Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wanted

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Naphtha
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Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wanted

Post by Naphtha » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:02 pm

(Sorry in advance for such a long post... There's a lot of basic/not-so-basic info I felt I had to give on this idea! :P)

After taking a bit of a break following the release of "The Outer Reaches," I started getting a lot of ideas for my second mission. It's much bigger with concepts for roughly 20 to 25 levels right now, several of which I've finished alpha designs for. The mission is tentatively titled "Descent Dreamspace," but I realize there's already a mission on DMDB with a very similar name so I'm open to suggestions for a rename.

The reason for the current title is a design motif for parts of the mission: Surreal, but still beautiful. I don't want to take the surreal element to the "Look what we can do with the editor" level that is "Levels of the World," mind you. I'd rather come up with tasteful ways to take design ideas that might not have seen a lot of use elsewhere and possibly even make them a primary focus in certain levels.

Most of the levels are conceptualized in some form, but I'm willing to accept substitutions for at least a couple ideas if any other level designers would like to take part. If you'd like to contribute a level, keep in mind it would have to be for standard Descent 2 to allow for a wider audience. (Make them D2X-XL only and I wouldn't even be able play them! XD)

Tentatively, the mission would be split into four worlds or chapters. Each would likely be made up of roughly five obligatory levels (although I wouldn't mind if this varies a bit) and one secret level, and of course each would have its own texture scheme or story concept:
- Chapter 1: Environmental disasters as an underrunning theme. This could end up using GROUPA.PIG or WATER.PIG, depending on the nature of the levels.
- Chapter 2: Subterranean expedition. The main element here is "earth," which I'm hoping to distinguish from the "fire" element of Brimspark-like levels. Color scheme used is ALIEN1.PIG.
- Chapter 3: Trapped under ice. ICE.PIG, of course.
- Chapter 4: Techno industry. These levels may have a secondary theme for background/outdoor sections, but a base or facility would be the main focus. ALIEN2.PIG.

Finally, a list of what I'm looking for help with:
- Robot mods. I know Descent Valhalla has a download of the Robot Construction Kit, but it doesn't seem to be complete and I can't get it to run at all. If somebody has a full, working copy and a can transfer it, that'll be great. If you can coach me on how to use it as well, that'll be awesome. If not, I'll do what I can and at least sketch out concepts of new robots I had in mind. Ideally, I'd love to have a near-full set of replacements for D2 robots.
- Story fine-tuning. I have a rough concept, but I want help fine-tuning it and hunting for plotholes.
- Graphics for each chapter, hopefully (in the vein of Descent 1 or "The Lost Levels"). I had an additional idea for the briefings to set them apart, but because I can only work with specific media, I'd need help with some of the graphics.
- Advice on balancing the set and/or help building a .HAM to slightly balance the weapons. Most of my knowledge of Descent 2 item placement and weapon balance comes from observing other single-player missions, but I wouldn't mind an extra point of view to consider in trying to balance this mission.

I'll be happy to give more info, or upload some robot designs or examples of what I've completed so far. If it'd be easier to discuss this project on an instant messenger rather than via PM here, I do have an AIM handle I'll give out on request. But really, if anyone's interested, let me know, because any help would be great. :)
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by akula65 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:10 pm

You are likely missing the update and the DLLs to get the Robot Construction Kit up and running. Krom has made the complete set of files available via a link in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=19532

If you want further info on the RCK or other modules in Descent Manager, you need to check out the relevant pages in the Descent-Network. In order to do this, you will have to use the Wayback Machine ( http://www.archive.org ) to access this link:

http://www.descent-network.com/descman/

You may have to check multiple backup dates in order to find a working copy of a particular page or to download files, but most of the site is still accessible (although it is like pulling teeth).

I will leave your other queries to more qualified folks.
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by Naphtha » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:30 pm

Downloaded the bundle Krom uploaded, but I think I'm still missing something since at least Polytron and Polyview get stuck on the splash screen. I don't know if I'm missing a Virtual Machine (suggested by Enzo, since my laptop is a 32-bit Vista rather than an XP) or some other program to work with this, but I'll definitely need a little help troubleshooting for this. But like I said, I'll try to scan in some sketches of possible robot designs in the meantime, so if I can't get the programs to work, it'll at least help someone else translate them into polymodels. I'd be glad to handle the RBotEdit end of things either way.
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by akula65 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:54 pm

If you see the splash screen, then you almost certainly have everything necessary for the program. Press the <Enter> key when the splash screen appears. That should bring up a pop-up dialog where you can select the location of the registered version of Descent.

I didn't have any problems getting the programs to run on my Win7 32-bit desktop machine after installing the Tahoma fonts, DLLs and the VB5 runtimes available here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/180071
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by Krom » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:18 pm

Pretty sure the robot construction kit works even on Windows 7 x64 as long as you have all the prerequisite DLLs and fonts installed.
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by Naphtha » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:10 pm

Nope, as soon as I press Enter, the pop-up is only there for a split second before the entire program closes down. No text appears in the box so I can't even get the chance to read it by repeating the steps over and over. Very strange.
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by akula65 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:37 am

Try the following:

1. Reinstall dp2003.exe by right-clicking the icon and choosing Run as Administrator (even if you did this before). If you see pop-ups saying you are trying to replace newer versions of files, keep the files you already have (don't overwrite).
2. Reinstall rck03b.exe by right-clicking the icon and choosing Run as Administrator (even if you did this before). If you see pop-ups saying you are trying to replace newer versions of files, keep the files you already have (don't overwrite). Let the installer put the files in the default location (this is or may be important).
3. Restart Windows.
4. Try to execute the Polytron and Polyview programs by just double-clicking the icons in the default installation directory and pressing <Enter> when the splash screen appears. Make sure you are not trying to execute the programs from some other previous installation directory
5. If (4) fails, try to execute the Polytron and Polyview programs by right-clicking the icons in the default installation directory and choosing Run as Administrator. As usual, press <Enter> when the splash screen appears. Make sure you are not trying to execute the programs from some other previous installation directory
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by Xfing » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:39 am

Daaamn, wish I could contribute. Too bad I have a bachelor paper to write -__-
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by Naphtha » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:34 pm

Well, still failing at getting RCK to run, but I can at least get beyond the splash screen. The issue now is that it doesn't recognize that DESCENT2.HOG or DESCENT2.HAM is there so I can't set up the directory for any of the programs. DVM.EXE also complains that it can't find the StIf directory, so I've still got two problems on my hands even though I must have most of the DLL's by now. DX

Help would be appreciated, but if somebody has a version that already works perfectly on Windows 7 32-bit and has a way to transfer the whole bundle over, that would be appreciated even more.

I have, however, been moving ahead on the level mapping in the meantime. I have a good chunk of the work uploaded to Dropbox in winzip form, and I'll be happy to give out a link via PM if anybody would like to contribute to it. It also has a few robot polymodels sketched out for direction in case I'm not able to work on creating them myself, and plenty of notes for direction with the remainder of the levels and other features I wanted to add.
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by LightWolf » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:52 am

If it's not too late, can I help?
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by Sirius » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:36 pm

This... I'm guessing this is still unfinished. It isn't what Naphtha's currently working on though.
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Re: Descent 2 mission in the works - Mod and misc help wante

Post by Naphtha » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:29 pm

I suppose this was due for a status update... and yeah, it ain't finished, but it's not in the works right now either. ^^;; What happened was I ended up getting distracted by another inspiring idea and now I'm working on levels for a collaboration with MD-1224. The mission will be called "Frantic" and is based around the idea of levels that can double as both single-player and somewhat well-flowing multiplayer levels at the same time. I'm almost done with my second level for that and the goal right now appears to be ten levels, possibly more. I haven't seen MD online all that much lately, but I think it'd be best to run any possible collaborators by him as well.

So for now, the level set this thread was made for is on hold so that I can focus on Frantic. I could still make use of the robot mods down the road, but Frantic is going to be standard D1/D2 Vertigo with no mods and that is my focus for right now.
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