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Project: A.W.O.L. [Announcement]  "The most anticipated TotalConversion of 2005 is finally being released"

User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#31

https://i.imgur.com/Ie1W1BU.png

Wishlist now on Steam: https://store.steamp...p/1740150/AWOL/
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User is offline   jimbob 

#32

Awesome :)
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User is offline   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#33

We all know about your code from your various posts about the features you have added, but I have to say whoever is doing the art is also absolutely killing it. The animations are pretty incredible.
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User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#34

The first person art and animations were done by Yij, who has done several Ion Fury weapon mods, as well as some of the enemies in Selaco. (I think it's the enemies, I always get this wrong, either way he's involved with them doing something.) Basically every other piece of 2D art - something like 800 character tiles, not to mention several hundred textures PLUS their damage variants - has been done by Metalagent47. The majority of the models came from Mark and by way of Teamonster (is that right? Mark please correct me), myself and a couple other people on the team did a handful of textures and other UI or system art. But it really was Metalagent and Yij who did the vast majority of art for the project.

We have 7 weapons, each with like 30 frames of animation each. I think we have more frames of first person animation than every commercial Build game combined.

The character art is out of control. There are 5 enemy types, each with an "Elite" variant with unique artwork. Think of them like microbosses, you won't run into them often but their aggression is through the roof. There's unique particles and other VFX for some of them. Then the 3 AI squad members, plus the player sprites. There's a lot of stuff we haven't shown, we don't want to give away too much so people can enjoy it when they play.

Because we are releasing on Steam, we can't use a single retail Duke3D asset, so every tile and every sound effect in the game is new for AWOL. You can imagine the amount of work that has taken, even for a relatively short campaign.
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User is offline   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#35

View PostReaper_Man, on 06 September 2022 - 11:18 AM, said:

Because we are releasing on Steam, we can't use a single retail Duke3D asset, so every tile and every sound effect in the game is new for AWOL. You can imagine the amount of work that has taken, even for a relatively short campaign.


Yes I can. Even my most non-Duke asset project Demon Throne (formerly WGR2) still has enough Duke sounds and tiles to make it a lot of additional work if we wanted to do a steam release. And it's not just Duke stuff that you have to worry about -- if you have grabbed tiles and sounds from other games, that has to be addressed too. In fact for me sounds would be the bigger issue, because we have sebabdukeboss20 who has been doing art now for a few years, but no one does sounds. I am left to just find/edit them on my own in most cases. How do you source your sounds if you don't mind me asking?
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User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#36

I don't mind at all. The answer is money. There are a million sound asset packs out there that you can get for very cheap. Some are even free! Depending on where you buy them (IE something like the Unity asset store or the Unreal Engine asset store) may have limitations, specifically that you can only use that purchased asset through that storefront in that engine. But a lot of these sound designers will have their own websites you can buy from restriction-free. If you can wait for various sales on these storefronts you can pick up a lot of sound assets for dirt cheap as well.

Also, you know how every game in the 90s used that one Sound Ideas 6000 sound library? I found a CD set for sale on eBay a couple years ago for like $80. Not that I use it very often, but my point is you can get very thrifty. Then with a little work in Audacity you can get really great results.

The "borrowed" asset topic is another one we struggled on for a bit, especially since we essentially started building on top of the 2005 release, which suffice to say was filled with nothing but retail tiles and edits, and art "borrowed" from other games. That's why a decent amount of our art will look similar to, but not exact copies of, either retail Duke tiles or other familiar game sources - a mapper would use this tile, we'd have to replace it and we don't want to change the look or feel of it too much, so we wind up with these alike replacements.

I understand why, and don't blame people for using retail assets. It really is a tremendous amount of work to make everything you need from scratch. The result though... One of the things the team talked about when we started was that we wanted even the most experienced EDuke or Build fan to launch the game and feel like they haven't occupied these spaces before. That everything looked and felt new. The familiar textures and familiar sounds really pull you out of the experience and think "oh this is a Duke mod". I really hope people have that kind of response, because like I said, every single pixel you're looking at is brand new.
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User is online   ck3D 

#37

View PostDanukem, on 06 September 2022 - 10:54 AM, said:

We all know about your code from your various posts about the features you have added, but I have to say whoever is doing the art is also absolutely killing it. The animations are pretty incredible.


Yij's weapons are fantastic but I'm absolutely in love with Metalagent47's art style. It's not just very strong but literally ties the game together in certain ways, you'll see. The man is an absolute workhorse and on the human level seems like a great person. The sound department also is quite incredible. Nothing but love and care by everyone involved - for both their respective craft and a coherent, common end goal - to be felt through this if you ask me.
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User is online   ck3D 

#38

Game is dropping three hours from now, hyped!
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User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#39

A.W.O.L. is now available to play, free on Steam.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/802611431332904961/1020122795587420220/release_gif.gif



https://store.steamp...p/1740150/AWOL/

We hope you enjoy.

This post has been edited by Reaper_Man: 15 September 2022 - 04:38 PM

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User is offline   jimbob 

#40

tried it, and its fun to play :) guns feel nice and sound beefy. i have to play it some more to get a better feel for it
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User is offline   Radar 

#41

Does AWOL have classically lo-tagged secret areas?
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User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#42

View PostRadar, on 16 September 2022 - 05:08 PM, said:

Does AWOL have classically lo-tagged secret areas?

A few of them, not as many as you might expect in classic style maps, for better or worse, and arguably we could have added more. The more grounded and realistic environment unfortunately doesn't lend itself to "press use on this poster to open the wall" type secrets. The ones we have are more of the referential ones like in Duke - the Doom Marine, Luke Skywalker, etc.
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User is offline   Radar 

#43

First video of my playthrough on the hardest difficulty.


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User is offline   NightFright 

  • The Truth is in here

#44

This is released for free? What kind of witchcraft is this?
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User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#45

View PostNightFright, on 17 September 2022 - 03:12 PM, said:

This is released for free? What kind of witchcraft is this?


I know this question is probably a joke but I want to give a serious and kind of candid answer because it keeps coming up.

As everyone here probably knows, AWOL is built on top of the TC we abandoned in 2005. When Hudson and I initially started the revival, our plan was to fix up bugs, complete broken gameplay, finish up the partially completed maps (and make a few new ones if we could), and that was it. Quick, easy, 6 month project, right? Something to kill the time during Covid, since we sure as hell weren't doing anything else. As we worked on doing that, we discovered that beneath a lot of the garbage in the 2005 version there was actually a pretty cool game in there. Over the following 6 months or so of development, we found the core gameplay loop and began cutting everything that didn't exist in service of that, until we solidified more or less the gameplay that is in the release, just lacking A LOT of polish and art.

Although the release version of AWOL shares zero walls and sectors, zero pixels of art, zero seconds of sound, and zero lines of code from The AWOL Project, that wasn't always the intention or the plan, and when we left port I couldn't in good conscious pursue trying to profit off of the back of other people's work. For this reason we even credit the complete AWOL Project team in the game credits. I just couldn't imagine someone out there seeing basically the same game they worked on for free out of passion going on sale on Steam, and how incensed that would make me if I were in their position. Not because I'd want a cut, but because it would feel like a huge slap in the face.

So imagine my complete lack of surprise when someone comments on our Facebook page about the release, saying "I wonder if the levels I made in 2002 made it into the game?"

We totally could have released it as a retail game, and we should have with another 6 or 12 months of bug fixing and polish (and more levels), but that wasn't why we made AWOL to begin with. And speaking completely personally, I believe in modding. I believe in the concept of the Total Conversion. I believe in the creation of art for the sake of itself. Sure, I'd love to get paid, and I think AWOL is easily worth a few bucks, but that has never been why I've been involved in the Build community. I've been around these parts for like 25 years almost. I fell in love with game design and game development because of Build. How could I not continue to give something back?

If you really wanna give us money tho, we did setup a kofi or you can "pay what you want" on the itch.io page, which we setup as a DRM-free release. Maybe we'll make retail DLC, for the full "shareware experience".

This post has been edited by Reaper_Man: 17 September 2022 - 04:35 PM

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User is online   ck3D 

#46

So who's been bopping to this beat yet?



This post has been edited by ck3D: 18 September 2022 - 03:17 AM

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User is offline   Dr.Panico 

#47

Fantastic mod! Very ambitious and fun to play!

However, the credits aren't working. Is there any place where I can find the credits for this mod?
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User is offline   NightFright 

  • The Truth is in here

#48

View PostReaper_Man, on 17 September 2022 - 04:34 PM, said:

I know this question is probably a joke but I want to give a serious and kind of candid answer because it keeps coming up.
[...]

That's a pretty fair and plausible argumentation. Thanks a lot for sheeding some light on the motivation for releasing this for free!
2

#49

View PostDr.Panico, on 18 September 2022 - 03:17 PM, said:

Fantastic mod! Very ambitious and fun to play!

However, the credits aren't working. Is there any place where I can find the credits for this mod?


From the files:
Attached Image: credits.png
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User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#50

Here's a text version as well

Quote

Katherine Baskin
Sean Bellwether
Vlad Borisenko
Riccardo Capogna
Andrew Childs
Jay Desso
Yijian Fong
Mark James
Jarmo Kylmäaho
Aymeric Nocus
Tommaso Pavignani
Max Raffa
Jarkko Rotstén
Chris Ruppert
Mikko Sandt
Michelle Sleeper
Jonathan Strander
Dave Tietz
Max Ylitalo


The AWOL Project (2005) Team
Hudson
Reaper_Man
Mblackwell
Raziel
Rick Randy
Striker
Rayge Chaos
Lost_Soul
Dypheron D'Arc
Cadaver
Diehard
Curtis (Wunco Corp)
Mr Neutron
AKHYLLEZ
Brian Gordon
Coffee Hedake
cyberdaemon


Special Thanks
Zach Murphy
Redaemonnnn
Peter Hajba
Nick Palsmeier
dz
Keenan Simpson
FitterSpace
Aleks Pistol
scar3crow

3

User is offline   MrFlibble 

#51

View PostReaper_Man, on 06 September 2022 - 01:14 PM, said:

The "borrowed" asset topic is another one we struggled on for a bit, especially since we essentially started building on top of the 2005 release, which suffice to say was filled with nothing but retail tiles and edits, and art "borrowed" from other games. That's why a decent amount of our art will look similar to, but not exact copies of, either retail Duke tiles or other familiar game sources - a mapper would use this tile, we'd have to replace it and we don't want to change the look or feel of it too much, so we wind up with these alike replacements.

I was wondering... surely some of these counterparts to DUKE3D.GRP assets could come in handy for projects like The AMC Squad or even Alien Armageddon. Any chance you would share them as a way of "cross-pollination" between projects? (assuming that they would indeed be useful)
1

User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#52

View PostMrFlibble, on 19 September 2022 - 11:45 AM, said:

I was wondering... surely some of these counterparts to DUKE3D.GRP assets could come in handy for projects like The AMC Squad or even Alien Armageddon. Any chance you would share them as a way of "cross-pollination" between projects? (assuming that they would indeed be useful)

Truth be told I don't think we kept a record of what tiles were redraws of which retail tiles, so I wouldn't even know which ones in AWOL would be "safe" to use. The art style of AWOL also developed towards a more intentionally hand-drawn style - you'll see stuff like obvious cross hatching as shading on some tiles - that plays into the quasi-"comic" aesthetic, that I don't think would fit stylistically for anything trying to mimic the distinct Duke style.

Having said that, check out this post I made some time ago about using a free tool called Material Maker to make redraws of some Duke tiles: https://forums.duke4...post__p__367846

Material Maker is like a free version of Substance Designer, so you can very quickly and easily start building a library of textures. Now that AWOL is done and my plate is more or less clear (aside from patches and updates of course), I want to spend some time really digging into Material Maker as it's a skill I really want to develop. All of that being said, if anyone on those projects wants to reach out to me regarding the process of redraws and/or the process of doing a Steam release, I'm always available.
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User is offline   OpenMaw 

  • Judge Mental

#53

I'm not going to lie.

This shit makes me a little emotional. Decades ago now. I remember seeing pictures of the A.W.O.L. TC. I remember talking with Andrew "Hudson" Childs about it, and all the hopes for features. I remember even trying to get involved as a mapper. Way too amateurish. Make a big box and put trees and badguys in it. There, totally a jungle!

And now, here it is. It's truly incredible how far it has come.

My hats off to everyone involved. Absolutely incredible work. A tour de force of Duke Nukem modding.
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User is offline   NY00123 

#54

So, I've just finished A.W.O.L.

I maybe didn't get to talk about it in early times (e.g., 2005) the way others did. I wasn't even posting in gaming-related forums before 2009 (and might still not post a lot). But it's clear that this project has its own share of development history.

It's possible that I didn't get to play enough kinds of games in order to know what to compare this to. While A.W.O.L still technically uses Duke3D's game code (emphasis on ported C code) as a base, there are more than enough manners in which it differs. I think the word "tactical" fits here.

Sure, bugs were found by various people, and I got to report, well, multiple bugs. But I still had enough gameplay to go through.

I guess that I can give a try to an earlier incarnation at a later point. This incarnation was still considered to be a Duke3D add-on (even if having new assets): http://dukeworld.duk...ddons/TCs/AWOL/

To conclude, for people interested in Duke3D and/or related games, I suggest to give this a try!
2

User is offline   Radar 

#55

My latest videos. Been meaning to post them but I've been away from my computer the past few days. Last one is scheduled to publish on Friday.




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User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#56

Thank you all for the great response! It's been awesome seeing videos of people's playthroughs. I always love watching people play Redline, and Radar even with no commentary the confusion of the scenario comes through exactly like we were hoping players would experience in your video.

View PostNY00123, on 22 September 2022 - 11:03 AM, said:

I guess that I can give a try to an earlier incarnation at a later point. This incarnation was still considered to be a Duke3D add-on (even if having new assets): http://dukeworld.duk...ddons/TCs/AWOL/


There's not really much to "try" in the 2005 release. It has less actual gameplay than the DNF 2001 leak. It's just the content as it existed when we abandoned the project, with test maps and unfinished code, but virtually nothing in the way of "gameplay". But you can still see the framework or the skeleton of what would become AWOL, we have the same level paradigms and more or less the same weapons and the same gameplay concepts.
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User is offline   NY00123 

#57

Quote

There's not really much to "try" in the 2005 release. It has less actual gameplay than the DNF 2001 leak. It's just the content as it existed when we abandoned the project, with test maps and unfinished code, but virtually nothing in the way of "gameplay". But you can still see the framework or the skeleton of what would become AWOL, we have the same level paradigms and more or less the same weapons and the same gameplay concepts.


Well, this is obviously expected for a revision from this time period (looks like 2007 in the case of the referenced files). It's still possible for me to check what's actually in there. :)
0

User is offline   Sanek 

#58


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User is offline   Reaper_Man 

  • Once and Future King

#59

That's awesome, I'll have to check it out in a bit. I did see a couple clips from the stream, I'm glad he at least says up front that the game was patched, but we did have a couple embarrassing simple bugs (that we did test for, but not extensively enough!) go out on release that we fixed up within a few hours.
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User is online   ck3D 

#60

Yeah most of that stuff was basically instantly patched and I'm also really happy he's mentioned that. I was watching the original stream live, I could actually tell the whole time that in spite of the large ham acting he has to display as an entertainer, he was genuinely getting into the game and appreciating literally every aspect of it, despite those relatively crucial technical hurdles on release. I keep saying that in the Shotspark Discord but I can tell that in spite of all possible tones and shticks, this man must have solved a Hexen switch puzzle or a billion, knows his shit and his edit actually really is fair to the oddball and arguably breath of fresh air that is A.W.O.L. all things considered. Manhole vinyl moment made it in - I'm satisfied. Still proud of how the release-day, more confusing version of Dubai absolutely defeated him; bit of a personal bummer that that means he didn't stream the rest of the maps though.
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