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Retro Jam 4: Episode 4 Released. Boo!
Retro Jam 4 is a pack of eight Elder World themed, old school designed levels created just in time for All Elders Day. Err...

Thanks to everyone who took part in this spontaneous mapping outburst:


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Less "My Tower Is An Eye Full" 
More "Yank My Doodle, It's a Dandy". My paternal grandfather's side of the family tree was Belgian, but that's the closest I've ever been to French. Sorry.

Hon hon hon. 
Honk Honk Honk. 
Nice runs! I was wondering if anyone could find the GL secret. It requires some patience and ammo. It was added in the last minutes just for fun. 
I don't know what's wrong with these people, your Sandy's Hollow is my favorite. Well paced, not crazy hard but challenging, enough variation and beautiful, very well finished.

The other one that striked me by the looks was Zwiffle's Shotgun Fornication. Moody atmosphere, very evil and well finished. Short, but fun.

Its same-episode brother is Textfish's The Wretched Alcazar. I liked Zwiffle's looks better, but this one has more fun gameplay.

About the demos... you don't wanna see them, it's embarassing. 
Overall comment, to make our jam host hate me even more: Tarbaby is a lame fucked up monster. Sorry. 
It's nice for the panic it induces in a player, but the outcome of a spawn encounter is just too random, and hitting them at the right time/at all is too based on luck, for me to see them as useful for anything other than the occasional comedy monster. Not without tweaking them. 
^ Exactly 
Thanks for the kind words adib.

As for spawns, I don't think they need to be serious. Quake was never pitched as a serious shooter, there's a dark humour in it that is quite unique. When placed correctly the spawn is fairly predictable, usually long corridors. In smaller rooms they are much less predictable.

The whole point of the SNG trap in my level was to do a "gotcha" on the player, this is the same with most of the monster placement in the map too. 
The nail traps helped me beat some monsters. I always try to use them. I wish I could use one as a turret, like a fixed cannon or chaingun. Some games have these. 
The Wretched Alcazar has no intermission camera. Just a heads up. 
Nought Wrong With Spawns 
Spawns are only as unfair as the designer who places them. Hell, after you hear their sight sound you have about 3 hours to shoot them before they even start moving.

Disagree about spawn combat being random. Just slap em with shotgun at distance and dodge them if close. 100% skill. 
That's Interesting. 
I didn't know that Spawn movement was predictable enough to reliably slap them with shotgun at distance and dodge them if close as a matter entirely of skill, certainly compared to Fiends. I always thought that Spawns had no indication of their facing so no indication where they were jumping until they actually did so.

Could you show some examples of this predictability and thus 100% skill -based tactics to dealing with them? 
Obviously I know full well they have a mouth thing. But that doesn't seem to reliably show their precise jump direction compared to a Fiend's facing. 
Could you show some examples of this predictability and thus 100% skill -based tactics to dealing with them?

I propose: a 100% demo of Fifth's map with no damage taken from Spawns. 
OTP, skill 0 run only please. 
Not 100% and not no damage but I did it, and chances are it might be the best thing you watch tonight. 
Good work man. I can't even beat it myself, the tower room is brutal. 
So Yeah This Episode. 
I really liked the maps that were suitable to play through first go without any luck involved. Yeah, those ones.


Seriously though, it was a pretty damn good pack in it's style. Much kudos to all the mappers who managed to pull this lot out of their collective asses in a mere 4 days - very impressive turnout, and very impressive maps for the schedule. If only an extra day had been allowed for any form of playtesting, it would have been great.

E4 is a kinda odd theme (or lack thereof) and this shows in the variety of results. Some maps captured well the very E4-y bits (random corridors etc), some captured the OTT gameplay, some were just decent maps in their own right.

I think out of the pack, I like Pulsar's a lot with the combination of both a funky angled remake of E4 bits and fusing well-known bits of maps together, that was really fun popping out from a bit of E4Mx into a bit of E4My. I also liked Skacky's for the general and impressive high quality designs, it felt much more like a full proper map that someone had accidentally put a spawn pit in.

The others were mostly good but didn't stand out as much, perhaps because E4 isn't as catchy or immediately attractive as, say, "Rubicon / Metal / Zerstorer", so that semi-turtle maps don't have as a strong a hook in that theme.

GGWP all anyway. 
Retrojam4_fifth Skill 0 
I don't think anyone saying it CAN'T be done. A broken clock is right twice a day. They're saying it's not an act of skill as much as luck. 
:D I've beaten EricW's map yesterday.

And what I've learned playing those maps so far is: tarbabies are an *incomplete* challenge. They may seem broken, but that's because they're only complete when combined with proper placement and map geometry. They're the monster that immerses the map geometry into the combat the most.

Memorize their locations, plan escape routes, figure out the best spots from where to attack them on each situation, time your movement, and they become really fun to fight against.

If you fail, they become unpredictable; that's the punishment they give you, a punishment that's more consequential than the mere act of being hit or killed by a monster. 
Not Sure Why Everyone Is Going On About Fifth's Map?? 
Cos that is one of the easiest in the pack as regards tarbabies (out of my 3 play throughs I only got hit by one spawn, once). As regards running away from Shamblers and a Vore right into a nail trap and then almost certainly dying because you won't have enough health left after an over-long underwater journey and going through the nail trap the first time, it's a different deal, but that's not the issue at stake.

What I would like to see is someone quicksaving before the death pit in SKACKY's map, then doing that section, say, 5 times in a row without taking damage from the Spawn (other monster damage is fine). At least two of those occasions should be without triggering the 2 Shamblers on one side of the pit, and thus running out of Quad before facing them and the Spawn drop. Since fighting them is "100% skill" and apparently not "unpredictable", then it should be a repeatable process, right?? 
Finally Played The Pack! 
When I was done I briefly felt bad for not recording demos, and not being able to come up with any substantial, constructive criticism, but then I remembered the torture you horrible monsters had just put me through.

Have a Youtube playlist instead:

The gist of my feelings is that each of you captured Episode 4 one way or another, whether gameplay, architecture, lighting, or some combination of all three; my inner masochist took a great deal of pleasure especially in all the smartass traps. Really impressive what people can come up with in only four days, and I'm honored to find myself in the company of such head cases. 
^ +1 
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