Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

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Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Kohntarkosz_ » Tue Nov 26, 2019 15:58

UPDATE, DEC-4: Beta 0.3 is now available. Link is here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1w_j2R ... mEwNcR7lCa

Have replaced all multi-point moving platforms in critical areas with Keen 4-style platforms until I can figure out what the heck is going on (it does not seem to have to do with animated tiles on the fore/back layers). May end up leaving them like that. Also, the green key in level 2 has been lowered. I had no idea difficulty was affecting Rick's jump height. Am going to see if that's causing problems elsewhere but you guys will probably find them before I do. I was unable to reproduce the teleporter bug but I suspect it may be a KEEN6.EXE version issue, so I have dropped a "%version 1.4" into the patch per K1n9_Duk3's suggestion.

Am now debating whether Episode 3 of this trilogy should be a Keen5 mod (as originally planned) or another Keen4 mod, if for no other reason than to make sure everyone else is using the same EXE file as I am.

Everyone else's suggestions are in the support queue and will be dealt with as time permits! (Note to self: don't wait until Episode 3 is 'finished' before getting other people's input on it. Soft launch! SOFT LAUNCH!!)

Thank you for bearing with me, folks!

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UPDATE, NOV-30: Beta 0.2 is up. Link is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xx3KNW ... ttMpOt1ebw I have fixed the game-breaking platform issue in level 2, and attempted to fix the riot-cop clipping issue, but I think I may just have to make sure he doesn't show up near 45˚ slopes.

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Title: "The Prisoner's Dilemma".

Plot summary: What happens when the most moral kid in the universe becomes a fugitive from the law?

Design notes: Storyline-wise, this mod picks up exactly where "Bounty Hunting Brouhaha" left off. In a slight break with tradition, you can play either as Keen or as Rick Uller (the antihero character I introduced in B.H.B.) Keen and Rick have separate gameplay styles, and each has his own ending sequence. The file is a bit bulkier than usual because almost everything except GAMEMAPS and MAPHEAD is duplicated, but I'm happy to report that the ZIP file will still fit on a single 5.25" floppy!
This was kind of a one-off experiment, and I do not intend to repeat it in Part 3 of this trilogy.

Download link: See above.

Music: All original again. Five of the ten tunes have separate mixes for Rick and Keen.

Hold on, did you say trilogy? Sure did! Part 3 may not come together as quickly as the first two due to some stuff happening in my personal life right now, but it is still very much on the agenda.

Levels: Every Keen6 level slot has been used. Three levels are only playable as Rick; another three are only playable as Keen; most of the others have separate rick-only and keen-only areas (or, e.g., areas which must be explored left-to-right as Keen and right-to-left as Rick.)

How to start the game:

1. Find an UNZLEXE'd copy of keen6.exe (if you don't have one handy, send your two bits to the Apogee Software distribution office on the outskirts of Dallas and they'll mail it to you on a floppy...at least I *assume* it still works like that.)

2. Place the contents of the ZIP file linked above in a folder, and put keen6.exe in the same folder.

3. Run k6loader.exe and use the menu to decide whether to play as Rick or as Keen, or to view the story or gameplay notes.
  • If using DOSBox: I highly recommend you set cycles=max in the DOSbox config file.
  • If using the DOS emulator in Windows XP: you may need to max out your memory settings (I have provided a PIF file that does this.)
  • If using an actual DOS machine: I have no advice because I have no DOS machine to test things on, but I admire your commitment to having an authentic Keen experience!
If k6loader.exe doesn't work for you at all, you can achieve the same result by typing "CK6PATCH PlayAsKeen.pat" or "CK6PATCH PlayAsRick.pat" at the command prompt.

Beta testing instructions: Same as last time: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5115

Tips:

1. Rick and Keen use separate savegame files, so don't try to get Rick into a Keen-only area by saving the game as Keen and loading it as Rick!

2. At the Mysterious Cliff while playing as Keen, you cannot beat the timer by conventional means, because you cannot move fast enough. In order to get the object on the other side of the timed lock, you need to 'mess with the flow of time', so to speak. (No patch-hacking required, it's a lot simpler than that.)

3. At the Mysterious Cliff while playing as Rick, you....well, it helps if you have the sound on.

4. The SGA 'dialect' used on the A-Danac planets is essentially the same as the standard one, once you figure out the trick.

Known problems:

1. A few of the enemy sprites get stuck on slopes and at platform edges. Is this a problem that can be solved by giving every frame exactly the same sized hitbox? I could have sworn I tried that already but if the answer is a definitive 'yes' I will try it again and upload a revised beta in a few days.

2. Duplicates of Keen's ship and Rick's ship are still visible on the ground after they take off. This is a side-effect of a temporary solution to a difficult-to-explain problem. Does anyone have a backup copy of the 'Bloogstar Rocket' page of the modding wiki, which seems to be missing? I just need to know if there's something like the 'Keen spawn height' patch for the rocket sprite (either in the X dimension or the Y dimension or both.) If all else fails I will remove that entire gameplay mechanic and replace it with something involving teleporters.

3. Forgot to make a 'purple switch on yellow stone' tile, have substituted the 'purple switch on white stone' tile, noticed it after I started typing this, don't feel like fixing it today.

Okay, that's all for now! Enjoy!
Last edited by Kohntarkosz_ on Wed Dec 04, 2019 17:50, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Roobar » Tue Nov 26, 2019 17:50

Wow dude! I've just tried this mod and my mind is already blown! There are so many awesome things going on! This mod is on a whole new level compared to your last one!

The fact that you can choose two players at the beginning (Rick and Keen) in a cool new way is awesome! It's like two games in one! The escape idea at the beginning, the new mechanic, the new music... You are nailing it! :O :eek :drool Can't wait to play more!

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Nisaba » Tue Nov 26, 2019 22:03

Image

:O :eek :drool
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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by 55Aavenue » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:41

I am blown away by this one!! Very cool how the same levels play differently depending on whether you're Rick or Keen due to their unique abilities and the way they are designed. No idea how you did a lot of this, very impressive!

I have to admit though, as Rick, I couldn't get past the 1st purple and blue room in the 2nd level, I'm sure its my own ignorance, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere he can go.

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Kohntarkosz_ » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:04

55Aavenue wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:41
I have to admit though, as Rick, I couldn't get past the 1st purple and blue room in the 2nd level, I'm sure its my own ignorance, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere he can go.
Hey, thanks for the kind words.

There should be a moving platform, that passes in front of the long pole, that will take you to an alcove with a door.

Dangit, did the platform get stuck?

Anyone have experience with stuck platforms? *One* of my platform path arrows seems to act up randomly in certain levels.

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by 55Aavenue » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:36

Kohntarkosz_ wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:04
There should be a moving platform, that passes in front of the long pole, that will take you to an alcove with a door.

Dangit, did the platform get stuck?
Ah, that explains it. That platform definitely played shy with me.

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Kohntarkosz_ » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:11

Roger that, I'll post a revised beta around the end of the week. Stay tuned!

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Nisaba » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:53

Oh man, I love the concept of this mod! the prison break idea is fantastic. what a neat surprise to find, that Keen has a companion on his way. And those guard dudes look magnificent.


just discovered two bugs. One of which is kind of likable and somehow fits the theme. Prison break:
Image

you mentioned it above, but I find it kinda funny to see the guard dancing around like crazy. he also seems to be bullet proof:
Image
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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by proYorp » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:21

HYPE

I'd be very interested in doing more beta testing for this one! A bit short on time this week, but I would like to try to do another video play-through. ;D
I take it there's no deadline this time?

Also, Keen 6 mod? Heck yes! Not many of those.
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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Kohntarkosz_ » Wed Nov 27, 2019 13:09

No deadline! It'd be highly malapropos for me to set deadlines for other people when I'm this bad at meeting the ones I set for myself. :lol

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by szemi » Wed Nov 27, 2019 18:21

1 word for the mod: AWESOME!
Yeah, piece of cake!

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by K1n9_Duk3 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 22:28

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the platform errors you are experiencing, but you need to make sure not to place any arrows on animated tiles. The tile animation overwrites the information in the infoplane while the game is running, which means the arrows or platform blockers will be removed. Goplats (i.e. platforms that follow the path arrows) usually cause the game to quit with an error message when they move off the path, so if the game doesn't quit with an error (and your patches don't disable the error), you might have used a regular platform (one that only turns around at "B" block icons) instead of a Goplat.

I also noticed that Rick isn't always moved to the correct position when he grabs onto a horizontal bar, especially when he grabs onto it while jumping. This might need some additional patching.

I also found this in map 10:
Image
You should avoid layouts like these. Keen can actually grab onto and climb trough diagonal "openings" like these and will end up stuck on the other side, at least in most cases. If the frame rate is extremely low, Keen can sometimes fall through the diagonal gaps. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

I like the idea of the menu/loader program. I don't think I've seen this program before. Did you write it yourself? There are a few things that could be improved, though. For one, the program is incredibly slow when it comes to drawing stuff. I'm sure the performance could be improved if you could share the source code for that program. Another minor problem I see is that the menu program stays in memory when the game starts, even though it quits to DOS as soon as the game quits. That means you are effectively wasting about 20k of memory (the amount taken up by the menu program). This doesn't appear to be an issue in your game right now (at least not in DOSBox) but I thought I should mention it.

If enemies get stuck on slopes even if there is more than enough headroom, then my first instinct would be to check the hitboxes and make sure that the center at the bottom of the hitbox stays at the same value for all sprites of that enemy. That's because the center at the bottom of the hitbox is the part that's actually on the ground (same for the top of the hitbox for touching the ceiling). If you want to make sure that it'll work, then make the entire hitbox identical for all sprites of that enemy. You can check this in-game by using the sprite test debug code (T+F10). The xl, yl, xh and yh values need to be identical.

Also keep in mind that the hitbox cannot be more than 32 pixels wide. If the hitbox is too wide, then that enemy can't walk on slopes without getting stuck. This appears to be an engine limitation. You can use bigger hitboxes for some enmies (Nospike in Keen 6 has a 40 pixels wide hitbox for some running frames, for example), but then the enemies must be placed in areas with entirely flat ground, so they can't reach any slopes. Or maybe the slopes must be built differently. Having no tiles with blocking sides anywhere near the slope might help, but I haven't tested that.

Edit:
I forgot to mention that you should probably add the appropriate %ver command at the beginning of your patch files. I think it's got to be "%ver 1.4" for your patches. Since you're not going to include the required KEEN6.EXE in the download, it's better to have the required version marked in the patch file. The %ver command basically disables the patches if the version doesn't match (and I think it also allows you to put different patches for each version of the game into on patch file). I would rather not to try to patch anything if the file doesn't match, just to avoid worst-case situations where executing the improperly patched code starts deleting files or something...
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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Kohntarkosz_ » Thu Nov 28, 2019 14:17

Thanks for 'looking under the hood', K1n9_Duk3 ! Your hitbox notes are a potential game changer, no pun intended.

As for k6loader.exe, I've got the code pretty much tuned-up and dialed-in, to the point where I don't believe I need any help with it, although I appreciate the offer. The problem is I wrote it in QBasic. :crazy

The only other programming language I'm sufficiently fluent in is FileMaker Scripting Language, and that seems even less appropriate. :lol

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Roobar » Thu Nov 28, 2019 16:33

I have a strange request for the k6loader.exe: Can you make it so when you select something to make a PC speaker beep noise? Every time I run the game I'm expecting to hear a confirmation sound when selecting :lol

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Re: Announcement 2 of 2: Beta testers required for a new Keen 6 mod

Post by Zilem » Thu Nov 28, 2019 18:11

Interesting mechanics with the hidden pathways for Both Keen and Rick
But I can't help but think that an Oblivious reference was Missed, say "Rick and Marta" XD
and Rick's AFK animation took me by surprise... gives me some ideas...
Image

Oh the Coins are "Crypto coins"? i though it was Vita coins, o' well explains the B on them
Image
The Difference Between a Mod and Fan art?, a Fan art is a Concept and a Mod is that Concept put into life.

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