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2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

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User avatar Jigoku
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Subject: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 13 Feb 2018, 03:25

Map Title: theElder
Author: Jaspos
From: The Elder
Filename: theelder02.unr
Music Files: none




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9lq487HbHQ

Synopsis: Brutes and flies infest a Nali temple of sorts.

Discuss!
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User avatar SteadZ
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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 14 Feb 2018, 01:42

I can't actually remember if I have played this pack in the past or not, but I do have some related "stuff" peaople may be interested in.

This pack was an entrant into the "Myscha's Level Design Charrette", which I believe it was placed joint 1st - I don't remember where I found this in the first place, but I wrote it on the UnrealSP Wiki :lol:
It also was placed 2nd in the "OzUnreal Contest" (a mapping contest specially for Australian mappers).

As for Jaspos' other work, he made a single SP map for Unreal called "Ritual", and was working on "Na Pali Heaven" (major SP mod for Unreal 2 - cancelled) as well as his own SP campaign for Unreal 2: "Blood Oath". He remade several of the original pawn meshes for use in both of these projects.

Jaspos' Website:
https://web.archive.org/web/20000818104 ... index.shtm

Nali City Review of "The Elder":
https://web.archive.org/web/20000818104 ... elder.html

Na Pali Heaven Website:
https://web.archive.org/web/20030326100 ... en.com:80/

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UBerserker
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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 14 Feb 2018, 17:19

Looking at the reviews, especially the old NaliCity's one, it's sorta like, "heh". I think even the first time I played these maps over 18 years ago (more or less precisely I forgot) I always felt like the Elder was underwhelming compared to what people said.
The environments looked like something out of PS1 fps games, really basic. The architecture did its job but the texture choices were repetitive, not scaled well enough and often applied in the wrong way, killing those "clean / crystal clear" visuals the pack intended to achieve. Lighting was zoneinfo light bonanza with weak coronas and out-of-place fog just like the classic days, nothing truly groundbreaking.

Which is funny because while on one hand the interior sections were kinda ugly, on the other the outdoor sections had this really cool use of plant decorations that is still ok by today's standards in Unreal. Skybox was also fine. Gameplay was ok overall until the balance nosedive at the end with the Warlord and all those Troopers; probably now I can pass that part easily but I remember being insanely frustrated the first time.

This is the level dominated by the turbo Flies, and with the funny looking giant Fly. Jaspos edited every Fly to emit some sort of light around, since they were faster and harder to see. Annoying, maybe ok; definitely a bigger issue than Brutes.

Also, yeah, I remember that U2 project of his from the first time I saw "golden age era" USP's Upcoming Maps page. Those were the times when 7B was out and the majority of aspiring mappers was badly influenced from these big released projects (Xidia/ONP/7B/NC/SF) to do as much, which has been the major cause of the Unreal's SP life decay (then even some of the smaller projects failed to be released, I mean guys I suggest not announcing jackshit unless your release content is minimum 75% complete)... and there are people like Jaspos who wanted things done on Unreal 2. Dead on arrival. Why would you even do that? Where was the common sense?
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User avatar Semfry
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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 14 Feb 2018, 17:38

My old comment:

"The Fly area is an interesting idea, although the way they all get alerted when you get the artefact makes the implied "stealth" pretty pointless and a borderline death-trap. The Temple areas after aren't so memorable, although the Squid pit is kind of interesting in how random it is (and making a death-trap based on easily evaded enemies is a bad idea). The main stand-out is the ship battle; the arena and set-up don't really create an especially good combat situation, but being swarmed by a horde of Skaarj (along with a boss) is a nice surprise after the relatively low-key action of the rest (this is probably one of the first packs I saw that used so many Skaarj at once)."

UBerserker wrote:and there are people like Jaspos who wanted things done on Unreal 2. Dead on arrival. Why would you even do that? Where was the common sense?


To be fair people weren't expecting Unreal 2's editor to be basically broken and borderline unusable in some ways (and abandoned very quickly with no real updates). That was the actual thing that killed it, as, regardless of the game's quality, mods could have added a lot to it, but then it all went out like a wet fart, and was a major contributor to Unreal SP modding getting rarer, as a bunch of people were ready to move on but couldn't, so momentum just died until people finally accepted that Unreal 2 mods weren't happening and had to go back to Unreal 1 to make SP content.
Formerly Mman

UBerserker
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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 14 Feb 2018, 18:01

Semfry wrote:To be fair people weren't expecting Unreal 2's editor to be basically broken and borderline unusable in some ways (and abandoned very quickly with no real updates). That was the actual thing that killed it, as, regardless of the game's quality, mods could have added a lot to it, but then it all went out like a wet fart, and was a major contributor to Unreal SP modding getting rarer, as a bunch of people were ready to move on but couldn't, so momentum just died until people finally accepted that Unreal 2 mods weren't happening and had to go back to Unreal 1 to make SP content.


This is kinda depressing.
I guess a lot of people (I remember Red Nemesis was for that too) wanted to preemptively switch over to Unreal 2 then but I wonder if they knew that it basically had none of the original Unreal content and everything had to be ported. If Jaspos was already aware of everything and still went for the U2 route I cannot blame the editor not working correctly though. Maybe I missed the news back in the day that Blood Oath was canned for technical issues (what I know is that it was just forgotten and never talked about anymore).

I forgot also this is the actual last map of the Elder lmao, and has the whole Skaarj bullshit at the end.
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 15 Feb 2018, 22:13

UBerserker wrote:
This is kinda depressing.
I guess a lot of people (I remember Red Nemesis was for that too) wanted to preemptively switch over to Unreal 2 then but I wonder if they knew that it basically had none of the original Unreal content and everything had to be ported. If Jaspos was already aware of everything and still went for the U2 route I cannot blame the editor not working correctly though. Maybe I missed the news back in the day that Blood Oath was canned for technical issues (what I know is that it was just forgotten and never talked about anymore.


I don't think that was a problem for Team Phalanx (Red Nemesis formed after, with a return to the old engine), since it was exciting to start over. But for other people, maybe. For one thing, it was clear right away there was a problem with Unreal 2 and its editor, but everything was fine and dandy with the engine for UT2K3 and 2K4. So from my point of view it isn't fair to lay it on Unreal 2. Maybe what happened to Jaspos is what happened to other people, like what happened to me. Hourences took to the new engine, I did not. I made levels but never jived with the game, had issues with engine stability on the computer I was using at the time, and spent more time making meshes and practicing deathmatch levels than actually thinking about how this building system could help me in SP. The mood of the community and its talented members had shifted also toward multiplayer. Even David M turned to Death Ball. Not everyone had it in them to start over and come back to the old engine, simple as that. Perhaps people like Jaspos saw that and moved on.
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UBerserker
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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 16 Feb 2018, 00:22

Mister_Prophet wrote:I don't think that was a problem for Team Phalanx (Red Nemesis formed after, with a return to the old engine), since it was exciting to start over. But for other people, maybe. For one thing, it was clear right away there was a problem with Unreal 2 and its editor, but everything was fine and dandy with the engine for UT2K3 and 2K4. So from my point of view it isn't fair to lay it on Unreal 2. Maybe what happened to Jaspos is what happened to other people, like what happened to me. Hourences took to the new engine, I did not. I made levels but never jived with the game, had issues with engine stability on the computer I was using at the time, and spent more time making meshes and practicing deathmatch levels than actually thinking about how this building system could help me in SP. The mood of the community and its talented members had shifted also toward multiplayer. Even David M turned to Death Ball. Not everyone had it in them to start over and come back to the old engine, simple as that. Perhaps people like Jaspos saw that and moved on.


So all boiling down to the classic "new good game is out, we can leave the outdated stuff behind" reasoning, more than anything related to Unreal 2. Well I mean yeah, there wasn't much experience back in the day, people were probably not aware how better technology would lead to more manwork, especially when you had to start from zero in terms of SP content (though some frameworks were made and they were good).
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UBerserker
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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 19 Feb 2018, 12:18

By the way, Jaspos is still very much around. He's on the Unreal Engine forums; he doesn't post much but he seems to be active every day. He works for Hutchinson Builders, an Australian construction company.
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User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 19 Feb 2018, 14:01

Wow this one goes back to my first experiences playing community-made content. (I was making my way up the review ladder on the Legacy site, from the 35-40% mark)

I think I consider The Elder to be a great mod at that point, with several original touches (getting all geared-up at the start, the automated defenses).
It is surpassed by so much better fleshed out maps and campaigns but it remains a recommended play for those invested in all things SP-related.

The flies were surprisingly scary too and I have yet to see that replicated elsewhere.

This second map is definitely the better one of the two. The ending was tough but on Normal difficulty, I didn't have to reload more than a couple of times - so the challenge felt good as opposed to unfair, and overall I'd say the pack is quite hard.

P.S.: however, when it comes to "save the Nali priest" or rescue missions in general, I have seen better elsewhere. The story line here is not what was memorable (except for that IN YOUR FACE briefing at the start).
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Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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Subject: Re: 2/12/2018 - "theElder" by Jaspos

Post Posted: 19 Feb 2018, 21:12

I replayed this on Hard and had only 1 problem and that was the sniper on the top just before going outside to the Elder area (that sniper is really unfair).
The fly area is memorable. Best use of a fly swarm ever and a good map for learning how to run backwards in circles and using secondary fire mode with the ASMD.
I have to say that when I played this years ago, it was difficult for me but now it's easy to slow down the charging Skaarj (break the bridge for one and don't kill the sharks, let them weaken the Skaarj). The Warlord is diadvantaged because it's relatively easy to hold him back inside the ship.
Still, this is a map for my "keep" section with some interesting puzzles an surpise attacks (the pupae also).


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