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10.3.2000: Squonkamatic - Q3 DM: "Building"
Great. A "Building". Someone call Thresh.

Author: No author credit provided.
Reviewed By: Squonkamatic

Game Mode Supported: DM
Overuse of Colored Lighting: No.

Spelling Errors in Text File: What text file? 

Pain Level: Rubbing cockroach poison on your eyeballs and then lighting your hair on fire with a road flare.

Download Here (760k)

Inside of the building are walls. There is NOTHING inside of this building except walls.
AT A GLANCE: I just can't make up my mind about this level. On the surface it appears to be a competent though unimaginatively constructed rendition of a building-like structure (hence the name of the map) to play Quake in, but underneath this innocent looking facade I sense the desperate vision of a crazed maniac who has used Radient as a means to lash out at the world. And since the map's author is completely anonymous there is no one for me to project my antagonism at.

The non-descipt building map has been around since the glory days of DOOM, and indeed I used to keep a folder of just "building and warehouse" levels in my DOOM2 directory and play them with relish, fantasizing that I was cleaning the scum out of the Office of Financial Aid at school or whatever. But this map fuels no revenge fantasies about making Zombified office workers PAY for denying me loan extensions just because I had some crummy job and lived on my own. Nope -- this "Building" inspires claustrophobic nightmares about being trapped in an empty dentist office complex that just happens to have rocket launchers lying around.

DESCRIPTION: The map archive is completely bereft of any kind of information text. The closest thing I could find is the self serving blurb the author apparently provided to the Dark Lord's slaves condemned to work at FilePlanet to go on the map's download info page that reads --

"This map features a square building placed in an outdoors courtyard. The interior of the building is somewhat maze-like. The gameplay is certainly different than most other levels out there."

Aye, Captain: most other levels out there don't make me want to delete the game from my drive and take up needlepoint for excitement ... no offense to any needlepoint fanatics who happen to be reading this.

THE MAP: It looks like a building plunked down into a Pit of Despair from which there is no escape. There is a plain unadorned "yard" area outside of the building, and inside there are three floors of mazes meant to imply an empty building with lots of little hallways and crummy lighting. I don't really think too highly of "maze" levels, and the author did a remarkable job of melding the maze and warehouse themes together in a way that adds up to almost nothing. The map was also executed in a plodding, unimaginative way that seems to deny many of the possibilities of the Q3 engine: there is almost no vertical movement (other than throwing yourself off of the roof), the architecture is made up entirely of right angles bumped up against other right angles just like a boring DOOM map, and there is nothing about the level that is in the least bit surprising. There is even a machine gun entity provided for players who have managed to loose theirs while loading up the map. Lights shimmer between the cracks of the walls of the "rooms" and passageways to nowhere that make up the mazes, helping to emphasize the haphazard, spotty lighting design; some passages are pitch black and others fully bright. Indeed I suspect that what the author was attempting to do was to strip away whatever small amount of enjoyment there is in playing Quake3 for players with a sense of imagination and replace it with a monotonous exercise in trying not to blow yourself up in the narrow, poorly lit hallways.
On top of the building is what I like to call "The Shrine of the Butthole Bot" and it is decorated like an unfinished high school geometry problem.

The only feature of the map that provides any kind of intrigue is what I like to call "The Shrine of the Butthole Bot" that has been unceremoniously stuck on the top of the building like a cake decoration. The Bots are strangely attracted to it even though it is devoid of any kind of significant weapon or powerup, flocking there to pray at the Alter of Ass. The author also screwed up on the textures he assigned to it so it is covered with the gridded "missing texture" look that always inspires me to fits of colon spasms, and has been provided with an elevator that makes this odd buzzing noise when activated (which could be evidence of a missing sound entity -- I'm not familiar enough with the inner workings of Q3 to really tell). The whole mess serves no purpose I can discern except to attract the Bots in the way that flies swarm over shit on a hot summer day. In fact, the only interesting play I found when "playing" the map was in running up on the roof and blasting them out of the window over and over and over again.

GAMEPLAY: I felt very akin to a rat in a maze who was trying to figure out why all the other rats were camping on the top level even though there aren't any food pellets up there.

FUN FACTOR: I came up empty on this category, but then again I'm sure there are other players out there who will find the idea of running around an empty building with a lightning gun like an idiot a common everyday experience.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Like I said, I'm not sure what to make of this map except that playing it was about as interesting as going to the post office. Can I fault a map JUST for being boring, unimaginative, clumsily executed and missing textures?


- Squonkamatic for the People!!


Category: Rating:
Aesthetics: - 8
Gameplay: - 5
Item placement: - 4
Layout: - 7
Detail: - 9
TOTAL: - 33

Individual ratings go from 0 (bearable) to -10 (painfully terrible). Total score goes from 0 (ok) to -50 (the worst piece of shit you'll ever play).

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