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kristus

Hexen: Edge of Chaos Update

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@Caffeine Freak

 

Jesus Christ, this whole ordeal seems so depressing. A decade of work...

 

On the flipside, I'm sure you learned a lot from it.

 

@printz

 

I agree, it felt like a HD remake of Hexen but somehow felt dated at the same time, and not quite in a good way.  Like the design of the game was at odds with the technology. I imagine this is one of the reasons people got bored developing it. I think the appeal of many, if not most 90s shooters is intimately tied to the technology they were built on and their unique limitations. If you want to bring these games into the modern era then you HAVE to somehow update them while still preserving what the games were all about.

Edited by DooM_RO

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@Caffeine Freak: I'm very sad that you couldn't get it finished. I know it is a massive project, and I am very impressed with the demo! It is a beautiful work of art! Sure, it has bugs, like every worthwhile endeavor. It really is too big of a project to build and release for free, simply because a project like this consumes so much time that it becomes a full-time job, and your team has to eat and pay bills!

 

I'm not trying to push, or anything. I'm just saying that I'd gladly shell out $50 or so for a polished version, and maybe again for a sequel. There's lots of talented, unemployed artists, level designers, and programmers out there, and I'd like to see you rewarded for your efforts. Just curious: Would you want to see it through, with some funding and with an enthusiastic team? (You might need to change it to your own IP, vs "Hexen", though).

 

It's an impressive demo - I want more!

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@DooM_RO and @printz Yeah, I could feel depressed about the project halting, but honestly I've not felt quite as sad about it as I would've expected. I learned a great deal and became a better artist and designer in the process. The levels in the demo release look so much better in their latest internal build version. Christ, I didn't even know how to terrain model back when we did the demo release. Almost all the terrain in the demo is just patch meshes. I'd cringe if I looked at it today.

 

Anyway, the truth is that during the last year or so that I worked on it, I enjoyed it a whole lot less. Part of that was simply because of the art and design problems I mentioned earlier, and knowing in the back of my mind that even if I did push ahead to a second release, I'd be deeply unhappy about certain aspects of the finished product.

 

On the aspect of design and what you mention about it trying to be too much like Hexen 1, that was a definite issue. Hexen 1 was our main point of reference, and because of engine limitations as well as the fact that we didn't have near the monster variety in play as Hexen 1, we couldn't replicate the better aspects of the combat. When you stood back and looked at it, the combat in the game was fundmentally broken. You had the player fighting Ettins 85% of the time, which were weaker than the originals. That wouldn't necessarily be a huge issue, except our world design favored far more open, expansive areas as opposed to Hexen 1's narrow, cramped corridors. So a lot of the time, the Ettins were basically blades of grass waiting to be cut down. The Afrits helped alleviate this problem, but were weak as well, and their projectiles had a real tendency to fuck performance in wide open areas. Using the two monster types in conjunction with each other was tricky, as neither were particularly well-optimized (especially the Ettin), and performance quickly started to take a dive if you had more than 4-5 of them on screen at once. There was the Hellion(the little Zergling creature) of course, but the hitbox on him was all screwed up, and he made the most pathetic noises. I hated even putting him in levels. And again, you always circled back to the engine limitations. Having 6 or 8 enemies on screen in id Tech 1 is no big deal, they're just animated sprites navigating simple sector geometry. Doing the same thing in id Tech 4 is, well, a very different story. And all of that adds up to another reason I felt dissatisfied with the project towards the end; I always had less fun playing it than I did other stuff I was working on.

Edited by Caffeine Freak

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11 hours ago, kb1 said:

@Caffeine Freak: I'm very sad that you couldn't get it finished. I know it is a massive project, and I am very impressed with the demo! It is a beautiful work of art! Sure, it has bugs, like every worthwhile endeavor. It really is too big of a project to build and release for free, simply because a project like this consumes so much time that it becomes a full-time job, and your team has to eat and pay bills!

 

I'm not trying to push, or anything. I'm just saying that I'd gladly shell out $50 or so for a polished version, and maybe again for a sequel. There's lots of talented, unemployed artists, level designers, and programmers out there, and I'd like to see you rewarded for your efforts. Just curious: Would you want to see it through, with some funding and with an enthusiastic team? (You might need to change it to your own IP, vs "Hexen", though).

 

It's an impressive demo - I want more!

 

If I were to do it today, I'd restart the entire project from scratch and use a more modern engine. The problems I detailed above would be the big reasons for that. Getting people who are a) experienced with the Doom 3 engine and b) dedicated and reliable is too much of a hassle. I'd rather take the time to restart the project on something like UE4 or Source 2. That would be if I had the time available, which I currently don't. Even then, I'd be skeptical about finding people dedicated enough to see it through. 

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22 minutes ago, Caffeine Freak said:

 

If I were to do it today, I'd restart the entire project from scratch and use a more modern engine. The problems I detailed above would be the big reasons for that. Getting people who are a) experienced with the Doom 3 engine and b) dedicated and reliable is too much of a hassle. I'd rather take the time to restart the project on something like UE4 or Source 2. That would be if I had the time available, which I currently don't. Even then, I'd be skeptical about finding people dedicated enough to see it through. 

 

Why not make your own commercial Hexen-like game? That way you wouldn't have to worry about team loyalty. Besides, there are just tons of very talented people on Doomworld or QuakeOne that know the game and the design of 90s shooters inside-out. You have learned a lot from this and there are no games out that that capture the unique dark-fantasy flavor of Heretic/Hexen. Sure there are games that are vaguely similar such as the souls games or Amid Evil but Heretic/HeXen have their own very unique spin on the genre. Games like this are making a huge comeback these days and you could put that knowledge to good use.

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5 hours ago, Caffeine Freak said:

 

If I were to do it today, I'd restart the entire project from scratch and use a more modern engine. The problems I detailed above would be the big reasons for that. Getting people who are a) experienced with the Doom 3 engine and b) dedicated and reliable is too much of a hassle. I'd rather take the time to restart the project on something like UE4 or Source 2. That would be if I had the time available, which I currently don't. Even then, I'd be skeptical about finding people dedicated enough to see it through. 

That's where the funding comes in. If you *did* have the time, and you wanted to move forward, your demo is more than enough to secure some immediate pre-release funding. Then, you could hire employees - pay them some pre-release wages, with an option on a share of the profits. The money helps with the dedication and reliability, of course.

 

But, managing everything becomes a lot more tricky when money's involved, and it's not everyone's cup of tea.

 

Anyway, thanks for the demo! I think it would be very nice in the Doom 3 engine, but I've never tried to mod with Doom 3 either.

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14 hours ago, kb1 said:

That's where the funding comes in. If you *did* have the time, and you wanted to move forward, your demo is more than enough to secure some immediate pre-release funding. Then, you could hire employees - pay them some pre-release wages, with an option on a share of the profits. The money helps with the dedication and reliability, of course.

 

But, managing everything becomes a lot more tricky when money's involved, and it's not everyone's cup of tea.

 

Anyway, thanks for the demo! I think it would be very nice in the Doom 3 engine, but I've never tried to mod with Doom 3 either.

 

He would be sued to kingdom come because of the HeXen title and resources.

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14 hours ago, kb1 said:

That's where the funding comes in. If you *did* have the time, and you wanted to move forward, your demo is more than enough to secure some immediate pre-release funding. Then, you could hire employees - pay them some pre-release wages, with an option on a share of the profits.

 

In the event I managed to 'secure some funding', it would be something like a couple hundred bucks on Patreon, (maybe) and nowhere near in the neighborhood of being enough to pay employees for whatever years of work they would end up putting into the project. 

 

There isn't anywhere close to being enough interest in an 8 year old demo on a dated engine to garner the kind of funds that you're talking about. And if I did go through with the project, it would be because I wanted to do it, not because I'm interested in making a few bucks.

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20 hours ago, DooM_RO said:

 

Why not make your own commercial Hexen-like game? That way you wouldn't have to worry about team loyalty. Besides, there are just tons of very talented people on Doomworld or QuakeOne that know the game and the design of 90s shooters inside-out. You have learned a lot from this and there are no games out that that capture the unique dark-fantasy flavor of Heretic/Hexen. Sure there are games that are vaguely similar such as the souls games or Amid Evil but Heretic/HeXen have their own very unique spin on the genre. Games like this are making a huge comeback these days and you could put that knowledge to good use.

 

Would be a great idea, if I had the time and resources to devote to it right now. 

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11 hours ago, DooM_RO said:

 

He would be sued to kingdom come because of the HeXen title and resources.

Which is why I said "(You might need to change it to your own IP, vs "Hexen", though)."

 

11 hours ago, Caffeine Freak said:

 

In the event I managed to 'secure some funding', it would be something like a couple hundred bucks on Patreon, (maybe) and nowhere near in the neighborhood of being enough to pay employees for whatever years of work they would end up putting into the project. 

 

There isn't anywhere close to being enough interest in an 8 year old demo on a dated engine to garner the kind of funds that you're talking about. And if I did go through with the project, it would be because I wanted to do it, not because I'm interested in making a few bucks.

Really? I would think a lot of people would chip in (I certainly would!). And, I didn't mean to suggest that you would be doing it for the money. The money is the vehicle that would allow people to devote their "job time" to this job instead. Not to get rich - instead, making enough money to pay the bills, freeing up your team's time to make time to work on the project, especially for artists and devs that are not currently employed.

 

To me, the term "dated" doesn't mean a lot. I don't see a lot of modern games that look that much better than your demo looks, honestly. I think you guys deserve more credit for what you've created. And, I've seen projects get funded with a lot less to show.

 

Anyway, I respect your decision, and I understand. I just wanted to say that I think you've really got something valuable there, and it's a shame to see it not reach its potential.

 

 

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@kb1

 

A name change would not be enough. Too much infringing content. Plus, the engine is very dated and only works really well for sci-fi environments. For anything other than that it's really kind of terrible. 

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I think the Doom 3 engine is still potentially suitable for that type of game, as it powers the Dark Mod which has environments that remind me of Hexen's.  But I can certainly relate to the problem of creating an ambitious mod only to develop considerably as a mapper as you go along and then be somewhat dissatisfied with the product that has developed.

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13 hours ago, DooM_RO said:

@kb1

A name change would not be enough. Too much infringing content.

I never suggested doing just a name change.

 

13 hours ago, DooM_RO said:

Plus, the engine is very dated and only works really well for sci-fi environments. For anything other than that it's really kind of terrible. 

Clearly, this is an opinion. I saw the demo, and was impressed. What else is needed?

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Inb4 this mod now has the possibility of the final version never being released and just dying just like Mordeth. Ouch.

On the flip side, ez Mordeth cacoward if you ever complete the project.

 

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@Caffeine Freak Are the resources from this mod free for reuse in other maps? I'm tempted to make a new Hexen-style map in Doom 3 and I wonder if I can reuse your monsters (after I play your mod first, of course).

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Also, I tried loading the mod now, but nothing shows up during the game! It's all black! The menu and journal work however. Has anyone else reported this problem?

Edited by printz

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9 hours ago, printz said:

Also, I tried loading the mod now, but nothing shows up during the game! It's all black! The menu and journal work however. Has anyone else reported this problem?

 

Not that I'm aware of, but I haven't kept up on bug reports in years, and certainly not since I quit the project.

 

19 hours ago, printz said:

@Caffeine Freak Are the resources from this mod free for reuse in other maps? I'm tempted to make a new Hexen-style map in Doom 3 and I wonder if I can reuse your monsters (after I play your mod first, of course).

 

Feel free.

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4 hours ago, Caffeine Freak said:

 

Feel free.

I'll have to use this post as citation if I decide to reuse any resource, as the original LICENSE.txt from the decade-old release clearly forbids it. But first, I'll have to troubleshoot the black screen issue... (and then I'll have to make baby steps making Doom 3 maps, but that's another topic). 

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While we're poking about such things, I don't know a lot about D3 modding but apparently it has the same problem as Quake II in that ports lose compatibility with vanilla mods?  I don't suppose it's possible for the old playable demo of this mod to be updated to work with dhewm3?

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@Caffeine Freak I’m Calavera_Jo; the coder that had joined for a brief moment in 2014. It really sucked when I quit the project but I have to say that everything you produced was top notch my man.

 

@ETTiNGRiNDER with access to the source it would be possible to port it to dhewm3 yes. Unless any major changes were done since I left the project at the start of 2015.

 

 

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On 5/13/2020 at 3:37 PM, JBerg said:

@Caffeine Freak I’m Calavera_Jo; the coder that had joined for a brief moment in 2014. It really sucked when I quit the project but I have to say that everything you produced was top notch my man.

 

 

 

Hey man! Good to hear from you again! Thanks, I appreciate it. Always liked having you on the team, you were one of the more reliable coders we had. What are you up to these days?

 

@printz Oh really? It's been so long since I looked at the LICENSE.txt, or anything from our release. I honestly couldn't tell you what legal ramifications there could potentially be for using the assets, if any at all. On the one hand, I honestly doubt anybody who worked on the project leading up to the 2010 release would actually give a shit at this point; on the other hand, I couldn't really say that for sure, as I haven't even talked to most of them in years, and wouldn't even know how to contact most of them now. 

 

I guess there's not much I can say on that, except that I personally don't care, but I obviously can't speak for anyone else. *shrugs* 

 

EDIT: actually, I still have the old email address I used to contact deadite on certain occasions. I have no idea if he still uses it, but if you'd like, I can PM it to you. He'd be a better person to discuss this with than I would.

Edited by Caffeine Freak

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Yeah, LICENSE.txt says this in its last two paragraphs:

Quote

[...]

 

Any and all assets or code presented in this modification are not allowed to be distributed as part of any other package, in whole or in part.

 

If you have any questions further questions about Hexen: Edge of Chaos, please contact us by visiting our forums at http://www.hexenmod.com/forum.

I guess I'll hold off until I get clearance. No hurry anyway, as first I need to somehow solve the black screen issue. DO MIND THAT what I'd most likely do is just to import the monsters and mingle them with the Doom 3 monsters in new Doom 3 styled maps. Or reuse the medieval textures in also new Doom 3 styled maps which may mix hell and fantasy more or less. I've no guarantee that the original authors would appreciate that in order to give any permission.

 

Really, isn't the in-game black screen happening to other users too? All looks fine until you finally enter the game and it's all black. You can hear yourself when you move, so it's not just a cutscene waiting to become bright. It stays black.

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5 hours ago, printz said:

Really, isn't the in-game black screen happening to other users too? All looks fine until you finally enter the game and it's all black. You can hear yourself when you move, so it's not just a cutscene waiting to become bright. It stays black.

 

I recall that it happened for a few people, but I'll be damned if I can remember exactly what the problem was. Post-release, most of my focus was on level design problems, so I only remember this one in a peripheral sense, as I don't think many people reported it. I believe it only required a very minor fix. But it also wouldn't have been in my purview to address that type of bug, so I know I played no part in resolving the issue.

 

Would you like me to PM you deadite's email? He'd be the best person to contact about permission.

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21 minutes ago, Caffeine Freak said:

Would you like me to PM you deadite's email? He'd be the best person to contact about permission.

Yeah, I'd appreciate it. Right now I'm not planning to reuse stuff, but later I may be interested.

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I'm wondering if that black-screen issue is a GL prog problem. As I recall, there was some heavy GL prog use and those things didn't port very well from one card/brand to another. GL progs wasn't my department, but that might be worth looking into.

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On 5/16/2020 at 3:25 AM, Caffeine Freak said:

Hey man! Good to hear from you again! Thanks, I appreciate it. Always liked having you on the team, you were one of the more reliable coders we had. What are you up to these days?

 

Thanks for the kind words. I haven't been up to much really. Working, taking care of my kid, playing some Doom. Once in a while I'll make a map. I've been meaning to try out Phobos soon, looks rad

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