OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

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OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby nova++ » Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:00 am

Hello, doom friends -

This is a project I've been working on since 2019 now on and off (mostly off), but lately have been getting a lot more serious about it. It's working toward becoming a fully standalone game built on the zdoom engine, with fully original assets and a modified executable with some engine tweaks.

Where do I even start... ok first, here, have some of my precious monsters (you can see video of them in my first reply to this thread! ⬇️)
Image

Also, at the end of the post are links to notable posts that I have made showing or describing things ⬇️⬇️

Let me try and break this into key points. I'll try to keep it reasonably concise, and then figure out where to put in details later... or something.


-The setting
OKS* is set in a universe inspired by 19th century and early 20th century science fiction, located on the Earth's moon during an invasion of an extradimensional military force bent on conquest and domination. Keeping with the inspiration, the moon is a jungle world with strange plants and animals surrounding the various settlements and structures established during the ongoing rush for space, after the discovery of aetheric propulsion some decades prior. The player takes the role of the largest lunar city's chief of security who stayed behind during the evacuations, and now is determined to bring the fight back to the invaders however he can.

(*"OKS" has some meaning that may or may not manifest itself in the final name, we'll see)

Alongside the aforementioned early science fiction, I am also drawing inspiration and influence from various pieces of art and music that fit a similar dark surrealist niche to the aesthetic I have in mind... for kicks here's a quick imgur album of a small number of examples.


-The game itself
As could be expected I am going for the (increasingly popular I guess?) mid-90s FPS vibe, just doing it as well as I can manage with my own ideas. It's not intended to feel just like Doom, rather I am bringing inspiration for feel in from many games as well as just my own preferences, especially build engine as well. I think I have already maxed out my ambition capacitor, so I think it's probably for the best that I am not trying to reinvent the wheel here. There are some notable gameplay tweaks here, though, such as reloading on some weapons, jumping, crouching, etc. And I am trying to give the enemies a good amount of variety in terms of attacks and behavior.

I currently have info drafted up for 8-ish weapons and 13-ish monsters, of which 1 weapon and 5 monsters are more or less "impression-complete", which is to say they are generally fairly close to their final experience, even if details will probably change along the way. Weapons have been going a lot slower than monsters... I don't have the workflow down for them quite yet. I will do something to feature and describe these drafts and creations over time as I figure out how I really want to structure this thread. Bear with me if you don't mind.

For levels, my overall goal is to have 3 episodes of perhaps 7 maps each, but I am keeping it small to start - one conceptual-demonstration level for episode 1 that "gets the point across", and then we'll go from there.

Here's a cleaner picture of the assorted enemies so far. Note that not all of them use the same object scale in-game since the sprites start getting a little too big. I am using a larger player and larger sprites than used in classic doom so as to increase the apparent pixel density of both the world and objects.

Image

And here's a frame of the most complete weapon right now, the creatively named "MG":

Image

-Development
I'm trying to keep this feeling reasonably authentic for the 1994-1996 era, based on what was possible in both doom engine and build engine games... I want it to feel like it could plausibly be a source port from some obscure FPS game from that period. This so far has mainly been manifested in trying to get the monster sprites to feel somewhat like stop motion miniatures (partly because I really like that look, and partly because I have neither the artistic ability nor the patience to make every frame and angle from scratch 😓) and the weapons looking like they could have once been physical models posed and photographed.

Image

I'm doing that part in blender with a lot of trial and error with shaders to get something that has the right feel and texture I want... I think I've gotten a workflow I'm pretty happy with, although weapons are proving a lot harder to get worked out, which is why I only have one actually presentable right now. If I could actually do stop motion models for all this, I totally would... but I would like to be finished this decade. I'm allowing myself certain advanced features such as slopes. I am considering colored sectors as well, but that can be kind of a rabbit hole.

To clarify on the line earlier about the progress on monsters and weapons - I currently have 1 weapon more or less fully implemented in game, 1 partially in-game (but needs sprite rework), 2 others modeled, and 1 more modeled and previously prototyped that I am not sure I will keep. For the monsters, I have 5 fully functional with 1 of those probably getting remodeled in the future, all still needing some sprite cleanup and things like added blood on death anims, etc. Then there is one more that is modeled but really needs to be redone, as it was one of the first I did and the rig sucks and I can do a lot better now...

Uhh, what else. I haven't really done any level design worth mentioning yet - I did spend a while last year playing with textures and layouts, but I didn't have the enemy roster that I do now, so it wasn't very productive. The textures weren't very good either, so in general it turned out pretty poorly... I think I might be on a better track now - building out the toolkit before actually delving into putting it to use. Thankfully I don't need to make all the weapons and monsters to start doing that, just the smaller subset that lives in E1...

Internally, this is almost all done in ZScript, but recently I have taken the plunge into modifying engine source to achieve some features that I want or tweak things that I want to do differently that would otherwise require extensive workarounds to accomplish. So... this won't be an IWAD you can just drop into an existing gzdoom installation. Maybe someday I'd make a compatibility version, but it's way too early to say.

------------

I guess this post is getting pretty long now, so I should wrap things up. Although I thought I'd have even more to say with how long I've been working on this... oh well. There's a number of dead ends to cover at some point, I guess. And hopefully soon I will make a little video to showcase a few things that are working in game, mainly the various enemy behaviors and giving an idea what the sprites look like in motion from multiple angles.

Ok, I will get out of your hair for now. Thank you for reading.

I hope I can pull this off.

================
Sept 7 edit - I will post links to notable posts here!

================
Last edited by nova++ on Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:55 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Project OKS [temp name/Mega WIP™] - Standalone TC/game

Postby nova++ » Sun Sep 05, 2021 3:54 pm

Okay, I finished the two little showcase videos today. I probably should have done this before posting the thread in the first place, but oh well 🤷

First off, a quick tour of the 5 first-pass-complete monsters with a little bit of combat:




And second, an example of one of the source changes I've made - sectors have optional configurable acceleration properties that are applied when a special or ACS call moves them. As far as I can tell, it works with most moving surfaces, although some of the more esoteric ones (pillar for instance) haven't been done yet. They're all handled just differently enough inside that I have to work out each one individually.



(This is the part where I expect someone to chime in and tell me a really easy way to achieve this that I didn't have to spend hours deep in the source to accomplish aaahhhh)


Edit: And here's a quick one showing the machine gun from earlier. I still need to play with the sound some more, but the visual is pretty much 90% there. Still needs the finer details like shell casings, smoke after the muzzle flash, and some tedious stuff with overlays to make the belt actually visibly run out when your ammo runs down


Edit2: I reuploaded all the videos on a different YT channel as I want to separate new uploads from my personal channel these days
Last edited by nova++ on Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby Captain J » Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:08 am

Looks promising and glorious. I certainly love the 3D models this project has!
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby Vostyok » Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:42 am

Hey, this looks like it could be awesome.
I like belt fed and I like splooshing aliens.
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby JohnnyTheWolf » Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:07 am

Sweet! :wub:
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby Marisa Kirisame » Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:17 am

Really digging the style here.
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby Enjay » Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:24 am

Very interesting. The insectoid infantry remind me of the martians from the 1967 film version of Quatermass and the Pit and, to a lesser extent, the earlier TV series it was based on (1958).

Image



So, I'd say that the aesthetic of your enemies is pretty much on the money for the game concept.
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby nova++ » Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:46 am

Thanks so much for all this positivity 🐍

Enjay wrote:Very interesting. The insectoid infantry remind me of the martians from the 1967 film version of Quatermass and the Pit and, to a lesser extent, the earlier TV series it was based on (1958).
[...]



Oh, those are fun. I'm planning on a more insectoid appearance overall for the native lunar wildlife.
Here's a bit of concept art that was done for Le Voyage dans la Lune of a Selenite creature, which is the main aesthetic I want to go for - maybe not quite as spikey, but definitely that insectoidal sort of appearance.
Image


Captain J wrote:Looks promising and glorious. I certainly love the 3D models this project has!


Here's some big renders of them!
Spoiler:


As you can see, rendering for sprites lets me get away with a lot of sloppyness. But it's fun, and very liberating for an obsessive like me to have the mistakes just melt away into chunky pixels. (Although the lighting error on the infantry/sniper's arms is bothering me now)

The butcher is one I need to go back to, I think. The style has kind of changed since I modeled them, and I want to incorporate more of the mechanical elements (like the joint bolts on the skeleclops) back into the design.


Also! Since I forgot to mention it earlier, here's the current set of weapons that have been modeled:
Spoiler:


I'm kinda waffling on whether I want to use the same shotgun/super shotgun paradigm as so many other games, though, as opposed to going in a bit different direction. Hard to say.

I'll go into detail on the other monsters and weapons in the future - I am a bit reluctant to spitball and speculate out loud so I don't get people's hopes up and then dash them...
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby cce » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:58 pm

Good job with the materials. I think you really nailed the "claymation" look in the monsters and the guns look almost like photos too.
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby Amuscaria » Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:46 pm

Showing a lot of promise. Loving the custom monsters and weaponry.
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby Ferretmanjcdenton » Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:02 pm

That looks AMAZING
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby nova++ » Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:17 pm

Thanks again for the kind words, it means a lot.

Today I've been working to convert the project to a proper IWAD instead of piggybacking off of doom 2 and so far it's mostly done, thanks to Nash's standalone game template thingy viewtopic.php?f=37&t=70232& Now I've been able to jettison game_support.pk3, which feels oddly satisfying for some reason. I've been kind of steadily paring down the amount of extra data I need, and it feels good?

Also I forgot to mention the other day I also worked out some modifications to both get enemies damaged by damaging floors, and make them unable to (willingly) walk onto them, as long as an avoidance flag is set. Next step would be for the smarter enemies to somehow navigate their way out, which might be asking a bit much of the doom engine's AI. Most I can think of is to put some "escape points" on the map in places where damaging floors can be escaped, find the nearest one, and move toward it. I dunno, that sounds like it could be messy.

And after the iwad stuff today I started reworking some of the blood effects and made some generic blood classes that can splat on the floor and leave a puddle (which then fades out). Still need better sprites for the blood itself, but the logic seems sound.

...I would post pics but I am away from that PC right now
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby JohnnyTheWolf » Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:11 pm

If for whatever reason you end up not making a full standalone game, I hope you at least consider making a gameplay mod that brings the new weapons and enemies to Doom levels.
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby nova++ » Wed Sep 08, 2021 2:57 am

JohnnyTheWolf wrote:If for whatever reason you end up not making a full standalone game, I hope you at least consider making a gameplay mod that brings the new weapons and enemies to Doom levels.


Unfortunately, that would be a huge undertaking. Everything is scaled very differently to classic doom. The player is nearly twice as tall as the original doom player, and all the monsters are scaled accordingly (for the higher texel density in both world and sprites), which would mean every speed and spawn offset needs changing, and so on... It's just a lot of work, and kind of awkwardly gluing together two very different things.
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Re: OKS - 1900s Sci-fi FPS TC/game [temp name/Mega WIP™]

Postby nova++ » Wed Sep 08, 2021 4:44 am

And here's those blood FX I was talking about. In this case, the really gross crap that the skeleclops turns into on death. If it wasn't clear earlier by the way, the skeleclopseses always gib - the arcane mekaniks holding together their bodies give out and they simply burst.

Here's like 20 of them popping:

Image

Image

Still need some proper recognizable gibs. There is the eyeball that gets launched away, but I need to re-add it. And the blood sprites are pretty crap right now, I need to redo them too.

The little blood pools currently shrink away after a little bit, but I think I'll add a custom cvar to make them stick around if you want a persistent reminder of your handiwork. Or a percentage of them.

====

And also I took a quick video of the damaging floor avoidance, nothing really visually spectacular but still:



(I moved all my videos so far off of my personal channel to a different one specifically for this sort of short clip, pending a fancier nicer channel to put more important things, like I guess trailers or larger scale demos)
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