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Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level
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Author:  Draconisaurus [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level


At the suggestion of forum member Shep, I've started a collaborative Trespasser level project to celebrate Trespasser's upcoming 20th anniversary later this year. The level contains a blank retail terrain, Anne, and a full complement of Tres jungle foliage and terrain objects.

Each time a new version of the level is posted by a collaborating member, the first person to post a reply to that post & say that they will work on it, becomes the editor. They remain the editor until either they post a link to a new version download, or 7 days passes, whichever comes first. If the 7 days passes without a new version posted by the editor, you must post to let us know that you will become the new editor. And so on.

The editor is allowed to add any new models, textures, mesh-clones, or instances he/she likes relative to the previously posted download version. Post questions about mesh/instance deletion if your really think it's necessary and we'll discuss it as a group.

Since the level "Tres20" has only just been started, we may wish to select a new terrain for the mod, such as one of machf's various terrain releases over the past months. Pick your favorite and tell why you think it should be used! This should be discussed ASAP so that terrain editing proper (not to mention ingame object placement) may begin.

TresCom forums is full of modding assistance. Look for help topics, watch the TresEd video tutorials, or ask your questions in this thread.


Tres20, Version 0.0! Let's get crackin'.

Author:  Shep [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level


I won't be adding just yet, but, I'll add my thoughts to some ideas someone could pickup.

20th anniv cake: In the level somewhere, maybe we can add a cake with a '20' on it, and have a voice over on a Walkman or in a memory saying "Happy birthday Anne" from her friend or parents. It could be one of you willing contestants, or we could possibly all pitch in and individual voice it and put them on different tapes.

Hidden tribute: Doing so like the devs did, we add a secret switch from throwing a rock somewhere or turning on a cray, and it brings up a message from the Trescom community about the game's impact or greatness.

(Also , raptors with party hats! :lol: )

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

Def. party hats.

Author:  TheIdiot [ Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

If we manage to go through with this, I'd like to suggest some sort of timeline wall somewhere in the level depicting the history of Trespasser and the TresCom community, highlighting all of the major events from the game's release to the anniversary date. Perhaps a little picture to indentify each event, along with the date (if known), with a title and short description below that.


(Picture of Pine Valley)
1998 - 200X
The Pine Valley Curse
Over the years, many modders attempt to recreate the fabled lost Pine Valley level, yet never is a truly "complete" version released. This leads to what becomes known as the Pine Valley Curse: an endless series of failed attempts to bring back the lost level. Eventually, upon the discovery of the beta Buidl 96 version containing the lost level, the curse is finally put to rest.

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

I like it! Perhaps dedicated areas of the level to certain aspects of Trespasser.

Author:  TheIdiot [ Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

Draconisaurus wrote:
I like it! Perhaps dedicated areas of the level to certain aspects of Trespasser.

Was also thinking of something similar, perhaps a set of tiny locations which reference some of the major levels we've come up with throughout the game's history, such as an area featuring some steam pipes and pines (Pine Valley), the general TC~Isle scenery (TC Trilogy), a BioSyn jeep and a Megaraptor (JPDS), a JP jeep and a dilophosaur (ED), the green Rex and the plantation house fence ruins (PH), et cetera...

Author:  machf [ Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

Well, if you want a miniature version of Isla Sorna, here's a 256m * 256m terrain from Cocos Island:

Attachment: [75.07 KiB]
Downloaded 364 times

Have fun!

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

If that's the route we go, I think rather we ought to go back to the MAX terrain combinations we were working with, scaled down...

Author:  machf [ Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

You'd need to combine them all and shrink them... this is already the terrain of the whole island.
I had once thought of making a minigolf level using the Cocos Island terrain, with 9 holes corresponding to 9 Trespasser levels, and an iconic building or structure from each one next to each of the 9 holes themselves.

Author:  OccultOne [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

I love this idea, and I'd love to help out where I can. Might be worth laying out some Milestones the team wants to reach to give the team discrete goals to hit that are a bit more bite size. I know at a few companies I've worked with have had a process that looks like:

Addendum) Document Everything. 20th Anniversaries are great for media and for historical archives, and having a visual story to go along with it makes things great when you revisit this in 10 years. "Man, I was just looking at our work in 2018... we did such cool stuff back then, we should do it again!"

1) Assign a timeframe, allotting for "Microwave Explosion Time". Expect up to a 50% Time Delay on unpaid mod projects, so if you have 6 Months until you need this to be released, plan to only have 4 months of work-time. Poll for team members and get a listing of their primary skillsets and time availability. Collect your team members into divisions (Art, Sound, Design, Technical, Producers, and Media are pretty common). Setup a discord or some sort of live chat. Forums are not great for real-time teams.
1A) Reach out to former developers, and see if they have some insights into what went into their original level production process. Who knows, some of them might be floating around the forum, or have a killer idea they always wished they could work on. It's been a long time since Dreamworks Interactive was a thing, but reaching out to EA DICE (Who I think is the closest branch to the remnants) and asking if they know who currently is managing the IP, and if the managing agency would want to be part of a community effort as part of the anniversary. Be prepared for a legalese response, but you'd be surprised how often you'll get positive or encouraging emails, especially if they can get good PR out of the deal. A well executed level could land folks jobs, so keep that in mind. Tweet at Minnie Driver and ask if she's record a few lines, who knows?
2) Beat to Beat Sheet. Basically laying out a timeline of what design concepts we want to teach the player, and how we expect them to execute on it. Also, any important narrative bits, what pieces of story we want to communicate. Like any good GDD Node, the sheet is a guide, and it's obsolete the moment it's made, but it lays out to the whole group the base premises.
3) Since this is effectively a mod, If you have access to a Modeler, Sound Tech, Musician, or Texture Artist, maybe write an additional sheet of new models, sounds, texture swaps, or music you need to for certain beats.
4) Run these additions and plans past someone who knows the engine (Technical), and someone who knows project management (Producer), if both sides agree what you've proposed is reasonable in the project timeframe, move on to production.

1) Whiteboxing. Lay out the general terrain, whitebox everything. Test your puzzles and refine the concepts. Make sure you've properly tutorialized the lessons you want to teach the player.
2) Environmental Population. Start replacing the whitebox zones with environmental art. Start testing these zones to see how they react in-engine to you as you move around, and tweak to keep the framerate somewhat reasonable.
3) Entity Population. Dinosaurs. Make sure to test the challenge you present against the resources available to the player. Anything that seems "Hard" to you after your 100th playtest, will be nearly impossible for new players. Doubly so for the TresCom folks, who have been playing for 2 decades.
4) Start hooking up the narrative systems if any.

0) Make sure once you enter this phase, if you have time, you keep a "Weekly Build" of the level. This level needs to be capable of being released at a moment's notice. If people drop off the face of the earth, make sure the file is accessible to anyone so it can get released on-time.
1) Assign Zones to people, and have folks write up "Gripe Sheets" on every part of their zone. These gripes are /intended/ to be highly granular and nit-picky. I once griped on a platformer project "Why is there a random broken clump of dirt in the middle of the tile?", and we discovered a major bug with our render draw order because of it, so do it! Anything annoying, scribble that thing down.
2) Have your producer or team lead go thru the gripe sheets and use 4 color code highlighting to determine what needs fixing.
[Green]: Cosmetic Gripe. Environmental Art Team.
[Blue]: Design Gripe. Design Team.
[Red]: This is not worth our time to fix, or cannot be fixed.
[Black]: Engine Issue or Out of Scope.
3) Let folks work on these issues, and continuously refine your gripe sheets. Cross things out as they are resolved.
4) Update the weekly build every week. (I use Friday in my professional life because it's end of the week, but it might be worth using Sunday Night since this is a mod project).
5) Do it again.
6) Leave a "Credits" Object somewhere in the scene. Something that has everyone's names or usernames on it. "Kiljoy was here" for modders, especially if you want to use it as credit in the future.

0) Release it. This is hard when you're in the thick of it, you're partway thru a polish cycle but the deadline is here. Just put it down for now, and release it. It's okay to update the file later... just make sure to get it up. Don't let the "We can delay a week" temptation happen. It's evil and kills projects.
1) Post it to the community. Post it to twitter. Post it to your friends, family. Show that sucker off. Put it in your resume. See what kind of traction it gets.
2) Send it to some Let's Players who have an interest, especially if they covered Trespasser in the past.
3) If it's possible to have someone documenting the entire exchange in real-time, and post a screenshot cache, video, or something else to help celebrate the 20th alongside the mod, that is always something really neat to do.

Author:  TheIdiot [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

OccultOne, your write-up there sounds exactly like the outline for the final project our teams had to design in my Game Dev course a couple of years ago in college. Naturally nobody stuck to the write up. :P

TresCom is a small community - I think trying to develop a single, average-sized level before the anniversary (Fall, I think?) using the entire development process is just completely out of our potential scope for something like this. Most of us modders which are capable of working in the level - which are few - are already partially devoted to our own projects, and the amount of modders available to work on Trespasser mods seems to be consistently hovering beneath the 10-man mark. This level is also intended to be a fluidly-created level with no set outline, but rather people adding to it over time with their own ideas at will.

I believe the project outline you are laying down here would be more suited to one of the really big mods for Trespasser, such as JPDS or RTJP, not a solitary level made to be designed freely without many guidelines. Keep in mind, we are all doing this for fun as a hobby in the very limited time most of us have - we aren't some professional development team working on the game to make our pay.

Author:  OccultOne [ Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

GDD's, Plans, and Write-Ups are obsolete the moment they're made. =P

Anyway, just a thought. Especially with the 20th anniversary, folks might be willing to come out of the woodwork to lend a hand. Helps to organize. (I also just like writing up development plans, it's why I'm stuck running a development team now I guess...)

Author:  TheIdiot [ Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

(I also just like writing up development plans, it's why I'm stuck running a development team now I guess...)

Well, that makes two of us, then. :wink:

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

That's quite the primer on successful modding... Might be listening to it if I were working on some major co-project mod. This project is significant but, given the circumstances, the hope is simply that some people will contribute to a Tres modding co-project in the time between now and the 20th anniv. What we need is not the way to get an amazing project finished but the way for TresCom members to come together and make something, on a special date such as this.

Author:  machf [ Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tres 20th Anniv Cmnty Level

It might be better to assign a certain specific task to each of the involved persons...

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