|Death Star.j2l||Death Star||18.06 kB||21 Feb 2012|
|Odyssey01.j2t||Odyssey 01||120.00 kB||30 Mar 2003|
|COSMIC2.XM||Cosmic outflow_||747.48 kB||11 Dec 2007|
I don’t make CTF maps very often, but I thought I’d take a stab at it here.
This level was originally called “Triton V”, and it was part of my aborted World of Jazz singleplayer project. I found it while I was going through my old WOJ files in preparation for the project’s complete and total overhaul, and thought to myself, “My, this would make a dandy CTF level!”
And so, you have the Death Star.
It should be obvious why I named it that, so I won’t get into it all. Hope you enjoy it, and bon appetit!
Just did a complete and TOTAL overhaul of the level. Should be way more fun, way more multiplayer-friendly and way more
problem free problem less messier.
Take two. Action!
For someone who doesn’t make CTF’s that often good job. The music is great and this level has great eye candy overall. The only thing I wish you would have used was the “Imperial March” or other Star Wars music for the level music.
Well, this is an interesting and different approach to a CTF map. DEATH STAR by PT32…
First, this isn’t your typical ctf layout. The entire level is based on a pretty cool theme and as a result the layout is more gimmicky and unorthodox.
The eyecandy is definitely the simplest to comment on. It’s not too outstanding, but it’s pretty solid and it works well aided with the theme of the level. However, you did use tiles that look solid in the background, and combined with the somewhat confusing and unintuitive layout I found myself running into walls occasionally throughout my playtest because I thought they were passages. Not too big of an issue, but it took a while to get used to and certainly didn’t help the layout look any less confusing. The elevator was a gimmicky but cool addition and a way to split the level into two nearly symmetrical halves.
…speaking of the layout, there is an interesting feature of an outside path that encircles the entire map. It’s basically a long, narrow winding passage that I would call something between a corridor and an almost vertical shaft. I actually really liked how this played out, because it was sort of the ‘hub’ of the level if you understand my meaning – its the most used passage because it connects to everything else in the map. The vertical gameplay was also a plus here, but it could’ve been capitalized on more (part of which I will get into further). I felt that it was too narrow, and some parts could have been less steep and used more slopes. I found myself getting “caught” in the walls of the passage while running at full speed a number of times and it really threw off the flow. This encircling passage and the elevator were my favorite layout designs, despite of the narrowness of the corridors. From here on however things start to fall apart…
The bases were placed in air vents in passages at the vertical center of the map, accessible through corridors from either opposite side (left/right). [REDACTED]
To explain what I mean, the carrots (both +1) are symmetrically placed at the end of two very long corridors on each side. The corridors end with a small room containing a +1 carrot. This is basically the worst death trap possible, because there is almost no chance that you will be able to heal without getting trapped there and having to fight your way out. To make it worse, this is one of the only areas the RF powerup can be unleashed to its full potential, and grabbing a +1 carrot only to be blasted to pieces by RFs from the guy(s) following you is NOT a good trade off. I played a duel in this map and I thought the big and elaborate layout would at least give me time to lose my pursuers and sneak away with the health, but even in this scenario I often found myself being trapped and killed often, and vice versa. The only chance someone had of escaping that carrot death trap was when one time by some miracle I ran out of RFs right before I was about to kill that guy who was hiding and praying for his life in the corner of the room. There seriously needs to be another way out of that room, probably into the elevator shaft or something. Otherwise, you can expect to be destroyed trying to regain that health and your opponent knows it. Basically it came down to people making a last stand and fighting to death instead of disengaging the battle and fleeing for health, cause it was such a death trap area.
The last thing I want to address about the layout is the large number of pointless dead end rooms. They slow the game down and make it more campy, most of them have no real purpose besides to trap you, and it makes the layout pretty confusing. It looks like a remnant of an SP map which doesnt belong in a multiplayer game – I think some of them should either have more worthwhile reasons to visit or just be removed completely.
The gameplay of the map was actually fun. Besides the annoying carrot death traps and the base areas (the dead ends weren’t too much of a problem since after a while people just instinctively avoided them) the level was fun and has the potential to play really well. It was enjoyable sniping people through the thin walls with EBs (and in the elevator :P), using the RFs as a super shotgun kind of weapon, and sidekicking people in the outer passage. Besides the RF I actually found the next best weapon to be the sidekick/buttstomp in this map. This gives a bit of an advantage to spaz here, but I really liked the tactics it brings. Often throughout my game here I would struggle for high ground, or find ways to cut my opponent off through other passages, or trap them in some room etc. It’s just too bad, because if it wasn’t for some of the inconveniences in the layout I would’ve had a blast with this.
The ammo placement is also the weaker focus of this map. I thought the free floating ammo was way too space here – it was barely enough just for a duel, and this is a pretty big level so I can’t imagine people would find it satisfactory for a team game. I think it could’ve used more bouncer and electroblasters. The powerup choice also did not fit the map. I liked the RF powerup, because it was only useful to it’s full potential in a few zones, and mainly serves as a close combat shotgun equivalent. Despite it’s limited power, its still the only weapon here that can deal 2h damage, which is a problem. The freezer powerup was completely useless, and it broke the balance of the game because the RF powerup it’s supposed to balance out with is the weapon of choice here. It should be replaced with a gun #2 powerup, which I felt was severely lacking in this map. In any case, having only one powerup capable of dealing max. damage severely breaks the balance of the game. Please replace the ice powerup :P
Next, the hardest part to do in my review was to actually find some people I can play this with online (nobody ever plays in my timezone lol). I did manage to have a duel here, although I think this level SHOULD be better suited for 2vs2/team games (once it gets more ammo and the camp scenarios are fixed). The issues I thought would affect the way the game played out did in fact do so (no surprise) – the carrot areas were death traps, the dead ends did make the layout confusing, and although I had no problem finding the bases (other people apparently did) I found it to be more of a problem to actually get INTO them. The gameplay was fun, as long as your opponents dont take advantage of cheap tactics like camping the base/carrot.
Some of the passages could benefit from being less narrow, specifically the outer circular shaft. Every part of the layout should serve at least some purpose. I’m not suggesting that every dead end needs to be removed, but at least more incentive should be given to visit those places or else they become pointless and bog down the map.
As it is now, I liked the concept behind this. I liked the unorthodox layout and the interesting gameplay. I liked not having to rely on seekers, but melee combat and sniping with electroblasters and using the RF as a shotgun. For the most part I liked the eyecandy as well. Generally when levels are revamped into other game modes from what they were originally purposed to be they don’t turn out quite as good or balanced as they should be. This one actually came close to breaking that rule, but some existing faults and remnants of zones that don’t look designed with MP in mind prevent it from realizing its potential.
EDIT: So I got a chance to play the updated version of this after I bullied some unsuspecting victim into hosting it. I’ll quickly go over what I noticed that’s been changed and then give a brief overview on what I think. So firstly, a lightning shield has been added into a fairly out of the way warp (that I didn’t even notice the first time I played…) which was kind of surprising the first time to see a bunch of people with shields running around. I was never a fan of 40 second shields that are easily obtainable in MP, especially when placed in an unneccessarily out of the way campable warp room, and my POV doesn’t change now. I think this kind of breaks the game here (evidently there was a pepper powerup pre-existing in that spot..). On a brighter note, the partially opening doors to the bases have been removed. An additional passage has been added to the base, with some slightly bad flow, and wind events have been added in the base shafts to
force encourage you to take it. The freezer powerup has been replaced with the bouncer. For some reason some gun9 ammo has been exchanged with TNT, and shafted to the R&D room confining it to the top portion of the map. The former deathtrap of a carrot room has been much improved by the addition of the passage cutting through the base area and the access to the elevator. Also, 2 more +1 carrots have been added to the bottom warp area, as far as I can tell I don’t believe they were there before. Basically, while some of these updates were good (since they were responses to the biggest criticisms this map faced) they are intertwined with new stuff I don’t like, such as the lightning shield, somewhat annoying wind tunnels (tho conceding theyre not as bad as the doors), and doubling of health. The balance of this is questionable, and the flow still remains clunky and complicated. Also maybe noticing this because I played with a pretty large group of people this time, those text strings everywhere get pretty annoying. I don’t want to be told where I am all the time, the nth time around. Can’t really make my mind up on the adjusted rating of this, I don’t like a bunch of stuff but effort has been taken to fix a lot of the original criticisms I had about this. So until I change my mind I will keep it the same.
*I had to remove some chunks of my review because J2O has this annoying character limit of 10k :(. Its not my fault if I have a lot of things to say damn it.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.