UnrealSP.org, now with 100% more Web 2.0!

25/05/2024 - "First Day" by Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

Moderators: Semfry, Sat42, Jigoku, UB_

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 925
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42
Contact:

Subject: 25/05/2024 - "First Day" by Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess

Post Posted: 25 May 2024, 20:28

Map Title: First Day
Author: Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess
From: Project Xenome : First Day
Filename: ONP-map01FirstDayX.unr




Video Playthroughs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyARPq2J8eQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn8fuc7q7-Y

Synopsis: You're an ex-marine who finds work on a Liandri mining outpost on the edge of Terran space.
All's well for your first day until a catastrophic disturbance knocks you out cold for some time.
You awake to find everyone is either dead or escaping. What do you do?

Discuss!
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar Semfry
Trustee Member Trustee Member
Posts: 2094
Joined: 12 Nov 2007, 02:43
Location: UK
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/05/2024 - "First Day" by Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess

Post Posted: 28 May 2024, 00:19

A decent opening for the semi-realistic setting but it doesn't have anything too standout (at least by Xenome standards), you can see the seeds of what will develop throughout the set though, with details like the various unique signs, the interlinking/looping layout, environmental interactions, the generally strong visuals (especially the lobby near the end) and the cool ship movers you watch fly off, along with other environmental interactions. Given the initial horror style I feel the combat gets sprung on you a bit suddenly without much build-up, even if it's kept rare, but the lobby section at the end does a good job building tension until the final ambush fight of the map.
Formerly Mman

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 925
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/05/2024 - "First Day" by Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess

Post Posted: 28 May 2024, 01:06

I only finally played this recently! And the first time round, I was astonished at how elaborate the continuous shot intro cinematic is, and First Day itself really does a great job at kickstarting the adventure which is very reminiscent of Half-Life.

Obviously one of the most pleasing aspects is the build: I know we'd all already seen how good things can get with ONP and Xidia Gold etc., but son of a gun, this still really impresses me - and remember, this was still being made in UED2.0 only! The attention to detail is fantastic (down to all the various signs), and the ONP-gametype is put to good use. Aesthetically, as Semfry already mentioned, it peaks with the lobby near the end, where everything comes together like in a professional game: great scenery (love the ringed planet), story developments (enough that you know this is going to be a good story) including through cool scripted sequences like the ships flying off and, of course, the final ambush. It nails the atmosphere it's going for.

The level has a really satisfying sense of progression and, when combined with the element of discovery inherent to it being an intro map along with the aforementioned expert attention to detail, it really comes across as one of the best maps in the campaign.
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar Aspide
Skaarj Warrior Skaarj Warrior
Posts: 84
Joined: 14 May 2021, 23:08

Subject: Re: 25/05/2024 - "First Day" by Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess

Post Posted: 28 May 2024, 04:19

A great level to start one of the best custom sp campaigns in Unreal/UT99. The level geometry is really impressive and it gives you a taste of what's to come. Textures are really well implemented with clever uses of Special Lit and U/V -Pan. The choice of sounds is really effective and all of them have sources. Level design is great, I really like how the level seamlessly connects with itself giving you a sense that this is a real place. I'm surprised with the amount of meshes that this map uses, very good for attention to detail however I wished that some of the decorations were destructible. Music is fine even though the appearance of Isotoxin feels out of place when you compare it to the rest of the Project Xenome soundtrack. Lighting is awesome, very good use of flickering lights and lights with the searchlight effect.

JazzyB is either a big fan or worked in Spatial Fear, because the campaign uses lots of stuff from SF like textures, meshes and even music (the track that plays when you enter the lobby is from SF). I wouldn't be surprised if JazzyB plans to connect the story of Xenome with SF but that will have to wait until Xenome is complete.

This campaign takes a lot of inspiration from Half-Life 1 and 2 and this level is no exception : the elevator falling to its doom, the map taking place in a facility were everything went to hell and you are one of the few that are still alive, the platforming in the level design, the story where a company were doing experiments and things went wrong, the realism of the characters in the logs and let's not forget the fact that there is always someone spying on you (but you don't get to see him until map 2). The ONP stuff is used very well, however it's still weird that technically you are still playing as ONP guy even though you are suppose to be someone else, those Damian Sosa lines and grunts are still there :lol:

The only issues I have with this map is that the overall gameplay when fighting enemies is weak, the double enforcers are too powerful even in Unreal difficulty. A small oversight is that the pupae ambush doesn't work very well because the pupae stay in the air after the roof tiles fall down so if you know what's coming you can kill the pupae without giving them the opportunity to fight back. Something else I noticed is that the Skaarj that runs away when you see him can be killed, this could be fixed by turning the collision of that enemy off, now this issue isn't a big of a deal in this map but in other levels in the campaign you can easily kill enemies that you aren't suppose to kill (like the Green Skaarj).

Oh and I can't stand that ring from the planet that appears in the skybox, it looks soo ugly. The ring was heavily improved in Interloper so the first thing I did was to replace the rings in First Day with the one from Interloper, it makes a huge difference :)

I really hope that one day we get to play part 3 of Xenome, but even if that doesn't happen JazzyB has made history with this campaign. Can't believe it considering how Project Xenome originally started....
Somewhere in Nevada...

User avatar ebd
Trustee Member Trustee Member
Posts: 457
Joined: 05 Apr 2008, 19:08
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/05/2024 - "First Day" by Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess

Post Posted: 28 May 2024, 04:43

Obvious comparisons to Half-Life aside, it's rare that we see clean looking spaces in UE1 maps. The engine and stock textures sort of lend themselves to dirty spaces. Lots of details and an interesting map flow without too much heavy combat, and some nice architecture besides.

Polished out a few of the scratches in my UT99 discs to get a nice clean 469 install for this play through: no more super speed UT!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn8fuc7q7-Y

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 925
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/05/2024 - "First Day" by Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess

Post Posted: 28 May 2024, 22:07

Since Aspide mentioned the second Project Xenome campaign I'd just like to clarify that when I say First Day is one of the best maps in the campaign (at least based on first time impressions), I am really strictly referring to, well, the First Day campaign only (Project Xenome Part 1). Things get even better with Interloper...
I'd refer to the ensemble as the Project Xenome saga.
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar fashahhh
Skaarj Assassin Skaarj Assassin
Posts: 111
Joined: 09 Dec 2007, 14:47

Subject: Re: 25/05/2024 - "First Day" by Jarrod "JazzyB" Burgess

Post Posted: 01 Jun 2024, 09:40

Yet another I hadn't played before. I really like the build up in this one and JazzyB definitely knows what he's doing with the engine with the opening sweep through the labs and the scripted sequences.

I actually missed the dispersion pistol somehow and ended up running around dodging the pupae until I realised there must be one somewhere when you have to shoot through the vents. I also got stuck for a short while filling in the wrong password multiple times realising I was at the wrong door :oops: .

The last area and accompanying offices is particularly worth a mention with its grand entrance lobby where it seemed to show its individual style for the first time. Having not played the rest just yet I hope it will keep to this going forward.
I have to admit I was a little put off by the early lab areas. Although the build was good they were too close to Half-Life for me and I laughed out loud went I saw the laser pipes. At one point when jumping up to the vents I attempted a duck jump momentarily forgetting I was playing unreal.

The later areas definitely have me intrigued though and look forward to finishing the rest of the pack.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Copyright © 2001-2024 UnrealSP.org

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited