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Feature Request Various Feature Requests I've been sitting on. + one bug report

RSGDB

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Aug 21, 2022, 01:22 PM
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Various Feature Requests I've been sitting on. + one bug report

Well, title says it all. I've had several ideas floating around in my head ever since I got back into the game. These are all Single Player focused - I don't play MP.
In addition I'll be listing my requests from what I believe to be the most to least feasible with the community's current knowledge of JJ2. Granted, I'm a newcomer so my own knowledge is lacking and based off of assumptions so I apologise if I come off as presumptuous.

First of all, a bug: completing a secret level usually sends you back to the original level's warp point, and said original level will be in the same state you left it in, taking into account what you collected/killed/triggered. But if the level ends with a boss fight you are sent back to the beginning of the level and the level state resets entirely with the only change being that the secret warp is no longer active. I am unable to check if it's Plus exclusive but I'm fairly certain it's always been like that.

Now, requests:
1. I'd like an option to disable the sugar rush music. It is considered a sound effect instead of a music file so turning the music down has no effect on it, making it very loud if you turn down music but keep the SEs.
2. An option to turn off the 99 ammo cap, thus allowing the player to collect additional ammo and as a result making it function more like it did in Jazz1 and OEM. Obviously SP only.
3. In the OEM versions the Queen would drop multiple cinder blocks on you if you play on hard mode. I'd like to see this feature restored for Hard and/or Turbo.
5. Don't know if this counts as a bug but completing a secret level resets your coin count in the original level back to 0, which is a problem if you already collected the level's coins before entering the secret level. Just like with the above bug I assume it's present in all versions but cannot verify it.
6. This request is perhaps the tallest order here by a huge margin: restore the original function of the gems as a way to gain extra lives. I don't know if this is even possible without access to the source code which is why it is at the bottom of the list. I literally only put this in the slim hope that against all odds this is actually remotely possible and I'm not actually expecting anyone here to try doing it.

So yeah, I don't really know how to end this so... Thanks in Advance!
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Aug 21, 2022, 02:27 PM
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First off, thanks for posting! It's great to have this kind of feedback.

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But if the level ends with a boss fight you are sent back to the beginning of the level and the level state resets entirely
Assuming we're thinking about the same thing, it's actually a lot more complicated than this. Let me know if this makes sense:

When you enter a secret level in the normal way, like Medieval Kineval and Gargoyle's Lair, the game turns on an invisible flag saying "the player is in a secret level right now!" Then when you reach an End Area event, if that flag is still on, the game ignores the level's normal next level setting to take you back to the secret level entrance. If you enter Dungeon Dilemma as a secret level, once you beat it, you get taken back to the secret level entrance, even though Dungeon Dilemma is normally followed by Knight Cap.

If you finish a level by beating a boss, or by shooting a signpost, however, the game doesn't look at the secret level flag. It uses the regular next level setting, whatever it might happen to be. But the flag doesn't get turned off either, so you're still in the secret level. If you enter Knight Cap as a secret level, beat the queen, get sent to Tossed Salad, and beat that, then you go back to the secret level entrance.

Anyway, I'm hesitant to change any of that because, well, that's how the game works, and that's the kind of thing that level designers use for doing cool stuff. What I'd rather have is more options (via angelscript ofc) for controlling exactly when the flag should or shouldn't be on, but right now that's hard because save games and angelscript don't play nicely together right now.

Quote:
I'd like an option to disable the sugar rush music.
Reasonable, doable. Not everyone likes JJ2+'s visual effects for sugar rushes, so I could imagine a fourway setting for turning both those things either on or off. Not likely till 6.0 though.

Quote:
An option to turn off the 99 ammo cap
This has already been implemented for 6.0

Quote:
the Queen would drop multiple cinder blocks on you if you play on hard mode. I'd like to see this feature restored for Hard and/or Turbo
I'd be fine with this. Putting minor changes like this in Hard/Turbo only feels like a good balance between preserving vs. expanding gameplay, by making it still indirectly optional, and of course it would be turned off entirely for speedruns. It'd be hard to get this to feel exactly right without the OEM source code, though.

Quote:
completing a secret level resets your coin count in the original level back to 0
That's weird and I'm not sure why that's happening off the top of my head, thanks.

Quote:
gems as a way to gain extra lives
IIRC the code for this is mostly still in the game, just dummied out. This isn't a technical hurdle so much as it is a design question, do people want gems to work like this or not, even in custom levels with potentially hundreds and hundreds of gems. Given sufficient community support sure, it could be put back; given community opposition or indifference it would just be an option in 6.0 like the ammo cap.
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Aug 21, 2022, 02:51 PM
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Thanks for responding. First of all, is 6.0 the same as 5.10?

As for the secret level boss issue - yes, this makes a lot of sense. As a matter of fact what you described is exactly what happened to me with these kinds of levels, it's just that it's been so long that I forgot about this nuance and only remembered the level "resetting".
When it comes to gems I'll admit it's mostly a personal thing. I just like the idea of gem collecting having a purpose beyond increasing the score (not to mention the prospect of restoring a feature that was supposed to be there to begin with). Granted, in the main single player campaign lives aren't exactly hard to come by and I know a lot of people consider lives to be an outdated form of gameplay design, but I always liked the way they provided incentive to collect items and explore the level even if I don't die all that often. Regardless I think it should be optional just in case.
Thanks for taking my feedback!
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Aug 21, 2022, 03:48 PM
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6.0 will be sometime later than 5.10. There may or may not be intervening numbers such as 5.11. Who knows?

The arguments for gems make sense to me too, I'd just want to be sure we wouldn't making people upset by having gems do something (instead of nothing) they're not used to.
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Sep 3, 2022, 08:24 AM
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Briefly reviving this for two more issues:
1. This is an issue that has existed since at least OEM and has been something of a minor annoyance: sometimes when I die in SP I revive with my weapon defaulting to the weapon in the last slot. So say I die while using the blaster and possessing full ammo to all weapons, I'll suddenly be using the electro blaster until I switch. If I don't have EB ammo I'll be using pepper spray and so on. It doesn't always happen, which is pretty odd. Is it even a bug? I never saw anybody else mention it.
2. Music from .j2bs is a bit quieter compared to other file types.
Also, in regards to the whole "secret levels resetting your coin count" thing - it also happens with gems, and your health is also reset to 5 HP regardless of how little health you had when you entered. This leads me to believe that the game treats the level you return to as a whole new level that just so happens to share the same exact state as the level you left.

Last edited by RSGDB; Sep 5, 2022 at 04:06 AM.
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Sep 15, 2022, 02:00 AM
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Just hopping in to point out that I'm in favor of restoring the intended behavior for gems earning extra lives. Or at least default to this behavior when a level script doesn't touch gem objects to do anything else (like in HH18).

I believe very few kiddo's cared about lives in the original campaign. There were so many anyway and the difficulty is laughable beyond (some of the) bosses and maybe Diamondus due to the bees.

Many older custom levels that have gems more or less keep their rarity in mind.
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Sep 15, 2022, 02:49 PM
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I am generally rather conservative when it comes to adjusting the gameplay, but I think having 100 gems gain you a life would be OK. The manual even tells you to "collect gems to earn extra lives" so this always felt like a bug to me.
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Sep 16, 2022, 12:07 PM
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Right now collecting a green, blue, or purple gem shows you how many gems you have of that color. Only red gems show you how many gems you have total. (Except in Treasure Hunt.) Would you want/expect this to change so all gems show you your total number, so you don't collect 10 blue gems, see the number 10 at the bottom, but get an extra life anyway?
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Sep 16, 2022, 01:49 PM
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Personally I'd entirely expect lives to only be incremented at the end of the level when all the gem totals are displayed. It always seemed like the very purpose that screen should've had. And otherwise you might also have to ask questions about checkpoints - which save the number of gems you had when you touched them, so potentially it would become more beneficial to touch a checkpoint with 99 gems rather than 100 (and every alternative solution to this problem I can think of has some drawback).
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Sep 17, 2022, 08:44 AM
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That's plausible, although certainly not how 0.98k does it. (0.98k actually implements gaining lives for 100 gems, so I don't think this is a bug so much as something that was deliberately removed from gameplay but not from documentation.) Gargoyle's Lair has over 200 gems and doesn't do the gem tally at the end. Would you expect the player not to get any lives for those, or would they be awarded silently? What if you use jjnxt?
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Sep 17, 2022, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet CLM View Post
(0.98k actually implements gaining lives for 100 gems, so I don't think this is a bug so much as something that was deliberately removed from gameplay but not from documentation.)
I remember seeing that code and thinking it looked horribly overengineered and likely to go wrong in edge cases. My guess was always that one possible issue was actually noticed and it was commented out "until it's fixed," but then forgotten about.
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Gargoyle's Lair has over 200 gems and doesn't do the gem tally at the end. Would you expect the player not to get any lives for those, or would they be awarded silently? What if you use jjnxt?
Awarded silently is fine, I suppose (although I also see no good reason why secret levels should not display the gem tally in the first place).
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Sep 17, 2022, 02:14 PM
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Maybe the gems you pick up in the secret level should be added to the gems in the level you entered the secret level from?
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Sep 18, 2022, 07:02 AM
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That'd make sense as secret levels were supposed to be more or less an extension to the level you entered one from, hence why they return you to the entry point upon completion.

Now that I think about secret levels and gems, what were purple gems supposed to be worth? Gargoyle's Lair has one, and EvilMike's Devres uses them as an extra collectible to challenge the player. So it'd be handy to have at least purple gems be counted individually for each level.

Maybe all gems, including red ones, should be counted individually and tallied up at the end of each (non-secret) level, earning the player a life for each 100, with any leftovers being lost or added to the counter for the next level?
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