Wolf and Bugsy's posts with respect to that 'test' were probably the funniest things I've ever read on this forum in my entire time with this community, bar none. Hilarious on a level I was not prepared for, haha!
Personally I definitely agree with those listed complaints. I was had a career of sorts as a semi-pro tournament paintball player and I can tell you, unequivocally, that the 'amateur' map listed was actually some of the most fun team 'FPS' Stuff I've ever done. It's highly variable and interesting. Simplistic? Sure. But try building a multiplayer map like that sometime and throwing a 4 v 4 match in it. You get some pretty insane stuff from it.
I've done some pretty heavy duty analysis of game design maps from the original Doom if anyone is interested. I always appreciated their unusual and abstracted level flow. I'm not a fan of the recursive-style builds that people favored in the 2004 area (see Q3 Arena, for instance) or the modern "I got my architecture degree but can't get a job in architecture so here's my 'level' that's really just a blueprint for a failed building design I did" style.
My analysis on doom levels:
- particular proud of this one because Romero himself actually read it and we had a little discussion on it.
- this best represents what can be done in gameguru, IMO.
-best use of traps/hidden mechanics
- Romero's more modern work is an interesting case study in evolution of design.
Most of the old-pro game makers got their start by making mazes. Today's modern games aren't mazes. They're linear movies, with some interaction thrown in. That's not mentally stimulating to me, from a game design standpoint.
Dimoxinil -Your level design looks great; I would agree some differentiation in color and shape would help. I'd probably put some very large obelisk in as a landmark so people could always get a sense of distance and space. Example:
See how the large mountain/rock anchors your position better than simply being in a corridor full of trees? It gives people a clear thing to latch onto so they can get a sense of direction. Even if this is simply a bright sun:
It's always good to give people something to latch onto unless you are attempting to deliberately try to disorient them.
Example of how to disorient a player:
You'll noticed I picked forests for all my example pictures. I wanted a level of similarity between my examples to help illustrate different ways to provide the player some kind of frame of reference from similar mazes. Growing up in the forests of Pennsylvania, I'm very familiar with how to navigate and not get lost in what can otherwise be a maze of similar shapes and colors. It's beautiful until you realize you have no idea where you are.
Anyways, just some thoughts to help you refine your work, if that's even possible. I still have to say you represent some of the top efforts by this community (along with many of the others in this very thread) so please continue your work and know you have our best support.
On an aside, you've inspired me to do a post on this very topic on my blog, so thanks for that