Birds fly. Sun shines. And brother? Brutes shoot people.

25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

Moderators: Semfry, Delacroix, UBerserker, Jigoku, Doublez-Down

User avatar Jigoku
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 953
Joined: 03 Dec 2010, 00:51
Location: Anor Londo
Contact:

Subject: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014, 05:47

Map Title: Map 14: Thra Fortress
Author: MClane & Pest
From: Operation Na Pali
Filename: NP14MClaneDrPest.unr
Music Files: Isotoxin.umx Np-cg.umx Npintr8b.umx NPIntruder.umx null.umx Tox-ins.umx




Video Playthrough:

Youtube Video

Synopsis: The player enter a fort with Nali under the influence of the Skaarj.

Discuss!
Image

User avatar SteadZ
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 806
Joined: 04 Mar 2012, 10:52
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014, 18:01

Great architecture, lighting and texturing - and of course the beautiful "Castle Gate". Just a shame that track wasn't used anywhere else in the mod :(
Additionally, the gameplay is pretty cool as the confrontation with the escapee test subjects with pretty much no (alive) Skaarj present in their own Facility, and the use of reversed dialogue with modified pitch for the Nali sounds coming from the speakers on the walls is "l33t" too :D

Overall a wonderful combination of both MClane and Dr.Pest's skills, though we shouldn't forget that it was originally a Dr.Pest only map, and the fortress part was built by him until MClane helped him on it:
Image

.......
SZ
.......
Image
Image

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 817
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014, 19:28

w00t!! This map!!! \o/

Thra Fortress is one of my two favourite maps from Operation Na Pali! It's ace, I think SteadZ just about covered it already but I'll reiterate: great architecture that encompasses epicness with a melding of ancient and sci-fi themes, fantastic lighting that makes the level vary between beautiful (if foreboding) scenery and dark futuristic setting, and awesome use of sound that makes for some downright scary atmosphere!
And of course, there is the beautiful "Castle Gate" track 8) I know that it would have been cool to hear it elsewhere in the mod, but the fact that it appears only here helped to make this level even more memorable.
The gameplay is serious stuff, too: it starts quite conventionally by ONP standards (complete with scripted events like that shuttle landing and offloading troopers), then we have a few moments of foreboding quiet, then BAM you encounter Nali cyborgs that have evidently escaped their masters' control and are really tough to fight - on top of that there's a cool (and dangerous) trap sequence with insta death lasers... and then there's the truly scary sequence in the laboratory section (truly professional use of sound here) that ends with a hard boss fight. This map is the first actually hard level from the pack (and I'm saying this from a more or less average - but experienced - player's perspective, who only plays on medium difficulty), as opposed to the quite hard, medium and easy stuff from earlier on.
I love the volcano, too!

Finally, thanks for the insights into the history of the map's development, SteadZ, it's really appreciated :) could you specify a bit more as to exactly who did what on this level? (like, who did the fortress - both Dr.Pest and MClane? - and who did the lab area? did one do the techy stuff and the other the ancient theme and natural terrain?)

Wonderful atmosphere here, in anycase!
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar SteadZ
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 806
Joined: 04 Mar 2012, 10:52
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014, 20:35

Sat42 wrote:Finally, thanks for the insights into the history of the map's development, SteadZ, it's really appreciated :) could you specify a bit more as to exactly who did what on this level? (like, who did the fortress - both Dr.Pest and MClane? - and who did the lab area? did one do the techy stuff and the other the ancient theme and natural terrain?)


You're welcome :D

Here's the official quote from the ONP Website:

"Mostly made by Mclane. Geometry in last part by DrPest, fixing it up by Mclane. Additions to Mclanes part by DrPest."

In other words - MClane made the Fortress, Pest made the Facility and added the Skaarj Shuttle etc. One of the few maps to not have DavidM intervention actually...

That pic I showed before basically shows what Pest originally made as the fortress and MClane (being a professional Nali Ruins builder) was "hired" to remake it.

.......
SZ
.......
Last edited by SteadZ on 26 Aug 2014, 23:45, edited 1 time in total.
Image
Image

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 817
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014, 22:27

Ahhh I thought so :) after seeing Sharuk's Crossing and Old Nali Ruins, it appeared likely that Dr.Pest would have mostly taken care of the techy stuff while MClane would have mostly worked on the Nali fortress proper...

SteadZ wrote:One of the few maps to have DavidM intervention actually...


To NOT have DavidM intervention, you mean?

Thanks again :)

A great example of a successful collaboration!
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar SteadZ
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 806
Joined: 04 Mar 2012, 10:52
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014, 23:45

Woops! Yeah, I meant not :P

Corrected my statement now ;)
.......
SZ
.......
Image
Image

User avatar Hellscrag
Founder Founder
Posts: 3977
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 19:14
Location: In a random access memory of dreams

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 27 Aug 2014, 23:51

I am currently replaying ONP on Unreal difficulty and definitely agree that this is one of the strongest and most memorable maps. The atmosphere is excellent, enhanced by the use of original music at key moments including the arrival at the castle and the laser traps. However, like most of ONP, I found that it addresses higher difficulty settings precisely the opposite way to how I prefer to do it. For me, harder difficulty settings should mean more combat backed up by the appropriate level of equipment. ONP seems to favour the "starve the player of health" approach to higher difficulty settings while keeping the combat essentially the same - an approach which I find tedious and frustrating, as you end up surviving by repeated saving instead of combat skill.
Image
Life is what you make of it.

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 817
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 28 Aug 2014, 01:39

@ Hellscrag: I also remember you gave this map five stars in your ONP Map by Map Critique... and with good reason!

The remark about higher difficulty settings makes an interesting point: I wouldn't have known for ONP or any other custom content, as I only play on Medium (which gives a nice baseline against which I can compare maps), but I'll remember what you said when I start filtering stuff in my upcoming map!
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar Mister_Prophet
Red Nemesis Leader Red Nemesis Leader
Posts: 2897
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 23:30
Location: Long Island, New York

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 28 Aug 2014, 02:34

Most mappers learn from games and a lot of games make the call to do the arbitrary difficulty things, where damage dealt is lower, received is higher, and ammo and provisions are filtered in fewer numbers. In Unreal, this happens a lot. Play a map on the maximum difficulty and you might notice fewer ammo/health pickups and more enemies but little else. Another problem is that a lot of mappers don't take the time to actually play their levels on these difficulties, I know I've had my fair share of conversations with those that add some properties to some pawns and pickup spots and count on tester feedback. It's an interesting point and deserves further criticism.
Image

User avatar Hellscrag
Founder Founder
Posts: 3977
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 19:14
Location: In a random access memory of dreams

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 29 Aug 2014, 00:17

My criticism of ONP may be ill-informed here, as I haven't verified it. It may be that they just didn't do any filtering at all and I'm just taking more damage as a result of the creatures' greater accuracy and the game's default damage scaling... I just remember there being more health around when I played it before, probably on Medium (due to the Oldskool bug where the difficulty setting can be lost during cinematic intros) or Hard.
Image

Life is what you make of it.

User avatar Teridax
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 872
Joined: 11 Apr 2009, 04:10

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 29 Aug 2014, 01:41

This is one of my favorite maps from ONP, probably because it was one of the first ones I ever played in multiplayer form that pack. The atmosphere was great, and the music fit it well.
Image

User avatar Semfry
Trustee Member Trustee Member
Posts: 2046
Joined: 12 Nov 2007, 02:43
Location: UK
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 29 Aug 2014, 12:52

One of the stronger maps in the set. Atmospheric design and some nice encounters like the dropship at the start. The progression is also well executed with the transition into the Skaarj base settings, and there's some nice ideas like the laser dodging. It's shame the "Evil Nali" story doesn't go anywhere after this level though, especially as one apparently gets away.
Formerly Mman

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 817
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42
Contact:

Subject: Re: 25/08/2014 - Map 14: "Thra Fortress" by MClane & Pest

Post Posted: 29 Aug 2014, 21:47

@ Mman: funnily enough, I never realised that indeed one experimental Nali apparently escaped - in the thick of the action, I sort of automatically assumed that the cyborg Nali we see moving out of sight was the same as the one who ambushes us. Which is nonsense, given the setup :P so I guess this plot could have been continued... but in any case, ONP Guy still eliminates the bigger threat! (Stage 3 experimental Nali, as opposed to all the rest)

EDIT: unless we never got to fight the stage 3 experimental Nali! A translator message points to the fact that the single stage 3 Nali was on a rampage, freeing the other (stage 2) Nali in the process... so by the time we get there, the stage 3 Nali is already out of the tank... meaning the one we see break out of a tank isn't even the boss! :o so the plot can definitely be considered unresolved... but given the nature of ONP, it doesn't really matter. For instance, I didn't realise this, even after replaying the level a second time, and yet I'm usually pretty attentive to storylines...
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest