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Custom Derper.

I am getting a bit of a geek-crush on the smoothly spoken Englishman that is DAZ with his insightful and thought-provoking series of derping around missing all the secrets and even items that are right in front of him errrr I mean talking about mapping while playing cool levels. So I thought his channel was worth it's own seperate thread - entertaining for players and mapping veterans, and potentially very useful for newer mappers as DAZ does offer some really good views on mapping theory. Also DAZ go ahead and put all your updates in here.
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Map Jam 4 
wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck 
The Video That's Coming 
The Hell That's Coming by Warren Marshall 
Fallen From Grace 
I'd still kill for a Daz-plays-Aliens-TC stream.

Kill. Like, people. 
Not A Quake Map 
Starting Map Jam 6 Videos 
Only a few months behind, don't panic! 
Very nice, very useful feedback.

You questioned a teleport that teleports you right up (to the exit). I agree, it was poor design. A teleport should be a last resource to solve connection problems. Some kind of stairway or unlocking an elevator would be better. 
A teleporter is fine. It's just that in this case it all feels a little disjointed or unintuitive perhaps. It shows that you made the atrium first and then tried to come up with stuff around it - which is also fine, but it can lead to an uninspiring layout.

About the spike rock setup: while it's a nice mechanic, it doesn't really work out in the end due to a flaw in the presentation. It goes without saying that the rocks should have been made to stand out more visually, not necessary by putting a shootable texture on them, but something to make them look special and not like an environmental detail. Now, the setup itself is clever in principle, whether intentionally or not. First room teaches the player that the rocks can be interacted with and how they serve as both triggers for progression as well as platforms to jump on. The second room shows they can also be used to crush enemies, and the third room uses a combination of both, where the player can use them at his own discretion. However, the setup breaks at the second step. Upon entering the room, the player immediately sees the vore (& vice versa) and since there's no cover and little space, he instinctivly backs up again before he has a chance to spot the rock above the vore. Even if he does make the connection afterwards, after having sniped the vore from the previous room, it likely won't work as effectively in the third room, because there was no directly visuble reinforcement of the lesson. 
Be puzzled, at first, about what to do to progress is part of the experience. The first room was set for the player to take its time and figure out the puzzle. Once you know those pointy things are there to drop there's no need to make them blink to get the player's attention. It raises a debate about how much player's frustration should be avoided (there must be some, imho). But I agree about the vore and the rest of your post. 
Agreed Re: 
having the player figure things out on his own, at least to a certain degree. That's one thing (of many) I didn't like about HL2 or the episodes; they felt overdesigned (if that's even an expression) in that whenever any new gameplay element was introduced, it was way too obvious that the designers were trying to "teach" the player how to use it - which is even more apparent when listening to the commentary. Almost as if they were afraid the player wouldn't do things exactly the way he was supposed to, or that every player has the attention span and cognitive abilites of a kindergartener, thus having to be handheld.

Okay I'm just rambling now. But my point is, I don't think it's a bad idea to just have some more subtle clues and then let the player figure out the rest on his own. Although I do recall having some trouble in the third room of your map, adib, as I'd run out of ammo after killing the vore and therefore couldn't shoot the spike down. 
Breezeep In The Flames Of Stars And Stuff 
Kell's book secrets in Contract were all bonus secrets, the hidden runes that opened up the secret level. No actual gameplay secrets were hidden with those fiddly books. 
Bookshelf Secrets Are Like Under Lift Secrets. 
Like 'em or not, they are obligatory. And all the better with spawn hidden inside them.

I never did figure out the water room secret, well fucking annoying! 
did "obligatory" come to mean "terrible" overnight? 
Thanks For The Video Daz! 
See my comment under the video. 
<Daz_> was out at a bar, and one of my friends friends who I've never met before just said omg are you the guy who does those quake videos on youtube? 
Daz, did she ask you to sign her boobs? 
Or his boobs, I ain't judging. 
daz, this INFRA game you were playing looks like Myst for trainspotters 
I watched an hour of the 'gameplay' before I got bored. I'm sure the level design is exceptional but it felt like a waste of time. 
You can feel that the team that built it were 99% env artists and 1% animatiors, programmers and level designers.

It's a love letter to urban explorers and infrastructure coolness.

Some of the puzzles are absolutely maddening, and confusing as hell in places. Definitely needed more playtesting in this regard.

But damn, it is cool exploring all these old places :o 
99% env artists

It's a love letter to urban explorers

Ok, you got my attention. Gonna look for it. 
Transmissions : Element 120 
My Half-Life 2 mod of the year for 2015. Rocket Jump gun :o 
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