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Old 12-01-18, 00:37   #1
Danath
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Lightbulb Reflecting on things, thoughts, future plans

Hello again everyone.

I had some things on my mind related to TR recently and i want to share them, and also tell you about what things i would like to do next.


Reflecting on level-making

First thing is reflecting on my progress so far in levelmaking. If anyone would have told me at the beginning of 2017 that i would learn how to make levels, in Dxtre3D no less, and that they would be ( generally ) this well received.... I wouldn't believe it and may have told the person to quit doing drugs. It may sound arrogant having made only three levels, but i feel like i have done something great. At least it is quite a big personal achievement, i thought i wouldn't have enough creativity ( specially ) or patience to accomplish it.

I have really started to love doing levels, and i feel quite addicted to the editor sometimes. Before i began this journey i thought i would be pleased enough releasing anything at all and quit there, but as it's common with the human condition, i want more and i'm now thinking about doing even better and bigger things. Or at least trying to...


About TR2

Classic styled levels are what i like best and it's what i want to create, and what's more classic than good old TR2?
My struggles with the TR2 engine must be widely known by now , but i'm stubborn and i want to squish more juice out of it!
Yep, i want to finish working with that engine by doing an epic levelset. You can start praying for my poor soul now. But #YOLO i guess.
At this point i don't know if it's just nostalgia or what, but i love the crap out of that darn game and want to do something big with it, a fantasy i've had for a lot of years now.

The story would be about Lara wanting to enter an ancient temple which has a precious artifact, and needing to get keys to unlock the entrance first, that are scattered in various locations. Basic, i know... Title of the game is not decided yet.

For the levels right now i only have some general ideas, i'm still chilling before going seriously at it. My plan is having at least 7 or 8 levels. Some ideas for locations ( may change ):

- Starting in a city in Italy ( no, not the one you think of! ), with the second level being a Bartoli's Hideout-type.
- Location with underwater environment.
- Mountainous place with mercenary base like Fool's Gold, next to a temple.
- Forest+Final Temple location, similar to TR2 Gold.

I don't even know if i will be able to make a single level out of those, but i'm willing to try! If i cannot make it i would consider doing the project with Tomb Editor.


TR3

It's funny how a lot of years ago i disliked the game so much, the cause being the PS1 save system, but since trying the PC version on an ancient Pentium III i started to love it. Well, minus the underwater segment of Lud's gate...

In the future i would like to try and make a big levelset with it. No ideas yet for it, but for sure it would be like heaven working without so much restrictions! Not to mention more possibilities and colored lighting.


TR4

This is more for the far future, but if creativity ( or free time ) don't abandon me by that point i would sure love to try and make things with it. Including:

- Egypt set, similar in style to TR1.
- An epic set. My ultimate building dream, a massive set with at least 10 levels ( ambitious much? ). I have an idea for two of the levels, which are set in a volcanic island location.

...And now down to earth again. There's things with building in TR4 which worry me:

- First is the amount of things to learn, specially for TRNG, right now it seems daunting to think about it. There's so much stuff there that can be done.
- I have played levels that amazed me, for example not long ago i played Zipangu, and saw some awesome ideas there. I'm not sure if i can come up with those sort of amazing things, i struggle with making the levels interesting enough. For that epic set i mentioned earlier i would try to achieve a high score, and it kind of discourages me how i have started too late to build and there's so much that has been done, that in comparison i wouldn't be able to reach that level. :\
Can it really be made using classic resources? I cannot create models, cutscenes, etc, etc...


Well, that's all. Here's hoping for a great 2018 for all the builders. Cheers! Any thoughts, tips, etc. are appreciated.
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Old 14-01-18, 17:34   #2
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Well someone woke up feeling ambitious I think it's great that you have all those projects in mind, although I'm sure it will take some time to learn to use TRNG and all of its features, but little by little you'll be able to pull it out

I deffinitely want to see the TR2 project before the others, with the good-old classic "search for artifacts around the world" style. The only problem I think you could encounter is that the "key" and "puzzle" slots available are 4 of each one, so if you make Lara carry those keys around (I mean, showing them in the inventory as you go along) you may run out of space for other keys or puzzles at some point... Unless you try to use the 2 "pickup" slots shown available on the Rosetta Stone catalog

Quote:
It's funny how a lot of years ago i disliked the game so much, the cause being the PS1 save system
Why does everybody hate save crystals? Am I the only one that miss them? Maybe its because I really don't like saving the game every two steps, and of course I think the save crystals are a great resource to tell the player when it's a good time to save (if placed correctly). I do hate that health crystals of the PC version, they make the game so easy that I rarely have to use a medipack

About your worrys regarding TR4 (which I share myself), there is a lot of things to learn, but with time and practice (and lots of perseverance), I'm sure you could master it. Indeed, there is a lot of cool features to use so it would be a great step foward.

Quote:
it kind of discourages me how i have started too late to build and there's so much that has been done
On the contrary, there is so much that hasn't been done plus, there are so many locations and ambiences the players can't get enough of. There is always room for new ideas and improovements over what has already been done. You should take that inspiration those levels give you and use it to come up with something of your own, bigger and better (humbly speaking)

I hope to see some screenshots of your project soon best of luck!
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Old 14-01-18, 18:01   #3
Titak
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Originally Posted by Feder View Post
Why does everybody hate save crystals? Am I the only one that miss them? Maybe its because I really don't like saving the game every two steps, and of course I think the save crystals are a great resource to tell the player when it's a good time to save (if placed correctly).
You are probably one of few who likes the save crystals, aka checkpoint system.

I've never played TR on consoles other than PC, so I don't know how they work exactly, but can you use them only once?

"if placed correctly" is indeed important.
I've never liked the checkpoint system in the LAU trilogy because it always felt like they weren't placed at the right spots: too far away from the action which I wouldn't survive. So I had to do all that stuff first again before reaching the action that killed my Lara.
That was annoying.
TRU was better at that though. It felt better in that game.

This said, if a checkpoint/save game crystals system is implemented well enough, I'm okay with it.
But I still prefer the "save whenever you want" system.


Those health crystals in TR3 did indeed make the game easier.


@ Danath:
As much as I can understand your reluctance to start working with the TRNG, since you know the TR2 engine and its ways so well by now, do remember that with TRNG you can very well mimic the TR2 engine.
Perhaps not every TR2 effect is possible and not every enemy can be made the work the exact same way as they do in TR2 (dragon and flying swordsmen for example), but still a lot of other stuff can be done.
Perhaps enemies will be possible some day through plugins.

But untill you take that step, do continue building.
And build the things you want to build, using the engine of your choice.
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Old 14-01-18, 19:09   #4
Danath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feder View Post
Well someone woke up feeling ambitious
Pherhaps too much! But let me dream for a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feder View Post
The only problem I think you could encounter is that the "key" and "puzzle" slots available are 4 of each one, so if you make Lara carry those keys around (I mean, showing them in the inventory as you go along) you may run out of space for other keys or puzzles at some point... Unless you try to use the 2 "pickup" slots shown available on the Rosetta Stone catalog
Oh yeah that's true! I thought that since the keys are all for the same place, i could use only one key type for all of them, so i don't run out of space. Using the 2 pickup slots is a great idea, DJFull discovered how to activate those extra pickup items. Though i'm not sure if those can be used for opening something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feder View Post
Why does everybody hate save crystals? Am I the only one that miss them? Maybe its because I really don't like saving the game every two steps, and of course I think the save crystals are a great resource to tell the player when it's a good time to save (if placed correctly). I do hate that health crystals of the PC version, they make the game so easy that I rarely have to use a medipack
It's not that i hate the system itself, but what i hated in TR3 is that there were too few of them imo. And trying to preserve them i died many times without saving first. Which led to many rage moments. Or i used them too soon and had to redo big chunks of a level too many times and i eventually got so fed up with the game i was ready to throw the disc against a wall. I remember having to restart the whole game once... But i was very young then and was a worse player so that also counts.
I agree that those PC crystals are awful, make the game too easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feder View Post
About your worrys regarding TR4 (which I share myself), there is a lot of things to learn, but with time and practice (and lots of perseverance), I'm sure you could master it. Indeed, there is a lot of cool features to use so it would be a great step foward.
Well not sure about "mastering" but indeed it would give me much more creative freedom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feder View Post
On the contrary, there is so much that hasn't been done There is always room for new ideas and improovements over what has already been done.
That's a good way to see it. What i meant is that probably anything i can come up with surely has been done before over the years, but yeah maybe i could give it my own touch.

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Originally Posted by Feder View Post
I hope to see some screenshots of your project soon best of luck!
Don't expect it too soon, i haven't even began mapping yet. Thank you.

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Originally Posted by Titak View Post
"if placed correctly" is indeed important.
I've never liked the checkpoint system in the LAU trilogy because it always felt like they weren't placed at the right spots: too far away from the action which I wouldn't survive. So I had to do all that stuff first again before reaching the action that killed my Lara.
That was annoying.
TRU was better at that though. It felt better in that game.

This said, if a checkpoint/save game crystals system is implemented well enough, I'm okay with it.
But I still prefer the "save whenever you want" system.
That's exactly how i feel about it. I hate repeating the same segments over and over in games, i think saving anytime on a safe spot is the better compromise.
The first PC game i played (Windows) was Commandos, and having the ability to save anytime didn't make the game even remotely easy...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Titak View Post
As much as I can understand your reluctance to start working with the TRNG, since you know the TR2 engine and its ways so well by now, do remember that with TRNG you can very well mimic the TR2 engine.
Perhaps not every TR2 effect is possible and not every enemy can be made the work the exact same way as they do in TR2 (dragon and flying swordsmen for example), but still a lot of other stuff can be done.
Perhaps enemies will be possible some day through plugins.
I know that it can be made almost the same, thanks. You guys told me before.
Now that we're talking TRNG, i'm curious about one thing. With TREP/TRNG can you make spikes behave like in TR2/3? I don't like how they function in TR4, even if it's more "realistic".


I just want to squeeze all i can out of TR2, but if it ends up being overwhelming i will start learning Tomb Editor and then make the project there. And even if i am able to complete this, maybe in the future it could be "remastered" with TRNG and incorporate new things!
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Old 14-01-18, 19:47   #5
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Originally Posted by Danath View Post
Now that we're talking TRNG, i'm curious about one thing. With TREP/TRNG can you make spikes behave like in TR2/3? I don't like how they function in TR4, even if it's more "realistic".
Iím not so sure that either version is realistic, but yes you can. In TREP, you tick a box; in TRNG, in requires scipting a line.
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Old 14-01-18, 21:39   #6
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Iím not so sure that either version is realistic, but yes you can. In TREP, you tick a box; in TRNG, in requires scipting a line.
Really? That's awesome, thanks.
By "not realistic" i meant that you can pass through them in older games.
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