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A Roman Wilderness Of Pain By PM And Tronyn Released!
Today we are releasing A Roman Wilderness of Pain, the only set of Quake maps to spend a decade in development! These maps went through many incarnations to arrive in their present form as a modern episode. There is an extensive mod by PM with the episode, including new and modified monsters, weapons, and artifacts (see readme for details). This mod also supports NSOE, and can be used to update NSOE as well (again, see readme).

Download (32 MB):



The environment can be described as "variations on metal/temple/hell." Each map has its own manifestation of the general theme. There is a great start map by PM which is well worth looking around for some secret treasure. There are five skill levels and the episode is pretty challenging so choose wisely.

Thanks to our testers Orl, Spy, Stevenaus, and ijed. Merry Christmas!
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Re: Stevenaaus 
well, these are definitely the oldest maps I had to release (started in 99; all my other yet-unreleased stuff was started in 2003/4 at the earliest), so the originals were smallest/simplest out of my maps; but they did have the same mixed themes as are present in the finished product. The only difference is that each of the 13 original small maps had its own variation on the basic theme, so merging 3-4 of them together created varying takes on the theme within the same map - except roman2, which was only based on 2 scraps, both of which originally had the "venice of blood" theme. 
What I Think Of When I See Roman. 
Roman reminds me of the fourth episode from Ultimate Doom, "Thy Flesh Consumed". 
So That's What It's Called Then 
Venice of Blood 
It works in DOOM, because the original DOOM never established a coherent "base" theme or an "every episode starts with a base map" dogma. The color scheme is totally different, too. The former human gang in DOOM isn't so idbase-brown. (A brown enforcer will automatically look out of place in a blue map, for example). DOOM is also simply more extreme - its mixture of hi-tech and "underworld" covers both soldiers and demons. Quake's "base" and "medieval" are comparatively tame and mostly well separated. You have neither "Mars laboratory" nor "Hell" in Quake, not to mention a merry mixture of the two. Runic is again a different thing. I believe this stems from the fact that DOOM was supposed to be modeled after the Alien movies, while Quake was supposed to be a fantasy game before in both cases that didn't work out.

Vanilla Quake already introduced and cemented the base/medieval split, sadly, in the shareware episode, with its clearly separate themes, while DOOM's shareware episode was mostly "tech dungeon" throughout. The first impression tends to stick.

ARWOP is largely very brown, which makes the grunts look more at home, plus it isn't one of the pre-established id1 themes. Hence we're probably more willing to accept the broad mix of monsters. The DOOM feel was definitely there.

Quake's monster lineup simply isn't as versatile as DOOM's. Especially in the lower and middle tier, there are definite holes / not enough variation. This occurred to me while I was implementing Lardarse's randomized monster spawning. There are only so many options to put in a certain slot. For example when randomizing a spawn that used to be an ogre, what are the alternatives? Hknights? Fiends? They don't always work. I was briefly considering Gremlins, but they look like Fiend ripoffs... and are not really all-round monsters.

A medieval grunt, a runic grunt, an Ogre substitute that works in the same all-round way (and is not a hknight) ... would be good to have. 
One of the concessions that Quake does allow is that since everything is connected by slipgates, fantasy and sci-fi enemies can intermingle even in environments that are 100% fantasy or sci-fi.

Though i guess there is still the sense that the "deeper" you get into the fantasy world, the less you should see other human soldiers because that breaks the illusion that it was difficult to make it that far. 
Even that can be storied over though. Say you start seeing humans and come across a broken slipgate or something. Done! :) 
yeah, that works ... while just using all monsters in a medieval map, without any "explanation", feels a bit weird to me. 
Correct Thread This Time 
How can I turn the music off? No offense, but some of it I find really awful. 
impulse 17, mentioned above, you lazy bum. 
Thanks Spirit 
I did read the .txt and searched through this thread though! 
Outstanding map...

finally played and record a demo... 129 mb :\ want it tronyn?

Tronyn awesome work as usually... fair gameplay and great visual as all your maps have... but this one in my opinion even in hard is a fair map :) will play the rest of pack soon and comment...

thanks :) 
Good stuff here. It took 50+ tries to get through roman1 on hell difficulty, but the following maps were not as difficult (even considering weapons)... then I noticed that the monsters weren't respawning like they did in the first level. I know "skill" supports only four values, so I imagine the "hell" difficulty is stored somewhere unusual... Too unusual for save files, I believe. 
Off The Scale. 
Hell difficulty check is stored in the serverflags, which is preserved across levels and savegames. However, if a level restarts in a way that erases runes, skill resets to nightmare. In other words, hell skill is treated as a fifth hidden rune that is given when the player selects hell skill, and taken away when another skill is selected later, or when all runes get erased from a restart. When hell difficulty is selected at the start level, the gameplay changes do not take effect until the next level, roman1.

Some easy tests to see if you are really in hell difficulty.

Impulses 9 and 255, the weapons and quad cheats, are completely ignored.

Try to change your health via the 'give h <xxx>' cheat. The attempted health change will be overruled and will not take effect.

Enter notarget or noclip cheats. The player dies instantly as soon as they are entered. Flymode will kill the player if he moves, and godmode will kill the player the moment damage is taken.

The only cheats that work in hell difficulty are the ammo cheats because they are a pain to stop and not worth the trouble to fix. Besides, with god, health, and weapon cheats gone; the player can give himself as much ammo as he wants, and it probably will not save him from death.

There is an impulse that will force Hell difficulty, impulse 77. This will force skill to be set at 4 until the impulse 77 is invoked again or when the player touches a setskill trigger. 
With my new steam version of Q1 installed I thought I would play through some of the most recent Q1 releases and see how things have changed over the years. I got the impression from the above comments that the map pack was hard, so I thought I would try easy skill first.

I must have a different dictionary definition for the word 'easy' because I was expecting the map to be easy. I spawn into the first map and right there on towers pointing at me are ogres with nailguns. I jump into the water to escape and then a swarm of fish nearly chew my legs off. I eventually get out of water and I am killed by a group of enforcers. Jesus! >:(

I know everyone has moved on with complexity of maps but when did gameplay balance go crazy with Q1 maps. I would understand if I tried hard skill level because it is meant to be 'hard'. Sorry for the rant but this is so wrong, no new players are going to play this!

So I tried again and just run across the bridge dodging nails and eventually through a doorway for cover and I was greeted with a whole troop of soliders while still being hassled by the ogre outside. Eventually I get through the room and started to play the map.

After a lot of frustration with unbalanced mobs I eventually just flick on god mode and coasted through the rest of the map pack. :( Which I think is a real shame because these maps are really beautiful to look at and the layouts are gorgeous. Lots of up and over, vertical cross over paths, lots of show and tell moments of where you got to go. I can see alot of really cool work has gone into the making of this map pack.

My only nit pick is with the AI, nothing was patrolling. All the AI was just static and stuck to the spot. I played through the Q1 original maps and I saw AI patrols and they looked like they were guarding the place, nothing moved in these maps, they just spawned and stared forward. *shrug*

I really liked the map architecture scale and scope and there were lots of interesting locations. I just wish the skill levels matched my expectations of what Q1 maps are suppose to be like. 
I feel you, sock. I tend not to say anything because I know that I'm bad at Quake and that most everyone else is a Quake playing god these days. But, yes, maps tend to be insanely difficult these days. 
The difficulty has increased. Most custom maps are harder than the early ones (not to mention stock Quake). And Tronyn maps are something else again.

Quoth maps have to played with caution, too. Especially the base ones. 
tronyn's maps are not the place to start with custom maps.

i have found all his maps in general are about 2 difficulty levels higher than other modern custom maps (which are already higher than id maps).
yeah sorry about that sock my new maps are the last ones you should start with - the horde combat gameplay (if monsters can fit they're generally there) and PM's gameplay modifications combine to make them extremely hard. I should also set the odd monster patrolling, it's true.

my next releases are going to be somewhat toned down. I know I keep saying this. There will be a giant jump from easy skill to normal.

ps I am going to review map on the edge of forever sometime this summer, when I get access to a computer that can run it properly. 
I believe skill levels should be a natural progression through a map that helps the player explore the map and try different AI encounters. The lower skill levels (easy/normal) should be what they say and that they should gradually ramp upwards to hard/nightmare and not be giant leaps.

AI should naturally scale upward in difficulty, health/ammo should be setup differently and pickups should be moved around. Skill levels are a wonderful way of extending the playability of a map and should be balanced enough that everyone can see and complete the level. I am also looking forward to your review of my map this summer :) 
Makes sense if you put it that way. Usually, I'm not inclined to play a map twice in a row, unless it offers something substantially new on the other difficulty levels. Only few maps do that.

I'd definitely like to experiment with this more, though. Making an entirely new game mode is the most sophisticated variety of this idea, but it doesn't have to go this far. Apart from moving items and (groups of) monsters around, you could also open up new paths and change the layout/progression in certain ways depending on the selected difficulty. A map that does this in a very original way is digs' The Parallel Words (basically a 3-in-1 map). Of course, it doesn't have to be used in such an extreme way in regular maps. 
I have this theory that horde combat and insane difficulty in Quake maps are an easy way out of deeper problems with the game, and being mainly concerned with environment design over gameplay.

A well done game doesn't need 400 monsters per level to remain challenging or unique. Better AI, more varied monster behaviour, increased usage of traps / puzzles / exploration / "scripted" scenes / extra keys / other gameplay elements, and finally randomisation might go a long way towards avoiding teh horde smackdown. There are other interesting things besides killing 50 scrags. This isn't aimed at you, Tronyn, just a general thought I'm having lately. There is a tendency to either make experimental maps that go overboard with the puzzle stuff, or horde maps that go overboard with monsters. Maybe a middle ground wouldn't be bad - ironically, Id used more traps etc. than most maps today. A trap can be the highlight of a map.

It gets really bad if mods just increase the monsters' HP, knowing full well that the original weapons were balanced against less than that. And then these extra HP are piled on and on by mappers, making maps both more difficult and more boring.

I know most of func_ is mainly interested in the environment, but a cool environment filled with hordes because you're hard pressed to come up with alternatives is suboptimal. The thing is that traps, for example, have to be planned as part of the environment. You can't sprinkle in traps or puzzles afterwards like you do monsters. You have to plan the environment from the ground up to contain that sort of gameplay.

Meaning, when you go down this route, you can't simply go and build cool stuff, then sprinkle in monsters. You have to build cool stuff that contains hazards and puzzles around every corner, THEN sprinkle in monsters.

Another overlooked element is how the player moves through an environment. Having to raise the water level (classic TR's Cistern level, Far Cry's Cooler level) or crawl through air ducts (Ruined Nation had this) to get where you need to be is more interesting than blasting your way through 60 monsters, all the while running along a walkway. Having to blow up walls, or smash through them with whatever equipment is another nice alternative, often used in Far Cry. On top of that, a grappling hook can do wonders as proven by games such as TR:Legend.

What all these things have in common is that they must be planned early, in fact probably while building the layout. You have to adopt a mindset of plan first - build later, instead of build first - fix later.

If I'm not mistaken, this is how it was done during development of Half-Life. And it shows. 
that's a good point, with this set of maps, I basicaly just joined together disparate architectural sections however they would fit, without planning out a layout ahead of time. I haven't planned out maps on paper ahead of time for a long time and it's probably a good idea. The best id and hipnotic maps had a mix of traps, combat, and most of all they had distinct sections. 
But I Like "teh Horde Smackdown." 
Hordes full of dumb or even fairly smart monsters have their place, and are fun to wipe out as long as the player can get the resources to do so. 
I love hords to :)

always fun if there are good weapons like sng or Gl 
For The Horde 
I don't think there is anything wrong with horde style combat (aka doom) but my complaint is about skill levels. They are an awesome way to tailor the map experience and should not be overlooked. It maybe a pain to setup multiple encounters for the same location but ultimately it will be more rewarding for the player to experience the map in different ways. Save the crazy horde style for higher skill levels like hard/nightmare! :P 
> Hordes full of dumb or even fairly smart monsters have their place, and are fun to wipe out as long as the player can get the resources to do so.

Yes. That I can agree with. I'm the guy who made armytest.bsp, an RMQ testmap where you slaughter about 100 knights and a couple dragons with quad SNG.

Hordes have their place. ^^ 
Dear Sock 
Different maps, different styles.

I understand where you are coming from, but in some ways it's the equivalent of saying "I don't like water because it's too wet." ARWOP is a ridiculously over the top horde map. That's just what it is, and it's not trying to be anything else. Not all quake maps are (or should be) perfect paragons of balance, scalable, accessible gameplay.

Play Travail next, I remember some good non-horde gameplay in there. 
Dear Grahf 
different skills, different people.

I think you have missed my point, I do like horde style maps I just don't find dying all the time that much fun which is why I like to choose different skill levels. This map does not atttempt to resolve this problem and I would say a fair amount of modern maps have missed that point as well. Sure if the Q1 community has gone the way of hardcore gaming with excessive skill levels then fine.

'I don't like muddy water I prefer something clear and drinkable'

Not all parts of a lake are the same, some are murky while others are clear. When I first start a map, I prefer to try out the waters edge, not drown in the middle of the lake. 
most new maps on medium are fine to me.

I guess a simple solution for catering to seasoned players and those not so used to playing quake sp over the years is to leave normal and hard as they currently are (ie hard and extra hard practically) and make sure easy really is easy (rather than normal practically).

There are better solutions, and sock has outlined quite a few (different routes and progression for different skill levels as well as changes in ammo/health/monsters), but I imagine they would take a fair bit more time to implement for what is really not much of a bigger audience outside the regular quake players. 
I always play map on hard, and I rarely died but some are to much for me... tronyn map use to kill me a lot :) 
In regard to the Hell mode save bug- I switched to Fitzquake (I was using aguirRe's), and it works fine in loading the mode from a save file.

About the difficulty... I'm wondering how many is too many deaths to be fun. I'm having a "hell" of a time even getting to the gold key on the first level, but it'll only be sweeter by the time I finish it. I'm used to running levels without saving partway, so dying is even worse than normal. But it makes you learn how to deal with enemies. 
Dear Sock 
i think we mostly agree actually. diversity is good.

also, thanks for taking the time to play q1sp maps, i enjoy your perspectives. 
I'm also interested in Sock's direction now - never look at Q1 again or want to make maps for.

Not sure I can explain how I feel about Quake. It's like all day I'm drinking coffee, and then I get home and I can drink a stomach settler. 
BTW I Like Coffee 
My contract says level designer on it. 
Fuck off ijed and get a real hobby. 
ijed, drinking kills. 
yes, it does. 
kills the bugs inside of you! 
awesome posts ijed I totally see what you're saying. 
Ow my head. 
A Tronyn Wilderness Of Pain 
Just played this again. What a blast - great fun. I totally see where the Doom references come from. Many weapons, plenty of items, hordes, lots of gibs. Didn't bother with the boss fight (not least because I didn't set a higher heapsize so the game slowed down to a crawl once the summoner and his gang showed up). I regret not having played on Hard this time AND record a demo. I think it totally would have shown how much I enjoyed bouncing through the maps producing gore. Playing a fast DnB mix in the background added to this.

Thanks again for this excellent release, Tronyn and PM. I consider it one of the milestones of Q1SP - in combination with NSOE, which I'm going to play next. 
did tronyn ever say how long it took to vis? the last map in particular must have been brutal. 
Yeah, Must Have Taken Ages 
Checked out the roman scraps. It's very nice to see how this developed from all the individual map bits to the final ones, how areas changed appearance and were pierced together. Amazing construction even back then. Some of the unused or unmodified scraps are still salvagable.
Bigrome is impressive, almost marcheresque. Kind of makes me want to mikewoodham it.

Also, at the risk of repeating myself, I love the ARWOP style, the texture theme and general vibe. Quake in all its (bloody) purity. 
So I'v played the other maps. Wasn't extremely hard except for the god damn tarbabies and the ENDING.
The amount of hp\armors is pretty much excessive so the difficulty is fine for hard skill, didn't die much even though I was playing badly meleeing 50 scrags and doing other silly things.
The tarbaby is just a bad monster design blowing up 100 damage in your face, and it was pure sadism to paint them red making harder to see and put in the red water where its harder to avoid them. Or on a ledge above\behind a player. Or 5 in small locked room. Yeah!
The rest I didn't find unfair. Maybe the start is too harsh. Map2 was easier.
Now the ending was unbeatable cause I arrived with no cells ... GG (I tried with cheats and it took max cells and max spikes and then some more to take the cyberdemon down).
Or is there a gimmick or an unmarked secret quad\penta?

The construction I'm not a fan of this style and some parts were really hard to move around (you'll see in demo) due to stairs\ramps\floor details\narrow paths.
But cool planning and layout.

All demos
Hard /1st playthrough. First demo pauses closer to the end and wont play after that, but you can timedemo watch it if you want to see it all.

Playback works only in DP or earlier (later versions have bugged lightmaps making the maps look fugly) 
Btw, funny it runs more than twice as fast in DP over Fitz in really stressing spots. 
I Tested Some 
But kind of flaked out because RMQ was starting.

In terms of maps done and staying power, I can't think of any mapper who beats Tronyn.

As to vis times - I think it was a case of vis once, then just modify entities. For most of his maps :) 
Playing this.
Tronyn I love you. 
Heh Thanks 
you might hate me when you get to the end boss fight though! 
Still playing this pack, Still lovin it. 
I am definitely glad to hear that. in many ways this is the most extreme episode I ever did. heh. 
Tronyn, can you remake Masque with Drake Monsters and Weapons? 
Tronyn is so brilliant that even his subconscious thoughts to himself manifest in the form of thread posts.

His subconscious mind is so powerful, it even has its own distinctly different ip address. I'm impressed! 
yeah, well I still have the source, so that wouldn't be too hard to do. thanks for the suggestion, subconscious! 
Masque is good as it is, don't be George Lucas! 
...unless You Want 4 Billion Dollars 
Hello, Tronyn! Sadly that QuakeC source to ARWOP is not yet released. But progs.dat size is near 1,6 megabytes!!! So much QuakeC work here?
Btw, new Soul Of Evil (Indian Summer) QuakeC compiled source code does not fit to play ARWOP, give parse edict error. Sadly... 
that's because ARWOP has new stuff that isn't in NSOE. I think there is even newer Drake source code out though, which does support ARWOP. But even if it isn't out, I'll ask PM if he can release it; either way, the final source code for Drake will be out with the final mod, which should be out sometime in the next month or two. 
This Is Pretty Tough.. 
But also very very nice looking. Tronyn you make some crazy ass stuff dude. Took me a couple attempts to get to the gold key. But I got nailed by those flying jerks, probably going to have to retry a few times. 
I Have A Good Idea! - Drake Mod Dragons Retexturing. 
Have you ever played or seen screenshots to Might And Magic 8 - Day Of the Destroyer? I like dragons from MM8. I ought to mention that you can hire up to 4 dragons to your team. This should be a good idea to partially remake dragons models in Drake as in MM8, isn't it? 
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