-= The Oll Stone =-
Unbelievably Unrealistic Antarctic Adventure Experience
1905. Discovery. Antarctica. Volcanoes. Skaarj. Submarines. You play an anthropologist exploring the ancient ruins of primitive culture in Antarctica. What is even stranger is that they built their civilization inside a volcano. Who were these strange beings? What happened to their civilization? Your mission is to locate a particular stone tablet which will prove helpful for deciphering the ancient texts previously discovered as well as any texts yet to be found. This could be the greatest discovery of the century! The pack focuses around a single large map with a large amount of custom features and additions. It will also feature an updated version of the prologue relased for this map in 2011.Premise
It is the year 1905. You are a researcher focused on archeological and anthropological disocvery. Recently Antarctica has become a topic of interest withing your outfit. Some few months ago a team was dispatched to establish a ground base and investigate the findings.
Smith Research Foundation wrote:Dear Professor,
Your offer to lead a second expedition was accepted. You will be delving into the Antarctic ruins disovered earlier this year. Captain Fukoda has agreed to lend you use of his ship so there shouldn't be any issues reaching the established ground base. Your credentials lead us to believe you were an expert in your field so that should prove useful when it comes time to translate the texts found in and near the ruins. Some new equipment is intended to be used this time around to allow easier access as well. More details will be secured by the time you reach our contacts in Australia.
Smith Research Foundation
Smith Research Foundation wrote:Dear Professor,
With your experience and expertise on these delicate matters it is truly a blessing that you have decided to join the Antarctic expedition. The compound you will be investigating is referred to in our findings only as "OLL" and we believe holds an artifact that will be of great value to the research team. The compound is located inside a dormant volcano which may make it more difficult to navigate. The relic in question is fairly simple in make and design; a gray stone slab covered in ancient writing. What makes it special is this stone, apparently detailing the laws of the region's ancient ancestors, is written in several languages. Think of it as a "Rosetta Stone" for the Antarctic tribes, if you will. The stone itself should be located inside the largest structure, which we believe to be some kind of temple which is located by traversing a large tunnel out of the main chamber. Our equipment has suggested that several underground passages exist connecting the main chamber to the ocean, so you will be approaching via submarine. We regret to announce however that you will be going this one alone-- we just can't spare any men with the way things are these days. With the equipment provided you should be able to get the job done safely.
We are all awaiting your findings. A discovery of this maginitude just might cool some heads back home. We are sure you are aware to the political situation.
Smith Research Foundation
P.S. - Our research suggest that most of the structures contained within the coumpound are very old. It is unlikely you will encounter anyone there, except perhaps the previous expedition teams. Nevertheless it is suggested that you remain on your gaurd. Do make use of the armory onboard the submarine. It is there for a reason.
The Oll Stone will feature a selection of new weapons. Some of the old favorites will make a presence at lower difficulty levels.
A new set of guns is essential for giving it the feel needed for an adventure in 1905. A biorifle or ASMD just wouldn't fit in context.Deco Meshes & Code
A big part of The Oll Stone is its code base and decorative meshes.
In addition to a custom HUD, The Oll Stone features a completely revamped translator system that allows uses to scroll through previous messages. Messages now can also be accompanied by titles, and can display a variety of media that could not be display before, such as images. Custom code is used to allow mappers to specify custom footstep noises throughout the map, implemented in a way that is independant of platform-specific features and does not require editing textures.
For The Oll Stone I wanted to have little details without entering BSP hell. Deco meshes are well suited to the task, however meshes I wanted did not exist. So I made them. Ever wanted a phonograph in your map? Or maybe a table that didn't suck?
Both the meshes and code will be made available for use by others at the time of the project's release.
Old Post (wall of text warning):[spoiler]For real this time! I swear!-= The Oll Stone =-
Unbelievably Unrealistic Antarctic Adventure ExperienceCool Story Bro: Speed mapping demands speed writing and speed Photoshop, even if it can't be in the map itself.Latest Screenshot: People love picturesProgress Index: To be updated occasionally
Hub Area: 95%
Area 1: 45%
Area 2: 35%
Area 3: 10%Week 0 Commentary: On the Topic of Inspiration
I flaked something hardcore for the 8th Anniversary Contest so I want do something cool for this one, and hopefully I might just get it done. Initial inspirations were Thief - The Dark Project
's "Lost City" and, if you could believe it, season two of A Certain Magical Index
. When I came up with the story it seemed kind of Indiana Jones
. The level itself will take place in an underground cavern with three distinct wings and a central hub. There will be lava. They will also be areas that are icy. This contrasting duality is unique and certainly hasn't been done to death by a million other games. The name is a reference to The Bard's Tale
evel." Sound too ambitious? Don't worry, I've got a cunning plan involving Skaarj, movers, and GenEarth.utx.Week 1 Commentary: Under The Influence
For some reason once I began mapping I quickly reminded of Metroid Prime
's "Magmoor Caverns." The similarity in atmosphere is clear, I suppose, in that both Metroid
's level and my design take place entirely indoors inside a cavernous areas filled with plenty of lava. Perhaps the similarity continues further though: my plan was to have a central hub area and three separate wings, each with some doohickey that is required in some way to access the next wing from the hub. For those unfamiliar with the Metroid Prime
series that is pretty much how the levels flow. Now all I need is hexagonal blue doors that you shoot to open. That aside, I especially want to ensure my lava looks "hot." I think it is looking pretty good as of time of writing but we will see how it turns out in the end.Week 2 Commentary: The Master Plan
Ho boy, planning. I'd like to say I had a complex detailed plan but that kind of isn't how it went. After I came up with my original premise (lava! I want lava!) I thought of having some kind of hub with at least two wings, and the third wing grew off that. The idea for the intro area came later. I didn't really have a concrete plan for how the intro/submarine would turn out and it ended up being bigger and fancier then expected. To be honest I really should have came up with some kind of time table and stuck to it because now I am a little behind schedule. I should have loads of time towards the end of the contest though so maybe things will pull together without too much cut content. As for planning specific areas, I don't really have a concrete plan most of the time. I come up with rough layouts in my head and work out the specifics while I am making it.Week 3 Commentary: Playing By The Rules
Being restricted to stock content only is kind of annoying, but after a while it ends up being kind of freeing. I actually get things done rather then spending 90% of my time in Photoshop. There are some limitations that hurt more then others though: No UT content or custom texture packages hurts and really restricts the possible themes a lot. Maybe it is just as well though since I'm kind of tired of seeing so much Richrig.utx (I hate this texture package) and SGTech1.utx (I am crap at using this package). Choosing a theme that is perhaps a little different from what I would normally do seems to have helped. As for coping with the time period I am doing a terrible job. I really want to make a promise to deliver at the end of six weeks but it is going to be tough. If it were eight weeks it would be no problem. I have the last week of the contest completely off though* so it is going to be hectic, that is for sure. *statement not guaranteedWeek 4 Commentary: Knowledge is Power
Did I learn anything new? Perhaps "re-learned" is more appropriate for a lot of the stuff, but there are some cool things I picked up along the way. I had never worked with triggered warpzones before. I also learned that a depressing amount of default textures don't have detail textures set.Week 5 Commentary: Bonus Commentary
As per Hellscrag's commentary bullet points I could talk about how pleased I am with the outcome but it seems a little early for that so I am going to write something else instead. I have yet to place any pawns in my map, since I want most of them to spawn via creature factories but it occurred to me the difficulty is going to be a little weird. I didn't want players to start with the dispersion pistol (or get it ever) so that means there needs to be plenty of ammo for the automag and other weapons. It also occurred to me that I haven't really played
Unreal in a long time and I no longer possess the skills I once had, so as long as I am able to beat it I guess it should be alright. The armament in the map seems to have mostly hitscan weapons but I guess there is nothing wrong with that.Week 12 Commentary: Keeping it Real
So obviously this was not finished in time for the speedmapping contest. My last minute speedmap crapmap didn't end up as nice as I wanted it to be but it couldn't be helped given the time I gave myself to complete it. Oh yeah, The Oll Stone will be released sometime before next year. Anyway I am debating whether or not I want to use custom content in the map. It was originally designed with stock only content in mind but I guess a few custom assets might spruce it up a little. I can assure you though that no matter what the eightball chandelier is going to stay.[/spoiler]
This post will be revised again as necessary.