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Q1EP: Realm Of The Lost
Finnish Mapper Episode Jam
a singleplayer & co-op episode
for id software's QUAKE

Authors: Smilecythe, NewHouse, VuRkka,
zigi, uKKo, Naitelveni, Ing-ing, Mazu &
Immorpher(music & sounds)

[Update] SMEJ Patch 1.13 Is Out!
#32 posted by Newhouse on 2020/01/07 21:28:19


1.13 07.01. 2020
-Tuned puzzles and monster balance.
-Fixed scripting issues.
-Fixed some texture issues.
-Tweaked navigation, coop setup etc.
1.0 30.12. 2019
-Original release.


Quakecast #41 - VuRkka - Quake Mapper,
Dec 26th, 2019

Quake Giblets: Finnish Mappers Episode Jam

Unzip the contents of the zip file into your /quake/ directory, so that the /smej/ folder is alongside, not in, the /id1/ folder. Start your favorite Quake engine port with '-game smej' appended to the command line. Fitzquake-derived engines such as Quakespasm or MarkV are recommended.

Please note: running the game with a different
-game prefix, or none, and changing the mod to smej via the console in such engines that support this may lead to unwanted config state being carried over from other mods, leading to potentially unpredictable results.

Episode uses Copper mod with small additions.

-smej crew
6-0 Suomi Viina Sauna Kekkonen Perkele Torille Jumalautaaa :DDDDDDDDdd 
Downloading now. 
Excited that everyone else gets to play this stellar episode too! :D 
Wow this is not the same level of "Hard" difficulty that I'm used to, this is one notch above in terms of being unforgiving! But I'm managing for now.

Levels look great and I love the music. 
Map 1... 
I'm reminded of the 2008 film "The Spirit" which began as a quite interesting noir-like and then 30 minutes later there was Samuel L. Jackson screaming absolute nonsense in full Nazi SS regalia.

Full points for the atmosphere, established both by the visuals and some unorthodox gameplay elements - felt like "Portal The Way Id Did", or something.

I was enjoying it quite a lot. Up to a very specific point involving a death pit and like 10 Enforcers.

I'm getting the impression that this was originally made for id1, then converted into Copper and not tested too thoroughly after that?

If that wasn't enough, the map then apparently turned into a series of time based jumping puzzles - sorry, but no thanks.

My demos 
I found your playthroughs of the first map pretty entertaining and had similar feelings. I pushed through it, but I must admit that I had to use noclip a couple of times (like that last puzzle that you opted out of ...that one was a real S.O.B! You were wise to walk away from that one, because I almost went insane trying to do it).

Hopefully, the rest handle things differently. I do admit that first map looked great though! 
Since this wasn't mentioned anywhere:

The puzzles' difficulty is affected with skill selection as well and it's distributed into a shared easy/normal, shared hard/nm and coop being the hardest. Coop is arguably the only difficulty where you genuinely need to be quick with your feet, unless you have a mate helping in which case it's super easy. Rhythm is more important in the other difficulties.

The map1 puzzles were designed to NOT require advanced movement skills. Most of it is up to just figuring out how they work, what happens in each step and finding the rhythm in them. 
Missed opportunity to dress the quakeguy up in "color 0 13" in quake.rc and for the trailer.
Will give this a go in a day or so, in a snowy middle of nowhere as is appropriate. Congrats. 
Congrats On Making The Impossible Happen. 
After the first Episode Jam there's always been a bit of a stigma towards these sort of deals, regardless of them being quite common in the Doom community.
Of course there's reasons for this, and I'm not blaming anyone who played a part in making EJ fall through.. it's super ambitious and you need a strong motivation to continue on, one break in the chain and stuff gets hazy quick.
That being said, I enjoyed my time with this pack quite a bit, a really solid new episode for Quake!

by Smileyscythe

While I do think high difficulty and bullshit nature of the map is really fun at certain points, I think for anyone newer to Quake (or even seasoned vets who usually play on Hard) this level of jump-map style bullshit would send them packing on the first level of the episode.
This should have unfortunately either been heavily toned down, or relegated to a secret level.
There's really no place for this among a roster of maps with pretty decent difficulty spread and ramp. Stuff like fighting two Enforcers while you're on a 32 unit wide train over an instant death pit.. cmon bruh.
The area above the laser trap area was also really annoying, worse than being ambushed by 10+ enforcers from all cardinal directions is when they do it for over 2 minutes. That fight could have easily just opened each cardinal in a group with a 2-5 second timer between the openings depending on difficulty, allowing for a fun ramp up of difficulty for the ambush rather than "lol you're fucked." right off the bat.
While i'm here complaining, the shooting within the pillars bit WHILE PLATFORMING is so frustrating it even made me cheat through it. When I finally thought I did it, the silver key door only raises for a second before closing again... thats seriously cruel, especially when after each failure the player has to climb back up the stairs like a kid unable to use the monkey bars.
Other than gameplay, the visuals are really cool- when it wasn't utterly bullshit the cool cargo platforming and how the areas opened up doom-style was sweet.. just yeah, didn't enjoy my time with this given the difficulty early on.

Pakkasherran Palatsi
by Newhouse
Wow, what an amazing level.. seriously one of the best sandy-esque levels I've played. Areas feel like little nonlinear puzzle boxes, unwrapping around you in interesting an unforeseen ways with each key found, each button pressed. I'm a sucker for a tightly built level which utilizes all of its concepts to the fullest and I think this one really nails it, excellent visuals that stay coherent and understandable while keeping a strong colour and material theme throughout, while striking that precarious balance between an ID style maze map and more modern 'realistic' fantasy settings.
I wish I could say more, but I'd just be repeating myself.
Really wanted a Grenade Launcher the entire time though, I might have missed it D:

Teräksen Arvoitus
by VuRkka
Really neat remake! I liked the green-tinged visual style of it all and how each area felt close to the original but with it's own flair. What I didn't like however was all the gameplay mirroring going on in the Silver Key area. Jumping puzzles can be fun a single time, but doing them over and over again when they're devoid of any challenge and also very slow to perform isn't cool. It might have been worth extending a bridge after each wing had it's button pressed, neutralizing walk-back time. Also the fact that the encounters were literally copy/pasted from each side felt utlra cheap, the first HK monjump with Scrags was really cool, and I was hoping there'd be more like that.. but alas I just kept getting served the same desert to the point of annoyance :D
The same can be said of the area directly after that too, I was expecting more walls to suddenly open with a larger variety of monsters, maybe some suprise spawns from the lights on the walls opening up, or a shambler finally breaking open the trap door and opening up on you.
I'm really started to feel the burn of not having a Grenade Launcher in the early parts of that level.. I feel like there definitely should have been one non-secret in at least late map 2 with how readily we've been spamming high-HP monsters (especially fiends and hell knights). 
Keskiaikainen Painajainen
by zigi
I am starting to sense a bit of a theme with the Finns, and it's a love for Sandy style absurdist architecture that lends itself first and foremost to gameplay. You won't find me enjoying low gravity levels very often, but this one scratches some kind of itch I cannot even explain. It hits everything for me, well executed traps, ingenious func-filled encounters with lots of interactivity, button shooting and air-strafing platforming madness. I don't want to say much more and ruin it for others, but this one is a gem. Well done.

by Ukko
Mind-blowing theme, shows just how much can still be pulled off with the stock textures. The sense of scale was immense, and while the gameplay felt more relaxed and laid-back, that wasn't unwarranted given the onslaught of long and difficult maps beforehand. A great intermission piece.

Maahan Riivatut
by Naitelveni, VuRkka & NewHouse
Once again, really loving what's going on here with the texture and brush work. The gameplay ended up feeling a bit limp however, I ended up skipping a large portion of this map with a single grenade jump.. but I felt a bit guilty and went back to do the rest. Really good stuff, just a bit too rough around the edges gameplay wise for me.

Pimeyden Kartano
by Ing-ing, uKKo, VuRkka & NewHouse
The influences are strong in this one, but Newhouse's chops come back up to the forefront for me, I can tell instantly with how the gameplay is set up that it's him, re-using motifs from the previous map and his other entries in map packs previous.. I think i'm falling in love with this nu-house style :D

by Mazu
I will write a review for when I play this... what the fuck Mazu :D 
Finnish FTW! 
Woah, didn't know there were this many active Finnish mappers going about! O: I like how you named the maps in Finnish; kinda reminds me of Noita in that regard, how it has its enemies in Finnish, too.

Onneksi olkoon urakan päätökseen saattamisesta! :D 
Ukko's Map awesome. The nonlinear game play, the atmosphere, the ability to explore around via multiple routes. It paired great with Immorpher's track too. Fairweather's correct that it's a great intermission piece, since it's not so battle ladened. 
Based On The Current Feedback Version 1.1 Is On It's Way. 
An update to the link is coming as soon as possible, all your feedback & demos are greatly valued and will be taken account.

-smej crew 
First Map Platforming + Shooting Into Pipes Puzzle For Silver Key. 
I disagree with Fairweather completely. That specific puzzle was really great and flowed excellently, just like something out of Portal. A series of skillful maneuvers as if doing a dance. It really wasn't that hard, I did it after the second try. The whole map has several moments like that.

If this map was bullshit then by that logic most of the complex maneuvers in Portal are bullshit. On the contrary, these require real skill with timing, platforming and aim. Those shooting + jumping + turning + etc puzzles are a really satisfying thing to overcome. 
Those shooting + jumping + turning + etc puzzles are a really satisfying thing to overcome.

Yes they are, if you don't go insane in the process. Even if you figure out the mechanics of the puzzles and secrets it's still a huge challenge. For example there's a secret that involves pressing+shooting a sequence of 4 triggers which opens "something" out of sight. If that wasn't enough, the whole thing is timed so you really have to haul ass. peRRRRRkele!! 
Map 2... 
mieli = puhalettu 
Wow. Could Not Wait For It To Be Loaded In Quaddicted DB... 
...So I just downloaded and fired up first map. Got to the second blue key.

Uninstalling now. 
I Am Sure Everything Will Be Fine... 
Sounds like smej crew will dial it back for the rest of us who are used to and/or prefer id+ game play. For now, just noclip past to the 2nd blue key. That last door, shooting past and blocking the last pillar, drove me nuts too ...and I really tried.

Besides a few of these instances, Smilecythe's first released Quake map (let that sink in) was pretty impressive. The ending animation was really clever, it was nicely put together (looks great), and it had some inventive (albeit difficult) puzzles.

I'm sure they'll tweak it nicely! 
Hopefully So... 
... but even the second map did not do anything for me, sadly... 
Heads Up. 
I finished the entire fucking thing and am speechless.

Will post demos and writeups in a couple hours. 
What A Great Pack. 
That climactic last map. Jesus lord, what a cool ending. My favourite was probably Ukko's for the atmosphere and exploratory gameplay. 
Perkele, That Was An Awesome Finish To The Year 
Amazing episode. Personally, I really dislike the platforming and gameplay in W1M1, so I ended up skipping it and using the console to load map 2. That said, W1M1 is really well-made, detailed and has lots of nice ideas, so it's kind of unbelievable that it is Smilecythe's first release.

Anyway, from there on I loved everything. I think my favorite map from the first play through is Ylä-Tornio, which btw is a place I often visited as a child. It isn't as cool in real life though.

Also, Immorphers music and sounds are just brilliant and fits perfectly both with the episode and Quake.

I also ended up finishing the end fight on godmode, but that's OK as the episode has so many secrets and stuff I missed the first playthrough, so I'll surely replay it several times - and I will persevere w/o godmode next time. Hopefully.

Kiitos to all involved! 
Oh, and the last map is insanely good and epic. 
Please Fix The Crash-on-save Issue 
Thank you guys for great release. I passed all of maps instead of w1m2 and w1s1, because of crash-on-save issue. Please fix it. I had the same in "Of Three Plantagenets" by Ubiquitous and he found a solution in this post: 
Awww Yeah 
I had the pleasure of binging the whole pack yesterday, with many of you watching.

--> SMEJ Full Stream <--

You will find my commentary there, but I do have some final thoughts:

w1m1 - Brilliant map, I really enjoyed it. Jumping puzzles are always fun for me. I thought it was a bit too challenging for map1 of the pack, would've served better later in the pack.

w1m2 - Oozing in style, and lots of interesting encounters and areas. It was a bit easy to get lost, but nothing that wasn't manageable.

w1m3 - Nice use of familiar set pieces with a twist! I was warned that I should be careful not to miss the secret exit, and the way you have to pick where to use the silver key to either get the secret exit or an early GL was pretty awesome. The map also communicates to the player whether you found or missed the secret exit nicely with a sudden exit.

w1s1 - Great lowgrav map! I thought it was well executed and the extra wide platforms for jumping around helped in this regard greatly.

w1m4 - Strongly reminded me of Shadow of the Colossus; you have multiple paths to take and everything feels like a secret passage. Beautiful detail and a nice breather compared to the more intense maps before and after.

w1m5 - Felt like a nice continuation of the previous map,an excellent followup and the fact I managed to find some secrets was nice too :D

w1m6 - Lots of neat encounters here, I really liked the Quad damage jumping secrets although it was possible to hoard them until the last encounter and totally nuke the final fight.

w1m7 - What the hell, this was intense. I will have to go back and play on hard for the full effect. The lighting was dramatic and the encounters were tough, but there was plenty of health/ammo to keep you going.

What I think is also awesome is how many damn secrets you all packed into this. I had a hard time finding many, but it will surely keep secret hunters busy for a little while. Nice work everyone and congrats! 
From what I've played of map 1 this is incredible. However, skill 2 is kicking my ass so I have to start over. I'm not used to Copper Quake's approach to difficulty yet, but mainly it's the puzzles. I'm really glad difficulty settings impact those. 
Still have the final map to do, but here's my stream for the rest (including the scret map):

I've had a great time with it so far, difficulty was a bit uneven at times, but nothing major.
All the maps are really good, but uKKo definitely gets extra points for the incredible atmosphere in his map.

As the past has shown, making an episode with so many people involved is really hard, so congrats to all of you for pulling this off so nicely! 
Skill 2 demos
Pretty much every map combines thick atmosphere with inventive exploration and interesting combat, which is incredible on its own, considering how different the maps are.

start: sets the mood for sure. Selecting a skill and then changing your mind doesn't work. Also the meta-secret is easier than nightmare selection.
M1: loved the variety of challenges, though some of them seemed like too much work, secrets especially. Felt forced to play defensively at a couple of points - fine on its own, but weird pacing for intro map. The colored lighting felt a bit, you know, color lighting-ey.
M2: great open map that still felt natural. The blue mines could use an unambiguous introduction (just have one block your path).
M3: neat idea with the key, not sure the execution was quite right. With the multi-key setups in the other maps this just made me a bit paranoid about doors and keys.
MS: low-grav indoors felt interesting and the adapted e1m8 bits were cool. Aside from the tower though, the gravity didn't get much use from what I remember.
M4: amazing atmosphere, treacherous ledges, the whole thing makes you feel like an intruder finding your own way in. Perfectly placed too, a great breather level in terms of combat.
M5: the most straightforward and safe-feeling level, could easily have been M2 (nothing wrong with that)
M6: got myself a glitched out invincible zombie nemesis that kept harassing me for most of the level. Fun level, getting a bit "out there" in terms of structure.
M7: a whole separate masterpiece. Seriously, the fact that it maintained the level of challenge with navigation, combat and resource economy all the way through - great job. The pit of pickled spawns was especially great. The "collectible" objective could have been communicated much earlier. And then an appropriately chaotic finale, couldn't have asked for more. 
Yes, now I managed the final fight as well, without copping out. Just a gazillion more secrets to find now! 
Just finished the pack. Fucking brilliant. I hope it gets some exposure in the gaming press, as did AD when it came out... sure would be well deserved. Mazu is a mapping machine! 
Played the final map, what a great way to finish this pack! Amazing work Mazu! Stream here :

Thanks for the great episode. 
That first map was a real test of my patience, with very challenging gameplay and platforming puzzles. But I was determined and preserved through it.

The whole episode is great, and while the first map may be the most controversial its without question the one being discussed the most in this thread for its steep difficulty. Well done to Smilecythe for creating what is no doubt one of the most frustrating, but at the same time rewarding maps I've ever played. I don't think I'll be revisiting that map anytime soon, but the memories will surely live on.

Of course I can't neglect the rest of the episode which was terrific. Everyone did a good job and it certainly shows. The last map was a real doozy, and I apologize for not recording the last segment of it. But I did complete it.

So here are the first run demos for each map in order, hard skill, recorded in Quakespasm.

For those intending to watch, would you prefer to watch in its demo format, or would it be more convenient to upload it to Youtube and watch from there? 
[Update] SMEJ Patch 1.13 Is Out! 

1.13 07.01. 2020
-Tuned puzzles and monster balance.
-Fixed scripting issues.
-Fixed some texture issues.
-Tweaked navigation, coop setup etc.
1.0 30.12. 2019
-Original release. 
Some Music To Celebrate! 
In honor of the new patch, here's a music video featuring uKKo's map! 
@Immorpher Absolutely enthralling music. Thanks for the video.

I found this 100% playthrough of Unhola. Can't even fathom how much time it must have taken to find all the secrets. I've played the map three times and found 13 of 23 – and then I must have spent an hour the last time just hunting for secrets. Also, nice touch to have 666 enemies on Nightmare. Such an awesome map. 
Sorry, should be 13 of 21. 
I'm terribly sorry for once again promising to post demos and failing to deliver for days.

Demos for maps 2-7

Please note that these were made for the 1.0 release, and will probably cause errors with the most recent maps. 
very cool maps 
Stream Time In 30 Minutes 
Had a free afternoon for once, so I'm taking another run at this one. The first map is epic and challenging and ultimately quite good I think... but it's an odd choice for a map to start an episode. To much savescumming required, too much trial and error. Was it placed in the leadoff spot just because of the base theme?

Anyway, got that under my belt now, so... onward. I really do enjoy an episode arrangement where the maps just roll into each other without the intervening startmap. 
w1m4 is some extremely cool shit yo. 
All righty, finished! Great experience overall; let me repeat that I love a good episode-chaining of maps, and having custom music really puts some of the moments/locations over the top.

I did notice that the maps didn't seem to give much of a nod to them being actually connected places, either in explicitly connecting exits/entrances or just more generally in having a progression of the aesthetic getting gradually weirder in the manner of the original id progression. Not a big deal but it's a touch that would really make an episode hang together as a whole thing.

FWIW I played version 1.13 on skill 2.

start map - Sets the atmosphere just right. Ancient door set in a wilderness hillside, check.

w1m1 - Interesting map, puzzle-y both in its platforming and some of its combat setups. There's a "one right way" to do some things and first you have to figure out what that is, then you have to nail the execution. Getting through one or both of those phases often required trial-and-error and savescumming. In the end this was satisfying to get through, but this is an odd choice for a leadoff map in an episode. Gameplay is a little too much off the beaten path (will turn some players away) and it's a bit too long and too punishing for an intro map. Considered standalone though it's good stuff IMO -- nice variant on base-map aesthetics, tricky surprises -- it won't be to everyone's taste but that's ok.

w1m2 - A much chunkier low-detail elder-world look; nice, but it took some getting used to after the previous map. Fine introduction of the exploding mine things -- a fitting use of zombies! The place felt a little same-y for a while, although it came together near the end once I had opened up most of the routes and run back and forth. Thumbs up for some swimming, good deployment of the Copper multiple-keys feature, and several good moments of seeing a spot I need to get to & working out how. Very inter-self-connected in a good way.

w1m3 - Homages to some id maps done very well here... entering into a familiar place and then a mix of either meeting your expectations about it, or confounding then. Love that. I believe that the keys-and-locks setup had fewer keys than you would need to unlock everything, which admittedly is another id callback (e4m4 silver key and secret exit) but I think was a little frustrating; these days I'd prefer having some sort of signpost that maybe I might want to save a key instead of using it when I find a lock. A good runic-maze-puzzlebox map though. Some fun secrets too, and a solid instance of the finally-getting-the-grenade-launcher-for-all-those-zombies trope.

w1s1 - I like that tidy little diorama on entering. :-) And, props for doing a low-grav secret map. The giant castle is a good theme for that; having a familiar structure makes it more fun to break the rules of normal traversal. Although I wish I had gotten more of a look at / feel for the overall structure during normal play; often it felt like being channeled down unrelated halls and it wasn't clear where I was in the castle. Some beautiful setpieces though, really getting good use out of the contrast between the lava and the blue bricks/tiles. 
w1m4 - Just lovely; my favorite map of the episode. Reminiscent of czg's Honey IMO, although unsurprisingly also taking from uKKo's earlier stuff. Dialing the combat back a bit and dialing up the exploration with an effortless mix of terrain and ruins. It's pretty much everything I like about finding and unlocking paths and revisiting areas from different vantage points and etc. Great vertical range too. The opening slice of a view out of your entrance cave is a great mood-setter BTW; the fog and the framing are just right.

w1m5 - Another "puzzlebox" kind of map where you drop into a hub facing a few different paths and locked doors. This one medieval rather than runic. I wasn't surprised to see Naitelveni and VuRkka in the author list here (along with NewHouse) as this kind of layout seems to be in their wheelhouse. I remember at least one satisfying powerup run -- also there's a bit of a dirty trick that makes you likely to miss a powerup, but that was just funny. Not a map that throws any unusual ideas at you, but solid.

w1m6 - Very strong opening in a cool outdoor area facing a keep, and some fun areas immediately beyond the door, but once you get really stuck into the map it turns into abstract spaces filled with slime and nailtraps and teleport ambushes. Kind of an abrupt turn from really my thing to really not my thing. I pushed through though; I have to say, I appreciate the pointers to the gold keys, and once I had mostly rinsed the map of monsters it was pleasant enough to finish it out.

w1m7 - Seeing "500" for the monster count on loading a map is offputting for me, but since this was the last map in the episode I knew I'd be ok with just chipping away at it in sessions ... there's nothing after it that it was delaying me from seeing. As it turns out, w1m7 is good for a big map for a few reasons: a) it's well-structured with an understandable layout -- lots of the layout is visible to you, it has some symmetries, etc.; b) you can "finish" some areas so you don't need to return there; and c) for a reason I won't spoil here the total count is somewhat misleading about how long it will take you to complete the map. In the end it's a memorable conclusion to the episode with epic visuals, cool structures to figure out and climb around in, lots of monsters to blow up, and (bonus points) it doesn't inflict a half-baked bossfight on you. Capping things off can be tough... kudos!

Great effort and great results you guys. Nothing against speedmaps and jams but I double-appreciate these "full release" deals, especially in episode form.

I kind of hope someone records some all-secrets runs of these for me to watch someday, as I didn't feel like I had the time to scrounge for those. :-)

Onneksi olkoon! 
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