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RichyBoy

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    Games & music (playing both)
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  1. That's some great work Lundquist! I'm now fully convinced that the team made the right decision in deciding to use the MIDI tracks in the mod. The 'final battle' track sounds absolutely superb on my Audigy 2 and 6.1 speakers with CMSS 2 enabled. The only point of criticism I can make is the same one Katarn07 mentioned relating to the transition to the string soli section at ~1min 30s - it's a little jarring. Perhaps if you removed the two trombone notes in the preceeding bar? That aside, this stuff is A+. Btw, what synth did you use to playback the MIDI - was it a standard GM bank, soundfonts, or something else? I ask because I'm in need of some good brass instrument sounds for my own MIDI work, but everything I've found so far sounds just awful - like the crappy 'quacking duck' style brass you used to get on those dinky Yamaha keyboards they have in schools. The brass in your files are just about the closest I've heard to real instruments, so it would be great if I could find something similar for my own use.
  2. Hey all! It's been quite a while since I last posted on this board, but I just saw one piece of news that I thought you'd all love to hear. Sorry if it's already been mentioned, but I didn't see any other threads or news posted about it, so here goes... According to HomeLan Fed, during Acitivsions fiscal conference they let slip that a sequel to Jedi Outcast is in the works, scheduled for release in fiscal 2004 (mid 2003 - mid 2004). You can find the article here: http://www.homelanfed.com/index.php?id=11538 They've also got a link to an audio recording of the conference call so you can here it for yourselves. They've tried to confirm it with Lucasarts and Raven, but haven't had any reply yet. For those that can't be bothered to follow the link, here's the news post in full: So there you have it. Not concrete by any means, but certainly promising - and the fact that the source is Activision themseleves is a pretty damn good sign.
  3. Yes! Definately add the boss! But why only on hard? Surely if you're going to go to the trouble of doing it you might as well add the fight for all difficulty levels. I never heard of having an extra boss only on hard difficuly in a game before. As long as it's done well, I don't see any reason for people to complain. If you're worried about having a boss that early in the game being too difficult for newbies, why not just exclude him from easy difficulty, or script it so that if the player is low on health/energy when they get to him they don't have to fight? Alternatively (particularly if you've got any more interesting, potentially controversial alterations you'd like to make to the game), perhaps you could release some sort of 'enhancement pack' for people to download seperately from the mod itself. That way those who want to try the new stuff can, and those who don't can play the game with the levels as they were in the original DF - sorta like the 'new missions / classic missions' option in the Collector's Edition CD of X-Wing where players could select to play easier versions of some levels that were particularly difficult in the original floppy disk version.
  4. But that's the problem at the moment IMHO - the Star Wars theme MIDI isn't up to par with the rest of the MIDI in the mod. All the other tracks sound vastly better than the originals, but the SW theme sounds exactly the same as it did back when I originally played Dark Forces seven years ago. I don't know what you used to playback the original MIDI when you converted it to MP3 for the mod, but I think that even if you used soudfonts instead of general MIDI the opening would still sound bad because that old sequencing by Lucasarts really isn't very good - if you analysed it layer by layer it bears only a superficial resemblance to Herb Spencer's original orchestration. The main theme needs resequencing from scratch and then needs to be played back using a Creative card with some good soundfonts instead of old general MIDI. As far as I can tell, the whole purpose for this MOD is to update Dark Forces to modern standards while still maintaing a certain air of nostalgia. But that nostalgia should come from the fact that fans know they are playing a modern update of an old game, i.e. the nostalgia is inherent in the mod because of what it is based on, and there should be no need to leave certain things unchanged just to provide that retro feel. It thefore feels ludicrous to update the graphics to contemporary standards while the music of the game is left floundering in it's original MIDI form. I'm sure if the technology and the trends had been there Lucasarts would have used orchestral tracks for the music rather than MIDI, so why not use it now while you are updating and improving the rest of the game? However, I understand you have a very good reason for wanting to use the MIDI: you want the music to be the same as that used in Dark Forces, and bar the main theme none of the tracks used in the game were MIDI conversions of existing orchestral material - they were new compositions that are only available in MIDI form. There is however, another way.... MIDI music has moved on a lot since the mid-90's, with Creative labs introducing a technology called soundfonts. These soundfonts are essentially individual MIDI sounds that are much more faithful representations of the way individual orchestral instruments sound than general MIDI ever was. You can compile these individual soudfonts into libraries and use them in exactly the same way you would use a standard general midi waveset, but they sound MUCH better, and with careful arranging of the music you can end up with something that sounds close to a real orchestra. I don't know exactly what you used to playback the in-game tracks, but those actually sound OK as they are. Even in comparison to those though, the opening SW theme sounds outdated and crappy - essentially because it sounds no different than it did all those years ago on my GM card at the time. It needs resequencing and then to be played back using soundfonts to sound good. If you can do the same with the in-game tracks, so much the better. As far as I can see, following the purpose of your mod MIDI should only be used for the purposes of keeping the music faithful to that in the original game (i.e. no orchestral tracks are available of the orginal music). It should not however be used simply because the old crappy warbly sounds provide a kitsch feeling of nostalgia, because using traditional MIDI simply feels wrong when it is heard alongside modern visuals. The half-hearted recent Lucasarts remakes of X-Wing and Tie-Fighter in a collector series package proved that, and were criticised as a result. MIDI has moved on a great deal since the mid-90's and you should reflect that in your mod as you have already done with the graphics. To use your own car analogy in relation to the mod as a whole, using retro MIDI techniques alongside modern cutting edge visuals makes the MIDI the rusty hubcap on the Denali. You have gone to the effort of redoing the opening title crawl and cutscenes in addition to the game graphics. It's even been mentioned in another thread that the final MOD will have full EAX 3D sound. So why should the music be the only thing to remain unchanged when the technology is there to bring it up to modern standards while retaining the same essential score as used in the original game? Anyway, that's just my 2 cents. I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm having a go - that's not my intention at all. I think that all the work you guys have done so far is simply the best and deserves a great amount of recognition and acclaim from SW gaming fans. I just want the mod to live up to it's full potential.
  5. One other thing I thought of - as you've already got searchlights in place, it would be cool if you could script it so that when Kyle stumbles into the beams they track him until he moves out of reach and an alarm could go off too. You could even have a probe droid or two being released like in the first level of Artus Prime in JO, although Definately do that tracking thing though.
  6. What can I say apart from - what a fantastic demo! Keep up the good work guys! With regard to the detail, yeah you probably could afford to to add more detail to break things up a bit so you don't notice the boxiness inherent in the level design quite as much. Just things like sloping floors, more detail in the cliff faces etc. - mostly geometric changes. Also, the lighting could do with a bit more work. Obviously, lighting is always the hardest thing to get spot on, but you need to get more varied light levels within individual rooms. At the moment it's like you've got huge individual lights in each room creating unifrom brightness thoughout. If you can make the light seem more like it's coming from individual sources with shadowy corners etc. it would look much better and again help the design seem less boxy. As for the music, I liked the in-game MIDI sequencing, but the Star Wars theme MIDI in the opening simply has to go. You've got great up-to-date graphics for the game and cutscenes, but it sort of lets it down when your big opening has music that sounded lame 8 years ago, let alone today. By all means keep the in-game sequencing - that's good, but for the intro either use the original orchestral track from the Jedi Outcast assets or resample it using a MUCH better waveset - ideally you want to be using soundfonts and a Creative Audigy card to playback and record the music and convert it to MP3. And don't just use the MIDI sequence of the theme from the original game - it was orchestrated to sound passable on adlib cards. If possible, it needs re-sequencing from scratch so that it's more like Herb Spencer's original orchestration. The menu screen is great, although the scanline effect across the main image didn't seem to look right at any resolution, i.e. the lines were unevenly spaced. There were two other little niggles I had, but they may well be stupidity on my part. Firstly, shouldn't Kyle have a flashlight, or did I miss it? I couldn't see anything inside that secret cave in the cliff face. Also, with the little red lights outside the base you've got the sound effect for them breaking when you shoot them, but they seem to remain undamaged - I assume you're going to add that effect later? Anyway, these minor things aside, this looks like it's going to be one of the best mods I've ever seen for any game. I'm very impressed by your work guys - you do the Star Wars gaming community proud.
  7. I agree wholeheartedly. Perhaps it was just because I was playing on Jedi difficulty, but I completely annihilated Dessan with Force Speed on, and beat him the first time I tried. He barely touched me . All the other saber fights were a breeze with it too, especially the Reborn. Btw, how come Kyle uses level 3 Force Grip to swing Tavion out over the edge of a building on Cloud City when I didn't even have it at that stage?
  8. Personally, I usually perfer PC ZONE over GAMER, but in the case of JK2 I'd have to say the PC GAMER review was far more professional. While GAMER only reviewed a BETA version, the managed to pack loads of information about the game into the review without actually giving away too much. There was hardly any info in the ZONE review as half of it was taken up by appaling SW puns. The other half seemed to concentrate on what the reviewer disliked about the game, so much so that I was actually surprised the rewiewer rated it so highly given all his gripes with the game. That's said I agreed with the ZONE reiewer's criticisms for the most part, such as tricky level design making it easy to get stuck, and the fact that once the lightsaber is available almost all other new weapons become obsolete. However, some of his criticisms were complete rubbish and made it obvious that he doesn't know his SW and hadn't played through the game fully. Here's a few choice snippets: "The way stealth has been handled is rather underwhelming. not that it is impossible to play the game in such a way, just that it never becomes necessary to do so." Erm, what about that level on the Doomgiver where you have to sneak around for almost the whole level as otherwise you get captured? Or did I just imagine that? "... I made a point of not using any of the other weapons at all, mainly because apart from the trusty bryar blaster pistol, the Wookie bowcaster and the stormtrooper rifle, all the other weapons you later pick up - from the Repeater Rifle to the ridiclous blunderbuss-like EMP gun - all seem to dispel the illusion that you are playing a SW game." OK, this may be true for some of the weapons, but the repeater and the rocket launcher (which he later mentions) have already appeared in some shape or form in the previous Dark Forces games. As for the DEMP II gun, he is obviously completely unaware that the gun is derived from the Jawa weapon in Episode IV. I know this is a relatively minor point, but as he chose to fill the review with crappy puns to show off his 'immense' SW knowledge, he should have known about the Jawa gun too. The reviewer also complains about a lack of interactivity with the surroundings in the game, and backs this up with an example of not being able to use the Force to throw bottles etc around when you can pull around huge crates etc. Talk about a stupid complaint - if he wants interactivity he should play Deus Ex, not an action FPS. He also failed to mention the fact that you can interact with a certain vehicle on the second level of your return to Yavin at the end of the game . Apart from this, besides gross generalisations about how the game feels great to play and is very rewarding, very little positive about the game was mentioned. For me, JK 2 was a series of brilliant gaming moments linked together and set in the SW universe, and I'm surprised the reviewer failed to metion any of these despite the specificness of his complaints about the game. For example, how about that first fight with a reborn on Cloud City? Or that bit with the driveable vehicle? In the end I'd have to agree with the review score, as the game does have some minor problems. For example, I thought the end battle wth Dessan was far too easy - I did it on my first attempt, almost without losing any health (on Jedi difficulty). I just felt that the review itself left too many good points uncovered and went into too much detail on some of the minor (and in some cases completely unjust) criticisms. EDIT: Oh yeah, while I agree with the 91% score, it's worth noting that they gave AvP 2 93% and placed it above Half-Life in their top 10 FPS chart. AvP 2 is OK, but it is definatley not better than Half-Life, and JK2 is a far, far superior game.
  9. LOL. Yeah that put me off too. How come all the other countries get cool stuff for pre-ordering and people in the UK get all the old crap that the games stores have cluttering up their back rooms?
  10. And the moral of this tale kids, is never, never, NEVER believe what you are told by software retailers. Half of them simply don't have a clue. The other half don't have enough info to respond properly to a query, so will guess and be wrong anyway. I mean, how much of a complete <insert derogatory word here> do you have to be to work in a software shop and confuse one of the big PC releases this year with it's 4 year old sequel! If that last one was a joke then I'm sorry for taking it seriously, but the fact is I can readily believe it after the number of idiotic sales staff that I've spoken to in software/computer shops. I know they are not all incompetent - a fair few are actually pretty clued-up students etc, and I can sympathize that it is difficult to keep track of all the releases in a given week - especially when they're asked about games that aren't even out yet and they have to rely on info they are given by their superiors/head office etc. However, what really bugs me is when the don't know the real answer to your question, guess, and then try to pass that guess off as factual knoweldge. As an example, I went to my local EB about a month ago to purchase Star Wars: Starfighter for the PC. I knew the game was out that day because I saw it in Virgin Megastore for about £39.99 or something ridiculous like that. However, they didn't have it out in EB so I asked a bloke who turned out to be the manager. The guy actually had the audacity to tell me that I was completely mistaken, and that Starfighter was a PS2 game that would be coming to the X-Box in the future - no PC release. I noticed a supply catalogue open on the counter in front of him, and lo & behold, on the front page there was an entry for Starfighter for PC CD-ROM on the open page. Anyway, [/RANT]. Carry on .
  11. lol - cheers Stormy . Yeah, he was good. His voice had that clipped edge to it that was very... Imperial. The only problem was that when I found out it was him, I kept waiting for someone to mention "Ze fallen Madonna wiz ze big boobies" ! Actually, I've been playing through some of those old SW games a lot recently. The only thing that grates slightly when playing those old games (apart from the ancient graphics ) is the way that all the actors pronouce the second "c" in Coruscant. I guess George must have altered it's pronouciation for Episode I. It seems strange though, that nothing Lucasarts has made makes me feel as completely immersed in the SW universe as I felt when I played Tie Fighter (apart from the DF/JK series ). Even X-Wing Alliance didn't feel quite the same, apart from the end where you fly into the heart of a fully 3D textured Death Star II! Hopefully JK2 will reawaken all those feelings. I haven't been this excited about a game since - well, ever really !
  12. Does anyone know if the Collector's Edition will be available in the UK? I've tried all the online sites but nobody seems to be stocking it . Even worse, we don't get a free t-shirt for pre-ordering from http://www.eb.uk.com or http://www.game.uk.com . All we get is a free copy of Star Wars: Battle for Naboo - woohoo !
  13. Hey *RichyBoy's brow furrows as he strains to remember the events of the past few weeks* neither did I !
  14. Just out of curiosity, did any of you notice the voice of the Imperial officer in the comms transmission you hear in the mp3 file? It sounds like the voice of the guy who did the briefings in the Tie Fighter Collector's Edition CD. Btw, just a bit of trivia for people in the UK: the voice of the briefing officer in the Tie Fighter Collector's Edition was provided by Guy Siner. If any of you remember that old comedy series "Allo, Allo" on BBC 1 in the 80's/90's set in France during WWII, Guy Siner played Lt. Gruber, the somewhat camp Nazi officer who was very fond of his "little tank".
  15. RichyBoy

    Enough

    Thanks StormHammer . *checks meter* yup, the foul-mouthed juvenile quotient of this forum just dropped by 100%.
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