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[RELEASE] Poison Heart  "Snow city / Xmas / hi-tech"

#31

View Postck3D, on 28 February 2019 - 03:54 PM, said:

Oh I'm totally with you on conceptual grandness. In my opinion, that's the hardest type of mapping to achieve (especially if you come from a background of detailed mapping I'd say because then you have to learn to strip your own, naturally established style down to its fundamentals, which takes practice in itself and then you have to work on picking up a whole new dimension of mapping habits working from scratch again from said fundamentals, which eventually pays off by benefitting one's mapping altogether), but also eventually the most rewarding one. It makes for a different kind of magic I actually already realized a lot of my older maps lacked a while ago, and since then I've been making the conscious effort to focus on humble attempts at such a direction as the effect a massive, credible environment with solid structures can convey should go hand in hand with the surrealism (for the lack of a better term) and feeling of immersion I try to instill into my levels (also a reason behind the amount of detailing, it's an attempt at visual coherence albeit a departure from the looks of the original game). For that very reason I still think to this day Bummed Out is by far my favorite map I've ever made, although it's detailed and not necessarily a 'tall' map, the big scale and sense of space around the city block makes for a feel of coherence I wish all my other maps had (although the whole gameplay in that level was a novelty, it's really the type of immersion I want to go for).

The whole time I was working on this new map I was actually playing with what I would perceive as the best of both worlds; I spent quite some time incorporating sprinkles of basic straightforward design (i.e.. those large open air areas built at an angle with multiple levels in two corners of the level kind of meant to contrast with how claustrophobic the main street area can feel, or even the basic general layout that has the map basically loop around itself twice - you never got to any of those points though) all the while figuring hey, why not still spend the time to fine-tune the aesthetics I'm naturally inclined to use, and take advantage of the Xmas / power consumption theme as an excuse to push certain aspects of the 'colored' style to its limits with all those bright presents, teddy bears, lights, cables and coronas (fine-tuning certain areas I'd occasionally feel like I was literally trolling my own self, but besides provocation purposes I really wanted to see if I could try and blur the lines between the two different styles and aesthetics). The first section of the level you got to see doesn't represent that effort at all but it's probably more visible in the later outdoors sections where the buildings look clean but really aren't that sophisticated, with the usual gloomy textures now just contrasting with the modern Xmas lights and the detailed indoor sections. I thought that made for quite a unique look that in a way felt like hints to classic Duke 3D just modernized with bright touches of novelty but again, you - understandably - didn't make it to that part which again I can't blame you for because it is true that the beginning is full-on novelty style taken to quite an extreme.

I completely understand your points and am not feeling any disrespect whatsoever on your end. I just find it interesting to talk about tastes, expectations and intents as far as user content is concerned because communication helps expand vision and everybody benefits from this kind of talk in the end (so thank you for your time).

P.S. also 'micromanagement" is a great term to use in this context.


Thank you for understanding my sentiments mate. ;)

I forgot to tell you however, why did I stop playing around the blue key part. As much as I didn't really enjoy the aesthetics of the map, I found the monster placement to be quite interesting in the early part of the level. While the modified newbeasts and the tiny sized eggs were quite annoying, and actually broken due to their lack of proper hitbox, but the concept was interesting. They were accompanied by normal sized liztroops and commanders, which clearly gave the level a character. When Enforcers, Pigcops, Reconcars etc started to appear, and the map became conventional, my pont of interest had been gone. So even if I didn't really enjoy the playthrough, it had a character, and that character had been sadly abandoned.

And this has made me thinking about the whole monster placement thing again (now, we're going to offtopic land).

I personally believe that a smart enemy placement is like half success for a map. And I also think most mappers just don't think about it too much, it's more like an afterthought in their levels. Probably because it's the easiest part of the mapping, it's much easier to put monsters on a map, than build a new construction.

But really, if something was done really well in the original maps, it was the monster placement. Just look at the shareware episode. Liztroops and pigcops are not just randomly placed in the early levels. It was very clear that liztroops are mostly occupied the large open parts, the windowed areas, while pigcops occupied the corridors. When you met a pigcop, the chance you met him in a closed combat is high, while liztroops usually attacked you from further behind. It was a clear gameplay narrative, it also thaught you how to strafe for example.

But you know, the game can't be reintroduced forever, when all the mouselook play is on now, and players mostly know everything about it, you can't use the same format forever. Yet, in the original maps the monster placement was always unique. Let's take a look at Fusion Station, a great example. That was a part of the game, where more or less everything which was a novelty was introduced. Yet, the level used a unique monster placement. There were closed sections and there was an Unreal-esque open hub, which you had to re-enter many times to advance into the next, higher section. This alone was a narrative and unique in it's playstyle (not the generic find the key, find the button thing), but monster placement was great as well. Liztroops always waited for you in windowed parts when they acted as turrets. Enforcers were there in the closed sections (like pigs in the city maps). Drones were spawned in the hub area, and it felt like a running gag between the meaty parts. Octabrains only came from knotted women. And Commanders appeared only after the reactor blowup. The whole thing felt orchestrated.

And even Blum's Golden Carnage level had a great sense for enemy placement, which is a modern map from 2016 with bigger monster count, and built on better player knowledge. Pigs occupied the broken bridge and nearby control rooms, Octabrains and sharks dominated the underwater, Liztroops appear as turrets early on, then dominated the post-blue key storage area. And so on. Monster placement was really an art in that level.

I think part of this trick was that Blum for example never mixed up too many monsters in a map. I can't realy think of a level by him which has all of Liztroops, Pigcops, Enforcers and Octabrains. At least one of them is simply not in the maps. Pigs are the most notable ones, since everyone knows they are not in the space episode. Octabrains had their special areas, like underwater and dark parts. Enforcers however quietly weren't used in water heavy maps. Liztroops are notably missing in Freeway. And so on, and so on. For example Blum NEVER used the Commander in city areas.

This kind of unique monster placement (and gameplay narrative) is somewhat missing from most userlevels, even from the best ones. I don't say we have to follow the suit of the classic maps. But there should be more monster fine tuning in levels. I really enjoyed for example the way George W Bernard used the mix of newbeasts and drones in the final part of his Water Bases episode, then introduced a creepy water elemental octabrain in the penultimate level. It felt like a canonic experience and an official Duke 3D episode. DNF 2013 TC also used an interesting and well crafted monster placement in the levels with a few hiccups here and there. It used Octabrains in cities, and it didn't felt out of place. I'm in the absolute minority who enjoyed Nightmare Zone in PnP, and monster placement was part of my liking. While the map has flaws (the biggest one is the non coherent use of button types and you never really know if the part you playing is a mandatory or an optional part), but it was clear the author knew what he was doing. The early grey parts had liztroops, the middle tomb section had the enforcers, and the pig in a dress was introduced quite surprisingly in the hidden area, later on. Drones and turrets were used in secret areas or pits or cracks... it was well orchestrated, and I loved it. It again felt so adventurous and somewhat canonic in it's experience.

Okay, I went terribly offtopic here. But you know my point now. The early section of your map had a nice monster character, and it shouldn't had been abandoned for the rest of the map. It would have been very effective, if you separated your map into two (or more) de facto levels, and made it into an episode. The first map was just that closed square with cramped movements needed. And the next map is something else. Episodes are always better than too large levels imho, they has more progressive feel.

Now I stop, it was tldr. :D
1

User is online   Forge 

#32

Interesting.
I disagree on some points.
Declaring that maps have to be limited to three enemy types and three weapons because the original episodes did so is not a valid reason to make all user maps follow the same formula.
Limiting certain enemies to certain environments is also narrow thinking. There's always justification to put enemy A in environment B. Mass invasions call for a large number of every species. Pigs in space can be the result of women that could not be bred successfully; the aliens just mutated them for the fun of it so they'd have something to kick around and make mean.
Breaking up large maps into smaller bite-size levels to meet limiting criteria is a bit silly. If you need a break between sections, shut the game off and come back later.

This map started out with a certain formula. It introduced new scenarios as the level progressed, and It expanded on those scenarios with slight variations to the encounters, but it never abandoned the original formula.
As for small eggs; the pistol and expander worked fine in my game, and there was an ample supply of ammo for both.

You're entitled to your opinion, some of your points are valid, but I rather enjoyed this map and the way it was designed.


tl;dr: everything doesn't have to look or play like the original episodes - or LRWB.

This post has been edited by Forge: 02 March 2019 - 02:04 PM

2

#33

View PostForge, on 02 March 2019 - 01:57 PM, said:

Declaring that maps have to be limited to three enemy types and three weapons


Nobody declared that.

And the rest of your post.... it's full of straw men and red herrings, I stopped counting.

This post has been edited by Nancsi: 02 March 2019 - 07:12 PM

-1

User is online   Forge 

#34

View PostNancsi, on 02 March 2019 - 07:02 PM, said:

Nobody declared that.

And the rest of your post.... it's full of straw men and red herrings, I stopped counting.

Typical response from you. Someone disagrees with your opinion, you act like what they have to say is complete garbage and utter nonsense.

I didn't call your opinion trash, I simply did not agree with it.

View PostNancsi, on 02 March 2019 - 11:42 AM, said:

I can't realy think of a level by him which has all of Liztroops, Pigcops, Enforcers and Octabrains. At least one of them is simply not in the maps.

somebody declared that^ If only we could figure out who. The mystery may never be solved.

View PostForge, on 02 March 2019 - 01:57 PM, said:

Declaring that maps have to be limited to three enemy types and three weapons because the original episodes did so is not a valid reason to make all user maps follow the same formula.



View PostNancsi, on 02 March 2019 - 11:42 AM, said:

At least one of them is simply not in the maps. Pigs are the most notable ones, since everyone knows they are not in the space episode. Octabrains had their special areas, like underwater and dark parts. Enforcers however quietly weren't used in water heavy maps. Liztroops are notably missing in Freeway. And so on, and so on. For example Blum NEVER used the Commander in city areas.
This kind of unique monster placement (and gameplay narrative) is somewhat missing from most userlevels, even from the best ones.

View PostForge, on 02 March 2019 - 01:57 PM, said:

Limiting certain enemies to certain environments is also narrow thinking. There's always justification to put enemy A in environment B. Mass invasions call for a large number of every species. Pigs in space can be the result of women that could not be bred successfully; the aliens just mutated them for the fun of it so they'd have something to kick around and make mean.



View PostNancsi, on 02 March 2019 - 11:42 AM, said:

It would have been very effective, if you separated your map into two (or more) de facto levels, and made it into an episode.

View PostForge, on 02 March 2019 - 01:57 PM, said:

Breaking up large maps into smaller bite-size levels to meet limiting criteria is a bit silly. If you need a break between sections, shut the game off and come back later.


This post has been edited by Forge: 02 March 2019 - 10:11 PM

1

#35

1. Never said I want a 3 weapons and 3 enemies limit. What you quoted is a post about 4 different enemy types of the 16 existing. There are no 3 enemy type maps in the original game aside from a few early levels. And 3 weapons limit is a simple red herring, never talked about weapons. In fact, weapons should appear in larger variery in user levels. What I was talking about is a character of maps where enemy placement is smart, and sometimes one main enemy or two is notably missing which gives extra character. That's not 3 enemy types.

2. Always talked about my own preference, not something objective truth. For example MRCK's style is something that can be labeled as original, or a working alternative for the original game's aesthetics. I really liked some of his maps btw, like AMC Pleaser or Anarchy City 2. Or Happy Hangover which was an excellent level, despite the aesthetics I'm not fond of.

3. I also never said I want bite-sized levels instead of big ones. And definitely not for the reason I need a break. I said bite sized levels make sense when someone has more ideas to put into a big level. That' two different things, again you use your classic straw men to detract my opinion.

4. I also never said everything has to look like the classic levels. Again, my own personal preference. And btw. LRWB has its own character as well, and so did DNF13 TC, which was quite different in playstyle and aesthetics, but still felt canonic.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#36

Hey if you don't mind me chiming in - I don't think you guys are even disagreeing. The way I understand it, Nancsi was basically just saying how he thought monster placement was crucial (which is true) and quite possibly a lost art in that some potentially considerable aspects of its implementation might occasionally get overlooked, drawing comparisons to the original maps only to shine light on how even the monsters' aesthetics were taken in consideration as far as their utilization, basically recounting the original science behind them. I actually appreciate him bringing up his opinion on the matter, maybe more people should dare sharing their personal preferences like that because then mappers would have a whole array of viewpoints to analyze their own levels from, pre- or post-creative process (coincidentally that's also why Forge's feedback to mappers originally as just a player and then his reviewing frenzy was always so useful). I guess sometimes form or language quirks can distort or exacerbate certain points one tries to make online (especially in the case of discussions involving native vs. non-native English speakers, I see that happen all the time), but I can see what he means.

I think what might come off as unfair to somebody who's played this map though is just that you (indirectly) used it as a counter-example (or made it sound like one because of the general context, whatever - I personally understood what you meant) to the mere idea of any science behind monster placement. You left the map super early as soon as you started seeing a different wave of enemies coming up which ruined the vibe, coherence or consistency for you, which is natural. But then you did miss getting to see how the monsters were used in 85% of the map; I'm already well aware of the science you described in that post earlier (that I was too busy to address before), also lament that it can be a lost art sometimes (although people still do amazing things, just in a less traditional style) and actually kind of went through with it in this level, which I think may be why Forge is reacting (not that I mean to speak for him). I've actually tried to be smart with monsters the whole way through, of course as the map progresses new elements get introduced; but I like to believe that if you didn't leave the map then you would have realized those new elements actually all contributed to one same coherent direction, mood and storyline, or at least tried to. Your opinion is only logical, but I have to bring it to your attention that you basically left during a transition phase in the map that might have made more sense if you could have kept going, and maybe that's where you guys' misunderstanding comes from. I can see what probably put you off as soon as the second street area though, it's got some pretty tough fights especially when you first get there and have to clean up the mess. Once you keep going and exploring the rest of the map though, you realize it's actually a coherent part of the whole picture and not anticlimactic. Or so is hoping my delusional ass!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 03 March 2019 - 04:24 AM

2

#37

View Postck3D, on 03 March 2019 - 04:15 AM, said:

Hey if you don't mind me chiming in - I don't think you guys are even disagreeing. The way I understand it, Nancsi was basically just saying how he thought monster placement was crucial (which is true) and quite possibly a lost art in that some potentially considerable aspects of its implementation might occasionally get overlooked, drawing comparisons to the original maps only to shine light on how even the monsters' aesthetics were taken in consideration as far as their utilization, basically recounting the original science behind them. I actually appreciate him bringing up his opinion on the matter, maybe more people should dare sharing their personal preferences like that because then mappers would have a whole array of viewpoints to analyze their own levels from, pre- or post-creative process (coincidentally that's also why Forge's feedback to mappers originally as just a player and then his reviewing frenzy was always so useful). I guess sometimes form or language quirks can distort or exacerbate certain points one tries to make online (especially in the case of discussions involving native vs. non-native English speakers, I see that happen all the time), but I can see what he means.

I think what might come off as unfair to somebody who's played this map though is just that you (indirectly) used it as a counter-example (or made it sound like one because of the general context, whatever - I personally understood what you meant) to the mere idea of any science behind monster placement. You left the map super early as soon as you started seeing a different wave of enemies coming up which ruined the vibe, coherence or consistency for you, which is natural. But then you did miss getting to see how the monsters were used in 85% of the map; I'm already well aware of the science you described in that post earlier (that I was too busy to address before), also lament that it can be a lost art sometimes (although people still do amazing things, just in a less traditional style) and actually kind of went through with it in this level, which I think may be why Forge is reacting (not that I mean to speak for him). I've actually tried to be smart with monsters the whole way through, of course as the map progresses new elements get introduced; but I like to believe that if you didn't leave the map then you would have realized those new elements actually all contributed to one same coherent direction, mood and storyline per se. Your opinion is only logical, but I have to bring it to your attention that you basically left during a transition phase in the map that might have made more sense if you could have kept going. I can see what probably put you off as soon as the second street area though, it's got some pretty tough fights especially when you first get there and have to clean up the mess. Once you keep going and exploring the rest of the map though, you realize it's actually a coherent part of the whole picture and not anticlimactic. Or so is hoping my delusional ass!


You know, when people are getting older and rustier, they have less time for deep playthroughs and that weird thing called life often strikes in. That's why I for one play much less Duke nowadays, than I used to in the glory days of AMC forums. A couple of weeks ago DT asked me if I played Alien Armageddon so far, and I said I didn't have time for such a big release. Usually when a really high profile thing comes out, like World Tour or Ion Maiden (or Sigil in the future), I will play them as soon as I can, but with the cornucopia of other levels and episodes around, many others are often missed, and sometimes unfairly I stop playing midway as well, if something doesn't match my weird preconceptions.

But an MRCK map always get a special attention from me, because you - in my opinion - had created your own vision/interpretation of the game (just like Blum, Travis, William Gee, Rouaud etc.), and for that matter you made maps I really really enjoy. That's why I even started this map, and quite sadly this cannot be said about 9 of the 10 userlevels that had been created in the last few years. Granted, after this discussion I will play the rest of the map, and give my annoying review of the full product, so be warned. :D
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#38

Oh I totally get you on that. Over the past three months I've been toying around with Duke again, I've probably played like three maps tops; I want to play all these new releases but the windows of spare time I only occasionally get to devote to gaming altogether are so small, I'm naturally inclined to put all of it into the creative process. Only once in a blue moon stars will align granting me the luxury to fire up Eduke32 over Mapster32, that's how tight I am; so I can actually appreciate you making the time to play my maps, that means a lot (and so does the comparison to those great names).

I really didn't mean to pressure you into giving the level a second chance or anything as I'm sure you will actually find a lot of the later gameplay elements annoying, the rooms remain overdetailed and there are some very unconventional encounters with 'bosses' and far-fetched situations that might really throw you off, or even get you stuck. It's really a map that kind of encourages the player to think outside the traditional box and try new things, strategies, approaches. But I like to think that is exactly where its consistency is (it's crazy and action-packed the whole way through), and that said consistency (hopefully) carries over to the monster placement in the whole map, kind of binding it all together. I like making my maps unique little universes (also taking liberties from the original design), they only claim to be as credible as what they are, stand-alone, and are usually full of nods to elements of the original game but in no way trying to be canonic. The trademark gloomy and punk feel of the original game I always try to put at the heart of my levels though because that's what really captivated me when I was a kid and made me fall in love with the game, but I guess they mostly look like my interpretation of it.

Maybe that's what happens when you've mapped for the game more than you've played it.

I've always really wanted to make an episode actually, first and foremost because I love the concept (it's classic gaming) but also because I always thought it would be dope to make an entire episode designed in a specific exotic style, and actually I've tried but I just could never do it - micromanagement. Even starting with a wide idea, my natural reaction is to go and fill in every blank available because my vision quickly becomes very precise and I have to follow it (because it's the reason why I make maps). Levels that should ideally be part of an episode end up turning into gigantic pieces with very specific mood and stories (most of my maps have little background stories to every possible area - especially indoors - I kind of took that to an extreme in this new one too). Once you're done working on one of these, the last thing you want to do is sit on it and start working on its seven sequels, you just want to get it out of the way, release it and start anew. It doesn't mean those levels are never meant to ever be bound together though. The Anarchy City series I could never finish, Happy Hangover / Bottles / Anorak City also had continuity because they were supposed to be part of a phantasmal episode that will most likely never exist, The End Of The World pt. 1 will probably always only be pt. 1. My approach right now is create spontaneously, then organize later. I'm releasing my maps online as I get them done because I want people to enjoy them as they're done and exist, otherwise I'd be sitting on them to this day still trying to accumulate more and more epicness till thirty-two years from now I can finally release my little pack of three episodes to nobody. I don't think I'm the only author following that approach too, see the Roch series, BobSP, Red etc...

This post has been edited by ck3D: 03 March 2019 - 08:52 AM

0

User is offline   ck3D 

#39

Hey I can't edit my OP, but here's the MSDN link: https://msdn.duke4.n...poisonheart.php
0

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#40

EDIT2: Well since I made this post already...


I don't think I've seen a map focus this much on verticality since L.A. Rumble in the original Shrapnel City. Though naturally this far exceeds that. In parts it also reminded me of the downtown areas of Roch Island with the way you had to jump on weird things to get to higher places, though I suppose that makes sense.

Actually aesthetically this map felt very Roch in general with the extreme amounts of detail present, though it felt a lot grittier and dirtier than Roch maps tended to.


Gameplay-wise, I didn't have much trouble with the "grinch drones" and the tiny eggs. I was supplied quite heartily with pipe bombs, and as a frequent user of them in the normal game I felt right at home. The same can be said for a lot of the strange order in which the weapons were doled out. I already tended to use the weapons in the scenarios they were given in, so not much changed.


Regarding the platforming, while I didn't have trouble landing on things, staying on them was an issue. It usually is with sprite-based platforming in maps. I would have recommended doubling or tripling up the cables, since otherwise if you're on the right track, they're completely invisible. I see some of the girders did do exactly that.


Some of the commanders in tight spaces were a bit of a pain, especially since the shrinker bug decided to come out in full force. And the turrets in the marketplace were just mean, since there was no real way to fire back without relying on splash damage.



I also wasn't a big fan of the arena in the power station. Rocket turrets are already a nuisance, but taking on a horde of protectors and a battlelord while trying to dodge its fire is rather annoying. Also the elevator to leave that area I think could have been marked a bit better, maybe with a metal floor texture instead of the moon rocks.

On the topic of that area, boy did it get loud. Between the hundred or so slimers, explosions, alien ambience at its absolute maximum, electrical ambience likewise, roaring of the battlelords, and the laughing of the commanders... it got a bit overwhelming in the audio department.


I did get stuck near the end. First the elevator down to the monoxide garage didn't work; the door just kept opening and closing instead of triggering the lift to come up. I had to noclip to bring it up. Second, I wasn't sure where exactly to go from there. In hindisght I get now that the "use the microwave" task on the todo list was the hint, but considering it didn't say what the purpose was and that said microwave was in a different building altogether, the hint was kinda lost on me.



Also, what was with all the "Unregistered Shareware" texts on the security monitors? And the "buy the full version" message behind one of the terminals? I don't get the joke...



I must also note I probably wouldn't have beaten this map if I hadn't read Mikko's review of it first, regarding the "press crouch while shrunk" thing. I never knew about that, and normally I'd suggest giving some sort of indication to the player, but I don't think there is a way to do that without just outright spelling it out, so instead I would have just made the vents a little taller.




Despite my gripes though, I did ultimately enjoy this map. It's definitely one of the most pleasing maps to look at I've ever seen. I really liked the grungy look. Special mention must go to the blue lounge place (I forgot its name). The dirty sort of rusted bar, the balcony that opens up to a spectacular view of grey walls towering above you, a smoking roof, and the upper sections of a dark alley... really sold that whole "grimy future" thing. Like something out of blade runner. I liked it.

And as I said, I haven't really run into many levels with this much of a focus on verticality. I'm one of those weirdos who never really had problems with first person platforming, even in the build engine. When I could see my target, I had no problems effortlessly leaping into the air and across rooftops. I've always enjoyed Duke's air movement and this gave me an excuse to keep using it.

The combat was good too. Nothing super special amazing, but nothing frustrating either (outside of the aforementioned rocket turret arena. Though even that barely raised my skin temperature. Admittedly I got kind of lucky with stumbling on the elevator).


My final time was 77 and a half minutes, with a kill counter that I think shouldn't even be repeated since it was very clearly broken. I did want to play this with the fixed cons but that broke some of the map's hacks. I only got 4/6 secrets, and after so long I was pretty exhausted, so I just skipped those last secrets. I wouldn't even know where to begin looking for them anyway; the map is so sprawling that it would probably take me hours to find them if I missed them the first time.

This post has been edited by Ninety-Six: 05 March 2019 - 04:24 AM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#41

Thank you for the in-depth feedback,

I really appreciate the L.A. Rumble comparison as it's one of my favorite levels in the entire game and an early inspiration to start mapping altogether. I never connected the dots before, but there has to be some subconscious heritage. Some references to the design of the original levels I like to consciously throw into my maps sometimes (trying to fore-guess who will spot them and who won't), but I'm sure a lot more slip through the cracks without me even being really aware of them.

Also doubling up the cables the player is supposed to climb (and not just the girders) would have been an excellent idea, I'll keep it in mind for the future to make the platforming sequences a tiny bit less potentially frustrating. I actually considered the idea but didn't go through with it (or really take it seriously) because I guess I must have been afraid of the possible resulting visual pollution (but one can always make the sprites one-sided and facing different directions, thinking about it now), as well as increasing sprite count to the point of visual glitches (I'm sure this map is near the limit of that), all quite unrealistic considerations looking back on them. Seeing as several people found the sections with the cables tedious, I'll definitely try and design those in a slightly safer way next time - the player should feel uncomfortable, and walking along a cable should be hard and risky, but maybe this is one of those instances where realism isn't fair to people who are just trying to play and have a good time.

About the Commanders, looking back yes there are some instances of enclosed quarters where in general the map likes to blow stuff up in front of the player's face - especially if they are fast. I actually hate that in levels and regard it as a flaw - and here some of the scripted sequences do just that if the player doesn't pick up on some of the sound-based or visual clues (earthquakes, etc.) and tries rushing their way through certain areas. I tried making up for those situations with an overabundance of health in the vicinity of those places where the situation is likely to get sketchy but yeah, fundamentally I don't like those too.

The market is my least favorite place in the whole map. Those turrets you can fight back - catching a break behind that shelf with the security monitor, you can use it to try studying their attack pattern (not for long though because they will stop shooting if you're out of sight and those Pigcops will break in eventually), and realize that that those two mouths in the wall their bullets fire from might be their exposed spot. If you shoot through those mouths (projectiles are best, I'd recommend just one rocket), your shots will reach the turrets. But in reality that part is kind of broken - I originally designed it with a completely different plan, those turrets were supposed to be a (seemingly) unreachable Commander that would have had fired his rockets from those weird angles, possibly causing damage to the place and with all the lights going off one by one. But the Commander turned out to be terrible as it just would sit there and never attack the player with rockets, just keep taunting them - I had to find a more aggressive enemy, and the turret ended up being the most responsive (although I would have preferred an organic alien type of threat). And then on the top of that, eventually the lighting effects suddenly stopped working for no reason, literally from one save to the other they started acting off (giving the sectors unintended shade values etc...) without me touching anything and as I couldn't get them to work again, I just gave up on them and kind of left the area as is. In its current state it doesn't represent my original plans for that section at all and I'm actually quite bummed on it in retrospect, so I'll have no objections to anybody tearing that room apart.

Yes I am aware about that one elevator, I left that one 'broken' on purpose so that the player would need to go back down to the street area (now packed with monsters) to access the garage itself and not just rely on that one safe teleporter - originally the garage was supposed to have the Devastator which would have made the extra work worth it but then I guess I realized it was better to provide the player with it in a way that was more convenient, helped gameplay pacing and only then leave it up to them whether or not they'd like to explore that little bonus section of the map (which also tells a little story, albeit gloomy). About the hint being in a different building altogether, those two rooms are the only ones in the whole level linked together by teleporters so I figured most players would make the connection, especially once they've triggered the final sequence and realize the geographic symmetry of those two sniper spots. Hint in the same room as the switch would have been too much of a giveaway in my opinion, but maybe an additional security viewscreen next to that fridge or something would have been better.

The "unregistered shareware" and "buy the full version" messages are only a few of those jokes, the biggest one of those is in the blue lounge, I can't remember whether I made the possibility of seeing it Dukematch / cheat codes only or not but basically if you close the gate to the stairs / bathrooms and look at it from the wrong side (where the vents are), its texture is the original game credits. I've been having a lot of fun implementing those little references in my maps lately (i.e.. Siebenpolis had that "play on TEN" billboard) because they totally clash with the credibility of an otherwise detailed level and I love it. Asger Jorn's "Disquesting Duckling" painting - look it up. Convincing a player they're part of a believable environment for an extended period of time, only to then brutally break some kind of visual fourth wall and give them the opportunity to second guess it I find super strong, conveying the impression of some Truman show situation and essentially reminding them it's all just a game (and a quite legendary and unrealistic one at that). It has to be subtle touches in exceptional occurrences in order to work though, which is why they're semi-hidden. I kind of view them as discreet rewards for the player for making it to certain segments to the map. Also I feel like occasionally finding some funky use to those otherwise utilitarian sections of Duke's texture set sort of cements the context of its origins and nods at it being a game typically from the 90's - shareware disks and playing on TEN is just so funny to bring up in 2019, the concepts are almost as alien as the rest of the universe in the game nowadays when you think about it.

Interesting to hear about another person who didn't know about the crouching whilst jump thing. That type of feedback encourages me to maybe release a version of the .rar file with an additional text-based walkthrough or at least additional tips in a file that would be part of the download, so that a third party's review isn't the only place online where the solution to that room gets disclosed.

Thank you for your endurance!
1

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#42

View Postck3D, on 05 March 2019 - 08:19 AM, said:

Yes I am aware about that one elevator, I left that one 'broken' on purpose so that the player would need to go back down to the street area (now packed with monsters) to access the garage itself and not just rely on that one safe teleporter - originally the garage was supposed to have the Devastator which would have made the extra work worth it but then I guess I realized it was better to provide the player with it in a way that was more convenient, helped gameplay pacing and only then leave it up to them whether or not they'd like to explore that little bonus section of the map (which also tells a little story, albeit gloomy). About the hint being in a different building altogether, those two rooms are the only ones in the whole level linked together by teleporters so I figured most players would make the connection, especially once they've triggered the final sequence and realize the geographic symmetry of those two sniper spots. Hint in the same room as the switch would have been too much of a giveaway in my opinion, but maybe an additional security viewscreen next to that fridge or something would have been better.


I wasn't aware you had to go in from the other side. In fact I thought it didn't open unless you blew it up from within.

For the elevator, I would have recommended making it clear it wasn't supposed to function normally. Maybe make it switch-activated like most of the others, and allow the player to press use on the elevator itself after opening the door to find that it won't work. That would transmit pretty clearly "You have to come in from the other side," especially since by that point they would have run into a lot of the elevators that were exactly like that. Otherwise it produces the "oh crap did the map break?" effect, and the player may be compelled to spend extra time on it trying to get it to work, possibly culminating in them using noclip to get inside the elevator and discovering it's activated by use, thereby seeming to affirm their suspicions.


Or maybe that was just me.



I actually did want to comment on the grim moment in the apartment in my original post, but I forgot. That was another touch I liked. The other room was already fairly disturbing with absolutely excessive amounts of porn, which normally wouldn't stand out in a Duke map if not for all the cables and the haphazard and dilapidated look of the apartment itself. It definitely made me question if the women there were trapped or not. Funnily I saw the "maybe kill someone" first before I noticed the rest, and wondered if it was just a very angry man with a bad day. But after looking at the room, I wondered if I was in a serial killer's den. And once I got down to the garage, saw the "I'm Sorry" written in blood alongside the car with a bunch of gas around it, I felt smart connecting the dots about what had just happened.

That was a great bit of that whole "storytelling via level design" concept. I've found that Duke maps usually have more of those moments than maps for other games, but that doesn't make them any less awesome or less appreciated when they do pop up.

This post has been edited by Ninety-Six: 05 March 2019 - 09:02 AM

1

User is online   MetHy 

#43

I pressed use to pass through the grate when shrunk, not crouch, and it worked. So I don't think 'crouching while shrunk' exists the way you think it does, this sounds more like an unexpected glitch with shrinking when using certain commands.
Either way it definitely felt like the vent was glitched, like the sprite was blocking or something, and I think most players' instincts would be 'I'm not supposed to go through here' followed by 'okay this was glitched'.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#44

View PostNinety-Six, on 05 March 2019 - 08:59 AM, said:

I wasn't aware you had to go in from the other side. In fact I thought it didn't open unless you blew it up from within.

For the elevator, I would have recommended making it clear it wasn't supposed to function normally. Maybe make it switch-activated like most of the others, and allow the player to press use on the elevator itself after opening the door to find that it won't work. That would transmit pretty clearly "You have to come in from the other side," especially since by that point they would have run into a lot of the elevators that were exactly like that. Otherwise it produces the "oh crap did the map break?" effect, and the player may be compelled to spend extra time on it trying to get it to work, possibly culminating in them using noclip to get inside the elevator and discovering it's activated by use, thereby seeming to affirm their suspicions.


Or maybe that was just me.



I actually did want to comment on the grim moment in the apartment in my original post, but I forgot. That was another touch I liked. The other room was already fairly disturbing with absolutely excessive amounts of porn, which normally wouldn't stand out in a Duke map if not for all the cables and the haphazard and dilapidated look of the apartment itself. It definitely made me question if the women there were trapped or not. Funnily I saw the "maybe kill someone" first before I noticed the rest, and wondered if it was just a very angry man with a bad day. But after looking at the room, I wondered if I was in a serial killer's den. And once I got down to the garage, saw the "I'm Sorry" written in blood alongside the car with a bunch of gas around it, I felt smart connecting the dots about what had just happened.

That was a great bit of that whole "storytelling via level design" concept. I've found that Duke maps usually have more of those moments than maps for other games, but that doesn't make them any less awesome or less appreciated when they do pop up.


You make perfect sense about the elevator, it's one of those things that in retrospect I wish I would have thought out better. I don't really like having several versions of one map laying around the internet so the chances that I ever update the level are very thin but if I ever do, I'll definitely fix that as well as the size of the vents.

That's great you caught the little story behind the place, my maps are always packed with this type of stuff because as I was saying earlier, I guess I kind of treat them like playable paintings and some scenes I like to be visual touches as in, present but so subtly there is a big chance that the player might miss them if they don't pay attention. Feeling smart for solving the history of a location is indeed a rewarding feeling, when a whole section of a level suddenly starts making sense it's quite the satisfying snap and I guess that's part of why I kind of try to make grotesque maps as they allow the implementation of grotesque stories that I find very much in the tradition of the jokes in the original game.

The whole area with the pine shop and the insurance company has a little story as well. Sawing Pines Constantly High is the best absurd name I could derivate from the S.P.C.H. acronym on that sprite so I went with it. The idea is that this shop is shady as fuck and quite possibly a money laundering operation. If you close look at the entrance in Mapster or after typing DNMONSTERS in order not to be distracted or have monster sprites ruin the scenery, you'll notice footprints left by somebody (supposedly a shop employee) who walked out of the shop, graffiti'd it up, turned back and instantly went to the insurers. The pine shop advertises their product as "prime cuts" but in reality they are fake trees cheaply assembled with planks, weed of some kind and duct tape (see back of the shop); the weed came in the package sent from the Netherlands by an obscure Maarlijn van something that's also still sitting in the back of the shop. There are obvious clues to the employees being stoners, notably with them growing marijuana upstairs; it is never revealed whether the 'pine trees' sold by S.P.C.H. are also made of marijuana or not. Upstairs, the vents behind the plant connecting the shop to the offices are an indication of some kind of secret connection going on in between the two. As the player makes it into the next building, they realize an operation just got busted, which also explains the cop car and abundance of Pigcops in the parking lot.

The Holo-Battlelord is a X-mas gift from Dr. Proton to the Rigelatins, or so it says on its discarded packaging right behind the actual hologram.

The infection of the supermarket has a lot to do with it sharing physical space with the neighboring power station and its funny activity where supposedly aliens are conducting mutations - hence the giant slimer. I also thought the giant slimer made for a funny Pink Floyd - The Wall cover art reference.

View PostMetHy, on 05 March 2019 - 09:49 AM, said:

I pressed use to pass through the grate when shrunk, not crouch, and it worked. So I don't think 'crouching while shrunk' exists the way you think it does, this sounds more like an unexpected glitch with shrinking when using certain commands.
Either way it definitely felt like the vent was glitched, like the sprite was blocking or something, and I think most players' instincts would be 'I'm not supposed to go through here' followed by 'okay this was glitched'.


If I'm not mistaken, crouching whilst shrunk is a thing. Shrunk Duke can fit in spaces that are 4 floor units high without crouching, and then 3 floor units high crouching. For some reason I always thought that was common knowledge (as an integral part of the game) and other maps had used that before. The original reason why I made those vents small is because 3 floor unit high sectors are way harder to clip through using the wall jump technique (which I know I've developed the tendency to naturally try in user maps with shrinker puzzles ever since I learned about it, it works most every time and allows for faster progression but also has the potential to break sequences), and also for gameplay pacing purposes. The original idea was to have the player follow a sequence of first locating the vents, smashing the grates and then shrinking themselves to go through the smashed grates. The pressure of potentially forgetting to smash the grates prior to shrinking yourself only to then having to wait it out used to be a thing because originally, the player wasn't supplied with pipebombs in the starting area at first - they were supposed to just lock themselves in from the new Newbeasts (which was a lot less fun). So the whole time they'd be inside the building weaponless, they would constantly feel the pressure of the monsters randomly opening the door or jumping through the window and making it in (which in the cramped environment would have been a true nightmare, that's why there's so much stuff oppressively laying around in that part). It was actually working out quite well but eventually I realized smashing the grates first turned out to be too unnatural to do and easy to forget, so it actually ruined the flow. As I was thinking of removing them altogether (or have them appear smashed by default), coincidentally I realized the crouching whilst shrunk technique to enter 3 floor units high sectors also allowed the player to clip through blocking sprites. So in the end I left everything as is because although walking through a grate looks quite unrealistic, it turned out to be functional and actually help the flow.

By no means this is meant to justify anything though - that part is annoying. I just genuinely didn't expect that some people wouldn't know about that command because I've always kind of used it by default myself, subconsciously to try and fit into super small-looking sectors.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 05 March 2019 - 02:56 PM

1

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#45

View Postck3D, on 05 March 2019 - 02:30 PM, said:

The whole area with the pine shop and the insurance company has a little story as well. Sawing Pines Constantly High is the best absurd name I could derivate from the S.P.C.H. acronym on that sprite so I went with it. The idea is that this shop is shady as fuck and quite possibly a money laundering operation. If you close look at the entrance in Mapster or after typing DNMONSTERS in order not to be distracted or have monster sprites ruin the scenery, you'll notice footprints left by somebody (supposedly a shop employee) who walked out of the shop, graffiti'd it up, turned back and instantly went to the insurers. The pine shop advertises their product as "prime cuts" but in reality they are fake trees cheaply assembled with planks, weed of some kind and duct tape (see back of the shop); the weed came in the package sent from the Netherlands by an obscure Maarlijn van something that's also still sitting in the back of the shop. There are obvious clues to the employees being stoners, notably with them growing marijuana upstairs; it is never revealed whether the 'pine trees' sold by S.P.C.H. are also made of marijuana or not. Upstairs, the vents behind the plant connecting the shop to the offices are an indication of some kind of secret connection going on in between the two. As the player makes it into the next building, they realize an operation just got busted, which also explains the cop car and abundance of Pigcops in the parking lot.


I caught on a little bit to this. I noticed the acronym and the weed, but didn't fully connect the dots about the places being connected or the police car. I did think something was off about the back room for sure but didn't quite get all the way there.

View Postck3D, on 05 March 2019 - 02:30 PM, said:

The Holo-Battlelord is a X-mas gift from Dr. Proton to the Rigelatins, or so it says on its discarded packaging right behind the actual hologram.


I shouldn't have missed this. I think I was going to investigate the fake battlelord more in detail, right as the real one showed up (which, by the way, was hilarious). And after I killed him I think I forgot I was going to check the fake one. That's not a critique; that one is entirely on me.

View Postck3D, on 05 March 2019 - 02:30 PM, said:

The infection of the supermarket has a lot to do with it sharing physical space with the neighboring power station and its funny activity where supposedly aliens are conducting mutations - hence the giant slimer. I also thought the giant slimer made for a funny Pink Floyd - The Wall cover art reference.


I definitely did catch on to the market being infected by the power station. That much I pieced together. Though for I admit I thought the giant slimer was just a fancy wall texture and didn't actually think too hard about it. Sometimes I do that for some reason, and don't actually think about what I'm looking at.
1

#46

Wow a cool and crazy map, mixed with action, hard platforming and a nice amount of creativity!

View PostNinety-Six, on 05 March 2019 - 02:01 AM, said:

the "grinch drones" and the tiny eggs.


Sorry bro, i'll use your quotes to explain me faster and better.


The first thing i did, was running away from those "things" and closing the door behind me, then i noticed the "tiny egg" and i realized it was time to say "come to papa and EAT those things", later i found the pipe bombs https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif.

View PostNinety-Six, on 05 March 2019 - 02:01 AM, said:

Regarding the platforming, I would have recommended doubling or tripling up the cables, since otherwise if you're on the right track, they're completely invisible.


I agree on this, it was quite hard, expecially the part with the mini-Battlelord and those alien bastards shoting up my ride... oh sorry, i want say my arse.
This will punish the player without game saves.


View PostNinety-Six, on 05 March 2019 - 02:01 AM, said:

Some of the commanders in tight spaces were a bit of a pain,


Yeah, looks like that works better to shot them bottom-right than usual.


View PostNinety-Six, on 05 March 2019 - 02:01 AM, said:

regarding the "press crouch while shrunk" thing. I would have just made the vents a little taller.


Spam jumping it worked well for me in this specific case, you'll go even faster than when crouched.


I like maps that are not too easy, once again congrats for your creativity and the way you built this map and paths.

Just one question: What the heck she's doing exactly? https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif

https://i.imgur.com/t7a1zEU.jpg

This post has been edited by The Battlelord: 10 March 2019 - 12:41 AM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#47

Thank you for your feedback, I'm happy you liked the map.

To be honest I never even consciously thought about the player possibly using the egg in the first bathroom to get rid of the beasts, that's great. I had envisioned the scenario where the player would lock themselves in but not that one, so I'm glad I included that egg now, that was smart of you to do. I've used slimers and eggs (... sounds like a recipe) in the power station before though, against that wave of Newbeasts (both grinch and regular) one encounters in the open area. That's part of why they are so numerous at this point, also because it's coherent with the theme of the ongoing mutations and nuclear waste but most importantly because the player can use them to their advantage against the tougher foes if they want. Especially once you reach the platform and keep going from ambush to ambush.

About that one lady, she's pretty pale-looking and her body seems rather dislocated for a living human being so, as she's just near the entrance of the serial killer's den we were just bringing up a few posts above, I'd venture the guess that she isn't doing so well at the very least. Basically this scene is supposed to be a wtf moment for the player when they reach that place quite early into the map (the scenery is ridiculous, enhanced with the few Pigcops investigating), and then - much later - once they have triggered the final battle yet still insist on exploring the last few rooms of the map instead of just spamming the boss with the Devastator, then they'll reach the garage and everything and be rewarded by the whole location suddenly making sense. Or at least that's the basic idea.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 10 March 2019 - 02:51 PM

1

#48

View Postck3D, on 10 March 2019 - 10:58 AM, said:

About that one lady, she's pretty pale-looking and her body seems rather dislocated for a living human being so, as she's just near the entrance of the serial killer's den we were just bringing up a few posts above, I'd venture the guess that she isn't doing so well at the very least. Basically this scene is supposed to be a wtf moment for the player when they reach that place quite early into the map (the scenery is ridiculous, enhanced with the few Pigcops investigating), and then - much later - once they have triggered the final battle yet still insist on exploring the last few rooms of the map instead of just spamming the boss with the Devastator, then they'll reach the garage and everything and be rewarded by the whole location suddenly making sense. Or at least that's the basic idea.


Oh i got it now, this make much sense, i read comments usually but there is a book up there https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif, so i just gave a quick look, my bad that is wrote just a pair of posts ago, and Thanks for the repeated clarification https://forums.duke4.net/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif.

This post has been edited by The Battlelord: 11 March 2019 - 12:27 AM

1

User is offline   Merlijn 

#49

Damn, I never realized you put so much thought in the enviroments and its locations, that's pretty awesome and fun to read!
Visual storytelling is an underrated aspect and can add a great level of immersion to the game.


Quote

I personally believe that a smart enemy placement is like half success for a map. And I also think most mappers just don't think about it too much, it's more like an afterthought in their levels. Probably because it's the easiest part of the mapping, it's much easier to put monsters on a map, than build a new construction.


I just wanted to quickly reply to this quote from Nancsi. I frankly don't agree with it and think he underestimates the thought most user mappers (including myself) put into their enemy placement.
Just because it doesn't stricktly follow the original rules, it doesn't mean they're put in randomly. Perhaps this should be it's own topic though.
2

User is offline   240-185 

#50

Hi,

I tried this map, and I must admit it was quite fun to play although I have some gripes with it.

  • Platforming on the strings holding the Christmas decorations was annoying. Even at 1440p, I had some issues trying to stay on them.
  • What's the great idea with all the upside-down switches?
  • Adding the glowing sprite to mark the placement of the important switches is rather a distraction than a help; I got lost for 10 minutes before I noticed the final microwave oven.
  • And lastly, the major issue of this map: performance, even with the 8-bit classic renderer. I understand now why 3D Realms had to cut down the number of sectors of the original levels when DN3D was released. Even with an i7-5820k, I could not manage to get past the 80 fps, and approaching fireplaces or fighting on roofs made eDuke32 dip to less than 20 fps. Even standing in front of some corners made the game crawl a lot. It's even worse with Polymost enabled with single-digit framerates.


This post has been edited by 240-185: 24 March 2019 - 01:58 AM

1

User is offline   ck3D 

#51

View Post240-185, on 24 March 2019 - 01:53 AM, said:

Hi,

I tried this map, and I must admit it was quite fun to play although I have some gripes with it.

  • Platforming on the strings holding the Christmas decorations was annoying. Even at 1440p, I had some issues trying to stay on them.
  • What's the great idea with all the upside-down switches?
  • Adding the glowing sprite to mark the placement of the important switches is rather a distraction than a help; I got lost for 10 minutes before I noticed the final microwave oven.
  • And lastly, the major issue of this map: performance, even with the 8-bit classic renderer. I understand now why 3D Realms had to cut down the number of sectors of the original levels when DN3D was released. Even with an i7-5820k, I could not manage to get past the 80 fps, and approaching fireplaces or fighting on roofs made eDuke32 dip to less than 20 fps. Even standing in front of some corners made the game crawl a lot. It's even worse with Polymost enabled with single-digit framerates.



Thank you for your precious feedback,

I understand quite a lot of players found the cable walking more tedious than fun. I duly took note of that and will make such segments a lot less annoying in future maps.

The upside down switches are just a way to occasionally have fun with the original assets after 20 years of mapping. I understand they probably look weird if you're used to seeing them the default way, but in reality there's no reason I can think of why a lot of them wouldn't function just as well upside down in design (i.e.. there's no particular reason why some should have those little lights on the top rather than on the bottom). The original texture set in Duke has a strong vibe that commonly gets ruined (notably in my own maps) when people try to tweak it too hard, with too many weird flips and color palettes. I've always liked the idea of preserving that original, specific Duke mood in user maps, but I've also always liked trying to make old assets (or combinations of them) look like new assets. I used to go overboard with the tweaks, color many elements in my maps way too weird, nowadays I quite enjoy trying to be more refined and subtle, still experimenting but watching the tone more, basically trying to remain creative but all the while respecting, if not paying hommage to, the original style. I'm still not quite there yet, but it's a fun process. So yeah, just putting a few of those switches upside down again didn't look like it would break any visual logic, and I was quite pleased with how 'different, yet Duke' it looked eventually. I do very easily understand that such design choices aren't for everyone.

You are right about that one glowing sprite especially being confusing, especially as there already are a gazillion of similar sprites all over the map (not in that room though). In general the amount of glowing sprites in this map is overkill, part of me actually loves its potential and the eye-candy it gives, I think it can add to the atmosphere of a map a lot but here I definitely did use the opportunity of a Xmas theme to basically troll myself into experimenting using it everywhere. I understand that as a consequence, the gameplay suffers from some of the visual clues getting lost which is unforgivable. I do have a history of levels a lot of traditional players seem to regard as unorthodoxically complex, though, requiring more focus and attention to detail and layout than the average classic map that will throw big bright switches on plain walls at the player. It is a quirk I'm currently working on weeding out to a certain extent (I like some confusion... although obviously, not the player getting lost).

It is interesting you hear about your performance issues as this map was built on a 10+ year old computer using a very, very outdated version of Mapster32 (on which I can't even copy / paste spritework), and I never had any issues with it, but it is true that I only ever played it in classic mode (it's just the default mode I play so much I sometimes straight up forget there are other modes). I did get a few crashes before, around the area of the power station most likely due to the amount of sprites and spawns, but to me that's not uncommon at all as my machine is unstable and tends to crash Duke / Mapster quite randomly which I think would be reasonable to blame as well. I never experienced serious or reoccurring performance issues with this map on my machine, otherwise I wouldn't have released it as such without any design changes. This level does play with certain limits, though, which even though never affected me here should always be kept in mind for a mapper's creation to remain functional and practical. I spontaneously tend to believe that nobody has a worst PC for gaming than I do so if I don't get performance issues, nobody else will, but that's probably naive. I now know that this much of an excess of sectors, sprites, open space, decoration etc. is a line to be wary of as it may actually cause lags on some machines and therefore will be watching it in the future, thanks for warning me.

Thanks for playing, glad you had fun with the map!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 24 March 2019 - 07:59 AM

0

User is online   Paul B 

#52

View Postck3D, on 24 March 2019 - 07:51 AM, said:

It is interesting you hear about your performance issues as this map was built on a 10+ year old computer using a very, very outdated version of Mapster32 (on which I can't even copy / paste spritework), and I never had any issues with it, but it is true that I only ever played it in classic mode


This is exactly why you didn't experience any performance problems. The older the version of Eduke32 the better the performance. The best combination for best overall performance is actually to use Windows XP with an old version of Eduke / Mapster it runs like silk. Newer versions of EDuke/Mapster must include more features which is why the performance goes down the drain. If you want a fast and optimized version of EDuke run an old release.

This post has been edited by Paul B: 24 March 2019 - 08:51 AM

2

User is offline   Perro Seco 

#53

View PostPaul B, on 24 March 2019 - 08:49 AM, said:

This is exactly why you didn't experience any performance problems. The older the version of Eduke32 the better the performance. The best combination for best overall performance is actually to use Windows XP with an old version of Eduke / Mapster it runs like silk. Newer versions of EDuke/Mapster must include more features which is why the performance goes down the drain. If you want a fast and optimized version of EDuke run an old release.
Could resolution affect performance too? For me 640x480 is enough while using the classic renderer, because I think higher resolutions look better only if used with some other enhancements, like the HRP.

But I totally agree with that. I use an old build of EDuke32 (r4525) on an old computer with Windows XP and never experienced any performance problems.

By the way, I just downloaded this map to play it later. I see ck3D is also the author of Happy Hangover, a map that brings me back good memories from 2009. I'll see how good is this new map. :)
1

User is offline   Jim 

#54

what is the ideal eduke version to play this map? I get tiny newbeasts sinking into the floor.
0

User is online   Paul B 

#55

View PostPerro Seco, on 24 March 2019 - 03:33 PM, said:

Could resolution affect performance too? For me 640x480 is enough while using the classic renderer, because I think higher resolutions look better only if used with some other enhancements, like the HRP.

But I totally agree with that. I use an old build of EDuke32 (r4525) on an old computer with Windows XP and never experienced any performance problems.

By the way, I just downloaded this map to play it later. I see ck3D is also the author of Happy Hangover, a map that brings me back good memories from 2009. I'll see how good is this new map. :)


I've never experienced performance problems by raising the screen resolution of this game. It's generally all the same fps believe it or not. I was going to suggest a Eduke/Mapster version within the realm of R4000. I think the version I find most useful is R4249 anything after that and things start going downhill in one way or another.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#56

View PostJim, on 24 March 2019 - 07:35 PM, said:

what is the ideal eduke version to play this map? I get tiny newbeasts sinking into the floor.


That is normal. New type of enemy that only makes exceptional appearances. Pipebombs work best against them. Also if you get stuck in the first building, remember that Duke can crouch whilst shrunk even though it doesn't look like he can. Start of the map is hectic for five minutes then it gets smoother.

Paul B thank you for the info. Over the past few years I had been following the community very much from afar and wasn't aware of such technicalities, now I know. I have no idea what my version of Mapster32 even is, I'll look soon but it's probably something ridiculous.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 24 March 2019 - 08:53 PM

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User is offline   quakis 

#57

Here's my review; https://taw.duke4.ne...d/poison-heart/

After playing this it dawned on me that I've missed out so many releases from you, which I'm slowly working on getting through.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#58

Delightful review Quakis, you have quite your way with words, I always enjoy your writing style. Thank you for this. I am glad you liked the level. No rush as far as the other maps are concerned - maybe Bummed Out and End of the World are the only ones you're missing that may be worth hosting on your site - I appreciate your effort and for now the little kid in me will be riding the hype of seeing my piece next to Merlijn's and Maarten's latest epics on your front page for a mighty while.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 06 April 2019 - 05:17 AM

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User is offline   Sixty Four 

  • Turok Nukem

#59

This was a good one, nice job ck3d.
1

User is offline   ck3D 

#60

^ Thanks Sixty Four,

hey, somebody just uploaded their video playthrough of this map on Come Get Some (so extra enemies), with saves, going blind. I had been waiting to witness instances of how people would play this map (especially their first time trying), so I'm stoked. I now recognize which puzzles one can have a hard time with that I didn't expect (i.e.. here they struggled for 10 minutes for a switch combo even though I provided two clues I thought were quite obvious in the room; on the other hand they had no struggle at all with the supermarket fight, and triggered the sequence that's lethal to the shielded Battlelord in the hotel by accident). Looking back, it can be pretty crazy how next level hard I've been on the player. But I kind of like the idea that one has to be a seasoned Duker to complete my single maps. In this case the player doesn't seem very experienced with the game as he keeps trying stuff such as using the Shrinker against Newbeasts for a while, but I'm glad they still figured the map out eventually, that's some persistence.

Also I have no idea why some of the sprite work looks off and the alien wall displays the HOM effect rather than its 'dead frame' once defeated. IIRC it's a very thin sector with Lo-20 that shuts down once the switch is triggered and the door has a certain Protozoid texture on it. Here as soon as the door shuts down results in HOM within that sector like overlapping sectors were visible. Also the player got squished several times randomly in that one 'spooky' hallway near the start which never happened to me, but I know this area is prone to accidental wall skips / warps (pre-fix).



That's part 1, and the next three are on the uploader's channel, looks like they had a rather epic time despite getting lost a few times. Can't directly post the links in this post due to this message board's limitations.

Also recently someone else finally posted their video playthrough of Bummed Out, I was especially hyped to see that one pop up too as I deliberately made that one map quite challenging (but also disappointed that there are sprite glitches all over the place and half the eye-candy like the cranes in the background never show up, I guess due to them using World Tour or a non-recommended renderer):



Of course the player is getting shot in both thumbnails.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 08 June 2019 - 04:41 PM

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