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Re: WMaiD

Posted: Oct 1st '19, 12:58
by treellama
Thrunsday. No trouble pronouncing.

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Oct 1st '19, 13:14
by The Man
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.

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Oct 1st '19, 21:02
by treellama
I pronounce the D in Thrunsday

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Oct 23rd '19, 19:21
by The Man
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.

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Oct 29th '19, 21:25
by CryoS
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.

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Jul 22nd '20, 00:12
by The Man
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!

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Sep 3rd '20, 21:46
by The Man
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.

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Oct 31st '20, 13:16
by The Man
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

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Nov 3rd '20, 08:40
by Wrkncacnter

Re: WMaiD

Posted: Nov 20th '20, 13:23
by Drictelt
treellama wrote: Oct 1st '19, 12:58 Thrunsday. No trouble pronouncing.