T.U.C.Q. Level Maker's F.A.Q.

Started by Boingo the Clown, February 05, 2011, 05:11:21 PM

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Boingo the Clown

Looking at the old forum again (Thanks Replica) has revealed more wonderful information I don't have to type out again.

Here is the old F.A.Q..  It may need revisions or corrections, but here it is again.

Q. I want to write the entire story for T.U.C.Q., right down to the Chex Warrior's family tree back to Adam and Eve.

A. *Ahem* I am afraid the story for T.U.C.Q. has already been written. In accordance with the K.I.S.S. rule (Keep It Simple Stupid!), the story has been kept simple so as not to interfere with game play. In order to avoid spoilers, the game story will only be given out on a "need to know" basis.

The initial story from the original Chex Quest remains the same. The end story has been altered in order to accomodate the three extra levels that must be added to complete the eight levels required for episode one, and to allow for an easier transition to episode 2. Additional story has been created to complete episode 2 and new story has been created for the other two episodes.

Q. How about I come up with the main villain and his complete back story?

A. Sorry. Mark Pendley beat you to it back in January of 2004.

Q. What programs can I use to edit levels for T.U.C.Q.?

A. Any editor that can used to make levels for DooM will also be able to make levels for T.U.C.Q.. DooM Builder is the most popular editor being used now.

Q. Okay. I've set up (insert your editor here), but all of the monsters are listed as DooM monsters, not flemoids.

A. Luckily for you, MOST of the T.U.C.Q. flemoids have DooM equivalents that are easy to remember. Here is a quick listing (Some of the DooM monsters use different names depending on the editor):

DooM = T.U.C.Q.

Former Human Trooper (a.k.a. trooper, private, zombie) = Flemoidus Commonus

Former Human Sergeant (a.k.a. sergeant, shotgun guy) = Flemoidus Bipedicus

Imp = F. Bipedicus With Armour

Demon (a.k.a. pink demon, cow demon) = Flemoidus Cycloptis

Spectre (a.k.a. shadow demon, ghost demon) = Flemoidus Larva

Baron of Hell = The Flembrane (As a boss monster, I really don't want to see the flembrane being used for the most part.)

In order to get some of the flemoids from Chex Quest 2 to work without conflicting with Chex Quest flemoids, I was forced to apply them to DooM scenery objects. This will make them very difficult to identify easily. There are also additonal flemoids I am using to implement difficulty levels, which also have odd thing names in DooM editors. Sorry.

Q. Is there an easier way to do this?

A. I have a custom .cfg file I made up for use with DooM Builder. It has all of the different kinds of flemoids and objects currently used in T.U.C.Q., and I am willing to send it to it to anyone on request. It is bound to change over time as new flemoids and objects are created.

Q. I am going to put 60 health packs on each level, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and a LAZ device in every room!

A. If you do, I am personally going to come over to your house, and kick you in the rear end so hard that my toe nails are going to scratch the roof of your mouth! Ultra-easy levels like that are boring! Do you think anyone is going play a level like that more than once? I know I wouldn't, and I'll bet no one else will either.

Q. Okay. I am going to make a level so hard that only me and God can finish it without resorting to using cheat codes!

A. Oh no you aren't! Levels should be made challenging, but not so difficult that players are frustrated into quitting the game.

Q. How do I implement difficulty levels for T.U.C.Q.?

A. T.U.C.Q. WILL NOT implement difficulty levels in the same manner that mods based on DooM usually do it. The method I will be using does not show up in phase II beta 2, but will become evident in beta 3.

The usual method of of implementing difficulty in DooM and DooM mods involves adding an increasing number of monsters to the map as the skill level goes up. For example; on skills 1 and 2, the easiest two skill levels, a room may have only two monsters in it, but the same room will have four monsters in it on skill level 3, the medium skill level, and it may have six or seven monsters in it on the highest two skill levels. This is the usual method, but it is not the method to be used in T.U.C.Q.. Instead, all increases in skill level are meant to be accomplished through two means.

The first means of increasing the difficulty level in T.U.C.Q. is exchange certain kinds of flemoids with harder versions at higher levels. For example, instead of a room having two flemoids one the lowest skill levels and more flemoids on highers skill levels, the room will always have two flemoids in it, but the flemoids themselves will be tougher on higher skill levels. This has already been implemented for most of the levels as of beta 3.

At present, I have created tougher version of F. Commonus and F. Bipedicus in order to make the game more challenging on higher skill levels. The easy versions are as you already know them. They are easy to kill, not very fast, and they drop ammunition. They are the versions that appear on skill levels 1 and 2 ONLY from now on. At skill level 3, the easy versions of F. Commonus and F. Bipedicus are to be substituted with medium difficulty version, which have 25% more hit points over the easy versions, have a 12.5% faster rate of movement than the easy versions, and no longer drop ammunition. On skill levels 4 and 5, The commoni and bipedici are replaced again, but this time with versions that have 50% more hit points than the easy ones, and are 25% faster. These versions don't drop ammo either. In this way, the game always appears to be the same, yet still becomes more difficult at higher skill levels, due to the fact the flemoids themselves are tougher.

The second means of making skill levels tougher in T.U.C.Q. is to carefully decrease the amount ammunition and health available. If done correctly, this will make the levels more challenging by forcing the player to carefully manage how much ammunition instead of wasting it. In other words, at higher skill levels, a careful player can easily get through a level and still have a good amount of ammo left to start the next level, while a player who just blasts everything without checking his targets and aiming will probably run out.

NOTE: For the moment, I would highly recommend that level makers just concentrate of making EASY version of their levels that are pretty much on par with the original CQ levels in difficulty. I can then take care of implementing the higher difficulty levels myself.

Q. I wanna be a mighty wacky dood and compose all tah moozik for T.U.C.Q.!

A. Sure. Knock yourself out. Just make sure the music you make matches the style of the original tunes. I will not accept tunes that conflict with the style already established by Andrew Benson.

Q. I want to make a whole bunch of kickass textures for TUCQ!

A. Sure. Knock yourself out. Just make sure the textures you make match the style of the original textures. I will not accept textures that conflict with the style already established by Charles Jacobi.

Q. How realistic can I make my textures?

A. This is where things get tricky. You must remember that Chex Quest is supposed to be a cartoonish world. You must therefore keep the look of the new textures consistant with that of the original textures created by Charles Jacobi. If the textures are too realistic, they may be rejected.

Q. Wait a minute! My level didn't get in to T.U.C.Q., but I definately recognize a part of it over here in another level! What the heck are you trying to pull?!?

A. Calm down. It may be possible that some levels with elements I like will be Frankensteined together to create new levels. Do not worry. You will get credit for your work.

Q. How much sex and violence can I put in? I've got this great idea for a brothel level!

A. Sorry. No dice there. Chex Quest has always been intended as a nonviolent game for children. It is only right that T.U.C.Q. continue in the same spirit, without sex and violence. Crushers, for example, should only be used to create special effects. They should not be used as weapons against either the player/s or the flemoids, as crushing someone to death is very much out of line as far as the spirit of the game goes.

Q. Can I make textures talking about how crummy Chex cereal is?

A. Nope. That would also be against the spirit of the game, since it was originally made as a promotion for Chex.

I will be introducing a competitor to Chex into the game, called "Brand X". Brand X cereal is so bad that the best slogan they can come up with is "It's almost as good as Chex". Brand X related stuff will only appear ocassionally, as in E2M7: The Wrong Side of Town, and every effort will be made to show just how inferior Brand X is to Chex. Brand X cereal will be depicted as issuing green vapours and having flies buzzing around it, Brand X power doors will either work badly, or not work at all, etc., ...

Q. Can you teach me how to make maps, hack edit, create wad resources, write scripts, and do advanced special effects?

A. What? Do you want me to wash your car for you while I'm at it too?


Come on! Give me a break! Do you really think I am going to have time to be able to do all this and work on T.U.C.Q. at the same time?

The answer is a definate NO. I just don't have the time.

If you want to learn how to edit maps, try reading The Unofficial WAD Designers' Handbook and The DOOM Level Design FAQ. If you want to learn the specifics about the editor you have chosen, may I suggest you read the documentation the came with it. With the exception of DooMCAD, which has been my work horse for map editing for much of the last 11 years, chances are that I have little or no experience in regards to most editors.

As for hack editing, creating wad resources, writing scripts, making special effects, or using source port specific features. My advice is to forget about them for now. This is more advanced stuff, and will only distract you from learning the fundementals of map making, kind of like trying to make a grade one write a university thesis before he has finished reading his first D!ck and Jane book! Once you become proficient at mapping, THEN you can start learning the other stuff.

Yet more information coming ...