Duke4.net Forums: MrFlibble - Viewing Profile - Duke4.net Forums

Jump to content

Hide message Show message
Welcome to the Duke4.net Forums!

Register an account now to get access to all board features. After you've registered and logged in, you'll be able to create topics, post replies, send and receive private messages, disable the viewing of ads and more!

Reputation: 640 My posts turn threads into gold
Active Posts:
1,351 (0.42 per day)
Most Active In:
General Gaming (512 posts)
28-April 10
Profile Views:
Last Active:
User is offline Yesterday, 07:47 AM

My Information

Age Unknown
Birthday Unknown
Not Telling Not Telling

Contact Information


Topics I've Started

  1. Modern "retro" FPS corner

    14 November 2018 - 06:08 AM

    Considering the trend appears to be on the rise, I believe that a centralised topic for keeping track of the "retro" FPS titles that appear on the radar would be in order.

    First off let's try to define the term. I would assume that a modern "retro" FPS game explicitly aims to capture the look & feel and/or the design aesthetic of popular FPS titles from the 90s (Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D etc.). The resulting projects seem to vary widely due to different developers' perceptions of what constituted core elements of the 90s FPS formula, nostalgia glasses and this "indie BIG PIXELS" trend that has been observed lately. For simplicity's sake, and not to diminish the scope, let's consider a modern "retro" FPS game any title that has any of the following features (the list is not exhaustive I guess):
    • is a self-proclaimed retro game as stated by developers
    • explicitly mimics features of a known 90s FPS title
    • runs on an authentic engine from the era (Doom, Duke3D, Quake etc.)
    • uses an art style similar to what was common in the 90s (sprites, low-poly models, voxels etc.)
    • avoids modern FPS tropes like regenerating health, limited weapon arsenal the player can carry etc.
    • tries to imitate level design peculiarities like 90 degree walls of the Wolf3D era for example
    • uses any of various techniques to imitate "pixelly", "low-res" look

    Now let's move on to the games themselves, this is not an exhaustive list but what I am aware of are (in no particular order):

    Project Warlock (released 2018) - discussed in a separate thread here.

    Prodeus (WIP) - discussed in a separate thread here.

    Ken's Labyrinth II (WIP) - discussed in a separate thread here.

    RetroBlazer (on hold) - discussed in a separate thread here. A demo was available from the now-offline official site (Wayback Machine link).

    STRAFE (released 2015) - discussed in a separate thread here.

    Wrack (released 2014) - discussed in a separate thread here.

    Dusk (released 2018) - discussed in a separate thread here.

    Wrath: Aeon of Ruin (WIP) - this was apparently announced (sort of) in a thread at Doomworld in 2017, a very early footage is available here. It uses sprites (or at least, used at some point in development) in a very distinct style and aims for a Heretic/Hexen vibe as it seems, but with some firearms too. Some of the WIP stuff shown earlier in the Doomworld thread has been removed though, no info on the developer's website either at this moment. It seems that the project went dark as of now, I wish it stuck with the design of the first video shown.

    In The Kingdom (demo released 2014) - I discovered this project a while ago (not sure when exactly) and it was hard to track down back then. A video discussing it an showing gameplay is available here.

    LAB (v3.0 released 2018) - discovered this just now, Wolf3D/Blake Stone style design, but there are many more like it and often not good quality apparently (as discussed here).

    Membrane (WIP) - a GZDoom engine game.

    The Adventures of Square (Episode 1 released 2014) - a Doom engine game but has a lot of Duke3D vibes going on.

    Harmony (released 2009) - ZDoom engine game.

    Gunload (WIP) - discussed in detail in the development thread.

    Rise of the Wool Ball (released 2017) - excellent game that pays homage to Rise of the Triad, with a distinct art style, uses ZDoom engine.

    Intrude (released 2016) - a Wolf3D knockoff, haven't played it.

    Caesar's Revenge (WIP) - might be worth checking out, there's a dev blog with some interesting visuals.

    Gun Godz (released 2012) - Wolf3D-esque game with low res graphics and Doom-like gameplay and weapons.

    Shaw's Nightmare (released 2013) - runs on the Build engine, aims to play like Doom.

    Gloomy Dungeons 2 (released 2013) - probably even more like those Amiga games along the lines of Alien Breed 3-D or Gloom than Wolf3D.

    Shootrage (WIP)

    This list is obviously incomplete, I found a few titles just now by Googling the subject matter, so any feedback on more games of this type is pretty welcome. I haven't included games that aspire to recreate the 90s style gameplay without sticking to the "retro" visual design aesthetic like Hellbound, Amid Evil or Apocryph, but perhaps we should discuss them as well seeing as how the developers claim to follow the classic 90s gameplay formula.
  2. Scaling sprites by combining waifu2x and xBRZ output

    13 June 2018 - 05:52 AM

    So I was toying around with various ways to scale up video game sprites and managed to produce these results for Duke3D enemies:
    Posted Image
    (this is converted to the Duke3D palette, original image scaled twice using nearest neighbour for comparison).

    Basically, I noticed that waifu2x does a decent job scaling up pre-rendered images, which would make it good for Duke3D sprites if only sprite edges weren't handled so badly. On the other hand, xBRZ can produce very smooth edges but does nothing to enhance image detail.

    The obvious solution was to combine both approaches, keeping xBRZ's smooth edges and the detail that waifu2x can produce.

    So the steps I took to produce the above image:

    1. Assembled the sprites into a single image (obviously). I also created from it a set of solid colour shapes with the colour replacement tool found in GrafX2.

    2. Scaled the sprite sheet to 4x its original size using both waifu2x and the xBRZ Scaler Test. Also scaled up the shape sheet with xBRZ and neutralised all transition colours in the resulting image (again, using GrafX to only keep one colour for shapes and another for the background).

    3. Used the scaled up shape sheet to produce shapes that are 3 pixels thinner (note: if you see a blue outline it's an optical illusion). I did this by treating the shape colour as the background colour (using KolourPaint) and placing four copies of the background around the original image -- this thins the shapes by one line of pixels, and repeating this thrice gives a three-pixel thinning result.

    4. Pasted the thinned shapes over the xBRZ-scaled sprites, getting a thin outline. I also completely removed the outer one pixel thin outline.

    5. Pasted the resulting outline over the waifu2x-scaled sprites, covering the rough edges (resulting image).

    6. I did not like how the 4x sprites came out so I loaded them in GIMP and first converted them to the Duke3D palette and then scaled down to 2x the original size using nearest neighbour method. The result is shown above.

    I'd say the results are pretty interesting, perhaps such sprites could serve as the base for some true high-resolution sprites after touch-up by an artist?
  3. Browser version of EDuke32?

    02 December 2017 - 02:50 AM

    This is just a thought that occurred to me when I recently visited the site of JS-DOS, which is a browser implementation of DOSBox. I was trying to figure out if it had better performance compared to EM-DOSBox, or whatever stuff is used by archive.org's online Classic PC Games collection. JS-DOS happens to have a playable shareware version of Duke3D on their site, which I played a bit to get an idea how well it worked (the answer is: pretty slow), as well as Doom which I then compared to the archive.org version (it seems that JS-DOS is faster in this case).

    Anyways, some time after this it suddenly occurred to me that, given that the source code of Doom is available, there's no reason why a browser-based version should be using an implementation of DOSBox with its obvious performance drawbacks (apart from saving the effort of writing the browser port). After all, there's the official browser version of Wolfenstein 3-D (it doesn't have the aspect ratio correction option sadly). From this, the idea of a browser version of EDuke32 was an obvious logical step further.

    So here's my question: is a play-in-your-browser version of EDuke32 possible? I Googled the topic a bit and did not get any immediate results pointin to the existence of such version. If implemented, would it be as robust in performance as the regular OS-based builds? Personally I think it would be a nice thing to have because such a version is potentially more accessible to many users than other options. A version running on the official site with the shareware episode could become an excellent way to introduce new players to the game. What do you think?
  4. A way to remove some JPEG compression artefacts from old screenshots

    19 September 2017 - 12:08 AM

    The invention of JPEG image format, while bringing many advantages in the era of slow Internet connections, also resulted in a lot of damage to video game screenshots published online back in the day, especially of games using 256 colours or less in their palettes.

    For example, here's an old screenshot from Shadow Warrior (magnified at 2x using nearest neighbour method for better visibility) which was available at 3D Realms website in 1998 (Wayback Machine link):
    Posted Image

    The image is extensively distorted by various JPEG compression artefacts, including one known as "mosquito noise"

    I've been trying to figure out a way to reduce these kinds of artefacts, and came up with the following method using GIMP. The result is shown below:
    Posted Image

    The image is now cleaned up of most of visible mosquito noise while preserving the details. Described below are the steps to achieve this:

    1. Import the source image into GIMP. Personally I prefer to first convert it from JPEG to a lossless format prior to importing but I'm not sure if this makes any difference.

    2. Scale the image to 400% of its original size (which is 1280x800 in the case of a 320x200 image) setting interpolation to None (other software may call this the nearest neighbour interpolation).

    3. Apply Median filter at the redius of 2. To do this, go Filters -> Enhance - > Despeckle, in the dialog box uncheck Adaptive and Recursive (if checked), set Radius to 2, Black level to -1 and White level to 256. In Photoshop, just use the Median filter with the same radius. This will reduce some of the mosquito noise.

    4. Apply selective Gaussian blur (Filters -> Blur -> Selective Gaussian Blur). The Radius and Threshold levels might need to be adjusted for each image individually to achieve adequate mosquito noise removal. For the image above, I used Radius 4 and Threshold 25.

    5. Apply the Pixelise filter (Filters -> Blur -> Pixelise) with pixel width and height both set to 4. This will effectively revert the image to its state when it was scaled up from the original size at 400% with the nearest neighbour interpolation.

    6. Scale the image down to its original size. The Sinc3 interpolation method seems to produce good results here.

    Note that wile this method reduces visible mosquito noise, it does not address other distortions resulting from JPEG compression, such as discolouration, colour distortion, blurring and loss of image detail due to the former. Thus, better quality source images will
  5. Alien Rampage now available from GOG.com

    22 August 2017 - 10:28 AM


    You can get a seven-level shareware here:

All copyrights and trademarks are property of their respective owners. Instead of reading this text, you could be playing Ion Maiden! ;) © 2018 Voidpoint, LLC

Enter your sign in name and password

Sign in options