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Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:23 pm
by Alter-Fox
As music goes Kak, there should be a file in the HOG with an .sng extension. If you copy that into your root descent 2 folder and rename it to "descent.sng" it will replace the music for this mission.
It will replace the music past level 4 for every other mission as well so get rid of it when you're done.

Also Xfing loves this set. :P It's one of his favourites out there. I know this.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:58 pm
by kakhome1
@Alter-Fox I see the files. The sng is weirdly structured in that it doesn't start at game01. However, in terms of ham files, there's both descent2.ham and plutdemo.ham! Which one should I use? I can't have two files both named descent2.ham in my folder at once.

@Xfing As for the Rebirth discrepancy, I can't prove regarding the shields, but as for the flash missile strength, load up 'The Enemy Within', warp to Level 16, and let a flash missile from the Kalki beyond the first door hit you in both Dos and Rebirth. Does anyone else get a difference? I'd be interested. In Rebirth, it doesn't blind me completely; in Dos(BOX), it does. Makes a big difference.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:25 am
by Xfing
Well I specifically remember being completely blinded even by flash missiles from Sidearm Modula in D2 L4. Completely lost in the light :lol:

And yeah, that was under Rebirth. I don't much fancy playing D2 under DosBox, as you have to set up a pretty elaborate autoexec to do that, not to mention mount the CD.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:11 am
by kakhome1
Can you (or someone else) try in Rebirth TEW Level 16 on Hotshot & tell me if the Kalki flash missile (second room) only partially blinds them? It definitely blinds completely in Dos.

I'm using Rebirth v0.59.1 dated 12/11/2016.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:21 pm
by Xfing
kakhome1 wrote:Can you (or someone else) try in Rebirth TEW Level 16 on Hotshot & tell me if the Kalki flash missile (second room) only partially blinds them? It definitely blinds completely in Dos.

I'm using Rebirth v0.59.1 dated 12/11/2016.
Just did the very thing you asked - I haven't seen my screen this white in a long while in fact. Whitest of the white, Ku Klux Klan certified, pure #FFFFFF.

Rebirth v 0.58.1

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:27 pm
by kakhome1
Maybe it was an issue introduced post-0.58? The second room of Level 26 is also a good try.

In both cases, I'm 75-90% white in Rebirth but 100% white totally blinded in DosBOX (on Hotshot).

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:11 pm
by Xfing
I was completely blinded from a single homing flash, same thing happens from regular non-homing flashes as early as counterstrike level 3.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:17 pm
by kakhome1
What skill are you playing on?

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:12 pm
by Sirius
OK, yeah, the HAMs will be a problem. Rebirth will load up any replacement descent2.ham files in the mission; D2 DOS will not do this. You'd have to replace descent2.ham in the base game directory for it to work. I don't remember what plutdemo.ham has in it - if it's a so-called "V-HAM" (Vertigo - it used extensions rather than replacing base content) it will work, though it might require Vertigo; otherwise it will not, and there's probably no way to get it to work without manually merging its contents into descent2.ham somehow.

Regarding the flash missile issue: in Rebirth that is dependent on your brightness settings. If you have brightness set to full, then flash missiles will totally blind you. If you have it at minimum, they will not. Somewhere in between, I'm not sure. This bug is present in all recent released versions of Rebirth; it sounded like it might be fixed (I don't know in which direction) in 0.60, but that's still in a beta state for now.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:31 am
by Xfing
Xfing wrote:I was completely blinded from a single homing flash, same thing happens from regular non-homing flashes as early as counterstrike level 3.
Hotshot like you said.

BTW my brightness was all the way down too. So no issues whatsoever for me

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:29 am
by AlexanderBorisov
I've just did a quick playthrough of Plutonian Shores Demo on Insane difficulty (with saves, I just wanted to see how good the levels are, including the robot placement and gameplay on Insane). Man the level set is amazing! Especially the later levels. I am not ready to make detailed comments on particular levels at this point; WRT to geometry and texturing it has that nice Vertigo and sometimes even D1 feel to it; DH's levels (9,11) are stunning as usual. But i'd rate this level set close to my favorite missions - Vertigo, TEW, LL, Obsidian, AF, Enemy Vignettes.
I think I should replay it in no-save no-death mode to get more insight into gameplay; saves and deaths are cheating anyway. But I give some general impression below.
1) Gameplay is very good. You have enough space to fight most of the robots without dirty tricks, often there are many ways to approach the same area and you have to choose the best one, so it is not linear. Difficulty is alright, like Obsidian maybe, but not as devious and mazochistic as in LL and EV sometimes. There are no cheap stupid traps where you cannot avoid damage, and very luck based encounters (although this needs to be checked without saves). There are some "good" traps (where you have to plan your strategy to avoid damage), actually a lot of them, which I like.
2) This mission gives the player TOO MUCH Vulcan ammo and missiles. And especially guided and smart missiles. I always try to avoid cheat-kills with guided and smarts, and have hardly used 20% of guided missiles given. And began using smarts only in level 10 against boarsheads and MAX. Never used a single Mega, too. And I even was not looking for the secrets, which should have even more those unused missiles! About Vulcan ammo, also it has too much. Maybe 2x too much. I am not a fan of ammo shortage of course, but limiting ammo gives more challenge, inspires the player to think about ammo management, which is good. I also noticed this issue in Enemy Vignettes, where I also had not used 80% of strong missiles.
3) Many levels are a bit mazy and hard to memorize for my taste (at least levels 3 and 4 come to mind). I still favor more structured levels like 2, 7, 10 and so on.
4) I'd like to see more sniper ngs and maybe some other fast snipe mode robots in the open. Too little sniper ng's and ITSCs which are amongst my fauvorite enemies. Placing sniper ngs into cages seems cool but does not allow them to use their main weapon, mobility. BTW I was definitely impressed how those sniping robots were used in LL, remember L19?
A bit of criticism on individual levels : in L7, boss can be easily killed without retaliation, from the distance. Maybe one should consider to make this big room a bit smaller? L11 : I am still unable to find how to enter the boss room, and take gauss and invulnerability, will have to resort to using the level editor. Even with Astral cheat I could not figure it out. This is not good because I don't know how one can fight the boss without Gauss. EDIT : I killed the boss with Vulcan and missiles and finished the level, in fact not that hard (after looking up how it should be done via DLE), but holy shit, how one is supposed to find this secret switch opening the boss room during the exit countdown??? Also all 2 cloaks and 2 invuln in this level do not seem to have any reasonable use. At least cannot be used against the boss or for exit run.

But I am definitely impressed, and waiting for the full version with impatience, and also can playtest it on Insane diffuculty.
Matt, if you are interested I can give more comments on individual levels on my second playthrough of the demo. BTW is the mission close to the finish line? Because if it is, I prefer to wait a bit and play full version instead of replaying the demo.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:51 pm
by Sirius
It is close, although there is no set release date yet.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:20 pm
by Naphtha
The problem I usually have with item placement is that if I can't really strike the balance between the right amounts for cold-start and front-to-back players, I prefer to give enough weapons for a player cold-starting each level. But I see what you mean that I've gone a bit too far into allowing that, so I'll be testing to see where we can pare down supplies without making a cold start nigh-impossible.

At this point the levels have all been submitted, although there are some creative parts that need to be filled still. What's left on my checklist is to finish testing/tweaking, complete the storyline for single player, and see about adding custom textures into the levels to complement the story. No tentative release date yet, but I assure you we're getting closer to the finish line!

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:08 pm
by kakhome1
Looking forward to it! Yeah you probably want to make it tight yet not impossible for cold starters. If you're frequently getting excess Vulcan/Gauss ammo and/or missiles even on cold starts, there's probably too much.

Will there be any edits to the demo levels, either to improve balance or other edits to the design/progression itself?

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:09 am
by Xfing
Look, if you can do a level from cold start, you'll just as well be able to do it during continuous play. Anything beyond cold start necessary supplies is just being generous.

Re: Plutonian Shores - Vertigo Single-Player development thread

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:32 am
by AlexanderBorisov
I will soon put my Insane no-save no-death walkthrough of the PS demo on Youtube (with some comments), most of the levels are recorded already.
I can share the demos, too. For me it is even easier (because they are smaller in size).
Looking at particular level run it is easy to judge how much ammo and missiles are necessary for doing a level. BTW I haven't done cold starts, but still my guess is that amount of missiles (especially guided) and Vulcan ammo is excessive even for that in most levels.And as I said earlier I haven't used any megas at all except for the last boss, and used smart missile only once in the whole level set, except for the L10. Anyway I'd consider giving many guided missiles a bit cheap way to allow a cold start; it is better to give some useful primaries (especially Vulcan or quad lasers or at least Super laser) early. In general it is better to give the player homing or mercury missiles instead of guided if you want to make it challenging. And if you need to make levels cold startable but don't give too much stuff to front-to-back players, you can give them more ammo at the start and much less in the course of the level, so you exit with the same load as you started.

Also I think the demo levels are not as difficult as I expected them to be from mission description, you can make some of them a bit harder by limiting available ammo and weapons (an maybe even adding some robots). If you want to "use existing robots to their maximum potential" i'd suggest adding more dangerous bots like ITSCs, sidearms, seekers, maybe groups of hornets, and especially sniper ng's, and maybe some dangerous snipe mode bots (like plasma driller or BPER). That was done very well in LL. But this is just a suggestion, and of course I don't know what is the difficulty curve for later levels. Maybe they are hard as hell...
However levels 3 and 10 were difficult enough for me, 4 was also difficult (but probably if I had used all available guided and smart missiles in L10, it would be much easier).
EDIT : uploaded demos for levels 1-11 (the link will expire in a few weeks):
https://www.sendspace.com/file/kecjsv
EDIT : link to my Youtube playlist for PS Demo :
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... NCYsXPDkUn