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Shino1

Let's blind play and improve Freedoom!

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On 4/1/2021 at 4:53 PM, Shino1 said:

It was a reference to beginning of Wolfenstein 3D. Hence the dead guard and pistol in your hand.

The thing is, I have no clue how to solve that issue. On one hand, you need the barrel to look obviously like an explosive barrel. Red is an obvious choice here. On the other hand, it should look more or less like barrels from old Doom. I can't think of a simple way to resolve this. The best way I can think of is to use glowing green color (which is present in original barrel) to create a large spray-painted stencil saying TNT on the barrel.

Maybe the older sprite of the barrels will work. Just recolored or with some more details

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15 hours ago, northivanastan said:

Did some testing myself on Chocolate Doom. There were issues with MAP15 in an older version of Freedoom that I tested (0.11.3), but in the experimental build everything works fine, both the demo and the map.

Maybe I should test this with the original Doom binary or a different DOS vanilla port (Doom-vanille maybe?)

 

I really like the idea of Freed∞m having a libre DOS binary of its own.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MrFlibble said:

I really like the idea of Freed∞m having a libre DOS binary of its own.

There are already a few libre DOS source ports (FastDoom, Doom Vanille, and MBF at least). If any of them can run Freedoom in a FreeDOS environment, I don't really see the point of making a Freedoom-specific one.

 

Even if none of them work at the moment, the only difference between a Freedoom binary and a Doom (limit removing) binary would be the text strings that are normally changed by DeHackEd/BEX, so you might as well just create a regular Doom binary.

Edited by northivanastan

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Posted (edited)

If I remember correctly, there's an expanded doom exe for DOS that removes most of the limits of the original doom. You would still need the original wad to play, but it should work there.

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7 hours ago, MrFlibble said:

Maybe I should test this with the original Doom binary or a different DOS vanilla port (Doom-vanille maybe?)

 

I really like the idea of Freed∞m having a libre DOS binary of its own.

https://github.com/freedoom/freedoom/issues

Have you entered it as an issue on github?

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Not yet. I'm not certain if this is an issue with the map alone, or something with FastDoom.

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Posted (edited)

Hello there! I made a new DEMO3 for Freedoom Phase 1, IMO it looks better than the default DEMO3. It plays back with v.0.12.1, I tested it with the experimental build and it didn't desync. Here it is:

 

newdemo3.zip

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Update 2: It was tested multiple times in crispy-doom v.5.6.4 and Prboom-plus v2.5.1.5, and it does not desync with any of them, the same happened with the DOS executables: BOOM and DOOMP (The expanded doom exe, removing most limits of vanilla) and the source port Russian Doom.

Edited by Lol 6

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Lol 6 said:

Hello there! I made a new DEMO3 for Freedoom Phase 1, IMO it looks better than the default DEMO3. It plays back with v.0.12.1, I tested it with the experimental build and it didn't desync. Here it is:

 

newdemo3.zip

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Little edit: It was tested multiple times in crispy-doom v.5.6.4 and Prboom-plus v2.5.1.5, and it does not desync with any of them.

FYI: I recently reported the DEMO2 desync on GitHub, and a maintainer closed it pretty quickly because usually the project doesn't deal with fixing demos until close to a new release. So maybe try this again then.

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1 minute ago, northivanastan said:

FYI: I recently reported the DEMO2 desync on GitHub, and a maintainer closed it pretty quickly because usually the project doesn't deal with fixing demos until close to a new release. So maybe try this again then.

Oh no, I didn't have the intention to send it right now, I just uploaded it here to see your opinions. 

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On 4/20/2021 at 3:06 PM, northivanastan said:

There are already a few libre DOS source ports (FastDoom, Doom Vanille, and MBF at least). If any of them can run Freedoom in a FreeDOS environment, I don't really see the point of making a Freedoom-specific one.

 

Even if none of them work at the moment, the only difference between a Freedoom binary and a Doom (limit removing) binary would be the text strings that are normally changed by DeHackEd/BEX, so you might as well just create a regular Doom binary.

JIC, by "dedicated binary" I meant exactly a build of any of the above with the strings replaced (save for MBF where you don't need that), not a separate fork or a complete DOS port.

 

MBF very certainly works out-of-the-box with Freed∞m IWADs as it is, and it is likely the best choice for now because of the many compatibility options, DEH support etc. But from what limited tests I ran so far MBF is not very fast in a browser version of DOSBox like JS-DOS, which could effectively produce a play-in-browser version of Freed∞m. FastDoom looks like a more preferable choice. Also MBF does not seem to have the same level of Gravis Ultrasound support as FastDoom.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

JIC, by "dedicated binary" I meant exactly a build of any of the above with the strings replaced (save for MBF where you don't need that), not a separate fork or a complete DOS port.

 

MBF very certainly works out-of-the-box with Freed∞m IWADs as it is, and it is likely the best choice for now because of the many compatibility options, DEH support etc. But from what limited tests I ran so far MBF is not very fast in a browser version of DOSBox like JS-DOS, which could effectively produce a play-in-browser version of Freed∞m. FastDoom looks like a more preferable choice. Also MBF does not seem to have the same level of Gravis Ultrasound support as FastDoom.

Hmm, that could work. I've wondered before why Linux distros haven't already done that. Some, like Fedora, go as far to replace all of the name of "KBreakout" with "KBrickbuster" to avoid copyright issues, but they keep those map names in source ports.

 

Edit: I guess the source code release would have also made those map names freely usable.

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On 3/31/2021 at 8:57 PM, Shino1 said:

So I'm already involved with the Blasphemer project - I instantly gravitated to it because it's not yet playable - but I am overall much more attached to concept of Freedoom. So, I decided to start a series where I blind play the game, try to identify gripes I have with it, and also submit possible fixes.

Watch blind playthrough of E1M1 on YT!

Also when I mention removing and replacing levels, I just speak from what I've seen - I definitely seen levels removed and replaced in Freedoom, and I've also seen threads discussing that. Again, in my opinion iteration on existing designs could produce better results. If I'm wrong about Freedoom level design principles, forgive me for being a noob, then :P

 

I mention in the video that I made a tweaked version of E1M1 - and here it is!

e1m1fix.zip

Full list of changes made in this version:

  • reworked the fight introducing shotgunner and worm so they're introduced separately as a better tutorial for new players, and added cover against the shotgunner
  • removed some of the Serpentipedes in the room that leads to the outdoors area, because it was tedious to shoot them with just the pistol. Also removed some of them that were only present on Hard and replaced them with a shotgunner. Also, added cosmetic orange stripes to corners of this room for contrast. Also changed cosmetics of the blue key door, including texture, to teach player that this texture was a door (first time I played it I had no idea this texture was a door when it was used later in prison segment, I mention this in the LP).
  • in the starting room, the player spawns in a prison cell (the level is called "Outer Prison" after all), and on the opposite side of the room there's a purely cosmetic another prison cell that player can't enter.
  • in the room before the blue keycard, the big round column was tweaked visually, the box on which on of the shotgunners is standing lowers like a lift so you can get his shotgun, added shadows, in the upper area there is the setpiece of the level - there is a serpentipede ambush waiting for you in the darkness.
  • in the blue key balcony, added a different floor texture to lead player's eye to the secret and move the columns so they're correctly aligned.
  • in the outdoor areas, used tricks borrowed from BTSX to add height variation to the mountains so they don't all end at the same height and look more natural
  • also in outdoors area changed the rock face texture to brown so it will look more visually interesting, and changed the blue stripes on facility walls to bright orange, and introduced shadow to the 'caves' - and added a stimpack to the rock pillar that holds a Soulsphere on Easy, but is completely pointless on Medium and Hard.
  • in the angle grinder secret, moved the worms further back, removed one on Medium, and added a cosmetic brown pedestal below the grinder to make it stand out more in low resolutions
  • added a secret flag to angle grinder area

In the video I mention that explosive barrels don't immediately look like barrels. Sure, if you examine them consciously they kinda look like propane tanks, but Doom isn't exactly a thinking game. In addition, if you had to guess which are the barrels, much more obvious candidate are the light columns, which glow green like the waste from vanilla Doom barrels, and they have red on them - first time playing, I assumed light columns are the barrel replacement.

BEXPA0.png.6d067e805c21b6cbdc76b1a392eba893.pngCOLUA0.png.b24de1b2cea71301e029e40e758af0dd.png

I think the fix might be not to replace the sprites, but tweaking them with recolors - red on the barrels signifies explosion to any modern gamer, but also in general draws the eye of the player and makes it clear they're not just decoration:

BEXPA0.gif.2e529f041896ef866e4816fc48f9083d.gifBEXPB0.gif.d3e409f7bb52fe70992513466caf77ab.gifBEXPC0.gif.91e613e180451e0e2502b38aa4149afd.gif (other frames of explosion don't really need changing IMO, but I will do them if that's requested)

COLUA0.gif.d7ac9eba00726d67a595e572b3779f13.gif

I think those look much more like an explosive barrel, and like a standing lamp, respectively. At least in my opinion.

Also, minor issue - I don't think armor bonuses really look like armor. Health bonuses obviously look like some kind of bandaging device, but armor bonus just looks like... a jar of glowing green goo. Here's an edit that hopefully solves that by making them shield shaped:

BON2A0.gif.60f3e895a6ea59c623183f0b8f71553c.gifBON2B0.gif.9fae9716bc36ffd6b6f7f6eec5ff4a8d.gif

Also while I oppose completely replacing content unless it's necessary, I think it might be necessary for the Deadflare, because it simply doesn't fit the theme - while I think the sprite looks really cool, Freedoom is supposed to be a sci-fi game about an alien invasion, so a demonic skull doesn't work. I'm willing to create a replacement (well, when I'm done working on sprites for Blasphemer, which still needs finished Maulotaur and D'Sparil replacements) and eventually for Summoner too, here's a quick concept art:

PlasmaClaw.png.09a2088a41ae8ae3faa75cb70ff1f4c8.png

A burning floating robotic hand would fit the theme of mildly supernatural alien invasion, will still evoke the feel of Lost Soul and I mean, it will look kinda cool, I hope.

 

Obviously my criticism comes from place of love for the Freedoom project and I hope everything I said was a constructive critique, and I didn't breach any unwritten etiquette with this post - again, I'm a noob. And of course I will accept critique myself, if any of my edits are too low quality to be included in the full game, I will happily listen to suggestions for improvement!

 

 

I really like those edits, pal!

They are just perfect and better signaling what they should!

Why don't you submmit them to the git?

About the Summoner that is just a prototype, the deadflare was also a prototype that just stayed because nothing better was submitted.
And indeed, a better alien replacement to those is needed desperately.

But a robotic burning hand? I still doesn't see it fitting to Freedoom theme :/
A good replacement would be the Flesh spawn that lurks on Realm 667, but that one not aligns with Freedoom open source structure.
A robotic alien eye that has electricity around would be interesting as a replacement, kinda as a vigilance drone or something like that.
 

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Posted (edited)

I suggest change the sprite (and maybe the color) for the hitscanner, they all look quite the same.

 

So, like in the original Doom, player can know what is that hitscanner type.

(for example, zombieman suit color to black, chaingguner to red, shotgunner to white]

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, lokbustam257 said:

I suggest change the sprite (and maybe the color) for the hitscanner, they all look quite the same.

 

So, like in the original Doom, player can know what is that hitscanner type.

(for example, zombieman suit color to black, chaingguner to red, shotgunner to white]

I think they are sufficiently distinguishable - one is tan, one is black, and one is grey. The Chaingunner and Zombieman replacements are already getting new sprites which should make them even easier to distinguish.

 

My problem is with the Hell Knight and Baron replacements, they are just palette swaps of each other.

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16 hours ago, northivanastan said:

My problem is with the Hell Knight and Baron replacements, they are just palette swaps of each other.

What about the Nukeptyle/Lavamander? I remember these got a pretty lukewarm response but honestly I don't think they're that bad. After all, the Pestmester Baron/Knight is equally a raymoohawk creation, just like these two.

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On 4/19/2021 at 10:14 PM, MrFlibble said:

It looks like there's some kind of vanilla incompatibility in MAP15.

 

Recently I played the Phase 2 experimental build in FastDoom, which is a vanilla DOS port geared towards optimised performance on low-end hardware (like an actual 386). I played through the first couple of levels with no issue, but once I decided to check if the demos would desynch or not the game froze on the very first Phase 2 demo which happens to be MAP15:

fdoom_000.png.bb0912f961cc284836915c645026c598.png

At first I thought it was a demo thing, but then I checked the demos in Phase 1, and all work exceptionally fine -- I believe they don't desynch at all.

 

So I warped to MAP15 and the game crashed at the very same point:

dosbox_027.png.dedf3638be832f1fc04a93192f25ae60.png

I am not competent to tell what is causing the error. DOS MBF does not have any issues, but it's not strictly vanilla.

Well, I just checked the experimental IWAD with the original unmodified DOS DOOM2.EXE (provided that the version that comes with the GOG release is not modified in any way) and it does not have any problems with playing this demo, so I guess it's a FastDoom issue after all. I'll notify the port's author.

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There were discussions of using a character from Shadow of the Wool Ball or Rise of the Wool Ball as the SS replacement but this did not materialise, apparently. I'm not sure, maybe those only have front-facing frames and no rotations?

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