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New Q1SP: Peripheral Fundament
Hi everyone, I am hexcalk, and this is my first released map: Peripheral Fundament (PF/hc0), an idbase map with some non-idbase parts (wizard/metal/medieval). It is a difficult level featuring high numbers of monsters. In there, nonlinearity comes into play for a majority of the area, and ammo and health supplies are placed mostly in walls and corners. Sometimes (especially in Hard/Nightmare), the player feels the optional want to cause infighting to avoid dying. The further you get into the base, the more likely you must be careful. That is a peripheral fundament.

Download (4mb, of which 3mb is a .tga screenshot):
Congrats on the map release. It's been a while since we've had something that is CrankySteve levels of bad so this was refreshing. Theme, lighting, texturing, and box rooms were all awful. No offence or anything but you can look at the first two rooms of even E1M1 to see some consistency and interesting design details etc. At least the gameplay was easy with lots of ammo and health supplies, although it got a lot easier later on. Demo: 
Any mention of CrankySteve turns this into a must-play for me. 
The visuals are all over the place, and the composite doors literally fall apart when they open.

Well, a fun romp nevertheless. Quake is a fun game, and it's not that easy to make it boring.

Lots and lots of ammo on Normal, despite the warnings. 
I stated it was difficult because of my experience playing it. Higher skill at Quake means you beat this map easier than those who were less. Of course, "Peripheral Fundament" is easy for at least Shambler because of the ammo and health supplies being a big number count. The map wasn't bad, but it is interesting. On CrankySteve, not many mappers do that quality (especially nowadays with stuff such as for example Arcane Dimensions being largely influential to the current Quake mapping scene), so yes, Shambler's and Kinn's posts are true. 
Indeed Fun. 
dwere, you're right, because I made frequent use of texture variety to make it unique-looking. It's a fun romp indeed. 
Forgon To Mention 
The map is very unoptimized, being about as slow as a modern eye-candy map.

But Quakespasm seems to run it fine, even on my machine. 
The "difficult" part came from me playing on Hard and to a lesser extent Normal, both where I frequently autosaved to protect myself from the 200 enemies at the former skill (know the Rottfish glitch?). "Higher skill" at the "Yep." post meant being good at playing it. 
The map has a leak and is unvised. Additionally, a whole bunch of items fall out and several monsters are reported as being partially inside walls. These are issues that should be addressed before releasing a map.
For next time: don't include a screenshot in the zip, and if you must, at least convert it to JPG. 
Thanks Negke. 
The .map file source was included because it does have a "missing 3 textures" leak. I attempted to have it vised, but those textures came to mind, so yes, the items fell out. I tried to upload it again without the screenshot for the sake of lower size, but Quaketastic allows the uploading process of each single file to happen once, no deletion. Your suggestion to convert the screenshot to JPG is nice as it is more compressed than TGA. Also the small size of rooms with a bunch of enemies meant those monsters were partially inside walls. After all, any first author's maps such as my "hc0" can be vulnerable to issues, so I hope my next work will improve. 
Even the gold key room had scrags partially inside walls. 
I Wonder... 
I wonder if Quake had monsters partially inside walls, then anyone at id Software can fix this before Quake II was released. Since Carmack's December 1999 release of the source code, this can be more likely done today with a fix/patch. 
But nonetheless this map has been good (at least somewhat), and Quake is great. A downloadable fix/patch to this map just can happen whenever possible. 
If a map leaks, QBSP generates a .pts file. When placed in the maps directory alongside the bsp, you can use the pointfile console command to show a dotted line that leads to the leak, or at least helps in indentifying the area.

Type developer 1 in the console before loading the level to warning messages if monsters are stuck in walls or items fall out. All monsters and items need some space to adjacent geometry (at least 4 units) - their bounding boxes, that is (those are larger than the actual model). This is not an engine bug, but an error in the map. 
Thanks Again Negke. 
Cool 'pointfile' and 'developer 1' tips negke. ;) 
Extra Note: 
I am good at playing Quake at Easy and Normal. Hard is acceptable. 
The Leak. 
The leak is beyond those three textures, one part of it being at where the cells at the supply near the silver key are and apparently half of the lights are among the other parts of it. I am working on a fix to the map. 
I won't go into the technical issues, but just mention some gameplay problems which can be easily solved in your next map...

Played on normal, yet you dished out about 10x as much ammo as I needed. The map is packed to the brim with weapons, health and ammo pickups, but I just grabbed the rocket fairly early on and gibbed everything in my way. Didn't use nails once, yet nail pickups were littered everywhere.

No real structure to the progression. This is mainly because I found:

All weapons are handed out in quick succession meaning no real ramping up of combat difficulty.

The blue key is found way before you even see the blue door.

The gold key is placed in plain sight right next to the gold door, which is rather odd.

Keys need to be placed in way where you see the locked door first, and then later in the level you find the key and loop around back to the door (keyword "loop" - don't make the player backtrack!)

The map exit is unmarked and not in a position that seems like a natural endpoint to the level. I was just walking around and brushed up against what I thought was a blue sky-textured window and the level ended, much to my surprise, even though there was obviously a whole load of monsters and stuff below me which I hadn't even explored yet. 
First Map 
This is clearly a first map, and a test map at that. The room with all of the liquid textures is a clear sign of that. Reminds me of my first map except I didn't release it.

It is nice to see you play with curves and some interconnection and also unessential areas (SNG, TB, Grenade Launcher) and is shows promise of what you could create in the future.

However it would be wise to submit a beta on the Screenshots and Betas thread to obtain some constructive criticism and assistance on the bad spots of the map.

Skill 2, 1/2 secrets:

Also to find the empty textures in a TB map, you can open the .map file in a text editor and search for "__TB_empty". Then you can just replace the phrase with another tech04_6.

Good luck with your future mapping endeavors! 
To Kinn: Yes, you're exactly right.
To Bloughsburgh: Good luck indeed. 
So this map is not very good. In fact, it's pretty bad. Theme and visuals are all over the place, no sense of progression either layout- or gameplay-wise, pointless rooms that lead to nowhere etc. With that said, I did somewhat enjoy it in a so-bad-it's-good kinda way. It's just so satisfying to blast away ridiculous clusters of enemies with rockets or grenades.

If you're gonna keep on mapping I'd advise you to be more conscious of progression and a coherent theme - a map doesn't necessarily have to be as detailed and grand as many of the newer releases as long as it plays well and looks polished enough. Also get someone to playtest your maps before releasing. 
It Was Fun 
I played it. It was fun.

It was also probably just like everybody else's first map in that it had too much of everything: textures, ammo, monsters, areas of no real purpose, etc. But it was still fun.

My suggestion is... don't worry about 'fixing' this map. Just move on to your next map and try to implement some of the improvement suggestions noted here.

This should include paying attention to the technical requirements e.g. run a full vis, and definitely sort out the items falling out of the level.

Mapping is fun, playing Quake is fun. The more you map, the better you'll get, and the more we will enjoy your maps. 
Alright, I give up fixing this map. I agree, it was fun, mapping is fun, playing Quake is fun. 
No Need To Be So Hard On Yourself, Pal. 
We all had to start somewhere in terms of mapping. Just follow the advice you were given in this thread and practice making a better map. 
Okay, I have no problem following the advice in the thread, since I like advice. Thanks everyone for it. 
So much fuss over this map so i had to play it.

The map was buggy and ugly 0/10. but the action was actually fun :D

I have yet to release my first map. I have a test map where I test all the functions and features i want to add to my real map, and once i have those figured out i will add them to my real map. I was building my first map for 2 weeks and gave up on it because of extreme vising times. (i didnt realize i had to make details into func_detail entities).
now im making my second map which is on its way to be released.

Good luck on your next project, make more of an effort on your maps, its worth it! 
After 6 months of intense work, I'm still working on a map of a single squared room, without details/doors/sky, and a single dog standing in the middle.

When I play it in QS, I kill the dog and need to figure out where should be the exit teleporter. Oh well, ... 
Vis Times 
"I was building my first map for 2 weeks and gave up on it because of extreme vising times",
I suspect several mappers here would find that quite a funny statement. Many of the maps released here took months and sometimes years to see the light of day. And as for vis times, my last map took 280 hours, and I don't have the record here for vis times!

Just food for thought: once the map starts to grow, the full vis time will grow. If you do start to see extended times and you have done all the requisite optimising, vis it overnight. Most of us sleep for several hours a night; an ideal period for full vising. (I think I went on holiday!)

(i didnt realize i had to make details into func_detail entities)
Well you don't HAVE to use func_details, although this seems to be the modern methodology. Again, my last map did not have any - and yes, hence some of the extended vis time.

Anyway, keep mapping AND releasing them. 
Mapping Is Tough But Addictive 
hexcalk Func_Msgboard is a great place to learn but a VERY tough crowd here. I want to give you a couple simple tips that will help you improve your mapping skills from an aesthetic perspective.

1. as you are a beginner, use the original id maps for reference. For my current map I took about 30 screenshots of E1M3. These are shots of room layout, architecture and all the little details that make a map immersive and.... well Quake-like. I combined these screenshots into a PDF that I refer to often for inspiration and guidance.

2. test - test - test - don't make another map until you have made about a dozen or more test maps. It's good practive for building things and you can experiment with architecture, lighting, traps, puzzles and get comfortable with your editor.

3. examine levels you admire and "borrow" from those. i.e. I really admire socks's level Fallen from Grace. I will never be the mapper sock is but I do like some of the little design elements like how the woodwork is mixed with stone. So you'll see those touches in my map eventually. Look at levels you love and get inspired!

4. ask questions... this is a great community. I feel like an idiot most of the time reading these posts but I have learned a lot here.

5. map for you and no one else - don't try and impress anyone here - that's a fool's errand.

good luck! 
Like the others said, don't get discouraged. Just keep making small and simple maps exploring the fundamentals of level design, the magnum opuses will come soon enough. 
Bear in mind by far the most important thing is to get layout and gameplay nailed, before you start worrying about awesome lighting, or trying to make the next "every-brick-is-a-brush" AD-esque facemelter. 
#28 Wins. 
Great advice there.

Id maps, especially E1-E3, are a great place to start. Despite how old and superseded they are, the fundamentals of theme, 3D layout, details, setpieces, gameplay, ambushes etc are still something to heed.

Also as Kinn said, don't try to be the next AD-beating thing (the same applies to negke who should know better). A good little map with a solid theme, some cool designs and fun, frantic gameplay IS still good enough. We all enjoyed the recent retrojam5 and Gotshun's lost levels cos they were just good. 
From #25 Onward 
This is all cool advice. Thanks everyone. 
Listen To Them 
Hey Hexcalk. Very nice on your first map. These guys know what there talking about, so listen to them.

With their knowledge and experience they will lead you in the right direction.

Mapping is an addiction and a good one to get hooked on. So read all the comments these guys gave you and reread them to better understand and memorize what they say.

And a big thank you to Shambler for the compliment.

Again....good first map!!!

Hope to see more!


Everton Has Their Own Style. 
Longer you experiment, closer you're finding your own style. I knew that I was more Into dream-like horror themes, and many maps people suggested me to learn form wasn't really my thing. Also map doesn't need to be in a large scale, the way it is created matters only, don't get too blind of these super large/spacious maps. You Will find your own way of learning, whether it is some useful books, talking about level with someone personally in rl etc. 
Everyone* (stupid Phone) 
Not much to add that the others haven't already said, except this: you have animated textures in your map (+0slipbot and +0sliptop) but for them to animate, you have to include the other frames (+1, +2, etc...) in the map. Just build a brush somewhere outside of the main geometry (in the void) and put the extra frames on it.

Also, be more mindful of which uses suit particular textures, don't just put them on your brushes arbitrarily. For example, a mess of electric wires (tech01_5) as main texture for ceilings looks bad and makes no sense: it's better used sparingly in maintenance/computer areas. 
you have animated textures in your map (+0slipbot and +0sliptop) but for them to animate, you have to include the other frames (+1, +2, etc...) in the map.

I thought all modern compilers did this automatically, are there still some that don't? 
metl: Yes.

However, in the case of those two textures, there are no extra frames, because in the stock maps they are used as unanimated textures. Their names are remains from earlier versions of the game - there is an animated slipgate bottom texture in QTEST with a rotating fan beneath the grate. 
I Was Surprised... 
I was surprised to see the textures animated in the map when testing happened. I thought they would be static since they are not a moving .gif, but actually including not one but (at most) all of them is required for the animation to happen. Only the +0 parts of slipbot and sliptop were in the map, so they weren't animated enough. 
By The Way... 
The two textures' animations are optional because of the reason cited by negke ("no extra frames [...] in the stock maps they are used as unanimated textures"). 
I didn't realize the compiler mattered in this case. That explains why I can't get this to work with q3map :( 
Small And Simple. 
Most statements typed in the hc0 thread such as those by dumptruck_ds, Gotshun, NewHouse, and the aforementioned Kinn and Shambler, are tips about improvement. They are all acceptable; I am now working on small and simple maps with the fundamentals of Quake level design and less reliance on imitating AD. 
Forgot CrankySteve? 
And I don't tend to imitate CrankySteve! xD 
I wasn't aware that some compilers added the extra frames automatically, good to know. Which ones do and don't? 
All do.

Except q3map for obvious reasons. 
K Thanks 
Nice Example Of What Not To Do 
i'm not saying this in a trolling manner

i'm fiddling with trenchbroom

who knows if i can build something decent
or if i keep motivated enough time to reach that point

i'm sure i would have tried several of the bad things in this map.

to get better at things you need good examples, good practices and bad examples and practices to avoid, and common noob errors.

it's much more evident and revealing seeing the bad examples and practices rather than reading them 
The Map. 
It seems like Peripheral has become remembered into the future as an study of how to avoid first map problems. More people should see bad examples and practices. 
Dont be so hard on yourself.

Ive been using map editors for 10+ years and I've never released a finished map. You've already got me beat in what seems like 1/10 of the time.

Keep mapping. Focus on brushwork. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for your map editor. Study other creators .map files. Play with new texture sets. Slowly but surely will it all build up into your magnum opus. 
I Don't Want To Discourage You 
the bad things of the map are bad INTERMEDIATE mapping stuff

monster placement, holes, overall architecture, that sort of thing

the hordes of monsters don't work the way you did it.

hordes don't have to be released all at once, because you can just blast'em with GL or RL.

you need to teleport the monsters in batches and tweak the fight playtesting it several times. think e1m3 final fight. think the horde fights of various of AD maps

also the triangle doorway is terrible and ugly, don't use that shape.

i mean, the beginner stuff everyone figure out quickly and are obvious even for a noob

the intermediate stuff is only evident when you playtest the map 
Okay, I now understand the map is flawed. The statement "More people should see bad examples and practices" only was to make anyone encourage more of the community to play and examine maps with poor quality to avoid replicating the issues. But however, this is entirely optional since many do not attempt the action described in the statement for ensuring the Quake community's general avoidance of repeating mistakes made in (let's just say) half of the maps released in 1996 and 1997, because if not then suddenly the quality's all over the place again as in that time period. Of course, being helped by the users at Func_Msgboard is great, but then this next paragraph is more than about aversion of flaws.

The shotgun and axe almost always go first, then usually the nailgun comes next and the grenade launcher afterward. Super variants come in later if any and if possible the lightning gun is accessed via a secret or often during the second half of levels where you get it. The later the map, the more likely a horde (a la AD) will be placed to accompany that weapon setup. The e1m3 final fight does have ammo, and the fiends introduced in the previous map e1m2 come into play here, so the more difficulty the skill (nightmare has the same number of monsters as hard), the higher the number of fiends. All the monsters were spawned upon opening the level hc0, and teleporting them in batches (which never happened in the map) is less of a horde. The ammo and weapons tend to be balanced for monster placement. And speaking of e1m2 and e1m3, the id maps are important for referencing because it's acceptable that both I and we are expected to be influenced by them.

Architecture/brushwork doesn't need to be ugly. Here's two examples. The triangle doorway was awful indeed. The bridge over the water was placed there so that speedrunning potential was easier, hence why the end was a surprise to Bloughsburgh.

Test maps are necessary for any of the maps I have had developed since this was released (at the moment I made at least 3 test maps for hc2 and am still making hc1). Such things were and are there to help anyone "experiment with architecture, lighting, traps, puzzles" and become normal with the editor of his/her choice.

Most custom maps I play are small and medium, the rest is large. The quality always varies, but ultimately Arcane Dimensions is so busy on brushwork it's not a noob's project (in fact sock, the creator of AD, had made texture wads, official levels for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Crysis Warhead, and custom Quake 3 Arena and Sin maps prior to Fallen from Grace, which was not his first Quake-related content). More experience means you're more likely to build a large (if not limit-breaking) map.

To ask questions is good, due to the fact that you are assisted by their answers to complete maps easier.

Ultimately I map for me, because mapmaking is fun as a hobby. 
The bridge-over-water ending also surprised Kinn. 
Triangle Doorway. 
I tried to make func_door entity over there, but I gave up, so I made the triangle doorway to compensate for that. 
Defending Hc0. 
Peripheral Fundament is acceptable to defend as much as it is to criticize. It was fun that Gotshun liked it. 
I found it funny that PF was released a week after AD 1.5 came out. Big quality differences here and there. 
To Confuse You Even More* 
Let's say it is good to learn and experiment different design patterns and formulas invented by other mappers. But sometimes it is better to break rules, and invent own rules, it just needs some experimentig. Do not be afraid trying things out, sometimes it is worth the effort. 
Then again, sometimes it is better to close your eyes and keep on doing what you love, let the passion change you and not the others. 
To NewHouse: 
Cool, thanks. 
Ultimately I map for me, because mapmaking is fun as a hobby.

That's a great reason to map! So do I! 
also, while killing 30 monsters with rockets with total impunity is not challenging, it's fun. like when you put 100vs100 soldiers in a RTS to see the fight. 
Thanks Topher. 
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