Ns_Nexus Released

StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
edited November 2006 in Mapping Forum
its actually now at beta 2 with most bugs fixed
Ns_Nexus was started in sept 2005, and first released oct 2006. I made the map i always wanted; a full-fledged NS map that actually felt like a ship, with really innovative gameplay, layout, and especially, vent system.

First off, thanks for all hanging in there (those who ive been hyping this to forever tounge.gif). Its been awhile in the making.

Remember: This is a full-fledged NS map, and it is VERY detailed. IT WILL TAKE AWHILE TO LEARN ALL THE ROUTES, *ESPECIALLY* the vents. I made them as intuitive as i thought possible; they're as useful as the Nancy vents but they arent such a cryptic maze. Please, please, save harsh criticism until you at least play a few rounds on it. Every map feels like a maze until you get the feel for it.

SCREENSHOTS are darker than in-game. Dunno why, seems env_gamma is at 1.0 for screens, but its at 1.5 in-game.
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THOSE ARE DARKER THAN IN-GAME

Download Here!

Notes:

-WHAT IT IS. Ns_Nexus from the very beginning was to be a full-fledged TSA Spaceship. Many maps are set sortof on spaceships, but none have strived to give the complete ambience, layout, and detailing of the real deal. Enjoy getting lost in its multitude of rooms, and especially in the huge ventilation system behind the access panels (which happens to be rather ninja-friendly).

-MINIMAP. The minimap has been coloured (red for vents), and labelled. Its not as clear as the other maps, due to some room-over-room, but its plenty navigable once you understand the basic layout.

-RUNTIMES. The runtimes from MS to each hive is pretty much spot-on if you have all the routes open. The runtimes from each hive to the others are spot-on as well, and even as low as 13 seconds from Port Hive to Chromo Hive, if you know the vents.

-WELDABLES. There are 8. Of the route-opening weldables, one is critical, two are very useful but not critical, one is minor, and another is to help with a secret passage. There are then two siege-opening weldables, and one vent-closer.

-SECRET ROUTES. I love them. Caged is full of them, other maps have a sparse few. I DO NOT mean illusionary walls or invisible buttons; i mean actual architecture that can be jumped/maneuvred/whatever, rather perilously, to gain a very significant advantage as a marine. Nexus has two ultra-secret routes, one secret-but-obvious route, and then tons of boostable or just plain awesome ninja'ing routes. Collect'em all. It'll take awhile.

-R_SPEEDS. They have been optimized greatly; they're practically within official limits. If you're running on Software mode, i.e. you dont even have a videocard, you're in for some s***. I have a fairly low-end comp (2.6, 1gig, geforce 5600) and i never get any slowdowns. Average for players is ~600, peaks at 1000 from certain angles. The comm peaks around 2000 in certain spots too, i'll probably fix these up in a future version.

-ELEVATORS. They cannot be broken by marines. But they CAN be broken by the comm. It should be acceptable for the comm the 'use' the elevator as he pleases, but for the comm to 'use' it during its movement - which makes it stop/start - should be considered exploiting, just like how marines can do that to the Generator elevator in Nothing. Repeat; marines cannot do this themselves.

-RES NODE LAYOUT. It is deceiving. At first glance it looks as though the majority of the nodes (7/10) are away from the bottom two hives. This is an illusion; the middle two nodes are very high up, and the far left ones are a solid walking distance from MS. Nexus Mainframe node is very close to MS (once its welded), and Railgun node is a bit farther, but the rest are fair game. This was done on purpose, mimmicking Station Access/T-Junction and Powerbanks/Flight, etc. Each team/hive can easily secure at least one extra node, then another with a bit more difficulty, then after that its pure Natural Selection. The layout is actually symmetrical a la Veil, once you know it.

Please email beavatron at hotmail.com with any feedback. Lets get to playing biggrin-fix.gif

-Stix&Stonz
Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
Creator of Ns_Nexus (ns1); Main thread found here.

Comments

  • NaigelNaigel Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18376Members, Constellation Posts: 651
    This name scares me... I remember a certain Spanish member and something with a clitoris?

    Anyway, the map looks a bit bland and dark, but as you said: it might be cause of the weird gamma+screenshot thing. Do you have an overview or layout to show us?
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  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
    the labelled minimap is there in one of the screenshots.

    To understand the layout, you need to realize that the two circle rooms are the Port and Starboard Shafts; they connect to the rest of the map at the bottom, and to the middle hive, Chromo, at the top. It makes for a perfect 32 sec runtime from MS to Chromo, hence creating a map where there's no traditional 'middle' hive. It works this way in-game too; each hive is a viable second hive.

    That is one of the two 'layered' areas, which make the minimap a bit confusing. The second layered area is at the bottom, Engineering Halls. Although it looks as though you could run from one hive to the next in no time, Engy Halls have been built to make for a solid runtime between the two siege points. You'd have to see it in-game to understand.

    Oh, and about it being bland and dark... the dark is from the gamma error in the screens. But the blandness? Almost everyone who's played it, whether they like the gameplay or not, have said that its amazingly detailed and has great visuals tounge.gif

    Its currently in the votelist on Gorges, BAD, and TG, with it potentially getting there on H|M, G4B2S (though they just do a rotation, but we've had the best games there), and a few others.
    Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
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  • ZiGGYZiGGY Join Date: 2003-01-19 Member: 12479Members Posts: 3,039
    damn downloadsites, Im not registering to download ;/ the posted link doesnt work for me D:
    teh r33t4rd c0mmANDAR. EU NS League @ ensl.zanith.nl
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  • bERt0rbERt0r Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Members Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited November 2006
    hmm i didnt have to register, just enter the code to prevent bot abuse
    the screenshots lack color, ingame is a bit better, but you have no contrasts in you lightning, no shadows etc
    The ambient sounds in your map are great and the layout is really somthing special smile-fix.gif Though Port and Starboard Thruster look alike.
    And you are right, the map is confusing, and you ignored a point in the mapping guidelines: Avoid floor over floor architecture. Your Chromo hive is barely visible by the commander and the corridors beneath it cant be seen at all. That means the marines are on their own there... It was also really difficult for me to even finde Chromo Hive biggrin-fix.gif
    However your map looks fun to play - id like to play many custom maps but noooh nobody wants to even try new official maps like shiva sad-fix.gif
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    edited November 2006
    - Might want to take a look at some doorways, the Onos can't walk trough them without crouching or jumping.
    - That hive overlapping the bottom hallways. commander's really like this?
    - The lighting could be spiced up a littlebit with using overlays/points lights
    - I had a hard time getting out of the pit at the engine hives as Onos. Crouchjump works, but the onos sometimes gets pushed aside because of it's huge clipping hull. might want to lower the catwalk arround the bottom of the hive a little
    - Also might want to take a look at the pulsating brush entity at Nexus Mainframe, players and structures will be unlit if above it. You haven't lit the area underneath that pulsating entity. This will result into anything on the verticle axis above that floor will be unlit (even on the ceiling or flying over it as a skulk/lerk/jetty). Keep in mind that the hl engine lights objects from below (floor brush)

    sidenote:
    There have been other maps which have the lay the emphasis on the spaceship look (3 or 4 if I recall correctly tounge.gif )

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  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
    Lighting:
    -No contrast? hmm... maybe i should go from bounce 2 to 1? Up the env_gamma from 1.5 to 1.7?
    -i had quite a few point lights and different styles before, but then had this brusherror that was giving me the alloc_block:full thing... ripped them all out, went down to 85% clips before the allocblock error went away... and then i ended up fixing the actual brush error. Ive been putting details back in since, at about 97% clips now, but a lot of the lighting i'd changed to texlights. Maybe next version i'll mix it up some.
    -shadows? i thougth there were some pretty dark areas in nexus tounge.gif

    Comming:
    -you can still easily med marines in the VIew Halls (which are directly under the middle hive) from the side. There are a few lesser problem areas, which have been func_seethrough'd enough to make them acceptable imo, but we'll see. In the many games we've had, on some pretty big servers, while many comms have complained, there have been many comms who've said its just fine. Maybe its just not forgiving for newer comms.

    Plus, i needed the vertical middle hive to be able to make the 3-sided pyramid effect; the only way you can have 4 points equal distance from each of the other points, in 3d (3 hives and MS). Its a bit tricky for the comm, and i might have to fix up the minimap a bit more to really show it (maybe green for the shafts and the middle hive), but it seems to have served its purpose. From any start hive, each other his is a viable 2nd hive. The only other time ive seen this in NS was that map where MS was in the middle of all three hives, but that just messes up hive-to-hive runtimes.

    -Onos in doorways? Huh? I thought there were only two doors like that (the two weldables that lead into/out of Double), though ive heard that the Shaft ramps catch sometimes too. If so, i'll fix the shaft ramps in the next version, though i dont know about the double ones... we'll see.

    -The bottom of the bottom hives; yeah, gorges have problems here too, but they can still use the vent. I'll be changing that in the next version to make it easier for both.

    -in Nexus, the whole room used to pulsate with 4 dynamic lights tounge.gif. Looked hella cool, but, i brought it back to this when i was trying to get rid of the alloc error. Might go back, in the next version.

    Thanks for the feedback guys biggrin-fix.gif
    Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
    Creator of Ns_Nexus (ns1); Main thread found here.
  • tigersmithtigersmith Join Date: 2004-11-11 Member: 32749Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 762 Fully active user
    Nice, I remember when I played your map with you about 2 weeks ago on G4B2S. Loved it

    Since then did you make any changes? or is this the same one?
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  • NayNay Join Date: 2002-06-09 Member: 741Members Posts: 359
    i remember this years ago if its how my head is working at the moment lol, its really nice, i think anyone would be a bit stupid to not have a graphics card in there pcs these days and 1000 r_speeds is in my opinion very low for the specs that average on steams survey
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    Isn't it true that r_speeds are engine dependant as in a super fast pc will still have trouble rendering because the engine itself it choking on the overload of w_poly...


    QUOTE
    -in Nexus, the whole room used to pulsate with 4 dynamic lights tounge.gif. Looked hella cool, but, i brought it back to this when i was trying to get rid of the alloc error. Might go back, in the next version.


    Nexus Mainframe area still has the lightbug though. Even if it looks cool tounge.gif

    QUOTE
    - Also might want to take a look at the pulsating brush entity at Nexus Mainframe, players and structures will be unlit if above it. You haven't lit the area underneath that pulsating entity. This will result into anything on the verticle axis above that floor will be unlit (even on the ceiling or flying over it as a skulk/lerk/jetty). Keep in mind that the hl engine lights objects from below (floor brush)


    fix for it smile-fix.gif

    Guardian of the "magic cookiejar" 

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  • NayNay Join Date: 2002-06-09 Member: 741Members Posts: 359
    edited November 2006
    well i can assure u if u have a fast pc it will not slow down, i never get a single frame drop on any of the halflife 1 based engine mods now, get around 500+ fps on cs 1.6 ( u can uncap the 100fps limit with out vysnc and fps_max 1000 ) specs are 2gb ram, 4000 amd 64 san diego, 7800 gs 512mb bliss on a DFI lanparty mobo, but yes it dosnt help because the engine wasnt really designed for this, i remember once i competition years ago to make the most detailed scene for the halflife 1 engine, if i remember correctly the winning map hit over 10000 wpoly
  • NayNay Join Date: 2002-06-09 Member: 741Members Posts: 359
    btw it wouldnt let me download the map, is anyone else having same issues?
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    QUOTE(Nay @ Nov 8 2006, 12:55 AM) »

    btw it wouldnt let me download the map, is anyone else having same issues?

    You did fill out the download code to submit the download request? If so, I dunno what could be wrong...

    Guardian of the "magic cookiejar" 

    Retired forum Admin, I mostly used a flamethrower tank for disputes... Mostly

    Retired EUPT Deputy | Moral Support | Squad 5 Blue | 102 1HP Skulk escapes and counting

  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
    Tiger, if you played Beta 1, beta 2 really isnt noticeably different. There were about 20 bugfixes, but they arent obvious.

    Nay, you just have to put in three letters beside the download button, should work.

    Kouji, i know the issue is still there tounge.gif. I was saying that, before, instead of those texlights pulsating, that texture wasnt a texlight at all, and the room simply had a few pulsating blue lights in it. I might revert back to that, or simply make the texture under the current pulsating things the same blue.
    Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
    Creator of Ns_Nexus (ns1); Main thread found here.
  • BigDBigD [OldF] Join Date: 2002-10-25 Member: 1596Members Posts: 1,056 Advanced user
    One of the reasons I've stuck by so closely to NS is that my gaming rig ran it perfectly fine, while having issues with those "modern" games, requiring "modern" computers and all those fancy words that come with them. I'm sure there are many like me. wink-fix.gif

    As a side note, this issue is to be corrected within the next six months for me personally. But it's still a good idea to stay within the specs.
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  • DarkATiDarkATi Revelation 22:17 Join Date: 2003-06-20 Member: 17532Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,545 Fully active user
    edited November 2006
    Ns_Nexus Beta Review
    IPB ImageIPB Image[Out of 5]

    I really like this map alot. It has a good "feel" to it. However, it still needs more work and that is why I gave it 2 out of a possible 5 "Kool-Aid Dudes".

    First, let me rave about Marine Start. I absolutely love it! For lack of a better word, it's "cool"! It looks like a Marine Start should look, it feels like it should feel and it's fairly open making it easier to defend as a lowly Marine.

    IPB Image

    My next favorite area would have to be Chromo:

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    THIS is what NS is all about ladies and gentlemen. Fighting fanged, winged and malevolent creaturs over an open skybridge. (Note: It isn't "really" open, there is a complete glass enclosure that prevents one from falling into the SuperNova below.)

    I really like this area.

    Now on to some criticism.

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    This area (Double Node) is a little bland. I absolutely love the gameplay dynamics with the high ceiling and various levels but it's a bit too "dry". Try adding more detail and variance in lighting styles / colors.

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    This area could be much better. I love the Rail Gun, it looks very cool; very sci-fi but it's also WIDE OPEN. A skulk would die far too quickly here. Add more ground cover and mix the wall textures up a bit.

    Also, when creating sci-fi elements (rail guns, data cores, system monitoring, railways, specimen delivery systems, etc.) it's OK to have things that the user won't understand. This adds to the immersion of the user, making him feel as if their is more, "out there". The user should never feel like he is in a box. However, think of how it might work and try to create some sense of reality within these fictional elements. Discover their purpose. What do they do and why do they do it?

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    Also, this looks very unrealistic. The human eye is trained at detecting dimension, height, depth etc. and my eye caught this very quickly. A real vent would not cut into a texture with an obvious border like the one pictured above.

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    This too, looks very unrealistic. The wall simply flows on as the ramp descends. Walk into a building with a large ramp and see what it looks like. More then likely you will see that the wall is angled alongside the ramp. Or AT LEAST has a trim piece that follows the ramp.

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    Now this area is, again, far too wide and open. And it also lacks detail. What is this room's purpose? Why do the "computers" or mapping "cells" (whatever they are) look like they're from the 1970's or 80's when computers devoured entire rooms? Why no moniyors? Wires? Pipes? Chairs?

    IPB Image

    Another note on immersion from the scene pictured above. Any time you have a "pulsing" sound, have whatever is moving / spinning / pulsing, pulse along with the sound. In this area, the Mainframe that the res node sits upon is pulsing at an entirely different rate from the sound file that plays here.

    IPB Image

    Same notes as before for this area. I like it alot but it lacks purpose in some areas. (i.e. the giant black "tram" textured brushes.) Try supporting the helter-skelter walkway in this room as well. Right now it looks like it's suspended in mid-air or held in place by the wall itself.

    IPB Image

    Finally, this hallway out of Marine Start is far too bland and way too large.

    What is the purpose of those giant doors in the hallway?

    All in all, I like this map and it has potential. Keep up the good work and let me know when Beta 3 is out!

    Cheers,
    ~ DarkATi
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    And let me say that one hell of a review darkATI... Kudos +10 for you tounge.gif

    Guardian of the "magic cookiejar" 

    Retired forum Admin, I mostly used a flamethrower tank for disputes... Mostly

    Retired EUPT Deputy | Moral Support | Squad 5 Blue | 102 1HP Skulk escapes and counting

  • DarkATiDarkATi Revelation 22:17 Join Date: 2003-06-20 Member: 17532Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,545 Fully active user
    QUOTE(Kouji_San @ Nov 8 2006, 05:05 PM) »

    And let me say that one hell of a review darkATI... Kudos +10 for you tounge.gif


    I'll write a review for Achio soon too. smile-fix.gif

    Cheers,
    ~ DarkATi
  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
    Pretty harsh there Dark, at least in some respects (especially the 2/5...)

    You gave some good comments on visual details of certain areas, and i'll be sure to review them for the next version. But im just wondering about this review. You didnt make a single mention of:
    -many of the absolutely critical rooms (none of the hives, the shafts, or the vents)
    -anything at all about gameplay (layout, siege ranges, THE SHAFTS again tounge.gif)
    -anything about the numerous weldables

    I'm actually wondering... did you even see the shafts? I would have thought that those would definitely have warranted some kind of comment even.

    Either way, some good (although narrow) criticism, which will help the next version.
    Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
    Creator of Ns_Nexus (ns1); Main thread found here.
  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
    K, I'm a bit too busy to be able to complete all this for at least a week, but I've started making plans for reworking the layout of Nexus to bring it to a more 'standard' format. This *should not* affect the runtimes to each hive, nor the balance of gameplay is any serious way, but it should make the minimap fully legible on its own and solve most of the issues people have been having with it. Lets hope it works out biggrin-fix.gif
    Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
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  • Hippie-stonerHippie-stoner Join Date: 2004-10-12 Member: 32225Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 27
    edited November 2006
    mann that map looks primo. like really i cant wait to learn it and love it as much as i do the others.

    first i would like to say i like how the map isnt to big like some of the newer ones comming out but is very compact.

    and should be balaneced by haven large rooms for marines and lots of vents for aliens.
    it will be cool to look for all the little jumps that will be possible on a map of that detail biggrin-fix.gif and i cant wait

    i hope u get rid of all the little bugs tho tounge.gif
    i mean this could well be a map that gets played alot. and there was one bit where it was weird to walk like slowing me and stuff D:
    and i also got stuck in the railgun room on that thingy when i landed on the slope and slip to my stuckness.
    that a primo room btw.
  • SkwareSkware Join Date: 2006-10-31 Member: 58125Members Posts: 113
    edited November 2006
    added the nexus map onto the HM server come by because we will probably be playing it quite a bit.


    (btw im known as Pastry Theft now)
  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
    bit of an update... im back into mapping again, so Nexus is getting another release soon.

    I'm fixing up pretty much all the bugs mentioned, but the biggest is the stickyness of the lower levels. This was because players were running on a func_nobuild, since marines could siege the hive from underneath. This also had the nasty effect of not allowing other structures. I raised Chromo Hive (not the room, just the hive inside of the room), so i got rid of all those nobuilds and it feels a lot more fluid down there.

    ..Plus, this created a new spot to reach in Chromo Hive. A really fun one as a marine. Can we say... lmg snipa?

    I'll also be fixing the onos MC stuck points, 'optimizing' the vent layout (removing two that cluttered up the map a bit and were rarely used), and tons of other little things.

    I'll possibly be modifying the Rings. This could really de-clutter the minimap and hopefully get people to finally understand the layout. Its really not that complicated of a layout, but my guess is that these rings were helping mess people up.

    Stay posted tounge.gif
    Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
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  • FazFaz Join Date: 2004-01-31 Member: 25852Members Posts: 21
    DOWNLOAD HERE ZIGGY if you cant be arsed

    Hello STIX BTW you might wanna add my link as a mirror as there not going to go anywhere we've had the hosting for 4+ years now...

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  • FFSkyriderFFSkyrider Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58211Members Posts: 88
    Nice map, will be added on my server as well. And for those who need a mirror link, I've added one as well: http://halflife2.filefront.com/file/;73850
    IPB Image
    Want your Natural Selection File hosted at HL2Files.com? Private Message me! :D
  • ShenTraXShenTraX Join Date: 2003-11-10 Member: 22434Members, Constellation Posts: 662
    I played this map on someones server last weekend..

    This map is HUGE. Lotta map to detail out.
    had that sig for years. lame baleet.
    image
  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,185 Fully active user
    biggrin-fix.gif

    If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask. Theres a lot of depth to the map, and if something feels strange or like it should be different, mention it. I'll either take it into account for the next version or explain what you're missing tounge.gif

    Beta 3 is pretty much ready, and it has a bunch of really great additions and fixes. The middle hive especially has gotten a wickedly fun renovation. Other updates include; overall brighter lighting; no more 'sticky floors'; no more dead ends; better gorge access from the ground of the thruster hives.

    ...Its just not compiling properly. But it should be soon.
    Professional Game and Level Designer, thanks to NS!
    Creator of Ns_Nexus (ns1); Main thread found here.
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