I like it a lot, much as I did jpqm6. They both feel a bit like Quake done by an engineer, which suits the engine very well IMO. The giant cogs were brilliant and I appreciated how the level became more abstract and surreal as you progressed.
*Slight spoiler below*
In the beginning I was a bit annoyed by the enter empty room which enemies spawn into set up, as it quickly becomes a bit samey, but overall I liked the combat a lot.
If I have one complaint it would be that the maps could use more thoughtful lighting as they are a bit flat and would be more immersive and beautiful with better lighting. But it's a unique and fun map.
I managed to get 100% kills and 3/5 secrets. Gameplay and combat pacing are very solid!
I agree with #1 about the lighting but overall the map's aesthetic is already pretty unique and eye-pleasing, I really liked the texturing on this one.
The platforming bits were challenging yet completely fair. The layout was fun to explore but I got a little lost after the first "shortcut" opened because the room looked a lot similar to a previous one.
I'm planning to do a secret-hunt on skill 2 now. It's an awesome map!
Loved it. Felt like a vanilla level polished up in the visuals and setting department. Very fun stuff.
However, the health thing is extremely silly and I hope this won't become a trend for your releases in the future. It doesn't make things harder or easier, it just makes things inconsistent feeling and frustrating for players who know these values. Keep the dumb health/damage scaling to Half-Life, and far away from Quake thanks! :P
Yeah this one is interesting. Hmm! It's another really fun map from JPal, largely because he just makes cool spaces to look at, run around in, and fight in. But some of the bits notable for discussion are the ones that would likely attract criticism.
E.g. the variant-monster-health thing: yeah, not a big fan. It wasn't a real issue but it felt weird. And you know that lots of folks are not going to read the readme. :-)
Speaking of the readme: I know it says that you'll have to be careful with ammo/health, but since those respawn... in practice it just means you will often be running back to pick up more stuff. If the monsters didn't have variant health, and the pickups didn't respawn, maybe you could work out a better balance overall.
I'm a little wary of maps that overuse the thing where you pick something up or push a button and monsters spawn in around you -- this map came close to abusing that IMO, but it's a nice touch that often you could see the floor pads where monsters would teleport in, letting you know how things were about to go down.
A couple of spots were still just too tight to be filled with spawned monsters and make for a fun combat. The end battle was one of those spots, which in practice just meant that I ran back out to the surrounding rooms, tanked back up on those respawning items, and picked off the bad guys from that new vantage. Kind of anti-climactic!
The path through the map was good though (especially going in and out between the "metal rooms" and "floating blocks" themes), the button-hunt wasn't excessive, and I enjoyed that monsters in a fight often had a couple of different vertical separations. Good geometry to duck around and fire under/over... generally just good fun shoots.
Also some nice little effects spread throughout. An effective use of progs_dump to spice things up while still keeping it Quake-y.
(Final bonus thought. Vanilla-ish Quake has a hard time making the ring powerup useful/attractive, but I thought there was a particularly well-handled instance of it here where you could use it to do platforming in comfort without getting attacked.)
Quite a run in 2020 for JPal!