Keeper of Jericho
- You tried a non-linear approach, as you let the player grab the keys in any order (s)he wants. There's also an "ammo room" in which you can access new weapons as long as you have at least one key. Those are all very good ideas on paper, but here the problem is that if you don't follow a certain order you will be screwed-up.
Before one can get a key, some switches need to be activated, and monsters spawn in when you activate said switches.
On my first playthrough, I started by activating switches 4654 and 4659, which opened the way to the blue key. Sadly, 4 Arch-Viles spawned in, and since I didn't have any key at that point, I didn't have any "good" weapon aside from the Shotgun / Chaingun and died.
It appears the blue key should be reached in the end, after the two other keys, but the player isn't supposed to know.
Same problem if you activate linedefs 4628 and 4631 from the start, you'll face a ton of Pain Elementals and Mancubi with "basic" weapons... That's one of the difficulties when you're doing a non-linear map, you have to ensure that every path is doable, and that there's no "wrong" path in which the player is "punished" for taking the wrong direction without knowing...
In all honesty I'm kind of mixed on this, and I'll try to explain why. If this were a stand alone map, I'd *******ely would go with your advise, since pistol start is mandatory then. But this map'll probably be part of a megawad, meaning you carry over weapons from other maps. With those, you can tackle the map in any order you want. At the same time, for those who do happen to start in pistol start, the map can also be finished for them, but requires a specific path through the map (which I'll concede isn't very obvious). So in both cases the map can be finished and can keep its intended difficulty, while if I balance the map out for pistol starters so there's no specific intended path, I fear it'll affect the difficulty for those who'll play through CC4 in order.
So as I said, I'm mixed, not quite sure what to do on this subject, let me know what you think.
- On the subject of getting the keys... Each key lies after a tedious platforming sequence in which the player has to follow a path of very thin "bamboo sticks". The difficulty of these sequences increases with each key, blue being the hardest / most frustrating. If you fall down, you have to run across all the courtyard, climb some tiny stairs and retry...
To be honest, I don't see what's good in this kind of stuff. Players will scream in frustration / ragequit / noclip and get the keys, while speedrunners will curse your name for eons after failing those jumps for the billionth time. I really suggest changing those platforming sequences ( enlarge the thin pillars or something ).
I wanted to break up the fights by adding some non-fighting bits to the map since otherwise the map's one continuous stream of you letting monsters teleport in the courtyard with nothing else to do in between... When making my maps I keep forgetting people don't save these days. When I fall off, I reload my savefile and try again. But I'll admit they are tricky, and speedrunners will skin me alive. Not an appealing thought. =p I'll move the pillars a bit closer to each other so it'll be less difficult/frustrating.
- Well, two Masterminds spawning in such a large, flat arena make for a useless trap, actually. Just move around and the big brains will happily mov each other down while you can do other things. Having only one Mastermind would be more dangerous here imho.
I noticed this myself now. It's kind of annoying since I don't want to resort to multiple cyberdemons or Arch-Vile or Monster Swarm for a tougher final fight, and one Spider Mastermind with all that cover really is a cakewalk... Meh, not sure what to do... Guess I'll settle for one Spider Mastermind then for the lack of better options.
- There's no extra item / monster for multiplayer modes.
You'll have to forgive me, but I really have no experience or any clue as to the dos and donts for properly balancing a map for co-up. >.<
- Ammo and health were properly balanced, as long as you find the ammo room. :)
Glad to hear it, thanks!
- The colored switches corresponding the the keys in the ammo room doesn't really match the intended colors. The blue switch is ok, but the yellow switch is actually green and the red switch is yellow. Offsetting the switch texture may be a good idea.
It'll be done. :)
- As previously mentioned in the posts above, the map is quite flat and full of 90° angles, but considering this is a speedmap I think you did a pretty good job. :)
You're improving. Next time maybe try creating some caves or other natural settings and you'll get used to non-90° angles, I'm sure you can do cool things with some experimentation.
Thanks for the compliment, it's good to know I'm making progress with mapping. As I mentioned in reply to Phobus, I fear 90° and flatness are my style as of now, even when I try to add height. (And when I do, like in Deepholm, I cause massive slowdown. X-) ) A cave map might not be such a bad idea for a next map, thanks for the advice!
Oh and it seems you forgot to remove the Doom Builder 3D Mode start thing :)
It'll be done.
Thanks for the testing, suggestions and advice. =)