Xmas Ionous V2
Somewhat much easier on a third playthrough finding most of the secrets (the last two I couldn't actually see how they could fit into the uber-compact map), there's a lot of loot and tactics to manage it for the difficulty spikes.
As usual, I liked this to bits. Good vibes, and surprisingly light-on-single-shotgun gameplay.
About 'Super Secrets'
So these are really hard to pull of successfully, although I think Bal's map did a really good job of surprising the player with the secret. In most cases it seems the player will have to go backtracking and find missing secrets/things in order to unlock the 'super secret'.
It seems difficult to figure out where to place such a secret, if it is placed just before the ending it would seem logical, but if the player has missed something in the unlock sequence they may ignore it and finish the map. If it is placed near the beginning, the player will still have to backtrack to unlock it.
I think the mapper can make a conscious decision that the super secret will require backtracking, or it is there to encourage replay of the map. This is what I tried to do, by placing many monsters in the secret, and because the player has to backtrack to unlock it I hoped they will either explore more, or do a second playthrough. I agree with @Spud, I can see that this is not a perfect setup and maybe the super secret should be more natural to find. Does anyone have any examples of great super secrets in other maps?
Anyways this jam was really awesome to play through because of the diversity in the map themes. It was almost in some senses a theme-less jam.
@57 Re: Natural Super Secrets
Does anyone have any examples of great super secrets in other maps?
Given that this mapjam requires Arcane Dimensions be installed to play, it seems fair to mention the maps in AD itself, four of which include mod-relevant super secrets, that being the runes to collect. Two I'm gonna single out are ad_mountain (Firetop Mountain, by sock) and ad_cruical (Crucial Error, by mfx).
Firetop Mountain has already shown up multiple times in this thread (and I misspelled it as 'Lavatop'- whoops!) and is an overall great example of how to make a super secret- setting the player on a side-quest that runs alongside their normal level progress from the instant they see the first ghostly Knight at the map entrance, telling a neat story along the way, and most importantly, giving hints to how to progress towards the secret even if they miss a step or the initial apparition. The path is constantly changing as well- one second you're just looking for ghosts, then it's finding skeletons in the vents, then it's an arena fight as you get to watch the spectres make their way to the hidden room, etc. and it's all completely optional, with mini-secrets along the way like the Widowmaker shotgun.
In contrast, Crucial Error has its entire super secret route only available if you find the 'end point' near the start of the map, that being the locked door hidden behind a breakable vent in an air duct. However, unlike every other instance of a breakable vent in the map, this single vent has no visible crack giving the player a glimpse to the other side, and it's entirely likely they won't even realize it's breakable as there's a Grunt directly in front of it who will absorb their fire- if you're good enough to not miss a shot, you probably won't deal enough damage to break the vent. Worse, if they do manage to break it, the previous precedent demonstrated in the map- that being "breakable vents are marked with a crack" is broken, leading to an inquisitive player having to smack/shoot every single vent texture in the map (of which there are dozens if not more) to make sure the same trick wasn't pulled again. The secret itself is just a tiny room with a rune in it, unlocked by finding some computer chips- if you don't find the room itself first, the chips don't spawn in the map and you don't even get a hint that they exist.
There's a portal error in my map. When you walk over the bridge towards the small room with the window that reveals the ring, the upper metal tile on the ramp disappears. No weird brushwork involved, or any errors in the QBSP output, so there's no reason this should happen?! No such issue with the XT utils. Any idea what's going on there?
Argh, sorry. I see it - will look into it.
What A Workout
I didn't realize a Christmas theme jam also meant the hardest maps ever! But I loved it. A great job to everyone.
Demos for each map, hard skill. Not all a first run, but played each time until I could get through it in one sitting.
Updated With A Bonus Map From Sock
Is an Xmas sock the same thing as a stocking? Anyways, this was a really neat little map. I love the use of the Twisted Christmas monsters, and it was kinda funny how they would explode. All the rocks and woodwork looked really good too. "My dear boy, you saved me!" Gets me every time...
A S(t)ocking Stuffer?
It's still Christmas somewhere in the world, right? Looks great but I don't think anyone is really expecting anything else given the map author. Found two secrets on the first playthrough but had to record a second demo because shenanigans and found the third secret (the megahealth) on a second playthrough. Wasn't expecting to save Santa so early. Also, the first secret (nailgun) has a kind of wonky secret trigger, I think- it counts as finding it when you jump towards the button, apparently, not when you actually activate it or when you enter the nail room. Demo here.
Unrelated side note: I noticed AD1.7's notes mention the shotgun damage has been rolled back to default Quake values; wasn't that part of the appeal of using the projectile shotguns, doing just a bit more damage compared to the normal hitscan ones?
I really liked this map. Short, but fun. Nice little enemies. Excellent attention to detail. As you saw on stream, I played on nightmare... Could have been a touch harder. Wish this had've released with the pack T_T
Great job man,
Nice map. Wondered what the xmas monsters were going to be. thought they might have just been re-skins of the current monsters rather than the models from that crazy xmas mall map.
Here's a demo
Just Popping In
To say that ionous's spiral staircase reveal is cool as shit.
Catching Up Time.
- Didn't remember much despite watching the mapping streams. Smooth gameplay with good progression. Annoying secrets though.
- Didn't finish, sorry, interesting concept but not sure it was pulled off successfully. Props for ikblue though.
- Classic negke weirdness, with some AD "upper class" flair. Interesting idea with the ring, a bit anticlimactic though.
- Sorry, didn't finish this either. I didn't like this map much but I still appreciate it, it must have taken some effort. I had to disable dynamic lighting after a while, far too much flickering torchlight for my eyes. Interesting multi-tiered layout. The outside area looked gorgeous but the actual basement was too busy visually though.
- Nice map, good for a few minutes of gameplay and some laughs. I might steal that flagstone texture though.
- Holy moly that scale, I got a bit too used to cramped hallways. Good boss fight material, a bit easy with the LG though.
Some of these demos are pretty big since I forgot to disable particles again after updating AD to 1.7, sorry about that.
Summing up, this jam turned out well, despite all odds. I can imagine that in some alternate universe, with more care put into keeping this thread active with hype, we would have gotten a full suit of 24 maps. I probably shouldn't complain, since I barely went over 50 brushes with my attempt - which I may finish and release as standalone sometime later, but I think I'd prefer to finish it for another 1024^3 event... ;-)
What Went Wrong?
Playing through Tens map i got these strange visuals suddenly.
I missed sth.?
Congratulations! You found my easter egg. There's a little message that pops up if you somehow make it out to the farthest extreme of the map, across the distant bridge to the end of the canyon. It's a tongue-in-cheek joke about the 1024 unit limit we were expected to build to; the purple and white face (which is the profile picture I use on social media sites) is on the six sides of a cube that delineates the limits I used to design the map. I thought it'd be a cute super secret, as well as a way to prove I fulfilled the requirements of the jam that was built right into the BSP.
As an aside, I'd been using a TRIGGER-textured cube as a guide throughout most of my design process, and only decided to formalize it as a secret at the last minute. I swapped the old jig out for this thing instead, but accidentally shifted the cube 16 units on X and Y in the process. I was lucky enough to notice that error, and fixed it, but somehow before the deadline I managed to undo that change (I think I literally just hit Ctrl+Z too many times at some point) and the cube is back to being slightly off. For the record, it should be further east and south, with two adjacent sides of the cube flush with the inner faces of the non-functional doors near the exit yin-yang pit.
If you didn't see the message, though, and didn't actually explore the canyon, something else must have activated the secret prematurely. Do you remember exactly what you did when the face cube appeared? It has what I thought was a unique targetname, I didn't think anything else in the map could trigger it.
I was exploring the farthest extreme of the map, as you described.
And i got the message prompted, but i was lazy and ignored it :)
Anyway, now with that in mind it is all clear now (glanced at the .map file in editor to confirm it).
Not a bug, at least in my book, nice effect.
I somehow instantly thought of the Github profile pic generated somehow, you just confirmed it.
As for the map itself, very nice and clean build, love the textures and their usage. Satisfying. Very satisfying.
Oh Thank God
I was worried for a moment, I'd hate to think my carefully laid plans had gone awry.
The image is in fact an Identicon, though I flood-filled the ugly grey Github gave me (which matched the header color they were using at the time, a couple of years ago) with solid 255 white, to fit with Youtube and other sites' white backdrops. That my Github username produced something that looks like a face is a coincidence, incidentally, but once I saw that I felt compelled to use it everywhere.
Glad you liked the map! otp as well, I appreciate the feedback from both of you.
Why Dont You Just
Dont worry too much about it, i loved all your maps so far, curvy murphy stuff.
Btw, that rock texture, where does it come from? Sorry if i'm being dense here, but this texture is quite nice!
I am! At the moment I'm tinkering with something to submit to dumptruck's DM4 Jam. Still very early, nothing to show yet, but I'm mapping.
The rock texture, like almost all of the others, comes from the Hexen II expansion pack Portal of Praevus. I didn't actually know that at the start of the project; I'd downloaded praevus.zip from the Quaddicted wad collection at some point simply because I thought the textures looked nice. Worked out well, since that expansion is where the AD Eidolon model comes from too. I went over that and a bunch of other things in a little retrospective on Youtube, if you're the curious type: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak8SV6ssOeo
I liked your super secret too. I just had to go to that other brisge of course.
Did You Guys Noclip?
I saw the other two bridges as well but didn't think it was possible to jump to, so I didn't bother.
Can't remember if I was abe to make that jump.