Post by Kiddie Fresh on Oct 8, 2004 7:48:33 GMT -5
A very nice map indeed! I really liked this one alot.
The portcullis (moveable gate) was modeled nicely, and not just thrown together. There was another area with a rounded-top, walkway and gates. cool. The wierd backwards-chant room was eerily done. Good mix of sounds, room structure, and textures. A couple workable buttons is always nice.
There were a couple areas around doors and such, that I thought some type of door trim or 'border stones' would have been appropriate.
I love this map, the visuals from the RA room (upper level) are very stunning. That tall tower really draws the eye and anchors the map. Great job Stah and congrats on a map well made, very deserving of the #1 spot.
Post by grieve[Q2C] on Oct 8, 2004 18:59:37 GMT -5
Umm, okay. I really want to drop some notes, what I experienced while testing the map. Nothing else. This is by no means a provocative act.
So, about the map itself: I am still a proud owner if a low-end system, Duron 800 and GeForce 2. This would have been, like, an impossibly utopic high-end system to the time Quake 2 came out.
So a reviewer of 1998 would have stated " This map even didn't run well on experimental prototype high-end system with an ultra-fast 800 MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM (!!) and a fully openGL-accelerated graphics AGP 32 MB card
I am strictly following Maric's directives, and he told us that r_speeds still matter nowadays; that too high r_speeds in a map can even choke a nowadays high-end server when a lot of clients connect and play this map.
Thus said, I got r_speeds up to 2500 in this map. And I feel it immediately, since I got a tiny machine for today's standards. It just does not run nicely smooth .....
The other thing was, the map was feeling cramped for me. I always felt like there is not enough space to run around, the corridors and stairways were too small and narrow, the few plazas were not wide enough.
The map felt like a smallish map first, but the birdview revealed that it that it is not small at all. The extreme r_speeds told us the same.
It is exactly the opposite of, lets say, the original Quake 1 DM maps, which stunned me when I realized HOW small they are, because they felt so much bigger when playing them.
There IS lots of space in Stah's map, but it is useless space. You can't enter it. And that's disappointing. I would like to have seen some catwalks up there on the castle walls. There would be plenty of space for a complete higher level. But it is not supposed for being entered.
You can, however, get up there with a hook, considering that this map will be also be used in lithium or tourney by some folks. Up there we find that we get a lot of unwanted ghost views through walls. Not good. Best would have been if these unused upper levels on the castle walls had already been prepared to be entered and used by players.
Or otherwise, if really nobody shall get up there, there could have been plenty of opportunity for vis - blocking, to lower the horrendous r_speeds.
For the visuals .... it is brown. Brown and orange. The brown and orange light in this map is almost sickening for me. Sorry, no pun intended. Quake 2 has always been mocked for being "too brown" and / or "too orange". But it never-ever was so brown and orange like in this map. At least very, very seldom.
If this light is intended to be sunset-light, it fails to do the job for me. Sorry, I find it unbearable. Sickening, to say the least. Completely unnatural.
Together with the overall cramped feeling, the bad performance .... this map does not work for me, sorry.
For the good part: of course I see some great brushwork in this map, lots of nice handcraft, fine details.
There is no doubt that Stah is a good mapper. Still, he has a lot to learn ( same goes for me, don't worry )
What he should develop further is better taste ( orange light !! brown brown textures !!!) and some increased insights into the philosophy of mapmaking.
Post by grieve[Q2C] on Oct 8, 2004 19:51:12 GMT -5
Okay, some additional notes: the "cramped" feeling was very subjective. This was much better after brightening up the map with gl_modulate set on 2.
It was somehow the contrast between dense, black shadows and orange spots of light that caused this feeling for me. Still, the light is generally too orange and the overall color is too brown. And still, this map has not enough playable space, considering its overall size.
And of course the killer r_speeds.
And thinking about the amount of detail that was more or less wasted in this map, this 4 "towers" with their "gable roofs" which you have to look at all the time are much too primitive and do not fit in there. Of course they would have needed a "gable" texture, if this is supposed to be a castle.
This is not supposed to be egypt ( tho you can't tell exactly:) ) and these are not the peaks of obelisks, or are they ?
hey, Grieve, you forgot to write, about what you liked
I must admit, that i didn't stick to the jutging rules much, especially about the r_speeds. This map wasn't intended for beeing a winner, i just wanted to show off a bit. (but the fact is that in many places i've managed to lower r_speeds by a half)
The main assumption was an element that will be visible from many parts of map. The four spikes didn't satisfy me, so i built up something bigger - the tower
I'm aware of a very painful lack of a bigger arena in this map. I've also noticed that the sky colours do not exactly match textures. As for the modulate, the contest assumed using 2 for jugging, and I use 4 for default, so anyway it was a bit of acrobacy for me to apply for tose conditions (I'm sory that it doesn't do the job for your 1)
the "roof" is accesible without a hook there is a secret letting you get there from the tower (just follow the "lighting bugs" - there are two in that place)
I didn't discover the "secret" of the two light bugs yet , but the roof is very easy to reach with a rocket jump from the red armor's position ( and the armor gives you more protection for the jump, so it's the ideal place ... guess it is intended that way, ne ? )
BUT, if the roof is for really for running around, there is NO excuse for THIS :
This does not look good at all and gives you more or less the impression that the map is not really finished. You even make the cheaters wallhacks obsolete .... not good
( Not mine ... I don't cheat ) How about a few thoughts about BELIEVABILITY ?
These thoughts would also be about invisible barriers made of clip brushes that suddenly stop you when walking on the roof. A believable barrier, just another ordinary wall, would have the same effect .... but in a believable way.
( Hmm, gotta pay respect to the habits in this forum, no thread here without these smileys ... )
This is ment as a secret area, more less like getting to the roof on q2dm8 (now there are some serious vis "hacks"). I was even planning tp place a sign up there saying "you shouldn't be here" like there was somewhere in duke nukem (as far as i remember), not sure, why i didn't, but thanx for the effort i appreciate it and will keep these points on mind for the next contest
yeah, the smilie should always appear in at least one place, but the more the better!
Unfortunately I have to give this map a mild thumbs-down too. But the good news is there's a whole lot of potential here. A map this potentially good begs for a revision.
The main problem is inexcusable r_speeds. This will be unplayable on my P200 (yes, my comp is a pentium non-MMX 200). Running around with gl-showtris in most areas it looks like it's just been fast-vised. I think part of it might have to do with portals aligning with the outer walls of each area and the tops not being capped off. Putting a hint plane over the top of each area flush with the "roof" will cut down on this by making the areas above the rooms different areas than the rooms themselves. And put one at this level in the tower too. Also it looks like there's too much line-of-sight between areas through doorways. Juggling things around a bit to make sure doorways are "around corners" and visibility-blocking architecture will kill that problem right off.
I noticed some big areas outside the playable area that were closed off by sky boxes. This is wasted space and slows things down a bit.
Lighting is on the unpleasant side. I'd recommend ditching the sunlight, or better yet make it align with the sun in the sky and _sun_color 1.000000 0.900000 0.500000 or so, and diffuse it a bit with _sun_diffade of around .8 and _sun_diffuse the same as _sun_light. Sunlight ALWAYS looks better when it matches the sky. Also you might try having it lit with a _sun_surface that matches the grayish-yellow of the sky, maybe _sun_surface of "125 120 100" or so. Also the peaches-n-cream lights get boring after a while. I'd recommend a few colors in addition to it that complement the textures, like white and yellow.
Now the good stuff... I love the tower, especially from the inside. Not sure what, I think it's the combination of it and the skybox that really did it for me.
The sounds in the areas with lava I like a lot. My zip was corrupt and seems to be missing stuff (sounds) because a lot of the map was silent. Sometime later I'll re-download it.
All the detail-work is major coolness. The fence and gateway arch in that one room gets
I like the layout. I'd recommend a bit more connectivity between the two levels, but it was decent as is.