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Friday, August 18, 2000

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"Missed" Marathon Map Tutorials
12:56 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

If you aren't a fan of Bungie's Marathon series, and have never attempted to construct a Marathon map using Forge, the editing tool that shipped with Marathon 2, then the following probably won't interest you. But if you've ever tweaked platform speeds and water heights or created a BOB-launcher, then this new series of Forge tutorials are for you. Yes, people are still creating maps for Marathon 2 and Infinity, and doing an amazing job with a limited (by today's standards) engine.

This series of tutorials by map author Jason Harper based on his astounding map Missed Island. This tour-de-force Forge hatchet job reproduces the first island of Cyan's MYST adventure game, including all the puzzles -- the clock tower(!), the steam-powered lookout tower(!!) and the ship-raising puzzle. Using a very complex set of simulated and/or/not logic branches which trick the games's AI into triggering various tasks, he managed to turn a shooter into a complex adventure game, which truly has to be seen to be believed.

He also wrote a series of tutorials explaining how he managed to create such a Marathon masterpiece. Now Gary L. Simmons, pugnacious self-appointed Marathon pundit and fellow map author, has taken the time to convert these tutorials to HTML format for viewing on the web. These tutorials are not for the faint of heart -- you must be a dedicated Forge addict to even attempt some of the tricks Jason managed to pull off. But these are worth reading through just for the sheer audacity of his amazing adaptations to a somewhat simple game engine, and they are nicely documented with clear illustrations and screen shots, as well as example maps.

If you've never experienced the wild verbal stylings of the Battle Cat, prepare to do a few double-takes if you choose to explore the rest of his site. For Marathon addicts only, his huge collection of maps, films, tutorials and other badinage -- all wrapped in his gripping, often graphic prose -- is another adventure in itself.

In any case, if you have ever crashed Forge by having too many transparent lines, then all of this is right up your alley. And it is proof positive that Bungie just didn't create a game, when they made Marathon -- they created one of the most unique communities in gaming history.

Gary L. Simmons' Web Page
Download Missed Island Map (Marathon 2, Infinity) 3.4 MB
Missed Island Turorials by Jason Harper

Other Mac Games News for Friday, August 18, 2000

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• "Missed" Marathon Map Tutorials12:56 PM
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Unreal Tournament 4.25a Released10:00 AM
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4x4 Evolution Preview6:00 AM
Deus Ex 2 Announced6:00 AM
YA Elite Force Preview6:00 AM
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Mac Games News for Thursday, August 17, 2000

United Developers Titles Reach Beta4:05 PM
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Soldier of Fortune Update9:44 AM
Epic Interactive Brings New Titles to the Mac8:51 AM
Tribes 2 Release Date6:00 AM
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