Watching Demos & Working On A New Map
Hi again everyone. I've been watching all of your demos and reading your feedback - it's been very helpful in giving me a new perspective on how the map is played. I'll be keeping this in mind and trying to apply what I've learned to the next map I'm working on.
@OneTruePurple Thanks for the observations! I'm glad you liked it. The second MH is actually not a secret, it was originally placed there as a reward for the Shambler fight. It is one of the few items that I haven't come back to think about since updating the map, but perhaps I should. I may be wrong, but the item should illuminate itself in the dark and be noticeable by everyone, which brings me to another point I've been wanting to discuss: lighting.
I am not very good at working with Quake's lighting, but I try my best. That being said, it is hard to cater to everyone's tastes and ensure all experiences are the same. I've seen different engines that affect the visuals of the game, and not to mention different brightness settings on people's computers that will ultimately make some things harder/easier to notice for certain people. It's an issue that I honestly don't know how to address, so I apologize if anyone flat-out can't see any of the secrets that are lurking in the darker areas of the map.
Anyway, I have been working on another map that may be showing up over at QuakeOne.com soon, so the best place to keep an eye out for updates is over there in my project thread. I will come back to here and to let you all know about it once it's good and ready though!
The brushwork was practically straight from American McGee's book, with the right shapes and angles and textures. I enjoyed how each area was a small tribute to a different E3 map, the E3M6 bit being my favorite.
The lighting was just fine.
That Shambler MH was totally a secret...
No demo but enjoyed two playthroughs.
It's a good first release - gets all the basics right, theme, designs, details, gameflow, secrets, etc. Lots of little things that can be improved but the core of the map is simply PROPER QUAKE and that is very welcome and a great basis for further mapping. I.e. much better to release a simplish, decent map that just WORKS than to attempt something to crazy and make a mess. Good choice, congrats, etc.
Bits that are particularly nice:
Designs in the first outdoor area - nice pillar designs.
Secrets all useful and the one before the GK is nicely placed.
Tougher combats later on are good and interesting.
Room with the Ogres in metal walkways above, and associated secret is cool.
Silver key dropdown trap.
Earlier areas are a bit sparse on monsters and feel a bit empty, a few more low level monsters to warm into the gameplay would be good.
Very finish is too easy.
A couple of areas you return to could be repopulated to give more gameplay value.
Underwater trap is a bit obscure and a bit too quick, some bloodstain textures and maybe 80% of the trap speed would be better.
Some of the connecting rooms are fairly bland and could do with stronger designs (e.g. the room with the rockets underwater - a spawn underwater would be fun there too).
Some stronger design hooks overall would be good too.
@OneTruePurple Thanks! I really appreciate that. I studied his maps closely to try and nail that look and feel, so I'm glad you think I did a good job :).
@Shambler Thanks Shambler! I suppose I could go back and look at some of the earlier portions of the level and consider a few more monster placements. Good point about repopulating areas you return to as well. I thought about doing this but couldn't settle for something that felt right to me. For example, after the GK fight, it is a quiet walk back to the GK door, and I strongly considered having some monsters show up there but I couldn't figure out what to do so I just decided against it.
When you say the very end is too easy, do you mean the two ogres in the exit room? I like having it that way for a simple ending, but I will be trying other things with future levels... so watch out!
I thought about using a bloodstained texture for the underwater trap but I felt that it ruins the element of surprise. Most traps can be spoiled because of this, but if you feel that it is too hard on a first attempt I will consider slowing it down some.
As for the connecting rooms, I agree that they are bland, but that's sort of the point. A connecting room is mostly just there to serve as, well, a connection. Interesting idea about the spawn though, I will consider that, but I would prefer to avoid using monsters that did not appear in Episode 3.
Think Of The Hallways!
A connecting room is mostly just there to serve as, well, a connection.
A connector can still fit the environment and make the player look around. A connector can be an interesting element when an ogre drops from the ceiling part way through said connectors. ;)
Just food for thought!
I would prefer to avoid using monsters that did not appear in Episode 3.
And this right here is the correct way of doing things!!
Nothing riles me up more than seeing people making """""classic""""" runic maps and putting Knights or Spawns in them.
@Bloughsburgh Yup you're right! Sometimes I'll do stuff like this, and sometimes I won't. I just think that the occasional break room with nothing much going on it can be useful to give the player some respite. However it is a good idea to keep the player on their toes more often than not!
@OneTruePurple Haha yeah I feel that way too, but sometimes I'll be a bit more open minded if they're used in a clever way.
Btw does anyone out there know where I can get a readme file template for custom maps? I've been needing to create one to go with my maps but I can't seem to find a blank template one to use. I'd rather not just clean one up from an existing custom map.
That may be your best option. I know I just used the ReadMe style from Sock and then put in sections of my own.
Haven't played the map yet, only watched Arcee play it, but the room with a bunch of Fiends and rusty pillars and beams under the purple sky is extremely reminiscent of McGee's work, more so than the rest of the map. That room just screams E3 in the most perfect way possible. Very simple but quite iconic.
New Version & Sneak Peak
@Bloughsburgh I suppose you're right, so I went ahead and did just that.
@Skacky Thanks! I'm really happy to hear that so many people are seeing American's style in my work :)
I've posted a new version of the map over on QuakeOne.com, just follow the link in the OP and you'll find it in the latest post, or the OP of my thread on the Q1 forums.
There's also a little sneak peak of some upcoming stuff!
The lighting was spot on. None of the areas were too dark, the shootable buttons weren't too hard to spot, and this isn't the kind of map that needs dramatic lighting - the great brushwork and texture choices already gives a very solid atmosphere.
There's no problem with there being fewer monsters at the beginning, because they're strong monsters with well planned encounters.
The underwater crusher speed is appropriate. It can be lethal at first, but after dying once, it becomes dead easy to pass through. This brings me to a point I really liked: replayability. The underwater crusher and the last quad secret are good examples of stuff that the player will likely have to restart the map after figuring them out; but rather than giving frustration, they actually give excitement, because when the player restarts the map, he'll have the knowledge he needs to beat those challenges in a breeze.
Yeah that underwater trap was really well done.
Not much more to say what hasnt already been said.
Just one more thing: Under which rock did you hide for so long? ;)
You made E3 and E4 maps. Will E2 be next? I would love to play an episode with different styles from you. That would be awesome.
Keep up the great work!
This map helped me understand what people like so much about "retro" here. Gonna save this one as reference for encounters. Everything feels just right.
E2 Is Indeed Next!
@mankrip Thanks mankrip! I appreciate the comment about replayability.
@mukor Thanks - I thought it was pretty simple actually but I'm glad people seem to like it. In my opinion what makes it surprising is the fact that it's underwater. I'm sure there's been plenty of custom Quake maps out there to utilize underwater traps, but usually you don't see this happen in the stock id maps, so it adds an extra level of danger and unpredictability.
@Christian Haha, well I've been mapping for well over 10 years now but I've never been one to release my work. Quake, however, is a new endeavor for me. I grew up playing Quake but I never bothered to make maps for it until a few years back when I got into mapping for Doom. I found out that mapping for retro games is very enjoyable because you can bang out a fun and wacky map in a short amount of time, without having to worry about too much scripting and detailing.
And yes, E2 will be next!
@Adib Wow, that's quite nice of you to say! I'm flattered that you found inspiration in my work.
Hi MissBubbles, do you have some screenshots to show already? I cannot wait.
This Looks Great!
Those shots are nearing uncanny valley territories.
I love those screenshots!
Thanks guys - I'm glad you like the screenshots!
I don't know when the map will be ready. This map, unlike the others I have done, started with no ideas for a layout whatsoever, so it has evolved quite a lot as I work on it, and as a result I've hit a couple of roadblocks with how to progress the layout and connect some areas.
I'm sure I'll figure something out eventually, but right now things aren't progressing as fast as I'd like them to.
hope the lack of initial layout resolves into something fun and tangled and non-linear!
Nice Oldschool Map
Proper classic metal style.
Lighting is okay, though I feel like it could've been a little more contrasted. The flames all use "delay 5" which seems to flatten the overall lighting where E3 style works well with dark corners. Some jagged shadows, too - be sure to run light with -extra or even -extra4 for improved smoothness.
Gameplay is fun; I played on skill 2 and got through fine. Ammo is tight, I never ran out, but a few more missed shots and I would've been forced to use the axe or grenades later on. Found all secrets which helped; probably hairy situations without.
Overall, a very nice first release.
Hey, thanks for the feedback and demo negke!
Lighting is definitely not my strong suit unfortunately. I think I improved a bit with my " Well of Lost Souls " release by avoiding the " flat " lighting you mentioned in favor of sharp, dark corners allowing me to hide secrets and monsters within them, something that seemed to suit the Episode 4 theme quite well.
I would like to continue to improve upon my understanding of lighting in the future though! I'll play around with it some more in future maps and check out the settings you mentioned as well. Thanks!