Marathon Chronicles

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Re: Marathon Chronicles

Post Oct 30th '18, 01:28

General-RADIX wrote:Oh hey, I've listened to "Passing the River"!

Cool. Great track, isn’t it? Were you already familiar with it?

I’m pretty pleased with how well several of these selections have fit their respective levels in gameplay. (I haven’t tried all of them yet, at least for long enough to get a feeling of that.) I sort of want to record videos with the embedded songs and post them, but I’m still not sure enough about YouTube’s copyright policy to know whether that would fly, and given how much content I’ve already uploaded to my channel, I really don’t want to run into trouble and have to start re-encoding and re-uploading all of it.

(Also very satisfying listening to all those Hunters 'n Troopers accidentally shoot each other in the "Dimensional Bleedthrough" vid until they pop)

I agree; I suspect that’s half the reason I keep replaying the level so much. Glad you’ve enjoyed it. Also, I must admit I’m just very satisfied with how it turned out. It’s challenging but fun. I’ve long suspected that several of the most frequently disliked Rubicon levels aren’t really bad levels per se; they just have badly balanced enemies. I feel as though this level provides significant evidence for this stance. In particular, if you replaced Rubicon’s Enforcers with the standard Infinity model, you’d probably rescue about half a dozen levels from the scrappy heap (which is why I killed their guided projectiles in Chronicles and only gave them the zap attack in two levels, and I’m still not even entirely sure I’m going to keep it in those).

Some story-related stuff that's been on my mind:

* I imagine that Yrro would specifically introduce himself to Marcus as a "failed bio-engineer", and later Marcus overhears a teammate reminding Yrro to stop self-deprecating.

That would be hilarious and I suspect I’ll have to go with that now.

(Also, maybe Yrro didn't expect any Terrans to have heard of him? Makes that first meeting with Marcus a little awkward)

Good point. Perhaps he doesn’t realise who Marcus is at first either – which, given that the S’pht literally refer to Marcus as the “Messenger of Yrro”, adds an extra layer of irony to the story that I’m certain I can’t resist now.

* Saw a post recently pointing out that while fictional villains tend to have some horrible trauma that helped shape them into their current selves, in real life the worst people never suffered a day in their life.

Another good point.

So maybe Pharos's foil (I keep thinking his name'd be "Jerrod") either didn't witness that horrible incident in Pharos's backstory or just plain ignored it because it wasn't anyone he knew. If Pharos starts kicking people out of Parliament, Jerrod's probably the first to go partly for this reason.

I might just be tired (the past month in particular has utterly drained me) but I’m not 100% certain I’m correctly recalling much about Pharos’ foil. Was it the character we meant to be an unambiguous villain, or a virtuous counterpart, or am I misremembering entirely?

* Do you have any specific ideas yet for where you'd want various characters' arcs to go? (Particularly interested in Platina's, since he's in a pretty awful situation that's distinct from Marcus's and Yrro's)

There are a lot of things still up in the air regarding specific characters, I think. I do plan for the “good” characters to be able to claw together some semblance of peace after the events of the game, but it’ll, of course, be a struggle to do so. I’ve yet to formulate specifics of how this works out, however. Some of this is simply because I don’t want to tie myself too much to any specific story before I’ve constructed levels to accompany it. Some of it is also because I don’t think I can know for certain until I sit down and write more.

I’ve wanted to write fiction for most of my life, but I haven’t written very much because I wanted to have a Plan, and I seldom had one that I found satisfying enough to start writing. George R. R. Martin has spoken of a dichotomy between architects, who plan everything in meticulous detail before they start writing, and gardeners, who simply start writing and see where it goes. Obviously there are shades of grey in between these two extremes. I’ve spent a lot of my life wanting to be an architect, but I doubt I actually have the capacity. I need to just sit down and start writing more often. (And so does George by the looks of it.)

This seems a good time to note that I’ve been tending to envision Platina as having at most a mutable sense of gender, though, if not a consistently non-binary one (or a complete lack of identification with any gender). Given that artificial intelligences are, well, artificial, I can’t see them having a sense of gender as we understand it to begin with, and thus I can’t see an AI’s reincarnation having a particularly strong attachment to human concepts such as gender, either. None of Durandal, Tycho, or Leela ever make any specific attempt to dissociate themselves from the genders assigned to them that we see, but I can see them having far more important things on their minds, such as saving the Marathon from an alien invasion and/or trying to take over the universe. That said, I can’t see Platina making a particularly big deal out of things like gender pronouns either, partially for similar reasons and partially for the aforementioned lack of attachment.

* Imagined a scene of Platina getting very visibly upset that he can't "really" understand Marcus's pain, trauma, etc., and Marcus tries to assure him that it's not that big a deal (in his mind, someone understanding him that well = someone who went through the same things he did, which is Not Good). What Platina doesn't know is that Durandal also became distraught over this a few times, albeit with slightly better control over his emotions. Which I guess segues into the next question...

Also a good idea.

* What would you think of a flashback level set shortly before Durandal's death? I kinda worry that such a thing'd be redundant with the prologue (if everything that needs to be established about his and Marcus's working relationship is done there), but I'm still curious as to how you'd write them during a peaceful day/night or something.

Well, I was actually hoping to tell the sequence of events leading up to it, though at this rate I’m probably going to have to end up making 20+ new levels to tell the complete story I have envisioned. (Of course, if other people start contributing maps, that’ll become a much less daunting task.) As for how I’d write their interactions with each other directly… honestly, I’ll have to think about it more. Apart from prologues to games, Marcus has traditionally been mute, so I have a difficult time imagining him interacting with specific characters for that exact reason.

(Also: is it okay to cross-post/doodle any Chronicles-related art to dA/me blog, or would you like that to remain here for now?)

Sure. Probably want to provide links to this thread & other resources about the scenario when you do so, but other than that I’ve got no issue with it.

More to come tomorrow, perhaps, if I’m up to it. Again, utterly drained. Beyond all the horrifying news, I attended… not exactly a funeral but a service for my friend yesterday, and I didn’t sleep well this weekend because of it. And I’ve been very sick, and some cold medication I was taking actually wound up causing me to hallucinate (and not in a pleasant manner), and the antibiotics I’ve been taking since haven’t exactly left me with a wealth of energy, so there’s been that, too.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Oct 30th '18, 02:34

The Man wrote:Cool. Great track, isn’t it? Were you already familiar with it?


Yep. XD I came across it a few years ago, when I first heard of Kayo Dot.

In particular, if you replaced Rubicon’s Enforcers with the standard Infinity model, you’d probably rescue about half a dozen levels from the scrappy heap (which is why I killed their guided projectiles in Chronicles and only gave them the zap attack in two levels, and I’m still not even entirely sure I’m going to keep it in those).


I think that as long as there's some kind of warning in both levels that the Enforcers there can do that, it's probably fine. (I love Rubicon, but its Enforcers are a pain in the arse to deal with if you can't drop them quickly, and I don't think there's any in-universe warning for the close-range attack)

I might just be tired (the past month in particular has utterly drained me) but I’m not 100% certain I’m correctly recalling much about Pharos’ foil. Was it the character we meant to be an unambiguous villain, or a virtuous counterpart, or am I misremembering entirely?


That was the character meant to be an unambiguous villain; I don't remember anything about the opposite (maybe Leela's the closest thing Pharos would have to a virtuous counterpart?).

This seems a good time to note that I’ve been tending to envision Platina as having at most a mutable sense of gender, though, if not a consistently non-binary one (or a complete lack of identification with any gender).


I like this idea very much. ^^ Wonder if one of Platina's first signs that their new team won't be like their neglectful old crew is that Yrro and co. actually use their preferred pronouns after learning about 'em. (Marcus might slip up on occasion, but only because he's still trying to mentally separate Platina from Durandal, who only responded to male pronouns*.)

(* I mean, he really didn't like Charlemagne calling his namesake "Durandana", and I'll bet he didn't like Tycho's Latin blunder in M1 once he caught it. Then again, between those two things and the Dark One being likened to a sword at one point, I gotta wonder...)

Well, I was actually hoping to tell the sequence of events leading up to it, though at this rate I’m probably going to have to end up making 20+ new levels to tell the complete story I have envisioned.


Hm...my mind immediately went to "text file in the final release", but that's probably not the most elegant way to do that, and players who aren't as drawn to story as we are might skip it and risk getting confused...

Sure. Probably want to provide links to this thread & other resources about the scenario when you do so, but other than that I’ve got no issue with it.


Alright. ^^

Take as much time to rest as you need to, man.
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General-RADIX

Post Oct 30th '18, 02:41

I'm curious how you plan to reconcile the personal name Yrro with the species/race/group name Jjaro, which are obviously variants of the same word.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Oct 30th '18, 12:26

Pfhorrest wrote:I'm curious how you plan to reconcile the personal name Yrro with the species/race/group name Jjaro, which are obviously variants of the same word.


Aaron might go a different route, but personally: since I keep thinking of Yrro's mother being a total hippie who may or may not have dropped acid at some point, she probably just named him the Jjaro equivalent of "Moon Unit" or something. (Yrro deals with people who heckle him over it the same way he deals with most problems)

Meta-wise, canon is frustratingly vague and kinda contradictory (IIRC) on whether or not "Yrro" was one guy or many guys, and there isn't one single solitary hint of who/what Pthia was supposed to be if he wasn't an individual, either, so I just picked "they were two guys" to simplify things and make their accomplishments more impressive.
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General-RADIX

Post Oct 30th '18, 16:46

I always figured the plural/singular confusion was because of how S'pht are semi-collective consciousnesses, like how they sometimes refer to their clans as though each clan was itself an individual; and "Yrro" was "the Jjaro" collectively, in the S'pht idiom.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Oct 30th '18, 20:12

I can get how a person could come to that reading, but the reason I’ve always read Yrro as being a singular entity is the frequent references to “Yrro and Pthia”. If Yrro refers to all the Jjaro, why single out Pthia? Of course, there are a lot of other unanswered mysteries about Pthia, starting with their gender and what happened to them. (“Became a W’rkncacnter” doesn’t seem wholly implausible if we use Eternal’s interpretation of the canon, but then the next questions are why and how.)

The other issue here is the passage of time. Presumably these creation myths have passed down through numerous generations of S’pht, which has a tendency to distort factual accuracy. And there’s a decent chance that the S’pht misunderstood some of the events to begin with.

We’re getting fairly deep into philosophy/theology here, but it’s long been my belief that if gods actually exist, humans have as much chance of understanding them as ants have of understanding humans. The subjective experience of possessing as much power and knowledge as we traditionally attribute to gods would be completely beyond human capacity to comprehend. Jjaro are basically the setting’s closest approximation of gods (well, alongside W’rkncacnter, one of whom is literally referred to as a god in Pathways), and it’s perfectly believable that two of them would be able to terraform Lh’owon by themselves.

Anyway, a lot of this is open to interpretation, but Yrro always read to me as a specific Jjaro (and the "my old Pthia" terminal in “Aye Mak Sicur” as his writing). It’s also possible that he was simply speaking to the S’pht as a representative of the whole race, I suppose. And it’s equally possible that the S’pht never knew his real name and simply referred to him by his species, or that they simply mixed up his species and his given name (given the passage of thousands of years, this one seems especially plausible). Or a Slartibartfast, “I said [my name] wasn’t important”-type deal. There’s a lot that’s unclear about him, which, given the factors I’ve described above, seems wholly justified.

I'll respond to the other discussion after work - I’m running out of time on my break to summarise my thoughts adequately on this crappy phone “keyboard”.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Nov 1st '18, 03:34

I still intend to respond to the discussion above, but it’s just been one of those months.

https://www98.zippyshare.com/v/NufLKbto/file.html

It’s just after midnight here, so the date is no longer strictly accurate, but I posted this to YT and Github on 10/31. Several changes to shapes, most notably several more Pfhor textures. There are now blue and yellow Pfhor slime in two levels. I haven’t gotten all the variants of slime to behave exactly the way I want, but I’m done fighting with it for now. It plays more or less acceptably.

I might be capable of writing more after I get some food in me, but I’m not going to promise anything. October just drained me. Hopefully November won’t suck so much.

…I forgot to include the latest build of the shapes file, so standby for a new alpha.

…Here. Sorry for the oversight.

https://www40.zippyshare.com/v/20jwlOY5/file.html

I should note that the bloom effect seems to be slowing down my Windows box way more than it used to, and I have no idea why. I’ll look into it later this week. For the time being, if you have trouble, just disable the effect.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Nov 1st '18, 12:23

For the sake of folks who weren't in Discord last night:

chronicles - platina doodles.png


One of the first steps Platina takes in asserting their own identity (this probably comes after they definitively learn what they are) is tying their hair up.

Also took me a couple tries to find a dress for them that wouldn't be too plain, but not stick out jarringly amongst the crew.
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General-RADIX

Post Nov 3rd '18, 19:59

As I said in Discord, I really like those drawings. You’ve certainly gotten a distinctive, memorable silhouette, which Matt Groening will tell you is a requisite for a memorable cartoon character, and I guess game artwork shares a lot of similarities with cartooning.

I now have song selections for all but four five of the main story levels.

01 Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt: The Mars Volta song it’s named after, but used the Scabdates version
02 Pleiades’ Dust: Änglagård – Snårdom
03 Cut Their Grain and Place Fire Therein: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Mladic
04 Revisions of the Past: Genesis – The Story of Albert (Behind the Lines/Duchess/Guide Vocal/Turn It On Again/Duke’s Travels/Duke’s End)
06 The Dream’s Dream: Wobbler – Foxlight
07 Everyone I Went to High School With Is Dead: Janelle Monáe - Dance or Die/Faster/Locked Inside
08 Here Comes the Flood: Genesis – Dancing with the Moonlit Knight/The Cinema Show/Aisle of Plenty
09 The Black Angel’s Death Song
10 Miranda, That Ghost Just Isn’t Holy Anymore
12 Entangled
13 The Paradox of Tolerance: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Providence
14 Men Like Ravenous Fishes: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Sleep
15 Room a Thousand Years Wide: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Motherfucker=Redeemer
28 Nightmare Heaven: Krallice – Intraum/Untitled
17 Biblical Candy Machines: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Horse Back
18 To Make an Idol of Our Fear and Call It God
19 Neon Valley Street: Janelle Monáe – Violet Stars Happy Hunting!/Many Moons
20 Delusions of Adequacy…: A Silver Mt. Zion – ’Piphany Rambler
21 With Strength I Burn
23 Supper’s Ready: Genesis song it’s named after
45 Return to Yggdrasill: Alcest - Sur l’océan couleur de fer
24 Notes on a Criminal Conspiracy: Krallice – Forgiveness in Rot
43 In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion: Agalloch song it’s named after, plus its intro “A Celebration for the Death of Man…”
44 Ys: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - ‘Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress’
25 How to Disappear Completely: Kayo Dot – Passing the River/The Wait of the World
26 Another One in the Dark: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Anthem for No State
46 Cel din urma vis: Panopticon – (Cowering) at the Foot of the Mountain/The Devil Walked the Woods
48 Dimensional Bleedthrough: Kayo Dot – ___ On Limpid Form/The Antique
29 Kill Your Sons: The Mars Volta – Cassandra Gemini
31 Star’s End: Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Cygnus


I haven’t tested out all of these in-game, and I probably won’t embed them in videos, but if you have the songs, the recent builds of Chronicles should work if you rename them to the number preceding the level name (this is one less than what’s in the level skip dialogue box for each level, but it does match with the level numbers on Github). You’ll have to remove the suffix. Marathon will read wav, ogg, and mp3 right now. You’ll need to string multiple tracks together in several cases to come up with the exact combinations of tracks I used, and some aren’t consecutive on the albums they appear on (two of the Genesis selections) or even on the same album (one of the Kayo Dot selections). I also cut “Take the Veil” at an unorthodox time, incorporating part but not all of “Abrasions Mount the Timpani”; I’ll get the exact divisions at some point if anyone cares.

I also put up a new build.

https://www117.zippyshare.com/v/aa2cb4cQ/file.html

Not too many changes to the data files in this one, but I did fix the script for the doors so that the S’pht door no longer plays the fire sound, and the Earth doors now play the correct sounds. (That’s the “S’pht Door Locked” category in Weland/Forge, on the off chance you’re making Chronicles maps.) I also changed the HD version of one specific texture – to be exact, bitmap 36 in the Pfhor set.

The map updates since the last alpha, to my recollection, mostly consist of retexturing to “Men Like Ravenous Fishes” and “Room a Thousand Years Wide”. This actually salvaged a portion of the former level that I had previously considered irrevocably boring. The new texture effect is cool enough that I no longer think I need to change anything apart from making the enemy placement more interesting. I still haven’t fully worked out to do for the floor and ceiling there; I may need to add a couple more textures. (I’m thinking a 90 degree rotated version of the blue and green organic texture from M2 would be a good idea.) And there are still a lot of glitches I need to work out with those two levels in particular. A Lua script to limit monsters’ external velocity might go a long way towards that.

Videos:

Men Like Ravenous Fishes/Room a Thousand Years Wide. Mostly fists and staff; the main (possibly only) exceptions were the fusion rifle for a segment near the start of “Room” that I haven’t yet developed a reliable fists/staff strategy for (if there even is one; I might tone that segment down a bit, honestly), and the alien weapon against a Juggernaut, because who cares.

Dimensional Bleedthrough. Only shot fired in the whole video is a staff projectile to activate a secret. I reach the other two with Looker explosions and Fighter projectiles, respectively. I fight all enemies using only fists.

Kill Your Sons. Like the previous one from a gameplay perspective, but ten minutes shorter. Cooler texturing overall.

There are a few glitches I need to fix with the multicoloured media.

  1. I forgot that monsters’ fear of water/sewage and monsters’ fear of goo/lava are different. As a result, Troopers and others will wade into knee-high blue/yellow goo. I assume there’s a setting to change this somewhere in the game; I’ll have to look for it.

  2. The fader I used for blue goo also affects the “got item” fader for some reason. Not a game-wrecking deal, but it would be nice to fix.

  3. The fader I used for yellow goo isn’t behaving the way I want it to at all.

  4. I can’t remember if I changed this myself, but red goo in Chronicles doesn’t burn enemies. This doesn’t track with how I remember it working in M2/Infinity, but I haven’t checked in awhile. In any case, since green goo is actually retextured lava, however, it does burn enemies. I can’t figure out what to do to change this.

I’ll probably repost this in the “Stupid Scripting Tricks” thread later; this is mostly for my notes.

I have FiOS now. It probably takes about 10% of the time to upload videos that it used to. That Ravenous/Room video is over 7 GB large and it only took 10 minutes to upload. YouTube took almost as much time to process it as it took to upload.

I think I may start hosting all the game files on Github. There doesn’t seem to be any formal limit on disk space apart from a physical limit of 100 MB per file. To my recollection, the only thing even approaching that is the shapes file, which is currently about 50 MB. I also plan to post a S7 version once I’ve written to FM about my use of Evil assets.

Finally, I’d like to extend thanks to Chris Lund for his formal permission to use Rubicon assets. I forgot to acknowledge this in the current version of the read-me file; I’ll get to it next upload.

I’ll make a new post responding to the discussion above later today if everything goes just according to keikaku.*

(*Translator’s note: keikaku means plan.)
Last edited by The Man on Nov 4th '18, 17:51, edited 2 times in total.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Nov 4th '18, 03:02

General-RADIX wrote:
The Man wrote:Cool. Great track, isn’t it? Were you already familiar with it?


Yep. XD I came across it a few years ago, when I first heard of Kayo Dot.

Cool. I’m always surprised when people have already heard of and heard relatively obscure avant-metal bands like Kayo Dot, but I guess they’re not as obscure as they used to be. Coffins on Io seems to have raised their profile a lot. Which – good. They certainly deserve their success. It just throws me for a loop when people have already heard them!

In particular, if you replaced Rubicon’s Enforcers with the standard Infinity model, you’d probably rescue about half a dozen levels from the scrappy heap (which is why I killed their guided projectiles in Chronicles and only gave them the zap attack in two levels, and I’m still not even entirely sure I’m going to keep it in those).


I think that as long as there's some kind of warning in both levels that the Enforcers there can do that, it's probably fine. (I love Rubicon, but its Enforcers are a pain in the arse to deal with if you can't drop them quickly, and I don't think there's any in-universe warning for the close-range attack)

Yep, I tend to agree with that. IIRC, I only used the zap attack on “The Paradox of Tolerance” and “Dream Brother”. I need to add a terminal warning to the former. I’m still not done writing the terminals yet so that can come in later. I think I’m also going to use colour coding so that red and yellow ones have the zap, and orange and green ones don’t. However, if that’s the case, I need to change the colour of the “Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt” Enforcers.

I might just be tired (the past month in particular has utterly drained me) but I’m not 100% certain I’m correctly recalling much about Pharos’ foil. Was it the character we meant to be an unambiguous villain, or a virtuous counterpart, or am I misremembering entirely?

That was the character meant to be an unambiguous villain; I don't remember anything about the opposite (maybe Leela's the closest thing Pharos would have to a virtuous counterpart?).

That’s what I thought. Yeah, that makes sense, I think. I’m still fleshing out what I want to add in terms of characterisation. Jerrod seems fine for a name at least temporarily, though I am trying to think of something with mythological or literary significance that would fit such a character.

This seems a good time to note that I’ve been tending to envision Platina as having at most a mutable sense of gender, though, if not a consistently non-binary one (or a complete lack of identification with any gender).

I like this idea very much. ^^ Wonder if one of Platina's first signs that their new team won't be like their neglectful old crew is that Yrro and co. actually use their preferred pronouns after learning about 'em. (Marcus might slip up on occasion, but only because he's still trying to mentally separate Platina from Durandal, who only responded to male pronouns*.)

Thanks. I could definitely see going with that.

(* I mean, he really didn't like Charlemagne calling his namesake "Durandana", and I'll bet he didn't like Tycho's Latin blunder in M1 once he caught it. Then again, between those two things and the Dark One being likened to a sword at one point, I gotta wonder...)

I think this could read credibly as Durandal being upset at Tycho’s insulting connotations more than anything else. Of course, like most aspects of Marathon, there are multiple ways to interpret it.

Well, I was actually hoping to tell the sequence of events leading up to it, though at this rate I’m probably going to have to end up making 20+ new levels to tell the complete story I have envisioned.

Hm...my mind immediately went to "text file in the final release", but that's probably not the most elegant way to do that, and players who aren't as drawn to story as we are might skip it and risk getting confused...

Yeah, that’s part of the reason I don’t want to go down that route if at all possible. Also why I’m trying to avoid the wall of text route in terminals – don’t want more than about seven pages per terminal if at all possible. It might be unavoidable in some cases. The text file approach might also be the best way to summarise all the back story rather than dumping it in a prologue level.

Sure. Probably want to provide links to this thread & other resources about the scenario when you do so, but other than that I’ve got no issue with it.

Alright. ^^

Take as much time to rest as you need to, man.

Thanks again.

§

From a development standpoint, I’m considering textures some more. The Pfhor set is now, by far, my favourite collection in the game. It looks genuinely alien, and many of its textures represent the sorts of things that cannot exist with current human technology. But it’s gigantic. It has 192 textures; none of the other texture sets have anywhere more than 127. I’m still not 100% sure I’m done adding textures to it, either; there are a few more I might want to add, all variants of current textures. There’s a hard limit of 256 textures for the engine, but I really don’t want to go higher than 200 if I can help it.

Part of the problem is that “In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion” doesn’t load in OpenGL mode on my Windows box in 1.2. I think this is probably mostly because there are four different texture sets used in it, but the only two sets it uses liberally are the water and the lava sets. There are a handful of sewage textures, and three Earth ones.

So I could remedy this to some extent by reorganising the textures. “Pale Companion” mostly uses the Lh’owon portion of each of those sets (apart from Earth). And that’s pretty typical of levels where I’ve employed multiple texture sets. I typically only use part of each collection. I’m not likely to mix the Chimera/Carroll Street Station textures, which currently make up part of the lava set, with the Lh’owon ones, which make up most of the rest of them. I have Marathon 1 textures in the sewage and water collections that seldom get used with the others (maybe with some of the Jjaro textures in the sewage set at most; “Revisions of the Past” is the only major exception). Plus I’ve got the M2 sewage collection in both the water and the sewage sets.

So this would be a good time to reorder them all if I can get a good retexture script (which, hopefully, I can), hopefully with the result that fewer levels have to use multiple texture sets. The result would probably be:

Water: M2 and M∞ water (54 textures, since I’m not gonna repeat the recharger/switch/terminal/water textures from both games; I can redefine switches on a level-by-level basis with MML if I want the M2 variants); M2 and M∞ lava (probably 49, for the same reason); M2 and M∞ sewage (probably 49); Jjaro (probably 29). That gives you, if I’ve counted right, 181 textures. Then there are a few more variants we could throw in (the floor rock texture from Evil’s water set is a big one), plus a few cursory textures from the Earth set so “Pale Companion” can get away using only one collection. That should probably give us about 200.

Sewage (Jjaro to the map editors): Can move all the Marathon 1 stuff here, perhaps. Then you’ve got the Chimera stuff that can be moved from the Earth (Sewage to the map editors) and Lava sets. I have no idea how many textures that would comprise, but I doubt it’s anywhere close to 200. I’d probably also duplicate a few M∞ Jjaro textures, since I use several of them in the M1 maps (though I’m honestly considering getting rid of a lot of the M1 textures entirely and using a script to remap all the Marathon 1 textures except the ones from “Revisions of the Past” to something that makes sense in the game’s timeline).

Thing is, this depletes some of the textures out of the Earth set (though I might just leave duplicates there as well, since I use some of the Chimera textures in “High School”), and I have no idea what would end up in the lava set, because this leaves nothing there. (Probably the Tau Ceti collection would end up going there when it exists, but other than that I have no idea. Maybe K’lia stuff as well.) It also means I have to futz about with media definitions if I want to minimse the number of maps that utilise multiple sets. This isn’t all that bad, but it does mean even more MML subroutines to add. I had actually wanted to move all the media textures to the Items collection, because the game always loads that. But the game doesn’t seem to like media textures being there. It doesn’t seem to recognise textures from anything that it doesn’t internally define as a texture set. I can probably remedy this with MML as well, again on a level-by-level basis, but it seems more trouble than it’s worth. I have, at least, moved a lot of the splash effects in physics models so that they refer to sequences in the Items set – not for every level, but for a lot of them. As a result, I don’t have to load an extra scenery collection for those levels to utilise multiple kinds of media.

IDK. I’ll think about it more. I really want to reorder all these collections so they’re in a more sensible order. The Chimera textures in the Lava collection are really the only ones that seem like they’re in a (mostly) sensible order, apart the opening parts of the M∞ Pfhor and Jjaro collections, which basically just repeat the M∞ versions of those collections, and the Earth collection, which features the Tempus Sewage set followed by most of the remaining Earth textures. I also want to reorder the Pfhor set after the Infinity textures, but remapping a collection to itself is a migraine I don’t want to think about right now.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Nov 11th '18, 23:10

Latest alpha. Get this one instead.

One of the biggest changes here is that I’m starting to work in HD shapes for a lot of the weapons and items and so forth. I haven’t yet gotten all of them. Part of the issue is that the XBLA shapes don’t have the same proportions as the original shapes. I don’t know why they were done this way, but there are .shPa patches included alongside the plugins that allow the HD shapes to show up with the correct proportions. Unfortunately, those don’t line up 1:1 with the image placement in Chronicles, and in any case, they’re blank images. I don’t have time to look into this further, so there are a bunch of .dds files included with the download right now that aren’t incorporated into the scenario.

Apart from that, I’ve added a few more textures to the Pfhor set. I’m currently at 208, which is more than I’d wanted, but I can’t decide which, if any, to remove.

I’ve also done a lot more work on “Men Like Ravenous Fishes” and “Room a Thousand Years Wide”, and I’ve made a few scripting changes. Landscapes work better now (the Rubicon textures that have a 360° wrap are handled on an individual basis), and weapons and ammo are (usually) labelled correctly in flashbacks.

My development process is probably going to slow to a halt the next few weeks, as I’ll be focusing on a major school project and then exams. I’ve got a hard deadline of December 7 for all of this, so after that point, I should be able to resume working on game projects more. However, I’m also likely to focus on Eternal for most of December, as we’re hoping to get that out by the end of the year. As a result, this may be the last big update for about seven weeks. This isn’t to say that I won’t do anything game-related over the next few weeks, nor is it to say that I won’t do anything Chronicles-related this year, but it does mean it won’t be a big priority.

As usual, should you have any suggestions, comments, bug reports, etc., please do let me know. I’ll still be on Discord at least some, too, but I probably won’t respond as rapidly as usual.

ETA: …once again, I messed up something in this upload. The latest version of Chronicles.mml is not included. I’ll re-upload everything later, as I need to head off for a few hours, but for the time being, just replace the file in the Scripts folder with the one I’m attaching here as a .zip file.

Fixed version.
Attachments
Chronicles.mml.zip
(11.91 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

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