WARNING: I left by mistake an extra Spawn Point (Info_Player_Terrorist) at the coordinates -5568 224 -6988. Is not a huge deal because its trapped in the Zombie Jail and can’t activate any event, but you should still fix it (WITH THIS?). I would rather not manually fix it because I would need to recompile, repakrat and reupload and I know you guys are waiting. Also, I may need to do a new version tomorrow if something else shows up.

Please take into account that the map may have some big issues right now. It looked fully playable on the tests, but you never know. Try to enjoy it for what it is while a more polished and stable version is made.

Mako Tony 03.png

DOWNLOAD from Kaemon’s Dropbox: DOWNLOAD

So I promised to release Mako V6 in whatever status it was on February, and here it is! Sadly I didn’t have time to “finish” it (still need to do many things) so I decided to keep the beta nomenclature I was already using instead of calling it just “V6“.
Granted I barely made it, but in some parts of the world is still February 29th! No?😛

First of all, big warning: the map is not as polished as I would like to, so I would recommend administrators to just use it just for testing and/or events and not put it yet in their normal rotations. I still need to finish, fix and add many things, but this way you guys can start enjoying the map and looking for bugs, glitches, balance issues, etc.

Please don’t report the obvious things (like Dev textures or obviously unfinished and undetailed areas), but feel free to complain as much about gameplay issues or changes that you didn’t like as much as you want!
For example, there are multiple ways now out of the spawn area, so that makes it harder to hold zombies, that was the idea, but maybe is too hard now? Maybe is not as fun? You let me know! On the same subject, maybe some exits are too good/fast compared to others and some of them stop being used (except for people going to look for particular materia spots), you let me know about that too!

There are also a LOT of new materia spawn positions. I did this on purpose (not just to “have more”) but so people would have to spread and search the city better (very often I was the only one on a full server checking the “Materia Truck”) and also to increase the chances that some “not-pros” are able to pick some materias by time to time instead of them going always to the same “fast-pros”.
However, you may think that there are too many spots, or that some are too easy, or too hard, etc… You let me know any problems or opinions you have about those too!

The map right now is missing some things. Like Cloud isn’t even there, neither is the main Skybox (lol), and I didn’t have time to add all the Michael Bay Style explosions that Hannibal loved so much. I also need to finish some areas and add details pretty much everywhere, but I believe the map should be fully playable.

As for the difficulty… I believe the map should be sightly harder now.
The bosses are stronger and more deadly, the zombies get 5% faster each difficulty (from 100% to 120% speed, I think I will have to nerf this, you guys let me know how it goes) and even if you now have 4 new materias at your disposal, each difficulty increase removes 1 materias (randomly chosen each round) so even if you still have the same number on the hardest difficulty (now renamed Insane) you don’t know for sure what materias will be available (Heal and Ultima always spawn).
You guys let me know if there are too many materias for the human team in the early difficulties (but I believe with so many new spawns many may remain unpicked relatively often) and if some materia feels specially strong or weak, I’m not afraid of doing this kind of changes (Wind already has been nerfed with some reduced duration).

So yeah… Not sure how long until the next version. Maybe 1 day if I need to fix a couple big things that make the map unplayable, maybe 1 week if they are not that big of a deal, maybe 1 month if plays just fine and I can focus on just adding details and visuals and I don’t have to worry that much about gameplay.

And seriously, feel free to report anything that affects or could improve the gameplay, things that need to be buffed or nerfed, possible new zombie teleports (I know I’m missing some of those right now), new materia spots (Ultima only has 3 positions right now, and one of them feels easy).
Just try to not ask for nerfs (zombie speed, bosses HP/damage, laser speed, etc) right away, let everyone practice and get used to the changes first, and adapt their strategies if necessary.

So here it is. Hope is playable enough! Remember: Still a BETA!

EDIT: This is a teaser post. NO DOWNLOAD LINKS YET. Wait some days!

ZE Castlevania by Luffaren

So… Luffaren‘s “Secret Project” has been finally revealed to the public and I can finally tell you its a ZE map for CS:S based on the Castlevania franchise of which he is a really big fan.

Luffaren started the project long time ago but he encountered many obstacles while working on it, including a full restart of the whole map to change the layout and improve the systems he employs for items, enemies and stages; debating if switching the whole project to CS:GO or not (he didn’t); getting a job that drastically reduced his free time (go figure); doing other maps in the meanwhile (Toaster, Frostdrake, Santassination); and a long etc…
Yesterday, after testing the map one last time with me he told me, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, that he was going to post in on Gamebanana but (sorry guys) I stopped him for doing so and told him to first test it online with people at least once because he was bound to find some big mistakes/errors that we didn’t encounter on our tests… So he did test it online and he did find some big things that need urgent fixes. But now the secret is out and the map should be ready for you all soon enough.

The idea of the map once it gets fully completed (if it ever does so, you know how these things are sometimes) is to include around 12 stages, but the current version that you guys will soon play only has 6 of them, so you won’t even be able to reach Dracula‘s castle (which is supposed to start on Stage 8).

The map includes many different special items and characters for humans (that right now are just placed at the beginning of the stages), NPC enemies (like skeletons and spiders), deadly traps, dynamic environments (like randomly placed destructible trees and houses), Bosses (duh) and some quite cool events. However, take in mind when judging the map that not only was it started many years ago when Luffaren was less experienced, but it suffered quite a big hit on the looks department because of its size (because of both time constrains and engine limitations) and the fact that some areas use dynamic decorations (like randomly placed breakable trees).

(Don’t be fooled by this video. This is by far the coolest looking part of the map).

I would also like to quick mention that its because of this map that Serpentis came to be. We were talking bosses for Castlevania when I decided to make a Medusa for Luffaren with a “Stone Gaze System” that I just had came up with in the spot while replacing Luffaren’s old Medusa model (that image should give you an idea of what to expect when encountering Luffaren-made enemies in ZE Castlevania).
However, we both liked the system and the boss so much that we decided to add some trap rooms and make a map to enter the “Treasure Hunter Map Contest” that Gamebanana was hosting at that time. And that is pretty much how MG Serpentis became a thing, with a boss I designed for Luffaren‘s map.
Also is worth noting that this is the reason why Medusa is a giant floating head (instead of the more normal depiction of a woman with a snake tail instead of legs), because I based it on the Castlevania and its infamous floating Medusa heads.

By the way, its very possible that even if the map gets completed at some point it won’t include Medusa or that if it does it will be a very different version. The one you guys know from Serpentis not only has been seen way too many times in the MiniGame map itself but its now present on two different ZE maps: ZE Mountain Escape by Syoudous and ZE Serpentis Temple by Nostar.

ZE FFVII Mako Reactor by Kaemon

Okay, first of all just a quick reminder that ZE FFVII Mako Reactor was originally made entirely by Hannibal following Maese Danielot instructions and I only started to help for V5 with some visuals and optimization. I know many of you blog viewers are fully aware of this, but I can’t believe how many people I encounter nowadays that think I’m the creator of the version they are currently playing (well, I guess its understandable when people in-game start asking me about V6).

With this said… ZE Mako Reactor V6 will now be mine not only because I’m the one doing it, but because I remade the whole map from scratch. Surprise!😄
Here is a teaser video made by Tony Montana:

(I’m ashamed that I didn’t had a more advanced version for Tony to record, since map is still not fully done in this video and some areas are missing or not fully detailed).

For many of you (since I used lots of testers) this isn’t a surprise (not anymore anyway) but I tried my best to keep the fact that I was doing a fully remake (Square Enix totally stole that from me) a secret, usually just saying that I was fixing stuff and adding materia leveling back. But the real thing is that I started the map completely from scratch and every single brush and entity was completely remade, just using the old map as reference.

One of the key factors that “pushed” me to do a full remake this was the fact that the mako reactor itself was badly placed relatively to the city (very noticeable if you glitch the train and see how it goes into the reactor). I tried turning 90º Hannibal‘s city just to notice how ugly and non-symetric Sephiroth‘s bridge area was when expanded upon, so I completely remade that bridge and area, and then I was like: “Fuck it! I will remake the whole thing!” and so I did.😄

Take in mind however that even if I remade the map entirely I tried to keep the gameplay and zones as close to Hannibal‘s version as possible as to make it feel like is still the same map and so, for example, I didn’t replace the city with the area used in the original game.

So, how much did the map change for you, as a player? Not that much I hope. I tried to improve the gameplay without changing it, there are now better visuals (but probably worse FPS, sorry about that), Materia Leveling is back (just like on the original version), there are some new materias and I made the map overall sightly harder.
How did I make it harder you ask? Well, for starters Materia Leveling already makes it sightly harder as your progress since there is no guarantee anymore that you will have ++ materias on the hardest difficulties and, even if there are now more materias in the map, not only are there now way more materia spawns (making easier for some materias to remain unpicked) but one also gets randomly removed each round per each difficulty increase, so even if you may end up with the same amount of materias you will have to adapt to what you got that round instead of using the same old combo in the same old places. The bosses are also sightly harder, and the zombies get faster (and there are more mother zombies) as difficulty increases. On top of that the zombie speed no longer gets “bugged” after being affected by Ice or Gravity, zombies instead regain the correct speed value depending on the current difficulty, so no more buffing/nerfing (depended on server settings) zombies speed after being affected by those kind of materias.

Is worth mentioning that even if I said that I will release this month (and I will) the map is not fully done. As I type this I’m still working on things like the Skybox (that is not done at all), a couple areas that still are using dev_textures, some of the music are too short or don’t fit perfectly, I still have to make new animations for the bosses and I really should add extra details (decals and props) in many places… So a V6.1 is guaranteed to happen because V6 will just not be complete, but I feel like releasing it as it is will help motivate me to do the finishing touches and will also allow you guys to start enjoying the map while you report what problems you encounter (not only possible bugs and glitches, but also balance issues or changes that you didn’t like) so I can fix or change them back for future versions.

Also, and I’m kinda sorry for this, THERE IS NO NEW DIFFICULTY. I added back Easy (along with the classic FF7 music) and renamed Extreme 2 as Insane (will change it back if you guys complain a lot or doesn’t feel right) but there are no “new things” difficulty-wise. I may add something (no promises) in the future, but V6 is just a “new but still the same” version of good old Mako.

Lots of people helped me with this version, hopefully I don’t forget anyone when I mention them on the next post (along with the full changelog and a link to the map).

KF-Insurrection RELEASED!

Posted: February 24, 2016 by Kaemon in KF-Insurrection, Map Update

So as many of you know, Hannibal and myself were working on a Killing Floor 2 map, but I believe I didn’t say much about it.
Basically, Hannibal invited me to his house to teach me how the KF2 map making tools work (which is pretty much the Unreal Engine 3, and was nice to learn it) so we could work together on making a map for a contest. We kinda had a good time, but it was also pretty stressful to make a map without really knowing the limits or basic problems and workarounds we would encounter.
On top of that, we made the map for the Objective category when the game (still not fully released) only has polished the Survival one, so we had to “improvise” some workarounds for things that aren’t in the game yet, like spawning ZEDs (the game’s zombie-like enemies) without using the default “waves” or creating a way of respawning dead players as the survivors keep progressing through the map.

So here is the map, KF-Insurrection:

CHECK the map at the CONTEST site: LINK
DOWNLOAD from Google Drive: LINK

The final result isn’t half bad, but it sure could be better if we had more time for testing and polishing (we basically were mapping up until the last minute of the deadline on Sunday’s midnight) or if we started the map again now that we have some experience with the editor (I had 0 days of experience when doing my first rooms and around 1 month when doing the last ones, also, I never played the game😄).
The map takes around 45 minutes if you know what you are doing, and can easily take over 1 hour if you go slow or get lost. You have to keep progressing into new areas while fighting ZEDs and doing different things, and some people that have tested it really liked how different is to your default survival maps.
However, map is far from perfect and at some point we will improve it (we are not sure if we can edit it while the contest is ongoing). Specially a few spots that can get you stucked since we didn’t “clip” the map as much as we should have (Killing Floor 2 is one of those games where almost everything is clipped with invisible walls in the official maps and where you aren’t allowed to do the most basic jumps) and there are also some minor problems with how the ammo and weapons disappear most of the time because the game is not completely ready for this non-survival mode.

And as for Mako V6, I keep my word of releasing it this February (most likely the 29th).
Will post more info about it in a couple of days. Stay tuned!

Oh boy… So long without posting that I barely remember how it goes…

First of all I wanted to say sorry to all four of you that still visit the blog for not posting in such a long time. Sorry😛

So there were many reasons… But the big main one that prevented me from releasing Mako V6 in December 2015 was mostly my computer issues. My hard drive started to fail and it was getting worse and worse (making working on the map almost impossible) until it pretty much stopped working. But it was the holidays, along with family visits and what not, so it took me a while to get it repaired, and when I finally did, Hannibal of all people asked for my assistance with a Killing Floor 2 project, so I went to visit him IRL (for the first time, and believe it or not he is even uglier in person) and we worked together on his KF2 map for around a month… (Will let you know when it gets released, should be later this month too if nothing changes).

Now I’m back at home, with a working computer and tired of failing and teasing you guys and not releasing Mako. You have been waiting for so long, and sure there were some issues here and there, and somethings took longer than expected, but I also slacked a lot…

So that’s it! I’m feed up! I’m drawing a line! I’m releasing Mako V6 later this month in whatever status it is! (Luckily its a leap year).
The map is already fully playable anyway (is mostly that I didn’t get to make new animations for Bahamut and the other boss yet) and should be relatively bug free (maybe a little too hard because I’m buffing zombie speed, but playing on a server will tell us about that).
I was planning on releasing a V6.1 and V6.2 later on for fixes anyway, so I guess it will be okay if the first released version is not as final and polished as I wanted it to be. The thing is I made you guys wait long enough and maybe releasing it will make me get more serious about finishing the little details while I fix whatever problems you encounter on the live servers.

Also a friendly reminder: there is no new difficulty (seriously), so don’t wait for one. The current ones should be sightly harder because of zombie speed buffs and fixes and the fact that you get one materia less per difficulty, but don’t wait for a Ex3 or anything like that. I may add something later on (no promises, just saying) but for the first V6 I just wanted to keep things as close as possible to what they are on V5.3.

I would like to divide today’s rant into the three topics listed in the title. Sorry in advance for the long rant and lack of images. I really need to “learn” to do these things shorter and in a way that takes me less time.

  • ZE Halloween House B4:

First of all, a quick mention to the fact that this map, created by Enviolinador and myself for the Gamebanana Halloween Contest, won 1st place. So that’s something to celebrate.

When we decided to make a map together for the contest we discussed many possibilities about what to make, and we finally settled with something we had already attempted to do in the past: a rat-style zombie escape map that included a whole house instead of just a room.

Our original plan was to include all the rooms within the house (they are all mapped but remain empty and are not present in the compiled version as to reduce file size). These rooms would included the garage and the attic and we even wanted to add some garden and rooftop action; however due to the same reason that pushed us to finish the map (the contest’s dead line) we couldn’t finish them in time, as we rushed the whole thing in pretty much 2 weeks (and gameplay being done in pretty much the last 2 days with barely any testing).

So after the contest, we kept testing and joining servers that were trying to play it and we updated it several times accordingly, giving us what will be, for the time being, the final version: ZE_Halloween_House_b4.

DOWNLOAD from Gamebanana: GAMEBANANA
DOWNLOAD from Sendspace: LINK

The map may not be perfect, and some may find the ending a little disappointing (specially when compared with some of the interesting and unexpected events within the map). However as of B4 I’m glad to say that the map is fully playable and beatable, even if it seems to be way harder than your average map.
The map consist of a single stage with a pretty linear path that takes around 10 minutes to complete. Along the way you face different holds and obstacles, some of which are quite unique. I personally think that the “trick” to beat the map is just to preserve as many humans as possible every time you move to the next area of the map. This, obviously, is common sense, but you REALLY need the numbers on your side for some of the hard holds within the map and if by the time you reach the ouija you don’t have at a 2:1 Human:Zombie ratio you may already be in trouble. So many times I have seen a 1:1 ratio or worse by the time people reached the table.

As of now, as far as I know, the map has not be beaten on a server (legally and with active zombies, that’s it). You guys let me know if you beat it and what are your thoughts about the whole experience.

Enviolinador wants to add, relatively “soon” some extra minutes of gameplay along with a more fitting ending, but as for now the map will stay on B4.
In the long term, someday in the future, neither of us would mind adding  more rooms and improve the map and make it grow, and we even discussed other possibilities like doing a “Christmas Version“, but none of that will happen anytime soon, and knowing how we mappers are, maybe never, so just enjoy B4 for what it is and don’t expect more updates anytime soon. Enjoy!

  • ZE FFVII Mako Reactor V6: Close Beta Test Sunday at 20:00 CET.

So first of all letting you guys know that the map didn’t progress too much on the past weeks. First I was busy making Halloween House for the contest, and later I kept playing it so I could spot its flaws and fix them, and that took longer than expected (around 2 weeks of playing and tweaking) but at least is now fully functional.

So now I’m back at mapping Mako V6full-time” (when I’m actually mapping).
I can’t believe how many times I have underestimated how much was left to do… When I think I really wanted to push for a release in April >_<

Anyway, I really want to test the map again with a B05 version, even if the map hasn’t changed that much since B04. In part to get myself into the mood of mapping it again, but also because last test was kinda rushed and just invited the Beta Testers that happened to be online at the exact moment I decided to test… So this time I decided to plan it in advance so more of the designed testers can make it and so we can check if everything works fine when trying to play the map normally (rather than just checking it).

Saddly for many of you, this test will still be considered “Close-Beta”, so I will only invite the people I have labeled as “Beta Testers” (most of them know who they are). But I hope for it to be the last or previous to last of these close-test before release, so the ending is getting close… Cross fingers?

Anyway, the test will happen (if everything goes according to plan) this Sunday at 20:00 (8 PM) CET on Noctali‘s server. Not sure how long it will last, but should be at least a couple of hours.

  • My hard drive is dying!

So not long ago my computer started to suffer some random freezes by time to time and wasn’t sure what was causing them, but after checking the symptoms, talking to some people and some warning messages from the computer itself it seems to be a hard drive.

So far is not too serious and I can keep using my computer with no big problems most of the time. The most notables issue is small and not too frequent freezes, but they had become really annoying while working on CS:GO SDK for doing Halloween House and it takes me several long minutes to join a CS:GO server (and then I’m just zombie meat for several minutes until the long random freezes decide to stop).

However, the freezes are way shorter and less frequent when mapping for CS:S and playing CS:S itself (is almost unnoticeable when playing) so hopefully I will be able to finish Mako V6 before I’m forced to change my hard drive as it would be a real pain in the ass for me to have to set again all the tools I need, like 3DS Max, Propper and simple things like textures, models and audio files..

But don’t worry too much, as I already made security copies of the latest Junon and Mako files just in case! And yes, even if Junon hasn’t advanced an inch for over a year its something I would still want to come back to sometime after I’m done with Mako V6.

ZE Halloween House – RELEASED!

Posted: November 1, 2015 by Kaemon in Map Update, ZE Hallowen House

As mentioned the other day, Enviolinador and myself were working on a map for a Gamebanana Contest. The only rule of the contest was that the maps had to be Halloween-Themed; and since yesterday was the deadline, we had to release it no matter what. So here I present you, ZE Hallowen House! (Only for CS:GO).

The entrance to the house, with the customary Halloween decorative pumpkins.

The entrance to the house, with the customary Halloween decorative pumpkins.

DOWNLOAD from Gamebanana: GAMEBANANA

Just like that other time I did another map for a contest (MG Serpentis Temple along with Luffaren) we rushed most of the map on the last week, and we worked non-stop the past couple days to have it completed and working… We ended up exhausted and we just barely made it to the deadline. But I think it was worth it!

Some minutes after releasing it, the guys at GFL were kind enough to upload and play it and it was a blast of fun (at least for us mappers) to watch people playing it for the first time. Some issues with the map that were hard or impossible to check on singleplayer (specially when you don’t have time because you are still compiling minutes before the deadline ends) were spotted, and we may release a more playable version maybe as soon as tonight, but the map worked pretty well.

The main issues that are forcing us to do a quick fix are: players being able to skip 2 holds by going through an area that should kill everyone (but some manage to survive) and some client crashes. We are not sure what the cause of the crashes is, but the error line is: “CUtILinkedList overflow! (exahusted index range)“. Googling it however doesn’t seem to help a lot, since there are too many different answers and even promises of Valve fixing it since as early as 2009.

I hope we keep improving this map in the future, adding more rooms, more paths, polishing and improving it; specially if people seem to like the idea. I also suggested Enviolinador we could switch some Halloween decorations with Christmas ones and release again in a couple of months… But we make no promises.

By the way, even if I still prefer CS:S myself, I won’t be porting it anytime soon. I hope to do so in the future after many versions, when the map has become bigger and its on a more polished status. I don’t feel like porting every time we add something or work on two versions at the same time.

Anyway… Enjoy the map! (or wait for the “quick fix” version).

Sorry once more for not posting more often. But I have been mapping! Promise!

So, recently I have noticed (and I’m sure many of you as well) and increasing number of people yelling others to “shoot the shoulders” when facing Bahamut on Mako Reactor for CS:S… And you know what? The have a point. This wave of shoulder-shooters pretty much started after I shared with some Steam contacts a couple of screenshots showcasing what was a new discovery to me: Bahamut‘s physical body (the one taking the hits) is very different from the visual one… I was working on Mako Reactor V6 when I decided I wanted to improve Bahamut‘s animations, and as soon as I started working with the model I noticed this weird physics build:

The visuals are in blue, the physics in red. As you can see, most of the body can't even be hit.

The visuals are in blue, the physics in red.
As you can see, most of the body can’t even be hit.

Notice how the “shoulders” is not really the most accurate description of where you should shoot, as your real target should be the biggest hitboxes that are located sightly outwards from the shoulders, in front of the small wings. Those hitboxes, before the physics got broken on him, used to belong to the bigger wings.

After seeing the weird physics, what happened became obvious to me: when working with the model for the first time, so long time ago, a less experienced Hannibal scaled the model up on 3D Studio Max (instead of using a “$scale” line on the .qc file) and forgot to scale the physical mesh when he did so. Still attached to the same bones they always were, the smaller (relatively) physic parts had to spread out and lots of “holes” appeared, making most of the bullets just fly through the model. This has been the case since the very first version of Mako Reactor.

This however explains a couple things that I couldn’t figure out why happened the way they did:

– The DPS Metter not working properly, not even in single-player.
– The so called “Missing Bullets” as the number of players increases, which I always assumed was a limit on how many bullets the engine can count per second.
– Why it was initially so hard to balance Bahamut‘s HP (it seemed too easy to kill one round and the next they couldn’t kill it with everyone shooting?).
– Why every time I was asked about Bahamut‘s HP values by others mappers doing bosses they reported that was way too low (as Bahamut‘s 150 hits per player is more like 450 when you take into account the shoot-able area).

So far I fixed this issue for Mako V6 by just using a big box on top of him (like the Red Combine Dropship already does), which is better for both FPS and Lag, but now you won’t see bullet sparks on impact. Maybe I may look into giving him a proper physical body AFTER the V6 release, but won’t bother with it before.

And talking about V6 release… I still don’t know when it will be done, but we tested V6_B04 the other day and was looking really good and not to have too many things broken or left to do. I’m even thinking about releasing the first version before finishing the new animations for Bahamut and include them later in the V6.1, a version I’m sure will be needed as something always escapes the tests.

That said… I’m not working much on Mako this week as Enviolinador convinced me to do a map with him for Gamebanana‘s Halloween Contest. Apparently, just like the time I did the same with Luffaren (resulting on MG Serpentis Temple) we are pretty much rushing most of the map this last week, so it won’t be as complete/polished as we would like, but at least it will be playable and its release can’t be delayed. This time is a ZE map and will be released only for CS:GO at first. If we continue polishing and building on top of it afterwards (like happened with Serpentis) and the map becomes really good, I will look into porting it into Source (which I still prefer myself).

So that is pretty much it. Sorry for the lack of news, but Mako is looking good (honest!), and its definitely happening sometime soon (will release, 100% guaranteed).

By the way, you can check Bahamut‘s physics yourself in-game with the command “vcollide_wireframe 1“, however it requires “sv_cheats 1” so you won’t be able to use it while playing on a normal ZE server along other people. Also, this issue is only exclusive to the CS:S versions as the CS:GO one uses different entities on top of the model to read the bullet hits.