Eternal X 1.2

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Re: Eternal X 1.2

Post Aug 7th '18, 02:47

OK, thanks. While I’ve got you here, as what variable type does the game pass Monsters[index].external_velocity to Lua? I’ve been intending to write a script to put a hard cap on the speed monsters can travel in some levels in my game, but it makes a big difference whether it’s an array or something else, and the documentation is vague about this.

ETA: and one other thing: is it possible to use a statement like “if Level.name in {"Rozinante XI", "Sodding the Logs", "Bump and Grind", "I'd Rather Be A Lutefisk", "Like home this ain't II"}” so that I don’t have to keep expanding my if-then statement to a ridiculous length? Searching for how to do something like that is surprisingly frustrating when the terms are as common as “if variable in array”
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 7th '18, 02:57

When in doubt, just Players.print() whatever variable and it'll give you clues. Given that it's a velocity with no other properties, you can assume it's just a floating point number.
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Wrkncacnter

Post Aug 7th '18, 03:18

Ah, thanks. I think that’ll help substantially.

No idea on the “if variable in array” thing? Judging from a web search it looks like using arrays might actually require even more complicated code, so I guess I’ll just keep expanding the if statement, even though that gets hideous. Oh well.
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 7th '18, 03:32

I'd use an array, and I'd probably use level indexes rather than names, also.
ChipLevels = { 1, 4, 5, 10, 12 }
if table_contains(ChipLevels, Level.index) then

where you'd implement table_contains yourself (google a function in lua to determine if an element exists in a table). Of course if you were making your own scenario or something, you'd just make the script always do it and only embed it into levels where you want that functionality (or use mml as Pfhorrest is doing). I'm assuming your goal is to not mess with the Rubicon files.

It probably doesn't make much sense to continue this conversation here, so I'd maybe suggest joining the discord if you want to talk through random lua stuff sometime.
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Wrkncacnter

Post Aug 7th '18, 03:53

I think I’ll join it tomorrow, thanks. And that’s definitely a more elegant solution. I didn’t actually know you could use level indices (I actually searched for that in the Lua documentation and didn’t see it), but I think I’ll still keep using level names so that A1 won’t just gratuitously give you chips even when you switch to some other map file. For instance, it’d be pretty silly to have Tempus give you chips on levels three, five, seven, and nine of The Lost Levels. I suppose there’s the remote possibility of some other scenario using those level names, too, but it’s not as likely as more than one map file being in the same directory and someone forgetting to turn off the script.

And yeah, the whole purpose is to make it possible to Vid certain levels properly without having to modify existing map files at all. That way someone can just turn on the script and play Vid films without having to make sure they’ve got exactly the same modified map. Thus far, I’ve put in the level names for Tempus, Rubicon, and Pfh’Joueur. If there are other scenarios that also require chips from previous levels, I’ll probably add those level names eventually, too.

Anyway, to bring this back to something relevant to Eternal, I’ll also hopefully write a better script for Eternal tomorrow so that we don’t have to deal with this nonsense of fists disappearing any longer, but can still keep seven fusion batteries (because seriously, it wouldn’t be a Marathon scenario without as many sevens as possible). I might actually even look into adding seven counts of other ammo as well, unless people think that would make it too easy to Vid the levels. It might at least be worth doing for the levels where you can’t pick up ammo from enemies.
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 7th '18, 04:49

While I appreciate the effort, I don't know how necessary a Lua alternative to the MML really is. You still start with seven fusion batteries for most of the scenario, and it's only when you start getting the most powerful weapons in the game that you don't start with as many anymore.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 7th '18, 07:15

RyokoTK wrote:02. Deja Vu All Over Again


So of my own accord, I pulled the player's head out of the ceiling at the start, and also thickened the stairs in the first big room, and added some zone borders, to alleviate Bob-jams and other navigational imperfections there, which have always bothered me. And touched up the lighting in that room along with it. Also made a few platforms faster throughout the level.

What I immediately notice is that the knockback on the melee is absurd; I'm blasting Fighters a couple hundred feet back, which is sorta funny the first time but it's annoying when I look for all the staves they dropped and they're all in the next county.

This was fixed shortly after that was written.

The rooms themselves are almost always empty, which puzzles me; all the action is in the corridors between them.

I think this is mostly because of lack of zone borders and monster impassible polys, so I've put some of those in to try to keep monsters from clogging the halls. I did add a couple more monsters too.

Whoever designed this level did a pretty good job replicating Marathon 1's meandering, meaningless level design, but the textures don't seem right at all.

I hope the new textures help with that already, but since I couldn't manage to make them as much more like the original M1 textures as I had originally intended, I expect not.

The architecture on this level is a little lacking; corridors are inherently uninteresting and the rooms seem kind of devoid of interesting stuff or point in general. The texturing is fine, but the textures themselves just seem a little too pale and lifeless. Actually, what's admirable about the architecture is the use of lighting; it's very nice and moody. But, overall, for a first level this one needs to be pepped up a little bit.

Since I'm not a good enough mapper to really know what specifically to change to improve on any of this without scrapping the whole level, and since it doesn't seem to be horribly bad in his opinion, particularly the lighting or texture use which is what I'd mainly aim to improve, I've not changed the map geometry besides the aforementioned at top.

Crater Creator wrote:Your hand changes sizes noticeably between your fists and the shock staff.

This should be fixed with the new weapon upgrades.

Updates are on GitHub.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 7th '18, 22:08

Crater Creator wrote:Septococcal Pfhoryngitis

I'm disappointed the ceiling lights and standing lights can't be destroyed. They were undestroyable in Infinity, but Bungie made destroyed sprites for them anyway.

Is this a simple-ish thing that anyone (Erich?) could either tell me how to change or would like to help change?

RyokoTK wrote:03. Septococcal Pfhoryngitis

THE SECOND LEVEL IS A SEWER. IN SPACE. Fuck off, are you out of ideas already for this game?

Not a lot that can be done to fix this at this point short of just deleting the level (unless turning the sewage to water and deleting a few words from the terminal, leaving this some kind of water-handling facility of unspecified description, would help; but I doubt it would). I'm sorry.

The combat is fast and a little fun. You get acquainted with the M1 Enforcers for a bit. Apparently they now have a melee attack? I question the design decision in this; if you're going to have a time travel bit back to an already-established setting, retconning in new stuff is risky business. Especially when you expect something to behave one way -- because it does -- and then it behaves completely differently because you're monkeying around with stuff. Consistency is vital, especially when you want to go on a little nostalgia trip back to the M1 days.

I think general consensus is that people like the melee attacks, but I'm open to hearing otherwise and having them removed if anyone wants to do that. They weren't my idea to begin with, someone (Erich?) added them of their own initiative.

The one thing that bugs me is, upon inserting the chip, you are immediately teleported out of the level. What if I wanted to save first? Screw you, stop messing with me.

Ryoko and I discussed this back when he first wrote it and I stand by my decision for narrative reasons. There's already a save terminal right before the insert that should assuage the problem.

There's not a lot to say about this one. It's better than the previous level; more rooms and fewer corridors, which is good, and it doesn't go on longer than it needs to. The architecture is serviceable; I suppose a sewer wouldn't be the pinnacle of good design.

I guess I don't actually need to do much about this level then? I'll try to touch up the lighting some maybe, later tonight, but I guess I'll mostly move on to the next level tonight then, which is good because I might not have time for it later in the week...


er, except...


RyokoTK wrote:04. Dysmentria
Jesus what hideous textures.

Crater Creator wrote:Whoa, some of the best Pfhor set textures I've seen.

I guess these cancel out.

Crater Creator wrote:The Enforcers punch you. Too bad there isn't an accompanying animation.

Presuming we're not getting rid of the melee entirely, is this a simple thing that someone could help fix? (Erich?)

The shock staff can push enemies over ten yards back; even hunters go flying.

This was fixed earlier.

Hmm, Troopers still drop a weapon even when killed with grenades. Usually explosives destroy a monster and his weapon.

Is this a problem that needs to be fixed? (It's because Troopers don't have a hard death sequence, so I'm not sure what could easily be done about it besides someone [Erich?] making them one, if we even want that).

RyokoTK wrote:Overall, a fun level for a while, but it gets annoying and in the end it just seems like more padding rather than really advancing the plot anywhere.


Crater Creator wrote:My overall impression is, what a fun, pretty, well designed level.


Huh, so... I guess, besides deleting this level entirely, there's not a whole lot to be done here either. I guess I'll try to touch up lighting and texture choice on this one later tonight too.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 7th '18, 22:59

I should point out that I added a subtle fog script to “Dysmentria” that may have mitigated the shading problems somewhat already, but someone who can actually see the HD Pfhor textures might want to provide a second opinion. In either case, I think more should be done to the level than simply adding a fog script, since some people don’t play with fog enabled, but I never got around to taking a serious look at the shading.

Regarding the troopers not exploding upon death, I don’t think it’s a problem. You can get the chips from them on “You Think You’re Big Time?” even if you blow them up, so it’s not exactly unprecedented in Marathon’s continuity for them to leave items even when killed with grenades. It might also make the entire game a lot more difficult if they didn’t drop ammo when killed with grenades, so you might actually have to re-balance the difficulty throughout. In short, I kind of doubt it’s worth it.

I think it might be possible to fix the unbreakable lights with MML. I remember I did change that behaviour in Fux! a long while back, but I don’t think I ever figured out how to replicate it in A1.
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 8th '18, 07:10

holy motherforking shirtballs I've discovered something yuge

Following Aaron's comments above I decided to prioritize improving shading on Dysmentria and... by the numbers it seemed pretty good already. Rare were two adjacent surfaces with the same light applied, usually it was a good few shades different at least. I thought to myself, well, this is a Goran map, he should know how to do lighting. But still, it did seem all kinda samey despite the numbers saying it shouldn't. And then, while running around trying to find things to improve anyway, I realized I kept stepping back from the places under consideration, to see how they looked from a distance without the miner's light washing everything out.

The miner's light.

I checked the global MML and sure enough, somehow the miner's light is set to a value of 1.0 when the normal default is 0.5. Eternal's lighting isn't shitty; the player's face just glows with the light of a thousand suns, erasing all shadows!

I tried turning the miner's light off entirely to see if that might have the opposite effect, and... yeah it is pretty dramatic lighting, but the levels weren't built with that in mind, so it doesn't look great. Note to future mappers if you want a horror feel though, turn off the light and make your players afraid of the dark, now that you can have truly pitch black shadows for who knows what to hide in!

I played with setting it to 0.25 and that was still too dark, so then I tried 0.375 and that seemed pretty cool. "Deja Vu" and "Septococcal" are downright spooky now. I might turn it back up to the default 0.5 if people think it would be better that way, though. Please try it out and let me know!

Also, Aaron, your fog script for Dysmentria was redundant, as that level already had thin black fog scripted in from the master levels MML, so I removed yours.

Anyway, after solving that lighting mystery I mostly left the lighting alone, besides toning down some of the hardest shadows I had added to Far Side, which were now obviously way too dark instead of just finally noticeable at all.

I fixed a bunch of misaligned textures on Dysmentria, and a bunch of misaligned switches and terminals and chargers and things everywhere from Far Side through Dysmentria. I think the bump maps may be causing a problem where the edges of textures get "pulled in" creating a faux misalignment impression, which I will try to fix in my catchup week two weeks from now.

I also noticed Security Bobs dropping Fusion Batteries, and realized I still have all the modified Bob physics for the new set of Bobs that never materialized. Since that seems unlikely to happen at this point, I set all the Bobs for chapter 1 at least (god mass physics editing is slow as fuck in ShapeFusion) back to their default settings, except nobody drops "magnum clips" anymore as those are actually fusion batteries now.

It's all up on GitHub (except the Miner's Light change, because that's in general.mml in the Scripts folder, not the merge folder which is all that's on GitHub).
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 8th '18, 09:58

I didn’t realise there was already a fog script on the level, but with all due respect, a black fog script seems completely and utterly pointless. It’s basically the same thing as just using darker lighting, isn’t it? I’d suggest using the fog script from “A Friend in Need” or one of those levels instead. Something vaguely purple, in other words.

The miner’s light thing explains a lot, though, and I’m glad my commentary helped. I couldn’t figure out why the lighting in “Dysmentria” was so bland; it seemed like it shouldn’t have been. To fix that, I assume it’s just a line in general.mml somewhere?
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 8th '18, 15:39

Yep, the ‘light’ attribute of the ‘player’ element, right near the top.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 10th '18, 05:00

Thought I'd post some screenshot to illustrate the difference:

Here is my current 1.2b1 with the miner's light turned off and whatever lighting changes I may have made to Far Side:
112b1.jpg


Here is 1.2a5 with just the miner's light turned off, so you can see how little is due to changes I made to the actual map lighting:
112a5-nominer.jpg


And here is 1.2a5 with the miner's light as it shipped:
112a5-miner.jpg


For comparison, here is also 1.1 so you can see the difference the new textures make:
110.jpg


And just for nostalgia, here's 1.0:
103.jpg


Tonight I'm trying to run through all the levels so far and improve the lighting some more wherever I can. It'll be up on GitHub whenever I'm done.
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Pfhorrest
California


Post Aug 10th '18, 06:14

FWIW, I just played through “Dysmentria” with your suggested setting of 0.375 and it looks beautiful. Still no HD textures on my MacBook, though. I suspect I was probably playing for about an hour; I cleared out the whole level on TC and collected all the items except the invincibility, which I just plain forgot was there. (I got the rest of the secret items; I just saved the invincibility to use closer to the end of the level, and then I never went back for it.) I saved a .filA file, which I’ll encode tomorrow. My desktop isn’t playing well with the network right now, and I’ll try to figure out a way to sort all that crap out tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m probably going to sleep very shortly, but I am going to try to write another Chronicles post first; we’ll see how far I get.

The difference really is night-and-day. Literally, almost.
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 10th '18, 07:32

Glad everyone likes the change so much.

Tonight I played through Far Side and Deja Vu a bunch with the miner's light completely off, and also with the HD textures off so I'm really just seeing the pure lighting on the level. Touched up anything that looked like crap like that. Considering maybe leaving the miner's light completely off for the final release, if I can manage the time to touch up everything that needs it, because goddamn it makes the lighting so dramatic, and having spots of pitch black (most of which are what I'm eliminating in these revisions, because without the miner's light they're often too jarring), and otherwise having such a wider gamut of possible darkness, can create some really dramatic effects.

On Deja Vu now, that big slowish elevator that goes up to the hallway that leads to the mission objective has (always had) a light on it that's usually at 0%, and just now and then flickers a little brighter. The room outside of it is lit normally, but with the miner's light off completely, and the switches and doors in that big elevator illuminated at just 5%, you're just standing there in the dark while the elevator goes up, with the whole big room just occasionally flickering into view. You reach out to the switch that opens the door to a hall that's at 0% on most surfaced but has glowing strips of lighting down its length, and one spot in the middle illuminated by a terminal. You can't see her because she's almost completely invisible in the darkness, but there's a scattergun enforcer at the end of that hall. You walk down toward that end, oblivious, then for a moment she steps through the light of the terminal as she approaches you as well and you realize holy fuck there she is right as she starts firing on you. You reach the end of the hall and flip the switch to open the door to the main objective room, lit normally at last.

Elsewhere, a little earlier on the level, you might find yourself falling down off the beaten path to a little out-of-the-way back hallway, no monsters in it, pitch black besides the dim bloom of the lights built into the textures, and off in the corner, a little beam of light illuminating a pattern buffer. A safe haven, before moving back out into the rest of the level again.

I love being able to have little moments like that in there now. :-D

I should have more time than I have lately next week (knock on wood) so I hope to catch up on touching up Septococcal and Dysmentria to make sure they work well enough with the lights off too, and also to touch up Sakhmet, Unwired, and Roots as scheduled.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 10th '18, 14:05

On a related lighting note, try lowering the minimum light intensity of the compiler in SF (say 5 vs. stock 20), and setting green to be self-illuminated (as I have done in M1R). The result is a similarly more dramatic and creepy compiler :-)
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Aug 10th '18, 15:14

Pfhorrest wrote:Thought I'd post some screenshot to illustrate the difference:


Wow that's a really stark and impressive difference. The top pics actually look great.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Aug 10th '18, 15:34

Thanks Ryoko, and good idea Lia!
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 11th '18, 01:24

Various notes:

  1. Title capitalisation etc. look screwed up again in a few levels. Changes:

    11 to “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream”
    26 to “Eat S’pht and Die” (or “Eat S'pht and Die” if you don’t want curly quotes; it looks like the other titles currently don’t use them either, though I’d honestly also change it so all of them did)
    31 to “The Land in the Sky”
    41 to “Floating in the Void”
    52 to “The Near Side of Everywhere”

    The rest look correct. Maybe it’d be good to go through and change all the file titles to the correct capitalisation as well. I would do this, but I’m not sure what levels you’re going to revise. You might want to let me know when there’s a lull where everything’s up to date on Github, you’re not likely to make any updates for a day or two, and I can go through and make a bunch of minor changes like that.

  2. I tried running alpha 5 on my Windows box and it still doesn’t load the HD/bump mapped textures for either the human set or the Pfhor set. I don’t know why I’m having problems on both machines and meanwhile no one else seems to be having them. I’m using A1 1.2.1 (2015/06/20 build).

  3. I like the idea of turning the miner’s lamp down to 0, but it would definitely require a lot of work to make sure the pitch dark areas are navigable. I’m considering changing the Chronicles miner’s lamp to 0.25 or something (I used 0% lighting so much that it’d probably take a week just to make the sections navigable with a value of 0). But if you have the patience to do that with all the Eternal levels, for sure, go for it.

  4. I encoded my “Dysmentria” film while I was at work and will upload it momentarily. Again, no HD Pfhor textures. It’s also a few weeks old build of the map, I think; it’s still using the purple fog script I’d added. I’d suggest using the script from “A Friend in Need”.

  5. WIth the enemies no longer fighting the player, “Where Giants Have Fallen” is usually trivially easy even on TC and becomes a desolate wasteland within a few minutes of gameplay. I’d either consider making the monsters respawn, adding a lot more of them, or restoring the behaviour where some of them attack the player. I will look at that this weekend.

  6. Flight of Icarus”: I would consider changing the above-media fog script to the one from “Where Giants Have Fallen”, etc. The one currently in use looks like it was designed for lava levels, and looks kind of weird in distant areas with lots of water. To be fair there are some sewage areas in the level as well, but not as many of them.

  7. I might be imagining it, but I think the player’s hands look substantially smaller wielding the gravitronic blades than they do wielding the staff or as fists.
I may have more to say later, but that’s good for now.

ETA: Dysmentria film. I was wrong about the length; it was only 44 minutes long, not an hour. Still a pretty good length of time, though.
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 11th '18, 17:54

If I work on chapter five and make minor touch-ups to other levels in the next few days, should I just go ahead and use whatever’s on Github? I’ll be making big changes to most of chapter five when I get the time, and I still have a bunch of changes to chapter four to finalise too. Beyond that I’ll probably want to fix all the naming issues and for that matter bring the filenames up to date, as well, but I’ll hold off on that at least until I know there aren’t going to be any further changes to those levels in the near future.

So in short, if you’re planning to make changes to any levels, it’d probably be best just to give me a list so we don’t end up working on them at the same time.
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 11th '18, 21:52

I won’t be working on anything in ch5 besides Giants until December so you have plenty of leeway there.

Next week will be through Roots and Radicals, the rest of this month all finishing off ch1, Sept will be all ch2, Oct ch3, and Nov ch4.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 12th '18, 01:36

Right, thanks. I probably won’t touch anything in the first two chapters/dream levels for now apart from level/file names. Let me know when you’re done with “Where Giants Are Fallen”, because I think the gameplay definitely needs to be rebalanced to make it challenging again, but there’s no point in working on it if you’re going to be revising the level further. In the meantime, apart from the issues pointed out above, I’ll probably spend most of my time working on chapters 4 and especially 5. The only other thing I can think of is making the monsters teleport in for the levels that have the ongoing battles (which is, what, “Unlucky Pfhor Some”, “Roots and Radicals”, “Third Rock from Lh’owon”, maybe a couple of others? And some of them might already do this, but I know “Third Rock” doesn’t), because having them just randomly appear out of thin air looks silly.
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 12th '18, 02:17

Here’s what I got tonight:

https://www59.zippyshare.com/v/g2PUMaJ7/file.html

Biggest changes:

  • Troopers and Defenders in “Third Rock from Lh’owon” should all teleport in now, so that they don’t appear out of thin air. It kind of makes sense for the W’rkncacnter enemies to appear out of thin air, but not so much for Pfhor and S’pht. If this prevents some of them from appearing at all (I didn’t check), it might be worth unchecking the “blind” and “deaf” tags, but TBH, this level seems like it may need rebalancing. It seems almost impossible on TC, though maybe I just haven’t played it enough yet. Hell, it’s really difficult on Normal.

  • Final chapter: none of the enemies have “minimum counts” above zero any longer, unless I missed one. This should hopefully make it at least possible to breathe. I varied the appearance rate based on how difficult the level seemed to me the last time I played it; thus “Echoes of Eden” has a pretty high appearance rate, while almost all of the enemies in “Deep Into the Grotto” have rates of 20% (I think I left Fighters and Hummers at 50%).

  • Fixed capitalisation, changed straight quotes to curly quotes, changed “Self Destruct” to “Self-Destruct”. This includes both file names and map titles. You’ll probably have to delete some files, but on the plus side, hopefully people will copy the right titles from now on.

I might’ve done a couple of other things; I don’t remember. I’m pretty tired. Might work on it more tomorrow, but don’t count on me making any radical changes. One thing on my to-do list: change fog script for “Flight of Icarus” (and “Dysmentria” if it still needs it).

ETA: Some of the levels in chapter five don’t start you off with the grav blades. “Deep Into the Grotto”, for instance. I’m sure that’s unintentional, and I’m too tired to figure out how to fix it, but I definitely won’t be able to work on the level balance until I do so (or someone else does).
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 12th '18, 20:49

Gameplay video of “This Message Will Self-Destruct” from the above .zip. After writing that wall of text in the Chronicles thread I don’t have too much to say right now; I’ll let people draw their own conclusions. I might’ve taken out a few too many monsters from this one. On the other hand, I might not quite have taken out enough from “We Met Once in the Garden”. It’s hard to guess the correct balance; there’s probably a fair amount of trial and error involved.

I’ll look at “Deep Into the Grotto” at some point this week, hopefully. IDK about the other levels, but I think these were the ones (alongside “Where Giants Have Fallen”) that people had the most complaints about. IDK. Maybe Dr Sumner will have time to play a few of them too, but I want to at least fix the gravitronic blades before handing them off to him.

I definitely suggest either adding a lot of zero-point modules to these levels or raising the gravitronic blades to 32,767 rounds per trigger. Or preferably both – the wave motion cannon shouldn’t be chopped liver on these levels, after all. I think I might do the latter myself later today, since Pfhorrest already said he thinks it’d be OK, but I’ll wait for further commentary before adding ZPMs (though I don’t see any story reason there couldn’t be more).
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”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

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