Author Topic: wut specturr'z playing  (Read 21299 times)

Bobbias

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #105 on: July 05, 2021, 05:54:19 PM »
Just read about the vertical level + melee stuff in btsx and damn, that is mean. I forgot about modern doom engines often not being true to vanilla, and making height more "sensible", but to me Doom always means it has those height related quirks.
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #106 on: July 07, 2021, 06:54:33 AM »
There's a ton of little stuff like that. It kind or ranges from frustrating (having your bullets pass right through enemies due to how hitscans are handled) to potentially exploitative (enemies receiving splash damage multiple times). All in the name of getting this sucker to run on a 386, I imagine!

As far as why the hitscan thing happens, it's due to moreeeee optimizations. Doom has a data structure called the blockmap. In the WAD file, this will carve the map into 128x128 unit slices, logging all of the linedefs that fall within each of those slices. After the engine loads the level, it also adds things to the list, tracking enemies, items, players, and decorations in the blockmap structure as well. This is used to accelerate collision, but it does have one notable downside. Here's a visual of how one scenario may look:



The numbered squares are individual blockmap blocks. The green object is the player, and the red object is a large enemy (let's say, an arachnotron). You can say with quite a bit of certainty that the player is in block 3, but what about the arachnotron? Well, when it comes to thing-to-thing collision everything will work correctly, since the projectile or object is physically travelling, but what about hitscans?

One of the shortcuts that Doom does is to use blockmaps to determine whether it's even possible for a tracer to hit a target. The problem here is that it only factors in the origin. As a result of this, despite the fact that a large amount of the arachnotron spills over into blocks 1, 3, and 4, only tracers that pass through block 2 are considered. If you were to aim at this arachnotron's left or right legs with a chaingun and pull the trigger, you'd miss every single shot. While the problem gets far worse with wider enemies, this can even be observed with pinkies and even former humans (if you're particularly unlucky).

It's important to note that this affects anything that uses hitscan tracers, including the BFG9000. The BFG can deal over 3500 damage to a single target if the ball and all of its tracers land within said target, and getting this high of a damage roll isn't all that uncommon (roughly 1 in 8, which is pretty favorable in terms of RNG). This is more than enough to kill the spider mastermind with one shot (she only has 3000 HP, and the odds of your BFG rolling that much damage is roughly 50%!), but in practice it's a bit more rare due to this issue. Because she's a whopping 256 units wide (large enough to fit in four blocks, minimum) it requires you to aim at just the right part to ensure that as many tracers as possible land within the block that her origin falls in. Given the size of her hitbox, I'm not even sure that it's possible for all of the tracers to land (you're going to be standing a minimum of 128 units away from her origin point, after all) so the odds of getting that coveted one-hit kill is pretty low in practice, with 2-3 being a more realistic number.

(G)ZDoom doesn't use the blockmap to determine hitscan collision, which means that every single unit within the mastermind's 256x256 hit box can be affected by a tracer. If you get close enough, your odds of getting a OHK on her skyrocket right up to that theoretical 50% figure. It's impossible to not kill a spiderdemon in two BFG hits unless you simply can't get close enough.

Even before I got into this level of engine analysis I wondered why bosses went down so much faster in ZDoom. I'm glad I know now, at least!
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #107 on: July 08, 2021, 09:31:35 PM »
Just finished Rush!

MAP10: It opens up with some nice indoor combat areas, sprinkled with some decent traps and monster spawns. At the end it throws you into a large arena with swarms of cacodemons and hell knights, a handful of cyberdemons, and way too many arch-viles (though thankfully they give you an invuln sphere to help you deal with them). My strategy for dealing with this was to kill off the pain elementals at the center of the arena, run around to force some good, old-fashioned infighting, take down the arch-viles with the invulnerability sphere, then pick off the remaining demons. Fun as hell.

MAP11: The opening is balls to the wall, reminiscent of the earlier slaughter-focused maps in the pack. Just over half of the kills happen near the beginning, with the rest being chonksters that appear when you snatch the skull keys. Gotta give a special shoutout to the arena that ultimately allows you to grab the yellow key. It didn't really have a lot of enemies, but between the little bit of verticality that arena provides and the enemy selection it's a bit on the nasty side. The red key, which is just a brute force assault, pales in comparison. As with MAP10, the final fight mercifully gives you an invuln sphere that gives you just enough time to deal with the copious amounts of arch-viles before letting you leisurely pick off the rest of the demons.

MAP12: Hoo boy, this is a biggun. 1234 enemies, a large, intricate level design, and some nasty monster traps. By far the toughest level of the WAD, but it remains pretty manageable as long as you're good at spontaneously forming exit strategies and knowing just when to switch from the rocket launcher to a closer range weapon. It's a seriously great culmination to everything you've gone through up to this point, and a fantastic way to cap things off.

So, final thoughts: this map set is excellent. It doesn't overstay its welcome, has some adrenaline pumping moments, some great traps, and has some much needed moments of downtime between swarms.

On a side note, it's kind of funny how quickly I'm plowing through WADs that earlier this year I never thought I'd have a chance at beating. Just a little bit of practice and persistence is all it takes, I suppose!

Next stop: I dunno. Ancient Aliens, maybe?

Edit: YEP, Ancient Aliens.

MAP01: Berserk. A bunch of lower level enemies (with a couple of hell knights and revenants) and a cyberdemon turret, along with some really sweet visuals. Kind of a fun gimmick, and nothing too difficult as long as you stay on your toes.

MAP02: Definitely a more conventional map. Basic key/switch hunt, with a decent number of low level enemies. Pretty easy stuff.

MAP03: Another map that uses the monster turret concept, though this time with arachnotrons. Fairly tight quarters, overall, and plenty of opportunities to encourage infighting and save ammo. Very fun!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 11:15:14 PM by Spectere »
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Bobbias

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #108 on: July 09, 2021, 07:30:09 PM »
That's really interesting. The space partitioning technique is pretty common, but only considering an object's origin region for hitscan detection while allowing for objects large enough compared to a region for that to become a problem sounds more like an oversight than an intentional optimization. Doom (the original engine anyway) spends something like 90% of its time pushing pixels rather than doing anything else, so adding a small additional bit of detection code to handle that properly would probably not cause much in the way of performance loss in most cases. The spider mastermind would be one case where that would add quite a bit more work though.

I wonder how hard it would be to actually test that theory...
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #109 on: July 11, 2021, 01:27:27 AM »
That would also conflate another issue with the engine: the limited size of the intercepts structure. It's already possible, in some instances, to overflow that table and corrupt the blockmap (the next thing in memory) even on standard maps. It's not at all uncommon for a thing to be standing on multiple blockmap chunks, so you're more than doubling the odds of an overflow. You can't just throw more memory at the problem either, because Doom was already pushing hard against the 4MB barrier, and memory was expensive as hell in 1993.

Also, bear in mind that we're talking about 386's here. Those CPUs tended to require a lot of cycles per instruction (one of the biggest improvements of the 486 was reducing that, introduced pipelining, and adding an instruction cache--the difference between the two was pretty massive), so adding in a bunch of extra ALU hits was actually very expensive on those systems. Plus, it's a bit complicated. For smaller targets you could do a quick four-point check on the edges of their hitboxes, but for larger enemies (larger than 128 units) that wouldn't work and would require even more calculations just to see if it's even possible for them to be hit.

Compare this to the solution that they used: a table in a static section of memory that can be (relatively) quickly accessed, and is guaranteed to be updated as things move from chunk to chunk.

There's a pretty huge gap in complexity--especially for a 386 (which doesn't even have an on-die instruction cache or pipeline, on top of a slow ALU)--and aside from certain edge cases it's unlikely that a casual player would notice a difference. Plus, most of the larger enemies are usually best dispatched with rockets and projectiles anyway, and the issue doesn't affect those.

I think this is one of those issues that seems silly with a modern lens, but it makes more sense when the hardware of the era is closely considered. Polar movement coordinates? Yeah, maybe not so much with that. I think even Carmack said at one point that doing that was a mistake, lol.
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #110 on: July 17, 2021, 11:52:16 PM »
More Ancient Aliens!

MAP04: Pretty short, with some pretty fast-paced gameplay sprinkled throughout. There are a couple of arch-viles and mancubi that kinda harass you at the beginning of the map, but as you progress it's possible to barrel-nuke and telefrag them, respectively. I like it!

MAP05: I wasn't a huge fan of this one. It's fairly reasonable in premise--dodge the cyberdemon!--but in practice it ends up being a slog if you're even semi-competent at dodging rockets. All that ended up happening is that I'd run from point A to point B and given that so many switches and secrets are either in alcoves or require you to wait for a sec, I'd basically have to stop what I was doing, lure the cyberdemon away, and then run back and continue. Meh.


In Other News: I decided to UV-Max all of the levels in Ultimate Doom's E1-E3 from a pistol start tonight for the first time. It wasn't too bad, but man...you have to shotgun a lot of barons and cacos to death when you start pushing into episode 3. It's incredible how much Doom II's expanded bestiary and super shotgun improved the game. Also: fuck E3M5.

Edit: Just did episode 4. Ye gods, those are some bad, bad levels. I didn't bother UV-Max'ing most of them due to them either being way, way too imbalanced (the infamous E4M1) or because I just wanted them to be over as quickly as possible. Still, I beat all of them from a pistol start so, uh...that's a thing I did. Yay?

In all fairness, the Romero levels were pretty good (E4M2 felt overtuned, especially for map frickin' two, while E4M6 felt fine) and there were a few that I'd consider average. Then there's shit like E4M4. Ugly, stuck enemies galore, uninspired. Blech. Episode 4 just kind of...exists, and while I can find plenty of redeeming qualities in TNT despite my opinions of it, I really see no reason to ever play through episode 4 again.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 06:00:00 PM by Spectere »
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #111 on: September 03, 2021, 11:35:51 PM »
Switched over from Ancient Aliens to Valiant in my Doom escapades. I made it through the first two episodes (that is, through MAP13) and it's been pretty great so far. I'm definitely not looking forward to meeting the cybruisers, though (rocket launcher wielding Hell Knights that are immune to splash damage).

Kinda thinking of flipping over to Eviternity after I wrap that up.

Also, I cleared about half of the maps in Rush from a pistol start now. I sometimes use MAP04 as a warmup for when I want to put myself into slaughtermap mode.

Oh, I'm also playing FFXIV now. Like, quite a bit.

2. Hyrule Warriors grinding. [...] I'd also like to clear the first four adventure maps

This is finally done. That uh, took a little longer than expected.
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #112 on: September 11, 2021, 04:46:28 AM »
Valiant

I'm tearing through this faster than I'd ever played through a megawad, which is to say that it's quite excellent.

I just finished up MAP27, including the, erm, secret part. Speaking of that secret part: I managed to beat it first try. I ate two rockets pretty much right at the start because I'm a dumbass, but I was able to snag a megasphere and stay in the fight as the arena continued to open up. Holy hell, is that part fun. I wish I were recording that.

So yeah, three more maps to go. Woo. I think I might move onto Eviternity next.
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #113 on: September 11, 2021, 08:27:21 PM »
Just beat Valiant. That was pretty great! Easily some of the highest quality maps I've ever played.

The fourth episode (maps 19-24) were definitely the weakest point for me, with the fifth episode probably being my favorite overall. I can't recommend this megawad enough, honestly.
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #114 on: January 20, 2022, 07:07:56 AM »
I've been recording a lot of Doom content. If you guys want to see it, everything's available on my YouTube channel. I settled on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday publishing schedule, though I've been adding weekend videos in due to my video backlog building up surprisingly quickly.
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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #115 on: February 14, 2022, 09:40:35 AM »
I finished playing through The Gunk (Steam | Microsoft) last night. I kinda just snagged it on a whim using GamePass, and it proved to be a fun time.

It plays and controls well, at least on the Series X (oh yeah, I have one of those now…mini-review: it's more powerful than my last gaming PC, quick resume is awesome, its 120hz/FreeSync support is *chef's kiss*, and its backwards compatibility is fantastic), looks decent, and is generally pretty chill. The difficulty curve is generally pretty smooth and linear (aside from a bit of a random spike near the end), though I would never say that the game gets truly hard at any point. Generally speaking it's just a series of fairly low-tier environmental puzzles with some light combat breaking it up, and overall it's exactly as long as it needs to be without overstaying its welcome.

So yeah, it's a great title if you have a few hours free and just want to veg out. Assuming that a 5/10 is average, I think a 7/10 would be a fair score for it. It's nothing exceptional or groundbreaking, but it's a solid game with enough good moments to warrant a play through.
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vladgd

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #116 on: February 17, 2022, 03:58:57 AM »
I have been considering "in the future" getting one of those "new" consoles. Hard to justify with limited library, but I'd assume the xbox has enough backwards compatibility to make it pretty seamless? I ain't there yet, and I ain't sure I'll even get there at all, but I've been looking at driving sims...both consoles have their "one of those"...so...been considering it.

There is a degree of convenience consoles have that pc's just don't "yet" have. Even having this fairly compitent laptop, it's still less effort for me to play something on switch.

Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #117 on: February 18, 2022, 02:14:50 AM »
I have been considering "in the future" getting one of those "new" consoles. Hard to justify with limited library, but I'd assume the xbox has enough backwards compatibility to make it pretty seamless? I ain't there yet, and I ain't sure I'll even get there at all, but I've been looking at driving sims...both consoles have their "one of those"...so...been considering it.

The Xbox's back compat is seriously impressive. I've been playing games from the OG Xbox all the way through to the Series titles and it hasn't skipped a beat. I've seen some people reporting that they were able to play a game of OG Halo across every generation (Xbox, 360, One X, Series X) using system link. Kinda mind-blowing stuff, honestly.

GamePass is a hell of a value (plus Ultimate lets you play PC games as well), and it does have titles going from the OG Xbox all the way through to the newest of the new. At this point the only thing I find myself using the Xbox 360 for is Rock Band, since most of the other stuff Just Works™.

The One/Series games also support Quick Resume, which actually puts it ahead of PC. When you swap between games that support it, it brings you right back to where you left off, largely bypassing load times and such. I heard that people had issues with it when it first debuted on the Xbox One, but it's worked exceptionally well for me so far.

There is a degree of convenience consoles have that pc's just don't "yet" have. Even having this fairly compitent laptop, it's still less effort for me to play something on switch.

Yeah, pretty much. It kinda removes the annoyance of having to maintain a complex operating system. I mean, technically they're still running a full OS but they spare you all of the bullshit associated with that.

It was kind of "convenient" to use my PC as a console stand-in for a while since it was all basically connected to the same displays, but now that I have my own place it's really nice to be able to just chill out in the living room and play some vidya.



IN OTHER NEWS, my Super Hexagon urges kicked in again, and after some experimentation I found that the best way to play it was by running the iPad version on an ARM Mac. Yes, really. This skirts around the fact that the Steam version is a mess with buggy input handling that seems to run at 62.5fps, as well as the weirdness with keyboard input on a real iPad (since I'm using touchscreen emulation on the Mac—that is, pressing the left/right arrows taps the left and right side of the screen, and clicking to select the stage).

Like, the closest I've ever gotten to 100+ seconds on any stage was 98 seconds on iPad. After not playing for a while I was able to pull this out of my ass on my second try:

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Spectere

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #118 on: April 28, 2022, 08:48:52 PM »
I think I managed to find most of the new content in The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe.

Gotta say, it was really fun revisiting it. I ended up spotting a bunch of things that I still need to work out (like a paper containing an obvious ASCII dump that I haven't plopped into a converter) so I'm sure there's still a bunch of stuff left that I still need to find.

They did a solid job converting it over to the Unity engine, and between the drastically reduced load times, the solid dynamic lighting, increased interactivity, and the fact that it doesn't immediately start changing my display resolution on load does a good job demonstrating why the original Source engine is a bit long in the tooth.

Major engine improvements aside, it's still fantastic that they managed to capture the same look at the Source Engine original (well, uh, the HD release…technically the "original" is a Half-Life 2 mod) despite Unity being completely different.
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vladgd

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Re: wut specturr'z playing
« Reply #119 on: May 04, 2022, 02:30:40 PM »
That game to me I consumed from this old old old let's play. So I am surprised when I see it brought up in more recent times, because that thing ain't new at all. Though due to this, seeing how the game is played, it seems like you can get most of the experience not playing the game then as you could playing it. Entertaining 45 minutes nonetheless.

The concept for that game would make for an interesting movie.