DoomRL > Modding

[Design] DukeRL

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During the donation drive, I made and off-hand remark about how I'd love to see DukeRL made, and thelaptop, in a burst of generosity which left me speechless, donated the required amount and left me the responsibility of working out the details of the mod. So I've started to gather ideas (even writing some of that stuff down before forgetting it!) and I feel I should start systematically posting what I have so far here on the forum.

In general, I'm trying to keep the basic concepts of DukeRL close to DoomRL, but thinking of things that would make the gameplay quite different. Only time will tell if it will work out. The game will obviously be based on Duke Nukem 3D, borrowing bits and pieces from other titles. I'll write anything borrowed from outside DN3d (including the atomic edition) in purple.

Anybody is welcome to offer their thoughts and ideas, of course. A little brainstorming never hurt anybody. And I will definitely welcome any comments from the devs of DoomRL when it comes to feasibility of any trickier mechanisms I come up with. I'll try not to constrain myself too much by what I think is possible - I'll leave that to you =)

I'll be adding to these few posts bit by bit as I manage to gather my notes and thoughts.

Edit: Most of what I've posted so far are just lists of stuff, so here are the things that need discussion or feedback most singled out:

Health items

Boots - knockback,6052.msg52062.html#msg52062

Protozoid Slimer,6052.msg52063.html#msg52063


In Duke3d each weapon has its own ammo, which sounds like a bad idea for DukeRL, so I propose having the same four ammo types as in DoomRL: Bullets, Shells, Rockets and cells or something. Here's a list of most of the weapons in the Duke games:

Duke's Mighty Boot
- the only melee weapon
- I'd like to see different boots giving bonuses to damage
  - in DoomRL, choosing boots pretty much falls down to deciding between speed and protection, possibly with knockback as well (though I never really consider it at all). Adding melee damage to the mix would make things more interesting, I think.


- the Duke3d version held 12 rounds before it needed reloading.
- other than that, I feel the stats should be similar to combat pistol in DoomRL

Golden Eagle
- from Manhattan project and some others
- more powerful version. Might even be unique

M1911 and Golden M1911
- these are in DNF, and also in the N64 port
- not sure if it's worth it including them, since they sound pretty similar to the first two

Laser gun (Atomic Pistol)
- from Duke 1
- either cell-based or recharging, since in Duke 1 you don't have any ammo.
- in the original game you could collect up to 5 rate of fire upgrades. I'm not sure how, or even if it is worth it including this.


- pump action and pretty much the same throughout all the games
- should be based on combat shotgun from DoomRL
- in DNF it holds 7 shots before needing reloading

Combat shotgun
- used in Land of the Babes
- looks like this:
- no idea about its stats =)

Super Shotgun
- this is an upgrade to the previous one
- shoots 3 shots at a time
- I guess it would work similar to the Jackhammer
- might be a unique

Double Shotgun
- this ubiqtuous weapon doesn't seem to be featured in any Duke game so far, but then DoomRL has a lot of made up weapons
- description and/or pick up quote could hint that it's been lifted from Redneck Rampage. Yeeeeeehhhhaaawwww!!!
- there's also a Sawed-off shotgun in DN: Zero Hour, but I know nothing about it at this time


Chaingun Cannon
- eh, a chaingun. Not sure what more can be said about it, except that with the absence of plasma rifle, this should be the main rapid-fire weapon.

- this is what the chaingun was originally called and it is called that in DNF
- more powerful exotic variant? That would work.

Sub Machine Guns
- this is what replaces the chaingun in DN64
- less accurate at a distance.
- allow single and double wield? Depends on what we decide to do with traits I guess

Laser Gatling
- from Time to Kill
- should eat cells
- should be quite powerful and rare


- should be easier to gib with than in DoomRL
- no rocket jumps, trying that is a suicide in Duke
- should eat one rocket per shot, pretty good accuracy

- pretty much the same in DN3D and DNF
- rapid-fire rocket lanucher
- it makes little sense for this to use the same ammo as the RPG, but who gives a shit, right?
- fires two rockets with each shot
- inacurate on long range
- should eat up ammo like crazy - 0.5 fire time?
- each rocket deals 1/4 of the damage of the RPG, at least in DN3D

- these will work best if they are used from the inventory
- Allow them to stack in the inventory? I like the idea of allowing Duke to carry excessive ammounts of these, since they are one of his signature weapons.
  - in Duke3d, they are found single or in a pack of 5, so maybe have them stack up to five
- I'm not sure how to implement the detonator though
- should be possible to throw out several and detonate all of them at once
- allow duke to pick up thrown pipebombs
- when laying on the ground - either after being thrown by duke, or generated with a level - they should explode when hit
- synergy with holoduke

Laser Tripbomb
- also should be used from the inventory
- shouldn't stack; in DN3d you can only carry 10 of them
- might be tricky to code, but laying traps with these and pipebombs would be nice.
- synergy with holoduke

Exotic/alien/other weapons:

Shrink Ray
- one-hit kill of anything smaller than a boss - if you can reach them and stomp on them
- will require some way to represent shrunk enemies in console mode
  - maybe use only capital letters for enemies and shrink them down to lower case?
- slow rate of fire and should eat ammo like crazy (somewhat less than the BFG?)
- the shrunk enemies should flee (at at least half their normal speed). That could make it somewhat less gamebreaking, especially when used against groups.
- The mini-battlelords in Duke3D could be shrunk in one shot, but a bug (or maybe a feature?) of the engine made it very hard to hit their origin. So maybe we can get away with the shrink ray having no effect on them
- absolutely no effect on bosses and mechanical enemies
- since there definitely won't be any mirrors in the game, I think we don't have to worry about shrinking Duke, unless we include the Protectors from the Atomic Edition. I'd hold it off for now.

Microwave Expander
- expansion weapon. Hehe.
- fast rate of fire
- causes enemies to explode once it depletes their HP
- I only played the atomic edition once, so I'm gonna have to do some more research

- another tricky one
- should be able to bounce from walls twice
- does half the original damage after each bounce
  - the bouncing might be hard to implement (no idea here), but it could be hilarious and/or dangerous to player, so I think it's worth it
- doesn't kill enemies, leves them with 1HP and freezes them for a while, allowing you to shatter them
- Dukes killed by this (in Dukematch) drop Atomic Health. Maybe there could be a small chance for that happen with normal enemies in DukeRL?

- only in DNF
- pretty much sniper rifle
- copying the railgun from DoomRL sounds good to me, if we want to include this at all

There are some extra weapons from the games I'm not familiar with (including DNF, which I don't want to include, at least initially since they drop from DNF versions of some enemies) which are best kept as extras should we decide to expand the arsenal.


I only know of 3 usable powerups (by which I mean items used on pickup) in the Duke games, and two of those are from Manhattan Project. They can't hurt IMO.

Atomic Health
- gives 50% health up to 200%
- the only DN3d pickup that I feel is worth making a powerup
- pretty much a large health globe from DoomRL
- incidentally, this powerup goes back to Duke Nukem 1. Cool.
- Dukes killed by freezethrowers (in Dukematch) drop this. Maybe there could be a small chance for that happen with normal enemies in DukeRL?

Double Damage
- from Manhattan Project
- selfexplanatory

- same as above

Health items

Besides the poweruppy Atomic Health, there are following medkit items:

Small Medkit
Large Medkit
Portable Medkit

The portable was special in that it could be consumed at will, not just on pickup. Since we probably want all of these to clutter Duke's inventory, it makes sense to make the Large Medkit into a Medium Medkit and the Portable one into the Large one. Then again, isn't three medkit sizes too many? One of them could be dropped from the game if it is so.
Another option is to make one or more of these into powerups, but if they are all called "Medkit", they should behave the same. I'm open to suggestions.


- projects the image of Duke standing in place, doing nothing
- probably allow placement on any tile adjacent to Duke
- enemies should attack it as they would Duke (unlike in DN3d)
  - if both Dukes are in sight, the closer one should get preference
- when the holoduke disappears (and the real Duke isn't in sight, the enemies should behave as if Duke hid from them - go to his last known position, which means position of the holoduke
- this is basically an implementation of giftdropping, which is needed to make pipebombs and mines more useful
- I can't decide if it should be possible to switch holoduke off, or make him dispensable (and his duration relatively short). Dispensable holodukes would be easier to code, though a bit harder to utilize, I imagine

- this is a truly iconic atribute, and was present in a way back in Duke Nukem 2
- obviously, flying in the Z-dimension is not an option
- my idea is to use the jetpack to quickly move around levels - think item-based rocket jumping with no health cost and precise aim
  - there are enemies who use jetpack or jump, so this would work for them too

Night Vision Goggles
- probably should be the same as in DoomRL
- maybe make them a powerup as well? Allowing players to turn them on and off seems overpowered
  - alternatively, they could be turned on at will, but not turned off, like steroids in the game
- called Dukevision in DNF

Scuba Gear
- nah, I guess not. They were a quite bland item even in the original game. But if anybody has any bright ideas how to make them work, shoot.

- increased speed and melee damage
- immunity to shrinking, but that's irrelevant at this point
- pretty much a portable zerk

Access cards
- this would depend on level generation. I'm inclined to have them in the game, but I'll get to that later


Welp, Duke isn't big on wearing armour, probably too stylish for that. Edit: There seems to be a moment in DNF where Duke comes across a green Master Chief armour and exclaims "Power Armor is for Pussies". So yeah, he doesn't like wearing armour. There is an armour pickup in DN3d, which is also worn/dropped by pigcops and there was a riot shield planned at some point during the development of DNF, but that's it. The way I see it there are two options 1) make up all kinds of armour as in DoomRL, 2) replace it with something different. I, of course, already something different in mind, so let me skip #1 and get to it directly.

I like how some of the games (at least Manhattan Project and DNF) label Duke's health as Ego. After all, we're talking about the king, here. You can't hurt him, but you can hurt his ego. I know that medkits don't make a whole lot of sense then, but I don't really care =P

So I was thinking that the role of armour could be taken by other, ego boosting stuff, like sunglasses and... well, so far I only came up with the sunglasses. There could be different kinds - some boosting Duke's ego (= more HP), some protecting it (=more protection), some somehow related to Duke's interaction with the babes (which is something I'll get into later). The Night Vision Goggles could also be used in this slot, thus making you choose between protection and sight range.

The disadvantage of this is that it would make resistances to different damage types harder to implement, and I'm not sure I want to drop them outright.

I'd really like to hear your opinions on this one.


As I've mentioned before, I'd like to see different boots give bonuses to either slime/lava protection, Duke's speed and melee damage.

I'm leaning towards downplaying or removing knockback in this mod. First of all, shotguns would lose some appeal they have in DoomRL, since they can keep enemies at bay while slowly chipping away from their HP. This could be countered my upping their damage a bit compared to their DoomRL counterparts. The advantage? Making DukeRL a bit more different from DoomRL. The other big source of knockback in DoomRL are rockets. Frankly, the RPG in Duke is a monster compared to the Doom version. If it kills, it explodes enemies on the spot. Removing knockback outright is quite a big decision, so I'd like to hear what you have to say for it, especially if someone has some insight into how it could affect gameplay beyond what I've already mentioned.

Anyway, back to boots. Not counting the "Mighty Boot", DN3d only gives us Protective Boots as an item. The stats are pretty obvious for that one. Other than that, we should brainstorm others. Some kinds of boots could also play into the ego mechanic I write about in the armour section. Imagine some kind of boots that allow Duke to run really fast, but are so dorky that his ego gets halved when wearing them. Sounds kinda fun.


Assault Trooper
ASCII - Green A (as in Assault, to keep them and Captains the same letter. Might confuse AliensRL players though =)
- weak basic enemy, similar to former human
- drops bullets for some reason, despite attacking with a laser
- has jetpack - as mentioned in the items section, this could be implemented by allowing AT's to jump around the battlefield, closing the distance between them and duke at times.
  - they should only use this rarely, though
- can play dead: corpses have a small chance to revive (with full health? need to reasearch) after leaving Duke's FOV

Assault Captain
- same a AT, just a little meaner
- additionally has a cloaking device
  - the cloak makes them invunerable and passable and really functions pretty much like a teleporter with a delay, so I guess that's the best way to deal with it - have them occasionally disappear instead of attacking and then let them appear somewhere around Duke a few turns later. Possibly based on the code for Shambler.

Assault Enforcer
ASCII - Gray E
- much tougher, chainfiring
- drops chaingun
- is able to jump
  - that can probably be represented by a shorter-range version of the jetpack effect
- at close range they can spit. Slow attack (and easier to dodge), but more damaging than the chaingun (otherwise there would be no benefit)
- fast movement

Assault Commander
ASCII - Red C?
- tough and firing rockets
- doesn't drop RGP ammo, but probably should in DukeRL; the way I see it, more rockets = more explosions = more fun
- strong melee attack. At short range they should probably try to close the distance and attack with melee, if nothing else then not to hurt themselves with splash damage

Pig Cop
ASCII - blue P (C would work too, but is conflicting with above)
- shotgunner, but definitely much tougher than a former sergeant
- wears armor
- drops shells/shotgun
- quite slow

Protozoid Slimer
ASCII - green s (since they simply get killed by the shrink ray, they don't need a capital letter)
- should be gimmicky, so I'll just throw around ideas to see what can be done with them
- impossible to hit "by accident", only when directly aimed at or with explosives?
- 1hp, obviously
- melee attack, attach themselves to Duke and deal damage until killed
- when attached, lowers Duke's vision to 1 (or 0?) until killed
  - I'm used to the old version of DN3d where they were immune to the Mighty Boot. That got fixed later, but I still don't like the idea of Duke kicking himself in the head
  - instantly killed by the Shrink Ray, though I believe they can be frozen
- sometimes hatch from eggs
- in DN3d they can eat corpses and even other live enemies. I'm pretty sure that would make them far too useful here though.
- there should be some way to let them sneak up on the player
  - make them invisible on slime?
  - or have them be visible at half Duke's sight range?
- when killed (except during their attack) leaves a small puddle of slime; their death generates one tile of hurtfloor
- in Duke Nukem 2, there is a robotic precursor to this enemy. They attached to Duke, damaging him over time, and the only way to get rid of them once they were attached was to rapidly press left and right to shake them off... if we could come up with something similar for Slimers in DukeRL, it would be nice

ASCII - yellow O
- their ranged weapon has quite short range. Is that possible to implement?
- strong melee attack
- levitates, so immunity from hurtfloors
- slow
- there should be rooms with these, along with slimers, eggs and trapped babes. More on that later

Protector Drone
- atomic edition only. I need more research, and I wouldn't worry about them at this point

ASCII - green t, I guess
- as stationary enemy, I'm not sure it would work very well, but we can try
- immune to shrinking, explodes instead of freezing
- possibly placed at preset places in rooms during level generation. More on that later

Sentry Drone
ASCII - dark grey D
- suicide explosive attack
- fast movement
- flyer
- in DN3d, they can dodge any non-hitscan weapons (if there is room)
  -  could be made to let rockets and other such weapons fly past them
- immune to shrinking, explodes instead of freezing
- explodes on death

Recon Patrol Vehicle
ASCII - blue R
- that hoverbike Pig Cops ride in some outdoor spaces
- would only make sense if level generation could mark some areas as outside, more on that later
- spawns a Pig Cop when killed
- likely too much hassle to include

Pig Cop Tank
- pretty much same as above and expansion only to boot

Mini Battlelord/Battlelord Sentry/Battlelord Clone (I like the last name best)
- scaled down Boss of the first episode. See below.


There are some considerations here. The arenas, where player meets the bosses need to be adjusted to fit with their attacks, which should be relatively close to the source, while more liberty can be taken with the arenas themselves. This balance also depends on how will the gameplay and Duke's capabilities turn out, in case they will be different from DoomRL. In any case, the boss arenas in Duke3D offer little or no cover, which will definitely have to be changed.

- powerful chainfire weapon
- long range mortar
  - could be similar to the Arch Vile blast

- very large chamber inside an alien spaceship
- the original had a small river of lava in the middle

ASCII - green O
- fires long barrages of rockets, certainly much more than Cybie in Doom
- let him fire 3-5 rockets in quick succession?

- in the original, little room to maneuvre

Cycloid Emperor
ASCII - gray E
- two attacks: rockets and octabrain mind blasts
- both attacks have a spread of projectiles
  - could behave similar to mancubus attack, but with greater frequency
  - mind blasts only at short range

- the stadium is one of the most iconinc maps. I'm not sure how to fit some cover there though.
- notable features:
- assault troopers assisting the boss in higher difficulties,
- cheerleaders who cause commanders to spawn when killed IIRC
- a blimp that provides weapons and ammo when shot down
  - probably not worth it in DukeRL

Alien Queen
Expansion boss, won't worry about for now.


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