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Project Xenome : Interloper

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User avatar Xezr
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 16 Nov 2017, 00:23

That's because they were used subtly and in places where they could fit in well enough not to stand out. Same goes with Xenome, in some places the songs borrowed fit in very well. In Xenome's case I'd prefer "less is more" when it comes to borrowed assets, but that would be my opinion. Perhaps it's going too far saying that I don't recommend it, because there's plenty of quality content, but by that I meant more that it's my own take on it based on what I felt playing through Part 1 and 2. Anyone who's into Unreal, especially of the O:NP flavour should definitely give it a go.
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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 16 Nov 2017, 13:54

Xezr wrote:...
Anyone who's into Unreal, especially of the O:NP flavour should definitely give it a go.

And that's what I'm doing (again). This time it's on Unreal difficulty.
The end of Ambush didn't cause any problems this time, although I did waste an hour and a half killing all the Skaarj to collect all the health, ammo and armour.
Cobalt turned out to be a bit more difficult and I had to restart it after killing the spider queens, because I had forgotten (again) to collect the first secret. And at the end of Cobalt I had completely forgotten about the Skaarj hiding behind the excavator: Jeezes, I jumped when I was shooting at a rogue spider and suddenly heard something approaching with unfriendly intentions.
Then the Dam: my helpers are no match for the Skaarj on Unreal difficulty so I had to take on the 5 remaining Skaarj and later on the welcoming party trying to stop me from going down the first elevator. I have a feeling it's going to take a long time before I can return to the surface, and I'm starting to fear I'm going to be seriously short on ammo. And I'm dreading the encounter with the large Skaarj in Soothsayer (I think).

About the O:NP flavour? Not sure what you mean with that because Xenome doesn't feel like ONP at all (the only thing which reminds me of ONP is the fact that there are a few helpers).

And about the content used from other campaigns/games. We've been through this when the first (retracted) installment of Xenome appeared and Jazz took the criticism in the best possible way and presented us with arguably the best UT mappack ever (up to now) so let's not go in this direction again please. Credit has been given where due, just like in other map(pack)s which also reuse some material.

BTW Jazz should hold part 3 for another 2 or 3 weeks at least because that's how long it will take me to finish my current quest \o/

User avatar Xezr
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 16 Nov 2017, 15:03

By "O:NP flavour" I meant convenience things like the HUD, the translator and the changes to some of the weapons' behaviours. I also thought the gameplay felt familiar. Finally I just want to say that I've read through Zenimax' EULA regarding porting content like textures, sound etc and they specifically say that they don't allow it. It goes against their TOS and is thus, illegal, regardless if you give credit or not. If Jazz was unaware of that, that's unfortunate. Maybe that can be remedied in the future, that's what patches are for. But I'll leave it alone now.

I really enjoyed that Cobalt section, being constantly under threat by flying bugs, spiders and whatnot kept me on my toes through the entire map, and made me sweat during the platforming. I was actually pretty low on ammo on that point to all long-range weapons so I couldn't get the buggers from a distance. Had to dance up close with the spiders and those two or three big ones. Reaching the excavator area with the Krall felt like I could breathe again, even if that particular area was equally as hostile as the last. I greatly liked the puzzling with the generators, good logic puzzles and some platforming thrown into the mix to reach the end goal. I always knew where to go, but had to think about how to get there.
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User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 18 Nov 2017, 14:24

editor Dave wrote:I just created a thread over at ut99.org (with some screenies for Sat42 ;)). I hope this helps!

https://ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=1 ... 582#p98582


By the way - I saw this when you posted it! Thanks Dave :)

The campaign seems so incredible.

Just to be sure: what is the last update of the prequel campaign - First Day? I have downloaded from OldUnreal a version which weighs 167.2 MB containing some files/folders last modified on 23 Feb. 2013 (incl. System files, but maps were last modified late August 2012, and PXFD text file still goes back to 29 Dec. 2009).

I take it the Interloper download from 13 July this year (available in the OP) is the latest version available.
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 18 Nov 2017, 15:33

Sat42 wrote:...
Just to be sure: what is the last update of the prequel campaign - First Day? I have downloaded from OldUnreal a version which weighs 167.2 MB containing some files/folders last modified on 23 Feb. 2013 (incl. System files, but maps were last modified late August 2012, and PXFD text file still goes back to 29 Dec. 2009).

I take it the Interloper download from 13 July this year (available in the OP) is the latest version available.

First Day (that's Part 1) has 2 versions.
The first release (files with dates in 2009) viewtopic.php?f=4&t=840 which wasn't up to UB's expectations :B , and then the patch (files with dates end 08/2012) viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2701 which made UB very happy (personally I feel this patch made it a lot harder than the initial release - haven't tried it on Unreal yet).

Then this year Interloper (Xenome Part 2) came out (this topic) and UB posted the files necessary to start Xenome as a continuation when finishing First Day (patched). UB's linking files are not really necessary to play Interloper although if you want to start Xenome with more ammo (and armour) you might want to start with First Day. I've beaten Interloper from scratch on Medium and on Hard and don't feel the need for the extra ammo, armour and health from First Day (if you manage to finish that with the extras).
BTW the Part 2 is called Interloper, but there is also a map in Part 2 called Interloper (ONP-map20InterloperX.unr).
About half an hour ago I finished The Dam (on Unreal) with over 150 health and ± 200 armour, saved the game, started the next map but played recklessly and didn't want to continue with 20 health and no more armour so I decided to restart the savegame, but ... I am a moron so I pressed F5 or F6 by accident and overwrote my savegame.
So I'm back at the start of The Dam (199 health, 350 armour) (THis time I saved that start in an extra slot just to be safe).

But a very strange thing happened: I always try to shoot the green Skaarj at the beginning to get some extra points, but this time I was so fast that the Skaarj took avoiding action and jumped of the raised area instead of going to the left (where the horde of Skaarj appear). So I relished the idea of being able to maximise my score, perhaps even killing the badass. Unfortunately the game doesn't like that specific situation and while he was running around like a headless chicken (not even trying to kill my helpers who were in fierce battle with the normal Skaarj) I managed to hit him once ... and the game crashed.
No damage to the system though, the savegame still works but I haven't been able to get the green bastard to jump down again.

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 18 Nov 2017, 19:52

salsaSkaarj wrote:
Sat42 wrote:...
Just to be sure: what is the last update of the prequel campaign - First Day? I have downloaded from OldUnreal a version which weighs 167.2 MB containing some files/folders last modified on 23 Feb. 2013 (incl. System files, but maps were last modified late August 2012, and PXFD text file still goes back to 29 Dec. 2009).

I take it the Interloper download from 13 July this year (available in the OP) is the latest version available.

First Day (that's Part 1) has 2 versions.
The first release (files with dates in 2009) viewtopic.php?f=4&t=840 which wasn't up to UB's expectations :B , and then the patch (files with dates end 08/2012) viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2701 which made UB very happy (personally I feel this patch made it a lot harder than the initial release - haven't tried it on Unreal yet).

Then this year Interloper (Xenome Part 2) came out (this topic) and UB posted the files necessary to start Xenome as a continuation when finishing First Day (patched). UB's linking files are not really necessary to play Interloper although if you want to start Xenome with more ammo (and armour) you might want to start with First Day. I've beaten Interloper from scratch on Medium and on Hard and don't feel the need for the extra ammo, armour and health from First Day (if you manage to finish that with the extras).
BTW the Part 2 is called Interloper, but there is also a map in Part 2 called Interloper (ONP-map20InterloperX.unr).


Thanks for the details, salsaSkaarj! I got the right archives, then :)
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 20 Nov 2017, 22:17

OMG, yesterday I started Signs & Portents thinking that by this evening I would be able to move on to Soothsayer, but OMFG, the outside area proved really difficult and there are more Skaarj running around and hiding than before. My first run through was in fact a run through to see if I could reach the entrance to the ruins as a speedy and confident warrior. Needless to say I ended up being a speedily unconfident corpse. Second time I tried the strategy I used on Hard, clinging to the sides mostly, and taking the Skaarj on as they come without alerting the others (far away). Unfortunately their alertness is way higher than on Hard so I wouldn't make it to the ruins with decent ammo (and armour was dwindling seriously so I just gave up on that).

Then I decided to use the "Medium" strategy = jump out of the broken door, attract 1 or 2 Skaarj and rush back into that mountain ruin hoping I wouldn't get snagged on the edges, and then take them on from relative safety although,.. the Skaarj with the rocketlauncher or the ASMD or blades are easier to take out in open area than from that cave were splash damage is an ever present danger. Anyway, I have now just reached the entrance to the large ruins section with full health and armour (large open areas with a place to hide here and there suit me it seems).
But now (well, not now, perhaps tomorrow) I'm going towards that area with the difficult to jump secret, and then the areas which I dread the most, small rooms, sometimes locked and the Skaarj are getting more numerous en stronger.

On unreal difficulty the number of Skaarj is staggering, but up to now, if you don't mess up, it's possible to recuperate and up to now, ammo, health and armour provision are sufficient (something I had serious doubts about on my first playthrough on Medium). It took me almost 27 hours of playing time on Hard, but this time (on Unreal) I'm certain to go way beyond 40 hours (since I do want to kill everything and collect everything, and get the highest killcount, and the highest everything, and... and ... (in fact in Signs etc.. I had made quite some progress when a Skaarj was killed in crossfire and I was so frustrated that I quit there and restarted from a savegame. And in order to avoid that I had to camp for about 20 minutes running out of safety, taking pot shots, running back to safety, etc.. in other words: how to go completely crazy on a game 8)

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 27 Nov 2017, 19:39

Soothsayer: that cave area down below where the player is swarmed by Skaarj is so damn hard that by the time I can drop down into the outside area, my health, ammo and armour are spent and I reach the exit with little hope of a succesful continuation (68 health, 38 armour, no rockets, 18 flak). Tried it 3 times and that was just about my best result.
Then I had a brilliant idea:
I'm not going to disclose the method (it does not involve any cheating at all - just logical thinking and using the terrain) but I am now jumping down into the outside area with health and armour maxed and quite fully loaded with ammo.
The downside is (just like the end of Ambush) that it takes a long time.

Hoping to finish Soothsayer today (after dinner)

User avatar Nalisavior
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 29 Nov 2017, 08:09

@Jazz

I just finished playing through First Day and Interloper and In my opinion this map pack is the BEST Unreal campaign I have ever played and that is high praise considering I've played through all the different campaigns/map packs multiple times!

You single handedly created an actual convincing human industrial environment in Unreal. The combat and level progression (Hard) was very enjoyable and the Skaarj base levels are hands down my favorite take on the Skaarj environment and were absolutely jaw dropping at some points with regards to the complex architecture. I didn't encounter ANY noticeable bugs during my play through and not a single area is left undetailed!. Few campaigns are as atmospheric and immersive as Interloper. I cannot even begin to fathom all the time and effort you put into creating this true masterpiece but I want to personally thank you for doing so.

Really excited to play part 3 those screenshots you posted of the Nali town/village look amazing. I hope we get to see Nali warriors from ONP or more Nali mages make an appearance!! Keep up the amazing work!

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 30 Nov 2017, 09:20

salsaSkaarj wrote:...
Hoping to finish Soothsayer today (after dinner)

The end of Soothsayer went well but I did take a savegame halfway that endpassage because being rushed at by 4 Skaarj at the same time, preventing the option of using the heavy ammo sparingly, leaves the player panting and nervous about what around the corner. Stealth and luring out the Skaarj 1 (or 2) at a time is really necessary on Unreal difficulty (at least for me), so it took way much longer than I had expected, but health and armour still very high, would prefer some more Flak and rockets though.

Revelation ... even though the number of enemies has increased again, it wasn't half as difficult as I expected. After playing on Medium and on Hard, one gets to know where the really dangerous sections are and where to make a stand. At the start I managed to hit the green Skaarj twice before he disappeared but the risk with wasting time like that is just too high and compomises your chances of surviving that area. One of these days I'll cheat and summon a redeemer to see if he can be killed or not.
By now I've realised that Easy and Medium should have been much easier for me had I not taken the secrets (with armour) immediately when finding them. In this playthrough (up to now) I have hardly taken any damage: the shieldbelt absorbes almost all damage (insofar that up to now I only received 35 damage - all the rest was absorbed by the shieldbelt).
Thinking back about my first run of Interloper: I now take fewer savegames (probably 3 per map - always before the hordes).

To Boldly go was another story. 2 major problem areas.
1.The area with the moving containers: after jumping across the moving containers, suddenly 4 or 5 Skaarj with rockets appeared, a major increase increase in difficulty as compared to Hard (and certainly Medium). Luckily I had a samegame just before entering that area (after killing a horde of 6 or more Skaarj). It took me 4 or 5 tries before I found the way out with hardly losing health.
2. And the of course the last room with the Warlord and lots of large Skaarj + the 2 monster brutes. The start of that room was my 3rd savegame in this map, still very good on health and armour, but (as usual) around 10 flak and maybe 20 rockets (luckily full green bioweapon). It took ages to kill of the small vermin and then I still had the Warlord to deal with: by that time I was down to revolvers and DP and half a load of those spiralling bolts.
And then the Warlord managed to get through the closing doors and I had no choice but to run for the .... toilets. it took me an hour running in and out of the toilets taking potshots at the Warlord with the DP and avoiding the splashdamage but I survived relatively unscathed (but really tired and spent).

On to Site B (with really good health and armour, but 0 Flak, 12 Rockets, 31 blades, ±90 pulsegun, 10 ASMD, 15 bio,50 bullets and luckily a full DP (ow, almost forgot, 40 rifle which I've been saving).
AFAIR Site B wasn't as difficult as the other maps so I should be able to stock up soon.

edit: corrected ammo to start with on Site B (savegame was before picking up the ammo in the teleporter area).

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 03 Dec 2017, 19:35

Ammo, as mentioned in my previous post was a bit low for the start of site B, so I restarted from my last savegame in Boldly and saved as much ammo as possible using almost only DP to kill everything by opening the teleporter door, running backwards and shooting as it closes again so that max 1 enemy gets through. That solved the ammo problem, but as usual, takes a bloody long time.
At least now I can take on the 3 or 4 Skaarj coming out of the ship in Site B.

There is one continuation problem at the start of the map. If you kill the Skaarj on the other side of the shieldbarrier (using the bioweapon), there's nobody to switch open the barrier. There is a way to solve this by rocketjumping, then opening the barrier and killing the Skaarj from the ship before they become dangerous. I succeeded with only some damage from the rocketjump (taken care of by the shieldbelt) but had decided to play through the whole of Interloper on Unreal without any "illegal" moves so this was just testing: Site B coming up some time this week.

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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 05 Dec 2017, 00:27

Site B turned out to be quite doable, in fact that starting area is not much of a problem with sufficient ammo and there's enough ammo to be picked up before reaching the last enclosed area. Now that area (with the big transmitter pointing towards the sky) is really testing and picking off the visible Skaarj from a distance (before jumping down) was absolutely necessary. What I had forgotten was that the end of that map is certain death for the player (albeit temporary). It was only when I reached the bridge that it dawned upon me that Mr Green Skaarj was going to blast me off that bridge anyway, so my efforts to stock up for the next level were all in vain :shock:. I did manage to to get a headshot on him with the rifle (gave me an extra 40 points or so \o/ ).

On to Friendly then. Unfortunately no Rifle, no Rocket Launcher and no FlakCannon to be found. Progress however, was fairly straightforward since the Skaarj have a tendency to jump into the Ice Abyss (4 kills lost). The real problem is how to get down the wooden elevator platform without getting killed (even while descending). I managed to reduce the enemy numbers from above but there were still 2 Skaarj refusing to come out into the open, one with the spiraling bolts (more a nuisance than a serius threat) but the other one with the ripper (very lethal). It took me 4 or 5 tries before realising that staying crouched and using the corners of the construction gives some temporary shelter while descending. And then hope the blades don't reduce your health too much. Luckily, once that area cleared there's 50 shield available and some biosludge (which comes in handy considering the next corridor has a welcome committee of 4 Skaarj). That's where my savegame is, all my energy is spent for today. I remember that outside I'll have to watch out for manta's and that I'll have to jump down on ledges several times (one of the most memorable moments in Interloper) to a waterfall area where a party of Skaarj will appear, and I'm feeling seriously underequipped at the moment.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017, 01:32

The waterfall area turned out to be a lot easier than before, only 5 Skaarj and they didn't come all at once. I'll have to replay that section on Medium and on Hard to see whether there were also 5 Skaarj or more: it certainly felt harder on the lower difficulty levels (but that's probably thanks to foreknowledge and becoming very experienced at Interloping)
But then, after finding the rocketlauncher, and soon after that the Flak, the next 2 areas (which I had completely forgotten about) are overpopulated with all varieties of Skaarj. That took too long and I got overwhelmed once because I had forgotten about the secret supershield.
Anyway, passed that section (with the supershield) and now on to Thin Ice which took me about 2 and a half hours on Hard so I'm expecting this will take 3 hours at least.

Up to now the shields have been unbelievably useful, saving me from almost all damage. Only 81 damage registered up to now (on Unreal) (compared to 900+ when I played on Hard). Of course this isn't playing each level in 1 uninterrupted sitting. But it's not the "shoot and save if succesful" method from beginners' days.I allow myself 3 savegame locations per map. The first one was just before going up an elevator to some ruins where the really dangerous elevator down is located. Second savegame was after clearing the bottom area (that I didn't want to have to replay), just before going outside where the mantas attack, and the third savegame was just before disabling the forceshield for the last area. I haven't made up my mind yet where I should have my save locations in Thin Ice.

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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017, 16:47

Semester is over and first on my list is to replay Interloper on Unreal difficulty. I've just finished Cobalt and hot damn... I've literally played every Unreal campaign and singleplayer map over at least a decade and what Jazzy did here pushes everything on Cobalt past 10.

While I will the level design and layout IS incredible, I will not give Jazzy full credit due to some copyright infringement issues he is currently dealing with. I don't know if Cobalt is subject to such issues, but I'm going to assume some liberties were taken in the design and layout. That aside, best gameplay I've seen in dealing with small critters. The grass is successfully used to disguise spiders which is extremely effective. Having to piece together the level by navigating though designated pathways intended by the author in one "zone" is something Unreal authors have never been particularly good at (with exceptions), but is exhibited here to the point of perfection.

Although I will admit the pack as a whole does have its weaknesses particularly in the Nali town section which I felt was a bit incomplete, this pack still holds in my book the current Holy Grail of Unreal/UT mappacks. Some time after this, I would like to replay 7B which held the Holy Grail to compare and contrast the two. I think what really puts this pack over the top unfortunately is the sheer size of the experience at the whole and the fact that it keeps some above average standard throughout. 7B has the added benefit of a more character driven personal experience with great cutscenes and overall personality, but is shorter in length and relies a bit on gameplay gimmicks for progression vs. more standard combat scenarios which I always thought was its only weakness.

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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017, 18:05

What are these "copyright infringement" issues people are constantly bringing up in this thread? Haave you all forgot that several Unreal mappacks in the past used content from other games and nobody ever said anything?
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