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Author Topic: New D2X-XL mission set coming  (Read 764 times)

Offline Kaiaatzl

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New D2X-XL mission set coming
« on: June 02, 2021, 11:40:59 AM »
So I dug up some old D2X-XL maps from one of my old laptops and, surprisingly, not all of them were garbage. Over the past week I've taken the best five of them (one of which has been released before) and compiled them into a little set. I've got the maps in pretty much working order, and barring any unforeseen issues I should have everything ready to release on the new DXMA site in a week or two. :)

What you can expect:

Four enormous levels, plus one somewhat smaller one. Not quite Descent 1.5 or Call of Charon quality, but surprisingly close.

Custom loading screens for each level.

Briefings, (at least if I can hack them together), exploring a part of Descent's overall story arc you might not expect.

Six or seven new music tracks. One for the briefings, one for each level, and possibly one for the title screen. For those who don't know, I've been learning the guitar over the last several years, so you can expect something closer to the Descent 2 Redbook than, say, my previous IDM-elecropunk sorta tracks for The Enemy Within.

Speaking of that estimable Enemy Within, guess which robots you'll face here? Hint: they're not the standard ones, and if you're not familiar with The Enemy Within you might be in for some nasty surprises on the last couple maps. If you are familiar with The Enemy Within, you still might find a couple surprises.

Lots and lots of neat D2X-XL stuff. All of the maps are at least set up with ambient sounds, and some of them have got more effects and even a little 'scripting' going on.

A massive battle to end the whole thing off.

=========================================================================

FNYABEFUQ (frequently not-yet-asked but easily foreseeable and useful questions)

Will there be a version of these maps for non-XL players?
Unfortunately not, these maps are enormous and many of them use XL features in ways that are pretty integral to how you play them. Plus, even if it were possible to "scale them down", I wouldn't have the time. And yes, I'm very aware that this limits how many people get to play these maps.

I know you like to use lyrics in your music sometimes. Will you insist on defiling my ears with this madness yet again?
Mwahahahahahaa I've tried to use songs of mine that will reflect the main character's personality and state of mind as well as the level environments, in order to keep briefings a little bit shorter.

What exactly did you do to the TEW bots for those "surprises"?
Weapons, behaviours, and models will all be as you remember if you've played TEW. Aside for a couple of minor retextures to fit slightly weirder level themes, there's only.... but I won't spoil that. Also, the bosses and the thief will use, mostly, their stock D2 versions.

If I can, I'll try and get some screenshots ready by this weekend.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 01:30:41 PM by Kaiaatzl »

Offline ConcordSix

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Re: New D2X-XL mission set coming
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2021, 01:31:42 AM »
So, this post (and your signature) is how I discovered your Darklite album, and I am FREAKING LOVING IT!! If this is the kind of music you are using in your levels, I am all for it! Totally has that perfect Descent vibe!

Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: New D2X-XL mission set coming
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2021, 06:01:27 AM »
Lol, that one's *old*...
...but it's still not entirely unlike what I do now. :)  The big difference is that now I'm playing real guitars, with a little bit of extra range, and I just have another seven years worth of understanding what I'm actually doing ;D
I certainly appreciate the appreciation  ;)

(also, small recommendation if you intend to play this and you haven't got D2X-XL set up or the version you have isn't the most recent one -- do that as soon as possible, 'cause it can take some doing.  As far as I can see, it looks like the most recent Mac version you'd have to use should at least be recent enough to be compatible-- though, being on Windows myself I obviously can't guarantee this.)

I've got some screenshots of level 1 to 3 to share.  Didn't have time yesterday morning to test the last two levels, but I will soon.
After that, all that's left to do is get the briefing text into a format Descent can read.  And, I can't believe I would ever say this, but thankfully I've still got my old Windows Vista laptop lying around, which can run those old Descent Network editors.

Level 1-- this is the one I've released previously, though the robot/weapon balance will be somewhat different.




Level 2




Level 3



« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 06:13:50 AM by Kaiaatzl »

Offline Scyphi

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Re: New D2X-XL mission set coming
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2021, 06:21:01 AM »
Kai, I think you may have set up these pictures wrong, as all I'm seeing are empty boxes, and when I right-click on them to open them up in another tab (in case it's a site-specific thing), I'm prompted to download/open the file in another program. Which I've done no problem, so it's not too big a deal, but FYI regardless.

Anyway, I'd forgotten just how flashy D2X-XL can be with all of the bells and whistles on. :P Speaking of, for the reference of those looking to play this, just what features would one need set-up and/or engaged to play this? Or should it actually just be plug-and-play, so long as you're doing it in D2X-XL?
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Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: New D2X-XL mission set coming
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2021, 07:04:26 AM »
It should be plug-and-play, the only thing you might want to turn off is the cartoon renderer, and that's just because it can sometimes cause weird visual artifacts in levels with skyboxes, not because it breaks anything.  Well, and don't use the lightmaps, 'cause the levels are huge, but I don't think any sane player who knows how to turn them off would use them -- and for my money the real-time lighting has always looked better anyway.
I even made sure that you'd never be attacked immediately after spawning or teleporting, so that you can use the little warp animation if you want.
I'll get to all of this in the txt that comes with the mission as well.

I'd imagine you'll probably turn the music off since I know you're not really a fan... but there should be plenty of ambient sound to listen to instead. :)  That was one of my favourite parts of building maps for the XL, at least as far as I remember building any of these.

and... dang, dropbox.  I couldn't get google drive to do embeds at all, so I had to switch them over to that box of evident droppings... and since the pictures are showing up for me, I have zero idea how I could fix that. :(
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 07:17:22 AM by Kaiaatzl »

Offline Scyphi

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Re: New D2X-XL mission set coming
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2021, 08:34:26 AM »
Considering the few times I use D2X-XL anymore, it's typically set real close to vanilla Descent settings, that shouldn't be much problem. :P

I supposed the embeds not showing up might still be an issue on my side, so I did some more poking around. Turns out one of my adblockers was blocking them. Go figure, right?  ::)
"I thought I had a great idea, but it never really took off. In fact, it didn't even get on the runway. I guess you could say it exploded in the hanger." -Calvin and Hobbes
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Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: New D2X-XL mission set coming
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 10:23:03 AM »
Oh, lol.  I'm glad it wasn't a bigger problem.

And, yeah, the point of this thing is to (belatedly) show off the sorts of things XL is capable of, so part of that is making it work with as many configurations as I can.

(...even setting the plot during D3 might have something to do with that....)
:o
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