I would like to divide today’s rant into the three topics listed in the title. Sorry in advance for the long rant and lack of images. I really need to “learn” to do these things shorter and in a way that takes me less time.
- ZE Halloween House B4:
First of all, a quick mention to the fact that this map, created by Enviolinador and myself for the Gamebanana Halloween Contest, won 1st place. So that’s something to celebrate.
When we decided to make a map together for the contest we discussed many possibilities about what to make, and we finally settled with something we had already attempted to do in the past: a rat-style zombie escape map that included a whole house instead of just a room.
Our original plan was to include all the rooms within the house (they are all mapped but remain empty and are not present in the compiled version as to reduce file size). These rooms would included the garage and the attic and we even wanted to add some garden and rooftop action; however due to the same reason that pushed us to finish the map (the contest’s dead line) we couldn’t finish them in time, as we rushed the whole thing in pretty much 2 weeks (and gameplay being done in pretty much the last 2 days with barely any testing).
So after the contest, we kept testing and joining servers that were trying to play it and we updated it several times accordingly, giving us what will be, for the time being, the final version: ZE_Halloween_House_b4.
The map may not be perfect, and some may find the ending a little disappointing (specially when compared with some of the interesting and unexpected events within the map). However as of B4 I’m glad to say that the map is fully playable and beatable, even if it seems to be way harder than your average map.
The map consist of a single stage with a pretty linear path that takes around 10 minutes to complete. Along the way you face different holds and obstacles, some of which are quite unique. I personally think that the “trick” to beat the map is just to preserve as many humans as possible every time you move to the next area of the map. This, obviously, is common sense, but you REALLY need the numbers on your side for some of the hard holds within the map and if by the time you reach the ouija you don’t have at a 2:1 Human:Zombie ratio you may already be in trouble. So many times I have seen a 1:1 ratio or worse by the time people reached the table.
As of now, as far as I know, the map has not be beaten on a server (legally and with active zombies, that’s it). You guys let me know if you beat it and what are your thoughts about the whole experience.
Enviolinador wants to add, relatively “soon” some extra minutes of gameplay along with a more fitting ending, but as for now the map will stay on B4.
In the long term, someday in the future, neither of us would mind adding more rooms and improve the map and make it grow, and we even discussed other possibilities like doing a “Christmas Version“, but none of that will happen anytime soon, and knowing how we mappers are, maybe never, so just enjoy B4 for what it is and don’t expect more updates anytime soon. Enjoy!
- ZE FFVII Mako Reactor V6: Close Beta Test Sunday at 20:00 CET.
So first of all letting you guys know that the map didn’t progress too much on the past weeks. First I was busy making Halloween House for the contest, and later I kept playing it so I could spot its flaws and fix them, and that took longer than expected (around 2 weeks of playing and tweaking) but at least is now fully functional.
So now I’m back at mapping Mako V6 “full-time” (when I’m actually mapping).
I can’t believe how many times I have underestimated how much was left to do… When I think I really wanted to push for a release in April >_<
Anyway, I really want to test the map again with a B05 version, even if the map hasn’t changed that much since B04. In part to get myself into the mood of mapping it again, but also because last test was kinda rushed and just invited the Beta Testers that happened to be online at the exact moment I decided to test… So this time I decided to plan it in advance so more of the designed testers can make it and so we can check if everything works fine when trying to play the map normally (rather than just checking it).
Saddly for many of you, this test will still be considered “Close-Beta”, so I will only invite the people I have labeled as “Beta Testers” (most of them know who they are). But I hope for it to be the last or previous to last of these close-test before release, so the ending is getting close… Cross fingers?
Anyway, the test will happen (if everything goes according to plan) this Sunday at 20:00 (8 PM) CET on Noctali‘s server. Not sure how long it will last, but should be at least a couple of hours.
- My hard drive is dying!
So not long ago my computer started to suffer some random freezes by time to time and wasn’t sure what was causing them, but after checking the symptoms, talking to some people and some warning messages from the computer itself it seems to be a hard drive.
So far is not too serious and I can keep using my computer with no big problems most of the time. The most notables issue is small and not too frequent freezes, but they had become really annoying while working on CS:GO SDK for doing Halloween House and it takes me several long minutes to join a CS:GO server (and then I’m just zombie meat for several minutes until the long random freezes decide to stop).
However, the freezes are way shorter and less frequent when mapping for CS:S and playing CS:S itself (is almost unnoticeable when playing) so hopefully I will be able to finish Mako V6 before I’m forced to change my hard drive as it would be a real pain in the ass for me to have to set again all the tools I need, like 3DS Max, Propper and simple things like textures, models and audio files..
But don’t worry too much, as I already made security copies of the latest Junon and Mako files just in case! And yes, even if Junon hasn’t advanced an inch for over a year its something I would still want to come back to sometime after I’m done with Mako V6.