WMaiD

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treellama
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Thrunsday. No trouble pronouncing.
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The Man
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So you wouldn’t pronounce the d? Strange. I know we don’t say the d in Wednesday either, but I assumed it wouldn’t be silent in this case because it’s obviously a pun on the net map Thrud. English is stupid.

Either way I suspect it’ll end up renamed, since there are several level names in the plot outline that are currently just being used for filler levels, so there’s a good chance we’ll end up transferring one of those.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.” —Frank Wilhoit

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treellama
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I pronounce the D in Thrunsday
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The Man
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I meant the first D of Thrudnesday [MTongue]

Anyway we haven’t posted a gameplay video in several months, so here’s a level we’ve been working on a lot lately, tentatively titled “Nebula” (almost certain to get a rename). Odds are this level will appear immediately after “The Haunted Beacon”, a formative version of which is seen above. This one was imported from an unfinished Rubicon expansion entitled Syndicate, and it was originally designed by CryoS. He and I have since redone a large part of the geometry; the new version looks similar to the old one, barring some of CryoS’ changes to the geometry during the development process, but I stripped out about 200 polygons while completely retexturing the level (though most of the new textures are based on the old ones), adding a number of flickering/flashing lights, and completely overhauling the ambient sounds. The current revision has 2,241 polygons, compared to the old one’s 2,466. (I’m amazed that it even ran.) The current version was still, to steal a great phrase from Greg Kirkpatrick, “a triumph of mind over computer”. I’m fairly sure if you added many more sound objects, the game would crash.

Since this is an in-development level, there are a few things that will need to change for the final revision. The fog is supposed to lift at the end of the level after you’ve destroyed the wires, but I haven’t written the Lua for that yet. The wires themselves also aren’t aligned correctly, so that will have to be fixed. There’s a few other minor fixes here and there as well; the Compilers don’t behave correctly at several points, and the drones attack the Bobs before the final battle, which I don’t believe was intended behaviour (although the Bobs may not make it to the final revision of the level anyhow). Overall, though, this level is very nearly ready to release.

I still think a 2020 release date is probably doable. We may work on a playable demo later this year/early next year.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.” —Frank Wilhoit

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CryoS
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The Man wrote:
(I’m amazed that it even ran.)
Id state that it running at all was a calculated feat of my mapmaking skills, testing boundries and limits but that'd be an obvious truth. It totally wasnt luck.
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We ate’nt dead.

There’s actually been a lot of progress on this in the past few weeks, and we’ve just updated our website with a whole bunch of new screenshots. You can find our main webpage here and our screenshots page here. We very well may continue uploading new screenshots, and I’ll probably upload a film of another level or two at some point as well (and may also redo some of the old ones).

We’re now planning for an “alpha” release later this year that will probably feature about 10-12 of our (mostly) finished levels, though we probably won’t include story spoilers for the ending. We’re working on redoing some of our textures, fixing various remaining glitches with maps, polishing up the story terminals, tweaking the level balance, and so on. It’s been nice to see how this is coming together, and hopefully others will enjoy it too!
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.” —Frank Wilhoit

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Two videos of previously unseen levels:

From the Badlands to a Ghost Town: A relatively short, mostly expository/exploration-based level. CryoS made the initial geometry, and then I had a second pass over it to prune out about 200 unnecessary polygons, freeing up room for the level to be expanded further. (We still have one floor left to construct, and there’s a few things that still need to be fixed.)

Overall, this level is pervaded by a sense of dread even before the actual threat arrives. Rather than describe that threat, I’ll allow the video to speak for itself. It’s not a particularly difficult level, but you can definitely die on it if you’re careless.

This video also provides a good overview of our ongoing overhaul of the “Ancient Jjaro” texture set, which has been one of the major problems preventing us from releasing an alpha – this set is an absolute mess (for starters, we have levels textured with two completely different versions of it that don’t work at all with each other), although thanks to CryoS’ hard work, it’s gradually turning into something more coherent. (I’ve been helping a bit, too, but none of my work is featured in this video.)

Ex somniís in pulverem (Latin for “From Dreams to Dust”, a truncated version of a lyric from Rush’s “Between the Wheels”, used in tribute to Neil Peart). I probably posted a few screenshots of this level from back when it was still called “Thrudnesday”. Drictelt designed it, and I retextured most of it, did the enemy/most of the weapon and item placement, added ambient sounds, and updated the textures themselves (more on which below).

It’s mostly finished now, though there are a few places with textures I still need to fix, a couple of places I need to populate with monsters, and I am probably going to “corrupt” the geometry a bit, since our current plans are to use this one as a dream level somewhat early in the game. I cleared it out using fists to challenge myself, because it’s not a very hard level if you use weaponry.

This video also shows off my revamp of the “UESG” set (which is mostly the Chimera set from Rubicon with a few modifications and additions, upscaled to 512x512 pixels from 256x256 with AI upscaling and some tweaks here and there). I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out… although I may have a second pass at it using Topaz Gigapixel AI, just because Shappie has gotten such impressive results with it.

(If you expand the description of each video, I’ve got more detailed commentary for each one there.)

Expect a few more videos of previously unseen levels to come soon; I’m currently rendering one. Keep an eye on my channel for timelier notifications of future updates on this and other projects I’m working on, if you’re so inclined.

I would say we may be on pace for an alpha release, featuring some 10 to 15 levels, in late 2020/early 2021, but it depends on whether we continue making progress the way we have been the last few weeks/months. This project moves forward unpredictably, in fits and starts – its progress largely depends on the schedules of the principal contributors. When two or more of us have time to work on it together, we seem to get a lot more work done on it than if one of us is simply left to work on it solo.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.” —Frank Wilhoit

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The Man
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Work on WMAiD continues apace. I can’t promise any release date yet, but I think an alpha in early 2021 is probably doable. Late 2020 might be a bit optimistic. The 10-15 levels count wound up underselling it, though; we’ve currently got a list of 17 levels that are close to a state we’d feel comfortable releasing, and a few more may end up making the cut by the time we have all the graphics ready.

A few recent-ish videos:

Grinding Station, Applejuice, Retirement. I decided to do three levels at once to give viewers an idea of what the game’s pace will be like. These three will appear near the end of the game; “Retirement” is in fact slated to be the final combat level in the game’s main story (an epilogue, which is also a dream level, will feature some light combat). The ending of “Applejuice” is likely to be revamped to overlap with the opening of “Retirement”; likewise, “Grinding Station” is liable to have a connection (in the northwest of the map) to another, as yet unseen level, “Basefree”.

“Grinding Station” was originally $lave’s creation. I retextured it (mostly; a few rooms were done by CryoS), added sounds, swapped out monsters that WMAiD doesn’t use, wrote a few cursory terminals, and added a couple of secrets. It’s mostly ready to release, though the connection to “Basefree” isn’t implemented yet. (Since “Basefree” isn’t finished, we may not add the connection until after the alpha is released – it remains to be seen whether $lave will have time to finish it before we get the alpha out. There’s also a remote chance RyokoTK has a backup of the original finished version of “Basefree” and somehow gets back to us, but he seems to have 4GOTTEN. Or perchance some Pfhorums archaeologist might uncover a backup. It would’ve been posted in 2012-2013 for the single-player mapmaking contest Ryoko ran.)

“Applejuice” was originally CryoS and Goran Svensson’s creation. Again, I retextured it, revamped the sounds, added currents to a lot of the water, and also pruned about 200 polygons to enable for future map expansion. Most of the combat is left intact, apart from the monsters that had to be swapped out, although I bumped up a few of the recharges because forcing a player to fight a WMAiD Juggernaut on 1x shields is downright cruel. It should be noted that this level was originally a lava level, which required some revamping because WMAiD does not use lava. I actually haven’t completely finished revamping the level; there’s one area where it’s easy to just skip ahead because you can just swim across. The idea to fix this is to raise the water level when the player raises the platforms across the water; if I just lowered the water level and kept it lower, there’s a few places where players might get trapped if they fell in.

“Retirement” was originally one of Shadowbreaker’s; it’s one of about twenty levels he sent us that were in varying stages of completion. My cryptic hint in June 2019 was a reference to him sending us these levels; owing to the massive amount of other projects we have going on, it’s taken this long for us to show any of them to the public, for which I apologise to him. Hopefully it’s worth it. This level is spectacular, and I could probably fool people by saying it was made specifically for our Ancient Jjaro set, but in truth it had completely different textures when he sent it to us, and I again retextured the whole level. It’s turned out to be one of my favourites in all of WMAiD. I would compare it to “Roquefortress” from Phoenix (which is my favourite level in any video game mod), not so much in terms of gameplay, but in terms of mood and atmosphere… which is why I’ve given it a remastered version of the same soundtrack. (CryoS is the composer – it would’ve felt inappropriate not to use any of his music anywhere in WMAiD, because it’s so good.) This level has already been updated quite a bit since I made this video; it had around 970 polygons, and it now has 1,202. I’ll post a new video sometime, but I’m not done tweaking it.

(Most of the level names so far are unlikely to be final names; “Retirement” is likely to stick, though it may become “Retirement (In átram)”, with “In átram” being Latin for “Into the Black”. Latin, in case you hadn’t noticed yet, is a big part of our game. Another level, earlier in the game, may become “The Master Awaits (Ex caerulá)”. If you’re not sure how that one should be translated, I’ll provide a cryptic hint: Ferrúgó numquam dormit.)

If you want to see these done separately, I have older videos of “Grinding Station” (with new textures), “Grinding Station” (with old textures), “Applejuice” (with original textures), and “Retirement” (with new textures). I don’t have a standalone film of “Applejuice” with the new textures yet, and Shadowbreaker specifically asked that we not share footage of his levels with their original textures.

Ex somniís in pulverem. This level also appears in my previous post, but that version didn’t have hypersleep’s spectacular remakes of the Rubicon textures in it. This version does. It’s infinitely better for that alone. I also YOLOed the opening, which resulted in a much more entertaining film.

…somnós inquiétós dormítóribus in illa terrá quiétá. The pretentious Latin title means “…unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth,” which, for those of you not up on your nineteenth-century British literature, are the final words of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I like the phrase and thought it would be funny to translate it to Latin and use it as a dream level title, so here it is.

This level is primarily composed of two of $lave’s old fragments for an unfinished project entitled Marathon White that I stitched together and turned into a full level. There were a couple segments that were drawn out as lines but not filled in as polygons, so I used my imagination to decide how they should look. These areas are primarily the bridge between the two levels and the final room. I also added all the items and monsters, retextured the whole level, did all the sounds, added some semblance of a mission, added a couple of secrets, and selected a level soundtrack (Carbonscape’s “IV – Without Ward”, which is a Creative Commons licensed piece that I’ve enjoyed for some ten years; I may need to do something I seldom do with music and raise the volume levels of it a bit, though). I’m pleased with it. It has not yet been retextured, so it will probably look quite different within a month.

Cause & Effect: Formerly known as “Nebula”. CryoS is the primary architect of this one; it came out of an abandoned Rubicon expansion entitled Syndicate, which is why a lot of the textures are recoloured versions of Rubicon textures. I pruned about 200-300 polygons, retextured the whole thing, made a lot of the purple textures you see here, upsampled most of the textures to 512x512, added the flashing lights, redid the ambient sounds, wrote a Lua script to lift the fog after you complete the mission, redid the combat to be acceptable for this point in the WMAiD story, and selected the level soundtrack (“I – Camphor”, from the same Carbonscape album as above).

This is another of my favourite levels in WMAiD. What’s interesting is that when you compare it to the Syndicate version (here’s a video so you can compare), it feels like a completely different level, even though most of the textures have the same form and very little of the structure has been changed. Viewers have commented that this version feels very Covenant (as most of our Nebulon levels do) in a way the Syndicate version did not. However, viewers have also commented that it feels unique and not derivative. My hypothesis is that since it was made without the Covenant in mind as a direct inspiration, it doesn’t really feel derivative of Halo; it just feels like a case of parallel evolution.

Apologies for the occasional glitches in the rendering of this (and the earlier “From the Badlands to a Ghost Town” video). I didn’t know the cause of this at the time (alt-tabbing away from and then back to the game window while it was rendering videos), but now that I do, it won’t happen again.

If you’re not subscribed to my channel and want timelier updates on WMAiD, I suggest doing so; I post new videos to my channel much more often than I post updates here, and not all my WMAiD videos get linked here.

Lastly, for laughs, I rendered a couple of prototype versions of WMAiD levels that still ran as vanilla Infinity maps using W’rkncacnter’s BRUTAL MARATHON and The Flappyboi Incident scripts. Here are the results:

BRUTAL MARATHON: Grinding Station, Applejuice
The Flappyboi Incident: Grinding Station, (Fl)applejuice
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.” —Frank Wilhoit

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Drictelt
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treellama wrote: Oct 1st '19, 12:58 Thrunsday. No trouble pronouncing.
Correct.
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The Man
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Neat to see you around, Drictelt! In case you're still paying attention, do you have any thoughts on the direction we've taken your level? Here's the latest revision.

A few other new levels:

Where the Shadows Lie and Retirement, both primarily created by Shadowbreaker (I’d already linked an older video of Retirement in this thread, but I’ve expanded it quite a bit since then)
Memento More, primarily created by $lave/khfiva
Needle Skip, primarily created by hypersleep
…sed contrá audentior ító, primarily created by CryoS

Plus, another update of You Can’t Go Home Again with hypersleep’s new textures.

Progress report!
Spoiler:
Fábámur thematis fati: Has a crash in software mode. Probably just needs some polygons pruned. Otherwise it probably doesn't need any changes at all - legitimately one of the best levels I've ever played in fact
The Master Awaits: Filler exposition level. Could stand to be touched up quite a bit. S'pht compiler not acting as intended - need to figure out why. Apart from fixing that, will probably be released as-is for alpha, though - final release will be touched up further
The Haunted Beacon: i think there were a few untextured sides somewhere maybe. Otherwise probably done
Cause & Effect: Basically a finished level, but CryoS is in the process of remaking it anyway. This version will be released in the alpha though, probably with no changes
Through Channels: Brief exposition level. Probably not going to be changed much, if at all, for the alpha.
From the Badlands to a Ghost Town: Can be expanded slightly, and we're going to try re-lighting it to make it darker. Also there's a Juggernaut what doesn't activate for some reason??? Otherwise basically done.
Aaron: Future Ancients: Needs to be retextured. May also be expanded a bit, though probably not very much. Meant to be a shorter level.
Memento More: khfiva can say for sure, but I'd estimate it to be about 90% done. We need to redo the monster placement a bit, and the last couple aspects of the mission still haven't been implemented.
Laws of Time and Chaos/The Waltz We Were Born For: Were complete messes and are being completely remade and split into several segments. One of those segments is approximately 95% done, another is approximately 50% done, and no others have been made yet
Needle Skip: Again, hypersleep can say for sure, but I think it's about 95% done. I actually can't think of anything that needs to be done, but he probably has some polish in mind
The Savage Veil: Probably isn't even 40% done. I have no idea what will be done with this level; honestly, it may just be completely scrapped and redesigned from scratch.
Broken Records: Same deal as Savage Veil, except even less of it is probably built, but I don't know what the plan was for this level honestly
Somnus ratiónis: Probably about 60% done. It's already pretty playable and looks decent (especially with the new texture set), but it needs some more details to really shine. It may also benefit from some expansion.
The Air Out There: Probably upwards of 95% done. Maybe completely finished, honestly. Just need to debug a few potential edge cases.
You Can't Go Home Again: Probably finished.
Whom the Fates Destroy: Brief exposition level. Probably not going to change much for the alpha.
Repercussús vócum, The Breach: Both of these are really brief and may or may not be changed substantially for the final release. I don't actually even know what was planned for these, if anything. They look kind of cool but they each take fewer than two minutes to play through.
Memoriae ígneae: Still hasn't even been built yet. We have a foundation from which we may adapt this, but that in itself is only about half finished.
Deja-Vu: Probably about 50% done, if we don't just restart this one. Since the Rozinante's core has been redesigned, it may make sense to redo this one entirely, but it involves an alternate timeline, so that might not matter.
Fear No Doubt: Brief fragment, will probably be rebuilt from scratch.
Aaron: …somnós inquiétos dormítóribus in illa terrá quiétá: Basically done, I think?
Grinding Station: Probably done apart from a physical connection to another level. I may also add a couple more secrets
Basefree: About 60% done, I think. There is a very remote chance that Ryoko still has a version of this level that is closer to being finished, assuming he still has backups of something khfiva may have sent him in 2011 or something. He would need to un-4GET for that to happen, though, and it would still need to be retextured and re-integrated with this version. Otherwise the ending of this level will just have to be rebuilt.
Applejuice: Upwards of 90% done. There are a few flow things that need to be fixed. This will also probably be connected to Where the Shadows Lie and possibly to Basefree as well.
Where the Shadows Lie: There are a couple of annoying elevators that I need to overhaul. Otherwise this is done apart from connecting it to Retirement.
Retirement: Upwards of 90% done. I still plan to experiment with the combat and see if a different arrangement works better. I may also expand the mission a little bit more. Otherwise basically done.
(We may add more missions here)
Where the Ashes Fall: Brief exposition level. Needs a chip put in somewhere. Otherwise it's probably finished.
…jactá fatum tuum ad astra: Final level of the game. Apart from overhauling the final battle and possibly hiding a secret credits terminal somewhere, this is completely finished.
There are also about another dozen to two dozen complete, high-quality levels… for other games, so they need to be adapted to work for WMAiD. Then we have about forty levels that are either high-quality fragments or complete levels that still need some polish. And there are some other levels for WMAiD that haven’t been worked into the continuity yet (…sed contra audentior ító…, for example).

We’re making extremely solid progress towards an alpha release. We won’t be announcing a release date, but it’s probably within the next few months (assuming we don’t end up adding another dozen levels to the alpha).
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” —V, V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)

“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”

“If others had not been foolish, we should be so.” —William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.” —Frank Wilhoit

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thedoctor45
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We‘ve decided to give the WMaiD homepage another quick update with some screenshots of the new maps we've been working on.

http://bighouse.bungie.org/wmaid/screenshots.html

Overall progress is very steady atm, so rest assured that an Alpha of the game will be released sometime later this year.
Right now we got some incredibly talented people on the team who are working very hard to make WMaiD one of the best, most immersive Marathon experiences available to date.

Stay tuned fo more updates.

PS: We've been discussing the option of publishing a separate release of WMaiD for people who prefer playing the game in classic (software) mode - without additional fancy graphic effects and features - would there be any interest among hardcore/purist gamers in the community for such a release?


take care
doc
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