Marathon 1 Redux

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

player light setting - If there are no light sources, at what distance should things appear black?

light="0" -- In the dark you shan't be able to see your fist in front of your face.
No votes
light="0.1" - you can see your weapons and walls/monsters you're right up against
light="0.2" - current setting on 0.0.13-alpha, you can only see about 1 WU
No votes
light="0.3" - current setting on git, you can see for about 2 WU.
light="0.4" - you can see about 3 WU, most things are visible
No votes
light="0.5" - original setting, you can see for about 4 WU, only very large areas are black
Total votes : 7

Re: Marathon 1 Redux

Post Feb 16th '18, 23:55

Awesome! Thanks, Nathan! I can use any file format. I'm going to run some tests to see how A1 handles different chapter screen resolutions and get back to you.


Version 0.0.5a is up!

I've finished incorporating Tacticus's new shock staff and trooper gun sprites, and re-done the Weapons-in-hand collection so you still get better sprites even if you need to turn HD weapons off for some reason. I've added a glowmap to the scatter rifle, and fixed the one for the fusion pistol. Unfortunately I can't get A1 to show an animation for the charging sequence, so it's still only one frame. Also, I threw in the HD shell casings. Finally, I'm trying to get the fist to behave more like the M1 fist, and while I think I've got the timing right the animation is acting weird and not "throwing" the punch. I'll have to take another look at that.

Philtron has written a new terminal for our enjoyment on G4 Sunbathing. I've edited, terminalified, and illustrated it, although I will be replacing the BOB sprite with something better for the next release (as well as adding Philtron to the credits)

The trooper death sequence has been fixed. I've added some grilles underneath some docking towers to eliminate some confusion a tester was having about where you can flee to. The Dead Sea switch has been set to light-dependent, so you have to hit Mare Crisium first. Some retexturing. I threw one juggernaut back in Death Valley to protect the ammo stash, and placed the trooper gun there.

And of course since it's been a few weeks since the last update there may be other updates I've forgotten about.
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Post Feb 17th '18, 08:13

I ran a simple test, merging a map with a 1920x1200 chapter screen. Despite this being the resolution I set A1 to, and it being the native resolution of my monitor, what A1 did is to show the upper-left 640x480 of it and pan diagonally to the bottom-left.

So, any redone chapter screens need not be larger than 640x480, unless you want a panning effect.

I might make some improvements to the Arrival and Pfhor chapter screens, and do the Prolouge myself, so if you don't plan on doing all of them, leave those to me or others. I think Durandal is the most desperately in need of a redraw.

Does anyone know if it's possible to do a two-stage final screen as M1 has, or will an Infinity map have to do it M1A1 style with the two put together into a large scroll? If the latter, I might add a deck for them to walk on that pans through the floor to the Deimos exterior to make the transition less contrived.

There ought to be a Colony/Tycho chapter screen for the planned storyline on the surface, although I have no idea what I'd plan to depict yet.
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Post Feb 17th '18, 15:09

ravenshining wrote:There ought to be a Colony/Tycho chapter screen for the planned storyline on the surface, although I have no idea what I'd plan to depict yet.

Might take me a bit to get to it (I need to sleep/give my wrist and arm a rest after I finish what I'm working on at the moment), but if you or Nathan would want to use it as a starting point, I could sketch an idea for a Tycho-based chapter screen.
welcome to the scene of the crash
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Post Feb 18th '18, 00:21

Here's a rough sketch of Durandal, if that's the one in most need of an overhaul. Not sure if you want a more dramatic angle or straight on like the original, however.

T-Minus 15.193792102158E+9 years until the universe closes!
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Post Feb 18th '18, 02:14

I do like the angle, Nathan, it's looking good! And that's a much nicer face already. Interesting that you went with plumbing, I always imagined those were wires. However, since Durandal is in charge of physical things like doors and elevators that may well be hydraulic, it actually makes sense.

Radix, don't hurt yourself! I welcome ideas and I like your art (especially that one of Julie-Su with pants, I was a fan of her when I was little) but as I've said before I don't think the animé style fits in with the rest of Marathon. Some of the stuff from your Silence section does look like something out of an Infinity dream level though.
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Post Feb 26th '18, 08:31

When I first saw Marathon 1 Redux, I'll admit I was skeptical. I am one of the likely few people who really enjoyed the original Marathon more than both 2 and infinity because of the atmosphere. To me, the loss of music was killer. The atmosphere provided mainly by the music in the original Marathon is to me what defines the game. The lesson here is that for me to consider the Redux to be any good, it has to have good music that helps set the atmosphere.

Hence my initial skepticism. I saw you used Craig Hardgrove's music, which, while it is good and while it does serve a scenario like Eternal very well, does not often keep the atmosphere that made me like M1 so much. For levels like Shake Before Using, you can probably make Craig's music work very well. But for many of the other levels, I'm not sure it is the best fit. Take G4 Sunbathing for instance. Craig's version of swirls is an amazing piece of music, one of my favorites of the set, but I don't think it fits the atmosphere as well as the original piece, "Landing," did. In the original, the combination of vacuum level+dark areas+invisible enemies+kinda spooky (that might not be the right word I'm looking for) = a feeling that is very hard to match. Craig's swirls feels more solemn or sad than spooky. In the original, swirls plays after Leela dies, which is fitting for the sad music. Craig's swirls would do equally well here.
Using Craig's version of Leela for BGN didn't trigger me too much.

But not all of the remakes really hit the same tune as the originals. Look at Landing, or look at a piece of trash like the remake of Aliens Again (I haven't even mentioned the alien ship music yet). With only two levels made as of yet, lack of music is not a major issue. But I think you will struggle to keep the atmosphere for every single level. Maybe find other music that works as an addition?

I know I'm not being particularly productive here, and I have no artistic talent myself, so I can't be of help. If I were to be of help, it would probably be working with Aleph One, but that's not particularly likely given my current situation. I just don't want to see my favorite part of the original Marathon go away.

As far as redux is concerned, I think it is an awesome idea, and from a level design perspective I think you have done a good job. Keep up the good work! Not to mention that some of the things you have done, like weapons having different sounds in vacuum, are really cool. Not to mention all of the things I missed since I am so used to playing vanilla BGN... really good work there.

A few trivial, nitpicky things:

Is it just me, or does the sound for the pistol reload not sync with the animation?

There's an odd mix of old and new sounds. Is this intentional, or have you just not found good replacements yet?

G4 sunbathing was bug city for me, and I am using Aleph One 1.3a1 to play your scenario. That level crashed more times than my entire previous experience with Aleph One. I'm presuming this is Aleph One's fault and somebody needs to get on that...

Post Feb 26th '18, 10:20

Thank you for your input! I felt the original Landing didn't fit well with the muted sounds, whereas Swirls brought the quiet out in the vacuum. However, I didn't notice that Swirls was meant to be a mourning song for Leela. I'll definitely take another look at what song to put for G4 Sunbathing.

I don't plan on always using only Craig's music. While I think most of his remakes are fantastic, some of them really miss the original feeling - New Pacific Reprise stands out to me in this regard particularly. Since there are more levels than tracks, there's plenty of room to use the originals where appropriate. Alas, I don't have high hopes for anyone coming out with improved versions, Craig's is the only attempt I've seen that doesn't sound horrid.

I'm still working on tweaking the weapons. Right now fixing the fist is my top priority, but I'll look at the pistol, too. I did change the reload animation slightly in the hopes of making it more smooth, but I don't think it worked too well.

I haven't yet attempted to search for new sound effects, so what you're hearing mostly is M1 sounds and M2/∞ sounds filling in the blanks. M1's are all 8-bit and rather tinny, so ideally I'd like to replace them with something better, but I share your concerns about sound and want to be very, very careful before accepting new sounds.

...or maybe you're specifically referring to the Fighter noises. I was experimenting with giving them some different chatter options, but yeah, the M1 and M2 versions don't mesh well with each other there. If I don't find something by the time this goes beta I'll take them out.

You're not the first person who has had problems with crashing on G4. Unfortunately I haven't had any issues so I have no idea what's causing it. Can you (or anyone else who is having crashes on G4) run A1 from a terminal and copy any error messages that show?
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Post Feb 27th '18, 01:04

I'm glad you care about music choice as well. That being said, don't put too much stock behind what I say. I might just be nostalgic for the originals or might be biased by Eternal (where swirls is always about failure). Maybe you should see what other people think?

Another minor sound issue. Trooper guns in vacuum don't make sound (except when the grenades explode), but when you use the trooper gun it makes sound. Is this intended? It might actually be more realistic this way, but it feels odd to have a trooper in your face shooting and making no sound but when you shoot back there is some sound.

It was a real pain to fulfill your request and get the terminal output of Aleph One. I had to run it from the bash shell (which I had to get, though I don't mind since I always kind of wanted to get it when I heard you can get it as part of Windows 10), maybe just because I'm not experienced with the windows shell. Regardless, the output is attached.

I noticed an interesting pattern in the crashes. My music doesn't loop; it plays once, then silence. The game always and only crashes say 15 seconds or so into this following silence. May the crash have something to do with the music? Why isn't it looping? The terminal output does begin with what looks to be an audio tool.

EDIT: After another look, it looks like it is trying to read an audio file as a video file. What could be stranger than that?

Post Feb 27th '18, 01:50

This is really fascinating. I did some experimentation. I renamed the tracks so swirls played for BGN and Leela for G4. BGN was the level that crashed then, and G4 didn't crash.

I took it one step further by going to my Eternal folder, copying the swirls.mp3 found in the music there, and replacing the swirls you sent in redux with that swirls. The game didn't crash anymore!

Do you just have a defective copy of swirls? Then why isn't your version crashing? Did Pfhorrest have to do anything to get swirls to work for him?

It's just the oddest bug.

Post Feb 27th '18, 01:56

CluckyInventor wrote:Did Pfhorrest have to do anything to get swirls to work for him?

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Post Feb 27th '18, 08:45

CluckyInventor wrote:This is really fascinating. I did some experimentation. I renamed the tracks so swirls played for BGN and Leela for G4. BGN was the level that crashed then, and G4 didn't crash.

I took it one step further by going to my Eternal folder, copying the swirls.mp3 found in the music there, and replacing the swirls you sent in redux with that swirls. The game didn't crash anymore!

Do you just have a defective copy of swirls? Then why isn't your version crashing? Did Pfhorrest have to do anything to get swirls to work for him?

It's just the oddest bug.

Thank you for the output and testing! Unfortunately I get the same messages, except without the crashing. I had no idea it would be difficult, I thought Windows had a "Command Prompt" program, but then I haven't used Windows since XP.

Before, it sounded like you were having the music loop bug that's supposed to be fixed in the latest source. But maybe it is just a defective file, it would make sense with the error messages. Interestingly, the Swirls file in Redux is unmolested, but I opened up Leela in Audacity to quiet it a bit, as it was drowning out the ambient sound. Perhaps there's some header information or whatever that is missing or damaged, but Audacity repairs/replaces it when encoding?
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Post Feb 28th '18, 04:11

Windows does have a command prompt feature, it just didn't output any messages when I ran Aleph One from it.

If you want yet another idea I've had that could improve your scenario I was thinking that you should make sure to make slight variations to different branches in terminal writing (and maybe monster placement if you are ambitious). For instance, with that one new terminal you added to G4 Sunbathing, if you were, wait, I should spoiler this
If you entered the level with Durandal, then Durandal is presumably somewhat more in charge and doesn't let you read anything negative about him. On the other hand, if you entered with Leela and saved the BoBs then you get to read the whole thing, whereas if you failed to save the bobs but came in with Leela you got to see some of the incriminating terminal. It would be cool if for the terminals you write up you had three different variations for the three different levels.
The more you do this sort of thing, the better. Also, while this might be a bit much to ask, if you put the monsters (maybe the Juggernaut on G4 goes into a different open area if you are on a different branch) in different places for the different branches it would really separate them for the players and in multiple playthroughs might catch players off guard who expect the Juggernaut to be in one area but instead it's somewhere else.

This is certainly too ambitious for this stage of development, but it would be really cool if it was in the final product. I'm hoping you're making a list of changes that you may get around to later on in the development process if you hear good ideas.

Is there anything I can do to help ease the workload instead of possibly adding to it? I'm not particularly good at content creation but I was wondering if it would help to do an I will play every level in Marathon 1 and comment on them sort of thing if you needed ideas on how to improve levels, though you seem to have done pretty well as-is.

Post Feb 28th '18, 05:54

I already plan to have different terminals and monster placements for the different branches :-) Monster placement is especially easy, and for me anyway, writing is also easy. Architecture is the main challenge.

You're right, I really ought to me making a list instead of tackling things as-they-come. At first it was fine, before I had much feedback and I was free of RL distractions, but right now I've got housemate issues going on and the to-do list is getting difficult to remember.

You mentioned earlier, "If I were to be of help, it would probably be working with Aleph One, but that's not particularly likely given my current situation." I take it you're good with code? Diving into the A1 code may be a bit much, but are you any good with Lua? Getting a floating HUD working is my #1 scripting need right now. I'd like to have an inventory panel at the least, and for nostalgia's sake I think it would be nice if the 02 and health metres were vertical. I can supply the 2D artwork if you or anyone else can supply the Lua to make it work.

Or you could as you say do a playthrough and critique. Some things to look for might be areas that don't make sense architecturally, what you think the functional purpose of a given area might be, areas that are problematic for cooperative play. Marathon maps were very limited, having 300 polygons or less, only three monster types, and of course only one texture set; it may be worth mentioning where these may be expanded upon because like Durandal, Aleph One has no such limitations.
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Post Feb 28th '18, 08:46

If you do do a playthrough, perhaps the story Forum would be the place to post it. I ought to look up if there was a Tour of Duty on it.

I've made a To-do list for better organisation, and will maintian it at the top of the thread and in the download:

Lua: Floating HUD, controllable infravision, level titles. Rocket launcher ammo sprite?
Shapes: Marine collection, Battleroid collection, Armed BoBs. Something's wrong with the juggernaut movement. Broken radioactive sprite sometimes wrong
Sounds: New Pfhor chatter, 16-bit sounds
Music: Swap out for ones that don't crash - fixed?
Textures: Bump maps
Other: Get permission from plugin authors to incorpoate their work. Complile myself a stable A1 to test against.
3-D: Make railing

Prolouge - Create!

I. New Thermopylae - Create! See Wrkncacnter's advice about the Marathon appearing in the sky
II. Mirata - Create!

Arrival - Add moon background, possibly new sound

0. Arrival - Revmove PiD crap. Start player in hangar, route to canon start, put in BoB & blue fighter. Port in Ne Cede Malis extras as secrets. graffiti. Hangar control room should have controls. Furniture in observation deck. Fans in maintenance tunnels. One flickering terminal w/compiler. Secret passageways in the maze. Kill all compilers victory condition?

1. Bigger Guns Nearby - Texture alignment & lighting.

2. Never Burn Money - Add second elevator for coop. Make elevator more obvious. Add windows to industrial areas. Have switch for recharge station? Storage in storage areas. MIDA term in deprivation chomber?

Counterattack - make new sound

3. Defend THIS! - Add corridors for better coop and tweak for better monster pathfinding. WTF is the compactor for? elaborate.
4. Couch Fishing - Put a single orange trooper? Require switches to be sequential, add failure condition
5. The Rose - Add graffiti, arm a few BoBs
6. SLN,TLC! - The death trap is no fun. Add a secret way out?
7. Cool Fusion - Orange trooper at start for vidmasters. Fill vaccum chamber with liquid, disable swimming
8. G4 Sunbathing - In progress. Elaborate hallways, add bulkheads, control stations, red herrings, solve the texture alignment nightmare. A wrecked shuttle perhaps?
9. BlasphemeQuarantine -


10. Bob-B-Q - Arm some BoBs. Make sure 2 players can fit through the final corridors.
11. Shake Before Using… - Somebody set us up the bomb

Durandal - make new sound

12. Fire!!!!! - good place for lava secrets, MIDA
13. CS4S,C - Remove the cheap way out. Instead, add interconnecting hallways, improve the view, and put a texture that better indicates platform height (maybe even make the platforms telescoping!) Also, what is this space for? I'm thinking colonist cryogenic storage.
14. Habe Quiddam - Provide alternate exit

Tycho - Create!

15. ECC - Create!
16. PTICN - Create!
17. RSC - Create! use Radix's term in the spoilers thread
18. IJR - Create!

19. NeitherHighnorLow

The Pfhor - make new sound maybe?

20. PfhorYourEyesOnly… - add terminals, add M2 architecture
21. NoArtificialColors - Strauss terminal? MIDA plot?
22. Unpfhorgiven - add terminals, make sure corridors work for coop
23. TwoTimesTwoEquals… - add terminals
24. BoL-FgDDs… -
25. Eupfhoria - add terminals, make sure corridors work for coop
26. Pfhoraphobia - add terminals, make sure corridors work for coop
27. A'tGT4T… - add terminals, make sure corridors work for coop. Replace the AR with an orange trooper


28. Welcome2tRevolution… - Fix monster paths
29. SSPOC - Create!
30. STC - Create!
31. SIJ - Create!
32. Try again -
33. Ingue Ferroque -
33a A Good Way to Die -
33b A Bad Way to Die

Epilouge - the Marine helping the Bob

34. Cold storage? - Create?

The Final Screen - totally needs redraw, music.
Last edited by ravenshining on Mar 9th '18, 03:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Mar 1st '18, 06:53

"Remove PID crap." - I take it you are using an old version of Marathon that still has this in it?

Does your version of Marathon have the floating HUD? The latest version has one which is pictured in the attached screenshot. It doesn't meet the criteria that you would ideally want. If we get rights to use/modify it, even I might have to skill to alter it so it does meet the criteria. Just move the health/o2 to the top-left of the motion sensor and add a panel for the inventory where the health used to be. I don't know who made the HUD so I don't know who to ask for the rights.

Or, if you want, you can make your own if you find that easier. While I don't have experience with LUA there are plenty of examples I can look at and I am confident in my ability to figure it out. It just will take longer than if someone else does it.

It's worth noting that the commentary option is not mutually exclusive. In other words, I can do that and work on a hud. I'm thinking of putting it in the Pfhorums since there was a Tour of Duty of Marathon and to avoid repeating what they say I will likely focus on the M1Redux side of things more than the original marathon. Though it definitely could go onto the story forum. Ryoko posted his review of Infinity on the Pfhorums so it wouldn't be out of place to do so.

Post Mar 1st '18, 09:15

So far I'm using M1A1 maps, since they're already in Infinity format. While I do have an M1 map editor running to peek at the originals, I don't currently have a way set up to convert them.

And no worries about the HUD. I just kinda assumed from your statement that you might be a programmer. Despite popular demand, I see the HUD is a feature that needn't be ready until beta, and I'm a looong way away from that. Hopefully someone will come along in that time who knows what they're doing!

Have fun with the commentary!
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Post Mar 1st '18, 13:08

You're using an old version of M1A1 then. The PID stuff was removed for the 1.0 release of Aleph One. Lots of behavior was restored to be more authentic, even before Aleph One 1.1 could read the original maps.
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Post Mar 2nd '18, 07:36

Here's my stab at the finalized chapter screen. Had a lot of fun with this one! It's at the 640x480 proportions, even though I work a lot bigger than that to get all the details in and whatnot.

If you want me to send a hi-res version to any email address or anything, just drop me a message with the address!

EDIT: Ugh, wait a sec. There's something weird going on with the gradient's edges. Gonna go fix that really quick.
EDIT 2: Hopefully this'll look better. Still not ideal, I'll toy with some output settings a bit. The file compression is making that glow look crummy.

T-Minus 15.193792102158E+9 years until the universe closes!
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Post Mar 2nd '18, 08:41

Nathan92 wrote:Here's my stab at the finalized chapter screen. Had a lot of fun with this one!

Sweeeet! You totally made my day right there.

treellama wrote:You're using an old version of M1A1 then. The PID stuff was removed for the 1.0 release of Aleph One. Lots of behavior was restored to be more authentic, even before Aleph One 1.1 could read the original maps.

Ah, I had no idea there was a newer version. When I went looking for it last fall, all I could find was the Traxus link to the cache of the Bighouse page that links the Fileball and downloads. Where... wait, Perseus asked... Github? I'll try that.
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Post Mar 2nd '18, 12:05

Nathan92 wrote:Here's my stab at the finalized chapter screen. Had a lot of fun with this one!

I've seen your other work, but wow, this is amazing.
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Post Mar 2nd '18, 17:32

It really is.
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Post Mar 2nd '18, 22:52

Thanks guys, glad you like it!

Been a while since I've done a more finished Marathon piece, so it felt good. [MGrin]
T-Minus 15.193792102158E+9 years until the universe closes!
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Post Mar 3rd '18, 01:16

I'm attempting to upload 0.0.6a as I type this, but seem to be having some network issues- it's been sitting there for ten minutes just spinning. I hope I'm not overloading Simplici7y. Or that my flash drive isn't failing, but I can't copy from the flash onto the library's HD to test it.

-attempted to reduce G4 crashes by swapping craig's swirls for the original landing.
-To-do list now included
-contributors listed in readme

-fleshed out 2/4 control rooms
-moved two pages of new terminal to a control room
-made some ammo teleporting

-recharge station and pattern buffer no longer work after tripping breaker
-both doors to office work at start for better coop, jam later instead
-telescoping platform
-improvements to terminal text
-put corpse by AR
-secret balancing
-atmospheric additions

-fixed pistol reload sound
-fixed fist throw
-added trooper vacuum sounds
-fixed a few scenery items

-fixed trooper casings
-slightly less ammo for shock staff melee

-added credits to Philtron, Nathan92, Radix
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Post Mar 3rd '18, 12:19

I've created a GitHub repository for M1R since I couldn't upload to Simplici7y. After seeing how Eternal is using that I though perhaps this would a more sensible way to proceed. Although GitHub seems insanely complicated maybe I can use it to update as I go from home, and people may be able to contribute easier if they know how to use GitHub.
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Post Mar 11th '18, 09:00

Great news! Although I've kinda been sucked into Eternal for the past week, while messing about with that I finally found some documentation of the map file format, and lo, therein the enviroment flag:
Code: Select all
   $0400 | M1 weapon changes (weapon pickups on Total Carnage, low G 'nades)

So, I fired up my hex editor, set that flag on a map, and indeed my magazines now replenish if I run over a weapon on Total Carnage! Sadly, this does *not* allow grenade climbing as I expected, but the weapon replenishment thing is wonderful.

I also noticed the environment flag:
Code: Select all
   $0080 | play music
and under static map info:
Code: Select all
   S16: music number
I wonder if fiddling with these can ameliorate the music loop bug, or if they are strictly for playing M1 MIDI files.

On an unrelated note, I'm considering making a push to polish off G4 and the Shapes file, then making one last Alpha release for Simplicity. Then, rather than focus on one level at a time I'll convert and add *all* the levels into the GitHub repository and make changes throughout. I think this will make it easier for other to get involved if they so desire, and will be necessary in order to get all the interlevel teleports working correctly.
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