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Build engine games general

User is offline   MetHy 

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#1

I've already told in another thread how much I love Powerslave level design and how underrated that game is (at least the PC version), and as I've been playing Redneck Rampage I thought I'd make a thread for Build engine games other than Duke Nukem 3D. I had never finished RR before (I had stopped half way through a couple of years ago).

My thoughts on RR : this game is hit or miss for me. It has some great stuff, and some bad stuff.
In the bad, it feels glitchy, sort of unfinished, for example due to the behaviour of enemies. At the same time their AI, and their art, make them feel weird; especially the dogs which are hard to hit and which can bite you rather randomly... The big aliens with blue lasers can also thought your walls...
Also, there is some balance issue. The alien-women tit bullets are way too overpowered (they can kill you in one second); and so is the tit gun.
Some levels, like the one in the demo, the first one, (which was a bad choice of demo), or the 2 other levels taking place in redneck towns, feel amateurish, uninspired, in terms of layout. it's pretty much go to building 1, grab key, then next buildnig, etc. There is also some levels which are just plain annoying like the last mansion, whcih is a giant maze of empty rooms with a hidden button at the end.

In the great stuff, the game has excellent atmosphere throughout, great textures (none of which are misaligned contrary to DN3D), great shading, great musics, and levels are surprisingly very diverse.
Now even if like I said some levels aren't that good; most of them are excellent. The wood factory, the slaughterhouse, the mine, the map with destroyed buildings, the car breaker's yard, etc etc; most of level are excellent both in theme and in layout (with quite a lot of SoS too), and for those levels alone, the game is worth playing.

I'm going to play the add-on as well as the sequel of RR now and I have a lot of faith/hope for both.

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User is offline   Hank 

  • 1,438

#2

here are some snap shots
Billy
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nuthouse
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from rides again, methinks: your faith will be satisfied, I started liking this RR thingy since the boat ride
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The things I don't know could fill libraries.
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User is offline   Daedolon 

  • Ancient Blood God
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#3

View PostMetHy, on 08 April 2014 - 09:23 AM, said:

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I still think that's one of the coolest things I've ever seen done in BUILD. I used to flash a screenshot of that everywhere but nobody seemed to notice ;)

Lunick: I can't believe you can pre-order Duke Nukem 3D in 2016
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User is offline   MetHy 

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#4

View PostDaedolon, on 09 April 2014 - 03:27 AM, said:

I still think that's one of the coolest things I've ever seen done in BUILD. I used to flash a screenshot of that everywhere but nobody seemed to notice ;)


Yes that part look really great. Overall the original Redneck Rampage succeeds really well to give a 3D experience in Build with some level design like this as well as TONS of SoS use. Suckin'Grits doesn't have as much SoS which I understand since they had to come up with a full add-on in little time (and building in SoS takes more time than without it).

I've played a bit more than half of Suckin' Grits on Route 66. It's very solid, level design is always interesting (contrary to the original game which is hit or miss) although a few places feel like "been there already" in the original game but they're different enough anyway. The new art also fit in really well with the existing ones.

The great thing about it is Sunstorm Interactive's talent for designing the add-on with the game flaws in mind, in order to reduce the problems linked to these flaws. For example, most of the time you fight dog with plenty of flat open space so that their glitchy behaviour won't show up. Also, most of time you fight the alien women with enough cover possibilities so that you can hide during their titty attacks, while also having enough ammo for the weapons that are the most effective against them. It's designed so well that I'm playing a level where I had to fight around 6-7 titty women and it wasn't even a pain.
Enemy placement in general is really good too and makes the gameplay fun.

Also another flaw of the game is the design of keys and locked doors. Locked doors have no colour or any distinctive sign, all keys look the same (and their sprites are so small and in such colour that it's even sometimes hard to just SEE them or even realize you picked one up), and there is no message given when you do use a key. So you don't even know what key you need for what door, which key you grabbed, or when you do use it unless you tried a locked door before getting the key. But Stunstorm designed its level around that flaw so that you always encounter a locked door before the key and so that, most of the time, you will know what door the key you get unlocks while also making sure the keys aren't too hidden in their surroudings due to their size and colour.

So in conclusion it's a very solid add-on and they succeeded in rendering the flaws of the game as small and unnoticed as possible, which just proves how good they were at working around the best parts of any Build engine game they worked on.

Some screenshots :
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This post has been edited by MetHy: 09 April 2014 - 04:10 AM

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User is offline   Jblade 

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#5

I've said before here, RR looked amazing and they really knew how to make the build engine sing visually, but the gameplay is just toxic. The keys as you mentioned were a really bad point, made even worse because the sprite is fucking tiny and black and they loved to place it in really dark areas. I loved the music, but the music should of played sporadically instead of constantly because the whole soundtrack looped on nearly every level I had to play on because they were so obtuse.
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User is offline   Loke 

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#6

Fun but unbalanced and sometimes frustrating (fuck the sewer level) game. Visually the most impressive Build game IMO with its amazing hi-res textures.

A video I made 3 years ago showing the ending to Rides Again:
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User is offline   MetHy 

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#7

View PostJames, on 09 April 2014 - 05:14 AM, said:

I've said before here, RR looked amazing and they really knew how to make the build engine sing visually, but the gameplay is just toxic. The keys as you mentioned were a really bad point, made even worse because the sprite is fucking tiny and black and they loved to place it in really dark areas. I loved the music, but the music should of played sporadically instead of constantly because the whole soundtrack looped on nearly every level I had to play on because they were so obtuse.


You should try Suckin' Grits on Route 66 if you haven't. So far like I said they tried to makes the flaws of the game as small as possible, gameplay is fun, and the levels are good.
I consider Sunstorm to be the ultimate kings of the Build engine, but I'd love to know more about their history and in what order they built the add-ons (the amusement park level in suckin grits reminded me of the amusement park level in Caribbean Life except not as good).

I hope they fixed gameplay and keys in Rides Again but I guess I'll find out soon enough...
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User is offline   Jblade 

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#8

Yeah I grabbed all of them on GoG, Route 66 was pretty good (that damn dam level though, was fairly confusing when I played it) I haven't played that Deer hunting game though, but I doubt it's gonna have an appeal to non-hunter fans. Kinda funny/sad that RR had more official add-ons than any other build game though.
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User is offline   MetHy 

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#9

Isn't Suckin' Grits the only add-on? Rides Again is a sequel and deer hunt is its own game, too.
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User is offline   Jblade 

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#10

Sorry I should of specified, I meant like proper official expansions/mods by the same developers (So basically like Atomic edition and Blood Plasma pack) Kinda crazy that things like that got greenlighted for RR whereas not a single one of the Shadow warrior add-ons saw proper release. But it had 2 books published though. I've got the second one, it's....an experience. I'll post some info on it if you want. You can tell 3DR expected Shadow Warrior to be huge though, it's a really good game but releasing it at around the same time as Quake 2 was a near fatal mistake (same as what happened to SiN with Half-life) I love the reboot of course, but now the original has a reputation for being racist when it's really just tasteless at worst.


This post has been edited by James: 09 April 2014 - 09:33 AM

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User is online   Fox 

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#11

They should have released a sequel to Duke 3D back then using Build engine, like Doom II was for Doom.
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User is offline   High Treason 

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#12

I always like to think the community has been doing that free of charge for the last 18 years.

As for Redneck Rampage, it ain't bad, but I always disliked the implementation of the non-linearity, every key looks the same and they don't stand out (note how SW's keys were brightly colored - a great idea) - plus there's loads of places with nothing in them that I always seem to end up going to... Again, showcasing 3D Realm's ability to make non-linear levels work. RR did look damn good though.

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User is offline   Daedolon 

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#13

View PostFox, on 09 April 2014 - 09:40 AM, said:

They should have released a sequel to Duke 3D back then using Build engine, like Doom II was for Doom.


Not like Redneck Rampage Rides Again to Redneck Rampage (which was actually made on the BUILD engine)?

Lunick: I can't believe you can pre-order Duke Nukem 3D in 2016
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User is offline   MrBlackCat 

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#14

View PostFox, on 09 April 2014 - 09:40 AM, said:

They should have released a sequel to Duke 3D back then using Build engine, like Doom II was for Doom.
This is something I never understood... WHY was this not done? Maybe the team/company was too small to work on DNF and some add-ons at the same time and they wanted to get working straight away on DNF?

I still think this was a mistake... as I often state, if add-ons for Duke Nukem had been continued like Duke Caribbean, I would have bought all of them... dozens. I still play them yearly at least. (Nuclear Winter at Christmas, and Caribbean at the beginning of summer... just ritual now. ;) )

MrBlackCat

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User is offline   Corvin 

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#15

As far a RR, Hank and I did up page about them games.
It still needs work but RA is in there, Deer Hunter even had some art leftover from RA that of course they didn't use.

http://dukertcm.com/...ck-rampage.html
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User is online   Fox 

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#16

View PostMrBlackCat, on 09 April 2014 - 02:35 PM, said:

This is something I never understood... WHY was this not done? Maybe the team/company was too small to work on DNF and some add-ons at the same time and they wanted to get working straight away on DNF?

I still think this was a mistake... as I often state, if add-ons for Duke Nukem had been continued like Duke Caribbean, I would have bought all of them... dozens. I still play them yearly at least. (Nuclear Winter at Christmas, and Caribbean at the beginning of summer... just ritual now. ;) )

MrBlackCat

While I can get a lot of fun from DC, Caribbean or Plug and Pray, they surely aren't groundbreaking and doesn't compare to the original 3 episodes (neither The Birth does). And Nuclear Winter is a very bad add-on.
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User is offline   MrBlackCat 

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#17

View PostFox, on 09 April 2014 - 06:22 PM, said:

While I can get a lot of fun from DC, Caribbean or Plug and Pray, they surely aren't groundbreaking and doesn't compare to the original 3 episodes (neither The Birth does). And Nuclear Winter is a very bad add-on.
I agree with your assessment of those particular add-ons. I would hope for better material direct from the producing studio. I guess my main point is that I don't require an engine change to enjoy a game like that. DooM II was just great to me... I have played hundreds of add-on DooM levels, Mods and TC's as well. Of course they usually aren't as good as or "like" the original game, but I am satisfied with a great many of them. It was SO much time to get to DooM 3, I would have been happy with something half way between. ;)

I just wish companies would not abandon engines so fast and continue to make material for them for a bit longer. I am comfortable with this idea as I have collected up (and play) most every DooM and Duke Nukem add-on, shovelware etc that I can find.

(examples...)
Duke 3D Related...
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DooM Related...
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MrBlackCat

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This post has been edited by MrBlackCat: 09 April 2014 - 07:02 PM

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User is offline   Hank 

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#18

View PostDaedolon, on 09 April 2014 - 12:00 PM, said:

Not like Redneck Rampage Rides Again to Redneck Rampage (which was actually made on the BUILD engine)?

I think so. Rides again featured two new weapons. A bike and an airboat. This made a huge difference in game play (well for me anyway), at least in those levels where they were available. Add to it - loose those fucking hard find keys, and program smarter actors and you would have a Duke worthy game.

The things I don't know could fill libraries.
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User is offline   RunningWild 

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#19

In order of quality I would order them :
Duke, Shadow Warrior, Blood, RR, Tekwar, Witchhaven (terrible controls though), Powerslave, Nam.

View PostMrBlackCat, on 09 April 2014 - 02:35 PM, said:

This is something I never understood... WHY was this not done? Maybe the team/company was too small to work on DNF and some add-ons at the same time and they wanted to get working straight away on DNF?

I still think this was a mistake... as I often state, if add-ons for Duke Nukem had been continued like Duke Caribbean, I would have bought all of them... dozens. I still play them yearly at least. (Nuclear Winter at Christmas, and Caribbean at the beginning of summer... just ritual now. ;) )

MrBlackCat


Because Quake came out and George Broussard got jealous and acquired the engine for Duke Nukem Forever. I think we all know the rest of the story...

But, yeah, it's a shame. The Build engine is remarkably capable. I love the feel of the games using it.

My question is, why hasn't someone done the equivalent of "Doom : The Way id Did" for Duke3D?

This post has been edited by RunningWild: 09 April 2014 - 08:19 PM

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User is online   Fox 

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#20

View PostMrBlackCat, on 09 April 2014 - 06:55 PM, said:

I just wish companies would not abandon engines so fast and continue to make material for them for a bit longer.

That's a general problem with the industry, they are always seeking the most modern engine which has not been mastered yet, and ends up making mediocre games.
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User is online   Lunick 

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#21

View PostRunningWild, on 09 April 2014 - 08:14 PM, said:

My question is, why hasn't someone done the equivalent of "Doom : The Way id Did" for Duke3D?


After reading some of the posts in this thread, I came to that conclusion too. People have made city maps in the style of Duke 3D before but I'm not sure if there has been a project like Doom the Way id Did for Duke.

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User is offline   RunningWild 

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#22

View PostLunick, on 09 April 2014 - 08:16 PM, said:

After reading some of the posts in this thread, I came to that conclusion too. People have made city maps in the style of Duke 3D before but I'm not sure if there has been a project like Doom the Way id Did for Duke.


The closest one I know of is only similar to the 1st/3rd episodes : Metropolitan Mayhem. But it's still not "Duke : The Way 3DR Did".
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User is online   Fox 

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#23

There are different styles in the original levels already, so it doesn't really need to be "the way 3DRealms did it". At least as long as it doesn't is like a Roch level.
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User is offline   RunningWild 

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#24

Well, why not? Just like id Software, 3DR had a few primary level designers with their own personal formulas. The DTWID idea could (and in my mind should) be carried into a similar project for Duke3D. I would play the hell out of that.

This post has been edited by RunningWild: 09 April 2014 - 08:38 PM

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User is offline   Corvin 

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#25

There was a small movement back in the day (circa1998) that fans wanted 3DR to stop work on DNF and work on Duke3D. 3DR or Joe S. didn't understand why.
3DR hardly listen to the fans so such an endeavor was never done.
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User is offline   MetHy 

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#26

View PostRunningWild, on 09 April 2014 - 08:22 PM, said:

The closest one I know of is only similar to the 1st/3rd episodes : Metropolitan Mayhem. But it's still not "Duke : The Way 3DR Did".


The only main difference in the way we did level design in Metropolitan Mayhem, contrary to the original game, is that we didn't build levels with multiplayer in mind, hence why they're are not so interconnected.

I don't believe replicas of whole part of level design types (like dtwidd) would be as interesting.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 10 April 2014 - 01:39 AM

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User is offline   MetHy 

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#27

I've just finished Suckin' Grits on Route 66. The 2nd half had a couple of "not as good" levels but overall it's still very consistent. The "taking enemy design flaws into consideration" I mentionned wasn't so good at times during the 2nd half but never near as bad as the original game on this aspect. I guess it depended on the mapper, too, the credits show a surprisingly long list of "level designers" under Robert Travis's hand.

Overall I'd say that it's a lot more consistent and fun than the original. Every level is interesting in some way contrary to the original game which had a few bad maps.
However, the best maps are in the original game nonetheless.

Some more screenshots :

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I'll play Rides Again next.
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User is offline   Nancsi 

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#28

View PostFox, on 09 April 2014 - 08:32 PM, said:

There are different styles in the original levels already, so it doesn't really need to be "the way 3DRealms did it". At least as long as it doesn't is like a Roch level.


AHB and Levelord had many similarities in their used leveldesign. Of course seasoned players can see the difference, but both applied the same unwritten rules in their maps, which resulted in the classic "3DR style". There are some maps when it's really hard to notice who was the main auther (The Abyss, LA Rumble, Freeway or Sewer in particular).

There were 4 maps in the 4th episode where neither of the two were involved, and these maps actually feel different (It's Impossible, Area 51, Critical Mass and The Queen) a bit.

Since then, usermappers tried very hard to imitate the 3DR style, but there are little bits that are always missing. I think George W Bernard did the best overall job, as the Water Bases episode, and also most of the later levels of the Last Reaction episode really feel and play like a true addon to the original game. Unfortunately he hit the ceiling after the release, and Chimera really felt amateurish and boring in comparison to them.
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User is offline   MetHy 

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#29

I'm in the swamp level in Rides Again In Arkansas.

Rides Again is fantastic, what a discovery. I wasn't expecting it to be that good. It's like a "superior" redneck rampage and an amazing Build game. Gameplay is a lot more solid than in the original, too.
I just played the Refinery map and it's one of the greatest map I've ever seen in Build, period. Textures, shading, architecture, layout and progression, gameplay, everything is great in that map.

Screenshots of the refinery map, just check out that shading :

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It's hard to tell from the screenshot but the last screenshot room is amazing, it's a giant machine room with several sprite floors and a couple ofelevators.


Does anybody know if there is any high quality RR (any RR) usermap? The only one I've played is LAW's one.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 10 April 2014 - 12:16 PM

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User is offline   RunningWild 

  • 65

#30

Has there been any further movement towards getting other Build Engine game support in eduke32? I read some other posts here, many from now years ago, but I'm curious if any of this progressed (and, yeah, I know Blood is straight out).
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