Let’s Make a Level for Duke Nukem 3D, Part 23

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Previous parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Last time we successfully made our spaceship appear to descend onto the landing pad, in fact by having the entire replica landing environment rise up into place around it. Now we’re going to add an earthquake effect so everything shakes and rumbles while the ship is descending, to simulate landing thrusters.

Ignore the warning in the upper left corner. It’s nothing serious or the map wouldn’t load. I have no idea what’s causing it anyway. As you can see here, I’ve made a room off somewhere irrelevant and a child sector within. I’ve added to it a masterswitch sprite and a sector effector sprite tagged appropriately for this effect.

This is what the room looks like. It exists only so the sloped earthquake damage sector has somewhere to exist. If an earthquake is happening anywhere in the map, the entire map “shakes”.

While this is happening, the sloped sector (which stars flat) gradually increases in angle. This is used in the main game to have parts of the floor appear to crack and warp during an earthquake.

You can see the earthquake room is just outside the landing area replica. The placement is not important however, it could be in the furthest corner of the map and still make everything shake. There’s also a mirror sector I’ve added so that the sink inside the ship can have a reflective mirror above it.

I mean, he’s holding a shotgun in the mirror. Which is wrong. But hey, the devs didn’t want to have to make multiple versions of the character sprite/model for every gun in the game. There wasn’t enough memory in most home PCs for that back in ‘96.

There’s now a door blocking entry to the elevator that takes you up out of the spaceship. This is so players don’t immediately use the elevator while the ship is still in the process of landing, ruining the illusion.

There’s now a switch in the rear area of the ship which opens the elevator access door. This will take just enough time that even if they rush right for the switch, the ship will be landed by the time they can toggle that switch and return to the elevator.

Once the switch is flipped, the door retracts, permitting access to the elevator by which the player can exit the spaceship. The ceiling is black as I couldn’t find any satisfactory compromise for the jarring visual effect of the elevator ceiling disappearing once it rises out of the ship.

The elevator is sufficiently cramped though that this won’t be visible to the player when they actually use the elevator unless they are looking straight up. This isn’t a perfect solution, but consider the limited tools we have to work with.

That’s pretty much all there is to the starting area. In the next installment of this series, we’ll begin work on the ending area, where our hero finds an enemy spaceship to hijack, escaping the planet and ending the level.

Stay Tuned for Part 24!

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