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24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

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Subject: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 13:55

Map Title: Mercenary Ship
Author: Kimmo "Cardiologist" Kontto
From: Project Zephon
Filename: zp06-mercship.unr
Music Files: Iceworld.umx




Video Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkUTc7FC-TQ

Synopsis: You enter a grounded Mercenary Ship

Discuss!
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 14:17

My old comments, although this was pre-patch:

Mman wrote:The architecture makes use of some interesting shapes and the small rooms means the over-scaled feeling of some of Cardi's other levels in Zephon isn't present, although the "doors and rooms" structure is slightly repetitive. The music also fits well. While it suffers from a lack of health (I think the stuff I found is the playthrough is literally all there is) the gameplay of this map also remains quite manageable by Zephon standards, although it's mostly careful room-clearing without much in the way of twists on that style of combat.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 17:27

My least favourite map from Zephon (probably because it reminds me too much of Terraniux...) and does not land itself comfortably anywhere near the standards of the rest of the maps. I do like the end part, however, and the designs of the little shuttles are quite cool too, just generally let down by the excessive feeling of emptyness.

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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 17:55

SteadZ wrote:(probably because it reminds me too much of Terraniux...


You say it like if it's a bad thing :p

Yeah no, whatever goes this surely isn't Terraniux-quality. Aeons far from it.
Definitely the worst map of the package; movers are glitchy, the layout is a random sequence of rooms and the rooms themselves sometimes feel so empty or ugly. It gets quickly redundant. At least it's a break from the snowy stuff for a while.
You really need to use cover here as the Mercenaries' machineguns can be impossible to dodge. Non Z-Axis fights against them are really tough.

Honestly using the Jupiter textures alongside the Terraniux ones is not a good idea. Pretty sure they were never made to stay together. Of course back then nobody knew that those textures had nothing to do with Mercenary technology so this can't be blamed but both subgroups still don't fit together.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 19:36

I always found it kinda ballsy of Cardi to employ what a lot of people consider the ugliest texture set in Unreal. It works, in my opinion. I like some of the styles in here, I really do. Things like the grooves on the floor, the slab-like mechanical doors, the way the computer screens are used, ect. If it was any other set I think most players would have a better appreciation of the design of the place. The cave bits at the end are brief but interesting looking.

What doesn't work so much for me are the movers. You can kinda see this in the video. I just...don't like how the triggering systems are set up, especially since a lot of them open right into combat situations and it seems the Mercs can't operate their own doors. There was another map in Zephon that did this as well, also by Cardi I think. Although to be fair my memory of the patched version is not quite as good as the previous version which I played more. Could just be old frustrations bubbling up to the surface.

Another gripe I have with the level is that the combat with the mercenaries is quite dull for some reason. Some of it is because of the doors. I just can't put my finger on it. I remember this one for the location and mover issues but not a single instance of combat.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 19:59

Since when DecayedS looked ugly? It's the best and the most easy-to-use texture pack, even more diverse than Ancient.utx. These people are crazy :lol:

It's sad that almost nobody used those Jupiter stuff. Just like there, G59's EMD, few old maps; Turboman used them godly in Triamid Ruins.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 20:20

I know I've been a fan of the set myself, but as a mapper at the height of UT and even when a lot of high profile SP packs were being made there was kind of a widespread distaste for the set amongst many mappers. I even remember some people on this site being critical of the set. I believe it was a major reason why the new Merc textures were made for ONP.

I think some of it comes from what I've heard some mappers describe as being one of the more "Quake Like" sets, meaning muted grays and browns and generally being contrary to the colorful benchmark that made Unreal popular. I've also heard from many well known mappers who swear that the set is difficult to light.

I've liked it because it has a lot of generically industrial styles that I've used in Xidia and some DM maps when I needed something that had a low signature and could be seen as "Human" in a player's traveling eye.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 20:36

Wow, that's really sad to hear. It sounds more like people had no idea how to use it. ONP's Mercenary textures were a dead white versions of the DecayedS ones with all the life sucked out of it. Which is ironic considering the lack of color was the main complaint.
There was no variation in those new textures and to fix that they had to mix those new textures with the old ones which made everything felt "ehhh". DecayedS kind of encouraged the use of heavy saturation, the main Mercenary stuff didn't look anything gritty or heavily industrialized. I feel like these people were 100% wrong.

The only Quake-like texture pack would be Mine.utx. Probably the only one which aged a lot more than the others and where brown is the dominant color; there are alternative industrial textures pack by now to replace the use of Mine.
Nothing so far is capable of replacing alien DecayedS' style so far.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 22:03

If used well, decayedS can look good (take DM-Retrospective, DM-Riot which come with 227) but I personally prefer the StroggTonn set from ONP - don't ask me why, because I can't answer that :P

Just gives me better... vibes?

Anyway, let's try to stay on the topic of this map rather than discussing the pros and cons of the DecayedS texture set ;)

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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 22:49

DecayedS seems to be a set with a lot of variety if used creatively, but is really hard to use well. I can't say most uses of it convince me too much, but there's also some interesting ones like Turboman's town part in Weedrow 1, and I like the use of the strong red textures in the end part of Liberation Episode 1. It was years ago but I also recall some large scale UT maps I played that used it in ways I liked. Checking them out I also like the uses in the DM maps SteadZ mentioned.

What's Jupiter? Is it a name for a certain part of the texture set?

Edit: Oh yeah and Triamid's use of them in the alien base parts was really cool too.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 22:56

Mman wrote:What's Jupiter? Is it a name for a certain part of the texture set?


Cut Unreal map. Was about a crashed hive ship of an alien insect race.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 23:01

UBerserker wrote:
Mman wrote:What's Jupiter? Is it a name for a certain part of the texture set?


Cut Unreal map. Was about a crashed hive ship of an alien insect race.


Is it the "red" part of the set? That's definitely barely used, and the maps that do use it stick out as a result (like Triamid and Liberation), I can understand why as the strong colours can be hard to work with, and I'm not sure it's a complete set, but that also lends them a unique style.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 23:05

Yeah it's all the "red" part of the set.
Same deal with Starship.utx which had a yellowish submarine-like set of textures for another cut map.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 26 Nov 2014, 21:12

UBerserker wrote:Wow, that's really sad to hear. It sounds more like people had no idea how to use it. ONP's Mercenary textures were a dead white versions of the DecayedS ones with all the life sucked out of it. Which is ironic considering the lack of color was the main complaint.


The decision behind that set was the lighting issue I expect, since you can technically mold Unreal lighting to contrast different ambiance on a white/pale background but a brown wall will generally always be brown. I've used the ONP merc textures myself and had fairly positive results with lighting. There is an argument to be made that Unreal's lighting system is, technically speaking, potentially too advanced for many of those browner/reddened textures in DecayedS and their effect can get lost. Same can be said for similar unused textures in Starship. This probably happened in ONP when they were using the lighting system to better effect than seen in the main game and had to use the new textures to make the most of it. From a designer's perspective it makes total sense.

Probably why the main game uses precious little of these textures if at all. They were from an older form of the game before Unreal had found its soul. My guess is that as the dev team drifted from their Quake-Clone roots they found less and less use for textures like this in their game.

UBerserker wrote:There was no variation in those new textures and to fix that they had to mix those new textures with the old ones which made everything felt "ehhh". DecayedS kind of encouraged the use of heavy saturation, the main Mercenary stuff didn't look anything gritty or heavily industrialized. I feel like these people were 100% wrong.

The only Quake-like texture pack would be Mine.utx. Probably the only one which aged a lot more than the others and where brown is the dominant color; there are alternative industrial textures pack by now to replace the use of Mine.
Nothing so far is capable of replacing alien DecayedS' style so far.


I actually think it's pretty accurate to call DecayedS a gritty set, but then again I have no problem with gritty :). Mine on the other hand has more applications to be certain, as many of the textures are more specific to the kinds of levels people can make easier. I think that's another reason why people felt that DecayedS was more "Quake like."

EDIT: On the topic of Cardi's map, it stands an admirable use of these generally forsaken textures. But perhaps the map would be more memorable for it if not for some technical issues and the slog of Mercenary combat.
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Subject: Re: 24/11/2014 - "Mercenary Ship" by Cardiologist

Post Posted: 26 Nov 2014, 22:33

I don't know, I'd refer richrig.utx as a gritty texture pack.
DecayedS.utx is just alien warehouse stuff. Which brings me to another complaint I had with ONP's white DecayedS fitting human-made structures than Mercenary ones.
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