MEMBRANE

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MEMBRANE

Postby RockstarRaccoon » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:58 pm

Image
Back it on IndieGoGo! | Mod DB | Website

PROMOTIONAL VIDEO

MEMBRANE
Membrane is a game being developed in the GZDoom engine. Featuring fast gameplay, expansive labyrinthine levels, with fun sci fi weapons and powers.
Membrane is a throwback to classic First Person Shooters, inspired by the likes of Jedi Knight, Duke Nukem 3d, and of course Doom.

Download the demo Here (you guys probably want to download the Linux version and just extract the PK3 from that)
TIPS
All weapons (except the Fireballer) have a secondary fire.
You will need to use jump and crouch.
You can destroy parts of the map.
Play in CO-OP for a slightly different experience.

THE “STORY”
You awaken in an alien laboratory. An alien membrane covers your arms and back. You hear it in your head... responding to your thoughts, telling you to escape! As you climb into the light, it becomes clear you have been the subject of alien experimentation. You can hear a patrol in the distance... you will have to fight your way out and find a way back to Earth!

SCREENSHOTS
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
We are going to be releasing copies which run on Windows, Mac, and Linux, seeing as GZDoom works on all 3, and will also include the full PK3. I’m not sure how well GZDoom works on ARM systems like the Raspberry Pi, but as long as it meets the minimum requirements, which will be something like a 1/2 GB of VRAM and OpenGL 2.0, it should support them too.

CROWDFUNDING (AKA "WHY WE NEED MONEY")
Don has been working on this for several years, and brought me on a couple months back to build the maps and help complete it as a game. I can do that, but, as a consultant with an average workload of 60 hours a week, I can only blow off so many contracts at a time for something that doesn’t represent any cash flow. Meanwhile, Don is trying to get some better software and hardware for this. Neither of us can afford the level of development we want to keep up with this, especially after putting so much of our own time and money into it already. We need more seed capital to finish this in a reasonable timespan, and so we are turning to the community and potential players for help: all we need for you to do is buy the game in advance. The more people buy the game now, the more time and resources we can spend on it, meaning it will be out faster and have more polish by the time it ships.

Anyone who pays $15 is pre-ordering a copy of the game when it eventually releases.
Anyone who pays $20 or more gets to see early-access copies at major milestones.
(And you can be one of those people by clicking here.)

We feel that, when held up next to similar games, this is a good deal: we plan for this to be one of the most polished TCs in the GZDoom community, comparable to works like Total Chaos, Nocturne in Yellow, and Blade of Agony, while at the same time being something entirely new and, quite literally, alien. This will utilize pretty much every advanced feature that GZDoom currently offers, and even ones it doesn't, as I've personally committed to programming in some new features to the main build, such as the map-revealing code seen in the second demo, and will continue to work with the GZDoom team (thanks for being so supportive!) to help with the development of stuff like the new model format which we plan to use.

As the one who is more involved in the Doom community, I will be taking over forum posting, and using this thread to show updates on what we're up to, so expect regular images and such. We hope that you can help us make this the first of many game projects with us. Thanks for your help!


PS: I will probably be dumping some half-finished releases of my other projects at some point, seeing as I haven't been able to work on them since I started this, and won't be able to complete them. I do not plan, however, to stop testing for BoA, as I like that game.
Last edited by RockstarRaccoon on Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby Rex705 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:19 pm

Looks very nice can't wait to play it :)
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby RockstarRaccoon » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:33 pm

Rex705 wrote:Looks very nice can't wait to play it :)

Did you see the downloadable demo?
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby Zan » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:44 am

Looking great, can't wait to try it as soon as I have a semblance of spare time.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby TerminusEst13 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:03 am

I'm going to be honest, I'm not really 100% feeling this. The weapon animations and sounds are really limp, and enemies seem to barely move and react in time to the player. The melee animations in particular seem really...really weak. The level design is plain, a lot of blank rooms.
You plan on distributing this on Steam? What do you plan on doing with the sound effects? I recognize a lot of these sounds. Are they original? Are you using from a stock library?

Likewise, I'm a little bit concerned with some of these points.

"Maps will be huge (10 times the size) compared to these"
This actually sounds like a really, really bad thing. GZDoom is not actually a very good engine for working with 3D models on large-scale projects. Hunter's Moon is a project that uses a lot of 3D assets, and even on relatively small mapsets the engine tends to choke. Making maps 10x the size (even assuming you don't hit the blockmap limit) sounds like it would destroy computers.

RockstarRaccoon aka Chris Brinegar from the Zdoom forums has joined the project as a level designer mainly, but can also fill in as a texture artist, coder, or sound designer as needed.
I'm good to see that you're still on-board with doing stuff for projects! But to me, this actually raises a lot of concerns for the project's level design. I've seen maybe one map of yours, and it was an edited version of mine from years back--after the first 3:50 is original territory, and boy howdy the difference is as stark as night and day. Don's work is absolutely incredible, he's a fantastic modeler and artist and designer--can you really fill in "as needed" for sections to match him?

Meanwhile, Don is trying to get some better software and hardware for this. Neither of us can afford the level of development we want to keep up with this, especially after putting so much of our own time and money into it already. We need more seed capital to finish this in a reasonable timespan, and so we are turning to the community and potential players for help: all we need for you to do is buy the game in advance.
Like what? What better software/hardware do you need for this? Even digging further into the information, there doesn't seem to be a lot of information.

Our goal of $4,000 will be used for development hardware, The Steam Direct fee, and general expenses. Lets keep it going! If we reach $10,000 it will be used to hire some additional artists to make assets, as well as some additional software.
What development hardware to you need? Why do you need 10k to hire additional artists? What software do you need? There's very little information as to what the money would actually be going for.

I can do that, but, as a consultant with an average workload of 60 hours a week, I can only blow off so many contracts at a time for something that doesn’t represent any cash flow.
I mean, yeah, a 60-hour work week is pretty rough and you've got my sympathy, but it really comes across that you got brought on really recently and you're asking people to pay you so that you can actually do work for it. You're also involved in multiple other projects (I didn't know you did work on Hedon! Did Metroid Doom ever get a release?), so would you be working on this full-time or would you be dropping the others to support this?

If it comes across as I'm a huge downer on getting money, I'm really not.
I'm 100% in favor of people asking for money to support their work, mod authors do a fantastic job entirely on their own dime and I imagine a lot of this shit is really difficult. But this doesn't seem like a good investment. If you want it to rival Total Chaos, Nocturne in Yellow, and Blade of Agony in terms of polish, then, well...out of those, one isn't released, one was done in a month and wasn't all that well done, and the other is kind of split down the middle in terms of community reception.
Compare with another scenario for another source port, Marathon Rubicon, which is doing everything that you're pitching (gigantic levels, in-depth storyline, enemies with unique behavior), but has 30 levels. And is, like, completely free.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby Zan » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:55 am

TerminusEst13 wrote:(I didn't know you did work on Hedon! Did Metroid Doom ever get a release?), so would you be working on this full-time or would you be dropping the others to support this?

Raccoon didn't work on Hedon per se, but I credit everyone who consistently answers my questions and helps me figure out how to code a certain thing or so, so in a way it's true.

I do feel like the weapons could use more punch, but this is the issue with 3D models all in all, feedback is incredibly hard to establish well. Maybe the use of some 2D sprites like for blood or some particle effects could work well to improve it all in all.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby Kinsie » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:38 am

Zan wrote:Raccoon didn't work on Hedon per se, but I credit everyone who consistently answers my questions and helps me figure out how to code a certain thing or so, so in a way it's true.
In an extremely misleading way it's true. It's like that one recent case where some Kickstarter claimed their lead designer had 10 years experience working on MMOs, and it turned out it was all as a customer support dude.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby RockstarRaccoon » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:30 pm

You know, now that you mention it, maybe I should take that out: in hindsight I did a lot more significant work with Blade of Agony than Hedon.

As for the weapons, I totally agree, Don really didn't do a good job on making them look and feel fun to fire. I've asked him to redo the models and let me work on the kick back of them, as I'm pretty sure we can do a lot better with them. That's part of why we keep trying to stress that this is all Alpha stuff: the enemies and the general look and feel are definitely what we are going for, except maybe a bit more detail, neon, and general speediness, but it's going to take a lot more time then we've been able to put into this to really make everything shine. The point of asking for money is so that we can afford to give this the time and resources it would need.

What better software/hardware do you need for this? Even digging further into the information, there doesn't seem to be a lot of information.
Yeah, I'm not actually sure what Don is going for either. He named some software that I don't recognize, but I do know that at some point me and him both had to make substantial investments in development Hardware to get the software to run smoothly enough, because obviously opening a large map to edit in GZDB is not the same as getting it to run in GZDoom. I don't know what he did, but I know that the computer I bought costs almost $1,000, mitigated slightly by the fact that I got a discount on it.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby RockstarRaccoon » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:11 pm

After a conversation about it, Zan has told me to leave the part about being involved with Hedon in there. Keep in mind, guys, me and Zan talk on Discord all the time in private, so you guys wouldn't know about the code I have lent that project or the detailed notes and Bug testing I have done. I am going to stress, I do not personally think it is a lot, because I haven't done any actual mapping or artwork, but Zan thinks it's enough for me to claim that I was involved, so I'm going to stick with that judgment.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby TerminusEst13 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:45 pm

RockstarRaccoon wrote:The point of asking for money is so that we can afford to give this the time and resources it would need. [...] Yeah, I'm not actually sure what Don is going for either.

You...don't even know what the money will be for?

RockstarRaccoon wrote:but I do know that at some point me and him both had to make substantial investments in development Hardware to get the software to run smoothly enough, because obviously opening a large map to edit in GZDB is not the same as getting it to run in GZDoom. I don't know what he did, but I know that the computer I bought costs almost $1,000, mitigated slightly by the fact that I got a discount on it.

Yeah, it's not the same as getting it to run in GZDoom, it is significantly easier than getting it to run in GZDoom. And honestly, this can go one of two ways, neither of them particularly favorable.
If you're having trouble getting the game to run except on very specific, advanced hardware, how do you expect people to play the game and play it reliably? Ion Maiden recently came out and that's not a super-taxing game, but it still got a big ol' wave of folks who had a lot of trouble running it due to their hardware. If you plan on making the game for some expensive and advanced hardware, do you think a lot of the audience will be able to play it as well? Blade of Agony had to delay a release in order to streamline things to make sure more people could run it--and it's still one of the most demanding projects out there.
Likewise, if you're doing mapping for a project and it's not at a level where you can, like, reliably test it because you don't have the hardware to run it... How can you be sure what you're developing actually works? Like, lots of stuff can go wrong in mapping. Stuff that seems good on paper breaks constantly. You need to tone down the level of stuff you're making so that you can run it, not theoretical hardware that you might be getting in the future can run it.

RockstarRaccoon wrote:After a conversation about it, Zan has told me to leave the part about being involved with Hedon in there. Keep in mind, guys, me and Zan talk on Discord all the time in private, so you guys wouldn't know about the code I have lent that project or the detailed notes and Bug testing I have done. I am going to stress, I do not personally think it is a lot, because I haven't done any actual mapping or artwork, but Zan thinks it's enough for me to claim that I was involved, so I'm going to stick with that judgment.

I mean, that's good and all, Zan's a great guy and Hedon's a great project and people helping each other is the backbone of our little community here. But then why are you saying you have 10 years of experience in mapping, with credits on Hedon, if you didn't actually do any mapping for it?
...This isn't really as important a thing as the others, but Kinsie brought it up so I figured I might as well follow through. :P
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby RockstarRaccoon » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:27 pm

TerminusEst13 wrote:The melee animations in particular seem really...really weak.

I'm trying to get them replaced with the scratching ones which are in there, as those seem more appropriate.
The level design is plain, a lot of blank rooms.

The final levels will have more detail, these are more proof-of-concept.
You plan on distributing this on Steam?

Yes, because that looks like the best platform after doing some research.
What do you plan on doing with the sound effects? I recognize a lot of these sounds. Are they original? Are you using from a stock library?

As far as I know, all sounds were either made or used from sound libraries which were legally available to us. A chunk of the sound and texture assets in here are straight-up placeholders because it takes time to do them the right way, and sometimes someone else already did something perfect. (the green-paneling stuff, for instance, really fit with what I was looking for)
"Maps will be huge (10 times the size) compared to these"
This actually sounds like a really, really bad thing. GZDoom is not actually a very good engine for working with 3D models on large-scale projects. Hunter's Moon is a project that uses a lot of 3D assets, and even on relatively small mapsets the engine tends to choke. Making maps 10x the size (even assuming you don't hit the blockmap limit) sounds like it would destroy computers.

Actually, GZDoom is pretty good at it if you're aware of your BSP tree and can properly control Occlusion, especially if you're working from the assumption that your players will be using an OpenGL 2.0 compatible graphics card. (Also if you like, don't abuse portals)
can you really fill in "as needed" for sections to match him?

Yes. I'm not going to be doing enemy models or anything like that, but I was the one who set up all the Specular Mapping stuff so far, and some of the textures in there are edits of things he gave me. Remember, I've been screwing around with Doom on and off for over 10 years: I'm no stranger to doing my own art in GIMP.
What development hardware to you need? Why do you need 10k to hire additional artists? What software do you need? There's very little information as to what the money would actually be going for.
I've seen other campaigns with less information, but yeah, it was a bit vague for me too. Basically, I can work a lot faster on hardware which could meet the requirements to test stuff like PBR in a detailed map, and could view the map in GZDB without significant lag, because GZDB is far less efficient when it comes to rendering than GZDoom itself, all while keeping other programs open so I don't have to open and close programs. To this end, I invested $800 of my last paycheck into a heavily-discounted 2016 MSI computer, which is far more than I spend on the computers I use to make websites and knick nacks for clients.
you got brought on really recently and you're asking people to pay you so that you can actually do work for it.
Yes and no. I first started talking to Don back in May, so if a couple months is recent then yes. If we don't make the goal, it's not that I "won't" be working on it so much as "I have to find other sources of income while I work on this", which means there can't be any guarantee of timeliness of work, and I might not be able to take the time to give those maps the polish that a commercial game should have.
You're also involved in multiple other projects (I didn't know you did work on Hedon! Did Metroid Doom ever get a release?), so would you be working on this full-time or would you be dropping the others to support this?
I've already been pulling out of my other projects, both inside and outside of this community. After talking with the Metroid Doom team, R4L and Bauti aren't interested in heading the project themselves, so I will be putting together a final alpha release of the project with all the loose ends tied together for someone else to potentially pick up from, and I'll be available to advise on that project, simply because I'd like to see a working Metroid game in the Doom engine.
I'm 100% in favor of people asking for money to support their work, mod authors do a fantastic job entirely on their own dime and I imagine a lot of this shit is really difficult. But this doesn't seem like a good investment. If you want it to rival Total Chaos, Nocturne in Yellow, and Blade of Agony in terms of polish, then, well...out of those, one isn't released, one was done in a month and wasn't all that well done, and the other is kind of split down the middle in terms of community reception.

Compare with another scenario for another source port, Marathon Rubicon, which is doing everything that you're pitching (gigantic levels, in-depth storyline, enemies with unique behavior), but has 30 levels. And is, like, completely free.

So... Should I be using that as an example? I honestly didn't even remember that one existed...
I just looked that up and I'm not sure if that's comparable. Obviously we haven't really gotten across what this will look like in a few months, but that's ok. The point of a crowdfunding campaign is to get seed capital and check for actual market interest, not to show off the final product.
You...don't even know what the money will be for?

Let me put it this way...
Code: Select allExpand view
Don: Blah blah blah, something about the software he used in college, blah blah blah, and then use Blender to make that work in the new Bone-Animated model format, blah blah blah.
Raccoon: Sounds totes gnarly brah, how much ya need for dat in da budget me homie g dog?
Don: $500

So, he told me at some point, but honestly, he's the one with the Pixar-esque background, so while I understand what he's saying I don't actually know enough about it off the top of my head to give answers off the top of my head. He has a sort of "wishlist" he's working with, and I'm really not the one to explain details...
Yeah, it's not the same as getting it to run in GZDoom, it is significantly easier than getting it to run in GZDoom. And honestly, this can go one of two ways, neither of them particularly favorable.
...I'm... actually surprised you don't know this.
So, like, the DoomBuilder renderer that Code Imp wrote doesn't render maps in the same way as the actual renderer. That's why you can do things like go above the map and see a bunch of rooms at once, which is great for an editor, but it means that all the neat little tricks that someone can use to optimize a map don't do anything in that renderer, and in some cases can even slow it down. This becomes noticable when you're working with large maps, especially since, as Code Imp stated himself, that renderer is NOT built with the need for 30+ FPS in mind. So, in order to quickly map things in GZDB, I need a computer which can handle rendering a full map with models and lights and all that without any occlusion being handled. It also helps to be able to run the game at a relatively high fidelity without having to wait very long for it to load.
If you're having trouble getting the game to run except on very specific, advanced hardware, how do you expect people to play the game and play it reliably?
I actually have reason to expect that it will run on the newer Raspberry Pi, albeit not at the highest settings. I'd have to do math for you to prove that though, and I really don't have time to maintain the thread like this, so you're just going to have to figure that out for yourself.
Blade of Agony had to delay a release in order to streamline things to make sure more people could run it--and it's still one of the most demanding projects out there.
Funny you should mention BoA: I actually know the meticulous details on why BOA doesn't run at the speed it should. In fact, I was actually one of the first people to really get into analyzing why that was, and eventually explain it to the team. That's not the engine, that's how they've been misusing it.
Likewise, if you're doing mapping for a project and it's not at a level where you can, like, reliably test it because you don't have the hardware to run it... How can you be sure what you're developing actually works? Like, lots of stuff can go wrong in mapping. Stuff that seems good on paper breaks constantly. You need to tone down the level of stuff you're making so that you can run it, not theoretical hardware that you might be getting in the future can run it.
Once again, clearly there is something that has been implied by what's been written that is not true. This runs fine on older
hardware, an if there's anything in there that should make you believe that, then it is a typo, so let me make this clear, for the record, once and for all:

This game's minimum fidelity has been run with consistently good resullts, in Linux on a 2015 laptop with only 4GB of RAM, and in OSX on a 2009 iMac.
These minimum requirements will not change significantly, and using older systems will be possible with the final release.

why are you saying you have 10 years of experience in mapping
The first time I picked up DoomBuilder and screwed around with mapping to make and improve maps for me and my friends to play in Hexen was over 10 years ago, and I've been popping in and out of the community on and off to do various mapping things. There's probably a better way to say that, but Indiegogo has some strict character limits. If you have a better way to describe it then I'm all ears.
with credits on Hedon, if you didn't actually do any mapping for it?
Because, as Zan pointed out to me on Discord, I have been significant in Hedon's development, and since Zan thinks it was enough to put it here, I'm going to go by his judgement and leave it.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby Kinsie » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:49 pm

You're also involved in multiple other projects (I didn't know you did work on Hedon! Did Metroid Doom ever get a release?), so would you be working on this full-time or would you be dropping the others to support this?
I've already been pulling out of my other projects, both inside and outside of this community. After talking with the Metroid Doom team, R4L and Bauti aren't interested in heading the project themselves, so I will be putting together a final alpha release of the project with all the loose ends tied together for someone else to potentially pick up from, and I'll be available to advise on that project, simply because I'd like to see a working Metroid game in the Doom engine.
why are you saying you have 10 years of experience in mapping
The first time I picked up DoomBuilder and screwed around with mapping to make and improve maps for me and my friends to play in Hexen was over 10 years ago, and I've been popping in and out of the community on and off to do various mapping things. There's probably a better way to say that, but Indiegogo has some strict character limits. If you have a better way to describe it then I'm all ears.
You're saying you have ten years of experience making maps and mods, and have absolutely no released projects to show of that except for a fairly minimal hack of someone else's mod. When people talk about having X years of experience in something games related, they typically talk about stuff that actually shipped so that people can go "oh yeah, I remember thing! the maps/art/animation/code in that was pretty good, so having someone associated with that part of that thing associated with this one is a good sign".

What do you plan on doing with the sound effects? I recognize a lot of these sounds. Are they original? Are you using from a stock library?

As far as I know, all sounds were either made or used from sound libraries which were legally available to us. A chunk of the sound and texture assets in here are straight-up placeholders because it takes time to do them the right way, and sometimes someone else already did something perfect. (the green-paneling stuff, for instance, really fit with what I was looking for)
This is something that you really want to cross your Ts and dot your Is on, even with a crowdfunding demo, because asking for money while using copyrighted materials everywhere isn't a great look. Placeholders for commerical work should typically look like placeholders (ie. garish and eye-offending), or be tagged as such, otherwise you may forgot to remove them later and get into trouble. (That may sound condescending, but it's a real issue that even AAA developers have bumped into - at least one Saints Row game had to issue an emergency patch to replace some copyrighted placeholder images pinned to a corkboard in the background of a cutscene that blended in and were missed during a placeholder removal pass.)

You...don't even know what the money will be for?

Let me put it this way...
Code: Select allExpand view
Don: Blah blah blah, something about the software he used in college, blah blah blah, and then use Blender to make that work in the new Bone-Animated model format, blah blah blah.
Raccoon: Sounds totes gnarly brah, how much ya need for dat in da budget me homie g dog?
Don: $500

So, he told me at some point, but honestly, he's the one with the Pixar-esque background, so while I understand what he's saying I don't actually know enough about it off the top of my head to give answers off the top of my head. He has a sort of "wishlist" he's working with, and I'm really not the one to explain details...
The way you've put this sounds incredibly disrespectful towards your co-developer that you don't even remember or care why you're both asking for money in the first place. In addition, it doesn't put up a very good argument against just using Blender since a.) it's already an unavoidable piece of your workflow and b.) it doesn't cost $500.

Also: "new Bone-Animated model format"? You know that's probably a pretty long ways away, right? And what if that project never quite ends up reaching fruition, or falls down a Doomscript-esque hole of endless delays, as tends to happen with the lackadaisical scheduling of hobbyist projects? Work with the engine you have, not the engine you dream about.

You plan on distributing this on Steam?

Yes, because that looks like the best platform after doing some research.
You should look into Itch.io, which is free to publish on, fairly easy to use, and doesn't rule out a Steam release later. Publishing your First Game Ever on Steam is just asking for trouble, and will likely result in you getting lost in the sheer tidal wave of games getting released there every single day.

Actually, this plus the way you handled the question quoted previously reminds me: Have you and Don sat down and got everything down on paper yet? Who owns what part of the project (ie. does Don own the work you contribute or do you?) Who gets what cut of each copy sold? And so on and so forth. This is the sort of thing you really want to have down on paper, preferably as a legal contract, to prevent arguments later. This sort of thing can really tear small indie team projects apart when they don't have a definitive agreement on this sort of thing and suddenly oops the programmer just walked away with all our code and now we have nothing.

Selling a retail product, even on Steam, can also have several legal gotchas you have to deal with, like tax stuff, and you guys will probably want to talk to a lawyer about that sort of thing to make sure nobody gets inadvertantly screwed.

Yeah, it's not the same as getting it to run in GZDoom, it is significantly easier than getting it to run in GZDoom. And honestly, this can go one of two ways, neither of them particularly favorable.
...I'm... actually surprised you don't know this.
So, like, the DoomBuilder renderer that Code Imp wrote doesn't render maps in the same way as the actual renderer. That's why you can do things like go above the map and see a bunch of rooms at once, which is great for an editor, but it means that all the neat little tricks that someone can use to optimize a map don't do anything in that renderer, and in some cases can even slow it down. This becomes noticable when you're working with large maps, especially since, as Code Imp stated himself, that renderer is NOT built with the need for 30+ FPS in mind. So, in order to quickly map things in GZDB, I need a computer which can handle rendering a full map with models and lights and all that without any occlusion being handled. It also helps to be able to run the game at a relatively high fidelity without having to wait very long for it to load.
What on earth are you going to do that "optimizes" a map in such a way as to slow GZDB down in some unworkable fashion? Especially since GZDB isn't bogged down by having to process actual gameplay stuff like actors or weapons running around and being fired and such. It's an entirely different renderer for an entirely different purpose, and this paragraph doesn't seem to have any real connection to reality as far as my experience or the experiences of the people I've shown it to (including people with what can be politely described as "low-spec" PCs).

Many things about the pitch and your involvement don't add up, and your responses only muddy things further.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby Cardboard Marty » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:49 pm

After playing the currently released demo, I feel like there is a lot of potential here that could be capitalized on, but it's hard to support this in its current state. The first available level would be really suitable for a tech demo and does utilize some interesting concepts. I thought there was a lot of creative stuff you could use the tentacle for, and possibly expanding on that in the future would be really neat. The models are fantastic, especially the animations for the character player and her design seems really cool (maybe a bit too Spider-Man/symbiote-influenced if anything). As stated by others earlier in the thread, the weapon and enemy animations are definitely lacking. The Ray Gun seems like it should be more pistol-like, but the world model makes it look like a rifle or some sort, and the Spreadshot rifle barely has any recoil when firing. The fire blaster weapon thing you get in level 2 looks really cool, but it doesn't feel fun to fire at all. The melee as of right now also feels really really weird, especially since you start out with it. What's the difference between the primary and alternate fire?

However, once that gets fixed up, I feel like the game itself will feel better as a whole.

The level design is VERY mixed. The first level feels super fleshed out but does feel a bit boring visually, the lighting especially makes it look super bland. The second level however...yikes. It's honestly plain ugly, it has a confusing layout and ends with a MLP-derived meme image (for some reason), the textures are everywhere and not in a "this is clearly placeholder" kind of way. If you're wanting to have people invest money into this game, I don't think that this should even be publically viewable right now. It doesn't feel like it's done seriously or represents the project with any sort of respect or dignity, which I think kind of ties into my next point.

I really don't think that this project should be on Indiegogo at this stage in its development. It feels really early on and the points that Term and Kinsie are inline with how I feel personally having played this. I don't really know a whole lot about you RockstarRaccoon, but I feel like someone who boasts about a 10-year experience in mapping should have something to show for it. For an outsider who isn't involved in the community, the points that you use to sell this project via your involvement on Indiegogo seem really great and valid...however, being an idea guy and contributing to projects via feedback doesn't equal any kind of real clout. I'm also incredibly worried about the implications of this statement:

If we don't make the goal, it's not that I "won't" be working on it so much as "I have to find other sources of income while I work on this", which means there can't be any guarantee of timeliness of work, and I might not be able to take the time to give those maps the polish that a commercial game should have.


I'm sorry, but I feel like this is an awful attitude to have towards someone's project that you're involved in and represent (so much so that you reposted the thread under your name and your name/branding is on the project). I don't understand exactly what your working agreement with SuperDon is, but I think saying "well if I'm not gonna get paid, I'm not gonna to try as hard" for a project that you stated will continue with or without full funding goals met is incredibly disingenuous. I completely understand the timeliness part of your sentence, but it does seem as of right now that you aren't really committed 100% to the project unless it gets funding and will not be putting in the full effort without monetary compensation. I suggest lowering your scope and use the funding to expand it if goals are met, rather than purposefully holding back and putting out a mediocre performance.

My other points have been stated by others here, but I feel like your attitude in these replies comes off as arrogant, and blaming SuperDon for the problems of the currently released build doesn't really fill me with confidence about the future of this project.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby SuperDon » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:00 am

TerminusEst13 wrote:I'm going to be honest, I'm not really 100% feeling this. The weapon animations and sounds are really limp, and enemies seem to barely move and react in time to the player. The melee animations in particular seem really...really weak. The level design is plain, a lot of blank rooms.
You plan on distributing this on Steam? What do you plan on doing with the sound effects? I recognize a lot of these sounds. Are they original? Are you using from a stock library?

Likewise, I'm a little bit concerned with some of these points.

"Maps will be huge (10 times the size) compared to these"
This actually sounds like a really, really bad thing. GZDoom is not actually a very good engine for working with 3D models on large-scale projects. Hunter's Moon is a project that uses a lot of 3D assets, and even on relatively small mapsets the engine tends to choke. Making maps 10x the size (even assuming you don't hit the blockmap limit) sounds like it would destroy computers.

RockstarRaccoon aka Chris Brinegar from the Zdoom forums has joined the project as a level designer mainly, but can also fill in as a texture artist, coder, or sound designer as needed.
I'm good to see that you're still on-board with doing stuff for projects! But to me, this actually raises a lot of concerns for the project's level design. I've seen maybe one map of yours, and it was an edited version of mine from years back--after the first 3:50 is original territory, and boy howdy the difference is as stark as night and day. Don's work is absolutely incredible, he's a fantastic modeler and artist and designer--can you really fill in "as needed" for sections to match him?

Meanwhile, Don is trying to get some better software and hardware for this. Neither of us can afford the level of development we want to keep up with this, especially after putting so much of our own time and money into it already. We need more seed capital to finish this in a reasonable timespan, and so we are turning to the community and potential players for help: all we need for you to do is buy the game in advance.
Like what? What better software/hardware do you need for this? Even digging further into the information, there doesn't seem to be a lot of information.

Our goal of $4,000 will be used for development hardware, The Steam Direct fee, and general expenses. Lets keep it going! If we reach $10,000 it will be used to hire some additional artists to make assets, as well as some additional software.
What development hardware to you need? Why do you need 10k to hire additional artists? What software do you need? There's very little information as to what the money would actually be going for.

I can do that, but, as a consultant with an average workload of 60 hours a week, I can only blow off so many contracts at a time for something that doesn’t represent any cash flow.
I mean, yeah, a 60-hour work week is pretty rough and you've got my sympathy, but it really comes across that you got brought on really recently and you're asking people to pay you so that you can actually do work for it. You're also involved in multiple other projects (I didn't know you did work on Hedon! Did Metroid Doom ever get a release?), so would you be working on this full-time or would you be dropping the others to support this?

If it comes across as I'm a huge downer on getting money, I'm really not.
I'm 100% in favor of people asking for money to support their work, mod authors do a fantastic job entirely on their own dime and I imagine a lot of this shit is really difficult. But this doesn't seem like a good investment. If you want it to rival Total Chaos, Nocturne in Yellow, and Blade of Agony in terms of polish, then, well...out of those, one isn't released, one was done in a month and wasn't all that well done, and the other is kind of split down the middle in terms of community reception.
Compare with another scenario for another source port, Marathon Rubicon, which is doing everything that you're pitching (gigantic levels, in-depth storyline, enemies with unique behavior), but has 30 levels. And is, like, completely free.



Hey man, this is some really good constructive criticism. Let me address where the money is going, and we might have to update the indiegogo page if this is causing concern.

$1000 is going to Raccoon. This is for his time producing levels (this is also basically paying for his computer)

I am always looking for ways to increase the speed at which content is made, and there is some software that will help me with this. Actually all these on sale right now for the steam summer sale, go figure.
$179 Akeytsu is a rigging and animation software that I should speed things up quite a bit https://store.steampowered.com/app/446060/akeytsu_Indie/
$99 Bitmap2Material is PBR texturing software https://store.steampowered.com/app/325910/Substance_B2M3/
$149.99 Substance designer procedural textures https://store.steampowered.com/app/746470/Substance_Designer_2018/

$249 I have recorded / mixed most of the sound effects myself, with some royalty free ones found online. However I want to purchase a sci-fi sound effects library because it will save a ton of time and sound more professional. https://www.boomlibrary.com/sound-effects/sci-fi/

$100 Steam direct fee.

$1500 - $2000 A new PC workstation for myself. My process is to model high-poly models, and bake the detail into the textures of the low poly game model. (Now that GZdoom supports PBR, I can go back and bake normal maps!) Some of these models have a ton of detail and grind my system to a halt. A new rig that can handle this better will help immensely.



My dream would be to hit 40k and work on this full time, but I'm trying to be realistic with this. Hope this helps explain where we are coming from.
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Re: MEMBRANE - (new) Official Development Thread

Postby ErinRedFen » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:21 am

4k is like chump change for game development, I'm surprised they're not asking for more.

Dev environments always take more resources than the product, i mean heck, they gotta load up all the assets, even ones not being used in the level. Heck, Doom itself was developed on NEXT machines, not PCs even though they were the targets.

Also, not working as hard if you're not being paid makes sense.. of course you'd prioritize stuff that pays bills and puts food on the table.

I like this project, i wanna see where it goes.
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