[Release] Gene-Tech: Before the Storm

For Total Conversions and projects that don't otherwise fall under the other categories.
Forum rules
The Projects forums are ONLY for YOUR PROJECTS! If you are asking questions about a project, either find that project's thread, or start a thread in the General section instead.

Got a cool project idea but nothing else? Put it in the project ideas thread instead!

Projects for any Doom-based engine (especially 3DGE) are perfectly acceptable here too.

Please read the full rules for more details.

Re: [Release] Gene-Tech: Before the Storm

Postby Enjay » Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:56 am

Kzer-Za wrote:Comments

Thanks very much for your positive comments. I really appreciate it and I'm glad that you enjoyed the mod. It's a few years old now (six years since the initial release!) but I think it's holding up reasonably well. It was quite a major effort to pull together or make all of the resources and get them into game even before starting the mapping process so I'm glad that you (and other people) are still playing it and enjoying it.

As for your gripes - all fair comments. Some of them come down to personal taste, others are more universally true for most people I would imagine.

On the gunners being hitscanners, and other Q2 change comments:
Personally, I have always really liked hitscanner enemies and, for me, ideal enemies are relatively low-hitpoint (human-like) enemies that are armed with something that can do a "feels realistic" amount of damage to the player but which still gives the player a reasonable chance of surviving the hit (my Inca enemies from my Burghead/Overlord mods largely fit this profile and I guess you can trace that philosophy back as far as maps like my Marine Assault and even my (relatively) recent Waterlab map is mostly populated with human/former human hitscanners). For this reason, the earlier maps in Q2 and the base maps in Quake are my favourite ones too. By the time I'm going up against big, lumbering bullet sponges every time I turn a corner, the game will have become far less interesting to me. I do really like the most of Quake 2 enemies though. So even though the Q2 Tanks fit the "big lumbering bullet sponge" description, their design, sounds etc are just so amazing that I love them.

The overall theme that I wanted to create with the Q2 items was the "Before the Storm" aspect of the title. The way that I interpreted that was that the Strogg enemies, the player weapons etc should feel different, but very closely related to those of the actual Q2 game. What I was trying to go for was almost a "prototype" feel - but not the "it'll be better when we release the proper version" kind of prototype. What I was trying to achieve (particularly for the weapons) was that these were well-made, reasonably high-cost items that were made during peace-time to supply the military and private security contractors versus the ones in Q2 which (I imagined) were war-time high volume production items where the driving priority was to get a functioning weapon into the hands of a mobilising marine. Therefore, the niceties of careful production and expensive parts/materials simply cannot apply. I had a similar philosophy for my "early Strogg". They are the pioneering (elite?) soldiers of the initial solar-system invasion, not the high-volume rapidly recycled marines seen in Q2 at the height of the war. So that's why both the player weapons and the Strogg look a bit fancier and behave slightly differently in Gene-Tech versus the war-weary versions found in Q2. The modified appearances were, of course, also to try and tie in a bit more closely with the "orange and cyan" colour-theming that I was going with throughout.

With the player weapons in particular, when I first took them across in their near-perfect Q2 emulation state from 22Alpha22's Q2 mod, I just felt that there wasn't enough "oomph" to them in the Doom context. So, yes, I did a bit of (mostly minor) tweaking and "fixing" of things that I enjoyed less about the Q2 originals (and of course supplemented them with my own interpretations/implementations of a couple of SiN weapons too).

Gameplay/Progression:
Yeah, definitely fair comment. Some of that is down to taste, but some of it is, perhaps, a flaw in the design too. Personally, I'm OK with the way that the difficulty works both in this map and the other community generated content that you alluded to. I'm not saying that I want a map to be easy once I have picked up a new weapon or two but, for me, the early stages of a map, where I am peck-peck-pecking away at enemies with a laughably underpowered pistol and scrabbling around trying to manage the one and only ammo type that I have available can be really quite annoying and dull. So, for you, running around "naked" and savescumming sounds like the fun, challenging part of playing but, for me, it's enough to make me give up and play something else if it goes on for too long. Personally, I like it once I have got to the point of having several weapons that I know can do the job and where, yes, individual fights may sometimes pose less of a challenge but I feel more in command of what's going on. At that point, my fun comes more from deciding how I will tackle the next fight and not whether I will die horribly three or four times before I master it using the only-just-adequate weapons that I am carrying. So, yes, I understand the comment and will look at how I can address it in future mods, but I think that it does stem (at least partly) from us enjoying different styles of gameplay.

The weakest part of the Gene-Tech gameplay for some people seemed to be how, once you get through the orange door, the gameplay becomes far more linear and a "corridor shooter". This was deliberate - the first part was supposed to be a slow, deliberate exploration of a human base and have an element of discovering the plot as you go (with clues such as bits of Strogg tech and crates lying around etc, plus the conversation NPCs) but once the big-reveal happened, I wanted it to be a more direct "cut through the Strogg and get to the boss battle" kind of affair. I think that did basically achieve that (and, if you want them, there are alternative paths in most areas of the second half (albeit that they are mostly just short loops off the main route)) but the second half is much more linear than the first half and I can see why that didn't sit well with some people. Perhaps if I'd made it two separate maps, the natural break would have helped pigeon-hole the two sections a bit better? Or maybe the two styles are too incompatible for most people's tastes?

The boss battle comment is interesting because many of the comments that I got from other people were about how the boss and the final battle in general was too/very tough. Maybe your skills are just too good. :D

Key visibility:
Fair comment. If you struggled to find the keys, then you struggled to find them, so something must be amiss. I never had that problem, but then I knew what they looked like and where I'd put them. ;) I have generally noticed that keys, in particular, seem to be hard-ish to find when they are 3D models. This is especially true if the mod author makes the key a realistic size and appearance. At that point, they become near-invisible. I mean, we all lose keys in real life too! :lol:

If I recall correctly, the Gene-Tech keys came from (or were based on) models for a Doom sprite replacement pack that I used to use with Risen 3D. I did remake them, give them in bright colours, give them brightmapped skins, set them to rotate, have them "float" slightly above the ground, apply dynamic lights to them and set them at a size that is unrealistically large compared to a real-life credit card or something but all that was done because I know that keys do somehow become less visible in game. If they are still inherently difficult to spot then obviously I didn't do enough but, aside from making them much bigger or giving them a totally different appearance, I'm not sure what else I could have done. So, it's an issue that I am aware of in general terms and which I did try to address, but it looks as if I didn't manage. Any ideas?

For reference:
Spoiler:



Anyway, once again, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and I will bear your comments in mind for future works. It's always useful to get feedback and I'm delighted that, for the most part, you found the mod good fun. I'm particularly pleased that you found that the visuals worked well. I spent a lot of time on trying to get the theming, colours, texturing and models to be what I wanted them to be and to have a feel that was at least somewhat different to typical Doom stuff or anything that I had released before. Thank you. :yup:
User avatar
Enjay
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. Twain
 
 
 
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
Location: Scotland

Re: [Release] Gene-Tech: Before the Storm

Postby CBM » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:05 am

Blue Shadow wrote:Please don't use other people's project threads to talk about or advertise your own.


my apologies

no disrespect or bad intent meant towards you or enjay

in fact, I am a big fan of enjays work and consider him a friend and mentor
User avatar
CBM
Imp Slayer
 
Joined: 09 Oct 2019
Location: The Shores of Hell
Operating System: Windows 10/8.1/8/201x 64-bit
OS Test Version: Yes (Using Development/Testing Version)
Graphics Processor: nVidia with Vulkan support

Re: [Release] Gene-Tech: Before the Storm

Postby Kzer-Za » Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:57 pm

It's very interesting to read how much thought you have given to the background of the mod!

Concerning the progression, I seem to have given the wrong impression that I like the beginning and extra difficulty more than the later sections. Actually it's the opposite, I feel like the starting section could be less difficult, so as to avoid a sharp contrast in difficulty :)

Concerning the non-linear and linear parts of the level, I liked them both. Generally I prefer linear map designs because I get lost easily, but in Gene-Tech the non-linear part, while having multiple ways, still remains rather easy to navigate. Personally I feel that it's an exemplary map design in respect of how a map could be non-linear and at the same time easy to navigate.

Concerning the keys visibility: I like how they look. The problem with finding the orange one is, probably, just me. Or maybe to improve the key visibility, not the key but the spot it is in could be made more standing out. Maybe not in a niche in the wall but on kind of a pedestal? Or (if in the niche) the wall panels around the key could be colored?
Kzer-Za
 
Joined: 20 Aug 2017

Re: [Release] Gene-Tech: Before the Storm

Postby Enjay » Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:30 am

Kzer-Za wrote:It's very interesting to read how much thought you have given to the background of the mod!

Getting all the resources together took ages, so I had a running dialogue in my head the whole time relating to the story and how all the elements fitted together. By the time the mod was ready, the logic was reasonably complete. I think that I mentioned somewhere that the whole concept was inspired by something I read (and which I quote in the outro text). It was just a simple line of text about "the arrival of the mysterious aliens in the Solar System" (specifically referring to the Strogg). That got me thinking that the main Strogg assault was, perhaps, preceded by a smaller skirmish of some sort and, following on from that thought, how/why would such a thing happen - hence the whole deal with Gene-Tech aspect of the back story.

Of course, as with almost any Doom mod, you can ignore the story entirely and just kill stuff. ;)

Kzer-Za wrote:Concerning the progression, I seem to have given the wrong impression that I like the beginning and extra difficulty more than the later sections. Actually it's the opposite, I feel like the starting section could be less difficult, so as to avoid a sharp contrast in difficulty :)

Ah, right, I did pick you up incorrectly. You make an interesting point and one that I will keep an eye on for future mods. Basically, smoother progression with less pronounced extremes of difficulty is what you're suggesting?

In saying that, it is possible to both grab a rocket launcher and kill a guy to grab his shotgun (or run a little further to just pick one up) within 30 seconds of starting the game (if, of course, you know where these things are ;) ). But, yes, some of the early fights and, perhaps, in particular, the trap that releases the little flying robots can chew away the player's health quite quickly and mean that they never get to the weapons that I mentioned.

Kzer-Za wrote:Concerning the non-linear and linear parts of the level, I liked them both. Generally I prefer linear map designs because I get lost easily, but in Gene-Tech the non-linear part, while having multiple ways, still remains rather easy to navigate. Personally I feel that it's an exemplary map design in respect of how a map could be non-linear and at the same time easy to navigate.

That's good to hear. Thank you.

Kzer-Za wrote:Concerning the keys visibility: I like how they look. The problem with finding the orange one is, probably, just me. Or maybe to improve the key visibility, not the key but the spot it is in could be made more standing out. Maybe not in a niche in the wall but on kind of a pedestal? Or (if in the niche) the wall panels around the key could be colored?

I don't plan on doing a re-release but if something requires a bigger fix (e.g. to address something game breaking) I will do one and incorporate something to make the orange key more obvious. It's also something for me to keep in mind for future mods. I do try to make essential items reasonably obvious but, as I said, if you spent too much time wandering back and forth frustratedly looking for a key and not progressing... well, that's not fun and I should try to minimise such frustration.

Again, thanks very much for the feedback.
User avatar
Enjay
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. Twain
 
 
 
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
Location: Scotland

Previous

Return to TCs, Full Games, and Other Projects

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Drake Raider, Kinsie, ramon.dexter and 1 guest