The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Here is where to post about the latest Commander Keen fangame or modification you've finished, a new website you've made, or another Keen-related creation.
User avatar
Syllypryde
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 840
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 18:33
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by Syllypryde »

Gridlock wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 22:25
Nope. There are indeed secret lives there (and some more you probably didn't find near there), but that's not what I'm referring to. It just might take... unconventional means to discover.
Is the secret an alternate ending? Where instead of the real ending, Keens friends make fun of the player for cheating to see the ending?
What is Directive X_M?

Gridlock
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 576
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:20

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by Gridlock »

:pogo :pogo :pogo
Yep. I was starting to wonder if nobody would ever find it.
Image
Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
The Alphamatic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4086

User avatar
Syllypryde
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 840
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 18:33
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by Syllypryde »

Gridlock wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 19:40
:pogo :pogo :pogo
Yep. I was starting to wonder if nobody would ever find it.
Like most Galaxy mods I start on easy and play the game on all skill levels, complete every level, grab every point, extra life, rayguns, and look to find every secret area and passage. I do not want to just win the game, I want to conquer every aspect of it, and do it without in-level saving.

With that being said, when I first played The Alphamatic, I surprisingly found it quite difficult, even on easy. I did beat it on easy over a year ago, tried a few levels on normal and gave up. I didn't play it for over a year. I started playing again this weekend. I was making slow progress and completely forgot what the ending was, so I cheated to see it. Sure enough, Lindsey, Barker, the Janitor, and Keen all made fun of me for cheating! I thought it was really cool. It would not be the first time in video games where the creator of the game either penalized and/or trolled the player for cheating or playing on the easiest skill level.

I beat the game again, this time on normal early this afternoon and caught the real ending. I might be reading too much into it, but seems that this new threat might have done battle with Mortimer before Keen went to Krisle and defeated him, and believed he would be pathetic as Mortimer supposedly was.

Who knows what will happen, assuming the Atroxian story will be concluded.
What is Directive X_M?

Gridlock
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 576
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:20

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by Gridlock »

With that being said, when I first played The Alphamatic, I surprisingly found it quite difficult, even on easy. I did beat it on easy over a year ago, tried a few levels on normal and gave up. I didn't play it for over a year.
It does seem to me that, in general, the difficulty balance is a bit off. I have, for a while, thought about releasing a version 2 with things toned down, at least with regard to sprite-based enemies. I did recently start combing through levels and making some changes, though I'd want to do extensive testing myself on those changes before I'd feel comfortable with another release. I've also been hesitant about wanting to make another release since there's nothing I can really do to fix the QED bug at the end of the final level.
I might be reading too much into it, but seems that this new threat might have done battle with Mortimer before Keen went to Krisle and defeated him, and believed he would be pathetic as Mortimer supposedly was.
I won't reveal or confirm anything, but you definitely aren't reading into it too much.
Who knows what will happen, assuming the Atroxian story will be concluded.
Yes, that's a big if. I have been spending a lot of time working on the story recently, but as massive as it is, I don't know if I'll be able to follow through on it (or if people will even accept some of the story decisions). That being said, if it really comes to the point that I have to abandon the game, I'd like for people to be able to at least read what's been planned.
Image
Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
The Alphamatic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4086

banana
Grunt
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 15:03

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by banana »

I still had a red key leftover upon finishing Quantum Chambers, is that intended? It's the one I found in Area 3, I didn't need to use it in Area 2 to open the door, I could already get behind it in a different way.

Gridlock
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 576
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:20

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by Gridlock »

I still had a red key leftover upon finishing Quantum Chambers, is that intended? It's the one I found in Area 3, I didn't need to use it in Area 2 to open the door, I could already get behind it in a different way.
That's intriguing. I know that the level has at least two solutions, depending on whether you use the red gem in area 2 or area 4. But I don't think I realized it was possible to finish the level without using it at all. This level was actually quite a brain teaser to design, so I'm not surprised I overlooked something. I think it's cool to hear about someone finding another solution.
Image
Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
The Alphamatic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4086

banana
Grunt
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 15:03

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by banana »

In case you're interested, here's a video of me completing the level without actually using the second red key. Note that I aside from collecting the chocolate milk points directly there, I also don't actually use the door directly above the machine to be destroyed (the most bottom-right door that switches between the four areas) at all, it isn't necessary for completing the level. From 0:23 till 0:33 I collect the points, exit again in the area that I started, and I don't touch that door after that.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ra1metlvk8jw8 ... 1.avi?dl=0

banana
Grunt
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 15:03

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by banana »

Gridlock wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 21:50
Will be curious to hear more thoughts about this mod eventually. I'm wondering if people are having any trouble with difficulty. The moving platform levels still seem to be giving some players trouble. I can potentially address some balancing issues in a future version, so I'm happy to take feedback.

Thanks for starting the Keenwiki page guys!
I played through the entire game on Hard a couple of times now and I do have to admit it is probably the hardest Galaxy game I've played yet. Individual elements not so much, they're comparable to Atroxian Realm, but some of the levels are very big and lacking the Checkpoint system it can get more difficult simply because there are so many individual hazards in a level. I'd say Atomic Rails and the final level are mostly troublesome for this because being on the purple platforms for so long forces you into a certain timing that causes players to make errors (and sometimes Robo Red decides to be mean, and if it keeps on shooting everywhere there isn't much you can do), and I'm not entirely sure if there is a quick fix for them possible on Hard without splitting them up into multiple shorter levels (a bit like how the boss battle against Atroxus is separate from Sky Sanctum). Perhaps having some extra lives in those levels would at least allow people to try more often. Cryptocorridor also has a timing constraint, but it's quite a bit shorter and you don't need the extremely precise jumping skills throughout the level, there is a tad more leeway in the distance between the slicestars. Half a second earlier or later isn't as fatal as in the purple platform ride levels.

There's one spot in Surge Protection though, where you collect the red key, I think that portion is too difficult on Hard. I don't know how it is on the easier difficulties, but the timing you need to have to dodge both the laser cannon and the fire helices while on the conveyor belt is extremely tight. I have to save and try that specific spot dozens of times before getting it, I think it's the only individual element that's just a bit too tough.

User avatar
Snortimer
Vortininja
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:04
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by Snortimer »

Finally got around to finishing this. I was playing on "easy" because I got spooked by all the comments about how difficult it was.

For the most part, I found it a rather enjoyable mod. I especially LOVED the "Atomic Rails" level. Even though it was difficult, the combination of great music and good design kept me coming back even after I beat it the first time. But there were a lot of other neat concepts, too. I liked the sharp slopes, the logic puzzles, though sometimes I felt like I got to the end more by luck/good design than because I had "figured it out" (not really a bad thing). This was especially true for the "quantum" level - I more or less beat it just by seeing where had I not been already.

I think that after the optional level with all the Shikadi Mines closer to the end, the last few levels felt more like a chore. Partly it was that the difficulty level seemed to go up a lot. Partly it was that I was mostly enjoying the music a lot less (that makes a big difference for me, actually) - I didn't think that the re-imagining of "Mars" was very good, particularly the first, slow version of it - I would have preferred instead something based on one of the other secondary melodies in the original composition, instead of what I thought was a 2nd-rate remix of the melody. Also, the last level featured a longer version of "Mars", but I didn't have much chance to appreciate it as I kept having to in-level-save, so I mostly only got to hear the first part of that track over and over.

In Dynamo Guard Vault, because the left & right sides of the level are the same colour, while the middle is red, I got thoroughly lost and confused - there was no easy way to tell which side of the level I was at when a door dropped me somewhere. After much frustration, I gave up and cheated by looking at the map on the Keen Wiki to beat it. I think it would be a lot better if one side of the level (either the left or the right) was made a different colour from the other side... maybe one side can be made blue instead of green? Or maybe if there was a symbol when Keen is dropped somewhere that makes it clear if Keen is on the left or the right side of the level.

Anyways... I'm looking forward to any future things from Gridlock. :)
Member since at least 1998 with... ah... some long absences. I was even a moderator at one point. I'll probably keep coming back here and there as long as this place still exists.

Gridlock
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 576
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:20

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by Gridlock »

Hey Snortimer, appreciate the feedback. Can't believe it's been over three years since I released this.

I've thought about updating this mod for a long time now. A while back, I had even posted some screenshots of a three-level "Marooned Over Mars" expansion I was working on. However, I've realized that I've mostly run out of new ideas for Keen 5 and haven't really been able to crack the design for the two remaining levels. Maybe someday. A new release could also mean pretty significant changes to lower the difficulty and address some design concerns people have had, which I've been somewhat reluctant to return to. If it's something people want badly enough, I might still be inclined to go back.
Partly it was that I was mostly enjoying the music a lot less (that makes a big difference for me, actually) - I didn't think that the re-imagining of "Mars" was very good, particularly the first, slow version of it - I would have preferred instead something based on one of the other secondary melodies in the original composition, instead of what I thought was a 2nd-rate remix of the melody.
That's an interesting piece of feedback, and perhaps something I'm a bit blind to since my composition skills are limited. My intention with that slower Mars rendition in Dynamo Guard Vault was to create an atmospheric, ominous piece of music to compliment the level's monolithic and purposefully enigmatic design. I have to admit that, personally, that was one of the levels I was most proud of from in terms of design and tone, but I can understand why some people didn't enjoy it. With the music, I might someday consider revisiting it to take another crack at the IMF instrumentation. I'm not sure if your critique is just the overall instrumentation quality, the composition itself, or both.
In Dynamo Guard Vault, because the left & right sides of the level are the same colour, while the middle is red, I got thoroughly lost and confused - there was no easy way to tell which side of the level I was at when a door dropped me somewhere.
Interesting. There's actually only one door that takes the player between the left and right side of the level. All the other doors return to the central hub to provide the number order to the exit. Was it mainly this door that was proving confusing? I could see some of the switches in the level being a bit hard to follow, but I'm a little surprised to hear you were having trouble keeping track of the left versus right side. Recoloring tilesets wouldn't be feasible, though some kind of signage/symbol as you suggested could be a solution. I just didn't expect this would be a problem.
Also, the last level featured a longer version of "Mars", but I didn't have much chance to appreciate it as I kept having to in-level-save, so I mostly only got to hear the first part of that track over and over.
Yeah, that last level definitely ended up harder than it probably should have, partly as a result of me trying to be as economical with space as possible. I really wish there was a way to implement a health system or checkpoints in vanilla Keen Galaxy, because it could really solve the problem of how unforgiving things can be. Levels in this game are pretty much designed with the intention of using in-level saves.
Image
Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
The Alphamatic: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4086

User avatar
314C0d3r
Grunt
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2020 20:46

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by 314C0d3r »

This mod is really nice. I really liked the graphics and the Power Grid level. It was very complex

User avatar
DarkAle
Vortininja
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 17:40
Location: Greenland Base
Contact:

Re: The Alphamatic (An Atroxian Realm Mini-Sequel)

Post by DarkAle »

I played at normal all the game and here's what I think:
I played at all levels and they weren't as hard as everyone says. I saved a maximum of 5 times per level in the Defense Tunnels, the first two levels, Orbital Transit, Cryptocorridor, Atomic Rails, Quantum Chambers, Ventilation Ducts and Mars Base. While in X-tration Core, Surge Protection, and Dynamo levels they have risen to a maximum of 10. Instead in the final level I extended to 15. The music was undoubtedly outstanding. I really liked the remix of Sphereful are Forever, those of the other two tunnels and that of Quantum Chambers although I think the volume of the final track is too high. I can't wait to see Voyage to Veota. I'm very excited :love
Commander Keen 13 viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6802
The Armageddon Continues:viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6979
Commander Keen 14 in development viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6837
My Keen 5 Levelpack viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6256

Post Reply