overall_rating 3.827586206896552 29

Forum thread for explorejam2

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Unregistered user “piet” posted:

Bloughsburgh once again delivers! One of my fav mappers for sure… The layout was really good with lot of connection and puzzles were satisfactory. Although i didn’t like the platform climbing so much (gold key door). Above this the graphics are nice as well. Managed to get 30/30 secrets after ca. 60 minutes without peaking at the readme :stuck_out_tongue: That yellow frog secret is a thing i also look forward to in your maps :smiley:

Hey piet, thanks for the comment!

Gold key platforming section is a total bust so don’t feel bad if it seemed unruly difficult. Nice going on 30/30ing the map! It is cool to hear someone enjoys the yellow frog secret haha…I intend to place one in every map I release!

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Temple of Achoo (explorejam2_bloughsburgh) exhausts superlatives. It completely rewrites what an Explore map can be, what secret-hunting can be, even what kind of a game Quake is. Thirty secrets, each of them clearly marked by a rune pillar, many of them visible but (initially) inaccessible. Endlessly inventive, and fascinating. I admit I cheated on the Gold Key pillar – I think the design of this section was a rare misstep – but this is as clear a five stars as I’ve seen. (And once more, the secrets guide is invaluable.)

Just one suggestion to make it even better: I’d have appreciated it if, when returning to already-activated pillars, their names were somehow apparent. It would have made it easier to navigate the map with the aid of the secrets guide, when I was mopping up the last few that I’d missed.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t make head nor tail of explorejam2_naitelveni (untitled). It obviously wants me to do something, but I have no idea what. Stand in the corner and shoot the sky? OK, done – so now what? Hmm.

Dreamspace (explorejam2_newhouse) seems very promising, and has a lot of atmosphere. Unfortunately, for some reason, it’s not possible to restore saved games (QuakeSpasm 0.9.0), which makes the game essentially unplayable: guess the wrong hovering-over-the-lava pad and you have to go back and start again. Not fun.

Dreamspace (explorejam2_newhouse) seems very promising, and has a lot of atmosphere. Unfortunately, for some reason, it’s not possible to restore saved games (QuakeSpasm 0.9.0), which makes the game essentially unplayable: guess the wrong hovering-over-the-lava pad and you have to go back and start again. Not fun.

Suhayl (explorejam2_pulsar) is a very nice city-in-lava, with plenty of exploration to do and three separate sets of hunts to undertake: for six secrets, four runes and an unspecified number of hard-to-spot shootable buttons. By the time I reached the exit, I had only three of the secrets and three of the runes (having missed number two). And not all of the buttons, though I don’t know how many I am missing. The level is beautiful enough and interesting enough that I will go round again and hunt for the ones I missed. I’m waving between four and five stars. I guess I will cheat, and say four and a half.

The unnamed explorejam2_topher (Name your maps, people!) is a disappointing finale. Its skill-select area requires a tricky jump to get into the teleporter, and if you miss it you don’t fall to your death but are merely stranded forever on an invisible floor. The level proper invites you to find a silver key, but offers you only a descending set of floating stone steps, and no apparent way to do, well, anything. No doubt I am missing something, but I lack the patience to figure out what, when there are so many immediately enjoyable maps out there.

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All in all, this pack is a strange mixture. Two outstanding maps, including an outright classic; two where I can’t figure out what I am supposed do do; and an otherwise promising one that just plain doesn’t work.

Hmmm …

OK, I tried Dreamspace (explorejam2_newhouse) again, this time on my laptop which has QuakeSpasm 0.90.1. On this platform, I am able to save games, which makes all the difference. Unfortunately, getting deeper into this map doesn’t necessarily reward the player much. The silver-key quest is a lot of timed platform-jumping which is not particularly enjoyable; and the gold-key quest is a maze of teleporters, which I find even less fun. I found two of the four “elements”, but am not inclined to go back and hunt for the others.

All in all, I think four stars is in the right ballpark for this map-pack – though it seems odd to award less than Blousburgh’s map would have merited as a standalone!


Appreciate the comments again, I am glad there are some who leave quality feedback from a pure player standpoint. I really did wish more people would follow your way of reviewing but that’s life!

I tried to think “Mario 64” when making this map, with how stars are obtainable in a interconnected world. I am quite proud of what I was able to accomplish in only 4 days. The gold key was hit with the pressures of time and I did not find a chance to go back and re-work the puzzle…if there is another explore jam (Which I hope there will be) I am going to make sure moving platforms are at a more minimal level of engagement. That’s a good idea about tagging completed pillars with their name. What comes to mind is having a small trigger that is inside of the pillar and exposed when it lowers.

For Naitelveni’s map…you have to shoot the sky and wait for about 10 seconds at that corner. This should bring you to the next step of what to do.

Dreamspace by NewHouse was actually my favorite of pack and I appreciated the easier difficulty with everything. You can also select skill levels to subtly change the events! I am glad you gave it another go and did not succumb to the effects of that save bug.

Topher’s map is his debut so that’s something consider. He did re-send his map to PuLSar to fix the lack of a teleport when falling at the skill select but it was never re-uploaded before reaching quaddicted. He focused on 180 degree slope jumps as his exploration. So look for a sloped rock and you should see the logical path to go!


Unregistered user “NewHouse” posted:

@MikeTaylor It is very clear it wasn’t for everybody. Map doesn’t try to be more than what is it, your reward is basically, when you complete mini missions. Actual enjoyable in many levels package, would have needed much more time. But please, don’t try to sound like I punished players, in path of Time you don’t have real risk of dying. There is two parts where you can only die, so it is quite few. In color puzzle part, many player noticed difference maybe even too easily, but before that textbox clearly says to remember save.

This is just my opinion, but I think I was more than fair when it comes to killing player. Dreamspace means place where you can forget your worries, that is why many puzzles were really easy for most of players. There is also skill select for time based puzzles, if those were too hard for you. But if map is just boring, I don’t see anything wrong with that, since people like different things. Thank you for your feedback, I will try to understand how to reward players more in this case.

When it comes to my opinion about this jam, I personally liked all in their own way and design. Some had more stuff, but I think that is not only thing to look at when it comes to rating maps. If you but similar kind of puzzle too much, it can become over-whelming and not every player likes that either. It is hard to find the meaningful balance to satisfy different types of players.

Bloughsburgh, I’ve never played or seen Mario 64, so the allusion was lot on me. No matter. Your map stands on it sown merits! Thanks for the hints on Naitelveni’s and Topher’s maps, I’ll have another go at them.

NewHouse, sorry not to have been more positive about your map: I did say it has a lot of atmosphere, and I liked how alien it felt. But you’re right that the gameplay is simply not for everyone, and it didn’t hit my buttons. (I don’t know how aware you are of my reviews, but I always find it frustrating when a map is broken up by teleporters.) Others, I am sure, will enjoy it more.

Retried Naitelveni. After the world’s slowest elevator ride, I saved, then made half a dozen attempts to run through lava without getting cit off. Then I quit. shame: it’s obvious that there is something going on here, but I can’t figure out what it is.

And I retried Topher. Found my way up above the silver-key cage, couldn’t find me way in. Noclipped, want back to the castle, and … the level was over.

Well, I hope these maps have been useful learning experiences for Naitelveni and Topher, and that their next contributions will show that growth.