Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

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Nisaba
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Nisaba »

Dave216 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:47 "Not enough memory"
I took a look at your modding setup and I noticed one or two things that leave room for improvement.
There are a few tricks to reduce memory usage. One rule of thumb would be to prioritize background graphics over foreground graphics over infoplane graphics.
This means, when ever you have the chance to copy over graphics (like wall or floor tiles) from the foreground to store them into the background tileset, do so and use them as a replacement. Animated waterfall tiles, for example, can be used as background tiles. On top of them, you can put a layer of transparent foreground tiles that have the attached property to either block or kill for instance.
This also applies to the optimization of point items. In some levels you can simply use point items from the foreground layer instead of a dedicated sprite point items. This way you can save quite a bit of memory. (I suspect you've noticed that already)

another rule of thumb - and this might be a bit of a hassle as it requires lots of manual work - is to reduce the number of individual tiles used per level. I have a simple example for you to illustrate the idea.
Image
here you can reduce the number of individual tiles in this section of your tileset by 13 (I know I know, you don't really use all these very tiles ingame. I just chose this as an example to clarify the idea). As a side-effect, this also creates some room in your tileset for other stuff to add in. You might wanna consider this for upcoming projects.
Foray in the Forest progress:
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- The Lynx Nyx
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DarkAle
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by DarkAle »

Ok, I've played all the levels and here is a short review:
I think this is a very cool mod with a lot of positives and a couple of surprises. I liked a lot the graphics and, as Nisaba said, the colours you chose are amazing. The creatures are also great and their behaviors were even more so, you were able to use patches to create something truly incredible. I loved the level design and the puzzles you used. I also discovered the secret behind the Hall of Colours, very nice idea! And... Am I forgetting something? Oh, yes, my favorite part: the music is wonderful! You're a great composer!
I'm looking forward to a possible sequel
Commander Keen in... Robot Apocalypse!
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XkyRauh
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by XkyRauh »

Dave216, this is truly remarkable and incredible. This is the first KeenMod I've played start-to-finish and re-played in years! Your music sets the atmosphere well, and I really liked your level design. Like Ceilick said, it felt fair, and I appreciated how compact things tended to be.

My least favorite level was the Temple of Wisdom, because GOODNESS it is large. Too large for me!

I managed to figure out the epilogue, but I have to ask: Which level contained Hint V? I was unable to locate it and had to use deduction to solve the puzzle.

The sprite for the stunned Saptyr is very memorable--his smile and posture are EXTREMELY THREATENING and I adore it even if it is truly horrifying.

Like Ceilick, I wasn't entire sure what I was supposed to be doing at first, until Keen apologized to the first JollyBot, but that's okay. This is a really great mod. THANK YOU for making it!
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Dave216 »

XkyRauh wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 23:55 I managed to figure out the epilogue, but I have to ask: Which level contained Hint V? I was unable to locate it and had to use deduction to solve the puzzle.
Thanks! I've really thought that nobody will like this mod. Your kind words really inspire me to do more :)
You're right. After checking out all the levels in Abiathar, I see no V. It wasn't meant to be left out, just accidentally erased it :D
Either that, or I've hidden it so well that even I can't find it. Nevertheless, I'll add it in a future update.

Anyway, for those who are having trouble with last numeral : V = Pink
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DoomJedi
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by DoomJedi »

Liking the mod so far.
Nice designs, unique atmosphere, great music, good challenge.
Everything to want about Keen mod.

I like how it's...doing more with less. With smart art reuses and nice enemy designs that needed no enemy code patches to feel unique.
It feels like a new game - without making unique enemies.
This is what I like about modding - finding how to do more with less, how to smartly convert and reuse existing coding feats. How to embrace the limitations and yet making then not noticeable.
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Syllypryde »

This is a great mod. Like most have said already the graphics, color schemes, the music, the creature replacements that are close enough so you know which ones they are replacing but different enough to mostly be unique, the level designs are all top notch. My only gripe (and it is a minor gripe) are the filler levels, but there is enough in most of them to warrant their existence. I know it is considered inappropriate here to reveal posts made in private, but the biggest reason I made those private posts to Dave216 is because I didn't want to spoil any secrets publicly that other players may not have discovered yet. This is where I had made suggestions on what I would have done differently in those filler levels, and possible suggestions to make the secrets even more secret.

It is common knowledge to most on this forum that I usually start on easy and work my way up to hard. I spent FOREVER on easy because I was spending more time deciphering the clues and looking for secrets than I was trying to complete the game. Many levels I had already competed I played again 2 sometimes 3 times because I forgot clues that I should have written down or recorded. I'm about 4 levels into my hard run now.

This is a mod I could replay many times and not get bored of it.
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Nisaba
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Nisaba »

Our wiki now also contains information about Aurora Bliss:
Image

keenwiki.shikadi.net/wiki/Aurora_Bliss
Foray in the Forest progress:
92% Programming || 99% GFX || 96% Levels || 98% Creatures || 93% Story || 94% Music || 95% SFX || 98% Extras

Other projects:
- Play Commander Keen on a GameBoy
- The Lynx Nyx
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Nowhere Girl »

DarkAle wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:14 I also discovered the secret behind the Hall of Colours, very nice idea!
Any hint? Because I actually found the Hall of Colours quite disappointing and, well, not very nice looking... :(
OK, now to the positives - overall, I enjoyed the game very much. In terms of appearance, I very much liked the world map and of the levels, particularly the ones with "city ruins" backgrounds. Graphically, it's one of the best Keen mods. Apart from that, very clever level designs, with a lot of puzzle elements.
However, a bit of complaint to the site admins. See, I didn't expect this game to be ready so soon. And suddenly - presto, it's ready and added to the website. So my complaint is: why are some games added so quickly, and some keep waiting and waiting? "The Crazy Komet" still isn't added, and I could really use some help from level maps...
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Dave216 »

I am currently reworking all the (subjectively speaking) ugly levels.
So, Hall of Colors looks very differently now.
The secret behind Hall Of Colors isn't the level itself.

If you'd like a hint for the secret...
Look for colored numerals --- Hall Of Colors ----- and there is a hint in README file.
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Nisaba
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Nisaba »

Nowhere Girl wrote: Sat Aug 20, 2022 15:23 However, a bit of complaint to the site admins. See, I didn't expect this game to be ready so soon. And suddenly - presto, it's ready and added to the website. So my complaint is: why are some games added so quickly, and some keep waiting and waiting? "The Crazy Komet" still isn't added, and I could really use some help from level maps...
Fair question. I assume by website you mean our KeenWiki, don't you
well, you must know that we follow some guiding principles. One of which is to only include released mods in their full stage. So no betas or demos and the like. And as far as I know, "The Crazy Komet" is still WIP. Until the final release you might want to extract the level images for yourself. The GalaxyView tool comes in handy for this very task.
Foray in the Forest progress:
92% Programming || 99% GFX || 96% Levels || 98% Creatures || 93% Story || 94% Music || 95% SFX || 98% Extras

Other projects:
- Play Commander Keen on a GameBoy
- The Lynx Nyx
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Nowhere Girl »

Nisaba wrote: Sun Aug 21, 2022 6:57 And as far as I know, "The Crazy Komet" is still WIP.
If "Aurora Bliss" is up for update, is it not technically a "work in progress"?
Anyway, I'm surprised that there will be an update. When can it be expected?
Apart from "Hall of Colors", I didn't like "Rose Elysium" much. These flowers don't look very rosey and as far as I know, roses don't grow on trees. ;)
Dave216
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Dave216 »

Soon. I am mostly fixing tile errors which, to which my surprise, there were a ton. A ton of tile misplacements that look weird or I placed in a wrong area. I think Aurora Bliss is not considered to be a work in progress since it's finished, and an update will just fix some errors that were found in the original release. I'll also add some minor improvements and new tiles here and there.
I haven't played Crazy Comet, but from what I've gathered, it's being remade in Keen 5, and the Keen 4 version... it's not...finished? I might be wrong on this. :confused

Personally, I think rose Elysium is fine the way it is. Level will still remain more or less the same in the update.
If you're not satisfied with how the "rose trees" look like, I can alter them somewhat.

I personally believe that the whole point in creating an alien world is creating beings that are, well, alien. These roses are part of a life cycle that go from those rose saplings that sneak up on you, to those flying monstrosities you encounter in Elysium fields. While that doesn't make much sense in the real world, an alien world doesn't have to follow our rules. I do respect your opinion and criticism, but I just don't feel like changing levels I am personally satisfied with.

Speaking of which, before I release the next update - is there anything else that you would like to see done differently?(not including the things that other members pointed out; like level borders and such)

I don't have a lot of time to make some major changes, but if there are some minor gripes you had with the game, I would be more than happy to fix them.
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Nisaba
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Nisaba »

If I had one wish, it would be for the Den of Madness level to have a hilarious room design for the area when you climb into the mouth. Intestines, for example. Or a book store, or something completely unexpected... maybe a stomach full of Yorps...
Foray in the Forest progress:
92% Programming || 99% GFX || 96% Levels || 98% Creatures || 93% Story || 94% Music || 95% SFX || 98% Extras

Other projects:
- Play Commander Keen on a GameBoy
- The Lynx Nyx
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by Syllypryde »

Dave216 wrote: Sun Aug 21, 2022 14:27 Soon. I am mostly fixing tile errors which, to which my surprise, there were a ton. A ton of tile misplacements that look weird or I placed in a wrong area. I think Aurora Bliss is not considered to be a work in progress since it's finished, and an update will just fix some errors that were found in the original release. I'll also add some minor improvements and new tiles here and there.
I haven't played Crazy Comet, but from what I've gathered, it's being remade in Keen 5, and the Keen 4 version... it's not...finished? I might be wrong on this. :confused.........
At the risk of going off-topic, since this is a thread on Aurora Bliss and not The Crazy Comet I will give you what was going on with that project then move on. It is nowhere near complete. The creator released a 4 level demo of the game, along with close to a dozen in-game images prior to the release. Out of the 4 level released levels 1 of them is unsolvable because it is impossible to exit the level. When you use the warp cheat there is another 2-3 levels complete. Again, 1 of those levels is unsolvable for the same reason and another level has a dropping goplat error that makes it impossible to flip the switch for the goplat that goes up to the 3-UP. All other levels are in a complete disarray and are not even playable let alone solvable. In March of this year he said he was going to redo the game in Keen5 rather than what he did with Keen 4 originally and no one has seen him since. So either he got busy in his personal life (which happens to us all) or he said screw it and abandoned it without telling any of us. Calling this a WIP is inaccurate. I would call it "In Limbo" because unless he pops his head in here unexpectedly soon, this mod is not going to be completed anytime soon if at all.
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Re: Commander Keen - Aurora Bliss (RELEASE)

Post by proYorp »

Nowhere Girl wrote: Sat Aug 20, 2022 15:23 However, a bit of complaint to the site admins. See, I didn't expect this game to be ready so soon. And suddenly - presto, it's ready and added to the website. So my complaint is: why are some games added so quickly, and some keep waiting and waiting? "The Crazy Komet" still isn't added, and I could really use some help from level maps...
Nisaba wrote: Sun Aug 21, 2022 6:57 Fair question. I assume by website you mean our KeenWiki, don't you
well, you must know that we follow some guiding principles. One of which is to only include released mods in their full stage. [...] Until the final release you might want to extract the level images for yourself. The GalaxyView tool comes in handy for this very task.
The other important thing to note is that mods are not added to KeenWiki by "site admins", it's just done by anyone who volunteers to put the information online. It all depends on if someone has the free time to go and do it. The delays are sometimes unfortunately long, but this is a small community and sometimes nobody is available for that. More volunteers are always welcome! If you figure out how to use GalaxyView as Nisaba suggested, you could also help us to put the level maps on the proper mod pages. :)
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