Darwinia: Enemy Within [Parts 1, 2, and 3...]

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The GoldFish
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Postby The GoldFish » Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:17 am

Uh, Part 2 really really does not feel finished :o

Choppy script changes that seemed poorly introduced - most notably in starting whole new levels without knowing what to do, the objectives not being helpful, and when I am told what to do, sometimes my camera isn't returned to a useful location.

A few cutscenes left me with a mobile camera half way through - I guess you're using camcut? It's probably better to avoid that sort of thing when after a few strings of text you're going to have a cammove - eg at the end you can just look up into the sky, and it kinda spoils the effect of a fade to black.

There was part of one level where after a quick midlevel change, you immedietly start off being attacked, which made me have to reset about 3 times in a row because a centipede-type-thing instantly destroyed my units. It didn't feel like it was my ineptitude that had caused me to have to reset, it was that I couldn't tell them to run away or defend themselves in time.

I was also pretty sure that I saved some Darwinians, but apparently I didn't. In making this seemingly transparent, it made me not actually know what I should've done.

There was a point where it just fealt odd to be returned to the world map, after having gone direct from one mission to the next the past two times, it just didn't feel right, or something.

However, I must stress that it looks awesome, and part 1 was really good. But, the polish just diesn't seem to be there yet, and I can see why you weren't too keen on releasing it.
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Postby trickfred » Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:59 am

Wow, harsh. :) I've made some changes though, 0.9.5 will be up on the site in about 5 minutes or so.

Just to confirm, were you playing 0.9, or 0.9.1? (I know, both were still a little... unrefined.)

The GoldFish wrote:Choppy script changes that seemed poorly introduced - most notably in starting whole new levels without knowing what to do, the objectives not being helpful


I do admit, the text/storyline needed a bit of tightening up. I've made a few small changes that may address issues here. No level started without at least some hint as to what to do - sometimes that hint was given to you in the previous level. I've made some a little more obvious.

The GoldFish wrote:...and when I am told what to do, sometimes my camera isn't returned to a useful location.


Sometimes I don't use a camera at all, if the script occurs in an area with enemies - so your squad isn't eaten while you're looking at some building somewhere else. If you're referring to the objective help, since I can't know where your units are placed at all times, I can't exactly return the camera to wherever they're standing when the help is done. If you could give me some specific examples in a PM?

The GoldFish wrote:A few cutscenes left me with a mobile camera half way through - I guess you're using camcut? It's probably better to avoid that sort of thing when after a few strings of text you're going to have a cammove - eg at the end you can just look up into the sky, and it kinda spoils the effect of a fade to black.


I only used CamCut once, but I did go a little CamReset-happy. Fixed in 4 places; think I got them all.

The GoldFish wrote:There was part of one level where after a quick midlevel change, you immedietly start off being attacked


Never once did I get eaten by the objective enemies instantly, and I played that at least a hundred times. But hey, they are pretty random, I won't deny it. Slightly adjusted, should give you a few extra seconds before the virii are on top of you.

The GoldFish wrote:I was also pretty sure that I saved some Darwinians, but apparently I didn't. In making this seemingly transparent, it made me not actually know what I should've done.


"If you can manage it, lead the Darwinians here". Simple - get as many [read: most of the] Darwinians to the island as possible. Since it's not necessary to complete the map, and doesn't really affect the mod's outcome, I purposefully left it (and am still leaving it) vague. Yeah, it's a little harder, but you could always leave them behind, and finish the level in 1/3 of the time. Your choice. It's invisible, because I couldn't figure out how to make it a secondary objective, rather than a primary.

The GoldFish wrote:There was a point where it just felt odd to be returned to the world map, after having gone direct from one mission to the next the past two times, it just didn't feel right, or something.


If you can explain this one a little better... I know what you mean, I just... don't know what you mean. When skipping levels, it fit the story. Later, it was no longer storyline-appropriate to avoid the world map. I've moved a bit of text around (not because of this complaint), so it may not seem as awkward now.

The GoldFish wrote:However, I must stress that it looks awesome, and part 1 was really good. But, the polish just diesn't seem to be there yet, and I can see why you weren't too keen on releasing it.


Thanks. And trust me, I won't make that mistake with Part Three (or any other parts, if they come to be). You (xander and icepick as well, if they feel so inclined) are welcome to give it a whirl when it's playable before I 'release' it - probably a month or so bare minimum.

Edit: Seems I tried to use straight html for some reason. Probably because it was 1 AM when I posted. Removed it.
Last edited by trickfred on Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby redcords » Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:20 pm

after reading the goldfish's comments i felt like i'd been playing a different mod. i thought part 2 was excellent and an improvement on part 1, and both were fun to play. i liked how you tried some different things.

and personally i like how people have been releasing mods when they are basically done. there are always going to be bugs/quirks that won't get caught.
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Postby trickfred » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:25 pm

Thanks - I appreciate the support, but TGF was very right on some things - and since he's the reigning mod champ around here, I do respect his opinion in regards to the technical aspects of mods, even if I didn't agree with everything he said. Try out 0.9.5, and let me know if you think the changes improve things.

A lot of the things I tried to do were watered down a bit or taken right out, because the game isn't nearly as moddable as people would like it to be. Sure, someone's made a perl script to convert .ase to .shp, but that's just cosmetic - most unit/building behaviour is hardcoded, you can't really make new buildings [should be easy to slap a few markers on a new .shp], and half the stuff in the game only works if you use it a specific way. Don't get me wrong, I love the game, it's just that when I first started EW, I was thinking along the line's of Starcraft's map editor for things I wanted to add.

And to everyone - the 'invisible' objective in one level was something I'd hoped people would discover on their own. It's not important to the storyline, but I was just basically trying out making the levels more cause-and-effect dynamic.
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Postby martin » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:27 pm

trickfred wrote:You (xander and icepick as well, if they feel so inclined) are welcome to give it a whirl when it's playable before I 'release' it - probably a month or so bare minimum.


I try, god knows I try but nobody ever picks me for beta testing. :(
Last edited by martin on Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby trickfred » Thu Jun 02, 2005 8:02 pm

martin - xander's proven to me that he knows his way around the editor - and everyone knows that TGF's pretty proficient with it. Icepick's obviously delved into it as well, as evidenced by his guide. Those are the kind of people I would want to give it a go before releasing it, in case they see something I've screwed up. They may not even take me up on the offer, who knows; that's more than a month away. If you can put out a mod in the next month or so that shows sound knowledge of the editor, then sure, I'll let you beta test part 3. Now relax, you're starting to sound like a groupie. :wink:
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Postby martin » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:12 pm

groupie? anyway i'm working on a mod but with coursework and stuff...
Don't you want varied opinions though? I mean they're all great at the mod making but what about just a normal player?
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Postby xander » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:14 pm

trickfred wrote:martin - xander's proven to me that he knows his way around the editor - and everyone knows that TGF's pretty proficient with it. Icepick's obviously delved into it as well, as evidenced by his guide. Those are the kind of people I would want to give it a go before releasing it, in case they see something I've screwed up. They may not even take me up on the offer, who knows; that's more than a month away. If you can put out a mod in the next month or so that shows sound knowledge of the editor, then sure, I'll let you beta test part 3. Now relax, you're starting to sound like a groupie. :wink:


Meh, you probably wouldn't want me to have it. I had trouble getting through the end of Part 1, as all of the units and the large map brought my framerate to a halt. I just got rid of all of the enemies in the editor and went for it. Hopefully, the patch (whenever it comes out) will help a bit ^_^

At any rate, part 2 looks good so far, but I have only had time to complete the first level -- I found my BroodWars CD last week and have pretty much slacked on everything else.

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Postby trickfred » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:28 pm

Hopefully by the time part 3's out, the mac patch will be out as well, and will alleviate some of the slowdown...

Ah, Starcraft. Love that game. Haven't played in a while, but played it regularly until a year or so ago... good times. :)
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Postby The GoldFish » Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:15 am

Anyone who goes on IRC knows I'm super harsh :P

Besides, I was playing it in 'dumb user mode' - I was playing it in the middle of the night while not really very awake and getting ready for the long trip home!

I was playing 0.9.1 - I never got around to trying 0.9 before you released .1. I gave 0.9.5 a whirl and (even though I'm stuck with those 3 blastard speedy snake things) the camera stuff has been alot more solid so far (though at the intermission bit when youknowwho turns into a hovering youknowwhat at the start of Database, the the camera starts back at the 'start' after that first mission swap, it's a tiny thing.)

I might get back to you with any more stupidly small micro-details that ruin my whole playing experience later! :P
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Postby xander » Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:46 am

Damn you! You have a level named Database as well. Curses!

/me renames Database to SQL

Haha!

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Postby trickfred » Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:10 am

Yeah, I was wondering how long it'd be before you mentioned that... I went poking around looking for your mod, and found a screenie with a Database trunk port on it. Nice title by the way. At the risk of sounding like a groupie, well, if you, ah, want someone to beta test it...

*looks around furtively, darts away Napoleon Dynamite style*
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Postby mindule » Sat Jun 04, 2005 9:59 pm

Okay, trickfred, I haven't read the rest of the topic, so I'm not sure this's been asked before. But I'm not a modeller, and I really need to know; how did you make those one sided shapes that say 'Welcome to Darwinia'? (I'm sure some extremely obvious answer is going to come of this, oh well)
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Postby martin » Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:02 pm

[quote="trickfred"] well, if you, ah, want someone to beta test it...[/quote]

ooh, If only I was one of those people who flamed a lot. :)
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Postby trickfred » Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:22 pm

martin wrote:
trickfred wrote: well, if you, ah, want someone to beta test it...


ooh, If only I was one of those people who flamed a lot. :)


Dude, that was a joke. Guess you just didn't get it. :roll:

By the way, I've updated Parts One and Two again - they're getting close to what I had originally envisioned when I thought up the storyline [Yeah, yeah, enough with the George Lucas jokes].

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