...founder and lead designer at Violation Entertainment - www.violationentertainment.com
I really like the 'Lost Levels' compared to the first 'Typical Disaster', it has a great atmosphere and very much feels like a real place, an actual distinct layout. The lighting is lovely, the brushwork is neat and extremely consistent, the details are interesting and every step let it feel like a unique location, which for me is among the most important characteristics of any map. A map can have great brushwork and fine details, but if it doesn't feel like a place with a distinct character of its own, even great brushwork can go to waste and the entire map can be a let-down. The author seems to mostly strike a balance and actually create interesting "places", not "just another map", and this is no exception. When a map is made with loving care, a sense of fun and deep inspiration, it lets the player feel it too. I can't stress how important that is and can be rare to find, even in commercial games.
It's a lot of fun to play through, the action is well-paced and the puzzles keep things interesting, and these aspects are very well balanced. There were a couple of moments that had me scratching my head, especially at the end, but that's probably because I didn't play Half-Life in a very long time. It's not like the first Typical Disaster where some trick jumps are required, I didn't like that first map as much as this one, this is more of a really professional effort. I would go so far as to say this seems to fit right in among the very best Half-Life maps, even to say it seems like it fits right in with the original professional maps. It's not about using thousands of brushes and objects, it's about making the most of the limitations of the original standards and making something interesting, unique and fun. In my opinion, it has been achieved!
Great work, top ratings and I hope to see more like this in the future! :)
DeeP, buddy, where have you been!? :D Great to see you're still around!!!
To summarise, despite a bunch of issues and complaints, it's really a lot of fun, innovative and looks great. It has fresh and interesting visuals, great atmosphere and nicely executed ideas throughout the entire map. For the most part the action is well paced and never feels like a tedious task that needs doing. This is probably the main point I wish to get across because so much other stuff out there, even in games from professional studios, feels like its a job set out and I need to perform the task of navigating through it. That's never fun. NX-317 knows how to avoid that by enjoying what he does, so we as the players can enjoy it too. It's a nice map to explore and there are some excellent features such as the trapdoors, crushers and moving platforms you need to jump to. I would have liked to see more of that because I like it when not only the monsters in the map are against you but the map itself is alive and trying to kill you. The author has a nice sense of this, not only different methods of how to do it but also when are where to put them in. It goes a long way to keeping the gameplay fresh and myself as the player interested in what comes next. So despite being a little too hard and a bunch of other little things I am probably overly-critical about (because I really did criticise everything I possibly could) this map performs, plays and looks great consistently.
I can only finish by saying that I hope NX-317 keeps up the good work well into the future! We need more maps like these.
Some of the model placements, like the "hellgoo", weren't very well positioned, with its decals hanging in mid-air and looking very seamy. The lab room with the crazy red light could have used better lightshader/better placement because that caused ugly streaking on the walls. Some custom geometry doesn't look too nice, although innovative, technically they are faceted and badly textured, such as the 'pots" toward the end, but still a nice attempt at unique features. Finally, the ending seemed a little confusing and I was surprised it was actually the end, although I don't know how it could have been done better, it took a couple of plays to get the feel of it, somehow the ending was abrupt and unexpected. (cont...) >>
I do have a few complaints though. There are very nice puzzles and traps throughout the map, but the trapdoors at the beginning makes it extremely difficult and frustrating because I died even though I didn't fall into them completely, it's like I instantly died from having my toes crushed. The corridor after falling down the trap at the beginning makes it difficult to see what's going on behind the wall, where it could have used better brushwork there with some gaps. Where there actually are such gaps, they are a little too "no clip" in appearance and perhaps could be more stylised with intentionally placed slots in the brushwork. Especially at the beginning where first impressions are important, this approach would have done a lot to make it a better experience visually for new players and sensitive first impressions, as well as gameplay-wise, although the map gets better in this regard as it progresses. There are a few too many Cherubs, Lost Souls and Cacodemons, not a lot, but they are difficult to shoot because you cannot aim up and down, they take extra long to kill when compared to every other enemy. Some of the areas are very difficult, such as the part with the Pinky Demons in the small room or the twin Hellknights with the Archvile, these are monsters you don't want to get too close to, yet in this mod you are forced to be near them in order to inflict any damage onto them at all. The pressure-plates you need to step onto to unlock/open doors elsewhere could have used some kind of visual cues, maybe there was audio but I played the map silently, and something visual would have been very good and helpful to see, some use of particles to show that something has actually happened. (cont...) >>
The map has consistent details and consistent performance, which made it seem like a professional effort in contrast to a lot of other maps, including others by the same author. It's obvious that a lot of care was taken to make this particular map both perform well and look great. The beginning desert area has very nice atmosphere with the lighting and choice of textures. There are really nice structures along the walls, good brushwork and use of textures for all of those details. The brushwork seems very innovative and isn't repeatedly the same "do it just like 'id Software' did it" kind of approach, but a more unique and original approach to everything which I really appreciate. It's nicely broken up with the laboratory section (although that seemed a bit obviously "teleported" into) and then into the underground lava section, so the entire map remains fresh and becoming split into some new visuals just at the point where the player could use a change of atmosphere, the intuitive timing is great in that regard. The cutscenes, though there are very few, are extremely well done, especially toward the end with the main Mancubus cinematic. (cont...) >>
After playing Salvational Temple, I thought I should write up what I thought about it, some good points and some bad points too, but mostly positive.
It's definitely worth playing for anyone who has yet to play it, even though I don't personally think much of the Z-Hunter mod in general, this map made it an enjoyable experience for me and it has good visuals, atmosphere and plenty of variety that kept me playing and interested in what will happen next, and with that anticipation it certainly delivered. It was fun and didn't feel like a job that needed doing, which a lot of other stuff feels like to me. A sign of a good mapper is to create an environment that the player actually wants to explore, and not just plot out a world to send the player on some task, because that attitude will definitely translate from mapper to player and it's rarely fun to "work through" a "job" that someone else has set. The enjoyable-exploration factor can only come from a decent imagination, and I'd say that the author of this map (NX-317) definitely has this kind of imagination and it shows through in the work he does. (cont...) >>
I am. I use multiple displacement maps on a smoothed high-poly mesh for all the details, but this is where many of the problems are too. The ~100 displacements need retouching and reassigning to fix issues with the nose and mouth especially. You can see where the displacement around the nostrils doesn't match the mesh it's assigned to, but the baking is what makes it look round and not faceted, so, it is definitely properly baked.
Not likely with currently only 2 people working on the project. Like many other projects, we're just not getting any recruits to the team. All we can do is continue progress and hope it's enough to build more of a team with.
This scene was a test, using many assets I created for a Quake III Arena map back in 2001/2002, so there are many assets in this shot very outdated and not final. Scenes like this from us in the future will look MUCH better!
As we'll be "finalising" these soon, feedback and suggestions on how these assets can improve would be _EXTREMELY_ appreciated!
Out of the latest 4 shots, this one has the most fine details, more like how a proper SH map would be. It also uses a lot of "shading-decals" to help take away the infinitely sharp corners and seams, and help surfaces look lightmapped and soft.
This shot is officially short-on-details WIP, as most map shots are to some extent, this is very WIP for the project's standards. Still a nice bit of mapping nonetheless.
Well, the project _was_ dead for a time, but only due to development of the NintendoDS project. Now that's nearing completion, it's back to 3D PC stuff, which means Shadowing Hate.
I think the engine can do much better than this, this is only the very first terrain test. Hopefully we'll prove it soon.
The team forum can be found here:-
All assets are original and it's fully reliant on its own assets. A release may be a while yet because we haven't had any interest from mappers wishing to join us.
Thanks for the interest. We're currently gathering up EVERYTHING we've done for the project (600MB+) and converting it over to Quake 3 Arena ready to make maps out of. Roughly 200MB done so far. We're looking for mappers too, if anyone is interested:-
This was supposed to be a download instead of an "addon" since they have no use in-game. Trying to flog these models from the EXEs would be pointless too, since they will be made a public resource when finished anyway.
Me too man, me too. I hope to have some GE/PD-like features in this project. One of which would be the freestyle crosshair aiming mode, where a held-button will allow the mouse to control the actual crosshair freely on the screen, panning the view at the sides. This is _apparently_ very possible, so I'm told.
Here's the forum thread with a lot more info on exactly what this video is about:-
Cool, that's because it is supposed to be Felicity ;)
A texel is a pixel as displayed on a 3D surface, so a megatexel (as opposed to megapixel) is a million of these.
Excellent work, can't wait to see him in-game!
The Walker is one of the things I plan to fix for a small update to this mod. I'll add a lot more gray/silver in place of some of the pale greens that popped up during the hue shifting process. I'll also do my best to fix the almost unreadable vehicle HUDs although I've already spent hours looking through that stuff, I'll try again. Thanks for the comments. Any more suggestions on what to include/exclude/fix for the next update are very welcome!
You suck! :-P