Sacrifice Unto Sebek

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Sacrifice Unto Sebek is my first release in the Quake mapping scene. It was created for “Retro Jam 6 – Egyptian Theme” on func_msgboard.

 

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I didnt commit to any layout sketches for this map. Instead I started “sketching” in the editor to create my style for the map. I ended up creating a well which would become a means for progressing through the map. The player would jump through these wells and be teleported to a section higher in the area.

To teach the player the “jump in wells” mechanic, I had two monsters jump into a well at the start of the map. The player can hear the monsters teleport away. With the addition of a message “Cleanse thyself…”, most players understood they were safe to jump into the well.

grunts jump in well-export

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The well cover hovers in the air and functions as a platform. The teleporter is below the bird symbol in the background.

There are 2 wells and 4 teleporters. The starting area has 1 well and 1 teleporter, while the remaining 3 teleporters are accessed by this 2nd well inside the temple.

In addition to serving as a means of progression, the wells also offer the player a “shortcut” back to the upper level.

When the player finds a new teleporter, they can enter it to go back to the teleporter in the previous area. After falling to the ground level, they could use the well and would come out of the last teleporter discovered.

Problem Area

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This map did suffer from a major flaw. In order to open the 2nd well and gain access to the upper level, the player had to shoot a button. The skull in the background, when shot, would open the well. But, first, it opened the sarcophagus below it and the well opened on a slight delay.

 

The sarcophagus opening revealed two powerups. Most players grabbed these right away and this obfuscated the well opening. Additionally, when the powerups were grabbed they spawned in a wave of Zombies and gave the player a prompt of “Sebek beckons for gibs…”. Many players took this as “I need to kill everything to progress”.

The player would run around the lower level, killing/gibbing as many Zombies as possible but are met with “Sebek craves more gibs…” By design, this refers to the total number of Zombies spawned in the map as a whole, and not just the currently accessible area. This left many players confused as to how to progress because they thought they needed to gib more Zombies when there were no Zombies remaining.

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The intent of sating Sebeks craving for gibs, was to receive a gift. By the time most players got to this point, they had unlocked the gift and weren’t entirely aware that it was in fact a reward for completing the task of gibbing enough Zombies.

 

 

The Solution

I feel the solution would have been to spawn the wave of Zombies when the player grabbed the Gold Key which is just after where the gift is presented.
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This gives the player a chance to see the gift before they have a chance to unlock it and would serve as a push towards completing the task. The player could then kill the wave of Zombies, get the gift and then head out the Gold Key door to make use of the gifts they have received.

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