Atroxian Realm

You can discuss anything about fan-made Commander Keen games here.
User avatar
Keening_Product
Kuliwho?
Posts: 2063
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:02
Location: Tied up in the Oracle Chamber's basement
Contact:

Post by Keening_Product » Tue Jun 09, 2015 0:29

This is next level. Nice. AR has been the mod I've most looked forward to over the years, and now I'm really keen to see it from a technical standpoint too.

Great job you two.
Image
"Wise words. One day I may even understand what they mean." - Levellass

User avatar
lemm
Blorb
Posts: 682
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:18
Location: canada lol

Post by lemm » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:28

Gridlock's about to make you his b*tch

User avatar
troublesomekeen
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:01
Location: Three-Tooth Lake
Contact:

Post by troublesomekeen » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:01

Gosh dang it. Oh well.

Need help with spider or bat sprites?
Image
Commander Keen in... Canteloupe Quest!

User avatar
GameBird
Vortininja
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:49
Location: Somewhere

Post by GameBird » Wed Jul 01, 2015 23:39

Whoa I'm still alive?

Hey Gridlock, I just wanted to say that what you've done is fantastic. It's been surreal watching those videos, seeing those levels I am so familiar with being updated and enhanced from the already incredible quality they were. It's also really surreal hearing my old music playing... that takes me back.

I just wanted you to know that I've never forgotten about this project, and I feel terrible for dropping support. You have my deepest apologies.

So much has happened to me over the last 3 years, enough for me to write a book (heck, I kind of have). I attended animation school, and graduated in October 2014. I fell in love, had my heart broken, and been through a lot but currently I'm working on a new Netflix series for Dreamworks (Keep an eye out for Dinotrux in a couple months, I was an animator!). If anyone is interested, here is my portfolio with my demo reel. Gridlock, you may recognize my logo and the music for my demo reel ;) https://chrisbutikofer.carbonmade.com/

I feel really badly about not being able to see the music through to the end. But I wanted to say that I've silently been following this project the whole time, and watching with great interest and excitement for the finished product. What you and your team has accomplished has been incredible, and I feel very privileged to have been part of it. I am also glad to hear you've found ways to improve the music and fix those pesky audio glitches for the most part. It will be a real pleasure to play through this when its released and know I was able to contribute something of value. Keep up the hard work, you've come incredibly far and will make a huge impact on this community with this game.

Seriously guys; I was lucky enough to have gotten to see/play through most of the levels in this game (albeit from an older build from a couple years ago) and you guys are in for a fantastic treat.
Image
Right here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX6YbNIvUFg
Soundtrack Composer for:
-- Botfloria is Out of Flowers! -- The Atroxian Realm --
-- Mystery of Isis II

User avatar
Gridlock
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 529
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:20

Post by Gridlock » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:52

Woah, that's awesome to hear from you Gamebird. It has been a long time, and I felt kind of bad that people hadn't gotten to hear your music in the final game yet. I'm glad you feel the way you do about the project, and it's awesome to hear that you're still following it.

Since I knew things had gotten pretty crazy for you, I didn't want to ask any more from you. Sorry about some things not working out, but it's incredible to hear that you got a job at Dreamworks. Since I'm doing college work with interactive media and computer science, I know quite a few people that dream of getting a job like that.

The cool thing is that AR has expanded in scope so much since you last saw it. Most levels/graphics have been overhauled, and several new levels have been made since then. That also means I needed to expand the soundtrack. It's actually been a lot of fun for me taking some of the tracks you did and building new ones off of them. I'm really proud of some of the new tracks. There are currently 33 tracks in the game now! I'm guessing it's over 1 hour of music.

I hope to see you do more composing at some point, because I really do enjoy listening to your music. I often find myself warping through the levels just to listen to the music. I think this soundtrack was the one of the biggest factors that drove me to keep working on this game even when I felt it was impossible to make any progress.


So anyway, progress on the new build is coming along nicely thanks to lemm's crazy hard work. He deserves a big thank you for all the work he's put in. There's still quite a few bugs/unfinished features to iron out, but the game is in a mostly playable state now. It's still going to take a lot of testing of further work to get it finished though.

Apart from some minor tile graphics work and level revisions, the biggest tasks that remain are finishing the sprites and the story and ending sequences. There's still a LOT of work to be done with these sequences. This kind of art is difficult and time-consuming for me, so I'm always looking for help.

Still hoping for a release by the end of summer, but there's a lot of work remaining.
Image
Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
The Alphamatic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4086

User avatar
Gridlock
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 529
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:20

Post by Gridlock » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:05

As AR gets closer and closer to completion, I thought I'd give you all a preview of one of the coolest new features that's being added to the game (again, thanks to lemm).

Have you ever gotten frustrated from dying and having to restart the ENTIRE level from the beginning? Well, that could be a thing of the past. Atroxian Realm will now have checkpoints! For the first time ever in a Keen mod, you'll be able to restart from a checkpoint if you die in a level. As you'll soon see, this has a huge impact on how the game plays.

This video demonstrates how the system works (jump to 0:40 for the checkpoint). This is the first time you can see the game running in the new engine. Keep in mind this is still a beta version, so I'll be adding a different sound effect for the checkpoints and possibly making other small tweaks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFfquUtla98

As you may have noticed, you'll start with 5 lives. Each time you die in a level, you'll lose one life and restart from the last checkpoint you reached (unless you haven't reached one yet). If you lose all your lives, you'll game over and be returned to the world map with your lives reset to 5.

This will have pretty interesting effects on how the game plays. First of all, you only get to use each checkpoint once per level, and you'll find times where you need to strategically choose when to use them. Second, this will actually make extra lives valuable since you'll lose your level progress if you run out of them. There's been a lot of discussion in the past about these extra lives being meaningless, so hopefully this is a step towards improving this mechanic. Of course, it'll still be pretty easy to cheat the system and farm lives. There's only so much I can do about that.

And if you are wondering, you'll still be able to save at any time you like. I hope, though, that this will provide a much more accessible and fair way to play the game without having to worry about saving and loading constantly.

What do you all think of this system and how it looks so far? It'd be cool if, once polished, this could become a standardized thing for future mods that use the new engine.
Image
Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
The Alphamatic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4086

User avatar
Roobar
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 2793
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 16:12

Post by Roobar » Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:21

I applaud you for that decision! It's a game changer! There will be no more annoying save/load process at every step where the situation gets difficult. And yet, the save/load still works. That's neat!

Still got some questions. If, for example, you beat a level with lets say 10 lives and then enter a second level, loose all your lives, will you start from the beginning of the world map or from the enter point in the second level?

Also, some might still prefer to replay the whole level instead from the checkpoint. Will you add an option to start a level from the beginning instead of the last checkpoint?

About the lives thing... So you're basically saying that if near a checkpoint there are more than one lives, you could collect them and die, restart from the checkpoint with more lives and repeat until you've got as much lives as you want?

It will be really interesting to see this in the game non the less.

User avatar
VikingBoyBilly
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 4155
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:06
Location: The spaghetti island of the faces of dinosaur world for a vacation

Post by VikingBoyBilly » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:39

You know what would be wonderful? Having the save feature cost a life every time you save! Wouldn't that be great?
Image
"I don't trust players. Not one bit." - Levellass

User avatar
joe-ilya
Vortininja
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 18:53
Location: Also on doomworld

Post by joe-ilya » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:48

I wonder what next new features will future keen mods contain, because this is awesome, perhaps a second game for the computer wrist? Music changer cheat like IDMUS in doom? A calculator? So much can be done if checkpoints are. :bloody
Me and omer made a rainbow dash HUD for doom, for our mistake most of the doomers are anti-bronies. Image
Image

User avatar
Gridlock
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 529
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:20

Post by Gridlock » Sat Jul 11, 2015 18:02

Still got some questions. If, for example, you beat a level with lets say 10 lives and then enter a second level, loose all your lives, will you start from the beginning of the world map or from the enter point in the second level?
In this case, you would restart from the point where you entered the second level and the lives counter would be reset to 5.
Also, some might still prefer to replay the whole level instead from the checkpoint. Will you add an option to start a level from the beginning instead of the last checkpoint?
At this point, you can basically do this by exiting to the world map and re-entering the level. I suppose I could consider adding a third option when you die to restart the level from the beginning.
About the lives thing... So you're basically saying that if near a checkpoint there are more than one lives, you could collect them and die, restart from the checkpoint with more lives and repeat until you've got as much lives as you want?
Yeah, at the moment there's not much I can do to prevent players abusing the system like that, though to some extent that happens in most video games that use a system like that. And really, it isn't any different than replaying a level over and over again (level 1 for example) to build up extra lives. Of course, this can be a time-consuming process and requires that you find the well-hidden lives in the first place.

I suppose I could set a cap on the max number of lives to something like 20 instead of 99, but that might not seem very fair. There are probably other complex solutions as well, but I don't know if I want to go into all that.
You know what would be wonderful? Having the save feature cost a life every time you save! Wouldn't that be great?
Heh, if you really want this feature I'm sure it can arranged... :p
I wonder what next new features will future keen mods contain, because this is awesome, perhaps a second game for the computer wrist? Music changer cheat like IDMUS in doom? A calculator? So much can be done if checkpoints are.
You'd have to talk to lemm to get a complete understanding of what the engine can do, but I imagine most of that stuff is possible with enough time and effort. I didn't develop AR with a brand new engine in mind, so most of the changes are pretty last minute. I'm sure there's plenty of potential yet to be realized.

One idea I had, for example, was to make a more story-driven Keen game with lots of ending-like sequences spread out over the game. Keen would complete a few levels, have a story cinematic, then jump somewhere else on the world map and play new levels. If I ever do do an AR sequel (extremely unlikely, especially in the near future), this would be a cool concept to explore.
Image
Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
The Alphamatic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4086

Ceilick
The Dude
Posts: 1537
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 20:10
Location: Seattle

Post by Ceilick » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:51

I echo wiivn's praise, this is a game changer and yet, from watching the video and reading your description, it sounds like it keeps very much in the spirit of how levels 'work' in Keen and what makes them fun. When levels are bigger and more dangerous than the original series, something has to keep the balance.
I hope, though, that this will provide a much more accessible and fair way to play the game without having to worry about saving and loading constantly.
This is exactly the right mentality, I think. More playing the game, experiencing and trying new things, instead of navigating menus and level repetition.

I am curious about the lives system overhaul. It sounds like there is no reward/bonus for completing a level with more lives than less, and that lives don't carry over between levels in any way. Is there a reason you chose to default to a certain amount of lives per level instead of the global lives counter? Also, is there any change to how points and score works? [/quote]

User avatar
Levellass
S-Triazine
Posts: 5261
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:40

Post by Levellass » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:21

joe-ilya wrote:I wonder what next new features will future keen mods contain, because this is awesome, perhaps a second game for the computer wrist? Music changer cheat like IDMUS in doom? A calculator? So much can be done if checkpoints are. :bloody
A music changing cheat is easy. If there's any demand for it I'll replace the F10-V cheat with it in my next mod.
What you really need, not what you think you ought to want.

User avatar
Keening_Product
Kuliwho?
Posts: 2063
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:02
Location: Tied up in the Oracle Chamber's basement
Contact:

Post by Keening_Product » Tue Jul 14, 2015 14:15

The checkpoints are a huge and positive change - great to see that initiative. But yeah, like the lives comments before, one thing that has always bothered me about scoring in Keen is that dying and restarting doesn't lose you points or lives. I know it's up to the player not to abuse this, but if that's the way the game mechanics work it still leaves a notable issue in the lives and points system. Not sure you can really do anything about that though.

This mod is going to be a favourite, that's already clear.
Image
"Wise words. One day I may even understand what they mean." - Levellass

User avatar
Gridlock
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 529
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:20

Post by Gridlock » Tue Jul 14, 2015 21:12

It sounds like there is no reward/bonus for completing a level with more lives than less, and that lives don't carry over between levels in any way.
I must have explained this poorly. Lives do carry over from level to level. They only reset to 5 if you game over in a level and have to return to the world map. So, if you beat a level with, say, 10 lives, you'll enter the next level with 10 lives still.
But yeah, like the lives comments before, one thing that has always bothered me about scoring in Keen is that dying and restarting doesn't lose you points or lives.
This is indeed tricky. However, it might be possible for lemm to remove any points you received since the last checkpoint if you die. If this could be done, it would probably require that you only get to keep your points if you finish the level, limiting the amount of points you can collect. However, I don't think this system would make much sense for extra lives. This gets confusing when you start asking whether extra lives earned from score should be kept if the score is lowered after dying.

I'm not sure if this will/can be implemented, especially since the score is pretty trivial. Do you all think this would be too radical a change to the scoring system, or does it make sense?
Image
Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
The Alphamatic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4086

Ceilick
The Dude
Posts: 1537
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 20:10
Location: Seattle

Post by Ceilick » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:08

Ah, I understand the lives now, sounds perfect!

I'm really looking forward to playing with checkpoints and seeing player response. I'll be tackling the same root reason for having checkpoints with a different system in SOTV, and I think one of these will be the future staple of galaxy mods.
If this could be done, it would probably require that you only get to keep your points if you finish the level, limiting the amount of points you can collect. However, I don't think this system would make much sense for extra lives. This gets confusing when you start asking whether extra lives earned from score should be kept if the score is lowered after dying.
I think you've got it exactly right, score (and ammo, I think) should only be kept to the next checkpoint or level completion.

This system doesn't make sense with extra lives, as you said, however, extra lives shouldn't be farmable to avoid the situation where Keen spawns at checkpoint A, collects two extra lives, dies and spawns at checkpoint A, repeat. This is in part an aspect of level design, but perhaps extra lives could only spawn and be collected once during a single play of a level (and respawn if the level is exited and reentered).
I'm not sure if this will/can be implemented, especially since the score is pretty trivial. Do you all think this would be too radical a change to the scoring system, or does it make sense?
Giving AR a maximum attainable score can only be a positive, imko. It won't detract from the number one reason points are fun, the act of collecting, and players can meaningfully compare their scores. I think the affect score has on extra lives is minimal, and if you decide to do this for ammo as well, it at most requires a few more neural stunners placed in levels, if that.

Post Reply