Let’s Make a Level for Duke Nukem 3D, Part 7

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Previous parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Last time, we build a corridor that will lead to a room where the player gets the jetpack. We build a sprite bridge connecting the entry on one side to the entry on the other.

Can you tell me what’s missing here? That’s right, shading. It looks flat and dull. Never, ever build a totally unshaded room unless sector or wall constraints require it. We can add some shading to this room fairly easily without increasing the number of sectors, though.

See what an instant, dramatic improvement that is? No matter how well built a room is, it’s incomplete without shading/lighting. Now it appears as if light is coming from the far end. We’ll create some light fixtures to explain it.

We can probably do better than that, and give those fixtures some depth later on. But for now it looks acceptable, so I’ll save any improvements for the detail pass after all the major elements of the level are in place. However, there’s a problem:

Floor aligned sprites automatically take on the shade of whatever sector they are in. Wall aligned sprites do not. So some manual shading will be necessary to make this bridge look correct when you’re ingame.

There. It’s tough to tell from a still image but when you run along the bridge now the hand rails get brighter as you approach the lighting fixtures at the far end. It doesn’t look perfect, but it looks much less wonky than it did a minute ago.

That’s all for this time, because I’m sick and don’t have a lot of energy. Next time we’ll build the room after this one, which will be a juncture from which you can access one of two areas: One of them will be a jumping puzzle with the jetpack as your reward. The other will be an underwater maze that you’ll need the scuba tank to complete.

Stay Tuned for Part 8!

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