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Author Topic: D1 ties to D3's Nomad Level?  (Read 4330 times)

Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: D1 ties to D3's Nomad Level?
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2014, 06:39:02 PM »
I'm starting to wonder if when it was first being developed, the makers had plans to make it akin to D1 level 5, then for some reason changed their minds and took a different direction, and the one reference in the objectives got overlooked and not adjusted accordingly...
Well it's definitely too late for take-backsies. XD
I heard somewhere (not sure how reliable a source it was) that the Fusion engine only loads rooms adjacent to the one the player is in (presumably not counting doors, which would explain why they have their own room type instead of just an object type).  And there's probably something in place to calculate whether the player's line of sight passes through more rooms at once but still... it would mean the actual size of a map wouldn't be much of an issue for CPU load.
Apparently D1 and D2 did something similar with dynamic loading but it must have been a little more complicated.

I think this is what VisPortals are for on BSP based engines... but I'm honestly not sure because I've never got far enough in building a map for Source or Doom 3 that I'd need them.

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: D1 ties to D3's Nomad Level?
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2014, 07:03:13 PM »
So, played through the demo level on Hotshot. I was right about it being long - exploring every nook and cranny cost me two lives (before quad super lasers made life 2.1 bajillion times easier) and took over 48 minutes. There's a LOT of geometry that had been removed from the final product... I'm sure some of it made its way into other levels, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

By the way, this one is really worth a play-through, and I had forgotten just how massive, difficult, and labyrinthine the demo PICCU station was. It really retains that classic Descent vibe to it - the pure joy of getting lost in a giant, 3D maze full of quasi-psychotic machinery to annihilate. It was like the developers forgot what made Descent great when they altered it to fit the main campaign - it became easy, straightforward, and completely action & objective focused. I'll compare with photos of the two automaps...

One question lingers: HOMING MISSILE VAPOR TRAILS AND SOUND EFFECTS. SOOOO MUCH KICKBUTTEDNESS. WHY U NO USE VISUAL N SOUND FX ON FULL GAME HOMING MISSILE OUTRAGE?!?!  >:( >:( >:(
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 07:06:46 PM by D2Junkie »
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: D1 ties to D3's Nomad Level?
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2014, 07:07:46 PM »
For the sound, probably something mundane like they couldn't actually afford the rights to the library it was in.  They were really running low on cash by the time they reached release.  The demo being free... well, you get the picture.
D3 did end up with many labyrinthine maps, but none quite like that one.  I wish the conversion had included the remix of Research from Sol Ascent... I liked that one better than the retail song.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 07:09:27 PM by Kaiaatzel »

Offline Scyphi

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Re: D1 ties to D3's Nomad Level?
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2014, 07:03:52 AM »
Quote from: Kaiaatzel
I heard somewhere (not sure how reliable a source it was) that the Fusion engine only loads rooms adjacent to the one the player is in (presumably not counting doors, which would explain why they have their own room type instead of just an object type).  And there's probably something in place to calculate whether the player's line of sight passes through more rooms at once but still... it would mean the actual size of a map wouldn't be much of an issue for CPU load.

It may not be fully rendered, but the data's still there, filed away, taking up data space that could be used for something else, and I'm sure they had a set "limit" of how much space they could reasonably use for the game. Its something you have to be economical about at times, and pick and choose what you REALLY want to use that space for. Its possible they actually would have had the space needed, but decided to play it safe, just in case.

But another possibility that's occurred to me that's probably even more likely is that they decided it was just too long for an average player, who'd either get lost and frustrated (a big issue that D2 had, IMO) or just overall bored by the length and loose interest after awhile. And while I certainly am not against a large and complex level, if that was the reasoning behind nerfing D3's level 3 size, I'm actually in agreement with that. It's an awfully big level, with a lot of what is truly just "excess space" that is not really pivotal to the level or the plot; it's just there. By the time I'm reaching the end, I'm quite ready for that flying saucer bit and tired of exploring the bowels of Piccu Station willy-nilly, and don't really had much to show for it except a lot of dead bots and spent time. With final D3's applied powerup limits (the demo didn't seem to have any, you could just keep picking stuff up as long as it was there to pick up), it wouldn't even be all that worth it for the powerups, because inevitably, there'd be lots that you just can't use because you're full up already. And if all fifteen levels in D3 were like that, I'd certainly get bored of it after awhile. It'd just be too much.

I'd much rather see a big level handled more like Mercenary's level 3, with the space station. It's roughly equivalent in size, but there's a reason and cause behind just about all of it, yet plenty to still stop and explore at will if you so desired. THAT was a level that was big, but managed its space well and successfully keeps things interesting all throughout. I feel Demo Piccu here doesn't achieve the same sort of effect; it's just big for big's sake and not much else.
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Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: D1 ties to D3's Nomad Level?
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2014, 08:11:01 PM »
D3's engine does calculate line of site, and sound too, to determine what rooms to render. If you design a level and it's laggy because of rendering, you can break it up and put view blocks in hallways, like a couple of 90deg. bends or whatever. So rendering isn't just adjacent rooms, it depends on whether you can see into a room. If it's three of four rooms, or a dozen, or however many you can see.

And yes there are coded limits to the number of rooms, as well as just about everything else you could design into a level.

I think your analysis is spot on, Scy, they probably wanted a big, impressive level for the demo, but (wisely) decided it would be too big in the context of the whole mission.
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