A solo/coop campaign for Infinity. Join UESC forces in their first major offensive against the Pfhor, and explore the mysteries of the Vylae homeworld.
Requires the Previous AI Plugin until I figure out how to embed MML.
Happy New Year! Got back into mapping after a ~12 year hiatus and figured I should give this an update. Made a number of sweeping changes, including:
- Reworked geometry. Refined or scrapped and replaced frustrating portions of specific levels (e.g., beginning of first level). Modified shield charger/pattern buffer placement to be challenging without being frustrating.
- Reworked enemy placement. Drastically reduced number of teleport ambushes and mobs in tight spaces. Much more freedom to maneuver in firefights.
- Differential shading. Along with tweaks to texturing, should make it much easier to "read" the geometry of the levels.
- Updated terminals. Fixed a number of typos in terminal text, and made mission objectives clearer.
- Revised level names/order. Changed names I thought sounded cool in 2008 to names I think sound cool in 2022. Also, switched around the order of later levels.
I'm always looking to hone my craft as a mapper -- reviews, suggestions, &c are greatly appreciated. Hearty thanks to $lave for providing thorough and thoughtful feedback on v0.1!
Great mini scenario
hypersleep on Jan 20th 2023, Version 1.0
These 6ish levels almost feel like lost Double Aught maps in the best way possible – Angular, rambling architecture that tastefully employs the base textures with handsome lighting and composition.
The maps sprawl and fold back on themselves. There’s a few moments I was left pondering what to do next, but the solution was never difficult to arrive at. I appreciate the attention paid to creating flow, with hubs and landmarks that make navigating these massive, non linear levels a breeze.
Resources are everywhere, I had every weapon except the rocket launcher by the end of the second level. I didn’t mind, I’ve spent decades with these weapons and there’s no need to learn the ropes. Let it rip.
On Total Carnage, there’s a gradual and steady increase in difficulty that will take you from melting the Pfhor during the intro to really having your reflexes tested by the time you reach the end. The fighting is great, with lots of brawls, surprising ambushes and layered encounters. The author understands how to craft layouts that highlight the monster behaviour and allow the player to manoeuvre in response to the challenge. It's the exact approach to combat that I love.
It ends on a cliff hangar, I hope this means we’ll see more one day. I was surprised at how engaged I was by a “classic” scenario in 2023, and I think that’s testament to the author's hard work here.
Destiny on Aug 27th 2010, Version 0.1
I think it's pretty good. It actually kept me interested! Very nice looking and hope for the full version to it!
$lave on Dec 31st 2008, Version 0.1
But it isn't ready yet. Although there is some amazing architecture and level design here, there are too many things which hold it back.
First of all, the weapon/ammo availability and placement. The beginning of the first level almost made me give up on this scenario altogether; there were simply too many enemies in too tight an area to fight with your pistol and fist. Throughout the first level at least, I found that having to fight the amount of monsters there were with only my fists and pistols to be annoying.
The second issue with this scenario is the lighting. There are many areas which could be improved drastically if you just applied more differential lighting. Most of the scenario is simply too bright; in most levels there are only "dim" and "bright" areas, with very few (possibly no) dark areas. To clarify, I generally consider lights 0 - 8/9 to be "bright", 9/10 - 14 to be "dim" and 15 through 20 to be "dark". The texturing generally isn't (in my opinion) too bed, with the exception of the second level. The second level is largely textured poorly and far too bright. An example of a level which could be spectacular of better lighting was used is Atom Heart Mother (I enjoyed the Pink Floyd reference). I'd make the passages between areas substantially darker, and add more differential shading to most areas (using both bright/dim and dark lighting together in areas). This level seemed to be inspired by Aye Mak (although I could be wrong) and I'd suggest looking at Aye Mak for examples of good lighting, you can also check out Marathon: Rubicon which (I thought) had generally good lighting.
The third issue was the monster placement. There are simply too many areas where you have to fight too many monsters in too tight a place. Every level seems to have this problem; you are often not prepared for the amount of monsters and/or have no room to dodge; this is amplified (again, especially in the first level) by the lack of appropriate weapons.
That said, I thought the overall level designs (with a few exceptions, most notably the beginning of level 1 and most of level 2) were excellent; rivaling (again, in my opinion) some of the best scenarios/conversions out there. I also happen to be a huge fan of Marathon: Infinity's levels (those which didn't suck), and a lot of these levels brought to me the feeling of marathon Infinity's better levels.
I also thought your terminals were excellently written, no complaints there (although I've never been a fan of Robert Blake in any scenario).
I really think this deserves 2.5 stars at the moment, but simply by fixing the existing levels in terms of monsters, weapons, lighting could easily bring it up to a 4 star scenario, and by fixing up all of the better levels (mainly minor things) it could become a 5 star scenario; but the first and second level would have to be re-done, and the pfhor levels could be better.
I greatly look forward to seeing this scenario "fixed up", I really enjoy some of the designs/architecture, even if the levels themselves need a lot of work in other aspects.
One final note, is that playing co op, neither Jim nor I could find any way of getting past the immediate post-initial area without rocket jumping. We were able to get to the platform leading out of the lava to the building, and found one switch, but our guess was that one of the inactive terminals was supposed to teleport us to the next area. I can't really comment on that too much though, as with the addition of terminals it likely would have been far more clear.
If you'd like to run through these levels with me co op for more specific advice/examples, I'm fully willing. You can e-mail me at [email protected] or contact me over AIM (animalsfloyd) if you're interested.
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