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Commander Keen Old Times Episode 1: Back On Mars

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:40
After convincing myself to stop writing pointless text files about cows, and actually focus on priorities like a mature adult, I have finished my first Keen mod, Old Times Episode 1: Back On Mars.

It's a Keen 1 level pack with 4 levels and a bunch of patches. I made each level with specific themes in mind but I won't spoil them yet. I tried to be as creative as I could with the level design using all the Keen 1 mechanics.

I tried to go for a medium difficulty, but there are a lot of tricky jumps for points.

The story was written quickly so it may or may not be filled with plot holes, but what time-travel story doesn't have plot holes?

Have fun! Also happy 30th anniversary Commander Keen! :birthday

Re: Commander Keen Old Times Episode 1: Back On Mars

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 13:15
by DarkAle
I'm impressed. They're very huge levels. :dead2 I only watched them with the VorticonView but I didn't win any one of them. There are so much yorps and bulter robots in the first level and the other levels are mazes. I used the G O D cheat to solve them. The second level is full of gargs and hazards :garg . I lost at the first part. The third level, the Shrine, is very huge and full of Bulter robots and Tank robots and I think the fourth level is impossible for its obstacles. :no At least for me. I'm not a good Vorticon player but I think I can beat the first and the third level. About the gems: I've never seen a levelpack with the first level very huge and with gems or\and ship parts in it. For informations about vorticon mods ask Quillax or Benvolio. Btw Congratulations

Re: Commander Keen Old Times Episode 1: Back On Mars

Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 17:47
Here are the levels. Each of them has one of the four ship parts and a Vorticon Guard or Commander. Each Vorticon guards a keycard needed to reach the level's ship part, instead of guarding the ship part itself. I made each level by first making a size and shape for them, deciding to base them off the map thumbnails, which is why they are so large. Levels in the editor are a lot bigger than they appear! To decide which enemies and obstacles to use, I split them into four themes. I then used the Keen 1 levels for inspiration for the areas.

Level 1: Yorp City (New Yorp City? :p )

Shaped like the blue city map thumbnail.

Based on: Border Town, a Red Rock Shrine and Capital City.

Themed around "harmless things": Yorps, Butler Robots, Ice Cannons, and Water.

Water isn't harmless but I wanted something to kill Keen other than the Vorticon Guard,
and Vanilla Keen 1 doesn't use bottomless pits.

Level 2: Double-Environment City

Shaped like the green city map thumbnail.

Based on: Emerald City, Ice City, a Red Rock Shrine, the Garg Shrine, and an Ice Shrine.

Themed around "living/natural things": Yorps, Gargs, Pat Pats, Icicles, Water, Spike Plants, and Strangling Vines.

Level 3: Treasure Dome

Shaped like the dome map thumbnail.

Based on: Treasury, Pogo Shrine, and a Red Rock Shrine.

Themed around "mechanical/weaponized things.": Butler Robots, Tank Robots, Ice Cannons, and fire.

I had to do a lot of research on patches to get the Tank Robots to shoot chains, and to make switch bridges. This was the hardest level to make, but I'm glad it worked out , including the falling block "chain reaction".

Level 4: Vorticon Invaded City

Shaped like the white city thumbnail.

Based on: a Red Rock Shrine, an Ice Shrine, Red Maze City, Secret City, and Vorticon
Commanders Castle.

Themed around "harmful things": Gargs, Tank Robots, Pat Pats, Icicles, Fire, Spike Plants, and Strangling Vines.

In this level, I made a boss fight with the Vorticon Guard where you have to avoid it, Gargs, and obstacles, while collection keycards.

I didn't have time to fill the "secret area" with more stuff because it was getting close to Keen's anniversary. (I spent too much time not working on the levels.) So I just filled a room with a bunch of points.

Re: Commander Keen Old Times Episode 1: Back On Mars

Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 19:16
by DarkAle
I like the fact that there are themes for each level. It is an original idea. As for the fourth level I don't think I can beat it because I tried it with the G O D cheat and it looks really hard. Hope you followed XkyRauh's Keen Vorticon Modding tutorial. It is really useful. I also hope you will do a galaxy mod as well. Happy modding

Re: Commander Keen Old Times Episode 1: Back On Mars

Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 15:56
by Benvolio
I like this game!! This is one of the best in the "mod but not total conversion" category of Keen1 game - the ones that are basically levelpacks with a few tweaks added with modding. I hope you will soon build up confidence to mod more graphics!

The levels are very high quality. I really enjoy how the first level flows really nicely, despite lack of pogo stick. Too many levels in other packs (and even original games) are stilted and unergonomic if the player lacks the pogo but your level allows the jumping player to get around easily.