Marathon: Trinity

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Marathon: Trinity

Post Dec 3rd '15, 21:59

Marathon: Trinity

After no more than a few months I got around to polishing what I had already created and posted it on Simplici7y.
Link: http://simplici7y.com/items/marathon-trinity-2

Marathon: Trinity is a scenario/total conversion made solely by me, Tycho X, which features some new sounds, graphics and reintroduces the classic M.A.D.D. drones. Only 5 maps have been made so far, but I assure you, they are of highest quality. 3 random multiplayer maps were also added, since I thought they were half decent and no one had seen or played with them yet.

I took inspiration off of many, many scenarios and mods. I.e. I reused Marathon: Rubicon's AI name, Lysander, since I really liked it. I didn't check if any of the names I have picked for my maps were already in use, so if I've accidentally 'stolen' one of your names I'm sorry in advance.

The graphics aren't the best since I'm not an experienced digital artist, but essentially all I've done is given the BOB's some armour pads, given the drones some extra antennae and created some new terminal picture artwork. No chapter artwork has been added yet. Since this is only an alpha version, expect to see many changes.

List of Levels:
00 Brave New World
01 Like A Sheep Among Wolves...
02 Who Needs Oxygen When You Have Pride?
03 Veni, Vidi, Vici
04 Where's Bob When You Need Him?

Multiplayer Levels:
00 The Devil's Playground II
01 Toxic Taxes
02 Run-Run-Pfhuntime

If you'd like to discuss anything, leave a review or offer your help (mainly in scripting and artwork), please, feel free to comment below.
Last Update: 13th February 2016
Last edited by Tycho X on Feb 13th '16, 21:51, edited 1 time in total.
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$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime

Post Dec 3rd '15, 23:33

Not too bad. I've played through the fist 2 levels (stoped about halfway through 3) and I can say it has a nice classic Marathon feel. I'd say you need to lengthen the campaign but considering it's the first version of your campaign, length's not too bad.
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3371-Alpha
Veldin Orbit

Post Dec 5th '15, 00:57

Did a playthrough on Total Carnage of the single player levels.

Love the addition of the MADDs. They never did get enough "screen time" in the original game nor the mods.

Is the pistol not supposed to make sound when firing? It doesn't bother me, just wondering.

Elevator issues: throughout your levels you have elevators activated by players, but not enough ceiling space to jump down them. So, if the player wants to go down he has to jump on the elevator, wait for it to go up, and then wait for it to go down again in order to keep moving. You should definitely fix this, by extending the ceiling so the player can jump past it, or by having the elevator activated by a switch. Also, some of the elevators don't pause long enough at the top of their cycle; try giving them a longer delay so the player has more time to get off at the top floor.

In general I think your health, oxygen, and ammo placement could use a little work. Most levels need more ammo and could use more health.

Level 1: Brave New World

*Narrative level start. I don't generally like these. They're like an unnecessary prologue's to a novel. But it's got some nice lighting and architecture in spots.

*The first terminal says "You'll find new clothes on the table to your left". I turned to my left, expecting to see a shield canister, but there was nothing there.

*I don't know what the point is of letting the player access the lava area. Is there a secret in there? Because, I don't think it's a good idea to have an area that your player can accidently kill himself in during a narrative level that contains no combat.

*The area looking out at the Sphtkr looks nice, but some of the polygons need to be fixed. The thin pillars sometimes make the player "bounce" when he runs into them. Also, the BoBs will "clip" through the pillars when walking along this hallway; you can even see this in the screenshot of Brave New World that you posted to Simplici7y. Remember that monsters pathfind by drawing a line from one side of a polygon to another side of the polygon.

*I like the new BoB design. A bit more gritty and ready to fight.

Level 2: Sheep Among Wolves

*I remember the early versions of this you posted. A lot of improvements over all. Some new spaces that really add to the level.

*New Hunter bolts are faster and I like that you've made them red to emphasize how they're more dangerous now.

*I think you could add one more Hunter to the final room to add a little difficulty, especially since the MADDs are helping out.

*I think a shield recharger right at the last terminal would be nice, since the next level starts right in the middle of a big battle.

Level 3: Who Needs O2

*First battle is alright. I think you could remove some of the fighters and add some fighter snipers in the towers of the room instead. Would add some nice verticality to that battle, similar to another battle you have later on in this level.

*The battles in general are good. Most of them are big, open spaces with lots of enemies. It's classic Marathon fun, but perhaps they could use a little more variety in the combat space, maybe add some physical obstacles like benches or something? For example, that area with all the boxes and crates looks fun to fight in, but it never really gets used. I'd say move those crates to one of the other combat rooms.

*I think you need to add more O2 in this level. Either another recharger or more canisters.

*This level could use some extra ammo in spots.

*There's an area where it looks like the hull is breached to the vacuum outside, and then you can walk around outside. I'd block this off because it's too weird and immersion breaking to be walking around on vacuum outside the ship. Or at least that was my interpretation of it.

*There's a battle with fighters and blue fighter snipers and across a short bridge there's some Hunters. To the sides of the bridge are two pits that are suicide traps. I checked for secrets and didn't find any. You have to fix this. Either by making the floor of these pits teleport the player somewhere else, or by blocking off the pits so the player can't fall in.

Level 4: Veni Vidi

*This is your most ambitious level here, but I actually liked it the least.

*First, I think you may have too many monsters active at once and this is causing some to act weird sometimes. This is due to the newest version of Aleph One bringing back the active monster limit from Infinity.

*The start to this level is an interesting idea. You start in a set piece that is an infinite battle between Pfhor and humans. You infiltrate the facility but the battle keeps taking place outside; I like the atmosphere that creates. However, here are some problems. Right at the start I saw a Juggernaut, Troopers, and no real cover, so I immediately just ran away. Which means I missed the terminal, save terminal, and flechette. I eventually came back with yellow health and got the flechette and read the terminal, but still. Also, it's kind of cool reading about the battle as you can hear it taking place right next to you, but the player should be a little more safe at this start area if he's expected to actually stay and read (maybe hollow out the backs of some pillars to hold the terminals).

*This level needs more ammo and it needs a shield recharger instead of just canisters. A good rule of thumb: If there are infinite enemies then there should be infinite ammo and infinite health. I mean, even the Juggernaut respawns infinitely.

*The general outdoor architecture is very good. The whole courtyard bisected by the river looks great. And again, I like the idea of the battle set piece. The indoor architecture I felt ambivalent about. And the indoor monster encounters didn't really excite me. I preferred some of the monster encounters in previous levels. I think it's because in this level there wasn't enough space to move around most of the time (especially with the room with the four switches and the compilers).

*Glitchy lines:
glitchy polygon.jpg

This door has some glitches. When the player tries to run back inside through the right side of the door (circled) he will get "bounced" to the wall next to it (where the arrow is pointing) and will never be able to enter the door this way. The exact same is true for the left side of the door. You can only enter through the middle. This happens when polygons share a line (or when a line has too many segments).

Also, in the above picture you see the balcony above the arrow I drew. If the player steps down onto the lower ledge of that balcony he'll get stuck and can't move back inside. Probably won't happen often, but it's still an issue. I believe this also happens for the same reasons listed in the above paragraph.

Overall:

These are some decent maps. You're clearly learning and exploring new ideas as you go and that's always good. I'm interested to see what new things you'll try in later levels.
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philtron

Post Dec 5th '15, 08:10

Thank you very much for that detailed critique! I'll fix as many of the problems I can before continuing with the next set of levels. Now most of the problems you spoke of are fairly easy to modify, but what worries me is the sound(s). I added a couple new ones, not sure wether or not you heard them (mostly ambient/random sounds). Also, you said you couldn't hear the pistol?? That's the only weapon that has modified sound files... I really need to look into this (it works fine on my computer). Are you sure you placed and selected the new shapes etc. correctly?


PS: I'm busy as usual but I finally finished your 2nd level, will post an updated review in a couple hours
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$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime

Post Dec 5th '15, 09:12

So, Helvius, whatcha been doing?

Marathon: Trinity.

What strength did you use?

Total Carnage.

What did you think of it?

Well, I liked it. Mostly.

Mostly? What didn’t you like?

Well, there wasn’t enough ammo.

Were you able to finish each level and kill everything that needed killing?

Uh, yeah.

So there was enough ammo then, wasn’t there?

Well, if you put it that way, there was enough ammo to do what needed to be done.

Any other complaints?

Well, there wasn’t enough health or oxygen.

Were you able to finish each level without running out of health or oxygen?

Uh, yeah.

So there was enough health and oxygen then, wasn’t there?

Well, if you put it that way, there was enough health and oxygen to do what needed to be done.

So what you are really complaining about is that you couldn’t just wander around like a spazeroid with his thumb stuck in his ear, but you had to use good tactical sense and fight with skill, finesse, and style?

Uh, yeah.

So what did you like about it?

Well, there were several places that were suitable for fisticuffs. Several areas with the right mix of enemies and environment for some good melee. I like fisticuffs. Nothing like dookin it out with a passel o bugs. Man, you run up and just as you get there punch ‘em right under those three eyes! Heh, heh! Rattles their chitin.

Anything else?

Yeah! The soundtrack for Veni, Vidi, Vici, was out of this world. The battle sounds were amazing! It's my favorite level. I’ve scratch started the level several times. It just sounds good. And there’s a couple o balconies where you can relax, have a cup o coffee, and watch the action.

What would you like to see added.

A big ammo stash and a recharger so I could join in the big battle in the courtyard. Also, in this vein, some access to the hills around the courtyard battle.
I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.
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HelviusRufus

Post Dec 5th '15, 09:22

Nice review! I like your style :D

Since you're all asking for it there will be some more health and ammo added! Expect to see the next update by christmas.
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$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime

Post Dec 5th '15, 17:28

I think Helvius is actually being sarcastic and actually considers my criticism to be invalid (and he also may be channeling the "Hey Ash Watcha Playin" style.)
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philtron

Post Dec 5th '15, 17:47

Tycho X wrote:Also, you said you couldn't hear the pistol?? That's the only weapon that has modified sound files...


Turns out the sounds don't play when audio options are set to 8bit. Sound options have to be set to 16bit to actually be heard.
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philtron

Post Dec 5th '15, 21:36

philtron wrote:
Tycho X wrote:Also, you said you couldn't hear the pistol?? That's the only weapon that has modified sound files...


Turns out the sounds don't play when audio options are set to 8bit. Sound options have to be set to 16bit to actually be heard.


Oh, that's right, I remember now; I didn't bother adding the 8-bit version of the sounds because I was lazy and I assumed everyone would just use 16-bit anyway.

I actually thought it might be sarcasm, but I really wasn't sure since it also seemed like Helvius just wanted more ammo/supplies for fun ^___^
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$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime

Post Dec 6th '15, 05:19

philtron wrote:... and actually considers my criticism to be invalid...


Actually I wrote the conversation the day before and had not seen your comments.

I think your criticism is valid in so far as I was always short on ammo, and, since you can make maps, you have to consider various player styles and attitudes, i.e. what actually constitutes "short on ammo".
My point was that I made it to the end so obviously there was enough and I was just complaining, as I usually do, because it was difficult. The irony is that I play on TC because it is difficult and yet constantly complain about it.

The part about ammo/health in the courtyard battle is just so you could run around fighting for as long as you want. It looks like an interesting battle area, fighters for fists, troopers for .44's, and juggs to keep you on your toes. And if you could run around on the hills, you could leap down upon unsuspecting Pfhor.

I play Invidia Durandal and I have the plugin that populates net maps with enemies, but this area doesn't look like an arena designed for continual combat.

By the way, did you know there are BoB's and enemies already living in Run-Run-Phuntime?

Last, a question for Tycho X:
As the mapmaker, what was your concept of the initial room in Who Needs Oxygen…: clear the room then move on the rechargers or rabbit the first room and secure the rechargers, then return and mop up?
I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.
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HelviusRufus

Post Dec 6th '15, 12:52

HelviusRufus wrote: By the way, did you know there are BoB's and enemies already living in Run-Run-Phuntime?


Yup. They were added for fun. Obviously most people just deactivate aliens when playing online, so it doesn't really matter.

HelviusRufus wrote: Last, a question for Tycho X:
As the mapmaker, what was your concept of the initial room in Who Needs Oxygen…: clear the room then move on the rechargers or rabbit the first room and secure the rechargers, then return and mop up?


Clear the room and move on the rechargers. There's multiple reasons for this:
1) Considering how many MADD's I've placed you should have no problem dealing with a couple fighters/hunters.
2) If the player hasn't ever played the map yet, he won't even know where the recharger is, and will probably just stay and fight in the big room (or possibly run away and panic...)
3) Running into the hallway next to the recharger triggers another large group of aliens, which would completely overwhelm the player before he could ever even use the x1 charger.
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$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime

Post Dec 6th '15, 22:57

philtron wrote:I think you may have too many monsters active at once and this is causing some to act weird sometimes. This is due to the newest version of Aleph One bringing back the active monster limit from Infinity.


Tycho X: In case you don't know this already, you can copy MML from this plugin into Trinity to raise the active monster limit. Trinity also lacks <scenario> MML, which is important if anyone tries to organize multiplayer games on the metaserver.

This isn't specific to Trinity (which I haven't played yet), but a larger limit value isn't always better. A lower active limit can allow enemies to trickle in as reinforcements instead of all crowding into one battle at the start. On sprawling levels, the limit can keep enemies from waking up all across the map and leaving their posts, without resorting to impassable polys to artificially cordon off areas (potentially breaking immersion when combat reaches the boundary). You do have to worry about enemies falling asleep in the middle of an arena, so your limit needs to be large enough to handle your biggest battles, but since it's MML you can tune it for every level if you like.

TL;DR - mapmakers should consider the active monster limit as another tool in their combat design toolbox, instead of just cranking it up and forgetting about it.
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Hopper

Post Dec 7th '15, 02:54

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irons
(.Y.)

Post Dec 7th '15, 14:45

Thanks for that, Hopper! I completely forgot. I'll have all of that implemented by the next update.
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$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime

Post Feb 23rd '17, 07:02

I don’t know how I missed your update last February but perhaps editing didn’t add the new post flag.

Anyways, I scratch started the level Where’s Bob When You Need Him? on TC and found it challenging and fun.
One thing I really liked was that the enemies didn’t just pop in but were discovered lounging around avoiding their superiors.

After everything was dead, I wandered around at leisure and it looks like a credible underground facility. Control rooms near areas that look like they need controlling; sensible textures for the underground passages; no really weird areas, formations or stairs. It looks like a real place.

I didn’t go in here, though, because it’s dark and scary and there might be spiders.

WheresBobWhenYouNeedHim_0011.png
I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.
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HelviusRufus

Post Feb 23rd '17, 16:23

Thank you HelviusRufus,
Yes, I added a minor update last February, sadly, like most of us, I've gotten caught up in life and have been quite busy since. That is not to say that I'm abandoning this mini scenario or Marathon in general. Marathon is just simply one of those things which I get a craving for every couple of months; a sudden urge to start up the old engine and blast my way through it. :rolleyes:

Either way, my point is, I'll still update it from time to time, just expect the patches to be irregular and varying in size.
Hopefully one day I'll have it completed.

Compliments and constructive criticism have always be a motivating factor for me; I must thank you for that. [MUp]
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$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime


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