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Down - a classic yet distinct Spear of Destiny mod (DEMO)
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 1:59 pm
   Subject: Down - a classic yet distinct Spear of Destiny mod (DEMO)
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Hello everyone!

I've been working on this project on some time, and I made good progress. There's still a whole lot of little things needed for completion, but I've already assembled some nice resources, and designed some really nice maps! So I decided to release a demo version. It's no Green Arrow/End of Destiny, but it's a well-rounded mod with audiovisuals, maps, coding and everything.

It was hard to pick my favorite maps, but I didn't want to release everything just yet, so I eventually settled on five maps... Floor 2, floor -1, floor -3, floor -6 and floor -8. This is where the name of the mod comes from! Tracking down a rogue spy who now seems to be aiding the Nazi experiments, BJ will need to delve deep into a secret underground facility beneath castle Gegenwart. The whole place is so secure, you won't find a single elevator! The sizeable air vents are your best shot...



The mod already features:
- some nice textures and sprites, mostly a Totengraber/Lost Episodes mashup but with more original stuff in there too
- new demo recordings for the new levels, the last one being extra badass
- two new enemy types (as in beyond reskins), mostly present on the last level. The mutant SS soldiers kick severe amounts of ass.
- level names before and after the levels! I'm surprised no one (that I know of) thought of putting those on the intermission screen in addition/instead of the get psyched screen.
- and last but not least, two enemy placement variants, selected randomly! Adds some replayability, though currently it's quite underutilized and only present on the first three levels.

A file with credits is included, though I was uncertain about some assets so if you find something that could be credited better, let me know,

DOWNLOAD and have fun!
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 7:35 am
   Subject: Re: Down - a classic yet distinct Spear of Destiny mod (DEMO)
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Thanks, I'll try this out next week.
serpens
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:28 am
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Early impressions after playing two maps are entirely positive. Everything fits together very well and I'm loving small touches like neglected, creaking doors, barred doors, the new look of treasure items, the audio clip playing upon picking up the Chaingun, or the intermission screen music choice. Very good use of Lost Episodes resources too.

As for the mapping so far, the first floor is quite a nice throwback to Episode 4, pretty good all around, but Floor -1 is outright amazing, masterfully designed, so huge I was surprised you managed to fit it into the 64x64 grid, and somehwat open ended too. Brilliant! Resources were generally fairly scarce, which coupled with some rather devious combat makes for a decent challenge, although halfway through the second map I did find some major secrets that made things much easier. Can't wait to see the new enemies later on.

Give this a go everyone, everything I've seen so far is top quality and well worth your time.

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 3:31 pm
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^^Now that's a recommendation. I'll give it a go if I have some free time.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 9:02 am
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Looks good military!

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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 5:42 pm
   Subject: Re: Down - a classic yet distinct Spear of Destiny mod (DEMO)
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I haven't played it yet using saved games ... just trying to get as far as I can without them. The farthest I've got is the first multi-door attack in Level One. I like how it takes the original E4L2 and makes the design more ambitious. If someone had told me about that before I played it, I might not have wanted to try it out. But I'm glad I did. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 7:18 am
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Done! The mod does not disappoint, in fact the mapping quality keeps going up if anything. I had a blast. The mutant SS are indeed very dangerous and Floor -8 destroyed me in multiple ways before I finally crawled to the vent, losing my way a couple times in the meantime. In fact, if I had to name a single gripe about this mod, some of the maps are so complex that you can spend a good while wandering around looking for the correct locked door. Oh, and there was a single misaligned texture late in Floor -8. Everything else was great and I should be able to learn a good deal of new tricks by studying the map layouts. Now to watch those new demo recordings...

Just a question, are the Doom songs originals or remixes? They sound very much like the original tunes, but seem to diverge a bit at certain points.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 2:45 pm
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Thanks a lot for the review, Serpens! That was some helpful (and flattering!) feedback!

serpens wrote:
some of the maps are so complex that you can spend a good while wandering around looking for the correct locked door.


Hmm. I guess there really is a lot of locked doors, on level -6 and -8 in particular. I used them for monster closets, I used them for shortcuts, and only a few of them were the ones that really needed to be opened! Locked doors are immensely versatile from design perspective, much more so than in Doom since there you can just have entire walls move automatically. But now I realize that for someone with no level foreknowledge, such an amount of locked doors could be very confusing - the exit could be behind any of them, after all! Maybe I should mark the necessary doors in some special way...

serpens wrote:
Just a question, are the Doom songs originals or remixes? They sound very much like the original tunes, but seem to diverge a bit at certain points.


They're converted from the original midis! But the results of IMFcreator's conversion can vary wildly. Fortunately, those particular ones turned out just fine!
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 1:07 am
   Subject: Re: Down - a classic yet distinct Spear of Destiny mod (DEMO)
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Military wrote:

Hmm. I guess there really is a lot of locked doors, on level -6 and -8 in particular. I used them for monster closets, I used them for shortcuts, and only a few of them were the ones that really needed to be opened! Locked doors are immensely versatile from design perspective, much more so than in Doom since there you can just have entire walls move automatically. But now I realize that for someone with no level foreknowledge, such an amount of locked doors could be very confusing - the exit could be behind any of them, after all! Maybe I should mark the necessary doors in some special way...

Myself, I always thought that the most helpful thing in navigating a complex Wolfenstein map is color-coded locked doors. With so many locked doors, making a mental note of "so I need the azure translucent crystal key of doom to open this door" is much more useful than just "can't go there yet". Not sure if this would work with the overall aesthetics you're aiming for, but even a few pixels indicating the color of the lock (like in Spear: Resurrection) would be enough.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 5:10 am
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Yeah, I get it (and it's something that would be particularly important in a mod with more than two key types), but I feel that the bigger confusing factor in my maps might be the non-essential locked doors heavily outnumbering the essential ones, with little to no indication to which ones are important.I guess I might add the color-coding anyway, it would be a nice little feature.

serpens wrote:
the audio clip playing upon picking up the Chaingun


Oh yeah, that's one thing I left uncredited! It's a sped-up snippet of this song:
https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/514543
The over-the-top excessiveness of the fast tune that suddenly pops up and fades away works really well here. It feels like a sudden adrenaline boost gained from finding the big gun, fading as you realize you'll need to watch your ammo supply and that you're still far from invincible.
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:13 am
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It looks excellent. I'll find some time to play this.
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:51 pm
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OK gave this a go. I was impressed with the new wall styles and the layouts, obviously a lot a work went into that.

There's lots of locked doors about.. it seems they are to allow guards to take shortcuts but not the player. Also, prevents player from getting the jump on surprise ambush parties. Getting the key I suppose is a side benefit allowing access to those areas... or kill someone in the doorway when they attack.

Level -8 was different.... lots of growling and insane screams. I didn't spend the time I should have on the level though... maybe next time.

Now... the issues I found... some are with the exe, so might not be your problem.

1. I like to use PC Speaker sound where available. In this exe, the sound is very loud, in fact overdriven with loud crackles now and then. It needs to be turned down a bit (well, more than a bit). When I pressed Space to look for pushwalls, it sounds like a car horn, as in Very Loud!

2. The score doesn't show millions, although the high score table does.

3. On levels 2 and -6, I couldn't find the key to progress... I had to cheat. In fact on level 2 I couldn't find any keys anywhere. On -6 I needed the silver key, but it was in a room requiring that key to enter it. Maybe I missed something, but I don't think so.

Overall though, a unique experience.
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 1:37 pm
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I'm enjoying this mod already: Blind run L1 part 1
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:36 pm
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I'm going blind on whatever extra time I have too. See description for more details:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y04JTjs5okQ

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 1:38 pm
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Second level blind:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7viFZ5RfYF0

While I'd prefer a little more texture variety, was a fun level regardless. Not too easy, not too hard. Lots of action & the chaingun is cool but like any other can eat ammo very fast!

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 8:41 pm
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I've done a re-run of Level 1 at 16:9:

https://youtu.be/kKDSKL-pqbc

I'll play through Level 2 the same way and then continue on with the rest of the mod.
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 3:06 am
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At least I can see where the key is now. I'll give it another try next week.

Level "1" is actually Level 2, while Level "2" is -1. The floor numbers go backwards in this mod.
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 8:34 am
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Thanks a lot for all the comments and playthroughs! I'm not used to getting this big of a response.

I never had a problem with the pushwall sound... but if everyone wants it out, I guess I may remove it.

I wanted to give each level a distinct feel, and ended up making many of them pretty monotonous texture-wise... and now there's not a lot of alterations I can make to the existing levels, because of my compact design combined with wolf3d's blocky nature. I think I still managed to make the rooms somewhat distinct, even with no texture variation!
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 10:04 am
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Just try for more variation in levels you haven't made would be plenty. Smile

And yeah I think most of us don't like hearing that wall sound.

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 4:48 pm
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My problems with the sound may be because I chose PC Speaker sound. Next time, I'll use the default and see how that goes.

The sound the game makes when bumping into objects is totally not needed. I don't mind the looking-for-pushwall sound, but it needs to be at a low level (just audible).

The sound of the pushwall actually moving is great, I like it.
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 5:56 pm
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The volume level of the PC Speaker has never been adjustable; it's always been either extremely loud or completely silent. It's a serious beef I have with the DOS-based PCs. Yes, there were Adlib and Soundblaster cards, but things like the MT-32 and other soundcards made things much more complicated than they needed to be. IRQ and DMA settings also complicated things. And then there were even some high-quality games that were impractical to run because the soundcard support was too limited and/or heavy-handed (such as Flying Tigers).

Of all the home computers I used in the 1980s, the IBM PC was the only one that had so many problems with sound. And that's why PCs have never been a favorite of mine. Okay, rant over. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 7:07 pm
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Yeah I wasn't talking about the sound of a pushwall moving when you've actually found it. Those are never removed AFAIK & it's a great sound here. Smile

Bumping against walls isn't a big deal either, it's just the sound for pressing the 'use' key on something that isn't usable.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:21 am
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I will upload rest of the levels as soon as I can.


Military, when can we expect the finished mod?
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 1:55 am
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Tried again, this time with the standard default sound setup, no issues this time.

It would be good if the PC-Speaker sound level was the same as in the original DOS version of the game, but I can appreciate that it can take time to sort out the nitty gritty details.

On the first level (level 2), the key was completely obvious... I do not know how I could have missed it before. Oh well...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:06 am
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Top demo Military, thank you - Dead End in particular was fiendishly challenging Cool
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