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10.12.2000: Squonkamatic - Q3 DM: "NukWasteFac"
"NukWasteFac" combines the joys of Quake 3 with the thrill of being lost in a parking garage.

Author: A.J Furedi
Reviewed By: Squonkamatic

Game Mode Supported: I'm not sure.
Overuse of Colored Lighting: Depends on how you look at it.

Spelling Errors in Text File: None. 

Pain Level: Driving a rusted 20 penny nail right through the middle of your own fucking forehead.

Download Here (1308k)


In its Bowels of Hell, "NukWasteFac" has a green glowing vomit pit room that puts a new twist on the phrase "congestive heart failure".
AT A GLANCE: Once again I have the unique displeasure of presenting the Whorehouse's readers with yet another abomination that pushes the envelope of what makes a horrid map, this time in a tragic and suicide inducing turn for the worst. Head Honcho Lowtax sent me a batch of links to maps that he assured me were "... far worse than anything you have reviewed so far", and indeed what I considered to be slop two weeks ago now looks like polished game level design compared to stuff like "NukWastFac" (which I believe is supposed to suggest the "nuclear waste factory" scheme of game level design that the rest of us thought had graciously died out after Quake2's heyday). Indeed I think that this level is so depressing and enraging that it contributed to a horrendous cold I developed over the weekend due to the level of despair I found when dealing with everyday life after just attempting to play this map the other afternoon. It truly is something awful, and not even in a 'Good Fun' kind of way.

DESCRIPTION: Mr. Furedi's info text is totally devoid of any useful information other than the load/command info to play the level and the revealing tidbit that states that he devoted all of 6 hours of his life to the creation of this level. I find this lack of build information to be telling in that it reinforces my suspicion that the author had no fucking idea what he was doing when he sat down to make it and was immensely disgusted with his own results. The question is why did he release it?

THE MAP: I used to have to walk through a parking garage every night after class and this map brought back the joy of having to wander down some five stories of bland concrete and freezing cold blackness when really needing to pee bad. The map was built in a manner that is not only inept but seems to be part of an evil plot to fry your processors. Huge slabs of nondescriptly textured "stuff" are clumsily aligned to create huge, yawning rooms that gunk up framerates like sand in a Honda Accord's gentle, effeminate engine. Unreachable catwalks and crannies with unuseable items loom over head, and the whole map clunks and stutters with r-speed errors as you turn this way and that no matter where you are -- if you want to know what its like to be junked up on morphine while walking through an empty parking garage this is the map for you. The lighting is splotchy or non existent, creating pockets of either glaringly bright gray walls or totally pitch black globs of darkness. There are a few pools of nuclear slime here or there that are ingeniously structured with a top wafer thin layer of glowing green damage inducing shit that has NOTHING underneath it -- you bust through the layer of slime onto a bone dry floor with some dopey powerup in a corner and fry yourself on the layer of green crap while you try in vain to jump out of the empty pool. One section leads to a "jump shaft" hallway that is supposed to spit you up through a triggered door into a long narrow box connected to one of the huge boxes ... but the door trigger and the push entity that spits you out are timed differently, and it always took me about a minute of bouncing up and down underneath the door bashing my poor player models head on it before it would pop open and I could get the fuck out of there.
Being propelled down this shaft reminded me of the time that I had to have a colonoscopy.

Underneath all of this is a nether-world Hell of huge, empty chambers that contain forlorn, abandoned looking weapons dropped here and there and a slime trap that I managed to catch myself in at one point. One of the chambers is an absolutely surreal, evil neon green lit room with those kinds of pits we used to see in DOOM with a layer of slime texture at the very bottom and no way out of if you pitch yourself in ... there is a nightmarish quality to this particular area that defies my ability to describe it -- lonely, uncared for and left to DIE alone and friendless might describe the feeling I was overcome with when wandering though it.

GAMEPLAY: This is another one of those maps that I think aren't really meant to be "played" as much as experienced ... The classic example is "This Map is Good Fun" for Quake2 that just exists as a binary vision into drug crazed madness with nothing to do in the level except just gasp in astonishment; this map is more of a look into a pathetic empty soul that cannot justify its own existence and has no interest in playing Quake at all. The fact that there is no fucking BOT support only adds to this conclusion, because who the fuck in their right mind would run a map like this on a server? I don't even think there is more than one player start -- the three or four times I fried myself on the slime I always spawned in the exact same place. Maybe it's supposed to be a "single player map" where you pick your way through a series of boring objectives until reaching an exit, but as far as I know Quake 3 Arena levels don't have "exits" in them, do they? I mean, the match just sort of ends when a frag or timelimit is hit ... to not even allow for that seems either the most dumbass idea I've ever heard of, or one of the most perverse and surreal uses of the Quake 3 engine that I have ever encountered.

FUN FACTOR: One of my teachers in art school used to implore us to remember that "Not all art is meant to be beautiful or pleasant", and I think that A.J. is also trying to tell us that not all Quake games are meant to be enjoyed; some are meant to be plodding exercises in painful suffering that have no end, and to that point he has accomplished a phenomenal achievement.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I do not recommend this map even as a lesson to budding designers or as a way to get a laugh or whatever -- this is one of those maps to be AVOIDED at all costs, and for shame to anyone who emails me to try and lobby its virtues. I know a steaming pile of vomit when I step in it.

- Squonkamatic for the People!!

Category: Rating:
Aesthetics: - 9
Gameplay: - 10
Item placement: - 6
Layout: - 8
Detail: - 10
TOTAL: - 43

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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