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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:46 am 
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How would you like to add a "Bonus Level" [like the challenge level in TEW, only like this]:

A small non-boss_arena section from each level (in order), with a standard size cube inbetween ( for a custom graphic stating the level from which the section came from and the author of that level),
Then all the boss arenas with their respective bosses and robots (in their respective positions),
Then an all new, custom design boss, in a custom arena.

Remember that the Bonus Level is only accessible after the Doomsday Warstation boss is destroyed.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:17 am 
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I don't think a challenge level would work for this set, nor is it particularly needed. In the case of TEW it worked because of all those new boss ships. There's not much reason to make the player look at those 10 old bosses for the THIRD time.

Oh, and please don't get started on "We should change the bosses, then." :P

Just keep it simple and oldschool.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:26 am 
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No offense LightWolf, but Xfing's had a clear idea for this mission set for three or more years now and I don't think he's about to change the vision he had in mind so drastically. And since he's the project manager, it's probably best to go by what he says he has in mind rather than suggesting out-of-left-field ideas at every opportunity.

That said, I'd love to do at least one level for every D2 system as well as Beta Ceti... though I've also been thinking over the last two secret levels, but no promises if I can come through with nine or more levels for the set. I think what I'd like to try next is Salt Distillation Facility, R'eeie or Zandura II unless someone's already claimed those.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:10 pm 
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I do have Zandura II clamed. However, if you wish, you can take on the secret level.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:16 pm 
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Come to think of it, I would like to do Sloht'lloapsie Perimeter.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:58 pm 
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LightWolf wrote:
I do have Zandura II clamed. However, if you wish, you can take on the secret level.


Well, thanks for informing me NOW. Better late than ever I guess :P

As for the other thing, it's pretty much as NT said. Everyone who contributes levels does so only because they're nice enough to do so, no one is making anyone do anything. My vision is quite clear, and you can like it or not like it. But some people apparently wish to add some of their input to make that vision more appealing. For which I'm grateful :)

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:20 pm 
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If it would work out, can "'All Hope Is Lost' Perimeter" be the Puuma Sphere level with the Alien 2 (Tycho Brahe) boss, if it isn't already? And, can I make Quartzon Planetary Vault?

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:30 pm 
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If you're good at making puzzles then by all means go ahead. Secret levels have to be tricky but contain goodies and robots that are not so likely to kill you. You have played D2 and Vertigo, you know the way.

The level names etc will stay for now. I will probably have to shorten some of the names since I hope to inclulde the name of the system before the level name proper, but level names in Descent can only be so long. I'll probably have to discard that idea in the end :(

EDIT: Oh, apparently that's not an issue. I tested it by making a map and naming it Beta Ceti 2: N'Tala Shadowy Corridors and the automap displayed everything fine. That's cool, since I was worried about there being a potential character limit. So all designers, please add system names to your levels too.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:45 pm 
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OK, after checking the official list at dateiliste, and now that we're claiming, I think I will go for 'Baloris Prime 4: Velino B'mocileew'.
I wanted to go for 'The Cauldron', but I see Alter-Fox is apparently making that level already.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:00 pm 
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Pumo wrote:
OK, after checking the official list at dateiliste, and now that we're claiming, I think I will go for 'Baloris Prime 4: Velino B'mocileew'.
I wanted to go for 'The Cauldron', but I see Alter-Fox is apparently making that level already.


Yeah, he said he would at least. But that was ages ago! I'm not sure he's still interested, you might drop him a PM on this.

BTW, the naming convention issue is not as easy as I thought. I renamed my first level to Baloris Prime 1: Ku'thaaz G'herb-Ilk Station and the automap doesn't display the name at all, plus the GUI gets screwed up bad. There probably IS a letter limit after all.

And I estimate that limit to be 40 signs. K-station's name has 44, so I'll shorten the name to omit "Station". That stuff isn't really needed in BP and Puuma levels.

EDIT: Damn, I can't even do it. My Rebirth crashes on me when I attempt to change the level's name in the slightest. No idea why that could be. BTW I've noticed that D2 Counterstrike has the system names hardcoded in some way, as they don't really display in the level clearing tally. They do display on the automap though. What's responsible for this?

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:42 pm 
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What version of Rebirth are you using? I'm using 1.11.62 and renaming levels is not a problem. I know it was when I first started building for The Outer Reaches last year, but it has been fixed since and I think it might at least help to have two or three different versions to alternate between if you don't have access to a single fairly stable release.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:55 pm 
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NaphthaTurisas wrote:
What version of Rebirth are you using? I'm using 1.11.62 and renaming levels is not a problem. I know it was when I first started building for The Outer Reaches last year, but it has been fixed since and I think it might at least help to have two or three different versions to alternate between if you don't have access to a single fairly stable release.


You mean DLE. I'm using 1.11.76. It now lets you put D1 reactors in D2 levels, how awesome is that! I expect one in a Beta Ceti level for sure :D

But alas, it is a bit unstable. Crashes a lot, and for the weirdest reasons too. Sometimes corrupts parts of levels. I would gladly have some other version to fall back on.

I could rename the Lunar Titanium Mine easily, and it worked in Rebirth fine. As for K-station, there are two variants:

1) I add Baloris Prime 2: to the whole name. The level runs, but the Automap displays no level name at all, the GUI is screwed up showing some textures it totally shouldn't, and when I exit the level, Rebirth has a fatal error and quits.
2) I add Baloris Prime 2 but remove Station. Rebirth refuses to run at all, but first switches to windowed mode. Then simply gives an error message and terminates.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Xfing wrote:
NaphthaTurisas wrote:
What version of Rebirth are you using?


You mean DLE.

Oh man, did I actually type that by mistake? Nap time! *Head falls on top of the Z key*

All kidding aside, it's definitely cool that the D1 reactors can be used now. I've seen them in a couple levels before (multiplayer level Judith being one of them), but I never knew out how to incorporate that.

I can package up 1.11.62 and send it over if you want, but I want to know what the error message on the second naming option says. I dunno if it might be looking for the file prior to the name change in both cases, not that that makes a lot of sense...

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:32 pm 
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I still want to build a Brimspark-themed level called "The Cauldron". If it isn't taken by the time I get around to it, (and if the one I make doesn't turn out to be D2X-XL only!) then I'll give it to Xfing. Otherwise, I'm still going to do it... eventually, years from now.

Feel free to make the one for this set in the meantime!

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:57 pm 
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OK, good to know.
Although for now, I will go first for Velino B'mocileew anyway, as I'm feeling in a Baloris Prime mood as of lately. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:35 pm 
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I ran into the level name length issue back in the early days of working on Obsidian. I forget what exactly the symptoms were, but I'm pretty sure the level refused to load if the name was too long. Rebirth may be more tolerant of this than Descent 2 v1.2 was though. (Not that I advise making use of this; there are reasons to break backward compatibility, but level name length isn't a very good one.)


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:26 am 
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Well, as I said. Level 1 runs perfectly fine, I didn't even have to shorten anything. The Automap is subtitled

Solar System 1: Lunar Titanium Mine.

However, the level's empty - except for the player, the reactor and one keycard. K-station on the other hand, is completely filled. Maybe I need to tinker around in some component files of the HOG before I can get it to work?

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/770 ... esc1_5.zip

NT's level 16. Please download and offer your feedback.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:44 am 
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The link to download doesn't works, as it seems the url is truncated. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:28 am 
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Fixed, check out that same post again.

IMO, the things that still need to be somehow taken care of is the switch which isn't even on the wall and the secret door that opens up when you've grabbed the red key, on the way to the red doors. Something has to be done to better the alignment in that door - when it opens it looks like it has airborne parts, which is rather bad looking.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:35 am 
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Xfing wrote:
I don't think a challenge level would work for this set, nor is it particularly needed. In the case of TEW it worked because of all those new boss ships. There's not much reason to make the player look at those 10 old bosses for the THIRD time.


The Bonus Level is not about the bosses (except for maybe the new Death Hulk). It's about seeing what you have completed (hence the title Recollection). That's why I said "It would have a small section from each level (in order)..."

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:47 am 
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Well, first we need to HAVE the levels. And yes, this does sound like an interesting easter egg. Clumping together segments from all the previous levels is a novel idea. Still, we'll think about it later.

EDIT: I just came up with a descriptive design guideline. The D1 levels should feel like D2 is just around the corner, while the D2 levels should feel like D1 hasn't yet completely gone away.

Hence, advanced architecture for the Sol System levels can sometimes be employed, and let's say one of every four D2 levels should have something very D1-like in them - like the characteristic D1 hostage prison textures or the square door lights. Examples of this were used in K-station (and I suppose it's enough for Baloris Prime). The hostages will also be explained in lore - it'll be the only or first manned Baloris Prime installation.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:51 am 
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Where's the .HOG?

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:55 am 
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LightWolf wrote:
Where's the .HOG?


You don't need the .HOG, just put the rl2 and mission file in your "Missions" folder and you're good

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:25 am 
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Hmm. Textbook Zeta Aquilae. Almost a little too perfect, if such a thing made sense... but it doesn't!


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:54 pm 
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Xfing wrote:
...Something has to be done to better the alignment in that door - when it opens it looks like it has airborne parts, which is rather bad looking.


Yeah, I also noticed that, but fortunately it's just a matter of texture alignment so Naphtha would be able to fix it quickly, I think. :)

Overall I found the level very appealing, specially the main circular parts that gives the name to the level.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:27 pm 
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The switch could easily be centered, but there would be another weird alignment with the lava grate being misaligned (or centered and standing out because of that). I admit it's not the best solution, but I really would not have put a switch on that wall if you couldn't at least see all of it on the cube face without some weird cutoff or tiling effect. It can certainly be fixed by centering the switch face, then aligning the rest of the walls with respect to it... *Shrugs* I could see about fixing the door, though.

Right now, I'm already starting in on another level design. My creative juices have been flowing and this second one is a big open level with a fiery theme. If Grandcrisp Oven is still open, I could submit it as that, mostly because I think the wide areas are a nice way to introduce the player to Brimspark yet again.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:55 pm 
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Xfing wrote:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/77082565/desc1_5.zip
NT's level 16. Please download and offer your feedback.

sorry im not a part of this project, but i dont make levels :(
custom graphics (pogs) YES ~ levels NO.

LMK if you want anything custom ~ new plasma balls, smoke trailed mercs, mega explosions, custom hud, custom textures, stuff like that.


anyways, i really like that level!
i'm gonna hafta checkout more of NT's work.
very very nice :)

good luck with the project 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:46 pm 
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OK, I started to work on Velino B'mocileew, but it will take some time to have it done, as I also need to finish the PIG, and I'm also constantly working on Pumo Mines and of course, lots of real-life stuff, but I will keep working steadily on everything. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:54 am 
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Sadly, I will have to take a break before I make any more levels. Real life and all that. But when the PIG's ready, I'll convert what I have, and maybe fill all the levels with robots already.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:22 pm 
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Actually screw the break. I started working on the Sedna level. It's one of the reddest objects in the Solar System, so it'll look a lot like Mars and Io Sulfur Mine, I suppose. Less lava, though. And I'll play adventurous with some D2 textures, which normally wouldn't be done in a D1-style level. But there are some that will fit well without crossing into the Baloris Prime spectrum.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:40 am 
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Actually, I think the correct texture scheme would be achieved by using the D1 Mars textures, as you already said, some D2 textures (that I can already imagine which ones more or less), some of the D1 pinkish ones, and I would put out the lava completely and instead put some contrasting D1 Whitish texture details and maybe as an extra a bit of D2 ice, as Sedna as a Kuiper Belt object it is, it's made mostly of Ice, tinted by the organic compounds (like Methane and tholins).

It's also beleived that it may have some liquid water beneath the surface, but definitely not lava.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Pumo wrote:
Actually, I think the correct texture scheme would be achieved by using the D1 Mars textures, as you already said, some D2 textures (that I can already imagine which ones more or less), some of the D1 pinkish ones, and I would put out the lava completely and instead put some contrasting D1 Whitish texture details and maybe as an extra a bit of D2 ice, as Sedna as a Kuiper Belt object it is, it's made mostly of Ice, tinted by the organic compounds (like Methane and tholins).

It's also beleived that it may have some liquid water beneath the surface, but definitely not lava.


You pretty much read my mind. I actually have thought of most of the textures you just named. There WILL be lava, though, but I will make it a point to not include any more than I already have, which is a large room's worth. I don't think we should go for 100% realism, as even Parallax didn't. There is no lava on the Moon either :D

Anyway, here's a pre-made texture block that I want to use, you were probably imagining something similar:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:12 am 
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Yeah, that's pretty much the scheme I had on mind.

And well, if you REALLY want to have a lava room for the sake of old-school D1 atmosphere, go ahead. :P

I understand that sometimes as illogical or incorrect as it may be, the original D1 atmosphere and style on some levels is very endearing and hard to replace on our level designer minds (once more D1 Level 14 comes to mind :roll: ).

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Pumo wrote:
Yeah, that's pretty much the scheme I had on mind.

And well, if you REALLY want to have a lava room for the sake of old-school D1 atmosphere, go ahead. :P

I understand that sometimes as illogical or incorrect as it may be, the original D1 atmosphere and style on some levels is very endearing and hard to replace on our level designer minds (once more D1 Level 14 comes to mind :roll: ).


I believe I have had luck so far with levels 1 and 2 in that regard. Sedna will make use of some D2 textures, but I believe the overall feel will remain D1. I have to think about the geometry, though. So far I have only made one room, which will be a nice set-up for the boss room. Oh, speaking of which, maybe that's the thing I'll do next.

EDIT: Damn, this level will be of some grandeur. I suck at cube economy, so it's already at 600 cubes even though what I made is just a couple of rooms. I suppose planning out what the level's gonna look like in advance can help cut down on the cube count :|

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:28 am 
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I also noticed that neither in Counterstrike nor in Vertigo Parallax didn't even try to align those detailed, hard-to-align textures on geometrically advanced walls. Just took a peek at Fold Zandura and goodness, there are texture breaks at every seam. Descent 1 was handled way better in that regard, I'd say. Just take a look at it:

Image

I have marked the convergence points of the seams. Now doesn't this look hideous? It does. I for one always make the utmost effort to keep things like this from happening. But on the other hand, did it stop Vertigo from being a successful mission set? Of course it didn't, Vertigo is actually the best Parallax-made level set. This kind of approach to texturing also allows for greater liberty when placing lights, monitors and other doodads.

Now I'm by no means saying that we should texture levels like this, but sometimes there seems to be no other choice. So far I have mostly avoided texturing my levels this way, but it cost me plenty, plenty of work and creativity to combine the walls with lights and still make it all look seamless. I suppose we can compromise sometimes.

One of such situations is that misaligned switch in Circularis, NT... you should probably just center it, align all the remaining walls to agree with it, and then just center the little grate wall so it is aligned correctly. There will be this one break between the textures, but that at the very least doesn't make us worse than Parallax, and it'd solve all our problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:10 am 
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Well, point taken. If it still bothers me, I might use a secondary texture break around the grate or the switch, but I suppose it wouldn't be that bad after all. :P

I did get started on a Brimspark level, but inspiration for side areas and whatnot ran kind of dry so I've put it on hold for a while. I wouldn't mind helping with cutting down the cube count in Level 15 as well, if you want to collaborate on that.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:07 am 
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Yeah, walls like that, you can try to align things but there are always going to be seams between the faces in up to half of cases - they may be very bad, they may be not very, depending on the texture you use - unless you start subtly stretching the texture in places so they fit together. Doing that without it becoming painfully obvious is probably the most arduous task I can think of in level texture work now... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:04 pm 
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NaphthaTurisas wrote:
Well, point taken. If it still bothers me, I might use a secondary texture break around the grate or the switch, but I suppose it wouldn't be that bad after all. :P

I did get started on a Brimspark level, but inspiration for side areas and whatnot ran kind of dry so I've put it on hold for a while. I wouldn't mind helping with cutting down the cube count in Level 15 as well, if you want to collaborate on that.


If you'd like, then sure, why not? I have been working on the level non stop since yesterday and it's about halfway done. The level turned out too axially symmetrical for my taste, so I'll go ahead and try to make the rest as asymmetrical as I can - the rest being the blue and yellow key areas. The red key area and boss arena are pretty much done, right now I'm just exploiting the huge size of the thing and putting in secrets. Already well over 700 cubes, so some unnecessary ones could be removed. However, Rebirth still can play anything up to 20k cubes, so it isn't really that urgent.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Actually, DLE has a built-in limit where the level is converted to D2X-XL automatically once you hit the old vanilla D2 cube limit. If you want the thing to be playable on both source ports, you'd either need to keep the levels under 900 cubes or learn SDLDevil. ^^;;

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:24 pm 
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NaphthaTurisas wrote:
Actually, DLE has a built-in limit where the level is converted to D2X-XL automatically once you hit the old vanilla D2 cube limit. If you want the thing to be playable on both source ports, you'd either need to keep the levels under 900 cubes or learn SDLDevil. ^^;;


Oh, good to know. Well, I'm at around 750 cubes now and I'll try hard to keep it under 900, but if I do exceed the limit, there ARE many cubes that could be truncated or replaced with cubes that encompass more. But first I need to build the level, and I've had enough for now. 12 hours today :D

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