|Apotheosis beta abandonware - Download|
|Posted By: Todd Proctor||Date: 8/1/07 12:31 a.m.|
For a bit of nostalgia the other day I downloaded Aleph One and fired up my old incomplete total conversion, Apotheosis, then decided the files might be of interest to whatever is left of the marathon community.
Apotheosis died at the finish line.
Although dozens of people came and went from the project throughout the years, whose contributions were invaluable, and whose names I have for the most part regrettably forgotten, the main body of work was carried out by myself and Ben Fisher. What you have in these files is an essentially complete game, a bit rough around the edges and not tweaked for Aleph one, but you can play it from start to finish, a total conversion with 22 complete solo levels!
What's In Apotheosis:
- A 22 level single player game with brand new terminal art and a story fleshing out the Marathon universe.
- 16 Network levels.
- A whole new weapons set.
- 5 New environments.
- 7 New in-game characters.
What you can do with it:
- Play it! Let us know what you think! Tell other Marathon fans about it!
- Finish it! Are you an intrepid marathon developer? Tie up our loose ends! We don't know how to edit marathon files under OSX, but some of you lot seem to!
- Use it for your own projects. Like the textures, weapons, monsters? Feel free to use them. Please ASK first, and credit the Apotheosis team.
Apotheosis is incomplete Abandonware:
- It's essentially in late beta.
- The game seems to run bug free under the latest version of Aleph One. There will be glitches in the HUD however, as all the data for the positioning, naming and animating of HUD elements originally resided in the Marathon Infinity data fork, and was never properly migrated to Aleph One MML.
- The title screen should work, the MML required to reposition the buttons has been created.
- The ending of the last level won't work properly. We were trying to simulate a reactor detonating, and you had a certain time limit to escape. This required hacking of the Infinity engine, which again, was not migrated to Aleph One MML. Instead, you'll just get drowned in liquid and probably hear some strange sounds.
- There's no chapter screens. I've included the ending crawl as a text file, which you can read when you finish the scenario. I've included the other chapter screens, in various states of completion, as .jpgs.
- I lost a lot of final graphical tweaks, about half the landscapes are old and inconsistent, the look of the Fenris natives is complete in the terminals and as sprites, but the level textures and architecture related to them are based on old versions of the plot. Some weapon sprites, icons and ammunition are inconsistent. Many textures are outdated.
- Game balance is not quite right. It's very hard, but you have a lot of ammo, and the difficulty is inconsistent.
So why did we drop the ball when we were so close to the end?
- My mac died, taking all my working files with it. No original photoshop or illustrator files exist. This stopped me from doing final changes that I wanted to make to the games graphics. The game files here are a back ups from an FTP that are missing many of the final tweaks and several levels I intended to include in the final release.
- I replaced my dead Mac with a new Mac, one that ran OSX. Marathons editing tools all ran in classic, so this essentially put an end to editing most of the game data. This was in 2003. The files have languished on my hard drive since then.
- Ben got a PC then got a real job getting paid to make real games. He spent the last year of the project writing terminals in his free time and not really seeing the fruits of his labour.
- I got a real job as well, and lost interest in gaming and game modding.
A by no means complete list of authors, testers and contributors:
Todd Proctor, Ben Fisher, Richard Dierkes, Simon Dupuis, Jon Dickie, Jane Davis, Simon something or other, the venerable Hamish Sanderson (HAS), Robert Balmer, and many others whose names have escaped my memory . I'm sorry if this means you. She BoB and Ydnar provided some textures from their public texture libraries.
Some retrospective thoughts about the project (spoilers ahoy!):
- It looks pretty damn good. One of the prettiest Marathon TC's that never got made. It lacks the polish of Tempus Irae and Rubicon, I made some of the artwork assets at the ripe old age of 14, and indeed, most of the themes present were conceived then as well. As a result there's an inconsistency in quality that never sat well with me. The game is an interesting document of Ben's and my own journey from 14 year old amateur pixel pushers to professional designers in our respective fields.
- We were teenagers. There was no project management, no clear over-arching goal, no milestones, deadlines or institutionalised quality control. Just a bunch of nebulous ideas that somehow congealed into a working total conversion. Again, this led to inconsistencies that bothered me once I was old enough to realise and played a role in my reluctance to complete and release Apotheosis.
- Everything is designed for the infinity engine. I think we did a damn good job of pushing it to it's limits. There's no Aleph One features here at all.
- It's too hard. I never listened to the anguished cries of my beta testers. It relies too much on unfair tactics like teleporting monsters behind the player, having attacks come from all directions and placing enemies around the lips of abrupt corners. Surprise, you're dead! There's more carnage and less switch hunts than your average Marathon adventure.
- There's never really a satisfactory explanation of level objectives in the terminals. This is ok, most of the levels I designed are fairly linear and small. Ben's and especially Richard's levels are slightly more complex and require obscure solutions.
- There's plenty of ammo and guns. You wont be worrying about ammunition conservation.
- There's no real difficulty gradation. The game is hard from the start and stays hard. This is fine, anyone playing this knows how to play Marathon by now, but it's a bit grating to go from a level like Knives, Sharp Sticks into Eve Of Orbit. Completely different pacing.
- The defence levels are a fun gimmick, but I might have overdone it.
- The guns are good. They're meaty, powerful and satisfying to use. You get a super weapon at the end that's kind of lame.
- The sounds are awful.
- The new monsters are shit. They're boring. The Veteran Fighter and Swarm are melee only damage sponges. Melee only monsters simply do not work in Marathon's ancient engine, they're no fun to fight at all. The Kasuma Class Robot is too big, and as such looks utterly ridiculous with Marathon's 8 angle sprite animations. It's also nothing more than a Juggernaut with legs. Boring. The Battleroid looks pretty bad ass, but he walks like a twat. I'm not a very good 3d animator. The revised MADD's are pretty cool looking, but they're just a rehash from a monster Bungie dropped with Marathon 2. The Fenris Natives are introduced in a way that will hopefully raise the hairs on the back of your neck. You don't spend long fighting them though. The Virals are literally Spht 2.0.
- The story is ridiculous and convoluted. I thought it up when I was 14 and kind of stuck with it for 5 years. Ben did an amazing job of taking my stupid ideas and reworking them into a narrative that actually works.
|Apotheosis beta abandonware - Download||Todd Proctor||8/1/07 12:31 a.m.|
|really impressive screens *NM* *NM*||Bobwithkeycard||8/1/07 1:13 a.m.|
|And an SSL version||Todd Proctor||8/1/07 2:46 a.m.|
|SDL version ;) *NM*||treellama||8/1/07 1:36 p.m.|
|Minor MML error||Andrew Nagy||8/9/07 6:46 a.m.|
|(in Apotheosis SSL, I mean) *NM*||Andrew Nagy||8/9/07 6:47 a.m.|
|Re: Apotheosis beta abandonware - Download||thermoplyae||8/1/07 8:29 a.m.|
|That looks so awesome *NM*||Tyler||8/1/07 7:42 p.m.|
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