Could be asleep, typing random messages instead.

10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

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User avatar editor Dave
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Subject: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2019, 00:33

10 years ago, the second ut99.org Community Map Pack has (CMP) been released and with it, the first iteration of “Prisons of the Unforchers”, my Singleplayer experience. To commemorate this day, I want to take you on a journey to let you know what has happened since then.

The origin of the Unforchers
► Show Spoiler

Unforchers Episode 2 - the original plan
► Show Spoiler

The transitioning phase: Hardships
► Show Spoiler

The growth stage
► Show Spoiler


Fast forward to today: As of now, I’m still in the process of improving and expanding the old maps. However, the light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter and brighter. When I’m finished with this, I will use parts of the “Museum” to create the final showdown (probably several maps, if I don’t cut down the details too much).
Recently, I chose to change the name of this project. Since almost none of the original work is present in its current state, I can hardly tell it’s the continuation of a previous release. One top of that, the story will differ considerably. It’s the same universe, but it’s another story being told, at another time. That’s why I will call it “Unforchers Retold” from now on.

I can’t say when I’m done, but let me assure you: Some time in the future, you will get the opportunity to play “Unforchers Retold”!


Have a look at the stats so you can have an idea of how the project’s scope has exploded. Keep in mind, when I changed the architecture of the original maps, I rather reduced the detail, instead of adding to it, which means they are considerably longer/more sophisticated now. The “Museum” instead focuses much more on details and vast rooms. This means these five maps are maybe not even half the length of what I did (sometimes with fragments of other releases, as indicated below).
► Show Spoiler


First of all, a collection of every previously released screenshot.

01a: https://ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12211&start=0
Image
01b: https://ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12211&start=0
Image
Image
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=4279#p75158
02: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=283&start=1245#p75914
Image
Image
03: https://ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=6 ... =30#p77735
03: https://ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12 ... 40#p109540

New ones...

01a by editor Dave
Image
06x (Museum) by mr hapflinger
Image

Previously, I was worried over announcement threads like these, since often projects dissolve into nothing, without the author’s notice. I’ve never wanted to own a thread where the only discussion is a “What’s new?” post every now and then, tied with the uncertainty whether progress has been made at all, if there is indeed a response. To counteract this, from now on I plan to update this thread regularly, maybe twice a year, in which I post what progress I have made. You can then compare the stats yourself. Maybe I won’t post a screenshot every time, because I don’t want to spoil everything, but I make sure the updates will be an interesting read (hopefully).
Last edited by editor Dave on 12 Jun 2019, 14:41, edited 1 time in total.
Prisons of the Unforchers Retold - more info: https://www.unrealsp.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4565

User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2019, 02:18

Ahhh I remember this :)

Even without the lighting those new rooms look very interesting. I love how this engine looks in bsp even after all these years.
Image

gopostal
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2019, 16:53

editor Dave wrote:10 years ago...


editor Dave wrote:let me assure you: Some time in the future, you will get the opportunity to play “Unforchers Retold”!


editor Dave wrote:The Unforchers will come again soon...


Not trying to drag this down but why a deep outline for a project that's been going on for a decade? Is this a candidate for
https://ibb.co/0JR1pML

I love you Dave, this is all meant in fun my friend.

(but seriously, you've had a decade. Patience is a virtue but at what point does it cross into teasing?)

User avatar editor Dave
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 09 Jun 2019, 01:33

Thanks, Mr. Prophet, for your nice words. If I get close to a release, I'd be happy if you helped me with messages again, just like in old times ;)

@Jack: Well, I would like to have it released by now, as well, you know! :D As this will be my last project for Unreal, I guess I need it to be the best I am able to. That's why I have changed many portions of the old maps already. I'd love to release episodes separately, but the maps are tied so closely together, that I need to leave space for later adjustments at all times. Plus, I am probably one of the least efficient mappers in terms of resource management (too much complex alignment, not enough copy&paste).

Why do I tease you, anyway? Well, first of all, I probably should delete "soon" from my signature, you are right :D At the same time, you could read in my essay that these 10 years did not really equal 10 years. Of these 10 years, I wasn't much productive in around 5 of them. Luckily, these years are past. And since 2016, I make steady progress, which is obviously still slower than in 2009, when I was rushing things. Yet, I am sure that I'm closer to the end than ever before, as my goals haven't changed for several years now. 01a and 01b and 04 only need some more adjustments, 02 is essentially finished, 03 needs one more smaller section and the finale 06x is there brushwise, I just need to arrange amd light it properly. Only 05 could be a little more time-consuming...

I could provide some kind of standalone AlphaDemo. Who said this couldn't happen in one update post in the future? 8)
Prisons of the Unforchers Retold - more info: https://www.unrealsp.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4565

gopostal
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 09 Jun 2019, 16:51

Like I said, it's all in fun. I wonder sometimes if my Asperger-y humor doesn't come across like I mean it to...

I'm excited to actually play this (and Krullor's project too) more than I can adequately express. There are projects and then there are capital P Projects and this is definitely the latter.

Thank you for continuing the work.

radios
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 09 Jun 2019, 19:17

are you waiting for the release of FireStorm and the ChosenOne? I think those are waiting on each other, so they can try to best the other, each one is at least 10 years old.. I don't see how an Unreal map pack could possibly take 10 years to finish.. all 3 look very good though, but I gave up waiting..

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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 09 Jun 2019, 19:30

radios wrote: FireStorm and the ChosenOne? I think those are waiting on each other, so they can try to best the other,


They aren't.
ImageImage

User avatar editor Dave
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 10 Jun 2019, 17:43

@Jack: I took note of your fun, and I thought I had at least partly replied in a humourous manner. :lol: Good to know I've had a secret fan in you. That also applies vice versa!

@radios: Even if you just take my previous calculation of ~ 5 years of (still rather irregular) mappage, this picture might demonstrate why I need more time, as it exemplifies that I do much more filigree work as compared to the original Unforchers, where I mostly used base textures. The cupboard has openable doors and it stores... items, of course. :B

It is also an example of how I used "The Shadow's Arrival" in Unforchers: The painting on the right depicts one of its locations (you may recognize it from the video).
Prisons of the Unforchers Retold - more info: https://www.unrealsp.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4565

gopostal
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 14 Jun 2019, 16:21

I recently bought a Rift S and got Unreal to run in it using a program called Vorpx. Doing that caused me to stop playing Unreal at all, and I moved my installation to my backup drive.

Seems absurd I know but I cannot impress on you what it feels like playing in VR. I saw the Vortex Rikers at scale and was able to experience the level in a way that far surpasses anything I've done in the engine. I walked around the castle fly-by map a little bit and got to experience what the game has always intended for you but the 'first person' of FPS has always lacked: immersion. Normal gaming of the levels is just...stupid now that I've done this. It all feels artificial and contrived if it's not in VR. Once you've seen a titan towering over you there's no going back.

So I moved my install into my archive until either this or Krullor's project is done. When either of them are close to completion I'm going to restart my server and I'm going to mod it to be VR friendly (body awareness mod, a bit slower game speed, etc). Then I'm going to play everything and invite any other VR gamers to the server.

Keep up the good work Dave. I can assure you at least one person is eagerly awaiting it.

User avatar editor Dave
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 15 Jun 2019, 13:59

Oh my god, that is such an honor and I'm not sure if I can deliver on these high expectations. But I try my best. :)
Prisons of the Unforchers Retold - more info: https://www.unrealsp.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4565

User avatar editor Dave
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 11 Sep 2019, 14:21

I think it's time for another comparison screenshot! The room won't look that busy if you play it. The mirrors kind of bend the sense of space. :D
Image

Stats of 01b have been increased:
2750 Brushes – 14235 Polys – 36109 Nodes – 588 Lights =>
3026 Brushes – 15171 Polys – 40685 Nodes – 694 Lights

PS: I will post here again until the UnrealSP apocalpyse arises!
Prisons of the Unforchers Retold - more info: https://www.unrealsp.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4565

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 05 Oct 2019, 00:08

Just wanted to say-

I played through the original Unforchers and holy shit it was really good!!

Like the first map is basically:
- original (build-wise: not everywhere but several areas have original combo of architecture, texturing and lighting, and new music helps too; gameplay: the start, the true non-linearity! - rare in Unreal/UT SP + really smart puzzles) and hard (only above average difficulty if you take the shortest route, very hard if you take the amazing puzzle route)
- basically, it's overall better then anything in the original Unreal/RTNP taken in isolation
- it is what I always hoped Zora's maps would eventually become
- did I say it was smart? It definitely is! story deserves more attention however, there is not much beyond the synopsis and initial breakout and some of the script is awkward (tone inconsistency), which is not to say that the humour never works (in one case I truly laughed and thought it fit into the story well - the Nali who feels insulted, remember?)
- I did not find all the secrets after legitimately completing the map fully (doing both ways) even though I really tried and explored as much as I could legitimately! Once I was satisfied I had done my best and had otherwise finished the map, I checked in the editor - well I love how you fit in your secrets Dave, smartly done!

The second map maintains the build standard from the previous map (so overall better then original Unreal/RTNP), and has an interesting ending! :wink: but it is short (either way, though I like how you made the puzzle path the shortest here as it was the longest previously) and easy so not particularly remarkable - it's all fun but next to no story addition apart from the ending itself makes it structurally no more than an (actually two, one for each way) intro sequence(s) then a boss fight (which is easy too - on the medium setting).

Excellent stuff, thanks for the fun!! and a massive leap from that Volcano Temple thing hehe :p

Looking forward to your retelling Dave! :D :tup:
By the way that huge central puzzle room with the redeemer in an alcove is already among my most memorable scenes in UE1 that I had the good fortune to play!
(and I can't believe you're remaking such an awesome map! sure, some areas were a bit unpolished, like that massive shaft which you can climb up using a teleporter maze/puzzle! was that only really meant for coop? because I never opened the gate leading to the shaft and the only legit way to "enjoy the puzzle" is to drop down wiping off almost all my armor :P also a few design choices were immersion breaking, like brutes "popping" into existence when you're platforming.)
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 editor Dave
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 07 Oct 2019, 20:45

Sat, thank you very much for your kind words! I'm delightedly surprised about your reaction!

The strengths you highlight are on what I intend to focus more. Even the reworking of the original maps have now several more puzzles or BunnyTrack-like passages.

And I agree with you that the story, while re-written wonderfully by Mr Prophet in the original, doesn't lead anywhere, which was due to the overall gimmick of that map being a standalone that repeats itself, on the one hand. On the other hand, I didn't know how a good story is being told. 7 Bullets certainly inspires me to go beyond the basics '98 Unreal gave us (even though I aim for a more complex story, whether I succeed, is unknown).

You also point to the tone of the campaign, which was certainly all over the place (as well as some visual choices). You were not the first one to notice the inconsistencies, and I do want to tie the messages ingame more closely together. I want the prisoners and guards tell different truths and you have to decide for yourself whom you want to believe and in the end fight for - no spoilers, though. :shy:

If we talk about about memorable scenes, for me it was in map 2, entering the final area. Maybe this is because someone else (Mr. Tom) was responsible for setting the mood, but I always shiver when I see the open space and hear the sounds after all that has been done before. And I think I may have improved on this effect even more in the Retold version, but this (as well as the look) I will keep secret until the release. :P

The shaft was probably the most ridiculous idea I had in the original maps. It was indeed designed that you need the armor to survive a jump. I wanted the access to the secret area be as hard as possible, you had to earn viewing my 16-year old face. :D Btw, I completely scrapped the teleporter puzzle as well as the shaft (it didn't look and play well anway) and I replaced it with what you see on the bottom of the OP (the new shot of 01a).

Since I wrote so much again, have a look at another comparison shot where you can see that everything will look cleaner (without losing some of the "weird" design choices):
Image
Prisons of the Unforchers Retold - more info: https://www.unrealsp.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4565

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: 10-year anniversary update: Prisons of the Unforchers Retold

Post Posted: 09 Oct 2019, 17:39

Hehe very cool! :D looking forward to it! 8)

By the way - the "weird" (I'd say original) design choices are invaluable for increasing your works memorability! So yeah, it's good to see you're expanding on your personal style :tup:
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.


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