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ADSP: AD_Shamsp5 - Symphony Of Steel
Warm your Quaking appendage up for the imminent JamX with this palatably small, curvily detailed cyber-gothic map using stecki's decon.wad. Gameplay is designed to be thoughtful but not brutal, and secrets can be savoured.



Thanks to the following people for their moral support when I showed some editor shots:

[19:45] onetruepurple: the fuck is wrong with you man

[21:15] Bal: why you do this

[19:56] skacky: what the hell

[20:25] Spud: i am terrified nonetheless

[20:32] Vondur: this looks fucking scary

[11:38] Kinn: @Shambler - explain this....thing....


Update: Bonus DLC content:

Update: Walkthrough and design stuff:
Wonder Why 
[11:48 PM] Shambler: besides, TB really needs support for non-convex brushes 
Seal Of Approval 
Can confirm this is a very cool map, with a really nice visual theme, and nice elegant architectural motifs. Gameplay is balanced - was very tight on ammo on a couple of occasions, but squeaked through with some light cheesing as opportunities arose. 
Here's A Demo!!

Very cool stuff, an interesting reinterpretation of an already heavily trodden map. Felt like a sequel to the dm2 remix map, and not just because this is another DMSP convert - there's certain quirks shared by both maps that give the whole affair a certain sense of continuity.

I guess what I'm saying is that our beloved Shambler has developed his own mapping style??? If I didn't know this was a Shambler map before playing, I'd have guessed it about thirty seconds in.

The progression made sense, even if the whole elevator thing was maybe more complicated than needed (instead of lots of buttons and centerprints, why not just keep them up and bring them down later?).
I got a good kick out of trying to make the YA jump and failing, since that's what I always do in the source map.

Only found 3/8 secrets in the demo, more after post-coital hunting. Not entirely convinced if the mechanic employed is better than what Quake usually does - I pretty much found one of the secrets by accidentally hugging the right wall at the right time, but thumbs up for consistency and proper use of AD features.

Very enjoyable gameplay-wise, a marked improvement over your other maps - this one had a proper flow and fewer spawn-ins, and the actual spawn-ins still felt organic, as in their appearance actually made sense in that moment, and didn't feel like the mapper pretending to be a crafty Dungeon Master. Very good gamefeel in general.

I rate this quite highly, gotta replay it in Qrack with the Qoetia mod though before I can make a proper judgement... 
Thanks Dudes 
The elevators....I wanted them to come down as they did, and there was some complexity required to get them working after that initially.

I tried to make it in quite a different style to my previous maps ;) 
Here Is Also A Demo!!! 
I'm not as wordy as otp. Here's a demo file instead to show off my rusty-ass aim.

Elevators did not work as I expected. Fell into a secret and thought the buttons at the end (SPOILERS) were a secret instead of the exit because I wasn't keeping track of kill count. So missed 80% of the secrets as usual. Not enough penises compared to the last Shambler map I played. Enjoyed it otherwise. 
Thanks For Demos. 
OTP, good fun, nice to see you made use of the little blocks to get back from the YA. Even nicer to see you getting caught in the lightning traps a few times after telling me to put traps in the map ;)

Spud, also good fun, playing quite flamboyantly and it worked well. The ending area and exit mechanism should be somewhat recognisable ;)

The lifts are superfluous yes, but there had to be the one by the DBS for obvious reasons, and also there had to be some inter-floor connection in the teleporter pillar room for the same reasons, and another lift rather than stairs seemed to fit. Then I liked the gameplay mechanism of them dropping down and it snowballed from there. Sometimes players even use them to get back up after falling off the YA.... 
Pretty Cool 
life is so busy and stressful right now so I really appreciate the smaller maps.
played on skill 1, stumbled into 4 secrets. The relatively laid back game play was perfect and this really hit the spot.
Recorded a demo I'll probably never get around to posting.
Thanks for continuing to make these types of maps. 
Ach Du Scheisse 
Must Play 
Dit Kannste Laut Sagen! 
Enjoyed The Experience 
Fun map. I like when monster count is kept under 80. Manageable on skill 2, had a nice flow.
Here is a demo: 
Your Face Is A Dit Kannste Laut Sagen 
Drew and Ankh, thank you guys :). Glad the smaller size is appreciated, that was part of the plan, make something more digestible that can be played for a quick burst of quake or hopefully be savoured longer if players feel like it. I too sometimes find large maps a bit off-putting. 
Das Kann Ja Wohl Nicht Wahr Sein! 
I liked it. Nice neat style, cool little vistas. Maybe could of done with some contrast to cut through some parts. Little bit flat visually. 
Great small little base map. I love how interconnected the layout was; as it opens up it gives room for lots of different approaches to combat. The final area could have been a bit more open and chaotic to my taste, but I liked the nod to whatever E2 map with the three switches. Keep shamblin. 
Cool Map 
As usual with Shambler's maps I can't for the life of me find any secrets. Finished with a pitiful 1/8 :D

I liked how space was well utilized and visuals were pretty unique. 
DLC Now Available! See Initial Post. 
WW - thanks. Contrast could have been an option but conversely I wanted to strongly stick to a theme. I did try to get enough details in each area to be interesting, though.

Lpowell - thanks. The layout may have been, errr, entirely borrowed from elsewhere ;). The final area was a little bit of an afterthought admittedly, I could have added more complexity there.

Flint - thanks. The secrets are all marked in similar ways and are spread semi-equally throughout the map. I did try to get the balance of making them all marked (usually in two ways) but also require some hunting. Sleepy managed to get 7/8 which is a good effort. Glad you liked it :) 
Regarding The DLC 
After playing it, the question of why the DLC exists led to this exchange between me and shums

Shambler Yesterday at 9:42 PM
although i hope we can avoid questions as trite as "why"

gnsnorch grungeongrurche Yesterday at 9:43 PM
it transcends "why" to be honest. It exists, the "why" is not particularly important. The pressing issue is "what do we do with it now that it exists". that overwhelms "why" to the point that "why" has negligable importance
e.g. nuclear weapons
we don't spend much time thinking about why they exist, all of our thought is spent thinking about how the fuck to stop ourselves blowing the world up
Also Regarding The DLC 
I think we've just entered a new era of mapping for Quake. 
I Played A Quake Map 
I remember this game. Pretty cool game!

Build quality is miles ahead of the last Shambler map I played and the general gameplay is a step ahead also.

Quite a few of the areas felt very cramped and confined. It works in many of the corridors but the atriums could have used a lot more breathing room. Combat was fine but the level suffers from too many areas where you trigger an ambush and can then safely retreat into a corridor and snipe everything which gets dull after the first time.

I found some secrets! Mostly once everything was dead and I could look around a bit. These kind of secrets are pretty annoying as there is little to no affordance given to the player so finding them when there are enemies around (and when they would be useful) is pretty low. I didn't manage to work out the fishing door but that was a cool touch.

It was cool seeing stuff outside the windows patrolling around. Made me want to explore more to find out how to get there but I couldn't work it out.

Map homage's that I noticed were ZTN Blood Run and the end bit was from an id1 level I forget which one. Maybe there were others,I wanna say a Fat Controller map but unsure.

Stop backspawning dogs :D 
Cheers Daz, 
Usefully detailed comments as previous!

I did focus on build quality (for the player, not necessarily behind the scenes). The small size was part of that, as well as a counter to some of my previous maps that I think have been a bit large scaled.

Combat was fine but the level suffers from too many areas where you trigger an ambush and can then safely retreat into a corridor


Stop backspawning dogs :D

There might be a correlation there ;). I didn't want the gameplay to be too brutal or swampy, and I did try to position monsters to work to their strengths. I think avoiding sniping gameplay would have been tricky without more backspawning or arenay type stuff (which I didn't want). Gameplay is supposed to be a bit more "Id1"....or rather "AD1" ;)

These kind of secrets are pretty annoying as there is little to no affordance given to the player so finding them when there are enemies around (and when they would be useful) is pretty low.

Not sure what you mean by "affordance" there. I mostly put in secrets cos I like putting in secrets (and also like trying to find them myself). My plan is that they add gameplay value either for players who are really slow and careful and might find some as they're playing and thus get benefits, or by people who like a general explore at the end or on subsequent plays (which is often what I do, go back through the map). There is no way through to the fishing area as you don't have a permit (I could have made this clearer), but you can see the area from a nearby secret.

Glad the stuff patrolling got noticed :) 
Mathias Worch (of beyond belief fame) has a great gdc talk on affordance here

(tldr - give the player consistent clues/hints as to how mechanics in the level work that they can spot ahead of time and plan around)

I think its fine to have secrets that aren't really meant to be found without careful observation or during quiet moments but it felt like in this level these type of secrets would reward combat orientated items such as a quad (my memory is hazy, please correct if I'm wrong) which feels anticlimactic as generally everything is already dead if you've found an observation secret.

I don't think backspawning is the answer to the ambush issue, it boils down to an annoyance that the player takes a few seconds to clear up before going back to the corridor sniping routine. The issue in this map is more of a layout problem whereby the level itself allows for the player to trigger an encounter and then retreat from it. A drop off or other one way route that locks the player into the encounter would be preferable I think but comes with its own risks and headaches (I think most Quake players can recognise this trope by now).

Another technique is not to blow your entire load on the first round of the ambush. Lure the player in with a few enemies and then ratchet up the intensity once they have a feel for the environment and have sussed out a few "safe" spaces to fight in.

I found the secret area that let me see the outside with the fihsing Ogre, I blew up the boxes and killed the Ogre and thought that might open the door but no dice :) 
Really curious about what you did with the secrets, I'll play it again in a few days to try and find them. I enjoyed the map, but not a fan of wall humping for the secrets that I managed to find. Here's my playthrough with ramblings, good stuff as usual! 
Watching JCR's Video 
I've now gone from "not entirely convinced" on the secrets to "they were a bad idea", for several reasons:

1. In a map where the detail is mostly happening on the micro scale, i.e. tiny circular brushwork rivets, it is a little unfair to demand the player to notice a very/overly subtle change in texture in a particular spot. JCR stumbled into both his secrets by accident, even though they followed the same pattern.

2. It's fine to have secrets that have explicit, discrete triggers, and also fine to have secrets that don't, and require exploration instead. The best secrets will naturally be some combination of both. But the method used here is actually neither
Mathias Worch (of beyond belief fame)

Glad you explained that, since obviously nobody on func knows who made Beyond Belief. 
3. I've said "thumbs up for consistency" earlier, but now I think the near-total consistency actually hurts the gameplay and the secret hunting metagame (real life LD lingo straight from San Francisco).

I would say that the right way of hiding secrets is variation, not just mechanically i.e. button vs secret wall, but also in terms of difficulty. Warp Spasm was very famous for its plentiful secrets with various degrees of difficulty (and I quote):

The secrets range from stupidly easy (Haunter of the Dark, Bile Plant) to very complex (Shadow Tower, Sealed City) but there's so many in each level that casual players will almost certainly come across a handful.

Once you apply the same method of discovery i.e. barely distinguishable secret fake walls to most your secrets, you're making them equally difficult to find, and leave the player with a sense of dissatisfaction.

Contrast this to sock's xmas18 map which employed the same method of discovery: the texture on each fake wall was much more pronounced, and there was ample variety in their placement, as some were very easy to spot, and some very more hidden and needed more observation.

(Obviously this way of going around things is troublesome on its own - since secret hunting devolves into rather painstakingly observing every surface your eyes come across, and then once you find one secret, you're able to find all of them - so perhaps absolute consistency is not recommended)

I think redesigning some of the secrets, i.e. the Shadow Axe, and the Quad, to be more typical Quake secrets, would have made for a less consistent map but a more satisfying one. 
They're almost all marked in 2 ways (light style plus texture), and they're all optional (my maps are always testing without using any secrets - the items can be a bit arbitrary). Also the consistency means the player can spot ahead of time and plan around.

Maybe by the time I've been making Quake levels and working on AA games for 20 years I'll do secrets slightly differently. As it was, I was just putting them in in a way that inspired me and they're not the major focus of the map.

Gameplay-wise - yes maybe the map design prevents fancier gameplay / arena set-ups. The design (correctly Id-ed) was the major focus of the map and the gameplay worked around that. Thus no dropping into pits or whatever. Having said that almost all monsters were placed to either work to their strengths and/or give the player a bit of excitement even if they were relatively easy to deal with (this is a style I personally like, use the monsters for dramatic effect rather than mercilessly inescapable gameplay effect).

Also the ogre had a fishing permit and you didn't, so leave him alone. 
The issue in this map is more of a layout problem whereby the level itself allows for the player to trigger an encounter and then retreat from it.

The vast majority of id1 and indeed all custom levels are built around encounters you can back out of if you really need to.

The trick I think is not to go too wild with artificial lock-ins and drop downs, but to make it apparent to the player that he can be in a better position to fight if he just gets stuck in and presses forward into the new area. Item and ammo distribution should encourage player to press forward through the enemies to tool up and then turn round and let rip. The area he is charging into should visibly give him better cover options and vantage points than he'd have if he hung back at the entrance. It's all about dangling carrots to manipulate where you want the player to be. 
I Prefer Dangling Spuds. 
I'm the only one who doesn't have the skybox "dawn-of-time"? :P

When loading the map the console message says that dawn-of-time skybox was not found... so i renamed the interstellar's files that came with the map to dawn-of-time :P 
Sorry I should have mentioned, I re-uploaded the map file with the DOT skybox in instead. Sorry for the initial mistake and forgetting to mention the update. I reckon interstellAr will work good tho ;) 
Uploaded a walkthrough here: , with secrets and design commentary etc, plus some bonus content. It might not make secrets less frustrating, but hey ho! 
A great work of geometric detail, tainted by poor texture alignment.

The map is fun, the architecture is smooth, but the bad texture alignment breaks the intended visual smoothness.

Even though TB may be overall better for mapping, a final texture alignment edit through JACK would make maps like this better. 
Enjoyed This One 
Managed to find all but one secret, killed all the enemies.

Not much to say other than good map 
It's possible in TB to do the same ALT+Click texture alignment that ALT+RMB does in JACK. 
JACK's "align to view" is better than that for details like the water puddles. 
Thanks For The Comments. 
Fifth - glad you liked it.

Mankrip - glad you liked the designs. I'm not sure what textures you were finding so distressing (apart from the water puddle which is typically 0.005% of the playtime). I took a lot of care to align the detail / light / trim / drilled metal etc. Due to the geometry there were issues with the domes / convex curves so I deliberately chose plain / homogenous textures for those. The rock floor textures ARE a problem as splitting them up stopped proper alignment. However I regarded this as a small issue compared to the overall effect of the map and since no-one else whatsoever was upset by it, my guess might have been right?? Anyway, rest assured you're now at the top of my beta-testing list if there's a next map! 
The rock floor textures ARE a problem as splitting them up stopped proper alignment.

It sounds like you're using "align to face" instead of "align to world", but I don't know if TB has an option to switch between both modes.

Anyway, for the water puddles "align to view" is better because "align to world" breaks up the alignment when the geometry curves out too much ("align to world" effectively limits the alignment to a 6-face cube orientation, making all faces align to the closest square angle, so it breaks up the alignment across 45 degree angles). 
I Was Using Align To Negke's Anus. 
There might have been issues as it's british summer time here so the space-time continuum through to germany probably fucked most of the textures. And my brush alignment to grid. 
I've made a quick video about the role of texture alignment in level design.
Turn the captions on, I've manually edited them to make it understandable. My English skills are awful. 
That Was............enlightening. 
The pipe and water yes. Most people seem to move swiftly on from there though.

The ground at 3:38, that's two textures there, I put the darker rock texture in for a bit of variety, like the water is seeping in to the dirt.

The whole of the rest of the rock floor in that room has b0rked alignment due to the terrainness of the floor, but you didn't seem to notice that?

4:45 is, errr, a secret area.

The pillars, from what I've seen, most people don't get too close to them.

So yes, there is the odd b0rkage. 
The whole of the rest of the rock floor in that room has b0rked alignment due to the terrainness of the floor, but you didn't seem to notice that?

I noticed, but I only wanted to highlight the fact that one thing leads to another. After noticing the water, and then the floor near the water, it's obvious that the player would also notice the rest of the floor. It would get repetitive to point at everything.

But there's something interesting to mention: As soon as the player turns around the corner the combat begins, so yes, there's less chance that the player will notice the misalignments on the rest of the floor.

The less combat there is in an area, the more attention the player will pay to the scenery in order to figure out what to do. The lack of combat stimulates curiosity.

The pillars, from what I've seen, most people don't get too close to them.

Agreed, which is why I've said that the misalignment isn't a problem in them. 
4:45 is, errr, a secret area.

Ha! Clever stuff. 
Stimulate Curiosity To Find The Damn Secrets, Mofos. 
I've come to realize that you really don't want your secrets to be found. I found 1 and that was only after I cleared the level and walked through the entire thing all over again. I thought that the brush work was really fancy with a lot of curves - arches and such everywhere. I'm actually curious as to how you created such small domes on grid in some cases.

Game play was okay. I liked the Addams family hands coming out of the grates on the walls. Also nice that you keep the player on their toes by having teleport ambushes from previously cleared areas. I didn't find the combat as fun as Acidophilus. That's not to say it was bad, it just wasn't always as engaging.

Still a good map and quality AD content is always appreciated. I might be referencing some of your brush work on this map in the future. It seems like you put a lot of work in even the smallest of areas like the smooth S curve staircase. 
Cheers Chop! 
What is this "on grid" you talk about??

The secrets are very much designed to be found, to reward exploration and observation, and extend playtime for dilligent hunters. See the playthrough video. Almost all marked in two ways and with a consistent motif.

I did put a lot of effort into brushwork, that was the plan. Gameplay was designed to be a bit steadier than usual although again most of the monsters are specifically planned to be effective if not very challenging. You might find Annihilith more your taste as this map was a "counter" to that in many ways. 
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