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Obscurus (TC) -- Input
Howdy, folks, it's Mindcrime.

The Nehahra dude.

As my development of Obscurus is going to begin again very shortly (after a looooong hiatus), I am left with a choice of which engine to build Obscurus off of. I am not keen on working with an engine coder to make Obscurus's own special engine. I'd rather avoid this potential (and probable) headache.

I am not interested in having any additional engine effects. I can do a lot on my own from the progs.dat side.

I have narrowed the engines down to two choices:

A) The Nehahra Engine & Darkplaces

I would build it off the nehahra.exe for my own use, but in the end, of course, it would run off darkplaces as well ((with or without the -nehahra parameter I'm not sure)).

So this gives people two choices. Nehahra.exe or Darkplaces.exe ... seems accomodating.


B) Fitzquake - this appears, at least to me, to be the favored engine of mappers...


Any input from you mappers/sorry-saps-who-will-end-up-being-the-ones-to-play-the-thing-eventually would be appreciated.

Danke :P
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Are the PQ/Gamespy email servers down? I've received email reject/delay messages over the last seven hours. 
I agree with you Mindcrime on that subject. The more cagey you can make the monsters without manipulating the hit point, armor and damage factors the more satisfying it is to me as a player when I plow through them. Honestly, I did not find the Nehara creatures to be too difficult and I am by no means l33t in those respects. 
Re: Monsters, 
Hehe, Headthump, I play Nehahra on Nightmare most of the time. I never go lower than Hard (and I usually play on hard when I'm not feeling up to par...)

Of course, my desire is to embellish on a Social AI ... not just the combat AI (though in terms of combat, it might make for 'orchestrated' attacks ... group combat where monsters coordinate ... as opposed to monsters *seeming* to coordinate merely because they share the same dispositions). 
I Might Be Interested In Contributing 
here is a sight with some screen shots of some of my work, my only beef would be getting in a project that allows me no artistic liberty in character design... 
And Mindcrime 
doesn't use the mouse when he plays nehahra.... 
Holy Smoke Dylan 
Some very nice model work there. Very in keeping with the Quake style. Impressive. 
Ditto that, dylan =D 
Comments & News & Blegh 
Forgive me if I get long-winded and zony ... I've got a bug of some kind and my brain is a haze.

Dylan: I've seen your work before. It's good stuff. As for artistic liberty ... well, this here's the deal ... I work a little differently than most. I wouldn't say HEY DYLAN WHY DON'T YOU MAKE ME *such and such* a monster with this-or-that detail. That's not to say that we couldn't have some discussion about monsters and modelling in general. A more likely scenario than this would be ... if you want to contribute ... you might send me some models and I'd give them all a sharp look. If a model inspires me, I'll want to do more with it ... and I'll want to write code for it. It could be a model with animation, could be just a base model (which might inspire me to animate it if you don't)... Basically, it would be a pick and choose thing from my end ... at first ... first deciding if I like the model, then deciding if the monster is right or will fit in with Obscurus. At any rate, feel free to email me at any time ... show me some stuff ... and we might get some dialogue going...

Okay ... in other news ... I made an update to the Nehahra page about the updated Nehahra engine that Bengt Jardrup has been working on. Any of you all who dig Nehahra might want to test-drive it and see how it plays comparitively. Lot of fixes in it. Some good smoke trails (which Ender fuggered up toward the end of the development) and other fixes. The old-style HUD. spr32 bug in the nehexe.exe fixed. And others. He made the exe name glquake.exe though so keep in mind that you might want to change that filename to something else ...( I know I myself have many versions of the neh engine ... nehahra.exe nehexe.exe nehdem.exe nehahra2.exe nehahra3.exe ... heh)

what else? uhh... blegh? 
Put the original Q axe into Neh and I'll love you like a silly fanboi!

do you have qme?if so i can send stuff in .mdo format 
yup, Dylan, I've got a few versions of QME. 
Progress Update And General Hemming And Hawwing 
This far into Ob development .. its destination engine is assured. It's the nehahra.exe/dpnehahra.exe/darkplaces.exe. The nehahra.exe angle of this is all the more encouraging with the work that Bengt Jardrup has been doing on the engine.

On the monster side: I've got about 30 of 'em in various stages of development. More than a dozen running around in the game. A lot of the work being done has been on the model side of things (and I cringe when I look at a lot of the Nehahra models.. not the animation as much as the crazy wandering vertexes and godawful skinmaps .. by comparison, Obscurus's skinmaps are sexxy thangs indeed).

I said before about Obscurus being an off-shoot of Nehahra/Quake, which I think people took to mean that it would be a continuation of those story-lines ... when what I meant was Obscurus sharing common ground (and occupying a place in the same universe.. or in this case, occupying a universe within the string of multiple universes that encompass quake/neh). Obscurus does maintain its Total Conversion integrity by including no original ID stuff, and a TC was what I was after, at least on a technical level (though if future mappers were to use ID textures, would this threaten its integrity of being a TC? I don't think so. I've seen a lot of things passed off as TCs. I've even read in places where Nehahra was referred to as a TC, when it was actually a PC.. albeit an involved one).

I don't mind dropping a spoiler here as it represents only a fraction of what's in Obscurus, but (some) Nehahra monsters are making a comeback. I should add that the monsters are not the same models (not even using the original models as a base, the baron being one exception but he's based on the original model from which the baron was derived). These are higher polygon guys, but they're also being adapted to the Obscurus gameplay. It is only in name and CONCEPTUALLY that they are the same. So there might be some comfort in these visual familiarities even if there are stark differences otherwise. (and because it's the Nehahra monsters wiggling their way in, the integrity of the TC is still maintained). That is not to say that ALL nehahra monsters will have a rebirth. Not all. But if any of you have favorites, you might mention them on this thread ... and if I haven't given them any thought, I might.

(An interjection: Obscurus does have ogres, but they are only loosely based on vanilla Quake's. They are not better or worse, but different and really shouldn't be expected to fill our old friend (the monster_ogre)'s shoes.)

When I say off-shoot, I'm also talking about a continuation of the Quake-esque and Nehahra-esque feel yet evolving from both into its own distinct vibe. Which brings me to the next thing:

Weapon and weapon-esque item system: This has been a sticky point of Obscurus because I wanted something different. I wanted a deviation from the FPS formula. It's not my intention to create a Nehahra 2. I want to take it to another level and break out of the FPS mold (just enough to say I did, not enough to bust the "integrity" of the FPS feel). Because of this, perhaps ambitious, want.. I've scrapped (most of) the weapons in Obscurus more times than I'd care to think about. Some weapons have stuck around, yes. Every round of re-weaponizing.. something sticks. Sooner or later, I guess, enough of it will stick and fill up the slots. CONCEPTUALLY, I don't want the ol [melee weapon, little gun, bigger gun, automatic, faster automatic, grenade, rockets, lightning and/or rail] system. To my eyes, this is a tired thing ... and if we're doomed to be stuck with this for the rest of FPS-dom, god help us. What happens in the end... well, we'll see.

An old important question still lingers. I have the capability now of going either way.


This has been discussed time and time again on message boards and in chats or whatnot. I've devised an almost flawless system for returning to maps where you've already been and the maps being left as you left them (and furthermore, the map having changed in your absence... or more precisely, accounting for the passage of time). Like Hexen II had hubs. Ob would have one big HUB, every ob map basically would be in it. My dilemma does not come from the inherent flaws of the usage of this kind of system in the past (the most prominent that comes to my mind is... serious lulls in the action... as maps you've blown through in other games are often ghost-maps when you return...) but looking at THE BIG PICTURE.

In a completely NON-LINEAR game, what is the ultimate pay-off for the player? What is the reward for your all your efforts? That's usually "winning the game", but can you win a game that doesn't ever end? 
Because of this, I'm still reluctant to plug the system in ... I feel like a man with a finger hovering over a button that might well be a NUKE button. Once it goes in, it'll be some bitch tearing it all out (unless I comment the hell out of the code and make it ghastly to look at when I'm trying to work on it).

That's all for now. Yeah, I'm still alive and still getting work done now and then.

Though I went for a few weeks without doing anything. I put about 30 hours into it this weekend.

Any thoughts, as always, are welcome.

((RPG: P.S. Just replace the sword model with the axe in the progs schmuck :p)) 
no specific comments from me, but glad to hear you're still working. Hope to see this project turn out well. 
thanks for all the new information and interesting thoughts, ill probably update my site in the next few days and link to posts #116,117.

In a completely NON-LINEAR game, what is the ultimate pay-off for the player? What is the reward for your all your efforts? That's usually "winning the game", but can you win a game that doesn't ever end?

I agree with this worry completely. My suggestion is to make the overall structure of the game linear: a clear start and a definite rewarding end goal.

Inbetween, in other words the players path from start to end, can have elements on non-linearity to it.
But in general i am a classical kind of person and hence believe in and prefer the linear concept of player progression. 
Makes My Day, 
anytime Mindcrime submits ideas or .plan like summaries.

I would like to see how a more non linear experience would work out in a FPS like Obscurus, but the feasibilaty really depends on how you plan to juggle all of the aspects of the design and the time management involved.
If you do a more non linear approach you will have to assert more control over the content of each mapper's level for the sake of continuity, and that could eat at your time, obviously. 
In that case, I think I would have to assert *some* control.. only to ensure there is connectivity... but I think that's equally true of the standard linear game.

As for eating at my time... one of the top ten reasons for waiting until so much is done before looking for a "team"... is so that my time can be focused on bug-fixing, adding new things mappers might want, and.. for lack of a better term.. "administration".

I expect very good things from this game, knowing that 100% of my focus is on THE GAME (which was, of course, not the case with nehahra ... divided resources and all that...)

Don't misinterpret that to mean that I have grievances with the Nehahra game. I couldn't be happier with the end product. It's just that MY end... could have been better. The mappers gave their best ... and I don't think I did. I don't think I could under those circumstances.

Then again, I've got a lot more experience now.

Anyhooo . . . 
Don't Worry 
Mindcrime, we all blame you for the abysmal failure that was Nehahra. :D 
Does Non-Linear Ever End? 
In a completely NON-LINEAR game, what is the ultimate pay-off for the player? What is the reward for your all your efforts? That's usually "winning the game", but can you win a game that doesn't ever end?

Finishing the story is when you "win the game," but you are right in that you can't win something that does not have an end.

The pay-off for the player depends greatly. For some, it would be just having an enjoyable experience for half an hour (many people never even finish games, but just because they haven't "won" doesn't mean they have "lost.") For others, the pay-off will be completing the story. And for others, the pay-off might be in experiencing every gameplay scenerio in the game.

I think for non-linear games the pay-off should be observed on a per-situation basis, and not globally. Really, I think this is the way all people should think of games. 
u still need some global motivation be it linear game or not

and there is always only some relative degree of non-linearity anyway 
I know a game being NON-LINEAR does not mean that the game has no ending. My mention of that I guess was unintentional leak of something of my thoughts. Not plans, exactly. Just thoughts.

That is perhaps my personal holy grail, my final frontier, my larger vision ...

A game that evolves and does not end. I'm not going to elaborate. I don't need to really. Reading into that statement alone and using some imagination will certainly give you the picture.

That is perhaps a vision never to be realized on the Quake engine. Perhaps. Only the mildest execution of that idea is probably possible. Probably.

I consider that the strongest possible caliber of Non-Linear there is. It's my wet dream. 
It Has To Be Said... 
> A game that evolves and does not end.

I'm thinking "quake" here -- but I know that's not what you meant... 
You obviously don't get it. Maybe it's too big for your wittle mind to handle :P

Anyway.. n/m that. I was only clarifying. As "Non-Linear", by itself, of course does not mean the game which it refers to does not end.

Moving on .... 
you are the least articulate professional writer i know :) 
Perhaps! Though I can expect I am, no doubt, the most eccentric professional writer you know...

I am just much more articulate about imaginary things than real ones ... and when I'm behind the keyboard writing ... well, my mind-set is different.

I might also add that while I can spell fabulously ... I cannot pronounce for shit :D 
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