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Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:13
by Roobar
Btw, isn't Commander Keen situated somewhere in 1990-1991? Because in the early 90s there weren't any big flat LED TVs and you can find many in this mod.

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 21:21
by Syllypryde
This is pretty good mod. I like it. Obviously there are a few issues here and there. Most of them have been stated already:

1. The tiles and graphics are really cool, though because of mostly only a suburb atmosphere, the levels can be a little bit redundant, but the level design does keep this somewhat fresh.

2. At game overs the game locks up and I have to shut down and reload the game.

3. Sometimes there is insufficient memory to play music at Scudders Burger Bar.

4. Ammo is a little scarce once you play on normal and hard.

5. Just a petty gripe, at the checkpoints it would be cool if some of them had alternate names like a few do:
(Scudders Burger Bar becomes The Storehouse, Cosy Dwelling becomes The Garden, Mr. Jenkin's Yard becomes Mr. Jenkin's House, etc.)

6. Yet another petty gripe, I wish there were more secret areas, secret passages and most especially a secret level.

7. I can see why some people might see the ending as anti-climatic, but if BubbleTom does continue this series, then the ending can work good as a cliff hanger.

8. Unlike others, I had no issues with the game locking up during levels, not being able to load saved games, or insufficient memory other than Scudders Burger Bar.

Most of all I did enjoy this mod and it was nice to see it finally released, good job. I also really liked BubbaTom's Keen 4 level pack, The Eight Accumulators. I like I might like it even more than the original Keen 4.

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:55
by proYorp
Finally got a chance to play this yesterday. I also did a video, because I can. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XJmmgEbo-p8

I’m currently about 7 or 8 levels in, I think. Level design so far is fairly intuitive, for the most part. I like the way the keydoors are altered. I think that fits really well with the suburban style.

I do have a couple little nitpicks though. Mainly in that it’s often hard to tell whether something is solid or not. (I think that’s due to the heavy use of black outlines in both background and solid/foreground.)
Another thing is it’s a bit difficult to find the level entries on the map. It became clear that the mailboxes mark approximate locations of levels pretty quickly, but finding the actual position of the level entry sprite feels harder than it needs to be. I think Galaxy Keen can handle a much larger entry area, unless I missed something and the level sprites actually use a significant amount of memory.

That said though, this has been an enjoyable mod so far, and I’m looking forward to playing the rest of it. :)

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 22:34
by Nisaba
Roobar wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:13
Btw, isn't Commander Keen situated somewhere in 1990-1991? Because in the early 90s there weren't any big flat LED TVs and you can find many in this mod.
Billy is a traveler through space and time, isn't he?! I'm sure he can not only venture rapid journeys around the galaxy, but also warps through time. Image

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:41
by Quillax
Yay! The mod is finally out! :D I remember checking out this mod and getting excited for it years ago, and now it's finally out!

I tried out a few levels in Normal and it's a nice experience so far. I really like the details you put into the levels, such as your interpretation of Keen's house and clubhouse. The enemies and hazards are also interesting, from what I've seen. I like what you've managed to come up with in the suburb setting!

I found the story text to be entertaining and the new sound effects are great! I'm planning to play more of it when I have the time and feel like doing so. :)

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:30
by proYorp
I finished it! :D I think my favourite levels are "Neighbor's Backyard" (which had a good way of quickly backtracking after you get the silver key, and a cool song in the second half) and "Cosy Dwelling/The Garden" (which had a neat secret area, and that exit was unique and well done, the way it signals to you that this water is safe and it turns out to be because it's shallow enough to walk in, lol).

There were a lot of cool little background details like that, such as that one kid playing video games on his beanbag, which I thought added a lot of depth. And I noticed that there sure is a lot of road construction and broken fences in Keen's town. I wonder just how often he and Mortimer face off? :lol

Personally, I loved that ending story. Are you planning on doing Part 2 anytime soon, or are you going to be focusing more on Ocflore? Or will you be taking a break from modding for a while?

---

I found and recorded a couple bugs/glitches. First, it's very easy to get permanently trapped in this wall. Second, after loading a save game this anomaly happened to the score box. (Subsequent loads of the same save crashed the game.) Third, it doesn't seem like you should be able to stand in here:
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Gridlock wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 21:25
Sadly, I've reached a bug-related impasse. The Scudders level is unstable, and I've had it freeze at times during gameplay. Currently, my save file is within Scudders, but I get a crash every time I try to load it, which appears to be related to not having enough sprite slots available. I had previously noticed sprite flickering periodically throughout the level or some sprites failing to be rendered at all. I'm playing on normal difficulty.
I've also gotten an "RF_PlaceSprite: No free spots in spritearray!" error (in "Golden House"). Saving and loading seems to cause things to be more unstable, I've noticed.
(Something I usually do is have two save files, one for my current location on the map, and one for in-level. That way if the level breaks I at least have something to fall back on.)
Gridlock wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 21:25
So far, I'd also agree about the relative scarcity of ammo. I've been hovering around 20 ammo for most of my playthrough (with heavy use of in-level saving and loading), which makes things tight and certainly adds to the sense of difficulty. I don't know if that's the feeling you're going for.
In the case of the lore here, I feel like it would make sense that most people wouldn't have a lot of Neural Stunners lying around. But I also feel like that would only really work well if it were easier to evade enemies without shooting them. Once I was unable to progress in a level because I ran out of ammo.

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 14:27
by Nisaba
bug report:
I have also encountered all bugs mentioned above, so I will not repeat these again.
Concerning the Neural Stunners it is possible to backtrack to Billy's Backyard Clubhouse and restock the ammunition (14 at max). It doesn't really come in handy, but at least it is an option.
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feedback:
Every time I have the opportunity to play the next level of this mod I'm again and again astonished how beautiful it is designed. It's full of love and neat details. truly adorable! I mean, just look at the cheerful Yorp+Keen print on the pin board (image above).
Or the Doom poster, Billy's brother's over-sized football helmet...
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... or his brother's love for the Green Bay Packers football team.
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While walking the house it took a while until I realized that the clock in the kitchen points at 3:14!!!
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Exploring other areas and places you'll come across so many cross-references, for e.g. LucasArts' Sam&Max...
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... and notice who's hiding in Scudders Burger Bar...
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... or just have a look at Apogee's Rise of the Triad poster.
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The whole neighborhood is very beautifully designed. At some points I even had this flashback feeling of being back in my childhood, you know?! this familiar experience of exploring a friend's house, walking around all over the place, discovering "secret" areas, opening every door one encounters... that kind of childhood spirit! this mod is a really delightful adventure! I love it, although I'm not so sure about lasagna in public restrooms... :]
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Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:34
by KeenRush
I haven't been this impressed in a while. This mod once again raises the bar. I don't know where to begin. Everything looks incredible. The detail is just incredible. I'm so impressed by the level design. (Not to mention the world map; it's probably the best world map I've ever seen. Starting from the first second of the game, the player viewed through the house window, it's so cool.) These could be real houses for all I know! The way the player sees the cross section of a house, the building materials, all the straight lines -- it's just amazing! It's amazing how well everything is scaled to fit the 16-pixel collision units (tile size) -- nothing looks forced into it. There are so, so many good ideas. Some of my fav things are: the way the fences and electricity poles transform from background details into solid objects on Keen's path, the bees nests, the characters that are in the background, the dude flying the helicopter drone and doing it so badly (that's such a damn great idea), Keen's mom in the kitchen (that's like genius-level design), and surely many I forget.

The only negative thing is the crashing. I'm playing on medium and just couldn't get past Golden House, and now I'm stuck crashing in Garden. I will try on easy mode soon and see if I can pass them.
Nisaba wrote:At some points I even had this flashback feeling of being back in my childhood, you know?! this familiar experience of exploring a friend's house, walking around all over the place, discovering "secret" areas, opening every door one encounters... that kind of childhood spirit!
Well said -- I felt something like that too, a sense of explorative spirit I seldom (if ever) feel nowadays and the kind of child's imagination about unknown spaces: like as a kid I could imagine all kinds of unrealistic things that might be behind a closed door. Wanting to check out all the attics and basements in unfamiliar houses. As a kid I often thought what would be behind those ventilation vents and often dreamed of prying one open somehow and crawling in. I never did it. But in this mod it's a thing one can do (another amazing design idea) and it's just great! This mod is tapping directly into some forgotten level of thinking -- I wonder if the author used that consciously?


Also, it's such a good thing to hear that Octoflore is still going on, and even better, that it has progressed. I so can't wait that mod. Big thanks for your hard and dedicated work!!

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 23:18
by Nisaba
...whew... that was a tough task, but finally I managed to update the wiki: http://www.shikadi.net/keenwiki/Suburb_Shenanigans
the last missing piece is the story text. maybe someone from the community can write a short summary?! I would appreciate that!

@Bubbatom:
I found one way (of many) to reduce the crashes mentioned in previous posts. Did some testings and it's actually working, though this fix can't prevent all crashes. but it would be a start... TLTR: replace a couple of Lemonade Bottle sprites with foreground tile point items.
EDIT:
aha, while diving deeper into the tileset I was able to track down a couple of faulty tile properties (50+!). for e.g.: If you were to check the big tree roots you'll notice unnecessary animation definitions. I'll go on and search for further improvements to make this superb designed mod crash-free. at least that's what I'm aiming for...

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:04
by proYorp
Whoa! :eek Looking at the wiki images, I can see just how much the houses actually look like real accurate models of houses. The doors all correspond almost perfectly to how their positions would actually be when you go through; even the closed doors in the background match up. And the map looks like a real suburban map! What's more, the levels match up to their map representation and surroundings almost exactly. :O I knew Ocflore did that, I didn't know this mod would. I am very impressed. To discover this absolutely stunning level of detail, I'm blown away.

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 17:01
by rsb12
I'm sure the memory-related issues could be mitigated by making it CGenius-compatible. The same could also apply to other "heavy" mods like Valentine Bash.

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:19
by Plasma Captain
In this episode, we learn that Billy's next door neighbour would murder him on sight. :-O

Wasn't expecting this to come out! I haven't completed it yet, but I've been through a number of levels and it's a cute mod. The suburbs are a nice change of pace; I've been anticipating this one because of that. As others have said, the detail in the houses and the way they're sensibly designed is really neat. And it doesn't even sacrifice level design too much to make the levels look more realistic.

I did get a crash in the Mansion, but I can't remember exactly where. I went through a door or vent, then went right back into it again and the game closed. Now every time I load my save in the room with the table and the madman running to and fro, if I step to the right off the table, it crashes again... and if I enter the door to the left, it also crashes! I'm totally trapped. Ah, memory limitations... :dead2

It has been a while since I last played through one of these Galaxy mods so I've made the mistake of only keeping one save file. I might have to cheat my way out of this one (I hope there wasn't anything special here).
Roobar wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:13
Btw, isn't Commander Keen situated somewhere in 1990-1991? Because in the early 90s there weren't any big flat LED TVs and you can find many in this mod.
Well, that's not the only thing. :lol IQ doesn't change, it's a stagnant thing (your test score might fluctuate slightly, but you can't change that aspect of your intelligence). And schools don't test all their students, you only get tested once if your grades are high, they pick you for testing and to try to get you into special education classes, things like that.

Also, it's exceedingly rare for a public school in the States to have a school uniform.

But there are enough crazy things going on in this neighbourhood that I think there are deeper questions to be answered, hahah.

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:45
by Roobar
Yeah like why everyone and everything want you dead in your neighborhood 😂. Though first I would like to count all the Easter eggs/references in this mod when I have time. There seems to be a lot.

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 14:41
by Zilem
The only real negative criticism that i can give Subburb Shenanigans is that it is so white... I'm talking about the tiles of course!
although the sprites also adds to it a bit, but that seems to be a school uniform, white shirt, gray pants, black and white shoes.
gray skirts as well?
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Right!, The interior of the houses is very white... white walls, white doors, white floor tiles, white floor carpets.
every room, why isn't it mixed up a bit?, although it isn't an issue in the world map or outdoor.
the storage room is more colorful Image
Yes, it's very un-stereo typical Goth like to say something like that. But note that i said "Colorful" while talking about "a Dark Room". ;p

There is a couple of bitmaps and sprites that can could use some tweaks, I'm going to tinker with them, can't stop me! Image

Otherwise it have a good amount of references to the 90ty's
although The Duke Nukem 3D logo on Keen's older brothers PC is abit odd, would Fallout not have made more sense?
(it also have a Wrist-computer, the Pipboy)
having the Vault bulkhead with "13" on it or maybe "314" on screen instead ;p

And this green line of text at the bottom tells how long it have been in the making (or that it had been on the shelf) Image
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But, I'm very Happy to finally see it Available!! Image

Re: Suburb Shenanigans

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 16:22
by Roobar
Zilem wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 14:41
Right!, The interior of the houses is very white... white walls, white doors, white floor tiles, white floor carpets.
every room, why isn't it mixed up a bit?, although it isn't an issue in the world map or outdoor.
the storage room is more colorful Image
Yes, it's very un-stereo typical Goth like to say something like that. But note that i said "Colorful" while talking about "a Dark Room". ;p
Maybe because he ran out of free tiles? The tileset has some limit and he said he ran out of space eventually.
And this green line of text at the bottom tells how long it have been in the making (or that it had been on the shelf)
Ahaahahhaha this is hilarious! I'm actually glad Bubbatom left that. Lets tell him, shall we? It's so funny. But also, the mod apparently was made back in 2013.

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And I noticed that the poster in Billy's room has changed from War of The Worlds to Doom, which I welcome.

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His room has changed a lot from then it seems.

Also, Bus 42:
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This is a reference to the number 42, which is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books.

Here's a Duke Nukem 3D loading screen reference:
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The clock may show 3:14, but the story clearly states it's early in the morning. We can assume its batteries has run out of juice at 3:14 or maybe Billy intentionally has made ity stop at that time. Also, is that green thing on the fridge some kind of a yorp magnet or a fidget spinner?

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These twist-shape compact fluorescent lamps were introduced in 1995 and in the recent years are phased out and replaced by LED light bulbs.

Image - that's a Sugar Stoopies Cereal from Keen 5 (2000 points), but the glass with juice is unknown reference to me.
And judging by the many cereal boxes around the house and other places, it appears that cereal is really popular among Blaze's family and neighborhood.

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A bigger version of Teddy Bear from Keen 1? Freddy from FNAF?