If Descent was revived/re-made...

A forum just for you old time Descent and Descent2 players.
User avatar
Sirius
DBB Master
DBB Master
Posts: 5435
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Sirius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:07 pm

An overabundance of excessively powerful mechs is difficult to scale down to the levels of casual players, though. Having a lot of normal robots with things like rapid-fire concussion missiles, smart missiles, mass driver - is guaranteed to kick their arses unless the weapons do very little damage on the lower difficulty settings. I always find it matters more how you use something than what abilities it has - though I can guarantee that too many of those Tractor Derailer robots are going to be annoying to pretty much anyone.

Side note, the Supervisor's ability trips my "CSI science" alarm.
User avatar
Ferno
DBB Stoner
DBB Stoner
Posts: 14341
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 1998 3:01 am

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Ferno » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:56 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:It sounds to me like you're making every robot more dangerous than before.

I would not play a game with these enemies because I would not be able to finish it. D1 was already near impossible for me to finish on Trainee. Half of the enemies you're upgrading are now at boss power.

Fantasies are nice, but if you're thinking seriously, keep your audience in mind too (especially the influx of new people who would be needed to keep this game alive).
If I can hammer-smash the D1 bots on ACE setting.. you should have zero problems beating it on trainee.
User avatar
Firewheel
DBB Ace
DBB Ace
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Tohoku, Japan

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Firewheel » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:27 pm

Ah, but don't you see? That's the beauty of Descent! It's supposed to be hard as nails. I think games these days are way too easy and tend to treat the player like a baby with all sorts of hand-holding along the way. Just look at a game like Demon's Souls, which is exceptionally difficult - yet still very popular.

Moreover, I spent more time coming up with ideas for the interesting enemies you'll meet, not so much the rank-and-file bots you'd be fighting most often. And the biggest point is to make the player think strategically instead of charging into the room with all guns blazing.

Besides, I haven't even posted me ideas for the boss robots yet. :twisted:
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Avder » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:32 pm

Do we really need a two level damage gauge?

The way I look at it, the Pyro itself is made of fragile, high technology nano and meta-materials in order to make it as fast, agile, and technologically capable as it is. Its design results in it basically able to fly apart if its shields are down and someone sneezes too hard on it. The shields are its armor. Its sacrificed actual armor for electronic armor and extreme adaptability and gravity manipulation.
User avatar
Alter-Fox
The Feline Menace
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: the realms of theory
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Alter-Fox » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:55 pm

Ferno wrote: If I can hammer-smash the D1 bots on ACE setting.. you should have zero problems beating it on trainee.
Non-sequiter!

With all due respect, sir, how exactly does your skill level define mine?
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
User avatar
Ferno
DBB Stoner
DBB Stoner
Posts: 14341
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 1998 3:01 am

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Ferno » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:37 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:
Ferno wrote: If I can hammer-smash the D1 bots on ACE setting.. you should have zero problems beating it on trainee.
Non-sequiter!

With all due respect, sir, how exactly does your skill level define mine?
you made a claim that D1 was too difficult. I countered your claim. therefore, it's a logical following to your statement and not a non sequitur.

my skill level defines yours by being higher than yours.

Fantasies are nice, but if you're thinking seriously, keep your audience in mind too (especially the influx of new people who would be needed to keep this game alive).
The audience comes to the game on it's own. Thinking what the audience wants only serves to hamper game design. iD kept it's audience in mind thinking they wanted graphics when they created doom3. what ended up being produced was a very lackluster (but very pretty) game that was quite boring to play. You're asking us to please everyone and every time that happens the game turns out to be forgettable.
User avatar
Alter-Fox
The Feline Menace
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: the realms of theory
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:06 am

First off, you completely missed my point. Read my post again and see if you can find it.

Secondly, your counter is invalid because I was claiming nothing about anyone except for me. My claim was that Descent is too difficult for me. Not for you. I do not make presumptions about other peoples' experience. If that's how you read my post, then you misunderstood it. The only assumption I make is that some other people, somewhere in the world, may have similar experiences to the ones I have.

Non-Sequitur = Conclusion that does not follow premise

Your premise = I beat Descent on Ace

Your conclusion = Therefore, (random person) should not have any problem beating Descent on Trainee
How does you beating Descent on Ace allow (random person) to beat Descent on Trainee? Write me a 300 word essay on that and maybe I'll believe you. And you can't make any assumptions about random person. Just because something is easy for you does not mean it will be easy for everyone else.

Your post severly offended me. I'm sure you didn't mean to so I'll explain why it offended me. This may sound angry but that's not because I'm angry at you. I do not mean to offend you any more than you meant to offend me.

You are not me. I am me. If you say something about me, someone who you aren't, and who you really know nothing about, you run a big risk of being wrong. If you say something about me that contradicts something I already said about myself, you are almost certainly wrong. If you say something about me that contradicts something I already said about myself, and you insist that you're right, even though I tell you you're wrong, then you are insulting me, because you're telling me that I'm not intelligent enough to know this fact about myself, and you, a complete stranger, know me better than I do. I put up with enough of this crap in real life because of my disability, and I do not need to take it here.

I said that I was barely able to beat D1 on trainee. You said that that can't be true. I said that it was true. You saying, again, that it was not true was telling me you know me better than I do -- and calling me a liar to boot. I'm sure you didn't mean it this way but that's how you came off.
I try to be a reasonable person, but treating me like I'm not a person will get you no respect. With all due respect to you, sir, you are coming very close to crossing that line. And with all due respect, I am already very angry at the insult, but not at you. I have warned you, if you continue to tell me that my experience cannot have happened, then as far as I'm concerned you're deliberately insulting me. And then I will be angry at you.

And now I'll set that aside. Thanks for understanding.
Ferno wrote: The audience comes to the game on it's own. Thinking what the audience wants only serves to hamper game design.
Or the audience might not come... or it might come after the studio is bankrupt and the devs have all starved to death because they have no money now.
For a game that is free though, I do see the point here. What I do not see in this topic is people who don't have a target audience in mind. I see a bunch of individual people, each with his own, small, personal target audience.
If this was an actual game design team in an actual game studio... well... I don't expect the game would be released in my lifetime. The good part about a target audience is it means everyone making the game is working toward the same thing. It's going to be very hard to enforce the idea of 'no target audience' because without something else to work for, everyone on the team is going to want to make whatever they think is cool... when they're not bickering over things like difficulty. If the game ever is finished it's going to be.... exactly like Sonic 2006. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Back to topic.
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
User avatar
Ferno
DBB Stoner
DBB Stoner
Posts: 14341
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 1998 3:01 am

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Ferno » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:03 pm

If you say something about me that contradicts something I already said about myself, you are almost certainly wrong /SNIP/ I said that I was barely able to beat D1 on trainee. You said that that can't be true /SNIP
nope. and here's why. if you have difficulty with a game that most people here can either handle or breeze through, then your skillset needs improvement, which was the point that I was expressing and YOU CLEARLY MISSED IT. If you get offended because of this, then you probably have issues that need to be addressed.

are we done here? or do I have to dump this conversation into NHB?
User avatar
Alter-Fox
The Feline Menace
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: the realms of theory
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:11 pm

Dude, I honestly don't care how good I am at the game as long as I can have fun -- the point I tried to make is there are other people like that - I know lots of them in real life, and they play Descent too. I don't care if I get better at Descent. But if you want me to, by all means challenge me to a dogfight in the mines ;) -- I never decline one of those -- and I mean, it's an easy win for you, right?
I think we both misunderstood the other's point. Situation resolved :).
Alter-Fox wrote:And now I'll set that aside.
Next time why don't I just come out and say what I mean?
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
User avatar
Ferno
DBB Stoner
DBB Stoner
Posts: 14341
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 1998 3:01 am

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Ferno » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:21 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:it's an easy win for you, right?
I can't do that. I mean, i could but I'd end up feeling bad because it would be something like 25 to -2 for me. :P
I think we both misunderstood the other's point. Situation resolved :)
agreed :)
User avatar
Firewheel
DBB Ace
DBB Ace
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Tohoku, Japan

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Firewheel » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:42 pm

I'm not totally sure whether two damage gauges is a good idea, either. But I like the idea of having one that recharges (to some extent) and another that's more permanent. But maybe it would work better to just have shields and more places where they could be recharged, at least to some extent. But I do like the idea of robots being defender by armor and/or shields.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Avder » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:24 am

If you want recharging shields and armor tanking, play eve.

I think the damage should be kept simple in Descent. Shields only plx.
User avatar
Alter-Fox
The Feline Menace
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: the realms of theory
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:30 am

Could always use D2X-XL's critical damage system. It's not the same but it's a similar idea. Shields don't recharge, and damage to the hull is felt in other ways (like knocking your guns out of alignment for one example). The hull repairs itself with nanobots (interesting that D2X-XL uses the same explanation for that as the books did - I don't think Karx has read them.)
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
User avatar
vision
DBB Defender
DBB Defender
Posts: 3431
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:54 pm
Location: Mars

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by vision » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:23 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:The hull repairs itself with nanobots (interesting that D2X-XL uses the same explanation for that as the books did - I don't think Karx has read them.)
I liked a lot of ideas in the books and your plan seems pretty cool. I like upgrades instead of power-ups. Maybe the game could be structured so you get money instead of points, and you can buy upgrades between levels? You can be like a real mercenary and bid on jobs you want to do, maybe a choice between several different mines depending on difficulty, and most importantly - get paid for clearing it. I like the limit on number of weapons/ammo per type of ship too.

I guess I'm thinking about racing games where you get money depending on which track/place you finish and use that to upgrade you car. Wasn't Pod-Racer like that? I loved that game.
User avatar
Lothar
DBB Ghost Admin
DBB Ghost Admin
Posts: 12133
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 1998 12:01 pm
Location: I'm so glad to be home
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Lothar » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:29 pm

When my little brother Bobby was about 6 years old, he'd talk about making Descent bots harder by giving all of them quad mega fusion missile flash bombs that took away one of your powerups when they hit you. Granted, that would make them harder, but it wouldn't really be an interesting game. I like to bring up the idea of a "Bobby game" whenever I see people talking about enhancing bots, as a reminder that enhanced bots aren't necessarily a good thing.

I think the key is to balance generic bots that just kinda throw damage (in various amounts) in your general direction with special bots that do more interesting things. It's not really fun to play against all bots that can kill you in one shot. And it's not really fun when every single bot has a special attack that makes your screen turn purple and reverses your controls. What's fun is when you have the right mix.

I'd say the set should include:

- weak bots that don't do much damage but end up picking away at you as you're focusing on something else, or that end up blocking your shots that you intended for something else

- tough bots that do a ton of damage and are usually high priority targets

- bots that try to use their shots, not to damage you directly, but to "herd" you -- who spray shots between you and the nearest door/corner/bit of cover, for example

- bots that can knock you around (like with a low-damage, extra-kick MD type shot), slow you down, or otherwise mess with your ship motion. The main threat isn't their damage, it's the fact that they make you susceptible to everyone else's damage.

- bots that can steal your powerups. I don't like the way the thief did it; I think it'd be more interesting to have weaker mini-thief bots that could take one powerup each (either from your ship or from the level) and run off with it.

- bots that buff other bots. For example, they could make other bots extra aggressive, maybe in the same way that a Boomer (from Left 4 Dead) does, by getting close and "tagging" you. Or they could erect a shield that absorbs incoming damage to other bots within a particular radius.

- bots that are just plain easy / fun / eye candy. Because occasionally you just wanna see something go "boom" without much effort. Bonus points if there's a bot that has a large blast radius and is usually found in the middle of groups of other bots.
Izchak says: 'slow down. Think clearly.'
April Fools Day is the one day of the year that people critically evaluate news articles before accepting them as true.
User avatar
vision
DBB Defender
DBB Defender
Posts: 3431
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:54 pm
Location: Mars

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by vision » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:30 pm

RE: Bots, I just got done designing a small set of D1 levels. Really, it's more about the placement and the combination of bots, not a bot's gimmick that makes the game interesting and challenging. Same is true about weapons - less is more. Lasers rule. Phoenix cannon? Not so much, haha.
User avatar
Firewheel
DBB Ace
DBB Ace
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Tohoku, Japan

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Firewheel » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:34 pm

Actually Lothar, that's pretty close to the sort of balance I'm trying to achieve with my robot ideas - you'll notice most of them don't have tons and tons of weapons, and are designed to encourage strategic thinking in order to dispatch them. Bosses, on the other hand... I'm still coming up with ideas for those, but let's just say that I think most game bosses are way too easy these days.

And as far as weapons go, I think I came up with a good balance of useful weapons and did away with most of the superfluous ones (Omega, Helix, Phoenix cannons...) Less is indeed more.

My idea for the upgradeable ship is probably rooted more in Metroid than anything else, but I like also like the idea of the player becoming stronger as the game progresses beyond simply collecting more firepower. The mercenary idea is interesting, but it kind of detracts from the sense of isolation that Descent does so well.
User avatar
sdfgeoff
DBB Ace
DBB Ace
Posts: 496
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:07 am
Location: Low Earth Orbit
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by sdfgeoff » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:01 am

Some of you guys feel like having a chat to me. At this stage (making a descent based remake) I am open to ideas.
If you want to, catch me on this webpage.
Eh?
User avatar
Alter-Fox
The Feline Menace
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: the realms of theory
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Alter-Fox » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:44 am

Lothar wrote:- bots that try to use their shots, not to damage you directly, but to "herd" you -- who spray shots between you and the nearest door/corner/bit of cover, for example

- bots that can knock you around (like with a low-damage, extra-kick MD type shot), slow you down, or otherwise mess with your ship motion. The main threat isn't their damage, it's the fact that they make you susceptible to everyone else's damage.
Medium lifters were kind of a combination of this. I can't count the times they've pinned me to a wall while a laser platform bot is shooting at me. The result being that I need to take out the laser platform bot before the lifters -- even though the lifters are doing a lot of damage, the laser bot will do more if it keeps hitting me while I'm stuck. And god help you if it's a missile platform instead :cough:level 19:cough:
I liked this dynamic, like a kind of primitive teamork (more like a symbiosis if you think about it, actually -- each is still mostly attempting to serve itself, it just happens to help the other by doing that).

In case you haven't noticed I'm being the 'devil's advocate'. Personally I think there should be a devil's advocate on every team, it helps people to step back and look objectively at their work, so they can see what they may be doing wrong or could do better.

So, devil's advocate -- I'm just going to rapid fire as many opinions I can think of that I have about Descent, especially the ones that are different than other peoples' opinions:

The helix cannon and the phoenix cannon were my favourite weapons in all of Descent and D2 was my favourite of the games. The omega cannon was very useful in the late game, against all the small fast guys -- but it wasn't very useful at the time you first got it. The energy to shield converter was a great idea but was balanced much better in D3 with the inventory system and only getting it for one level at a time; in D2 I tended to use it so much I didn't have enough energy to use the really powerful weapons. D2, Vertigo, and D3 were all much easier than D1 for me, this was, I think, entirely because of the afterburner -- I've beat D2 and Vertigo on Hotshot, despite my terribleness at D1. Lothar's suggestion about robots was exactly the point I had been trying to make about Firewheel's robots before I got sidetracked, but he said it better than I ever could.
Who cares if it's not scientifically accurate? Antigravity is not scientifically accurate.
I like all of Firewheel's robot ideas, but I agree with Lothar (and Firewheel, apparently) that they should be the ones that are used sparingly -- this also makes them feel even cooler to the player. I think the idea with the class 1 drones having varying degrees of infection should be used on more robots, I like the idea of this as a general enemy mechanic rather than a one-robot gimmick.
Upgrades are an awesome idea, and I think purchasing weapons is great too. I think levels should still contain powerups, easy to find ones like shield and energy boosts, and also possibly the ability to get upgrades early if you look really hard for secrets. I like the mercenary idea too, because it actually makes sense that you'd get paid -- except that it invalidates the plot points in D2 and D3 that the PTMC still owes you your paycheck. It gives you an incentive to replay missions if you're wanting to buy an expensive, optional upgrade - Bionicle Heroes style.

New idea: E-Bandit attack. An upgrade that gives the player an ability to drain energy from robots and from other players in multi. The first time I encountered the E-Bandit and learned what it did, my thought was 'I want to be able to do that'.
I am giving at least one of the player characters this ability in G'Blanix (because Descent never had it). But G'Blanix will not be Descent (despite some similarities) and this is something I'd love to be able to do in Descent.
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
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Avder » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:55 pm

Lothar wrote:When my little brother Bobby was about 6 years old, he'd talk about making Descent bots harder by giving all of them quad mega fusion missile flash bombs that took away one of your powerups when they hit you. Granted, that would make them harder, but it wouldn't really be an interesting game. I like to bring up the idea of a "Bobby game" whenever I see people talking about enhancing bots, as a reminder that enhanced bots aren't necessarily a good thing.
Sounds like how they made Nintendo games back in the 80s.
User avatar
Firewheel
DBB Ace
DBB Ace
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Tohoku, Japan

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Firewheel » Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:33 am

The idea for varying levels of infestation really comes from the different difficulty levels (which I'd still want in a new Descent.) Class 1 drones are pretty harmless on the lower difficulties but they act totally bonkers on insane, and their shots are much faster, too.

Plus, a room full of low-level robots might be easy to take out... unless there's a Supervisor somewhere making them totally rabid. So you'd want to find him and take him out before charging into the room and fighting the rest of the mechs.
User avatar
Alter-Fox
The Feline Menace
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: the realms of theory
Contact:

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Alter-Fox » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:20 am

Just make sure there are some rooms full of low level robots without a supervisor then.

The ones that do have one should be later in the game.... and again this 'adding on to something already established' makes the player percieve it as cooler than he would otherwise, not to mention keeping it interesting.
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
User avatar
Duper
DBB Master
DBB Master
Posts: 9205
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Beaverton, Oregon USA

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Duper » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:34 pm

well, if you read between the lines, Descent is in pre or straight production right now.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Avder » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:40 pm

Duper wrote:well, if you read between the lines, Descent is in pre or straight production right now.
How do you figure
User avatar
Duper
DBB Master
DBB Master
Posts: 9205
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Beaverton, Oregon USA

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Duper » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:19 pm

http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1057 ... 123110.htm
Page 1, para 9 wrote: We have entered into various agreements with several experienced Video Game studios for the development of games based on intellectual properties we either own or have licensed. As a result of such agreements we currently have under production or pre-production games based on Battlechess, Clayfighter, Dark Alliance, Descent, Earthworm Jim, MDK2 and Stonekeep.
;)

Now, notice that it says "based on". That leaves an out for in lieu of "direct sequel"...but... this could also refer to the Wii port.
User avatar
Avder
DBB Material Defender
DBB Material Defender
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Moorhead, MN

Re: If Descent was revived/re-made...

Post by Avder » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:06 am

Thats possible. Its also possible that it could just be some graphical stuff involved in descent. "Based on" can have a pretty loose interpretation.
Post Reply