The cutscene map is almost completed for Ep4. The script changes day by day. Don't expect any particularly long scenes. But there will be some meat to it. Afterall, this will end the main Nehahra storyline. I'm a bit obliged.
A cutscene switch has been added to the engine menu for those who don't dig the cutscenes.
I find it interesting that there are two divergent schools of thought on these kinds of things. Some people love cutscenes. Some hate them. (Believe it or not, I'm firmly on the fence now. I'm not that keen on the cutscenes and demos any more. What I do, I do for the fans, and that's that.
There is also the AI matter. Some people loved the upped combat AI of Nehahra, others despised it. I'd have to say it's almost an even split (leaning in favor of the higher AI). Luckily, that's not something I've got to chew over. The new game modes, governed by the NOMONSTERS variable, will customize to preference. I cannot say that I understand the naysayers on the higher end AI. Back in 2000, and even today, it strikes me as laziness under the disguise of old-school sentiment. Is the object to run through maps as fast as one can, plowing everything down.. just so one can say that they came and they saw? I thought the purpose was to stay a while and enjoy. That of course depends on one's idea of fun. The fun in Quake for me, well among other things, is fear. When i discovered Quake, I enjoyed having the hell scared out of me. Part of that came from the threat of death. You have to stay on your toes. You have to pay attention. You stress, you worry, your heart is racing, you are *tapped in* to the gaming experience. You're there. The threat is real. And to overcome, you're going to have to fight. Fight for your life. Fighting for your life isn't easy. If you can survive it, you've accomplished something. If you can conquer it, I salute you.
Of course, after playing Quake after so long, you get good at it (in theory). I cannot say that I like playing Nehahra in vanilla quake mode. Of course I have to, because I have to debug and tweak it. But it is a wholly alien experience for me to be able to blast my way through Nehahra without effort. As with the cutscenes, I do this for the fans ... some of whom had some trouble. I said in a 2000 interview that I did Nehahra for myself first, others second. Fundamentally, this is still true I suppose. But I'm thinking of everyone now. There's no reason (and wasn't in 2000) why I shouldn't have made available the options to make the game enjoyable to all who play. The maps are beautiful. I am honored to have work with such talented individuals. They brought Nehahra to life. Beyond mega-high polygons and uber-realistic game engines and all the other conventions of the modern gaming industry that will unwittingly rob the next generation of their imagination, Nehahra -- like Quake -- has a soul. The mappers gave it a soul. It's a dark soul, maybe a little demented, but it's beautiful too. And what a tragedy it would be to never know that soul. To never feel it.
It appears I'm getting deep today...
Revamp still revampin'. Mostly, it's been Episode 4 monster work lately. I just plugged in sounds for one of the new monsters. I have the sounds for the last one too, which I'll probably plug in tonight.
Then, as planned, I intend to run backwards. Tweaking the new baddies and working my way back to the old.
A lot of my time over the next few days (my "Quake time" anyway) will be eaten up by recording vectors for actor waypoints. I lost all the code from the other demos (including Seal of Nehahra), so I'm starting from scratch. That's not necessarily a bad thing though.
For those who keep asking who will be doing the Nehahra maps, twist my arm.. and I still won't tell you. All I'll say is, I'm not making them :) and no one outside the Nehahra team is either.
On a side note, I thought about doing something about the field enforcer. You know, the ogre mutant guy in the armor-shard trench coat. I've read complaints on this or that site that he looked too different from the other quake baddies. In the end, I will probably leave him though. I don't see a problem with him. His skin is a mixture of ogre mutant and enforcer skin, and then black for the coat. Black goes with everything.
The Tsemoch continues to be my personal eye-sore... but that's another story.