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I've found that adding to the Obscurus thread for Nehahra related stuff is moderately depressing, so with some substantial Nehahra releases in the future, I thought it best to give it its own thread.

This is the place to voice any comments or suggestions on Nehahra, as it is being revamped and the final official episode of the main Nehahra/Quake storyline is in development.

Progress in that department can always be found at:

It would be especially helpful to mention any bugs noticed when trying to play and/or map for Nehahra. Chances are I'm aware of it and have rectified it or intend to do so.

Suggestions for new features are welcome, even though there's already a truckload of those in the game (not to mention a lot of cleaning up -- where possible -- of wonky setups to certain features). Maybe I'll share some that I didn't share on the revamp page on here in the future. For the most part, once the release happens including the Devkit2.txt, a mapper with the intention of making a Nehahra map will have such a broad range of freedom and options that it might well result in them being committed to a local sanitarium.

Speaking of that, if anyone is working on a Nehahra map or episode that I don't know about. Clue me in. You can count on my interest. I know of several already.

The ones that I do not know the current status of are:

(what happened to this?)


(Glassman needs to answer his emails!)

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Model And Skin Rant 
To tell you the truth though, the bar really isn't all that high in Quake mods. But let's be frank here, Nehahra -- in its untouched form -- has better models than.. what.. 99% of conversions? Even if that's not saying much, it's saying something. It's all in how you choose to compare.

A lot of the time the really well-made models in mods and paks.. are of monsters that completely don't fit. I think I've always been of the mind where it's better to have a mediocre model that fits, than a great model that doesn't (which includes, but is not limited to, being unQuakey). Knowing what fits I suppose just takes the right set of eyes (a level of taste, that you either have or do not have).

Of course, skins greatly impact how a model is perceived. Bad skinmaps and bad skins can have a detrimental effect. But again, I would rather have a cut-and-paste skin that fits and suits the mood, than an elaborately detailed one that has no business being in the game. For me, what's most important, is how it looks in the game and how it wraps the model. I don't give a damn what it looks like if you look at the skin BMP itself. It's immaterial unless... we'll get to the 'unless' in a minute.

I mentioned that I reskinned and reskinmapped the baron. But let me use the original baron as an example. This is probably the favorite Nehahra monster (whether one of the new ones will challenge his title, we'll see).

The original skinmap was god awful. It was just his idle pose. However, because it was his idle pose, I could be sure that the skin pixels would land about where I wanted them to. What you see is what you get. The skin of course used pieces of the death knight skin. An artist I am not, but I knew how to make it fit. (You might notice the gaunt's faces are ripped straight from a classic Quake texture... Are you beginning to see how I think?)

In-game he was scary and a little grainy, but grainy is good.. grainy is crude and crude can be brutal if done right.

I did not receive one complaint regarding the baron in the game (other than the occasional 'why does his shape ripple sometimes?'.. it's arguable that the gentle wandering of his vertexes has almost become part of his identity now..) UNTIL people started looking at him in the model editor and at his skin.

Now, he worked for Nehahra. In the game, he just worked. He visually fit. Even those damned wandering vertexes gave him character from my standpoint. It made him look more alien. (Funnily I received an email complaining that I was going to clean him up).

Sometimes the best things happen on accident or unintentionally. Look at Quake itself.

He didn't become 'a problem' until people wanted to rip him out and stick in their own mods to reskin and rework as they saw fit (which I don't mind.. but is totally *not* my problem).

Ever since I started talking about redoing the models (most heavily then, but I did have them as early as the week after Nehahra was released), I've been getting emails from people saying you-should-do-this-and-that-and-this-and-that and that's fine. I welcome suggestions. I also have a tendency to answer emails. When I got some dialogue going with some, the motives behind the discussion seeped out. Most of them hadn't even played Nehahra. They only downloaded it so they could rip it apart for models, textures, sounds, and the like. I'm all for pillaging mods for good content and base stuff (though I am more inclined to do it myself for defunct mods rather than active ones.. because when you rip from a mod that is still active, you tread a line between tribute and disrespect ... and I suppose it's how you use it that will decide which sentiment was at play..).

But I then have to wonder ultimately.. who the hell am I really working for? For me, or for *them*. The baron worked for me and he worked for Neh and he fit. Should the fact that he doesn't work for someone else who wishes to use him for this or that even be a concern of mine?

A couple years after the release, looking back, I was somewhat glad the baron was almost completely unskinnable. Because I thought.. chances are.. I'd probably find myself downloading some quake mod and some map pack.. and find the baron again with some distasteful/unquakey skin and would then vomit all over the floor.

I have a similar response to reskinned knights and death knights (they are in fact a pet peeve of mine). Sometimes I can see a lot of effort was put forth to make them fit. All the colors are right. Yet it looks wrong. Well designed skin, yet it is dull to the eyes in the game and completely stripped of the 'brutal feel' death knights have that get your blood pumping and make you worry. (my pet name for the offenders are 'kiddie knights')

Ah, so ends my rant :) Ran out of steam.

My point: if it looks right behind the gun barrel, if it looks right in the game, if it feels right, it *is* right. 
I For One 
like the skins in Neh, even if they are a bit wobbly or stiff. Standard Quake monsters have basically the same tech issues and they fit very well. The "crudeness" is a part of the game's personality.

It's the same reason why I usually prefer non-interpolated animations, it looks a bit weird. In Neh I think it's OK, since it's after all a specific conversion and interpolation can be turned off at will.

In the testing of my engines, I've plowed my way through a lot of PCs and TCs and most of their models are just awful (not to mention world texes). Apparently it's not easy to find or produce contents that fit together well. 
I actually like that model and the animations now that I've look at it. Some of their creepiness comes from their stiffness too perhaps. They move inhumanly (yet not robotically).

Not taking them off the list of things to change.. but I think I might kick them to the bottom of it :/ 
baron skin\UVm was a mess, especially considering how good the original EvilBastard's work looks.
animations are slightly worsened, but mostly same as original, but the skin is :\

and for me it was 2x fuckedup, cuase I played on voodoo3 - it auto scales all the textures down to 256 (afair baron has really wide skin, cause of the long sword taking rediculous space on the UVm) resulting look was very blurry

tsemoch skin is a grey-ish mess too

the ogre-enforcers were the best

oh, and funny u mention the pathetic 'modders' who were getting Neh just to rip its content

lazy fucks could have d/l the models from polycount - the are all the evilbastard` models with original skinmaps and hi quality skins by different artists in several styles 
Hehe. I agree. I was only using the original baron as an example though.

The conversion was much better this time (well, I'm much better this time...)

I might actually put up a screen of the newly done baron. The way things are looking I might allow one animation sequence that he calls from time to time while idle where the vertexes do shift around (some people thought the 'ripple effect' was neat, doh).

I'm glad you liked the ogre enforcers. Some people bitched about them. :) I'm not touching them though.

fyi, I developed Neh on a v3.

Almost all of the skins are 256x256 now, with a couple exceptions. One that I know of is 256x512. 
Oh, and yes.. they could download it from polycount (just like I did!). But then they'd have to do the conversion themselves (and know how not to fuck up the skinmap.. which I already admitted.. I didn't know in 2000), remove objects not need for the DDZ --> baron conversion, merge the sword with the model and animate the sword in his hand, and then add the extra baron-y animations. Lotta work.. and that's if you have any idea what you're doing to begin with.

And yes, Evilbastard rocks.. which is why I did the baron proper this time. 
Ogre Enforcers 
Well, I'm not touching the models.. and the skin graphics. The skinMAPS are another story. 
I just knocked both 'ogre mutants' down to 256x256. While we lose some texture detail on the weapons, we gain plenty on the monsters, which is a tradeoff I can live with. I fixed a skin problem with the grunt too.

And tested them on my old PC with 64 RAM and a V3 :) hehe 
Ok :) 
I'm going to assume from the lack of suggestions and comments, save for a few, that my notes on the revamp on the revamp page and here have sufficiently answered any questions or addressed any concerns and I'm in good shape. Of course, given Nehahra's initial release in 2000, there have been 5 years worth of comments and talk about Nehahra to go on when considering what to take a look at or change (at least, what things *can* be changed without breaking the .DEMs and affecting the intended gameplay in the 21 maps).

I only wanted to be sure that I lent an objective ear to those in the community who had something to say (so as not to be accused otherwise).

Thanks to those who offered a few cents both here and in the Ob thread re: Nehahra.

Good things in the future.

New Question For Yas. 
In the Nehahra's "vanilla quake" mode, do you suppose I should shut off increased falling damage? 
i see no purpose to have increased falling damage at all, but baring it's removal, i'd say, yeah, take that out for 'vanilla quake' mode. :) 
well.. I added the additional (yet not quite realistic) damage based on distance you fall with the thought that if the quake marine jumps off a skyscraper, he ought to get more than a twisted ankle. Maybe skyscraper is an overstatement, but you know what I mean :) 
I Agree, 
if Quake guy falls from SkyScrapers or from high cliffs, he should die. I can't belly flop from a distance of four feet in to a pool with out getting my innards crunched up.

General question, Mindcrime, have you taken a look at the gyro physics mod? Or do you plan to do similar things with water boyancy? I know the original code allowed for entities to float, but the approach in the gyro mod was more systemic.

The Zodiac mod for Deus Ex added an interesting feature to the swimming mode. As the player, you could swim pretty much normaly like in every other game, but if you stood still, you automaticaly rose upward. 
I reckon it would be a mistake to change movement physics. A lynch mob might assemble to string me up and beat me like a pinata.

As for floating entities, I'd like to do more with that. The gibs physics have changed. They have these quirky underwater physics which are not realistic, but they are fun. They don't float however. I have a few things that float in Neh already, like if you push an explobox or barrel in the water.

Would it be interesting to apply floating to them or something else? Dunno.

I do know that there is a floating gibs entity in Nehahra that does not work properly that I mean to get to. I reckon I'll be playing with that then (I'm pretty certain how to go about them this time.. once I get to them... they aren't quite high on my list.. used in one place in nehahra...)

As for falling damage.. I think this might depend.. I might have to go through the maps and see if this change adversely affects anything... among the nice things about it.. you might have a very long shaft down to another part of the level (perhaps close to the exit)... might even be visible from where you start, but yet you cannot jump down there and basically skip the level.. you'll surely die.)

There might be instances where it affects the gameplay and the intention of the mapper (I can even think of one in particular in ep4).

I'll have to see how it plays with the proportional falling damage taken out in that mode. 
Ah Yeah 
quite true. it hadn't occured to me that you also were talking of gameplay specific uses for increased falling damage.

make sure it is clear, either via maps or somehow, that falling = bad, because otherwise, you'll have a lot of splattered players... XD

i'm still not a big fan of realistic falling damage though, because there are always other ways to stop players from jumping into areas, via lava/slime, void pits, teleporters. heck, you could even have the player ambushed by tons of monsters and die that way instead. :P

but since whether or not increased falling damage isn't in question, then i'd say you might as well leave it on for both modes, and let mappers use it as a gameplay device. it may be cool to have a worldspawn key to disable it however, incase a mapper wants to make some really crazy vertical level with lots of falling from high up and such.
but that opens up another can of worms because now players will never be able to tell when realistic falling damage is on or not. :P hehe, whee, devil's advocate is fun. o.0 
If the player can survive the fall in e1m7 after defeating Cthon, then I think the increased falling damage is fine. 
Game Modes 
You can survive the e1m7 fall, but it's about 75 damage, so a lot of times you won't make it if you took any lavaball hits. Generally not cool to defeat the boss and then die anyway though.

At the moment, I took out the quasi-realistic falling damage in Vanilla Quake mode. Seems to play okay thus far and no harm done to gameplay in the Neh maps.

On the subject of game modes, and "enhanced combat AI", there are two opinionated schools of thought on this matter and really I'm appealing to both this time. Even though I think Nehahra is too easy (granted.. by comparison)... with Vanilla Q mode, it is interesting. And it's nice to be able to choose what kind of gameplay I want based on my mood at the time.

Right now.. and perhaps in the final version.. the modes are set using the NOMONSTERS cvar. It seemed like the best to use for compatibility reasons and ... well ... it's a cvar not commonly used.

+nomonsters 3

would set vanilla q mode, which trumps any mode set globally on a map. Meaning, if a mapper built a map and set it to play on vanilla q mode... if I did want the upped AI and extra monster features, I could simply change the mode to Nehahra mode or classic Nehahra mode (there's only a few notable differences between the two). Also, vice-versa. [[ Although... a mapper can shut off extra features on a case-by-case basis with the "monster_ai" field .. which trumps gamemode.. i.e. an enforcer with "monster_ai" "-2" will always behave like standard Q, regardless of game mode)

Now, for the same reason as I considered mappers using the realistic falling damage as a deterrent, I also consider that there are surely maps in which you do take a huge fall every time (as standard Q of course doesn't have the increased falling damage), so the integrity of that map is hence compromised, as the player will die each time.

For this reason, I am very strongly considering having the game mode set to vanilla Quake automatically for non-nehahra maps (unless trumped by Cvar of course). And checking to see if it's a Nehahra map is really quite as simple as checking for an "info_start" (neh1m*, neh2m*, neh3m*) or an "info_world" (neh4m*).

At first I was gonna leave it. Maps with no info_start would default to the new Nehahra mode. There are a lot of players who prefer playing "old" quake maps, or non-nehahra maps, with the extra monster features. This is why I was going to leave it.

However, I see no reason why they can't type NOMONSTERS 4 at the console, or +nomonsters 4 at the command line, to enable the preferred experience.

The Nehahra enhancements were not the intended gameplay in non-nehahra maps obviously and really.. the mapper's intention, on a map by map basis, is of the highest importance to me.

Maybe some of you will have thoughts on that too :P

On a side note... as I was reading the last posts.. it occurred to me that it might be nice to add a trigger whose only function is to reset the jump_flag of players (which is what is used to measure how big of a fall a player took). So you could have a player fall and not take damage.

Not that you couldn't achieve the same creatively using some other entities... 
Falling Damage 
I think it's best to have falling damage be totally consistant across all gamemodes. 
Is there a consensus on this? 
i agree to! 
well, like i ended up saying before, either on or off, but falling damage should always be the same. players shouldn't have to 'test' to see if they'll take extra damage or not. they should load up nehahra and know if they'll die from a fall or not.

also this thing of modifying original monsters i've never liked the idea of. i'm all for making cool AI for new ones, but messing with the originals just doesn't seem right. for one thing, we've all learnt what a grunt or enforcer can do. when they start sliding all over the place and going nuts, it's more annoying than fun.

all this stuff about being able to customize the AI to use or not use the new stuff is superfluous imo. just have the original monsters behave as they always have, and have other monsters use the new cool ai. 
Post 71 
you stated: "when they start sliding all over the place and going nuts, it's more annoying than fun."

Which is why I added the game modes. Personal preference. Don't think I haven't heard that before and it's not a majority opinion (I will not say it is a minority opinion however).

If I were to go back in time to 2000, I wouldn't do a lot of things the same admittedly. C'est la vie. I won't elaborate on what would change (that I am not changing already). But I will point out that there are several camps on this issue. There are the in-betweens. But the two main factions are The For and The Against. These camps are quite strong. Google and altavista nehahra some time when you're bored and see what people are saying (then do a few more searches, misspelling it in a variety of ways (: )

There are some who play Quake with Nehahra exclusively and the AI is part of the reason. I wasn't crazy when I took this approach. I read what people were saying, not just inside the community (that's like looking for an atheist in the church choir), but outside ... where Quake was often scoffed for lacking certain things, among them... a real challenge in the SP environment. There are some who are so used to the competitive gameplay of DMing online.. that playing SP is insulting to them. I gathered all those bones and I chewed on them hard. I didn't just wake up with a goofy idea one day to make the game as it was.

If you operate only for the warm fuzzies of only those in the community, and/or those who visit this board, and them exclusively, that's fine, but I don't. I'm not being snippy when I say that. I'm just pointing out where I stand.

I'm at a point of no return on the issue of AI, as after five years, Nehahra has become an institution of sorts. When something becomes an institution, you meddle with it at its peril (or your own). And yes, in a sense, I learned that lesson a bit with Quake itself.
Though I could change everything in Nehahra to exactly how I might have done it this time around, it would be no less ignorant than how I conducted myself in 2000 on this issue. I will not try to appease the previous 'naysayers', gather them in my court so to speak, if it means alienating the fans. Then I am left with the same situation, only with people waving different flags, and that is not the state I want to leave Nehahra in.

Those who don't want the monster behavior changes, you need only go to the console and type a command.. or add a parameter to your BAT file. The idea that someone who strongly prefers vanilla Quake mode (and is able to play based on this preference) would be bothered that are people playing the game a different way because they *like it* that way, or vice-versa for that matter, is downright silly. Petty even.

Would it bother you to know that when I play maps in Fitzquake now, I set GL_OVERBRIGHTS to 0? More importantly, *should* it bother you?

This time I am foolish enough to want to please everyone (this is impossible, of course, but I reckon I will come much closer). However you want to play the game, you can play it that way.

I don't choose. The player chooses.

And, for crissake, what is wrong with that?? 
What's wrong with a mapper being able to choose how the monsters behave?

I do realize the gamemodes is both a testament and a contradiction to some of my stated philosophies. Namely, the one that concerns altering the gameplay to something other than what the mapper may have intended.

I.e. a mapper sets his map to vanilla q mode, but a player might decide he wants all the extra stuff.. so he NOMONSTERS 4 (the neh4m*+ nehahra game mode).

I know personally... when new maps come out. I play it through Nehahra, using the Neh progs.dat because it enhances my enjoyment as a player. (though those maps that come with their own progs.dats of course.. the Nehahra engine will use that progs... and it doesn't bother me either, even though I sometimes wish I had the choice).

(On a side note, though I think I've mentioned it, setting the "monster_ai" field on monsters individually trumps both the map's gamemode and the cvar, case by case basis though.)

Anyway, I've stated openly what I'm doing in the AI department and I will stay the path, as it is the only responsible course of action to take. 
Would you care to comment on my comment about falling damage? 
i think maybe i'm just not thinking of Nehahra the same way you are, which is what's causing the problem.

when i think of mods for quake, i think of them as essentially extending the original game, which is why i'm mostly opposed to modifying anything that was already there, regarding AI for monsters.

I don't choose. The player chooses.

yes giving players a choice is nice, but frankly i think that's superfluous and can, in some cases, destroy a map's gameplay. a monster should be of constant difficulty in each skill setting. this is akin to having a standardized skybox key in the worldspawn, so that whatever engine is used, whatever player who plays the map experiences the same thing.

Would it bother you to know that when I play maps in Fitzquake now, I set GL_OVERBRIGHTS to 0? More importantly, *should* it bother you?
no, because it affects the gameplay in absolutely no way at all. it is simply a visual preference, which doesn't change the way a map plays (unless you had some sort of reliance on fullbrights for gameplay, but if you did something *that* non-standard, you would expect for it to not work for some)

turning off the advanced AI often makes maps too easy, and turning it on, while making it of proper difficulty, is changing established quake monsters.

if monster AI was tied into skill levels, it would make more sense, but i'd still be opposed to the modification of original monster behaviour.

nehahra is more about making a new experience and a new feel. this attempt to please everyone is simply resulting in an game that will be unpredictable (bad from a mapper's and gameplay standpoint).
i think if your original intention was to make a new feel for the game, that you should just go ahead and do it. enable advanced AI on all monsters and FORCE IT. some people may not like it, but then at least they are playing the game the way it's meant to be played.

aside (which i think applies to ANY game or mod):

What's wrong with a mapper being able to choose how the monsters behave?
because then you end up with Unreal type gameplay, where you'll be fighting monsters, and then all of a sudden, the same monster, who looks identical to the others of his type suddenly starts whooping your ass with no way of knowing it would. this is similar to an instant death trap, but, obviously, less brutal. there is no logical reason for one monster to behave different from another monster that is of the same type and it's tricking the player by not giving any visual or audible cues.
the player should always be able to learn from his experiences in the game, and not always be caught flat footed.

anyway, if any of this sounded evile or mean or whatnot, keep in mind it was all said in good faith. :) 
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