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Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour

User is offline   jkas789 

#3331

So after my last post on this thread I went back to playing AWO for a 4th time this year, to reevaluate the levels after the feedback I got from the community. And I got to admit, that after another run it has started to grow on me. Even Mirage Barrage.

What I fucking hate is this God forsaken port.

Let me paint you a picture. As I said before, for some bizarre reason DN3D: WT crashes on my laptop if I try to run fullscreen. Last time I had to run it in windowed mode on my 32 inch external monitor in 1600x900 resolution because fuck you that's the only way I could get it to run without crashing to desktop, hanging on a black/white screen on load or without sound (in the rare ocassion it decided to load a level). So I though to myself, maybe I'm dumb and the problem is that it's not scaling properly to my display's predetermined size percentage. It happened with Shadow Warrior Classic Redux, that could be the problem. Turns out doing that made it worse, as it would defacto crash my machine. What. THE. FUUUUUUUCK!

So I say fuck it, let restart the machine, use revo uninstaller to freaking erase anything related WT on my machine AND delete the steam cloud saves, just in case some config files are synchronized to the cloud. I went full nuclear on this bitch. I looked up the the installation, save folders anything related to WT and if something was still there I erased it manually.

And still after all that shit, after making a fresh install of the damned game. I'm back to square one.

Finally I gave up, installed eduke 32 and the WT stopgap. And wouldn't you know it, it runs like a fucking charm. Sure the lighting is kinda wonky sometimes, but you know what? At least I can play the fucking game. And RunningDuke and I were right, there is something going on with the aiming because in eduke32 the firing accuracy was spot on with no aim assist.

So fuck Gearbox, fuck anyone else involved in this half assed port, and most of all fuck Randy.

BTW, sorry for the rant, but after all I went through to play WT I had to vent.

Edit: Corrected some badz grammerz

This post has been edited by jkas789: 14 August 2020 - 02:20 AM

3

User is offline   FistMarine 

#3332

I finally finished Duke3D World Tour yesterday! Phew, what a ride! It was a fantastic experience! I didn't expect the new episode to be THAT GOOD! I didn't have very high expectations, but not too low either. And I was pleasantly surprised.

I have completed the whole episode without dying (thankfully) and found all secrets, thanks to the YouTuber BringMeLight. On most levels, I was missing a few enemies but I think they were eaten by slimers and screwed up the enemy count, as I mentioned previously. No big deal, I did my job and killed everyone.

I have played on Let's Rock and found the episode to be slightly challenging but nothing too difficult, especially for a veteran Duke3d player like me. Most levels had so many health/ammo/supplies that I felt like I had too much sometimes but I think this was done for newcomers to the game because I noticed on YouTube how some players have trouble even with first levels of the game, so they decided to place health pickups at almost every corner and help newcomers, especially since there are also more mini bosses this time around and even full sized bosses. I will replay the episode on CGS at a later time but I hope to find the updated version of WT, so far I have been unsuccessful. I will try to comment a bit on each new feature and new level.

All levels were great! The original mappers (Allen Blum and Richard "Levelord" Gray did an excellent job with their new levels). There wasn't a single bad level in the episode. Only the last level may have been a bit disappointing but the previous levels didn't disappoint at all! Only nitpick I can give is some of levels were linear and prevented you from backtracking, so if you missed something, you couldn't return. The levels where I noticed this were High Times and Bloody Hell. It was a bit annoying how at beginning of Bloody Hell I picked up the card (granted, I stopped for a week and came back few days ago, only to forget about having card in inventory and continued and teleported while forgetting that door) but I still got all secrets at least, I just didn't explore one or two areas. I will keep in mind next time, though. Other levels may have some parts that become inaccessible later, so make sure to explore everything! Thankfully most secrets are easy to find but it doesn't hurt to watch a playthrough (for secrets only) if you are a completionist like me.

Most of the levels looked similar to each other, with Mirage Barrage and Golden Carnage being the episode's highlights and being the ones that stand out more. But the other levels (final level aside) were all pretty good. The other thing I found strange is the lack of continuity, as NightFright said, the episode is like a collection of maps, with Duke getting teleported from one location to another, it seems.

The new soundtrack is EXCELLENT! Lee Jackson did a fantastic job with the new music.

The new Duke voice by Jon St. John is just ok I guess but as everyone said, the pain sounds are the worst. Thankfully, I rarely heard the pain sounds since I usually had health around 100 or higher, rarely got below 40 to hear Duke crying in pain. Also the new quotes are largely forgettable. I don't think I ever came across to the infamous "BAZINGA!" line that was often talked about back in 2016. Where is it found? Or it isn't used at all?

I liked how the new episode comes with new additions (which are all fire themed) to make the levels play even better (Expansions in general are much better regarded if they come with new additions as well, compare that to all those official Doom expansions that have been released so far, none of which included anything new) but I honestly wish they spent more time on these new additions because they could have been so much better. That and maybe another new enemy or something.

The Firefly Troopers do indeed suck. I didn't have any trouble dealing with them and they are a joke. They often shrink themselves and become harder to hit but you can just kill them easily with explosives as the normal weapons have no effect on them. While they are shrunk, they sometimes shoot the same projectile as the player's incinerator but this is harder to notice, as they can be quickly removed with explosives. You can also kill them normally with hitscan weapons if they are normal sized but then they will turn red and explode.

The Incinerator is pretty good. You get quite a bit of ammo (and dropped by firefly troopers as well) and it doesn't require Freezethrower to function, compared to how Shrinker/Expander works and the fact there isn't a separate Expander weapon. However it seems to have introduced a minor bug where if you select the Incinerator and Expander (when you get Shrinker in later levels), on the classic HUD, on their respective slot the ammo shown is of the Shrinker and Freezethrower even if you have Expander and Incinerator selected, only the ammo box correctly shows the ammo you have. Not noticeable if you play with Minimal HUD (I played E5 with minimal HUD with occasionally checking for access cards if I had them). As for the weapon itself, it works great against any regular Duke3D enemy (troopers, pig cops, enforcers, octabrains, commanders and protectors). I haven't tried on Mini Bosses because I know it's a bad idea and I even remember reading in past that if you use the Incinerator on mini bosses too much, they become invincible just like how in Nuclear Winter using Freezethrower against Flying Frosty (commander replacement) renders it invincible. I already made that comparison when World Tour came out but I decided to mention again. Oh and also read about using Freezethrower against sharks also turns them invincible but I never use Freezethrower against sharks, so this didn't happen to me.

My only complaint here is the weapon sprite could have looked so much better. As pointed out previously, those green parts of the incinerator make it seem really ugly, as if it's a poor edit of the Freezethrower (which actually is, funnily enough), though I liked the added top part with the flame animation and also the firing animation with that animated gear. Someone else posted a cleaned up version of Incinerator on the forums and as stated, it was much better and done for free! This proves that fans can do way better (and for FREE) compared to the people paid to do the work they did.

The final boss is also a complete joke, as pretty much everyone has already stated before. Why does he attack with the same flamethrower like the fireflies? He is often far away from the player, why not make it fire the same incinerator projectiles as the player at least? I also noticed (though this is rather rare) he can spawn fireflies but in this case they just shrink and get killed in process by the player's RPG/Devastator, so another wasted opportunity for a bigger and better attack. Oh and forgot to mention it is just a palette swap of Cycloid Emperor and nowhere near as threatening as his brother.

The new cutscene is interesting...I guess but also a bit idiotic. Why would Duke eat the fried balls of a boss? Well since Lo Wang eats the sumo's eye (I think) in Shadow Warrior, I guess they had to do a similar thing for Duke. Oh and interesting how Duke looks like Duke from Forever instead of 3D. I liked the credits scrolling at end, at least.

The idea to use fully functional mini bosses (and even full sized bosses that don't end the episode) was something that the original game could have benefited. But the mini overlord and mini cycloid have quite a couple of issues. First, the mini overlord's rockets are as big as the full sized one. Second, the mini cycloid has a habit to kill itself with its rockets. Just take cover when you see/shoot one and he should damage himself which makes him more angry and then he dies. What a joke! Too bad there was no mini alien queen or full sized alien queen. Would have been interesting, maybe if the episode was longer.

I'm actually not sure if the episode is supposed to canonically take place after The Birth or after Duke Nukem Forever? As stupid as this may sound, I think this takes place after Duke Nukem Forever because of the fact that Duke says at beginning of the episode: "I'm too old for this shit!" and there is no way Duke would say that after a year after he killed the Queen and returned to his adventures, if we assume it takes place after E4. But then we wonder how did Duke manage to return how he was in Duke3D (meaning relatively fast, being able to jump high, wearing armor, non-regenerating health and carrying all weapons) instead of being the "old man" he was in DNF (meaning slow speed, not jumping high, refusing to wear armor, regenerating health and carrying 2-4 weapons). I suppose I wasn't much of a fan of prequels because it has to connect with the sequel in one way or another and there is often created a story conflict, even though I never caried about stories in video games before, I did think in last few years about canonicity of games and everything must be making sense. Then again, I may be wrong but Duke Nukem series didn't have a lot of continuity other than the main games, the spinoffs were just there I guess.

Plus, even if you have strong arguments for Alien World Order taking place between Duke3D Atomic and DNF, how come Duke's voice changed so much between the games, how come the Firefly Trooper and the E5 events weren't referenced in DNF and how come that Duke's design suddenly changed to resemble more the one in DNF rather than the classic one in Duke3D? Also the fact that WT pokes fun at DNF at the fact Duke can carry all weapons again, so clearly WT takes place after DNF with Duke probably traveling through time or current continuum or something.

Overall, the new episode (and the new music) is EXCELLENT but the port itself was just meh, just like with Megaton, it was a missed opportunity to become the perfect Duke3D remaster. Plus the main disadvantage compared to Megaton was the fact WT didn't have the expansions (I mean sure, not many people cared about Nuclear Winter but DC and Caribbean were definitely worth playing, wish they were included). Maybe next time (if there will be yet another Duke3d remaster/re-release) we will have a better opportunity, I hope.

Seriously, I really wish we got Hail to the King Collection instead of this. Maybe we have a hope for the 25th Anniversary, unless we get instead 25th Anniversary World Tour with a BRAND NEW 6th episode...which will also get ruined by Gearbox because they are incapable of doing things properly, instead they are rushing and overpricing the final product. And then they wonder why the product sold so poorly.

I heard that the more recent Switch version of Duke3D World Tour is much better. Is it true? Is it worth buying? I don't own a console but I was just wondering as I heard it is received much better than the PC port.

Here are a bunch of screenshots, this time I played with minimal HUD (only enabled fullscreen HUD to show my stupidity of holding the blue card unused at end of Bloody Hell) and Duke's voice changed to the new one. I also had the Developer commentary enabled but I never understood this feature too much because these icons are all over the place in most levels and are quite distracting. I know they are a feature that is also featured in newer Half Life games (I think, I never played Half Life before but I will get into the series soon, can't wait to see what they are about) but I just think they should have been included in a feature unlocked after beating the game, so you explore the levels (preferably empty) and listen to the developer commentary.

If there's anything else I'm forgetting, I may edit the post later or make new one.

EDIT: Looking at the screenshots, I remembered to ask: What is the point of that secret in Bloody Hell that you see in screenshot? It didn't contain anything. I think there was another secret in the episode that also didn't contain anything.

EDIT 2: Forgot to talk about the secret level and the Serious Sam Easter Egg. The secret level was interesting (and had a Battlelord boss but there was also another level later, I think Tour De Nukem, that had a Battlelord boss too) and I liked the Serious Sam Easter Egg in Mirage Barrage. "Why so serious, Sam?" indeed. His corpse can even be destroyed but it takes more than just a few kicks, probably two shotgun blasts (I shot once with shotgun and kicked him and then he got destroyed). That was Duke's response to the Duke Easter Egg in Serious Sam 2 I think (I never played Serious Sam games before). Then again there was also a Duke Easter Egg in Doom Eternal as well (found that in past weeks on YouTube) and hope to see another DoomGuy/Doom Slayer Easter Egg in a newer Duke episode/game, so Duke can get his revenge I guess.

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This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 20 August 2020 - 12:39 AM

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User is offline   jkas789 

#3333

I can vouch for the switch version. There is still some aiming bullshitery going on but if you are playing on a console I consider auto aim a must. There are also some graphical bugs that I have seen however I think it is a solid port. Solid fps without a single dip at least in my experience, and the HD rumble is nice. Definitely the best port for duke nuke on a portable tech wise. That plus the doom ports and ion fury makes the switch a portable fps retro port beast.
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User is offline   stumppy84 

#3334

Is the boss fixed in the switch version?
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User is offline   Lunick 

  • Snazzy Ex Tazzy

#3335

View Poststumppy84, on 20 August 2020 - 06:56 AM, said:

Is the boss fixed in the switch version?


The boss is supposed to be like that...

View Postjkas789, on 20 August 2020 - 03:41 AM, said:

Solid fps without a single dip at least in my experience, and the HD rumble is nice.


Sounds like you are not very sensitive to FPS drops. If you're not using the new renderer, it generally stays at 60fps but with the new renderer it can struggle with some of the big outside areas of Episode 5 and rooms with mirrors. You can drop the framerate pretty easily in Lunar Reactor's bathroom area at the start.
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User is offline   jkas789 

#3336

I actually have been playing the game in the old render :) . I don't really like the new one, however when I played with the new one I didn't noticed any big fps drops. I also think that 30 fps is pretty acceptable but that may be my PC peasant race side talking.
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#3337

Nice review Runningduke... I'm wondering what do you think which episode 5 levels felt like the natural evolution of the classic 3DRealms style and which were something that would look odd in the classic episodes and more like modern maps?
1

User is offline   Dan 

#3338

View PostLunick, on 20 August 2020 - 02:48 PM, said:

The boss is supposed to be like that...

The boss is supposed to try to attack the player when it's out of it's range?
1

#3339

View PostDan, on 21 August 2020 - 01:17 PM, said:

The boss is supposed to try to attack the player when it's out of it's range?


The "new" Boss is a noob, that's why i think many persons here are disappointed by it.

The new aliens in Alien Armaggedon are Bosses.

This post has been edited by The Battlelord: 21 August 2020 - 02:05 PM

3

User is offline   Player Lin 

#3340

View PostThe Battlelord, on 21 August 2020 - 02:05 PM, said:

The "new" Boss is a noob, that's why i think many persons here are disappointed by it.


It would be a little better if the new boss' projectiles are more much, much longer or just go back hitscan based shit...but still, the boss just lazy works to me.

Where is their goddamn creativity at all?!
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User is offline   jkas789 

#3341

They also afaik added a miniboss queen that they didn't use right? The Final boss fight would have been harder if they had implemented her in that fight instead of the mobs.
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#3342

I think they tried to put the player and the Boss in a smaller area compared to the Stadium, so that would have be enough, but isn't.

A second type of fire could work there, if the player is far away even a pistol laser gun at fast rate (almost like a chaingun) could be interesting.

I mean, come on, there are a good amount of choices, what about Freeze thrower? No-one of the aliens use it, Expander? Same thing, Shrinker? Only one of them, another new gun used only by the Boss? why not?.

Looks like the Boss in not the only lazy one at this point https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif
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User is offline   Gerolf 

  • Honored Donor

#3343

I haven't read through this entire thread but I wanted to point out a few things that I H-A-T-E about the World Tour version, on ANY version of WT:

-Switching weapons has a very noticeable delay. Compare switching weapons to the XBLA version, or any other version of DN3D. It feels like there is a slight delay in Duke switching his weapons which might not sound like a big deal on paper, but imagine the frustration on harder difficulties, or better yet on Dukematch. This is honestly the number 1 thing I hate most about this port, and it is the exact same on any version that has been released, including the version on Switch. Did nobody test the game?

-The new recorded lines are horseshit. They are badly recorded and JSJ did a terrible job here as well. He even got one of the lines wrong and they have neglected to fix that.. (I should've known those alien bastards booby-trapped the sub? Are you kidding me?!) DID NOBODY TEST THE GAME?

-The new levels all feel like they end very abruptly in my opinion. I'm not sure how to explain it really. While they're not bad maps... I feel that Gearbox could've gathered a few mappers from this community to make a new Duke Nukem episode and it would've been(sold) a lot better... just my opinion. Or, I feel that the original devs should've been given more time or more money, maybe that would've helped things.

-The "dev commentary" could've been A LOT more expansive and interesting than it was. I think this was a missed opportunity. I'd say I am about as mad about this as I am about the weapon switching.

-The new weapon was really pointless. It offers nothing of value in my opinion. I think a laser pistol like the Assault Troopers would've been better than this crap!

-The new enemy... oh wow it uses beta art... so cool in conception... but SOOO lame in execution.

-The new boss... fuck right off with that lame crap.

With that said, Lee Jackson made some rockin' tunes and that was the real highlight. I'll also say the new Duke lines are OK, I just don't like the re-recorded lines from the original game. I guess it's cool they added mini boss variants of the other bosses, but they barely took advantage of that.

So anyways... I'll just stick with Atomic Edition with EDuke32, which also supports the expansion packs everyone cried about them not adding to World Tour.

This post has been edited by gerolf: 23 August 2020 - 03:40 PM

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User is offline   FistMarine 

#3344

View PostThe Watchtower, on 21 August 2020 - 09:38 AM, said:

Nice review Runningduke... I'm wondering what do you think which episode 5 levels felt like the natural evolution of the classic 3DRealms style and which were something that would look odd in the classic episodes and more like modern maps?

Thanks! I think the two highlight levels (Mirage Barrage and Golden Carnage) feel like the evolution of the original levels and were rather unique, while four of levels (High Times, Red Ruckus, Bloody Hell and Tour De Nukem) could fit as levels in say episode 3 or 4, maybe if they didn't use the new art and used just the classic Duke3D art. I'm not sure where to place the secret and final level, I guess Prima Arena could fit as a secret level in E4 as well if it doesn't use the new art. Not sure about final level, it was way too short but then again we also had Stadium level in original Duke3D that was very short. This is my opinion, feel free to agree/disagree.
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#3345

View PostRunningDuke, on 24 August 2020 - 11:20 PM, said:

Thanks! I think the two highlight levels (Mirage Barrage and Golden Carnage) feel like the evolution of the original levels and were rather unique, while four of levels (High Times, Red Ruckus, Bloody Hell and Tour De Nukem) could fit as levels in say episode 3 or 4, maybe if they didn't use the new art and used just the classic Duke3D art. I'm not sure where to place the secret and final level, I guess Prima Arena could fit as a secret level in E4 as well if it doesn't use the new art. Not sure about final level, it was way too short but then again we also had Stadium level in original Duke3D that was very short. This is my opinion, feel free to agree/disagree.


I think episode 1 and 2 have their own style, which is usually considered as the classic 3D Realms style with large scope, inviting and relatable places, but less micro-detail, sharp shadows, strict use of less colorful textures (as ck3D once noted, most of the base v1.3D corpus belongs to here), often, but not always, an oppressive atmosphere (for the better, that is). These levels are primarily built for single players. Most Blum levels belong to here, but occasionally Levelord managed to get in there too.

Episode 3 style is more abstract, more Sandy Petersen-ish in a way, which includes more enclosed areas, less relatable places, less "conceptual grandness", but more interconnection, and multiplayer as the prime feature in mind. While E1 style levels need teleport to join places for MP, it was never an issue in Levelord's maps. Texture use is somewhat similar to E1/E2, but more abstract in its execution, some places don't really make sense, and the atmosphere is more arcade-y. Despite all the abstract stuff, there are definite rules in these maps, ie. the night vision messages and the strict use of texturing. Old Levelord maps belong to here, and some episode 2 levels too (space is just a theme, not an actual style).

Episode 4 style as mentioned a couple of times here, are more "kid friendly" with the new colorful (and liberal use of) textures most levels are built for just extra fun and easter eggs everwhere. These levels are either combined with the E1/E2 style or the E3 style, depends on their author, but Randy's levels are the archetype of the typical E4 level. Unironically, Randy's style infiltrated the mapping scene much more than Blum's or Levelord's style.

Episode 5 style is actually based on the evolution of mapping, and Roch/ck3D styles were clearly seen in the maps, also the new textures look way different to the classic levels (it's really notable in High Times for example), even more colorful than the ones in E4, but there are some exceptions, so yeah, Golden Carnage for example is definitely an evolution of the classic E1/E2 style.

If I classify the styles above as A, B, C and D, here is the chart as I see the game:

Episode 1
Hollywood Holocaust - A
Red Light District - A
Death Row - A
Toxic Dump - A
The Abyss - A
Launch Facility - A
Faces Of Death - A

While Faces... technically is a multiplayer level, I classified it strictly as A, because it's texturing, atmosphere is definitely closer to the facade of the typical E2 level than to levels like Spin Cycle.
Abyss is one of the few Levelord maps that was built in Blum's classic style. You can only wonder how much requests Broussard and company asked during the map's creation.

Episode 2
Spaceport - A
Incubator - B
Warp Factor - AB
Fusion Station - A
Occupied Territory - A
Spin Cycle - B
Tiberius Station - A
Lunar Reactor - A
Dark Side - A
Lunatic Fringe - B
Overlord - A

As I said, E3 stlye can appear in space, and Incubator or the secret maps are prime example of that more abstract style. Warp Factor is a question, as TX said, the map was started and structured by Blum (without credits), and its layout is more E1ish than E3ish. But the way the level is textured, its atmosphere is much more close to levels like Incubator than to the likes of Spaceport.

Episode 3
Raw Meat - B
Bank Roll - B
Flood Zone - B
L.A. Rumble - AB
Movie Set - B
Tier Drops - B
Rabid Transit - B
Fahrenheit - B
Hotel Hell - B
Freeway - A
Stadium - undecided

Sewers Below - A
Sewage Company (Sweeney) - A

I think LA Rumble is a level where Levelord seemed to add some E1 vibes, mostly the outside areas, but it's still an unmistakably E3 map. Freeway as said many times is E1-ish from start to end, the map even reminds me of levels like Fusion Station in some places. The more interesting ones are the unreleased levels, as they were both Levelord maps, but in the end, and particularly Sewer, they look like something from E1, not something from E3. TX and others said E3 was nerfed at places for framerate issues, you can only wonder how the maps looked like before that (allegedly Rabid Transit was much bigger and had some big areas too). Nevertheless, Sewer and Sweeney felt like maps ripped from E1, even if you add more registered-only monsters to them.

Episode 4
It's Impossible - C
Duke Burger - AC
Shop 'n' Bag - BC
Babe Land - C
Pigsty - BC
Area 51 - C
Going Postal - AC
XXX-Stacy - B
Critical Mass - C
Derelict - A
The Queen - C

Again, it's said many times, but Derelict is very strictly an E1/E2 style map, and even its new textures (there are many) and its skybox felt like something belong to the classic corpus than to the new colorful additions (the captain's room was the sole exception). XXX Stacy felt like a map ripped from E3, much more so than Pigsty, which was Levelord from start to end.

Episode 5:
High Times - D
Red Ruckus - CD
Bloody Hell - D
Mirage Barrage - A*
Prima Arena - BD
Tour de Nukem - AD
Golden Carnage - A
Hollywood Inferno - AD

I marked Mirage, as its theme is different to classic E1/E2, but overall it's hard to classify that map as it's an outlier in the entire game (despite being very good). For me, Red... feels like something relatable to maps made by Randy, and Birth style overall (especially the inner locations), while Tour.... more felt like a mix of modernity and classic Sewer and E1. The second half of the map actually felt like E1/E2. Hard to rate the final map, but it's somewhat Golden Carnage part 2, except being a dud overall.

(Lots of weird autistic rants again....)
4

User is offline   Aleks 

#3346

@The Watchtower, that's some very interesting thoughts on the original levels! Actually I've never really dug much into distinguishing between AHB and Levelord styles, in fact I always admired how consistent the original levels were in the terms of style. If I'd have to think about it now, I'd divide the styles into three:
A - optimized for single player, longer and "linear" levels;
B - single/DM, more open levels;
C - single/DM, "tighter" maps.

The best examples of style A would be Toxic Dump, Dark Side, Lunar Reactor. Style B would be Hollywood Holocaust, Red Light District, LA Rumble, Tiberius Station, Bank Roll, Flood Zone, Freeway. Style C would be most E3 maps, like Raw Meat, Fahrenheit, Rabid Transit, Hotel Hell. Most maps in E4 could also be put into one of these styles. As for maps from World Anniversary, Golden Carnage would easily fit to style B, while Red Ruckus would be something between B/C probably. Tour the Nukem reminded me more of a recent user level style (actually my first impression was OGBB, but the Oostrums and William Gee did a better job with just the regular textures there :) ). Don't think any of the E5 maps had that "user map" vibe that much, maybe "High Times" a little bit, but it was far too short. Mirrage Barrage was exotic, but probably fitting between styles A and B.
3

#3347

View PostAleks, on 26 August 2020 - 12:47 AM, said:

@The Watchtower, that's some very interesting thoughts on the original levels! Actually I've never really dug much into distinguishing between AHB and Levelord styles, in fact I always admired how consistent the original levels were in the terms of style. If I'd have to think about it now, I'd divide the styles into three:
A - optimized for single player, longer and "linear" levels;
B - single/DM, more open levels;
C - single/DM, "tighter" maps.

The best examples of style A would be Toxic Dump, Dark Side, Lunar Reactor. Style B would be Hollywood Holocaust, Red Light District, LA Rumble, Tiberius Station, Bank Roll, Flood Zone, Freeway. Style C would be most E3 maps, like Raw Meat, Fahrenheit, Rabid Transit, Hotel Hell. Most maps in E4 could also be put into one of these styles. As for maps from World Anniversary, Golden Carnage would easily fit to style B, while Red Ruckus would be something between B/C probably. Tour the Nukem reminded me more of a recent user level style (actually my first impression was OGBB, but the Oostrums and William Gee did a better job with just the regular textures there :) ). Don't think any of the E5 maps had that "user map" vibe that much, maybe "High Times" a little bit, but it was far too short. Mirrage Barrage was exotic, but probably fitting between styles A and B.


Talking about linearity, did anyone notice how linear episode 1 is after Hollywood?

Red Light, Death Row, Toxic Dump and Abyss are all long sneaky snakes with points hard to go backwards. Especially the tail end of these levels are linear serpentines.

Many said E5 is too linear, but it's not worse than E1 at all, they just removed to return points at some places. Ie. Tour should have used a crack in the devastated room in the subway to go back to the streets. The window is there, why not the crack?
2

User is offline   Ninety-Six 

#3348

This is a bit overdue, but I was a bit slow to notice that the eduke compatibility stopgap is now fully-featured. I bring this up because that means I was finally able to play the uncut version of Prima Arena as originally intended, with the incinerator intact (given the full battlelord as the level's centerpiece I kinda wanted every ounce of usable ammunition I could grab). I wasn't able to play this previously as the console version obviously doesn't care about user maps, and the PC version was an unstable piece of crap that tended to blackscreen on me at boot.

And while the addition wasn't as extensive as I was expecting, it still does change the level flow by a massive degree. I get now why this version tends to be preferred. Especially from a pistol start; that one cracked wall secret that the release version had just armor in and literally nothing else now leads to the underground area. This is a huge deal, because it means you now have a way down to grab the explosive weapons and ammo without needing to cross into the Battlelord's line of fire. It completely changes the progression of the level, at least with said secret. The layout now makes so much more sense since there's now two additional ways to transition between the upper and lower floors in the typical Duke 3D fashion. Honestly this change probably makes Prima Arena feel more like a classic Duke 3D level in that regard compared to any of the others in episode 5.


This isn't a long post; I just wanted to say I understand now. Not that I doubted it at all, of course. It's just amazing what a big change such a small addition like that can have to make a level feel more complete. PA has probably just shot up in my personal ranking by a pretty hefty margin. It's an absolute damn shame this was not the packaged version.
3

User is offline   MetHy 

#3349

View PostThe Watchtower, on 25 August 2020 - 04:16 PM, said:

Episode 5 style is actually based on the evolution of mapping, and Roch/ck3D styles were clearly seen in the maps


I also did say that E5 reminded me of usermaps a lot in my review when it came out, but I don't believe it's "based" on those or any usermaps. I don't believe Levelord and Blum played much if any community maps before making Alien World Order. Rather, I believe that this style, this kind of detailing, is only a natural evolution for Build and especially Duke mapping, that comes from a combination of getting to know the engine and games well, being free of technical restrincts (not being limited by framerate issues combined with the power of EDuke32), and being free to experiment and do whatever you want instead of having someone breathing down your neck telling you how you should make your maps.

In fact, I believe that if Levelord and Blum had indeed played (more of?) these kind of maps, they would have started to notice the kind of "mistakes" and "flaws" these type of maps tend to have ("mistakes" and "flaws" from the point of view of a commercial product, hence the "), instead of repeating these same flaws in E5 themselves.
What I think happened with E5 is old time mappers coming back to the game, quickly catching up with the possibilities they didn't have at the time, and going through the same process as what the community did all that time (the good and the bad) except in a much shorter time span because they're still professionals; and I'm not sure they were even aware of that themselves.

This post has been edited by MetHy: 11 November 2020 - 12:45 AM

8

User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • The Sarien Encounter

#3350

You know what would be cool is if one of the mappers like Levelord went back and redid a vanilla map say from episode one and reimagined it with all the capabilities of today like Romero did with Doom. Pipe dream of course but I'd like to see it if it happened.
0

User is offline   Jimmy 

  • 1776 World Wide

#3351

Considering how Alien World Order turned out I don't think it'd be worth the fuss. They clearly have not been as interested in game design over time as Romero.
1

#3352

View PostMetHy, on 11 November 2020 - 12:44 AM, said:

I also did say that E5 reminded me of usermaps a lot in my review when it came out, but I don't believe it's "based" on those or any usermaps. I don't believe Levelord and Blum played much if any community maps before making Alien World Order. Rather, I believe that this style, this kind of detailing, is only a natural evolution for Build and especially Duke mapping, that comes from a combination of getting to know the engine and games well, being free of technical restrincts (not being limited by framerate issues combined with the power of EDuke32), and being free to experiment and do whatever you want instead of having someone breathing down your neck telling you how you should make your maps.

In fact, I believe that if Levelord and Blum had indeed played (more of?) these kind of maps, they would have started to notice the kind of "mistakes" and "flaws" these type of maps tend to have ("mistakes" and "flaws" from the point of view of a commercial product, hence the "), instead of repeating these same flaws in E5 themselves.
What I think happened with E5 is old time mappers coming back to the game, quickly catching up with the possibilities they didn't have at the time, and going through the same process as what the community did all that time (the good and the bad) except in a much shorter time span because they're still professionals; and I'm not sure they were even aware of that themselves.


In the case of Blum, you're more than probably right. As much as I love the guy's craftmanship in this game, he does seem to live in his own ivory tower, and I wouldn't be totally surprised if he is completely unaware of the community or that maps are still being made. He didn't even take inspirations from anywhere other than his own maps (honestly, that's a good thing though, we wanted the classic style to return), and the only exception was High Times, a weird outlier with all those "usermappy" details everywhere. I guess that was the last map he made during this stint (usually pro mappers like Romero prefer to create the easy, simple levels after the harder ones), and he probably played Levelord's maps in the meantime. He certainly looked awkward with that modern style.

In the case of Levelord, I'm not sure. You might be right here too, but I wouldn't rule out him playing some user levels in the years. He is more open to the internet communities (he even registered here, and responded to my PM), and once said he is still playing multiplayer a lot. That's different of course, but Roch was such a high profile stuff back then, you can play those once, and get inspired 15 years later by their style. But the learning curve you described is also a possibility. His levels are very consistent though. What I really like in his work, is how he manage to keep the stuff on track for the whole time. In episode 3, despite the flaws, the design coherence is really admirable. It's kinda interesting but neither his unreleased two maps, nor maps like Pigsty truly fit to episode 3. The former ones are built in the style of episode 1 (just like the Abyss), while Pigsty has some unmistakable episode 4 elements, even outside the new art. This means he created these in a different time and with a different mindset. His episode 5 maps are completely different too (actually, Tour de Nukem has some relations to Sewer), but inside the bubble, they are all clearly a work of one man with the same narratives (ie. a boss in the ending).
1

User is offline   jkas789 

#3353

View PostJimmy, on 11 November 2020 - 12:18 PM, said:

They clearly have not been as interested in game design over time as Romero.


Quote

In the case of Blum, you're more than probably right....and I wouldn't be totally surprised if he is completely unaware of the community or that maps are still being made.


Quote

In the case of Levelord,I'm not sure....He is more open to the internet communities (he even registered here, and responded to my PM), and once said he is still playing multiplayer a lot.


I think, that although they may have worked on Duke 3D out of a sense of love it is ultimately, work.

Let me try to explain. I as a doctor, when I see and treat my patients I do it not only because I like what I do, but also because I it my job. And when I finished treating a patient, unless there is some special circumstance I don't usually inquire more of their healthfare once they are out of my office. Now that does not mean that I don't care, but at the end of the day even if I like what I do the last thing I want to do is think about my job 24/7. I do have to study at home still because I have to do certification exams, and patients cases to review and so on. But when the times comes on I just want to sit back on a sofa, grab a good book and drink a shot of bacanora. Or go out with my GF/play videogames/pass time with the family.

You get it.

I imagine the same is for Blum and Levelord. They may enjoy what they work at, they may enjoy mapping, but they have other hobbies they enjoy doing in their spare time. Levelord may be only interesting in MP and not playing user maps. Blum may be into golf. Their life, at least from what i know of, wasn't centered around video game dev. Their livelihood was, but it did not consume them.

In the case of Romero it think this is different, because the best years of his life as a dev were and will always be his time developing Doom. Doom was not only a job to Romero, but his claim to fame, his magnum opus. He became a rockstar because of it. And after Daikatana what was he really left with?

Edit (I erased this by mistake): TLDR: I think World Tour was just another gig to Blum and Levelord. A nostalgic gig, but that's about it. Instead of say, Sigil, which was hyped a hell lot a lot more as the great Romero coming up with this cool new episode for Doom. And that is fine.


Well at least that is what I think. ヽ(ー_ー )ノ

This post has been edited by jkas789: 11 November 2020 - 08:33 PM

0

#3354

View Postjkas789, on 11 November 2020 - 08:29 PM, said:

I think, that although they may have worked on Duke 3D out of a sense of love it is ultimately, work.

Let me try to explain. I as a doctor, when I see and treat my patients I do it not only because I like what I do, but also because I it my job. And when I finished treating a patient, unless there is some special circumstance I don't usually inquire more of their healthfare once they are out of my office. Now that does not mean that I don't care, but at the end of the day even if I like what I do the last thing I want to do is think about my job 24/7. I do have to study at home still because I have to do certification exams, and patients cases to review and so on. But when the times comes on I just want to sit back on a sofa, grab a good book and drink a shot of bacanora. Or go out with my GF/play videogames/pass time with the family.

You get it.

I imagine the same is for Blum and Levelord. They may enjoy what they work at, they may enjoy mapping, but they have other hobbies they enjoy doing in their spare time. Levelord may be only interesting in MP and not playing user maps. Blum may be into golf. Their life, at least from what i know of, wasn't centered around video game dev. Their livelihood was, but it did not consume them.

In the case of Romero it think this is different, because the best years of his life as a dev were and will always be his time developing Doom. Doom was not only a job to Romero, but his claim to fame, his magnum opus. He became a rockstar because of it. And after Daikatana what was he really left with?

Edit (I erased this by mistake): TLDR: I think World Tour was just another gig to Blum and Levelord. A nostalgic gig, but that's about it. Instead of say, Sigil, which was hyped a hell lot a lot more as the great Romero coming up with this cool new episode for Doom. And that is fine.


Well at least that is what I think. ヽ(ー_ー )ノ


Since Blum was there from creating Duke Nukum I with Todd Replogle to the end of DNF's ill fated development cycle, it's kinda safe to say he is thinking about this franchise more than a simple livelihood and work. Based of Levelord's interviews he is a passionate mapper too, he started as a hobbyist actually, and a significant part of his life was also spent with designing games (ie. SiN, Quake's Scrouge of Armagon etc.). I think it's more about they moved on to better technologies and think about Duke and Doom as a dated game by now. Also Levelord is not that young by now, he might moved on from gaming in general. Overall their job is not like a stressful job of a doctor, which might have its beauty, but for most part it's a chore, and I know it because many of my family members are also docs, and they can tell long stories about what is happening in the healthcare system.

Btw. don't imply people here are living and dying with mapping and gaming. Since this is a forum about Duke and Build engine, we talk about it here, but we also have families, other hobbies. I, for example, haven't even touched this game for many years before World Tour, and even after that, I only played PnP and IF (which I still didn't finish) until very recently when I started playing a bit more since I have more time now due to various things. And I'm pretty sure others here could say the same.
2

User is offline   jkas789 

#3355

View PostThe Watchtower, on 11 November 2020 - 11:42 PM, said:

Since Blum was there from creating Duke Nukum I with Todd Replogle to the end of DNF's ill fated development cycle, it's kinda safe to say he is thinking about this franchise more than a simple livelihood and work. Based of Levelord's interviews he is a passionate mapper too, he started as a hobbyist actually, and a significant part of his life was also spent with designing games (ie. SiN, Quake's Scrouge of Armagon etc.). I think it's more about they moved on to better technologies and think about Duke and Doom as a dated game by now. Also Levelord is not that young by now, he might moved on from gaming in general. Overall their job is not like a stressful job of a doctor, which might have its beauty, but for most part it's a chore, and I know it because many of my family members are also docs, and they can tell long stories about what is happening in the healthcare system.

Btw. don't imply people here are living and dying with mapping and gaming. Since this is a forum about Duke and Build engine, we talk about it here, but we also have families, other hobbies. I, for example, haven't even touched this game for many years before World Tour, and even after that, I only played PnP and IF (which I still didn't finish) until very recently when I started playing a bit more since I have more time now due to various things. And I'm pretty sure others here could say the same.


I didn't imply that, at least I don't think so. I just wanted to say that what we look for fun may be a job for others, so I thought that both Levellord and Blum had moved on from Duke 3D as one is wont to do when they finish a job. And they may simply not be interested anymore to work on it other then professionalism. Like how Harrison Ford just thinks Han Solo was a job and hates being reminded about it but Star Wars fans love the character. I mentioned Romero as a way to differentiate the two because Romero clearly does not consider Doom just a job.

If it came that way, i do apologize though.
1

#3356

View Postjkas789, on 12 November 2020 - 12:56 PM, said:

I didn't imply that, at least I don't think so. I just wanted to say that what we look for fun may be a job for others, so I thought that both Levellord and Blum had moved on from Duke 3D as one is wont to do when they finish a job. And they may simply not be interested anymore to work on it other then professionalism. Like how Harrison Ford just thinks Han Solo was a job and hates being reminded about it but Star Wars fans love the character. I mentioned Romero as a way to differentiate the two because Romero clearly does not consider Doom just a job.

If it came that way, i do apologize though.


I think it's both a job and a hobby. I don't think anyone ever did game design without loving games, at least not back in the 90s. That needs dedication, and in some ways it's kinda similar to professional poker playing. But what you are trying to say here is that both of them keep their efforts to commercial releases, and don't bother with freeware stuff or usermapping. They know they are professionals and Levelord once said he needs two full months to make a single map (which seems to be a bit of exaggeration, but he said), so they know what is the effort needed, and don't want that to be wasted in the large pile of userlevels. Also they have "names", and are possibly tied to Gearbox.

This post has been edited by The Watchtower: 13 November 2020 - 12:17 AM

2

User is offline   jkas789 

#3357

View PostThe Watchtower, on 13 November 2020 - 12:16 AM, said:

I think it's both a job and a hobby. I don't think anyone ever did game design without loving games, at least not back in the 90s. That needs dedication, and in some ways it's kinda similar to professional poker playing. But what you are trying to say here is that both of them keep their efforts to commercial releases, and don't bother with freeware stuff or usermapping.


Yes.

Quote

Levelord once said he needs two full months to make a single map (which seems to be a bit of exaggeration, but he said)


I imagine that the time it takes is not only the building but the time playtesting making sure nothing is broken both design wise and gameplay wise.

Quote

Also they have "names", and are possibly tied to Gearbox.


That sounded... ominous
0

#3358

It was just a speculation. I could be wrong.

Btw. sometimes the last 5% of a particular map is the most time consuming part. In this case he might have been right. Still think maps like Prima Arena or Hollywood Inferno don't need that much time even with betatesting. Honestly a fast building pro (or even a skilled user) can do such maps in a few hours days.
0

#3359

View PostThe Watchtower, on 25 August 2020 - 04:16 PM, said:

I think episode 1 and 2 have their own style, which is usually considered as the classic 3D Realms style with large scope, inviting and relatable places, but less micro-detail, sharp shadows, strict use of less colorful textures (as ck3D once noted, most of the base v1.3D corpus belongs to here), often, but not always, an oppressive atmosphere (for the better, that is). These levels are primarily built for single players. Most Blum levels belong to here, but occasionally Levelord managed to get in there too.

Episode 3 style is more abstract, more Sandy Petersen-ish in a way, which includes more enclosed areas, less relatable places, less "conceptual grandness", but more interconnection, and multiplayer as the prime feature in mind. While E1 style levels need teleport to join places for MP, it was never an issue in Levelord's maps. Texture use is somewhat similar to E1/E2, but more abstract in its execution, some places don't really make sense, and the atmosphere is more arcade-y. Despite all the abstract stuff, there are definite rules in these maps, ie. the night vision messages and the strict use of texturing. Old Levelord maps belong to here, and some episode 2 levels too (space is just a theme, not an actual style).

Episode 4 style as mentioned a couple of times here, are more "kid friendly" with the new colorful (and liberal use of) textures most levels are built for just extra fun and easter eggs everwhere. These levels are either combined with the E1/E2 style or the E3 style, depends on their author, but Randy's levels are the archetype of the typical E4 level. Unironically, Randy's style infiltrated the mapping scene much more than Blum's or Levelord's style.


That's an interesting write-up! Could you provide screenshots to describe what you meant by the difference in the use of colorful textures? I'm particularly interested in the texturing styles but I'm not very familiar with the game, so I never noticed any differences.
0

User is offline   jkas789 

#3360

Had to hunt for the 20th anniv edition thread lol.

Here is a review I kinda liked:



The guys doesn't say anything that hasn't been said before but I think it is nice that people are talking about Duke :D
1

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