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A HAIL OF RAIL
A HAIL OF RAIL by axbaby
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Insane Clown unregistered
#25   26 Jan 2002
Howdy to all. I'm Da Clown. I do map, model and skin reviews for my local rail only CTF community.(www.railsonly.com) I do this on a voluntary basis just to get some info put to the community.

I can't build maps. I tried but I don't have a creative bone in my body. What I do have is almost 20 years playing and an extrmely analytical eye. I give honest reviews for honest work. If a map is really bad, I won't review it.

Read some of my reviews and you will see I always add sections labeled PROS and CONS. I give the good and the bad so the end user can decide whether or not to download a map.

Apparently, most of those commenting here seem to have forgotten or didn't know that a reviewer's opinion is what a review is about. Do you want a review that states just plain black and white facts? No. You want the opinion of someone who is supposed to know and understand what makes a good map. I believe Mr.Monopoly gave a somewhat biased review of the map put such is his right as the reviewer. If you don't like his review style, don't read his reviews. I'm not defending him just telling it like it is.

Axbaby, from what I've seen so far, this map is well made with just a few flaws that need to be ironed out but nothing that really hinders gameplay.

I plan on doing a full review of your map and will post a link as soon as its done.

Axbaby, you put in the hard work and you should be proud of it even if everyone else doesn't like it. Its your's.

Kepp your head up and keep churning out those maps.:)

Brian

a.k.a. Insane Clown

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Fireball{TTSOM} unregistered
#24   19 Jan 2002
I played this map with a buddy and its awsome. Great work Axbaby!
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Kirin unregistered
#23   15 Jan 2002
Reviews for works like these usually include these common points: good points, bad points, and constructive points.

MoNoPoLy points out that the CTF action is fast, which is good. However, he also points out item placement, which is bad. Although, there should be a bit more constructive feedback other than that NoDraw/sprite thing ... like, what can axbaby do to make this map better. Would it be better if the RL is place there instead here? How about the GL?

Now ... if the map is just down-right crap, which this map isn't, it would of just been thrown away without review or maybe forwarded to that one guy at SA that reviews all those crappy maps. I know that in polycount that if they get a crap-skin, then they just mail out a rejection letter. I would know ... I've done it once when I was going through some incoming skins for polycount.

I don't know how the review system works here but I thought the review can be a bit more longer. It benefits the mapper as well. ^_^

Anyway ... I went through a quick rundown of the map. It is fast. However, I would think this map suits better for instagib ... don't know why but a map name like "A HAIL OF RAIL" made me think instagib.

There should be a few more spawn points. I played on a 4v4 CTF game and I got telefragged in the beginning, supposing that means that there's too few spawn points for one team. It's my guess.

I did notice that some of the weapons take a bit longer to respawn. That's good in certain cases. However, there's too many RL's. There needs some more of other weapons

In the upper level hall, all I see is a haste and RL on both ends. I also notice that bots are barely up there. You need to put something there that would attract the bots to go there. Bots are generally atracted to items, unless there's some map entity in Radiant that you can place that attracts them there. I wouldn't know too much how Radiant works but if you can put something there that attracts the bots there, then that's good.

The bots also appear to go in one path. However, there are quite a few visible paths. I see some teleporters as well as the ground area. Although, all of them reach the same hallway where there are two jumppads that leads to the upper hall. If you put a second or third diverging hall, would it be better? There has to be other routes that bots can easily follow. It would probably make it challenging for the opponent as well if that was the case.

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Octovus unregistered
#22   15 Jan 2002
Kamarov - First of all, any level that doesn't deserve to have anything nice said about it should be refused. You )as a submitting reviewer( are perfectly allowed to tell Tig "this map is shit and you shouldn't review it". There's no sense in wasting reader's times with it. In the review info text file, it is mentioned that you should always say something positive (however small). If you cannot..don't review it. I'm not saying all review sites are like that, but this one is supposed to be.

-Octovus

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Kamarov unregistered
#21   14 Jan 2002
Octovus, I think you need to check yourself: "Yes the reviewers are supposed to say something nice, that's for sure."

Reviewers are supposed to critique the level and not pull any punches. Would it make sense for every movie review to say something nice? No, some movies just suck.

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axbaby unregistered
#20   14 Jan 2002
thanks for the comments all.

i may have overdone the rocket launchers but when played online 4 on 4 you quickly notice that they usually are gone . i no longer hold much faith in all the reviews as i once had so all those maps i was told to avoid were my loss and the mappers .

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Octovus unregistered
#19   14 Jan 2002
Well, I've played it now too. 4 per side generated 2 telefrags on my team. Is it really intended for 2 vs 2 with so many powerups? That'd be my one techincal complaint. The reviewer is certainly not right to complain about "power-up mania"...the sound of powerups spawning one after another does tend to be a sign that the mapper has overdone it, but in this case 4/5 of the powerups last only 10 seconds. If the defense is careful and keeps their side's powerups under their control, you can hardly get into the enemy base with them. That said the powerups would be a bit much with only 2 people per team (as the spawn points seem to suggest).

The weapons right next to the flag (not below it) seem to take extra long to respawn; this is good in terms of what the reviewer said, however I would have liked getting a GL to be a bit easier (is there one in another place?) There also seems to be some rocketlauncher mania going on. One up by the flag, one down in the corner by the stairs, one downstairs slightly down the hallway, and one upstairs slightly down the hallway - and that's per base. Certainly that's at least 6 in total, I may be wrong about the one near the flag (hence I don't say 8). I'm sure one of those could have been made into a gl :-p

Anywho, I quite liked it lookswise too. The flagroom is much nicer than the rest IMHO, and I have to agree the threewave things were out of place with their black backgrounds...but misused is far too harsh a term. 8 from me, though some points make it feel more like a 7...

-Octovus

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Cypress unregistered
#18   13 Jan 2002
I do believe we have a jaded review. But, just like the movies, I usually like what the reviewers don't like. And I love this map. As far as detail and pretty and "art", who plays CTF and walks around and looks at the walls, the pretty sky, etc etc etc? Less eye candy and details/textures helps keep your frames up and the fighting intense.

AX, I think it's a good map and wouldn't worry what one reviewer thinks. Let the community decide if it's a good map or not. And be proud of what you have done because there are many, many of us who can't even begin to think of doing something like map making.

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Rectified unregistered
#17   13 Jan 2002
I've played the map, not with a full crowd, but atleast I got to run it for a bit.

It has great gameplay. I'm with the others, function over fashion. Last thing we need is another Coral CTF with fancy sharks.

This map has a few great things going for it;

1. No bottlenecks. Multiple routes in and out that don't converge in one area is a huge plus. (name a 3wave map that doesn't converge...)

2. Weapons near spawn points. Not sure why this is a bad thing either. Let's you play more, restock less.

3. Steady fps... no overdone skyboxes. Minimal textures get you into the game quick.

Maybe the reviewer should take the day off if the cat used his cereal as a litterbox. Finding some friends to actually play with might help too.

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axbaby unregistered
#16   13 Jan 2002
powerups spawn set at 160 with a 20 second random setting as well .

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Octovus unregistered
#15   13 Jan 2002
Er hehe. I'm certainly not not downloading it )oops(
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Octovus unregistered
#14   13 Jan 2002
I'm certainly not downloading it because it "doesn't look good" or because of a "weird" accel pad (I'd liked to know where the reviewer got that from). If the powerups don't spawn the frequently, tell me, and I'll dl away. As it is I don't see the point in waiting 10 mins in line (hooray for Fileplanet maintenance or something) to download it.

I listen to the reviews - when they make sense, which this one only vaguely did - because that's what a review site is for. Otherwise you might just as well have a big list of .zips with corresponding forum threads. I do read the comments and respond. But would you have me download every map that got a bad review? There's 1120-something map's here right now. I've tried a lot of them, but I've got to go on something. For me, the powerups - one of the few "facts" presented in the review - decided it.

-Octovus

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Dragonne{TRIAD} unregistered
#13   13 Jan 2002
Oh and I forgot to say I got a several map reviews that weren't exactly positive before I got a few good ones. Funny thing is that other sites gave good reviews for the same maps. Maybe it was the thought of newbie-ism, but since I've been mapping since Doom2 I'd have to differ.

Anyway, don't let it get to ya. You'll hit a good reviewer or a map that has just the right qualitites for that reviewer and you'll get a good one. Then they all seem to be better after that. Maybe there's an initiation period that we don't know about? =)

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Dragonne{TRIAD} unregistered
#12   13 Jan 2002
I have the map, but haven't looked at it yet. I just couldn't wait to chime in though. So my comment won't be specifically about this map, but in general about many reviews I see here.

Why it is always decoration/detail over design and/or gameplay?

When gameplay is considered, why does placing entities far from the flag in a CTF(hence the spawn points) map make for an enhanced experience??

Personally, spawning in/near the flag room while it's under attack, and having to run away from the flag to get a decent weapon or armor to defend the flag is BAD. It makes it too easy for the attackers to get "free frags" on the spawning weaklings.

Tell me three things in a review:

1) Does the map FLOW well? (taking personal weapon placements out of the judgement)

2) Is navigation confusing (like many 3wave maps) or will I learn the map in 1-2 20 minute rounds?

3) Is it technically well made? (no missing textures, z-fighting, funky fps issues or construction techniques, all needed entities like locations)

Then you can say if it's pretty, ugly, lacking curves and such, or whatever, since that is personal preference and not everyone feels the same.

The just seems to be too much opinion and not enough basic fact in the reviews sometimes. =(

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Sixpack unregistered
#11   13 Jan 2002
That review sucked Ax. There is no excuse for being so negative about ones work. Don't let them get to ya. I think it was pretty lame to smash a map like that. I think the map plays great and has alot of good features the reviewer did not have the respect to mention. You put alot of hard work and time into the map and I appeciate your efforts. A1 job man. Mr. Monopoly prolly landed on GO to Jail too many times that week.
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homer unregistered
#10   13 Jan 2002
i think the map kicks ass, obviously alot of work went into this project, and it shows. nice job man.

comments are better than no comments right????

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Graves unregistered
#9   13 Jan 2002
Personally I like the fact that axbaby spent less time on making a map super pretty and hence bein an fps killer. wow what concept...someone who actually considered the end user...ME! I mean when Im in the heat of battle the last thing that matters to me is how 'pretty' a map is.

It was also nice not having to work thru maze like maps...god I hate those (a la 3wave). I spend more time tryin to find my around than actually playing. Good work ax, the key to anything is simplicity.

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Graves unregistered
#8   13 Jan 2002
Personally I like the fact that axbaby spent less time on making a map super pretty and hence bein an fps killer. wow what concept...someone who actually considered the end user...ME! I mean when Im in the heat of battle the last thing that matters to me is how 'pretty' a map is.

It was also nice not having to work thru maze like maps...god I hate those (a la 3wave). I spend more time tryin to find my around than actually playing. Good work ax, the key to anything is simplicity.

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axbaby unregistered
#7   13 Jan 2002
just as i feared .. the reviewer did not like the map so your not going to download it.

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Octovus unregistered
#6   13 Jan 2002
Yes the reviewers are supposed to say something nice, that's for sure. And reading the comments almost makes me want to download it. However, the fast-respawning powerups aren't my style - I can't say whether it's "good or bad" for "real" because obviously there's no way to do that...but I don't like it. So I won't download it. Simple as that. It seems to me reviewers need to make more clear what parts are their _opinion_, and what parts are the facts.

-Octovus

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axbaby unregistered
#5   13 Jan 2002
new version has loc entities

but not finised . in hindsight

and newbietism it's a flaw .

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hannibal unregistered
#4   13 Jan 2002
Unless this map has changed since the version I downloaded a month or 2 ago, it doesn't even get consideration with no location entities. For the 1,000th time people, a CTF map IS NOT finished until you putloc ents in!! (if they are in here now Ax, forgive) :) From what I remember, the play wasn't half bad, just needed some tweaking.
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JONDIS unregistered
#3   13 Jan 2002
Where do they get these reviewers?????

Having had the chance to play this map several times and with many different numbers of players..... I can say that the gameplay of this map is wonderful. The map plays fast and has multiple useable routes. While there might be a lack of "detailed brushes", the map is clean and has a very nice "industrial spacelike" ambiance. I've had lots of fun on this map and would reccomend it to anyone interested in the ctf gametype. Let the critics say what they will Axbaby, but don't let it frustrate you. Keep up the good work!!

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axbaby unregistered
#2   13 Jan 2002
ack .. nevermind .. if i can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen , right??
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axbaby unregistered
#1   13 Jan 2002
i'm sorry but of the 50 plus downloads not one was as critical of the map as you were .

some YES did mention area that they didn't like but they also voiced areas that they thought were unique fun and challenging.

you sir had not one good thing to say .

i suggest you stop reviewing

maps as your obviously in a bad mood when you can so easily

condemn a map to hell with a few keystrokes and dismissing a 100 plus hours of my free time.

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