Release: Mangle is back from the dead (Bio Menace 1 lvlpack)

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NY00123
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Release: Mangle is back from the dead (Bio Menace 1 lvlpack)

Post by NY00123 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 22:49

Hey there,

Lets begin with a download link to the level pack. Note that this requires Bio Menace 1, freeware release (and no, it's incompatible with shareware releases).

Mangle is back from the dead, v0.99, May 1st 2012: http://ny.duke4.net/files/bmenace/mbd_20120501_0.99.zip

See the bundled MBD_READ.TXT (aka readme) file for more details, including ways to obtain the freeware release as of now.

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Alright, now I think it's time to discuss about it a bit more.

1. To begin with, as a few of you may recognize, this is basically what I began with an early snapshot sometime back on 2011. I gave it the codename of "Snake is back to the city". See the following forum thread for the earlier snapshot: viewtopic.php?t=1888

2. This point is intended for the ones who originally replied to the above thread (regarding the snapshot):
Apologizes that I haven't replied to you earlier. Thanks for your replies! I knew there may not be a lot of interest in this, yet it's nice to see there is a little interest.

3. As implied from the description, this is a Bio Menace level pack. I know that these are Commander Keen forums, but I also realize that Bio Menace is related in a few ways. At least, some who are used to playing Keen may consider this level pack a "Keen MOD"; Although, by then, the original Bio Menace game is a "Keen MOD" as well.

4. OK, there are technically some more modifications than plain level editing. Not so much on the graphics side, although some more on the patching. As the graphics are mostly unmodified, there aren't major gameplay modifications (as done in Mink's Puzzle Pack), and all sounds and music tracks haven't been touched for this, I still consider it to be a level pack.

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Some known issues/bugs are described in MBD_READ.TXT.
There may be a few more of these, like, say, things getting out of ceilings' edges in a way that may look a bit glitchy...

However, ignoring these, I've thought that the pack is basically completed, and shall be released now.

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Some credits: (Apologizes if I miss anybody!)

- ID Software LLC, for bringing the Commander Keen games and engines; Especially as Bio Menace takes advantage of the same engine used by episodes 4-6 of Commander Keen.
- Jim Norwood, for bringing out Bio Menace, taking advantage of the Keen 4-6 engine.
- Apogee Software, Ltd. (Commonly known as 3D Realms nowadays.)
That was the developer and publisher of the game, with Jim working on it, taking advantage of the Keen 4-6 engine.
- John Romero, for the TED5 level editor, used for constructing the levels in this pack.
- Admiral Bob, for CKPATCH, a set of tools letting one apply patches to Commander Keen.
- Shadow Master, for adding support for a few other games to CKPATCH, Bio Menace being one of them.
- Andrew Durdin for ModLatch and ModKeen, later used as inspirations for KeenGraph. All of these are tools for importing and exporting contents like graphics, story text and recorded gameplay demos.
- Levellass for KeenGraph.
- Ian E. Davis and TheSoft Programming Services for TheDraw, used for editing the textual screen appearing right after quitting the game.
- Anybody who's contributed useful patches, letting ones modify Commander Keen behaviors. At the moment I can think of Levellord, Levellass and Lemm. In case there are any more individuals, I send you the credits as well!
- Anybody involved in figuring out how to extract and import contents like graphics and sounds for Commander Keen (thus useful for Bio Menace). I may not refer to specific tools, but simply to finding how to technically do these.
- Paramultart, Ceilick, Mink and more for their Bio Menace related support, even if indirect.
- Malvineous, for hosting the ModdingWiki and the KeenWiki. Links to the two Wikis (available as of May 1st, 2012):
http://www.shikadi.net/moddingwiki/
http://www.shikadi.net/keenwiki/

Oh yeah, as one may encounter the terms "Gamma testing" somewhere... here is the source of it straight from keenmodding.org :)
(And if you wonder, yes, it's from another thread started by me...)
levellass wrote:I hereby propose a new step in mod testing.

Gamma testing:

It is obvious that every time a new mod (Especially Keen 4-6) is released, there are minor bugs. I suggest the final step of beta testing should involve uploading a mod somewhere and letting a tester download it.
Well, at least, I've given it a random version number of... 0.99. Because, well, anything can change...
What could be a following version number (if any), you're asking? Well, maybe 0.999 :P

Alright,
Hope that anybody who tries this out gets some fun!

P.S.
There are reasons for renaming the difficulty names. Don't be surprised if "Tough" does feel quite tough. And yes, I did consider this at some point for one Keen level pack I released a couple of years ago...
Last edited by NY00123 on Tue May 01, 2012 7:42, edited 2 times in total.

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VikingBoyBilly
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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Tue May 01, 2012 0:20

The very first biomenace levelpack? This is a welcome release, indeed! I'll definately play it either before or after I play the mr. black keen 4 pack.
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Post by elecdude33 » Tue May 01, 2012 14:01

Ooh, nice. I'm not very good at Bio Menace, but I'll give it a try and see if I have any useful feedback to offer. Always nice to see mods/levelpacks for games that don't get them often.

NY00123
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Post by NY00123 » Tue May 01, 2012 21:50

VikingBoyBilly wrote:The very first biomenace levelpack? This is a welcome release, indeed! I'll definately play it either before or after I play the mr. black keen 4 pack.
Well, I've actually wondered about the same thing beforehand. Here is a quote from the original thread about the level pack snapshot:
NY00123 wrote:Oh yeah, in case you're asking yourself: "Is this the first Bio Menace level pack ever released online?"; Well, all I can say is that I've got no idea!
I've maybe not found other BM level packs released, so it's easy to think I've just released the first one ever. However, I do recall encountering at least one other guy/gal telling about some work on a level pack. Furthermore, while for Commander Keen 4-6 you need several tools in order to be able to construct and play new levels, all you need to do for Bio Menace is have the TED5.EXE file ready (a level editor), use it for constructing new levels - and that's it! Levels should be playable with no more fiddling.
In fact, I've just been reminded: Not long ago I saw another (relatively) recent attempt with editing levels. Maybe I should post about that. (Oh and, before you're asking, no, this is totally unrelated to "Keen: Crisis Earth".)

In case you do try out the pack, hope you have some fun :)
elecdude33 wrote:Ooh, nice. I'm not very good at Bio Menace, but I'll give it a try and see if I have any useful feedback to offer. Always nice to see mods/levelpacks for games that don't get them often.
Thanks for the support :)
Yeah, it can be nice to have stuff even for games not edited often, like Dangerous Dave. (And yes, a custom DDave level was constructed by Malvineous at some point!)

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Post by Hagel » Thu Jul 19, 2012 18:41

Just finished playing your level pack on normal. You did some nice job. I suppose it was a lot of work, wasn`t it?

NY00123
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Post by NY00123 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 21:43

Hagel wrote:Just finished playing your level pack on normal. You did some nice job. I suppose it was a lot of work, wasn`t it?
Nice to see that someone from these Commander Keen forums has gotten to try out the (non-Keen) pack! Thanks for that, and for your comment too!

Answering your question... well, let's say that, depending on the circumstances, you may construct a level in no more than one day. It is also true that a lot hasn't been invented by me - the levels are mostly styled like vanilla BM levels.

For each level, a variable amount of (small?) polishing was done later, though. One should also add other tasks, like patching (which, well, takes time...) and not really having a story...until one pretty random thing pops out :o

Anyway, thanks again! As before, let's hope that ones who try the pack get a little fun!
However, if there are any suggestions for things that could be done better (at least for theoretical future projects, even if not done by me), it may be worth to learn!

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A Kick in the Pants
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Post by A Kick in the Pants » Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:48

Bio Menace is excellent and this is the first level pack I've seen for it. Thumbs up. :)

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Levellass
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Post by Levellass » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:14

This is how patchfiles should be done so others can use them.

ALL MY YES.
What you really need, not what you think you ought to want.

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Re: Release: Mangle is back from the dead (Bio Menace 1 lvlpack)

Post by JBen077 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 21:03

THIS is what I’ve been looking for. I was asking about this a while back on here.

This was a very well-done Bio Menace mod. To this day, it is the only true to form mod for the game that I know of. I’m kinda sad more haven’t been made!

I’d look into making one myself if I had the time...

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Roobar
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Re: Release: Mangle is back from the dead (Bio Menace 1 lvlpack)

Post by Roobar » Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:01

Hmm. I've missed that and I'll have something to play now. Good necropost!

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