Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

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55Aavenue
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Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by 55Aavenue » Sat May 26, 2018 6:02

COMMANDER KEEN in "SHORT CIRCUIT ORACLE"

Hello there Keen community! I am new to the forums (joined a few months ago) and ready to release my first Keen Galaxy mod/levelpack. Its a full Keen 4 game with 18 all new levels (including a secret level).

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So basically the idea of this game is having the events of the real Keen 4 (Secret of the Oracle) take place in the modern day instead of the 1990s. Keen and many other characters have cell phones, everyone's on the internet, intergalactic social media exists (where Vorticons like to post pictures of food and Keen finds posts from the Shikadi threatening to destroy the galaxy) and so on (be sure to check out the story!). Along the way there are also some new twists as the story progresses (particularly in the ending sequence) to hopefully make this game interesting and not just an exact retelling of the original Goodbye Galaxy story line.

The graphics are Keen 4 graphics for the most part, but there are alterations as well as some new graphics here and there (and some appearances and modifications from the demo and other Keen episode tile sets).

There is some new music as well. I kept some of the original songs in a few levels because I liked them and they fit certain levels well, but I composed 7 new songs you will hear in various levels throughout the game. Making songs that sound decent in IMF was a painful learning process, but music is a passion of mine so really wanted to make at least some of my own songs for the game.

I will mention that I used the patch on the wiki I found that resets your score back what you had when starting the level if you die. This is a more fun way to deal with points I think. You don't just rack them up by dying. Instead, it makes it so that finding secrets or getting those harder to get points is the only way to a higher score.

So without further delay, here is my debut entry into Keen modding: Commander Keen in "Short Circuit Oracle"

Please let me know what you all think and leave feedback! I am anxious to know how my first attempt at galaxy modding is :D


Download Version 1.3:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/akgau9u6zlaqv ... 3.zip?dl=0

Note: Unzip and then Run play.bat to start game. You will need dosbox.

Edit: Link has been updated to version 1.3. Special thanks to Roobar, Troublesomekeen, Gridlock and Zilem who all helped me in some way or another to make various improvements/fixes to the game since I first released it. And thanks to everyone else who has played and/or commented!
Last edited by 55Aavenue on Mon Jun 18, 2018 21:56, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by troublesomekeen » Sat May 26, 2018 21:03

What a treat! You've drawn inspiration from a lot of sources! Fantastic!

Might want to patch up a few tiles in the gray cave set, otherwise you can ledge-grab out of the level with no way to get back in. I don't know if it's intended because there's a nifty secret area here:
https://youtu.be/0ndgnFBlgms
(spoilers)
but it certainly does not work out for regular areas, as we see at the end of the video.
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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by Nisaba » Sat May 26, 2018 21:16

what a nice surprise!
can't wait to give it a go. I'm very excited about this!
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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by 55Aavenue » Sun May 27, 2018 0:26

Oh I had no idea Keen would ledge grab through there at the end of your video :garg (the one at the beginning of the video is intended) I will definitely have to fix that. Thanks for recording that troublesomekeen!

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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by Roobar » Sun May 27, 2018 4:34

LOL. You're making PCKF great again! Really enjoying the humor so far. Good music. Excellent work for a first mod.

I have to say that you could also escape from the top left corner of the second building in the first level.

Edit:
OK after playing a while, I may be wrong, but this may be the first time I've seen this: you're actually required to carry a crystal from level in order to open a door in a different level. Is that correct because I could't find a key to open a door in Mountain Bypass?

Edit:

Here's a playthrough of a few levels, no editing (with save/load etc.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnirZwC61Os - the most interesting bug is in the secret level. Otherwise no other major bugs.

Unlike Sunylands, the level design in this mod has more variety (with the exception of the monotonous pyramids, although they kind of have some variety too, more specifically in the Dark Pyramid). For example, I like the unique elements you put in some levels. For example the collectables in the mining level. The whole level kinda reminded me of Keen Dreams. Plus there was a Crystal Caves reference (I think). Such things kept me playing.

The new music is also refreshing. I could only wish there were more new tracks, but I guess it's hard to make music.

There was also the Keen 5 rotating fire hazards, which translated well into Keen 4. Some other elements felt Keen 5-ish too. And then, there was one totally different level then the rest with a grey wall and many doors. Shadowlands Dam is a level you don't expect to see, but it's there.
It was not always obvious where some of the secrets are, which makes them more enjoyable. The secret level didn't felt too special except the ending dialogue. The game ending on the other hand, was probably the longest one I've ever seen and was well worth it.

The only thing I don't like is the text below the phone that reads "Pres F1 for story and help menu" in the main menu. Either remove it or make it smaller. As it is now it's awful.

Pros:
Excellent level design
Some cool new music tracks
Balanced difficulty
Humorous story and ending
Some new graphics

Overall I like that mod. For a first attempt it's really great.

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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by proYorp » Sun May 27, 2018 20:10

I like the concept. I will definitely check this out when I have some free time.
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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by 55Aavenue » Mon May 28, 2018 1:47

Thanks for the feedback and playing through the game, Roobar. I'm glad you liked it.
Roobar wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:34
OK after playing a while, I may be wrong, but this may be the first time I've seen this: you're actually required to carry a crystal from level in order to open a door in a different level. Is that correct because I could't find a key to open a door in Mountain Bypass?
No, there is a green gem in Mountain Bypass, it is hidden in a secret.

I've updated the download link in the original post with an updated version which fixes the issues Roobar and troublesomekeen found. Keen will not be able to ledge grab through the roof of the house interiors anymore except for in 2 places where it was intended (you should not be able to get trapped anymore). It also fixes that crazy screen scrolling issue whenever you're near the top of the secret level that can be seen in Roobar's video, as well as a few other minor things.

Someone who commented on Roobar's youtube video said that Lindsey's Castle crashed at the start of the level. I think I fixed this too, but it was very intermittent and only on hard mode. Edit: This wasn't fixed in 1.1, but it is fixed in 1.2

Thanks to everyone who has checked it out so far!
Last edited by 55Aavenue on Sun Jun 03, 2018 20:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by Gridlock » Wed May 30, 2018 4:29

I'm a few levels in and enjoying it quite a bit. There's quite a few clever ideas and plenty of interesting secrets. It's especially neat how many hints and other easter eggs you've hidden in the SGA signs... I found the secret gem near a berkeloid in Mountain Bypass thanks to that. I really admire the amount of work you put into revamping the help section, and it can be quite funny. Also, the new music tracks have been nice so far; I really liked the one in Altaire Mines. Just from my first impressions, there seems to be a lot of creativity and thought put into this.

This is probably the crash mentioned on Roobar's video, but you can crash the game in Lindsey's Castle by waiting on top of a tile near the beginning that looks like a moon tile, though the graphic has been changed. This will produce an unached sprite exception from Keen trying to execute his mooning frames. I can't remember for sure, but I think there may be a mooning Keen sprite you can place outside the level bounds to ensure that it gets cached.
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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by 55Aavenue » Wed May 30, 2018 6:19

Thanks Gridlock! Glad you are liking it so far!
Gridlock wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 4:29
you can crash the game in Lindsey's Castle by waiting on top of a tile near the beginning that looks like a moon tile, though the graphic has been changed. This will produce an unached sprite exception from Keen trying to execute his mooning frames. I can't remember for sure, but I think there may be a mooning Keen sprite you can place outside the level bounds to ensure that it gets cached.
Ahhh thank you! I was so stumped on that crash but thats definitely it; I couldn't figure out why it was so intermittent. I thought it was something else and that I had fixed it but then it happened again and I was so confused lol. Now I can actually fix it, but I guess in the meantime, no one stand on the moon tile (graphic has been changed to look like a crown) for too long to avoid the crash.

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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by Fleexy » Wed May 30, 2018 21:11

Regarding the mooning crash, I'm pretty sure you need infoplane tile 004Bh somewhere in the level to cache Keen's mooning sprites.

I haven't got a chance to actually play yet, but I'm already super impressed! Galaxy modding is challenging; it's really amazing that you did all this on your first project with so little assistance. Welcome to the forums!

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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by KeenRush » Thu May 31, 2018 5:02

I'm 4-5 levels in and I have to agree that it's pretty impressive for a first mod. Good work. :) It may take a while before I get through it because I'm not in a Keening frame of mind at the moment. Also liking the music. What tools did you use for composing/creating the midi files? Looking for a suitable tool myself...
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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by 55Aavenue » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:57

Because I do a lot of music, recording and mixing, I have Logic Pro X and use it a lot. So for my Keen songs I just composed some midi songs in Logic (limiting myself only to the standard midi patches and channels) and then would export my tracks as a standard midi file. I would then convert the midi file with IMF convertor. It took a lot of trial and error at first until I figured out how different instrument patches would translate to IMF, as well as what volume and velocity levels I needed to get the right volume level in game, and also how I needed to compose/structure the music so it wouldn't drop too many notes. Once I got the process down, it worked quite well. This probably isn't helpful for most people though, because unless you already have Logic and use it for other musical projects, no one is going to buy it just for making Keen music - and it would be super overkill anyway!

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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by Zilem » Tue Jun 12, 2018 0:36

I would not trust "Page" with something like ambassador...
But I can see him in charge as a oil sheik prince. or Child emperor and by that ordering people around.
although, I like the story alternation.

I see you removed Keen's Wrist-computer and turned the neural stunner green ^.^
However keen's shrug frame, seem to have been re-positioned 1 pixel down into the ground.

the 2 new alt portraits (Page and Lindsey) could use a'bit tweaking

Also, did you misspell Technician on purpose?
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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by 55Aavenue » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:09

Zilem wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 0:36
I see you removed Keen's Wrist-computer and turned the neural stunner green ^.^
Glad someone noticed this! :D
Zilem wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 0:36
However keen's shrug frame, seem to have been re-positioned 1 pixel down into the ground.
Hmm you're right...I've also just realized 1 my skypest frames are doing this too. I had a similar problem with my bluebird and keen reading frames, but those ones I noticed prior to release and fixed. I've noticed keengraph seems to mess up the hit box height and/or the Y-value placement coordinates of some sprite frames. The reading frames were skipping altogether before I adjusted them. In Keen 6, blooglets can't turn around when they reach a ledge or walk up a hill after a graphics export/import. I recently switched to Mod ID (on Nisaba's recommendation) and it doesn't seem to be giving me any of these issues.

I will go back and fix the keen shrugging and skypest frames; it bothers me now that I've noticed it.
Zilem wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 0:36
Also, did you misspell Technician on purpose?
Are you implieing I'm bad at speling?

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Re: Short Circuit Oracle (My Keen Galaxy modding debut!!)

Post by Zilem » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:56

55Aavenue wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:09
Zilem wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 0:36
I see you removed Keen's Wrist-computer and turned the neural stunner green ^.^
Glad someone noticed this! :D
Maybe i also did something similar awhile back ^.~
Image
55Aavenue wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:09
Zilem wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 0:36
However keen's shrug frame, seem to have been re-positioned 1 pixel down into the ground.
Hmm you're right...I've also just realized 1 my skypest frames are doing this too. I had a similar problem with my bluebird and keen reading frames, but those ones I noticed prior to release and fixed. I've noticed keengraph seems to mess up the hit box height and/or the Y-value placement coordinates of some sprite frames. The reading frames were skipping altogether before I adjusted them. In Keen 6, blooglets can't turn around when they reach a ledge or walk up a hill after a graphics export/import. I recently switched to Mod ID (on Nisaba's recommendation) and it doesn't seem to be giving me any of these issues.

I will go back and fix the keen shrugging and skypest frames; it bothers me now that I've noticed it.
At least you did not see the constant stutter in Bio menace when using Keengraphs
where the player sprite would stand 1 pixel above the ground, then trigger the fall animation which then touched the ground immediately.
reverting to the stand frame again, and instantly fall again, repeating into an infinite loop unless you did anything but standing still
and also caused the Fire devil enemy from jumping over gaps properly, and instead fell into every single one... <.<;

I was about to Recommend ModID to you as well, but Nisaba already did ^.~
I used to use Modkeen, but i was recently introduced to ModID it replaced Modkeen in all my project folders (but Keen dreams)
And also Adds sprite modability to Bio Menace Episode 2 & 3 and more.

You might want re-extract non-edited sprites from Keen4 again, so they have the right image sizes and match up in the sprites.txt
55Aavenue wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:09
Zilem wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 0:36
Also, did you misspell Technician on purpose?
Are you implieing I'm bad at speling?
Yes, yu also spælled vist-komputor wrung ;p
Zilem wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 0:36
the 2 new alt portraits (Page and Lindsey) could use a'bit tweaking
did A'bit of tweaking
The Difference Between a Mod and Fan art?, a Fan art is a Concept and a Mod is that Concept put into life.

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