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Keeper of Jericho
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Posts: 266
Registered: 12-09


Episode: Episode 2
Title: The Forgotten Base
Filename: CC4_KoJM2.wad
Texture Code: cc4-tex.wad
MIDI: "Waiting for Romero to Play", music of Doom 2 map 18.
Name to be Credited Under: Keeper of Jericho

KoJ here with a second map for CC4. The overall look for this map that I'm aiming for is a base that has been abandoned and forgotten (hence the title) for ages, so you have your bricks and buildings overrrun by vines and hellspawn. Due to the fast-approaching deadline, the layout won't be very complex, and quite straightforward. You'll have to collect the keys, of course, but the order in which you do it is pretty much up to you. So far I'm just working on the layout, only 1 monster has been added so far, so I can't say much about the gameplay yet. This being an episode 2 map, though, I probably won't make it too hard.

Screenshots:
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpi.../tfbscreen1.png
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpi.../tfbscreen2.png
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpi.../tfbscreen3.png
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpi.../tfbscreen4.png
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpi.../tfbscreen5.png
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpi.../tfbscreen6.png

Thoughts, cc and opinions all welcome.

Last edited by Keeper of Jericho on 11-15-11 at 19:29

Old Post 11-12-11 19:26 #
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Phobus
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My main thought looking through those 5 pictures is that it seemed very obvious that you were following the grid, with everything being square/rectangular with the odd rounded corner.

Otherwise it looks alright. Not much to say really!

Old Post 11-12-11 21:51 #
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Keeper of Jericho
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I won't deny it, I do follow the grid a lot and there are indeed a lot of squares and rectangles and 90° corners. I know most DOOM-ers loathe them ("This isn't Wolfenstein!"), but I'll be honest: it's my style. I like mapping it like this, I like making everything neat and ordered, and I like symmetry. It's how I roll, and it reflects in my maps. I tried doing it differently, which resulted in deleting every attempt I made, I just can't do it in a way that clicks with myself. So I leave the more creative maps to people who can do it better, and instead try to make my maps appealing to the eye and nice to play so people are willing to put up with the squares. And the grid. And the symmetry. ^^"

Old Post 11-14-11 00:03 #
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Keeper of Jericho
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Finished the map today. About 180 monsters in total in UV, with more than enough ammo to exterminate them all, even if you start from pistol start. Not too hard. There's plenty of cover, though some fights can get pretty intense if you don't get rid of the Arch-Viles quickly. My first map to contain more Spider Masterminds than Cyberdemons, too! =p

Layout isn't very complex, I'll admit that freely, but given the time-pressure, I'm quite happy with the end result. As far as the design and the looks go of the map, I made it exactly like I imagined it to look. In short, I think it fits episode 2 well enough. Not too hard, not too large, something in between.

Tested it with prBoom and ZDoom and got no problems at all. I'll send it to the testers now, though the question is if I'll get it back in time for the deadline. =p

One more screenie:
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpi.../tfbscreen7.png

Old Post 11-15-11 19:33 #
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[WH]-Wilou84
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Thanks for sharing the link ;)
Just playtested the map, with PrBoom 2.5.0, on UV skill. It was mostly good, but imho some major flaws may ruin the fun. Here's a list of things that may be interesting for you :

- 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...

- 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 ).


Keeper of Jericho said : My first map to contain more Spider Masterminds than Cyberdemons, too! =p

- 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.

- There's no extra item / monster for multiplayer modes.

- Ammo and health were properly balanced, as long as you find the ammo room. :)

- 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.

- 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.

Edit : Oh and it seems you forgot to remove the Doom Builder 3D Mode start thing :)

Old Post 11-15-11 23:40 #
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Hirogen2
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[WH]-Wilou84 said:
[B]I started by activating switches 4654 and 4659, which opened the way to the blue key. Sadly, 4 Arch-Viles spawned in

In principle, Archviles and large hitscanners: take cover. Everything else: circle strafe it out. Occassionally: save-for-later.
http://jengelh.medozas.de/cc4/ko1.lmp

Old Post 11-16-11 03:30 #
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Keeper of Jericho
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- 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. =)

Old Post 11-16-11 22:14 #
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Processingcontrol
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Keeper of Jericho said:
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.


Because many players (myself not included) think that in any community project you have to play each map from a pistol start because every map is apparently only designed to be played without carrying over weapons, expect lots of hate. I hope you keep it like it is, though, so I can give one example of a map that isn't designed for pistol starts, giving me an excuse not to play like that. I wish community projects were more oriented towards playing continuously so that they would seem less like compilations of completely random maps.

Old Post 11-16-11 22:35 #
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Hirogen2
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Processingcontrol said:
I wish community projects were more oriented towards playing continuously so that they would seem less like compilations of completely random maps. [/B]

Consider that the original Doom maps, being intended to be played continously nevertheless supported starting from pistol, because, remember, you can actually die in Doom.

I may have to say, if you want to participate in a community project with progressive maps, pick one. But it ain't CC.

I would not classify CC as being a project that is targeting a progressive map set. For one, there are "too many" distinctive mappers and styles partaking. Progressive mapsets - methinks those are in the direction of RTC-3057, Raynor's Tale, things like hr/hr2/av/mm/... but arguably, these kind of progressive-play community mapsets are not as (wildly) colorful as the Chests, 10 Sectors, NDCP, and all similars. There is a subtle difference between "big community" (Chest-style) and "small community" (HR/AV).

For all intents and purposes, I would still love CC for what it is if all the maps were scattered around 32 single WADs — except it would be a rather dumb technical choice to do so, because (a) you either have to restart the Doom engine for every new WAD or (b) create a humongous command line/(fill in equivalent for mousepushers).

(Then again, thanks to sh, -file *.wad works ;-)

Last edited by Hirogen2 on 11-17-11 at 00:16

Old Post 11-17-11 00:10 #
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Processingcontrol
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I not saying he shouldn't change it (he really should), I'm just saying that I rather him not. It was a pretty stupid post, I guess.

Old Post 11-17-11 00:25 #
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Keeper of Jericho
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But you can play my map from pistol start, though you need a specific path through it to do so. Either I have to make the intended path more obvious, or I mess with the monster count. I suppose either one is good, don't wanna make a drama of this either, I was just stating my opinion, that's all. But of the general consensus is "change it", then I will.

Old Post 11-17-11 06:51 #
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Hirogen2
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Keeper of Jericho said:
But you can play my map from pistol start,

Indeed, and as such, there is no problem with your map ;-)

Old Post 11-17-11 11:41 #
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Snakes
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I tip for the last fight: sometimes mixing enemies makes for an exciting last fight in a way that multiple "bosses" can't. E.g. a few pain elementals with a cyberdemon can create an interesting scenario on account of rockets slamming into nearby lost souls (plus minimal infighting would occur).

I'd recommend something of this vain rather than the existing and prior-mentioned ideas.

Old Post 11-18-11 05:02 #
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