AlephOne: Pathways Into Darkness

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AlephOne: Pathways Into Darkness

Post May 21st '18, 22:11

I've been playing around with porting PiD to alephone, and I'm a little curious if there's any interest in something like this. I realize there's an OSX port already, and it's easy enough to run in an emulator, but for some reason I just can't help myself from abusing the hell out of the alephone engine.

I'm not exactly sure why I'm asking, as there's a good chance I'll end up doing this for myself, regardless of interest, but maybe it would help me stay motivated if I knew other people would care about something like this.

This would be as accurate a port as possible using AlephOne making extremely heavy use of Lua. Only a few things wouldn't work exactly the same as the original, and I personally don't think they'd matter much. Stuff like picking up half empty magazines, some visual things (doors opening sideways), and other things that don't really affect gameplay much.

I've already proven I can make these features work:
* Advanced inventory system for holding dozens of items that you can equip/use.
* All of the crystals
* All of the weapons
* Preserving state between levels, so you can revisit them as many times as you want.
* Cedar box
* Flashlight, infrared goggles (including certain monsters that are visible/invisible depending on whether it's active).
* Probably more stuff that I'm not thinking about right now.

Mainly the things I'd have to motivate myself to do at this point would be:
* Make a map generator, because there's no way I'm going to recreate the maps by hand. I played around with this a bit and I've got some basics working already, thanks to the XML files that Hopper created a couple years ago.
* And all of the shapes work (yuck).
* Physics.
* Lua HUD (yuck).
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 21st '18, 23:58

I would be interested in this if only because (presumably) it would finally give difficulty settings for the game (perhaps one of the existing ports already did this; IDK). The original has slaughtered me by the second level most times I've attempted it.

I may be able to figure out some of the things you need, but I can't promise anything.
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 22nd '18, 00:04

Most likely the difficulty would only affect how often the monsters shoot at you. Maybe fewer monsters would be placed on kindergarten or something? It wouldn't affect major/minor monsters or damage. At least that would be my current plan.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 22nd '18, 00:15

I don't have time for this, but there was a project once. If you haven't already, you ought to give their old beta a spin.

HappyHappyCarnageCarnage_0006.png


Wrkncacnter wrote:Most likely the difficulty would only affect how often the monsters shoot at you. Maybe fewer monsters would be placed on kindergarten or something? It wouldn't affect major/minor monsters or damage. At least that would be my current plan.


In addition to attack frequency, the engine will alter monster speed, vitality, and burst count, unless you can block it from doing so somehow. Maybe by creating a "Major" variant that actually has *less* speed and vitality you could counter the effects.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 22nd '18, 00:24

Eh, honestly I don't feel the need to counter the effects too much. If you want an authentic experience, you'd play on normal without a mouse, but I guess if someone really wants to alter the game by changing difficulty, I wouldn't try to stop them. Not everything will scale as you would normally think, though, since a bunch of damage calculations and stuff like that will be done with lua.

I'm familiar with MPiD. Is the beta on simplici7y the latest release? I honestly didn't get past the first level due to being annoyed with how far off the game was from PiD.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 22nd '18, 01:22

It probably is, they were both released the same time as v0.5. The nice thing is they've already done a lot of the tedious converting of Shapes, Sounds, and Maps into A1 format - I for one hate the sequence creation process.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 22nd '18, 01:31

True, but I mean, look at some of these screenshots:

20060414-02.jpg

20060414-07.jpg



Maybe those aren't up-to-date but based on those, he didn't even try to make it look correct. That, and due to some of the weird things I'm going to have to do that he didn't have to worry about, I need to start the shapes from scratch and do it my way.

Luckily Hopper extracted stuff from the official files and created m2 shapes with all the collections and bitmaps and stuff. It doesn't map very well to what alephone needs, but it's a million times better than starting with nothing.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 22nd '18, 06:34

Did MPiD at least convert the maps over? Even if you completely re-convert the graphics from scratch (and I wouldn’t entirely blame you if you did), it does seem like not having to convert the maps (or even more gallingly, make new ones) would cut the necessary amount of work nearly in half. At least by 25%, surely.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 22nd '18, 14:55

Well, the map generation is the easiest part of the whole thing. I've already got it generating the entire layout, as well as putting monsters and scenery in the correct location. The remaining things would be to attempt to put in solid lines around "solid" scenery, to make movement less annoying trying to move past it, and to have it apply texturing so I don't have to manually texture anything. Even if I end up texturing it myself, PiD maps are short and simple, so that's not really a big deal either way.

Just quickly looking around MPiD, the scenery/textures aren't right anyway, so again, there's not much value in trying to reuse that stuff.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 23rd '18, 00:24

How does the inventory system work here? Like in PiD where it's in its own window, or a separate one? Mostly wondering because I like the idea of future fan-scenarios using something like the latter.
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General-RADIX

Post May 23rd '18, 00:40

It shows up in the lua message area of the main gaming window.

inventory.png


You hit the microphone button to pull it up (in this case I'm looting a corpse), and prev/next weapon buttons scroll through the list. Action loots the item. Mic exits. In this screenshot I scrolled down 2 items without taking anything.

And my inventory after looting.
inventory2.png


Notice the guns and ammo don't show up here because there's really no point. When using the cedar box, it'll just pull up a separate list of every ammo type you have in order to choose which type of ammo to start cloning. For all other purposes, ammo just clutters the list. I'd imagine a Lua HUD would show you how much ammo you have for the active weapon.

By the way, I blacked out the actual textures and stuff, because I haven't applied them yet and it'd look really ugly, it wouldn't normally be black like that (although I suppose it could). While the inventory is active, monsters, projectiles and the player are frozen.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 23rd '18, 00:59

Alright, I see! Seems like a good way to handle it.
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General-RADIX

Post May 23rd '18, 01:17

Finally, a proper modern use for the mic button.
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TBCR
Raleigh,NC

Post May 23rd '18, 01:24

Yeah, I also have it so that you initiate resting by pressing and holding the mic button, as opposed to tapping it to pull up the inventory.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 23rd '18, 01:33

Personally I would rather see a Pathways Redux similar to what's going on with M1... It just doesn't seem like it would make much sense to go through all this when the port already exists.

I'd love to see a redone Hi-Res version that adds more depth. Perhaps add more weapons, redo the shapes and make levels more dynamic (Not just a flat plane), maybe add in sequences for the other souls who entered the pyramid.

I like PID for it's historical value but I think there's a lot more that you could do with it now that you couldn't have done with it back in the day. Maybe use the expanded story to link more to Marathon or something... All of this would be much more worth the effort and still include the things you want to do.
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WeirdoYYY
Mars

Post May 23rd '18, 01:40

The existing port isn't cross platform, so I can't play it, for instance. Also, what you're suggesting is a lot of work, what I'm suggesting is very little effort.

If I were to finish this thing, others would be free to make HD texture plugins, make new maps, whatever. It seems like it'd be more likely to happen if the framework is in place. I personally have no interest in a redux. I just like to replay the original once in a while.

"All of this would be much more worth the effort and still include the things you want to do." What I personally want to do is play the original game, so no, changing it to something else wouldn't include what I want to do.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 23rd '18, 02:39

Wrkncacnter wrote:The remaining things would be to attempt to put in solid lines around "solid" scenery, to make movement less annoying trying to move past it


I believe crystal effects pass through scenery, so I'd make sure your lua ignores those solid lines. I remember reading that the green crystal at least even goes through walls.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 23rd '18, 02:56

ravenshining wrote:I believe crystal effects pass through scenery, so I'd make sure your lua ignores those solid lines. I remember reading that the green crystal at least even goes through walls.

Hmm good point. I'm not really sure how I'm going to make that work.

The green crystal is pretty easy. In my testing it goes through walls, but only seems to hit enemies that have been "activated". Going through walls actually makes the problem easier, though, as I don't know how to properly calculate collision with regular walls for things like the violet crystal and frag grenades, where you don't necessarily have to be aiming right at the target. My solution to this point has been to spawn a crapload of projectiles fanning out at an angle from the player's view, and letting the projectiles do the calculation for me. That won't work with solid lines, though. :(

I had tried making some lua to prevent you from crossing certain lines, but it was just too wonky. What makes it even more annoying is that regular bullets DON'T pass through the scenery, so if I figured out how to do this without solid lines, I'd still need to do something to prevent the bullets from working.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 23rd '18, 04:01

if i cant talk to the dead im out
patrick
末法


Post May 23rd '18, 04:17

But to expand on that: There's 3 p shitty options for talking to the dead.

Options 1 and 2 can co-exist, but both involve opening the console with \ first, before every command.

1) Type something like: talk("topic"), to ask about whatever topic. This option is annoying. I could shorten it to t("topic") or something.
2) Use a chat macro and type ".topic". Chat macros will be limited to the set of possible topics, and typing a non-existent topic will be ignored.
3) Just pull up a list of possible topics for each dead body without any typing, and let you select from a list, similar to the inventory.

I honestly don't know which is the best option. 3 is the least annoying, and lets you view all the possible dialog, but is least true to the original. It's the most similar to Morrowind, though, so that's always a bonus. By the way, on the off chance you see this, you should be playing Morrowind, brilliant.
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Wrkncacnter

Post May 24th '18, 05:52

my preference is for text input and hidden topics — (2)

talking to the dead should be cryptic and obscure, divination (which requires articulation and petition) rather than diary entries (merely page-turning)
patrick
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