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19/02/2018 - "Plateau of Na'Bpah" By Diamond

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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User avatar Semfry
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Subject: 19/02/2018 - "Plateau of Na'Bpah" By Diamond

Post Posted: 19 Feb 2018, 22:10

Map Title: Plateau of Na'Bpah
Author: Diamond
From: Plateau of Na'Bpah
Filename: SP-Plateau.unr
Music Files: Neve.umx

Synopsis: You land to survey a planet with seemingly no threats... Of course, that assessment turns out to be very wrong.

Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: 19/02/2018 - "Plateau of Na'Bpah" By Diamond

Post Posted: 20 Feb 2018, 17:44

diamond wrote: 

lurking around yesterday before this MOTW was live. Maybe he can comment on his map and other stuff if he wishes. Kinda forgot this was supposed to be a series of levels.

User avatar Semfry
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Subject: Re: 19/02/2018 - "Plateau of Na'Bpah" By Diamond

Post Posted: 23 Feb 2018, 00:31

I last played this ages ago so I decided to replay it. It's interesting because it's in this perfect intersection of the author being both experienced and a beginner, so it's got a lot of unique touches, designs and ideas, while also being somewhat incoherent when you think about it, with visual inconsistencies and a couple of things that are hard to tell whether they're intentional or oversights. Those somewhat contradictory things end up combining into something kind of endearing, because, whatever else, it feels like something entirely unique overall.

Tying progression to finite jumpboots is one of those things like that, because it's both a bit of a strange decision but also seems to intentionally lead to this pseudo non-linearity where you skip a lot of the map with some good use of them, and I'm not sure if that's on purpose or just a side-effect. The combat is relatively simple, but the end piles on quite a few enemies, and the final fight is kind of interesting because you can either enter via a window or open the front door, but opening the door takes a lot more work than the window (with the latter skipping quite a bit), so it's another moment where I'm not entirely sure how open it was actually intended to be. A shame Diamond never really released anything after this, because this is the kind of stuff that would probably naturally be refined with a bit more experience, along with the more interesting flourishes of the design and architecture.
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: 19/02/2018 - "Plateau of Na'Bpah" By Diamond

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 14:43

Now THIS is what I call an "unusual classic-style choice"! 8)

Hell yeah I am happy this gets some attention. Plateau of Na'Bpah is just a great, gonzo mappack that I would recommend to anyone interested in Unreal SP content and mapping.

Want to remember what made this engine so great for its time?
Do you want to see how clever modding can potentially expand the original single player experience, with never before seen scripts allowing you to interact with computer panels etc.?

OK so for the sake of clarity: Plateau of Na'Bpah is really one main map (and this time's MOTW) plus a really short BUT really cool intro. The main map is fun and has a shiny, "magical" quality about it that I think works well and while it can be rather random, it also leads to some memorable designs and truly beautiful rooms - the only thing that I outright dislike (although it fits the "fantasy" theme in a way) is the "sun"-flare merged with a planet sprite in the sky. The level is quite hard actually - I died several times throughout - and it definitely felt long the first time round (took me over an hour to beat it). The last major fight was particularly memorable (it was good to pick off some enemies from the window because at first it seemed overwhelming from the front door), and I remember those damned Pupae giving me a couple of frights in the lower, foggy chambers.

It would have been really nice to have a continuation.

But the biggest legacy of this short mappack as far as I am concerned is the intro no doubt - it's amazing we didn't see other releases use what it showed off, but then we did get firetrucks ( since then so I guess that's something...
The intro is pure sci-fi (contrasting with the main map), and while really short it is a remarkable demo for Kea's UsableScreen script. The story after this is an afterthought, but one could easily make more story-driven experiences with that script!

Bring on some more "obscure" SP maps from the community, please! :D

P.S: hope Diamond will return one day...
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
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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