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purist
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Antroid, to elaborate on the design goal of MAP08. The original level was influenced mainly by the Pit and Refueling Base (though the Tom Hall elements were not intended at this point). The height difference is also present in the Pit and it was originally a central part of a setpiece - the level was quicker to beat if you stayed at the top but a bunch of Pain Elementals tried to pressure you off the edge. The 'grandness' I have no explanation for except I was never satisfied with that part and disappointed that it survived without too much of an overhaul when Tarnsman had reworked it.

Old Post 01-22-14 21:13 #
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Touchdown
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I thought I'd finish up my playthrough of this megawad to have something to say here but all I really have are complaints. Things are relatively fine until map19 which is confusing as hell. Same goes for map28 where I had no idea where to go at all - it's like Memento Mori, press a random switch and something will happen, somewhere.

Midway through the wad there are way too many monster closets with Chaingunners and in the last third there are way, Way, WAY TOO MANY FREAKING PAIN ELEMENTALS. Seriously, what's up with that? Do you guys have some PE fetish? DII rarely overused PEs as much as you do in every single map.

Regardless of how much insight you seem to have into mapping styles of people who made DII, only a subset of maps really felt like DII to me. Some didn't feel like DII at all.

Two maps that I like are map18 and map25. Former has this "I don't know what the hell is going on but I like it" type of feel while the latter gets points for being semi-open-ended, and finally without poisonous floor.

I'd like to know how to beat map30 because I just can't figure this out. Even with DOOM Builder I couldn't find a way.

Old Post 01-23-14 10:09 #
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Antroid
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Touchdown said:
Things are relatively fine until map19 which is confusing as hell. Same goes for map28 where I had no idea where to go at all - it's like Memento Mori, press a random switch and something will happen, somewhere.

Oh boy, that doesn't bode well :X

Also, cheers for the random trivia, Tarnsman and purist! We should have more of that, Alfonzo can't possibly know everything.

Old Post 01-23-14 10:36 #
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Alfonzo
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Touchdown said:
WAY TOO MANY FREAKING PAIN ELEMENTALS. Seriously, what's up with that? Do you guys have some PE fetish? DII rarely overused PEs as much as you do in every single map.

On UV, Doom 2 has a total of 64 Pain Elementals. D2TWiD has 66. If it weren't for map28 that packs on 13 PE's in one map (a common trope in Doom 2 incidentally; Revenants would be a fairly uncommon monster on average if not for Monster Condo and The Spirit World), D2TWiD's Elemental count would be a fair bit below the "target". I can definitely see how one can be surprised by this sudden onslaught of soul-spitting bastards, since Doom 2's monster usage is fairly unique from most other mapsets'.

Regardless of how much insight you seem to have into mapping styles of people who made DII, only a subset of maps really felt like DII to me. Some didn't feel like DII at all.

While getting the "feel" of Doom II was a critical part of the development process beyond objectively noting technical points in design, actually achieving this kind of familiar feel was always going to be down to the experience (and previous experience) of the beholder. This is of course true for any project trying to find common ground between players by suggesting how a project should feel, but when you're dealing with a 19 year old game and have level designers experienced in the formation of recent projects, I'd frankly think you were crazy if you did think it felt the very same as doom 2.

I'd like to know how to beat map30 because I just can't figure this out. Even with DOOM Builder I couldn't find a way.

Spoiler:
Stand on the southernmost pedestal and fire a rocket across the map -- on line to hit the Icon in the brain. Then rush forward into the teleporter and flip the switch to open the bars before the rocket gets there. You can even slot 2 in if you're fast enough

Hope it wasn't all complete agony for you beside those two maps!

Old Post 01-23-14 11:05 #
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Touchdown
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Alfonzo said:
On UV, Doom 2 has a total of 64 Pain Elementals. D2TWiD has 66. If it weren't for map28 that packs on 13 PE's in one map (a common trope in Doom 2 incidentally; Revenants would be a fairly uncommon monster on average if not for Monster Condo and The Spirit World), D2TWiD's Elemental count would be a fair bit below the "target". I can definitely see how one can be surprised by this sudden onslaught of soul-spitting bastards, since Doom 2's monster usage is fairly unique from most other mapsets'.


I expected to be answered with the exact PE count on both sides but all I can say is that just from my experience it felt very different. Perhaps it has to do with the way encounters were set up or their frequency. Or with the types of monsters that were with them. Or with the sizes/shapes of rooms where they were. In the last third it just felt like every monster closet had PEs inside, to the point where I was surprised when there wasn't one.


Alfonzo said:
Spoiler:
Stand on the southernmost pedestal and fire a rocket across the map -- on line to hit the Icon in the brain. Then rush forward into the teleporter and flip the switch to open the bars before the rocket gets there. You can even slot 2 in if you're fast enough



Seems so obvious now but I don't think I'd figure that out. Probably because I really hate IoS maps and just want to get over with them as soon as possible.

Spoiler:
I also got confused because the lower part of the pillar looks as if it's meant to be lowered. Maybe if the switch was unlocking a 'window' that would have suggested the correct solution to me.



Alfonzo said:
Hope it wasn't all complete agony for you beside those two maps!


I wouldn't call it an agony (if it was I'd never finish it). But like I mentioned before, I strongly dislike the DII-style of maps and hardly ever play them. On their own merits, I wasn't suffering most of the time but some maps/parts were really frustrating.

One more thing that I like, secrets. I like it how a lot of them lead to other places, offer alternative paths, etc. I don't really see that very often for some reason.

Old Post 01-23-14 12:14 #
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Antroid
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Touchdown said:
I strongly dislike the DII-style of maps and hardly ever play them.

I'm curious, do you mean just the setting or some gameplay or layout elements as well? From your frustration with finding a way to go I could imagine you didn't like the more nonlinear, mazey and switchhunty maps, but they aren't really exclusive to Doom 2 and Doom 2 didn't even have much of that in the first place...

Old Post 01-23-14 13:17 #
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Touchdown
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Antroid said:
I'm curious, do you mean just the setting or some gameplay or layout elements as well? From your frustration with finding a way to go I could imagine you didn't like the more nonlinear, mazey and switchhunty maps, but they aren't really exclusive to Doom 2 and Doom 2 didn't even have much of that in the first place...


I primarily mean the abstract aesthetics, lack of coherency and the general lack of details (down to the point that some DII look ugly as hell). I know that a lot of people like it for a variety of reasons (be that freedom in using the space without having to worry about 'realism' or leaving more to the imagination) but personally I'd rather, you know, see something than have it implied. Some say trying to be realistic* in DOOM looks goofy but I disagree with that. I also find levels in that 'style' easier to remember, and potentially more memorable. Abstraction almost always makes everything blend so much that I can't tell one map from another.

*Just to be clear, by 'realistic' I mean something like Deus Vult II, Winter's Fury or Unloved level of detail / art direction.

A note: an interesting example, aesthetics-wise, would be Sunder which mixes high level of details and consistent style with abstract environments. It can get kind of stale but remains memorable.

Generally I'm not totally opposed to abstraction but it has to be somewhat consistent on its own (preferably more diverse than Sunder which basically sticks to one theme for the entire map) and memorable so that I can think of a map, be able to remember it and say something about what it was. If that makes sense.

As far as open layouts / nonlinearity goes, I'm very much into those kinds of maps. What I don't like are maps with confusing layouts that make it hard to navigate or maps with progression that's too obscure. As a player I like freedom but I also don't want to spend half an hour trying to figure out what to do to move forward. "Maze-like" design (as in something almost reminiscent of Wolf3D / Rise of the Triad confusing layouts that make no sense) is an example of something where it's very easy to get lost or to miss something. Switchhunts are annoying to me as well, again, Memento Mori comes to mind. When I press a button, I need to be able to tell what it did fairly quickly without having to run around looking for one block that has lowered or something.

There are open-world maps where you can run around like mad and even unintentionally make progress. Or stop at any point and be able to determine where to go or what you might have missed. Then there are open-world maps where you walk through the same areas for the 10th time, scan the map for 5min and still have no idea where to go (usually not because the layout is clever but because you missed a switch in an obscure location, etc).

There are also maps with very complex layouts that manage to direct the player without too much confusion (DVIImap19: Stargate).
__________________

But to answer the question itself: I don't like the aesthetics (abstraction and lack of coherency), I don't like the underdetailed style, I don't like it that city looks nothing like the city and that Hell looks nothing like Hell. I don't like it that the only thing keeping the consistency (or desperately trying to) is the sky (switch it and any map can end up at any point). Hard to say if there's anything exclusive to the gameplay itself that I don't like. I guess just general things like the ones I've mentioned, confusing progression, etc.

Old Post 01-23-14 14:49 #
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Antroid
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Touchdown said:
I don't like the aesthetics (abstraction and lack of coherency), I don't like the underdetailed style, I don't like it that city looks nothing like the city and that Hell looks nothing like Hell.

Well I don't know what you were expecting to see then :P (by the way, do you know how Hell really looks like? because I don't, and I'm very curious!)

To reuse a comparison, this is kinda like if I went into a thread about a slaughter map and posted something to the effect of "bleh, didn't like it at all, too many monsters and slaughter". Seems kinda pointless.

Old Post 01-23-14 15:29 #
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Touchdown
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That's why I only briefly mentioned it to give a perspective of where I'm coming from but pointed out things that have nothing to do with aesthetics (in one of my previous posts here). It's not that I was expecting something else, I went into details just because you asked. :)
_______________

As for Hell, I've seen this discussion before. Some argue that "Hell can be anything". It's kind of a fair point but honestly, I think a lot of people just use that as an excuse to dump all of their ideas that don't fit the base/earth/etc theme into a Hell episode. Alternatively they try to apply ideas that require far too many explainations for DOOM.

I rememeber when I complained about a map in Hellbound that it wasn't hellish because it was a wooden building filled with water. The author gave me an explaination for that and yeah, maybe you can sell it like that... But it just feels like an artist splashing paint onto a canvas and making up a huge story about what it means. The bottom line is a wooden library in a pool of water isn't hellish, no matter how sophisticated an explaination might be.

I personally love the "fire and brimstone" theme but it's not just about that. It's about a place of darkness, chaos and evil. Unloved feels very evil and hellish to me even though it's not red and fiery (it's not even necessary set in Hell to begin with... and yet it feels hellish). A machine can be hellish, a twisted corridor can be hellish. But if it's just a map with an undefined theme that someone calls hellish because "Hell can be anything", it doesn't work, at least not for me.

It gets worse with the DII abstract style. Because you can't say that "this map is hellish because it's so twisted" when every other map (including supposed base/city maps) are equally twisted due to their abstract aesthetics.

Old Post 01-23-14 16:11 #
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Antroid
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Touchdown said:
The bottom line is a wooden library in a pool of water isn't hellish, no matter how sophisticated an explaination might be.

I personally love the "fire and brimstone" theme but it's not just about that. It's about a place of darkness, chaos and evil. Unloved feels very evil and hellish to me even though it's not red and fiery (it's not even necessary set in Hell to begin with... and yet it feels hellish). A machine can be hellish, a twisted corridor can be hellish. But if it's just a map with an undefined theme that someone calls hellish because "Hell can be anything", it doesn't work, at least not for me.

It gets worse with the DII abstract style. Because you can't say that "this map is hellish because it's so twisted" when every other map (including supposed base/city maps) are equally twisted due to their abstract aesthetics.



For me personally a flooded wooden building would work very well. I mean there's of course a default theme for hell which is kinda fire and brimstone + castles and shit, but in my opinion anything strange, confusing or surreal can be hellish. If I found myself in an inexplicable labirynth of wooden constructions partially submerged in cold water, I know I'd freak the fuck out. Even a techbase or a city-like area, if it's crazier than usual, can be hellish in my book.

Doom 2 gets away with it's early levels being abstract as well by having it be hell's influence extended onto Earth. Especially with the schizo city levels. I actually really like that aesthetic in the end. And I very much appreciate Doom 2's hell for not being mostly banal like 1's, but putting more weight into just being weird instead of OOOOH EEEEVIL, which is in some ways scarier because I for one can't really take a "standard" castle-in-a-volcano hell too seriously anymore. But a place that wouldn't look out of place in a nightmare? Sign me up!

That's of course assuming it wasn't literally a very down-to-earth building that wasn't crazy in any way. Some random realistic castle, for one, wouldn't be hellish for me since it's not really strange, even if it's out of place. Basically if it's sufficiently surreal in the end, I think hell can be pulled off with just about any theme.

By the way,

Old Post 01-23-14 19:46 #
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Touchdown
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I'm replying to that but it's your thread. If you don't want that discussed here, call it.

There is a difference between alien and hellish. Surreal can but doesn't necessary have to be hellish. Weird is not hellish. Regardless of which culture or mythology you're looking at, Hell is a horrible place, usually a place/state of punishment or torture, eternal suffering, etc. Stretching the definition to hellish = alien means you'd perceive a great deal of sci-fi alien environments to be hellish. Likewise, if something is twisted and surreal, why not just call it alien?

Hellbound - Forbidden Archives

My take on this is as follows. If I were to come up with what an actual Hell might be, it wouldn't be a fiery cavern, it wouldn't even be a specific place. In DOOM the visual / sound aspect has to clearly deliver the message. It has to clearly invoke the hellish, doomed feel without having to guess it. If I have to make myself believe that it's indeed something hellish rather than simply random, I consider it a failure.

You may say Hell as a demonic realm is banal but at least it's clear. You start DOOM E3 and say "yep, that's Hell". You start DOOM II E3, ignore the sky, and it's pretty much any DOOM II level. If you didn't know it was supposed to be Hell, you'd probably never consider it to be based on how it looks.

To me a good example of something that doesn't necessary feel very evil but still delivers a message is the final level of Painkiller which is set in Hell. It's hardly applicable as an actual level but let's focus on the idea:
Spoiler:
what happens is that you walk through wars from different periods of mankinds history and see everything frozen in time, though you can still hear the fighting.
That's interesting, I think, ominous, but again, delivers a message, you get the point. You don't have to overthink it.

Re: 'Earth levels are twisted because of Hell's influence'. Honestly, I don't buy that at all. That seems like an after-thought, far-fetched explaination for something that fundamentally doesn't make sense. DOOM E1 / DOOM 3 did a good job at showing man-made environments being twisted by Hell. I don't like it when something is as unclear as in DOOM II. You see weird cities as a result of Hell's influence... but anyone can see anything there which means there's no real answer, no clear indication of anything. Any interpretation will do which means every interpretation is equally loose. That hits me as sloppy, not open for interpretation.

Old Post 01-24-14 08:30 #
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Antroid
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Touchdown said:
I'm replying to that but it's your thread. If you don't want that discussed here, call it.

Feel free, I'm not against some discussion at all.


Touchdown said:
There is a difference between alien and hellish. Surreal can but doesn't necessary have to be hellish. Weird is not hellish. Regardless of which culture or mythology you're looking at, Hell is a horrible place, usually a place/state of punishment or torture, eternal suffering, etc. Stretching the definition to hellish = alien means you'd perceive a great deal of sci-fi alien environments to be hellish. Likewise, if something is twisted and surreal, why not just call it alien?

This is just, like, your opinion, man.
Calling something surreal "alien" actually doesn't even make sense to me. "Alien" implies different, but still real. Like a landscape of a distant planet or a city of some other intelligent race halfway across the galaxy. Some structure, landscape, well, place in general, that doesn't make any sense, takes familiar elements and twists them beyond reason, constructs unfamothable things out of them? That's not "alien" at all, that's pretty darn hellish to me. Maybe it's more silent-hilly "personal hell" stuff rather than something that can be found in religions, a place beyond explanation where you are alone.

Some sci-fi environments can very well be hellish if the context permits. It doesn't need to be mutually exclusive. Like, the Alien hives in "Alien" could be both. They're pretty... "alien" (heh), but they make internal sense in being a bug-like race's hives. But, there's visual elements to them that look like they were designed to be scary specifically to humans (structures resembling spines, or faces, or whatever), and if you focus on that you can spin this setting to be very much hell.


Touchdown said:
Hellbound - Forbidden Archives

Okay, this isn't very hellish admittedly because it's just not atmospheric enough. This feels to me like a UT2004 deathmatch level and not something that is supposed to invoke any sort of feeling of atmosphere. I was imagining something vastly different - this is indeed something out of a fantasy setting and not weird enough to be hellish.


Touchdown said:
It has to clearly invoke the hellish, doomed feel without having to guess it. If I have to make myself believe that it's indeed something hellish rather than simply random, I consider it a failure.

There's random and there's surreal. If it invokes some sort of dream-like mood it's a success by me. Hell doesn't need to be so hamfistedly sinister, evil and imposing - it could very well be lonely, somber, even serene.


Touchdown said:
You may say Hell as a demonic realm is banal but at least it's clear. You start DOOM E3 and say "yep, that's Hell". You start DOOM II E3, ignore the sky, and it's pretty much any DOOM II level. If you didn't know it was supposed to be Hell, you'd probably never consider it to be based on how it looks.

Sure, but in any sort of game where you are expected to make sense of the environments there must be context that lets you know what to expect. In doom 2 it's pretty clear that anything weird is probably due to hell, in-universe (of course we know that many of the instances are lazy mapping). If you were playing a game in a realistic setting and things suddenly got weird without explanation, it could be the main character going insane, or something like that, or it could be another hell-dimension, depending on what the story hints at. In the case of Doom there's usually no need for hints as a hell-dimension is directly implied unless stated otherwise. I'll take more interesting versions of Hell over those that are so blunt that they're 100% clear even to people with no imagination any day, thank you very much.


Touchdown said:
To me a good example of something that doesn't necessary feel very evil but still delivers a message is the final level of Painkiller which is set in Hell. ... That's interesting, I think, ominous, but again, delivers a message, you get the point. You don't have to overthink it.

The final level of Painkiller was cool at first, but it's unbeliveably cheesy and feels more like a museum piece or a modern art installation than hell. I can't take it seriously either. I just imagine whoever the ruler of the place is setting up all those setpieces, grinning and imagining how much despair and regret it would instill in humans and how ashamed they would be of their own species. It's incredibly silly and doesn't work for me at all.


Touchdown said:
Re: 'Earth levels are twisted because of Hell's influence'. Honestly, I don't buy that at all. That seems like an after-thought, far-fetched explaination for something that fundamentally doesn't make sense. DOOM E1 / DOOM 3 did a good job at showing man-made environments being twisted by Hell. I don't like it when something is as unclear as in DOOM II. You see weird cities as a result of Hell's influence... but anyone can see anything there which means there's no real answer, no clear indication of anything. Any interpretation will do which means every interpretation is equally loose. That hits me as sloppy, not open for interpretation.

What's there even to buy? Of course, there is no place for any sort of misinterpretation with stuff like Containment Area where a techbase suddenly turns into a marble temple. Sure, it's clear, but it's also very banal. In Doom 2 however.. sure, in some cases it might be justification for lazy design but damn if it doesn't work amazingly if you accept it, which there is really no reason not to unless you are dead set on hating the game. When I thought about it, it turned my opinion on Doom 2 180 degrees. I see it now as Earth in the middle of total conversion to hell, not really there yet, but equally not what it used to be anymore either. The conversion isn't just demons laying marble bricks around human structures and pouring blood into the plumbing either, it's reality-warping. That's even pretty much stated in one of the intermission texts, I think in the one which comes between the more realistic bases (McGee's) and the less realistic (Sandy's), which is pretty good timing for that, too.

Doom E1 really didn't have anything being twisted by Hell, apart from the occasional candelabra. I'll agree with Doom 3 but again it's flesh'n'fire thing is juvenile and banal. I would have loved it beyond all reason of it went more silent hilly and started by making layouts of the base more and more nonsensical, mockeries of what a reasonable architect/enginner/whatever might have planned, started adding wooden structures for which there is no place on Mars, etc. As it is the nly thing that makes Doom 3 so atmospheric is that the base is so goddamn imposing and crushingly sinister in the first place. But it could be subtle, and not hit you across the face with every "evil" and "scary" cliche there is, and to me that would've been even better. Again, it's pretty clear from what little storyline there is in Doom that in-universe anything strange is because of Hell invading. You don't really need to know what was intentional and what was laziness to appreciate the resulting weirdness if you have the right outlook, which is trying to enjoy the game more even if it needs some justification that the authors could possibly not have fully intended.

Old Post 01-24-14 10:07 #
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Touchdown
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Antroid said:
There's random and there's surreal. If it invokes some sort of dream-like mood it's a success by me. Hell doesn't need to be so hamfistedly sinister, evil and imposing - it could very well be lonely, somber, even serene.


Then there's surreal and there's hellish. Not everything that feels dream-like is hellish. Nightmares can be hellish, I agree. Silent Hill type of worlds can be hellish, I agree (mentioned Unloved myself). Hell can be lonely, somber and serene, I agree again. But where does random end and surreal begin? You look at DOOM II and you see surreal, I look at DOOM II and see random.



Antroid said:
I'll take more interesting versions of Hell over those that are so blunt that they're 100% clear even to people with no imagination any day, thank you very much.


Antroid said:
In Doom 2 however.. sure, in some cases it might be justification for lazy design but damn if it doesn't work amazingly if you accept it, which there is really no reason not to unless you are dead set on hating the game.


Yes! More interesting. A techbase in a supposed Hell episode is NOT a more interesting version of Hell. It's a random map dumped into a Hell episode. You can ALWAYS make explainations. What I argue about is that I need to have some foundation for that. To me, personally, what DOOM II offers fails to invoke the right reaction.

When I'm in a basement in Unloved, it feels eerie and unsettling. It's not a mess where textures or rooms make no sense, but it still delivers this unreal feeling. Textures, ambience, it's consistent and it all comes together. Maybe I utterly lack imagination but I need some level of coherency. I can't just accept an explaination that does not match anything I actually experience.



Antroid said:
Doom E1 really didn't have anything being twisted by Hell


My mistake. I meant E2.



Antroid said:
it's pretty clear from what little storyline there is in Doom that in-universe anything strange is because of Hell invading. You don't really need to know what was intentional and what was laziness to appreciate the resulting weirdness if you have the right outlook, which is trying to enjoy the game more even if it needs some justification that the authors could possibly not have fully intended.


I disagree. There's strange and there's lazy/etc. You can't just stand up and say "it makes sense because HELL!" to every potential criticism of coherency. It comes down to the same point again, where is the line? Where acceptance ends and blind justification begins? How much can you accept before you reach that point?

Old Post 01-24-14 14:59 #
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Antroid
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Touchdown said:
Then there's surreal and there's hellish. Not everything that feels dream-like is hellish. Nightmares can be hellish, I agree. Silent Hill type of worlds can be hellish, I agree (mentioned Unloved myself). Hell can be lonely, somber and serene, I agree again. But where does random end and surreal begin? You look at DOOM II and you see surreal, I look at DOOM II and see random.

Yet another of those pesky matters of taste, then. Although I'd say that Doom 2-brand "random" can be pretty damn surreal and silent-hilly if done with better graphics, where you can see for sure that everything is really supposed to be this crazy. I am 1000% sure Doom 4 won't go this way but it could be the best thing in the history of videogames for me if it did reimaginings of some inane structures of Doom 2 in modern graphics.


Touchdown said:
Yes! More interesting. A techbase in a supposed Hell episode is NOT a more interesting version of Hell. It's a random map dumped into a Hell episode. You can ALWAYS make explainations. What I argue about is that I need to have some foundation for that. To me, personally, what DOOM II offers fails to invoke the right reaction.

To me a techbase in an episode which takes place in hell is pretty damn interesting. Of course, it has to be a bit more crazy than a normal techbase, but look at Pandemonium. Doesn't Pandemonium style of crazy work? If there's castles and fortresses and temples in hell, why not a more modern structure, only equally senseless-looking? You can always look at such things in different ways, dismiss it as laziness or embrace it as interesting weirdness, and I choose the way that makes me enjoy the game more.


Touchdown said:
When I'm in a basement in Unloved, it feels eerie and unsettling. It's not a mess where textures or rooms make no sense, but it still delivers this unreal feeling. Textures, ambience, it's consistent and it all comes together. Maybe I utterly lack imagination but I need some level of coherency. I can't just accept an explaination that does not match anything I actually experience.

Yeah, I can deal with a lot less coherent than Unloved. I mean, Unloved is great, but I am once again going to say that it's much more transparent about it's craziness and therefore less intriguing. No subtlety to be found there (although it's psychological horror and not really hell from what I gathered so the argument shouldn't really even apply :P )


Touchdown said:
I disagree. There's strange and there's lazy/etc. You can't just stand up and say "it makes sense because HELL!" to every potential criticism of coherency. It comes down to the same point again, where is the line? Where acceptance ends and blind justification begins? How much can you accept before you reach that point?

Yeah, I can say that and I will. I frankly don't really care if some crazy place is a result of laziness or intent. When the setting permits, I'm willing to be more lax about things. Kinda like glitches in the Assassin's Creed series being seen as bugs of the Animus - it's actually pretty brilliant because this simple approach of "accept at face value since the context helps justify it all" helps immersion a lot: abstractions and bugs respectively don't immidiately shoot you out of the game. Maybe I just wanted to like Doom 2 a lot, but with these games I'm pretty relaxed about it all. Of course I'm not talking about all custom levels ever, mainly the base games and wads that are very close in style.

Old Post 01-24-14 15:47 #
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Antroid said:
Although I'd say that Doom 2-brand "random" can be pretty damn surreal and silent-hilly if done with better graphics, where you can see for sure that everything is really supposed to be this crazy.


Probably should have asked that earlier but are there any specific DII levels that are right up your alley in terms of the surreal / implied style in question? Also which DII Hell levels are the most, well, hellish to you? If anything that might clear up some things because so far we're pretty much just talking about all of this in a completely vague and general way.

Personally out of the DII batch (in terms of visual style of course), I like Bloodfalls and The Spirit World, then The Living End and Monster Condo (in that order). The rest is rather questionable to me, especially The Chasm (of course) and Mines (nothing hellish about it).



Antroid said:
To me a techbase in an episode which takes place in hell is pretty damn interesting. Of course, it has to be a bit more crazy than a normal techbase, but look at Pandemonium. Doesn't Pandemonium style of crazy work? If there's castles and fortresses and temples in hell, why not a more modern structure, only equally senseless-looking? You can always look at such things in different ways, dismiss it as laziness or embrace it as interesting weirdness, and I choose the way that makes me enjoy the game more.


I kind of like the idea of tech / man-made structures being incorporated into hellish structures but I always thought it looks pretty weird in DOOM. As a general idea, realized in realistic graphics with modern ambience, effects and such, where it's clearly intended as the mindfuck type of a scenery, I like it. In DOOM though... a lot of things look rather loose. When I see a tech bit in a Hell map I don't think "oooh, cool, that's strange, unexpected", but rather either don't pay attention or think it's out of place.



Antroid said:
I frankly don't really care if some crazy place is a result of laziness or intent. When the setting permits, I'm willing to be more lax about things.


I can respect that, I accept a lot in games 'as is' if possible, as well. Can't help it though if it's completely out-of-sync with what I'd prefer, sometimes. I'd still argue about the extent of this, there's always a line somewhere beyond which accepting everything goes too far. But it's a very open question here and I don't really have an objective answer. So I guess we'll stick to how we subjectively feel about that.
________________________

With that said, I'll just say that personally I have no problems with what you (or some others as well) might call cliche or banal in terms of hellish imagery. I love red and black color scheme as well as 'organic elements' that appear in both DOOM and Diablo (1). When it comes to video games that's probably my prefered type of Hell, as a setting. Frankly, more ambitious ideas I have in mind would be more difficult to capture (especially in an action game) and since they wouldn't necessary provide a coherent setting, the 'prefered' choice is easy for me.

Old Post 01-24-14 20:28 #
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I've had to give Doom 2's hell levels a quick no-clip through to remember them better, but here we go. Surprisingly, I seem to like Nirvana - the areas with windows are surreal, same with that one place with a visual glitch, and the cave part is a bit more traditional but not strictly fire and brimstone. The Catacombs are kinda dull. Barrels'o'fun have some neatly abstract areas, like that one place that is structured like stadium seats. I'm actually sort of a fan of the Chasm, although it could do away with the thin ledges, those are way too videogamey. Bloodfalls could be a bit less crushingly boring but they're fine, especially the last (?) marble area and that one room with a lot of metal2. The mines are sorta out of place with their reasonable looks and honestly I would've preferred to see them in eps1 or 2 (which is wy the gorge thing here in D2twid fits so neatly in ep1 despite looking like a Doom 2 hell map) but I've never had a problem with that. Condo is awesome, Spirit World is very awesome even if a bit more traditional (I just love caves...). Living end is also obviously great, that one wooden area with a glimpse into the sky and a berserk especially memorable for me for some reason. Heck, I even love IoS, although that pipe thing under it was difficult to stomach due to that texture looking absolutely horrible in cutoff and also tiling with the green streak across it.

I guess Doom2's hell levels range from "passable" (catacombs, bloodfalls) to "great" (chasm, nirvana (don't look at me like that), the last batch) for me.

Concerning the more traditional depiction of hellish influence and evil and whatnot. It's not like I think it doesn't have it's merits. I just think it's become too tired by now. Your standard lava, fleshy growth, skulls and such are so familiar an aesthetic that we (I) almost feel comfortable in it, and certainly not intimidated anymore. Against me personally, I find, psychologically tripping stuff is most effective nowadays. The "standard stuff" isn't engaging anymore.


By the way, speaking of tripping,

Old Post 01-24-14 21:06 #
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I agree on Catacombs, it's just a boring level. The Chasm looks like a space station / spaceship taken over by demons. I kind of like it as a level but as a Hell map... there's no way I'll ever be able to convince mysef it's a Hell map.

I also have to say I really don't like the green marble. I know there's tons of it in both DOOM games and I think different colors only appear in pWADs. I find extremely dull 90% of the time (there are sections that I like, though).
___________________________

On the main topic, I haven't played those secret maps. I think when I went through the first 15 maps, the secret ones were missing, only recently I upgraded the file to the newest version. I think it's cool they went for Keen theme rather than Wolf theme. I've played A LOT of Goodbye, Galaxy! back in the day. Though I don't have much experience with other Keen games.

Old Post 01-25-14 08:21 #
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Green marble's fucking awesome. I dunno, maybe it's just the big impact Limbo (best d1 hell level IMO) in the SNES version had on me, but I think that if used in indoor maps the green marble textures make for possibly some of the most atmospheric Doom levels. Although I don't really like when people use them on huge buildings under a red sky...

Old Post 01-25-14 09:00 #
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A bit late but here's the first of the five new parts.

Old Post 01-27-14 22:33 #
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Cul-de-sac, the way I understand it, is essentially a dead end of the street, sometimes shaped in a circular way, with houses around.

About the differences between difficulty levels, Quake is a lot more interesting in that regard. In Quake, in addition to obvious changes to the monster count, parts of levels are actually, physically altered. Some monster closets only exist on higher difficulty levels. There are more traps (like the nail launchers on walls) and/or faster ones. In Ogre Citadel the final rocky 'bridge' that leads to the exit is damaged on higher levels - you have to jump from one platform to the other, on easier levels it's intact and requires no jumps. A lot of those changes are potentially more cosmetic rather than a serious increase in difficulty, but they're cool nonetheless.

Old Post 01-28-14 12:10 #
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You probably can do something like that in Boom and forwards, with a creative use of, say, voodoo-doll scripting and difficulty-specific thing obstacles beside the conveyor belts in there to stop the doll from triggering something.

Although the question we've touched on in the videos once again arises: is it worth doing that sort of thing in this day and age? Can anyone expect people to replay their wads on different difficulties?

Also,

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Now, I hear some people thinking, why would he Let's play that wad? After all, it was pretty poorly received.


It was? Pretty well-received on ZDoom forums from what I've seen...

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TheMightyHeracross said:
It was? Pretty well-received on ZDoom forums from what I've seen...

It was pretty goddamn unfairly received over here, I'm afraid. Although I wouldn't hold the zdoom forums as a standard for well-formed opinions on things anyway... But even a broken clock is right twice a day, right? :D

Old Post 01-28-14 20:19 #
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Antroid said:
Although the question we've touched on in the videos once again arises: is it worth doing that sort of thing in this day and age? Can anyone expect people to replay their wads on different difficulties?


In games in general, I'd say it's a good idea because I usually play on Normal and then on Hard so I'd see the difference.

In DOOM mapsets it's a little bit more of an open question. The problem with DOOM community is that EVERYONE plays on UV, regardless of their skills. I don't know where that comes from but it's a problem. There's a lot of good mapsets that people trudge through or rage-quit because they're not good enough but stubbornly refuse to play on lower levels. I think interesting changes between difficulty levels are always a nice addition... but you have to trick the player into taking the difficulty selection screen seriously. An effective method, I think, is making custom settings. Make three settings (easy, normal, hard), give a message before each (like Winter's Fury does) and it might just help.

As for replaying, I admit I almost never replay mapsets that I finish. Then again, if I like something, I replay those a lot, sometimes even with pistol starts. There are just a few mapsets like that but generally if a WAD blows me away, I will replay it multiple times.
___________________________

Also regarding what Alfonzo said in the video. I know he was kind of joking with his examples but anyway, DTS-T has a level where you're shrunk and going through a human body. There are at least two bee hive levels I can name: map14: Hive Mother in Sunder and map24: Hell's Honeycomb in Speed of DOOM.

Old Post 01-29-14 07:12 #
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But are there any bicycle shop levels?

Old Post 01-29-14 08:24 #
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It could be because the lower difficulty levels change the damage amounts making monsters weaker in addition to the lower amount of them.

Old Post 01-29-14 08:25 #
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Avoozl said:
It could be because the lower difficulty levels change the damage amounts making monsters weaker in addition to the lower amount of them.


That's only true for DOOM 3. In classic DOOM the only difficulty that modifies damage is I'm Too Young to Die which cuts it in half.

Old Post 01-29-14 08:44 #
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I suppose my unavoidable lapses of attention and struggles to find a way in three pines haven't gotten to the point of being hugely entertaining yet, but if you want some very amusing bad luck, you should look forward to the last video of this session (3-5) where I get
Spoiler:
repeatedly murdered by zombiemen
among other things.

Old Post 01-29-14 21:19 #
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Old Post 01-30-14 20:40 #
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3-3
One of the reasons I don't like maps like Bedlam is that they have a toxic floor. The problem with toxic floor in maps that lack direction is that you get lost a lot, travel back and forth, and in addition to having problems finding your way, you're also forced to cross damaging floors over and over again. Slowly chipping away your health. I find that very discouraging.

Random note about ammo. I've watched few people on YT play DOOM (not demo recorders) and I have to say it always annoys me when they desperately try to conserve ammo. Chainsawing Pinkies, saving cells 'for the right moment', not using rockets. Eventually they run with 600 cells and 100 rockets but no! "I won't waste good ammo!" When I play I use whatever the hell I want, I use Plasma Rifle a lot even if I can safely kill stuff with the Double Barreled Shotgun, I blast groups of monsters with the BFG if I can't be bothered to pick them one by one. And honestly, I almost never suffer from 'wasting ammo'.

[fun fact: I wrote that before 3-4 and it wasn't directed at you, Antroid, although after 3-4 it might seem like it :)]

3-4
While I kind of like the idea of Hell sucking in different parts of man-made environments (Hell swallowed Deimos, after all), I don't find it very convincing in DOOM. Again, (classic) DOOM is so loose that all the random elements just feel random to me. The same goes for the idea of surreal Hell conversion that Antroid mentioned. The concept itself is cool... But to me, it just doesn't work in DOOM technological level. If it was realized with modern tech, that'd be a different story.

For example: city windows in Hell. If it was 2014 graphical level, with actual parts of the man-made building sucked in and/or twisted by Hell, that'd leave no doubts. But with the 90s graphical level, when I see city windows in Hell, all I can think of is "what the hell is that doing here?" It's just not elaborate enough for me to pull the right strings.

I guess where some see 'plenty of room for imagination', I see 'a graphical mess and lack of coherency' (again, that's only true for how it looks in DOOM 1/2, not the idea itself). I don't believe visual aspect should resort to 'imagination will fill the gaps' too much. There're other places in games where imagination can work to a greater and less confusing extent.

I agree on Borderlands, never played that game but it just has nothing I find interesting in any way.

I disagree on the E3 sky, I think it looks awesome.

I kind of agree on Borderlands, the map. It looks more like a DOOM II styled city map rather than 'typical hellish map'. If you (Alfonzo) want to see more classic Hell maps that are right up my alley, those would be the ones:

Deus Vult, map02 (Torture Chamber), map03 (Cathedral, primarily the Revenant Curve), map04 (End of Days)
Deus Vult II, map21 (The Unholy Cathedral), map22 (You Shall Not Pass!)
Whispers of Satan, map25 (Vulcana)
Community Chest 4, map27 (Vulcana II)
Alien Vendetta, map29 (Fire Walk With Me)

a note: not every red and fiery cavern feels like a good Hell map to me, don't misunderstand.

Old Post 01-31-14 08:42 #
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