Duke4.net Forums: [RELEASE] Submachine - Duke4.net Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

[RELEASE] Submachine  "A new map intended for Polymost and newer EDuke32 snapshots"

User is online   Aleks 

#1

Releasing my new map:
https://www.moddb.co...ads/submachine1

It is intended for Polymost, was tested in EDuke32 snapshots r8930 - r9321. The newest version is recommended. No new art/con.

Some features:
  • Difficulty settings also affect respawns. Piece of Cake has no enemies at all, Come Get Some might require knowing your way around not to struggle too much;
  • There is an additional version of the map with voxel support. If you want to play with voxels, use this version - it reduces the amount of spriteworks built around some switches etc. and other things that don't look good with voxels. However, the intended version is the one without voxels - this one was added more for potential subsequent plays or if you really like voxels;
  • The map is quite unlinear, requires some focus and logical thinking. It should take around 1 hour to complete on first playthrough;
  • Besides the regular progression, there is also an optional secret side quest that can be completed - the instructions are provided once you find it;
  • There is also a password-protected archive with extra bonus content. It can be accessed after finding the password in one of the secret places within the map;
  • The soundtrack for the map is "Megamusic" by Lee Jackson, used with his kind permission.

Some screens:
Attached Image: 1.png Attached Image: 2.png Attached Image: 3.png Attached Image: 4.png Attached Image: 5.png Attached Image: 6.png Attached Image: 7.png Attached Image: 8.png


Have fun! I'd appreciate any comments!
15

User is online   Sanek 

#2

Congrats on the release!
This map looks cool and ambtious, I'll sure play when i get the chance. :)
1

User is online   ck3D 

#3

I've only played the beta version of this but still feel safe saying I think this is Aleks' best map. You get his usual trademark of attention to detail and complex machinery tricks and none of the hindrances that used to bother in his previous maps where occasionally objectives were more vague and consequently the progression was more obscure. Here the layout is quite fantastic in how it functions and plays out by itself, and the individual areas are very recognizable, both of which are great for clear navigation. I enjoyed Back in Business too but that felt more like a one-off game of its down in comparison (especially with the insane Piggish Prison epic), whereas the scope here is more reasonable and that really works in the level's favor, allowing focus on the better flow and fun factor of a classic user map. Map is also brimming with subtle design feats and little surprises - some of which I have yet to find myself. Can't wait to get to play this final version now. Congrats on the release!

This post has been edited by ck3D: 01 May 2021 - 05:24 PM

1

#4

So far the map is really fantastic.

Im stuck looking in room b2 not sure what to do.
1

User is online   Aleks 

#5

Thanks for the comments, guy!

View PostWilliam Gee, on 01 May 2021 - 05:28 PM, said:

So far the map is really fantastic.

Im stuck looking in room b2 not sure what to do.


That room is a secret place and might be quite tricky to get into. You might want to look for other stuff around that section.
0

#6

Thanks I'm well passed that point now, not finished yet though.
0

User is offline   Merlijn 

#7

Congrats on the release! I also beta tested this and I second what ck3d is saying - it's a great piece of mapping and possibly the best work from Aleks yet.
The puzzles and set pieces are still very inventive but they're easier to read. Each room has a clear function and a distinct look to it, which makes navigation a lot easier then you may expect.
The optional side quest is a great touch as well.

Will post more once I've played the finished version.
2

User is offline   jkas789 

#8

Congrats on the release Aleks! I also had the opportunity to beta test this and honestly I had a blast playing this. To the point that I'm pretty sure it's gonna stay with me for a long, long while. If nothing else i will always remember how to get the red key ;) .
1

User is offline   max_nukem 

#9

Great map, very detailed.
Thanks!
1

#10

Congrats on releasing the map. Played it, enjoyed it quite a bit, took me around 50 minutes (at least 5 minutes I spent trying to get the red keycard).

As expected this is essential build porn: lots and lots of great innovative effects previously never seen in Duke be it the trolley ride, assembling the machine or simply kicking the door to push away a desk cabinet, great detailing all around the map, excellent texturing and yada yada.
Stuff like that after BiB is simply what I expect from an Aleks map. No faults in the visual department at all and this time the detailing doesn't overwhelm players during combat thanks to a bit more spread out monster placement.
I enjoyed the puzzle aspect of the map, it's a pleasant change of pace, though I'd argue that this is more of an exploration map since there are not a lot of actual puzzles, but lots of exploring and looking for clues to progress. Most puzzles involve either looking for clues or figuring out the functions of certain machinery. The map is a very elaborate key hunt but it's implemented so seamlessly I can't really complain about it, I very much enjoyed the exploration and non-linear layout. It was rarely confusing to navigate, most of the progression was clear as sky, goals were obvious most of the time and puzzles were fair. No hidden bullshit in this one.

I played on CGS and I'd say it wasn't that difficult, combat was fair and balanced. I'd say it falls a bit into the generic side, but there are a few fun and clever encounters like the big open mining area (near the trolley ride) and the shrink crystal caves battle.
Btw, was it intentional to spawn Octabrains paired with Commanders to provoke... infighting? Because that's absolutely what I did (saved me some devastator ammo). If so that's a clever trick (and something I abuse a lot in my new map).
The respawning supplies did made me go a little "eh", but that's because I like it more when the map provides all of the supplies in the map itself and players are tasked with exploring, managing and prioritizing. I can certainly see the purpose of that on your side.

Not much stuff to fault the map, but here are a few thoughts.
One thing I should mention is lack of direction in the beginning. I'd say a map like this needs a clear global goal set in early stage of the level. The first ten or so minutes I spent simply wandering around the map not sure what would be the ultimate goal or destintaion. The puzzle pieces fell into place after a while and for the rest of the map the intented progression path became clear. The two yellow keycards also got me a little confused since I was not sure which door should I take first (I guess it's no difference, but it can confuse some players).
The level ending was the weakest part. That Cycloid Emperor fight was a complete pushover. I completed the side quest and killed the two Battlelords guards, I guess it helped a bit, but the fight itself was a matter of flying up and spamming the devastator.
That conveyor belt puzzle is absolutely brilliant, but boy was it annoying. It certainly would've worked a lot better with a bigger scale simply because how difficult it can be to tell the actual position of the key sprite.
The side quest was fun btw, even though it's just a little scavenger hunt.

It's a great map, an ambitious and unusual release to be added to the pantheon of great Duke maps. Congrats!

This post has been edited by Mister Sinister: 04 May 2021 - 05:04 AM

3

User is online   ck3D 

#11

View PostMister Sinister, on 04 May 2021 - 03:28 AM, said:

One thing I should mention is lack of direction in the beginning. I'd say a map like this needs a clear global goal set in early stage of the level. The first ten or so minutes I spent simply wandering around the map not sure what would be the ultimate goal or destintaion. The puzzle pieces fell into place after a while and for the rest of the map the intented progression path became clear. The two yellow keycards also got me a little confused since I was not sure which door should I take first (I guess it's no difference, but it can confuse some players).


That's interesting, I actually loved that myself, the player is basically presented two paths at the start they are essentially free to explore in whichever order (IIRC and if that hasn't changed since the beta), it's only disorientating if you're (naturally) expecting linearity but personally I enjoyed that freedom and it definitely announced to me how the rest of the navigation and adventure was going to feel like. I feel like a lot has changed in the final version since the beta though, for instance that first code you need to put together, the numbers used to be in just one place near the start and so the map had one less 'side quest', except some of the testers kept missing that location and so they were scattered about and given a viewscreen instead. In many situations I would call that length-padding but here it's not and it's actually really smart level design from Aleks because he put the numbers in places where to get there you need to get around some key sections of the map and get familiar with its principle, I definitely took a note there myself.

About the last fight, it used to be worse in the beta as you could just shoot the Cycloid Emperor from outside, it used to be visible from the start and you didn't even need to enter that building to trigger the spawn, you could just put it on Dev blast from the entrance - ironically that 'arena' inside is one of the most beautiful indoor sceneries I've seen in Duke 3D and so it was such a waste, because most players were definitely never going to step inside. Honestly I would put the blame more on Duke 3D bosses in general that are generally pushovers unless specifically worked around (and even then...). My personal approach would have been to place the Touchplate even further into the room, maybe on one of the balconies and then have the boss respawn in front of the door, its back to the street but even then the player could still just jetpack around. Also if I'm not mistaken, the conveyor belt tracks were twice as thin in the beta - fun times (I still didn't struggle too much and actually really liked it, in fact it felt really satisfying once the mental torture was over).

This post has been edited by ck3D: 04 May 2021 - 09:50 AM

1

#12

I very much dig the non-linear exploration based experience. Stuff I'm talking about is more of a question about framing the adventure, that's what I think was kinda lacking from the beginning of the map.
After getting past the first few rooms everything started making sense: you need to access the exit elevator, shut down the fan, vent the gas, assemble the shrinker and etc, and it's up to the player to figure out the path.
This is when the map truly came to shape for me, those are the bones that hold everything together and tighten up the experience.

As for the last boss I think there's room for more of that respawn black magic. Make the player enter the building, shut the door behind, send enemies in waves, forcing the player to deplete resources and scavenge the upstairs area for ammo/health, and then the big party with Cycloid Emperor arrives via a delayed respawn/door/explosion. Sounds fun on paper at least.

Also this build respawn trickery gives me ideas about dynamic map change based on difficulty setting. Using the same tag 2/3/4 monsters mappers can potentially make places and routes accessable/unaccessable, shaping the map layout. I dunno, I think with some black magic it can be done and could be a very interesting concept to implement.

This post has been edited by Mister Sinister: 04 May 2021 - 12:37 PM

2

User is online   Aleks 

#13

Thanks a lot for the comments, guys!

View PostMister Sinister, on 04 May 2021 - 03:28 AM, said:

I enjoyed the puzzle aspect of the map, it's a pleasant change of pace, though I'd argue that this is more of an exploration map since there are not a lot of actual puzzles, but lots of exploring and looking for clues to progress. Most puzzles involve either looking for clues or figuring out the functions of certain machinery. The map is a very elaborate key hunt but it's implemented so seamlessly I can't really complain about it, I very much enjoyed the exploration and non-linear layout. It was rarely confusing to navigate, most of the progression was clear as sky, goals were obvious most of the time and puzzles were fair. No hidden bullshit in this one.


Agree here, probably "exploration map" fits this one better than "puzzle map" (especially after having played your "Naked Dash" and feeling what a truly "puzzle map" is :P ).

Quote

I played on CGS and I'd say it wasn't that difficult, combat was fair and balanced. I'd say it falls a bit into the generic side, but there are a few fun and clever encounters like the big open mining area (near the trolley ride) and the shrink crystal caves battle.
Btw, was it intentional to spawn Octabrains paired with Commanders to provoke... infighting? Because that's absolutely what I did (saved me some devastator ammo). If so that's a clever trick (and something I abuse a lot in my new map).


I didn't want to keep the players on their toes as much as with Piggish Prison this time, so they could focus more on exploring. The shrinking cave encounter is my personal favourite in this map, especially in CGS it's something I'd replay a couple of times each testing just for the fun of it...

As for infighting, well... yes and no. It was something people picked up during the first phase of beta testing thinking it's intentional (thanks, JAC), so I decided to elaborate on it a bit more and added stuff like the commander spawning after picking up the devastator or extra commanders/octabrains with a delayed respawn in the tentacle cave. It seems more people "abused" this strategy, which is pretty cool, but then I wouldn't go limiting ammo here. I'm keen to see how you'll implement this element, especially considering the "Doom" theme of your new project and how infighing seems to be more pronounced in Doom.

Quote

The respawning supplies did made me go a little "eh", but that's because I like it more when the map provides all of the supplies in the map itself and players are tasked with exploring, managing and prioritizing. I can certainly see the purpose of that on your side.


The amount of re-visiting the same locations kinda forced this here, but then it's also probably something I did in all my maps. I personally like it, as it still requires some extra caution from the player not to miss the stuff and might give that "did it respawn or I missed it the first time?" feeling.

Quote

Not much stuff to fault the map, but here are a few thoughts.
One thing I should mention is lack of direction in the beginning. I'd say a map like this needs a clear global goal set in early stage of the level. The first ten or so minutes I spent simply wandering around the map not sure what would be the ultimate goal or destintaion. The puzzle pieces fell into place after a while and for the rest of the map the intented progression path became clear. The two yellow keycards also got me a little confused since I was not sure which door should I take first (I guess it's no difference, but it can confuse some players).


As ck3D said, the two yellow slots next to eachother were kinda there to just "showcase" the non-linear character of the map early-on. At first I also tried to balance out so both of them would have potential benefits and drawbacks to access earlier (same with which yellow key would be picked up earlier), but in the end one way is probably clearly more beneficial...

Quote

The level ending was the weakest part. That Cycloid Emperor fight was a complete pushover. I completed the side quest and killed the two Battlelords guards, I guess it helped a bit, but the fight itself was a matter of flying up and spamming the devastator.


Quote

About the last fight, it used to be worse in the beta as you could just shoot the Cycloid Emperor from outside, it used to be visible from the start and you didn't even need to enter that building to trigger the spawn, you could just put it on Dev blast from the entrance - ironically that 'arena' inside is one of the most beautiful indoor sceneries I've seen in Duke 3D and so it was such a waste, because most players were definitely never going to step inside. Honestly I would put the blame more on Duke 3D bosses in general that are generally pushovers unless specifically worked around (and even then...). My personal approach would have been to place the Touchplate even further into the room, maybe on one of the balconies and then have the boss respawn in front of the door, its back to the street but even then the player could still just jetpack around.


Quote

As for the last boss I think there's room for more of that respawn black magic. Make the player enter the building, shut the door behind, send enemies in waves, forcing the player to deplete resources and scavenge the upstairs area for ammo/health, and then the big party with Cycloid Emperor arrives via a delayed respawn/door/explosion. Sounds fun on paper at least.


Yes, it was changed after the first beta to be more dynamic. The idea with monster waves sounds actually great, but I didn't really want to "overwhelm" the player in that last area (and also let them take a brief look around the final area...), also not sure how it would work with the Battlelords which had to be kept stayput and a bit specific due to a certain event you should be familiar with (also that CGS-only Battlelord on the balcony "behind" the player is kinda disappointing, as he hardly tries to attack the player at all unless airborne). On the other hand, I've seen someone dying in that fight twice I think in a gameplay video, so maybe it wasn't so easy after all :P

Quote

That conveyor belt puzzle is absolutely brilliant, but boy was it annoying. It certainly would've worked a lot better with a bigger scale simply because how difficult it can be to tell the actual position of the key sprite.


Probably making this puzzle similar scale like your red/green/blue/white rotating blocks mirror puzzles in "Naked Dash" would be my go-to have I seen it first. I'm quite satisfied with the difficulty of this one right now, it should be doable (even more so with saving), but not too easy, 5 minutes seems like pretty good time actually. In the first beta they were 2/3 current size and it was much harder (also the keycard was flat instead of view-aligned, so keeping track was a bit more difficulty, especially for up/down directions).

View Postck3D, on 04 May 2021 - 09:44 AM, said:

That's interesting, I actually loved that myself, the player is basically presented two paths at the start they are essentially free to explore in whichever order (IIRC and if that hasn't changed since the beta), it's only disorientating if you're (naturally) expecting linearity but personally I enjoyed that freedom and it definitely announced to me how the rest of the navigation and adventure was going to feel like. I feel like a lot has changed in the final version since the beta though, for instance that first code you need to put together, the numbers used to be in just one place near the start and so the map had one less 'side quest', except some of the testers kept missing that location and so they were scattered about and given a viewscreen instead. In many situations I would call that length-padding but here it's not and it's actually really smart level design from Aleks because he put the numbers in places where to get there you need to get around some key sections of the map and get familiar with its principle, I definitely took a note there myself.


Changing, or actually introducing that first puzzle was probably one of the main changes after beta-testing (also changing the final battle and red key puzzle), at least from a gameplay perspective. At first it was all just on the forklift at the beginning and the intention was to introduce 2 possible paths right from the start, but thinking about other people's experiences I decided to change it and was pretty satisfied with that change. Also maybe there was a tiny, slight bit of inspiration from the urinal numbers in "Naked Dash", so thanks for that! :D

View PostMister Sinister, on 04 May 2021 - 12:34 PM, said:

Also this build respawn trickery gives me ideas about dynamic map change based on difficulty setting. Using the same tag 2/3/4 monsters mappers can potentially make places and routes accessable/unaccessable, shaping the map layout. I dunno, I think with some black magic it can be done and could be a very interesting concept to implement.


Yes, it opens up a lot of possibilities with pretty simple mechanics really. In this case, besides the monsters, there's few more ammo respawning on CGS (especially around the tentacle cave) and on Piece of Cake, the level ending is just a nukebutton that isn't present on higher difficulties, since there's no boss.
0

#14

Ah yes, the STAYPUT battlelord is in fact the only way you can explode a battlelord properly. Doing it any other way requires an insanely stupid amount of explosives.
The red keycard puzzle is not even that difficult, it's just.. well.. it can be a little hard to operate. I figured it out fast, but a few times I pressed "up" instead of "down" and screwed myself over. That's where my annoyance came from at least, but it's a brilliant puzzle.
As for infighting there's only two reliable ways you can implement it in Duke. There's two more unreliable ways that I can think of.
Good to see my map was an inspiration for some of the parts of your level, much appreciated!
1

User is online   ck3D 

#15

View PostMister Sinister, on 04 May 2021 - 12:34 PM, said:

I very much dig the non-linear exploration based experience. Stuff I'm talking about is more of a question about framing the adventure, that's what I think was kinda lacking from the beginning of the map.
After getting past the first few rooms everything started making sense: you need to access the exit elevator, shut down the fan, vent the gas, assemble the shrinker and etc, and it's up to the player to figure out the path.
This is when the map truly came to shape for me, those are the bones that hold everything together and tighten up the experience.


I mean from your first post already, I understood you were talking about more than just non-linearity the way it's commonly introduced in Duke 3D user maps (same colored keycards and locks that have been around since Roch, and probably ages before those too but Roch is a popular example), which is in fact why I thought your remark was especially interesting - otherwise I wouldn't really argue tastes. We both experienced (what I originally assumed was) the same exposure to different stimuli: alternate paths, multiple locks, simultaneous tasks and quests à la Legend Of Zelda (I actually see a lot of parallels between Zelda and Aleks' maps, for instance that puzzle in Piggish Prison where you have to push objects in order to clear leeway for a swinging door), to an extent we both seem to recognize as unusual and fresh, except to me that whole off-the-rails experience was a positive, it really made me feel like I was stuck down somewhere in an unfamiliar environment I had to take the time to assimilate and discover the inner workings of before I really could do much, or understand what exactly the logic behind the place was, which sort of makes sense if you parallel that with the equivalent real-life situation, whereas you seemed to really lack at least some of that mental guidance. To me that's interesting because it touches the limit of non-linearity in a video game or at least a Duke 3D level, what you perceive as a lack of structure and backbone I perceive as even more non-linearity which you never really get to experience all that much in maps where it always seems like at least a certain minimum has to be scripted, so it's getting me to ponder and refine my understanding of people's subconscious expectations when loading a user map for Duke 3D if that makes sense. The early double yellow lock thing I actually thought was neat for instance, it's sort of designed to throw the player off their typical comfort zone being exposed to the possibilities that soon after the start of the level but I wasn't bothered, to me it was self-explanatory that I was going to need both keys for both locks in whichever order I chose but maybe that's my own relatively experienced player/mapper's mindset, like when as soon as you see that stuff you spontaneously get what you're supposed to do but mostly because you've ran into, or even implemented similar situations in other user maps before. I still don't think that's off the wall cryptic, though, and I always liked the idea of maps triggering feelings within the player, and I guess 'feeling lost' is one, straight from the palette.

But now it also seems like Aleks changed a lot more to the opening than I thought if now you don't really get to choose to pick any path at the start. So it's on me to play the final version vs. the beta and see if my impression on the released version is any different in these regards. I still like the idea of the first side quest but maybe there are more locks and what-have-you and so I would feel a bit differently about the progression. When I played the beta, I jumped right in with barely any assistance from Aleks' words (he had supplied a .pdf) because if I'm playing/testing a map then I sort of like ignoring what I'm getting into so that my reactions remain more honest, and it took me an hour, I didn't find the side quest but in the end it only ever pained me to find my way ahead due to progression issues (one one-way passage that shouldn't have been one-way and softlocked you, and one oddly marked vent that didn't look enterable because it resembled the locked ones while it actually was open) that have been resolved since the report. Even if I wasn't playing close attention to the lore, basically every new place I could venture into I would always find a switch that did something and the action of which was a lot less obscure than say some of the tasks in Back in Business and so in the end I naturally ended up finding all the keys and completing the level with no real effort.

Your idea for the last fight does indeed sound fun and reminds me a lot of the scripted battle coming in timed waves in Back in Business / Freezing Fear, which I loved (especially the first time I ever played it in the beta and had to do it RPG-less). I also love the idea of playing with depleting the player's resources. Myself I still wouldn't lock the door behind them though, I believe map progression should generally involve opening up passages, not closing them off. So they should retain the option to get out IMO, perhaps it should just be made very difficult with some obstacle play, and then they could catch a breather outside but not fight back until they jump back in. Either way it's true that this scene in particular could have used more destruction, heck Duke 3D maps in general more or less always could, here the pristine environment could have used more interactive elements throughout the battle, stuff blowing up through the fight, maybe some of the balconies and walls not withstanding the heat. Just in general, fighting twenty-feet tall aliens with rockets inside meticulously assembled rooms with no impact on the surroundings is something I always thought felt funny in this game. Here I'm happy the player has to actually get inside the building to complete the map now, but it's true that this sequence could use even more enhancements.

This post has been edited by ck3D: Yesterday, 12:35 AM

0

User is online   Aleks 

#16

Quote

Either way it's true that this scene in particular could have used more destruction, heck Duke 3D maps in general more or less always could, here the pristine environment could have used more interactive elements throughout the battle, stuff blowing up through the fight, maybe some of the balconies and walls not withstanding the heat. Just in general, fighting twenty-feet tall aliens with rockets inside meticulously assembled rooms with no impact on the surroundings is something I always thought felt funny in this game. Here I'm happy the player has to actually get inside the building to complete the map now, but it's true that this sequence could use even more enhancements.


It's not that pristine, one of the pillars can get destroyed, knocking part of the balcony that it supports! There's also some minor stuff around, but mostly Duke's regular destroyable environments stuff like plants or vending machines ;)

Spoiler


1

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic


All copyrights and trademarks not owned by Voidpoint, LLC are the sole property of their respective owners. Play Ion Fury! ;) © Voidpoint, LLC

Enter your sign in name and password


Sign in options