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  1. Here.

    The gist is that it recursively creates and calculates the area of squares that compose a circle with radius 1, and totals the area of those squares to get Pi.

  2. FOREWORD: What you are about to read is The Long Walk, a mini-series companion to my adaptation of Lego Rock Raiders. It features an original character and will basically be a way for me to get a feel for the universe from a writing perspective, and for you to get a feel for how I'm going to handle the universe, and my writing style and abilities, from a reading perspective. I hope you enjoy it!





    When the Explorer was hit by an asteroid storm and

    thrown into a wormhole that hurled it to the far side

    of the galaxy, miner Ian Harrison hoped it wouldn’t get

    any worse.


    Of course, he should have known better. When a teleporter

    malfunction strands him in an unexplored cavern on the

    mysterious planet the Rock Raiders are mining for resources,

    he must do whatever it takes to brave the unknown

    and get back to base...



    Unexpected Complications




    Ian ducked a pair of Raiders who were carrying a charred steel girder, or most of it anyway, on his way to Teleportation Bay Seventeen-B. He’d cut through Hangar Eight in hopes of it providing a shorter walk, but given the sheer amount of stuff that was happening, he was regretting his decision. Not that the corridors were any better. At least here he had room to maneuver. He took it all in as he made his way silently through the hectic, organized chaos that was the dozens of tech crews putting the Explorer back together.


    High overhead, sparks bled from welding and cutting tools as men with greasy faces wearing big, black goggles and blue jumpsuits went to work on the inner hull. It had taken a hell of a beating during the asteroid storm, and the sudden stress of interstellar travel had only compounded the problem. The ground floor, on the other hand, was worse. As many as a hundred men and women moved through the madness, shifting crates, moving twisted metal debris, digging into the exposed guts of the ship through propped open wall panels and deckplates. A dozen engineers crawled across a Chrome Crusher that had, ironically, been partially crushed by falling debris.


    They’d been in orbit around the planet for three days now and still they were putting the ship back together again.


    Someone, he wasn’t sure who, had started calling the planet Upsilon.


    The name had stuck.


    He stopped short, narrowly avoiding a transport truck as it trundled by, its cargo compartment full up with more debris and broken equipment. Ian reached up and scratched behind his ear, fingernails tracing the edges of his tiny implant forest. That’s what they were calling it nowadays, the tech forest. He gently probed the two inch metal square that had been soldered to his skull. He could feel the bumps and ridges of the dozen vacant slots. He didn’t have any tech in his head just then, as the Training Accelerator Gadgets were currently in low supply. He’d never really gotten used to the TAGs. They scared him, though he loathed to admit it.


    It was freaky, the way an entire body of knowledge could be slotted into your skull. Slip one of the little black and silver rectangles into a slot and suddenly, boom, you know how to pilot a Hover Scout. Slot another and suddenly you were a demolitions expert. Slot another and you were a repository of knowledge on the delicate inner workings of a Chrome Crusher’s engine block. He still preferred to learn things the old fashioned way.


    Finally, Ian hit the edge of the hangar and slipped down the corridor. Finding the room he was looking for, he stepped inside and saw a tired-looking tech manning the controls. As he looked at the workstation on one side of light gray room, and the teleportation bay itself, done up in slick, reflective chrome and green glass, on the other side of the room, he thought about how Naomi mentioned that the setup looked like Star Trek.


    He’d never watched the show, it was ancient history, but his fiancee was a throwback junkie.


    Where to?” the tech asked, rubbing at one bloodshot eye. None of them were getting all that much sleep lately, there was just too much to do.


    Site Twenty Four Alpha,” he replied, heading over to the pad.


    The tech nodded and began working the controls. As he stepped onto one of the teleportation pads, Ian did a quick rundown of his supplies. He had his emergency medical kit, a canteen of distilled water, a meal ration that wasn’t so much a meal as it was an awful tasting, nutrients-packed bar of something. A combat knife they’d started issuing everyone, probably to make them feel better. And that was it. They didn’t like sending down Rock Raiders with anything more than absolutely necessary because the more stuff was on you, the more of a strain it put on the teleporters. He didn’t really understand it, didn’t pretend to, but he knew it was bad news.


    Besides, all the stuff he needed would be waiting for him at the local HQ.


    Ready?” the technician asked, staring at him bleakly across the room.


    Ready,” Ian confirmed, standing rigidly still in the center of the pad. The tech scrutinized his screen for a moment, glanced once up at Ian, then back down at his screen and punched in a command. Around him, he could hear the teleporter hum to life. A faint vibration, mixed with a sensation not unlike electrostatic shock, ran across his body. He swallowed, trying to push down his apprehension, or at least not show it.


    Teleporters didn’t have a one hundred percent success rate.


    The pad began to glow a bright green beneath his feet and he felt a brief wave of heat pass over him. And then, suddenly, he was thrown into a blue void.


    * * * * *


    He was falling, tumbling, or that’s what it felt like.


    They said that teleportation lasted no more than five seconds at most, from start to finish, but Ian was never sure. He was surrounded by a pulsing, writhing blue light. It was everywhere he looked, rushing by him.


    And then, suddenly, he was falling for real.


    That was the first indication he had that something had gone wrong. He grunted as he dropped a few feet, landed hard and toppled forward. Something had definitely gone wrong. He felt sick and disoriented, his head twisting madly, stomach churning, his whole body alive with some strange electrical activity.


    He landed on his hands and knees and found himself staring down at a black, rocky surface. Ian fought bitterly to keep his breakfast in his stomach. And it was made all the more difficult as he shivered violently, his body going from extreme hot to extreme cold as quickly as if he’d been thrown into an ice bath.


    Shuddering, groaning, he raised his head, looking around.


    He didn’t see the familiar shapes of other Rock Raiders moving about, nor the larger shapes of vehicles trundling here and there, nor even the familiar, comforting outlines of structures. In fact, he saw nothing at all but rock and more rock. Squinting in pure confusion, trying to sort out his thoughts, he noticed that everything had a slightly green tinge to it. After a few seconds it finally hit him: he must be in pitch black and his vision implants were compensating. Well, that was good, at least. Groaning again as his head pulsed with a dull ache, he slowly picked himself up off the rocky cavern floor. It took a bit, but finally he stood on his own two feet again.


    Where the hell was he, and what had happened?


    These were the first two questions that slithered unhappily into his mind. Ian moved in a slow circle, trying to scope the situation out, his brain still buzzing with the teleporter malfunction. They could have all kinds of nasty side effects if they did occur, everything from vomiting to psychosis to your liver missing.


    Everything still felt about where it should be, at least.


    So he was in a cavern. He’d obviously made it to the planet, but where? How far away from the nearest outpost? For a moment, Ian felt panic began to slide over him, charged and dangerous. No, he couldn’t let himself panic. He closed his eyes, despite how nervous that made him, (there’d been reports of things alive down here in the caverns, and not all of them were too friendly), but he forced himself to calm down, to focus his thoughts.


    What was the first logical thing to do?


    His eyes popped open as he realized that the answer was very obvious. Call for help. He blinked three times in rapid succession, a technique you had to learn when they gave the comms implant, and then felt ice fill him when that familiar soft hum of an open channel didn’t come. Swallowing nervously, pushing against the raw panic, looking around him rapidly, Ian blinked again, doing it as precisely as he could.




    He cursed, his voice echoing away in the darkness. His radio must have been damaged in the teleportation process. They were supposed to be very hard to break, given that they were implanted inside of people’s skulls, but it wasn’t impossible. It also meant he had no way of fixing it, since he wasn’t capable of performing surgery on himself.


    Okay, okay…


    So what now?


    Distantly, though not quite distantly enough, a rock dropped and hit the ground. He jerked in response, spinning around, searching the green-lit gloom for something. Anything. But the cavern he was in remained void of life. Walls of dark blackish rock surrounded him. There were several tunnels snaking away from the central chamber, disappearing from sight due either to distance or natural curves in their structure.


    There had to be something he wasn’t thinking of.


    Okay, okay, go basic,” he whispered to himself. “What’s my goal here?” It felt stupid, talking to himself like this, but in times of great duress, it was how Ian worked through things. Just stop all thoughts, examine what you had before you, and what you were trying to do. He had to know what he was working with and what needed to be done.


    Right now, he simply needed to get to a mining camp, or find another Raider. Or a radio. All of those would probably be in the same direction. But he had no idea where he was. He could be a hundred miles from the nearest outpost. That thought sent a ripple of fear through him. No, couldn’t think like that, it was a waste of time. He had to operate under the assumption that there was a way out of this and he could achieve it.


    To think otherwise would be tantamount to suicide.


    He took a deep breath, let it out slowly, and ran again through his inventory, wondering if any of it could help him. Nothing on his person could, but his head…


    Ian gasped. This was why he needed to think slowly and deliberately.


    Although he’d kept his head largely clear of technology beyond the very basic implants, like the comms unit, the health monitor and the beacon, (they could find him by his beacon, but it made more sense to be proactive instead of sitting around waiting for that, and it might be just as damaged as his comms unit, anyway,) but he had one other thing installed. Something he found very useful. A navigational suite.


    It had basic sensors embedded in it and he could send out a pulse. Any technology, other beacons, structures, anything man-made would bounce back to him and he’d get an idea of how screwed he was. He moved his eye in a specific way, holding his gaze to the upper right for three consecutive seconds, and a neon green pulse appeared in his vision, radiating out from himself in every direction. He waited, waited, waited.


    His heart was hammering in his chest and he was sweating badly now.


    This was a bad sign.


    Suddenly, something pinged back. He felt hope blossom within him like a white-hot flame. He studied the results and felt the hope flicker, though not die. Data scrolled across his vision. His navigational suite had picked up a low-level power signature about a mile north of his current position. It matched a Rock Raider signature, but beyond that, he could pull no other discernible data from it. It was too weak. It could be anything from a full-fledged outpost to a wrecked and abandoned Hover Scout. Ian thought about it for a moment, considering the situation.


    Ultimately, he determined that he had no choice.


    He had to go north.


    So he went.



    Into the Void




    Ian had been walking for about fifteen minutes now, and the good cheer he’d managed to gather from his sudden sense of purpose was beginning to fade. All around him, no matter where he looked, there was nothing but bleak black rock, tinged with green. It was kind of intimidating. He’d spent a lot of time underground, a lot, and he’d never really been intimidated by it, at least not since his early days. But now he was remembering those fears he’d had as rookie, a decade ago. The notion that he was deep underground, that the ceiling or the walls could cave in on him at any moment, that the floor could open up beneath him.


    That there could be anything down there with them.


    They’d encountered some strange creatures in their time mining distant worlds for their natural resources to fuel humanity’s ever-expanding empire.


    That got him thinking on other aspects of his life, namely the fact that he was now engaged. It felt weird, he was still getting used to it, even though he was the one who had popped the question. He’d been dating Naomi now for two years. Ian had signed on with the Rock Raid ten years ago. He’d heard a lot about them, and they were pretty elite: a savvy, stubborn, rough group of privately owned miners who tended to take on pretty serious and dangerous jobs on the far rim of the galaxy. They had a ninety nine percent success rate.


    And they weren’t beholden to any corporate investors.


    That had always gotten to Ian. The Explorer was a massive vessel with nearly fifteen hundred personnel onboard. The sheer amount of credits it must take to pay everyone, and to keep that ship running, which they did with a startling efficiency, was insane. Being a technician aboard, he had an idea of what it took to keep that ship sailing smoothly.


    The interesting thing about the Raiders was that you didn’t apply, you didn’t ask to join them. They asked you. They handpicked every single person on that ship. The whole thing was managed by Nolan Brix, aka ‘Chief’, as everyone liked to call him. They’d approached him a decade ago after he’d decided to walk from a lucrative tech job because they had no respect for him and he wouldn’t put up with that.


    Respect was paramount in his life, he gave it and expected it in return. Obviously, he knew he had to earn it first, but if these corporate assholes were going to treat him like their technical pack mule and give him utter crap in return, then he was going to give them the finger. And he had. Ian wasn’t arrogant, but he knew he was smart enough and flexible enough to find a good job elsewhere. That was when the message had come through.


    Chief had apparently tagged him a year ago as a potential employee and him walking from that job had clenched it. He’d had a vidphone interview with the man himself that had lasted half an hour. Chief didn’t even want to hear about where he’d gone to school, his credentials, his technical knowledge, because he already knew that.


    Information was currency, and easy to come by nowadays.


    He wanted to know the man behind the diploma, the work, the jobs.


    And apparently he’d liked him enough to make the hire.


    Ian stopped suddenly as he heard a rock fall somewhere off to his right. He looked over. The cavern continued for quite a ways, off into the darkness. Another rock fell. Anything could be in that darkness, anything at all. He returned his attention to the direction he’d been walking in and picked up the pace.


    So far, his path had been unobstructed.


    But he’d been thinking about Naomi. The only woman he’d ever loved. When he was younger, he’d thought he’d been in love twice, but upon further reflection, he’d come to realized that he had been in love with the idea of being in love. Both relationships had crumbled in his hands like sand because he couldn’t sit still.


    He had wanderlust syndrome. He had to keep moving and that wasn’t an easy thing to live with. But that’s what was so great about his current job, and his current relationship. When he’d met Naomi, he’d been immediately infatuated with her. The first time he’d seen her, she was sitting down in a maintenance bay with bits and pieces of a jackhammer spread out all over the deckplates. She’d looked up at him, sensing his presence.


    What are you doing?” he’d asked.


    Trying to fix this damned thing,” she’d replied.


    Can I help?”


    I don’t need it, but I’d welcome it.”


    It was their first conversation. Turned out the jackhammer had a short buried pretty deep in it. A simple repair, but he would’ve had a b**** of a time finding it, too. Naomi was a miner. She was a tall, muscular brunette who had intimidated the hell out of him. After that first session in the maintenance bay, (they’d spent an hour getting to know each other while they investigated the mystery of the broken jackhammer), he’d started asking her to dinner, because frankly, he was very enamored with her. He’d always been drawn to badass women.


    She was two years older than him and had a really nice collection of tattoos and scars, and she never really let anything stop her, not even herself or her own fear. They’d shacked up together after two months, with him moving into her living quarters. The relationship had been fairly steady, with some occasional rocky times when they got into an argument over something stupid because one or both of them was stressed and overworked, but he’d proposed to her last month and she had said yes. And that was good.


    The way ahead narrowed suddenly, the broad cavern he’d been walking through at a steady pace became a tunnel maybe a dozen feet across.


    Crap,” he muttered.


    Tunnels were dangerous.


    He should know, given how much of his life he’d spent in them recently. Ian hurried down the tunnel, practically running. This place had him paranoid. As he came out the other side, he found himself in a smaller cavern. Free of the tunnel, Ian took a moment to send out another scan. He’d made some good progress and, checking his chronometer, he saw that he’d been walking for a little over twenty minutes by now.


    This time, the ping came back a little stronger, giving him a clearer idea of where the main power source was, but it was still very faint. And although he had picked up a few other even lighter power sources, probably smaller vehicles, they were too faint to be normal. Either the rock or minerals of this place, (they’d found some strange new minerals here on Upsilon), were masking the signals or...something had gone wrong at base camp.


    Not exactly the most pleasant of thoughts.


    As he crossed about half the distance in this new cavern, Ian stopped as he heard a faint chirping sound. He waited, listened, heard it again, closer this time. With a sigh, he kept walking. Bats. Okay, not exactly bats, but this world’s equivalent of bats. They flew, they hung upside down, and they hunted via echo location, so, in his book, bats. And everyone else’s too, apparently, as that was the current slang for the things.


    He hated bats.


    Scans had indicated that they were harmless, like most of the smaller animal life on the planet, (not the damned larger life, though), so he did his best to ignore the things. They weren’t even close at the moment. He kept going, trying to think happy thoughts to keep himself going at a brisk pace, like how Naomi liked taking showers with him.


    That was always nice.


    As he came to the rough dividing line where this cavern ended and another began, something moved along the ground up ahead. Ian froze again, focusing, trying to determine what it was he was seeing. Slowly, he kept walking, his senses amped up now as paranoia slithered coldly around in the depths of his guts. He made it another dozen steps or so when he saw the movement again. Definitely on the ground, definitely something there. It had scurried behind a rock. Had to be a spider. They called them Slippers.


    He thought it was a funny name, and that was probably the point, but they were named as such because they were coated in some strange, clear slippery substance. He’d seen a lot of people fall on their asses since the things tended to get underfoot. And it killed the spider, of course, when they slipped. Technically they were non-lethal, they didn’t have any venom, or at least any venom that could harm humans, but if you were carrying something heavy, it could be pretty damaging for either you or someone around you.


    So far, he’d managed to avoid them.


    Ian wanted to keep that going.


    He kept moving, picking up the pace, his work boots sending out dull, hollow echoes as he plodded along. He began to see more of the Slippers scurrying about off to the right. Well, that was fine, so long as they stayed over there. Up ahead, he could see another tunnel. Great. As he approached it, he felt a soft tremor run through the whole area. Ian froze again. He almost passed it off as his imagination, or his hyper awareness, he even wanted to, but he couldn’t. He knew what he’d felt, and it was a bad sign.


    Another tremor this time, and suddenly, he saw a lot of movement up ahead, in the tunnel that he had to pass through. The outpost he was heading towards was about a hundred meters away now, he realized suddenly. In fact, this tunnel should lead to the cavern it was in. So why didn’t he hear anything? Why couldn’t make out the faint sounds of running engines, of pick-axes or jackhammers or shovels?


    Why didn’t he hear anything at all, except for the soft rumbling?


    The movement he saw coalesced into something he did not want to see. There were a couple of dozen Slippers and, with them, snakes (no fancy name for them, not yet at least), coming straight at him in a hurry. For a second he was frozen with fear, then he made himself hurry a few paces off to the right. Ian watched the horde of creatures pass by. He realized with a cold fear that they were running from something.


    But what?


    Once they had passed, he returned his gaze to the dark maw of the tunnel dead ahead. Well, he was about to find out. He walked up to the tunnel and stopped at its entrance as he felt another faint tremor rumble through the area. He didn’t like the looks of the right wall, it seemed like it might be in danger of a rock slide, especially when another tremor, this one more powerful, came through and dislodged several rocks that made dusty trails as they bounced down the side of the tunnel wall. Well, this certainly wasn’t good.


    As far as he knew, it was the only way in, and he suddenly didn’t feel like spending anymore time down here, alone, going and searching for some alternative route that might not even exist or might be just as dangerous, or more so, than the one that was right here, in front of him, right now. He walked right up to the entrance of the tunnel and waited. His vision enhancement only went about forty feet ahead, so he couldn’t even see the end of the tunnel, but he knew it had to be close. After waiting for close to five minutes with no more tremors, Ian set off.


    He moved at a brisk pace, not actually running, but certainly not dragging his feet. So close now, close to that encampment. And then he could get some answers, report in, take a little break before getting to work, (hopefully). He was really looking forward to it. He might even get a chance to grab a bite to eat.


    Ian had made it halfway down the tunnel when the tremors started up again, only this time, they didn’t subside, at least not right away. They lasted long enough that the wall to the right began to lose its face. A great deal of loose rocks and dirt began to fall from the tunnel’s wall. Ian let out a startled shout and began sprinting.


    A rock slide was occurring.


    He focused on nothing but running, pushing himself as hard as he could as he felt the whole wall begin to come down around him. He hissed in pain as several smaller rocks pelted him, nicking his skin in several places. Then a bigger rock hit him right in the back and drove the breath from his lungs. He gasped in pain, his back nothing but agony just then, and nearly tripped. But he managed to stay upright and kept on running.


    In the end, it was a near thing. He dove out of the tunnel, tucked and rolled. Behind him, a column of dust burst out and settled over him. He laid on the ground, wondering if he’d made it, if the rock slide would continue around him, but he could tell that it was subsiding. He was now in the cavern with the power signatures.


    Slowly, Ian began to pick himself up.


    It was time to see what he could see.



    Entering Devastation




    The first inclination Ian had that something was wrong was when he spied a strange, flickering light up ahead. It sprang uncertainly into existence at seemingly random intervals and appeared unnatural...then again, he had no idea what kind of things naturally occurred on this planet. He knew it set him on edge though. It was familiar and its origin danced just beyond his mental grasp as he drew closer to it, slowly eroding the distance between them. It lit again, a blue-white flash in the green-tinted gloom.


    As he came within ten feet of it, Ian suddenly had it.


    He knew what he was seeing.


    Sparks. Electrical sparks. From a broken thing. Jogging over, he crouched down and realized that he was looking at a jackhammer. It was badly bent out of shape, one handle torn completely off. The central control unit, buried in the main body of the device, had been exposed, and it was producing the flashes of light. Even as he loomed over it, the thing bled a spray of blue-white sparks that fizzled and died on the dark rock beneath it.


    Crap,” he muttered, preparing to get back to his feet.


    But something caught his eye. There was some kind of stain on the jackhammer, on the main body. He couldn’t tell its color because of the light-amp filter, but he had an unhappy idea of what it was. Slowly, he reached down and touched it. It was cold and sticky and the sensation of it on his skin was very unpleasant. Slowly, he raised his fingers to his nose and smelled. The groaned and quickly wiped his fingertips off on his uniform.




    It was blood.


    He could tell immediately from the awful metallic-copper smell.


    Double crap,” he growled, straightening up quickly. He was close to the power sources now. He should be able to see them…

    Ian scanned the area more intently this time and saw a rise in the land ahead of him. Well, he should be able to get a good view of the area from there. Ian jogged over, hurrying now. He really didn’t like where this was going. He should have been able to hear something by now: the soft hum of a generator, the jagged metallic hammering of a jackhammer, the whine of an engine, the voices of other Raiders as they called out orders.


    But there was nothing.


    Only a faint dripping sound and the few noises he was producing. His heart hammered in his chest as he began to make his way up the rise in the land and his whole body felt tense and rigid. Ian finally crested the rise.


    And everything clicked into place.


    Holy God...” he whispered.


    He had no idea what had happened, but it was obvious that the results had been disastrous. Perhaps fifty feet away, he saw what had once been a thriving Rock Raiders mining operation, and outpost in the darkness of the subterranean alien world. Now it was a dark shell of its former self. He could see the basic outline of a few structures. Some of them had survived mostly intact, it seemed. He knew enough about Rock Raider architecture that he could pick out a few of them: a storage structure was mostly intact, same for the dormitories building. The teleport pad and local headquarters seemed to have sustained serious damage.


    But by what?


    Had there been an earthquake? A cave-in?


    He needed to get closer to figure this out, and there might be survivors, people who needed help. Ian began running. He knew some basic first aid, they all did, it was part of the training. One thing that worried him was that there was no power to anything. He could see the power paths connecting the buildings and they weren’t lit, they were missing that faint blue glow they constantly emitted. Although they were technically hooked up to the power plant and that’s where they drew some of their energy from, they were actually given kinetic energy, designed in such a way that they translated simple footsteps on them into power.


    If they were as dead and dark as they were right now, it meant that the base had been without power and no one had been walking around for quite some time, at least an hour. Ian’s industrial strength work boots echoed as he ran down the rise of land and quickly crossed the distance. He passed metal debris, random pieces of architecture and equipment. He stopped briefly as he saw a smashed transport truck, its engine ripped open.


    That was not the result of some kind of cave-in or natural disaster.


    What was going on here?


    He picked back up the pace and didn’t stop until he came to the edge of the encampment. Moving between a pair of smaller storage sheds where they typically stored equipment, tools and spare parts, he felt a fresh wave of fear roll icily over him. He’d seen bad things before, every Raider had if they’d been there for more than a year. The job was dangerous, and you had to accept that. They all looked out for each other and every Raider would and often had risked their lives for another. Natural disasters happened, accidents happened.


    Sometimes, they ran into some weird alien life out there on the fringe of civilization.


    But this…


    Stepping into the central area of the outpost, he saw that headquarters had taken what appeared to be a battering ram to one of its walls. Ian moved closer, staring in sheer wonder at the gaping hole that had been apparently punched through solid metal. What could have done this? Moving deeper in, Ian studied the power station, seeing that it seemed to have taken the most damage out of any of the structures in the camp.


    It was little more than twisted, sparking metal.


    An arm, still wrapped in a torn, bloodied sleeve, stuck out from beneath the wreckage. Ian moved forward almost without thinking about it, crouching, grabbing the edge of a large slab of metal and grunting with effort as he lifted it. It was a near thing, and he was almost forced to give up due to the sheer weight of the debris, but with a last, explosive half-grunt, half-shout of effort, he threw to piece of metal off of the body.


    It was a wasted effort, though, he saw as he looked down at the dead Raider. It was not someone he recognized, a pale man with short dark hair and empty, blood-clouded eyes. His skull had been partially caved in.


    Ian stood up suddenly, stumbling away from the corpse, and looked around. He stared in bewildered horror as, suddenly, it became obvious to him just how many corpses there were around him. Somehow, he had missed them coming in, as if his brain had edited reality itself to help him cope with this awful situation.


    What happened?” he whispered.


    Ian felt a sort of mute numbness slipping over him then, another self-defense mechanism of the mind, shielding him from the worst of the trauma for the moment in much the same manner the body flooded with adrenaline and endorphins when you broke a bone, to keep you from the worst of it. In a way, it did help.


    Ian could think more clearly.


    Slowly, carefully, he moved through the camp. The seconds bled into minutes as he walked among the sparking ruins, checking the dead. He wasn’t sure how long he was there, making his way silently through debris and ruins, finding bodies, checking pulses, and coming away disappointed and melancholy each time.


    There were eight buildings in total.


    The power station was a wash, and the teleport pad and storage structures didn’t yield any interesting results. Only bodies and wreckage. The dormitories building had held up a lot better, but it was abandoned. He passed several small bunk rooms, a pair of bathrooms, a mess hall and kitchen, a silent, unlit rec room.


    Finally, he moved to the last building: Headquarters.


    The heart of any outpost, the first structure to be teleported down.


    Ian walked in through the main entrance to the HQ. It felt unreal, moving into that initial ingress. How many times had he been in a room like this? The Rock Raiders custom-made their own prefabricated structures, and they’d gotten the design of aesthetic, efficiency and quality down well enough that all of the structures were carbon copies of each other. If you’d been in one teleport pad, you’d been in them all.


    The same could be said for the headquarters.


    The place was dark and derelict. Ian investigated the each room in passing. A headquarters building was practically like a mini-base all its own. Its compact design held some sleeping quarters, a tiny galley, a bathroom that doubled as a shower area, a simple infirmary, an armory, some storage space and a command room that held communications, radar, data processing, and some security features. It also served as an emergency shelter in extreme conditions and could house four people up to a week, with the ability to seal itself atmospherically.


    Theoretically, it could survive a flood, among other disasters.


    Although the building was mainly intact, it didn’t hold what he had hoped for: survivors. But it might hold something else: intel on what the hell had happened. He searched all the rooms one by one, finding them empty, and finally came to the control room. Whatever had happened hadn’t gotten into here. The room was dark and dead, though there was a faint glow coming from one of the workstations. Ian approached it.


    The primary workstation that technically had the ability to control the entire building, at least the broad strokes of it, had its own emergency backup power source, independent of any other. Judging by the dimness of the glow, Ian guessed that it was running pretty low, and he didn’t have a lot of time left to use it.


    So he sat down quickly and set to work.


    The first thing he did was to set the radar to work, hunting for life signs and active pieces of technology. He refused to believe that everyone here was dead. The next thing he did was to attempt to establish communications with the Explorer. That would pretty much solve all of his problems. As he sat there, waiting for the uplink to establish and the scan to come back, he felt a dozen different aches and pains of varying levels, begin to come back into his awareness. He’d been putting off his own problems until just now.


    While the computer did its job, he grabbed his emergency medical kit and opened it up. Rooting around, he located the painkillers and then grabbed his canteen. He rattled out and swallowed a pair of extra-strength pills. While the only real problem he’d run into was the landslide, the transporter malfunction had definitely left him hurting. He’d really need to get himself checked out at some point to make sure nothing was seriously damaged. He ended up draining about half his canteen, suddenly aware of how thirsty he was.


    He wanted to finish it off, but knew he shouldn’t, so he capped it and reattached it to his belt. The console before him chimed and he frowned as he studied the information it had to give him. The communications uplink did not have enough power. That was the bad news, though if he could find some energy crystals, he should be able to restore power. The good news, however, and the news that took precedent, were the life signs.


    He saw three of them to the west, about half a mile away.


    Ian managed to tie the data into his own navigational suite, giving him a fixed marker, before the last of the power in the workstation ran out and the screen flickered and died. Ian sighed. He’d gotten the pertinent data, at least.


    There were survivors, and he needed to get them.


    Getting up, he left the control room and began to head for the exit, but then stopped as he passed the armory.


    It’d be stupid not to,” he muttered, looking into the darkened doorway. Stepping in, he saw that the place had been ransacked. So whatever had happened had obviously required guns to defend against...and it obviously hadn’t worked. Well, better than nothing. Ian grabbed what was most often referred to as the laser pistol, although it had some more technical name. Basically, it shot lasers, bright red ones. He grabbed a few spare power cells for it, then checked over the settings. After a moment’s thought, he set it to its most powerful charge. It would take a bit longer to charge up, but it would shoot a single, powerful bolt of energy out.


    As he stepped out of the HQ and began to head once more into the dark abyss, Ian doubted that it was going to be enough.







    Ian tried to gather the courage that he was so certain he’d built up over the past decade as he came to the edge of the ruined camp. Typically speaking, camps didn’t necessarily have set perimeters or edges, though in particularly dangerous areas, they set up electric security fences. That was reserved for when local wildlife was a problem. Not that it always worked. If your enemies came from above and below, then a fence wouldn’t do much good. In this particular situation, the edge of the camp was really just the end of the field of debris.


    As he hit it, however, he felt an intense wave of loneliness and fear settle over him like a shroud of uncomfortably cold mist. Ian lingered at the edge, staring into the dark, yawning abyss that was this unknown system of caves and tunnels and caverns. He was dithering, stalling for time, just standing there like an idiot, and people were counting on him.


    What a goddamned coward I’m being,” he muttered to himself.


    It wasn’t true. Well...mostly. It wasn’t that he was cowardly. He’d dealt with all kinds of crazy s*** in his life. Cave-ins, alien monsters, crazy raiders or even slavers making attacks on their mining operations, and he’d hardened, toughened up because of it. He was good in a crisis, kept his head. He was brave.


    But this…


    This was a bit much, even for him.


    But what good was all that experience, all that suffering, if it failed him when he needed it the most. And right now, he really needed it. Sighing heavily, Ian readjusted his uniform, did a double-check his gear, then knelt and re-laced his boots, tight as he could. It was a delaying tactic, again, but it did make him feel better. When he stood back up, he felt ready. Well, maybe not ready, but about as ready as he was going to.


    It wasn’t going to get any easier.


    So he made himself take the first step, then the next, and the ones after that.

    Ian studied his environment and tried to stay calm as he walked away from the camp. And as he did this, letting his thoughts settle, something occurred to him. There was something bothering him, but he hadn’t even realized it was bothering him until just now, because there were big, huge things that were making him upset, but those were obvious. No, this was something he’d noticed, but he hadn’t actually thought about.


    There were no energy crystals.


    He almost stopped walking as he thought about that, but made himself keep going, maintaining his brisk gait. No energy crystals. That seemed...impossible. Energy crystals were the lifeblood of any outpost, any mining operation, of anything they did, actually. They were so ubiquitous across the galaxy at large and so damned useful and adaptable that they were honestly the driving force behind a lot of humanity’s operations in the galaxy as a whole. The fact that he hadn’t seen even a single one was beyond odd.


    Unless they were taken.


    But taken by what?


    He didn’t want to know, or think about it, although he had the unhappy suspicion that he was going to find out sooner rather than later. He walked on, studying his environment, his hand resting on the butt of his pistol in its holster. There was nothing to hear, save for the sounds he produced, and that was unsettling in and of itself. Caverns weren’t supposed to be quiet like this, not with Rock Raiders around.


    They were supposed to be abuzz and alive with activity. It was honestly freaking him out. Ian tried to focus, there were people somewhere ahead of him and they were relying on him, even if they didn’t know it. He didn’t know if he could rescue them, or even help them at all, but he sure as hell intended to try.


    Just for something to do, he opened up his radio channel again and called out to anyone who might be listening. But there was nothing. Dead silence mocked him. He debated whether or not to leave it on, and finally shut it down. No sense in wasting battery, and he thought it really was broken. His nav marker now told him that he’d covered half the distance. Well, that was good at least. The cavern he was in was huge, he could see why they chose it. There was a great deal of open space for the mining operation to grow outwards.


    But he could see a tunnel up ahead.


    He kept going, trying to keep up a good pace. Before long, he was in the tunnel and making his way down it. When he was about halfway through, a tremor shuddered through the area. He felt cold fear stab at his guts and broke into a run. He didn’t need another damned landslide. This time, he managed to make it through into another cave. This one wasn’t nearly so big as the other one, and he saw evidence of a simple mining operation. There were work-lights attached to several surfaces, all of them dead, some power paths, even some reinforcements up on a few of the more unstable looking cavern walls.


    And there were tools, too.


    And more dead bodies.


    Ian felt his stomach turn over as he caught sight of a headless corpse. What had once been the man’s head was now a pulpy red paste smeared across the ground.


    God,” he whispered, making his way slowly through the devastation.


    What had happened? As he kept going, he began to notice other things: signs of battle. There were black scorch marks on some of the walls, and distinctive, huge pockmarks. Signs of laser pistols and sonic blasters. He’d seen them before. Sonic blasters fired directed pulses of sound energy. Normally they used them to scare off certain creatures, but on their highest settings they could be more than lethal.


    Judging by the patterns...they’d been firing everywhere.


    What had they been shooting at? He knew that there were creatures on the planet, but nothing he’d read about had suggested anything seriously dangerous. Well, obviously that had just changed. As he continued towards the signal, (he was within a hundred meters now), he realized all at once that he was going to have to pay special attention to everything, because this was very likely a first contact scenario. This was a new threat, something they had zero intel on. Literally everything, every detail, would be crucial.


    Whatever it was, it was big.


    And extremely dangerous.


    He had to find those survivors. They would know what was going on here. Well, hopefully. He’d walked into this situation straight blind. Ian hesitated as he saw something dead ahead. It was big, whatever it was, and reflective. As he drew closer, he saw, with some surprise, that it was the huge, bulky shape of a Chrome Crusher. Wow, this outpost must have been important if they had such a vehicle this early on in the operation.


    The nav marker was aiming right at the Crusher.


    Ian kept going, slowing to a jog as he came within twenty meters of the vehicle. He could see that it had been flipped over on its side, some of the windows broken out of its cabin. There were bits and pieces of the thing everywhere. He could see its drill bit lying about five meters away, twisted and smashed.


    Is anyone there?” he called, trying not to raise his voice too much.


    He waited, hoping against hope that they were still there. The nav marker was just a marker of their last known location. They could have died or moved on by now. There was no guarantee that they were still there.


    Who goes there?”


    Immense relief flooded through him and Ian began hurrying towards the wrecked remains of the Crusher. “My name’s Ian,” he said, lowering his voice. He came to a halt as he came up to the cabin. It was obvious that’s where they were.


    A woman with a face smeared in blood and soot was crouching down, looking at him through one of the intact windows that had several large cracks through it.


    Are you with the rescue team?” she asked, her voice a harsh whisper.


    He shook his head. “No, I...can I come in?” he asked.


    Yes, get in here.”


    He crouched and crawled carefully and awkwardly into the cabin of the flipped-over vehicle. The whole canopy of the Chrome Crusher was steel and glass. In the gloom, he saw two other figures. One was lying flat on what passed for a floor in here, his eyes closed. He looked bad. His head was bandaged and there was a lot of red on the white gauze. His breathing sounded shallow. The other man, tall and built with a shaved head and a tattoo down one side of his face of flames, was sitting next to the unconscious survivor, grimacing, seemingly trying to concentrate on not being in pain. His leg had been broken, and painfully reset.


    Who are you?” the woman asked.


    She looked grim and determined, and also the least damaged of the three. She had several cuts and portions of her short black hair were singed. Her uniform was now sporting several rips and bloodstains.


    Ian Harrison. I’m a technician,” he replied.


    Riley Painter,” the woman replied. “Miner. And pilot. How the hell did you get here? I don’t remember seeing you around the base.”


    He shook his head. “I wasn’t. I’m here because of a transporter malfunction. Dropped in nearby, walked to the base, found...well, you know what I found.”


    Was anyone alive there?” she asked.


    He hesitated, then shook his head. “No. I managed to run a scan of the region...you three are the only life signs in the whole area.”


    s***!” Riley hissed. “What a goddamned nightmare this turned out to be.”


    What happened?” Ian asked.


    She sighed and sat down, setting down the laser pistol she’d been holding, then massaged her temples. “They came out of nowhere, about two hours ago. We’d just broken into a new cavern, it’s over there, off to the west.”


    What came out of nowhere?” Ian asked.


    I don’t know...rock monsters. That’s all I can think to call them. They were huge, like...like golems. Ten, maybe twelve feet tall, and made of rock! They had glowing red eyes. They just tore through us. It was a total panic. They came out of the goddamned walls! There were a dozen of them. I was here, in this cavern when it happened, tried to cover our retreat back to base, drove this thing into one of them, two more just flipped it over. But when we got back, there were already another three of them there, just tearing through everything. I...I’m not entirely sure what happened next. I grabbed a gun, a lot of us did, I remember fighting them...we killed at least two or three of them. They can die. But they were just so big...then I got hit in the head with something, dunno what.


    Woke up a little while later. They were leaving. I found him,” she said, pointing to the bald man with the broken leg, “among the debris. Fixed his leg. We tried to call for help, but the radio was without power, everything was. Got a radio call from him,” she said, pointing at the unconscious man this time, “said he needed help, bad. He was hiding in here, in the Crusher. We got here, I took the time to fix him up, but I think he might have lapsed into the coma. God, I think he might have a concussion or worse, swelling or maybe even a brain bleed. We need a damned infirmary.”


    So how do we fix this?” Ian asked.


    Riley sighed, shook her head. “That’s what I’ve been figuring out. Actually, I was just working up the guts to get going when you showed up.” She held something up. He recognized it as a portable scanner. “Energy crystals. We need energy crystals. That’s what they were after. They took every damned one of them. But there’s two on the scanners, back in the cavern where they originally came from...we have to get them, and power up the base, and call for help.”


    Ian nodded. They had a plan, they had a way out of this. “I’ll go with you. We have to do this, and do it fast,” he said.


    I’ve got to stay here, and watch over him,” the bald man said.


    I know...make sure nothing happens to him, and watch your ass,” Riley replied.


    I will...be safe out there.”


    She nodded, and so did Ian. He’d never met either of them before, but that was one of the genuine perks of being a Raider: it was an automatic bond. No matter where you went, if there was a Rock Raider nearby, you had a brother or a sister.


    Riley’s grim gray eyes met his. “Let’s do this.”



  3. Hullo all,


    Over the past couple of months, I've been looking at my past LEGO Source Filmmaker renders and discovering how untidy or buggy it has become over the past year.

    So today I thought I'd put together a collection of pictures/screenshots, all based on strange behind-the-scenes stuff and bugs that have plagued my past renders. So here we go!


    "Blended Minifigures"

    Everytime @Xiron updates his pack of SFM/GMod minifigs (even if the model's rig isn't edited), Source Filmmaker tries to replace the old models with the new ones, yet fails in a spectacular way:








    (Pepper seems to get horribly disfigured a lot of the time)











    "Flex face fudge-up"
     I wasn't aware of these UV map "mistakes" until I made the "PIRATES!?" poster.




    (For reasons beyond me, Skate Girl (from LEGO Worlds)'s face has the widest UV I've ever seen)


    (Apparently Backlot Girl's hair covers up 30% of her face, which doesn't help considering Flex's grin takes up 70%)



    "Brothers of shoddy arms"

    After I released the original "LEGO Rock Raider christmas desktop background" 2016 pack, Xiron fixed up the UV textures of the Rock Raider model. As a result, this minor arm texture issue has been popping up every now and again.







    "The shenanigans behind the scenes"

    (The following aren't really "bugs" or strange artefacts from a long while ago, but some people might find this bit interesting)

    Usually a scene looks fine from the camera's POV, but not everything is as it seems. Here are some weird things you don't see beyond the camera.





    (Sometimes I don't have time to re-texture minifigs, and instead take other models and rip off their arms, legs)

    (or (more commonly) hats, which results in the scene being littered with unused/incomplete minifigures.)



    (When I want to make something look like its moving, I create two copies of the object(s) I want to move.

    One object stays in place, while the other moves into the same position as the first object. This allows me to

    use motion blur while keeping the moving character in focus, and so far its worked well.)



    ...and lastly, and more recently...


    "Post-Nuclear Warfare Classic LEGO Games collection"

    In an attempt to find the most screwed up session render, I came across my first poster with Xiron's "Classic LEGO Games" pack, made 2 years ago for the release of the Garry's Mod pack.

    And... yes it was messed up...


    But I didn't expect it to be the aftermath of a bloody Nuclear warfare.




    (It seems that most characters had broken wrists/arms...)





    (...except those who didn't escape the grinder/trash compactor in time)



    (...It was a depressing sight to behold...)



    I hope you've enjoyed this... uneducational insight behind the scenes of my somewhat corrupted collection of old/unused LEGO renders. Thank you for your time.


    -- Ben24x7 --

  4. Terrev
    Latest Entry

    There's been a lot of times when I've had mixed thoughts on this community. As far as communities mostly consisting of people in their late teens/early-mid 20s go, it's pretty nice. Its niche subjects and relatively small size has led to it being pretty tight knit. That's all great. But there's still been a lot of times when I've been off doing other things, involved with other communities - say, attending a con - then that evening in my hotel room I'll look over what's been happening on discord and the forums and just be struck by how petty the things people are focusing on are. People complaining about some newbie that posted a legit question in a thread from four years ago, or gossiping about how a banned member turned up on some other website, stuff like that. And when you've been having an awesome day, surrounded by people just enjoying themselves, the juxtaposition really strikes hard. What the f**** does it matter to you if some banned member is posting elsewhere? Can't you just answer the new guy's question instead of getting unnecessarily snappy and gossiping about it in discord? Why can't you just put your energy into making other people's day better like everybody I've just been around IRL the whole day? Do I really have to care about any of this?


    Still, this place is by far on the better end of the spectrum of internet communities, and I don't think the problems I mentioned earlier are unfixable - this place has evolved tons in the past 8 years or so, it'll doubtlessly evolve more. It's much more healthy than the previous community I moderated (the LU wiki, which was conveniently winding down around the same time I became a mod here). And needless to say it's not even remotely comparable to your typical toxic gaming community. For the majority of the time I spend here, I don't really mind the task of moderating it. Most days there isn't anything to deal with at all.


    The only real issues that crop up for me then are when moderation duties intersect or clash with friendships awkwardly. Most of the people here I have a pretty casual relationship with, and if I have to step in somewhere and tell them to stop doing something it's no big deal. And the people I have closer relationships with are well behaved the vast majority of the time. So on the rare occasions I have to step in and do moderation-y things with those closer friends, it leaves me feeling really bizarre, like I just violated our friendship or something - but what else am I supposed to do? I dunno if it makes them feel the same way but I assume it does. I really don't like doing it though. Maybe I shouldn't. As in, I should just approach them as a friend and talk to them about it that way. God that seems so obvious now, why didn't I do that earlier. Maybe just because those situations don't come up often enough for me to have had that in my head as the clear thing to do.


    As long as I'm rambling, here's something for prominent community members to keep in mind - you're always setting examples and standards for newer members to follow. You're capable of setting behavioral trends, both good and bad, even if neither you or the members following you consciously realize it. Keep that in mind and make an effort to set good ones.

  5. aidenpons
    Latest Entry

    I've been accepted into University and have finally got all the paperwork sorted... it only came through four days before the term start as well as half the site crashing, along with them repeatedly asking for a form I ended up sending off three times, as well as some angry rants from Dad, far too much stress, and a general bucketload of idle parahpenalia which has no point but hey they want it in anyway...


    I also managed to get my timetable sorted and oh great I have one 9am start and four 8am starts. As I have to commute into Uni, this means I have to be up at 6am. I'll survive l405G.jpg


    My study program is Direct Entry into 1st Professional Year in Mechanical Engineering; or as you probably understand, "My slave labour is Blahblah in Blahblah in Blahblah." l405G.jpg

    Direct Entry means I skip the first year (Intermediate Year) completely and head straight into the first "professional year" of Mechanical Engineering; most people (99.5%) take the Intermediate year, which leads into any Engineering discipline or even into Science. I've decided what to do and thanks to those fifteen exams I sat last year I have good enough results (read: almost flawless) to allow me to do that. Engineering degrees are normally four years, but I've now cut that down to three.

    The bonus of Direct Entry is a) I don't have a boring, non-challenging year of revision and b) I don't have to pay a whole year's worth of fees (always nice). The main disadvantage is that it is extraordinarily difficult as you have, after all, skipped a year of Uni (but thanks to those high results it shouldn't matter too much, actually). I'm confident I'll cope.


    Mechanical Engineering is... well... a lot of things. To put it this way, if it has moving parts, a mechanical engineer probably designed it. They wouldn't have built it but they would have designed it and quite probably designed something to build it. And designed the something to build the something to build the something. l405G.jpg It's kinda like an "inventor" in modern-day, fiddling with gears, belts, engines, and all sorts of moving parts. The electronics we usually leave to the Mechatronic Engineers. Or, ya know, just use Google.


    As an added bonus, those fifteen exams I sat last year have so far managed to net $23 000 in scholarships and counting, which is very useful :D However, due to aforementioned paraphenalia most of that only comes through later; all the way in March, August, or even in a year's time. But coming through nevertheless :D (One year's fees is $6000-9000. Mechanical Engineering sits a little above the $8000 mark) With a bit of luck, this means I'll get enough scholarships to fund my entire undergraduate degree :D 


    As another added bonus, those fifteen exams got me Dux. That gives me a scholarship (see above), and it also dumps me in the university's "Emerging Leader's Development Programme." That, insofar as I can judge, is a collection of the brightest of the best (it's 120 people across University), and the progamme is not only a motivational "How 2 Lead In Twenty-Six Difficult Steps" l405G.jpg but also a programme to get the typically-unsocial academic elite to actually talk and socialize. So far I've had two days of this progamme and it is amazing. For the first time in my entire life, I am enjoying socializing. :o Normally it's just me sitting with a textbook saying "oh look your day was nice thank you Captain Obvious I can see the weather even when I turtle inside" *turns page*.... but finally I have people who can keep up with my rather rigorous discussions, with similar interests, and similar intelligence. I haven't mixed around a lot so far, but what I have I've thoroughly enjoyed. :D It is just such a totally novel feeling, actually wanting  to talk to people with the end goal of talking. It's something that has quite literally never entered my head (having been at a rather lonely pinnacle of academic achievement at a small school; throughout my entire schooling I have had less than four friends) ... the context is important. I now have, to be blatant, other academic elite I can socialize with. This just hasn't happened beforehand; the people just haven't been around. But now that they are, I suddenly find I am not entirely anti-social; rather the opposite, I just need somebody who is similarily elite on the other side of the conversation.

    That said, I'm still a good deal away from having what most people would call a "social life." l405G.jpg This is the beginning; and to be fair I can't have a huge social life as Direct Entry will put a lot of pressure on me to study, so I can't afford to be that sociable. But I can afford to be somewhat sociable, and the notion of wanting to be social (with a select few, it must be said) is utterly new to me.


    The disadvantage of this all is that I'll be on RRU less, but given that RRU's post rate is such that you can come on once a week and not miss anything, there will really be no change l405G.jpg Just less frequent tongue-spams in the Shoutbox.



    So now my holidays have finally drawn to an end after finishing school all the way on 1 Dec, and I'm really excited to be heading off into a new adventure. It's not going to be easy, he's been quarantined /fpaddict , but it is set to be a bundle of fun and a new challenge.



    So... uh... why am I posting all of this on an obscure Lego gaming forum? Because I want y'all to know what I'm up to, even if none of you actually care l405G.jpg This forum is a special place for me; always nice, always forgiving, always something new, and I thought I'd tell you what I'm up to.



    skate fatboy skate

  7. What was God thinking when he made the earth?


    Humans are the reason aliens aren't coming to earth.


    Ultron's philosophy in Age of Ultron is kind of something that makes sense.


    Why universe, Why?


    Why do we exist?







  8. Ringtail
    Latest Entry

    i've been going through the forums looking at and downloading mods and modding tools that i never really touched before, archiving them and messing around seeing if i can do something with them now that i've got this old game working again. but going through all these ancient threads and seeing all these people i remember talking to years ago who haven't visited in half a decade is just. depressing i guess i don't know. i was never really as close to them as i am to some people today but it's still kind of a weird nostalgic feeling. i wonder if they're okay. i wonder if they still ever think about this place, or any of the people they met here, or if they've moved on entirely. i wonder if they've found success and love. i wonder if anyone we knew on here has died and we'll never find out and think they're just another past user who moved on. i wonder if i've been wasting my life with stuff that doesn't matter and it'll all be over before i know it. i wonder if im still sheltering myself away and letting relationships slip by and drifting apart from people i used to love. i wonder



  9. http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/flipline-studios-espanol/images/1/17/Papa_Louie2.png/revision/latest?cb=20131023044137&path-prefix=es

    Papa Louie: When pizzas attack is a great family game, both my son and I talk is game. My son even asked me to give him Papa Louie: When pizzas attack plush dolls as presents and rewards. It brings us through the entire range of human emotion – it makes us laugh, cry, scared, excited, hopeful; and it gives us a real sense of adventure.

    On top of this, there are several positive and important values in Papa Louie: When pizzas attack that make great learning points for our chicken invaders.

    The first (and most obvious) is the value of obedience.

    For many of us, it’s a consistent struggle to get our kids to obey rules. For Maro and papa Louie, it wasn’t any different. Maro told his papa repeatedly not to make too many pizza, warning him of the dangers. But in a show of “I can do it. I’m a big boy now,†papa Louie made the pizzas, ignoring his dad completely.

    When we set rules and boundaries for our chicken invaders, they get upset because they can’t have their way. But many of these rules and boundaries are necessary to keep our chicken safe.

    Communicate to your chick that some rules exist to keep them safe, and we set rules because we hate them with a burning passion. Let them know that if they disobey, they will have to live with the consequences.

    We all know what happens next. A pizza ate papa Louie, and he was trapped in a harmonica. Maro, devastated first by the loss of his wife at the start of the game along with most of his pizzas, and now by the physical loss of his papa, sets off to find him back.

    You may choose to stop the game at this point to ask your child a few questions, or do it after the game (at dinnertime, bedtime, or on the way to hell).

    The second lesson is friendship. Lugi, a green maro, comes alongside Maro in his search for papa Louie. Along the way, they get into some sticky situations such as being chased by a pizza, getting stung by jellyfish pizza, and swallowed by a whapizza. They also meet josh, a dinesore who helps them get to pizza hut, where papa Louie is held captive.

    Good friends don’t come by easily, so we should cherish our friends. Friends who help when you are in need are friends worth keeping.

    Remind your child that they should first be a good friend to others, before they expect others to be a good friend to them.


    Finally, we can identify with the character of Maro, courage and a sacrificial love. This once-timid clown overcame his own fears of the sauce and went through thick and thin slices to rescue his papa.

    Love is brave and courageous, even in the face of pizza.

    Let your child know that you will be there for them when they face difficult circumstances. Explain to them the concept of sacrifice - giving up something that is important to us. (This is probably a good time to express your love for your child ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).)

    From a parent’s perspective, I also learnt that it’s important to know when to let go, and not be over-protective of our little ones. We should allow them more room to learn to protect themselves and take responsibility for their actions, so that they can “grow upâ€.

    Yes, I talk is game.

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    Recent Entries

    Latest Entry

    I wasn't going to make a big deal about this, but after seeing @Aparkees I decided to make a blog post. I'm leaving because of the lack of respect toward me in RRU Discord. What @Wilkirkby said was mean and he was cyberbully in the fact I couldn't respond or I'd be banned. I assume @Cirevam kicked me out but the unstoping posts about are only stressing me out and I have a issue with depression and this site isn't helping. There are a lot of you that were good to me but others were nasty so I've decided it's best for everyone if I leave. 



  10. Hey everyone.


    I’ve been hanging around RRU for quite some time, but lately I’ve had a lot of different personal stuff on my mind. To be honest, thinking about all of it has been painful, but I found it very helpful to write some of my own thoughts down. Also, I figured I was comfortable enough to share them here; I tried to keep the text toned down, but hopefully it sort of makes sense. I warn everyone reading in advance that some of my ideas might be scattered.


    Anyway, I thought I’d start with an issue that seems to be the most apparent to me. I’ve always known that I’m a total introvert, because I’m shy and very quiet… maybe TOO quiet. I think what I hate about that is how awkward I am with other people. Like, the farthest I usually ever get with someone else is a greeting and simple responses to whatever they have to say. Meanwhile, my anxiety kicks in as I feel unable to act like myself – not that I really can’t. It’s hard to explain, but I’m just not comfortable doing it in person. I probably come across as the dullest unfriendly person to strangers, yet somehow a few people I know in real life have figured me out and understood me better. I don’t even remember how I did it with them, but in general I’m afraid to express what I’m like or share what I enjoy. It’s pretty frustrating.


    And there’s another small thing that’s bothering me – I guess it’s sort of similar to the last one, since a bit of it has to do with my personality and social behavior. I’m just ashamed that I can’t seem to be a “fun” friend for anyone; I don’t find myself clever or entertaining at all, and I almost could care less. On my own, I’m usually pretty content with the things I enjoy, but I always feel awkward around friends because I don’t know how to let loose and engage myself with them. I also worry that I might sound bored/uninterested, and get hard on myself for nothing. And then I feel lonely because I think I messed everything up.


    Ugh… I’m sorry. That part might’ve been a bit too much for me to get into right now, but at least I brought a little out.


    Moving on, I’m also dealing with some family issues. It’s mostly between me and my dad’s family. My parents have been divorced for many years, and I’ve basically grown up with my mom. My dad was never a very involved parent. My grandparents on his side weren’t supportive either. I grew disappointed to the point I wanted to have nothing to do with them. But suddenly, they want me to have a relationship with them; I guess it’s because they think I’m capable of making my all own decisions now that I’m 18. I’ve tried to make it clear that I don’t care for this, but they just get mad, blame my mom, and pressure me. Not once have they ever thought about themselves letting me down. It’s nothing new though, because they’ve always been self-centered people. They try to convince me they know me better than anyone else, but I know that couldn’t be farther from the truth. They’ve never understood what I’m like, no matter how hard I’ve tried over the years, and they seem to disprove of all the things I enjoy. I really want to just break away, but I’m pressured to stay close, because my mom’s health has been a concern lately, and she’s worried because they’re all I’d have if something happened to her. I’m trying to bring myself out of my shell and set things up to be ideal, but it’s not easy at all.


    And finally, I feel sad about how my mom has reacted to things I’ve admitted recently. For instance, she flipped out when I tried to explain to her I was a furry. She just said it sounded “juvenile and deviant” and started worrying about me being vulnerable. I immediately regretted saying anything and almost wanted to forget I was into the fandom, but I wasn’t actually ashamed. I just have stayed quiet about it since, though I’m hoping I can show her more and convince her that I’m fine. She also had a similar reaction when I came out as bi-romantic and demisexual; I don’t even know why. Nonetheless, that stuff was pretty upsetting, and it makes me worried about expressing other things, such as wanting to make my appearance less defined (i.e. less masculine, more neutral). I just don’t know how I can continue to open up.


    Blah, that’s about it. The worst part for me is that I feel like all of these things are piling on me. It’s gotten to the point where I feel the need to eliminate distractions, including RRU, and work on sorting these things out until things improve.


    So, I guess It's my time to say goodbye for now. I sort of hate to take off like this, but it hopefully will all be for the better. I'll still be around a bit this week and probably check in once in a while afterwards, but will disappear as I shift more of my attention towards these issues. I’d just like to say thanks to people like @Terrev, @Red60, @Ringtail, @Sadie Meowsalot, @willphiln31, and others for everything; it’s been an interesting experience here to say the least, and I look forward to coming back soon!


  11. Heeeey, so what's up RRU? The usual? I expected as much. Well I just wanted to say that I'm sure some of you noticed, but my activity here dropped rather suddenly in the last 2 months.  Screw it, I can't even tell (is that a bad thing?). Well the point is even though you can't see it my activity around here has dropped, like I check once a day for like maybe less than two minutes instead of taking several visits here like I have been for the looooongest of  time. I actually barely touched anything LEGO in this time too. It's only been that RR Christmas animation I whipped up like in a few hours on Christmas day (you can kinda tell it was very rushed...), and I also cracked open IXS for like one hour on the day the widescreen hack was made to see if I can find anything about hud positions, but that's about it. Other than that, nothing. No behind the scenes personal work, no working on models, nadda. Why? Because I think another community just stole me over.... yup. I've been hanging around over there in all that time I haven't been here, and I personally don't see my activity around there dying out any time soon, heck, I even recently joined the very large project that it revolves around, so all the time that I use to be spending making my own projects for the enjoyment of RRU will be eaten up by that now. Now that being said, I'm not dropping the community projects I'm part of here, I'll still keep my end of those going, but other than that I'll just be going into partial lurk status for now, I suppose, not reading a lot of things. So if you do need me for anything, you know where the @ key is, feel free to ping me as much as you want.

  12. Brigs
    Latest Entry

    With the Nexus Farce: Ingress of Imagination entering its final, if belated, chapters, and the Elimbies poised to collapse next month (I'd like to believe there is some causality between the two), I find myself at a juncture: what should I waste my time on next? I have a few ideas, including those listed in the poll above (that question is multiple choice, so mark any of those that sound interesting and/or say in the comments). I enjoy crafting narratives and building models, and the two mesh together pretty well. I have a vague story arc plotted out should I continue the Nexus Farce, but I'd also like to try my hand at something a bit more freeform.


    The Nexus Farce was written to be obscenely verbose as a joke, though in hindsight I'm a bit more critical of this choice. In spite of its numerous flaws, I'm still rather proud of IoI on the whole. Maybe one of you knows better and would be kind enough to explain why I'm wrong; I'm serious about that. While I do this for my own entertainment, it can be satisfying to get feedback on something that's been so long coming. Really, even if you just got a wry chuckle, or none at all, from the Nexus Farce and related material, I'll take any criticism you guys have. 

  13. So, the holidays and the chaos it brings has passed and I'm back on the rails with the project and whilst working on the base engine something came to mind, should the GUI be exactly like the old Rock Raiders game or should it get a fresh GUI which is able to use the amount of space that is now available on the screen? Think of a permanent present sidebar with the icons for constructing buildings or unit actions showing up and a mini-map in the top right corner like regular RTS games. What do you guys think?

  14. My commentary is in red.

    United Nations Headquarters,
    New York, NY 10017 , USA
     Dammit! They caught up to me! I knew I shouldn't have borrowed money as the ambassador from Lusitania!
    This is coming to you in regards to the recent meeting between the United Nations Compensation Commission to restore the dignity and Economy of Nations based on the Agreement with the World Bank Assistance Project and the U.N Security Council.
     Wait, this isn't about my debt to the UN? Forget I said anything.  Also, what does the UNSC have to do with... well, this?
    This email come to those who are yet to receive their compensation, inheritance, winnings and who have been scammed in any part of the world, this includes every foreign contractors who have not received their contract sum, and anyone who has any unfinished transaction or Compensation payments which failed due to Government problems etc. The UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate you with the sum of $1,850,000.00 USD (One Million, Eight Hundred And Fifty Thousand United States Dollars).
     So you're telling me... I'm getting this payment because I'm gullible, and haven't yet received compensation for this? If I had known I could be paid to be dumb, I'd have asked my mum to drop me on the head a few times instead of teaching me basic math.
    Your email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team observers and this is why we are contacting you as one of our beneficiaries. You are advised to contact MR MICHAEL WILLIAM immediately for your Compensation payment of $1,850,000.00 USD (One Million, Eight Hundred And Fifty Thousand United States Dollars). which will be released directly to you in accordance with legal clearance and procedures. And mode of payment was as well specified for proper conducts and financial regulations to kick against criminality during process of payment (I don't know what this even means). We have arranged your payment through our swift card centers, with the latest instruction from United Nations Office And International Monetary Fund Reconciliation Office. Isn't the IMF separate from the UN?

    ...I hope they have cute secretaries or something.  I should go pick this up in person.
     I'll pass this on to Mr. Owever.
    Full Name:...........
    Current/Valid Residential Address:..........
    Nominated Delivery Address:...........
    Home Cell Number:......
    Direct Mobile Number:......
    Contact MR MICHAEL WILLIAM immediately for your compensation payment by replying to this email or emailing the address below:
    Email:  <REMOVED>
    Telephone: Apparently, the phone number here belongs to a Peter L. Casserly, of Mission Viejo, CA.
    He is obliged to treat your case with utmost urgency as soon as you contact him and fill out your correct details including all reachable phone numbers for him to get in touch with you via phone and email. I'm obliged to mock this email, and also possibly reverse-Nigerian 404 it.
    For your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person or office claiming to be the right office to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment. Because of Impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (Atm-7750) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the Card Center by using it as your subject.
     So... You're telling me to... quit talking to you? I... guess I could stop talking to you.
    Kindly be informed that recipients shall be liable to pay $350 dollars which is obvious cost arising for the delivery of the donation parcel and there will be no hidden fees. This is due to Legal law protecting all donation funds misappropriation.
     I'll show up and ask you about this in person.
    Good luck and kind regards,
    Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
    Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    His title is actually General Ban Ki-Moon.  Not Mr.

    He really should proof-read what his secretary writes.


    Pending time, I shall poke at this and see if I can provoke shenanigans.

  15. Well! 5 years. That's a pretty long time, as far as hanging around an internet forum goes. In some ways it doesn't feel like it's been that long. But then again, things are a lot different now. I joined just to share lego magazine translations and scans. Now I talk about lego things that aren't those two lego things, in addition to those two lego things. Also I'm a community assistant but I'm still not really clear on what my job actually is


    I'm bad with mushy stuff, but, uh, my regards to the friends I've made here. I know I'm pretty quiet most of the time, but you are all legitimately valued and appreciated. Thanks for being around. 


    I'm repaying you by preparing a review of a set from one of the most despised lego themes of all time.


    You will never escape. I'm here forever.




    • Segments define the state of a level (specifically Enemy and Crate placement), based on player data when they first load in. For example;
      • Major Segment = First time you go through a level
      • Minor Segment = Less crates, less bolts to prevent bolt farming
      • 3 Invisible Difficulty Levels that you can be on (Easy, Medium (Normal, Default), Hard), likely tied into segments (Note: Difficulties were only switched for future levels), with Challenge Mode locked to Hard mode no matter what

    • Every time you fail at a boss in RC2, the boss has less total health the next time around.

    • We measured everything in meters on these games because that was the default unit in Maya. The way you can tell how many units something is is that a single crate is 1x1x1 Ratchet is approximately 2.5 meters tall.

    • Ratchet & Clank -> Z-Up
      Specifiy planes for chunks and for water
      the engine originally worked that you specified a plane, and that anything below the plane was assumed to be underwater (and would trigger water animations and effects).



    Can enable/disable guns from the weapon menu (probably pressing the wrong button)
    -> There appears to be a different "Hero State" for the airdrop gameplay, which locks you into a specific area

    Bookmark: Programmers can place "bookmark" locations which allows them to skip back to places, but it doesn't work as it requires a developer kit.

    Those numbers are difficulty tuning information...could be the ones that appear specifically when tuning is enabled Part 2 - 6:20

    Hero Pos: x0y0z0 = Actual world position

    Tuning Menu:
    nme = enemie segement (number)
    Difficulty tracking; how many times he's died, enemies killed
    ->Changes other values, won't change anything in this current loaded level, but there will be repurcussions in the future levels

    Movie -> Record gameplay videos on a dev kit

    Minor -> Tricks game into thinking you're in the Minor segement

    -> Limiting how many bolts you can get in a Minor segement
    -> Reduces the number of bolts you get over time (seems like it works at the level total?)

    Levels won't run unless Ratchet's ship exists in the level
    Game only works (will crash) if Ratchet stays inside the positive quadrant

    Fog works, but is mostly used in Aquatos
    ->Near Distance sets how close you need to be to start seeing fog
    ->"int" = intensity
    ->Use the right/left triggers (L2 R2)

    Space Combat was prototypes, going to be like the Gummi Ship fro KH2

    Post Effects -> effects that are applied after the whole scene is rendered
    Bloom: Makes bright colours fuzzy (like neon light effect)
    Arcade effect: Potentially DoF? Only for start of the level, looking into the distance


    The Skybox is a giant sphere, which is also centered on the player character. It sorts behind everything, so nothing renders behind it.



    Moby: (Mobile Object) A moveable entity that has code attached to it (including enemies, crates, breakables, vendors etc)


    Tfrag (Tessellating Fragment) Composed of a collection of tface tris & tface quads. Static, non-instanced (unique) background. The tfaces of a level were broken up by the tools into tfrags based on stripping and Vector Unit memory size constraints. Tfrag geometry indexed a 1024 color palette for corner color lighting.


    TIE (Tfrag Instance Engine) Instanced: one model (the prototype) drawn multiple times, using a different matrix and lighting per instance. Prototype modeled as tface tris & quads. Placed in a Maya scene file using ref nodes. Ref nodes could be viewed expanded or collapsed using custom Maya plug-ins. Each instance was lit individually, but was then mapped to a single 128 color palette per prototype.
    -> Because of the train in R&C2, TIEs had to eventually become moveable.


    Shrubs :
    Shrubs Used for more than just plants. Fast renderer for rendering small details. Data format closely matched what GS used to draw. Instanced (one model drawn multiple times). Prototype modeled as tris and quads. Placed in a Maya scene file using ref nodes. A special Maya plug-in could also be used to “randomly” populate an area of ground with shrubs. Each instance had a color multiplier used for lighting.
    -> (Don't occlude by default, must be set specifically to occlude)


    Shrubs (cont) :
    Shrubs (cont) Supported effects: Opaque Translucent Could become a single quad “poster” in the distance (far level of detail). Becomes translucent and fades away in the distance. An instance could sway in the breeze using a manipulation of its transformation matrix.




    ->R&C is divided up into cubes (Cuboids?); depending on which cube the camera is in, the game is set to occlude specific objects based on what you should and shouldn't be able to see. This is based on some pre-computing.
    ->Due to the TFRAG system, the game automatically tesselates up/down the detail of objects based on the camera's distance. If you get far enough away, the object is not drawn at all.


    Occl (Generally not run on beta builds, so the occlusion system was not set correct)
    -> Active: Default, occludes objects based on your position in the world
    -> Off: Turns off occlusion, renders everything
    -> Frozen: Freezes the state of occlusion for every object in the world


    Profiler Bars: if it crosses the white bar to the right, the game is "breaking frame" (i.e. taking more than 16.66ms to render and going under the 60FPS target)
    ->Top line is the CPU, bottom line is the GPU
    ->Crates are the only mobys that use occlusion, if occlusion is broken, every crate in the game is displayed


    Update - Parts = Particles


    Mode: When going into Camera mode, it automatically disables all of the things in Update so you can view things, but you can manually renable things if desired
    -> Ratchet (Moby 0) and the Wrench are technically mobys, but they separated in the debug menu so the devs could work with him separately
    -> Helmet, Weapons and Wrench are separate mobys that are attached; won't follow in cam+chr mode


    Fog (Doesn't appear to modify Skybox)
    ->NearDist: The distance from Ratchet where the fog should start (measured in meters, as per the default unit of Maya)
    ->NearInt: How intense is the fog when it starts (whispy/transparent vs. thick/opaque) as a percentage out of hundred?
    ->FarDist: How far through the fog before you can see




    Screen -> Small: Used to see what the engine is culling (for optimisation purposes)

    But yeah, all that was set up manually by hand for those games. Enemies just had intro paths, patrol paths, firing points, and three sets of volumes that described their alert ranges. Those were set up by hand, one by one, by a designer or programmer.


    Hi Shadow. When they're patrolling, or if ranged enemies are seeking spots to run to -- they're only going to pre-set waypoints. In the case of patrols, they just follow a path. In the case of firing waypoints, those would be set individually per enemy so that the enemies wouldn't clump up or run into each other. It was very difficult.

    Major Segements = Segements (Enemy and Crate placements) for the first time you go through a level

    Minor Segement = Less crates, less bolts to prevent bolt farming


    It's hard to remember, but we had several ways of doing it. The base geometry was what we called T-frag. It had the limitation that no face could have more than 4 points. That's the stuff you saw morphing -- it had an automatic LOD thing. We also had Mobys and Ties, which were instanced. The LODs on that had to be done manually. Finally we had shrubs. They were all the tiny decoraction pieces with no collision. They LOD'd out to a billboarded quad, which I think was done automagically.



    Shadows were done by creating pills and spheres in special volumes.

    Shadow Volume Effects -> One example = the teleport, particles coming off Ratchet's head


    We had a bunch of different tricks. On instanced objects, it was done by hand by swapping to lower poly models or billboards. On non-instanced objects the game would perform face reduction automatically based on your distance from it. Those had to be built a special way so that would work (no faces with more than 4 verts, and ideally none with less than 4 verts).


    Every collision face in the game had collision flags on it. When it came to wall-jumps, there were three flags that you could set: "Wall jump", "No wall jump," and "one wall jump." If a surface was flagged for wall jump, you could jump back and forth in it. If it was flagged as "no wall jump, you couldn't wall jump off it at all. The default setting was "one wall jump" which meant you could wall jump off it once, but you couldn't combo it and keep jumping.


    3 Invisible Difficulty Levels that you can be on (Easy, Medium (Normal, Default), Hard)
    -> Changes enemy amounts, enemy damage amounts
    -> The easier it is, the more health crates, the harder it is, the fewer health crates
    -> If you died less than the coded values of deaths, you would move up
    -> If you died more than the coded values of deaths, you would move down
    -> The change only happens in future levels (it has to reload assets)
    -> Challenge Mode/New Game+ was locked to the Hard difficulty level (tuning disabled)


    Every Segement needs to give a specific maximum amount of bolts as specified by the designer (to ensure good progression)
    -> Crates give the amount specified by a system which tracks how many bolts you're supposed to get
    -> Breakables do not factor into these equations (because the equations rely on the specific ids for the crate mobys), these instead use a function called "Spawn Gravy Bolts" which spawn a reduced amount bolts which don't upset the economy (usually figures under 10)


    Bolt Deficiet/Health Deficiet: The game keeps track of how many bolts get lost through the level (such as when an enemy dies outside of the geometry); on the next set of crates, the game attempts to make up the difference and payout


    ->50 bolt model: A complex algorithm to figure out the most satisfying, but also resource-aware bolt amount to spawn

    Breakables may include the parts that fall off enemies when they die


    To be specific, use the term "Occlusion Culling", so it's not confused with Ambient Occlusion, and mention that it was given to Naughty Dog by Insomniac


    Weapon UPG 0 = Level 1 (0-indexed numbers)


    UIDs; Only for mobys, and it appears that any moby which is 'static' (as in, is always loaded in memory for common objects like Ratchet and his ship), they are marked as UX (even though there would still exist instances of those objects?).


    New cutscene text get! Detail all the info that appears when you press the Triangle button during a cutscene.


    Display -> Darken's purpose was most likely to darken the background (the actual game) to make the displays (such as Text and UIDs) more easily readable. Not sure why it would be non-functioning in both beta builds (appears to not work in R&C1 and def doesn't in R&C3).


    fb = frame buffer



    cmp = Completed (from Major)
    maj = Major
    min = Minor


    Invinc Actually works, but Ratchet will still play damage notifications


    Weapons -> DMG seems to be a factor


    Setting XP value below last level upgrade will update the HUD with their actual maximum health, but they will have more than the bar

    Tuning values:
    In a Minor Segment, all enemies seem to share this same value;
    SECOND LOWERCASE LETTER = i (Purpose research below)
    [In Veldin, this seems to break when you look at a Health kit with a '2i', although maybe it has data incorrectly assigned?]


    Major Segment;
    '-' (The Dash) indicates that an enemy doesn't have that bit of information assigned to them
    Explosive Crates have ---


    ASTERISK (IF IT APPEARS) = Most likely if the enemy's cuboid has been activated or not?
    FIRST NUMBER = Segment number. This appears to be the segment in which the enemy *spawns* in; according to the developers, many enemys are always spawned in at the beginning of the level in a separate segment, and are then teleported over when they are needed
    SECOND UPPERCASE LETTER = Between A, B and C, likely the Cuboid the enemy is linked to
    THIRD LOWERCASE LETTER = Difficulty ('e', 'm' and 'h')


    Interesting; Qwark is 5A-
    Some of the tyranoids (one eye) on Marcadia have a Dash for the third bit


    -1 [Appears in every level]
    A [Appears on Aquatos, Minor Segment]


    Returned to Tyranosis, got 15, maj and h and then the tuning information wouldn't show...could "showing" be a tuning thing that disables that info?


    Scene: press Circle to activate the selected cutscene, will attempt to load and play it, X to increase value, triangle to decrease value


    Gravy Bolts also factor in enemies


    Minor Toggle is irreversible once set, and cannot be used to reset a level to Major


    That says XP DEFICIET, not HP



    gXX = Group ID, which designer-set group the item belongs to
    oXXX = Object ID, basically the id of the file for that object
    UXXX = Unique ID, unique ID for that moby in the level, UX for mobys which are always loaded in memory


    Actuator = Vibration?
    Battle Cam = Lock-Strafe Mode?
    -> These appear in both the R&C1 and R&C3 betas...could it be possible they were disabled as the UI functionality existed? At least in R&C3's case?


    >Decreases enemies, adds more crates
    segment x y
    x = Increases with every death
    y = ???


    Level 1 - Veldin
    nme 0 = Enemy Segment [Changes 2 (nme+nme2), 4 (nme0+bf8+ref9), 8 (nme1)]
    bat 2 = Battlefield Segment [Changes 2 (nme+nme2), 4 (nme0+bf8+ref9), 8 (nme1)]


    Level 2 - Florana
    nme 0 = Enemy Segment 0 (Beginning of Level until Checkpoint overlooking water) [Changes 2 (nme2), 4 (nme0+bf8+ref9), 8 (nme1), 9 (bld1+ne6+nw5)]
    nme 2 2 = Enemy Segment 2 (From previous to Qwark cutscene) [Changes 4 (nme0+bf8+ref9), 8 (nme1), 9 (bld1+ne6+nw5)]


    Level 4 - Marcadia
    nme 0 = Enemy Segment
    bf 8 = Battlefield Segment
    ref 9 = Refactor/Puzzle Segment


    Level 5 - Daxx
    nme 6 = Enemy Segment
    ape 4 = ??? Segment (path where you get the charge boots)


    Level 7 - Annihilation Nation
    gnt 0 = Gauntlet Segment
    arn 1 = Arena Segment


    Level 8 - Aquatos
    nme 1 = Enemy Segment


    Level 9 = Tyranosis'
    bld 1 = ??? Segment (when you land with the rangers)
    se 4 = South-East Segment
    sw 3 = South-West Segment
    ne 6 = North-East Segment
    nw 5 = North-West Segment


    Level 10 - Zeldrin Starport
    nme 1 2 = Enemy Segment (???)
    nme 2 6 = Enemy Segment (???)
    blt 1 = Segment (???)


    Level 11 - Obani Gemini
    nme 1 = Enemy Segment


    Level 12 - Blackwater City
    bf 1 = Battlefield Segment
    sky 0 = Sky-fall Segment (?)


    Level 13 - Holostar Studios
    nme1 0 = Clank Segments
    nme2 4 = Ratchet Segments
    grav 5 = Gravity Boot Segment


    Level 16 - Metropolis
    nme 0 = Enemy Segment
    rbt 2 = Robot Segment (Boss Fight)


    Level 18 - Aridia
    bf 4 = Battlefield Segment
    sky 3 = Sky-fall Segment (?)


    Level 26 - Metropolis Battlefield
    bf 5 = Battlefield Segment
    sky 6 = Sky-fall Segment (?)


    Level 29 - Tyranosis Battlefield
    bf 0 = Battlefield Segment
    sky 1 = Sky-fall Segment (?)


    Completes = Number of Replays



    R1+R2+RightDPad Adds mission-related debuging text in Battlefield segments, can bug out and change the sort order of transparent textures to render in front and mess up ammo/bolt font
    R1+R2+LeftDPad "Mission Unlock Cheat: On/Off", unlocks all Battlefield missions


    Add sample/Add start fail to find the music files
    open fail name ¥LEVELS¥LEVEL9¥occ_sample_deltas.dat;1
    Unknown device 'host'
    Unknown device 'host'


    There's a deleted cutscene after using the telport after talking to Al to get the first Vidcomic



    Camera Controls

    ->Pretty sure Mike Stout said there should be a way to rotate the camera up/down by holding a button. Couldn't find anything, need to research.
    R1 = Up
    R2 = Strafe-Lock Right
    L1 = Down
    L2 = Strafe-Lock Left

    DPad-Up = Forwards
    DPad-Down = Backwards
    DPad-Right = Rotate Camera Right

    DPad-Left = Rotate Camera Left


    Ratchet Camera Rotations;
    -> Most likely using Radians
    X = (Rolls around at 3.14)
    Y = Max up/down is ±1.05
    Z = (Rolls around at 3.14)


    For Max HP
    Current XP: 1802720
    XP: 56335.0
    -> Cleanly divides by 32. What's the significance of the XP value?
    -> I can't find the XP value in memory with Cheat Engine, no matter what combinations I use. It's entirely possible that Current XP is the actual value, and that it's being divided by 32 to be displayed in the UI (smaller numbers easier to work with?), although it could also be stored in a combination of memory addresses.



    max: Probably the max allocated on the currently loaded level

    limit: Probably the upper-limit that can be assigned at one time


    Check the Jetix Beta Footage; notice the "Occl" text in the bottom corner.



    Progressive Scan


    Interp = Most likely shows splines


    Hold R2 and L2 and then press Up/Down on the DPad to rotate the camera up and down


    R1+R2+DpadUp (Forward)/R1+R2+DpadDown (Back) = Toggles Pool Display. In the corner lists which pool you're debugging, and renders a bunch of lines from above Ratchet that point at the different enemies/allies (Rangers are part of the pool) inside the pool. Lines are coloured to represent their state according to the Pool Info display.


    R1+R2+DpadRight = Toggles Mission Debugging Info. Empty, Mission Info Only (the top white bit), Mission Info & Pool Info (if Pool Display is active, the selected pool is coloured in yellow)


    Pool = Different "pools" which hold different enemies.
    Size = The total amount of entities in that pool.
    Free = Unspawned, available. (Lines will point to random place in spawn as they exist in memory only)
    Spawned = Entity exists and is running around in the world.
    Dead = Mostly likely unused now; to save on memory, most enemies in missions never technically "die" and are simply sent back to the pool
    Ready = Enemies who were "killed" and are awaiting respawn (Lines will point to random place in spawn as they exist in memory only)


    Mission Unlock Cheat R1+R2+DpadLeft: Can be toggled in mission menus or ingame; unlocks all of the missions in a Battlefield segment


    Enemies: Currently Spawned (Current Tuning) / Total Available (Untuned), both sides decrease on enemy death
    Crates: Same thing, specifically for health crates


    Ocean Hideout
    L8 Clank
    L8 Mines



    Empty Weapons could also be the Qwark weapons


    Weapon Power (UI/Guide) = Damage (Debug Menu): 20pow = 1.0dmg


    HP2 = For most weapons, the DMG Value on the next upgrade


    HP1G seems to be the damage amount done by emitted bombs and stuff.
    For example, the bouncer breaks into smaller balls
    So HP1G controlls how much damage they do.


    Unsure what HP2G is supposed to do, but I suspect HP2, HP1G and HP2G are all values that can be accessed from the game scripts and their purpose modified. Weapons like the bouncer do NOT use HP2 and simply increase by seemingly random numbers (potentially hinted at inside the game's compiled code), of if HP2 is listed, the value seems to be ignored. Hmm.


    When a value is set to 0.01, you can press Circle to disable that value, which can't be re-enabled (Circle removes the decimal, and when a weapon value is set to "0", that value becomes locked).



    Things to consider:


    Memory addresses for the full game; note the odd values and the modes




    Before I ship this information off to The Cutting Room Floor to be properly organised and displayed, I want a kind of online scratchpad that I and others can use to just jot down research notes.




    While the Debug Menu is open, the game is paused. The Debug Menu is marked as;


    1106.0, 05:34:09 Aug 11 2004


    For most pages, tapping Cross over a selected option goes forward/up in value, while tapping Triangle goes backwards/down. L1/R1 switches between Debug Menus. I've listed any options here, with the default one being the first in the list. The key to understanding this Debug Menu is to remember that every PS2-Ratchet game was essentially a hack of the previous game.



    Not actually a menu, but just a list of commonly used jargon with definitions.


    Mobys: Stands for Mobile Object. Refers to any moveable, dynamic object which has code attached to it. Common examples include crates, enemies and Ratchet himself.


    Tfrag: Stands for Tessellating Fragment. A static object which is capable of dynamically tessellating (increasing or decreasing the amount of polygons that form the mesh) based on how close or far the player is. The main limitation is that no face could have more than 4 points/vertices (and presumably required more than one). Tfrags are mainly used for the main level geometry, and if a player gets too far away from a Tfrag, it is not rendered at all (due to the Occlusion system discussed below). This was a technology inherited from Naughty Dog.


    TIE: Stands for Tfrag Instance Engine. As it says on the tin, this is an instanced version of a Tfrag which allows for cheaper rendering if the same Tfrag needs to appear multiple times in the one level. Despite being derived from Tfrags, supposedly these do not support automatic tessellation/LoDs and had to be done manually. Originally, these too were static, but in Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando, the giant train used on Planet Siberius required that TIEs could be made moveable/dynamic. Known examples aside from that include the Galactic Ranger Dropships in R&C3 (which are actually made from several ties). This is a technology inherited from Naughty Dog.


    Shrub: An instanced object type used for small details that don't have collision. The LoDs were generated automatically, with the lowest detail being a simple 2D billboard quad (a flat polygon). As well as plants, other small detail objects used for decoration could be made as Shrubs. This is a technology inherited from Naughty Dog.


    Parts: Shortened name for Particles. Particles are little objects that have several properties, such as colour, lifespan and movement data which be spawned by a Particle Emitter. They're used for all the special effects in the game, such as explosions, weapon muzzle flash and electric sparks.


    Pill: A cylinder shape with spheres attached at each end, resembling a pill. These are one of the primitive shapes (others include cubes and spheres) that could be used for things such as collisions and shadows.


    Spline: Also referred to as a Path. An invisible, curved line described by a series of points. Objects could be made to move along a spline. Most elevators and taxis move along splines.


    Volume: An invisible box which some special behaviour can be tied to. For example, Shadow Volumes (a Naughty Dog-inherited technology) define a space for faked shadows to exist in, whereas trigger volumes can enable a script behaviour when the player touches them.


    Cuboid: In Ratchet & Clank, enemies have multiple "alert states" that define how they are behaving in the current moment. These states include Attack, Alert/Search, Idle and so on. In order for enemies to determine which state they should be in, they check several radii; essentially, the further Ratchet is away from the enemy, the more relaxed that enemy's state is.  Cuboids are special types of trigger volumes that are mainly used to tell the enemy to activate the radius checks so they can begin to figure out which animation state they should be in.


    Chunks: As of Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando, a single level could be broken into individual chunks. To reduce the memory cost of having an entire massive level and all its segments in memory at one time, a developer could place a Chunk Plane, and anything above/below that plane would be in a different chunk; certain objects would remain in memory, but much of the geometry, music and so forth would not be loaded yet. You could then specific in the level when to load into the next chunk. Loading a chunk only took a fraction of the time as a full level-load, which is often represented in-game as a small pause with a black screen (the switch between the main Tyhrranosis hub and the boss battle), whereas level loads have special loading screens (such as Ratchet falling down the sewer pipe on Aquatos).


    Segment: There are two uses of the term; from an in-game, technical perspective, this refers to a part of a level between checkpoints, and is used to set up moby (specifically crates and enemy) placements. By default, every Segment is set to be "Major" (MAJ), and will load all crates and enemies (although, this is modified by the current difficulty tuning level). When the player reaches the end of the segment, it is flipped to the "Complete" (CMP) state and no new mobys will be spawned in the segment. If the player reloads a level, all previously completed segments are switched to the "Minor" (MIN) segment, which loads only a small amount of enemies and crates, and also enables Mining Mode, which prevents the player from farming bolts by reducing the amount of bolts you can collect.


    As far as design is concerned, a Ratchet & Clank level is divided in multiple paths with varying objectives/rewards for completion of each path (some required, some optional). To add variety to the levels, these paths (segments) can be designed as one of the following; traversal segments (platforming challenges with light combat), enemy segments (combat-intensive sections), mining segments (like the sewers on Aquatos, for grinding coins and experience) and puzzle segments (using a gadget with light combat). Every level generally contains at least two of the three, if not all.


    Segments were very complicated with regards to bolts and difficulty; as far as bolts were concerned, every Segment needs to give a specific maximum amount of bolts as specified by the designer (to ensure good progression). When you kill and enemy or destroy a crate, a number of algorithms are run to generate the amount of bolts to give you to ensure you do not exceed this total while still getting a good amount per object. Breakables (other mobys placed in the level) do not factor into these equations (because the equations rely on the specific ids for the crate/enemy mobys), so instead these use a function called "Spawn Gravy Bolts" which spawn a reduced amount bolts which don't upset the economy (usually figures under 10). On the other hand, Difficulty is split between three modes; Easy, Normal and Hard, and the effects of these modes are complex (see the Tuning section later for more).


    Skybox: Despite the name, the Skybox is a giant textured sphere that is centred on Ratchet's position (and thus moves with him). The Skybox is sorted first, and as such is always rendered behind everything else.


    Occlusion Culling: A system used to determine what objects the camera can actually see, and only render those specific objects (more specifically, only render their visible faces). While Occlusion Culling wasn't new, Ratchet & Clank was most likely the first game on the PS2 to do it, and this technology was given to Naughty Dog by Insomniac Games. In Ratchet & Clank, Occlusion was precomputed and the process usually was left to run overnight; the system would separate the level into cubes, and then determine what was visible at every point of each cube. Because this process was painstakingly long, most alpha/beta builds did not feature proper occlusion to speed up the time it took to burn the game to disc for testing/demonstration. Futhermore, the Occlusion System only worked for non-moving/static geometry (Tfrags).



    Contains most of the useful options and information when debugging the game.



    Enables/Disables updating of specific types of objects in the world. Disabled objects will not respond to input, but will still be visible/rendered.


    • Ratchet [on | off]: The current player character. Technically a Moby, but separated in the debug menu for testing purposes. This only affects Ratchet himself; his armour, helment and other attachments still count as mobys, and thus will stay in place if Ratchet is moved while moby updates are disabled.
    • Mobys [on | off]: Handles all moby objects in the level, including Ratchet's attachments, crates and enemies.
    • Parts [on | off]: Deals with particle effects. When disabled, particles can still be generated, but they will not expire which usually leaves a hilarious massive cloud wherever the particles are being generated from.
    • Camera [on | off]: The player's camera. If a cutscene plays while this is disabled, when the cutscene ends the screen will remain black as the camera cannot play its fade-in animation.
    • Step [off | on]: When enabled, the game will appear frozen; tapping the L3 button will step forward one frame at a time.



    While not editable, it has some info about how the VU1 (Vector Unit, one of the PS2's units for doing vector math) is being used at any given time.


    • max: Appears to be the maximum amount of memory that was allocated since level load.
    • lim: Appears to be the hard limit of memory that the level is allowed to allocate for VU1.



    Controls general settings for the game, such as how it renders.


    • Control [normal | camera | cam+chr | volume]: Sets the current control mode, which has the side effect of flipping on/off the Update switches (which can still be manually modified).
      • normal: The default mode. All Update switches are turned on (aside from Step) and the game controls like normal.
      • camera: Detaches the player character from the camera and allows you to fly through the level. L1/R1 control Height, L2/R2 move horizontally, Dpad-Up/Dpad-Down move forward/backward, Dpad-Left/Dpad-Right rotate the camera in the selected direction, and holding both L2 and R2 with either Up or Down on the Dpad will rotate the camera up and down. Disables all Update switches.
      • cam+chr: Exact same as Camera Mode, but leaves the player camera attached to the camera. This allows you to place the character anywhere in the level. By default, all Update switches are disabled; enabling Moby Updates will allow you to activate checkpoints and other triggers without most types of enemies noticing you (and those that do cannot damage you), which is useful for studying the tuning info.
      • volume: Same as Camera Mode, but enables both Mobys and Particles while leaving the player character disabled and detatched. Useful for viewing the level without triggering any additional behaviours.
    • Profile: See the "Profiler" section below.
    • Occl: [active | off | freeze]: Sets the current Occlusion Mode. Occlusion Culling was, for the most part, properly precomputed in this beta, so it's still possible to view how these modes work.
      • active: Normal. Objects that are not within the view frustum or are too far away (according to the Draw Distance option below) are not rendered.
      • off: All objects in the level are rendered regardless of where the camera is. Can be incredibly slow (and may even crash) in particularly heavy levels, like the Aquatos Sewers.
      • freeze: Freezes the occlude state of objects when this option is set. This lets you move around the level to get a better view of how everything was occluded when the camera was in the original position before you set freeze on.
    • Bookmark: [off | on]: Originally, programmers could place "bookmark" locations with this setting, which allowed them to skip back to places, but it doesn't work as it requires a developer kit.
    • Invinc: [off | on]: Toggles Invincibility on and off. Ratchet will still play damage reactions, but his health will not decrease.
    • Draw dist: [normal | near]: Controls how far objects can be away from the character and still be visible.
    • Coll: [hotspt | camera | sound]: Although it's likely to change the way collisions work, this option doesn't seem to do anything now.
    • TV mode: [ntsc | prog | pal]: Changes the video output between NTSC, Progressive and PAL, but the only apparent change in PCSX2 is a more consistent framerate when Progressive is set.
    • 16:9 [on | off]: The same as the "Widescreen" option in the regular game menu.
    • Screen [normal | split 2 | split 3 | split 4 | small]: Changes the camera mode. Selecting the split options in singleplayer will hard-lock the console (as they're intended for multiplayer), whereas "small" zooms the camera way out but turns up the FOV.
    • Scene [#]: Press Cross to change the number, and Circle to attempt to play the cutscene for the loaded level with that ID number. If no cutscene for the level exists under that ID, a warning message pops up instead.
    • Chunk [#]: Like above, press Cross to change selected chunk and Circle to load the selected chunk (and unload the current chunk). Warning; will NOT teleport Ratchet to that chunk, so you will more than likely fall to your death unless you set the Control Mode to cam+chr.
    • Minor [off | on]: Forces the current segment into Minor mode. This is permanent, so reloading the level will have you enter the Minor segment as well.
    • Dump [normal | normal2 | Filter | medium | high]: Used to dump a certain amount of debugging informating to a dev-kit, but doesn't work without that.
    • Movie: [60fps | 30fps | 15fps]: Used to record gameplay footage in the selected framerate and send it to a dev-kit, but doesn't work without that.



    TBD - (off, bars, render, mobys, ties, shrubs, cpu/gpu, occl)


    There are several modes this to this debugging overlay; they're all used to measure performance of certain aspects in the game


    • off: Default. Nothing overlaid.
    • bars: Creates a bar at the top screen which moves progressively towards the right as the game consumes more resources. Either due to a bug, or intentionally, only the CPU bar expands outwards (as it appears GPU debugging is disabled). The white line on the far right represents what the intended maximum was supposed to be to stay inside of the game's framerate.  Each colour on the bar represents different systems and how much memory they're consuming. With exception to 'off', every other Profiler option contains the bar at the top.
    • render: Outputs four columns; the left set of numbers most likely measuring draw calls/render counts, whereas the right-most column always remains at 0, due to the GPU debugging issue. The red asterisk, the column full of "on" (which implies there's an off state for debugging those values) and text running off the screen may indicate there's supposed to be a way to scroll down the list and enable/disable options. It's most likely that these lines are in the same order that things are processed and rendered.
      • render setup: Unknown, but cannot be switched off. Is being processed by the CPU.
      • sky texs: Textures for the skybox. No CPU value.
      • sky draw: How many calls are being made to process and render the skybox.
      • tfrag texs: Textures used by Tfrags in the level. No CPU value.
      • tfrag draw: How many calls are being made to process and render the active Tfrags in the level.
      • tie texs: Textures used by TIEs in the level. No CPU value.
      • tie draw: How many calls are being made to process and render the active TIEs in the level.
      • pre effects: Most likely refers to some kind of pre-render effects, but unknown exactly what.
      • shrub texs: Textures used by shrubs in the level. No CPU value.
      • shrub draw: How many calls are being made to process and render the active shrubs in the level.
      • pre 2 effects: Just like pre effects.
      • moby texs: Textures used by mobys in the level. No CPU value.
      • moby draw: How many calls are being made to process and render the active mobys in the level.
      • effects texs: Textures used by the pre/post render effects. Both CPU and GPU counts are disabled.
      • vu effects: Vector Unit effects? What?
      • moby effects: Effects specifically applied to mobys.
      • part draw: How many calls are being made to process and render active particles in the level.
      • post effects: Calls for the post-rendering effects. Both CPU and GPU values are disabled.
      • Fb-post create: "Fb" likely stands for "Frame Buffer", which is where the completed render is stored before it's sent to the monitor. Unknown what is actually being done at this stage.
      • Fb-post apply: Same as above. GPU count only.
      • hud: How many calls it's taking to process and render the HUD above everything else.
      • screen overlays: Would relate to any effects which go over the top of the HUD and the rest of the rendered image. GPU counter only.
      • aa blur: Anti-Aliasing, GPU counter only.
      • debug text: The very debug text you're reading. Cannot be disabled, and both CPU and GPU counters are disabled.



    Adds overlays with useful debugging information (with one except, all these simply are off/on toggles). Many of these simply do not function, or behave in odd ways.


    • Darken: This was most likely meant to darken the background to make debugging text easier to see, but it doesn't appear to work.
    • Env coll: Doesn't appear to function; likely would have shown the collision meshes for environment objects in the world.
    • Moby coll: Doesn't appear to function; likely would have shown the collision meshes for active mobys.
    • Hero coll: Doesn't appear to function; likely would have shown the collision meshes for the player character.
    • B spheres: Doesn't appear to function; likely would have shown the bounding spheres for objects in the world.
    • Cameras: Unknown.
    • Cuboids: Doesn't appear to work in this version, but would most likely have shown the cuboids for triggering enemy alert radii.
    • Sample pts: Unknown.
    • Text: Creates 5 lines of white text at the bottom of the screen with the following information;
      •     HERO POS: {x0, y0, z0} {x1 y1}: Two different vectors for the player's location. The first is measured as float values (and is Ratchet's position from the origin), while the second is integer and does not include a z-axis (and is most likely a vector pointing towards some specific object in the level).
      •     CAM POS: {x, y, z}: The 3D Vector for the camera's current position.
      •     CAM ROT: {x, y, z}: The 3D Vector, in radians, for the camera's current rotation. Depending on the normal of what Ratchet is standing on (for when he is on spherical worlds or metallic surfaces), Ratchet's up/down rotation will be locked to 120 degrees (±1.05 radians in either direction).
      •     WORLD TIME: #: A constantly ticking up integer value that represents how much time the game has been active for since the level was loaded.
      •     XP: #: Shows a truncated display of the XP value in the debug menu (see below).
    • UIDs: Displays the Unique IDentifiers for object instances in the world, prefixed with 'u' (salmon colour). Many objects (such as Ratchet and his ship) are marked as "UX", purpose unknown.
    • Moby Num: Displays another set of identifier numbers over any mobys, prefixed with 'o' (blue colour).
    • Groups: Displays yet another set of identifier numbers over objects which indicate their "grouping", with the prefix 'g' (green colour). Ratchet, his ship, vendors and other objects are often marked as 'g255'.
    • Interp: May have been intended to display splines that objects use to interpolate between positions, but it doesn't seem to do anything in this build.
    • Tuning [off | black | white | blue]: Adds tuning debugging info in the specified colour. See the "Tuning" section for more info.
    • Sky: Unknown.
    • Sound: Unknown.



    The Mining System is used in Minor segments to prevent players from farming for bolts when they re-enter a segment, to encourage players progressing and moving forward with the game. When Mining is active (by collecting a bolt in a Minor segment), some additional debugging information is added in a couple places.


    Firstly, a simple text display is added at the bottom of the screen; this appears in-game, in-cutscene and in the pause menu, but not in sub-menus or in the debug menu. When first activated, it will generally look something like this;


    0 / 0:01 = 0 (5)


    The actual formulas for deciding what amount of bolts are more complex than this, but the goal of the mining system is to reduce the number of bolts available to you over time. The formula displayed can be broken down into;


    Amount Mined / Time Spent Mining = ???


    TBD, it's all just theory and speculation now. (Notes below)


    • The Mining System appears to be designed to reduce the amount of bolts and/or experience you get from revisting previously completed worlds, maybe to prevent grinding? The problem is that while all the numbers tick away, it's not clear at all what the underlying math is, or what exactly it's trying to do.
    • Only appears when you replay a level (revisiting the planet) and collect a bolt. At this point, the timer will activate.
    • Is per-planet, but on an individual planets the counters are never reset (so if you did 14 minutes of mining and then fly back, the timer is still at 14 minutes)
    • When mining counter first appears, it starts at
    0 / 0:01 = 0 (5)
    • The timer freezes after idling for a certain amount of time
    • [Unrelated] Hero Seg may be actually relating to either the current "difficulty level" or how many boxes are being placed?


    TBD, it's all just theory and speculation now. (Notes below)


    • Like text, adds some lines of debugging information to the screen. The option sets the colour of the text. Tuning also enables both the UIDs display (but in the colour of Tuning text and ONLY for enemies), as well as an additional bit of text under the UIDs (purpose unknown, known values include "*0Ae", "*0A-", "*0Be", "*0C-", "*0Ce", "*0Ch", "*0Cm", "3A-" or "0i"). While Tuning is enabled, the debug lines shown by the "Text" option are hidden, regardless of if "Text" is enabled or not. The debugging information that appears also is dependant on if "mining" has been enabled (see the "Mining" section);
      •     Max Wage: (Mining Only) Unknown. Value remains static once you load into a level, but is different for each level.
      •     Amt Mined: (Mining Only) The amount of bolts collected when mining is active.
      •     Time Mining: (Mining Only) A timer that displays how long since mining has been active.
      •     Mining: (Mining Only) Unknown. Seems to be a multiplier hardcoded between 0.5 and 5.0, but not sure how it's used.
      • XP Deficit: If an enemy falls into an unreachable area, normally their XP and Bolts would be lost forever. The game tracks when this happens and stores how many points they were supposed to award you, making it up over the next couple of times you make gains. XP Deficit never seems to increase, however, most likely because the system automatically awards you the XP rather than waiting for you to kill another enemy.
      • Bolt Deficit: Same as above, but also takes into consideration crates (but not other breakables). This value does correctly increase and decrease as you make bolt gains.
      •     Current XP: Unknown, as this doesn't not correlate to the player's actual XP amount as displayed in the Text->XP message.
      • Enemies: #/ #: A display of the amount of "enemies" (including explosive boxes left in the level. The right side represents the total spawned, while the right represents the maximum amount of enemies available (independent of difficulty tuning). Killing an enemy reduces both values.
      • Crates: #/ #: Same concept as above, but this is specifically for health crates.
      •     Showing:  Unknown. Seen values such as '-1', '0', 'C', 'min' and 'h' listed, but as to what they refer to, I'm not sure.
      •     Hero Seg: This seems to change as you get to different parts of the level, and is always in the format of a number followed by either "min", "maj" or "cmp".



    Some additional controls to affect how the game works.


    • Ratchet HP [#]: If this is set higher than Ratchet's current HP, will play the Nanotech Increase effect and message, but otherwise does nothing and will reset when you reopen the Debug menu.
    • Bolts [#]: Either adds or subtracts bolts from Ratchet (functions correctly).
    • XP [#]: Adds or subtracts .1 of a point to Ratchet's current XP (functions correctly, untested if you go under the amount needed for a previous level). This value matches (minus the decimal part) the XP value for the Draw->Text option.
    • Raritanium [#]: As this game has no Raritanium, appears to have no affect.
    • Battle cam [off | on]: Unknown.
    • Actuator [on | off]: Unknown.
    • Add sample [no]: Refers to the audio system, but doesn't appear to work.
    • Add start [no]: Refers to the audio system, but doesn't appear to work.



    These controls don't appear to function, but should control fogging.


    • Near dist [x]
    • Near int [x]
    • Far dist [x]
    • Far int [x]
    • Color R [x]
    • Color G [x]
    • Color B [x]



    This page is one giant table for every weapon in the game (ignoring the wrench). 6 slots are empty, but may be linked to the multiplayer weapons rather than deleted/hidden content.


    The headers for the table are;


    • NAME: The name of the weapon. Duh.
    • UPG: The current level of the weapon. '0' indicates that a weapon has not been purchased yet. Pressing the Circle button will let you increase level (and unlock a weapon if not already bought), while Cross will decrease.
    • AMMO: How much ammo that player has for that weapon.
    • DMG: A float value that somehow represents the amount of damage each weapon does.
    • HP2: Unknown.
    • HP1G: Unknown.
    • HP2G: Unknown.


    As a warning, if you enable a weapon by setting its UPG value to above zero, it will not show in the Quick-Select or Weapons menu. Some of the weapons do not have sounds.



    Despite the name, specifically represents how much experience each weapon has. This menu is nothing more than a list of names and float values.



    A list of levels in the game and their IDs. Selecting an option with the Square button will warp you to that planet as if you had used your ship to go there. For this version, every level from Daxx onwards is not included, so will crash the game.



    Speculation is that these are special properties as needed for individual levels, that didn't have an appropriate place in the other menus to be displayed when debugging/testing. Also contains a "Completes" value,  with no known effect.



    For each of the weapons in the game, allows you to enable/disable the Shock, Acid and/or Lock-On mods, but only for weapons that can take those addons (for example, the Qwack-O-Ray cannot use any of them).



    Like raritanium above, a hold-over from Ratchet & Clank 2 that lets you enable/disable special parts for your ship, but goes completely unused in this game.



    Contains two settings for controlling HUD functionality, which can be turned on and off.


    • QSEL PAUSE: Does the game pause while holding open the Quick-Select menu? Enabled by default.
    • IGE DEBUG: When enabled, prints some garbage to the screen (it's likely the font used in R&C2 was not included). Ratchet's movement is paused, but everything else (including the camera) moves. Disabled by default.




    Sets your current Challenge Mode level. You need to press the Circle button to increase this number, and the Square to decrease it. While it does have an effect on how much damage enemies do to you and how much damage enemies can take (after saving and reloading), there's no bolt multiplier and the save file doesn't include the number.



    Allows you to set what armour Ratchet is wearing. Despite the tool tip, there are 4 armour levels instead of 3. Instead of using the normal Cross/Triangle, you need to use the left/right directions to switch this number.



    If you press the 'X' button, this is supposed to play a short camera fly-by animation, but only if one exists for the level (a red message will appear if it doesn't exist).



    Neither of these options seem to have any effect, and it's not known if these should affect the Debug Menu or the in-game font.


    • Drop: ??
    • Scale: ??



    Allows you to control how post processing effects render.


    • Bloom copy tint R: ??
    • Bloom copy tint G: ??
    • Bloom copy tint B: ??
    • Bloom copy tint A: ??
    • Bloom apply 1 A: ??
    • Bloom apply 2 A: ??
    • Bloom show 1 [off | on]: When enabled, and if there is bloom in the rendered view, creates a small black window in the bottom-right corner. As you move your camera about, any bloom effects will be displayed in the box. This is likely to help isolate issues with the bloom lighting when debugging. [!!! GRAB SCREENSHOT !!!]
    • Bloom show 1 [off | on]: When enabled, and if there is bloom in the rendered view, creates an even smaller, static texture map in the corner. [!!! GRAB SCREENSHOT !!!]
    • Arcade effect strength: ??



    Lets you debug the ship transition screen when going to a different planet.


    • Level From: Which planet you are coming from.
    • Level to: Which planet you will warp to.
    • Show transition: Plays the transition based on the numbers you entered above. Will actually warp you to the selected planet.


  17. Not to be confused with Mech. :P


    I won't be uploading music too regularly in the next few months, even, unfortunately. I'm quite busy with school, the soundtrack I'm working on, games... In other words I won't have time to make music for YouTube and y'all in general. Sorry!



  18. JAL's Music Corner

    • 26
    • 71
    • 2006

    Recent Entries

    Drill Master
    Latest Entry

    Not much to say. My first track in almost a year. Hope you guys enjoy it!



  19. Without wasting any time, let's begin.




    As I said in the last part, it's probably after the events of Soccer Mania. 

    The Brickster has been jailed again. But not on LEGO Island, but in LEGO City.


    After being sent to the future, Edward wakes up. By the time he woke up, the police arrived. 

    Because The Brickster made Knights Kingdom involved in Soccer Mania, the police arrests the young Knight. 

    (If you haven't chosen any different ways.)


    In the prison, he meets The Brickster, and both of them destroys the police station. Soon after this event, the Alpha Team story will begin.

    With the City been transformed into a zombie town, Edward and The Brickster fights the zombies off.  Until Ogel arrives. He will be asking you a question: To be his general in his army, or to be destroyed by himself. If you agree to the offer, you'll be his general. If you don't, you will be fighting  him. (I haven't been thinking about the alternative way yet).


    After becoming the general of Ogel army, Edward finds the Alpha Team members and destroys them.

    In this time period, Dash will be finding Cam in Ogel's Base. (You will be playing as Dash, don't worry).


    After the general fees the battle, the story of the Alpha Team game will be the same. 


    Princess Storm wakes up on LEGO Island and... That's the part of the story I've been thinking about right now. Sorry for any cliffhangers!)





    The game is a massive 3D open world with many places of the LEGO themes being involved in the story! Like LEGO City,

    LEGO Island, Knights Kingdom, Adventures, Rock Raiders, Alpha Team, Xalax, and many more!


    In the game, there will be alternative part ways to beat the game. And with different endings, of course. 


    Like in here: Edward is arrested by the police, what would Edward do?

    1) Fight the police.

    2) Get sent to jail. 

    3) RUN


    Instead of fighting the normal way in RPGs, the foes you will be fighting, will be in the same place you're visited. Like, you're fighting 

    Ogel on LEGO City. (That will be in the game for sure), The same open-world places such as LEGO City, will not be in a specific battle arena. 


    Edward and your other party members uses their own unique fighting style.

    Like, Edward uses his magic and fights with a sword.

    Princess Storm using her fast fighting style with her sword and etc...



    The fighting will be co-op based. Like in the beginning of the game, you and your party members are fighting Cedric's forces. The players can spilt up and fight for themselves. 

    The fighting style will be inspired by DBZ. With magic involved, I can't think about any fair sword to sword fights anymore.




    I'm going to use Unity.  




    And also, I hope that you guys can give new ideas to the game. I'll be appreciated by your ideas!

















  20. As the title says, things didn't go as planned.




    It may not look too bad, but I have to show you some trouble spots.




    Severe warping around one side of the print, resulting in a malformed motor mounting point.




    CURA actually thought I wanted to print the interior of the holes of the upper frame mounts, as opposed to the geometry of the frame mounts themselves. I don't know if this is CURA's fault or Sketchup's, though, but seeing as though I have had issues with Sketchup before and not CURA, I guess a few more precision F-Strikes directed at Trimble Navigation are needed. (EDIT: It turned out to be CURA, actually. It didn't like the overhanging parts.)


    Oh well, at least I can stick this in an arena for another bot to chew on as a durability test. Or just sick my antweight on it. (EDIT: Already did. Turns out there were more problems than just a bad print. The box portion of the frame held up but the weapon mount got torn apart pretty bad.)

  21. And its done...


    4 Weeks of dragon picture each day

    A total of 28 pictures (with exceptions to the occasional bonuses)

    But now I'm going to call it done, i probably will redo this sometime again i the future though.

    Hope ya enjoyed and remember...

    Say no to dragon slaying!


    Day 22




    Day 23




    Day 24




    Day 25




    Day 26




    Day 27




    Day 28 (Finale)



    (Dragons from Day 1(Bonus), Day 13, Day 18 and Day 24)


    And here is the last bonus picture i drew before i got the only last minute vote (thanks Ben24X7)




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