Author Topic: Diving into descent.  (Read 2221 times)

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So, the Rock Paper Shotgun Book Club is doing "Descent" this month.

So here's the first shocker: I have never played that game.

So, obviously, I now really really want to play it, and as I understand there's several ports and sorta thing for it. Which are the best ones?

 

Offline Cyborg17

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Playing the original on dosbox is actually not a bad experience.  The ports have to change the graphics engine and the push you get off weapons feels different.  I think we used DescentXL, not sure about other ports.

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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If you want a more "authentic" port (as opposed to a maximum bells-and-whistles deal like D2X-XL), I've heard DXX-Rebirth is good for that. I haven't tried it myself (on PC, anyway; like Cyborg17, I play the originals via DOSBox on my PC, but I have played DXX-Rebirth on my Pandora), but the screenshots certainly seem to be in keeping with the original.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 

Offline Aardwolf

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DXX-rebirth? Is that just a shortened way to say "D1X and D2X"?

 

Offline Mongoose

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Well, D1X and D2X were technically much older coding projects for each title, which kind of became stagnant after a while.  The respective "Rebirth" projects for each were started by one community member with the goal of generally staying close to the original retail experience, whereas D2X-XL was a separate project by another user that concentrated more on feature-addition.  It's generally a matter of preference which you pick, though the dedicated multiplayer community seems to stick with Rebirth.

 

Offline Dragon

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I got the original to run, while for Descent 2, I used D2X-XL. It was a really fun and addictive experience. :) The visuals are dated, sure (though D2X-XL helps with that), but it's really, really fun. Descent 3 and Mercenaries should run normally, as they were Windows games.

 

Offline Klaustrophobia

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Now I'm reminded (again) of the Descent playthrough I abandoned some time ago now.  I still haven't made it all the way through.  I always seem to get bored for a while around the Mercury levels and forget to go back.  I think this time I dropped it in one of the 'bonus' levels with fusion hulks ****ing EVERYWHERE (how the hell is this a bonus?).  I actually had 2 playthroughs going simultaneously.  One vanilla from GOG - packaged with dosbox right out of the gate, no assembly required, and one with rebirth.  I started with rebirth for the updated graphics, but a ways into that playthrough the nostalgia hit me HARD and I decided I wanted to go through it completely retail.  Having done that back to back, rebirth really does preserve the original.  Higher resolution and higher quality (but not changed) models.  It plays smoother as well.  I would call that the most significant difference from retail.   The ultra smooth feel to all the movement broke the original feeling a little.
I like to stare at the sun.

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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DXX-rebirth? Is that just a shortened way to say "D1X and D2X"?
No, it's a shortened way to say "D1X-Rebirth" and "D2X-Rebirth". :P

Or you could have just clicked on the link...
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Derp, that's what I meant. And I did click the link, but a) it took more than ~10" to figure it out, and b) I cba poking around links from links, so I just asked instead.

 

Offline Nuke

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dxx is certainly more stable and its not hard to find players for multi. d2xxl is better for single player, but save often because its crashy. the best descent experinece is running the glide version of d2 on a vintage 3dfx card under dos, because fast as **** framerates.
I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

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Offline CP5670

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I use D2X-XL, but it does take a little effort to set up correctly. I use a customized build for singleplayer with various minor changes, and a fix so it uses the Yamaha SYXG50 synth for midi music. XL can be configured to look identical to Rebirth, although I like some of the new effects, and it has some new features that several of the modern (and best) custom mission sets require. The custom levels are the main reason to keep playing D2, with several hundred excellent ones out there.

I'll have to check out Rebirth for multiplayer though. I have never seen anyone on XL, and only see people playing D3.

Quote
I always seem to get bored for a while around the Mercury levels and forget to go back.  I think this time I dropped it in one of the 'bonus' levels with fusion hulks ****ing EVERYWHERE (how the hell is this a bonus?).

Yeah, the "secret" levels were more of an additional challenge rather than a reward for the player, in line with other games back then. D2 has much more interesting secret levels, although I think D1 levels are better and more memorable otherwise.

 

Offline Nuke

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if the rebirth trackers are still up perhaps we can get some scheduled games going.
I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Nuke's Scripting SVN

 

Offline Hobbie

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I use D2X-XL. I play Descent and Descent 2 through about twice a year. Grew up playing it so it's pretty much a tradition. Bloody great game.
In the arena of logic, I fight unarmed.

 

Offline CP5670

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I go through a rotation of D1, D2 and numerous custom level packs every 5 or 6 years. I think I have around 400 levels in total now, many of which are better than the original ones. I'm currently playing a mission for the first time called Project Hydro, using my modified build and the custom music from another mission, Black Prophecy.

It would be fun to schedule some games. I think I still have some demos from the regular D2X-XL games we used to hold here a long time ago.

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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There are certain pre 1995 games everyone should play.
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Offline Aardwolf

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Was going to ask if anybody knew the name of the D2 level pack that had multiple "dimensions", each with a couple of levels... it started with a "water" dimension which where the "mine" was a huge cubic lattice.

But then I thought "maybe the name was 'Dimensions' "... and Google found it for me: "Encounter at Farpoint 2: Dimensions"



That was a good little level pack, that was.

 

Offline Nuke

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i tended to frown on hyper-dimensional levels. they always felt like dirty hax.
I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Nuke's Scripting SVN

 

Offline CP5670

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EAF2 was a great campaign, but the "dimensions" are just different worlds in it. There are water levels, lava levels and so on as usual, not 4D or anything.

Check out Dimensional Intersect. It has 9 separate worlds that are all part of the same level, and a hub room that lets you teleport freely between them. It's probably the biggest Descent level ever created.

 

Offline jr2

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What  repository(ies)  do you guys use?

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Repository? What?