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-   -   SRB2-The Emerald Isles v. 3.0.7 (https://mb.srb2.org/showthread.php?t=40559)

Kuja 06-03-2015 08:21 AM

SRB2-The Emerald Isles v. 3.0.7
 
7 Attachment(s)
Hi, and welcome to my level pack that I originally started back in 2008. It's undergone a number of changes through the years(1.09.4-2.0). This project was originally intended to be something to do for people that were bored with the original game...and for me to learn the ins and outs of level design and learning what does and doesn't work in them while trying to improve on my past attempts each time.

The age of the last level is very apparent, as is actually the oldest level in the level pack up to this point. My first level was Rush Canyon, the second was Aquatic Labyrinth, and the third was Shale Village. As of the last release in 2.0, Shale Village was the oldest level in the pack. I said I was going to update it next in my last thread, and I delivered! Take that, 2008 me!

Speaking of which, if you want to avoid the potential lag cluster of the new Aquatic Labyrinth, you may take the left path out of the boss room in Blaze Canyon 3 and go to the old version of the zone-or if you're just curious/feeling nostalgic.

*update* There are now red/blue paths to take to the end, in case you feel one level is too difficult. No changing your mind if you choose one or the other, though-you have been warned.

There are no emblems in this level pack this time, as I believe that the merit of just playing it should be entertainment enough. That's not to say there aren't unlockables, there just won't be any that revolve around hunting around a massive level that may not allow backtracking.

*update*You may find other surprises in the levels themselves, however...

Comments/suggestions/critique/error reports are welcome as always, as they may very well determine which direction I intend to go in for future levels.

Also included guest times if you're having trouble speedrunning for the unlock.

*12/26 update*A few level tweaks and changes have been added.
Asset package used from
http://mb.srb2.org/showthread.php?t=35544

Frostburn eggman made by Sapheros.
http://mb.srb2.org/showthread.php?t=41965

MascaraSnake 06-07-2015 09:49 AM

Alright, here we go! These were probably my favorite custom levels back in 1.09.4, and while they obviously show their age now, it's nice to have them back. I'll try to find some time in the coming week to give you detailed feedback on the new zone.

"Lat'" 06-07-2015 11:18 AM

Not gonna lie, I'm pretty happy this is finally here ^.~
I'm gonna record my whole playthrough of this, in online, it's always better to see how people play rather than reading a huge text block.

Also pls add support for sylveon's HUD and ill rate it 6/5.

EDIT: We're done recording. I'll upload so you can see what are our complaints.
I can already tell you that we skipped both Aquatic Labyrinth and the other new zone because of how unplayable they were.

Kuja 06-07-2015 01:26 PM

Unplayable hard or unplayable laggy? Or maybe both? I can probably solve one of those problems easily.


But one of those is going to require drastic measures :P

JimLikesShoes 06-07-2015 01:53 PM

I am Glad that that The Emerald Isles has been finally ported to 2.1. I've gotten a bit tired playing in 2.0 plus the small amount of character .wad files I have for that version of SRB2. Aquatic Labyrinth, surprisingly enough, is fast enough for me to play. Before it was just unbearable.
The new zone is quite laggy. The first act I could cope with, but the second act was so slow that I could barely play it. With all that lag, I had no idea what was going on until the next frame popped up. I'm estimating about 5 frames per second.
Laggy or not, i'm glad you got rid of that old city/forest-like zone (I can't remember the name of it...D'oh!). It was all three easy, short and boring. If anything, i'm glad that I can finally play TEI in 2.1 with some new content and a new zone even though it's laggy. I really hope you can fix that.

Puppyfaic 06-07-2015 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kuja (Post 769293)
Unplayable hard or unplayable laggy? Or maybe both? I can probably solve one of those problems easily.


But one of those is going to require drastic measures :P

Unplayably laggy. At least, for me anyway.

Maximus123458 06-07-2015 03:37 PM

My opinion about this wad is still the same as with the previous versions, solid level design and a great presentation.

However, i have some complaints about the new zone, Forgotten Grove or however it was called. Act 1 is just fine, but act 2 i felt was too cluttered, and as a result it was too laggy. And i kept getting stuck, which led me to skipping the act out of frustration. I recommend improving act 2, i just didn't find it all that fun.

"Lat'" 06-07-2015 07:46 PM

Review, part 1.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxBTRPn1H_o


Alright here is our first part of the TEI playthrough.
While I apologize for how Icefox and Dima acted, we eventually found some glitches in that first zone:
Firstly the plane cutscene is akward and apparently didn't warp Dima. It's not really needed anyway, the level was fine without it. In the second act, there are some problems in that underwater section too, such as a room having a darker colormap and a waterfall texture underwater, you'll see in the video anyway.


I can already tell you some other stuff however; every zone, aside of IEZ has its third act missing, forcing the player to go in the laggy AAZ after BCZ2. Speaking of AAZ, it and and FGZ were so unplayable that I decided to not include what I recorded in them and deleted the files just wasting 4 GB each; 5/35 FPS while NOT recording is awful. You're gonna need some big tweaks in there to make it more playable. As long as those zones are laggy, I'd suggest making them optional.

EDIT: Also tell me, why is holdfly in there?!

Kuja 06-07-2015 10:33 PM

Holdfly was included due to it actually being an improvement over button mashing.

So today I was throwing a few ideas around in my head, and I've come to some potential solutions, some being easier to remedy than others.


1)Make FGZ optional. This is easy enough to do, and it would involve giving it the ALZ treatment where you could bypass it directly and just go to Shale Village instead.


2)Cut the level in half. This seems the more permanent solution, and I could make the whole zone go into 4 acts instead of 3. But then I run into the fear of making it feel like the zone is dragging on longer than it needs to. Maybe it already does. If I could trim the 5 minute acts down to two 2:30 acts, would that be acceptable or would it feel weird seeing a 4th act?

3)Delete part of the level. This would suck, but then again not much can be done if it isn't all that fun to begin with.


EDIT:I also figured out what happened with the co-op strings, and I'll fix that in the next update. I've no idea why the waterfall textures do that while going into another body of water. I'll play around with some of the sectors and see if I can fix that.

Nekoishi 06-07-2015 11:34 PM

A skip level button reminds me of something far worse..

Quote:

Originally Posted by D00D64 (Post 759698)
You don't move the trash to your basement, you get it out of the house!

If the level is really so bad that you're considering a skip level thing then you should also consider just scrapping what you have of it right now and starting over.

Monster Iestyn 06-08-2015 12:16 AM

...am I the only one who didn't get many lag problems in either ALZ or FGZ? The only area that lagged significantly in FGZ1 at least was this one area with apparently around 1000 spikes by a reverse gravity path and a spinning chain to get you up there; that brought the framerate right down to show red in the FPS counter I recall. The rest of the act hardly lagged at all, in contrast.

NOW, there are many other problems with FGZ in general besides all this about lag, but it's very late in this timezone so I'll leave my rants for another time...


Btw, I play SRB2 using 640x400 windowed with Software mode. Using a higher resolution however DOES bring a noticable framerate drop so I've seen. Just in case that helps to know.

Ezer.Arch 06-08-2015 12:34 AM

2 Attachment(s)
My favorite huge level pack is back. Hello Mr. Kuja. :)

I played it until FGZ1. In case you want to see me playing: http://www.twitch.tv/ezerarch/b/666911518 (don't need to watch it thoroughly).

I didn't have major issues until ALZ2 (1, 2, 3... surprise sucker!, 4 and 5) and FGZ1 (1, 2 and 3... forgot how slippery this game is after they removed the strafe on/off!) because I couldn't tell where I was supposed to step/land/stop. And I got stuck in a spring and I found an invisible solid wall in the middle of a room, both in the 2nd map (see images attached).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monster Iestyn (Post 769317)
...am I the only one who didn't get many lag problems in either ALZ or FGZ?

No. I didn't get it either.

Badnik 06-08-2015 01:30 AM

The difficulty curve of this level pack really bothers me: ALZ is really long and difficult, and from what I've heard so is FGZ (I couldn't play through it due to lag), but TPZ is really simple and easy, and SDZ isn't very hard either except for the boss. I would suggest moving those last two zones to earlier in the game, which would leave FGZ as the final zone and allow you to get away with it having more acts than usual.

Kuja 06-08-2015 03:38 AM

I'll apologize for the lag, but I will not apologize for the difficulty unless you can specify what exactly is difficult about it. I need details. I will say that I'll watch the videos later tonight to get an idea though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nekoishi (Post 769316)
If the level is really so bad that you're considering a skip level thing then you should also consider just scrapping what you have of it right now and starting over.

I'm considering putting in a level skip not because the level itself is bad, but because the increase in difficulty can probably be off-putting to some people. There is more than one reason BCZ3 has two exits-it's been stated in the past as well. If you can't handle ALZ1 because of the difficulty, then there's always the other serviceable level you can fall back to. I have no qualms on how you choose to get to the last level. If you can't do it, you can't do it. It's fine.

The lag is tied to the amount of sheer stuff that is in the levels. Even if I took out every last spike, it probably wouldn't make a bit of difference. Which is how I've come to the conclusion of just bisecting the level and making multiple acts, as well as making an alternate route to Shale Village. I think that's fair. I don't necessarily have to follow typical level conventions.

MascaraSnake 06-08-2015 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kuja (Post 769315)
Holdfly was included due to it actually being an improvement over button mashing.

I disagree, and I'd really prefer it if you just let people who want to use it add it themselves rather than forcing it on everybody.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kuja (Post 769315)
But then I run into the fear of making it feel like the zone is dragging on longer than it needs to. Maybe it already does.

It already does, but splitting the same amount of content into multiple acts won't add to that IMO. In general I felt like you were spreading your ideas too thin over the zone. There's enough stuff here for two very entertaining three-minute acts, but at six minutes each you're bound to repeat yourself. It's not that any sections stood out as obviously less inspired than the rest, but as the zone went on, I saw a lot of rooms that didn't really add anything to what I had already seen.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monster Iestyn (Post 769317)
The only area that lagged significantly in FGZ1 at least was this one area with apparently around 1000 spikes by a reverse gravity path and a spinning chain to get you up there; that brought the framerate right down to show red in the FPS counter I recall.

Those spikes are no longer there IIRC.

MascaraSnake 06-09-2015 09:16 AM

So I figured out what's causing the debilitating lag, at least for me. It's not the maps per se - it's the Lua scripts. Without any Lua scripts, both acts of FGZ run at full speed for me, whereas with them, they drop down to 7 FPS for minutes at a time. SRB2's Lua interface is quite inefficient in some respects, especially when it comes to the MobjThinker hook: What the MobjThinker hook does is replace the thinker for a specific object type. So every time an object runs its thinker, it has to check if there's any Lua script loaded that changes the thinker. Doing that is pretty time-consuming for boring technical reasons I don't want to go over (and don't understand 100% anyway). FGZ2 has over 7000 objects, so that's a LOT of checks that run every single tic.

On top of that, your "super for all characters" script is very inefficient itself: You use a MobjThinker hook with MT_PLAYER, so that hook already runs once for each player. But inside the hook, you iterate over all players again. So if there are 5 players in the map, for example, your script applies the same code 5 times to each player. The hook already iterates over all players for you, so inside the hook you only need to apply the effect to the player that the hook gives you. Even better, use a ThinkFrame hook instead and then iterate over all players inside of that, to avoid the performance issues with the MobjThinker hook.

Strangely, even when I optimized your script (which means there were no longer any MobjThinker hooks in use), there was still considerable lag. It only dropped as low as 20 FPS in situations where it would previously be 7 FPS, but that's still pretty annoying. You should consider removing those two Lua scripts. The features they add aren't particularly relevant, and I don't think they're worth making FGZ unplayable for.

Kuja 06-11-2015 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MascaraSnake (Post 769356)
So I figured out what's causing the debilitating lag, at least for me. It's not the maps per se - it's the Lua scripts. Without any Lua scripts, both acts of FGZ run at full speed for me, whereas with them, they drop down to 7 FPS for minutes at a time. SRB2's Lua interface is quite inefficient in some respects, especially when it comes to the MobjThinker hook: What the MobjThinker hook does is replace the thinker for a specific object type. So every time an object runs its thinker, it has to check if there's any Lua script loaded that changes the thinker. Doing that is pretty time-consuming for boring technical reasons I don't want to go over (and don't understand 100% anyway). FGZ2 has over 7000 objects, so that's a LOT of checks that run every single tic.

On top of that, your "super for all characters" script is very inefficient itself: You use a MobjThinker hook with MT_PLAYER, so that hook already runs once for each player. But inside the hook, you iterate over all players again. So if there are 5 players in the map, for example, your script applies the same code 5 times to each player. The hook already iterates over all players for you, so inside the hook you only need to apply the effect to the player that the hook gives you. Even better, use a ThinkFrame hook instead and then iterate over all players inside of that, to avoid the performance issues with the MobjThinker hook.

Strangely, even when I optimized your script (which means there were no longer any MobjThinker hooks in use), there was still considerable lag. It only dropped as low as 20 FPS in situations where it would previously be 7 FPS, but that's still pretty annoying. You should consider removing those two Lua scripts. The features they add aren't particularly relevant, and I don't think they're worth making FGZ unplayable for.

Lua is such a mysterious animal. This is probably why I shouldn't try things. Thank you for taking the time to diagnose that for me.

I'll update it and take out the scripts. I'm still testing the acts and updating it with the other suggestions in this thread, so it'll probably be another day or two before I'm ready to release the next iteration.

Kuja 06-12-2015 11:58 PM

I Updated with a new release. Version 3.0.7 has a lot of fixing new and old things, as well as tweaking some things I was experimenting with.
  • Removed The opening scene in Zone 1. I figured it would be cool, but it really does seem kind of awkward in hindsight to teleport in. Oh well, live and learn.
  • I Can't really fix the spring bug in the second act that Ezer pointed out, I guess the normal SRB2 springs just don't like it when you spring from below them. I moved the springs around so it's less likely to happen.
  • Fixed the underwater colormap in EIZ2 that someone pointed out for me.
  • Fixed a few issues in ALZ2 with the rising blocks-I made it a bit more apparent that it would happen and added air bubbles in a few places. Fixed transparency issues here and there in the level as well(Thanks Ezer!).
  • Took out the holdfly script due to people not being happy about being forced to take it, which I guess I can understand(Sorry Wolfy). I can still push it and suggest you try it out though!
  • http://mb.srb2.org/showthread.php?t=38735
  • There are two paths out of ALZ3. Going straight ahead and ignoring the 3 arrows will take you to Shale Village. The other exit will go to Forgotten Grove.
  • Zones should hopefully lag less(Praise Snakecrusher)
  • Other minor details that I can't remember.

On a side note, ALZ2 is probably the longest I intend any level to take, barring maybe the final level that I haven't made yet. So I've decided to shorten Forgotten Grove somewhat so the level can take less time, but remain as challenging as I intended it to be.

I wanted the first act to be played somewhat fast, while incorporating some of the level design movement gimmicks I would include in act 2. Air chutes, magnetic roads, wind towers, and chain swinging were the main attractions in the zone.

As for the second act, the design intention was to have the player slow down and look at their surroundings before doing platforming. The first obstacle in the level was kind of the "warning shot" for this, telling you that you might want to be careful.

As always, let me know what you think. I do value free advice, no matter where it may come from.

Sapheros 06-19-2015 06:57 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Kuja, great job, I love Forgotten Grove, can't wait to play as Sonic, but uh...
http://imgur.com/nu9eEI7
You missed a spot in Star Reactor...
http://imgur.com/nu9eEI7

Kuja 06-20-2015 03:16 AM

Thanks! I'll update it in the next day or so.


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