Release date: September 1st, 2009
Number of episodes: 10
Number of levels per episode: 6, with a prologue and epilogue
Number of maps: 63
Style of Organization: Based on both thematic elements and difficulty curve
This is what I consider the epitome of MY mapping to this point. I may post a bonus episode, an expansion column, an author's cut, or a release of rejected levels, all depending on how these 63 maps are received.
Featured map Fountainhead__Featured map Stalactite
In addition, 00-00 has been released exclusively on #Moa. A final preview will be submitted to Numa on September 1st.
One of the key issues when creating my pack was organization. A true difficulty curve is very difficult, but also overrused. I wanted to freshen the genre up, change how packs are made. So my pack is organized (both withing the column and the individual episodes) based on a multitude of elements: theme, difficulty, length, style, genre, and tileset. You'll find maps grouped accordingly by whether they are hollowed or built, the length to complete or AGD, the style of map, and much much more. I'm not offering an excuse for the sub-par difficulty curve, simply explaining that the reason for it is my attempt to organize the pack in the best format as a whole. You may also notice that the prologue an epilogue set up an adventure, then resolve.
How to Play this Pack
As my mapping style has morphed, so has the way my maps are made. Many of you will notice unnecessary doors, trapdoors, and faster "cheatable" routes. Please note, these are all intended. Trap doors add variety to routes, locked doors allow different methods of completion, to try and determine the fastest, or the method that harvests the most gold. More importantly however, is flow. Many of these maps, prominently 01-03, 03-00, 03-02, 03-05, 05-01, and 05-03 are what might be describe as "flowy action."
Credit, Where Credit is Due
My maps (and especially level packs) in the past have often been called generic, here I sought to break that stereotype. In PRIDE, I set to find what a good map is - and what a good pack is, while keeping true to my mapping roots. You'll see a multitude of influences, perhaps the most obvious, and maybe dominant, influence is Atob's style of mapping. Most apparent in the prologue, 04-01, and 07-1, his object placement is the most drastic influence in my maps. However, I believe that I have successfully combined the plethora of influences (with original twists and ideas constituting the majority) in order to make a unique, fun, and mature map. Hopefully, you'll think the same as well, when you finish PRIDE.
Secondly, a long and arduous process of playtesting leads me to thank quite a few members of the community. Originally, I went to Lord Day with an idea for a themed mappack, before PALEMOON released MRDR. The quality of such maps however, fell short due to thematic influence, so I deleted all said maps except one after consulting LD. Only the epilogue remains as a survivor of the pack. After playtesting 25 or so maps (more than half were later dropped), Pheidippides became busy and was unable to help, leaving me desperately looking for someone with experience and time. Kablizzy fit both options, I went to him with my entire pack asking for advice on organization and such. His support greatly made PRIDE possible. RandomDigits as well helped immensely. His playtesting, demoing, and mistake catching helped me to polish and perfect the pack. Thanks again to all of you guys.
"The pack is phenomenal... Every map is pretty damn good as-is - I think there were only one or two maps that I didn't entirely love"
Kablizzy, playtester of PRIDE
"I have the utmost belief that this pack will be some of the best maps that metanet has seen in a long while"
Inspired, discussing the pack in general
"This is the one of the best kind of maps out there, simple, well done, and great fun to play"
Itaer, after playing a mappack leak.
"A turning point... for an already well-established author
-Guitar Hero Matt, in his review of featured preview Stalactite
"This map is absolutely amazing...the difficulty is perfect"
-Green Ghost, on the mappack preview Stalactite
"...one of the most stylistically impressive maps I've ever played. Reminds of of barabajagal's effortless cool. 5av'd"
-Astheoceansblue, on mappack preview and featured map The Fountainhead
Without further ado, PRIDE.