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Q1SP : Stark Monstrosity - Quoth 2
I have finished this massive base map.

Requires Quoth 2.1 to be installed.

Screenshots:

http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/screen_shots/starkmon1.jpg
http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/screen_shots/starkmon2.jpg

Download:

http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/single_player/maps/starkmon.zip

This map is about as big and detailed as I could possibly ever make a map without breaking engine limits. Its also proof that you can go slightly over the limit for marksurfaces and it wont crash your engine!

Quoth 2 point triggers have played a large part in making this possible.

Im sorry its not a non-base map, but hopefully you'll enjoy it, and I pledge to make a non-base map someday, after new projects are done.

Thanks Willem for your filehost at Quaketastic.com and testing slightly... (I think I forgot to put you in the readme... 00ps!)

Big thanks for those who helped, there are some great people out there who are very passionate about their art.

And thanks to Scampie.
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Need All The Runes First 
 
Long Distance Peashooter 
With my recent venture into Quoth territory I found this map in the news archive section and wanted to give it go. The initial screenshot looked promising and I do like maps that offer route choices.

I started the map on skill 0 and I was presented with a lava death lake and odd shaped rocks I had to jump across like some mario puzzle land. Luckily on skill 0 there was no enemies (sadly this changed on skill 1) as the rocks were really small in size and awkward to jump from because of the annoying angles. Not really sure why I had to start with such a deadly trap around me but the rocks led across a canyon of lava up to an installation building high up on the rock walls.

The starting combat was easy and was I given plenty of armour, ammo and health packs to survive the various grunts wandering around. It was a nice gentle introduction to the level and felt cool while I took note of my surroundings. The building structure offered lots of space to move around but also felt too big. I suppose it is hard to get a happy medium but the AI felt small and were dwarfed by everything else around them.

With all the rooms being so big the AI never really felt threatening because there was no space for them to sneak up or use the close promixity of walls to bounce grenades towards me. On skill 0 there were 111 monsters and skill 1 was 166 monsters! Even with this many monsters the place still felt empty. I did not see any enemies patrol or look like they were guarding the place. Everything was either tucked behind columns or aware of me and trying to find a path towards me. The map felt like it was 'How big can I make a Q1 map in scale' and it dwarfed all AI in the process.

I played the map on skill 0 and 1 and found all the secrets. Two of the secrets were trick jumps which is a terrible shame. Some areas were lacking stairs and required the player to jump from boxes or weird angled ledges to get around. The size of staircases felt too big and long and some architecture was just floating in mid air. This is the bane of base style maps, they have to look structurally sound, you cannot just make weird stuff up because then it does not suit base style anymore.

Some combat situations felt strange with keys hidden in pit rooms with connecting staircases coming out of the floor locked by keys. There was this bit where you drop down a small metal pit and get teleported to some room with 3 monsters at the end of corridors like a bowling alley. The room or combat did not make any sense and the visual clues of what the room was suppose to be was not setup.

The skill levels had different AI, health and ammo but everything was too easy because of the scale. On skill 1 the map ramped up really quickly and just became an endless fight with plasma troops and eddies. It was very rare for anything to get close to cause me concern and I spent large amounts of my time just being a sniper with a single shotgun. On the upside I did not run out of ammo or health and found all the weapons in the map.

I liked the idea of the troops spawning in from a teleporter pad but the player should of been able to destroy or turn the teleporter off instead of just waiting for each troop to arrive. There were plenty of explosive crates next to doors or where AI was going to be and because the rooms were so big and sparce on detail they stuck out like a sore thumb and looked forced gameplay wise.

The textures and architecture were well made and put together in interesting shapes but the design felt too big and empty. Even when pipes and machinery were put into rooms they were dwarfed by the ceiling being so high or looked the wrong scale compared to their surrounding. I saw plenty of AI getting stuck on staircases because they were so long and alot of the walkways had little cover or support beams to hint at how they would work structurally.

Overall I had some fun playing the map but it did not need that many AI to be fun and the architecture certainly should have been scaled down so that the AI were not easily exposed to sniper shotgun fire. 
 
Even with this many monsters the place still felt empty.

Overall I had some fun playing the map but it did not need that many AI to be fun


I think you are burning yourself out a bit with these reviews. Good review, but very much like the "stream of consciousness" like I have been accused of employing when posting.
Im glad you played it twice! A demo would have been nice. You should totally play this map again on skill 3, because thats kinda where I balanced it. I mean skill definitions are all relative, so trust me if you dare!

The map felt like it was 'How big can I make a Q1 map in scale'

Thats what I was aiming for. This map was supposed to be my final punctuation of Quake 1 base mapping ;)

To quote myself from the sticky:

This map is about as big and detailed as I could possibly ever make a map without breaking engine limits.

Overall I would say that this sort of feedback from such a talented and experienced professional is very much welcomed, and a nice surprise for a Sunday afternoon. thanks. 
 
Sock nails it.

Calling Quake monsters "AI" is only technically correct though :-P

Keep writing this stuff sock! Much to learn there. 
Stuff 
I think you are burning yourself out a bit with these reviews. Good review, but very much like the "stream of consciousness" like I have been accused of employing when posting.

I assumed you would prefer the friendly chat style of feedback rather than bullet points. :( I can understand you want to push yourself when building maps (I do myself) but your map needed more than just huge space, it needed 'other' stuff to fill it. When I cleared a section of the map, it felt empty, there needed to be something else going on with the place and the layout needed to feel more human. Walkways, some tight corridors, control rooms, working machinery or at least hint of it. 
Sock 
try out ricky's previous map, Slave to a Machine which barring a couple of gameplay glitches is phenomenal IMHO. 
 
You should totally play this map again on skill 3, because thats kinda where I balanced it. I mean skill definitions are all relative, so trust me if you dare!

Did not enjoy it at all. Just involved me quicksaving all the time and running out of ammo. Constant quicksave is not really the answer to me, more ammo or better weapons would have been more fun. 
Heh 
Oh well. I wont bother in future then.

(ragequit) 
Eye Of The Beholder 
Just to restate what I've said before, and to make RT23 feel less shitty - I love this map on hard or nightmare. I almostnever die playing hard, and usually die once or twice on nightmare.

In other words, it was worth every penny. 
Thick Skin Required 
@RickyT23, you cannot expect everyone to like your style of gameplay and enjoy how you play the game. You should always remember you are ultimately making maps for your own enjoyment not others. If some people like your work, then it is bonus. Just because I found your latest map frustrating does not mean others will not like it. Drew and plenty of others are surely fans of your work. 
Truedat 
 
Im Curious About Something 
When you were playing did you feel at any point like you were lost? Or even slightly ill/dizzy if you can catch my meaning? Because when I was making this map that was kinda what I was trying to do, if I'm honest. 
No Dizzy 
I did not feel any dizzy/ill effects while playing the map, I just found it really hard and frustrating on high skill levels. Part of the problem for me was that I played apsp2 before yours and it really opened my eyes to what a base map could be like with a nicely designed layout and atmosphere. I was expecting to find a theme or progression to the style of the base and architecture to suit the humanoid AI size. 
 
have you played the czg07 pack? i'm not sure, but i think most huge scale architecture can be traced from that. i know it's why i started doing it. :x

extra large size gives you more room to move when fighting 94 monsters at once. ^_^; 
Apsp2 Is An Impossible Standard 
Didn't it take than something like 5 years to make?

Ironically, i got really really lost playing apsp2 the first time (no one's fault but mine). 
This Was Good Tho. 
Nuff said. Design has gotta be Rick's Slickest. 
Yeah 
my favourite of his maps, for sure 
Quoth 2.2 Bug? 
Playing in Quakespasm with patch 2.2 installed,
I experienced this:

http://www.quaketastic.com/files/starkmon_quoth22patch.dem

Gameplay-wise this leads to a situation where the player can only proceed by an extremely well-timed and precise jump(or a trickjump),
and he gets only one chance as failure means death in lava.

As I later understood from a couple of demos,
this is what should happen:

http://www.quaketastic.com/files/starkmon_quoth2.dem

After this, I deleted pak2.pak (the patch)
from the quoth directory, and things were
fine as in the latter demo.

Long story short: the pak2 file seems to change
the door from being closed to being open. 
Investigation In Progress 
Thanks to the magic of "git bisect" I've found the change in the code which caused this bug, which is half the battle. Working out how the change has such a strange effect is still in progress...

The change is another conflict born of balancing Quoth compatibility with vanilla Quake and compatibility with her own maps. At some point, Quoth made the spawn sequence for func_trains about 0.5 seconds slower. This was necessary for cloning trains, but breaks some vanilla maps. 2.2 tried to split the difference, by only running slower spawns on trains that use the features that demanded it, while putting other trains back at full speed. Evidently this map relied on the slow spawn in a way I don't yet understand. 
Bit Of Progress 
It appears that there's a race condition in this map. Gonna post it mostly to gather my thoughts, and maybe check with Ricky I'm on the right lines here...

The delay I talk about above is how long it takes for the train to be teleported to its first waypoint. Entities in the map spawn in list order, so if the train is earlier than the waypoint doesn't exist during the train spawn-function. The standard practice in vanilla Quake is to wait 0.1 seconds before teleporting the train to its waypoint. This happens on the second server frame, before anything is drawn or can be noticed.

In Quoth prior to 2.2, this delay was increased to 0.6 seconds, which made out of place trains briefly visible at the start of the map, and caused some items to fall off platforms (but ensured that cloned platforms work correctly). In 2.2 this delay returned to 0.1 seconds for any platform which doesn't have clones or "smoothed movement", to fix those glitches.

To understand the bug in this map, it's worth reflecting on where the platform is before it gets teleported - it's in limbo wherever it was placed by the mapper. The other crucial factor here is a trigger_once placed in this particular map, which fires almost immediately upon the map starting and targets the train.

In Quoth 2.0: The trigger_once targets the train before it has been teleported to its first waypoint, owing to the larger than normal delay applied in this version. This has the effect of cancelling the scheduled teleport, which would normally be disastrous!

However, things manage to sort themselves out, because triggering the train causes it to travel from its limbo position to the first waypoint (the closed position). That's more-or-less equivalent to the teleport code, especially as the player can't get there fast enough to see it happen.

In Quoth 2.2: This time round, the teleport code wins the race, and by the time the train is triggered, it's already taken up the closed position. The result is that the trigger_once now opens the door!

So it's a bit like the apsp1 rotation glitch from a few months back. The map has some cruft which used to be benign, but is now poisonous. Since there's no way to distinguish in code between this situation and genuine intent to immediately trigger a train on map start, any fix will need to be a shim applied to this map. I'm gonna sleep on exactly what that fix should be... 
Compatibility With Her Own Maps 
So it's a she!

Preach, thank you very much for your thorough investigation
and sharing your thoughts.

I apologize for the title 'Quoth 2.2 bug?'.

If I understand your posts correctly, parts of the map
rely on bits of the Quoth 2.1 code to function as intended.
These bits of the code have been changed for Quoth 2.2.
In this particular case this makes a difference which is
specific to this map. 
A Bug Is A Bug 
I consider any case where we have regression of function in later versions of Quoth to be a bug, regardless of the genesis. Writing out exactly how it happened is just a way to figure out big the scope is, and to hopefully avoid it happening again. The bug here doesn't look like it would be replicated in other maps going forward, so I don't think I need to think about reverting the change entirely in the mod.

Instead I think the best thing would be to apply a shim to this map. The shims in Quoth are actually a well kept secret I'll share here. When I discover this kind of conflict, where a generally beneficial global change causes a particular map to break, I add a special exception to that map rather than revert the change. This is called a shim, and there are two bits:

The first bit is the identification of the map which needs the fix. I create a "fingerprint" of the map, based on the fields of the world entity, so matching based on the model, wad, message, worldtype etc. This avoids the potential pitfall of just using the bsp name: two maps might use the same name. It also means mappers who want to release an updated version of their map have an easy way to opt out of the shim - just change the map title in the message field somehow, like adding "v2" or a trailing space.

Then the fix comes afterwards. I try to ensure that the actual fixing is only in a single function in the code, so it's easy to keep track of and doesn't get accidentally deleted when things are rewritten. In this particular case, the easiest way to fix this map is just to put the delay back to 0.6 seconds. I've uploaded a tweaked 2.2 patch with this change at
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/single_player/mods/quoth2pt2patch.zip

Not gonna bump the version number for it, but give it a try and make sure it fixes things! 
It Works. 
Thank you for the fix(shim).

Here's a demo with the new pak2.pak:

skill 2, 210/210 kills, 0/6 secrets

http://www.quaketastic.com/files/demos/starkmon_quoth2.2new.dem.zip 
Too Good For Secrets, Eh? 
Good stuff. Hey Ricky, can I add this map to the map packs page on the Quoth site? I packaged it up to do the testing on this patch... 
 
Yeah of course Preach! That's awesome :) 
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