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Xmas Jam 2020 Released!
Quake Xmas Jam 2020 is here!

19 maps from 19 authors just in time for your holiday frag fest! All built with a gameplay space restriction of 1024 x 1024 x 1024 units.

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Except, letting otp save Christmas?!! Damnit ionous, you're forcing my hand! 
Negke successfully coerced into releasing a new map. 
That was my fav of the pack. Newer mappers should study it for proper gameplay inspiration. 
So far I only tried Bal's. I liked the gimmick. IN addition, I liked the gameplay side effects of the gimmick: it makes it safe to fall in the void, it gives you more opportunities to retreat from a bad position and re-engage enemies from a different vector, and finally, it opens up the map to free exploration so the player is restricted only by their understanding of the space rather than physical barriers. The text file was a nice touch too. 
Thanks metl!
Yeah it kind of gives it a deathmatch feel, where you can try to escape from combat when you're not feeling it.
I threw a few surprises in there for people ready to think outside the box (pun completely intended).

I think the gimmick could be pushed a bit more on a non 1024^3 constrained map, it's a bit of work though getting all the duplicate stuff working right (all the breakables, doors, etc. have to work right in the copies).
Also Sock had projectiles kind of working with the instant teleporters, but we were getting a lot of crashes. Making those work consistently would be fun with grenade spam from the ogres.

Have yet to really play the rest of the maps, so for now all I'll say is that Strideh's visuals give me a hard-on (as usual). 
Np: Eirik Suhrke - Ripple 
Eternal Return by Bal

Basically what metl said really, except I'd like to add that the bottom floor of the construct was a particularly brilliant bit, how you get to the upper part of it simply by exiting and reentering.

Definitely a big fan of a new spin on the good and old Kingpin textures, had that 20-years-of-professional-experience touch to it. Would like to see a full map with a fully expanded/retouched set eventually, maybe after that one map with a fully expanded/retouched q2base set is out. That's assuming the map with a fully expanded/retouched dkt3 set doesn't get in the way...

I enjoyed playing this one - definitely your best gameplay effort so far - so much that I ended up wishing for more by the end. But on my second playthrough (not captured) it turned out there actually was more all along??

Also, props for having the foresight to completely disable falling damage. A lesser mapper would probably have made my kneecaps implode with each loopfall. (This one will be 2021's Word of the Year)

I would rank this above both your entries from 18 and 17. Well done. 
Np: David Lynch & Dean Hurley - Slow 30's Room 
All is Dust by Entsoy by Entsoy

Between this and your Halloween map (which if people are unaware, was probably my favorite from that entire pack), it's safe to say nobody does post-ap in Quake better than you.

However, it really shows that there was no time to test this map. :(

I kept dying so many times, even after dropping to skill 1, that I ended up using god mode in the end, which is a real shame because I was ready to get properly immersed in this mournful, ashen ruin.

I don't even think this needed all that much work to be brought to good shape, since the ideas are good (well, except for all the Zombies), but just needed a good round of fine tuning.

I really want to see a map from you that isn't constrained by a deadline. :) 
Some misc notes...

- I probably won't be playing and/or reviewing every map in the pack, sorry. There's a hard limit on both my patience and my will to live.

- I'm just using the console to launch each map individually, because the start map is just the perfect storm of cramped, bumpy, and AMID EVIL©™ in terms of colored lighting. 
Enjoyed it immensely! It took me a couple of times to complete it "properly," but the end was worth it! Some of the props needed to get back to the top accidentally got destroyed on my first few tries. Also, there was some strange in-fighting in another try: monsters on the floor above me were targetting each other even though I couldn't see them. Fun stuff! 
Great Pack! 
Just finished. I wrote up waffles over on discord, but I should probably copy them over to here too when I get time.

I'll copy ionotp's first since otp abandoned discord lol:
@ionous and @otp
The Presents: Amazing oldschool microlevels. Just great! Typical ionous gameplay which has a very id1 feel to it usually. Not sure how you are so consistent but it's great. Wonderful secret sprinkling. Otp wuz here!
The Coal: Jumping to the metal train it triggered and moved away before I could land on it...needed a tad bit of delay.

I'll also add that the cave bit really reminded me of the expanded cut beginning cave to the Dismal Oubliette so that was cool. 
Just Finished All Of Them, Here Is The Feedback 
Hub is very comfy, partially because of music. Now about all the maps, played on nightmare skill level.

Red Ranger (xj2020_vbs). Stalker vibes yeh! Good commieblock stuff.

I Climb The Stairs, Wearing My Best (xj2020_strideh). Very good. Simplistic, yet beautiful and fun.

Igneous (xj2020_artistical). Okay map, not really memorable but humor is there.

Village of Claws (xj2020_shadesmaster). Tough to play on nightmare, but if you gonna make it past bunch of arcane knights and vores, you will handle judicator easily. Remember, that if you time chton projectiles or judge knights fireballs just right, you'll be able to jump out of the final pit back to surface.

Eternal Return (xj2020_bal) It's not I who locked with spawns in the interstellar bookshelf, it's the spawns locked in interstellar bookshelf with me! Also, this map GOT to be remade in Xonotic for multiplayer purposes.

Gay Kisses for Christmas (xj2020_quasiotter). Neat cozy little map with slightly homosexual tint and focus on exploration.

We Can All Fly (xj2020_chrisholden) Some log screens aren't activating from right side, but you still can read them if approach from other side of the wall. Also you can jump over bars to these blue glowing columns in the corners and stuck there. What a waste of space for possible secret. And I was searching for the last floyd for, like, 20 minutes. Artistically and design-wise beautiful, but there certainly are some problems.

Removing Canyon Invaders (xj2020_qmaster1) Cool comments and gorgeous skyboxes. Like this map and architecture. Most of the fun stuff is behind nade jumps, so save the precious explosive ammo.

Ghadamons Pit (xj2020_dfl) Neat little level, liked the crushable by mass impact breakables.

Dentori Aurum (xj2020_qalten) Very compact map, nice use of space and nonlinear progression. liked the movable objects, especially foldable tables at the scragmother yard.

All Is Dust (xj2020_entsoy) Properly made horror themed level. Hard, but doable on nightmare. Like, it's my first ever shambler kill at 1hp with a shotgun. Looking forward for the full monochromatic episode on AD with black and white filter from Entsoy, something in style of naissancee

Yuletide Slayer (xj2020_greenwood) Wait, no breakable chests? Otherwise beautiful props and art. One the balcony with two wizards there's sideways texture. I thought it was a hint to secret, but it's just a bug. Simple, beautiful and full of good fights map.

Market Cube (xj2020_pinchy) Neat platforming map, nice art and design.

Hrim Hrevenge (xj2020_grome) Good combat! Feels like this map been heavily tested and thought out. It's real satisfying to play it.

Knowledge isn't made for understanding; It's made for cutting. (xj_naitelveni) Cute slaughtermap with heavy stench of SCORCHED MEAT. Not so obvious triggers, better to set spawners on timer than on number of killed zombies because in my progression there were times when stronger mobs spawned long after quad's end, and zombies mixed with with other mobs not so easy to hunt down.

Nuclear Winter is Coming (xj2020_heresy). That feel when you pick up the secret and then backoff immidiately to telefrag the REAL secret that spawned right behind you. And then you blow up shambler with living bomb. I guess, nade jumps with blast belt and quad are mandatory for progr... ahh, there's a ladder at the crates!11 Okay so this is basically Warm Welcome Home by Bal, but cold and unwelcome. Yet it is home, and it's still cozy, even somewhat comfy.

A Door-Key level (xj2020_muk) Neat exploration level. Attention to details! Good work around and expansion of ad_muksp2 idea. That's some very good job here. Getting out of toilet is a bit problematic, but whatever.

House of Card (xj2020_ish) I guess this is the shortest, and most brilliant map from the whole jam. 10/10 would die on a meathook again.

Microcosmosophy (xj2020_ionotp) Yay sneaky platforming secrets. As the all other types of sneaky secrets you usually suspect from ionous. Not as annoying as his other exploration maps, it seems that OTP has good influence on him.

Overall jam is good, I am glad that staying home made you do your homework and for once ship something totally playable even for the recreational critics as myself. Grome's, Shadesmaster's, Bal's, Muk's, Qmaster's and Heresy's works are my personal favorites. 
Figured Out How To Play Ish' Map 
You just need to respawn with spacebar, not with lmb. Nice pieces of non-euclidian geometry here and there. Not terrible, but certainly janky. Seen the megahealth and hammer ogre secret, but didn't figured out how to get there. 
Imagine if Bal and Entsoy cooperated and made a monochrome fractal endless agoraphobic horror themed map or better whole episode in samosbor/gigakhrushch setting?! Like that final map from Antichamber, for example. 
@So Rangers Name's Jim? 
Actually that sideways texture IS a hint to a secret. It's not a bug.
You just didn't explore it enough. :)

Thanks for the kind words. I am glad that you enjoyed it! 
Np: Stuart Rynn - Drilling By Night 
I Climb the Stairs, Wearing My Best by Strideh

Well what do you know, it's yet another masterful showcase of texturing and colored lighting working together to create something really enchanting. Almost predictable to see this from Strideh by now. ;-)

The vibe was a lot like mfxsp5 (down to the same skybox used), but updated with 21st century production values. I particularly liked the unique buttons with the Quoth sfx, a very small detail but one that kind of elevated the map from "another base map" to its own thing, in a way. Nice ending sequence, too.

I also really appreciated the simplicity of the gameplay, no frills, just constant plasma. Maybe a bit lacking in terms of challenge - I understand non-base monsters were apparently off limits here (which is a shame, since Gaunts would have been great), but I think you could easily have doubled the monstercount on skill 2 and gotten away with it. It's probably the most fun when trying to speedrun it.

That brushwork drill is awesome, but also definitely one of those things that only mappers will properly appreciate. ;-)

Keep it up, would love to see a big standalone release from you. 
Start Map Is Awesome 
I love the vibe of the start map! very cinematic! 
Np: Nirvana - Endless, Nameless 
House of Cards by ish

First things first, that intro sequence wasn't really worth it. I have a demo where it fails rather spectacularly (though I suppose you know by now), but even despite that, it's really slow and the constant nudging by the invisible door gets annoying eventually, and the whole thing is kind of derivative of that one hwjam3 map.

However, the map gets much better immediately after - it's basically the Bal and Entsoy maps combined (though not in the way Ranger Jim proposes), with the player being handicapped so much that even the weakest enemies are big threats, and with spacetime folding onto itself in weird ways. I suppose this is the natural evolution of your trademark complex layouts.

The visuals were fine for the most part, the one exception being the outdoors bit which looked great - the snow, the pots and the shadow(?) trees gave it a similar vibe to that wintery Wrath map. I usually find most makkon maps kinda samey looking, but this map had enough small details that gave it its own identity. And don't think I didn't recognise those RMQ textures right away. ;-)

I really liked all those little touches like having all the Fiends be ghosts of the ones you see dead earlier, and the imps demanding their silver keys.

I had a lot of fun playing this (I think this is one of your best maps so far), but for the future, if you're going to use so many breakables, please make them break in just one axe hit, lol. 
To say it clearly. I haven't played all maps.
But what I've seen left's me crying.
The graphics and designs are overwhelming.
I messed more time with looking around than fighting. The design, the colours, the lighting and (tha'ts what it's all about) the gameplay are tripple A. Resepect for your work! 
Np: Cold Cave - I've Seen The Future And It's No Place For Me 
Nuclear Winter is Coming by Heresy

Curious to know the story behind this place, what's this medieval castle doing surrounded by ruins of modern civilization, and why is being turned into a base? Maybe some questions are better left unanswered.

Had a lot of fun in this one on skill 2 (died a couple times).

It was very easy on the eyes but a more cohesive selection of textures would have been a plus, you're pulling from a lot of sources but not all of them mix as well with the whole as others. The makkon set is a prime example of this, I think it really only works on its own.

As noted, the contrast between the cold and warm areas was nice, but some areas were definitely way too bright (the floor with the SSG).

I was very happy to find a lot of secrets, though, including the super secret. ;-) 
A huge thanks for playing, I appreciate your demos, I really feel that you are looking for all the secrets, I think you missed only one of them.
After watching several playthrough I found a couple of mistakes in this map :
-First I forgot to remove 2 clips on breakable crates on 2nd floor.
-Secondly most of player aren't understanding that these wood crates are breakable (in the future i'm thinking about stucking the player with some breakable crates at the begining to make him understand they are breakable)
-Thirdly my ladders aren't enough visible especially for the gold key access. Beta testers warned me with adding some red arrows but it doesn't look to work enough.

Sure I understand you for the castle in the center of the ruins of an old city, you can see a "rebirth of an old achitecture". Just I imagine that humans could rebuild some medieval fortress kind of construction in order to defend themself. I got inspiration from the movie (not very good, but with some good idea) : Doomsday, where people get out of the city and recreate a medieval soceity into castles. That's also why the bottom of map is a base for a kind of modern energy. Where people rebuilt a fortress from a classical building.

About texture choice I'll will take care about this in my next maps in order to invlolve myself. Thanks for advices.

Glad to see you had fun :)
I had a lot of fun on your map with ionous !
(you could watch the vod here (around 50 mins) 
Great Job By Everyone 
Shotguns and Shamblers to really get into the holiday spirit. first run, hard skill. 
What a great map pack. Cheers 
FYI several of the gfx/env/techasky files have some capital letters that sneaked into their filenames; makes the sky not work on non-Windows. 
Beautiful start to the pack playing Bal's map. The moment when the map's "gimmick" was revealed was preeeetty sweet. And the no-fall-damage is great, makes it a joy to mess around.

(I wonder if a particular recent indie game inspired this? ... not that it was the first to do this sort of thing, but the most prominent recent example.)

Chris Holden's map was a nice followup, a bit of mild/unpunishing stealth and then a chance to run around wildly widowmakering mobs. Good to see floyd! A few crits:
* The oddly-shaped doors are easy to get hung up on. If they couldn't be made wider, then maybe some subtle clips are needed to guide the player in.
* There's a necessary ladder that doesn't really look like a ladder, had me puzzled for a bit.
* Once you get the widowmaker it's easy to miss (during your rampage) the other weapons that spawned in. Unless they were already there previously and I Mr. Magoo'ed my way past them.


Lovely to see that my previous hwjam3 thoughts of "aww I wish more folks used the jumpboots" are already getting slamdunked. 
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