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[v0.2a Re-release] Blocks of Doom II - Seeking contributors!

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>>> Download version 0.2a <<<
Must be run with ZDoom r1599 or higher!
Get it here.

>>> Download Editing Package <<<

>>> Download the thrilling prequel <<<

Run with this and go to MAP44.

Old versions:
Version 0.2 (bugged)
Version 0.1

Link to blog page: http://jimmy91st.phpnet.us/projects/blocks-of-doom-ii
WIP page: http://www.wadsinprogress.info/index.php?a=listwads&wad=1280

What is Blocks of Doom II?
I'm glad you asked!

Blocks of Doom II is a top-down gameplay mod for ZDoom (and perhaps Skulltag) that approximates the gameplay of the 1992 DOS game Chip's Challenge. I say approximates, it doesn't totally replicate it. There's plenty of new obstacles and beasts to overcome, and the puzzles, like Chip's Challenge, are at times incredibly frustrating - not necessarily because they're hard to solve, but that everything is out to get you, and you only have 1 precious health point!

Did I mention there's a timelimit, too?

Who's behind the project?
Version 0.1, I'm a little embarrassed to say, is all my work. However, when development came to an utter standstill due to me severely buggering up the ACS library system, I was fortunate enough to be rescued by Carlcyber who has since gone and almost rewritten the entire coding system, and made it much neater and more organised. During Version 0.2's development process he also fixed a plethora of bugs within the mod, some of which prevented me from actually continuing the project. Big thumbs up to Carlcyber - I couldn't have got this far without him. :)

How does the gameplay differ from a normal Doom mod?
Basically, the player is placed at a spot on a 16x16 grid of square blocks. The player can switch between a first-person camera and an aerial isometric view of the whole grid. The blocks raise around him in a fashion that creates a small maze or puzzle that he must escape from. Technically, the blocks are called "tiles", and there are several types of tile that you will encounter - more as the game progresses. Some will immediately kill you (lava and slime), some help you reach certain areas (elevators and teleporters), and others you may have to be incredibly careful walking near or over them (item thieves, unstable wooden blocks and slippery ice).

Every level has a different objective that when completed, exposes (or "unlocks") the exit block. Some levels require you to collect all the spheres on the board (these just appear as regular blur spheres but without the invisibility effect), others require you to destroy all the monsters, and others will be just plain mazes that you must seek the way out of. When you complete the objective, the exit block raises up somewhere, which you must then find, and walk over it so you can move on to the next "level".

There are 20 levels per "world", and each twentieth level will have a boss fight. Each world has its own looks and difficulty, and there are four of them: (1) Terra, (2) Egypt, (3) Castle and (4) Hell. Bonus levels (in the fifth secret world, (5) Ice) are also available if the player manages to get every single sphere in an entire world.

Therefore, 20 levels per every one of the 4 worlds, plus 4 bonus levels, equals 84 levels. Yep, high stakes, and I'm not normally a betting person, but hey, the original game Chip's Challenge had 149 levels, so there. :p

Why is it called Blocks of Doom II? What's with this "prequel"?
Long story. About a year ago, Xaser, the mastermind behind TurboCharged ARCADE!, made the project open development. At current the project is sleeping, but during a buzz of activity I contributed a map to the project (amongst a few others which will be included in the eventual release) - a short top-down-gameplay map called "Blocks of Doooom". This map involved the player walking madly around a 7x7 square grid, dodging out the way of imps' fireballs, and avoiding massive blocks of lava called the Blocks of Doom. There were 8 rounds including a ridiculous boss fight at the end, and all this was done in the wacky style and humor of TcA.

However, there are several ways that the gameplay has been expanded from this. The grid is now more than twice larger, more types of block ("tiles") are available, only one health point is given per map (instead of 666 like in the prequel), and there is a LOT more out to kill your ass.

You've got screenshots, right?
Look no further!

Screenshot batch #1: v0.1

Screenshot batch #2: v0.2 (old screenshots) - New levels (World 1: Terra) and World 2: Egypt

Screenshot batch #3: v0.2 - Large OpenGL shots of new levels, tiles and worlds

Can I join the project?
You sure can! As of version 0.2's release, the project goes open development, during which time I'll be asking for willing volunteers from the community to create user levels. The levels themselves are generated by two vast arrays in the ACS lump for each map, but luckily you won't have to know too much about ACS in order to make levels and get them to work. Me and Carlcyber have been hard at work trying to get user-editing for this project as easy as 1-2-3. Even creating your own tiles is relatively simple.

Be sure to view the Editing Documentation for detailed notes on how to create user levels!

What is included in version 0.2 that 0.1 doesn't have?
Well, quite a lot actually.

  • 15 levels for World 1, 5 levels for World 2, a demo map for Worlds 3 and 4 and a bonus level (World 5).
  • The level code has been rewritten so the maps are generated via arrays instead of line-by-line code. :wasted:
  • Several new tiles including item thieves, ice, slime, force floors (conveyor belts) and teleporters.
  • Some new pickups.
  • A new status bar courtesy of SBARINFO.
  • More configurable overhead camera system.
  • A very easy-to-use editing pack for user levels.
What will be included in version 0.3 that 0.2 doesn't have?
Taken from the upcoming features thread on the dev forum:
  • An undetermined number of new levels!
  • New powerups! The fire suit and slime suit will make you immune to fire and slime walls (but not to walking over them like the boots do) while you have them!
  • Skippable helpscreens! Simply hit the use key while at the helpscreen and the level will start immediately.
  • Free camera rotation! Hitting a certain keybind will toggle full mouse control over the camera, allowing you to change its yaw and pitch at your own leisure!
  • An alias for cheat-warping to other levels in-game.
  • A "makeblock" console cheat that creates blocks in-game for testing purposes.
  • A Healthsphere powerup that gives the player 100 hit points and blue armor protection. A "Player Health" bar appears onscreen to indicate the player's remaining health.
  • Trap buttons that trigger all sorts of interactive obstacles on the grid.
  • Tesla coils that aim lightning bolts at the player! They can be activated and deactivated by trap buttons.
  • Fire traps that shoot out fire onto their eight adjacent tiles, damaging enemies. Some barrels remain stationary and shoot out fire when damaged or when triggered by a trap button. Some barrels are pushable, but can only be triggered by buttons.
  • Stone head traps that behave like the tanks from CC. They roll forward, crushing anything in their path, until they hit a wall. Their direction can be controlled by trap buttons.
  • Clone machines that spawn certain objects next to them. They are also triggered by trap buttons.
  • More when I get off my lazy ass to implement them. :P
Sounds great! Will this be multiplayer-compatible?
NO! SORRY! Next question.

Sorry, but due to the way the ACS is set up it would take more than a lot of rewriting the code to give it multiplayer compatibility. This is a decision I and Carlcyber made quite early on during version 0.2's development, so sorry... but unless someone else is willing to create a multiplayer-compatible version of this mod (only doing so with my express permission), it won't be a reality, and that's pretty much final. Sorry once again.

Why have you jumped on the "answer FAQs in the first post of a release thread" bandwagon?
I don't know! I guess I'm just starved for popularity. :wasted:

So yeah, downloads and feedback would be appreciated!
Hey, I'm making the declamatory statements here! *whack*

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The 10-level demo was fun and beat it. I assume I'm doing it right (controls appear to be always face forward and strafe moves side to side (no turning as far as I know). I think dying on map 6 sends you back to map 5 for some reason.

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Yep, the controls are just move forward and strafe at the moment. You can use the first-person camera if you want, or you can wait til v0.2 releases, which will have a more customizable camera control system. ;)

About map 6: Make sure to manually save at that point. I deliberately made it not autosave at the start of that level (the way it doesn't on levels 2 and 4), but due to complaints I have since made it autosave every level after level 2. Sorry 'bout that!

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I'm the process of finalizing version 0.2. Release will be: in a few minutes from now. :o

So, what's new in this version?

  • 15 levels for World 1, 5 levels for World 2, a demo map for Worlds 3 and 4 and a bonus level (World 5).
  • The level code has been rewritten so the maps are generated via arrays instead of line-by-line code.
  • Several new tiles including item thieves, ice, slime, force floors (conveyor belts) and teleporters.
  • Some new pickups.
  • A new status bar courtesy of SBARINFO.
  • More configurable overhead camera system.
  • A very easy-to-use editing pack for user levels.
As soon as I get this done, the project goes open development. Submit your levels and contributions and they may make it to the next release! :D

EDIT: Aaaand it's here! First post updated.

Get it: http://files.filefront.com/j+blocks2v02zip/;13842619;/fileinfo.html

Don't forget to check out the kickass Editing Package, a lot of which is due to Carlcyber's effort. ;)

EDIT 2: Found a pretty major bug, patch released.

Added to first post.

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Neat! I've never played [or even heard of] Chip's Challenge. But I will certainly give this a try :D

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The patch has been merged with the main WAD and it has been re-released as version 0.2a. The editing package has also been released separately. ;)

For future releases, check my new filespace at phenomer.net.

A development forum has also been created so all user contributions are in one place. Register there and show us your work! :P Link in the first post.

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Hey I found an annoying bug:

If you are standing in nukage or lava with protective boots, and hit a corner and a pushing tile, you die.... Weird. The bug is most pronounced in (I think it's) World 1 Map 20 where you first get the suction boots. You can die in any of the far 4 corners of the map...

Edit... No, I think it's the "oomph" event triggered when you hit a wall... I don't think the death wall types check for boot powerups. The weird thing is, you can die this way bumping into a normal wall when standing in lava/sludge--even with protective boots on.

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Another thing.... Pressing "use" doesn't seem to work at the "end of world one" screen...

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The first problem you mentioned, hitting corners of non-lethal walls while standing in a damaging tile with boots on, is known about and unfortunately can't be fixed right now. It's apparently a ZDoom bug - if the player bumps into any wall while standing on top of a line with the "Player bumps" activation, he activates the special of the line he's standing on as if he'd bumped into it. I know, it's annoying as frak, but neither me nor Carl can fix it at the moment.

As for your other problem, lethal walls don't check for boots, but I plan to introduce fire- and slime-proof suits that will protect you from walls (but not floors) of damaging tiles. Suits combined with boots of the same type will hence make you completely immune to damaging tiles (temporarily, anyway), and will also alleviate the aforementioned ZDoom bug while you have them.

Now, I believe the reason for "use" not working on the intermission screen is due to the sloppy way I set up the map. Make sure you're facing north just before you exit (so you face the linedef that triggers the intermission skipping script). This has been fixed for the next version of Blocks II.

Thanks for your input, anyway. :) Check out the bug report thread on our dev forums for what's also been fixed.

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This project hasn't had a lot done to it in recent weeks, so I'd like to get the ball rolling again. :P Any contributions you guys can offer to the project will be very much appreciated. On our forum you can download the latest development "alpha" (which, since 0.2(a)'s release, has changed dramatically) and use it as a template to build new levels and even new tiles or tilesets. We need quite a few levels yet, but we're also open to any of your suggestions regarding ACS library features or new aspects to the gameplay. :D

The project, overall, is pretty much half-done. If you're feeling kinda creative right now, hop over to our development forums and claim a level slot! :)

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With much of the current development team bogged down with real life crap and alternate Doom projects, the ambitious Blocks of Doom II project is in desperate need of more contributors. As you can see here.

Below is a list of links to pages associated with the project - the top two are where you can visit to contribute to the project, the others are all for regular updates on the project's progress (which admittedly haven't been updated in a while). Registering at the forum is simple (no admin/manual activation required) and the project itself is relatively easy to create levels for, since it comes with its own ACS-based level format and a brand new level editor.

<< Development Forum >> - Register here to get semi-regular updates from the development team. Check out some of the new (in-progress) levels!
<< Latest Releases >> - Go here to download the latest development alphas.

<< Blog Page >> - The project's main article. Updated most frequently.
<< "WADs In Progress" Page >> - Keep up to date with and leave comments on the project.
<< Mod Database (ModDB) Page >> - Lots of screenshots available here.

Hope to hear from some of you soon! 8)

- Jimmy

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