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

User is offline   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#91

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...


I released an update recently that makes it work with new Eduke32 executables. There's still a few bugs but at least it works again.
3

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#92

View PostDanukem, on 27 August 2020 - 01:26 AM, said:

I released an update recently that makes it work with new Eduke32 executables. There's still a few bugs but at least it works again.


That is all excellent news. The maps would have been the worst things to go since a lot of them have garnered high acclaim as I understand.

I guess that means this account of mine has gone full circle. (Apparently) I made this account a decade ago for help with DP, since I struggled to run it and missed out on almost all of those maps.


Though perhaps that was for the best. I don't think I would have appreciated the maps to the same level as I would now.

Spoiler

0

#93

It's been a while since I posted anything new but as I have been sick (until a few days ago) and even approved for the job I requested (I need to start working in next days, thankfully I can just work from home, first I must start learning some course online), I had very little time to play some Duke3D stuff. Luckily, I did a couple of things in between these weeks:

In past weeks, I played some more DukePlus levels such as Haunted Castle and Have Fun Storming The Castle. I think the former one was the confusing and dark one which took me a while to finish (remember years ago getting lost in it a lot and giving up) as I keep getting lost and there was also a section involving climbing some pipe or vines and Duke barely climbed in that vent (probably related to recent clipping changes) but I still made it without using cheats, thankfully. And for that storming the castle one (where you must get the Skycar and exit level), was quite challenging, died a few times but I enjoyed it a lot more due to how action packed it was instead of that boring haunted castle map!

I have reached the level Tribute to Action which I will surely enjoy as well but I got put off when I saw 17 secrets, that will take a while (I try to finish every level with all kills and secrets).

I have completed the DNF 2013 mod (just the first episode, didn't play the DLC levels yet) on Damn I'm Good difficulty! Yes it is doable and not too hard, I once again died like 5 or so times at that fucking crusher trap in the mines level (when I will ever learn?) but other than that, I actually didn't die at all, so it wasn't much harder than CGS. Once again the solution is hold crouch and you should make it. My failures were trying to crouch while I was getting squished (you are automatically crouching in that case but it looks like when the crusher touches you, you get glued to it? as I couldn't move when it was pressing me).

Anyway I have screens to prove it is possible to complete the episode on this skill level and some tips as well (and a minor glitch involving freezing a possessed EDF soldier, the tentacles are still visible). It's funny as I never completed the original episodes on DIG before but I could do this mod just fine. Some tips (this may apply to original levels as well):
-Don't bother with destroying troopers corpses since in this mod explosives are VERY limited. Only destroy if you have killed at least 3-5 troopers in same spot. Also noticed those troopers inside vehicles (in the motorcycle level and mines level) don't respawn and nor do the pig beasts in general (assault commander doesn't respawn either, both here and in original game). However the EDF soldiers and the terminators WILL respawn as usual, so try getting rid of these.
-Try grouping enemies in same spot, kill them with hitscan weapons, then use an explosive to get rid of them.
-Use Devastator to destroy some corpses (if you are lucky just one shot will get rid of 2-3 corpses if they are in same angle, since the mini rocket radius is small and sometimes I ended up wasting more just because I tried to aim to get rid of two corpses that weren't very close to each other)
-Use Freezethrower on a weakened enemy (example use shotgun once on pig cop/enforcer, then freezethrower to finish him off), just 1-2 shots will get rid of them, thus saving a LOT of ammo. Works even better against pig cops since they still drop shotgun/used armor when frozen (a vanilla Duke3D bug). It also works well on just a single trooper, you get plenty of freezethrower ammo in last level. I even had the freezer enforcer freeze some troopers for me in final level, which was funny.

There may be more tips but that's all for now.

Oh and a while ago I also started something different: a Duke3D coop mode, pistol start each level on CGS skill, using the glitch that I mentioned a while ago I found as kid, on version 1.3D of the game. Also yesterday played two more user maps, actually really old User Maps by MRCK/ck3D, which were called Clerey (CLEREY20.MAP) and Notre-Dame des Aydes (NDA20.MAP). Since they came with their own CON file (and music and batch file), they required an install in separate directory, I mean I guess I could have put in same folder but I like to have folders clean and as result I deleted the demo files when running the mods (this is what I often do when installing Duke3D mods, create a copy of the DUKE3D folder, rename it to map name and delete the demo files, example CLEREY20 and NDA20 in those cases above, run the bat file in DOSBox and play).

Unfortunately I will admit I had almost no fun playing these maps. Yes they are old and amateur (clearly not the ck3D I know these days) but they were also way too fucking hard as I kept dying in them, at least at beginning, mostly due to running out of ammo, not finding vital items like armor and chaingun, etc! Plus I had to restart CLEREY20 after 5 minutes of continuous failing, you will see below why. Although I remember playing them years ago in 2011 (may have been on Let's Rock difficulty though, also in EDuke32 port which allowed better controls and movement) and didn't have as much trouble, I don't remember if I played Clerey but definitely remember playing NDA. This time it also wasn't helped by the fact that the keyboard controls (arrow keys, etc) and low resolution. Also they were way too many red troopers (assault captains), pig cops and enforcers at nearly every corner. The maps became much better later on after getting plenty of supplies, though I still had to drink water sometimes to recover health when I found the toilet. And I got lost several times too, checked in mapster, still was stuck for a while until finally finding my way.

I have actually recorded myself playing these maps (they are in 3 parts, mostly due to getting lost, game also crashed when I got hit by that boat that shoots rockets in CLEREY) and I will upload them to YouTube and post them to the "Duke Nukem videos" topic as I don't want to self-advertise my own videos here, plus I just started recently putting random gameplay videos on my channel, although they are all set to Private, will set to only watch with link available and if they are popular, then I will set to Public. So when you have the time, you can watch them and tell me what I did wrong in these maps as I think I tried my best to play them. I will mention a few notes later if you are asking why I did this or that, why I died like an idiot, etc.

I will play more user maps later today or tomorrow, I have quite a busy schedule. If these videos prove to be popular (most likely not since I died at least 10-15 times that no one would bother watching someone dying so often and I savescummed like crazy), I will surely do more user maps videos. They will most likely be old maps in DOSBox and keyboard controls, expect me to die often despite the fact I'm very skilled at Duke3D! Or at least when playing in EDuke32 with modern controls, in DUKE3D.EXE I suck with the default controls and it's not helped by the fact my laptop's controls suck too. :)

EDIT: A new DukePlus update was released? Interesting to know! I will have to finish my current playthrough before I update and replay all maps...as the first 5 or so maps I finished are still fresh in memory.

EDIT 2: I uploaded the videos on YouTube and they are unlisted for now. I will show them to ck3D first and I will see what he thinks about how I played those 2 maps. Later I will play his following maps, in chronological order (TOURS, DSOTMOON, CGR20, Anarchy City series, etc) because this will also be seen as the evolution of the mapper instead of playing them in a random order. I should do that for every author that made great maps. So much stuff to play...

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This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 17 September 2020 - 01:46 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

#94

@RunningDuke it's really funny for me to hear about those old maps again, what a trip down memory lane. I made those maps as a kid, they were the first full levels I ever finalized with semi-decent aesthetics in mind, but obviously I didn't know what I was doing at the time. Originally all of them were only meant to be shared with the Duke enthusiasts I personally knew in my family or friends for them to have fun exploring familiar environments in the game; for instance Clerey is a replica of part of a village some of my family used to live in, and NDA is an attempt at recreating part of my high school at the time. I was aiming for nothing but decent resemblance to real-life settings and functional gameplay would be more of an afterthought, hence all the random switch puzzles and overall navigation everywhere, plus the gameplay was really forged around how my friends and I liked to play the game at the time which was tight situations where every single enemy could pose a problem instead of being easily fodderized (and that's also the reason behind the unnecessary .bat files for set-up and all). Since they were never meant to be good levels but just challenges for specific persons back when most of us didn't have Internet access to download amounts of user maps from all over the world, I kinda put them together with a logic similar to how 8-bit era games had to be made hard for the player to feel like they're getting their money's worth. I was also so focused on making those quick levels mostly for the sake of their layout and aesthetics that I never really took the time to think about interactive environments and effects in general, too. As soon as I got Internet access and discovered websites such as DN-R I instantly released them all because they were what I had, naive me was convinced they were good levels because my only reference thus far had been a German shovelware CD ('Come Get Some!'), when I realized the stuff actually talented people had been doing in maps like Red 4 my world was rocked upside down. I think you can kind of tell the breach in my style before and after my exposure to other people's work which happened just in between Overtime/Anarchy City 1 and Anarchy City 2 (which straight up re-used tricks from other people's user maps I had started playing such as that exploding pipe from Kevin Cools' OHTLD, etc.).

I honestly often regret ever releasing those maps but I don't deny them either - they are what they are and if people are still playing them so many years later it honestly just kind of blows my mind, since some of them are essentially nothing (Dark Side of the Moon in particular is a succession of empty rooms with literally zero substance and depth to the 'theme'). So that you'd make videos of them is actually very humbling. YouTube in general is a great portal into the community for people just finding out about Duke 3D nowadays it seems like, so if you have the time and dedication then you shouldn't be shy of exploring the possibilities of that platform. There are a few channels in particular like ViDi's which really do it right. The idea of getting deeper into specific mappers' or modders' work is especially clever (and highlight their personal quality as artists), surely there's a lot to information to organize but with good and constructed presentation I think it has the potential to be really interesting, don't be afraid to push the idea. I'm suspecting it's something you could do just on the basis of the depth you always put into your posts (but it would also be time-consuming and since you just got hired - congratulations, by the way - your priorities right now have to be on something else), but it's really just a random thought.

I watched the videos you sent me (too much in a rush to reply to both your PM and post separately so I'll do it here), I have a few tips for better presentation if you're trying to make a public series of video playthroughs that you'd like to get somewhat popular:

- 240p is really tough to watch (and trust me I have lower standards than most in that department), how does the video look like on your computer? If it's YouTube compression and not the capturing settings then you should look into learning how to upscale your footage so that YouTube treats it as HD and doesn't turn it into a chaotic mess of pixels like it can love to do. I personally do it with MPEG Streamclip on Mac which is a barebones but very powerful tool for video conversion, upscaling the original file at a resolution of 1440x1080 (minimum) and then reexporting, note that I've only done that with SD (Mini-DV) footage before so I'm not sure how well that technique would work with game footage;

- I'd recommend not breaking the playthrough of just one level into several videos, some other people do it but it's always a bit less comfortable and more cumbersome for the viewer to have to watch something in parts, you could always just stitch clips together in video editing software pre-upload (or even just in Quicktime, but doing things proper would be better and only take so much extra work after all once you already have the footage). Also a more minor thing but I'd recommend getting used to the quick save key as having the menu pop up every thirty seconds during the action can also get tedious (honestly I do my saves the same, old-school style - and I also play keyboard only for the most part - but if I was going to present clean videos with hopes of good reception then I would refrain from doing it).

About the way you played the levels from what I've watched so far (I still need to finish the NDA video), I think you explored them in ways that are completely logical, it's just the levels themselves and their puzzles aren't logical or practical at all, for the reasons I've described earlier. They were meant for specific people with enough headspace to play them so much that they would memorize every enemy/item placement and deal with all the frustrating aspects, but outside that context they're really a chaotic mess with zero flow whatsoever (maybe even anti-flow) when it comes to their navigation. You only ever really struggled wherever the level itself sucked (also another reason why other people's YouTube playthroughs are so interesting as a mapper). I will be watching the next videos you post and I'm sure they will generate some great discussion, so good luck with this, I'd be especially interested in seeing you push the concept too because it's a positive one.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 17 September 2020 - 06:29 AM

1

#95

Thanks man! I am glad you watched my videos (the ones you managed to watch so far) and provided a very informative post about the evolution of mapping style and suggestions for my videos. I will try to reply to each paragraph.

That sounds really interesting. These early maps indeed are modeled after some real life locations, I thought the buildings you made resemble some familiar locations but I think they were a bit too cramped for my tastes (and why there was greater difficulty), also there isn't much height variation, it looks more like some Doom maps rather than Duke3D maps! But hey, they are much better than what I can do (I can barely make maps, I don't have much knowledge about many Duke3D effects when comes to mapping, I do know to place sprites, change textures, tag sectors, create automatic shooters and make cranes fully functional but I don't even know basic stuff like creating a door). Plus your maps are actually decent enough, it's just they didn't age well and they were also a bit frustrating, the beginning parts, now I just remembered how fragile can Duke be (as people keep mentioning on gaming forums), especially when he is outgunned by so many enemies. I did take advantage of shooting around corners and conserving ammo at every opportunity (including using the double mighty foot bug), yet I struggled at times, mostly because I missed some vital items like armor and chaingun that would have been lifesaver finding them earlier. Funny how in first video, when I got chaingun I got it dropped from enforcer, only to find out he dropped in same room that contained the chaingun and ended up with a surplus of chaingun ammo as I already had 200 rounds by the time I finally got it (and didn't benefit from the 50 ammo per pickup, as I already had 200 rounds). Also the armor could have been gotten earlier dropped by pig cops but they started dropping when I found the actual armor pickup in level. At least I did get the shotgun slightly earlier but the 1-4 ammo it contains from dead pig cops, it wasn't enough for me (though much appreciated, as even the two pistol pickups at beginning of both maps weren't enough, also other pistol pickup I missed in second map and returned to it later when I was at 1 HP and out of ammo), so I still had sometimes to kick troopers and believe me, with the laptop's controls, I can barely do the double kick bug, most times I just kick with one leg as if I was playing later Duke3D versions, if you get what I mean. :)

Don't regret, the maps were still good and I'm glad I played them. I played most of your maps back then when I was browsing Duke repository, though in some of them I did get stuck and was wandering around until finding my way. I do remember playing Dark Side of the Moon and don't remember much, maybe it was a map inspired by Dark Side or am I thinking at a different map? The name enough should give me a Dark Side vibe. Just look at it: Dark Side of the Moon. ;)

Yes, I decided to finally put some videos on YouTube, although it's not the first time I'm doing it, I've put before even back in 2010 (on my older YouTube channels) some random gameplay videos of some games but I never left them more than a few months, as I usually closed my YouTube account after a few years. I had at least 5 accounts and now I decided to come back, since early August I uploaded some videos, mostly demo loops of DOS games. I got inspired by a couple recent channels that have started popping up as of lately, mostly focused on DOS games and being played in DOSBox. Instead of doing yet another Duke3D (or other games like Doom, Quake, etc) playthrough like many others have done, I try to spice things up and do things differently. Such as the Duke3D COOP playthrough (CGS pistol start each level, 1.3D) that is ongoing, I only have E1L1 and E1L2 finished from past weeks (before I got sick and had a 2 week hiatus with most of my current playthroughs) and will do the rest levels tomorrow, at least E1. If you want, I can send you those videos soon. And not only that but also doing certain user maps, hopefully some that weren't already showcased yet. Oh yeah, I did set the videos to Unlisted at the moment, meaning you can watch them when I send you the link. I will make them public and post on forum soon.

Yes, I know ViDi Games' channel, he recorded a lot of videos of Duke3D user maps and some I even watched a while ago. Cool stuff! However he does them all in EDuke32. Not that's a bad thing, I love EDuke32 as my main Duke3D port to play many user maps and mods (mostly newer ones) but when comes to vanilla maps (until 2005 or so, before the community moved into JFDuke3D/EDuke32), I like to play in DOSBox for playing maps as the authors intended with the resources available at that time, also for added challenge which consists of keyboard controls (I can't strafe because of the way laptop layout is set up, so I try to move backwards while holding shift, if you have seen how I dodge), lower resolution (enemies farther away are more difficult to see), no level stats (only at end of level) and so on. With EDuke32 I guarantee you I would have completed these maps more easily.

I will try to record more maps of varying authors, however I have some limits at the moment:
-I try to limit to maps I MOSTLY know or at least aren't too confusing. The first 2 maps I recorded, which were your first maps (I think, correct me if I'm wrong, I mostly arranged them according to the order you released them) were a bit frustrating and confusing at times. This wasn't the best way to start but I thought I'd start with your maps since I have promised I will get to play your maps and before I play your latest magnum opus, I started with the earlier maps and to also have a bit of an evolution of each mapper. Yeah I could have started with some shitty shovelware maps (from Duke Zone, which I actually started two months ago but gave up after doing the first 5 maps, will return one day) but no one would watch that and most of maps are either just DM maps or pointless ones.
-I use DOSBox 0.74-3's built-in recording system (activated with CTRL-ALT-F5) to record the DOS game I'm playing. In past I used Fraps and other recording software to record most games but in this case for beginning, before my channel becomes popular, I limited to DOS games.
-Related to above, I don't have a video editing software at the moment and not sure which one to use. I didn't expect maps to take me more parts, which is why I had to exit after getting bored and not finding what I'm supposed to do or got bored or game crashed. I was thinking to merge videos, however I have a problem with playing DOSBox videos, they don't play in Windows Media Player. Most of them play fine in VLC Media Player (such as Doom videos, with the side effect of the tint when pick up object or get hurt won't show at all) but Duke3D videos while they play sound, the screen is black.and can't tell what's going on and what I recorded. So I judge by the video length I recorded and then upload on YouTube, the videos will show up FINE on YouTube. It's a bit complicated but I will try to fix the errors in future and do video editing, a recording software so I can record Windows games as well (example games played in source ports).
-Also I have to take into account the time because I don't like wasting time, earlier today while I uploaded my Duke3D user maps videos, the first NDA video (which is 20 mins long) wasn't uploaded because of the 15 min limit. I had to confirm the account, so after I did, deleted and reuploaded the video and then it was fine.

Also take into account that for the video to be successful, it shouldn't have errors like in these videos I did. Things like dying often and getting stuck often, no one would enjoy watching stuff like this. I know I COULD first play through map normally and THEN replay while recording, so on the recording attempt I know what to do and possible die less often but I don't have time to replay the map the second time especially if I found a slog the first time. I don't mind replaying stuff years later if I need to. In this case it's unlikely I will replay CLEREY20 and NDA20 in future, I have done them on CGS skill with 100% (on NDA I missed 2 secrets initially, found them after I went back to search for them also using mapster and then saved after finding them on all my 3 slots, so when I went to look for video to put a small Part 3, somehow I didn't press the recording buttons, so when I redid part 3 for secrets only, I just loaded save and went to locations where I found the secrets, with the cracks already broken). You get what I mean. Oh and additionally I think at second part and third part of CLEREY, I just found what I had to do on my own and after I realized what I had to do, I started recording (I most likely also took a break in those minutes before I resumed). Which explains why it may not match the exact same stats I had at end of previous video, example I picked up more health/ammo along the way.

Yeah I know the video quality sucks, it's not only that DOSBox's built in recorder probably recorded the video at game's resolution (or rather at 640x400 instead of 320x200) but also YouTube butchered the quality of video as is known to degrade the video quality. There is nothing I can do about that sadly. I know 240p videos are a bit unwatchable but I don't know how I can deal with that especially when I'm playing the game on the default 320x200 resolution.

Also yeah, thanks, most people who record playthroughs on YouTube are generally successful playthroughs which show up level completion and no deaths, my gameplay was more like a "Let's Player" who does a blind or a more realistic playthrough instead of someone who most likely recorded his/her successful attempt and then uploaded on YouTube, example a 100% playthrough of the first Duke3D episode, since Longplays have started becoming common since a few years ago. I do plan one day to do a Duke3D longplay and maybe even doing the whole Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition on DOSBox in Damn I'm Good difficulty while getting all secrets, as far as I know there are very few playthroughs like these on YouTube, I only remember someone named GalleyUK that had a lot of cool playthroughs and he disappeared since 2015 or so. He was only one who did (at that time) a Duke3D Atomic 100% playthrough on DIG skill and even using DOSBox!

Once again thanks for comments. I will do other user maps tomorrow, possibly even doing AlexCity and others I had in mind (some of which I promised since a while back), to spice things up. But then again, I also have other games and mods to play and now with my time with this job, I have even less time! Hopefully I can do something tomorrow.

Cheers!

This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 17 September 2020 - 08:37 AM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#96

View PostRunningDuke, on 17 September 2020 - 08:34 AM, said:

These early maps indeed are modeled after some real life locations, I thought the buildings you made resemble some familiar locations but I think they were a bit too cramped for my tastes (and why there was greater difficulty), also there isn't much height variation, it looks more like some Doom maps rather than Duke3D maps!


Yes totally, back when I first got into FPS's my go-to's were always Duke 3D and Doom/Doom 2, both franchises introduced me to the genre at the same time except Duke 3D won my exclusive interest rapidly due to the amount of extra fancy possibilities Build allowed and also of course the charm of the game (and of the editor, too). The people I discovered Duke 3D with were also super into Doom so there was definitely an overlap in terms of inspiration when the time came to try and create my own maps, and because Doom lacked good vertical action I actually only started grasping how far one could push that dimension in Duke 3D very late.

View PostRunningDuke, on 17 September 2020 - 08:34 AM, said:

But hey, they are much better than what I can do (I can barely make maps, I don't have much knowledge about many Duke3D effects when comes to mapping, I do know to place sprites, change textures, tag sectors, create automatic shooters and make cranes fully functional but I don't even know basic stuff like creating a door).


I think you're misled and actually able to make maps, creating automatic shooters and making cranes is actually trickier than making doors (for Doom-styled doors you only really need to tag a sector), everyone always has more stuff to learn so you shouldn't downplay your potential for no reason like this. It's actually a trait I occasionally see in people on here where they essentially can already make maps yet refuse to consider themselves mappers because they never tried making something like a specific door. If you can pull off the effects you described you're a mapper, as those take basic mapper logic already. Sounds like all you need to learn is what each specific tag (lo-tag/hi-tag) can do, some very basic practice with the effect you want to tackle which is super easy with the Infosuite (to this day I regularly use it as a reference, it's not like I know every effect by heart) and then there's no stopping you. I would actually be curious to see a map from you, even a small level. You always have sharp opinions on levels and usually people with specific taste are the ones with style.


View PostRunningDuke, on 17 September 2020 - 08:34 AM, said:

Plus your maps are actually decent enough, it's just they didn't age well and they were also a bit frustrating, the beginning parts, now I just remembered how fragile can Duke be (as people keep mentioning on gaming forums), especially when he is outgunned by so many enemies. I did take advantage of shooting around corners and conserving ammo at every opportunity (including using the double mighty foot bug), yet I struggled at times, mostly because I missed some vital items like armor and chaingun that would have been lifesaver finding them earlier. Funny how in first video, when I got chaingun I got it dropped from enforcer, only to find out he dropped in same room that contained the chaingun and ended up with a surplus of chaingun ammo as I already had 200 rounds by the time I finally got it (and didn't benefit from the 50 ammo per pickup, as I already had 200 rounds). Also the armor could have been gotten earlier dropped by pig cops but they started dropping when I found the actual armor pickup in level. At least I did get the shotgun slightly earlier but the 1-4 ammo it contains from dead pig cops, it wasn't enough for me (though much appreciated, as even the two pistol pickups at beginning of both maps weren't enough, also other pistol pickup I missed in second map and returned to it later when I was at 1 HP and out of ammo), so I still had sometimes to kick troopers and believe me, with the laptop's controls, I can barely do the double kick bug, most times I just kick with one leg as if I was playing later Duke3D versions, if you get what I mean. :)

Don't regret, the maps were still good and I'm glad I played them. I played most of your maps back then when I was browsing Duke repository, though in some of them I did get stuck and was wandering around until finding my way. I do remember playing Dark Side of the Moon and don't remember much, maybe it was a map inspired by Dark Side or am I thinking at a different map? The name enough should give me a Dark Side vibe. Just look at it: Dark Side of the Moon. ;)


Dark Side of the Moon's biggest problem is IIRC it doesn't take any inspiration from anything and thus even the name is uninspired, that 'level' was really just me experimenting with space textures for the sake of it as a kid, making a few rooms and voilà, I barely remember what it even looks like to be honest but I guess it would qualify as a very basic Doom-style map theme aside due to how it's just a bunch of... places. I probably looked at the original space levels at some point to try and mimic the effects but really I didn't even have the single clue what a space level was really supposed to be like when I made it. I never really appreciated E2 since quite recently actually, so at the time I might as well have never even seen it.

And yes the die-and-retry style is kind of what I meant with the 8-bit era game comparison, although watching what I had left to watch of your videos I realized how much at the time I was really trying to make every bullet and monster count, for the player to always remain on their toes. Levels typically supply the player with weaponry really early on if not right off the bat and then level them up consistently so that they can have fun smashing foes, but that really wasn't my style at the time, I just wanted the entire level to feel like a challenge by never oversupplying the player and thus in return they'd kind of feel like intro sequences that would drag on for the two thirds of the levels.

I actually noticed the chaingun thing in your Clerey video and thought it was funny (also gameplay style I just described happened to have the effect of making enemy drops that much more valuable, interestingly enough), situation in the NDA video where that one crouching Pig Cop kept sniping 1 HP-you also made me chuckle.

Like I was saying I don't regret those levels at all, they are maps that exist (beyond even my own comprehension), it's just funny to me how people are still playing them in 2020 when to begin with they're almost personal history to me, and getting to watch players struggle against all those old mean booby traps to this day makes my day (those Pig Cops warping in inside that cramped room in NDA where you push the fake multi switch combo is straight up mean).

Good luck for the rest, I think there's definitely a niche to tackle when it comes to focusing on the evolution of individual mappers' styles and all even if it's only a secondary focus, just the consideration itself is cool. About the YouTube compression issue, upscaling your video and then uploading the upscaled version might be a solution like I was describing earlier, if YouTube recognizes your video as 1440x1080 then it won't crunch it, I think MPEG Streamclip is Mac only but surely there are dozens of PC alternatives. Also your problem of not being able to read your video with Windows Media Player sounds a lot like a codec issue, I hate those (which is why I switched to Mac for such tasks). About the ViDi mention, surely I didn't mean to say you should do something in the same style, you should follow yours but his work is still a good example (out of many I could have picked) of quality presentation, great to hear you have that on your mind though. I'll be on the lookout for your videos! Cheers.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 17 September 2020 - 01:45 PM

1

User is online   Aleks 

#97

Nice discussion, guys (or maybe I was just hungry for some Duke topics here for a change). I'll put my 5 cents in - sorry for the messy quotation style, but there's a lot of stuff I'd like to reply to in there.

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This wasn't the best way to start but I thought I'd start with your maps since I have promised I will get to play your maps and before I play your latest magnum opus, I started with the earlier maps and to also have a bit of an evolution of each mapper.



It would be really cool to actually see something like this, maybe not in the form of full level playthroughs, but a video showcasing a certain mapper through his maps - both in terms of his evolution, but also in terms of characteristic aspects or cooler stuff in his maps. All that with a proper commentary, like a documentary movie talking about some artist with brief descriptions of his work. Of course that would take a hell lot of a time to prepare even a single movie and I wouldn't expect anyone really going with this idea, as the audience probably wouldn't be too broad either (maybe it would interest more people on the other hand). Just dropping that idea here and maybe someone with a lot of spare time would prove me wrong :(

Now that I think of it, it would be also nice to see a mapper playing his own level and explaining stuff (effects, inspiration, anecdotes about the making or easter eggs) in the meantime - like dev commentaries in 20th Anniversary World Tour.

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I think you're misled and actually able to make maps, creating automatic shooters and making cranes is actually trickier than making doors (for Doom-styled doors you only really need to tag a sector), everyone always has more stuff to learn so you shouldn't downplay your potential for no reason like this. It's actually a trait I occasionally see in people on here where they essentially can already make maps yet refuse to consider themselves as mappers because they never tried making something like a specific door. If you can pull off the effects you described you're a mapper, as those take basic mapper logic already. Sounds like all you need to learn is what each specific tag (lo-tag/hi-tag) can do, some very basic practice with the effect you want to tackle which is super easy with the Infosuite (to this day I regularly use it as a reference, it's not like I know every effect by heart) and then there's no stopping you. I would actually be curious to see a map from you, even a small level. You always have sharp opinions on levels and usually people with specific state are the ones with style.



Agree - being able to make effects/remembering tags is quite a secondary aspect to making maps, I still sometimes have to test some effects which aren't super-complex for like 10-20 times. And with more sophisticated stuff it may take even more tries, but that's something you kinda learn along the way. Your way of talking about maps is really cool and it seems you of all people would be able to create a really decent gameplay, RunningDuke, so I'd also like to see some release from you (although I understand that starting new job isn't exactly the best moment to get involved with Mapster).

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Once again thanks for comments. I will do other user maps tomorrow, possibly even doing AlexCity and others I had in mind (some of which I promised since a while back), to spice things up.


Oh how nice of you :) I think there's one video of AlexCity on YT already, but I'll happily view yours also. I sent it last week to some guy on Discord and he played it right away, it was pretty cool to hear his live commentary from the gameplay.

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Oh and a while ago I also started something different: a Duke3D coop mode, pistol start each level on CGS skill, using the glitch that I mentioned a while ago I found as kid, on version 1.3D of the game.



That's like playing COOP in single player? ;) Never heard you could do that.

Last week I hooked up with some guys in Discord for Dukematches (so far we were using Megaton edition on Steam), they were all from Poland like me so the connection was OK, but I suppose it wouldn't be a problem for other people to join - if anyone would be interested in playing some multiplayer, feel free to PM me and I'll send you the Discord server.

I'm actually really curious to try out the "Duke-Tag!" mode in "The Queen" as that's something I've never tried before (and didn't really expect I will, but now I guess I have "resources" in form of more players). There are actually no worthwhile videos of that on YouTube besides some very basic tutorials, so if it's any fun, I will maybe also try to record a video of the game.
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#98

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I think you're misled and actually able to make maps, creating automatic shooters and making cranes is actually trickier than making doors (for Doom-styled doors you only really need to tag a sector), everyone always has more stuff to learn so you shouldn't downplay your potential for no reason like this. It's actually a trait I occasionally see in people on here where they essentially can already make maps yet refuse to consider themselves mappers because they never tried making something like a specific door. If you can pull off the effects you described you're a mapper, as those take basic mapper logic already. Sounds like all you need to learn is what each specific tag (lo-tag/hi-tag) can do, some very basic practice with the effect you want to tackle which is super easy with the Infosuite (to this day I regularly use it as a reference, it's not like I know every effect by heart) and then there's no stopping you. I would actually be curious to see a map from you, even a small level. You always have sharp opinions on levels and usually people with specific taste are the ones with style.

Thanks for encouragement, I appreciate your comments. Although I don't really know to make a good looking map, only to make an empty room and create stuff within it. I may learn in future how to create proper maps. I have indeed used Duke3D infosuite in past to learn how to create automatic shooters and cranes because I really liked the crane feature so much that I wanted my own and even place all compatible objects (which are also listed on infosuite) to be picked up by crane, as I always thought that was cool and also allowed for some creative puzzles, which are seen mostly in E1L4: Toxic Dump but there are also two more levels in Atomic Edition (E4L9: Derelict and E4L11: Area 51) that contain cranes but they aren't required for normal progress, I do remember some user maps having quite creative crane puzzles, ones involving a pipebomb picked up by crane and detonate when it reaches the destination, at least that I think, if something wasn't done already, then surely I played a map that had a pipebomb sliding on conveyor belt while looking at monitor and waiting to reach a place with crack to detonate, I'm sure I played something like that so far (Fernando Marquez' FM2X07 comes in mind). And for automatic shooters, I also liked shrinking puzzles, they added another unique element to the game. Though of course it doesn't have to be just automatic shooters as seen in say E1L4, E1L5 and E2L11. It can also be as in E4L2: Duke-Burger where you have to shrink yourself using a mirror and there are many user maps that have done similar puzzles as well. You can do a lot of creative stuff with Duke3D.

About Dark Side of the Moon, I understand. Well I will get to that level soon and I will see how it goes this time.

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And yes the die-and-retry style is kind of what I meant with the 8-bit era game comparison, although watching what I had left to watch of your videos I realized how much at the time I was really trying to make every bullet and monster count, for the player to always remain on their toes. Levels typically supply the player with weaponry really early on if not right off the bat and then level them up consistently so that they can have fun smashing foes, but that really wasn't my style at the time, I just wanted the entire level to feel like a challenge by never oversupplying the player and thus in return they'd kind of feel like intro sequences that would drag on for the two thirds of the levels.

Haha, I see. Well thing is I didn't grow up with the 8-bit era games, I mostly grew up with early DOS FPS games (Duke3d was obviously my first and also my favorite game of all time, then I played Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D, Heretic, Hexen and few others) and I was used to saving my game often, it has great results and makes frustrating maps more tolerable. In that case, yeah I realized I had to make every bullet count but I think despite missing once or twice, I think what can really change how these kind of Duke3D maps play with strict ammo placement is that Duke3D monsters have randomized drops. Troopers sometimes drop pistol ammo, pig cops sometimes drop either shotgun (1-4 ammo) or used armor (50 or 75 armor, also may remember as kid sometimes giving only 25 armor as well or is it a false memory?) and enforcers sometimes drop either chaingun ammo or actual chaingun, both cases 50 ammo but the latter is better if you don't have chaingun, otherwise if you already have one, it's same as if he dropped ammo.

Compare that to Doom where zombies will always drop their ammo/weapons. Yeah, Doom has also randomized damage which plays a very important role and in some cases can make the difference between life and death (whether a hitscan attack will take as little as 3 or as much as 15 damage, whether a revenant rocket will do as little as 10 damage or as much as 80 damage, etc) and Duke3D sometimes has randomized damage as well, from what I noticed trooper lasers can do between 6 and 13 damage, the pig cop damage depends of how many pellets hit you, hitscanners in general if they hit or miss you, etc. It just depends.

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I actually noticed the chaingun thing in your Clerey video and thought it was funny (also gameplay style I just described happened to have the effect of making enemy drops that much more valuable, interestingly enough), situation in the NDA video where that one crouching Pig Cop kept sniping 1 HP-you also made me chuckle.

Yeah that's what I was thinking as well while playing the maps and what I said now above. That pig cop part, yeah I admit now it's a bit funny when I think back at that but when I was playing I wasn't laughing. At least I no longer rage like I did many years ago when I was losing and dying often at video games, I am a lot more calm these days but I still wanted to rush whenever I died unfairly, if you noticed after loading game I was immediately running to place where I died. I still hate when they snipe you and also having 5 or less HP in general means that pretty much anything will kill you instantly and the armor also won't save you from the fatal shot that normally would protect you if your health is higher than the attack damage, to explain further, having 5 HP and 100 armor will do nothing against an enforcer bullet, you will still die, whereas if you had full health, you would end up with 96 health and 99 armor as usual. Not sure why armor doesn't save you from fatal attacks, I guess the game checks first health and then armor, plus when you die, armor becomes 0 anyway.

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Like I was saying I don't regret those levels at all, they are maps that exist (beyond even my own comprehension), it's just funny to me how people are still playing them in 2020 when to begin with they're almost personal history to me, and getting to watch players struggle against all those old mean booby traps to this day makes my day (those Pig Cops warping in inside that cramped room in NDA where you push the fake multi switch combo is straight up mean).

Yeah, I didn't think I would play these maps again (or rather for first time, you will see below that I just finished playing another one of your maps now and it was first time I played it). I just decided that I should do anyway, even if it's for the last time and now that I am getting older and recently with the job and the ongoing pandemic, I just decided I should just play as much stuff as I want, finish them 100% and never play them again.

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Good luck for the rest, I think there's definitely a niche to tackle when it comes to focusing on the evolution of individual mappers' styles and all even if it's only a secondary focus, just the consideration itself is cool. About the YouTube compression issue, upscaling your video and then uploading the upscaled version might be a solution like I was describing earlier, if YouTube recognizes your video as 1440x1080 then it won't crunch it, I think MPEG Streamclip is Mac only but surely there are dozens of PC alternatives. Also your problem of not being able to read your video with Windows Media Player sounds a lot like a codec issue, I hate those (which is why I switched to Mac for such tasks). About the ViDi mention, surely I didn't mean to say you should do something in the same style, you should follow yours but his work is still a good example (out of many I could have picked) of quality presentation, great to hear you have that on your mind though. I'll be on the lookout for your videos! Cheers.


Thanks man! I just finished now Tours - Rives du Cher and it was a blast! I actually managed to do without dying but it was quite challenging at times, I still got stuck at some points, still a bit cramped, still had to drink some water later (not much as I didn't go into very low health) because I had around 50-70 health and was looking for leftover health but didn't find immediately (and I made use of the 2-3 portable medkits in map, shame that last medkit was used on just two pig cops shooting me) and I didn't find the single secret (must have been behind a tiny crack, at least this time the cracks were more easily seen compared to CLEREY and NDA with tiny cracks) but I will search for it now and put a Part 4 video that shows secret only (and an unmarked atomic health I've seen in mapster behind a picture inside that apartment), sorry that it has 3 main parts and they are also low quality like previous videos, also lots of saving but at least I did without dying, no more frustrating moments! There was also a lot of ammo (mostly shotgun ammo almost everywhere) and there were few armor pickups as well (funnily enough that armor pickup on the street remained unpicked because I got used armor 75 AP from a dead pig cop relatively early and served me well throughout map, still got other used armors and an actual armor pickup). I was also careful to not get crushed by doors when opening them (one time in a cramped room, I hesitated to close that door since it was very close to me) and that sector at end confused me because the nuke button was behind that sector that I was trying to crouch to reach it and I was fearing it would crush me right at end but thankfully didn't. It may be boring to watch and took me almost an hour to do, plus a few notes when I was stuck at end of first part, I searched off-screen for few minutes before I found the room that I didn't go before and on end of second part, I stopped because I had to restart laptop as I heard beeping noises thinking something is wrong with my laptop but I think it may have been the custom music doing these noises! Either way this map was much better and I liked the custom midi! Forgot to ask about the midi music in CLEREY, it sounded familiar, I must have heard in another Duke3D map/mod before!

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Nice discussion, guys (or maybe I was just hungry for some Duke topics here for a change). I'll put my 5 cents in - sorry for the messy quotation style, but there's a lot of stuff I'd like to reply to in there.

Thanks! No worries, feel free to join the discussion. I would want to hear your thoughts on ck3D's maps and in general talking about playing maps. I will still play your AlexCity map, I want to see if I will be able to do more of ck3D's maps before I do yours and also other people's maps (that I have installed) such as ARSP1!

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It would be really cool to actually see something like this, maybe not in the form of full level playthroughs, but a video showcasing a certain mapper through his maps - both in terms of his evolution, but also in terms of characteristic aspects or cooler stuff in his maps. All that with a proper commentary, like a documentary movie talking about some artist with brief descriptions of his work. Of course that would take a hell lot of a time to prepare even a single movie and I wouldn't expect anyone really going with this idea, as the audience probably wouldn't be too broad either (maybe it would interest more people on the other hand). Just dropping that idea here and maybe someone with a lot of spare time would prove me wrong ;)

Now that I think of it, it would be also nice to see a mapper playing his own level and explaining stuff (effects, inspiration, anecdotes about the making or easter eggs) in the meantime - like dev commentaries in 20th Anniversary World Tour.

Yes, I agree. Although I don't do documentaries (would have loved to record myself talking about each map and say what I liked and didn't like about the map, etc), I will still play through people's maps just like people have done before with user maps videos on YouTube. There is one difference that I said above, in that I'm doing older maps in DOSBox 0.74-3 (hopefully there will be a newer DOSBox version in future as I really want to do some games/mods that didn't work in current version) and it also makes for a more interesting approach. Of course not many people care about vanilla accuracy, it's not something that I had years ago in mind, I still remember years ago how I searched for random user maps to play and play in EDuke32. It's something I decided recently because after I was fed up with some mods being broken in EDuke32 (this is probably what also made NightFright to create his Addon Compilation, which is handy since he did good job in making those maps and mods playable in EDuke32), I decided to play them in DOSBox and since they worked fine, I went with trying many others as well and was surprised how different they feel and play compared to EDuke32. Also there are some maps and mods being made with 1.3D in mind, as have been the early maps by ck3D. Since I own the original full version of Duke3D as well as both the Plutonium PAK and Atomic Edition (unlike in Doom's case where I never had the registered version with 3 episodes, only shareware and Ultimate), I will play through each map and mod as intended, plus they wouldn't work in Atomic Edition anyway, at least mods that use 1.3D cons, the 1.3D user maps themselves should still work in 1.4/1.5 just fine. Of course Plutonium PAK 1.4 is kinda pointless since there is no reason to use 1.4 over 1.5 as the Atomic mods are compatible in both versions, only time I would use 1.4 would be for those few mods (I think Alien Invasion is one of them?) that have demos recorded in 1.4, otherwise use DUKE3D 1.5 for every user map and mod that requires it. ;)

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Agree - being able to make effects/remembering tags is quite a secondary aspect to making maps, I still sometimes have to test some effects which aren't super-complex for like 10-20 times. And with more sophisticated stuff it may take even more tries, but that's something you kinda learn along the way. Your way of talking about maps is really cool and it seems you of all people would be able to create a really decent gameplay, RunningDuke, so I'd also like to see some release from you (although I understand that starting new job isn't exactly the best moment to get involved with Mapster).

Thanks! I will try making a test map in upcoming weeks to showcase all the stuff I can design in a map. It will include cranes, underwater sectors, automatic shooters, some weapons, items, enemies placed in map and so on. Sort of an uglier ZOO type of map. :)

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Oh how nice of you ;) I think there's one video of AlexCity on YT already, but I'll happily view yours also. I sent it last week to some guy on Discord and he played it right away, it was pretty cool to hear his live commentary from the gameplay.

Thanks again! I will try to play through it later today after I do one or two more of ck3D's maps, well after I find the missing secret in TOURS.

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That's like playing COOP in single player? :D Never heard you could do that.

Last week I hooked up with some guys in Discord for Dukematches (so far we were using Megaton edition on Steam), they were all from Poland like me so the connection was OK, but I suppose it wouldn't be a problem for other people to join - if anyone would be interested in playing some multiplayer, feel free to PM me and I'll send you the Discord server.

I'm actually really curious to try out the "Duke-Tag!" mode in "The Queen" as that's something I've never tried before (and didn't really expect I will, but now I guess I have "resources" in form of more players). There are actually no worthwhile videos of that on YouTube besides some very basic tutorials, so if it's any fun, I will maybe also try to record a video of the game.

Yeah, there is a glitch in 1.3D that makes coop/deathmatch available in single player with a glitch involving loading a saved game while viewing a multiplayer demo (cooldemo from 3D realms website). The single player will be glitched when you load the saved game (don't worry, your saved game isn't affected) with message "PLAYER 2 KILLED" will appear, then you get multiplayer options in the NEW GAME menu, so you can start a SP/DM game on any map, with the side effect of 3 other inactive Dukes standing in place. This makes a few changes such as being able to respawn upon death, there will be new items appearing in single player (example shotgun and pipebombs on the roof of E1L1), you can't pick up weapons you already have (only if dropped by enemies), the inventory items will respawn after a while (a spinning nuke icon appears when you get the item), etc.
I should post those videos of E1L1 and E1L2 I did a while back, in coop mode (I played by myself, those players were just staying at start and they got killed by enemies in E1L2 when I went inside book store). Just wait until I finish the maps I mentioned above (then I will upload the videos I recorded recently on YouTube) as I have a lot of things to do and very short time. Then I will post videos on forum, so you can watch. :P

I'm also curious about the Duke-Tag mode in E4L10. I heard about it before but don't know how to activate.

Anyway I will take a break now and hopefully later I will find that secret and play 1-2 more maps, then I will post videos. They are all unlisted at the moment (ratings/comments are also disabled), not decided if I will make them available until next week/month at least. I try to experiment right now and if the videos are successful, I will make them available for public! :(
Also had to remove 1-2 quotes/paragraphs as I had already reached max number of quotes, now I can finally post the message.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#99

View PostRunningDuke, on 18 September 2020 - 05:00 AM, said:

Thanks for encouragement, I appreciate your comments. Although I don't really know to make a good looking map, only to make an empty room and create stuff within it.


Empty space with stuff inside is the literal definition of a map, so yeah, you've got this. Most of the time when I'm mapping, I get so carried away just designing the space in 2D mode before actually filling it in and actually implementing the effects (doors, etc.), all the decoration and props I usually have to catch up on later, when that's all there is to throw into that specific map or map section. You don't have to sweat it about technicalities to make a fun level, I find that it is very comparable to drawing in that numbers and calculations are only practical tools at your disposal to use for strong composition if so you wish, but in reality one could probably make a fun map without even using one simple sector tag (although that would be an unnecessary restriction, it's still a possibility). If you ever feel like giving it a try and find some time to do so, you should experiment with just materializing your vision as it develops for even a simple level even if it's just a couple of rooms. That's how we all started and mapping has all to do with expression before being about living up to other people's imaginary expectations, so please feel free, your contribution to the community in that department will always be welcome.

View PostRunningDuke, on 18 September 2020 - 05:00 AM, said:

About Dark Side of the Moon, I understand. Well I will get to that level soon and I will see how it goes this time.


I just took a look at the map in the editor again for the first time since I finalized it, so almost 20 years. I had completely forgotten almost everything about it. Turns out it's not as bad of a level as I thought, but it's still incredibly basic in design and an unambitious 5-minute romp (complete with Pig Cops in space too). If you're ever looking for a thicker slice of gameplay amongst my old, old levels, I'd recommend Overtime. Or an in-between would be Downtown Ride (but boy those cramped rooms are ridiculous and unpractical).

View PostRunningDuke, on 18 September 2020 - 05:00 AM, said:

Thanks man! I just finished now Tours - Rives du Cher and it was a blast! I actually managed to do without dying but it was quite challenging at times, I still got stuck at some points, still a bit cramped, still had to drink some water later (not much as I didn't go into very low health) because I had around 50-70 health and was looking for leftover health but didn't find immediately (and I made use of the 2-3 portable medkits in map, shame that last medkit was used on just two pig cops shooting me) and I didn't find the single secret (must have been behind a tiny crack, at least this time the cracks were more easily seen compared to CLEREY and NDA with tiny cracks) but I will search for it now and put a Part 4 video that shows secret only (and an unmarked atomic health I've seen in mapster behind a picture inside that apartment), sorry that it has 3 main parts and they are also low quality like previous videos, also lots of saving but at least I did without dying, no more frustrating moments! There was also a lot of ammo (mostly shotgun ammo almost everywhere) and there were few armor pickups as well (funnily enough that armor pickup on the street remained unpicked because I got used armor 75 AP from a dead pig cop relatively early and served me well throughout map, still got other used armors and an actual armor pickup). I was also careful to not get crushed by doors when opening them (one time in a cramped room, I hesitated to close that door since it was very close to me) and that sector at end confused me because the nuke button was behind that sector that I was trying to crouch to reach it and I was fearing it would crush me right at end but thankfully didn't. It may be boring to watch and took me almost an hour to do, plus a few notes when I was stuck at end of first part, I searched off-screen for few minutes before I found the room that I didn't go before and on end of second part, I stopped because I had to restart laptop as I heard beeping noises thinking something is wrong with my laptop but I think it may have been the custom music doing these noises! Either way this map was much better and I liked the custom midi! Forgot to ask about the midi music in CLEREY, it sounded familiar, I must have heard in another Duke3D map/mod before!


Ha I'm glad you liked that map, thanks for playing it and for your comments, honestly it's also one I'm a bit embarrassed about because of many things about its execution. The rooms are indeed cramped to shit to the point where everything gets in the way of the gameplay (doors should never risk killing the player), plus the disconnected layout with all the teleporters is very amateurish in the worst possible way. But I also don't deny it either, and I'm glad people find it fun for what it is. It's also got a very nonsensical layout and progression like all those old maps but maybe on an even more frustrating scale because there are so many similar-looking apartments.

About the Clerey music, I probably lifted the file off another map from that 'Come Get Some!' shovelware CD IIRC. I didn't have Internet access at the time and was mostly making levels for myself (and close friends), so every new midi I could get my hands on to then add new music to the game was a godsend, options were so limited for me back then.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you played Tours regardless of the video format, don't be sorry for the quality or presentation, for one I don't mind that stuff I was only giving you pointers for your public videos if you're really going for popularity (but a Duke 3D nerd like me will watch anything). Just from how you found your way around Clérey and NDA which both have just as absurd puzzles and layouts, I suspect that you have better-than-average navigation skills and in general it's always interesting to me seeing how people tackle those pieces of work (both literally and figuratively here, that term).

Also I have vague but good memories regarding ARSP1, that's a good choice. I'll also point you the direction of two city maps I really like the style and feel of and kind of remind me of the atmosphere I was trying to go for in my old levels in retrospect (on a bigger scale and with better execution):

- http://www.scent-88....L/less/less.php Lessing5 by Big O

- http://www.scent-88....hasit/hasit.php Hasit by Lukas Cerovsky

This post has been edited by ck3D: 18 September 2020 - 08:23 AM

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User is online   Aleks 

#100

I also remember ARSP1, even betatested this one like 15 years ago! Wonder if Arzca/Aaro is still around, I've seen he released a "new" map on MSDN few months ago, which seems to be some old unreleased map of his actually.

As for MRCK's maps, I've been catching up with them and gave him already some elaborate comments on the ones I played, mostly the "Drunken Duke" trilogy, which were pretty great. Haven't really had time/desire to play any new maps for like 2 weeks now, but I do have a large "to play" list, including his other, more recent and more experimental maps. With the amount of levels he's released, it's actually pretty fun to observe his mapping style developing over the years. His and van Oostrums' maps are instantly recognisable too. Sometimes I'm a bit jealous of how great use they can make of quite brave use of palettes :)
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User is offline   duke3d.exe 

#101

Played this one recently

https://msdn.duke4.n...tconspiracy.php

and I was wondering how are you supposed to finish the level if you run out of jetpack

This post has been edited by duke3d.exe: 18 September 2020 - 11:28 AM

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User is offline   MetHy 

#102

Infinity's Secrets Of The Necropolis from 1997

Pretty much everyone involved in this episode worked pro level designer, so this picked my curiosity.
Quality could almost have been commercial worthy if it wasn't for the textures from Blood and other games and the ridiculous constant switch hunt, plague of the time period.

Non surpringsly Alan Barber's map (E1L1 - The Village) is probably the best of the bunch although the others have their moments as well.
Couple of screenshots from E1L2 - The Propylea by Cho Yang "Tempest" Wong:

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: duke0290.png
  • Attached Image: duke0291.png


This post has been edited by MetHy: 19 September 2020 - 09:15 AM

2

User is online   Aleks 

#103

Wasn't it called "Secrets of the Acropolis", or is this some different version/sequel? The level names and looks do ring a bell though. I remember playing this as a kid, was one of my very first TCs and also one of my favourites. Replayed like 7-10 years ago I think and it was still impressive. And I did enjoy the butron search puzzles :)

The same guys also worked on The Gates, but the quality was more consistent in SOTA (probably due to less levels and less mappers).
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User is offline   MetHy 

#104

You're right, it's Acropolis and not Necropolis. That seems to be a mistake from the moddb uploader, I knew it didn't sound right when I posted it but wasn't sure if it was me or not.
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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#105

I remember playing SotA a few years back. I liked the combat and the mostly cohesive visual theme, but then there were those switches... I know it was a problem at the time (as you said) but man Acropolis really went above and beyond with how frustrating and hidden they could be, as well as a not very clear indicator of what they even unlock.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#106

View PostMetHy, on 19 September 2020 - 09:12 AM, said:

Quality could almost have been commercial worthy if it wasn't for the textures from Blood and other games and the ridiculous constant switch hunt


I had never heard of that TC before so I watched a few YouTube playthroughs of the level and that's exactly the impression I got, too. Couldn't helped but be reminded of DC/Caribbean in terms of feel, probably because of the wise dose of new themed assets that's just enough to look credible as in-game settings without ruining the OG Duke 3D style. Level design throughout is remarkable, although I've been over switch hunts for some time now. For some reason, I'm also reminded of the user episode Daikarin (https://msdn.duke4.net/hotdaikarin.php).

This post has been edited by ck3D: 20 September 2020 - 03:56 AM

0

User is online   Aleks 

#107

Just played 2 Sanek's latest maps, Dark Seed and Dark Station.

I liked the originality of the gameplay in both of them, in the first one, the mass-spawning protozoid slimmers was really cool actually, the story was really nicely developed in all these messages. Design-wise, it felt very much like "Tiberius Station", I think the scale might have been a bit too big here and there, also some places looked a bit too square (this actually goes for both maps). On the other hand, I really liked some small touches, like the sprite used for probes (I had to check in the game what the hell is it, never noticed that little thing before). Music was nicely fitting the theme, it actually had a strong "The Thing" feeling even more than "Alien" feeling. Final bossfight might have been a bit too easy with that safespot where RPG was located.

As for Dark Station, I haven't played much of these kind of survival maps, but I do appreciate it... On the other hand, it was really annoying at times, mostly due to how confusing the layout and puzzles were at the beginning, it took me a lot of tries just running around the map trying to trap at least some of the protector drones (mess hall was pretty good for this purpose) and figure out what to do. The auto-closing post office door was insane, I was happy when I managed to get enough time at the window without nothing scratching me to shoot the right buttons, but had no idea what actually opened ;) The second frustrating part was the super-slow elevator, coming back up with the blue keycard the entrance was pretty much swarmed with enemies. I do appreciate the distribution of steroids, holodukes and boots though and the fact that all of those items were really useful actually (probably the first time ever I had any use of Holoduke in single player). The finish was insane and I liked it, though I prefer my nukebuttons in places where I don't risk getting killed while Duke is waving his fist around :)
1

User is offline   Mark 

#108

Sota was the inspiration that started me mapping for the first time. It lead to my unfinished Ancient Rome mod. Like a lot of modders I started with too big of a project instead of starting small and working my way up. I'd post a link to it but IIRC one of the times I reached my attachment limit I foolishly went back and deleted tons of screen shots from my posts.

edit: some pics remain if you want to see them. they are spread out over 3 pages https://forums.duke4...ancient+rome%22

This post has been edited by Mark: 23 September 2020 - 11:59 AM

1

User is online   Sanek 

#109

@Aleks that you for playing both of my maps!


View PostAleks, on 20 September 2020 - 01:38 PM, said:

As for Dark Station, I haven't played much of these kind of survival maps, but I do appreciate it... On the other hand, it was really annoying at times, mostly due to how confusing the layout and puzzles were at the beginning, it took me a lot of tries just running around the map trying to trap at least some of the protector drones (mess hall was pretty good for this purpose) and figure out what to do.

I was thinking it'll make the map like spooky, lol. It's possible to finish the map without getting boots from the post office, but it's even harder because of it (Mikko managed it smhw as he said in his review).


View PostAleks, on 20 September 2020 - 01:38 PM, said:

The second frustrating part was the super-slow elevator, coming back up with the blue keycard the entrance was pretty much swarmed with enemies.

When I was started making the map, there was no red keycard that you have to get in order to access the lab at the first. So the player must figure out the he can't just run for it - he must find weapons and get rid of the enemies at first.


View PostAleks, on 20 September 2020 - 01:38 PM, said:

The finish was insane and I liked it, though I prefer my nukebuttons in places where I don't risk getting killed while Duke is waving his fist around


Oh yeah I get it too. But at least in this map it makes sense that you have to escape the station asap until it'll go under.


Still, I'm glad that people enjoyed the map despite it's shortcomings. I was thinking about making a third map in this "series" but gave up on the idea eventually, since I'll end making the same map. I'm satisfied with Dark Station, so I'll leave it here for now.
1

User is online   Aleks 

#110

Since discussion on shovelware emerged in another topic, I decided I'd drop some more really old maps, which I replayed earlier this year and that are worth checking out.
  • Three levels by Chris Muir: Cruzship, Uptown and Highjack. All of these date back to 1996 and have many of the traits of their time, but considering the overall quality of maps back then, definitely stand out. Uptown is a nice town map with a baseball stadium and a car driving around in a tunnel. Cruzship is, well... a cruise ship. It has a nice little motorboat cruising around the ship itself. There's quite some copy-paste rooms in both of these maps in hotel parts, but they're very decent and have a strong classic vibe. Then there's Highjack, my favourite one of the pack. I remember it was one of the very first user maps I ever played and I was quite surprised by its quality replaying it ~20+ years later. The map takes place in an airport, is quite large and has a very decent gameplay (there are some hangars filled with mini-overlords and mini-cycloids, I played with cons which made them normal miniboss instead of 1 HP enemies and it got quite intense).
  • Now speaking of the very first user levels I've played, I very well remember Nuke'Em by Nick Lindop, the first user map I've finished as a kid. The design is not much, but it's consistently a city level with a strong ambience and sense of location (not that obvious for the time it was created) and there's a notable area at the end with some cars driving around in circles (like in Roch 1).
  • And one more 1996 level worth recommending, Warp Ship 255 by Robert Carter. As the name suggests, this one takes place on a spaceship and has notable feature that you can go out into the void of space, which in this case is made of underwater sectors - and using a scuba gear helps you survive this trip.

1

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#111

I remember Uptown; I'm kind of shocked to find out that was a '96 map. The quality was on the higher end of the amateur scale, as I remember. I would've thought '98 at the earliest.
0

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#112

While aboard the hype train for WGR2020, I decided to finally give Duke Forces its overdue play.


I dunno what Icarus was talking about. This is pretty fun. I already beat episode 1 and 2 like this. It's incredibly hard, yes, but outside of the occasional bullshit moment (it is a randomizer so some forgiveness has to be granted) I've been able to survive on my wits and knowledge of the levels to get through. Maybe that will change when I get to the new content but at least so far I'm having a great time.

I'm even doing it my normal saveless style (well, mostly. With the upgrades and stuff resetting on death would destroy the game balance so I just save at the start of a level and that's about it). About the only time I had trouble was in Fusion Station, where one of those dark jedi assassins or whatever they are kept spawning at the worst moment (right near the reactor core, flanked by the sentry drone replacements that love to keep making me blind). And while that was frustrating, again it is a randomizer so merely by starting it up at all I am accepting things like that happening. And, to be honest, I haven't died that much outside that level. I've come close to it about a thousand times, but rarely did I ever actually kill over. And when I did, usually it felt like my fault.

The bosses are fun. So far they just seem to be bigger versions of existing enemies but they still somehow have enough going for them to make them interesting. The giant droideka was a highlight, because of its rolling attack. Didn't realize it even was an attack at first, until it smacked me around. Dodging it afterwards was probably more fun than it should have been.


About the only thing I was disappointed with so far were the episode endings. Episode 1 and 2 end identically, and I'm going to assume the same for 3 and 4. I hope the two new episodes have proper endings at least...?



Anyway, I'm aware my opinion may change once I get to the new content and can't rely on my inside-out knowledge of the vanilla levels to get through. But as it stands right now, I am having a good time.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#113

View PostAleks, on 13 October 2020 - 06:34 AM, said:

Since discussion on shovelware emerged in another topic, I decided I'd drop some more really old maps, which I replayed earlier this year and that are worth checking out.
  • Three levels by Chris Muir: Cruzship, Uptown and Highjack. All of these date back to 1996 and have many of the traits of their time, but considering the overall quality of maps back then, definitely stand out. Uptown is a nice town map with a baseball stadium and a car driving around in a tunnel. Cruzship is, well... a cruise ship. It has a nice little motorboat cruising around the ship itself. There's quite some copy-paste rooms in both of these maps in hotel parts, but they're very decent and have a strong classic vibe. Then there's Highjack, my favourite one of the pack. I remember it was one of the very first user maps I ever played and I was quite surprised by its quality replaying it ~20+ years later. The map takes place in an airport, is quite large and has a very decent gameplay (there are some hangars filled with mini-overlords and mini-cycloids, I played with cons which made them normal miniboss instead of 1 HP enemies and it got quite intense).
  • Now speaking of the very first user levels I've played, I very well remember Nuke'Em by Nick Lindop, the first user map I've finished as a kid. The design is not much, but it's consistently a city level with a strong ambience and sense of location (not that obvious for the time it was created) and there's a notable area at the end with some cars driving around in circles (like in Roch 1).
  • And one more 1996 level worth recommending, Warp Ship 255 by Robert Carter. As the name suggests, this one takes place on a spaceship and has notable feature that you can go out into the void of space, which in this case is made of underwater sectors - and using a scuba gear helps you survive this trip.



That's a cool list, just the other day when it comes to avant-garde oldies (well, from late 1997) I was thinking how Red Sun probably ranked pretty high:



I'd need to take the time to find my old Come Get Some shovelware CD and share some levels on it that I liked as a kid yet never really saw anywhere online sometime. Lots of stupid stuff like myhouse.maps and various simple shenanigans but it's funny how in a random sample of people, a few will always develop really cool style. I remember sending a lot of those obscure levels to DN-R throughout the 2000's though. Off the top of my head, one that was really cool: http://dnr.duke4.net...mputer_War.html
1

User is offline   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#114

View PostNinety-Six, on 13 October 2020 - 06:29 PM, said:

I dunno what Icarus was talking about. This is pretty fun. I already beat episode 1 and 2 like this. It's incredibly hard, yes, but outside of the occasional bullshit moment (it is a randomizer so some forgiveness has to be granted) I've been able to survive on my wits and knowledge of the levels to get through. Maybe that will change when I get to the new content but at least so far I'm having a great time.


Duke Forces is an old-fashioned TC at heart. I got some help with sprites from sebab on the most recent version, but the game doesn't have any of its own levels. In fact, they aren't even re-textured levels -- if you open the maps up in mapster, they will have the original Duke textures, items and enemies in them. The conversion is all done via code. There are a few of partial exceptions where the landspeeder was added in and a couple of minor things like that.

What I have learned over the years is, if you release a mod and just say "hey, you can load up Duke maps with this and it converts them into a new experience!" literally no one gives a shit. If you don't have your own maps, you need to package up some maps that work well with the TC and call them episodes, so that's what I did. Icarus just assumes, as most reviewers would, that it's a complete game made by a team that has its own levels.

There are a few different endings, but one of them is shared by all of the episodes save one iirc. And that's basically because it was mostly me making the whole thing in a limited time. I could have asked sebab for help when we were working on the update, but we wanted to get back to AA and didn't want to spend a lot of time on it.
1

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#115

View PostDanukem, on 16 October 2020 - 10:44 AM, said:

What I have learned over the years is, if you release a mod and just say "hey, you can load up Duke maps with this and it converts them into a new experience!" literally no one gives a shit. If you don't have your own maps, you need to package up some maps that work well with the TC and call them episodes, so that's what I did. Icarus just assumes, as most reviewers would, that it's a complete game made by a team that has its own levels.


I must confess, I used to be one of these people. Back in the day, I didn't care at all about, say, Duke Plus' Plus part in the vanilla levels. Only the new content.

But over the past few years, I've come around to them a lot more. I'll go ahead and be a heretic again and say it's probably thanks to mods like Brutal Doom. Not necessarily the "brutal" part but more the gameplay aspect of how it sort of tweaks the base game into something I genuinely enjoy a little bit more (being much faster-paced at the risk of dying easier). It kind of opened my eyes to the value of replaying vanilla levels in a new way. These days I find myself enjoying pure gameplay mods a lot more than I used to.

Hell, even with Alien Armageddon I'll admit a lot of my playtime was going through the vanilla levels with randomization off just because I liked the tweaks it brought (...and the gore. I can't defend myself on this. Launching a rocket into an alcove with pigs in it and watching a head fly out and bounce on the ground to land on my feet never really gets old). And then of course I would also play it with randomization on if I wanted a challenge and to actually make use of the security screens for once. I spent a lot of time with the new content too, don't get me wrong, but there was definitely an equal amount of time spent with the vanilla levels, either with or without randomization.


All that being said, since I've been on both ends of the spectrum, I do still understand why that might not be appealing to everyone. It can be a bit of an acquired taste. It's a bit ironic in Icarus' case since almost every mod he plays is a gameplay mod, and sometimes he has TCs. But even then, he pretty much never plays a gameplay mod with the vanilla doom levels. Doom being more modular than Duke probably gives it a leg up in that department.
0

User is offline   Danukem 

  • Duke Plus Developer

#116

View PostNinety-Six, on 16 October 2020 - 11:37 AM, said:

All that being said, since I've been on both ends of the spectrum, I do still understand why that might not be appealing to everyone. It can be a bit of an acquired taste.


Players are more willing to play your mod if you have taken the time to curate some levels and create a pre-packaged experience for them. If you expect them to make their own fun these days, they won't. Games are cheap and plentiful, and time is precious. If you make it too much work for someone to enjoy your game, they will just play something else.
1

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#117

Yeah, I know. I'm in the very small minority on this. I mean I'm the weirdo that plays through vanilla duke 2-3 times per year, so it's not too surprising that I warmed up to pure gameplay mods.

Again though, that's a me thing. Pre-packaging is kind of essential and I'm not gonna debate you on that point since I'd be factually incorrect.
0

User is online   Aleks 

#118

View PostDanukem, on 16 October 2020 - 11:42 AM, said:

Players are more willing to play your mod if you have taken the time to curate some levels and create a pre-packaged experience for them. If you expect them to make their own fun these days, they won't. Games are cheap and plentiful, and time is precious. If you make it too much work for someone to enjoy your game, they will just play something else.


Well, as mostly a vanila Duke fan who rarely plays TC's and definitely prefers "normal" user levels, I must say I did really enjoy your DNWMD mode back in the day, even if it didn't have any "dedicated" levels (besides WG boss battles maybe? Or were there also re-uses...). It did give the game a new type of experience, while not being overly to complex to intuitively get a grasp of how it all works during a "recreation" play. Only briefly played Duke Plus with "Blown Fuses" and it somehow didn't feel as natural for me. Gonna try new WG Realms soon, but seeing all this new stuff makes me think I need to get a good 3-4 hours of free time dedicated to play it at least, to get a hold of everything and still enjoy some of the actual gameplay. It looks wonderful, but then with limited free time to play, I'm more tempted on playing things that I'm actually familiar with and that I can easily organise to find just enough time to play. That said - I'm already making schedule preparations to reserve a lot of time in the following weeks for WG Realms playthrough ;)

I guess it might be similar for a lot of people around here - if we get to play our beloved game, it'd rather be new levels than new gameplay modes, as it's easier to get into without too much time spent figuring it out.
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