Descent 1 1/2

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

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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:38 pm

Wouldn't be the first one. Dan's (I think) name for level 16 of Descent Maximum was Temple to Syrinx. Which, I think, is a Rush song. But Fold Zandura's a band and we're using that one too!
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:55 pm

Vertigo level names are really wacky, but they're nothing compared to Maximum names, lol.

I prolly should add level 4 to the demo hog, but I haven't been able to get to work on the level yet. I might find it in me tomorrow :D
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Shroudeye » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:52 am

Hello everyone,

I have to notify that I'm kind of occupied with final exams until early January (Around 4th or something). I'll continue building Dementia after all finishes.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:03 pm

After looking into Zeta Aquilae texturing, I decided to revise Coolyard.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pM3jIb ... sp=sharing
Since Circularis went for the "warmer" ZA theme, I decided to do this level based on the "cooler" theme.

Oh, and the overuse of red was replaced by an overuse of gray - which doesn't look nearly as overused.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:20 pm

Sounds good on paper. Let's see how good it looks. :D
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BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:17 am

Well, the problem of the original were never the warm colors, it was the dominance of red, which is very un-ZA-like. Switching up that red with the orange used in stock ZA levels would have been enough really. Right now the level looks more like Robby Station, which is more appropriate than the previous color scheme at the very least. Too bad you didn't do anything about all the other stuff mentioned in the thread though, like the puzzle section reminescent of a fire escape, most notably.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:28 pm

Thought I forgot to mention something.
I did actually shave one layer off of the initial spiral as well as the following zigzag.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by TRUEpiiiicness » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:34 pm

Hi just a random person strolling through this thread
How complete is this mission set? (In percentage.)
Because I'm super hyped for soooo many levels
And even better, is there an estimated time of release?
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:41 am

As of yet, there is no ETR. We are currently 58.3% complete structurally - I'd estimate counting all the non-geometric things (robots/powerups, briefing, etc.) puts at a little above 50% complete.

If you can make a level better than most of mine, then your help would be appreciated.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by TRUEpiiiicness » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:59 am

I'm afraid I haven't made any levels because I only just installed both D1 and D2 (after many years of playing it on my ps2 lol) so if I was to download a level builder now they would to start with be like the levels of the world quality.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:35 am

We're slowly chugging along here. But it's been pretty consistent, fortunately. So we'll probably get there eventually :P
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:31 pm

Speaking of Coolyard, could you explain why PIG robots have this weird POG behavior, like shooting off plasma pulses and firing homing missiles? I think we should be way past the stage of me needing to tell you we use only robots with standard behavior in this mission...
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:04 pm

Ask DLE, the lord of bringing HXMs over from whatever was open before and screwing everything up :roll:
Let me fix that real quick...

Edit: Fixed. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f6hDVq ... sp=sharing
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:18 pm

Yeah, I figured it might have been THAT behavior, not sure if it was on my end or yours though. That said, new Rebirth builds have been glitching for me something awful, so I guess I'll be reverting to the latest stable version until they release something more reliable.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:19 am

Spent some extra time on difficulty checking on this one.
Metacave Ore Mine
Quick tip: Beware dysfunctional rooms with invulnerabilities ;)
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:05 pm

LightWolf wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:19 am
Spent some extra time on difficulty checking on this one.
Metacave Ore Mine
Quick tip: Beware dysfunctional rooms with invulnerabilities ;)
What's this level? I don't think i remember it being on the agenda. Also, haven't we agreed on not putting stuff into the mines at this time? Which time would it be of me asking you to stop doing it? Why so stubborn?

That said though, this level's design is surprisingly nice in all measurable terms: geometry, texturing, lighting and decoration use. Getting a super strong Vertigo vibe from it, it would fit right in actually, though we'll have to change the name as it's basically the name of one Vertigo level slightly rephrased. Did you really make this? If you did, wouldn't you mind taking some time to bring Coolyard to this same standard of texturing and geometry? I do realize starting a level from stratch is one thing and trying to improve an existing one is another, but I've done both of these things and I can easily say that with your current skill level (if it's legitimate) it shouldn't be a problem for you.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Shroudeye » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:12 pm

Well, I have to update my status, my exams are finishing at the middle of January, namely 14-15th. So expect me to return "digging" at that time.

Best wishes, and a happy new year to all of you!
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:13 pm

Thanks, you too! Thanks for your continued involvement :D
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Shroudeye » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:18 pm

It is a joy to be involved, thanks! :)
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:06 pm

The logic behind "Metacave" is that it takes the traditional role of being the planet the mine is on (Lunar Outpost, Metacave Weapons Research), and I liked the texturing scheme - hence making a Metacave-textured level makes sense on the planet Metacave.

And I'll see what I can do about Coolyard.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:23 pm

That's your interpretation though, and IMO it's wrong. Clearly Vertigo is way past naming mines after planets... I thought it was more in the vein of "a cave of metamorphic rock", if anything :D I suggest something nice and simple like "Metarock Mine".

It's a well-designed level, I'd actually include it happily - just don't be surprised if its contents are switched up a lot. Oh, and what's the slot you'd like it to be in? Early Vertigo is the approximate location I'd put it in.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:26 pm

No major preference, however ideally I'd like it in a spot for a small difficulty spike.
And that name actually isn't too bad.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:04 pm

Ok then, you got yourself a spot.

I wonder how's Phozon's level. It had potential, that's for sure.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:27 pm

Metarock Cave? I agreed to Metarock Mine...
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:54 pm

LightWolf wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:27 pm
Metarock Cave? I agreed to Metarock Mine...
My mistake, fixin'. If only you were as quick to fix your own mistakes as you are pointing out others' ... :lol:
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by LightWolf » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:18 pm

It may be a while before I can complete Coolyard upgrades due to some life circumstances. I'll try get back to you once I get a chance.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:36 pm

I just converted level 1 and level 46 to d2x-xl format as a testbed to figure out exactly how to make the levels look nicer without changing the gameplay. I changed the PIG for level 1 to GroupA but since I replaced the D1 textures in the POG with all the high-res versions that exist, the vast majority of the textures are not palette based anyway. I added a few ambient sounds and particle effects as well which doesn't take too long and really adds to the atmosphere.

Anyway, I found a couple of really elementary and silly issues with level 1 which I need to point out to you guys:
1. The wall above the secret laser compartment in the second room is visibly two dimensional. I shouldn't have to tell you that walls in a level are like characters in a story -- clearly two-dimensional is simply bad construction. If you've got D2X-XL or even DLE installed (and I'm sure you have one of those) take a look at the very simple thing I did to that compartment to fix it, and please take note of how easy it is. Much better than having it look like it was left half-done.
2. The lava trickles were glowing green! Having textures that should glow glow in the right colour is not something that should have to wait for D2X-XL conversion, especially since it's something that could theoretically affect future versions of Rebirth if the coloured lighting is taken further there. It's extremely quick and easy to do and if you've got "apply globally" set in the misc settings on DLE you only need to do it once per level.

More of a taste thing, but do you really think PIG and Small Hulk both need to show up here? They're just about functionally identical and I really think PIG's bright red colour clashes horribly with the mine's almost entirely white and light-blue texture scheme. Some bold, clashing colours are not a bad thing to be sure, but I don't think it should be the first thing players see when they start up our mission. It's the sort of thing that would certainly give me a bad first impression of a level set (if I wasn't working on it :P) because it makes it look like the designer is going to try to throw everything and the kitchen sink at you without a thought for pacing or threat level. Especially in a first level that already seems very full of enemies.
And yes, I know that throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the player is the actual point of this mission as a whole, but there are better ways to advertise that point especially since we're asking players to stick with us for the long haul.

I do realize I'll have to redo level 46 later once the population is finalized -- and possibly level 1 as well if you do tweak it. 46 turned out to be the best space I had for testing out the lightning effects, which I rightly recalled are tricky to get working properly. I've put the two levels up in the main "levels" folder for you guys to take a look at. As I said before, please do take a look at at least the first one.
The song in level 46 is called "Coalition" and it'll be up on the dropbox too pretty soon. :D
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:09 am

I'm sticking with the robot setup as it is, robots matching the level coloristically was never a concern in D1, with the possible exception of the Mars levels. Even D2 didn't go all the way with it, putting e-bandits in Puuma Sphere, ITSCs in Brimspark etc. As for 2D looking doors, I've started paying particular attention to that since you first pointed it out, making sure they open in logical directions etc (to be fair, even Parallax was guilty of this a good few times, so you're probably too perfectionist on that in the first place). I know that door in L1 could be an issue, but I decided to let that one go for some reason. Descent.PIG absolutely needs to stay for level 1 though - at least for the primary version of the mission (Rebirth), since rock001 looks like absolute, utter shit in any other PIG. This is something quite obvious to me, yet you don't seem to notice or mind this at all, as you used this texture liberally in two of your levels, neither of which is descent.pig. - it's just the way it goes, different people are bothered by different stuff :D

Oh, and I don't really concern myself with colored lights, since I don't really play XL much at all - I don't plan on enforcing colored light management from designers, but if you want to do it then feel free to. BTW the green glow is from the texture replaced by the trickle, which is the alien green monitor stripe.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:27 pm

I didn't mess with your textures, what I did was switch them to the high-res versions which makes the palette irrelevant -- XL reads the colours for tga textures out of the image itself. It still doesn't like the new PIG so I needed to switch it out for testing, but it doesn't make a difference to rock001 at that point.

You know the story of my texturing already I'm pretty sure. Quartzon always looked too earth-like for my taste and I wanted level 25 to look more clearly alien, but it is still a water level. And 46 is meant to look like it's under a salt plain, not the surface of the moon. The distinction is subtle but important for the level's implied storyline as a salt plain can still support life. So I needed the textures to look slightly different.
I do think you should fix the compartment on level 1 at least, it's not hard to do and makes it look much better. I'd do it myself if only it wouldn't mess up your careful lighting.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:12 pm

I wouldn't say it was careful tbh, mostly automatically calculated with global brightness values for all textures, lol
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:21 pm

Well, it still looked a little different when I re-lit it. If that doesnt matter give me the go-ahead and I'll fix it.

I still think light colours are simple enough to ask people if they'd keep them in mind while building if they use DLE. "Enforcing" is a strong term, if you could just add a reminder note about it in your intro post I'd be much obliged. I think the reason most of the designers here wouldn't do it is because they forget that they can, not because they don't care. Speaking for myself I certainly want anybody playing my level to have the best experience possible regardless of what they use to play it.
In the meantime I've edited my first post in this thread to include that; it is a little ways down the page though.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:46 am

Yeah why not, you can apply the solution to the primary level version too. I'm all for that :)
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Sylandrophol » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:56 am

★■◆● it, if it's open, i'd like to have Level 45, please. I know, first post here, and i'm still fairly new to this whole Descent mapmaking business, but i'd like to throw my hat into the ring and contribute to this map pack.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by AlexanderBorisov » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:09 am

Xfing wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:09 am
I'm sticking with the robot setup as it is, robots matching the level coloristically was never a concern in D1, with the possible exception of the Mars levels. Even D2 didn't go all the way with it, putting e-bandits in Puuma Sphere, ITSCs in Brimspark etc.
To me it seemed that D1 robots matched their environment rather well, and I also think selecting most color-compliant robots (from ones with the same function) on at least per-room basis is a good idea. It would be nice to have a distinctive style for robot placement in the mission, like you did with texturing style (I still cannot judge the geometry by 3 levels) to make it different from the others. Even AF has it's style wrt to robot selection, although often the style boils down to "the more top tier robots in the room the better". But I started to replay it and record a no death no save (segmented for some levels longer than an hour and for bosses that you can only kill once in a blue moon), and found it is not as bad as it looked originally, and you can really have those hordes of top-tier mechs and still have an interesting and non-frustrating gameplay!
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:31 am

Sylandrophol wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:56 am
★■◆● it, if it's open, i'd like to have Level 45, please. I know, first post here, and i'm still fairly new to this whole Descent mapmaking business, but i'd like to throw my hat into the ring and contribute to this map pack.
Well okay, marking it off for you. Good luck! Of course I don't guarantee inclusion if my quality standards are not met (especially since it's the Vertigo portion), but don't get discouraged and do your best :D
AlexanderBorisov wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:09 am
Xfing wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:09 am
I'm sticking with the robot setup as it is, robots matching the level coloristically was never a concern in D1, with the possible exception of the Mars levels. Even D2 didn't go all the way with it, putting e-bandits in Puuma Sphere, ITSCs in Brimspark etc.
To me it seemed that D1 robots matched their environment rather well, and I also think selecting most color-compliant robots (from ones with the same function) on at least per-room basis is a good idea. It would be nice to have a distinctive style for robot placement in the mission, like you did with texturing style (I still cannot judge the geometry by 3 levels) to make it different from the others. Even AF has it's style wrt to robot selection, although often the style boils down to "the more top tier robots in the room the better". But I started to replay it and record a no death no save (segmented for some levels longer than an hour and for bosses that you can only kill once in a blue moon), and found it is not as bad as it looked originally, and you can really have those hordes of top-tier mechs and still have an interesting and non-frustrating gameplay!
Don't get me wrong - I do like the idea of theming robots coloristically, and certain (many, even) levels are definitely going to have that. I've been working slowly on populating level 4 (actually got stuck on some texture work I decided needed to be done, and very minor geometry tweaks) and I think It'll contain probably every single red robot available at least once and little else. I'll need to take care to make the difficulty just right considering the limited armament though. However I'm fairly certain that D1 did have mishmashes extensively, especially in levels such as 16, S3 and 27, though in others too. You might be under the illusion that they've been using robot colors to match wall colors, but it just so happens that many walls in Descent are green, blue and purple and it just so happens that quite a lot of bread-and-butter bots share these colors. Red robots are quite ubiquitious all the way throughout D1, and only the Martian levels contain red textures, so that at least is something to think about.

I also like the idea of mixing D1, D2 and Vertigo robots in single levels in about equal proportions, which is why I went the way I went with the first 3 levels. Since all robots need to be easy to get the player eased into the mission, there simply weren't that many to choose from. Being able to make a direct comparison in combat between a D1 robot and its D2 functional equivalent should be quite a fun opportunity for a pilot IMO.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Xfing » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:49 am

Oh, and a little question of mine: how to ensure all the midi tracks play in the levels we want them to? By including duplicates of the track in question with a different name (for example level01.mid and level30.mid or something)? Because from what I know, otherwise the tracks will just loop after the level of the last one included is finished.
Descent 1,5: Level layouts done: 35/54 Secret level layouts done: 1/6
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AlexanderBorisov
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by AlexanderBorisov » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:27 am

Either duplicate them or use sng file, to my knowledge, but I still don't know how the tracks for secret levels are assigned based on the sng file.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Sirius » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:38 am

You need a .sng file anyway or it will just loop after level 4, so I would use that.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by Alter-Fox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:53 am

Yeah, I do believe you can duplicate file names in the sng to have them play in the right order. Pretty sure TEW must have done it to give level 25 and 26 their own midi tracks.
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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Post by AlexanderBorisov » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:45 am

Did it myself to record ONP with the MIDI tracks I liked, duplicate names surely work - I selected 3 tracks I like most and assigned them to the levels via my own sng file the way I liked. Unfortunately you need an install/uninstall bat file to copy and restore the sng file, and the other missions music will not play correctly before you uninstalled it, it's a pity you cannot just put the sng file into the mission hog. Would be a very useful feature.
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