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Byzantine
I figured it was time I started a thread for the mod. In a nutshell, Byzantine is my Doom3 SP project. It is not, despite rumor, a remake of CASSPQ1 (see pq.com/teamshambler for more), but if you played them both they'd probably remind you of each other. I have three SP maps planned.

I also have a host of gameplay alterations planned, most of which I already have sorted. (everybody already knows I didn't like the combat.) I made a quick and somewhat dirty DMSP-style map to test the altered monster/weapon balance, which I'm letting you fiends at it because I wasn't getting much feedback with a closed test.

That and it turned out to be brilliant fun and I have to share. :)

[ http://www.lunaran.com/files/byzantine/byzdmspalpha.zip ]
The instructions and additional information are all in the included .txt. If you downloaded earlier versions, this one doesn't have anything wrong with it and will actually work.

Give it a play and post back here with your thoughts. I know the map is ugly, and it's just a test map so don't bother telling me, but let me know how the monsters and weapons and feedback and stuff all feel.

Also, we can compare scores. :) The standing record on Medium skill is 280, in 29:20, by me.
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Some Tips 
Don't give maggots a clear shot for takeoff. It hurts when they do that.

The ugly green Trites are best killed at a distance. Acid for blood and all that, you know.

If an Archvile can see you but doesn't have a clear shot for his flame wall, he may pull an old trick. You've been warned.

Armor shards will always add 5 to your armor and are therefore your friend - especially once you get the red armor. Pick them up every chance you get, because if you grab a red armor and it all gets shot off, you go back to green.

The chaingun is for killing Hell Knights. End of story. You could try it on a Baron of Hell too but you're better off running away.

Dodging into the lift is a great way to make an escape. Dodging in too late and getting cornered in it is a great way to get yourself killed. 
 
In before Dune comment. 
Lunaran 
I dont have d3 so cant test the map out, do you have any other documentation on this project that you are willing to share? I'd be interested in taking a look if its alright. 
Well 
I've got the whole design doc written but I don't really pass that out. I can summarize however.

You play the captain of the interstellar shipping vessel Byzantine, which is currently locked in a kind of under-the-table contract with the Yatsura corporation. You're on a trip hauling a pretty hefty cargo they've just dumped on you, without telling you much about the contents, when you're awoken from hypersleep to make repairs on an internal system on the engineering level.

Once you're up, however, it becomes clear that this mysterious cargo of yours is waking up and escaping, and is marginally hungry. This complicates matters to the degree that you criss-cross the ship running damage control until ultimately you have to make your way across the monster-infested storage deck to escape the ship with your life.

Provided no big complaints come in from people playing the test I'll be able to go ahead and start mapping. A few people in #tf seemed interested in making their own maps for it, which they're more than welcome to, but for the moment they'll just have to deal with it being a limited weapon/monster set, since I'm going to concentrate on getting my bit done before worrying about anybody else's. :) 
It's Fun 
I'll play a bit more, then waffle for you. 
Well. 
I've tested it a bit recently, and the one thought that is most prominent in my mind is "Why?".

I know you're changing things to suit the theme of Byzantine but I think you're ending up in the somewhat uninspiring grey area between maps and conversions. I.e. changing some bits of the original game so it loses the feel of the original, but not changing enough so it feels like a different game - thus ending up with it feeling like a less cool version of Doom3 rather than a cool conversion in it's own right.

Specifically the weapon tweaks are of little interest and minor effect, and the lack of various monsters is....well, lacking.

Now, you're making the choice to do that, for whatever reason, and some people might like it, but so far I don't think I'm going to - at least, I'm not going to like it as much.

...

But anyway, to give feedback on what I've experienced:

Changed damage effects: GOOD but could be better. Certainly better than the mutant vertical owl neck, but having a certain amount of owl neck for particularly vicious attacks would be good - i.e. not as much as D3's owl neck, but, say, proportionately to the damage there should be some owl neck, as it does give a "serious" feel to the damage.

Changed armour: OKAY but fairly pointless. D3's armour system was okay and a little more realistic.

Shotgun burst: OKAY on it's own, GOOD if combined with a double shotgun. Swings and roundabouts really - more versatile but slightly less easy to aim. *Shrug*.

Machine Gun change: Pointless IMO. Adds nothing, I prefered the MG as it was.

Chaingun change: Pointless IMO, apart from increased magazine which is GOOD. Otherwise the spinup changes etc adds little, perhaps more versatile for facing smaller monsters but there's other weapons for that.

Grenade Launcher: GOOD, actually makes grenades useful, even though it's cliched. Reckon you should go with a slightly smaller magazine as they are powerful (4 to kill a Hellknight).

...

Lack of tech monsters: BAD. Some of the coolest monsters were tech =/.

Trite etc toughness increase: Don't like it, I think it's better to have them as a small puny monster you can use in hordes.

Maggot toughness increase: Pointless IMO. Can see the reasoning, but not keen on it.

Teleporting monster changes: GOOD, they do seem to teleport a bit better and be more unnerving. Cloaking effect is neat but could be a bit more prominent?

Sergeant Imps: BAD apart from fireball quake. Reskinning existing monsters to make them into similar new monsters is a cardinal conversion sin. If you remodelled them to look a bit tougher and had an only slightly changed skin, that would be GOOD.

Barons Of Hell: Ditto, but didn't get to see much of that.

Archvile changes: the lack of resurrection is BAD and turns a genuinely scary (in gameplay turns) monster into one that has neat attacks but lacks the same essential malevolence. New attack is GOOD but doesn't quite compensate.

...

Ummm yes so overall I don't really like it as much, I think it's very much a mixed bag. Some changes are definitely good, some don't have any point, and some make things worse. Not going to put me off trying it but the way you're changing it is not really to my taste. 
Now, About That Waffle 
I like this. I've had more fun killing stuff in byzdmsp1 than anywhere in D3, simply because more is going on. The movement, monster and mapstyle changes all lead to a nice variety of tactical situations and options which are largely lacking in Doom, and the result is more entertaining and worthwhile demon-butchering.


These are some of the things I felt could do with changing.


Shotgun: Although the new spread is more useable and far preferable, I felt a distinct lack of power using the weapon. I remember in Doom 2 being able one-shell-kill at least four different guys - there's no such effectiveness against the lower tier of monsters here, making the gun a bit lightweight. With a double-barreled fire for close-up work it could feel more dependable, but I think it just needs a bit more damage.

Grenade launcher: I didn't like this one. The slight firing delay is a pain in the ass, the trajectory feels a bit too low, and it's far too easy to lose track of the grenade (the skin could easily be more colourful). The explosion seemed a bit too powerful, both in splash-damage and monster-smooshage. Again, that delay... urgh.

Chaingun: Not bad, but unlike the other weapons I never seem to get the number of confirmed hits it feels I should, unless I'm aiming at something huge. More accuracy perhaps?

Trites: More interesting to fight, but perhaps a little tough. Feature request: I always felt it was a shame that you couldn't blow the legs clean off these things.

Arch-vile: Now a suitably tough mofo as God intended. Er, I find fighting an AV quite strange - you are punished for staying away from the monster with a very hard to dodge attack, and rewarded for being within hugging distance with the almost-useless swipe attack. In between is that more normal firetrail thing. The resulting gameplay just doesn't feel right.

Barons of Hell: Now they fire vore-balls. :( I'm not a fan of player-tracking missiles, although these aren't as unrewardingly brutal as some.

Armour: Three differently coloured armours doesn't seem to fit with your theme and just looks like a Quake ripoff, right down to the colours. The gameplay isn't harmed, but something less derivative would be nice.


Summary: very much worth doing. Go finish it. 
 
I like it. Thumbsup.

Map is well balanced IMO. Small, but cover is VERY useful, usually not hindering of movement. Infighting is a welcome addition, adjustments feel very natural to me (3 or 4 shotgun blasts to kill an imp, machine gun dmg increased etc.) Awesome job so far, will be playing until my interest runs out. :D 
We Love Log! 
<czg> ok, the grenade launcher shouldn't have a firing delay, the grenades should be more visible, I dunno what the fuck was up with the blue flash when you fire a grenade, I think the stronger maggots and imps were just more annoying, the new archvile was cool, the new chaingun was cool, the new machinegun was ok but felt weak, the new Barons were pretty indistinguishable from the knights, and there was a new type of imp? I didn't notice.
<czg> oh and the three armor types was pretty useless in the time I played because I never noticed the difference between them really...
<czg> and the testboxmap was ugly. damn you lun for making ugly boxmaps!
<czg> I hated the cacodemons too but that's not your fault lun (unless you made the DMSP part on purpose to spawn only cacodemons 10 minuts in a row for me)

<Zwiffle> i didn't like the archvile second attack
<czg> shut up that was awesome 
Bits 
Shambler, I agree about the reskinned monsters. If I had the time, resources, and ability to do high poly models, low poly models, animations, skins, and ragdolls for new monsters, I would. I don't though. :( New skins will have to do - unless you know how to model and animate living creatures amazingly well and haven't told anyone. :)

Archviles: I should have mentioned but you'll notice archviles have a pretty limited range on the new attack, so if there's one around you needn't constantly hide behind things. Should their melee attack be more dangerous?
Archvile spawning was a nice feature ... at least, when used when the mapper gave you enough ammo and space to deal with spawns >( ... but I removed it for story purposes. The monsters are your cargo in deep space, and couldn't rightly just summon more from the ether. (This is also why I omitted tech monsters - they just don't make much sense unless I start grafting even more unlikely things about biotech experiments onto the story).

What do you think of archviles being able to heal monsters though? I just thought of it now and it's growing on me fast. It would have a similar effect on the fighting when they were around (seeing one would mean you'd have to kill it quick before it made your life tougher) without the creation of new monsters.

Maggots: You don't like tough maggots because you prefer pinkies in that role, right? If there's certain changes that don't inspire you to say more than "this was pointless I preferred it the old way" you might want to play longer. I found playing cat and mouse or matador with these pretty fun rather than making them another two-shell-kill.

Regarding the armor, the protection percentages aren't that noticeable, I'll grant, but that's because they scale up along with the action.
If you'll forgive some math here, a player with 200 green armor and 100 health can take 142 points of damage before he dies, assuming no health pickups. The same stats but with red armor and the player will take 300, and that's only because the armor will run out first.
I tried playing this test with red armor swapped in for the green and yellow and after ten minutes of fighting I had lost just enough health to pick up a medkit without waste. I did the same with all greens (which I bumped up to a 150pt pickup for equity) and never lived past ten minutes.

Armor doesn't have to be denoted with color. I could always alter models instead (chestplate for green, torso and shoulder armor for yellow, plus helmet and crotchguard for red, for example). 
Fucking Body Limit 
On weapons,
Shotgun:
This is meant to be your reliable fallback. Doom3's had such high damage they had to make the spread totally insane (45� - half the screen ffs) so that you couldn't take down Mancubi from two hundred yards. That meant unless your target was eight feet wide you could hardly scratch it unless you walked right up to it.

I changed the shotgun to make the damage a lot more consistent, so it works better across a breadth of ranges. The shorter firing time helps the effectiveness too - with less time between shots, a miss or a graze carries less of a penalty because your next shot is sooner. As long as you don't expect to treat it like a melee weapon like you would in Doom3 you might find it's a lot more useful. I could up the spread and damage a LITTLE to increase close-range damage if a lot of people say they want that, but I don't want it to be a gun you'll need/want to run up to stuff to kill. I hated that shotgun :P

Machinegun:
This change is largely pointless, but I kept it since the high ROF would stop maggots dead in their tracks. I found it was a great way to deal with them, and didn't have any solid reason to change it back, so I just kept it. If the faster rate is a problem for a lot of people, thrn I wouldn't mind seeing it go.

Chaingun:
Byzantine has a smaller weapon set since it's shorter, and because the story wouldn't really support the player's character having super prototype plasma guns and such lying around his freighter. The chaingun was originally just sort of a big machinegun, so it had to be specialized a bit.

It does more damage than the GL at full speed, but you can only really use it in a situation where you'll be able to spin it up to full speed and keep it there. When you save it for such a situation, though, it's terrifically effective. The spread's the same as the shotgun, and it ramps up from zero as the gun accelerates, but I do kind of agree that a lot of the ammo feels like it goes to waste when you're picking off the incidentals between toughies. I'll see how it works with a smaller cone.

Grenade Launcher:
Hm, I didn't think the 200ms was that noticeable. It's not really necessary, so it's easily removed, unless I hear an outcry in favor of keeping it (I know shambler mentioned he liked it).
I had the idea a while back to let you scale up launch speed if you held the trigger down, with the tradeoff of the fuse shortening while the grenade was in the barrel, but never bothered with it. Does that sound attractive to anyone, or just silly?
 
Lun... 
Archvile healing would be better aye. It's cool to have them as a monster with special features rather than just funky attacks.

Denoting different armour types by having different armour sections would be good too, that would be more convincing and thus preferable.

The grenade charge would be okay, I mean that's standard for hand grenades in most games. I wouldn't mind either way.

Can't you get a modeller to help you with changing some monsters to make the sergeants etc?? That guy who did the Skaarjbler did a pretty p1mp job.... 
Lun 
just post on the polycount forums once you have some funky level content ready. Those guys are a good help when you have something to show them. 
One Sentence 
dont sacrifize gameplay for story reasons. 
A Half-serve Of Waffle 
Yeah, I agree about the D3 shotgun. The effectiveness of that thing was more dependent on your distance from target than the quality of your aiming, which is NOT a good path to go down. I do think the Byzantine version is much better, but I can't see it being a "reliable fallback" as is. The much more effective MG takes that honour, because it's faster at killing pretty much everything.

I get the feeling that you are going for a reliable workhorse of a weapon, something like the original Doom shotgun (or perhaps HL2's, which I liked). IMO the current shotgun is close, but not it.

Regarding those arch-viles. I remember in Doom 2 the flame attack would die down immediately if the monster couldn't see/hit you. That would be very valuable feedback to have. Having them heal stuff would be cool (with a differently coloured flame attack?), but keep in mind that would make them a quite complex monster. They already have three attacks. That's not really so bad, but it might make other monster's behaviour seem overly simple by comparison.

One more thing: bombadier imps (er, the red ones). The splash damage of their attack pushes the player around far more than that of any other monster, in fact far more than the *direct* damage of their own attack! This is clearly very wierd, even if bombadimps are meant to have more pushy splash damage. Given the sound and view shake it does make sense for a bombadimp attack to be a bit more physical than other monsters', but not by that much. 
... 
The effectiveness of that thing was more dependent on your distance from target than the quality of your aiming, which is NOT a good path to go down.

OMG, a shotgun weapon with effectiveness that depends on range!! That will never catch on in every FPS game ever made, no way hose! 
:o 
no way hose!

Yeah, I don't wear hose either. My leg hair gets in the way, and I can't be bothered to shave my legs.

Oh, wait, you meant Jose, didn't you? 
Spanish-learning Pedant... 
Suck my chorizo. 
Hey, That Bler Fella 
Read my post again, Sham. The bit where I talk about "aim", read that twice. 
??? 
I read your damn post already thanks.

It's a shotgun, it's got a wide spread, WTF do you expect?? 
Aiming Is Good 
What I expect is a weapon where aiming is more important than proximity. Getting real close and pulling the trigger is repetitive, stupid behaviour that gets boring real fast. Having to aim well and use the weapon at different ranges (yes, with a reduced effectiveness at range) is far preferable.

If you prefer shotguns to be useless beyond a short distance, well and good. I think it fucking sucks. 
mmf, the whole point of a shotgun is that you get big damage with the limitation of range.
if a shotgun wasn't completly useless beyond short range, it would be overpowered and render other weapons useless. 
... 
i think rather than making the shotgun be better at longer ranges, you make it more difficult to get into shotgun (short) range. 
Blackdog 
thats the worst aspect of q3 gameplay: aim > tactic (which getting near your enemy certainly is part of)

funny, i liked the d3 sg, tho you have a point bout just spreading too much to require ANY aim :) 
To Make A Better Shotgun 
you would need to create or emphasise a penetration value for the type of object being hit.

A shotgun blast will knock quail out of the sky from 100 yards of course, but it isn't nearly as effective used against reinforced glass (ie. your typical junkyard BMW) at the same range.

BTW, thanks, Lunaran. The mod made a boring afternoon a bit more interesting. 
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