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Speedmap Pack 58
Here it is! The final pack in our '4 Seasons of Quake' Megatheme!

The Elder World's dark arcane might slowed most of the mapper's progress, and drove many of them insane with it's sheer vague terror, but 4 mappers persevered and brought us 5 maps this week!

Authors this week were: Rpg (who made 2 maps, 1 of which was in theme, the other in sm55's idbase theme), Starbuck, Xenon, and Myself.

Grab the pack here:
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Well lets be honest. Speedmapping is pretty much no longer a 'get a map done in under 100 minutes' job.. but the longer time spent on them (about 5 hours in mine, scampie and starbuck's anyway) works a treat. I really enjoyed participating, taking the extra time to create a map I was actually totally happy with... and look forward to expanding on it in the future.

Scampies had loads of potential... the outside section was very atmospheric, and the small inside section was well made too for what was there... great trap also :-)

Starbuck's owned, had a great layout and theme, as well as some neat watery bits.

RPG's was a lil too short and easy for my liking but was very well made and looked great. Atmospheric too!

The e4 theme rocks when used properly.. it's the most quakey out of all the episodes imho; just had shabby architecture & gameplay. 
An explanation as to why sm58_rpg1 sucks a bit: I didn't have time to do most of the stuff I wanted to, and what I did have time to do is buggy and I couldn't fix it. Wait for the special edition for some l33t mappage.

An explanation as to why sm58_rpg2 sucks a bit: It was actually a 90 minute speedmap instead of 100. I would have gone longer and done better detailing, but I had to stop so I could get the maps to scampie by 4pm. The special edition should be grittier thanks to some slightly different textures. 
Xen's was nice. The green bricks seemed slightly more in theme with E2, though, and I don't think the lighting had enough contrast for an E4 map, but it was certainly good stuff and still had some dark atmosphere. The jokes and parodies of E4 messages were fun, too. :)

scampie's started off pretty good. The moving bit was f0nky (in a good way), but I wouldn't really call it a trap. Ending was blah--unless you sprint into the room and get all the goodies, you're as good as dead; and I normally don't make it a habit of sprinting into rooms with 5 shamblers and 16 spawn.

Starbuck's had huge proportion as usual, and nice 3D work for a speedmap, but the visuals were too simple for my taste. The constant use of the same brick wall texture was too much, as well. Gameplay was pretty good, but the ending could have been a little harder. 
there were only 4 spawns in that room... but I agree my ending sucked. Was well overtime and just wanted to finish it. I'll be expanding/rebalencing this map in the coming weeks. I'm very happy with the start and how the gold key 'trap' turned out, plus I want to implant the original end of e4 with the jumping vores.

I enjoyed all the maps this week, RPG's being a bit short, but otherwise well done. Xenon's was excellant and full of e4 referances, but the halls get a bit repetitive. Starbuck still has issues with scale, but it was a great tip of the hat to The Nameless City, despite the fact that the layout moved upwards instead of down into the depths. 
Those Bricks... 
...should've been the cracked and old brown ones from early E4 and.. upper parts of DM1 also I think. I don't remember any of the other episodes having them anyway... If they were green then it's probably some kind of GL texture fuckup I guess? 
As The First Person To Post In This Thread... 
who *didn't* contribute to the pack..ahem

Great work. 1hour/5hours...I care not. Xen's rocked the most interms of overall completeness AND incorporating the most ( well, recognisable to me ) E4 references. The bricks used, as well as in dm1 were used in the Tower Of Hate alongside a few orange arches. Plus, that map and some of the other E4s were notoriously repetitive and labyrinthine in their layouts, so I think it's justifiable in this map.
Starbucks captured the feel of The Nameless City really well for such a small map ( in terms of brushcount ): gameplay was unsurprising mostly, could maybe have benefited from abrupter ambushing. But nice.
R.P.G.'s was confusingly short, but neat. The catacombs/arches had a cool vibe.
Scampie: whoa. dude. easy with the shamblas; if you're going to dump that hard on the player with both shamblers AND spawn, I would expect to be toting a perf or at least nailer by then. Otherwise, the Gloom Keep thang worked and the graveyard was a good way to start the map.

Having thought about the nature of the 'final release' of the megatheme quite a bit, I would now really like the chance to play through all the maps in a properly refined episodic structure. Most of the maps successfully evoke the episodes in question and the experience of Ye Olde Quake rough-hewn division of theme would be very, very cool to revisit.
A fair bit of extra work is involved, so it's up to you guys what you want to do, but I for one would appreciate it.

Green, brown; what's the diff? 
Your maps are allowed to be ass with 100min, but not with 500min. Regardless I liked the pak, with scampie's(or someone else) little outdoor bit being the highlight, the fiends in the darkness were classy. Looking forward to all of these in the proper megapak of <3.

he is a bad bad man 
since I think that E4 is the most underrated episode, I'm glad to see some mappers take on the challenge of using its themes. In general, there are a *hell* of a lot of runic and idbase maps, and a lot of medieval/E2 maps, but hardly any e4 styled maps.

My favourite was probably the bizarre bazaar. Nice nameless city style map, clean and open architecture. Rpg's elder world map also really captured the E4 atmosphere well.

Maybe the next megatheme could be themes from the official mission packs? scourge base, scourge medieval, scourge runic, rogue temple, rogue runic, rogue medieval? or not, hehe 
Your maps are allowed to be ass with 100min, but not with 500min.

Since when did 5 hours = 500 minutes? 
The next megatheme I was thinking of doing was 'old skool texture themes'. Ikbase, Rubicon, Ikblue (maybe), and... well anything else for older texture themes. Red Brick or Dapak styles sound good for this too.

Other plan I had for the future was a 'turtle chain map'. 1 week, I build a start area Sunday, pass it to the next person who gets all of Monday to work on the map, etc etc... until returning to me the next Sunday when I finish it off and clean it up. But this will be well down the road and I'll need to do some thinking as to getting the logistics of it to work out.

I Like Tronyn's Idea 
Expanding this into branching themes could add a big helping of subtle variance to the eventual map pack. Also you could expand the weekly theme to include Ikbase, Rubicon, Quake 2, UnReal and Doomish themes. You can expand the theme of the week to include particular progs.dat builds (custent, Nehara, Zeroester, OUM) in the weekly speedmaps.

One way you could make the time factor relevant if limiting the pre-baking, so to speak, is an actual concern, is to have the participants download a set of prefabs* to use in their levels and not make the prefabs available until the day of the competition.
The addition of prefab sets could also boost the quality of the speedmaps significantly.

* Of course, let's not start stripping them from the maps of mappers who have expressed they would prefer their maps not to be decompiled. 
I owe Scampie a nod of acknowledgement as our postings have similar and even overlapping suggestions. It was definitely in the backgound noise inside me noggin when I composed mine.

Props, dadio. 
no. there will never be prefabs in speedmaps, the idea is for mappers to create, not peice together crap. but it may be a neat idea to run an event with a set of premade rooms, and the mappers need to connect them. I never run a speedmap with custom entities.

timelimit isn't heavily enforced becuase I'd rather a bunch of maps than a few rushed half cooked ideas. the point is to make maps quickly, not be exactly on 100 mins. q3 speedmapping eventually lost many of it's mappers because Akuma would never budge a moment on it's 60 min (or turtlemap's 1 week to the second) timelimit. If a map was late, it was not allowed. I will not run my events that way. 
and props to you dude :D 
timelimit isn't heavily enforced becuase I'd rather have a bunch of maps than a few rushed half cooked ideas.

And the entertainment I've had out of the last half-dozen or so speedmap packs is sufficient proof of this policy for me. 
It All Comes Down To What People Want To Do 
if a mapper wants to spend substantial extra time, i always let them, because at the end of the day, it should be their choice what they want to get out of the session. Whether you want to test yourself under pressure and complete a map strictly under the 100 minute 'limit' or make something at a more leisurely pace, it doesn't matter. The whole point is to have fun, in making the pack and in playing it.
If we ran these events like nazis then no one would want to join in :) 
yeah. It's a good thing we don't run it like nazis, becuase I'd be the Hitler.

Heil Scampie! O/ 
I Like The Idea 
of using oldschool texture themes... that includes ikbase, rubicon, hipnotic, rogue, etc. I'd say wait until you've exhausted these possibilities before using other games' texture sets, though I really would like to see a doom-theme pack. 
ikbase, ikblue and rubicon are very distinct and internally consistent themes, so that would work fine.
But Armagon's textures really just supplement the id wads with some occassionally quite garish and aberrant stuff, like the bright gray bricks from the - ironically titled in this case - Black Cathedral ( the one with the clock ). There's some half-hearted attempts at celtic knotwork and a series of vivid blue skull motifs that wouldn't look out of place in Azure Agony. That's about it.
Can't really comment on DOE cos I've never played it, but I'm aware that they followed a cheesier 'travel through history' idea with more specific themes like the ubiquitous egyptian thing, so that might work.
I think the mish packs are defined more by their bonus weapons, monsters, entities etc. than by their textures. 
damn! You used around 5 hours too?
I made a E4 speedmap yesterday in abouth 5� hours but didn't mail it because I thought that people would find it to extreme to use 5 hours on a sm. Hmm looks like they don't mind so I will mail it to Scrampie to include it in the sm59 pack.

Other than that I got to say I really enjoyed all the maps this week. Very good work! 
yeah Hrimfaxi, email it to me, and call it sm59_hrim and we'll include it with sm59. Leviathan started a map, but was unable to finish before having to go somewhere and will be doing the same. I think Starbuck (shock! he's still alive and may accually run an event again! :D) is planning an unthemed event anyway as a break from the few weeks of themes. 
Definitely A Break Is Needed 
but if anyone has any ideas for a theme for this week's session, i'd be happy to hear them....

maybe something a bit more silly is in order, like another "bad speedmap" themed event. If people would prefer an unthemed session though, ill hold the silliness until sm61 :D 
Mission Pack 2 definately has some entirely new themes: ancient Egyptian and ancient Roman among them. Additionally, I think they've got their own variety of medieval, runic and wizard; the latter being most distinct, adding lightning, machinery, surgery tables and other pseudo-sci-fi/frankenstein style elements.

As for Mission Pack 1, I'd say that hipnotic base is rather different from idbase, and that that pack potentially deserves credit for variations on medieval and runic as well.

Mission Pack 2 is obviously much better suited to speedmapping sessions, but I think hipnotic base might also be suitable. 
You are most likely right that the next logical step would be to use the custom sets created for Quake first in the order of things. I'd like to see a Doom attempt sometime though too.

I was over my brother's the other weekend playing some old style LAN head to head Doom Death Match, and he had the ZDoom build installed with the Doom 2 retextures, and OMG! were they truly stunning. I got fragged more times from being distracted by the layouts than any smart moves my brother made.

Now I know why those TeamShambler guys always complained about maps being too hard and the combat too distracting for their walk arounds. 
They Do 
have doom speedmaps. check out or something.

also: i still haven't played any of the quake flavoured speedmaps. i'm waiting for the superrelease or i'll just play them all at the same time when i have the time.

cheers anyway. 
Can't really comment on DOE cos I've never played it

you philstine, sir!

really, everyone should try to play both mission packs, and personally i rate DOE significantly better than armagon. 
Now I know why those TeamShambler guys always complained about maps being too hard and the combat too distracting for their walk arounds.

Make sense, please. 
Why Are Reviewers Always So Thin Shinned Themselves? 
'Make sense, please.'

Oh come off of it, Shambler, you know exactly what I'm talking about and so do any of the mappers who are familiar with the TeamShambler site. Make an attempt to read my remark in the inferred context I put it in, and the 'sense' I make is crystal clear.

How many excellent maps did you rate down because you thought they were too hard? In gameplay terms, you had a very wimpish standard in your reviews.

Here are just a few examples.

"Unfortunately that same complex layout does lead to some odd situations where you'll have cleared out some areas, with difficulty, earlier on in the map, and they're empty of monsters later. Also, although skill settings are present, some players may find the gameplay a bit too gruelling in places."

Review of CZG03

"Again, I do have a few criticisms: a couple of sections can be very hard to survive first go, the end is fairly challenging but not the quite apocalyptic climax I expected, and most seriously, the skill settings make little difference, meaning it could be unpleasantly hard for some players. But if you are up to the challenge, the gameplay is rewarding indeed."

Review of DaMaul6

"On the downside, as well as the minor flaws mentioned above, some may find this level rather hard in places. Aside from that the gameplay is good, and the architecture is just great, and overall it is one of the best base levels ever - go play!"

Review of Rubicon review.

"Architecture elsewhere is good too. Gameplay is fair overall, and the rocket launcher is a welcome relief, but the introduction of the lethal insect/human enemy, in an area where you go a *very* long way without any health is frustrating and badly unbalanced. Aside from that problem, it's good, but challenging."

Review of Neh1m5

No one ever played Quake just to have their balls tickled, so next time you pick of the pen to review please leave your teacup home.

My case is made and my case is hereby closed, and the only thing left for you to do is say, 'Oh, you have got me there, HeadThump. I apologize for being an obstinate jackass. In the future I will try to be more civil on my end of our discourse.'

That said, TeamShambler is an extremely valuable resource for anyone interested in the Quake single player scene, so I don't get any pleasure having to make such a public correction of your behavior, but you did confront me and make a false accusation questioning my abilaty to write in clearly stated English.

I hope this posting serves as a fair warning to you if you so decide to keep to the scurrilous standards you exhibited here of what you can expect in the future. 
Clearly Stated English?? 
My arse.

Now I know why those TeamShambler guys

What guys??

always complained

What complaints??

about maps being too hard and the combat too distracting

Distracting?? What on Earth do you mean??

for their walk arounds.

What walk arounds?? Do you mean "reviews"??

Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no way in hell I'm falling for your retarded trolling. So you were a better player than me, like I give a shit. Equally some people were worse players and found maps much harder. For God's sake if you're going to try a windup, try harder. 
Ah Well. 
I can write English but not Func_Qmap tags, obviously. 
it's useless to fight with shambler ;)

headthump, go map better 
Anyway, Ignoring The Ignorance... 
Sm58 blah blah. Quake would be a lot more fun these days if my fucking mouse worked properly. Ummm yeah so it was the usual bollox, quite inferior to the previous 3 sessions IMHO. I liked Xen's with the Fiend jumping from the water, and Starbucks was in the spirit of things. Oh yeah, the start and finish to Scampie's had a cool E4 vibe. But yeah blah boollox etc. Someone fix my fucking mouse already. 
TeamShambler reviews weren't 'rated', they are just Shambler's opinions. If you don't like them, write your own reviews.

Now. If a map is difficult, it should be pointed out. Most of those reviews were written when Quake was still alive and kicking and there were many casual players playing custom maps. Shambler's reviews reflected the view of a player expecting to enjoy a map. Use of skill settings is a large part of this.

If a map played in normal difficulty was reasonably harder to beat than an average id map played at normal, it SHOULD be pointed out. Skill settings are there for the players to choose how hard a map is to play. Not everyone is awesome at Quake. Good map design keeps this in mind to ensure fun for everyone, and that is what Shambler's reviews reflect.

Saying 'this map is hard' does not mean 'this map sucks'. Challenges can be fun for some, and it should be up to the player to decide.

Anyway. Quit trying to start a fight. You threw in an extra comment to your post that had nothing to do with what's being discussed (speedmaps, remember?) and Shambler wasn't clear on what you said. I suggest you stop turning this into a fight becuase you'll find you will not be well liked here if you get in battles with long standing community members. 
I was not trying to start a fight. My intention was to nip one in the bud before it got started and make it clear that I wont tolerate ad hominem attacks, especially when my original comment was a gentle dig at a tendency Shambler has in his reviews. I happen to think the work he did on the TeamShambler was excellent in the development of standards for Quake mappers.

You are right that this has drifted off subject and to a substantial degree that that is my fault, though I find your opinion to be one sided.

My original comment was on critical standards, whereas his comment and later comment were based upon the clarity of my language and my rhetorical abilities. I may be the new guy here, but I don't deserve to be treated disrespectfully nor will I tolerate it.

Shambler: As you should already be well aware of and as it has been established as the standard civilized people have lived by for thousands of years, when you descend in to personal attacks, you have already lost the argument.

Vondur: Great advice, I will try to fallow it. Flame wars sap too much creative energy that should be used else where. ;)

Finally, I played the map pack and the standards have really climbed over the past several weeks. The maps were varied and most importantly complete. Kudos for loosening up the rules in regard to the time factor, Scampie. 
/me selects easy skill 
It's not a popularity contest, quit trying to win. I'm the only egomaniac allowed here.

Let's go back to discussion of the topic at hand, if you think your points are so imporant, let's discuss them in a new thread. 
The Mind Boggles... 
Oh God what sanctimonious drivel. HeadThump why do you persist in this trolling, you are fooling no-one at all.

"Ad hominem attacks"

"Personal insults"

You think "make sense" is an insult?? Oh, boo hoo, cry me a river. You ever been online before?? Asking someone to make sense when they've posted a random and incoherent moan (which, of course, you still haven't acknowledged or explained, see post #31) is hardly the pinnacle of personal insults. Then, of course, you post an insulting, pointless, and entirely meaningless rant against me....fine words for your high and mighty attitude.

"'Oh, you have got me there, HeadThump. I apologize for being an obstinate jackass. In the future I will try to be more civil on my end of our discourse.'"

Well, how about this for an apology:

'HeadThump, you're a pompous, egotistical, self-deluding twat who is posting tedious shite without any idea of what you're talking about (see Scampie's reply that shows how ignorant you are).' 
Headthump, you'd lost the argument before you even started posting simply because you didn't have a case. Firstly, he hasn't reviewed there for about two years, and secondly, it's not a score-based map-ranking site and the 'rating down' of maps which you speak of is clearly bollocks. That was the most pointless rant I've ever read. 
So Anyway, 
How 'bout that SpeedMap Pack 58, eh? 
This Is Masochistic 
Scampie kind of hinted that he did not want this discussion to continue so I did not address the claims you made in your 2nd to last posting, Shambler.

Despite my attempt to soften the blow by pointing out your strengths (and I even offered you a way out of this, afterall), I obviously hurt your feelings and for that I apologize to you.

You have questions concerning the intent of my original posting, and I'll try to give you an unqualified answer.

'now I know what those TeamShambler guys'
'what guys?' you asked?

Before I wrote this, I had no idea that you were affiliated with TeamShambler. The sites closing statement kind of had a finality about it so I did not associate Shambler with TeamShambler. When you posted,'make sense, please', I checked with the FAQ of your old site and that is how I knew for certain who you were.
'TEAMSHAMBLER'? Do you claim TeamShambler to be a one man army? Well, true or not, you should understand it if anyone makes the mistake of thinking there is more than one individual involved.

'complained about the maps being too hard and the combat being to distracting'

By this I meant,
'In your reviews, you obviously placed a higher value on the design of the layout and the virtual architecture represented on the map then on the combat with which you often expressed frustration.'

'walk around, what walk arounds, the Reviews?'.
No, walking around the level, admiring the layout.

Xen, you point out not a weakness in my argument, but a poor choice of wording on my part. 'Rating' only in the sense of quantifying a given subjects value which all reviewers do whether they use a rating system or not. 'Rating down' in this context means placing a higher value on some aspects of a map over other aspects, therefore, some maps are raved about for apealing to the reviewers taste, and others are not raved about even though their strong points are not to the reviewers taste. So, though there is no ranking system, Shambler is not immune to Human Nature.

'Pointless', Well, the subject of 'ratings' was never the central matter of this discussion, though you are by all rights entitled to change the discussions subject matter to reflect your concerns if you wish. However, the current 'point' of the discussion has been drilled in the ground many, many, many times over, and I only do so now as an exercise in masochism. 
Hehe This Is Quite Entertaining 
So, though there is no ranking system, Shambler is not immune to Human Nature.

Grave. Digging. Own. 
Need a shovel, mate? Or Headthump? :/ 
and for clarity:

of course shamblers reviews are the best reviews of maps i have ever read, i strive to reach his standards in my own reviews. :)

i just like headthumps choice of words. Language amuses and interests me. 
No thanks, but if you have a bulldozer to spare, I'd like that. 
Walking Round The Level Admiring The Layout?? 
Some pass me TEH CRACKPIPE too... 
...and While You're At It... 
...the Babelfish link as well. 
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