Protean Cybex: Feedback

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.+:icytux:+.
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Protean Cybex: Feedback

Post by .+:icytux:+. » Wed Sep 09, 2015 23:53

Since this is one of the maps that is finished and going to be in the final product. I did a playtest of it to see if there is room for improvement.
The map looks great and mostly plays great. Except for it being frustratingly hard to navigate at times. The "right path" to progress the map is really unclear and is hard to miss. Having you wander around endlessly. I took some screenshots to clarify what could use some work progression-wise.

First upon the start of the map. This switch at these bars quite early on, Is stupidly hard to spot from the angle you enter the room. I missed it time and time again. And it's key to progress
http://i.imgur.com/XSr7Xh0.png

Next you come out to this area. I ran around way too long looking for what to do until I figured out the blue key was hidden there on that little cliff thing. Make the key much more visible. This area had branching paths so you really didn't think this area had anything important in it and went for the more interesting looking areas instead, only to be stuck without the blue key.
http://i.imgur.com/cIr5Lu1.png

Now to the major problem. Which isn't as much of a quick fix. After the blue key, the map expands a lot. And there's SOOO many new areas to explore, and where to go isn't really clear. Progressing from here is somewhat easy if you happen to do it in the "right" order. And you PAY ATTENTION
That is, after getting the blue key, open up the security lockdown thing. Then:
http://i.imgur.com/uGP4ZEc.png
If you happen to notice this secret switch as you're mauling through the enemies here. You get to know, "I need a password".
If you paid attention, you know that the areas that were "security blocked" opened earlier. And you can get to this ledge.
http://i.imgur.com/KHUN1dd.png
Press this switch and you see the stairs rise, you go up the stairs, notice the silo is filled with some sort of sludge. You memorize this, and hopefully you remember all the places that earlier where security blocked and explore each one, til you find this:
http://i.imgur.com/AYjYAUj.png
You see how the sludge is sucked out. Then grab the password and you can progress.
However if you start by going to this place. You see sludge getting drained, but from where? you havn't seen it in the silo yet. You had no idea what it did. Basically, theres so many ways you can fuck this sequence up, not having any idea what you're doing or even going for, just by missing the whole password thing which seems more like a secret anyway. The map is just too big for having such a small little thing the key to progress. I think that simplifying this sequence up a lot and perhaps making some of the things that you HAVE to do in this sequence to progress, could just be optional bonus areas instead. For example place weapons in one of the rooms instead of having them given to you on obvious places. The staff placement in the map for example. and the RL.

This switch, opening the little puny door that you had no idea was there in the first place. Is somewhat misleading to what it does. I expected a switch that was so well decorated to open some huge main hall doors in the bigger area. Right now this switch is really redundant and just throws the players off. Have the door it open just be open all the time instead.
http://i.imgur.com/7sXupvx.png
http://i.imgur.com/umA0UYz.png

Finally. Just before the ending, after you've done the intense voyage through the strange shafts of this complex. you come out back into the big mainhub area. and are presented with jumping down, or going into some of theese two doors.
http://i.imgur.com/GP4kSzP.png
http://i.imgur.com/Px4skjz.png
If you jump down. You are in for one helluva long trip to get back up there. Some sort of ledge to block of the player might be best to keep from intensely frustrating moments.
The first door, is somewhat hard to spot, when the second one is clearly brighter, bigger, and there's a lot of monster noise coming from behind it. So you open the bigger one, take out some enemies in this vast area, which feels like this must be the right way to go:
http://i.imgur.com/vZ01pgW.png
And it leads you to here, opening up a passage from the mainhub to get up to the ledge with the other door.
http://i.imgur.com/QqD3l6k.png
IF YOU EVEN REMEMBER THE OTHER DOOR, or even saw the other door in the first place. Which is the door that opens up the EXIT. This ends up with the player now lost again, not knowing what to do. The little dark door to the core room needs to be way more flashy and noticable. And perhaps you even have to force the player to go into it not to cause the mess of confusion to the player. The bigger door to the overlook is a completely optional area, but looks much more important than the one that actually matters. Figuring out the progression to still include this beautiful area but not just throw off the player would be nice.

But all in all, those arn't fixes that are in any way difficult or time-consuming to fix. And the map is otherwise very solid and fun to play. (on the second run when you know where to go :lol: ) Ammo/health/monster placement felt good, except for perhaps the huge monster lift thing. Might have been a bit on the almost impossible side. But it's hard to say when it's not sure the balancing of the monster damages are 100% there yet.
The map could perhaps do with a few texture changes at some places now that the texture resource is updated. Although I like the very grimey look of this map.

Speaking of the textures. One confusing thing about the map (and the other maps in general). Is that some door textures are really hard to tell apart from the surrounding textures and doors that arn't openable look the same as the ones that can be opened which also leads to some confusion. Perhaps have a few color variants to some of the doors so that you can pick a color that stands out so it's easier to see.

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Xaser
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Re: Protean Cybex: Feedback

Post by Xaser » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:49

Thanks for the feedback -- I'd probably better take a second pass at simplifying the progression. It used to be even worse in the first revision... D:

Funny enough, this map is in some ways the "oldest" in the set, since all the original Hacx maps that got tweaked up so far are so heavily edited that they're practically new things. As such, it shows its age -- it kinda hearkens back to the "really long and cryptic" style that most of the notable old-Hacx maps (particularly MAP12) tended to exhibit.

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NeuralStunner
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Re: Protean Cybex: Feedback

Post by NeuralStunner » Sun Sep 20, 2015 18:49

If my preferences mean anything, I tend to like long maps with a lot of variation (like Map01). If it were up to me, every map in the game would be like that, to give it a distinctive style if nothing else. :P
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