Archive for the ‘ZE FFVII Mako Reactor’ Category

Working on the map lately. Here is the changelog so far. (4th of February)
Please notice that this list only contains things that are already done and implemented, not all the upcoming changes.

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UNNOTICEABLE FIXES: (servers were manually taking care of these fixes):

– Removed 1 forgotten Spawn Point in the Zombie Cage.
– Increased Boss HP values.
– Reduced Zombie Speed values to realistic numbers.
– Fixed Materia Crashes related to testing activators on Ice, Bio and Gravity materias.


– Increased Zombie Speed from +1% per difficulty increase to +2% (from 104% to 108% on Insane).

– Removed solidity of various minors props to both improve performance and player mobility. Shouldn’t be too noticeable.
– Removed shadows from some props for better illumination in some areas, most notably the Makonoid Room.
– Minor pathing improvements, including some small player clips or prop additions, most notably from Wooden House to Upper Path towards the 2nd Hold.
– Replaced the dumpsters with a custom model that looks exactly the same but has fixed physics.

– Zombies that get Mako Infused get more text explaining what it does (makes you bigger and hurt humans close to you).

– Made all Sephiroth blade cuts’ sounds global.
– Increased the time Sephiroth waits before start rushing towards the bunker from 5 to 7 seconds.
– Randomized the path Sephiroth uses when rushing towards the bunker between two possibilities (original path and a mirrored one).
– Randomized the final stop point he uses when rushing towards the bunker between 3 points (original one and 2 sightly off-center ones).
– Sightly reduced and edited Sephiroth’s Hitbox size and shape to more accurately match his attack animation while rushing towards the bunker.
– Increased Sephiroth’s HP from 50 to 75.



– The prominently used fence texture is no longer visible from both sides at once (it was giving a blurry feeling).
– Fixed solidity on the two tables to both sides of the main entrance to the brothel.
– Edited the openings used for the trains to go in and out of the city and bridge areas.
– Removed the grate blocking the skybox fall under the materia truck, in the train area.
– The 2 windows that are in the same room in the Wood House (original Earth Materia spawn) don’t require crouching to get out anymore.
– Wood House windows now open 1 second before the Hold does, instead of at the same time.

– Removed the ability to reach the ladder on the big pipe in the middle path in front of the hold from the bottom train area.
– Hardest Crate (that helps zombies attacking the hold from the Pub) now only appears on Insane (instead of both Extreme and Insane).
– Increased by 5 seconds the time it takes for the city teleport to activate after the hold is open.


– Fixed a stuck-able area in the 2nd hold.
– Door takes now the correct 10 seconds to open, instead of 11.
– The crate in the middle of the 2nd hold (Easy and Normal) now breaks 4 secs after the door opens.
– Teleport Area now doesn’t include the last room before the Bridge.
– The Bridge-Door now starts open and doesn’t close when the teleport occurs, the Hold-Door closes instead.
– Teleport occurs sightly faster.


– Hopefully fixed visual glitches that allowed you to see inside the reactor from some points in the bridge.
– Reduced Black Fade when falling from the Bridge by 0.5 secs to better match the zombie teleport back to the vent.

– Bridge starts falling 0.25 faster after being cut down by Sephiroth.
– When the bridge gets cut, there are 2 blade sounds now (instead of 1) and the “lasers” look similar to Sephiroth attacks instead of being sprites.


– Increased the moving speed of the doors towards the 3 buttons room from 100 to 125 (they didn’t work as intended when server latency was in play).
– People that get stuck inside the world by the elevator should now get crushed and die.
– Improved elevator so it “lags” less.

– Renamed the doors on the last hold as “Final Door” (previously Blasted Doors as it was reusing the City messages).
– The 3 Buttons must be now pressed within 2.5/1.5/0.5 secs depending on difficulty, instead of within 2 seconds on all difficulties.
– The Manual Override (correctly pressing the 3 buttons) now takes 10 secs to open the doors in Normal and Hard (previously 5 seconds in all difficulties).


– Fixed a couple of yellow metal bars not being solid at the top of the long yellow stairs.
– Reduced the area covered by the teleport. Now you can jump down to the zombie path if you choose to.

– Delay for the Zombie Teleport occurring after the elevator ceiling breaks increased from 5 to 10 secs.
– When the Zombie Teleport activates, it also closes the door on the vent path to prevent people from running into the teleport.

– Fixed the Core teleport getting inside this room. It was preventing people from using the Zombie-Vent route after it enabled in some difficulties.


– Sightly improved the area affected by teleports when going down (most notably while jumping while on the first ladder).

– Edited the last part of the “going down the reactor” to re-add a path that was removed on V6.
– Changed the teleport destination of the 3rd Teleport when going down the reactor.

– The Core teleport before the boss fight will no longer affect zombies in areas they are allowed in during the boss fights.
– Fixed a teleport-free area.
– Fixed solidity problems with the 2 big pipes in the reactor area (they were blocking zombies from going under them).

– Added a Handrail after first ladder to help people on their way up.
– Made it sightly easier to grab the second ladder on the way up.
– Detailed the “dent” next to the last ladder on your way up so you can’t get blocked inside it while climbing the ladder.


– Added a big Boss-HP-Bar mounted on the wall inside the zombie jail.
– Added the missing second zombie path in zombie cage to reach different locations from which to watch the boss fights.
– The window exit from the zombie cage is now a crouch spot.


– Added another barrel.


– The materias that affect zombie speed (Ice, Gravity and Bio) now all turn the zombies a color (Blue, Black and Green respectively).
– Fixed Bio and Aqua not damaging bosses. They now both affect both bosses, for the moment (may change).

– Electro no longer freezes Scorpion Guard nor Bahamut (it was erroneously triggering both the Electro and Ice relays).

– Gravity now turns affected zombies black.
– Gravity Lv2 attraction area radius sightly increased from 64 to 80 (slow remains 256).
– Gravity Lv3 global area radius sightly increased from 256 to 320 (As reference, V5 is 504).

– Ice now turns affected zombies blue.

– Aqua++ duration reduced from 10 to 8 seconds.

– Barrier duration reduced from 6/8/10 seconds to 5/7/9 seconds.
– Barrier now loses 1 second duration for each 10 zombie pushes on all levels (previously required 10/15/20 pushes).

– Mimic: Fixed some bad interactions that occurred when chaining the same materia effect on the same targets (most notably Ice and Heal++)
– Mimicing Ice on frozen zombies will now stay for the whole Mimic-Ice duration instead of ending when the normal Ice did.
– Mimicing Heal++ on Immortal humans will now stay for the whole Mimic-Heal++ duration (or until the human move out of the area) instead of ending when the normal Heal++ did.


– Reduced Easy to Extreme boss fight duration by 24 seconds (from 88 to 64 seconds).
– Reduced Insane boss fight duration by 20 seconds (from 108 to 88 seconds).
– Boss Cycle (total time between attacks) reduced from 10 to 8 seconds. (Previously 6/4 secs Charging/Attacking, now 4/4).
– Boss Attack Count (total attacks) reduced from 8 to 7 attacks. (Still 10 in Insane).
– Adjusted Boss HP per player (increased it sightly, most notably on Easy and Normal) and then reduced them (by 12% on Insane and 27% rest of difficulties) to match the shorter fights.
*HP added per player went from 8/10/14/17/21 to 6/8/10/12/17. (Servers were using 4/8/12/16/20).

– Increased grenade damage from 75 to 90.
– Fixed a couple of small brushes that were blocking some bullets when shooting Scorpion Guard and Bahamut.
– Using fire and igniting a boss won’t any longer cause problems to humans that try to pass by.

– Bahamut Impulse Attacks sometimes not having a target and going away is still unfixed, but the “wrong” placement is now on the bridge, so you won’t notice.
– HP and Turn bars for Bahamut are sightly higher (24 units).


– Reduced Scorpion Guard tail-laser counter-attack damage from 175 to 150.


– Computers in front of the vent in the final hold disappear now on Extreme and Insane.
– Elevator door no longer closes on Extreme and Insane.

– Barrels in the Bunker no longer appear on Extreme mode.
– Final Cut “Dodge This” speed reduced from 2000 to 1750 (average reaction time went from 0.5 to 0.6 secs).
– Final Cut “Dodge This” now starts instantly after it spawns, instead of waiting 0.10 secs.
– Final Cut “Dodge This” is now two attacks, instead of one.


– Sephiroth encounter after climbing back from the Reactor Core: Laser triggers 0.25 earlier. Sephiroth banishes 1.00 secs earlier.


– Insane Bahamut no longer will cast the same materia twice (unless he does so by his single use of Mimic).
– All Bahamut Materia Casts now have a Console Message as well, for those unable to read Game Texts due to their custom UIs.

– Heal: Increased effect from 10% to 15% of Bahamut’s maximum HP (from 2 bars to 3 bars).

– Bio: Duration increased from 12 to 15 secs.
– Bio: Shouldn’t wrongly hurt people after Heal++ has been used.
– Bio: Players now stop being green-colored after the poison duration.

– Earth: Reduced base HP from 5000 to 3000.
– Earth: Reduced HP per player from 500 to 300 (original players, not remaining players).
– Earth: Increased duration (if not broken by the players) from 10 to 12 secs.

– Barrier: Duration reduced from 8 secs to 5 secs.
– Barrier: Reduced damage from 175 to 125.

– Wind: Push power increased from 275 to 300.

– Ice: Increased projectile speed from 750 to 1000.
– Ice: Increased damage from 2 to 5 per second.
– Ice: Now players are unable to attack while frozen or recovering from the freezing.
– Ice: Now gives back the normal speed instantly instead of gradually over a period of 10 seconds (similar to how Ice Materia works on zombies).

– Aqua: Increased speed from 350 to 375.

– Ultima: Sound stops playing when Bahamut is defeated, and his glows go back to the normal coloring.


– Reduced time between attacks from 0.80-1.30 to 0.80-1.20 (now attacks once per second on average, previously once every 1.05 secs).
– Laser speed reduced from 1300 to 1250.
– Added a Wind-Push based attack that Sephiroth will perform once in every 13 attacks that will push people on the handrails to their death.

– Increased Base Health from 250 to 350.
– Increased Health gained per player from +75 to +90.
– Reduced Health lost per kill from -35 to -25.
– Now Sephiroth has an extra 7000 HP on top of his normal Health, and will automatically lose 1000 when he attacks the 7 first times.

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I’m working on things that aren’t here (since they aren’t fully implemented/done/fixed yet) and got many notes, but if you think you have a glitch, suggestion or complain that needs to be reported, or even complains about something in the current changelog, please, go ahead and comment about it.


Oh boy, the longer I stay without posting the harder it gets to start typing one of these down… Is an ugly mix of shame and inhuman laziness.

It all started when I decided to take 1 month off after mapping non-stop for so long (mostly KF-Insurrection for Killing Floor 2, but also Mako V6 for CS:S), but then I spent over 3 months playing Path of Exile, and at some point we got the results from the KF2 contest and we were kinda disappointed as we expected a bigger reward for all the effort and time we put into it. This didn’t do any good for what I call “my mapping mood“. I guess what we got was about right since we didn’t play-test it enough and ran out of time to fix all the problems the map had (even if many were due to the game itself not being prepared yet for the mod we were mapping for), but it sure hit us hard.

For those curious, we were honestly expecting 1st or 2nd place in the modality we were presenting for and at the very least a 3.000$ price. In the end we only got 1.500$, which even if its still something (and may look like a lot for a map for many of you, seeing how sometimes I get offered 50$-100$ to do a map that may take me several months) it was a little underwhelming. We had to split that between the two of us and you have to take in mind that we had been working more than full time for about a month, so in the end it was less than minimum wage (here in Spain). At least we were doing what we like (mapping) and we got to see each other for a month and play some Dota mano-a-mano 😛

So now I’m “back” (I guess, I honestly try) and I hope I get back to finishing Mako V6 at the very least… (Junon is so out of the picture right now).
For all those curious (some of you guys even asked me) I did absolutely nothing related to Mako V6 since I released the open beta you all played… Not a single brush.
All I did was write down some things that needed fixing in the first week after release (including some that most of you aren’t aware of because your awesome server handlers and admins did scripts and used plugins to fix them so the current version was, at the very least, playable).

Anyway… I have been pretty much away from ZE for 5 months (Really? Already? Again? Time flies!) so if you guys have discovered new bugs, exploits or have suggestions for Mako V6 that I may not be aware off, please let me know (on the off chance someone still visits the blog, XD).
Also interested in your honest opinion about the map. When I was doing it I was very aware that it was so different to V5.3 that many people would prefer the old version or consider them both two different maps altogether, but I want to know if you guys think it was worth the effort and what things may need to change to improve/fix it.
Have you been playing it lately? Or since its unfinished you pretty much rolled back to V5.3 after the novelty fell off? What has been going on? Let me know! 😛

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On another front, after some Last Man Standing events took place in some servers, many people and some mappers have been trying to contact Hannibal to ask for the latest .vmf of the map so they can attempt to fix it to make it fully playable and enjoyable.
Hannibal is completely okay with it and hopes you the best while trying to fix his mess, so here is the file you guys have been asking for:

(Ignore the fact that the file is named b0_0001, I don’t understand the train of thought behind Hannibal‘s decisions, but its the vmf used for V3_1)

Everyone is free to download and check it to learn how to do certain things (but I would suggest trying to keep the blatant copy-pasting to a minimum) or to have fun with Hannibal‘s ways of mapping, but if you guys are honestly thinking about doing a fixed version of the map I would ask you to please write a comment on this post, not only to know who you are (mostly out of curiosity, but I may also be able to help a little) but also so you guys can contact (or at least know about) each other and not waste resources. As far as I know there are at least 2 different parties (maybe more) wanting to work on the map and it would be really stupid if we ended with several mediocre fixes when you guys could work together for a way better result you all can be proud of.

Good luck!

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! XD
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. XD

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).

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 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.

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.