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Modern "retro" FPS corner  "For some more general discussion, news etc. in one place"

User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#121

VGA was brand new. Wolf3D definitely took advantage of it like a lot of games then. People were just happy to work with more than 16 colours (the awful selection at that) and consumers were more than happy to be wowed by it. Different time. Games weren't about creating an atmosphere so much back then.
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User is offline   necroslut 

#122

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 21 July 2019 - 05:19 PM, said:

VGA was brand new. Wolf3D definitely took advantage of it like a lot of games then. People were just happy to work with more than 16 colours (the awful selection at that) and consumers were more than happy to be wowed by it. Different time. Games weren't about creating an atmosphere so much back then.

Even then, I think Wolf 3D achieves much more of an atmosphere than it's given credit for. Especially the original three episodes are pretty damn solid.
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User is offline   Zaxx 

#123

I wouldn't say that it achieves its intended atmosphere but you can feel some of the ideas behind it for sure. Ultimately I think that's where RtCW got most of its inspiration from and that's the game where I consider Wolf's atmosphere fully realized. For example the first episode is supposed to take place in a castle and you can feel that through some of the sprites and wall textures (knight armors, stone brick walls etc.) but it's RtCW where you're in an actual castle. :)

This post has been edited by Zaxx: 21 July 2019 - 06:47 PM

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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#124

I mean, it was 1992, man.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 21 July 2019 - 08:03 PM

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User is offline   Zaxx 

#125

Sure and FPS was a genre that was just trying to form into something at the time but I started my gaming with side scrollers where art style and atmosphere were already beyond what id could do at the time. Castlevania and Prince of Persia had already nailed the "castle stuff" for me so Wolf 3D was weird even if the technology itself was mind blowing. Super Castlevania IV came out around the same time as Wolf 3D did, just think about that.
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User is offline   Sledgehammer 

  • Once you start doubting, there's no end to it

#126

View PostMrFlibble, on 21 July 2019 - 11:41 AM, said:

I'd say its main problem (that makes it kinda boring to play, for me at least) are the engine limitations that imposed serious restrictions on level design, coupled with a pretty low variety of enemies.

It was almost always like that with the old games. Wolfenstein may look dated, but its excuse is the engine and probably hardware limitations. Games like Nightmare Reaper are just plain ugly, not because of the engine or hardware limitations (speaking of which, it seems that NR runs like shit, likely due to lighting), which is perhaps why it is pretty difficult to compare this kind of games to actual dated games in general. Even Gloom for Amiga CD32 (a Doom clone) still looks better than Nightmare Reaper, although it is also quite dated due to hardware limitations as far as I can tell.
https://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/486627-gloom-amiga-cd32-screenshot-fullscreen-view.png
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#127

I think Nightmare Reaper comes off as a bit dishonest in what its trying to do. Most of the other retro-styled shooters don't come off all that different than what was made back in the day. Randomized levels, okay, possible, Operation: Bodycount did that. Square-shaped level design with verticality, okay, fine, Rise of the Triad did that. Chests that look like they're part of the scenery blowing apart. Okay, we're getting out there. A million different particles and objects on the screen? That's very obviously a modern thing that nobody would've done back in the day. The Gameboy bit is also too much. The closet thing anything had was the odd pong game hidden somewhere.
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User is offline   Borion 

#128

I don't know if it was mentioned - sorry if that is the case - but guys, you have to check this TC. It is sort of remake or reinterpretation of Wolf 3D. I played it some time ago and IMO it's brilliant. Gameplay mechanics, graphics, level design, character interaction...everything seems to be well thought out and executed. In my private humble list of 'retro flavoured treasures' it has its special place.

Blade of Agony:
https://boa.realm667...dia-screenshots

And to add my 2 cents on Nightmare Reaper graphics, IMHO think this game has loads of untapped potential. Sure some things seem to be barely out of sketch phase or look super bad. But at the same time other stuff look like someone had a good idea what he is doing & executed on it pretty well. What is missing here IMO is general 'vision' how to bring everything together. Maybe it is matter of lack of time, maybe it is matter of inexperience...or author just don't give a f*** and likes such style.

This post has been edited by Borion: 28 July 2019 - 04:10 AM

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User is online   SonicB00M 

#129

Blade of Agony is amazing and should be played by any oldschool FPS fan. Many players have criticized the massive levels in chapter 2 and as a result the mapper(s?) are currently working on optimizing the maps' flow. They will be released with chapter 3.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#130

View PostZaxx, on 21 July 2019 - 04:16 PM, said:

They are though, I mean it's just cartoony and it sort of lacks any kind of authenticity as weird as that may sound. The nazis really don't look like nazis and the art style just has too much Keen in it so to speak. Even when it comes to mods with Doom you usually see the original art style being respected while with Wolf 3D everyone is just aiming to replace the color palette and the enemy sprites. And really the lack of floors and ceilings is just weird, I no longer believe that something is there like I did in the old days. :D

At least Wolf3D is fairly consistent in the art style, which was also kind of kept in Blake Stone - a far more solid game in my opinion, in fact I'd say it refined much of Wolf3D roughness and expanded the enemy roster for more playing variety. Aliens of Gold does not pretend to be realistic, with its vibrant colours and cartoony style, but none the less you have this impression that you're in a place, not a random maze. I'd write it off to the added mechanics with revisitable levels via the elevator, the automap and friendly NPCs, vending machines etc.

BTW, The Catacomb Abyss ain't that bad either, even with EGA graphics, very limited weapons, and monsters that are mostly melee attackers. The fact alone that each level has its own theme and is split into sections that are named appropriately, adds a lot to the atmosphere. Also enemies have a lot of variety, with zombies rising from the ground and skeletons emerging from walls, those cute water trolls in the aqueducts level. I can easily imagine the game being a kind of spiritual predecessor to Heretic and especially Hexen.

Wolf3D on the other hand was apparently restrained by its theme, you can't have this much variety with Nazi dungeons I guess.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#131

I do still believe the first 3 episodes of Wolf3D are remarkably stylized and recognizable as real world locations. After episode 3 though it just starts getting a little out there with nonsensical mazes and whatnot.
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User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#132

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 01 August 2019 - 05:24 PM, said:

I do still believe the first 3 episodes of Wolf3D are remarkably stylized and recognizable as real world locations. After episode 3 though it just starts getting a little out there with nonsensical mazes and whatnot.

my favorite part is how the later episodes turn the manual into a liar. "Keys needed to progress will not be hidden in secrets."


and then episode 4 happened
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#133

Yeah that became a running gag right into Spear of Destiny.
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#134

I feel like Wolfenstein is too inconsistent in its level design, which makes a bit of sense considering each level was supposedly made in a day. Far too many of the levels didn't make any sense, even as early as episode 1. That first secret is just an obnoxious area of purple dirt. You can also tell on some of the later levels they were seriously running out of ideas and just made areas swastikas. As MrFlibble mentioned Blake Stone and the Catacombs series had much better level design. Even the first 3D entry, despite being very simple in terms of room descriptions and lots of just plain "generic corridor description for the entire floor". I'd also throw out Nitemare 3D as having good level design, most of the time.

Which does tie back to Nightmare Reaper. Most of the Wolfenstein 3D clones tended to suffer from the poor end of the level design. Since Nightmare Reaper is randomly generated that kind of dials up the poor, mazey-ness of that kind of design. Now, it certainly looks more open than what there was back in the day, but it doesn't strike me with confidence.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#135

Episode 3 has one giant swastika shape in one of the levels, other than that it's pretty good I feel. There IS that one giant wood maze in episode 3 to get to the secret level that is REALLY annoying, though. Screw that level. Other than that, I think the first 3 episodes are solid. 4, 5, and 6 are as bad as Spear of Destiny Mission Packs 2 and 3.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 03 August 2019 - 11:47 AM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#136

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 01 August 2019 - 05:24 PM, said:

I do still believe the first 3 episodes of Wolf3D are remarkably stylized and recognizable as real world locations.

They are, but there's fairly little variety as far as I remember, mostly stone walls and stuff. I really love those sections with wood paneled walls and potted trees though, they kind of remind me of real life places with wooden panes. And as I said above the areas are recognizable thanks to the right placement of props, whereas Doom leaned towards more bold architectural variety but less realistic detail.

I think Blake Stone: AoG made a more coherent impression on me because there are generally more elements (enemies, NPCs, wall switches and vending machines and whatnot), and because it does convey the idea of being in a single building instead of simply "floors" because you can go back and forth between them. Also the automap helps quite a bit, because in Wolf3D it's a bit too easy to get lost without it, on later levels at least.

I just replayed a bit of Xibalba (I only played it once before, and not to completion) because it has some very strict design limitations making it quite similar to Wolf3D. It's actually pretty fun and fast paced but it's also noticeably very linear. I believe that in this case it's a good design choice because there's no way to save or load the game. It's a good proof of concept though that an enjoyable, playable game does not have to have a lot of elements. I mean I just got to the first techno area for the first time and encountered those advanced teleporting priests with fast blue energy attack, this got a genuine wow from me because there wasn't a new monster type for a while :) At the same time the pixelised, low-res enemies and textures feel very organic in Xibalba, they convey what they need to and don't have to be of higher resolution.

The game is very atmospheric, the ambient sounds and music add a lot to the oppressive atmosphere. Overall a good example of minimalist style, yet as a matter of fact, I would not call Xibalba a retro game because of "pixeliness" or 90 degree walls at same height. Yet the author (as you can see below) actually used a very similar approach to that id Software made use of when creating Wolf3D.

I just found a very interesting "making of" video by the author:

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#137

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 03 August 2019 - 11:46 AM, said:

Episode 3 has one giant swastika shape in one of the levels, other than that it's pretty good I feel. There IS that one giant wood maze in episode 3 to get to the secret level that is REALLY annoying, though. Screw that level. Other than that, I think the first 3 episodes are solid. 4, 5, and 6 are as bad as Spear of Destiny Mission Packs 2 and 3.


Eh, it kinda makes sense for them to make the area to get to the secret levels annoying. I feel like the Aardwolf maze is more annoying, since its easier to get into that accidentally, and by the time you realize what's going on your knee deep in that mess. I also maintain that there are some good levels in the latter three episodes. Not the "this officer is hiding in a corridor just because", but the "hey, this actually looks like a barracks with a shower".

Are the SoD MPs really that bad? I keep hearing nothing but bad things about them. I mean, I'm planning on going through a lot of Wolfenstein/Spear of Destiny stuff anyway for silly reasons, so I'll find out myself anyways, but I'm still curious ahead of time.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • Buy Mage's Initiation!

#138

SoD 2 and 3 change all the art and sounds around. So every single level is nothing but mazes of blue hallways and grey doors. Every now and then you happen upon the odd white-roomed lab with a bunch of science equipment and chemicals and nuclear waste everywhere or something and some flying bats with guns attached to them. Then there are these "reactor rooms" or something with annoying big blue and white particles that obscure your vision (like the vines in SoD 1) and hide all the flying bats and machine gunners hiding around. And then in the last level of each of them you find the
Spoiler

And then despite all the art changes, after beating each of them you're treated to the exact same cutscene art and narration from the original SoD telling you
Spoiler

and you get to see the exact same credits sequence with all the concept art of the bosses from SoD 1.

I will say the ending of SoD 3 is a pretty neat twist, though. I've played it twice now and both times it took me by surprise and I thought it was super cool....except that

Spoiler


One thing about SoD 2 and 3 is that there seems to be a dead rat in front of every secret wall in the whole game so it makes them sort of easy to find. But the atmosphere is just so similar in every single level it gets super boring after a while.

This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 03 August 2019 - 09:23 PM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#139

Apparently Wolf3D's potential was pretty much exhausted with the original game plus SoD, and the level packs were just made to cash in. BTW, I played only a bit of Planet Strike and although they made some gameplay improvements (including some sort of radar that you need pickups for to power, which I believe is rather similar to a mechanic in Nitemare 3D) the level design seemed so dull to me I had no incentive to get past level 2. IDK if it gets better in other levels, but it certainly makes you appreciate Rise of the Triad for having a lot more to offer in spite of the engine's limitations.

I've found a couple of channels showcasing first-person games from the 90s, including a lot of pretty obscure ones:
https://www.youtube....onyDanza/videos
https://www.youtube....8a1dw/playlists

The impression I'm getting is that most, or at least very many, of the "Doom clones" are rather poor, and that happens foremost because they fail to make playing fun in the first place. The art quality is quite varied, from low-res who-knows-what to some pretty detailed high-res renders, but you often get the impression that the creators were too busy copying Doom's gameplay elements (walk around, shoot monsters etc.) they had no time or effort left to arrange these elements into something that would be playable instead of just interactive.

My favourite example so far is Chemical Warfare, a game made with Pie in the Sky Software's 3D Game Creation System, which, unlike so many other games using the same construction set, has to show a thoughtful approach to design that produces a coherent experience. The game is about infiltrating a chemical weapons factory and the areas are designed so that it looks like that. By contrast, most 3D GCS games are, unfortunately, made of random looking rooms with enemies placed here and there without any clear logic or intent.

The same could just as well be extended to any modern creations striving to be "retro", I believe. Without good level design, everything else will probably fall apart. The problem of course is that you also need a weapon/monster balance, and that has to exist on its own as part of the system, and be used creatively in making the levels. One of Wolf3D problems is that almost all enemies are simply hitscanners, and the weapons are basically upgrades of the same bullet weapon (actually not much different from the fireball, zapper and exterminator weapons in The Catacomb Abyss). This of course puts a lid on how many various combat situations you may have in the game, no matter how clever the map design. Abyss at least has those hourglass powerups for variety, and Blake Stone the rocket/grenade launcher weapon. Actually I believe that this setup makes it obvious why the Developers of Incredible Power went with infinite ammo for bullet weapons and focussed on missile weapon variety instead.

This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 04 August 2019 - 05:55 AM

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#140

Huh, dead rats? Really? I mean, Wolf does have problems with most of its secrets being seemingly placed at random, but there's gotta be some way to do secrets in that game without going to either extreme.

Having actually played a lot of those old shooters, excluding the ones made with GCS, not all of the bad ones were just imitating Doom. A surprising number tried to focus on making a good story. Tried, mind, a lot just weren't very thrilling. Most of the ones I remember best had a riveting story going while the gameplay was probably average. Its been a while, the stories tend to stick out more in my mind. I think it would do well of modern developers to play some of those old crappy shooters and see where they went wrong. Its fine and all that to know where Quake or Duke went wrong, but it'd help sand out the rough parts if they knew where something like Quiver went wrong.

I think any game can be good if one element is bad. Its obvious in cases like story, but you can get away with bad enemies, weapons, graphics or even levels. I mean, modern-set shooters tend to have lackluster enemy selection, but some of those are pretty good. Other elements make up for the fact that the enemies don't have much variety. Its only vaguely comparable, but usually in space shooters the "levels" weren't good because they were cleverly designed levels, but because they set up enemies and your own weapons in interesting ways. You've just got to make use of the tools you've been given in clever ways.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#141

View PostMorpheus Kitami, on 04 August 2019 - 09:08 AM, said:

Having actually played a lot of those old shooters, excluding the ones made with GCS, not all of the bad ones were just imitating Doom. A surprising number tried to focus on making a good story. Tried, mind, a lot just weren't very thrilling. Most of the ones I remember best had a riveting story going while the gameplay was probably average. Its been a while, the stories tend to stick out more in my mind. I think it would do well of modern developers to play some of those old crappy shooters and see where they went wrong. Its fine and all that to know where Quake or Duke went wrong, but it'd help sand out the rough parts if they knew where something like Quiver went wrong.

Well, this is why I'm trying to steer the discussion here towards anaylsing the oldies :) I believe though that it can be instructive to understand not only what was done wrong but what could have been done (right) but wasn't realised within the genre at that point of its development.

I, too, noticed from watching this channel that there were attempts at more deep storytelling than what John Carmack's approach to Doom envisioned (I mean his infamous quote about the plot). It seems to me that the successful specimens of the genre lean rather heavily towards arcade kind of action, even in Star Wars: Dark Forces with its clearly mission-based approach you're basically playing Rambo, mowing down Stormtroopers and stuff with guns blazing (as opposed, for example, to relying on stealth) - but that's quite in line with the ethos of the Star Wars universe as far as I can tell. But then again, there are titles that are somewhat on the fence, like Realms of the Haunting which I believe more or less successfully blends adventure with first-person shooting

View PostMorpheus Kitami, on 04 August 2019 - 09:08 AM, said:

I think any game can be good if one element is bad. Its obvious in cases like story, but you can get away with bad enemies, weapons, graphics or even levels. I mean, modern-set shooters tend to have lackluster enemy selection, but some of those are pretty good. Other elements make up for the fact that the enemies don't have much variety. Its only vaguely comparable, but usually in space shooters the "levels" weren't good because they were cleverly designed levels, but because they set up enemies and your own weapons in interesting ways. You've just got to make use of the tools you've been given in clever ways.

At the end of the day, I think it's the fun factor that is what differentiates a good, enjoyable game from a boring one. It's just that there are no clear guidelines on how to accomplish that.

Take In Pursuit of Greed. It was basically done by a team without much experience in FPS titles, yet they came up with some good gameplay concepts (respawning enemies and bonus items, accumulating score to progress through the level rather than finding an exit etc.). However these ideas are undermined by some poor design choices, one of them being lacklustre feedback for the player on the character's status. You have shields that protect you but to get the idea how much you've left of them you need to acutely discern between 50 shades of blue on the HUD ring surrounding a pointless animation (thankfully they at least added numbers to the health meter before release). This wouldn't be as bad if only the game were better at telling you when the character was taking damage. As a result the combat feels rather sluggish and unbalanced, you can hop from being equipped with full shields and maxed health to near zero in almost an instant if you run into a few monsters at wrong times. The same goes for enemies which range from harmless melee attackers that only pose a threat if they encircle you, to pretty tough guys that can dish out punishment with ease. The fact is that, I believe, these and other shortcomings could have been fixed without the need for a fundamental overhaul of the game, and maybe they will be someday because the source code is available.

On the other hand we have REKKR, where the author not only managed to completely change the weapon/monster balance while keeping in line with vanilla Doom limitations but also arranged these weapons, monsters and levels in such a way as to deliver a consistent playing experience with its own strategies and logic. There is no doubt that this arose from both a deep experience with (and understanding of) playing Doom and considerable ingenuity on the author's part, but I also believe that a lot of playtesting and polishing of these ideas was involved before the final result came out. But at any rate, REKKR was still building upon the solid foundation of Doom.
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#142

View PostMrFlibble, on 05 August 2019 - 04:37 AM, said:

Well, this is why I'm trying to steer the discussion here towards anaylsing the oldies :) I believe though that it can be instructive to understand not only what was done wrong but what could have been done (right) but wasn't realised within the genre at that point of its development.

I, too, noticed from watching this channel that there were attempts at more deep storytelling than what John Carmack's approach to Doom envisioned (I mean his infamous quote about the plot). It seems to me that the successful specimens of the genre lean rather heavily towards arcade kind of action, even in Star Wars: Dark Forces with its clearly mission-based approach you're basically playing Rambo, mowing down Stormtroopers and stuff with guns blazing (as opposed, for example, to relying on stealth) - but that's quite in line with the ethos of the Star Wars universe as far as I can tell. But then again, there are titles that are somewhat on the fence, like Realms of the Haunting which I believe more or less successfully blends adventure with first-person shooting


Wasn't it Romero? I seem to remember that quote being attributed to him. Could be I just want to point him at it, since its certainly in character to him. I get where you're going, but the example you chose is a bit poor. Dark Forces actually did rely on stealth a little bit, since at least one of the missions required it. It also had quite a few cutscenes if memory doesn't fail me. Although come to think of it, that does have the least non-shooty elements of any major shooter from that era that wasn't in either the Build or IdTech 1/2 engines, unless I'm forgetting something.

Quote

At the end of the day, I think it's the fun factor that is what differentiates a good, enjoyable game from a boring one. It's just that there are no clear guidelines on how to accomplish that.

Take In Pursuit of Greed. It was basically done by a team without much experience in FPS titles, yet they came up with some good gameplay concepts (respawning enemies and bonus items, accumulating score to progress through the level rather than finding an exit etc.). However these ideas are undermined by some poor design choices, one of them being lacklustre feedback for the player on the character's status. You have shields that protect you but to get the idea how much you've left of them you need to acutely discern between 50 shades of blue on the HUD ring surrounding a pointless animation (thankfully they at least added numbers to the health meter before release). This wouldn't be as bad if only the game were better at telling you when the character was taking damage. As a result the combat feels rather sluggish and unbalanced, you can hop from being equipped with full shields and maxed health to near zero in almost an instant if you run into a few monsters at wrong times. The same goes for enemies which range from harmless melee attackers that only pose a threat if they encircle you, to pretty tough guys that can dish out punishment with ease. The fact is that, I believe, these and other shortcomings could have been fixed without the need for a fundamental overhaul of the game, and maybe they will be someday because the source code is available.


I didn't realize the source code was available for that. I also didn't realize the team behind that was the same team behind Ironseed, a very atmospheric Star Control II-clone.
Yet, funnily, you could compare the stuff in that game to the stuff in Dark Forces. It has health and shields, with varying shades, and tough guys that can kill you quickly, but the health/shields has numbers in addition to the shades, not screwing you over. The tougher enemies are usually foreshadowed or really obviously not guys you want to deal with. Although I think the ones that can really screw you over tend to fall in Pursuit can't really be necessarily foreshadowed better, due to the limitations of a respawning combat zone. Balanced better, yes.

Quote

On the other hand we have REKKR, where the author not only managed to completely change the weapon/monster balance while keeping in line with vanilla Doom limitations but also arranged these weapons, monsters and levels in such a way as to deliver a consistent playing experience with its own strategies and logic. There is no doubt that this arose from both a deep experience with (and understanding of) playing Doom and considerable ingenuity on the author's part, but I also believe that a lot of playtesting and polishing of these ideas was involved before the final result came out. But at any rate, REKKR was still building upon the solid foundation of Doom.


Indeed, I think there are quite a few good examples of such mods in the Doom community, although perhaps not all are in the vein of a completely new game like REKKR. On the other hand, the one game in the Doom engine that is commerical, (or at least I think it is, I'm not entirely sure) Hedon, isn't a great example of the wonders of the Doom community. A very messy and disjointed game. You have adventure segments followed by Painkiller-like segments, which is perhaps not the best fit for the Doom engine.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

#143

View PostMorpheus Kitami, on 05 August 2019 - 03:13 PM, said:

Wasn't it Romero? I seem to remember that quote being attributed to him.

He even made a relatively recent comment about that old quote :)

View PostMorpheus Kitami, on 05 August 2019 - 03:13 PM, said:

I get where you're going, but the example you chose is a bit poor. Dark Forces actually did rely on stealth a little bit, since at least one of the missions required it. It also had quite a few cutscenes if memory doesn't fail me.

I think I had games like Realms of the Haunting and The Abyss in my mind when typing my comment about Dark Forces. There's certainly a difference in storytelling: in DF, cutscenes and mission briefings are clearly separated from gameplay, which itself has only minor intrusions in the form of voice messages, whereas in RoTH and The Abyss non-interactive plot-stuff weaves into the game flow.

View PostMorpheus Kitami, on 05 August 2019 - 03:13 PM, said:

I didn't realize the source code was available for that.

Yup, the code is available here.

View PostMorpheus Kitami, on 05 August 2019 - 03:13 PM, said:

Yet, funnily, you could compare the stuff in that game to the stuff in Dark Forces. It has health and shields, with varying shades, and tough guys that can kill you quickly, but the health/shields has numbers in addition to the shades, not screwing you over. The tougher enemies are usually foreshadowed or really obviously not guys you want to deal with. Although I think the ones that can really screw you over tend to fall in Pursuit can't really be necessarily foreshadowed better, due to the limitations of a respawning combat zone. Balanced better, yes.

I think it's just the problem: it's hard to pinpoint where exactly IPoG fails. You can take a lot of damage suddenly in many other games, at least if your'e not careful, so it's not only the balance problem. Personally I felt kind of being detached from what was going on in Greed to an extent, which I tend to ascribe to poor feedback. It's not something game breaking but requires some getting used to.

View PostMorpheus Kitami, on 04 August 2019 - 09:08 AM, said:

Its fine and all that to know where Quake or Duke went wrong, but it'd help sand out the rough parts if they knew where something like Quiver went wrong.

I revived some memories of playing Quiver (now that was a while ago). Their programmer certainly did a good job of cloning the Doom engine from scratch, that's for sure. I don't mind the odd monster design either, visually, but I think that the problem with gameplay here is exactly the lacking balance of weapon and monster strength. IIRC many weapons you get can one-up a lot of regular monster types, making it hard to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each weapon. On the other hand, monsters can dish out serious damage if you're not careful, so in many places the difference between success and defeat lies in whether you know in advance where a monster is hiding. It doesn't help either that many of them don't make any sounds, or these sounds are so low they can't serve a good indication of a monster's position, unlike Doom. I also remember areas where I faced some serious attrition when suddenly lots of monsters would come at me, each weak individually but slowly draining ammo and, if not careful, health too. I'm fairly positive these shortcomings could have been mostly amended with thoughtful monster and item placement.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#144

Wait, there was a playable version of Quiver at some point? I thought that got folded into Half-Life ultimately?
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User is offline   fuegerstef 

#145

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 06 August 2019 - 04:42 AM, said:

Wait, there was a playable version of Quiver at some point? I thought that got folded into Half-Life ultimately?




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#146

View PostMrFlibble, on 06 August 2019 - 01:40 AM, said:

I think I had games like Realms of the Haunting and The Abyss in my mind when typing my comment about Dark Forces. There's certainly a difference in storytelling: in DF, cutscenes and mission briefings are clearly separated from gameplay, which itself has only minor intrusions in the form of voice messages, whereas in RoTH and The Abyss non-interactive plot-stuff weaves into the game flow.


Ah, if you think about it that way, it does change a bit. A lot more fall on that side of the equation if you put it that way. Oddly, even the very story-based Jedi Knight would probably fall under that.


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I think it's just the problem: it's hard to pinpoint where exactly IPoG fails. You can take a lot of damage suddenly in many other games, at least if your'e not careful, so it's not only the balance problem. Personally I felt kind of being detached from what was going on in Greed to an extent, which I tend to ascribe to poor feedback. It's not something game breaking but requires some getting used to.


Well, not feeling like you're part of the game could be considered bad design, since most action games you're supposed to feel like part of the action.

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I revived some memories of playing Quiver (now that was a while ago). Their programmer certainly did a good job of cloning the Doom engine from scratch, that's for sure. I don't mind the odd monster design either, visually, but I think that the problem with gameplay here is exactly the lacking balance of weapon and monster strength. IIRC many weapons you get can one-up a lot of regular monster types, making it hard to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each weapon. On the other hand, monsters can dish out serious damage if you're not careful, so in many places the difference between success and defeat lies in whether you know in advance where a monster is hiding. It doesn't help either that many of them don't make any sounds, or these sounds are so low they can't serve a good indication of a monster's position, unlike Doom. I also remember areas where I faced some serious attrition when suddenly lots of monsters would come at me, each weak individually but slowly draining ammo and, if not careful, health too. I'm fairly positive these shortcomings could have been mostly amended with thoughtful monster and item placement.


Here I was thinking that the worst thing you could do with your sound is have voice clips that slowly become obnoxious over the course of the game. I didn't really remember the sound for that, which feeds into your point. Makes you appreciate the stuff in Doom and Duke. A lot of games had a problem with the player being unable to detect when they're about to die. In Pursuit of Greed, Quiver, every other bad shooter I can think of suffered in that regard and even some good ones. Heck, with the exception of its amusing stuff, I think every problem in Quiver is just something every bad FPS from that era did, a matter of memory rather than skill.

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 06 August 2019 - 04:42 AM, said:

Wait, there was a playable version of Quiver at some point? I thought that got folded into Half-Life ultimately?


Quiver is a different game than the one that would turn into Half-Life. Quiver is mostly interesting for being slightly ridiculous in its execution, including the tagline "It won't make you quake, but it will make you quiver" and a weapon called "Fajita Maker". Which sounds like something someone would make up about a non-existent game. I also remember it having a lot of crates in levels and a all projectile arsenal. It felt a lot like a shareware game from the early '90s, despite coming out in '97.
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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

  • Judge Mental

#147

View Postfuegerstef, on 06 August 2019 - 05:01 AM, said:



Gah. It's so DULL.
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User is offline   the_raven 

#148

Oooh, this thread looks tasty! Thanks for a list of new games I'm gonna try out :D
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