Sunday, August 24, 2008

Detention Center Revision 2.0

Here's a list of some changes that will be made to Detention Center 2.0:

  • Reduced y-value for most rooms: One of the major internal beta criticisms of Revision 1.0 was a y-value height in most rooms that was too tall, creating a Duke Nukem style shrunken feeling. I was unable to address this concern without major reconstruction before the 6 level release was due. Most of the rooms below the first level of the base will have their y-values reduced by approximately 80 units. This brings most of the rooms into line with standard room heights and should keep objects, control consoles, etc. from feeling oversized. Unfortunately, this will require a lot of reconstruction and will delay the completion time for the map.
  • New archways between rooms: The relatively dull square archways are being replaced with more visually interesting pentagon-shaped transitions, ala the detention cell blocks.
  • New detention cell blocks: 100% new cell blocks are being constructed to be more in-line with the movie interepretion (i.e. the definitive) version of a cell block. They will be narrower, more confined, and claustrophbic.
  • New terrain lighting: The blue lighting crystals are being removed. They never quite achieved the effect I wanted and depart a bit too much for the original styling of the level. In addition, rock textures will be replaced with new versions that include the ochre-colored mold from the original level.
  • Extended escape sequence: More areas are going to be added between Madine's rescue and your escape to the roof of the base.
  • New trash compactor service tunnels: I'm rebuilding the service tunnels leading to and from the trash compactor to make them more technically interesting. The trash compactor itself should be largerly the same design, with only a few minor adjustments.
That's the bulk of what's going to be changed. The gameplay should be largely unaltered save a few improvement to pre-existing puzzles. The elevator jumps will be improved to make them easier to accomplish.

In somewhat related news: I'm expecting a new computer to be arriving in the mail later this week. With the inevitable time it's going to take to set up a new system, reinstall software like JA and GtkRadiant, and school starting the week after you should expect some significant delays on the development of the mod. Rest assured, we will continue to devote as much time as possible to the development of the next release. More information will follow once I have my new rig.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What's In the Next Build

I'm in the process of developing a new working build for the mod and as such I'm planning what will likely be included in the next release. All of this is tentative but any changes are likely to be the addition of more content than is currently in this list.

So, here we go:
  • Cutscenes between levels 1 and 2 will now feature the correct music tracks. Additional architectural improvements are being made to the rebel frigate conference room.
  • Misaligned and poorly aligned textures in Testbase are being corrected and portions of the terrain are being rebuilt to correct graphical errors.
  • A new build of detention center is under construction. This build will feature most of the gameplay and environments from the original with a few key areas completely rebuilt. It should provide a more visually exciting overall experience.
  • New level: "Ramses Hed Docking Port, Cal-Seti: Deadly Cargo." The complete seventh level of the original Dark Forces featuring new areas, puzzles, and enemies.
  • New game Icons optimized for hi-rez LCD monitors and modern GUI interfaces (read, Windows Vista quality).
There is currently NO ETR (Estimated Time of Release) for the next build but we are working to get things squared up as soon as possible.

Stay tuned.