[8a] "Beneath the Terraniux"
* Waffnuffly: See my shitty, rushed stuff at the bottom.
Like a lot of our maps, this one was intended to be different then what resulted. Waffnuffly had signed on to do the map in a sort of techy, gray military facility. That vision failed and for the better since we eventually op'd to have the theme more dirty and makeshift, fitting for a scrappy base made in under 12 years by a group of ship wrecked convicts.
When Waffnuffly became overwhelmed with RL during the end of the development me and darthweasel stepped in to add the finishing touches to his unfinished segment. The result was a nicely constructed network of caves by Waffnuffly, an interior tech depot by Darthweasel, and the entire end rooftop was done by myself along with the low-poly prison at the map's opening. But even that was a problem when a rendering bug forced us to split the map.
Beneath the Terraniux appeared in the beta as a short system of caves running below Noork's Elbow and the derelict mercenary bio station called the Terraniux, from Unreal. You never go back to the Terraniux in 7 Bullets like the other redux'd maps, I figured yet another redux would be repetitive Instead the map shows the underbelly of the Terraniux. The explanation of the smoke stacks in the 7th map was supposed to be followed by massive underground toxin pits but those areas had to be cut because of the bug and since they didn't offer enough gameplay flow. I didn't want the map to be split but shit, we didn't have a choice. I feel bad about it in some ways since I really wanted the place to be a whole. But this way we get more maps to have the Terran segment of the game lengthened. My own work on this map is minor, aside from the intro prison all I really did was some cave texturing and the messages. Waffnuffly's caves are hardcore but he had the floors the same texture as the cave walls so I applied the dirt and grass protrusions in some bits, as did Darth. The beta version left me a bit sad since Waffnuffly didn't get more of his work added to the final product, he had been with the project as a founding member and I wished he could have gotten more stuff added. But his segments are really great and I think he would be pleased if people couldn't tell his work apart from mine or Darth's.
But after the beta was released and distributed among our testers, Waffnuffly suddenly got all excited and extremely enthusiastic about the project. It was obvious he hadn't really expected the project to be quite what it had turned into and he seemed determined to provide a longer, extended version of the very brief 8a map that had been one of the shortest and easiest maps of the beta. In the period of a week he added several new sections to the original beta version and a few subplots. The combat was also fleshed out better than the beta, which only had a handful of Terran Pirates roaming the map, the lowest count in any of the levels at the time. The final version of 8a is the biggest change from the beta to the released game. I don't think people will truly appreciate the map until they see the beta and just how much was added in just 7 busy school days.
* Darth Weasel:
Did I mention UEd is a bastard? I think so. I like the atmosphere in the caves, of the greenish lighting. Quite spooky. Only the final corridor and elevator shaft are by me, and only then since it leads into my 8b map.
Naturally I have more to talk about for this since I made it, and Proph told me to mention how absolutely AWFUL the map was in beta stage (not his exact words, but I don't think he'd disagree!). To give you an idea how awful it was, the map ended with a makeshift Terraniux cave at the end of the long bent cave (with the ladder and Jozak's log book). Yep. It ended there with the up elevator. There was no subplot. Very few pirates. No storeroom. No Jonas. No SO encounter. A giant HOM in the t-cave. It was really bad. Fortunately, I managed to kick myself in the face several times and, within three weeks, added everything you see in it today, including the other pirates. The only things I didn't do were the prison, the exit elevator and exit room, some of the enemy/item placement, Redrickson's last log, all of Jonas' logs, all the prison logs except Grierson's, and some of the texturing. Proph did all of that stuff aside from the level exit stuff, which Darth made. I also fixed up the prison a bit because Proph screwed some simple things that caused a huge BSP hole.
That's all taken care of now. Well, one hole remains, but its hardly noticeable. It still pisses me off. It's kinda like a scar UED left in there solely to taunt me I can feel Redrickson's pain....
And, being a batshit insane fool, I had to incorporate more than too many eastereggs. One of them is blatantly obvious, and credit for it goes to System Shock 2. Other eastereggs are more difficult to find, but if you find one of Chef's cousins, remember: the project is called SEVEN Bullets. That's all I'll say.
One thing I didn't get to do, though, was this huge intricate underground network system thing, centered around a huge ring structure (hollow) that would be sort of like a main supply transport hub with all the main arteries of the base connected to it. It would be filled with supplies and vehicles, and could have even been a site for a SO encounter. But the SO encounter I thought up, the current one (made by Proph), worked out much better, even if I still think that Forlorn.umx would have been the superior music choice for it. I even still have the geometry for the old stuff, but it never made it into the pack due to the new layout (which is much better and ended up being easier to modify/complete). Overall, that map came a long way after the beta. It just took some serious inspiration for me to feel really compelled to bring my map up to the right standard. Proph's and Darth's work did that for me. Thank God I could be arsed to play that beta, even if I was busy with school.
Oh and one more thing before I finish this up: The room in my credits section is what my map looked like before the beta. Well, it actually looked WORSE than that. Yeah. No decorations at all. Just... blandness. And there wasn't much more to the map than that room either. So it really has come a long way.