Looking for feedback

Discuss map ideas, techniques, and give help.

Looking for feedback

Post Sep 14th '17, 00:28

I'm making a total conversion of Marathon. I've never mapped anything but I love to draw so I assume it will be easy. I'm looking to try and make it over the course of a month or so, which should be no problem because I already have all the chapter screens!

lol just kidding. can you even imagine?

But now that I have your attention, I'm just fiddling with a little level in my spare time and I'm looking for feedback. It's not really part of any project, but I'm kind of approaching it as if it was an atmospheric/expository introduction to a mini-scenario or something. Mostly it's just an excuse to kill time and de-rust my mapmaking abilities, as I haven't made a map in probably 8 or 9 years or so. I have no explicit goal of making a scenario, but I might make more maps in the series if I feel inspired.

What I do have:

About 2/3 of a map.

Drafts of terminal texts (merged for your convenience).

A probably unhealthy obsession with Ne Cede Malis and Acme Station, and a desire to elaborate on Jjaro architecture (seriously, some spaces in here blur the lines between homage and copying).



What I don't have:

Terminal images (mostly).

A gameplay-focused perspective (I'm one of those dinks who's more into the atmosphere and exploration than the gunplay).

Any polish for the most part. Some textures may be missing/misaligned, and there's probably a decent amount of glitches.



Basically, I'm looking for feedback on the architecture, atmosphere, and feel of the level, as well as any map and aesthetic design tips y'all have for me. If you want to critique the writing that's cool too, although be warned there isn't much to speak of. Hope you enjoy! Screenshots below.

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 7.22.21 PM.png


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Red Jumpsuit.sceA.zip
(197.59 KiB) Downloaded 8 times
baudrillardboy

Post Sep 14th '17, 00:53

baudrillardboy wrote:I'm making a total conversion of Marathon. I've never mapped anything but I love to draw so I assume it will be easy. I'm looking to try and make it over the course of a month or so, which should be no problem because I already have all the chapter screens!

Yeah, it really is that easy. I can provide you with a couple hundred maps if you...

baudrillardboy wrote:lol just kidding.

Oh.
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Wrkncacnter

Post Sep 14th '17, 01:13

Wrkncacnter wrote:Yeah, it really is that easy. I can provide you with a couple hundred maps if you...


;)
baudrillardboy

Post Sep 24th '17, 02:37

Bumping with a much more polished (and pretty much complete) version. Terminals and everything work, and there shouldn't be any major bugs. I hope.

Be warned, if you play on total carnage some of the ambushes go from fun (in my opinion) to kinda cheap and unfair, but I think the combat is at least slightly fun.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts! Attachment below.

Red Jumpsuit Final.sceA.zip
(450.82 KiB) Downloaded 33 times
baudrillardboy

Post Sep 27th '17, 01:21

I played through on normal. What is the purpose of having this level set to rebellion other than a little extra challenge punching some pfhor fighters before reaching the 1x charger and pistol? I didn't read anything in the terminal giving story reason for this. What's up with the cargo and why is this ship Durandal's second favorite toy? Hunting wabbits? Also, why is there sewage sound in the main hallway? I looked for and encountered a few bouncy walls/corners but nothing really immersion breaking. A compiler was stuck in front of a terminal and let me punch it to death. Running around hitting switches and back tracking can get old quick if not paced well.

The level design influences are apparent as you mentioned. The first portion of this level really felt like I was replaying a warped version of Infinity's initial level. At the end when I was taunted to find the assault rifle and fusion pistol I didn't want to. Either I didn't back track specifically for those items or maybe they were behind a hidden door. The lighting in some areas were eye catching. I especially enjoyed the curving stairs going down that had a flash coming through a window on to the wall.

Nice work! I'd like to see more.

*Edit*
It just occurred to me you may have set the level to rebellion for taking screenshots.
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RadBurn

Post Sep 27th '17, 02:00

baudrillardboy wrote:Bumping with a much more polished (and pretty much complete) version. Terminals and everything work, and there shouldn't be any major bugs. I hope.

Be warned, if you play on total carnage some of the ambushes go from fun (in my opinion) to kinda cheap and unfair, but I think the combat is at least slightly fun.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts! Attachment below.

Red Jumpsuit Final.sceA.zip

I am no expert cartographer or seasoned veteran, but I enjoyed it a lot. Visually it's right up my alley, I'm a huge fan of the Jjaro environments. There's just some unique atmosphere they give off I don't get from any other environment sets. The map itself is excellent and I could tell a lot of tender love and care went into the details. I especially like at how one point you can see the roof of the facility. And I did indeed find the armory! It wasn't what lead me to it, but it was a nice "aha" moment when I found out you could see a part of the armory from the other side of the map . The writing for Durandal was also very well done IMO. I was surprised at how close it felt to the original.

My only real complaint is that I think the level is perhaps too easygoing. I played through on Major Damage at first and then after I was familiar with the map I played through on Total Carnage. I died once when I originally found the first ammo spawn but after that I found it's smooth sailing. Perhaps consider adding a second pistol somewhere near the beginning of the map and adding a few extra enemies to compensate? Just an idea. Overall, very pleased with it! Hope you put your talents to a second one.
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Flowers

Post Sep 27th '17, 13:56

Thanks, guys! Now that I think about it, I think the reason for setting it to rebellion was that I didn't originally have any intent of putting enemies in the level, so having the player collect their weapons seemed like a good way to give the level an objective. This was back when it was like 150 polys or so, and I just never thought to change it.

The sewage in particular was an homage to the analogous hallway in Ne Cede Malis, which also had a sewage sound effect. I always got the impression it was running through pipework or something. Of course, that level also had giant sewage tanks that kind of justify that...

Would you say there's too much back-tracking? I like how levels with lots of backtracking can make a smaller map feel bigger, but I wonder if I included enough different spaces to actually cause that effect, instead of just make the player roll their eyes and think "not -this- again." I'm also not sure how to fix bouncy walls. To the google (and drawing board) I go.
baudrillardboy

Post Sep 27th '17, 20:26

I decided to play through a couple more times. I beat it on Total Carnage and the purple troopers were the obvious increase in challenge making me wish a had just another clip of pistol ammo. I ran around a bit more and found the secret stash areas.

Then I played again on Normal and the direction made more sense and I didn't feel like I was backtracking except for the secret stash areas. I don't think I gave this map the time it deserved in my first post. Having taken a bit more time I must say that playing on Normal seems too easy.

I enjoyed a bit more of the lighting. In the initial hallways there are two wall lights that flicker but the light they cast flickers a different pattern. The strobing lights and dark atmosphere in general are nice and go well with the texture set.

I recall the sewage tanks on Infinity's first level and if you want to keep that sewage sound in your map then consider turning that volume down so it doesn't sound like there's a kiddie pool in the next room over with some flickta playing in it.

As for bouncy walls I think the angle of polygon line that meets with the solid wall is the cause. Don't make the angle so acute. When it comes to lines intersecting with walls try to stay obtuse. Also, not making special corner polygons to connect two hallways for example can cause really awful bouncing that actually relocates the player. I did not encounter the latter problem but I thought of Hastur's Workshop and remember something about that. Unfortunately Hastur's website seems to be down but perhaps someone knows where it exists these days because I'd like to read through it again for fun.

Seriously keep mapping. You've got a talent for it.
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RadBurn

Post Sep 30th '17, 16:19

Here's Hastur's Workshop talking about bouncing walls. I noticed some of the links are dead but this page is still up.

http://www.mac-guild.org/mmmg/hastur/aesthetics4.shtml
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RadBurn

Post Oct 1st '17, 13:28

Thanks! I remember reading Hastur's Workshop back in the day, but I never saw the bit about bouncy walls. That's helped me find and fix several of them so far. I turned down the volume on the sewage, and I'm considering making the level a bit harder as well. I am about halfway done with a second level, so hopefully I can move this discussion to the projects section if it looks like something I'll be able to continue with.
baudrillardboy


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