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Zandor

Dark Forces - of the Kyle Katarn series

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I'm sure most of you Classic Doom fans have played Star Wars: Dark Forces. A game that pretty much was Star Wars copy pasted onto the Doom engine, which made up a large portion of games at the time.

But my question is, has anyone ever seen an editor for Dark Forces like we have Doom Builder?

I know it being Star Wars and all this is highly unlikely, just curious.

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Mmmmm, Dark Forces. What a great game! At least, that's how I remember it. Anyway, I thought your question was interesting, so I searched the Internet a bit and found this amidst a lot of dead links and lovely 90s looking websites :) Apparently, the editor of choice was DFUSE which later became WDFUSE. Many of the results I found mentioned these two editors, so it might be (have been?) the only ones available. According to the link, it sure seems like it. I don't know if this fully answers your question, but maybe you can find it useful.

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Angry Saint said:

It's sad there is no good source port to play DF... there is only the DarkXL but I think development is very slow.

Because DarkXL is not a source port at all. Because there is no source to port. Lucas was a possessive bitch and I think it just got worse with Disney. I can only dream of a parallel universe where DF would get as open as Doom.

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The best place to check is df-21.net

I believe they have fairly competent one, actually, and I believe it was built to be like Doombuilder. Can't remember the name of it, though.


Otherwise, I'm deeply in love with the Dark Forces games. Dark Forces is one of the few games I have actually beaten, on a Hard mode no less (PSX version on a PSP). The sequel came out on my third birthday.

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Well I also liked both Dark Forces games and the later Outcast and Academy games, I'm pretty much glad that at least the source codes for the last two I mentioned were released not long ago although it would've been better if they were released years earlier.

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Well, released and taken back again. But there's a JO source community project on going right now.

Speaking of DFII, I mentioned earlier Massassi.net is closing down. This is their last month, fyi.

NOPE PREMATURE EJACULATION. NOT TILL FEBRUARY LOL ONE MORE COMMUNITY MAP PROJECT

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It is not just a game pasted onto the DooM engine. Nothing, anywhere ever even mentions or proves that it has a DooM engine base.

Most editors for this game have a weird line or vertex based mapping system with an even weirder approach to 3D previews (if they have it)... To be blunt... those editors are hard as hell to comprehend.

And for Dark Forces 2 it gets even worse as that game is full 3D yet somehow manages to have 2D map-editors like doom with a mind-damaging layout...

Look at the massasi temple And jkhub (love that site) to know more :

http://www.jkhub.net/

http://www.massassi.net/

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FireFish said:

It is not just a game pasted onto the DooM engine. Nothing, anywhere ever even mentions or proves that it has a DooM engine base.

I think the OP did not mean to say that Dark Forces runs on the Doom engine, rather that the game's engine and visuals are pretty similar to Doom.

I've heard/read somewhere that LucasArts (or even Lucas himself?) got motivated to create Dark Forces after a couple of user-created Star Wars-themed Doom PWADs were released. Also there are rumours that the developers might have reverse-engineered the Doom engine (or parts thereof) to create their own Jedi engine.

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If they reverse engineered it, it was most likely to get an idea of how a sector based engine works to do their own implementation, I doubt they would've swiped code wholesale.

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MrFlibble said:

Also there are rumours that the developers might have reverse-engineered the Doom engine (or parts thereof) to create their own Jedi engine.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: the Jedi Engine (used in Dark Forces and Outlaws) is not at all similar to the Doom engine. Everything about it is different.
- The renderer is portal-based, not BSP based. In that, it's much closer to Duke 3D than to Doom.
- Sprite animations are baked into the sprites themselves.
- There is a polygonal 3D renderer grafted to the engine, which does a second pass for 3D objects such as the mouse bots or your spaceship.
- Level actions are all scripted (*.INF files).
- LucasArts made the levels in AutoCAD and used a custom script to convert them.

Even if you had given them the full source code for Doom, there are exceedingly few parts that they would have ended up using because the Jedi engine does everything differently from Doom.

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Gez said:

- There is a polygonal 3D renderer grafted to the engine, which does a second pass for 3D objects such as the mouse bots or your spaceship.



Coincidentally, early versions of the game lacked 3D objects whatsoever. The original ship, for example, was a sprite with rotations. With that said, I'm not disputing anything you said.

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Avoozl said:

This makes me curious as to how Doom would be like if it used the Jedi engine.


What if scenario :

- It would have had a few 3D models. Maybe the guns would have been model based.

- The levels would have had flowing water which transports the player.

- George Lucas would have been the Icon of Sin End-boss.

- People would have been killed by bugs. Squeeze yourself into a hole and jump around.

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Doomhuntress said:

DF on GOG plays pretty fine, though i can't seem to figure out how to play it in windowed since it doesn't respond to alt-enter.

I'm pretty sure there is some file with a .conf extension. Open it with a text editor, search for "fullscreen" and set it to false.

Because the GOG version is using Dosbox.

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Soundblock said:

The Doom palette texture pack for Dark Forces is on this page:

http://www.doomworld.com/afterglow/textures.shtml

Great game. Even liked DFII.


Whoa, it just occurred to me that many of STRAIN's better looking textures I once thought were original were actually ripped right from Dark Forces. I was wondering how some of them looked so good!

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Gez said:

I've said it before, I'll say it again: the Jedi Engine (used in Dark Forces and Outlaws) is not at all similar to the Doom engine. Everything about it is different.

Well, it's pretty similar from the end-user perspective (except for users who create custom maps I guess).

As for the reverse-engineering rumour, I think I read it in the FAQ I linked to above. UPD: checked the FAQ and it doesn't seem to be there. However, there's this interesting titbit:

From _CD-ROM Magazine_:
"So how much had id Software's Doom influenced the team.[sic] "When Doom
first came out it made us set our sights a bit higher," said Stinnet[sic]. "We
knew we wanted to do a first-person _Star Wars_ game, but we didn't know what
programming technology we'd use. But it is our own engine, which we developed
internally." Is it better than the Doom engine? "It has quite a bit more
capability -- ours can look up and down and it has 3D objects."
"However, there's no rivalry going on, just a lot of healthy American
mutual respect. Both teams keep in touch through E-mail and the id team has
played Dark Forces and (according to a Lucas PR person) loved every bit of
it. This is probably because Dark Forces includes some of the features which
id is supposedly including in its latest title, Quake. The most obvious
difference is that in Dark Forces, you can look up and down. To create the
right perspective, the programmers employed a clever fish-eye effect which
makes buildings look as if they're really looming over you."

Clonehunter said:

Coincidentally, early versions of the game lacked 3D objects whatsoever. The original ship, for example, was a sprite with rotations.

That must be some very early version. IIRC the playable demo (v0.163D) already has Kyle's ship as a real 3D object.

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Playing on Dark Forces always gives me a Build engine X Doom feeling.. The engine is really good at rendering that dark atmosphere they gave Star Wars in Dark Forces, but it has these weird bugs and things which remind me of Build... like the player being able to die by jumping or moving around in tight places...

I wonder if those bugs are a common problem whenever somebody tries to make a more "complete" 3D experience out of a 2D map based software renderer without it ever being in true 3D all the time.

MrFlibble said:

That must be some very early version. IIRC the playable demo (v0.163D) already has Kyle's ship as a real 3D object.


Its kind of amazing how those 3D models do not look out of place between all that 2D action. But when one moves around the ship then one can see a huge amount of vibrations on the model. Some parts seem to move around...



MrFlibble said:

UPD: checked the FAQ and it doesn't seem to be there. However, there's this interesting titbit:

From _CD-ROM Magazine_:
a lot of healthy American mutual respect.
Spoiler

This quote has been manipulated. scroll the page upwards to see the original.


Oh my... the developers must have been extreme nationalist assholes. They where subconsciously spreading pro-American propaganda ! The truth is out there !

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MrFlibble said:

That must be some very early version. IIRC the playable demo (v0.163D) already has Kyle's ship as a real 3D object.


This was from before the demo

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Clonehunter said:


That made me browse around on that FTP and investigate this, which resulted in some waybackmachine usage :

Daron Stinnett :
"A hallmark of Dark Forces is that the environment itself is so alive. The only thing that's alive in Doom are the enemies."





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Holy shit. You'll have to give me that wayback link, because I kept pulling up errors when I tried to dig around there more. I remember seeing those images before the links died. The site also had a lengthy page on early Dark Forces II information, but that page is dead/under construction at it's new home and the wayback doesn't seem to be able to pull it up.

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I've heard a lot of good things about Dark Forces. I'd like to give it a try, and also Outlaws, both which play the Jedi engine. I always wonder if the Jedi engine is a modification of the Doom engine, speaking of which, Dark Forces 2, while it uses the Sith engine, it could be an enhancement of the Quake engine.

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The Sith Engine is better than the Quake engine, but noticeably worse than Quake II's engine (Though the modifications made too it for the expansion pack tried to put it on part technically with Q2, though don't think the engine was used for much more after that). Documentation of it can be found on Massassi.net's forums somewhere.

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T-Rex said:

I always wonder if the Jedi engine is a modification of the Doom engine


The Jedi engine is a modification of the Doom engine in exactly the same way that the Airbus A380 is a modification of the Tesla electric car.

I mean, they're both modern vehicles with a lot of electronics, so it's the same thing, really.

Gez said:

I've said it before, I'll say it again: the Jedi Engine (used in Dark Forces and Outlaws) is not at all similar to the Doom engine. Everything about it is different.
- The renderer is portal-based, not BSP based. In that, it's much closer to Duke 3D than to Doom.
- Sprite animations are baked into the sprites themselves.
- There is a polygonal 3D renderer grafted to the engine, which does a second pass for 3D objects such as the mouse bots or your spaceship.
- Level actions are all scripted (*.INF files).
- LucasArts made the levels in AutoCAD and used a custom script to convert them.

Even if you had given them the full source code for Doom, there are exceedingly few parts that they would have ended up using because the Jedi engine does everything differently from Doom.

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Clonehunter said:

Holy shit. You'll have to give me that wayback link, because I kept pulling up errors when I tried to dig around there more. I remember seeing those images before the links died. The site also had a lengthy page on early Dark Forces II information, but that page is dead/under construction at it's new home and the wayback doesn't seem to be able to pull it up.


one :
https://web.archive.org/web/20070917184422/http://www.df-21.net/articles/earlydf.html

two :
https://web.archive.org/web/20070911073315/http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/dfearly.html

three :
https://web.archive.org/web/20070321002823/http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/dfdemo.html

four :
https://web.archive.org/web/20070601184055/http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/dfmac.html


And that website where Clonenunter linked from also seems to be archiving Dark Forces and Jedi Knight websites :

http://www.jkdf2.net/JKBot/JKArchive/?dir=JKDF2/JKDF2/Websites/Jedi%20Knight%20Preview%20Pages

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