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Map Jam 7 - Back To Base Released
Download (45 MB including Quoth): http://www.quaketastic.com/files/Jam7/MapJam7.zip

Screenshot medley:
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/Jam7/jam7.jpg

Map Jam 7 is a single player Quake experience employing the Quoth mod, comprising of a start map - jam7_start - and five technologically-inclined maps.

Thanks to the mappers that took part:
Bloughsburgh
Khreathor
Newhouse
ItEndsWithTens
Ionous

Please remember to record a demo of yourself playing each level. There's a few first-time mappers here, and I'm sure they'd love to get some feedback on their respective maps.
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I have to say one thing, I intended it to be dark and not bright map, I purposely pulse lights so enemies will hide in shadows time to time. So I'm not quite sure are you guys talking about the the main default lighting or parts that are intended to be fully dark or pulsing? 
 
Either way I'm going to work on that aspect to make it more pleasure to end-users with darker screens, but that's going to happen not now, later on this year. 
 
There are commands to modify global light values - read the documentation for ericw's light tool! 
 
There's a -range switch for Light that will alter the overall brightness. It works pretty well as long as all your light sources are reasonably balanced. Using surface light is another way to adjust many lights at once. 
Newhouse 
consider adding some white lights in and using the coloured lights as highlights. 
Itendswithtens 
that's a sexy owl in your level, was that a obj2bsp creation? 
 
I used -gamma 1.5 for my own final compile when I saw the beta and was reminded that the default for Quake's brightness and contrast sliders is all the way down, not the 50% I'd been using. Quick solution at the last minute, but it worked. The wave of horror that washed over my face as I realized the stock id maps were designed for that low setting was something, but remembering the light documentation had mentioned a global switch of some kind was the most satisfying type of relief.

I don't think there's anything wrong with colored lights as your primary light sources. Real world lights all have some sort of color, and adding a similar slight tint in game lighting makes all surfaces the light touches take on a bit of the same tone, in turn helping them look like they exist together in the same place. The key is to aim more for color correction and less for party colors, since deep saturation ends up looking artificial and, as has been pointed out, darker than is likely desirable. Fine for special effects here and there, when called for, but not so much for main lighting.

I ended up going a bit more saturated than I wanted to for most of my lights, but with my brightness and contrast set wrong and my panicked last minute rushing, my attention to those things managed to go by the wayside.

Anyway, haven't had a chance to play the mod or watch the demos, but I appreciate the feedback so far, thanks! I'll be back with more detailed comments eventually. 
 
NewHouse: I think I was wrong about the secrets as you've probably noticed when watching the demo. A couple of pickups looked like secrets, but they weren't. Noclipping around I spotted some actual secrets and the triggers worked.

The glass trick is tied to the r_wateralpha value. Quoth has means to force a custom value when the map starts. Can't remember if the ceiling windows were fine or opaque, too.

As for the lighting: a dark level is fine if the contrast is there. Obviously, monitor settings differ. As was said, checking your light levels against other maps is a good idea. Not necessarily the id maps, at least not as an absolute guideline, as they are fairly bright in comparison to basically everything. To give you some perspective: ionous', Bloughsburgh's and Tens' maps were fine on my setup, even if they had been slightly darker.
I'm not an expert on colored lighting (sock plz!), but I think it's better to use colored lights in addition to regular lights. The latter for the general brightness, the former to add a tint around the source. Or something along those lines. If I delete the .lit file, the visibility in your map is better. Still dark, but manageable.

Khreathor: My bad. It's vised alright. 
Shamblernaut 
Sorry, was typing while you posted, missed your comment. Yes, it was, he's this little guy. The dodecahedron and the pipes were also from the OBJ2MAP UV beta, with a minor tweak on my part for the owl to work properly.

The whole map was really just an excuse to play around with some new toys, if we're being honest. Not a terribly entertaining result, gameplay wise, but I had fun messing with all these different programs. Thanks again to Ionous for running this Jam! 
Back To Base! 
Great work everyone, that was a fun way to spend Sunday morning!

Start map:

Ionous you did a great job, such pretty brushwork and short and to the point. Liked the NM entrance as well.

ItEndsWithTens:

Whoa, what a trip. The elevator ride put a little panic into me at first and was a nice intro to the level itself. One can't play this map and not mention the gigantic space...heart...thing that looms over no matter where you are. Lovely unique structure. I couldn't find a single secret but it was still fun to tour that odd place!

NewHouse:

Lots of atmosphere here, lots of cold vibes present throughout the entire level. I will have to say the overall lighting is way too dark. I could not see enemies or any possible secret switches/places that I would hope to find. However, from what I could see I had a great time. There is something cathartic about zapping base enemies with the thunderbolt...and you definitely provided on that! I also really liked the silver key spending idea.

I didn't make it to the end but I got very close, the immense amount of spawns in the start area (After you grab the gold key) did me in when it concerns ammo. Fighting some of those baddies with an ax is not a pleasant experience! This was a great first map and I think you have a lot of great ideas flowing through your brain. Keep at it and I am looking forward to seeing more!

Khreathor:

Vending machines! That really makes you mindful of spending ammo when fighting others because it is the only way to get health and the like. The only issue is that you can use nails to "pay" for the machines which is far less expensive than shotgun blasts. One could exploit the nail vending machine this way, and by extension the rest. Maybe using trigger_damagethreshold of 20, you could have disallowed nail "coins"

The map was super dark, but then again you do include a flashlight which is the only mapper to do so. Only issue is to find said light, you need to almost completely navigate in total blackness which I did not discover until the very end as you will see. Lovely gimmicks and ideas here...good stuff!

Ionous:

I can only hope to increase my brush making skills to this level. Once you step onto the center section, I could only stop and just pan around...absolutely gorgeous. For me, the gameplay felt a bit uninspired with seemingly just a pipeline you follow to wrap back to the exit. I didn't find the nail gun until the very end as well. Still the flow is very nice, but something seemed to be missing...maybe it is the absence of sounds sans a few here and there or something else. Still, you had to also create the start map and that should be considered.

You are very much an inspiration as the Mire from AD is one of my favorites of the pack!

This was a great pack and it was very much a challenge to complete...congratulations to everyone. I'll watch the demos and comment on those later thank you!

My demos: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yk6xnya66l9eqhe/mjb_jam7dems.zip?dl=0 
 
Btw is this final release or not? 
 
I hope this is beta. 
Going To Be Playing Through This In About An Hour 
 
I gotta say I kinda dig the darkness in the NewHouse map, but I played on a laptop with a bright screen that tends to turn black into grey. And it was still pretty dark.

The overall feeling of the map was pretty unique. The darkness and the quite punishing balance (which is outlined by "choose your own miserable adventure" with the silver key) create a sort of a survival mood when you can't wait to get out. Which is often annoying, but in the case of this particular map I didn't mind. Even though it was frustrating at times.

The unusual weapon set (weaker tools + an "emergency" LG) also added to the aforementioned feel. 
Newhouse. 
Enough with the meltdown already :P.

Your map is dark, yes. It's still playable turning the gamma up, just not quite as effective. It's fine for this release, just move on and tweak it or learn from it for the next release. 
Don't Worry. 
Meltdown is the natural reaction, you know that* I'm almost 70% percent over it. 
Dwere 
What a relief to hear some positive feedback about the map's mechanics, those are always interesting to hear from others perspective. Also there is rocket launcher hidden somewhere. 
Anyway. 
Good pack, good turnout, good interpretations of the theme, well done everyone involved.

Interestingly, it seemed like a lot of people went for distinctive base-style trickery with gizmos, hacks, widgets, cunning progression, and secrets. Even if some designs were relatively simple, there felt like a lot of "modern Quake" touches going on, which was cool.

A few things that stood out for me:

Crazy progression around Bloughsburgers map, even though it was kinda a box, all the traversal methods were cool and the non-fatal void very welcome.

The computer room in Newhouse's map, really cool collection of screens and consoles in that. I liked the ferocious but manageable gameplay early on until after the GK when it wasn't feasible on skill 2.

Ionous's brush porn - well described by negke!! Well done Ionous you win the 90,000 brush challenge contest. The pipes in the main area especially cool, and the lights on the turbine. Incredibly lush brushes, but gameplay was over soon.

I liked the curves and arena exploration in Tens map and the general build quality and cool details in Khreator's too. 
Demos! 
Congrats to everyone for making the pack, I know I was a bit late in working on a map, but seeing what's in here has inspired me to keep at it.

Demos today are run on nightmare skill to showcase some of the differences.

Ionius
Probably the map out of the pack that captured the feel of the Than's original closest, a tall, waterlogged IDBase map. Excellent quality build throughout. Combat was balanced, the fight at the top of the ladder had a nice escalation without being too much at once. Wasn't sure I was taking the intended route at times, but the overall idea of decent to turn on the forcefields then ascend to cross them was always clear.

Khreathor
Some very creative setups in this map, the increasingly bizarre dispensers being just one example. There was good use of destructible parts in the map, one example where a fiend smashed through some crates as it leapt stood out. Combat was all about the grenade launcher in my run, being efficient with the shots and knowing when to switch it out. Some of the hordes towards the end were challenging but never unbeatable. I was going to complain about certain sections being too dark, but then I found the flashlight and I guess that was an intentional move.

Bloughsburgh
Another map with some very creative ideas. I won't spoil what the new powerup does, but it's a really neat idea executed well, which suddenly opens up the map in new ways like in a Metroid game. Combat was solid throughout, I appreciated the moments throughout where you could take a moment to plan an attack before things kicked off. The scripted moments in the ending fight also work well.

There are two demos, in the first I die right at the very end, in the second I go back and look for secrets after replaying and doing better, but the second demo is long and probably dull to watch. The map has loads to explore, in the end I got 8/10 secrets and 8/9 rings (but I could see the 9th ring from the intermission! Darn it!).

Newhouse
Solid first effort here, well built rooms and corridors, the control room in particular was very cool and atmospheric. I thought the strong coloured lighting looked good most of the time, there were patches of the map that were too dark - mostly around crates, which were hard to climb as a result.

As you might guess from the huge number of demos, combat was really tough. Maybe I didn't find enough secrets but I was running with only the LG and shotgun all map, so I had to tackle most fights by retreating to safer ground, and where I was locked in an arena the first attempt was usually not survivable. Still, got there in the end by the skin of my teeth.

ItEndsWithTens
Certainly the most impressive looking setpiece of the pack, I also thought the lift sequence at the start was really well put-together - reminded me of the Cassandra Calamity. Everything else was packed with gorgeous curves and not a misalignment in sight! The map had an interesting progression, being very open an undirected, but the monsters were placed well within it to not swamp the player all at once, it felt like something was going on the whole time. Like Negike said, it's a shame there wasn't a way to get more gameplay out of the map, but it was a jam so there's never time for everything.

Bonus
A demonstration that there is more that one way to die in the start map. Also spoils how to get to nightmare skill. 
 
It can be design flaw from my part that hard skill modes last section after GK. Only way to survive is to know at least 1-2 secrets, and one location that has a lot of large cell packs, so you have to leave from behind ammunition.. try to save cells no matter what.. it can be frustrating I admit that fact. But it's possible, so don't be scared trying it out after playing it couple times on normal mode - if anybody has that much energy to put in just one map (I guess not many) >_>; 
 
Ionous' map simply felt rushed to me, like there wasn't enough time to realize the idea in its entirety. Which is what I'm assuming actually happened. All the non-working doors hint at it.

What's there is very polished, pretty, and enjoyable, it just ends too quickly. I hope there are plans to expand the map still, like some authors did after previous jams. 
Demos And Feeback 
Ionous: Really liking the architecture here and the overall sheer vastness of the thing, but lighting is a bit flat overall and the layout is obviously bizarre and kind of disjointed due to time constraints. Probably the most normal map of the pack. I liked the use of speedbase in the flooded bits, nice touch.

Khreathor:
Vending machines were a very nice touch that really amused me. Map is dark as fuck but very entertaining to explore, even if it's very simple in the end. It reminded me of Hell in a Can if it was made by Digs. Very creative. A couple of things for your next map: don't use 'shoot me' textures if they're not a shootable button, I'm specifically referring to the zombie area and the computers with the targets on them, and display your key doors better with the keycard/key textures next to them.

Bloughsburgh:
That one came out of nowhere. By far the most creative of the bunch with some really funny ideas and overall good execution. The ladder physics are kind of finicky but that's beyond your control. Loved the exploration aspect in this one, even though I believe a couple of arrow pointers might have been a good idea. Personally I didn't get too lost but I have a naturally good sense of orientation. Balance was overall pretty good and monster distribution was well thought out. Ammo and health were about perfectly scarce on skill 3. Probably my favorite of the pack. It's very original, plays well and has a very bizarre atmosphere.

Newhouse:
Very striking aesthetics that do remind me of the base maps from Doom 64 (mostly due to the dark blue lights), but it's a bit too dark overall. I really enjoyed the fact that the Thunderbolt is the first weapon you find. I liked the silver key dispensers as well, nice touch, even though you should balance their contents a bit more imo. Monster distribution and balance were good... until you nab the gold key, where the map falls apart. You 'force' backtracking and spawn in new monsters (with a very cool Enforcer ambush, by the way) but you don't replenish ammo and health, which is not good. You can't expect a player to play the same as you do since you know the map inside out. I'd recommend either spawning in new items along the way or putting some in monster closets. Secrets were also too hard to find. I managed to get to two of them and found another one but even then it took me quite a while to find it and I couldn't shoot the button because no more ammo. :(
I did not finish this one because I got stuck with no health and no ammo after using the gold key controls.

You should fix that and re-release it, because it has crazy potential and like I said, the map plays fine until the GK.

ItEndsWithTens:
As usual, pretty damn outlandish. Nothing really crazy to say, it played well and looked pretty interesting. Really dug the sort of heart with blue veins, that was original. Maybe not enough enemies.


Very happy to see so many new faces here, especially when they release maps this good and interesting. Keep on mappin'!

Demos: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1fn5vmevg2ufgv6/jam7_demos.zip?dl=0 
Response To Skacky 
I appreciate your points, and it very important to get player point of view as well. I will release fixed/balanced version of the map, not right now, but later maybe this week.. if it's Monday for you already too. It would be very nice to get couple of people playtest it also, maybe I should visit #terrafusion and post test versions there? 
Void Skybox? 
thanks to all involved for my daily dose of quake.
-
that 154 MB void skybox is some kind of hidden elaborate joke? :-)
jakub 
No 
Just to have a pure black skybox, wasn't think about the file sizes, oh well. 
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