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Duke Nukem: War of Attrition  "Discussion thread for DT's War of Attrition mod"

User is offline   Trooper Dan 

  • Duke Plus Developer
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#1

Quote

Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down its enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and matériel.
-Wikipedia

EDIT: Go HERE for the latest version of the mod. I am leaving the rest of this post intact for historical reasons.

I have an idea for a new mod. It's not really a new idea, and it would use mostly resources that have already been developed. But the important thing is, the end product would --I hope-- have almost limitless replay value.

Before I go on, I want to make clear that this new mod would not impede work on the next WGR2 episodes. This would be something I would only work on during lulls, when WG is busy doing other stuff. There's a lot more mapping to be done than coding for WGR2...

Attrition would be sort of a sequel to my DNWMD mod. Like DNWMD, it would involve Duke Nukem fighting his way through lots of existing "vanilla" user maps, and gradually upgrading himself and his equipment as he goes, while the enemies gradually become stronger and more diversified. Unlike DNWMD, it wouldn't have so much weird stuff (no alternate dimension goggles, no bouncing coins, etc.); gameplay would be a little closer to vanilla Duke. It would also be more accessible to new players than DNWMD. Someone who had only played vanilla Duke would be able to start playing Attrition and have no trouble adjusting.

So my goals are:

  • include an upgrade/leveling system that is addictive, while
  • retaining the core gameplay of Duke 3D that makes it great
  • put together long episodes comprised of HUGE numbers of quality user maps
  • add fun new gameplay elements, but only if they are easy to learn and are a good fit with the original game (e.g. no mantling, or picking up props)


To start with, I would use Duke Plus as a base. Remove the menus, remove the weapons that don't fit (no reloading shotgun, mp5), remove the dodge moves, etc. There would be randomized monsters, and the randomization level would start at 0 and would gradually increase. I would make a new and much larger set of mods that monsters can have, but try to make a system that ensures no really stupid or impossible combinations arise. The player's weapons would gradually upgrade as he deals damage with them, and I mean the weapons would gain new functionality and their projectiles would change, not just do more damage (kind of like in the Ratchet and Clank series). There would be an overhaul of inventory items (Dukebot for HoloDuke, something to make everything useful, but nothing too wacky, and there's got to be a tactical nuke item). In addition, small upgrades would sometimes spawn from monsters (like one that gives +1 max health). So, there wouldn't be a need for a character screen or an upgrade menu (although I don't think it would necessarily hurt to have one). The progression would be pretty slow...the first few levels would feel like regular Duke with a few extra bells and whistles. But the episodes would be very long, and by the end you would have a very powerful arsenal and very deadly enemies to use it against. There would be high scores saved for the different episodes. And, because the order the maps are played in makes a big difference to how they will play, I'd like to throw in some randomization of level order.

In summary, it would be like DNWMD, but with better planning and execution, more accessible to casual players, and taking advantage of what I have learned since then.

Sounds good?


This post has been edited by DeeperThought: 22 August 2010 - 10:25 AM

6

User is offline   Stabs 

  • 210

#2

a more arcadey duke with lvl up? sounds good
and the lvl up and possible bonuses give people an incentive to explore everywhere in a level
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User is online   Micky C 

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#3

I've always liked the concept of DNWMD, but yes it did seem a bit complicated with too much to keep track of and also started to get a bit dated.

But this sounds good :blink:

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User is offline   Spiker 

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#4

View PostThe Commander, on Jan 25 2010, 12:34 PM, said:

I have something else that may interest you, or that you might like to take some part in here and there.
Ill talk to you about it on MSN or something.
For the time being ill just post a crappy picture with randomly placed models in it.
Sorry for the jack, :blink:


Sorry, The Commander but I don't trust you. You always start mods and never finish them. I'd rather DT concentrated on his own idea as it sounds really interestic and REALISTIC (Which can't ba said about a C&C mod lol).

Looks like those alien bastards drank all my beer.
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User is offline   The Commander 

  • I used to be a Brown Fuzzy Fruit, but I've changed bro...
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#5

View PostSpiker, on Jan 26 2010, 01:51 AM, said:

Sorry, The Commander but I don't trust you. You always start mods and never finish them. I'd rather DT concentrated on his own idea as it sounds really interestic and REALISTIC (Which can't ba said about a C&C mod lol).

heh thats fine, but I dunno which mod ive never finished. Other than SG which never really got off the ground.

Posted Image
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User is offline   Trooper Dan 

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#6

View PostThe Commander, on Jan 25 2010, 03:34 AM, said:

I have something else that may interest you


No.

I didn't sufficiently explain my motivation in the OP. The other day I was looking at some reviews on MSDN, and one review was of a map pack that some guy had released last year that contained tons of new vanilla maps, most of which were pretty decent. How many people have played those maps? Not many. The vast majority of vanilla maps, even the ones that a lot of people did play back in the day, are now just sitting around unappreciated. I'm not just talking about the masterpieces, nor about the shit maps, but about the hundreds of perfectly ordinary and fun Duke maps that are the bread and butter of Duke 3D's post 1996 existence. Attrition would be made for those maps. Those maps are like a cupboard full of white bread, and Attrition would be like a spread that you put on the bread to make it better eating. That's an imperfect analogy, though, because while every slice of white bread is pretty much the same, those maps are all different. The point is that they help provide almost limitless replay value to the mod. My hope is that I could include about 500 maps, and there would be some way to automatically generate a new episode by quasi-randomly selecting some of them when starting a new game (this would require some new EDuke32 features, I think, but nothing too outlandish).
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User is offline   The Commander 

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#7

This makes sense.

Will you try aim for 8bit capability like WGR2 or to soon to say?

Posted Image
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User is offline   chicken 

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#8

Sounds like a great idea. I really enjoyed DNWMD, especially the upgrading stuff.

Maybe you could code a feature that would allow the player to quickly put his own episode together?
Like "choose ten maps from your map folder"
in addition to the random selection?
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User is offline   supergoofy 

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#9

View PostDeeperThought, on Jan 25 2010, 09:01 AM, said:

.... My hope is that I could include about 500 maps, and there would be some way to automatically generate a new episode by quasi-randomly selecting some of them when starting a new game (this would require some new EDuke32 features, I think, but nothing too outlandish).



That would be awesome
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User is offline   Trooper Dan 

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#10

View Postchicken, on Jan 25 2010, 08:26 AM, said:

Sounds like a great idea. I really enjoyed DNWMD, especially the upgrading stuff.

Maybe you could code a feature that would allow the player to quickly put his own episode together?
Like "choose ten maps from your map folder"
in addition to the random selection?



That would be nice, and if it's not possible in EDuke32, it could be added as a separate application. One thing that's missing from the community is a way of viewing or sorting one's map collection. Imagine if there was a viewer that could sort maps by categories, like date released, city maps, space maps, big maps, small maps, DM maps, etc. Each map could have its own screenshot, kind of like how Windows Media Player or other music apps show the album covers associated with each song. It could have a "play now" button that launches the map with EDuke32. And of course the episode building feature.
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User is offline   Sangman 

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#11

View PostThe Commander, on Jan 25 2010, 05:10 PM, said:

Will you try aim for 8bit capability like WGR2 or to soon to say?


Obviously he will as there are many many maps that have been made before all that HRP stuff came to be (read: most maps will look crappy with the HRP enabled)

traB pu kciP
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User is offline   supergoofy 

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#12

I think you can use hub maps to categorize the maps (city maps, space maps, big maps, small maps, DM maps, etc.) as you said. Maybe TX could add some kind of map randomizer, that could take a huge list of maps (1000 maps) and pick e.g. 30 or 50 of them. Maybe it can be added as an internal function that it will be called whenever you start a new game. But that may cause problems and it may be annoying in the end.

This post has been edited by supergoofy: 25 January 2010 - 09:34 AM

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User is offline   Trooper Dan 

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#13

View Postsupergoofy, on Jan 25 2010, 09:33 AM, said:

I think you can use hub maps to categorize the maps (city maps, space maps, big maps, small maps, DM maps, etc.) as you said. Maybe TX could add some kind of map randomizer, that could take a huge list of maps (1000 maps) and pick e.g. 30 or 50 of them. Maybe it can be added as an internal function that it will be called whenever you start a new game. But that may cause problems and it may be annoying in the end.


All I would need is:

-The ability to get the map names from the game directory (including any directories added by the -game_dir command) into some kind of CON accessible data structure
-The ability to redefine episodes on the fly (or at least when a new game starts), similar to the redefinequote command, but for definelevelname, using the map names.

This would mean that players could drop any set of maps they wanted into the directory, and then they would be available to my mod without the need for me to distribute those maps or reference them in my USER.CON.


This post has been edited by DeeperThought: 25 January 2010 - 11:22 AM

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User is offline   LeoD 

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#14

View PostSangman, on Jan 25 2010, 06:27 PM, said:

Obviously he will as there are many many maps that have been made before all that HRP stuff came to be (read: most maps will look crappy with the HRP enabled)

No. I have HRPlayed almost any 'hot' (85+) rated map from MSDN and dukerepository within the last two or three years. Well-designed maps sometimes might not look as intended when using the HRP but they look very good. This outweighs occasional misalignments by far IMHO. The only real drawback is that quite some hidden switches are revealed. I wish I had time to learn how to make maphacks and provide them for my favorites.

Polymost HRP / Z-Pack: customize your HRP | User Map Maphacks
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User is offline   Spiker 

  • 257

#15

I sense that this mod is a small test if the community can still be revived. If it fails then we will face another zombie crisis! :blink:

Looks like those alien bastards drank all my beer.
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User is offline   eddym4814 

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#16

This sounds like a very good idea. I like long episodes, the more levels the better. I hope it works out.
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User is offline   Sebastian 

  • 59

#17

Sounds like good ideas. The XP addition certainly intrigue me. How about a modernized 3rd person camera? I've wanted to build a map made specifically for 3rd person perspective a long time, something that very much resembles Resident Evil 4 or 5 or Gears of War if you wish, over the shoulder type of stuff. I think that would be a really intriguing challenge for mappers to delve into.

edit: Though I suspect this would perhaps be better suited for a seperate mod, but it would be quite interesting to get a new perspective on the old classics this way.

This post has been edited by Rusty Nails: 26 January 2010 - 10:50 AM

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User is offline   Jaxx 

  • 0

#18

Well that mod is a damn good idea. Looking forward to it.

'It's time to kick ass and kick ass... and I'm all out of kick ass..."
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User is offline   Trooper Dan 

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#19

@Rusty: At this stage I am playing it safe. I started a project folder and ripped out all the DukePlus features that aren't needed. Now I'm going to slowly and carefully build the mod, working on it about an hour a day. I haven't written any new code yet, I'm still planning. A 3rd person camera is not on my list, but my projects always evolve over time and I'm not ruling out some kind of enhanced F7 mode later on.


This post has been edited by DeeperThought: 26 January 2010 - 03:09 PM

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User is offline   themaniacboy 

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#20

Genius, that could be a way to keep a mod hot, to keep the people interested all the time, there are many times when a mod is "hot" and then when it gets released, it's much quieter then before and after a while nobody plays it anymore, they are waiting for a new mod, but this could be the only possible way now, to create a mod that is constantly interesting and constantly active

Great idea, i love it
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User is offline   VinsaneOne 

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#21

Vanilla DukePlus! I think it's gonna be another great mod indeed! You say your trimming down the options but I hope you keep most of the DP weapons. Like say the DB Shotgun, (i've gotten very use to that!) or any other weapons from DP, and make it available only after you reach a certian amount of points/status level. Kind of like setting goals for the player to reach. Just my 2 cents.
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#22

A dream for me,is a randomized episode of Duke,of something like 50 levels...
And each map have a "hard indice" would be cool.
So you begin with map such...Holocaust xD...And at the end you have maps such the latest map of water base (i don't remember the name)
I think including some DM map,with a invasion gameplay,for a "boss map" isn't bad...

And a "new game +" options should be cool...

But i think for weapon...There should be Alt-fire,or some NEW (not replacing!) weapons, or alt-fire,available only at some point of the episode...
If you make something too near from the vanilla Duke...The replaying value will be scrapped...
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User is offline   Trooper Dan 

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#23

View PostKenny mckormick, on Jan 29 2010, 12:48 PM, said:

A dream for me,is a randomized episode of Duke,of something like 50 levels...
And each map have a "hard indice" would be cool.
So you begin with map such...Holocaust xD...And at the end you have maps such the latest map of water base (i don't remember the name)
I think including some DM map,with a invasion gameplay,for a "boss map" isn't bad...

And a "new game +" options should be cool...

But i think for weapon...There should be Alt-fire,or some NEW (not replacing!) weapons, or alt-fire,available only at some point of the episode...
If you make something too near from the vanilla Duke...The replaying value will be scrapped...


This is sort of what I am doing. The invasion gameplay for boss maps is a good idea, I'll try to remember that when I get farther into this project.

In this mod, every weapon can be upgraded several times, and each upgrade changes the weapon in some way (not just damage). However, I am not changing the hud art for the weapons, at least not yet. There are 12 weapon slots (counting the laser pistol), and if each can be upgraded eight times, that makes a total of 96 weapon variants. Although many of those will be similar (e.g. more than one explosive weapon will have a burning mod), it's still a lot. So, I'm not sure if I'm going to have alt-fire modes. The weapons do seem very vanilla for the first few upgrades, but when you see the experience bar for the weapon going up as you kill enemies, it makes it more fun. I don't mind the weapons being vanilla at first if I know they are going to get better as I play.

95% of user maps are made with the assumption that the player is starting with only the pistol, or nothing at all. This leads to what I call The Crack Problem -- if these maps are part of an episode, and the player's weapons don't reset, then he can cheat by blowing up cracks with his explosive weapons that he's not supposed to have. My solution is to take away all of the player's ammo at the end of every level. The ammo will be converted into points which are added to the player's score. Another problem I'm going to have is that some weapons (like the expander) are very rare, so it will be hard to use them enough to level them up. That's why some weapons need more experience to level up than others.


This post has been edited by DeeperThought: 29 January 2010 - 01:36 PM

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User is offline   Stabs 

  • 210

#24

so you could start with vanilla shotgun, eventually upgrading to a cruizer and then dual cruizers?

i noticed that when i get a cache bug and it stops drawing some models, like the dukeplus hand, and it only has the shotgun, that would look great for dual cruizers
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#25

Hum,i think ,even it's a hard work i know,looking at all those maps, and "marks" those map.When you enter in those map,the game take all your explosive weapon...And you take them back when you get a Explosive weapon...or in the end of the level...

But doing this need looking all maps,and editing those crack maps...
Losing all your weapons each level will be boring...Even if sometime,it can be cool,for change the habituel =)...Like that,you can maybe add yours specials kicks (or not)or some news melee weapon...
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User is offline   Trooper Dan 

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#26

View PostKenny mckormick, on Jan 30 2010, 01:45 AM, said:

Hum,i think ,even it's a hard work i know,looking at all those maps, and "marks" those map.When you enter in those map,the game take all your explosive weapon...And you take them back when you get a Explosive weapon...or in the end of the level...

But doing this need looking all maps,and editing those crack maps...
Losing all your weapons each level will be boring...Even if sometime,it can be cool,for change the habituel =)...Like that,you can maybe add yours specials kicks (or not)or some news melee weapon...


The karate kicks are already in the mod. I made them a little easier to use, and they get better damage, stun, and sliding speed/distance as you level them up.

The maps are not going to be edited at all. The mod has to work with any vanilla maps, not just special ones that I have selected or edited. Also, I think it will be harmful to the mod if people have the impression that it needs special maps. There are hundreds of quality user maps out there and this mod will work fine with all of them without any editing.

Losing your ammo (you won't lose your weapons) won't be boring. I think it's boring to enter a map and already have everything, especially if the map was made on the assumption that you start with only a pistol. Think about it: the vast majority of maps end with the player having a lot of equipment. That means the average map adds a lot more equipment than it uses up. So after a couple of levels, you would be starting every map with pretty much max everything. That's what happened in my DNWMD mod, so I added a strict weight limit to try and balance it, forcing the player to drop stuff. But still the player was over-equipped because you would only drop your worst equipment.

I like to be in situations where I have to cope with a small amount of equipment. That makes it more fun to find equipment, too. The problem I foresee is that certain weapons will not get used enough, because most maps start with pistol, then shotgun, then a few other weapons later in the map. To balance this, I have made it so that the more common weapons require more XP to level up. I may also force rare weapons and ammo to sometimes spawn from monsters, because some of the stuff I'm going to do with the rare weapons (like expander) is very cool and I don't want players to miss it.


This post has been edited by DeeperThought: 30 January 2010 - 02:18 AM

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#27

Hum...Well yes,maybe its better in this way...
But if we lose equipement,we should have 100hp (the non-atomic max,in case you can get more hp with the time)
and for monster?you plan just for increase random attribute while the player progress?

This post has been edited by Kenny mckormick: 30 January 2010 - 04:19 AM

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User is offline   Trooper Dan 

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#28

View PostKenny mckormick, on Jan 30 2010, 04:17 AM, said:

Hum...Well yes,maybe its better in this way...
But if we lose equipement,we should have 100hp (the non-atomic max,in case you can get more hp with the time)


Yes. Since the levels are unrelated, the idea is that each one is a different mission, so it makes sense that the player's health would be reset. However, I think it should reset to whatever the player's new health max is if he has gotten upgrades. The monsters get tougher in later missions and starting with 100 health could be a serious disadvantage.

View PostKenny mckormick, on Jan 30 2010, 04:17 AM, said:

and for monster?you plan just for increase random attribute while the player progress?


I'll have to do better than that. I have a lot of work to do on the monsters, and a lot of decisions to make.
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User is offline   Helixhorned 

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#29

Sounds like a great idea! Just a few remarks: The map randomizer would need to keep track of which levels you've already completed or are in the process of doing so IMO. DNWMD had the problem that towards the end, you ended up getting already played levels chosen for you. I'm also interested in the categorization aspect ("map library"). Determining the map theme would probably be doable by examining the frequencies of theme-specific textures/sprites used in it. The hard part would be to get release dates and other metadata in an automated fashion, since there is no "standard" way of packaging maps.

(o~ Lunatic home: documentation, stand-alone LuaJIT, LunaCON and utilities ~o)
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User is offline   Trooper Dan 

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#30

View PostHelixhorned, on Feb 6 2010, 05:28 AM, said:

Sounds like a great idea! Just a few remarks: The map randomizer would need to keep track of which levels you've already completed or are in the process of doing so IMO. DNWMD had the problem that towards the end, you ended up getting already played levels chosen for you. I'm also interested in the categorization aspect ("map library"). Determining the map theme would probably be doable by examining the frequencies of theme-specific textures/sprites used in it. The hard part would be to get release dates and other metadata in an automated fashion, since there is no "standard" way of packaging maps.


Actually, the later versions of DNWMD have the randomizer removed, and have normal episodes.

At this point I'm not attempting any map categorization, but I do have a working randomizer for episode 5 (VOLUME == 4) which keeps track of which maps have been completed. It does this when a level has ended:

	ifvare VOLUME 4
	ifvarn firstmap 2
	{
		addvar truelevel 1
		ifvarl truelevel VOL4LEVELS // requisite number of levels not completed yet
		{
			setvarvar tempb LEVEL
			subvar tempb 1 // the level just completed
			setvar tempc 1
			whilevarn tempb 0 // generate bit from level number
			{
				shiftvarl tempc 1
				subvar tempb 1
			}
			// add bit to list of completed levels
			orvarvar completed tempc
			setvar tempb 1
			whilevarn tempb 0
			{
				randvar temp VOL4MAPS // pick a new level number
				addvar temp 1 // to avoid loading start.map
				setvarvar tempc temp
				setvar tempd 1
				whilevarn tempc 0
				{
					shiftvarl tempd 1
					subvar tempc 1
				}
				ifvarvarand completed tempd nullop // ths level has been completed already
				else
				setvar tempb 0
			}
			startlevel VOLUME temp
			setuserdef[THISACTOR].display_bonus_screen YES
			
		}
		else // start the final boss level
		{
			setvar temp VOL4MAPS
			addvar temp 2
			startlevel VOLUME temp
			setuserdef[THISACTOR].display_bonus_screen YES
			setvar firstmap 2
		}
	}


CON script currently has no shiftvarvarl command, hence the whilevarn loops to generate bits by powers of two. The limitation of this system is that I can only track as many levels completed as there are bits in a gamevar. But as long as I'm only randomizing levels defined as part of the same episode, this isn't a problem, since there can only be 32 maps in an episode, and the first and last maps aren't part of the random sequence anyway.
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