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New Q1SP: Runic Fear
Hey y'all,

I'm originally a Quakeworld mapper and I've made several TeamFortress maps over the course of the last few years (1 2 3 4). I've wanted to create a singleplayer map for awhile, and this year I decided to finally try my hand. I've been a 10+ year lurker and enjoy playing the maps released here.

My first foray into SP mapping is a small-to-intermediate sized non-linear runic/metal map entitled "Runic Fear." This map uses stock id1 textures and there are no gameplay modifications. Please consider this an "id1+" map in terms of construction quality and gameplay. The map has been tested in FitzQuake 0.85, RMQEngine, and it even runs just fine in id's original quake.exe.

This map has been balanced to the best of my ability for all 3 skill levels, best described as:
Easy: I'm here to explore the map and have fun (47 monsters).
Medium: Probably a safe middle gound (70 monsters).
Hard: I have no fear (88 monsters).

Each difficulty has been balanced assuming no secrets are found.

Since Runic Fear is my first SP map, I decided before I began that I wanted to limit its size and scope to approximately a months' work, roughly ~30-40 hours of total time from the first concept drawings and gameplay ideas to the final compiled bsp. The final build took ~45 hours over 4 weeks. This gives me a new respect for how much time must go into the large map and project releases that I see on this site.

Making a SP map has definitely been a new experience for me. QWTF maps are designed first and foremost around player movement avenues (especially bunnyhopping) and map visibility (well lit/open spaces). SP maps generally have much more detail and atmosphere. Because of this change of style, I would greatly appreciate feedback on whatever is on your mind as you play. Since this map is non-linear, some paths will be easier than others, and through testing I'm assuming there will be a dominant route players will tend to follow due to the way the map flows. I'm interested to see how y'all react to the map on the first (or second) playthrough, so FDAs would be greatly appreciated. Any feedback can only help me improve on any SP maps I may make in the future.

Runic Fear Screenshots:

Download Runic Fear

I'm hoping this map gives everyone a solid 10-20 minutes of gameplay.

Neat little oldschool level with a classic layout. Everything's a bit boxy and simple details, not too little for runic style, but could be expanded upon. More angled stuff etc.

Route choices are always a good thing. Some nice secrets; the watery secret and the invisible secret could have been marked better, however subtly. Cool super secret (which I didn't find).

Gameplay is pretty standard and it felt to me like I did half of the map with the shotgun. Two interesting situations that stand out: the fight with the lights out in the pillars room, and the scary secrets. Sufficient supplies for me and there are plenty of armors, but maybe ammo can be somewhat tight in places if someone doesn't find any secrets?

Demo (protocol 666). 
Nice Little Map 
Very oldskool, loved the layout. Plays fun, tho I wanted SSG to be somewhere earlier in the map. And yes, there was too much armor.

Keep making more Q1SP levels!

Skill 2 demo 
Solid gameplay. Almost shit my pants from late fiend ambush.

I don't know how others play it but I found button which opens courtyard gate before the gate and since courtyard itself was accessible from the beginning and exit gates were still closed I assumed that is not the place and there should be another courtyard somewhere.

Realized I'm playing at normal too late. Had to record another demo for hard.
Normal difficulty is still there for first-run impression.

Normal Demo 
Fun little map. Some fun encounters and things you rarely see in modern maps that were a staple of id maps (such as light triggers etc). 
Fun Level! 
Died most likely near the end.

Skill 2

I like how there is one large section that connects to non-linear smaller rooms. The outdoor courtyard section was a nice addition (Not shown on demo) and your use of traps is well though out as you will see in the demo, it really took me by surprise!

I only found one secret in this run but I had a great time. Please continue creating maps!

One interesting note is in the demo, my untimely end is caused by a fiend jump...but I had 80+ armor and 90+ HP. I really didn't think a fiend could take that much off from a jump!! O_o 
I found the lighting to be quite bland in places. One thing with Quake maps is that lighting can be frequently used to compensate for or hide the otherwise low polycount. Some of the more "boxy" rooms could have done with some big looming shadows, being half in darkness, etc, which would have certainly made them seem less boxy. 
Pew Pew 
skill 2 demo :

I half explored most of the map at first and therefore found no weapons until most of the enemies were dead. The SSG stands out as being in a very weird spot. I would have moved it to the center of that arena as a carrot to coax the player in.

The NG was also well hidden, you can't see it from any of the windows around that area which is a great shame, as it would have served nicely as an incentive to explore around to find the way into that area with the NG as a prize.

With that said though, it was a fun map! Some nice fights and ambushes. Super old-skool style which I enjoyed.

Some areas could have done with unlockable shortcuts to get back to the top (for example the room where you get the LG) as backtracking was a pain.

Looking forward to hopefully seeing more! 
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to play the level! I've enjoyed watching all the demos.

Negke: Glad you liked it. Yeah, I will admit that detailing was on the lower end of my priority list since I put a deadline on how long to make the map. Adding more curves and better lighting is definitely something to be done in the future. I probably should have taken out either the atrium armor or the zombie maze armor.

I will agree that I should have marked the watery secret better (via a light or small indent in the wall?) since only DDU found it in his demos. However, I was hoping the ledge circling the atrium with the cut away wall corners and ramp would invite the player to jump up there and explore the entire ledge. It seems people who did jump up there gave up too easily, but I feel the secret should be harder to find since it provides a nice extra challenge for the map. I also feel that the added bonus of stumbling into that particular secret gives a greater reward for exploring rather than initially guessing there is a secret in the area.

Pulsar: Thanks. It seems that no one ran into the courtyard (where the SSG is) until later in the level. The trend was to open the door, see the ogres, and just back away until later. The SSG is easily attainable very early on, but that wasn't how anyone played the map. That is probably a bad design on my part.

DDU: You were soooooo close to finding all six secrets. You gave up JUST before you found the invisible secret. Once you were in the atrium jumping around, I said to myself "he's going to find it," but you gave up probably 3 steps too short! And yes, no one really ventured into the courtyard at all until after they had progressed through the rest of the level, so the message may have been redundant. Glad you liked the map.

Fifth: Thanks for the words and demo. I really enjoyed how you (and everyone else) starting spamming the LG door with grenades while it was lowering, expecting some huge monster encounter. I enjoyed watching you search for the 7th secret, especially since you found the message so early and hadn't even unlocked the change in the map yet!

Blough: That fiend one-shot you. Glad you enjoyed the map, but too bad you only saw roughly 60% of the map before that death.

MH: I agree, the lighting was bland around the central hub/atrium part of the map. I could definitely have done better, but I was near my target deadline and most of the effort went into the other sections of the map. I will remember the tip about the big looming shadows for future maps.

Daz: I could have placed the NG on a little pedestal visible through the windows that lowered as you approached it; I didn't even think of that. Luckily, in the other demos I watched the NG was always found early in combat. I placed the SSG up on the ledge so a player couldn't just run in and grab it and then mow down the remaining enemies. However, since no one ran into the courtyard until they had cleared the rest of the map, I probably should have made the SSG more visible in some way.

Some other trends I picked up watching the demos:
1) It seems that shooting every detail possible (lights, crosses, mosaics, etc) is the norm.
2) The map flowed as I expected, with people initially turning right into picking up the armor, and following the hallway to the courtyard door. I expected as much since you want to avoid that first ogre in the window who has a straight line to shoot grenades at you. However, no one went into the courtyard that early in the map, which I was surprised by.
3) I enjoyed players slowing down and peeking around the corners in the dark hallway, probably expecting an ambush, as well as preparing for some monster encounter as the LG door slowly lowered in the dark.

I'm glad to hear that the map was at least enjoyable to play, even though I knew it wasn't up to modern mapping standards. I called it an "id1+" since I hoped the gameplay and construction (texture alignments/detail, etc) would be better than id's original maps. Nevertheless, I appreciate everyone's feedback, and thanks once again to everyone for taking the time to play the map. 
On Shooting Everything 
At least for me, I tend to shoot anything that has an indentation and that isn't obviously repeating as to just be structural detail.

Since the first bloodied demon face indicated a secret, I went under the assumption that this texture marked secrets...but that wasn't always the case. Stain glass windows, and different light styles also usually cause me to take one ax/shotgun attack at the possible secret location! 
Really fun map. The visual style is similar to the custom maps from the 90's, but the gameplay gradually surprised me.

The secrets were really fun. I've found 5, plus what I guess is the "7th" one.

There are several places where I was expecting monsters to be spawned when I got the items, but you didn't do that. This was an interesting change of pace. 
Had lots of fun, especially with the scripted lights-off moments and jumping. End looks like we can expect map 2 soon? ;) 
Not Bad At All. 
Pretty basic but a good style and good layout too. I like the bit of route choice and the zombie trap. Shambler ambush was cool. Ammo balance is a bit weird earlier on.

Keep mapping, try to add in more spectacular scenery, and keep the good gameplay scenarios. 
Artifacts in textures or -details? 
Fun map, feels properly oldschool, in a good way. I got a bit overwhelmed on my first run as I ran past most of the enemies after the first room, straight into the zombie trap, and had nothing but the sg and gl to defend myself with and eventually got instakilled by the fiend behind the door with the two pillar switches. No demo for this unfortunately. Maybe I was a bit careless, but perhaps a ssg or ng in the zombie area/area after could have been a good idea. Took another route on my second run and was more careful, the combat wasn't too challenging at this point but still fun. The item balance seemed fair, not an overabundance of health and armor thus making everything a breeze, but not so little that the player has to resort to taking potshots to survive either.

skill 3, 88/88 kills, 6/6 secrets demo

I'm guessing there's a seventh, unnumbered, secret somewhere that I missed (due to the "tally reads six" or whatever message)?

All in all, good map, looking forward to more from you. 
Game Grave Video 
this popped up in my YT feed. 
Going To Be Playing This Tonight 
Assuming nothing goes horribly wrong in the next twenty minutes (with this week, who knows?) 
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