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05/09/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

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User avatar Semfry
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Subject: 05/09/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 05 Sep 2016, 16:56

Map Title: Ortican
Author: Sjoerd "Hourences" De Jong
From: Ortican
Filename: ortican.unr
Music Files: Queensong.umx, Unreal4.umx




Video Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qSSoXPDYBY

Synopsis: In Jones' first adventure, he is sent on a mission to help retake a human base invaded by Skaarj.

Discuss!
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: 05/08/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 05 Sep 2016, 20:26

Oh man. This was quite the level back in the day, and with probably some of the best use of Starship.utx seen before or since. It's held up pretty well considering, though the lighting makes some scenes look more washed out than others. But it's quite a looker otherwise. I don't remember much of the gameplay, though.
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Subject: Re: 05/08/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 05 Sep 2016, 21:21

Buff Skeleton wrote:I don't remember much of the gameplay, though.

Good luck finding health packs. Probably the only thing that makes this map less replayable than it should because holy shit it has aged well.

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Subject: Re: 05/08/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 06 Sep 2016, 19:18


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Subject: Re: 05/08/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 06 Sep 2016, 21:45

Ortican??? ah now I remember.
This is probably the only map ever I wrote a walkthrough for.
The walkthrough is actually the next post following this link.

In short: Ortican is quite good conceptually, and certainly visually, but the lack of ammo and one very unfair battle kills a lot of the fun. It feels like an unfiinished project.

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Subject: Re: 05/08/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 08 Sep 2016, 22:59

Great atmosphere and use of scale. I remember the Queen battle being kinda awkward but don't remember why.
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wwof
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Subject: Re: 05/08/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 09 Sep 2016, 22:53

Is there a download link for this map?

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Subject: Re: 05/08/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 09 Sep 2016, 23:15

Looks like both mirrors on the review are dead. Here's the zip I have: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1Ci9 ... nBHT1ZCSU0
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Subject: Re: 05/08/2016 - "Ortican" by Hourences

Post Posted: 10 Sep 2016, 20:28

A great looking level (also one of the few good uses of starship.utx) which has nice events and scripting, but it's also very flawed. Given a lot of Hourences' later tutorials talk about the importance of clearly conveying things to the player, it's kind of funny how replaying this makes it obvious that that's the maps biggest failing to me (I guess feedback on this one informed later maps).

While it's not really big enough that you can't stumble through with trial and error, it's still generally not exactly clear where you're supposed to be going, and important items are frequently hidden in shadows and similar (in my playthrough before the recording I actually completely missed the Automag at the start). The start is one good example; you are told to find an old Nali, who is actually near the start on the left, but then the arsenal and enticing waterfall area to the right draws you the complete opposite way. I guess, in itself, that's not bad, since making you explore a bit may be the point. However, the actual way to the Nali is a shadowy canyon that looks vaguely similar to the start, such that, if you're not fully paying attention, you can easily overlook it. The alternative entrance for if you kill the Nali or can't find him is a good idea, although kind of vague in its own way. At least the Krall are placed so there's a decent chance you accidentally stumble onto it.

While the map is pretty merciless, I think the signposting issues make it feel nastier than it actually is; there is a decent amount of equipment (too bad health is annoyingly rare), but it's almost all off the path, and there are fights where the intended solution is for you to run, but the lack of direction means you will probably end up killing everything just trying to work out where to go. Also, the fights are flawed in that the "proper" way to do them will be extremely difficult for most players, but they're also mostly easy to exploit, except better players are the ones more likely to do that? The fight with the Skaarj hiding in alcoves before the Queen is one example, where you either get ambushed or easily ASMD/Eightball them using prior knowledge. At least the Queen boss is one of the few out there that's set-up right in terms of scripting, and the little surprise after is kind of a funny wtf moment; it's more bark than bite if you have any ranged ammo, though.

So it's a map that's hard to not have conflicted feelings for, because it's so all over the place in terms of it's virtues and flaws.

Edit: The old thread salsaSkaarj linked has a mention of Ortican being re-released, but I guess nothing came of that, and that also mentions that the rocket launcher (and maybe other stuff?) isn't available on hard and above, which would definitely make it harder.
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