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Powerslave/Exhumed General Discussion  "Split from Build Engine thread"

User is offline   t800 

  • 151

#1

So after all those talks about Powerslave, you piqued my interest and I finally decided to give it try. So I begun yesterday and I am now in 5th level. I would say that right next to Blood, it is one of the most atmospheric Build games. Especially music department is top notch. :thumbsup:
(But it is funny how they recycled few sounds from Duke 3D, like that ambient "chanting sound", that is also in indian pueblo section from level Abbys.

Powerslave always seemed to me like "mysterious" game. I mean, one of the original quatrology of 3D Realms Build games (former name: Ruins - Return Of Gods), its development seems to me mystery. I know there is nice video about history of Lobotomy software. But it focuses more on company history and its later console ports and less on PC version of Powerslave. So is there any good read you could recommend me?
Also is there are any list of known differences between PC versions of Powerslave and Exhumed? I mean Exhumed was released bit later, so maybe it is more up to date refined version?

MetHy, I understand you got accustomized to controls, so more power to you. ;)
But I think it would be doing disservice to game by not mentioning that there already exits "fan made controls fix". It adds optional: autorun, faster strafing and always mouse look. While it feels bit clunky and tacked on, it still makes controls much more comfortable.

AMC TC Walktrough < On hold indefinitely :(
You one ugly motherf*cker, say "Hasta la vista" to my little friend!
Download here new fixed version of SWP made by Hendricks266 (latest build: Beta 3)

This post has been edited by Lunick: 14 May 2016 - 01:47 AM

1

User is offline   Lunick 

  • Snazzy Ex Tazzy
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#2

Alright, I beat the first level, are you happy MetHy? :P
Posted Image
This is creepy

LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
http://duke3dmaps.tumblr.com/
1

User is online   icecoldduke 

  • 1,193

#3

View PostLunick, on 02 May 2016 - 06:19 AM, said:

Alright, I beat the first level, are you happy MetHy? :P
Posted Image
This is creepy

That is a awesome sprite.

ICED Shadow Warrior Port
https://crozzbreed23...site.com/icedsw
1

User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#4

View Postt800, on 02 May 2016 - 05:20 AM, said:

(But it is funny how they recycled few sounds from Duke 3D, like that ambient "chanting sound", that is also in indian pueblo section from level Abbys.


Weird, although maybe it's just that they both used the same stock sounds. Like you know how the "Battlelord" shouting is a stock sound that can be heard in many b-movies.

Quote

Also is there are any list of known differences between PC versions of Powerslave and Exhumed? I mean Exhumed was released bit later, so maybe it is more up to date refined version?

I never thought of that, I always assumed that only the name would be different, but you may be right, they might have fixed stuff in the later release.

Quote

MetHy, I understand you got accustomized to controls, so more power to you. ;)
But I think it would be doing disservice to game by not mentioning that there already exits "fan made controls fix". It adds optional: autorun, faster strafing and always mouse look. While it feels bit clunky and tacked on, it still makes controls much more comfortable.


Like I mentioned some time ago on this forum, I found a way to do all that without a patch. You just need to set running and mouselook to either caps-lock, num-lock or scroll-lock. That way you can have autorunning (veryuseful) and full mouselook on without having to hold a key (normally you have to hold a key to be able to look up and down). However up&down mouselook totally sucks in Powerslave, so I usually leave this turned off and only turn it on when needed.

As for strafing, there are 3 strafing possibilities: the regular "strafe left" and "strafe right" key which are indeed very slow strafing. Then you can have "strafe key" + "turn left/right" key, which gives you a faster strafing. This is what I use, I set A and D to "turn left" and "turn right", CTRL as "strafe key" and therefore hold CTRL everytime I need to strafe with A or D. I assume the "fast strafing" that patch gives is similar.

Then you have the super-fast glitchy strafing, to accomplish this you need : autorunning on (like I said, use capslock) + hold the "strafe" key + move with the mouse (make sure "mouse movement" is on). This will make you strafe at the speed of light, and also allows for some insanely long jump. This is a glitch and I don't recommend using it on a regular play though. oasiz showed that this is also possible in Tekwar (check the video up there).


View PostLunick, on 02 May 2016 - 06:19 AM, said:

Alright, I beat the first level, are you happy MetHy? :P


Yes! Everyone needs to play this underrated game! Then you play Rides Again :dukecigar: or I beat you with ugly stick


This post has been edited by MetHy: 02 May 2016 - 06:37 AM

1

User is offline   Lunick 

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#5

View PostMetHy, on 02 May 2016 - 06:35 AM, said:

Yes! Everyone needs to play this underrated game! Then you play Rides Again :dukecigar: or I beat you with ugly stick

You'll never take me alive

LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
http://duke3dmaps.tumblr.com/
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User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#6

This other sprite is pretty cool too.

Notice the rats eating the corpse, it's actually animated in game (2 frames).

Posted Image

I think I'll replay the entire game :P Love the level design too much.

Edit:

Also if you look up at that same place, you see this

Posted Image

This is where you fight a mini-boss so it makes sense :P

Also at the end of the level I got a little surprised, but a Bastet (those teleporting women with tiger heads?) climbed up along one of those pillars! I had no idea they could do that.

Posted Image


This post has been edited by MetHy: 02 May 2016 - 07:20 AM

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User is offline   t800 

  • 151

#7

What intrigues me most about Powerslave´s development history are some oddities, like:
- It is the only (well, except Witchhaven 2) Build engine based game released after Duke3D, that uses older version of it.
- Pretty much neglected mouse support and rather old official controls scheme.
- Major differencies between PC and console versions - read: separate games with only same name and some shared resources.
- No provided editor or any other official mod support.

Some sources mention that in 1995, publishing rights for Ruins - Return Of Gods were sold by 3D Realms to PIE and project was renamed to Powerslave. But it is nowhere mentioned who begun work on it prior to this transfer. Was it Lobotomy, the whole time from very beginning?

I found origin of that nifty "controls fix", and what do you know - author of it already made comparison of Powerslave with Exhumed. Check it here: http://ctpax-cheater...cs/ps_vs_ex.htm
It also includes other interesting tidbits.
So changes are barely noticeable, used resources seem to be same, only difference is in .EXE file (obviously different publisher logo when launching game). And Set boss is said to not spawn ghosts from his corpse after death in Powerslave version.
EDIT: But that last info makes me think that other differencies could be found in gameplay mechanics.

Dont you think there is time for another corner? ;)

AMC TC Walktrough < On hold indefinitely :(
You one ugly motherf*cker, say "Hasta la vista" to my little friend!
Download here new fixed version of SWP made by Hendricks266 (latest build: Beta 3)

This post has been edited by t800: 02 May 2016 - 08:54 AM

3

User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#8

I was about to post that comparison thing since I found it on RTCM. But the internet page version is better since you can use automatic translators.

I don't know why they used an earlier version of Build. Perhaps they only acquired the license but didn't want to pay extra for support from Ken Silverman ?

I really wonder how L.A.W made a map for this game. I figured STUFF.DAT was a grp, so renamed it to STUFF.GRP, extracted everything with GRPVIEWER, but after copying a version of Build in the same folder, launching it will make it all glitchy. Trying with mapster32 will give you an error saying it couldn't find the shade table.

Edit : By copying stuff into an eduke32 folder (art files + maps + TABLES.DAT) I can open maps in mapster32, however the palette is all wrong; but after copying PALETTE.DAT as well, it won't launch anymore. Kinda sucks considering mapster32 seemed to recognize the effects tag and everything! I'm just an amateur though, I'm sure someone could figure it out.

I just tried copy pasting a bunch of sectors to a new board and save it as a new map file; rename it as the first map of the game and see if it launches it. It crashes when trying to load the map. I guess that Powerslave uses an older map format, and Mapster32 automatically saves as DN3D/SW map format version. So, it's probably the same result using any released version of Build that I know of, which really makes me wonder how L.A.W made a map for it although he is probably more tech savy than I. Does Tekwar come with Build? That should be the same map format.

Also I had NO idea that 3DRealms started development of the game. Looking at the "Early screenshots and concept art" download at RTCM, there is a magazine page saying "Apogée Software" is making the game, and the screenshot are very close to the final product. I wonder how far it was in development when Lobotomy acquired it...

Edit #3 578 : Got it to work. I used the "Tekwar" version of Build available at RTCM and I was able to edit stuff in a map, save it, and play it in game. I wonder how far I can go and what effects I can reproduce? L.A.W didn't have many effects in his map IIRC.
However some textures still don't look right when looking at the tutorial map in Build, but this time, only a few, most are okay. I don't know why is that.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 02 May 2016 - 09:44 AM

2

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 406

#9

View PostMetHy, on 02 May 2016 - 07:05 AM, said:

Also at the end of the level I got a little surprised, but a Bastet (those teleporting women with tiger heads?) climbed up along one of those pillars! I had no idea they could do that.

Yeah, they can cling to walls - I'm guessing this monster behaviour is largely similar (if not identical) to the Rippers from SW. They're called Bast Statues I think (not sure where I got that name though), although they look more Sekhmet to me (with the head of a lioness).

View PostLunick, on 02 May 2016 - 06:19 AM, said:

This is creepy

Yeah, the game has quite a bit of creepy (and sometimes borderline disturbing) stuff. It's almost as if they intentionally cranked that up compared to Doom. Maybe also as a tribute to all those horror films about mummies etc.?

BTW, have you noticed the "secret" areas with dancing girls? I have only found two (I haven't played beyond level 5 actually), in MAP01 and MAP03. I wonder if such secrets are scattered across all levels or only some (the game's resources have some outright NSFW digitised sprites too, not sure if they're used anywhere in the levels).

View PostMetHy, on 01 May 2016 - 07:37 AM, said:

I KNEW someone would do that if I left in the "other" option :dukecheese:

Nobody mentioned Shaw's Nightmare yet?
0

User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#10

I know of the secret girls in MAP03 and I'm pretty sure I found another one later on, but I couldn't tell you in which map.

However I'm unaware of the one in map01 although I guess I can check in Build now that I got it to work :D

I'm actually pretty excited about that and I'll definitely check if i can reproduce some of the game effects using the Tekwar Build version. If possible I'd totally love to try making a small map for Powerslave even if noone plays it.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 02 May 2016 - 10:42 AM

2

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 406

#11

View PostMetHy, on 02 May 2016 - 10:42 AM, said:

I know of the secret girls in MAP03 and I'm pretty sure I found another one later on, but I couldn't tell you in which map.

However I'm unaware of the one in map01 although I guess I can check in Build now that I got it to work :D

I actually expected someone would make an "all secrets found" playthrough on YouTube, but out of the three I checked none even show the secret area in LEV3 (BTW, I was thinking Doom II when calling it MAP03). Generally, this one seems to do the game justice.
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User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#12

So I'm able to add enemies and weapons. It's not as simple as in other Build games because you also have to tag them, but I just copied the tags used in the game and it works. The tag is what matters, so I suspect you can have any sprite be anything you want (like a random sprite would give you health or ammo etc).

In other words I could totally make a rebalance mod for the game, like make all levels playable pistol start or add a harder difficulty.

I have also spotted what seems to be the equivalent of Duke's SE sprite, or SW's ST1 sprite, and various tags on that sprite, and also some other tagged sectors; so I suspect many effects could be reproduced with enough guess work and copying.

However anything with a special attribute won't look right in Tekwar Build, look at the sky and the fire pot sprite in joined pic, and that's not something that I would be able to fix (if it's even fixable using Tekwar Build... would be nice if someone had his hand on Powerslave Build).

Also when loading my map file where I added working enemies, Tekwar Build tells me there is a tag error on a sprite, even though all I did was copy what the original game had, but it might be nothing, might just be that Tekwar Build think something is wrong because it doesn't expect Powerslave tags.

Does this enemy right a bell to you btw ? Looks like an unused variant on the Wasp. Found it in the games art.

Attached File(s)




This post has been edited by MetHy: 03 May 2016 - 02:12 AM

4

User is offline   Lunick 

  • Snazzy Ex Tazzy
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#13

Creepy, does it work?

LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
http://duke3dmaps.tumblr.com/
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User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#14

Well like I said, anything needs a tag (Anubis Zombies are lowtag 100, Mummies are lowtag 101, etc); so who knows, maybe there is a tag left in the game that make this enemy "work", but the problem is that even if it's the case, noone would know which.
0

User is offline   t800 

  • 151

#15

And what would happen if you gave sprite of one monster lowtag of different enemy?

AMC TC Walktrough < On hold indefinitely :(
You one ugly motherf*cker, say "Hasta la vista" to my little friend!
Download here new fixed version of SWP made by Hendricks266 (latest build: Beta 3)

This post has been edited by t800: 03 May 2016 - 03:53 AM

0

User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#16

I just tried that, the sprite seems to be just for show in the editor and what matters is the lowtag. When giving that sprite shown above the lowtag of Wasps, I just get a regular Wasp in game.

Edit :I Think that sprite may not be an unused varient but may actually be in the game in some of the maps? I'm really not sure though.

Edit 2: I don't know what's up with those custom palettes in Powerslave (the ones that don't look right when using Tekwar Build, like the white stuff in that screenshot above). I thought the game used custom palettes for effects; then I thought that the custom palettes were there just for show in the editor to tell the mapper "there is an effect here"... Turns out it seems pretty random to me. Sure, most sprite or sector that have an effect on them seem to use that same custom palette; however it can also be found on some random walls that are perfectly normal....

Setting the palette back to the default one on those sprites and sectors, and everything still works normally in game, so I'm pretty clueless about their use.

I'm also having an issue with visiblity level. The darker rooms are almost entirely pitch black in Build and setting the engine visibility to max doesn't change anything. Obviously this is because I'm using Tekwar Build, which must have a completely different visibility system than Powerslave.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 03 May 2016 - 04:55 AM

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User is offline   Lunick 

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#17

Yummy
Posted Image

LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
http://duke3dmaps.tumblr.com/
0

User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#18

Ah yes that trap is mean :P

BTW you can totally sequence break in this room and skip a whole part of the map.

IIRC this is the part that requires you to walk over lava on a long distance by using the invicibility effect, which is probably my least favourite part in the entire game.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 03 May 2016 - 04:56 AM

0

User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#19

Found another set of hidden women in Lev7

Posted Image

Also in build I've figured out a few effects like a type of doomdoor (there seem to be several, some that closes, some that don't, the ones which are locked, etc) or pushable block and flickering lights at various speed.

Most effects seem very simple, just a lowtag, and the effect comes with speed and sound you can't change. So just look at how it's done in the game and a lot of things seem easy to reproduce. I haven't looked at the more complicated effects yet though, like moving sectors which also bob up and down...
Explodable wall seem to work just by tagging the exploding firepot and by setting a mask wall in a specific manner next to it (no need to tag that wall).


This post has been edited by MetHy: 03 May 2016 - 07:32 AM

2

User is offline   Lunick 

  • Snazzy Ex Tazzy
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#20

This is what happens when you are about to throw a grenade but get turned into a mummy
Posted Image

LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
http://duke3dmaps.tumblr.com/
3

User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#21

I love how if you lose a life you can see your own corpse(s) but I had never seen these particular sprites before!

View Postt800, on 02 May 2016 - 08:48 AM, said:

I found origin of that nifty "controls fix", and what do you know - author of it already made comparison of Powerslave with Exhumed. Check it here: http://ctpax-cheater...cs/ps_vs_ex.htm



Wow ! This patch is great! It does more than I thought, because it adds proper strafing. In the original game you could only strafe on a straight line (so no strafe turning or strafe circling) but with this patch you can strafe like in every other FPS. This is going to make the game even easier though :P but it does make it play better.

I have started referencing the game's effect in a txt file and in a map (similar to Duke's ST1 map), I've already figured how some more advanced effects work like the silent teleporter (jump into a hole to get teleported in another sector) and locked doors.

This game can do some interesting things. Its system seems limited but simple overall. The main issue for me is to understand what the game wants, what is allowed or not.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 04 May 2016 - 05:01 AM

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User is offline   oasiz 

  • 566

#22

Feels like the game might be worth documenting editor-wise, who knows what undocumented features are built in.

Tekwar build has sprite XT tags that "might" use some of the sprite extra fields as pointers to the XT segment.
These XT tags are meant to tell various AI behaviours for NPCs, what items they drop and so on.

I wonder if there is some overlap here.

One good starting point would be to read a map file and see if there is any excess cruft around the usual header>sector>wall>sprite structure, (in Tekwar, XT is placed after sprites).

If there is nothing special, a simple convmap <> backmap chain and batch files go a long way combined with m32, this is what I've been using when messing with lameduke maps.
3

User is offline   MetHy 

  • 1,416

#23

View Postoasiz, on 04 May 2016 - 07:44 AM, said:

Feels like the game might be worth documenting editor-wise, who knows what undocumented features are built in.


Yes that's what I've started doing :), documenting and building a map that showcases the game's effects (for show and tutorial purpose). Someone else I've been talking to seems to be interested in joining with this project.

Unless you meant the editor itself? I'm using TekwarBuild so I wouldn't know, there is no PowerslaveBuild available to my knowledge (which would be nice because that would fix the 2 issues I mention later in this post...)

Actually I've sent an e-mail to the main level designer of the game (credited as such according to RTCM) asking him if he had the editor backed up somewhere, or anything else he might be able to share, but I doubt I'm going to get an answer.

Quote

If there is nothing special, a simple convmap <> backmap chain and batch files go a long way combined with m32, this is what I've been using when messing with lameduke maps.


It would be nice to have a program that automatically converts maps to the map format version of Tekwar/Powerslave so that one can use mapster32 for this (so far it looks like every effect only requires simple lotag and hitag, nothing more unlike SW, so that's totally compatible with m32). Or have a verison of m32 that automatically saves the map to that format version.

Two other things that would be worth looking into : making the game's alt palettes work in TekwarBuild or m32. See that screenshot I joined earlier ITT with the white sky and white pot, tons of stuff in the original game's maps look like that when looking at them; even though it has no influence on their in-game counterpart (to my knowledge), it's a pain to look at the game's maps because of that.

Also like I said visibility seems different as with Tekwar, because the darker rooms look pitch black in TekwarBuild and setting the engine visibility of the editor to the max doesn't help.

Either of these two points isn't something I can do myself so it would be nice if someone could look into it.

Edit : Daedolon's pointed me at the converter from Silverman's website which can convert map formats around, so that's nice.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 04 May 2016 - 08:25 AM

1

User is offline   oasiz 

  • 566

#24

Random thing, I noticed that the glitchy textures get fixed if you toggle to a different palette.

Seems that PAL4 gets used quite often instead of 0 and it's causing issues.. I believe that palette lookups might be completely broken and might need fixing.
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User is offline   MetHy 

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#25

Yes, I just revert stuff from Pal4 to 0 when I want to look at things and it has no repercurssion on the game (to my knowledge); if that's what you meant.

I don't know why they used that palette everywhere, I thought it was linked to effects at first, but not at all.
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User is offline   oasiz 

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#26

PAL 4 seems to increase the visibility, probably hardcoded maximum or similar.
Might explain why the visibility was weird on your end if they used PALs to apply that per surface instead of sector... interesting trick.
This means that they might have coded similar things in.

Definitely something to document and implement to mapster.
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User is offline   MetHy 

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#27

Damn, that's nice. Is that what all the ".PAL" files are for?

Is there any way to reproduce that (without the sourcecode) in Build so that it looks as intended?

As for Mapster, I can't even get it to run with the default palette working like in TekwarBuild.


This post has been edited by MetHy: 04 May 2016 - 09:23 AM

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User is offline   Daedolon 

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#28

Build dates for the different versions, I have no clue why the in-game dates are off with the dates of the executables so randomly. Makes me feel unsure of the actual time of the beta demo.

  • PowerSlave 0.90 beta demo (Oct 31 1995 ??:13:04) (PS.EXE 08:13:04) [pie logo 1]
  • PowerSlave 2 level demo (Jan 05 1996 15:00:33) (PS.EXE 12:00:46) [pie logo 2] — First instance of intro
  • PowerSlave 4+1 level demo (Aug 22 1996 16:48:07) (PS.EXE 16:48:38) [final pie logo] — First instance animated menu (flames behind logo) and training level
  • PowerSlave full version (Sep 24 1996 23:10:30) — Early build from RTCM
  • PowerSlave full version (Dec 04 1996 11:00:53)
  • PowerSlave 4+2 level demo (Dec 12 1996 13:22:18) (PS.EXE 10:22:22)
  • Exhumed full version (Mar 19 1997 17:31:18)
  • Exhumed demo (Apr 11 1997 10:04:01) (EX.EXE 07:04:04)


Need to look into the differences between versions at some point as well. No clue for the actual purpose of the post, but hey.

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

This post has been edited by Daedolon: 04 May 2016 - 10:20 AM

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User is offline   oasiz 

  • 566

#29

Palette.dat is 41KB in TW/PS, duke palette is around double of that.
I recall that there was some change around that point in the engine that changed the format around a bit.

Will have to check more again once I get home, using build over dosbox over teamviewer is ... interesting.


Not sure if you can reproduce this visibility hack easily but I'd try focus on getting mapster support anyway.
Kenbuild sources could probably also work with this since no game functions are really needed, just some stabs in the editor.
KB might have v6 sources floating around.

This post has been edited by oasiz: 04 May 2016 - 09:30 AM

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User is offline   Daedolon 

  • Ancient Blood God
  • 845

#30

I went through some of the Exhumed maps and they have no extensions like TekWar does, they're plain simple Format 6.

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