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samiam

OBLIGE with bugfixes and tweaks available

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Ajapted said:

BTW folks, I plan to release a 0.97 version soon which is 0.94 plus a few fixes, including at least the following:
- Sam's much expanded Heretic themes
- fix the show-stopper stair problem
- allow Cyberdemons in maps


Hey, that looks really good. In the meantime, people can download my ObHack which also fixes the stair problem, and to have other little goodies like basic CTF maps, Deathmatch maps without exits, tiny and very small levels, variable steepness, tweaked FreeDoom support, the ability to have the map generator make a bunch of maps while you sleep, etc.

To be honest, I know I'm not paying you and am in no hurry, but I'm looking forward to Oblige III a lot. It would be nice to have real deathmatch maps and to have Quake support. Indeed, adding Nexuiz (a 100% free FPS that is deathmatch-only with bots) support would be really cool. :-)

I actually prefer Deathmatch over single player these days, since I can use bots if I'm by myself, and play the games with my buddies when I'm not.

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Hell yeah, obHack's 'swarms' makes for some fantastic gameplay :) Neverending slaughtermaps. These are more fun than the majority of hand crafted maps.

I assume 'puzzles' means 'switches that open doors/unobstruct paths'?

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Yes gggmork that's what "puzzles" mean for Oblige.

I too prefer playing deathmatch these days, especially Open Arena, and though Oblige could never make something as good as the map Aggressor, maps like oa_dm7 may well be possible one day.

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Is the next releasing of your obhack gonna have the option to add Mastermind and Cyberdemon?

Other option i would like to see in obhack is something to add more higher level monsters,like barons and archvile etc.Sometimes I do create a whole megawad and these monsters rarely appear in the stages,and when appear is little.

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Ajapted said:
I too prefer playing deathmatch these days, especially Open Arena, and though Oblige could never make something as good as the map Aggressor, maps like oa_dm7 may well be possible one day.


You know, I have the latest Open Arena, and both the latest and the previous versions of Nexuiz, and I think I prefer Nexuiz.

It's a very touchy feely thing, but Nexuiz is more visually appealing for me than OA. I actually prefer the previous version of Nexuiz (actually a version I modified myself to fit in under 50 megs that only has seven maps, one of which is, as it turns out, Aggressor) because it has a better frame rate on my basic Intel 3d no-frills graphics chipset (for some reason, Nexuiz 2.4 has a worse frame rate).

Aggressor is a great map; it's a map that has made it in to both Open Arena and Nexuiz, which shows that it's one of the most popular "open source" maps out there.

Maybe we can't make Aggressor with a random map generator. But what we might be able to do is have something that makes basic deathmatch maps where my buddy I'm deathmatching with can't complain "You played this map before and know where everything is!".

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samiam said:

It's a very touchy feely thing, but Nexuiz is more visually appealing for me than OA.

Well I haven't played Nexuiz much so I can't really compare them, but Nexuiz just runs so much slower on my oldish computer than OA, even on lowest graphics settings it is at least half the frame rate, like 10-20 fps compared to 20-50 fps for OA maps. Maybe when I get a more modern computer I will enjoy playing Nexuiz.

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If you're interested, here's more suggestions after playing obhack for like 10 hours using swarms/less ammo/less health:

-it would probably be best if every single door was either 'open/stay open' or openable by monsters (I noticed every blue/red/yellow key door can't be opened by monsters so you can repeatedly open/close the door a crack to infight/kill everything on the opposite side

-probably less plasma/bfg ammo. Almost every time I get one of these guns the level does a big jump toward easier difficulty with too much ammo (the rockets seemed about right- they at least have splash damage to worry about).

-perhaps a tiny bit more pain elementals, though its good to keep them fairly low. Also maybe if there was a few more (not that many more) lone chaingunners (they tend to come in groups) you would have more access to the chaingun thus compensating for the lack of plasma mentioned above

-bugs I've noticed in case you're not aware: 1) somewhat frequently lone enemies on top of pillars are stuck, often since another enemy is on top of it at the same location. 2) quite rarely a sunken sector has no way to get back up (might only be in lava areas I forget). 3) only 1 time there was a blue key door but I was able to go through a window without needing the key, heh heh (just walk through with no fancy jumps needed or anything).

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Bugs 1) and 3) should be fixed in the 0.97 version.

Making keyed doors open-stay-open sounds like a good idea, might be better for Co-op maps too (reduce the need to find the keys again).

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I think one of the defining features of a random map generator would be to have as many options as possible. I've been quite disappointed at the options I've been given in map generators.

I'm sure there are lots of constants still in the code that can be turned into variables to allow more interesting variations of the architecture. Also, putting a limit of the ranges of values that can be specified is another thing that hinders the chance of finding neat stuff.

And moar angles.

Just some things to consider. :)

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OK, I've made a minor update to ObHack. This update backports Andrew's bugfix for monsters or items on crates. The fix doesn't seem to be perfect, but does seem to reduce the number of times monsters or items are inaccessible because they're on top of a crate.

This will probably be my last update to ObHack for a while; to be honest, I currently don't enjoy playing first person shooters so have little motivation to work on this code. I may end up releasing ObHack 004a and declaring it stable. We'll see.

- Sam

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EarthQuake said:

I think one of the defining features of a random map generator would be to have as many options as possible. I've been quite disappointed at the options I've been given in map generators.

I'm sure there are lots of constants still in the code that can be turned into variables to allow more interesting variations of the architecture. Also, putting a limit of the ranges of values that can be specified is another thing that hinders the chance of finding neat stuff.


I second this wholeheartedly. Oblige/hack would be more appealing to me if they had a greater depth and breadth of parameters.

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EarthQuake said:

I'm sure there are lots of constants still in the code that can be turned into variables to allow more interesting variations of the architecture. Also, putting a limit of the ranges of values that can be specified is another thing that hinders the chance of finding neat stuff.

One thing I want to avoid is the "747 cockpit" effect, so many options on the screen that the GUI becomes confusing, scary, or hard-to-use. I've had the idea of extra panels that could slide out with even more stuff to tweak. But I don't like the fact that, once you hide the panels, there are options affecting the output which you cannot see.

Perhaps I can put all the important constants/tables into a single file (defs.lua) sp people who want to tweak things only need to edit a single file.

Limits are often there for a reason, for example: if the map was so small that it only contained one room, that would break later stages which require at least a start room and an exit room. Sam hit some of these constraints when he modified the code for "tiny" maps.

BTW I have been working on OBLIGE recently but progress is slow...

Hope I'm not distracting too much from Sam's announcement of a new ObHack version. ObHack fans: go get it now!

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OK, next week sometime I will post a 004a release of ObHack. Basically, the code has settled down (READ: I basically lost interest in maintaining the code) and it's time to declare all of the hacking I did in late 2007 and early 2008 "stable".

It will be nearly identical to the most recent snapshot I have up on the page:

http://www.samiam.org/slump

If anyone has any bugs to report, please let me know.

Feature requests will be cheerfully ignored (but feel free to make your own port) unless they are accommodated by money (we can negotiate) :)

- Sam

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TheInitialCommand said:
Or for the insanely hardcore, what about a 128bit long, to make sure we never see the same 2 levels =)?
[/B]


No, that's far too short of a possible seed.

I finally got around to revamping the RNG in ObHack. Instead of using a version of the Mersenne Twister that only allows a 32-bit seed, I am now using the 32-bit version of RadioGatĂșn as the RNG generator. This RNG can take a string of arbitrary length as the RNG seed.

Since I'm using the 32-bit version of RadioGatun, the state has some 1856 bits in it. I will leave it up to others to calculate out 2^1856; needless to say, I think this will make for enough levels to last a few million lifetimes.

The new release of ObHack allows one to type in any string up to 16 letters long as the seed in the dialog box, including numbers, letters, symbols, etc.

If 16 letters is not long enough, it is also possible to specify a longer seed at the command line; I will describe the process when I announce the 005a release on my blog tomorrow.

In the meantime, people can go to http://samiam.org/slump/ and check out the 005a release.

With the exception of the revamping of the RNG, this is identical to ObHack 004a.

Bug reports and feature requests are welcome. :)

- Sam

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samiam: Are you a tester for the next version of Oblige? I know I am and what I have seen with the current WIP shows promise. You might want to wait until Oblige v3 is released and polished further so you can do your own modifications since the maps it currently creates are far more detailed than v2 (the current version, 0.97 is version 2 since Andrew never relased the first version).

There's an "Oblige Development" thread over at NewDoom in the Editing section if you are interested.

Also, I have made significant modifications to v2's LUA files, one for classic Doom and Doom2 and another made specifically for Skulltag, with two archives inside it. One uses the same themes in the above archive and the other adds some Skulltag specific texture themes.

Both Skulltag archives contain modifications for Oblige to place ST weapons and monsters.

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Yeah, I got a copy of that beta and it looks like it will be really good in a few months once things like prefabs, monsters in cages, and what not are implemented. Indeed, it was this bets which has inspired me to put some finishing touches on ObHack before the new Oblige comes out; there has been a lot of work with this code and I would like something nice and stable while Oblige III gets ready.

My personal estimate is that Oblige III will really kick ass in about six months. This gives us some time to do some nice stuff with the Oblige/ObHack II codebase.

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You know, named seeds seem like one of those "duh" ideas now that you bring them up. Why do we have to use numbers to specify a seed? Just use a string and hash it. Much easier to remember!

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samiam said:

My personal estimate is that Oblige III will really kick ass in about six months. This gives us some time to do some nice stuff with the Oblige/ObHack II codebase.


Yes, it certainly looks that way. I like the way OB3 isn't limited to 9,999 seeds but 99,999 seeds to choose from.

If you find any problems or bugs with the current WIP, you should let Andrew know. He surely appreciated my feedback earlier in the week.

To another point, putting the monster slider on "Hordes" occasionally gives me HR or AV type encounters with many of one or two monsters per area I find them.

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I have released ObHack 005c today:

* Bugfix: The reason why the outdoors theme occasionally had a Wolfenstein door was because there were no doors marked for the nature theme, so ObHack would just choose any door at random. Fixed (Andrew had this fix for Oblige 0.97, but it took a bit of prodding to figure out which diff was the fix)
* Minimize the use of prefabs with Wolfenstein textures in non-Wolfenstein levels
* Memory leak in RNG plugged
* FLTK updated to use FLTK-1.1.9 (which actually makes the source tarball smaller; I also don't like having the code use a developer snap of some library to compile)

It can be downloaded at http://samiam.org/slump

The latest news for ObHack is here:

http://maradns.blogspot.com/search/label/ObHack

Again, this isn't just a five-digit RNG; it's a 16-digit RNG and you can have things besides letters in the RNG seed, like have "Doom2_DM-290309" as a seed

OK, I will look at the NewDoom thread and see if someone is willing to contribute updated Doom/Doom2 themes (more themes is always nice).

- Sam

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Question Sam, does ObHack place the super shotgun, rocket launchers, plasma guns, BFGs and their accompanying ammunition now? When it was 004 or something when I used it, it was only placing shotgun and chaingun weapons and ammo while rarely placing cells or rockets.

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OK, there are two ways of placing weapons in a Oblige/ObHack map:

* Weapons placed near the player so he has a decent weapon

* Quest prizes

The only weapons ObHack places near the player are the normal shotgun and the chaingun; the super shotgun, rocket launcher, plasma gun, and BFGs are only given out as quest prizes.

A quest prize is a goody the player gets in ObHack for going down some halls and fighting some monsters (called "finishing a quest" in the source code; SLIGE had quests and ObHack has quests); it's placed on a small podium and the player gets it at the end of a path.

A quest prize is randomly chosen; it can be something nice like the BFG, or something next to useless like temporary invisibility (there was a time when the quest prize could be the night vision goggles, but Enhas fixed that bug a while ago). Mega-armor, all weapons besides the shotgun and chaingun, the megasphere, the backpack, the invisibility, the berserk, and a couple of other items are available only as quest prizes.

Keys and switches to open doors are also quest prizes.

In terms of getting a nice weapon, the only time you do is when the weapon is a quest prize. Only on a level with that weapon as the quest prize is where you will find ammo for the weapon in question.

One way of increasing weapon quest prizes is to have less puzzles in the map; a puzzle (a key or door switch) uses up a quest, and results in one less quest where one can get a quest prize.

Another way of increasing quest prizes is to use larger levels. A tiny map with a lot of puzzles will only have one quest prize; a huge map with few puzzles will have many quest prizes.

If you select the "SP + DM" game type, this will remove all switch quests, and make all quest prizes weapon quest prizes.

As an aside, according to Andrew's notes, Oblige III does things differently; in ObHack/Oblige II, we first decide what kinds of quests we will have, then we build the map to have those quests. In Oblige III, we build the map then decide where to put quests on the map.

Does this make any sense?

OK, I have to go, so I will be able to answer any questions you have tomorrow.

One last thought: When making a mega-wad, it would be nice to have a table of quest prizes we have already given out; this way, instead of being the luck of the draw, we don't give any quest prize a second time until the player gets a chnce to get each quest prize, then reset things and hand out all of the quest prizes again. On a similar vein, we should allow the user to choose what kinds of weapons they want (Only pistol; Only pistol, shotgun, chaingun, and supershotgun; all weapons except BFG; all weapons)

- Sam

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It's kinda funny since I replied to your other response over on NewDoom..

I am not quite sure since I am seeing some cell ammo showing up since I use custom DECORATE monsters being placed who drop rocket launcher and plasma gun but since they're not placed as often as say...the imp and zombieman, this makes me rely on the hitscan weapons more for the most part. Oblige v2 or v3 don't have these problems and I don't see how it happens with ObHack.

A second prize item of the same thing can be useful since it gives the player ammo to use, but the chainsaw should be given to the player at least once.

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@samiam - Is it likely that the next version of Obhack will be able to add the spider mastermind? I liked that it could add the cyberdemon. (not so much that the "swarms" setting of monsters was toned down a bit)

Is there any way to modify said setting? I'd like to know. (That's considering I'm a fan of slaughter maps)

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gun_psycho said:

@samiam - Is it likely that the next version of Obhack will be able to add the spider mastermind? I liked that it could add the cyberdemon. (not so much that the "swarms" setting of monsters was toned down a bit)

Is there any way to modify said setting? I'd like to know. (That's considering I'm a fan of slaughter maps)


The problem with the two boss monsters is the height (cyberdemon) and width (spiderdemon) they need, requiring the program to need to make a large area with sufficient cover and ammunition/health to deal with them, which Oblige v2/ObHack don't create very often due to using scenario stuff like crates and other decorations in the map.

If the probability was altered, it would be able to place the two boss monsters but they are likely to be be stuck due to height or weight restrictions, making them sitting ducks to the player..not to mention placing them in the most unfortunate locations.

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samiam said:

As an aside, I now understand why no one use Odamex. It took me hours, and I mean hours to figure out how to get Odamex to play a simple CTF map.


No one uses odamex because they're too busy playing shitty mods like AoW2 and GvH over on skulltag. Odamex is by far my favorite port, and the community doesn't suck balls.

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In news relevant to the topic I just noticed ObHack was updated recently, on July 10th. I may check it out again!

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Glaice said:

was that bump of semi-irrelevant reply needed?


Probably not. But this reply may be more relevant: For whatever reason, the CTF support I added to ObHack back in 2009 slipped through the cracks and never made it in to the main ObHack tree.

I finally restored CTF support and it's now in the main Obhack tree:

https://github.com/samboy/ObHack

There is no Windows binary with CTF support yet, but there *is* a Windows binary of ObHack 008 here: http://samiam.org/obhack I will probably make a binary in a few months.

Note that ObHack makes no effort to make the maps symmetrical, and that it only supports two-team CTF. Also note that, if a CTF game is selected, ObHack always generates a Doom2 WAD.

Obhack CTF is a game of luck played between two players; the winner can claim that they won because of their elite Doom skills, while the loser can claim that they were playing on the wrong side of an unfair map.

ObNecroThread: Since ALMN still occasionally posts here, I need to point out that I ended up using Zandronum this time around to make sure the CTF support works. Unlike when I tried with Odamex in 2009, setting up a multiplayer game with CTF was fast and easy.

It's one thing to have a good community when you are just playing the game; perhaps the lack of basic documentation makes the community more close-knit. It's another thing when asking a software developer who is not part of that community to develop a feature for you (without getting paid, to boot), causing them to waste hours of their time figuring out how to use your Doom port so they can do you the favor of implementing the feature for you.

Edit As of commit b9d25e69, ObHack 008 supports team CTF with multiple players on each team.

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