Over the last couple of days I’ve been working on a new area near the Starting Beach.
This new area is actually the all new starting point for the game, and its something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time, but was never really sure where exactly to build it.
Trespasser’s levels are very iconic, and although they do look different in my project due to the increased detail and vegetation, the geography is almost exactly the same. I really don’t want to mess with the design and layout of the original levels too much, only expand and elaborate where possible. They need to remain identifiable, so players can recognize them as they walk through the island. It is a remake after all.
My primary reason for changing the starting location, is to make better use of the voice overs and to provide players with a short tutorial section, where they will learn the basics of the controls.
In the original game, Anne doesn’t figure out where she is until she passes through the second gate after the Resort construction site and see’s the big InGen Resort billboard. From this point on, she starts to recall quotes from Hammond’s memoirs and she starts to narrate the game with her own memories of what happened.
There are a few inconsistencies though. If you climb to the top of the foundation walls in the construction site, you can actually trigger a Hammond voice over before Anne even knows she is on Site B.
He say’s: “The southern beach looked out over trackless ocean. Down past Peru, all the way to Antarctica.”
This seems a bit silly, but I’ve always had suspicions that the start of Trespasser was different to what we see in the Retail and Beta versions, with the starting point being elsewhere, allowing Anne to discover she’s on Site B before she reaches the construction site. I may be completely wrong here, but there is also another voice over that’s played later in the game that should have been played when Anne first see’s the construction site. Here is the voice over taken from Hammond’s script, along with its description:
Ruins at beach, once Anne recognizes them.
“May, 1989. We began laying foundations on the south beach for a hotel for visiting scientists and businessmen. A year hence, I thought, the island would be quite famous.”
Another little hole is that Anne never notices the InGen logo on the wooden crates in the construction site, and, she just happens to find a whole range of weapons layed out on a box, and never questions whey they are there. So i feel there are enough inconsistencies here to justify my suspicions of a different starting point.
There are also a few voice overs that were never used in the original game and a few activities that reporters were shown during demonstrations, that i will incorporate into this new starting sequence.
The new area is a large beach front, with lots of detail and plenty of space for players to explore before heading further inland. The jungle here is untouched with no man made paths for the payer to follow, just the odd trail left by the dino’s through the trees. Players will have to walk about 400-500 metres or so before they come across any trace of InGen’s presence on the island, which should prolong the mystery a bit and give Anne a bit more time to take in the sights and come to terms with her situation.
The new area is to the East of the original starting beach, just south of where the East Docks will be. Players will pass through a small secondary construction site where machinery and materials were stored, before passing through the helipad and arriving at the InGen Resort. By this time, she will have figured out she’s on Site B, and the voice overs from Hammond can be used properly.
I think it will set a nicer pace to the game and make the discovery of the resort structure more impressive. As it was, players could simply walk out onto the beach and around the front of the resort and look up at it, which is far less impressive then catching small glimpses of it through the trees as you make your way towards it, and then finally seeing the complete structure as you come out of the jungle.
In other news, i decided to spend some time with 3DS Max and learn how to use it properly. I got it off a friend years ago as a gift when he upgraded, and as a Lightwave user i never really got around to learning how to use it. I’m still much more proficient at making models with Lightwave, but in time this will change as i learn more.
I’ve started importing textured Trespasser models into the game, and have so far got the monorail station imported, along with the station walls and the big wooden gates. I have also got some sections of track laying about and also some monorail support pillars that ive started to replace the temp ones with. They’re by no means attractive looking models, because the low resolution and limited colour palette of the textures make them look quite muddy. I have added normal maps and detail maps which helps, but don’t expect to be wowed when you see them. They are after all just placeholders and they look better than the untextured models i was using!
I’ve also been working on the Time Of Day more, and now that i have a better understanding of it, im getting much closer to a more realistic looking white balance. The TOD is a complete 24 hour cycle with a very realistic range of lighting, including a nice and dark night cycle. I cant imagine how horrible it would be to explore Isla Sorna at night!
I’m sorry for the low resolution screenshot, but this was just a screen capture from the editor window. Using the hi-res e_screenshot method removes the lovely water reflections, and i really wanted to show how the water is looking, as I’ve spent a bit of time working on that. I’m also sorry that its not a new screenshot, but its a good way to compare it with the old shots.
Before i go, a big thanks to all the comments and to the people who have donated to the project. There have been about 5 people who have donated so far, and i’m very grateful to you for that! The advertising on the blog is slowly making money, but not enough yet to put towards some hardware, maybe in a few months time i can get a new motherboard 🙂