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The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 05:27

You're talking about the EAR (Energy Assault Rifle, I think). The one I inherited from the BFNP code base worked. It looked really cool, if a bit generic for an Unreal arsenal weapon...but then again RD was going to be chalk full of generic guns ideas.

It shot rapid energy bolts and...I don't think the alternate charge up shot was implemented. I believe the version I got did the same thing for both firing modes, but I haven't shot the thing in years. I would need to find a cool use for an alternate firing mode that would make the weapon more distinct, but yes to answer your question, yes. The best thing about it was that it was another energy weapon that WASN'T a UT Pulsegun port over and it was intended to be used with the amplifier.

...I may need to find it :D hehe. So many flash drives...
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 11:42

lol for a while I thought you were talking about EXU2's own EAR
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 15:55

That's why I don't like the name, generic. I don't know if any screenshots of it from the BFNP media have survived. But it looks like what you think it does; gray gun metal sci-fi rifle with slightly rusty appearance. It fired green bolts....I think, green, anyway. Again, I haven't used the thing since I acquired the content files from BFNP...which was in...I promise you I do not remember. I do remember its burn decals were unique in that they faded and cooled and disappeared very quickly after hitting a wall.

Anyway, XSM. That was almost a thing. Like a real UT class based mode. It's funny to me now because that's what a lot of games are still doing and I remember thinking back then people were probably bored of that stuff. Ha.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 16:18

Yeah that sounds a lot like EXU2's EAR lmao.
Also I'm sure that there's no BFNP screenshot on this forum at all except for some promo image showing a bridge. Would be cool if all these unreleased stuff could get a new set of screenshots or something.
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 16:39

Found an old archive image

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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 17:22

Speaking of this weapon, since it reminds me of the Brute gun more than anything, was a new Brute model made? I remember one in the old forums.

also how many maps 7B was going to get originally? I remember that one Dead Scorpion base section got the cut (another battle with Petra) and the post Drago level that had Skaarj.
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 17:47

UBerserker wrote:Speaking of this weapon, since it reminds me of the Brute gun more than anything, was a new Brute model made? I remember one in the old forums.


You mean this one?

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Kaka made the model but it was never animated. These guys were basically going to be like old brutes but more agile (they can run, jump, climb). This idea of an aggressive Brute will survive but as a traditional subclass. Unfortunately the reality is that if something doesn't get animated...it doesn't get made. I've had luck with weapons with certain modelers, where they can animate their stuff (Jet has made an awesome new weapon for instance, and as of 2014-2015 it works and is animated. Diamond and Raven also helped to make Dead Cell's two melee weapons a reality).

Kaka also modeled a 2nd Brute enemy for RD that had no weapons and was a pure melee berserk type enemy that would be chained to walls and reach for players until they broke free. This model was never skinned.

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UBerserker wrote:also how many maps 7B was going to get originally? I remember that one Dead Scorpion base section got the cut (another battle with Petra) and the post Drago level that had Skaarj.


In terms of amount, I don't recall exactly how many are in the finished campaign even lol but the levels I know were cut were The Pit, an additional Dead Scorpion level, and the player would backtrack through Darth and Waff's level after the Drago fight with both levels repurposed for the Bloodpack infiltration, where Surviving Pirates would be forced to ally with Jones as you fought through choke points. Then there was a section linking the Pirate base to the Scarred One's last fight.

There may have been more. Maybe a Kran level or another temple/outside map. I think Harobed was supposed to be the setting for the last fight also, hard to really remember as so much of this was planned but never mapped. There were a few map fragments made that were never used for anything that were adopted into the RD creation heap and became maps.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 23:05

Oh man yeah that Brute model gives me really awesome memories of the old Red Nemesis forums ;(
And yeah you said that a polluted/destroyed Harobed was considered for 7B, and that The Pit was supposed to be located somewhere in the Dead Scorpion map, some locked entrance.
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User avatar editor Dave
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017, 11:34

Thanks to this thread I was reminded that I have not played Xidia at all - I always thought I did, maybe because of Hourences section that's so prominent and was reused in ONP - shame on me! So I decided to go for the Gold campaign and see the beginnings of what would lead me to the joy of 7Bullets I had experienced before...

When skimming through the commentary, I was shocked that both parts took only 4-5 months each - something I could never achieve. But then I found out that quite a lot of the stuff has been reused from older MP maps or, in the case of The Escape, of Xidia itself, so that put things more in perspective. Though, having managed to release such high-quality, (almost) polished map packs in such a short amount of time is really respectable.

The Landing and the first few bits of the third map really got me hooked by its extraordinary use of special events and I hope something as absorbing would later come along as well, though I was let down a little bit during the gameplay. Well, the ending of The Incident sure is madness on its own. :D

I thought the voice acting of The Escape was fine. I say that because I read that Prophet always cringes when he hears himself, though I find his act a little better than Cray's, maybe because of the understandability.

Overall, I found The Incident as a whole more convincing, but in terms of concepts and individual ideas I liked The Escape more. What I mean is this: The Outpost and everything surrounding it almost felt like it was a well rounded complex and the progression felt real. On the other hand, The Escape, while expanding the Outpost and other set pieces, fell flat in comparison, because the additions to older sections didnt look as if they would belong there or the progression itself was questionable. Two examples: The round hallway that connects the new outside area of The Escapes third map with Outpost Pheonix (the styles are so radically different) and the transition to the temple cave in Dead Mines (there was just a random, not even a carried out explosion opening this whole new section - not really believable). In addition, the constant teleportations in the second half rivaled RtNP's infamous location change. :p However, the titan fight was probably the coolest boss fight in the packs, also the whole Queen section was awesome, Hourence's icy tech lab was the most stunning set piece in terms of visuals and introduction of a new subplot, and the overall concept of re-visiting the places the other way round was pretty interesting.

If you ever intend to actually re-release Xidia, the most annoying thing I would advise you to change, are your spelling errors regarding your, you're, there, they're, their, it's and its, and so on. That is one of my pet peeves :D

In the end I just want to say, I had quite a blast playing both Xidia packs, and I was really eager to finish them as fast as possible (meant in a positive way), which is something I don't always feel like when playing custom maps.
The Unforchers will come again soon...

User avatar AlCapowned
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017, 15:17

I only just played Na Pali Haven: Redux within the last year or so. I didn't think an edit of one of my favorite Unreal maps would be able to grab me, especially since I already played Seven Bullets, but I was kicking myself for putting off playing it for so long by the time I was done.

The Bishop is one of my favorite antagonists in a SP campaign. Considering how much he develops in only one map, I think he's up there with the Scarred One. The way he communicated was surprisingly intimidating and really built him up in a short amount of time.

User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017, 16:53

AlCapowned wrote:I only just played Na Pali Haven: Redux within the last year or so. I didn't think an edit of one of my favorite Unreal maps would be able to grab me, especially since I already played Seven Bullets, but I was kicking myself for putting off playing it for so long by the time I was done.

The Bishop is one of my favorite antagonists in a SP campaign. Considering how much he develops in only one map, I think he's up there with the Scarred One. The way he communicated was surprisingly intimidating and really built him up in a short amount of time.


I made this redux so quickly with so little care to quality control that I'm constantly surprised people like it so much. But I will say that the Bishop, that was a cool idea. I cringe a little thinking of the text wall attacks the player gets subjected to as per his "plot thickens" moments, and the way that climax goes down...I actually remember making very little of it lol. I think I was trying to be funny, but it came out as more serious to some people.

All in all, it's a weird little redux level.

I can say that the map uses a couple or multiple music files that were converted in a tracker program from music I found on the internet. I tapped a metal site that made low bit music that could import and convert as well as a few Eurodance/techno stashes. I even remember asking someone to remove some vocals from one track because they were so low quality you couldn't understand them. I think the process of finding and converting these songs took longer than the level did to make and I was messing with those files while making Xidia.
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017, 16:59

editor Dave wrote:
If you ever intend to actually re-release Xidia, the most annoying thing I would advise you to change, are your spelling errors regarding your, you're, there, they're, their, it's and its, and so on. That is one of my pet peeves :D


Yes. I hate reading the old log books. It is agonizing. I would say I was too young to care, but I'm sure this popped up in 7B too. Although at least in 7B there was more than one English speaker on the team. I still laugh thinking of the "temp messages" Hourences added to his Xidia levels.

"We are being killed by the Skaarjs"

editor Dave wrote:In the end I just want to say, I had quite a blast playing both Xidia packs, and I was really eager to finish them as fast as possible (meant in a positive way), which is something I don't always feel like when playing custom maps.


There was a tempo to them, probably because we were DM mappers. Had a big part in how we approached Xidia.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017, 21:23

Mister_Prophet wrote:
AlCapowned wrote:I only just played Na Pali Haven: Redux within the last year or so. I didn't think an edit of one of my favorite Unreal maps would be able to grab me, especially since I already played Seven Bullets, but I was kicking myself for putting off playing it for so long by the time I was done.

The Bishop is one of my favorite antagonists in a SP campaign. Considering how much he develops in only one map, I think he's up there with the Scarred One. The way he communicated was surprisingly intimidating and really built him up in a short amount of time.


I made this redux so quickly with so little care to quality control that I'm constantly surprised people like it so much. But I will say that the Bishop, that was a cool idea. I cringe a little thinking of the text wall attacks the player gets subjected to as per his "plot thickens" moments, and the way that climax goes down...I actually remember making very little of it lol. I think I was trying to be funny, but it came out as more serious to some people.


Lol this is prolly something I'm proud about G59, made sure that almost every entity or boss would be foreshadowed for the whole map or multiple maps, be it through text or visual features. The mappack's story was all based on foreshadowing actually, and everything that you'd see had a reason to be there instead of being useless filler that has nothing to do with the lore.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017, 12:03

So yesterday I played Na Pali Haven Redux of which I definitely knew I had always skipped it along those lines: "Meh... It's just a rehash of a map I already played... what could possibly be different?" As it turns out, quite a lot :B The scenery now really conveys the feeling of being in a war zone. It's only a pity the Nali don't act as they were supposed to.

Reading both reviews, I lean more on Hellscrag's regarding the overall gameplay enjoyment. He found the first Red Nemesis really hard to defeat - I too. I spent more than 20 minutes figuring out the best strategy - on Medium! Luckily, this was the only kind of unfair moment, and for everything else there were way enough healing plants or armor. Even the twin fight that I expected to happen from the beginning (because of their setup in the lore) was done easily and I enjoyed the approach of final fight(s) against the Bishop.

And here I must agree with all of you: The Story is really what sets this apart from quite a lot of maps. Even just looking at the Readme tells you more than some packs do with several maps. It was kind of predictable (or uses good foreshadowing, as discussed here) but very well executed.

The new environments fit quite well in the map poly- and texture-wise. Something I fear when having a low-poly map like this as a base is when it keeps being untouched, but everything different is super-detailed - making it feel out of place. Only the first Bishop encounter area I felt was too empty or the lighting wasn't that impressive. Speaking of which, I loved the lighting of the cracked wall in the canals. I spotted the crack only following the lighting, and having shot the wall, seeing the light increase in radius, was a nice touch. This was probably done before already, but I loved the attention to detail here, anyway.

MisterProphet wrote:There was a tempo to them, probably because we were DM mappers. Had a big part in how we approached Xidia.

This is an interesting point when you think of all the long hallways that dominate many of Xidia's maps while DM usually relies on multi-layered arena-style concepts for z combat and such. I always wondered if a DM map with lots of visible floors and such can be a good battle ground for a final fight against a lot of Skaarj. Mman has tried something like this by converting ArcaneTemple for his RTNP Ultimate, but the progression was a little awkward (and he used Kraal).
The Unforchers will come again soon...

User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017, 17:21

I'm just happy that people like the Redux level, honestly. I'm dismissive of it as a quality level and even as a Jones saga level. I see it as a fun thing I did one month and an excuse to test out some gameplay stuff. Because it has taken with a lot of users here on the forum I made strides to incorporate the level in the lore of Seven Bullets.


editor Dave wrote:This is an interesting point when you think of all the long hallways that dominate many of Xidia's maps while DM usually relies on multi-layered arena-style concepts for z combat and such. I always wondered if a DM map with lots of visible floors and such can be a good battle ground for a final fight against a lot of Skaarj. Mman has tried something like this by converting ArcaneTemple for his RTNP Ultimate, but the progression was a little awkward (and he used Kraal).


When I was making DM levels for UT, a lot of it was about pacing, floorplan, and getting the idea of "flow" right for the player. It's this concept that you want the player to be constantly moving, actively seeking (be it another player or a powerup). This sounds like an awkward thing to try to transition into SP, given that factors like atmosphere and discovery come into play (what you new kids call "immersion"). For the action bits it paid off, though. You can kinda see that I had difficulty with the SP thing early on in The Landing with all the special events and noises popping off every few steps. To speedrunners that stuff just feels silly as you are racing through event triggers, whereas I had it setup for people who were taking their time.

Case in point people; don't over do special events. Sometimes a dark series of corridors is good on its own.
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