Arrival

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.
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deram_scholzara
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About a year and a half ago, I randomly decided that I wanted to do a project where I would remake the first level of each Marathon game in Unity. I was calling it "Arrival".

The levels would be reconstructed with a high level of modern graphical detail. I was also planning to update the gameplay such that it still played pretty much like Marathon, but had new features which would server to represent how the game always "felt" in my head.

For example:
When facing a wall near a corner, replace left/right looking with peeking around corners (can't shoot and have a chance of being noticed).
Ability to "vid" all the way up and down, with 3D perspective.
Melee attacks with weapons, (same strength as fists).
"Assassination" melee attacks.
Physics damage (like if you blow up an alien trashcan, then it can fly into an enemy and deal damage).
Ability to reload without firing (still lose the ammo remaining in the current clip though).
3D map view.
More dynamic enemy AI that varies on a per-monster basis (like pfhor being able to dodge shots, or s'pht not just sitting in your face while you punch them).
New enemy AI tweaked to counterbalance updated player abilities.

and more...

Anyway, I'm not really working on the project anymore, since I need to work to support my wife while she gets her doctorate, but I may pick it up again if I ever get some free time. For now... here's a teaser screenshot of the beginning of the first level:
[attachment=5805:ArrivalScreenshot.png]
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patrick
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[attachment=5806:deimos_acadamy.jpg]
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goran
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It looks very good! If M1 looked like this I'd love it even more :)
deram_scholzara
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Patrick, fun modification, but... is that a vacuum?
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A prototype of a much larger system.
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thermoplyae
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a hoover, specifically
dude, seriously. dude.
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{we heard you like vacuum levels}
Last edited by patrick on Nov 3rd '12, 01:21, edited 1 time in total.
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ODST276
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One thing that always gets me is transferring the architecture of the ship into a modern game. The screenshot is very nice and very inspiring. Thanks for posting!
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You would NEVER guess what I've been working on...
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deram_scholzara
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ODST276 wrote:One thing that always gets me is transferring the architecture of the ship into a modern game. The screenshot is very nice and very inspiring. Thanks for posting!
Yeah, the main thought process I had on that was just to model all the textures as actual geometry, and then lay them out in the environment such that it matches the original texture choices. You can see in the screenshot that I needed a few extra pieces to fill gaps and stuff, but I tried to stay pretty true to the original M1.
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Crater Creator
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Well, with no plans to resume development and nothing published to try for ourselves, I guess all that's left to do is to critique the art.

To me the Marathon is a harsh, unyielding environment, full of cold metal and low-key lighting. Even though we can do nice soft light that bounces around corners that we couldn't do years ago, to my mind the sharp shadows are a defining characteristic of the ship's aesthetic. That's how games like Doom 3 (or even Deus Ex: Invisible War, which is where the officer and cleaner bot came from in the second image) remind me of Marathon.

This style is decided different. The walls look... soft and rounded. With the more saturated orange, it could even be considered childlike. But that's not to say it's 'wrong' or to be rejected. We've seen fan art skew in that direction before to good effect, such as with Arne's drawings, and Tycho's stubby version of the M.A.D.D.
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goran
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Crater Creator wrote:Well, with no plans to resume development and nothing published to try for ourselves, I guess all that's left to do is to critique the art.

To me the Marathon is a harsh, unyielding environment, full of cold metal and low-key lighting. Even though we can do nice soft light that bounces around corners that we couldn't do years ago, to my mind the sharp shadows are a defining characteristic of the ship's aesthetic. That's how games like Doom 3 (or even Deus Ex: Invisible War, which is where the officer and cleaner bot came from in the second image) remind me of Marathon.

This style is decided different. The walls look... soft and rounded. With the more saturated orange, it could even be considered childlike. But that's not to say it's 'wrong' or to be rejected. We've seen fan art skew in that direction before to good effect, such as with Arne's drawings, and Tycho's stubby version of the M.A.D.D.
Childlike? I would say industrial concept art. Maybe cartoonish. Childlike seems a bit harsh to me.
Last edited by goran on Nov 5th '12, 17:47, edited 1 time in total.
deram_scholzara
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goran wrote:Childlike? I would say industrial concept art. Maybe cartoonish. Childlike seems a bit harsh to me.
Nah, I definitely get what he's saying. There were several things I was planning on doing to fix some of that. To a degree, I wanted the edges to feel more rounded since most real-life forms do not make perfect angles - however, I think that the main cause of what I call the "reduced scale effect" is the heavy ambient occlusion I used for the lightmap settings in that shot. Ambient occlusion can make your images look more "real" but at the cost of making the viewer feel like the scene is smaller than it actually is - like a scale model (hence the childishness).

The lighting itself was also just placeholder lights - for lit areas of the level that didn't have an obvious light source, I wanted to add light fixtures of some sort to the scene... as opposed to the point light that's in there right now.
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deram_scholzara
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Since there seems to be some interest, here are a few more screenshots from the same intro area. You can see a few ares that haven't been fully built yet.
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Arrival03.png
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Arrival02.png
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Wrkncacnter
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What's with the really bright spot on the walls? Are you trying to recreate the DOUCHEMAPS plugin or something?
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ODST276
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Wrkncacnter wrote:Are you trying to recreate the DOUCHEMAPS plugin or something?
Oh, those were the best...

Deram Scholzara, the first one looks good except for the curve in the right wall. I don't know if that really belongs there. The textures also don't seem to fit in with every thing else. But nonetheless, it looks good. I do agree somewhat with crater creator that the Marathon has a more harsh (rusty?) feel to it, but I have always considered that most of the low key lighting of the Marathon is caused by Durandal's rampancy. For instance, when you start the Defend THIS! level, you are in a hallway that is light quite brightly, but as time progress you go into darker sections of the level, and then back into brighter sections at the end of the level. The next level, Couch Fishing some lights are working brightly while others are flickering and still others do not work at all. While in the belly of the ship, the contrast is high, the textures (lava set mostly) are very rusty, and the atmosphere is humid.

The third image which you are working on seemed as though it is missing something, but thinking about it, since you are so close to space in the Arrival level, it would seem to make since to have such an open (even though not traveled though) space that doesn't have too many objects occupying it.

Still, the images are really inspiring for me. I had no idea that the Marathon's architecture would look that good in a modern engine.
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W wrote:What's with the really bright spot on the walls? Are you trying to recreate the DOUCHEMAPS plugin or something?
I'm sure you noticed in the trilogy games, ceiling lights and other types of lights are not common throughout the levels. In a realistic 3D environment, the lighting sources sticking to walls would indicate where one would realistically put lamps and ceiling lights.
deram_scholzara
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W wrote:What's with the really bright spot on the walls? Are you trying to recreate the DOUCHEMAPS plugin or something?
As mentioned above, the lighting was, more so than other things, intended as a quick placeholder. The bright spots are just point lights blowing out since I hadn't converted the game from gamma space to linear space lighting yet - on top of just being set really bright in general.
ODST276 wrote:The third image which you are working on seemed as though it is missing something, but thinking about it, since you are so close to space in the Arrival level, it would seem to make since to have such an open (even though not traveled though) space that doesn't have too many objects occupying it.
Ignoring the fact that the room was empty in the original game, it is indeed missing many things - like the sides of the step up to the window, and the outer walls of the next room.
Last edited by deram_scholzara on Nov 6th '12, 13:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Ares Ex Machina
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These are great! I hope you're able to continue with this project some day.
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ukimalefu
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Those images look awesome.

STOP TEASING US!
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Destiny
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Yes! Finish this, then give us more to play! Those screenshots look too good to go to waste!
deram_scholzara
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Well, if any of you can think of a way to cover my income for a few months while I work on it, I'd be happy to get going again. For now though, I can only work on it when I have free time, which is rare unfortunately.
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Destiny
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Hmm... speaking of income, I really would like one. Sure, I got the chance to earn $120, but I blew it all on games, a book, a single-season TV show, and a new CD. I really should get a job at some point... =/

Anyways, your screenshots make me wonder what Marathon would look like if Bungie were to remake Marathon with a modern engine.

The third screenshot, the far left corner, is it just me, or is that space where the stairs are suppose to be...? O_o
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Wholy...
Maybe Marathon 3D maybe resurected afterall! But, Knowing our luck, the project'll die...AGAIN.
Nice maps though.
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Blackice
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I sure hope this one doesn't die.
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