Fresh Supply

From Blood Wiki
Revision as of 10:13, 11 May 2019 by (talk) (Reception)
Jump to: navigation, search
Promotional artwork
Blood: Fresh Supply

Developer: Night Dive Studios

Publisher: Atari

Designer: Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal

Engine: Kex Engine

Version: 1.0

Released: May 9, 2019

Genre: First Person Shooter

Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Platforms: Windows (Linux and macOS planned)



Media: Digital download

Blood as rated by the ESRB

"Battle an army of sycophantic cultists, zombies, gargoyles, hellhounds, and an insatiable host of horrors in your quest to defeat the evil Tchernobog. Squirm through 42 loathesome levels filled with more atmosphere than a Lovecraftian mausoleum. Begin your journey armed with a simple pitchfork and earn more effective implements of destruction like aerosol cans, flare guns, voodoo dolls and more!"
--Official description

Blood: Fresh Supply (also known as the Blood Remaster and Blood EX) is a remaster of the original Blood developed by Night Dive Studios under permission from Atari. It uses the studio's in-house Kex Engine, supplanting the original Build. It was released on May 9, 2019 for Microsoft Windows onto, Steam and Humble Store. Linux and macOS releases are expected in the near future.

It features all of the levels from all four episodes the original campaign, as well as the Plasma Pak and Cryptic Passage expansions included within the executable; support is also provided for all fan-made add-ons such as Death Wish. The upgrade also supports modern frameworks such as DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.2, Vulkan as well as online multiplayer services Steamworks and GOG Galaxy.

It also introduces new features such as high resolution widescreen, high-refresh and variable FOV support, split-screen and modern online multiplayer with up to eight players, a customizable difficulty mode, additional voxels and effects (such as Antialiasing, Ambient Occlusion, V-sync and Interpolation support), and a new mouse-aiming interface as well as controller support (in addition to an emulation of the original control scheme).


Pre-Release Screamshot
"Blood: Fresh Supply - Release Trailer" - YouTube

"Blood stood up extremely well over time and we are taking care to preserve all the qualities that made the game so special... It really only needs minor updates to provide a better user experience for contemporary audiences. By using some of the functions of Nightdive’s KEX engine, we’ll be able to provide compatibility with today’s video standards, with DirectX and Vulkan support. Similarly, we’ll provide compatibility with the current audio standards. We’ll add support for modern networks, Steamworks, and GOG Galaxy to bring this original game to more players. As part of this, we will preserve the accuracy of the game behavior. While these upgrades are relatively minor, we are confident that they will provide fans with a better, current generation gameplay experience."
--Daniel Grayshon, producer at Night Dive Studios

A remastered version of Blood, developed by Night Dive Studios under license from Atari, was announced on December 7, 2018. The port was stated to support modern graphics libraries such as DirectX and Vulkan (as opposed to the original only having partial Glide support via an alpha patch), as well as multiplayer networks such as Steamworks and GOG Galaxy. The remaster was said to be based on reverse engineering rather than the original source code (implying no original source code release is likely; the new code could be though), built atop of Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal's Kex Engine from his earlier unofficial Blood EX effort; he was also being assisted by James "Quasar" Haley and Edward "Edward850" Richardson on the project. Kaiser confirmed on Twitter that the engine supports all Blood custom maps. The engine even allows proper modding, with scripting possible in a way not present in the original DOS executable. A quickly deleted tweet by Kaiser indicated a possible April 2019 release, which in the end extended to early May.

"Yup, I am working on it. I was actually working on it on my spare time since 2015... Reverse engineered. I've been disassembling the game for several years and have a more or less clear outline of how everything works. Its somewhat pressuring as I am looking to go over the disassembly multiple times to make sure everything is perfect... Some things like the slipperiness is going to remain as it was intentionally designed to do that, but none of the engine's collision detection is going to be used. Though the new collision code will produce nearly exact same results; just less glitchy results... None of the original assets will be modified. This includes levels (despite my temptations)... Modding will definitely be possible in BloodEX... There will be mod support. The idea is that you put your mod into a folder along with any modded .ART files or INI files you include and you should be able to load a mod from there. Additionally BloodEX will allow you to define your own enemies and scripted AI logic. Additionally you'll be able to define your own custom actors and scripted AI logic..."
--Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal

Monolith Productions has gave the effort their blessing on their own company Twitter.

"We're very happy for our friends @NightdiveStudio! They'll carry the torch with distinction, we have no doubt. Can't wait to play!"
--Monolith Productions

Atari only retains the distribution rights to the Blood series, and so is only able to authorize the project due to provisions that allowed for the upgrading of the game.

"Atari, however, owns the digital distribution rights for the original game, which came out in 1997. The terms of its ownership includes limited provisions for updating the game. Atari chief operating officer Todd Shallbetter emailed Polygon with the following statement: “We are not changing the game. We have distribution rights and this version is just being updated and optimized for modern operating systems and hardware.”"
--How do two companies own the rights to Blood?, Polygon (December 12, 2018)

"It has been both a great pleasure and an honor to have had the opportunity to work with Atari to update this classic game title that helped firmly cement the FPS as one of the most popular game genre. We look forward to sharing the gory splendor of Blood: Fresh Supply with a new generation of gamers as well as with the many current fans eager to play one of their favorite titles on contemporary PCs."
--Larry Kuperman, Director of Business Development at Nightdive Studios


"The Blood Remaster Is Really Good (Review) - GmanLives" (Gmanlives) - YouTube
"Nightdive's remaster is finally out! ... and it needs fixing. It is inferior to both BloodGDX and nBlood. Just look at those stretched voxels, or those floating Blood splats... In short, this is like a World of Warcraft private server, it uses the assets and mimics the source material, but it is *not* the real thing. However, kudos for making it look as close as possible to the original software renderer." (pagb666) - YouTube

"I haven't tried it myself so I can't comment on the quality of the remaster, but the list of features does seem to be pretty extensive for such an old game. That said, I have noticed some complaints about the gameplay feeling slightly off when compared to the original, so if you do decide to grab yourself a copy, make sure to do a bit of research beforehand."

Even prior to release, the effort was criticised for its usage of Nightdive's own Kex Engine rather than the original Build Engine. In effect, this qualifies the release as more of a recreation, like the fan made Transfusion or ZBlood, than a true source port. Unlike either of those however, it does still work with the original files and formats, supporting all established fan add-on content, which further blurs the lines.

Post-launch Fresh Supply has been harshly received by many in the community, particularly by regulars on the Altar of Stone and the denizens of the Duke4 forums, for its perceived inaccuracy compared to Build powered ports like BloodGDX and NBlood as well as the DOS original. It also has notably higher system requirements than the other ports already available, limiting its appeal to users of older hardware.

Other concerns pertain to its effect on the game's legacy, with controversy swirling around Fresh Supply supplanting the original on services such as; even with the DOS version of One Unit: Whole Blood still available as an extra, thereby also retaining access for other ports. Reservations also remain about commercial re-releases of older games in general, where there are already community supported solutions available. It should be noted however that unlike with Doom or Duke Nukem 3D, none of the unofficial Blood ports are legally sanctioned by route of an open source code release.

Fresh Supply has however been positively received by the general audience, with high scores on its store pages. It also was graced with positive notices by reviewers and publications such as Gmanlives, Rock Paper Shotgun, PC Gamer, AusGamers and more.

This can partly be ascribed to excitement by casual players simply at the chance to revisit the cult classic; much of the press coverage serves more as a retrospective on the original than an in-depth look at the re-release.

Sympathizers are apt to defend the variations from the original as part and parcel of so-called "quality of life" improvements considered necessary to bring the game to modern audiences. This includes the additional display modes, controls schemes and difficulty settings, as well as appreciation of the new features such as split-screen multiplayer and the fresh graphics and effects.

For his part, lead developer Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal has said he is open to all feedback and criticism (save comparisons to BloodCM).

"I am taking every feedback, comment, and harassment seriously and will address every problem for Blood: Fresh Supply and I appreciate every single one of them. Except for those who say its inferior to BloodCM. They can just fuck right off."
--Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal

Indeed, a common view is that the initial release feels rushed and unpolished, but at least offers potential to be properly patched out with time. A lack of day-one support for platforms other than Microsoft Windows was also seen as disappointment to some.

Monolith Productions has also again given the effort their endorsement on their company Twitter account.

"Congratulations to @NightdiveStudio for their full-blooded remaster of our old classic! Thank you for carrying the torch forward with such obvious love, and for giving Blood fans the remaster they've been asking for and deserve. Well done, friends."
--Monolith Productions

The release of Fresh Supply received a spot on PC Gamer's top stories of the week.