Author Topic: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title  (Read 21558 times)

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Offline headdie

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
Also, this is probably the most HLP-baity Kickstarter ever....

slight understatement I think lol
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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
Also, this is probably the most HLP-baity Kickstarter ever....

slight understatement I think lol
Chain quoting this for truth.

 

Offline jr2

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
As much as I loved Descent as a kid, do we REALLY need two new Descent style games at the same time?

Yes.
Three, if you count Sol Contingency. :)  That was the first of these that i started keeping an eye on.



C:\Games\Descent>setup -upgrade
DOS/4GW Professional Protected Mode Run-Time Version 1.97
Copyright (c) Rational Systems, Inc. 1990-1994

DESCENT   Registered v1.5 Jan 5, 1996
Copyright (C) 1994, 1995 Parallax Software Corporation
DESCENT is a trademark of Interplay Productions, Inc.

Type 'DESCENT -help' for a list of command-line options.

Available memory
----------------
Conventional:         598 KB
Extended:          14,820 KB
Virtual:            1,564 KB

Do you want two new 6DOF shooters at the same time?  (Yes/No/All)  A


:rolleyes:  Duh.   ;)

 

Offline Sushi

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
This looks nice, but I don't think I like the fact that they're basing themselves off D1 and D2. Descent 3 (with expansion) was, IMO, the superior game. Granted, the earlier two were definitely addictive, but D3 had much more variety, both in level design and in objectives. Not to mention it actually had a story. Some of the missions were very atmospheric, too.

Gotta disagree with you here. The moment-to-moment gameplay and combat in D2 was much better than in D3, which often felt downright tedious. D3's level design had more gimmicks, but D2's level design snagged me a lot better. I replayed D1 and D2 many, many times. D3 singleplayer I only played once, and I never even finished Mercenaries.

For multiplayer, on the other hand, I much preferred D3.

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
It is true that some levels (Expediator, I'm looking at you) could be a bit better designed. However, with that kind of staff lineup, I wouldn't worry about that. :) My issue is more with fundamental design philosophy (though I did like D3's somewhat more tactical combat mechanics better as well). Descent 1 and 2 were much more simplistic, "arcade-style" game, in which you do a lot of the same thing, with a steady difficulty curve (or in case of D1, a steady curve with a bunch of cliffs). It can be very addictive if done right, but in the end, it's a still lot of the same thing. Descent 3, however, used the more modern "mission-based" paradigm, even having a few puzzles along the way. That's what I liked about it, the sheer variety of mission objectives and environments it happened it. A mine's a mine, as far as D1 and D2 went. On the other hand, D3 had a city, a prison, a carrier, a space station, a Martian temple (I loved that one) and many more. The missions were less straightforward and much more varied.
So I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that story and atmosphere are covered :P
Story certainly could be, but atmosphere... I'm not so sure. Their website gives a different picture than the kickstarter page. Descent 2 also had a story, but the essence was still "fly in, blast the reactor, get out". It all depends on how exactly they're going to do it. If it's going to be D3-style, with mission gameplay directly related to the story, then it'll be fine. If, however, the story is going to be told between missions (in the end just varying the reason why you're going into the mine and blowing the reactor, if that), then it's going to be a lot less exciting.

"Explosive combat and exploration" doesn't really give an answer to that, all Descent games could be described in that way. At 15 missions, I'd lean towards D3-style (it seems a bit short for a D2-style campaign), but I'm still a bit concerned.

 

Offline Cyborg17

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
I enjoyed D1 singleplayer the most, honestly, my favorite levels being 4, 5, 7, 10, 18, and 21.

I didn't like D2 level design that much.  To me it felt too alien and a little too complex.  Without a guide bot (how I prefer to play, because I like to explore) I would have to retrace my steps too many times, and it wasn't enjoyable, especially in the ice levels.  Descent 1 was much easier to navigate, but still had a lot of side areas that could be explored if the player wanted to.

I enjoyed D3 level design a lot, but some of the gimics were not as enjoyable.  Expediator, I agree, was not well designed, and I'm pretty sure it was easy to break the recon interface if you hit the aft machen (sp) too early, so that you actually had no idea how close you were to finishing the level.  But I did like level 2, level 4 (except for the trains, which are tedious), 5, 6, 12, and despite the high difficulty, my favorite is 14. The music matched the atmosphere perfectly.  The last boss was weird.  I feel like after you're done fighting it, you feel like the only reason you won is because you have infinite lives.

All that being said, I love the way they are doing cube design in this game.  It seems like it would allow you to focus on what matters and to make things look the way you want them.  I don't know yet if I should support them with my current finances, though.  Maybe at the end if they need it.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
I do think the original Descent doesn't get enough credit as a straight-up horror game at times.  Some of those robots were goddamn terrifying...in fact I'm not sure that I ever beat a straight playthrough of it in my far younger days without having to resort to cheats.  The Class 1 Driller, the Super Hulk, the Platform Robot, the *shudder* Fusion Hulk...these guys still give me nightmares.  Overall I did generally prefer D3's more mission-based gameplay, even if its execution was clunky at times, though the original probably has the best raw mechanics.

I was a bit ambivalent on this announcement at first glance, since I really support what Wingman and his team are doing with Descent: Underground, but then I stopped and realized that if the industry can pump out dozens of FPS titles every year, there's no reason that we can't have 3 or 4 different 6DOF titles in play.  Plus when you realize that the team is a who's who of our favorite developers, you can't help but go for it.

 

Offline Hunter

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
I agree that Descent 3 was the better game. It's variation in level design and objectives set it apart from D1/D2. The main complaint about D3 from most Descenters is not necessarily the levels or aesthetics, but the feel of the game.  It's twitchier and much more fast-paced.

The problem with building a D3 style game in 2016 is cost. I doubt a $300k, or even $600k kickstarter would be enough (as with Overload and DU) to build a game like that today.
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Offline headdie

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
I agree that Descent 3 was the better game. It's variation in level design and objectives set it apart from D1/D2. The main complaint about D3 from most Descenters is not necessarily the levels or aesthetics, but the feel of the game.  It's twitchier and much more fast-paced.

The problem with building a D3 style game in 2016 is cost. I doubt a $300k, or even $600k kickstarter would be enough (as with Overload and DU) to build a game like that today.

We dont know what other funding is involved
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Offline The E

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
They said in their KS pitch that they've already gotten most of the important stuff (i.e. game mechanics, toolchain) built and running. The money they seek now is used to properly finish the game, i.e. build the art assets and polish it to a releasable state.
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Offline CP5670

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
This sounds great, especially with the focus on the singleplayer experience unlike Descent Underground. However, like all of these kickstarter projects I won't get excited about it until a fully finished product is available. Very few of these games get to that stage and actually match people's expectations.

Among the previous games, I definitely liked Descent 3's SP campaign the best, but today I play the game much less often than D2X-XL. D2's mod community made hundreds of great SP level packs for it, many of which are better than the original campaign, but D3 was largely neglected and there is very little SP content for it. I agree that this new game needs to be closer to D3 than the simple D1/D2 formula to meet today's standards. Maybe something like Retrovirus, which didn't really have puzzles where you could get stuck (unlike D3) but still had some variety and different goals in the levels.

Quote
I do think the original Descent doesn't get enough credit as a straight-up horror game at times.  Some of those robots were goddamn terrifying...in fact I'm not sure that I ever beat a straight playthrough of it in my far younger days without having to resort to cheats.  The Class 1 Driller, the Super Hulk, the Platform Robot, the *shudder* Fusion Hulk...these guys still give me nightmares.

The Class 1 Driller on higher difficulties is the worst one, and is much more fast and unpredictable than the others. They jump out at you when you least expect it and make that screaming sound, and a full hit will drop your shields by 100 or so. In fact, all of the Descent games had some of the best FPS AI I've ever seen, along with game mechanics that allow the AI to stand out. Even today I can't think of any game surpassing D3 in that respect.

 

Offline Hunter

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
Quote
but D3 was largely neglected and there is very little SP content for it

There are a few nice missions (most of which can be downloaded @ http://sectorgame.com/d3/ ) but the reason for this is mainly due to the fact that making levels for D3 is 3-4x more time consuming than D1/D2. There are a lot of projects that just never got finished, my own included. I recommend Reactor Gamma, Roth 513, Arillien Po, Army of Haloon. Ofcourse the biggest issue with D3 these days is compatibility - Without a source port the game is suffering.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
Speaking of, I wonder if it'd be worth reaching out to Mike & Matt regarding who (if anyone) actually has the authority to release D3's source code.  It probably couldn't hurt.

But yeah, I remember Reactor Gamma and Arillien Po fondly, as well as that fun little Asteroids mod someone made.  I know there was a series of six related missions that had some goofy visual design but were reasonably fun.  There was also another loosely based on the Lunar Outpost from Peter Telep's original Descent novel, but I was never able to figure out my way through it.

 
Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
Reactor Gamma, Arillien Po, and Windmine are all great. But my favorite user-made missions are Roth-513 and Alien Territory. Man, the atmosphere in those is intense.

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
I've played all of those and Alien Territory is my favorite one too. The campaigns Army of Haloon and Mission at the Saturn are also good, with the former being the only one of decent length and including some great custom music. However, I felt that most of these didn't quite match the original D3/Mercenary campaigns in terms of overall polish and level design or variety, in contrast to the custom D2 campaigns out there.

Wasn't there talk about one of the D3 developers releasing the source at one point? It seems like nothing came of that.

 

Offline Hunter

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
I think someone did get their hands on the D3 source - I forget who. Someone named Becky?

It's too late now anyway. D3 is coming up on two decades old. With Undergroud and Overload coming we'll (hopefully) be able to mod with ease and continue the creations.
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Online deathspeed

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
Although I am excited about this, I never played the Descent games that much.  But this from the FAQ just made me pee a little:

Quote from: Overload FAQ
What about FreeSpace?

Interesting that you asked – we’ve been asking ourselves the same question. Good game, FreeSpace.  It sure would be nice to see an awesome spiritual successor to FreeSpace.
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
Quote from the AMA relevant to earlier discussion of D3 source code:
Quote from: Matt Toschlog
We may release the Descent 3 source code. Right now we want get a bunch of changes finished and release a version 1.5. Once that's done we can figure out what has to be done to release the source code. We'll have to remove anything that's owned by Interplay, and we'll want to clean up some other part of the code. So I guess the answer is: we'd like to, but don't hold your breath. We're all busy with other things and we do what we can.
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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
How much use, realistically, is the Descent 3 source code going to be these days? It's 16 years old; hardware and software standards have long passed it by.
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Offline Fineus

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Re: Mike Kulas & Matt Toschlog working on a new Descent-inspired title
Sorry if this has been posted up elsewhere folks but wanted to spread the word - they're doing an AMA right now (7pm GMT)

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/45xltb/we_are_matt_toschlog_and_mike_kulas_creators_of/

Head over and check it out, they're coming back on a lot of questions and it's really giving some good insight in to how the project is shaping up.

Personally, I'm very hyped for this.