Latest reviews

Jpal has returned! He's not forsaken us, ladies and gentlemen. Champion of the progs_dump mod, interior designer of fortress medium and large.

This map has the right amount of fighting, with the right number of foes. It isn't relentless like a lot of recent releases, and progression has just the right balance of traversal and fighting to it. Few secrets, but far from trivial to find.
I loved this. A relatively small map that does a LOT with the limited space. As mentioned by Mopey bloke, I encountered mysterious crushing damage on the lift towards the end, stealing about 70HP from me during the Shambler fight. Otherwise a very very nice map with some fun twists in a couple of the arenas while also being a delight to look at.
With a whole 35 maps (and the largest file size of any Quake map pack ever as far as I can tell), it took me a while to at least sample everything this jam has to offer.

Aesthetically, this is an excellent jam for the most part - some experienced mappers providing beautiful maps, and even some of the first-time mappers producing really interesting content.

Gameplay-wise, as the person who plays on Easy, it's a bit more variable. Some of the maps are great (kudos to Mazu for a number of subtle changes throughout his incredibly huge map to support players on Easy, including "skips" for some advanced movement content), but some of them (unfortunately, including from some of the first time mappers) are super hard on Easy, and I just didn't finish.

Some great stand out maps regardless - and I should shout out HrnekBezucha for possibly the first "multiple choice ending" quake map, especially as a first product.
The release of a new JPal map means it's a good day for Quake. With an instantly recognizable visual style, carefully orchestrated progression in weapon pickups and monster density, as well as good use of progs_dump's monster variations, The Rust Forge is a blast to play through.

I would have maybe liked the final fight to have more bite to it, but that's really a minor nitpick in an otherwise excellent map.
I appreciate the urge to work with a theme & constraint. End result isn't much my thing though, I guess!
Fantastic use of id1 textures - everything is really beautiful. However, I was underwhelmed by the majority of the gameplay - with some more novel and engaging combat encounters, I think this could be really great.
For Sacrilege in Other
Really fun minisode! Texture work is top-notch. Gameplay is interesting--progs_dump 3 shakes up the balance when you have stuff like overpowered-but-still-frail grunts. I especially liked the "mini-shambler" knights. Great job!
Very claustrophobic and a little maze-like, which works well here because of Trashbang's signature clockwork design with clever moving geometry, great reuse of space, and consistent use of only a few key elements throughout the 10-minute map.
Firstly, I want to congratulate everyone who completed a map for this jam, the aesthetic of which is pitch perfect and one of the most evocative I've ever seen, and I would say this pack earns more of a 3.5/5, something like a B+. I sampled at least some of every map, finished more than a few, and found something engaging in all of them, which is to be commended. There's something about monolithic concrete pillars reaching into foreboding, heavenly skyboxes that works extremely well for Quake, blending easily with its industrial, gothic, cold, hard, and unyielding nature.

This jam serves as the perfect opportunity to think about the ongoing, internal struggle modern Quake maps so often suffer from: the push and pull between the excitement of impressive screenshots destined for engagement on social media and the much less hype need for new, engaging Quake gameplay. Though several of these maps do manage to marry aesthetics and gameplay together well, more often gameplay feels like an afterthought compared to the monumental, gray blocks so thoughtfully hand-crafted and laid out throughout so many maps with truly epic proportions. Like the brutalist constructions of the mid-to-late 20th century these maps seek to emulate, they're both impressive to behold and ambulate through yet mostly rote, self-serious, and business-like in their function.

And for a jam lasting a few weeks, who could possibly blame a mapper for choosing style over substance? Especially when the call of Makkon's immaculate textures is so much more alluring than populating yet another dark, abstract chamber with yet more knights, ogres, and enforcers. And for the purposes of furthering a mapper's career, focusing on aesthetics is clearly the superior choice for gaining immediate clout and recognition (though I'm sure professional opportunities for anyone are still few and far between). This jam even earned an article on a widely-read game journalism site, Rock Paper Shotgun, which is still a novelty in the modern Quake era and a testament to the strength of the jam's theming.

I would only suggest that, perhaps, we as mappers could take a page out of Valve's book and move more of these colossal, suggestive, stoic pieces of eye candy into the background and bring more unique Quake gameplay ideas into the foreground, even if they're messier, more awkward, and less exciting to work on at first. Food for thought, anyway, as we barrel straight ahead into the next jam and the next, full steam ahead. I continually wonder whether such an effective mapping tool as TrenchBroom wouldn't be better-served by a more mechanically-dense and script-driven game, but seeing as Quake is so accessible, fundamental, and essential, I think it's unlikely we'll have a better platform for simple, short-form level design experimentation any time soon. And in the end, if some of these maps end up more exciting for users and second-hand viewers to noclip through and gasp at high resolution PNGs of rather than play, like a group of wide-eyed students in a museum of curious and inspiring antiquities preserved behind glass, dim spotlights and all, who's to say that's a bad thing?
Gameplay setups were really nice. Darkness being a bit too dark at times. Not a super fan of such claustrophobic and simple spaces being this dark. Some spots you can't plan properly how to move until you see potential paths after you have messed up once due to lighting.
Pretty good given the premise. Really liked how the rooms reconfigured after certain triggers.
Very cool little map. I liked how the geometry changes to reveal new bits of the map as you progress. The lighting is nice and atmospheric as well.
unsurprisingly amazing. but also surprising. love to see this sunny kind of approach to quake! i genuinely loved them all but gotta shoutout @alekswithak 's enemy / item placement, it kept me on my toes the entire time
A good collection of maps, and a great showing from the community. Lots of new faces, lots of known quantities, the music choices across the board are great, ect.
The brutalist setting was the best idea for a Quake jam and I was excited to see what the results would be. Now that I've gotten to play it, this was aboustely worth the wait. While I didn't like some maps, every map from this jam is wonderful and unique and all the mappers part of this jam should be proud of making something so beautiful.
For Sacrilege in Other
I played a couple of the levels, really nice stuff. Loving the action, but those lieutenants... they really rip you a new one :)
For cheese01 in Vanilla
A good first map, however it suffers from typical first map problems. Lack of health pickups, lack of ammo, too many higher tier mobs thrown at you etc.. but a good showing. Keep it up!
For The Deep in Mods

Bloodshot referred me to this, and it is as awesome as I had hoped - if not mroeso.
For The Deep in Mods
Extremely atmospheric, good level pacing with eerie atmosphere, the new monsters provide some nice surprises
I loaded this map up and it looks pretty cool. Is this the makkon concrete wad? I'll try to see if I can wrangle up some people in the QE community to play this with real people and will update my score accordingly.