Dust (1998 – 201x)

A computer game ‘Dust’ was published in 1998 by a Polish company Optimus- Nexus. ‘Dust’ is a game of action FPS 3D.
At present onet.pl has the rights to the game. The creators of the game, including an author of this very website, talk with onet.pl about the future of the game.

This website deals with a conversion of the game created in 1998 onto new platforms such as Windows XP/VISTA/7/8 and iOS. The conversion with be carried out in two versions:

  • a classic version, as close to the original as possible
  • a director’s cut version bearing some changes in game-play but mainly in graphics.

The aim of the conversion is to bring this original and unique game back to the light.

Conversion was first made with usage of Ogre3D – open source rendering engine but now it is continued with usage of Unity.

Oświetlenie gotowe

PLOT

A story takes place in an undefined future, in the times when the humanity mastered interplanetary flights and brought war – one of its favourite activities, into the space.

After years of battles, the Federations,under the threat of war with the Empire, agreed to move struggles onto a desert moon situated in an uninhabited planetary system. They did it to limit losses and destructions on the populated planets. This very moon called the Arena was a place of battles and fights of the warring sides for decades. Within the pass of time, however, the Empire took over a complete power restoring order and the Arena became a place of exile of unwanted subjects of the Empire.

The story depicted in the computer game is a tale about Sope and Jafo who are two veterans and deserters of the Imperial Army. They get to the Arena during an escape by accident. The game tells us about their lot when they fight for survival looking for the remains of the artefacts of the former battles in the sands of the Arena. They want to sell the artefacts/them to make a living. The two characters also search for the Valkyrie- the last spaceship that can take off from the Arena.

Sope and Jafo travel over the Arena on board of a two-leg-walker, which is a assault combat jeep of the Imperial Amy, which has been stolen during a desertion. Jafo is a navigator- the brain of the team. Sope is a pilot- a trueborn stormtrooper.

GAMEPLAY

“Dust” is a three-dimensional game of action telling a story from a first person perspective (FPS, 3D). It is not a typical shooting game. It emphasizes tactics, creeping up, saving ammo. The game takes place on many maps – constructions visited by one of the characters looking for the artefacts.
A player can use basic weapon whose arsenal is enlarged as the maps are penetrated. Sope has got advanced optic systems allowing him to zoom things in or to observe the surroundings using infra-red devices. As the game proceeds, various logical puzzles appear, which demand associating different pieces of information to start the machines or computer systems.

In relation to the contemporary productions, the game is very difficult in some places -both in the action itself and the level of the puzzles.

PRODUCTION

The game ‘Dust’ was being made for two years. The team consisted of four people- two programmers and two graphic designers.
The team of programmers prepared their own engine driving the game, devices supporting the process of production, editor level and add – ons for third party tools. The team of graphic designers created the whole graphics, all models, model’s animations, intro animation, script and logic of different levels.

Edytor mappył package includes

6 thoughts on “Dust (1998 – 201x)

  1. 1. Do you intend to distribute the remastered version of “Pył” on GOG?
    2. Will the remastered version include the option to play the game with the exact same visuals the original “Pył” had on the software renderer (I have a soft spot for Quake1-ish non-accelerated graphics) AND with the “Director’s Cut” gameplay changes?

    • Hi!
      1 – I have no idea because it depends on decision of onet.pl who has rights to this title, we will discuss possible options with them
      2 – I think that turning on “director’s cut” options of graphics and gameplay will be independent. So it schould be possible to play on classic graphics and director’s cut gameplay. But you must know that even classic version of graphics on conversion of Dust 1998 will be optimised for accelerated graphics with DirectX API via Ogre3D open source engine.

      • 1. Then you should probably pitch the idea of distributing the game via GOG to onel.pl – and be really convincing about that. Otherwise, you risk missing a huge chunk of people who would be very interested in buying a digital copy of the remake. Besides, isn’t GOG run by a Polish company?
        2. So, will there be an _option_ to turn on that specific rough non-filtered early-3D look in the remake and, generally, make the new edition to _look_ as close to the original soft-renderer (no filtering, original – or close to the original – lighting, etc.) as possible (with or without an actual DirectX help – is all the same to me as long as it looks right)?

      • 1 Sure – we will discuss all options.
        2 Yes – it will be possible to have ’98 look as close as possible – but please remember that oryginal Dust has also Vodoo 3DFX acceleration (not only software renderer). So for me “oryginal” that mean Voodo 3DFX version from ’98.

        For example, please look on last blog news – unfortunatelly in polish only. In this post I’m showing new lighting model but this lighting model is not director’s cut. And, for example, if some people will say that it is worth to have options for turning on/off light-color and luminosity per whole object as in oryginal or light color and luminostity per vertex (as now) I will add this.

      • 2. Yes, I am aware, that the original “Pył” also had a Glide mode. So, perhaps, my original question wasn’t quite accurate. The more correct version would go like this: Is there any chance “Pył” remake would feature BOTH the option for triggering the original Glide-look – AND the option for triggering the original soft-look (and, of course, the “Director’s Cut” look as the third option)?

        As for the blog news. Are the lower-left screens from the comparative pictures taken from the original “Pył” (then why the artifacting – like, blue squares, etc?) or are they just showcasing the original lighting model? Anyways, with the new model there seems to be much less contrast, than with the old one. The new look on the first two comparative pictures looks somewhat dull and somewhat too dark overall (though I suspect it to be something that could easily be corrected by editing just a couple of parameters). Second, there is one specific reason i prefer the unfiltered look on the early 3D games. You see, those games didn’t have all that much of geometry on any given scene. And while the accelerated filtered versions looked smoother and generally much “nicer”, they also looked very, very empty. On the other hand, the rough unfiltered “jaggies” provided a much “busier” and “filled up” look to the overall picture – and generally made it look like it had much more details than there really was.

        As for this:
        >And, for example, if some people will say that it is worth to have options for turning on/off light-color and luminosity per whole object as in oryginal or light color and luminostity per vertex (as now) I will add this.
        My vote is obviously for having such an option.

        I also have an additional question, while we are at it.
        3. Will the remake retain the original HUD/interface in the “Classic” mode?

      • 2 – I understand your point of view. You have right that in some way “rough pixels” makes scene more real. I will think about this and how to emulate Dust software renderer.
        3 – Sure!

        About new lighting model – yes it’s darker and dull, I will tweek it more to be closer to oryginal look wich was more colour-full.

        Screens on left are from Dust map editor. It was written by Tomek as Windows app (still working on Win8 without problems! 🙂 ) and it have some version of Dust game engine “inside”. It is easier to caputre screens from editor that from oryginal game.

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