The development of Blood II explained

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I Live...AGAIN
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Re: The development of Blood II explained

Postby I Live...AGAIN » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:51 pm

Tchernobog wrote:Sorry for not posting for awhile, been sick as a dog. :cry:

Anyway, this has just shown up on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib_yTEyXENM


OMG that monitor!!!! LOL. Hard to believe its been that long.....

IMO the biggest mistake Monolith made was pushing Blood 2 on the Lithtech engine. I know it was all the rage to have your own engine at that particular time but I believe rushing Lithtech 1.0 with Shogo and B2 was a big no no. Monolith needed their own engine to compete with ID and Unreal at that time but Lithtech was not ready for release with Shogo and B2. Its my own personal opinion that both games could have been completed faster and with much less bugs by licensing an existing 3d engine back then. Instead, Monolith never finished Blood 2 and had to rush it out the door. Shogo was in slightly better shape but was still pretty bad netcode-wise.

Sure these games paved the way for NOLF and a few other titles on newer Lithtech but If I had my choice of a great 2nd chapter for Blood and never seeing NOLF or Tron I would choose Blood every time.

Monolith loves to place all the blame with GT but do we really know what conversations they had and what was actually promised to GT? They were given 11 months by GT. If they didn't think they were going to meet that expectation they should have told GT up front, especially with coding an entirely new engine. I remember that time in the late 90's well. Developers were constantly delaying titles over and over to polish them. IMO, Monolith wrongfully assumed that they could delay Blood 2's release if they wanted too and GT would be forced to wait. To me it was poor communication on Monolith's part not to let GT know well ahead of time they they weren't going to be ready in the time frame agreed upon initially. They make it out like GT just barged in and yelled "TIMES UP!!" at the deadline. Was there any communication between the two at all? I blame this on Monolith. GT wasn't a developer, they didn't know any better. GT agreed to a date and how were they to know that date wasn't going to be met? They were told a game could be made in 11 months by Monolith. It was Monolith's job to tell them it couldn't be finished in time.
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Re: The development of Blood II explained

Postby Gila » Tue Jun 28, 2016 07:21 am

pretty neat video, I always enjoy seeing stuff that was in development
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Re: The development of Blood II explained

Postby N0t_mINe » Tue Jun 28, 2016 01:34 pm

I Live...AGAIN wrote: They were told a game could be made in 11 months by Monolith. It was Monolith's job to tell them it couldn't be finished in time.


Jace could promise the world because at the time, he was being promised the world
.

Blood2 looks something like what we got in that video, so that's b2 with T-minus 5 months to go huh?
Interesting.

Microsoft sold the Direct engine to monolith roughly 90% complete, save for a few features like a 16 bit renderer and a decent physics model. Microsoft also sent Mr. Dassult on over, who had almost finished coding the foundations of lithech2 by the time this video was made (lithech2 just =lithech1 with a real bsp. by June of 98).

So to get Blood 2/Shogo to where they needed it to be, jace has to buy code from Mr. Dassault, because he holds copyrights to the artist known as lithtech, which are licensed out in the form of modules. Jace/monolith had to purchase each chunk of engine separately.
Surely GT would fork over more money, as their half-life slayer is clearly not ready for prime time, or so the thinking went.

The money team Blood2 needed never materialized, shogo was getting the lion share of attention and actually did get a delay on the shipping date by several weeks. The unfinished Lithtech2 was starting to look like a patch for lith1.0 games by Aug.
of 98.

Back in the spring of 98 most of b2/shogo's issues are a matter of money, so it looked like something fixable at that point.

Add to all this a couple of game side coders who are convinced they could rework the major issues outside of the engine in 5 months, floating heads and gibs stuck in walls- Here we come!

Bonus points for anyone who remembers the rumor about 3rd law buying a lithtech license for $5000 in Nov. of 98 for KPC.


EDIT, the above is strictly my opinion, I claim no knowledge of monolith or it's situation in the late 90s.
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Re: The development of Blood II explained

Postby BEAST » Wed Jul 06, 2016 03:54 am

Image

In speaking of Blood 2, here's a little Blood 2 poster of my own making.

Edit Post-Script: I know this doesn't have much to do with the topic, but I thought it would be of interest, because Blood 2's original ideas still inspire me artistically.
Last edited by BEAST on Sun Jul 10, 2016 09:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The development of Blood II explained

Postby BEAST » Sun Jul 10, 2016 09:55 pm

Tchernobog wrote:Sorry for not posting for awhile, been sick as a dog. :cry:

Anyway, this has just shown up on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib_yTEyXENM


This video's awesome, Tcherno! I liked the cardboard cutout art for Blood 2 and Caleb, the early menu screen, and alternate weapons shown in the gameplay.

I noticed that in the clip where Caleb is about to kill the civilian in the alleyway (without much of death animation), the screen showed an icon which looked vaguely redheaded (Ophelia?) and some words above which were too blurred to read. It reminds me of an early screenshot I saw of Blood 2 where it showed Ophelia's icon next to what looked like mission objectives being told to Caleb. I'm guessing that the game originally planned to have the other Chosen monitor Caleb's progress, and give him advice on what to do next. I recall that Blood's original idea was for Caleb to summon the Chosen back to life before the game began, rather than them being summoned by the singularity generator. The idea of having other characters give advice to the hero in a Monolith game is present in SHOGO, so perhaps Blood 2 was originally intended to tell its story similarly to SHOGO. I wonder if the reason why the Chosen are giving Caleb advice is because they had more time to familiarize themselves with the future than Caleb had.

Other things which stood out in the video for me: different uzi model, with a satisfying rate of fire; different shotgun model that I admit liking better than the retail; and presence of flying cars overhead. I've seen the beta model for the Soul Drudge in another video, and I rather like that model better than the retail's drudge because it looks closer to the original concept art.

As for the history of the development of Blood 2, it makes sense that the game became the way it was due to too many ambitious ideas and not enough time. Few game designers have been able to make a new full-blown super ambitious sequel in a limited amount of time, let alone an awesome game. Oddworld Inhabitants pulled off Abe's Exoddus for GT Interactive (what a coincidence!) within nine months by using the same engine as Abe's Odyssee and eating nothing but fruit, and they added a whole lot of cool improvements upon Oddworld's gameplay (and nearly killing themselves just to complete it on time). I'm still amazed with how Valve managed to complete Half-Life from 1996-97, or with how id Software managed to improvise Quake from what they had from their work with their original Fight For Justice concept from 1994-96. Not every developer has that kind of luck.

It would've been interesting to see Blood 2 built upon Blood 1's engine (a la Doom II and Redneck Rampage Rides Again) or in Quake's engine. I don't know how Monolith would have accomplished with the Quake code, considering that the only other Quake engine games existing at that time were Malice, Shrak,
X-Men: Ravages of Apocalypse, Hexen II, and Half-Life. The first three were TCs with some impressive programming, Hexen II's engine modified Quake's engine a lot but it still felt like Quake, and Half-Life felt completely different while still giving a Quake-ish vibe. As seen with Transfusion, putting Blood into Quake is quite tough. A Quake engine modified by Monolith would nonetheless be interesting to behold. It would also be very interesting to behold Blood 2's ideas functioning in Blood 1's engine. It is a shame that LithTech was implemented for Blood 2 and SHOGO before it was properly completed, as seen in No One Lives Forever.

Speaking of which, it might be fun to do a Build mod inspired by Blood 2. Is it possible to implement new textures and sprites in the style of Blood 2 into Blood, or does Blood Crossmatching have more flexibility in that department?
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Re: The development of Blood II explained

Postby Tchernobog » Mon Jul 11, 2016 05:43 pm

BEAST wrote:Other things which stood out in the video for me: different uzi model, with a satisfying rate of fire; different shotgun model that I admit liking better than the retail; and presence of flying cars overhead. I've seen the beta model for the Soul Drudge in another video, and I rather like that model better than the retail's drudge because it looks closer to the original concept art.

That flying car is in the retail game BEAST.

And I love the retail shotgun to pieces. Just saying. :P

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