ividyon will never get this done, will he.

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

Post Posted: 09 Mar 2017, 12:56

Main Author: Mister Prophet

Xidia Gold
Author: Team Phalanx
Released in: November 2nd, 2002
Platform: Unreal Tournament
Review Score: 81%
DOWNLOAD: http://unrealarchives.com/xidia-gold/, http://unrealarchives.com/xidia/ (original version)






Synopsis: Two consecutive adventures - the first one of marine Jones sent to find out what happened in the Human installation of planet Xidia, the second one of survivor Specter trying to escape from the planet itself.
Released first in April 12th, 2002 as just "Xidia", which only consisted of Jones' campaign and with less unique gameplay features.


Na Pali Haven: Redux
Author: Jeremy War, Willy "Mr.Prophet" Drekker
Released in: August 16th, 2003
Platform: Unreal Tournament
Review Score: 80%
DOWNLOAD: http://unrealarchives.com/na-pali-haven-skytown-redux/




Synopsis: As Jones, you are sent to Na Pali Haven to fight a merciless Skaarj army on there and to use an EMP weapon to shut down the ISV-Kran's power system, now conquered by the same Skaarj clan, named "Bloodpack".
The map's story is a bridge between Xidia's and 7Bullet's ones. This redux of SkyTown was born from a request by EightballManiac (EBM), who won a forum game back in the days.


7 Bullets
Author: Team Red Nemesis
Released in: November 30th, 2004
Platform: Unreal Tournament
Review Score: 89%
DOWNLOAD: http://unrealarchives.com/7-bullets/ (Ver 1.0 and Ver 1.2.1)






Synopsis: Jones and his men are sent to storm the ISV-Kran to kill all the Bloodpack Skaarj hiding there, however things get worse when an immense platoon of crash-landed prisoners ambush Jones' own squad. And a mysterious Skaarj is also roaming around...
Last released chapter of the Jones' saga and one of the most influential custom map packs for Unreal ever made.


Residual Decay
Author: Team Red Nemesis
Released in: Unreleased
Platform: Unreal Tournament
Moddb: http://www.moddb.com/mods/residual-decay

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Synopsis: Residual Decay was the direct sequel to 7Bullets, following the events of Jones after his victory against the Scarred One. It was supposed to feature many new weapons and massive new gameplay innovations.

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

Post Posted: 09 Mar 2017, 13:01

And there it is, the whole Jones Saga for discussion in this whole month.

Mister_Prophet wrote: 


Hopefully this attention-seeking quote trick works lol.

So yeah I never told you but during Zynthetic's coop sessions I was let known of a lot of things about RD development. In these days that go past the potential limit of Unreal's lifecycle, I don't think it's really worth hiding anything anymore.

So did you actually want to move RD on another platform?

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

Post Posted: 09 Mar 2017, 13:36

Oh wow, interesting new format. I'll have to comment more when I have time next week. In the meantime, I'm okay with any past team members coming forward to talk about old RD dev stuff since the project has mutated so many times over the years. Zyn would have the most to share, I'm sure.

On the topic of platform, it's no secret I wanted to move to either U2/UT2K3 as far back as Xidia 2 (what became 7 Bullets), but my personal issues mapping efficiently on that platform prevented me from embracing it. I do remember having debates with Zyn about moving RD forward several times, but as I recall it never got passed conversation.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 09 Mar 2017, 16:21

Mister_Prophet wrote:Oh wow, interesting new format. I'll have to comment more when I have time next week. In the meantime, I'm okay with any past team members coming forward to talk about old RD dev stuff since the project has mutated so many times over the years. Zyn would have the most to share, I'm sure.


Will probably expand on some stuff but thanks! I had this idea in mind because standard MOTWs were getting less popular so I decided for a change, trying something new and see if it sticks; if it doesn't, back to the regular MOTW (even though I don't feel like doing it). This whole thread was completely an idea of mine because I wanted to test it myself, then I'll look out to see if other MOTW members are up to do the same and how.
I actually never played the original Xidia lol


zynthetic wrote:

calling to make sure

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

Post Posted: 10 Mar 2017, 16:44

One of my favorite sets of custom unreal mods out there. I don't think I ever really get tired of them. They arent completely perfect, but their overall execution is something to be admired. It's probably the set of mods that come to mind when I think "Unreal modding".
"Anything's a quote if you try hard enough. Wait, shit!"

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

Post Posted: 11 Mar 2017, 16:44

Mister_Prophet wrote:On the topic of platform, it's no secret I wanted to move to either U2/UT2K3 as far back as Xidia 2 (what became 7 Bullets), but my personal issues mapping efficiently on that platform prevented me from embracing it. I do remember having debates with Zyn about moving RD forward several times, but as I recall it never got passed conversation.


Actually I'm referring to the fact that there was an idea of moving RD to UE3, lol, which I can't think of any advantages of doing this considering that already in the UE3 era you seriously needed a proper team dead-on on finishing a project.

I was also told that RD's original ending was supposed to be over the top crazy and that it didn't really make any sense. I also think I read that some of the semi-completed maps (or completed, I don't know) looked really cool - there was a mapper named SeeD who I remember from the previous golden decade of UnrealSP that made some amazing stuff. There were screenshots of those but now thy are just gone with the old forums. USAAR apparently left really early I guess, also? Was he even able to script any of the new features?

Meanwhile zyn has disappeared again :<


from the 7B readme
There is one area I am particularly proud of, a segment set in a darkened set of connected hallways that lead to a power room, which has a panel that turns on the lights in the pre-mentioned hallways. These were the first new bits of mappage I made for 7 Bullets and thus appear in the very first released pimpage screenshot which is currently displayed on the Unrealsp.org upcoming map packs page. These hallways actually have a background story. They started out as left over parts of the Redux'd Outpost 3J in my revamped Skytown Redux map. I originally had them used in a segment of that pack where the player joined forces with a group of Nali Freedom fighters to take on a barrage of Skaarj warriors. That sequence never actually happened due to....well I'm lazy. It was actually these first hallways that kickstarted all the conceptual ideas for the basic story of 7 Bullets.

This owns
almost like me when G59's concept started after shooting crapload of gibs over the walls

Still amazed how much readme material Xidia/Redux/7B came with. Reading how Waffnuffly started to like DeathMatch thanks to XSM - I literally forgot what was XSM until I figured out it was the 7B weapon mutator.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 11 Mar 2017, 18:49

XSM was fucking hilarious because of the machine mags. I remember playing that with EBM and Gundy, and Gundy would just run around spamming dual machine mags at people without even trying to take evasive action. Surprisingly effective. And I would use the grenade launcher pretty much constantly, and I remember also managing to trick EBM by feigning death a few times. Good times.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 11 Mar 2017, 23:13

UBerserker wrote:
Actually I'm referring to the fact that there was an idea of moving RD to UE3, lol, which I can't think of any advantages of doing this considering that already in the UE3 era you seriously needed a proper team dead-on on finishing a project.


I entertained it for a while, yeah. That's what I meant when I said me and Zyn debated it because I seem to remember we never agreed on it. The truth was that it solved a lot of problems, tech wise since RD relied so heavily on modified code. Remember, there was a time when the project was referred to as a "Semi-Conversion." I literally think that was the biggest stall early in the project's life cycle. I have dozens of maps that date between 2003-2009 that all have finished layouts but no actors because they were waiting for packages that were never completed and gameplay mechanics that were never implemented.

Ironically, it was map development that killed the idea of going to new engine. Like I said previously, I just couldn't get it going. I think I imported a few BSP floorplans and messed around but that was about it.

UBerserker wrote:I was also told that RD's original ending was supposed to be over the top crazy and that it didn't really make any sense. I also think I read that some of the semi-completed maps (or completed, I don't know) looked really cool - there was a mapper named SeeD who I remember from the previous golden decade of UnrealSP that made some amazing stuff. There were screenshots of those but now thy are just gone with the old forums. USAAR apparently left really early I guess, also? Was he even able to script any of the new features?

Meanwhile zyn has disappeared again :<



All the maps you saw are still around, for the most part. SeeD's stuff is really great but heavy on BSP. There was one screenshot we used from a map that I added to and it was quite large. And it may never see the light of day just because it's spectacle and not very good for gameplay. Carthage made similarly heavy maps for the project but because he was an effective Multiplayer mapper the level design was more conducive for gameplay and easier to work with. Same for the stuff I have from DerDak2Rot.

The original ending was as ambitious as the original story concept, and won't be something I think anyone can pull off in the Old Unreal engine.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 12 Mar 2017, 00:25

I missed your question about UsArR33. Yes, he left pretty early in development. During the project's most active period (And by that, I mean when I had the most amount of team members working on stuff) UArchitect acted the part of coder/scripter/programmer. He also produced models and skins that are among some of the best done for RD, though the lack of an animator at the time hurt us here. I feel like I overburdened UA because of this and his departure as an active member was sorely missed, since he had great energy.

Raven filled the void up till about 2013-2014 when I slowed down the project to go for a more vanilla friendly approach. Raven still helps me though. I've had other code/script skilled people pepper some help as well. But Raven's been the main person I have gone too.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 12 Mar 2017, 18:35

I see, thanks!

Mister_Prophet wrote:All the maps you saw are still around, for the most part. SeeD's stuff is really great but heavy on BSP. There was one screenshot we used from a map that I added to and it was quite large. And it may never see the light of day just because it's spectacle and not very good for gameplay.


Why though will it never see the light of the day? I mean, unless it's really something atrocious (but you're saying it's a "spectacle" so) I don't see the point not releasing it after wasting a lot of effort in creation.
I've been generally against this sort of "wish that unfinished stuff are better to be released if worthy instead of never ever" but considering the state of the Unreal 1 community as of late I'm becoming extremely vocal about the idea of releasing ready and playable content if the authors themselves have no idea when and IF their mappack release will be ever finished. I have no idea what's the status of RD now, anyway.

Did darthweasel made a map for RD? I remember him being around quite often post 7Bullets (not even sure if he did another MP map either)
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 12 Mar 2017, 20:55

UBerserker wrote:
Why though will it never see the light of the day? I mean, unless it's really something atrocious (but you're saying it's a "spectacle" so) I don't see the point not releasing it after wasting a lot of effort in creation.



I don't want to misrepresent SeeD's work, especially considering that I think of him as one of the best mappers of the old Unreal Engine that sadly never (to my knowledge) released a single map. He was on par with Hourences with his manipulation of BSP, although his particular attention to detail was sobering to examine in UED. I remember combing every inch of his walls, pipes, struts, rails, eaves, in lighted mode trying to find seams and misalignments and always coming up dumbfounded. It was so good that lighting his level sections had to be equally immaculate otherwise bad shadow work would betray his perfect symmetry.

SeeD made several map "sections" for Residual Decay, the largest of which was the "main window room" of a very early underwater base concept I concocted as a level idea in 2005. SeeD was the first to make the actual level, doing things like round passages and junctions that had a very distinct circular style. I had the difficult task of taking these room fragments and making levels with them. There was one successful level made during this period where we were "waiting" for actors. I built a lot for this level, from a locker room section to a large crate container bay that was to be the successor to the Dasa Cellar/Dead Mines room. This was the first level to employ UA's water macros and wet effects and it still looks great.

The reason I said I may never have a use for it is because of the following;

1. It was designed with a very particular enemy in mind. This was when we were still trying to perfect "human enemies" in Unreal, which I finally gave up on with Dead Cell. In terms of scale and gameplay planning the floorplan just wasn't made with Unreal enemies in mind. At this point in development we had things like wall lean, prone collision crawl, ladder climbing, special AI collision detection and awareness, hitscan favored shooting, ect.

2. The theme is very specific also. Because the stuff I'm trying to work on now is Na Pali, classic Unreal style stuff this one would have to wait for a 2nd episode campaign. I'm hoping the demo release I have planned will draw people back to the project and game, since to do this level and others like it justice I would require a lot of help.

Also, when I say spectacle...I mean simply this; SeeD's levels were screenshot bait. You could stand in them, walk around, and shoot. But it took a lot of editing on my part to rough out the BSP so pawns could live in them.

UBerserker wrote:I've been generally against this sort of "wish that unfinished stuff are better to be released if worthy instead of never ever" but considering the state of the Unreal 1 community as of late I'm becoming extremely vocal about the idea of releasing ready and playable content if the authors themselves have no idea when and IF their mappack release will be ever finished. I have no idea what's the status of RD now, anyway.


I actually agree with you. I want to give a real push to make sure everything I've been hanging onto gets out in some form or another. There is always room for a developer concept package.

UBerserker wrote:Did darthweasel made a map for RD? I remember him being around quite often post 7Bullets (not even sure if he did another MP map either)


Darthweasel made the Genome Evolution, which started out as one map and was an additional section to the Genome Warriors from Xidia: The Escape (previously unseen due to locked doors). I eventually added more this level to complete it as a full map, as well as an additional Ice Skaarj map of my own design with some borrowed generic terrain geometry provided by Hourences very early in the project.

When the story changed for Residual Decay these levels were repurposed for Xidia Black, the working title for a remake project for Xidia that would merge both Xidia campaigns into one unified story with updated maps, voice acting, and gameplay. About 60% of the levels for this are done and have been planned to be Episode 2 of Residual Decay as of 2013, which is when I started rethinking the whole thing as an episodic release. If this actually happens, Darth's level will be played.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 12 Mar 2017, 23:18

Mister_Prophet wrote:SeeD made several map "sections" for Residual Decay, the largest of which was the "main window room" of a very early underwater base concept I concocted as a level idea in 2005.


Yeah it's probably then the map I remember from the lost RD screenshots, it was some sort of underwater lab with windows on the ceiling. I recall being impressed so much that I wanted to replicate something similar (in that SP project I announced, then lost forever).

Mister_Prophet wrote:When the story changed for Residual Decay these levels were repurposed for Xidia Black, the working title for a remake project for Xidia that would merge both Xidia campaigns into one unified story with updated maps, voice acting, and gameplay. About 60% of the levels for this are done and have been planned to be Episode 2 of Residual Decay as of 2013, which is when I started rethinking the whole thing as an episodic release. If this actually happens, Darth's level will be played.


I'm still hoping for something, at least before it's too late lol.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 03:57

We showed the Sub pic very early on. I think it may have even been part of the announcement screenshots. The original game plan for Residual Decay would have taken place on 5 planets, and one was going to be on an ocean world.

Later on Carthage and DerDak2rot made additional levels when the story changed and five planets were merged into just two, their maps connecting to the base you see in SeeD's screenshots. There aren't a whole lot of underwater base or oceanside tech levels in Unreal SP so these maps still have a certain unique quality to them still.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 04:03

Buff Skeleton wrote:XSM was fucking hilarious because of the machine mags. I remember playing that with EBM and Gundy, and Gundy would just run around spamming dual machine mags at people without even trying to take evasive action. Surprisingly effective. And I would use the grenade launcher pretty much constantly, and I remember also managing to trick EBM by feigning death a few times. Good times.


:lol: Oh man. We certainly had a unique series of beta tests. I particularly remember our COOP runs of Seven Bullets being particularly disastrous. You had a nasty habit of knocking me off edges during long treks through cleared sections of Darthweasel's big ass levels.

We never really fixed all the bugs for XSM though. Nor did we ever develop it into a more focused gametype like I remember discussing on the old mIRC channel with you guys.
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Subject: Re: The Jones Saga: "Xidia Gold, Na Pali Haven Redux, 7 Bullets, Residual Decay"

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2017, 04:53

It was said that the Battle for Na Pali would be merged into residual decay, so do we at least get a new rifle?

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