A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Discussion about Blood and its addons.
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A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Post by tchaikovsky2 » Sep 14th, 2011, 23:14

Hello.

Allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Grzesiek; sorry about breaking your tongue.

First things first.

Me and my brother, we've been Blood fans since we got our hands on the shareware version, back in the mid '90s. I remember us squeeing (no, not literally) when we saw railroad tracks, and then the amazing Phantom 666, rolling into the station. And THEN we almost fainted, when we saw that the next level was ON that very train (note, we love trains)!

The unbearably strong atmosphere of each level was burnt into our minds forever. It was a right atmospheric shooter experience. The very best of it.

Later on we got the full version. It was a happy day.
But it became an extatic day, when we found the map editor.
Many maps have we made (most of them weren't really good, but I still occasionally play them).

After that came the era when Blood stopped working (a sad day indeed), and modern games looked semi-realistic (I'm talking Doom III here).
(...) Then there's the 7th generation gaming era. And DOSbox.

While it does the trick, we felt we needed more. we wanted to see Blood's atmosphere in high definition, wanted to know what it would look like if it was in reality. Wanted it to be more immersive, perhaps...

So we've undertaken the toughest challenge one could possibly try.
We are attempting to remake Blood in high definition, using the Unreal Development Kit.

We named the project lovingly "Blood Revived".

I'm a 2d/3d artist. Quite experienced, if I do say so myself. :wink: My brother, Łukasz (less of a tongue breaker, eh?), is a programmer.
So far, the progress has been going well, except for a couple of technical challenges.

Now, some of you might say it's profanity, or blasphemy (or not), but know this: it's like a fan-made reinterpretation of Blood, not an attempt to perfectly recreate the masterpiece. We wanted to bring Blood into the modern gaming technology, while still trying to make it as close to the original as possible in terms of gameplay. As for the visuals, we wanted to redo its amazing style in HD, without ruining the feel, but making it look realistic.
To stick to Mr. Kilstrom's style, I use Blood textures as heightmap bases in Zbrush, then I sculpt on them. Though at such a low resolution I'm usually having a hard time trying to interpret some details, haha! But still, I hope they remind of the originals.
The textures are then made in a similar fashion - while working on a texture, I have the original next to the HD version for easy comping.

We have a month's worth of work at the moment, and it consists of a few materials for BSP walls, about 10 objects (UDK is object-oriented, so every kind of door - for instance - must be modeled, sculpted, textured and material'd separately; the resulting material is unusable with BSP), two weapons: the pitchfork (with a very lame/temporary animation, and it's buggy), and the flare gun (with a lame, but polished animation, unfinished alt-fire, poorly converted sounds, and tons of beautiful sparks upon firing; and the flares light the world - all looks good); I've also started working on a Caleb model, and a certain wall element.
Right now it all feels rather Blood-ish visually, but doesn't play like Blood, at all. That's the hard part.

I'd like to share a screenshot with you, please let me know what you think about it. I've recently ran out of steam for the project, and could really use a boost. Unless you think it's a bad idea to continue it. Let me know!

Anyway, here's a link to the screenshot (NOTE: it's big!), it's a panorama, stitched from two shots, the second one is a comparison image (original Blood, exact same place), done the same way.

Shot 01 - revived
Shot 01 - original

It's still unfinished and definitely not final. There are the spider webs missing, and the dead body isn't made yet. Yes.

Now, if you like the idea, and know certain people, we would be REALLY grateful If you could contact them with us.
We need the following people:

Desperately - programmers with experience in UnrealScript. THAT's hard to come by. I will also be asking about that on the UDK forums.
...Or just good programmers who are willing to learn UnrealScript, for the sake of Blood. :)

Desperately - animators (who can also rig to a master skeleton; preferably working with 3ds max), though not now, since there isn't really a whole lot to animate. And the animations - they need to be polished, rather high quality. I'm not that good at that, unless it's a spinning fan I need to animate... XD

We also could use some help with level design decisions (we'll probably just leave it as a form of feedback gathering). Note, the levels are already designed by Monolith - we don't intend to change them one bit, they could just use some cosmetic improvements, like the ones I did in the screenshot - that column on the corner in the middle, or the grass patches.

So, I think that's it. I can take some more screenshots, including those of test maps, like a room lit JUST by lava. 8) Let me know if you'd like to see them.
We know it's not much, but we hope you like it thus far.

Have a nice day,
the BR team. Kind of.

P.S. Oh look, another attempt at remaking Blood! :P
What are you gonna do? BLEED on me?

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Re: A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Post by Daedalus » Sep 14th, 2011, 23:51

Well, you covered most of what I was going say with your final line. (;

First off - welcome to The Postmortem. This type of deal is fairly common and we've yet to see most of these plans bear fruit, but I, and I'm sure the vast majority of our little family, wish you and your brother good fortune in however far you want to take the project.

I must give a word of caution prior to your continued efforts, though. Blood is so much more than a bunch of great maps and textures, its brilliance - its secret - is in its essence and feel, and those are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to capture in other mediums. While I've no doubt that the hours you and your brother put into this project will be rewarding and bring about some great results, I don't think I'd be mistaken in saying that once you have constructed this fantastic feat of architecture and labour, you may just observe your creation and in a flash of revelation realise that despite the many arduous hours you've put in, something just seems to be missing. Blood's spirit is a frail thing and just the slightest deviations can extinguish it in most any recreation effort. If, however, you are aware of this risk and are comfortable with the knowledge, then I bid you proceed! At the very least it would be interesting to see Blood 're-imagined' in a flashy new form.

With all that said and done, let me just say that your enormous screenshot looks very nice, but the strange corner definitely caught my eye for the wrong reasons. I, however, am not easy to please at all with such things, being a Blood purist in the truest sense.

Still, it will be an interesting adventure, and as you create your project in honour of you and your brother's fond memories, it seems to be an effort in good faith to me. Please proceed with my blessing and keep us updated - I'd like to see some of Blood's iconic areas created in this way as a fun visual experience.

I lack just about all the skills you require for this project, but if ever you have need of a harsh critic, I would be an excellent choice.

Again, welcome to The Postmortem!

Kind regards,
- Matt, resident Dreaming God

P.S. How did you find this website?

P.P.S. "More immersive" than Blood is a minor heresy, but I'll overlook it this time.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Post by kurt » Sep 15th, 2011, 00:16

Using the UDK is a really original idea. I only wish I had thought of doing something like that....

Projects such as this just seem to keep popping up. Maybe I should just throw in the towel. Nobody has ever really offered me any help but perhaps you'll fare better.

Good luck to you and your brother.
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Re: A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Post by tchaikovsky2 » Sep 15th, 2011, 01:08

Well, it seems Blood is quite remake-resistant, since so many attempts failed, or, at the very best, are crawling (probably into a shallow grave as well). Thank you for the wishes; I guess we'd be happy if we made it to finishing at least the first episode.

I am aware of Blood's fragile spirit (quite the paradox, since it's a very strong composition overall; maybe not a really good sentence), and like I said, we're not striving to capture the essence that makes it "Blood" - that would be rather futile. Our goal is to, at least, recreate the atmosphere in modern technology. And now that I think of it, you're right about that "more immersive" part - I meant just the visuals; to add more realism.

Now, I know you're a Blood purist - I've been lurking here for some time, mostly doing research on blood fans' likes and dislikes (and occasionally finding yet another attempt at doing a remake, haha!). I know we'll have some problems there, since the meaning of "Blood" is incredibly varied for everyone. But we'll try to remedy most of the veriations one way or another. Anyway, that column on the corner (let's make it into a symbol here) is one of my visions of immersion. When working on an area, I try to imagine what it would look like in real life. So, say in e1m2, the station platform - imagine a platform like that in reality. Now, why there are no benches? That's where my fancy ideas born of realistic thinking come in. I hope you understand my way of thinking, because I know you're a hard person to please. :)

That said, I am very glad I've managed to get a good word from you, thank you.

Hmm... Harsh criticism doesn't work well for me, but normal criticism helps a lot. As long as it's being specific, and shows reasons. :wink:

Thank you for the welcome, and again - for the kind words.

Sincerely,
Grzesiek

P.S. I can't really remember how I've found this site - it was a long time ago, but I know I was looking around for - haha! - a Blood remake.

@kurt - Thanks, though it's not really a sunday drive. UDK is poorly documented, so as long as you're going to make a UT3-based shooter (with no engine modifications), you're fine, but if you want to make Blood, you're screwed. XD

Thank you. I don't know if we'll manage to achieve our primary goal, but I'm sure we won't, if we don't get any help.
Are you, by any chance, a programmer? :wink:
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Re: A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Post by Le Babe » Sep 15th, 2011, 01:16

Welcome here dude. I have to admit the screenshot looks badass. But Blood is all about gameplay and sprites in my opinion. Sprites allow a level of gore and fun no 3D models will equal I guess.

This seems very promising though, and if you manage to reproduce the various gibs, the gameplay and the atmosphere, then it should be a very pleasant remake.

Anyway, I think all people working on a Blood remake on a new engine should team up, things would go faster.

I think the most interesting thing with remaking Blood is the possibility to improve the multiplayer's gameplay. I can't stand build engines autoaim and such despite being a huge build engine games lover. The multiplayer just feels awkward to me.

Good job again, stay true to Blood.
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Re: A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Post by kurt » Sep 15th, 2011, 02:16

tchaikovsky2 wrote: I've been lurking here for some time, mostly doing research on blood fans' likes and dislikes (and occasionally finding yet another attempt at doing a remake, haha!).....

@kurt - Thanks, though it's not really a sunday drive. UDK is poorly documented, so as long as you're going to make a UT3-based shooter (with no engine modifications), you're fine, but if you want to make Blood, you're screwed. XD
If you've been visiting this forum for some time as you've stated, then you're most likely already aware that I've been using the UDK for quite some time to recreate a Blood game on a modern engine. I'm already aware that its not a Sunday drive and yes, it would be nice to receive some help from others.

As Le Babe stated, it would make sense for everyone to team up. But instead people keep coming along and proclaiming that they have this great idea to remake Blood. Most of these people are usually already aware of my work. But they'll often act as though it doesn't even exist. It doesn't seem to matter that I've been working my ass off for several years now, and would welcome some assistance. I once offered to help the guy making the Half Life 2 mod but he refused to even speak to me for over a year, because he was so intent on having his own project and being in the spotlight himself.

I've dealt with problems that you can't imagine, and I have a great deal of experience. I've already built models and levels, and done some coding with the UDK. But I don't recall you offering to help me at all. Instead you have this great idea that you thought of, to recreate Blood using the UDK.

So good luck with that.
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Re: A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Post by tchaikovsky2 » Sep 15th, 2011, 03:02

@Le Babe - Thanks. The gameplay part is the hardest. UDK doesn't like to be modified. But the gibs, on the other hand, are something different. Still, not an easy thing to do, but it can be done. I've seen a game done in UDK featuring tons of blood and dismemberment. I'm just not sure if we ever get to doing that too. :p

And yeah, I guess everyone teaming up would be a great idea. There's just this problem, that everyone choses different methods to do stuff, and everyone sees Blood's essence as something else. For me, it's about the atmosphere and the story; for you, it's gameplay and fun.

As for multiplayer, I've only played it a couple of times with my brother, on LAN, back in the days.
We kept going out of sync all the time, ROFL. But we enjoyed it as much as playing on single.
And I don't know if we could pull it off in UDK.

Thanks, we will. :)

@kurt - Yes, I am aware of your own project (good job on that, by the way - the latest screenshots blew me away), but I didn't know it was UDK. Sorry, that was quite ignorant of me. But you seemed to be losing the strength to continue it.
A good thing if you aren't, though. :)
You know, I've been actually thinking on offering you help, but I didn't know if my workflow would suit yours (and I do stuff rather slowly), and didn't know what engine you were using. Besides, your project is of different nature (Blood 2).
Also, where did you see me stating that it's my own original idea? Take a look at the last line from my first post.
I find it amusing how many times people have been trying to remake it. And now me and my brother joined the bandwagon; there's an 85% chance that our attempt will fail eventually.

You should know this: it's not that I want to be in the spotlight, I just want to create a remake of what Blood is for me. If I'd join someone else's project, I'd be making that person's vision of Blood.
And that's what's annoying about that game. Everyone's into something else about it.
I've seen the HL2 version as well, and I was thinking about joining, but... I don't know, I just don't really like the Source Engine, and, you know - that vision stuff from up above.

Maybe making Blood Revived isn't such a good idea after all. Still, it was a nice experience.

And good luck to you.
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Re: A tiny light in a long tunnel.

Post by Panoptic Blur » Sep 15th, 2011, 14:28

It would be a shame if your collective projects faded out because of a lack of encouragement.

Maybe you'll work together. Maybe not. But whatever your plans for your projects, I want to voice that I'm deeply impressed by your dedication to Blood (which is definitely shared by other members on this forum) and moreover by your talents (which are not - you're clearly in a league of your own in being able to make a modern-engine Blood experience).

I'm sorry that I don't have anything to give except for my kind words and encouragement. But I'm a firm believer that Blood is a series worth revisiting from the grave, and that many gamers today would enjoy playing an updated version with fresh eyes - especially those who weren't even born when the game first came out.
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