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[RELEASE] Naked Dash  "another piece of unorthodox mapping"

User is offline   ck3D 

  • 362

#31

OK so I was naive enough to think I maybe could play this in 30 minutes I had to spare, boy were those expectations wrong. IIRC I made it to the first room that's not office-styled, past that 'hard hat area' section with the timed walls / doors and crushers. Had I thought the map would be such an epic adventure, I would have saved it for when I'd have more availability and focus. Going by the reviews I expected to at least make it to what people describe as the basic ending in that window of time, but I seem to be the same type of audience as Paul B earlier in this thread, needing a certain patience but also interested in exploring all the nooks and crannies in the level (knowing that there is a secret ending the whole time is exciting and doesn't help not observing everything).

So far, even more than by the puzzles I'm mostly impressed by the feeling of oppression you managed to instill in this piece (funny as I was just bringing up my appreciation of such a mood in Duke maps in my thread). I have to say I was playing it in the dark super late after a long work day, so I might have been particularly sensible but it was so intense I lasted maybe ten minutes with that music before switching back to dethtoll.mid - not a critique, basically you made a map that hit so hard I kind of had to surrender a little bit in order to be able to keep going (again I wasn't prepared for the amount of epic), so it's your win here. The (coherent) absence of open air areas thus far only enhances the claustrophobic feeling, which I understand is the whole impression the level is supposed to push on the player. It works very well, just that one time it overwhelmed me.

The design is faultless and just as clean as it is functional, very professional looking. I'm very happy you completely ditched enemies up to this point as they would have ruined everything in terms of atmosphere and the environment can be hazardous enough as it is. The atmosphere is a success in that the player does feel vulnerable constantly, despite the absence of monsters (thus far, and one keeps expecting them to pop up any minute all the while weaponless). All the little touches and tweaks of detail you implemented via the decorative sprites, implying how the essential significance of human artefacts gets lost in translation upon their interpretation by the aliens, have to be my favorite aspect of the map or at least the one I find the smartest (even though you probably mostly put deep thought into the puzzles, to me such spontaneous considerations are an even more explicit mark of genius, there's something genuine about them).

I have to say I kind of reluctantly walked into this map as I'm not necessarily a fan of puzzle-based maps (well in fact I love them, 'Last Pissed Time' is one of my all-time favorites and generally I love seeing people come up with new intricate gameplay tricks, but most often I no longer have the time, focus and availability for them - the scarce moments of time I get to devote Duke I mostly feel like shooting stuff). I like that they exist though and I'm a very curious person so anything bringing new elements to the table I will give a spin; I must say I don't regret my experience with this level at all so far. I just never expected to throw myself into such a strong, full-blown adventure complete with save slots I have no idea when I'll get to resume, but I'm into it.

Favorite sequence thus far is the hard hat area I was mentioning earlier, with the crushers and timed doors, especially the sections where you have to cross several cramped "rooms" at once. I actually kind of breezed through those and only failed to complete certain sections out of curiosity, exploring the rooms one by one on purpose just to see what the switches would do (and I loved that they either sent you back to the prior room or if you messed up real bad, straight to the start with that one teleporter). That segment really made me feel like the environment was out to get me, and the sound effects were well picked and added a lot to the immersion.

The very first puzzle in the level though, with the switches and raising platforms I don't know what to think. I actually really liked it and thought it was something brillant to implement in a Duke map (I would love to see this type of stuff more, even design-wise those raising platforms sort of have an E1L1 cinema look and feel to them), but it was quite hectic as an introduction to the map as when I finally understood what I had to do and eventually pulled it off, I wasn't sure whether I had followed the intended path or broken something because of counter-intuitive it is to use such narrow sectors into the walls for wall jumps. That kind of felt like an exploit (even though it's not, and really just making optimal use of the game mechanics), therefore it left me with the impression that the rest of the map was going to be prowess-based i.e.. Glitch City (is that how that one map is called?), I was relieved to realize the next segments weren't as far-fetched and relied on effects and visuals in a much more straightforward manner.

Will try and remember to post more feedback when I can (hopefully when I have actually completed the map, hopefully soon).

P.S. also the player can use the trashcan to access that early, seemingly unreachable vent with water as its floor in one of the first rooms very, very easily. I know it's a destination point for backtracking because I've made it far enough into the map to also use it that way, and it shouldn't be a problem because even once in there I don't think the player can jump high enough to manage to reach the upper floor (which maybe is why you made the floor of that sector water). But it's still possible to get inside and I don't know how aware of that you are.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 06 March 2019 - 05:25 AM

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User is offline   Mister Sinister 

  • 392

#32

Thanks for your feedback. I will be patiantley wait for more. Completing this map fully can take anywhere from 50 minutes up to 2 hours. I can make it through in 40 minutes (including the hidden section of the map), but I'd played it over and over again while testing, so that shouldn't come as a surprise. Methy being a beta-tester got it all just under two hours - quite a reasonable amount of playtime.

I only brought this map up becuase I'm kinda curious what you will think of it. I can't really think of many maps that have the same approach as Naked Dash, and I always enjoy reading your in-depth posts.
You are spot on about the general theme of the map (everyday human objects and architecture misunderstood by aliens). This was my primary idead while designing the map: giving it subtle surreal and opressing undertone by mixing familiar human enviroment and everyday objects with alien technology. Everything about the office complex must feel off and misnterpreted as if aliens don't really understand how human stuff works, thus almost everything reek of simulation. There are some jokes thrown in there (the vending machine, the "do not push button", the toilets), but they are far in between, I wanted the map to feel disturbing and opressive. I'm glad you picked up on this general feel, because this was intentional and I put a lot of thought into it.

I agree that the very first puzzle is a bit harsh on players, but in the end I think it serves as a good introduction of the unforgiving nature of the whole ordeal you're about to experience. Also that was the first thing I thought of. Another aspect I believe you might've already noticed is that most puzzles have dynamic/enviromental nature, giving them both replayability, a unique spin on old and tried DN mechanics and also allowed me to implement the theme of the map into puzzles themselves. You've only made through the first couple of rooms, there's quite a journey ahead of you. There are a few riddles in there, but not too much.

Oh, and there's gonna be quite a lot of shooting to relieve stress, but you will have to work and explore for it to even be available.

This post has been edited by Mister Sinister: 06 March 2019 - 05:56 AM

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User is offline   ck3D 

  • 362

#33

View PostMister Sinister, on 06 March 2019 - 05:54 AM, said:

I only brought this map up becuase I'm kinda curious what you will think of it. I can't really think of many maps that have the same approach as Naked Dash, and I always enjoy reading your in-depth posts.


Have you ever played Last Pissed Time: https://msdn.duke4.n...tpissedtime.php

In many ways your map reminds me of it, most notably due to the constant sensation of being entrapped combined with all the puzzle solving that's reminiscent of Portal. Also both levels are two lengthy, epic adventures, built in a completely different style though. Again, that's one of my favorite maps, so not a bad comparison.

edit - I can't believe that map was released ten years ago already

This post has been edited by ck3D: 06 March 2019 - 06:39 AM

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User is offline   Mister Sinister 

  • 392

#34

I played it a long time ago, it's a great map, but yeah, I think the style and approach is very different from mine.
Now that you mentioned it, I do remember there was one shrinker puzzle which shares similarities on a technical level with one of the later puzzles of Naked Dash.
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User is offline   WileTm 

  • -12

#35

looks pretty good
0

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