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Q1SP - "The Gateway To Hell"
After 20 months of work (I admit, I made a half part time effort... as I have been very busy the past year) here is my latest map.
This is the sequel of "Castle of the Dark Ages", hence some areas will look familiar...

NOTE: This map requires Quoth2 and an enhanced Quake engine (i.e Fitzquake 0.85 or aguirRe's GLQuake), as some standard limits have been exceeded

Screenshots:
http://lambert.jeanphilippe.free.fr/Screenshots/GTH1.JPG
http://lambert.jeanphilippe.free.fr/Screenshots/GTH2.JPG
http://lambert.jeanphilippe.free.fr/Screenshots/GTH3.JPG

Download:
http://lambert.jeanphilippe.free.fr/DownLoad/gth.zip

Website:
http://lambert.jeanphilippe.free.fr/

As usual, all feedback/comments are welcome

Enjoy !!!
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Replayed on hard (still couldn't improve on 2/5). Great bg ambience which i somehow missed the first time, and the Zerstorer(?) style pads. Beers ;>

Classic level, but Quake can never quite match the raw _hell_ of Doom2 for some reason. 
I Havent Got Past The 45th Monster Yet. I Kept 
the first rujn demo, but I'm gonna beat it on skill 3 before i am happy :) This map is just like Distrans's lat doom 3 base map, in the gameplay sense, on skill 3. Try it :) 
It's Funny... 
.. to see how player can have so different feeling about the skill setting:
For MadFox even easy is too hard, while for others, it was not that challenging...

Actually, knowing where are the monsters, and what are the spawning sequences helps a lot... In hard skill, it is definitely doable, even without using secrets.. else I would not have released the map (and I am not the player of the century)

Anyway, as raised up before, I should have linked this map to "Five Rivers Land"... but I preferred not as not everybody may have it on its HD.. I would not like to be a Quake engine crash because the map cannot be loaded ;)

Also I am very happy some people took time to replay CDA ! what a surprise to me, I was far away to think somebody will do that: thanks for this :D





***** SPOILER ***** (for secret hunt help)




There are 5 secrets
- First one is in the part before jumping into the first teleporter
- Two and Three are located in the first "broken" area.
- Fourth is obviously the MH "Well protected artefact"...
- Fifth is in the Vore place.

Good tracking :P




***** SPOILER ENDS ***** 
Awesome!!! 
first demo used my DM skills to jump to red key... = death... no amo for such a hard monsters :)

second run very very cool always near death but didn't died... fun end and fun map is not hard on hard always close to death but always fun :) real real nice map!

first demo and second... since first I died on start because I invented to much :p~

arghhh stop the second demo before jump to the hole ~:| LOL forget.... :)

http://www.quaketastic.com/upload/files/demos/gth_tr.rar

didn't find any secret :| 
 
> .. to see how player can have so different feeling about the skill setting:
> For MadFox even easy is too hard, while for others, it was not that challenging...

The solution to this is obviously to make Easy skill ridiculously easy (so absolutely no one can complain), while making hard skill slightly harder, no? :) 
Trinca / Gb 
@Trinca:
Hey, you finally found some time for fun in your busy life :P I happy you played the map and you find it awesome ;) I think the best wy to go is to follow the normal progression rather than trying to find "speedrunners shortcuts", as in this case, it definitely does not work: you experimented it right ? Anyway, thanks a lot for the feedback and the demo :D


@gb:
The solution to this is obviously to make Easy skill ridiculously easy (so absolutely no one can complain), while making hard skill slightly harder, no? :)

I guess yes, but I am pretty sure some people will complain the easy skill will be ridiculously easy...
Then how to set medium/hard skill ? It will be harder, obviously, but with which gap compared to easy... again, it is difficult to say as some player will say, "Hell it is too hard", and some others will say, "Hell it is too easy"...

It is impossible to please everybody... unfortunately... 
 
JPL I tought it was the normal roote :)

:( 
Skill Settings 
Hard skill: Make it so the mapper can beat his own map, without using secrets, without dying very often.

Medium: Remove the most challenging stuff. Take the most dangerous monsters out or replace them with easier ones. When in doubt, add some health packs.

Easy: Remove most monsters. Place red and yellow armour instead of green. Place additional health packs.

If someone complains about Easy skill being too easy, they just make themselves look stupid. They could play on Normal, after all.

Have playtesters that aren't level designers. 
 
"the death guard I don't quite get, why not just use hellknights"

Deathguards are faster, have less health and their projectile is faster but easier to dodge. On the whole I think they're superior and lend to more fun and mobile combat. 
 
JPL - you say :
I guess yes, but I am pretty sure some people will complain the easy skill will be ridiculously easy...

That's wrong. Nobody - and I repeat - NOBODY will complay that easy is too easy. Not when you have harder skills. People that might complain about this will never try easy skill, they like challenge, they will try hard or at least normal. And if somebody complain that easy is too easy then he is a retard. No offense, but if anyone complains about that he deserve to be called a idiot, a moron.

It's too easy ? Then play on hard.

I said it a while ago here and I said it on other topics : easy should be VERY EASY, ridiculous easy.

Normal - hmm, it could be tricky. I think that normal should still be playable. Not too hard, not too easy. I know it sounds a little stupid. Maybe try to play your own map on a skill. If you think it's too easy then it might be just perfect for normal skill.

Hard ? I don't care, I never play on that skill. Never. Not because I'm a bad player, but because I want to have FUN. I want to look at architecture and have a good time. I hate it when I die. I want to play through the map, not jump like crazy, back off, run in circles to avoid monsters, etc.

But (based on what I read on a lot of forums) hard should be indead hard. Very hard. Because a lot of people seems to enjoy hard. I don't know why, for me it's frustrating. But people are different. So yes - it's ok to make hard very hard.

And I repeat AGAIN : People who complain that easy is too easy are morons. And I guess the same goes for people that complains that hard is too hard :P

Conclusion ? Don't be afraid of extremes : Make easy EASY. VERY EASY. Do it. Nobody will complain. I guarantee you that. And make hard very hard. It's fine.

Normal - now that's tricky. But for some reasons I think that very few people play on normal :) Some like challenges and play on hard, some like it easy and play on easy. Who play on normal ? Well - people who start on easy and find it very easy and people who play on hard and find it very hard.

So make the map on normal skill first - normal should be what you think it's very easy for you. Then - add a lot of health, armor, etc for easy. Remove some monsters.

For hard add more monsters, replace red armor with green, remove health packs, etc. etc.

Don't be afraid - go to the extreme - it will be PREFECT for everyone. 
Agree 
I think RaverX is right.

"I want to look at architecture and have a good time. I hate it when I die. I want to play through the map, not jump like crazy, back off, run in circles to avoid monsters, etc."

This is exactly the way I play games. I've been playing FPS games since years but when I get a new game and start SP I never play on hard because I hate it when I have to spend 50% of the time I play on doing the save/load dance. 
RaverX 
"Hard ? I don't care, I never play on that skill. Never. Not because I'm a bad player, but because I want to have FUN. I want to look at architecture and have a good time. I hate it when I die. I want to play through the map, not jump like crazy, back off, run in circles to avoid monsters, etc."

That is exactly why I find hard (or nightmare, as I play) fun :)

That's also the main reason I still love Quake and prefer it over many other FPS games, the control the player has over maneuverability, the insane physics and fast-paced gameplay is what makes it stand out. Jumping around, avoiding enemy fire and causing infights while lobbing grenades like crazy is great fun.

I also like to look at the level design and take in all the details, but I rather take that as a bonus. I play Quake for the gameplay, not visuals :)

Still, I completely understand where you're coming from - easy should be easy and hard should be hard. I'm trying as well as I can to implement this in my map, so I guess time will tell if I succeed :) 
 
Jumping around, avoiding enemy fire

one of my favorite tactics when fighting hknights is jumping over their fire spread. i find it really satisfying especially when being attacked by more than one. it's not like it's a complex thing to do, but for some reason, it just feels really cool. ^_^

there's nothing wrong with cool visuals, of course, and awesome stuff to look at in a map, but that's like fancy decor in a restaurant. i'm here to fight with the snooty waiters. 
Hard Vs Easy 
necros, I hope that you read everything :)
As I said - it's nothing wrong with people who like hard skill. I can understand that they want challenge, etc. That's why there is a hard or nightmare skill.

But easy should be easy, the biggest mistake that a mapper can do (regarding difficulty skill) is making the easy skill "not very easy".

I don't want to repeat it all over again - easy should be VERY easy.

And now I think that we should go back ontopic - this map. Actually it was ok on easy skill, but a little too hard. I finished it without problems - ok I died 2-3 times, but only because I rushed too hard in some rooms.

But a player that's really a begginer wouldn't stand a chance after the first monsters.

The open area before the end (where you shoot those two pilon-switches to extend some stairs) was the hardest. Those gaunts are very hard if you don't know how to handle them. You have to stay near a pilon and hide there when they shoot. Not too hard for a good player, but I encountered a problem.

I died once because for some reason the gaunts came really close right above me, there was no way to hide, they shot me right from the top. And what's worse is that I could not shoot them (I was using the standard Quake engine - it doesn't allow you to look tight up, you can only change the view up to about 75-maybe 80 degree) 
 
what I notest in this map is that secrets are really hard to get... but secrets are not need to finish map on hard :) but they could be much easy to find :\ I only find one even with the help of JPL!!!

someone make a full 100% demo :p 
Real Nice Level 
Only the title is a bit bland though. Castle of the Dark Ages sounds like a Led Zepplin title. The Gateway to Hell? ...maybe a Backstreet Boys title? 
More Like AC/DC 
 
:D 
 
OutDooR Vs IndOOr Maps 
Hi I'm a new(but not n00b) european Quake mapper .. I'm going to play this map but as I see in screenshots it's another dark rooms/corridors style :(

I really prefer outdoor maps against indoor,
why most mappers follow the in-door theme ?
Dealing with outdoor is more challenging/tedious.. I know.. but surely more
satisfying at least for me ! 
 
Futur4 there are lots and lots of outdoors maps!

I only made one so far, but some mappers like tronyn almost all maps are outdoors! 
 
why most mappers follow the in-door theme ?

Because that's what 99% of Quake is...? 
Good Map.., Still Dying! 
I endured the same mistake I made with my last map.
While mapping so long the gameflow is so clear to the mapper itself, that it is hardly inimaginable a new player doesn't has this knowledge.
So the easy-skill settings really looks queer, or as jpl says, stupid to play the level.

But in the light of normal Quake easy is just a way to get a round-a-bout the level. I died several times falling in the lava at the start.
If I play easy I like to explore the level first, before getting gibbed by some monster.

I'm not that good player, I'm just bound to my keyboard, which takes a lot of time to search the enemy and shoot.
I know +mlook and mouse is a much faster way to play, but I hardly come to that point.
Reason that I'm such a blocky player.

why most mappers follow the in-door theme ?

Long ago, when the quake engine was poor, the vis level had a lot of compiling work with outdoor places. I think that's the reason why Quake has this claustrophobic small indoor setting. 
Well.... 
@RaverX / necros / Berntsen / dfsp_spirit:
About skill setting^, I think I definitely need to improve my process as all of you suggested.. I'll keep all the aforementionned advices in mind for my next map (still dunno what will be the theme btw...).. No need to fight anymore.. though...

@Futur4:
There is one main reason why all the quake maps are indoor maps: fullvis runtime. CDA is a outdorr map, and it took 1218 hours to fullvis. This map is 50% each, and it took 37 hours to fullvis... I am looking forward to your feedback after playing the map ;)

@MadFox:
You still can play it godmoding when it becomes too hard :P 
@ #44 
This map has plenty large open areas! 
I Liked It 
(The flame means burning Hell)

I liked the mood and texture theme and the darkness which did make some battles harder but was good for the mood of erie dread.

I played on Hard and beat it with my share of death but a conservative play style works when you can use it to preserve health and supplies for when you get pushed into a locked door battle. Ammo was in great supply (especially rockets) and health was decent too. Use cover when things get hairy or when Guants attack in packs.

I found 3 of 5 secrets and have no clue about the other two. I'll go for another look later.

I liked the somber soundtrack and DooMish feel and layout (it does have a DooMy layout).

Not bad having two new maps in such a short time. Perhaps a shift from groundbreaking limit smashing maps that take months to build to modest id sized maps might encourage old and new mappers to keep things trickling along. 
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