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What are you working on for Duke right now?  "Post about whatever Duke related stuff you're doing"

User is offline   ck3D 

#9391

Got to map a bit this weekend. Current level is just reaching the 500 sector mark, I'd say it's safe to assume a quarter of it is complete. I rarely get to map these days because of my own savant mix of work and summer but somehow manage to get quite a lot done on the few occasions I get.

Here are some more low-visibility in-editor shots,

I designed this city block and brought that area a little closer to completion, still lacking all the detail:

Attached Image: br3-01.png

Attached Image: br3-02.png

Also spent some time doodling little tight alleys, ideally I'd like this map to have tons of transitions and alternate routes from building to building via lateral connections, this is just a start but I've made some little balconies, also buildings on the first shot are brand new and still need work:

Attached Image: br3-03.png

Attached Image: br3-04.png

And because you guys liked the triangular building, here's a less beta version of it complete with illumination and some perspective for general scale:

Attached Image: br3-05.png

Attached Image: br3-06.png

View PostSanek, on 31 July 2020 - 01:24 PM, said:

Allright, I uinderstand. I guess it's going to be like one of these old Roch maps, when you can see part of the previous levels, isn't it?

Treating the episode's making as the experiment/challenge of sorts is the interesting one. Yes, I can see that you think differently about layout, ammo, weapons, enemies and stuff and you also can have a bigger storyline than a single user maps' usually allows.


Yeah, that's kind of it except on (what feels like) an even larger scale. The downside is feeling like you pretty much keep sitting on Roch maps, but (hopefully) good things require time.

View PostSanek, on 31 July 2020 - 01:24 PM, said:

It looks like a city episode to me. Every map of yours looks different enough yet it still have your style, so I wonder what it's going to be.

And speaking of comfort zones...we all remeber that you made a map called Dark Side of the Moon, and you NEVER made another space-themed map EVER AGAIN. :)


I don't intend it to be just city maps at all. I think I'm getting those out of the way because I want to keep the most exotic and fun experimentation for last. You'll see (and I'll see too, depending on what I actually end up materializing - so far the scope is still evolving as I'm going, and I don't want to flaunt what might amount to just be delusions of grandeur).

Dark Side Of The Moon was so bad! I had no idea what a true space map even was. Now, on the other hand...

This post has been edited by ck3D: 02 August 2020 - 07:51 PM

15

User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9392

I like the way the streets and buildings kinda start blending with the sky texture. Makes it feel less unconnected and more like a part of the world too.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9393

Thanks I'm glad you dig it, and that's an interesting observation - in general with those maps, I've been having fun spending some time making sure the sky texture really fits the theme of the level both in terms of color and vibe, here I reckon what you're describing works especially because of a combination of palette choices and how the landscape of the map itself is especially neon-heavy, tall buildings whose patterns blend into the sky tile which has a similar style of contrasting bright-on-dark tones (with some red in common too). Later when I add out-of-bounds sceneries with actual building silhouettes using that same tile as a wall texture like I've shown in map 2, and the general landscape of the map is less cluttered with evenly tall walls everywhere, the immersion should get even stronger (that's usually what happens, and what already happened to me with map 1 and 2).

Also when the visibility is fixed (I want a lot less fog, and more elements to be visible from distance), things should start taking another look as well. Originally I wanted to make every map full bright, but now I'm reconsidering how drastic that decision would be because the maps so far all have their atmospheric moments visibility fog probably contributes to the atmosphere of to a certain extent - I'll just have to see on a case-by-case basis.

Also please don't mind the apparent frame rate on those screens. For some reason my computer loves starting to process random updates in the background just as I feel like making screenshots, and slows shit down (happened here, and has happened to me once or twice before while making some for this thread). The map itself still runs fine and smooth so far.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 03 August 2020 - 04:06 AM

1

User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9394

View Postck3D, on 03 August 2020 - 03:34 AM, said:

Thanks I'm glad you dig it, and that's an interesting observation - in general with those maps, I've been having fun spending some time making sure the sky texture really fits the theme of the level both in terms of color and vibe, here I reckon what you're describing works especially because of a combination of palette choices and how the landscape of the map itself is especially neon-heavy, tall buildings whose patterns blend into the sky tile which has a similar style of contrasting bright-on-dark tones (with some red in common too).


Pretty much.

And yeah, a little ambient darkness/fog tends to create certain atmospheres.
0

User is offline   11bush 

#9395

I've been working on some Vietnam war stuff again, but I'm working with the duke palette, and directly with the art tiles.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_22_26 AM.png
  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_37_29 AM.png
  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_31_27 AM.png
  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_22_50 AM.png
  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_35_18 AM.png
  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_35_44 AM.png
  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_36_08 AM.png
  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_37_23 AM.png
  • Attached Image: Platoon Leader - EDuke32 8_5_2020 10_37_39 AM.png


This post has been edited by 11bush: 05 August 2020 - 08:46 AM

11

User is offline   MC84 

#9396

View Post11bush, on 05 August 2020 - 08:44 AM, said:

I've been working on some Vietnam war stuff again, but I'm working with the duke palette, and directly with the art tiles.


Nice! - your weapon sprites are looking much more coherent/natural.
0

User is offline   11bush 

#9397

View PostMC84, on 05 August 2020 - 12:35 PM, said:

Nice! - your weapon sprites are looking much more coherent/natural.


Thanks, it's taken me a while to find what really seems to work for me.
0

User is offline   Merlijn 

#9398

CK3D, those shots look really good! They're really different from your usual style, although it also feels like a logical continuation from Poisoned heart. If that makes sense.

Finally getting SG3 closer to be finished. Some parts were very time consuming to make, but I'm not going to spoil those here. :)
It will also have several jokes and easter eggs (as always), so for fun here's one:

Attached Image: duke0111.png

Yes I realize it's low hanging fruit. Couldn't resist. :o
8

User is offline   ck3D 

#9399

Thank you Merlijn! I think the similar feel to Poison Heart has something to do with all the visible lights and neon lighting. Poison Heart had some of a cyberpunk feel to it (accordingly to some feedback it got), and this new level is straight up pushing that style but in a different direction. More futuristic-looking than the average Western metropolis, in a way. I also think the momentary absence of detail has a lot to do with the level not looking like my style; as soon as I start working on the final touches of a map, putting in the tiny decoration, cars and whatnot is usually when things come together for me as far as wrapping up the aesthetics.

I'm really looking forward to SG3, good luck with it. I'll probably just enjoy myself replaying all three levels once this one drops. That trim work on the rightmost building looks nice and smooth. Also that sign is funny - I made some very similarly-crafted ones (even re-using the 'coming soon' part of that texture in the exact same way - now, not that anybody never did that before) in map 2 of my thing, which are also intended to be humorous but in a different genre. I don't want to spoil them, otherwise I'd post pictures, but the resemblances are striking to the point where when I saw your thumbnail, for a split second I wondered if it was from my map somehow!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 10 August 2020 - 11:34 AM

0

User is offline   11bush 

#9400

I started working on an uzi today, but I'm not sure if the texture is too much. Maybe I should go a bit flatter. This is one of the sprites from the reload sequence.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: RELOADUZI.png


This post has been edited by 11bush: 11 August 2020 - 08:49 PM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9401

Been working on map 3 again for the past couple of days, it's in the 630+ sectors now. Had fun designing more little connections from place to place and a building and its interiors and rooftop with four layers of SOS and eight (!) ways out of it, but I guess I kinda micromanaged that one - it's not even a large or especially crucial part of the level, but it was fun to make and I guess it's practice for what's next, also I love the idea of designing something that should be fun for Dukematch too. Also designed one more of those little alleyways traversing blocks, and just about ready to tackle more indoor stuff - should be fun. One positive of the work-on-the-whole-map-at-once approach is you get to pick what you're in the mood for working on out of everything you want to have in the level and then to just do it; for instance here it's pretty cool being able to juggle with different sections of the level depending on what I'm inspired to design, whether it's a large or narrow, outdoor or indoor area, etc. so progress is (ideally) more likely to be quick and constant.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 14 August 2020 - 03:51 PM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9402

Added 100 more sectors today so now map 3 is in the 730+'s and going well, I'm stoked and hope I can maintain the pace. Here's a handful of tings:

Attached Image: screenmap31.png

Very WIP indoor area that I just started this morning with quite the funny/unrealistic architecture, might or might not be subject to change heavily but right now it looks like this. Still devoid of detail, sprite work, pillars etc.

Attached Image: screenmap32.png

A rough bit of yet another simple alleyway like I've been super into designing recently, although still empty for now, just for the colors and shapes.

Attached Image: screenmap33.png

Wee lil' Duke Burger thing sandwiched somewhere in between stacks of SOS. This is inside the building with eight ways out (for now), for instance here the ventilation shaft on the ceiling connects with the rooftop some floors above.

And these last two are just because I'm happy to see the city as a whole slowly start to come together and come to life:

Attached Image: screenmap34.png

Attached Image: screenmap5.png
9

User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9403

I always love it when tiny lights are visible in the distance. Really makes the place feel lived in.

I'm getting a very strong Blade Runner vibe from the full city shots.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9404

Yeah me too, about the lights - in general it's something I've found myself incorporating into my style since I started working on this project. The maps are quite large and spread apart so I've been using full bright values (or more or less 'full bright' depending on the situation and the 'power' I imagine the light source has) to mark certain perspectives and create landmarks to help with navigation. As soon as I realized brighter shade values on walls and sprites also affected their visibility and allowed them to be seen from any distance and started applying that to lights, honestly it was game over for me in that it's all I seem to do now because it adds so much in terms of depth and pseudo-realism. I'll still mess with the visibility of each individual map pre-release so the final product is bound to look a little different (basically more buildings will be drawn on screen instead of fading to black) but I'm definitely focusing on and preserving that aspect.

And yes this map in particular focuses on that aesthetic, ideally I'd like every map to have its distinctive visual style and Blade Runner describes the tone of this one really well, what's funny too is I've gotten Blade Runner comparisons for other maps before but I don't think I ever even watched the movie or played the game. I'm familiar with other works that shared inspiration with Blade Runner and aware of the definition of those aesthetics though, and I fully embrace them, it's just funny how it's not really a conscious thing. To be honest I think a lot of what drew me to the original game originally was the Blade Runner vibe already - it never really pushed it like that (also due to technical limitations at the time) but the feel of dystopia I always thought was always very much present in Duke 3D and I always liked the idea of honoring that atmosphere in user maps, that's true.

Also after all these years I currently find it to be the most practical way of mapping as the style itself is pretty easy on the resources - in a way it has everything to do with optimizing the look of the ones you've already spent with the right texture picks and values (paired up with basic, contrasted lighting/shading), as opposed to cramming as many sectors and walls as possible into really intricate architecture to try and convey a pseudo-realistic atmosphere.
2

User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9405

View Postck3D, on 16 August 2020 - 12:47 AM, said:

And yes this map in particular focuses on that aesthetic, ideally I'd like every map to have its distinctive visual style and Blade Runner describes the tone of this one really well, what's funny too is I've gotten Blade Runner comparisons for other maps before but I don't think I ever even watched the movie or played the game. I'm familiar with other works that shared inspiration with Blade Runner and aware of the definition of those aesthetics though, and I fully embrace them, it's just funny how it's not really a conscious thing. To be honest I think a lot of what drew me to the original game originally was the Blade Runner vibe already - it never really pushed it like that (also due to technical limitations at the time) but the feel of dystopia I always thought was always very much present in Duke 3D and I always liked the idea of honoring that atmosphere in user maps, that's true.


Yeah, you're not wrong. There was a particular dirtiness to the levels that gave it a similar aesthetic flavor. Still, I'd argue that in addition to the technical limitations, there was a conscious decision to ground the visuals, too. To opt for, instead of future grit, just regular old grit. This was going to be one of the first games to let you explore familiar-looking locations, after all. Lameduke probably had a somewhat stronger Blade Runner vibe (ironically so, despite some of the levels being directly based on some real world LA locations instead of the much more generic city locations we had in the final game), and it overall probably fit in more with Duke 1 and 2.

All that aside, there's still something to be said for pushing the BR inspiration to the forefront (and I just realized the initials work for both Blade Runner and Blast Radius). To be honest I've only ever seen the movie once, and I hardly remember anything about the plot or the characters (in fact I remember having a hard time following the plot for some reason). But I remember the striking visual style, taking the "used future" idea from Star Wars and running it even further. And of course there are the many, many other works inspired by that same style. Of your other maps, I would say the one that's come the closest to that neo-grit style seen in BR would probably be Poison Heart. The massive buildings, the heavy use of shadows, and the very unclean walls and decals. To this day I still very vividly remember the view from that blue bar place. Looking out over the cluttered roofs of the nearby buildings, in a dark disused corner of the city... I took a screenshot of it that I hope I uploaded somewhere before my hdd went kaput.

For this map, I see the BR style more in the street level rather than the upper areas of PH. That's not a bad thing by any means, it's just something I noted. PH was very vertical and felt the most BR on the roofs and balconies, this has the feel right out in the streets despite the buildings not being so clustered together. It definitely feels more futuristic without going too far that it's unrecognizable. It takes me back to various shows and game cutscenes I watched where we saw dirtied street views of half-futuristic cities and disappointed I never had the chance to explore them myself. So I guess that's another thing to look forward to when this map (and the rest of BR, despite apparently this map being the one to focus on that aesthetic) comes out.



This post turned out way longer than I thought.
2

User is offline   ck3D 

#9406

That's a very good analysis, I think you're definitely onto something with the devs originally replacing future grit with something more relatable, something fascinating about the mood of Duke 3D wasn't as much as the futuristic impression as it was the not-so-distant-futuristic impression if that makes sense. Even the calendar sprite in the game would convey the feel that the timeline occurred only a decade after the release of the game and that paired up with recognizable locations (albeit in a very strong and specific style) probably made Duke 3D stand out a lot more than it would have had it retained the style of Lameduke. Lameduke was only that much less abstract than Doom when you think about it. And it's only because the original devs ended up making that switch for something less 'out there' that it is now possible to drift away from those established conventions and make maps that are considered experimental. Just to draw a parallel, I feel like in general it's considered more experimental to make a typical, normal-looking city map in Doom than it is to make something abstract in it, because that game set different definitions to begin with.

But I love and have always loved Lameduke. Siebenpolis was sort of an attempt at replicating the feel of that game without having to resort to its assets, and oasiz's Slum Noir blew my mind when it came out because it felt so fresh and yet when you think about it, in the hands of different mappers in an alternate dimension the whole original game might as well have looked and felt like this. There's such so many ways of interpreting the assets and the editor and on the other hand there's also all the little design quirks that made the original Duke 3D levels play so well by exploiting the strengths of the engine. Here I'm walking a fine fun line because I essentially want to retain those exact strengths so that playing the episode feels like pure Duke 3D, just on a larger scale and in differently stylized settings. I'm not saying I'll succeed but that's the basic idea and motivation.

And yes you've posted that screenshot of Poison Heart before, I remember it, a lot of people loved that section and it's also one of my favorites. Poison Heart in general was good for experimenting with larger scale maps and figuring out what worked in them and what didn't. This particular bit you're talking about was a lot of fun designing with the different rooftop heights, the platforming and whatnot and in terms of design, it's actually a subtle but deep nod to Hollywood Holocaust with the combo of that partial 45 degree angle with the grey wall texture, and also a smaller one to L.A. Rumble with that big screen on the building (but then again I feel like I'm paying tribute to L.A. Rumble every time with those - also coincidentally, one of the original maps with the strongest Blade Runner look and feel to me).

If you're looking forward to exploring this type of cityscape then I'm happy to say you'll probably enjoy this one yeah - it has a bunch of indoor locations and secret pathways already and I plan on keeping adding a lot more, if anything it's going to be the most exploration-based level out of the three I've been making so far. Thanks for the motivation!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 16 August 2020 - 03:25 AM

1

User is offline   Sanek 

#9407

Am I the only one who's thinking about 2121 A.D. while looking at ck3d's skyscrapers? I know that you're looking for your own or maybe the original game's style as far as layout it concerned but it just have that look of that old map. Perhaps it's been such a long time since we saw anything like it (5th element map maybe) but the tall buldings really stand out now! Can't wait for some vertical gameplay action!
2

User is offline   ck3D 

#9408

2121 A.D. was such a crazy map at the time, I remember that one. I remember I wasn't a huge fan of all the design back then (I'd need to replay it after nearly twenty years to appreciate it now, maybe) but it had some really good ideas for its time as well as some not so good ones such as that gigantic Battlelord. Funny story, I remember play testing one of my levels I think back in 2003 and not realizing I still had the 2121 A.D. .con files enabled. So as soon as I ran into my first Battlelord, completely unexpectedly it instantly resized to the gigantic size and I remember that scared the shit out of me for a second.

Also now I just remembered I actually got in touch with Bob Masters for the span of a few emails back when he still had his reviewing site up (boy...), I was a way worse mapper at the time to the point where he wouldn't publish my maps yet still he'd encourage me to keep at it which in retrospect was really nice of him.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 16 August 2020 - 03:43 AM

1

User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9409

View Postck3D, on 16 August 2020 - 03:21 AM, said:

Here I'm walking a fine fun line because I essentially want to retain those exact strengths so that playing the episode feels like pure Duke 3D, just on a larger scale and in differently stylized settings. I'm not saying I'll succeed but that's the basic idea and motivation.


I thought the prospects couldn't look better but here we are. New episode in a long time, gorgeous screenshots, and at least attempting to play just like the base game. Success or fail I can't say it isn't at least looking to be a great time.

View Postck3D, on 16 August 2020 - 03:21 AM, said:

and also a smaller one to L.A. Rumble with that big screen on the building (but then again I feel like I'm paying tribute to L.A. Rumble every time with those - also coincidentally, one of the original maps with the strongest Blade Runner look and feel to me).


Yeah, likewise. Really tall buildings and the massive screen with the winking woman; they weren't even trying to hide the influence there (which I respect).


I've also actually never played Siebenopolis or Slum Noir. I got time to kill this morning so I may as well.

I did play 2121 AD a few years back. I don't remember finding any section particularly bad. Then again I also don't remember the giant battlelord so maybe I should consider replaying that, myself...

This post has been edited by Ninety-Six: 16 August 2020 - 04:04 AM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9410

Thank you, yes I'm definitely trying to pay homage to the original game first and foremost here (otherwise I'd still be making more 'one-off' user maps is how I'm looking at it). I'm a big fan of the base game just as much as the next guy so if I'm making an episode I want to make sure it's not just a random succession of levels but there's actually coherence to it both as far as the ensemble of maps is concerned but also with the original material, stylistic choices aside (if anything it's interesting to experiment with how far I can retouch aesthetics without sacrificing the core). The vertical action is one aspect, the interconnected layouts with plenty of options for Dukematch although I hear Dukematch's currently partially broken is another. At least it's my perspective on what made for a lot of the fun and spirit of the original episodes and I kind of want to see if I can confirm that by keeping the same ingredients in my own little recipe.

I think back when I played 2121 A.D. I was still finding out about all the crazy stuff people had been putting in user maps since 1996 and thus I was rather easily fascinated by really detailed maps, which 2121 A.D. wasn't - in general, in that time period I think there was more general curiosity regarding how far it was possible to push realism in Duke 3D and for a bit, levels that didn't align with that trend would tend to fly under the popular radar (although there always was a core of players who appreciated them for what they were, lots of others were also in the pursuit of pseudo-photorealistic novelty). Eventually that trend died out after people got a clearer idea of the possibilities and everyone started appreciating classic maps again. I remember I was impressed with 2121 A.D. but not in the way that would speak to me at the time. I really think if I played it now though, I would disregard what I remember as some of the blocky design in parts and whatnot (I especially remember not being a huge fan of the indoor areas) and appreciate it a lot more, as I was saying.

Siebenpolis is bound to be hit or miss depending on your tastes, I wish I had released a version of that map with visibility raised so that its navigation would have been more practical, at least. MetHy has a video on his YouTube if you ever get stuck. oasiz's Slum Noir on the other hand is a little gem. Thanks again for the positivity and I hope you have fun!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 16 August 2020 - 04:35 AM

1

User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#9411

View Postck3D, on 16 August 2020 - 04:29 AM, said:

Thank you, yes I'm definitely trying to pay homage to the original game first and foremost here (otherwise I'd still be making more 'one-off' user maps is how I'm looking at it). I'm a big fan of the base game just as much as the next guy so if I'm making an episode I want to make sure it's not just a random succession of levels but there's actually coherence to it both as far as the ensemble of maps is concerned but also with the original material, stylistic choices aside (if anything it's interesting to experiment with how far I can retouch aesthetics without sacrificing the core). The vertical action is one aspect, the interconnected layouts with plenty of options for Dukematch although I hear Dukematch's currently partially broken is another. At least it's my perspective on what made for a lot of the fun and spirit of the original episodes and I kind of want to see if I can confirm that by keeping the same ingredients in my own little recipe.


In that sense, it almost sounds like (but very obviously isn't) a spiritual successor to Metropolitan Mayhem. Which is great news for me. It may not have been 100% accurate to the 3DR style, but it was (and still is, really) one of the best map packs in terms of pure gameplay, in my opinion. I still very often go back to it if I want to knock out a couple hours. If BR is going for a similar gameplay style to vanilla (again, albeit expanded), maybe it can join that same illustrious rank.
1

User is offline   Aleks 

#9412

Hey guys!

Some of you might remember me back from AMC forums, if you have been around like… 15 years ago. I was known there by the silly name "ShrinkDuke" (which I will keep here on Discord now). I've authored a map called Alex City, which scored surprisingly well on MSDN for its mediocre quality, and participated in a couple of CBP maps.

Then I started an episode which seemed to be a project I couldn't really undertake alone at that time – I've always been too pedantic about my maps, so finishing 5 of them at a decent time would be quite a challenge. After 3 maps, I became uninspired/demotivated and took a long break from Build and Duke community.

I've had some brief streaks of using Build in the meantime – one of them resulted in starting a new level (about 10 years ago, too), which is… also still unfinished. All in all, I haven't really touched Mapster for like 2-3 years until recently.

Few months back, I've found a collection of very old maps (1996-1999), gathered back in the day at the depths of still forming common Internet access. Most of them were crappy, some were surprisingly good (LEM series for example), but in general I've enjoyed playing them, so the natural consequence was getting back to Mapster. Ah, I forgot how relaxing it is (unless you're dealing with some effect which just doesn't wanna work…)!

Then I've come across MSDN and found Maarten's newest map – it was quite surprising to see people still releasing "classic" maps for Duke after so much years, but then it seemed like a good reason to finally get to work and get my stuff released as well. Besides Wudrichem (and Duke's Anniversary World Tour), the most recent release I have played was probably "Clear the Coast" long years ago, so I will have a lot of stuff to catch up.

Now, enough of the heart-warming stories – let's talk business.

My episode, which goes by the working title "The Tongue of Fire", has now been in development for longer than Duke Forever. I should have probably released the completed levels back in 2005 or 2006, but then I would have zero motivation to finish the whole thing and it would end at pretty awkward place. Nevertheless, I've always had in mind that I would finish it one day – just wasn't sure if anyone would be still playing Duke then.

My general idea was to make strongly mission-based levels, instead of just key/button hunting. Although the maps use some new art and minor new coding, it's only applied when necessary and in general I keep the classic Duke look. In first mission, Duke is about to open his new casino, which obviously gets sabotaged by the aliens – so while dealing with them, he also has to maintain the opening routine by lighting the logo at the entrance and letting "invisible people" in.

https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/duke0000c246a2a3964552ea.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/duke0002796843e783eeeabf.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/duke00034a291e6a32601576.th.png

Another one takes Duke to a remote magazine where the aliens have been doing some gruesome experiments to stop them and destroy their data and… results.

https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/duke0004b36c7dc65a910dfb.th.png

In third one, Duke is sent to an arctic base which is being under attack by aliens. My favourite thing about this one is that there's a lot of scripted "life" and action going on in which player doesn't really participate, just to build the story. Don't wanna show too much here not to spoil it really...

https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/duke0006e8c7b6a8bc6ac111.th.png

4th one – which is about halfway done now thanks to my recent mapping inspiration – will be escaping an alien fortress in desert, and the final one (which has not been started yet) will be going to alien planet to assassinate their general. It's about 900 sectors now and going at a pretty decent rate, but screens will have to wait.

The first 3 maps were started before the coding magic enlarged the sectors, walls and sprites quota, so they were aimed at the standard 1024 sectors and especially the first two ones are quite small for today's standard, but I feel they are complete, so they would stay this way. In the one I'm currently working on, I hopefully will be able to build everything I want with enough detail within the larger limits.

Then there's the single map – this time I don't wanna use any new art, cons or sounds and don't really need them. I just started building something one day about 10 years ago, taking inspiration from some LHC photos seen in some magazine (the map file is still called hadron.map), but it evolved in quite a distant direction to become an underground mining and research facility for the green crystals used for shrinker. This one is about 75% finished I believe, but I have luckily drawn and written a scenario for the whole path not to get lost over the years. In general, your objective here is to escape, and to do this, you need to follow two paths which are quite non-linear and parallel, so it should offer different types of gaming experience. There's a lot of cool effects involved, but unfortunately some of them got bugged in the newest Eduke release and I don't feel motivated at the moment to fix it – but it will get completed one day, perhaps after the episode.

https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/hduke0000f1bf6f0e8a4dd7b1.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/hduke000188fd333ea4017dde.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/hduke00045bb786dd7dacf098.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/hduke0006f72b6f10c2ca7d99.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/hduke000750f35a50bb40b133.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/hduke0009bbe95810f60936e0.th.png
13

User is offline   Sanek 

#9413

@Aleks you're a legend already, didn't you know? :)

I remeber playing Alexcity and I thought it looked very good back then. It's kinda small compared to the rest of "hot maps" of the day, but at the same time it's very well designed. It's still a good map IMO.

The stuff you're working on looks great btw. The city map looks like Alex City Part 2! Don't know how it'll make sense story-wise but there's some explanation I guess. The last bunch of screenshots looks like a throwback to the maps that guys like Alejandro or Kef used to make like 17-20 years ago, in a good sense of the word of course.

As you can see we're still kicking here. You definitely should released some of the stuff that you showed!
0

User is offline   Aleks 

#9414

Thanks, Sanek, I really appreciate the kind words! But the only "legendary" thing about my maps is that there are rumours about them back from ancient times, but noone really ever saw them... :o

As for my episode, there's plenty of locations, as Duke is sent on missions by EDF - most of the real levels will be proceeded by very short "mission briefing" levels serving somehow as "cutscenes" (idea taken from old Pray Your Prayers TC). For maps 1-3 I was taking a great deal of ideas from games of the time: 1st Call of Duty, GTA Vice City (the whole idea behind the casino map was actually jumping on the windowsills to turn on the logo as in that mission where you used a motorbike to jump on the rooftops to light a spotlight with titties on the sky), Doom 3 (in map 3 there are "PDA's" literally ripped from Doom 3). Map 4 will start with a nice little "minigame" and in the final level I am planning to make more of a stealth level than normal ass kicking.

And as for the single map, well, I have probably taken bits and bits of inspiration from every mapper out there, but my style (or again - pedantic nature) always kept concentrating on little stuff like shadows or spriterworks noone would notice :) The map is about 1500 sectors and 6000 sprites at the moment, it doesn't have any really large areas, but just going through it to visit every location and turn everything on takes me now about 10 minutes even without any monsters and with keycards placed at the door for faster testing, so I might be able to meet today's length standards...
2

User is offline   quakis 

#9415

View PostAleks, on 16 August 2020 - 10:20 AM, said:

Some of you might remember me back from AMC forums, if you have been around like… 15 years ago. I was known there by the silly name "ShrinkDuke"

Honestly it's a nice surprise to see an old face, welcome back! The first screenshot does seem familiar, I recall those casino table textures from a project of yours back then. Stick around, I look forward to a new release from you after such a long time.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#9416

My man Alex, that's so crazy! I was reminiscing about AlexCity1: Bank Heist (that was the name, wasn't it?) just the other day and even looked up a video of it on YouTube to get to look at that map again. We used to talk on AMC and MSN (... shit) quite a bit, out of all memories I specifically remember being like 16 and exchanging opinions with you over which songs were the best on Smash by the Offspring, lol! Honestly AlexCity was a pretty iconic map of its time - always found it representative of the blossoming 'detailed' mapping style people were experimenting with post-Roch, but with your own meticulous twists and cinematic ideas to it. After all these years I can still sense that personal approach in your style, just developed further ahead and refined and I think that's really cool.

And here I thought Real Life™ had gotten the best of you. Welcome back to the vortex - although from the looks of it, the vortex never really left you. I too am happy to see you've been working on stuff and will keep an eye out for your releases. Good luck!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 16 August 2020 - 04:11 PM

1

User is offline   Jimmy 

  • 1776 World Wide

#9417

Aleks, welcome back dude! What a pleasant surprise. I've steadily recommended Alex City 1 for years when people ask for maps to play. Crazy to think you're still working on projects for years under the radar. Those screenshots look great and have a nostalgic feel for me.
0

User is offline   Aleks 

#9418

Thanks guys, it's great to see you are still active!

@Quakis:
I think you might have even played the casino map during some beta testing years ago, I'm sure the first 3 maps have already been beta-tested - although they will still need another run, mostly gameplay wise. I've spent about 2 first weeks after coming back to mapping now just checking these levels for potential bugs and having them fixed, also doing some little tweaks.

@MRCK:
Haha, yeah, we used to talk a lot! I've just listened to "Smash" after reading your post, it's still a great album, even though I have moved mostly to much heavier music since then. I see you've become a mapping star now, whole MSDN hot maps section is screaming your name, that's great! The last one I've played might have been "Rural Nightmare" I guess, and I probably still have some beta versions of your maps (Anarchy CIty era) on my disc somewhere - I will have a lot of catching up with new maps in general, but you and the Oostrums will probably go first. I'm very curious how your style developed, the screenshots I've seen look awesome with more "urban structure". I've usually had a problem imagining a large area and composing it together with a lot of different stuff before building, so things like these (or William Gee maps) are always what impresses me the most. Great to see you guys still doing maps for "classic" Duke, I've tried different versions, might be nostalgia, but I definitely prefer the vanilla one in classic mode, with such a broad and greatly picked set of pixelated textures. I've also read through a couple of your last posts in this threads and I like your "mapping philosophy" talk, in fact I've had quite similar thoughts about many mapping related issues, main being that it's pretty pointless to map when you feel uninspired. There's been times when I really felt like mapping, sat down and made some stuff, but then I thought it looked like crap and took another break https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif Even when on a building spree, I tend to spend a lot of time picking the right texture. In fact I consider building maps as a great creative task which requires both technical/engineering skills and good aesthetics feeling, which is why I keep coming back to it. There's always this little satisfaction each time I'm happy with either some design or some effect I've just made.

And talking about my style being meticulous... I've spent most of my mapping session yesterday doing these shadows https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif

https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/duke0011e45cccc164b6905e.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/duke0009f5e69611bfa46c10.th.png https://imgurl.me/images/2020/08/17/duke001082c2fde29128a14c.th.png

@Jimmy/BlitZ:
I've had to review your name history to find out who you are, nice to see you again! Thanks for recommending AlexCity to people. I have uploaded it on Steam two years ago for Duke 20th Anniversary World Tour. I still have a sentiment for it and like a lot of things about it (spriteworks, details and some effects), but then there are things I hate (skybox texture, the decision that I went for really short buildings instead of a regular tall Duke city and some texture choices which suck). As for "working on projects under the radar", considering my work rate I would probably be able to show one very not-revealing screenshot per few years, so... :)

I hope I can release something this year, so these are not just empty screens and words from me https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by Aleks: 17 August 2020 - 02:47 AM

7

User is offline   Merlijn 

#9419

Hi Alex, always great to see some old faces re-appear!
I seem to remember some conversations on MSN and a particulary bad Disturbed cover. :o

Those shots look very nice, I'll be looking forward to playing it. :)
0

User is offline   Aleks 

#9420

View PostMerlijn, on 17 August 2020 - 09:25 AM, said:

Hi Alex, always great to see some old faces re-appear!
I seem to remember some conversations on MSN and a particulary bad Disturbed cover. :o

Those shots look very nice, I'll be looking forward to playing it. :)


Nice to see you're still active here, Merlijn!

I remember that "The Game" cover, but now Maarten showed me your more recent musical endeavours and they're actually really good - in fact "Dancing Dinosaurs" is such a damn catchy song i couldn't get it out of my head after a couple listens :P
1

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