Sequencer

Discuss map ideas, techniques, and give help.

Post Jan 31st '12, 22:50

This isn't the first map I've made, so it's not the usual n00bie dribble, in my opinion. There are a couple of problems I myself have noticed:

1: Occasionally the Aliens will push you into the teleporter, and since this is a rebellion/extermination map, it'll be impossible to complete the level. I'll address the issue in a later version, for now just be careful. FIXED (Sort of)

2: While I did add some shading in Weland, it's not apparent. FIXING

3: You teleport directly into the action, so there's no time to get your bearings. Makes it harder, but you get used to it.

However, I like it, and once you get used to it, it's pretty fun. Any constructive criticism would be appreciated.

UPDATE 1

Just Uploaded the updated map. Haven't messed with the textures yet, but I did address the size issue. Hope it's substantial enough.

UPDATE 2

Now play testing on Total Carnage. Made changes that make every room possible, excluding the last room, which I've only got to once in about eight tries. The shading is also being fixed, and the size changes make the accidental teleporting unlikely. Might still add doors though.

UPDATE 3

Working on the shading, but it's really tedious, and I've got other shit to deal with, so it might take a while. [MUp]

UPDATE 4

Finished the Shading. I like it, and I'm fairly certain the texturing is adequate. It's possible on TC, but I'll need a second opinion. Playtest and review, and you'll get a cookie.

UPDATE 5

Will probably try new textures and rework some of the architecture.

UPDATE 6

Released a preview of Sequencer Lava, which has improved geometry and uses the lava texture set. Obviously, Sequencer 2.0 is still available for download.
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Last edited by nonstab on Feb 8th '12, 00:00, edited 1 time in total.
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 1st '12, 01:50

All of the rooms were very small, which made it hard to move around and dodge enemy attacks. I often found myself surrounded by monsters and not able to get away, resulting in me getting killed. Some of the rooms were very difficult on Total Carnage, such as rooms 2, 3, and 6. Just make sure when making a single player level that it is beatable on Total Carnage. I see that you are aware of the shading, and yes it isn't very noticeable. I do recommend that you make parts of the rooms darker. Also, consider using different textures in each room for variety. Stick to one set like you did with the Jjaro, though. If the rooms were bigger, it might also solve the issue of accidentally teleporting while battling the monsters. All problems aside, this level does provide a lot of intense action and fun. I also liked the architecture!
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brilliant

Post Feb 1st '12, 04:24

brilliant wrote:All of the rooms were very small, which made it hard to move around and dodge enemy attacks. I often found myself surrounded by monsters and not able to get away, resulting in me getting killed. Some of the rooms were very difficult on Total Carnage, such as rooms 2, 3, and 6. Just make sure when making a single player level that it is beatable on Total Carnage. I see that you are aware of the shading, and yes it isn't very noticeable. I do recommend that you make parts of the rooms darker. Also, consider using different textures in each room for variety. Stick to one set like you did with the Jjaro, though. If the rooms were bigger, it might also solve the issue of accidentally teleporting while battling the monsters. All problems aside, this level does provide a lot of intense action and fun. I also liked the architecture!


Thanks brilliant! Now that I look at it, the rooms are a bit small and repetitive, so I'll take a whack at fixing that. I'm actually pretty awful at Marathon, so I can't even get past the first room on TC, but I'll see what I can do about the difficulty issues. Thanks for constructive feedback, bro!
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 3rd '12, 01:50

Sometimes you're screwed if you don't have auto-weapon switch turned on, which seems necessary for the s'pht and the f'lickta rooms.
VikingBoyBilly

Post Feb 3rd '12, 02:52

VikingBoyBilly wrote:Sometimes you're screwed if you don't have auto-weapon switch turned on, which seems necessary for the s'pht and the f'lickta rooms.


That's true. Not sure what I can do about that though. Not sure if a Lua/MML script would do the trick, haven't gotten to learning either yet.
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 6th '12, 23:37

Released Sequencer 2.0. Download. Test. Offer Criticism. I assume there will be a lot. [MGrin]
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 7th '12, 07:46

I was still frustrated trying to get through 2.0 on Total Carnage. It was still really hard, and I still got trapped by the monsters a few times. Battling a ton of enemies at once and without any cover makes it really hard, even with the 3x. You have done a better job at changing the textures and lighting. You could add even more variety by replacing every other ceiling light texture with a non-light texture, for example. Also the wall texture with the bars of light is cut off. If you were to slide the texture over a bit to the left, it would look much better.
Last edited by brilliant on Feb 7th '12, 07:46, edited 1 time in total.
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brilliant

Post Feb 7th '12, 14:13

brilliant wrote:I was still frustrated trying to get through 2.0 on Total Carnage. It was still really hard, and I still got trapped by the monsters a few times. Battling a ton of enemies at once and without any cover makes it really hard, even with the 3x. You have done a better job at changing the textures and lighting. You could add even more variety by replacing every other ceiling light texture with a non-light texture, for example. Also the wall texture with the bars of light is cut off. If you were to slide the texture over a bit to the left, it would look much better.


I see. I'm experimenting with the Water set of textures, which has more variety, and hopefully I'll be able to produce better-looking environments. What rooms are the most difficult? I'll probably remove a couple of monster and add variety, which seems to make rooms harder with fewer monsters (Goodbye F'lickta). I've been experimenting with .Lua, so maybe I'll be able to whip up a script on a later version that fixes a couple of gameplay issues (Auto-Switching weapons, as well as fixing the teleporting issues). I am actually aware of the misaligned textures, but I thought I fixed them. I'll have to take a look at that...
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 7th '12, 14:42

Turma wrote:I've been experimenting with .Lua, so maybe I'll be able to whip up a script on a later version that fixes a couple of gameplay issues (Auto-Switching weapons).

Don't use a Lua script to change a fundamental expected Marathon behavior! Fix your map instead.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Feb 7th '12, 16:07

Treellama wrote:Don't use a Lua script to change a fundamental expected Marathon behavior! Fix your map instead.


Uh, ok. I didn't consider that. Will do.

EDIT:

Actually, now that i think about it, I'm not sure I was totally clear on the whole "gameplay issues" thing. Several of the rooms have weapons in them that seem to be a lower priority than the AR (3 and 6), and it makes the aforementioned rooms unnecessarily difficult. All I intended to was write a script that forced the game to automatically switch to whatever weapon was presented.

That's not too major a change... right?
Last edited by nonstab on Feb 8th '12, 00:07, edited 1 time in total.
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nonstab
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Post Feb 8th '12, 07:42

It's too one dimensional. It's "Surprise! Aliens in your face!" again and again, and nothing else. The map architecture has visual appeal but couldn't be less impactful to the gameplay. I yearn for a pillar, a hallway, stairs, something... there's not even anything for seeking S'pht bolts to impact so they don't chase you forever.

There are a lot of ways you could've carried out this concept. For instance, consider if the rooms were adjacent and each was a floor lower than the last, like a giant staircase. Then you could see where you're going, even if the monsters don't spawn until you jump, and figure out what path you're going to take around and around the room before combat begins. But again, it's one dimensional. There's a dimension to each room of what weapon you have and what's shooting at you. The success or failure of every other dimension hinges entirely on Marathon's mechanics being fun a priori, in a vacuum, and not at all on the particulars of this map.

As far as Lua, your best use of it to my mind would be to disable the teleporter to the next room until all monsters in the current room are dead. That seems to be implied, but I presume you'd want to prevent people from teleporting prematurely, both those that stumble into it by accident and those who make a run for it on purpose. In either case, you can't go back, so all the work the player may have done to clear previous rooms is lost, and they have to start over.

There's an easy non-lua way to do that, too: make each room a separate level. That would also allow you to remove the player's weapons and give them a fresh load-out, if that's something you want to set per room.
Last edited by Crater Creator on Sep 11th '12, 02:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Crater Creator

Post Feb 8th '12, 13:31

Turma wrote:Several of the rooms have weapons in them that seem to be a lower priority than the AR (3 and 6), and it makes the aforementioned rooms unnecessarily difficult.

So change them?

You can make Marathon maps fun without Lua--people have for a decade. Learn the basics first, then worry about Lua.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Feb 8th '12, 15:19

Crater Creator wrote:It's too one dimensional. It's "Surprise! Aliens in your face!" again and again, and nothing else. The map architecture has visual appeal but couldn't be less impactful to the gameplay. I yearn for a pillar, a hallway, stairs, something... there's not even anything for seeking S'pht bolts to impact so they don't chase you forever.

There are a lot of ways you could've carried out this concept. For instance, consider if the rooms were adjacent and each was a floor lower than the last, like a giant staircase. Then you could see where you're going, even if the monsters don't spawn until you jump, and figure out what path you're going to take around and around the room before combat begins. But again, it's one dimensional. There's a dimension to each room of what weapon you have and what's shooting at you. The success or failure of every other dimension hinges entirely on Marathon's mechanics being fun a priori, in a vacuum, and not at all on the particulars of this map.

As far as Lua, your best use of it to my mind would be to disable the teleporter to the next room until all monsters in the current room are dead. That seems to be implied, but I presume you'd want to prevent people from teleporting prematurely, both those that stumble into it by accident and those who make a run for it on purpose. In either case, you can't go back, so all the work the player may have done to clear previous rooms is lost, and they have to start over.

There's an easy non-lua way to do that, to: make each room a separate level. That would also allow you to remove the player's weapons and give them a fresh load-out, if that's something you want to set per room.


This Level actually did originally consist of interconnected rooms, but it didn't work very well. It was really tempting to hide and pump grenades into the next room until everything was dead. However, Sequencer is designed to be hard, so short of starting over from scratch, we're stuck with the teleporters. However, I am modifying the rooms to be more visually appealing, so I'll look into the pillars idea. One more thing... what if I didn't spawn the player in the center of the room? That way, you could see all the Aliens as soon as you teleported in, so it wouldn't take as long to identify the primary threat/figure out how to react.
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 8th '12, 15:26

Treellama wrote:So change them?

You can make Marathon maps fun without Lua--people have for a decade. Learn the basics first, then worry about Lua.


Will do. Wouldn't really make much of a difference anyways, I can't find a Lua Binary/Compiler thing that works on my computer. Not 100% sure if that's what I need; I don't have much (any) programming experience. [MErr]
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 8th '12, 15:37

All you need to write Lua is a text editor.

Nonetheless: don't even use any Lua for a single player map unless you're sure of what you're doing. And right now, you're not at that level.

Your map is, uh, technically proficient, which is good, but it's in no way a fun map to play. A great guide for making good, simple, straightforward maps is Marathon 2. Those maps are generally small and have basic architecture and objectives, but are nonetheless very fun to play. That way you can pick up some good examples of monster usage and how to avoid crappy traps, which is what your map is entirely comprised of.

But like I said, your map shows you at least have a decent grasp on texturing and lighting, insofar as there is any in an octagonal room.
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RyokoTK
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Post Feb 8th '12, 16:19

RyokoTK wrote:All you need to write Lua is a text editor.

Nonetheless: don't even use any Lua for a single player map unless you're sure of what you're doing. And right now, you're not at that level.

Your map is, uh, technically proficient, which is good, but it's in no way a fun map to play. A great guide for making good, simple, straightforward maps is Marathon 2. Those maps are generally small and have basic architecture and objectives, but are nonetheless very fun to play. That way you can pick up some good examples of monster usage and how to avoid crappy traps, which is what your map is entirely comprised of.

But like I said, your map shows you at least have a decent grasp on texturing and lighting, insofar as there is any in an octagonal room.


I see. I didn't realize that making a series a map based entirely around the concept of traps was a bad idea... I guess I figured players would be willing to run with the hand they where dealt. Thanks for the advise. Also, Phoenix Rocks.
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 8th '12, 16:37

Well it's not that the general idea of a traps-based map is bad, exactly, it's just that this particular trap is a really annoying and cheap trap, and it's repeated too many times. The rooms are tiny and all the monsters spawn right next to you. Survival on TC seems more like luck than skill because of all the components playing against you here.
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RyokoTK
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Post Feb 8th '12, 16:39

RyokoTK wrote:Well it's not that the general idea of a traps-based map is bad, exactly, it's just that this particular trap is a really annoying and cheap trap, and it's repeated too many times. The rooms are tiny and all the monsters spawn right next to you. Survival on TC seems more like luck than skill because of all the components playing against you here.


Maybe I'll change spawn locations? Move the Aliens back, have the player spawn in the back of the room? I am adding pillars to the center of the room, so there will be some cover. Is there any way to increase spawn times?
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 8th '12, 16:57

You're addressing the symptoms but not the problem. Make a new map. Try a sequence of physically connected rooms -- larger, more complex rooms. That'll let you put the monster triggers in more appropriate locations and keep the gameplay a little smoother and more fun.
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RyokoTK
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Post Feb 8th '12, 19:44

RyokoTK wrote:You're addressing the symptoms but not the problem. Make a new map. Try a sequence of physically connected rooms -- larger, more complex rooms. That'll let you put the monster triggers in more appropriate locations and keep the gameplay a little smoother and more fun.


Hmm. Maybe you're right...
Last edited by nonstab on Feb 8th '12, 20:02, edited 1 time in total.
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 8th '12, 20:19

it's not like I have a lot of experience making single-player maps or anything :/
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RyokoTK
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Post Feb 9th '12, 01:01

RyokoTK wrote:it's not like I have a lot of experience making single-player maps or anything :/


Well, nonetheless, thanks for your help.
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 9th '12, 05:39

Turma wrote:This Level actually did originally consist of interconnected rooms, but it didn't work very well. It was really tempting to hide and pump grenades into the next room until everything was dead.
Like I said, you wouldn't have to spawn the enemies before the player enters. They can teleport in like they do now, and then firing into the next room is useless. There's still value in seeing the space you're about to enter, and knowing how you'll enter the room.

However, Sequencer is designed to be hard, so short of starting over from scratch, we're stuck with the teleporters.
That strikes me as a rather narrow-minded view of how a map can be hard.

However, I am modifying the rooms to be more visually appealing, so I'll look into the pillars idea.
To be clear, the reason I suggest pillars or really any variety in the architecture isn't for visual appeal at all: it's for gameplay. There would be something to hide behind, and enemies would move along more interesting paths instead of straight towards you. Currently, there's no opportunity to interact with the map at all. It is merely a container for the combat when it could be, and in other maps virtually always is, much more.

One more thing... what if I didn't spawn the player in the center of the room? That way, you could see all the Aliens as soon as you teleported in, so it wouldn't take as long to identify the primary threat/figure out how to react.
I think that's on the right track. I think the problem right now isn't identification - a player who knows the game knows right away what they're facing and which enemies are greater or lesser threats. The problem is simply getting swarmed. In your level the player is often surrounded by enemies to the point they can't move, similar to, for instance, being surrounded by zombies in Left 4 Dead. That game, however, was designed with swarms in mind, which is why the player has abilities like a powerful melee attack that knocks back multiple enemies at once. Marathon wasn't designed for that kind of situation (although one can make do - when playing Sequencer I'd sometimes detonate a grenade at point blank, damaging myself, just to knock enemies away).

You're best off working with what you've got, which I think is the point some here are trying to make. It's one of those situations where it's okay to break the rules of level design, but only after you're familiar with them and have applied them.
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Crater Creator

Post Feb 14th '12, 19:02

Quick question, what's the max height for step in a stair case, IE the maximum poly height a player can climb? I usually use .2, but it's nice to branch out.
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nonstab
Chicago

Post Feb 14th '12, 19:12

Pretty sure it's 0.3. It's definitely lower than 0.35.

Between 0.1 and 0.2 is a good standard usually, because the player does a weird little bob when going up 0.3-high steps. But it's more about the overall incline than individual steps.
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RyokoTK
Minneapolis, MN, USA

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