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Modern Retro Shooters / Quake Spiritual Successors
Wonder If A Specific Retro-shooter Thread Is Warranted?
#10166 posted by Shambler [] on 2017/08/27 11:32:00

It is! Separate thread because there's a lot of these sort of games, the ethos of them is particularly relevant to this board, and it's inhabitants seem to have some good varying opinions on the matter.

Quake as the eptiome as 90s action FPS:

Very direct control and physics
Simple streamlined gameplay
Brutal visceral and gory
Weird fantasy / gothic / industrial theme
Grungy, coherent graphics
Cool map designs / architecture (for the time)
Varied but consistent bestiary
(many of the above adhered to and greatly enhanced by subsequent custom content)

We all like these aspects, we all like these aspects in other games, we all want to see more of those games, possibly combined with modern graphical styles (Quake Chumpions MAPS might be an example of how far this could go) and maybe very limited modern additions (crouching? an inventory? coherent story? - but nothing that gets in the way of solid action). We perhaps want the next Quake / 90s action FPS spiritual successor...

Modern Retro Shooters:

...and lo, there's a neverending stream of modern retro games many of which are unabashedly marketting themselves as 90s action FPS spiritual successors and particularly highlighting speed, direct control, simple action, limitless violence. Do they have what it takes to hit that mark though??


Amid Evil




Ion Maiden





Devil Daggers





Without wanting to opine too much, there seems to be a general trend of possibly not hitting the mark despite some attempts to do so, with a huge variety in how much potential those attempts show, as well as how close these games are to realising the overall harmonious game quality of a typical best 90s action FPS. I.e. Some games seem to do some aspects right, but don't seem to get all the aspects in balance and appealing together.

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The presentation is very lo-fi, but considering this thing is 90% the work of a single developer I think that's totally the right decision. 
@StillTooLazyToRegister - I agree somewhat, your assessment seems more realistic than the steam reviews.

Level Design - I disagree with many reviewers on this point. Dusk's poor level design is probably its greatest shortcoming. As a result, the game is boring, easy and exploitable (I was a able to bypass a keyed door by stacking barrels).

Visuals - yep.

Weapons - Overall, they feel pretty good with nice feedback.

Sound & Music - Sound is good. The music is the most polished thing in the game.

at the moment it's good, not great. Has potential.

I would say at the moment it's not good but has potential.

I've seen this game called a "love letter to oldschool FPSes". IMO, it's more of a doodle on a post-it note than a love letter.

I'm somewhat puzzled. DUSK has good steam reviews as well as positive reviews from the likes of LGR and GGManLives. I must be out of touch or missing something; as a massive fan of retro shooters DUSK is not hitting any of the right notes for me. 
The Current Trend For Retro Shooters 
is really just a race to the bottom for most devs, I think. The vast majority of their target-audience haven't played any 90's shooters for 20-odd years, so they'll be satisfied with a few cheap visual hooks and some silly monsters. Obviously like any trend this will bottom out leaving some room for the devs who are putting the time in to make a genuinely good game, but by that point a lot of the people jizzing over things like Dusk will have happily returned to the AAA thrills of Call of Duty 83768. 
more like target-audience haven't played anything in the 90s by not existing and wanting to live in the mystical "90s are best" time. 
dae le h8 90s kids amirite 
Proof Dusk Is Good Game 
It's nothing new, there were loads of shitty FPS in the early 90s too that were obviously just made to jump on the Doom clone bandwagon. Taking that into account I'm going to say that the current string of shovelware is the true retro FPS revival but that's going to be an opinion that grates with just about everyone else here. 
DUKS (Not Quack) 
Full disclosure... I hang out in the New Blood Discord all the time and have been playing DUSK since pre-orders became available on Steam last year.

DUSK is the real deal. It isn't perfect. It sure as heck isn't Quake... but it's worth your time. DUSK could easily be mistaken for cynical nostalgia bait, but the creator has a real love for his inspirations. The winks and nods are there, but it never devolves into cheap pandering. The game has it's own voice and doesn't rely on references.

It's fun to play because the developer obviously has fun making it. There is an emphasis on FEEL which I appreciate. One might take for granted the SMOOTHNESS of movement but it's something that received a great deal of attention.

Not everyone will dig the level design. It's more Build than it is DOOM/Quake, with semi-realistic environments that never become so abstract or puzzling. I find them atmospheric and fun to explore nonetheless.

The music is 10/10. The ambient tracks are my jam.

I'm a picky gamer who is easily fussed so of course I have my gripes. But the only real caveat I can offer is that DUSK is simply too easy.

"Cero Miedo" is DUSK's UV or Hard equivalent. It never demands enough of the player for me to slip into a flow-state. When I think about level sets like Ancient Aliens or Arcane Dimensions, I remember specific fights so engaging that my keyboard and mouse dissolved in my hands. You know what I'm talking about. DUSK's combat unfortunately never rides that hallowed line between fun and frustrating. It is FUN however. It's challenging enough to keep me interested and like I mentioned before, it just feels great to control.

There is "Intruder Mode" which I recommend. You start every level with only sickles. Even on this mode, "Cero Miedo" is still too easy. "DUSKMARE" is DUSK's gimmick difficulty. You die in one hit. Challenging yeah, but not a replacement for proper difficulty through encounter design.

It's an easy recommendation for FPS fans. Especially now that Steam has refunds, you literally have nothing to lose. ;p

BTW I have pre-alpha access to AMID EVIL and it is incredible. It's already more challenging than DUSK and looks gorgeous in motion. Videos really don't do it justice. Look out for that one. 
looks and sounds like shit. pass 
Some anon posted it earlier in the thread, but Revulsion seems to be coming along nicely. 
Revulsion.... a good description of what I feel looking at that. I did enough fucking Lego as a kid and don't want my FPS games made out of it. 
Quake Vs Modern Retro: 
Reborn just publish it's steam page!

the trailer looks and feels awesome 
Not Very Modern Retro Really. 
But does look promising. 
Looks good, not really retro but more of an evolution 
The Wastes

Technically more of a total conversion / mod than new game, but looks kinda cool and is promoted as a throwback 
Box Rooms Botmatch Ahoy. 
Re: The Wastes 
I'd make maps for that. The car stuff looks pretty decent. The tire marks are a fun touch. Not liking the puffy blood effects tho. 
Re: The Wastes 
If there are any questions regarding content creation, I can answer them if you like. We'd totally love to have workshop integration at some point. 
Indeed, our color palette features a variety of brown colors! So does Quake actually. I didn't think you'd mind, Anonymous-Proxy guy. 
Feel free to post your workflow here. Are you using Q3Radiant or similar to create the game? Since Dusk is using a TrenchBroom variant for their user-content creation would you consider the same thing? 
While I got introduced to mapping with Q3 Radiant, I ultimately had spent most of my time working with Hammer and so did my colleague Megan. We came out of the Half-Life modding scene and so we adapted J.A.C.K. a few years ago. It seemed like the best idea at the time and it certainly bridged the transition to Q3 BSP for her. However we'd like to move away from it in and we encourage usage of Radiant instead due to the lack of updates and support for certain features we've been waiting for.

Some more technical background info:
We're a two head team. I do some mapping, but most of the heavy lifting is done by Megan, as is the rest of the content work. I am responsible for the programming mainly (everything but the engine). Technically the engine is FTE QuakeWorld, but we have a custom configuration setup that only implements the idTech 3 formats and focuses on that toolchain. It's the first real game made using FTE I believe and a lot of functionality was implemented by Spike for us upon request. Things such as OpenAL reverb presets (for environmental sound effects) and our custom model format, based on IQM.

I hope that people other than us will take advantage of that in their Quake mods, but so far priorities have not shifted from 'the usual' yet. Maybe one day.

The game will ship with its own SDK, containing game-logic, source texture files, as well as the input model files for our model compiler.

We hope to shape the game during its lifespan a bit game-play wise. It'd be incredible if we get it right the same day the game comes out, but it's unlikely to happen. Certainly balancing is one of the many problems in a game with 30+ weapons, vehicles and an abilities system. I fear we'll get some flak from the competitive scene if they ever come across it, but that's honestly not the audience we are looking for. 
This Is 
like DMSP, simplified, and with no maps.

If at least the maps were interesting ... 
That Is Barely An Engine Test And Complete Garbage. 
Please post stuff that is vaguely relevant. 
Talking Of Complete Garbage. 
Hellbound """gameplay""". Absolutely terrible. Another one down. 
It' funny how people have wrong memories about Quake. Everytime a new game claims to be "Quake inspired!!" or "90's gameplay!! just like Quake!!" i already know the developer is talking about an arena full of weapons and monsters, lots and lots of monsters running around like crazy, attacking in waves/hordes"... well, this is Serious Sam, not Quake. Back in the 90's the Quake engine couldn't even handle six enemies on screen at the same time... well, the engine could handle, but the computers don't.

So, I do not know which game these guys played in the 90's, but it was not Quake. 
But tbh, many people think that "Quake" alone refers to Quake III Arena.

Hellbound may be partially Q3A inspired, specially in the sound fx. The thing is, Q3A didn't have a proper single player mode... so, tacking on a Serious Sam horde approach may be what a single player "Quake" experience means to them. 
99% of the time they are developers who never really played Quake, and at some point during development of their "retro game" they just fired up Quake Live for "reference" and ran around a bit with bots.

Still, that at least might have inspired them with highly connected, z-aware combat spaces, but then again when they don't know they're even looking for that stuff, they tend not to notice it even when it's staring them in the face. 
Graphics: DirectX11 Compatible GPU with 512 MB Video RAM
Are U A 90's Kid ? 
Ha! I'm an 80s kid, born in '79. Try better. 
Raises Hand Slooowly 
Anons Please Stop Posting Stuff That Is Off-topic Trolling. 
The Wastes at least runs on a Pentium II with a Viper V550. I would not recommend it though. GL 1.4 or higher definitely recommended. 
Well hellbound looks like a tarted up mobile phone game 
Just looking over all the games linked in this thread, they're all shit. Complete fucking shit. Just looking at that Dusk gameplay video above, god damn look at the barn and corn fields!! If anyone made something like that in Quake it'd be deleted off my hdd instantly.

Anything that might even look remotely okay and as if it's actually been "designed" or have okay graphics, will wreck it with retarded Serious Sam gameplay. Because that's what all the born in the 2000s indie kids think 90s games were like.

Witchfire looks decent, but I would hold my judgement on that until further into development. The team have only done one little 1 hr mod that wasn't even that great. Trailer looks awesome but can they keep up the quality over an entire game? Will the game even play like that?

Devil Daggers looks like a college students tech-demo project made while on acid, not an actual game. But at least we're getting closer to 90s style games compared to what we had 10 years ago when there was nothing. 
Based on some of the dung games you actively choose to play and review on here, I trust your experience of "complete fucking shit" and tend to agree with that post :) 
I can't agree more. DUSK is such a toxic, septic pile of trash. I question the good taste and mental faculties of anyone who finds anything about it remotely passable.

We truly are in the darkest timeline, where the "90s fps revival" we wanted is a continous stream of pixellated, worse-looking-than-Postal diarrhea from millenials with art history degrees. Box rooms with "art" of sub-doom quality and fidelity are now being tagged as "quake inspired" and shared with hundreds of retweets. What would have been absolute shovelware 15-20 years ago is being gushed about by "game" "journalists", an absolute subspecies of homo sapiens. I can only hope that when the neocon world order engineered by Milton Friedman & co collapses all those bearded, beanie wearing fucks will be put the against the wall by the proles in the first order.

It makes me pray for a worldwide socioeconomic crisis, that's how much of an affront against the senses DUSK is. 
Hard To Disagree There, Otp 
Also, don't forget chiptunes. Because as everyone knows back in the impossibly ancient 1990s Quake, Unreal, Half-Life etc. were just ALL about chiptunes! 
I don't know if somebody already post this, but this is Hellscreen. The page says "Hellscreen is a single player level based FPS, in the fast, frantic style of classic games from the 1990s (such as Doom, Quake, Unreal)"

oh, man... it's just another arena with waves of monsters chasing the player... of course it can be fun to play, but it has nothing to do with doom, quake or unreal. it doesn't look like or feel like any 90's game. why the developers can't just say "it's a pixelated FPS"? 
Well Called Tribal. 
Still there looks to be a fair chance for a typically uninspiring one man "tech" demo non-game to be not funded in time. 
ouch. I basically agree with all of that, it doesn't look fun to play or authentically 90s.

At the same time, i think he's made quite a cool aesthetic, it doesn't completely fail, although it does look completely headache inducing. 
Saviour ?

Ion Maiden in early access, Campaign in the early access too! 
From the Hellscreen kickstarter:

Second to second, you will be blasting enemies, dodging incoming attacks and progressing through a labyrinth of evil at breakneck speeds.

Interconnected maps - United by a hub world, travel back and forth between levels to unlock new areas and secrets as upgrades are purchased. Not able to jump to that high platform? Upgrade to the double jump and return later to claim your prize.
Designed & hand-crafted levels - no procedural generation, no randomness, no accidents. Pure, constructed levels specifically created to give the player the most intense & invigorating experience possible. Only designed levels can give you hell.
Manipulative environments - Change the level to suit your needs and combat scenarios. Taking too much fire? Shoot the columns to raise cover. See a trap meant for you? Trigger it to use on your enemies instead.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is this an Arena/endless wave game or more like levels in Doom, quake etc

Hellscreen is a level based game, similar to Doom, Quake, Unreal etc.

An endless, arena mode may be a stretch goal...

Anyway, it would have been better for him to have a completed level to showcase exactly what kind of level design should be expected. 
Hellscreen sounds ok, and the visuals would be pretty good if it didn't have that blue/red filter which kinda spoils any chance of having some visual diversity. 
ok, now i like it XD 
I recommend giving Ion Maiden a spin. I've been playing it this morning and thoroughly enjoying. 
Ion Maiden looks awesome!

A female version of Duke Nukem...

I like it =D 
The Ion Maiden demo is pretty much unplayable on my PC. Severe frame rate drops in the starting area just by turning the camera. The starting area is really small so it's baffling to me how bad performance is. 
Gggmanlives made a review of Ion Maiden's demo: 
#168 Beyond Pathetic And Will Always Get Censored. 
GGMan Review. 
I like how he talks about it being good for a "20 year old" engine that's been updated. 20 years old would be 98 i.e. Unreal, I would be happy to see how this looked on an updated Unreal engine......

Still if you're into that sort of thing i.e. pixels and does look like it does a much better job than almost all the other games. 
Dunno about the game in full, but from what I see, this does actually fit and execute the modern retro shooter as well as it should. I imagine if you're a Duke / ROTT / Blood fan then this is bang on. It has theme, coherence, purpose, proper level design etc. As I say it's not my bag for the style/GFX but one could consider it a tentative success.... 
Ion Maiden Feels Bad. 
Call me crazy but I believe smooth and responsive player/mouse movement should be the first priority of any FPS developer.

Great design and art just go to waste when the game feels bad to play. Shame.

Ion Maiden is ALMOST there, but the performance isn't even close to where it should be. Explosions see frames below 50 on a machine that never drops below 90 during the most demanding scenes of DOOM 2016. (1440p) Even when the game is maintaining 144 fps it stutters constantly. Vsync and framecaps don't eliminate it. Hopefully we see some real fixes from the devs soon. Build engine man...

When free and open source projects like GZDoom and QuakeSpasm have me playing DOOM and Quake (originally limited to 35 and 72 fps respectively) flawlessly at whatever framerate I want with super smooth and responsive gameplay, I find myself less than impressed with commercial products like the Turok remasters (limited to 60 fps) and Ion Maiden (hella janky overall). Eh... 
Ion Maiden is ALMOST there, but the performance isn't even close to where it should be. Explosions see frames below 50 on a machine that never drops below 90 during the most demanding scenes of DOOM 2016. (1440p)

Judging from the screenshots, this game uses a software renderer. Color blending is one of the slowest things in any software renderer. 
You can switch between software and OpenGL. It's literally EDuke32.

Both feel bad. Them boys got work to do. <3 
Thumbs up to Ion Maiden from what i've seen in that video. Can't comment on shitty performance but weapons look great, enemies look great. Environments look varied and interesting for that Duke urban setting.

I like the wolf3d style start screen and the female protagonist - nice flip of the not-funny-enough-to-be-ironic misogynist vibes of Duke. Got a Joanna (perfect) Dark vibe from it.

Don't particularly see the need for it to be on the Build engine if it's going to fuck up performance this bad. The technical limitations may have contributed to how authentic it feels however! 
Does it run bad even without the Polymer option? Try turning that off if you can, that thing runs bad everywhere.

I don't own the game so I'm just assuming you can turn it off seeing as its based on EDuke32. 
It ain't got no poly-woly, which means it also has no FOV options..!

I cap the frames at 141, Gsync stays active and that (mostly) smooths out the stutter. I recommend capping 3 or so frames below your monitor's refresh rate with r_maxfps.

This doesn't fix the remarkably janky movement and mouselook though. The game simply doesn't feel good to play. Hmm... 
You are suffering some bug/driver issue
Runs perfect here and this is not a hot shit system 
I don't have the game, but i saw a lot of let's plays on youtube and the game runs fast and smooth. I didn't see any problems with performance :/ 
I've bought Ion Maiden yesterday. The GL renderer is unplayable, and the software renderer is a bit slow at times but still runs as good as a 90s game in a 90s machine. 
There's a lot of folks talking about issues with performance and mouse input. I'ma wait for a bit to see if stuff gets ironed out. 
Come On Dude. 
IONed out at least ;) 
On the janky mouse movement...

"It's a limitation of the Build engine; there are only 2048 possible values for the player camera's yaw and only around 400 possible values for looking up and down.

However, I happen to be both the director of this game and the original author of EDuke32. I have a potential solution in mind that I think will allow us to address this, at least in OpenGL, without rewriting a ton of engine code.

Assuming my idea works out, we are planning on releasing a patch including this fix sometime in the next couple weeks. I don't care for the notchy aiming myself... I play a lot of Rainbow 6 and the difference is night and day.

But, we will improve things." -terminx

To the folks insisting that game footage looks "fast and smooth" or that it runs fine on their machine: A sub 60 framerate on capable hardware isn't the issue.

I run at a nearly constant 144. But that can dip into the 50s momentarily when the engine is buckling under effect heavy sequences. If the idea is to optimize an old engine for modern hardware, THEN OPTIMIZE IT FOR MODERN HARDWARE. I shouldn't be seeing lower lows than DOOM 2016 in Ion Maiden.

The performance issues are secondary to the mouse issue anyway. The "notchy" movement is what's really ruining the experience. I hope the fix works because I really want to enjoy and recommend this game. 
Should Have Used Unity 
Fucking diva's. Whats with the animosity to devs ? Its an early access.
There is obv a usual bullshit driver issue along the way. OpenGL renderer unplayable ? butterfucking smooth here 0 slowdown ever, on a fucking sub 100€ radeon R7 360... o_O ? 
Killes man... how long have you been doing this PC gaming thing? You understand a game can have issues on people's systems even if yours happens to work ok right?

Discussing problems is not "animosity". (Aside from #186 which I assume is a joke.) 
What's Wrong With Unity? 
Other than a constant stream of amateur "games" dragging Unity's name through the mud by being poorly optimized.

Or having a terrible outdated garbage collector.

Or very little out of the box support for first person shooters.

Or requiring DIY decals.

Or requiring DIY sprites (other than particle effects).

Or having memory leak problems.

Or having terrible support for mods. 
Amid Evil Bullshit DMSP Arena Mode Confirmed.

Looks appallingly bland in every way imaginable. The only thing I can tolerate in this video is the outside lighting which is nice with the fog. The full red screen when you take any damage is a particularly bad touch in addition to the semi-naff weapons, stupid cartoon items, boring badly-themed monsters, apparent lack of any AI, shitty map, shitty textures and lighting etc etc. 
I like how the pickup items are low-framerate pixelly sprites, and then the weapon models look like they could be in Skyrim.

"Well you see what we were going for was to simulate one of those classic FPS games with a long and drama-filled development history, where some bits were made in 1995 and other bits were made in 2005" 
Lol Chill 
AMID EVIL is gorgeous, feels incredibly smooth to play, and provides a better challenge than other recent "old-school" shooters on it's "Evil" difficulty.

Videos don't do AMID EVIL justice. It's a whacked out mix of sprites, unfiltered textures, and shiny UE4 gloss. In motion, it works. It's a crisp and colorful thing. Limited video bitrate muddies that.

I completely understand why one would argue that the AEsthetic is confused, so don't bother. Just TRUST ME.

Release will see 7 episodes, each with 3 exploration levels and a boss level. Every episode has it's own theme and enemies. 3 episodes and an endless map will be available next week.

I don't like Serious Sam-style shooters or wave-based endless modes. This isn't that. AE's levels are big and beautiful. The wave mode in the video is an extra to the main campaign. For what it's worth, I found AMID EVIL's wave mode to be more fun than others I've played. The gameplay in that video is also pretty bad...

We'll always have DOOM and Quake, and the well of quality mapsets isn't drying up anytime soon. But DANG guys, you can't be salty about every new kid on the block. There is a difference between having sophisticated taste and being a self-defeating elitist sperglord.

FPS fans who lump the likes of DUSK, AMID EVIL (and what the heck, DOOM 2016 too) in with the likes of STRAFE, Apocryph, or Hellbound have my pity. (If you're excited for Apocryph or Hellbound... um, lol?) You may have a deeper understanding of good FPS design than the average Joe, but your judgement lacks a necessary granularity.

Also, Kinn, the weapon "models" are sprites babe. ;) 
I hadn't realized that Amid Weevil is published by the same people as Dusk. It's like two schlubby doses of marketing for the price of one. 
Videos don't do AMID EVIL justice. It's a whacked out mix of sprites, unfiltered textures, and shiny UE4 gloss. 
Would consider doing a legit Heretic episode, followed by a legit Hexen episode, followed by a legit Hexen 2 ... actually scratch that last one 
Amid Evil 
Ach Me Eyes! It Burns! 
#193 Thank You For Your Insights. 
Videos don't do AMID EVIL justice. It's a whacked out mix of sprites, unfiltered textures, and shiny UE4 gloss.

No offense to your judgement, but the very reasons you have given for it looking "gorgeous", are mostly the same reasons - with the addition of the ass-awful saturated lighting - that it still looks like shit on a stick, where the stick is also made of shit.

Incidentally I just rewatched Apocryph inspired by your post and whilst it does look fairly dung - I am assuming it is a mere engine test, the lighting, textures, monsters, and theme harmony already look 2000% better than Amid Evil.

I will concede that Amid Evil does look functionally fine as an old skool shooter (apart from the appalling screenflash on damage which should never even be an option let alone default), but the lack of any graphical harmony is a NOPE from me. 
Art Consistency 
Is amid evils biggest problem tbh. But this can be fixed a lot easier than gameplay (which looks ok imo) 
Art Consistency 
Is amid evils biggest problem tbh. But this can be fixed a lot easier than gameplay (which looks ok imo) 
Double Posting 
Is FifthHeffalump#s biggest problem tbh. But he's beyond fixing (imo) 
No offense to your judgement, but the very reasons you have given for it looking "gorgeous", are mostly the same reasons - with the addition of the ass-awful saturated lighting - that it still looks like shit on a stick, where the stick is also made of shit.

You left out the part where I said "In motion, it works. It's a crisp and colorful thing. Limited video bitrate muddies that." That's the important bit. The idea being - it sounds unlikely, but when playing, these seemingly disparate parts come together nicely.

AMID EVIL is purposefully chaotic in it's use of color, and it works. It won't be everyone's jam. I love it. It's something else. It's ugly in the best way.

I will concede that Amid Evil does look functionally fine as an old skool shooter (apart from the appalling screenflash on damage which should never even be an option let alone default), but the lack of any graphical harmony is a NOPE from me.

The flashing is less obnoxious when playing versus watching. But I agree, it should be optional.

Ye boi. When I first saw that in-game, I thought something was rendering incorrectly. Turns out it's just an inelegant and ugly way to occlude enemy spawns.

Incidentally I just rewatched Apocryph inspired by your post and whilst it does look fairly dung - I am assuming it is a mere engine test, the lighting, textures, monsters, and theme harmony already look 2000% better than Amid Evil.

Yeah all the parts harmoniously appear hideous all at once! :p

Seriously, it looks like an asset flip. I'm not saying it is, but it has that vibe - cheap and uninspired. Apocryph is trying so hard (and failing) to be dark and gritty with zero sense of irony. Of course maybe that's what you appreciate about it. There is a certain kind of honesty about how thoroughly uncool it is. Heck, it may even wind up a charming little piece of EuroJank. 
One More Thing... 
Let it be known...

I find Darkplaces and HD texture packs disgusting. Now THAT is inconsistency! 
Too Many Anon Posts To Keep Track Of, Who Is Who?? 
Seriously, takes 2 secs to type in a name and chrome remembers it for next time. 
TBH, If They're As Well Thought Out As #204...'s okay. It's still a bit annoying not knowing posting consistency etc, but, whatever, a thread contribution is a thread contribution.

Snide comments via anons, trolling or otherwise, are deleted. That IS something where posting consistency / history is required for context. 
Also, Kinn, the weapon "models" are sprites

and then you made them look indistinguishable from normal/diffuse/specular-mapped models from the mid-late 2000s... 
Seriously though, you can tell when playing the game. Videos fuzzy the effect.

For more hot normal-on-sprite action, I recommend BRIGADOR.

I can't defend AMID EVIL's visuals anymore. I've already admitted that it's UGLY IN THE BEST WAY. I mean, I DO have eyes guys. :p It's gaudy and garish and not for everyone.


ION Maiden is really coming along. A testing branch already has mouse movement feeling smooth and modern. Performance is better and the vsync issues are being investigated.

For anyone experiencing stutters at 144 fps, cap your frames at 120. The game loop updates at 30hz and interpolates at 120hz. If you don't have Gsync, you'll need to change your monitor's refresh rate to 120.

The update should be out soon. 
Amid Evil looks more interesting than Dusk for me. And Ion Maiden is fucking great.

Amid Evil's oversaturated effects seems to be a homage to the style of some old games, specially N64/Saturn/PS1 ones. Even if the game lacks visual harmony, at least it looks like the devs are putting effort into the art.

Being an independent developer sucks, specially if the team is just a couple of guys. Either the gameplay, the level design, the sound fx, the voice acting, the music, the models, the sprites, the textures, the animations, the visual effects, or something else will suck. Most likely, several of these aspects at once. But if the developer is openly honest about his limitations, some flaws can be forgiven.

What bothers me the most in many pseudo retro games are misleading advertisement, developers who doesn't tolerate criticism, and developers who uses "stylistic choices" as an excuse to lazy out on some aspects of the game. A lazy style is still lazy, despite being a style. 
Deliberately gaudy and garish, as much as I want to keep slagging it off, at this point I can just say "fair enough". If it's a deliberate choice then although I think the effect is ass (and not the sort of ass that appeals to me), then I can see what they are getting at. I guess I find it a bit of a pity personally because the level design and gameplay functionality does actually have some appeal, unlike many other of these games, and with different GFX style could be a winner. Oh well. 
And On The Subject Of Anons. 
If I see another post by FoldingChable, then I'll remember "oh that was the dude that was talking some sense about AE even if I disagreed". That context is useful. 
Nah dude its great having lengthy discussions of opinions with multiple anons and having to use random ass context clues to determine which anon is which so as not to confuse "anon thats a total fucking bellend" with "anon thats actually kind of reasonable" 
ion maiden seems great. played the demo and it looks better than I expected. I hope they will be able to finish the game

Also be aware that the game is going to run like shit on older computers 
It's curious to see Ion Maiden being labeled as a "spiritual sequel to Duke Nukem 3D". The art style is substantially different, in that while DN3D used prerendered CGI assets (All characters, cutscenes, title & intermission screens, etc), IM uses hand-drawn art.

IM's art managed to be of such high quality, that people don't notice how fundamentally different from the DN3D style it is. Ion Maiden is not simply rehashing old approaches. 
Copy Paste Of A Post On Another Forum Re: Amid Evil 
So now that the Early Access version is out, I can talk a bit about Amid Evil. I played a test branch of the Early Access version a week or so ago. I've always been critical of the visual style of the game (didn't really like the color usage that much) and thought the game looked garish and not that great. I got a key because of a semi-rant on Twitter about it, and promptly booted the game to see for myself.
Honestly, the videos really don't do the game justice because a whole lot of detail is lost to video compression. The game looks pretty good in motion, especially the third episode that reminded me of the first Tomb Raider a lot. My only problem with color is found in early Episode 1, the rest of the game looks good for the most part, with some great style at times (E1M2 comes to mind, this map is a real beast and one I wish I had made cause it's brilliant at times). The weapon viewmodels are apparently lightmapped sprites, which is pretty amazing considering how good they look.

The level design ranges from good to very good. There was not a single bad level in the version I played. E1M1 is very tame/simple but things get serious as soon as E1M2, which is very open and has vertical layers serpenting around. The game uses very little enclosed, Painkiller-like arenas which is very welcome. The third Episode has a lot of exploration gameplay too which I liked a lot (especially in E3M1). The Episodes only have three main levels and one boss each, but there are 7 Episodes planned total, each with its own style.

The game itself is a lot of fun. All the weapons are great to use and pack a punch. Even the base axe feels very powerful. My favorite weapons are the trident thing and the Mace of Torment which I find extremely fun. The weapons have an alternative, even more powerful attack once you gain enough souls from fallen enemies. It acts exactly as the Tome of Power from Heretic/Hexen, but I find it more interesting in Amid Evil since you actually have to fight to trigger it a vast majority of the time (and you can chain it with greater soul pickups). In the version I played the enemies didn't bleed much and had almost no pain frames; I wonder if that was changed because it was a bit distracting and it was hard to tell whether I was actually hurting them at times.

Overall, Amid Evil is a cool game. It doesn't try to reinvent the wheel but it's a solid Heretic-like in some aspects. It runs well, has cool level design, great weaponry and feels good to play. 
Yeah, YouTube compression can completely ruin some visual styles, and is way too influential on the public impression. 
Skacky = Shill 100% Confirmed. 
j/k etc etc etc. Good post. 
It looks like Hellscreen won't be funded. Less than 3 days left, and not even 20% funding achieved.

Despite the campaign mentioning classic FPS level design, the lack of any actual classic FPS level design in the videos gives an impression that despite wanting to do it, the developer doesn't know how to do it.

It's a shame, as the visual style and the artwork are fantastic, and the music is great. 
Shitty review. If people are going to criticize devs for not following earlier designs, they should also bash the devs of the original Doom for trashing Tom Hall's design of it. 
Let's bash quake because it doesn't have an axe-ogre who pisses on dead bodies =D 
...that is one of the few genuine flaws with Quake. 
Steam Direct Was A Mistake 
Born To Be Wild Ripoff 
Hellbound Arena Pre-Pre-Pre-Alpha Test. 
Got generously donated a spare key for this. It is what you see in the video previously posted. One extremely simple arena with waves of enemies.

Even given those limits it is fairly flawed: disco lighting, terrible music, fairly homogenous humanoid enemies (apart from some ugly demons), a bit heavy on the hitscan enemies, and jumping feels a bit weird and abrupt. Basically feels like a Q3A mod test.

On the other hand, at it's core, it does do some crucial things right: Movement is pleasingly slick and precise, weapons feel good and meaty and distinct, and the graphical quality, if not it's execution, is totally good.

I'd say it's tentatively worth keeping an eye on, if they add a full game and better bestiary to this, and a stronger, deeper theme, it could well work. 
Apparently Midair (Tribes-style shooter) is going free today, anyone have experience with it? Not exactly a Quake/arena shooter style game but Starseige: Tribes dates to '98 so it sort of counts? Maybe? 
I have a key for it so I'll dip into it at some point. 
Update on Midair: tried it today, feels really damn clunky menu-wise, also seems to enjoy randomly reverting, deleting or re-locking loadout and inventory options (without refunding the in-game points needed to unlock them). Movement is really damn stiff especially if the last Tribes you played was Ascend- apparently this is a good thing, so sez the Old Timey Tribals, but I'm not a huge fan of the thrust vectoring jetpack system and the lack of natural air control at all feels gross. Uninstalled after it locked out shit I'd just unlocked without giving me the ingame credits back for it. 
no Romero´s Blackroom in-game footage yet? next Daikatana? 
The Most Gaseous Of Vapourware. 
Haha, the part where the dev talks about other good retro/indie titles and shows footage of Strafe, Dusk, etc. 
The "Level Design" section of their description is the best. 
He made a 2D version of Doom? When Doom already is 2D... 
Watched the Hellbound kickstarter video now.
Seriously, if a developer has a thick foreign accent, he shouldn't try to talk in a video explaining the game. Not without subtitles.

The weakest point of the Hellbound kickstarter is the same of the Hellscreen kickstarter: No classic level design at all. The Hellscreen kickstarter at least claimed to want to have classic level design (without any proof of concept), but the Hellbound kickstarter doesn't even acknowledge anything about level design; only about environment art. And none of the team members is a level designer.

Which is a bit of a shame, as the art and the music are great. 
Art looks great if only they created an actual level for it rather than a shitty survival chunk of dirt surrounded by a lava map. 
i guess its the only guy in the team that can speak in English well enough for that. And that is no accent, is what happens when you aren't accustomed to speak in English. I heard people saying that its like a vampire talking, but never understood it neither never heard that vampires talked in a different way.

It loks like they don't intend to make levels and only if they are very successful with the campaign, so this will be like Devil Daggers with more money on the graphics and Serious Sam style instead of a creepy one. 
And that is no accent, is what happens when you aren't accustomed to speak in English.

I'm not a native English speaker either, and I never actually talk in English. What happens when I try are tons of mistakes, a very limited vocabulary and an extremely irregular rhythm with some words taking very long to come out. It's like I suddenly become mentally disabled.

The main challenges for people who writes in English but don't talk in English are to remember every word, every sound that they make and every vocal muscle movement (chords, lips, tongue, etc.) needed to speak those words. And to remember all of it in realtime.

The guy in the video doesn't have trouble with that. But it's very difficult for me to understand all he says. 
Played the demo of Ion Maiden. Like any other recent Doom/Build mod with tons of graphical effects etc. it's not gonna run "efficiently", but aside from that it is extremely legit stuff. 
Apocryph Gameplay 
Even skipping through that was painful. 
Apocryph Video 
Find funny how the guy gets all fired up so much, even when nothing happens.

The layout is the same simplistic thing as the one i played some months ago and doesn't look like there is big changes, save for the motion blur that prevented from strafing that looks like is fortunately out now.

If the motion blur is definitely out this could be good if they got a level designer. 
Damn That's Terrible 
The level designers definitely didn't do a block-out first. 

seems more doom-like than quake-like but i saw a little bit of 3d/jumping in there. 
Not sure what the design goal of the game is... basically looks like Doom 3 with the resolution of Doom 1. 
I don't like the hud overlay but the pixel rendering of 3d objects adds a bit of a gritty feel to me. I like it. 
Typical Bullshit. 
" It reaches the quality you expect from a AAA experience while adhering to some of the aesthetic technical limits of older hardware."

Funnily enough you useless mis-guided cocksuckers, "aesthetic technical limits" were in no way what made old skool games great, they were a necessary evil to put up because they were just fucking limits. 
That's Debatable 
One could argue that the limits imposed by old tech forced developers to focus on other things than visuals, and also allowed for faster production cycles.
Example in our context, the time it takes to make a Quake map, vs the time it takes to make a level in some modern game. 
An incidental silver lining benefit, not a fundamental positive to having lower quality graphics. 
Li'l Bit Of This, Li'l Bit Of That 
(^ "bit" in the title is also said Cockney glottal-stop style)

It's actually very complicated with lots of variables jostling with each other. E.g. crunchy software quake at low resolution looks amazing and immersive and strangely rich with detail for some reason, but those exact same environments in smooth GL on a modern monitor look like bland, barren shite. You're no longer squinting at it and your mind doesn't have to fill in the details, and the magic is gone.

Other things: tools were primitive which probably hampered asset creation times substantially compared to what we can do now with all our spanky new Trenchcoats and Mayos and whatnot. 
I Disagree 
Many games, even some modern ones with big budgets, choose a specific quality of visuals with this in mind.
Biggest example recently that comes to mind is the latest Zelda game, where they tried to go more realistic but realized how much extra work it meant to look right, so decided for a simpler more stylized look.

To me one of the big reasons I love Quake is it's low-fidelity, and what that means for gameplay and extra content creation. 
For Clarity 
Previous post was in reply to Shambler not Kinn. 
But yeah, many of the things we love about 90s FPS level design - multiroute, exploration, secrets, optional bits etc - exist because you could afford to make them back then. With the cost of real estate in modern FPS, the optional bits are the first to get binned when production reality kicks in.

Things seem to be improving again, I think we're over the worst of the "linear" era and developers are making more of an effort in this regard, but certainly post 90s there was a long stagnation period when all FPS releases were little more than on-rails games. 
Just Watched The Trailer 
Yeah, WTF.

So they've made an FPS that looks like it came from the mid-2000s, then stuck it in a screen resolution that comes from the mid 1990s.

I've seen enough of these sorts of indie developers to think that maybe we should just gather them all up, dump them on some remote, isolated tropical island somewhere, and just let them make all these incongruous eyesore games amongst themselves, well away from the rest of us, and then meanwhile in the world of normal people with actual taste, we can all eventually, in time, just pretend that these awful things don't exist. 
And There We Go. 
Thread conclusively answered. 
I thought the main reason that old maps had so many different routes was because they also had to function as deathmatch maps. 
So Any More Thoughts On These. 
The big hope, apart from maybe Witchfire which I'm worried might have a great theme and gameplay that is the worst of Painkiller meets the worst of Bulletstorm, is of course the semi-home-grown (i.e. half of terrafusion is working on it) 3DKillpixelRealms "#RetroFPS #PixelShooter #indie #blocktober #PartyLikeIts1996 #quakekiller #lowpixel #RetroPoly #pixelpoly #polypixel #QuakeLikeQuakeDidIt #pixel #ALLTHEPOLYGONS #8bitIndieDev #tastethegiblets #oldskoolpixeltretropoly"

But any more to consider....?? 
Ion Maiden still looks pretty sick. Haven't played the most recent demo level though. 
Seems To Be The Main Success So Far. 
A few people have been raving about Amid Evil but the presentation just ....doesn;t do it for me. 
Fake Retro Graphics Are Disgusting 
Amid Evil's art design is the most confused and dishonest rubbish I've ever seen. Never have I seen a more ridiculous 'retro' style.
If you're going to emulate a retro style then do it consistently. Dusk might have looked like bargain bin rubbish from 1996 but its at least consistent with its ugliness.

Just look at this shit

The weapons aren't models they're sprites, but they're lit with modern PBR shading and it looks weird as hell. They're high resolution enough that you don't even notice that they're sprites so its a complete waste of time anyway.
What makes it even worse is that the enemies are all 3D but their polycount and texture resolution is tiny by comparison to the weapons and they don't have the pbr shading that everything else does.
The levels look like romhacks of Mario 64 bashed together in sketchup and are lit with such garish colours and noisy textures that it makes the PBR shading all the more tasteless with tiny bright specular highlights everywhere
Then there's the particle effects which are in such abundance. The particles aren't even consistent with each other, some have 1bit alphas while others are blended and the blood particles don't match the decals they leave.
And then there's dithering on the water.
Its all so jarring its laughable.

Whoever is responsible for this absolute mess of an art direction should be ashamed.
You don't even have the excuse that Prodeus does by having a cool technical gimmick like having enemies be rendered as spites through a shader.

And RockPaperShotgun is sucking its cock because of course they are.
Anything with polygons and pretensions towards being 'retro' is a new Quake to those hacks 
Jean Baudrillard had a theory of "simulacra" - a copy of a copy of a copy, something that purports to represent reality but is in fact a perversion of an already distorted view of reality. Most of these "retro-style" developers seem to be creating simulacra.

Dusk is cool though. 
Hello Dave Oshry 
Chill out bruv, this ain't TTLG or NMA. 
Like, two sixty seven. My 'six' key has gone to shit. 
Dusk does also have a fake "retro" look. Its abundant alpha blending, colored lighting and fog looks nothing like the games it pretends to be inspired on (Doom, Quake and Build engine games).

The retro game whose vfx looks the closest to the ones in Dusk is Quake III Arena. The explosions, the alpha blended blood in the air, the fog, the colored lighting, etc. But Q3A uses texture filtering and has a way higher polycount, because it's not pretending to be a PS1 game.

The "low res" option in Dusk makes it look even more fake. Not true retro. Dusk's visual style is based on guesswork, not on actual research.

Dusk is not a retro-looking game, but anyway, it does look fun. And so does Amid Evil.

The blood splatters on the ground in Amid Evil seems to be using additive blending, not 8-bit alpha. Which is why they look a lot brighter than they should, and it does look bad indeed.
And I agree that the high-res weapons and the low-res enemies looks weird together. 
Dusk is really fun, the movement feels great and, maybe most important, the levels are fun to explore. I'm looking forward to Ion Maiden, too.
I don't really care whether these games are more or less faithful. I just want new shooters that 1) place an emphasis on interesting level design, and 2) run on my potato.
I do see, though, where the anger is coming from. The Quake scene has been churning out entire games-worth of material for years and years without any notice and then these games come out of nowhere in the last year or two and everyone acts like they're the first to discover the 90s. 
I do see, though, where the anger is coming from. The Quake scene has been churning out entire games-worth of material for years and years without any notice and then these games come out of nowhere in the last year or two and everyone acts like they're the first to discover the 90s.

It's about the presentation and the interface. To the average joe you need a phD in computer science to find and install a decent quake engine, get a mod running, get the map loaded blah blah blah.

There is no "double click this and you are in the game". There is no map/mod browser from inside Quake's UI. It's just a private club for private people.

That is why the quake scene has been invisible to the general public, and why any old shit with a simple point of entry is going to leapfrog quake so hard it's almost funny. 
Yeah I know that's not the whole story, and media-friendly marketing is also a big part of it, but you need a few different things all working together and the accessibility stuff I mentioned IS an essential ingredient. 
We Need Influencers Taking Quelfies ? 
We Need Influencers Taking Quelfies ?

No, and I hate social media wankers just as much as the next guy, but to be honest when that shite is an integral part to gathering a wide playerbase, I don't think it should come as a surprise when "90s Retro Shovelware Simulator #714" shits all over the custom quake scene in the public awareness department. 
By The Way 
Just to clarify - i'm not suggesting for a single second that custom quake's relative obscurity next to a recent commercial product is a problem in any way, nor am I suggesting any of us should give a toss about it (I certainly don't give a badger's bollock), but again this is just an extended reply to post #273. 
It WILL come as a surprise when "90s Retro Shovelware Simulator #714" shits all over the custom quake scene in actual quality. 
So I understand we need to create a room with old Pentium 90's with CRT running demos in Quake Software and some good lighting for a perfect "Quake Gamefeel Quelfie experience" room and charge a fee for entry.
and never let them back out of that room. 
Quake's gamma brightness actually looks a lot better on CRT monitors.

Considering how many people uses very bright gamma settings, which makes their maps nearly unplayable on gamma 1.0, CRT monitors would help. Bright gamma looks washed out on modern monitors. 
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