Marathon Phoenix video commentary

For topics about the story, help in a certain level, game discussion, or finding/discussing content.

Post Jul 1st '14, 00:45

^ My favorite and least favorite levels, in order! (so far - haven't finished the new version playthrough yet)

Question - Do you record your commentary over an existing video? Or are you talking as you are playing? I got the impression of the former, but I couldn't quite tell.
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Xap

Post Jul 1st '14, 03:07

It's the former, because I have to edit out my deaths. I've cleared a handful of these levels deathless, or with only one or two deaths, but there are some maps that I've had to scrub multiple hours of footage from deaths overall. Neo New Mordor is probably the worst in that regard. Plus, I can barely concentrate on what I'm saying as it is; there's no way my commentary would be even intelligible if I were trying to also play the game.

It's interesting that Into Sandy's City is your favorite level. It's one of my favorites too, but it's a weird kinda level with some nasty fighting that I wouldn't have expected people to like that much.

Anyway, more videos.

Episode 17 -- Exercise in Excess

Episode 18 -- Tantive IV and False Dichotomy
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 1st '14, 16:56

It's interesting to learn how you think in terms of map design, and the choices you made throughout the creation of Phoenix. I'll keep some of this in mind when I map again.

I hope you keep doing video commentary with other Marathon scenarios.
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Destiny
TEXAS

Post Jul 1st '14, 16:57

RyokoTK wrote:It's interesting that Into Sandy's City is your favorite level. It's one of my favorites too, but it's a weird kinda level with some nasty fighting that I wouldn't have expected people to like that much.


The fighting didn't bother me that much, since as you said, most of it can be anticipated. After I had the beginning figured out and died a few times, I never died again (though the ambush with the Defenders at the end nearly killed me). Part of the reason I liked it so much was actually the story elements - the terminals were believable & hilarious and I loved finding more of them in secret areas. I felt like the level had a lot of "personality" because of that. Also the underwater parts were fun, and I've never said that sentence in my life before.

That being said I don't think it's the best level in Phoenix, just my favorite so far for its nuances. I really like Something Wicked for its setpieces and Neo New Mordor for its exploration factor. I'll re-evaluate all my favorites when I finish the scenario.

Side note: I actually played an earlier version of Phoenix a couple years ago, but never finished it (stopped on S'phtstorm I think), and I can't remember why. I'm having a lot more fun with it this time around. Maybe because the new exposition levels give the game a better flow.
Last edited by Xap on Jul 1st '14, 23:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Xap

Post Jul 1st '14, 19:13

It's probably the exposition levels helping the pacing along, yeah, but there are some levels (like S'phtstorm) that have been substantially improved in the Special Edition. That level in particular was infamous for its insane difficulty in earlier versions of the game.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 2nd '14, 03:56

B)
(●__●)(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)(●__●)
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Asylum
Location

Post Jul 2nd '14, 05:44

Asylum wrote:B)

B)

Episode 19 -- Sanctum Sanctorum

Episode 20 -- Dark Pfhorces
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 2nd '14, 17:50

Episode 21 -- Red Eye Express

Episode 22 -- The Face of Modern Gaming
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 6th '14, 15:59

Yo TK, I really enjoyed your discussion of weapon balance on ep. 20, really eye opening. I think in the end your concept worked out just great, every weapon feels useful and fun, and I still find myself turning to fusion on mechanical enemies and flame and bullets for organics. Maybe it's just habit though.

I wonder if you couldn't have handled the "jumping in the slime" puzzle in Red Eye Express by placing a pattern buffer by the slime pool. In well designed maps, I usually see pattern buffers not placed near terminals and rechargers as a cue that I will need to try something crazy like a blind jump or a swim or running under a crushing platform or whatever.
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kineticturtle

Post Jul 8th '14, 04:42

I'm not really sure how I could have made that part feel more natural, really. Putting a pattern buffer down there might have helped, but I thought about it, and maybe hanging the yellow canister off the edge (just floating above the pit) would work too, since there would be no way whatsoever of getting it without falling. I'm thinking of Donkey Kong Country here: you go wherever the bananas are, even if it looks like death.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 8th '14, 12:10

Went on a binge of watching these and have been quite entertained.

I rather like when you go over enemy and weapon balances. Not just the statistical parts but how you use various monsters in a given situation, like Enforcers+BOBs matching up well. Since one little change of an enemy can actually totally change an encounter. I'm actually rather curious as to if there's anything you wanted to do but couldn't do to engine limitations or lack of knowledge.

I have to second Into Sandy's City as one of my favorites.There's just enough open areas that you don't feel trapped with nowhere to dodge in the hallways. I'm sure a lot could be done to make underwater combat more interesting, but certainly not with vanilla marathon.

Looking forward to Roquefortress as I love the aesthetics of it.
Dracheseele

Post Jul 8th '14, 13:37

Ryoko - These videos inspired me to do another run through of Phoenix, but I'm trying to complete each level before I watch its commentary video, because it's been about 3 years since I last played Phoenix and I'm enjoying take it all in again fresh.

My question though: I see that you have The Face of Modern Gaming listed as episode 22. Am I wrong or did this level used to appear much earlier in the game? I recall it being shortly after Neo New Morder in my last run through? If so, why did you move it? (Apologies if you go into this in the video, but as I said I haven't watched it yet as I haven't got to that level yet in this run through).
CitizenKane
Dublin, Ireland

Post Jul 8th '14, 14:30

Dracheseele wrote:I'm actually rather curious as to if there's anything you wanted to do but couldn't do to engine limitations or lack of knowledge.


I would have liked to have more challenging boss enemies, but the engine doesn't support that very well due to pain-locking. In Doom, enemies have a chance of flinching when they take damage, and that chance is based on both the type of enemy and the weapon you're using. In Marathon, it's a 100% chance, so when you shoot an enemy and they don't flinch it's because they didn't take damage (i.e. they're immune, like using a Flamethrower on a Compiler).

You can disable pain animations, but then it would give the false impression that the enemy didn't receive damage. The only enemy that is an exception to this rule is the Juggernaut, and it always has been this way. I didn't want to break that rule, but as a result it makes pretty much every boss endlessly cheesable.

CitizenKane wrote:My question though: I see that you have The Face of Modern Gaming listed as episode 22. Am I wrong or did this level used to appear much earlier in the game? I recall it being shortly after Neo New Morder in my last run through? If so, why did you move it? (Apologies if you go into this in the video, but as I said I haven't watched it yet as I haven't got to that level yet in this run through).


It was earlier, yeah. The Special Edition rearranged some of the levels due to the terminal/plot rewrite, and this level ended up much later than it used to be.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 9th '14, 19:44

Episode 23 -- Precipice of Madness and Holy Wars

Episode 24 -- Intervals

Episode 25 -- Roquefortress

The recording for Another Dimension is nearly half an hour long. That's a lot of time to talk. :(
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 9th '14, 21:59

So... it's a fortress made of cheese? XD

Do you have any plans to make more commentary for other Marathon scenarios or possibly other games?
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Destiny
TEXAS

Post Jul 10th '14, 03:45

RyokoTK wrote:The recording for Another Dimension is nearly half an hour long. That's a lot of time to talk. :(

Is that a particularly hard level or something? I haven't gotten to it yet.

Destiny wrote:Do you have any plans to make more commentary for other Marathon scenarios or possibly other games?

I'll echo this sentiment. I personally think it would be cool to see a review of Marathon: Squadron. That TC was short, unique, and pretty fun. I knew there were some problems with it and I'm curious what you thought of certain maps.

One thing at a time though, of course. ^_^
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Xap

Post Jul 10th '14, 03:50

Squadron was definitely A Thing. I remember playing it once or twice. It was really damn weird and rife with crazy problems.

My current living situation is going to make video commentary kind of awkward. I live with my girlfriend and she's about to be laid up recovering from gnarly foot surgery, and our home is pretty tiny. I've tried to do my recordings while she's out of the house, you see. :) But no, I've had no real plans to do commentary beyond Phoenix anyway. My recording situation is extremely low-rent: I use Voice Memos on my iPhone to do the commentary (which is why you get lots of awful background noise) and my video card is lousy so you get really crummy low-resolution recordings, and I have no real desire to spend money to improve either.

And yes, Another Dimension is a really hard level. It's the last level. :P (Well, there's an epilogue level, and the recording also has that level in it.)

edit: Roquefortress isn't a fortress made of cheese, it's a fortress where cheese is made. There's even a terminal in one of the secrets kind of about it. :P
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 10th '14, 04:02

About the want for reviews; I was personally just hoping for another one of those "I will play every level in X and comment on them" kind of thing. But I understand being busy & the remaining TCs not being worth the time. In any case, I hope your GF's recovery goes well. And I look forward to the remaining Phoenix commentary videos.

EDIT:
RyokoTK wrote:edit: Roquefortress isn't a fortress made of cheese, it's a fortress where cheese is made. There's even a terminal in one of the secrets kind of about it. :P

Lolol. I'm going to have to try and find that. I've been a fan of your secret terminals since I saw the ones in Into Sandy's City.

EDIT2: 777th post in this forum subsection!
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Xap

Post Jul 10th '14, 04:37

Xap wrote:And I look forward to the remaining Phoenix commentary videos.


There's only one to go! It should be up soon, I hope.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 10th '14, 16:04

I remember the last part in Another Dimension being really hard on normal. It must be 100 times worse on Total Carnage. O_o

Well, at least there's a different Marathon scenario on Youtube to watch other than the original trilogy. I got a lot out of the commentary for Phoenix. Hopefully I can put some of it to use one day. As for the remaining scenarios, it's kind of hard to come up with some good ones. TK already did written commentary for Rubicon, Eternal, Tempus, and Aeon, so those wouldn't be done. The remaining scenarios would be Evil, Red, and EMR.

Of course, a fortress that makes cheese! XD
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Destiny
TEXAS

Post Jul 10th '14, 16:34

I wish Evil was even remotely playable on Total Carnage because I'm dedicated to my craft, but it's just terrible. If there was a way to block out the HP scaling it might be viable, but I have no interest in punching Devlins so it just isn't going to happen.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 10th '14, 17:48

The last one! Episode 26 -- Another Dimension and Swan Song
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 10th '14, 19:24

RyokoTK wrote:I have no interest in Punching Devlins


there go wrk's plans for a sequel
patrick
末法

Post Jul 11th '14, 15:34

You mention the original release version of the final room of the last level being totally ridiculous, and I absolutely remember it. I played that room over and over for weeks until I finished it. I think I finally figured out a way to force the third wave of enemies by riding the platform too early then bezerking most of them. Pretty sure it only worked once.
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kineticturtle

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