Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

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Pfhorrest
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Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:34 am UTC

(Not sure whether to post this here or over at Your Art And Links instead. Mods feel free to move it if you choose.)

Some of you probably know the video game developer Bungie, who made Destiny and Halo. Well, half a decade before Halo they made another revolutionary (for its time) sci-fi first-person shooter game called Marathon, which is now open-source with a lot of fan-made graphical enhancements and free available to download and play on all major platforms.

Fans of Marathon have made a lot of mods (what we call "scenarios") for it too, including yours truly. Mine is called Eternal, and it's a single-player continuation of the original Marathon trilogy that's about twice as long as any of the original games. I completed an extremely rough first draft of it back in 2004, then with the help of a lot of other people made a more-finished pass in 2008, with the intention of finishing a few more stretch goals soon thereafter to call it finally "done", but instead spent the following seven years barely eking out a 1.1 version instead, which is also freely available to download and play on all major platforms.

As I was working on my Chronicles of Quelouva over the past year, another Marathon fan came out of the blue and completed the biggest missing piece of the project as plugin to my mod. With that inspiration, I've decided to carry on the creative momentum from working on the Chronicles and try to dedicate this next year to finally crossing Eternal off my to-do list forever.

Mostly I intend for that to involve finishing a texture upgrade that I was partway through a few years ago before life imploded on me again. I'm going to try to take it really slowly and finish that over the course of this year, and I might maybe share some of the progress on it here, if anyone cares to see it. I'm also trying to get some other fans to help with a few other little finishing touches while I work on that.

The current version is totally playable though, if anyone cares to check it out. I would recommend playing the original trilogy first though, since, you know, sequel and all that.
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:16 am UTC

Probably nobody cares, but I have a couple of screenshots of the work in progress to share:

Image

Image

And this last one is my first attempt at bump mapping:

Image
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:32 am UTC

Bump maps are awesome:

Image
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:50 am UTC

Image

(there's more screenshots at that link above, just posting my favorite of each batch here)
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:38 am UTC

I've mostly given up on telling anyone about this on this forum since nobody seems to care, but I just really enjoyed this semi-action-shot, intending mostly to show some of the updated textures but a really nice shot of one of the new weapons too:

Image
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:36 pm UTC

Hurray the first alpha of the new version of this I'm working on this year is out now.
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:29 am UTC

Just another screenshot I thought was cool enough to share:

Image
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri May 04, 2018 9:12 am UTC

I'm kinda proud of this texture:

Image
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Opinions Wanted Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:38 pm UTC

It's recently come to my attention that a large section of the fan community for Marathon think that this entire project is complete shit, but have only been saying so in places I wasn't aware existed, while the handful of people who have commented have been generally positive.

This is making me question whether I should even be bothering.

I would greatly appreciate if someone outsiders would take a look at the project and let me know their opinion.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
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The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

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Re: Opinions Wanted Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Chen » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:14 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:It's recently come to my attention that a large section of the fan community for Marathon think that this entire project is complete shit, but have only been saying so in places I wasn't aware existed, while the handful of people who have commented have been generally positive.

This is making me question whether I should even be bothering.

I would greatly appreciate if someone outsiders would take a look at the project and let me know their opinion.


As an outsider I don't really even know how to judge this. You're working with a fairly old engine so it's clearly not going to hold up visually to any modern titles but I don't imagine that's the expectation. The textures look fine. As for story or anything since I have no familiarity with the original game or its sequels I can't really give any input on that. I think the issue is this is quite a niche game and quite old. An outsider will likely have no real knowledge of this game or what is expected from mods.

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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:37 pm UTC

Can't really say much that Chen hasn't said. I could download and play it, but I've not got the proper context.

That said - are you sure it's a large portion of the fanbase and not just ten assholes? I mean, looking at things like Reddit and /r/gaming, /r/truegaming /r/games and so on, you'd think no one and their cousin would ever touch another Call of Duty game ever again as they're all derivative garbage.

And yet, that series is like printing money. Each one sells more than the one before it because, generally speaking, people who like a thing have no reason to go online and find other people who also like a thing and then spend hours of their time talking about how much they like a thing... because all that wasted time could be spent playing a thing.
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Re: Opinions Wanted Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby cphite » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:45 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:It's recently come to my attention that a large section of the fan community for Marathon think that this entire project is complete shit, but have only been saying so in places I wasn't aware existed, while the handful of people who have commented have been generally positive.

This is making me question whether I should even be bothering.

I would greatly appreciate if someone outsiders would take a look at the project and let me know their opinion.


Your textures look cool... it's an old engine and that shows, but so what? Not everything has to be shiny and new.

Ignore the haters. People love to bitch about games; if you judge only by forums, every game sucks and nobody plays anything ever. Yet, somehow they keep selling 'em to people...

It sounds like you enjoy working on this thing, so why not just work on it and have fun?

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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby ucim » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:32 pm UTC

My first impression is "ch*irpin' awesomeful!" Now, I know nothing about Marathon, but I can easily see the Quelova worlds done this way. That it looks "rendered" compared to, say, an actual photograph of what the real thing might be, is of no concern in my mind. For one thing, you could always re-render the dataset, but in the context of a game or a story, if you're still looking at technical glitches, the underlying game or story is what needs work, not the imagery.

No matter what you do, somebody is going to not like it. Ignore them. In most cases, you'll find that those people have never actually done anything along those lines.

I'm not sure what stage of completion this is in - is it playable right now? Are these concept drawings? (The relevant context is "how much have you done WRT how much still needs to be done?")

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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:43 am UTC

Thanks for the feedback everyone. To answer Jose’s question it has been fully playable for well over a decade, this year’s project is just putting the finishing touches on it all. Some of the haters talking about how awful it is (all behind my back in a place I didn’t know existed so nobody trying to attack me directly) are some of the other more prominent creators in the community, which is why it stings so. They’ve politely given me criticism before and sometimes I agree even if changing it would be too much work this late in the game, but I didn’t know until now that they thought it was really that awful.
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:29 am UTC

Without knowing their issues with it, I can't really say if it's valid. Like, I'm starting to get in to the RPGMaker scene and there's so many terrible games that aren't terrible for mechanical reasons or even art reasons, just that the story is full of horrible cliche trope garbage shit.

But I'm doing what I can to say simply "Story's not for me" and moving on to what I can critique.

So.. is it that sort of thing?

Also, fuck'em if they can't tell you to your face too. You're awesome.
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:00 am UTC

Interestingly story is the one aspect universally praised for it, to the point that there are stickied forum threads to remind people it isn’t actually canon. It’s mostly the maps that people hate, which aren’t my work so I don’t take that personally; and now apparently my new textures too, which is what’s really got me down as that is what I am currently spending so much time refining.
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:21 pm UTC

They’re complaining about textures?

Man, fuck them.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:02 pm UTC

I discovered a single numerical configuration value that has been set wrong in Eternal for over a decade, changing which radically improves the quality of lighting across the entire scenario, and now even the people who thought it sucked think it looks pretty awesome. :)
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Re: Eternal (a Marathon scenario)

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:29 pm UTC

I stand by my "fuck them" assessment. All the same, congratulations. You should feel like that guy who fixed Colonial Marines
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.


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