The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

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Yokelassence
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Yokelassence » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:52 am

Done :)
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Yokelassence » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:31 pm

Wow almost a decade since I last posted here!

I can't believe this mission still works!

I just bought a brand new copy of Descent (my original disk was lost a decade ago), installed the latest version of D2X-XL and downloaded my own mission from this website. Played through level 1

Hindsight is truly 20/20 and there's many things in this mission that make my hate my past self from 2011. Like what the hell was I thinking with that guided missile puzzle in level 1. Just what kind of superhuman reflexes did I have to not have a problem with it? Maybe I've gotten old, but now I want to install DLE-XP again and make that puzzle 500x easier!

[edit]

And for the love of Mike, why do I have a robot generator that spawns freaking boarsheads only a few clicks from the start point of the first damn level?????

[edit]

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Level 3 is missing its hxm file AND it's missing it's pog file!

Aaaargh, the map had been released as a final version for years and it had this monster of a bug!

Where is that emoji... ....goddammit....here it is :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash:

Cant freaking believe this. I can fix this easily but after all these years....uuuuugh
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Re: The Sphere [NOT SO FINAL AFTER ALL LOL]

Postby Yokelassence » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:29 pm

Welp, I don't know who else is out there on these forums these days but I thought I would drop a line anyway.

So I played through The Sphere, and noted a lot of issues with it. I wrote down an entire document of gameplay problems as well as noting a few texture/trigger/data bugs. No gamebreaking bugs. But there is at least one absolutely unforgivable issue, which is the missing custom data for level 3. I just can't leave it like that

So I am planning update 1.6. This will be a quality of life and general bug fix update. No new content planned

Among the bugs to be fixed include:
- Restore the missing hxm and pog files for level 3
- Fix the secret level mechanic which is horribly broken. Nobody will play that level with the way it is currently
- Fix incorrect transparency used on some grates
- Fix glass texture appearing fully opaque
- Fix reactor time not scaling with difficulty level in level 2
- various texture and geometry realignment
- many more

Quality of life changes:
- guided missile puzzle in level 1 to be 1000% less infuriating
- revised robot placement and robot generators for level 1 (it's still unfair, considering the gauss doesn't appear until level 2)
- removal of a broken mechanic that can permanently deny players from reaching items
- sudden exit blocking obstacles will have ways around them (if found in time)
- reduced "grate fighting" (when player is forced to shoot through grating that is difficult to fight through)
- rethink the bot hunt in level 3 which turns into an annoying wild goose chase. I'm thinking about giving the targets thief AI so they come to the player and can be trapped in the thief trap. Experimental, so I'll see how that goes
- no more theives spawning from robot generators
- more convenient powerup placement eg: ammo racks in every level, closer to start

Optimization:
- vast reduction of lighting to speed up lightmap calculation

I'll be investigating Dimensional Intersect as well
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Pumo » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:55 pm

Good to see you will make an updated version!
Will give it a play as soon as you release the 1.6 version, long time since the last time I actually played a full-fledged D2X-XL campaign, as I mostly do testing of my own campaign as of lately.
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Yokelassence » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:40 am

Thanks. I plan to have it done shortly. I just have to give myself a crash course on DLE-XP. I've pretty much forgotten how it works :oops:
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Irontower » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:55 pm

That's surprising news :D I hope I get through without cheating :hah:
Thank's Yokelassence!
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Yokelassence » Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:03 am

Hi Irontower.

Ooof, you had to cheat to get through it? :oops:

Yea, that's an issue I'm fixing. The new version shuffles the robots of level 1 a bit and it's a bit more balanced now with the hardware you get so the nastier robots don't show up until later. Hopefully no cheating will be necessary

Do let me know what areas you think are a particular problem and need a gameplay revise
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Irontower » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:36 pm

Hi Yokel,
sorry for late answer but I didn't get a notification from your post.
I must say that I'm not a realy good gamer, I'm much to slow :roll: I come through as rookie but not more...
Can't tell you a specific place, it's me :D But after all I love to play DXXL :)
Thanks for your update and I will try as Hotspot :lolol:
Regards
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Yokelassence » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:36 pm

I've fixed a lot of things already. Level 1 is less of a pain. In level 1 It's safer to skirt around the red key area from the start. I no longer feel inhibited from going near that place without the plasma cannon, which is the way I wanted it to be from the beginning

The guided missile puzzle can now be solved with a salvo of 4 shots and is no longer absolutely infuriating to attempt. You'll find I added a pack of extra guided missiles right next to it so you don't have to go looking for ammo elsewhere in the level

I know I said I wouldn't mess with new areas or geometry, but I couldn't help but retouch some areas. One particular area that wasn't level and was rather lopsided always triggered me, so I chopped it all out and rebuilt it

I noticed there's now a trigger for disabling robots, so I thought I would use this to shutdown robots rather than close them behind doors. Nice

I am having a bit of a struggle with lightmap optimization however. In level 1 I massively cut down a lot of lights sources, including removing almost all destructible lights, making some monitors pre-blown, and removing red vein walls as light source completely. Lightmap calculation for level 1 on simplest settings now takes about a minute, which is better than the 10 minutes it took previously. But on standard settings, lightmap calculation still takes an absurd amount of time. We're talking 30 minutes. And that's after I reduced light sources by around 30%.

It's still more viable to just use standard lighting and not lightmaps at this point. Oh well, I'll do the best I can to improve it
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Pumo » Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:13 am

If you need lightmap calculation files perhaps I might be able to help.
It's not the newest CPU, but I think that with my i7 4790 it wouldn't be that much of an issue.
[Pumo software main website] - Pumo Mines current progress: 60%
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Yokelassence » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:58 pm

An i7 is definitely more powerful than the i5 I currently use. How long does it take you to pre-calc lightmaps usually, Pumo? Just asking in case its just me


Update news: level 2 is a little friendlier. Significantly tweaked robot placement and/or added more cloaks and invuls where deadly robots are expected. I've expanded some areas were there are dangerous robots so you have more room to deal with them

I lied again about not adding new areas. I decided the Vertigo Boss in level 2 is incredibly unfair so I carved a new path that lets you go around him and threw some extra hardware in it specifically to help you with that boss.

Image

What I found would happen is the boss can go from his primary chamber to the secondary one behind you, then you're stuck between the boss and the robots in the matcen. Now you have a way out of that.
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Yokelassence » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:19 pm

I finished applying all the changes and fixes I intended. Overall the game is much, much fairer

Right now I'm just testing testing testing.

There's some issues I need help with
- transparent glass loses transparency if there is another texture overlaid over it. This worked in the past. Doesn't now? :clue: I'm not sure if something has changed and I am missing it
- I'm trying to figure out a problem where a boss robot I add will always glitch out when destroyed and just hangs around with 0 HP and is totally invulnerable. Any triggers attached to it will not activate because the robot never dies. Older pre-existing boss robots are not affected. Only newly added ones are. Anyone run into this before?

[edit]

Oh yea, forgot an important question....distribution! Obviously I'll host the update somewhere and link it, but is Diedel still around these days? :hello:
Since I'd like to replace the broken version hosted on his site with the update would I need to email him? Looks like he no longer checks this forum...i think
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Irontower
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Irontower » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:36 pm

not shure if he get a notification because I get no one. Since some time I have a new email and I was not able to change them in user settings. I always get an error that this page is not working correct. Seems the forum software is not up to date.
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Sirius » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:24 am

E-mail is what I'd use, the forum is pretty inactive these days so he may not check it much. You can upload it on enspiar.com/dmdb in the meantime - generally good practice to have it there anyway since it's the first place people look for levels nowadays.
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Re: The Sphere [FINAL 1.5]

Postby Yokelassence » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:05 am

Thanks Sirius, I'll check that site out

Sorry for continued delays. I have plans on how to fix my two aforementioned problems. I believe I can solve my transparency problem by making a new texture and I can solve my boss robot problem by reverting back to older versions before I messed with any boss robots. I'm just dealing with a bunch of unrelated other projects in the meantime but I do want to get this out of the way and work on fixes for Dimensional Intersect next
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