Call out to all D2 level designers (old and new)!

The place to promote and link to Descent levels - both multiplayer and singleplayer - D1, D2 and D3.

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Descent Vignettes a good idea?

Yes! And I'll be contributing!
7
28%
Yes! I'd love to play it when its done!
17
68%
No.
1
4%
 
Total votes: 25
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Post by DarkHorse » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:58 am

Well, it would be working if I hadn't just found a number of hard-coded blockers. Most of the gauges require black backgrounds and the cockpit bitmap is drawn on top of the text at the top of the screen.
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Reflections on the new robots

Post by DarkFlameWolf » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:43 am

Upon initial testing, and some time to think about it, here are my first reflections on the new robots:

Acolyte:
Image
This is a fairly decent robot that shoots a flurry of concussion missiles your way. Its aim is fairly bad, so you can probably dodge and weave around them, but in close quarters, the splash damage make this guy dangerous. Problem for you? I know about this and make sure he takes full advantage of close quarters.

Angler
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Annoying little robot that fires light vulcan and a concussion missile your way. He's very fast and quick on the draw, think IT Droid and you get the idea. Thankfully a simple shot or two will deplete his minimal shields in no time.

Bolas
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Very deadly robot where his primary phoenix cannon will distract you from the real threat, that smart missile he just fired at a wall behind you, and the homing plasma is now headed to your backside! Always keep track of where that smart missile went as you're weaving through his phoenix fire!

Sapper
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The robots that almost always spawn from a Bolas, in groups they are pesky and annoying; when found single, they aren't that bad. They have slower phoenix fire than their main unit, but that doesn't mean you should ignore them. Unfortunate that Bolas are usually placed near other robots to distract you so these Sappers can overwhelm you once the Bolas is defeated and you're focusing on other robots.

Echo
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A VERY (and I mean VERY) tiny robot that is very hard to see and is just as annoying. It tends to zip around your ship trying to fire on you while you're trying to figure out just where the heck it went! Small, pesky, annoying.

Fulcrum
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A very deadly robot that drains your energy faster than a normal E-bandit would. That and coupled with its energy pulse when attacked by energy weapons and its lighting quick speed and dodging tactics make this one robot to take out quickly. Beware on harder skill levels where they are even faster than the Mantid.

Gatling
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A fairly dangerous robot with a 'quick-on-the-draw' helix cannon. It usually pairs itself up with more powerful robots and tends to bum rush you while assaulting you with multitudes of helix fire. It spins on a dime and fires without hestitation, a very dangerous robot.

Golem
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Do NOT get near this thing; try to attack it without attracting its attention first. It has PLAYER (not robot) smart missiles. Think Boss 1 from level 7 of Descent 1 and you get the idea of his weaponry. He can fire as many as 4-5 on higher skill levels at any one time. This is one robot that can kill you in a few seconds flat. Flash missile it and kill it.

Harpoon
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A very deadly robot early on when you don't have many attack options. Its phase energy release is deadly in early levels, but once you have more powerful weaponry, this robot ceases to be that much of a problem.

Juju
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An awkward robot that rarely poses any challenge at all throughout most of the mission. However it has the unique ability to stay in the background while you focus on other robots and it tries to drain your shields with its level 6 lasers. But that's not the only threat this robot poses, it has a sneaky energy pulse and spawns....

Sprite
Image
The juju will normally spawn 3-4 of these nasty robots. Think Green Hornet from the final few levels of the D2 Counterstrike mission and you get an idea of the tenacity and bothersome nature these robots pose. They are quick, fast, love to dodge incoming fire and attack without mercy with level 4 lasers. Sometime it is better to let sleeping Jujus lie. heh.

Kalki
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Probably THE single most deadly non-boss robot in the entire mission. With a homing flash missile and infinite homing omega cannon fire, this robot can deplete your shields and make you helpless like no other robot can. You don't even want to have the robot 'think' you're in the area when you go to attack it. Its best to destroy them before they even know you are there, they are THAT deadly.

Komodo
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For such a small robot, he packs a wild punch with rapid fire homing missiles. On higher skill levels, he has been known to bum rush you with a flurry of homing missiles in your face. On the bright side, he has weak shielding and can be taken down with minimal firepower.

Legionaire
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A very standard robot in terms of difficulty. His primary is plasma cannon and secondary is mercury missile. But he's usually found in the vicinity of much stronger, more deadly robots, making him a secondary target. A role he loves to play and catch you off guard.

Mantid
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The robot that makes Diamond Claws obsolete. It has a top speed of 120 in game on the highest skill level and will definitely push your ship around, literally. I've once entered a room and got blindsided by a Mantid and I'm already clear across the room, he pushed me that bad. These guys are dangerous!

Meson
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A fairly docile robot. It tends to stay in one place and let its spreadfire do the talking. In the early levels, this robot can be tricky to fight because of its energy pulse and your lack of vulcan/gauss ammo. But in the later stages of the mission, it only serves to become a nuisance rather than a threat.

Morning Star
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These usually spawn Anglers, so that increases their threat level. Their weaponry, light vulcan and a flash missile, isn't anything to write home about, but the fact they can add 'more' robots rather than less upon destruction, push them to the back priority when you're in a room with more dangerous robots. Just don't forget to mop them up when you're done with the rest.

Mule
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A robot not often seen in the mission, but it still can hold its own. With fast rapid-fire phoenix cannon, this is a very dangerous robot. It has weak shielding and I know this. So it usually pairs itself up in the vicinity of stronger, more deadlier robots, so that it can fire from the background without fear, since you're probably more concentrated on the stronger bots.

Parasite
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Basically the Omega robot with an energy pulse, forcing you to use precious Vulcan/Guass ammo to destroy it for lack of wanting to dodge pulse charges. Other than that, its a pretty basic kamikaze robot. Tends to be forgotten when in the middle of a big firefight, don't let that happen to you. That's a bad day.

Piper
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The superior replacement model to the Class 1 Driller from Descent 1. He is just as deadly if not worse. He has a smaller frame to hit and his self-awareness is insanely acute. His hestiation to fire upon seeing you is about nilch, and he can deplete over half your energy in a few seconds with his vulcan cannon. Fire from afar with homing weaponry and eliminate him before he becomes too much a threat.

Somnambulant
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The worst thief you can ever encounter in the mines. He is much faster than a normal thief, has a bit more health, and has a wicked energy pulse when hit with energy based weapons. Think the thief couldn't get any worse? Think again.

Terapinner
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These guys are as bad as the Sniper NGs of the Vertigo missions. Upon sight, they will fire almost instantaneous guass shots to pummel your ship. They are also quite adept at dodging a lot of your shots, either via their small frame or simply their speed. This puts them on my annoyance list. Bright side? Weak shielding, so it doesn't take a lot to bring them down.

Warlord
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Not seen often, but they make their presence known whenever they are seen. With fusion cannon as primary and a mega missile as secondary, you can tell this robot is out to kill you. Its best to fight him in wide open spaces to better dodge his fire, but again, I know about this blessing and so I've put a few where you can't do that. Good luck! Hehehe.....

Now for the bosses, I won't spoil everything, so here is a sneak peek:

Boss 1: Raptor
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Weaponry: Guass Cannon/Homing Missile
Not terribly dangerous, but if you find the secret cloaks and invuls, he is easy as pie. Only problem is the mass amount of echoes in his arena.

Boss 2: Ghast
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Weaponry: Fast Phoenix Cannon/PLAYER Mercury Missile
He's slightly harder than the first boss of the set; and his PLAYER mercury missile secondary make him downright dangerous. Trying to dodge a insanely fast weapon while focusing on his flurry of Phoenix fire will definitely put your skills to the test.

Boss 3: Chimera
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Weaponry: PLAYER Smart Missile/Homing Missile
Just as deadly as boss 1 from Descent 1. Thankfully, he has a much bigger arena to duke it out in. unfortunately, that arena is filled with robot makers. Its not going to be an easy battle.

Boss 4: Sagittaire
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Weaponry: Omega Cannon/Mega Missile
With the type of small arena you find this boss in + robot makers + his weapon loadout + only damageable by vulcan/guass, you are probably going to be hurting. This is one boss that I wouldn't mind utilizing those megas and earthshakers I've collected, you can always find more.

Boss 5: Senbonzakura
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Weaponry: Mega Missile/Homing Flash Missile
I'll say it: his weak point is on his back. Now good luck trying to get to it. Kalkis are stationed and spawned to protect this boss. If you can successfully eliminate his entourage and take him one-on-one, you might have a chance.

Boss 6: Hangman
Image
Weaponry: Fusion Cannon/Earthshaker Missile
Small arena, tough robot guardians, and has earthshaker missile to boot. This is not a battle easily won. That and he probably has the most health of any boss you've probably faced in any Descent campaign, both official and user made. Good luck Descenters!

Wolfie out!
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Post by Duper » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:16 pm

some very nice bots there wolf. Well done!
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:21 am

you should actually be thanking Darkhorse and Sirius, they brought these robots to life, I simply gave them robot behaviors, a far less strenuous task.
Anyhoo, Darkhorse, Sirius, is anyone working on the 'The Enemy Within' title splash screen page for the intro part of the briefing and for the background for the credits?
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Post by DarkHorse » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:05 pm

Not yet. I've got to finish some work for a contract today and then I'll be splitting time between this and the Crysis mod. Haven't had time to finish the cockpit yet.

For the meanwhile I'd say just start the beta as soon as Sirius sends you the HXM files. We'll get it hosted, I'll keep working on the graphics and should have them done by the end of the month.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:23 pm

cool beans, then we're looking for a release date sometime in September? Early October?

Speaking of which, we now need testers for the project. We need dedicated testers who are willing to spend 3-4+ hours a day (hopefully) in playing this mission and exploring and testing every aspect of the mission set. You are also free to get all answers as to how to open up a variety of secrets including all the earthshaker missiles both in and out of every secret level and all secrets, mainly to test out to see if all triggers work and that all parts of every level can be reached. So if you feel like you can do this and provide consistent, frequent feedback to us, then sign up here.
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Post by Top Wop » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:30 pm

Im not sure I can put in THAT many hours since I work and such, but I can definitely give it some time each week.
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Post by Alter-Fox » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:14 pm

I'd love to test it, but unfortunately I'll be starting university in September and probably won't have much time to play it. (Also, if the robots are as powerful as you make them out to be, I probably won't be able to complete level 1 without cheats. (I always play on trainee. I can't complete any levels on any higher difficulty, and sometimes I can't even complete them on trainee.))
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Post by Aus-RED-5 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:13 pm

I can do some testing if you like this weekend.

How many hours? Dunno, but I can put in a few for sure...... but I can't promise 3 to 4 hours.

I'm a \"busy\" (cough...lazy...cough) person. :lol:
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Post by Alter-Fox » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:01 pm

Oops! I thought you meant that the testing would be in September. I could probably get enough testing time in this weekend and even next week (and maybe even tommorow!) So I'm all for it.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:03 pm

testing should start soon.
My favorite levels so far are:
level 3
level 9
level 13
level 15
level 19
level 21
level 26
And really all 4 secret levels, they're all good.
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Post by DarkHorse » Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:52 pm

Now that testing is open, we need to do a multiplayer game of some sort to check that the ship model is working correctly. So far I've just had brief glimpses of it exploding.
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Post by Aus-RED-5 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:25 pm

What are you looking for - in regards to working correctly?

With D2X-XL, you can ctrl + alt + s to view the ship in any direction.

Image
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Post by DarkHorse » Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:33 am

Actually, it occurs to me that markers could do the job.
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Post by DarkHorse » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:55 am

Done some more work on the cockpit, but there's still three things I need to fix on the model and another two I need to redo on the HUD graphics. No wonder this hasn't been done very often.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:00 am

that and the ship needs to be shrunk for versions other than d2-XL.
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Post by Dakatsu » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:42 pm

Don't know where I am to give feedback, but the level 2 blue key room is way too small to fit into.
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Post by d3jake » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:43 pm

I had little problem fitting with Rebirth, though I've found a few random errors with XL, I'll wait for DarkFlameWolf to make a \"bug report\" thread before listing everything.
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Post by Sirius » Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:38 pm

I shall do it. :)
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Post by DarkHorse » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:55 am

Cockpit is most of the way there now.

High-res cockpit complete
Low-res cockpit 80%, needs one more alteration
High-res status bar complete
Low-res status bar complete
High-res reticle complete
Low-res reticle not started
High-res rear view not started
Low-res rear view not started
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:13 am

And I think it looks spectacular Darkhorse. :)
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Post by DarkHorse » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:17 pm

Thanks Wolf.

Just down to the rear view graphic now. Back to 3D modelling again.
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Post by DarkHorse » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:11 pm

All graphics completed. Processing the palettes now - with 131 images to load into 5 different .pogs this is going to be a tedious process. :|
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Post by DarkHorse » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:02 am

Cockpits completed. Because you need a separate .pog for each level, it adds 5MB to the file size. Otherwise it'd be about one.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:18 am

are you taking into account the pogs already existing for certaio levels?

EDIT: okay, I see that you did already. Cockpit looks nice.
However when I hit F3 to go to the cockpit status bar that runs along the bottom ONLY, the new graphics don't show up? Also some of the graphical enhanvements to the weapon energy bar and others don't show up like they do in your screenshots, why is that?
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Post by Sirius » Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:49 am

Apparently D2X-XL can read .sng files from HOGs themselves. Considering their size (tiny), it might be worth including it there as well as outside; would remove some of the hassle for at least a part of the userbase.

Apart from that, what's your stance on .lgt/.clr files for lightmapping? Other D2 versions just ignore them, but they do make a difference for controlling how stuff appears under the effects of e.g. coloured lighting.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:10 am

I honestly don't think we need them since only one version of D2 utilizies them, but if you want, you can apply those to all levels, but I'm not encouraging you too.
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Post by DarkHorse » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:58 pm

Hand me a screenshot Wolf, I'm not seeing any problems at all on my end.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:35 pm

pics sent.
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Post by Sirius » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:23 pm

Most of the time it wouldn't make much difference. There are a few exceptions though; take what level 7 is (more or less) supposed to look like in D2:

Image

And what it looks like in XL without .lgt/.clr:
Image

...and with:
Image

I might perhaps be able to put lights behind them though... there's a chance the water texture will still work under those circumstances.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:54 pm

ah, I see now. Interesting. I haven't made any significant changes or any at all to level 7, so whatever you have currently in the latest hog file is probably most current.
But I've made a few changes to quite a few other levels.
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Post by Sirius » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:33 pm

Actually I tweaked the lighting values for that one. I was originally using the water as a light source, but that disappeared after extra lights were added.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:21 am

you can send me an updated copy when you're done and I'll plug it in.
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