class and time. It's not gonna stay, or at least it's going to be changed to use PiD items.


>>>This would be my favorite level if there were a few more monsters and I could figure out how to win. I flicked three switches but nothing happens that I detected. I'll look around some more... But on a whole I love the quick start to this level. A few more Pfhor and S'pht/Flick'ta would be nice!<<<

I wanted it to be geared towards exploration, with the odd ambush. Pretty laid back, and hypnotic, as the music suggests. You have many more switches to find.

>>>I loved this level! You did really well with this. I have not figured out the mechanics fully yet but the battles are great to watch.<<<

Fun, isn't it? Especially when you can turn it off.

>>>What is your opinion about a Tau Ceti level sized battle where the player is a Pfhor assaulting a human and S'pht held stronghold? I think this would be really fun and a good go along with the Tau Ceti level.<<<

In the future, my own expansion of the story will have a number of humans branching off from Blake and joining the S'pht. They are already in the game but unused. At first glance, people will think I've dreamed them up myself, but their design IS in Marathon somewhere.
These will add a human option to the S'pht team, and their armament is the S'pht designed weapons of M2.
More Pfhor and S'pht level are a priority, but human levels are so much easier to do as they fit into the story. It's hard to find battles in the canon story arc where the S'pht won, for instance.

>>>Also, what is your opinion about a silly idea of mine, a Doom versus Marathon level? The player could chose ANY class every put into Marathon Freedom and take part in a battle where all of the Marathon monsters attempt to destroy a large force of Doom monsters? The age old competition between these two games would finally have a real venue to battle it out. Also, I could probably find you 3d models for Doom monsters, so you would not need to make any new models! I have the sounds for the Doom monsters too.<<<

I've already thought about it, as my engine could do pretty much any game of the era. But I think I'll pass. I could include Duke enemies as well, but in the end, I'd rather keep focus on Marathon. Also, copyright issues etc.
Not that I don't like Doom. It's a really neat game with nice aesthetics and mood. I'm a sucker for 80's and 90's cyberpunk sci-fi. To me, though, Marathon and Doom are pretty diametrical. Marathon is more Alien, Doom is more Army of Darkness. Marathon is "that's inside this room, man!", Doom is "this is my boom-stick". I don't really see them coming together.

EDIT:
Added some scenery to Tears of K'lia.
Stopped Monsters wandering off on the outside.
Added more Pfhor
Changed the class name.
Decreased XP worth to 1.
Added more Compilers.
Added more Fighters to Prodigal Sons
Increased volume on all Headless sounds.
Removed FPS class from Nightmare Descent.
Made Headless spit green.
Anything else?


.47 is out now. .46 is removed.
Last edited by Nitocris on Mar 31st '09, 14:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Mar 31st '09, 19:56

Ok, I'll start off by saying I understand how frustrating it can be for fans to complain about things a modder (or game creator as you seem to be) does. I often get frustrated by certain criticisms of MaraPiD. So I apologize if I offended you with my review in any way! I just like to give a good critique and I might have written that review a little too early in the morning... also, I chose to ignore possible future additions and judge the current build solely on what was in it. If you already plan on fixing things I criticized that's great! Furthermore, my criticisms are the opinion of one man, don't change the game because of my criticisms and concerns unless you agree with them! Anyways, onwards to answering your replies!

I never did anything to Tears of K'lia, because I am a swamped idiot with a lot of bigger issues to resolve. I'll try to remember it for the next release. I'll fix the Enforcer name too. Probably just call them "Willfull (A)"

At the time I did the level I did not have teleport technology. Honestly. I could have the Pfhor Forces teleport into the thick of it. More Pfhor would make the battle too simple. It's supposed to be a massacre, not an epic battle.
Dude, you're not an idiot! Marathon Freedom is great! I never thought that the level's setting was a massacre but now that you point that fact out to me I have to agree with you.

Really? I should shorten the name. Any suggestions?


I'll think about names for you...

>>>I gave this level an okay rating because it seemed like it did not have as much effort put into it as other levels did. <<<

Really? Compare it in size and complexity to the other levels. It also sport several models that are unique to it (the MP-41, the crystal, the ladder etc). Few other levels can make that claim. I did, however, fall short of my jungly vision.

The original statement I made was unfair. Sorry about that. Nightmare Descent is a very good level, I probably disliked it initially because I just happen to hate that level in the original PiD :P

>>>1. The mission text was quite lackluster compared to the other, simply amazing mission texts you wrote. <<<

I didn't know what to say. Most of the other mission briefs are from the actual games.

>>>2. Also, I feel the Headlesses need more blood effects (just for visuals).<<<

How do you mean?


With regards to blood, all of the other monsters in Freedom have a large amount of blood spray when they die. I really liked this effect but the Headlesses only seem to have a small burst of blood. Really, just my personal preference to see more.

Also, for the mission text I might be able to help out:

"The heat of impact liquefied the rock around it, which later cooled and encased the dead god's huge body far below ground. As it began to dream, it wrought unintentional changes in its environment. Locked deep beneath the Earth, strange and unbelievable things faded in and out of reality. Vast caverns and landscapes bubbled to life within the rock, populated by horrible manifestations of the dead god's dream.

Only during the last few centuries has the god begun to effect changes on the surface of the Earth. Grotesque creatures have been sighted deep in the trackless forest of the Yucatan, and strange rumors of an ancient pyramid- which is neither Aztec nor Mayan- in the same area have been circulating in the archaeological community since the early 1930's.

The god is awakening."

This is from the PiD manuel. It's a lot but its an example of where you could lift text from. Would you like me to help you find mission text for Nightmare Descent?


The first argument is sound, the second is not. The floor is green. But I'll make it green anyway. It wasn't green on the sprites you gave me.

Really? If that is the case I'm really sorry! The Headlesses projectile is meant to be green... And I thought it was the walls that were green and the floors were a much darker color? Or I could be going crazy... entirely possible.


It's in the future. Would you have preferred waiting a few more weeks?


Nope, I much preferred getting it earlier! Sorry for the unnecessary criticism.


In the future, my own expansion of the story will have a number of humans branching off from Blake and joining the S'pht. They are already in the game but unused. At first glance, people will think I've dreamed them up myself, but their design IS in Marathon somewhere.
These will add a human option to the S'pht team, and their armament is the S'pht designed weapons of M2.
More Pfhor and S'pht level are a priority, but human levels are so much easier to do as they fit into the story. It's hard to find battles in the canon story arc where the S'pht won, for instance.

Really? I believe you but I'm curious where you found it. I'd be interested to look at some S'pht armed humans...


I've already thought about it, as my engine could do pretty much any game of the era. But I think I'll pass. I could include Duke enemies as well, but in the end, I'd rather keep focus on Marathon. Also, copyright issues etc.
Not that I don't like Doom. It's a really neat game with nice aesthetics and mood. I'm a sucker for 80's and 90's cyberpunk sci-fi. To me, though, Marathon and Doom are pretty diametrical. Marathon is more Alien, Doom is more Army of Darkness. Marathon is "that's inside this room, man!", Doom is "this is my boom-stick". I don't really see them coming together.


Fair points! Bye bye Doom versus Marathon level!

I'll download the new version now and check it out. Thanks for all of your work on Marathon: Freedom! It really is a brilliant creation and you have my greatest gratitude for making it.

Edit: Review of 0.47

God of Dread:
I noticed some things acting differently the one time I played it. The BoB that hides behind the lockers actually came out from behind them. This is the only time I have ever seen this. Maybe it was a fluke?

Tears of K'lia:
Excellent! I love how this level is now, the Pfhor in the center get blown to pieces and its great fun. My only question is why does the player teleport in on the outside corridor? Is this to save the player from being blown away in the center? I kinda think it would be cooler if the player started in the center with the other Pfhor but that's just me!

Prodigal Sons:
The Pfhor seem to teleport in endlessly. Makes the level much harder... the new starting number of Pfhor seems fine, its just that they keep teleporting in.

Nightmare Descent:
Its all good now! The floor is indeed green, I went a little crazy when I last looked at it apparently. The sounds are now good for me too. Awesome stuff!

Hastings Sewage Plant:
Great level, but how many switches are there? I've found four now...

World Arena:
I just lost all of my money to the Red Team. Oh well....

I love the changes and I think this is a solid build! My only concerns are the endless Pfhor on Prodigal Sons, the moving BoB on God of Dread (might have been a fluke) and the player's start location on Tears of K'lia.
Last edited by Winter_Wolf on Apr 1st '09, 02:09, edited 1 time in total.
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 Apr 1st '09, 05:30

I just recently played Marathon Freedom version .47 for Windows.

I'm very impressed! You're very dedicated, talented, and have the drive to follow through to completion. So I've got a lot of respect for you. And because you've done such a good job, I feel compelled to compare your game to official commercially released games and critique you as a professional in the industry, rather than just giving you the more easy going critique that would be appropriate for a game that looks amateur or fan-made.

I think you've done a great job so far, but there are a lot of things keeping me from wanting to play it. I lose interest pretty quickly. In fact, I haven't yet found the desire to complete a single level. I think given the amount of work you've done, it's worth going the extra mile to really make this game shine and have it be something that everyone wants to play.

I see a lot of potential in this project, and I hope my input can help improve it.

Controls
First, I would like to comment on the mobility of the player character. This, to me, is the only major flaw in your game design. Dodging enemy fire does seem to be a problem. Yes, you can turn sideways and run forwards and backwards, but this just seems impractical and sort of silly. I've heard lots of people asking for the ability to sidestep. I think that's a great idea. I think another solution would be to have a dodge key; maybe something that would allow the player to dive roll, side roll, or duck. I believe there is a way to utilize either of those two solutions effectively. Whether or not you have the know-how (or desire, for that matter) to change it is the only thing that could stand in the way.

Another option that might enhance things is to allow the player to take cover, either by ducking behind crates or around the corner of corridors. A jump-out shot a la Metal Gear Solid 2 would be prime if you decide to go with this. But this would probably require some heavy level redesign.

Menu Navigation
This is definitely a serious problem. I actually thought the game didn't work at first because the menu navigation is so unintuitive. And I know other people here have had the same problem. You really need to implement something more user friendly. The first thing I did was adjust the sliders to use my credits, since it said I had 10 credits remaining. I didn't know it at the time, but adjusting these prevents the player from starting the game, and he is not notified that the adjustment he's made is preventing him from starting. If this is the menu setup you want, there needs to be a message at that point that alerts the player that what he's done will not allow him to proceed any further.

Also, the button used to start a new game and continue is not very obvious. Rather than having a button that says "Credits Left: 10", why not have it say "Start", or "New Game"? Or how about "Continue" instead of "Credits Left: 9"? Those are universal phrases understood by all gamers. Why not speak to your users in a language they can all understand? The number of credits left could always be displayed under the "Start" or "Continue" button.

Graphics
The character modeling you've done is superb, given the isometric view we have. There are also great textures, and some really nice lighting effects. And the menu screen couldn't be better! But the one aspect of the graphics that seems to be falling behind is the animation of the human player characters. I think this is the most important thing to really nail, because when playing as a human, that's what we're looking at most of the time. I would really try to fine tune that running animation. It would really give the graphics a polish and make the whole game look better, simply by fixing that one detail. There are running animation guides out there that you could use as reference to enhance your work.

Camera View
I would like to comment on the inability to see what's behind the player character. At first this seemed like an oversight on your part. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it's more intense, more realistic, scarier, and fits the mood better if you can't see what's behind you unless you turn to look there. And it really fits the mood of trying to survive on a spaceship full of hostile aliens. It simulates the paranoia we would all feel if we were thrown into that deadly situation. I'm sure we would constantly be checking behind us, and that's exactly what your game forces us to do.

That having been said, once we're thrown into a situation where we're surrounded by enemies, this system doesn't work quite so nicely. If you're going for horror, the camera style you have works well. But if you're going for action, I think the camera system is going to have to be redesigned. Right now, diving into the fray is not an option ? which is okay, as long as you don't want it to be an option.

Concept/Gameplay
I love the concept of playing as either human, Pfhor, or S'pht. That is fantastic! And I love all the visual customization that is possible with each character type. That is a really nice touch.

I like how much damage the enemies do to the player. We all know what it's like to play as the omnipotent security officer from the Bungie games. So I like the idea of playing as the fragile and hapless Bob. He's the ultimate underdog. Underdogs are appealing, and so are challenges in gameplay. And you've also tried to keep it from getting too challenging by giving the player more than one life. I like how instead of playing as a single, strong character with a large life bar and one life, you play as multiple Bobs that are expendable with little or no life bar. Good stuff!

What I don't like is how getting stunned works. Usually after the first hit from a Pfhor fighter connects with our human player character, the successive hits are guaranteed. So the length of the stun seems a bit long. I also think there should be a stun animation indicating when the player is free to move again. Perhaps the player character could stumble and regain his footing? Look at the animation that happens when a character is stunned in the Tekken series if you want to know what I mean.

Action Oriented Gameplay Idea
Right now, the control over movement is comparable to the original Resident Evil: it's a locomotion style of movement ? sort of like driving a car. You either travel forward or in reverse, with the option of turning and redirecting which direction you want to "drive" towards. But you can't change directions instantly.

I have an idea that would be a ton of work, so I'm not sure if this will appeal to you at all. But when I see the isometric style of gameplay you've set up, I feel a controls scheme more akin to Geometry Wars would be more fitting. In that game, the keyboard is used to immediately move the player in any direction (eight directions including diagonals), while the mouse is used for aiming and firing in any conceivable direction surrounding the player within a 360 degree radius. This is essentially the same concept used in Abuse (published by Bungie!), only we're talking top-down instead of sidescroller. I believe this style of gameplay would add an incredibly exciting dimension to your game. But at the same time, I can't imagine you implementing this without rebuilding a large chunk of your programming from the ground up. If you do go with this idea, it would work best if the character were fixed in the center of the camera's view at all times. If any of you have played Geometry Wars, I'm sure you can imagine the action packed excitement that this style of gameplay could bring to Marathon Freedom.
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Ares Ex Machina

Post Apr 1st '09, 08:20

I'm gonna have to double-post here. So bear with me.

>>> So I apologize if I offended you with my review in any way!

You did not. I apologize if I seemed offended or defensive.

>>>I'll think about names for you...

I just changed it to Visual Range #2 and #3.

>>>The original statement I made was unfair. Sorry about that. Nightmare Descent is a very good level, I probably disliked it initially because I just happen to hate that level in the original PiD :P

That's very LOL. I wanted a maze type level, so that's the one I picked. You know what level it is, right? By name?

>>>With regards to blood, all of the other monsters in Freedom have a large amount of blood spray when they die. I really liked this effect but the Headlesses only seem to have a small burst of blood. Really, just my personal preference to see more.

The headless uses the same blood effect as humans. But I guess it's bulky gut obscures it a bit.

>>>Also, for the mission text I might be able to help out:

I'll see if that fits. I think the text needs to explain the objective of the level, though.

>>>This is from the PiD manuel. It's a lot but its an example of where you could lift text from. Would you like me to help you find mission text for Nightmare Descent?

Yes please.

>>>Really? If that is the case I'm really sorry! The Headlesses projectile is meant to be green... And I thought it was the walls that were green and the floors were a much darker color? Or I could be going crazy... entirely possible.

It's green now. Everyone is happy.

>>>Nope, I much preferred getting it earlier! Sorry for the unnecessary criticism.

It's what I would.

>>>Really? I believe you but I'm curious where you found it. I'd be interested to look at some S'pht armed humans...

I'm not gonna tell. You'll see them, go "WTF are those?" and then everyone will be on my ass and I'll calmly direct them to the proper Terminal Text.

>>>God of Dread:
I noticed some things acting differently the one time I played it. The BoB that hides behind the lockers actually came out from behind them. This is the only time I have ever seen this. Maybe it was a fluke?

Sometimes he or she does that. I should give her the Camper Perk.

>>>Tears of K'lia:
Excellent! I love how this level is now, the Pfhor in the center get blown to pieces and its great fun. My only question is why does the player teleport in on the outside corridor? Is this to save the player from being blown away in the center? I kinda think it would be cooler if the player started in the center with the other Pfhor but that's just me!

No Pfhor start in the centre, well, only two I think. All others start in the outer ring and rush in, surrounding the S'pht. So does the player. This prevents you from being instakilled by a stray and disoriented Seeking Bolt.

>>>Prodigal Sons:
The Pfhor seem to teleport in endlessly. Makes the level much harder... the new starting number of Pfhor seems fine, its just that they keep teleporting in.

Maybe I overdid it. You, on the other hand, have ten lives and a 3x shield recharger, and two buds. If you play the arena you'll notice the awesome power of the Defender. The team that spawn a Hulk or a Defender is very likely to win. I've seen defenders kill Hulks.


>>>Hastings Sewage Plant:
Great level, but how many switches are there? I've found four now...

There are more. I'm not telling how many more.

>>>World Arena:
I just lost all of my money to the Red Team. Oh well....

Wait till you play Faction Arena. You'll get to lose your money to some major suckage.

>>>I love the changes and I think this is a solid build! My only concerns are the endless Pfhor on Prodigal Sons, the moving BoB on God of Dread (might have been a fluke) and the player's start location on Tears of K'lia.

I'll fix the BoB. What's so bad about the player start location of Tears of K'lia?
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Nitocris

Post Apr 1st '09, 08:48

I just recently played Marathon Freedom version .47 for Windows.

>>> I feel compelled to compare your game to official commercially released games and critique you as a professional in the industry, rather than just giving you the more easy going critique that would be appropriate for a game that looks amateur or fan-made.

Why thank you, since I am only ONE PERSON with no education in the field, nor any professional tools save one.
Surely I deserve to be likened to 30 men strong workgroups of paid professionals who do this as a full time job.
Yes indeed.

I like the dodge idea, I've thought about it. I'll see what I can do. A quick dodge is not the same as strafing. I've said this before and I'll say it for the last time:
If I included strafing in Freedom, I might as well stop enemies attacking altogether. There is no chance in hell any one of my AI characters could hit the player and they wouldn't be able to handle the player running behind cover constantly. The gameplay would be tedious, repetitive and ultimately pointless. Peeking out from behind cover would be cool, but it's fiendishly hard to construct and it wouldn't work with AI either. But a quick, one-shot side step with a cool down I could probably make. I think I would more likely turn out weird.


>>>Menu Navigation

If people would stop telling me what's wrong with it and offer some sort of solution, I'd be more than happy to comply. Right now, I can't think of a better way to do it.

>>>Also, the button used to start a new game and continue is not very obvious. Rather than having a button that says "Credits Left: 10", why not have it say "Start", or "New Game"? Or how about "Continue" instead of "Credits Left: 9"? Those are universal phrases understood by all gamers. Why not speak to your users in a language they can all understand? The number of credits left could always be displayed under the "Start" or "Continue" button.

Yes, I understand. However, where is it to say how many credits you have left then? "Start (Credits left: 10)" could work.

>>>Graphics
There are running animation guides out there that you could use as reference to enhance your work.

The running animation is based on A) the running animation from Marathon and B) the old concept art of the player running with the MA-75, somewhat leaning. To my eye, people in Marathon always seemed to run on-a-line, meaning they put their feet down on the same position on the Z-axis. This looked a little weird, so I lessened the effect to what you see today. A lot of the animations are far from final, however, it's just that every time I tweak an animation I risk corrupting the file and losing the character from the game. I can circumvent this by doing backups etc. but it's tedious and stressful (stressful because you don't like seeing all your BoBs and Marine disappearing and a red warning text popping up saying "Postprocessing failed". You really don't.

>>>Camera View
You can't see behind you in Marathon, and you can't in real life. I didn't want to make a run and gun game where you mow down hordes of enemies until your mind was numb. I wanted more of an emotional journey, of anger, fear and desperation.


>>Concept/Gameplay
I love the concept of playing as either human, Pfhor, or S'pht. That is fantastic! And I love all the visual customization that is possible with each character type. That is a really nice touch.

I love it too. It was the point of the whole project. To give an RPG dimension to it.

>>>I like how much damage the enemies do to the player. We all know what it's like to play as the omnipotent security officer from the Bungie games. So I like the idea of playing as the fragile and hapless Bob. He's the ultimate underdog. Underdogs are appealing, and so are challenges in gameplay. And you've also tried to keep it from getting too challenging by giving the player more than one life. I like how instead of playing as a single, strong character with a large life bar and one life, you play as multiple Bobs that are expendable with little or no life bar. Good stuff!

You will get both, eventually. Everyone does a lot of damage.

>>>What I don't like is how getting stunned works. Usually after the first hit from a Pfhor fighter connects with our human player character, the successive hits are guaranteed. So the length of the stun seems a bit long. I also think there should be a stun animation indicating when the player is free to move again. Perhaps the player character could stumble and regain his footing? Look at the animation that happens when a character is stunned in the Tekken series if you want to know what I mean.

Animation = pain in the ass. More animations = more pain in same. I'm getting a lot of angry voices about the stunning. It annoys me too, but try to remember this golden rule:
"Dont. Get. Hit."
It's not a game where you take getting wounded lightly. If you're hit and you live, you're lucky! You should never, ever, allow an enemy to score a hit on you. As little as you'd let them in real life.

>>>Action Oriented Gameplay Idea
Right now, the control over movement is comparable to the original Resident Evil: it's a locomotion style of movement ? sort of like driving a car. You either travel forward or in reverse, with the option of turning and redirecting which direction you want to "drive" towards. But you can't change directions instantly.

I always like games controlled like that. Where you have to think through your position. However, here you can shoot and move at the same time, which is a huge difference.

>>>I have an idea that would be a ton of work, so I'm not sure if this will appeal to you at all.

That is the kind of game I'm trying hard not to be associated with. It's actually not that much work, but I will never do it.
Originally, Marathon : Freedom was supposed to be top-down. But then none of the trademark Marathon textures would show, unless the camera wasn't orthographic. And then the player would have to be dead centre, or he would appear to be leaning.

Hope this answers everything.
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Nitocris

Post Apr 1st '09, 12:44

I really enjoyed .47, a lot. And I believe there are 5 switches on the sewage level.. The last one, which I found quickly (Thank God), perhaps should be a bit more obvious. I could see getting endlessly stuck on that level.

Also, just as side note, the Hulks on God of Dread can easily be killed by making them get stuck in the first door you go through. While it's realistic (Because how the heck would those giant things fit through tiny doors), it's a bit anti-climactic.

As I have said before, I'm still irked by the credits. I'm level 24 now, but still limited to 10 credits, even though it tells me I have 24.

As for the rest, I'm thoroughly pleased.
I have been wading in a long river and my feet are wet.
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L'howon
Somewhere outside the Citadel Of Antiquity

Post Apr 1st '09, 13:33

I haven't tried the last two releases, yet. I think I made a suggestion once before about menu navigation, which was to add tick marks across the slider bar so we know how many options we have to choose from. Another suggestion I have is to order those options according to how many credits they cost.

I like the idea to change "Credits Left" to "Continue: x/10 credits remaining" or the like. Having that button 'grey out' if the user trys to spend too many credits would nice, also.
Thank the sun that went nova so that Earth could have iron and silicon.
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effigy

Post Apr 1st '09, 14:43

Lh wrote:Also, just as side note, the Hulks on God of Dread can easily be killed by making them get stuck in the first door you go through. While it's realistic (Because how the heck would those giant things fit through tiny doors), it's a bit anti-climactic.


Not any more they don't. Enjoy it while you can, because in the next release, you're not gonna.

Lh wrote:As I have said before, I'm still irked by the credits. I'm level 24 now, but still limited to 10 credits, even though it tells me I have 24.


Do you think any level would be challenging could you respawn 24 times? And what about 100?
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Nitocris

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