Marathon: Phoenix Specialer Edition

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Re: Marathon: Phoenix Specialer Edition

Post Jun 28th '15, 06:03

RyokoTK wrote:Version 1.3 is now available on Simplici7y!

1.3 now incorporates extended AI limits (thus, it no longer requires the Previous AI plugin to function properly) and has a customized Stats plugin to upload Phoenix solo/coop stats to lhowon.org.

Also, new levels!

Over the last couple years I've been idly tooling with a "sequel" or spinoff to Phoenix, but done more in a Doom style -- specifically the Doom game The Plutonia Experiment, which focused on smaller levels and more tightly-designed combat setpieces and no objective other than to reach the exit. Well, I'm pretty much sick and tired of making Marathon maps, so I'm not going to finish it, but I do have the first six levels made, so I figured I'd bundle them in with 1.3 so they can be seen. They can be accessed from the secret exit from Swan Song, or just by using the level skip cheat. :)

1.3 also has new music harvested from incompetech.com, originally intended for use in the aforementioned spinoff project, but some levels have the new music in them.


I dare say we had best worship our god now
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HunterOfShadows

Post Jun 29th '15, 01:42

Got a chance to play through these new levels, and I have to say they were rather relaxing. I'd need to spend more time with them to make a more solid opinion of them. One little interesting detail is how effective melee fighters seemed, I don't recall ever getting chased and surrounded by them as well before in phoenix.

Also, that big arrow. Come on now~ haha.
Dracheseele

Post Jun 29th '15, 03:18

Dracheseele wrote:Also, that big arrow. Come on now~ haha.


Eh! That's pure Doom though, which is what I was going for. That switch is pretty much explicitly a check to make sure you picked up the Fusion Cannon from earlier.

edit: The physics for monsters is exactly the same in the new levels as it is for regular Renegade levels. It's just that the new levels are pretty much 100% built just for combat setpieces, which means enemies get used a lot more properly and to their maximum capability as the levels are actually designed around them.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jun 29th '15, 03:45

"No objective other than to reach the exit" and the first thing I see is that giant arrow pointing at something that is not the exit. :rolleyes:

Seriously though, quick thoughts: Just played the first two combat levels. Everything feels a lot more tight and well controlled, which makes sense; I especially like the very select weapons you give us along with the absence of the assault rifle. I think the smaller map design works a lot better with your design philosophy for Phoenix; there were quite a few maps in Phoenix where I just felt exhausted playing through them; the new maps feel a lot more manageable. You seem to be a lot more charitable with your rechargers and save terminals in the new maps, or at least it feels that way, which is nice.
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philtron

Post Jun 29th '15, 04:17

Some of the new maps aren't like u no... or do u
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Wrkncacnter

Post Jun 29th '15, 17:17

I really appreciate that the design was built around the monsters, with a noticeable lack of frustrating enemy placement. I think it was only the one Enforcer in a tower at the beginning of Garden of Babylon that was alittle awkward to hit, but even then it wasn't terrible threatening. Similarly on the chip door in the same stage, I was caught off guard by the defenders that spawn behind you. That monster closet was a little bit far off so I didn't notice it the first time around.

Additionally the combat felt like it was more about quickly taking out priority targets (which is another Doom parallel), rather than they typical spraying into large groupings. Smaller focused encounters do seem to work really well for that style.

While the IMPs/Flamethrower are both really strong suppression weapons like the AR, it seemed like there was just barely enough ammo for them if you actively switched to the Fusion and Bow as necessary.

If anything I'd like to see a scenario with more restricted/weaker weapons, to really encourage this more focused style.

I'll have to stream a few playthroughs of these stages.
Dracheseele

Post Jun 29th '15, 23:51

So upon trying the new version

As usual sometimes Ryoko's ability to create puzzles outdoes my ability to solve them, but I'll be the first to admit I'm a noob

Nonetheless, as always Pheonix is a joy to play, with weapons that reload fast, shoot fast, do lots of damage, plentiful ammo, lots of great combat, the enemies and allies all look great with saturated color and contrast to go with it, the maps all look fantastic, and the music is pimpin.

Great job as always Ryoko

EDIT: Apparently I've gotten smarter since the last few times I've played Pheonix in the past, but now that I'm actually making progress, I'm really starting to enjoy this, this scenario is becoming quickly one of my favorites
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HunterOfShadows

Post Jun 30th '15, 05:26

The pimpin' music credit has to go to Kevin MacLeod, who really does make great stuff.

As usual sometimes Ryoko's ability to create puzzles outdoes my ability to solve them, but I'll be the first to admit I'm a noob


And you people made fun of me putting a big arrow on the floor. [spnkr]
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jun 30th '15, 09:47

RyokoTK wrote:The pimpin' music credit has to go to Kevin MacLeod, who really does make great stuff. [spnkr]


MacLeod?

There can be only one.
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ukimalefu

Post Jun 30th '15, 14:48

The music is wonderful, Kevin really did an excellent job. Unfortunately, I have a hard time hearing some of it over the game. Yes, I can raise the music volume and lower the sound effects volume, but the sound design should be targeted for medium settings of both and be expected to be heard through crappy laptop speakers at a reasonable system volume. (Well I think A1 plays the music a little softly and needs to be boosted a bit anyway, medium game effects should be the same as medium music but it isn't. But still, it could be a little better as I'm turning music to max and it's still an issue in some places)

A few tracks just needs to be run through a compressor which compresses the dynamic range. (Really, takes all the loud peaks and shrinks them to be more in-line with the rest, and everything is then boosted) Then when that is done, normalize, so everything is equal. I'm sure he did this already but some of it needs a little more. Audacity is a good free tool for this or if you want a lot of power you can buy a copy of ardour for a dollar. (It's like an open source version of protools)

I'd be happy to give it a shot, but all I see are .mp3 files, which are terrible to work off of, and would be even worse when I compressed them again. (seeing as A1 supports much better compression standards like .ogg vorbis anyway, why go with mp3? As far as I'm concerned mp3 should have died in the 90s where it belongs and forgotten)

If you like to hear what I mean, check out what I did with the m1 music. viewtopic.php?f=13&t=38885&p=164131#p164131
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herecomethej2000
Ledyard, CT

Post Jun 30th '15, 16:31

The music is freely available from Incompetech in mp3 format, which is why they are not in ogg.

I am aware that the volume level in the music is low. I tried mixing them with Audacity before and didn't get a great improvement out of it. When it comes to overall scenario creation, I'm good at the level design part and that's pretty much it. :/
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jun 30th '15, 17:14

Ah, I see... Well I'll give it crack anyway. perhaps a vorbis of an mp3 is preferable to quiet music... Unless we can get away with uncompressed so it's still only compressed once? Does A1 support wav?
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herecomethej2000
Ledyard, CT

Post Jun 30th '15, 17:57

Do you still have the originals?
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herecomethej2000
Ledyard, CT

Post Jun 30th '15, 18:05

The files that are in the Music folder in the Phoenix download are the files that I have. Literally the music is downloaded in mp3 format from the website incompetech.com; I didn't commission him for the music or anything like that. For the few songs that CryoS gave me, they were also provided to me in mp3; you could ask him if he has them available in OGG or whatever you prefer.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jun 30th '15, 18:13

I was afraid you would say that. No it's just that there is clipping in some of the tracks, Dark Fog has it but isn't too bad, Ice Flow is worse, Complex can get away with it when it happens thanks to the distortion, but Animosity, One Sly move and Misuse were butchered at some point. Volume in digital music is determined by the bitrate. When they are all on, there is just no more data that can be stored so anything else is cut off and lost. This results in crackling, pops and what not. Also the quality is poor for a few, I was hoping you or someone else did some edits and re-compressed, but I guess that isn't the case.
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herecomethej2000
Ledyard, CT

Post Jun 30th '15, 21:07

Well gave each of them a quick pass through, and normalized them all. This seems to be quite a bit better. Not much I can do for Animosity. A shame.

Anyway here are all the tracks in re-compressed .mp3 and all of them in the wav before compression (In case you want to compress them to something a little less lossy considering they were lossy to begin with).

mp3

wav
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herecomethej2000
Ledyard, CT

Post Jun 30th '15, 21:32

RyokoTK wrote:The pimpin' music credit has to go to Kevin MacLeod, who really does make great stuff.

As usual sometimes Ryoko's ability to create puzzles outdoes my ability to solve them, but I'll be the first to admit I'm a noob


And you people made fun of me putting a big arrow on the floor. [spnkr]


To be fair, this was a long time ago before I tried out the latest version of Pheonix :D
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HunterOfShadows

Post Jul 8th '15, 14:51

So regarding the music: better, worse, indifferent?
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herecomethej2000
Ledyard, CT

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