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Q1Puzzle: Ascending And Descending.
Or was it "Asshanding & Dazending"?!

This is a small medieval/realism puzzle map, complete with cramped rooms and oversized furniture. It's based on M.C. Escher's print of the same title, albeit without the visual paradox or any other weird styles for that matter. It's a bit of a blend between my very first Quake map, Scragbait's Fall Cleaning, and Lower Forecourt.

The gameplay is slow and focuses on key-hunting and finding secret areas. Requires a little thinking out of the box at times, but not excessively so. Try to discover, figure out and remember the hint messages.

It has a very open, nonlinear layout with terrible visblocking resulting in a high polycount and the risk of packet overflow on older engines. I recommend Fitzquake or one of its forks, but if you must play it with a vintage port, consider using some corpse removal mod.

Originally, it was supposed to be a quick and simple turtlemappish level to be released on Halloween or Christmas, but it dragged on and I ran into all sorts of technical problems (limit-related) which eventually made it a very frustrating experience - hopefully it won't be for you. Demos are appreciated.

Screenshot
Download

Note: There's quite a bit of compatibilty issues, be sure to check the readme for information. Most importantly, this map does not work with DirectQ 1.9.0 (use 1.8.8(1) instead), and Darkplaces users must set sv_gameplayfix_ q1bsptracelinereportstexture 0.
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Of Course 
You release a map when I have 2 midterms coming up. Thanks for your ongoing support of the scene (asshole)! 
 
It's not named negkeycony?

rating -1/5 on Quaddicted 
Think It Broke? :( 
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/103186490/scampie_mce.zip

My play through, but I think it broke at the endish and couldn't complete... maybe I am dumb though!

I really liked playing it though! so many hacks! 
 
Very cool and very interesting. I still found three runes and can not move further. Thanks for the map! 
W34fruiwehidfsw 
68:40 minutes
2/3 secrets
fuck you negke

Lovely construction and attention to detail as usual in a Negke map. The progression was absolutely horrible though. I was so utterly and completely lost for most of the map, and when I did eventually find the way forward it wasn't a feeling of accomplishment but rather that the level was cheap shotting me in the gonads.

Main issues I had were:

pressing buttons and having no idea what they did.
Seeing doors open but then having to run around half the map trying to figure out how to get to them.
Some architectural details felt like important clues or puzzle elements but ended up just being brush porn.

I think that making rooms feel more unique in their colour scheme would have helped a lot also, I had trouble navigating to where I wanted to go for the entire map. 
Oh 
No demo, because I'm not that cruel ;) 
Really Interesting And Fun Map 
I tested this and although there are a few gameplay problems due to the crampedness, it's a fun map overall with a really great exploratory feel, a few nice little secrets and decent gameplay.

Nice work! 
 
http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/negke_mce_spy3.rar

here is my skill3 demo of me wandering around clueless for ~ 40min

not completed though

very nice map and very negkish 
Free Jazz In BSP Format -> Clearly Not A Map For Everyone 
Like I said, the hint notes (=orange headlines) are important as they hint at the areas where the runes are hidden. Once you've found a rune, the corrsponding hint will deactivate, so if you come across a 'silent' one, it means you've already solved that part and can ignore it. If you're lost, return to the hint notes, and start again from there.

You don't need to do grenade jumps or anything like that, and there's no need to shoot every single wall - only examine the areas in question. None of the cupboards and closets open, so don't bother with them.

You need the runes to unlock the seals (1+2 for the one in the basement; 3+4 for the one in the courtyard; all 4 for the one on the roof). 
 
I'm exhausted. I used to jump RocketJump boxes. And I still can not find the rune "S" 
Cruel Mistress 
Amazing idea, I love the atmosphere of the place with all the attention to detail. I did find the progress strange, I was never sure if anything I was doing was the right way to progress. I would find a jump shortcut from a balcony railing and it felt like a shortcut, but turned out to be the way forward. Eventually I got all the secrets on my second play through and the MH was by accident which did not feel good.

The puzzles and progress just made me feel frustrated most of the time. I often found locked doors and did not know how to get past them. First time through I was hopelessly lost and spent ages just bashing walls with my axe. The lowest point for me was the picture puzzle, that should of been a secret not the way forward! That was just cruel.

From a technical point of view the map is amazing, I am sure most of what you have done will be lost on most people because it is not obvious the map hacks. The effort you must of gone through makes me wonder why? It could have been done with new entities and some QC scripts, but I suppose it is the challenge of doing it.

The visuals are amazing, texture alignment perfect and the roles of rooms linked together really well. The pillar details, the storage areas in ceiling spaces and notice boards were flawless. All the extra details created the right vibe for the place.

I thought the scale of the place added to the encounters, it made the knights and ogres feel more dangerous instead of the usual dance around the AI without much care for geometry. The AI certainly had some issues but overall they were fun. I noticed you sneaked in some spawns which made me laugh. My favourite encounter was the shambler in the box up in the attic, very cool story idea.

Amazing work as always. 
I Finally Done It! 
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/103186490/scamp_mce23.zip

2 demos.


only ever got 2 secrets, not sure how to get the last. 
Bonus Map 
Ok, anyone who manages to make it through in one piece, or several (including mental integrity), may cool off (or warm up again, depends) in this bonus map which is the actual base of the newly-released one. That's why it took so long and... you know. 
Argh! 
I can't believe I actually finished this on my first playthrough! Easy skill, 48:48, 2/3 secrets, 60/74 kills. http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/mce_mandel.7z

Quite confusing I have to say. My sense of direction isn't good by any means, and even though this map is quite small I barely ever knew where to go! Still I enjoyed it in some weird way, maybe because it was open to trick jumps. Was trick jumps the way to go most places though? I'm sure there are intended ways to getting all the stuff... I never got past the boxes blocking one path by the way. And exiting with 14 missing kills I'm sure I've missed at least one section of the map.

Sorry about the huge demo, I'm no regular fitzquake user, although mark v has all the features I require and seems nice. My demo is protocol 666, and I'm guessing my playing with a very high framerate cap blows the demo size up.

Amazing though what can be done with (almost) only the standard assets. 
 
Not completed it yet but I had no idea what was happening when I pressed certain buttons and used the runes. Brushwork was good though. 
 
Fun times so far. Got 3 of the runes, but the remaining one (the rune from episode 1) I haven't even glimpsed yet. And it seems that I've reached every area and killed every monster that I've been able to see.

HMMM

(And the fact that you said above that no grenade jumps are required, that's interesting. I did use one; wonder what I missed there.) 
 
Well I completed it with 3/3 secrets. Pretty tough, and I would never have done it if I hadn't have read someone above mentioning the "picture puzzle". It's an interesting map but the difficulty for me is a bit much, I ran out of ammo on the last few death knights near the end (ended up cheating the last bit of the map because of it). 
Finished It...Sort Of... 
Managed to get all kills and all secrets in just around 40 minutes! I got plenty lost as the navigation through the map was counter-intuitive to me, in a left-handed vs. right-handed kind of way. The details and architecture were amazing, even if the textures were a bit drab. The hacks were sheer genius! I broke something at the end, though, and I couldn't end the map properly :(

Great job!!! 
I Passed! 
Great map!
How did you manage to make such a complex weave of corridors and rooms? I bow to your creativity.

Thank you! 
 
and I would never have done it if I hadn't have read someone above mentioning the "picture puzzle".

likewise. would never have found rune 3 either if i hadn't opened up the entity file and looked at the origins ;/ was the hint for that one supposed to be the 'rear balcony' message?

good map otherwise. library made me giggle 
Not Completed. 
Attempt 1: Spent a very long time getting everything up to the "S"-shaped rune but failed to get that.

Attempt 2: Same again, also spent a very long time getting the S-rune, used up all my ammo on the death knghts and wasn't able to kill the final monsters.

I found a large difference between the internal logic of some puzzles (visible jumping puzzles onto balconies, visible rune behind curtain with a path of instructions to follow), and the puzzles that were pure secrets (S-rune - if the kitchen note relates to this, it is not clear what is front and back of the building, nor which of the many upper floors are the upper floor). The basement puzzle was somewhere in-between as it used a map feature as the secret (painting), however there are a vast number of visual red herrings both in details (paintings etc) and objects (books etc). There are also physical red herrings e.g. grenade jumping (despite not being necessary, explosive jumping is necessary to exit), jumping around the edge of the map (the earliest progress the player makes is via jumping, and later there could be more jumps, also the wooden roof tiles are visible from below). 
True 
It's all fairly haphazard. Once again, I overestimated the players' ability to quickly and easily grasp a layout and mechanics. But in the end I was too fed up with the whole thing to be willing to change or sacrifice any of it. Sorry about that.

You make good points. Another potentially misleading bit about the attic crates, as otp pointed out, is that there's a GL in the workshop next to some broken crates, and a box of rockets visible on the attic, all of which can be interpreted as suggesting one needs to break the crates oneself or grenadejump over if that doesn't work. I blocked off the attic (->roof access) thinking it would help the player for being able to explore the roof part as well would make it even more confusing.

The S-rune in the stash, well, some players found them by accident without even having seen the hint. I made it so the secret door isn't visible when passing by, only when stopping to look around. Obviously doesn't work out. 
SPOILER: Rune Locations 
Rune 1 ("7"): it's in the headmaster's secret study/laboratory. The diary in the bunkhouse hints at the "top of the library stairs" - the button to open access is in the painting.

Rune 2 ("�"): easiest to find - in the head summoner's chamber, the one with the fiend trap in the doorway.

These two runes unlock the seal in the basement.

Rune 3 ("S"): a secret stash in a corner next to the rear balcony, the one with the GK. The note on the storage floor in the kitchen, up the ladder.

Rune 4 ("α"): behind the curtain. The spell to open it is on one of the bunk beds, as hinted to by the note in the workshop.

These two runes unlock the seal in the courtyard.

When the first two seals are broken, the attic becomes accessible. The third seal on the roof requires all four runes to open. 
Wut? 
Rune 1 ("7")
Rune 2 ("�")
Rune 3 ("S")
Rune 4 ("α")

The runes are just 1, 2, 3, 4, highly stylized. 
Route 
Route planning is a documented weakness of mine, but here's a demo of me finishing mce in 1:21.

http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/mce_er_mandel.7z 
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