Archive for the ‘Special’ Category

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).

EDIT: APRIL’S FOOL!

Sorry for not doing a post this weekend, but I was having some serious thoughts about my life and what I’m doing with it…

I kinda got tired of slacking so much, is not fun anymore… And not only with my own projects (which is kinda to be expected, as they are usually just too big) but also when just doing something as simple as a new version of an existing map like is happening with Mako Reactor right now. It should just be a quick fix (specially since I got some people helping me) and for some reason is taking me forever… So that’s it, I give up, I quit. Enough wasted time.

It was a tough decision, but I think is for the best, both for myself and for you guys: No longer will you be taunted with maps and versions that never come and… who knows? Maybe in my new endeavours I will be able to finish something and have some actual chances at releasing it so it may be enjoyed by the whole community… Just not the CS:S ZE one 😦

So that’s it. I quit mapping for CS:S and starting today I will do something completely different for a change, a new and fresh  thing that I expect is going to way easier and less time consuming to work with and is completely unrelated: mapping for CS:GO!

I have many ideas to work with, and I’m trying to decide which one to choose, but I think I will go for doing a Defuse Map for Competitive CS:GO and enter the CEVO Mapping Contest with it. For it I will salvage some of the areas I had done for Junon (including the cannon itself) but since I don’t want to have problems with copyright issues with Square Enix (since I’m doing a map for a different company’s game after all) I was thinking about changing the name to something else…
So far, since the cannon is the most prominent part of the map, and cosmetics are all over the place this days, I was thinking of naming it something in the lines of “Cosmetic Cannon“, but I don’t like the name origin being so blatantly obvious… So then I thought about changing it to “Cosmo Cannon” (is shorter and easier to pronounce, and some people may relate it to the cosmos)… But then, since I didn’t want to spoil people in the name that there will be a cannon, I thought about throwing a curve ball and miss-spelling it on purpose as “canyon” so they expect a canyon instead of a cannon. Any thoughts on renaming it “Cosmo Canyon” as to avoid any relation with FFVII?

Anyway… That was it. Sorry for the inconveniences and false promises. See you next week! I will try to take some photos of Cosmo Canyon for you guys!

So, I briefly mentioned this on the previous post, but since it was getting quite long and I didn’t want it to become a (bigger) wall of text, I decided to keep this information for a new post, while also help myself with the current plan of updating the blog more frequently (once a week is the idea).
Special thanks to both Detonator and Enviolinador for discovering how and why the particles were crashing, allowing for a “fix” to be found.

One last thing before I proceed to explain the “fix“: This is a guideline that mappers need to follow in order to prevent (or at least reduce) the chances of the Particle Crash from happening. Is NOT a quick fix, solution nor plugin that the servers can add to prevent the particles from crashing, but something that ALL mappers should follow from now on when working with particles.

So… Why do particles crash after playing certain amount of maps? Well… Like with all the other limitations that mappers face when doing a map, it turns out there is also a limit for how many particles can be handled, but instead of being a limit map-wise, is a limit server-wise. After that limit is reached, the server can’t process any new particles and starts to replace them with red crosses (as seen in the screenshot bellow).
This limit is on 2048 particles (default ones like fire or the C4 explosion also count towards reaching it), and after 2048 particles have been loaded in total, the server won’t add new ones to the list and the red crosses start appearing. This is what people refer to when they talk about “crashed particles“.
Now… If you had already one particle loaded (like let’s say “Ultima” from playing Mako Reactor), this one will be already on the list, and if the server goes back to Mako Reactor (or another map that uses the same Ultima particle), this particle will still work, even if others particles (that weren’t on the list) don’t, and this is one of the reasons why sometimes only some particles seem to be broken, and not all of them.
Also worth mentioning that this list of 2048 particles (minus default ones, not sure how many there are) fills up really fast. Not only are there some maps that use a huge amount of custom particles (like Harry Potter), but there are some (most notably Michelle‘s Exorath and Hannibal‘s Paranoid, Mako Reactor and Minas Tirith) that even if they don’t use that many particles, they fill the server with literally HUNDREDS of unused particles present in their respective particle manifests (yeah, those also count! Remove them!).

When particles crash, you see red crosses instead of the desired particle.

When particles crash, you see red crosses instead of the desired particle.

The thing is (and here is where the “fix” resides) is that if a map contains a particle named exactly the same as one already in the “Server’s Particle List“, it doesn’t add a new line, but instead replaces the existing one with the new one.
So what the guys a Rules of p_ started to do in all their ports after this discovery, as part of fixing the maps and doing the best ports possible, was removing all the un-used particles from the manifests and renaming the remaining particles with the following nomenclature:

custom_particle_001
custom_particle_002
etc…

What then happens, is that all the maps ported by them, even if each has 1000 particles on their own, the new particles will just replace the previous map particles with a new set named exactly the same, without increasing the “Server Particle List” and completely avoiding the particle crash.

The problem with this so-called-fix? ALL the mappers should do the same for their own maps. Since the guys at Rules of _p were the first ones to start doing this (for CS:GO), and they already settled for the “custom_particle_xxx” nomenclature (no caps, three digits, even child particles being named with just the following number) I decided it would be best if we used the exact same nomenclature in CS:S to keep things simpler and help with later ports.

So that’s it… There are some CS:S maps already following this rule of naming their particles in this manner. Most notably the newest versions of both Slayerdragon‘s Westersand and Skullz‘s Harry Potter, which also happened to be some of the biggest particle-consumers.
I assume Slayerdragon will eventually do this fix on Paranima (when a new version is needed) and his upcoming maps, and I can assure you that both Mako Reactor V6 and the Paranoid Rezurrection fix being done by Zuff will use this nomenclature as well when they are out.

Now we can just wait for some mappers to follow our example on their future maps to help alleviate the particle crash problem; and even if not all of them follow this path and particles still crash, at least those that do use the “custom_particle_xxx” nomenclature will have bigger probability of their map’s particles properly working, since chances will be that those names are already in the “Server Particle List” by the time the crash occurs.

Until next time!

Okay… So I haven’t updated the blog for over half a year, all blame on me. I could explain some of the reasons but I don’t really see the point in doing so (slacking and real life are both involved). I’m pretty sure I have said it before (and I always meant it even if I fail), but I will try to update more frequently from now on.
Now, without further ado, here are some of the news that may interest you!

EDIT: I was going to type about 6 different things, but this point got so long that I think I will instead post just one each week. I decided to start with this one to make a favor to the guys at Rules of _p and because may be the most relevant one right now: porting maps from CS:Source to CS:GO.


Rules of _p and Porting Maps to CS:GO:

As many of you know, CS:GO is a thing nowadays, and with so many people buying it (because its newer, cheaper and has some healthy leagues) many end trying out and liking some mods, including Zombie Escape. Some of the players are people that moved from Source to GO (I personally will probably keep playing Source while there are still people there) but there are many people new to the mod playing it, and players always want more maps.
There are already some mappers doing new maps only for GO (like the skilled Enviolinador) but many maps are being ported over, not only for nostalgia purposes or to quickly increase the pool of available maps in GO, but also so people that never owned nor played Source can enjoy them for the first time, and many porters have appeared, most notably those from Rules of _p.

The guys at Rules of _p asked me to inform some of the possible porters to take in mind, whenever to decide to port a map or not, that in most cases is not as simple as just decompiling and recompiling, and just doing so will most likely break some events as some entity setups may stop working and must be rebuilt from scratch. So if they decide to port a map they need to check it thoroughly and make sure that everything is working fine, as they won’t be doing any good with half-assed ports that have things not working and that will need to be ported again later by someone more skilled or dedicated.
On a side note there are also other things to take into account, like replacing textures and props by default ones from GO whenever its possible, so the map size is not bigger than it should. Also special attention should be taken into the renaming of particles, something that I will explain in a future post (as this one was getting too long).

Oh, and two more things: I have been told that their next pack will try to include ZE_Paranoid_Classic and ZE_LOTR_Minas_Tirith, so I would suggest you not bothering porting those (which are amongst the hardest-to-port maps in the whole ZE-Source library, maybe second only to SyoudousZE_Mountain_Escape). The reason they haven’t been ported yet is because CS:GO has slightly different entity limitations and behavior, and they may end needing a special plugin (there are people working on it) for the templates or something to work properly. Otherwise, some kind of build-up occurs that eventually makes the server crash.
Also they told me (after a couple of cases of it happening) that you shouldn’t use the “_p” nomenclature at the end of your ported maps names (if you decide to port) as that is their custom signature that they use it to distinguish their ports from others and is starting to be considered by some as seal of approval that guarantees the quality of the port.


And that was it for today… Will post again next week (or maybe this weekend) about some other things. As mentioned on the “first paragraph’s edit” I was going to talk about six points, but after seeing how long the first one got, I decided to rather type about each one in a separate post in order to avoid an unbearable wall of text.
In case you were wondering, the other points were going to be:

Hannibal: about Last Man Standing and his farewell to mapping.
Luffaren: his Secret Project and CS:GO side projects.
Enviolinador: about Chicken Ranch and his upcoming CS:GO map (with bosses!).
Kaemon: about Mako Reactor V6 and whats up with Junon.
Mapping Trick: using “custom_particle_xxx” nomenclature to avoid particle crashes (both on Source and GO).

If you are specially interested into one these points, let me know with a comment and it might be the next one (and since the site probably lost a lot of visits due to inactivity you may be the only one commenting!).
See you! And sorry again for not updating for so long! ^_^U

About ZE on GO

Posted: August 10, 2014 by Kaemon in Kaemon's Rants, News, Rules of _p, Special

Hi there everybody. Everything fine?

So… Lately I have been playing some Zombie Escape on CS:GO to see how it was going and whatnot and the truth is that its starting to get quite playable. The guys at Valve and/or Hidden Path have been fixing some of the big problems with GO (and now you can finally have servers with 64 players) and many people from different communities have been working on improving the mod, getting a working Knockback Plugin and porting many maps from CS:S to CS:GO so you have more maps to choose from.

In this thread from Allied Modders you can get everything you need to get a working ZE Server on GO:
Allied Modders – Plugins for ZE on GO

And in the Rules of _P blog you can download around 50 ported maps:
Rules of _p – (50 Maps)

Those maps should be, for the most part, working just fine; but take into account that some may not be completely polished yet, even if Source and GO are basically the same, there are new limitations and problems that appear (or are accentuated) in GO. An example of this is unbearable lag while fighting Bahamut (with 30+ players) because of his bone followers, something that didn’t happen on CS:S, and so, like in this example, things need to be changed and fixed after discovering what works and what doesn’t.

Now, I’m not saying the ZE Community should be migrating to CS:GO (I personally still prefer CS:S) but the truth is that CS:S in general has less players everyday while CS:GO keeps growing. Ideally what we want is to keep making the ZE Community in general (both Source and GO) grow, bringing new people in, but nowadays that is most likely to happen in GO because of it being a newer game and having a bigger community.
So if you have friends that own CS:GO but never had CS:S, now they can join Zombie Escape world!

As for us… For the moment we will try to finish our maps for CS:S and port them afterwards.
Junon is in hiatus while I work on Mako Reactor V6 (and I should be done with that soon enough), but Last Man Standing and Luffaren‘s map both keep progressing. In fact, LMS is getting really close to completion and, if we are lucky, it may be released around September.

Paranoid Rezurrection V11.9 GUIDE

Posted: December 2, 2012 by Kaemon in Guide, Kaemon's Rants, News, Special

So, once more, Tony Montana delights us with a new video-guide for one of our favorite maps: Paranoid. I know for a fact that he started with this video some time ago, but he was waiting for a stable version before releasing, since he didn’t want the guide to become obsolete the moment he uploaded it.

Now that Paranoid Rezurrection V11.9 is quite stable, and no new changes are scheduled (only a Fix-Version sometime in the future, mostly because of the Juggernaut/VIP/Dog bug where they can stay invulnerable to zombification), he finally finished and released it, so here it is, enjoy!

I hope some people will be able to learn more about how to play Paranoid and how use and react the many items they will encounter.
As a reminder you can also learn more about those on the Special Items Section of the Zombie Escape Wiki.

If you liked this guide, don’t doubt checking Tony’s Youtube Channel, where you can find his other guides on Mako Reactor and Minas Tirith; and other cool videos, like Welcome to Paranoid and Mako Reactor Extreme 2 Win Compilation, where you can see Mako Reactor being beaten on many servers. Is your favorite in there?
(As a special note, Highlights of Zombie Escape can be seen HERE, if you can’t see the Youtube version)

So that’s it. Will come back soon enough with news about either Junon, Luffaren’s Secret Project, or something else if Hannibal or someone wants something to be posted.
In a couple of days sounds good? ;-P

Black Mesa Mod released!

Posted: September 16, 2012 by Kaemon in Kaemon's Rants, News, Special

Ey. Both Hannibal and myself had been really busy with IRL stuff lately. Personally I will probably remain busy for two more weeks, while Hannibal should be settling with his new life style and getting a decent internet connection any time this week.  So we really don’t have any news of our own to post…

However, the guys making the Black Mesa mod finally released it this week! So I will use that as a new! 😄

< GO CHECK THE BLACK MESA MOD SITE >

Bringing back some memories?

< DOWNLOAD THE BLACK MESA MOD >

I believe most of you already knew about this, but those that were still unaware I highly recommend you to go try it. I personally had problems with the direct downloads so I ended up installing Torrent just to download it.

The mod recreates the whole Half-Life 1 game into the Source engine; but unlike HL:Source, is not just a fast conversion or port, but a full and complete remake. Everything was done from scratch: models, maps, weapons… And this way it takes full advantage of the Source engine; having more physic objects, better detailed environments and even some minor extra areas here and there… The gameplay (and the game itself) remain, however, exactly as the original Half-Life.

So if you never played it back in the day, or you just feel like playing it again (like myself) you can take this chance to play it upgraded and with some minor extras here and there. A must play in my opinion, being a huge fan of both the original HL and the fan-made games.