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It's Time For the Descent Games Return

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the i-expect-a-kickstarter-project-within-the-week dept.

Classic Games (Games) 251

An anonymous reader writes "Gamers of a certain age will probably remember Descent, a game that combined first-person shooters with flight sims in a way that has never really been replicated. GameSpot has an article calling for a new entry in the Descent series, and it reminded me of all the stomach-churning battles I had as a kid (when the game wasn't bringing my 33MHz 486 to its knees). 'Here's where modern gaming innovations make Descent an even more tempting reboot. From the two-dimensional mines of Spelunky to the isometric caves of Path of Exile, procedurally generated levels help deliver fresh experiences to players in a number of genres. The mines of Descent would be perfect candidates for such creation, and they wouldn't have to be limited to the metallic walls and lunar geology of past Descent games.

Imagine exploring organic tunnels carved by some unknown alien creature, or floating past dazzling crystalline stalactites in pristine ancient caves. Perhaps the influences of Red Faction and Minecraft could also come into play as you bored your own shortcuts through layers of destructible sediment. All of Descent's dizzying navigation challenges could be even more exciting with the immersive potential of a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift or the Sony Morpheus. Feeling the mine walls close in on you from all sides could get your heart racing, and turning your head to spot shortcuts, power-ups, or delicate environmental details could greatly heighten the sense of being an explorer in an uncharted land.'"

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Hell Yes! (5, Interesting)

NDeans (611232) | about 4 months ago | (#47067481)

I loved playing Descent. We had our first LAN party back in the day with that game.

Re:Hell Yes! (4, Interesting)

Lab Rat Jason (2495638) | about 4 months ago | (#47067559)

I'm all out of mod points... but I gotta prop this up! Hell YES! I loved this game, and I loved playing with dual joysticks! I'd buy it in a heartbeat... or half a heartbeat if it was on Steam.

Re:Hell Yes! (2)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | about 4 months ago | (#47067599)

Good old games has it

I miss it too.

Re:Hell Yes! (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#47067813)

I'm all out of mod points... but I gotta prop this up! Hell YES! I loved this game, and I loved playing with dual joysticks! I'd buy it in a heartbeat... or half a heartbeat if it was on Steam.

I got the world's best game controller, in my opinion -- the Logitech Cyberman II [photobucket.com] -- for playing this game.

And think I still have it... somewhere. But I think it was made to plug into the old game controller ports that don't exist anymore. Or maybe it was the old serial ports... that don't exist anymore.

It might look funky. But the one side is a 6-degrees-of-freedom controller, with 8 buttons on the other. Beat the heck out of a joystick, because you could do all your 3D navigating with a single control... up, down, left, right, roll, pitch, yaw. It was designed just for something like Descent. In fact it was used as a 3D controller on the Space Shuttle.

I think the only other true 6DF controller out there was some sphere something. You had to use both hands to move it around so it only had a couple of buttons.

Re:Hell Yes! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#47068109)

I would probably buy a gaming PC if they brought back Descent. I loved that game. Even just single player, it was awesome. I think that a complicated controller might have helped, but even on a simple Gravis joystick [szenenight.de] I found I could control it pretty well. Use the joystick in your right hand, left hand on numeric pad. Index finger is on + to go forward, thumb is on "enter" to go backward. Other 3 fingers are on 4,5,6. 8 strafes up, 2 strafes down, 4 strafes left and 6 strafes right. 7 and 9 to cycle weapons. 1 and 3 adjust roll. The rest of the keys on the Numpad can be used for the headlight toggle, flares, and other functionality. I still use a similar style of control in FPS games, substituting a mouse for the joystick. 8 becomes jump, and 2 becomes duck.Always found this worked better for me than WASD.

Re:Hell Yes! (1)

John Nemesh (3244653) | about 4 months ago | (#47068203)

YES!!!! I had one of these, and GOD was it sweet for Descent! Man, I miss those games!

Re:Hell Yes! (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 4 months ago | (#47068663)

But I think it was made to plug into the old game controller ports that don't exist anymore. Or maybe it was the old serial ports... that don't exist anymore.

But adapters [staples.com] do exist [amazon.com] to plug those things into a USB port.

Re:Hell Yes! (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 4 months ago | (#47068991)

The old serial ports still exist technically, you always have at least one option for a motherboard of a given socket that still has it on the back but barring that, the vast majority has one as a header. Your motherboard most probably has one, if you use a desktop. That requires having a connector, prying one from an AT format PC is a solution.

Re:Hell Yes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068837)

It is on Steam. All the descent games are on Steam.

Re:Hell Yes! (1)

alta (1263) | about 4 months ago | (#47067737)

Yes, this was an awesome game. So much fun. Really great with a joystick that had X/Y/Z axis + throttle as well. I miss that game.

Re:Hell Yes! (4, Insightful)

tiberus (258517) | about 4 months ago | (#47067787)

It was especially fun to go head to head against new players who failed to look up. You know kinda like Khan vs. Kirk.

Re:Hell Yes! (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about 4 months ago | (#47068365)

And then later, along came CALI, so we could play it on the internet.. It was so addictive, perhaps they shouldn't bring it back..:)
Another game I would like to see re done is Battle Zone, yet another addictive game.

Hell Yes! (1)

S810 (168676) | about 4 months ago | (#47068435)

Loved this game and would definitely play the reboot were it to come to fruition! Imagine what it would be like today with the tech we have now; how would it change and should it?

Re:Hell Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068461)

I love it when young guys use the phrase "back in the day."

Re:Hell Yes! (3, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47068499)

I loved playing Descent. We had our first LAN party back in the day with that game.

Volition has long said that if they got the rights for it, they'd make new Freespace and Descent games. They still don't have the rights to it, so no new games. I believe the phrase that Volition used was "they'd kill to make them."

Re:Hell Yes! (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 months ago | (#47068531)

Descent was the single handed cause of insane numbers of joystick sales because myself and every gamer I knew back in the day tried that game ONCE on keyboard and then practically ran to the store to grab a joystick with a hat button. Between Descent and Mechwarrior many a joystick was worn out and i would happily find some room on my gaming table for another stick for a new Descent and Mechwarrior Mercs.

There was one in yesterdays Humble bundle. (2)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 months ago | (#47068929)

Others have already mentioned Retrovirus (which look quite much like Descent):
http://store.steampowered.com/... [steampowered.com]
(Damn that was expensive, guess I saw it in some cheapish bundle.)

The game I'm thinking off though is Strike vector:
http://store.steampowered.com/... [steampowered.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
This was in the $10(?) third tier in the Humble Daily Flying Bundle.

Personally I've never enjoyed Descent even though it looked cool. Just annoying.
This game however looked cool, fun and somewhat new.

(I have no idea whatever it's possible to move around upside down in natural selection, isn't shown here at least: http://store.steampowered.com/... [steampowered.com] )

Retrovirus (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#47067493)

It already has, it is called Retrovirus.

Re:Retrovirus (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47068069)

Came here to say this

There have been a few other Descent-like games before and after.

Re:Retrovirus (1)

Spiridios (2406474) | about 4 months ago | (#47068527)

It already has, it is called Retrovirus.

Miner Wars 2081 is supposed to be similar too. I didn't get more than 5 minutes into the game before realizing my joystick kinda sucks and I haven't found a replacement.

Re:Retrovirus (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#47068599)

Well broadly similar, but isn't it also a MMO game. Plus all the destructible environment stuff.

Been meaning to give it a try, but last I heard it was still in beta. But it has been a while since I checked.

Re:Retrovirus (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 4 months ago | (#47068883)

Then there is also Strike Vector, which is also descenty, but only multiplayer I believe.

Fuck Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067503)

Used to go play this on the display machines at the store as a kid

They have that (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 4 months ago | (#47067507)

http://www.minerwars.com/ [minerwars.com]

Re:They have that (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 4 months ago | (#47068209)

nope...not even close.

you can't curve and go up or "over the cliff" and down 90 degrees.

Descent: Freespace! (1)

Breaker_1 (688170) | about 4 months ago | (#47067523)

I liked Descent a good deal, of course. But, I really wish Descent: Freespace would make a comeback.. those were and still are some of my favorite games ever made.

Re:Descent: Freespace! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067755)

Flying at full speed for minutes to get from one end to the other of the enemy mother shit was amazing!

I haven't played a game with the same sense of scale since (I lie, Shadow of the Coleuses and God of War get there at times, but not the same).

Re:Descent: Freespace! (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 4 months ago | (#47068657)

Flying at full speed for minutes to get from one end to the other of the enemy mother shit was amazing!

I haven't played a game with the same sense of scale since (I lie, Shadow of the Coleuses and God of War get there at times, but not the same).

Well...

Re:Descent: Freespace! (2)

Lightsider01 (2174720) | about 4 months ago | (#47067833)

Have you heard the good news that is Star Citizen? Would you like to know more? :D http://www.robertsspaceindustr... [robertsspa...stries.com]

Re:Descent: Freespace! (3, Insightful)

spiffydudex (1458363) | about 4 months ago | (#47068325)

As a Star Citizen purchaser...It'll be a while.....a long while and before you say anything...A dog-fighting module is not a game and provides no story or incentive to keep playing like Descent.

Re:Descent: Freespace! (1)

q4Fry (1322209) | about 4 months ago | (#47068887)

Have you looked at the demos of EVE Valkyrie [evevalkyrie.com] ?

Re:Descent: Freespace! (1)

stummies (868371) | about 4 months ago | (#47068921)

I love Freespace 2. It's just as good as the best X-Wing / Tie Fighter games. I'm going to have to load it up soon.

Descent VR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067539)

I have been playing quite a bit of D2X-XL recently, an excellent Descent 2 mod with oculus rift support. It all comes together very nicely in VR.

(I didn't have a chance to try the earlier versions of Descent VR in the 90s).

Re:Descent VR (1)

Spiridios (2406474) | about 4 months ago | (#47068601)

I have been playing quite a bit of D2X-XL recently, an excellent Descent 2 mod with oculus rift support. It all comes together very nicely in VR.

(I didn't have a chance to try the earlier versions of Descent VR in the 90s).

Vanilla versions of Descent 2 (and Descent 1 I think) had VR support in them. I found a second-hand pair of Sega LCD shutter glasses that I rigged up to work with it for 3D, but Descent had head tracking support for full VR headsets too. Unfortunately my old LCD glasses can no longer work, as the polarization of them isn't compatible with the polarization of modern LCD screens.

The premise of this article is redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067553)

Descent is the only game I have ever encountered with native VR headset support.

Then Quake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067563)

We played descent lan games for a little while. Then Quake came out and descent was promptly forgotten.
Descent was boring.

Sequels no longer make sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067579)

It was an unprecedented genre at the time, it ran great on standard hardware and was fun.

You can't recapture all of that just by repackaging the name - that's a sales device only.

Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (4, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 4 months ago | (#47067607)

Doom had a ~2x speed movement bug along North-South walls when moving forward and right and looking at a 45 degree off axis.

Descent had it it 3 dimensions. (Look, down, right, move up, left and forward)

Part of the charm of older games were the glitches that made the difficult to master but took gameplay to a whole different level.

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067689)

Doom had a ~2x speed movement bug along North-South walls when moving forward and right and looking at a 45 degree off axis.

Descent had it it 3 dimensions. (Look, down, right, move up, left and forward)

Part of the charm of older games were the glitches that made the difficult to master but took gameplay to a whole different level.

sqrt(3)x speed strafe bug.

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (4, Informative)

tomlouie (264519) | about 4 months ago | (#47067693)

Was it really 2x faster? I thought that it was only 41% faster. Vector math: square root (1^2 + 1^2) = 1.41...

With three axis, you'd get a 44% boost. cube root of (1^3 + 1^3 + 1^3) = 1.44....

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (4, Informative)

tomlouie (264519) | about 4 months ago | (#47067775)

Argh, bad math. 3 axis, square root of 3 = 1.73... so a 73% boost.
 

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 4 months ago | (#47068607)

Exactly ... the parent just has no clue :)

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#47068187)

The original Descent had some interesting stuff if you were into making your own maps. You could build rooms inside of other rooms but where you couldn't see one from the other. I built a room with a cube in the middle. When you opened a door on the side of the cube, you went into a room that was larger than the cube itself (much larger). I built a hallway that looped around on itself, but when you were going though the hallway you wouldn't see the intersection. There was lot of interesting levels you could make because of the flaws.

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (1)

Spiridios (2406474) | about 4 months ago | (#47068699)

There was lot of interesting levels you could make because of the flaws.

I don't think I'd call those flaws, so much as artifacts. For those not familiar, Descent used a portal based engine, but unlike today's portal engines where a portal links a room to a room, Descent's rooms were made out of many 6-sided polyhedrons (aka cubes, even though they could be deformed beyond cubiness). Each face of the polyhedron could be textured (to form a wall) or be a portal to the face of another, arbitrary, polyhedron, anywhere in the level. I forget now if the level format supported self-referencing (eg, a face that links to itself or to another face on the same polyhedron). The editors usually made it hard (but not impossible) to pull some of these tricks, but the raw data supported it.

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068407)

If you read the Descent 3 manual, the multiplayer tips section specifically mentions that strafing along every possible axis is the fastest way to travel, especially when boosting at the same time. So the developers were at least aware of that particular bug.

Arguably it's not even a bug; presumably your ship has thrusters to move it along every axis and there's nothing stopping you from activating them all at once, so you would actually be moving faster.

I never could get the hang of it anyway, and I sucked at multiplayer Descent.

Not a strafe bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068529)

The 2x speed movement is not a bug because a Descent ship uses boosters to slide, thus it is physically correct that using both at the same time creates higher speed.

In person shooters it's a bug only because feet can't extend further away if they are walking sideways - multiple rockets on a space ship can.

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (3, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 4 months ago | (#47068577)

That was not a bug in Decent but applied physics.
Ofc you are faster if you strive over three dimensions and use three 'forward' thrusters simultaniously.
Should be obvious!

Re:Along with the 3x speed strafe bug? (4, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | about 4 months ago | (#47068619)

That's not a bug - that's how physics actually works.

Your walking speed is limited no matter what direction to go since you only have one pair of legs. But in a space ship, the thrusters add up using typical vector addition... in all three dimensions.

It was literally a feature, and a good one! The most unrealistic thing about it was only that the top speed was limited, which makes no sense for a spacecraft in a vacuum.

I suppose you have to draw the line somewhere, 'cause real free-floating 3D with proper conservation of momentum would be a real pain in the ass.
=Smidge=

Myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067637)

I would rather see a return of the Myth series of games by Bungie.

Re:Myth (1)

alta (1263) | about 4 months ago | (#47067771)

That was a good game too. I got way too attached to my troops and would reload the level as soon as any of my veteran troops died. Loved those fragile little sappers.

Descent! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067641)

The Descent games were very descent games.

My Favorite Game, but it needs an upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067655)

I'm waiting for an arcade version that has a moving flight simulator mechanism. I wanna go uspide down!

Descent? Give me X-Wing! (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 4 months ago | (#47067667)

in VR.

Re:Descent? Give me X-Wing! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 4 months ago | (#47067943)

I would love doing the trench run with a Rift on. But like Descent, you really need a joystick to play it properly. Those used to be a standard accessory. Now they're not.

Xbox 360 controller from a pawn shop (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47068257)

A joystick was never "a standard accessory" in the sense that it was bundled with a substantial number of pre-built PCs. Nowadays you can pick up an Xbox 360 controller at a pawn shop for $15. If it's wireless, you'll need a receiver, but if it's wired, it'll Just Work with any game that uses a joystick. Or if you want a more traditional flight sim style joystick, you can use a gameport joystick from a charity shop with a gameport-to-USB adapter.

Re:Xbox 360 controller from a pawn shop (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 4 months ago | (#47068889)

I just use a wired XBox 360 controller. Yeah, I guess that would work fine. I just fondly remember my FlightStick Pro with those games.

Joysticks were standard accessories in the mid 90s in the sense that everyone had one and game developers assumed you had one.

Re:Descent? Give me X-Wing! (1)

JMandingo (325160) | about 4 months ago | (#47068609)

With Decent you really needed TWO joysticks to play properly. We bought splitter cables and used the offhand joystick to control thrust (forward and backward on the top buttons) and strafing in any variable direction. With this setup you had a terrific edge over anyone of equivalent skill who did not have it.

Decent was descent (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 4 months ago | (#47067687)

Except was always lost, having no sense of up and down has scarred me for life.

So bring on a modern GPU powered rift version.. always assumed someone would go there and I would buy it.

Re:Decent was descent (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47068295)

Acclaim tried to fix this in Forsaken, its own twist on the Descent-style first-person shooter, by slowly rolling such that gravity points down.

LOL ... no ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47067695)

All of Descent's dizzying navigation challenges could be even more exciting with the immersive potential of a virtual reality headset

Speaking for all of us old fogies who got left behind by modern gaming due to our less than stellar reflexes and spatial awareness ... absolutely no to this.

I'd probably hurl within about the first two minutes, Descent used to make me dizzy as it was. In a VR headset? It would get messy real fast.

Re:LOL ... no ... (1)

alta (1263) | about 4 months ago | (#47067807)

This is true... I'm only 37 but if I spend to omuch time in SOME 3D games now I get nauseated and that's without the VR Headset.

Re:LOL ... no ... (1)

Lightsider01 (2174720) | about 4 months ago | (#47067871)

Same here. I played Descent, D2 and D3 without any troubles whatsoever. Then Portal came... first time I ever got sick playing a game, and I can't watch anyone play a shooter anymore. 41 here.

Re:LOL ... no ... (1)

Sarin (112173) | about 4 months ago | (#47067913)

I used to play Descent in 3d back in '97 with liquid crystal shutter glasses (SimulEyes VR) it was the bee's knees in those days (and expensive).

It rocked, especially over the IPX network against my housemates and neighbours. Good memories.

I'm looking forward to using the next generation headsets for this to play against my new housemates (my kids).

Re:LOL ... no ... (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 months ago | (#47068169)

You bring up an excellent point about the vertigo issue. I don't have it (my problem is after too long I get the vertigo after *leaving* the game and then standing up and trying to walk in real space) but its fairly obvious that current and future VR headset solutions designers probably should consider somewhat seriously adding optional face-mounted barf bags.

D2X-XL (5, Informative)

jerpyro (926071) | about 4 months ago | (#47067717)

For those of us who still have the binaries around, the D2X-XL project (http://www.descent2.de/d2x.html) has ported the game engine to OpenGL and has added a number of great things to the project. It supports more players, TCP/IP, and tons of additional features. As with any community project (or commercial project recently) there are bugs, but some of the builds have been quite good. I encourage fans to check out and contribute to the project :)

I would absolutely play it more if there were a community of descent players ready to go online against (a matchmaking system, for example).

Re:D2X-XL (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068805)

So this Slashdot article mentions that GameSpot ran an article saying how nice it would be if a new Descent game was released.

How about some actual news, about something that has actually happened in the last three months (from the time of this article being posted)?

Descent 2 @ Steam [steampowered.com] has been made available for $9.99 (on February 19, 2014). Related videos have also been released: Descent 2 video @ Steam: Opening [steampowered.com]
Descent 2 video @ Steam: Game Play [steampowered.com] ... or, for those who wish to get even greather value per penny spent: Descent 1 and Descent 2 @ GoG.com [gog.com] (one payment of $9.99 covers both games). Descent @ Steam [steampowered.com] ($6.99) is also available.

For Descent 3, once again GoG seems like it may have an edge:
Descent 3 with Expansion, @ GoG.com [gog.com] ($9.99)
Descent 3 @ Steam [steampowered.com] ($9.99)

So, regarding this parent post recommending:

For those of us who still have the binaries around

... for those of us who have suffered hard drive crashes, floppy disk damages, or were just too cash-strapped as youth, there are now some convenient, legal ways to get access to those binaries.

Descent 2 Source Code @ Descent Developer Network (DDN) @ Descent2.com [descent2.com] ,
Descent 1 Source Code @ Descent Developer Network (DDN) @ Descent2.com [descent2.com] . The code for Descent 1 includes the MINER level editor. It does not include some of the code that was copyrighted by someone else, such as low-level code related to serial port (including modem) handling, and sound libraries. The license says non-commercial use only. A forum post [dxx-rebirth.com] indicates that there are some troubles with those download links, and recommends the Icculus D2X Project [icculus.org] for source downloads. That website has Source Code for Descent 1 for PC @ Icculus.org [icculus.org] , Source Code for Descent 1 for Mac @ Icculus.org [icculus.org] , Source code for Descent 2 @ Icculus.org [icculus.org] , plus the source code for the Icculus D2X project, and other downloads like shareware versions and Descent 2 game patches, and references to resources like Descent Developer Network (DDN) [descent-network.com] which might be of interest to anyone wanting to enhance the source code. Hyperlinks to download official updates/patches for the second game were found at that site, but not for the first game. However, patches for the first game are available, and may be found at TOOGAM's page of Retail Games: section related to Descent [toogam.com] (my site which has hyperlinks to download from Interplay, and also hosts the game patches in case Interplay stops hosting those downloads), and mentions other projects like MacDescent3Dfx, and D1X Project.

The web page for the D2X-XL [descent2.de] project, a project mentioned by this parent post, starts with a giant banner that states, “This Project Needs Funding”. (That seems very questionable, as it may be running afoul of the non-commercial clause of the source code release...) The Descent Level Editor (DLE) [descent2.de] on the same website, does not have that same funding-seeking banner. (Note that the DMINER editor's source code is available in the Descent 1 source code release.) This D2X-XL project is mentioned by the Icculus D2X Project [icculus.org] .

However, that Icculus D2X project also refers to DXX-Rebirth [dxx-rebirth.com] , which Icculus refers to as the “spiritual successor” to the Icculus project. So, that might be a more promising candidate.

Heard of "Retrovirus"? (1)

apraetor (248989) | about 4 months ago | (#47067781)

It's available on Steam for cheap, and it is very much a 3-axis Descent-type game. The premise is different, and absurd, but it's fun and gave me a reason to acclimate to dual thumb-sticks again.

Already a new descent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067809)

Strike Vector could be the answer.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/246700/

Boss that comes through the walls at you (2)

EnOne (786812) | about 4 months ago | (#47067841)

I played through Decent and Decent 2. Decent 2 had the helper that would help you navigate through the mazes. (Find power-up, find key, find goal, find boss). I like the idea of a end-boss that chips away at the environment around you as you try to fire and dodge. I also played both Decent:Freespace (1 and 2) games and thought they were the best PC space fighter games created.

Boss that comes through the walls at you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068891)

I still have my Logitech Force Feedback joystick, foolishly hoping for a reboot of Descent Freespace.

I had a similar ideea last year. (1)

godeatgod (726086) | about 4 months ago | (#47067847)

Last year i started development of a game prototype in the likes of: After 1 week this came out: http://games.duckygo.com/astro... [duckygo.com] However real life work caught up, if there are people here willing to help (3d/2d design, programming, writing) i could restart the project and get a real game going.

Remember Descent 3? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067881)

If anyone wants to "bring back" Descent, they need to look at Descent 3 to understand why the series tanked in the first place.

I agree that the game premise is fantastic (I loved Descent 2 LAN play), and I have long dreamed of a union of Descent's gameplay with something like a larger-scale version of Jumpgate. Have rival corporations with mines located in multiple star systems, along with orbital stations, commerce planets, and so forth (okay, so we have some elements of Tradewars in here as well). The goal of a player who runs a corporation is to gain advantage over rival corporations in any way necessary. The goal of a Material Defender/Offender is to do the work of the sponsoring corporation(Offenders destroy rival property, Defenders defend corporate property or deals with automated incursions, like the "virus" that caused mining equipment to go mad in the first two games). Don't like your sponsor's contract? Sign on with another corp; however, beware of what happens to your rep if you violate the standard mercenary contract too often . . .

Or, maybe you could be an anti-corporate anarchist. I envision them using patched-together "transforming" mech/ship vehicles (think Macross?) that look like punk rockers in mech mode with crazy weapons like electro-whips (think Whiplash from Iron Man 2) or versions of the Helix Cannon that shoot uncontrolled bursts of death in unpredictable patterns (It's gonna hit somethin!). Metal mohawks, grafitti tattoos, speaker systems blaring noisy music during battle, stuff like that. Your goal would be to destroy all corporate profits. Lots of freedom of gameplay, but fewer supporting resources.

That aside, Descent 2 really needed some gameplay updates that 3 never brought to the table. 3 choked on the weapons (at least the ones I remember in beta were pretty weak), questionable netcode, and non-twitchy play. Any new Descent game needs a twitch element: namely, the option to make directional thrusters ultra-sensitive for fast acceleration in any direction. The booster from Descent 2 needed to be adapted to run in any direction with a longer burn time. I would totally love to see a Descent game (NOT a Freespace game) where a mine incursion starts in outer orbit. Penetrate orbital defenses, fight your way through surface missile batteries/AA batteries/rival drones, blast your way into the mine complex, fight off mine equipment and intrusion countermeasures, take out the reactor, and then get the hell out, fighting your way through all the same nonsense.

Raise the terminal velocity in atmoshpheric settings (that is, on a planet), and lift the velocity cap in space for truly insane speeds. Coordinate your planetary incursions with fleet actions from your sponsor. Give the bigger munitions (Earthshakers, etc) different settings (space, surface, mine) so that the blast could scale upward depending on the scope of the environment. An Earthshaker in "space" mode should be big enough to punch a whole in a fleet blockade. Such munitions should come at a huge cost to anyone who wants to use them, though.

Done right, I would look at the new Descent gameplay as being similar to some of the more frantic battle scenes from Gundam Wing . . . action so fast and furious that the pilot would be at risk of suffering cardiac arrest just from the g forces involved. High level play in Descent 2 was usually very precise, but not terribly fast-paced. Change that.

Ah yes ... (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 4 months ago | (#47067905)

... because gaming just isn't fun until you've managed to get the guy in the next cubicle to have a vertigo attack.

(the problem was, he got over it after a while, and would come back to really crush everyone in our office)

But watching someone play would set most people off, so it wasn't safe to play during lunch (when people might walk by and see your screen); we'd have to wait 'til after hours.

Re:Ah yes ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068501)

Smart mines in the re-materialization areas?

That little trick literally had my (at the time) supervisor cursing loudly at me in front of HIS superiors. Never mind the fact I had the highest continually averaged score in the organization for the several years we played the game.

Hangar 18: Get out of the materialization rooms as fast as you could and into the long, sweeping hallways. Mine the access doors and the weapons materialization areas after taking a bunch of Earthshakers and Mega Missiles. Get to a corner as fast as you can on burner and alternatively launch Megas and Shakers down each of the two hallways.

Guaranteed kills. Guaranteed yelling.

For those Capture-the-Flag days where your player name conspicuously appeared in your team colors to everyone else, I preferred to go by "ALT-255"...

word! (1)

unami (1042872) | about 4 months ago | (#47067939)

since Descent, there have not been a lot of games where you have to navigate through 3d space without a sense of "up" or down". loved it, back in the day - gimme a kickstarter-remake to back. a new game would be even better (as long as they don't dumb down the level-design)

Forsaken 64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47067975)

Forsaken 64 was a fairly good Descent-type game, on the Nintendo 64 obviously. I still play Descent and Descent 2 to this day, my G13 comes in amazingly handy for it.

Multiple fire rocket launcher (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47068405)

Agreed. When "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie comes on the radio, I now can't hear the pseudo-African simlish halfway through that song without thinking of the way that voice says "multiple fire rocket launcher".

But seriously, Forsaken fixed the roll confusion (upside-down play) that plagued many Descent players. And if you like the N64 controller, you can plug it into a USB adapter [amazon.com] and use it with many PC games.

got hit by nostalgia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068005)

...big time !!
I haven't thought about Descent for decades. And it all just came back in a flash.
Probably my fondest memory.
I will always remember my first attempt at level 1. 3 hours of disorientation, wall hitting and coming back to already visited rooms not recognizing it.
I ended up spending hundreds of hours (I'm not a good gamer) finishing the 23 levels.
A visiting friend of mine pucked after 5 minutes of watching me...hahahaha good ol' times.

Ahh Descent ... (3, Funny)

LostMonk (1839248) | about 4 months ago | (#47068087)

20 years and I can still recall that annoying screech followed a moment later by an instant hit from those vulcan-carring robots.

love descent (1)

lkcl (517947) | about 4 months ago | (#47068119)

i love descent, and i love that it's now software libre. i hope the guy who maintains d2x has stopped being an idiot by including patched versions of standard libraries such as libsdl without providing an option to replace them and forcing the patched versions to overwrite pre-installed software, but yes - awesome.

the thing about descent was that it was the first game with 6 degrees of freedom. i actually bought a special joystick that was capable of dealing with it (one designed for flight simulators) and after 2 to 3 weeks of practicing i was competent at side-motion circular slides firing at a target at the centre. the first 2 weeks were spent mostly getting motion sickness and having the nose of the craft bashed against a corner :)

it was also fun to watch spectators swaying from watching the screen! but, again, after a couple of weeks you got used to it, both as a player and as a spectator.

yeah - to those people who set up LAN parties: i hear ya :) i did the same. i think the lowest spec i got away with was a 486 SX 25 with 12mb of RAM, setting the screen to 320x240 and it was just about tolerable. i had to use 10-Base-T with terminators for goodness sake - what the heck i was doing with 5 networked computers in my house back in 1996 with just a 28kbaud modem i _really_ don't know!

so yes, absolutely: descent (the software libre version *or* a commercial version) gets my vote... *as long as* it has a community portal similar to that of Dark Reign, with a chat room so that people can meet other players, set up a match and play. that is bizarrely what's missing from bzflag: although bzflag has an in-game chat it doesn't hatve out-game community chat, very odd.

also, it would be awesome to see planetary-surface action as well, not just in mines (no matter how large). i always felt a little claustrophobic and the attack vectors would be very different in free space... interesting to think about the possibilities here, hmmm :)

Original Quake too (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 4 months ago | (#47068189)

I remember buying an S3 Virge DX with Decent as a pack-in. I do believe this was the only game that ever got 3d acceleration on the Virge. Yes, it was a blast to play. I would really really really like to see the original Quake remade with a modern 3d engine, but otherwise completely the same down to the physics. The ecosystem that sprung up around that game was marvelous.

Re:Original Quake too (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 months ago | (#47068285)

I would really really really like to see the original Quake remade with a modern 3d engine, but otherwise completely the same down to the physics.

There was actually an open source project to modernize the rendering effects in Quake I. I remember seeing screenshots quite a few years ago. I have no idea where its at now or if its still maintained but I'm sure it existed and suspect it probably can still be located.

Descent? I'd take decent... (4, Insightful)

chinton (151403) | about 4 months ago | (#47068221)

Still wait for decent games to make a comeback.

Re:Descent? I'd take decent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068661)

So you're a fan of what's old is new? Why rehash old concepts (aka "decent") when we're busy innovating ways to micromanage money out of your wallet? Hmm, then again classic arcade games were designed around quarters/minute. I guess what's old IS new.

They have to bring back Descent (1)

adamanthaea (723150) | about 4 months ago | (#47068419)

Remember, descent is the highest form of patriotic.

Sol Contingency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068465)

There is a project for a "modern Descent" in the works at http://preparefordescent.com/

Stereoscopic 3D (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47068539)

At least one of the Descent games was one of the first games to do stereoscopic 3D well. The displays flickered back then with only 30 frames per eye, but it was still a great experience. I'd love to play a Descent game with modern graphics and 3D support.

Re:Stereoscopic 3D (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about 4 months ago | (#47068785)

I had one of those 3D headsets, and I used it with Descent. It was terrifying. One of the best game experiences I've ever had.

I'd probably grab Descent and an Oculus if a proper reboot happened.

What about Heretic? (3, Interesting)

drakaan (688386) | about 4 months ago | (#47068563)

With all of the Descent love, I can't believe nobody has mentioned Heretic yet. I only played either of them a handful of times (I was more of an RTS guy than an FPS guy, so Starcraft/Red Alert/Warcraft II was more my thing), but my buddies played both. Ahh, the good old days, when Windows 2000 was fresh and new.

You can play Descent now - active group (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068565)

www.descentrangers.com

Great community of people who play Descent weekly (Fri/Sat), very fun!

ye olde PC games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068571)

YES! I was _JUST_ talking about this with a friend a couple of days ago--

It's such an amazing title, way beyond it's time and I think with the current generation of graphics hardware, it would be really amazing.
Hopefully this article will show that there's still lots of interest from us old folks (read: over 28) for a Descent game.

One of the friends who introduced me to computers had the Thrustmaster throttle and various joysticks and shit that always gave him the upper hand in our LAN battles at his father's home office. I wonder, do any of those accessories still exist?

Seriously? Flight sim? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068653)

Now you will say Tetris is the pinnacle of dynamic architecture design under time constraints! Man, way to sweeten foggy past memories.

Good for the economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068745)

This would provide a tremendous boost to the replacement-unit sales figures for Oculus and Sony. Anybody have any idea how many joysticks and keyboards got smashed to pieces thanks to that $#*()! thief-bot?

I had the S3Virge edition (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#47068831)

The first 3d accel game I played, back in the late 90s. Totally awesome textures. Of course back then it was a custom binary... and I got better performance running in s/w mode due to the S3V being long in the tooth.

Still, awesome, +1, would buy again.

Never could get the hang of it ... (1)

Causemos (165477) | about 4 months ago | (#47068913)

I would constantly get lost in the original game and thus didn't enjoy it much. I'm horrible with real life directions, so I don't think my brain is wired well for full 3D where you need to keep track of even more.

Descent + SpaceOrb 360 (1)

hedley (8715) | about 4 months ago | (#47068941)

Sadly, the SpaceOrb never really caught on (too hard for many to use so I heard, or at the other end of the spectrum purists preferred mouse and kbd). I have about 4 of them, they are old school RS232 9600 baud, far behind the curve for plugging into the HID USB world we live in now.

Still available over at GOG.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47068953)

Descent was the ONLY game that I was ever good at in PvP. Mainly because you had to think in 3 dimensions and know the maps inside out. They're still available over at www.gog.com. Runs happily in a DOSbox ÃYf

I always prefered Freespace (1)

Void2258 (2555978) | about 4 months ago | (#47068969)

I preferred Descent: Freespace and Freespace 2.

I loved descent.. (2)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 4 months ago | (#47068983)

... but the real problem was that Descent 3 was not as good as the prior 2. Descent really shined in multiplayer over LAN/Kail/Kahn. Back when I was playing with friends Descent was eclipsed by quake and other first person shooters because they were easier to play and the single player portion of the game always had serious issues.

I don't have confidence any reboot would understand why Descent 3 failed in terms of single and multiplayer. The developers of the original descent didn't even understand what made descent great then that doesn't bode well.

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