Ancient Aliens - final version on idgames

rileymartin said:

I did the SLADE conversion to PNG in the PK Smooth Weapons mod but for some reason the weapons are shades of black and white now. Same issue with SmoothDoom. Am I doing something wrong there?

http://imgur.com/qv9PRId

You need to set DOOM2.WAD as your base resource in Slade, so it has a palette to compare to when doing the PNG conversion.

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esselfortium said:

You need to set DOOM2.WAD as your base resource in Slade, so it has a palette to compare to when doing the PNG conversion.


That did the trick, thanks man!

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Okay, so I'm stuck on Map05. How do I get to the super secret area that's up on the cliff off to the side? I've went around every wall in the map and I couldn't find anything :(



Any hints would be appreciated =)

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Spoiler

I circled the switch that raises the lift.

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stru said:

Just wanted to let you know that your WAD is trending on Facebook. Also, PCGamer and Kotaku both published popular articles on this. Great job!


Dang, why all this sudden attention? It's pretty incredible just how out there it's been getting lately.

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Ran the last map in GZDoom, was NOT disappointed!!! Good work skillsaw, and all the other authors who helped to contribute on this set. I had a blast playing it and would recommend this to anyone!

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valkiriforce said:

Dang, why all this sudden attention? It's pretty incredible just how out there it's been getting lately.

Likely that this WAD is riding the crest of the wave of attention that DOOM as a franchise is getting with the new game. Trending on Facebook is pretty crazy, though.

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Yeah. Doom is obviously kind of a thing in the broader gaming space right now. In the whole lead up you have seen a renewed interest in classic Doom as well. Also let's not forget Romero's new maps. That has also accrued some attention. Leads to people noticing what is THE BIG THING right now in the Doom community.

Also it probably helps that Ancient Aliens translates really well into striking looking screenshots. That is huge for mainstream gaming media.

Game Journalists will totally write about a cool niche thing if it comes to their attention and they see an angle that interests them. Since Doom mappers rarely do PR, I guess that's what happened here.

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Rayzik said:

Ran the last map in GZDoom, was NOT disappointed!!! Good work skillsaw, and all the other authors who helped to contribute on this set. I had a blast playing it and would recommend this to anyone!


Thanks!

P.S. I am looking forward to the megawad you keep teasing in the pictures thread :D

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Had a fucking great time playing the rest of the maps. Glad to have finished this just before my vacation started. I can confirm the strange projectile oddities in MAP24 that joe-ilya pointed out (a mancubus fireball came at me and it just whooshed around, hahaha).

Don't mean to be nitpicky to stewboy now, but is there a reason that the track formerly known as "Hell Jungle" (BTSXE2 MAP18, credited as Hell Jungle in textfile) was renamed as "Birdsong" here and a different track was named "Helljungle" (without the space as well) for this wad?

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thaquoth said:

Yeah. Doom is obviously kind of a thing in the broader gaming space right now. In the whole lead up you have seen a renewed interest in classic Doom as well. Also let's not forget Romero's new maps. That has also accrued some attention. Leads to people noticing what is THE BIG THING right now in the Doom community.

Also it probably helps that Ancient Aliens translates really well into striking looking screenshots. That is huge for mainstream gaming media.

Game Journalists will totally write about a cool niche thing if it comes to their attention and they see an angle that interests them. Since Doom mappers rarely do PR, I guess that's what happened here.


yeah this one really took off. i think the colors really made it pop.

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skillsaw said:

Any specific suggestions? I'm not particularly pleased or displeased with the gameplay on this map. I'm not exactly sure where I'd start.

After thinking about it for a couple days:

The lava area probably shouldn't teleport in the edge snipers until the floor is lowered (right now, that's just a bit of RL grind; they'll make an impact once the real fight starts), and maybe add a few more Viles to the floor on the real fight.

The winter area might be well served by being less structured with its encounters. Un-deafen the monsters that don't immediately see the player, so that they come looking for him, instead of the other way around. I'd also greatly increase the size of the Caco-swarms.

Not sure how the ring can be fixed. The layout and traversal here is a bit of a problem; obviously, you need to spawn more stuff in on each new floor, but you also need to be able to force the player out onto the ring itself (to stop him from just sitting in one of the exterior areas and camping), and that's going to be really tough to do with the current lift system -- either the player can just resort to dropping to a lower level, or you have to spawn enemies on lower levels that will be a flow-breaking annoyance to take out. I suspect re-thinking the traversal of this area may be in order.

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Cynical said:

The winter area might be well served by being less structured with its encounters. Un-deafen the monsters that don't immediately see the player, so that they come looking for him, instead of the other way around. I'd also greatly increase the size of the Caco-swarms.


I would agree on this. Not sure how I feel about "greatly" increasing the caco swarms, but more cacos will help. How do you feel about adding one or two viles for a bit of "surprise-area-denial"? would that help, or would it conflict with the theme too much to make any sense?

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I don't think Viles would be needed. As snipers on the ledges, they would only exaggerate the area's current issues, and the sight lines are huge enough that they'd be a bit too overbearing on the ground unless some pillars were added.

The issue with this area right now is that it's very easy to just clear the area you drop into without moving much, and then strike out to the ancillary areas, killing monsters as you wake them up. More monster density in that initial area is needed so that just sitting there isn't viable, and he needs to use the whole thing for fighting. Both having the currently deaf monsters wander in and having large caco-swarms to take up space and bully the player around (and as I type this, I realize that this wouldn't work as well in ZDoom, since it relies somewhat on infinite tallness) would go a long way to solving the issue without just clogging the whole area with more demonflesh.

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Cynical said:

After thinking about it for a couple days:

The lava area probably shouldn't teleport in the edge snipers until the floor is lowered (right now, that's just a bit of RL grind; they'll make an impact once the real fight starts), and maybe add a few more Viles to the floor on the real fight.

The sniper idea is solid, but I don't think the area needs to be much harder, so it'd have to be balanced out if it turns out a frenetic deathtrap. It's the third world after a lot of leg work after all. More ground viles is just a bad idea, imo.

The winter area might be well served by being less structured with its encounters. Un-deafen the monsters that don't immediately see the player, so that they come looking for him, instead of the other way around. I'd also greatly increase the size of the Caco-swarms.

I really like the first idea, that could be pretty fun. I hate the other, unless greatly increase means like, three. It doesn't need a big bump in difficulty, imo. Just let it be the easier, transitional world.

Not sure how the ring can be fixed. The layout and traversal here is a bit of a problem; obviously, you need to spawn more stuff in on each new floor, but you also need to be able to force the player out onto the ring itself (to stop him from just sitting in one of the exterior areas and camping), and that's going to be really tough to do with the current lift system -- either the player can just resort to dropping to a lower level, or you have to spawn enemies on lower levels that will be a flow-breaking annoyance to take out. I suspect re-thinking the traversal of this area may be in order.

I can see your point, but adding more stuff could only exacerbate the issue this world has: slower, campier pace with sniping. On the other hand, dishing out more and more teleport ambushes around the player to smoke them out would just alienate (heh) the other side of the player spectrum and despite being tough, I don't think AA should fully commit to being a challenge wad for a niche crowd.

I wonder what could work as a bait to get players to close down the distance and get back to the central circle. Maybe viles? And put holes in the impassible wall chunks to open the center out and increase monster LOS? edit: Hmm, more focus on SSG+PG over RL+CG?

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The idea with greatly increasing the caco count in the winter area isn't so much "make it harder" as it is "get the player feeling chased, instead of feeling like the one in control." Undeafining the monsters may be enough to accomplish that, though.

On the ring, I really like the idea of adding some holes to the center to give the monsters more lines of sight. Another possibility that just occurred to me, although I don't know how viable it would be for the map's geometry, would be to supplement the guys spawning in the center with some fliers approaching from the outside. For the bottom floor, you could probably just move the Cacos that initially start to the center to the outside, distributed evenly around the ring, and give the alien-skull-revenant-thing a couple of buddies in the center; for the second and third floor, just add a few flying monsters approaching from the outside.

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Hmm, I like the sandwich strategy with fliers on the outside. More pressure vectors are always a positive.

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Getsu Fune said:

Don't mean to be nitpicky to stewboy now, but is there a reason that the track formerly known as "Hell Jungle" (BTSXE2 MAP18, credited as Hell Jungle in textfile) was renamed as "Birdsong" here and a different track was named "Helljungle" (without the space as well) for this wad?


Just a minor mixup. 'Birdsong.mid', until a week or two ago, didn't have a name. I submitted it to interception, then I submitted an original midi 'helljungle.mid' to BTSX, then somewhere along the line the unnamed interception midi got used instead, but still under the title 'helljungle'. I did bring it up to the btsx team at some point but I wasn't really too bothered about it because I didn't expect people to be that interested in the music titles :P

I almost feel like the arcing projectiles should be kept in map24 - they kind of add to the surrealness!

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This megawad is so good I lost my job, my wife left me, the city took my home and now I live in a dumpster behind a nine eleven, crying into a stack of printed screenshots of these levels.

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Thank you! It's definitely the track I'm most proud of from this project.

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Just want to thank stewboy once again for the track "Imaginarium". Its fantastic. Couldn't have found a more suitable song.

Getsu Fune said:

I can confirm the strange projectile oddities in MAP24 that joe-ilya pointed out (a mancubus fireball came at me and it just whooshed around, hahaha).


Haha yeah, I removed the Tony Hawk physics for RC2 (by using wind instead of scrolling floors counter-intuitively).

stewboy said:

I almost feel like the arcing projectiles should be kept in map24 - they kind of add to the surrealness!


I'm kind of torn on whether to leave it in myself, but I suppose it gets in the way of the firefights as it currently is. If I had recalled the effect earlier, I would have liked to have used it for some simple puzzles. Like seeing a shootable switch through a window that can only be hit by arcing a projectile through a series of wind tunnels.

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...Where the fuck are you supposed to go in map 18? 30 minutes with IDDQD and repeated use of TNTEM, and I can't find any of the keys.

And this is a spawn shooter map? Ugh.

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lupinx-Kassman said:

I'm kind of torn on whether to leave it in myself, but I suppose it gets in the way of the firefights as it currently is. If I had recalled the effect earlier, I would have liked to have used it for some simple puzzles. Like seeing a shootable switch through a window that can only be hit by arcing a projectile through a series of wind tunnels.



i suggest keeping it, because AA looks like a very memorable wad anyway, and with this effect it would have even more of that "wow, that map!" factor.

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OK, finally figured out how to get the Red Key in map 18, beat the map "properly".

Can't say I like it much, although it's a genre that I strongly dislike in the first place (I hate spawn-shooter maps, and the "Sandbox of Sin" style is even worse). I really hate the bottleneck after the blue key grab, though -- between all of the spawned stuff and the second wave of Cacos coming to greet you at the dead end just past the top of the lift back up, it's pretty much a "hold M1 and pray" situation, since if you don't bust through it *fast*, you're dead. Also, the "arachnotron teleports in front of you, plasma troopers at your back with the sound cue covered by the plasma the arachnotron is shooting in front of you" is just flat-out bullshit -- a basically guaranteed cheap death the first time at the end of a map that's already got a few pretty luck-driven segments.

EDIT: On an unrelated note, in map 17, in the fight after you cross to the Red Key island, I'd consider spawning a ton of stuff on the bridge to prevent backtracking. For a cowardly player (Guilty!!!), that fight gets a bit wonky, first sniping out the Vile from a distance, then just sort of plinking at the rest as it gradually trickles in until it falls.

(Also, I want to note, that even though my posts have been pointing out negatives, my overall reaction to the wad has been pretty positive.)

EDIT:
Some kinda dumb things in map 20:
1. Chaingunner at the start has autoaim pulled away from him by the imps. Put a monster block line on the imp ledge to stop them from moving under him.
2. Red key side has a group of Pinkies trapped up a set of stairs they can't climb down.
3. The three imps in the back of the last battle don't wake up.

I'm also really not convinced on the "weapon selection" gimmick. The SSG is the obvious choice for the start, unless you want to be plinking at those first two Revs all fucking day. And then the SSG puts the Rocket Launcher on the easier side, putting the relatively useless Plasma Rifle on the harder side.

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Holy crap, MAP18 of this megawad is the coolest looking, trippiest maps I have ever played.



Blegh, I couldn't get the palette to work with InstaDoom.

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Lizardcommando said:

Holy crap, MAP18 of this megawad is the coolest looking, trippiest maps I have ever played.

http://i.imgur.com/6aQUZ7J.png

Blegh, I couldn't get the palette to work with InstaDoom.

The cost of having a unique colour palette. It unfortunately breaks most mods.

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Speaking of discolored graphics, I might suggest adding a custom forward-slash graphic for the intermission screen into a lump named "WISLASH", to replace the one ZDoom has when you set CVAR "wi_percents" to 0 (eg: you force it to do a Heretic-style "SECRETS: 2/3" instead of the default Doom behavior of "SECRETS: 66%"). Seems the WISLASH in zdoom.pk3 (well, gzdoom.pk3, but who's counting?) is paletted, so it looks wonky with Ancient Aliens's palette.

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Any hints on finding the secret exit in MAP15? I unlocked the normal exit, but I've come up blank.

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TheOligopolist said:

The cost of having a unique colour palette. It unfortunately breaks most mods.


There shouldn't be any discolored graphics in ZDoom-based mods that use png graphics. That being said, IIRC instadoom is PrBoom compatible.

I would hope any zdoom mod that is actively in development would be using exclusively png graphics at this point: BTSX already forced the issue due to it's heavily modified palette.

Anyways, time for RC2:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/r0iqcd1vrqc9ooc

What's included:
-A lot of bugfixes (thanks to all who reported issues). I should be caught up with bugs reported in this thread.
-Improved the palette (added 4 more very dark browns) and colormap so that browns no longer fade to that greenish color in dark areas while using the software renderer
-Replaced the broken map24 music
-revamped ITYTD/HNTR so that it is much more casual friendly, made HMP a little bit (but not much) easier. I could use feedback on skills 1-2 in particular. A few of the maps that are more slaughtery in their design were a bit tricky and probably need some further attention (MAP15, MAP18, MAP28, MAP29)
-new ending text after MAP30 written by dew
-snazzy new sound effect for the icon of sin's alert
-Probably more stuff I forgot

An RC3 will come at some point with some tuning to some of the maps that have some gameplay issues I want to resolve (like map16) but I'm not rushing it.

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