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Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:07 pm
by Ben K
Got through to level 6 on Insane so far, 12 lives available. Really have to watch your step.

I notice the thief is a lot easier to kill now.

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:32 pm
by karx11erx
I wonder if there is a way to change the player ship's thrusters to one big polygon instead of a lot of triangles each. Currently the thruster flames D2X-XL renders are too small and off center. A work around for D2X-XL could also be offering the ship as hires ASE model with the appropriate auxiliary sub models. Ask me for details if you want to do it.

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:15 pm
by darkflamewolf
Fixed all those issues on level 11 Sirius. I'll send both you and Darkhorse a copy of it.


Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:20 pm
by karx11erx
Level 4 revised:

Much better! Great idea with the shining crystal cracks, wonderful red key area with the two matcens. I still found a few things I didn't like though:

#1 Why the heck those grates with the yellow/black stripes? They look awful in this environment and don't fit at all. If the stripes were at least vertically and not diagonally oriented ... :no: I see there's only one cube left, so adding such in will require some work, but I think it might be feasible. You could shorten the exit tunnel. The area around segment 866 is inaccessible and rather pointless.

#2 That tube using the green moving sign texture (misc090) - very psychedelic, but complete out of whack given the style of the mine. Why not make it some softly shining crystal (brightness 3 - 5 percent)?

#3 Some lights on rocks to light the area. Why not consequently execute that "shining crystal cracks" theme there? You could chose different crystals, some glowing blue, others white if you don't want everything to be tinted in blue.

#4 That area with the tube textures (around segment 873): The floor is already emitting light, and the lights on the tubes look completely out of place. The floor looks yellow, although the texture is bluish, is that intentional? There is no need to put some light emitting texture under some other texture to have the face emit light - at least not with DLE-XP. Not using DLE-XP for lighting here means depriving oneself of the means to achieve what's really desired. With DLE-XP you would use the overlay texture as base texture and have it emit light. Would also work with every other Descent 2 version.

#5 The blue shine might actually what DH wanted to avoid.


I have noticed why the colors do not turn out so well: It's because you haven't been using DLE-XP's feature of assigning color to light emitting textures, but have been using some textures casting colored light in D2X-XL. You should really try DLE-XP - if you have a wide screen monitor it should be superior to DMB2 UI wise.

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:03 pm
by Ben K
The grates need to be tricky to shoot a guided through. It is actually possible to complete that level with no keys at all, I just don't want it to be too easy. I don't see how vertical stripes make them look better.

That blue-white glowing fluid is a colour-shifted lava texture. The default light colour is probably yellow or orange as a result. I'm going to switch to a different base texture though; that one isn't quite working the way I want it to.

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:09 pm
by darkflamewolf
Well, the most current version of level 4 is in the latest tester beta. Beyond that, I personally think level 4 is fine the way it is, much better than the original. With the spreadfire cannon, the level is 'just' hard enough, even on Ace skill level.

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:26 pm
by karx11erx

I know you are using a color changed lava texture. D2X-XL doesn't however. It will use some yellow color for it. If you would use DLE-XP, you wouldn't need to find some base texture casting about the light you want. You could use any texture and assign it a brightness and a color value. You could also override the lava texture's light color. Much easier to control lighting that way. Your method is a hack, and it doesn't really work well with colored lighting in D2X-XL.

I wouldn't even have thought of shooting through the grates to finish the level w/o keys (who would?), so what. I just think they don't fit the theme. Maybe use some custom grate texture instead?

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I come to believe that the entire level should be ripped out and be replaced by something new. You tried to keep the original layout and improved those blocky areas, salvaging as much as possible, and I think that didn't work out. You ran out of segments needed to consequently execute the new theme. The level is rather huge, and less can be more, so I believe throwing the current level away and starting over with that "caves with crystal cracks" style might be the best way to go - provided you'd be willing to spend that much more time on this. That's what I would do.

Just my thoughts though - I tend to be somewhat perfectionist. For me the proper solution would be no light textures on rocks, none of these ugly grates, and proper light color settings; and make the level smaller. If needed, use some low brightness values on some textures to somewhat brighten dark areas with diffuse light. I don't want to put your work down, and I know you've got other things to do, too. So pick up whatever you like (or nothing at all). :)


maybe you can settle for less than I, but I don't think the level is as good as it could and should be. I found the difficulty good this time though, too.

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:45 pm
by Sirius
karx11erx wrote:I wonder if there is a way to change the player ship's thrusters to one big polygon instead of a lot of triangles each.

What. They aren't? I was sure I fixed that.

P.S. I can stick in a .clr for level 4 if it'd help any. Should at least correct the blue/yellow light thing.

P.P.S. ... aaaand PMView shows a single polygon for the thrusters. I'm not sure what's going on on your end, because they should be hexagons.

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:46 am
by Ben K
No, I'm not replacing the level. If Wolf wanted to drop it I wouldn't mind, but I wouldn't make the new one myself. The colours can be fixed, the grates can be changed, the lighting improved.

Got up to level 11 on Insane so far. The most dangerous robot is still the Mantid. There's swarms of them and they're in your face in seconds. Even the Bolas hasn't caused me so many problems. Both bosses have been OK, I even managed to do a dogfight with the Ghast because its weapons are actually dodgable.

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:21 am
by darkflamewolf
The Mantids will be changed Darkhorse, much to Sirius's chagrin. :P
Anyhoo, their speed will be taken down another notch, their badass qualities will go down a bit on destruction, and no more energy pulse. The Fulcrum stays the same however. Check your email Sirius. A good workload has just landed on your doorstep.

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:54 am
by Sirius
It's not too bad, replacing robot settings can be done simply enough with HAXMEDIT. The thing that really gets painful is when a polymodel gets edited, because quite often that means all the object bitmaps have to be replaced and there isn't any particularly simple way to work out what they are (plus replacing a dozen or two per HXM takes a while anyway). That's when it's easier just to restart HXMs from scratch, but thankfully I haven't had to in a little while.

(How much simpler life would be if I had the source code to DNet's tools. I do have the Rbotedit source but thanks to being a Borland C++ 4 project probably using OWL, it's not going to be remotely simple to get it to compile. Quickest way would be to redesign the entire GUI, and I don't really want to spend that kind of time on it considering I don't expect these tools to get used again.)

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:49 am
by karx11erx

oops? My bad. I didn't notice, sorry.


alright, I am just throwing in my feedback and the decision what to do about it is in your and Wolfie's hands. :) I always feel that presenting an idea that will be dismissed is better than keeping one for myself hat would be accepted because it's actually that good and I just did't want to be too obtrusive. So I hope you understand that my criticism is not meant to force you in my direction. It's just one point of view, and if you disagree, I am fine with it, if you agree, so much the better. Or maybe, heh, let me put it a more American way: I shoot, you sort them out. ;)


Level 6: Very nice indeed! Only one small thing I didn't like: Bots directly behind doors only waiting for you to open (like in front of those switches). I'd rather see them coming out from behind walls opening when you open the door (would need to rebuild the geometry there though to force the player to trigger the wall open mechanism).

Edit 2:

I think those small fast robots with the Vulcans should be a little slower: You open the door, and before you can even move they have ripped away half of your shields, and they're hard as hell to hit (given their insane fire power). :no:

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:07 pm
by darkflamewolf
first off, turn off exact hit boxes for the robots and keep it simple hitboxes, works a lot better.
if that doesn't help, here are some tips: If you got homers or even guideds, use them first to make a quick easy kill. Even on insane, one hit of either kills them quick.
If out of those, utilize flash missiles before they see you, a few shots and they are down for the count.
I choose not to make them easier (unlike the Mantids which will be made slightly easier now) because we NEED more dangerous robots in the set. Thankfully for you, the Pipers are actually quite the rare robot. I believe, besides the Warlord, he is the second least used robot in the entire set based purely on his difficulty factor alone. But the few times you do meet him, he is a force to be reckoned with. Enjoy. (PS: I only changed the Mantid due to the fact that he's found WAY more often than any other robot and needs to be toned down because of it)

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:24 pm
by karx11erx
I have exact hit boxes off, using the plain old hit spheres. I also know how to use missiles to my advantage, but if the bot just waits for you to open the door, a missile won't really help you. Things that do help are guided missiles or a bunch of prox or smart mines in front of the door. But you have to find out the hard way each time, so it's save - get busted - reload - retry.

Good luck with the Mantids and the improved path finding AI. :P

My wife has booked a last minute vacation and I will not be able to test TEW this and next week. Yay for vacation! :bounce:

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:24 pm
by Alter-Fox
I found another option that helped me get farther was enabling the "dual missile launch." It made killing the robots much easier.


I think the Bolas and Sapper are too slow. The Bolas is a sitting duck. At least if you have a lot of space it is no threat. The Sappers aren't either (Hotshot).