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SM186 - Terracotta
Finally, SM186 is here and it's got 12 Terracotta flavoured levels for you to play.

Map Authors:
-Danzadan
-Ing-ing
-Ionous
-Ish
-Jcr
-Muk
-Newhouse
-Pinchy
-Prengle
-Shambler
-Vaf
-Yoder

Preview
Download
Enjoy.
Sick Turnout Bro. 
Checking soon. 
Very Nice Poster! 
Will play the map during the week. 
';,,;' 
Excellent turnout and variety in maps 
Played A Few Maps 
recorded a few demos. not done all yet. Holy shit shambler, that was great! 
Skill 1 Demos For 7 Maps 
Demos for Danzadan through Newhouse (playing through them alphabetically): https://www.dropbox.com/s/dapstfblyl4rb1w/sm186_demos_yoder_part1.zip?dl=1

Notes (there are notes in the demos too):

sm186_danzadan
- Good reuse of each space for multiple fights! Lot of gameplay mileage for only a few rooms, and it didn't feel repetitive. I'll probably come back to this one for a skill2 playthrough and gather more notes when I do.

sm186_ing
- Fun concept, especially since spawns are such rare enemies. The courtyard encounter was also a good fight that kept me moving. Main criticism is the lava trap and the fiend fight in the hall after. This is a style preference, but I like to feel I have put myself in a bad situation, or if I fall into a bad situation--like the floor being scripted to fall out from under me--I want to be able to recover so long as I react well. This encounter unfortunately colors most of the experience with this map for me.

sm186_ionous
- Lovely construction and lighting. As simple as it is, returning in and out of the same space is nice. At the end, realizing there wasn't more to go, I'd looked up and hoped we'd get to see where the waterfalls are coming from. The enemies and general collision are a bit messy with these shapes though. Yay Quake AABB collision.

sm186_ish
- There were some horde mode vibes to this layout, kind of like a deathmatch map but with monsters in it. There were maybe too many monsters though, or their arrangement with shalraths in the back and knights in the front made it too easy to trigger infighting. As you'll see in the demo, I mostly completed the map by running around and collecting ammo. The delays on a lot of the buttons took me by surprise, usually I like buttons to respond instantly, but the delay meant that I could only really benefit from the buttons in the second half of the map once most monsters were dead. The "stay a while" secret was also a fun trick in this way!

sm186_jcr
- I like what you've been doing with the monologue messages, there's a sense of story that a lot of Quake maps don't have. I was also really excited at the start when I thought it was a sewer level, aaand then it wasn't, but still a fun map. One downside of the narration approach is that I expect the world to behave a little more rationally, like if I keep telling myself that I need the gold key to lift the platform at the end, 1) how do I know this, 2) I'd better be telling myself the truth. The fighting was good, some of the same notes as your last map though, a few too many encounters that rely on throwing a whole squad of the same enemy type at the player. But better encounters as a whole!

sm186_muk
- Loved the two different moods the level had between the first and second half, and also the shift toward a focus on grenades and zombies. That kind of change in the middle of a level is pretty rare, but something I'd like to see more of! The first area was a bit simple for gameplay, but I think I'll have to go back for skill 2 and see how that compares. The hazard suit also had me thinking blood deals damage (maybe I'm thinking Doom), which caused a little confusion when it came time to backtracking, but I worked it out.

sm186_newhouse
- The geo has a nice twisted feeling to it. Some of the wooden pillars looked like warped trees. The destroyed chunks in the wall also were a nice way of telegraphing the secrets. I did get pretty lost looking for the gold key though. Even after I saw where it was, it took me another loop of the map to find the way to actually reach it. There was a door that I just didn't realize was a door. Also, I'm not sure about the zombies that kept spawning in through the wooden ceiling. I guess the idea is that was a crypt area, but didn't quite work for me, and was too easy to gib the whole group on spawn.

Will have more notes once I wrap up the maps! 
Thanks For The Demo, Mclogenog 
One note however, Skill 2 has the same number of enemies and items as skill 1, so no need to repeat the same experience, right? I didn't bother changing much since I was nearing the deadline and was too busy fighting leaks and other bugs to keep the map clean. Although i did reduce the monster count on easy later on, so there is some difference in the end. 
Demos 
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/demos/sm186_drew.zip

some really good shit in here. some demoes are not as long as recipients would like I'm sure as I didn't do full playthroughs on ones where I died. Sorry!
Thanks for putting this together Danzadan! 
SM186 Playlist 
I thought I'd try something different- so I made a playlist on youtube of my playthroughs. I'll post complete demos later tonight as there were some deaths. I'll probably start recording all the maps I play through in this way to help spread the good word of Quake and for archival goodness.

SM186 Playlist 
@Mclogenog 
Thanks for the feedback. I need to improve falling zombies through rotten ceiling for newer releases. Path to treehouse with vore and 3 buttons wasn't highlighted, entrance/doorway should have been wider/more contrasted. I apologize my bad mapping habits ^^; 
This Was Really "speedmapping"? 
Maps are pretty good. I especially liked muk's, prengle's and yoder's maps.

Playing them while playing Vikings war songs (Danheim music) is really great. 
Good Stuff. 
I played them all, and completed the ones that weren't too brutal / OTT. Good usage of the theme and some pretty ambitious and interesting maps. Favourites were Danzadan, Muk, and Prengle all of which felt refined and nicely balanced. 
The Usual Demo Load 
Skill 2, one run, yadda yadda yadda. This time they're nice and small so they're all in one zip here but I got lazy and didn't keep track of the kill/time/secrets and typed like one sentence.

Danzadan: Looks slick as hell for being somewhat small without feeling cramped, secret hints were nice and the underlift secret was better.

Ing: Spawns are terrifying. Lava traps that slide that quick are infuriating.

Ionous: Small and impressively full of Scrags.

Ish: Starts out frantic and ends much less so from quad overdose. Have absolutely no idea where the secrets are.

JCR: More waves than a swimming pool. Did not find the third painting. Did a sweet jump over a Shambler.

Muk: Inverted zombies? Is this sorcery? Thought the blood pools were damaging slime at first.

Newhouse: Didn't quite feel as much terracotta, but that's fine. I wasted the secret.

Pinchy: I shot an old Fiend and his name was Sal, fifteen miles on the Pinchy canal. Dug the open-end navigation and the bit of tech mixed with the medieval. Took a few retries after wandering into areas with tough enemies and no equipment to handle them, pretty sure I did half the map backwards somehow anyway. Stumbled into all the secrets somehow though. Also I made a typo in the demo names.

Shambler: Really like the usage of the maroon techbase textures over the normal, more common tan ones, terracotta in color if not in theme and works extremely well. May have broken your map a little bit, got the 'Wut??' message. Whoops.

Vaf: Squishing Vores is really damn satisfying. Was oddly happy about the little brushwork treasure chest in the nailgun room.

Yoder: Mystified by the toggling pillars and never figured them out. The teleport train secret was cool as hell, don't see those used very often at all. No idea what's going on with the illusionary rocket ammo secret, in the first demo I spend a bit trying to reach the roof teleporter and I think I broke something or did something backwards because I just wound up back at the start. 
Going To Be Playing Through This In An Hour 
 
Demos as promised.

There wasn't a bad map in this pack, I died a lot on Ing's map, that sudden lava trap got me. Enjoyed some mad air on Pinchy and Ish's maps. Yoder's map reminded me of his latest release which was very welcome for me. 
Demos Vol. 1. 
http://www.quaketastic.com/files/demos/otp_sm186_1.zip

So was this a great pack or what?? A cracking theme, a superb turnout, and best of all they're all really cool.

More coming soon. 
Oh 
I think I missed pinchy's map! 
Oh 
I think I missed pinchy's map! 
Thanks For The Demos Guys* 
 
Newhouse 
I actually really liked your weird ass map. good job 
 
Thank you drew ^^; 
Skill 1 Demos For The Remaining 4 Maps 
Demos: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nfi1kcwo4uh7hmz/sm186_demos_yoder_part2.zip?dl=1

sm186_pinchy
- (Note: My demo idles for a while at the end, forgot to stop it, so don't worry about waiting for some secret note or some such at the end.) Feedback: it seemed to me that this map started with its theme--docks--and then the gameplay followed. As a result, the theme works pretty well, almost looks like the city out of Thief 2 (in a good way!), but the scale feels wrong for combat distances and the flow through the level is also a bit awkward. It's easy to get half-way through the level without finding the nail gun or the grenade launcher, as you'll see in my demo's first few lives. Neither of these items are technically secrets, but both feel necessary or the level turns very repetitive with low-ammo shotgun brawls. The open space also makes it easy to alert most of the enemies without them being able to effectively chase, which means a lot of receiving potshots from enforcers on a rooftop somewhere while you're fighting a scag and some knights. This ends up feeling kind of noisy, a lot of attention-management comes into play, rather than tactical choices. This is a valid style though, like slaughter maps for Doom, just not my preference. Also, there were several encounters involving enemies spawning behind the player, or rising up on a lift to have enemies surrounding you up top. This kind of encounter feels cheap to me, more so even than a monster closet behind me opening, because I want to have failed a "perception roll" for the ambush that's about to happen, if that makes sense. And once I die to an ambush like this, I can't plan my way around it, except to be able to react faster. A lot of this feedback is my preferences as a player coming through, but assuming you don't dismiss all my feedback on that basis, for future maps I'd recommend cutting open spaces like this in half and putting some basic weapons on the critical path.

sm186_prengle
- Solid gameplay around a solid concept. It felt like the kind of map that could have shipped in the original game, if maybe a little short (it is a speedmap after all). I also personally like maps that force me to retreat, since it's such a rare form of play. Thematically there wasn't much going on, but it also didn't get in the way. I'll probably come back for skill 2 and see if I have more notes then.

sm186_sham
- A simple and fun map. The way the base was grounded in its setting reminded me of N64 FPS level design, like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. Much simpler of course, but it was refreshing to get that experience out of a Quake map. Couldn't figure out the secrets, even though I explored a bit. The angled architecture also led to some awkward moments, but this was never while I was in combat, so it's not a big deal.

sm186_vaf
- I left a lot of notes in my demo of your map, so not sure how much more I have to say. The branching structure with the two keys for the one door was good, and I liked how you highlighted the silver key with the attacking ogre at the start. The door just needed some of the lock textures so it would be clear that's what those keys were for. I didn't even realize I needed the gold key the first time through, but had happened to already grab it while exploring. The combat encounters have good enemy diversity, but maybe relied a bit too much on teleporting for my taste. As I mentioned with pinchy's map, I'm not too fond of teleport ambushes, since it doesn't leave much room for tactics and makes future attempts at the same fight samey. Also wasn't too keen on the spawn pit. Got into a state in one of my attempts where I couldn't proceed through the final room because I had no ammo to shoot the buttons up high. But aside from a few of these problems, it's a pretty solid map.

Altogether, pretty solid set of maps for 4 days! Cheers to all the contributors, and all the folks who've recorded demos and given feedback! 
Good Maps 
 
 
It always surprises me how some are able to create such detailed and engaging maps in only a matter of weeks or even days. Or maybe its just the fact that I'm an incredibly slow mapper. Either way great job to everyone!

First run demos, hard skill: http://www.quaketastic.com/files/demos/orl_sm186.rar 
QUAKE: SM186 ⚡ Terracotta (2018) Nightmare Playlist 
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