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Screenshots & Betas
This is the place to post screenshots of your upcoming masterpiece and get criticism, or just have people implore you to finish it. You should also use this thread to post beta versions of your maps.

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I'll Fix The PAK 
Thanks damange_inc for pointing that out. Explains why the file is so large!

That probably has to do with a utility I'm testing to create PAK files. I'll have to modify it so it doesn't include the files its creating as part of the files to add.

The 'config.cfg' shouldn't be there. I'll fix the PAK when I next can. 
PAK File Fixed 
Ive re-uploaded with a fixed PAK file. It should no longer have the config.cfg and other superfluous files.

Redownload using the same link I gave in the original announcement of the beta. 
Looking forward to playing this and seeing what you did with progs_dump. 
@BoraxMan A Few Moar Things! 
I've no idea how many CL's I've defeated... might be cool to create a "shrine" where as you defeat them heads are placed so the player can always tell how many? Or have the player "aquire" the heads and have to go place them?

Also I might be stuck? The level is pretty much cleared, 300/"about 340" and my only option is to grenade jump to a "gold key", upon doing that I hear a CL appear but working my way to him and killing him does not do much and doesn't really feel like this was the intended way.

I even noclipped out of desperation. 
The exit needs better protection ;) Unless ofc that was your intention :-P 
A new version of pd_ is coming with custom keys and some updates to breakables.

Not sure of a timeline, but likely a couple of weeks at the most. Not sure if this would have an impact on this project. Seeing how big it is I won't have time to play it until Tuesday at the earliest. I'll definitely record demos of this. 

I actually thought of a mechanic where you have to bring their heads to an altar, but it might appear weird to have their heads there, because it still appears on the model which is supposed to be now decapitated. Also, its less about just getting all 7 and more about finding the relevant one to destroy, to progress. I could add some QC code and a new model...

I tried to balance the complexity of the 'puzzle solving' with simplicity in layout so the only real backtracking is in seeking the CLs. Not sure yet whether I succeeded, and maybe the sequence of events you need to complete is too convoluted and its too onerous on the player.

Did you find the 2nd silver key, and 2nd silver key door? They aren't far from each other, both in areas just off that room you get to at the end of the corridor which was originally blocked by the ball of flesh. Once you hit the switch in the 2nd silver key room, the 7th CL appears nearby and the door which leads to the gold key (at the end of the long bridge) opens up when he is killed.

From there, you can finally complete the task mentioned in the message at the exit gate. Any additional beasties which just appear from here on in are now only there to give you a hard time and are not involved in the gameplay setup ;)

I'll better protect the exit gate...

Last thing, which I realized I DO need to change, past the gold key door, you find a grave. Destroy the grave. That needs to be more obvious. 
Brace yourself, because I've uploaded my first-run demos, totalling over two-and-a-half hours of gameplay, here. All demos are on Hard skill and are Protocol 666 (QuakeSpasm default).

However, before I was able to play the map, I had to work around a show-stopping issue which I haven't encountered before. When I tried to start the map with QuakeSpasm, the engine would immediately crash, without giving an error message and with nothing useful in the log file. By a process of elimination, I worked out that the crash was being caused by the skybox. In the .bsp file, the "sky" field of the worldspawn entity is as follows:

"sky" "skybox_purple_chaos/purple_chaos_"

I had a quick look at the engine source code, and long story short, it appears that a "sky" string more than 31 characters long will cause a buffer overflow (which may or may not cause the engine to crash, depending on platform). The "sky" string in this case is 33 characters.

I haven't 100% confirmed this because I'm not set up to build QuakeSpasm from source right now, but it looks to me like that's what's going on.

To work around the issue, I moved the "purple_chaos_*.tga" files up a level (out of "env/skybox_purple_chaos" into "env") and updated the "sky" string to just "purple_chaos_". That made it short enough to avoid the crash, and I could play the map!

## locbeta_iw1.dem

This was my first attempt. I finished after about five minutes by accidentally going into the exit portal early. I guess this is the same thing damage_inc was getting at above.

## locbeta_iw2.dem

This was my second attempt. I died after about five minutes.

## locbeta_iw3.dem

This was my third attempt. This time I finished the map by collecting the rune and unlocking the exit, ending with 315/342 kills and 5/7 secrets in 94:51 (!!!) minutes. However, this still wasn't a "proper" run because I failed to find (I think) two of the Chaos Lords.

This run went off the rails somewhere in the middle. It seems like I did an accidental sequence-break by jumping through a window and falling down into an area I wasn't supposed to be able to reach at that time, skipping the fifth Chaos Lord. I guessed what I'd done, and after a while I backtracked so I could attempt to play the level "properly".

However, after I went back, I couldn't find the fifth Chaos Lord, so I couldn't kill him to remove the bars protecting one of the silver keys. I haven't re-watched this demo in full, but in retrospect, what I guess happened is that I failed to find the button which I now know "summons" the fifth Lord. However, during the run, I didn't understand that there was a button that I was supposed to find. What I thought had happened was that I'd somehow broken the map by doing that sequence-break! In the end, I salvaged the situation by grenade-jumping to the gold key (it sounds like damage_inc had the same idea) and then played "properly" from there.

I'm sure you'll be able to tell from the demo that I struggled massively with progression in this map; it might even be that I struggled more with progression in this map than any other Q1SP I've played. Even after I pushed a button or killed a Chaos Lord, I often felt like I didn't know where I was supposed to go next. I ended up wandering around a lot. I tried to include comments in the demo as I went along: hopefully that'll give you an idea what was going through my head.

## locbeta_iw4.dem

This was my fourth attempt, and the first time I managed to complete the map "properly", ending with 340/342 kills and 5/7 secrets in 67:03 minutes.

TBH, it was an *enormous* map: I've typed a lot, but there's a lot more that could be said in terms of feedback. While hunting out the last two secrets, I also found more bugs which aren't in the demos. I could do with going over the map again and putting together a list. I'll aim to do that sometime in the next few days when I have time.

In the meantime, hope the above comments and the demos are helpful! 
Thanks for the feedback, greatly appreciated. I admit the map is much larger than originally intended, and perhaps it should have been two levels. I might either have to simplify the flow, put more information, or divide the level into two parts.

As for Quakespasm, it didn't crash for me. I'm using Linux, so perhaps this issue doesn't affect the Linux client?

I'll check out the demos tonight. 
My Experience Is Almost Identical To IW's 
But I will add a few points.

I'm on Win7/Quakespasm and didn't have any issues with the skybox, odd.

The first flesh wall to come down should have the player LOOKING at the wall...
Maybe a bit more visual effects too?

The first button you press is like generic "some bars somewhere bars have been released"!
Maybe say "The fiends from hell have been released", so the player knows exactly what is going on?
Also, I can kill the fiends at the start?

Normal Difficulty

By the time I had 47 baddies slain I was just about out of ammo and health. Then I seemed to recover and have it happen again... several times. It's a huge map and this will be hard for every player so, maybe it was just me.

After killing the Seventh CL... seems odd I have to kill more! I didn't really like that.

I think I "missed" the second silver door cuz 1) I'm bad at that in Quake and 2) the torches kind of cover up the silver key symbols.

I would say that you should make any important door/pedestal/switch a bit more memorable than usual as both the distance and time a player can get away from such needed progression mechanisms is quite far.

Anyways, none of this is correct, just my observations.

Overall very interesting and a monumental effort for such scale of a map. GG's 
Should it be split into two levels? Or is the size OK as long as the progression is smooth and there is no stalling due to getting confused?
I don't want it to feel like a chore or to get boring, or to take that long!
The uneven ammo is something I did in DK Shrine as well, as an attempt to create periodic tension.

I definitely think more guidance for the player is warranted here. 
I'm recording some demo's, we'll see how long it takes for a second playthru. 
@iw Demos 

I watched the first three demos. The level "broke" when you jumped out of that window from the upper level where the two vores are, down. That needs to be blocked off. It was an oversight to not think that the player would just jump out. Once upstairs in the "lightning room" area and adjacent areas, everything happens there until you get the Silver Key. You were correct when you said you used the wrong key on the wrong door.

But because you went out of that window, you went off the path, and then got "lost", that is, wandering around the level trying to figure out where to go, when really, you didn't need to move far from that window at all. 
@Borax Man 
I'm pretty sure that iw's point about texture name is valid. Current sky texture name has fixed size (32) and is copied using strcpy from a buffer of an unbound size (value of "sky" key). Whether this problem occurs or not is not bound to what platform you're on but rather how lucky you are. Layout of data in memory isn't necessarily the same from machine to machine (or even between OS restarts) and if you overrun a buffer, you may get lucky and overwrite nothing important. Of you may overwrite some super important state and application crashes. The fact that this happened to one of 5-ish people who played this map so far indicates that this will be hit by other people once you release the map. 
@Borax Man Demos Of Second Playthru On Normal 
Don't know if want these or not but here they are: Demos

Time was ofc shorter but still lengthy, coming in at almost 2 hours(117:35).

As far as should it be broken up into multiple levels... hrmmm... I don't know, time is time. If a player can't play this for the total time then it will be a several sessions playthru regardless.

Anyways, hth's 
Hehe Here I Go 
Excited for that one JCR! I really enjoyed the previous jumpbooty thing you released. 
I expected I would have had time to revisit the map before now, but I've had a busier week than anticipated. I should be able to replay it this weekend and come back to you with those remaining bits of feedback. Apologies for the delay.

About the sky path issue: I usually use Linux myself, however I was testing on an OSX box when I encountered the problem (using the 0.93.1 SDL2 binary from the QuakeSpasm web site).

What Thulsa said above is very much what I was thinking: it looks like the buffer overflow will occur regardless of platform (it involves the skybox_name array in gl_sky.c), but because this is a low-level problem, what actually happens next would depend on various low-level things, which will presumably be different for different players running the engine on different platforms.

In addition to Thulsa's examples, another factor is that different compilers may or may not emit additional machine code to try and automatically detect buffer overflows (depending on the options they're run with). I suspect that this might be what's going on with the OSX client, because I noticed that it keels over with SIGABRT instead of the usual SIGSEGV; however, like I said before, I just haven't had the chance to look into this in detail.

BoraxMan, I should emphasize that I'm not saying this is a bug in your map. Assuming what I've said is correct, it's a bug in the engine; however, it's the sort of bug I guess mappers will want to work around.

A very similar issue affecting other maps is the crash-on-save bug I talked about in this post. Like this issue, the save bug doesn't cause the engine to die immediately for all players on all platforms; however, it evidently has that effect in a lot of cases (judging by the number of comments about this on map pages on Quaddicted). 
OK, I've played through locbeta again, on skill 3 this time. I recorded a bunch of very short demos showing specific bugs, which I've uploaded here. While recording these, I couldn't recall exactly which bugs were visible in my previous demos and which weren't, and when in doubt, I thought it was best to risk recording the same thing again, so there's likely some duplication.

I think the demos will be self-explanatory, so, here's some more general feedback about the map:

I liked the following:

* It has a strong, consistent theme. I liked the feeling of wandering through this sprawling otherworldly nightmare-palace where everything was menacing and malevolent at all times.

* I especially liked that there are creepy side-areas in various places which the player can see into but can't enter. Like the yellow-lit room with the Shambler corpse. I'm a big fan of levels including environmental details for no other reason than to be creepy and build atmosphere.

* The "hallucination" sequence (I'm not sure what to call it) actually spooked me on my first playthrough! I think that was because it was so unexpected.

* The hugeness of the map, when it starts opening out, is impressive in its own right.

* The scale of the environment and the lack of repetition in the design reminded me of things like WarpSpasm and various huge Tronyn maps.

I don't think the large size of the map is a bad thing in of itself. But I obviously found the layout and progression pretty difficult, and I think the large size of the map probably exacerbated that.

I've been trying to put my finger on why I found the layout/progression difficult. I don't think it's one thing, but a combination of several different things:

* At any one time there are a lot of different barriers (bars, force fields, key doors, etc.) which I have to try and remember so I can find my way back to them once I've found the thing that opens them.

* Some important barriers are not on the main path and are easy to overlook. An example is the gold key door: it's a long-term objective that the player will have to return to later, but it's in a side-area the player can easily miss.

* In some cases I found the means of opening a barrier without having encountered the barrier itself (leading to a feeling of "so where do I go now?").

* Even when replaying, I found it easy to forget which number Lord I was up to (which is obviously important because the hint messages refer to them by number). I also found it easy to forget whether I was supposed to be hunting for a Lord at any given time.

Even though I don't think the size is the problem, if you're in a mind to split the map in two, I guess that might mitigate the above issues?

I can't help thinking I would have enjoyed the map more if I didn't have to hunt for the Lords after summoning them. When trying to find them, I just felt like I was wandering aimlessly.

About the ammo situation: I found the ammo shortage at the start a bit irritating, especially as the player is confronted with gangs of bullet-spongey Fiends and Ogres right off the bat. I would have preferred a more "normal" ammo balance at the start. From about the halfway point, the ammo balance seemed to have become more normal anyway. (Disclaimer: I've only played on skill 2 and 3.)

But apart from those things, I definitely enjoyed the map. Whether you decide to split it into two maps or not, I'd be curious to play the next version to see how it's evolved. 
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