Commander Keen episode -3: Billy Blaze

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Levellass
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Post by Levellass » Sun Dec 01, 2013 21:12

Given the Keen engine it's the essence. All Fleex behave alike, but how can we make it so that *this* specific Fleex is the hardest to get by? These twenty tiles make a house, but can they be used to make dozens of unique houses?

Part of the very challenge of modding is doing a lot with a little.
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Post by DoomJedi » Sun Dec 01, 2013 23:25

StupidBunny wrote:
DoomJedi wrote:If you want to make an interesting mod - you need to try to be more generic
That's a new one. :P
You know what I mean :)
:o

Interesting mod is one that you don't waste your whole tileset just on the first area....leaving barely nothing for the rest that can be reused in a creative way.

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Post by Paramultart » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:05

I agree with Doom Jedi's design principle, and this is something I've taken into great consideration.

There is an art to making good tile-sets, and most of it relies on versatility; eye-candy is secondary, because having a nice palette of tiles is the foundation of vast and interesting level design.

After you have that laid out, then you can add decorative and level-specific pieces. A good example would be the poison slug monument in Hillville.

I don't know how much of a pain in the butt level editing would be for mods like "Ruin of Roib", but there were many moments in that game that make you forget the levels contain tiles at all because of how seamless they all fit together.

Games like Jazz Jackrabbit have large-scale graphics, but the tiles themselves suffer immensely in terms of versatility. It doesn't help that the level design sucked horrendously. (Sorry, Lass...)
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Levellass
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Post by Levellass » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:26

Jazz 1 or Jazz 2?


Jazz 1 had wonderful tiles, 32x32 and 256 colors (plus color cycling) allowed great versatility. However as you note the actual number of tiles could be as low as 60 in some levels and this was its weak point by far. The levels were simple and colorful enough that they sufficed but they lacked anything that could make the player really go 'Wow'

There was some excellent tile design, but not enough versatility. Fortunately the game made up for it in volume; you only had 2, maybe 3 levels of one tileset and then something new. The enemy behavior design was a triumph of versatility, they didn't utilize 1/10th of what they could have there. But as for tiles, 16x16 would have been much better, but I honestly don't think they had the talent to pull it off.

Jazz 2 worked a lot better, mostly because of multiple level layers and vastly increased tile space.
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Post by StupidBunny » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:41

DoomJedi wrote:You know what I mean :)
Yeah, I do. :crazy I think it's one of the most vital and surprisingly challenging thing about making a good mod, is designing tiles which the player will see all over the place that are interesting but do not become tiresome, boring or blinding.
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Post by Keening_Product » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:39

Levellass wrote:they lacked anything that could make the player really go 'Wow'
Iunno, the pipe networks in J1 made me go wow. It's how you use them. Obviously.
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Post by Paramultart » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:03

Levellass wrote:Jazz 1 or Jazz 2?


Jazz 1 had wonderful tiles, 32x32 and 256 colors (plus color cycling) allowed great versatility. However as you note the actual number of tiles could be as low as 60 in some levels and this was its weak point by far. The levels were simple and colorful enough that they sufficed but they lacked anything that could make the player really go 'Wow'
I didn't care for the Jazz 1 tiles. For example, Diamondus committed one of the biggest VGA faux-pas' a pixel artist could make, and that is using generic gradient shading and mirror flipping for graphics. Just look at the trees: http://www.majhost.com/gallery/dolphman ... mondus.png
Perhaps that disgusting grass and overall design was simply a design choice to mimic the atrocious aesthetic of Sonic? Either way, I wouldn't call those wonderful tiles.

There's some good artwork here and there through the episodes, but it's hard for me to overlook things like this.
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Post by Keening_Product » Mon Dec 02, 2013 14:10

Paramultart wrote: Perhaps that disgusting grass and overall design was simply a design choice
I see it as cartoon-like, which really means the graphic style can be overlooked :painted
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Post by Levellass » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:14

Paramultart wrote:I didn't care for the Jazz 1 tiles. For example, Diamondus committed one of the biggest VGA faux-pas' a pixel artist could make, and that is using generic gradient shading and mirror flipping for graphics. Just look at the trees: http://www.majhost.com/gallery/dolphman ... mondus.png
Perhaps that disgusting grass and overall design was simply a design choice to mimic the atrocious aesthetic of Sonic? Either way, I wouldn't call those wonderful tiles.

There's some good artwork here and there through the episodes, but it's hard for me to overlook things like this.
What really got on my wick was the mirror image sprites. For everything. Couldn't you do a little bit of countershading guys? Nope, mirror images. They may as well have hardcoded mirroring in the game for all the difference it would have made.

The Diamondus tileset is indeed based off a Sonic one. Also copied was EarthWorm Jim. All-in-all they're not the best graphics people.
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Post by cyber zero » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:33

I completely forgot keen day :(
Well here is a demo with two levels. One is billy Blaze house and the other is a city.
This is early stuff, some things are yet to be improved and changed.
Also, the patching is very limited in this mode. Most enemies are just variations of the original ones.

https://mega.co.nz/#!SU1wjCxZ!aKbs_ACi- ... aA9im0DYYE

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Post by Lava89 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:17

I thought this was neat! I don't play very many "urban" Keen mods, so this was fun! I didn't know Keen's house was this big! haha, but I absolutely loved look of the Bean with Bacon under the tarp!

The perspective kind of threw me off at first (mostly in the yard) but I got used to it, and I think you handled room \ depth switching pretty well for the interior levels. Also, knocking out those annoying kids in the city was fun, haha. So keep up the good work!

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Post by troublesomekeen » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:26

Ah ha! You've done it, CyberZero! A glorious demo indeed! Thank you for releasing this. It's very awesome. :eek
It's better than I imagined it would be. It's still Keen Day over here on my part of the world. Just a half hour left!
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Post by Lava89 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:28

troublesomekeen wrote:It's still Keen Day over here on my part of the world. Just a half hour left!
Yep, and it's been put on the list!

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Roobar
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Post by Roobar » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:10

Commander Keen episode -3: Billy Blaze where he gets beaten by girls, killed by wet cement and Princess Lindsey is his mother! :lol

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Post by Bubbatom » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:18

Looks and plays really nicely! Well done on your efforts so far!

As others have mentioned, the perspective is something a little different, but I really like it! Keep it the way you've got it!

The only thing that is really worth pointing out is the tiles. They're certainly fabulous, but don't be surprised when you can't put everything you wanted to in the mod. I had big ambitions for Suburb Shenanigans, another Suburb/City mod, but I found I had to cut the game right back, scrapping a school and city section due to tiles. Keep them in mind!

Looking good!
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