Marathon 1 Redux

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

After trying 0.0.8-alpha, should difficulty be adjusted so:

Monsters have more Vitality (makes Normal consistent at TC+ expense)
2
50%
Monsters fire longer bursts (makes Normal consistent at TC+ expense)
2
50%
Promote all the minors (makes TC consistent at the expense of variety)
0
No votes
Remove the extra monsters (makes TC consistent at Normal's expense)
0
No votes
Restore "Easy" difficulty
0
No votes
I'm a wuss. Give back "Kindergarten"
0
No votes
Other (explain)
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 4

Re: Marathon 1 Redux

Post May 14th '18, 19:03

"Prologue", not "prolouge". :p But typos aside, I agree; it looks really good.
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 15th '18, 10:58

Thanks! Typo fixed.

Up on GitHub, I've fixed hopefully all of the scenery and landscapes for the levels Never Burn Money, Defend THIS!, The Rose, and Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken. I've configured the teleporters to take you either through the three more complete levels, or through all the incomplete levels, so one does not necessarily need to cheat-start.

The current standin first level should be functional as a multiplayer carnage, KTMWTB, and possibly KOTH map, in case you want to test out the staff and trooper gun on fellow players.

I plan this week to do some minor updates to terminals, pull in more texture & music assets, and do some more work on G4, aiming for a 0.0.9-alpha release on Friday.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 19th '18, 09:33

0.0.9-alpha released on Simplici7y and GitHub!

I may be repeating myself here as the below has been basically copied and pasted between Simplici7y, Github, and here, and the list of things done is derived almost entirely from my GitHub commit history.

=================

I'm trying to get the project ready for something I can call beta. As such, far more work has been done on the assets than on level design, although I did some work on Arrival. 12 levels included & converted to Redux format - prologue through G4. Since they are lacking in polish, the opening "level" offers two terminals, one to take you straight to the more finished areas and another to take you through the rest.

All monsters should be good except the human soldiers, who have sequences but still need offsets in their low-level shapes, and the Hound, which someone else is working on. All human scenery that have 3D models have been given 8-way sprites as a fallback due to an Aleph One bug.

Title screen backgrounds created from Marathon box art.
Two new chapter screens mocked up.
Two more MIDA textures.
Tycho term logon on Defend THIS!
Symbolic Interactionism terminal art.
SMG now fires 6 grenades for balance.
Alien rifle renamed alien SMG.
Invisible oxygen ticks added to Arrival hangar and Cool Fusion vacuum chamber.
Tacticus rendered an Alien weapon detonation effect, major fusion bolt sprite, and major fusion bold detonation effect.
Glowmap added to the firey wall textures.
Term art tweaks.
Removed the annoying slidey switch animation.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 21st '18, 08:20

Finally got around to playing a bit of this. Scattered observations:

  • This is really hard overall. I had to turn the difficulty down to Major Damage because I kept dying. Even then I only escaped “Bigger Guns Nearby” with about a thirtieth of a bar of health. Luckily there was a recharger right at the start of “Cool Fusion” so it could’ve been worse.

  • The external ship views on “Arrival” and “Bigger Guns Nearby” are amazing.

  • It took me about fifteen minutes to figure out how to get to the secret on “Bigger Guns Nearby” and then the damn invisible S’pht nearly killed me. Key being nearly.

  • Allowing the player to access the recharger area in “Bigger Guns Nearby” again but having it shut off is borderline sadistic, though I think I almost approve anyway.

  • The architecture of “Bigger Guns” overall is gorgeous. I especially like the jumping puzzle to the secret invisibility powerup.

  • The behaviour of the staff is erratic. On “Arrival” it seems to use ammo from the green and purple fighters, but then disappears if you run out of shots (I guess until you kill another orange or blue fighter? I didn’t check this too carefully). On “Bigger Guns Nearby” it just seems to require the player to pick up a new one after running out of shots. I assume there’s a plan to standardise this eventually. I think if you’re going down the “reloading ammo” route, it’d be best if it worked like in Eternal. If you need more detail about how this works, I don’t remember off the top of my head, but I can look into it in more detail (though I’m sure Pfhorrest already knows, so it’d probably be pointless for me to bother). It might actually be possible just to make the staff its own ammo, then raise the number you can carry to some adequate amount (e.g., 42) but keep the “disappears after use” flag. I don’t recall for sure if this works, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

  • I kinda think there are so few shots in a staff clip that it’s almost useless. I haven’t read too much of this thread because I don’t want to spoil myself before I’ve played more of it, so maybe there’s a reason for this, but I’d probably have an average of at least twenty-one shots or so before requiring a reload. (Twenty-one because 7 x 3 you already know this I don’t know why I’m spelling it out.)

  • As a general note, you’ll probably want to look at the Hastur’s Workshop page on fixing bouncy walls (this link still works but you’ll have to open it with StuffIt Expander; the relevant page is in the Busted section). The short version is that they usually occur when Marathon has a ≤60° angle (more or less) and/or a small polygon, but putting a split polygon on the wall usually fixes it. Hence I created polygons like this in “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk”:

    Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 06.40.48.png

    Along with the two on either side of it. The player can’t see it¹ or travel to it, nor can any monsters; its floor height and ceiling height are identical, and the only service it performs is to keep the player from bouncing off the ledge. IIRC the Hastur’s Workshop page goes into much greater depth about this, though. There are a few walls I noticed in M1R like this; there are several in the original game as well (basically all the ledges near the secret in “Arrival”, for example).

  • Overall, great and I want more.

I eventually got a headache and had to stop playing. I doubt it's the game's fault, but who knows.

¹Technically this particular polygon is visible in the automap, but it has landscape textures for its floor, ceiling, and walls, and it’s marked as having a solid wall with the bordering polygon, so the player can’t tell it’s there. I used to make a habit of this back in the Forge days, but it’s much easier to texture solid, non-transparent walls using Vasara, while it’s much harder to change the elevation of polygons (making this trick much more time-consuming to pull off), so I don’t bother anymore. (Not bothering will make the automap look worse in Vasara, but only scenario developers should be looking at it there anyway.)
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 21st '18, 21:57

The Man wrote:Finally got around to playing a bit of this. Scattered observations:

  • This is really hard overall. I had to turn the difficulty down to Major Damage because I kept dying. Even then I only escaped “Bigger Guns Nearby” with about a thirtieth of a bar of health. Luckily there was a recharger right at the start of “Cool Fusion” so it could’ve been worse.
  • It took me about fifteen minutes to figure out how to get to the secret on “Bigger Guns Nearby” and then the damn invisible S’pht nearly killed me. Key being nearly.


Good, I was afraid things were too easy. You were playing on the scenario's Major Damage and not the normal Major Damage, correct? Did you try yourself against Insane at all?

The Man wrote:
  • The external ship views on “Arrival” and “Bigger Guns Nearby” are amazing.


  • This seems to be the most consistent praise, even the most pessimistic seem to like this. I'll be sure to focus my efforts on these and their equivalents in, erm, subdeimosian and subtaucetieonean levels.

    The Man wrote:
  • Allowing the player to access the recharger area in “Bigger Guns Nearby” again but having it shut off is borderline sadistic, though I think I almost approve anyway.


  • As another reviewer mentioned, it does work if you spam it. Between that and the secret health powerup, and it keeping in with the spirit of Bungie's trolls, I think I'll keep it that way.

    This reminds me, if there is a way to change the appearance of an item between levels I'd like to hear it. I have the 1x health powerup appearing as a Marine's suit because 1.) M1 never used health powerups, and 2.) it will be used in a prominient role on the Mirata. If I can change it's appearance, that could open up new possibilities for secrets and level design.

    The Man wrote:
  • The architecture of “Bigger Guns” overall is gorgeous. I especially like the REDACTED to the secret REDACTED.


  • Thank you :-D I think you are the first person to have claimed to find that REDACTED.

    The Man wrote:
  • The behaviour of the staff is erratic.


  • The plan is to have the staff to slowly grow in capability as the player becomes more proficient with it and more intelligence is accumulated over the course of the game. Currently this isn't implemented in a sane manner.

    The Man wrote:
  • I eventually got a headache and had to stop playing. I doubt it's the game's fault, but who knows.


  • I *did* alter the forbidden "horizontal bob" feature for the alien weapons. I hope that wasn't it.

    The Man wrote:
  • As a general note, you’ll probably want to look at the Hastur’s Workshop page on fixing bouncy walls


  • I am aware of the solution, and if you open the map in Weland you'll see that I've fixed a number of those on Bigger Guns Nearby. I may need playtesters to report the location of bouncy walls so I can fix them, I'll add a note to the Help Wanted section.

    The Man wrote:
  • Overall, great and I want more.


  • :-D I'll do my best. My house is being auctioned off tomorrow and I'm not sure how things will go after that. The person most likely to buy it will likely give me a few months to move out or might even let me stay, but if whoever buys it says GET OUT! I've got all of ten days to do so. Aaand the area I'm looking at moving to is currently spewing lava, so that complicates things.

    I hope I've laid enough of the groundwork on this project by now that others should be able to jump in should I be unable to continue.
    Last edited by ravenshining on May 23rd '18, 22:00, edited 1 time in total.
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    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post May 22nd '18, 05:15

    Incoming quote pyramid warning. I’ll probably start trimming in the next set of responses if needed, but I think the extra context from two layers of quotes may be helpful for at least this go-round.

    ravenshining wrote:
    The Man wrote:Finally got around to playing a bit of this. Scattered observations:

    • This is really hard overall. I had to turn the difficulty down to Major Damage because I kept dying. Even then I only escaped “Bigger Guns Nearby” with about a thirtieth of a bar of health. Luckily there was a recharger right at the start of “Cool Fusion” so it could’ve been worse.
    • It took me about fifteen minutes to figure out how to get to the secret on “Bigger Guns Nearby” and then the damn invisible S’pht nearly killed me. Key being nearly.

    Good, I was afraid things were too easy. You were playing on the scenario's Major Damage and not the normal Major Damage, correct? Did you try yourself against Insane at all?

    Yes to the first, and not yet to the second. I probably will when I know the levels better; I rarely play scenarios on the hardest difficulty the first time ’round because I don’t possess the patience. I might be able to do “Arrival” on Insane but I kinda doubt I could do BGN. Now that I know where everything is I’ll probably be able to clear it out on at least the scenario’s TC though – not sure about Complete Annihilation or Insane yet.

    I think game creators usually think their works are easier than they actually are. My reasoning is that if you’ve created a level, you already know how it works, know the intended solution, and have probably play-tested the hell out of it. New players won’t know all that, particularly if they’re going in blind or mostly blind. (I played the original M1 a few times years ago, but it’s the game of the trilogy I’ve played the least often, and obviously I hadn’t played M1R at all before.) As a result, I tend to think most scenario creators probably underestimate how difficult their scenarios are by at least one difficulty setting. (I.e., if you think a typical player will find the game reasonable on Normal, it’s probably actually going to be reasonable to them on Easy.) You can compensate for this to some extent by being aware of it, but it might be a Hofstadter’s Law type thing where it’s impossible to eliminate it entirely (Hofstadter’s Law: “It always takes longer than you think it will, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”)

    On the whole I think most Marathon scenario creators should be able to beat their works on the highest difficulty setting, unless they just really suck at Marathon, and if they can’t, that’s a sign they made the levels too hard. To be clear, there are a few levels in my own scenario that I can’t actually vid (most glaringly “Kill Your Sons”, which, since it’s a mash-up of two of the hardest levels in the trilogy, “Begging for Mercy Makes Me Angry!” and “Hang Brain”, probably isn’t a surprise), but I can at least win them on TC if I use pattern buffers often enough.

    The Man wrote:
  • The external ship views on “Arrival” and “Bigger Guns Nearby” are amazing.

  • This seems to be the most consistent praise, even the most pessimistic seem to like this. I'll be sure to focus my efforts on these and their equivalents in, erm, subdeimosian and subtaucetieonean levels.

    Yeah, they’re amazing. The “Arrival” vista actually kinda makes me want to go into Weland and try to construct something underneath the view from the ship. I’m not sure how it could flow with the existing level, though. I’ll have to think about it.

    The Man wrote:
  • Allowing the player to access the recharger area in “Bigger Guns Nearby” again but having it shut off is borderline sadistic, though I think I almost approve anyway.

  • As another reviewer mentioned, it does work if you spam it. Between that and the secret health powerup, and it keeping in with the spirit of Bungie's trolls, I think I'll keep it that way.

    Didn’t think to try that; will obviously have to try it in the next go-round. The secret health powerup should make it less impossible in any case.

    This reminds me, if there is a way to change the appearance of an item between levels I'd like to hear it. I have the 1x health powerup appearing as a Marine's suit because 1.) M1 never used health powerups, and 2.) it will be used in a prominient role on the Mirata. If I can change it's appearance, that could open up new possibilities for secrets and level design.

    You can embed MML for each level and it should be possible to change the appearance of an item with MML that way; I don’t recall the exact code and am too exhausted to look for it now but will probably try this weekend or something.

    (Speaking of the Mirata, I assume the 240-odd polygons are planned for usage in a future revision?)

    The Man wrote:
  • The architecture of “Bigger Guns” overall is gorgeous. I especially like the jumping puzzle to the secret invisibility powerup.

  • Thank you :-D I think you are the first person to have claimed to find that powerup.

    You’re welcome. I’m kind of surprised about that, honestly; it seemed obvious to me that there was a purpose to being allowed to climb from the starting point.

    (As an aside, the fact that no one else claims to have found that secret actually makes me worried the jumping puzzle in “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” in Chronicles is still too difficult, even though I already nerfed it somewhat. I think I can still do a few things to make the solution more obvious, and maybe I’ll try some of those this weekend as well.)

    The Man wrote:
  • The behaviour of the staff is erratic.

  • The plan is to have the staff to slowly grow in capability as the player becomes more proficient with it and more intelligence is accumulated over the course of the game. Currently this isn't implemented in a sane manner.

    That makes sense. FWIW, I think it’s probably possible to script Lua to have a counter for how often the player uses the staff, which should be possible to carry between levels, if you want to go down that route. Then the player could start dealing more damage with it after using it more. Of course, that would make it suck when scratch starting, but it’d also probably be possible to implement a handicap if the game detected it wasn’t loading from a previous level. The easiest way to do that would be to base the handicap on the level number, but I know M1R isn’t planning to keep a linear story, so if you wanted the staff to scale with the level number that way, the levels would have to be in some vague semblance of chronology. Alternatively, it would also be possible to create handicaps on a level-by-level basis, either with a table (I don’t know how Lua implements these but I should be able to learn when I have a clearer head) or by defining a variable for each level.

    I hope that was all comprehensible. If not I’ll try to break it down more, but I doubt I have the energy right now.

    Incidentally I actually wanted Chronicles to do this exact same thing with some of its weapons as well (most notably the staff, actually – kind of odd that we both had a similar idea about it), but the idea hasn’t really made it into my game either yet. The engine wasn’t remotely sophisticated enough at the time to do this nearly so elegantly, so I compensated by making several different animations for it, which varied in speed. Of course, since the levels have been shuffled around probably about a dozen times now, the only remaining vestige of this is that the staff fires much more quickly on some levels than on others, but in nothing resembling the game’s chronology. I intend at some point to go through and standardise all the physics, which will involve making the animations scale up in speed by story order if nothing else; I may end up making Lua do some of the behaviours I described above in Chronicles as well.

    The Man wrote:
  • I eventually got a headache and had to stop playing. I doubt it's the game's fault, but who knows.

  • I *did* alter the forbidden "horizontal bob" feature for the alien weapons. I hope that wasn't it.

    I doubt it. I barely used them.

    The Man wrote:
  • As a general note, you’ll probably want to look at the Hastur’s Workshop page on fixing bouncy walls

  • I am aware of the solution, and if you open the map in Weland you'll see that I've fixed a number of those on Bigger Guns Nearby. I may need playtesters to report the location of bouncy walls so I can fix them, I'll add a note to the Help Wanted section.

    I know what you mean; it’s hard to remember all of them. In some cases it’s easy to guess “this wall will probably be bouncy” just by looking in Weland. I may have the energy to do at least that tonight.

    The Man wrote:
  • Overall, great and I want more.

  • :-D I'll do my best. My house is being auctioned off tomorrow and I'm not sure how things will go after that. The person most likely to buy it will likely give me a few months to move out or might even let me stay, but if whoever buys it says GET OUT! I've got all of ten days to do so. Aaand the area I'm looking at moving to is currently spewing lava, so that complicates things.

    I hope I've laid enough of the groundwork on this project by now that others should be able to jump in should I be unable to continue.

    Good luck with all of that. I’ve been a bit worried on your behalf; that’s an awful lot of crap to happen at once.

    And yeah, I may end up trying out some ideas for this if inspiration strikes. If they work I’ll probably submit pull requests or something; IDK. I’ll at least submit the scripts for the media-based oxygen drain and convection lava damage at some point in the near future; the media-based oxygen drain is already 80% written (I just need to figure out how to get it to drain media only over a specified media number, and should probably also revise it so it doesn’t drain oxygen when the player’s already submersed in media; I’ll also want to find a way to make it scale with difficulty in mimicry of the game’s inbuilt oxygen consumption, but that part can be held over for a later revision).
    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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    The Man
    Sarasota, FL

    Post May 23rd '18, 21:59

    With the latest release, Aleph One is sometimes but not always quitting with a segmentation fault when it tries to load a level, particularly Arrival. Anyone know how I can narrow down this problem? Is there a way to run A1 with more verbose output?

    The Man wrote:I think game creators usually think their works are easier than they actually are. My reasoning is that if you’ve created a level, you already know how it works, know the intended solution, and have probably play-tested the hell out of it… On the whole I think most Marathon scenario creators should be able to beat their works on the highest difficulty setting


    A valid point. So far I have been able to vid these levels on Insane, although not without a lot of dying as I learn the correct strategy, which usually involves a lot of running away.

    The Man wrote:Yeah, they’re amazing. The “Arrival” vista actually kinda makes me want to go into Weland and try to construct something underneath the view from the ship. I’m not sure how it could flow with the existing level, though. I’ll have to think about it.


    Actually, the more ornate structure you see in the background is the opening level of Pathways more or less inside-out. I thought it was a fun way to get rid of the M1A1 start and keep things Marathon while still making use of the geometry.

    Similarly, the structures you see outside BGN are a rough inside-out mock-up of Arrival, to give emphasis to there being Bigger Guns Nearby.

    The Man wrote:(Speaking of the Mirata, I assume the 240-odd polygons are planned for usage in a future revision?)


    You mean the Mirata level included? Yeah, basically all I did was Nuke the M1A1 level and delete a ton of lines from the terminal file so it's all one terminal. It's totally incomplete. I plan to flesh out the cockpit, add in an airlock, and recreate the events as told in the Manual in first-person (possibly with the help of some Lua), including you leaving the Mirata in an escape pod and watching it be blown up by a space fighter.

    Oooh, I just had an idea of how to handle the Escape Pod. I could make it a weapon, with the "in hand" sprite being a view looking out, and the "Marine" sprite being the Escape Pod sprite. I would just need a way to prevent the player from switching weapons once the escape pod is "picked up," and to remove it from the player's inventory on Arrival.

    The Man wrote:
    ravenshining wrote:
    The Man wrote:[*]The architecture of “Bigger Guns” overall is gorgeous. I especially like the REDACTED to the secret REDACTED

    Thank you :-D I think you are the first person to have claimed to find that REDACTED

    You’re welcome. I’m kind of surprised about that, honestly; it seemed obvious to me that there was a purpose to being allowed to REDACTED from the REDACTED.

    (As an aside, the fact that no one else claims to have found that secret actually makes me worried the REDACTED in “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” in Chronicles is still too difficult


    I don't think so. Quite possibly the reason people aren't mentioning the REDACTED are 1) they are just playing through BGN like "normal" without bothering to explore "new" areas (similar to how people expressed surprise when encountering the macerators despite Leela warning you about them) and 2) not wanting to spoil secrets.

    The Man wrote:I think it’s probably possible to script Lua to have a counter for how often the player uses the staff, which should be possible to carry between levels


    *recoils in horror at the mention of more Toilet Language*
    Spoiler:
    .
    lua:
    1. n. Hole, pit, grave, den, cave, mine, crater. Lua is a hole that has a bottom, contrasting with puka, perforation. Hoʻopiha i ka lua o ko inaina, fill the pit of wrath [eat heartily]. hoʻo.lua To bake in the oven. Cf. hoʻolua under lua 3 and kālua. Puuʻa hoʻolua, pork and taro tops baked in ti leaves, called laulau today. (PPN lua.)

    2. n. Toilet, outhouse, bathroom, cellar.

    3. num. Two, second, secondary, twice, deuce, double; doubly, much, a great deal.
    That sounds... awesome, if you want to do something like that, but also needlessly complicated, as I can just make the weapon better over time with embedded physics.

    The Man wrote:
    ravenshining wrote:My house is being auctioned off tomorrow and I'm not sure how things will go after that…

    Good luck with all of that. I’ve been a bit worried on your behalf; that’s an awful lot of crap to happen at once.


    So far so good. The new owner appreciated me driving 3 hours out of my way to attend the auction, meet her, and provide information about the property, and I may have earned a few months rather than days to leave.
    User avatar

    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post May 24th '18, 05:14

    ravenshining wrote:
    The Man wrote:I think game creators usually think their works are easier than they actually are. My reasoning is that if you’ve created a level, you already know how it works, know the intended solution, and have probably play-tested the hell out of it… On the whole I think most Marathon scenario creators should be able to beat their works on the highest difficulty setting

    A valid point. So far I have been able to vid these levels on Insane, although not without a lot of dying as I learn the correct strategy, which usually involves a lot of running away.

    That’s how I learned some of mine as well. “To Make an Idol of Our Fear and Call It God” is still the hardest one I can actually complete some of the time. I don’t think I’ve ever technically vidded “Tighter & Tighter” but it’s not that difficult in combination with “Deadwing”, and it’s sort of a one-two level like “Poor Yorick”/“Confound Delivery” and “Where Some Rarely Go”/“Thing What Kicks…”.

    The Man wrote:Yeah, they’re amazing. The “Arrival” vista actually kinda makes me want to go into Weland and try to construct something underneath the view from the ship. I’m not sure how it could flow with the existing level, though. I’ll have to think about it.

    Actually, the more ornate structure you see in the background is the opening level of Pathways more or less inside-out. I thought it was a fun way to get rid of the M1A1 start and keep things Marathon while still making use of the geometry.

    I thought the architecture looked distinctly Pathways-esque. That explains that. Maybe it’d be a fun easter egg to put in the actual level as a very well hidden secret. The Win95 version of “Waterloo Waterpark” did that with “Arrival”, which would make that a great mythology gag.

    Similarly, the structures you see outside BGN are a rough inside-out mock-up of Arrival, to give emphasis to there being Bigger Guns Nearby.

    Oh, cool. I actually did something similar with one of my own levels. At the end of “Burn Down the Mission” you basically see the underside of the rest of the level.

    The Man wrote:(Speaking of the Mirata, I assume the 240-odd polygons are planned for usage in a future revision?)

    You mean the Mirata level included? Yeah, basically all I did was Nuke the M1A1 level and delete a ton of lines from the terminal file so it's all one terminal. It's totally incomplete. I plan to flesh out the cockpit, add in an airlock, and recreate the events as told in the Manual in first-person (possibly with the help of some Lua), including you leaving the Mirata in an escape pod and watching it be blown up by a space fighter.

    Yeah, that. That sounds like a really cool intro. I suspect some scripting would be necessary. I haven’t read the manual intro in awhile; maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

    Oooh, I just had an idea of how to handle the Escape Pod. I could make it a weapon, with the "in hand" sprite being a view looking out, and the "Marine" sprite being the Escape Pod sprite. I would just need a way to prevent the player from switching weapons once the escape pod is "picked up," and to remove it from the player's inventory on Arrival.

    Both of those should be fairly easy to accomplish if I’m understanding it right (it’s 1:40 am, though, so I wouldn’t count this as an absolute certainty). Might even be possible with just MML.

    The Man wrote:You’re welcome. I’m kind of surprised about that, honestly; it seemed obvious to me that there was a purpose to being allowed to REDACTED from the REDACTED.

    (As an aside, the fact that no one else claims to have found that secret actually makes me worried the REDACTED in “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” in Chronicles is still too difficult

    I don't think so. Quite possibly the reason people aren't mentioning the REDACTED are 1) they are just playing through BGN like "normal" without bothering to explore "new" areas (similar to how people expressed surprise when encountering the macerators despite Leela warning you about them) and 2) not wanting to spoil secrets.

    You could be right about that. I noticed Leela’s warning about the latter but I didn’t entirely understand what she meant at first. Still wasn’t exactly a surprise though.

    I don’t get why you’d play something like this and not try to explore, in any case. If nothing were different from the original game, what would even be the point of the scenario?

    The Man wrote:I think it’s probably possible to script Lua to have a counter for how often the player uses the staff, which should be possible to carry between levels

    *recoils in horror at the mention of more Toilet Language*
    Spoiler:
    .
    lua:
    1. n. Hole, pit, grave, den, cave, mine, crater. Lua is a hole that has a bottom, contrasting with puka, perforation. Hoʻopiha i ka lua o ko inaina, fill the pit of wrath [eat heartily]. hoʻo.lua To bake in the oven. Cf. hoʻolua under lua 3 and kālua. Puuʻa hoʻolua, pork and taro tops baked in ti leaves, called laulau today. (PPN lua.)

    2. n. Toilet, outhouse, bathroom, cellar.

    3. num. Two, second, secondary, twice, deuce, double; doubly, much, a great deal.

    Lol. Hawaiian language, I presume? I suspect the creators of the programming language had no idea. It appears to have been created at a Brazilian university and also means “moon” in Portuguese.

    That sounds... awesome, if you want to do something like that, but also needlessly complicated, as I can just make the weapon better over time with embedded physics.

    Well, I still kind of want to do something like that in my own scenario – it’d help counteract the staff being ludicrously powerful to start out. Requiring the player to actually use their weapons in order for them to gain in power is, AFAIK, something no Marathon scenario has actually done before. It’d certainly make the gameplay stand out.

    In any case, it’s certainly possible to pass variables from one level to another, so then it should just be a matter of calculating a damage multiplier (and, if desired, speed multiplier; I haven’t verified this, but it might even be possible to make this affect clip size) based on the player’s number of shots for a given weapon, which in turn is housed in a variable that increments each time the weapon is fired. It’s also possible to include random damage, caps, whatever. The fog script I posted for “To Make an Idol” in the Chronicles thread is a rather slight but nonetheless functional example of this; the fog colour is multiplied by a value after each thunderclap that’s partially random and partially based on the duration since the thunder. Thus it gets suddenly bright, and fades out in a manner that mimics Marathon’s “flicker” function for lights (I don’t know if it’s exactly identical). Obviously you can use multipliers for much more gameplay-relevant purposes as well.

    Of course, I haven’t actually written script to do any of this yet, but it seems like it should be possible from the Aleph One documentation. I’m not even sure if it’s possible to have individual levels make function calls to a global script for the whole scenario, which would simplify a lot of this; I imagine it is, but haven’t worked out how it’s done yet.

    The Man wrote:Good luck with all of that. I’ve been a bit worried on your behalf; that’s an awful lot of crap to happen at once.

    So far so good. The new owner appreciated me driving 3 hours out of my way to attend the auction, meet her, and provide information about the property, and I may have earned a few months rather than days to leave.

    Glad to hear it.
    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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    The Man
    Sarasota, FL

    Post May 24th '18, 20:53

    Actually if your REDACTED in BGN is the same as my REDACTED in BGN then people may not be mentioning it cause it doesn't seem like a secret since it can be found through simple exploring. Now the REDACTED at polygon REDACTED is really a secret since you have to look for the secret-finding-clues and do some secret-finding-thing that you'd not normally do at that location. BTY I haven't gotten around to playing past 006. Maybe 009 tonight.

    And, while I'm at it, you need a kindergarten or at least an easy difficulty level. There are many who like some combat but their real interest is exploring and rubbernecking.

    I used to play only on TC, but now (with a few specific Level exceptions) I just use Normal and sometimes (don't tell anyone!) Kindergarten so's I can just act like a bull in a china shop. Also, Normal and easier levels are good for fisticuffs since it still requires skill (especially against multiple enemies) but doesn't give you carpel tunnel.
    I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.
    User avatar

    HelviusRufus

    Post May 27th '18, 00:38

    Well, do let me know how "Normal" goes for you in 0.0.9, and if it is too hard, I'll look at scaling back.

    Up on GitHub, I've finally finished the human soldier sprites. Now that all monster slots have valid sequences and sane physics, M1R should now be compatible with Survival mode.

    I've also finished creating 8-way and, for the repair chip, 5-way sprites for all of Tacticus's scenery, save the grey orb and electrosynth which are rather low poly and don't render well.

    somany.png


    Rerendered the opening screen to look much nicer. Oh, yeah, and I think I may have neglected to mention that last weekend I cleaned up, de-clicked and added some stereo reverb to the startup sound.

    Blaspheme Quarantine has been added. It's a rebellion level, and all weapons and ammo have been moved outside the first zone, unless you are playing co-op in which case you'll find some staves in a room full of corpses.

    Created a way out of the abyss on Defend THIS!, and a second way out of the compactor.

    Never Burn Money has ambient sound, teleporting item cubbies, fixed backdrop, fixed the 3x charger

    Other minor stuff. That's it for this weekend!
    User avatar

    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post May 27th '18, 17:18

    Gave Survival mode a few spins on Beyond Thunderdome. With the current physics, Survival eventually breaks down into a game of desperately trying to avoid friendly fire, because I have one monster slot currently occupied by a human soldier carrying a rocket launcher whom I intended only to use one of maybe once, as part of a cinematic battle, and he's set to be immune to explosions so he doesn't blow himself up. Spawn in a dozen of them, and you get this:

    BeyondThunderdome_0006.jpg


    The way to survive is to constantly watch your motion sensor and run away when something pops up, because the second any monster spawns it's got a dozen rockets bearing down to obliterate it and anything nearby. MOAHs get tossed around the arena like ragdolls, and Juggernauts barely manage to get off a single round before going down.

    I'll probably keep these physics around for fun, but future physics will replace the shotgun, flamethrower, and rocket launcher humans with purple-, black-, and white-clad civillians, which I will have much more real use for in the scenario.
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    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post Jun 13th '18, 23:41

    Wow it's been a while since I've posted an update! RL has been busy, and I haven't pushed much to GitHub either seeing as I'm mostly working on binary files and not wanting to clutter up commits. And then there's been work on Eternal and spending too much time "playtesting" physics.

    Enough with my excuses, here's a quick report. I've had a bit of time over the past few days to work on textures. Obviously 1024x1024 DDS files are not forum-friendly, so here's the latest condensed down to 512x512 8-bit PNGs & GIFs.

    Having the graffiti textures available is one of my minimum basic requirements I've set for myself before I start converting levels into M1R. It's a simple matter of taking one of Tim Vogel's textures, erasing the Marathon symbol, and pasting in Tacticus's MIDA symbol. I still need one or two more before I move past Blaspheme Quarantine.

    MIDA6.png


    Animated the water fan texture:

    waterfan512.gif


    Converted the Grendel set into transparent textures that can be used with the dual-texture wall trick. Not pictured is the normal Grendel wall, which I've modified ever so slightly so it tiles vertically, should I ever decide to use it like that. The splat is my own creation, I had to get creative since A1 didn't like.... waait a minute I could have used Vogel's, I just had to script it differently... Okay so the splat and Grendel Lives will probably be redone with 5-bit alpha instead of 1 bit. Good thing I kept my GIMP masters.

    grendel.png


    And finally, as mentioned earlier, here is the cleaned up startup screen. I used a POV from Mars orbit looking out towards Tau Ceti (right below the a in heavens) in the year 2702. In retrospect I should have done 2472, but I don't think anyone will notice the difference!
    Spoiler:
    somewhere.png
    somewhere.png (8.75 KiB) Viewed 189 times
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    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post Jun 14th '18, 08:02

    nice, I like the rotating fan!

    On the topic of dual textures (slapping a transparent texture on top of a wall texture): Is it possible to do this using just the Visual Mode lua script by treellama, i.e. without changing the polygon's geometry?
    For some reason or other back in the day it was possible to do this in Pfhorte2. Just pick a wall, pick primary + transparent texture and you were good to go. Still works to this day, though.
    User avatar

    Bobwithkeycard
    AMS-Tower

    Post Jun 14th '18, 20:48

    Ooh, I really like the nod to the "Marathon Zero" prototype! The animated fan looks nice, too.
    welcome to the scene of the crash
    User avatar

    General-RADIX

    Post Jun 14th '18, 21:46

    As I recall, the dual texture thing was possible in Forge by placing a split polygon on a wall, placing a transparent texture over it, then deleting the split polygon. I don’t know if VML/Vasara and Weland work the same way, but it’s worth a try. (Actually, I seem to recall Vasara giving the option to place transparent textures somewhere – I don’t recall exactly how it works, but I think you can do this without even deleting polygons, assuming the player doesn’t have a transparent line obstructing the view to the polygon wall – so, in other words, as long as the polygon isn’t really narrow.)

    The new textures look good, and I definitely like the nods to the Marathon alpha.
    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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    The Man
    Sarasota, FL

    Post Jun 14th '18, 22:13

    Thanks! The fan was nearly an all-nighter effort, even if I was just altering somebody else's artwork. I had to separate out the frame, grid, and fan elements, and recreate everything that was obscured before actually going about animating. For the spinning hub, I just created a new texture from scratch rather than try and de-light the existing, incomplete texture.

    In addition to the Marathon Zero textures, if you look in the Jjaro (colony moon) collection (or just play the current redux demo) you'll see I have a few M2 Beta textures. I don't necessarily have a planned use for everything, but you can see already the default Grendel wall in use on G4 Sunbathing, on the shorter bulkheads.

    A quick test with both Visual Mode and Vasara shows them incapable of altering the secondary texture. Like Forge, if you go into transparent mode and click on a solid wall, it just applies the texture to the solid wall, not the transparent side, even if the wall already has two textures.

    Having Pfhorte-style wall texturing would be awesome to have in Weland for sure. I think I have Pfhorte2 lurking somewhere around on my machine.
    Last edited by ravenshining on Jun 15th '18, 01:28, edited 1 time in total.
    User avatar

    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post Jun 15th '18, 00:46

    Does the method described in Hastur’s Workshop for applying dual textures in Forge work? I attempted to describe it in my parenthetical aside, but it probably wasn’t very clear. It’s linked as “Dual Texture Trick” on the main page in the Hastur’s Workshop archive. I haven’t tried using it with Weland/Vasara yet, but maybe it still works. The main thing you’ll have to alter from the description is that you’ll have to alter the polygon heights before going into Vasara, since you can’t change polygon heights with caps lock.

    ETA: wait, maybe you’re saying you just can’t move the transparent texture on the wall with Vasara. I think I’ve made myself more confused. Ignore this if I’ve misunderstood, I guess.
    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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    The Man
    Sarasota, FL

    Post Jun 15th '18, 01:39

    Actually, it appears the capslock step is unnecessary, and even harmful (with Vasara and Weland anyway.) It appears all one need do is create the extra polygons with the same (or even greater, to texture a short line from behind) height in Weland, texture the line in Vasara, delete the polygons in Weland, and then add the backing wall texture in Vasara. This way, the transparent texture's alignment is preserved.

    It would be much nicer if we could alter the alignment after the fact though, to coordinate with the backing texture. New tools would need to be developed to do this.
    User avatar

    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post Jun 15th '18, 01:47

    Agreed on that part, but at least it works as intended. (I actually wonder why they even told you to alter the polygon heights in Hastur’s Workshop; perhaps that was due to a particular quirk in Forge’s programming.) I’m going to work on bringing my programming skills back up to scratch over the next couple of months; maybe once I’ve done so, I’ll be able to tweak Vasara to add that option (I’d also like to add an option to leave polygon texturing intact while retexturing one specific wall, and it also doesn’t seem to play well with maps that have more than, I think, 51 lights, so maybe I can fix that as well).
    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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    The Man
    Sarasota, FL

    Post Jun 15th '18, 01:48

    I'm not totally following this whole conversation, but is there any actual use case for applying 2 textures to a wall? Why not just make a new texture with the merged textures?
    User avatar

    Wrkncacnter

    Post Jun 15th '18, 02:08

    Convenience, Wrkncacnter, and more possibilities. Multiply the number of secondary textures by the number of suitable wall textures in any collection and by the number of ways you could align them together, and you've got yourself a lot more possibilities than adding a single texture... except that it ONLY works for walls with no polygon beyond, not for doors, floors, ceilngs, or ledges, for those I would have to pre-make new textures.

    I'm not entirely certain where I want to use all of these (well, I have a few ideas), but they are mostly textures more suitable for walls. If I really want to make new textures for floor/ceiling/platform use I can and will always do that.

    Also, the two caution stripe textures and even the green slashes may be useful on their own as transparent textures. Even Grendel Lives and the splat could be scrawled/burned on a bulletproof window. The vent, not so much.

    The Man, that would be awesome!
    User avatar

    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post Jun 15th '18, 02:20

    ravenshining wrote:Well, do let me know how "Normal" goes for you in 0.0.9,


    The normal as it is now should be easy enough for any explorer or tourist looking for a good time sorta like Second Class Passenger broadcast on Escape 1/7/1948 radio program.
    I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.
    User avatar

    HelviusRufus

    Post Jun 15th '18, 02:43

    ravenshining wrote:Multiply the number of secondary textures by the number of suitable wall textures in any collection and by the number of ways you could align them together, and you've got yourself a lot more possibilities than adding a single texture

    Makes sense. I didn't consider someone would want to use this feature that extensively.

    I'm not going to claim that it's convenient in any way, but one way of doing this is to look at a wall:

    Open the lua console with \
    Players[0]:find_target().transparent.collection = 17
    Players[0]:find_target().transparent.texture_index = 16

    Where collection 17 = Water, 18 = Lava, etc. You can also modify texture_x and texture_y to mess with the alignment.

    I didn't bother to check to see if this functionality is already in VML/Vasara, but it very well might be.
    User avatar

    Wrkncacnter

    Post Jun 15th '18, 04:53

    HelviusRufus wrote:
    ravenshining wrote:Well, do let me know how "Normal" goes for you in 0.0.9,


    The normal as it is now should be easy enough for any explorer or tourist looking for a good time sorta like Second Class Passenger broadcast on Escape 1/7/1948 radio program.


    Awesome, thank you for the alpha testing threat assessment report! Unit 119 of the Ministry for Entertainment through Extrapolation will incorporate this intelligence information into appropriate measures towards environmental engineering for the safety of entertainee combatants. Extraneous entertainee deaths may result in Unit 119 being slated for endcycle scheduled termination.

    Also, I have now downloaded and shall have to listen to said radio programme.
    User avatar

    ravenshining
    Hawai'i

    Post Jun 15th '18, 09:33

    Echoing sentiments above: I like the texture work.

    Regarding the uses of dual textures: A while ago I actually figured out how to create nifty angled shadows on walls using overlapping textures, like in this screenshot:
    angles.png


    Of course it's use is fairly limited, but it is a nice effect for entrances to dark tunnels or skylights like this one.
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