I won't be able to make textures. New textures, if done well, will be the finishing touch and make these levels beautiful. I really hope someone will help with that, when the time comes. (It's at least months away.)
The story of how modders operate 'behind the scenes' is rarely told or seen by the community.
Respawn's stacks of architecture magazine cuttings
is the most detail I've seen put online (sadly, they are no longer online). While brainstorming Curveshire and sourcing landscape ideas for the modders who were helping, I did almost everything digitally. I still sketched some stuff by hand
, scanning some of it.
So here's a 'sneak peek' into the work I do before I even run a GTA2 modding program.
Today, I watched TRON: Legacy and focussed on the ending sequence. My level, TRON: Light Jets, will interpret this part of the story to create what might be the world's first unofficial GTA2 team game RPG movie tie-in.
Below are the approximate timings I noted down during the movie. They cover the key events, locations and character interactions of the finale.
1:30:00 CLU’s Flight Deck.
1:32:30 CLU’s platform and podium.
1:33:20 Line of sight from Podium to Kevin Flynn’s Disc.
1:33:30 Gantry overlooking Flight Deck, filled with army.
1:34:00 Flight Deck is the ship! Bit like an aircraft carrier. Long end has open groove in floor.
1:35:00 Good views of the large-scale interior layout.
1:35:35 Line of sight from gantry down to a plane and service vehicle.
1:35:40 Lift top floor, 2 guards. (First contact.)
1:36:00 Administrator ‘nests’ at top floor. Lift doors close.
1:36:30 Kevin Flynn steals an aircraft.
1:36:55 Ramp from admin nest to Disc room.
1:37:00 Disc stolen. Alarm starts!
1:37:22 Lift doors open. A guard enters with Quorra!
1:37:30 Guard attacks Sam Flynn.
1:37:57 Run back to Disc room. Grab a digital ‘chute from a corridor locker.
1:38:00 Line of sight from Kevin Flynn on Flight Deck up to Sam Flynn jumping from Disc Room.
1:38:30 Entering the Light Jet.
1:39:30 CLU and guards jump from Disc Room, creating Light Jets during the fall.
1:40:15 Sam Flynn activates the rear turret and quickly engages.
1:40:30 First enemy is destroyed against towers.
1:40:30 Enemies leave a trail in front. Quorra shoots through it.
1:41:20 Weaving between towers, short and tall, thin and thick. Some in pairs close together.
1:42:00 Climb until stalled out, putting goodies behind baddies.
1:42:30 Rear turret is jammed!
1:43:30 CLU intercepted by TRON!
1:44:30 TRON lands in Simulation Ocean. Changes from red to blue.
1:45:00 Rough landing on Portal runway.
1:45:15 Textured floors, long stairs, overview of Portal beam.
1:45:30 CLU is already there!
1:47:15 Sam Flynn and Quorra are nearer to the beam. CLU is between them and Kevin Flynn.
1:47:20 Gantry starts to retract! Opens from the middle towards each end.
1:48:20 CLU jumps to the Portal beam side. His ship is approaching!
1:48:55 Sam Flynn releases two discs into the Portal beam, with himself and Quorra.
1:49:30 CLU narrowly fails to reach Sam Flynn and Quorra in the beam.
1:50:00 Re-integration between Kevin Flynn and CLU destroys the Portal.
1:50:15 Sam Flynn powers down the machine in Arcade basement.
1:51:00 Sam Flynn meets Alan in the gaming area of Arcade.
1:51:40 Arcade power is switched off. (But the lights actually stay on.)
1:52:00 Sam Flynn meets Quorra outside.
1:52:15 Sam Flynn and Quorra ride away from Arcade.
1:52:25 Sam Flynn and Quorra ride through forest.
1:52:35 Sam Flynn and Quorra ride over a bridge and see a sunrise. (It’s really long...maybe a viaduct?)
1:53:00 Quorra smiles. Movie ends.
1:53:15 Ending credits. (These could be made as textures, acknowledging contributors to the level you've just completed!)
At the moment, TRON: Light Jets starts in the same arena as the other TRON levels. It will need an all-new map file due to respawn points anyway. No idea when I'll start that, but now I know the 3 main settings to create.
Don't worry, we all know acting out a linear story is super lame in a video game. TRON: Light Jets will play a bit 'fast and loose' with the characters and precise interactions to avoid that.
It will be a team game, as we already know. My experiments allowing a passenger to control the turret of an Armed Land Roamer have had mixed success. I'm hoping to test and devise better solutions and work-arounds to the collision model and sprite size limitations. Elypter, Pyro, Sektor, Vike and other experimental modders might help me with that, over time?
Respawn points will be on the gantry above the flight deck. This means you'll waste some time having to respawn. There is a lift with a door which will act as an important control point to balance the gameplay during the early stages of the level.
Quorra will ideally, be coded as a REFUGEE
who you can lead to the big Light Jet. But I don't think the AI can be forced to jump off high edges? I guess she could be set to follow p1
and you would jump off the ledge onto a solid but invisible floor. Once she is on the same floor, you are both made invulnerable and REMOVE_BLOCK
is applied. Hopefully you would both fall and both survive.
(There's a few innovative little tricks I hope to try, like that. If they don't work, or we find even better ones, the level can be closer to the movie.)
The level will support 1-6 players, eventually. There will be a maximum of two 'goodies' and everyone else will be 'baddies'. The teams will alternate so they are balanced with fewer players. Bots can be used to help even things out when there are only 1 or 2 players.
It feels like a breakthrough, to me. For this whole year I just couldn't imagine how to make this level play nicely; something more than a vehicle shooting gimmick. But now I'm optimistic. This really could become something cool.
What do you peeps think?