What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

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What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by LightWolf » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:32 pm

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about Underground (the prequel). I'm talking about if you were in charge of a sequel to D3. What would you do?
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Descer » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:55 am

Make it like D1/2, no cutscenes (except exits and ending), more solar systems, etc.
The story? PTMC's formal divisions now compete with each other. The player works for one and attacks other companies' mines to destroy 'em and to leave his own to the only one remaining.
It's just a game. Face it.
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Krom » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:25 am

It would be a lot like giving the Doom 2016 treatment to Descent. The graphics would be better, but not pushed so hard that it sacrifices performance or level size. The robots would move a little smarter, but not so differently that it breaks how you can approach them. And unlike Doom 2016, the AI and enemy appearances would be kept light enough that there wouldn't be as significant of a spawning restriction, so you wouldn't have to lock the player in small arenas to hide the fact that you can't have more than 12 enemies active at once in the whole level at any one time. Although once in a great while a robot would still roam out of its "set" location and scare the crap out of you by appearing somewhere they weren't supposed to be just like they do in D1.
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by LightWolf » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:54 am

Ok, now for what I'd do.
The robots reactivate during the competition between the CED and the Mat. Defender to destroy the most robots. It is revealed that there was someone else pulling Dravis' strings. In a bit of a plot twist, it is revealed that Dravis saved the MD's life. Complete with a new set of robots ad weapons, though the classics (Fusion, Plasma, Mega, etc.) would be kept.
The gameplay would be more like D3, and (unlike Descer) there'd be more cutscenes.
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Alter-Fox » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:23 pm

If I was in charge of Descent 4 the whole game would be cut scenes! The engine would still be based around cubes, but they'd be really big cubes. The robots would now also be pirate ninja zombies. And all the music would be Italian folk-metal.
...
Immediately after the ending of Descent 3 the Material Defender, whose full name is at last revealed to be Materiale James Alfred Deffender-Wahnothritoo, is critically injured when Dravis's army of drones suddenly reactivates. The doctors have no option but to surgically transplant his brain into a cloned velociraptor as it turns out the Dravis he killed at the end of Descent 3 was not the real Dravis. The real Dravis takes over the CED instead of PTMC and Materiale Deffender-Wahnothritoo has to form a massive alliance with PTMC, Red Acropolis, the alien virus, the Daleks, the dinosaurs, Taco Bell, Temeraire, Captain Kirk, Death, and Dr Spanko to destroy all the rest of PTMC's mines so that Dravis and the CED can't take over the WHOLE UNIVERSE!!!!!
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Xfing » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:01 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:If I was in charge of Descent 4 the whole game would be cut scenes! The engine would still be based around cubes, but they'd be really big cubes. The robots would now also be pirate ninja zombies. And all the music would be Italian folk-metal.
...
Immediately after the ending of Descent 3 the Material Defender, whose full name is at last revealed to be Materiale James Alfred Deffender-Wahnothritoo, is critically injured when Dravis's army of drones suddenly reactivates. The doctors have no option but to surgically transplant his brain into a cloned velociraptor as it turns out the Dravis he killed at the end of Descent 3 was not the real Dravis. The real Dravis takes over the CED instead of PTMC and Materiale Deffender-Wahnothritoo has to form a massive alliance with PTMC, Red Acropolis, the alien virus, the Daleks, the dinosaurs, Taco Bell, Temeraire, Captain Kirk, Death, and Dr Spanko to destroy all the rest of PTMC's mines so that Dravis and the CED can't take over the WHOLE UNIVERSE!!!!!
That velociraptor part is pushing it a bit... you sick bastard :(
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Sirius » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:17 am

Probably similar to Krom's approach. There'd also be a fair similarity to Overload, at least in terms of the "feel" of the game and typical space afforded to you by the level design.

Some specific contrasts to previous games, though: I would still be inclined to bring back the clear art direction we saw in Descent 3 (and pretty much every higher-budget action game from the last 15 years) where each level was clearly supposed to be something. I would want to be more careful than Descent 3 was that the environments didn't undermine the gameplay though. Too many spaces that are too large, and everything becomes about the Vulcan and whether you still have enough ammo for it.
Music, I think I would aim for what some of the sci-fi shooters did; don't make it sound too film-like or orchestral - it should have that electronic edge, maybe some hard rock elements where appropriate - but nonetheless it should be thematically appropriate, so that it enhances the environments you're exploring rather than ignoring them like D1/2 did. Descent 3 was often a little bit too subdued and faceless, on the other hand, but had the right idea. Unreal, or especially Unreal 2, would probably be better reference points - particularly how the music had a common theme that evolved in various ways over the course of the mission, from the latter.
Story - would probably be inclined to advance the timeline a few decades - it's been a long time since the original three games, so why not start with something fresh? Descent 3 adequately resolved its story anyway, so the most I'd really want to do is retain some references to it - maybe the things PTMC did have echoes that are still felt today, even if it isn't still around. Not really interested in coming up with specifics, though, since I don't generally write stories without knowing what gameplay it needs to incorporate. It'd be different for a story-driven game, but Descent is very action-heavy, so a good story should support that action, not define it.
I would want the story to be more clearly relevant to your objectives at each moment, though - not just to be briefings splitting up episodes of barrelling through arbitrary mazes. I wouldn't want Call-of-Duty-level hand-holding either, but something in between should be possible.

I'm also a little fascinated by the "connected world" concept I saw in the Metroid Prime games (less so the third one) - as opposed to discrete, smaller levels - but I don't think that's what people would be looking for in a main-series Descent game so I don't think I'd pursue it there.
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Top Gun » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:36 pm

Ooh, Descent via Metroidvania? That could be incredibly awesome if you pulled it off right.
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Xfing » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:06 pm

To be fair though, there IS one remaining plot point to be resolved in the series - the aliens and their virus. A sequel to Descent 3 could deal with the MD being sent on a mission to infiltrate the alien civilization and most likely to sabotage it and prevent it from ever threatening Earth.

Because Tycho Brahe obviously wasn't the source of the virus or the nexus of the civilization. I think it wasn't even part of it to be honest. It was named after a Danish astronomer and contained PTMC mining mechs, it must have been a world-sized ship secretly developed by PTMC or something.
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Alter-Fox » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:40 pm

Or it was named after the scientist before anybody knew what it was and the robots came later to convert it into a spaceship. Descent 3 Mercenary's briefings outright state it isn't the source of the virus.
Descent 2 really gives you no information at all about anything, after all.

Some say level 4 of Mercenary answers the question but I think it's their nostalgia talking -- replaying that level and finding all logs, etc... gives no hint that it isn't just another planetoid that's infected like Tycho Brahe. The bees certainly don't seem smart enough to make something like it and considering it's implied to be some kind of nanites, it could probably infect insects as easily as machines.
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
...

Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Xfing » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:38 am

Alter-Fox wrote:Or it was named after the scientist before anybody knew what it was and the robots came later to convert it into a spaceship. Descent 3 Mercenary's briefings outright state it isn't the source of the virus.
Descent 2 really gives you no information at all about anything, after all.

Some say level 4 of Mercenary answers the question but I think it's their nostalgia talking -- replaying that level and finding all logs, etc... gives no hint that it isn't just another planetoid that's infected like Tycho Brahe. The bees certainly don't seem smart enough to make something like it and considering it's implied to be some kind of nanites, it could probably infect insects as easily as machines.
Damn, guess I really need to play and finish Mercenary sometime. Still haven't done it to be honest. And I'm thinking of making D1,5 have direct references to Mercenary, probably even the epilogue leading to it, so I can't have knowledge holes here, haha :D
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Re: What if you were in charge of Descent 4?

Post by Alter-Fox » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:40 am

It was a much better mission than the main one. Just short. :(
Only problem is the huge number of annoying mass driver bots.
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
...

Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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