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Q1SP - The Hand That Feeds You
OK, here is my new map, posted on shub-hub.com, mirrored at mediafire:

http://shub-hub.com/files/maps_singleplayer/thehand.zip
http://www.mediafire.com/?8m2coo0dum1

Here are some screenshots, same arrangement:

http://www.mediafire.com/imageview.php?quickkey=ci1ntgyt4mo&thumb=4
http://www.mediafire.com/imageview.php?quickkey=7z4de1djnmp&thumb=4
http://www.mediafire.com/imageview.php?quickkey=b9zpwed10wz&thumb=4

Heres the MapSource, same arrangement:

http://shub-hub.com/files/misc/thehandsrc.7z
http://www.mediafire.com/?2ik2gajbh3t

And finally a skill 2 demo with spoilers:

http://shub-hub.com/files/demos_singleplayer/handspoilers.dz
http://www.mediafire.com/?0nmmgw0bgyx


This map requires QUOTH. Also, please use an engine with lit file support, i.e. FitzQuake (Recommended), JoeQuake or Darkplaces!

Quite a big map, primarily idbase, there are 306 monsters on hard!

Thanks to all those who helped!

Happy Christmas!

[Edited out zipped screenshots, wtf]
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Lol ! 
 
It Is SCIENCE. 
 
Shambler: 
Some good points. Spreading the difficulty range seems to be more inclusive, but might end up with gaps in between difficulty levels so it's not a cure-all.

For quake, maybe we could implement some sort of progs.dat feature that used fractional skill levels to add additional balance. Like, if you play on skill 1.5, it will use skill 1 spawns, but degrade the health packs by 10% or increase monster attack damage by 10% or something.

Also, some additional ideas are discussed in the "difficulty tuning" thread:
http://www.celephais.net/board/view_thread.php?id=42640 
There I Was.... 
Just thinking that maybe there should be a topic about this sort of thing ;). 
 
Hehe - at the end of the day, listening to peoples impressions and opinions of my maps makes me think about how I can improve them.

Deja Vu - made me think about basic scale and gameplay. People said it was OK, but a bit too easy and no themed/detailed enough, but fun nevertheless...

Sickbase - Too hard man!! Detailed enough (or better scale/detail/theme than DejaVu but gameplay was flawed by being too difficult. Also engine limits were disregarded...

TheHand - Much better, maybe a bit too hard (but not impossible), people obviously ENJOYED it, but now I know that making a level tough doesnt necessarily mean that gameplay is GOOD.

Next level - I will try and follow the formula for FUN a bit more closely. I like the idea of having more balanced gameplay with spread-out high end enemies in a controlled manner, making sure fights are fair...

...I dunno - fun is the theme to follow really.

Im sticking to Base maps tho!! I have something on the go with doom3 tex, diakatana wad "#1" and IKbase!! "IKDoom"?

:-) 
Ricky... 
It's all good! Welcome aboard. You're making a strong mark on the mapping scene already both with the vision and impressiveness of your maps, and your general improvements in quality over a few maps. Progress...

I do think The Hand had quite a lot of good gameplay moments. A few I can remember:

Mixed base enemies together - makes you think about what you use, i.e. gotta take down rocketeers but powerful ammo will gib them or be wasted on nearby lighter enemy.

Vores + vorelings - well themed and requires a bit of tactics.

Some monsters (Fiends?) appearing behind you - as long as it's not overused (which it wasn't), good for keeping players on their toes.

Corridors with monsters appearing on both sides - forces fast decisions and fast shooting.

Quad / nail runs - rockage! And these ones were good - I think what made them good is you could get a real good run first attempt with the powerups. I think it can be good to have a little bit of health or something before the start of run just in case.

Giving the player powerful weapons but having proper powerful enemy to soak them up - thinking of the underground lab thing here, it's good to through in a bit of that too...

Mmmmm Quake :). 
Yeah 
Agree with /\ that.

You're doing alot in a short time and it's nice to see in this old game that's still better than 90% of the new crap.

But I'd say that spreading the difficulty isn't so important, it's not too much to expect a player to change their playing style in order to play your map, as long as it's fun to play. 
 
RickyT23 gameplay in "The hand" map is not that hard... the major problem is that have to many strong monsters... and make gameplay in my opinion bored.

next time this addivice!!!

lots of easy monsters and vores = lots of fun :) :p

kill then bastards with vore balls and stuff like that :)

please keep it up you are becoming a great mapper real fast. 
 
I'd like to be a little late to say, good map. I enjoyed the quad run where you move up the stairs, that was pure fun. The map was a bit long for my taste, but that's just my taste. I thought some rooms and corridors were a bit bigger than they needed to be. The map ran noticeably slower than other "spacious" maps (breakfast for example.)

I too look forward to your next map. 
VERY Impressive 
..considering you're a relatively new mapper (at least i'm assuming? i don't recall playing anything by you before the few that have been put up on here..)

i thought the balance was spot on (skill 1) - gradually escalated from easy to hard, never got unfair yet always kept me on my toes, and offered plenty of variety in combat, with the quoth monsters used to good effect. i died twice; once on the first gug encounter (which was avoidable with better tactics the 2nd time round) and once due to a particularly unfortunate quad-run/RL/polyp combination (evile weapon placement right there.. had to admire it though)

my only gripe was the button that releases the bridge to the gold key area - i ended up backtracking through the whole map twice before giving up and quitting, and it wasn't until reading the comments on here that i even acknowledged it. it's easy to see, but i'd thought i'd already pressed it; it wasn't obvious that it was unpressed, nor that it operated the bridge (which was a few rooms away)

but yeah, that aside i had a hell of a blast playing this. in addition, the brushwork was great; detailing mostly solid (few bland areas but nothing ugly) and the lighting was nicely executed. i'm astounded it took you only 8 weeks to come up with such a large-scale & well-rounded map. excellent stuff mr, look forward to your future projects =) 
Finally Played This! 
First play demo here:

http://shub-hub.com/files/demos_netquake/thehand_mwh_1stplay.dz

I die after 20 odd minutes, 164/236 3/6.

Lots of fun :) 
Great Demo 
You sure missed the NG early on, but still managed very well! 
This Reminds Me 
that I actually forgot to post my first run demo(s). Divided in two parts because I died in the lava once :/
skill 1

http://shub-hub.com/files/demos_singleplayer/thehand1.dz

http://shub-hub.com/files/demos_singleplayer/thehand2.dz 
Yeah 
You did well, mwh, but I was yelling at my screen at several points "The Nailgun is RIGHT THERE!!"

It would have come in handy for you!

Ankh: Havent watched yet, but Im gonna soon. :D 
Oh Yeah, The Ng 
Yeah, I was pretty aware that I must have missed the NG -- for example when I found the secret with 100 nails in and had 200 nails before I even got to the nail box outside :) But I was aware (hoping) that people would watch the demo and thought that a 5 minute hunt for it would have been pretty boring.

I was also a bit more aggressive in places than I might otherwise have been, for the same reason.

The best bit was that when I reloaded and finished the demo after that death (and died quite a few times, actually) the intermission screen I got was pointed squarely at the NG :) 
Weird Bug In Demo Playback 
I find that when watching ankhs demos that theres a crash whenever a Bob is encountered. Its when the bob dodges to the side, I think. It happens in FitzQuake. I remember it happening when I watched some of my beta testing demos that people sent me. Which engine did you use, Ankh? Was it JoeQuake? Isnt that a TomazQuake engine? I remember Trincas demos did it too, and some others I think. Trinca recorded his in JoeQuake.

It gives the console message:

HostError: Cl_ParseServerMessage: Illegible Server Message

And crashes to the console, in Fitz.

I wander why? 
You Can Either 
watch the demo in a Nehahra-enabled engine like one of mine, or convert it using my ConvDem utility to std protocol 15. Then you can watch it in any engine.

Please see readme for details. 
Ricky 
The demos were recorded in Joequake.
I have replayed your map on skill 2 and after extending the bridge I had not enough ammo to proceed further. I think that in big maps each big area or part of the map should contain sufficient supplies to beat that particular part of the map.
Maybe it was your choice for the hard skill to force the player to preserve the ammo trough the whole map but it is something the player doesn't know at the start. 
Ricky: 
"Illegible Server Message" indicates that the demo was recorded in a nonstandard protocol. There are a number of engines (such as nehahra) that have a protocol that says it's protocol 15, but has extra stuff added. Since the demo says it's 15, fitzquake will start to play it, and then only fail the first time it gets a message it doesn't understand.

As aguirre says, his convdem tool can process demos to be unmodified protocol 15. 
Aaahhh - I See !! 
Thanks for the info AguirRe/Metlslime. I was unaware of the idea of there being different demo versions (or if I was ever aware I must have quickly forgotten)

Ankh: I agree skill 2 is pretty tough. Next map will be fairer ;-P 
Fun! 
Thanks Ricky. Was much fun. Finished in 25 min. Missed half the secrets and 1 monster. I did not find medium too hard at all. I prolly should have played it in hard but warpspasm ruined me. I may never pick door #3 again. 
Skill 2 
should be tough, that's the whole point of it :p 
Warpspasm 
Analised a lot of us senseless I think. 
Huh 
I thought it was just a Quake pack.

Very easy, easy, normal, hard, nightmare and with -/+ Quoth enemies. Could have been integrated better I suppose, but if I warn in the readme of the difficulty grade you can't really complain if you approach it the same as any other. Most players wouldn't even think of playing Nehahra on hard.

Maybe the thing is that when every single pack ever made says 'this is an evil pack' you stop believing it. 
Warpspasm 
gave me the opposite reaction, its in my top 5 quake packs. I loved it on medium. 
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