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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:38 pm
by AlexanderBorisov
Well most deaths in my case were due to me going to the energy center near the blue key and running out of energy, otherwise, if you know the traps and where to go, not so hard. Especially with the cloaking device... Probably still a bit easier than CS level 3, but harder than FS L3. About D2 CS weapons I also think that Helix in level 2 and Gauss in L3 is overkill, even CS L5 can be done with Vulcan and no cloaks, and is actually more fun this way. Probably they just wanted to introduce new "cool" weapons faster, without thinking about balance a lot. Or probably to compensate new AI.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:47 pm
by Xfing
I think it's more about having to show off the new weapons in the demo. Then again, level 4 is immediately after the demo, and you get Gauss there too, though to be fair, in a rather elaborate secret. Maximum is much better in that regard, with powerful weapons such as the Gauss held off until appropriately late. I think I'll tackle Maximum after I'm done with Counterstrike :D

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:24 am
by AlexanderBorisov
About Maximum, it is much simplified version of CS (with the same robots and bosses however). I downloaded it and looked in DLE, very simplistic and small maps with around 20-40 robots in each. I don't think it will be challenging enough compared to CS or even FS. However I myself still not played it, maybe it has some really good levels. For me, playing Vertigo after CS seems more logical thing to do, but if you want smth really new then Maximum can be a good choice. Don't think many people played it.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:02 am
by Xfing
I know what Maximum is like, I have played it before. Just not cold start, no death 100% :D I like its bite-sized levels quite a bit. Still, guess I gotta beat CS first, which is going to take some doing.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:38 am
by Alter-Fox
Maximum's got a few tricky parts, cause the geometry is a lot tighter than D2's. I remember a couple of the bosses posing a bigger threat in particular.
I'm not sure how well the levels would have been balanced for Insane seeing as the highest difficulty level on the playstation was Hotshot.

By the way, how'd you like Charon?

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:15 am
by Xfing
Ohhh, missed that one completely! Time to check it out and mark it on the list :D

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:33 am
by Xfing
Well, what can I say - the geometry is brilliant, and the difficulty and robot choice are just about okay, not many changes will be made to that (except maybe that we're holding off on Plasma until post-Varuna). The only problem is that either the palette is still Alien 1, or the D1-exclusive textures simply look like dookie. I'll get to fixing that immediately :D

EDIT: Got the same bug as you did when trying to change the PIGs. I've experienced that crash before, it's a very old error in DLE that just seems to pop up every now and then for some reason. The solution to it is to remove the POG from the archive, then change the PIG to Descent, then import the POG again, and finally, fix the screwy textures from the POG by replacing them once again. I can do that, so no worries. Seems you used the template as base, so it's easier time consuming to work from there, fortunately. To avoid this in the future, just change the PIG to Descent before adding any POG textures to the level.

EDIT 2: Ok, it's all fixed. I'm also going to take some minor liberties in changing some of the textures (mostly decorative ones) to better fit the planetary body the mine's supposed to be on. Also wasn't that big of a fan of thes "lights on the floor" thing, they would probably look better on walls or ceilings. I'll do some minor tinkering and update the level on Dropbox, as per usual. Great job, the level really is amazing ^^

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:50 am
by Alter-Fox
No reason not to use the template since I wasn't using any d2 exclusive textures. :lol:
One problem I just found in my local version is that the first door to the secret exit isn't opening when the reactor blows. It seems whenever I add that cube and side to the reactor panel it's gone when I load the map up again.

Let me know when you're done with the textures and I'll have another crack at fixing that.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:07 pm
by Xfing
Ok, go right ahead, you can do those things I mentioned above yourself as well. I meant - you know - swap out the "Mercury Solar Lab" plate for something else, same with the plate saying ALPHA along with Mercury's symbol. You can use one of those that says "sector R-2" or "bay A-32". I'd also swap out the large monitor with the planet that looks like Venus with the one with the gray, rocky planet on it. That one could easily mean Charon. I know this might sound like excessive attention to detail, but stuff like this kinda breaks my suspension of disbelief :D

Oh, and another minor detail - minelayers with altered textures are usually textured in camo, so it would probably be best to change their texture to the primary one of the room they're in - those two ITDs being all green like that makes them way too visible :D

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:53 pm
by Shroudeye
Okay, I've played the Demo campaign, but looks like there was an update to it while I'm playing it. So I'll replay it.

I also played Charon, on Ace. Great design, Fox! The level was quite dark, especially the early corridors. Pretty claustrophobic!

The level was also well-balanced. The robots were challenging enough, and there were plenty of goodies along the way to use. The second Lou Guard ambush suprised me :).

Cheers on the Charon Outpost, Fox!

By the way, I looked for that pink/gray spotty texture, and couldn't find it in my palette, did it got updated? I was planning to use them in the Kuiper, but the blue variant is also okay.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:08 pm
by Xfing
It's from D1, it is not in the default PIG catalogue, you have to import it. As for the demo, the changes were quite minor, got 3 levels at the time, we'll be going up to 5.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:48 pm
by Alter-Fox
Yeah, the second ambush wasn't in the original plan but I added it because the first two didn't feel dangerous enough to make you fear the exit run.
Putting it in its particular location is a no brainer if you're a cat trying to ambush humans. :P

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:25 pm
by Xfing
Lemme know when you've fixed that secret door thingy, so I can take a look at that other stuff I mentioned :)

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:57 pm
by Alter-Fox
That may not be till Saturday. I had a late shift at the hospital this evening and I have another one coming up tomorrow.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:56 am
by Xfing
Ok, no probs. Though I'm not going to be on on Saturday, but a day's wait is no big deal

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:28 pm
by LightWolf
On the DXA issue:
- Create a .ZIP
- Load it with files
- Change the extension to .DXA
- Keep in mind that all DXAs work on all missions - AFAIK the name of the DXA doesn't affect anything

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:41 am
by Xfing
Alter-Fox, I've corrected all the stuff that I found jarring in terms of texturing, especially those pink walls in the background of most doors (which I'm assuming were just a leftover from you copy-pasting the blocks), also the decoration textures and robot camo I mentioned earlier. I also successfully fixed the secret exit door to be properly triggered by the reactor's destruction, so it should all be fine right now.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:27 am
by Shroudeye
Whew, I've done with my exams for now. I'll start the design of the Dementia shortly.

I've got a few ideas for it already: Based on your info, Xfing, I'm considering a look akin to those "Shivans" from Freespace: Lots of black, red, and others colors, bizzare and otherwordly environments, etc. I'm also considering mini-reactors as well as the main reactor (Like Descent 2's last secret, you destroy those cores to gain countdown timer).

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:59 am
by Xfing
GZ on the exams!

Doesn't sound like a bad idea! The reactors, I mean. That level had minimal resistance in it too, though. I think we'll put in some cloaked lifters here and there to surprise the player. Oh, and I also envisioned the level being almost completely dark, with the brighter parts only dimly lit, probably with flickering lights too.

Oh, and it would be also nice to not entirely copy the gimmick of Chain Reaction and instead have some time for exploration before the first reactor is destroyed. You could go with something similar to dunno, go from point A to B without blowing the reactor, then come back to point A needing to blow up the reactor in order to do it. Or you could make it point C too - with each mini-reactor allowing you to either have more time to collect goodies or just to proceed further. Frankly, I hadn't thought of sequential reactor blowing for this level, but it may actually work to its advantage.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:40 pm
by Shroudeye
I was thinking about making an out-and-back layout, with a long run back to the exit, which was peppered with mini reactors: Player explores the level casually, unlocking the way to the reactor, which is located at the farthest point. To exit, player runs back, destroying mini reactors along the way for added time. I can also place some additional doors which are triggered by the reactor, and lead to additional goodies.

For resistance, we can go with cloaked or non-cloaked lifters (Diamond claws?), as well as some minelayers. Maybe a few matcen traps too, since the player should've got the best weapons and equipment at this point.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:57 pm
by Alter-Fox
Thanks for that X. Out of curiosity did you manage to set the cube/side to 448,1 and have it work (that's the side that kept disappearing from the reactor triggers panel on my end), or did you wind up setting the reactor to open the other side of that door?
Oh, and you do realize the door behind that one is supposed to stay locked and not open until you get close to it -- otherwise you could see that there is a secret exit on your route back to the regular one, and that makes it a little too easy.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:59 pm
by Xfing
Yes, I did notice the trigger that opens the secret door to the teleporter. And adding 448, 1 to the reactor triggers seemed to work just fine.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:19 pm
by LightWolf
Looks like Alter found the same bug that caused issues with Dynamo. ;)

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:47 pm
by Alter-Fox
Xfing wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:59 pm
Yes, I did notice the trigger that opens the secret door to the teleporter. And adding 448, 1 to the reactor triggers seemed to work just fine.
I'll be careful if I have to adjust anything in the map down the road then; I don't know what was causing my copy of DLE to remove that or if it still would.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:35 am
by Xfing
Shroudeye wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:40 pm
I was thinking about making an out-and-back layout, with a long run back to the exit, which was peppered with mini reactors: Player explores the level casually, unlocking the way to the reactor, which is located at the farthest point. To exit, player runs back, destroying mini reactors along the way for added time. I can also place some additional doors which are triggered by the reactor, and lead to additional goodies.

For resistance, we can go with cloaked or non-cloaked lifters (Diamond claws?), as well as some minelayers. Maybe a few matcen traps too, since the player should've got the best weapons and equipment at this point.
Yeah, maybe. Just keep in mind that there were no matcens in either CS or Vertigo, and I'm assuming the same for Maximum too. Started playing Maximum recently and I noticed that level S1 had no opposition in it at all. That's why I think that any opposition we throw in should be enough. Cloaked lifters (doesn't even have to be Diamond Claws) can alone be lethal in complete darkness, or even low light environments. You simply can't see them.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:50 am
by Kaizerwolf
Almost done, I promise! Adding traps and secrets, adding matcen triggers, and some final beautifying to the reactor area. I'll have it up on Dropbox soon.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:08 am
by Shroudeye
Hello guys, here is my status update:

I've completed the conceptual paperwork of the Dementia. The overall look, cube structures and puzzles are all planned, and I'm moving on the building phase right now. I'll keep you guys updated as I progress.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:15 pm
by Xfing
This is, like, super-exciting. I'm stoked :D

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:54 pm
by Kaizerwolf
Level 8: Tholin Research is up on Dropbox! Give it a flythrough, and let me know what you think. Like I said, it may be too ambitious, just let me know!

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:59 pm
by Xfing
Kaizerwolf wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:54 pm
Level 8: Tholin Research is up on Dropbox! Give it a flythrough, and let me know what you think. Like I said, it may be too ambitious, just let me know!
Well, being complicated is not a problem and never was. I really like the level with its adventurous geometry and nice texturing. I've got some comments though:
- it's a Uranian level, it needs the green brick textures PERIOD :P (I used a plural because there are two, the brighter one and the darker one).
- The level has very, very few secrets, it desperately needs more. You could use the green brick hidden door for that purpose, for example.
- Some areas feel too copypasta-like, especially that horizontal maze where the hostage area is. I'd remove that one branch of it that doesn't really lead anywhere and replace it with something more 3D.
- Huge overuse of the flat cubes with the "warning" sign. I think you can lose the sign and replace it with regular lights at least in the hostage cell and at the top of that vertical shaft. This just feels pasted multiple times.
- You forgot to make the keyed doors actually restrict your access, that kinda bothered me progression-wise, even though it was just a flythrough.

Apart from that it's definitely a cool level with adventurous geometry and good texture choice. We definitely need lablike levels, which you yourself have provided several if not most of so far, so I'm pretty happy. Just take care of the things listed.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:44 pm
by Kaizerwolf
Xfing wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:59 pm

- it's a Uranian level, it needs the green brick textures PERIOD :P (I used a plural because there are two, the brighter one and the darker one).
I'm not sure which Green brick you're referring to? I don't see anything like that as part of the texture file I'm using, nor do I see a door for it.
- The level has very, very few secrets, it desperately needs more. You could use the green brick hidden door for that purpose, for example.
I have 6 in here now. The deadend area of the yellow section's tunnels is kind of meant to be a secret found by exploring, not so much hidden behind a door, you know?
- Some areas feel too copypasta-like, especially that horizontal maze where the hostage area is. I'd remove that one branch of it that doesn't really lead anywhere and replace it with something more 3D.
I know what you mean. I would have liked to expand this area more to make it more maze-like than it is, but with the style, i ran out of cubes. I can try and do something more with it, but my vision for it is explained below:
- Huge overuse of the flat cubes with the "warning" sign. I think you can lose the sign and replace it with regular lights at least in the hostage cell and at the top of that vertical shaft. This just feels pasted multiple times.
This was my vision for this section of the level. The flat cube with the Warning sign looks a lot like a quarantined/locked up doorway, at least to me. My goal was to sort of lock the area off a bit, hence why the tunnels match but don't always connect. Like I said, might be too ambitious for D1, that's what I meant by that earlier. If it doesn't work, I totally get it, I may be able to change it up.
- You forgot to make the keyed doors actually restrict your access, that kinda bothered me progression-wise, even though it was just a flythrough.

Apart from that it's definitely a cool level with adventurous geometry and good texture choice. We definitely need lablike levels, which you yourself have provided several if not most of so far, so I'm pretty happy. Just take care of the things listed.
That's my bad on the door access, totally forgot.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:30 am
by Xfing
In your version of the POG the dark green brick texture is under rock340 at the moment. I don't see the brighter one. There is no door, but since this kind of door has 7 frames, door20 is a good choice for replacing, you can just do it frame by frame. I'd really like to see some of these textures in the level, at least in a single section.

And I don't mind those warning signs in the maze area, only in that top position in that shaft and in the hostage cell. You'd still preserve your vision for the most part even without those, I think :P

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:25 pm
by LightWolf
I was looking at the Rebirth code the other day, and found a chunk of code complete with the following comment:
try dxx-r.sng - a songfile specifically for dxx which level authors CAN use (dxx does not care if descent.sng contains MP3/OGG/etc. as well) besides the normal descent.sng containing files other versions of the game cannot play. this way a mission can contain a DOS-Descent compatible OST (hmp files) as well as a OST using MP3, OGG, etc.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:09 pm
by Alter-Fox
Aaah, useful stuff! Don't know if the two playlists would still be toggleable from within Rebirth though.
If not I think it still doesn't quite fit with X's vision.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:01 am
by Xfing
We'll ask around on the Rebirth boards. If not, toggling will still be as easy as moving the sng file from the directory, I'm perfectly fine with that :D

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:38 am
by Kaizerwolf
I'm adding in a new explorable red key area, as well as another secret, depending on what I can fit. I'm not sure I'm lacking for secrets, since I'm up to 7 (or 8, can't remember since I'm not at home), and in looking at some Uranus D1 levels for texture reference, level 22 only has 6 secrets unless I miscounted. It's hard because I don't normally build for secrets as it is, the kind of architecture I build doesn't always work well for secrets, especially D1, and we've never really been given clear goals for how many secrets we ought to have.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:15 am
by Xfing
Kaizerwolf wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:38 am
I'm adding in a new explorable red key area, as well as another secret, depending on what I can fit. I'm not sure I'm lacking for secrets, since I'm up to 7 (or 8, can't remember since I'm not at home), and in looking at some Uranus D1 levels for texture reference, level 22 only has 6 secrets unless I miscounted. It's hard because I don't normally build for secrets as it is, the kind of architecture I build doesn't always work well for secrets, especially D1, and we've never really been given clear goals for how many secrets we ought to have.
The more secrets, the better, obviously :P

Eagerly awaiting your updates.