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Black Shadow is a TC of Duke3d replacing pretty much everything and converting an original platformer into a voxel powered 3d version.

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Details on what is planned, whats done, who is involved and what not.

Posted by scott_aw on Feb 11th, 2011

So several years ago I had started Black Shadow to be a platformer game in similar regard to Castlevani, large explorable retracable enviroment, with various secrets and puzzles to open new paths.

Other projects soon took over and I found myself revisiting it less and less.  That and it had experienced 5 complete level redesigns as well.

Then I started getting interested in voxel rendering, like Voxlap, but theres a ton of work needed to work with voxlap that I wasn't quite ready to do.  I made some attempt at compiling the source code with some success, but didn't get too far.  I did start working with Evaldraw which allowed me to concieve the basics of completely voxel based game using a tile based map system.

There was also the option to use the Build engine, which Duke3d is based off, to make a voxel like game of the 8bit variety, or more of a blend between NES-SNES style art, or SEGA Genensis.

I decided to see how things would look in the original Build engine(has a different palette then duke3d) and came up with this.  It wouldn't be until last year that I seriously decided to do this conversion.  Which is where we are left today.

I was even considering using a version Boom(doom port) that supports voxels, but I later decided that the build engine was far superior and could get more done.  So far I've proven myself right on this choice with the progress I've made.

I've also been receiving some assistance in manipulating the CON coding, although I've personally created a variety of actors myself, HUD, enemies and the new weapons are being handled by Deeper Thought.

At this point I'm estimating about 12 levels, 1 episode and all maps linked up to be revisited.  Currently 3 maps are in the works, 1st being nearly complete, 2nd about half and the 3rd just started.

As far as content goes, I'm uncertain how far I am in that as I still have plenty to do.  Currently theres about 700 pieces of original art and 120+ voxel models.

Most graphics at this point have been replaced, or at least what you see in the demo videos.  Recently bubbles were replaced, but I still need to make new graphics for jib splash and wall blood.  Those are currently just blackened version of the original.

Jibs, scraps and such are voxel models as well.  Barrels expode into wood fragments, pottery into clay chunks and pine needles fall when you hit trees and grass clippings when you hack at grass.

Monster wise the first group is nearly done, besides some planned revisions of the animations, they will be similar in animation as the original Duke3d enemies do to how much of a strain having fluid animated voxel object would be.  A voxel model is static, so each frame needs a model, of course I don't need to worry about directional sprites ever again.

There is also one creature from the third group, which consist mostly of animalistic creatures than the first two.

The first group being the Red group, lead by the Scarlet Queen and cosist of the following:

1) Formless - a shapeless spitting mass of lowely servants.
2) Henchman - Standard soldier for the Scarlet Queen, they rush you on sight with no mercy.  They have stronger gold wearing versions that are Captains.
3) Bowman - A sneaky cowardly bastard that attacks from afar and flees if you get close
4) Guardian - The Queen's personal guardian, a floating torso that shoots deadly shadow energy and slashes at you with his massive Flamberg.
5) Scarlet Queen - A sick demented queen who once enjoyed torturing and killing servants and peasants for her own amusement.  Defeated in life by Logan(our MC), she lurks within her ruined palace awaiting revenge.

So far the models are done for this lot, but the Queen hasn't been animated yet.  Also I'll be revising animations for the Bowman and Henchman.

As for AI, they're pretty basic.  The Henchman was coded by DT early on and I created temporary code for the new ones until he has time to update(most likely replace) them.  Although the Formless came out nice, the Bowman leaves a lot to be desired.

Thats all for now.

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scott_aw
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