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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Kyouryuu
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Post by Kyouryuu » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:17 am

I would encourage you to think a little more about the color schemes of the robots. While they all look pretty good individually, when you start seeing them interact together in the mine, I have a feeling that their styles are going to clash.

I think the Descent 3 approach of building robots based on purpose works well. Security robots, miner robots, utility robots, and so on. Within each class, there were similarities. Tubbs, Gyro, and Orbot had very different models, but their texturing was consistent with the security theme - blue, gray, and spinning emergency lamps.

Descent 2, while lacking the explicit robot classes, tended to have robots that complemented the level's scheme. Blue, brown, and green robots in Quartzon, icy blue and white robots in Limefrost Spiral.

Either way, err on the side of muted colors. These are meant to be dirty mining machines, after all. The PTMC is not responsible for putting a fresh coat of firehouse red on every new unit. :D
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Post by Sirius » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:53 am

There will be some problems pulling that off in this set, considering the wide variety of levels present. There's also the little issue with the Descent 2 textures being anything but muted... >.>
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Post by DarkHorse » Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:44 am

I'll need to see where they end up first - changing the textures is a fairly trivial task. If I remember correctly it's even possible to use different textures in different levels.

It would be great if I could bake textures here, but sadly the library is too small in regular D2.

I'm seeing that there are two specific textures that contribute a long way to the believability of these machines though. The more of them I use, the better it looks. Good old grungy metal.
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Re:

Post by Aus-RED-5 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:44 am

DarkFlameWolf wrote:I heard the Bolas still crashes the game when spawned from robot makers.
Regarding one of the custom bots causing program crashes when using in a robot generator: DF, if you send Diedel a test level where that bot gets spawned. He is willing to will look into it and fix it, at least in D2X-XL. ;)
DarkHorse wrote:Apparently that mesh had all of the quads become triangulated. I'm quite surprised that any of these are getting anywhere near 200 faces, but I suppose it's an easy limit to exceed.
EDIT:
The polygon limit in Polytron (model editor) is 400, but judging from the D2X-XL code it is 32767 for all Descent 2 versions. ;)
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:07 am

true, but we're going nowhere near that limit with these robots because we want people to play this with any version of Descent 2. Anyhoo, I'm having a few issues with the robots meshing together in one HXM file and in the levels. Hopefully once they are all done and incorporated into one HXM file, I'll send it to Sirius/Darkhorse and see if they can make them work.
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Post by DarkHorse » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:30 pm

I can cut a few faces from the Bolas if needed. And yeah, if I was doing this in D2-XL, I'd go nuts on the geometry (and the textures, since it supports plenty of resolution for baked detail), but for this version I don't have the luxury.
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Post by Alter-Fox » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:55 pm

If you can change the textures depending on the level, then why don't you texture the robot differently for each D2 \"theme\", and maybe give them different weapons for each theme while you're at it?

Just a suggesion.

BTW - I really like the robot designs, and now that I have D2X-XL working, I'll even be able to face them. ;)
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Post by Sirius » Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:20 pm

...that's an idea. Provided it doesn't involve too many re-UVed models; they can be difficult enough to import as is.
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Post by DarkHorse » Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:32 pm

Yes, I can do that. I've yet to see if we have themes in this level set though.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:27 pm

its mainly geared towards water/lava levels than anything else. Not many ice levels really. A few alien-themed levels near the end. But mostly fire and water. Go figure.
Also, Darkhorse, I am still doing the robot behaviors, right?
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Post by DarkHorse » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:26 pm

Yes.

Are the levels in their final order, and how many are left to go? Personally, I still have part of a secret level which needs completing.

Once the robots are built and the behaviours set, Sirius and I can start working on individual HXMs to suit the levels.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:51 pm

no they are not in their final order, I'm actually awaiting Sirius' final level and Wishmaster's final levels before I arrange them. We'll fit in the secret levels later as we see fit, but I want all 'main' levels so I have a better idea of how they will all fit together. I'm also awaiting an update for a level from Pumo.
As for robots, what do you mean about 'suiting' HXMs to each level? Are you placing the robots in the levels or...? I'm confused there. I have a robot line-up and weapon line-up for the entire set, so I'll send that over your way if that is what you were planning to do.
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Post by DarkHorse » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:45 pm

Nope, just picking textures on the robots to match the colours of the levels. Most likely there will be a set of colour schemes for water, another for lava, and others depending on what other environments are in the set.

Do you intend to add robots to the secret levels as well?
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am

yes, robots to the secret levels, but they will be way more specific in terms of which robots go in which level. For example, my Rolly Polly secret level will probably only have echoes (red hornets) and mantids (diamond claws) with lava replacement textures on them to fit with the level them.
How's this, I'll plug in robots to every level based on my original list that I've sent you. I'll also send you lists of when each robot will be introduced and when each weapon/missile will be introduced. Then you go in and replace the robots with their 'replacement' models you made for them. Since I'll be putting robots in the order you'd find them.
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Post by DarkHorse » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:48 pm

That would be ideal.
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Post by DarkHorse » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:18 am

Fulcrum, replacing E-bandit.

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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:07 am

heh, I think Sirius is having a hard time keeping up with you Darkhorse, I haven't received any new robots in a while. ;) ha ha good work!
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Post by DarkHorse » Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:40 pm

Yeah, that's why I've slowed down a bit. Fixing the Bolas is tricky. We've dropped the polygon count substantially, but for some reason the robot generator still spawns it wrong. I'm beginning to think there's a dimension limit on submodels spawned out of a robot generator.
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Post by DarkHorse » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:24 pm

Nope, vertex limit. Problem solved.
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Re:

Post by Sirius » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:48 pm

Aus-RED-5 wrote:The polygon limit in Polytron (model editor) is 400, but judging from the D2X-XL code it is 32767 for all Descent 2 versions. ;)
The limit is fairly high, I think - at the very least I've never seen anything break it yet. But there are a couple more practical considerations that limit how large you can make robots; firstly, because the polymodel data structure uses 16-bit internal pointers, the further the model goes over 64 KB, the more likely it is for these to break. You would need probably in excess of 1000 polygons to do that though.

There's a much tighter limit, however, when it comes to robot generators; robots with too many more than 200 polygons will crash D2 (ANY version - it crashes XL as well) when they're spawned, while they start rendering funny if the number of points exceeds a similar mark. At least that happens for single-submodel robots - if they have more than one and > 200 polys, D2 just seems to stop rendering submodels after that limit is exceeded.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:40 pm

the juju's mouth seems to be moving strangly in D2, even to the point where it tends to detach itself from the robot. Weird.
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Post by DarkHorse » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:01 am

Warlord, replacing the Boarshead, and Legionnaire, replacing the Ice Spider. Derived somewhat from the D3 Stormtroopers.

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Post by DarkHorse » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:02 am

Decided I want three versions, so I've made another one to replace the PEST as a lower-level bot. Acolyte.

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Post by Sirius » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:26 am

They remind me of squirrels or something...

Noted DFW.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:43 pm

Status on levels:
Wishmaster - last level missing in action, level designer not responding to comms.
Pumo - final change to ice level to be made into a boss level not done, still awaiting word from level designer, may have to do it myself if can't be done.
Sirius - no word on 5th level or its progress. Secret level progress unknown.
Darkhorse - Done with all levels and just recently submitted a rockin' 898 cube secret level wonder I'm still boggled how it all works.
Alter-fox - Done with his lone level.
DarkFlameWolf - Done with all levels.

Robot updates haven't been as frequent lately, possibly due to more hectic real life for Sirius.
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Post by Sirius » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:25 am

Yeah, it does pretty much seem that way. Final level is actually in progress now, with most of the cube structure set. I just have to work out what to do with some of the more peripheral details, then things should proceed quickly.
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Post by DarkHorse » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:22 am

Gatling (TRN Racer) done, and another bot to replace the Bulk Destroyer is currently underway but awaiting some textures.

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Post by DarkHorse » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:25 pm

Komodo (Bulk Destroyer):
Panels in front of the missile launchers roll out of the way when it fires.

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Somnambulant (Thief):

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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:34 pm

with the exception of the 6 bosses (WHICH WE WON'T REVEAL HERE), what's left on the normal robots?
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Post by DarkHorse » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:09 pm

BPER and PIG replacements. I've got concepts for both of them.
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Post by Pumo » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:10 pm

Wow, those robots looks superb! :o

I want to make hi-quality robots like those for my mission :P
(and i'm trying to ;) )

Anyway, i've finished the boss arena for my Ice level DarkWolf, so check it out ;)
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:13 pm

well at least five of your levels will have these cool new robots!
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Post by Dakatsu » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:04 pm

This looks totally awesome, cant wait!
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Post by DarkHorse » Thu May 01, 2008 5:04 am

One left. Harpoon, for the PIG. Similar design to the Angler but fatter with engines at the sides.

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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Thu May 01, 2008 7:23 am

whew, Sirius has some catching up to do! lol
I still need a few adjustments on the Kalki that Sirius knows of at the moment.
Also, Sirius, was that last level supposed to be a boss level? If so, Pumo gave me a ice boss level a while back. If it isn't too much trouble, we can just replace textures to make it fit another theme and keep it a boss level and replace textures for an existing level to be an ice level to replace yours in the ice section. We'll eventually work this all out of course, but want to get clarification on if your recent was a boss level.
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Post by DarkHorse » Thu May 01, 2008 1:23 pm

To my knowledge, Sirius was working on a boss level.
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Post by DarkHorse » Thu May 01, 2008 2:06 pm

Last preview. Piper, replacing BPER. It's a revisit of the Class 1 Driller.

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Post by Sirius » Thu May 01, 2008 6:16 pm

It was a boss level, and it wouldn't make sense to make it non-boss. Changing textures would be possible, although it'd need its name changed as well. The best alternative considering the start room would be either fire or water.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Thu May 01, 2008 6:24 pm

we have a lot of water and a lot of fire, but we can definitely make it alien fire theme. For example, levels 17-20 of the original campaign, of that theme. So that is a definite possibility. I don't have a boss level yet for that theme.
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Post by Sirius » Fri May 02, 2008 12:02 am

That makes sense.
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