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Author Topic: [Release] Island Base  (Read 4008 times)

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Wingman

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[Release] Island Base
« on: December 20, 2013, 02:03:15 PM »

Hello Dukers!

I like to introduce my map “Island Base“. It was already released in 2008, but has undergone some major updates in the past few weeks (especially polymer-effects, but also some new rooms and features). The map is quite huge and has many places to explore and a whole army of enemies to fight (about 500).

DukePlus recommended.

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Description / "Storyline":

Several months after Duke Nukem defeated the alien invasion force, one surviving troop carrier ran out of power and had to emergency land on earth in search for a new power source.

The aliens choosed an small rocky island somewhere in the pacific. That island contains a top secret EDF-base which is used for research in antimatter-based energy technologies. Just the perfect place to get new energy for the stranded invaders.

The base was highly secured, but the small EDF-crew were absolutely outnumbered by the hundreds of alien invaders. They were overrun within minutes and the security staff were mutated into pigcop-forces.  With the power source secured, the aliens decided to use many of the water reservoirs on the island as hatchery to grow a new invasion force on earth.

As the EDF-headquarters recieved a garbled emergency call from the island base, Duke Nukem got his equipment and his dukecopter. After landing on a hidden corner of the island, Duke has to search the nearby cave systems for an entrance into the bases basement, were it sewage system is located...

Good Luck! ;)

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Download Link (or see attachement) and Screenshots:

CGS  -Download

















Enjoy!  ;D
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:38:24 PM by Puritan »
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methy

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 09:33:18 PM »

I've played, however in 8 bit mode in original Duke.

The good thing about the map is that it's an adventure and Duke goes through many different locations in a logical way. There is a good feel of progression.

The last part of the map (the Alien ship on the lake) was definitly the best designed one in terms of visuals. The way the map is, I feel like you've built it from starting point to finish and that you progressively got better at mapping as you were making the map.

There is good stuff in the map, and it's definitely a good first map, however there are many small issues. Lack of shading and wall shading, oversized empty areas, minimalistic texturing and architecture in some areas... It was also a bit hard to know where to go at times but I never got 'lost' for long.
Gameplay felt a little weird too. At first I was over 100hp with 100 armor before seeing a single enemy, then I ran out of ammo, then suddenly back to 200hp 100 armor, a medipack and TONS of ammo... I know I didn't play with dukeplus but I don't think this would change much and it is more a matter of item placement.

My biggest complain were the enemies when you use the teleporter to get into the ship. You use that teleporter, you're pretty sure to die considering the ammount of (tough) enemies waiting for you on the other side; and it's 99% likely that the player WILL use it because the other way in, from underwater, is not very visible as I missed it even though I spent a few mins completely clearing the underwater area.

I think the map isn't bad, but that you should spend one more day polishing it, polishing item and enemy placement, fixing the misaligned textures, making architecture and shading a little more interesting on the edges, etc

Hope you make more, there is definitely potential, as like I said, the map feels SOMEWHAT fresh and original in its theme and how it goes through different locations in a progressive logical way.
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Wingman

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 10:37:29 PM »

Thank you for your feedback!  ;)

There is good stuff in the map, and it's definitely a good first map, however there are many small issues. Lack of shading and wall shading, oversized empty areas, minimalistic texturing and architecture in some areas... It was also a bit hard to know where to go at times but I never got 'lost' for long.
Gameplay felt a little weird too. At first I was over 100hp with 100 armor before seeing a single enemy, then I ran out of ammo, then suddenly back to 200hp 100 armor, a medipack and TONS of ammo... I know I didn't play with dukeplus but I don't think this would change much and it is more a matter of item placement.

The funny thing about this map is that I worked on it since 2005 (then with the original BUILD and without eduke32-port) with big breaks in between. In the beginning, it was just the cave system intended for dukematch only to play with some friends over LAN (not even to be released in the web). Then the base followed, but was supposed to end in the central command room. After that (again, years later) I felt I could continue it a little bit more with an outdoor area. Finally, I added the alien ship. Up to this point, the map is from 2008 and the only new location after the rescent polymer-update is the (somewhat hidden) beach area. So yes, there is definitly a visible learning curve in this map. ;D

I made three dukematch-only maps before (in 1998 and 1999), but nothing special by todays duke-standards (you can see some screenshots here below Island Base).

Quote
My biggest complain were the enemies when you use the teleporter to get into the ship. You use that teleporter, you're pretty sure to die considering the ammount of (tough) enemies waiting for you on the other side; and it's 99% likely that the player WILL use it because the other way in, from underwater, is not very visible as I missed it even though I spent a few mins completely clearing the underwater area.

Thats the whole joke. The teleporter is a death trap, unless you teleporting rockets or pipebombs over, to clear the area. Or you take the "messy" way below the surface. The entrance might be a little hard to locate, because I removed the fixed 8-bit shading to support the polymer-lightning ambience. This might also explain why the map now lacks shading in 8-bit mode.

Quote
I think the map isn't bad, but that you should spend one more day polishing it, polishing item and enemy placement, fixing the misaligned textures, making architecture and shading a little more interesting on the edges, etc

Maybe there will be another update. But there are many textures to be alligned, at least in the cave-areas (or did I miss some auto-feature in Mapster for texture aligment? *g*).

Quote
Hope you make more, there is definitely potential, as like I said, the map feels SOMEWHAT fresh and original in its theme and how it goes through different locations in a progressive logical way.

Thanks. If there is time I think I will do another one.
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Micky C

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 01:32:51 AM »

Yeah you did miss an auto realignment tool! It's either . or ctrl-. which aligns all the textures in a loop to the right of the texture you're pointing at.

Don't feel so bad, when I released the first version of my first map, I wasn't aware of ANY alignment tool  :P (while you can use the numpad keys to allign floor textures, when I tried that on wall textures they stretched instead of moved so I thought it was impossible at the time).
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Wingman

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 11:31:18 AM »

Thanks, that works well! It will be a lot of work, but I think redo the outdoor-textures soon.
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Forge

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 09:48:26 PM »

so am i waiting for an updated version, or is this to be the final product?
(make sure you consider your options; our site admin isn't into the re-upload game. after a certain fiasco in the past, once a file gets posted that's the one that will stay there until the internet ceases to exist. a couple bad apples can ruin it for everybody)
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Take it down to the beach with a hammer and pound sand up your ass

Wingman

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 12:15:38 AM »

There will be an updated version. I'm working right now on some texture alligments and a skybox-problem in the underwater passage with the sharks. The skybox won't change anymore when I go to parallax, regardless of the used texture. In classic mode, I had the used underwater texture (simply a parallax of the water texture). But now you only see the surface skybox with ocean and sky. Anyone know that problem?

I also tried it in a empty map, and the water-skybox works in HRP.



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Micky C

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 12:21:43 AM »

If you're using the polymer renderer (which is technically incomplete and optimized as of this writing, and probably will be for the next few years), then it can only support 1 parallaxed tile per map, so if you have a different parallaxed tile somewhere it can really mess things up. Essentially make sure that you're using the same texture for your skies everywhere.

Is that what you're talking about?
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Wingman

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 12:58:11 AM »

Yes, exactly. I'll try something different then. But that explains why older usermaps have wrong skymaps in some locations now.  ;)
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Wingman

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2013, 01:07:10 PM »

I think the final (re)release for you will be after the christmas days. Until then I will do some more testing for bugs (also together with a friend), but in terms of changes it is finished by now.

Changes:

- Better texture alligment
- Some more details, mostly in outdoor areas
- Three more secret rooms
- Workaround for the underwater skybox-problem
- Minor changes in item and enemy-placement
- New easter egg somewhere near the beach (requires noclip)  ;)
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Micky C

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2013, 02:59:46 PM »

Before you get Forge to upload it, let me do a playthrough for any final missed problems. I should try this out some time anyway so might as well be helpful in the process.
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Wingman

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 12:22:30 AM »

Before you get Forge to upload it, let me do a playthrough for any final missed problems...

Thx for the help 8) . I attached the latest version.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:38:51 PM by Puritan »
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Forge

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 06:18:13 AM »

not really a huge fan of maze maps; and this one is loaded with them. cave mazes, underwater mazes, vent mazes
what makes them especially bad is the one shade fits all for every wall, ceiling, and floor while in those mazes

i didn't use dukeplus so some health placement was off and too far apart
on the other hand the ammo stashes were usually too close together

didn't find the shriker, but found an expander in a supply room. too bad you can't pick it up

picop tanks and fat commanders in small hallways are annoying
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Wingman

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2013, 10:52:10 AM »

not really a huge fan of maze maps; and this one is loaded with them. cave mazes, underwater mazes, vent mazes
what makes them especially bad is the one shade fits all for every wall, ceiling, and floor while in those mazes

I can do some different shading near the skylights in the caves, but I wasn't aware that so many players still use the 8-bit mode without polymer lightning. After playing the game for about 15 years in classic mode, the HRP / Polymer and DukePlus felt really fresh to me. ;)

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i didn't use dukeplus so some health placement was off and too far apart
on the other hand the ammo stashes were usually too close together

That's because I find it more exiting when you are low at health instead of ammo. Maps where you spend half the time using the mighty foot (even if you're precise with every single shot) because they lack ammo are annoying in my opinion. But that's an opinion kind of thing of course.

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didn't find the shriker, but found an expander in a supply room. too bad you can't pick it up

It worked in the HRP / DukePlus-modes. But I changed it to a shrinker now.

EDIT: There is already a shrinker in the sewage system (near the blue keycard), but it's somewhat hidden because it's floating in the water.

Quote
picop tanks and fat commanders in small hallways are annoying

Another opinion kind of thing. I find pig tank encounters and fat commanders in hallways intense, because you really have to take cover and do some stategy. At high range in outdoor areas, they're almost like any other enemy.

As I already said, the map wasn't intended for classic mode anymore. But I'll fix some of the shading-issues with that.

I'm away for several days now, and I like to wish you a very christmas, happy holydays or whatever you like to call it!  :)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:39:03 PM by Puritan »
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Micky C

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Re: [RELEASE] Island Base
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2013, 12:03:31 PM »

So I finished it, found it a fun map. MetHy's right you did seem to get somewhat better the further into the map I got. IMO there's nothing inherently wrong with the map other than it's overall simplistic and at times blocky architecture. I played with Dukeplus and polymer and the lighting was ok, except in the big cave maze near the beginning, where there wasn't much lighting at all (I'd suggest make it a big darker and add more light sources there). 

The map had a good sense of progression and variety; cave, high tech, alien, outdoor so it felt nice and full which is good. Because I was playing with polymer there were framerate issues at times. For example around that big alien spaceship in the lake, I died many times because there was so much going on that it dragged the framerate down. Note that turrets are framerate killers; they shoot lots of laser sprites, and those sprites all generate polymer lights, so all that plus the TWO battlelords (I was playing on the easiest setting, might want to tone that down a bit) and the dozens of other enemies, including troopers which also shoot that resource intensive laser sprite really resulted in a lot of unfair deaths. So yeah I'd restrict one of those battlelords and the turrets to a higher up skill level.
Also found the boss battle at the end pretty difficult, there wasn't a lot of room to move or much cover to hide behind IIRC.

The only problems from a technical point of view were some slightly stretched textures in the elevators, and in the WC in the mess hall, when the swing door was closed, it caused the normal map on the floor to go all funky and the sector didn't receive polymer light (not sure but it might be due to possible overlapping sectors, but if you can't fix it it's not a big deal since most non-mappers wouldn't notice).

Unlike Forge I did enjoy the gameplay. Sometimes it just feels nice to wander around a bit, and I never got too lost (the automap was invaluable in the cave), and there was more than enough ammo. Health did seem somewhat spotty in places. I remember a few atomic healths near the start and then not too much for a while.
As for the shading, like I said put more lights in the cave. And even though the map uses polymer lighting, you should always use a bit of manual shading as well. Different areas should have different overall shades (especially indoor vs outdoor), and adjacent walls as well as ceilings should have a few shades' difference between them as this helps give the map more depth.

Still, an enjoyable map, I'd give it perhaps an 85 out of 100. I really look forward to your next map  :)
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