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  • #13716
    CHILLYBUSCHILLYBUS
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 61
    Replies: 173

    Got briefly nostalgic for D3 and wanted to see how it holds up after probably 5-7 years since I last touched it. Robots are too small, every asset was definitely made in 1998/9, and no matter what my command switches said the FOV reminds me of people who stretch google image previews for their powerpoint presentations.

    Want to skip my rambling and setting tweaks? Start at 6:15. Only have half an hour to watch? Start at 6:15 and then seek to 41:08 once the first level ends — wish I could’ve.

    Anyway, if this was at all entertaining, I might mumble on about nothing over other games in the future. I might do that even if it’s not entertaining, too.

    D3 is an underrated gem in that it’s a shining — if not the single best — example of good-not-great late 90’s shooter aesthetic and design. If the FOV were more compatible, this might be worth revisiting for longer but as it stands it’s just a stark reminder that my medicine cabinet is lacking dramamine.

    #13718
    defconxdefconx
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 17
    Replies: 70

    I think I finally understand something about D3 that was bugging me since the moment I loaded the non-shareware version to the end of the whole thing.

    When the lasers and projectiles explode/impact, they simply flatten out into pancake shapes. Others had similar problems. It makes almost every single weapon feel impotent and boring. Maybe only the flak/frag stuff and mass driver felt more impactful.

    The visuals are important.

    There is no color change to indicate damage, no shape change or sense of absorption to indicate whether you hit anything better than a brick wall, there is just no interactivity whatsoever except the also actually impotent microwave cannon which just had a neat effect and nothing else. At best the lasers looked like glowing clay that “splat” on a target and then disappear. There needed to be some more planning meetings about the most important aspect of the game, which would come to be shooting things and how those shots are received by the environment, the bots, etc. etc.

    Even the missiles just appear to blast in space in front of the bots when you make direct impacts, and the explosions appear to transport to another dimension just when they’d be doing the most damage. Then when you finally did enough damage to a bot you didn’t even get the satisfaction that you blew it up because 99% of the time the bot would explode in its own little world as if instead of your ship causing the damage the bot or turret decided to self-destruct. It was as if the game would say to you, “Theoretically, I should be dead now. Buh bye”

    The entire thing was unsatisfying and made some of the most fun parts of D1 and D2 — shootin’ up tech — feel like an unrewarding grind to me.

    I loved D3’s plot, story, level design, weapon concepts and everything else about the game. I loved the guided missiles, napalm and everything like that. The weather, the going outside, etc. But the most important part … the combat and the sense of interactivity with high tech, volatile weapons… was not visceral enough. Even though the actual gameplay against bots and other players was sometimes fun for the movement aspect (somewhat, though there were far too many “scraping punches” and impact attacks throughout the game for my liking).

    But it wasn’t until Overload that a contemporary sense of industrial destruction finally succeeds in making the satisfying impacts feeling from D1/D2, etc. I would say Overload also has the occasional moment where the bot’s destruction animation is a bit over the top and D3-like … to the point where I am left thinking, “Okay, you are blowing up … I get it. Will you just do so already instead of taking your time with it?”

    Very weird to talk about this aesthetic, when everything else about D3 nailed it for me. But in the end, the heady sci-fi take on energy weapons just wasn’t fun, no matter how much it “made sense”. The lesson for me is: make games primarily intuitively fun experiences rather than logically consistent like a movie.

    On the other hand, “playing pretend” in a world can be the fun aspect and D3 did so well with that aspect that D3 is almost better as a conceptual art piece rather than an arcade style shooter.

    #14467
    PersonicusPersonicus
    Participant
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 35

    Is there a reliable source from which to purchase the full D3 game ? It appears that all Descent iterations are no longer available….other than eBay.

    Out of sheer curiosity, I snatched and installed the D1-Rebirth version yesterday (with shareware of D1 only), as I wanted to compare the overall ship handling to that of Overload. Man, what a shock ! I confess to being quite the newcomer to 6DOF flight handling and configuration, but it felt just utterly clumsy ! Or have I been too accustomed to Overload the past 100 hrs or so ?

    In any event, any tips on how/where to snatch D3 would be appreciated (does it run on modern tech or is an exotic DOS emulator required ?) !

    Cheers !

    #14481
    DarkwingDivaDarkwingDiva
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 29
    Replies: 346

    Unfortunately no, there is no other way to get it. Just Ebay and any other used game market.

    Sadly, Descent 3 also doesn’t work well on modern systems. Most people I know has had pretty sketchy performance issues, when they could get it running ofc. I’ve had limited success. I could get it working, but it’d freeze after a little bit of play, and also wouldn’t play cinematics. If there is a de facto easy fix, I’m unaware of it.

    I think you might be spoiled on Overload’s control a bit 😉 which is fine, I am too at this point. I went back and played the OG Descent a few months ago and I had to readjust all over again, it wasn’t just like getting back on a bike! You’ll get used to it after a few levels but I do find it interesting how different they are, yet how close the core gameplay is. Great job on the devs though, I love Overload!

    #14482
    D2DiscipleD2Disciple
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 18
    Replies: 81

    I started playing D3 not long ago too, I suppose as a sort of “preamble” to Overload – to see where we’ve come since 1999. D3 was never my favorite game of the series, but I always enjoyed it, despite never actually beating it. MP, on the other hand, is always a blast and I frequently revisit it because it’s just so darn fun.

    First things first – I have GOT to get my Cyborg 3D Gold hooked up because D3 is a mess with a mouse and keyboard. My Logitech G-series mouse is extremely twitchy and there’s no ramping up to full motion – I accelerate to full turning speed at the most minute adjustment, making play borderline impossible at any difficulty higher than Rookie.

    There are a lot of things I don’t like about D3 – namely, the vastness of the levels themselves. I’ve long felt like 6DOF combat in wide open spaces is incredibly boring, since it usually results in unrestricted circle-strafe battles of attrition. D3 is often wide open – especially when outside – and the restrictions afforded by the more claustrophobic tunnels of D1 and D2 provide significantly more tense and exciting combat, not to mention an increased sensation of speed. Levels like Seoul in D3 are just an absolute slog. Other things I don’t like? Some of the robot designs, weapon designs, and some of the objectives the player is tasked with. The “Nomad” level (level 6, maybe?) is hilariously absurd to me, in particular, though I do enjoy fighting the Homunculus.

    But, darn it, when D3 works, it really works. I’m particularly fond of the level where you’re tasked with protecting five reactors from a never-ending stream of bots, and, even though it’s the kind of escort mission I would ordinarily hate, is a great twist on the classic scenarios presented in prior games. The second and third levels I also love, both pushing the player forward in a semi-linear fashion, keeping the action high but not discouraging exploration. Later levels sometimes lose their focus in the sprawling nature of their designs, but when things get tight and the bots can show off some of their darned-impressive-for-1999 AI, it’s always a good time.

    Also, of particular note is the Mercenary expansion pack, which was a little shorter, and in my opinion, much more fun. I feel like the levels lent themselves to much more exciting combat scenarios than vanilla D3. It’s clear the development team had time to learn what worked and what didn’t from the Retribution campaign, and expand on it with a tighter, more technically impressive expansion. Not to mention the blessedly shorter length makes it less daunting than the exhausting marathon that Retribution is.

    In some ways, D3 shows the best of the series, and in some ways, it highlights the worst. Much like D2 improved on D1 in every way and yet managed to introduce a whole host of its own issues, I see why Outrage went in the direction they did with D3 after D2 – and I’d have to say they succeeded at making a proper sequel. Still, hindsight some 18 years later is good, and I feel like Overload really does take the best of all 3 and avoids making any of its own missteps (so far). I’d still have to recommend D3 to anyone who likes Descent and/or Overload… It’s definitely a great game and a technical marvel of it’s time.

    #14483
    DarkwingDivaDarkwingDiva
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 29
    Replies: 346

    I’m particularly fond of the level where you’re tasked with protecting five reactors from a never-ending stream of bots, and, even though it’s the kind of escort mission I would ordinarily hate, is a great twist on the classic scenarios presented in prior games.

    I HATED that level! It legit made me rage quit the first time playing D3 when it came out lol

    Overall, I do agree with the idea that D3 had some of the best of worst aspects of the series.

    #14485
    PersonicusPersonicus
    Participant
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 35

    Thank you DwD !

    #14486
    D2DiscipleD2Disciple
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 18
    Replies: 81

    Sadly, Descent 3 also doesn’t work well on modern systems. Most people I know has had pretty sketchy performance issues, when they could get it running ofc. I’ve had limited success. I could get it working, but it’d freeze after a little bit of play, and also wouldn’t play cinematics. If there is a de facto easy fix, I’m unaware of it.

    I haven’t really had too much trouble getting D3 up and running since, ironically, Windows 98 days. I’ve been pretty successful running it on almost all of my computers – of various ages – by going into the setup and using the OpenGL rendering setting under the “video” tab (although the setup does say it’s not recommended). I’ve never had a lot of luck with the Direct3D settings myself. If you haven’t tried that yet, I’d recommend it. 🙂

    #14880
    pipsqueakpipsqueak
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 0
    Replies: 10

    Played a little Descent 3 multiplayer yesterday. OMG, the game still rocks and is a blast to play so many years later. Stll my favorite out ot the three installments.

    New York City Rocks! Always has, Always will.

    #16280
    snyper
    Participant
    Topics: 11
    Replies: 9

    I still play Descent 3 on nearly a daily basis. I got it working at 1920×1080 and it runs pretty well with a 3dfx glide wrapper. I also built a retro pc with a 733mhz pentium 3 and a voodoo 3 graphics card. It’s good for Descent 3 and other retro games like Sim City Classic and a lot of other Win95/98 games.

    Also, there are still people that play Descent 3 multiplayer too, just not that many. A guy that goes by do_chekor has done a lot to keep the community alive including running multiplayer servers with bots.

    #16289
    hurleybird
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 41

    Descent 3 was so far ahead of its time visually. Not sure how much of that is due to the tech (the coloured lighting is great) versus art design, but I think it’s aged far better than UT or Q3 at least in terms of graphics. Well, setting aside the aspect ratio and compatibility issues.

    #16335
    Hunter
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 69

    The D3 engine was pretty awesome for something built mostly in 1998. It has bugs galore but that is kind of expected with such a huge undertaking. I’ve gotten to know it somewhat intimately over the years. 🙂

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