Finally checked this one out.
I've been putting it off somewhat due to the high monster count, and your early description of this map as a slaughter map, which I tend not to like. Fortunately this isn't your typical slaughter map, and only the last fight is remotely close to the typical bfg and cyb spamfest of a slaughter map.
I'm also an admirer of "Simple Complex", and I agree that lowering and raising parts of the map to change its layout is under used, so I was generally delighted by the way that you made use of it in your map. I was really taken by surprise a couple of times, and I've never seen such dynamic terrain in a doom map before. Seemed like some new part of the level was opening out with every couple of steps. The rising platforms for cover were a nice touch, and certainly something one doesn't often see.
Monster placement seemed interesting and a good variety of monsters were used, although I think you could tone down the troopers a bit, replace them with some sergeants, which are more entertaining :). As you mentioned, you used archviles carefully and didn't mindlessly place them everywhere as seems to be the case in far too many high monster-count maps. They were placed where they'd be able to do a lot of resurrecting rather than just being used for their hitscan attacks.
So in terms of gameplay and layout this map looks really promising. Unfortunately I'm of the view that aesthetically it leaves a lot to be desired. The amount of detailing isn't too bad, most (but not all) areas of the map avoid blandness. However, the texturing was not at all to my liking.
Thematically there is far too much variation. I wasn't really sure what you were thinking alternating the marble and wood and metal so haphazardly, but now that I've read your posts I see that you were trying to blend the E1, E2 and E3 themes from the original doom. I don't think this is a good idea. It might work in a more conventional linear map where you start in an E1 section, progress to E2 and finish in the E3 area but the sections are completely separate. Here, though, the map almost becomes pretty much one big room with these clashing texture themes that can't possibly fit together. It ends up looking rather messy. I don't think you need to do anything unconventional with regards to the texturing, the gameplay and layout are unique enough as it stands. I'd suggest picking whatever theme you like best and more or less sticking to it. When you've got marble rooms opening out of what was a metal base there's just no sense of coherency.
I think that the choice of textures in general was lacking, even without the clashes I mentioned. This becomes apparent a long time before the map starts to open out. It's hard to describe exactly what I mean in words alone, so I provided some screenshots.
What was apparent here (throughout most of the level, in fact) was how much clashing there was between your wall textures and your flats. In this screenshot, the ceiling and floor segments have stone flats, yet the sides of them are not made of stone. This looks terrible. You can see examples of this kind of thing throughout the rest of the map. I have another example...
Here we have a building with STARTAN walls, but inside it is a rock ceiling! STARTAN doesn't go that well with the sandy brick textures you've used in the screenshot either. I really think you need to go and look at some good maps to get an idea of what kind of textures fit together.
Look at the upper half of this shot. Marble and chequered metal?!
You also have blood waterfalls that seem to appear from nowhere. There should be a pool of blood at the top otherwise this looks amateurish.Same goes for the side textures at the bottom of the pool.
Perhaps I didn't provide a very good explanation of what exactly is wrong with your texturing, but I'm hoping the screenshots will show you what I mean. There are clashes and inconsistencies like this throughout the level, and I could spend all day trying to point them all out, so I'll hope I've made myself clear.
To be honest, it surprises me that more people didn't make this point based on the texturing in the screenshots you posted. As far as I'm concerned, dutch devil was spot on when he said that this looks like an oblige map (not saying it is, obviously).
I also spotted a lot of texture misalignments, so be sure to watch out for those.
There are a lot of other smaller things I could comment on, but I don't think it's worthwhile until you've addressed the big issues I raised here.
Think of the map as being a rough diamond. It may shine brightly indeed when the project is finished, but first it requires a lot of polishing. I really think that if you make the right adjustments this will be a great addition to CC4. No hard feelings about what might seem like a harsh review, I hope.
Thank you for checking for 100% kills and secrets, by the way. Makes my job a little easier :)
That reminds me. You say you didn't notice any stuck monsters. When I played, I noticed a few. Both (at least I think there were only two) masterminds got stuck on enemies for a while, some mancubi and other large monsters, and some cybs at the end (although it looks like that might have been intentional on your part after they went through those teleporters). I was playing in prboom-plus 126.96.36.199, I believe.
EDIT: One more thing. I think your map would benefit from more light variation if you can find a way to put some in there. Obviously it's hard with the way the maps open out, but more variance in light levels would help to make things a little less drab.
Last edited by justanotherfool on 07-13-10 at 17:56