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kristus
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http://www.doglike.org/images/curseofthedemonlord.jpg



------------------

Map01


Map03


I decided to start a thread for my (in preparation) Hexen wad that is planned to be a sequel to Curse of d'sparil.

I was thinking I'd use it to post a bit about my issues with working with Hexen for the first time. Like understanding ACS, dealing with the textures and game play issues I come across.
In reality it's just an heartbreaking scream for attention.

LOOK AT ME!111!13232145678900 D:

First on the agenda:
Textures.
I've already bitched a bit about this before. But I think it's worth mentioning again.
It's ironic really. People around in the community has been moaning and joking about Heretic's limited resources. (99 textures or so in it's entirety) But I've always professed the opposite. That the fauna of that game is rich and bountiful. Despite it's low quantity, the quality and variation is amazing and I really enjoyed working with the textures as they were. I did make a few very minor texture changes. But in all, you can do some great things with the resources found in Heretic.
Hexen on the other hand. I was prepared to go into it. Doing what I did with Heretic. But, to my dismay. Looking closer at the levels in Hexen and the resources. I found that there are not much there.
While there are a significantly larger quantity of textures in Hexen, many of them are special cases (arms of a clock for instance), animations, or switches. The rest are stone and brick themes that are mostly the same gray and brown color and to make matters worse, there are 4 versions of them all, even further depleting their variance.
There are also no real trims or contrast textures to work with. Heretic had red and blue and greens that you could place to liven up a scene. But also many decorative frescoes that you could place to give an added dramatic effect to a scene in your map. There's very little of this in Hexen. And none of them are as dramatically efficient as the ones in Heretic.

This leaves me at a point where I got a few choices.
1. I could rip said textures from Heretic to create more of the same style as in Curse of d'sparil. This would probably further advance the progress of the level designing as I am well familiarized with them and feel at home working with them. It's however not something I am really interested in for several reasons. I'm foremost not interested in making another Heretic wad in Hexen. If I wanted to make more Heretic maps, I should make them in Heretic.
2. I can look for texture resources online. Unfortunately, most of them are virtually as poor as the resources in Hexen. While they got tons of stark contrast trims (GothicTX for example) you're leaving yourself shit out of color.
3. I'll make more textures and try to make them match the resources of Hexen, at the same time as I add color. I've already started making some textures. Though I made a few metal trims that are heavily inspired by Heretic's such trims. (I love them too much to let them go)
In reality, it was never really any option. I just wanted to demonstrate a bit of how I think when I make this choice.

So far I've not come very far with making new textures. Making adjustments to work with the designs of the original is a slow process as well as that I am yet unsure of what textures I will actually be needing. But here are a couple of shots where I've done tests. At the time of writing, they are however a bit outdated:
Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot

Map status:
Map01: 98%
Map02: 98%
Map03: 98%
Map04: 30%
Map05: 30%
Map06: 30%
Map07: 20%
Map08: 0%

That's it for now.

Last edited by kristus on 11-06-13 at 13:21

Old Post 02-20-10 11:26 #
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The Ultimate DooMer
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I've got all of Heretic's textures in my Hexen mod, and even the maps that use them heavily don't feel like Heretic...cos you're running round with Hexen weapons, killing Hexen mobs in a non-linear hub-based map.
(well in my case there's loads of non-Hexen mobs & weapons too but it still feels like Hexen :P)

The Baker's Legacy texture pack is worth a look (Heretic palette but easy to convert as Hexen's palette is almost the same apart from indices)

I find the two games to be highly compatible with each other in terms of looks and feel, if you mashed them both together I don't think you'd see much difference.

Old Post 02-20-10 11:55 #
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printz
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Is it for Hexen or ZDoomHexen?

For vanilla Hexen editing, this document may help: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=3685.
For general stuff that isn't different since Hexen, see the ZDoom wiki too.
ZDoom's ACC needs the -h switch to support Hexen without ZDoom. Or you can use an old ACC.

Second screenshot: I may be nitpicking, but those vertical ornaments would look better if they don't go into the floor.

Old Post 02-20-10 11:57 #
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Fenriswolf
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Arghh.... That looks great!
Thank you so much!
I was waiting for some high-quality-hexen-wads vor a very long time now.
The screenshots look promising.
Are you working with a Hub system like Hexen does? So how many hubs there will be?

As for the texture problem: I never worked that much with Hexen textures, but i think i like them. Of course theres not that much variety in color but i like there realistic look. I like HEretic textures as well, but some of them are a bit too bright/trippy/catoony and there are many Heretic textures i never used because they look too friendly. Hexen is much darker, what i actually liked about it.
I wouldn't use Heretic textures in a Hexen wad (or maybe just a very few), because they partly do not really fit to the realistic look of hexen and as you've already said, if you would you could make a Heretic Wad as well ;) (But those used in the screenys look okay)
Using totally new textures might be not that easy as well, because the should fit to the Hexen style and should have the same level of quality (But i think you could manage that as well).
So I personally would just recolor and edit some standard-textures if you really want some color-themes.

Old Post 02-20-10 12:01 #
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kristus
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TUD: No. I also have issues with ripping textures. And I really don't think they mesh. I hate it when people use Hexen in Heretic or Doom. It's almost always instantly obvious and it all just ends up not feeling like either game.
Baker's legacy is a terrible texture resource. Nuff said.

Printz: Thanks for the info.
As for the screenshots, they're just testmaps for the new textures. The shot you commented on in particular is actually a rip from E3M4P of my Heretic wad. The texture is a recolor of Hexen, the first and probably last I'll make.

Old Post 02-20-10 12:04 #
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Gez
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The Ultimate DooMer said:
The Baker's Legacy texture pack is worth a look

90% of it is Heretic recolors or recombinations, the rest is combo of Heretic, Hexen, and Hexen 2 resources. So it's pretty clearly not what Kristus is after; using it in Hexen would fall pretty squarely in the "Heretic rip" category.

Still, there are two inside it that I made (originally for another project) and that I think could be used in Hexen.
D'Sparil stained glass in the same style as the fighter/cleric/mage stained glasses:
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/6803/sglass1d.png
Broken version of upper stained glass:
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/4835/w274.png


printz said:
ZDoom's ACC needs the -h switch to support Hexen without ZDoom. Or you can use an old ACC.

Better to use ZDoom's ACC with the -h switch. There are a few ACS features which have bytecode for them, but that do not exist for Hexen's ACC. Take the for(init; check; iteration) loop, for instance. It's perfectly possible to have them in vanilla BEHAVIOR lumps, but the Raven ACC doesn't know about them. It's something Randy discovered a long time ago.

Old Post 02-20-10 12:33 #
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Mechadon
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Awesome, glad to hear your making a sequel. Although I'm not as familiar with Hexen as I am with Heretic, I'm sure this will be nothing short of awesome if it's connected to the first Curse of D'sparil.

What you've got so far is looking pretty good in my opinion. I've never really toyed around with Hexen's texture set at all so I'm not familiar with it's pros/cons. But it seems to me that if you don't want to rip textures (from any game), and if your looking for more colors/trims, you could probably get away with just making some edits from Hexen's original textures. Atleast that's probably what I would do, although having to do that would mean a longer development cycle.

Well I'm sure you'll figure out something. I'm definitely looking forward to this ;)

Old Post 02-20-10 13:34 #
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kristus
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printz said:
Is it for Hexen or ZDoomHexen?

I've not entierly decided on that yet. Maybe I will aim at Zdoom, Vavoom and/or EE. But currently it's looking at supporting "limitless".


Fenriswolf said:
I was waiting for some high-quality-hexen-wads vor a very long time now.
The screenshots look promising.
Are you working with a Hub system like Hexen does? So how many hubs there will be?


As have I been. But in the end it's just best to stop waiting and do it yourself. :)
I've not quite decided for or against hubs either. I doubt I'll use the hubs system though. Unless they're used for something like Strife or RTC 3057 I am not convinced of their usefulness. Who knows though. It's possible that I will use them in ways that Morrowind and Terminator Future Shock did where it's used to enter buildings etc. But that would most likely be an exception rather than a rule. I want to carry on what I set up in Curse game play wise. So while the game play will be quite different as the games are very different in that regard, they will have strong parallels.


Gez said:
Still, there are two inside it that I made (originally for another project) and that I think could be used in Hexen.
D'Sparil stained glass in the same style as the fighter/cleric/mage stained glasses:


I did notice them, and yes. They would work in Hexen, specially since they are native to that game. But I really have no reason to do that, since D'sparil won't be there, and the regular stained glass textures from Hexen does the same job essentially.


Gez said:
Better to use ZDoom's ACC with the -h switch. There are a few ACS features which have bytecode for them, but that do not exist for Hexen's ACC. Take the for(init; check; iteration) loop, for instance. It's perfectly possible to have them in vanilla BEHAVIOR lumps, but the Raven ACC doesn't know about them. It's something Randy discovered a long time ago.

I'm not a person familiar with ACS, and I doubt I will spend much time to learn it for whatever I decide to use in this mod. It's possible I'll ask someone more familiar with it to help me. Though the information is interesting and helpful, as it will allow me to do the basics on my own. And maybe I will end up being self reliant enough to not warrant any outside help.


Mechadon said:
Awesome, glad to hear your making a sequel. Although I'm not as familiar with Hexen as I am with Heretic, I'm sure this will be nothing short of awesome if it's connected to the first Curse of D'sparil.

Thanks, though the connections with Curse of D'sparil is really just as much as Heretic and Hexen were. The stories don't truly tie together, other than having a base backstory to go from. In the case of Curse1 and 2 though, it's more about the two projects having similar ideal foundations.


Mechadon said:
What you've got so far is looking pretty good in my opinion. I've never really toyed around with Hexen's texture set at all so I'm not familiar with it's pros/cons. But it seems to me that if you don't want to rip textures (from any game), and if your looking for more colors/trims, you could probably get away with just making some edits from Hexen's original textures. Atleast that's probably what I would do, although having to do that would mean a longer development cycle.
Yeah, I've not toyed before either. I was pretty surprised actually as I looked through what was there. I suppose the level designers of Hexen deserve a pat on the back for not making me notice it so much when I played. I really had expected to find more there. But after looking at the textures and seeing what I saw, I went through the maps and studied them, and they sort of withered when I looked closer. Just like I wanted to make Heretic better, I also want to make Hexen better... for me. :p


Mechadon said:
Well I'm sure you'll figure out something. I'm definitely looking forward to this ;)

Thanks. So do I. ;)

Last edited by kristus on 02-20-10 at 16:04

Old Post 02-20-10 15:46 #
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Fenriswolf
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I will use them in ways that Morrowind and Terminator Future Shock did where it's used to enter buildings


Does this means there gonna be a lot of outdoor-locations between the indoor-levels? I would actually like this. I never liked very big outdoor enviroments in heretic (preferred dugneon levels and temples here), but in hexen i think they can look very good. I dont know why, but it might be because of the (imo) nicer sky textures in hexen and the bigger amount of decorate stuff like trees, stones, shrooms and stuff.

Old Post 02-20-10 16:43 #
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printz
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Well, as for ACS...

In Doom Builder 1, if you do for vanilla Hexen (ZDoom may not have this problem) you must compile the script (BEHAVIOR lump) BEFORE ever saving the level. Otherwise DB1 will mistake your vanilla Hexen map as Doom-format and screw it up. I doubt this kind of trouble happens with ZDoom, because it would have been noticed so far. Also, the screwed up map will run with ZDoom, but not with any other Hexen engine, so watch out. I haven't tried Hexen mapping with DB2 but try for yourself. JHexen acts close to vanilla.

I don't know about Doom Builder 2, but Doom Builder 1 sure has an embedded decompiler. Load a Hexen.wad map and see its script. You'll see that the random respawners and ambient sounds are controlled there, as well as puzzle parts and some of the automated processes.

Scripts must start with #include "common.acs" (vanilla, limit-removing) or #include "zcommon.acs" (ZDoom).

Old Post 02-20-10 16:48 #
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StoneFrog
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kristus said:
But I've always professed the opposite [about Heretic]. That the fauna of that game is rich and bountiful. Despite it's low quantity, the quality and variation is amazing and I really enjoyed working with the textures as they were. I did make a few very minor texture changes. But in all, you can do some great things with the resources found in Heretic.

Preach it, brother! It was actually through the Heretic and Hexen series that I entered the Doom subculture. Heretic's sharp visual contrasts, distinct themes, and its disproportionately awesome music make it an immense joy to mod for it. I'm not sure why so few are up to the task.

I was thinking of doing a Hexen mod in which a player attempts to reunify the broken world of Cronos and regain the favor of the Gods (who had abandoned the world out of disgust for the humans' betrayal to Korax) to restore peace to the world. The idea was for the levels to be a tad more freeform and Heretic-esque, and I guess you're also trying to emulate this system (or at least make the puzzles more believable).

I know you know what you're doing, and best of luck to you. I'll be eagerly following this.

Old Post 02-20-10 17:04 #
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Gez
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kristus said:
I did notice them, and yes. They would work in Hexen, specially since they are native to that game. But I really have no reason to do that, since D'sparil won't be there, and the regular stained glass textures from Hexen does the same job essentially.

The broken top can still be useful, though.


printz said:
Also, the screwed up map will run with ZDoom, but not with any other Hexen engine, so watch out.

That's because ZDoom will pass any Doom-format map through a map translator. And a map is identified as Doom-format by the absence of a BEHAVIOR lump. (I haven't tried, but I'm sure if you remove a Hexen-format map's BEHAVIOR lump and load it in ZDoom, it will screw up spectacularly.) By default, ZDoom uses the Heretic map translator for "Hexen-in-Doom" maps.


printz said:
I don't know about Doom Builder 2, but Doom Builder 1 sure has an embedded decompiler.

DB2 doesn't have one, or at least doesn't yet.

Old Post 02-20-10 17:34 #
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printz
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Gez said:
That's because ZDoom will pass any Doom-format map through a map translator. And a map is identified as Doom-format by the absence of a BEHAVIOR lump. (I haven't tried, but I'm sure if you remove a Hexen-format map's BEHAVIOR lump and load it in ZDoom, it will screw up spectacularly.) By default, ZDoom uses the Heretic map translator for "Hexen-in-Doom" maps.
Yeah but Hexen-in-Doom makes even less sense than ZDoom-Doom-in-Doom anyway.

Old Post 02-20-10 17:47 #
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Vermil
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I know that they are test textures rather than the final ones. But they are so similar to Heretic or Curse of D'sparil textures that you might as well just make another Heretic wad.

HeXen's textures may be less colourful than Heretic's, but they probably have as much variety if you don't try to use them in another games style (i.e Heretic's textures don't really work for HeXen style maps and HeXen's textures don't really work for Heretic style maps).

IMO of course.

Last edited by Vermil on 02-20-10 at 18:54

Old Post 02-20-10 18:30 #
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Philnemba
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I'll definitely keep an eye on this since we need more Hexen wads around here :)
btw how many maps are you planing?

Old Post 02-20-10 18:31 #
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kristus
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Philnemba said:
how many maps are you planing?

I'm not. I've not planned anything at this point. Everything is very much up in the air. As for maps in particular though. It'll probably be as many as I feel like making.

@Vermil: There are no colors to speak of in the Hexen resources (or variation for that matter, it's basically all stone in different shapes and forms). Brown and gray is colors that plague the game design world, even the Doom community suffer from it. While I think I've managed to create original designs in the past, they've still been mostly from that area of the palette as well. I'm not gonna do it for this mod though.
As for the metal trims. They were a big part of the Curse1 level design, and I wanted to carry that sense over. The point of making test textures, is to test things. Making progress is a gradual process, I gotta start from somewhere.

Last edited by kristus on 02-20-10 at 20:03

Old Post 02-20-10 19:56 #
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kristus
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Ok, a Bit of an update here since I've had some progress today.

A few weeks or whatever ago I laid out a plan to make 8 maps for this. With the possibility of added secret maps, though as was the case in Curse of D'sparil, I don't plan to make any secret maps myself, so it relies on if I find someone (like my brother again, though it's unlikely) to make one, or maybe even two. Who knows, that's very much a side point atm.

Anyway. There will be 2 mini episodes of 4 maps each (quite similar to how Curse of D'sparil kind of was two mini episodes).
The maps will be laid out to play in sucession, so no hubs. Unfortunately, it's (AFAIK) impossible to get stat screens in Hexen. But I hope I'll be able to set it up for any ports that will run it though. (Currently looking at actively supporting (G)Zdoom, Skulltag, Vavoom, Doomsday and... the mighty Quasar willing, Eternity.)
If you got any other suggestions for ports, let me know.
Also, unless someone makes an Hexen+ version. It's likely I'll be forced to make it for ports alone, due to VPO etc limits.
But that would allow me to use some new sprites and maybe also guarantee stat screens. So it wouldn't be a total loss.

Anyway, enough rambling.
Here's a screenshot of the map progress I've had today. This is quite possible something that will be making it into the first map.

http://www.doglike.org/temp/Screens...0312_233759.png

Old Post 03-12-10 23:03 #
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Graf Zahl
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kristus said:
Unfortunately, it's (AFAIK) impossible to get stat screens in Hexen.

... and maybe also guarantee stat screens. So it wouldn't be a total loss.




This may be a bit of a problem. To be compatible with all these ports you will have to include a Hexen-format MAPINFO. But with that you won't be able to enable the stat screen in ZDoom and compatibles.

Old Post 03-12-10 23:52 #
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kristus
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Well. I would be able to do it in EE and Doomsday regardless. I suppose Zdoom and Vavoom would be out of the question, since by doing so it would conflict with other ports.

Old Post 03-12-10 23:58 #
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Gez
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Graf Zahl said:
This may be a bit of a problem. To be compatible with all these ports you will have to include a Hexen-format MAPINFO. But with that you won't be able to enable the stat screen in ZDoom and compatibles.

Which is why I had suggested some time ago a ZDoom-specific MAPINFO alia, like ZMAPINFO.


kristus said:
Well. I would be able to do it in EE and Doomsday regardless. I suppose Zdoom and Vavoom would be out of the question, since by doing so it would conflict with other ports.

I wouldn't worry about EE compatibility as long as EE is not compatible with Hexen in the first place.

Old Post 03-13-10 00:03 #
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Graf Zahl
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Gez said:

Which is why I had suggested some time ago a ZDoom-specific MAPINFO alia, like ZMAPINFO.




Yes, and I'll probably add it with the added limitation that such a lump would be restricted to the new MAPINFO syntax and block parsing of any lump called MAPINFO that's found in the same WAD.

EDIT: Feature added to ZDoom.

Last edited by Graf Zahl on 03-13-10 at 08:28

Old Post 03-13-10 07:37 #
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kristus
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Thanks Graf. :)

Old Post 03-13-10 11:01 #
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DeathevokatioN
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Can't wait to see what you make out of this, Kristus. I really enjoyed playing Curse of D'sparil which is a total masterpiece. Curse is actually the reason I've started making maps!

Old Post 03-14-10 20:24 #
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kristus
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Thank you very much. :)
I too am looking forward to seeing what I manage to create here. I really have no idea what it'll be like when it's done.

EDIT: I've managed to get hold of Deathkings of the dark citadel and I'm playing it to see what the story is and as a sort of research. But it's not really looking like it'll serve me any ideas on game play since all (most) it does is to slow down the player with cumbersome level design featuring obstructions, death pits, moving platforms you gotta wait for and sneak attack enemies (the green lizards living in the water are popular here)... all at the same time.

Most of the artifacts I pick up. I rarely get much use for. I used the discs mostly in a place where I were against a bunch of wendigos, repelling their ice attacks. The chaos device I've used a few times when I've made a bad step and was plummeting towards my demise.

The banishment device is left completely unused. Porkalator as well. There's so much ammo around that I never need to use my craters of might. I got 5 now. And I got 4 malotaurs too.

While I think it's harder than regular Hexen... which is silly easy really. It's actually managed to take the worst parts of it's game play and amplify that.

I really want to create something bigger than that. The sapphire wand is likely to pose a problem though.

Last edited by kristus on 03-14-10 at 22:01

Old Post 03-14-10 21:50 #
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Not Jabba
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I actually liked Death Kings a lot. If you take nothing else from it, I hope you at least get inspiration from the boss battles, which I thought were pretty awesome. The appearance of the first Heresiarch, in particular, stands out for me as one of the more memorable Hexen moments I've had.

In terms of story though, I don't suppose there's much to get from it. They molded the story based on the fact that they couldn't make new endgame graphics, so there's virtually nothing to it, and you end up exactly as you were at the end of Hexen itself.

Do you have any ideas at all of where the story will go? Personally, I'm hoping you'll leave Korax out of the picture--not a very reusable boss, either in terms of story or gameplay. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this sequel a *lot*.

Last edited by Not Jabba on 03-15-10 at 04:38

Old Post 03-15-10 04:27 #
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kristus
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Nah. You open a door and, there he is. I gotta admit though, that I didn't expect him to be there. But he was a prisoner of that keep so he was a piece of cake to take down.

Of course they could make new end game graphics. But I suppose they didn't want to. Takes a bit of work to make those things. :)

I have a fair bit of idea of where the story will start at least. It'll be a long time after Hexen and Death kings. And I plan to reuse Korax. The good thing about Korax as a boss, is that he's actually customizable, since he activates a limited set of scripts. Which in turn can be scripted to randomly activate even more scripts. And it allows you to create a lot of crazy shit.

Old Post 03-15-10 08:58 #
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Graf Zahl
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kristus said:
Nah. You open a door and, there he is. I gotta admit though, that I didn't expect him to be there. But he was a prisoner of that keep so he was a piece of cake to take down.



I assume you are talking about the Heresiarch in Deathkings's second hub, don't you?

The best thing about him is that you don't even need to kill him! In the area he's in he is a total non-thread. His attacks are so slow that he can't do anything in the short time that's needed to pass the area the few times it's required.

Overall, all of Hexen's boss fights are utterly lame if you know how the bosses act and you saved one Icon of the Defender for each of these fights.

When I play the Fighter what I do most of the time with the Heresiarch is to make myself invulnerable, select the Quietus, fill up my mana, then step up close toward him and at the same time unload all my flechettes and the Quietus's projectiles into him. Most of the time I mow him down before he got the first chance to do anything at all! No attack and no invulnerability shield. The invulnerability is only used to protect myself from the flechette's explosions.

Old Post 03-15-10 10:13 #
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kristus
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True, but I might as well do that. I found it funny though, how the intermission text before that hub said "you look look through what is left of your artifacts, will it be enough. It has to be etc"

I had barely used any artifacts. Most of the time, they just didn't have any useful application in the maps as they were. And I certainly didn't need them against the Heresiarch either.

EDIT: Game play wise, there will be a lot of challenges working with Hexen. It's so different from Doom and Heretic so while it offers some interesting opportunities, it also got some serious issues.

Last edited by kristus on 03-15-10 at 10:27

Old Post 03-15-10 10:21 #
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Vermil
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Graf Zahl said:
I assume you are talking about the Heresiarch in Deathkings's second hub, don't you?


You can also lure him outside the keep and he can't get back in.

But really, I don't see how that use of the Heresiarch is any different than the Cyberdemon on E3M9 of Doom.

Old Post 03-15-10 11:50 #
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kristus
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I've made a fair bit of progress this last couple of days. So I've decided to upload a new shot I took while doing some game play testing of the first (and so far only) map.

Currently I am fumbling around trying to figure out how I want to plan the game play. But I think I am doing good progress on that too. The biggest issue I am having is figure out how to balance the overwhelming power of the Mage's Sapphire Wand. It's easy for the player to abuse it. If they find safe spots, they can snipe the enemies and end up very unchallenged, and very very bored. Ultimately I think it will to some degree be the choice of the player. As I doubt that regardless of what I do, I won't be able to avoid it's possibility. But even without the safe spot, the shredding effect of the wand makes it extremely powerful against mobs, and ... well I think it would be fairly easy to play the entire game through using nothing but it. But as previously stated, it'd be boring as hell.

Anyway, screenshot:
http://www.doglike.org/temp/Curse2_shot1.PNG

Old Post 03-19-10 22:28 #
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