Is Keen boring now?

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DoomJedi
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Re: Is Keen boring now?

Post by DoomJedi » Mon May 14, 2018 13:01

I have a perspective also from Wolf3D communities and others...some make oldschool mods, some make big TCs, push the limits, taking the bounds of expectations further.
Both styles have their audience (shared in between as well) and succeed if they are good, but the core of retro modding is retro.
At the end - we are (still) here because of mix of nostalgy and escapism - time and place, to times when things were simpler, purer, younger.

So it's not the "most amazing TC ever"s that keep us around. It's the core of classic gameplay and feel. We mod just to keep interest, to give it life, but we return to those games for peace, of the known, of the retro.
Atroxian is like this big dark TC that takes Keen into a bit less vibrant direction, it's amazing modding result and showcase, but still, too far from the classic Keen feel.
There was a time when big TCs rules the modding scene, lately I notice that people want to play now classic look/feel mods, with some gameplay twist to surprise, to make it less predictable (because of things we play over and over becoming too expected and dull over time). That's why our "SoD Extreme - Eisenfaust edition" is recently so popular (and we're working hard on next editions by popular demand :) ).

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MoffD
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Re: Is Keen boring now?

Post by MoffD » Mon May 14, 2018 16:45

Might as well chime in here too.

I had to replay the levels quite frequently (I couldn't use the saves because of my siblings using all the slots) so I would have to see how far I could get. Because of that limitation, I'm used to replaying the levels over and over and find my enjoyment in running through them as fast as possible or in as weird a way as I could. I never feel like the levels are old.
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Ceilick
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Re: Is Keen boring now?

Post by Ceilick » Mon May 14, 2018 17:03

@Ceilick: Your 'tile-world-weariness' never shows in your works, however. Also, you're one with one of the largest modding body of work. Why? If you feel that strongly about the very fabric of that world, why did you keep at the craft? I'm very glad you did and I feel it was all very much worth the effort, but I'm just curious.
Building with tiles is fun :P Creating Keen levels and games is fun. But, that 'magical' feeling, the sense of wonder and not knowing what to expect when interacting with these worlds isn't really there (or not to the same magnitude) as before. I can still be impressed by level design, graphics, etc., these aren't any less good. The same goes for the original games; I still love the graphics, I think many levels are superbly designed, but knowing how the levels are designed (and probably playing them many times over, as others have mentioned), I'm always going to feel like I'm in a far more limited world than I had previously felt I was in.

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Roobar
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Re: Is Keen boring now?

Post by Roobar » Mon May 14, 2018 17:28

Maybe Keen needs some Breath of the Wild 😂

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Gridlock
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Re: Is Keen boring now?

Post by Gridlock » Mon May 14, 2018 18:32

I've kind of experienced the same feeling in recent years. Keen just doesn't have the same magic as it used to for me. I think it's partly just getting older as well being extremely familiar with the inner workings of the Galaxy games. But, these days I also feel like I want something more substantial out of Keen games, like maybe a deeper story, more fully realized worlds, or more fleshed out mechanics. Most Keen games/mods feel too simplistic and shallow for my tastes, and I have a hard time getting invested anymore. I certainly admire the minimalistic elegance of many of the original games and mods such as Keen 8, but it doesn't capture my imagination in the same way as when I was younger. I can definitely see why a lot of people prefer the more authentic retro feel... it just feels very played out to me now.

I didn't necessarily start Atroxian Realm with the intent of making it drastically different in tone, but I think the darker tone appealed more and more to me as development progressed. I thought the more atmospheric, epic feel could be a fresh take on the Keen formula and possibly bring back some of that magic, but I knew it wouldn't appeal to everyone. In many ways, it was an experiment on a very large scale, and certainly not all of it worked. I guess I'm looking for some kind of evolution with Keen, even if Atroxian Realm isn't necessarily the "right" evolution. When brainstorming for the AR sequel (no progress) I was hoping to find other ways to evolve the series such as a greater focus on linear storytelling and character interactions.

Really, I just want something fresh -- as Roobar said, a Breath of the Wild reimagination. It'll never happen and maybe it shouldn't, but I often wonder what a modern reboot from Bethesda/Id could be like. I'm not even tied to the idea that it has to be a 2d platformer. If it's well made and manages to capture a "Keenish" spirit, I think a dramatic shake-up could be exactly what Keen needs.
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Armageddon Begins Again. The Alphamatic has arrived.

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

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Commander Spleen
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Re: Is Keen boring now?

Post by Commander Spleen » Mon May 14, 2018 23:24

But, these days I also feel like I want something more substantial out of Keen games, like maybe a deeper story, more fully realized worlds, or more fleshed out mechanics.
It sounds like you're talking about more of a TV series than a game. This is one thing that deters me from many newer games: the tendency to become little more than an interactive movie. Trying to give a game too much story in an attempt to add depth has the opposite effect for me. It appears as simply a mask to hide the fact that the game underneath really isn't much of a game at all. If a new big budget Keen game of that nature was released, some would see it as a rebirth of Commander Keen, while I'd probably see it as its official death.
Ceilick wrote:I'm always going to feel like I'm in a far more limited world than I had previously felt I was in.
There was a brief time when I got a copy of Klik & Play and started thinking about the fact that there is a finite space on the screen and a specific number of colours, and even fewer varieties when you consider that most of the levels are made up of repeating components. It didn't stop me from making games with it, but that nihilism was definitely lurking in the background.
proYorp wrote:Back when I first started, I always played with cheats, and my main thing was just exploring the levels, playing around with the creatures, just experiencing the environment. Since under most circumstances I didn’t have to worry about dying and having to tediously redo things, it was very easy to be completely immersed in it.
I also cheated most of the time. Flying around being invincible and magically transporting to any level I wanted was possibly part of the early magic. It wasn't until high school that I started playing games by the rules more often and still prefer to do so. Cheating to overcome the limits of a game is certainly one thing that doesn't seem quite as mystical when you have a sense of how the internals work.

Not that I was cheating from the beginning. There had been some time before discovering the cheats where I had to play legitimately but just didn't have the skill to complete any of the games. Watching someone else complete them and seeing the end sequence was just as fascinating. Cheating wasn't the only ingredient, but certainly approaching the games more as a challenge than just for the fun of it can be a barrier to that early sense of wonder.

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KeenRush
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Re: Is Keen boring now?

Post by KeenRush » Wed May 16, 2018 15:50

DoomJedi wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 13:01
I have a perspective also from Wolf3D communities and others...some make oldschool mods, some make big TCs, push the limits, taking the bounds of expectations further.
Both styles have their audience (shared in between as well) and succeed if they are good, but the core of retro modding is retro.
At the end - we are (still) here because of mix of nostalgy and escapism - time and place, to times when things were simpler, purer, younger.
Yes, that's probably it behind all other reasons.
Ceilick wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 17:03
Building with tiles is fun :P Creating Keen levels and games is fun.
Hah, this answer did not occur to me at all!

I thought Atroxian Realm was pretty cool with the totally different look and feel. I appreciate that kind of approach.
My newest mod - Planet Of Agony: https://pckf.com/viewtopic.php?t=4165 | codename H.Y.E.N.A.

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