Mystery of Isis IIa

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ckGeoff
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Post by ckGeoff » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:26

@Celick: Thank you for your comments, that is exactly what I am looking for. Let me address a few of them:

Level 2 crashing - did it just happen at a random time? Or did you try walking somewhere odd?

Scrolling - the camera just follows Keen and keeps him pretty much centered. Agreed, I should probably change it to work how it does in Galaxy.

Impossible Pole Climb - I know, oops!

Ledge Grab - I'll look into this, as I know it is not perfect. The ledge-grab is really annoying to implement well.

Pogo/Jumping - Good to hear! I actually measured the heights & speeds in Galaxy and tried to match them as close as possible.

Collision Detection - I think his rectangle box is just too big. I had noticed that, but had such a hard time implementing it once I got it working I left it as is. I can probably change it quite easily.

Doors - weird, I thought I had fixed that. I may have put the level together incorrectly (depending on which door tile it finds, it moves Keen to center him with the door).

Look Up/Down - this is implemented. You need to hold the keys down for a bit (it is not instant, I thought the delay worked better than having no dleay?). I actually had no idea Keen could swim faster when CTRL is held. Oops!

Climbing out of Pole - yes. It is not a tile property error. What happens is it snaps him to the top of the Solid tile if he a portion of the way through it. I can't remember why I had it done that way, but I think I don't need that anymore. It had to do with the ONE WAY UP tiles (eg tree branches).

Pulsar Shot - actually, they only explosion frames drawn for the Pulsar were those ones, it looks as though it is only half because I think it was designed to only explode when it hits a flat wall (ie it will go through enemies). I can either implement that (wouldn't look right on slopes though), or create a simple particle explosion like the Blow Gun.

Availability of old levels
- Isis IIa uses a completely different level format. I am not going to try and load the old levels, because the tile files will be different as well as all the INFO and SPRITE tile numberings. I have all the old levels, and editor, so they could be re-created manually. The new level editor is *extremely* simple to use, with advanced (compared to Isis II original) features such as copying & pasting (moving) complete areas, and filling regions.

Ceilick
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Post by Ceilick » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:37

Level 2 crashed first when I walked left at the start and the second time it happened as the enemy on the top of the hill came into view.

I completely missed that looking up and down required pressing and holding the keys :o

For the Pulsar shot, I really like the existing explosion frames but, for example, shooting the floor or ceiling results in only half an explosion. Is the reason it wouldn't look right against slopes due to masked tile properties? If so, it'd probably still look good if the shot burst frame appeared over the top of masked tiles.

One thing I forgot to mention: The tree branches, I think, should not have the front/masked property as it looks kind of strange for keen's feet to be behind the branch rather than on top of it.

Not being able to play the old levels is a bummer, I was particularly hoping to play the mountain level and what I think was some kind of military base again someday. Regardless, looking forward to seeing how this develops :)

ckGeoff
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Post by ckGeoff » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:52

Pulsar - When he shoots up/down, the problem is that I haven't added in code to rotate the explosion frames. So really they should be rotated by 90 degrees to look correct. The reason why it doesn't look right when it hits a slope is because the explosion frames have a straight line incorporated into them - if the shot is heading right, it is made to look like it splats flat against the wall before dissipating. So if it hits a slope, the explosion will look like it hits a flat wall, some of the explosion being in mid-air. Try it by firing at the slopes in Level 1.

Tree Branches - You're right. It looked funny having him walk on top of them too. He probably needs to walk "on" them, so they need to be background tiles, but shifted up a few pixels. Anyway that is tile stuff, trivial to change.

The old levels will be easy to recreate with the exception of moving platforms. I've already programmed in all the old enemies plus many more that weren't released. Ideally I'd like to create the entire level set that was planned, but it is lacking a few crucial tile sets, as well as cut scenes that explain the storyline. The cut scenes could always just be plain text (boring, but would work). So the only critical thing needed would be tiles (and really not many).

ckGeoff
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Post by ckGeoff » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:17

A sneak peak at a few of the creatures of Isis II. Some of these you may have seen before, and some are new.

Image

A number of the issues raised by Celick have been fixed:
- impossible pole climb
- crashing (was due to enemies bullets not being handled correctly)
- load time now almost instant (needed to swap some Python code to C)
- slightly better collision detection

Ceilick
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Post by Ceilick » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:16

I've commented elsewhere that I didn't think several of the enemies were very keenish (and I know you're not about to change them, wouldn't want you) but I'm pretty excited to see a couple of these in action, mainly the 'Garnak'. Hope it's one of the more complete enemies in terms of animation and behavior.

Also, I'd always assumed those green froggy guys were the Isonians, but now that I'm seeing these military characters, are those the actual Isonians?

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Post by ckGeoff » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:26

@Celick:

Thanks for holding back the unKeenish comments! Agreed, some of them could feature in The Simpsons or something, but it's not the point.

How did you know the name of the Garnak? Unfortunately the Garnak is one of the less complete enemies. I only have walk frames. Death frames appeared in one demo, but I do not have the raw files (strange, since I have EVERYTHING else) nor can I extract them from the original data files.

Isis II is a planet, like Earth. So the creatures are synonymous with animals.

Now I do not have a complete answer for your next question. I believe it is a hole in the storyline possibly, or something I have just missed, or was never explained to me.

The military soldiers are the alien soldiers of Isis. But there is another set of characters that are the "Isonians", which are more alien/ghost-like. I am yet to work out how they tie in to each other. I think perhaps the Isonians (the ones I have not shown you) are synonymous with humans, so they are the dominant race, and then the soldiers could have been tamed or trained... I'm not quite sure.

Ceilick
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Post by Ceilick » Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:05

Years ago there was a keen website called "The keen Nexus" or something and the section on Isis II featured an image of the Garnak standing next to the skin-toned keen sprite. I've wanted to see it in action since :old

Thats really interesting about the ambiguity with the Isonians. I guess thats the mystery of Isis II :crazy I've seen the ghostlike characters you're referring to (eK, I think, posted an image with many of the planned sprites a long while back, unfortunately I don't have a copy of this image anymore). Their appearance, from what I remember, does give them a rather regal/imperial look that seems to match the way their characters sound in the story.

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Post by ckGeoff » Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:21

Ah, ok.

No worries, I have all of eK's original artwork, it will all be made available in due course. Hopefully, it will be made available first through a full-length game, but if not, it can just be uploaded & archived somewhere *sigh*.

This is an Isonian:

Image

In the original docs, the aliens of Isis are described (by pLeitorian, who wrote the story) as:
Animal-like: perhaps catlike, maybe even weasel/ferretlike creatures, more humanoid than Bloogs though.
Though it doesn't explain the green headed guy.

However "Isonians" are definitely represented by the graphic above, but it is not clear how to differentiate the alien soldiers from the Isonians.

I think the thing to keep in mind is, a lot of the artwork particularly was *concept* art. Just a bunch of stuff. Some was liked, some wasn't. I'm going to try to make everything available, whether it "works" or not.

The cave-dwellers are mostly complete (a couple lacking death frames)
The soldiers & robots are all complete (walking, shooting, dying)
The yellow/green/blue fish on the end are all very incomplete (no animation)

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Snortimer
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Post by Snortimer » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:50

This is very, very exciting.

P.S. Welcome back, Geoff! Haven't seen you around lately. :)
Member since at least 1998 with... ah... some long absences. I was even a moderator at one time. I've moved on mostly, but I can't leave Keenland behind completely.

ckGeoff
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Post by ckGeoff » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:25

Snortimer, glad to hear you're excited. I think you're the 3rd person - quite surprising given the interest in mods these days.

Anyway, I am working on porting 4 near-complete levels from the original Isis into the next demo. It takes some time to copy the maps, they are huge. They won't be identical but they will be close enough.

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Post by GARGapplesauce » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:28

I'm highly interested to see how this eventually turns out! Looks pretty cool!!!
Hi, I'm no longer a twit so feel free to stop by and say hello!

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Keenfan
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Post by Keenfan » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:01

Another Demo with more levels? Great! :-)

ckGeoff
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Post by ckGeoff » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:17

Yes, as soon as I've finished porting the levels over.

The first "demo" was really just a demo of the engine and to show that it runs smoothly and can run under Windows.

The next demo will more like an actual game demo, with the first 4 levels that were actually planned for the game. However as far as I can tell, only the first level is complete. The next 3 are well on their way but I can't figure out how they are meant to be played.

Still, it is cool putting them together, showing off how all the tiles work, etc.

I will have to put text-only cutscenes in too, since we don't have any cutscene artwork, but it is critical as it tells the story.

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Post by ckGeoff » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:00

@Ceilick particularly: I found a bug with the jumping amounts. All the movement should be independent of the frame rate, but a simple bug caused the jump amounts triggered by holding down CTRL be dependent on the frame rate! So it was probably running fast for you, which is why Keen jumped higher.

I noticed this since when I added a big level, the frame rate dropped slightly (from ~150fps to ~100fps) and I couldn't jump high enough onto some platforms! That should be fixed soon.

Another thing to note is that is probably swallows a whole lot of memory. That's because rather than draw the tiles each frame, it draws the entire LEVEL at the beginning, then copies over the right part of the screen. This makes things a lot quicker (without it, a smooth scrolling game in pygame would be difficult), but at the expense of using more memory.

I'll try and fix the ledge climb & camera issues as well for the next update.

I've also just added moving platforms that can be activated/deactivated by switches. If there are no switches they will just run as normal. They follow paths that can be drawn in 8 directions (up, down, left, right & diagonals).

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Post by Nickssoft » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:46

Great stuff, I remember seeing Isis II demo a long time ago, and seeing you come back just goes to show you that Keen Lives in you forever! cc314 was one of the first websites i was on back in 1998

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