Greetings to the Blood Community

Discussion of and directed to Jace Hall's Blood vision.
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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby kurt » Aug 4th, 2012, 06:12

Greetings Mr Hall.

I'd just like to take a moment to personally welcome you to the Postmortem, and to thank you for speaking directly to the Blood community. Its wonderful to hear your thoughts on how you would like to "bring Blood back", but for many of us, Blood has never really gone away. You created something incredibly special with Blood and it still finds it way into the hearts of countless new fans. Like the magic of first love, it has a place in many hearts, and the Blood community is thankful and appreciative of the magic that you created.

It's great to hear your own thoughts of what you would like to do, and I personally like the ideas that you've previously mentioned. I think that those things would be a great addition to the game without taking anything away from what makes it so special. But I believe that for many people the Blood source code itself is like a Holy Grail of sorts, that's dreamed of in the hopes of one day acquiring it and being able to work with it. Its release would be a dream come true to many.

I understand that you feel the release of the Blood source code would be detrimental to what you personally envision. But I'm confident there must be a way to have both dreams realized. Of having your own ideas come into fruition, while preventing hacking and cheating, and also allowing others the opportunity to work with the Blood source code itself. Technology changes rapidly and there is no way of knowing whether in 5 or 10 years time a new OS might create new bugs, or require the need for an emulator in order to play. Having the source code would allow the community itself to fix bugs and problems as they develop, and assure that the game survives well into the future, no matter what technological changes may transpire. The source code would also be a seed from which prosperity would grow.

The idea of growth and expansion in the Blood community is a dream that I've long had. I'd very much like to see a prosperous Blood community that's united and optimistic of the future, and I myself have worked hard at trying to achieve that goal over the years. So it would be a dream come true for myself, and many others, if the Blood source code were to actually be released. I have no doubt that growth and prosperity would occur with its release and that it would greatly help the Blood community survive well into the future.

For some, the ultimate wish would be the ability to add new weapons or enemies that remain faithful to the spirit of Blood. Others would like to see graphical enhancements such as more blood and gore, increased resolutions, or OpenGL. But for most I believe, it would be the desire to simply have the game run on modern technology without the need for an emulator. I personally think that Blood is perfect as it is and it would be difficult to improve upon perfection. However I would welcome any new additions or changes that would add to the game, without taking anything away from its magnificence.

Thank you Mr Hall, for creating a masterpiece.

Kurt Fuhr

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Damien_Azreal » Aug 4th, 2012, 07:46

For me, the main issue is getting it so running Blood in modern operating systems is a smoother, simpler process.
Being able to install, start and play with minimal problems and hoops to jump through is the main focus.

As others have said, I feel Blood itself is great. Yes it has it's own issues and design quirks... but that's also part of the appeal of the game. And to try and change those or "fix them" would only detract from part of what makes Blood such a classic.

For me personally, the main things that should be part of a source port are pretty basic and common place among such programs.
Support for various 4:3, 16:10, 16:9 resolutions (and by inclusion, widescreen support)
Fully remappable controls and mouse look.
Improved audio/music support and quality.
Cutscenes properly displaying.

Those are truly all I care about. Anything added on top of that such as OpenGL support, high res textures, colored lighting, and various other visual updates... are all afterthoughts in my mind. Yes, I can imagine some of Blood's levels looking amazing if they made use of the Polymer renderer of eDuke32, but at the same time they are far from a feature/effect that is truly "needed".

On top of that, I will say being released on STEAM would be awesome.

Most of my other thoughts are just personal nitpicks and hopes.
Also, absolutely NO 3D models. :) Keep the 2D sprites. And, despite what some may say, I also say there's no need for high resolution textures. Blood has an almost special, gritty look to it. And it's due to the fantastic art direction the game has.
I've seen only a couple high resolution projects that actually manage to capture the original games feel. Far too often, in an effort to make the textures look as detailed and "awesome" as possible... you get something that can look good, but looks nothing like the game it's supposed to be in.
Blood's current visuals great the way they are.

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Daedolon » Aug 4th, 2012, 10:51

Mister nobody is back

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby JaceHall » Aug 4th, 2012, 11:54

Hello all!

I'm getting a lot of direct e-mails from the Blood community about all this and unfortunately I dont have time to have 8 different conversations about this at the same time, so I would kindly ask that we keep the Blood discussion here and out of my e-mail box for the time being!

I'm glad to see some excitement about the idea, and as I said previously, I am thinking about this seriously - but I need everyone to understand that releasing the source is not my call and I do not think it is likely due to the fact that the entities that would have to agree to do it have no concept of why they would ever allow such a thing.
With that being said, I know that I can personally ge/already havet all the necessary rights/support to follow through on my ideas for bringing BLOOD back, and making everything I do available forthe community to play - so that is not a problem.

I hope that made sense.


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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Blood of Nightmares » Aug 4th, 2012, 12:12

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Le Babe » Aug 4th, 2012, 12:52

So, so far it seems the most popular ideas are :

- Compatibility with everything.
- Fixed mouse look
- Support for better textures / graphics

Personnaly, concerning other ideas, I have nothing against a REWARD system. That thing is now in everygame nd it always had an aim for some people. It is the occasion to make people play the game deeply depending on what the rewards are. About goriest mods, 3D models and all... like Daedolon I think that would be too much work and in my opinion it would not be Blood anymore (especially the 3D model). This kind of thing is really cool, I'm not saying it's horrible or waht... but it should be a different mod according to me, not the original Blood revival.

Somebody also talked about new multiplayer mode and I think this would be a good idea too. Waiting to hear the - probably - massive Daedalus thoughts about all this.
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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Blood of Nightmares » Aug 4th, 2012, 13:36

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Alex2501 » Aug 4th, 2012, 15:50

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Daedolon » Aug 4th, 2012, 15:54

That's a very good example actually, no clue why I forgot it.

Jace, if you need some kind of convincing showcase for moddable content (as in ArmA2's case, allowing users to create their own content), Blood's mod-ability is very poor since it's very restricted beyond the capability of creating usermaps solely for the closed source code. Just take a look what the DayZ mod did to the sales of ARMA2:

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Avoozl » Aug 4th, 2012, 17:17

This is awesome news, I sure hope it does become a reality for a Blood source port to exist.

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby DustFalcon85 » Aug 4th, 2012, 19:14

Last edited by DustFalcon85 on Aug 4th, 2012, 20:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Here lives the incantation of matter. A language forever.

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby phanboy4 » Aug 4th, 2012, 19:16

Source would be preferable, as it would enable this to be community driven.

But either way, some kind of OpenGL port to PC/Mac/ARM not limited to the original resolutions would be amazing.

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby Daedalus » Aug 4th, 2012, 20:38

I have awaited you.

For that matter, we have awaited you, and for over a decade we have sat patiently awaiting the day that somebody would remember the timeless gem which is Blood and extend their hand in order to resuscitate it. You, Mr. Hall, may well prove to be the influential champion Blood has required for a long, long time now.

It's already clear by now, but allow me to welcome you to The Postmortem! Our venerable little establishment here has sought to maintain and uplift Blood's spirit for a long time, and I know that I speak for everyone when I say that we are deeply honoured to have you grace our halls, and I hope that in our shared communion you'll gain some insight into how the common Bloodite feels about the game in this day and age.

I understand that you are a busy man, and if it were feasible I could easily speak to you about Blood for days on end and leave you with a novel in this thread, but instead I think it would be the wiser course to attempt keep this succinct so that you may get a clear impression of how the community feels.

I will open by first addressing Blood's needs as a whole and then your suggested multiplayer strategy. I think that in this environment it is easy and very tempting for people to project what they want out of this opportunity into their suggestions, and this can shape a great deal of the requests into a type of subjective morass, but I am purely interested in the proliferation of Blood and its experience in unadulterated format - this has been the objective of this website for all of its existence. It is our guiding principle and our proudest achievement that we've been able to keep the flame going, so to speak, for all these years. On a personal note, I have dealt with many different shapes of Blood fans in the past, and I know from experience what Bloodites are after with regards to the game. I won't fill the following list with technical jargon as that's something which the common Bloodite won't be able to relate to, and frankly, I don't have much interest in it myself. Much of this has already been mentioned, but a lot of it needs repeating. What I say here is purely in the interests of preserving and uplifting Blood's interests and helping its fanbase.

Critical Requirements:

To begin with, Blood must be able to run flawlessly as it is, without any modification to its core assets and without excessive user effort in order to do so, on any contemporary and future operating systems on personal computers.

Forge this message in titanium. We are well past the era in which people want to sit and tweak values in order to have a game run. The average computer user is no longer a guy from the nineties in glasses. Video gaming in itself has transformed and those willing to play form a much larger pool these days; video games are no longer a niche market made up of technical enthusiasts.

How large is the percentage of people who would want to struggle in order to get an older game working on their system? Would twenty-five percent be too generous to say? How many then would want to struggle in order to play a relatively obscure game? I have always maintained that Blood sells itself on its gameplay and overall feel rather than its visuals, despite them being brilliant. The simple fact is that Blood does not sell itself - it cannot sell itself, and it needs every bit of effort from its userbase in order to expand. Blood being a click of a button away makes it easier not only for potential new players, but it makes it far easier to promote as well.

As it stands, Blood is stagnating and dying a very slow death. Even a small circle of enthusiasts such as we cannot keep it going forever. This thread and the energy you have brought to the Blood community as a whole is testament to this. 95% of those here were content until recently to sit idly and do nothing for the game - indeed, some could not even get it to run. Now that the opportunity for revival has presented itself, we have seen a surge in activity which Blood hasn't had for several years now.

Mr. Hall, I implore you - if nothing else, please attempt to make Blood accessible to the future. It is a daily struggle to keep this game alive in the hearts of everyone, and until Blood is free, if you will, this struggle continues. Our need is great and we are depending on you.

Of Great Importance:

Mouselook. As has been said, Blood's mouselook is jarring and frustrating. Nothing hurts a game like unresponsive or imperfect controls. As using a mouse in first person shooters is the norm these days, it would help greatly if players didn't have to concern themselves with this problem.

Widescreen support. This goes hand-in-hand with the first concern. While it is not critical, it would certainly help enhance Blood if we weren't restricted to playing in small windows. Blood's performance at present suffers at larger resolutions, and certain visual anomalies come into play at some of the highest resolutions offered. Having freedom of resolution selection would also greatly enhance our efforts to 'sell' the game.

Blood's networking has various issues as well, but there are those here who would be able to describe the details of this with more precision than I. It's obvious how this injures the current game.

Mapedit. Blood's editing tools have suffered various problems throughout the years, and these have only compounded with time. When set in 3D mode, if the editor is set to any higher resolution than 320x200, the cursor targets incorrectly and imprecisely. It is so bad, in fact, that one cannot use the editor at any resolution higher than 320x200. The implications of this are obvious. In tandem with this, I have often had various level designers protest at Blood's rather stringent resource limitations in the editor - I myself am a victim of this. An easy solution which would not compromise your vision would be to release Mapedit's source code - this would allow for easy elimination of these ancient impediments. The benefit from Blood's Mapedit being more accessible would be enormous.

Of Lesser Importance:

User capability to modify the game further, be it via source code or what have you. Whilst a degree of user freedom would have benefits, it is not fundamentally necessary to keep Blood ticking.

Bells and whistles: surround sound, graphics enhancements, et cetera. Nice for some players as options, but not necessary.

Now that I've covered the various needs and wants pertaining to Blood, I'll offer my feeling on your vision.

When Blood first came out, there was a strong, core Bloodbath element to it in the early years. This side of the game sadly faded into obscurity in time, as the game became more challenging to get working and harder still to get decent response times out of when online. I have never viewed Blood in a competitive light, but I think your idea of a centralised Blood network would be absolutely fantastic if we could ensure that it had sustainability and longevity. Having said that, however, I'm a little bit hesitant when you mention achievements. While an external list would be fairly harmless, having flashing graphics appearing on the screen and such is anathema to Blood's spirit. Reservations aside, I completely support and look forward to this realisation of your vision. This effort would no doubt revitalize a community desperately in need thereof.

Though you have echoed the words in our previous exchange, I cannot overstate the importance of the following: Blood's single player experience, warts and all, must be preserved exactly as it is. Yes, there are a few remaining bugs in the game, such as the aforementioned 'eternal flame guy', or 'human candle', whereby a monster will sometimes, upon being ignited, run around forever, immortal, until one applies additional flame to it, but it has been such a long time, and Blood in itself is such an interesting and quirky game in certain respects, that every little oddity and anomaly is cherished by us. We have specific names for these phenomena and stories surrounding them. We delight in visitors describing their experiences of these peculiarities which we already know all too well. We have sat patiently in devotion for a decade not because of what we want Blood to be, or because of what it could be, but because of what Blood is, and I can think of no other community for an equivalently old video game quite as tenacious and passionate as this one.

Blood doesn't handle modification gracefully, Mr. Hall. We've seen our fair share of abhorrent distortions of it, and every single time something is attempted to be added to the game, it instead detracts from it and cheapens the experience. Even something as subtle as a graphic enhancement of the HUD stands the risk of tarnishing the wonderful experience which is Blood, and remember always that although Blood is often tongue-in-cheek, it does have a very serious side to it. There are moments in Blood, particularly on higher difficulty levels, when one is low on resources and trapped in the dark with only Blood's subtle ambience as company. It is in these instances where I consider Blood the most immersive game to date, and having a flashy icon appearing congratulating my achievement of kicking fifty zombie heads in this instance would immediately pull me out of Blood's magical realm, and severely harm the title. Blood's majesty comes from the contrast between its jovial side and its darker elements, but if these two were to intrude too heavily into one another's territory, each would lose their distinction and Blood would suffer as a result.

At this point, despite your compassion in asking us what we'd like to see and informing us of what you have planned, Blood's very future depends, once again, solely on you. The continuation and proliferation of Blood itself is now your legacy, and I can only ask that you tread lightly with what we have held dear for so long a time. The power is yours to determine now whether Blood will now enter a golden age of revival and prosperity, or if its final note will be that of an echoing, lingering howl from the fanbase: "Why?"

Yours in undying gratitude and bleeding,
- Daedalus

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby hellrazor » Aug 4th, 2012, 21:02

I think it would be cool to have a sort of 'steam workshop' sort of thing where you can browse user made content. I would love to browse pages of user made single player maps and maybe even episodes!

Also, if there are going to be achievements, it would be nice to have an option to remove a pop up that alerts you to it. Maybe some would agree that it be off by default.

I would like to reinforce the idea of player statistics. For single and multiplayer. I would love to dork out about how many zombies I've killed and with what weapons. Or how many heads I've punted. Also just kind of chuckled at the thought of a 'longest head kick' stat.

I feel that all the ideas being shared are on the right track. It's things like these that can help immortalize the game beyond what it is now.

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Re: Greetings to the Blood Community

Postby RazTK » Aug 4th, 2012, 23:05

Open-sourcing BLOOD would be one of the best things that could ever happen to the game; and I feel I can say that with enough confidence just by looking at DOOM and Quake.

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