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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:46 pm 
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> 900 cubes is non-standard anyway - probably best not to do that unless you want it to be only playable in one or the other. I don't know if XL will let you load standard D2 levels with that many cubes, and those people who use DOSBox are going to be totally SOL.


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:25 am 
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Sirius wrote:
> 900 cubes is non-standard anyway - probably best not to do that unless you want it to be only playable in one or the other. I don't know if XL will let you load standard D2 levels with that many cubes, and those people who use DOSBox are going to be totally SOL.


Ok, point taken. I'll totally let NT reduce the cube count if he pleases :P

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:51 am 
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Sirius wrote:
...I don't know if XL will let you load standard D2 levels with that many cubes...

I'm pretty sure it does actually. I remember being able to open some vanilla D2 level that somebody made beyond the limits of the game as a piece of artwork to be looked at in the editor. Or something. Don't quote me on it.

Quote:
...and those people who use DOSBox are going to be totally SOL.

Still true though.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:44 am 
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Ok, I cut down on some cubes and got from 842 to 795. I wonder if I can keep it under 900 for the whole thing, as I still need to make the entire yellow key area and the entry to the red key area. I suppose this can easily be done with 100 blocks. Here comes the challenge, huh.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Ok guys, Sedna's done.

http://speedy.sh/hbeuP/sedna.zip

It turned out disappointingly small for the 876 segments it contains, blame my inexperience and lack of direction. Still, when populated with robots, it will constitute several minutes of play easily. I think it will be a good way to close off the Solar System. It's underlit, ugly and not friendly looking. I'm particularly proud of the boss room, while simplistic, it looks classy and contains lots of secret potential.

The level was made a D2 level right off the bat, although there are only two D2-exclusive textures that I used. It could easily be converted to and played in D1 as it contains no D2-style triggers. There are still bound to be some texture misalignments, so please point them out to me and I'll take care of them in my free time. Uhhh... now about that break, I seriously need to get my lazy butt to writing that bachelor paper :x

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Good luck.
I'd love to take a look at the map but I don't like the hosting site you're using. And I don't like downloading a zip as an exe either (although I don't know if that has anything to do with that hosting site).

Incidentally I'm working on some music tracks that could work for Descent 1&1/2. Most of them are vocal songs but I could easily do instrumental remixes by just muting the vocals. But mostly the lyrics (if you can call them that) wouldn't be out of place in a Descent mission if you want to keep them in -- that would be your call. Once I'm done the songs I'll send them to you for analysis.
I still want to contribute something to this project even though I'm not working on any Descent levels right now. Although I'm thinking of giving you those three that I made back -- plus one other that you might not want because it's too "realist".

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Don't download the exe, just click the name of the file underlined in a broken line, it'll let you download the file directly.

I use speedyshare because it lasts.

As for your levels, I think they'd fit really well, but you'll do what you want, I guess. Don't make a rushed decision.

Music would be awesome. Pumo and I agree that the basic level of music will be the midi tracks from D1 and D2, but having some optional high-quality music is practically a must! I was hoping you'd offer some help in that regard :P

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:43 pm 
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Yeah. I probably could only do four or six songs though. But Pumo might be able to do some (not sure about whether he'll have time though), and we could probably get Kaizerwolf to write a few -- heck, we could get even more community musicians to help, maybe we could make a "Descent Community Album II" out of this mission OST. It would certainly fit with the mission's theme. And it might add a little bit more interest in D1&1/2 in the community at large (although this community is so small everybody who cares about singleplayer is probably interested already :P)

I finally found a high-quality sample of that one particular TR-909 snare sound that most of the "snare" "drums" in Descent's OPL2 music seem to be trying to emulate. It was secreted away in a hidden drum bank on the Chorium soundfont. I have no idea why a soundfont would have hidden drum banks. I know at least one of the songs I'll be sending to you tomorrow uses it in a very Descentish way. I don't think it's used in any of the other songs though.

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The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:46 am 
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Sweet, can't wait!

Oh, and go ahead and check out the level, please. I spent dwo days non stop making it so some psychological gratification would be nice :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:06 am 
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I already did. I thought I already posted it was great...
The only minor problem I have with it is that I'm not a fan of "flat" two-dimensional walls that aren't doors or grates (actually I'm not a fan of flat doors either but what can you do?) With a level that takes so many cubes though, you sometimes do have to cut a few corners. I can definitely see that you used them all well.
Reminds me a little bit of the final map of Destination Saturn, I think, except it's somewhat better than the Destination Saturn map.

Right now I'm just finishing up a (hopefully) final mix of Layzrbreth, and then I'll test it on my mp3 player, and then I'll send you the four.

EDIT: I won't be able to send them to you until this evening unfortunately.

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The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:50 pm 
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I do really like the areas and designs, Xfing, but I can understand how the cube count can be a problem. Hell, the level looked a bit overloaded with cubes when I booted it up in Rebirth, so now I'm trying to chop down on the number of cubes in certain areas without changing the level structures too much. I'm already down to 765 cubes and might be able to cut off almost a hundred more, but don't expect a link tonight. I'll probably be doing this in parts over the next couple days and then send the level back through Dropbox under a different filename.

Also, if it's not much of an issue, I might do a little structural editing within reason and hopefully without taking away from the intended mood (mostly for helping with secondary texture alignment or slightly smoothing over some jagged edges, in other words). For one thing, I really liked the big room in the yellow sector, but I was thinking of smoothing some of those cubic protrusions into ramp-like structures just to add a little more to the mood.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:13 pm 
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NaphthaTurisas wrote:
I do really like the areas and designs, Xfing, but I can understand how the cube count can be a problem. Hell, the level looked a bit overloaded with cubes when I booted it up in Rebirth, so now I'm trying to chop down on the number of cubes in certain areas without changing the level structures too much. I'm already down to 765 cubes and might be able to cut off almost a hundred more, but don't expect a link tonight. I'll probably be doing this in parts over the next couple days and then send the level back through Dropbox under a different filename.

Also, if it's not much of an issue, I might do a little structural editing within reason and hopefully without taking away from the intended mood (mostly for helping with secondary texture alignment or slightly smoothing over some jagged edges, in other words). For one thing, I really liked the big room in the yellow sector, but I was thinking of smoothing some of those cubic protrusions into ramp-like structures just to add a little more to the mood.


Do whatever you feel like, just don't screw with the boss room too much, I actually love it just the way it is 8)

BTW, just out of curiosity: is there any point in lowering the cube count even more if it's comfortably under 900? It's not like we play Descent on 386's you know :D

And as for structural editing, keep in mind that we're aiming more for a "Descent The Way Parallax Did" style of level making than a modern, detailed style. Crudeness of design in some places is actually an asset and helps create D1-like nostalgia. The D2 levels will be designed with more of a D2 approach.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:06 pm 
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I suppose I'm thinking along the lines of D1 Level 10 versus D1 Level 7, heheh. Level 10 having big rooms with a smaller number of cubes, Level 7 having relatively smaller structures which cost a lot more cubes to make. And actually, my computer doesn't render more widespread or cube-heavy sections without a little bit of framerate lag, so I try to accommodate for less powerful computers when I build for Descent just for optimization. :P But I don't intend to change a whole lot aside from merging cubes, and if I do end up doing that to the boss room, that's all I'll be doing to it.

Plus you made it sound like you wanted to add one or two more sections onto the level, so reducing the cube count in the already finished areas can give you more leeway if you want to expand.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:55 pm 
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There is one other thing in the otherwise great level that bugs me.
Attachment:
File comment: Image of the spot I'm talking about.
Screenie.jpg
Screenie.jpg [ 245.1 KiB | Viewed 3404 times ]

The grate in the picture I posted is just there. There's no transition between the wall and that grate and it's not put in a slight recession either, which makes it look unnatural.
I'd either continue that grate texture as a secondary texture through that entire wall of the hallway -- which might not work too well with the presumed "cave" feeling -- or I'd add some kind of transitional secondary texture on the four walls right next to it (aligned so that they're right up against it). Warning stripes are great for that and the Descent 1 "door lights" work really well too (the D2 door lights don't work quite as well unless the wall is exactly 20 units on that side).
When you look for it in the parallax levels it's amazing how often they took advantage of being able to put any secondary texture over any primary texture -- especially in D2 levels like Wenl Mine or Exodus Research Facility, but in D1 as well. I don't think it was something that a lot of game engines at the time supported, and I don't even think there are very many engines today that support it as well as Descent did.

I have to agree the boss room is very good.

BTW, I've finally PM'd those four songs to you. Let me know what you want to do with them.

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BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:57 am 
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NaphthaTurisas wrote:
I suppose I'm thinking along the lines of D1 Level 10 versus D1 Level 7, heheh. Level 10 having big rooms with a smaller number of cubes, Level 7 having relatively smaller structures which cost a lot more cubes to make. And actually, my computer doesn't render more widespread or cube-heavy sections without a little bit of framerate lag, so I try to accommodate for less powerful computers when I build for Descent just for optimization. :P But I don't intend to change a whole lot aside from merging cubes, and if I do end up doing that to the boss room, that's all I'll be doing to it.

Plus you made it sound like you wanted to add one or two more sections onto the level, so reducing the cube count in the already finished areas can give you more leeway if you want to expand.


Oh, I totally dig. You're absolutely right, do as you please :D

The level could probably use another section or two, but I'm afraid I don't have any ideas left for them, so they'd be rather uninspired and lackluster. I might add something, though, as the level has painfully few areas that are not behind a colored door, I just need a few days to get a nice idea for an area.

Oh, and if you happen to be optimizing the area Fox was talking about, please do what he says, he's got a point.

@Fox, your PM reached me. I'll check it out when I'm back from work.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:20 pm 
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I might as well say now what I plan to do to this mission pack once it's released. To keep the thread going and stuff.
I know what the levels will look like in D2X-XL with the regular D2 textures and the D1 textures added with POG files -- the D2 textures will be hi-res but the D1 textures won't be. So my plan for a D2X-XL-friendly version is to go through every level's POG file and replace all the added D1 textures with their D2X-XL hi-res equivalents. (Also an ogg soundtrack made for Rebirth won't play songs in the same order in XL -- I can fix that too).

I'm still trying to figure out how we can get the soundtrack to work in Rebirth so that you can choose between the midis and the oggs without having to resort to jukebox (or having to make a separate release of the mission for each soundtrack). And I've written one more song which I'm keeping to myself for now, but I tested it (long story short, I have playlists for Rebirth and XL that I'm using to test the songs for D1.5, made out of the actual songs I'm testing, songs by various other people in the community, and a few songs from a couple of WipEout soundtracks I have to round it out... too much information yeah). It fit into the game quite well and especially well into Gytowt Station...

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:43 pm 
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That's nice, Alter-Fox! A dude's gotta love your attention to detail :D

We need the levels first, though, and it's still at least a year's matter. Right now we're waiting for levels from NT and Sirius. And I'm not the type to rush people when they're working, so let's just be patient. I'm sure they won't disappoint.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:12 pm 
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Yeah I've still been spending more time on the coding side of things. If someone else really really wants the level let me know and I'll pick a different one... that seemed kind of unlikely though. There are a lot of choices.


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:31 am 
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Ok guys, so please remind me which levels you wanted - I'll mark them as taken at Dateiliste. Right now it's all so unwritten that even I could pick the same level as someone else by mistake :D

I'll probably order the ones I wanna do too. I want to contribute to the final level, but all I want is artistic directoin - I don't really mind if someone else makes it. But let's leave the final level for last as of right now and focus on other levels.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:05 am 
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24: Limefrost Spiral 1: Glacierspire

I'm going to pick one at a time I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:28 am 
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Very well, updated.

NT, please remind me which ones you're making! I'm too lazy to scroll the thread back :D

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Well, I've been working on-and-off on a Brimspark level which I'd probably like to submit as the first one for the system (though how well it'll fit the name of "Grandcrisp Oven" is debatable). Eventually I'd like to do one level for each of the other D2 systems, but like Sirius, I'm only claiming one level at a time.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Actually the order of the names within a system is nothing set in stone - we can make a switcheroo if it improves the level progression and names suit levels in a different order actually, so don't worry too much about that :D

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Grandcrisp Oven = best level name ever XD.
I noticed some mis-texturing in KStation. Just some cubes whose sides have the "rock020" texture when they pretty clearly were intended to have a different one. Do you mind if I go ahead and fix those textures to what I think you intended?

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:24 am 
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Alter-Fox wrote:
Grandcrisp Oven = best level name ever XD.
I noticed some mis-texturing in KStation. Just some cubes whose sides have the "rock020" texture when they pretty clearly were intended to have a different one. Do you mind if I go ahead and fix those textures to what I think you intended?


Oh, sure, go ahead!

Damn, this is weird. I spent on that level more time than one usually spends on five. And there were stil such fuckups :D

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:57 am 
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https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ebxnw29fnwotes6/_uNLt-AlkG here's a dropbox directory with all the levels so far.

Please use it to upload new versions as you see fit. I'll probably need your e-mails to give you authorization, though...

PS I've also thrown in the extracted texture files as well as the modified HAM and S11/S22 files and new PCX files in both high and low resolution. The ones for briefings, that is.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:26 am 
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Funny thing. While at work and when I don't have much to do, I spend most of my time reading about dwarf planets. And those little worlds sure have fascinated me to no end. Although most likely dwarf planets haven't yet been recognized as such by the IAU, in many cases it's just a matter of time.

As experience has taught us, PTMC makes their mines only on relatively massive objects, the smallest of which we know by name is the asteroid Eunomia, which happens to have dimensions of 357×255×212 km. Luckily that means we don't have to worry about all those small-ish objects, yet the largest potential dwarf planets still give us a wonderful new realm to explore, there being only slightly more of them than of the major planets.

Therefore I was thinking of expanding the level listing with 5 more levels which will account for the dwarf planets I have otherwise skipped. It will make it possible to develop new themes which will breathe fresh air into the Solar System. I know this idea might seem foolhardy seeing how many levels still have to be made and how small our community is, but we're not in a rush and the Solar System does need more spotlight in the level pack, as D2 levels outnumber those from D1 locations by a good margin.

Anyway, all that needs to be remembered is that Eris will be the penultimate Solar System level, looking all gray, industrial and unhospitable, and present a significant spike in difficulty much like Level 6 of First Strike. On the other hand, Sedna's level will be analogous to Level 7 - while not as unforgiving overall, it will have an (un)pleasant surprise ready for the player at the end.

Therefore I would suggest that we expand the listing with levels for dwarf planets Haumea, Ixion, Salacia, Varuna and Chaos. 2007 OR 10 would be a more obvious candidate than many of them, but alas, it hasn't yet got a name.

Haumea has a high albedo and so it could use the lunar light rock texture and some related ones extensively, offering a cool perspective on how lunar levels would feel if they were more difficult. I'm not yet sure of the properties of the lesser bodies such as Ixion, Varuna or Chaos, but that would give any potential designer more creative freedom and let's be honest to ourselves - Parallax never cared about these details.

I'll probably update the level listing shortly and also try to equal out the proportions between D1, Counterstrike and freestyle Vertigo levels resulting in a more streamlined gaming progression and more symmetric boss placement etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:34 pm 
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It is official. I AM doing Beta Ceti Military Base, or else. :lol: I'm still doing it, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:15 pm 
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I MIGHT be doing Velino B'mocileew. Beta Ceti Military Base first, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Y'know, I am thinking about doing Falls of Truth. If I finish that, then (if it's not already claimed), I will do Sloht'lloapsie Perimeter. Then Velino B'mocileew (should it be open). One level at a time!

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:40 pm 
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I am taking Sloht'lloapsie Perimeter now. Velino B'mocileew is still up for grabs. Sloht'lloapsie will probably take a while, as it is intended to be a rather large level.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:06 am 
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Well, today was the first time in a while that I picked up the Brimspark level I started a couple months ago to add onto it. I needed a bit of a break from Plutonian Shores and from studying more natural cube structures in Parallax's D2 levels, I might be able to add a couple more areas onto what I already have. Right now I only have a starting area that opens out to a massive lava pit, where there's a somewhat complex tunnel network at the base that should at least hold one energy center and the blue key.


Or if you like, Xfing, I can send over what's already complete and we could collaborate on the level if you don't mind the idea of a collaborative effort. Who knows, you might be able to make the level look cavier and more natural than I did. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:06 am 
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Can Sloht'lloapsie Perimeter be changed to Sloht'lloapsie Core (for various reasons, namely the middle of the boss arena)? I am not intentionally doing a theme for the level.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:51 am 
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Here are my levels.
Falls of Truth:
http://www.enspiar.com/dmdb/viewMission.php?id=812
Beta Ceti Military Base:
http://www.enspiar.com/dmdb/viewMission.php?id=811 (There are 2 Death Hulks. Xfing, let me know if I need to remove one or both of them)
I am currently working on Sloht'lloapsie Perimeter\Core.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:59 am 
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You know, at first I thought those levels weren't all that bad aside from being kind of small and jam-packed with robots, but then it hit me that some sections were pretty much just copy-pasted from other levels, recolored and placed in these. I've seen at least a knock-off from Counterstrike Level 16 and Level 22 in the Beta Ceti level, and a blatant copy-paste from Sapphire Wolf's Nefarious Assault used twice in "Falls of Truth" (I was blown away by the circular pipe room he created, so don't think it would go unnoticed :P).

There's a very clear distinction between being inspired by an artist and blatantly ripping them off, and I'm really beginning to wonder if you're not really oblivious to the difference between the two and are simply ignoring it on purpose to get people riled up. If you're really unaware that what you're doing would get people pissed off at you, though, you've got a lot to learn about the internet in a very short amount of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:24 am 
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I have played through Perimeter and my impressions were kinda similar, although I couldn't exactly tell where that stuff was taken out of, it certainly did ring a bell. I was compelled to include Perimeter in the level listing after some moderate changes (and foremost: expansion, it's way too small for that stage of the mission), but the speed with which it was made is kinda alarming, as Naphtha said.

We don't deal in ripoffs. Take your time, but make one entire level in a careful and elaborate way. We're not doing this on a deadline so appreciate the lax timeframe and do things carefully.

As for collaborations: I'm definitely inclined, why wouldn't I be? All I care about is the end effect, I'm not really so proud as to wish to be the sole person credited with a level when someone else's done secondary mapping. And that's the modus operandi I propose - it was done the same way in lucrative projects such as Knee-Deep in ZDoom of the Doomworld community. The first mapper takes care of the original premise of the level, while someone else does the so-called secondary and maybe even tertiary mapping to improve the locales as best as it can be done. That is also the reason why I deposited the latest versions of the levels at Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/home/D%201%2C5/Levels
I encourage you to do the same. If there's some way I neeed to authorize you beforehand, please let me know, I don't really know entirely how this site works :P

Of course it's not always needed or called for, but where it is, I'd gladly go for it. I was thinking of overhauling LightWolf's level myself, but now that you mentioned it consists of copied areas I'm not so hot :huh:

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:35 am 
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As for BC Military Base... nawwwww, that's not really the way I saw it. It's too lab-ish, I wanted it to look more like levels 12 or 26 of D1 - raw, techy and lots of "metal" textures.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:05 pm 
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I will take care of SP.

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:20 pm 
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A couple more things. I am taking Coolyard Station. Also, I have moved on from coping and now imitate (The start of Coolyard Station vs. Ahayweh Gate-similar but different).

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 Post subject: Re: Descent 1 1/2
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:06 pm 
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I was looking at the robot placement guidelines on page 1...
Based on the info, you should not put in a Smelter Clone in a non-secret Solar System level due to the fact that it drops Mercs upon death.

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