(Moddb launch) Ashes Afterglow TC

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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 5

Postby Ihavequestions » Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:55 pm

The default default sector light mode for GZDoom is Standard, and, in fact, Dark in many cases looks pretty bad as it lowers overall brightness in areas that aren't supposed to be dim. A better mode would be Doom which makes dark areas somewhat darker without making bright areas appear dim. Vanilla is also an interesting mode.

But for classic (actual vanilla) maps, Software would be the best way to go to see the maps as intended.

Regarding this:
Vostyok wrote:My setup is also calibrated correctly, and have confirmed.
I'd say it doesn't even matter at this point since you have incorrect settings on the software side of things, so even the most correct hardware settings can't help it, and I don't even know what you may have done or not done on the graphics driver level. Judging from the brightness values I can see in the map editor (Ultimate Doom Builder), your maps' supposedly "dark" areas are objectively too bright to be dark. When I look at the long subway tunnel in map 05 (The Sub-Caverns), its brightness is set to 105 (which I've mentioned before; that's 41% of the maximum 256) which is objectively too high for an area that's supposed to be pitch-black for most of the part.
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 5

Postby Caligari87 » Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:16 pm

Did you not see the last screenshot where Vost set it to defaults in software? That looks plenty dark to me.

Vostyok wrote:
This is with set-to-default enabled. Sector mode is Dark by default, which is what I aim to use as a benchmark. You'll probably find the visibility due to this being changed to "standard" or even Legacy which will eliminate most lighting in the maps almost entirely. My individual settings make very little difference as illustrated.


Honestly I lean to the side that your monitor seems too bright, most likely in the gamma department. Which isn't surprising honestly, most LCD monitors have poor gamma performance dependent on viewing angle. The professional reviewer calibration settings you mentioned are also not reliable since they will vary depending on drivers, OS-level color management, viewing environment, and differences between hardware samples.

If the game is too bright for you, I also heartily recommend DarkDoomZ :biggrin:

8-)
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 5

Postby Ihavequestions » Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:39 pm

Caligari87 wrote:Honestly I lean to the side that your monitor seems too bright, most likely in the gamma department. Which isn't surprising honestly, most LCD monitors have poor gamma performance dependent on viewing angle. The professional reviewer calibration settings you mentioned are also not reliable since they will vary depending on drivers, OS-level color management, viewing environment, and differences between hardware samples.
Please see those two pages: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php, http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/white.php
With my settings, I am able to see the difference between the black background and square #1, and between the white background and the small squares in the 254 area. If you cannot, then either your hardware is bad or your hardware or software settings are (or any combination of those). Or perhaps it's your eyesight.

And apart from all that, 105 out of 256 is objectively nowhere near pitch-black, no matter how hard you try to convince me. Seriously.
Please see the attached picture for how far I can see through the tunnel. It's around 100 feet. The photo appears a lot brighter than in reality on my monitor since I do not have any professional camera equipment any camera I tried makes everything brighter, but it doesn't change the fact that I can see pretty far in-game in an area that's supposed to be near-pitch black.

It is true that Dark is the default mode now, whenever than changed. But since I do use it with this mod anyway, it's not really that important at this point.
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 5

Postby Vostyok » Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:24 pm

Sub-caverns....I've just realized you are in episode one. We are comparing shots from two separate wads. Oops.This is probably my mistake here as I've been focusing on Ep2 mainly.

My shots were taken from Afterglow, which has a brightness in the subway of around 60 in the very darkest areas to about 90 in the parts that are approaching open areas. And you say that you didn't need the lantern at all down there? Most mapping threads don't recommend going anywhere near this dark.

I can try to reduce the brightness of the subway when I release the remaster, but after 2 years of people complaining about the darkness levels, and only 1 to date saying it is *too bright*, I'm much more inclined to leave it as it is and just make the 'adjust your settings' section in the tutorial a little more obvious. A calibrated display doesn't change the fact that some people simply cannot play in a room dark enough to accomodate the light levels you suggest.
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 5

Postby Caligari87 » Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:58 pm

Please see those two pages: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php, http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/white.php
With my settings, I am able to see the difference between the black background and square #1, and between the white background and the small squares in the 254 area. If you cannot, then either your hardware is bad or your hardware or software settings are (or any combination of those). Or perhaps it's your eyesight.

I've calibrated several LCD monitors with those same pages.

I used to be obsessed with black level reproduction too, but over time I've come to realize that the average LCD monitor cannot display the true difference between black and #1 due to factors like hardware bit depth (or the difference between white and 254, for that matter). If you push your monitor settings or color correction software to be able to see that minuscule color difference, you're ruining the gamma curve. Exaggerated example:



The difference between 0 and 1 is [more] visible to the naked eye because the difference has been exaggarated, but the rest of the gradient is blown out. For whatever it means, the photo you took above is pretty close how the screenshot looks on my monitor too.

There's also the question of artistic license. No one is trying to convince you that lightlevel 100 is "pitch black" like you keep claiming. The subway areas in the original Ashes are clearly not meant to be pitch-black, likely for gameplay reasons. Now if you think they should be pitch black because of course an unlit subway tunnel would be pitch black, cool. It'd also probably be utter trash to play. Also light diminishing / distance fading / fog rendering in various GZDoom light modes often makes things close to the player brighter, and things farther from the player darker (at varying amounts), again for gameplay and atmosphere reasons. Perhaps check if you have fog disabled or not, because even "bright" light mode drops off pretty quickly as visible in these screenshots.



That said, all of this is a moot point because none of us are likely using 14-bit IPS monitors and/or $400 automated color calibration tools so we have no ground truth to speak of. If you like the way your monitor looks, fine, but your complaints about how Ashes looks on it are clearly in a massive minority.

8-)
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 5

Postby Ihavequestions » Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:06 pm

Vostyok wrote:My shots were taken from Afterglow, which has a brightness in the subway of around 60 in the very darkest areas to about 90 in the parts that are approaching open areas. And you say that you didn't need the lantern at all down there? Most mapping threads don't recommend going anywhere near this dark.

I can try to reduce the brightness of the subway when I release the remaster, but after 2 years of people complaining about the darkness levels, and only 1 to date saying it is *too bright*, I'm much more inclined to leave it as it is and just make the 'adjust your settings' section in the tutorial a little more obvious. A calibrated display doesn't change the fact that some people simply cannot play in a room dark enough to accomodate the light levels you suggest.
Indeed, Afterglow is a lot better at that. So if you're going to do a remaster of episode 1, it would be great if you could adjust its lighting levels to Afterglow's. That would put the lantern to some good use.

Caligari87 wrote:I used to be obsessed with black level reproduction too, but over time I've come to realize that the average LCD monitor cannot display the true difference between black and #1 due to factors like hardware bit depth (or the difference between white and 254, for that matter). If you push your monitor settings or color correction software to be able to see that minuscule color difference, you're ruining the gamma curve.
I know that many people have 6-bit panels where they would never be able to see such fine differences. But they would still see, for example, 0 and 4, and 251 and 255. Something like that. It's not about being 'obsessed,' although I believe you when you say that *you* were obsessed. :mrgreen:
All I wanted is to show people that it's them, not me, having the wrong settings and present them a way to improve. Using Lagom is a good way.

No one is trying to convince you that lightlevel 100 is "pitch black" like you keep claiming.
That was a misunderstanding. Vostyok referred to a different map where the brightness is set to 60 which is much darker.

The subway areas in the original Ashes are clearly not meant to be pitch-black, likely for gameplay reasons.
Curious, how would *you* know? There's a lantern for a reason, and that reason is to bring light into dark areas.

Now if you think they should be pitch black because of course an unlit subway tunnel would be pitch black, cool. It'd also probably be utter trash to play.
Now we're entering BS territory. Vos himself made the tunnels in Afterglow much darker. And I think that was the right thing to do.

Also light diminishing / distance fading / fog rendering in various GZDoom light modes often makes things close to the player brighter, and things farther from the player darker (at varying amounts), again for gameplay and atmosphere reasons. Perhaps check if you have fog disabled or not, because even "bright" light mode drops off pretty quickly as visible in these screenshots.
Ha! It's good you mention that because, in my case, the distance fog has been set to Radial and makes those tunnels (I mean those in Afterglow map 12, those with brightness level 60) even darker, by a lot, than turning off fog would. Without distance fog, I would see those tunnels sufficiently well even at a brightness of ~30-40. With distance fog, however, 60 already appears pretty dark and ~50 would be where I would finally want some lantern or flashlight.

That said, all of this is a moot point because none of us are likely using 14-bit IPS monitors and/or $400 automated color calibration tools so we have no ground truth to speak of. If you like the way your monitor looks, fine, but your complaints about how Ashes looks on it are clearly in a massive minority.
I have an 8-bit panel which isn't that unusual. Current gaming monitors are even better than that. Also, IPS is crap when it comes to black levels.
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby Vostyok » Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:51 pm



Spoiler:
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby Leglock » Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:48 pm

Vostyok wrote:

Spoiler:

Just letting you know that I'm loggin' in only to see any word of Ashes.
I'm super hyped!
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby Captain J » Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:00 am

If it comes out, this is gonna be a BIG NEWS!
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby Zemakat » Wed Aug 11, 2021 10:53 am

I completed it, and I loved the demo very much. The scale of the maps; the location variety; the atmosphere of the subway tunnels*; the animated aspects of the levels such as the party, trucks and explosions... I think you did very great, and that the effort was worth it.

Gameplay-wise, I believe the weapon upgrade system and tier concept are good touches. Another thing is that the cannibals seem like a fair threat with their speed and numbers.

I only have one negative critique, and I believe it to be subjective: I had trouble understanding Violet on what she meant for where to go.

*I went back and forth from hiding out of fear of encountering something, even more so when I saw the "turn back or die" graffiti.
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby EddieNahui » Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:42 am

Vostyok wrote:

Spoiler:


By the way if you need extra people to help with play testing things i'd happily voulenteer to help :D :mrgreen:
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby EddieNahui » Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:59 am

I have gone through the demo several times and on my end I have only one issue and that has been because i was strafe jumping to move i accidentally jumped out of the playable area in the flooded district and had to no clip back in but barring that it has been splendid
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby Leglock » Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:38 pm

EddieNahui wrote:I have gone through the demo several times and on my end I have only one issue and that has been because i was strafe jumping to move i accidentally jumped out of the playable area in the flooded district and had to no clip back in but barring that it has been splendid


Yeah, that little part shouldn't be accesible OR give the player a clear sign of insta-death.
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby Psychodelic » Sat Aug 21, 2021 3:45 am

I heard you were looking for playtesters, Vostyok.
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Re: (WIP) Ashes Afterglow- DEFCON 4

Postby TDG » Sun Aug 22, 2021 8:49 am

Filling in for Vostyok for the moment (not trying to steal your position Vos), there is still some work to be done before actual playtesting can begin.

Best thing to do is join the discord channel and wait for the announcement that team is looking for people to test the mod.
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