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Q1SP - "The Gateway To Hell"
After 20 months of work (I admit, I made a half part time effort... as I have been very busy the past year) here is my latest map.
This is the sequel of "Castle of the Dark Ages", hence some areas will look familiar...

NOTE: This map requires Quoth2 and an enhanced Quake engine (i.e Fitzquake 0.85 or aguirRe's GLQuake), as some standard limits have been exceeded




As usual, all feedback/comments are welcome

Enjoy !!!
Downloading now... 
I came here hoping for a new Quake SP map but I didn't really expect to find one so short after the last release by Vondur. But yay, I was wrong!

Downloading now. Not enough time to play through it this evening so I'll be back with comments tomorrow. Screnies are sweet. :) Thanks! 
I Really Need To Fine My Quake Cd 
and install it on my new comp ASAP! 
Screenshots look amazing. Look at those arches!
Gonan play this as soon as I get a proper chance :) 
Additionnal Information For Those Who Never Read The Txt File... 
@Moderators: Please add in the thread description that this map requires Quoth2 and an enhanced Quake engine (i.e fitzQuake 0.85 or aguirRe's GLQuake), as some standard limits have been exceeded 
good tough ending! good design! :) 
Can't Wait 
I can't wait to play it, but I'm at work right now :(
Screenshots looks very nice, I only hope it has good difficulty settings - that means that I hope it's not too hard on easy :P

Nice map, comments in demo.

Main points of criticism IMO are that I don't like the lighting, it's overall too dark; skill 0 wasn't Easy at all, ie as usual, skill levels weren't differentiated enough; and the gold key directly after the SK door came too quickly, it would have been an opportunity to add more gameplay after the SK door.

Lots of reuse of areas, but that largely didn't bother me. Coming back to the start for the end fight was actually nice.

Lots of ammo, I had 80 rockets at some point and couldn't spend them - I assume this is down to the lack of skill level tweaking.Not enough health on skill 0, same reason I guess.

Nice setting and some of the architecture was *very* nice like the room with the arch and the ruined platforms above and the columns. Very reminescent of old Tomb Raider games. I guess there is a secret up there somewhere, somehow I didn't think of exploring more but I bet it's possible.

Some other architecture was slightly bland, like some of the corridors and the boss fight room for example. There could have been more details in those parts.

Complete lack of traps or puzzles, as far as I can remember. 99% combat and not many interactive elements. The jumping across gaps was nice. Nice broken floors in places.

The map was fun to play anyway and relatively accessible and straightforward, which is good. I liked the moving stairs. The vore fight was good. Monster placement was in general good and made sense.

I liked it, apart from the few points of criticism which you're always gonna get. Good job overall. I wasn't such a big fan of the texture theme though; I think the map could have looked better with different textures and with a bit more light, maybe some colored light, and a different skybox. But that is all down to taste.

It gave me a couple ideas for my own maps, too.

The Quoth monsters... I still have a problem with some of those. Vorelings have too much health; the death guard I don't quite get, why not just use hellknights; the gaunt is OK but a little on the weird side, and the death lord is easy to take advantage of... he is not really a threat when you give the player a rocket launcher and some cover.

I'm not a fan of locking doors behind the player, at least not for a couple measly vorelings. That has to do with the fact that Vorelings are generally annoying though. For a boss fight it is OK.

Flak ogre's spread is huge and very hard to see; often while strafing, you'll move right into one of those spikes, which is counterintuitive. At a large distance, they can be pretty annoying. Their projectiles do quite some damage.

I don't like how the normal shotgun is used for sniping in standard Quake (and Quoth); it feels weird to precision buckshot an ogre over 50 meters.

I can't hold these things against your map though JPL. They are rather problems I have with Quake/Quoth.

So that got a little off topic, but your map is a GJ and I liked it. Some parts are great. I had fun playing it. 
Oh Man 
AWESOME TITLE jesus christ!
too bad my computer totally crashed and is in for service (still on warranty), so reviews for this and elements will only happen later this month (I can't run quake on my shitty alternate computer). Looks awesome.

I expected it to more epic given its theme and development time. With its straightforward layout and gameplay it feels like an interlude before a large, hell-themed boss map (like if you had linked the exit to 5rivers). Nice hellish vibe and style. A pity the skybox in only on the bottom.

Poor lighting. And not mainly because those textures sets (Doom 3 in particular) don't work well with minlight and relatively dim sourced lights, but rather because the .lit file darkens and dulls the contrast, and this even though there is hardly any recognizable colored tint. So I recommend playing the map without the .lit file.

Nothing special about gameplay. It was challenging on Normal, but not very insprired. Again, straightforward and interlude-like. A few Quothisms, but luckily not as hardcore as your earlier maps.

I guess you will have to make another sequel now. ;) 
Huh, weird, there was a .lit file?

/goes and checks again 
When I removed it, I thought the map looked much better. Unfortunately I only realized this after finishing it. 
good map! but of course, there were spots with massive fps droppage and jpl knows the reason. it was pretty much possible to make this map more user friendly and with less vis time!

all in all, proper texture choice and nice gameplay. keep em going, jpl! 
Nice map, I'm still out to lunch on the Doom3 theme in Quake, but it was fun to play.

I used DirectQ so I didn't get any FPS drop. :) 
Thanks ! 
@[Kona]: Thanks, cool you liked the map.

@gb: This is a great a complete feedback ! I can understand your point of view regarding the texture and the lightning: Not all the player will like the use of Doom3/DKT3 texture set... Also the fact the map is "dark" is something I have problems to solve, as it is definitely not dark with my flat screen at home....
I am also happy it gaves you some ideas for mapping: the community needs more map !!
However I spent some time trying to tweak the skill setting (I have to admit I didn't made beta testing with skill setting), and as I know very well the map, I am able to finish it with plenty of Health / Ammos / Armor without that much problem.... anyway, glad you liked it overall

@negke: Well, I thought one moment to teleport the player to "Five Rivers Land" part 1, but as certainely not everybody has it on his HD, I decided to link the map to what you know (no spoiler :P) I can also understand that you were waiting for more epic combat... but as I mentionned, I didn't worked 24h a day during 20 months on this map... rather 2/3 hours a wekk at most.. with some long pause sometimes... Anyway.. I'll do a sequel if you want, but not right now.. I think I'll wait before starting it... as I think I found an idea never explored in Quake... shht, it is a secret :)

@Vondur: I knew you'll like this theme ;) and I really need your advices to reduce vis runtime, definitely :P

@mh: sorry for the Doom3 theme, but I am glad you enjoyed to play :)

@all: I didn't watch the demo yet, but I'll do, I promise ;) Thanks a lot for the review :D 
I did notice you spent time on the skill levels, and it wasn't far off the mark on Easy. It was just a couple encounters that I thought were too hard for an untrained player. I commented on those in the demo, it was mostly fights that involved several gaunts. At the two switches and in the end fight. The rest was OK for easy skill, maybe 2-3 more health packs next time.

That's just regarding Easy skill specifically. 
gb what the hell are you on easy skill for? lol

I didn't mind the textures, but then I have a softspot for dkt textures. There could have been a bit more detail in some places, but otherwise not too bad. The end arena though was in need of something epic. Since you spend more time in this room than any other, it could have taken advantage of having some massive subterranean castle entrance.

The lighting didn't effect me too much either, playing in darkplaces. I've played much darker maps. I was using the .lit file as well I think. 
Why's Hell That Hard 
I tried to play the level, but I'm a really bad player with Quoth monsters. Of course I felt of the rocks and jumped on the skybox. A teleporter for recaching would be fine, but I am a much too bad player to get to the first key.

The layout made me think of Rune, and Alice. A great level to explore, as I saw here are five secrets. But I didn't stand a chance to find them as the low health made me change to easy.

Without much luck, but a good map to play some time on.

Thanx jpl! 
> gb what the hell are you on easy skill for? lol

Out of interest and because newer q1sp tend to be impossibly hard (this one isn't though).

I'll replay this on higher skill settings and look for the secrets later.

There are quite some players who need an Easy skill level or just want to take a look around without dying all the time.

Try giving Quake to a friend who doesn't usually play FPS. You will be surprised. What you think is easy is Hard for others.

Easy skill is necessary even today. 
I full agree with Kona. I consider myself a pretty good Quake player, I;ve played Quake since 1996 until now, it is my favorite game.

In 98-99 I was quite good in multiplayer, I played in various clans in QW, so I'm not at all a "noob".

And even myself I find almost all new maps very hard even on easy skill. Damn it, is it so difficult to make a map fell EASY on easy ?

There's FOUR difficulty skills, nobody prevents a mapper to make the map IMPOSSIBLE on nightmare - I don' care. And very, very hard on hard. It's fine. And make it enjoyable on normal, not too hard, not too easy.

But DAMN IT - make the map EASY on easy. EASY I say. I played a lot on map on easy and there was times like this :

I enter in a room with nothing more than a shotgun and no armor. And all doors closes and 7-8 fiends jumps at me. How the f*ck is that possible on easy ? 
there are only three difficulty skills the mapper has control over -- nightmare is the same as hard except with different monster AI. 
Great Map 
I hadn't played "Castle of the Dark Ages" so I downloaded it first and played them both.

Two great maps. And this time I gotta say they were not too hard on skill 0. I used save/load but didn't have to load more than 2 times per map. I'm more into modern/tech stuff than medival/gothic but the atmosphere in these 2 maps was great. The church with those great windows in the first map and the broken room (shown on the 1st screenie above) in the 2nd map were my favorite spots design-wise.

Castle of the Dark Ages: 31:32, 2/4, 124/125.
The Gateway to Hell: 13:56, 2/5, 71/73.

It was great fun, thanks! 
I don't mean to give an impression of negativity over the Doom 3 texturing by the way; I actually *am* quite fond of the style. Just that it's quite jarring to see it in Quake, even with fair warning beforehand.

I'd say that of the Doom 3 textured maps I've played, this one probably comes close to the top in terms of style and appeal. You've hit on a theme here that works quite well with that texture set (rather than just throwing on Doom 3 textures because you can) which is nice to see. 
Texture set __is__ gorgeous... best in ages.
Nice mix of enemy too. Damn - only two out of five secrets. 
I Did What #22 Did 
If you have the time, replay CDA and then play this immediately after. It goes from "two very good Q1SP maps" into an awesome mini-campaign. The atmosphere is super thick, and the jump from a classic id1 affair (CDA) into a primarily Quoth map (this) is perfectly justified by the theme. The gameplay is slightly different though the pace remains similar.

Replayed on hard (still couldn't improve on 2/5). Great bg ambience which i somehow missed the first time, and the Zerstorer(?) style pads. Beers ;>

Classic level, but Quake can never quite match the raw _hell_ of Doom2 for some reason. 
I Havent Got Past The 45th Monster Yet. I Kept 
the first rujn demo, but I'm gonna beat it on skill 3 before i am happy :) This map is just like Distrans's lat doom 3 base map, in the gameplay sense, on skill 3. Try it :) 
It's Funny... 
.. to see how player can have so different feeling about the skill setting:
For MadFox even easy is too hard, while for others, it was not that challenging...

Actually, knowing where are the monsters, and what are the spawning sequences helps a lot... In hard skill, it is definitely doable, even without using secrets.. else I would not have released the map (and I am not the player of the century)

Anyway, as raised up before, I should have linked this map to "Five Rivers Land"... but I preferred not as not everybody may have it on its HD.. I would not like to be a Quake engine crash because the map cannot be loaded ;)

Also I am very happy some people took time to replay CDA ! what a surprise to me, I was far away to think somebody will do that: thanks for this :D

***** SPOILER ***** (for secret hunt help)

There are 5 secrets
- First one is in the part before jumping into the first teleporter
- Two and Three are located in the first "broken" area.
- Fourth is obviously the MH "Well protected artefact"...
- Fifth is in the Vore place.

Good tracking :P

***** SPOILER ENDS ***** 
first demo used my DM skills to jump to red key... = death... no amo for such a hard monsters :)

second run very very cool always near death but didn't died... fun end and fun map is not hard on hard always close to death but always fun :) real real nice map!

first demo and second... since first I died on start because I invented to much :p~

arghhh stop the second demo before jump to the hole ~:| LOL forget.... :)

didn't find any secret :| 
> .. to see how player can have so different feeling about the skill setting:
> For MadFox even easy is too hard, while for others, it was not that challenging...

The solution to this is obviously to make Easy skill ridiculously easy (so absolutely no one can complain), while making hard skill slightly harder, no? :) 
Trinca / Gb 
Hey, you finally found some time for fun in your busy life :P I happy you played the map and you find it awesome ;) I think the best wy to go is to follow the normal progression rather than trying to find "speedrunners shortcuts", as in this case, it definitely does not work: you experimented it right ? Anyway, thanks a lot for the feedback and the demo :D

The solution to this is obviously to make Easy skill ridiculously easy (so absolutely no one can complain), while making hard skill slightly harder, no? :)

I guess yes, but I am pretty sure some people will complain the easy skill will be ridiculously easy...
Then how to set medium/hard skill ? It will be harder, obviously, but with which gap compared to easy... again, it is difficult to say as some player will say, "Hell it is too hard", and some others will say, "Hell it is too easy"...

It is impossible to please everybody... unfortunately... 
JPL I tought it was the normal roote :)

Skill Settings 
Hard skill: Make it so the mapper can beat his own map, without using secrets, without dying very often.

Medium: Remove the most challenging stuff. Take the most dangerous monsters out or replace them with easier ones. When in doubt, add some health packs.

Easy: Remove most monsters. Place red and yellow armour instead of green. Place additional health packs.

If someone complains about Easy skill being too easy, they just make themselves look stupid. They could play on Normal, after all.

Have playtesters that aren't level designers. 
"the death guard I don't quite get, why not just use hellknights"

Deathguards are faster, have less health and their projectile is faster but easier to dodge. On the whole I think they're superior and lend to more fun and mobile combat. 
JPL - you say :
I guess yes, but I am pretty sure some people will complain the easy skill will be ridiculously easy...

That's wrong. Nobody - and I repeat - NOBODY will complay that easy is too easy. Not when you have harder skills. People that might complain about this will never try easy skill, they like challenge, they will try hard or at least normal. And if somebody complain that easy is too easy then he is a retard. No offense, but if anyone complains about that he deserve to be called a idiot, a moron.

It's too easy ? Then play on hard.

I said it a while ago here and I said it on other topics : easy should be VERY EASY, ridiculous easy.

Normal - hmm, it could be tricky. I think that normal should still be playable. Not too hard, not too easy. I know it sounds a little stupid. Maybe try to play your own map on a skill. If you think it's too easy then it might be just perfect for normal skill.

Hard ? I don't care, I never play on that skill. Never. Not because I'm a bad player, but because I want to have FUN. I want to look at architecture and have a good time. I hate it when I die. I want to play through the map, not jump like crazy, back off, run in circles to avoid monsters, etc.

But (based on what I read on a lot of forums) hard should be indead hard. Very hard. Because a lot of people seems to enjoy hard. I don't know why, for me it's frustrating. But people are different. So yes - it's ok to make hard very hard.

And I repeat AGAIN : People who complain that easy is too easy are morons. And I guess the same goes for people that complains that hard is too hard :P

Conclusion ? Don't be afraid of extremes : Make easy EASY. VERY EASY. Do it. Nobody will complain. I guarantee you that. And make hard very hard. It's fine.

Normal - now that's tricky. But for some reasons I think that very few people play on normal :) Some like challenges and play on hard, some like it easy and play on easy. Who play on normal ? Well - people who start on easy and find it very easy and people who play on hard and find it very hard.

So make the map on normal skill first - normal should be what you think it's very easy for you. Then - add a lot of health, armor, etc for easy. Remove some monsters.

For hard add more monsters, replace red armor with green, remove health packs, etc. etc.

Don't be afraid - go to the extreme - it will be PREFECT for everyone. 
I think RaverX is right.

"I want to look at architecture and have a good time. I hate it when I die. I want to play through the map, not jump like crazy, back off, run in circles to avoid monsters, etc."

This is exactly the way I play games. I've been playing FPS games since years but when I get a new game and start SP I never play on hard because I hate it when I have to spend 50% of the time I play on doing the save/load dance. 
"Hard ? I don't care, I never play on that skill. Never. Not because I'm a bad player, but because I want to have FUN. I want to look at architecture and have a good time. I hate it when I die. I want to play through the map, not jump like crazy, back off, run in circles to avoid monsters, etc."

That is exactly why I find hard (or nightmare, as I play) fun :)

That's also the main reason I still love Quake and prefer it over many other FPS games, the control the player has over maneuverability, the insane physics and fast-paced gameplay is what makes it stand out. Jumping around, avoiding enemy fire and causing infights while lobbing grenades like crazy is great fun.

I also like to look at the level design and take in all the details, but I rather take that as a bonus. I play Quake for the gameplay, not visuals :)

Still, I completely understand where you're coming from - easy should be easy and hard should be hard. I'm trying as well as I can to implement this in my map, so I guess time will tell if I succeed :) 
Jumping around, avoiding enemy fire

one of my favorite tactics when fighting hknights is jumping over their fire spread. i find it really satisfying especially when being attacked by more than one. it's not like it's a complex thing to do, but for some reason, it just feels really cool. ^_^

there's nothing wrong with cool visuals, of course, and awesome stuff to look at in a map, but that's like fancy decor in a restaurant. i'm here to fight with the snooty waiters. 
Hard Vs Easy 
necros, I hope that you read everything :)
As I said - it's nothing wrong with people who like hard skill. I can understand that they want challenge, etc. That's why there is a hard or nightmare skill.

But easy should be easy, the biggest mistake that a mapper can do (regarding difficulty skill) is making the easy skill "not very easy".

I don't want to repeat it all over again - easy should be VERY easy.

And now I think that we should go back ontopic - this map. Actually it was ok on easy skill, but a little too hard. I finished it without problems - ok I died 2-3 times, but only because I rushed too hard in some rooms.

But a player that's really a begginer wouldn't stand a chance after the first monsters.

The open area before the end (where you shoot those two pilon-switches to extend some stairs) was the hardest. Those gaunts are very hard if you don't know how to handle them. You have to stay near a pilon and hide there when they shoot. Not too hard for a good player, but I encountered a problem.

I died once because for some reason the gaunts came really close right above me, there was no way to hide, they shot me right from the top. And what's worse is that I could not shoot them (I was using the standard Quake engine - it doesn't allow you to look tight up, you can only change the view up to about 75-maybe 80 degree) 
what I notest in this map is that secrets are really hard to get... but secrets are not need to finish map on hard :) but they could be much easy to find :\ I only find one even with the help of JPL!!!

someone make a full 100% demo :p 
Real Nice Level 
Only the title is a bit bland though. Castle of the Dark Ages sounds like a Led Zepplin title. The Gateway to Hell? ...maybe a Backstreet Boys title? 
More Like AC/DC 
OutDooR Vs IndOOr Maps 
Hi I'm a new(but not n00b) european Quake mapper .. I'm going to play this map but as I see in screenshots it's another dark rooms/corridors style :(

I really prefer outdoor maps against indoor,
why most mappers follow the in-door theme ?
Dealing with outdoor is more challenging/tedious.. I know.. but surely more
satisfying at least for me ! 
Futur4 there are lots and lots of outdoors maps!

I only made one so far, but some mappers like tronyn almost all maps are outdoors! 
why most mappers follow the in-door theme ?

Because that's what 99% of Quake is...? 
Good Map.., Still Dying! 
I endured the same mistake I made with my last map.
While mapping so long the gameflow is so clear to the mapper itself, that it is hardly inimaginable a new player doesn't has this knowledge.
So the easy-skill settings really looks queer, or as jpl says, stupid to play the level.

But in the light of normal Quake easy is just a way to get a round-a-bout the level. I died several times falling in the lava at the start.
If I play easy I like to explore the level first, before getting gibbed by some monster.

I'm not that good player, I'm just bound to my keyboard, which takes a lot of time to search the enemy and shoot.
I know +mlook and mouse is a much faster way to play, but I hardly come to that point.
Reason that I'm such a blocky player.

why most mappers follow the in-door theme ?

Long ago, when the quake engine was poor, the vis level had a lot of compiling work with outdoor places. I think that's the reason why Quake has this claustrophobic small indoor setting. 
@RaverX / necros / Berntsen / dfsp_spirit:
About skill setting^, I think I definitely need to improve my process as all of you suggested.. I'll keep all the aforementionned advices in mind for my next map (still dunno what will be the theme btw...).. No need to fight anymore.. though...

There is one main reason why all the quake maps are indoor maps: fullvis runtime. CDA is a outdorr map, and it took 1218 hours to fullvis. This map is 50% each, and it took 37 hours to fullvis... I am looking forward to your feedback after playing the map ;)

You still can play it godmoding when it becomes too hard :P 
@ #44 
This map has plenty large open areas! 
I Liked It 
(The flame means burning Hell)

I liked the mood and texture theme and the darkness which did make some battles harder but was good for the mood of erie dread.

I played on Hard and beat it with my share of death but a conservative play style works when you can use it to preserve health and supplies for when you get pushed into a locked door battle. Ammo was in great supply (especially rockets) and health was decent too. Use cover when things get hairy or when Guants attack in packs.

I found 3 of 5 secrets and have no clue about the other two. I'll go for another look later.

I liked the somber soundtrack and DooMish feel and layout (it does have a DooMy layout).

Not bad having two new maps in such a short time. Perhaps a shift from groundbreaking limit smashing maps that take months to build to modest id sized maps might encourage old and new mappers to keep things trickling along. 
Great Map! 
Awesome brushwork, nice atmosphere, good weapons/monsters balance, but I need more healthkits ) 
Late To The Party 
I did play this map the day it was released, but I've just been lazy in leaving my comment, my fault on that :)

Considering that I really enjoyed 5 rivers land, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. And needless to say, I certainly was. Maybe its me, but I think the Doom 3 textures look really good in Quake, the hellish ones anyway.

Theres really nothing to complain about here. With good brushwork and lighting, and (in my opinion) fair and balanced gameplay, Gateway to Hell is another gem from JPL that you don't want to miss :)

For your viewing pleasure, my first run demo, died only once and found no secrets. I never was good at finding secrets anyway. 
VISing Or Not.. That's A Question 
Sorry for my n00bness but .. what about If I don't VIS(or fast vis) a map..
I mean is it possible to publish them anyway for the community?
Could Fast-Vis be enough ?

If you really want to release a Quake map, don't be a cow by passing this stage.

Not for the sake of worse, but there still are people without a giant computer to play Quake, and then it's possible your map will suffer from fallouts. In the most worse case grey outs.

Fastvis is enough for testing, but when it comes to playing on line, then this extra info wilo cause the engine to slow operating.

It's all about framerates and how fast they can be supported. That's what's real vis does.
Making largere area's will make the compiler slow at counting this vis date, but will fasten the game afterwartds.

Largest time I had was two days for a cavey place. but there are longer times. Three months if I'm not wrong. 
You can think of VIS as an algorithm that defines which parts of the map you can see from any given spot on the map. Later in the game the engine only draws the parts you can see from your location as drawing the rest makes no sense anyway. Computing VIS data takes time but has to be done only once, the data is then stored in the bsp.

If you don't do it the engine doesn't know what you can see and thus assumes you can see everything. This means you saved compilation time (once, offline) but the map will be slower for everyone (always, online).

Bottom line: do a VIS compile. :) 
And that's why there are mostly "indoor" maps. 
/me Answers 
Cool, you liked the map. I am always very happy when legendary mappers like you enjoyed my humble work ;) Thanks a lot for the feedback about the background ambiance: I spent a lot of time polishing it.. It is something that definitely increase "immersion" (with the darkness areas) of the player in this map :D

Thanks for the feedback, and I am sorry if the easy skill is not that "easy" actually... :P

Thanks a lot for the good words, I was not expecting so much support ;) I'll watch the demo this evening for sure.
Definitely, I should have liked this map to "Five Rivers Land - episode 1"... ;)

What dfsp_spirit and MadFox said... Equivalent as Vondur said in his thread... BTW, for such mapping question you can ask dirrectly in "Mapping Help" thread (i.e )

I'll see whether you guys will be able to find all the secrets in the coming days.. If it is not the case, I'll record a demo to show the tricks... BTW: which secrets did you find ? I am curious to know :/ 
Anybody experimented any fps "massive dropage" while playing ? 
I Found The 25 Health Near The Start 


I spammed the area with the first two ogres. One of their grenades hit a button or I pressed a button near there. Then I back-tracked a little and found one of the plaques had moved and a health pack was there.

Wot ??? 
Ogres are not supposed to help the player to find secrets... wtf ? 
I got 8 year old computers (1 gig athlons) and poured boiling water all over the computers while playing this level. No slow downs at all. I think it was only your Fort Driant and 5 Rivers that had some problems. 
same here. had good performance throughout with a middle of the road machine. 
I�m using DirectQ and never had a problem! 
I am always very happy when legendary mappers like you enjoyed my humble work ;)

No mention of me? That hurts JPL... :'(

... oops.. sorry if I hurted you, it was not the intention: you are all legends :D 
...are sneaky bastards it seems!

A similar thing happened to me at the beginning of "Castle of the Dark Ages". I was fighting an Ogre at that crypt when the MH secret was suddenly opened. I don't know what I did & I also thought it was the Ogre who opened it. oO

Seems if they realize they can't beat you they try to spoil the fun! 
I Guess... 
.. you rather hit the stuff that triggered the secret in both cases...
I don't think Ogres are able to spoil the secret like this...

Monsters Can't Interact With Triggers Per Touch 
opened that secret for me too 
Lovely Map, This One... 
Great theme and architecture all around. The combat pieces were thought out and nicely executed. The atmosphere, sound-wise, was superb. The texture set and attention to detail were also top notch.

I found only one secret :(

The final combat was a bit borked, too. On Normal, I managed to end the map with 1 gug still alive. The repeating countdowns were also a little annoying.

Awesome stuff, JPL!!! 
Drew / Generic 
Impossible, I guess you hit the "hidden-button" that triggers the secret.. It is indeed close to one of the ogre area... just look carefully: I am pretty sure you'll find it :D

You shall go replay the map to find all secrets now ;) Cool you enjoyed the map :) As I said already, I tried to polish the map ambiance and the visuals.. I know some areas are dark, but it is intentional.. for the ambiance ;) 
some shocking rockwork at the start immediately after you turn the first corner ;)

i'll be honest i didn't really like 5 rivers apart from the end fight (which was awesome), but i liked this. simply because i actually felt nervous playing it, for the most part. health was thin but i *just* managed to avoid dying (on normal), monsters were sparse but effective (and seemed to sneak up on me a lot from around corners & suchlike), and the ambiance was well executed (especially with the background sound)

actually i think the health/armour balance was the best thing about it, as i was never above 50-60 and frequently got down to >10, which kept me on my toes & kept the adrenaline flowing. but it was always possible to avoid damage when i really needed to, either by dodging, backtracking or sourcing cover.

the end battle was cool, but not as cool as 5 rivers ;)

i think CDA is still your best in terms of look/feel/layout, but this had more enjoyable gameplay. 
i'm largely indifferent about most of the quoth monsters but the drole is awesome when used properly, like the one just after the SK/vore room. scared the shit out of me like shamblers used to all those years ago :) 
I agree with most of what's been said. no problems with the darkness, worked well. great atmosphere, should have linked to 5 rivers
also really enjoyed drole usage.
recorded demo but uninstalled quake (papers due and that shit kills me). 
Mappity Map. 
Cool map, nice style. Enjoyed the gameplay until after the GK, then it got silly and far too Quothy, godmoded the rest and glad I did as I wouldn't have enjoyed the final arena. Very coherently done although I agree it's a bit too dark. Spent a lot of time not finding the MH nor plasma secrets, grrrr. 
Rj / Drew / Shambler 
Thanks a lot for your feedback.
I know that Hell-ish / Doom3-ish theme is not the cup of tea of all the players here. I also understand that darkness made the map artificially harder than it is, but it was really intentional in order to put the emphasis onto the atmosphere. Regarding all the comments, I should have made the end battle longer, maybe with weaker monsters..

A shame you can't show me your demo ;)
About the Drole, it is cool you are saying you've been scared in this area.. it was exactely the effect I was looking for, like: "cool this the end.. errr not really, damn.."

Shambler, shame on you for godmoding :P !! Anyway, the most important is that you globally enjoyed the map...

So I am going to give some help for secrets:

1st secret: the trigger is in the first part just after the first bar moves: shoot the lightened demon face (right in between the eyes), and downstairs a door opens

2nd secret: in the ogre area, on the left, a stone can be pushed. It opens a door in the entry hall

3rd secret: in the ogre area, after jumping over the hole, just look at the Doom3-ish door, on the right top under the platform, there a small switch in a corner, shoot it: a second door will move near the 2nd secret location

4th secret: look at the bars where the MH is located, turn back (i.e 180 degrees rotation) and look at bar that maintain the rocks at the entry, there's a small skull right in the middle, shoot it

5th secret: in the vore area, under the big arch, there a wood lightened skull: shoot it, a wall will move that gives access to the platform.

Again, thanks a lot for all the provided feedback ;) 
Awesome map, JPL! For some reason I hadn't played your other medieval maps when they came out, so I just played 5rivers and CDA this summer and enjoyed them a lot as well.
The atmosphere was really great - the skybox, sounds, floating teleport platforms, etc. all worked really well. I thought the gameplay was maybe your best as well.. like rj, I had around 50 health most of the time so it was tense, but never unfair (only died because of a stupid mistake on my part with the RL.) 
Good Map 
like negke I was expecting something more epic given the development time and your past maps.

Still a solid map with nice atmosphere.

Gameplay wise, it was hardish till you got the RL, after which it was too easy. 
Ericw / Nitin 
I am glad you liked the map. Now you have to play others from me and post feedback ;)

I am aware that the map is not perfect, and that some improvements can be made in some areas here and there particularly after the RL as you mentioned... I think I was pissed of delaying and delaying the release month after month... and at some point I had to move forward. Looking back to the past year, I just realized that I started with plenty of time for my hobbies, and that it ended up (as it is today) without any free time for neither mapping nor playing (not even for windsurf that is the most terrible one)....
My job is eating me more and more each day...

Anyway, thanks a lot to all the good feedback you wrote, for all the support and the good advices I got from you guys. I hope to be able to sort out something this year... but not sure at all actually :/ ... oh, and this is not a farewell post ;) 
Hey JPL, I was wondering if you can release a version that links CDA, gateway to hell, and 5 rivers together? I found the beginnings of this map and 5 rivers a little hard, but I think it would be easier if I had the weapons from the previous maps, would like to try that. Thanks. 
I Second This! 
I had this idea back when I played GTH. What a fantabulous episode are these 3 maps! Although, my order goes CDA > GTH > 5Rivers: The first two obviously link together... Then, in GTH, you might skip the final teleport back to the start arena (GTH has plenty of good backtracking value anyway) and jump straight at the beginning of 5Rivers!

Technically, i don't know if CDA as a non-Quoth map is easy to mix with the other ones. And there's also Yhe1's question about the weapons...

This might add a great replay value to your maps. You can also keep the standalone versions available ftr.

JPL's Q1SP "Helldrive" epidode? 
Highway To Hell 
It sounds definitely a good idea, I have to admit it... and I guess it was inconsiently the goal of these 3 maps..
The basic problem I have is that I don't know how to do so without having to recompile everything... and CDA is the bigest one (i.e fullvis is about 1218 hours...) and also because I am unable to find where I saved the project... (shame on me...)
Other problem is that CDA is not Quoth-based unfortunately... and CDA does not work in Quoth mod... I would have to rework it

At the end remains a basic question: is there any good method to change trigger_change_level's target field modifying the bsp only ?

Any idea ? 
Trigger_change_level Data Field 
can easily be changed in the bsp with a simple hex editor. I did it many times in the past, as a simple way to link single maps I liked in an episode of some sort. I can pm you the process in detail if you wish! 
If I Remember Well, 
Whatever you edit (in this case, the map name between quotes), you have to keep the exact same number of digits. One single digit more or less ruins the bsp integrity. Adding spaces between the quoted elements works. You'll sometimes need to rename the target bsp file itself.

For instance:

"classname" "trigger_changelevel"
"map" "abcabcabc"
"model" "*92"

Can be edited like this:

"classname" "trigger_changelevel"
[add 6 x 'space' here]"xyz"
"model" "*92"
and I think Aguirre has a program that allows you to edit the entities, I used it to change the incomplete nail goblin into the nail enforcer in badpak. 
Thanks For The Info 
Let me try it on my bsp file, I'll keep you posted... In case it does not work, I'll contact aguirRe: I am pretty sure he will help me for this ;) ... though....

Another problem is the (CDA )non-Quoth-based map vs the Quoth-based maps.. Basically the main issue is about monster spawning method that is not the same in CDA and Quoth-based maps. I tried yesterday to run CDA with Quoth, and all the spawning monsters weer already present in the map... the spawning flag are not recognized there... Hence I am not confortable to perform this changes...
I still have to investigate to see how I can solve these issues, else making such trigger_change_level target field change will not make sense at all.

Anyway, stay tuned ;) 
I think Aguirre's program can edit to spawn flags too, he fixed the monster not spawning in terra4 
one way to edit bsps is to copy out the entity lump and save it as a .map, then edit the .map, then run qbsp -onlyents to update the entities.

(The entity lump is basically the part of the bsp that looks the same as a map file. The only difference is there are no brushes, instead the brush entities will have e.g. "model" "*13" to indicate which bsp model they are connected with.) 
wasn't there a program which you could run on any .bsp, which would generate a .ent file which you could then edit, and then recompile the map with -onlyents? I recall (something like) this being pretty useful. 
Tadaaa !!! 
I opened a bsp file this morning (at work) with notepad++, and all the entities are clearly visible, and can be modified easily... even spawnflags. I have been able to locate trigger_change_level in all the map, as I guess changing spawnflag value is not a big deal either (I even guess replacing some monsters in CDA maybe a good idea as well... though....)

I know have to experiment in order to determine whether I'll corrupt the bsp or not with these changes... sounds good in anyway :) 
I can confirm bspinfo -copyents, renaming it to .map and running qbsp -onlyents works. I successfully fixed necros' episode 1 map like this. Note that you must also run light -onlyents if the map has switchable light styles.

Simply editing with the .bsp with a text editor does not work. It will corrupt the file. Simple changes can be made if they don't change any line/character count - usually done in a hex editor (Notepad++ plugin), like JohnXmas describes.

Of course it would be best if you could just find the original source. And if you're considering changing some of the monsters, be sure to also fix potential difficulty imbalances and other item placement error that might have been in the original map.
Needless to say, combinding those four (five) maps would also require making a proper start map. Heh, you could even make a traditional episode with a base map at the beginning. Like that bunker level or yours, reworked to have a slipgate inside (and please toned down in terms of monster count/difficulty). 
negke, please team up with necros to finalise that map and have it released! 
Nothing To Finalize There 
The map source is lost, so it'll remain an alpha/tech demo forever. 
I opened a bsp file this morning (at work) with notepad++, and all the entities are clearly visible, and can be modified easily... even spawnflags. I have been able to locate trigger_change_level in all the map, as I guess changing spawnflag value is not a big deal either (I even guess replacing some monsters in CDA maybe a good idea as well... though....)

You do have to be careful with direct editing of the entity lump, because if you change the size by inserting or deleting characters then you'll likely end up corrupting the bsp file. I spent a while hacking l4d2 maps with a hex editor though, and there are tricks to making this work. In quake at least you have a safer option of just extracting the entities (either copy-paste from your text editor, or use adquedit) then running an onlyents compilation.

Some engines even support external .ent files which makes testing your changes without committing them much easier. 
what did you fix then? I thought the doors, since those seem to be the only thing to fix for me. 
The Angles In The E1M6 And E1M7 Parts 
So the doors and buttons move correctly and the monsters look into the right direction.
What I didn't do, but necros could/should have, is a point sized trigger_changelevel (possibly with "model" "progs/player.mdl") in the E1M7 shaft to allow for a proper SP experience. 
Bah, cannot make the changes through text editor... map is jumping to small name map that when "5rivers_e1" is quite long... it sucks...

I can confirm bspinfo -copyents, renaming it to .map and running qbsp -onlyents works. I successfully fixed necros' episode 1 map like this. Note that you must also run light -onlyents if the map has switchable light styles.

Can you provide bspinfo tool please ? I am unable to locate it over the inernet :(

Thanks a lot in advance ;) 
... forget it.. I found it on aguirRe's website... ;) 
Video Playthrough 

(if the link isn't working just yet, give it some time - it's currently uploading/processing) 
Do you use anisotropic filter or something? Your videos always look so good, while mine are always a bit blurry on 720p. Or is it simply the matter of different resolution. 
I've Been Asking That Before, Haven't I 
Excellent, Daz 
Very nice video ! Thanks a lot for that ;) 
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