Some Nice Old-school Weirdness
This is a very cool little offering and really impressive for something made in just 10 days by an allegedly inexperienced mapper!
There have been plenty of weird and experimental Quake maps over the years, and this map fits squarely into that tradition, so I disagree with your claim that this is "extremely un-Quake in vibe". :) In fact, it reminds very much of some of the weirder maps from around 1997, with the creative texture usage and interesting brushwork.
Gameplay is fun, but actually pretty traditional. It's only really the centreprints that add a slightly quirky dimension; take those away and you're left with an enjoyable but arguably fairly standard Quake map, albeit with some slightly unusual visuals. To be fair, I have only found 2 out of 5 secrets so far, so maybe there's more weirdness left to discover.
Speaking of centreprints, they are cute, but sometimes less is more. Fewer centreprints would perhaps have let the narrative and humour shine more. By constantly bombarding the player with text, you start skirting the line between charming and annoying.
One thing I didn't like so much was the point of no return at the end (unless there is a way back to the rest of the map that I overlooked). It's always nice to be able to hunt for missed secrets after finishing a map; pity it's not possible here.
Construction is pretty clean overall, but there are a few spots where textures could have been aligned better. One example would be the lights cut off mid-texture in the third screenshot above.
Overall, a nice debut. I'm very glad you did release it despite your doubts and hope this is not your last Quake map.
Found One More Secret (SPOILERS)
I've now found the GL secret too, and it's kind of nasty: you essentially trap the player in a room with a vore and nothing to block line of sight (played on skill 1). With your way out of that room being both semi-hidden and requiring you to drop down, I'd wager there's no way the player can avoid taking damage from that encounter.
I do like being rewarded with extra gameplay and don't agree with the view that secrets should never contain or trigger additional monsters. However, to me this encounter with its unavoidable damage feels like you're punishing the player for finding the secret.
As for the remaining two secrets, I'm completely stumped. I know one of them is behind that locked door that somewhat confusingly has both a silver and a gold key symbol on it, but seems to require only a gold key -- and yet I can only find a silver key, and nothing to open with it. And to top it off, the secret rewards you with a gold key (as I can see when noclipping). From glancing at the source, it doesn't look like there's any other way into that area either (no teleport destinations; no connections to the rest of the map). Very strange! :)
The yellow armor secret was good BTW, very solid little bit of Quake secretology in action.
As for any weirdness, I think in a short release you can get away with a lot -- it's hard to wear out your welcome and creativity counts. I had a good time rolling through this, thanks for sharing it!
Ok, I've Figured Out The GK/SK Secret (Spoilers...? Not Really)
Or key hoarder secret or whatever you want to call it. That one required a bit of lateral thinking, heh.
Still kind of odd the way it's set up, in that it's not actually the silver key itself that you need.
Absolutely no idea where or what the fifth secret is though.