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New Q1SP: The Ivory Tower
Download Link Readme and Screenshot.

Deep within the Grendal Gorge is the Ivory Tower, a gleaming spire of gold trying to touch the heavens. The map has a skill selection area at the beginning, a chance for time travel and some secrets to keep you wandering around in circles.

This map is made from several brushwork experiments mashed together and features medieval style pickups, some new keys and a couple of powerup models. The textures are mostly from ID and the gameplay is vanilla Quake!

If you want to play the map with your own engine settings check the readme file for further details.

The map was tested with Fitz/QS engines and remember ...
RECORD A DEMO, I want to see how you play the map!
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Nice Map 
I played Ivory this morning. Got all the way through on "normal" without dying once, with 6 of 10 secrets and 83 of 84 kills. Unfortunately I forgot FitzQuake didn't record across levels, so no demo. 
Map! 
Cool, like it, love the blend of standard medieval with the mines and stuff. Found it quite easy but good fun. My demo is approx 1/3 pretty fast playing, 1/3 patiently getting secrets, and 1/3 utter confusion:

http://www.quaketastic.com/files/demos/shamvory2.zip 
Nice Map 
Pro-Brushwork as usual, texturing fits perfectly.
Got lost somewhere in the middle, died on the last shambler, could not hide in a clipped corner, which leaves me kind of upset.

You�ll see what i mean:
Demo 82/84 kills, 9/10 secrets.

Anyway, this is still awesome, thank you very much!! 
 
Two demos because quicksaving and reloading is technology beyond my brain capability.

Wonderful map, love every single thing about it. :) 
Feedback 
@Fifth, you were indeed playing on Hard skill and had an amazing start discovering the SK bypass route. (I designed it based on how people played midnight stalker) Then you got caught using the inv ring and nearly died! After that you doubled backed on yourself and ended up looping the whole level again! :(
I am not sure what control system you are using but it feels like you don't strafe but turn left/right and move forward instead?

It seems my non-linear map design is not getting the reaction I hoped for but instead producing frustration. (this is the impression I get from demo's) I recently played a lot of old Quake maps and noticed how they often were tough and open with routes. (good example) Not sure if players nowadays automatically associate being lost with frustration or actually prefer wanting to be lead more often. 
Confused 
@Shambler, everything was going perfect, you went on a Quad rampage killing loads of monsters, pick up the gold key and then walk past the gold key door several times, why? The door had a gold key texture in the middle? Maybe this is why ID put gold keys on either side of their doors. 
Sock 
I personally enjoy open maps like this one immensely. But I think that one problem that lead to frustration was that sometimes it felt as if I wasn't really supposed to take a particular route because that route led through a secret or put me behind sleeping enemies. I often thought, "Am I breaking the map right now?"

Maybe an idea how to fix this is to make clear to the player what the sub goals are and how each possible route advances the player to a particular subgoal? 
Same 
non-linear levels like this are more enjoyable for me.

I didnt have an issue with thinking I'm breaking the map, I figured you were a good enough mapper to have tested the level enough to avoid situations like that (especially because it wasnt like I was rocketjumping to places to take shortcuts just following a particular path). 
By Design 
I often thought, "Am I breaking the map right now?"
That was by design, I love the fact if you pick the right route you can flank the enemies and then plan how you attack. Maybe it is the stealth player in me, but I love looking for ways to surprise the enemies!

I had flanking routes in Backsteingotik where you could sneak up on enemies and people seemed to like that. This map is designed to take the idea further with lots of routes to locations and even secrets. Maybe this approach is just too much and players just assume the map is broken because of custom Quake map history.

Do players really play maps more than once? Is the extra design for different routes and ways to enjoy the map wasted because people only play maps once and think that is it.

I am disappointed by the reaction because I don't exactly know why the map is producing such a negative reaction. Seeing a lot of people shaking their mouse (common way to show frustration in demo's) and not a lot of satisfaction. After seeing 5+ demo's of people getting lost and not seeing any physical/verbal reaction makes it difficult to understand the problem. 
 
Do players really play maps more than once?

Yes.

Is the extra design for different routes and ways to enjoy the map wasted

No, absolutely not! I'm always disappointed that modern maps have less different routes open for exploration than E1M2 from 1996.

After seeing 5+ demo's of people getting lost and not seeing any physical/verbal reaction makes it difficult to understand the problem.

I got a bit lost, but it was my fault only, not the map's. I figure the other players felt that way too. 
Feedback 
@Mfx, that demo was painful, I can't understand how you play Quake without a mouse and just keyboard. Sorry man I could not watch it to the end, I gave up when you were next to the gold door with the gold key and then wandered around lost ... :( 
More Than Once 
Do players really play maps more than once? Of course, especially if the map is beautifull !

Each time I play my old maps, I try to be creative in killing monsters! (hehehee)

I try new routes, rocket-jump on interesting corners, looking for all the secrets I missed (secrets is a great thing, in Quake!). I like to explore and "taste" the strong atmosphere. When a sucker gets in my way, I nag him in any vicious ways (especially the Shambler and the Vore). 
Thank You 
Great map!! Getting lost is half the fun :)

@Barnak On replay I try to see how much infighting I can cause and save ammo. 
Mouse Shaking 
by myself was because my keyboard stopped working and I couldn't move... it wasn't a sign of my displeasure with the map.

I enjoyed the map a lot, I tried to play the map on my other laptop but it broke and I had to play it on the surface instead (with shitty cerulian keyboard). In terms of me not strafing, this is a result of me not wanting to press too many keys simultaneously as it seemed to freeze my keyboard. I am normally a huge advocate of strafing.

I will try and give feedback tomorrow, I'm still in a recovering state from having an operation. 
I Got Lost Too 
but I didn't really mind that much. If there's subliminal mouse shaking it probably comes out of a sense of embarassment knowing you'd see how lost I got! This is something I frequently feel when recording demos for Negke, for example (especially if I die halfway through).

I will replay this map. I will explore alternative routes. I will search for secrets missed on 1st run. I will play more creatively, more aggressively. I will give it a shot in NM.
I think that part of the problem for me in getting lost was I kind of liek to poke around and explore each possibility before moving on. I think this tendency might have backfired on me, because it led to me not having a clear mental map of the 'route' - if that makes sense... 
 
I think that part of the problem for me in getting lost was I kind of like to poke around and explore each possibility before moving on.

That is an interesting point, there is a certain pleasure from completing a section before moving on. Exploring all the routes and secrets is certainly fun, but with multi-route maps the area boundaries are blurred because the map overlaps and that can cause problems.

@fifth, I was wondering if you were having problems with your demo because the movement felt awkward to me. One thing I liked about your demo was you worked out the SSG shortcut at the beginning of the map, it made me smile. Hope your operation was successful.

@OTP, I knew a couple of people would work out the central lift trick, I saw something like it in Honey and was amazed at how simple but yet cool it was. I liked how you killed the shambler at the top of the building, there was a knight on one side and you on the other and the shambler did not know which way to turn! :D 
SSG Secret 
was something that eluded me in backstein for ages but I remembered it for this map. I also played the map a second time and got the RL secret, you're a cheeky monkey! 
RL Secret 
I am surprised by how few people got the RL in their demo, I though it would be obvious which is why there is no secret trigger. That is why I love mapping with large bricks, there are so many sneaky things you can do with them! 
Aye... 
That is an interesting point, there is a certain pleasure from completing a section before moving on. Exploring all the routes and secrets is certainly fun, but with multi-route maps the area boundaries are blurred because the map overlaps and that can cause problems.

I tried to keep a maze approach (hug the lsft wall) and never got lost per se. I did forget I was holding the silver key at one stage...der! Backtracking was always about making sure I'd finished as much as possible. I was so impressed at being able to come at that shambler from a different direction after I panicked and ran away. The environment was on my siide at next encounter. I still haven't found the last secret...so, excuse me while I go play this again...and again :) 
Wheee 
Had fun with this. For work reasons I could only play in 5-10 minute chunks, which didn't help with finding my way around. Enjoy some terrible play at http://michael.hudsondoyle.geek.nz/ivory_demos.zip 
Well... 
This is actually the first map I've ever played twice in a single day. I went back and tried on nightmare mode, just gave up about an hour ago because I had died 4 times in a row mostly from being stupid. I found 2 additional secrets, so I'm up to 8 of 10. I may try again on nightmare, but I'm not a big fan of epic end battles, so if I make it that far I may just stop there.

I have to say though, there does seem to be something about this map that for some reason I have a hard time remembering how to get back to places I've already been. 
Replaying 
Do players really play maps more than once? Is the extra design for different routes and ways to enjoy the map wasted because people only play maps once and think that is it.

I have already replayed this map twice, trying alternate routes each time. Btw, for me, the only really frustrating moment was when I couldn't get to the rocket launcher. In the meantime I have found out how, and slapped my forehead plenty ;-).

That is an interesting point, there is a certain pleasure from completing a section before moving on.

It's not just the pleasure of completing a section, for me it is also about making sure that you don't get any surprises later on. I often retreat backwards while shooting when I hit a nest of enemies, and that doesn't work so well if you haven't killed everything behind you. 
 
In previous maps I auto-magically (trigger brushes) opened shortcuts for players so if they fell down they can get back. This time I decided to let players open the shortcuts themselves so they can understand where the shortcut is, but you ignored the buttons, why?
I cant remember ignoring a button, except to further have a look around and come back to it. Also, at first I was a little confused about which way the "open shortcut" would work.

I think your maps do have a degree of sameness about them - textures and room sizes/decals dont vary too much - which made me get lost a couple of times. But getting lost is par for the course i think in all 3d shooters.

Halflife 2 is maybe an exception. I'm always finding the routes interesting, but not confusing. Perhaps a mapping sign of excellence ?? 
Sock 
sorry maybe my comment was misunderstood. It was a poor way of saying I understood that you had done the 'map breaking' deliberately (ie that it wasnt actually map breaking). 
@Sockbler 
Don't worry I saw the GK door very clearly. I just had no idea how I ended up there from....well the Shambler above the SK door, really! I wanted to make sense of the route I'd taken, and look for more secrets :) 
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