The Neural Stunners colors

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Zilem
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The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Zilem » Fri Mar 31, 2017 0:34

One thing, that have gotten on my mind several times and even before i joined the PCKF.
is that the Neural stunner of Keen Galaxy and it's Colors:
in the story pictures and in level pickup items, it is Green.
and on the title screen, box art and status bar, it is Red. (with Yellow lightning zap)
but on Keen's sprite, either when holstered or drawn to fire, it is White with a bit of Yellow.
Image
I have seen it changed on the status bar to Green in a handful of mods.

But I have only the neural Stunner changed within Keens sprite in:
Dr. Colossus: Marroned on Mars (Raygun)
Szemigi: The Grand Intelligence IV: Intelligent Intellect (Martinez's Nuclear Blaster)
Levellass: Commander Keen's Valentine Bash (Slingshot)
cyber zero: Episode -3 (Slingshot)
Honorable mention: Universe is Toast III: Battle of the Brains (Mortimer's Brain Blaster)

But as you might know or notice, all replaced the neural stunner for another weapon.

So my question is:
is the reason you have not changed the color of the neural blaster, due to some nostalgia toward it being white?
an oversight?
not bothered because no one else had?
or just that you had never noticed?
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by troublesomekeen » Fri Mar 31, 2017 0:42

I also honorably mention Vool.
http://www.shikadi.net/keenwiki/Sign_of_the_Vool
I like it. Good observation. Hadn't thought much about the holster before.
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Ceilick » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:05

Speaking for myself, but I have to believe this is the case for others, it's just simple oversight. Usually the Keen sprite isn't modded at all so the issue doesn't come up, we're busy imagining things and drawing up new stuff for everything else!

One potential explanation for the differences in colors across the game in the first place, particularly the sprite, is the influence too much color has on such a small sprite. Too many details can make the sprite image get lost depending on the background. For example, Keen 1-3 has a very detailed sprite and a lot of color variation; every pixel is doing something. It gets away with this because the tiles, generally, are very simple colors and designs giving a high contrast. The Keen galaxy sprites have much less going on in them, and this might be why.

All that said, making the gun green in the sprite seems like it doesn't do anything negative, so why not :helmet

Also, could catch TroublesomeKeen, and indeed: Image

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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Zilem » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:48

troublesomekeen wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 0:42
I also honorably mention Vool.
http://www.shikadi.net/keenwiki/Sign_of_the_Vool
I like it. Good observation. Hadn't thought much about the holster before.
Yeah i though i had seen it Green in a title screen somewhere, but i could not find it.

I don't think keen have a holster for the Neural Stunner, since:
Image
I think it is held in place by the wrist with a D-ring lock. or something alike.
Ceilick wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:05
Speaking for myself, but I have to believe this is the case for others, it's just simple oversight. Usually the Keen sprite isn't modded at all so the issue doesn't come up, we're busy imagining things and drawing up new stuff for everything else!

One potential explanation for the differences in colors across the game in the first place, particularly the sprite, is the influence too much color has on such a small sprite. Too many details can make the sprite image get lost depending on the background. For example, Keen 1-3 has a very detailed sprite and a lot of color variation; every pixel is doing something. It gets away with this because the tiles, generally, are very simple colors and designs giving a high contrast. The Keen galaxy sprites have much less going on in them, and this might be why.

All that said, making the gun green in the sprite seems like it doesn't do anything negative, so why not :helmet

Also, could catch TroublesomeKeen, and indeed: Image
Indeed, but i just think it a bit odd that it have not happened once. ;p

In The Vortivon invasion, Keen had a new weapon in each episode.
which all handled like the first one, and since the shape of it also changes, it doesn't come across as a palette swap
If keen's Pants or shirt changed for each Episode, like Jill's Spandex(?), or Xargon's protagonist was, it would have been very odd.
luckily keen was treated with a new Blaster instead!
But yes the weapon are rather large, which is likely due to the limited pixels there was to work with.

and that in Galaxy episode, each have the neural stunner in 3 different colors, the way The Vorticon invasion did made sense.
in Galaxy it seems like there was different ideas or late changes, it would be interesting question to ask ID's Father's .
(on the Titlescreen of episode 6, But the design looks more like the Raygun then neural stunner)

I have a Layer with a Green neural stunner in Kylie's Primary photoshop sprite sheet, here is some comparisons:
Image
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by K1n9_Duk3 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 22:37

Zilem wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 0:34
in the story pictures and in level pickup items, it is Green.
and on the title screen, box art and status bar, it is Red. (with Yellow lightning zap)
but on Keen's sprite, either when holstered or drawn to fire, it is White with a bit of Yellow.
Would it blow your mind to hear that this might have been done on purpose? I suspect they had actually planned to use three different weapons in the game:

Image

These images were taken directly from the Keen 4 EGAGRAPH.CK4 file. They are stored in the "TILE8" portion of the file. Here is the full TILE8 tileset from Keen 4 just in case you haven't seen it before:

Image

You can see the the graphics for the numbers used in the scorebox are TILE8s as well, so it would have been possible to replace the gun icon in the score box as the player changed weapons. But for whatever reason, this didn't make it into the final game. But I find it interesting that the Keen 7 tech demo John Romero showed off used all three of these gun icons in the HUD area, though slightly resized/redrawn.
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Ceilick » Fri Mar 31, 2017 23:35

Woah, good theory KingDuke! This is a little off topic, but I wonder how they intended to utilize those different weapons? Did they have different effects on enemies? Was the original intention to have a more elaborate system than for each enemy to be stunned?

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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Zilem » Sat Apr 01, 2017 0:47

K1n9_Duk3 wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 22:37
Would it blow your mind to hear that this might have been done on purpose? I suspect they had actually planned to use three different weapons in the game
Windblown: nope, intrigued: definitely!
this kind of explains why it is white in the sprite.
for some reason i think of star trek "set phasers to stun"
(also Vorticons Uniform Colors: Blue, Red, Gold)

Since i mainly use Modkeen, i had not noticed that ware there 2 extra's hiding in the UI tiles :F

and Yeah, in the Keen 7 tech demo, there was 3 variants each with their own ammo counter.
Ceilick wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 23:35
Woah, good theory KingDuke! This is a little off topic, but I wonder how they intended to utilize those different weapons? Did they have different effects on enemies? Was the original intention to have a more elaborate system than for each enemy to be stunned?
Maybe like the Boobus Bomb, in Keen dream?
or like the Lazer Bolts or AR bullets in Bio Menace, so there is some anchor of this system left in the code of keen galaxy?
There are a few enemies in Galaxy that needs more then 1 shot to be stunned, but that is only a few in Keen 5, and more in Keen 6
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Roobar » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:48

We should ask Tom Hall about these and how he imagined they would work.

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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Nisaba » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:50

@K1n9_Duk3: this is bodacious! when did you noticed that? and is there any snippet in the code which will give us some further insights?!

@Zilem: how lucky we are, that you've come up with this topic. who would have thought of three different Neural Stunner types?

@Ceilick: ... maybe only one of them was meant to be a stunner after all. maybe there was a transforming gun planned to make enemies useful in some kind... or you need to use a special ray for shooting objects like doors or walls, or hazards... who knows...

@Roobar: we definitely should! oh man, this is exciting!


I'd love to make use of this option. I don't know how yet, but this might be interesting to see in an upcoming mod, don't you think? But I am wondering how to implement this and still keeping it Keenish?!
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Zilem » Sat Apr 01, 2017 19:54

Nisaba wrote:
Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:50
@K1n9_Duk3: this is bodacious! when did you noticed that? and is there any snippet in the code which will give us some further insights?!

@Zilem: how lucky we are, that you've come up with this topic. who would have thought of three different Neural Stunner types?

@Ceilick: ... maybe only one of them was meant to be a stunner after all. maybe there was a transforming gun planned to make enemies useful in some kind... or you need to use a special ray for shooting objects like doors or walls, or hazards... who knows...

@Roobar: we definitely should! oh man, this is exciting!


I'd love to make use of this option. I don't know how yet, but this might be interesting to see in an upcoming mod, don't you think? But I am wondering how to implement this and still keeping it Keenish?!
Yeah, when it was something like this i had in mind XD
Image
(This is playable in your web-browser)

and then the topic took another interesting direction!

If there had been a Blue variant, i think it would have meant to stun robots as the Neural stunner didn't work on them.
and like wise this would not work on living things.

Maybe one is meant to create a object you could jump on to or thaw ice?
Freezing and enemy and then using it to get a higher jump! :lol

Edit: picture-Url Correction
Last edited by Zilem on Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by K1n9_Duk3 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 20:30

Nisaba wrote:
Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:50
@K1n9_Duk3: this is bodacious! when did you noticed that? and is there any snippet in the code which will give us some further insights?!
I strongly doubt that there would be any code for this. The id source codes I know (Keen Dreams, Catacomb 3D, Wolfenstein 3D) had tons of compiler directives that exclude unused code from the final build, so the chances of finding unused code related to different weapons are rather slim. I am not familiar with the Keen 4-6 codebase (a.k.a. Omnispeak and cksourcemod or whatever the DOS version was called). I just had a look at the Omnispeak source, but I wasn't able to locate the code that updates the score box. This question should rather be answered by somebody who actually disassembled the entire Keen 4-6 executables, which excludes me.

I guess the only reason why these tiles weren't removed from the TILE8 block was that this would have required a fair amount of work. Pretty much all the tiles that are actually used in the game are located AFTER these gun icons, so you would have to change all the tile numbers in the code after removing the unused tiles. It was easier to just keep the tiles.
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Levellass » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:05

Strangely enough I have been poking around the Keen shot code (Why does this projectile freeze on my tree-type ground? Augh!) and I cam across Keen's shot tile interaction which is... a bit of a mess. Just looking it over in the 1.4 version and the earlier and demo versions there were some things that just did not make sense. I am now of the opinion that there may have been plans for shots that moved differently and\or would smash under different circumstances. (Such as landing on the floor and staying there.)

As for mods, I never changed Keen's stunner icon because I felt it best not to mess with the classic scorebox, in the same way I never altered the red number color.
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Re: The Neural Stunners colors

Post by Keening_Product » Sun Apr 30, 2017 17:42

Nice find/reasoning, ll!

I do sometimes wonder how different the released Keen games would have been with even just an extra month of development.
Image
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