Sooooooo... On Topic: Review Part 1
Start 4.5/5 - Hackopolis 3/5
Awesome mood in the start map! You definitely got the noir vibe right and I love the lighting (except in the cinema hall that could use some more contrasts) and all the little details: the car at the gas station (could be less boxy though), the blinking lights on the barrier, the crime scene in the back alley... The film projection reminds me of Duke's Hollywood Holocaust in a more SFW manner. "Enter the movie" is a neat idea!
Some nitpicks: I don't like the unbreakability of the store windows and the invisible wall at the tunnel entrance. It would've been better to put an actual barrier here, like at the other end of the street. I also wish that the windows on the cinema facade were transparent and that we could visit the cashier's office and toilets (I hate non-unlockable doors!). I noticed white fullbright pixels on the sides of the car's hood and something really weird when you look at the foliage brushes of trees from the side: they appear empty and make a very visible 8-pixel wide hole in the foliage. Also, the texture used for light cones isn't homogenous and the result looks odd up close.
I was a bit disappointed that you didn't use my idea of renaming the skill settings according to noir film classics, but I can see an echo of that in the movie posters. One thing though: some of them don't really fit the map titles and/or themes. Metropolis and Gun Crazy are spot-on, but The Killers for what's essentially a zombie-fest is somewhat missing the bullseye. Umm, hello? George Romero's Night of the Living Dead? How could you possibly pass on that?! Granted it's not a noir film but neither is Metropolis. Plus, the namesake would have been a great nod to "the other Romero"... As for Kiss of Death, I don't see the connection to The Hackopolis either.
Speaking of, that second map is disappointing (especially after such a great introduction), though not as disastrous as some others made it out to be. Yes, it was very obviously not made for this jam, but I found it rather pleasant to play. Not as good as the original E1M3 because of its more straightforward architecture and linear gameplay, but still a worthwhile variation on its ancestor.
The worst part of it is the lighting, very flat in B&W. The yellow/orange particles above the torches look weird, especially since the flames themselves are not colored. On the contrary, the fullbright red band on the ogres' grenades and yellow (not green, why?) spit of scrags look neat, very Sin Cityesque. Ammo and health are a bit too plentiful on skill 2.
Great title for a small but enjoyable map. I like the architecture, with that road winding upward and the ruined mansion. The chapel, on the other hand, looks a bit unremarkable.
Gameplay is interesting, with some narrative progression, and having only the shadow axe (yeah, I found the secret only after having killed everyone, so it was pretty much useless) to gib zombies gives it a survival horror vibe that feels refreshing in Quake.
About that, it's odd that both you and NewHouse chose to give the player only an axe in the beginning and have zombies wake up later on, triggered by picking up a weapon. Did you two exchange notes and ideas or was it pure coincidence?
Anyway, on to the cons... There's a large hole on the mansion's top floor where you can get stuck in - it's too deep to jump out of. The end is very anticlimactic: you jump down in that dark hole and that's it! A final fight against some tough monster(s) would've been nice, either in a pit/arena below or in the chapel itself. The lighting is very flat. Interiors are good if a bit overly dark but the exteriors could have used some chiaroscuro.
If you wish to update your map, I suggest you add some lamp posts or torches in order to have bright spots and tone down the ambient light to make the rest look darker. Also, the scrolling sky looks bad in B&W: firstly the lower layer has some black (or dark grey, hard to tell) pixels that look weird against the white clouds in the upper layer and secondly, it isn't seamless and the texture edges are very noticeable. A skybox would have been much better. One last point: there is only one secret but the centerprint says "second secret"... WT
Review Part 2
Second best playable map (as in "not a start map" - there's no real gameplay in those) in this jam. There's a real sense of raiding a mob lair, too bad the modified grunt wasn't ready in time! All the breakables are a lot of fun but can be tricky since [SPOILER] two of the secrets depend on not destroying certain crates to be accessible. [END SPOILER] Good lighting as well, especially in the last hallway before "Don Vito Shambleone".
I wish the windows were a little more transparent to better see through them. If you are planning an update or standalone version, here's a few issues to address: a misaligned texture on the right side of the building above the bar, an invisible wall above the palisade (why can't we visit the alley behind it?), the first bar sign inside the corridor pointing to the wall when you look at it from behind and a similar situation with the reversed texture of the sign outside. Oh, and there's way too much ammo and health on skill 2, and way too many non-unlockable doors.
Wow! The star of the show! Very impressive for a jam map and only your second release. How much time did you spend on that thing?! Great architecture with an amazing level of detail - I especially like the bits of futuristic tech apparent behind the old crumbling brick walls, giving a sense of being some kind of lab rat in an experiment gone very wrong. All the flickering lights, cobwebs and sparks are a nice touch and enhance the derelict atmosphere of the place.
The gameplay is solid too with several variations along the way, despite a little bit of linearity in the interiors. It's one thing that I didn't like much in there, where you repeatedly close the path behind the player, forcing his progression into one direction. Yes, I know there are no alternative routes in this section but it would've been better if there were.
Then again, the rest is so good that it's inconsequential. The last part where you blast your way through the horde of zombies to the tough final fight is very intense and much fun. All the stocked up ammo and scattered power-ups sure come in handy! I somehow missed one frag and found only 7 secrets, though I didn't look too hard for them.
I already liked your previous map very much, this one is a significant improvement and confirms that your style is right up my alley. I can't wait to play your next map!
One thing I've noticed is that you seem to be very fond of grates: your first map already started with some but here they're literally everywhere! On the lights, on the floors, on the walls... I'm not complaining because they add some detail, I just find it kinda funny.
One final note: I played this map with the soundtrack you originally chose and it was great! It added a feeling of oppression to the game and I highly suggest that everyone plays with it: download Dhia by Diogenes In Hell, rename it to Track11, convert it if necessary, put it in jam8\sound\cdtracks and enjoy! It's a very quiet ambient track so I had to set the music volume to max and the sound volume to about 0.4 in order for it to be audible enough. Why didn't you include it in the release? Was it a matter of size? At any rate, you should at least add these instructions to the readme.
Part 1 misses a "F?" after "WT" at the end...
Thank for your long feedback.. I will try to write something back tomorrow. But now I want to say something about that track I choose.. I was planning on cutting down its lenght, but didn't have enough time for that.. but will definately use it for the standalone version*
You're welcome. I wouldn't shorten the track if I were you. It starts very quietly but gains some intensity afterwards, and I find that this build-up complements the gameplay perfectly. So sure, a 23min track makes a quite large file (about 50Mb for an .ogg @320kbps, more than the jam download itself!) but it's worth it IMHO.
I was just joking about some guys complain about the need of a start map for a jam, that's all. Not something specific you or anybody else said. I do think start maps are a nice "wrap" and room for creativity. And I'm not native English speaker as well.
I'm the guy who were asking for start maps, since they put you into the proper mood and atmosphere. It's like preliminaries in sex... sort of.
I guess some guys here don't like preliminaries, and want to ejaculate as fast as possible... poor girl ! (or guy ?).
@adib OK, cool.
@Barnak Yeah, and this particular one is as moody as they come. I love it! I totally agree with you and when I'll get to release maps, I'm thinking about making start maps, even for one single map. Walking through a slipgate is so much more fun than typing commands in the console!
Thanks for your highly detailed review* And it makes me happy you liked my map and things I put there.. I am glad that quite many has give me such a good feedback and surely try to keep improving for my next realises.
I try answer some of your questions now:
Working time -> 2 weeks - school, since after week and half I needed to start everything from the scratch (remember seeing early images of my map? Those doesn't look anything like this end result).
Why so much grates, you ask? -> well grates has two purposes here. 1) they have real purpose to be part of sewer systems. 2) symbolic meaning that you're trapped inside, you're like in a prison with all these zombies and future alien soldiers. I wanted to make a feeling that player can't escape what is coming next.
Why so linear? -> adding alternative paths can increase the level complexity yet level designer can easily lost the main focus. And also non-linearity might not have made anything good for the map's flow, simce even though this was quite linear there still was some parts the pacing might not be the best possible... so personally I want learn to make first quite linear maps, before trying something I am not familiar with yet.
Also thank you for sharing information about my first update in QuakeOne, you literally was faster than I.
The amount of work you managed to do in so little time is really impressive! Coincidentally, I tried similar brick detail in my first test map and it took me an insane amount of time.
@linear Yes, I get that. Also with a time limit you don't have the luxury to complexify much.
@sharing You're welcome. I just happened to see Talisa's post and wanted to give DP users a heads-up before too many of them played the jam without the fixes.
So... Any Word On Skacky's Map?
Maybe he will keep it kind of a secret, so everyone forgets it first. Then after that, he will release it and everyone will be surprised.
Skacky's Map Will Be Released As Part Of The Upcoming Neon Jam
And when that is gonna be?
So we go from one mod having no colors to another mod having so many colors that it gives us a blinding migraine?
He Had The Most Noir Title Of The Lot
and the screenies looked promising, so I was really looking forward to it and I'd be disappointed if he didn't release it as a DLC for this jam.
@negke Neon jam Is this a joke or are you serious? BTW neons are more 80's than 90's.
@Orl Neons come in white, too... ;)
It feels like making all these base/city maps.. my first section will be finished quite fast.. and that is good, so it can be stylished dark but still colorful lights right? Can it be like future metropolitan with red lights?
Opened in a small low-res windowed mode with all my configs overriden.
Went back to Tomb Raider.
Wow. That's some laziness you got going. What happened to deleting the included config?
Opened in a small low-res windowed mode.. . So that is what happened? Though it happened to me just later.
Is this easy to fix?
Yeah, run it in fullscreen... ;) The included config overrides the one in \id1. Delete it and you should be good to go.
Okay I Played Them.
Good executions of an interesting theme. Good variety and unusual designs. I didn't manage to complete one as I found it harder than normal to see what was going on and what my health was doing. But it was still neat to see what had been done in this style.
Also The "feet" Command Stopped Working...
...which was fairly unbearable until OTP rescued me with the temp1 524288 command.
If this jam ever makes it to Quaddicted, I hope it gets repacked. No offense to Shamblernaut, but an out of date AD and included config files that mess with people's settings is going to give people a lot of Shambler-esque reactions.
And it should also include NewHouse's update as well as the recommendations for DP users regarding r_useportalculling 0 and using a recent build with alpha masked texture support.
And Remove That Horribly Compressed Map_hacker.jpg Pic
I promise the game doesn't need it!
What's With That Pic, Anyway?
I've seen it in at least one other release. Is it referencing something specific?
Wasnt included directly by the Map Jam authors. Its from ad_v1_42final.zip
Guys, Check This Out
Seven has just released an add-on for the jam that adds film grain and scratches. Of course, we're talking about Seven here so it's for Darkplaces. Download here: http://quakeone.com/news/site-news/12463-map-jam-8-film-noir-released-3.html
Shamblernaut & Ionous
I'm gonna try to build a HD texture pack for the jam but I'm lacking the info on the texture wads used in the start map and Buried by Time and Dust. Can you guys tell me?
I used mostly kingpin textures, I used a little id vanilla stuff and maybe some knave, there were a few mafia 1 / 2 textures as well.
You can extract the textures straight from the maps via JACK.
You can extract the textures straight from the maps
Yes, I know, but it doesn't tell me the textures' origin. I need to know that to find hi-res replacements. Thanks. Ionous?
Is this going to be uploaded to Quaddicted at some point? The first 7 Func Map Jams are there, after all.
Probably, but Ubiquitous' Symphony of Science isn't even there yet while it was released almost a full month ago. Spirit must be busy with other stuff.
I sent him e-mail days ago, asking about this "packing" since I'm noob. How normally this custom quake content ends up being in Quaddicted site? Do we need to sent them for someone or through some system?
Usually you just have to send a PM to Spirit with your map in a .zip archive.
Does anyone know what's up with Spirit? Why is it taking so long?
Nobody has sent the pack to him, the pack needs to be patched with the latest AD map and have the config.cfg removed.
I've been to lazy to do this. Feel free to do it yourself if you like.
"latest AD map" sorry I meant, "latest AD patch"
Yeah, I can take care of it. I'll also include NewHouse's update while I'm at it. Should I put the whole patch inside the repack or only the correct progs.dat?
So to save on space with the original release I removed any (level) bsps that weren't bsp models to save space. I also removed any skyboxes that were not used in the releases.
So I guess if it includes any extra skyboxes or maps, then remove those?
So, I'm repacking jam8 with the latest AD patch. It includes a \textures folder containing 3.89Mb worth of alpha masked textures (grates, cobwebs, vines, windows). Should I include it in the repack or is it unnecessary? I think not since they weren't in the original release, but I prefer asking just to be sure.
Also, should I remove that map_hacker.jpg mentioned by dwere?
Another 4 megs isnt going to break the bank for peace of mind.
Up to you with regard to the jpeg.
OK, thanks. Repacking done. Added:
- latest AD patch;
- NewHouse's update;
- Darkplaces instructions.
Removed unnecessary config files.
Kept the textures folder AND the map_hacker.jpg. Not sure why it was included in AD but I'm thinking Sock may want to keep it this way, and the user who's really bothered by it can always delete it himself.
I can upload it tonight (GMT+1) but I was thinking of doing something about the maps that don't have any music track assigned. Question for the authors: would you guys be cool about this and do you have a preferred track number?
Also, along those lines I wanted to add my main theme to the start map. The thing is, since it wasn't gonna be ready for the original release, I put it aside and it remained unfinished, as I had more pressing matters to attend to. I can finish it but it will delay the release of this repack. What say you, Naut? Yay or nay?
Thank you Mugwump for being more active with this things*
I still need an answer from you: do you have a preferred track number or can I assign any one I want to your map? I think track06 with its tense slow pulse would fit the mood of your map well. Unavailable track numbers:
- track03: unused but normally assigned to intermission screen;
- track04: will be assigned to start map like in the original game;
- track05: used by Pritchard;
- track09: used by Shamblernaut;
- track11: used by NewHouse.
@Shamblernaut: I'm still waiting for your answer about the further delay needed to finish my theme music. Is it OK or do you prefer if I release the repack sooner but without it? Also, can I include Seven's film scratch & grain shader for DP or should I keep it separated?
Sure, track06 is fine.
Track06 it is, then.
I really don't care man :)
If you want to include the film grain, just make sure you update the readme to indicate how to install and that stuff has been modified beyond the initial release.
I'll take the time to finish my soundtrack and include it. It should only be a matter of days, anyway. Thanks. I hope you guys will like my work. I'll post the link here when the repack is uploaded.
Not being able to rate my own work (and the work of others, of course!) on Quaddicted makes me cry myself to sleep every single night.
The bill for new pillows/pillowcases is getting pretty hefty at this point. Can we get the repack out there and (hopefully) uploaded any time soon? How's the soundtrack going? And should we dare to pack in 1.5?
Don't Cry For Me, Pritchargentina
The soundtrack's going slower than expected due to life issues and the fact that I don't own a master keyboard (I mean music keyboard, not computer keyboard), so I have to build any melody note-by-note. I'll try to finish it for Xmas but don't get your hopes up. Rest assured that it is coming, though.
As for including 1.5, I don't think that's necessary or even recommended: the jam was made for 1.42 and especially, Sock stressed that a lot of things were changed for 1.5, causing compatibility issues (you can't use your 1.42 saves in 1.5 for example), so I'd wager packing 1.5 with jam8 would cause problems.
I'm prepared to wait for it, I was too lazy to repackage it myself, and I'm excited to see how it plays with musics :)
thanks man, no rush.
I will stay strong and persevere, I suppose. Maybe i'll try sleeping in the bathtub.
Just wondering if you're interested including that specific ambient track for my map I mentioned under the other topic Bäck then, you are free to do so(it is the track what I always hear when Playing it anyway). Only problem might be the size.. but I think it is good to Show people that there is some free tracks out there by different composers that might fits for some Quake maps
The size is a problem, yes: if you encode it as .ogg with the best quality, it makes a 50Mb file... I'll try different settings to see how much I can reduce it.
My 2 Cents
I'm not too fond of this actually, in the same way that I don't condone including the whole of Quoth or AD. If you want to create or recommend certain music tracks to be used in combination with a map, which is fine by itself, offer them as seperate downloads and link them in the thread or the readme. Including them in the zip is, like I said earlier, unnecessary bloat and against established release practice, so to speak. I hope this doesn't spawn a new trend where everyone bundles up their releases with all kinds of stuff like mp3 files etc. just for the sake of it.
Also, try get maps/releases into a proper state before release to avoid having several version floating around. Sometimes a bugfix version is justified (if a critical is discovered), but minor fixes and especially unncessary things like "was too easy on Hard" don't warrant extra versions. This is against the backdrop of having the files hosted on Quaddicted where Spirit tries to maintain certain archival standards which having 'a mess of versions' goes against.
Just something to keep in mind for next time.
That is totally fine, if you feel that way.
To Make It Clear
Jam7 was fix, that fixed one skill mode (without that you couldn't beat it on one specific skill level), jam8 update I made because some people complaint a lot about DP support and only thing to fix that was to give These temporary solution commands, write then down on text file (and it was my mistake that I didn't know about portals back then), retrojam5 wasn't fix and I Just purely wanted to share it for those who was interested. I haven't never posted it in sense of replace by this or intented it to be fix or anything. But I really appreciate you want to keep rules around, and that is something I have kept in my mind after jam7 release.
What Negke Said...
+ what's the point of a map jam, if you can update content 2 months after deadline?
Maybe just prepare separate release with all this updates. Maybe call it patch or dlc, so people know it's additional content, different from what they got on the first release.
I see now what you're actually talking about (why not meantion it directly), mugswump, Nevermind about that track let it be like it was back then. Others who didn't have track can have now or not? if following this same idealogy.
But should it be called dlc anyway, since if there is extra content going to be. No extra maps, but everything else?
Then again, I really don't care at this point what is it going to be, dlc or not, it is not my job to decide that.