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Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

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Gamesharder
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Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Hi!
Makemeunreal and Me are started a new project, based on every unreleased/unseen alpha maps from 1995-1996-1997 called Dark Earth. Maps, seen only in pictures and those that had been recovered (Seti, Siobhan, BatSet, etc..) by the community.
18 Maps will be in the pack (at least!) and connected to each other with a very.. umm simple story.
-We're planning 5 handguns and 5 magick spellz!
-New pickups and 19 type of enemies (with bosses)

The project is reallyreally W.I.P. ;D

Huge thanks to Yrex for his permission using his mod and his cryptic maps and the Sky City!

Pictures of the reworked maps!
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And there will be a lot more  ;)

Also!
I made the first trailer too ;D
Last edited by Gamesharder on Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TONI-M
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by TONI-M »

Really beautiful! good .
Hi Toni-m
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Gamesharder
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Thank you!
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Kajgue
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Kajgue »

Hey GamesHarder & MMU, keep up the good work!
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Hellkeeper
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Hellkeeper »

As I'm used to these threads, I jump in and look at the screenshot without reading. I was about to post "wow, very oldschool design, it looks like screenshots of the Unreal alpha". Then of course I read the post.
Very nice work. :)
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Hyper
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Hyper »

Nothing says 90's level design like these screenshots. :)
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Gamesharder
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Thanks guys!
Yeah, we're trying to make that late 90's feel from this project. ;D
Yrex's Cryptic map pack and Sky City are really did that feeling. Those were huge inspiration for us.
Btw, I'm gonna post updates soon. :P
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Update #1

-The project slowed down a bit because makemeunreal doesn't have much time at the moment
-Yrex started to build the other old Sky City map for the project so I'm super excited ;D and omg it looks beautiful
-The first 3 maps are pretty much done but they need some serious bug fixxing

Some pictures of the currently worked on maps:

Swamp Castle:
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Sky Town:
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-Also I wanted to say that things might/will change on the pictures during the progress-
Unreal Alpha & Beta picture collection:
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Hellkeeper »

It looks so cool... So oldschool I'm nostalgic. :)
You must construct additional pylons.
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Buster
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Buster »

I like the use of the plants in the last set of screenshots. Very nice touch.
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Gamesharder
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Update #2

-I've started working on the Factory/Industrial map
-One of Makemeunreal's map is like 95% finished (The Karpathian Kastel)
and he's considering to release a version of it if you guys want to try it out
-The speed of the project hasn't really changed as we're busy at the moment

pictuuures:

Skaarj Industry
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Pimpin' up Yrex's Sky City
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Swamp Castle getting bigger  ;D
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And some comparison!
(My version on the left, Official pictures on the right)

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Apologies if the shots are too dark :P
Last edited by Gamesharder on Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Unreal Alpha & Beta picture collection:
https://mega.nz/folder/elQjRQbC#FoFU4B8rIVl4LQP90-VBIw

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TONI-M
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by TONI-M »

Very beautiful, well made.
TONI.
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subzer0
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by subzer0 »

Amazing work.
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Gamesharder
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Update #3

-Yrex updated the alpha mod, now everything is pixelated even if the render isn't on Software (you can see it on the photos below)
-Also weapons now behave just like in the 96 alpha (see the gif below)
-I can't say the exact time when it's going to be released but I'm trying my best!

If I could tell you in percentage how the project is going: 35% - 40%

Some new shots:

Kazm!
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The mine
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The factory level
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Starship
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Dark Sky Town
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Made by Yrex! He remade it from this 150x150 official picture
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Amazing!

Swamp Castle
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The weapons!
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Last edited by Gamesharder on Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Unreal Alpha & Beta picture collection:
https://mega.nz/folder/elQjRQbC#FoFU4B8rIVl4LQP90-VBIw

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TONI-M
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by TONI-M »

Great job Andrea. Really nice.
Great good job.

Ottimo lavoro Andrea. Veramente bello.
Ottimo lavoro bravi.


TONI
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by yrex . »

Image Image

I got GamesHarder's permission to release this map separately. It's a sequel to my previous SkyCity map.

DOWNLOAD
My work | contact: ampoyrex at wp dot pl
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Gamesharder
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Update #4

-Project still WIP, slowly but surely!
-Many changes went through the U96 mutator/mod. Lot of bug fixxes
-We're currently working on adding weapon prototypes, including the Flamegun and the Chaingun
-The number of planned maps is now 22, but this number could change before release

New shots:

Yrex's latest work, the 96 Skaarj Starship/Base!
ImageImageImageImage
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The old Bluff-like map!
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Sky Town!
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The mine:
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Flamegun in action!
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It shoots fire... wow who woulda thought ;D
Last edited by Gamesharder on Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Unreal Alpha & Beta picture collection:
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Unreal Seeker
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Unreal Seeker »

This is looking to be a very exciting project, I've been following for over a year and felt compelled to register to show some support.  I've always had a fascination with the early design of the game and this looks liker the closest we might get to playing Unreal had it come out back in 1996.

Good work on the Bluff-like map - I wonder if this might have been an early version of what became the flyby map for the title screen.  Elsewhere on the internet an earlier version of the title theme had been uncovered recently; maybe it would be a good fit for the title sequence?

Are you following the design of the Unreal Bible for how these maps might have originally played out?  I doubt that there was any work done on the transformation element such as turning into a hawk to reach Sky City, and might be too hard to implement, but it would be awesome to play something that plays close to what was originally envisioned ;)
Last edited by Unreal Seeker on Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gamesharder
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Thank you for the kind words.
I feel the same. I've always liked the early designs and I was (and still!) very interested in every cut out content of Unreal. ;D

I've heard the newly recovered Title track, it's absolutely fantastic!
We might use it for an opening flyby.
We'll see how much we can get out of the project.

As for the UBible, the Sky Town map (the brownish skycity map) is going to be based on those early descriptions. For instance, the whole medieval-town part will be implemented.
Not sure about the transformation thing though.
That's more of a "beta" feature, you know? Late 97, early 98 idea.
Unreal Alpha & Beta picture collection:
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Unreal Seeker »

Any updates? I recently replayed the Crypt Pyramid map pack and was reminded of this project. The volcano map in particular demonstrates how the game appears to have a darker and unsettling Quake-like horror theme that was mostly absent in the final game.
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

Unreal Seeker wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 12:07 am Any updates? I recently replayed the Crypt Pyramid map pack and was reminded of this project. The volcano map in particular demonstrates how the game appears to have a darker and unsettling Quake-like horror theme that was mostly absent in the final game.
It is funny that you mention the volcano map, unlike other maps in the crypt pyramid project it was not directly based on recovered material but more upon recovered screenshots, so yrex had to recreate it and fill in the gaps. And later insights/research showed it was actually probably not made originally by dr.sleep either but rather innox might have been responsible for that one as one of his early maps on Unreal. It is hard to tell though by lack of direct evidence (i forgot if i attempted to ask inoxx, but he had trouble recalling the 1996 stuff himself last time we spoke). But the style is significantly different than the other dr sleep maps and indeed was probably part of the inner deeper set of crypt maps.
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

Gamesharder wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:15 pm Thank you for the kind words.
I feel the same. I've always liked the early designs and I was (and still!) very interested in every cut out content of Unreal. ;D

I've heard the newly recovered Title track, it's absolutely fantastic!
We might use it for an opening flyby.
We'll see how much we can get out of the project.

As for the UBible, the Sky Town map (the brownish skycity map) is going to be based on those early descriptions. For instance, the whole medieval-town part will be implemented.
Not sure about the transformation thing though.
That's more of a "beta" feature, you know? Late 97, early 98 idea.
That transformation thing was not late 1997/early 98 thing, that's just a misconception/misunderstanding made upon misjuding features of hud on screenshots. Nothing more than a urban legend really. In the actual builds posessions works and stopped working only in late 1997 basically. So its the opposite. The transformation stations in unbible were from an early idea that originated in jill of the jungle/xargon games, so this was something Tim was fond of. It would have worked with the possesion functions (pn and pp were the commands usually, posses next and previous) via some hack most likely like spawning a monster directly or indeed replacing the player temporarily. After all in various builds you could set the playerstart to spawn a monster class instead of the player woman for example.
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Gamesharder
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

Unreal Seeker wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 12:07 am Any updates? I recently replayed the Crypt Pyramid map pack and was reminded of this project. The volcano map in particular demonstrates how the game appears to have a darker and unsettling Quake-like horror theme that was mostly absent in the final game.
Apologies for not answering. The project is still going on, it's still W.I.P. very much. I'll post a more detailed update soon on Dark Earth, because new things were added.
The project is taking more time than I expected, but I'll also explain why is that.
U_Off U_Off
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

Well I can take an educated guess for at least two reasons why.
One: MMU and his harddrive crash/erratic decisions although the other guys probably kept copies.
Two: Yrex started to work on SD instead and especially in my absence there would be noone to do something with all the maps.
(I had my own plans for the project before all of 2021 happened).
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Gamesharder
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Re: Dark Earth (Unreal Alpha Project)

Post by Gamesharder »

New update:

-added 3 new weapons (Chaingun, Stunner, Eightball)
-added 3 new items (Detector, Chameleon Heart, Asbestos Boots)

Detector item showcase:
Motion Detector

-old textures reworked/remaked
ImageImage

Apologies for the lack of updates.

I wanted to write about this in the Readme at the end when the project was finished, but I'll write it here as well.
A little background info about Dark Earth. The idea came to my mind in mid 2019 when I was in my third year in high school (the junior year in other terms) and the project became official when I first posted it here on OldUnreal (July of 2019). I rushed the whole thing of "making it official". I feel like I should have posted about it when it was like 70% done, but it was around 20% back then. I was so excited that I wanted to show Dark Earth. :P
So things got busier and busier with school and irl problems that it always got delayed, especially in the final year of high school.
About Leo's messages, Makemeunreal finished his maps he wanted to do for DE, luckly we always sended each other our maps, so everyone has/had copies of each map, his HDD crash fortunately did not cause any problem for the project. (also I want to mention that I often do many backups of anything I make)
Yrex already did so much for the project, he made 9 maps out of the 22 that is planned atm. (not to mention the U96 mutator updates, weapons, items, textures, etc.) so I'm actually glad he's doing something with his skills and not waiting for me to finish my maps to test them or else. ;D
Because as I mentioned, he made 9 maps out of 22, MMU made 4 maps, and I want to finish the rest because I want to put my ideas into this project as well.
Recently (6 months ago) I got the chance to go to university and this is another reason why I'm busy.
I spend my free time on DE as often as I can. I have ideas, many ideas actually and they are all written down/noted so I won't forget them.

The project won't be canceled anytime soon, I want Dark Earth to be finished. U_Off
Thanks for understanding.
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