Design of the BUILD Games v11-14-2014 Release 0.6 (c) RTCM Corvin
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This document covers a lot of design issues that would be ideal to be used in a new
Duke3D port or other BUILD Game source modifications. I'll exploit the very major details that would maintain the look, feel and
performance of a true BUILD type game, based off of other existing BUILD Games. I
may occasionally give details on flaws of the games if it has some sort of design issue
that one can learn from. Even if your not a programmer you may wish to read this document
to become informed of other BUILD Game designs. Mod makers can also benefit from this
information to aid them in designing.
The BIG-4: Duke Nukem, Blood, Shadow Warrior and Redneck Rampage
are the most well known games. This document will try to cover all
Commercial BUILD Games. When available, the full games with official
add-ons or patches are used for this review. However since there's
design issues in shareware, alphas, betas and just about any
un-patched version of a game, they can provide us with details that
may have merit, so I'll try to included some of that material aswell.
The controls of course can make or break a game. Duke3D kicked ass with the control
setup. A couple other BUILD Games lacked complete freedom to make a personal configuration.
Lets take a look at the highlights.
- A special note about Alternate fire. This is a single key that can be re-mapped to such
places as the second mouse button where you would use it today. Blood also has the
alternate weapon function. The Dynamite slot has a total of three separate choices,
Dynamite, Prox Dynamite and Remote Dynamite and works similar to Duke3Ds alternate weapon.
They reused a weapon slot, double hit on a single key switches between the normal weapon
and the alternate weapon,. you can't remap the alternate key separately from the normal
key. Bloods alternate fire method appears more modern and the alternate weapon slot method
tends to be ideal for adding several more weapons, rather than using yet another key. The
combined methods would result in a unstoppable array of weapons and firing modes.
- The controls in Shadow Warrior are the same as Duke3D, you have the configuration for
your movement, items, etc. The hot keys are present and the configurations are cable of
supporting more than one function per key. So Duke3Ds controls are great so are Shadow
- Nothing advanced. Powerslave controls for a Mouse where odd and lacking. The game uses
the same setup program as Duke3D and Shadow Warrior, but its basic in comparison. There's
no Mouse Look, or Aiming and no Mouse sensitivity. The best one could do is use the Left
and Right movement of the mouse to Aim/View. Pushing forward on the mouse moves you
forward,sorta. Pulling back on the mouse moves you backwards,sorta. There is no mouse Aim
up or down, you would have to use the keyboard for that, but its hardly needed since the
game uses built in auto-aim. I would say a joystick and keyboard would have perhaps given
you more control of the game. But there no such combination. Or even a vertical and
horizontal mouse sensitivity slider. The game doesn't support a gamepad directly but you
can get that through the Joystick portion, the game is better suited for that anyhow.
- The design note here is the choice of the controls that where made available. If more
time was available I'm sure they would have continued Mouse support.
- A quick note about TekWars holster controls. Basically to draw a weapon you fire once
with the weapon selected, the weapon and your hand raise into normal position. To lower
the gun and holster it you press a different key. Duke3D has a similar setup for
holstering ones weapon. The only thing is they didn't code in the fact that a weapon is
holstered, "so don't shoot me." to the A.I. doesn't mean anything. TekWar the
A.I. responds to the fact the weapon is holstered, so Police Officers and Guards won't
hassle you. I think this is a benefit for Mod makers, they can write a script to use a
newly coded holster routine.
- In multiplier adventuring you wouldn't beable to see if one is pointing a weapon or if
its holster, you would need additional art or voxel models.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
- Some of the keyboard controls are hardcoded. The game makes use of the Function Keys,
this is standard in a Hunting game. Function Keys used in a first person shooter is
extremely ideal, especially if the game has a lot of items to select from instead of or in
combination with the Hot Key system that Duke3D uses.
- Deer Huntin' has a sticky key used when crouching. It automatically keeps you crouched
without having to hold it down. This style of crouch could be used in a port, but it would
be better if this was a menu selection for off and on, since not a players would want to
have sticky crouch on at all times. It would be favorable in sniping games however where
you would be lying in wait for a potential enemy.
- Some of the keyboard controls are hardcoded. The games uses
the Function Keys for the many Spells you can select instantly.
- There is no mouse look, you have to use the keyboard to look
up and down.
- The Strafe bug; The newly assigned keys won't work. This was
corrected in V2.0g however.
Well the graphics in BUILD Games is vary. Some games use medium res drawn
sprites, others use high res sprites, some use models turned to sprites and
others use physical models to represent objects in the game. Some may even
- The environment graphics are great compared to Duke3D. Enemy graphics are much better
and the color scheme feels appropriate. Some would argue that the colors and textures are
kinda bland, but this is more or less part of the theme of things. Shadow Warrior used
a lot more colors than Blood or Duke3D, not to mention much better high-res tiles. You see
some high-res textures in WWIIGI, they made a big difference in detail and low pixeling as
you approached. WWIIGI is of course using the ATOMIC engine of Duke3D. Same thing with
NAM. These games used huge outdoor areas, NAM designed a jungle with grass sprites that
make noise as you pass through them. Great environment!
- There are many awesome looking voxels throughout Blood, such as guns, ammo, headstones,
crystalball, tnt barrels, etc. Shadow Warrior uses voxels for similar items, but they are
also used on the walls, something lacking in Blood. Duke3D doesn't even use voxels, but
there ultimately was plans to do so. The Shadow Warriors voxel that where on walls
petruded from them. Keyholes where not just flat but more of an actually item, something
you can touch separate from the wall. The keys that went into the holes where also voxels,
non -blocking... Shadow Warrior has alot to offer.
- In Blood there are uses of flat sprites for things that really look the same all the way
around, such as vases and pots, you can interact with them aswell. One of these flat
sprites that wouldn't really look the same all the way around is a crucifixion victim that
hangs on chains from the wall, they look as though they are painted on the walls, even so
they can unusually be interactive with the player. You can poke them with your pitchfork
and make them scream. There's also free standing sprites such as doctors Ive bags, some
with blood in them. Although the interaction to these flat sprites doesn't produce any
game effecting results, they still are effective. There actually should be more voxels
replacing these flat sprites, If you recall Duke3D had similar flat sprites, like the
toilet. This would be a perfect example where a voxel should be used. When sprites and
voxels are used, they should actually 'do something' to interact, even if its a little of
- The fire used in the game is handled nicely, except for the point you can't ketch on
fire from burring bodies. It doesn't even hurt you like it does in Duke3D. The times you
can get hurt for sure is from "living" bodies that are set aflame and they touch
you, or from Dynamic Fire sources like balls of fire. Duke3D doesn't use dynamic fire,
basically if your touching fire that's burning you get hurt, but won't ketch on fire.
Using both games method combined would provide a much better fire system.
- The flaregun shoots white hot flares that stick to actor sprites. Eventually until it
sets them on fire, like one big blaze. Speaking of things that stick, Shadow Warrior had
Spiked Balls that lodge onto the actors. TNT barrel in Blood ketch fire from a flare, the
barrels burn with little flames. They do reuse these small flames on some tougher enemies (sprite actors) when they ketch on fire. There's also flame throwers from a wall,
kinda like venting flammable gas.
- Simulated Dynamic light is used with the flare gun, but you'll only see it when its dark
in a room. The light travels with the projectile on the ceiling, wall, floor and even on
such things as sprite brides. This effect uses a surface aligned sprite to travel along
side the flare making you think its light, a desirable effect to use in a Duke3D port. One
time I seen the aligned sprite travel halfway under a bridge and half of it in mid air
since its not really dynamic. Same thing with slopes, the sprite doesn't bend to imitate
the slopes grade. But a good port could have such things refined. If you take a look at
Powerslave you'll find true Dynamic Light.
- There's also light -on- the actor sprites that have a flare lodge into them, it actually
kinda sticks there, Shadow Warrior uses a similar method for lodging things into walls
as well as sprites, Anyhow the light on the actors shimmers a bit to give the illusion that
the flare is casting correct light. I seen a Zombie get nailed through a non blocking
sprite, a shower curtain. As the flare produced light -on- the zombie it also made a
shimmer or glow on the curtain. This may have been a glitch, say as the Zombie was
touching the curtain or the flare was and the engine made the curtain sprite glow. This
light is used as well when an actor is outside in the sun or shooting. When there shooting
the light flashes rather than shimmering producing the muzzle flash effect. This light is
a result of brightening the colors of each sprite, making it appear that there is light.
Duke3D, Powerslave, NAM, WWIIGI all use the muzzle flash. One draw back is if your in a
dark room with another player and one player is shooting the other player doesn't see the
light flashing around himself, he only sees the light on the actor flash.
- If that's not enough there is even minor particles that break away from the flare and
- The particle engine, is very effective, Spent shells fly from your gun and litters the
ground around you. These particles remain until you finish the level. Once the shells are
on the ground, you can't kick them or move them, there is no blocking either. Jib body
parts are a different form for particles. One of the highlights of some of these
particles is they have "mass". If you walk on them they actually become an
obstacle that has length width and height. You have to auto step onto them to transverse
there existence. There not moveable either. The Axe Zombies head goes a step further. It
has actually has mass and its movable/kickable.
- Blood also uses Bullet holes in the walls. A Feature Shadow Warrior and Duke3D uses. In
Blood you will find they stay visible for the entire game level. Duke3D has similar
methods except they usually don't stay the entire level. There's a setting in the CON
files that can increase the amount of time they remain.
- The water sectors used in Blood are normally transparent. Enemies are capable of enter
and leaving the water, if there's a slope to come out of with. While in the water creators
don't really swim but they kinda peddle around kinda floating. Some small creators dye
when they enter the water. You can shoot into and out of the water and do damage. If your
in water but half submerged, enemies under water can actually hurt you, unlike in Duke3D.
In Duke3D I have seen the Predator Troops shoot into water when they miss the player
actor, if you dive fast enough you can see the 'laser' travel underwater. Its not totally
clear if you can shoot into and out of to hit a target, even if you can't see through the
water, I'd have to say more likely not.
- There are some problems with Bloods water when your traversing from underwater to above
water. Sometimes you get stuck just at the line between air and water, its not letting you
come up all the way, but your head seems to be above water. You have to play with the
controls to break loose. This also causes your gun to appear to be above water and when
you shoot a target out of the water, no actual shots are shown hitting the wall or the
actor. Duke3D has a similar transferring flaw, you can sometimes walk on the water as if
its knee deep. This happens when your jumping from below water to above and you jump
slightly higher than normal. You get stuck where it appears your walking in knee deep
water. Shadow Warriors method of water sectors are flawless, there no getting stuck or
shooting problems. Shadow Warrior places these sectors in Build directly under each other
instead of being laid out in a separate part of the map.
- Another water issue in Blood is if the water is knee deep and you can't crouch
underwater, the legs of enemies are not shown underwater. Sounds right except I experience
a situation where I was in deep water and I approached a slope where there was knee deep
water at the top. I couldn't see the legs of the enemies that where right there walking
around that I could see above water. Not a major issue but worth knowing. I'm sure all
these games share this obstacle.
- Compared to Duke3D, The color range is greatly improved. It makes a heck of
a lot of
difference in how well textures and sprites can look. Shading benefits from this since the
variation in color effected how it appeared. Like Redneck Rampage, Shadow Warrior supports
high resolution of its textures. More detail is available in this state. Weapon art
resolution was improved as well.
- Voxels, Blood had voxels, but Shadow Warrior had an advantage, there where voxels place
on walls as well as floors. You would find many switches and keycard terminals that Duke3D
had would be raised off the wall. Keys would stick out.
- One noticeable feature of this games exploding walls it that they leave ruble or blocks
from the wall on the floor. These are actually sprites that are spawned. One problem with
them is that there non-blocking, you can pass right through them without having to step
- The death animation when the player is fragged. The view that you receive is like your
bodies is falling over and your head lands face forward. Then comes the players forearm,
as it drops and lands it actually shows the pain and effect of being hit. The veins and
tenants tightening up and your hand curl up a bit and then finely the arm relaxes and
death has accrued.
- There's also animation for when an explosion frags you. Same arm and all, just torn up
and bleeding. Blood uses something similar but is shown with two hands on each side of the
screen. They popup and instantly become skeletal charred looking hands, then they drop
away. Its not completely noticeable at first, but if you drop enough dynamite next to you,
you'll eventually see the effect.
- The enemies in Powerslave are photorealistic images of people, however the
low-resolutions in Powerslave kinda does injustice to them. TekWar uses the same method
for people, ands its more noticeable that they are photorealistic. Not a bad thing, you
just have to do it right or to ensure quality.
- Dynamic Light is used for one of the enemies orb type weapons. As the orb travels
towards you sections of the walls and ceilings light up, traveling along with the orb. It
doesn't project onto the underside of stairs. There is also light generated when some of
the enemies die. All this light is a single color of white. When the actual light should be
blue or what not. This is a crude method of Dynamic Light, but it works.
- Air Bubbles, when the player is underwater air bubbles are produced and travel to the
surface, the most amazing part is the bubbles travel to the surface and are viewable on
the surface before they pop. If this was a two player game the other player could
determine that someone is under the water and about where there moving around too.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
- The graphics for a Hunting game using the Build Engine isn't ideal, since you deal with
viewing objects at far distances. Without a port clarifying the blocky distant images you
would want to avoid this type of Hunting.
- They have included a first time appearance of using a rifle scope in a Build Game.
Although the scope image is extremely blocky it can be useful in a port. The method they
used was to actually Magnify the blocky view you already see at a distance. Higher
resolutions would only increase detail by a very minimal amount. Greater than 800 x 600
the scope became unusable as the view wasn't rendered correctly. The preferred method for
using a scope in a Build Game is to use a larger view opening, a larger scope view, full
screen is ideal. If you want the scope to be an open eye scope, both eyes are open with
one on the scope, you can make the darkness around the scope semi-transparent...simulating
the scope with much more realism. Along with this new improved scope, the magnification
needs to start close to the object, as if the player is within feet of the enemy, instead
of Deer Huntin' method of magnifying the far distant image. You would end up with a clear
image that is much more accurate to a real scope. This method has been done in a small mod
by a group in the Duke3D community, its much better than the Commercial Deer Huntin' game
- The animals and surrounding area use high-res sprites, the quality could have been
better but they did make well use of what they had. The animals must be High-res as with
any enemy in a Build Game to use full capabilities of the engine itself.
- What I consider to be part of the status bar is this betas capability of displaying, on
detection help quotes messages, these are activated when your ?near? something (It might
be turned on upon the enemy actor "seeing" YOU) For example, if you're near a
TROOPER1 in LameDuke, it will display "Enemy ALERT!!!", and if you're near a
weapon it will tell you to "Go get the gun." Also, "drink cola to increase
health" and "the reactor must be destroyed!", to name a few. "Pinched
by the doors!". This type of message system would be helpful to help you to play the
part of the actor more seriously as you learn how the actor is thinking. The system would
be helpful in perhaps making up for the lack of side vision, things just out of frame can
be displayed to the player as a message. It also can be assumed as a method of
"hearing" something, by displaying the "Enemy ALERT!!!" message even
when an enemy is behind you. A more advanced version of this visual indicating system
would draw you more into the game stimulating virtual senses.
Sounds in Duke3D are of course great but again there is quality improvement available.
The sound engine in other games either use there own or an updated version of Duke3D's,
improving in some areas. Lets take a look.
- Sounds and music are both absolutely amazing. The music especially is awesome because
it's all recorded in Redbook Audio format and each piece has a cool, Erie, creepy feeling
about them. One thing about the sound engine, the underwater sounds seemed just wrong.
They didn't have that deep bellow sound added to the other sounds. They sounded almost the
same as when they where out of the water. In Duke3D you will notice that they have better
sound underwater. There slowed down and pitched lower. I'm not talking about ambient
sound, as I found Bloods more realistic.
- Caleb will chant things like "Strangers in the night, exchanging glances" and
"Sailing, Sailing, over the bounty bridge". But you'll also hear his chanting
after he defeats a boss. On episode two after beating the Boss he will say "Along
came a spider and sat down beside her, and said 'What's up, bold bitch'" His voice is
a bit muffled at times.
- Caleb has amusing one-liners for each bloody occasion, usually inspired from movies in
the style of Duke Nukem3D. One line from Evil Dead 3, "I...LIVE...AGAIN!" is
heard when Caleb rises from his grave in the first episode. You'll also hear some on-lines
from other horror movies and Shakespeare! As these are great in all, there not as
effective as Duke3Ds one liners where.
- Axe Zombies mumbling "More brains" to disembodied voices from the past crying
out their messages. Sound adds a lot to the Blood experience. One of the few truly creepy
moments in the game comes when you step up to an altar and hear whispered voices chanting
something that you cant quite make out. And weird, crazed language from the
cultists. Apparently the language is inspired from combining two real life languages.
- There's sound for jibs that are laid out about the ground. They use squirting and
rupturing type sounds for when body organs land on the ground. The head of zombies can be
used as a soccer ball, and the sounds from them are just as pronounced. Explosions,
gunshots, and screams are crisp and clear. There was a problem with reusing the sound of
the pitch fork hitting a wall, for a sound of a shotgun blast hitting the wall. It just
didn't sound right and it didn't give the feeling that there where pellets hitting around
- The sounds in Powerslave are decent. There's no super suffocated sound effects from the
sound engine, but the sounds themselves are recorded clearly and could be used in a
powerful sound engine and still sound pronounced.
- You, the main character speaks now and then, but the best one-liners are hard to hear
sometimes if your firing your weapon over the spoken words.
- There's no midi sound, the game uses CD tracks for music.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
- There's few sounds in this game. There's some sounds used for Branches breaking that are
on the ground, Branches on trees slap back as you pass through them and footsteps. When
the player steps on a Branch sprite on the ground or passes through a tree you will hear a
sound. The A.I. in the game is suppose to have detection of such sounds in order for them
to run away or have a less likely chance of an animal making itself visible. If so this is
a mile stone in A.I. programming. NAM uses a similar effect with passing through a thick
grass sprite. However the sound has no effect on the A.I. Truly this should have activated
the enemies sooner than actual Line of Sight detection. This would provide a small scale
of free roaming enemies, something Build Games lack.
- Footsteps, there's footstep sounds in the game. The map you select determines which type
of sound the footsteps make, such as - should the sound be snow footsteps or grass
footsteps. The game doesn't use a texture detection system to determine the sounds like
Blood uses. There's also sound when travelling through water. This is typical for Build
Games, yet its unknown if footsteps and water movement plays anything Vs the animal A.I.
This would truly be an accreted game if so.
- Activated sounds Vs the player, If the game was multiplier and a player passes through a
sprite that activates sound, the other player would hear this, and could use it as a
- Within the actual game there are sounds that you can actually use to call an animal.
This too interacts with the A.I. and shows that a Duke3D port would benefit from using a
similar system Vs enemies, more interaction with the A.I. is always a plus.
Maps and Maps, drive a story line through and through. just as art lays out the look of
the story, the maps provide the world in which we read/play from. Duke3Ds maps of course
are enjoyable there for they a great. Difficulty in some BUILD Games is set
solely by level progression rather than a setting in the menu.
- The huge and unusual levels of the game are the best feature. The level design is
clever. Like Duke Nukem 3D, Caleb can tour each level based on real locations. For
example, where Duke3D lets you explore nightclubs, sewer systems, movie studios, and space
stations, Blood will have Caleb exploring graveyards, carnivals, train stations, shopping
malls, hotels, an abandoned ship and a moving train on E1M3, to name a few. The train
level has chosen to use some pretty simple objects passing by over and over, though the
fun in finding valves to stop the train kinda distracts you from it. But you do tend to
gaze out the trains windows now and then.
- The atmosphere in these expansive levels give you a late 19th or early 20th century
feel, not to mention dark and scary, with haunting music. On top of that the levels in
each of the 4 episodes flow logically from one to another. There's a lot of thin walls to
blow open. Some are obvious since they have a crack showing like Duke3D, other walls just
blow up without any evidence that they would. There's no resized crack sprite here, like
in NAM. where they made little cracks that where not noticeable from a distance. Blowing
up huge parts of an environment is always a good interactive feel.
- Most of the levels use lots of movie references. There's even a whole level dedicated to
camp Crystal lake (Friday the 13th movies), another level is based on the movie, The
Shining with references to H.P Lovecraft characters such as Pickman and Freddy Krueger
(Nightmare on Elm street series.) The game in whole tends to use highlights from Movies,
One liners etc...
- The multiplayer levels are great, you will have fun with them.
Blood - Plasma Pak
- One new episode (Post Mortem) and 11 levels. Two new Bloodbath levels, one of which is a
copy of Monolith's office building and Nine new singe player levels that are decently
- Level designs are even better than the original and could have been even better given
the designers had more time...Those are keywords for the entire add-on. The
designers used multiple levels in the same area. The original, like Duke3D, had 3D
environments, but they were fairly linear. A higher level often doubles-back on an area
you went through before. Plasma Pak has much more of this than the original or Duke3D did.
Powerslave uses this same level design.
- The locations for the levels include a warehouse, a shopping center, a pump station, an
abandoned temple and a supermarket. Monolith Building II, Power!, and Area 15. Monolith
Building II is the best -- a virtual romp through the Monolith offices, complete with
- The maps are just like other Build games. There a bit smaller, but you still have secret
switches and hidden passageways. Exploding walls are present. You must destroy a pot of
fire for the walls to explode.
- A major point is multi-level levels that loop back onto themselves.
- Rapids, fast moving water is present, with the ability to speed up the player the
farther you go, this is shallow water.
- Whirlpools are present for shallow water.
- Enemies can move into shallow water.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
Weapons in Duke3D isn't about ultimate power, there laid out and each has a use in the
game, this is by design. The shotgun is the all purpose weapon and it rarely fails you.
Lets take a look at some other build game weapons.
- The weapons actually cause loads of damage leaving behind pools of blood and severed
- There's several weapons at your disposal like the flare gun, the sawed-off shotgun, the
Tommy gun, dynamite, life leech, and the remote detonator and more not to forget the
powerful voodoo doll and your might Pitch Fork. Most of these weapons have alternative
firing modes, which are much more powerful than normal firing modes. Duke3D uses something
similar for its weapon system. The way that alternative fire works in Blood is that if you
had enough ammo, and you pressed the alternative fire key you would fire a super-powerful
projectile. There's one key for all alternate firing, Duke3D doubles up on the number
- The flare gun will lodge its flare in an enemys chest, which doesnt even
slow him down. A few seconds later, though, the flare ignites and said enemy becomes a
walking inferno before collapsing in a pile of ash. Some enemies need 2 or maybe 3 or more
flares lodge in them to get them on fire all the way. The alternate fire pushes out an
- The sawed off double barrel or side by side Shotgun works well in blasting away at cult
members. The spread per each shot covers a slightly larger area than Duke3Ds Shotgun.
Different load I'd say. But the quick single shot and then a second shot are nice to have.
The reload time is short but its enough time to get yourself riddled with bullets. You'll
also notice the particle engine spits the shells out and they stay on the ground.
- The Tommy machine gun, This is the weapon the cult members use primarily. This baby has
greater strength at a distance than the Shotgun, not to mention it spews out shells that
remain visible throughout the game. Great in multiplayer to track down individual players.
- Sticks of dynamite and a Zippo lighter are standard and can be used to open many secret
passages, as well as re-killing zombies and enemies around corners. The actual use of the
dynamite is realistic in every detail. The wick burns properly and not underwater. The
explosions from the dynamite actually has some throwing power, it tosses bodies like rag
dolls. It also make mush out of the ones that happen to be in the center. Duke3Ds
explosion usually just give a little nudge, sliding the sprite actor, you'll find Duke3D
mashes the actors up a little better than Blood, PipeBombs are fun.
- Pitch Fork, the basic weapon, it has four prongs that chew up zombies fairly fast, You
just have to move about and hit the zombie from a couple a sides while he swings his axe.
- A Lighter and an aerosol can are usefully as a small flame thrower or a fire grenade.
The fire grenade is a Dynamic Fire source upon explosion. Spreads fire to flammable actors
- The Voodoo Doll. You can stab the Doll in the heart when enemies are near by and they
scream in agony . BWA ha ha ha :) Then watch them crumble into dust in front of your eyes.
If you stab the Doll when know one is near/insight the attacks effect you.
- The Tesla Cannon is a form of a powerful stun gun. It shoots out electrical charges or
plasma blasts. The enemies when hit with the alternate fire freeze in shock and there
sketal frame is shown.
- Napalm Cannon shoots balls of firey napalm. the fire is dynamic in that its explosions
of hitting a wall can spread to near by actors.
- Life Leach, blasts fire from its skull.
- Remote and Proximity Detonators, The remote is similar to that of Duke3D and its
pipebombs, instead though you use dynamite. The proximity detonators are also a stack of
- The power-ups items are beautifully rendered with voxels. Beside that there are three
different types of armor power-ups, Fire, Spirit and Body. For keys there are a max of six
types of keys that allow you to access different parts of each levels. There is the Guns
Akimbo Power-Up that temporarily gives you two guns, such as Shotguns and Tommy guns. You
can mow down a whole room of baddies with this combination.
Blood - Plasma
- A couple of the weapons have new alternative fire modes. Originally there were no
alternative fire modes for the Napalm Launcher and Life Leech. In the Plasma Pack, these
weapons now have an alternative fire modes.
- The Napalm Launcher fires a big ball of fire which splits up into lots of smaller lava
balls (similar to those spewed out by the Fire Pods), which bounce around taking out anyone
they come into contact with. very effective.
- The Life Leech Staff can now be dropped and stand upright on the ground, where it will
fire at any baddies who have a line of sight. Sort of like a spiritual gun turret. Very
effective. It also can be dropped around a corner, where it will fire upon any monsters it
sees. The enemy if they get close enough they can pick the staff up. Firing power varies
according to however much ammo you have left. The staff does move when an explosion is
near sending the staff sliding away. Another plus about the staff is that it can be placed
somewhere you need something to stand on to get to a higher location.
- The 'Guns Akimbo' power-up, now supports two Tesla Cannons at once. These dual
electricity guns are almost unstoppable, and the secondary firing mode with two cannons is
- The machete is fairly basic, it slashes its victims quickly, you have to have the enemies
in the middle of the screen for it to do damage. It has a considerable arm length reach to
it so you can be a few steps away to hit the target. The machete also makes contact with
walls with sparks and sound.
- The M-60 uses built in auto-aim to shoot the target that's closer to the center of the
- The Pistol uses the same principles as the M-60 does.
- Grenades are underhanded tossed and roll with sound before they explode
- Flamethrower, the flamethrower sits in the middle position of the screen and fires short
bursts or balls of fire, it has medium range and only auto-aims on the vertical axis. You
have to position the horizontal. Much more fun that way, but still far from the desired
mouse-look feature of most other BUILD games, that don't use auto-aim at all.
- Staff, The Cobra Staff unleashes a floating snake onto its targets. When fired it pushes
the player backwards a bit for recoil effect.
- Hand, The hand calls a god to strike lighting down on its target.
- Magic, there's some magic in the game that allows you to do extra damage with any weapon.
- The weapons in Witchaven are melee type and shows how a Build Game can be melee based.
There's an experience point system that actually allows you to improve to skill with each
weapon. The more you use a weapon the faster you improve.
- The Dagger is your basic weapon, using it for attacking is very dangerous.
- The Short Sword is a big relief over the dagger, you attacks are instantly effective
- The Mace isn't much of a jump from the Short Sword, but it allows more distant attacks.
- The Spell Book allows you to use extra effects in the game. There's flying spells,
fireball spells and many more.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
The enemies in a game need to be very interesting and support a good A.I. that responds
to every variation presented. Lets take a look how the games handle these issues.
- Wide variety of enemies in this game, all of which also have their cool ways about them
(check out the evil hands!),
- Enemies include, but not limited to, cultists, undead skeletons, gargoyles, spiders,
piranhas, and butchers that puke slime all over you, plus the average bat and rat. There
is also a boss waiting to bring you down, but except Tchernobog himself.
- You may find teenage boys going about their business. When you approach them, all they
do is run away, then scream like little girls when hit. However, if you start shooting at
them, they come running at you, chanting "Go away!" and "There's no place
like home." These boys provide a distraction for the enemies, because when they start
running away, they end up shooting them instead of you. Works to there advantage as well.
- The AI is extremely challenging, Cultists drop to the ground and roll, they run away
sometimes, other times they will attack you in groups. They also freely dodge shots or
move away from dynamite. Duke3Ds AI was more of straight attack against the player, the
dodge methods used where primitive. Some of Duke3Ds enemies where fast at dodging, like
the drones and you can say the pigcops dropped to the floor a lot but no rolling. Duke3Ds
enemies where not 'aware' of things like a pipebomb next to them. In Blood they move away
from the Dynamite you toss. When Blood monsters follow you, they appear to sneak around
corners. Most of the monsters could open doors as well. But luring them into traps is
fairly easy. One "problem" was when the Cultists drop to the floor, you can't
seem to hit them, the blast of a shotgun would hit above them even if your aiming low. The
only way I could hit them was to drop to the floor and shoot at there level. Seems as
though this is intentional and programmed in. Duke3D you wouldn't have that problem, so
dodging had minimal effect. You'll also notice in Blood some enemies fighting each other,
from one getting hit accidentally then they both want to take each other out. Its best to
move away from them since you are still there prime target. Seeing them attack is a
special treat you don't see much of in some other Build games. I know NAM, WWIIGI and
Duke3D don't have that feature. The CONs in Duke3D where also restricting in allowing
actors to interact with each other. Another Highlight in Bloods A.I. is that the enemies
would become active, not aware of you, but active to the point you can damage them. In
Duke3D this was a problem since the only way to hurt an enemy was if they have seen
you (not you to them) and then become active, which they don't instantly become 'alive' in
a lot of cases. This was avoided a lot of the times by design and placement of the enemies
in the map. You basically would have to make sure they see you before you start shooting
them. In Blood you can sneak up on an enemy and shoot them even if they haven't see you.
I've only seen once situation where I couldn't shoot a cultist from a very far
distance, it could have been the weapon range was to short, anyhow the point is it
was very far.
- Gargoyles and phantasms fly down to you and try to pin you in tight areas. These
creatures are harder to lure, until they land otherwise you can't get the right angle to
shoot up at them. With full range of movement in a port of Blood, this may be easier. The
phantasms needs to materialize to be hit, they normally materialize right in front of you.
- Spiders and Rats will move towards ya to get a bite in. You can get away from them if
you step up on a higher sector since they won't 'climb.' But on stairs the spiders will
climb up and follow you. You have to watch out, when they bite they release some sort of
venom that once bitten makes your view rotate and sway, blurring your vision and is also
part of the effects. Really cool effect, I sometimes get bitten a few times to just see
it. Shooting these enemies proves hard when you have to shoot directly at your feet or
directly above you. The way the Build games see above or below is by shifting the view, in
turn this effects your vision, where your pointing the gun isn't actually the same place
that you think your looking at. There's an offset, so you basically have to aim above or
below a target to hit when the view is shifted.
- Axe Zombies can open doors. If they are facing you when you move into there view they
head for ya. They usually come at you slow, sometimes they gain speed quickly. Moving
around there back side quickly can confuse them and they would walk off down a corridor.
This is a hint of "semi-free roaming" enemies, since they do travel far
distances and most of the time return to the same area. When they do come after you
it is usually in a pack ready to put there Axe into you. You can blow them up, just like
everything else.. but these guys loose there Head and it becomes a bloody football that
you can kick around. (there's also a bucket you can kick) Along with the head you also step
on internal organs that actual have height to them, so you have to step on them to get
over them. One thing missing is Duke3D's blood pools that leave footprints after you walk
into them, that would have been ideal for Blood. Blood does however have blood splats that
fall in a group, sometimes they get hung on a sprite or wall. Blood is actually more of
-splat and throw- and Duke3D is more of a -splat and mush- when it comes to blood and
organs, the colors are in the reds and orange. Gives a nice variation in Duke3Ds body
mutilation engine. Blood typically used more of a horror flick color red that works out
great. Duke3Ds splattered blood that you find on walls have a nice deep red color, kinda
like its a thick splatter and matter.
- Walking Hand, They behave like the Spider as they go straight for you when they see you,
but move faster. When these guys attack they strangle you to death as your vision gets
darker from the outer edge of the screen. You suffocate. The use of the darking of the
screen is also used when your underwater with low or no air.
- you can set enemies in fire - they'll start running around and screaming.
- When they die, they spurt and spatter blood everywhere
Blood - Plasma Pack
- Three of the new monsters are just Cultists with new weapons, two of the others are
plant pods that spit vile or fire at you. A new boss, the Beast is at the end.
- enemy AI is still solid
- First two baddies that are much tougher than the standard Cultists and Fanatics, the
Tesla Gun Cultist and the Dynamite Cultist look like the standard Cultist, no new art just
different colored robes and both of these cultists chant the same words that the original
cultists chant. This is a quick way of adding a new enemy and it represents a step taken
in creating a finished enemy, one with new sounds and art. The Tesla Gun Cultist,
Blue-robed Zealots, while supposedly having a Tesla Gun can clearly be seen to be carrying
a Tommy Gun, and the Tommy Gun firing animation is used whenever he fires. They also have
armor that makes them impervious to electrical attack, Yet we don't see the armor. The
Dynamite Cultists, a green-garbed Acolyte has a Tommy Gun as well, despite the fact that he
never uses it, even when there's battles that would call for it and not dynamite. These
guys lob bundles of dynamite, and could very well be the most dangerous opposition in the
entire game. Sometimes you'll get lucky and they'll blow themselves to bits, but don't
count on it; their aim is remarkably good. A finished Dynamite cultists would basically
hide behind corners and objects while tossing dynamite, when exposed or cornered one would
use the gun. Its all about how much they wanted or could work on the project. The
designers did place the Cultist behind other enemies during initial battles. They would
basically toss Dynamite over them and at you, while they stand protected from projectiles.
This was clearly very effective.
- The Chrysalid Pod and Fire Pod. This monster was slated to be in Blood's original
episodes, but was dropped. It's basically a big plant pod, a la Little Shop of Horrors,
which sit on the floor and spit either acid or a ball of napalm at you. They also attack
with waving tentacles. It's more deadly than you'd think.
- Mini-Calebs. These little creatures burst out of special mirrors and attack you, the
pieces become tiny, murderous Calebs who attack you relentlessly. Eight mini-shotgun
wielding Calebs- follow you around and shoot you while they yell such things like "I
once a friend", "You want some, huh? Who's next?", "No one wants to
play with me", and "This is my boomstick" - a homage to Evil Dead II.
Mini-Calebs only crop up in the new episode - if you blow up a mirror in any other
episode, you don't get attacked by them.
- The final new bad guy is the Beast. Each Beast starts off as a normal red-robed cultist,
until you start laying into them and they mutate into big werewolf type creatures who
damage you by stomping their feet and mauling you with their claws. The foot stomp is a
questionable attack, since you get hurt even if you jump up and if you throw dynamite and
he stomps it blows up in the air. Must have some evil power behind the stomp. The Beast can
resurrects himself several times, and you have to find a way to kill him.
- The enemies in shadow warrior are more advanced than Duke3D. The most noticeable is
there fast variation in speed and there ability to run away when there taking to much
damage. This is basically there dodging. The Ninja
- Ninjas - There's different types of Ninjas. You notice that the common enemies in BUILD
games are always a variation in color, Blood does it and so doesn't Shadow Warrior. Its an
easy and productive way of introducing additional enemies. In SW there a few variations.
The Brown Ninjas would actually duck alot and they where placed in areas of the map where
ducking would also produce cover, such as behind waist high wooden boxes. The A.I. is not
actually using the boxes as cover, its just that the enemy was well placed where its
ducking would actually benefit from cover. They also can climb ladders. They use Uzi's and
Shurikens. He will use is Uzi typically at all times, but if your far enough away he will
toss some Shurikens. Red Ninjas seem a bit more aggressive and if you line up with them
for to long they will use Rockets, doesn't matter if your close or far from them.
Rockets of course is the technology reused from the Rocket Launcher the player uses. Green
Ninjas use Uzi's and two different types of Napalm attacks. One type is like a strafing
run of two rows of segmented flames on the ground and a center row of flames and
balls straight down the middle at head level. Its a magical attack since there's weapons.
The second attack is a single ball of flames shot right down the middle and with flames
shooting off of it from the sides. One design issue with the Ninjas Shurkins they only
travel horizontal, but they won't toss them at you unless your height is somewhere in the
vertical range of the Shurkins. You'll find this type of restrictions on other forms of
weapons as well. Orange Ninjas are really aggressive, they'll gun you down and approach you
quicker. They also sport Heat seeking Rockets that are capable of turning circles in
fairly small areas. Gray Ninjas apparently have a grenade launcher, since it uses the same
sounds and physics as the launcher the player uses. One thing to note is that enemies
spawn ammo, even for a weapon that you don't currently have when its clear that the enemy
was using one. Maybe it gets destroyed when you attack them.
- The Coolie is an individual that carries a box of dynamite ready to detonate it as soon
as your close enough to him. He moves a bit slow but if you start shooting him he'll run
faster. You shoot enough you'll eventually blow up the TNT he carries. These enemies are
another example of an enemy that the mapper would have to provide special care in where he
places them, usually there placed just around corners or in areas where movement is tight
or obstructed. So there overall effectiveness is more dependant on the mapper than other
- Coolie Ghost - They shoot gobs of blood at you.
- Ripper - They are ape-like gorillas, sharp claws and the ability to attach themselves to
walls, and they make leaps.
- Brown Ripper - Same as a standard Ripper, but Brown and twice the size. Probably twice
to three times as much health. One thing you'll notice, especially with this Ripper is the
hit bubble is to narrow for the actual sprite. Your attacks must be almost near center or
they pass through the sprite. This is present on many BUILD Game enemies but its more
noticeable on larger enemy sprites such as this Ripper. It might have direct relation to
the resizing of the sprite in the code rather than the size of it in editart.
- Baby Ripper - Same as a standard Ripper, they maybe a bit faster, but there weaker. They
spit green goo at you. The green goo is actually a reuse of the Coolie Ghosts gobs of
blood. This is a quick way to reuse the technology that already exists. This method of
reusing the technology most of the time works to acceptable level, in many cases it
doesn't. The Lizard Troopers in Duke3D really spit slime at you. So the effect isn't the
same, one arches at you and one is shot straight at you.
- The Guardian enemy uses melee attacks with a sword when your up close and uses twin rows
of fireballs from its eyes when your at a distance. The fireball attacks are normally done
when your sitting still or lined up with him. Otherwise the A.I. moves around back and
forth. In open areas they will rush you.
- The Female Ninja, she carries a crossbow, one of which you are unable to obtain for your
own use. You'll find in in some BUILD Games the enemies weapons are just not available to
the player. This is inadequate design but is used in in order to add more character to the
enemies and game, if a designer had more time this would ultimately be fully
incorporated for the player to use the weapons. There other weapon is of course stick
bombs, this the player is capable of using and later was added to this enemy to use.
- The Koi fish are basically your over sized pherana. Like most BUILD Games with fish the
A.I. is similar. You get close enough and they will swim straight at you and naw on you. I
think Duke3Ds sharks left you alone unless you where really close. Simple variation in
- The Hornets, Yellow Jackets (they actually look like large Bees) are one of the dazzling
aspects, it brings flying insects into the picture, just like Redneck Rampage had flying
insects, Mosquitoes. Anyhow the Bees are capable of finding you pretty quick, they come at
you straight on then they ver off and fly around fairly close, not enough to melee attack
them unless you step forward. When they attack they come at you from all angles. There
Stings take a lot of damage out of you. When the mappers place a swarm around you you have
to get out your fist, sword or Uzi to really do any damage. Running away helps as well, it
seems to make the majority of them to regroup and find there bearings. You'll also
find perhaps a few Bees in tight situations just to irritate you. They get your attention
- Bunnies - They hop around, there A.I. doesn't seem like there aware of your presents.
Sometimes you'll see them mate and find little baby rabbits around. The little ones are
just the larger ones resized, no differences in the A.I.
- Mines are Accursed Heads. But these heads perform different tasks. One use of them as a
mine is they sit in the ground half submerge, when you approach they rise up and spew
caltrops, emit poison gas, explode, launch grenades, or flash bomb you. Yes this is all
recycled technology but its in a effective package, its kinda like the Duke3D cons when
you hack them you use the technology that already exist and pile it together. This way you
don't need to bother to make something new and specific. Its a good demonstration of
effects used in a game. Now the real Accursed Heads, you'll find these floating around one
of the bosses, they circle the boss and approach you, especially if your close to them. I
think they only explode when used in this fashion.
- Serpent God - Boss1
- Sumo - Boss2
- Zilla - Boss3
- The enemies in powerslave have adequate A.I. They shoot at you from a distances and
punch you multiple times up close. They have the ability to predict where your going to
move too. They can travel up and down stairs, smaller creatures have the ability to travel
up and down ledges.
- The rats which don't attack run around, stop and move again climbing stairs, with simple
rat behavior, they also disappear into the walls as if they found a hole, but they do climb
stairs unlike most other BUILD games, including Blood. I do know Shadow Warrior Ninjas
would climb UP ladders.
- Powerslaves spiders can hop up on ledges and stairs to continue there attack on you.
These spiders can also be found in low passageways that you have to crouch in. Sometimes
you will find them upside down on the passageway ceilings. Bats in Blood used this method
of hanging on the ceiling.
- One enemy can even climb up walls, the same enemy dematerializes into the ground and
rematerializes up out of the ground usually behind you, so they can determine which way
- Some enemies actually attack each other if they accidentally shoot one another.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
A Good status bar is extremely important. mini HUDs and full HUDs are desirable
features that should be considered when designing the players active interface. Duke3D
gets it right, so lets check what we are missing out on.
- The status bar in Blood has what Duke3D does plus it has special readout for two
Dynamite weapons, this is separate from the other weapon readouts. The lower left you get
the version number of the game. This version number can be placed on the in game menu
screen and be just as effective as it is on the status bar. Let me add that the overhead
map in blood displays the name of the level and the author.
- The Shadow warrior status bar is primarily just like Duke3Ds. The only that really
changed is the use of a Compass in the middle. Personally I felt Duke3D should have a
compass in order to follow directions or walkthroughs. There's a way in Duke3D by the cheat
codes to produce a "compass" You can find that in another RTCM document. Anyhow
the Shadow Warrior compass is like one of those floating in a liquid, but not really since
it only displays the metered indicator and it doesn't bounce around.
- Powerslave has a few things you wouldn't find in Duke3D. It has a compass in the center,
its only a basic design with a lit pointer marking the direction, its better than not
having one. Shadow Warriors compass is a dial type with hash lines and letters.
- Powerslave has a live pair of lungs to show various things, such as breathing rate and
how much air you have left when under water. Blood uses a bar indicator up in the right
hand corner showing air left. Blood Alpha used a live heart for determine rate in the
- With a certain cheat enabled you can get x and y coordinates and frame rate displayed in
the top corners.
- Witchavens status bar shows the basic information. It shows your
experience points, like
in Powerslave where it has a point system. The status bar also shows which level your on,
- TekWar uses more of a HUD than a status bar. In the right top corner you have the Weapon
selection, top left you have a retractable full detail rear view. Lower left you have
Health and lower right you have a score counter and elapsed time. In the game they present
the TekWar HUD as a wearable item, like a headset or wired glasses. The use of a HUD alone
with no status bar gives you a better view of things compared to a full status bar. A
status bar in most BUILD games can be turned off, Such as in Duke3D, and you can have a
mini HUD in the lower left where the actual screen dimensions change and give you even a
better view of things. So a HUD is a good thing, but having a hud in the higher areas of
the screen are beneficial, like TekWar.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
- The status bar indicates to major things. The Compass and the Wind Direction. The Wind
Direction indicator leads me to believe that there is physics for air vs. projectile,
However its more likely that the indicator is just for the the scent canisters used to
trick the deer. Anyhow a Wind Direction indicator would be very useful if the game is
coded with complete physics vs. objects, smoke direction, scent etc. If one wanted to add a
indicator for the player when he actually smells something, you could place a nose image
that comes alive and be accompanied with a sniffing sound.
The in game menu system is one of the most important things in creating a game. On the
fly options are the best feature. In future Duke3D ports they will mostly likely use a
combination of enhanced menu selections and console type commands. The closes thing in a
Build that resembles a console would be the primitive command line functions and the
cheats that are entered during the game. Shadow Warrior requires you to start a Chat
message to enter the codes in there.
- The menu system for Blood is pretty much all in game. There's is the common setup.exe,
But the in game menu is where its at.
- There is CD AUDIO like in Shadow Warrior.
- There's a 3D AUDIO function for 2 speaker depth sound.
- SHOW WEAPONS option is only set once before a multiplayer game.
- SLOPE TILTING, or as its know these days as Slope Look, this function allows the player
to automatically look up a slope, it helps if you have a difficult time looking around with
the mouse, or using and odd controller setup.
- VIEW BOBBING or View Bobb, this toggles the life like effect of the screen kinda
floating up and down when you move around. Duke3D has something like this when your in
water, and LameDuke has it when your using the jet pack...gives you the feeling your more
in the environment and you not just a sprite. LameDuke also had view Bobbing but was later
removed from Duke3D.
- There's on the fly VIDEO MODE switching. Switch's resolutions, useful for just about
anyone, mod makers and players.
- CONTROLS option, all your controls can be set while still in the game, or to pause a
game and change your controls again...on the fly practically.
- KEY TURN SPEED, this allows you to setup the velocity that the screen with turn at,
kinda like compare it to how fast you normally move a mouse. Powerslave has an option like
this, its STRAFE SPEED, does the same effect but on different keys, together in the same
game they would be a killer.
- A note about re-loading saved games: In Blood, once you get fraged you
load up your next game, right. You have to do this manually with a few steps.... Hit
Escape, Move Highlight to the Load Game option, and then hit enter (assuming you used
slot1). In Duke3D you have to Hit Escape, Move Highlight to the Load Game option, hit
enter (assuming you used slot1) and then press the Y key. Okay now lets start with another
way of loading our last saved game in Duke3D, you get fraged then the screen says 'Hit
space to restart level', so you hit the use key, then it asks do you want to load last
saved game and you hit the Y Key. The second method that Duke3D uses only requires 2 key
presses and your back into action. This will continue until like you get fraged three
times in a row then Duke3D teaches you a lesson and makes you load the game the long way
around. Anyhow Blood doesn't use the second method it just restarts the level, and that's
unfortunate. Duke3Ds first method uses an extra key press to load a game, which seems overly
cautions but appropriate for saving games. Shadow Warrior simple ask you if you want to
load saved game, if you say no then it says press space to restart. Shadow Warriors method
- Shadow Warrior also has advanced menu options compared to Duke3D. This menu system is
broken down more and is well organized. After selecting OPTIONS you have some of these
options to use.
- SCREEN MENU , this of course is the screen size, brightness and border tile. The border
tile basically this option allowed you to pick a background pattern to your liking, so it
wouldn't mess with your view on the shrunken screen. The screen size option would be
useful for mod makers testing there FPS and demand of the mod on the game engine.
- MOUSE MENU, contains all the required functions for a Mouse.
- SOUND MENU, handled all the Music and SFX options, including to turn on or off Ambience.
Useful for mod makes testing there sounds.
- AUTO-AIMING, this ones a big plus, if Duke3D had this option everyone would be happy.
Bloods lacks this feature as well, but there in game auto-aim wasn't as bad as Duke3Ds.
- 3D-SPRITES, or voxels has its known. The option just turns the voxels on or off, when
off the 3d-sprites are replaced with flat single sided sprites. This would be helpfully
during mod making.
- TRAINING, This feature gave you the ability to have instant action plus your learning
the use of the map, weapons and hints of what's to come. This does make the overall game
much more enjoyable once you decided to start the episode.
- Has menu options, You may have to switch between using the
assigned movements keys and the arrow keys to navigate the menus
(instead of one or the other, the way it should be) After
selecting OPTIONS you have some of these options to use, broken
down as follows.
- SOUND MENU; Has Music and FX sound volume levels. Also
allows you to pick a music track out of 15 to play, or you can
turn shuffle on and it will play them during the game randomly.
- GAMEPLAY MENU; Allows you to set Blood and Gore either on or
off. It also allows you to set the game difficulty within the 4
levels of difficulty.
- CONTROLS MENU; Mouse support in game only allows you to set
the speed of X and Y. Joystick support for Avenger and Wingman,
various sensitivity sliders.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
- TARGET PRACTICE, This featured selection allows one to practice shooting
verse stationary targets as well as moving. Its done in the conventional way of moving a
sprite across the screen from left to right at varying distances. This is like Bloods in
game carnival game. This selection would give the player an extra themed designed game to
play while practicing aiming.
Difficulties are really factors that the designers may want to add to give the game a last
attempt to produce re-playability. Difficulty in a FPS should to be adjustable from "Simple Mode" to
"Beyond Expert Mode" to "Impossible". At least three range
levels of difficulty should to be present in order to suite all players. The very highest limit, "Impossible"
difficulty is an option for the designers to decided on. If its used there should be some
guidelines figured in, such as should the players be able to enable cheats or
not or perhaps not all cheats. The difficulty should be just where the player can make it through the
levels with enough weapons and ammo. You may want to insure the player has decent armor
primarily. Action should be full and fast paced to challenge the expert. The
middle difficulty "Beyond Expert Mode" maybe set by the designers with all
cheats disable, but the playability should be easier than the last difficulty. Well lets take
a look at the difficulty in these games.
- Blood is a tough game. Often youll come around a corner to find a hair-triggered
enemy with a shotgun pointed at your chest. There are five difficulty levels and the
lowest level (Still Kicking) can even provide some decent challenges. The higher the
difficulty level, the more bloodier the game does get. Not to mention cult members start
tossing more than one stick of dynamite. The highest level is Extra Crispy, Monolith only
recommends it for serious co-op play. The game offers you re-playability with each
advancing difficulty. Beginner FPS players need to be wary.
- In this game difficulty is increased by design, design of each level is
increasingly harder. Enemies become more and harder to kill as you progress.
This is one game that does well without a Difficulty setting.
- Has 4 levels of difficulty effecting the game in various
ways. So not only is this game harder as you progress, but the
difficulty settings can increase the the re-playability of it.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
Okay the story in Duke3D wasn't much, Sex, Guns and foul language. The adult game, a
pre-teen disaster. The story of Duke3D however apparently was continued from
scrolling Dukes. I'm not sure what the story was about but in Duke3D I do know you kick
ass in an action packed environment. Now lets take a look at some other
- Blood, it actually has a story. You play Caleb, and you must fight the forces of
Tchernobog and his minions. Blood will immerse you in a world of horror...
- The story is unique, because Caleb is not our typical hero, he's a merciless gunfighter
born in Texas in 1847. He's a hired gun-slinger, who fell in love with Ophelia Price, a
member of the Cult, Cabal. Caleb then joined the dark cult. Later during a ritual in the
Hall of the Epiphany, Tchernobog kills all his followers, including Caleb and Ophelia, and
banishes the four Chosen.
- You as Caleb awake from the dead and set out to find the Chosen, the Hall of Epiphany,
and the reason why you where betrayed. You take revenge and try to eliminate all the
members of the remaining cult, evil fighting evil. What could be better? As a former
member of the Cabal, you know what you're up against, a nightmarish battle against the
bloodthirsty minions. However revenge proves to be a powerful ally.
- The story has about as much bearing on the game as the story in Duke3D. Individual
cut-scenes that you watch during the game will make the story clear. Some cut-scenes show
Caleb killing something or taking a heart out of a mummy and then drinking its fluid.
- Blood has...well, blood. It is one of the bloodiest games. The game literally drips with
gore. Fountains of blood spurt from everything you kill, decaying bodies hanging from
hooks explode in gibbets of meat when you hit them, and still-living beings are crucified
on walls. It ends up being like a B-movie gore-fest more silly than scary. Its also
very fun, even if you view it as a movie flick.
- Blood contains a lot of movie references, there one in almost every level. For example,
one of the enemies, the Choking Hands, scatter around and say "I'll swallow your
soul", which is a direct quote from Evil Dead 2.
- There are four episodes: "The Way of all Flesh", "Even Death May
Die", "Farewell to Arms", and "Dead Reckoning", and there are a
total of nine levels, including a secret level.
- Calebs unique and sadistic sense of humor adds to the atmosphere
Blood - Plasma Pack
- The levels in Plasma Pak typically are the only story telling you really get. There's
no cut scenes or major storylines to read. Caleb, Blood's anti-hero, once again takes on
the cult of Tchernobog. It picks up the action after the events of the previous
four episodes, and the destruction of Tchernobog. It's never quite explained though, why
he's thrown back into the fray.
- The influence of the "Devourer of Souls" is even more far-reaching than you
had originally feared, and those dedicated to the Dark God seem more determined than ever
to reestablish his unholy reign. After all, he can't stay dead forever.
- "Post Mortem" begins with "Welcome to Your Life," a bloody romp
through the K-Marché department store, where it becomes all too apparent that the Cult's
influence now extends even into the most mundane aspects of everyday life, like the retail
industry (shades of Wal-Mart). It's become a Blood cliche that every single door
marked "Manager" has one of those fat Bloated Butcher dudes waiting on the other
- From there, it's on to "They Are Here" and the halls of the Innsmouth
Corporate Plaza (a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow over Innsmouth). It is
here that we first see the Cult as more than just a powerful religious sect, but as a very
real, very dark force with strong organization and financial clout. Okay, so maybe I'm
overanalyzing, but the feeling that the Cult of Tchernobog is a huge, secret conglomerate
is definitely there. Monolith has stated that Blood 2 will be less campy than the
original, and will instead be more gothic, with a strong Lovecraft influence. "Post
Mortem" indicates they are true to their word, and is a nice transition into more
- From "They Are Here" it's on to "Public Storage," a large
warehouse-type level sort of reminiscent of the secret government warehouse map in the Duke
it out in D.C. add-on for Duke Nukem 3D. You've really got to wonder what the
Cult is storing, and why. Do they know something we don't?
- Level four of "Post Mortem" is "Aqueducts," a journey into a large
hydro-electric plant, with plenty of underwater areas. This is probably the episode's
toughest map, simply because of all the submerged combat. For some reason, Blood's
human opponents seem to kick into overdrive when they are underwater, and have a very
unfair advantage. Diving into a pool is usually greeted by a deadly hail of Tommy Gun
bullets the second you break the surface of the water. For that reason alone,
"Aqueducts" is very slow going. Fortunately, the frustrating pace gives
way to a very cool ending, where you'll encounter a sailing ship you must sink (beware of
the cannons!), so that you can venture into its half submerged hold. The "sunken
wreck" feeling is great, and is even more effective than it is in
"Shipwrecked," the first level of Blood's second episode.
- Although fun, fast-paced, and somewhat narrative in nature, "Post Mortem's"
first few levels just aren't that impressive. They seem to lack substance, and pale in
comparison to the great maps of Cryptic Passage. All of that changes in level five,
"The Ruined Temple." In fact, at this point the levels jump from mediocre to
fantastic. "Ruined Temple" boasts some really convincing shadowing, and the
overall design works perfectly. You'd think that with all the "temple" levels
there have been for Blood, someone would have gotten it right. Finally, they did.
- Level six, "Forbidden Rituals," is definitely the episode's best map. Like
"The Ruined Temple," it was designed by Kevin Kilstrom and James Wilson, and is
just phenomenal. "Forbidden Rituals" is a descent into the underbelly of the
Cult of Tchernobog, where the fanatic worshippers carry out their darkest ceremonies.
Sure, it's been done before in Blood's original "The Way of All Flesh"
episode, but not half as effectively. The level design of "Forbidden Rituals" is
incredible -- it is a maze of catacombs and tunnels that comes together more solidly than
you'd expect. Witnessing the gathering of the Cultists, as they chant over their unholy
pit, will make you shudder.
- "Forgotten Catacombs" is Post Mortem's secret level, and is accessed
from "Forbidden Rituals." I'll be honest, though, I couldn't find the secret
level on my own, and I'm still kicking myself. You've got to love that handy dandy
"calgon" cheat.... "Forgotten Catacombs" is a bit on the small side.
Actually, it's sort of like an obligatory secret level -- nothing fancy or new, just
another chance to get some kills. Be forewarned -- this is one tough map. There are
monsters around every corner, and little room to run.
- "The Dungeon" is complete chaos. The level starts at a central hub with
several doors that are opened by pressing the corresponding buttons, which are marked with
the same symbols as the keys (eye, spider, etc.). It's like a macabre "Let's Make a
Deal!" with death behind every curtain. Nothing is worse than coming up
against a stone gargoyle in close quarters, but two of them? Ouch.
- All of Caleb's killing finally culminates in "Beauty and the Beast," the
episode's final level. It is here our anti-hero must face that which he once was -- the
Chosen. These red-robed Priests look puny enough, and they're actually not that hard to
wipe out. It's what happens after you kill them that's the real kicker. Instead of just
fading into dust, a Priest morphs into a hideous Beast when killed. The Beast is one tough
hombre. All he has to do is stomp his foot and the whole level shakes, doing massive
damage to Caleb. If he gets too close to you it's curtains for sure -- those claws are
Redneck Deer Huntin'
The Multiplayer portion of the BUILD Games are really expressed in LAN and
Modem to Modem play. There's ways to play online but there is no join in during
an active game.
- Blood makes for a great multiplayer game. There is no join in progress feature just like
every other Build Game. Some add-ons add neat additions to the multiplayer options,
including re-spawning monsters, new teleporter's not included in single-player mode, and the
Brink of Death. With Brink of Death, you fall to your knees and sway just before you die.
Your opponents can either blow you away or, if left alone, you can hit the spacebar
repeatedly to come back to the 'living'
Redneck Deer Huntin'
Including Map Editors and other modifying tools helps guarantee the game will still be
played for a long time afterwards. It gives players chances to indulge into more
environments based on the games theme. Depending on the tools supplied the themes can range
unlimited. This giving game designers a chance to get there talent out in the open. Maybe
even hoping to be able to do a commercial product one day. If the designers wish to make a
commercial product for a new game, then they should do it fast and good while the market
is still hot for that particular game. Anyhow overall the tools will allow the players of
the game to become creators of the game. Everyone likes to participate when they can. Lets
see what's available for these games.
- As with Duke Nukem 3D a level editor is included called MAPEDIT. MAPEDIT has been
modified for superior editing and to support the advanced game engine. A Map Builder can
include messages to the player via a text file. These messages are displayed within the
game. Duke3D is capable of something similar through the CON system. Also in MAPEDIT you
can include the map title and author name that will be viewable during the game.
- This Build editor is advanced as well, much more powerful than Duke3Ds. It has to be to
support the superior engine in Shadow Warrior. This particular editor supports sector over
sectors. Bloods does as well but they use a different technique, Shadow Warriors effect
seems more reliable, less chance of unusual entrapments at or just below water level, and
weapon fire in Blood sometimes at water level won't be effective at all.
Redneck Deer Huntin'
- There's no editor, however you can use Redneck Rampages MAKEMAP to design levels. This
is the result of good planning with the map formats and the editor.
- Comes with a v7 Map Editor. Like all Capstone BUILD Games,
there is a sprite extension/attributed menu to control the
sprites in the game, more so than other games.