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17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

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Subject: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 17 Oct 2016, 20:26

Map Title: Beacon
Author: Will "Mr.Prophet" Drekker
From: Xidia Gold
Filename: XidiaES-Map7-Beacon.unr
Music Files: Crash99, Nemesis.




Video Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upJeopMFzKI

Synopsis: One last trip through Outpost Pheonix to get payback on Cray and escape. Unfortunately, the Genome Warrior experiments are now out to get you as well...

Discuss!
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 17 Oct 2016, 21:50

Crash99.umx should have lasted for MUCH MORE. Intense map still!
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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 17 Oct 2016, 23:32

I happened to have a save file form this map, so I replayed it just for the sake of this thread.

"Gateways Part II" is a piece of intense music, suitable for a escape part indeed. It could play up to the corridor right before encounter with Cray. Speaking of Cray - I know he's a final boss, right? But considering Skaarj Praetorians much more stronger than humans (according to lore, that is), why is he so overpowered? I remember being frustrated with this fight on Unreal difficulty setting, reloading the game multiple times before I eventually defeated him. In Seven Bullets, this was taken up to eleven during the elevator ambush in Noork's Elbow where Jones has to fend off people with hitscan weapons - that's Cray times ten!

And that Skaarj Trooper with a Flak Cannon got me by surprise when I first played through the campaign. Seems that mud is a great hiding place for an ambush.
Doo dee doo, doo da doo, la doo dee doo.

Im jsut teh Gooby dont minde meh, k?

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 18 Oct 2016, 00:04

Could a moderator move this to the previous MOTW please. Only today I had the time to replay that map and test my memory.

salsaSkaarj wrote:I also scratched my head thinking about those items but if I recall correctly I found a way to push a set of boxes from another room to that one so that you could jump onto the top of the bed. A single box is easy, but you have to push a moveable box from a big (unmoveable) box on to a single moveable box (and you'ld better clear the whole level first). I am certain I did that somewhere and from the video I think it was in this map.


Tested today and memory didn't fail me.
It's perfectly possible to set up 2 stapled boxes and move them to the aforementioned room. It takes some careful positioning but it doesn't need any rocket science (pun intended 8) )

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 18 Oct 2016, 00:10

UBerserker wrote:Crash99.umx should have lasted for MUCH MORE. Intense map still!

Intense indeed.
I played this first when I was still a tactical disaster and had to flashsave after each succesful shot. I actually didn't like this map at all because of the difficulty until I learned how to restrict Cray's movement.
What I immediately admired in this map was how the return to that area was set up. That really made everything fall in place and completed the story.

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 18 Oct 2016, 00:44

salsaSkaarj wrote:Could a moderator move this to the previous MOTW please. Only today I had the time to replay that map and test my memory.

salsaSkaarj wrote:I also scratched my head thinking about those items but if I recall correctly I found a way to push a set of boxes from another room to that one so that you could jump onto the top of the bed. A single box is easy, but you have to push a moveable box from a big (unmoveable) box on to a single moveable box (and you'ld better clear the whole level first). I am certain I did that somewhere and from the video I think it was in this map.


Tested today and memory didn't fail me.
It's perfectly possible to set up 2 stapled boxes and move them to the aforementioned room. It takes some careful positioning but it doesn't need any rocket science (pun intended 8) )


Done, edited last post
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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 18 Oct 2016, 21:08

These levels look worse and worse to me every time they pop up on MOTW.

So many things in here I hate seeing. Game interruptions, cutscenes that go on too long (or even exist), voice acting in Unreal, linear "battle checkpoints" which you see in every campaign ever nowadays. I could go on, but really it's just age.

I still don't get what was going on with music in there. Battles against Cray and Hybrids always look so spastic in playthroughs.

Cray has a lot of health for video game reasons, not sensical ones.
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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 18 Oct 2016, 21:41

Prophet, it's not actually health I'm referring to - he's got a hitscan weapon, and automatic at that, and player fights him in a cramped place (unlike duel with Drago in 7B where you got a lot of space to evade his attacks). And I forgot about one thing - music which plays during battle with Cray is just horrible, low quality wave file thrown into UMX package.

As of voice acting - for me it's a nice touch, but a screwed up one. Both characters speak for too long (Cray is the worst offender with his gratuitous descriptions), and the quality of voices is... oh, my ears!
Doo dee doo, doo da doo, la doo dee doo.

Im jsut teh Gooby dont minde meh, k?

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 18 Oct 2016, 22:36

Voice acting is a poor fit for Unreal but at the time it seemed really important. I think Cope did a decent job considering what I asked of him, a mapper and not a voice actor. He was difficult to understand though, hence the subtitles. I am happy the recording posted here skips the exchange in the hallway, there's a lot of this pausing and interruption in The Escape in general and I see it in the video here. That's really the problem, not the voice acting itself. The Escape was a testing ground for things like ONP cameras, cutscenes, bot-like enemies, and voice use that should have been a little more thoroughly tested and perhaps not included in a released campaign. Even 7B leans on this stuff too much.

This is like 15 years ago almost :) and I thought I was going to be making the next levels on Unreal 2's engine, UT2K3, all that stuff. It was practice for something I thought was going to take off, but Unreal SP didn't really extend past UT.

The music files were either secondary tracks used in Xidia for short bursts or ones that did not appear and were still hanging around on my hard drive. Music in general was used poorly in Xidia but if I remember correctly I used the dumb track from the elevator sequence in Xidia for Cray because no matter how many times I tested the fight Cray would only last a maximum of 30 seconds.
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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 19 Oct 2016, 00:07

Mister_Prophet wrote:These levels look worse and worse to me every time they pop up on MOTW.

So many things in here I hate seeing. Game interruptions, cutscenes that go on too long (or even exist), voice acting in Unreal, linear "battle checkpoints" which you see in every campaign ever nowadays. I could go on, but really it's just age. [...]


Now, now - enough self-bashing for today :)
It's good to have a critical eye and a clear idea of what you would do to improve upon older efforts, of course - but make no mistake, Xidia in general is loved by the community for a reason! And Beacon is really awesome, and an excellent finale to Xidia: The Escape. Outpost Phoenix makes me happy man :tup:
I'll say more about my experience playing the level in the coming days ;)
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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 19 Oct 2016, 23:28

Bumped to put the MOTW thread on top
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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 20 Oct 2016, 02:47

Sat42 wrote:Now, now - enough self-bashing for today :)
It's good to have a critical eye and a clear idea of what you would do to improve upon older efforts, of course - but make no mistake, Xidia in general is loved by the community for a reason! And Beacon is really awesome, and an excellent finale to Xidia: The Escape. Outpost Phoenix makes me happy man :tup:
I'll say more about my experience playing the level in the coming days ;)


Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with how this level and my others have been received. My views are that of a creator, not a player. And it's been a long time since I made this. The Escape was just very rushed and I'm happier with how Xidia came out originally. These are the encore levels and when I watched videos of the Escape levels I want to break my keyboard in half.

Okay though, some nice things I can say. Well, I am very happy that we even had a legitimate central antagonist. Unreal packs had villains but Cray was an opportunity to have a fully voiced personality that had a motive that wasn't just trying to kill the player. I developed this better in Seven Bullets, but at the time it was kind of unique for Unreal. Yes, it has aged, but hey I just beat the Campaign for Gears of War 4 the other day and lemme tell ya...Triple A titles may have the budget, the voice acting, and the animations, but the story telling may as well be written by a 16 year old...which is how old I was when I wrote all these bad lines. :)
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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 20 Oct 2016, 08:49

Slightly offtopic:
It surprises me that the voice acting of ONP-guy has been subjected to some really serious bashing but this is the first time (that I notice) that Cray's voice acting is being criticised.
On a personal note - yes ONP-guy could have been better and Cray's lines (and voice) aren't (by far) what one would call A-class material - but at the time of playing, neither bothered me. Looking and listening at both from more of a distance now, I rank ONP-guy way higher but that is influenced by personal preference for a certain type; of voice and a certain type of humor.

Even though in the video for this map Cray may sound crap, I know for sure that when I play Xidea (the Escape) again, I'm going to be so submerged into the game that I'll hardly notice it. That's my player's view.
As a creator that may be different but mistakes are always made and it's not really fair to judge a result by the means and expertise which one has now but didn't have then.

It may be crap, but it's decent crap to me 8)

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 22 Oct 2016, 02:19

It's like I said. I just think Unreal and voice acting is an uneasy fit. I don't think it's fair either that ONP is so heavily criticized for it and Xidia not as much, since I'd argue that Xidia is pretty poor on voice acting. I think a big part of it is tone. Xidia for the most part is straight forward and "serious" while ONP has a bit of a jokey side to it, and I think ONP is an easier target because as much as people like that campaign maybe they would have wanted fewer in jokes, fourth wall breaking vibes.
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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 22 Oct 2016, 22:45

Never played it.
'Well, there goes our grant money.'

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