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Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by The Dutch Ghost, Sep 6, 2021.
Then declare that in the review and you will get a nice humble brag.
Add some cool behind the scenes stuff to the review and we might forgive you.
I don't care. You need to do it Dutch.
Because this is not a video game review site.
Is there an estimated released date for the finished episode ? I wish to replay the first one right before. This was a blast. li
Afterglow has already been released. Just that some flaws still need to be corrected that sometimes allows player to 'break the game'.
And there may be a few small changes here and there of parts that did not work out.
Vostyok released a 'remaster' of Ashes 2063 that also includes the map pack Dead Man Walking.
You knowing all of that is why you are doing the review or preview or whatever you want to call it. Take your time and I or someone else (@Proletären) can edit it if you like.
Don't let it stress you out enjoy it.
And make a news article on the front page when your at it!
I started on a more detailed article about Ashes Afterglow yesterday, and I could write an article about the mod having been released.
From what I understand the complete version is nearly finished. (there were still some features and parts missing in the first version, and some fixes were also required as the playtesters had missed on a couple of them).
So it is probably appropriate to announce it now.
The mod will also feature in a retro shooter online magazine this coming December.
Hey guys, while writing an article that describes what to expect of Ashes Afterglow and how it improves on its predecessors may be possible to write, writing an article about announcing the 'finished' build may take a while longer as there are still some issues with the game that need to be resolved.
I can write one now, but the game may still see a few updates.
Finished Afterglow yesterday. Great experience, an improvement over 2063 which was already really good.
New enemies and weapons were great and fit nicely with the original roster, exploration is fun and secrets fill natural (though I couldn't find the second collectible).
Story is alright (I'll have to see how it progresses), liked the side quests and the ending slides (even got one for a secret merchant).
Locations are absolutely stunning (with one exception), but also play great and are easy to navigate.
Sewer level. I didn't like it. Hard to navigate (every time I was there I had to be glued to automap), nothing memorable about it (just a series of tunnels and some control rooms).
Sorry that the article is taking so long.
It is technically finished but I would like to know from some people if I should also add some personal thoughts of participating in the development to it, and that I perhaps should upload it on the same day as version 1.06 will be uploaded (I think this will be the final version)
Devs will enjoy hearing that. Any points you felt could use improvement?
Looking back now at the game I feel unsatisfied about the story, at least my part in it.
I would really liked to have done something on the level of Fallout but that would have been impossible.
Part of the reason is design and technical limits. A lot more people or time would have been required, perhaps loads of additional coding to add more adventure elements, and in the end this is still suppose to be a post-apocalyptic shooter.
To alter this so much that it would be an action adventure and it would not have been any more what people liked about Ashes 2063 and the expansion map pack.
Vos told me that sometimes the player was talking more than actually going around exploring and shooting enemies.
And my initial idea for Episode 3 would have had even more parts in which the player is doing more talking than shooting in some levels.
And as Vos told me, that is not this project's strength.
Personally I feel that I have also half assed it, with cliches and tropes that people are probably tired of.
That is where another limit came in; my imagination or a lack of it.
But I could also not make this some 'epic story-line', because of the other limits but also because I never wanted to emulate Bioware or Bethesda's writers.
Technically not a sewer level but I get your criticism. ReformedJoe also mentioned that he did not like that level either and I apologize for having included it in the level design as I know sewer levels in a FPS are a damn cliche.
But we had to have some way to connect the water treatment plant with the Dome and the scrapyard. Especially the Dome as there were some issues with creating a path leading directly to it.
Perhaps you have played Duke Nukem 3D Duke it out in DC?
In it the Senate building in one of the levels could also not be directly approached as recreating the building's exterior would become too big in order to match the interior design/level layout.
So this design approach was used to get around this possible consistency issue.
Don't worry about it. Nobody gets paid to do this. Do it when you are able. You need enthusiasm to do this stuff otherwise it is lifeless/has no spirit.
As for the design on the mod....
The writing can't be any more detailed than that really. Just look at Strife. You did your job.
As for the gameplay everyone that has played it so far has said how impressive it is. Any limitation it has is due to the engine and resources and time - not lack of talent.
Majority of Doom mods have no story. Making something more elaborate could alienate the Doom playerbase.
I really can't rate the main story currently. Many questions were asked, I'll have to see how you answer them.
Ghosts, the Blooming, the Empire, Mutant Leader's plans, the Philadelphia submarine, New Guard and it's goals, significance of the Zeus AI, Athena's plans, pit fiends existing before the apocalypse, Scav possibly being a lab experiment.
Side stories and dialogues went far beyond the bare minimum. I could talk to every side in Prosperity and hear their reasoning. Each major NPC had a distinct character. I was rewarded for paying attention in dialogues (haggling at Michonne or trading with Lenny for example).
Upgrade system. I would make different upgrades have different costs. Currently you could spend 300 scrap to turn a 1 shot musket into a 3 shot sniper rifle with a charged shot capable of killing the final boss with less than 25 shots. Or you could spend the same amount of scrap to add a laser pointer and a short burst to your 9mm pistol.
It's understandable and it's not even bad. It's just every other map that is great with amazing set pieces and this one is "just there". Though I liked the chlorine leak part.
Sounds like a good idea to publish your article at the same date as that patch you mentioned.
I'm curious to know more about the reasoning for this. Is it not considered a strength because of technical limitations? Or not the artistic focus?
Personally, I would love to see more Doom conversions that use dialogue as much or more than Ashes, in the vein of Strife I guess. Especially since the commercial market doesn't do many FPSRPG hybrids (that are actually about roleplaying, not stat growth).
Indeed, this is one of the design limitations I was talking about.
Sure you could add walls and walls of text like I had sometimes suggested as I am a story nut and really wanted to emulate Fallout's conversations.
But as Vostyok also told me, it would result in players doing more reading than actually playing.
And Doom does not have standard any stat system that can affect conversations or other potential non combat skills. These would have to be 'glued' (crude description) onto the code.
The question then remains is, is this something this project should have.
We do have answers for these, Vostyok and I, none of that mystery box bullshit people like Abrams do (inventing a question or mystery without an answer, or pretend that is way to deep or complex to explain).
But I myself am worried if the answers will be satisfying after building it all up in Episode 2.
I am glad to hear that, that you went through all the side content and read all the dialogue, as I really wanted to build up the world and make it feel like something that functions and has a logic behind it.
I also did not want to make situations very clear cut like Fallout has done in the past, revealing that some situations are much more complex than they initially seem to be on first glance. The situation in Prosperity for example.
When I made up the Water Baron, I proposed him to Vostyok as this absolute, perhaps nearly totalitarian, leader who happens to be absolutely right. He really is the only one who can manage the operation he has set up himself.
And he actually has a long term plan for the settlement and its people that will improve things.
Haggling was something Vostyok inserted.
The idea was always to reward the player for paying attention and think about what choice or decision they make. Wish it had also been responsible to do different 'awards' or solutions for alternative choices instead of "Sucks for you, you don't get something now."
Unfortunate this is where some players ran afoul or into trouble. Perhaps because the dialogue was perhaps secondary to them and they did not want to spend too much time on it
One problem some players ran into involves the Roamers. As they are bandits and use the generic bandit sprites, and because they are a problem for Prosperity, people assume that killing all the Roamers should only lead to a good ending.
Them actually discovering that it leads to a bad ending (killing the Roamers drawing in the mutants) was a rather unpleasant surprise for them as they felt that they were not informed about this.
They only get to hear this when they actually get the quest from the Water Baron that he just wants the Roamers to be 'defanged' but not killed. For practical reasons (they would make a nice barrier to the mutants should they return), but also because the Baron is pretty sick of the continuous killing (yes, even if Garavito and his gang despite having an ideology are bandits)
Why bombing their supplies would not lead to the mutants returning but killing the bandits does was another topic, and I do feel that part of why this quest may feel flawed is because I had not thought too much about it until the quest was actually being made.
I just had this idea of "What if there is a situation in which killing the obvious bad guys does not lead to an ideal ending?"
I had something similar planned for Junction, the cut hub, involving a group of bikers who were troubling the place and the people. But they also happened to be the closest thing to an actual militia that keeps out rival gangs and mutants as their leader understands that robbing everyone continuously drives away all traders. Sometimes it was better just to ask for protection money or leave a trader alone.
Back to the Water Baron. Someone felt that the situation involving the Water Baron would have worked much better if it had been that the Water Baron kept a large supply of water for himself and Up Town, traded most of the rest for weapons, ammo, luxuries, etc. And just gave enough water to the rest of the townspeople so they could barely survive.
That the Water Baron really was the tyrant some of the towns people make him out to be.
I found that personally not very interesting and too simplistic. Help free the towns people from the evil tyrant and wealth and better living conditions follow automatically.
I can see your point on this (perhaps making upgrading starting weapons cheaper, to make it more tempting to spend scrap you would otherwise save up on these) and I could bring it up to Vostyok.
But I think at this point not much will be changed or added any more.
I myself had an idea for an alternative ending for the Roamers that will most likely also not make it in.
If the player helped the Roamers take over Prosperity and clear the place out, it would help the Roamers to continue to grow in strength and numbers.
Eventually they would grow so strong that they would clear out all the roads in the South East, forcing all other bandit gangs to become their vassals or be wiped out, and exterminating all the remaining mutants.
As a result trade between settlements would flourish as travel is now a lot safer, but the Roamers would demand taxes for the use of 'their roads'.
That was something Vostyok had been walking around with for a while. He really wanted to find a place to implement this idea.
It would nearly have been postponed to Episode 3.
Jabberwok, I will respond to your question later when my mind is a bit more clear.
About Prosperity and the Roamers in my first playthrough (1.02):
For me because I always talk to everyone first before doing quests, the sheriff already gave me a hint about why they don't just go wipe out the Roamers. So when I approach them, I try to be peaceful as much as possible (also they don't shoot you on sight, that's good enough for me to hold my fire). I like your "golden ending" for the Roamers, actually I did feel kinda sad that I have to kill Garavito when leaving the zone when siding with the Water Baron (which now is the only best ending for the zone). That ending reminds me of helping the Diamondback Militia in Wasteland 2.
You can now read the full text here: https://nma-fallout.com/threads/ashes-2063-afterglow-version-v-1-06-has-been-released.220871/
Please do since it's a great read!