Marathon 1 Redux

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Hardgrove's "Aliens Again" is VERY different from the original. Where should it be used?

On The Rose only, use the original for No Artificial Colours
On The Rose AND No Artificial Colours
On No Artificial Colours only, use the original for The Rose
Only use the original track on The Rose and No Artificial Colours
Total votes : 5

Re: Marathon 1 Redux

Post Aug 15th '18, 03:20

I like those "orderlies". They remind me of a CLUT for the Hulks I recently noticed still exists but isn't used in Eternal, that I may reimplement for ch4.
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Post Aug 16th '18, 17:59

I like them too. I don’t know why I never noticed the strange coloration in that picture before.

As for free time, mine’s likely to reduce sharply within the next couple of weeks too. Such is the academic life. My classes officially start on the 20th, but the first week likely won’t be as packed as later ones.

(I intended to post here days ago, but the post flood limit is ridiculous, and I kept forgetting. I want to contribute more to this project, but Eternal, Chronicles, and my YouTube channel are taking up so much of my gaming time that I just don’t have the time left to focus properly on another Marathon project. I expect that once Eternal is done, I’ll be able to turn more of my attention here.)
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · · Marathon Chronicles · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 26th '18, 05:11


Up on GitHub, I've started my third and hopefully final pass to make sure activations are smooth and/or correct, this time using Wrkncacnter's "Monster Falgs" plugin. Bigger Guns got a particularly large activation overhaul.

On Never Burn Money, I've reverted the basement geometry to the doored cubbyhole version, but set the cubbyhole doors to be opened by Tycho rather than the player. Spruced up the cubbies and nearby walls a bit while I was at it, and added a secondary reason for the failed transfer ;)

On Blaspheme Quarantine, I've set a few of the staves in the corpse room to show up in single player in case you burn all your staff charges, moved the destination of the first teleporter to hint you to get your stuff from the new closet, and followed through on Durandal's threats to make you suck vacuum. Don't worry, though, Tycho will bring you back if you make it to a jump pad. Needs an MML script to remove the liquid fader and needs some ceiling adjustment, but otherwise works.

I'll work on later levels next week. For now, here's a merged map.
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Post Sep 2nd '18, 08:28

Activation fixes implemented as far as Two Times Two Equals...

On the way, Shake Before Using gained some liquids and ambient sound, I tweaked a few doors on Unpfhorgiven, and I added a whole mess of drones to Two Times Two Equals... out in space that make their way on to the ship at various points. I might cut a few of those accesses or reduce the number of drones, I don't know.

Drone physics have been altered slightly to make this work, they are now immune to goo, not afraid of goo, are slightly smarter, and can fly up larger cliffs. And they are also no longer weak to their own shots, that just looked bad.

All this and a merged map are up on GitHub.
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Post Sep 11th '18, 23:43

Happy Rosh Hashanah! I've finished implementing all the activation fixes.

Imported some changes to Try Again from the Vidmaster's Challenge version, including:
  • all sound objects
  • all random sounds, replacing Loon with Thunder and cutting the frequency of the Creak by 3x
  • all scenery objects, replacing bones with blood, BoB pieces, and paper
  • all extra monster placements
  • some extra Magnum & Plasma ammo

Geometry wise, I decided to stick with the M1A1 version of Try Again, since that already has the right textures and did an excellent job of looking like the original but with liquid. However, there were a few areas where Double Aught had some fun with liquid depth that I incorporated.

Also made a secret area, but haven't put anything there yet.

No merge yet because I might come back to it today, but the split is up on GitHub.
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Post Sep 12th '18, 11:17

While staying up in hopes of witnessing some tropical storm action, I've gone through and revamped the shock staff progression. That was a ton of work and it's difficult to tell whether it's sane, as it involves a number of changes to every physics model file for the whole scenario.

Currently, early game shock staff melee deals 20 base + 40 random Fist damage, increasing to 30 base + 42 random Electrical damage on Couch Fishing. Firing time penalty is removed, reload time penalties reduced, ready time penalties maintained. 4 shots per battery, 2nd trigger can be held down while firing.

This should make the early game staff a lot more fun to use, without making it always better than the fist: if you're cornered the staff is better than a pistol, but only for four shots, and a run-punch will still do more damage than a staff-swipe on average.

In order to accommodate a separate shot for player-generated staff melee, I had to sacrifice another. So, I re-merged the Juggernaut bullet and the Trooper bullet. This had the effect of making the SMG primary have no vertical error, which is kinda fun as combined with the no horizontal error grenades it makes a cross pattern; and making Juggernauts fire under liquids, which should be an extremely rare occurrence since M1 originally had no liquids.

I went and fixed some other physics things while I was at it, most notably homing trooper grenades now have an area of effect, and alien damage modifiers are removed from vanilla shots since there is no longer an Easy or Kindergarten difficulty.

Implementing this also involved an update to the Shapes file: removing the three slow staff sequences, creating a few non sparking staff swish bitmaps, and adding a sequence for that. While I was at it, I fixed an issue with the flame sprites: the flamethrower animation should now be as large as the original, blinding you at close range.

Also bundled in to this is terminal exposition!

On Defend THIS!, I swapped the science report on aliens and the seven dropships message. Getting the seven dropships message mid-level adds a sense of urgency, while having the alien exposition at the end provides convenient timing for the physics change after teleport:
The Fighter carries a shock staff, which is capable of attacking at different settings. A clockwise twist of the upper grip merely lights up the crystal and delivers a mild shock, while a counter-clockwise twist emits a plasma burst.

The Trooper is armored for vacuum conditions and carries a combination explosive and impact projectile weapon which is similar to your AR-75, but more accurate. The heavy projectiles are capable of penetrating armour, and while the grenades are light, there are unconfirmed reports that they are capable of in-flight manoeuvres.
Later on, while Leela reports on a debriefing of civilians who've had extended contact with the Pfhor, I inserted:
Additionally, some of the civilians witnessed Fighters removing a small cylinder from the pommel of their staffs in combat, and replacing them with new ones. You may be able to replenish captured staves by salvaging some of these cylinders from fallen Fighters, they are small enough to carry several scores at a time.
And, finally, still later, SMG exposition:
However, your diversion to Quarantine was not entirely amiss. Tycho was able to analyse the Trooper rifle you captured and identified the magazine, a large, round device inserted in the lower right side. These weapons are more effective than anything I can spare you, put them to good use.
I also clarified Tycho's role on Never Burn Money, and changed his assimilated text on Defend THIS! from yellow to white for consistency.

All this including a merged map are up on GitHub. I'll test for sanity this weekend for a 0.0.12 release and ready it for Simplici7y, which hasn't been updated in two months.
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Post Sep 16th '18, 22:43

I saw you post on my "First Post", M1R is not a bad mod. I just played a few levels of it and I love the graphics of the Machine Gun, but when it reloads it looks like he is holding a little toy in his hands. And, the Fusion Pistol is beautiful, too, don't change it.

Post Sep 17th '18, 04:56

You can thank General Tacticus for most of the weapon graphic awesomeness. All I did was the glowmaps and shapes integration, and prod him into making graphics for a few things like the trooper gun.

You're right, most of the weapons in hand are showing up smaller than the originals. Thanks for pointing that out. Thus far they've been "close enough," and unlike many things, "working," and not having them block the view makes testing easier, so it's not a high priority, but I'll put a note in the to do list.
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Post Sep 22nd '18, 01:05

The trooper rifle looks good, too, but the weapon itself is not. I know that you need to find something to replace the Shotguns and the Mac-10, but the trooper rifle is not it.

I read the Hound posts and thought that that will be great but do not give them a range attack. Instead, keep them a melee enemy in the game. And, I think their speed should be as fast as the Marathon Man runs. This gives the player a chance to run but will still have to deal with them.

Try to bring into the game the Armageddon Beast. Their melee attack should be a weak damage but with 0 delay to "drain" the players health. Maybe, you can place the animations in the cyborg's collection.

Post Sep 22nd '18, 02:42

MADDmike wrote:The trooper rifle looks good, too, but the weapon itself is not. I know that you need to find something to replace the Shotguns and the Mac-10, but the trooper rifle is not it.

I don't need to replace the shotguns and SMG with anything since M1 didn't have them, and I'm grateful to General Tacticus for creating the fantastic sprites. No idea what a Mac-10 is. If you have some constructive suggestions regarding the weapon physics, I'm open to them.

MADDmike wrote:I read the Hound posts and thought that that will be great but do not give them a range attack. Instead, keep them a melee enemy in the game. And, I think their speed should be as fast as the Marathon Man runs. This gives the player a chance to run but will still have to deal with them.

I don't recall considering a ranged attack for the Hound, if you can refer to the post where it was mentioned that would be helpful. Regarding speed, on the "Insane" difficulty I do want some enemies to be able to outrun the player, and even on Normal the Hound will still be unable to climb stairs, so there will be a way to evade it.

MADDmike wrote:Try to bring into the game the Armageddon Beast.

Of course I'm open to adding in any cut material such as the Armageddon Beast or Pfhor civilian. If you want it to happen, you are welcome to volunteer for making the sprites.
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Post Sep 22nd '18, 02:57

A Mac-10 is a kind of SMG. Not the kind used in Marathon, but still.
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Post Sep 22nd '18, 03:42

Ah. I think the KKV-7 looks a lot more like the MP-5, especially the sight. Anyway, I'm really loving how I've got the trooper SMG set up at this point (latest git, not simplici7y.) It's an amazingly effective weapon, but you have to soft-kill troopers to use it and can only hold 8 magazines of 6 grenades OR 16 bullets, so it balances out.

Staff still needs work. The non-shock animation I've got at the moment for the early game is really lame.
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Post Sep 30th '18, 08:08

Finished tweaking the early staff and adding HD images for the non-charged animation. It should be good now.
Added some SMGs and removed some AR ammo from Blaspheme Quarantine
Touched up the Arrival chapter screen ever so slightly, there was this one shadow that was bugging me
Replaced the Welcome level with a placeholder. Later I intend to have a spaceport here...

And I finally bumped up the version to 0.0.12 on the splash screen. Things are polished enough that a Simplici7y release may happen this week! Meanwhile, all this is up on GitHub:
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Post Oct 1st '18, 20:40

0.0.12-alpha is up!

Everything (240 MB): ... 0.12-alpha

Just the essentials (204 MB):

Changes since 0.0.11-alpha:
-working rescue missions
-glue activation mechanics
-reworking of staff progression
-rescaled flame sprite
-lava and goo fixes
-no more welcome level
-touched up Arrival chapter screen
-more terminal exposition
-less ammo
-various physics tweaks
-seven levels improved:
-Tycho-controlled chip counters on Never Burn Money
-Windows between recreation area and upper corridor on The Rose
-Suck vacuum if you piss off Durandal on Blaspheme Quarantine
-Watery abyss on Shake Before Using
-M2 architecture visible (not yet explorable) on Pfhor Your Eyes Only
-Drones and secrets on Unphforgiven
-Vidmaster's Challenge updates to Try Again
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Post Oct 8th '18, 08:28

We got talking about the most difficult levels in Marathon on Discord, so I thought I'd give Beware of Low-flying Defense Drones a whirl on Insane. After about 300 tries, I managed to survive the initial encounter and last a minute before getting gunned down:

So, yeah, I'll have to work on difficulty scaling some more at some point. And replace those red enforcers with green ones like they are supposed to be.

More importantly, I'd like to start work on the spaceport for the opening level. I'm considering basing it on the layout of a modern airport in a hot climate, like Singapore or Panama. If anyone has better suggestions or would like to tackle designing the Tau Ceti spaceport themselves, let me know!
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Post Oct 12th '18, 06:24

A few minor updates up on Github:

After playing through from Arrival to the end of Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken on Insane difficulty, I've rebalanced ammo availability across these levels. AR ammo will be more scarce at first in keeping with the terminal text, and to compensate for the addition of alien weapons.

Leela will teleport you ammunition on The Rose if you start running out, particularly in the pattern buffer room she directs you to from the first terminal. Now that there's a reason to go there, she says as much. Some enemies in windowed rooms now teleport in. Finally, the confession term now uses the obfuscated Durandal logon instead of the normal Durandal logon.

On Couch Fishing, I swapped the positions of a Trooper in the final pit with a Green Fighter on the ledge in the middle pit room. That trooper under the water made surviving the final room nigh impossible, now you should be able to kill it and grab its gun before proceeding to the final room. I also tweaked the ambush at the beginning of Couch Fishing slightly for now to make Insane possible until I work in the new beginning discussed elsewhere.

Finally, some minor edits to Arrival. The BoB in the closet will activate when you pass by, a Juggernaut will rise from the landscape when you pass a certain window, an additional Compiler peruses a pattern buffer, and the voices in the pillar will sound once without you having to fire.
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Post Oct 15th '18, 05:16

Here's a little tidbit I noticed while testing M1 weapon behaviours. This is the doorway to Tycho's room on Defend THIS! in Aleph One shader mode:


Here's the same shot in Aleph One software mode:


And here's the shot in Marathon 1:


As far as I can tell, it only happens in M1 under 256 colours mode, not in thousands or millions, and I can't confirm whether or not it happens in M2 256 colour mode- the only place I could think of to test it, when the walkways rise out of lava on Eat it, Vid Boi!, happen too fast. So, it's probably not bug-report worthy, but I thought the reddening effect was so awesome - it's like a foreshadowing of Tycho's eventual using red text - that I'll have to make a new glowmap for that texture to replicate it.
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