The Sunday N
August 12th to August 18th
Not only a dedication, he quoted me!
Raddest No-Jump in a while.
Cheap spin-off my golden testicle.
That's a Slint song. I love Slint.
Some fool deleted the map that were supposed to be harr.
Easy? Yes. Interesting? Mondo.
No, it's not. But it's pretty fucking good.
Maps of the Week
- Sendy - Psychotic Mined Games II - Slope Psychosis
- Cerberus - White Zap
- AMomentLikeThis - This isn't the best map in the world
- blue_tetris - Horseshoes / Hand Grenades
- yahoozy_Guacamole - Carol
- yahoozy_Guacamole - Though No Malice Present, Engagement was Lost
- martyr and 10tacle - My Summer feeds me a Smile
Pack was ridiculously easy, says so-and-so.
The Songs I Listened To, As I Wrote This
Dream Theater - Innocence Faded, from the 1994 album Awake
Liquid Tension Experiment - Paradigm Shift, from the 1998 album Liquid Tension Experiment
Liquid Tension Experiment - Osmosis, from the 1998 album Liquid Tension Experiment
Liquid Tension Experiment - Kindred Spirits, from the 1998 album Liquid Tension Experiment
Artist Commentary of the Third Kind
One of my favourites, Sendy!
Madlands: My first submission to NUMA, and my second map ever built, I look back on this with pride. N designing took me about two years to master and for a long time I didn't feel like I had full command of the N gamut like many of the authors I admire did; though obviously I continued to try my best, despite what seemed to be a shaky start.
In some ways it seems flukey. The enemy use was minimal but effective, buying some licence for the excessive mine 'nets' which only serve the purpose of making the deaths from falling in very lively. Even at this age I was experimenting with unusual trapdoor techniques (go me!) and many of my trademarks were in place, such as the inaccessible 'forbidden ground' complete with aesthetic objects which can't be reached.
Ultravisitor (DDA): My first DDA, and the most amazingly fun to make. When I started, I wasn't convinced that I'd be able to see it through, but then, seemingly, miracles began to happen and I realized I could get what I wanted with a compromise between planning and happy accidents. The art of the DDA was revealed to me and in those early days what mattered were things like style, the route, rhythm and technique. In a way I prefer those days to the modern, open, high-paced DDA's - clever though these things are.
For a while I entertained the thought that maybe I'd be primarily a DDA artist since this DDA was my first map to make a big noise in the community!
Death Star 1: A peculiar map, inspired by Formica who back then was TDL. TDL inspired me a lot, and when I saw his Death Star I figured I might be able to do something like it but with more structure. Of course, back then I was a feral creature and I had no strategies to safeguard from my tendency toward extreme difficulty. As a result this map is up there with Mount Doom and MTI in terms of challenge, but is hopefully atmospheric enough to reward perseverance. I've never beaten it, but I posted a demo where I came close.
Platformula (In-game): The next map was a choice between Waterworx and Platformula, as they were both made at the same time and mark a milestone in my career as a designer. I chose Platformula because I prefer it, though they are both very hard. At this stage I was beginning to get a feel for what I thought was fun and what was not in N - a subject which is very subtle and fleeting to a beginner (as much of NUMA will attest).
Obfuscate: Flawed though it is, this map is from a landmark in my development where I started being able to make maps that were easier but still fun. From this point on my maps show more restraint in general and are made to appeal to a wider audience. It was difficult to make this change since I relied on challenges for fun, and now my maps seem much easier to me, but I'm thankful for the change. And naturally I still stay in touch with the Dark Side from time to time...
Fetch!: This was part of the first episode I ever designed, during a period of inspiration from LittleViking's episodes.
In this time I pulled out all of the 'make it easy' stops as far as they can go. In fact I think I broke some of them. You can see that I stuck to a limited palette of enemies but made it more interesting by having it work differently on the return journey. Although the difficulty is easy, the fun and challenge comes from the length. This is one of my favourite there-and-back levels.
Skittish: Now I'm trying to bring back a bit of difficulty, without going overboard and making it possible only for saints and martyrs. Also my object placement is tigher resulting in a lower average object count. I'm very pleased with how this all works together and looks - particularly I liked the mine section and it felt I'd worked out how to get the most out of a minefield with seemingly 'random' placement.
What One-ways Were Made For: Yes, I think this is clever. No, I don't think it's anything like Platformpuzzle from the game (like some bright spark commenting did) - that was a maze of sorts whilst in this you are restricted in a manner which prevents you moving right or down (essentially 'backtracking'), with the provision that you can pass through and around as many times you like to collect all the goodies (and the edited spring MAKES this map, so I don't want to hear any purists arguing about it).
Calculating the perfect route for time is the ultimate puzzle goal of this map, but for most people, surviving to the end is enough.
De'liver: Here's a map showing how I was eventually inspired by the best of the abstract movement, i.e. krusch et al. I can't put exact names to it because I can never keep track of who does what exactly but the point here is I decided to let myself be inspired by other authors as opposed to being a fairly insular map making environment. So far I haven't been accused of style biting and I've been inspired by many different authors, so that's good. This map is highly nonlinear which also marks another trend I developed with my maps at this time, which was to actively keep track of all the different routes and possibilities for the player as I design the map.
Never Stop: One hundred percent pure me, I just love this map. It flows from section to section like a dream and the challenge of getting the gold is just enough to push me without driving me infirm. See the tileset piece slightly to the left of the middle, with the smooth curves and lots of mines along the bottom part? For some reason I find that sexy. Do you think I should seek help?
Anyway, this map is probably my personal favourite right now, and I've heard from the comments that it works well on guys, too. So there you have it.
Say hello to the first new section in a while, an idea of SlappyMcGee's! I'll now hand it over to him to give you the low down:
Here's the deal, all you nutty peoples, you. We randomly select five maps. You rate and provide commentary for them. If you succeed in doing just that, you win our grand prize. That's right, folks, successfully rate and comment five random maps and you'll end up in The Sunday N. (No test maps/incompletes/tilesets.)
For our first guest: SlappyMcGee!!!
Shattershock 4 [Groove] by
I don't normally mind these "flow" maps. This one wasn't the best example, though. I found it very difficult to maintain the movement in this map because it was non-intuitive and overall, difficult. It was very hard to avoid things like chainguns and missiles because when you have this race, because I would invariably be killed by them while I was trying to figure out what to do next.
-If you do figure out the "Groove", it's a nice, fun race.
-Hard to follow.
-Difficult at times.
-Not Great on the eyes.
Crap Box by mrgy05:
A pretty map to be sure. Lots of work put into the center tileset and the all around tileset just looks fantastic. However, while the left side plays out like a fun, missile avoiding jumper, the right side is in comparison, easy. Also, we've gone up and down walls with missiles and gauss turrets following us a thousand times, it would have been nice to see more jumping on the bounce blocks. Very unique use of normal doors on the sides.
Good use of Normal Doors.
A Good Jumper.
Boring Right Side.
18-2: Sawdust by I-Am-A-Bilingual-Hippopotamus:
This map is the same thing. Jump, straddle the block, jump, straddle the block, jump. Here's a game. Try and guess how frustrating it is to have to do the same thing over and over again because you slipped up a bit. It only nets a two because the descent is a good bit of fun.
Fun return trip.
If you chose to read this review before physically playing the map, you've just experienced it spiritually.
The Summit by hellomoto69:
A nice volcano tileset that is essentially brought down by the thirty-some-odd stars that are floating around it. Although the author handles the use of the stars well, they aren't tremendously difficult as they are annoying. There's also gallons more gold than any ninja could possibly need; to include this as a level into the game would be to release the player from getting any gold on any other levels. In fact, with the gold deposit in the bottom right corner alone, there's no reason why Norman should risk his life to get any gold elsewhere in the game. Plus, the guy's screen name has "69" in it.
Annoyingly Repetitive. (That one's for true.)
Too much Gold.
Cleft (Hold left)super2goten:
The only DDA on the list, the only rated map on the list, and finally, the oldest map on the list are where our last map gets us. It's also probably the most boring map on the list. I'm a man who loves his DDA's, but this one just didn't appeal to me. It was slow, but still managed to be short. Close calls are virtually unseen in this DDA, and the way the "laserdome" was handled was just miserable. I felt like I did a lot of waiting in this map. Cool finish onto the platform, though.
Bad use of laser drones.
That just about wraps up the first segment. My random rate of the week: Crap Box by mrgy05
Keep it real.
Back to Alex for the finish - first person to comment about this section gets to do it for the issue coming up in two days. Leave me your email address in the comment, or PM it to me on the forums or something, and I'll get back to you on what you've got to do. Only comment if you're going to be available over the next two days.