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Some HOS tidbits
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Majik Monkee
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:04 am
   Subject: Some HOS tidbits
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I finally got a full ten minutes to myself the other day, and took the opportunity to read the latest issue of "Wolfbytes". I noticed that in light of the fact that it's October, Ian did a small piece on HOS, which is ironic, since HOS was originally released at the end of October, almost a year ago! It got me to thinking about the experience of putting the game together, which at the time, didn't seem all that remarkable, but in retrospect, there are a lot of aspects of the game and it's development process that might have been a lot different if it hadn't been my first mod. Anyway, here are a couple little factoids, interesting or otherwise...

- "Halls of Stonehenge" was originally going to be called "Wolfenstein: The Nightmare", but I thought that name sounded too corny, so I pulled a reference to where the game takes place and stuck it in the title.

- I picked the enemies for the game before I even knew what the story for the game was going to be (never a good idea). I was left later to figure out what the hell gargoyles, zombies, and giant walking fish men had to do with BJ or Wolfenstein.

- I posted information and pics of the enemies for HOS before I had even successfully imported any pictures into any editor. Many of the original pictures I posted either had some sort of issue with the actual sprite, or didn't use the correct color of purple in the background.

- Draven was originally going to look exactly like a shrunken Caleb from Blood, but I couldn't figure out why the game kept crashing when I used the Caleb sprites (it turned out that they were touching the side of the sprite boundary). I slowly pasted more and more Caleb parts onto original SOD artwork to see what made it crash, but it never did. I liked the look of the armor wearing Draven, and kept him that way even after I knew how to fix the original Caleb sprites.

- There is only one wall in HOS that is not taken from Blood...it is actually a Doom texture, with parts of a Blood wall mixed in with it. Likewise, there is only one sprite that still uses elements from the original SOD, which is the Ancient Sword of Evil.

- I almost ignored ack's offer to help me do the maps for the game because I didn't know anyone in the community, and wasn't sure another mapper could "get it the way I wanted it" Laughing

- For a very long time, the guards in the game were the standard brown Nazis from SOD, until I finally gave in and realized they didn't fit the look of the game...and the last recognizeable Wolfenstein element of the game was gone (besides the status bar).

- At the last minute, ack pointed out we needed to change the voices for the Nazi guards so we weren't borrowing ID's sounds. I did them one day when I'd called out of work because I was sick, and barely had any voice left (the agony in the voices is real Laughing)

- Floedit crashed on me an average of once every five minutes...and yet I continued to use nothing else until the completion of the project (I don't touch it anymore since WDC).

- Chris did such a great job closing up the program for me to protect most of the data that, to this day, I can't extract most of the stuff out of standard copies of HOS.

- About ten percent of the coding changes I'd never seen in the game until the day I was ready to release it (that's where having other people help with it is handy).

- I was able to open the art files from Blood, but didn't have a way to extract the images into a useable format. The solution? I took screen shots of the sprites I wanted to use and manually cut them out of the black background to edit and shrink them down (which sucked, since a lot of the sprites had black in them that bordered the background).

- Only three of the bosses in HOS are bosses in Blood. The fourth I used, Death Breath, is just a common enemy in the original Blood. The boss I left out was Cheough, a big gray gargoyle, who I thought looked too much like the other gargoyles already in HOS.

- Even after all of the sprites were imported into the HOS engine, for a long time, the regular mutants were still in the earliest editing copies, because I hit "spriter's block" scaling the gargoyle enemy, and never seemed to finish it.

- While I was still working on HOS, a crappy unreleased sequel was planned featuring Calebs in place of the Nazi fanatics, bosses, weapons and enemies from Shadow Warrior, and a Draven boss that was his severed head riding inside Hitler armor. Thankfully, that one never got off the ground.

- By the time HOS was finally released, I was so sick of anything related to the game that looking at a picture of it's title screen made me feel slightly ill.

- For a long time, I was unable to win Draven's level on anything but the easiest difficulty levels of the game (I know...it's embarassing...).

- There is a photograph of ack, Chris, Ariel, and Monkee hidden somewhere in HOS...



That's about it! There's some other less interesting stuff, but if you've made it this far, you're probably ready to get out of this thread...just thought that was some interesting nostalgia for a game that's barely a year old. Thanks to everyone who's given positive feedback on it since it came out...it's the reason I bothered to go on modding...thanks to Ian for doing the spotlight on the game in the newsletter...peace to one and all! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:17 am
   Subject: Re: Some HOS tidbits
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Majik Monkee are you egotistic? If so welcome to the club...

*waits in suspense for HoS HINTBOOK* w00t.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:38 am
   Subject: Re: Some HOS tidbits
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Hmmm...egotist? Mayhaps...I prefer to think that I just take pride in my work (which I'm pretty sure is the same thing...) Laughing

Hehe...I've thought of doing a hint book...but I have very little to offer hint wise besides the tips that I stuck in the manual with the zip. At one time, ack had considered doing something similar to the SR hint book/map walkthru that AReyeP and MCS did, but that idea was shelved for various reasons. I've had questions from time to time about specifics of the game (including Dum telling me on several occasions that Death Breath did no exist in his version, which it did), but it never seemed like there was a demand for a hint book...but I might get around to doing some for some of my mods since I'm taking a break after I finish helping Dum with OMS2... Cheesy Grin

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 2:23 am
   Subject: Re: Some HOS tidbits
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Cool info Smile Too bad more authors don't share stuff like that... Sometimes I wonder what kinds of changes went on in games like Spear Resurrection, Schabbs 2000 and all my other favorites. Mod makers definitely have some weirdo minds... lol Wink It was fun reading about the different changes that went on with HOS, and also some of your struggles. Glad to see you overcame all of those difficulties and managed to make a decent game at the same time Very Happy

Glad you enjoyed seeing HOS listed in Wolf-Bytes this time. Kind of strange, ol' Monk... You've been listed in two issues running so far (first an interview, now HOS as Game of the Month). People will start to think I have some sort of fixation on you soon. I guess I'll just have to completely ignore you next issue and pretend you don't exist, or if I have to mention you I'll bleep your name out like it was dirty word, just to balance things out... lol Laughing

Oh yeah, Majik - Is that the album cover of "The Best Of The Doors" as your avatar? I don't own every single album, but that's the exact same photo of Jim Morrison on the cover at least. My mom had a pretty big Doors collection when I was just a kid (including some of the original 45" singles, which unfortunately she had to leave behind when we moved). My sister's ex-husband had some old Doors 8-Tracks that I swiped and tried to salvage, but they were nearly 20 years old and horrible sound quality (complete shame... Some good stuff on them). Why am I rambling about the Doors? I have no idea... Should quit while I'm ahead Smile Just got off work...

-Ian

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Majik Monkee
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 4:49 am
   Subject: Re: Some HOS tidbits
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I agree...I'd like to hear some stuff about some of the other mod out there also...I was thinking about that while I typed this thread. I'd benefit especially, since I wasn't around for the creation of a lot of the classic mods...any background information on them at all would be new to me, so I hope maybe someone feels inspired and follows suit...(not you, Kyo...)

Laughing I don't think folks will worry too much about you mentioning me twice...if you'd mentioned the same mod two times over, that would be a little strange...but you had your reasons for including the two you did the two different times. You're probably right to consider omitting me entirely...don't want tolks to get sick of me, and I'd hate to be bleeped out and have my name become a dirty word... ("You damn dirty MONKEE!!") Laughing

You are correct, Sir...that is, in fact, the album cover from "The Best of The Doors" (not to be mistaken with "The Very Best of The Doors"). My dad was a huge Doors fan, and that's what got me turned on to them...I swear I listened to that album (and some of the others) on repeat for 8 hours straight. My dad used to have a lot of the albums on the old 8 track and LP's also, but I have no idea what became of them...I saw them in his closet before I developed a real interest in music, and he claims he still has them, but has no idea where. Thank goodness for CD's, eh? Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 11:45 pm
   Subject: Re: Some HOS tidbits
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One tid-bit I always found interesting was how BJ Rowan said that "Conflict In The Fatherland"'s original Episode 2 had totally different levels, but he ditched them and started over again. Although probably for the better, it would have been interesting to have seen the original specs and also read that CITF hintbook he was working on.

Speaking of which, a HOS hintbook would be sweet. Though I've yet to beat the game, it'd be fun to read about different strategies for beating the game. Maybe even ack could share some interesting details about the creation of the levels (like what he had in mind, what his inspirations were, and what his favorite levels are in the set) in between the manual, along with general trivia and stuff about the game. Yeah, that'd be cool... Call in sick again some day! Laughing

Majik Monkee wrote:
You are correct, Sir...that is, in fact, the album cover from "The Best of The Doors"


Ah good - My album indentification skills are still up there...lol. Oh yeah, I love that album (though it's a bummer "Crawling Kingsnake" is strangely missing). I used to just shut my lights out, sit in my room alone and listen to the Doors a lot when I was a kid. What are your favorite tracks off that one? I've always loved "Spanish Caravan", "The End", "Alabama Song" (aka "Whiskey Bar"), "Roadhouse Blues", "Five to One"... Damn, they're all good Laughing My band does covers of "Alabama Song" (highly reworked so it hardly sounds like the original) and "Roadhouse Blues" (pretty faithful cover). I doubt we'll ever play them live, though. My bandmates make faces whenever I mention doing covers live (and rightfully so, probably). The Ramones did a really good cover of "Take It As It Comes", btw, on their "Mondo Bizarro" album... Ever heard it?

-Ian
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:47 am
   Subject: Re: Some HOS tidbits
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It might be worth asking ack if he'd be interested in doing or colaberating on a hint book...might be a fun project. His input would definitely be needed, though, because I confess that my strategy on some of his levels is not very good, and I still get lost every time I play some of them. I'm not sure what all he's up to these days, but since he's taking a long break from mapping (as I understand it), he might be interested in working on something like this if given ample time.

"Light My Fire", "Spanish Caravan", "The End", and the "Alabama Song", and "Riders on the Storm" are probably my favorites on the album. I confess I don't own all of the albums out there (mainly because I'm usually so broke), but most of my favorites managed to make it onto "The Best of the Doors"...I sampled one called "The Very Best of the Doors" and I think I saw another called "The Absolute Best of the Doors", but from what I heard, they seemed to have pretty much the same stuff on them as "The Best of the Doors" did...

That's cool about your band...there's no such thing as too much of the Doors, especially if it's done well...excellent choice of cover songs. I have couple friends who've played as cover bands before, but they stick to the newer stuff (ie Nirvana) that so many other bands these days already do. I've suggested they do some of the "older" stuff as well, but my love for "The Doors" seems to be unique as far as my friends and I go. At least I'm not jumping on the band wagon...Laughing

I love the Ramones, but I'm probably the strangest type of fan there is. I don't own any of their albums myself (I've always listened to them either on the radio or other people's cassettes/cd's), and I know very few of their tracks by name...so I'm not sure if I know that one or not...I'm gonna' look for a sample of the track online, though...you can usually find them for free on sites that sell their albums...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:57 am
   Subject: Re: Some HOS tidbits
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I know this may sound like bad timing, given that I just recently released a set of maps for HOS that can be viewed with SOD, but I was cleaning out my computer the other day (a full time job), and I came across something I didn't realize I had any longer...an almost finished beta version of HOS that is fully editable. It's the one that was almost released, and has a couple of differences that the player is likely to notice...

- the memory and loading screen at the start is the original Wolfenstein red screen, rather than the very cool one that appears in the final HOS.

- the magic staff behaves differently in the beta than in the final version (the final one damages multiple enemies in your view, whereas the early one targets single enemies and must be aimed).

- there are slightly fewer menu options, and some features cannot be disabled/re-enabled.

- the room that Sarron is located in is structured a little differently than in the final release, but most folks probably won't notice.


Anyway, I'm not nuts about having two versions of HOS out there to confuse people, but I think that it's been long enough that HOS has gone without being able to be edited that it's time folks have access to some of the stuff in it without having to ask me for it. It may be a few days before I can send the zip to Brian, but I'll try to get around to it soon. Anyway, that's that about that...ciao...

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:01 am
   Subject: Re: Some HOS tidbits
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Very interesting stuff Majik. I loved reading about the advancements and creation info you've posted so far. As you know, I didn't get to see the game until it was almost finished; so there was quite a few things that were new to me on your list. Yeah, the beta version is pretty neat, I like it how people can get a taste of some of the differences when playing HOS: Special Edition. About closing the files, I'm sure I could have done alot more things, there's pretty much no end to ways that you can alter how the game reads files and what it looks for... but it was fun just messing around with that stuff a little before the game was released. I still have alot of our old group emails, I'm sure there's a ton more info we could find about the development process, but it sounds like you covered some of the more interesting facts.

There's one thing I still want to do in HOS, just as a fun experiment, as it always seemed sort of lacking to me; and would be nice to perfect it a little bit more in an upgrade or something. Guess I'll have to keep looking around for the other half of the files first though, or do some mass low-end converting and re-arranging with those ones. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:11 pm
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I came across a lot of those emails too, Chris...I had them printed out and saved in a file cabinet at home because it was my first mod I ever worked on, and the process was very cool. I'd say you really didn't miss much in the early early days of HOS creation...it was very slow, and I was very unsure of what I was doing with a lot of stuff, but thankfully, I had a lot of folks who did know what they were doing to teach me the ropes. I'd say the most significant changes came about the time you came on board and made some of the cooler changes.

It's cool to hear that you're interested in perfecting HOS and getting rid of some of the rough spots. I'll admit that there were some bumps, even in the patched finished version, and some things that would make the game even better if they were fixed (like the music you mentioned). Not sure what else you're planning to fix, but if you need any additional files, I'll be glad to go digging for them. I still don't have that zip I wanted to send Brian, but that's just because things have been so crazy the past couple of mornings. I'm working on it... Very Happy

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