Back to Saturn X E1: we love fixing bugs

Gez said:

I'm not in the BTSX team, but my guess would be that final versions of episodes 1 and 2 will only come after the initial version of episode 3 is released.

Hoping for a 90+ map Back to Saturn X Gigawad. I'd eat that up for a month straight.

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It'd probably TAKE a month to do!

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So I finally got to play this and it is pretty good!

The only things I do not like so far are the weird new colour palette and the soundtrack. There are not bad per se, but the former really does not seem necessary and the latter sounds completely out of place, given the gloomy Quake-like setting.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

The only things I do not like so far are the weird new colour palette and the soundtrack


O_o What???

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HavoX said:

^ Hey. Hey you. You're impatient...

"Good things come to those who wait." ;)

"impatient" is the wrong word to use when there's literally no communication from the team at all and it's been literal years since even a vague update.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

The only things I do not like so far are the weird new colour palette and the soundtrack.


You what? Those are two of the best parts of this wad.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

The only things I do not like so far are the weird new colour palette and the soundtrack.

Say what? Those are perhaps the most defining part of BTSX.

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As I said, the soundtrack is not bad per se, but it just does not feel appropriate for a Doom game. I am currently playing BTSX with Aubrey Hodges' Doom 64 soundtrack and I do think it fits the bleak visuals and atmosphere much better.

As for the new colour palette, I just do not see the point: it does not make the game look better and it is incompatible with Smooth Doom.

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It does actually make the game look better: there are more colors and the colormap fade degrades the color values a lot less than in vanilla.

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BTSX visuals are bleak?! And gloomy? Those are 2 of the last words I would use to describe them.

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Cyberdemon531 said:

"impatient" is the wrong word to use when there's literally no communication from the team at all and it's been literal years since even a vague update.

If you insist, here's an official update from an official team member:


It's not done yet.


There you go. Hope this helps.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

As for the new colour palette, I just do not see the point: it does not make the game look better and it is incompatible with Smooth Doom.


I played BTSX with Smooth Doom just fine. In fact, it added some cool purple highlights to some of the sprites which gave them some more personality, even though as an unintended side effect. The Hell Knight looks pretty damn badass when doing his attack since it looks like he's got plasma surging through his body. Episode 2's visuals are more on the "bleak and gloomy" side but #1 is quite colourful.

Xaser said:

It's not done yet.


I'm curious as to what's left to do with it. Are there additional maps planned or mostly polishing? It looks quite finished.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

The only things I do not like so far are the weird new colour palette and the soundtrack.


lol seriously? That is what defines BTSX in the first place. Mainly because of it's visuals, unique textures and soundtrack.

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rileymartin said:

I played BTSX with Smooth Doom just fine. In fact, it added some cool purple highlights to some of the sprites which gave them some more personality, even though as an unintended side effect. The Hell Knight looks pretty damn badass when doing his attack since it looks like he's got plasma surging through his body.


Those purple pixels actually look like visual glitches and I find them ugly. That is why I say BTSX is incompatible with Smooth Doom.

Breezeep said:

lol seriously? That is what defines BTSX in the first place. Mainly because of it's visuals, unique textures and soundtrack.


I would rather think it would mainly be defined by its massive levels as well as its intricate level design and challenging difficulty.

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The purple pixels are in fact visual glitches; Smooth Doom uses the vanilla color pallet. Pretty much anything that adds enemies is going to have a bad time with BTSX in the visual department. (Weapon replacers are a-ok, though!)

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

Those purple pixels actually look like visual glitches and I find them ugly. That is why I say BTSX is incompatible with Smooth Doom.

I would rather think it would mainly be defined by its massive levels as well as its intricate level design and challenging difficulty.


To each their own. I actually think they enhance the experience. Love me some glowing purple Revenants in the dark.

If we're still talking episode 1, this being an E1 thread, I wouldn't call the levels massive and the difficulty is very much IWAD-like, and probably easier than Plutonia. Certainly nowhere near what's usually considered to be a challenging PWAD.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

Those purple pixels actually look like visual glitches and I find them ugly. That is why I say BTSX is incompatible with Smooth Doom.

Smooth Doom should better come up with an official alternative version where all sprites are converted to PNG format, to avoid looking bad in wads with custom palettes.

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How exactly does converting a sprite to PNG format avoid this kind of visual glitch? I am not sure I understand.

rileymartin said:

If we're still talking episode 1, this being an E1 thread, I wouldn't call the levels massive and the difficulty is very much IWAD-like, and probably easier than Plutonia. Certainly nowhere near what's usually considered to be a challenging PWAD.


I did not say it was the most challenging PWAD I have ever played, but it is much harder than the vanilla Doom IWADs: I made it to MAP 07, I am low on rockets and energy cells, yet there are just so many Revenants, Arachnotrons and Spiderminds, so I would definitely call this challenging!

The same goes for the levels' size: they may not be the biggest maps ever made, but they are quite large and complex, making it easy to get lost.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

So I finally got to play this and it is pretty good!

The only things I do not like so far are the weird new colour palette and the soundtrack. There are not bad per se, but the former really does not seem necessary and the latter sounds completely out of place, given the gloomy Quake-like setting.

You're not the first one to say BTSX's soundtrack is "not Doom", And probably not the last.(unfortunately, since i think the soundtrack completes the experience.)

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

How exactly does converting a sprite to PNG format avoid this kind of visual glitch? I am not sure I understand.

PNG images have palette data built in, so color mismatches can be accounted for automatically. Doom-format graphics don't have that, so the game can only assume they use the same palette as everything else. If color index, say, 150 is gray in the expected palette but purple in the main loaded palette, the PNG still tells the game that it should be mapped to gray, whereas the Doom-format graphic only tells it to use color 150, whatever that color might be.

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So basically, converting all the sprites to PNG should solve the problem. Hmmm...

jazzmaster9 said:

You're not the first one to say BTSX's soundtrack is "not Doom", And probably not the last.(unfortunately, since i think the soundtrack completes the experience.)


I dunno.

The maps remind me a lot of Quake II, so the cheerful, often soothing soundtrack sounds more like what you would expect from a Sonic or Mega Man game.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

Sonic or Mega Man game.

More or less what I think.

Unfortunately, I don't find such soundtracks very atmospheric.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

So basically, converting all the sprites to PNG should solve the problem. Hmmm...


Yep. I had to do that for Ancient Aliens since the effect of the palette change is far more drastic.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

The maps remind me a lot of Quake II, so the cheerful, often soothing soundtrack sounds more like what you would expect from a Sonic or Mega Man game.


Thanks for the education on what the soundtrack should have been, because everything needs to fit into nice little stereotypical boxes

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

I dunno.

The maps remind me a lot of Quake II, so the cheerful, often soothing soundtrack sounds more like what you would expect from a Sonic or Mega Man game.


Cheerfull and Soothing? The soundtrack was made to be like an adventure type vibe similar to Horizon from TNT.
This mapset is unique and the soundtracl went with that as well.

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jazzmaster9 said:

Cheerfull and Soothing? The soundtrack was made to be like an adventure type vibe similar to Horizon from TNT.

Those things aren't exactly mutually-exclusive.

jazzmaster9 said:

This mapset is unique and the soundtracl went with that as well.

This mapset is like an apotheosis of megawads with original music. It brings the formula to a new level of quality, but the formula itself stays the same: it's all about ACTION, with maybe a few very brief periods of suspense, and the music reflects that.

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To be fair, I had the same problem with Bungie's Marathon: the setting and the visuals were rather bleak, yet the music sounded like it belongs in freaking Mario Kart or something. I had to replace it with Rich Ragsdale's Aliens Versus Predator soundtrack in order to actually enjoy myself. To Bungie's credit though, the Marathon sequels ditched music in favor of ambient noises, greatly enhancing the experience.

In a way, it is a shame high-quality mapsets such as BtSX and especially Ancient Aliens are using vanilla arsenal and beastiary, because they clash with the new visuals. While Doom's demons still sort of work in BtSX's Stroggos-ish environments, they look completely out of place in Ancient Aliens' diverse, colourful levels.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

In a way, it is a shame high-quality mapsets such as BtSX and especially Ancient Aliens are using vanilla arsenal and beastiary, because they clash with the new visuals. While Doom's demons still sort of work in BtSX's Stroggos-ish environments, they look completely out of place in Ancient Aliens' diverse, colourful levels.

Once the Texture set is out, im sure people will go nuts with what they can make.
BTSX and Ancient alients are mapsets and NOT Total Conversions, so they did what they set out to do really well.

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I think it mostly just comes down to the age-old soundtrack debate of PC action/metal versus PSX ambient/atmospheric.

Personally, I much prefer the former, and so to me the soundtracks for BTSX (et al) are top-notch.

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