Enemy Within impression

All about modding, mapping and modeling for D2X-XL

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karx11erx
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Enemy Within impression

Postby karx11erx » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:32 pm

Today I received a link to that big new mission initiated by DarkFlameWolf after having offered my help as beta tester.

I quit after having been about half way or less into the first level at Hotshot difficulty. I found the mission too hard, the player had too little fire power given the robots he encountered and the tight spaces to maneuver, and I often found myself killed by (indirect) concussion blast damage because of that. The level doesn't require smart tactics or weapon usage, just flying and aiming skill. That boils down to it not being fun for me. If this first mission is an indicator of what is ahead, I will resort to flying through it using some cheats just for some sight seeing. :roll:

What I could offer so far was some technical help regarding ship size and a crash problem in level 21. Well, better than nothing.

I would have posted in the thread on descentbb.net, but since those narrow minded, self righteous, jealous little critters there have permanently banned me using lame excuses, I can't. So I am posting here.


Btw, w/o wanting to put the awesome effort of these levels and all the custom bots down (really, really not) I have found that I just cannot see the same old style Descent 2 level design and texturing anymore. Sirius' Anthology probably was the last mission in that style I was willing to play (and it was pretty ingenious, so much I have to say).
Last edited by karx11erx on Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:23 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Sirius » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:11 pm

DLE-XP lit up with about 20 errors when I checked level 21. It's kind of nice that all you have to do to make a level not crash is click one button. :)

I'd also like to note your quibble about the level design is exactly what is making me bored of Descent 2 - it gets harder and harder to do anything interesting/new with the restrictions there are. The D2X-XL format is pretty much the only thing that breaks out of that.
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Postby karx11erx » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:40 pm

I have worked a lot on DLE-XP's error diagnosis and repair function. That was one of DMB2's weakest spots.

Who built level 15? That mission truly looks awesome. Was it Darkhorse? Or you, Sirius?
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Postby Sirius » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:02 am

That one's definitely one of Darkhorse's levels.
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Postby karx11erx » Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:43 am

Yeah, that was my first guess. The guy has D2 level building skills on Kruel's level.
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Postby Aus-RED-5 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:23 am

It is a sweet looking level! :thumb:
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Postby Sirius » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:36 am

Just curious, does D2X-XL read .sng files from HOGs? The old workaround people used to use in the days of Mandrill/Obsidian etc is a little bit kludgey.
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Postby Pumo » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:03 am

Yeap, D2X-XL reads .sng files inside HOGs but only for .OGG files.
For plain old HMP files you'll need to stick with the old method :P
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Postby karx11erx » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:50 am

You should be able to put sng files in the hog file, and other Descent versions should simply ignore them.
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Postby karx11erx » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:46 am

Looking at some of the bugs that have surfaced in other Descent versions than XL during TEW test, it is a bit hard to understand that TEW should work with every Descent 2 version out there. XL + Rebirth would have been a sufficiently small common denominator, and they have the advantage of active coding support, so bugs and flaws in the original code could have been ironed out and TEW would have certainly benefitted from that. Rebirth will certainly run on every computer deserving that name, so why the heck support every old and buggy Descent 2 version here? Looks like a case of "Stubborn principle over healthy pragmatism" if you ask me. :crazy:
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Postby Sirius » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:15 am

There isn't really much difference between Rebirth and early versions of Descent 2 apart from compatibility... the most significant is the addition of depth buffering, but all that really means is you can get away with being lazy with the robots. (I prefer to do my job properly though...)

I am going to recommend that a copy of the .sng be placed in the HOG though. At least D2X-XL users won't have to break other missions to get it to run properly that way. (Who knows, we might even be able to convince zico to follow suit with Rebirth. It's really nothing more than a common-sense idea that should have been supported by Descent 2 from the beginning.)

Then again, I want .lgts too... at least for a couple of my levels. :(
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Postby karx11erx » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:20 am

For the old style lighting method Rebirth is still employing, having DLE-XP use custom light settings via .lgt files is sufficient, as all lighting is precomputed by DLE-XP here (just don't forget to apply the lighting settings before saving the level ...).

XL however reads the. lgt (and light color .clr files) from the hog file to be able to properly compute colored per vertex and per pixel lighting as well as lightmaps.

So if you are using lgt files in DLE-XP to adjust your levels' lighting, Rebirth will show exactly what you designed into your levels. XL's lighting methods however are physically more correct, so may look different (and probably better or more convincing).

That also means that you can assign custom light colors to your levels, and while other Descent versions will simply ignore them, XL will put them to good use. :)

What has depth buffering to do with the robots ... :think: ... oh, you mean with the poly models? Right, you do not need to care about face sorting. :gotit:
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The TEW thief

Postby karx11erx » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:50 pm

People have repeatedly asked me to add an option to D2X-XL suppressing the thief bot, and I have always refused to do that because the standard thief is just annoying and fast enough to make hunting it down fun, pointing these people towards D2X-XL's "judgedredd" cheat code (which would cost people their score in exchange of a cheap method of getting rid of the thief). The TEW thief has proven to be so much of a grief though that I have finally decided to add a -nothief switch to d2x.ini which will cause D2X-XL to simply remove any thief - be it placed in the level or spawned by some matcen - from any level played with D2X-XL when the switch is active.

Pleasant side effect of this is that it will certainly make some people happy even for the standard missions.

Edit: Moved the option from d2x.ini to the gameplay options menu - more convenient if you generally want thieves, but want to get rid of them in certain (cough) missions ... :roll:
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Postby Sirius » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:10 pm

Haha. Tempting. I never really liked the thief, and this one is just abominable. Still... it has the same weaknesses as the original...
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Postby karx11erx » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:29 pm

Sirius wrote:Haha. Tempting. I never really liked the thief, and this one is just abominable. Still... it has the same weaknesses as the original...

Yes, and 10 times its strengths. :P

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