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Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:15 pm
by LightWolf
You can make the invulnerability a bit less convenient.
Personally I feel bosses should be a noticeable difficulty spike right at the end of the level. D1L7 definitely captured this, while D2L4 just had a big robot with more health that just happens to teleport and start the countdown.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:36 pm
by Alter-Fox
Add an extra cloak somewhere nearby just in case. Stuff tends to go wrong in this game, and with Overload, D:U, and D1 and 2 back on GOG it's just possible we'll get new people who haven't played the game before coming to us. We've already got a few new folks on the forum as designers.
I'm thinking of D1 level 7 as well which had the extra cloak and invuln near the boss room but not in it.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:58 am
by Xfing
Alter-Fox wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:36 pm
Add an extra cloak somewhere nearby just in case. Stuff tends to go wrong in this game, and with Overload, D:U, and D1 and 2 back on GOG it's just possible we'll get new people who haven't played the game before coming to us. We've already got a few new folks on the forum as designers.
I'm thinking of D1 level 7 as well which had the extra cloak and invuln near the boss room but not in it.
I agree, an invulnerability in plain sight just waiting to be picked up is a nice choice, since the player needs foresight in order not to waste it, same goes for cloaks. Picking those up at just the right moment is part of the strategic thinking for the level :P

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:27 am
by Alter-Fox
And it prevents you from using it for the full 30 seconds.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:00 am
by AlexanderBorisov
LightWolf wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:15 pm
You can make the invulnerability a bit less convenient.
Personally I feel bosses should be a noticeable difficulty spike right at the end of the level. D1L7 definitely captured this, while D2L4 just had a big robot with more health that just happens to teleport and start the countdown.
On Insane (and I think even Ace) difficulty the situation is reversed - D1L7 boss is just a big immobile target (scary looking, yes!), it simply has no chance to hit you if you are always moving, unless it teleports on your head. Which only happened once many times I played this level (on Insane skill). And D2 L4 boss, it is so dangerous that you simply cannot stay in the boss room, unless you use the invulnerability from the secret level. Probably you can circle it with the trichording, but should be very hard to do. But I should say regarding the athmospere D1 L7 boss fight is very well arranged and scary - much better than D2 L4. The sound of entering the boss room definitely sends shivers up your spine... The invulnerability is barely enough to destroy the boss minions (that are real danger there).

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:23 pm
by Xfing
Yeah, the D1L7 boss fight is all about the presentation, the boss is actually harmless to any half-decent pilot and requires no power-ups to beat (they are for his entourage). The D2L4 is not as intimidating, but is actually harder to beat since he has homing missiles, not to mention flash ones too.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:56 pm
by Sirius
So, as far as I can tell, you haven't mandated which levels should have secret exits... it's probably going to be more restrictive in D1 since the mapping was one-to-one there, but most D2 secret levels had two. I'm not sure what your plan is for this one, but let me know if I need to add one...

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:53 am
by Xfing
Sirius wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:56 pm
So, as far as I can tell, you haven't mandated which levels should have secret exits... it's probably going to be more restrictive in D1 since the mapping was one-to-one there, but most D2 secret levels had two. I'm not sure what your plan is for this one, but let me know if I need to add one...
I'm thinking 4 secret exits teleports for each 18-level section, which translates to 2 chances to get into any single secret level. Of course LightWolf crammed a secret exit into almost every level he made (his 2nd favorite thing after making boss levels I guess), but I think we should leave this for later, or at the very least pick the levels for that purpose right off the bat (clandestinely enough, so as not to spoil their locations for the players). So yeah, I think I'll make the call once all the levels are made and I know what they all look like, then contact each author via PMs asking them to incorporate a secret exit section into their level. That'll probably be for the best when it comes to this issue.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:21 pm
by Alter-Fox
Just adding level 42 to the dropbox right now.
My midi of choice for the map is D2 level 4, but if you'd like to save that one for a boss D1 level 17 works really well in it too.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:03 am
by Xfing
Alter-Fox wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:21 pm
Just adding level 42 to the dropbox right now.
My midi of choice for the map is D2 level 4, but if you'd like to save that one for a boss D1 level 17 works really well in it too.
Ok, I'll check it out right away. Keep in mind that we can use almost every midi track twice, so no worries about that.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:50 am
by Xfing
Well, what can I say. Actually I've got a lot to say about this level!

In terms of geometry it's fantastic. You've become quite amazing at designing large, open spaces over the years. The texturing is also superb, it's among the most unique yet sensible examples of texturing I've seen. Bit of a shame you didn't even make a POG at all though - that way the level feels exactly like D2 Vertigo, but lacks that retro D1 element we want. As for the robot choices, I'm also a bit disappointed in how few D1 robots appear - the spotlight is shared between D2 and Vertigo bots, and the Spider feels much like a guest appearance, like in Vertigo. Not even the addition of other D1 robots in the reactor room fixes this. PESTs could be swapped out for Class 1 Drones and Lou Guards for Super Hulks (that even matches the overall color scheme of the level better). Unless that was all intentional and you were going for as close to vanilla Vertigo with this level as possible. The level's hard enough on Hotshot, but once again, it's that D2 type of difficulty for the most part, with relatively few lethal, fearsome mechs. No drillers either, which is a shame - you could totally use these huge, cavernous spaces of the level to put some drillers far enough from you to be harmless, but close enough to make you afraid.

Also, some minor particular observations:
- the reactor type you chose was designed to touch a wall with its top section, otherwise it looks strangely floating. I suggest lowering the ceiling to meet it
- Not sure if the invulnerability that you get after blowing up the reactor makes any sense, since by that time there won't be much opposition left in the mine anyway
- Gophers should be set to minelayers only, as per D1. Either create a HXM or swap them out for Laser Platformers if you're interested in the same functionality
- The level has almost no secret areas to speak of, or none at all! Can't remember exactly. But even single-cube secret caches are better than nothing, amirite?

Still, that's overall one of your best levels, though your recent ones have been consistently superb.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:05 pm
by Alter-Fox
There are a few secrets. I don't quite remember where they all are, and I wouldn't spoil them even if I did. I remember at least one specifically.
I'll switch the reactor to a baloris type in that case.
There are not supposed to be gophers here... what is DLE screwing with this time? I uploaded the map in a hurry so I'd have the map available to me while I'm away from my main PC, I didn't give it a full fly through after my last small geometry and texture edits. I will check on this... In the meantime, if you tell me where you've been seeing them it would be a huge help.
The invulnerability is there because you need to pass through a lava fall on your way to the exit, just after you clear a room full of missile bots. If you only barely survived the reactor, I wanted to make sure the exit run didn't kill you unavoidably.

I did go for a vanilla vertigo feeling with the bot placements; which is also why I occasionally switched up the spider spawns. :D If you really want drillers I suppose you could replace the Sniper NGs which are kinda there to fill the same role. I do think they fit better though. I wanted the PESTs and Lou Guards there specifically because I liked the way they fit into some similar texture themes in Vertigo.
Also uploaded in a hurry a song that is tentatively themed for this map and The Cauldron.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:04 pm
by Xfing
The gophers were in the reactor room, I counted two.

I still think you could throw in some drillers or at least make them optional in matcens, and use more D1 bot kinds throughout the level and not just in the reactor chamber too.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:40 pm
by Alter-Fox
Yeah that was a DLE error. Those green spiders were supposed to just spawn small spiders instead of the regular D2 spider spawn.
I like to limit the robot types I use in a single level, and make it feel cohesive. Pretty soon after the point in time when I started the population I already knew what the entire robot cast was going to be. I'm not sure what I could do at this point besides replacing one type with another that fills the same purpose, and I'm already using a large number of bot types just to make it feel like a vertigo level. I won't go into the whole discussion on how each placement in the map has a purpose... *this* time. :P Basically, even if I were to just add a bunch of D1 bots in I'd still have to rework the population of the different areas where they're going to make sure that the challenge and atmospherics still work. That's a pretty big undertaking for a placeholder population -- I think it's something to do when we're tweaking the final population. Certainly don't mean to say I'm against it -- though I think the mission certainly has room for a vanilla-style vertigo level it doesn't by any means have to be this one.

I'm reuploading the level with an extra secret and those robot drops repaired for the moment. Anything beyond that I'll have to do after I get off the plane tomorrow.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:11 pm
by Superbobby

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:09 am
by Xfing
Sweet! Too bad I'm at work, it'll have to wait a few hours before I can check it out.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:13 pm
by Xfing
Ok, I checked out the level, looks like everything is in order, with one exception, the texture rock314 actually looks horrible in fire.pig. You couldn't have known that. Anyway, I'll take the liberty of changing that texture to a similar one that doesn't look as bad in this palette - say, rock224. Other than that I guess it looks good :D

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:57 am
by Sirius
Structure done for 27, next up texturing and maybe some sample item placement... that usually goes a little quicker for me since I already have an idea of what I wanted to do with each place. So I'll probably start that over the weekend... hell, I could livestream it if someone's bored and/or really finds texturing fascinating :lol:

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:08 am
by Xfing
Sirius wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:57 am
Structure done for 27, next up texturing and maybe some sample item placement... that usually goes a little quicker for me since I already have an idea of what I wanted to do with each place. So I'll probably start that over the weekend... hell, I could livestream it if someone's bored and/or really finds texturing fascinating :lol:
I actually wouldn't mind watching something like that in the slightest, would be even nicer to talk over Skype or something. Not sure we could arrange a meet though given the time zone difference :P

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:04 am
by Alter-Fox
Would be cool. I've got too much free time at this northern hospital -- nothing really happens.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:16 am
by Sirius
OK, guess I'll look at that then. I might be able to start tonight but it will likely be late if so. Probably also Saturday afternoon sometime. I can post here and on Discord if I do that (although, there are two Descent Discord servers... 😒)

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:30 pm
by LightWolf
Which stream thing are you gonna use?

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:26 am
by Sirius

Going up shortly. Will probably keep at it for an hour or two, still need to wake up tomorrow :)

I also have a Beam/Mixer account if Twitch is a problem.

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:09 am
by Xfing
Aw shucks, and I missed it :( Went to sleep like a few mins before it started actually :lol:

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:16 am
by Alter-Fox
Darn. I went to sleep early too. :(
I'll keep discord open today in case you start up again. :)

Re: Descent 1 1/2

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:58 pm
by Sirius
Most likely time is somewhere around 2 pm local time (in about 3 hours from this post)... there is a Rangers event at noon which I'll probably be participating in. I might do a bit of work before then but hard to predict how much.

The Discord server that most of the Overload watchers seem to congregate on is https://discord.gg/UkYZME - if you need to get my attention that might be the best place to try :)