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 Post subject: Uxmal Canyon (Released!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:26 pm 
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T-Rex Killer
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Mooooving forward - here is my next mod-in-progress, based on a cool card art from the MTG dinosaur set and the desert-living Zapotec of Central America. Looking quite nice I think. The pyramid will be enterable unlike its hollow version in episode 3 of my show.

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 Post subject: Re: Uxmal Canyon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:13 am 
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Aah, another red desert-themed level! Really glad to see you doing another level in that theme. Cool use of those terrain bridges, are they new? Also, are those some new trees that I see in the distance?

I'd like to suggest changing the pyramid's texture slightly and adding a tiny bit more of a red dusty look to it so that it looks like it's been in the desert FOR a while. Would also recommend using a CE sky for this one as the vanilla sky doesn't look so great against the fog.

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 Post subject: Re: Uxmal Canyon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:47 pm 
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Foliage here so far is all palms from MegaJungle. The pyramid's textures are based on the actual Uxmal ruins so they're stayin'. CE sky is planned - horizon backdrop of canyons. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Uxmal Canyon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:37 pm 
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The pyramid's textures are based on the actual Uxmal ruins so they're stayin'.

Looking at the actual Uxmal, I think you could afford to brighten the textures quite significantly. Your textures look like obsidian, much too dark - the actual ruins are a bit more of a yellowish-gray from what I can tell. Might just be because you have too much contrast, but I can't really tell from this distance.

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 Post subject: Re: Uxmal Canyon
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:47 am 
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Huh. Looking at it closely ingame, you're right, it's quite dark from being originally textured for Xibalba. I'll get to that -

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:44 am 
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Alright folks, this level is finished and ready! It takes place in the same universe as my show, though in this version you still play as Anne. Expect an episode featuring it to arrive in a few weeks...

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:26 am 
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trying it right now, love it so far ! but i would suggest changing the terrain color's popping saturation to something a bit less... vibrant ? otherwise great map and can't wait for the featured episode :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:36 pm 
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Hehe thanks (And Welcome to Uxmal Park ;P ) The terrain color is meant to be as vibrant as some actual Earth canyons can be, plus the level takes place at dusk. Gets you in the mood of it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:14 pm 
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So, does it end then
Spoiler: show
when you kill the last raptor? Or was it because I had reached the bottom?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:14 pm 
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It
Spoiler: show
ends when you exit into the desert at the bottom
however there are 5 journals to read if you can find them.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:54 am 
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Played through the level a little while ago and enjoyed it and its strange clone-shenanigans quite a bit, though of course there were some things I think could have been done better. I'll do a full review another day as I'm really tired right now, but overall I had a good time. :)

Should have called the level "Indiana Anne and the Temple of Grant."

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Haha XD Glad ya liked it; looking forward to the review.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Alright, played the level a second time to refresh my memory and I've got it up in TresEd now to help with the review. Here goes...

PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Spoiler: show
The level opens nicely enough in a wonderful, deep red canyon. A river runs through the middle and a dark, foreboding temple in the distance beyond a cool-looking land-bridge invites me forward into what is presumably the titular Uxmal canyon. Nice to see my palms in the distance, by the way - never expected them to fit into a desert theme, but that they do! This exterior valley would have gotten a perfect impression had I not turned around and spotted Mount Watson there in the distance...I'd like to see some completely fresh terrain rather than re-use of the Tres terrains in your levels, Drac. Even if the distant hills are low-detailed, it would be nice to be out of the familiar Tres landscape.

After hopping my way across the TC~Isle rope bridge (one of the peskier ones to get across, I find), I approach the dark ruin as it looms up ahead. I kept waiting for an eerie music cue to play here, but was somewhat disappointed when there wasn't one - it would have set the mood nicely. "Mood" is actually, unfortunately, the major thing I find lacking in this level, but more on that later. Making my way up the vertical stairs, I enter the black mouth of the temple and am sneakily warped to an interior space. The door has shut behind me and I'm locked inside of this eerie stone labyrinth, which looks great and makes good use of building blocks to create something unique! So many cool mesoamerican designs on the walls, but again I find there to be something of a lack of atmosphere, mostly for two reasons: one - it feels much too bright. Considering that this temple seems to be underground and without windows, I'd expect it to be quite dark, which would have elevated both the slightly creepy vibe I got from it as well as made it feel even more labyrinthine than it already is. And the second would be the lack of good sound. I know that Tres is lacking in spooky or even just "earth-like" sounds which would have fit this temple, but I definitely think something more could have been done in this department to make it feel claustrophobic or mysterious. The constant growling of the Raptors that you could hear the instant you entered the temple was somewhat grating and ruined the surprise when you could have encountered them as well - some quick, simple teleportation triggers would have helped here.

Anyway, I snatched up a sledgehammer and headed down some stairs - ducking under a big, ugly (in a good way) spider and his web in the process - only to run into the corpse of none other than Dr Alan Grant! This is where the fun yet intriguing plot kicks off in the form of a journal which seems to imply that there are multiple Grants and that they share...like...a hive-mind, or something? :| Weird, but fun nonetheless! Either way, I had a good time reading these entries and enjoyed the simple backstory which carried throughout the level. Taking Grant's gun, I headed deeper into the heart of the temple only to run into a second dead body - this one's face was down, but he looked strangely like the dead doctor I'd just passed. And only a few meters further is the corpse of a third Dr Grant, as well as another journal, as well as a fork in the path. This is where the level began to elevate for me - the fact that there are so many rooms to explore and so many forks and passages and ways to get lost, yet you never actually get horribly - boringly - lost due to the fact that you're always sort of going downward in order to proceed. Great design in that aspect, to the point that I was able to figure out where to go without being told. :D
I spent a while exploring the depths of the temple and won't go over it in too much detail. The rooms I found the most interesting include the one with the silver pool, which I think was meant to be tar but could have been anything in the world the story had set-up (excellent use of water functions here, though I couldn't seem to climb out and had to fly my way back to solid ground), and the layered, broken hallway with climbable ropes dangling down (glad to see you fixed my ropes, too!). The temple felt large but not impossible to navigate, which reminded me of the Mayan tunnels in JPDS, as they appeared to try to do something similar but ended up being very hard to navigate as they looked too much the same. This temple has just enough variety in room design to keep you oriented while still inviting exploration in every which way.
Ultimately, after blowing away some Raptors with the fine selection of guns scattered about the level on the corpses of the various Grants (which I quickly realized were all of the various Grant action figures from over the years, though I *think* you were missing brown jacket/white shirt/blue pants Grant from JP3 - nice touch though!), I found my way into a large, rocky cavern beneath the temple, with an exit to the outdoors visible. Battling my way past a final pair of carnivores, I left the temple and the level came to a short-but-sweet end! I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't need to solve some sort of puzzle up in the temple itself to escape, but I enjoyed the level enough that it didn't bother me too much.


SUMMARY:
All in all, this was a pretty cool and quite interesting level! I had a blast exploring the temple itself and reading the odd-funny-mysterious-ridiculous-interesting notes lying about, but was somewhat disappointed by the lack of suitable atmosphere and challenge, which would have pretty much fully rounded out the level. Still, it certainly was worth the short wait!

Map Design: 8.5/10 - Great stuff here with the very detailed temple interior filled with all sorts of cool and unique things to see, but the exterior was somewhat lacking, and there wasn't really a huge feeling of being underground.
Gameplay: 5.5/10 - The exploration part was nailed perfectly, and there was a nice challenge with a number of Raptors and just enough ammo. Unfortunately, there wasn't much else to really do, and the lack of any puzzle to escape the temple felt somewhat disappointing.
Story: 9/10 - The only details you recieve are the only ones you need to understand (somewhat) what's going on and formulate your own ideas. I kept wondering how this all happened and what these Grants were doing in the temple! A simple yet intriguing plot without getting in the way of gameplay. Really no problems here.
Creativity: 10/10 - A building-block temple, new models, unorthodox Trepasser level design, a great, original story, what's not to love here?

OVERALL:
8/10 - Would raid the tomb again. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:26 am 
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8) Thanks TI!

Spoiler: show
The terrain issue - as long as you'll continue to be dissatisfied with "reused" Trespasser terrain, I will continue to be recolonizing all the various areas of Isla Sorna with different varieties of coverage, to spin a massive web of intentionally-structured Tres variation. 8) It is as well an ancient Trespasser tradition, with levels like TC Act 1 and The Four Towers having been like this since years ago. I view the various areas of Tres-Sorna as books with different chapters to read with each new created variation.

Glad you liked the story! I was as well making much of it up as I went. Do plan on hearing more about this storyline in the future. :batman:

On atmosphere. I agree with your analysis and critique. Ultimately I noticed several ways this level could have been better after releasing it; not spending forever on mods looks this way, take note..

You got the toy reference, I'm glad! In actuality it's a specific set of 5 Alan Grants, toy-inspired but not complete in toy-representation. The black-shirt-blue-pants Grant is a custom figure I painted once, and they are meant to make a complete set of 5, 'cause I like the number 5. Idk if you ever watched Stargate SG1 but the dead clones everywhere was partially inspired by when this happened with Baal in that show. :nerd:


Your crits are well-received and shall inform my next mod! Am curious to find out when I'll next make a scary underground level where the atmosphere lesson may be applied. :pirate:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:03 am 
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Spoiler: show
Quote:
The terrain issue - as long as you'll continue to be dissatisfied with "reused" Trespasser terrain, I will continue to be recolonizing all the various areas of Isla Sorna with different varieties of coverage, to spin a massive web of intentionally-structured Tres variation. 8) It is as well an ancient Trespasser tradition, with levels like TC Act 1 and The Four Towers having been like this since years ago. I view the various areas of Tres-Sorna as books with different chapters to read with each new created variation.

Fair enough, but I'm still going to bring it up unless you manage to disguise the level to the point that I don't notice.

Quote:
Glad you liked the story! I was as well making much of it up as I went. Do plan on hearing more about this storyline in the future. :batman:

I'd personally like to see some sort of crossover between this and that weird Nedry purgatory level you did a while back. That's still one of my favorites due to how bizarre, eerie and unique it is.

Quote:
On atmosphere. I agree with your analysis and critique. Ultimately I noticed several ways this level could have been better after releasing it; not spending forever on mods looks this way, take note..

We'll have to agree to differ on that point, then. You know me! :P

Quote:
Am curious to find out when I'll next make a scary underground level where the atmosphere lesson may be applied. :pirate:

You don't have to make a new one - just continue this! I'd love to see the level expanded on...more stuff to see, a bit more detail here and there, whichever critiques you'd like to follow up on. I'm sure you could take this level and make it a 10/10 if you stuck with it! We already have a version of the level to play, but it would be exciting to see new areas teased for each upcoming version and such.

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