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    Disappearing guards in Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold

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    Disappearing guards in Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold

    Post by Guest on Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:11 am

    I've been working on a map replacement set for AoG and have been running into a problem. On some levels there seem to be guards/enemies that disappear making a 100% kill ratio impossible. I have run into this on my maps as well as the originals, although it is extremely rare in the latter. I have almost narrowed down which enemies cause the problem and am also trying to figure what event occurs to make them disappear. Any input would be appreciated.
    I know most of you have never worked with BS: AoG or perhaps haven't played it in years, so I am not expecting a miracle. I have spent hours trying to narrow this down and would rather spend my time building levels than testing. Smile

    Andy
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    Re: Disappearing guards in Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold

    Post by Andy on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:21 am

    Very interesting problem. Let me throw out some ideas/questions/suggestions that might lead you in the (hopefully) right direction.

    How do you know they are disappearing? I assume you placed them in the map in Mapedit and then didn't see them in the game. Or did you see them in the game at some point and then they weren't there? Or did you actually see them vanish before your eyes? Is it always the same enemies that are disappearing, or is it random actors? If random, are you hitting a actor limit?(what is the limit for a BS:AOG level anyway?)

    Could they possibly not even be spawning? Due to some incompatibility with a floor code? Maybe they are getting stuck in a wall or a sprite.

    Are you saving/reloading the game? May some enemies be getting lost during this process?

    Which enemies and events have you narrowed it down to? It's even more interesting that you've seen it in the original game.

    Guest
    Guest

    Re: Disappearing guards in Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold

    Post by Guest on Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:01 am

    THANK YOU for responding, Andy. Let’s see what I can tell you…



    I’m going to talk about my maps first. In every instance of the disappearing guards, it has been in maps on which I have previously been able to get 100% kill ratios. On the instance where I miss a guard or two, if I re-load and play again I will always get 100% kills. I frequently will play a level three or four times in a row trying different approaches when I am play-testing my work. I should be able to get identical stats since I am not making any changes to the maps themselves in between plays.



    How do I know they are disappearing? In a room where every door is blocked by the guard block code, if I see an enemy in the room once and he isn’t there when I come back, then I know something is amiss. This has been the case with the scientists. Obviously to be added into the kills the scientist would have to be a loyalist (delayed or immediate) and not a mere informant. Outside of tagging the scientists with a special hex value in Mapedit, all the scientists in my levels are random. The ones that disappear do not have a special hex value assigned.



    The problem is not unique to the scientists. The enemies that seem to disappear with the highest frequency are the electronic spheres, perscan drones, volatile transport, and your basic blue guard (in that order). In all cases I see them at some point and then they are not there when I come back. I have never seen them vanish before my eyes. I constantly check floor codes and walls to make sure nothing is amiss and that guards cannot get trapped.



    The max actor limit is 149, but with a twist. Since perscan drones and volatile transport leave specific debris behind that adds to the actor count once one is destroyed. Sprites like the barriers and some puddles also add to the actor count. I take specific care never to come close to the max actor limit. I have noticed that on levels where I do come close to the 149 that something does happen to the turrets when I include teleporters in the level. If I shoot a turret and then use a teleporter, the next time I re-enter the room the remains of the turret will have disappeared. I have never lost an enemy in a game where I have saved/reloaded. In every case the enemy disappear in levels I complete without saving.



    Most of the time when I am play-testing or beta-testing I have debug mode enabled. The cheats I use are weapon advance, god mode, and show push walls. I don’t think I use anything else. I cannot remember having the guards disappear when I am not in debug mode, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.



    I have been testing combinations of everything possible. How different objects react with different objects, how they react to different floor codes (like guard block or deaf), different styles of doors, and combinations thereof. I do have one thing that I am trying to find out for sure. I think that if a player opens a door at the same time an electric sphere is passing through the player, that the sphere disappears. Timing has to be impeccable though, which is why I am finding it hard to duplicate.



    Thanks for taking the time to give this a good think J

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