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Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:32 pm
by Pumo
OK, I will now talk about the new stuff and the progress on Pumo Mines as for now (it will be a very big post!).

First of all, let's talk about the progress I've made on the levels.

I've made a huge advance on Level 6, as I'm very close now to start working on the City section. :)
A few screenies of level 6 as it's now:

Image Image

Now, this is how Level 8 is goin' now:


I've used the piece Blarget sent to me (that's the cave section you see at the back) and merged it with the main hub section I made some time ago.
I've also re-textured that old hub part, added lots of new stuff and made the structure a bit more insteresting.

And, this is level 9 (also WIP):


This time I used this small piece Wasabimaster sent to me for use on Pumo Mines some years ago, and textured it, made some changes in structure here and there, and added my own entrance room:

Image (original piece of Wasabimaster)

And finally, this is the entrance room to Level 17 I'm making (and it's still very WIP :P):


Now, let's head to the second part of this post.

Now, I will post some history about Pumo Mines (Note this will be a big post).
As many already know, originally it was a project based on the idea of bringing Descent 3 stuff (almost a copy of the D3 Retribution mission) to Descent 2, although with some personal touch of mine (characters, story, and even powerup design). But then, D2X-XL appeared and with the pass of time, it made me change the focus of the project slowly.

Later, on recent years I decided to change the focus of the project to something more similar to Anthology, something like a tribute to all 3 Descent titles, trying to mix the best of the three worlds, but still with my very personal touch. :)
I've made some changes to the story to make it better, changed level order, added new original elementes to it and that's the base of the version you all know from the 3-level release.

But then, since around a month or so, I decided to made some serious changes to the project to improve the rythm of development.
As I also have to attend real life stuff, like job and medical checks, time with family, etc. I had to reform many facets of the project to have more time to make it and made it more feasible to get it done. But in the way, I also improved some stuff here and there, and that's what I want to show you all. ;)

So let's start with a few historical screenies so you can see how the project is goin' as it's now:

This was the original Level 1 of the project as it was way back on 2003. Although I had some previous level entrances made since 2000-2001, this was the very first official Level 1. In fact it was a complete level, but it's was somewhat ugly TBH. :P

So I decided to start over, and on 2004 I finally made the real Level 1, as it should be. This was a nice one finally, and I felt proud of it. It seemed that the mission was goin' very well at last, I even started to make some nice new robots and new music for it. But then D2X-XL appeared... ;)

So after getting a new computer that made me able to run D2X-XL right, and after studying DLE-XP and D2X-XL stuff, I made the first announcement and public release of Pumo Mines on 2007, this time with color lighting and neat D2X-XL features.

Image Image Image
And then, from 2008 to 2010 I made the well known 3-level release with all new stuff, changed level order and a bit of story, added LOTS of hi-res stuff to make use of all D2X-XL features (including models, textures, sounds) and also used the great D2X-XL scripting features, which gave me lots of freedom and creativity to have a better story-telling for the mission. :D

And overall, that's how the project is established until now. Even nowadays, most of the stuff from that version is part of the project as it's now.
But a month ago, I made some changes to the project, that I'm pretty sure you will like a lot, and were not as hard to make as I've thought before.

And this is the result ;) :
Image Image Image
Thanks to Irontower texture pack, and many other texture packs I've found on the net, like the Quake Hi-Res one, I was able to make some new hi-res texuring, that also changes the atmosphere to something less garish and much more interesting to look at.
Now Pumo Mines uses new 256x256 textures, including better robot textures, and Monitor design changed a bit. Monitors won't be destructible anymore, but they show a nice transparent overlay image, as if they were holographically projected over the walls, using a frame that represents the projector stuff.
Also I'm making some lighting changes here and there, and if you look well enough, you will notice I made some big change to the doors. ;)

Now the doors will not be totally flat anymore, as all doors in the mission will have a frame shell around them, a bit like they are on D3.

Also changed the Skybox of level 1, as it has higher-resolution, much better projection (as a true skybox should be) and better graphics and colors overall.

And that's not all! I also learned recently how to make UV mapping, and this is the all new result, reflected on the Orbit XC ship:
Image Image Image Image Image
(Note also the new weapon corona effect, with a bit of anamorphic ghosting to it ;) )

And thus this deserved a new cockpit texture:

And I achieved to make all these changes plus progressing on levels 6,8,9 and 17, in less than a month! :bounce: :rock:
And that's due to the new reforms I made, that I will list now.

Changes to Pumo Mines project:

First of all, as for now I canceled Muchikuche and all those other extra missions that just served to me to distract me from my main project (at last!).
So many of the features I planned for those missions will be used at once on Pumo Mines. I think the cancellation of all those projects is the very first and VERY important step.
With this being said, this is the changes that will follow:

The mission remains the same story-wise and it will feature the said 20 levels.
However, apart from using some level parts that were not used and that some users sent me some time ago (like Blarget, Wolfie and Wasabimaster), I will also revamp and use a lot of old level shells I made since the 90's, including those used on my ugly KCXF-2 and Target:Uranus (1999) missions, and even some sections of my Insnidia Level. With all the changes I will made to them plus the totally new levels I'm making now in my new much-improved style, I think they will serve for a fine purpose at last, and will help me to advance further and quickly on my project.

As you saw, I'm now using all new 256x256 textures, including robot ones (if you see closely, even the robot eyes are different now, with a bit of extra detail).
And I'm also using new lava and water textures and effects (including a fake animated caustics effect projected on under-water sections):
Image Image Image Image (Note the fake caustics underwater)

In the case of robots, there won't be real changes on them, except for some fixes in texture mapping here and there, and glow texture in the back to use the D2X-XL automatic engine glow feature.
When needed, specially on ships, UV mapping will now be used, and I will later add all new 3D weapon models, as well as change some of the design of the weapons. I will maybe use some pieces of MetalBeast D2X-XL weapon models to use as base for my new weapon models, but trying to make them similoar to some of my original designs (i.e. like the Catacomb or Phantom missiles).

As I'm also re-designing some of the weapons to also include the ones from the canceled muchikuche, I will change the Flamer for a better laser-based one I expereminted some time ago on a D2X-XL temporary mod I made. And maybe also will change the Hyper-Laser to something else. It will be also bouncy, but different. Also, note Laser and Core cannons colors (and maybe some others) will vary according to the ship you're using (be it either light, heavy or medium during the mission's story and with each different MD/Pilot).

Nothing to 'change' here, but I'm adding some new and cool ambient sounds. ;)

Music itself won't be changed, but some time I will re-render them to fix some mastering stuff (I will make them a bit less louder and more crispier) and with better encoding quality, and fix some technical issues with a couple of bass parts on Levels 8, 10 and S3 music. But that will be later.
Maybe (just maybe) later I will also pack an alternate version of the soundtrack with a more of an Ambient feel to it (less musical, less rythmical) to acomodate people that doesn't like music to be too notorious on videogames.

There will be definitely big changes here. As making movies on 3D programs is a bit hard and requires time (including rendering time) there will be less movies than I thought. That doesn't means there won't be movies at all, but they will be shorter, some will be with in-level scenes (like the one I used at the end of level 3), etc. Many of them will be rather rendered in-game with free camera and using fraps, while there will be an intro movie eventually, showing different scenes of the game, etc. For level endings, I would rather script them with speed boost triggers (exiting the mine) and D2X-XL explosion and fire effects when needed, etc instead of using pre-rendered movies.

No big changes here, just a small re-design in the main red screen (to accomodate better the new cockpit and ship design) and better resolution (and maybe a 16:9 one? ).

All these changes will improve Pumo Mines a LOT, will make better use of all D2X-XL features (as Pumo Mines will be the definitive mission that will use ALL D2X-XL features as much as possible, that's the new target of the project) and will be much faster and much easier to make, as can be seen now, that I made a huge lot of stuff in less than a month! (around 3 weeks or so).

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:26 pm
by karx11erx
Great post, Pumo, and awesome stuff there! :thumb:

The new ship texturing looks gorgeous.

Having other good level designers participate seems to be a good idea. :)

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:38 am
by Pumo
Yeap, indeed it was a good idea, as just now I got permission from DarkHorse/Ben K to use his unused 'Secret of the Past' levels as part of Pumo Mines levels!
So this is goin' even better than expected! :bounce:

Thanks a lot to Ben K for allowing me to use such great pieces of architecture!

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:09 pm
by Alter-Fox
I'm curious how you're building those doorframes.
Also will you share the rest of the music from Muchikuche now? :P

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:13 pm
by Pumo
I made the door frames mainly used splitted cubes, then saved them as templates (to copy and paste within my levels), with the posibility to change the inner (that is, the real door inside) texture to any door texture I like, so I do have nine door frame templates plus all the door textures = Almost endless combinations. :)

Yeah, I will share Muchikuche's songs but as soon as I finish the mastering on those.
I've not totally cancelled the Pumo Mines Universe mini-action RPG (Where many of those songs may be still used), but it's on total hiatus as for now.

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:15 am
by Aus-RED-5
Wow, just mind blowing work you have there Pumo! :guru:

I wish you all the best and hope you'll be able to release this awesome mission pack in the near future! :joy:

Many thanks to Diedel, you and others for all the extra efforts for such a beautiful D2X-XL program!
Can't wait! :)

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:58 am
by Pumo
Thanks a lot Aus!

Yeah, hopefully with the new structure I planned for the project, I may finish it in less time than before. :)

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:19 am
by Irontower
Impressive work Pumo :cheers:

Oh, in five weeks my vacation begins, would be a good deadline, hehehe :jump:

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:42 am
by IppoSenshu
Amazing news, WOW! Great Work, Pumo! :)

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:12 am
by Pumo
Thanks Irontower & IppoSenshu!

Well, I highly doubt it will be done in five weeks, lol
But I'm trying to work on it as quickiest as possible, so stay tuned for some more updates soon! :bounce:

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:31 pm
by IppoSenshu
I'm playing the Pumo Mines Demo at the moment (again). So fantastic levels! :)

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:23 am
by Pumo
Thanks Ippo, good to see you enjoy playing the demo release every now and then. :)

Now, I need to make another small announcement (it's nothing really big).
I'm gonna change a bit the locations and names of some of the levels in the project, although most of them will remain the same.

As I'm also trying to improve the flow of the story for the entire mission, I'm 'moving' some of the mines and levels to other locations to explain in a better way the Hosako invasion, and to let the Hosakos invade the inner Solar System only at the climax of the mission, and not before.
I'm also making this to include some of the planets from the other projects I was making (like Muchikuche) and to give a greater level variety.

No worries, the levels itself, specially those that are already made (like evels 1 to 5) wont' be changed except for the new texturing, aesthetic changes & bug fixes that I'm already making.
However, I need to change the location of Level 2 to another planet/system (instead of Omicrurus at Dapatet system), as I will implement Dapatet system on a later level and it would clash and create continuity issues with a part of the plot, specially regarding something about a Hosako ship. ;)

I'm changing the planet name of Haroeris and also moving Level 7 to Eris instead of Mars, because as I said before, I don't want the Hosakos to be nearer than Neptune in the first part of the mission.

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:17 pm
by Pumo
Quick question for everybody! while re-designing weapons, I'm playing a bit with the laser blob models. I'm testing right now a thinier version of the model, to make it look more 'laserish'.

What do you think, it looks good or it's too thin?



(On the screenshots you can see the four blobs of quad laser level 6 in their thinier version)

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:30 pm
by Alter-Fox
I like it.

Re: Pumo Mines Thread

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:50 pm
by karx11erx
I would need to see that in action.