ividyon will never get this done, will he.

[V1.1 RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

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User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 30 Jun 2020, 02:04

And ... played on Unreal difficulty.
Progress to the Boss fight was slow and the foreknowledge was very useful if not essential. I took savegames at the beginning of each new section just in case (4 in total I think) but ended up not needing them (Interloper experience with finding safe return points and efficient ammo use were essential). Reached the Boss area with almost full armour and ammo, used the sniper rifle to locate key ammo to pick if necessary, entered, triggered the Boss and hastily scrambled up the elevated sidewalk where I could sidestep the incoming stream of projectiles and keep the Boss on the lower level while sniping and DP-ing the vermin. If the player goes past halfway that elevated ledge, the AI of the enemy makes them try to get near the player instead of following the path the player took. Once those lesser evils are history (it does take long), rockets and blades followed up with flak from nearer make short work of the Boss.
Actually replay value of that Boss fight is lower than that of the journey to the boss area.
Still, I wouldn't recommend playing this on Unreal difficulty on the first try. Without the foreknowledge there's no way I could reach the end of the map without dying (you really don't want to be caught unaware by the gunners with rockets and snipers).

User avatar fashahhh
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 30 Jun 2020, 08:17

Semfry wrote:In the basement at the Nali village there are also some boxes you can get stuck behind (damage boosting aside), it's pretty easy to find so probably doesn't need images.


Argh! I thought I'd found everywhere the player could get stuck. At least you can Alt-fire the DP to get out for now.

Semfry wrote:the ending felt a little abrupt, and it felt like there should have been a small escape sequence or something, especially as the level loops back near to the start anyway.


It was difficult as I didn't want a cheesy or badly done ending scene plus I'm not a fan of how Unreal handles cutscenes. As the player has cleared the area and you can both escape, I wanted to leave it up to the players imagination on what happens next.

Semfry wrote:I didn't find it especially tough on Unreal...


I hope in it originally being too hard I didn't make it too easy on Unreal now?

Semfry wrote:(although the stealth enemies in open areas that make them visable way before they're a danger felt a little odd).


I was hoping that the player would be preoccupied searching the bottom of the canyon rather than notice them right away. I couldn't have any enemies in plain sight from the top as they would be easy to pick off in the distance.

salsaSkaarj wrote:If the player goes past halfway that elevated ledge, the AI of the enemy makes them try to get near the player instead of following the path the player took.


Hmmm I didn't actually think of this. Looks like I may do a small update in the weekend to correct a few issues. I also noticed some enemies are triggering before they are supposed too, the final Behemoth comes to mind.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 05 Jul 2020, 23:56

fashahhh wrote:
Semfry wrote:(although the stealth enemies in open areas that make them visable way before they're a danger felt a little odd).


I was hoping that the player would be preoccupied searching the bottom of the canyon rather than notice them right away. I couldn't have any enemies in plain sight from the top as they would be easy to pick off in the distance.

I didn't notice them right away but after their first shot, it's just a matter of moving backwards up the slope. So once your near the bridge you may get some damage from their first attack and going head on is asking for trouble but retreating allows the player to finish them off from far.

fashahhh wrote:
salsaSkaarj wrote:If the player goes past halfway that elevated ledge, the AI of the enemy makes them try to get near the player instead of following the path the player took.

Hmmm I didn't actually think of this. Looks like I may do a small update in the weekend to correct a few issues. I also noticed some enemies are triggering before they are supposed too, the final Behemoth comes to mind.

Replayed the Boss area for testing purposes and apparently they do try to follow the player but get caught on the geometry preventing them to get up the sloping ledge.
I think that even should they be able to follow the player up the ledge, the ledge is wide enough for the player to sidestep their fire and hold them back with flac, rockets and ASMD.
Basically what makes the Boss fight easier than it should be is the fact that when he's triggered there's nothing preventing the player making an immediate run for the ledge.

User avatar fashahhh
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 06 Jul 2020, 18:36

salsaSkaarj wrote:Replayed the Boss area for testing purposes and apparently they do try to follow the player but get caught on the geometry preventing them to get up the sloping ledge.
I think that even should they be able to follow the player up the ledge, the ledge is wide enough for the player to sidestep their fire and hold them back with flac, rockets and ASMD.
Basically what makes the Boss fight easier than it should be is the fact that when he's triggered there's nothing preventing the player making an immediate run for the ledge.


I've been testing the final area, there simply aren't enough pathnodes on the slope itself. However I'm working on a small update to address the following:

- Pathing of the boss battle.
- Enemies at the other end of the level prematurely triggering when they're not supposed to causing issues with triggering other enemies later and in some cases even in-fighting (between Brutes & Skaarj) before the player has reached them.
- Enemies jumping/dodging off the cliff after the fort and getting stuck at the bottom and not path finding back to the main path.
- Player can get stuck behind crates in the first house basement area.

User avatar Jblade
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 09 Jul 2020, 09:15

Just played this, really loved every second of it - the variety of areas, the environmental story telling, how well connected the level is, the exploration...just about everything about it. I was always sad that Unreal modding kind of dried up so seeing a release like this really cheers me up. Thanks for putting in the hard work and care into this, and making 2020 a bit more tolerable to get through.

User avatar StalwartUK
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 14 Jul 2020, 02:18

Just got around to playing this, great to see Unreal levels still coming out in 2020!

All around a very good experience. Very good atmosphere that reminds me of what drew me to Unreal to begin with. I didn't have to many issues with the fights but then again I'm probably very skilled in Unreal by this point. Some of the Skaarj ambushes did make me jump though. Boss fight was fun, classic, chaotic madness.

Always interesting to see pieces of projects like Battle for Na Pali surface, considering that this level originally had an ice theme (going by the readme+screenshots) I wonder what that would've been like to play, given that there aren't too many "ice" levels out there, official or otherwise.

Many thanks for the release.
StalwartUK

User avatar Nalisavior
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 01 Oct 2020, 09:18

Fashahhh..... what an AMAZING map!!! I loved all the details. it was a very enjoyable experience. thank you for creating it. Loved the castle

User avatar fashahhh
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 02 Oct 2020, 17:56

Thanks guys. I was working on a small update to sort a few niggly issues but real life has got in the way as usual!

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 25 Oct 2020, 19:44

fashahhh wrote:Thanks guys. I was working on a small update to sort a few niggly issues but real life has got in the way as usual!

Priorities, priorities - you need to set those straight :D
Seriously, fixing that would be nice but the map is already top notch so there's no need to rush things.

User avatar ividyon
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 03 Mar 2021, 22:32

I am very late to the party, but after my appetite for Unreal was restored by Prophet's release, I came back to give The Vale a try and... my GOD. I am shaken by the quality of this absolute beast of a level.

In the first half of the map, I was flabbergasted by the sheer scale of the terrain, the detailed execution of it, and the very thorough depiction of Nali life in their little huts. Each hut meticulously decorated and feeling actually "lived in", immersing me in the location deeply. Even the small sub-plot of the elder's betrayal of Evelyn was a breath of fresh air, and made me wonder if I was supposed to judge over him with the ASMD he hid!

Every few minutes of the map brought a new twist; the Nali village cellar hideout felt like a throwback to Harobed Village, and was followed by a fresh little romp through shrouded woods with hidden Manta which was an unexpected spin on the terrain, despite being smack dab in the middle of it! The vale generally felt like an actual *place*, and not a single segment overstayed its welcome. It all felt very coherent, yet varied, despite all taking place in a single location.

The castle segment was expertly laid out, returning you to previous locations repeatedly and letting you discover them from a new perspective, goodies hidden in places that reward exploration. I enjoyed the Skaarj shoot-out gauntlet in the Hall of the Elders quite a lot, and the dining hall + kitchen left a particular impression on me! All the small little details you managed to cram in there, and then the small Xan action figure on the bed; all an elaborate love letter to the sense of wonder and atmosphere felt in Nali locations in the original game, but surpassing it at every turn.

My mind was BLOWN when the castle segment was followed by ANOTHER completely separate chunk of massive terrain! I was already sure you had used the full 65536³ map limit in the first terrain, so I did NOT expect that at all. The pour-in of Skaarj and brutes was a nice demonstration of how far the player's arsenal had come in the short while they spent in the area.

And finally the mines... once again I had no idea how the hell you managed to find the space for yet another giant, sprawling locale! The boss battle was very frantic at the start, but so long as you found your way to the container on the left of the entrance, it suddenly became very easily cheesed. I accidentally managed to launch the IceSkaarj onto the stack of crates, so he actually spooked me off of what would've otherwise probably been a safe spot to dispatch the crowd from, but it turned out that he didn't follow up the natural cave ramp, so I could shoot him from there instead.

Even the little final segment was very imaginative, not only by showing the artificial nature of the Brute growth (which I think no existing Unreal map actually showed so directly?), but by adding the little "shoot the generator and electrify the whole place" segment. The green lights leading to Evelyn's pod and separating it from the others were the last beautiful little touch of detail I noted before the map concluded.

Overall, WOW. I am a great fan of any level that hits the right notes when it comes to Hellscrag's criteria of "Conceptual Grandness", and The Vale: Evelyn felt like a solid 11 in that regard. Between the variety, the sense of scale, and how every nook and cranny oozed detail... The engaging, fairly balanced combat encounters, the faithful Unreal atmosphere, the nice writing in the translator messages... It's a labour of love and that was definitely felt.

To me, this is an absolute masterpiece, perhaps THE best map ever made for Unreal/UT. Thank you so much for bringing us this gem of an experience.
UnrealSP.org webmaster & administrator

User avatar fashahhh
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 05 Mar 2021, 18:36

Thank you ividyon for your kind comments. I did indeed hit the node limit on quite a few occasions. I had to resort to converting many of my decorations to meshes to keep the node limit down and revise much of the brushwork to the fort. I've actually quite enjoyed working within constraints of the engine.

Just to keep everyone updated, I've been hard at work on v1.1. Hopefully it will be ready this weekend.

Buggie
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 13 Mar 2021, 13:57

fashahhh wrote:Just to keep everyone updated, I've been hard at work on v1.1. Hopefully it will be ready this weekend.

Hello. Here some feedback for try use your map in Monster Hunt:
https://ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=14439

Maybe this is be useful and take in account for your v1.1.

Between, excellent job! Thanks!

User avatar fashahhh
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 14 Mar 2021, 09:07

Buggie wrote:
fashahhh wrote:Just to keep everyone updated, I've been hard at work on v1.1. Hopefully it will be ready this weekend.

Hello. Here some feedback for try use your map in Monster Hunt:
https://ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=14439

Maybe this is be useful and take in account for your v1.1.

Between, excellent job! Thanks!


Hi Buggie,

Thanks for the feedback. In response to your UT99 feedback (I understand it is more MH specific).

1. Add teleport to pass inside close area by trap mover in Cave after it close.
This has been added as a teleporter which activates when the forcefield does so other players can enter.

2. More weapons. Especially at start.
I'm not sure how Monster Hunt Works, however this will be for Co-op only which to my knowledge has weaponstay so weapon placements will remain unaltered

3. More monsters.
It's been a long process getting the monsters to behave as I intended. Unfortunately there will be no more monsters in Co-op mode.

4. Fix translator events.
I'm not aware of any translator bugs however I'm not sure how MH functions.

5. Fix shortcut systems via translocs with green team sign.
If you mean using the translocator then there will be no fix for this as it was never intended to be used.

6. Maybe some guidance how pass map.
?

7. After waterfall lever pushed make transporter work for return back. Possible by buttons located nearby.
Entering the waterfall caves will now activate a trigger on the cable car platform which other players can use to bring the cable car back.

8. Maybe move PlayerStart's to prevent die idlers.
Additional playerstarts have been added on the jetty.

9. Exclude Nali from part of gameplay process. For example event Basement1 produced by AlarmPoint for Nali and you can not open basement door in other way.
As I don't know how MH functions the Nali triggers will remain in Co-op

Buggie
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 14 Mar 2021, 09:40

This TODO list more not for you, but for Barbie.
So not all items relevant for you.

Relevant things for you:
1. Maybe need add shortcut system for not run entire map if die for example in castle?
2. If Cable car summon is fixed then all other stuff must be fine.
Lever for cable car must be pushed only once. After that Cable car must be autonomous and do not need this lever at all. Even for one player even if you die and car on other side.
3. After kill main boss will be good if trap open back (if this not done yet).
4. For Spaceship can be added some delay for ensure player not miss this event.

Also if you need help or advices how optimize map or better push it to limits, maybe I can help.

For example you can see MH-TheFifthVortex - adaptation map pack from 5 maps to one big map on edge of possibilities of engine.
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=3280 - topic here about this map pack.

User avatar fashahhh
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Subject: Re: [RELEASED] The Vale: Evelyn [UT]

Post Posted: 14 Mar 2021, 09:51

Thanks Buggie

I only intend for the Co-op features to be in a playable state as this was & always will be intended as a single player focused level. I only ask that yourselves hang fire on any adjustments for a monsterhunt version until v1.1 is released.

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