Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

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8bit-herpetology
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Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

Post by 8bit-herpetology » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:00

Hello good people of PCKF,
I'm a new member here, but signed up over at Keen:Modding a couple months ago to get help with two patches [thanks KeenRush and levellass!].
The Keen1-mod I announced over there (Commander Keen Confronts the Commandeered Planet) is now nearly complete: All it is missing is the ending sequence.
To get an idea about the look of the mod, please have a look at the 3-level demo posted at
https://keenmodding.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2934

Before I release the full mod, I would be thankful if two persons could give it a test-run (the current version with all 16 levels, not the early demo): As this mod is intended as a sequel to the game Starquake, my hope is to get help from one test-person who IS familliar with that game (preferably the PC version), and another tester who is NOT familiar with Starquake.

The issues I would like both testers to focus on are:
1) Difficulty: Too hard? Too easy? Do rewards match effort? Is the "difficulty curve" more or less increasing through the game? My aim was to make the levels a bit more challenging than the original K1 levels.
2) Flow of game content: Are the introductions of new scenery and new creatures spaced out sufficiently to keep the player interested?
3) Story, helptext, "yorp messages": "Keenish" enough? Does it all make sense?
4) Anything else that sticks out: Bugs, typos, ugly graphics, etc.

Please let me know in this topic or in a PM if you are interested. I hope to get the mod out to the testers within the next couple of days, as from Friday I'll most likely be without internet for a month (plenty of time for you to test, during which I am guaranteed to not nag about it :p )

Thanks for reading!

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Roobar
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Re: Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

Post by Roobar » Tue Apr 10, 2018 15:12

Woah! I love the CGA vibe from the screenshot! I might test it, but i'm not very good at K1. Keenrush is probably the best one here. If no one else wants to test it by Friday, send it to me then.
Last edited by Roobar on Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:37, edited 1 time in total.

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troublesomekeen
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Re: Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

Post by troublesomekeen » Tue Apr 10, 2018 20:20

Never seen Starquake before. It looks quite difficult and includes a lot of interesting things like shooting baddies in multiple directions while flying on a magic carpet platform.... and health!
I really like your overworld tiles for the levels. Also the blue translucent tube overlay tiles are super. Super great. Because! it affects Keen's sprite, which looks somewhat out-of-place in this alien world. The use of colors also makes it easier to hide secret passages in plain sight.
I CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO BLOB
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Commander Keen in... Canteloupe Quest!

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Re: Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

Post by 8bit-herpetology » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:12

Roobar, thanks for the interest - I have you noted as "non-Starquake acquainted" tester. Also glad you like the "pseudo CGA" - my approach was to assume the black/white/cyan/magenta of the PC version of Starquake were the true colors of that alien world, and not just a limitation of the displays from that age.

troublesomekeen, thanks for your kind words. And yes, Starquake is rather difficult. It took me nearly a decade from I first played the game till I completed it once! And in the 20 years since then, I have never completed it again! But still, it´s a fantastic game and if allowed, I could ramble on and on about its complexity and qualities... I played it before Keen1, and disregarding what is known about what actually influenced the creators of Keen, to me personally, Starquake (not Super Mario) will always be to Keen what Alone in the Dark is to the first Resident Evil...
Anyway, should I sign you up as the second "non-Starquake acquaited" tester?

...Just thought of another thing I would like the testers to keep in mind when playing:
Imagine it´s back in 1990 or so, and two days ago your buddy gave you a 3.5' floppy with a copy ( :pirate ) of "Commander Keen Confronts the Commandeered Planet". Now the two of you are on your BMX bikes going home after classes, and discussing how far you are in the game, how to beat certain levels, etc.
Now, even when the levels don't have official names, are you still able to refer uniquely to each level? For example "The small pyramid", "The one with the enemies that look like .....", "The first one where you meet a ......", "The one where you pick up the ...", etc.. What I would like, is for each level to be memorable somehow - so please mention if you feel that any of the levels are kind of "meh" and missing something to make it unique...

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troublesomekeen
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Re: Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

Post by troublesomekeen » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:50

I've dusted off my portable floppy drive. If you absolutely need another tester, sign me up.
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8bit-herpetology
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Re: Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

Post by 8bit-herpetology » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:15

Thanks for the offer Troublesome, however, I think Roobars test report and a couple of ideas I got recently gave me enough to work on at the moment.
It's a lot of work doing a Keen mod - I really admire those who have done several. But it's also a lot of fun, so I'll keep at it.

Current status and plans for "Commander Keen Confronts the Commandeered Planet":
Level difficulty have been adjusted down for more than half of the 16 levels, still a handful to go through and "soften" the hardest jumps etc.

I'm mostly working on the ending sequence at the moment: All text boxes work as they should and now I'm tweaking the bitmaps - this is really taking time.

The world map needs major revision: The new level entry tiles I'm very satisfied with, but the "trench edge" tiles need to be re-done (currently they are just recolored Keen1 Mars-tiles). Also need to do more detail-tiles like rock formations, vegetation, etc. And a re-arrangement of the main landmarks is planned too, as many are in the same place as in Keen1.

And I realized that I can use the Preview images from the main menu to deliver a little more backstory with both text and images, so I'll try and make those into something resembling comic book pages.

Anyway, it will take a bit more time before I can release this mod, but at least I don't feel that any of the remaining tasks are too difficult.

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Re: Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

Post by KeenRush » Wed Jun 13, 2018 17:51

8bit-herpetology wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:15
It's a lot of work doing a Keen mod - I really admire those who have done several. But it's also a lot of fun, so I'll keep at it.
Yeah, people who haven't done one have no idea! There's just so much to do, especially if you want to get every single detail right, like I do. Anyway, good luck with the rest of the work, it seems there isn't much left. (Although something I've observed during the years is that there's always something more to do, especially when you're thinking you're almost done.) Looking forward to it.
My newest mod - Planet Of Agony: https://pckf.com/viewtopic.php?t=4165 | codename H.Y.E.N.A.

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Re: Beta testers wanted for K1 mod

Post by Nisaba » Thu Jun 21, 2018 18:01

Commander Keen, The Fighting Machine
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"We have come to conquer you all and bring you lots of candy!" | about me | my current project: play Keen mods on a GameBoy |

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