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New Q1SP : In The Shadows (v1.1 Now Available)
Finally after months of testing, tweaking and huge amounts of coding, drawing and level design I present my MOD 'In the Shadows' which features three maps, two game play modes (vanilla quake/stealth) and a readme file packed full of hints (for daz)

This is not the final release, I do have plans for other maps, but I want to get feedback on what I have created so far and there is a lot of new toys to play with. The MOD is designed to only work with Fitz and Mark V engines because these are the only two I did testing with.

Please take the time to record some demo's with Fitz because this will be the perfect way for me to understand how you played the maps. If there any problems or things you think should be different, please let me know.

Download Link V1.1 (16.6mb)
Web Page Readme v1.1 Moddb

Recommended Engines:
Fitz0.85 Mark V

Screenshots (1024x768)
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3

Video's on youtube
Stealth Combat Stealth Mechanics
 
video is awesome 
<-- Says It All 
 
Start Map 
Great map. The intro to the stealth mechanics was very easy. Got stuck a bit. Demo of start map.
http://www.mediafire.com/?wvdzn6jvvldfno9 
 
Is there a way to use gl mode? 
Start Map 
Just restarted, Sock the trick with the first set of doors is great. 
HOLY SHIT! 
Didn't expect this to hit so soon!

Will play tonight! 
No OpenGL !? 
WTF !? 
Attempt To Push Features Into Next FitzQuake 
Note that in Fitz Mark V you can record a demo any time you damn well please.

That is all. 
This Looks Really Cool 
 
 
I didn't expect this! Congrats on the demo release man, I'm going to have a lot of fun with this.

By the way, you made a mistake in the installation part of the readme. You have to add -game shadows, not -game shadow in the command line. It took me 10 good minutes to figure that out. 
Downloaded 
will play/record very soon 
 
@yhe1, Barnak, There is no chance of GL modes, there are far too many entities in these maps. Every map has a bot style node network setup, loads of map models, particles everywhere and extremely high vis counts for old engines, this is a modern quake engine love affair only!
@skacky, yeah good catch, I will try to fix the readme file online and post some notes about it. 
 
I just finished the demo with most of the secrets found, and I have to say this is something. I spent three hours on it and didn't see the time fly. Really awesome cloak & dagger gameplay with great levels and cool situations that make you think. Some parts are really tricky. Stealth games are my favorite genre and it's easy to make a lot of gameplay or level design mistakes, however it works wonders here and the demo is very solid. The only thing I would've liked is footsteps, but the gameplay is still very good as it is.

Amazing architecture and style, it's among the best I've seen in Quake. The castles feel very run-down and at the same time really impressive and somehow alive, with some mysterious aura surrounding them. It's pretty uncanny, even for Quake. I loved the new animations for the monsters. The flavor text was really cool too, with some nice little hints and a cool backstory. I couldn't resist knocking on every door in the second map. :P

I can't wait to see more. I'm going to record demos this evening, but be warned; I take my time in stealth games, so they could be pretty long. 
Woo! 
can't wait to get home to try this

The Edge of Forever is one of the best things i ever played 
Stealth++ 
@skacky, remember to check your stealth stats (impulse 225) when you have finished or during a map. Also if you are looking for a better stealth experience then you can try to complete every map without a single kill. There are several routes for this type of stealth (avoidance) but it will take a while to discover them. Also skill levels still apply during stealth mode if you really enjoy a challenge. :) 
 
http://www.quaddicted.com/reviews/its_demo_v1.html
http://www.quaddicted.com/filebase/its_demo_v1.zip
and available in the Quake Injector.

What do you guys mean with "GL"? Fitzquake is a GL engine. 
They Mean 
A certain cvar that may or may not control texture filtering (not saying, do your goddamn research instead of shitting upon the thread).



Awesome maps Sock, I tried s1m1 in vanilla mode and I was blown away by how much detail is packed into the old thing. Found 11/13 secrets, all of them were great and satisfying. Forgot to record a demo... but I didn't do anything that would be surprising to see in a playthrough of E1M1, I guess. I'll record one for s1m2 I promise!

The start map was also great (love the new AI, and all the particles), only 1 lonely secret :(

Every single piece of content, be it a texture, a model, or a sound, oozes precision and competence.

Sorry to omit the stealth part completely... maybe it will grow on me sometime later. 
 
Thanks sock. I wonder if it's possible to properly ghost In The Shadows, meaning no harm done and without alerting anyone. It would be quite a challenge, but it would be awesome if it was possible. So far I'm just having fun backstabbing monsters and searching secrets. 
Argh 
I got lost.

Here are some terrible demos:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/z73cpzf9601ekf2/ijed_its_demos.zip

I crashed fitzV on the second attempt, apparently recording a demo over a demo.

I'm not a stealth player at all, but my problem was simpler - basically, I couldn't figure out how to open the vault. Even the thing of not waking the fiend and drowning it near the start confused me - what activated the pit's buttons?

Possibly a useful playtest, since I couldn't figure out anything :< 
Frustration 
@ijed, I can certainly understand your annoyance at not being able to open the vault. Once you got frustrated you did the same thing over and over except really fast and with less looking around. Thank god Mark V has fast forward on demo's, otherwise I would have stopped.

The vault was never designed to be an obvious route because the bonus maps s1m1 and s1m2 were suppose to be a secret. I wanted to release a demo but the proper maps to continue ('Aramis Keep' and 'The Forge') were not complete. So I decided to switch everything around so that the bonus maps were the primary focus, but I did not really address the hidden button issue of the vault. (certainly a mistake on my part)

The button to open the vault is large and well lit, but it is up on a wall and the player has to look up. Personally when I am in your situation I just stop playing because being frustrated like that will sour your whole experience of the MOD.

PS. Don't try the stealth mode of the MOD, you will end up throwing you computer out of the window! ;) 
 
S1M2 vanilla demo

Brilliant and sweet like S1M1. 
Heheh 
I think that's a Valve qoute 'the hardest thing to do in level design is make the player look up'.

I actually found more secrets than regular playthrough buttons.

In my defence I was playing on my lunch hour, so didn't have the right frame of mind for a stealth game... will give it another try later on with more calm. 
 
@onetruepurple, awesome demo, you found loads of secrets and no monsters did anything weird! Also you have to remember not everything you see and play with in the map is designed for vanilla. Some of the closets and traps are designed for stealth gameplay only.

@ijed, I know most of the tricks for getting players to look at things, but the vault button was designed to be a secret, hence the difficulty. I would recommend playing this at home, lights off and head phones on! There are plenty of ambient sound effects to keep things busy in the background. 
Stealth Avoidance - Gameplay Video 
** spoiler alert**
If you intend to play the stealth mode of this MOD and want to discover routes for yourself, then avoid watching this video link.

Here is an example of the Avoidance Stealth gameplay on the map 'Stealth Gate'. I don't show everything, but trust me it possible to complete this map without a single kill.

Stealth Avoidance (Youtube Video) 
WOW 
This is awesome looking stuff! huge shumbs up! 
Yeah 
'Play it properly' was good advice. Just finished e1m1 (sorry, no demo) and was totally immersed in the evil sneaky place you've created. And I looked up a lot. Following all the vertical light beams, details and particle effects you'd carefully placed...

I played the stealth mode and liked it a lot.

I have a few gameplay suggestions - just some thoughts that occurred while playing most likely they're not relevant.

When losing the amulet's effect it'd be cool to have a smash or break sound, the fog colour was a bit subtle until I realised and started watching for it.

I didn't realise poison bolts could cause infighting until checking the impulse command for stealth rating. Once I had I wasted all my bolts on getting the regular guys to chop each other up and had none left for the enemy at the end. Maybe copy the poison bolt to a new colour and name, and make that the 'infighting' bolt? That way you can have a separate learning play instance for causing infighting. Probably won't fit in with your overall plan though.

The amulet destroying all the ammo was ok I guess... but here comes the least feasible idea. It might be nice to replace the ammo with treasure in stealth mode. Kind of like in Necros' last map or Drake. Just to give the player something to hunt for and collect. Some enemies could drop the stuff as well.

Anyway, a lot of fun, thanks.

Will record a demo of the next map. 
All That 
Is just my own random musings - the game caught my imagination :) 
Recording Demo 
To be honest I am only after the first play through demos because they will show exactly how the player views the level for the first time, which is by far the most valuable feedback. Otherwise it will just be a demo of someone knowing where they are going and knowing what to expect.

@ijed, Someone else suggested splitting the poison bottles into more gameplay functions but then it just gets more complex with multiple potions doing different things for different bolts. I tried to help with the poison bottles by putting them close to where you might need them (large health mobs). Sadly that did not work out too well and I have just the right saying for that ...

'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink!'

When the amulet is disabled the fog changes colour and the quad wearing off sound file is played endlessly. Did you not hear it? Did you have the quake cd music going?

If armour and items are replaced with different items (gold coins for example) to collect what is the player suppose to do with them at the end of the map? 
 
doesn't have to be replaced with treasure, there could just be like a 'items destroyed' score. :)

I found that I was going out of my way to destroy as many items as possible without realizing it. 
Impulse 225 
The stealth stats screen (printed the console) records lot of wacky stuff, items destroyed, ghosts killed, zombie knockdowns and of course the usual stuff! :P 
 
heh, I admit I did not look to closely at it. :)
Was busy admiring brushwork. 
Awesome Maps ! 
Man, these maps are really awesome. Just too much !

There's so much love and patience in this mod, it's incredible.

It's hard to believe Quake1 lives so much today, after all these years !

You guys rock ! 
S1m2 Demo 
http://www.suspenlute.com/stuff/fr3ns1m2e.zip

Also why does the amulet have to destroy weapons and ammo on contact? I think target-killing everything throughout the map as soon as you pick the amulet up would be less distracting and artificial. 
 
I can manually enable gl_texturemode 4, will this cause any negative effects?

Seems to be opengl when running under directq also 
 
@Fern, wow that is certainly a different way to play stealth! hehe The respawn sound you were hearing (in the demo) was the stealth alcoves, this is where you can hide and the AI will not see you if the amulet is working. Some mobs are setup as turrets and will not chase you until their health is lower. The wizards can be dealt with by the electric traps. The blue key door is a trap on stealth mode, use the stealth alcove to the side, it will allow you to avoid the ogre.


@yhe1, besides the textures looking blurry!?! :P
I'm a fan. I'd prefer them in gl_texturemode 3 tho ;} (Kinn 2012) 
First Stealth Game I Ever Played 
...in my life

and i'd recommend using a different sound for the alcoves. 
 
I am being a total Daz because for some reason whatever engine I try (requiem, quakespasm-svn, sdl fitzquake, fitz085 in wine) I always get vanilla monsters and combat (books and everything works, so the progs.dat is loaded). Help!


yhe1: You do not want "GL", all engines mentioned here use OpenGL. You mean texture filtering: http://www.quaddicted.com/engines/software_vs_glquake#texture_filtering

sock rocks for setting it to pixels, looks so much nicer. 
 
FYI I did not read anything below the Installation part of the readme to avoid spoilers. If the information is hidden in there, well, meh. 
Spirit 
the start map is vanilla until you find the vault button :P 
 
@spirit, if you want to play the stealth mode you need to pick up the amulet. This item is freely available at the beginning of the bonus maps s1m1 and s1m2. It should be in an alcove next to the spawn.

To find the amulet in the start map you need to explore and find the shadow vault. Unfortunately the method for opening the shadow vault is awkward, just keep searching in the room outside the vault. Once you open the vault and complete the shadow training all the bonus maps are freely available. (linked portals)

When you complete one of the bonus maps (s1m1, s1m2) you are put back in the start map which will change depending on what silver door you open. The start map has plenty of routes, secrets and places to explore or get lost! :P 
Start Map 
@Fern, You can play the beginning of the start map in stealth mode but you need to find some of the runes first! 
Wow 
Just played the start and first map and I have to say hats off to you on the visuals and overall polish. Fantastic architecture with a believable real-world feel and (probably) not a texture or light out of place. Amazing work.

The new models and textures were also very well done. It feels new but nothing is at odds with what was already there from Quake.

Secrets are fantastic. I've always been a fan of kind of epic secrets that require lots of jumping around, but I must say I like button hunting too. There was plenty of both! I only found 3 secrets on the start map, but I managed to find 7 on the e1m1 based map.

With regard to the gameplay, it does feel like there is a bit too much knight combat and not much variety at the moment, but I guess if you stealth through the levels it is not such a big deal.

I enjoyed the stealth during the tutorial, though I had some problems killing the ogre one time and couldn't seem to kill him without waking him up. I think it was just me being shit. I wanted to try the next mission (s1m1) using stealth, but didn't spot the amulet at the start and just went off without it. I think you should try and draw the attention of the player to it a little more, or move the alcove to a more obvious position. I play in 1920x1200 and still didn't spot it and just walked forward past it. I thought maybe I would find the amulet partway through the mission again.

Sorry I didn't record a demo. I will when I play s1m2 later.

By the way, you used radiant? Which version? Also, how much time did you spend on this? It's incredibly polished. Did you find it much easier making Q1 maps than Q3 maps or maps for other games? 
By The Way 
I like the enemy AI changes. It's pretty scary the way stuff can chase after you so effectively now. The first time I woke up the fiend at the beginning of the start map and it just walked round to get me was a big surprise.

Oh, and the big knight model you made for that large room in the start map is awesome. I hope he will crop up as an enemy in the final version! 
 
Not sure if Quakespasm or stupidity, I got lost on the start map. http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/its-demo1e-start-normal-firstrun-Spirit.dem.7z

Please test Quakespasm for future releases. Fitzquake is Windows only, Quakespasm is Win, Mac and Linux. It is a fork of Fitz, so changes should be minor. And/or DirectQ. 
 
Minor criticism on the enemy models would be that their shoulders are kinda stiff and weird.

Apart from that, my lower jaw is somewhere between my legs. 
Spirit 
I'm envious. I wish I could get mine down there! (not between your legs...) But yes, seriously awesome looking maps. 
 
With regard to the gameplay, it does feel like there is a bit too much knight combat and not much variety at the moment
I am not a fan of monster variety for the sake of variety. The start map is a humanoid location and I want to keep the style consistent with units that would be there. The bonus maps s1m1 and s1m2 are very close to their original monster setup and when I introduce demons, vorns and shamblers I want them to have a big impact on the player. I really dislike mixing Quake styles (tech next to medieval) it totally breaks the immersion for me and with clever level design not necessary.

Secrets are fantastic. I've always been a fan of kind of epic secrets that require lots of jumping around, but I must say I like button hunting too.
I think every mapper has their own style of secrets and they always stick to that format regardless of how many maps they make. I have seen texture alignment, buttons, dexterity, show and tell and hidden routes but rarely do mappers use them all. Personally I like to use show and tell, where I show the player a prize and then tell them if they want it find the trigger close by. I would like to add that the secrets in my maps are designed for players that like to hunt for treasure, they are not necessary for completing the map.

I wanted to try the next mission (s1m1) using stealth, but didn't spot the amulet at the start and just went off without it.
The amulet alcove fades on a trigger brush (just infront of the spawn) and there is a sound played when it is available. I assumed the player would change/check skill level and look around first before running off.

By the way, you used radiant? Which version? Also, how much time did you spend on this? It's incredibly polished. Did you find it much easier making Q1 maps than Q3 maps or maps for other games?
I use SD radiant 1.3.8 with a special entity and shader file. I can't run any radiant editor beyond 1.4 because they never work on my laptop. (intel chip set) I don't use WC because it feels old fashioned with its crazy amount of 2D windows. I love the floating window arrangement of radiant and prefer having one large 2D window instead.

Comparing Q1 and Q3 mapping is difficult because Q3 mapping is very simplistic with only a DM entity set. I prefer Q1 mapping because of the QuakeC scripting, is just gorgeous to play with. If I want a new feature I just write the QC for it, setup the entity and it is done. I am no longer limited by the original entity set.

Most of the polish in my maps is from making sure I have the right texture for the right brushwork. When level design and art are in perfect harmony with each other, the environment always becomes much more consistent. 
 
I like the enemy AI changes. It's pretty scary the way stuff can chase after you so effectively now. The first time I woke up the fiend at the beginning of the start map and it just walked round to get me was a big surprise.
I probably spent over 50% of my time coding the AI to path around and find the player. There are still plenty of areas they have problems with, but eventually they should find the player. I specially set up the demon to demonstrate the pathing to the player. if the player shoots him, he will attack and then path. If he is too far away, he will path and depending on where the player is the demon will open locked door. (he has a pocket full of keys!) There is a special moments like this in every map to show off a certain AI feature.

Please test Quakespasm for future releases. Fitzquake is Windows only, Quakespasm is Win, Mac and Linux. It is a fork of Fitz, so changes should be minor. And/or DirectQ.
Sorry spirit I have no interest in testing my maps with Quakespasm. If it works for people, then bonus, but I find the engine too limited and rigid with the Quake specification and when I asked for help with trying to fix things, no one was interested. 
Lost 
@spirit, damn that stupid vault button!?! grrr :( 
Sock 
I suppose one reason why I was suggesting to split the poison bolts into a secondary set for infighting is that there was nothing to tell me they caused it.

...until I looked at the stealth stats.

Another option might be to make all bolts capable of causing infighting.

I saw the fog change when the amulet was disabled, and heard the sound of it recharging. What I was suggesting was a 'stealth broken' sound - an instant aural identifier that you're discovered and need to escape.

Yes, the other effects do that, but they can't be too in the player's face because they're constant. Can't think of a good example for this.

As for treasure, in the Altar of Storms it gave an armour bonus per 25 coins collected and had some secrets / messages built in as well. Drake had both coins and gems, being armour and health bonuses for enough collected, respectively.

Quake players tend to be pack rats, which is tied into the whole secret hunting thing.

Probably a complete tangent from the serious work of getting a decent stealth game set up and working as good as it already is though. 
By The Way 
I thought you'd used frik waypoints for the AI, but there's no .way files... 
 
One thing I ditched in ruins was that coins and such originally counted for secrets.
I had inflated normal secrets to count for 10 points and coins counted for 1 each so that at the end you could see if you got all the coins and secrets.
I ended up ditching it though because there was no way to tell if you missed 1 secret or 10 coins. :(
But yeah, I LOVE collecting stuff like that when I play. Kind of obsessive actually... made playing Painkiller hard for me as it would annoy me when vases were broken in combat and I couldn't pick up the coins. :P 
It Reminded Me 
of the gold in Castle Wolfenstein.

'Why's it there!?!?!'
'...to be collected'

:) 
 
What might be cool is that, since the explanation is that the amulet is the thing destroying the items... maybe after it absorbs enough items you get a free 'vanish' one-time ability. 
No Way AI 
I thought you'd used frik waypoints for the AI, but there's no .way files

I wrote my own version in QC and if you turn on 'dev mode' and restart any of the maps you will see a bunch of rotating cubes everywhere with letters on them.

* There are 4 basic types of node as follows:

* Regular nodes can only have two routes, forward and back. They usually connect rooms together and allow AI to follow a path.

* Switch nodes are like regular nodes except they offer a third route which the AI can switch too. Useful for doors or alternative paths.

* Orphan nodes are used to feed AI back into the node network and are often positioned in dead ends or sections where the AI needs to escape from but not enter. (like water/slime sections)

* Idle nodes are only used after combat for locations where the AI will hang out and make sure the player is still not lurking around. They are useful for thinning out the crowd if a lot of AI are trying to return to what they were doing before.

Most nodes types can have additional functions assigned to them which can be enabled/disabled by other trigger events.

* Disabled, the AI will ignore this route (Generally should be on switches so they can easily ignore the third route) They appear as brown nodes visually.

* Jump, a destination location for a monster to jump at, only works if another node has a target pointing at it. (has a blue marker above the node)

* Range, lets the AI know this is a good location for range attacks and will use this based on skill level percentages. A good thing for AI on ledges because it stops them running around in circles trapped. (has a blue marker above the node)

* Blind, will not do any sight checks while traveling to next node, useful for auto opening doors and other triggers. (the node skin is blue when active)

* Flowreset, makes the AI check if it is going in the right direction by re-checking which routes are the best way to go. (the node skin is pink)

* Volumes, will make yes/no decisions based on XYZ volumes if they should go a certain direction. Useful for fine tuning the node network and making sure AI get to the player faster by ignoring large parts of the map. (has a white marker above the node)

You can see how the nodes are linked together by switching on 'notarget' and touching each node. It will change the skin of all attached nodes around it and draw a letter showing its relationship.

Hope that helps :) 
Collecting 
I certainly like the idea of collecting stuff, but what the player is collecting should be worth something. The MOD already has a stat showing how much was destroyed by the amulet.

What might be cool is that, since the explanation is that the amulet is the thing destroying the items... maybe after it absorbs enough items you get a free 'vanish' one-time ability.

Yeah I really like this idea, it would be cool to reward the stealth player with something useful after destroying so many items. I will add that to my new list :) 
Node Network Visuals 
Some screenshots of the node network
s1m2 Nodes s1m2 Nodes
s1m1 Nodes s1m1 Nodes Editor 
Demos Of S1m1 
The Real Demos Of S1m1 
First Few Plays 
Two demos at http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/preach-shadows.zip

The first demo is a bit awful tbh, when I entered the start map I'd seen all the previews so I was expecting to sneak straight away, when actually you're just meant to play it straight. So I'd fast forward all the way through to the amulet, where the training basically went ok. There follow two attempts at s1m1, when I get cornered and killed. The next play through I forgot to record, but I went for pure backstabbing everything and managed to finish.

The second demo is a play through s2m2 which goes quite well.

I'd suggest that the sound cues when the amulet protection is gone need more differentiation. At the moment you get a sound cue when the amulet starts recharging, and one when it finishes - but both play the same sound. I think they need to be audibly different, and also a third cue needs to be added - for when a recharging fails because you've been spotted again. 
Haven't Had Chance 
To check it out in-engine yet, but it seems your AI system bears a lot of similarity to the frikbot system - even down to node types, with yours being focused on stealth and SP obviously.

My internet is patchy right now so can't link to the frikbot waypoint definitions, but it might be interesting to give it a look. 
 
@Fern, thank you very much for the demo's, starting out on hard skill reminded me of demo's by negke where he was trying to get into the front door s1m1. You did find the upper balcony shortcut at one point but never went back. I am not sure if the training section in the start map should be more so everyone understand more stealth concepts or to let players trial and error and die a lot.

@preach, damn that stupid vault button, totally ruins this demo. :( It was unfortunate you found so many places where the AI did stupid things. The one thing that did worry me was how you used poison bolts on buttons, not sure how to get across to the player they are valuable and not easy to find.

The sound cues for the amulet are certainly not good because they use existing sounds which I think confuses so many people. I think new sounds will have to be created and probably on all stages of the amulet being disabled/enabled. 
Gonna Work On Some Sounds 
...this weekend just because I feel like it 
Actually 
supposing you DID need sounds, do you have a list specifically of what's "missing" i.e. which events currently use stock sounds and would be better off with original sounds? 
Sock 
I do not read other replies here so I don't spoil it for myself. is some button missing for me due to a (quakespasm) bug or is it a general problem with it? if I should look harder please give me a rough hint. 
Plan B - New Version 1.1 
The vault button has annoyed me long enough, it has soured the release of this mod for me because hardly anyone can find it. Don't worry I know this is my fault for hiding in a stupid place. :(

I am going to fix this and all the other feedback I have gotten so far in a new version for next week. It also gives me the chance to add a few more things that were missing because of timing problems with the release.

@spirit, I would recommend waiting until next week and a better version which will fix my design flaws.

@Fern, that would be amazing if you could help with the sounds because I am not that good at that stuff and I want to fix all the other bugs first. Shoot me an email (mememe[at]simonoc.com) and I can let you know all the sound stuff I currently use.

To anyone else who has not had the chance to play the mod yet, hold off until next week. Version 1.1 will be a much better design featuring less getting lost in the start map!

If anyone feels they want to see more stuff or has a groovy idea for something in the MOD, please let me know and I will try to get it in the new release for next week. 
 
The only thing I'd like to see added is footsteps to help the player guess where the monsters are if they do not have a visual on them, but it's definitely not a priority since I find the gameplay great as it is, and besides it's probably quite hard to do properly. Concerning the switch, I had no real problem finding it since I figured out I had to look for something to open the gate and I often look every nook and cranny for secrets, but I can definitely understand some people got annoyed and did not find it. However like most people I thought I would be thrown into stealth mode straight away in the start map, but I soon understood that it would come later.

Also, I recently figured out that poison bolts can cause infighting. I know this is written somewhere, but I was delighted when I found this out and couldn't stop laughing at the sight of a Shambler murdering two knights because I shot him in the back. 
Castle Demos: 
I die a lot.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p2umayft2odrq8c/ijed_castle_demos.zip

I kept thinking that the fade-out closets could be invisible / inviolate to the monsters. So that if or when the player screws up they still have a hidey hole to recover in / escape to. 
Footsteps 
I can certainly add all the code for this to every monster but there is a couple of problems with this.

1) I would need good footstep sounds for every monster and the player.

2) There is no surface information in quake so all footsteps would sound the same regardless of what they were walking on, which is odd.

3) If there are a lot of monsters around it will get very noisy with all the different footsteps. The sound attenuation is already different depending on what engine is used. (damn engine coders grrr) and very large areas will get very noisy. Probably will have to do range checks to play the sound within a certain range.

The vault button is in a stupid location and I am fed up watching demo's of frustrated people going up and down between the vault and the temple looking for a simple switch. It does not need to be hidden, I will just stick it at the end of the room next to the book about the amulet.

Well I could add a poison infighting tutorial after the initial poison training but I did not want to show every feature. I assumed people would love to discover some stuff by accident on their own. This is tricky because it is a cool feature but I don't want to make the tutorial really long as well. 
 
Damn shame this did not make the top 100. :( 
 
Using fitz 0.85 with command line `fitzquake085.exe -game shadows -heapsize 64000 +map start,` I don't have the crossbow when I start, there's no eye above any enemies head and the axe isn't a killing blow from behind. Anyone have an idea why that would happen (and yes, I've correctly installed the mod :p). This also happens in qbism and directq. 
 
jt_, same assumption that I had. It is actually vanilla gameplay at the beginning, stealth comes later at some point. 
Start Map 
@jt_, The MOD does not start with stealth because I want players to understand other stuff first, like new pickups, new monsters and the chance to read some books. You get the stealth mode once you have completed the training. (Find the vault)

I thought it would be far too frustrating playing stealth mode without any clues what to do and I want players to try the other maps. I would recommend waiting till next week for a better release version. 
"Everybody Derps Sometimes" (-- D.A.Z.) 
This mod is really beyond awesome. It's not often that someone produces such a highly refined work with so many new and modified aspects and such a huge sense of perfection(ism). Apart from the level design and brushwork, everything is new or touched up, however obvious or subtle - almost a new game.

I recommend everyone to try the stealth mode. It takes some getting used, but once you got the hang of it, it's a lot fun and adds a good bit of replayablility to the levels. Mind you, this is coming from someone who usually stays clear of stealth games for a lack of skill and patience.
Read the hints in the readme and practice a bit. I think the hardest part to master (especially for a less-seasoned player or non-mapper) is getting a feeling for the enemies bounding boxes and where to shoot the distraction bolts without hitting them. And it's important to axe them right in the back - not the sides as it often happens when you approach them to clumsily or imprecisely.

Concerning the problems of getting lost: I agree the fact that the Vault button is hidden is unfortunate in this case, because in the current state of the mod (=main maps missing), the bonus maps that are accessed through the vault tutorial shift to the center of attention, which, however, isn't made clear ingame. The button itself and the original setup as well as the idea behind it are fine and wouldn't be an issue if this was the full version of the mod.
To be honest, I'm rather disappointed at all you supposedly seasoned Quake players once again failing at the basic Quake skills of navigation (exploration) and secret finding - for the button isn't hard to find at all. And if someone got lost in the parts prior to the vault, Quake probably isn't the right game for them anyway. But I can somewhat imagine/understand how people not used to single player mode may have more problems finding the way to proceed in the vault. So I hope Sock changes this in a way that benefits the demo character of the mod, but does not oversimplify it for the full version.

Though perhaps it would be a good idea to have the stealth tutorial section appear in an individual map for quick access (in addition to the one in the start map). The information that poison bolts cause infighting could be appear in one of the shadow story books, by the way. 
 
To be honest, I'm rather disappointed at all you supposedly seasoned Quake players once again failing at the basic Quake skills of navigation (exploration) and secret finding - for the button isn't hard to find at all. And if someone got lost in the parts prior to the vault, Quake probably isn't the right game for them anyway.

It may be a more generalized fault of the start map's layout.

It is designed to funnel players to the level change triggers quickly, but the map plays like a normal map at the start, so when you get to the end triggers with a lot of the map unexplored, you feel like you missed something which puts you into backtrack mode. 
 
It is designed to funnel players to the level change triggers quickly

Yeah the design is certainly trying to focus players towards the final triggers with one way lifts and loops (temple stairs) to stop players getting lost in dead ends. One of the big problems with this mod is an identity crisis, it should decide if it is going to be stealth or not. Plus the shifting focus to the vault so the bonus maps can be played screwed with the vault button logic. Originally it was designed to be a secret only. 
Here Are Some Footsteps 
If you want them, originally made by Gb for RMQ.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/et5arm38eao5cxf/rmq_footsteps.zip 
 
Well, it's a hub map with more functions than a regular start map would have. It's also supposed to be replayed on normal or stealth mode several times, with changing routes and enemy setups. In this sense the funneling function loses a lot of its importance.

The layout itself isn't overly complicated or confusing (lower level->upper level->spiral staircase/vault and a couple of extra rooms. With two level exits on the upper level (currently inaccessible) and two in the vault room. The only source of confusion I can accept in light of the inaccessible main exits is the secretness of the vault (progress) button. 
Please No Footsteps :P 
Re: disappointed
It's just that whenever I see people complain about nonlinear layouts where they get lost, I cringe (especially in a case like these maps - they are certainly no sprawling mazes). People are often quick to critize modern games for their linearity and revel in the good old times where (Quake) games allowed or required a good amount of exploration. But when it actually comes to exploration, they fail to find their way and critize a feature they previously praised.

I'm certinaly not a master of navigation, but I can manage here and elsewhere, so this always suprises me again. (Hope sock doesn't blow my cover! :O) 
I Had NO Trouble 
finding the vault button.
I was already in switch hunting mode due to the liberal peppering of secrets (and the frequent use of hidden shootable switches) throughout the level. 
Ditto 
It's probably better to not hide it in 1.1, though. 
 
@ijed, thanks for the zip :)
@negke, I can add the footsteps as a global impulse toggle? would that be better? default is off but players can turn them on if they want more sound?

I can't really comment on the navigation of the start map anymore because I know where every trigger, spawn, item is and I placed every brush! So the start map feels really straight forward to me, but people are getting lost and it all falls apart at the vault with the button.

One other problem is the demon trap at the beginning, the buttons on the walls are too confusing and only one button should be on the wall (depending on route) so players know which button to press.

I was totally surprised by how many people (in the demo's I have seen) picked up the silver key and walked across the room to the second silver key door!?! I was hinting at which one to try first (the right route is harder) but most people ignore the door infront of them.

The whole mess of modern games being too linear is because developer want players to progress and I can totally understand this. I want players to see the rest of my mod and not give up on the first map! There is nothing more disappointing than seeing a player frustrated and giving up because the design is wrong. 
 
Optional, default off footsteps sounds like something I could live with.

Even though the 'nearest' button looks obviously pressed and unusable, it's indeed somewhat inconsistent insofar as the corresponding cage is not in the lowered position. I don't think you should necessarily remove the unusable button entirely, though, considering the 'logic' of the room/mechanisms. Maybe only make it look blocked or locked (padlock?). Other instances of double buttons, however, can be changed so that only one button appears depending on the route (an example would be the two vault buttons).

Taking the opposite door sounds like something I would do, too. It's a bit of an exploration reflex. If there's an arrow saying "go here to proceed", I deliberately check out the other direction to make sure not to miss something worthwhile. A typical "don't push this button" situation. :) 
 
Tried again, got lost in the statue area again.

Track III from http://www.discogs.com/Isothesis-Cocoon-Of-Red-Light/release/932941 fits perfectly, not free though sadly. If you are interested in properly free soundtrack music I will try more. ;) 
Music 
@spirit, If you can find some free (creative common) music that could be played in background that would be awesome. But it should be something low key and ambient so it does not drown out important sound clues.

I suppose the perfect situation is getting a musician to create proper mood pieces that could be switched depending on what is happening, combat, moody exploration, special encounters etc. Something for the wish list. :/

I can certainly setup background music files as a toggle impulse command so players can decide if they want to listen to music or not. 
Spirit 
On both sides of the statue hall are spiral staircases that lead down to the vault area. It's practically impossible to get lost there (especially since you now know you have to look for a secret button down there). 
 
negke (and sock of course): http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/its-demo1e-start-normal-firstrun-Spirit-more.7z

I will try again now that I know where to look. :P

CC music for sure. I got loads of Ambient. Just now I listened to https://archive.org/details/tlhotra012 "Labio maternal" while playing, fits nicely. http://altusmusic.ca/rem/ might work too but I am not 100% sure about the ND clause.


I REALLY dislike the quake.rc binding the mousewheel the modern way. In the good old days mouse down = next, mouse up = prev. 
 
@spirit, awesome I will download it and see how it goes with a stealth run. By the way what is the best way to include this with quake mods? wav? ogg? I assume I need to save this as 16 mono?

quake.rc, I added mouse wheel bindings because the default engine settings has none and it drives me nuts. I tried to add as many useful things to the quake.rc as possible and I assumed anyone could it extract it from the pak file and change it how they wish. Maybe it might be better to distribute the file outside of the pak file so it can be changed easier? 
Quake.rc 
Quake.rc is supposed to be the file that the players agree not to modify. What might be a reasonable solution would be to modify it centrally so that the binding of the mousewheel comes earlier in the quake.rc file than the class to config.cfg and autoexec.cfg, so players which already have it bound will get their defaults, and players who don't get the mod's setting. 
Erratum 
That should read:

earlier in the quake.rc file than the call to config.cfg and autoexec.cfg


Too much typing about class in the other thread... 
No Footsteps 
havent had a chance to play this yet but this 'feature' almost always annoys me, and I cant really see it working in what this mod sounds like either.

Or, as negke said, please make them optional. 
Exit 
Uhm, are you sure there's an exit there? And that the exit can be reached without cheating? I explored the first map for almost one hour and it feels like a big DM map without an exit.

But there has to be an exit, right? Everything else is perfect: great detail, incredible feeling, nice gameplay (until you get stuck). Ah, I had to change texture_mode, pixels were nice back in 96, now they look a bit "not ok". 
Christ... 
 
Also 
No footsteps please. 
Footsteps 
Don't worry everyone, footsteps will be an optional impulse command so if anyone wants them they can toggle them on.

@RaverX, yeah there is an exit, find the shadow vault area (below the statue room) and keep looking for the stupid vault button in that room grrrrrr :( 
The Footstep Debate Ov Doom 
Don't feel obligated to add them, I was just tossing the idea. I like being able to determine where an AI is by listening to their footsteps, but like I said the mod already plays extremely well as it is. :p 
 
I like the idea of footsteps and will add them, but I will make them optional so everyone is happy. I honestly don't mind adding stuff and I prefer if people tell me if they don't like something, it gives me a better idea of how to improve stuff. Lots of people saying the same thing is good feedback. :) 
Coloured Squares That Create Shapes 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcoMu-w1dvE

tl;dw Awesome so far! Really didn't find anything to complain about, aside from the hidden button to open the vault door. 
Also... 
why didn't the vore die after three hits from the stealth axe? do creatures with more than 350hp (fiends have 300) NEED to be poisoned before you can instakill them? 
 
Any monster with more than 350 current health (not starting health) cannot be killed with a backstab. If you hit a vorn three times with an axe that is 3x20 damage. The fourth hit from the axe can be a successful backstab. On lower skill levels I might try to implement a graphic around the eye to say the mob cannot be back stabbed.

I really want the player to be afraid of vorn/shambler because of the health issue. I do have 2 other monsters that have high health as well so there will be more situations where saving poison bolts becomes critical. 
Long Live Groovy Squares Pixels! 
@Daz, thank you for the video review! :D It was awesome to see you play through the start map and explain some of the stuff I did. There is a couple of things you did not mention, like the gradual introduction of new pickups items to get the player familiar with how they look and showing the player the different types of buttons, shoot or hit. (they have a consistent visual language, something I have tried to do across all the maps)

The skill level is checked every time anything is spawned, so the player can drop the console and change the skill level if they feel the map is too tough / easy or use the rune pillars.

The main reason for using the Fitz 0.85/markV engine is because of the book / story system. The particle system should work on any engine, it is just a sprite emitter with lots of different presets for specific items. Most items in the map have particles to give the world more of a magical / mystical vibe. 
 
Sock, since you can manually enable gl_texturemode 4, I think you should just the player the choice 
 
Perhaps a little shield icon next to the eye for stronger enemies? On hard skill they should be killable by poison only (no manual weakening).

I didn't notice the automatic setting of the texture filter, since I use the pixelated one myself, but I agree forcing it onto the player seems kind of harsh. Some players may actually prefer the blurry GL look.
Though the fast they don't know the command to set it back supports your thinking behind this measure in a way as it proves that many players likely don't know about the possibility to switch between modes in the first place and thus miss out on a potential visual improvement (or not, depending on who you ask). Shouldn't it be gl_texturemode 6, though? It's what Fitz defaults to, possibly more accurate than 4. 
Is 4 
gl_linear_mipmap_linear?

If so, what is 6? 
 
Are the numbers always the same? Don't they depend on the driver? I would use the full name always.

If you use numbers you probably want 3 or 6 if they always map like that.

http://www.quaddicted.com/engines/software_vs_glquake#texture_filtering

To me, this is a visual choice of the creator. I am biased though since I much prefer the crisp pixels to the blur. 
 
@Yhe1, I have shifted the texture filtering to an impulse command so you can turn it off (globally across all maps), it will be in the next release. (hopefully next week)

The default is staying on, I have designed all of the assets to use this mode (GL_NEAREST_MIPMAP_LINEAR). I know it is personal choice (hence the new impulse) but artistically I want the default to be on. 
In-fight Training 
Daz mentioned in his video review that he thought it was odd that there was no training showing how the poison bolt can cause monster infighting. My reason for this was I did not want to tell the player everything and I thought if they discover this for themselves it might make a bigger impact and be more fun!

What does everyone think about adding a training section showing poison infighting? Or should it be left to the player to discover by themselves? 
Show It 
Infighting is one of the funnest things in Quake, so let the player do more of it. 
Agreed 
I think it would be good to know that to start with, since if the player knows that the poison darts can be used for causing infighting, they will attach more value to it and be more aware that they could use it in any situation, other than when they see a shambler. This might help slightly with making players worry more about their poison dart ammo, as they will likely miss the poison darts when they realise they don't have them in a situation where they could get a big fight started to cause a distraction 
Sock. 
It was weird finding out about the infight mechanic in the middle of the first map. I had a nice vore backstab planned and all my planning went out the window when I applied the poison and it went batshit mental and killed everything in the room :D

The infighting itself is cool, I just was confused about what had triggered it initially and that my carefully laid plans had been owned! 
Second Map 
The second map is a remake of E1M2, right? 
This Rules 
Totally impressed by this. How long did it take you Sock? 
 
I am too dumb for this. On s1m1 I do not manage to sneak up on anyone, have to axe them. Yes, I use 200 as speed for sneaking. 
 
Now I would like to retake the tutorial bit but I would have to replay the whole start map. 
Just Noclip There 
The triggers that spawn the vault button are at the beginning of the staircase in that room.
In this sense, perhaps an impulse command (and corresponding "tutorial" alias) to warp directly to this section would be a good feature, rather than cloning the tutorial bit in an individual map as I suggested earler.

Watch the eye. If you stay in the red zone for too long (timer depends on skill setting), the enemy will spot you. Hit them right in the back, not from a large angle. And make sure no other enemy can see your kill - distract all nearby enemies with bolts, so they look away. If a bunch of them stands close together, you can try to multikill them if you're fast enough, or play it safe and lure them away one by one. To do this, you need to shoot one of them with a distraction bolt and hide behind cover before the hit. 
 
Ah, that is quite against what I thought I was used to from Thief or Deus Ex. Just finished s1m1. Great! 
Poison 
In Daz's second video, a vore dies from poison (poisoned twice and a bit of infighting inbetween). I don't know what to think of this. It makes sense in a way and may make life a little easier for less skilled players on the one hand, but it also seems like a sort of over-simplification on the other hand.

Consistency - the tutorial teaches the player that "big" enemies need to be poisoned first. The shambler is obvious one of them, despite his appearence in the tutorial. So is the vore. But as a matter of fact, I also consider the fiend to be a big one, too. Not in terms of the actual amount of health, but rather regarding the general 'feel'. So it's a bit disappointing when the player finds out the fiend can be killed with a simple backstab. Would changing it to a tougher enemy class unbalance the maps or go against the current design? 
For A Quick Fix You Could Either... 
buff the fiend to 351 health or nerf the axe to 299. not sure if either would improve the experience. 
 
@spirit, if you want to replay the tutorial, load the start map, bring down the console, type developer 1 and then type impulse 221. This will teleport you straight to the shadow vault, I will add this properly in the next release. 
 
@daz, just watched part 2 and it was awesome, thank you. A couple of answers to your questions. If you shoot any monster in the face with a bolt they will see you and stealth will break. The solution is to turn the monster first and then apply the poison. If you shoot any monster in the back with a distraction bolt they will turn and investigate, which means you can safely move monsters around while you get past them. If a monster is close to a door, you can open unlocked doors with the distraction bolt. The distraction bolt does a lot of different tasks, items in this mod have depth and multiple functions.

There is a lot of things about stealth that I don't explain because I want players to learn and discover stuff for themselves. (just like the old days) I do plan to add a tutorial for infighting but the rest of the stuff should be discovered by the player otherwise it will be too much hand holding. 
 
@spirit, if the stealth mode is too hard or confusing, try exploring the maps in vanilla mode first to discover the layout. Also try different skill levels because the stealth system is heavily linked to skill level.

The golden rules for stealth is, check your distance at all times, red eye is danger and never ever fire at monsters unless their back is turned. 
 
made a level with Oblige. Set dev 1 and impulse 220. interesting... 
 
Looks good, but...

First, does one HAVE to play in stealth mode? I think I got up to something like 50+ kills in the start map, and it was pretty easy so far, then I picked up the damn amulet and it seems I'm forced to play stealth mode instead. Can I get rid of it and play normally? I dislike stealth games, they hurt my head.

Secondly, maybe I'm being thick and missing something, but how the hell do I leave the start map???? I've been wandering around for ages - I feel like I've explored every part of this map (including the vault and zombie dungeon) but all I find is locked doors. To be honest, I'm finding this start map to be rather confusing and maze-like, especially with so many doors locked. At one point I got stuck upstairs (the stairs where the invisibility ring is behind bars) and couldn't find a way back down. I had to noclip to get back down.

Confusion aside, the start map looks fantastic. 
 
Sock: I made too much of an effort to try to intuitively get into and failed. After negke's tip I realised how it works and had great fun playing through it. Incredible work. You and czg should kiss now.

I first played through s1m1 with quakespasm. Then I used another engine to play s2m1. The ladder one had some minor fog-related bugs (there are like 4-5 different fog implementations in Quake engines, really annoying for content creators). I'll clean up my demo mess (including in-game commenting) some other day.

The game definitely is something to play iteratively. It is not hand holding you as much as a Valve game which I somehow expected. The sneaking up was too different from my previous experiences with Deus Ex so I tried again and again and got frustrated. In Deus Ex you have to make no sound and not be in their FOV. You can sneak as near as you want though, even press your face against their butt. In ITS I started swinging my axe wildly and running or jumping into their backs now with varying success. :D

I feel like I use my bunny jumping skills a bit too much. But I had tremendous fun doing that and that is what counts.

The maps are absolutely incredible. The style is flawless and the atmosphere is so thick. 
 
by "play iteratively" I mean "fail, reload, use previous knowledge to your advantage". It is not a interactive rail simulation -life 2. 
 
@kona, yes the legendary vault button!!!! You need to explore the room below the statue room. One end has a portcullis leading to the vault with the amulet of shadows. Search that room for the vault button, complete the training and use the portals at the other end of the room. This is all fixed in the next release.

Once you load the bonus maps (s1m1 and s1m2) you can play them as normal, the stealth mode is completely optional. I know a lot of people struggle with stealth games that is why I spent a long time balancing the maps for vanilla game play as well. 
 
@spirit, yeah fog it not consistent among engines which is why I recommend Fitz 0.85 or mark V only. I think this version of stealth plays different and I think everyone has to put other games aside and learn this version as new. This is not a thief or deux or stealth quake clone, it is different.

I was hoping people would play the maps several times, I have included enough new things to find so it will still be fresh. I don't expect people to get what stealth is about on there first play, I am hoping people will find the depth in the mechanics and will want to play it more. The ultimate prize is trying to complete the maps with no kills, I did post a video about this earlier in this thread. 
 
@negke, the next version I am making will show the mobs that cannot be backstabbed much more clearly, they will have a different eye icon. There is also more mobs to add yet that cannot be backstabbed. There is the blue flail knight in the keep of Aramis and two more ogres from the Black Forge. I want the fiend to stay easier to kill because I enjoy placing them in maps.

@daz, you mentioned in your video part 2 that you thought the mobs have different distraction times, they do. All monsters are grouped into different distraction time and also different distraction radius. So a hell knight is harder to distract and also will not be distracted for long as a normal guard. 
 
Oh I see now, I didn't realise I was supposed to sneak up and insta-kill the ogre. All good. I actually found the vault button pretty easily.

Anyway I loved the 2 levels. Nice homage. Although in some ways it kind of takes away the surprise and exploration when you already know exactly how the levels are laid out. Are they all going to be e1 remakes? I'd rather see completely unique levels rather than remakes.

I played both levels as normal, rather than stealth. The second level I think it was halfway through the level or more before might health went under 100 (I was playing on normal) so they aren't particular difficult. The kind of difficulty where you can rush through, but I don't want to do that because then I miss out on all the details. I guess it's hard to prevent though because you can't fill the place up with monsters for players who are going stealth mode. It would be too hard then.

Design is fantastic, I've got no suggestions there, it's perfect. 
 
@kona, if normal skill was too easy why not try the hard/nightmare skill levels? These bonus maps were just for testing the AI path finding system, did you notice any changes with the AI? I also added a few new areas and routes, did you find anything new? Did you get any of the secrets? 
 
@daz, question from your video part 2, How do monsters notice if you backstab another monster infront of them?

1. Radius check around backstab location (512 map units)
2. Is the 'other' monster facing the right direction (315-45 degree angle) A narrow 90 degree FOV, I might change this based on skill level.
3. Can the 'other' monster actually see the backstab location, prevents checks through world geometry but not liquids or other monsters. 
Aha 
Good to know!

I played the 2nd map through today, loved it. Harder than the first but in a good way, with more complex routes and mechanics for taking out enemies. I am a fan :)

Got the knock knock secret, badass+

Mastered the crossbow much better since your comments explaining things. It's super useful to be able to move guards around with it.

I think the main issue I have with not teaching the player everything about their items is that the basic mechanics are explained so rigorously it is perhaps assumed that you are told everything. I certainly did at least, it never occurred to me that they might do more than advertised :)

I'll get the last video up in the next few days. I'm looking forward to the full release! 
 
@DaZ, do you think I should hint at the end of the training that there is more tricks to learn but the player has to find themselves?

I always had plans for more features but I kept resisting giving more items because I felt a Swiss Army Knife approach might be more fun. I know they do this with TF2 weapons and I really like it because I feel the extra features are like advanced tricks for seasoned players. I always thought that seasoned stealth players would appreciate the advanced stuff because they would gain more control of tricky situations ready for the 'no kill' runs.

The knock knock secret was designed because I kept seeing negke and necros checking doors all the time and thought it might be funny. 
Sock 
That could help, yes. Something that would be perfect for something like this would be loading screen tips or something similar. Obviously that's not really plausible in Quake.

Hmm ok brainfart. What if in some of the secret areas of the maps there are book stands with tips written in them? You could tie it into the lore somehow and it uses an existing mechanic and keeps it relevant past the introduction map. 
 
@daz, yeah books would be an awesome way of doing this. It will the player more of an incentive to read books if their are game tips available instead of just back story. 
I Approve Of This Idea 
Books would indeed be an awesome way to tell tips to the player, and it could also feel pretty rewarding if these books were in secret areas like DaZ said. 
 
I can certainly add more book locations and it would be cool to add more to the bonus maps as extended training. I should create a couple more book skins so the book types look different. I can think of at least 3 (general, main story and training) at the moment.

By the way, I have not heard from anyone (all forums I have posted) if the books are interesting or not? I know there are some typo's in a couple of books but nobody has said anything about the content? 
On The Internet 
If no-one complained about them then they must be good :) 
 
I liked them very much and some of the flavor text made me chuckle, but I have noticed some typos (or it could just be that since English isn't my native language, they are in fact not typos). 
Tips 
You could have secret scrolls that hint to the player where to find another secret. In each secret have a book of knowledge how to master the game. 
 
Oh I always play normal. I don't think I've ever played Nightmare.

Yes I did notice some AI changes - particularly the Hell Knights are firing quicker, they were really too easy in standard Quake.

I think I found 7/8 secrets in the first level, 5 in the second (didn't really need them so didn't look too hard).

The secrets weren't too hard to find though, or at least the ones I did find. Usually i'm useless at exploration and find no secrets in most maps, unless by chance lol. 
Strictly Vanilla Mode Playthrough. 
If someone had given you the brief "Remake Quake With A Medieval Theme" then this is pretty much the perfect execution of that. It felt just like the fun of playing Quake E1 for the first time but with an exceptional modern quality.

I particularly liked:
Lighting (subtle colours especially)
Particle effects
Atmospheric sounds
Amount of secrets
Monster AI
Beefed up combat
General flawless build quality

I didn't like the new monster models so much, they were good but didn't improve on Quake as much as the rest of the map. I'd have liked to seen a few custom monsters in there (proper Quoth ones like Polyps and Vorelings, also the shield knight would have fitted in perfect).

Also I didn't like the goddamn motherfucking grate secret at the start of S1M2!!

I haven't tried stealth mode. 
 
@Shambler, I was wondering when you were going to have some free time to play this MOD. IMHO I think quake is a medieval game full of mystical locations and strange magical forces. The original quake tech theme always felt odd to me, it should of been doom blood/gore/organic tech, not sterile boring base crap full of endless crates.

I do believe coloured lighting can be done really nice with Quake if the colour strength is subtle. Sadly most level designers miss the finer points of lighting and see colour lighting as a new shiny toy to drench a room in. Sort of like a texture artist discovering normal maps for the first time and making everything look plastic and shiny.

What was your secret count? Was there any particle effects you did not like? Did you notice the AI doing anything weird? getting stuck? running around in circles? What skill level did you play?

What grate secret at the front of S1m2? the one at the very start? or the one inside the original secret area?

I know you are stealth game player and I really hope you record some demo's because I would especially like to see what you do on the S1m1 and S1m2 maps. If you don't record stealth run demo's, imagine my hands reaching across the internet and strangling you!?! ;) 
Qs. 
13/13
12/14

I liked all the particle effects. As with the coloured lighting they were subtle and spot on.

Nope the AI seemed to work fine.

Skill 2

The grate at the very start of S1M2 
Fantastic! 
Played this in the good old Quake way. I'm not that keen on stealth games.

This mod is just so 100% pro.

The brushwork is fantastic, the same goes for the lighting and the models (love the books).

I'm really looking forward to the final realese. 
 
Sock, i take it back dont change the vault button. just make it open for default play.
I mean why should a new player have to FIND a button for a tut? well, unless u wanted the amulet to be a secret but its a given there after. i dunno. it looks like quake but plays like theif, somewat. Either way, its gonna rock ur socks! :P 
Well... 
finding the button first time around was a pain in the ass but once I found it, I was highly attuned to similar secrets in the next two maps. 
That Is... 
...a very good point Fern. I reckon having to work to trigger the stealth tute and then open the m1/m2 portals meant I found a lot more secrets than I normally would in those latter maps. However, I also understand why the current setup has to change.

Congratulations Sock; releasing this when you did, in the way you did, elicited a tonne of very useful feedback. 
 
@Hrimfaxi, thanks. What skill level did you play? did you find many secrets? Did you see the AI doing anything weird? Did you like the new layouts? Any demo's?

'That damn button!', well I have changed it for now, I might change it back for the final release but the demo is focused on the vault so it has to be easier to find.

Daz finally posted the last part of his marathon stealth derp run through the shadows. If you don't play stealth and are curious then these video's will be fun to watch over a lunch break or two!

Daz on the interweb - Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 
The Great Daz Derpathon Part 3 
I do love the play through video's you have done for my MOD and the commentary is certainly the best bit for me. The video's give me a good insight into how other people play my maps and try to understand the mechanics.

E1M2 has always been my favourite map in Quake, it is probably the one map I have played the most because I love the layout. The map feels complicated but essentially it is one big loop with multiple floors. I spent such a long time creating s1m2 and it probably shows with the large amount of routes I have added.

The main feature of the map is the introduction of traps (spikes and lightning) but I think the presentation could be better. I liked how Kell had off switches for his traps and I implemented the same mechanic. I have been playing s1m2 a lot recently for the no kill run and I have changed the traps to have a toggle state via the switch so you can turn the traps on if the monster is in the way. It is really satisfying to kill enemies with traps, especially ones under player control.

I originally had the electric beam traps as one shot kill to enemies but I was told it made it too easy, so I toned the damage down. Based on how much time you spent on them I think it is better to bump the damage up (from 3 to 18), but I don't want an instant kill.

Probably what is confusing for players is that on normal skill level the electric traps are present but there is no wizard to kill with them. On hard skill level this is not the case but it seems most people play on normal (from what demo's I have seen) skill level.

I like your idea about the books, the next version of the MOD will have stealth books with hints and I will do the same system as the story books. (automatically pick the next tip regardless of how they are found) I have also added 8 different skins so the books are coloured coded for function. (green/brown - general, blue - story, red - stealth) Plus any books that have been read will stay open making it easier for players to see what they have looked at or not.

I also like the idea of the quad room having a stealth reward so I have added another fully stocked stealth cupboard (at the back of the demon room) as a reward for stealth at the end of the sequence.

I noticed a couple of AI doing some weird stuff but that is probably just me because most people accept the odd mistake or two. I like to make secrets 'show and tell' where I hint at something being around but you need to find out how close by. I think this allows more players to find secrets and enjoy the exploration angle of playing quake more. There is certainly some hard secrets to find in s1m2 but I don't like how some maps just make every secret crazy hard to find.

The idea of the MOD was to tell the story of Lord Aramis and that is done with the main maps "The Keep of Aramis" and "The Black Forge". The bonus maps s1m1/s1m2 were designed for testing of the AI, I don't have any plans to carry on creating the rest of episode one. 
 
I was wondering about the lightning emitters! At first I thought it was some kind of long-term elaborate secret where you had to turn them on in sequence. Then finally I encountered a scrag and realized it was to kill fliers. :P 
Lightning 
It usually took at least 3 goes with the lightning to kill a scrag for me, since they path_ed while I was trying to kill them.

Don't see the problem with instant kill to be honest - instant reward. As in, if the player gets it right then reward them.

Of course, if they miss then the scrag should be alerted to the danger, treating the lightning trap as a player attack that missed - might ruin the no-kill runs though. 
More Video's!! 
I found some more video gameplay of In the Shadows. Skacky has uploaded a complete playthrough of all maps (stealth mode) on his youtube channel, the last video is a lot of fun played on hard skill. :)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 
... 
I don't have any plans to carry on creating the rest of episode one.

Okay I will be the one sitting in the corner crying...;( Would have been great to see what you could do with E1M5 and E1M6 styles. 
Well 
Let's hope that "The Black Forge" will be Sock doing Runic... 
Sock 
is the update likely to be released this weekend? Just asking since I will probably have some free time to play and dont want to start this version if another is coming. 
 
@Shambler, E1M5 is another one of my favourites, I loved what Kell did with that map, I still wander around his version for inspiration. It would be cool if it got expanded and had the stealth treatment because it has so many layout loops. I quickly ran through E1M6 to remind me what it was about and it is a trapfest! Sadly the AI on this map is just plain dumb, they get stuck on floors, corners, ledges and often spawned into areas they cannot escape from or reach the player.

@onetruepurple, the black forge is going to be a lava infested cave network drenched in runic metal! :)

@nitin, I have not been very well the last couple of days and not had much of a chance to do anything with the MOD. I would love it if you could wait till next week when I plan another version. Probably between xmas and new year. 
No Probs 
will wait. 
 
@ijed, I finally got around to seeing your castle demo's and I thought they were good fun to watch. I was shouting at the screen, run, run from that shambler! It was cool the amount of times you got away from mobs and tried something different. Thanks for the demo's, they also highlighted a couple of AI bugs I had missed. 
No Problem 
I actually thought about offering a map... but I've got enough on my plate :) 
Any Thoughts? 
I had two comments (different forum/sources) roughly talking about the same thing and wonder what anyone thinks about it.

Comment 1
Gameplay is good, if not a little bit simplistic.
Comment 2
Is the stealth based on light/darkness at all or is it just proximity and the monster's field of view? Looks rather rudimentary.

I get the impression from the comments that the initial gameplay is simple but not in a good way. Is this because these people did not understand there is more to the weapons? Does gameplay depth need to be fully shown? One of the things TF2 did was show extra weapon depth with funny video's about each class, certainly very little in-game.

I saw an article on Dishonored (stealth game) and they said:
something about Dishonored got to me -- the simple but intuitive stealth mechanics, the incredibly atmospheric machinist-mariner universe. The heart, a haunting narrator.

Now they refer to the game mechanics as simply but in a good way, is this a presentation thing? or do people just look at quake as something too old school and simple (in a bad way). It is amazing what baggage a game title can have, even if it is MOD. 
 
Not sure how they can call it simple. More likely they just weren't paying attention. There are a lot of startegies and variation of gameplay during any given stealth run.

The unpredictability of the ai patrols and decisions are a large part of it but also how you choose to tackle situations provides many options.

You can kill when necessary, you can kill all or none, you can even charge past and hope to hide afetward.

All of these things is what I would expect from a stealth game. What else is there? 
Bug - S1M1 
Found a possible reason some people miss the amulet on their first play through of s1m1.
http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/amulet.zip

command line: fitzquake085.exe -heapsize 60000 -window -game shadows

Reproduction steps: originally occurred when trying to "speedrun" levels with the amulet - I got killed by a dog and when I respawned, the amulet chamber did not open. This demo was just recorded by using the command "map s1m1". It seems to happen inconsistently after doing any of the following things:
a) Dying and restarting
b) Loading with the "map" command
c) Loading with the "changelevel" command
d) Reloading with the "restart" command

Once it starts happening you seem to get a long run of games where the bug occurs - could it be a tracking cvar getting stuck in a strange state? 
Savegame 
What I should have done is included a savegame in with the demo, because that gives you much more information for debugging - you can enter the game interactively and query entity values. I've saved a game when the bug occured and put it on pastebin:

http://pastebin.ca/raw/2297083

Save the above as amulet.sav and you can take a look. 
Amulet Alcove Not Opening 
I noticed that, too. Without knowing the technical details/background, I thought it was simply a matter of delayed spawning of the trigger. For it seemed that the alcove opened properly if one waits on the start spot for a second or two, instead of dashing forward as soon as the maps is loaded.

"Simplistic gameplay" - but this is refering to the normal SP mode, I presume? I'm totally with necros here. 
Amulet Alcove 
@Preach, sorry for the hassle, I changed how it works. I now trigger stuff directly off the spawn points and I changed stealth alcove function to have a trigger on spawn so the alcove always fades when the players starts. It was too confusing the other way and the new way always ensures people have the amulet.

I originally put in a delay because I thought people would pause, pick skills, look around, but this quake and everyone wants to run at a million miles per hour! Plus I suppose if you have played the map already then speed does comes into play. I can certainly understand the quick start because I have spent a long time recording 'nokill' demo's from the start.

Preach, I would be especially interested if you find any AI weirdness, I saw a ton in your demos which were very cool. The most time consuming thing at the moment is trying to find AI problems because most combat in the MOD is defined what the player is doing.

@necros, negke, I am not sure if people are looking at the mod as purely quake and think it has got to be basic, (run+shoot) or they have not played stealth before or simply did not find any secondary modes for the weapons.

I suppose I have never really considered what 'old school' gaming really means and I know everyone moans about modern games but when presented the other way (less instruction, more exploration) people don't really like anymore either. 
Agree With The N's... 
And here's my atypical gripe: Commentary by non devs tend to be very superficial. They know they don't like it but are bad at articulating for what reason. The second comment seems confused - would basing it on light make it more complex, for this player?

The first comment is also pretty difficult to act upon.
'Do you like it?'
'no, it's blue'.

Showing the player (who hasn't played either at all, or more than 5 minutes) could be a good solution.

How about including demos in the mod? Just the simple ones that play automatically at startup.

You could even record kascam demos, which use a secondary camera which both follows the player in third person and goes to static views. Looks pretty exciting, I think some Quake done quick demos were recorded in this way. 
 
That's a pretty cool idea, ijed. I like it because it uses a format that was already present in the original game (demos when starting up) and also acts like a tutorial, the same way those early left 4 dead promo vids showed basic gameplay elements like the beeping grenades attracting zombies, not disturbing the witch, etc...

otoh, with quake, there was 4 episodes of content, so showing off 3 maps out of the whole thing in demos wasn't a big deal. doing that here, it's a much larger percentage of content being exposed at start up...

Maybe just 2 demos, 30 seconds each, of s1m1 showing stealth/nonstealth? 
 
Or even shorter demos. A good stealth backstab, impressive killstreak, or successful avoidance of a group of enemies. Or something like cutscenes in demo form, with a few key lines from the story. Hmmm, zerdem... 
 
Demo's are certainly a cool idea and something I have wondered what to do with for sometime, how long a demo should it be? should it be something simple? from the beginning of the map? maybe a small nokill stealth run? maybe the training area?

Someone else mentioned about kill streaks on stealth runs, what about a multiplier effect that if you kill 3 enemies within a certain timeframe you can backstab more powerful monsters? could create a similar visual effect to getting a quad so the player knows about it. Would certainly be interesting to track this as another stealth stat. 
 
For myself, I do not like being rushed. Ever. Neither in stealth or normal play. I think something like this would bug me a lot, because I would feel pressured to get the multiplier, even though it is optional.

I think I would enjoy something more along the lines of a multiplier based on how many kills you get before loosing stealth. I don't know how often people loose stealth, but I tend to loose it quite a few times during play. I think this mechanic would put pressure on the player in a more congruent way for stealth mode. 
+1 Necros' Idea 
nt 
Hm 
Smacks of a scoring system - maybe replace the level end tally with the impulse �stealth breakdown� output, and adding a backstab combo as Necros suggests.

For demos, how about showing progressive stuff - backstabbing, backstabbing a big monster, causing infighting.

Maybe start each demo with it�s important bit, but also make them progressively longer, suggesting at more complex things, just after they cut out and change to the next one...

I saw videos of the mod on youtube before playing it, which caught my interest and heightened the features, so this would really just be internalising that to the mod itself. 
 
they could even be tiny maps specifically designed for a demo. 
I Havent Played This 
but if it is only 2 maps to date, I agree that demos showing off the mod features/skills should be on demo specific small maps, maybe 30 sec demos. 
 
I've gone through the intro, and met the fiend in m1... but stealth is too frustrating for me. And it'd be nice to use something else than the shitty standard axe model.

This mod is so cool though :) 
Playthrough 
Here's a run of s1m1 with

No alerts
No kills
No poison

http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/s1m1-boss-rank.zip

I think that should qualify for "Boss" rank, for "Big Boss" you'd probably need all the secrets as well.

I also remembered a reply to something ages ago, where sock expressed sorrow that I was using poison bolts to distract, and wondering if I hadn't realised they were precious. I did know they were valuable, but at the time I was confused about how the inventory worked. I didn't know that poison bolts created a separate weapon slot, I thought you had to use them when you got them.

That might be a bit hard to communicate though. Part of the problem is the weird key binding for the weapons when using the number keys (I don't scroll for weapons). The axe and the regular bolts are on a non-standard single slot toggle, while the poison bolts are off on 2. Is there a reason they don't get slots 1-3?

It would also be nice to have some indicator on the HUD about which weapon you have or are using, although there are limits to what you can change, while still preserving the HUD for standard quake gameplay. Maybe there's enough scope if you use the rogue HUD, which came with all those fire nails icons for alternate ammo types? 
The Standard Weapon Model 
Would be a million times more awesome if it were something like a stiletto (backstabber's knife). It's a pain in the ass to animate convincingly but I HAVE seen it done. 
Brilliant 
i am sad to say i didn't get on particularly well with stealth mode. i loved the tutorial, but failed three times to axe the second dog in map one without waking it or the surrounding knights up. this got a bit frustrating and i decided not to continue. to be honest, i'm not not much of a stealth games person!

however upon reading some of this thread i realised it could also be played conventionally, so did just that. i chose easy skill for some reason, so while it wasn't hugely challenging it was a sheer joy to behold and explore. i don't normally have the patience to hunt around for secrets in q1sp but felt compelled to here given the relatively compact layouts and the way some of them are presented to the player using the 'show and tell' method described above. it helped that it looked so great too (beautiful details & tinted lighting) - i didn't want to leave :) and managed to find all of them in map one, eight in map two. only three in the start map... will have to give it another whirl next time! 
 
@Any func moderator, please could you change the title of this thread to read 'New Q1SP In The Shadows'. I get the impression that a lot of people are missing the fact that this is a Q1SP episode to play with.

@stevenaaus, if you don't like stealth, play the maps as per normal quake. All maps are balanced and setup to support 3 skill levels and should be fun without any of the stealth mechanics. I know not everyone likes stealth which is why I created and tested all maps with both game play modes.

@rj, I am glad you liked it, was there any favourite secrets you liked? Did you try all of the doors in S1M2? Was there anything you did not like? Would you play the maps again on a higher skill level?

@Preach, you are the last person I would have thought to do a 'nokill' stealth run! :) Was it fun to play? Did it take a while to find out where the best route was? 
 
@Preach, yeah the HUD is certainly a mess, I saw the axe and crossbow as two weapons which is why they are 1,2 on weapon selection and the different bolts as just different ammo for the crossbow and thought people would like to cycle the weapon key (like rogue did) for the crossbow. I will have to look at what they did with the HUD, it is frustrating not being able to display Poison instead of shells.

@Fern, yeah the Axe is really a bad choice for stealth because it is not really a stealth weapon. I never expected the MOD to get this far and tried to not keep creating new assets. It certainly would be cool to replace but that means new player animations as well. I am not sure I could convince necros to help me with the animations! 
New Version 1.1 Released!!! 
Well here is it, I like to call it 'The Cosmetic Upgrade' because it is mainly visual additions. New particles, new models, new skins, new textures, new tutorial, more main story, new stealth books, new menu/help system and a few changes to the layout of some maps.

V1.1 Download Link
V1.1 Readme file

Please could any admins update the top links with the new links here?

If anyone has been waiting to try this MOD, then this version is the one to try because it is fine tuned to offer the most feedback and support to anyone trying to play stealth for the first time. (tutorial / on screen message / f1 menu) I still would love to hear from czg, vondur, metlslime, nitin, scampie and Tronyn at some point. All feedback is welcome.

I would also like to state one more time, this MOD can be played in either vanilla or stealth mode, both modes are equally supported and play perfectly well! and all skill levels! :) 
 
yeah i'll pick a higher skill next time. i think the only reason i played easy was because i initially picked it when trying out stealth mode, as it was a new form of gameplay i wasn't used to. so i selected it without thinking the second time round

i'll have to get back to you on specific secrets (i've played a lot of q1sp this weekend!) but yes, i did get all the doors and loved the choice of sound effect, as well as the little messages that followed :) - the messages in general (including the books) did a lot to add to the vibe and immersion. really makes a difference when you feel part of an actual place where stuff happens (for lack of better wording) 
 
I am not sure I could convince necros to help me with the animations!

I don't mind, just send me requirements and your base model. :) 
 
Where do I put Impulse 247 to get to be executed automatically? 
Sock 
I have updated the links, the news post and made a few wording changes to make it obvious you can play in standard Quake mode.

I wont get a chance to play for a few days though but will post when I do. 
Boss Run 2 
Here's no-kills, no-alerts, no-poison for the other map:

http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/s1m2-boss-run.zip

So quick replies on run 1. It was fun to try and find a possible route - I quickly decided there was no way I could get in through the front door without getting spotted, so the first challenge was finding a way to get the water-gate down. Finding a way from the nailgun room to the bridge took a little while, then everything was pretty easy until leaving the cave. Once I decided both knights needed to be shot it worked quite reliably. Spawning the shambler without being seen by it was tough, especially since it could ruin the whole run at the last moment.

I have to say that being stealthy in S1M2 is much easier than S1M1, the demo only took 3 tried once I had the route figured. It's a more forgiving map if you make mistakes, and it's far more open so you've got more options. I'd really recommend anyone who didn't get on with the stealth make sure they try S1M2 before they give up on it. If you get spotted by any of the first few enemies on S1M1 you're stuck in a dead end with nowhere to run. The courtyard in S1M2 is much safer for a new player.

Quick note: the demo was recorded on the first release and won't play in the second. I've now downloaded the 2nd and snuck a peak at the models. That flail knight is AWESOME... 
Wtf Sock 
I can't believe you actually put that in the readme! 
 
And yes: the seargeant and archer models are really cool. Can't wait to see them ingame. No neat animation groups for QME, though. 
 
@Yhe1, no impulse commands cannot be executed outside of the game (shortcut,config file). Once you type this command and save it will be part of the save file and then when you start the MOD and load a file it will still be set, right?

@nitin, thanks for the updates. Looking forward to your demo or feedback. :) Just remember stealth does not start until you find the amulet. I did put this in the all the readme/help systems but it needs to be more obvious, my fault on that one.

@preach, I saw your nokill demo and you did something I was not expecting, a cool way to get to the upper balcony. Have you tried the nokill runs on the hard skill level? Things are much more difficult? I will have to try and get through the front door on s1m1 but I think it will be crazy to move all the mobs.

Sadly the extra models is a mistake, I was so tired yesterday I forgot to double check the pak file for files that are not needed. They will appear in the 'Aramis Keep' map which is the home of the Blue Flail Knights.

@negke, oops sorry, I thought that is what you wanted put in the readme file (credit and stuff). On a serious note your feedback has been priceless for this MOD and this is the reason why you and necros are included in the all of the help files. 
Heh 
It was meant as a joke. It does fit the story though. 
 
That is why I included it, I thought it was funny and not out of place with the story. If it bothered you I can removed it for the next release. 
 
For anyone who has tried this MOD already and is wondering what the new version is about, check the readme file (separate link at the top) it contains a list of new features. This version is mostly about the help and information on the stealth system. I wanted to make sure the first play through was not so frustrating and easier to understand.

Extra console commands of interest:

training - teleport to training area
pixels - no more pixel vision!
feet - foot step sounds

If anyone has more feedback or suggestions please let me know. 
Reviewed 
 
@onetruepurple, Wow thank you, I was not expecting this :D

I have fixed most of your problems with the latest version. You can keep global fog turned off for all maps (console command) and the vault button is really easy to find. (my mistake) 
 
I wrote a couple of articles for my ModDB page about some of the features for the MOD In the Shadows, links below.

Discussing the new AI systems:
http://www.moddb.com...s/looking-smart

Talking about exploration and how it can integrate with storyline:
http://www.moddb.com...tion-is-the-key 
Links Br0ke... 
 
Clearly a typo in the review score. Should read 21/20. 
Haha 
Yeah - i knew you could play it normally, but after accepting the necklace/cloak? at e1m2 start, i was stuck with it till i figured to reloaded the start map.

Played e1m2 first, but enjoyed e1m1 more. Thats a nice rework. 
 
@ijed, thanks I was not really paying attention and just copy and paste the links which was a bad idea in retrospect.

@negke, I don't think the Tronyn reviews go higher than 18/20! :P I am just glad it was reviewed because I got the impression that Tronyn was not interested in the MOD. It might have got a higher mark if the reviewer was more into stealth because the MOD really shines when sneaking around the new maps.

What has surprised me the most about func is the lack of people who actually like stealth mechanics, I assumed it would be more. It does raise an interesting point, 'how much change to a game can you introduce before it alienates the original players of the game!'

@stevenaaus, what skill level did you play? find many secrets? any demo's? Did you replay with different skill levels? 
Stealth Stigma 
I think this is caused by lots of games with shitty, shitty stealth mechanics.

Definitely not the case with ITS.

I played Thief recently - a game I missed when it came out. It was good but lacked the rounding off of the corners that modern game design has introduced.

The main thing it had was even when I failed I knew why. Might be surprising since it doesn't have any stupid popup tutorials or glowing icons telling exactly what to do, but it is intuitive, which ITS also has.

I spose the point I'm trying to make is that heavy handed icons and tutorial dialogs that lead the player by the hand aren't liked by anyone, and are only necessary when a game or mod is designed by committee (like most AAA games) and the focus is diffused.

Which is also what creates bad stealth game mechanics, and therefore the stigma.

IMO of course :) 
 
I have spoken to a lot of people so far about ITS and the conversation usually goes this way, "I did the tutorial, started the next map, died a lot and decided stealth was not for me"

I think this can mean several things; the map is too hard, the skill level is wrong, the player is dying and not knowing why, the player cannot understand how to improve the situation or just got fed up with the learning curve.

I am always amazed by people and feedback, I posted a stealth run video of me doing a nokill run and I got comments saying it looks too easy and the AI are dumb because they don't notice me. In retrospect it was probably a bad choice of things to post but I assumed people would enjoy it because it is fast, executed quickly and without any mistakes! Maybe people need to see how difficult it is? 
 
@ijed, I am confused because when I read your first comments about ITS you were having a hard time, died a lot and found it frustrating. You say ITS has good mechanics but was that after playing it for a while or initially? Was there a learning curve or a moment when it got better?

In the latest version I have added a ton of extra onscreen hints, shadow hint books, F1 screens and extra tutorials, doesn't that make it too much hand holding? 
Re: Score 
well I thought ITS demo was awesome, but I kept in mind that it was a demo, so that held it back a bit (ie, not a complete episode or map).... I thought 18 was a good score, recognizing the extremely high quality while also reviewing it _as_ a q1sp, rather than as a mod. Then again I did give Marcher 19/20, so I probably am a bit stingy. 
Stealth 
It's neither too easy nor too hard. But naturally, someone who isn't used to stealth games will have to practice a bit until he fully understands the mechanics. I think the main reason there's so little feedback is because people are generally lazy and don't like to stray from their usual playing habits too much. If a game mode isn't as instantly gratifying as the familiar, long-mastered standard q1sp, it's not as interesting and will put people off more quickly if it doesn't grant the same level of easy/immediate success.
Most unfortunate, but also somewhat understandable. I guess I wouldn't have spent so much time with it, either, if I hadn't been "forced" to as a tester. But this was good, as it made me grow to it and eventually really appreciate the stealth gameplay. Like I said earlier in the thread, I'm not a stealth player by heart, quite the contrary normally (although I did enjoy FC3 recently), but after a while I got the hang of it and now I'm actually pretty much a hardcore stealth ninja. I'd even go so far as to challenge sock to a stealth deathmatch if there was such a mode! :D

All I can say is that it's a lot of fun, has good replayablity, and it certainly isn't as slow as one would imagine - if you master it, it can even be (almost) as fast as regular q1sp. 
Sock 
The mechanics are fine - I got lost looking for that damn button :)

I haven't played the latest version yet so can't comment on HUD elements.

It did take me some learning to figure out the stealth play, but not much. I appreciated the stealth pretty quickly... looking at my earlier comments in the thread they're all about the button, not the play itself.

What I got stuck on were some level design quirks of it being a demo - which it seems you identified and then solved with the update.

The actual game mechanics are clean, quick to understand and fun to execute.

Also, dying isn't necessarily a purely punitive because its how you learn - both the layout, and what works vs what doesn't in tactics.

Stealth DM? That'd be pretty fucking sweet :) 
Sock 
1. sock you rock

2. finally found some proper time to play it (still not finished second level, but can't wait to finish it and explore it all)

3. very, nicely, superly done maps and mod. this is quintessence of atmosphere, unique gameplay and concentrated quakiness.

at first i was puzzled: wtf, where's stealth? and it wasn't obvious how to play it (it still not rly obvious cuz i panicked and stated typing various console comands like 'stealth'). i thought i missed something and started killing mobs like in usual quake, then after i found medallion, everything started working as intented. i still do not understand why there're are two blue key doors in the beginning, probly i'm too old... the words 'youi have two ways' didn't rly help as there weren't words like 'you've enabled stealth mode' or something.

anyway, maybe me randomly entering 'stealth' comand on the console or finding medalion enabled it and fun have started funally. i rly liked the thing with trsparent walls, very clever idea to make them enabled in stealth mode. the mode itself works nice if 1vs1 backstab. but there're ways to exploit it in a bad way, like, aggro pack of mobs, then wait till they're going to their initial spawns and backstab them like 3 in a row. if that's intented that's fine, cuz it was somewhat fun to have that feeling of being smartass.

i also liked crazy amount of secrets. of course i never found them all, but when i did there was that nice feeling. you really hid them nicely.

atmosphere with all its sounds and textures (pixelly) is just pinnacle of quake. nearest texture filtering rocks! anyone saying nearest_mipmap_nearest sucks should stop playing quake. new and edited textures are very nice and make possible to make fine details! very nice play with half-transparent stuff like windows and items. particles are as well made looking like they're not possible in quake engine.

the most important stuff i think is that all what's done, i.e.: setting, sounds, atmosphere, blends perfectly with offered gameplay. it's just cool to hang in the alcove waiting for your turn to backstab. or just hang in that 'window with view' and wait to jump down and cause havoc. levels worthy to live in! this is what makes sock rock! :) 
Oi 
forgot one thing, is it intended that monsters that are patrolling ignore distract shots? that's a bit annoying cuz it works only on idling (standing) mobs in 95% of cases. 
 
I played through it and tried real hard and have actually beaten the maps both normally AND stealth mode...

Here's a zip of 6 demos of my adventures. 66mb zip!
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/103186490/itsdemo.zip

scamp_start is playing the start map and fucking around forever looking for secrets.

scamp_s1m1_s is me playing s1m1 in stealth mode. I had beaten the map previously on normal mode in version 1.0.

scamp_s1m1_n is a normal playthrough I did directly afterwards, it's a lot of secret finding... and then dying once I find secrets. :D

scamp_s1m2_s_fail is my attempt to stealth s1m2 without having even seen the map previously. It goes utterly and terribly bad!

scamp_s1m2_n is my normal run of the map. Pretty standard stuff.

scamp_s1m2_s_win is right after playing the map normal and actually properly stealthing... there are a few false starts (read: horrible deaths), but eventually I find my groove!


I really enjoyed the maps, playing normally I really enjoyed all the cool additions and the real polish you've put into each area of the maps... and then stealthing through becames this awesome experience after because you have a sense of what might be around the bend. I also love the TON of secrets there are to be found, and most of them sense to have some real logic put into them combined with a real nice sense of repeating motifs.

Gushing aside, I do feel like sometimes it can be hard to get the backstab on enemies who you've stuck up on. I'm not sure it should be changed though, as that adds alot to the rush of actually getting the stabs. I also have no idea (without watching your videos) on how I would ever manage a nokill run, as you'll often see in my demos, I often relied on 'stab a guy... get seen by others, run away... stab them when they decide to hang out at easier place to stab'. Poison was fun the few times I got to use it, though I'm not sure I always used it correctly until the end of the second map!

Oh, what are the runes for? I got both of them in separate playthoughs... although now that I think of it I didn't bother going back to the start map with them since I was recording demos... ok don't answer that I guess! 
 
oh, and I will say, after the advice of 'play them normal THEN try stealth' the stealth mode is way more fun than when I tried it before during the 1.0 release! Love it! 
Yo Vondr U Talk Lik A Fat Bootied Highskool Garl 
 
 
@Tronyn, the score is fine, I am happy it got reviewed and you liked it. You actually mentioned something I never thought about, in S1M2 the ogres being connected to the theme of experiments in the castle which does sound cool.

@negke, @ijed, what was your thoughts on stealth DM gameplay?

I looked at AC3 and they had the you sneak around as a civilian and then reveal yourself and attack hoping you got the right target / player.

Personally I think ITS DM should be faster paced and not slow like traditional stealth. Part of the fun for me with ITS is the movement speed coupled with the stealth mechanics.

Idea 1: Everyone is a set of floating eyes and when close to another player they become fully visible so everyone has to sneak around for backstabs. Any items that are picked up will reveal that player for 5 seconds. Poison bolts drops a players health making them easier to kill with an axe.

Idea 2: Everyone is a set of floating eyes and when they pick up poison they are revealed and can do crazy damage (like a quad) with an axe for 15 seconds and then back to floating eyes.

Idea 3: Stealth kill competition. Where each player has to kill as many AI as possible in 2 mins and the AI keep spawning randomly around the map and doing patrols. If the player is revealed then all monsters will attack. Other players could lead AI into other players and watch them die or try to get the maximum kills instead. When a player is killed by AI they lose kill points. Should be loads of trigger traps as well to catch AI or other players. 
 
@vondur, wow thanks for looking at the MOD, I thought you were MIA on some wild vodka Xmas party marathon! :P

The initial not knowing how to start stealth is certainly a design fault. Originally the MOD was going to be just old fashioned quake and the stealth a secret you could find in the vault. Over time the stealth mode got better and I think is more original for the MOD and the focus changed. The lack of objective at the beginning I have fixed in my HD version and will be right in the next release.

The backstab killing streak is by design. I do not want to restrict the way players want do play so if it is easier to agro, run and hide and then clean up afterwards, that is perfectly fine. The Stealth gameplay is designed to present as many options as possible.

I never really understood the pixel mode until Kell suggested I try it. I checked out the console command with the Fitz engine and then Quake felt much better. I am surprised it is not the default in Fitz because I regret not seeing all the custom content I have downloaded over the years properly. All the assets have been designed for this mode and they don't look right all blurry in the other modes which is way I force the texture filtering to pixel vision by default!

It is by design that patrolling mobs do not take notice of distraction bolts because it would be too easy. The fact that some mobs cannot be distracted and have to be followed or avoided I think adds to the tension of the encounter. 
 
@scampie, thanks for taking a look at the MOD and the demos are priceless for feedback. I noticed a couple of things I need to fix which is always a good thing.

I was laughing like crazy with your stealth run on S1M1 and your final solution for getting through the map. It was cool to watch and even thou stealth is a slower pace, I still enjoy watching how others approach encounters.

I think most of your problems with backstabs is the angle you approach the AI and your distance from their back. You don't need to run up to them so close and when you turn them around with distraction bolts, you need to pause a bit to let them turn. Personally I always make sure I am directly facing their back before running full speed at them.

The poison section of the start tutorial went wrong in your demo and I need to fix that, you should not have to kill the wizard like that. Also as you discovered not everything in the map is useable unless you play on higher skill levels and in stealth mode. For example the electric traps.

One thing you were not doing is moving mobs around with distraction bolts. I saw the help message come up a couple of times but I don't think you connected it to what you were doing. If you fire a bolt at the AI and duck behind a corner they will investigate the location of where the bolt came from. With large groups this means you can split them up easily and move them around for single kills.

The runes are for an extra area in the start map called the Shadow tomb, it is not in the demo as I want to keep it as a surprise for the final release. 
 
play them normal THEN try stealth

I totally agree, the maps are designed to be played twice and there are many route/item differences between modes (vanilla/stealth). Trying the stealth mode before vanilla is really a hardcore thing to do! 
StealthDM 
How about this:

Player is revealed when hit, or picking up an item, for five seconds.
Player causes x2 damage while eyes.
Poison rots the player down to 1 health, or is ended when they pick up a medkit.
Axe causes 50 damage normally, 100 while invisible.

That's with some of the stuff you mention in idea 1, but taking out the distance component. That's fine for monsters patrolling slowly, but DM players dash around too much and spray attacks all over the place as well if they suspect someone is nearby.

Three other thoughts occurred as well;

Wicked Hook
This is a physics based grappling hook we used in RMQ. Basically it works like a regular grappling hook but allows you to swing and use your momentum to launch yourself faster and further. As well as the usual sneaky tactics of hiding in the ceiling and stuff.

Theft game mode
This would be a CTF style thing, but with multiple flags. The home base for each time would be a drop point only, maybe a chute - in other words, flags can't be removed from it. The game ends when all 'flags' have been dropped down either one team or the other's chute. This could even work with monsters included.

Steal or Not
This would tricky to balance, but possibly very fun. Allow players on spawn to choose either stealth mode (with all the above rules) or normal play. 
Stealth DM 
Monsters are present.
Ammo is replaced with treasure.
Players are totallinvisible to each other.

Goal is to steal as much treasure as possible.

When stealing treasure, player appears as eyes for a number of seconds. 
I Agree With The 21/20 
 
 
Maybe i tried stealth on easy mode, then played through the maps in normal mode, normal skill.
I've never played a stealth game in my life.

Secrets are awesome. I'm always feeling - "Yes, this is what Edge of Forever was leading to." But of course Edge is special too. I must find about 2/3 of the secrets. 
 
@necros, I really like the treasure DM idea, it could be setup in stages that unlock after a certain amount of treasure has been found. It will also focus all players on limited supplies and get them trying to use the AI as distractions on other players while they collect the loot. It will also restrict the amount of AI running at once which is a good thing for network performance.

@RickyT23, did you complete the MOD? What skill level did you try? Any success with Stealth? Anything that you did not like?

@Stevenaaus, playing the maps on normal is certainly the best idea before trying stealth, especially if you are not use to any stealth mechanics before. I have such fond memories of Edge of Forever, a real beautiful map and it locked together so well. 
Aw Crap, That Wasn't Supposed To Be Taken Seriously. 
Now I'm in for a challenge I couldn't possibly win! :D

Not sure if stealth deathmatch (axe) would even work on Quake speed. Maybe if there was something like stamina that only allowed the player to sprint for a certain time. At any rate, visibility should similar to the AI radius, so that the enemy player becomes visible if he's approaching from the front, and stays too long in the other fields of the radius.

Could also have some focus on traps - crushers, trapdoors, and such - where one player can lure the other in and then press a button in the right moment. Or be backstabbed himself if he doesn't watch his back. 
Sock 
Yes I'm still in the middle of new year vacation vodka fest. Still need too finish the mod and I will when I get sober enough.

PS. You rock! 
For 
DM Thief mode, maybe make it so that each time the player is revealed to either the other player(s) or monsters it counts against them some how. 
Maybe 
Treasure = +50 points
Backstab = +20 points
Reveal = -10 points 
 
Sock, I'm once again chuffed that the universe has placed you here for my amusement. I had a really good time with this, mainly because it was a new way to poke around in a Quake-style environment. It recalled some of the tension I originally got from Quake SP before I turned into a jaded shotgun bunnyhopper.

I did notice that when I would cock up and alert a bunch of dudes simultaneously, that would often turn out to be the fastest/easiest/safest way to eliminate them. I.e.: Run away along my back-path until they all give up and start marching back to their patrol in a line, then zip back up behind the train and chop chop chop. That was really the main iffy spot in my playthrough... it seems like something should be in place to make "alert everyone" still a bad thing even when you have a clear escape path.

(Idly thinking about different possibilities: Alert time has a random component, with an increasing range as more dudes are simultaneously alerted. Or, guys returning to patrol will regularly "check 6"; several guys returning would tend to be doing a check-6 at staggered times. Etc. obviously there's a bunch of tools in that box.) 
 
@vondur, I see you are saving the best map for last, S1M2 is certainly my favourite with a gorgeous look and style, oh I hear the game play is good as well! ;)

@Johnny Law, wow now that is a nick I have not heard of in a long time. The marching AI train is something I tried to solve several times with different ideas, randomly pausing, idle nodes, giving up before getting to the pent on the floor. Eventually I went with info nodes, because when you get 4+ AI they really look stupid all bumping into each other.

When the AI march back to their patrol they will stop at info nodes and wait to catch the player again. This really only works if there are plenty of nodes around to stop at. I must admit I do like the backstab chop chop chop play thou. :) 
New Video Style 
What do you think? Music, Presentation? Any Good?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei-Ys-9WlGk 
Well 
The music's good.

But there's too much text. Personally I found the original tutorial messages fine.

Is this intended as a publicity tool? Because playing that tutorial section is going to be 200% more informative than watching a video.

If it is supposed to drum up interest just general gameplay would be better - the more thats hinted at, and not just explicitly stated step by step the better.

Anyone too lazy to play the tutorial for themselves probably isn't going to play anything else either. Or get out of bed in the morning. 
 
It took me ages to find the new music and it certainly better than the last attempt. This is the first of a new set of video's to replace the old stuff I had before which has not aged well.

Personally I thought the less messages were better but I knew exactly what to do, so I never really needed any explanations. From watching demo's and various email feedback I think the extra text is better for people new to the concept of stealth. The messages only appear if you move around and do things different, I tried to make the text react to what the player is doing.

It is certainly a learning process trying to create video's with the right balance of information, action and not making things look too easy. 
It's Good 
That you take the feedback so seriously.

I realise we here are a more hardcore audience. 
Sock 
finished it, awesome stuff! very inspiring gameplay and most of all texture choice and atmosphere!

here're the demos: http://vondur.net/files/shadow.7z 
Sock 
You get 21/20 for the map just for the brushwork and texture job. Those arches are stunning. Really inspired construction. 
New Video 
Another game play video, this time on S1M1 featuring lots of tricks, tips and sudden deaths!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxbWypUlQQg

@ijed, I always listen to feedback, it makes my stuff better!
@vondur, you are star, thank you very much :)
@RickyT23, thanks, did you try stealth mode? 
 
I watched it, and while I do know everything about how it works, I think the new messages make everything clear. Sometimes it's not always clear on why a monster wakes up unless you understand all the rules. Explaining why the one ogre woke up when you stood in front of it is, while maybe a bit verbose, explains the basics on the system well. 
What Necros Said 
The further messages, and also the page you wrote on moddb, really help drive some of the concepts home. 
Final Video 
The last one in the set of gameplay videos showing hints, tips and sudden death moments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jApMw5hcKBk

It took me ages to plan the routes, enemy encounters and then finally syncing it all to music to make the right impact. Some of the sequences I probably played 50+ times to get the perfect demo but it was worth it in the end. I played a lot with poison bolts in the gameplay videos and it turned out to be a lot of fun, I might try a poison bolt only mode (no axe) and see how it works out.

Anyway thanks everyone for the feedback so far it has been awesome. Its shame some regulars here did not reply but I am sure they have their reasons. Time to get back to making stuff and not constantly waffle in this thread! 
 
That was cool. :) I never really thought of playing it at such a fast pace. You must have been laughing at how long it took me to get through the levels. ^_^; 
Sock 
honestly, time is the only reason at the moment, just bought a place and so thats kept me busy.

Havent played tronyn's map either yet. OR his previous arcextra ones. 
 
@nitin, its fine I do understand that everyone has life stuff to do, I was simply expressing my disappointment that's all. I thought after so many years of hanging out at this place and finally making some Q1 content that the regulars here would be more vocal. Oh well time to get some chill pills! :) 
 
@necros, I made these extra video's because I keep seeing people in demo's not doing any advanced stuff like firing bolts and ducking behind corners. I am not sure why nobody uses this trick because it allows the higher stealth skill levels to become easier. Totally out of ideas of what to do, besides make more video's! 
 
Half of the stuff in those videos I didn't even consider doing... It almost felt like a speedrun at times! 
 
@necros, after seeing the video would you go back to the levels and try them differently? Does the video make you curious to try different things? or would you not bother until a new version came out? 
Random Thought 
I think one aspect that is confusing with poison is the ambiguous color scheme. For visibility the green icon means the monster cannot see me, red means "bad, be careful now". for killing with poison the green means "wait" and red means "good, kill now". 
 
I'm in a little bit different position, I think. I've played your maps dozens of times now so I'm kind of bored of the gameplay at this point. If you had new maps, yeah, I'd probably try the move a little quicker and be more 'daring' in how I approached situations. 
Standalone Quake 
Part of the problem of trying to pimp a Quake MOD is that very few people actually have the game anymore. I know a large portion of the original assets are in the shareware version.

I have been doing some tests and I am very close to replacing all of the assets from the bought version of Quake with my own assets. I have done some tests of my MOD + shareware assets + custom engine and it works!

In theory I can distribute my MOD with a modified engine + shareware pak file and more people can play it. Is this a good idea? Is it likely I will get ID lawyers beating my door down in the middle of the night?

@metlslime, Can I distribute your engine+readme file in a final zip for people to play my MOD? 
 
The shareware license does not allow that. Sorry. :( It sucks!

id Software does not care the slightest bit though. Also you could probably just have your users download the shareware by hand. A certain website is actually luring people into believing that Quake is free and they have a repacked shareware that is easy to install. So while morally wrong, I'd say go ahead.

Fitzquake you can take without even asking though, you would just need to be ready to provide the source code to the specific exe you shipped plus you must make clear that it is GPL. That's the power of free software to you. :) 
We've Got 
The same issue. We've got the name and legacy code left and for ease of testing right now we've removed any dependency on the Quake folder itself and run standalone.

For a game that's over ten years old I doubt they'll send hitmen after us, but as Spirit suggests 'it's nice to be nice' so we'll have to come up with some sort of solution.

A message saying 'buy Quake' probably isn't enough. Re-adding the dependency on the shareware version seems cack-handed though. 
Shareware 
I downloaded the shareware from the ID site and it won't even install under Win7!?! Which really is annoying. This is why I was going to take the shareware pak and ID readme docs and put them in a separate zip for people to install.

I know Quake one ( http://quakeone.com/freequake/en.html ) have made a shareware installer with all the assets and they seem to be getting away with it.

I certainly will not be charging any money for my MOD now or in the future so this is not about money but what is morally right or not rude to ID. I was thinking about contacting ID but I get the feeling I might be ignored because it is a sensitive copyright issue. 
Ignored At Best :) 
They have a team of lawyers who have to justify their salaries.

A shareware installer... that sounds like the most reasonable solution. 
To Clarify 
We're not making any money off modding either.

And while I doubt that id's legal team would actually sue a modder, I wouldn't put it beyond them to send out a cease and desist.

And if that happens you're basically playing chicken with a landslide. 
I Got A Reply! 
I can understand why people love JohnC so much, I emailed him and he replied! :) You can re-distribute the shareware content inside of your installer but it has to be ALL of the shareware content.

I don't mind doing that, at least then people can play my MOD. All shareware content + MOD + custom engine means I can get a lot more people interested in Quake goodness!

I also emailed JohnR a couple weeks ago, no reply, really good way to piss fans off, ignoring them! >:( 
Wow 
Nice to be proven wrong :)

Thanks. 
 
wow, that is quite orthogonal to the original license. Can you share what you asked and his reply verbatim? Being able to base stuff on the shareware and distribute mods that do so standalone would be a small revolution.

I think bethesda owns quake now though, so jc can only give the moral ok, not the legal one. I would not worry about any sueing, worst thing would be DMCA or a cease & desist. Not the end of the world.

John Romero has no saying in this since he is not with id anymore. Maybe you depressed him ;) Usually he is fairly quick (quicker than me...) to respond to mails. maybe yours simply was overlooked. 
Also 
That's a fast reply!

I'll think twice before badmouthing id again. 
Fan Service 
@Spirit, I am going to ask JohnC if he mind me quoting his mail first, I don't want to upset him by just quoting without asking.

I know most people think I am bonkers around here but I think my MOD is good enough to pimp on a news website. So I sent mails to websites (RockPaperShotgun, Destructoid, EatSleepGame) and some developers. I even sent a second mail from my gmail address just in case there was filtering problems with my hotmail address.

Got nothing back, I was really disappointed. :(

I emailed JohnR twice a couple of weeks ago. I asked him to check my MOD screenshot/video web page and let me know what he thought. He is always posting stuff on his website lamenting the days of Quake goodness. Sadly I got no reply, nothing, not even an automatic 'thank you'. Ignoring fans is the worst thing you can do.

@ijed, ID are really good with emails and responing to fans. Most companies just ignore fans because they are afraid of being misquoted or fear of legal problems. 
Sock 
<gay>You are such a great guy, you know that? Pretty much everything you say shows so much consideration and respect and thought. Yet you are honest and open (see your awesome QF feedback at I3D). You rock!</gay>

When I wrote that request, I thought about the problem of making a private exchange public. Sadly many people don't.

This mod (or hopefully soon "game") definitely is of such high quality that a site like RPS might feature it. Having it installable without any hurdles would go a long way there I think. 
JR 
Try Twitter maybe?

I would assume he and the other guys receive(d) so many fan messages, most of them likely junk, that ignoring is a healthy reflex. 
 
@spirit, exactly, this is what I am trying to achieve. I want to get this MOD in to the hands of people who don't have Quake yet and if they enjoy playing ITS then hopefully they will buy the full game and try more community content.

@negke, how is twitter any different from any other form of electronic contact? I get the impression he is too busy to reply to me regardless of how I contact him. I was annoyed about it, but not anymore :) 
 
have you tested if it works under shareware? afaik, you can do this my removing the pak1.pak

you cannot run mods under the shareware engine (you get an error message: "You must have the reigstered version to use modified games") 
 
The fitz/MarkV engine checks that the pak0 has certain amount of files and a crc check. Plus it checks for the gfx/pop.lmp file which has to be in a certain format. This can be disabled and the engine exe re-compiled. Not all engines do this check, some have removed it.

As long as I am not using any registered assets then nothing is going wrong. The MOD will not run on the original engine so it has to have a custom engine. Compiling an unique version of Fitz for this MOD is possible because the engine has been released under GPL. 
So 
How goes the mod? :)

Got another request;

Can you make the volume of the player sounds at half while invisible?

It'd be nice to have additional idle sounds for the other enemies as well, not just the knights. 
Another One 
Can you make it so the weaponswitch doesn't activate when picking up poison bolts - they're extremely precious, but I always end up wasting one after picking some up because I don't notice the bolt colour change - even though it takes up a load of screen space.

Not colour blind, but that might be something to bear in mind as well. 
Slow Progress 
I got sidetracked with replacing lots of the original assets. I have new runes, medieval keys and all monster/player projectiles properly skinned and setup with better models. If anyone wants to use these, just let me know. I am working with necros to create a new monster so that I can reach the point where I only need the shareware version of the game.

The latest version of the mod does not auto-switch to poison bolts (only exception is the tutorial) because I saw lots of people wasting the bolts in demos. I should do something about the crossbow player model, it is indeed stupidly large and low texture quality.

A few people have said the mod is shallow and to a certain extent, yes it is. I think this comes from the gameplay not having enough variety. I am thinking about creating more stealth weapons and tricks for the player to use.

I got some lovely feedback over at mapcore about the problem that people don't realize the player is invisible and I am planning to change the alpha of weapons to show the player state. I wish I could enable the IT_INVISIBLE flag on the player but the engine code hides all the weapon for some reason and it is dumb not be able to see what weapon is selected.

I also got side tracked with creating a stealth version of E1M3 and then realized that would be a stupid idea, I should create my own stuff instead. 
AI Idle 
Someone suggested that the idle sound of monsters be linked to the stealth eye so if the AI thinks something is wrong they make a different idle sound. The problem is trying to create good idle sounds that are similar in style to the originals and extend the AI in a logical way.

I certainly agree, I need to add more idle sounds for sure. The last version did add more for the shambler, but this monster is not used enough for players to really notice unfortunately. 
Hm 
I was actually going to mention more stuff for the player, but didn't want to step on whatever you're already doing.

Ah, why not, you can always disregard it :)

Idea: A fire bomb weapon. Just as rare as the poison boots, but only useful defensively. Makes a fire explosion for small damage that distracts a hit monster from whatever it's doing (even chasing the player) and makes it panic for a short while until the flames extinguish.

The flames could last for a short while and ignited monsters could seek water, although both of those would create ai dependencies.

It could also work as a 'super distractor' making even patrolling monsters stop and look.

As to all the micro tasks, yes, there's always a lot. But it'll all be worth it. 
 
Not that need to tell you that. 
Final Re-post 
That's 'bolts', not 'boots'.

Although that would be awesome, I'm sure. 
 
I never disregard feedback, infact I want more! It always leads to more ideas and that is exactly what I want this mod to have.

You are not the first to mention having a one shot weapon (like one shot per level) My only concern is that it could make things easier.

Someone at 3Dinside suggested flash bombs. The player is cornered and needs to escape, drop a flash bomb to the ground and instantly the amulet is enabled and the player has a couple of seconds to get out of range of any nearby enemies.

I would love to implement floor traps, the player can lay them in the path of patrolling AI and they have various functions like disorientate, injury and poison. 
 
oh man traps would be the ultimate badassery and really plays up the planning. you could draw monsters in or use them as failsafes... i love it!

but it should take time to set and the player should be visible or something to add to tension. :) 
 
hm, to append:

i'd like a trap that disables a monster for a period of time, but otherwise does not activate them to help with 0% kill runs. 
Bear Trap? 
It shouldn't make you visible though, if you're trying to set it in a patrolling monster's path that'd be annoying.

It should take a few seconds to prime though. And be dangerous to the player when set. 
 
I had the idea of sprite rune on the floor with particle effects showing how they are working. The player has to spend a couple of seconds putting them on the ground with the chance to be discovered if the AI are close. Eventually the trap expires and is no longer a threat.

Maybe it could be made harder that any AI standing around has to be turned first before the trap is put on the ground otherwise the player is discovered. 
 
I have been playing the later episodes of Quake recently and one thing that always makes me smile is the level traps. I remember when I played DukeNukem many years ago I just loved the laser trip mines and would spend ages setting up traps with them for AI. 
Something 
Crude mechanics feels like it fits the player identity better though. The amulet they're just borrowing, most of the work is still done with crossbow and axe...

Magical stuff could open up much more complex dynamics, like swapping your position and orientation with a targeted monster, or slowing the passage of time... 
On The Shelf 
Making this MOD has always been about a labour of love for me but regardless of how much I enjoy doing this, the reality is it cannot be sustained as a full time exercise.

My original idea for this project was to produce a high quality demo to spearhead a Kickstarter campaign to pay for my time to make more content. I am sure most people are going WTF this is a MOD, you can't sell this stuff!

MODs have traditionally been about free stuff, but I thought that people would love to see new content professional done for Quake and the idea of the Kickstarter campaign would be about paying for my time, not selling finished content. The plan was to let backers influence content like for example adding extra routes and secrets to the developing maps. The final release was going to be free, it was the process of creation that was going to benefit.

I spent a very long time creating new content, especially a lot of work was done with the AI because the original AI are "dumb as bricks", but I seriously underestimated how small the Quake community is, it is more like an extended family than a large fanbase.

I decided to give the idea one last shot with a MODdb page which I pimped non-stop for a month but that just highlighted how few people have the game or willing to buy it. Probably the lowest point was emailing lots of internet news/magazine sites and getting absolutely no interest. I thought it was a quake thing (game over 15 years old and not looking like the latest GFX candy) but this is not the case, they do report quake news but not this MOD.

Sadly financial pressures insist I move on to other projects and this means that this MOD is finished, the released demo is the final release.

I do plan to release the source materials for this project but I need to sort through it first. I hope everyone who downloaded the MOD had some fun with it and maybe people will like stealth games a little more in the future! 
Sock 
what sort of amounts are we talking about? 
Are There 
Dev tools / documentation / source code available?

I can definitely see people wanting to experiment with what you've built. 
 
I'm sorry to see you decide to stop working on the mod Simon. I understand the pull between 'work for love' and 'work for profit', especially with Quake stuff.

My suggestion to you is to just put the mod on hold, find something for financial stability... and then come back and poke away at it again as a hobby project on the side.

Like you said, the Quake community is more of an extended family at this point rather than a large thriving community... but this extended family understands that everything it gets are works of love and are rarely the first priority of the designers. I think everyone is ridiculously impressed by just the demo you've released, it's far and away beyond anything seen in the community in terms of polish and skill... if it's several more years until more comes, it'll still be loved and appreciated. 
Rambling Ahead 
I found myself not motivated or even urged to replay this and I wonder why since I by all means think it is fantastic. does anyone else share this? any idea why?

I think I would like some treasures and gold and stuff. a more roguelike setup in a way. or story driven missions. here "reach the end of the level" is boring for me. it feels void of purpose. playing usually is filled with small frustrations (waking up monsters, having to retreat), maybe that is why I need a purpose here (compared to a quake map where I do not miss that (though it can be the icing on the atmosphere czage)).

--------

for the public you definitely need a "run this exe and you are set" setup. having to point it to the quake directory is ok, having to fuck with the commandline is not. quake is so damn user un-friendly by modern standards.

the remaining "hardcore" quake community is missing people who advertise stuff outside our little inbred circle jerk. the majority of those who do and the majority of happy recipients seem to want just quake with blingbling. I did some publicity forum threads for new q1sp releases but it was not rewarding so I stopped. I am now poster for the big quake group on Facebook so that's where I will focus from now on. that IS rewarding like 10 years ago. but the same applies, if it is not consumable/hooking after a second the fallout(?) is massive.

for getting bigger sites interested I think it is great to have progression threads at sites like tigsource or polycount. where people get hyped and hype themselves. if I was an editor I would probably have many things already on my Todo list or things I myself want to check out (just like I do with that certain quake website). if someone sends me a mail about his "awesome mod" I would not feel too interested if I never heard about it before. if I would see some massive public interest however, sure, I should check it out. hen and egg problem... :( on the other hand pc gamer featured that particular "cinematic" quake re-sound mod so sometimes it happens. maybe one has to play contacts. :((

seeing the awesome webgl port I am thinking that I will probably try to host that for more supported maps/mods. we need more DOers. imagine sending people to something like that instead of a zip (ugh!) with a readme (ugh ugh!) in it. 
 
@nitin, thousands and it is not possible with the current size of the Quake community.

@ijed, It will probably be a large zip file of stuff. I can't imagine anyone here will find much use for it because I re-wrote most of the QC (new file structure and layout) and the maps are in GTK format. (I got the impression most people here are WC)

@scampie, thanks for the support but this is the final nail in the coffin for this project. Quake is indeed dead memories, hardly anyone owns the game anymore and new players certainly don't want to buy it. (you can hardly blame anyone for that either)

@spirit, that is an interesting point, the more I changed of the game the more people expected of it. Quake is a old game at heart and the appeal is mostly about the simple pleasures of raw combat. 
Right 
thats much more than I was thinking.

One question, and I cant comment since I havent really had time to get to it yet, what happened to your thoughts around distributing with an exe and content so that it could be standalone?

Not sure it will get you what you were after in terms of a Kickstarter but surely more interest? 
No Shareware 
@nitin, I tried the idea of using the shareware quake to create a independent version of the game but the shareware license is strict, no custom content can be run with the shareware assets.

I plan to do my final release (couple of weeks time) and include a custom engine for people to run it with. Hopefully it will be the MarkV because it is the easiest to run and install. The latest version also works perfectly with the shareware version of Quake but I am not going to get involved with distributing the shareware version.

Also if anyone has a steam account, please go to the steam page below and give a rating, it will help with the visibility on the Quake portal page on steam.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=128234918 
@ijed 
We've got the name and legacy code left and for ease of testing right now we've removed any dependency on the Quake folder itself and run standalone.

This made me go "eep, eep, eep" because of Beth/Z C&D possibility that I estimate to be very real. IMO that is a dangerous road.

Why don't you (and Sock) go the way of Scout's Journey (or Nexuiz/Xonotic)? Properly remove all dependancies by going 100% original / GPL content. This means textures, models, sounds etc. from scratch of course, no more modified / remade Quake assets.

I know Sock can make his own assets, and so can the Schism team. I guess the problem then becomes "it's not Quake" though, because your new assets cannot look too much like Quake assets to avoid C&D.

SJ is lucky in that it doesn't need to be Quake. If your project is meant to visually resemble Quake, then IMHO you can't be standalone.

So yeah, there's the dilemma with having to require Quake for legal reasons but on the other hand no one owning the damn game or giving enough of a shit to buy it.

Quake mods live between a rock and a hard place. 
@Sock 
Just finish it as a noncommercial project, no matter how long it takes. I mean other people here are also doing mods without kickstarters. It is good and deserves to live. I'd hate to see a product of good craftsmanship die. And I can appreciate craftsmanship even if I don't really love Quake anymore. 
 
He said somewhere that he wants it to be in the Quake universe (I3D probably).

Recreating all the content on a high quality level and consistent style would require massive funding. No idea about Scout's Journey but Xonotic is a visual mess and at least to me not appealing. I cannot think of any free standalone fan-made FPS with great visuals at the moment. :(

Not to mention having to come up with amazing designs like the fiend, vore or shambler in the first place. 
Target Audience 
Quake mods live between a rock and a hard place.

I totally agree with statement, at times I feel like I have gone down the same road as RMQ and hit exactly the same hurdles trying to get people interested in something I have created.

I honestly thought the shareware version would be a cool way to get people back to Quake and interested enough to buy the game but the shareware game is license locked, no custom content allowed.

A friend of mine told me I should find my target audience and suggested I look at the Quake Steam page because apparently it is extremely popular when on sale. I bought steam quake a while ago but rarely use it because it is extremely difficult to run with any custom content! This does make me laugh, one of the founding fathers of mod games Quake on steam and it does not work with mods, how ironic! :)

If anything I have learnt one very valuable lesson from this, understand what the target audience is and find a way to contact them. If the target audience is too small or not interested then move on. 
 
Good luck Sock, with whatever you do. 
Aw 
at times I feel like I have gone down the same road as RMQ

Don't beat yourself down like that! 
Gb 
It's just the code (and only a small part of it) that's still legacy - all other assets are either replaced or going to be.

If we wanted to be dishonest then we could just not mention about its origins and slap a price tag on it, in theory.

Interesting that Steam isn't enabling Q1 mods. There are also sanctioned mods for Source (Gary's mod comes to mind) that users pay for.

Have you tried emailing Valve Sock? You never know, maybe they'll be open to suggestions.

Not sure where id would stand - but you've already got a line of communication with Carmack.

Maybe worth a shot?

RMQ was a full sized game with a full sized team - and nobody being paid. So yeah, it's evolution and eventual stalling were an atypical tale.

Won't stop us from making Schism though, we've learned a lot from the mistakes there. And have a ton of content left over as well, which helps. 
Shadows Poison Tutorial Bug? 
Hey so I played through this before using Fitzquake Mark V, some version before the poison infighting tutorial was added (I think).

Since you recommended DarkPlaces in the Steam guide I thought I would give that a try. Fresh setup, started a new game on Hard. When I got to the poison infighting tutorial the scrag & hell knight would not attack each other.

Ran back through to get a demo: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11690738/temp/nojoy.zip 
 
@JL, Not sure what is going wrong there, I will have to test it more. The Wizard and HKnight certainly don't want to attack each other, but poison infighting does work, I did a run through of S1M1.

I have other bugs with DP, original Quake skies don't work, noclip will not fly up or down, have to use swim up/down. 
 
I have other bugs with DP, original Quake skies don't work, noclip will not fly up or down, have to use swim up/down.

given how advanced DP is in almost all other departments i'm amazed LH hasn't fixed this yet 
Very Sad To Hear 
I was really looking forward to the main maps.
Regardless - what's been done so far is awesome in every way and certainly one of the highlights of custom Quake. Just most unfortunate that you became a victim of false expectations - indeed, there simply isn't such a big player base for Quake stuff, but this shouldn't have come as a surprise. I do think there are more people than one would imagine (judging from the download numbers at Quaddicted), but for the most part they are a silent majority who never comment. Even here and in the other established "community" forums, often half of everybody can't be bothered to give feedback including regulars even if they've played the maps.
Not sure about this whole accessiblity thing and if it would really make that much of a difference. Something to make it easier like the Quake Injector is neat, except I doubt it can have any revolutionary or rejuvenating effects in the long run. Not to mention the people running the show are slowly but steadily losing interest unfortunately.

Admittedly, the kickstarter idea was pretty naive given this context, but even without knowing the current state of things, I think there's no way such a project would have succeeded anyway. After all, it's "just a mod" for a "17 year-old game", not something big and prestigeous like Black Mesa Source or the like.

Personally, I feel I maybe could have done more to support your course. I did mention ITS in a Quaddicted news post and also in the Q1SP thread in the Steam forums, but not as exclusive (individual threads) as it would have been possible. I even tried to contact Badboy to tell him to post about on quake.de, but on IRC and not email. The release did reach the usual places, just not farther beyond.

At any rate, it's a great work despite everything and it was fun testing it. I hope there's still a chance that some day you'll feel an itch to do some Quake work again, and reconsider doing one or both of the main maps as a hobby sideproject.

As for the bugs in DP, I assume by "skies don't work" you mean that it doesn't remove the shots? That's something I kind of made LH aware of not long ago and it may be fixed already - try the latest autobuild. The noclip behavior is the same as standard Quake - only Fitzquake and forks feature 'free' noclip movement. I prefer the latter myself, it's more user-(well, developer-)friendly, but it's not something in need of fixing per se. 
 
I looked at the beginning of S1M1 a few times in DP, and the sky was either a solid gray or a solid purple.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11690738/temp/shadows20130221155413-00.jpg

I was assuming that's what sock was talking about. 
 
@JL, yeah that is the skybox bug with DP. I suspect I need to download the latest (experimental) build. I don't enjoy developing with the DP engine and I plan to keep using Fitz/MarkV instead. The Steam guide is offline until I update it for a different engine.
@negke, sorry for the disappointment. 
Fogged Sky 
Perhaps the sky is hidden by the fog? You can use the fog end distance to add a cutoff, otherwise it will increase to infinity, and thus solid color sky.

Try the fog command and set more parameters, then put that same set of parameters in the "fog" key in worldspawn and it will take effect, you can also do this in a .ent file (sv_saveentfile and then edit it to taste). 
 
Yep removing the fog ("fog 0 0 0 0") revealed the sky. 
Logical Step Would Be 
to go standalone game. But then you would need a team to make all-new content and much more time. 
Particle Setup 
How did you go about your particle field controls in ITS?

I've got an emission system implemented that can throw sprites, bsps and models, but was wondering about better particle controls.

The main thing I'm wondering about is movement - I can just attach particles to an otherwise invisible emission, but was wondering what method you used, and if it'd be cheaper / better / faster.


I have a function which spawns a particle emitter (from QC or map entities) which is controlled via field values. Once the particle style is something I like I convert it to a prefab so it can be re-used easily.

Particles in my mod are essentially start position, movement direction and time. Here is a list of parameters I use:

STYLE : Prefab Particle style number
NOISE1,2,3 : Particle sprite file location/name
HEIGHT : Particle frames to use
VIEW_OFS : Spawning particle offset (vector)
COUNT : Maximum particle count
HEALTH : Lifespan (seconds)
ANGLES : Velocity Direction (X/Y/Z)
MANGLE : Volume - Random range from center to spawn (positive value)
YAW_SPEED : Velocity rotation (Y Axis only)
TARGET : Entity to spawn particles around (STARTING POINT)
NOISE4 : Entity to spawn particles toward (END POINT)
FIXANGLE : 1 = random 2 = circular movement 3 = rotation
V_ANGLE : extra velocity range (need FIXANGLE to work)
SPEED : Particle movement type (8=NOCLIP, 6=GRAVITY, 10=BOUNCE)
IDEALPITCH : Working distance (checks players)
DELAY : Particle Spawn time
WAIT : Particle spawn time (randomness)
PAUSETIME : When not in range of player, use this think timer

All the particles going through one function which deals with where the particles start from (can be different than the emitter), how it moves (XYZ direction) and how long it lives.

The problem with my current implementation is the constant turn over of new particles being spawned. My next version will work from a limited bank of particles (using chain field) that are setup initially and are constantly re-used. This will allow for the mod to limit the maximum amount of particles used for slower systems.

I highly recommend any particle emitter checks for the player location and adjust particle spawn rate. There is no point having active particle emitters if the player is not around to see them. 
Thanks 
That's interesting stuff. Essentially I need to extend my current 'effects' field to use a selection of particle types.

Most likely I'll make it two fields, one for colour and the other for size, with the additional controls of speed and so on being managed by the emission controls that already exist.

Currently I have point and volume emitter types, with additional volume 'effectors' which allow me to change the relative values of a given emission (gravity, velocity etc) or just remove them.

I can see the value of a target entity though. It's easy to see how that could be used to produce some cool looking effects, like particles being sucked into a teleport volume.

I'm using the extras mod particles as a base.

Pausetime looks useful as well - there are instances where the particle field is visible but far away.

In terms of a control to allow such expensive effects to run on low end machines or laptops without crippling the FPS I was considering a 'budget' system.

Having a single pool of total particles as you mention sounds tricky, for me at least. I'm not a particularly good coder so have to use more simplistic approaches.

The one I've been thinking of is to detect the FPS, and if it drops below 30 (or whatever is the desired value) then all particle systems would halve their output. For lower FPS's they'd lower the output further, checking once per second or so to not slow things down further.

It'll be a pretty rough and ready way of doing things, an improvement could be setting a priority for different particle effects, with purely decorative or far from any client effects being more aggressively optimised as FPS is affected. So eliminating unseen but used particles as you suggest.

Right now I'm thinking of some custom weapon and monster attack effects, presets for certain effect types like teleporters, torch smoke, force fields and a few others.

I liked the methods you used in ITS a lot for leading the player eye and highlighting important items. I see these as custom map elements as opposed to global presets, so will have a think on how best to implement them.

Probably the emission system I've already got with the improved particle controls will do the trick. 
 
I recommend you limit the particles from demo files by marking them in some way that your engine ignores them. Particle movement/creation bloats demo files really bad, which is a shame because they are handy for highlighting events and making the world feel more alive.

I tried to use particles to lead the player especially if there is an items that I want the player to notice. (example s1m2 - YA) It is really tempting to add loads of particles to everything but sometimes less is more visually like for example torches.

Initially I experimented with particles changing vector/direction during their life time but you can get better effects with particles in linear lines with variable time instead.

I recommend you create a good base of particle sprites (colour/shape/size) because they can be mixed together to create interesting effects.

Here is an example of torch effect I used:
else if (self.style == PARTICLE_STYLE_TORCH) {
self.noise = PART_TORCH1; // Embers - Red/Yellow
self.noise1 = PART_DOTSML_GOLD;
self.noise2 = PART_DOTSML_GREY;
self.cnt = 3; // Total particle types
self.height = 1; // All
self.view_ofs = '0 0 0'; // Bottom of flame
self.count = 8; // Should be active when close
self.health = 2; // Short Life
self.angles = '0 0 10'; // Fly up
self.mangle = '1 1 0'; // Volume (X/Y/Z)
self.v_angle = '4 4 0'; // Slight wobble
self.idealpitch = 384; // Close range distance
self.speed = MOVETYPE_NOCLIP; // No world interaction
self.delay = 0.25; // Frequent (runs all the time)
self.wait = 0.25; // Spawn rate randomness
self.pausetime = 8; // High timer
}

Probably the most important part is the pausetime and idealpitch fields because this makes sure that the particle emitter is not producing particles unless close to the player. In a medium sized map that can make a big difference and only checking the emitter every 8s + random offset, will not strain combat. Plus if a player is in an area longer than 8s then they are looking for something and they are more likely to notice the particles. 
Ok Finally Intend To Play This 
fitz 085 is the recommended engine? 
 
actually it's better with baker's mk5, otherwise centerprint messages get cut off. 
Ok Cool 
thanks necros 
Fitz085 Works Just Fine Too 
The centerprints are cut off in Quakespasm. 
State Of Engines 
Fitz 0.85 - fully works, no problems (baseline engine test)
Mark V - latest version works, previous had light issues
FTE - Supports all features (good unix client)
Qrack - Need latest client, supports all features
Super8 - latest version has better lighting range

** Quake Engines NOT recommended **
Quakespasm - truncates all book text, not tested
DP - Has QC and fog issues, will be fixed later
RMQ - not tested

@nitin, if you have a chance please record a demo, I would love to see your first playthrough only. 
Sock 
will try, never done it before though. 
 
My first play demo from start map. Nothing special in this demo.
http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/shadows_a01.zip 
Ankh 
Thanks for the demo, you showed me a couple more bugs (demon at the beginning, tutorial section). Was there anything you felt was too confusing? Also why did you walk across the room to open the silver key door? Why pick the right and not the left?

If you don't like the stealth system the later maps (s1m1,s1m2) can be played without the amulet. Any feedback on their monster/item layout would be awesome.

I really need to make the amulet mechanic easier (visually) to understand when it is active and not. Hopefully my new start map will make the training area easier and iron out some of the bugs of the previous version. 
Some Comments 
s1m1 demo, skill: 2, first play, with some comments

http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/s1m1_a01.zip

Cool map, very good looking. I liked that it wasn't that big. I would welcome some more variety in the monster mix. Too many knights.
The HK sword looks cool.

About the start map demo/questions:
Confusing things:
- I have tried to turn pages in the book which was part 1 of 12
- wasn't sure when the amulet was working

I chose the other door because I just wanted to check if it looks any different from the first one. It wasn't so I went that way.

The training with the first ogre was interfered with other monsters that somehow got into the level. I would want some peace there :) 
Ankh 
Thanks for the demo of S1M1, everything went as planned, plus you seem to have some fun with the fiends chasing you around.

I need to fix the amulet in the next release so it is easier to understand, at the moment there is no real visual/sound clues. Probably be best if I create a new weapon model with different skins to show the timer (5s).

The stealth training area has been moved to a new map so it will be easier to play and understand. The Temple of Swords map is going to be different, need to expand the areas and fill in the gaps.

The silver key doors at the beginning of the start map do change the map layout/items/ai depending on which one you choose but it is not obvious at first.

Did you have a chance to play S1M2? 
Sure 
Two more demos

s1m2, skill 2, first play:
http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/s1m2_a01.zip

s1m1, failed attempt to use the amulet:
http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/s1m1_s1.zip 
Ankh 
Thanks for the demo's they were awesome to watch and I especially enjoyed watching your stealth run. I got the impression you were not sure what to do and did not realize you had the crossbow. Would it have been easier if the crossbow was the default weapon to start with?

I assumed you enjoyed your stroll through S1M2? It was an interesting route you took and most of the AI seem to know how to path to you, which is always a bonus! :D 
New And Remade Assets For The Next Release 
Awesome 
... can't wait to play the next release. I had a feeling you wouldn't be able to stay away from it too long! (regarding the kickstarter, it wouldn't be unheard of if you made one anyway and see if it generated interest... that's how I thought they were supposed to work anyway, I reckon people would pay for a whole new mission pack or something like that). 
Wow 
Though don't you think you're gradually going overboard with the awesomeness...? 
 
I think I see someone who should head up a "Remake Quake" project. :P 
Sock 
dammit! for your own motivation :P
http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?board=27.0
http://www.polycount.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=42


I would also post in gaming website/magazine forums in hopes that they might feature you as "one of our community members does something great". 
 
Amazing stuff, the hammer knight looks particularly badass. I'm really glad you are sticking with your project. 
And As Random Motivation 
~3.500 people saw https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150278772294971 within the last hour. :) 
 
s1m1 silent second try.
this time easy skill and I have managed to get to the end.
http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/s1m1_s2.zip
In the first demo I wasn't aware I had the crossbow with me. For me it would be better to have separate keys for the weapons.

I have rewatched my demo of s1m2. This is a truly awesome map. Great interconnectivity and route possibilities. Also it looks amazingly good. I had lots of fun playing it. 
Awesome! 
Seriously sock, those are some of the very best add-on models I've seen for the original Quake. As always, great work. 
Ah Willem 
You're a card. 
The Ogre 
Mix-Knights are great - the meat-tenderiser is probably my favourite. Reminds me of the Q2 Berserker with the knockback melee behaviour. 
Err 
that is utterly brilliant stuff. How far off is the new release? 
You Went To All That Trouble... 
 
ijed, no offense intended, honestly. But that IS what I'd love to see ... someone with sock's skill set remodel and retexture the original game. It would be amazing. 
Feedback 
@negke, oh is there an awesomeness limit!?!

@spirit, I get the impression TigSource is about indie devs and engines, not mods and polycount is certainly all about high end gfx candy only. I will send emails to news sites once I have the next version ready. Thanks for the facebook link, it is good to know there are plenty of quake fans around. :)

@skacky, I am glad you like it, the next update of the MOD has a ton of extra sounds for stealth runs.

@Ankh, I am glad you tried the map on a lower skill level, it is the perfect way to learn the stealth system. I watched your new demo and it was very tense, in a good way. I got the impression that when the AI were turned it was not easy to understand when they could be backstab. Would it better if you could see stealth helpers like this and this?

@ijed, I always imagined the ogres wanting to use blunt/mashing weapons like maces/hammers.

@erc, wow thank you, very nice compliment. Have you played the current demo?

@nitin, the next version will be at least month (maybe more) from being complete. There is still more assets to finish yet. 
Stealth Helper System 
Image 1Image 2

It could be toggled on/off via a console command or maybe it is on by default for easy skill level? Any thoughts? 
I Say 
On for easy, maybe auto triggered for training, then turned offin other skills? 
@sock 
I have played the original release, though I haven't checked out the updated release yet. I'll plan to do so in the upcoming weeks and record a few demos while doing it.

Even though the stealth system took some time getting used to (though not that much, since I enjoy and am pretty good at first person 'sneakers'), it was highly enjoyable and heavily atmospheric. I remember being struck in awe as I witnessed the smoothness and elegance of your brushes, and how all the elements are seamlessly woven together to form a perfect whole. What Willem has recently expressed was also on my mind at that time: if only this effort could have been taken further to give a proper facelift to all of the original episodes, then ITS would be the ultimate homage to the classic shooters of yesteryear - taking what has already laid down to the heart, emphasizing their greatest aspects, glorifying the whole low-poly artistic quality of them and refining the subtle mechanics behind it all to form an even better balance.

You are clearly a very talented artist and I salute you for all your efforts. I hope your work gets the appreciation it deserves from a wider audience. 
I Agree With Drew 
 
Np 
Was being touchy.

I get it as well, because it's what we wanted to do as well. The revamp, Schism, is more oldschool than RMQ became before it fell apart. This time we're pushing for focus, even though we're including a 'hirez' (like Q3 polycounts) treatment for the enemies.

For the ITS visibility arc helper, I agree with Drew as well.

How goes the progress? 
 
sock, I'm gonna hit you!

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=41232 warning, ~400 pages of awesomeness. 
 
I would absolutely want to play with the helper system on high skill levels. I always hoped for something like that (like in Commandos)!

Be aware that red and green are bad (in much varying amounts) for about 8% of males. Yellow/Orange and blue would be safe, might look bad though. If possible let them also adjust the transparency. It would look less good but be much easier to see with solid shapes. You can find nice helpful people to look at images and tell you what they see at https://pay.reddit.com/r/colorblind . http://colororacle.org/ is a great tool to simulate color blindnesses.

The safest way is to differentiate by lightness instead of hue. 
 
Playing around in Inkscape. Random doodles of Procrastination. That is simulated green and red blindness, about 1% of males have each. ~4.5% have green deficiencies. http://i.imgur.com/exzXqRm.jpg 
Err 
Why would care about this unless you're suffering from that condition yourself?!

As for the helper system, I think it's okay for a cheat code or even a powerup. If implemented as an option for easy skill that is permantly displayed, it's overkill imo. Better if it were to briefly appear and fade out again every time the eye distance symbol changes.

If this was by activated on all skill levels by default, however subtle, it would totally put me off the game. 
Going In Circles 
It seems everyone wants them for easy/training skill level and a toggle switch (console impulse command) for the other skill levels. I will add this to the next release, it certainly makes the stealth much easier to understand. Cool idea inspired by watching Ankh's demo's. :)

This is the reason I stress so much to people to take the time to record first playthrough demos. They are the best kind of feedback you can get for finding problems and fixing them.

@erc, thanks I did not realize you had played the first one. Once the initial learning curve is over the stealth system can become fun. When the player learns how to move mobs around with the distraction bolts then it feels like herding sheep! :)

@ijed, progress is slow, still got a large list of stuff to do. Did another pass on the QC and upgraded the particle system to work with a fixed bank of entities, much more robust and less memory fragmentation problems.

@spirit, I have never though about colour blindness and computer games before. There are large visual clues specifically designed to be red in Quake (shootable buttons) which must be difficult to understand. I can certainly do a second helper circle for colour blindness (using contrast) but not sure how I can let the player adjust the alpha from the console. I don't know how QC can take input values from the console. 
 
If this was by activated on all skill levels by default, however subtle, it would totally put me off the game.

I plan to enable the circle helper for easy skill level, dealing with training enemies or if the player enables the option via the console (impulse command). The default for skill normal, hard, nightmare will be off.

The idea for this feature is to get players comfortable with the stealth system so that when they ramp up the skill level it becomes a greater challenge. I really want players to understand and use the skill levels, I am strong believer in the benefits of skill levels in Quake. 
Spirit 
And a very small percentage of females as well.

most of my family are colourblind, including my sister - but I dodged the bullet. 
Negke, Because Empathy Is Good And Accessibility Is Nice? 
ijed, indeed! It's very rare for women though, I think even blue blindness is more common. Lucky you! 
Empathy Is The Wrong Word I Think 
 
 
Empathy for the .. 1 color blind person who MIGHT play this and appreciate the forethought? There's a time for catering to your audience and there's a time for getting on with it... IMO. 
Luminance Is Far More Important Than Color 
 
That Awkward Moment... 
When spirit mirrors your map even though it looks like complete garbage to him...
Yeah I used that color oracle program on my map and it looks totally butchered. Luckily one of the maps I'm working on looks pretty good under all the different circumstance, you might have to wait a while for that badboy though. 
I Am Normal Sighted, Color Vision Is Part Of My Research Though 
Don't worry about it looks all weird. These simulations are a) simulating the worst case and b) might not be too accurate and c) the actual "colors" that affected people see might be slightly different. Affected users are used to how things look!

You only need to worry about this (if you choose to) when you have things that are only "coded" by color. I.e. things that look identical and the only difference is color. Iirc the the buttons in Quake are fine in terms of being of obvious shape, but the on/off status of the base button might be problematic (can't remember really, it might just be fine thanks to lightness differences).

I only mentioned it here because sock's circle segments were exactly that (only the color codes the type) and the chosen colors were the dangerous ones.

Btw I do not care about the 1% of MacOS users or Internet Explorer. ;P 
Blue & Yellow FTW 
 
 
Lighting a map late at night is never a good idea, it just looks like a drunk hazy memory the next morning!

Image 1Image 2Image 3 
Holy Crap 
That looks brilliant 
Sock 
those screens look awesome!
Now i�m crawling under my bed, in vain. 
What Do You Drink Usually? 
Because I want some of it! 
Sock 
you are an asshole. 
Great Work! 
 
Latest Progress 
New Location, The Chapel of Saint Corthright Image 1Image 2

New player weapon model, The Shadow Axe Image 1
... with 5 sets of animations, 5 different skins to show amulet status, new swipe/amulet sounds and various blade particle effects. 
Cool 
I think the chapel courtyard could use some vegetation .mdls to accentuate the brushwork - which is spot on. Maybe the floor outside could be scabby grass as well?

Internally it's extremly neat and strong. The angle's a bit tricky but it seems like the red circular window will be a good focal point.

Does the knight stealth the player with that crossbow? I can imagine a poison version working like the HL2 poison headcrab...

The axe looks badass, nice and detailed but still rough and quakey, especially with the blood splatter. The lines suggest that it's throw-able, but maybe that's just me. 
@ijed 
I know it is going to sound crazy but the Chapel of Saint Corthright is just a test map for the AI and particle effects. I took various bits from all the other maps and mashed them together, which is probably why it looks familiar. It is a real shame that the fitz engines (0.85/MarkV) do not have alpha texture support. I suppose I could create vegetation models with the alpha flag enabled.

I like the idea of a poison bolt Death Archer, I will need to think about a new skin otherwise it will be impossible to tell at distance. It certainly would be cool to have the Black Crab game mechanic, it always creates tons of fear when fighting groups of enemies.

Haha, I never considered the new axe to be a throwing weapon! The axe is based on a model by Lunaran (lunsp2) which I took in a different direction. I wanted something that feels like Quake but new and different from the original Axe. Plus this new model does not take up huge amounts of central screen space which is good for when in stealth mode. 
Ah 
That internal area did look a bit like one in another map which had lightning shooters.

Don't know if you saw these:

http://tomeofpreach.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/vines/

Which work without alpha and are pretty versatile.

Maybe you could also raise / lower the axe v model depending on how close the player is to an enemy, or if they're in stealth mode or not? 
Alpha Textures Are Supported. 
You just begin the texture name with a curly brace... like {alpha.pcx or whatever. Also you need to use palette colour 255 (the pink one).

The images look excellent, I'm glad that you're still doing work on ITS because I am a huge fan of the Thief series (and, obviously, quake). The work you and others do thrills me so much I wish I was working on a full game with you and the other inspiring mappers on this board! 
Lol 
at that being a test map. you are crazy sock! 
 
@ijed, for organic stuff to really work it needs decals, texture blends and alpha support (I believe these features are limited to a few engines). I don't work with a specific Quake engine which is why I have avoided it. Broken or ruined architecture is a different matter.

@Fifth, I believe the curly bracket thing only works with specific engines, I have not seen it used with Fitz engines.

@Nitin, I have plenty of square box test maps, the second phase to AI testing is proper map architecture which is why I did this little mash up. I know it sounds crazy but it produces really good results for the AI. 
Fair Enough 
RMQe, FTE and I believe Dark Places are the engines with fence texture { support. 
Alpha Is Supported 
With fitz too.

Trust me. 
 
Alpha yes, but { textures not. 
Oriented Sprites 
If you want small amounts of engine-neutral alpha masked textures, and you're willing to bake the lighting into the texture manually, you can use the technique from the grates in Quoth. Add a sprite with flags set to Oriented instead of VP parallel and you've got a single face with alpha masking. It can be a bit entity-intensive if you need lots of faces, but I know that's one place where ITS is willing to push the envelope : - P 
 
preach, i seem to recall you had some really cool method of dynamically creating ground clutter with entities... did you ever finish work on that? it was really cool.
i know it required the array compiler extension though... was that what stopped you? 
Fat Sprites 
@Preach, the problem with sprites is they cannot be scaled and they are stupidly big if you want to do any fine detail. For my dot particles they are perfect but I still offer a polygon particle solution if people want it.

Organic plants need the ability of alpha textures, good lighting and easy scaling/rotation. The Fitz (+ code forks) engine does not offer any this as a single solution. You either have sprites which can be alpha textures and rotated but not scaled or models which can be lit and scaled but no alpha texture support.

If the Quake engine community could agree to fix this sprite/model issue then Quake levels could finally look semi organic. 
Apologies 
Sorry Sock, I wasn't reading your post in context and thought you were just interested in alpha textures in general. I suppose a decent way forward would be for fitzquake to support alpha channel tga textures on sprites, then you could create sprites with rubbish low-res fallbacks for very old engines and have proper high resolution tgas to replace them.

necros: It wasn't very automatic, it was just clever entity management behind the scenes. I'm still working on it, there might be some blog posts later in the year on one half of the technology - it's also useful for managing gibs, sprites, all those kinds of dynamic things - reducing the amount of packet overflow and keeping network traffic sane. The application to mapper-placed entities would be easier with arrays, yeah, but there's another way... 
 
Ah. I thought you guys meant alpha on bsp or brush entities. 
No Worries 
@Preach, no worries, I just wish there was an easier way to get all Quake engines to support a core set of features. I can understand why RMQ eventually decided to go with their own engine. For the moment I still want to support Fitz engines as much as possible.

When I released the new screenshots I was not expecting much of a reaction because it is not a huge impact thing (+weapon and test map) but I checked the stats for the MODdb page and was pleasantly surprised! A special thanks to spirit for pimping the link on facebook, it drew in a nice lump of traffic :) 
 
I just wish there was an easier way to get all Quake engines to support a core set of features

Winquake was last patched in like '97, so it may be too late for that.

This tongue-in-cheek post contains a kernel of truth... 
Transitions 
Been playing around with large brick to small brick transitions as the player goes deep nnderground to investigate the crypt ... 
 
technically, rmqe IS a fitz engine. :P
using fence/alphamasked textures will at least still run in any engine. if anything the use of the feature will encourage its adoption - so long as the engine is still maintained.
fence textures are required as a core part of halflife bsps, so any engine with support for that should also support fences.
its a pretty trivial feature to add to an engine (glEnable(GL_ALPHA_TEST), and replacing index 255 with a different alpha value), but you should generally ensure that you only use such textures on func_walls etc unless your qbsp explicitly supports them.

as a side note, hexen2 (and thus fte) does support certain .mdl flags for different alpha modes, which can allow alpha testing or paletted alpha, but its not well documented and will likely need tool tweeks to do it properly.
32768=blended without culling (some weird 4-bit palette with 4-bit alpha value, quite quite horrible and likely unsuited to quake's palette)
16384=alpha tested (palette 0 is transparent)
4096=blended (odd palette indicies are 50% transparent)

one thing I like about making features compatible with other engines/games is that you can blame other people for terrible apis. :P 
Looks Great! 
As per usual. 
Sock 
opening at top, is it possible to not make it square? Or at least not totally square and perhaps a diamond from the player's prespective? 
Inner Bricks 
Maybe make them a rougher / darker texture like rock4_1? 
 
using fence/alphamasked textures will at least still run in any engine. if anything the use of the feature will encourage its adoption - so long as the engine is still maintained
It would be awesome if QS/MarkV could support this feature, it would be a step in the right direction for mappers. :)

@nitin, the top is a large metal frame around a hanging grate (recently added). It should make more sense from above because that is where the player is coming from.

@ijed, yeah rock4_1 is an awesome texture, I will give that a try. 
Sock 
ok I see what you mean. I thought the map was going to be set inside and that was like a 'viewing window' opening. 
MarkV 
Just looked at the code. MarkV does already have fence texture support. So no excuses. :P 
I Told You So. 
It supports masked textures. You just name it with an open curly brace like in RMQ.
It doesn't support it on anything other than bsp though. I use it on brush entities (so you could make cobwebs and stuff for example). 
What I Want ... 
I don't think anyone understand what I am after. I want a model to have an alpha mask/texture, I am not interested in alpha texture for brushwork or sprites. Organic vegetation is really about models and the ability to have gradually faded edges. 
Yeah I Understood 
what you meant. If any engines support it on quake .mdl files then I have no idea which ones do. It would be great if they did though, foliage would be brilliant and you could make animated torn up flags like they have in Quake 3. 
Done! 
 
That's "just" sprites again :P 
XL 
 
Mdl Support 
Can you not just apply an external tga skin with an alpha channel to get selective transparency on a .mdl? Or have you tried that and had sorting issues occur? 
 
Don't forget fq doesn't support external skins. 
Latest Progress 
New location - Baramous Keep Start Crypt Entrance 
Good 
To see the zombie knight making his debut, and all the support you're getting through moddb.

Looking forward to the release :) 
 
Having a MODdb page is very good idea, it gives you a chance to spread the word and gives you a central location for news updates.

Got some more news about the MOD progress. If anyone here has played the MOD, please remember to vote on the Moddb page. 
 
This is fantastic stuff, sock! Keep it up! 
 
Sock, these screenshots are awesome! 
 
looks great. thought of including axe sound and animated HD explosions from Bastion/Marcher Fortress to your mod to make it even better? would be blast 
 
@Jaromir83, the sprites in Marcher are certainly amazing quality but I will need Kinn's permission to use them. I do like what he did with gibs, having multiple frames for different sizes. :) 
 
@sock, Ive asked him, I believe it would not be technical problem for u to include the stuff 
 
@Jaromir83, it seems you have had better luck than me, I too emailed Kinn but got no reply. I would love to add the sprites and gib stuff he did with Marcher, but unless I get an email reply from him I am not going to add it. 
Sock, Jaromir 
Sock - my procrastination does not discriminate. I hadn't replied to either you or jaromir up until today. Been balls-deep in work stuff :{ I have replied now though, so check your mails :} 
RPS Pimpin' Sock 
RPS Pimpage 
@Bal, I am totally surprised by this, it is the highlight of my week! :D 
That's 
Some good exposure, congrats! 
 
@Jaromir, I eventually got hold of Kinn and got a chance to see what he did with his gib QC and it is indeed an awesome feature. (Something I did not really notice when I played Marcher years ago) I created my own set of unique gibs and borrowed his sound assets and it works a treat.

The recent RPS exposure has been a real eye opener simply because of how many hits something like this can generate. Here is the stats for that day and it is off the chart. I got nothing like this at xmas and I was producing promotional content like crazy. The best news of all is that the author of the RPS article would like to see the next release! :) 
 
thousands of spectators, wow. I knew it will be no problem for you (with your modding skills) to include the features, great! 
DarkPlaces 
rtlights + liquid shaders = Pixel P0rn 
 
That's looking really nice 
You Should Try The Heightfog 
 
 
looks nice sock... what engine is this? 
Darkplaces 
 
 
@Spiney, cool idea but I will have to see if it is possible with fog triggers. That section of the map is very high and I do not want the rest of the map to have fog at that level.

@Fifth, it is the darkplaces engines. Lots of eye candy to play with! :) If you have any questions check quakeone or inside3d forums. 
I'll Check It Out... 
Though so far only directq seems to work with the surface pro due to the touchscreen. 
Heightfog 
Can be heightmapped with a texture I think, similair to terrain. I never tried that though. Fog triggers might be a nice way of doing it if it works. You might even try Q3 fog volume shaders, but I don't know if those work on Q1 bsp... 
 
So sock are you just experimenting, or are you taking a real run at making a map that is targetted at DarkPlaces?

I think it would be interesting to see a map that is designed from the get-go to take advantage of DP's features. I'm sure there are already some examples out there (anyone have recommendations?) but most of the uses of DarkPlaces features that I've seen have been attempts to retrofit new media/effects into environments that were designed for vanilla Quake. Fun to play around with for a bit but not real coherent. 
Just Candy 
@Johnny Law, this is just an eye candy layer for people who want to use the DP engine. I find the DP engine very slow on my computer and the new particle effects jarring compared to the Fitz engines. I like the DP engine because of the real time lighting, it is shame the shader support is so simple compared to Q3.

I am not sure it would be worth trying to create a map that is a DP only. I think it would be better to use a modern engine (UDK, cryengine) because the support community is better. I spend so long trying to find documentation for DP that it went beyond my frustration level. 
 
I think even an "eye candy layer" would be cool when it's designed by the person who made the environment. 
CandyTime 
A quick video showing the extra visual options of the Darkplaces engine; real time lighting, custom particles and various shader effects. 
Sock 
release this, my money is yours.
Man, this looks way more pornish than expected.
those Strudelteleports..
Would even pay for this to be released.!!! 
 
Looks hot!! 
Candybar Overdose 
@mfx, I love how the german language mashes words together! Strudelteleporter! :)

Shadowgate (S1M1) was the first test map I created for the mod and it seemed like a good place to start with my candy bar marathon.

Guard duty in the cave, a new beginning and an indoor slime pit! 
Why Would You Do This? 
 
 
@onetruepurple, do what? all the map still work perfectly fine in Fitz engines. This eye candy pass only works if the DP/FTE engine is being used. I want this mod to support more Quake engines with better specific content. 
Ah 
Keep buggering on then. 
 
I think the water looks too high res compared to the rest though 
It's Amazing Though How Much Those Subtle Coronas Add 
 
 
This is probably the only amazing use of the Darkplaces engine so far. It looks fantastic. 
Had A Look At DP... 
doesn't work on the windows surface pro either... so far only DirectQ works.

The touchscreen seems to mess up the mouse controls I think. 
The Lighting 
in shots 1 and 3 looks rad. 
Shot 1 
looks like a freaking painting! Great work. 
 
@Spiney, yeah the water/slime texture is double resolution so that the normal map can pick up light detail properly. I fixed this with the portal but felt the water needs the detail because it appears on large surfaces.

@FifthElephant, so you bought a computer than cannot run a 17year old game!?! :P

@SleepwalkR, I am using fog and light to give the image a nice vivid style, looks gorgeous in game. 
Meat Meat Meat! 
One of the primary features of the stealth system is that monsters explode into a shower of body parts and the default system is very basic (arm/leg/torso/slice) and the uv skins are a mess.

I think the killing of monsters should be something visually interesting, so I started by rework the existing assets and add new multiple frames for variety. The next step was to create custom body parts which randomly drop and the final step to add various explode and impact sounds to the gibs.

Here is a collection of the more unique body parts that can appear from monsters, this is an ongoing process and more will be made. 
 
"so you bought a computer than cannot run a 17year old game!?! :P "

Yeah it runs on DirectQ, but every other engine I have tried the controls go super crazy as soon as you jump in the game. The only thing I can think is the touchscreen causing trouble.

Even worse is I couldn't get the editor working either up until recently, I almost cried. 
 
@sock hmmm, looking at it again I think it's more the intensity of the normals that are causing the reflection/refraction to break up in hard edges. Have you tried lowering the contrast in the normals a bit? Looks great either way. 
DP Progress 
@Spiney, I have not had a chance to do anymore with the liquid textures, I am still working my way through creating a new set of DP particles that look similar to the original game. When I use the default particle settings it feels like I am at disco having an epileptic fit! Too many bright lights and crazy colours.

I had a funny error today. I was testing some new DP specific particle calls in QC and got this error message which had a ton of corrupt text at the bottom of the screen. In a weird way it sort of made sense, I sat staring at the screen wondering what sort of maintenance was going on and which button I had to press ... :P 
 
Ask leileilol at i3d, he has faithful particles. 
Error Message 
If that wasn't your story that'd be the coolest error message ever. 
Ijed 
 
All Votes Are Welcome ... 
Voted 
Good luck. 
Me Too 
You deserve to win. 
 
Sock, can you turn In the Shadow's crossbow into a normal weapon during normal mode? 
 
@Yhe1, I am not sure why would you want a crossbow in vanilla Quake? It only does 1 point of damage at the moment, its primary use is distractions. I really should fix the model and skin, crazy low detail :D 
 
I am asking whether you can turn it into a proper weapon for the vanilla quake mode. 
Some Belated Feedback, FWIW 
So work on ITS continues, I hope?

Just revisited ITS demo v1.1 after having watched part of Daz's playthrough of it, and for the first time I "got" the stealth mechanics and had lots of fun with it.

Obviously the brushwork and everything else is just sensational and I am going to go and cry in a corner now because nothing I ever make will be anywhere near this good, but before I do that, I'd like to post three suggestions:

1) Perhaps make it more obvious in the tutorial that the player has unlimited arrows. Because the tutorial emphasises how precious the poison arrows are, I assumed the regular ones to be just as limited. Once you realise you're free to use arrows to take take down each and every enemy, shoot buttons, etc., it all becomes so much more manageable.

Just one additional sentence in the tutorial (e.g. "You have unlimited arrows", or something like that) should suffice).

2) Even if there is no automatic switch to the poison crossbow, it's too easy to use poison arrows by accident. Having two visually different weapons on screen (not just a subtle colour change in the arrow itself) should make it less likely that the player will use up the poison arrows by accident. (I guess others have made similar points above.)

3) Perhaps explain that when the amulet reactivates, the red pentagram on the floor indicates the player's last position. I guess the text about having to "keep moving" hints at that, but I never understood it before watching Daz's video, and knowing that also makes the stealth gameplay far more manageable. 
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