The Dark Side

The place to promote and link to Descent levels - both multiplayer and singleplayer - D1, D2 and D3.

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The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:03 pm

All people who worked on Descent: The Enemy Within (and any others who want to), ready for more levels to build? They need to have professional complexity, a theme, and one or more secrets.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Alter-Fox » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:30 pm

I might be up for it.
But I'm working on two professional video games right now (well, one and a half... it's very very likely to become two though... in soundtrack and story departments) and attending University, and looking for a fourth part-time job, so my time is limited. And I am a little cautious around anyone who's first post is a call out for modders without giving any particular details of his project. Even though I might be doing that myself as soon as the two projects I'm on are both done. Your sig does look suspiciously like mine... unless you were Queen Josh the Second, the Class 2 Drone that almost beat D1 while Player went to have a burger without pausing the game. In that case, wow, you can read my mind from probably at least a country-size away.

Anyway, I would want to have many more details on what your goal is with this project before I would commit any time to it. And I'd want to know who it is I'd be working for too, a lot more detail than just "the new guy".
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:35 pm

Sorry about the little detail. I need "themed" levels (such as a ruins theme) with 1+ secrets. I need at least 20 levels (I don't have much DMB2 time). Anyone and everyone who can help welcome. It's a Descent 2 series.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:38 pm

Oh, I forgot. I will be taking care of the secret levels, but I will need DarkFlameWolf to make a challenge level. And also, Your sig inspired my sig.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:20 pm

One last thing: I hope to have the levels done in 4 months or so. Post the levels here.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Sirius » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:52 pm

Umm... is this related to JinX's post on Facebook?
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:33 pm

No. Not at all.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by DarkFlameWolf » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:11 pm

I'm confused...who is this?
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Naphtha » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:03 pm

You know, I always thought the guy who first said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery was full of crap, but that's just my two cents.


Well, that, and it might be better to try and see for yourself the kind of time, effort and work level building requires. Why not dabble and experiment on your own instead of demanding large amounts of cheap-knock-off submissions from people you haven't even gotten to know?
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:56 am

Might as well call me "The New Boy"
DarkFlameWolf wrote:I'm confused...who is this?
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Alter-Fox » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:18 am

NaphthaTurisas wrote:Well, that, and it might be better to try and see for yourself the kind of time, effort and work level building requires. Why not dabble and experiment on your own instead of demanding large amounts of cheap-knock-off submissions from people you haven't even gotten to know?
You can be a little more polite, but you have a very good point. And in this day and age of plaigarism people can have good reason to be suspicious of someone who arrives someplace and immediately starts demanding people work for him. Plus, doing that without even bothering to get to know people first can come off as kind of insulting and demeaning. Especially demanding the services of specific people you don't know at all.

I'm sure you don't mean to do this Earth, but even your name is a blatant ripoff of someone else's without their permission. You're not making a very good impression of someone who won't plagiarize the work of others. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but others may not be. This is a very tight-knit community as well, especially for an online community. You have to understand that hardly any new people ever come here, which makes you look even more suspicious.

However, I'm going to have to decline working on this, I've got some more information on my schedule and it's full of other jobs, not to mention finals starting in a few weeks. Crunch time!
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Sirius » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:19 am

Considering the terms, plagiarism isn't what I'm worried about... for me it comes down to that almost every potential contributor already has a lot to do and it's very hard to see why they should postpone that in favour of this. I mean, what, we have a rehash of TEW and Vignettes, at the same time? What for, and why now?

It doesn't help that we're not sure who's talking (honestly, I'd be tempted to label this a troll, which is why I wondered if you were posting under an alias). Everyone starts as an unknown, but usually they do their own stuff first, which is a big help in setting some kinds of expectations. DFW had been making levels for many years before organizing community projects. Sure, it wouldn't have to be many years, but at least something... otherwise it's "Hey, you don't know me, but I want you to work for me" which isn't a great start to a conversation!
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Naphtha » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:04 pm

Exactly what I was thinking, Sirius. I realize I'm being harsh, but since I've seen something like this happen in other communities, I think I can cut to the heart of the problem: the kid's probably desperate to fit in.

This situation occurred a lot in an old Mega Man fan community I spent about four years in. People in that community maintained websites for "Mega Man Teams," or fanart and fiction creative groups based on the boss characters from one game. Members came and went, so there were always a few games without teams and several replacements needed to complete team lineups, but often a new guy would show up and try to start a team for one of the games that wasn't taken. We always looked down on those random team recruitment posts by new members and tried to advise them to wait, because:

1) They didn't have any idea how much time and effort went into the website and fanwork, and seemed to think it could be all done in a day. A lot of these teams languished in development hell for months or even a year before collapsing, without even completing the basic requirements of a website and an origin story.
2) Without making a name for themselves first, most new guys had to settle for a dysfunctional team roster. They had no reputation at that time, so almost all the applicants they got for the seven or so open positions were equally desperate to "fit in," and also didn't understand point 1. Prospective team leaders would usually be better off building a basic website to show before announcing the project, or producing a little writing even if they didn't already have a spot on another team.

So basically, kid, if nothing else, taking a little time to get to know the community can be helpful. You don't need to set up a level building or modding project in order to fit in here, you just need to be yourself, get to know people and play nice with them. If you do all that and you're sure you really want to pull together a collaborative effort, please try to submit some of your own work first in order to drum up interest. [/lecture]
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Xfing » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:49 pm

Ummm... making a level set is no milk and cookies. Myself, I procrastinated with making a single level for like a year or so. I'm a rotten project manager too. So I just decided to lay low and simply finish my own submissions before I drag others into it (I'm talking about D1,5 of course). I suggest you do the same, maybe first make the levels, and ask for others' participation after that.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Alter-Fox » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:05 am

That's what I decided to do too.
It's why I haven't announced any sort of short-story anthology contest with a possibility of publication anywhere on the internet.
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.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:43 am

FYI I am making a few of my own really complex levels.
NaphthaTurisas wrote:Well, that, and it might be better to try and see for yourself the kind of time, effort and work level building requires. Why not dabble and experiment on your own instead of demanding large amounts of cheap-knock-off submissions from people you haven't even gotten to know?
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:49 am

I'm just asking for some levels because I have so many levels to build, and my crazy scheduel only allows for so little time.
Xfing wrote:Ummm... making a level set is no milk and cookies. Myself, I procrastinated with making a single level for like a year or so. I'm a rotten project manager too. So I just decided to lay low and simply finish my own submissions before I drag others into it (I'm talking about D1,5 of course). I suggest you do the same, maybe first make the levels, and ask for others' participation after that.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Naphtha » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:34 pm

Well, you have nobody to blame but yourself for deciding there has to be "so many" levels. :P As Sirius said, sharing some of your own creations helps set expectations, but if you really don't have a lot of free time to spend on this, then start small and create just a handful for now so we at least have something to look at. If you're capable of creating complex, original levels like you say, there's nothing better than concrete proof. I could change my tune and be willing to help out, but first you've got to convince me (and don't just tell us, show us) that my own projects are worth putting on the back burner in favor of contributing to yours.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:22 pm

Ii'l see to it that I get a level. It'll most likely be in the series!
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:24 pm

I cant send the proof since I cant upload the files! :rant:

Maybe I can get a youtube account...
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Naphtha » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Most forums don't have direct uploads and downloads from your hard drive and neither does this one. You'll have to find another site to use for this, and there's a couple common choices in the community.

If it's completed level data, then zip up the files and upload them here. Otherwise, Dropbox is another option a lot of people use, so you could sign up for that instead, upload the files there and then just copy the URL over here for anyone to download the files.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Krom » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:14 pm

Actually the DBB does support attaching files to posts, but the maximum file size limit is set to 256 KB in order to prevent various types of abuse, probably not big enough to upload a level with. But there are literally a million digital locker services out there like mediafire, dropbox or rapidshare which have much bigger limits and allow free uploads (some even allow unregistered uploads).
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:06 pm

Thanks. I may need to make 80 billion demos, but I'll do it.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:23 pm

NaphthaTurisas wrote:...If you're capable of creating complex, original levels like you say, there's nothing better than concrete proof. I could change my tune and be willing to help out, but first you've got to convince me (and don't just tell us, show us) that my own projects are worth putting on the back burner in favor of contributing to yours.
DarkEarthWolf wrote:Ii'l see to it that I get a level. It'll most likely be in the series!
Just check Descent Mission Database for "The Dark Side Level 13".
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Xfing » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:52 am

This is the weirdest level I've ever played... what the hell have you done with all the robots? The gameplay's actually frustrating with all those modifications and extreme hp of the robots... As for the layout, it's alright, if a little plain.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Naphtha » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:13 am

Definitely feels way too small for a late-game level, and with less than 100 cubes (a good chunk of which is a longer exit tunnel than necessary for D2), it's even kind of small for an early level! The layout was bland but not too bad, except for the random flat wall in front of the yellow door, but the level could've stood to be much bigger. And I agree with Xfing, the robots were at worst frustrating, and at best difficult for the wrong reasons... 368 HP for a Spider Spawn, for example, puts it around the level of the big guns like the Fusion Hulk. Also make sure there are enough free weapons to keep the game from being too imbalanced.

Just take my advice and stick to building and experimenting for just single levels at a time until you're more comfortable with the editor. Don't plan some massive project now since you're still learning the ropes. Look to other levels if you have to in order to learn more about what makes a level look good and play well, because those missions that are the most popular will have more examples you can learn from, to help you with things like the size, layout, item placement and overall difficulty.

Just don't copy their examples TOO directly, because the point is to develop your own style from learning from them, not plagiarizing. But if other builders inspire you and you learn more from the formula of what makes a level good, there's a start. Just apply that inspiration and knowledge to single levels at a time for now, to get more material out there for people to help you with before you aim for a huge single player pack.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:42 am

The flat wall is a frozen waterfall. BTW, when I figure out how to add breifings, I will warn the player about the mods. If you want, however, I will make the level longer.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Alter-Fox » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:39 am

Warning players about minispiders having more HP than fusion hulks isn't going to make them like the mod, or make the level any less frustrating. If you're doing just whatever the heck you want to do and making it for yourself that's perfectly fine, but if you're trying to make something for other people you need to make something for them to like if you want them to like something.
Just because you're making something for yourself doesn't mean you shouldn't release it for other people. But when you release it you should accept that they might not have your tastes. You definitely shouldn't try to draw them into making something that's only going to tailor to your tastes. You'll fail at drawing them in, trust me.

Basically, you can't just warn someone about something they won't like and then expect them to like it because they've been warned :P. That isn't how the world works. No matter how much some of us wish it was...
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:59 pm

I completely understand that, Alter-Fox. I just feel like the level needs modded robots. Also, the fusion hulk will be stronger because it's modded to be the 2nd boss robot! :D
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Naphtha » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:30 am

If I wanted frustratingly drawn-out dogfights where I'd keep running out of weapons to take down the robots, I'd boot up Descent 3, just sayin'. :P

Like I said, start small and get more of an idea of what Descenters would like in a new mission. There's clearly a winning formula out there that's enjoyable among hardcore fans, and obviously if it were different, your name wouldn't be DarkEarthWolf. Forget the mods for now, though, and experiment with the stock robots and weapons to try making levels that are difficult in a completely fair way. After all, you want players to think about how to win, not think about ragequitting.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:09 am

You will get the weapons. If a weapon is practically required for the next level, I will put it in front of the exit. (E.g. an omega in front of level 12's exit.) However, NaphthaTurisas, that is a good point. That surely will be in one of my newest missions (the robot non-mods).
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Alter-Fox » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:38 am

If you want to get a good idea of how to do robot mods right in order to get people to like them, play The Entropy Experiment. There's a reason its designer was hired to do design for D3.
And pay attention to everything. What weapons robots get, how many shields robots get, how often a robot is used, where different robots are used, how the different robots with the different weapons and the different shields are used alongside different kinds of level architecture and different kinds of cover to encourage different sorts of strategies... what powerups robots drop... and anything else I didn't think to say in this sentence!

I said nothing about being against robot mods. But if people are going to like it, then the mod has to be fun. Throwing just anything random you can think of at the player isn't game design. There's a reason there are university classes on game design!
And when I said "more shields than the fusion hulk", you know what I meant. Please don't get snarky with me, I'm trying to help.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Naphtha » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:33 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:And pay attention to everything. What weapons robots get, how many shields robots get, how often a robot is used, where different robots are used, how the different robots with the different weapons and the different shields are used alongside different kinds of level architecture and different kinds of cover to encourage different sorts of strategies... what powerups robots drop... and anything else I didn't think to say in this sentence!
I honestly couldn't have put it better myself. There's a whole science to it, which is why I suggested sticking to standard robots and standard stats at first. That saves you the trouble of figuring out how to balance the stats robots you're trying to come up with on your own when the idea of balancing isn't something you've mastered yet, so then you can focus on other questions. Other ones I might add are what AI settings work well, what groups of robots complement each other, what formations or clusters of robots provide a fun challenge and overall what powerups should be available to the player to help tackle these various obstacles.


And with you still using the word "missions" in the plural, it sounds like you missed the part when I urged you to take things slowly and just focus on making single levels to learn the editor and the entire building process. Take on too many projects when you still don't really have a lot of experience, and it's sure to make you stress out and burn out. I'm trying to help too, but now I'm wondering why I bothered, because you don't sound very willing to accept help.
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Alter-Fox » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:07 pm

And with you still using the word "missions" in the plural, it sounds like you missed the part when I urged you to take things slowly and just focus on making single levels to learn the editor and the entire building process. Take on too many projects when you still don't really have a lot of experience, and it's sure to make you stress out and burn out.
I found that out the hard way. It's the main reason I decided to turn Maximum Vertigo into an original novel instead of a Descent mission. Writing a novel is honestly easier, and no more time-consuming. Trust me, I've written lots of stuff :D. I even have a job or two...
I know it can be hard to accept criticism without making excuses for why you won't change. Hell, even I have problems with that and I ask people to constructively criticize my work because too many people online are afraid to risk offending someone and having that person, fearless and anonymous, explode in their faces. I've learned to treat criticisms, like the criticisms I got from people like Sirius on Never Look Down, as gifts and tools to work with. I know I can never please everyone, but I always try to at least listen so I can get what they didn't like.
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!!
...

Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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Xfing
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by Xfing » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:36 pm

Whoa. I also have an ambition to write novels! Too bad my time management skills are utter garbage and my motivation is nonexistent :frown: But I do already have many characters constructed and the plot laid out. All I need to do is to do some research, as unfortunately, the novel will be set in the real world. Writing high fantasy is sooo much easier! Much harder to write plotholes and inconsistencies. I need to read some articles on shifting the emphasis from things you don't want to reveal your lack of knowledge on to other, more comfortable subjects.
Descent 1,5: Level layouts done: 34/54 Secret level layouts done: 1/6
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LightWolf
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Re: The Dark Side

Post by LightWolf » Fri May 10, 2013 11:16 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:...pay attention to everything. What weapons robots get, how many shields robots get, how often a robot is used, where different robots are used, how the different robots with the different weapons and the different shields are used alongside different kinds of level architecture and different kinds of cover to encourage different sorts of strategies... what powerups robots drop... and anything else I didn't think to say in this sentence!
I am trying to do this. However, I will play this and use it to help me. Only a few levels are like this level as far as only mods. There are only going to be around 8 mods, and more than 8 different robots will be used. On the first level, there are no mods until the yellow key!
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