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08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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Subject: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 08 Sep 2014, 20:11

Map Title: The Catacombs of Shia'dorle
Author: Jaunie Perry and Dana "zynthetic" Nassick
From: Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited v2.01
Filename: USP-06-Jaunie.unr
Music Files: WarGate.umx




Video Playthrough:

Youtube Video

Synopsis: This land of catacombs guarded by Krall and Gasbags is the only possible way you can take, in order to find something which lets you escape from the planet.

Discuss!

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Subject: Re: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 08 Sep 2014, 23:22

LH and zyn did a good job of tweaking Jaunie's maps for inclusion in Deja Vu, but in hindsight it may not have been the best idea to include them. Unlike the rest of the pack, the maps weren't created especially for Deja Vu, but were dropped in from an abortive project by Jaunie/Maverick/Xander (he/she of the ever-changing name!). As such they made no contribution to Deja Vu's story, such as it was, but existed in their own little bubble. (Of course, Deja Vu's story was pretty much compromised by the map that was going to deal with the search for the mysterious alien artefact having to be cut due to time, leaving the pack to survive on subplots alone...)
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Subject: Re: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014, 04:57

I was ignorant of the particulars of this inclusion. I was that way about a lot of the maps and often felt as if I was working within my own bubble when making my Deja Vu level, not sure of what some stuff was until I played the whole thing.

Maverick still posts on BU on occasion, wonder if he'll take a peek in to leave a comment. I remember liking the tunnels with the ForsakenT textures, and funnily enough it was this map that made me consider using them in Seven Bullets...or at least, made me consider suggesting them to Darthweasel, who then applied them in a way that made me want to use them myself.
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Subject: Re: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014, 22:29

Pretty short and linear map that looks good (and the theme feels a little different), but it doesn't really have much to stick out and the Giant Gasbag boss is pretty laughable with how it doesn't even seem to be able to leave it's window. It enjoyable enough though and doesn't have anything heavily wrong with it in the context of treating it as a transition level (if anything it could have done without the boss).

Hellscrag wrote:(Of course, Deja Vu's story was pretty much compromised by the map that was going to deal with the search for the mysterious alien artefact having to be cut due to time, leaving the pack to survive on subplots alone...)


Actually I'm pretty sure the artefact in DV was never intended to added and it was just a backstory thing; I remember this because it was really dumb :P . You might be thinking of BFNP where there was a plan to add the artefact...
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Subject: Re: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014, 23:28

Spamming the ASMD primary doesn't even let the Giant Gasbag doing something.
Also I never heard this story about the artifact being removed due to being too off the rails story-wise. I thought it was literally forgotten.

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Subject: Re: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 11 Sep 2014, 00:15

Mman wrote:Actually I'm pretty sure the artefact in DV was never intended to added and it was just a backstory thing; I remember this because it was really dumb :P . You might be thinking of BFNP where there was a plan to add the artefact...


Originally Willis was going to work on a second map called Nuk'Ratha Village in which the artefact would be featured, and would be at the centre of a pitched battle between the Mercs and the Skaarj, but in the end he didn't have time to make it. Parts of the concept reappeared in the BfNP outline as Farvan Village, the coastal village between my castle map and New Cryox, so you're half right!

I don't think the same artefact was ever going to feature in BfNP, although we did later come up with the idea for a psychic disruptor weapon that was to feature as an artefact of sorts at the top of one of the temples, at a pivotal branching point in the story.

(The really dumb thing in Deja Vu was "Juan Brie"! The whole cheese thing was an in-joke in the student house I was living in at the time, as was all the dead humans in E'Nara Town being named after pork meat brands or products.)
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Subject: Re: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 11 Sep 2014, 01:04

I know Willis had a second map planned that went further with the multi-way fights, I don't recall it directly including the artefact though, but I guess it could have since this was presumably something dropped in the month (I think, or was it a few?) the first version of DV was made. Willis' map remains the only one that vaguely references the artefact.
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Subject: Re: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 23:06

While some are better than others, I think all the maps in Deja Vu 2.0 are great and The Catacombs of Shia'dorle is no exception. There's good atmosphere, honestly, and that's reinforced by the fact that it's not every day that you get to see rain in Unreal (or UT for that matter).
Thanks to Hellscrag for putting things back into context.
Regarding the storyline of the pack: as already mentioned, it survived on subplots alone. Not a big problem, but as Mman pointed out, Nuk'Ratha Pass remains the sole map to vaguely mention the artifact. I remember feeling exactly like UBerserker: it seemed like the artifact had simply been forgotten. The lack of any meaningful main plot (after all, the "main plot" only gets mentioned in-game once!) also means that from a player's perspective who doesn't know anything about the history of the pack's development, there's no way this map or any other could reasonably be considered out of place. The last map is an exception: it really feels different, but as it turns out no one here will consider that to be a bad thing.
As for the gameplay of this map, it was pretty standard, and the difficulty was medium. The first time round, the Giant Gasbag almost killed me, so I don't think it was bad, just not particularly good. That's an interesting point, too: we usually expect a boss fight to present us with some challenge. I typically consider that a standard boss fight that doesn't kill me at least once during the first playthrough should at least almost kill me (like, bring me down to around 20 or 10 HP) in order to be acceptable in terms of what it tried to achieve (a decent fight). But if the presentation is really special, then my impressions are more flexible. There is one actually easy boss fight which I have encountered in a large UT mappack that nonetheless is absolutely fantastic... but that will be for another time :wink:
Also, lol at the main protagonist being named after an in-joke; it always did sound, well, random!
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Subject: Re: 08/09/2014 - "The Catacombs of Shia'dorle" by Jaunie and zynthetic

Post Posted: 15 Sep 2014, 17:19

Sat42 wrote:Regarding the storyline of the pack: as already mentioned, it survived on subplots alone. Not a big problem, but as Mman pointed out, Nuk'Ratha Pass remains the sole map to vaguely mention the artifact. I remember feeling exactly like UBerserker: it seemed like the artifact had simply been forgotten. The lack of any meaningful main plot (after all, the "main plot" only gets mentioned in-game once!) also means that from a player's perspective who doesn't know anything about the history of the pack's development, there's no way this map or any other could reasonably be considered out of place.


I think what I really meant was that Jaunie's maps didn't really have any subplots either. ZBreaker and ThickAsABrick commented as such in their original review. These maps, plus Drevlin's before them, look nice, but add nothing to the subplots, which, after the dynamic story and action of Cellars of E'Nara, comes as a big disappointment.
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