|Posted by negke on 2008/09/03 09:17:09|
|Another vertical map. The tallest Quake map ever made.
Originally started for the 768/Vertical competion last year though only recently completed, this map stays true to the rules of keeping all brushfaces and entities inside a base of 768*768 units with unlimited vertical height and without using player teleportation.
Most notable features are a somewhat unusual texture theme and the choice between two indepentent routes half-way through the map: puzzles or traps.
(Note: while the traps section is pretty straight forward, the puzzles section might, depending your secret-finding skill and patience, become frustrating easily. Be sure to read the hints in the text file!)
*** THIS MAP REQUIRES QUOTH AND A HIGH-LIMIT ENGINE ***
such as Fitzquake 0.85, Bengt Jardrup's enhanced GL/Win/Nehquake, or Darkplaces (more information in the text file).
I hope it's not too dark for anyone, but if it is, please increase the brightness with the corresponding slider in the options menu.
alas, i'll have to play it tomorrow T_T
hmmm so i just got the gold key, and the only exit seems to be the windtunnel going up, but it won't let me jump up into it. is this a bug, or is there some other way?
wouldn't load in fitzquake 0.80 for me. i don't see any download link for 0.85. darkplaces was fine though.
You have to press one of the buttons below (either puzzle piece or skull).
Fitzquake 0.85 hasn't been released yet. I posted it hoping it will "soon."
Crashes Fitzquake with a Mod_FindName: NULL Name error
Won't load in AGLQuake with a PF_Precache_Sound: Overflow error
Which AGLq version are you using? It works fine with 1.33. Don't forget to increase the heapsize.
glad you release this negke hope i can get time to play this tonight...
AGL Quake never tryed this client... is like joequake stile or glquake?
That's Aguirre's Engine?
surely this is the most successful qexpo ever?
negke - when i picked up the gold key, both those buttons became indented already, as if they'd both been pressed already. i can't repress them and i can't jump up the windtunnel. i guess i'll just noclip :)
ps. i got the same error as shambler in fitzquake.
You are a cruel cruel person and this is a cruel cruel map. You need to watch the demo and pay particular attention to my commentary ;P.
Suffice to say I made it first go but will probably be having nightmares about it. It's a very good map but pretty intense I found.
Kona: The buttons become pressable again after killing the Vores. If they don't spawn for you, it's either another version conflict (try latest DP) or you must have done something to bypass the trigger.
Shambler: I think you did well overall and admire your patience - I would've cheated at some point. Totally agree about the bridge puzzle. The nails suggest there's something to shoot. And, indeed, the button was originally shootable, but I changed it so people wouldn't dismiss it after having tried shooting it from below. The nails were mainly left as lighting support.
Fullbright isn't always helpful (despite the fact that it's ugly; gamma does a better job). The minimaze would've been obvious to you if you had seen the light from under the shootable parts.
The demo also showed that two bugs (clipping and disappearing lift/vis) have sneaked back in. :/
That's a very intersting level. I like the way how the selection is done, by first requiring a key, and then by killtargeting trigger_push when it's pressed. Some of the puzzles were fairly easy, and some of them weren't. I spent 10 minutes in the lightning room, and another 5 in the laser room. The other puzzles were pretty reasonable. I especially liked the last one.
As for combat: it felt very tight at times, especially on health. In the room of vorelings area, I did go down to 7 health before grabbing a 25, and then shotgun-dodging an ogre around a wall. The LG trap by there is nicely done, but easily avoided if you think before diving in.
The shotgun section at the beginning is nice, although the GA should possibly be in an easier to get position, and a drole that early with only SG and NG weapons would be unfair in open space. The stats above are from my second run. My first ended under the hatch, trying to get out of the water to escape a spawn. And, damn, you use those things a lot...
End combat was good. I don't understand why the fallen rangers had grenades in their packs (did I miss a secret GL?), but the SNG and ammo they gave was very useful. After the gug fell, I was feeling a little like I'd used too much ammo on it, so the quad was a welcome sight. The final shambler fell just as the quad ended, which was a relief. I was trying to conserve nails while quadding, and in the heat of battle, forgot I had the SNG when the shambler came. So I fired as many nails as I could before quad ran out, and then switched to deliver an SSG knockout.
Recommended skill setting: Either your usual, or one less than usual.
Freaky level - I'll post a 1st run later. Died at the SK :P
So far I like the abstract theme, and the gtood use of quoth features like buttons on lifts and rotating doors (ok that hipnotic but you know what I mean)
More later:D :D
In the maze room, I was looking for a singular secret thingy to open the door - I'd see the light at first (only using fullbright when I was stumped) but dismissed it because there were two light sections.
My combat experiences were very similar to what Lardy described.
And yes I was refusing to cheat out of sheer stubborness ;)
After watching your demo, I have to say that you are a fucking moron...
Not because of your inability to solve the puzzles, or your inability to see that the lights were uneven after staring at them for nearly 15 minutes, or your unwillingness to use the LG (apart from at the end), but because of this:
have i missed the ssg?
What the fuck is your problem with letting the mapper decide for you which weapons you should have by now??? Why can't you just accept the fact that a weapon that you wrongly believe is necessary isn't being given to you yet?
Calm down! You are putting some thoughts into a text of which you could not possibly know the true meaning/background. Wondering if one missed a weapon is a reasonable thought, in my e2m1rmx map I as the mapper was pretty worried that players would miss the grenade launcher (so I added a spotlight and on some skills too much other ammo).
If The Content Of Func_msgboard Were A Bodily Fluid
it'd be the "vitriolic humour"
If The Content Of LardArse's Post Was A Bodily Fluid
It would be diarrhoea.
P.S. I believe I stared at everything BUT the lights for 15 minutes. And yes I'm very glad I saved the LG until the end.
Negke - yep, i heard that vore spawn, but i never saw it. i think it just fell through the floor. same thing happened in the end battle, i heard the tarbaby spawn, but they never appeared. i just downloaded the latest dp, and they did appear, so obviously my earlier version was too buggy. i think it was dated 2005, so no wonder :P
anyway, decent map, although i'm more for hardcore action over puzzles, i'm sure there will be many that enjoy it. i mostly enjoyed the fantastic attention to detail and subtle variety in design in each area. earlier on some of the gameplay was annoying, mostly because those floating snot creatures and little headcrabs i don't really enjoy fighting, but the ending way great. somehow left about 15 monsters behind? maybe because of the old dp.
it was rather cramped, so i can't help but wonder what this level could have been like if you weren't restricting yourself in any way, and had made some of the areas bigger for more fights and had SOME outdoor/horizontal areas.
I took the puzzle route, wasn't as frustrating as I thought, though the 'hints' should be in the topic - you may need more brightness and don't need to backtrack to find the solutions.
The combat got me annoyed occasionally, not just for the crampt horizontal scale (not your fault) but the occassional clipping on the floros and various bits of detail. There was alot that could have used a clipbrush or turning to illusionary. But complaining about bumping into stuff in a 768x2 map is pretty sad.
Interesting concepts and great architecture, as usual.
I don't know... I haven't written my thoughs out yet on the remix maps, but I did like that you didn't include the nailgun. I'll expand on this when I do my post there.
- Aguirequake and Darkplaces both feel really laggy and uncomfortable to me
- The quoth monsters annoy me
- You seem to have approached the 768 challenge by just making the map cramped as hell
- Were you trying to use all 5 texture wads?
Tried it, got past a few of the lifts that crush you with overhanging shit, up the tiny tiny stairs to the chamber where there's no room to fight two knights with the shotgun, and was slowly bitten to death by vorelings that bit me once each as I killed them in turn. I really just felt no desire to continue after that.
oh btw i recorded a demo aswell. it was supposed to be nightmare, but i think it might be skill 2 instead. ah well. did the puzzle route, so you may be interested in how i solved the puzzles. didn't realise there were hints in the txt!!!
47mins total i think. its only 12mb though so i'm not sure if the whole thing recorded.
I've been looking forward to this all Qexpo and it certainly lived up to my expectations. It conjures up the atmosphere of a Quakeified Old Curiosity Shop to me, with its eclectic textures and busy, claustrophobic brushwork. I died a few times on Skill 3, but I think that's to be expected really. Ammo distribution left me very short around the button guarding vores, but that just added to the tension.
I took the trap route, which not many other people appear to have done? I'll try puzzles after work this evening.
...you had fun then??
rats... i didn't realise it would only work in a future version of fitzquake. :S
i guess i'll wait then, heh
I'm So Ahead Of My Time
Sorry for the confusion that Fitz line created.
Everybody seems to miss the SNG on the way to the path button room...
I Dont Get It?!??!
I mean you could only use Fitzquake if you were using a Mac. Unless you're using Windows but just hate DP and AGlQuake. Although the 8-8-8 build of Darkplaces seems less buggy to me ATM.
But the thing is only 0.8 version of FitzQuake has been ported to the Mac, so even when a new version is released Mac users still wont be able to play engine limit breaking maps until 0.85 has been ported.....
So Necros - which is it?
Mac Users Can't Do Shit.
Take it from me.
I'm one of them. And I'm missing half the Qexpo fun.
Fitz SDL Hack
Wouldn't it be possible to "simply" hack some increased values into SleepwalkR's SDL version?
what limits have been breached?
Uhm, All Of Them
... how does one do to force Fitz to increase the limits?
I'm a total dummy, mind you, so if someone can write down the exact sintax and numbers to be used...
You can easily set some limits higher in the source code, but those are too many of the "evil" ones that require understanding.
metlslime is working on a new version of FitzQuake, that would support higher value as mentionned in post #33.
metlslime told me that it would be possible that his new engine version could be ready before end of QExpo, but I'm not sure about the status there.
Maybe metlslime could comment on this, and provide more infos ;)
negke make another version :) breack the map in two :p
isn't as easy as changing
#define MAX_FUN_THINGS 256
to a bigger number. there's variables of types with maximum sizes (like 'short') and those are salted throughout the engine, like bytepacking in the netcode and all kinds of stuff you have to go and sort out.
I Bet AguirRe Could Tell Us!
I dont suppose anyone ever thought of porting AGLQuake to other OSs?
How hard would that be?
capable of running Quake 1 would cost pittance these days. Hell, make it a cheapo laptop and you have Quake 1 on the move.
That is if you don't mind missing out on DarkPlaces but let's face it, there's not much to miss.
Blatant Plug (or Helpful Offer?)
To any Linux users who want to play this in an engine that *isn't* DarkPlaces: I've been working on an engine, and while it's not quite ready for public release, I could send you a beta (if you are willing to tolerate some minor bugs, and agree to report them to me). Email my user name (above) at hotmail.com for more info.
[Sorry, Windows people will have to wait for final version. And Mac people are still screwed :) ]
It's true, I am working on a new version which is almost finished. But, right now I just moved and everything (including my computer) is still in boxes, so progress is stopped at the moment. But since qexpo is going for another 2 weeks, there is hope.
Anyone Have A Calender?
QExpo ends in 1 week, not 2...
As I Keep Saying...
wine works well for using expanded engines on Linux. OS X users are still a bit screwed, unless they install Ubuntu :-)
Are the nigger of the world.
Back On Topic...
Okay, I just finished playing through the traps route. (On my first attempt, I took the puzzles route and got stuck at the blue brick wall. Will attempt again.) Played on Hard, got 97/99 kills and 0/6 (!) secrets. The traps section reminded me of Frogger 2, which I always thought would be interesting to see in the Quake environment.
Some thoughts: As a concept piece, it's wonderful. Architecture was interesting & varied, and the split route is novel. The gameplay, however, was rather frustrating. My main complaint was the bumpy architecture getting in the way. It was nice to look at, but often impeded my movement. Maybe some clip brushes would've helped. It made what was already a cramped environment seem even tighter. Maybe that was your intent?
I also never really got a sense of the height while playing it, although flying around the outside sure showed it. Also, IMO it could have used more monsters, even some thrown in occasionally in the traps/puzzles areas.
No bugs encountered though, and the end battle was fun: plenty of ammo & a Quad was a nice way to release some of the pent-up frustration :)
Anyway, back to attempt route #2
the silent: not cool; you chose your bondage
They're more like the albinos.
Played through on the traps route second time as well, more entertaining than the puzzle route, though it was pretty puzzle in itself.
The whole thing reminds of fighting fantasy books - Look to your past, spiky buttons etc.
Fun overall, but getting stuck on all the geometry (including the floor) spoiled the map slightly. Now I'll stop banging that drum.
Also, there were a few times in this map when I LOL'd, which doesn't happen often in Quake. Still a bit nonplussed by the button that disconnects the server though.
Jdhack, Spank Me Baby...
...I feel sooo naughty...
Quite the innovative work you've got here, Negke.
Brushwork was top rate, vastly detailed, always interesting, and using bizarre texture combinations that have no right co-existing, yet work here.
Took traps my first time through, which took me a few tries, but they were generally fair. Loved the server dump.
Tried puzzles. Gah. The puzzles that had visual clues were fine, like the stuck button, the laser puzzle, and the lightning transformer. Those were good. The "touch random spot that doesn't really look different from the rest" really sucked. Spent a long time trying to find the mechanism to extend the bridge. When I did...le sigh.
Secrets must have been brutal, since the only ones I found were the blue brick wall (?) and the secret below the lift going to the Puzzle/Trap split.
Very creative and innovative, great work.
Was good. Weird bridge puzzle (still dunno what I did to get it to extend.) Overall very interesting map and awesome layout.
i caved and played this in DP :P
there's a lot to say about this map. i think the best thing in here is by far the brushwork. it's meticulous and exquisite. excellent use of trim with careful texture alignment. interesting designs and shapes, nice sweeping stairs.
unfortunately... this map needs to be clipped a lot more and some stuff needs to be func_illusionary. you get hung up on way too much geometry. :( in some cases, the incredible details work against the map by getting you snagged on junk.
also, as nice and the curving ramps look, they are a bitch to navigate on, and it's not even funny when you have to fight on them.
now, the two different sections:
i took puzzles initially because i thought traps would be annoying. i was wrong. :P some of the puzzles are nonsensical. the capacitor puzzle didn't really indicate what you were supposed to do at all. it implies that there needs to be some kind of timing with the button and the capacitor itself. if instead there had been some visual indication that there was a more direct connection between you getting zapped by the button and the capacitor travelling between the two it would have helped.
also, the laser puzzle: it seems the center button not only toggles sliders but also triggers the first gate. then why were the three buttons all with the same texture? the puzzle seems to be about opening all 6 sliders at once to open both gates for the laser. i don't even think that's possible, since i actually tried to work it out on paper. if the center button had been the red Q instead of the gold Q like the two side ones, it would have indicated the 'special' nature of the center button.
also, i think i broke the first puzzle... i ramp jumped up to the second floor and hit the light button to extend the bridge. i picked up the nails but i never extended the staircase in the opposite room.
i actually really like the maze and i wish there had been a more extended version of it with some other puzzles interspersed inside.
the traps section was actually the coolest. none of them were instant death (although, i think the super slime pit could have been a little more forgiving...) and they usually had clear indications of what they were. the last 'gauntlet' style one was good fun. :)
end combat: the quad with the string of monsters was a nice way to finish it off. i think facing the gug so early when you have so much kit and armour was probably not the best use of it. if you had swapped it and the shambler (providing a little breathing time before the gug appeared and a bit of armour like a green armour) it would have been a nicer finale. the use of the delayed activated doors for cover was a good idea, but i blew the gug up so fast it didn't matter.
finally, i can't say i really cared for the texture 'set'. it works ok, but i would have liked more solid divisions between areas with distinct texture mini-sets for them.
in any case, thanks for the great map man, look forward to seeing more. ^_^
There may, at some time during all the Quake maps ever released, been better ideas than this one -_-
Necros: how did you do the ramp jump?? I tried and got close but not close enough.
- Awesome brushwork, and I actually like the texture set.
- Running up the ramps is a pain, you could have used clip brushes to extend the solidness of the steps over the curving trim which might have fixed the problem. The map overall is annoying cramped in places but that's a bit inevitable.
- Traps were really cool and innovative (lol at warning button). Havn't even tried the puzzles yet because its not my thing. I'm pleased you get the choice.
- Monsters were fun for the most part, fight at the end is epic and I love the design of the arena.
negke, congrats for this map, which apart from looking around I'll play later - my wine has a bug where the mouse always leaves the window. I have to play like a keyboarder, which is decidedly not the right way to go here :-/ oh well.
The bug is probably related to this one:
which has gone unfixed for 2 years, after wine devs created it themselves (mumble, mumble). I only mention this because people keep recommending wine, and the bug is rather typical for what is happening over there. For example, look at the CC list and the number of votes, and the fact that after all this, the bug is still "normal" priority ^^ But that's a different topic.
Anyway, it's something to look forward to.
As a mapper, I fully respect your choice to break all the limits - good work actually. :-E
Negke Broke The Limits
And the collective anii of most of Func_board
Gb: See Post #41
I still could use another Linux tester. If you're hesitant, maybe Spirit would be kind enough to put in a good word for me?
First Part Was Cool
Good map. Nice gameplay until the route choice. I liked the fights and visuals until that point. I can't judge on the visuals further because I gave up. I chose the puzzles route but it seeems that I'm not that good in searching for hidden buttons and things. I didn't find any seecrets also but there was enough stuff for surviving skill 2.
I will watch someone elses demo to see the rest of the map. The firs part was really cool though. I didn't mind the lack of room to move. It made the fights more interesting.
Textureset, detailed. Puzzle/Trap parts: Puzzle was a bit hard, some very nice ideas though.
Maps get more open with more outdoor areas and big rooms recently and it's nice to see that it's possible to make a good map in 768x768 .
If you're hesitant, maybe Spirit would be kind enough to put in a good word for me?
jdhack's engine kicks the collective asses of all Quake engines currently available. It will be the epiphany when it is finally released to the public.
Is anii really the plural?
flawed execution. Clipping really should have been tested more.
brushwork is good although I fell through the curved stairs in the early room a few times. Texturing and lighting are solid though.
Gameplay is a mixed bag, annoyingly cramped in parts, nicely implemented in others. Final fight is fun.
Spirit: Small Correction
should be "all Quake engines except those developed by administrators of, or regular contributors to, func_msgboard"
Thanks though - cheque's in the mail ;)
oh wel there are lots of things that already been said!
i will just add it some more amazing map in brushwork... real top stuff... lights and construcion make me cry :( i will never make this kind of stuff.... chif!
the puzzle part is not my kind of stuff, after the and 2� room i quit...
the other part was much fun i finish untill the end! first dfemo i died in slime :9
was fun as hell puzzle didn�t lkike it much... i dont like to stay ages in a room :( sorry...
but the map was fucking briliant congrats on this one negke is a map that we will all remenbered!
Sure. You have mail.
Would you want more ways to script puzzles?
I had the same problem as Kona with the Vores using an old version of DarkPlaces (darkplacesengine20070110beta1), and the same problem with Fritzquake (Mod_FindName: NULL Name error) as Shambler.
I went for the "Puzzles" option. Bad mistake. After what seemed like an hour, I gave up after I managed to get the laser to hit the target, and release the lift button lock.
"Traps" was better, although I feel the "Dont Hit This Button" was a missed opportunity. A simple external dll included with the map could have quietly deleted my hard drive contents as I continued to play. That would have learnt me proper.
fuck my not working computer! GOD DAMN YOU ALL!
I want to play all these maps! This one in particular.
Thanks For Playing, Comments And Demos So Far
Puzzles/Traps: It's interesting to see how differently everybody approaches such areas. Each player seems to get stuck at/have no problem with very different spots as others.
Some of the button-related puzzles (first room) might seem like pixelhunting, but I thought their black sides give it away. The entire section probably should have been brighter, too.
necros: I imagined people would hear the base sound when trying to solve the barrier puzzle - a slightly different texture would have been a good idea, indeed. As for the capacitor, my plan was that the player realized that the puzzle involves self-damage from a source other than the button.
Traps: Yeah, I see the slime pool is a bit too strong. It's easy to see how to get past it, but can still be tricky from some side.
The Button trap is awesome because it shows that the largest threat to one's live is oneself. Megazoid: hmmm... ;)
Clipping: Didn't it expect it to be that much of a problem really and in none of the demos it seemed to be such an issue. Though the 768 restriction and the way I built this thing definitely make it more awkward than regular maps. I know some areas where bumping into geometry is particularly annoying in some situations, but while there are clips here and there, I didn't want to use too many so as not to make the player feel even more suffocated.
The catwalks, yeah, best to get off them quickly.
jdhack: Indeed. It would have been cool to be able to jump all the way back down or at least have the intermission screen show the whole map from the outside.
(btw. fun fact: this entire map isn't so tall after all; it fits into my smqe08b)
nitin: Where did that happen exactly? Do you have the coordinates or a screenshot?
If you're playing in DP (and your post didn't make it clear), then do r_speeds 1 to get the co-ordinates. I don't know if AGL has anything similar.
clipping was a serious issue with this map. since you were already using an engine with extended limits, you should have not only clipped a lot of stuff but turned a lot of the pointy outy details into func_illusionary so that you wouldn't get hung up on them.
sorry have neither, but it happened on the curved stairway in that room you take the lift into at the start.
I ran back down the walkway from some monsters and stuck close to the wall. Then I fell out of the map.
Will see if I can replicate it and send you a screenie.
ans was using AGLquake.
Hm, Like Everyone Else
I found the traps kinda fun and the puzzles annoying. Some were fun, but too many i 'solved' by randomly flailing around. Found the end combat fairly hard (on skill 2). Found no secrets at all, go me.
Still a very interesting map!
At the 3rd area(blue brick) of the puzzles run. Got here mostly by chance. I suck so much @ secret hunting.
Already finished the traps route and found the whole thing very very good. Gorgeous brushwork if a little cramped(unavoidable, obviously). Loved the checkered protruding walls.
Traps very creative and fun, hey, but it's Negke's right? What were u expecting?
I'm a huge fan of your work Negke, if I manage to finish the puzzle route in less than a week, that is...
This thing rocks.
Examine The Blue Wall Carefully
I'm going to record a walkthrough demo (including secrets) some time. This will probably make for some Ahh! effects (or channel all stored-up frustration and anger to me).
I'm Not So Bad, After All...
Negke is the most creative and clever mapper ever.
This things rocks.
For anyone who wants to see where the secrets are and how much the puzzles/traps routes experiment failed. (I originally wanted to make a Kascam demo, but I guess it wouldn't have worked so well in such a cramped map.)
Btw. re: demo compression.
20mb demo files -> .dz: 2.65mb, .zip (7zip): 2.61mb, .7z: 1.81mb. Seems like DZip is now obsolete indeed.
I fucking loved it, personally.
I've always been ridiculously intimidated by your skills, and this doesn't help things. Architecture was fucking awesome and creative, ditt You o for lighting. Tmhe gameplay matched my playing style perfectly. I didn't find *ANY* secrets! I never do though... just slow that way.
To summarize: You crushed it, period.
I never liked Dz
Thanks. Don't let this intimidate too much, there are still some scraps you have to finish.
You Still Got Em?
cause I don't. My computer had a mid-life crisis and broke down.
Yes, I Do.
Give me your mail address and I'll send them over. Did you think you could get way this easily?
No, in the back of my mind I knew I'd get dragged back in.
Not Enough Room To Swing A Cat
For some reason this map felt too small, compared to other 768 maps I felt like I was constant bashing into walls and getting stuck on ledges all the time. Plus the odd time I would take damage for no reason at all on lifts which is never good if the skill level are hard, hard and extra hard.
I feel the scale is wrong on the architecture for the size of the map. The trims are just too large, the window borders are too thick, doorways felt too small with large metal frames. Alot of the curved staircases were awkward to walk up probably because of basic Q1 movement over odd angled surfaces.
The encounter balance felt all wrong to me. First AI was 2 ogres up high bouncing grenades at me while I was wondering where I was. To compound this problem further is that the first curved staircase is awkward to climb and the ledges have no strafe space. The tiny lift you go down and have spawning AI on your head is difficult because there is no room to move and to compound the problem the lift caused some damage from some wierd clipping problem.
The first locked door should of been more obvious and had a blue key symbol on it. The route back up after the blue key room is crazy, it felt like too many AI being thrown at me. Ogre's spawning out of thin air, enforcers going crazy from ledges and even one of those really annoying bob flying robot things. (I am sure most people hate those things)
The switch in the middle of a room that opens a door on the other side was awkward because the sound clue was masked by the door closing behind me. Plus the timing of the event did not make any sense that is opening a door out of view and on a short timer.
After a while each room felt like a trigger for an event that will probably kill me. Like for example the fiend trying to sit on my head when I came up a lift into a brand new area. Or the shambler at the top of a curved staircase with no where to dodge besides going back and using a low archway. The AI did not feel right in the space they were in and balance felt wrong.
At one point I went up a really long lift shaft and briefly saw a really good stash of weapons and missed it. Once at the top of the lift I was presented with a crazy hard quoth monster and luckily kill it with a shotgun! That cache of weapons should of been easier to get, it would have made the fight more fun and not make me feel like I was trying to kill a crazy monster with a tooth pick.
I really liked the idea of the level spliting off into puzzle and death traps. It was really nicely done, I liked the choice. So I tried the puzzle route first because I was curious to see how it was done.
The first puzzle room was hard, in the end it came down to some crazy hard to find button panel buried in a texture pattern. The first button to open the doors should of been easy and the style should of been consistent. The second button on the ceiling was crazy hard again but the best bit was the 3rd section to smash the jammed button. It made me smile when it was complete and I felt clever for solving it.
The next puzzle of the bridge extending thing I could not solve, I could not see any mechanic that worked, needed fixing or texture button to unlock something. There were no clues what to do next and the thing on the ceiling did nothing. (I assumed it was button from previous experience) I think the puzzle section failed because there were not enough clues (except the button jam). If you are going to do hunt the button, it has got to be consistent and an obvious mechanic of what is expected to be done.
I tried the death trap route and I liked the air lift puzzle section the best. Sadly after a while I just ran out of health and switched on god mode to see the ending. There should of been a health pool or respawning health box somewhere near the start so I can stock up and retry the route again. Also the don't push this button thing, was weird and did not make any sense in the context of the map.
The final fighting felt like a typical spawn fight sequence and I was expecting something much more clever. I am not sure why this is so popular in Q1 maps where you run around a tight room fighting hordes of AI and just end up bashing quicksave all the time. I really wanted a puzzle boss fight, where I did something with the environment for a change.
Overall the architecture and textures are gorgeous and well placed. I really liked the vertical element to the map but the gameplay did not feel right to me with forced encounters squashed into a small space. I really do love negke work but it feels like it needs more polish and skills levels for explorers like me! :P
Here is a couple of demo recordings : http://www.simonoc.com/files/misc/768_negke_sockdemo.zip
I am not sure how to play them, I recorded them with Fitz 0.85 engine, hope they work ok.
Thanks for the detailed feedback and demos. I agree with your points - and most of them have been commented on before by the others.
The crampedness (and subsequent bumpiness) is partly due to the rules of the contest and partly because I got carried away on details (that's also the reason I added curved spiral walkways instead of regular ones or stairs, which in consequence makes walking on them awkward).
The first room is too hard indeed - and I have no idea why I made the medkits small on easy, that's pretty dumb. There are some other monster encounters that are unnecessarily mean, too. The lift damage is caused by some engine glitch, though. Even on easy skill, the map assumes prior Quake experience, not least because of the Quoth monsters, although in your second demo you got through quite well (minus the fun probably).
Puzzle and traps sections were things I wanted to try for quite some time and put them here as a sort of filler. As it turned out, it was twice a challenge - coming up with interesting puzzles/traps AND fitting them all into the small 768� space - they suffer from that, too. The puzzle bit is divided into three rooms, each one requiring a different approach. First one is button hunting (made unnecessarily difficult by the texture theme and low brightness - I thought their dark sides would give the buttons away easily), the second one is about figuring out mechanisms, and the third one is just some random stuff.
The "Don't push it" button was more of joke - the actual trap is the player's curiosity!
This is an experimental map (always a good excuse) in terms of both contruction/theme and gameplay, but in retrospective, it should have undergone much more testing - even despite the fact I was running low on motivation towards the end. I'll keep your comments in mind for next time.
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