Descent 1 1/2

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Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Fri May 21, 2010 12:12 pm

Ok guys, seeing as the project is slowly picking up momentum, I'm going to put the concept and guidelines forth again in this post so that everything is nice and clear.

The project is a mission pack, but at the same time, a slight mod. I'll give you an overview, then describe technical aspects and finally the design policy.

Overview

So basically, with this level pack we're aiming to create an adventure spanning all three games, Descent 1, Counterstrike and Vertigo. However, with one little twist: a slightly bigger emphasis on the D1 content that was cut from the D2 game. So, the mission will have briefings similar to Descent 1 (so a tad less extensive and closer to D1's than in other fan projects) and the portion taking place in the Solar System will make use exclusively of Descent 1 textures and mechanics and contain only weaponry introduced in Descent 1 (there is so far one exception, but it's justifiable). Also, I would like the Descent 1 feel not to get entirely lost once the Solar System levels have been cleared - it would be nice if every third mission or so taking place afterwards had slight D1 touches to it, such as perhaps the D1 doorlights or the D1 hostage cell wall texture, or simply some random D1-exclusive texture that didn't make it to the Descent 2.PIG files. Other than that, it is encouraged to also make occasional use of D1-introduced textures which are also readily present in D2's PIG files, yet weren't used in Counterstrike. D2 Vertigo was clearly an attempt by Parallax to remedy that and give their older textures some much-needed justice.

Technicalities

A. Since the Solar System's portion of the mission is supposed to be as faithful to Descent 1 as possible in terms of gameplay, I have slightly altered the weapon balance - more particularly, restored the nerfs to the D1 primary weapons which were done in D2 in an apparent effort to balance the weapons with the new ones. So:

- The laser cannon's damage was restored to 10, 11, 12, 13 per bolt, like it was in Descent 1. That means a full Quad Laser 4 blast will do 52 damage like it did in Descent, rather than 45 like it does in Descent 2. This also means a further strengthening of the Super Laser, which will start appearing only after the Solar System levels. It will now do 14 and 15 damage per bolt on level 5 and 6, respectively (while it does only 12 and 12,5 (12 on insane) in regular Descent 2) and has had its projectile speed increased by the same increments of 5 as in the case of the regular Laser. So the projectile speed of the Super Laser bolts will now be 140/145, rather than an unimproved 135/135.

- The Spreadfire cannon's usefulness has been greatly improved, mirroring the original game - with damage increased from 9 to 10 and projectile speed increased from 130 to 200. (Not entirely sure if the damage had been nerfed in D2, but the projectile speed certainly was).

- The Fusion Cannon has had its power restored from 30 to 60, like in the first game. The Fusion will appear very late in the game because of its renewed usefulness and is likely the most powerful weapon again.

B. Other than that, I have slightly altered the bosses in the new .HAM file the game will make use of, giving them improved strength and surprising capabilities to keep things interesting. These changes won't be covered here to avoid spoiling the fun for players.

C. The "Unofficial Unauthorized D2 Sound Patch" I made recently will be integrated into the files for this mission by default. It restores all the sounds for the D1 doors and robots and most sounds for the D1 bosses except one due to technical impossibility (actually the lack of that particular sound shouldn't even be noticeable), in order to make for a most complete and fulfilling D1 experience.

D. An entirely new .PIG palette file was made by Pumo, one which is based on the palette from D1, yet designed for use in D2 levels. When applied to the Solar System portion of levels, it will make them completely visually indistinguishable from as if they were played in actual D1. This resource, like the sound patch, has the added benefit of helping other designers and players as well.

Design policy

Keep in mind that this is not "Descent the way Parallax did" in the strictest sense of the word. We aim to restore the nostalgia and feeling of the original mission, but we don't need to impose any stringent restrictions on ourselves to that end.

A. Layout and Textures

Overall: Try to make the levels naturalistic rather than concept-based, just like it was done in D1, D2 and Vertigo. There were of course several maps based on a concept or possessing a considerable degree of axial symmetry, so we can have several maps like that. Just don't overdo it. I'm especially cautioning you against maps such as "Pinwheel" of "The Enemy Within" - it's the epitome of "concept based" and while a very good map in its own right, this is the opposite of what we're aiming for here.

Also, we should keep the most basic, rudimentary level design conventions that Parallax practically never broke: one kind of door per level (not counting the entry and exit hatches or grated doors), default cube door size, appropriate door textures for hostage prisons etc. Stuff like a several-times-larger-than-usual hatch door in "The Sunspire" of "The Enemy Within" is too wild and risque, so it's a no-no. We're keeping conservative on that kind of stuff with this one :P

Since all the door sounds are restored, you are encouraged to use the D1 doors after the Solar System too, in addition to the newer doors. The Solar System levels should keep with only the D1 doors, though.

As for the D1-exclusive textures - by this I mean those which were present in Descent.PIG but didn't make it to the D2 PIGs for some reason. I have exported all those textures and created variants suitable for use even with palettes with different "transparent" colors - they can be downloaded here.

I have also created a set of .POG files, one for each of the six palettes (plus a seventh one for Pumo's D1 palette!), in which I have reintroduced some of the most important D1-exclusive textures, most notably the monitors.The package containing all seven files can be downloaded here. You can obviously also further modify the base .POG by adding more D1-exclusives or removing the existing ones as you deem fit, but starting with a template like the ones provided will greatly reduce your work if going for a level heavy on D1 flavors.

The texures I'm especially interested in seeing more are: the classic D1 doorlight, the hostage prison walls (4 kinds), the white lab wall doodads, the two green brick walls (lighter and darker) along with the green brick wall hidden door, the light gray smooth wall that was used a lot in the Moon levels of First Strike, the cobblestone floor etc etc. As you will notice, there is plenty of textures that didn't make their way out of D1 which could either seriously affect a level's feel in favor of D1 or simply complement the level's theme well.

The Solar System: Textures which first appeared in D1 only (that includes exclusives, but obviously not only them). Also, no level mechanics introduced in D2 such as opening walls, switches etc. You don't need to restrict yourself with the geometry to match the comparative sloppiness of the Parallax levels, though. It can be cleaner, smarter and more elaborate if you have an idea how to do it. However, if you feel that you're unable to achieve the D1 feel with just textures and feel that cruder and sloppier geometry will do the job better, go ahead.

Counterstrike: If you played Counterstrike, you pretty much have an idea. Don't stray too far from the formula as far as the geometry is concerned, but you can also go wild as long as the level fits strictly into the theme. As for textures - while there shouldn't be theme-mixing (that is reserved for Vertigo), you are encouraged to use a little bit more of D1 textures which weren't used by Parallax, as long as they fit the theme. For example, the Brimspark levels of Counterstrike didn't really use a lot of the plain, red wall texture of D1's Mars levels. It fits perfectly, though, so you go ahead and use it in addition to the regular roster. Throw in some D1-exclusives too, every now and then.

Vertigo: Free for all like the actual Vertigo, you're the least limited here. Just keep the most basic conventions outlined above. You are obviously also encouraged to throw in D1-exclusive textures once in a while.

B. Stuff Inside the Mine

You don't need to worry about putting in any robots or weaponry into your levels, just make a working layout. This will be taken care of once all the levels are completed, by me and hopefully with the help and insight from the most seasoned mappers such as Darkflamewolf or Sirius. Here's what guidelines we'll be following, though:

Weaponry and Accessories:

Weapons will be introduced gradually. Initially, as long as we can make it work, the break points will be the bosses - in the Solar System there are three bosses and we can easily make it so that more new weapons are introduced after each one. This will, naturally, be less feasible and more pointless later into the mission when less weapons are left. The strongest weapons should be introduced by the Vertigo portion, so 2/3 into the set (sparsely at first, obviously). There shouldn't be any afterburners nor converters in The Solar System portion of the mission, though headlights and full maps are fine. Until the last boss of the Solar System, the player will also be stuck with Quad 4 Lasers, Vulcan, Spread and Plasma for primaries and Concussion, Homing, Proxbomb and Smart for secondaries. After that, in the first Counterstrike missions, we'll start introducing flash, guided and mercury missiles as well as - carefully - the now mighty super laser cannon. Megas will soon follow, as will smart mines. We will take our time with introducing Gauss, Helix, Phoenix and Omega, but they will be introduced according to their strength and usefulness, so I think you can expect Phoenix and Omega before Gauss and Helix. The mightiest weapons, the Fusion and Earthshakers, will be held off until the Vertigo levels.

Robots:

All robots from First Strike, Counterstrike and Vertigo will be used, hopefully in ways that complement each other, and with an around equal distribution. Contrary to restrictions in other categories, The Solar System will also make use of Counterstrike and Vertigo robots. We'll try to go for a lack of noticeable population advantage for any single game's roster of robots - obviously, there will be a bit less Vertigo robots, but there's a smaller number of them to choose from, so that's only natural, as trying to keep them perfectly equal in number to bots from D1 and D2 would stifle robot diversity.

We will create threat categories made up of individual robots and robot combinations - overall as well as in certain circumstances - for example a Fusion Hulk or Super Hulk at the end of a long corridor is harmless, but one springing on you from a trap point-blank is nothing short of lethal - still the threat rating of both these robots is very high overall. We will move within those threat categories when populating a level.

The difficulty of the mission will be increasing smoothly and steadily, with several nasty difficulty spikes (as well as "breathers") throughout, like in D1. The only exception to the "threat category" rule will be that robots which drop weapons upon death will obviously have to be pushed back until after the weapon is regularly available in the levels - so for example the Bulk Destroyer, who carries Gauss, will have to be introduced quite late in the game, likewise the Ice Spindle who carries Helix. On the other hand, for example the Fox bot, who drops Spreadfire, is easily eligible for use within the Solar System, as the weapon it carries doesn't violate any introduction timing.

Also, we will try to bring more D1-like threat moments to the mission, which D2 and Vertigo lacked considerably. While D2 was difficult, it was in most cases "death of a thousand cuts". Also, robots from D2 had more propensity to wander around, so it was hard to remember really dangerous places in the mine. D1, on the other hand, had cut-out-and-dried places which you knew you had to avoid and approaching them made your pulse pound. We'll try to recreate that memorability, that feel of "Oh HELL no, it's THAT death trap of a room again!" a bit more than Descent 2 did.

That is all, Material Defender. Prepare for Descent!

Current level listing for the mission. 18 levels + 2 secret ones for each game.
Secondary mappers are not credited in this list - levels by multiple people are only marked as such if their input is a comparable part of the whole.

Chapter I: The Solar System

01: Solar System 1: Lunar Titanium Mine Xfing: Ready for Beta Testing
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Opening
02: Solar System 2: Venus SO2 Mine Xfing: Ready for Beta Testing
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 3
03: Solar System 3: Mercury Construction Hub Xfing: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 6
04: Solar System 4: Mars Covert Operations Phozon: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 10
05: Solar System 5: Ceres Military Perimeter (Boss: Red Fatty) Xfing/Naphtha: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 18
06: Solar System 6: Ganymede Outpost Taken by Naphtha
07: Solar System 7: Enceladus H2O Mine
08: Solar System 8: Umbriel Tholin Research Taken by Kaizerwolf
09: Solar System 9: Proteus Cyanide Mine
10: Solar System 10: Charon Orbital Research Taken by Alter-Fox
11: Solar System 11: Orcus Ammonia Mine
12: Solar System 12: Quaoar Alkane Mine
13: Solar System 13: Varuna Military Base LightWolf: Layout Completed (Boss: Quartzon)
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 2
14: Solar System 14: Ixion Centralization homeyduh: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 7
15: Solar System 15: Haumea Collisional Research Lab homeyduh: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 1
16: Solar System 16: Makemake Mining Shaft Xfing: Layout Completed
17: Solar System 17: Eris Military Base Xfing: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 12
18: Solar System 18: Sedna Lost Station (Boss: Baloris Prime) Xfing: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 11

Secret Level 1: Asteroid Weapons Research Taken by Naphtha
Secret Level 2: Kuiper Belt Espionage Facility

Chapter 2: The Six Extrasolar Systems

19: Zeta Aquilae 1: Circularis Naphtha: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 4
20: Zeta Aquilae 2: Coolyard Station Lightwolf: Layout Completed
21: Quartzon 1: Quartzon Aqua Distillata Factory
22: Zeta Aquilae 3: Military Hub
23: Quartzon 2: Falls Of Truth Naphtha: Layout Completed (Boss: Vertigo 1)
24: Brimspark 1: The Grandcrisp Oven Naphtha: Layout Completed
25: Quartzon 3: Planetary Life Research Alter-Fox: Layout Completed
26: Brimspark 2: The Cauldron Xfing: Layout Completed
27: Limefrost Spiral 1: Glacierspire Taken by Sirius
28: Brimspark 3: Metamorphic Rock Excavation (Boss: Brimspark)
29: Limefrost Spiral 2: Salt Distillation Facility Kaizerwolf: Layout Completed
30: Baloris Prime 1: Ktsch'k W'eng II AlterFox: Layout Completed
31: Puuma Sphere 1: Wing N'drsaedt Lightwolf: Layout Completed
32: Puuma Sphere 2: S'tlo Sigma (Boss: D1 Boss 1)
33: Baloris Prime 2: Ku'thaaz G'herb-ilk Station Xfing: Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 2 Level 1
34: Baloris Prime 3: L'aeev Installation AlterFox: Layout Completed
35: Puuma Sphere 3: R'eeie AlterFox: Layout Completed
36: Limefrost Spiral 3: Frosted Minerals Abyss (Boss: Limefrost) Alter-Fox: Layout Completed

Secret Level 3: Quartzon Planetary Vault Taken by Naphtha
Secret Level 4: Fata Morgana Tunnels

Chapter 3: Beta Ceti

37: Beta Ceti 1: Zandura II Lightwolf: Layout Completed
38: Beta Ceti 2: Virus Research Lab 665 Kaizerwolf: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 2
39: Beta Ceti 3: ??? (Boss: Tycho Brahe)
40: Beta Ceti 4: PTMC Remote Tracking Station
41: Beta Ceti 5: Sheltem Mech Factory Kaizerwolf: Layout Completed
42: Beta Ceti 6: ???
43: Beta Ceti 7: ???
44: Beta Ceti 8: Dacol Futyl Tunnels Lightwolf: Layout Completed
45: Beta Ceti 9: ???
46: Beta Ceti 10: Nyiea'kaa Pride AlterFox: Layout Completed
47: Beta Ceti 11: N'Tala Shadowy Corridors (Boss: D1 Boss 2) Xfing: Layout Completed
MIDI Song: Descent 2 Briefing
48: Beta Ceti 12: Reactor Ohm Kaizerwolf: Layout Completed
49: Beta Ceti 13: Dynamo Station Lightwolf: Layout Completed
50: Beta Ceti 14: ???
51: Beta Ceti 15: ???
52: Beta Ceti 16: Vertigo Engine AlterFox: Layout Completed
53: Beta Ceti 17: Beta Ceti Military Base
MIDI Song: Descent 2 Opening
54: Beta Ceti 18: Doomsday Warstation (Boss: Vertigo 2) Suggested theme: Monocolor Gray + Metal
MIDI Song: Descent 1 Level 22

Secret Level 5: Litter Jungle AlterFox: Layout Completed
Secret Level 6: Dementia

The Beta Ceti levels have their names intentionally left blank. As the most adventurous levels and being "everything goes" in terms of theme and design, I feel that maybe in these cases it would be best to let the designer come up with their own name for the level. Unorthodox names and ones containing references to pop culture will be appreciated.
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Post by Sirius » Fri May 21, 2010 8:41 pm

You can adjust for fusion damage in legacy D2/D2 Rebirth by modifying descent2.hog, but that's the only way (can't be done inside the level itself). Restoring the original D1 boss AI is not possible without source code modifications. D2X-XL probably already has it, but I'm not sure it's within the scope of the D2X-Rebirth project.
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Post by Stroodles » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:31 pm

I see you have a new thread, so I'll move my post.

A Few Words:

There was a never any technical issue at all, other than some Decent 1 weapons having slightly different strengths. Years and years ago when I edited a few poor-quality levels for personal use, most of my projects were Descent 1 Levels. But, my D1 pig file wasn't working at that time, so I designed them all in Descent 2. There was a never a hiccup in using both types of robots.

I would love to contribute to such a project. It's been almost a year since I released Descend Again, and I'm feeling the need to edit some more. I'm leaving in a week or so for a month, so I won't be able to be contacted then, but for the rest of the summer (mid july - august) I'm not doing anything, so i'd love to help build something.

As a final word, I really appreciate the shoutout to my set in the \"like Descent 1\" sentence. Many of the levels in my sets were tributes to the orginal Descent levels (4 to 6, 9 to 11), and it gives me a fuzzy feeling to be recognized. :)

Good luck on the project, if you need anything, don't hesitate to post.

---------------------------------------------------------

For the bosses, you can always just put them in small but creative rooms, like the final boss room in DFW's \"Vingettes\" (featured a small room with an outer circle, with half the walls filled in so you could dart out and attack, then hide). You could also meddle with it's attacks to make the volleys stronger\\faster\\more missles\\whatever.

Fusion....that's just the saddening fact of life I believe, unless you're running D2X-XL (Although, if it's possible to edit in the main game file, you could include an explanation for that in the readme- get a coder to write that section for you. I don't expect any serious outcry if you un-nerf fusion for the game as a whole.)
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Post by Alter-Fox » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:42 pm

Sirius wrote:The only reason for the robots not being combined that I could think of is that the creators wanted an entirely new ensemble for Descent 2. There aren't any valid technical reasons not to do so.


Well, two of the D1 robots were used in D2 Counterstrike... the Supervisor bots in the Quartzon levels, and Cloaked Lifters in level 16 (a matcen sometimes makes them).

I have two standard D2 levels sitting around... of a pretty good quality I think. One of them is Limefrost Spiral-ish (although it uses the GroupA PIG file), and the other is alien, like the Omega System. (And trust me, it looks alien... the reactor is inside a giant blue floating rock.)

The only hiccup there is I've also composed music for each of the levels (and not midi music... ogg music for D2X-XL playlist and Rebirth Jukebox). If these maps were to be included, the music would have to go in too.

I'm also in the middle of a Desert themed level... based around draining lava pits... I've made music for this one too.

I can send you the two levels I have finished, if you like (some textures still need aligning, but apart from that the ice and alien themed levels are finished).
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Post by Xfing » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:38 am

Thank you so much for your interest, guys. I'm eager to see your input. Sadly, I'll probably be working through July/August, so I won't be able to push the project forward during these months, but when I return I should have more time to devote to the project. I have already started working on a Baloris Prime level enriched with D1 \"Mercurian\" textures (I feel these two sets intermingle very well).

As for music for the levels, I'll probably also compose some, but it'll be more ambient/industrial like the music from Descent 1 rather than melodic like the music from TEW or the Vignettes. Any music composed by you will be included without question, though (unless it's reaaally bad, but I don't think it'll be).

As for the levels, I've already started thinking about their names, probably it will give me and you some insight as to how they should look and feel in general.

01: Solar System 1: Lunar Titanium Mine
02: Solar System 2: Lunar Placioglase Research
03: Solar System 3: Venus SO2 Mine
04: Solar System 4: Venus Gravitational Lab
05: Solar System 5: Mercury Construction Hub
06: Solar System 6: Mars Hydro-Research Facility
07: Solar System 7: Mars Covert Operations
08: Solar System 8: Phobos Military Perimeter
Secret Level 1: Asteroid Weapons Research
09: Solar System 9: Ganymede Outpost
10: Solar System 10: Europa Hydrogen Processing
11: Solar System 11: Themisto Observatory
12: Solar System 12: Prometheus Mine
13: Solar System 13: Umbriel Tholin Research
14: Solar System 14: Thalassa Excavation
15: Solar System 15: Eris Lost Station
Secret Level 2: Asteroid Superweapon Facility
16: Zeta Aquilae 1: Circularis
17: Zeta Aquilae 2: Coolyard Station
18: Quartzon 1: Quartzon Aqua Distillata Factory
19: Zeta Aquilae 3: Military Hub
20: Quartzon 2: Falls Of Truth
21: Brimspark 1: The Grandcrisp Oven
22: Quartzon 3: Planetary Life Research
Secret Level 3: Quartzon Planetary Vault
23: Brimspark 2: The Cauldron
24: Limefrost Spiral 1: Glacierspire
25: Limefrost Spiral 2: Salt Distillation Facility
26: Brimspark 3: Metamorphic Rock Excavation
27: Limefrost Spiral 3: Frosted Minerals Abyss
28: Baloris Prime 1: Ktsch'k W'eng II
29: Baloris Prime 2: Ku'thaaz Gher-bil'k Station
Secret Level 4: Fata Morgana Tunnels
30: Baloris Prime 3: L'aeev Installation
31: Puuma Sphere 1: Wing N'drsaedt
32: Puuma Sphere 2: S'tlo Sigma
33: Puuma Sphere 3: Revd're Nofb'nada
34: Puuma Sphere 4: Sloht'lloapsie Perimeter
35: Zeta Aquilae 4: Old Chromium Mine
36: Quartzon 4: Deserted Oxygen Lab
37: Brimspark 4: Abandoned Smelting Facility
38: Limefrost Spiral 4: Disused Dry Ice Factory
39: Baloris Prime 4: Velvino B'mocileew
(also contains the teleporter to level S4)
40: Puuma Sphere 5: R'eeie
(also contains the teleporter to level S5)
41: Beta Ceti 1: Zandura II
42: Beta Ceti 2: N'tala Shadowy Corridors
43: Beta Ceti 3: PTMC Remote Tracking Station
44: Beta Ceti 4: Sheltem Mech Factory
Secret Level 5: Katatonia
45: Beta Ceti 5: Doomsday Warstation

If any level names are unclear, I'll be happy to explain them.
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Post by Stroodles » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:38 am

As a quick note, would you be able to post a list of all the current developers for a project, and possibly what levels they are currently building? I think it would be very useful to know who is doing what.

I'll start on 13, it may get placed elsewhere depending on what your opinion of the weapon\\robot layout makes it stand. I'll toss in a couple puzzles too :wink:
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Post by Alter-Fox » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:07 am

One other quick note: I spent a long time thinking of names for these two maps (Litter Jungle and Vertigo Fortress), and I'd appreciate if they weren't changed.

This looks very similar to a level set idea I've been thinking of recently... so I'd like to contribute as much as possible. Granted, the story for the idea I had was entirely an excuse to give the levels \"colours\" like ski runs.
I've also wanted to make a level called \"The Cauldron\" for a long time.

I'll PM you with my music, the levels, and another idea I have for the soundtrack.
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Post by Xfing » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:15 pm

Alter-Fox, I have no doubt your contributions will be awesome and all, but keep in mind that the idea behind the set is an emulation of D1/D2 levels more or less the way they were in the original games - the \"D1\" levels should resemble the levels from First Strike, and the D2 levels should resemble the ones from Counterstrike. As awesome as the idea with an alien rock in place of a reactor sounds, I'd rather that it were replaced with a regular reactor.

We'll see about the names. If they're so important for you, maybe we'll fit the levels somehow and replace some of the shittier names I came up with, I don't see any problem with that. Just remember to adjust the robot and supplies placement to relate to the difficulty of the level and its place in the storyline.

Some levels like level 12 and 26 from First Strike would be really appreciated. Myself I'm working on the Ku'thaaz G'herb-ilk station for Baloris Prime right now. It'll take some time to complete obviously, as will the entire project. We won't rush, once it's done it's done.

As for the boss robots, I came up with a good idea to solve the problem of their damaged IQ. A skilled robot designer (Pumo, anyone? :D) could simply create the two boss robots from D1 again, allowing their IQ to function properly in D2.

I'll handle the text of all briefings, but to be perfectly honest, I have no idea how to create briefings per se. We'll use the low-res briefing screens from Descent 1 and Descent Maximum (the ones that show the planets) to emulate the vintage feel of Descent played old-school style. The D1 briefing music would also be appreciated (maybe later replaced by the original D2 briefing music).
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Post by Stroodles » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:36 pm

I have a midi file for the Brief.ed for Descent 1, as well a midi for the Descent 2 intro music (as well all the levels of course). If you want, I'll try to hunt for the link, or I can just zip them all and attach it to the mission I posted up for the project.
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Post by Alter-Fox » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:39 pm

You misunderstand... the reactor is in a room inside the blue rock... but it's still a reactor. There's a puzzle to get inside.

I have 5 songs ready right now... should I PM them to you or just post them here?
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Re:

Post by Xfing » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:52 pm

Stroodles wrote:I have a midi file for the Brief.ed for Descent 1, as well a midi for the Descent 2 intro music (as well all the levels of course). If you want, I'll try to hunt for the link, or I can just zip them all and attach it to the mission I posted up for the project.


Great, that would be awesome. I have no idea how to actually include it, but I'll ask some veterans for pointers. It's the first project that I'm coordinating and the first levels I'm creating, so everything's really new to me. I need the help of you all. BTW, I played your level, Stroodles, I included my insight in a PM response. Yes, I've accepted it. People, we do already have level 13!

Just some reminders for contributors:
- The solar system levels are not supposed to contain any Descent 2 ordnance, be it guns or missiles/smartbombs. Small amounts of these (only missiles, no cannons!) are only to be included in secret levels of the Solar System, guarded by intricate puzzles. The same rule pertains to afterburners, ammo racks and energy=>shield converters. This restriction is placed in order to preserve the D1 gameplay feel through the supposedly D1 levels of the Solar System.
- Please keep the D1 levels as "gray" and "industrial" as possible, levels 12 or 26 of original Descent are good pointers. Use many of the more popular Descent 1 textures, like the gray cobblestones prolific in D1 lvl 3, the standard gray wall like the one that constitutes most of the walls in Level 1, the reddish/brownish walls popular in level 13 and the blue textures popular in the Neptunian levels or level 4. Use the white "lab-like" walls a bit too, albeit sparingly, not overly, just like they were used throughout D1 (Level 25 contained a serious dose of those in its long corridors). Although DESCENT.PIG and the .PIG files of Descent 2 contain some rarer textures, don't make it a point to utilize them all for the sake of variety - we're supposed to make levels that are reminescent of the levels from the original games, not ones better than them!
- Mix'em robots! Even in D1 levels, PESTs, PIGs, ITSC/ITDs are more than welcome to fight alongside the original cast from D1.

That's enough for now. I'm waiting for your ideas and insight.
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Post by Xfing » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:18 pm

I'll just explain my proposals for the names of the alien themed levels, in case anyone's wondering:

Baloris Prime 1: K'tschk W'eng - this is the only level that doesn't hide a meaning, just included to confuse people or to sound cool.

Baloris Prime 2: Ku'thaaz Gher-b'ilk Station. Ku'thaaz is a homonym for \"kutas\", which is an obscene term for the male copulatory organ in Polish. Gher-b'ilk could probably relate to a gerbil :D

Baloris Prime 3: L'aeev Installation. It's a direct reference to the Gytowt Station from the official D2 level set. Get Out Station/Leave Installation :D

Puuma Sphere 1: Wing N'drsaedt. The second word is an anagram of \"stranded\".
Puuma Sphere 2: S'tlo Sigma. The first word is an anagram of \"lost\".
Puuma Sphere 3: Revd're Nofb'nada. An anagram of \"abandoned forever\".
Puuma Sphere 4: Sloht'lloapsie Perimeter. The first word is an anagram of \"all hope is lost\".

Baloris Prime 4: Velino B'mocileew. An anagram of \"welcome oblivion\".

Puuma Sphere 5: R'eeie. An anagram of \"eerie\".

These names kinda follow the trends from the original Descent 2, and not in a shabby fashion, I daresay :)

NOTE: The forum crashes if I try to edit any posts already made, so any changes made to the names will have to be posted again. I can't edit the damn post, it will finish on a blank page and upon refreshing a \"no posting mode specified\" will be displayed.
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Re:

Post by Alter-Fox » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:24 pm

Xfing wrote:
Baloris Prime 4: Velino B'mocileew. An anagram of "welcome oblivion".



What about Velino ot B'mocileew (welcome to oblivion). It sounds suicidal otherwise.
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Re:

Post by Xfing » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:27 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:
Xfing wrote:
Baloris Prime 4: Velino B'mocileew. An anagram of "welcome oblivion".



What about Velino ot B'mocileew (welcome to oblivion). It sounds suicidal otherwise.


Well yeah, it does. And for good reason! Welcome oblivion, as in embrace oblivion. This is supposed to be a hint to how difficult this level will be. In Quake 3 Arena for example, the last level is called "the very end of you". I just wanted to pull something similar here :)
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Post by Stroodles » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:41 am

When I post the mission I'm currently building, and I'll include all my midi files of D1\\2 music. I have a few misc. midi files I found, I can include those two, as well as a notepad file that has some links to where I found some of the music online, (there's actually a lot out there). If you want to download some briefing software or DTX2 (re-arranges music for you), you can find them at:

http://www.descent2.com/tools
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Post by Alter-Fox » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:06 am

Just a warning: DTX 2 has been known to cause problems with midi music (a ton of game crashes... it messes up even XL). I've heard that MID2HMP works better, but it's command line and I've never figured out how to use it.
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Post by Sirius » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:42 am

There were certain rules to music that wouldn't cause problems when converted to HMP/HMQ format (though I remember having to use MID2HMP for a few things as well). I don't recall what they were - people like Verran and HH were the pros at that kind of thing...
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Re:

Post by Stroodles » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:55 am

Alter-Fox wrote:Just a warning: DTX 2 has been known to cause problems with midi music (a ton of game crashes... it messes up even XL). I've heard that MID2HMP works better, but it's command line and I've never figured out how to use it.


I just used standard midi files in the same manner as music usage in DTX1. Up to this point at least, it has worked fine.
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Post by Xfing » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:06 pm

Directions for robot placement in the levels:

Robots obligatory for each level since the level that introduces them (to keep the difficulty climbing): Super Hulk, Class 1 Driller, Omega Defense Spawn (in the Puuma Sphere levels the Super Hulk should be replaced with the Lou Guard), Thief

Robots that can be used to supplement any category without aesthetic collisions, and should be used in large quantities throughout all the levels after their introduction: Cloaked Lifter, Cloaked Medium Hulk, Cloaked Driller, Cloaked Diamond Claw, Medium Hulk, Diamond Claw, Super Hulk/Lou Guard (only the second in the greenish alien levels), Class 1 Driller, Supervisory Robot, Class 1 Gopher, Sidearm and loose Sidearm Modula (except the Solar System levels, minus the secret ones), Omega Defense Spawn, Thief (except the Solar System levels, minus the secret ones)

Solar System \"Easy\" category: Class 1 Drone, Class 2 Drone, ITSC, PEST, PIG, Small Hulk, Medium Lifter, Advanced Lifter, Platform Bot (laser variation), Supervisory Robot, Diamond Claw, Red Spiderling, Red Hornet

Solar System \"Medium\" category: Energy Thief, Medium Hulk, Cloaked Medium Hulk, Class 1 Driller, Cloaked Lifter, Secondary Lifter, Class 1 Gopher Robot, ITD, TRN Racer, FOX Attack Bot, Smelter, Cloaked Smelter, Cloaked Diamond Claw, Spider (the red one), BPER, loose Spawn (the green Spider robot's offspring)

Solar System \"Hard\" category: Fusion Hulk, Class 1 Heavy Driller, Platform Robot (missile variation), Super Hulk, Omega Defense Spawn, Spider (the green one), Boarshead, Lou Guard, Cloaked Driller

NOTE: Seekers, Bulk Destroyers, Red Fatty Jrs, Sidearms and Ice Spindles should not be included in any of the D1 levels, since upon death they drop Mercury Missiles, Gauss Cannons, Phoenix Cannons, Flash Missiles and Helix Cannons, respectively. The mine-laying variations of standard robots can lay smartmines as long as they don't drop any upon death. Several smartmines, flash missiles and mercury missiles could be available in the Solar System secret levels, so a limited number of Seekers and Sidearms could be placed in those).

Zeta Aquilae category: The Zeta Aquilae mines are supposed to be pretty varied, but generally are allowed to contain the robots banned in the above paragraph (as we're moving into D2 territory now), other than that they can contain any of the robots from the D1 categories, yet the difficulty shouldn't be higher than mid-high in the first Zeta Aquilae levels.

Quartzon category: Class 2 Drone, Supervisory Robot, ITSC, ITD, Laser Platform Robot, FOX Attack Bot, Medium Lifter

Brimspark category: Red Spider, Red Spiderling, Red Hornet, TRN Racer, Advanced Lifter, Secondary Lifter, Class 1 Drone, Energy Thief, Smelter, Cloaked Smelter, Red Fatty JR, Super Hulk

Limefrost Spiral category: FOX Attack Bot, ITSC, ITD, Ice Spindle, Class 2 Drone, Laser Platform Robot

Baloris Prime category: Smelter, Cloaked Smelter, Class 1 Drone, Red Fatty Jr, Bulk Destroyer, Class 1 Heavy Driller, BPER

Puuma Sphere category: Medium Lifter, Small Hulk, Spider (green), Boarshead, Spawn, Lou Guard, Missile Platform Robot

Beta Ceti category: All robots are allowed in these levels with no restrictions whatsoever (even Super Hulks instead of Lou Guards in the more alien-themed levels), just keep in mind that these are the final levels of the set, so the difficulty should be extreme. The Beta Ceti levels are generally supposed to mimick those from Descent 2: Vertigo - thematic crossovers is the name of the game.
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Post by Stroodles » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:10 pm

I've included class 3 platforms ^.^

Brown-gold overlay, fires\\drops mercury missles in the same quanity as class 2 platforms.
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Post by Stroodles » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:13 pm

Xfing, you can use the \"banned\" robots in solar system levels with a quick fix. Just hit edit on the bot, and switch their drops to vulcan ammo, energy, something like that, or just set the drop probability to zero. Custom robots are on a level-to-level basis, so editing a bot on one level won't change the bots on the other levels.
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Post by Alter-Fox » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:31 pm

Editing the bots' textures will though. That was what originally caused me to abandon my \"Maximum Vertigo\" project.
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Post by Sirius » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:33 am

Depends how you do it and what you're doing. Switching an existing texture to another existing texture only requires a .HXM change. If you want to switch it out for a new one without affecting other levels, you'll need to edit a texture nothing anywhere else in the set uses. If you do that enough you're probably going to need a spreadsheet to keep track of what's being used where.
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Post by Xfing » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:46 am

I do have my reservations about introducing new robots, we should be fine with the ones we already have, methinks. This is a good idea, but not for this project. Sorry, Stroodles.

Also, due to the fact that I can't edit the existing posts, I'll add that the Fusion Hulk should also be used more in the later levels, it fits the themes of Limefrost Spiral and Puuma Sphere the best out of all those, I think. Zeta Aquilae and Beta Ceti go without saying, due to their \"all-around\" themes.
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Re:

Post by Stroodles » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:51 am

Alter-Fox wrote:Editing the bots' textures will though. That was what originally caused me to abandon my "Maximum Vertigo" project.


I just use texture overlays, that are robot specific. It's a tad annoying to add an overlay to every bot of a certain type, but it's no biggie.
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Post by Xfing » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:39 am

Adding new robots will disrupt the balance of the already existing one and will discourage designers from putting those original robots in their levels. Please do not design new robots for this set.
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Post by Xfing » Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:29 pm

We finally have our own forum for the project purposes.

http://www.dateiliste.com/en/forum/21-descent-1-12.html

Feel free to register and all discussions can be held there from now on.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:30 am

Huge Necro Bumpness!

Ok, so three years have passed and we have almost nothing. But "almost" makes quite a big difference!

What we have:

- 3 levels made by me, 1 of which already populated with robots and powerups
- Modified .HAM, .S11 and .S22 files. That takes care of weapon power (Laser power, Fusion power, Spreadfire speed & power), robot behavior (mostly fixed the D1 bosses), and robot sounds (all the D1 robot sounds restored, albeit sacrificing some multiplayer sounds. Not like you'll play multiplayer with these files, though).

What we're about to have:

- Pumo is making a seventh .PIG for Descent 2, one which will make use of Descent.PIG's palette. And he's nice enough to let me make use of it for the project. Along with texture replacements It will make D1 levels converted to D2 completely indistinguishable from their D1 versions. Quite a boon to the community.

Bottom line:

I'm still not requiring any submissions from you, as the level count is in its infant stages so the project likely still has years to go and you would probably prefer not to wait so long to see your levels published and in action. Instead, I'll make some 10 levels or so first, then show off the screenshots around here and y'all will see if you feel like contributing to this. I'm trying my best for quality, but still have stuff to learn, and this is a good opportunity for this. If you're interested in seeing the layouts of the first two levels of the set, PM me. I won't be posting them to DMDB at this time to avoid spoiling stuff.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:59 pm

Xfing wrote:...As for the levels, I've already started thinking about their names, probably it will give me and you some insight as to how they should look and feel in general.

01: Solar System 1: Lunar Titanium Mine
02: Solar System 2: Lunar Placioglase Research
03: Solar System 3: Venus SO2 Mine
04: Solar System 4: Venus Gravitational Lab
05: Solar System 5: Mercury Construction Hub
06: Solar System 6: Mars Hydro-Research Facility
07: Solar System 7: Mars Covert Operations
08: Solar System 8: Phobos Military Perimeter
Secret Level 1: Asteroid Weapons Research
09: Solar System 9: Ganymede Outpost
10: Solar System 10: Europa Hydrogen Processing
11: Solar System 11: Themisto Observatory
12: Solar System 12: Prometheus Mine
13: Solar System 13: Umbriel Tholin Research
14: Solar System 14: Thalassa Excavation
15: Solar System 15: Eris Lost Station
Secret Level 2: Asteroid Superweapon Facility
16: Zeta Aquilae 1: Circularis
17: Zeta Aquilae 2: Coolyard Station
18: Quartzon 1: Quartzon Aqua Distillata Factory
19: Zeta Aquilae 3: Military Hub
20: Quartzon 2: Falls Of Truth
21: Brimspark 1: The Grandcrisp Oven
22: Quartzon 3: Planetary Life Research
Secret Level 3: Quartzon Planetary Vault
23: Brimspark 2: The Cauldron
24: Limefrost Spiral 1: Glacierspire
25: Limefrost Spiral 2: Salt Distillation Facility
26: Brimspark 3: Metamorphic Rock Excavation
27: Limefrost Spiral 3: Frosted Minerals Abyss
28: Baloris Prime 1: Ktsch'k W'eng II
29: Baloris Prime 2: Ku'thaaz Gher-bil'k Station
Secret Level 4: Fata Morgana Tunnels
30: Baloris Prime 3: L'aeev Installation
31: Puuma Sphere 1: Wing N'drsaedt
32: Puuma Sphere 2: S'tlo Sigma
33: Puuma Sphere 3: Revd're Nofb'nada
34: Puuma Sphere 4: Sloht'lloapsie Perimeter
35: Zeta Aquilae 4: Old Chromium Mine
36: Quartzon 4: Deserted Oxygen Lab
37: Brimspark 4: Abandoned Smelting Facility
38: Limefrost Spiral 4: Disused Dry Ice Factory
39: Baloris Prime 4: Velvino B'mocileew
(also contains the teleporter to level S4)
40: Puuma Sphere 5: R'eeie
(also contains the teleporter to level S5)
41: Beta Ceti 1: Zandura II
42: Beta Ceti 2: N'tala Shadowy Corridors
43: Beta Ceti 3: PTMC Remote Tracking Station
44: Beta Ceti 4: Sheltem Mech Factory
Secret Level 5: Katatonia
45: Beta Ceti 5: Doomsday Warstation...
I will create at least the unclaimed Beta Ceti levels. Doomsday Warstation will have multiple bosses. The level is inspired by Lost Levels' "The Matrix" level, with varied boss rooms. Only the Guardian will have a Boss flag. Xfing will have to correct the untriggered switches to match the boss order. The final room before the red door will have a new "Death Hulk" miniboss inside a MAX that is concealing the final switch, if Xfing won't mind.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:35 pm

Ummm... please read the guidelines again. No multiple bosses, no overly gimmicky levels. Be at most as gimmicky as Vertigo was (which still gives you plenty of liberty, to be honest). Try to aim for something you saw in D1, D2 or Vertigo, like you were making a spare level for the set. Try and take the approach like the team of DTWiD. Not to outdo everything D1 and D2 brought to the table, but make something that is sufficiently unique and fresh yet convincingly reminds of those levels and helps relive the nostalgia.

And definitely, no Doomsday Warstation! I want that level to be freakin' tip top, the final level to end all final levels! I suppose that I'll spend an eternity on that level alone, consulting the slightest details with the most seasoned and talented designers of the community. And it's hopefully one of them that makes it. Sorry, but I'm not yet convinced to trust you with the closing level of a 47-level-long pack, which has to be ULTRA memorable.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:48 pm

When I'm soooooooooo close to completeing Doomsday! :(
However, if you insist, I can make the extra arenas something else. Maybe this could be N'tala Shadowy Corridors (changing the name to PTMC Warship, and the level to second-to-last (shifting the other levels back 1 level until that spot is reached)), making the "Death Hulk" an actual boss! This is a Beta Ceti themed boss level, after all.

One question: Can Sheltem Mech Factory be a level where, instead of "Blue-Yellow-Red-Reactor", it is "A_LOT_Of_Switches-Reactor", using a tactic I call "Secret Keys"(using keys found in secret areas to unlock other secret areas, and even a few armories.

BTW, the Death Hulk has the Mega Missle and the Fusion Cannon. It is also only vulnerable to energy (a tactic to get you to waste your megas and shakers).
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Naphtha » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:07 pm

Welp, after looking over the level list again, inspiration struck me and now I've been making progress on my first level for the set. This kind of level design I can really get behind, especially for the D2 and Vertigo-based levels. Expect a Dropbox link to Level 16 through PM in the next couple days, Xfing. :)
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Sirius » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:14 pm

Umm... thinking I should maybe pitch in a level for this or two, depending how much is needed... I get the impression I need to do some actual real level design work to properly stabilize DLE. Might help as a testbed for a new feature or two as well...

Anything free somewhere in the middle of the set, maybe?
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:50 am

Yayyy, thanks for the interest, guys! Keep in mind, though, that the level listing in this thread is outdated, so please go by the level listing in the thread below, which I keep up to date:

http://www.dateiliste.com/en/forum/21-d ... sting.html

Sirius, as for the question of how many levels are needed: I expect to build around 15 myself, and I don't really wanna go below the 47 + 5 quota for the whole set. This'll take some time, though, obviously. As for the level you wanna take now, everything's game. The only levels I really wanna have a crack at are N'Tala Shadowy Corridors and Doomsday Warstation, actually. In the case of the latter, even as much as some creative input would be fine.

Naphtha - since you're making the first level outside the Solar System, keep in mind that it's the point to start including the D2 weaponry. I'd start out with a single Super Laser powerup hidden in some well-hidden secret area. Or maybe even not yet. The Lasers are gonna be as powerful as they were in D1, so Super Lasers will be very, very powerful in their own right. Also, Fusion will be back to its power from D1, so I'd imagine it should be introduced only around level 25 or so - it'll really clean house.

Also, there's the question of difficulty. Since there are so many levels, levels 1-4 will be a bit smaller than D1 level 1 - only from there they'll start to get bigger and include stronger bots. I expect the Lou Guard to be introduced around level 10 in small quantities, then the Super Hulk around level 15, but not spammed until like level 35 or so.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Naphtha » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:50 pm

I'm actually thinking there might be random difficulty spikes if the individual level authors placed items in their own levels, so if it's easier to keeps things consistent, I might just pass each of my levels over to you when the layout is done to have you decide what items to place.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:16 pm

Yeah, that would probably be best. If you don't insist on filling the level yourself, I can take care of it, no probs. Zeta Aquilae is actually my favorite set from D2, as it feels basically like D1 redux and offers a lot of creative freedom, so I'll probably make a ZA level or too myself as well :D
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Pumo » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:25 pm

That's how Wolfie made TEW IIRC, we the level authors just made the empty structures of the levels while she dedicated to populate them with items and enemies.

If youre OK with it, I could make some Quartzon, Brimspark or Baloris Prime levels. :)
I will check out the list to tell you which ones I would like to make.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:45 pm

No probs, fine ^^ I know you can be trusted to deliver.

Just remember to sometimes use D1 textures that enhance the theme, like I did in my first Baloris Prime level. In the case of Brimspark, that would be the plain, red Mars texture from D1, for example. D2 completely (or almost completely) skipped on it, and it's a shame it did.

Since we're on the topic, here are the D2-exclusives that I think are very suitable for some themes. That is - if someone would like to make a Solar System level.

Image
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Sirius » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:41 pm

I've been eyeing Glacierspire (level 24 I think). Couple questions:
Size: can I make it huge? Should it be more in line with standard D2?
Style: Mimic D2 as closely as possible? They're usually a little simple to need one of the features I was thinking about but hey, whatever.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:32 am

Sirius wrote:I've been eyeing Glacierspire (level 24 I think). Couple questions:
Size: can I make it huge? Should it be more in line with standard D2?
Style: Mimic D2 as closely as possible? They're usually a little simple to need one of the features I was thinking about but hey, whatever.
Mimic D2 closely, but with one exception: try to use some more traditional D1 textures that fit the theme. But don't stray from the theme too far.

As for whether it can be huge or not - sure it can. Not like the ice levels of D2 vere small to begin with. We need some expansive levels as well as some compact levels, obviously. Just don't make it as big as some of the coop levels of TAF, heheh :P

PS: We've got a beautiful introduction to Zeta Aquilae in the form of level 16 by NaphthaTurisas. Great work, sir :D
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