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Everything EDuke32 (286 posts)
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  1. Allen Blum

    17 March 2018 - 09:27 AM

    There is something I can't figure out for years. It's the lack of media presence and general appreciation for Allen Blum, the guy who basically created Duke Nukem (along with Todd Replogle).

    When it comes to Duke, everybody knows George Broussard, Scott Miller, Richard "Levelord" Gray, Jon St. John, Randy Pitchford, Lee Jackson and Bobby Prince, and their involvment. Allen however isn't known by the public. Everybody outside the community thinks Levelord created the maps for Duke Nukem 3D. Even in the WT trailer he was called the legendary designer, not Allen. Inside the community there seems to be a growing consensus that Allen was the better leveldesigner for DN3D. But outside, there is nothing about the guy. No interviews, no appreciation, no media presence, not even a wikipedia article!

    But it's not just DN3D. There was a little podcast of DNF pre-release, where he shared some inside thoughts. http://www.dukenukem...y/podcasts.html (Allen involved in parts 1, 2 and 7).

    And he said this for example:
    "Yeah, well if you want to go back that far. Duke 1: Todd Replogle and I went to school together. We grew up in Santa Cruz together and as I was going to school at UCSC studying computer science, he was making the side scroller stuff and then he started working on a side scroller that eventually became Duke Nukem 1 and we worked together on that: so thatís company one, I guess. Then company two would be on Duke 2 with him and I working on it out of our apartments here in Texas. I had to move out here, which was interesting. And then Duke 3, Todd and I started on the first floor of the, at that time Apogee building and we had our own office and our company actually had a name: Core Software. "

    Which means Todd and Allen were the actual creators of this legendary franchise. And Allen stayed with it through the entire development hell of DNF (unlike Todd who left the studio in 1997), and founded Triptych Games, which basically finished the game. I know it wasn't that good, but you gotta admire the loyalty. Also I think DNF's failure was the reason of various decisions to swap engines, which wasn't Allen's fault I guess, the game in 2002 might have been a bang.

    I think Allen does need more appreciation for what he gave us with this game. I think he should have been interviewed, or invited to this community to share his inside thoughts or future plans. And this thread is also about analysing his works during all Duke games.
  2. Duke Nukem 3D map bugs thread

    03 September 2017 - 12:25 PM

    Hi fellow Dukers. Some days ago I decided to open a thread that lists all the bugs that have been left in the original Duke Nukem 3D maps and had affects the actual gameplay. Some of them, as shown below, are really blatant errors, even typos appear in the taggings of some sprites. A couple of years ago I already made a list about the unused respawns, but those are just some of the many bugs left in the game. Amazing how these weren't seen during the beta testing.

    What I didn't check:
    - Errors listed in mapster32. I'm not sure how to show these honestly, there might be some interesting stuff there, but AFAIK most of these are referring sector overlapping and such non important /non gameplay related issues. Every input about these is welcome though.
    - Graphical glitches like misaligned textures. I bet even a lifetime wouldn't be long enough to spot all of these, hence I'm not interested. Also the thread is restricted to gameplay related bugs/issues.
    - Any bugs from the commercial addons or other addons. Only the 5 original episodes. Maybe later, although ATM I'm not much interested...

    And the goal is?
    Well, to have a comprehensive list of gameplay bugs, which might be fixed later on by the big G, although I won't hold my breath for that. Actually these bugs can be considered as an "inner beta", which are still in the maps, but left unreleased.

    The list is not complete. I will check the maps later on about the unchecked things, but also help is more than welcome.

    So what bugs should be listed here:

    1. Enemies, weapons and other active sprites that are in the build of the map, but don't appear due to something. (Random scan so far, feel free to improve my very short list)
    2. Unused or leftover respawn sprites... this had been discussed in Duke4 earlier, and are one of the most interesting part of this thread. (Full scan)
    3. Unused or leftover touchplates... not that important as you don't know what their intention were, unlike the Rs (Random scan so far)
    4. Musicandsfx issues... very important part, and lots of mistakes from the devs. Some are fixable with mapping, others only with con coding (Full scan about the ambient/random ambient sounds, nothing so far about the door sounds)
    5. Locator issues... related to Reconcars only, I don't know anything that relates to two-way trains or other trains (full scan)
    6. Unused or unlinked security cameras... another bug that's quite frequent in some maps. (full scan)
    7. Leftover sectors, sprites... a bit different to the other paragraphs here, but belongs to this thread since affects the gameplay (more or less full about the sectors, although sprites weren't checked)

    Other paragraphs that might be related:
    - Unused/broken sector effectors (not sure if this can happen, AFAIK the game gives an error message if it finds an untagged S)
    - Unused/broken sector tags (it will be extremely difficult to do I guess)

    1. Enemy/weapon/active sprite issues
    -Dark Side: Two protozoid slimers in the blue key area have channel lotag, don't appear in the game.
    -LA Rumble: The map's only SP chaingun cannon (found where you meet the first enforcer) has channel lotag, doesn't appear in the game.

    2. Unused/leftover respawn sprites
    -Red Light District: The infamous Reconcar R, that is properly tagged, but coding doesn't allow Reconcars to respawn. It results that you can't finish the game with 100% kills.
    -Red Light District: 1 untagged Pigcop R in the exploding ceiling area. It should used the same tag as the other 3 Pigcop Rs.
    -Red Light District: 1 untagged Liztroop R which should spawn when you shoot one butty dancer. The dancer however incorrectly use the same hitag as the other butty dancer, which means if you shoot her first, the spawned Liztroop will appear on the other side of the room.
    -Death Row: 1 Liztroopshoot R at the entrance of the church. Should have possibly been triggered before you enter the church.
    -Toxic Dump: 1 Litroop R in the red key room. It should have possibly been triggered when you open the door in the other shrinker room.
    -Toxic Dump: 1 untagged R, which would have been an Octabrain in the big waterfall/crusher area.
    -Warp Factor: 2 Sentry Drone Rs next to the blue key door. The should have been triggered with the blue key access, even the numbers are close. It would have been pretty mean though.
    -Warp Factor: 2 more Sentry Drone Rs, which should have been triggered in the secret Star Trek room along with the other aliens. They are next to the Enforcer Rs close to the place with the Commander/Battlelord fight.
    -Occupied Territory: 1 Octabrain R next to the other one which was triggered by babe kill. Since these maps only spawn one octabrain, I think there must have been another cocooned babe around here, maybe a sitting one in the middle (this is a speculation though).
    -Overlord: 1 Octabrain R without channel tag. Based on it's direction, it's logical that it should have been when you deactivate the forcefield (with channel nr 35).
    -Bank Roll: 1 Pigcopstayput R which should have been triggered with the Commander as they have rather similar tag numbers and the same direction.
    -Bank Roll: My favourite one. 3 Pigcop and 2 Enforcer Rs in the big room with the red key door. The must have been triggered when you got the red key after that turbine area. When you blow the crack to go back, some of these enemies will be blown away as well.
    -LA Rumble: Another good one. 1 Commander R that should have been triggered when you jump onto the small platform with the two atomic health. It would have been pretty mean, as at this point you are already fighting with other airborne enemies, like drones.
    -LA Rumble: 2 Liztroop Rs in the red key room with the other red liztroops. Possibly they could have been triggered before you enter the room by opening the wall.
    -Rabid Transit: 1 Octabrain R that is found among others in the secret "telltale" area. Like in E1L2, one babe is not properly hitagged, so it doesn't appear.
    -Hotel Hell: 1 Enforcer and 1 Pigcop Rs that are facing to the hotel's main entrance. They should have possibly been triggered along with the other Enforcers in the Battlelord room, but are pretty pointless overall.
    -Hotel Hell: 1 Enforcer R in the place with the cans. It faces to the outside area, so it might have been triggered there, although a bit pointless one.
    -Hotel Hell: 2 Pigcop Rs in the starting area facing to different directions. The most sensible place to trigger them should have been the final part with the vent or the room with the nukebutton.
    -Babe Land: 2 Liztroop Rs in the pirate HQ part (or whatever area, with the buggy Reconcars). They should have been triggered... well, somewhere in the sewers.
    -Red Ruckus: 2 Enforcer Rs in the big Overlord area with the buggy control sounds. They should have possibly been triggered when you open up the Overlord chamber to prepare you for the big action.
    -Prima Arena: Various Rs of Liztroops and Enforcers with 3 different lotags in the main Colosseum area. They are actually linked to touchplates, but they are in a sector which is not reachable (see: leftover sectors).

    3. Unused/leftover touchplates
    -The Abyss: 7 unused touchplates are scattered throughout the first half of the level ranging between lotag 5001 to 5017.

    4. Sound issues
    -Death Row: 3 M(wind) sprites are used in the big outside area with turrets, but without proper range, so they can't be heard at all.
    -Toxic Dump: 2 M(grind) sprites are used to add sound for the water turbines (one underwater and one secret area), but neither work as lotag 170's bitfield number is not set to be used as ambient sounds. You need to modify user.con, or the lotag to something else, like 179.
    -Launch Facility: 1 M(grind) sprite is used as the above ones near the start for the sewer turbine.
    -Shop-n-Bag: 1 M(short circuit) is used for one dysfunctional door near the start. Again, lotag 21 (short circuit) is not set to be used as an ambient sound.
    -Shop-n-Bag: 1 M(grind) sprite is used as the ones for E14 and E1L6.
    -Area 51: The most blatant typo of the game. At the start, an M sprite should use lotag 231 (random ambience), but had the number 321 instead. Randy, Randy, you had one job.
    -Derelict: 1 M(horn sound) sprite is used as a semi door sound in the platform outside the ship, where a Newbeast is triggered. It doesn't work because another M(wind) in the same sector blocks it. Relocate the wind a couple inches down, and the horn is heard when you enter the platform.
    -High Times: 1 M(waterfall) sprite is not heard during the "stoned" period with the 720 degree room, due to the sound is used in a lotagged room with one time sound. Just in Derelict, moving it a few inches away, and the waterfall is heard properly, although I'm not sure if it fits the map's atmosphere at that point.
    -Red Ruckus: 4 M(reactor sounds) sprites are used in the final room with the rocket launchers and the Overlord, but without proper range, so they can't be heard properly.

    5. Locator issues
    -Babe Land: Most reconcars in the map don't use hitag to follow the closest locator, and the Reconcars around the area of the pirate HQ will be buggy and fly to the ship instead.
    -Golden Carnage: Coding bug. The map use a two way train and some Reconcar locators as well, but the two train locators have higher picnum, which means Reconcars go buggy and follow an awkward route. The first two of the Reconcar locators need to replaced to make this thing work properly.

    6. Unused/unlinked security cameras
    -Toxic Dump: 1 unlinked security camera in the secret water turbine area. 1 other security camera that uses red palette like the sector around it (near the big waterfall area with the giant crusher), which means it's only allowed in multiplayer. It was very possibly just a mistake, not intentional.
    -Warp Factor: 8(!) security cameras that were unlinked to the level. One could possibly linked to the monitor which shows the forcefield as the exploding drones could be seen there, the others are possibly planned to be linked to the westernmost wing room to show the respawned enemy hordes.
    -Rabid Transit: 2 unlinked security cameras that show the two stations of the map. The monitor can be placed anywhere, the most sensible area is the secret one with the babes.

    7. Leftover sectors and items:
    -Faces of Death: The nukebutton is aligned in the same way as the last wall in the last battlelord area and registers in that sector too... fixed in World Tour.
    -Movie Set: A small, normally unreachable sector with an armor, a large medkit and a holoduke, along with some XXX magazines... belongs to nowhere, but armor and holoduke isn't available in the level.
    -Prima Arena: Many sectors cut from the final version, and it's even declared by the author. Sectors include elevators, exploded caves with pigcops, octabrains and slimers. The map's uncut version is available by Methy on Steam.
    -Prima Arena: A simple square sector that includes touchplates which can trigger some unused respawns to the level. Fits to nowhere.
  3. How old were the pro leveldesigners?

    03 April 2017 - 10:26 AM

    I decided to do some research on the internet and checked out how old were some of the classic pro leveldesigners when they created their pro levels for 3D shooter games. I focused on the old games and their designers only, but other big and smaller pro names and their age would be welcome.

    John Romero (Doom, Quake etc.) was born in 1967, and was 27 when Doom came out
    Tom Hall (Doom, ROTT etc.) was born in 1964, and was 30 when his games came out.
    Levelord was born in 1957, and was 39 when Duke came out.
    Randy Pitchford was born in 1971, and he was only 25, when his Duke levels came out.
    Sandy Petersen (Doom) was born in 1955, and was also pretty "old", 39, when Doom came out.
    Timi Willits (Quake) was born in 1971, and was 25, when Quake came out.

    I don't have much info about Allen Blum, Keith Schuler, Stephen Cole, Robert Travis, James Wilson or Craig Hubbard, there were much less info about them than id software game designers.

    And what's the point of this? I'm just wondering what is the age when people truly can break into professional mapping, which is a different territory to even the best userlevel design. Or in other words: does age matters anyway? Programmers can be extremely young, like Ken Silverman, although IMHO it's a bit different to leveldesign. A math prodigy can do wonders with programming, but to be a good designer, you might need some maturity and experience to truly create something appealing and original scenery and/or mission for a game. But I can be wrong.
  4. Shadow Warrior add-ons (Twin Dragon, WD, etc.)

    13 September 2014 - 04:58 AM

    I'm not sure if Shadow Warrior is really ontopic here, but as I seen a couple of threads of it recently, I decided to create mine too. As I'm really into this game now, just wondering what are the best addons to play for this game. As most of the original levels are top notch, and Wanton Destruction is really good as well, I started playing Twin Dragon for the first time, I got bored by it during the 5th level. Are there any other worthy ones to play?
  5. Ground enemies entering water...

    09 April 2013 - 12:22 PM

    Is it just me or enemies like the Pig Cop, Enforcer or the Newbeast aren't supposed to enter water, let alone underwater.

    The Enforcer's case is particularly annoying, because in the original Duke3d game they were coded to not enter water (just like the Battlelords). Test them in maps like Fusion station, Overlord, Dark Side etc., when they are placed nearby to underwater areas. They are jumping around, but never get submerged. However in EDuke32 the coding has been changed, and the fast moving Enforcer always fall in the nearest water and never gets out of it. It looks and feels buggy.

    The same can be said about the equally fast moving Newbeast, although I don't think they were coded to stay away from water sectors in the original game.... but it's still not normal, except for the Queen fight of course. The Pigcops are slower moving, but still fall in the nearest water when they reach it. And it's not normal as well.

    My point being that these enemies should be coded to avoid water sectors, just like the Battlelord (and Enforcers in the original Duke3d). It should be a normal behaviour for them.

    I didn't mention the Liztoop, because they are somewhat of a special case. They look fine underwater with using their "jetpack", although they shouldn't be just passive swimmers and should attack the player.

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