Timebomb/Salvation Commentary

While I was working at Sunstorm, a friend of mine “Lithium” who originally helped run ritualistic.com sent some of my levels to Ritual without telling me. Thankfully this was one of the best things to happen to my career as Ritual contacted me asking to see more work. While working overtime to get the Duke/Blood/Shadow Warrior addons done and to the highest quality I was also trying to knock out the best quake maps for 3D Realms and Ritual I could. That was one of the most exhausting yet wonderful time periods of the gaming industry to be a part of.

Below are a couple of reviews/commentary on the results of those sleepless evenings spent in front of a level editor… which are of course ultimately the reason for trying to create something new in the first place.


TEAMShambler review of Timebomb.bsp

A pretty much unknown level this, and it’s rather interesting. Made as a job application for Ritual, it’s easy to see why the author got the job – although he says claims it’s unfinished, the map has a pretty fantastic design and style by any standards. It’s a base level, but with a unique and ultra detailed style. So you get pale blue walls, metal floors and doorways, absolutely loads of industrial touches and “pseudo-real” details like fans, proper lights, computers, pipes, ducts, consoles….the list just goes on. In fact, if the author crammed any more detail into this map, it would explode and leave gooey blobs of detail everywhere. This is the most distiguishing feature of the map, and in every single area there are more than enough details and designs to catch the eye. When combined with an interesting design and a very attentive use of angles, you get a highly intriguing map, that looks little like any other base map. In short, the architecture is superb, my only criticism is that the missiles look a bit cheesy and a few textures look a bit odd, but those are minor points.

There is another more important criticism related to the architecture however, and that is the potential of the details and designs for loads of fun secrets has not been exploited. There are no secrets and only a couple of hidden items in the map, but there could be a huge amount of stuff placed in hard to reach areas which would lead to some fun exploration around all the map’s designs – it’s a pity that this is lacking. In fact, there is no real exploration in the whole map, which is at odds with it’s style. Gameplay, like the architecture, is original: you get supplied with all the weapons you need at the start, in a pseudo-real kinda way, and only get ammo from troops and a couple of mega health boosts in the map. This does mean that the gameplay is fairly consistent throughout the map, though there is a major fight part way through.

However, with a bit of exploration this fight can be made disappointingly easy, and overall I found the map to be too easy overall. This is mainly due to the amount of ammunition you receive for the bigger weapons – with my double shotty orientated playing style, I ran out of shells, but was loaded to the gills with rockets and cells by the end, which reduced the challenge a lot. So the idea of getting weapons at the start needs some more work, I feel, with more focus on the weaker weapons rather than the strong ones. Of course, the firepower you get makes it quite fun to wade through more of the monsters (including the cool Hipnotic ones), and there are some entertaining situations. The ending of the map is interesting, a non-combative race against time, in which you need to be pretty damn quick. However, if you fail this race, nothing at all happens except a silly message – a bit stupid as this reduces any urgency or excitment, and this is one case where an instant death explosion is needed! But although there are some gameplay flaws, the style alone makes this map worth checking out.

TEAMShambler review of Salvation.bsp

This is the other map in the zip, and is in a completely different style to Timebomb as far as looks goes, and a completely different style to everything as far as gameplay goes. It’s a very well built metal level, with great gothic details and good architecture. However, the level is completely orientated around traps and “trick” gameplay. I lost count of the instant death traps, but basically working around them makes up the gameplay, with little real fighting. If you like this sort of thing, then you should love this level – and you should seek professional help. However, I do not consider it to be worthwhile as a single player level – but since it’s in the zip, you might as well download the speedrun demo I did, so you will at least get some value from the map. (Did a fun Nightmare speedrun in 1:03.)

Quake Addicted User Reviews

hkBattousai, rated this a 1 21 July 2012, 10:18
Traps are extremely nasty. They are ridiculous and they make you HATE this map.

And there is no happy end in this map. If you manage to get to the end, you get into a small room which contains about 20 fiends in it.

A total time waste. This was the map which made me maddest ever.

1/5 (I wish I could give 0/5 for this map!)

Cocerello, rated this a 4 28 July 2012, 22:02
Timebomb: a map with a weird gameplay, that gives you all the ammo at the begining ( a tip, dont take it all when you see it) below average layout, and a different base architecture with different textures, but can serve for a quick play. Its a pity it isn’t complete, but you can finish it if you use the ‘fly’ cheat after the countdown to go over the chasm.

Salvation: its a good map for those that like traps, they are well placed and you can see them the first time if you are cautious and solve the puzzles with a quick thought. You’ll need to save often. The rest of the map is about average but the secret was nice placed and i enjoyed it.

Overall, i think the same as the reviewer, 3/5 for Timebomb and 4/5 for Salvation

PD: the 20 fiends room hkBattousai named can be avoided or you can kill them if you get the hammer (read the .txt for more info), but i couldn’t find it even though i found the secret. Anyone found the hammer?

Func_Msgboard: Traps Discussion

#1 posted by Spirit on 2006/10/17 08:19:36
salv.bsp (Salvation) by Charlie Wiederhold probably is “the” Quake map with traps. I love the map, many hate it. You should save after each trap/room. I just played it again and died about 10 times. But it is fun. The level also is a “puzzle” level, especially at the beginning you are totally stuck until you get an idea and can proceed.

Just Played Through Salv
#7 posted by ijed on 2006/10/18 09:40:51
interesting, mainly because it breaks all the rules. If some of them were toned down slightly then it would’ve been much better – i used a rocket jump to cross the lava near the end and get the feeling i missed something there. also the crushers moved a it too quickly to be genuinely fun. but a neat little map overall.

So … 
#41 posted by Text_Fish on 2006/10/20 03:38:44
I really enjoyed Salv. The traps were gruesome and required a combination of agility and consideration to get past, but they weren’t so complex that they ruined the flow of the game. Afterall, Quake should be a fairly fast paced game, so you don’t want to die too many times as a result of traps, but you do want to be kept on edge by the knowledge that something potentially more lethal than a Shambler might be waiting round the corner.