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|Author:||Fix, MargSabl, Mazu, Myki, NewHouse, omni, Pinchy, riktoi, VuRkka, wiedo, zigi|
|Additional Links:||Func_Msgboard •|
|BSP: • PAK: • PROGS.DAT: • Custom Models/Sounds:|
Files in the ZIP archive
SMEJ JamCommunity map pack inspired by SMEJ and SMEJ2: nine small to large levels plus a start/hub map in varying themes, mostly set in snowy Finnish landscapes. It is based on the SMEJ2 mod (included) and features new enemies, models, custom textures, skyboxes and music tracks. The map sources are included.
Note: These maps require a source port with increased limits; Mazu's map additionally requires BSP2 support.
Tags: small, medium, large, base, metal, runic, snow, mountain, textures, monsters, models, skybox, music, limits, bsp2, source
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4.2/5 with 32 ratings
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Mazu's maps have been favourites of mine for a while now, so I naturally began exploring this pack with his entry. I should have known better: it was such a demanding experience that right now I don't feel like exploring the other maps in this pack for fear of finding them unfairly dull in comparison. I guess I'll wait a bit before trying them out, to let memories fade away and experience them in a fairer way.
The same pattern as his map in SMEJ2 emerges for me: "cool, tons of enemies" -> "hey, and tons of secrets!" -> "hm, that's hard" -> "hm... that's VERY hard" -> "forget it, no way I'm finishing this insane map" -> "FINALLY made it, can't wait to start again and score all secrets". Oh, and remember this pack is based on copper, so Nightmare will be very difficult (I downgraded to Hard when I realised it and restarted the map).
This is not my favourite Mazu map so far, but I'd rate it somewhere between 4 and 5 anyway. There are many insane moments, but if you look carefully for secrets or workarounds, you'll find that it's manageable. If you've been a fan thus far, you know what to expect, and you'll probably enjoy it too.
More on the rest of the pack as soon as possible.
Veriloyly map 890 kills, jes and the map on skill 3 is hard as F--k,save every 5 seconds lol all maps 5 star, got to be played.
I have kind of precisely the opposite final reaction to Mazu's maps as Gioyo3aa does - I find them so exhaustingly hard and overlong that they're usually one of the few maps in a pack I give up on ever finishing.
In this pack that's also a trait shared by riktoi's offering - both Mazu and Riktoi seem to be doing some interesting things with their maps, but, I'm sorry both of you, even at skill 0, I'm just not good enough to be able keep caring long enough to finish them!
Meanwhile, I did finish all of the other maps in the jam. In fact, my note for MargSabl's is mostly that I felt that it was perhaps even a little easy on skill 0. Omni's map has some nice subtle environmental hints about how the map works - geometry that's repeated near certain items, and lights that light up. Pinchy's map has some secrets I enjoyed and a nice "split structure" and final door. Fix's map I think l liked the slightly "experimental" ending on; and wiedo's map has some interesting "escalating progression", although it got a bit much for me at the end. Myki's is great almost up to the end, where it relies on a repeated trick a few too many times for my taste.
(And Newhouse's is a slight remix of a map from the first Smej - unfortunately, I think I prefer the original....
... which brings me to my other critique of the maps in general. One of the jam requirements was to showcase at least some of a set of new monsters that were part of Smej 2. Some of these monsters are fine. One of them is not fine. Guess which one too many of the maps use too many times?)
Back again with another report of Exploding Boxes that crash to console. No idea what is going on or how to fix, but just as in SMEJ2, they're solid_bsp with a non BSP model. By my guess, they're entities stuck in the ground/walls. Touching them, firing any weapon in line of sight of them, aggravating any entities near them all crash to console. Sometimes even just waiting at the level start crashes to console.
Newhouse's map btw.
Maps are beautiful, painstakingly and very creatively put together and very impressive for that fact but as 50% of everything on this site (and with increasing frequency), it just about playable but not fun. Hard should be hard, not nightmare, not hell but hard. That's why it's called hard. I have no problem with there being a hell mode to cater to people who like being bored but I don't like being sold that as hard. Quake is not some dumb macho challenge, but something to enjoy. It totally strips the game of any sense of fun. Yes, you can take down five Shamblers locked in a small room with a shotgun but its really REALLY boring. The violence should have a poetic flow to it and hiding behind a corner or pillar to pop off about 40 snipe shots in a row or replaying an unpredictable ambush when 20 fiends spawn behind you randomly is stripping the game of fun. If the mappers put half the effort into making it look beautiful and double the effort in making the gameplay work properly and at a difficutly level in keeping with other maps rather than trying to redefine them, then, for no extra effort the quality of content on this site would increase by an order of magnitude.
@Amblershambler If you're having too much trouble, try a lower difficulty setting. It's not the map pack's fault you're bad at the game. Having a hard time on hard and then complaining about it is hilariously daft. What's the point of difficulty settings if people don't use them?
I've seen you comment on other people decrying uneven difficulty in maps and map packs, and every time there's the insults, the "it's not their fault if you're bad".
As AmblerShambler notes, the point of difficulty settings is that they represent a particular, consistent, level of challenge. If one map's "easy" is another map's "hard", then you undermine the point of difficulty systems themselves, by making it impossible to tell what challenge each indicator represents.
(Also: as someone who plays on skill 0 a lot of the time, some of the maps in this pack are too difficult at the lowest difficulty. So, "what's the point of difficulty settings if you can't use them, because they don't go low enough anymore?")
I ran out of time balancing my map unfortunately. Given the quite limited timeframe of 2 weeks it was tough to balance it for all difficulties, causing easy and hard to be harder than they were supposed to be. It's just something you have to deal with jam projects. Maps will never be perfect unless too much time is given to finetune them, which obviously goes against the idea of jams.
Thank you for playing!
Aw, pretty awesome pack. Mazu's and Riktoi's are obviously standouts, but all maps have a very high standard. Riktoi's ridiculously and sometimes unnecessary hard(and he explained why, that's part of the deal, I get it), Mazu's I hated the first three minutes, then enjoied immensely the remaining 148 or so minutes of my first playthrough. I usually play everything on normal, but this time, coming off a skill 3 binge on Alkaline and AlkJam I decided to keep at it and it's definitely something not for everyone's taste. AmblerShambler has a point, but then time limitations and stuff... Gittyboy's gotta have a tiny tiny weenie.
I definitely made my map harder than I originally would because it was in the style of Smej. However I think easy is definitely easy especially if you found all secrets. There’s a red armor and a mega health pretty early on and with the quad in the end you’ll definitely will have a smooth experience clearing my map. It’s probably still harder than vanilla skill levels though.
I can see the difficulty of the pack could be offputting and there’s probably a lot of save scumming needed, but difficulty balancing is really time consuming and one of the last things you’ll do, so I can see it’ll be off in maps created in just two weeks. Also some mappers are more skilled than others in actually playing. Mappers with insane Quake skills probably like to make difficult levels too.
Well, smej1 and smej2 are very though themselves (as I've experienced them on Hard), and this is smejjam so, as per its name, it is to be expected to be on par.
But why not add a difficulty rating? That way everybody can have an idea of what they're getting themselves into.
Oh, and thank you to the creators. These last few months have seen a cornucopia of releases.
If you're having too much trouble, try a lower difficulty setting.
I'm not having too much trouble. I can complete the game in nightmare. I don't want to as it's no fun, I really don't see how taking out five shamblers in a row with a shotgun is fun. It's like being told the same joke twice. You misunderstand my point, which was meant to be constructive btw. which is that the game needs to be designed to be fun. Here the mappers have put a HUGE effort in making the game look beautiful, kudo and much less in making the game work. If smej is meant to be hard, then I would suggest scrapping easy (as in zerstorer - the way he did it is brilliant) and scrapping normal for that matter and simply calling 0 hard, 1 nightmare, 2 hell and 3, well something else. It's not just semantics. I usually don't play nightmare as I don't find the dynamics enjoyable. Quake is at its most fun when the gameplay flows and smej (and copper for that matter) just mess that up too much.
It's not the map pack's fault you're bad at the game.
It's not my fault that you're petty and insecure enough to want to insult a complete stranger for nothing really.
Comments on this site are open to guest accounts under the assumption that everyone is able to behave like they cherish the idea of community. Whatever aggressive negative and flamebaiting culture might be acceptable elsewhere, this is not the place for it.
Assume a curious mindset about other people's experiences. Don't be snarky, don't sneer, be nice.
Renaming skills or trying to make them play exactly like vanilla sounds like a bit of a mess. With a completely new game, you have no idea what kind of experience you're gonna have with any skill setting, and it's not that different for mods.
Not worth it, IMO.
I think it depends a lot on how much divergence you have, to be honest. For this map pack, the majority of the maps actually do lie close-ish to where you might hope skills 0 to 3 would lie (if at the high ends). It's just one or two which are much higher.
(and I appreciate that mapping jams give you less time to balance difficulty - which is why in my comments, I mostly mentioned the one mapper who always puts their difficulty 1 or more skill levels higher than "the usual", jam or not.)
I have a vested interest in the next bit, given I play at skill 0 a lot, but I'd argue that the one thing Gitty up there was right about is that if you can step down to a lower skill, there's less problem with higher skill levels being "much harder". The issue is with skill 0 being inflated so there's no way to ever get a less hard experience. (Especially as, as AmblerShambler notes, "very hard" combat challenges in Quake can easily just become... tedious and drawn out. Or a boring horde of millions of foes.)
I played only Mazu's map yet and it's excellent in my opinion. Played it on skill 3 and I didn't find it to be too difficult or unfair. I died only a couple of times until the second round, with all these special new Electro-Spawns. Many of them could be killed from a safe distance, but every single overlooked spawn was an insta-death for me. It's an interesting idea, but it got tedious after some time however. From a design and gameplay perspective, it's a great map. The snowy theme is lovely. I liked the freedom of movement and the possibility of jumping on the top of every surface you see in the game (this should be a standard). All the slope jumps and stuff... top fun for me. I also managed to find all of the secrets including the developer's one. My only criticism goes to the scale of the cabins. They are too small, too detailed, many obstacles there, difficult to avoid enemies inside of them... The size of the cabins just doesn't have the right proportions for the Quake's gameplay. Also the everlasting sound of the doors opening and closing made me turn off the sounds completely. I don't know, if it's possible to lower the volume of certain sounds, but it would be a good idea to do so. Overall 4,9 / 5
Holy crap, Saunalaakson Veriloyly (
smejjam_hcm) is epic! A huge, sprawling open area to work your way around, followed by a sequence of underground challenges, then a big mopping up operation to foil an alien invasion. Lovely visuals, innovative (and fun) gameplay, easy-to-follow progression, climactic moments -- I'm going right ahead and awarding the whole pack five hearts right now. Well over two and a half hours of fun here.
Is HCM the same person as Mazu?
I am stuck on Omni's map. I got the first gold key, used it to open the gold door in the pit near the start, got a silver and used it to unlock one of the four locks on the big door. Now what? All accessible enemies are dead, and I've pressed every button I can find, but I can't find a way into a new area. What am I missing?
After HCM/Mazu's map, Turvatukikohta (
smejjam_margsabl) felt like a freshing palate-cleanser, with a feel reminiscent of the early stages of Operation: Urth Majik. It took me a lot of tries, though, before I figured out a good way to beat the extremely frantic final combat. Lots of fun.
There's lots to love about Paluu Pakkasherran Palatsiin's twisting azure castle/labyrinth, but the map has a fatal flaw.
If you don't, in the very first indoor room, drop down to where the SNG is, you miss your chance to pick it up, and then there is no other opportunity to pick up a nail-based weapon until the very end (at least, not unless there's one in a secret.) I made this mistake: climbing up to the ring of shadows, then cleverly (so I thought) dropping through the window that opens when you pick it up.
So I had to fight through the whole map using only shotgun shells and a few grenades, which made it all much more of a slog than it should have been. Adding a way back from first roomful of enforcers and explosive crates to where the nailgun is would have made all the difference.
Just a Smejin (
smejjam_pinchy) is not my favourite map in this pack: it's blocky and overlit, and it's difficult in a specific way that I find unrewarding: it keeps spawning monsters when you reach a certain place or pick up a certain item. It makes exploration unpredicatble and unsatisfying, so that was more relived than anything else when I reached the end. Sorry, Pinchy!
Linnan Alla (
smejjam_myki) is short and mostly fun, but oh man have I ever had enough of monsters teleporting in behind me -- and, just as bad, teleporting in when I kill something else. Please, map authors: it's not big and it's not clever. It's just cheating. And to achieve what?
15 min; In and out (
smejjam_fix) is fun, but it's deeply unsatisfying how the level just ends before you have a chance to kill those last three vores that spawn in the final arena.
Finally, Kuolemankakku (
smejjam_wiedo) provides a nice palate-cleanser to finish the pack, Quick and relatively easy, though I have really had it now with the gameplay trick of spawning in monsters D, E and F as soon as you've killed A, B and C. It's not organic. It doesn't feel real.
Oh, apart from Tulen ja Jään (
smejjam_riktoi), which just seemed so unfair so consistently, and in such a not-fun way that I just gave up a third of the way through. Sorry, Riktoi. (I see your comment above). Maaaybe I'll go back and try it on skill 0.
General Good atmospheres. Too difficult.
Small Cards They are of little interest.
Saunalaakson Verilöyly - 4.5/5 Awesome. Would be ultimate with Vania item upgrades or... a sniper ^^ The main area could be a little less square.
Paluu Pakkasherran Palatsiin - 4/5 The map is a remix from smej1, but I prefer the old version with mines and without lava. It would be great if the use of the chess knight (at the end of the map in smejjam) was developed; the horse can very easily be avoided, so the final room could be more epic.
Buttons & Bulkheads - 4/5 Great. Would be ultimate with ladders, walkways, and Alkaline robots. The final fight could be more epic. The player who forgets a button risks being bored. Indicator lights could correct this.
Just A Smejin Would be great if extended and revamped (eg: add details and gameplay in the tower), with less difficult.
Tulen ja Jään Need a touristic remix.
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