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Chopkinsca

Phocas Island 2.5

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I've been bored, and have no desire to start a new project so I thought I'd modify a current one. That project that I want to add to is Phocas Island 2. Some things I'll be adding are things I planned for the original release but got lazy, or things I noticed/wanted after the release. I'd say it's a bugfix, but I only know of one bug.

I'm looking for suggestions on things that could be changed (altough, I'll only change it if it fits into my thoughts on the map).

I'm also asking for help on someone that can do monster placement on the maps as if they were straight doom2 maps (a hub). All the puzzles would be solved, just play it old school doom style. This mode will be unlocked by a password you get if you complete the game on the good ending.

I plan on implementing something that can reward you with a good good ending (yes, two goods in a row, not a typo).

So far I've:
*fixed a small bug
*changed the "chaingun"'s firing sound
*added lights to some fire sources (namely the cacodemon-like monster)
*added torch sound effects
*added a new area which looks great even in it's early stages. Not sure what purpose the area would serve. Maybe a fifth boss? Dunno.

So, any suggestions are welcome.

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Water colour was a big problem for me. Depending on the background behind the water it changes how dark/light the water looks drastically. I'll see what I can do though. I've no idea what it really looks like to be underwater.

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What does it really look like under lake/sea water? It's dark green, full of little specks, and you can't see anything that's further than 3-5 feet from you.

I'm not sure if this is really a good model to copy for a game. Maybe it's better if vision is unrealistically clear. It would be great if the water could become progressively darker with depth, though - and I bet that setting this up in ZDoom would be very difficult.

I think it's funny that some Doom levels allow the player to see through blood when swimming in it, or even through lava - as these would be entirely opaque.

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Creaphis said:

I think it's funny that some Doom levels allow the player to see through blood when swimming in it, or even through lava - as these would be entirely opaque.


I think that this is just for practical reasons. While it would be realistic if they were opaque, the player wouldn't be able to navigate blindly if they are required to swim through such sectors to complete the map or even just to get an item or something. Therefore, such authors are likely sacrificing realism for gameplay.

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Creaphis said:

What does it really look like under lake/sea water? It's dark green, full of little specks, and you can't see anything that's further than 3-5 feet from you.


That depends heavily on the environmental conditions. In many parts of the ocean away from river mouths and the like visibility is closer to 30 yards.

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i was just going to say that. down here in south florida the water is quite clear.
regardless, maybe realism wasn't the best of words to use. but, the ambiance would be improved with a bit of color to the underwater areas.

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Fisk said:

I can do monster placement if you so want it.


Two questions, how well is your history of monster placement? Any maps I can check?

Other question, how familiar are you with Phocas Island 2? Given the "non-linear" nature of the project, monster placement needs to be well thought out.

Thanks for asking to help though.



One thing to think about with water is that I have 206 different 3d control lines used in the whole project. If someone wants to help and change the water for me, I'd be glad. Right now I don't feel like doing the tedious part of changing the colour of all the water depending on background, etc.

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The only real placement stuff I've done is my E1M1 remake (which did differ quite a bit from the original E1M1's monster usage), item/start placement for 32in24-5 and 7, maps 01 and 24 respectively. I'm a little scatterbrained, which may be good or bad for this project.

As for being familiar with Phocas2, I loved it from the beginning, though unfortunately I've never finished it. The effort you clearly put into that WAD is astounding :)

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If you are up to it, you can give it a chance. Right now I have to go through each level at put all the puzzles in a solved state. Should be done tonight if I'm not lazy.

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Some strange ideas for Phocas Island 2.5:

Some stuff that can be used in more than one way: for example you may need to place a crystal in a stone in order to create a bridge through a precipice, but you may need the same crystal to open a door (just an example).

A death wood to be brought to life again

Remains of a ship

Some Lost reference...

I didn't like the idea that you are in a interdimensional dream... can you make the island existing in our universe, perhaps with an ancient civilization that created the monsters. The monsters want to conquer the world. At the end you discover you are one of the monsters.

L.

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Lorenzo said:

I didn't like the idea that you are in a interdimensional dream... can you make the island existing in our universe, perhaps with an ancient civilization that created the monsters. The monsters want to conquer the world. At the end you discover you are one of the monsters.


Pretty cool plot. I think it could end with a radio saying, "No, John. You are the demons." And then John would be a zombie.

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but what would be the point of that? i don't know, but i really like the original story.

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Something ambitious you might want to try is to modify the automap to actually look like a real map. Like, draw a little vector paper 'edge' on the map, make most of the lines not-visible so the 'edge' of a room is one solid line, maybe little notes like an arrow with a ? or a word or two pointing to a point of interest, stuff like that.

I remember seeing the effect done in another doom map and it was really neat.

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AlexMax said:

Something ambitious you might want to try is to modify the automap to actually look like a real map. Like, draw a little vector paper 'edge' on the map, make most of the lines not-visible so the 'edge' of a room is one solid line, maybe little notes like an arrow with a ? or a word or two pointing to a point of interest, stuff like that.

I remember seeing the effect done in another doom map and it was really neat.

Grove did this with the entire automap, and one (possibly more, I know it was in Baron Streets at least) of the Hellcore 2.0 maps had some sketched-looking arrows, question marks, and other symbols in the map.

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AlexMax said:

Something ambitious you might want to try is to modify the automap to actually look like a real map. Like, draw a little vector paper 'edge' on the map, make most of the lines not-visible so the 'edge' of a room is one solid line, maybe little notes like an arrow with a ? or a word or two pointing to a point of interest, stuff like that.

I remember seeing the effect done in another doom map and it was really neat.


Yes, as Essel pointed out, Grove did this. I in fact tried to do the same but forgot why I abandoned it. Maybe it was too tedious to do for a few large maps. *shrugs*

Edit: there is actually an artifact of this being done on map03 in the fire pit. There are some linedefs in the shape of a pit in the current version of Phocas2.

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I'm not even sure how to flag the lines to get that to work. I need to check out Grove again. I never finished it properly...

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If I remember correctly, it was lines with the front and back being the same sector. It's been awhile so I could be wrong.

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On that subject, why not use the (G)ZDoom map markers? They needn't be anything too obvious, just something like a pin graphic on key points of the map, which is how you would mark key spots on a real map, would make finding vital areas a little less... tedious.

Such as: the area where you find the emblem, the "stone" in Retreat with the three coin slots next to the entrance to Hallowed, and the spots where you can use the death artifact, the fire or the odd bug etc... As ZDoom modders can create or remove map markers on the automap at will, it might be an idea to have certain ones appear when you find special items - say when you find the emblem in Gloam, a marker could appear in Bosk of where the emblem's stone is.

Having key markers on each map would lead to the player getting a lot less lost at times. Perhaps mark the exits from each area as well? Of course, it's probably important to not have TOO many on the map at once or the player will get confused. :P

Vader's epic map "Blackrock", for ZPack, took total advantage of the map markers and made it a lot easier to find the key points on the map.

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I personally vehemently oppose that idea. A key component of Phocas island 2 is exploration. Not for the player to stare at the map to find an easy way out of noticing the visual clues.

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I see where you're coming from, but a problem that I personally have with PI2 is that I don't know what areas are important and what areas aren't, and WHEN they are. If I have some indicator as to where I should go, WHEN I should, I wouldn't end up getting lost half as much as I do.

Like I said, the map markers shouldn't really give anything about their corresponding key area away, I would prefer them to still be vague (say only 2-3 markers per level, all looking much the same and spread out over quite a wide area of the map) to keep me guessing.

If anything, with markers on the map, the player is given more excitement and opportunity to explore, by that I mean he knows that there's more key areas to poke around and discover, and it's not just wandering around tens of similar-looking areas and hoping that there's some vital component around the corner.

Markers may also help with navigation around the huge areas. If I haven't remembered the location of an exit from one map to another (and it isn't showing on the automap), say, the exit from Gloam to Beached, I have one hell of a time trying to find it again. Every exit either looks the same, is hidden from my eyes or is inaccessible with the tools I have at the moment. When I can't get out of an area, I'm forced to look for an alternative route that i'm not even aware of - so I have no clue what to do next.

Besides, with the flexibility of markers, the player can turn them on or off anyway with a quick ACS command. And if you oppose the idea of having map markers on the automap then you should have a similar opinion for having key points marked by lines on it, similar to how Grove did it. Having arrows, pathways and notes denoting key areas on the map in a similar fashion to Grove is probably more likely to kill PI2's factor of exploration than having simple "pin" markers as I suggested.

---

None of what I just said implies that I hate PI2 at all, it's a great WAD fully deserving of its Cacoward, but I do get frustrated when I'm hopelessly stuck and trying to find a way out that I'm not even aware of. My request to include map markers is merely to help out me and the rest of the players of PI2 that have no sense of direction. :P

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I missed the posts about using map markers. I'm thinking of of hiding a map object on each map which turns on map markers for 'some' key areas. For example, on beached, I'd put one on the fire, the mushroom 'shrine' and the fire pit. I already did a map graphic from when I was going to use a linedef map (the sprite is MAPPA0). Tell me what you think.

Also, if you don't visit the ZDoom forums, a picture:


Weren't there only four?

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To be honest, I never finished Phocas Island 2. Strangely enough, the not-knowing-what-to-do-next was both a cause of fascination with the wad and what caused me to give up early. I would say you should keep it cryptic.

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Creaphis said:

I would say you should keep it cryptic.

"I would say you should keep an exploration game cryptic" is a towering understatement. Adding map markers is very much akin to giving away a free win for "the players of Phocas Island 2 with no sense of direction" whom, if they really do have no sense of direction, probably shouldn't be playing exploration games in the first place --;

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I enjoyed the fact that it featured complex puzzles and at the same time, looked breathtaking. Just the first view that the player sees when they enter "beached" is amazing.

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map markers ruined oblivion (one of the things, at least)and i think map markers would detract from PI2

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Anybody have some fish sprites? I'm looking for a generic looking fish, maybe a tuna or something. If not, I'll give drawing my own a go.

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