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Old 05-13-2003, 09:04 PM   #1
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Colosseum level beta

<edit>
Beta testing is now over. I'll post again if I need any more help. Thought I'd put this at the top just in case anyone new came to this thread.

-clu
</edit>

Hey people

Just looking for a few brave volunteers to beta test a level from my SP campaign "Colosseum". It's a bit large (60 megs...) so I'll understand if bandwidth is a problem. If you're interested, email me back at jakekeating@hotmail.com

Once I get enough people I'll post the level on my site and email instructions, etc. It's the last level from the campaign (I kind of work backwards) but I just want to see what people like (and dislike) about it.

You can get an idea of the level by clicking on my signature below.

Email me back if you're interested.

-clu


Last edited by clu; 05-21-2003 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:59 PM   #2
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I just got a few emails and I thought I'd post back here to answer some questions. This is actually my first map/mod/whatever, so bear with me:

1) What's required:
It's a single-player (not MP) map so I just need people to play through the story and let me know if it's fun or boring and if there are any suggestions for improvement (both technical and aesthetic). It only takes about 10-15 minutes to play through.

2) Usage of custom assets:
It's a level that uses a bunch of custom models/skins/textures/mods and if people want to use any of the assets for their own creations (maps or whatever) that's fine, just wait till I officially release the level and email me for permission. I'll eventually release all the stuff (on jkiifiles or wherever) when I'm done testing.

3) Combat settings:
The map forces the player to only use only a sword and no force powers (it takes place in ancient Rome) so obviously I'd like the tester to play through with these settings and not use cheats or blasters or whatever.

4) Beta status: it's just one out of probably three levels I'll create, so I guess it's more like a "beta demo". As I finish more levels I'll do more beta tests of each.

Anyway, I'll probably only need about 6 or so people to test, so if you're game, email back at the address above (or post here)

Thanks!

-clu

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Old 05-17-2003, 08:39 PM   #3
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I just finished Beta Testing this demo and I would like to say a few things: This mod rocks!!!, The models are well done, The map is great, and the AI are hard (which makes the game even more enjoyable). I liked the Gladiator sword very much, and I like the weapons the enemies had (though the pike Gladiator was pain to kill).

*the following is for CLU*

1. Q:What did you think of the trivia and historical information? Did
it contribute or detract from the appeal of the level?

A: I liked the historical notes very much, I think it contributes to the game, because its makes exploring alot more fun.

2. Q: Do you feel you know a little more about Roman history after
playing the level?

A: I knew alot about Roman History before I played this Mod, but there were a few things that I didn't know, but neverthless I thought the historical notes were a great additon.


3. Q: What was your favorite and least enjoyable part(s) of the level?

A: My favorite parts was near the end when you fought all those Roman Legionnarres, and I also like the end cutscene, which is very amusing, but my least liked part was when trying to kill the Gladiator with the huge pike or trident, I thought he was a pain to kill, though he was fun to fight.

4. Q: What would you change or add to make the level a more enjoyable
experience?

A: I would allow the player to use not just the Legionarre sword, but the trident, and the curved sword aswell, and I would change the mark a sword makes when it hits a wall, to a dark color then it is currently or just keep like it was when a lightsaber hits a wall, and the brightness level in the arena I think should be lowered a little, and I think the lift which leads you to the Trident Gladiator shouldn't lower in the arena unless you are on it.

5. Q: Were there any parts of the level that were unclear? Any
problems?

A: When I killed the first Gladiator, and went down the elevator, and saw the Gladiator with the trident behind the door, I went towards the door, and I tryed to chop him up even though he was behind the door, but I hurt him even though he is behind the door, and he didn't fight back, I think you should make the Trident warrior stand back a little from the door. And when I was fighting the trident gladiator and the lift was up at arena level I went to go get the Loaf of Bread (which by the way is a bacta tank), I stepped of the lift and the trident gladiator followed me and I tryed to kill him, and I spared his life, he just stood still and I couldn't move at all, I could look but not walk, but when I killed him on the lift he ran to the basement.

I played the game through a few times, I'll post again if I find anymore errors or If I have a suggestion, thanks again for letting me Beta Test
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Old 05-17-2003, 09:01 PM   #4
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Hey awesome, thanks Lord G. Your comments are right on and some of them I have actually been working on.

Quote:
I would allow the player to use not just the Legionarre sword, but the trident, and the curved sword as well
This is a tough one but I am looking for a workaround to the restricted saber use per character in SP.

Quote:

the brightness level in the arena I think should be lowered a little
Agreed. Still trying to master sky shaders and lighting.

Quote:

I spared his life, he just stood still and I couldn't move at all, I could look but not walk, but when I killed him on the lift he ran to the basement.
I'm glad you got this bug too. I have to work on waypoints and navgoals a bit more. Sometimes he doesn't see the navgoal and doesn't know where to run.

If you have a sec, I have one other question...since you already know a bit about Roman history. What would you have loved to see? I know when I saw "Gladiator" I got all kinds of ideas (chariot races, crossbows, trap doors with lions, fighting the emperor, etc.). Regardless of the limitations of JKII, what would be your wish list? Just looking for ideas and feedback.

Thanks again for taking the time to play through Lord G. It's much appreciated.

-clu

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Old 05-18-2003, 03:00 AM   #5
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I have few suggestions for the mod, First off, I think the Roman Legionnares when you fight the first gladiator, should respond when you try and kill them why they are standing guard, second, I think if you can make the Gladius sword be thrown vertically instead of horizantly (e.g. When Maximus, from the gladiator, threw his sword during his attempted exucation, and he hit that one guy), and when the thrown sword hits the person or wall or thing, it should drop to the ground, and in order to pick it up you have to go over where you threw it at (NOTE: I have never modded or done any editing except a few maps, which stink, I do not know if suggestion number 2 is possible or not, I just think it sounds cool), third, just before you go to battle you should choose what weapon you want use, such as the curved sword, Gladius sword, or the Pike, four, I think it would be cool if the Legionarres could have full body shields when they are on guard, fifth, some roman soldiers carried slings, but I think that is next to impossible to make that weapon in JO, sixth, it would be cool if you could get a crossbow, I think that would be a little more easier, but I don't believe they had crossbows in 107 AD, but I could be wrong, last but not least, I think they're should be a torch as a weapon, only making the end the most damaging part of the weapon, but the fire at the end of the torch would be very damaging, so their would be some advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 05-19-2003, 06:43 AM   #6
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Lord G, thanks again for the additional feedback (sorry for the late reply). Some of those things might not be possible with JO, but I like to hear about "wish lists" even if they can't be implemented till later (Jedi Academy perhaps?). Anyway thanks again for all the great help!

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Old 05-19-2003, 06:44 AM   #7
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Lassev just emailed me a great huge beta report and although I'm not going to post the whole thing here (well, maybe I will later...I'll ask him), I'll post my reply to his comments since there seems to be some agreement among likes and dislikes among the testers. Just want to share all the info:

BTW, lassev and Lord G gave me really thourough and useful feedback. I highly recommend both of these guys to be involved in any beta project.

Here are my responses to some of lassev's comments:
----------------------------------------------------------------
Areaportals - yeah, I checked out the triangles a few weeks ago and it's ugly! A couple of well-placed area portals are in the cards for the final release. Just got to figure out how to do them.

Sand - Aesthetically, the emptyness of the sand always bugged me. I'm definitely going to take your advice.

Locking the player - I'm still trying to juggle when is the right time to lock the player and when to do a cinematic. I love games like "Medal of Honor" where the cutscenes are integrated right into the action. Definitely a personal preference though as you said. I think I may need to investigate other options though.

Too easy in the end - Agreed! I love having allies fight by your side but they tend to do all the work. Gotta look into that part.

White Wall marks - it's weird, I don't get this on my machine (no marks at all actually, just sparks). I have to check it out. Lord Glorfindel mentioned it as well.

Elevator jump - I'm going to change it so it waits to go down till you're on it. Lord Glorfindel mentioned this too.

Killing the owner (monmothma) - that's our pesky little saber problem. Remember when we were trying to figure out how to take the saber away from the player at a certain point? Anyway still struggling. I'm sure when one of us figures it out we'll resurrect that old thread.

Basement tunnels fight - I wanted to put in a couple locked gates and a key when you battle the soldiers downstairs. We're definitely on the same wavelength there.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks again, lassev!

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Old 05-20-2003, 12:59 PM   #8
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Beta Report 1
Kengo
20/05/03

1. Q:What did you think of the trivia and historical information? Did
it contribute or detract from the appeal of the level?

Yeh, I loved it. I was an archaeology student though at A-level so I am biased towards a love of history The way you can find out info if you wish but are not forced to, this is great. It reminded me a little of those old point and click games where you can press on certain items and info will appear about them. All that historical info cetainly added to the depth of the whole thing.

2. Q: Do you feel you know a little more about Roman history after
playing the level?

Most definately, we never covered this interesting area of Roman life much, very enjoyable!

3. Q: What was your favorite and least enjoyable part(s) of the level?

Thats a tough one. I guess the end fight and escape was my favourite part. The other fights were all excellent, stepping out into the arena the first time was certainly something. The Retarius was for me the toughest opponent, before I noticed all the bread around I had a hard time beating him. The running past Roman guards section was a great change of pace, I enjoyed that too, though it was a little easy to avoid them all together.

4. Q: What would you change or add to make the level a more enjoyable experience? What is your "Wish List" of features or gameplay?

I would perhaps extend it some. I am not a big ladder fan but with the great novelty of this level, I feel like I could play a whole lot more! Then again, there will be levels preceeding it. It's important to keep all the fights fresh as you did, one on one with a sword opponent, one on one with a spear opponents, then 2 on 3, then 4 on a troop of legionnaires. Other possibilities for fights? It all comes down to what is possible, and the realism factor comes into it. You could have someone with a shield, but then that could be a modding nightmare. Projectiles opponents likewise, and the same to fighting a lion or tiger. All those might have to wait for JA perhaps to be feasible.

Lord Glorfindel's picking weapons at the start idea sounds great, it occured to me this might happen when I saw them all lined up. It would help with variety. However, I have no idea how you'd do this, so much seems hard coded into JO. A crossbow (they had them didn't they, of a kind?) or some kind of projectile weapon might be good, but you'd need a whole new weapon model which could be a pain.

The other, earlier levels could have a wonderful 'Thief' feel, only in Roman not Medieval settings. Money and shops and all would be nice, but of course this may not be posible even with the QA engine, seems more of an Unreal thing than Quake thing.

5. Q: Were there any parts of the level that were unclear? Any
problems?

Only two places that for me were slightly unclear. Firstly when you fight the trident opponent, you must go onto the elevator, took me a few seconds to work that one out. Second, did you have to kill the gladiator owner? Again took me a few seconds.

One real lag spike occured after I had beaten and spared the Retarius and had to run back to the prison area.

More significant problems for me were in the modded aspect. The degree of modification is awesome, best I have ever seen, as I said on the WIP thread, this looks almost like an entirely different game to JO. A few places it could be altered even more:

The voice acting I felt was largely good, certainly nice and clear. The central character having an American kind Clint Eastwood style voice (which normally I love for a main character) was perhaps a little strange, Having said that, it didn't stop Hollywood doing just that did it

You could I believe replace the bacta canister with a different model, I don't know how to create models but I'm pretty sure it was done in the DF TC demo level for a few of the items.

The light from the swords, it kind of looks OK, especially for the players, the blue-silver shine, but the red and green for others doesn't look as good for me. It's not really bad, but if it could be removed.

Those white marks, I got them too. I think they are something to do with the marks that would have been left when a saber burns a wall, but as you've altered the saber atributes there is nothing there to show so its white. You could perhaps make these grey so it loooks like a sword cut, kind of.

You start with the elctro-binoculars in your inventory. Can they be removed? If not I guess you could at least change their info to 'Binoculars', dunno if the Romans had these though?

You could perhaps use dynamic lighting to better simulate the lighting from the torches. There are limits on how many dynamic lights can be in a level, adn there is some hit to performance though.

Other details:
I definately feel no force powers is good, no question for me.

Those Roman guards, before the end fight, they appeared unarmed, and could be hacked at without a reaction (though not killed it seemed). This is a fair workaround, I suppose if they react and you can kill them before then it will spoil the end.

The locking the player Vs cutscenes thing is an interesting one, I think yeh a matter of prefeance, Rather like HL didn't have cutscenes per se, it worked fine without in the game for me here, giving the same feeling of being in control the whole time, The intro cutscene blew me away, looked pre-rendered!

More music? Again a preferance thing. The crowd sounds (seemingly dynamic crowd sounds) are very atmospheric, music is less realistic I guess.

Conclusion:
Wow, can't believe how good this is on the whole. Most of the complaints are pretty minor, this absolutely blows me away, it is without doubt the most in depth and total mod I have ever seen. The potential for this is near endless, you could release the modded parts and allow others to create Roman themed levels with it (which would be very kind although I'm not sure if it was me that I'd do that...). The scripting and mapping skills on display should not be forgotten, they are amazing as well, some of the best I've seen. This really should attract a lot of attention and be on magazine covers, it is like a new game. The only worry is to not make it too epic an undertaking at once, perhaps release the demo, then level by level, rather than some enormous project. That's just one method of work, anyway, it seems my standard concerns of authors biting off more than they can chew don't apply much to someone who has already accomplished this. Great to get to beta test this, I feel very privelaged, I'll play it some more later and see what else I can think of

EDIT:
Oh, one last thing: this Edutainment thing...this is a rare example of it being done really well. I can't get over the originality of this in an FPS, and it really does work.


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Old 05-20-2003, 01:03 PM   #9
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1. What did you think of the trivia and historical information? Did

it contribute or detract from the appeal of the level? It definatly
was cool but if you die alot and you keep having to hear it over
and over it gets kinda annoying.

2. Do you feel you know a little more about Roman history after
playing
the level?

Yes I know more about the executions and some of the
gladiators even though it was learning it was still fun .

3. What was your favorite and least enjoyable part(s) of the level?

My favorite was fighting the brothers. Least enjoyable had to be
fightning the gladiator that used a fish net I forgot his name but he was alittle to easy to kill.

4. What would you change or add to make the level a more enjoyable experience? What is your "Wish List" of features or gameplay?

Make it longer it was pretty long as is but I'd like it to be longer.

5. Were there any parts of the level that were unclear? Any
problems?

All the parts were pretty much clear But on the part
where you were lowered down and waiting for the gladiator guy with a fishnet you could hit him through the cage while you waited for it to go up and I did that and I went inside the cage and killed him and my guy couldnt move or get out of itso maybe put a barrier so your guy couldn't go into it.
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Old 05-20-2003, 01:07 PM   #10
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Oh, just to comment on the potential for other release from this level. The skinning is rather excellent, all the Roman skins could be released seperately or maybe in a pack. Same with the weapons. Some MP applications also spring to mind, this could spawn a full MP mod as well. Also as I mentioned before, you could create a kind of 'editors pack' to allow others to use the modded elements to then map SP levels in Rome

Also, the Colosseum would make a great and I think popular MP level with a little modification.

I just noticed this is for a Thesis. All the best things do come out of education then! Amazing site you have there as well


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Old 05-20-2003, 02:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kengo
The skinning is rather excellent, all the Roman skins could be released seperately or maybe in a pack. Same with the weapons.
I double this motion!!!


Oh and CLU I found another error: After you fight the Ducilles Brothers, and kill them, everything goes smoothly, except when you kill everyone and Tavion ends up near the Empty Emperors Pavilion, and Tavion is behind the parameter of the Pillars (which circle the colluseum), when this happens she (Tavion) doesn't move to the center of the colluseum, and the Roman Legionarres don't move to the center of the colluseum. This error is similar to the Trident Gladiator error

Last edited by Lord Glorfindel; 05-20-2003 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 05-20-2003, 07:54 PM   #12
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Hey Kengo, as I mentioned in my email, your comments were excellent and thourough. I really appreciate you taking the time (and the bandwidth...) to download and go through it. Thanks much, and to everyone who tested the map: beers are on me!



(virtual beers of course)

Seriously, I know we all have other lives and responsibilities and it means quite a lot to have folks (from literally around the world) take time out of their schedules to go through this level in such detail. If any of you guys need help testing your creations, you know where I live (again...virtually of course).

Quote:
Originally posted by Kengo
You could I believe replace the bacta canister with a different model
Working on it. Having trouble getting the skins to import correctly
Quote:
Originally posted by Lord G
Tavion is behind the parameter of the Pillars (which circle the colluseum), when this happens she (Tavion) doesn't move to the center of the colluseum
Thanks Lord G. Another pesky waypoint problem like with the Retiarius
Quote:
Originally posted by Kengo
all the Roman skins could be released seperately or maybe in a pack. Same with the weapons. Some MP applications also spring to mind, this could spawn a full MP mod as well. Also as I mentioned before, you could create a kind of 'editors pack' to allow others to use the modded elements to then map SP levels in Rome
I think I'll do this once I publicly release the demo level. I would love to see other people run with it.
Quote:
Originally posted by Kengo
The light from the swords [.....] Those white marks, I got them too.
OK, I have an autoexec.cfg file that is supposed to turn off dynamic lighting and wall marks. Somehow it's not executing. Hmmm...I have to look into this. I wonder why it doesn't run the autoexec?
Quote:
Originally posted by Kengo
The only worry is to not make it too epic an undertaking at once, perhaps release the demo, then level by level, rather than some enormous project.
Agreed. I was surprised how much time it took just to get to this point. I'll definitely release the demo in a short while, then take it from there.
Quote:
Originally posted by Kengo
I just noticed this is for a Thesis. All the best things do come out of education then!
Absolutely. The theme is exploiting violent content to educate and entertain. I was very happy they let me use JO as my "development platform". Originally I had considered doing the whole thing in Director 3D (OK, I was pretty naiive at that point).

Thanks again, gents!

-clu

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Old 05-24-2003, 06:11 PM   #13
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1. What did you think of the trivia and historical information? Did it contribute or detract from the appeal of the level?

I think it was all very interesting, a nice plus.

2. Do you feel you know a little more about Roman history after playing the level?

Not really.. however, I am now more interested in getting LA's Gadiator.

3. What was your favorite and least enjoyable part(s) of the level?

My favorite part would proboly be the variety in the villians and plots.. its just so different from everything else, and pulled off so well.

4. What would you change or add to make the level a more enjoyable experience? What is your "Wish List" of features or gameplay?

1) Doing something more with wall dootling.. just a white line
2) More weapons to use
3) Mabey a economics system, with minigames and tourneys to earn money.
4) After you die, it would be nice if you didn't have to listen to the dialog again.

5. Were there any parts of the level that were unclear? Any problems?

The player freezing at the second fight.. thats it.

Conclusion:
Very Nice! Just this demo goes easily in my top 3 single player levels. I look forward to seeing more of this, indeed.


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Old 05-26-2003, 10:14 AM   #14
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Thanks for the excellent comments. I added some autosaves to keep from having to go through all the dialogue again. I like your idea about an economics system too.

Anyway, thanks again. I'm taking all of the beta feedback and fine tuning this thing for release (soon).

-clu

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Old 06-03-2003, 04:16 PM   #15
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Oh, just happened to come across a wooden bowcaster whilst perusing for a weapon model at jk2files.com. Not suggesting any involvement in the mod at the moment or anything like that, just thought it might be useful in determining how a crossbow would look in the game, or something like that, for future reference

http://www.jk2files.com/file.info?ID=3506


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