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Would you play an awesome 50 level Descent 1 mission set?
Heck yes!  54%  [ 13 ]
I'd give it a shot.  29%  [ 7 ]
Probably not.  4%  [ 1 ]
Why not Descent 2?  4%  [ 1 ]
Because Descent 1 is better.  8%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 24
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 Post subject: Thoughts on a 50 level (now 25) Descent 1 set
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:37 pm 
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This is a long post, readers beware:

Now due to the modular nature of Sniper's Descent Database, I could release preliminary copies of the level set before all 50 levels are finished and have people test them as I make them, or I could simply wait and release them all at once. Furthermore, I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to come up with ideas for 48 unique levels (Sirius is taking care of two). So this modular setup may work well with other designers who are willing to submit a few levels to the set.
Problem is, the last time this happened, my 'Vignette' idea was misinterpreted and we got much larger and less concept focused ideas. Although this ultimately turned out good for the Enemy Within, it fell short of what I wanted for the set. So for anyone who thinks a modular level set made by many authors is a good idea and wants to submit a level for the set, they must first play through all the levels currently in the set now to get a FIRM idea of what exactly I'm looking for when I mean \"SMALL, CONCEPT LEVELS.\"
There are also some guidelines when it comes to making these levels, one cannot simply just make whatever and have it be a part of the set, there are a few things that unify the entire set amongst the levels, here are some basic rules I've established in the 14+ levels already completed:
-1 Must be for Descent 1, obviously. So all Descent 1 limitations to level design probably apply.
-2 When played through without any robots, you should be able to complete the level in less than 2 minutes, preferably one minute. REASON: These are called Vignettes for a REASON, they are supposed to be short and sweet, no big or medium sized levels. Make a level to fill an idea or concept, nothing more. (play my levels to see what I mean)
-3 No bosses, just the reactor at the end, Sirius is handling the two boss levels.
-4 Once reactor is blown, we'll have fully developed exit tunnels. The exit tunnels must be, in some way, connected to the overall level. For people wanting to make a level, please play through the set currently to see plenty of examples to see exactly what I mean by this. NOTE: Remember that the last cube, the player must exit the mine THROUGH side 5, so make sure side 5 has the 'end of exit tunnel' flag on it.
-5 There must be one energy center in each level, nor more and no less. This is not to say that the energy center can't be comprised of more than 1 cube or that the cubes are separated within the room. It just means there must be 'one energy room' per level. Also, the door leading to the energy center MUST have door 08. Its a unifying feature of the entire set.
-6 There must be at least one robot matcen, but you can have as many as you'd like in the level, within reason based on where the level will fall in the 50 set line-up. Furthermore, the more 'secret doors' that open revealing robots after a key is taken, etc., the better. I'd like more than just resorting to a robot maker to punish players, but having actually level geometry revealed as you play is nice.
-7 There must be one hostage cell (or cells) in the level with a total of 4 hostages, no more, and no less. This is more of an 'on a whim' number I picked, but I'm sticking with it throughout the levels.
-8 Whenever there is a blue, yellow, red key in the level, there must be a specific Metl098 texture applied somewhere behind the key in its cube. This is more of a unifying aesthetic in the set.
-9 There must be EXACTLY one secret area per level. The secret level can be as simple as a single box cube behind a hidden door to a grand detailed, involved secret area, its all up to you and the design of the level.
-10 Quality is a must, I cannot stress this enough. For anyone curious as to the type of quality I'd prefer in the set, you are free to look through the levels I currently have created to get a taste of what I'm expecting. We want this set to be a cohesive whole, not something disjointed. Just because a level is short, simple and sweet doesn't mean your architecture has to be. :)

Now as for other rules of the set, I'm breaking down the key setup, item placement and robot placement for the set. As a general rule, I set up robots to be spawned from Matcens, place blue, yellow, red keys in their respective areas, the reactor and player 0. Beyond that, I've kept all levels empty of all other items and robots pending final level order, etc.

Key placement:
the set is divided up into 5 sets of 10 levels. With each set being a single theme. Levels 1-2 of each 10 part set ONLY has a red key. So these should be relatively short. Levels 3-5 only have the blue and red keys. So they are just as short, but take a bit longer. (Although Sirius didn't get this memo when he started work on level 25 boss level.) Levels 6-10 of each part will have all three keys. So keep these in mind when designing each level. Remember also that each level must be beaten without robots, just plain flying through, in around 2 mins max. (Vignettes, remember!)

Robot placement in order of their appearence:
Level 1 - Class 1 Drone / Class 2 Drone
Level 2 - Small Hulk
Level 4 - Medium Lifter
Level 5 - Medium Hulk / Cloaked Lifter
Level 7 - Class 3 Gopher / Secondary Lifter
Level 8 - Supervisor Bot / Cloaked Hulk
Level 10 - Super Hulk
Level 15 - Class 1 Platform / Class 1 Driller
Level 18 - Spider / Small Spider
Level 20 - Cloaked Driller / Advanced Lifter
Level 23 - PTMC Defense
Level 26 - Class 2 Platform
Level 30 - Class 1 Heavy Driller
Level 31 - Fusion Hulk

Item placement - These will be heavily controlled throughout the set to create a sense of progression through the entire fifty level set. Since there is only one secret area per level, it further helps 'control' just how far 'ahead' a player can get in the set. Also, whenever a item is in paranthesis in the list below, that means the player can get that item EARLY in the set via a secret area, and it will later be listed without the paranthesis when the player can get that same item normally outside of a secret area. Also, just because an item (eg. Fusion Cannon) shows up in Paranthesis in a level 5 levels earlier than the player would normally get it, doesn't mean it only shows up in secret areas on just that one level, it could show up anywhere between the first time it become available to the time its received outside of a secret area.
Level 1 - Concussion Missiles (Level 2 Laser)
Level 2 - Level 2 Laser (Proximity Bomb)
Level 3 - Proximity Bomb (Level 3 Laser)
Level 4 - Level 3 Laser
Level 5 - Homing Missile (Level 4 Laser)
Level 6 - Level 4 Laser (Vulcan Cannon / Vulcan Ammo)
Level 7 - Vulcan Cannon / Vulcan Ammo
Level 9 - (Spreadfire)
Level 10 - Spreadfire
Level 12 - (Quad Laser)
Level 14 - Quad Laser (Smart Missile)
Level 15 - Smart Missile
Level 18 - Plasma Cannon (Mega Missile)
Level 20 - (Fusion Cannon)
Level 25 - Fusion Cannon / Mega Missile

Level List:
Here is a comprehensive level list of levels completed, levels in progress and levels unclaimed:

Metal/Base levels -
Level 1 : Shaft Complex (100%)
Level 2 : The Pit (100%)
Level 3 :
Level 4 : The Crescent Moon (Post-Poned)
Level 5 : Jail Compound (100%)
Level 6 :
Level 7 :
Level 8 :
Level 9 : Dropshaft (100%)
Level 10 : Grated Catwalk (100%)

Water/Green Levels -
Level 11 : Submerged (100%)
Level 12 : Inner Tubing (100%)
Level 13 : The Crossing (Post-Poned)
Level 14 :
Level 15 : The Sewers (100%)
Level 16 : Sprial Falls (Post-Poned)
Level 17 :
Level 18 : The Riverbed (100%)
Level 19 :
Level 20 : The Great Escape (5%)

Fire/Lava/Red Levels -
Level 21 :
Level 22 : Under Tuck (100%)
Level 23 : Roundabout (100%)
Level 24 : The Black Rock (85%)
Level 25 : Into The Fire (100%)
Level 26 : Stalagtite Volcano (100%)
Level 27 :
Level 28 :
Level 29 :
Level 30 : To The Top (100%)

Ice/Blue/Water Levels -
Level 31 : Observatory Row (70%)
Level 32 :
Level 33 : Ice Tower (100%)
Level 34 :
Level 35 : Stack the Deck (Post-Poned)
Level 36 : The Central Pillar (100%)
Level 37 : Command Post (100%)
Level 38 :
Level 39 :
Level 40 :

Purple/Alien/Rock/Weird Levels -
Level 41 :
Level 42 :
Level 43 : Vertigo Tube (100%)
Level 44 : Alien Tunnels (100%)
Level 45 : The Funnel (Post-Poned)
Level 46 : Grand Hall (100%)
Level 47 : Spiked Exterior (Post-Poned)
Level 48 :
Level 49 : Forgotten Fortress (100%)
Level 50 : Sirius Boss Level (?%)

So there you have it. I'm still not sure if I should make this public and upload it to the database as a ongoing community project or keep it close to the vest and have it be solely mine. But the reason I want to entertain this idea is because due to my upcoming move due to military and the upcoming baby I'm going to have, I highly doubt I'll have time to finish this ambitious project. I'll try to finish all the ideas I've set up above that are still 0%, but the unclaimed/unnamed levels inbetween, I'm not entirely sure about that. Regardless if all 50 levels are completed or not, the work will get released to the public. So Sirius, keep plugging away at those boss levels, they will NOT go to waste. :) So ideas, thoughts, comments?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Well, IMO this is looking very good as it is, and i wouln't add anything else to the main idea of the project (as i also wanted to see a more Vignettes project than Enemy Within), although i think that making public releases of the WIP may not be a bad idea at all.

Regarding level design, i could make some levels, since you're asking for small 2-minute levels (unlike Enemy Within and more like the original Vignettes concept) i might take my time to do it.

However, i can't promise a straight number of desired levels. I might only do 1 or 2 levels 'cause i'm busy on Pumo Mines and real life, but i wish to make even more if time is on my side 8)

So plz count with me! you WILL see at VERY LEAST 1 level from me!:D (although i'm hoping to make maybe 4)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:26 pm 
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well, however many levels you ultimately make, I'll take whatever you can give me. However, I highly suggest that you wait until I send you the current Vignettes hog file so you can play through the set as it is and get a clear, solid idea of what is needed for the level set. Because let's face it, your levels for TEW, weren't exactly 'concept-focused.' But they were still awesome as they were! Just not what I'd call a 'Vignette' idea. So I suggest you wait until you play through it currently before you start planning. I don't have time tonight to send it to you, but maybe tomorrow. We'll collab later on the specifics and which level slots and concepts you will be doing. And if you have any questions, feel free to clarify with me.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:49 pm 
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OK, i will wait 'til you can send the mission HOG to me, so i can check the style of the mission in depth. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:30 am 
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its been sent, hope you get a clear idea of what I want as a 'vignette' idea. The entire level should effectively focus AROUND that idea and not much else. As long as it follows the 'unifying' constraints above, you'll be good no matter what you do.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:57 pm 
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Finally after several days with lack of time, i've started to make a level for this set. It will be a red one and i've got already a nice idea for the level 'theme' (i mean the general concept of it as a vignette)

I won't promise to make it very fast, but at least you can be sure that you'll see a new level for the
Fire/Lava/Red scheme. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:33 pm 
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glad someone is working. I've been kinda dragging my knuckles lately on this project for a variety of reasons. Sirius is busy with his thesis and other real life things and you dropped off the charts for a while. So yeah, I've no clue where its at, at this moment. lol
But good luck on the level Pumo, try to follow the rules outlined above to keep the level set cohesive throughout the levels. That is all. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:45 am 
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Sirius finished his thesis about three weeks ago.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:35 am 
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Well, I can say I've started now at least. Experimented with illegal cube geometries but it looks like the hit detection is broken so I decided not to keep them that way. Thus I may not be able to do anything *really* weird but I wasn't relying on that, at least.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:37 pm 
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cool beans, I can't wait to see either level! I'm currently starting up again on my levels, it was a long road really. I had a solid idea up front about the two I'm working on at the moment, but no real back-up ideas to 'round' out the level concept. Which is why I've been dragging a bit. I'd get the 'core' room or concept finished and then was at a loss as to how to fill in the rest of the level to go with it.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:22 am 
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Getting fairly close on #25... just finished my UV projection routine for .blx files which I'm experimenting with for a couple rooms. Still need to build the boss room, but that accounts for most of what's left. Apart from the easy texture work I guess.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:22 am 
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good to hear that Sirius, I'm eagerly awaiting your levels! I'm excited to see what you've come up with.
Anyhoo, here's a screenshot update, its still being worked on, I assure you. Just a bit slow going due to real life.
Image


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:59 am 
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I need to try to figure out how to get third-party D1 levels to be detected by D2X-XL at some point as well... would kind of like to see what my level looks like with lightmaps. It's done apart from the last room now.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:03 pm 
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um? I made tons of third party D1 levels, D2X-XL runs them just fine, you having problems with it? O_o


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:49 pm 
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It doesn't find them. It finds First Strike, but when I copied my level from the D1 folder to the D2 missions one, XL seems to ignore it. I'll likely work it out eventually.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:31 am 
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There is an option in the game menus to recognize the D1 levels. Did you click on that? If not, I can always test your levels! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:54 pm 
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Didn't see one. I'll look again soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:50 pm 
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Missions directory was full.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:03 pm 
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is that even possible? LOL


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:15 pm 
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In the original set. yes it is. You're allowed only 100 levels.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:01 pm 
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whew, here's a nice update:
I am currently working on and trying to finish up 3 individual levels with Sirius finishing up his second and last level. That should put the overall level count to: 24-25 levels. That should be more than enough for a preliminary release.
You see, with real life intruding, its getting harder and harder to finish this level set. As a result, it won't ever reach its 50 level mark anytime soon. So once the last four levels are completed, we'll polish it up and release it to you all for playing. And should people follow the guidelines above for submitting levels, we can always add in levels and continue to update the set until we reach our 50. But until then, expect a nice 25~ level romp through interesting Descent design concepts! And believe me, some are weird!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Man, that looks awesome. What a bold endeavor you are undertaking here. I wish you the best of luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:56 pm 
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I'm wrapping up my last two levels and Sirius is working on his final level. It should be released in a month or so depending.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:18 pm 
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If you decide to release partial sets for testing, post it here. I'd love to test 'em out. I'm working on my own d1 project atm, but I'll test yours if you need it. I probably won't finish my set before you do yours, but if I do, I'd send in a few levels.

One note-might wanna delay the quad's a bit. Lvl4quads>everything else in most cases.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:19 pm 
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EEk! A double Post! Curses!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:11 pm 
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noted, check my first post, the location of the quads has changed.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:12 pm 
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Thanks

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:09 pm 
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its only going to be about 25 levels, half of what was originally planned, but 25 is better than 0 yes? And any new Descent levels is better than no new Descent levels! All that's left is the second and final boss level Sirius is working on and I'll say its good for release, until then, its on standby.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:03 am 
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Well, Descent 1 is great on account of the textures being more industrial-like, and less naturalistic like D2. It gives a more raw feel than D2, certainly a pleasant one.

On another note, I would LOVE to contribute but I simply put suck at the level editor. Damn, guess I'll work on it a bit and try to come up with something in the future!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:45 pm 
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To my knowledge, Descent 1 does not support such a large number of levels in one mission file. Descent 2 I think does, but I could be totally off. I'd prefer Descent 2 because of its better weapons and improved programming (comparing retail with retail).


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:54 pm 
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yeah, either way, we'll never know! LOL Because it fits within the parameters of the original mission.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:12 pm 
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Okay, the level set is missing its final boss level by Sirius, but so far this level set is by far, the funnest set I've ever played for Descent. I kid you not, and it isn't because I made it. Its just....fun! I play a lot with the descent gameplay mechanics and I put the player in a bunch of new situations that wasn't normally present in the original Descent game. And also due to the fact that the robot line-up and weapon line-up was so perfectly balanced that it makes the set that much more fun. I don't think I've ever had the pure joy of running into a room with a bunch of class 1 and class 2 platforms with a bunch of medium lifters all coming after my ass in a wide-open dogfighting room of detailed proportions. Its an exhilirating feeling and one where I sincerely hope to share with you all soon! I'm just waiting for a finished product before I release this. No reason to release the set yet if it doesn't even have a last level! LOL
Almost done people!

Screenies!
ImageImage
ImageImage
ImageImage


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:54 am 
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Sweet! Looks epic. I'd appreciate it if you could take a look at my Descend Again thread. Maybe not up to par w\\ this, but I'm looking to get better.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:05 pm 
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Here's a bonus screenie of the second secret level:
Image

Its so detailed, I used all 800 cubes to make the level.


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Its finished. Just some extra testing and it should be finalized. I'll make a separate thread for it when its out. Everyone be prepared for some awesome Descent 1 fun. I had major fun times playing through this set.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:24 pm 
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Come to think of it, 50 levels would be rather excessive. If you broke it up into parts, like different mission files with several sets, it might be more practical and more enjoyable.


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AOL: DarkFlameWolfie
Location: Lousiana
Zantor, old news, check the Descent Vignettes released thread, its 25 levels + 2 secret. So we never did do 50 levels.


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