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Retro Jam 7 - Koohoo
Retro Jam 7 is out.

A ID1/Vanilla map pack containing 10 maps based around the theme of Koohoo.

Map Authors:
Chris Holden
Eduardo Sánchez Barrios
Nikolay Tsoy (entsoy)
Robert "radiatoryang" Yang
Ray "Scythe" Dahlia

*The mappack also includes a start map.


UPDATE: A late entry from Cocerello
and screenshot
There are some really fun maps in this pak IMO, very creative ideas, very well executed...

and my map :E 
Quick hits:

Greenwood's is :chefkiss:, really he's got a signature open+vertical kind of mode that works great here. Falling into slime and pits could be super-frustrating but for some reason I had fun with it here? just abuse that quicksave key.

Great to see another map from iYago! I had actually just replayed Hushed Walls a day or two ago. Really hitting your stride here, inventive and good-looking. This was darn tough in spots (skill 2), and I'm not sure if I was supposed to cheese that pile of enforcers like I did or run away (or do something smarter). But it all worked out in the end! Maybe the Koohoo theme makes it feel a little more OK to have traps and more generally "unfair" arrangements?

I could probably pick entsoy's map out of a lineup just by looking at it. :-) This one is a little more "traditionally playable" than some previous entsoy stuff while still being super atmospheric. Lots of cool little touches, and a fun take on having an evocative cliffhanger ending.

Yang's map: whoa. Great reveal moment at the start. It looks like maybe it's going to be an outdoor arena-style map reminiscent of a couple of "earlier Yangs" but then turns out to have a winding path going indoors and out. Fun pathfinding, good fights, and some perfectly-framed visuals. (I particularly liked a moment with scrags coming up out of big wellmouth.)

Still got a few more left to chew on! 
I haven't played all maps yet, but there's already a couple of gems in there! This mod appears to be a great pack. Thanks a lot! 
Rickyt23 gets the award for Best Use of Ziggurats in a Quake Map or Motion Picture. Neat to have that unusual amount of verticality to fool around with! Also some fun quad placement, and good ammo metering in the early going (skill 2). 
I'm super impressed with zigi's so far... it's at least as much as a looker as Yang's map, with some nice contrast from wood and light stone textures. Gnarly fun combat encounters that put on a lot of pressure with (sometimes) not that many mobs. A neat almost toy-like maze structure to poke around in too.

Unfortunately I'm stuck about halfway; pretty sure I'm required to get through the gold door (don't see anywhere else to go) but I can't figure out how to get to the gold key. Will be back to try again later! 
...annnd I immediately found the route after posting. Sometimes I ain't good at examining my surroundings while drowning. :-) 
Having Played Through The Whole Pak 
All of the maps are decent IMO.

Greenwood's map is very cool - looks like a turtlemap with the blocky brushwork, but it's fairly epic and vast, has interesting gameplay (those monster closets are cool) - very impressive.

Zigi's map is probably the best I think. Has three sections - the beginning is interesting, you are given an interesting set of tools for a novel and entertaining challenge. The second section is a little more traditional, with nice brushwork and an inventive layout, and the final section - well.... all hell breaks loose! Lots ands lots of FUN.

Ish's map is also very nice, with a great design and layout and good mixture of gameplay. Has a great sense of place.

All of the maps are great! Congratulations! 
Radiatoryang's Map Is Awesome! 
This one is a jewel. This is pure Quake, with very hight quality graphics/architecture. Exploration is so fun and the atmosphere is dense as it should. 
Yeah the end of zigi's map is just a big continuous WWWAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH and I like it. :-)

Gotta say the swimming section in general was a bit much, even aside from the door confusion I mentioned above. And I _like_ swimming sections in Quake maps!

But overall very cool. Can't believe you guys crank these out for jams. 
Late Entry

And screenshot:

As always, first run demos are always very much welcome. Thanks.

The map features coop spawn points for whoever wants to try, and i found out the map is decent for DM and even Omicron bots play well, so i added that too.

Now back to play the other maps. 
Zigi's Map Is Awesome! 
Almost as good as Sepulcher from Sock (not far under it, actually). Geez I love this map. Felt like some kind of Indiana Jones adventure.

This mod is a very great extension to Quake. Congratulations guys, this work is pretty impressive! 
Man I just did NOT get on with the initial moments of Ish's map. No ammo while under fire, forced slime swim, into a nail trap, into a fiend-to-face. Unless I reaaaallllly missed something there? If not: Part of the issue is just that the surprise-punishment level requires savescumming; part of it though is that this is so unusual for Quake maps that I keep unsuccessfully looking for an alternative path.

Anyway. The rest of that map is pretty great. :-) 
Finally got through this pack, half because dealing with a burnt graphics card and its replacement and half because some maps have issues.

Danz: you got there a good start map and see why it took you time. Still searching for the skill 3 entrance. 🙂 By the way, you can see i got stuck there on some brush around the rune. Do you know why? It has me intrigued.

Chrisholden: More turtlemap like than mine in term of looks and less in gameplay. Nice puzzle and layout too. You have some solid looks there, but i think the map benefits from a way reduced scale and more changes in height. Also ... the point of that secret was to have a shortcut to a previously cleared area or did i miss something? I checked around but found nothing new around the trees.
Not sure about the near infinite ammo and health, as it makes the player go back a lot more and reduce the consequences of any encounter or action to ''damn, i lost some armour''.
By the way, i noticed the trap right away but thought that the lit squares were the ones to avoid haha. And .... how did you make the backpack appear?

Eduardo: Felt similar to Chris', but you have a more varied gameplay, layout and looks there and the scale need less reducing. The brushwork detail could get a revamp, though.
By the way, i thought that the jumping part was to get the SNG since i got in the courtyard. 😉

Entsoy: Good fights, the final room was amazing, and it's a solid map overall. You got a typical jam map and it looks gorgeous and plays decently, but that your brushwork was the every brick is a brush type in usually tight rooms meant that it was easy to get stuck and get hit, like it happened to me with the Spawn, the silver key room, and the Vore's fight. The Spawn in complete darkness so much at the beginning in a map low on health packs was evil, that's why i thought, screw it! and ignored the guy.
To finish, It needs to be more lit in general, save for the Vore room. 
Comments Part 2 
Took me a while to make these as i needed to replace the graphic card (and first find a second hand one which worked) . Still the card is far from good and stuttered a lot with several engines including Quakespasm, so i had to record these with an unfamiliar engine with some annoying settings hence i played a bit worse than usual.

The first two maps were a lot harder than all others till now,and i think they should be like that for skill 2 only. I forgot to set up them to skill 2 as i always do but from what i see the differences between them were small so it was fine.

Greenwood : the first demo was taken in Quakespasm which was hated by the card so run at around 20 FPS and died more quickly.

The map is very interesting, with good connectivity, well placed enemies and varied encounters, originality, good secrets, ... but the first third till the player gets through the GK door is VERY hard: the issue comes mainly from lighting and those pits till the first lift. The lighting is dim and mostly with not much contrast, so there is little difference between the sides of the holes and the floor, coupled with half the enemies being above me so i cannot keep an eye at the ground while moving, which makes those holes pretty much invisible meaning that i have to move very little or risk falling which makes me easy prey to the enemies.
On the other side, encounters on that part come as soon as the player approaches the area so there is no way to check where the hell they are first. Added to that, that Grunt that keeps spawning makes it so there is no safe place.
To summarize, it is annoying till i get to know that map.

The Shambler was half my fault for not looking well at what awaited me after the bridge and notice beforehand that it would be better to go right through the stairs, but as the explosion happened on my back while i was careful to not fall off the bridge (as i wasn't sure if i could fall through the space between two planks) and the rebound back while jumping i panicked and just run forward. I did not realize the Enforcer after the GK door till the combat finished. I think it is better to make the Shambler appear at the front ). For example, use a trigger with the angle key set so that it triggers the event after the player reaches the door and faces its back to it and begin to see where to go after.

The two Ogres after need some way to get the player to know that there is one at his back to avoid the first hit being automatic. Only someone with a surround sound system or similar will tell there is someone at the back. With the hole there in the middle the player will move less after being trained by the previous areas and the hit will be more certain.

Due to all of these, i ''godmoded'' on the second demo each time i had to touch the slime but forgot to do it every time and died, so from there onward i godmoded all the time and set up the brightness up a lot even though i hate it, but i did not want to make a dozen demos, sorry. Still, as you can see from the damage in armour, after the GK god mode became pretty much unnecessary even though i played the same as if i would not have it on.
Only issue i see for the entire map is the backtracking for ammo. Worst case was when i needed several times those respawnable shells at the very beginning.

So to summarize, the second and third thirds i like them a lot. The first ... 
Ish : it's pretty much the same as with Greenwood but for other reasons, plus lacking ammo at the first fourth of the map and having a not clear progression. The map is very impressive and there are many things to like on it but ...

Going through the slime is only obvious to someone that has water transparency on, and only if set up low. I did not see the health packs: i just saw a red light and after checking every other path, thought, maybe ..., maybe ..., it is the red from a health pack ... Also, the steps on the left part, they seemed to be a trap, but not an obvious one, as i could not get out of the water. Is it maybe a netquake/qw physics issue? Or that one where jump or pressing swim up key gets the player further out of the water than the other? Not many players know either of the two.
I see why you gave no shotgun to make it more obvious having to go through the slime.

That first trap was unavoidable: having to keep in mind the trap, the buttons, and the ogre, and later where to go and dealing with the daemon while be careful of the other factors with no breather in-between was impossible for a first run. Too many factors to keep track off and no safe place to think or room to move around and stall for time.
I think you should at least remove the ogre save maybe for skill 2, and add better lighting to the lift as i could not see it coming down even, less the Daemon on top which i noticed was visible from the trap, later on another run while noclipping. Optional make the steps out of the slime a safe place from the nails.
As it is now, if i were to play again I would just push the buttons and run back through the slime to that middle point. It is a lot safer.
The Vore as the player gets into the Pylon area should only be visible and active when the player knows the place he is getting into. For example, teleport it when the player reaches the center of the room.
The part of the room where the Ogres are should have some ammo, as it now feels like a trap to deplete ammo as it feels entirely optional even if those Scrags had to be dealt at that time or later.
The knights at the tops of those columns of the upper part should be obvious when they come for the player as it was a complete surprise to me, same as with that Ogre, which seemed to teleport in my face.
Even though like tight ammo myself, the map really lacks ammo till several rooms after the Pylon.
The GK ''doors'' and them directed to a trigger_counter weren't obvious to me for a while after activating the first. I would make them taller, like plynths.

From what you can see in the demo, when failing to make the jumps on that rune, the biggest punishment was not the slime, as the MH was easy to see, but having to take the long way back there.

Same as with Greenwood's some areas are very badly lit and after what happened with his map, i set up the brightness up a lot again. Even that wasn't enough some times and i was tempted to make it all fullbright.

Due to all of this i also godmoded from the third demo onwards again.

The last fight was ok, as it was half my fault for not taking the pentagram and saving it for later.

Besides that, the map was very good. I also found the MH secret on another run afterwards and thought it very interesting. 
iYago : sorry, but the second demo disappeared. I died on the trap with the nails, the ogre and the two death knights. Having to avoid attacks from four directions while doing timed jumps and the Ogre's grenades obscuring the nails seemed impossible for a first run.

More balanced and solid than the previous two, has lots of interesting and varied encounters, good lighting and ammo placement.

On the other side there are some situations where the enemies teleport in the player's face or back, or where death is pretty much unavoidable on a first run, like those two Death Knights who killed me on the first run or the trap which killed me on the second. If it were me i would have made the first button delay trigger those Scrags and slow down the speed of the ''door'' which opens the path forwards, so the player goes down while waiting for it, and faces the Scrags. Dropping ammo down as soon as the button is used would lure the player down making the Knight unnecessary.

Also, while i understand why you made it that way, i think the map would benefit from making those cramped places 128 units wide instead of 64, as that's still narrow by Quake standards and would avoid the player getting stuck in geometry. Plus would still work with the textures you used while 96 would not.

I think you could have switched all those ammo boxes on the top of the four columns for the normal versions and still would be fine.

For skill 0, and maybe 1 i think it would be better to drop a MH, before the GK or SK doors.

This is more personal, but i dislike to take ammo when i am almost full but hate when i am forced to take it, because some rooms in the map are very cramped, even more if i try to not take them. That's why i avoided the GK room till i depleted some of it. 
Part 3 
Finally got through this pack. Half having to deal with a burnt graphics card, half some maps had issues.

Radiatoryang: you have some interesting layout here which it is a treat to people who like to explore, solid gameplay and adequate lighting, but it gets a bit wasted by the scale, which could be half and be a lot better.
If it were me i would reduce most by half or add a big pylon or building in the middle of the central area, while keeping the pond below. It would work as both cover for long ranged attacks (Vores would be good here) and as a place to put more enemies in so i does not become sniping.

Some parts of it could work even for deathmatch or CTF, like the area around the three levels' room. The begining could be confusing, but as there is only one way to go to the next level it is fine, at least for hoever likes to explore.
By the way, i found the RoS later on another run. It is well placed as a secret, but maybe a bit wasted there.

RickyT23: quite typical of you in style, but maybe not the type i expected when you wrote it was turtlemap like and made i fifteeen hours, which made it more intriguing. I think that like Radiatoryang's yours need to reduce the scale, while not as much as his.

You have decent combats while some are not exactly well executed due to lack of time, some interesting ideas and varied combats, and decent and reused layout. It was a pity about the last encounter as it was spoiled by the Shambler aggroing so fast, that's why i jumped off to try and make up for that.

Scythe: Pretty solid map here in terms of layout, combat, lighting, secrets and looks. Seems like you went on purpose with id1 style and were successful at that.
On the minus side, the encounters with Ogres were a bit bland save for the ones around the Silver key, same as with the Vores later. The first could be fixed with some variety in placement, and for the second spawn them when the payer is jumping over the lava, while keeping the one near the end as bait. Also, with so little difference between skill levels you could have gone with no difference, as it will disappoint people more.
Also, if the monster jump was aimed to be used by the Shamber too it was a very good one use there.

Zigi: good use of modules to create visually different rooms fast with the same brushes, mixed with some more normal every brick is a brush and AD aesthetics in other parts (which was a big missed opportunity to create some more secrets or interesting jumps).

The gameplay is solid, but mixes some bland encounters with some others which stand out. Still, the bland parts do not become repetitive, probably because of the visuals.
Difficulty for skill 1 should be more like skill 2 compared with other custom maps, and i have played almost every Quake map in skill 2 till now.

The use of the RoS is very good, but maybe too tight, even though i hurried from the beginning.

The use of Spawns was good, save for that one on the flooded part.

I like going through the water, but it seems here that you expected the player to go gun-ho style, because any other player will have it hard here without two more spots for breathing, even though you provided health and a clue to the breathing spots (using lighting contrast for that would be nice here). The spawn there was an evil thing, as it is pretty much unavoidable damage. Also, you should have made the passages bigger, as with every brush is a brick style it is easy to get stuck, which can add to the frustration of drowning for some players.

About the clone rooms area where many have become lost, the issue is that the rooms that you mixed rooms that open with a button with rooms that open by approaching with doors that do not open, without telling which is which. That, added to that that last opened with a button door is not needed for progression and even leads away from the path confues players more.
The part when i am still for a long time is because i went and watched another person go through that.

About the final area it was a bad example of teleporting to the back, and it definitely needs a MH or another armour piece, if you want to keep the Shamblers at the back with the Vores hiding their appearance till they are close.
All the people i have seen surviving that was because it was not their first run or that they still had some armour left when they activated that last button. I suppose that you play with surround sound system to tell from which direction the Shamblers come from the back. I only survived because of reflexes to type god mode. 
Also, Metlslime 
Could you add my late entry to the first post? You have the links on post #10. 
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