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New Q1SP (AD): Threat Assessment
My second proper map is ready to be shoved out the door! It is a coagula-style runic/metal/tech-themed map featuring tough horde combat and roughly 15-20 minutes of gameplay. (Skill 2 is probably pretty extreme so I'd recommend skill 1 or 0 for a first go.) No breakables or many fancy effects, sorry--but you'll enjoy plenty of the AD weaponry and bestiary.

Download:
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/single_player/lpqsp2.zip

Screenshots:
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/screen_shots/lpqsp2b1.png
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/screen_shots/lpqsp2b4.png
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/screen_shots/lpqsp2b2.png

Please enjoy and post your comments and demos!
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AD 
New Q1SP (AD): Threat Assessment

New Q1SP (AD):


(AD)

AD 
@Barnak, Did You Even Read! 
It,(AD), is in the title and description! C'mon mang...

But yeah, it won't load without it ;) 
Yeah. Is AD = After Dark, Alice Deadly Or Anus Day ? 
Played the map. Not my cup of tea. Too Dark and too random. And I hate base style anyway. 
Actually. 
AD = Barnak is A fucking moron of the highest orDer 
LOL OneTrueThing ! 
Hehe ! 
Some Initial Feedback 
I like the runic-tech-void mix; it's something I'd wanted to do at some point too.

The map starts off really fun, and the secrets I've found so far are nice, but there might be some issues with signposting, or lack thereof.


*SPOILER WARNING*

Playing on skill 1. 37/166 kills in, 3 out of 6 secrets found, I'm completely stuck -- just running in circles with no idea what to do next. So far one of the security doors have opened and I went into that area after having found the secret ring of shadows. Something I did made the Quad drop ... and that's it. I have no idea how to progress further.

Picking up the Quad doesn't seem to do anything, and I can't see anything else to push or any newly opened areas. I can hear monster idle sounds all around me, but I can't see any monsters.

*SPOILERS END*


I'll give it another shot later. Possibly I'm just missing something obvious because I'm being an idiot... 
PS 
I also just noticed that your screenshots have a starry skybox, but when I load the map it's just pitch black. Did you change that after you took those screenshots, or am I missing something? 
 
Ok, I've figured out what I was overlooking...


*SPOILER WARNING*

... which was the button to open the gold key area. Not sure why I kept overlooking it; I actually tried pressing the computer keyboard and shooting the earth monitor in that same area. Perhaps I'm just a terrible player, but perhaps the button really doesn't stand out enough.

This made me wonder whether it wouldn't make more sense to have the unpressed buttons flicker on and off, and give pressed buttons a static texture -- i.e. the reverse of what you've actually done. It seems to me that it would make more sense to use an animated texture to draw the player's eye to buttons that still need to be pressed. As it is, the items you need to interact with kind of blend into the surroundings, and the items you can no longer interact with draw your attention.

I also noticed that the button that opens the GK cage resets and can be pressed multiple times, displaying the same message each time, unlike all the other buttons -- probably an oversight?

Anyway, still need to finish the map. I'm no longer stuck, but now I keep dying at the hands of the horde I've unleashed upon myself...

*SPOILERS END* 
 
@Barnak: No worries, thanks for playing anyway. By "random" do you mean with regard to design or enemy placement?

@damage_inc: Sorry you got lost! I'll keep your advice about the button texture in mind for the next one. And yeah the screenshots were from before I changed the sky texture.... :P 
That Was Me, Not Damage_inc :-) 
Part 4; sorry for the multiple posts:



*SPOILER WARNING*

Finally finished the map (albeit using god mode towards the end).

What I liked:

As I wrote before, the rune-tech-void mix is nice. It's a bit of a deviation from the norm, and is for the most part nicely executed.

I've only found three secrets (though I believe I can see two more), and I liked those. Two of the secrets I found contained buttons, hinting at a possible super secret...?

The brief forays into alternate, abstract dimensions (where you press the runic pillars) was a nice touch.


What I didn't like so much:

Signposting/lighting:
There's the issue with the buttons I mentioned earlier, and a related problem is with lighting. I remember reading some level design tips from sock, which included always making sure the main path through your map is well lit (I'm guessing it's a well-known principle among level designers, but sock is my direct source). This was not always the case here. A specific example is the wind tunnel behind the gold key door, which is almost completely black. As soon as you open the GK door, there is nothing that makes the opening to the wind tunnel stand out, yet that's the only way to get back up if you fall down. And there's an alcove nearby that looks virtually identical, making it even harder to see where you're supposed to go when/if you fall down (or deliberately drop down).

I did like the way dark lighting was used to hide the first secret, and in general the map looks nice. Still, I think the main route should have been lit better.

The monsters/the combat:
Whether or not one enjoys horde combat is arguably a matter of taste, but for the number of monsters the map throws at the player at once, there is very little health and ammo (skill 1). That turns the combat into a grind very quickly; at least it did for me. So much so that I gave up and just used godmode for the final horde. The placement of the two Quads in that final area was also a little odd -- maybe it would have made more sense to reveal them one at a time, as the respective hordes spawn?

My second issue with the monster usage is more aesthetic. I really feel that monsters should fit their surroundings, at least to some extent, e.g. techy monsters in techy environments, knights in medieval environments, zombies in crypts, etc. Of course there's plenty of room for interpretation and sometimes breaking the rules makes sense, but here it really just feels like you're indiscriminately just throwing the entire AD bestiary at the player. The Golem, Hexen-y Wizard, Knight (I forgot what it's called exactly), those Minotaur-esque beasts and the flying imps all really felt out of place, and having all of those plus Droles and Gaunts and various types of grunts, etc. etc. all in once space makes it feel a bit like a 1990s joke map -- which is a pity, because it certainly doesn't look like one. The overall visual design is nice and cleanly executed, and in my opinion the monster usage doesn't do it justice.

The problem with the pillar hunt:
Lastly, though I liked the interdimensional pillar hunt, for me it clashed with the rest of the gameplay in the map: fighting horde upon horde is kind of mindless and over the top. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but I feel that the more exploratory pillar hunt called for a much slower pace. I do think one can have both in one map, but having both at the same time didn't work for me.

I also feel like those abstract spaces with the pillars were perhaps a missed opportunity. If the aim was to use a variety of AD monsters, it would have made more sense to use those areas to introduce monsters that really do not fit in with the tech theme of the main part of the map.

In addition to that, it felt somewhat arbitrary, and would really have benefited from more of a "story": something like an obviously locked area with a message (perhaps even just a cryptic message), giving the player the sense that they're on a mission to find those pillars. As it is, it just feels a little random.

*END SPOILERS*

Err, sorry if this all sounded very negative! That was not my intention. 
A Modern Coagula/Edge Of Oblivion 
Hey lpowell, nice to see you've finished the map. This is great AD spin on the void map style. Feels a lot like the first ever void map Edge of Oblivion by Hipnotic. This map has a definite old school feel, but refreshed with the AD enemies.

You've made some great changes since the beta, and the solid black sky is a much better choice, as the starfield warping doesn't work when you can see the horizon. The extra-dimensional areas are also much better now, and were very surprising.

The map is extremely difficult, but the author gave fair warning so that's ok. I found playing skill 1 to be acceptable, the key here is to quicksave when needed and you must manage your items. The ending where two Quads are given is perhaps strange, but saving them for later is the key to victory. I cannot speak about skill 2, but I feel some Quake enthusiasts will enjoy tackling this.

I think it would have been nice to see some breakables, and custom particle entities/templates made available in AD, but I guess the old school vibes make up for this.

This map has a unique feel and some difficult gameplay, I would recommend to anyone who loves void style maps, and is looking for a new challenge. 
Nice Map! 
My demos

Got that classic Coagula feel indeed. The map was so relentless, though, I barely had a moment to stop and look around. The titular threat is so big there's no time to assess it!

I also got a bit lost, a little more signposting would have been beneficial. I was thrown into a total loop by the button texture switching, that was definitely not cool.

Enjoyed the ending though I think it was tad easy compared to the rest of the map considering the items given. Or maybe I should just replay on skill 2... 
Looks Nice In The Shots. 
I like the runic / base / blue lighting vibe. Will play soon. 
So. 
Fuck void maps. Fuck AD/Quoth base enemy.

The design and style is very nice tho. 
Fuck Void Maps 
бггг, mr.putin's watching you 
 
Thanks for the comments and demos everyone. Learned a lot here. In the future I'll definitely tone down the difficulty on skills 1-2, and think more about signposting and path-lighting. Glad the people who managed to have fun and did so, and especially glad most people liked the style. Next one won't be a void map, I promise! 
Demos. 
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/demos/sham_lpqsp2demos.zip

I didn't manage to have fun, even on skill 1, although if I'd started on that first time I might well have. On the other hand I did appreciate the layout, progression, gameplay options, general theme, gothic touches, lighting, and quite a few other things aesthetically. 
Going To Be Playing This In Twenty Minutes 
Gotta Reiterate.... 
....that there is a lot of good stuff in this map and the design is pretty much spot on. I got frustrated with the gameplay but could still admire the style, so please keep mapping and keep coming up with these themes. 
 
I For One 
Loved everything about this map. Especially the combat, the pillar hunt and the clever use of backtracking. It felt very fresh to me. 
Threat Assessed On Quaddicted! 
 
I like the style. Layout seems Coagula-like enough in its structure. A bit dark on some corners and void ledges which may make for unnecessary deaths. I didn't enjoy the gameplay, though. It felt like you were so excited to use AD that you had to cram everything into this little map and use every monster at least once. This leads to serious overcrowding and frustrating combat where one is under constant attack from all sides which is amplified by the openness of the layout. Becomes a grind fast. 
Agree With Negke Regarding The Overcrowding 
But only for the first two floors. I think the last floor is great. It does feel like you wanted to cram as many different monsters as possible, though. The golem for instance is unnecessary and doesn't mesh thematically well. That said, the style is particularly interesting and works very well.

I have a bunch of demos but I forgot to turn particles off, so they're pretty heavy. I can upload them if you want. 
So When's Lpqsp3? 
 
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