Eternal X 1.2

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Re: Eternal X 1.2

Post May 6th '19, 05:10

Thanks. I’m not going to rush to complete it overnight or anything; I’m probably going to be fairly busy myself the next couple of weeks. I think the version of “Core Done Blew” I posted a couple days ago can probably just be slotted in as is; I don’t know if anyone made any further changes to the level after I did, but it doesn’t look like it. Other than that, I think the only things worth changing for 1.2.1 are “Unwired” and the “S’pht’ia” trap I noted above. The rest of my planned changes can wait until 1.3; I suspect upwards of 95% of the work is already done for all three of those, though, so I’d prefer to have them out sooner rather than later.

Upon further examination, I can’t tell why the Wasps seem so much smaller in Eternal. The scale factor appears to be the same between Eternal, M1A1, Rubicon, and Chronicles, but they definitely seem smaller in Eternal. It appears that they move significantly faster in Eternal, so they might just seem smaller because their speed makes them a lot more difficult to hit.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · Where Monsters Are in Dreams · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 7th '19, 22:38

I feel as though I owe an explanation for why I reacted so harshly above. I don’t know if I can provide one that will make sense to anyone else, because it seems that I’ve been subject to several other misreadings as well, but it’s apparent by now that I’m going to keep obsessing over this if I don’t at least attempt.

When I noticed that a couple of changes I thought I’d submitted to a few levels weren’t there, I was mildly annoyed. In particular, I knew I’d fixed a few things in “Core Done Blew” that weren’t functioning correctly in 1.2.0. So I made a brief post about it, noting that some things that were supposed to be there weren’t. At the point of that post, I thought it was about two or three hours’ worth of work that was missing. It wasn’t until my second post that I realised just how much hadn’t gotten rolled in. I wasn’t going to ask for a 1.2.1 release over two hours of missing work, but the amount missing was probably much closer to ten.

The other factor that changed my mind was that Dr Sumner was complaining about the difficulty of “Unwired”. If I have a problem with a level’s difficulty, my initial conclusion will probably be that I just suck at the level. If Dr Sumner has a problem with the difficulty, my conclusion is that the level sucks. The bit that convinced me in particular:

As much time and effort as everyone has put into the development of 1.2, it seems to me that at least a patch (no need to view it as a new numbered release) to correct these problems would be welcomed. Otherwise, I am afraid very few TC players are going to want to play this version. I will probably be one of those. I imagine I’ll have to wait until 1.3 comes out.

I found myself increasingly annoyed over this, but I was trying to be as diplomatic as possible despite that, because I absolutely didn’t want a repeat of the “Run, Coward!” drama. Obviously my attempts at diplomacy didn’t help; in hindsight, if anything, I suspect those efforts just made the argument worse in the long run. I’ll be the first to acknowledge I wasn’t trying to veil my criticism of the level balance, but I was trying to avoid arguing on any other count; indeed, I apologised something like six times on the previous page on various counts. After being accused of arguing on counts other than the level balance anyway, I no longer felt even the slightest inclination to mince words.

There were two other factors compounding my annoyance. The first is that, essentially, this particular change to the map balance was rolled into the level over my explicit objections, as documented above. If I had known that the released version of the level was going to be like that, I would have objected again before the game was even released. I was preoccupied with real-life tasks for the first part of 2019, and I hadn’t gotten around to playing the level again until fairly recently. Because I had made those objections known well in advance of the release date, I felt as though a level that – again – I spent a long time polishing up was effectively ruined over my explicit objections. This may not have been anyone’s intention, but because people seemed, for whatever reason, to be insisting that the level not be changed, it sure as hell felt personal.

The last factor was – again – that I explicitly asked three times for information about how the level was changed, and Lia flat-out ignored all three of those requests while responding directly on other counts – including to criticise me for my tone. I would have accepted “I won’t have time to write up a list until after finals” as a response; that’s a perfectly understandable excuse. Having that request flat-out ignored, however, felt like an entire day’s worth of tedious work just being blown off. Which, again, felt like a personal insult. If you have enough time to criticise the tone of a participant in an argument, you have at least enough time to say that you don’t have time to list all the changes you’ve made to a level.

None of this particularly excuses my conduct. I feel awful that things got that far out of hand. To be clear, I’m still furious. I don’t like that, because 99% of the time I have no quibble with any of you and don’t particularly like being angry at anyone here, particularly when there are far greater problems with the world. I don’t particularly know if any of this was actually intended as a personal slight, but I definitely poured more effort into “Unwired” than I did into the rest of the first chapter combined, and I certainly took it personally.

There’s a lot more at work here than a video game, though – I’ve certainly made no secret of the other issues I’m dealing with – and I strongly regret that it got this far out of hand. I’m likely to be in a rotten mood for at least a few more weeks until I find a new medication balance, and I apologise in advance for that as well. There is a chance that, apart from submitting new versions of levels when the relevant information is made available to me, I may simply not post at all.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · Where Monsters Are in Dreams · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 7th '19, 23:00

Thanks for that explanation Aaron. For my part I haven't been upset at anybody here for anything, I'm just grateful that you're all helping with my project in the first place. I'm so swamped with other stuff in life that I can barely keep track of anything anyone else is doing, and around the original intended release date when all this got mixed up, that was even worse, so I've really completely lost track of everything since then.

That situation with me is not likely to change until at best October and probably later than that still, so I'm basically going to reply on one or both of you to tell me when this has all been resolved to everyone's satisfaction and to either submit a PR or a set of (only) changed files that I can roll in myself, and then I will playtest only those changes levels myself just to be sure nothing got completely broken in the process and put out a .1 release.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post May 30th '19, 16:56

Now that the Spring semester is over and life as Chair of my department is winding down, I decided to play Eternal 1.2 and create spoiler guides, designed for my style of play. I have always wanted to do this, so now seemed like a good time. I decided to include Aaron's latest update of Unwired and Core Done Blew. I finished Chapter 1 today and thought I would post any issues I encountered with the chapter levels. Some of these I have mentioned here before. But in the hopes that they might be considered when Eternal 1.3 is released, I am offering them here. I intend to do this after each chapter.

Level 0: The Far Side of Nowhere

1. Line 634 is very sticky when crossing it from southeast to northwest.


Level 1: Deja Vu All Over Again

1. The Compiler on polygon 262 never fights or moves.

2. The Projectile Fighter on polygon 402 is trapped in an inaccessible area and should be moved.


Level 2: Septococcal Pfhoryngitis

1. Crossing line 2454 from the north side teleports the player to a point nearby.


Level 3: Dysmentria

1. A Fighter got stuck within the lights on polygon 238.


Level 5: Unwired

1. The Wasps on polygon 176 constantly chirp, but never move.

2. The MOAH on polygon 857 keeps getting stuck in polygon 79. This happens everytime I play the level.

3. The Troopers and MOAH in the final room always seem to congregate at polygons 989 and 990. And they will not move from there. Aren't they supposed to mill about?

4. The Unfinished message in the last terminal seems rather bland given that you haven't yet completed the mission. I half expected to read a plea from Hathor to please "smash the switches already!" or something like that.


Level 6: Roots and Radicals

1. The walls at line 2792 and 2801 are very bouncy.


Level 9: Heart of Fusion

1. When I played today, the Defense Drones refused to fight the gray Compilers.

2. I cannot get the Compiler on polygon 521 to activate without having to fire a weapon. The other gray Compilers activate fine.

3. I noticed that the minimum number of gray Compilers is set to 0. So they never regenerate. Was that planned?

4. The walls at line 1346 and line 1351 are very bouncy. (same lines as in Roots and Radicals).

5. The Compiler on polygon 812 is very loathe to fight. You might get it to shoot, but most of the time it just stands there and gets pummeled.

6. Something weird is happening when I walk away from smashing the repair switches in the core. As I walk down the walkway away from the switch, when I get to the end, I am sometimes teleported to an adjacent walkway. It doesn't happen every time, but enough that I thought I'd mention it.

John
DrJohn

Post May 30th '19, 17:16

Thanks John! This kind of point by point detail should be really useful whenever I have time to revisit Eternal again, assuming Aaron or Lia or someone haven't addressed these issues without me by then.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post May 30th '19, 23:01

The Wasps on Unwired are fixed in the official release and in my precipitation version, but not in Aaron's version because his is based on an earlier, pre-lava revision.

We did reduce the spawn rate of compilers on Heart of Fusion, but the max count definitely should not be 0.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jun 12th '19, 06:48

Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve been kind of scarce because of one thing and another. I also decided to join another scenario development project because it’s not like I didn't already have a ton on my plate. I do intend to get back to Eternal in the near future, though, if nothing else so I can fix up “Unwired” and 1.2.1 can come out. I may also see about creating a precipitation plugin to include for 1.2.1.

There are a few other changes I want to make for various levels, but I decided it would probably be prudent to take a step back for a few weeks, because I’d obviously gotten too emotionally wound up over this stuff and I needed some distance. Hopefully I’ve attained some of that distance now, but we’ll see.

Anyway, watch this space – I might fix a couple of the other minor issues John mentioned as well. (I already noticed that Fighter from “Deja Vu” in my playthrough of 1.2 final, as people who read the descriptions of my YouTube video will have noticed.)
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · Where Monsters Are in Dreams · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jun 15th '19, 19:39

I finished Chapter 2 of Eternal 1.2 today. Wow! Those first five levels are really long. Fun, but long. Here are the issues I had with some of the levels.

Level 11: Hysterical Womb

1. Why were the platforms in the three chambers set to "delay before activation"? Aren't those rooms hard enough without making the player stand on the platform like a sitting duck while waiting for the platform to activate?

2. The teleport pads in the two southern chambers teleport the player to a point near the northern chamber. Is that really necessary? It's such an unnecessary pain to have to return from there every time you need to escape the southern chambers. I realize it is meant to encourage the player to not rely on the teleport pads so much. But is seems you could change it so the player at least teleports to a somewhat closer point.


Level 12: A Friend in Need

1. Why are the switches at line 2146 and line 2147 initially active? Seems like that might confuse the player.


Level 13. Unlucky Pfhor Some

1. When I played, some of the contrails from enemy fire (e.g. Juggernaut missile) was left hanging in the air and would never leave.

2. The Hulk (object 129) on polygon 58 never appears in the game. There are three Hulks on that polygon. It is the one facing north. It appears blinking in map mode. But never appears in the fighting.


Level 14: Unpfhorseen

1. The Enforcer on polygon 152 is positioned over Pfhor slime. So it dies cheaply.


Level 15: Killing the Giants as They Sleep

1. The oxygen recharger at line 177 actually functions as a 3x recharger.

2. A Fighter got stuck under the structure at polygon 922.


Level 16: Pissing on the Corporation

1. In the room with polygon 599, there are two friendly Flame Cyborgs and four friendly Compilers that activate, but only if the player fires a weapon. For those of us that do not use weapons, we are cheated out of the help. Could an "Invisible Monster Trigger" polygon be conveniently placed to activate them once you do engage the enemy?

2. The free roaming Hummers (such as on polygon 318) are supposed to be enemies of the player. But they never did fire at me as I fought them at polygon 962.


Level 19: Burning Down the Corporation

1. The ten S'pht'Kr on the level do not activate unless the player fires a weapon. As above, could an "Invisible Monster Trigger" polygon be conveniently placed to activate them once you do engage the enemy? Oddly, in the room with polygon 599, the four Compilers and two Flame Cyborgs do not need the player to fire a weapon in order to activate them. Is that because they are enemies of the player, while the S'pht'Kr are not? Even so, it seems there ought to be some consistency.

2. It seems the player can complete the level without visiting any of the southwest rooms. I think the player should be forced to complete that part of the level before reaching the repair switches in the southeast rooms.

3. The teleport pad on polygon 1280 is available (and hidden) to the player. It teleports you into the interior of the level where the Hummers roam free. However, that area has no escape.

On to Chapter 3!

John
DrJohn

Post Jun 15th '19, 20:10

IIRC, the platforms in level 11 have a delay because of their fast speed – if they activated immediately, players might not always be able to get onto them, which is a serious problem given that there’s goo underneath them. However, we may have made the activation delay too long. The problem is that if it’s not long enough, they won’t spend much time at the top, either, so there’s a balancing act involved (almost literally).

The switches in level 12 were an oversight that resulted from my saving the level in the wrong state while retexturing it. I had meant to fix it before the final release, but it’s one of several things that escaped my mind. Luckily, it’s an easy fix, and it doesn’t make the level impossible to complete. That can be another thing to fix in 1.2.1.

As can a lot of the rest of this stuff – in fact, at this point I’m half tempted just to wait for you to finish your playthrough. I agree with a lot of your suggestions.

…I definitely have no idea how that teleport pad in “Burning Down the Corporation” became accessible. That will definitely have to be fixed. I’ll see about re-routing the level to force the player to visit the southwest portions – I don’t know how much of the level would have to be overhauled to make that work.

I also wonder if the drones don’t fire at the player because of physics. It could be that their physics won’t let them jump high enough to reach the player (even though they’re set to float), which could confuse the game engine. I think I remember having to alter the drone physics for “Unlucky Pfhor Some” precisely because of this; I may have to do the same for “Pissing on the Corporation”.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · Where Monsters Are in Dreams · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jun 15th '19, 23:42

Thank you both again! I agree Aaron that it’s probably best to put off another release until John has finished his playthroughs because there are a lot of good little details in these reviews and if we’re going to follow up on some of them we may as well follow up on all of them.

Though I still won’t have time for anything myself until near the end of the year and then I’ll probably just have time for like one level a week so you’ll probably (hopefully) have gotten to most of this before I get the chance. I don’t know how you can manage to juggle three scenarios at once but I’m impressed and grateful. :)
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Pfhorrest
California

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