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First Person Shooters (Games) PC Games (Games)

'Descent' Creators Reunite For a New Game Called 'Overload' (steampowered.com) 138

Long-time Slashdot reader t0qer writes: In the early days of PC gaming, there was 3 major titles. Doom, Duke Nukem, and Descent. Descent was the first game to have true 3D environments and enemies, whereas Doom/Duke was considered "2.5D." Even though Descent never gained the popularity of Quake or Doom, it's had a dedicated fanbase that has continued playing and updating the game over the last 20 years.

The original programmers got together, and created a "Spiritual Successor" called Overload. Already garnering mostly postive reviews on Steam, the game features the same controls and overall feel of the original Descent, but without the frustration of having to set IRQ, DMA, and port jumpers for your sound blaster.

Engadget reports that the Overload devs "made sure to replicate what defined Descent and its two sequels, and what is still unique today: packing players in tight corridors to constrict their free-flying movement and transforming battles into maddening close-quarters space combat."

The game's lead designer tells them that first-person-shooter games "have evolved a lot, but that evolution has left some gaping holes in its wake."
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'Descent' Creators Reunite For a New Game Called 'Overload'

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  • Mike Kulas is an absolute legend. I remember hanging out in the Volition Inc forums back in the 1990s/2000s. I cut my teeth on game modding/design using the Descent Level Editor and the Freespace 2 level editor. I always wished someone would port the Descent 3 mission editor to Linux. The D3Edit sourcecode got released a couple years ago but noone's done anything with it.
  • by daedric ( 1141659 )

    I believe this was one of the very first games that supported VR, although it was not so refined as with today solutions.

  • by Anaerin ( 905998 ) on Saturday June 02, 2018 @10:29PM (#56718290)
    Interplay sold the license way back in 2015, and a spiritual successor is in the works since then: https://www.brightlocker.com/g... [brightlocker.com]
  • In FPS games, VR is known to cause motion sickness, because the vision is moving but the body isn't, so the mind get confused.
    But in a 6DoF game like this one, the body wouldn't be moving at all even in a "real ship", so would this game still cause motion sickness in VR?
    I ask this because I think this game is BEGGING to be played on VR...

    • by DMJC ( 682799 )
      Overload has VR, motion sickness in VR shouldn't be a problem, and yes this game is a potential Killer App for VR. Overload and the X-Wing Demo are what I expected VR to be. They're made for it.
    • Back in the late 90s I used to work as a stage AV technician to pay my way through university, and I remember one weekend borrowing 16" projection screen and 3 gun video projector, setting it up in the backyard with a Bose PA system and playing Descent with a bunch of friends on the screen. It was mindblowing, although the 3D was so immersive it was had to avoid occasiionally geting nauseous. So yeah I'm fairly sure in VR it could definately cause nausea too.

      • Back in the late 90s I used to work as a stage AV technician to pay my way through university, and I remember one weekend borrowing 16" projection screen and 3 gun video projector, setting it up in the backyard with a Bose PA system and playing Descent with a bunch of friends on the screen. It was mindblowing, although the 3D was so immersive it was had to avoid occasiionally geting nauseous. So yeah I'm fairly sure in VR it could definately cause nausea too.

        Played overload in VR for hours on end. Expected to throw up going in -
        turned out to be a lot of fun. Never felt sick.

        Having cockpit, constant speed and lots of translate/strafing motions makes it a safer bet even for VR noobs.

        • by t0qer ( 230538 )

          I played it with my gearVR and riftcat, not the greatest, but it works. What are you playing with?

      • by Megane ( 129182 )

        16" projection screen

        Is that 16 inches or 16 feet?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyh1Va_mYWI&t=50 [youtube.com]

    • If you have a gravity free intro to understand you are weightless, like an astronaut training, you could decide if you really can't play the vr version.

      Otherwise, arm your barf bags.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      In a "real ship", there might not be gravity, but there would still be inertia. If you rolled a real ship, you would feel your body rotate. This is why flight simulators (the real ones used by pilots for training) have hydraulic systems to tilt the cabin. It doesn't have to be exact, it's easy to fool the body as to the degree of the force, but it's a lot different from just sitting in a chair in front of a desk.
    • Been there done that. With Descent 2 and a VFX-1.

      The _pukiest_ game in VR history. Descent Underground is supposed to support VR. I'm not going to bother.

  • I played the shareware edition and ending up upside-down and backward was a pain in the ass. The commercials claimed it was like Doom, but better. Bullshit. It was nothing like Doom and there wasn't even any awesome violence. Blowing evil things to bits was so much fun.

    Quake was a game changer. It was exactly 20 years ago that I bought an Intergraph Intense 3D Voodoo card with the Voodoo Rush 3D chip and played GL Quake for the first time. Braingasm.

    • Says you. For me, Descent is (still) the only FPS I can play without getting seriously motion-sick. The responsiveness/lack of latency can only be a tribute to the coders involved, as even on tech of the time (I played on a 133Mhz Pentium IIRC) it was quicksilver.
      The control system is also a thing of beauty: once you have the nine-keys -> full-six-degrees-of-freedom mastered, you can do the most elegant swerves and loops. One of my favorite gaming experiences of all time.

      • I played Descent a few times before deciding the nausea wasn't worth it. I had previously played Doom and Wolfenstein 3D all the way through. I didn't play FPSs again until Quake.

        I played a lot of Heretic and Hexen, too.

        Descent was just something I categorized as disliking and skipped.

  • This game was so awesome and we would play multiplayer with 4 or so people. I bought a CH Products Flightstick Pro for this game, the 8-way hat and throttle controllers were game changers. My best friend was so pissed that I could fly circles around him!

  • Buy Overload. It's a terrific game. I've been playing it on and off today, and it's everything you'd hope for from a modern version of Descent.

    The only reason I'm giving it a 7.5 instead of a 9 out of 10 is because it does not contain any anime tiddies.

    But seriously, Overload is very, very good.

  • What a good piece of news ! I was aware of the development of Descent:Underground, but I did not heat about Overload. I am really looking forward to playing this, as 6DOF games have really been missed during all these years. This game seems to have all the required mechanics of a modern-day Descent, with tri-cording and limited turn rate. I wonder how it will play on consoles with a game controller, when it will be released.
  • Descent was great, but bigger than Quake for that list?
  • 1. None of these were in “the early days of PC gaming”; they were a decade plus after PC gaming exploded during the Commodore 64/Applie II/etc era. Games like Catacomb, Ultima Underworld, and early ID entries like Hovertank 3D and Wolfenstein 3D had already birthed the FPS genre. Doom was a huge deal and certainly catalyzed things for the mid-90s and established FPSes as a prestige genre (as well as helping the popularity of online play).

    2. Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem 2 (the latter of which came

    • Games like Catacomb, Ultima Underworld, and early ID entries like Hovertank 3D and Wolfenstein 3D had already birthed the FPS genre.

      You missed Elite, which birthed the 6DOF genre.

      The âoe2.5Dâ version was Duke Nukem 3D, which came out like 3 years later than Doom during the explosion of post-Doom FPSes. It was closer to the Quake era than the Doom era. Claiming that it's part of some âoebig 3â is really weird; it's better grouped in with the rest of the 2.5D-era post-Doom games like Marathon, Heretic, Hexen, Star Wars: Dark Forces, etc.

      Duke was close enough to really being 3D in that paths could cross over themselves, unlike Doom.

  • Descent + this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    was awesome !

    You knew how to straff in Doom or Duke, then you learned how to 3D straff in Descent.
    Poor LAN parties firends stuck with keyboard and mouse ... Easy frags !

  • I'd like to have a cross platform descent redo. All three with a new engine that scales from old hardware to newest and runs on all consoles and all big desktop operating systems. That would be neat. .... A few years back there was a fourth version in the works - whatever happened to that, does anyone know? I think it was crowd funded or something.

  • I was too late for the release date of Descent and Descent II, but when I got ahold of the game as a youngster, I absolutely loved those! If I had time for multiple games in my limited free time, I would try Overload.

    The whole 6dof was not lost on me, even though I have little frame of reference. I got pretty good at fine control with my QWEASDZXC and numpad.

  • * Driller
    * Flight simulator 2
    * Elite

  • "In the early days of PC gaming, there was 3 major titles. Doom, Duke Nukem, and Descent."

    And then there was Myst, which was of the same era and sold more than all three of those games put together

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik... [wikipedia.org]

  • I loved Descent. The action was top-notch, and the graphics were as good as anything up to that point, without slowing down enough that the game was unplayable. I had many hours of playing descent, never with anything but a keyboard for controls. It rocked majorly!
  • Descent was the first game I played that made me nauseous / motion sick. It was the combination of those tight quarters and truly unrestricted 3D movement.

    A VR version of Descent would be interesting...

  • I, for one, welcome it.

  • OK, I'm thinking the editor didn't live though that era or play those games.

    1) Doom was out a LOT earlier than any of those. Doom II would be a more appropriate example.
    2) Oh Duke Nukem 3D, what fun you were... (also there were plenty of "Duke Nukem's", but only one 3D, but I'll give them that one)
    3) No Quake? Yeah because that wasn't a major title I guess.
    4) No Warcraft II? Again, was probably just a minor release (sarcasm)
    5) While Descent was definitely fun for nausea, or loosing you mind while high, it w

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