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Final Update Before the Beta December 31, 2010

Posted by luciusdxl in Uncategorized.

DarkXL Beta

I’m continuing to work on the Beta, fixing many bugs and issues that have been around for a while. For example I recently fixed various smaller issues such as the punching sound when near a wall, making sure that the fist/mines aren’t full bright when attacking, tweaking the punching animation speed, fixing the Bryar Pistol animation – which was missing a frame before and thus the playback speed was also incorrect and various other issues that were, up until now, considered low priority. Later today I will be working on polishing up all the weapons, as well as weapon effects. This includes “physical” reactions by enemies, such as being knocked up in the air by a well placed punch to flying up in the air after dying by an explosion. After that I’ll fix up some rendering and UI issues – such as the sky offsets, difficulty icons next to completed levels, mouse position in the window (there is an offset that makes some buttons hard to hit) and so on, and finally finish tweaking the AI.

Once that stuff is done, probably tonight or early tomorrow, I will work on cut-scene issues (sounds getting cutoff, the occasional animation glitch and music playback). Finally once the game is fully playable, including the ending working correctly, I will go through a final UI and optimization pass. I just want to clarify that I’ve been saying the Beta will be released around New Years because it may not be released exactly on New Years day. If these tasks take me a little longer I may release a few days after. The goal, though, is to get  the Beta released this weekend.

Outlaws and Blood Support

And to avoid misunderstandings about what this Beta release will contain, despite statements to the contrary floating around the internet, you will not be able to play Outlaws or Blood yet with this release. The build after the first Beta build will introduce those as games you can select and interact with, but the support will be very early and incomplete. But the idea is that once the games are selectable I will build on that with future builds.

Below you’ll see the initial plan for supporting Outlaws and Blood – continued bug fixes and enhancement will still be going on for Dark Forces as well as work on the editor. Note that the implementation plans are more “broad” and staged then the original Dark Forces implementation. This is due to engine maturity and a slight shift in my development methods from lessons learned from DarkXL.

* Support all engine features to render the levels correctly – this includes sprites and objects (not enemies or “NPCs”). So far no additional engine work has been done so the first Beta could be released. This may occur over one build or a couple, depending on time spent and issues encountered. The first pass will be included in the second Beta build, with a third build following to finish it up if necessary.

* First pass on weapons – the idea is to implement all the weapons but save fine tuning and secondary effects until later.

* First pass on enemies/”NPCs”. This means implementing all the enemies but only with basic AI.

* First pass on combat effects (weapon effects, blood splats).

* First pass on game-specific physics and controls. Tweak walking, running, crouching speeds. Tweak jumping heights and distances. Tweak landing animations, weapon bob animations, friction, slope interaction.

* First pass on game specific UI. Things like the in-game HUD, episode and difficulty selection, save and load games.

* Support engine features needed to make the levels interactive – this would be for things like doors, light switches, flickering lights, exploding walls, etc.. Most of the work is already done for Outlaws, so most of the work here will be for Blood. This will probably occur over a couple of builds, starting with basic functionality and then layering on top of that. Once this is done, levels should be fully complete-able and playable.

* Sound support and music playback. This includes any ambient sounds and sound triggers. This should occur in just one build since the engine already supports playback of simple sound files and midi files.

* First pass on Game Flow – this includes cut-scenes and level flow (like the level ending stats).

* Fine tune weapons and implement secondary effects. This will be done for each weapon in turn (probably one build per couple of weapons).

* Implement proper enemy AI, again considering each enemy type in turn (i.e. two enemies that act in a similar way except for stats and damage would be one type).

* Polish pass on game-specific physics and controls, including object physics (effecting interactive objects, such as zombie heads, and enemies).

* Polish combat effects.

* Finish and polish UI.

* Finish game flow elements.

* Game specific multi-player support.



1. luke powell - December 31, 2010

well done mate am really looking foreward to playable all levels release 🙂

2. Zach - January 1, 2011

May you live to see a thousand years, Lucius.

3. Darnn - January 1, 2011

Just wanted to say I threw ten bucks your way, because this is all awesome. Playing the first three levels using DarkXL really filled me with glee and made me realize that it’s a game worth playing, a feeling I wasn’t getting years before when I tried the vanilla version.

I regret to say that after finishing the sixth level with DXL (which was the last one completable at the time) I went ahead and finished the rest in DOS, because I was hooked. And then switched to Blood right after that, so I’m pretty well done with it too, although I kept thinking how a port would have been nice.

Anyway, despite this, I was still incredibly excited when I saw Outlaws and Blood support announced. And I just want to say you’re doing a great thing, and I wish there were more people like you. It must be frustrating sometimes, and this is really a huge undertaking, but know that it does not go unappreciated.

luciusdxl - January 1, 2011

Thank you for the compliments and the donation. Also, bare in mind that even though you completed the games that’s not the end of the story. In the future there will be multi-player as well as full support for existing (and of course new) user mods and expansions (in the case of Blood).

4. nininball - January 1, 2011

Yeah Dark Forces has a ton of cool addon maps and mods, which of course you can use in DOS now, but when they’re supported in DXL… that’ll be sweet

5. adam - January 1, 2011

I just bought this game on the steam sale and WHAT?? THERE’S ACTIVE MOD DEVELOPMENT???? Amazing! Hats off to you, sir.

adam - January 1, 2011

Also, I tried this on my netbook (asus 1000HE, atom 1.6ghz, mobile GMA 945, winxp sp3) and had installed OpenAL, but upon execution got a black screen with music. I assume it has to do with my graphics chipset, since the log showed multiple failures akin to this: LoadShader “ps_texmask8” failed. Does DarkXL require DX9 pixel shader 2 or 3? And forgive me if this is the wrong place to post this. Thanks.

luciusdxl - January 1, 2011

The Shader 1 path should work, though there may be a bug. I will be looking at how DarkXL runs on low-end systems more in-depth very soon. 🙂

6. Ravo - January 1, 2011

Meh. Take your time. I’m just happy you are pushing forward. While it’s completely unnecessary, I appreciate the break down of everything you are working on still. Rest assured your reputation is still awesome.

Keep up the good work!

7. s - January 2, 2011

Did I hear Blood support? A good editor or the ability for someone to make one and I will throw money at you.

I have never donated to anything ever.

luciusdxl - January 2, 2011

It’s still in early development, but DarkXL does have a built-in level editor. It isn’t completely useful yet but it will be. In fact the screenshots from the previous post were taken using the 3D mode in that editor.

On this blog you can see screenshots of the editor here: https://darkxl.wordpress.com/media/editor-screenshots/

8. Syfo-Dyas - January 2, 2011

This is great! Since the last release I’ve been able to play DF on some of my computers, though the player still likes to play Casper the floating ghost from time to time, which prevents me from enjoying my self fully, but it’s enough to look forward to things to come.

The additional games supported just adds to the excitement.

9. Adamant Consternation - January 2, 2011

You’ve really gone above and beyond the call of duty with DarkXL as is, but the support for Outlaws and Blood is truly awesome.

Also sometime in the distant future after your done with DarkoutbloodXL and DaggerXL, you should consider doing a engine for Outcast.

10. Kurgan - January 2, 2011

Don’t forget “In Pursuit of Greed” 😉

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