Demos for Danzadan through Newhouse (playing through them alphabetically): https://www.dropbox.com/s/dapstfblyl4rb1w/sm186_demos_yoder_part1.zip?dl=1
Notes (there are notes in the demos too):
- Good reuse of each space for multiple fights! Lot of gameplay mileage for only a few rooms, and it didn't feel repetitive. I'll probably come back to this one for a skill2 playthrough and gather more notes when I do.
- Fun concept, especially since spawns are such rare enemies. The courtyard encounter was also a good fight that kept me moving. Main criticism is the lava trap and the fiend fight in the hall after. This is a style preference, but I like to feel I have put myself in a bad situation, or if I fall into a bad situation--like the floor being scripted to fall out from under me--I want to be able to recover so long as I react well. This encounter unfortunately colors most of the experience with this map for me.
- Lovely construction and lighting. As simple as it is, returning in and out of the same space is nice. At the end, realizing there wasn't more to go, I'd looked up and hoped we'd get to see where the waterfalls are coming from. The enemies and general collision are a bit messy with these shapes though. Yay Quake AABB collision.
- There were some horde mode vibes to this layout, kind of like a deathmatch map but with monsters in it. There were maybe too many monsters though, or their arrangement with shalraths in the back and knights in the front made it too easy to trigger infighting. As you'll see in the demo, I mostly completed the map by running around and collecting ammo. The delays on a lot of the buttons took me by surprise, usually I like buttons to respond instantly, but the delay meant that I could only really benefit from the buttons in the second half of the map once most monsters were dead. The "stay a while" secret was also a fun trick in this way!
- I like what you've been doing with the monologue messages, there's a sense of story that a lot of Quake maps don't have. I was also really excited at the start when I thought it was a sewer level, aaand then it wasn't, but still a fun map. One downside of the narration approach is that I expect the world to behave a little more rationally, like if I keep telling myself that I need the gold key to lift the platform at the end, 1) how do I know this, 2) I'd better be telling myself the truth. The fighting was good, some of the same notes as your last map though, a few too many encounters that rely on throwing a whole squad of the same enemy type at the player. But better encounters as a whole!
- Loved the two different moods the level had between the first and second half, and also the shift toward a focus on grenades and zombies. That kind of change in the middle of a level is pretty rare, but something I'd like to see more of! The first area was a bit simple for gameplay, but I think I'll have to go back for skill 2 and see how that compares. The hazard suit also had me thinking blood deals damage (maybe I'm thinking Doom), which caused a little confusion when it came time to backtracking, but I worked it out.
- The geo has a nice twisted feeling to it. Some of the wooden pillars looked like warped trees. The destroyed chunks in the wall also were a nice way of telegraphing the secrets. I did get pretty lost looking for the gold key though. Even after I saw where it was, it took me another loop of the map to find the way to actually reach it. There was a door that I just didn't realize was a door. Also, I'm not sure about the zombies that kept spawning in through the wooden ceiling. I guess the idea is that was a crypt area, but didn't quite work for me, and was too easy to gib the whole group on spawn.
Will have more notes once I wrap up the maps!