Better Bridges is a new technique for simulating bridges in Aleph One levels as if the engine supported them natively. It’s a generalized Lua script that can work with any level that’s set up in a specific way. Included is a guide explaining how to make maps with Better Bridges, and a working sample map.
First public release
This is an English translation of the Aleph One scenario "Blauwe Vingers", originally in Dutch. All due credit for the original scenario and game content belongs to Tim Vogel and Stage Game Studio. The translation was the combined effort of myself, Drictelt, and Google's translation service.
This is a translation of the map file only, which means only terminal text, map text, level names, and console text are translated. Everything else, like interface text, loading screen text, and audio, is unchanged at this time.
To install, move Kaart.sceA into the "Data" subfolder of your Blauwe Vingers installation. For more information, see the included read me file.
This is the first release, compatible with Blauwe Vingers 1.2.
Here's a new netmap supporting EMFH and KOTH. As is often the case, this is an exercise in flow as much as anything. The map is loosely divided into four chambers. It's entirely asymmetrical, with an open floor plan. I recommend it for 4 or fewer players.
Back when items were strictly 2D sprites, there was little reason to care about their facing angle. We now have plugins that replace items with 3D models, yet in nearly all existing maps all weapons and ammo face the same direction.
This plugin addresses this cosmetic oddity by making all items slowly rotate (yaw), as seen in other shooters like Quake and Unreal. The 2D sprites were easy to identify because you could see them in profile from any angle. This animation restores that property, and the movement also makes them stand out more. Unfortunately, because the script physically manipulates the items in the environment, it's only expected to work in single player.
I've been using this for myself ever since thedoctor45 released his excellent 3D items plugin in February 2012. However, it's very simple and should work with any 3D items, for any scenario. Anyone making a "3D items" or similar plugin is welcome to bundle this into their work; one look at the lua and you'll see how simple the effect is to create.
This is a new, standalone release. The map is designed to support all gametypes: vanilla EMFH, KOTH, and KTMWTB; and CTF & Rugby via their respective netscripts. For the last two, download the appropriate script from right here on Simplici7y, select CTF or Rugby when gathering, and check the netscript checkbox and use the corresponding netscript as well. There is a small embedded lua script to deal with the multipurpose use of the ball, but that should all take care of itself behind the scenes.
This level is also the first release to utilize my EasyShade plugin for lighting. The screenshots for EasyShade were taken from this map.
I played a Call of Duty map that had a stair/bridge combination I thought was interesting. I loosely mimicked that structure and just sort of built things out from there. At this point the resemblance is gone, but I kept the style of an urban setting with buildings and structures positioned at regular angles.
I tried to put function over aesthetics, leaving all texturing/lighting/scenery/sounds until I was satisfied with the flow. The hill was not the initial focal point of the map, but as a player I like the variety provided by specific objectives like in KOTH, so I'm glad a natural hill area emerged. It may feel somewhat limited with no platforms, teleporters, or powerups; but I didn't want to throw everything and the kitchen sink into the same level.
I hate to bump this to the front page for such a minor change, so I waited until I was going to release something new anyway.
EasyShade contains functions for automating the lighting of Aleph One levels. It is intended to aid mapmakers in conjunction with their usual lighting techniques. EasyShade currently includes these functions (all parameters are optional):
sunlight(contrast, manual\_sun\_angle, cumulative) for simulating a directional light source that affects all surfaces and does not cast shadows
roomlight(brightness, floor\_threshold, ceiling\_threshold, radius) for assigning a brightness to an entire room at once
pointlight(brightness, max\_radius) for simulating a point light source where the player is standing (calculations done in 2D)
darken() and lighten() for nudging the brightness of the room you're in up or down. These functions are tied to the previous and next weapon keys, so you can make an adjustment by pressing one key instead of typing out a function call.
pavelight(brightness) for applying a single brightness to all surfaces in the entire level
resetlights() for restoring a level to its original lighting levels
Major update, now with wholly different types of automated lighting.
Back in March, Irons re-discovered a contest for 7-polygon maps, also known as "Simplici7y" maps. I was intrigued by the concept, and drew some sketches that turned into these seven levels. Despite making Marathon maps for nearly the last fifteen years, this is the first Infinity map I've officially released. I chose to follow the restrictions imposed by the original contest.
This is the first official release. All maps and gametypes have been tested for functionality and balance.
I played this the whole way through, and I would have to say beginning mapmakers should not study this as a good example. - -- You get stuck behind BoBs in narrow hallways all the time. - -- Monsters spawn on random polygons, including ones where they don't fit, instead of in thoughtfully crafted encounters. - -- Monster types are selected carelessly. Don't just throw in tiny BoBs because you think they're cool. - -- Height plays no role in gameplay. - -- Platform parameters are set poorly such that you have to wait for them. - ++ Mission parameters are functionally working, and are made clear in terminals. - ++ All green BoBs are assimilated, so at least I didn't have to get the BoBs mad at me. - -- Item placement is hit or miss. I get 2 shotguns but no shotgun ammo in the whole map. 4 invincibility powerups in a room is unnecessary. - -- Overuse of mission parameters. Not every level should require exploration. - -- Textures are misaligned, mismatched, or even missing. - -- The overall simplicity makes every level feel the same. How about a staircase? How about a high ceiling? How about a pillar to duck behind? How about a ledge? How about a window? - ++ Each level does have a story. There's a reason for your missions, and it's enough that I wanted to read what happened next. - -- Winning the game is impossible since the levels loop back on themselves. The player expects and deserves a resolution.
I didn't need this until recently, but it worked great. You could use this to work on a level in multiple sections. I use it to duplicate a level's geometry within the same level, for some experimental lua scripting.
I'd rate this as an intermediate level map - it's not full of beginner mistakes but it's not up there with the top maps, either. I think there was an overemphasis on monsters, though I will say the difficulty ramped up smoothly playing on normal. The battles would've been more interesting with a fusion pistol, to take advantage of many monster's weaknesses and to get more chain reactions going. You should also make sure there aren't whole groups of monsters that congregate together without attacking. The final battle was well constructed in a couple ways. First, the geometry was complex enough to allow the A.I. to chase the player in different ways, and secondly there was a good sense of anticipation after hitting the switch, waiting for the climax to arrive. Ironically, it was advantageous to leave the green fighters alive to absorb projectiles from later waves. I would've liked to see some small-scale nonlinearity, more glimpses of spaces the player will visit later, and some cases where the player gets the high ground. Lighting was odd in some places, particularly in the interior Jjaro-themed room. There's no effort put into story or exploration, but I say that's a good thing. It means you had the discipline to stay within a limited scope.