Secrets of the Past: outline and resource

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Ben K
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Secrets of the Past: outline and resource

Postby Ben K » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:12 pm

As indicated in another thread in this forum, I had a D2X-XL mission project going for a while. Since this 'while' has turned into two years plus with no end in sight, it has become apparent that I won't be able to complete the series as I'd originally envisioned. Since there are a few people who want to have a look at what I've done so far, and maybe continue from there, I'll link it in this thread.

Design Overview
A graphical and gameplay overhaul. For an example of the theme I planned for level design, check the .rl2 for level 1 - it's very D3-like but textures come from several sources. Potentially every level will have an outdoor view, though only levels 2 and 7 require player access to outdoors.
Robot and player ship models will be custom.

The next few things may require extensive modification to executable files, so I'm not expecting that all are possible anymore.
Weapons are all (custom) bullets and missiles.
No power-ups, no extra lives.
The player must survive the mission with only the equipment provided, and the robots must be realistic in number and power. The average player should expect to complete the mission easily on lower skill levels.
There will be non-standard objectives and messages provided in text to guide the player to complete them.
Player ships will have different numbers of weapons and gun points. All ships have afterburners, headlights and flares inbuilt, which run on the ship's energy supply. Everything else uses its own ammunition supply.
Instead of different functions, weapons mainly have different levels of power. The low-powered machine guns and dumbfire missiles on the starting ship are not practical to defeat the more powerful opponents without running out of ammo. The high-powered weapons in level 7 are capable of taking out pretty much everything, but must be used carefully due to a limited supply. High-explosive dumbfire missiles, for example, should be used for destroying the structural supports in the final mission (and the player should be advised of this). However, there should be enough spare missiles so the player can have a little fun with them and be able to complete the objective.

Plot outline

The player is a fighter pilot dispatched to Venus as a security guard for a high-value mining operation.

1: An Evil Omen

A mine on Venus, separated into a habitation and facilities area and deeper parts being excavated.
The player is provided with a brief training mission around the habitation zone to explain the differences between ships in this mission and regular Descent.
After completing training, the mine is overrun by robots. Battles move from the habitat zone to the front entrance, where there is a report that the habitation area has been breached - it fills up with yellow fog. Harder robots surround the entrance, with one unkillable "boss" that does not move from the entrance room but will melt the player ship in seconds, so it must be avoided.
The player must retreat through habitat zone, get to the control tower, deactivate the force fields around the reactor and open the front gate. A large explosion occurs as robots are swept into the core by the huge air pressure of the Venus atmosphere. Return to the reactor room, scan the debris and find the lower escape route.

The player's company reports that the mine has been destroyed by an unknown force. A broadcast signal to the robots was detected coming from a small craft en route to Antarctica. The player arrives at a space port there and begins the search for its last known co-ordinates.

2: Echoes

An outpost on the coast of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, during summer daylight. After finding the target facility, the player must deal with guards on breaking in, access a recording from a mainframe, and break out.

The player's security company is known to the attackers and is the next target. The player is granted a more powerful ship at the Antarctica spaceport and heads to the Moon to deal with the threat.

3: The Second Act

A lunar mission on the outskirts of a domed city in Mare Imbrium. The player enters the city through an emergency exit near the customs stop at one of two main entrances. The first goal is to find and destroy three cargo shipments containing bombs meant for the security company's head office from out of sight of the security robots.
When that strategy proves unsuccessful, the mysterious robots from level 1 return in force. The security robots switch to friendly, and the player must assist them in destroying the invaders.
After they are destroyed, the player receives a message that the attack was a diversion for the real plan B: armed nuclear bombs are being discovered around the city. The mission ends with a race to a grav tube taking the player a safe distance away before time runs out.

With the player's employer gone, a transmission from Earth provides the next lead - someone knows who the saboteurs are. The player arrives at an underwater city.

4: The Silent Sea

An underwater city in the South China Sea, perched on the side of a ridge. As the player arrives, the power goes out and all transport systems and security robots shut down. The player must find the source of the problem.
Deeper into the city, enemy robots start to turn up. The final room reveals several breaches to the structure through which waves of robots arrive. Defeating the last wave triggers the end of the mission.

The player receives an address and goes to visit the man who has been providing information. He reveals himself as an ex-member of the organisation that has been destroying mines, and in exchange for helping the player bring that organisation down, wants his name removed from their records. The nearest terminal to their main database may be found in a hidden facility attached to the underwater city. He will provide access data as needed.

5: Secrets of the Past

In a disused, leaky set of tunnels connected to the city. The agent provides directions to a hostile outpost in the tunnels. After eliminating the guards, the player gets access to the database and the agent adjusts the records remotely. The player finds a new ship as the mission ends.

The database has yielded the location of a meeting for the hostile organisation's main leaders somewhere on Mars. While the player's new ship will help in breaking through security, proper clearance must be attained to get any further. The agent provides the location of a space station to get it.

6: A Shadow on the Sky

A spidery orbital station over Mars. The player must obtain access cards for the next facility and destroy the space station's reactor to disable its systems.

The player raids the station's now undefended armory for heavy weapons, equipping the ship with the most deadly arsenal available. The player leaves an explosive charge behind to set the station on a collision course with Mars, and searches for the enemy headquarters.

7: Where Angels Fear to Tread

The main HQ of the enemy faction is on Mars, perched over a canyon. The player approaches it from below the horizon using a cave system, then must destroy the structural supports underneath it during a boss fight.

Current mission file -
Includes shells for level 1 (mainly complete) and level 4 (started)

My input
I can provide graphics and custom models as I did for TEW, but at this stage I won't be completing the set myself. I can create and texture custom terrain maps for outdoor environments as well, to avoid the nastiness of tiling textures over large areas.
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Sapphire Wolf
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Re: Secrets of the Past: outline and resource

Postby Sapphire Wolf » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:30 am

It's excellent for a WIP, took a good exploration of the first level.
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Re: Secrets of the Past: outline and resource

Postby darkflamewolf » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:40 am

My only fear is that we may not be up to the task of maintaining the high level of quality it already exudes. The level design alone is immensely complex.
Ben K
Posts: 452
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:21 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Secrets of the Past: outline and resource

Postby Ben K » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:03 am

It is complex, which is why I planned so few levels. It may be possible to assign parts of levels to different people, if that sounds like a good idea. Still a possibility I'll be able to complete some parts.

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