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Map Jam 8 - Release - Film Noir
After weeks of mapping, and a few delays, Quake Map Jam 8 has finally been released! This time around there were four submissions,

- Ionous with his map "Buried by Time and Dust"
- Newhouse with "Black Future"
- Pritchard with "One Ranger Two Boomsticks"
- Shamblernaut (myself) with "The Hackopolis" and the start map.



To install, just extract the zip file to your quake directory (remembering to preserve directories). Run using your favourite (limit extending) engine with the commandline options -game jam8 +map jam8_start. Happy fragging!
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Sooooooo... On Topic: Review Part 1 
Start 4.5/5 - Hackopolis 3/5

Awesome mood in the start map! You definitely got the noir vibe right and I love the lighting (except in the cinema hall that could use some more contrasts) and all the little details: the car at the gas station (could be less boxy though), the blinking lights on the barrier, the crime scene in the back alley... The film projection reminds me of Duke's Hollywood Holocaust in a more SFW manner. "Enter the movie" is a neat idea!

Some nitpicks: I don't like the unbreakability of the store windows and the invisible wall at the tunnel entrance. It would've been better to put an actual barrier here, like at the other end of the street. I also wish that the windows on the cinema facade were transparent and that we could visit the cashier's office and toilets (I hate non-unlockable doors!). I noticed white fullbright pixels on the sides of the car's hood and something really weird when you look at the foliage brushes of trees from the side: they appear empty and make a very visible 8-pixel wide hole in the foliage. Also, the texture used for light cones isn't homogenous and the result looks odd up close.

I was a bit disappointed that you didn't use my idea of renaming the skill settings according to noir film classics, but I can see an echo of that in the movie posters. One thing though: some of them don't really fit the map titles and/or themes. Metropolis and Gun Crazy are spot-on, but The Killers for what's essentially a zombie-fest is somewhat missing the bullseye. Umm, hello? George Romero's Night of the Living Dead? How could you possibly pass on that?! Granted it's not a noir film but neither is Metropolis. Plus, the namesake would have been a great nod to "the other Romero"... As for Kiss of Death, I don't see the connection to The Hackopolis either.

Speaking of, that second map is disappointing (especially after such a great introduction), though not as disastrous as some others made it out to be. Yes, it was very obviously not made for this jam, but I found it rather pleasant to play. Not as good as the original E1M3 because of its more straightforward architecture and linear gameplay, but still a worthwhile variation on its ancestor.
The worst part of it is the lighting, very flat in B&W. The yellow/orange particles above the torches look weird, especially since the flames themselves are not colored. On the contrary, the fullbright red band on the ogres' grenades and yellow (not green, why?) spit of scrags look neat, very Sin Cityesque. Ammo and health are a bit too plentiful on skill 2.


Great title for a small but enjoyable map. I like the architecture, with that road winding upward and the ruined mansion. The chapel, on the other hand, looks a bit unremarkable.

Gameplay is interesting, with some narrative progression, and having only the shadow axe (yeah, I found the secret only after having killed everyone, so it was pretty much useless) to gib zombies gives it a survival horror vibe that feels refreshing in Quake.

About that, it's odd that both you and NewHouse chose to give the player only an axe in the beginning and have zombies wake up later on, triggered by picking up a weapon. Did you two exchange notes and ideas or was it pure coincidence?

Anyway, on to the cons... There's a large hole on the mansion's top floor where you can get stuck in - it's too deep to jump out of. The end is very anticlimactic: you jump down in that dark hole and that's it! A final fight against some tough monster(s) would've been nice, either in a pit/arena below or in the chapel itself. The lighting is very flat. Interiors are good if a bit overly dark but the exteriors could have used some chiaroscuro.
If you wish to update your map, I suggest you add some lamp posts or torches in order to have bright spots and tone down the ambient light to make the rest look darker. Also, the scrolling sky looks bad in B&W: firstly the lower layer has some black (or dark grey, hard to tell) pixels that look weird against the white clouds in the upper layer and secondly, it isn't seamless and the texture edges are very noticeable. A skybox would have been much better. One last point: there is only one secret but the centerprint says "second secret"... WT 
Review Part 2 

Second best playable map (as in "not a start map" - there's no real gameplay in those) in this jam. There's a real sense of raiding a mob lair, too bad the modified grunt wasn't ready in time! All the breakables are a lot of fun but can be tricky since [SPOILER] two of the secrets depend on not destroying certain crates to be accessible. [END SPOILER] Good lighting as well, especially in the last hallway before "Don Vito Shambleone".

I wish the windows were a little more transparent to better see through them. If you are planning an update or standalone version, here's a few issues to address: a misaligned texture on the right side of the building above the bar, an invisible wall above the palisade (why can't we visit the alley behind it?), the first bar sign inside the corridor pointing to the wall when you look at it from behind and a similar situation with the reversed texture of the sign outside. Oh, and there's way too much ammo and health on skill 2, and way too many non-unlockable doors.


Wow! The star of the show! Very impressive for a jam map and only your second release. How much time did you spend on that thing?! Great architecture with an amazing level of detail - I especially like the bits of futuristic tech apparent behind the old crumbling brick walls, giving a sense of being some kind of lab rat in an experiment gone very wrong. All the flickering lights, cobwebs and sparks are a nice touch and enhance the derelict atmosphere of the place.

The gameplay is solid too with several variations along the way, despite a little bit of linearity in the interiors. It's one thing that I didn't like much in there, where you repeatedly close the path behind the player, forcing his progression into one direction. Yes, I know there are no alternative routes in this section but it would've been better if there were.
Then again, the rest is so good that it's inconsequential. The last part where you blast your way through the horde of zombies to the tough final fight is very intense and much fun. All the stocked up ammo and scattered power-ups sure come in handy! I somehow missed one frag and found only 7 secrets, though I didn't look too hard for them.

I already liked your previous map very much, this one is a significant improvement and confirms that your style is right up my alley. I can't wait to play your next map!

One thing I've noticed is that you seem to be very fond of grates: your first map already started with some but here they're literally everywhere! On the lights, on the floors, on the walls... I'm not complaining because they add some detail, I just find it kinda funny.

One final note: I played this map with the soundtrack you originally chose and it was great! It added a feeling of oppression to the game and I highly suggest that everyone plays with it: download Dhia by Diogenes In Hell, rename it to Track11, convert it if necessary, put it in jam8\sound\cdtracks and enjoy! It's a very quiet ambient track so I had to set the music volume to max and the sound volume to about 0.4 in order for it to be audible enough. Why didn't you include it in the release? Was it a matter of size? At any rate, you should at least add these instructions to the readme. 
Part 1 misses a "F?" after "WT" at the end... 
Thank for your long feedback.. I will try to write something back tomorrow. But now I want to say something about that track I choose.. I was planning on cutting down its lenght, but didn't have enough time for that.. but will definately use it for the standalone version* 
You're welcome. I wouldn't shorten the track if I were you. It starts very quietly but gains some intensity afterwards, and I find that this build-up complements the gameplay perfectly. So sure, a 23min track makes a quite large file (about 50Mb for an .ogg @320kbps, more than the jam download itself!) but it's worth it IMHO. 
I was just joking about some guys complain about the need of a start map for a jam, that's all. Not something specific you or anybody else said. I do think start maps are a nice "wrap" and room for creativity. And I'm not native English speaker as well. 
I'm the guy who were asking for start maps, since they put you into the proper mood and atmosphere. It's like preliminaries in sex... sort of.

I guess some guys here don't like preliminaries, and want to ejaculate as fast as possible... poor girl ! (or guy ?). 
@adib OK, cool.

@Barnak Yeah, and this particular one is as moody as they come. I love it! I totally agree with you and when I'll get to release maps, I'm thinking about making start maps, even for one single map. Walking through a slipgate is so much more fun than typing commands in the console! 
Thanks for your highly detailed review* And it makes me happy you liked my map and things I put there.. I am glad that quite many has give me such a good feedback and surely try to keep improving for my next realises.

I try answer some of your questions now:

Working time -> 2 weeks - school, since after week and half I needed to start everything from the scratch (remember seeing early images of my map? Those doesn't look anything like this end result).

Why so much grates, you ask? -> well grates has two purposes here. 1) they have real purpose to be part of sewer systems. 2) symbolic meaning that you're trapped inside, you're like in a prison with all these zombies and future alien soldiers. I wanted to make a feeling that player can't escape what is coming next.

Why so linear? -> adding alternative paths can increase the level complexity yet level designer can easily lost the main focus. And also non-linearity might not have made anything good for the map's flow, simce even though this was quite linear there still was some parts the pacing might not be the best possible... so personally I want learn to make first quite linear maps, before trying something I am not familiar with yet.

Also thank you for sharing information about my first update in QuakeOne, you literally was faster than I. 
The amount of work you managed to do in so little time is really impressive! Coincidentally, I tried similar brick detail in my first test map and it took me an insane amount of time.

@linear Yes, I get that. Also with a time limit you don't have the luxury to complexify much.

@sharing You're welcome. I just happened to see Talisa's post and wanted to give DP users a heads-up before too many of them played the jam without the fixes. 
So... Any Word On Skacky's Map? 
Maybe he will keep it kind of a secret, so everyone forgets it first. Then after that, he will release it and everyone will be surprised. 
Skacky's Map Will Be Released As Part Of The Upcoming Neon Jam 
And when that is gonna be? 
The 90s 
Neon Jam? 
So we go from one mod having no colors to another mod having so many colors that it gives us a blinding migraine? 
He Had The Most Noir Title Of The Lot 
and the screenies looked promising, so I was really looking forward to it and I'd be disappointed if he didn't release it as a DLC for this jam.

@negke Neon jam Is this a joke or are you serious? BTW neons are more 80's than 90's.

@Orl Neons come in white, too... ;) 
Neon Jam? 
It feels like making all these base/city maps.. my first section will be finished quite fast.. and that is good, so it can be stylished dark but still colorful lights right? Can it be like future metropolitan with red lights? 
Uh Huh. 
Ran mod.
Opened in a small low-res windowed mode with all my configs overriden.
Went back to Tomb Raider. 
Wow. That's some laziness you got going. What happened to deleting the included config? 
Opened in a small low-res windowed mode.. . So that is what happened? Though it happened to me just later.

Is this easy to fix? 
Yeah, run it in fullscreen... ;) The included config overrides the one in \id1. Delete it and you should be good to go. 
Okay I Played Them. 
Good executions of an interesting theme. Good variety and unusual designs. I didn't manage to complete one as I found it harder than normal to see what was going on and what my health was doing. But it was still neat to see what had been done in this style. 
Also The "feet" Command Stopped Working... 
...which was fairly unbearable until OTP rescued me with the temp1 524288 command. 
If this jam ever makes it to Quaddicted, I hope it gets repacked. No offense to Shamblernaut, but an out of date AD and included config files that mess with people's settings is going to give people a lot of Shambler-esque reactions. 
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