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Project Xenome : Interloper

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User avatar AlCapowned
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017, 19:42

Not to mention thousands of voicepacks, mutators, and whatnot that use sounds from other media. And the link hasn't been taken down, so I don't see how Jazz is "dealing" with copyright infringement problems when it doesn't look like any company has even noticed anything.

That this pack is being singled out is so weird to me.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 06 Dec 2017, 20:33

Thin Ice, strangely enough, took only 1h45m on Unreal as compared to 2h30m on Hard. Foreknowledge of all the secret areas + knowing the layout of the map is a lot more important in this map than in the previous maps. There is 1 really difficult part and that's when entering the transport area. All seems calm until you take 2 corners to go to the room where the transporter shield can be deactivated, and then all hell breaks loose. However, 350 shield and 199 health + almost full ammo (I saved the supershiedlbelt + the megahealth for this area) should get anyone through this.
I did get a surprise when I took the transporter over the chasm and into the spawning room: in Medium and Hard, the spawning Skaarj were easily stopped by the door which closes automatically, after which they move away frop the door. On Unreal they stay waiting near that door and even managed to follow me out 3 at a time. I wasn't prepared for that and once I had to retreat backwards over the chasm while avoiding Skaarj fire.

Another surprise came when I reached the end of the map and luckily remembered that I still had to get the supersecret. So I had to navigate a long way to get back to the chasm and then realised that I had already used my 3 savepoints. Luckily I still had sufficient health and shield so I wouldn't die as long as I didn't miss my landing point. I didn't die \o/ .

Coming up next (week) is map20: Interloper and it shouldn't cause too many problems considering I'm maxed up again with health, shield and ammo. (although I can't remeber much about the map right now).
Thinking about the last five maps I have decided to allow myself 4 savepoints from now on (I know for sure that Nested Interests has a difficult start).

I had some time left so I started Interloper and decided to fool around and try stuff.
For one, the starting elevator, I didn't stay on it as it went down but stayed on the upperfloor, allowing me to take out the 2 Skaarj appearing on the side as the elevator descends. Killed those and then jumped down using the corners = no health of shield lost. Easy kills and less resistance if you do return to the normal path. Then tried that again (with success) and jumped into the area were the dead Skaarj lay. In this way it may be possible to avoid a part of the map (I think, not sure because perhaps some buttons which have been avoided like that, may need to be pressed).

Jeezes, I like the whole of Xenome and the difficulty left me almost in despair on my first playthrough (on Medium) but I've come to realise that weapon and armour placement is really well designedh (better than in First Day), and that even the seemingly impossible areas can be beaten without having to resort to cheating (the ambush in Ambush, the lower cave area in Soothsayer, even the dreaded elevator area in Friendly).

@ [UDHQ]Jackrabbit : About the alleged copyright infringements: send a PM to jazz so that he can add the necessary credits (if needed) but let's not make an elephant from a mouse. It is after all an almost 20 year old game and whatever jazz may have used (music, layouts or (god forbid) even ideas) doesn't make anyone lose money.
And yes, to me Cobalt (especially the first areas with all those spiders) is the most astounding map I have ever played (and I hate spiders but here they create constant tension - in fact I know no other map with such good use of spiders and flies).

Jeezes, you people must think I'm crazy playing Xenome so much. :shake:

User avatar [UDHQ]Jackrabbit
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 07 Dec 2017, 00:11

UBerserker wrote: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?


AlCapowned wrote:Not to mention thousands of voicepacks, mutators, and whatnot that use sounds from other media. And the link hasn't been taken down, so I don't see how Jazz is "dealing" with copyright infringement problems when it doesn't look like any company has even noticed anything.

That this pack is being singled out is so weird to me.


Xezr wrote:There were a few parts in the level designs that really stood out to me nostalgia-wise. Without spoling too much, two maps in particular appear to be direct recreations from levels seen in Half-life: Opposing Force and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. If they were indeed studied closely and then recreated in Unreal, then holy shit. Well done. The latter even had the mission music from RtCW. If they are supposed to be easter eggs or homages, amazing job.

But until I know for sure about the exact legal rules that apply to the amount of borrowing that's going in in this mappack I sit on the edge of the fence whether or not I can truly recommend it. There's textures, sounds and music taken from a large number of games in here and although used well it feels a bit strange for them to be included so frequently.


I had assumed that he had disappeared suddenly from the scene for this reason, but that might be a bit of a stretch. Nevertheless, it would be nice to know what is original content vs. something I played once and threw in the trash like RtCW which was a mostly forgettable experience.

User avatar UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 07 Dec 2017, 13:29

[UDHQ]Jackrabbit wrote:I had assumed that he had disappeared suddenly from the scene for this reason, but that might be a bit of a stretch.


He didn't really, barring aside his RL job he also worked his ass off to re-do Xenome without all the ripped-off brushes from custom Unreal levels. Custom Unreal levels is the emphasis there, that was the sole big issue.

Now because the ghost of the mappack's old reputation is somehow still around, people are suddenly bringing up the same argument for stuff related to other games, like if many other custom mappacks before Xenome haven't been guilty of the same thing. No one gave a damn that Xidia/7B used Silent Hill tracks, no one gave a damn that Zephon used the robot mesh from Deus Ex, no one gave a damn about EXU2 using the Doom glyph and various sounds.

I hope this is the last definitive post pertaining to this matter. We've got finally one big release and this is instead what we are talking about, it's frustrating.
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User avatar [UDHQ]Jackrabbit
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 07 Dec 2017, 19:01

UBerserker wrote:
[UDHQ]Jackrabbit wrote:I had assumed that he had disappeared suddenly from the scene for this reason, but that might be a bit of a stretch.


He didn't really, barring aside his RL job he also worked his ass off to re-do Xenome without all the ripped-off brushes from custom Unreal levels. Custom Unreal levels is the emphasis there, that was the sole big issue.

Now because the ghost of the mappack's old reputation is somehow still around, people are suddenly bringing up the same argument for stuff related to other games, like if many other custom mappacks before Xenome haven't been guilty of the same thing. No one gave a damn that Xidia/7B used Silent Hill tracks, no one gave a damn that Zephon used the robot mesh from Deus Ex, no one gave a damn about EXU2 using the Doom glyph and various sounds.

I hope this is the last definitive post pertaining to this matter. We've got finally one big release and this is instead what we are talking about, it's frustrating.


I want to be crystal clear here: I'm not bothered by the fact that content was pulled from existing titles for Interloper. In fact, I think that without a full development team, the only practical way to get things done in a manner without pulling your hair out is by using every resource to help speed up the development process. The only thing I would do differently is in an attempt to page homage, list out the assets and inspirations directly in a readme for others to understand what's original and whats not. I'd like to know for example if any liberties were taken for "Cobalt Colony" for example. I want to say that it is mostly original content, which is awesome because the level really is the one responsible for getting Xenome to that next level as a mappack.

User avatar Lightning Hunter
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 07 Dec 2017, 19:18

Maybe someone can type up a better readme file for Jazz's next release. I'm sure Jazz has better things to do, and this would put to rest all these silly debates. For my own projects, I constantly borrow content from all over the place, but my releases also come with big fat readme files leaving no stone unturned when it comes to crediting everyone. However, it is very time consuming doing so...
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User avatar UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 07 Dec 2017, 19:50

By just highlighting jazz directly so he get noted
jazz wrote: 


there goes, hopefully he'll come soon and put a stone over this.

But next time, if you really want to make this type of matter a norm, ask the same for every incoming project there is. Recreations barely impact on time devoted for mapping - it's probably a very tiny impact. It's tons of done mapping regardless.
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 09 Dec 2017, 04:21

Honestly, the only thing that seemed really odd about the whole affair was that there were so many new levels in First Day, originally also, that the presence of those sampled bits was overkill already. Meaning, there was already so much that was new, ya know?

As for influence, I think every mapper for this game draws either from Unreal or from other games/media. I think that's okay and quite normal. I just think it's silly to sample level content from others if you're clearly better at making your own stuff, as Jazzy is. i used bits from UT AS maps in Xidia The Escape because I was lazy and nobody slayed me on it then but they would be right to point it out, and I've been accused of being Redux dependent by some folks for other levels I've made. I dunno, if people are having fun that's justification enough I suppose, I think intent and explanation are critical though. And credits never hurt.

I haven't had time to sink my teeth into Interloper yet, saving it for some post Holiday free time. But the impression I'm getting is this conversation doesn't apply to Interloper at all, you guys were talking about First Day right?
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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 09 Dec 2017, 12:07

I wish I had noticed and downloaded the first release of Xenome which caused the commotion. Initial comments were so positive that I should have dropped everything and downloaded straight away so that I could see the changes.
One comment I've made already (but it's worth repeating) is that jazz took a beating when the copying/stealing/whatever discussion started.
My expectation at that time was that that would be the last we would see/read/hear of jazz but jazz responded in a way which should be an example to perhaps the whole world.
Perhaps there are some leftovers from the "copyrighted" material, perhaps a layout resembles some other map, who knows, maybe a flower in one of those interior plantboxes was blatantly stolen, or a grid, I don't know and frankly I couldn't care less anymore.

I see Xenome (part 1 and 2) as massive productions by 1 person, providing large scale areas, industrial areas, modern office areas, inside and outside areas, many different kinds of fights Open arae, arena, close quarters, sniper, stealth), a story which is gradually exposed, a central enemy who tickles my curiosity, some seriously astounding visuals, ambient sounds creating an atmosphere unrivaled up to now (Cobalt) and more.
Unreal is an old game and there are few youngsters who will look twice at this ancient engine. Not much new stuff (certainly not SP) is going to be produced for Unreal (and UT) - the limits of the engine have been reached and more projects have been cancelled than there are projects brought to fruition.
Enjoy what has been produced and if there is some copying here and there, contact the author so that he can include the necessary credits, but let's stop beating dead horses and just look forward to the finalisation of Xenome part 3 (and let me get on with my quest on Unreal difficulty :D )

User avatar [UDHQ]Jackrabbit
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 09 Dec 2017, 14:08

The conversation does apparently extend over to Interloper, but to what extent I'm unsure. I thought I recognized the terrain from a map in Deja Vu... I think the second to last map in Deja Vu in the valley, but that may jut be a coincidence. Either way, Interloper is a very enjoyable experience on Unreal difficulty and I highly recommend it to any seasoned Unreal player. Salsa Skaarj is right about the Armor and Ammo placement being spot on throughout the campaign even more so than First Day. Im half way through the self titled map "Interloper" on Unreal difficulty and I think I only found about half the secrets thus far between all the maps.

User avatar UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 09 Dec 2017, 14:29

[UDHQ]Jackrabbit wrote:I thought I recognized the terrain from a map in Deja Vu... I think the second to last map in Deja Vu in the valley, but that may jut be a coincidence.


Checked Signs' terrain vs DV Map 15's one, they don't match.

I think this argument can be fully settled and never be brought up again.
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 09 Dec 2017, 16:46

UBerserker wrote:
I think this argument can be fully settled and never be brought up again.


Don't take this the wrong way UB, but that's something that's not really up to you I'm afraid. The internet has a long memory and people don't forget so easily sometimes. That's just something Jazzy may have to bear, no matter the goodwill that followed or however awesome Interloper may be.

I'll say this, I'm looking forward to sitting down and playing this. What I've been reading in this thread has been intriguing me, the hype is real.
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User avatar UBerserker
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 09 Dec 2017, 17:05

Mister_Prophet wrote:Don't take this the wrong way UB, but that's something that's not really up to you I'm afraid.


Me and Ivi have already talked about the ongoing matter. Unless we're exclusively talking about ripped custom level content, this argument should be killed off asap or at least done in a different thread.

At least this is some good free marketing lol.
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 09 Dec 2017, 17:13

Well at this point nobody is saying anything accusatory, yet. Unfounded claims should always be met with scrutiny. What I'm really trying to say is that there's no time limit on when people are going to bring this stuff up. But yes, sometimes controversy is good :D
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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: Project Xenome : Interloper

Post Posted: 10 Dec 2017, 13:02

Interloper (the map) has some very dangerous sections but generally after getting clobbered in an area on the first playthrough of this map, a strategy to pass the section becomes quite clear. Actually once you know the layout the problems are mostly solved since it's possible to retreat back almost to the starting area, giving the player time to rest and at the same time stock up on the lighter ammo. Provision of flak and rockets is somewhat limited but if you play your cards right, it's possible to replenish (more or less) by picking up dropped ammo (if time is not wasted).
Still, the last part is an ammo-eater. With foreknowledge the Brute is taken care of with DP only, but opening the next door introduces a type of Skaarj which scared the hell out of me: large, green glowing eyes, fast and they survive 6 rockets and even a full biowaste doesn't guarantee their death. Unfortunately there are no more heavy ammo pickups after this encounter so Nested Interests will have to be started a bit underequiped (ammo-wise). On the other hand, getting the secrets (and the easily available health and shield pickups) almost guarantees starting Nested Interest with very decent health and armour (that is, if you can handle those green eyed Skaarj, which are going to be regular adversaries from now on).

Interloper is also the first map were the player can see the exterior of the modern technical facilities where the next maps will take place and those outside views are stupendous (complexity and scale).

edit: corrected spelling mistakes + removed a confusion I had regarding seeing an inside section of Nested Interests. I checked: it's not the section I had in mind.)

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