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[RELEASE] Shaky Grounds pt2: Tragedy  "the apocollaptic tale of tragedy continues.."

User is offline   Merlijn 

  • 476

#31

It took me a while to get this online, but I made a complete playthrough of the map now.
I played on come get some. It shows all the secrets and the possible shortcuts, so I guess it deserves a SPOILER warning. ;)


9

User is offline   Mere_Duke 

  • 19

#32

I also have complete walkthrough with all secrets, as well as quick run version with the use of shortcuts and yeallow card :D
I must say that this map is not as impressive as the first one, but still on the top. First one was 6/5, this one is 5/5.

Full:

Quick Run:
2

User is offline   Merlijn 

  • 476

#33

Haha, it's cool to see someone use the shortcut. Thanks for these!
0

User is offline   Mere_Duke 

  • 19

#34

I reuploaded quick run version, with new approach and better time; for those who will be wondering why the link above is disabled:


This post has been edited by Mere_Duke: 10 February 2018 - 05:13 PM

0

User is offline   Mike Norvak 

  • Music Producer
  • 644

#35

Finally had time to play Shaky Ground maps. Here are my thoughts.

Shaky grounds 1:

I love the gameplay at the beginning of the map, but when you get to the open city is a bit hard to navigate without being shot by a random enemy although it never gets unfair, what I normally do in this kind of maps is running like crazy awaking all the enemies so I know their position while exploring for goodies, then I search for some higher areas, columns or corners for coverage, the map has them all so it's okay, but what I'd love to see is interconnected roofs and underwater areas so you can navigate the city in various ways while covering from enemies bullets until you find a comfortable zone to shot them, this way the player will feel like actually having a strategy instead of just shoot and avoid. That screen and switch that remotely deactivates a force shield seems like another thing that could be planned better, maybe the aliens built a device that has platforms all around the city to teletransport troops and duke finds the central room in a small ship and blows them pressing the switch which causes the platform near of Dukai sushi to blow up and opening a wall. Anyway many mappers have used the "remote button opens door and spawns angry enemies" in the past (including me) so is already an effective trope. Immediately two Battlelords and two drones spawns, I love this battle because is not the classic "shoot the Battlelord without taking any damage" their mines are really effective specially if they bounce in the wall behind the player and can blow your ass in seconds, you can take coverage in the same spot but then the drones appear making the player move sideways, this makes it feel like a real battle. I liked how there is a platform at the top of some building that teleports you to other building, I'd have loved if there were more platforms all around the city though. Is nice to have the different enemy types spawn in waves but it would be even better to reserve some enemy types for the next maps and some for this, and not having all mixed together even if this wasn't originally intended to be a series of maps, for example there are some Lizman early in the city that can drop a chaingun, breaking the feel of achievement when you actually get the chaingun in Dukai sushi. I love how you used some sprites as smartphones and tablets in the media market. I don't know if I missed health items but I had 20 at some point and didn't find any health until getting to the crystal roof in the shopping mall which left me with 50 life points. Not really a fan of the last battle because you can skip most of the enemies just by killing the two battlelords, activating the buttons and running to the exit.

Having recently lived a real earthquake (19 September 2017) in Mexico city, I can say that buildings just collapse or they simply don't collapse, there isn't mid point. Floors don't break, what gets broken is the columns and walls, so a destroyed building looks exactly like a huge sandwich with various levels or like a pile of concrete on the site that previously was a 10 storey building, the ones that don't fall instantly but still have structural damage often have "inflated" walls that looks like a belly, and they can collapse even after various hours by the minimum movement, not to mention RPG explosions and alien battles inside them. Well I think is better not to depict realistic scenarios in this specific cases and use creativity instead.

Shaky grounds 2

Nice start, I'd replace the initial "Suck it down" sound with a Fat Commander dying. Really nice shadows and details here and there, having a drone in such a small kitchen kind of sucks though. I love the interconnection of the theater although it isn't obvious the first time, this makes want to play the start again in a different way, I wonder if the whole map has this kind of non linearity. I'm not sure if I skipped some part of the map since a lot of monsters spawned in the spot where you see the destroyed city at the background but I just jumped to a duct fence in front of me without killing any enemy then I entered the upside down building, is a bit confusing to navigate but that's a good thing, I loved that area, it brings a lot of variety to the map.

I like the city layout more than the first map, now it feels like I actually can use some strategy to fool or defeat the battlelords after getting the 2.5D printed statue (nice joke) in fact I find this level full of jokes and references. I love how battlelords don't just spwan but actually looks like are coming from varios spots before I noticed them. I didn't kill the alien drones first time I visited the red key card slot, but they weren't there when I returned, where did they go?

Nice battle at the end!

Overall I liked more this second map than the first, it feels shorter more concrete and compact, and I'm under the impression you didn't have the urge to reach the wall limit which is a good thing :)

I'm eager to see what you come up with in the next release.


This post has been edited by Mike Norvak: 12 February 2018 - 07:25 PM

1

User is offline   Mere_Duke 

  • 19

#36

For the SG2, I want to mention the toppled and flooded building area. Very unusual and carefully made thing. And a reference to 'It 2017" :)
0

User is offline   Merlijn 

  • 476

#37

Thanks for the detailled feedback, Mike! It's true that Tragedy was a bit more carefully planned, while a lot of Apocollapse was made up on the spot.
To tell you the truth, Apocollapse became a lot bigger than I originally intended it to be haha.

Interesting to hear about your style of playing, I usually secure one area first before proceding to the next. Not waking up all the monsters at once.
Well, in my video's it's pretty clear how I play Duke Nukem. :)
But of course the map should work either way you play it.

Sad to hear you had to experience an actual earthquake, this map in no way tries to replicate a real quake or anything close to reality.
It's mostly intended as parody/homage to silly disaster movies like 2012 or Independence Day.

Quote

I'm not sure if I skipped some part of the map since a lot of monsters spawned in the spot where you see the destroyed city at the background but I just jumped to a duct fence in front of me without killing any enemy then I entered the upside down building,


Not sure what happened there, sounds like you glitched out of the arena fight somehow. At least you didn't skip much of the map, the fallen building comes right after the fight.

Quote

I didn't kill the alien drones first time I visited the red key card slot, but they weren't there when I returned, where did they go?


I have no idea, presumably they're just chillin' somewhere. :P
0

User is offline   quakis 

  • 144

#38

Hey, got around to reviewing this one: http://taw.duke4.net.../duke3d/shaky2/

And Tragedy marks the first review for the site's new design.
1

User is offline   Merlijn 

  • 476

#39

Thanks for such a long and detailled review, really appreciated! :)

Again great selection of screenshots, and I'm glad you liked the big arena-styled fights better this time.
I really tried to make those as good as possible.

Not going to spoil anything about the direction map 3 will take, but I already have the story planned out.
1

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