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New Q1SP, Nyarlathotep
Hi everyone, for those who missed it, I recently released a Q1SP map through the Quaddicted Christmas calendar. It's called "Nyarlathotep" and can be downloaded at:

Screenshot here:

There are two maps, nyar.bsp, which should be playable in any engine as it's normal format, but the second map nyar2 is in bsp2 format like my last map Something Wicked (these maps require the latest version of drake, included with Something Wicked), and thus is only playable in bsp2-supported engines like RMQ, DarkPlaces and FTEQW.

The maps have low gravity and the first one in particular is unusual/experimental so some people will undoubtedly hate it, yet the second map is more normal and includes some weapons at the start. Merry xmas!
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DP can easily be set to look like vanilla tho. Minus the water warp maybe. 
I thought Sock managed to get a pretty sexy look out of Dark Places with his ITS mod? 
How? Is there a vanilla DP config somewhere? 
Here's A Couple Shots -

I think he just altered a bunch of cvars until it looked right. I'm sure DP has things like gl_nearest and other settings to make it look quakey. 
DP Settings... 
A vanilla config would be nice I agree.
These get close enough for my liking. I'm sure there's some other vars that can be set to make it look more like Fitz etc if you're picky.

For starts, go to options and set...
particles > quake
lighting > normal
(to lazy to look up the relevant cvars)

Set these...
r_coronas 0

Use these to scale the menus/hud...

This makes the statusbar opaque...
sbar_alpha_bg 1
There's some more sbar settings to hide some cruft

I guess the weapon bob isn't like quake, but I actually prefer the more subtle DP motion. There's some settings for it so I guess it can be tweaked. The weapon interpolation interpolates the muzzle flash etc, I usually play Quake with DirectQ which solves that so no idea if other ports do it. As for alpha tested particles, no idea, might need one of those custom effectsinfo.txt thingies. The monster animations freeze when they jump in DP, no idea why.

The following settings might improve performance in BSP2/2PSB maps if it's giving trouble. (thanks to Slapmap for pointing these out)
sv_gameplayfix_unstickentities 0
sv_gameplayfix_nudgeoutofsolid 0 
Mind Blown 
This has to be one of the most original, and creative maps I've ever played. It challenges the player in a new way by fighting your way upwards amongst an army of angry zombies, all the while in a low gravity setting. It's truly unique in every aspect.

I can understand how some might dislike the gameplay, but to me, I loved it. Its different, in a good way.

The second map, while I enjoyed, I didn't like as much as the first. Its very detailed no question about that, but I suppose horde fights in large open areas just don't really do it for me. For someone who does enjoy that sort of gameplay, the second map is a real winner.

Always fantastic work from you Tronyn, you never cease to "wow" me. 
Thanks Spiney! 
Played through with latest dev Quakespasm no probs.

Absolutely top notch Quake :). Cheers T. The huge demon effigy on the wall in wickedend (Something wicked) was awesome. Nyar1 was just amazing.

Gameplay was occasonally a little too tough on skill 1. One of those corner roman pillars on a roof was transparent to friggin enemy attack aargh &*(&^. And the Droles inside the pyramid were tough.

Your route finding hints were appropriate .. but the "Entrance is below" was unfortunately confusing though the entrance was amazing.

Cheers man. 
An Exercise In Punishment 
Knowing Tronyn style, I didn't lend myself to any illusions about the difficulty of these levels. And rightly so... tough as nails to say the least.

I remember the first map from one of the Something Wicked betas. Sadly, it seems not much has changed from the initial build despite the problems being known. While the vertical/low gravity idea is nice, certainly something unusual in Quake, in this map it just doesn't work the way it's done.
The constant spam of zombie attacks makes it no fun to play. Hordes of z-aware zombies with seemingly unlimited range and pretty much all awake at once, coupled with an environment that makes their projectiles very hard to see and slow movement speed due to the gravity, is guaranteed to leave the player frustrated and annoyed fast as there is no way to keep from getting hit all the time.
One little screw-up can lead to losing a large amount of health since the zombies can basically keep the player stuck in mid-air and leave him incapable of dodging the attacks.

In such an environment, important items like chainsaw, wand and armor should be given *before* entering the lion's den, not inside and easy to miss. You generally want to allow the player to be well equipped at least if he's going to be sent into an unfair combat. This is not the case here - there's a lack of ammo and especially health which quicky leads the player to considering the situation impossible to master.

Another thing that I found to be bad was the lack of proper clipping. There are countless architectural details the player gets stuck on or has to jump over, e.g. light fixtures on walls and floors, when especially jumping means taking the risk of being unable to dodge the attacks from all sides. Wouldn't have been a problem to clip off stuff and turn some things into illusionaries.

It's good there are shortcuts, but their usefulness is decreased by the fact that the player has to use the teleporters once in order to unlock their counterparts on the bottom floor. And one of them above boots you right over the ledge again.
Once one reaches the middle of the map, gets the plasmagun and disposes of most of the zombies, the map becomes more bearable, although the mummies and the morph guy are way overpowered.

The second map was more fun, although it suffers from similar problems as well.
The initial battle is very hard - again, lots of hard-to-see but deadly projectile spam from the scorpions and very limited supplies. After the unlocking the upper building, it was more or less okay. The SK crusher felt like an asshole move. The spikes kind of give the trap away, but most people drop down right onto the key not expecting anything like this.

It's possible to jump over the GK bars (over the coffin) as well as up onto the scaffolding. But it's probably not a deal-breaker. The Shubs all face the same direction, presumably the default angle, which felt like sloppy design. Does the map really require BSP2 format? It doesn't really look that excessive, at least not in a "limits++" kind of way.

I'm suprised many of these issues either didn't come up during playtesting, or maybe they did and the feedback was not addressed properly or ignored. It's a bit of shame, because I believe these maps would have been received a lot better if they hadn't been made this uncompromising in terms of gameplay.

In maps like these, let's call them "slaughtermaps" for the lack of a better term, the player needs to be properly equipped, not grind on his gums most of the time. You may think too much ammo and stuff makes them too easy, but this is not the case. Even fully equipped with full health and red armor, the player can easily get overpowered and die nevertheless. Taking away supplies in this situation makes the odds even more uneven.
Add to that the fact that the Drake mod seems to be catered to your preferences (versus a general purpose mod) so the difficulty is greatly increased to begin with - monsters have more HP, faster attacks and movement speed, deal more damage etc. So you might want to use it with discretion. As it stands, most of your maps have the player under constant pressure throughout the entire map, constantly punishing him. Use the skill settings more considerately! Currently your normal skill is often harder than id nightmare.
In Nyarlathotep, it was only halfway through the second map that the item balance finally worked in the player's favor.

Generally, I did enjoy the maps. However, in my view they are unnecessarily stressful where they could or should have been fun, and leave a lot of room for improvement. I suppose it would be appropriate to regard Tronyn as some sort of excentric artist, all stuck in his ways... :)

Demos (normal skill) 
In terms of theme and style, the maps are very cool and unique. All those whiny purists can gtfo. Though the skybox, while enforcing the weird/otherwordly vibe, makes the level looks quite busy at the same time. 
I Agree, "but" 
I did mention a lot of the above when I tested, but I did so far too late.

Having said that it seems I didn't suffer as much as most with these maps, not because of l33t skillzorz but because they're attrition maps (wtf slaughter maps!?).

Tronyn's gameplay style is attrition. But at the same time it gives us this gore/Egyptian theme, something incredibly solid and - drum roll please - brand new to quake. There have been similar themes in zerstorer, but here it was something else.

I can foresee Nyarlathotep speed mapping and emulation maps in the future. I'd like to make one, at least.

I liked drifting upwards amongst the zombie gib spam. It could have been more forgiving, but then we'd have lost more things of the creative vision, maybe all of it. 
Hi Negke 
Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful feedback. This is why you make an awesome tester. Over the years, the consensus has clearly been that what I consider fun, challenging, relatively balanced, etc, is not what most people think. I held on to Something Wicked for a long time and tested and retested it, since I wanted to achieve a closer-to-consensus balance, and I think I did there. You are right about the clipping (I imagine you mean mostly horizontal lights on platforms in map 1). Here, I tried to make it easier by providing lots of powerups - lots of people found the first pentagram and I think the ring in particular is useful to avoid all the zombie attacks several complained about. Perhaps the Drake mod monster AI could be toned down (it's actually PM's preferences, but I've gotten used to it), or there could be a bigger jump between skill levels. In any case, I'll definitely be writing you about testing my next release when the time comes (iirc you played all the way through beta versions of wicked like 3x, which was much appreciated and contributed to the final map being considered one of my more balanced ones). Cheers.

I totally am stuck in my ways though, heh, it's part of why I'm still making Quake maps. Still, one can try to correct for it.

PS, nyarlathotep speedmaps would be awesome. I almost feel guilty for using such a cool Lovecraft title! 
I Enjoyed Map 1 
a lot, especially considering how much improved it is over the beta. But I had to god mode through map 2 and I found it a chore. Dying over and over again isn't fun for me in Quake, I enjoy a challenge where I get a lot of close calls and I have to claw back success but in this I felt like I was getting smashed into the ground over and over (in map 2).

Something Wicked was a great map, but you can't always make the same type of map, breaking out and doing something new and different is the only way to maintain interest. 
In such an environment, important items like chainsaw, wand and armor should be given *before* entering the lion's den

Yah ... i missed the nail gun from some choatic arena, and was playing without it for ages. Made life bleddy tough. I never reached the tipping point though (never used god mode). 
I Disagree 
with all those wimpie winers about them being to hard. Almost anyone still playing Q1 is a vet, compared to playing an online match vsdecent players 95% of the singlemaps are walks in the park, go watch a dvd if you are afraid to die. 
Shut your fucking gob. 
If everybody is a vet, then why are they complaining? 
Tronyns maps are like the evil spawn of sandy petersen and satan himself.... (except tronyns maps are pretty) 
I'm not saying the maps should be easy. I'm saying they should be fair. That's an important distinction. Although, indeed, a little more refinement of the individual skill levels would go a long way, too.
Facing an overwhelming army is one thing, it forces the player to consider his approach and adjust his strategy, but being locked in a cage and shot at from all sides is another.

I disagree that almost everyone is a vet. In fact, not that many players can or want to deal with hardcore++ gameplay all the time. Actually, the whole vet notion is responsible for a trend in Q1SP that caused the majority of levels especially in the second half of the last decade (including my own) to be grind gameplay - which I don't enjoy anymore.

I acknowledge the experimental nature of the first Nyar map. Not sure how it could have been improved for the general player. Perhaps if there had been a little more cover on each balcony and if the zombies had been more visible from a distance, for example by having them stand against a contrasting backdrop like a brighter texture on the wall behind them, or having them glow with the "effects" trick. 
Drake Merger = the Dark Souls of Quake! 
What does "fair" mean though? Is it fair if it is possible at all? Look at the popular "lol so hard omg i bokre my controller" games.

You don't have to like all maps. It's great if there are maps for people who want a hard challenge as well as maps for sight-seeing.

(Haven't played the second map yet but I did enjoy the first one once I got the hang of it (and I agree that weapons should better not be "hidden within combat")). 
The first map would be much more fun if you had a RL with full ammo. And Tronyn I hate that the RL is limited to 50 rockets in Drake lol.

Just on the hardcore gamers thing... I play a lot of games, more than probably 90% of people. But the thing is, I don't want to be challenged too much. Whether I'm a vet or not, I don't want games where I'm just about throwing the keyboard through the monitor because it's too hard, and I'm having to ramp my adrenaline up to get through it. Games don't need to be like that... adventure games aren't, and people play those right. So I'd be just as happy at killing a few ogres in a nice looking room, than killing 15 gaunts in a huge arena.

I actually put this one down to easy difficulty if I recall.

I've just played Dragon age origins and Left4Dead, and looking at a lot of the mods that have been made, they seem to be for hardcore players wanting a bigger challenge than the game provided. So would Quake be any different? 
Yeah, Tronyn always seems to withhold the RL until very late in the maps. 
Not Much To Say 
Awesome hords to kill to relax from day 31 of December!

After survived to 1% died in that trap of spikes :( dawn...

Happy New Year to all and thanks for this Christmas gift Tronyn

First demos! 
Sorry Did Not Enjoy This At All 
the gameplay mechanic was definitely unique but it was overabused by the relentless attack/pressure the player is under for the whole of map 1. There is no downtime or buildup of combat at all and I found it a real slog. Not even enough of a breather to soak in the atmosphere, a big no no in my opinion.

Map 2 was a bit more normal Tronyn but I would say given that it was almost made for a different game what with the scale and types of brushwork being attempted and then the waves of monsters to slaughter without much thought as to placement. 
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