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What have you been playing? (posting about Duke 3D maps)

User is offline   Šneček 

#61

I played a map called The Eager Beaver by Mike Murphy aka Archville released in 1996: https://postimg.cc/gallery/x1WrDTQ

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This post has been edited by Šneček: 19 July 2020 - 08:05 AM

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#62

View Postck3D, on 18 July 2020 - 11:14 PM, said:

@RunningDuke to get that Atomic Health in map 2 of Metropolitan Mayhem, you need the jetpack you're supplied with in the very last room in the level (IIRC that rooftop). It should be out there hidden in plain sight behind the Nukebutton or something (at least that was my original intention).

Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately no jetpack was there (until I reached the secret level) and I just gave up on that atomic health, I played until I reached the map Meatball Sub Makin' and I will continue later today. I have killed all enemies and found every secret so far in levels until Meatball, however there were two secrets I had to look to find out. There was a video on YT where someone did the episode of Damn I'm Good, he found a lot of secrets (but missed later in episode quite a lot, so it wasn't very useful) and helped me with the missing secret in Sex City (the armor at beginning of level) and there was another atomic health secret I was missing in LAPD, so I actually looked in mapster and found it! Other than that, I found everything by myself, most of secrets are new to me since in my previous playthroughs of Metropolitan Mayhem, I didn't bother with secrets except the easy to find ones or if they happened to be in my way. I also remember the way I found the secret level first time (back when episode was released, though on a later playthrough) was because someone did a playthrough of episode on YouTube. This time, I'm trying to find everything by myself, which I'm being successful about.

I will continue the episode later and I hope to start other user maps/mods as well!
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User is online   quakis 

#63

I've been playing through a wide variety of user levels as of late and rediscovering my original love for this game that I've lost sight of over the years. Journeying through the old classics by Pixten, Averill, Jelenic, Stranger, Billy Boy, Bredhauer, to name a few. Then trekking through more recent outings I had yet to play from authors Bolduc, underTaker, Eddy, Puritan, etc. Thus far, it has been incredibly inspiring taking a moment to properly play through the work this community has created over the many years, going through the different eras of mapping and finally getting around to releases I've never touched before - and I've barely scratched the surface as there are still many more, old and new, waiting in my queue I'm excited to check out or replay.

Playing through these levels have also had a secondary effect relating to my site. The last review was over a year ago, time just hasn't been available to dedicate toward reviewing since finding proper employment and I opted to focus on what's more important to me; my drawing. Yet, I do miss writing the reviews and for several months have considered squeezing in time and return to that. This particular desire has only increased after playing through Duke3D user levels again and re-browsing that section on TAW - what a mess... Duke3D was one of the first sections back in 2004 and many "reviews" date from that period, but a majority of these do not fit within the goals or intended writing quality I had for TAW in later years. Should I return, first call of order is to re-evaluate the older entries and write new articles that properly showcase these individual projects for what they actually are - then move onto the releases not covered. TAW has been about celebrating user content, yet the other sections have received better treatment than Duke3D. I do wish to remedy that. We'll see.

This post has been edited by quakis: 21 July 2020 - 03:54 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#64

View PostRunningDuke, on 20 July 2020 - 10:14 PM, said:

Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately no jetpack was there (until I reached the secret level) and I just gave up on that atomic health,


Hmm, that's weird - I definitely put a jetpack somewhere on that last rooftop and could have sworn (off the top of my head) it was behind (or on top of) the Nukebutton. I've seen other people wonder how to get to that Atomic Health before, so far I had been assuming they had been missing the jetpack too but now I'm starting to wonder if there's actually one in the final product, or if somebody else tagged or removed it by accident pre-release. I'll check soon. Happy to hear you're having fun with that episode by the way, it was a lot of fun working on it with the team.

quakis - Mikko is the same right now re-reviewing (sometimes for the third or fourth times) some old maps on MSDN for the same reason. When a website stands the test of time, it starts to show in funny ways, I'd say it's good to be a perfectionist and retouch the old stuff if you feel like it but in the meantime people usually understand the phenomenon and in a way it's also a bit charming, so it's not especially crucial to stress over it.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 21 July 2020 - 05:17 AM

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#65

View Postck3D, on 21 July 2020 - 05:16 AM, said:

Hmm, that's weird - I definitely put a jetpack somewhere on that last rooftop and could have sworn (off the top of my head) it was behind (or on top of) the Nukebutton. I've seen other people wonder how to get to that Atomic Health before, so far I had been assuming they had been missing the jetpack too but now I'm starting to wonder if there's actually one in the final product, or if somebody else tagged or removed it by accident pre-release. I'll check soon. Happy to hear you're having fun with that episode by the way, it was a lot of fun working on it with the team.

Thanks man! I have finished the episode last evening. I enjoyed it more than previous times because this time I managed to 100% every level (with exception of one, see more below).

I just got reminded how tough can Duke3D be sometimes. Had some close calls in some levels, in Meatball Sub Makin' I took a lot of damage when fighting Mini Battlelords in last room and thought I was screwed with 24 HP left (had no armor left and just used my medkit earlier) and my last Devastator rounds just finished the last Mini Battlelord! :o Oh and some rooms of the train level and some of the boss levels also managed to deal good damage as well, which is where the portable medkit comes handy. I often pick up supplies when I need them to maximize their efficiency, as well as picking up everything before I leave the level.

I had to look up (in Mapster) to find the last secret in Meatball Sub Makin' (it was a Freezer in a vent I believe) and two other secrets in Derailing (I could have found them myself since I had spare jetpack fuel from previous level but didn't think to go visit those two parts, which also spawned even more enemies) but other than that, I found everything by myself. The secret in Trains in Veins was something I found now for first time (I don't think I found the secret before) and was a lifesaver with the portable medkit, armor and atomic health. Exactly what I needed! :)

I have done all 4 boss fights levels as well (with both choices in the fourth boss level). Here is a rundown of what I think of each:

High-Altitude Face-Off is the most epic boss fight you can have here. You start without weapons but quickly grab shotgun and pistol and then make your way from building to building until you build up your arsenal and then enough supplies to kill the boss. Managed to die once here as I was hiding from the Cycloid's rockets, just as I was peeking around the corner (thinking that he stopped firing), got a rocket in my face and died. Lucky bastard! Other than that, the boss isn't too difficult.

The Bitch is sort of a remake of The Queen and it is probably the easiest boss level. Getting 100% isn't too difficult (hint: the secret is found in the final room, similar to the original game) and I actually managed to also kill the spawned protector drones before killing the Queen, this is something I haven't done personally in the original game as I always focused on the boss (and with the eggs counting as extra kills, you will still have the game telling you all enemies killed even if you miss a few live drones, in EDuke32 I always play with the level stats option enabled so I can see if I'm finding everything) but now I just realized it can be easily done, so when I revisit the original game I will make sure to take care of the few spawned drones as she doesn't spawn them as quickly as I thought. Plus you should have a lot of ammo (this level doesn't take away your weapons) by the time you face her, with Devastator and Chaingun being recommended choices.

Stadium Despair is another interesting boss level and it actually seems the canonical next level after Trains in Veins. When I started the level I saw the train in front of me (as I have seen at the end of Derailing) and realized this just now, so if people care about continuity and don't know which boss level to select, they can select this one. I recommend people playing through all boss levels as they are all worth playing. Anyway for the level, it was challenging and you get to fight another Cycloid. Unfortunately there seems to be a bug involving missing enemies. I'm not sure if it's broken in last EDuke32 builds or it's a level bug but it looks like I'm always missing 19 enemies no matter if I spawn one wave at at a time or spawn both (including the Cycloid), I have done the map (I had a save before I pressed the buttons) like 5 times in different ways as mentioned above and I still get missing enemies. I went to check whole map and I just don't see where they could be hiding. I am sure they are supposed to spawn when you press those buttons but there must be something preventing that from happening.

Yelldown Hellride is the weirdest boss map and I remember finding this map frustrating when I played many years ago but since past 5 years when I bettered my Duke3d skills, I managed to get past the starting room without problems and had a better time in following map. This is the second boss map where you start without weapons and inventory. The turrets at beginning can be annoying but I'd recommend strafing left and right quickly while fighting them (behind the pillars) to minimize getting hit while checking both sides (to reduce number of turrets quickly before turning other way) and making sure you have centered view so pistol's autoaim works fine (most of time). I realized now that one of turrets seemed stuck inside walls (I had few separate saves, so it wasn't a problem going slightly back after a few turrets killed) and tried to destroy it with pistol and even mighty boot but didn't work, all while the turret was able to fire and hit me. Maybe bug caused by recent EDuke32 clipping changes? I don't remember this happening before. Nonetheless, I did manage to destroy it with getting close to it and letting 2-3 sentry drones (from the next room when you activate button) in my face and their explosion took out the turret as well. After that, I remember fighting protector drones (managed to get shrunk once but thankfully no one came to step on me, I was also shrunk during Queen boss fight but since I was swimming, no one could reach me to step on me) and going through that dangerous acid area. There was a timed switch that took me some time to figure out (and the secret expander ammo being inside fridge, you have to enter the fridge to make it count as found) and then comes the best part with fighting those green upside down octabrains. Oh and those creepy sounds and the Overlord seen at window, that was cool and reminded me of those creepy Duke3D maps/mods. Stuff like RED series, the Dream series and so on. Oh and I reminded some of the layouts are copied from the older maps ck3D/MRCK made called Filler and Happy Hangover (I think? I know there's lots of maps that I can't remember right now). I know there are so many of these maps from ck3D (and other legendary mappers like the Oostrum Brothers) that I really enjoyed many years ago, so I can't wait to play them again in the following weeks.

OK now back to the level, sadly I did manage to softlock myself once because I stand a bit close to blue card door and when I inserted card, it hit me and closed and I couldn't open it again. Since I save often and I don't like cheating (normally most people would have just used DNCLIP'ed here to continue), I just loaded the earlier save and continued normally. After that, I came across two teleporters which are the two choices you can make: The first choice is the harder and more interesting fight with Overlord (there are enemies almost everywhere in that area, you have been warned!) and the second choice is the easier fight with the Battlelord. I obviously made a backup save (just like at end of Trains in Veins) so I can quickly go back to try other choices.

As you can see from the screenshots (I made a save right whenever I killed a boss, which is why you see the level title in screenshots, as I loaded save and made the screenshot before it faded to the results screen), I have done every boss fight. Of course in the case you choose Battlelord fight, you can't get all kills as the rest enemies are in the city area where Overlord resides, which is no problem as I have done the level both ways, which is far more important than just completing the level or just wanting 100% kills. I also like how in both cases (at end of train level and in this situation) it's sort of Choose Your Own Adventure type where you have multiple choices. I think other Duke3D mods should also have something similar. Oh wait, just reminded right now of a map called The AMC Pleaser. At end of level it had a choice between pressing nuke button and fighting the Battlelord. Though you could also kill the Battlelord and press Nuke Button at same time too. Interestingly, you can sort of do that here too in trains level, you can press multiple nuke buttons (before Duke's hand shows up) and only the last button pressed is the one that will take effect. I know I tried this years ago and made me amused.

Bottom line I still enjoyed the episode after all these years, I wouldn't mind seeing another similar episode or maybe if this episode were to get slightly updated (to fix various issues). I was thinking in future I should do it on Damn I'm Good like that guy did it on YouTube, it shouldn't be too difficult if you don't go for all kills (as the missed monsters show as N/A) but there are some moments you really need to make use of explosives as I also noticed Shrinker is found in later levels than usual (in level 5 or 6 or 7, forgot exactly where I found it first time) and there wasn't so much ammo for it, meaning you have to use stronger weapons for assault commanders, mini battlelords, etc. Not that I often manage to shrink mini battlelords, I am successful in shrinking those that I can see around corners (sometimes inactive ones as well) because I play with autoaim on and if you aim Shrinker directly at a mini battlelord, it aims for the head and it won't shrink.

I will see what else I will play in meantime.

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This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 23 July 2020 - 10:51 PM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#66

Thanks for some detailed and interesting feedback!

I can't remember whether or not I tagged those rooftops in Meatball Sub Makin' as secret places in the end (if I did then since you 100%'d the episode, you probably found them), but when one gets the jetpack and meets the Battlelords at the end of the level they are free (and more than encouraged) to use it to take off, reach the summit of the central towers and snag all the goodies there, IIRC there should be some RPG or Dev ammo and health. In most playthroughs I've watched on YouTube, people don't think of doing that for some reason and insist on staying grounded with the Battlelords (which rarely turns out to be a good idea).

In Derailing, there is an elevator that takes you to one of those secret rooftops, you don't absolutely need the jetpack. It doesn't look like one on purpose, but it's at the back of that little alley West of the entrance of the train station. Can't remember how I hinted to its existence, maybe via a slightly different floor tiling or some funny wall trimming, or maybe it's more invisible than that, anyway nobody seems to find it - I kinda wanted that to be a tribute to the invisible elevator in the cinema lobby in E1L1 (the completely nonsensical one in the hallway).

The area with the green Octas and scripted Overloards in that one boss map is also from an older level of mine called Rural Nightmare which recycled ideas from Red 3/4 (my favorite maps at the time). That map was very amateurish in many aspects and I wouldn't recommend playing it unless for curiosity's sake. I really regret making that shitty boss map, IIRC we really needed a last one and I was tired and completely out of time or something. Project altogether was supposed to be a quick CBP but the management changed hands a few times towards the end and things were getting pretty hectic with everyone wanting to get it out of the way already.

You can thank MetHunter for the secret room and top section in Train in Veins, I designed the whole level but then after submission MetHy gave modifying the map a try pre-release to see if his ideas would work and they turned out to add a lot of fresh air to a level that was otherwise super repetitive.

Stadium Despair missing enemies probably has to do with how the colored enemies get spawned, I really wanted to spawn colored enemies to form the 'teams' playing but the base game doesn't allow that so what I did was place the colored actors in a helper sector out of bounds that doubled up as a silent teleporter, then use an explosion to wake them up and trigger the warp whenever appropriate. It was again an amateurish way of doing things and it's very possible that for some reason, some of the monsters miss getting triggered by the explosion. I typically don't really watch monster count and really at the time I just had no clue people would ever try 100%ing or speedrunning the episode seriously. I'm careful about that stuff nowadays though (if anything I kinda want to emphasize on speedrunning possibilities for my WIP episode).

MM is most likely never getting an update, the episode is old now and I'm pretty sure the whole team has moved onto new things. Subsequently I feel like I've definitely learned a lot about level design from witnessing people playing it on YouTube and all the feedback posted, though. All those little remarks have been shaping my works since and are shaping my current ones still. If I ever had to choose between retouching MM or starting a vanilla episode anew, I'd probably go for the second option - more fun than revisiting something that already exists for the same amount of time spent - not to mention MM was built under time constraints in the first place, revisiting it even for fixes I feel like would ruin things a bit.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 24 July 2020 - 07:35 AM

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#67

No problem! I always liked giving some detailed feedback.

Yes, those rooftops were marked as secret areas, I definitely remember touching the floor (or just flying above it) and it counted as secret, however didn't collect the jetpack immediately as I already had at least half fuel left from the previous levels. I then realized there was another jetpack in last area and I then collected the one on rooftop and explored more until I finished (and grabbed the last one before exiting). Yeah it may not be a good idea to fight them by camping on that room (before going outside last area) but this is how I have done so far and sure enough it is challenging but it's not out of place with modern maps having increased difficulty, just like how modern Doom maps have increased standard difficulty, so the levels don't feel as easy as the ones in original game.

Yes, I found that elevator just after I already used jetpack to access the rooftop. I did notice the "UP" sign on the box, however first time I tried to activate, I was standing on the box and then I realized it's that part darker shaded and then I pressed and took me up there. Then I realized that's how you access it (instead of flying directly with the jetpack) and yes I remember that secret in E1L1, I found it even as kid when exploring the map. This may be off-topic but the ONLY secret me and my father couldn't find back then (on E1L1) was the Duke's apartment secret that gave you an early Chaingun (normally we found chaingun in E1L2) and other goodies. That was rather well hidden and no one thought of this secret existing. We did know of some of unmarked secrets like at end of level there are some turrets and an extra jetpack but the official secret managed to sneak past.

Back to what I said above, the other secret in question I found with jetpack by wandering around (after checking in mapster to find these last two secrets) was the Devastator with ammo that spawned 2 more mini battlelords.

Yes, Rural Nightmare which is probably sequel to Filler and prequel to Happy Hangover (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here). Few days ago I actually wanted to play all your maps in chronological order, by collecting downloads for each map you released (also helped a bit by your old blog which I will link if you are okay with that) but when I wanted to grab Anorak City for example, I was disappointed to see official links gone. Duke Repository sadly died 5 years ago (the old archived copy linked on duke4.net is from 2009-2010 and misses this map and other maps released at that time, such as DNF: Bottles to the Ground) and Wayback Machine didn't have it archived either (only the map page but not the zip file). Went to download on msdn, somehow the map wasn't there either. Then I got it from Scent 88. I guess I will play it that way because most download links of the map are long gone and I guess this affects other older maps as well (another alternative is at Dukeworld where I look for many maps/mods, usually older ones). I usually try to grab maps from the places they were officially released from, but I don't mind grabbing from other "mirrors" as well, especially if I have no other choices. I often try to check for the date and version of map I played as I want to make sure I play the latest.

I guess I will thank MetHy for that secret area. It was a lifesaver, although I wasn't low on health from what I remember (still used my medkit earlier), just 100 health at that time. However the medkit, armor and atomic health were all very useful anyway. There is another medkit at end of level anyway.

Ah yes, I was thinking how you achieved that effect. It's very interesting how you achieved all these spawns nonetheless. Yep, spawned enemies can't be given different pal, which look weird in types of maps where enemies have unique pals to give the map an unique atmosphere, though in this case was the other way around, with few colored enemies spawned at end of level instead of map themed around colored enemies. As I said, when I will redo the episode of DIG at a later time, the missing monsters wouldn't be a problem anymore.

Sad to hear that MM won't be given an update. I totally understand your reasoning. It's better to create something new than revisit an old episode. That's what Trooper Dan has told me as well in regards to DukePlus. I know it's sad to see older projects dead and not getting revived by bringing them to newer standards but that's life I guess. It's fine as long as the map/mod can be downloaded and can be played these days, I have no problem with that. It only sucks if it's a map or mod that gets lost in time and there is no way to recover it. That's why it's best to play stuff when gets released and don't wait too long. Who knows how long a certain website will be up and suddenly become inaccessible? Just look at Oblivion by Zaxtor (RIP), just a few months ago I was looking to download the updated 2014-2015 version of Oblivion (the initial release hosted everywhere else is from 2009) only to find out his site is dead and it wasn't archived by Wayback Machine either or at least not completely (the zip wasn't saved either). And I remember few years ago downloading that Oblivion mod when I was helping NightFright for the compilation version and finding bugs and regressions but sadly I no longer have that file as I deleted the mod after I tested it to find a particular bug and comparison (should have saved that damn zip file). Speaking of which, I can safely say that the updated version is found in the compilation.

I also remembered an user map called ACB Studios, which was released many years ago on Megaton Edition steam workshop, few years later it was taken down and I can no longer find latest version, only outdated versions of map hosted on msdn and Scent 88. Once again the latest is still found in the Addon Compilation, so I guess this is what I will play when I get around playing that map...except for the fact I'm waiting for the updated addon compilation to get released sometime in future because I don't want to use the outdated release from 4 years ago.

To end the post, last week I also played more of that old 1.3D copy and it looks like those old memories are haunting me (why did I have to post that in the Memories topic as well?). Basically I managed to die once (again by that retarded rotating gear which I still don't fucking understand why it sometimes squishes me, why does this happen?) on Lunar Reactor and as punishment (as I'm NOT allowed to die at all in Duke3D!), I went to restart level with pistol, I then managed to recover all my weapons and do the level fine. However I had suffered through it at times and those slimers were really a pain in ass (much more formidable enemy in 1.3D due to their immunity to boots), had to take my pistol (even if out of ammo or while changing weapons) and kill them. Now I understand why 3DR made so they can be killed by mighty foot on Atomic and later versions. Other things that made me a bit frustrated were that I had to drink water at least 3-5 times, from the bathroom or the fountain near end of level, to get my health back to 100. And the fact Mini Battlelord seems a LOT more accurate in original DOS 1.3D than newer versions, now I know why I had so much trouble with them as a kid, especially on this level. And that was on Let's Rock, not on Come Get Some which usually has even more enemies present in maps (interestingly the maps don't feel that different between LR and CGS). But that makes me wonder are the Duke3D maps pistol start compatible? It seems you can recover most if not all of your weapons in most of the maps and I've been thinking to do all 4 episodes (in DOS Atomic 1.5) pistol start CGS sometime in following weeks. And as bonus, before doing that, wanted doing the first 3 episodes (DOS Duke3D 1.3D) pistol start on CGS in COOP mode (with that glitch I found as kid that allows me to start game on any level I want in either DM or COOP mode, a bit similar to that Quake multiplayer menu) so I can train a bit and that way dying will just result in respawning at start of level.

Anyway, I am at beginning of Dark Side and I will finish the episode later today, provided I don't start other Duke maps/mods in meantime and don't forget I'm busy with other games (and their respective mods) as well. Oh and starting E3 in that awful World Tour edition because I haven't done that either.

I have two screens: beginning of Lunar Reactor when I pistol started and made me wonder if I can do this and another one where I reached Dark Side in relatively good state but it sucks not having full inventory and arsenal, as I'm often used to. :)

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This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 28 July 2020 - 12:26 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#68

Ah, thanks for letting me know about the MSDN Anorak City download. I had seen some YouTube comments saying some people couldn't find the file too, but I just assumed they didn't know about MSDN (now that I think about it, maybe Puritan even commented back posting a link to CGS, IIRC). I will email Mikko soon about that.

I too liked Duke Plus for what it was especially as I don't have the time to play the recent, more ambitious mods (I frequently wish I could use the time I spend posting on here actually playing/working on Duke stuff, too, but I use different computers for work/web and Duke), but I'm not sure if we can count such projects as 'dead'. They exist as what they are, as long as they remain available (which I agree with you is crucial and why I'm going to contact Mikko about that link, for instance) and playable (compatible with the ports currently being used, but most of the time the devs know what they're doing and are only asking to be notified of possible compatibility issues with user content), there shouldn't be any problem. In the case of MM, right now I don't think it's that outdated enough to require a patch, but it's still a release I consider and care for (as well as everyone else who was involved, I'm sure) that I know some people still enjoy so if ever crucially needed sometime, I'm sure the team would consider putting in the work required to right whatever the wrong is or submit an alternative version. It's not exactly dead per se, just done and thus dormant.

I had almost forgotten about that old blog. I'd definitely need to revamp it and modernize it one of these days. Will probably do so as the release of Blast Radius become imminent, sometime before 2087.

The maps of mine you mentioned aren't supposed to have that continuity, but every head canon is acceptable to me, if anything it's interesting to me that you 'read' them like that. I only ever tried and failed at making somewhat of a credible episode twice before, first in the early 2000's with the Anarchy City series then again in the late 2000's with Happy Hangover/Anorak City/Bottles To The Ground which were supposed to form an episode of roughly 5/6 maps total centered around my hometown at the time, but both times I ran out of fuel and interest. Off the top of my head, those were the only maps of mine that were meant to be directly related during their conception. Then for a while I've just been having fun with level names, for instance Bummed Out is dubbed Anarchy City X or Siebenpolis is dubbed Wide Awake 2/Filler 3, even though there is no direct continuity between those maps at all but the mindset I had just prior to releasing them. I've been using the name Filler for every map I've done that was pretty much improvised and doodled without any pretention on and off since the early 00's, originally it's a nod to a Minor Threat song. One funny thing is one could say Filler and Happy Hangover are connected because IIRC, the bus in which you start in Happy Hangover is copy-pasted from the one you end Filler in. I guess the whole thing is not so much of an official continuity as it is a bunch of spontaneous in-universe clues and references I choose not to really think about myself.

Also I've been thinking of repurposing a lot of those old maps of mine with the most potential yet that suffered from dumb mistakes such as obscure navigation or terrible visibility sometime. Namely from the Happy Hangover trilogy onwards. Now I feel like a lot of those would deserve a fix and maybe a more modern presentation, so I might rework and repackage them one of these days, but honestly right now that's the least of my priorities and I'm really focused on mapping for Blast Radius when I get to map or else I'll just never be done with that project the way I picture it.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 28 July 2020 - 01:40 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#69

Haven't played it yet, but I just found this map from 1999 just now seeing the light of the day, apparently the author has three more of them:



There's a download link in the description, too. Map looks good in parts, it's obviously been shown some care and it has some interesting stuff, although it also has its share of areas with poorer design and typical beginner mapper mistakes (explosions in your face, etc.).
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#70

Cyrell's maps, played this one a pair of years ago, and even if it is a hard one, where you have to save sometimes (expecially in the final part, starting with the infamous Blue card xD) i liked this one more than the others from this author.
Can't remeber if i've download it from dukeespana or arrovfnukem, but looks like cannot be found anymore, so here you go: E1L11 Going Down Town

The other ones can be found on arrovfnukem, Mansion! is cool and a bizarre one.

EDIT: Just noticed the link is in the description, i'll leave the link here anyway, just in case someone is too lazy to go on YT and login on Google Drive https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif

This post has been edited by The Battlelord: 31 July 2020 - 10:32 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#71

View PostThe Battlelord, on 31 July 2020 - 10:17 AM, said:

Cyrell's maps, played this one a pair of years ago, and even if it is a hard one, where you have to save sometimes (expecially in the final part, starting with the infamous Blue card xD) i liked this one more than the others from this author.
Can't remeber if i've download it from dukeespana or arrovfnukem, but looks like cannot be found anymore, so here you go: E1L11 Going Down Town

The other ones can be found on arrovfnukem, Mansion! is cool and a bizarre one.

EDIT: Just noticed the link is in the description, i'll leave the link here anyway, just in case someone is too lazy to go on YT and login on Google Drive https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif


Oh so that's the guy and it was already released before. Nice. For some reason I had never stumbled upon those levels. He seems to have a penchant for triangular structures and slopes in general which is cool. Direct links to his other maps on Arrovf's website:

https://www.arrovfnu...oly-city-cyrell
https://www.arrovfnu...ratories-cyrell
https://www.arrovfnu.../mansion-cyrell

From the sounds of it, I don't think he even suspects that those old maps of his are still around, over twenty years later. Will be funny when he finds out.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 31 July 2020 - 12:16 PM

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#72

Sorry I didn't reply earlier. I was busy with other games. Have been playing more Duke in past week and these last few days. I have completed that "pirated" duke3d (1.3d) on let's rock and died once more (due to a bullshit warp bug in E3L10 Tier Drops) which caused me to warp inside Mini Battlelord's room and then as I was desperate to exit that room before I died, I accidentally pressed SPACE (which is the shooting button) and killed myself with Devastator rockets. Then I restarted the level from scratch and I recovered all my weapons in same level. So I guess most levels are pistol start compatible. A bit shame that in these weeks when I replayed Duke3D (1.3d "pirated" and World Tour also pirated), not only I played on LR but also died a few times, which made me frustrated and bored, as mentioned into the other topic. But when I did Duke3D Atomic last time (back in summer 2015 in DOSBox) on CGS, I never died once. And yes at that time I also had the expansions done and getting 100% in each level. Am I getting a bit rusty over time? In all fairness, the deaths were from random bullshit happening. I admit I am a completionist and perfectionist and I want to do things as best as possible. But sometimes I am not successful enough...

ck3D, I will answer to the points you made last week:

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Ah, thanks for letting me know about the MSDN Anorak City download. I had seen some YouTube comments saying some people couldn't find the file too, but I just assumed they didn't know about MSDN (now that I think about it, maybe Puritan even commented back posting a link to CGS, IIRC). I will email Mikko soon about that.

No problem. If I will find more dead links, I will let you know!

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I too liked Duke Plus for what it was especially as I don't have the time to play the recent, more ambitious mods (I frequently wish I could use the time I spend posting on here actually playing/working on Duke stuff, too, but I use different computers for work/web and Duke), but I'm not sure if we can count such projects as 'dead'. They exist as what they are, as long as they remain available (which I agree with you is crucial and why I'm going to contact Mikko about that link, for instance) and playable (compatible with the ports currently being used, but most of the time the devs know what they're doing and are only asking to be notified of possible compatibility issues with user content), there shouldn't be any problem. In the case of MM, right now I don't think it's that outdated enough to require a patch, but it's still a release I consider and care for (as well as everyone else who was involved, I'm sure) that I know some people still enjoy so if ever crucially needed sometime, I'm sure the team would consider putting in the work required to right whatever the wrong is or submit an alternative version. It's not exactly dead per se, just done and thus dormant.

Same here. There are a lot of great mods at the moment and some I even considered doing. Heck, I was a beta tester for Alien Armageddon and helped Trooper Dan (recently changed name to Danukem) fix a couple of bugs I noticed and reported (mostly when testing weapons and enemies in ZOO map) but I haven't been able to check out the new maps and play through the mod properly because I have been busy at that time. I have other mods to play as well, including Dan's other mods and even other great huge TCs like AMC TC and there are even recent User Maps that I have been missing since I was busy with studies in last years and only a month ago I finally finished, so I could get back to playing games and maps/mods until I get a job. Thing is these days I no longer have the desire to play through games like I used in past, I feel like I'm forcing myself to finish them just so I no longer play them again (there are exceptions of course, after all why do I come back to playing the original levels in Doom and Duke for example? as well as even a few maps and mods).

As for MM, yeah I understand. No worries, the episode is still great. But some issues should have definitely been fixed. There is also the possibility to work with NightFright and release an update to MM exclusively to his addon compilation but that may annoy some people who don't want to download the entire compilation just to play one mod. Plus there hasn't been a new update since long time so the compilation at the moment is outdated and I'd rather wait for a new version as I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

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I had almost forgotten about that old blog. I'd definitely need to revamp it and modernize it one of these days. Will probably do so as the release of Blast Radius become imminent, sometime before 2087.

Ah, I see. I am looking forward to see the blog updated. I wouldn't mind seeing an updated page which shows all your recent maps (from 2010 or so) and an Old Maps section which shows all your old maps. Some of the old maps may be worth playing in DOSBox (Duke3D 1.3D or 1.5, depending on the map's requirements) or even in JFDuke3D (last version from 2005) to give the maps a bit more nostalgic feeling.

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The maps of mine you mentioned aren't supposed to have that continuity, but every head canon is acceptable to me, if anything it's interesting to me that you 'read' them like that. I only ever tried and failed at making somewhat of a credible episode twice before, first in the early 2000's with the Anarchy City series then again in the late 2000's with Happy Hangover/Anorak City/Bottles To The Ground which were supposed to form an episode of roughly 5/6 maps total centered around my hometown at the time, but both times I ran out of fuel and interest. Off the top of my head, those were the only maps of mine that were meant to be directly related during their conception. Then for a while I've just been having fun with level names, for instance Bummed Out is dubbed Anarchy City X or Siebenpolis is dubbed Wide Awake 2/Filler 3, even though there is no direct continuity between those maps at all but the mindset I had just prior to releasing them. I've been using the name Filler for every map I've done that was pretty much improvised and doodled without any pretention on and off since the early 00's, originally it's a nod to a Minor Threat song. One funny thing is one could say Filler and Happy Hangover are connected because IIRC, the bus in which you start in Happy Hangover is copy-pasted from the one you end Filler in. I guess the whole thing is not so much of an official continuity as it is a bunch of spontaneous in-universe clues and references I choose not to really think about myself.

Interesting. I wouldn't mind if you reworked your older maps and compiled them all into an episode. I know you are working on Blast Radius which I'm looking forward to (I even see you have a progress in your signature) and wouldn't mind to see all your previous works also compiled as an episode, with older maps more updated to modern standards. And yeah I noticed when you called Siebenpolis as Wide Awake 2/Filler 3, to me the maps do seem to have a bit of continuity to them, which makes them feel more adventurous. I also remember when you contributed a map to a contest (Spiegul Contest) and in that case although those 3 maps are better played one after another (I know there is also a version in Addon compilation that has them as separate 1-level episodes, instead of being selected as user maps), I don't think it will be too bad if that map is also included in your episode of old maps, as a secret map or something. The only things to keep in mind are those bosses that you used in Anarchy City series or Rural Nightmare and even those in DNF Bottles to the Ground, so that they won't end episode when you kill them. If I'm not mistaken BTTG actually had mini overlords scripted correctly to act as mini bosses and not just 1 hp. Basically you need to have modified con files and fix the mini bosses (and even Mini Alien Queen to not act exactly like Alien Queen) so they can be used in the maps properly. I think that would be cool to update the older maps (when you decide to have them as an episode) and even add Mini Overlords and Mini Cycloid Emperors to spawn alongside Mini Battlelords instead of spawning 3 Mini Battlelords at once. And oddly enough I didn't refer to that last part of Meatball Sub Makin', I just happened to think at a scenario where there could be other mini bosses spawned and realized this while writing message. Funny coincidence! But yeah I wish Duke3D had the other mini bosses scripted as well. At least there are actual Mini Overlords and Mini Cycloids (maybe Mini Queens as well?) in Episode 5 of World Tour and I even remember non-ending versions of the actual bosses as well. Imagine the possibilities if the bosses weren't hardcoded to end the episode when killed.

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Also I've been thinking of repurposing a lot of those old maps of mine with the most potential yet that suffered from dumb mistakes such as obscure navigation or terrible visibility sometime. Namely from the Happy Hangover trilogy onwards. Now I feel like a lot of those would deserve a fix and maybe a more modern presentation, so I might rework and repackage them one of these days, but honestly right now that's the least of my priorities and I'm really focused on mapping for Blast Radius when I get to map or else I'll just never be done with that project the way I picture it.

No problem. I don't mind if you leave the reworkings of old maps for after you release Blast Radius. I will look forward to whatever you release next! I'm sure there are also others who would enjoy seeing your older maps reworked at a later time. I even remember a few older mappers returned and some of them re-released their older works for modern standards (example Dogville 2012).

EDIT: Also just a suggestion for Blast Radius. Now that I mentioned mini bosses and bosses that don't end episode and there aren't many mods that have them included (the one that comes in my mind is Vermin Clearance that had some bosses that don't end episode upon being killed, also TamDuke had them as well), do you think you can include fixed cons that fix these mini bosses and non-ending bosses and even add them as enemies in your maps? I hope this won't prove too frustrating to other players because I can imagine a mini cycloid's rocket killing you instantly and they must be used carefully but I have no problem with your maps posing a bigger challenge, I can imagine fighting a big Battlelord (that doesn't end episode) at end of one of maps while a Mini Overlord and Mini Cycloid assist him. I don't mind dying if a map demands higher skill. I only get frustrated when dying repeatedly, mostly in same spot or when comes to original episodes, dying even once because in that case I'm supposed to beat them perfectly in one go (although I save my game often). In custom maps, it's expected to pose greater difficulty, so I take my time, explore and carefully examine rooms and look for enemies spawning, etc.

EDIT 2: Also meant to post these two pictures on World Tour topic. One of them shows that glitchy wall texture in Dark Side also happening in that 1.3D copy in DOSBox and in Flood Zone, this is one of the rooms that was modified in World Tour (which added pedestal that holds the yellow card).

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This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 05 August 2020 - 02:54 AM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#73

Oh no worries about the delay, heck I never really expect replies to my own posts and they're always just a good surprise. Thanks for all the feedback and ideas!

Yeah a tricky thing for episodes (done right) is that all levels should be doable with pistol start, all the while forming a succession of maps that are still challenging enough when played in a faultless continuity. It's not extra hard to adjust per se, and in my case I'm designing user map per user map so it's very easy to check on how well they'd perform on an individual basis, but it's definitely an aspect modders in general should keep in mind - I think most do, though, because it's a pretty rudimentary consideration just due to the nature of how the game works. Merely just playtesting the episode/mod would instantly give the imbalances away - if the author is serious enough about quality to actually playtest their own work, that is.

About video games in general, for a while Duke 3D has been the only one I still regularly play and in that sense, the only one I'm making an exception for to this day, because I know exactly what it is that I like about the game and its engine and mechanics, so it's easy for me to identify and justify what I'm really crazy about when it comes to it. Now 'playing games' in general is sort of an abstraction - I was an avid player of all types of games till my early teenage years but then as technology developed and the market took a certain turn, I was never too convinced by the qualities of modern games past, say, the technical limitations of the N64. In a way, works that fall into the video game category nowadays are a completely different thing from what video games were when I used to enjoy them as a kid, which I've kind of rationalized so I'm not going to pretend they're the same thing even though most of them would really just waste my time and energy now (in general - of course there is some modern stuff I see and do like, but never enough to catch my full focus it seems, I have other interests that always seem to fill that mental space instead).

And yeah in general I need to get around and organize stuff, be it that old blog (I like that suggestion of yours with old vs. new maps) or just past body of work altogether if I'm ever retouching those old levels.

The miniboss thing is real - definitely handicapped user map making throughout the years, but the base game is what it is, I guess. There's always been an abundance of effort when it comes to cleaning up the original .con code with fan patches and whatnot (even to this day), but that's as much energy that could have gone into a different type of fan production had the game had a more solid foundation to begin with.

I want modified enemies in Blast Radius, including miniboss variants. Will mostly likely only get to that once most of the mapping is done, though, and in addition to that I also want to retain full compatibility with the base game and its behavior which might sound like a paradox but really isn't since episodes come with modified .cons anyway, so I can add enemies and whatnot and will, but also will make sure that it doesn't break anything in the original Duke 3D - that's actually going to be pretty fun.

The main problem that would arise if I tried to rework my old maps into an episode (which I might do at some point, like we were saying) is that a lot of them end on boss fights. So I'd have to modify that and/or find workarounds, should be easy, but in such situations it just becomes so tempting again to think 'well this can wait, the maps have been released in a certain completed state anyway' and relegate the idea further back into the priorities whilst instead working on actual new things. But yes some of my maps such as BTTG which came with modified .con files already fixed the miniboss thing indeed and I want to be able to use them in Blast Radius. I have a few ideas of variants already too.

Also side note, but just last night I remembered to check that second map of Metropolitan Mayhem (at least the pre-release, original version of it that I have on my hard drive) and it does have a jetpack on the last rooftop, just behind the sector supporting the Nukebutton. If it's really not there in your version then it means someone during the packaging of the episode removed it (maybe to prevent the player from keeping it for the later levels, but every level for MM was built as a direct continuation to the previous one so it's the other authors who should have adapted), or maybe it's a bug - I'm curious whether or not the item would show up in the editor whilst looking at the released version. I'll try and look into that.

Again I really appreciate the support and ideas! Sorry if my own reply is all over the place here and there, I'm in the middle of a bunch of tasks right now. Cheers!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 05 August 2020 - 04:04 AM

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#74

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Oh no worries about the delay, heck I never really expect replies to my own posts and they're always just a good surprise. Thanks for all the feedback and ideas!

You're welcome. I forgot again to visit this topic but I did play a bit more Duke3D recently, continuing my JFDuke3D FM2X playthrough (I'm at secret level of E1 right now) and I have been also playing Duke3D World Tour E5 (Alien World Order) and instead of bumping the World Tour topic (I will do that when I finish the episode soon since I've got two levels left), I will mention here I reached Golden Carnage and I really liked E5 so much so far. I will save all the details for the topic later today or tomorrow. For now I will talk a bit about FM2X. Not sure if in FM3X and/or FM4X this is changed/fixed (I will get to play the updated versions in DOSBox sometime in future) but there are 6 enemies missing in the 4th level (Sewer Confines), 4 of which are the pig cops that are hidden behind walls and revealed when you take the NORMAL exit that ends with you captured like at end of E1L2 but there are other 2 non existent enemies as well? Searched for the whole level and I think I know what happened to those two enemies. As soon as I went to that area with those weird moving platforms, I think two flying troopers got squished by those things and removed from existence because I remember from past those platforms can insta kill anyone (even you and even if you are flying over them while they move) but this time I tried to shoot RPG as soon as I got into that room and they still got immediately squished when they saw me. I managed to get past those things without problem at least, so I wasn't killed but those troopers...a bit annoying how enemies that are removed from game like that (when they get squished by these moving things or the subway cars or those cars in Roch 2) then they don't add to kills and it's like you didn't even kill them, so you have enemies missing.

I also wanted to replay DNF 2013 (this time on Damn I'm Good) because I haven't played it since last year but ran into incompatibility problems where on fullscreen it only showed part of screen on my new laptop. I guess I will play it on PC another time.

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Yeah a tricky thing for episodes (done right) is that all levels should be doable with pistol start, all the while forming a succession of maps that are still challenging enough when played in a faultless continuity. It's not extra hard to adjust per se, and in my case I'm designing user map per user map so it's very easy to check on how well they'd perform on an individual basis, but it's definitely an aspect modders in general should keep in mind - I think most do, though, because it's a pretty rudimentary consideration just due to the nature of how the game works. Merely just playtesting the episode/mod would instantly give the imbalances away - if the author is serious enough about quality to actually playtest their own work, that is.

Yeah, good points. I never played the Duke3D levels as pistol start before (except some of them with that multiplayer menu glitch that I mentioned somewhere else, involving that multiplayer demo from 3DR website and loading a game while demo is playing) and I think it will be refreshing to do that, though first level will play the same but I plan to also record them on YouTube, we will see in next weeks. I intend to play Duke3D 1.3D each level in coop mode (CGS skill) from scratch and a normal Duke3D 1.5 playthrough with each level pistol start, the latter will be recorded on YouTube, not sure if COOP mode should be uploaded as well, what do you think?

Also indeed, Duke3D user maps should also be pistol start compatible for those who like extra challenge. I know most of the Doom community make sure their levels are pistol start compatible as well and I'm glad to see Duke3D also getting into same trend, though I think majority of people already played that way because after all, most user maps are standalone and are already played from pistol start. Still, it would be interesting for some episodes to be played each level pistol start.

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About video games in general, for a while Duke 3D has been the only one I still regularly play and in that sense, the only one I'm making an exception for to this day, because I know exactly what it is that I like about the game and its engine and mechanics, so it's easy for me to identify and justify what I'm really crazy about when it comes to it. Now 'playing games' in general is sort of an abstraction - I was an avid player of all types of games till my early teenage years but then as technology developed and the market took a certain turn, I was never too convinced by the qualities of modern games past, say, the technical limitations of the N64. In a way, works that fall into the video game category nowadays are a completely different thing from what video games were when I used to enjoy them as a kid, which I've kind of rationalized so I'm not going to pretend they're the same thing even though most of them would really just waste my time and energy now (in general - of course there is some modern stuff I see and do like, but never enough to catch my full focus it seems, I have other interests that always seem to fill that mental space instead).

Same here, although I also enjoy the Doom and Quake games and other games as well. There are some older games that I never played when I was a kid (never owned them or owned them on shareware games CDs but never got around them) or played them a bit and wasn't much interested in them. Right now that I'm revisiting many older games (however didn't get around doing them), I'm trying to get around them but many just sit unplayed on my hard drive, it is very hard to get into them, as they "aged badly", some examples I will give and try to explain:
-Wolfenstein 3D which is the grandfather of FPS games, one of the oldest classics, I can't enjoy these days because I get so bored of navigating into those mazes and it's not terribly exciting, I know the source ports like Wolf4SDL and ECWolf improve the game (the latter even adds a very useful automap feature) but I don't know, I find it a pain to play in DOSBox, really boring (I admit I spend a bit of time with navigating the save menus as well, as I like saving clearing each room) and some levels very frustrating, either too confusing or too hard (like that Episode 4 secret level). I hope to finish the game on I am Death Incarnate as before I only finished it on Bring 'em On skill. I will see when I will start doing it. Same applies to Spear of Destiny. And then there's also a ton of custom maps and mods. Forgot to mention I first played Wolf3D a bit after I already played Duke3D and Doom (in case of Wolf3D and Doom I only had the shareware as kid and I even remember playing a modified Wolf3D but can never remember what was name of mod), I believe. It didn't help that Wolf3D was released 3.5 years before I was born, I mean sure Doom came out nearly 2 years before I was born but I can still enjoy Doom to this day (even the original versions in DOSBox) but Wolf3D is painful and let's not talk about Hovertank 3D and Catacombs 3D, I only remember a bit of the latter but the former was really fucking awful when I played it two years ago first time.
-Blake Stone suffers from same issues as Wolfenstein 3D, just a bit boring imo (and a bit unfair thanks to two enemies) but I will talk into its topic which I read a while ago. Remember playing the shareware as kid and somewhat enjoyed it (found it a bit more engaging than Wolf3D) but these days it was a bit painful to play even with BStone source port.
-Shadow Warrior was pretty good from what I played first time back in 2013-2014 the free steam copy (although didn't enjoy that much that time due to level design being a bit boring and wasn't a fan of some Lo Wang quotes at that time, because they were stupid and not offensive, if anyone wonders) then bought a CD copy from eBay. The only memory from SW I had as kid was seeing in a french magazine called PC Jeux (we had a bunch of video game magazines which I am not sure if we still have but as a kid I enjoyed seeing and reading about the games I was familiar with, even if my English wasn't that good) but when I replayed SW (last time in 2015), I enjoyed it a lot more and saw the game in a more positive light. It aged pretty well I think and plan to do the game on No Pain No Gain (only finished twice on Who Wants Some Wang). Last year I played three mods (Lo Nukem, Rampage Warrior and TaiWang) on the third difficulty and two of them were pretty difficult but they were pretty interesting as well, plan to replay those and some user maps, will see when. Oh and I remember doing Twin Dragon back in 2018 as well, will replay that one as well while saving Wanton Destruction for last. (as they say, saving the best for the last)
-Blood I never played before, only the alpha version which was included on that CD with full version games (and some betas/alphas), as a kid I don't remember getting the game running (probably thanks to the CFG file having resolution set to 800x600 and the game didn't work at all or crashed when started) but I made it to work years ago in DOSBox and replayed it last time in 2017. I intend to properly play Blood these days but I don't know with what version to start with. I acquired back in early 2019 a sealed copy of One Unit Whole Blood (only the jewel case, with the Blood 2 advertisement and the WizardWorks guide CD included as well) from eBay (for $75 or so) and I still kept it sealed as it's pretty rare and cool (all the copies the seller had were eventually sold last year) and not sure if I should download the shareware version and play it or unseal my copy and play OUWB? I'd rather ask that in the Blood topic and see what people suggest me. I heard mostly positive things about Blood and with the NBlood source port, I have no excuse to finally play the game! Though I will first play it in DOSBox of course.

I will comment on other games another time, there is so much to say but honestly I'm tired of writing long messages these days, I'd rather spent my time playing games and making progress than wasting 2 hours writing long messages on the forum.

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And yeah in general I need to get around and organize stuff, be it that old blog (I like that suggestion of yours with old vs. new maps) or just past body of work altogether if I'm ever retouching those old levels.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to reorganizing your blog. I will also be looking to play all your maps soon. I just need to have a starting point in gathering all maps (in chronological order), I think I may have posted long ago in NightFright's addon compilation topic (when I suggested to gather all your maps as an episode) but I ain't searching the whole topic for that, so I guess I will try to find all your maps again.

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The miniboss thing is real - definitely handicapped user map making throughout the years, but the base game is what it is, I guess. There's always been an abundance of effort when it comes to cleaning up the original .con code with fan patches and whatnot (even to this day), but that's as much energy that could have gone into a different type of fan production had the game had a more solid foundation to begin with.

Yeah, that's a shame. The mini bosses should have been implemented even in the base game but what's done is done. I was thinking at a community patched con files (like those fixed Duke3D con files) so they can be use as base for the projects like custom episodes in progress. This is a bit similar to how the Doom 2 Minor Sprite Fix Project was used in some well known Doom wads but otherwise it wasn't used much by other projects, I couldn't think of a similar project being used but I'd like to see more projects using a fixed con file.

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I want modified enemies in Blast Radius, including miniboss variants. Will mostly likely only get to that once most of the mapping is done, though, and in addition to that I also want to retain full compatibility with the base game and its behavior which might sound like a paradox but really isn't since episodes come with modified .cons anyway, so I can add enemies and whatnot and will, but also will make sure that it doesn't break anything in the original Duke 3D - that's actually going to be pretty fun.

Looking forward to that!

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The main problem that would arise if I tried to rework my old maps into an episode (which I might do at some point, like we were saying) is that a lot of them end on boss fights. So I'd have to modify that and/or find workarounds, should be easy, but in such situations it just becomes so tempting again to think 'well this can wait, the maps have been released in a certain completed state anyway' and relegate the idea further back into the priorities whilst instead working on actual new things. But yes some of my maps such as BTTG which came with modified .con files already fixed the miniboss thing indeed and I want to be able to use them in Blast Radius. I have a few ideas of variants already too.

Good point. I wouldn't mind seeing the episode (of old maps) revisited at a later point. I think you should concentrate first on Blast Radius, then when you want to revisit the old maps as an episode, let me know! I can even help you with beta testing and providing feedback if you want!

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Also side note, but just last night I remembered to check that second map of Metropolitan Mayhem (at least the pre-release, original version of it that I have on my hard drive) and it does have a jetpack on the last rooftop, just behind the sector supporting the Nukebutton. If it's really not there in your version then it means someone during the packaging of the episode removed it (maybe to prevent the player from keeping it for the later levels, but every level for MM was built as a direct continuation to the previous one so it's the other authors who should have adapted), or maybe it's a bug - I'm curious whether or not the item would show up in the editor whilst looking at the released version. I'll try and look into that.

I remember playing the updated version from ModDB. I normally don't download random maps/mods from here (because they are often uploaded by other people and not even the original version of mod, just look at random maps and mods uploaded by someone named TheUnbeholden, he randomly "stole" and uploaded random stuff here) but in case of some more recent Duke3D maps and mods (like the mods made by Trooper Dan), I get from here because it's usually the latest version and uploaded by the original author of mod. In case of Metropolitan Mayhem, it was uploaded by Mikko Sandt I believe. I will check the initial version that was uploaded as attachment on the first post on Metropolitan Mayhem topic, I noticed they were indeed a bit different according to date. It is possible the initial version has the jetpack in second level, will check soon!

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Again I really appreciate the support and ideas! Sorry if my own reply is all over the place here and there, I'm in the middle of a bunch of tasks right now. Cheers!

No worries, I perfectly understand you! :)

EDIT: Forgot to upload some random gameplay shots of FM2X in JFDuke3D (yeah I know the window is in a bit different positions, as I had to check remaining secrets in mapster). Also funny how in two of them I have health 125, this is maybe a sign that I should soon play Last Reaction & Water Bases? For those who don't know, Duke's base health is 125 in that mod which also affects the max armor, medkit and atomic health max (250). And LR&WB (with its sequel Chimera) it is often hailed as one of the best Duke3D mods of all time, so I can't wait to revisit them since I enjoyed them playing years ago, other than first couple of levels in Last Reaction, those sucked.
But first I should play some mods I already have installed last month, let's see what we have: 00DUKE, 25CDUKE, 1999, 1999DEMO and 2000DEMO. Yes I know 2000 TC Demo includes the 1999 episode but I want to play through 1999 Demo, 1999 Full and whole 2000 TC as well.

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This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 18 August 2020 - 11:06 PM

0

User is online   Aleks 

#75

View PostRunningDuke, on 18 August 2020 - 11:00 PM, said:

EDIT: Forgot to upload some random gameplay shots of FM2X in JFDuke3D (yeah I know the window is in a bit different positions, as I had to check remaining secrets in mapster). Also funny how in two of them I have health 125, this is maybe a sign that I should soon play Last Reaction & Water Bases? For those who don't know, Duke's base health is 125 in that mod which also affects the max armor, medkit and atomic health max (250). And LR&WB (with its sequel Chimera) it is often hailed as one of the best Duke3D mods of all time, so I can't wait to revisit them since I enjoyed them playing years ago, other than first couple of levels in Last Reaction, those sucked.
But first I should play some mods I already have installed last month, let's see what we have: 00DUKE, 25CDUKE, 1999, 1999DEMO and 2000DEMO. Yes I know 2000 TC Demo includes the 1999 episode but I want to play through 1999 Demo, 1999 Full and whole 2000 TC as well.


Last Reaction & Water Bases is certainly a very memorable mode. Played it a couple years ago last time, but I still remember that final level with time travel into dystopian future, where Duke had to fight "invincible" drone. Very original theme and approach!

As I'm planning to catch up with the top-notch user levels of last decade or so, the last map I played was "Happy Hangover" by MRCK, and I loved it! The design and originality of locations (kebab shop) was impressive, but I particularly liked the trunken trip with all its cinematics, slippery moves and blurred vision - really great part and great map all in all.
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#76

View PostAleks, on 19 August 2020 - 02:34 AM, said:

Last Reaction & Water Bases is certainly a very memorable mode. Played it a couple years ago last time, but I still remember that final level with time travel into dystopian future, where Duke had to fight "invincible" drone. Very original theme and approach!

As I'm planning to catch up with the top-notch user levels of last decade or so, the last map I played was "Happy Hangover" by MRCK, and I loved it! The design and originality of locations (kebab shop) was impressive, but I particularly liked the trunken trip with all its cinematics, slippery moves and blurred vision - really great part and great map all in all.

I agree Aleks! I remember when I first played LR&WB (in 2010-2011, as I remember reading its review on Duke Repository back then), I quit because of first level and thought it was a joke (especially because of an old EDuke32 bug which had the new episode names messed up in main menu) but when I started playing it seriously for first time in 2013 or so after giving it another try, I was very impressed by the later levels and yeah that Drone boss was really cool, quite difficult as well, mostly because it could run you over or its massive explosion when you finally destroy it, really challenging and unique boss! I hope to play it in next couple of days.

I remember playing that map by MRCK years ago and also liked it, I think I talked with MRCK/CK3D about that in past weeks and I plan to replay all these maps and mods, there's so many of them!

I read in another topic that you are Alex Pistol, who made that nice AlexCity: Bank Heist map, right? I enjoyed playing that map too years ago and the map also came with a funny MIDI music, I was planning to play it these days but I will see when. It's hard to decide what to play these days when you have so many choices.

On topic: Yesterday I started playing DNF 2013 mod on Damn I'm Good and I managed to complete the first level without too much trouble! It sure is harder than usual with enemies that constantly revive if their corpse is still around (I noticed the new pig beast enemy didn't revive but also the Commander which was also the case in original game) and thankfully I found all secrets (I remembered where they are) and made use of that pipebomb I found and even a laser trip mine (which I normally don't use), by killing a bunch of enemies (around 5 or so) in same spot and then using the explosive to get rid of them. Later when I got the Devastator, I used it to get rid of Octabrains quickly, the Mini Battlelord's corpse and few other enemies I killed later in level. I have never completed the original game or expansions or even user maps on Damn I'm Good before, the only exception being those three standalone "games" by Jesse Petrilla (Plunder & Pillage, Quest for Al-Qaeda and Quest for Hussein) which I played last year but I plan to redo them soon. There was a topic that talked about these three mods but I lost track of it and before I bump it, I'd rather replay them, so I have a reason to bump the topic.

I may even plan to record some user maps and mods (with DOSBox's built in recording) and upload them on YouTube on my channel, when I get around playing some custom Duke3D maps and mods in DOSBox. I don't know if there is anyone interested but I plan to start a classic channel which showcases various maps and mods for certain games.

This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 24 August 2020 - 11:37 PM

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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#77

View PostAleks, on 19 August 2020 - 02:34 AM, said:

Last Reaction & Water Bases is certainly a very memorable mode. Played it a couple years ago last time, but I still remember that final level with time travel into dystopian future, where Duke had to fight "invincible" drone. Very original theme and approach!


I've actually yet to play it, but it's been on my radar for a while and its number is coming up. Have a few more maps to catch up on since the hdd died.


On that note, after being prompted by discussions on Blast Radius, I went back and played some older MRCK maps. There's one in particular I want to focus on, and it kinda relates to what you said at the end.


The map in question is Hibernal Solstice, a map that immediately caught my eye with its description. It's hardly the first time travel themed map, and wasn't the last, but nonetheless every time I find one it's always an experience. If I had any complaint about the map, it would be that it was too short. But I realize that with a concept like this, the sector limitations are doubled, tripled, or in this case, quadrupled based on how many versions are available, so I don't think I can hold it against the map (especially seeing as it was made by a single person).

That being said, if it was ever remotely possible, this would be the concept I would adore seeing expanded upon, either by a sole mapper or a group endeavor. Consider it a dream map, (or perhaps full mod with special coding to switch between different versions of the map; I have no idea how feasible any of this is as I have zero experience with Build engine stuff) and as such I'm hardly expecting such a thing to come of this, if at all ever. I suppose the point of this post is to just find more.


Simply put I just adore the concept of a Dark World/Time Travel mechanic. Anything that involves traveling between multiple versions of the same level and/or overworld. And in the case of time travel there's the unique ability to affect the futrue version(s) via actions in the past and/or present. Some of my favorite games of all time include such things as Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Sonic CD, based solely on the mere presence of a swapping mechanic (implementation of it can be debated but for me I'm just happy to have any of it at all). Hell, one of my favorite Doom levels of all time is such because of the existence of a(n entirely optional, albeit) Dark World: Wormhole. Duke Time to Kill almost scratched that same itch, since after every time period you would return to the same urban level, but with significant changes. If it allowed you to swap between them at will I'd have been very happy.

I suppose I have a particular love for the "dark" part of the Dark World, or in the case of time travel the Bad Future. I love exploring the same location and then watching it be twisted into something much more ominous, dangerous, and hostile.

To bring it back to Hibernal Solstice, I find myself echoing Mikko's opinion that I sort of wish the gaps in time were a bit longer. Granted, switching between day and night made sense, but I wish the other two were a little further out (I'm going to assume the part set in winter was during the winter solstice (and the beginning day section being the summer) as per the name). There was a dark future (I think it was future) but it was just a Cycloid boss arena, which I suppose was a bit of a letdown given my favoritism towards the dark future. Still I did enjoy the map ultimately.


As for Duke maps I know that play with a similar concept, time travel or alternate world (referring to specifically in-map transitions that take you to an alternate version of the level, not just a time travel or alternate dimension theme like in DC's "Top Secret"), these are the ones I know:

Hibernal Solstice (obviously)

Poormann's Library (From Duke Hard; forgive me if I got the name wrong it's been a while since I played DH)

Level 5, I think, from Taking Boise (it had a proper name but I can't remember it. It was the one set in the video store and it brilliantly had you go back and forth between the main reality and the silent hill-esque version. I was really impressed by how much gameplay came out of such a small physical space).

There was a level from the third episode, I think, from an ancient mapset whose name escapes me at the moment. The premise was that you were Duke during his CIA days, fighting the aliens from Duke 3D. I remember four things from this mapset: 1. The level design was incredibly amateur even for the time, 2. It had an incredibly cute section in the second episode where you swam around in an unpaletted water section to give the illusion of floating in Zero Gee (something that is insanely clever, I will give it that) 3. The music was entirely original and actually really good, and 4. The time travel level. If anyone remembers what this level was called (or the mod itself), please let me know.


I think there's one or two more that I'm forgetting, but regardless. I just can't express how much I adore this concept in games. It's quite possibly my favorite mechanic in any game ever made. I just wish there was more of it, especially in one of my favorite games of all time by itself.



Sorry if this post was a bit meandering. Playing Hibernal Solstice just really made me hunger for more. I still recommend it anyway; it's a good time even if you don't obsess over the gimmick like I do. And for taking place in the space of a single city block, it does about as much as it can do with the concept, I think.

This post has been edited by Ninety-Six: 25 August 2020 - 08:35 AM

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#78

View PostNinety-Six, on 25 August 2020 - 08:31 AM, said:

There was a level from the third episode, I think, from an ancient mapset whose name escapes me at the moment. The premise was that you were Duke during his CIA days, fighting the aliens from Duke 3D. I remember four things from this mapset: 1. The level design was incredibly amateur even for the time, 2. It had an incredibly cute section in the second episode where you swam around in an unpaletted water section to give the illusion of floating in Zero Gee (something that is insanely clever, I will give it that) 3. The music was entirely original and actually really good, and 4. The time travel level. If anyone remembers what this level was called (or the mod itself), please let me know.

I know exactly which mapset you are talking about! The Lost Duke Episodes 2.0 which can be downloaded here (original links)
http://www.gamers.or...3d/tc/lostduke/
https://dukeworld.co...ld/tc/lostduke/
I was planning to play it sometime in these weeks (along with the many maps and mods that are lying around waiting to be played) in DOS Atomic 1.5 this time as I played it 2-3 times in EDuke32 in past and I definitely remember the level design may not have been that great (as in the maps looked like ones from Duke Zone, which is funny because first time I played it around discovering Duke Zone 2 and kept confusing the levels between the two addons and even mistakenly believed The Lost Duke Episodes was a semi-official addon) but the ideas behind the maps were quite clever and the soundtrack was original and amazing, some of the songs (like the one that plays in first proper level of first episode, I think the level may have been called Cliff Drop and there was another song that plays during that level with the time machine that you mentioned) were quite a bit emotional too, giving the mod a more interesting mood. I don't know but it really caught my attention and it's one of the few TCs that I will be replaying in future as well.

As for LR&WB, I should warn you like I did for a certain Doom wad a while ago. LR&WB starts out really bad with lack of ammo, long underwater tunnels that take like a minute to submerge during which you are FORCED to lose health (you have to use your medkit when you are near the cave at the bottom) and I'm sure there is no scuba gear to help you (if there was somewhere hidden in a secret place, I might have missed it) and some rooms are quite dark as well, it really seems like an amateur type of mod until you reach the later levels. To me the first 2-3 levels are really bad, then by 4th level where you reach the space part, it starts out getting slightly better and only when you reach the 6th or 7th level (when you get captured by pig cops and begin in electric chair like E1L3: Death Row) then the level design becomes really good! Basically the second half of Last Reaction and the entire Water Bases are the highlights of the TC but I'm not sure if the first few Water Bases levels are also a bit amateur with oversized rooms and such, I don't remember much but I remember MOST of Water Bases being really good, with the last couple of levels and boss fight being well made! Oh also forgot to mention you have a small change that will help you throughout the mod, the fact your default max health is 125 and this affects the armor, medkit and the atomic health maximum as well.

Also I know there is Chimera which is the sequel, third episode of the series (requiring LR&WB to function) but it was released as unfinished with 7 levels. The levels themselves are pretty good from what I remember but the last level's exit doesn't work, so when you reach the end, you can say you finished the mod. The weapons redesigns were also pretty good but the new yellow alien monster was kinda meh and I remember killing me once as well, though it wasn't that bad, I think he was spamming lasers like the pig cop tank does. A bit sad it was released unfinished, however it's better released unfinished than if it was abandoned and unreleased. Oh and apparently there was an unfinished map that he gave to Mikko Sandt and released on his website but I haven't played that one yet as I'm not sure if it requires Chimera installed or not.

I wish one day the author would return and re-release all 3 episodes (Chimera finished and the first half of Last Reaction being changed too). There have been many mappers/modders who have returned to the Duke community as of lately and I also wish we had a proper remaster of Duke3D and the feature of adding community maps/mods as official addons like in the recent Doom ports, imagine having the best maps and mods (mostly the ones in style with the original game) officially approved and always available to download instead of having to find the maps/mods you want to play. Yes I know in cases of Megaton and World Tour, we sort of had this thing with Steam Workshop but here is the thing: it's not the same thing as an officially approved addon (that will happily reside along original game or at least an optional addon you can download) and steam workshop for old games is usually a bad idea with people uploading anything here and even claiming as their own if they aren't the original author of the respective map they uploaded. Plus there is also a bunch of low quality stuff getting uploaded as well. This doesn't only apply to those "failed" Duke3D remasters but also to other games like Quake Live that I wasn't happy how was integrated to Steam (it used to be Free to Play on its own website) but I will leave that rant to another time.

Back to Duke3D stuff, one of the addons that would have surely made in officially would have been FM4X by Fernando Marquez, as the author just released FM4X few months ago, so we assume he is still around these days, which would have been one of the requirements for getting addons approved. I played the FM2X series in past (haven't played the newer FM3X and FM4X series yet) and of course playing through FM2X currently (but then soon I will jump into FM3X and FM4X) and was impressed by how good and similar are the levels to the ones from the original game, the first two episodes feel like an alternative universe Duke3D much like DTWID series for Doom. The third and fourth episodes are more original instead of imitating the designs seen in original game but in either case, to me they deserve more recognition.

And even having user maps added officially would have been great too, I would have been happy with anything getting approved, we would surely have over 100-200 user maps approved officially. Too bad Gearbox never cared about Duke Nukem IP and Duke's future is still left uncertain. As a huge Duke Nukem fan, I hate to see Duke not getting the love he deserves these days. At least we still have Doom and Quake which both do very well these days, right?
1

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#79

View PostRunningDuke, on 25 August 2020 - 10:17 PM, said:

I know exactly which mapset you are talking about! The Lost Duke Episodes 2.0 which can be downloaded here (original links)
http://www.gamers.or...3d/tc/lostduke/
https://dukeworld.co...ld/tc/lostduke/
I was planning to play it sometime in these weeks (along with the many maps and mods that are lying around waiting to be played) in DOS Atomic 1.5 this time as I played it 2-3 times in EDuke32 in past and I definitely remember the level design may not have been that great (as in the maps looked like ones from Duke Zone, which is funny because first time I played it around discovering Duke Zone 2 and kept confusing the levels between the two addons and even mistakenly believed The Lost Duke Episodes was a semi-official addon) but the ideas behind the maps were quite clever and the soundtrack was original and amazing, some of the songs (like the one that plays in first proper level of first episode, I think the level may have been called Cliff Drop and there was another song that plays during that level with the time machine that you mentioned) were quite a bit emotional too, giving the mod a more interesting mood. I don't know but it really caught my attention and it's one of the few TCs that I will be replaying in future as well.


Yeah that was it. The levels did have some cool gimmicks on the whole. I actually would love to see some kind of modern remake of the levels to really flesh out the concepts.

If I remember right, the mod was actually the maker's college music project homework. He had to compose all original music and then set it to something (he set it to a mod).

I know he also made a few more music tracks round the time. There was another old TC called Murder: The EDF Conspiracy where he seemed to provide another original soundtrack. My personal favorite being one whose name is only identified by the filename: majclues.mid. (I'd say overall Murder was a better TC than Lost Duke, but that's not saying much as Murder gives you an extreme lack of ammo to the point where I would seriously recomend playing on Piece of Cake to accomplish anything).

View PostRunningDuke, on 25 August 2020 - 10:17 PM, said:

As for LR&WB, I should warn you like I did for a certain Doom wad a while ago. LR&WB starts out really bad with lack of ammo, long underwater tunnels that take like a minute to submerge during which you are FORCED to lose health (you have to use your medkit when you are near the cave at the bottom) and I'm sure there is no scuba gear to help you (if there was somewhere hidden in a secret place, I might have missed it) and some rooms are quite dark as well, it really seems like an amateur type of mod until you reach the later levels. To me the first 2-3 levels are really bad, then by 4th level where you reach the space part, it starts out getting slightly better and only when you reach the 6th or 7th level (when you get captured by pig cops and begin in electric chair like E1L3: Death Row) then the level design becomes really good! Basically the second half of Last Reaction and the entire Water Bases are the highlights of the TC but I'm not sure if the first few Water Bases levels are also a bit amateur with oversized rooms and such, I don't remember much but I remember MOST of Water Bases being really good, with the last couple of levels and boss fight being well made! Oh also forgot to mention you have a small change that will help you throughout the mod, the fact your default max health is 125 and this affects the armor, medkit and the atomic health maximum as well.


I heard someone else say something similar recently, so hearing it again just reaffirms that I'll have to tough it out for a while. Again, appreciate the warning.

I didn't know about Chimera though, nor one last map. So that's another useful tip.

View PostRunningDuke, on 25 August 2020 - 10:17 PM, said:

Back to Duke3D stuff, one of the addons that would have surely made in officially would have been FM4X by Fernando Marquez, as the author just released FM4X few months ago, so we assume he is still around these days, which would have been one of the requirements for getting addons approved. I played the FM2X series in past (haven't played the newer FM3X and FM4X series yet) and of course playing through FM2X currently (but then soon I will jump into FM3X and FM4X) and was impressed by how good and similar are the levels to the ones from the original game, the first two episodes feel like an alternative universe Duke3D much like DTWID series for Doom. The third and fourth episodes are more original instead of imitating the designs seen in original game but in either case, to me they deserve more recognition.


I played through almost all of FM4X after it came out, and unfortunately I did not have the best time. I didn't mind some of the carbon copy levels of the first two episodes (episodes 3 and 4 start doing their own thing, vastly different from the 3DR-inspired levels) like Mikko did, but there were two consistent elements across all four episodes that made it a pain in the ass: a lot of dark, and a lot of "what the hell am I supposed to do now" moments. By like the second or third level of episode 4 I was just done with it. It was way too obtuse.

It's a real shame because, firstly, the combat is actually really well balanced. Ammo/monster ratios are just right to keep you on your toes without strangling you. Secondly, some of the more original levels, particularly in episode 3, start showing some really original, surreal, and almost dream-like qualities that made them very memorable. One that sticks out in my mind is the Crescent Inn, a multi-story hotel set on a bunch of cliffs with exactly zero access roads under a fullbright starry sky. Like I've actually had dreams with similar bizarre visuals to the Crescent Inn. Ghost House was another memorable level for its cute horror theme, but it defintiely suffered from the "dark and I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing" problem.

If Mikko is to be believed, the rest of episode 4, while looking cool, is more of the same. Fumbling in the dark trying to figure out what the button you pushed did, or just trying to figure out what you're supposed to do at all.


It's a real damn shame too. I want to like FMX as the levels look clean and there isn't enough levels that go for the 3DR aesthetic of strong shadows with stark contrast with brighter areas. And in episode 3, again they have this wonderful dreamlike quality to them. But unfortunately I got stuck in almost every single level at least once. Some had multiple instances, and a few more took me over an hour to figure out. And that's to say nothing of the secret exits, which manage to be even more ridiculously obtuse. I know secret levels should be secret but that's a whole new world of insanity.

If duke add-ons ever become a thing (haha yeah right gearbox hates modding) I would prefer if FMX was cleaned up a bit first gameplay-wise before being selected. Bullshit enemy placement can usually be overcome with rapid quicksaving (such is the case with doom mods, regardless of how much I detest that practice), but quicksaving won't help those who get stuck not knowing what to do. And that's gonna happen a lot with FMX unfortunately.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#80

View PostRunningDuke, on 18 August 2020 - 11:00 PM, said:

honestly I'm tired of writing long messages these days, I'd rather spent my time playing games and making progress than wasting 2 hours writing long messages on the forum


Ha, honestly I'm the same (or try to be) these days just replacing playing with mapping so I fully understand you, just wanted to acknowledge your post though and say I did read everything you typed so the effort doesn't get unappreciated. I'll definitely keep you in mind if I ever need some beta testing done somewhere down the line and again appreciate your takes on everything.

Ninety-Six one thing regarding Hibernal Solstice I want to mention is I made that level over one weekend during a time where I'd always really struggle to find any time to devote to Duke at all; for that one I managed to put a few hours aside to try and still drop something unambitious but playable for fun's sake. So the limitations weren't engine-related there, but time- and focus-related. It's actually a very cheap map resources-wise with the same basic area copy-pasted four times with minor alterations - it's very barebones. Now of course with the basic concept, there's a whole lot more to do for someone who would actually have the time and focus and follow a vision. I would actually love to see something like that too, possibly using complex SOS trickery to represent different versions of the same area within the one same 'physical' space.

(also IIRC each 'moment' in Hibernal Solstice is supposed to represent a season in the year, so whether you travel in the past or future is up to the player's interpretation)

This post has been edited by ck3D: 26 August 2020 - 01:52 AM

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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#81

View Postck3D, on 26 August 2020 - 01:44 AM, said:

Ninety-Six one thing regarding Hibernal Solstice I want to mention is I made that level over one weekend during a time where I'd always really struggle to find any time to devote to Duke at all; for that one I managed to put a few hours aside to try and still drop something unambitious but playable for fun's sake. So the limitations weren't engine-related there, but time- and focus-related. It's actually a very cheap map resources-wise with the same basic area copy-pasted four times with minor alterations - it's very barebones. Now of course with the basic concept, there's a whole lot more to do for someone who would actually have the time and focus and follow a vision. I would actually love to see something like that too, possibly using complex SOS trickery to represent different versions of the same area within the one same 'physical' space.

(also IIRC each 'moment' in Hibernal Solstice is supposed to represent a season in the year, so whether you travel in the past or future is up to the player's interpretation)


Ah, I see. Oh well it was still a fun map regardless.
0

User is online   Aleks 

#82

View PostRunningDuke, on 24 August 2020 - 11:33 PM, said:

I read in another topic that you are Alex Pistol, who made that nice AlexCity: Bank Heist map, right? I enjoyed playing that map too years ago and the map also came with a funny MIDI music, I was planning to play it these days but I will see when. It's hard to decide what to play these days when you have so many choices.


Thanks, man! It's incredible that people still remember that map!

As for the topic of "official addons", I don't really think it is a good idea. Duke Community is much more run by the fans than by the original creators who seem to have problems settling down their own business. I think sites like MSDN and formerly Duke Repository made quite a good selection of user maps in terms of ratings and reviews, also they have been consistent in their job for decades, so I think they're quite a good benchmark of a map/addon quality.

@Ninety-Six, it's cool how the topic of time-travel maps and levels have developed. I can't think out of my head of such maps with the "true" idea of time travel, where a certain location actually changes (I remember some experimental DM map from Fakir made years ago which had new animated textures to simulate the day/night change though).

Recently (well, since May I think) I have been replaying lots of very old user levels, made mostly between 1996-1999. The quality of most of them sucks, but some are definitely worth mentioning. As far as the time travel goes, I can recommend Pompeii. No idea who is the author, as there was no .txt file attached, but it involves Duke infiltrating an alien time-travel facility to go back in time to Pompeii when the Vesuvius was about to erupt. The idea of how you set the time-travel was quite clever, although design in the time-travel facility is bad and very chaotic (as if the author was just learning Build and designed whatever came to his head). Pompeii is much more consistent with different, recognizable building types, some creative use of textures and very good gameplay. Especially the design on Vesuvius was pretty cool. The map was quite long as well, with about 200+ enemies. Of course it still suffered from typical problems of the times like misaligned textures or too big scale, but I could definitely recommend it.

Some other older and very decent maps, which may seem to be quite forgotten, are:
  • Escape from Alcatraz by Bud Drakir, which coincidentally had its 24th (!) birthday just yesterday. Considering when it was made, the design is superb, with some effects that still look quite impressive and a couple of very original gameplay ideas (in one place, you have to spawn Assault Commanders and lure him to blow a wall for you, but it is all explained quite clearly in the map).
  • Jail Break by Tim Coulson (date says 1997-06-01). Another prison-themed map, very challenging at the beginning due to lack of ammo and lots of monsters. Nice design and some nice puzzles with bits of non-linearity throughout the gameplay.
  • Azneer Building by Brian C. Sasso from July 1996. I remember very well playing this map as a kid numerous times and problems with finding the button in the final room. Besides that, the gameplay is quite smooth and the design says that the author definitely knew what he was doing. It seems to be based on a real life building of a college of some sorts. The most impressive thing about it is probably the multiple SOS layout with a flooded classroom.
  • Phantasm by LestatV (November 1996). I might be quite biased in judging this one, but I really love how original it still feels. It is based upon a horror movie from 1979 of the same title (which I have never seen, maybe partly to the horrendously ridiculous Polish title which literally translates to "Little murdering balls") and features new music and sounds from the movie. The design alone doesn't standout much, I guess it would be considered quite decent for the time it was made. The gameplay might get very confusing at parts, but it also involves a really insane maze where it is apparently quite easy to get lost. I remember playing it as a kid and very luckily finding my way through it the first time around, then when I replayed, I couldn't figure it out. Now it was still some hussle, but I must say that's a really fun and original level to play!

That's all for now, I might do another post with old maps recommendations sometime in the future!
2

User is offline   ck3D 

#83

I was also mentioning Azneer Building in another thread recently, great oldie. Out of curiosity, I recently did some research and found an old picture of the real-life campus it was based on, in Des Moines. Apparently the building is long gone now.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/pastperfectonline/images/museum_187/040/20117610.jpg
0

User is online   Aleks 

#84

Well, guess after the aliens and flooding the main classroom, they had nothing else to do with it... :) I think the building was "condemned" in the map itself, with some roadblocks and stuff set on the street around it. This map apparently might be the best memorial it got!
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#85

View PostNinety-Six, on 26 August 2020 - 01:16 AM, said:

Yeah that was it. The levels did have some cool gimmicks on the whole. I actually would love to see some kind of modern remake of the levels to really flesh out the concepts.

If I remember right, the mod was actually the maker's college music project homework. He had to compose all original music and then set it to something (he set it to a mod).

I know he also made a few more music tracks round the time. There was another old TC called Murder: The EDF Conspiracy where he seemed to provide another original soundtrack. My personal favorite being one whose name is only identified by the filename: majclues.mid. (I'd say overall Murder was a better TC than Lost Duke, but that's not saying much as Murder gives you an extreme lack of ammo to the point where I would seriously recomend playing on Piece of Cake to accomplish anything).

I heard someone else say something similar recently, so hearing it again just reaffirms that I'll have to tough it out for a while. Again, appreciate the warning.

I didn't know about Chimera though, nor one last map. So that's another useful tip.

I played through almost all of FM4X after it came out, and unfortunately I did not have the best time. I didn't mind some of the carbon copy levels of the first two episodes (episodes 3 and 4 start doing their own thing, vastly different from the 3DR-inspired levels) like Mikko did, but there were two consistent elements across all four episodes that made it a pain in the ass: a lot of dark, and a lot of "what the hell am I supposed to do now" moments. By like the second or third level of episode 4 I was just done with it. It was way too obtuse.

It's a real shame because, firstly, the combat is actually really well balanced. Ammo/monster ratios are just right to keep you on your toes without strangling you. Secondly, some of the more original levels, particularly in episode 3, start showing some really original, surreal, and almost dream-like qualities that made them very memorable. One that sticks out in my mind is the Crescent Inn, a multi-story hotel set on a bunch of cliffs with exactly zero access roads under a fullbright starry sky. Like I've actually had dreams with similar bizarre visuals to the Crescent Inn. Ghost House was another memorable level for its cute horror theme, but it defintiely suffered from the "dark and I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing" problem.

If Mikko is to be believed, the rest of episode 4, while looking cool, is more of the same. Fumbling in the dark trying to figure out what the button you pushed did, or just trying to figure out what you're supposed to do at all.

It's a real damn shame too. I want to like FMX as the levels look clean and there isn't enough levels that go for the 3DR aesthetic of strong shadows with stark contrast with brighter areas. And in episode 3, again they have this wonderful dreamlike quality to them. But unfortunately I got stuck in almost every single level at least once. Some had multiple instances, and a few more took me over an hour to figure out. And that's to say nothing of the secret exits, which manage to be even more ridiculously obtuse. I know secret levels should be secret but that's a whole new world of insanity.

If duke add-ons ever become a thing (haha yeah right gearbox hates modding) I would prefer if FMX was cleaned up a bit first gameplay-wise before being selected. Bullshit enemy placement can usually be overcome with rapid quicksaving (such is the case with doom mods, regardless of how much I detest that practice), but quicksaving won't help those who get stuck not knowing what to do. And that's gonna happen a lot with FMX unfortunately.

It's interesting to know he also worked on EDF: The Murder Conspiracy mod. I heard about that mod but I never played it before. It's on my to play list. Oh and also appreciate telling me about the mod's difficulty but honestly even if it's that difficult, I still would refuse to play on the easiest skill, imo I don't like having to play on the easiest skill as I don't think it's necessary even if the mod is more challenging than usual mods. Remember that in Duke3D the skill levels change the amount of monsters present in level (no gameplay changes, unlike Doom's easiest difficulty), granted there are maps/mods that don't implement difficulty settings, so in those cases the only difference between skill levels is DIG that disables cheats and makes enemies revive after 30 seconds, the ones that weren't blown up. I mean I wouldn't mind playing on the normal difficulty these days (unlike 2015-2018 where I only played games and mods on hard skill) so that I will have a slightly easier time if a map or mod turns out too difficult for me on hard skill (this applies to not only Duke3D but other games as well) but I just don't want playing on easiest skill, I like to have a fair challenge and if it still turns out to be hard even on normal skill, then I blame the map author. Because honestly there are many custom maps (this applies to other games as well, not just Duke3D) where there is no difference between normal and hard difficulty in terms of enemy and item placement.

No problem about the warnings. And about Chimera I still recommend to play it but make sure to play LR&WB first. If there is a particular map/mod you need help with, let me know!

Ah, sorry to hear you didn't enjoy FMX series that much. Yeah, you are right, the maps are somewhat confusing at times, I remember back in 2010 or so when I first played the FM2X series (at that time FM3X and FM4X weren't done yet) and got stuck in almost every level because of obtuse puzzles but since then I have remembered what to do, at least in first episode (well actually I still have two more levels to do before I finish E1 but I had other stuff to play, I have at least 10-15 different games and mods installed that I play in a random order). So you have a point and I also would like if the FMX series would get sorted out and figure progression better before they get added as official addon (I'm still hoping for this to happen someday, we had potential but too bad Gearbox is just not letting happening).

Honestly, in regards to getting stuck in these levels, it's no worse than Hexen or fucking Redneck Rampage. Hexen did have quite a few of cryptic switches and puzzles but they still made a logical sense to some degree and the game could be completed even back then without checking FAQ/walkthrough (yes really, my father beat Hexen twice back in early 2000s when we didn't have internet and that was back then when we had to figure out things by ourselves, I'm happy that while watching him play I remember most of game so when I got to play the game myself, while I did get stuck on a couple of puzzles, I still beat the game though with cheats because back in 2007 I found cheats and just noclip through some parts of game but since 2013-2015 I beat the game legitimately a few times and in DOSBox too). While for RR, I have zero nostalgia (first time I saw the game on YouTube in 2009 or so and found it average back then, just nothing special) then when I finally got to play it years ago after hearing mixed views on the game, I hated it and still hate it to this day. It's awful and it's got a LOT of bullshit cryptic puzzles in every single level, leaving you stuck all the damn time and its gameplay is shit as well. It makes me wonder how the game got so popular back then. I don't even like to compare it with Hexen because Hexen is pretty good and has satisfying combat and it pushes the Doom engine to the limits, RR was just complete shit and although it did some wonderful things with BUILD engine (and I admit I liked RR's textures and some of maps), I couldn't stand its gameplay, overpowered enemies, weak weapons (half of the arsenal at least), the humor and the list continues (I have a rant prepared but I don't know if it's worth bumping that RR topic). And speaking of which, I found funny while looking at Doomworld, recently some people started discussing about RR. Some of them have criticized the game for what it is (a lot of criticism was valid too) and then there were some who were defending it (mostly those wearing nostalgia goggles), really I wonder what are those people smoking when they say they like RR better than Duke3D? WTF? Duke Nukem 3D is a masterpiece and Redneck Rampage is shit! They shouldn't even be mentioned in same sentence! No offense to the people who like RR (if there are people around here who like the game), they are free to enjoy the game but I just find it absurd to like it better than Duke3D. That's objectively wrong, no matter how I respect people's opinions, I just can't agree with that!

View Postck3D, on 26 August 2020 - 01:44 AM, said:

Ha, honestly I'm the same (or try to be) these days just replacing playing with mapping so I fully understand you, just wanted to acknowledge your post though and say I did read everything you typed so the effort doesn't get unappreciated. I'll definitely keep you in mind if I ever need some beta testing done somewhere down the line and again appreciate your takes on everything.

Thanks ck3D! I still like and want to reply when I get the chance, I think my posts can also be useful for further references, I mean something like some suggestions that some people can use in their maps/mods (like the minibosses idea I gave in past weeks).

View PostAleks, on 26 August 2020 - 07:58 AM, said:

Thanks, man! It's incredible that people still remember that map!

As for the topic of "official addons", I don't really think it is a good idea. Duke Community is much more run by the fans than by the original creators who seem to have problems settling down their own business. I think sites like MSDN and formerly Duke Repository made quite a good selection of user maps in terms of ratings and reviews, also they have been consistent in their job for decades, so I think they're quite a good benchmark of a map/addon quality.


No problem! I was wondering if the author (you) would return to make a new map one day and here we are these days! Looking forward to see what you have in store.

Yeah, you have a point in regards to Duke Community being ran by fans rather than creators and also sites like MSDN serving purpose of selecting the best maps and mods. But honestly, I really wish we had an addon system for Duke3D like the Doom ports have. Imagine if some of community's best maps and episodes (mostly those that don't alter the game too much) were selected as official addons and then the average user would also enjoy playing through the addon rather than playing the base game over and over. When Megaton Edition came out, a lot more people had the chance to play the three expansions that until that point were rather difficult to acquire, though personally I did manage to get Caribbean and Nuclear Winter from eBay (boxed copies) a few years ago, while DC was included as part of Duke Nukem 3D Kill-a-Ton Collection (the best Duke Nukem compilation that was released to this day) and what I'm saying is making the selected map/mod more available and known to others would be a great satisfaction you submitted a great map/mod that became official.

Of course for us, PC gamers, downloading and installing user maps and mods have been always available and we can always choose what we want to play but I think having a map/mod becoming official is something very special. I remember how the first time Megaton came out, we were promised integration of additional expansion packs (could have predated the current Doom addon system) but sadly this never happened, instead we got Steam Workshop (which wasn't too bad but suffered from the issues I mentioned in my previous post), as I remember the Megaton Edition port developer has explained to me in an email when I asked him many years ago.

On topic: Yesterday I played some more DukePlus and completed that level "From Base to Base 2". It was really hard and annoying at times (must have died like 20 times) as I remembered from my old playthroughs from 2010 or so but the map also had a lot of health/armor supplies halfway through and since I was saving often and on multiple slots, it wasn't that bad, the frustration can be negated with my advice (saving often and multiple slots, not quicksaving because it's risky to use a single slot and overwrite it in a bad situation, I prefer manual saving). I found two of secrets (mostly with help of mapster) and note the map is linear too, so there is no backtracking and make sure to collect everything before you enter the staircase sector. There are about 10 different rooms with such staircases.

This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 26 August 2020 - 10:09 PM

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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#86

View PostRunningDuke, on 26 August 2020 - 10:00 PM, said:

I still would refuse to play on the easiest skill, imo I don't like having to play on the easiest skill as I don't think it's necessary even if the mod is more challenging than usual mods. Remember that in Duke3D the skill levels change the amount of monsters present in level


I know, and that's exactly the problem. There are so many enemies that as far as I can tell, there is literally not enough ammo to deal with them on any skill higher than PoC.



Regarding DukePlus, remind me: did it have its own executable? I don't seem to remember that, and as far as I understand it's mostly broken on modern eduke versions. Which is a shame because we lose out on those Plus-exclusive maps. I never really got a chance to try them out much, myself...
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User is online   Aleks 

#87

View PostNinety-Six, on 26 August 2020 - 10:12 PM, said:

Regarding DukePlus, remind me: did it have its own executable? I don't seem to remember that, and as far as I understand it's mostly broken on modern eduke versions. Which is a shame because we lose out on those Plus-exclusive maps. I never really got a chance to try them out much, myself...


It is executed through EDuke32.exe with proper directory chosen at the startup. You can download the latest version of Duke Plus (dating to June 2020!) here: https://www.moddb.co...-plus/downloads - I've actually downloaded it a couple of days ago and works fine with the newest EDuke version.
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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#88

View PostAleks, on 27 August 2020 - 12:16 AM, said:

It is executed through EDuke32.exe with proper directory chosen at the startup. You can download the latest version of Duke Plus (dating to June 2020!) here: https://www.moddb.co...-plus/downloads - I've actually downloaded it a couple of days ago and works fine with the newest EDuke version.

Interesting. Let's hope it doesn't die for those maps alone.
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#89

View PostNinety-Six, on 26 August 2020 - 10:12 PM, said:

I know, and that's exactly the problem. There are so many enemies that as far as I can tell, there is literally not enough ammo to deal with them on any skill higher than PoC.

Regarding DukePlus, remind me: did it have its own executable? I don't seem to remember that, and as far as I understand it's mostly broken on modern eduke versions. Which is a shame because we lose out on those Plus-exclusive maps. I never really got a chance to try them out much, myself...

In that case maybe there must be a way to save some ammo and spend in absolutely needed situations, like kicking some enemies around the corners or not wasting any bullet at all (making every shot count). I don't like running out of ammo in any game (because in most older games, the melee weapon sucked) and then be forced to use melee weapons, in Duke3D the mighty foot was only useful for kicking vents, eggs, slimers (1.4 and above), breakable objects and I suppose the assault troopers. I don't know, I will have to play the mod by myself and then I will see what options do I have.

And regarding DukePlus, as Aleks said, DukePlus already comes packed with an EDuke32 executable. Looking at eduke32 log file, the latest DukePlus version comes with r9063 which was released in early June. I imagine it should work fine with latest EDuke32 version, whichever it is (the latest EDuke32 I have installed on my laptop, which I use for playing user maps and mods, is r9159). Maybe it's time to update my EDuke32 version I suppose.

EDIT: OK, it looks like you ninja'd me. Yeah, I recommend playing the DukePlus maps. A bit sad that there are some maps not included in the Duke Plus Hub, such as From Base to Base (only the sequel is included). I will have to play through that map myself later from User Maps menu. Then there's a few more maps that were released in 2010s and weren't included in the mod at all. I will check them later. Right now I want to continue in the map "Haunted Castle" and I noticed health and armor transferred from previous level (From Base to Base 2), meaning I started it with 200 health and 100 armor. Interesting! Not out of place since even in original Duke3D at end of E1L2 to beginning of E1L3, even though you lose all your weapons and inventory, health is transferred but in this case the armor was also transferred in between levels! Normally when you finish a map and return to Duke Plus Hub, the whole inventory should reset but here you get to keep the armor as well (alongside the health).

This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 27 August 2020 - 12:38 AM

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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#90

View PostRunningDuke, on 27 August 2020 - 12:33 AM, said:

In that case maybe there must be a way to save some ammo and spend in absolutely needed situations, like kicking some enemies around the corners or not wasting any bullet at all (making every shot count). I don't like running out of ammo in any game (because in most older games, the melee weapon sucked) and then be forced to use melee weapons, in Duke3D the mighty foot was only useful for kicking vents, eggs, slimers (1.4 and above), breakable objects and I suppose the assault troopers. I don't know, I will have to play the mod by myself and then I will see what options do I have.


I'm big on ammo conservation. Always have been. Not only do I make every shot count, I tend to go so far that it's dangerous; I'm willing to sacrifice health to save on ammo. I'm very paranoid about running out of ammo for even my basic guns so if something can be taken out reasonably with less, then I will do it with less.


And I still ran out of ammo. And if I remember right every single enemy is hitscan. too.

This post has been edited by Ninety-Six: 27 August 2020 - 01:12 AM

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