Marathon Chronicles

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Re: Marathon Chronicles

Post May 9th '18, 19:35

Hmm, I know JUICE has issues if you try writing to a merged map, but I guess I didn't know it was broken across the board. Oh well.
User avatar

Wrkncacnter

Post May 9th '18, 19:36

I’d use Vasara, but it’s clearly not working as intended. See attached screenshot. There’s probably some obvious fix I’m not aware of. Does it perhaps not work when VML is also in the plugins folder? I didn’t try removing it.

In any case, TL’s fix seems to have worked for VML. It’s annoying, but it’s better than nothing for now.
Attachments
Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 15.40.28.png
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 9th '18, 19:50

Wrkncacnter wrote:Hmm, I know JUICE has issues if you try writing to a merged map, but I guess I didn't know it was broken across the board. Oh well.

Maybe that's what I'm thinking of!
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post May 9th '18, 19:54

Read Me.txt wrote:IMPORTANT: other plugins can interfere with Vasara. You should be all right as long as anything listed after Vasara in your plugins list is turned off. If you have problems, try turning off all plugins except Vasara.
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 9th '18, 20:17

Huh. Well, I tried removing VML and I’m still getting that weird black bottom third of the screen. I even tried disabling Previous AI and no difference. Am I supposed to select something other than Vasara_Script.lua? I tried the other files in the main folder and none of them did anything. And just selecting the .zip didn’t do anything either, IIRC, though I haven’t tried that since removing VML.

ETA: wait, is it supposed to be in the plugins folder for the application or the Aleph One preferences folder? Maybe that’s the problem. I’ll try it in the application plugins folder instead. Hang on.

ETA 2: It works. Oh my god it’s beautiful. It definitely makes me wonder why the hell there are two different plugins folders though. That’s confusing. I should probably read the whole readme file more carefully before trying to use software next time; this may have been explained there.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 9th '18, 23:44

The Man wrote:ETA 2: It works. Oh my god it’s beautiful. It definitely makes me wonder why the hell there are two different plugins folders though. That’s confusing. I should probably read the whole readme file more carefully before trying to use software next time; this may have been explained there.


:-) Indeed it is wonderful, in some ways even better than Forge.

There is a logic behind multiple layers of plugins folders. The most universal on my system is /usr/local/share/AlephOne/Plugins, which is read-only and has only the Default Theme since A1 won't load without a theme. Then ~/.alephone/Plugins, for things like Vasara and Previous AI that get used for any scenario. Finally the Plugins folders for each separate scenario, so A1 doesn't try to load Rubicon plugins when you're playing Eternal or something. I'm not sure why you put a plugin in a preference folder, but I'm glad you got it working now.
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 10th '18, 00:04

I don’t think I realised it mattered which folder it was in. I can’t remember my reasoning for sure now,¹ but if you hadn’t excerpted that bit from the readme it might not have occurred to me to move it, so thanks.

And yeah, on the whole I think Vasara is better than Forge; the only things I miss are being able to just click and add textures, or to use caps lock to alter polygon heights. I can’t figure out how to texture things in the corner of the screen where you can’t look down far enough; probably the only way is to alter the height in the map editor, save, load in Vasara, and then alter the height again. Unless someone knows a more convenient method.


Also, one other brief and one possibly not-so-brief query. The brief one: ShapeFusion has an “add sound category” feature, which is wonderful, but I assume there’s probably a limit to the number of categories, so before I go crazy adding new categories, I’d like to know whether the limit is 256 or a higher number.²

Secondly, I asked this in another thread but no one answered: can someone figure out why ShapeFusion won’t open my shapes file? This is the error log it gives me:

Code: Select all
17:08:39: [ShapesSequence] Sequence name too long (34/32)
17:08:39: [ShapesDocument] Error loading sequence... Dropped
17:08:39: [ShapesCollection] Error loading 8-bit chunk... Dropped
17:08:39: [ShapesDocument] Could not find enough collections. This may not be a Marathon Shapes file.
17:08:39: [ShapesDocument] There was an error while loading, see log


I think it’s saying one of my sequence names is too long, and I suspect all the other errors are cascading failures created by the first one. I don’t remember³ doing any stupid hex editing to my shapes file, or for that matter editing it with anything other than Anvil, and as far as I recall it loads fine in Anvil (though I haven’t actually had access to a PowerMac in ages and haven’t gotten around to setting up an emulator, so I can’t verify this). Is there a fix for this?

Thanks in advance.


I doubt anyone else is tracking my progress that closely, but I’ve published a few new updates to the map file on Github. There are new sections to “Anthems” (though I’m going to have to do a bit more editing to fix some jiggling polygons), and the path through the old sections of the temple area should be slightly more obvious and easier to navigate (the path through the new sections may not be, however; I’ll have to fix that too, though I think fixing the jiggling polygons may actually fix that problem alongside it). I also added an oxygen powerup at the start of “Noli pati”, since some people might not have much oxygen if they spent a long time exploring “Anthems” and didn’t expect a vacuum level to follow it, and fixed a bug in the monster suffocation script for “Dust”/“Idol of Our Fear”. (That level is next up for revision; I’m in the process of adding a few pattern buffers and hopefully improving the flow slightly.)


¹My short-term memory is really, really unreliable lately, which is a major reason I’ve written so much down in this thread.

²I’m probably going to use this to add new ambient/random sounds, which I assume I’ll be able to implement by replacing other ambient/random sounds on a level-by-level basis with MML/Lua, though I haven’t tested this yet.

³I should note that my recollection this far back may not be fully reliable, either, as there are a number of things credited to me on the Marathon’s Story page that I don’t recall writing at all (such as the Vacuum Levels page, about ¼ of which is my writing), and I began editing this shapes file around the same time. To be clear, it was more than two decades ago and I was all of fourteen at the time, so I’m not too worried about having forgotten some of that stuff.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 13th '18, 07:00

All right, I do have a few texturing questions. Is it possible to disable the “align adjacent” option in either VML or Vasara without overwriting the existing texture alignment? Basically, I want to retexture existing segments without changing the texture alignment at all. As far as I can ascertain, disabling “align adjacent” results in the textures being realigned to the top-left, while “align adjacent” automatically messes with existing texture alignment. I just want to leave the existing alignment alone if possible.

Also, is there something like the Texture Munger script for Chisel, but for Aleph One maps? For those who don’t remember it, it would replace all occurrences of a specific texture in a map with a different texture. (Well, it was supposed to; it didn’t work very well with texture collections beyond some size I never pinned down.) I would both like to retexture a few existing (mostly M2/∞) maps to look better in my scenario and, if I can get ShapeFusion working, to reorder my texture sets to something that makes more sense. If nothing like this exists, it may be a worthwhile programming project once I’ve gotten my coding skills back to the point where I can write it.

(For historical reasons, the order of textures in this scenario is a mess. I started out using whatever mix of M2 and M∞ textures I liked most, and ultimately expanded the texture collection to include all of both games, but not in any sensible order. I’d like to reorder the Water, Lava, and Pfhor sets so they open with M∞, followed by M2, then whatever else is in there; the Jjaro set would be replaced with Jjaro, M∞ Sewage, M2 Sewage, and whatever else is there. The Sewage collection probably doesn’t need reordering; it’s Tempus’ Sewage collection followed by the rest of its Earth textures apart from the Sistine Chapel ones, plus random other textures I thought fit.)
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 13th '18, 07:07

The Man wrote:Also, is there something like the Texture Munger script for Chisel, but for Aleph One maps?

JUICE has this feature, but there's some question of whether or not it will mess up your map when you save. So uh, maybe?

Lua could easily be used to do it. Just loop through polygon floors/ceilings and sides to find cases where one texture is used, and reassign it to the new one. Then just .save level afterwards. Here's a script that randomly remaps textures: http://simplici7y.com/items/retexture-lua. I'm not sure if it'd be worth referencing or not, since it's more complicated than what you need.
User avatar

Wrkncacnter

Post May 13th '18, 20:43

Was the consensus on JUICE that it only messes up merged maps? Otherwise, it might actually be easier to start out with the retexture script you linked than to write an entirely new one. I probably won’t have too much time to mess around with either option until later (it’s Mother’s Day, after all), but thanks for the answer, in either case.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 13th '18, 22:36

I don't know if anyone really remembers at this point. I know someone used JUICE on a merged map recently and the terminal pictures broke. That's about all I can tell you for sure.
User avatar

Wrkncacnter

Post May 13th '18, 23:01

Isn’t that something that would only even break in merged maps? If that’s the only problem, it seems fairly trivial; just unmerge the map before using JUICE on it, then remerge it. Obviously this would break film compatibility with previous versions of the map, but so would most other modifications to it (something like a hex-editor modification to level physics restoring projectile flyby sounds might be OK). I can’t think of any other problems it would cause.

Regardless, I’ll definitely keep a backup of all my maps before I used it on them. …though, then again, Github pretty much already is a backup. Still, it pays to be careful.

(Either way, I definitely need to come up with a better naming system for archiving old copies of my maps; I’ve been using the date for map merges [with numbers if I make more than one per day] and I don’t have any proper system at all for unmerged maps. Which is proving particularly difficult now that I’m using Vasara this much. I also need a better place to put them than the root of my “Documents” folder.

On the “broken terminal images” front, I should probably also convert my images #1644 and 1645 – Thoth’s logo – to something other than two-colour bitmap images, since it’s clear Aleph One doesn’t recognise them. And, for that matter, make a more formal “things to fix” list.)

ETA: JUICE appears to retexture unmerged maps flawlessly as long as I don’t include landscapes (at least, judging from my use of “The Monolith” in Starlight as a test case – I figured I’d start out with the largest single level on my hard drive, and one that incorporated multiple texture sets). Those are usually way easier to retexture anyway, since there’s rarely more than one of them in most Infinity maps, so not a big loss. I may end up wanting to rearrange my landscapes slightly, but even that shouldn’t be all that time-consuming since most of them can stay where they are, and for that matter, I can probably look at the existing Java source and fix the landscape bug. If I can figure out why ShapeFusion won’t load my shapes file, I’ll be able to really get cracking on putting my textures in something resembling a sensible order.

Edit 2: I think I screwed up the script somehow. At least it doesn’t crash. I’ll look at it tomorrow.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 22nd '18, 22:36

I've played a little bit of Chronicles (up to the second non-prologue level). "Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk" mostly plays fine, but that ruins section is incredibly frustrating; even knowing where to go, it's hard to see where you're supposed to jump and it's incredibly easy to slip off or miss your mark.I'm not sure how you'd want to modify that area (if at all), but I feel like, at the very least, widening the platforms would help.
welcome to the scene of the crash
User avatar

General-RADIX

Post May 22nd '18, 23:25

Yes, I intend to redo that whole puzzle, particularly after finding out I'm the first person to find the invisibility powerup in M1R's BGN. I think I may make the current one a path to a secret and insert a jump from the second floor of the citadel to allow players to bypass the whole thing.

(ETA: BTW, thanks for the feedback; I was already worried that one part was way too difficult, so I'm glad to have confirmation.)

RyokoTK has kindly given me permission for this, so I'm now unveiling a very early draft of "In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion," an in-progress solo adaptation of "Monument to All Your Sins" from Starlight. I've only populated about a tenth of the level, haven't worked on weapon placement at all, and have only the earliest skeleton of my intended mission implemented, but I can already tell it's going to kick ass.

https://youtu.be/k4n7ZVFFvSI

I have several more gameplay videos of earlier drafts which I may post at some point, but this is my most recent YouTube upload. I'll push the current version to Github after work tonight; it'll be accessible with command-option-new game in the latest map merge. There'll also be some bug fixes (inexplicably, most of the Pfhor were set to regard Enforcers as enemies in Kill Your Sons, which is now fixed; this may have been held over from the Hang Brain physics), and depending upon how tired I am, I may make and push a revision of Anthems later.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 23rd '18, 05:41

New version of the unmerged map featuring the current build of “In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion” pushed to master. I just noticed a couple of mistextured walls, so I’m already going to have to make some further changes, but I probably won’t deal with them tonight. I may make that new path in “Anthems” tonight as well, but I can’t promise anything.

The other changes in this build are the aforementioned physics bug fix in “Kill Your Sons” and a less notable change to “How to Disappear Completely” that simply kills Pfhor that fall into my idiosyncratic cracks between doors, rather than having them continually play their activation sound.

ETA: Pushed a much easier version of “Anthems”. TBH even the secret should be a lot easier to get through now, since the path is much more clearly visible, and in fact, I think I made it possible for players to simply cut the knot (sorry for TV Tropes link which may suck up your next several hours) if they know how to strafe-run. I might want to make the solution to the secret a bit more esoteric later, but it’s 3:40 am; I can’t be bothered changing it further right now. I am going to test it in the game to make sure it works as intended; after that, I’ll probably eat something, then go to sleep.

FWIW, Anthems is the first level in Chronicles to make it past the 1,024 polygon mark, as expected (it’s up to 1,029 and I’m sure I’ll add more later, since I’m not satisfied with some of the long, dull underwater corridors, and for that matter, a few of the other plain bits of architecture). Well, apart from “In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion”, which was already there when I began working on it.

edit 2: I messed up part of the secret in “Anthems”, but it’s still doable. I’ll push a fix tomorrow; going to sleep.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 25th '18, 09:00

Pushed bug fix to “Anthems”. Can someone explain why the texture alignments I save in Vasara don’t always end up sticking? The problem mostly seems to lie with the airlock, which has a platform that extends from the ceiling next to another that extends from both floor and ceiling. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get them to align properly.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 25th '18, 20:47

Yeah, that's a tricky situation that I don't know the proper answer to. Similar to how you can't have an extends-from-ceiling platform next to a polygon with a higher ceiling without mucking things up.

Do the platforms have to be next to each other for activation reasons?

If not, throw a plain polygon between them.

If so, still do that and connect them through invisible platforms off their sides. Say your airlock has floor at 0 WU and ceiling at 1 WU, make the connecting platforms floor at -2 WU and ceiling at -1 WU, extending from floor.
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 25th '18, 22:00

Activation reasons, yeah. It'd be tricky to make one platform from the side align with both polygons due to the geometry of the airlock - the outer platforms extend further than the inner ones. I don't remember for the life of me whether this was necessary or whether it just looked cool, and I think I copied the design outright from one of Mike Trinder's Gemini Station levels (Deep Doodoo, if memory serves). I can probably just use the inside corner of each right angle to connect the platforms, but I think that would also require splitting the central platform into two, since I can't think of a way to split the outer and inner platforms with fewer than eight points for the central one. IDK. I'll play around with it this weekend. Thanks anyway.

I also assume there's no option to disable auto-alignment and respect the existing alignment when retexturing an already textured polygon side? This might be an easy behaviour to rewrite myself, though. That's one other area where Forge seemed better.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 25th '18, 22:16

Not that I know of, but one thing I sometimes do with tricky platforms is temporarily set them to be player activated doors that stop at each level while I texture them, then adjust their mechanics once they are textured. Then you can spend all the time you like aligning textures without having it retract or close on you.
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 26th '18, 07:21

I will try that this weekend, though I think the alignment issues occurred on doors I hadn’t messed with at all, oddly enough. Texturing of split doors has always been finicky at the best of times. It also doesn’t help that I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep track of which version of a map I’m actually editing. I need a better file name system.

At the moment I am attempting an idea with “Kill Your Television” that wouldn’t have been possible before Aleph One: making the whole level a giant open space, so you can see the towers of every segment from every other segment. I’m hoping after I’ve pulled this off to put Enforcers up on top and have them fire on the player. I don’t know if this will work, though. For starters it turns out one of the three rings is 1 WU higher than the other two, though that should be the easiest part to fix. Perhaps an even bigger obstacle is the area above Thoth’s terminal, whose geometry I can’t currently wrap my head around.

ETA: Turns out the area above Thoth’s terminal isn’t landscape textured, which makes the issue much easier to deal with. I’m encoding a film now. There are a few things that need to be fixed still, but it looks pretty cool.

Edit 2: First film. There’ll be another one at some point demonstrating the Enforcers, but it probably won’t be finished uploading before I leave the home.

Edit 3: …and a second. I’m probably going to have to narrow down those columns to make the Enforcers remotely fun to fight, and I’ve already noticed I’m going to have to alter one of the Tick placements because there’s a potential for an Enforcer to kill it while the player is falling into position, which is not remotely fair. I’ll probably also make polygons a certain depth past your vantage point monster & item impassable to prevent the Enforcers from moving to positions where you can’t shoot them. Overall, I think the idea will work, 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”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 27th '18, 10:27

Here’s a third KYT film, and I’ve concluded that Enforcers simply won’t work where I’ve placed them, at least not without substantially changing their physics and/or the level geometry. They tend to hide behind inaccessible walls. I suspect part of this is because I’ve marked some of these walls as transparent when they shouldn’t be, but I don’t think that’s the whole story. Part of the problem is the “stay with clear shot” flag… which, of course, is one of Enforcers’ defining characteristics. I suppose I could change it just for this level, but it feels almost like sacrilege. I could also replace them with Hunters or Troopers (or maybe even just Fighters, though I’d have to add more), or I could simply alter their jump flag so that they’re willing to jump down 2 WU again. (I altered it so they wouldn’t jump 1 WU or more to keep them on their sniper ledges when the player wandered out of view, but I think that was a mistake.)

If anyone watches this film and is willing to provide suggestions, I’d be much obliged. You don’t have to watch the whole thing; there’s a lot of wandering around, so you can just watch enough of the combat to get the gist.

ETA: I think fixing the transparent walls fixed at least half the problem. New film encoding now.

Edit 2: Here’s the fourth film. I may or may not make more changes to the level but I will probably push a version of it, alongside a few other minor revisions to other levels, later today.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 27th '18, 20:14

I’m still on an adrenaline rush, as I managed to vid “Kill Your Sons” on more or less my second attempt after nerfing the beginning a little bit. My reasoning for doing this was that it’s a really long level, and it was almost a matter of luck whether a player would survive the opening on TC when scratch starting. As a result I gave the player three 1x recharge canisters. I also provide an alien weapon and three magazines for it (since there are so many Enforcers on this level – which drop ammo rather than weapons in Chronicles – and the player doesn’t get any other weapon [the shotgun] until 3/4 of the way through the level [and only a middling amount of ammo for it], it would’ve been brutally unfair not to give the player something).

It’s probably easier on a moment-by-moment basis than either “Hang Brain” or “Begging for Mercy Makes Me Angry!” (I haven’t attempted either level on TC yet, though after this, I may give it a try), but I feel that’s probably only fair given the fact that it’s more or less both levels combined. Difficulty of a particular level scales with length, perhaps exponentially – that is, if a level has one segment that’s likely to cause a player of a particular skill to die, that’s a much easier level than a level that has ten such segments, and moreover, the latter level is probably much more than ten times harder. As a result, “Hang Brain” mashed up with “Begging for Mercy” without changes to the difficulty of either would probably be more than twice as difficult to vid as either individual level would. The main concessions, apart from the opening, are that the rechargers in the Hang Brain segment give you 2x and 3x shields respectively, and the weapons. Chronicles’ staff is probably overpowered, and the alien weapon is definitely overpowered. I’m still not sure if I should change either of them, apart from the “staff starts out kind of weak, but gets better the more it’s used” idea I mentioned in the M1R thread.

This was, as I mentioned, my second attempt at vidding this level today. On my first (which I saved, but probably won’t upload because who cares), I made it to the eighth and final room of “Begging for Mercy” before dying. I got confused about the direction the player should face going into the teleporter, and I think that was what killed me. Honestly, though, I’m kind of glad I died the first time, because my second attempt was better in pretty much every way. Way fewer sequences where I nearly died the second time around; I think there were around five the first time and I only really remember one the second.

There are several aspects of this level that I find genuinely terrifying on TC. One of them is the invisible S’pht. There’s one room (the only architecture original to the level) where they rise out of the goo (they’re marked as immune to it in the physics to this level) after the player is halfway in, and there are plenty of opportunities for them to knock the player out. And because the segment is set down a couple of WU from the rest of the level, the player has no choice but to continue moving forward. The only strategy I’ve ever found that works on TC is to move forward as quickly as possible until you reach the high point, then retreat back to an earlier part of the level with better footing and wait for the S’pht to follow you. (To be fair, something similar to this is usually the best strategy for most parts of this level.) As it turns out, they don’t always even follow the player, and I haven’t figured out why. I had to try a few times in this film and had to fire the alien weapon at that.

Another is the respawning enemies. There aren’t that many of them, thankfully – mostly the Troopers on the second floor, as in “Hang Brain”. One of them respawns next to the most convenient 3x recharger on the second floor, meaning that backtracking to that point is always something of a risk. There are good places for the player to take cover outside the view of the Trooper, but if you’re coming up from the first floor, that’s not possible.

The third is that – and this is a new aspect of this version of the level – when you finish destroying all the wires in a given section of the level, it goes dark. This scares the shit out of me every time, particularly since Troopers from the second floor will wander down occasionally whenever the door is open. (It’s closed from the first through the fifth sets of wires of “Begging for Mercy”. I’m not sure I’m going to leave it this way, because it would make the level impossible to complete on co-op if everyone died, which I wasn’t thinking of when I designed it. I didn’t design this scenario with co-op in mind, and I’ll definitely have to overhaul a couple of levels to make them work with it; the other really notable example I can think of offhand is “Another One in the Dark”.) I kind of minimised the fear factor this time around because I went through and cleared out all the hostile S’pht on the third floor pretty early on (I did not want this to be a potential failure point after around an hour of gameplay). Even with that, though, it still gives me the creeps. It’s one of the facets of the level I’m proudest of. (I also didn’t show this off, but Durandal’s map in the terminals gets hazier and hazier the more of him you’ve destroyed.)

There is a fridge logic aspect to this level – the segments from “Hang Brain” actually create massive amounts of 5D space with the “Begging for Mercy” segments, but I’d argue that you’d have to take that up with Jason and Greg, since they’re pretty clearly intended to represent the same part of the same ship. And in any case, you have to journey so far from one overlapping segment to get to another that it’s unlikely to break anyone’s suspension of disbelief.

There’s also a quirk in the monster physics in that Enforcers don’t die flame deaths if killed by Pfhor goo, meaning that they still drop ammo if knocked into it (or teleported into it, as happens with five Enforcers in the seventh room of “Begging for Mercy”). I don’t understand why. I don’t remember changing it, so it may have been a quirk of the “Hang Brain” physics (the other Pfhor were also set to regard Enforcers as enemies, a change I really don’t understand – this may have been copied from “Rise Robot Rise”). I didn’t even know it was possible to set an alien to die flame deaths to some kinds of flame damage and not to others – they still die flame deaths to their own weapon, for example. And I don’t think it’s an issue with the physics for goo in the level, either – the Troopers, IIRC, still die flame deaths to it. I’m not sure whether I’ll leave it, if I ever figure out why it happens; thanks to the gigantic number of Enforcers, there’s already way more alien weapon ammo on this one level than you’d possibly need to complete it, unless you just flat-out fry all of them. But, on the other hand, it’s a fun easter egg to be able to wander down into the goo and loot their corpses.

One oddity with this particular play-through is that the uplink chip at the end didn’t teleport in. I don’t understand why, and it’s the first time I can ever recall that happening. It doesn’t actually matter from a gameplay standpoint – there are no uplink insert slots after that point in the scenario, apart from the hidden levels at the end, which start you off with a rebellion level, so you’ll already have lost it – but it definitely matters from a story perspective. Maybe I’ll just set it so the uplink chip doesn’t teleport in; I could move it to the polygon containing the last set of wires, which only opens up after the player reads Durandal’s “What to save and throw away?” terminal in this version.

Overall, I love this level; it may be my best remix of a Bungie level, even topping my “Come and Take Your Medicine” remix, and I’m still thrilled that I finally have a vid film of it.


I have a couple other videos I’ll encode and upload after I’m done with this one, mostly dealing with odd monster behaviour. There’s a “Transport Is Arranged” (“Charon Doesn’t Make Change”) video where I walk straight in front of a number of Fighters and they flat-out fail to notice me. In fact, they literally walk past me as though I weren’t there. It isn’t a monster freeze thing; Previous AI is enabled, and you’ll see a much larger number of monsters activate later. There may be some aspect of Marathon’s AI that simply gives them a monomaniacal focus on one particular foe. I’d somewhat noticed it before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it demonstrated this clearly. My latest “Kill Your Television” run demonstrates the same tendency. I’m going to have to give the monster placement of the latter a major rethink; I may simply be unable to use Pfhor and monsters that can be provoked to attack Pfhor in the same place, given the geometry of this level. It’s possible that altering the monster physics will help as well (I haven’t tried altering their intelligence; maybe if I raise it to some ridiculous number like 50, they won’t stop regarding the player as a hostile).

Anyway, these will be awhile; “Kill Your Sons” is a very long level. I wouldn’t be surprised if my film were 50+ minutes long. (I also played “Motherfucker=Redeemer” at the end, because why the fuck not; it’s probably 90 seconds or so. I didn’t try completing “Star’s End”, though, for a number of reasons.) Check this space in a couple of hours. I’ll also push the latest revision of the map file to master once I’ve done encoding the “Kill Your Sons” film (I should’ve done it first, but it didn’t occur to me, and I’m already halfway done with the encode).


ETA: New version pushed to master. Uploading “Kill Your Sons” video to YT now. Will encode “Kill Your Television” (I’m really going to have to come up with a new name for that; the level names are similar enough to be potentially confusing) and “Transport Is Arranged” videos now as well.


Edit 2: Kill Your Sons

Kill Your Television (still processing – 83% finished)

“Transport” is still uploading. Comcast’s upload speed is even worse than usual today.

Edit 3: Transport Is Arranged

Edit 4: Thanatos, Beneath the Dust, a remake of "The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune" with the idea "You think the original secret was ridiculous? I'll show you ridiculous!"
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jun 11th '18, 19:13

I intended to do a bunch of stuff for Eternal and the M1/Rubicon film encoding this weekend, but I mostly wound up working on Chronicles instead, because I hadn’t really done so in a couple of weeks. I think I’ve gotten at least 75% of the way towards building a working version of the latest ShapeFusion, but that’s neither here nor there. Videos of the latest updates:

Tighter & Tighter. The biggest changes are populating the whole level and adding living quarters near the end of the level. I also nerfed the difficulty of the beginning slightly, raised the goo sections so it’s possible to get out, and added a secret to one of them. It looks like the “can teleport under liquid” flag got unset for the S’pht’Wr, though, so they’re not in this video as much as they’re supposed to be.

Ys (not finished uploading yet, but it’s 91% complete, so hopefully it finishes while I’m AFK). A newly rechristened version of “Kill Your Television”, named after three things: 1. a mythical underwater city; 2. a 1972 album by the Italian progressive rock band Il Balletto di Bronzo (The Bronze Ballet), and 3. a 2006 album by the American progressive folk artist Joanna Newsom. The biggest change is removing the enemies on sniper ledges and replacing them with an absolute ton of Assimilated Bobs (seriously, there are probably about 150 placements on the level, and they respawn). You have to stay on your toes the whole level; I get taken by surprise several times. I did change the 2x rechargers to 3x ones in order to make it slightly more fair.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jun 12th '18, 09:49

I made a much better How to Disappear Completely film. The level hasn’t changed that much since the last time I filmed it; I’m just a lot better at playing it.
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 · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jun 14th '18, 21:04

A warning to anyone who may currently be playing the Earth chapter: I’ve rearranged the levels between “Everyone I Went to High School With Is Dead” and “naked lunch two”, so if you’re currently playing through that, you’ll want to get to the end of the chapter before replacing your map with the latest merge. I had forgotten that the reason I had “Miranda, That Ghost Just Isn’t Holy Anymore” (formerly “Houses of the Holy”) at the end of the chapter in earlier versions of the game is that the secret gives you an extra key which you don’t have to use in that level, so it would allow the player to skip significant portions of a later level if desired. As a result, I’ve moved it back to the end.

Also, “Deadwing” somehow got screwed up again, so it once again isn’t possible to complete. I don’t know why those walls keep having the “solid” tag removed. I think I may completely overhaul the wires that open up the end of the level to use an Enforcer/Tick shooting gallery, which is how the end of “Burn Down the Mission” currently works. That way, the player will have to destroy all three wires, rather than having one set of wires end up destroying the other two. I just need to figure out how wires work in Vasara – I can’t see the “can be destroyed” tag in either Vasara or VML, so I don’t know if it’s just been deprecated or if I simply don’t know where to access it. (If someone can explain this to me, I’d be much obliged.)

At some point in the future, I’ll probably upload a video of me playing through the latest map merge until I encounter the “Deadwing” glitch. It’s probably three hours long, though, so it may not occur immediately.

Someday I may finally manage to make a film of the whole game. It doesn’t look like it’ll be today, 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”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

PreviousNext

Return to Projects



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron