2cocedm01 (my score: 2/10) Frustrating gameplay. Beams, elevators, isolated areas, maze-like at times. Feels singleplayer more than deathmatch. In some weird way though.. I got inspired. It's well built, just not suited for deathmatch.
Suggestions: Too dark. Connect areas better, don't have them completely separated. Remove beams.
I thought the map was geared towards default brightness settings, but messed it up, so in reality it was tested with the aforementioned brightness settings.
Also to note is that i use a CRT monitor, so you'll probably see the map brighter than me if you use TFT ones.
Recommended number of players:
- 1 weapon of each type except RG, one extra RL hidden - 4 packs of ammo for each weapon included, except shells and rockets, which are 6 - 1 ammo backpack - 6 silencers - 1 armor suit of each type - 7+7+6 armor shards - 1 MH - 10 health packs - 7x4 small health packs
This map can be summarized and explained this way: an arena with an extra secret area with the bigger weapons. The rest is just the means to get to the arena or an introduction for the map.
The idea of this map was to keep the player on the central cave section, on a fight for whoever is able to reach the third part, so the gameplay was intended to be: be the first to get to the third part, and stop the rest from doing so, the rest of the map is secondary, as a way to keep the players rotating from one area to the next, hence why the player can't go back to the previous area. The CA is there so the player has another option when taking the central elevator: get to the bigger weapons or disregard that opportunity to jump for the armor and extra ammo.
That's why there is no health on the first section and barely any other item, no items on the caves from the elevators to the central part except the secret rocket launcher, lots and variety of items on the central cave, and a low quantity of health packs and the bigger weapons with ammo nearby on the third part.
To help this, and because i love traps, i included lasers to reduce the chances someone with the biggest weapons hunts or camps other players. The idea is: i have the SG or just grenades and a guy with a bigger weapon comes for me. Press the button, activate the lasers and stop him in his tracks and leave the area while laughing at him.
I knew from the beginning this would be an issue, so i reduced their importance in the map by lowering the damage, and make it so the player can go through them without being harmed at all in at least 3 ways that don't involve trickjumps. Thought of removing them after seeing 3zb bots get killed at them all the time (also because they avoided the elevators like if they were the black death), but after making a chain file the map works well with bots. I'll upload the file later, sorry it wasn't included in the pack.
I have three options in mind:
- Tweak this map as it is, mainly lighting and smalls improvements to flow, and getting rid of those bad looking stairs that are shown on the second and third screenshots. Adding a chain file for 3zb2 bots as without it they play sillily, getting glued at the walls in a room without getting out of it till another bot shows up.
- Making the map more compact: get rid or reduce a lot all the corridors, including those parts of the cave that lead to the central part, while changing the brushwork style a bit so this is possible or at least easier to do.
- Redo the map completely while keeping the layout, the theme and main ideas. Have several versions for this on paper already.
The first one is almost done, the second one will probably come soon, but i am not sure about the third. It will probably end consuming too much time and it will probably become a different map.
Frustrating gameplay. Beams, elevators, isolated areas, maze-like at times. Feels singleplayer more than deathmatch. In some weird way though.. I got inspired. It's well built, just not suited for deathmatch.
Suggestions: Too dark. Connect areas better, don't have them completely separated. Remove beams.
First of all, thanks for the fast feedback, and glad you got inspired from it in a weird way, my maps are always weird, always an experiment on new ideas.
Second, about you have said, i understand the reason for most of it, but have some doubts, for example about why is frustrating for you (my guess is that it is about the lasers and the areas without nothing to do (cave corridors)), and why the elevators are a bad idea (maybe because they make the layout one way only and add more time to the already long way to the center cave).
Most of the issues you point out are mainly because i became obsessed with r_speeds and about keeping the visdata as low as possible as i was close to reach the limit for visdata, that's why for example the caves are so labyrinthine and there is so large corridors everywhere. I knew them from the beginning, so for the tweaked version i am working, i already reduced most of those issues a lot.
For singleplayer probably wouldn't work too. I though about adding gameplay for it but it wasn't that easy to pull due to the layout. But the map is indeed singleplayer-like, because it has one-way very directional layout and an introduction to the players. Not that it is a surprise, as i said in another thread, i map in any shooter mainly for singleplayer, and about DM maps, i have only released, and it was recently, three small arenas for Quake made back in 199x.
What i won't change is keeping the better weapons in an area apart, as its a main part of the map. Though about change the MH for a teleporter, but that way everyone would be able to reach it easily, and there wouldn't be much of a point keeping that area isolated.
Last Edit: Apr 8, 2015 10:19:49 GMT -5 by cocerello
I actually really enjoyed this one. I thought it was one of the more creative and cohesive themes in this contest. I haven't had a chance to play it yet with humans, but I'm looking forward to it.
Glad you enyojed it, Jaydolan. I expect that with players will be more enjoyable. If you do, please tell me how it went. I agree a bit with WizardExt on not being very suitable for DM gameplay, but more about the fact that it isn't for the most common type of Quake 2 DM gameplay, but my second future option i think will be more.
I did indeed get inspired. I thought this entry was creative in its environment and interactive elements. I just didn't enjoy it considering a deathmatch environment.
Really nice to see your intentions to iterate on it and also reading the thoughts/ideas/backstory/info of it.
yes, it is normal to get inspired, the weirder something is the more inspiration one can get. It's hard to get inspiration from something one know already well.
If you really want more of that kind of information, the text file that comes with the map has more on that. In this thread there is an explanation on how the map works, in that file there is the mapping story, plus known issues. If you are bored, it is a good read.
Post by MaRiNe [Q2C] on Apr 14, 2015 5:05:48 GMT -5
I agree with Wizard that this is a map that's more suited for single player, I think. You could still introduce a single player or cooperative component to "Three Leveled Doom" and I'd play it - it would probably be really fun!
While I understand that you're going for a darker atmosphere, I do believe that the map's just a little too dark. Add more glowing crystals or lights to enhance the lighting in the area some, but don't necessarily make it as bright as a standard Quake II map.
I do approve of the choice of blue colors and blue lighting in the level, though. I think it looks very good, just add more of that.
Some screenshots for comparison with the previous version.
It's main changes are way improved lighting, and the addition of singleplayer/cooperative gameplay. It isn't a new map, but an improved version with many tweaks and additions. To summarize, it's what i planned for the contest if i had managed better my time.
The singleplayer part is easier than i wanted it to be, due to not knowing the most common skill people has at singleplayer and that people usually tell me that i make maps too hard, but has support for different difficulty changes, so it should appeal to everyone. Haven't given much work to the singleplayer mode, i still don't know how the enemies work after so many years, much less the entities, so ts a bit basic in gameplay, but it has more than just placing enemies and items, its just that it isn't as polished as i wanted it to be.
- Added a singleplayer mode. Two spawns for cooperative have been added. Support for the three difficulties have been provided.
- Added more brushes to support singleplayer gameplay.
- Added a chainfile for 3ZB2 bots. Now they should fight well on the map. Couldn't avoid them dying in the lasers but they do that way less.
- Added both the sketches i made for the version for the contest and for this one.
- Made the lighting brighter overall by tweaking all the sources of light in the map. Now should look as good at original engine's default brightness settings as Id maps.
- Reworked the lighting that lights the crystals themselves and the light they emit so they look better in default brightness settings. Now should look glossy, like if they truly radiated light.
- Added new sources of lighting everywhere: ambient lights, crystals and light textures.
- Reworked the setpieces used for lighting for improvement in performance. Rounded them a bit also as they were a bit spiky.
- Reworked the stairs near the BFG.
- Reworked the brushwork at the floor of the base parts to improve cohesion.
- Reworked the cave corridors for better movement and less feel of being in a maze. Also worked the floors so there is less probabilities of the player going to the crystals.
- Improved the brushwork on the central cave.
- Reworked the ceiling above the BFG and CG.
- Added two more different sounds (eerie sound for the teleporter and wind), and spread the wind one all over the cave parts of the map with several target_speaker.
- Reworked the target_speakers with the dripping sound.
- Moved the ammo near the BFG and CG to improve flow.
- Removed the step that made easier getting the RA.
- Changed one pack of rockets near the RA for a large health pack.
- Fixed several small glitchs and issues.
For more details, the included text file. Feel free to give any advice or comment, as this isn't a a final version, and everything can be changed, and will, if i go by the plan i have.
EDIT: by the way, does anyone knows why one can't get out of the water in singleplayer mode but can in multiplayer? That happened to me with the water in the central cave and made me lower it, so now its just there for the visuals.
Last Edit: Apr 18, 2015 17:00:30 GMT -5 by cocerello
Cocerello, I've been rather busy with stuff but I finally found a moment to take a good look at this map as promised. You seem experienced enough so if there are things you don't agree with just disregard them, although there might be some things to take into account the next time you're making something for DM. Construction wise it's all done well and I know from experience that making terrain on a larger scale in q2 is tedious and easy to mess up, so I have to say you've managed to create a nice atmosphere. You also seem to have taken the time to plan some sort of gameplay strategy that resembles the "King of the hill" mod, in which the player must try to make his way to the main spot of the map (in this case not up but down). At least that's the impression I get from the map's layout and the overall item and spawn placement. But as it is, (referring to DM mode) most parts of the map are just too linear to offer interesting gameplay, especially the two blue upper levels. Most times, you spawn in a remote area with not much to do, other than being forced up or down through narrow hallways and making your way past health stealing lasers if you forget to disable them first. If you've just respawned and bump into someone in such a hallway you don't have a lot of options; you either turn around and try to run away in a straight line up or down a flight of stairs, or stand and fight if you get the chance to pickup some weapon that's nearby. If you only have a MG with 50 bullets (and you accidentally lost health because of lasers) you're not going to do much against anyone who has been sitting on the Red Armor + Mega + RocketLauncher.
It feels like almost half of the map's playable surface is not really being fully used because there's almost nothing there, few or no items and because of that not much action. You just want to make your way down to that lower, more spaceous part of the map, unless you know that stacked opponents are still hanging out there waiting for you to come down with almost nothing. When it comes to online DM gameplay I can tell with certainty that not many players enjoy running around feeling vulnerable to attacks from controlling players that are more stacked and/or better skilled. That gets annoying fast. In Deathmatch, right after respawn, you will always want to get a good weapon as quickly as possible and preferably some armor and then back to the action. Or at least have a chance to escape.
So what could be done, in my opinion, to make it less frustrating in DM mode without having to change too much of the brushwork: - First and foremost, add more spawnpoints in or closer to the bottom level (the main cave). This way the player that just got killed has at least some chance to steal away a powerful item or surprise the now recovering opponent and take him down in the rebound. - Put at least some useful items in the many empty vulnerable areas. Even a couple of armor_shard's or item_health_small's could really help the freshly respawned player feel somewhat protected. (Also some ammo_grenades here and there are great in that regard.) - I don't know what the idea is behind the elevators* but for for some reason they only go down(?). So, if during a fight you're forced to take cover in one of those rocky passages at the bottom of the map, you're trapped in a dead-end because the elevators are not there. There are also no items whatsoever to recover or making it worth taking the risk to go in. (* A trick is to add "spawnflags 1" which makes the func_plat's stay in their down position until the player actually touches them. Another possibility would be to remove the elevators and use the ladders that you made singleplayer-only by changing their spawnflags.) - Perhaps get rid of the lasers or build them into the side walls for visual fx only? - The map's called Three leveled doom, but perhaps the map would play better in DM if there were just two levels instead of three. My guess is that you made those blue hallways go up and down to help block visibility but it might've been a better idea if you had leveled some of them, so there would've been less stairs to take and the player would've had a better line of sight. (Also, battling is so much better on a horizontal surface than on a staircase.) - Another problem with long stairs is that it's easy to get snagged on the steps while strafe jumping. Turning staircases into ramps would probably make things too steep but it would speed up the flow there and would also cut down on wpolycount.
OK that's about it. Like I said most of this is gameplay related and luckily a mapper can do a lot with item placement alone to change the dynamics of any map. In its current state your map is playable of course so it's really up to you whether or not you still want to add/change/try some things.
"No such thing as spare time, No such thing as free time, No such thing as down time, All you got is life time."
I consider this map done but maybe I'll make another version if i find something worthy enough.
- Changed the lighting values in several places were it was too overbright or not bright enough.
- In the central cave part, deleted a rocket pack, added a grenade pack and changed the red armor for a yellow one. Made the door to the MH move slower to make it harder to get.
- Added a few small health packs on the cave's corridors, so they aren't that lonely. Kept the number low so no one will go there just for those.
- Reworked the pond in the center so its easier to navigate.
- For SP, made the differences between difficulties more noticeable, except one combat on skill 2 that had to be toned down. Made also the combats around the first barrier a bit more random to add more replay value.
- Reworked the first and second barriers in SP.
As always more details are on the included text file for everyone.
Don't worry about the time, after all, it also took me a month to see this and answer you.
Thanks for the time involved. Overall are things that i already knew from before making the map, but chose to disregard to keep the flavor of the map. Apart form that, the two main causes of what you point out are, the size of the corridors in the starting area, which made me to make the rest big also, and my obsession at keeping the r_speeds and visdata low (the second because i hit the limit). I have been working on a way more compact version of this map that avoids all those problems entirely, but real life issues will probably keep me from releasing it till September.
You also seem to have taken the time to plan some sort of gameplay strategy that resembles the "King of the hill" mod, in which the player must try to make his way to the main spot of the map (in this case not up but down). At least that's the impression I get from the map's layout and the overall item and spawn placement.
yes, more or less the base of the idea was similar to that one. you have more details about that on this thread and in the text file that comes with the map.
If you only have a MG with 50 bullets (and you accidentally lost health because of lasers) you're not going to do much against anyone who has been sitting on the Red Armor + Mega + RocketLauncher.
In your experience at playing, do you think that's going to happen often? Given the fact that both the RA and MH need some kind of trick to reach and take time to get that looks to me improbable, except if the number of players is low. Also the RL isn't that much powerful.
Well, now that's going to be less of a problem, as i reduced the amount of powerful items in that room ...
- First and foremost, add more spawnpoints in or closer to the bottom level (the main cave). This way the player that just got killed has at least some chance to steal away a powerful item or surprise the now recovering opponent and take him down in the rebound.
Wouldn't that be worse? The only weapon in the middle is a single RL, so i don't see the point of getting there without another weapon, except if the number of players is high, so you can sneak and steal it. The only way i see to use your ides would be if i were to put a weapon on each cave corridor leading to the center cave.
- Put at least some useful items in the many empty vulnerable areas. Even a couple of armor_shard's or item_health_small's could really help the freshly respawned player feel somewhat protected. (Also some ammo_grenades here and there are great in that regard.) - I don't know what the idea is behind the elevators* but for for some reason they only go down(?). So, if during a fight you're forced to take cover in one of those rocky passages at the bottom of the map, you're trapped in a dead-end because the elevators are not there. There are also no items whatsoever to recover or making it worth taking the risk to go in.
That's on purpose also. The lack of items there is so no one will stay there for long, so there is no camping on approaching players, the dead end is less obvious and less of a problem, and the length and overabundance of corridors are less of a an issue.
On the part about the elevators, it's explained on the text file also and on the answer i made to WizardExt some posts above, but long story short, i wanted the player to cycle through the three levels, and also forcing a direction would make it so the problems at the cave corridors would be non-existant as there would be barely any combat there.
My guess is that you made those blue hallways go up and down to help block visibility but it might've been a better idea if you had leveled some of them, so there would've been less stairs to take and the player would've had a better line of sight. (Also, battling is so much better on a horizontal surface than on a staircase.)
yes, that was the reason. Tried also to make everything on the same level, but looked too plain so discarded that idea. Also, a map need changes in height, horizontal combat gets old fast.
- Another problem with long stairs is that it's easy to get snagged on the steps while strafe jumping. Turning staircases into ramps would probably make things too steep but it would speed up the flow there and would also cut down on wpolycount.
Took that into account too, but discarded it as those corridors (at least the ones in the starting area) are just there as an extra, i never intended for the players to use them a lot, that's why there is stairs, corridors, almost no items and lasers, so people avoid that area the most possible.
Last Edit: Jun 24, 2015 16:49:51 GMT -5 by cocerello