Zaxx Oct 21, 2013 @ 3:44pm
High Resolution Pack 5.3: What the hell happened?
I thought I'd post this here rather then the Duke4.net forums because looking at some of the posts there I'd be just flamed or banned because of this opinion piece. So sorry for the semi-offtopic but I simply can't hold this inside.

I've not seen the project since polymer was released, it was so unoptimized back then that I just switched back to vanilla Duke 3D instead of messing around with that. The High Resolution Pack was a great thing back in the day, 4 or 5 years ago it was absolutely awesome even though it had some unresolved issues.

A few days ago a new version of HRP was released so I gave it a go today and let me just tell you: either find an old version or just leave this 5.3 release alone and play your vanilla eDuke32 or Megaton Edition. For the first 30 minutes I literally couldn't stop laughing, everything looks so horrible that my first reaction was not even sadness.

The new weapon models are ridiculous, especially the shotgun: between two shots it's doing this weird animation that looks like as an attempt to mimic the original animations of the gun in vanilla Duke but it is so badly done the shotgun basically falls out of place. The new model of Duke looks okay but his hands are holding the gun in such an unrealistic and funny looking way that it breaks everything that looks good about it.

The same can be said about the enemy models: while the pig cops look okay and they are even animated acceptably, the other ones look absolutely horrible. They are very poorly made models trying to be something like their original sprite version but fail in every possible way in their general looks and animations.

The textures are very mixed in quality: some of them managed the capture the original original Duke 3D feel but most of them are out of place and the saddest thing of all is that they lack any kind of general artistic direction altogether.

So overall what started as an ambitious and promising project some years ago ended up being a trainwreck. It's very disappointing because a lot of work must have went into this one and people made this mod in their free time without receiving any kind of money for their work. It makes me very sad.
Showing 1-15 of 19 comments
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Lunick Oct 21, 2013 @ 3:48pm 
In my opinion, I think most of the work included in the HRP is of high quality. The problem letting it down is that (I think) a majority of the art made was not made with other people so there can be some art that doesn't blend with others.

I've seen some great art made lately so maybe it is a case of going back and redoing some older made stuff.
mblackwell Oct 21, 2013 @ 4:12pm 
Just to note: There are two different sets of assets depending on the renderer you want to use, and neither are really compatible with Megaton.

If you don't like the models for whatever reason just disable them in the video options menu.
Last edited by mblackwell; Oct 21, 2013 @ 4:13pm
Azatoth Oct 21, 2013 @ 4:32pm 
The only two complaints I would make with the HRP are:
1. I'm wondering what these horrible shotgun animations are doing in this pack too.
2. Pistol looks organic and ugly and lacks of detail, even with Polymer lights. I guess it's for the sake of being close to the original fully grey pistol but, come on, two different shades of this color wouldn't have hurt anyone's eyes.

Originally posted by Zaxx:
The textures are very mixed in quality
It was made for free by different 2D/3D artists in their spare time. They tried their best for example to make the color tones of the models match with each other by showing their contributions in a thread. Overall, it's not perfect indeed (especially green organic textures) but it stays coherent.
½ Oct 21, 2013 @ 5:54pm 
Any 3D model pack for any old school game such as Duke, Doom, or Heretic is never going to look as good as the original sprites.
Hendricks266 Oct 21, 2013 @ 7:12pm 
It seems like what you're observing is that the HRP is basically restarting in order to take advantage of the features of the new Polymer render in EDuke32 (note the capital E), and high-quality newer assets make the sub-par old ones look bad by comparison. Not many of the enemies have been Polymerized, and the shotgun and HUD hands are two particular points in need of improvement.

I think you could have posted on Duke4.net just fine and we would have responded similarly as I have here. Even as a community leader, the only reaction I have to your post is "OK..." I understand where you are coming from but I don't think your memory is serving you completely well enough to make a relative measurement of quality between versions.
Last edited by Hendricks266; Oct 21, 2013 @ 7:14pm
Zaxx Oct 21, 2013 @ 7:52pm 
Originally posted by Hendricks266:
It seems like what you're observing is that the HRP is basically restarting in order to take advantage of the features of the new Polymer render in EDuke32 (note the capital E), and high-quality newer assets make the sub-par old ones look bad by comparison. Not many of the enemies have been Polymerized, and the shotgun and HUD hands are two particular points in need of improvement.

I think you could have posted on Duke4.net just fine and we would have responded similarly as I have here. Even as a community leader, the only reaction I have to your post is "OK..." I understand where you are coming from but I don't think your memory is serving you completely well enough to make a relative measurement of quality between versions.
Memory serves me well enough: the old graphics style was more coherent. It had a more cartoony feel to it than the original game that fell more into place with the colourful 3D models. It was different but that actually served its purpose. The old shotgun (well, if I remember correctly 2 models before the current one) was different than the original and also animated differently but it had its own place in the design just like the more metallic looks of the old pistol model.

This version's aim seems to be to mimic the original game's looks a bit more and the new assets frankly do a more accurate job at that but at the same time they are very poorly made. As another commenter stated above 3D models will never look as good as the original sprites simply because those were designed around the idea of being sprites. Because of this I think in order to make good assets the direction should be on making them different so that it would be better implemented into the idea of doing a 3D model in a 3D environment.

The same thing can be said about polymer: the idea behind that is clearly to make a modern version of the original software rendered lighting system but what it ended up being is basically the poor ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ child of Duke 3D and Doom 3 pushed among textures and models with a cartoony feel. It slows the game down and has no practical reason for it to be in there.

So to sum up things the bad models, the incoherent texture work, the out of place lighting effects and the sometimes awful performance (one big explosion and the fps goes below 30) end up providing a horrible gaming experience that feels more like butchering the original game than serving the HRP's purpose which is to enhance or creatively alter the original experience.
Plagman Oct 21, 2013 @ 9:42pm 
The reason the HRP and Polymer exist is mostly because we thought it'd be kinda cool, not because we thought everyone would recognize it as the superior way to experience Duke3D. We're obviously very much fans of the original game and art or we would never have sunk that much time into hacking it.

It's perfectly OK to not like it. Just use Polymer without the HRP and dynamic lights and you'll get something that gets identical to the old game expect with correct perspective and less banding.
Last edited by Plagman; Oct 21, 2013 @ 9:43pm
>M@tEo$< Oct 22, 2013 @ 11:01am 
You should read the topic about HRP art over at Duke4.net, and see what happens before a 3D artist starts to do/redo a model. Like people submitting sources of various angles of the object IRL, comparing to the sprite, trying to find the closest one before getting to work.

Just installing and laughing does not help... You may learn 2D/3D art if you want to help improving things :)
Tacos Rule Dec 14, 2013 @ 7:30pm 
Replace with custom models or edit those with errors your selves Milkshape 3d still works well for these games and cheap if not blender and import export scripts works too. textures are an easy thing to fix.
AN DARKELVEN SORCERESS!!1 Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:20pm 
I wouldn't ever recommend Milkshape3d to anyone. Not then, definitely not now... it is extremely limiting for an artist to work with, and hopelessly outdated.
Last edited by AN DARKELVEN SORCERESS!!1; Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:20pm
½ Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:38pm 
Agreed, while it supports rendering almost every model format you can think of, there's nothing you can actually do with it.
phan Feb 16, 2014 @ 11:13am 
Hey man, if you want the old stuff, I suggest using Wayback Machine, and then typing in the url of the hrp download page, then finding v5.1 and then once you are there, it will show the download for v5.1, then just download the SFX, then finally, you have the older version! :D
Sikobae Mar 13 @ 9:12pm 
Best pack = polymer_hrp.zip
Date modified: 5/5/11

Whichever version that was.
½ Mar 13 @ 9:13pm 
epic thread revival
Lunick Mar 13 @ 11:38pm 
Thanks Obama.
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