I have very slowly been working on the first few rooms in the station. Made a cog for bubbles, and a whole bunch of rusty .mats. Not much else.
I think I have some of the story in place. You will be Daare Favre again, this time trying to reach a research station before the Imperials do. Your ship was badly damaged and you crash land on the planet. Hopefully you reach the station before the Imperials do. So I spent most of the last couple of days making animated fires for the ship's crash site. Looks pretty cool. Added some stormtroopers to kill as well, I mean what kind of level would it be without that?
Well I started a level and I think if I can get it finished in time I will enter it in the contest. That's a pretty big if. If I do, I certainly won't be much competition to many of the masters, but this should be alot of fun. I would like it to be the first of another set of levels, but I am searching for a story to set it in. So I started by making some nice dark blue rock MATs and some swamp reeds. I have an outside area, and 2 rooms inside, but they all need more detail. The first puzzle is in place, but so very far to go.
I started the task of quick introductions to each level. Camera moves are a bit less fun than I thought. At any rate the first two level intros are (sort of) done. Only a bakers dozen left to do. Also I finally got the intro Smacker movie to work. It sucks though, that most people will have to watch it in a little windoh now.
It's been 4 months of nothing, I guess it's time to finish this good, bad or ugly. I realized I now had to change the opening smk file because I had changed the name, plus I made a cool-looking ice planet to pan down on. And because I had migrated to a newer computer I had to find the right smacker file, which I was sure I had backed up (which I had not), and deleted, only a few days before on my old computer. I finally have the right version of smacker, but it won't run on this computer <sigh>. Tomorrow I will transfer what I need between the 2 computers and hopefully get started on some dialogue to explain just what the heck you are doing.
After looking through the files, I realized I have alot more here than I thought. Level 1 is almost done, needs a pile of cogging, but that's pretty much it. Level 2 is started. Level 3 is about half done. So at this point to convert it to JKE would be ... basically starting over, so this campaign will be regular JK as well. Maybe the next one. I'm thinking I will keep it to about 5 levels or so, but we'll see...
I wanted to start another project, although someting smaller. I had a few sectors started and an idea. I guess that's enough.
Today I worked on the final cutscene. Then I tried playing a few levels just too make sure everything was working, and it was not, for some reason you could not goto level 13. I find myself asking why is there no cogverb "getgoalflags"?? Anyway after solving a few more problems, I think I am done. So who's ready to test this?
Today I started working on this after about 3 weeks off. I am finishing some of the little left over bits, but like anything, the more I fix, the more I see that needs fixing. Of my initial list there are 2 things left, but I keep finding new things (like how could I have forgot to make goal cogs for the last 5 levels?). Hoping I will be ready for beta testing in the next few days. Good season for beta testers eh?
I haven't done alot in the last couple of weeks. I suppose that is to be expected in this season, although I am in better humor this year (for some strange reason). But I have recently thought: "This is a game in the Star Wars universe, the title isn't very Star War-sie". So I pondered, and I thought. And after about a good weeks worth of head scratching I came up with something that is Star Wars like and I feel is a good title for this story. I have about 10 smaller things I need to do before the levels are done, and then 1 rather large task. Though I doubt that I will do much till next year. Have a great holiday season ... and stay on the path!
Surprizingly, I had alot of fun making the architecture for this level. It is simply the best I have made so far. I put some thought and work into it and I think it shows. So unlike most of the levels where I generally populate and cog as I go, this one I just did architecture. And I feel the level is done as far as look. It is part inside temple and four outside areas with the wonderful green clouds and the rain, lightning and thunder. The inside parts also look pretty good, I think, lots of arches. So now to populate. That shouldn't take too long, then to fix stuff. Level 4 needs 3 lines of dialogue. Level 8 needs some work with sounds. Level 9 has a few left over texture and surface issues. Level 11 needs some work to the startup cog as you can enter this level from 2 different levels and thusly 2 different start points. Ect., ect. Then soon testing ...
I had been progressing quite quickly through the last few levels, but I seem to have hit a bit of a plateau. I was almost finished level 13 but I was having a hard time finishing the few things left. It was simply a blah level, hardly worthy of being the almost last level. I realized it needed some ambience and looked through the hub and massassi for ideas. I grabbed a couple of fog cogs, a lightning one and a rain cog. Thought the fog would be cool ... hated the fog. Tried the lightning, it just didn't look right. And the rain seemed like a letdown. So I downloaded the spritemaker and made my first sprites. I tweaked the rain till I was generally happy with it (I would like more but I am worried I will run out of <things>). Then I beefed up the lightning and got some great thunder sounds off of the internet. I had to play with it a bit more (they really did not like my terrain 3do!) before I was happy. Then I realized it was thundering in some of the underground tunnels. I used a trick I learned making level 5 to get rid of that. Then I wanted the random flashes of light like at the end of MOTS. So I looked through the cog and found the workhorse verb is worldflash(). Hmmm wish we had that in JK. I figured I would just try giving a bright light off from the player via setthinglight() and it works (mostly, it stuck on once, but I think I know how to solve that). Now level 13 looks and feels like a second to last level should. I still have to add things for the med and hard difficulties. I have started on Level 14. I have the very beginning (basically 4 rooms from level 13) and the very end, a plateau looking onto a swamp with a big tree and a huge ship sitting in it. This is where you will fight Karro. I am formulating a few ideas for the middle. As I have said there is still a large list of little things I keep thinking I will get back to ... soon
Just a quick little blurb here. Almost done level 13. Basically just the a few more hours work. Been just doing a little bit each night as I have been fairly busy lately. Level 13 has one very cool puzzle in it and I think overall will be very challenging (for some frustrating?). Time to start tidying up all those things that need fixing that I have left (there are a lot). Level 14 is still in the proto stages. And Shhh there is a secret.
I found my muse (temporarily) for level 13. I scrapped the pitiful few sectors that I had started with and built a big canyon that I wanted to put in some interesting terrain. Because I am still working with un-JK, I thought making the terrain with sectors might create too many problems, so I made a big 3do. But there are problems with this as well ... I will have to decide if I wish to continue with 3do's or not before I go much further. Oh by the way, level 12 is finished.
I knew I wanted level 12 to be a small gas mining rig, and after I started on the architecture I got a couple of good ideas to incorperate. I got an idea about a random wind gust cog, and after a few interesting problems got it to work. The main cog for level 12 though, is a scavenger hunt. After reading about the random code generator, I thought that is very cool, and thought about including something like that in my level. I quickly decided I wanted to create items placed randomly around the level that the player would collect. So it ended up being 3 pieces of code and after some playing with it, it works great. I just have a few embellishments I wish to include but for the most part the code and the general architecture for the level is done. This is the part that takes the longest, creating the details, and just putting stuff in the level. I am slowly crawling towards the finish.
I was trying to tweak the dark jedi cogs, but the more I played with them the worse they worked! So they are pretty much the unaltered cogs. I did put a little more effort into trying to put details into the architecture. But the level is pretty much done. I have also started work on level 12, but the nice tank I made and inserted into the level is creating HOM (and I wanted to add 3 or 4 more ;( ) so I will have to come up with a more simple design or something else. I do have a good concept for the goals of this level and now level 10 is complete I will start dedicating my time to building the cogs for level 12. I finally fixed many of the BMs I started making. There are still a couple of issues to fix but the new look is good. I tried to get a couple of screen shots but my capture device can't seem to "see" them. Pity.
Level 11 is nearing completion. I am slowly crossing off all the little things I need to fix or am unhappy with. I think this will be a cool level, as there will be some other lightsaber using enemies ( plus it is an outdoor level with some temples and catacombs and such). Although some people may have some issues with lag as it is a big area (especially when heading back to the center). Still not bad for the old non-upgraded JK. Found out something interesting though, JK will not allow more than 16 saber wielding things in a level. Level 10 is not going as well, I think because I am not as inspired with it, but I think it is about halfway done. Really I just have to make some pups for the duel at the end and that one should start to come together as well.
For almost 2 weeks level 11 has been crashing. I knew I just had to be patient and start going backwards. It was frustrating but 2 things popped up. The first was, the sector you start in had been flagged as underwater. The one more difficult to find, and probably the true source of the problem, was an extra s on the end of a template. After I found and removed the problem it only took a few hours to flesh out the basic level and major cogs. Now to add enemies and more stuff!
Unless I find any new fixes I am done up to level 9 now. I have a few rooms for level 10 and about 10 rooms and 2 outside areas for level 11. I like the trees. Not sure if I like the yellow though. Still such a long way to go ...
Well the new mats really screwed up level 2, what a pile of work. Then I started seeing other problems. So I hope I am done with level 2 but we'll see. Just need a few more dialogue wavs and Level 4 will be done! I finally got around to working on level 6. The new Kyle template is a huge pain. Lucasgames must have made sure all thier models couldn't be re-textured, because everytime I try, I get single colors for the whole face, so frustrating. I am calling it done, because I have it as good as it is going to get. Lots of little cog fixes, a bit of architecture. I added 2 more secrets. I started working on a little crab creature. I really like the way it looks, I like the pups for it, but it is still sitting too high! Just need to do a bit more polishing and level 6 will be done as well. Finishing the architecture in the final third of level 9. I made this really cool electrical thing, but it has so many sectors I may not be able to add much more.
I am almost finished level 9. I think I just have to add a cog for a secret, the end cog and some extra things for med and hard levels. I started working on another level, with a some trains to take you to different parts of the city. For the time being I am calling it level 11, but it is not what I had envisioned, so I'm not sure I will keep it. The architecture is simple because you can see alot of the city at once, and I don't want any HOM. The trains are pretty cool, but I will have to fix it a bit and texture it better. No progress on any other levels, I guess I will have to try and finish the few things left in level 4,6,7 and 9. And a bunch of big things for level 8 and 10. Then I will decide if I am keeping the trams for level 11.
I left this for a while again. I opened it up and just thought this is ridiculous most of these levels could be finished. So I opened and slowly fixed the crab creature for level 6. It is done. Then today I fixed the same creature for level 7 and the shark. This only took a few hours! I have to change a couple of sounds for level 7 and this level is done! There are 3 voice things for level 4 and it will be done also! Level 8 needed the most work to get it rolling, but as usual, once I started I really started getting motivated. There was lots of cogs to write, but as usual the major problems were stupid mistakes (like forgetting a semi-colon at the end of a line!). The only difficult part was a big ship, that once I started editing it, it stopped appearing in the level (But not Zed). My best guess as to what fixed it, was fixing allot of wierd surfaces and a lot of left over vertices. Level 8 is done now as well, and Level 9 is quite close. I think I am getting close to another teaser. After alot of thought I don't think I will use the tram level for Karro. So back to the start for level 11. I have some good ideas for the levels I haven't started yet though ...
I have been kinda busy with that annoyance called work, and have shirked my Jedi editing duties for a couple of weeks. Of course that guys arbitrary birthday, that everyone feels compelled to buy things they don't need, for people they don't like, at Walmart, has not made things easy either. At any rate I have been working on another creature. A small (well smaller than you) crab. The attributes for actors are not meant for things that are as tall as they are wide. I am still not totaly happy with it, but I kinda feel if I don't move on I will be stuck at this point. I have whittled my list of fix-its on level 6 to about 7. Most of them not terribly difficult but I wanted to finish this creature first. I have some days off coming soon, and hopefully I will be able to take advantage of them, by getting this level FINISHED! BAH HUMBUG!
I have been building some new levels and experimenting, but on other projects, and unfortunately have been dragging my feet on this stuff. I finally decided to play level 1 and it was then I finally decided to update the mats in level 1. I also quickly recessed all the buttons in the level as well. This meant also re-attaching the surfaces to the cogs, a real pain but everything is better. I also discovered a flaw in the design, I had to re-write a cog to make the level work (if you don't read my walkthrough and play it the WRONG way) . I will have to play level 2 & 3 again, but I did play level 4 because I wanted to see what really needed to be done. So I found tons of little things I wanted to fix, and I added a easter egg which I had planned but almost gave up on. I mainly worked on the lighting, I think I am getting better at it. I also convinced my wife to do a bit of dialogue for me and added it in right away. I also got my daughter and son to do some voices as well and now only need a few more. I need one female voice and 2 male voices, but I know I should have no problem getting those. I quickly checked and fixed a few cogs that were still problematic. It took a day or so for me to figure out how to fix one cog, I really had to think about it (the fountain was still making water noises after it blew up!). So really level 4 just needs those voices, and it is DONE! I did a alot of small things to level 5. Finally impemented a cog/trap that forces you to go the 'right' way. Added a couple of new rooms. Worked on the Ant creature, I wasn't really happy with it, but I think I have it working better now. Fixed the some of the darkest areas, but just putting cleaves in so the light will actually illuminate these dark areas. One cog I am very proud of (which won't even be noticed) is a random crow caw in level 5. Every once in a while I wanted a lonesome crow sound, just to make the place more desolate, BUT there are many tunnels where you shouldn't hear any crows. So I made a cheecky little trick. I used one of the unused flags in each sector to denote whether the crow should caw or not. That's the thing about a good cogging I guess, is you shouldn't even notice it's working. I have been adding quite a bit more detail and more enemies. I think I am finally done level 5. Level 6 is just waiting for the same treatment as 5, tons of little things; a new Kyle template (which is almost done), fixing/fine tuning cogs, a new turret thing, lighting, more enemies and pick ups, a bit more architecture ect. Did a bit more work on level 9, I am about 2/3 done the architecture. Really I have not accomplished alot. But again it is progressing just really slowly.
I have done my run through of the levels again and am quite happy. I made a list of about 50 things to fix and have completed about 90% of them. Unless sexy_lexy discovers some gaping hole of a problem, I think levels 1-3 are done. Level 4 has a couple of issues, 2 cogs that still aren't working quite right, and the dreaded lighting. Lighting is such a strange thing, because I find on my laptop's LCD screen everything is almost always visible. On my other computer's RGB monitor everything is always SO dark. I am trying to find a compromise, so you can at least see some stuff on a monitor. And still the voice acting, I will have to start this soon. Level 5 needs a couple of COG tweaks, and I have created another creature for this level, which also needs a bit of tweaking. Level 6 also needs some COG tweaks and another creature and a small modification to the player skin. Level 7 has come along nicely it is short but fairly difficult. It is also quite pretty, I am very happy with the work I did on the MATs for this level. Level 8 is still about the same, but I got this cool idea for the central puzzle. Plus I wasn't sure about a particular jump, it is absolutely rediculous, but it is possible, after about 10 tries (maybe you can do it better than me). After taking a bit of a break (and looking over the other editors levels) Level 9 is starting to take shape I am starting to make pipes (every one loves pipes!). My biggest problem is doing it without creating HOM (still using JK basic). Level 10 is working again, but I know it needs alot of work. So for now I will try to concentrate on finishing levels 4-7, they are all quite close.
I got deathly sick for 2 weeks, then I went on vacation and just lost interest in the project, and thusly never posted the last blog. Till now. I had been working on the pipes that everyone seems to love so much for level 9. And I just picked up where I left off. I completed some rooms near the beginning of the level and most of the first machine room was completed. There are some issues with HOM in this area, but I would have to undo parts to make it work better and right now I don't want to. There are just too many adjoins for plain JK, I put up walls to limit the amount of pipes you see at a time, but there are still a few bad places. I started work on the second machine room and am almost done. There are a lot of sectors so I hope I can finish this level with out having to scale it back. I added a secret room to lv 7. Extended a tunnel in lv 8. I was thinking I did more work than that, oh yeah it was on a different project. Yeah I havent done anything much, but at least I'm doing something.
Just a quick note about my progress. I have asked someone to test level 2 & 3. I have gotten a bit of feedback from them, I am trying to implement a few suggested changes, but for the most part I think those levels are done. Although I finally got better snow MATS and am debating if I should change the MATs for the rock as well, hmmm . I have gotten as far as I can with level 4, I think all that needs to be done is all the voice acting, but there is quite a bit of it. I will have to start recording voices, but I have been just too lazy. Level 5 hasn't changed much, just one cool cog idea I finally implemented. There is very little I feel I have to change yet. Level 6 is the one that really went from 0 to 60. It went from about less than half to almost done. I have a few more COGs mostly setting goals, and a trap that I have been putting off (I'm not sure why really). Add some difficulty and it will be done! So about another weeks work or so. I like this level so much I'm starting to think I will have to make it a bigger part of the plot. I have also fleshed out the story and fixed the episode.jkl, so aside from changing a little bit about level 6 I think it is close to being done . Level 7 is really starting to look like something. I just started making new MATs and soon I started to get some ideas. Not all of them work but enough are that I have been building it a little bit. Level 8 is about the same, which was about 100 sectors or so, of course I am getting better ideas for it. Level 9 was actually the jkl for level 10 and although I haven't done anything there either, I feel it fits in better with the story. Level 10 has about 1/3 of the architecture is started and works ok but I see I have quite a bit of pup work coming with that level. Level 11 was what I had for level 9 but really it's just a bunch of rooms I connected for testing, and just something I should probably get rid of and start from scratch. No jkls for level 12,13 or 14, but I have an idea of what they will be. So although I sometimes just work where ever I feel like it, I hope to complete the voice acting for level 4, some touch-ups and add some difficulty for level 5, same thing for level 6, in the next few weeks. Maybe before Christmas, maybe.
OK just a quick note. I have been slowly plugging away on the first few levels and am very close to a beta release. Level 2 only needs a few voice actor lines, and a fix for my worm actor. The worm, may be a bit beyond my skill to fix. I mean it does in a very general way do what I want it to do. But it's movements are very clunky and fake looking (and it's not just my terrible pup files). I will continue to throw ideas at it for a while. Level Three I believe is done except for some voice actor lines. Level Four I actually ran out of room and have had to scale back a couple of things. Nothing major, the game play itself isn't affected. I had to make about 15 new pedestrians and the mats, and that took a little while. There are about 10 little polishing things. Like checking and fixing some cogs (they work most of the time, HA!). And a whole lot of voice acting. I did about 30 mins work on LV 6 and rearraged the episode list. Most of my work has been on Level 2 and 4. I'm hoping to upload LV 2 & 3 soon, and debating on entering LV 4 into the SP contest. My architecture skills are getting better but nowhere near the level of some of those fantastic IOG pics. But because of it's gameplay style it may have a chance. I guess I have to finish it first.
I usually feel guilty for leaving things for a such a long time (like a year), but I feel I had some valid reasons for setting this aside. So to refresh myself with where the levels were, I just played the levels as far as I could, to see what things really had to be done. I always hate dealing in absolutes, but I think LEVEL ONE is done! I did alot of minor fixing, I finally added the Stormtroopers along the canyon walls. A big fix was to the episode template and the end cog. Hopefully now you'll have force powers after level 1 and be able to use your blaster. Also your star for finding all the secret levels should show up. I have taken stock of LEVEL TWO and the first third of the level is complete. The last third needs one new actor which I have had little luck making work and now am just putting off finishing it. So close and yet so far. LEVEL THREE is almost there. Mostly a matter of making some new voice lines, and adding goals, a few easy COGs. LEVEL FOUR is getting sorta close as well, although I need to add many people and new actors. I have to say this level is fairly complex, and was a challenge to put together. For most of my levels I had maybe 10-20 lines of notes, Level Four had about a hundred. Many little COGs. As far as game play goes all the cogs are in place and the architecture is done, it just needs testing. I did have a major problem with this level though, but I finally solved it a few days ago. LEVEL FIVE is mostly complete, the gameplay is finished. I just have to do some polishing. LEVEL SIX is probably close to about half way, but I think I ran out of ideas to complete this level. I will have to look for inspiration. LEVEL SEVEN in little more than a box. LEVEL EIGHT is starting to look like something but has probably less than 100 sectors. LEVEL NINE has some rooms I have joined together, but is mostly for testing my actors for now. LEVEL TEN is about the same as level eight; looks like something but less than 100 sectors. And that's where I have left it for now. I think if I can get some new actors to work for level two everything else will follow. So I will wait just a bit, to see if I can get my actor for level two to work. If I can then I will try and upload the first three levels, if not I will try and get the finished level one up.
Ok I haven't done any work on level one for probably a year, so if there are to be any changes I need a kick in the rear. So I have assumed the position, closed my eyes, clenched my teeth, and uploaded a teaser/tester of level one. Comments welcome. I know there will be some negitive ones, but I'm hoping for a few positive ones as well ;) (and if that ain't fishing, well ... )
I have been chipping away at several levels, bringing each one closer to being done, but have found I'm stuck when it comes to new actors. I have the same newbie problem of floating creatures and I can't seem to find info in the archives that helps. So if there is some one who is interested in helping me make a few new actors I would really appreciate it! Until then I can only say: Level 1 is complete and ready for testing. Level 2 needs 3 new creatures before I will call it done. Level 3 (a makeup level if you fail level 2) is very close (99.8%). Level 4 is getting there about (45% or so). Level 5 (another makeup level if you fail lv 4) is about 90%. And 6&7 are just rough ideas yet. Still experimemnting with BM's. And would like to take a crack at my own SMK's. I definately have the plot in my head but am still working on the details.
I will post more soon.
I sorta gave up there for awhile because I was constantly running into convex sectors, HOM and other problems. I'm still not sure if it was my trigger mouse fingers or just bad sectors, but I started again about a week ago (thanks to a little nudge from a peer), and things are developing well. Level 1 is pretty much done it just needs a bit of tweaking. Level 2 is near done about 3/4 of the architecture is done. Most of the cogs. I am having some trouble with the templates though, I am going to experiment with removing many of the ones I don't need. Then the real challenge. I feel this level needs some new enemies, but it looks like quite an involved process. I'm not daunted by this, I just think this may take some time.
Here's some more shots for now.
Another quick note: I just bought a laptop pre-installed with Vista. Hardly any programs I had worked on it. Goodbye Vista! But this has definately enabled me to work more on my levels. Sadly I hadn't tested the second level on this old guy here (a p4 runninng w98) and there are some more problems ;( . There is a huge smoke particle cog for a volcano that kills any speed for older computers. I will try to fix this as best as I can.
Well I believe I have finished the bulk of this level. I'm just fixing/creating a few little bits for the end of the level. Still not happy with the lighting, and want to redo a couple of MATs. I had a crazy dream a few weeks ago and from that I created a storyline for this. Although you only hear his name mentioned in this level Dr. Enzar Karro IS insane! More on that later. I hope to have something downloadable soon.
Learning as I go along. Finally getting some mats that don't hurt my eyes. Lighting's still not that great. I finished and debugged big cog (for me, whew) where you take a ride in an ATAT. How many times have I forgotten a semi-colon? ARGGG! I think I am about halfway done this level. maybe ...
I guess I have been at this about a month, cause when I checked the date on the first back up file it was Dec 5 2006(but really in between work ect. maybe a good solid 5 days). I really liked the game (JK) and really wanted to make my own level. I know not a truly inspirational tale, but the truth none the less. I have finished the rooms for the first half of level 1, have most of the .cogs and .3d0s. I really need to make new .mats and fix the horrible lighting. I have one thing to mention, the first room is the default sector in JED. I thought about fixing it and making it actually something kinda cool, then realized it was a statement of a sort. That first room really was the first room!! I hope no-one will hold that against the level (I know I will get a verbal beating for that), I do think it improves as you go along. Not much more to post until I get a little further.