General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

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Dancso
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General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Dancso » Fri Apr 02, 2010 19:09

As posted on the zdoom forums: (due to request on posting it here) http://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f= ... 49#p486514

Finally finished it.

Bug:
Map: Finding Dr. Zimmerman.

There is an up/down switch (much like in elevators) that raises/lowers a box. If it is quickly pressed again before the action is complete, it is possible to get the box to lower into the floor, and cannot be reversed (only glitching downwards)

Another bug?:
I found one of those brown spitting creatures attack one of those big pink slapper-tentacle-arms. Probably infighting, I'm not sure if this is intentional. Also saw a zombie and a zapper (big-red-eyed guy) battle it out.

And another one?
I saw a security guard repeatedly shoot at a barnacle (I think thats what they are called? The ceiling fags with long "tongues") but not actually hitting the poor thing.

[spoiler]I triggered this.. nice music after speaking with Dr. Zimmerman (i think), is this intentional, or the fact that I triggered something "using" him again and goofing around the toilet next to him randomly pressing use? :lol:

<3 rocketlauncher. I love how it one shot kills those big nasty "fly shooters"

I played on medium, and there were plenty of ammo at all times.. in fact I couldn't switch fast enough between the shotgun and machinegun to keep both from maximum ammo. I found the pistol ammo lying around pretty useless. I managed to gib two soldiers with the magnum btw, great fun.

I found the boss battle rather poor. Had to grab all those supplies from the top of those boxes (and the secret one, even harder to reach) but I got fried by the floorhugger attack of the boss nearly every time. (I also think those big projectiles the boss and the flying monkeys can shoot are too damaging) It costed me more in health and armor to get the health/armor pickups from on the crates, so I only gone up there once each to grab the rockets/backpacks/grenades before the lot of minions spawned in.

I was so frustrated that I eventually godmoded the fight, even though I got close to beating it several times (about to 2K/10K health viewed through linetarget command) before I ran out of rockets and grenades totally (as I jumped down to the area, i only had 10 grenades and no rockets at all because I used up my last ones on those fly shooting beasts before.)

By the end of the game I also got used to always looking behind me whenever there were teleporting-in monsters ahead. :P[/spoiler]

I really loved the architecture and it was fun clearing out the area of enemies. I probably missed several areas and some secrets (I had only 62% of them in the end) But I killed 91% of the enemies.

I also missed quite a few radios and at first was confused on how to use it, but it was fine. (For those of you wondering how to use them: They're inventory items, their icon looks like a button of a keyboard, to switch between them just browse through your inventory)
I think automated radio message recieving might have been slightly better though.

For the size of the maps, I only got lost a very few times and most of it was pretty straightforward. Only one time did I have no idea where to go next, but I got back on track in minutes.
The playthrough took me 4 hours and 23 minutes.

Some additional nitpicks: :P
[spoiler]http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/3589 ... 004021.png
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/3589 ... 004021.png[/spoiler]

Some interesting screenies:
[spoiler]http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/3589 ... 004021.png
^ Explosions. Gotta love them
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/3589 ... 004021.png
^ Awesome architecture.[/spoiler]

And now for another post

@Gez:
I didn't find the architecture any more repetetive than the original HL (which was... pretty tiny at best)

The only performance issues I've had were a few areas with slightly choppy FPS, but still very playable. I have an ATI card. :P
The maps loaded fine for me. Autosaves do take a bit of time (especially the first time after the game is started) but moving between maps in average didn't take more than three seconds.

There's this wonderous feeling of achieving amazing stuff in the old doom engine. It might not make sense to make a TC or something similar, but it does have a "value" to it.

@ReX & Enjay:
I triggered this.. nice music after speaking with Dr. Zimmerman (i think), is this intentional, or the fact that I triggered something "using" him again and goofing around the toilet next to him randomly pressing use? :lol:

Intentional. It's meant to create a slightly depressing mood - what with you leaving a wheel-chair bound old man to what will almost certainly be his death.
That music is meant to be there. It's "mood music" that is supposed to set a melancholy tone. Basically you are leaving an old, disabled guy to die in a dark, dank alien and soldier infested prison block and the music is supposed to support the poignancy of that.
Haha, i feel like a jerk now :D
It was the first ever music to have played during gameplay (i think?) and i wrote my post as i was playing (to not forget anything).

About the radio stuff. I meant that the player would get the inventory item when entering a sector or crossing a line, and have a simple one line "New message recieved" appear on screen like from a pickup, so the player would know its there but not necessarily have to listen to it straight away.

I've gone and tried to noclip straight to that area with the water tanks. It's still the same, indeed seems like it's a rendering issue. I have an ATI HD 4730 card, have pretty much all graphical settings maxed (except for that hires scale filter thingy, i don't like it.) and have all shaders turned off since they don't seem to work anyway. I also have no idea what the vertex buffer does but i have it off. Changing these settings doesn't seem to make any difference.

Also. Up to now I thought I was imagining things but now I managed to get a screenshot of a scientist in a rather comic point of view.
http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/3589 ... 004021.png
This is probably due to a fake floor/translucent 3D floor and the sprite facing the camera (not being totally vertical) I noticed this effect previously in a test map I made with several translucent 3D floors up to the hip of the player to make a floor-fog kind of effect. It splits sprites up and each one gets aligned to the camera view seperately.

During the boss fight i only concentrated on killing the boss. I used up all explosives on it and still it had like 2-3 thousand health left. By then I was also being chased by dozens of those huge projectiles aswell. If I hid behind a crate to relax a bit, the boss would fry my ass with the floorhugger projectile :P
I'll probably give it another go soon (but might uh.. "give myself" a few rockets first.)

I did use the pistol on headcrabs until about the latter half of gameplay, at which it was no problem to just waste a whole shot from the shotgun on them. It's possible that medium has too much ammo for my skill level.. but i would dare not to play this on difficult skill, I had a few nasty situations ("sniping" soldiers during early gameplay comes to my mind.. charging them would lead to death, so i had to shoot them to death with the pistol from a distance :P)

I think the point at which i forgot where i was supposed to go was when i obtained the first card, but I could be wrong.

I think I did find the secret map... it was named something like "dirty... something?" was accessible
[spoiler]from going in the dirty "water"
But i could not advance there at all so i headed back to the regulard maps, i didn't seem to get back there ever.[/spoiler]

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Rex Claussen » Fri Apr 02, 2010 20:44

It was the first ever music to have played during gameplay (i think?) and i wrote my post as i was playing (to not forget anything).
You should have heard music during the TitleMap (the game intro with the moving camera and Dr. Bellmer taking a tram ride), then on Map02 when you pick up the HEV suit and trigger the resonance cascade.

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Gez » Fri Apr 02, 2010 20:58

Oh yeah, speaking of that resonance cascade thing. It would have been great if taking telepad B would lead to just after it happens -- we've got the suit already and we don't have to endure the scripted sequence of can't-do-anything-give-me-my-controls-back-I-thought-I-was-skipping-the-intro.

Just a little nitpick.

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Rex Claussen » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:04

Gez wrote:Oh yeah, speaking of that resonance cascade thing. It would have been great if taking telepad B would lead to just after it happens -- we've got the suit already and we don't have to endure the scripted sequence of can't-do-anything-give-me-my-controls-back-I-thought-I-was-skipping-the-intro.
Indeed, that should probably have been the way to go. I'm not sure why we didn't think about that while developing the game.

Also, I think you meant "Telepad C".

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Enjay » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:32

There may even be some merit in a 4th telepad:

A - see everything
B - skip the briefing
C - skip the walk to the HEV
D - skip the cascade

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Rex Claussen » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:57

Enjay wrote:C - skip the walk to the HEV
D - skip the cascade
I think that these two really serve the same purpose - i.e. , to skip intro stuff and get right down to the action. As such, I'd figure that C simply needs to be modified to happen after the cascade. The tricky part is re-writing the script to do exactly what its' currently doing. That won't be a mean feat, but it's doable.

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Enjay » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:56

See, that's why I suggested C & D. Personally, if wanted a quickish game, I think that I would still quite like the cascade as an intro. I'm not hugely bothered though because it doesn't take too long to run to the HEV room.

Getting the script to do what is needed should "just" be a case of copying the cascade script and cutting out irrelevant delays and camera changes, no?

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Rex Claussen » Sat Apr 03, 2010 14:34

Enjay wrote:Getting the script to do what is needed should "just" be a case of copying the cascade script and cutting out irrelevant delays and camera changes, no?
The biggest problem I'm thinking of is how to get the player to spawn right on the HEV suit and instruct the script to ignore most of the cascade effects and set up the map to be damaged/have scientists run around or sit in despair. I'll probably need to set up a variable in Map01 for when the player uses Telepad C, which instucts the script to behave differently.

I'll think on it, and see how to implement it.
Personally, if wanted a quickish game, I think that I would still quite like the cascade as an intro.
I think the point of skipping the cascade is the same as skipping Map01 - doing away with any intro stuff. However, what I'm hearing you say is that, for you, it would be desirable to skip Map01 but not the cascade. In which case, of course, a fourth telepad is desirable. There are, however, logistical constraints imposed on doing it that way by the layout of the opening area of Map01.

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Enjay » Sat Apr 03, 2010 15:04

Rex Claussen wrote:The biggest problem I'm thinking of is how to get the player to spawn right on the HEV suit and instruct the script to ignore most of the cascade effects...
I wouldn't bother. I'd have the script that runs when you press button C remove the HEV suit and run all the essential cascade related events whilst the player screen was black and then teleport him to the HEV pad with his suit already on.

Actually, now that I think about it, the button is on map01 and the suit is actually on map02 so the button would just instruct a script to run on entering map02 that does what I describe above. If putting the player start right on the HEV pad means that you can't get the suit out iof the way in time, you could either put the player start just beside the pad at the bottom of the steps or, alternatively, put the player start in a small black room somewhere on its own and then teleport the player when it is safe to do so. The second option would mean that you could put the player somewhere that he couldn't hear certain things happening (eg the noise of the HEV glass rising).

However, what I'm hearing you say is that, for you, it would be desirable to skip Map01 but not the cascade.
That is correct but, to be fair, I'm not that bothered about it. Whatever is easiest. I know that an extra telepad would disrupt the aesthetics of the starting area anyway.

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Rachael » Sat Apr 03, 2010 16:45

As much as I appreciate the work done with the resonance cascade - I do agree with Gez, particularly every time I play it - quite simply... give-me-my-controls-back-already-I-want-to-play!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, the reason why I didn't bring that up in playtesting is because I figured that would be too much work for what was already done.
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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Enjay » Sat Apr 03, 2010 17:21

As with any unskippable cutscene in any Doom mod, yes, it's a fair point that it does cause frustration and we should probably provide a way to bypass it.

Also, I think that the scene is quite long. I'm sure the Paranoid cascade actually lasts longer than the one in HL (although the build up to the cascade in HL is much longer). In HL, Freeman puts the sample into the chamber and then things start going wrong all around him. After a while, there is a fade to blackness accompanied by a heavy breathing sound. Then the view gets switched back to a view of the lab, then 2 views of Zen with a brief bit of black between and that's the player back into the game after that.

Also, if the cascade does get looked at again, it might be difficult to pull off but when the player activates the suit release control, it might make sense to only just be able to over hear in the distance the instructions that the scientists are giving Freeman over the loudspeaker in the lab ("OK Gordon, now push the sample in to the ant-mass spectrometer" - or whatever they say.) Then, after the player grabs the suit, you might also hear the cries of panic and "Gordon, get yourself out of there", "it's not shutting down" (etc) (or, again, whatever it is that they say).

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Rachael » Sat Apr 03, 2010 17:36

Another minor thing - I do think that "Mr. Computer" (the background voice you hear in HL1) should have more presence in Paranoid. I'm willing to offer whatever assistance may be necessary for this - I do think that with some mix and match of a few ZDoom features it would be quite possible and quite believable to have the computer say random things in the background that are relevant to Bellmar's current situation - and even some references with the military demands for Mr Freeman to report for questioning. Just my opinion. :)
Spoiler: Zen Sarcasm

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Re: General feedback (and nitpicks :P)

Post by Se7eNytes » Mon Apr 05, 2010 23:58

Here's one, the shotgun soldiers fire their own shotgun litterally twice as faster as the player's. They fire the gun at the speed of original Half-Life shotguns, which was actually pretty fast for one. But, in the player's case in Paranoid, the shotgun is actually pumped, and takes longer between shots. Just a little minor nitpick.

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