Ashes 2063 gets an expansion “Dead Man Walking”

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by The Dutch Ghost, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Back in September we reported on the release of Ashes 2063, a Doom total conversion which turns it into a story driven Post Apocalyptic first person action adventure game that takes inspirations and influences from 80s and 90s sci-fi and PA movies as well as games such as the Fallout series, Stalker, and another Doom conversion from back in the day called Strife.

    For those of you who played Ashes 2063 and could not get enough of it there is some good news as Doom modder ReformedJoe with permission of Ashes developer Vostyok has been working these last couple of months on a prequel to Ashes 2063 called “Dead Man Walking”.

    Some time before the events of Ashes 2063, the scavenger was ambushed during one of his journeys by a newcomer raider gang called the Rippers who after ambushing the scavenger and leaving him for dead in a ditch, have taken off with his bike to unknown whereabouts.

    But the scavenger is not so easily killed and now he is out to get his bike back, and more importantly; get revenge.

    Dead Man Walking includes three new levels for the player to explore, including locales like a small town, a bunker, a train yard, a storage facility for nuclear waste, and a still intact nuclear power plant.

    Considered more of a bite sized DLC and not a full expansion there is not any new content such as new enemy types or weapons in this but it does come with five new tracks.
    Most players will be able to finish this expansion within an hour or two.

    In order to run Dead Man Walking you must have a port of zdoom such as gzdoom and the latest release of Ashes 2063 (1.15)

    Go here for Ashes 2063 and here for Dead Man Walking
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  2. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Sorry that this took so long, I was a bit assing around with it because I really wanted to write it well and wasn't sure about some of the sentences.
    I was also a bit distracted by something else (Damn you Family Guy for making me interested in a dance remix of Kenny Rogers the Gambler)
  3. mef

    mef Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Dec 29, 2014
    i'll just nitpick a bit: calling strife a doom conversion is like calling new vegas a tc mod for fallout 3
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  4. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Well I am not that familiar with the history and background of that game, all I recall is that it used the Doom engine (if I am correct).
    I know it underwent some modifications.

    I am mostly referring to that game in order to make clear that this mod is not a straight forward Doom like experience.
  5. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Thanks for the reminder. Will spread the word if i don't forget.
  6. Nirv

    Nirv Ghoulrilla

    Nov 24, 2018
    I've been meaning to play Ashes 2063. I'm a big fan of Strife, so hopefully I'll enjoy it.
  7. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Finally finished both the first episode and the "DLC"

    I would say that it doesn't reinvent the wheel. Everything there was done by others in the 90s.
    But that is not really the point.

    They managed to make such a good use of most of the technologies and mechanics invented for the sprite-based FPS, that you forget it is a Doom Mod.

    You will find several wonders, like the vertical axis, some nice light\smoke effects, a working vehicle, town npc with mutiple-choices dialogs (And you can piss off or attack some npc. Although, the story-path remains linear.), an ingame currency to buy stuff, some voiced ennemies, some destructible environnent, great music, multiple cultural references, from the 1960s to the 2010s, multiple secrets, some great atmosphere and a plot that really enhance this atmosphere.

    While the memorable levels weren't as memorable as some classics FPS, it have everything to make for a full blown 90s sprite-based FPS, worthy of being sold at the time. (well, they ought to release the next episodes) Although, i would have prefered if they used the Build Engine. I relate more to Duke Nukem, Blood or Shadow Warrior than Doom or Hexen.

    Also, don't get fooled by the number of levels mentioned. Both the main game and the unofficial addon feature extremely huge levels, worth of 2 or 3 levels of the classic games, and quite often, 2 or 3 chapters of the plot.

    Speaking of the plot, while it mainly exist to serve the atmosphere, it does a pretty good job at that. There is narration between the levels, flavor and plot-based dialogs with npc in towns, and the level design itself allow you to slowy uncover the plot and the rules of this new world, while still managing to catch you off guard at several moments.

    About the weaponry, even if it isn't the most crucial aspect, i need to point out that some of those weapons can only be acquired by being bought from merchants, or looted in secret areas. So it is likely that you will miss out a couple of them on first playthrought, which will increase replayability.

    As for the unoficial addon, i would say that i was a little bit disapointed by a couple of things. The plot doesn't go beyond the initial hook (i expected at least one surprise), feature way too much enemies in some areas (to the point of lagging), and a couple of areas that need jumping skills (i hate when FPS try to be plateformers), and don't add that much stuff. Otherwise, it is pretty fitting with the lore, tone and atmosphere of the main game, while featuring quite some interesting areas. Also, it is pretty scarce in healing items. I had less than 30 hp for most of my run, and very often less than 5 hp.

    Both those episodes provide a limited ammount of ammunation, but if you don't waste bullets on melee opponents and only shoot when you have a target in front of you, you shouldn't end up totally empty. (still don't expect to ever have a full magazine)
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
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  8. NovaRain

    NovaRain Casual Modder Modder Moderator

    Mar 10, 2007
    Since critters are still bonded to Doom engine behavior/limitation, in many places I use terrain to keep enemies from reaching me but I can attack them with crowbar or pile bunker, making it not too difficult to have good amount of health/armor and nearly full shotgun/SMG ammo in later maps.
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  9. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I would rather either get very far (when indoors) or constantly on the move (when in the open) when i reload or seek my next target. If i take cover too close, some lucky enemies might be able to shoot through walls. Anyway, i don't risk static positions, even on melee vs melee.
  10. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Hello naossano,

    After I finished writing this article I spoke to the original mod developer Vostyok again and when talking about the contents of my text he also pointed out that I should have mentioned some of the technical/design differences between Dead Man Walking and Ashes 2063 which I kind of to my shame forgot to talk about.
    It did not take away from the expansion but it were noticeable details such as a bigger focus on open areas, more combat aimed in general and some other elements I have unfortunately have forgotten about since.

    And like you said there is not much of a plot build up after the initial setup.

    I myself also tend to use the Doom AI of different creatures against itself whenever possible such as making the regular mutants fight pittfiends or the giant mutants when possible.

    I am not always the most competent of reviewers and this article was a bit rushed as it was already out for two days when I wrote this text.
  11. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I also noticed that the mobs sometimes attacked each other. I took it as a flaw and i've tried to not abuse it too much.

    About Strife, it is a full blown commercial game, not a conversion.

    Otherwise, thanks for advertizing this little gem. I had a lot of fun with it.
  12. Vostyok

    Vostyok First time out of the vault

    Oct 16, 2018
    Thank you for taking the time to play and comment. I have avoided posting too much about this on NMA due to it being primarily a Fallout oriented site, and I don't like to toot my own horn, so to speak. But I would like to comment on a few points.

    This being a 90's fps homage, I wasn't intending to make too many sweeping changes to the gameplay, hence the reliance on old tropes and behaviour patterns. As my first released modding project, this was also mostly a learning experience for me. Some of the quirks of the enemies (such as pathfinding and being blocked by low obstacles) are pretty inherent to the engine itself, but I am coming up with new ways to deal with this as well as new enemy behaviour to make encounters more dynamic and less frustrating.

    Some things do need a lot of work still, of course, the physics and handling of the motorcycle being a prime example. The linear nature of the plot is also pretty lazy of me and was simply to direct the player to the opening of the second (work-in-progress) episode. I'm hoping to add a lot more choice to encounters as to whether you work together with NPCs, pick sides, or simply shoot your way through obstacles. Every action has consequences of course, but I hope to make an experience where you feel you can direct the game towards the style of play you most appreciate. Well, when you aren't hopping about the levels shooting people and robbing their loot, that is.

    As an aside, I did have a brief bit of experience with the BUILD engine, since it is the obvious choice for what I was planning to do with this project (built in room-over-room, realistic city environments, interactive scenery) but I'm afraid I just couldn't "get" it. I grew up with the Id tech engines and that's probably where I'll stay, sadly.

    Still, there are plenty of things I want to explore in the follow-up installment, now that I have found my feet. The inclusion of a mystery writer to my (extremely small) team has been very helpful, for a start.

    Again, thanks to those who took the time to play. It's not Fallout, it's not Metro. It's not even a very deep game. It's a 90's style fps with a branching story because that is the kind of game I would play. But I did enjoy making it. I hope you enjoyed playing it :)

    edit: shoutout to ma boi Dutchy for being very critical and helpful during the production and release of this project. That is all.
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  13. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    While i am aware of some features not being totally new, but they were still quite rare in sprite-based FPS. (like multi-option dialogs or vehicles, or other stuff)

    Same for the plots. They are quite uncommon with those games. Most of the time, the lore is only in the manual and is more an excuse than anything.

    While not deep, i was surprised that some efforts were made in this area. It just give enough to feel about this world. You are not just shooting target, but immersed in that world, who draw inspiration from many other games\movies, but still feeling its own thing. The goal is still exploration and shooting, but with enough spice to feel that your character has a purpose and a bit of emotions.

    I don't know how much open-ended that kind of games can be, but i am curious to see what you can come up with.

    It is indeed not Fallout and Metro, but there are references here and there. But those references i enjoyed the most were Carpenter ones. Wouldn't go into details as i don't want to spoil much for others, but i was pleasantly surprised by late-episode enemies and kept laughing at myself for shitting my pants agains't a fake opponent.
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  14. torahhh

    torahhh First time out of the vault

    Jan 1, 2019
    Dead Man Walking looks amazing. Shame it's not a full expansion.