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Bloodshedder
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  • Dathzor - Jodwin
    Limit Removing - Deathmatch - 830743 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    Here we have a set of 00010000, or 0x10 (or even 16) maps for DM. They tend to flit between grey-ish techbases and brown brick outdoor-based maps with a few other styles in between. Everything in this map set tends to vary...size, detail, gameplay, and seriousness. I tested with 8 players (me plus 7 bots), and some maps were clusterfucks, with others being frag hunts; some maps were wide open, while others were mazes of tight rooms/passages. Weapon placement was quite intelligent in some maps while seemingly random in others; it's generally quite dark, too.

    The maps that stood out for me were map 03 (simple but played a lot better than it appears), map 08 (weapon placement), map 11 (intense), and map 15 (a chainsaw map where the guns are placed cleverly). There were also some that didn't work, but in all fairness it's worth a go.

  • VILE FURY - jukenukem3d
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 118625 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    Cast your mind back to when you started mapping...when you drew up random shapes, gave them random textures and then threw various mobs and weapons of any size into them. Well that's like what we have here, except it's a bit more refined. Six small maps with different themes, going roughly in the usual pattern...not quite random texturing in most places, as each map is consistent with its choices. Gameplay isn't altogether bad in places either, with some attempts at set-pieces (some of which work), although the weapon/ammo/item placement are beginner-style, along with the secrets. There's also a DECORATE monster that could appear to some as being of DeHackEd nature instead.

    Overall it's nothing special, but it does have its own feel to it in places; however, it's most likely to interest those into the philosophy of mapping (particularly around the beginner's side) rather than playing.

  • Cacopits - Damien Moody
    Doomsday - Solo Play - 167801 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: st.alfonzo
    Unfortunately, the most telling selection of words I can use to summarise my thoughts on this wad is also the most dysphemistic selection, and though it breaks my cold, sodden, blackened excuse for a heart to see the workings of an honest mapper bleed out onto the sidewalk only to be trodden on like yesterday's trash, let's be Frank here; you know I'm going to end up saying it anyway. After all, one must always strive to uphold cruelty as a means to be kind (as well as enforcing the most decorative words possible while disregarding the diligence of honest mappers, of course!). So when it is that I appear to say seemingly malicious statements such as, for instance... oh I don't know: "I would rather pass a kidney stone than play this wad...", you can bet your buttered wellingtons it's still in good interest!

    Cacopits (not at all related to Optimus's Cacoland wad, and certainly not fit for parking cars in) is a map by Damien Moody that takes the place of Peterson's Nirvana, and which cannot possibly fail to succeed as an improvement over the latter. But if we know there to be at least one catch to every deal, then you may very well consider this map the "fisherman's haul". It's imbalanced, incoherent, visually unappealing, blocky, has far, far too many doors to pass through, and is packed tighter than a Baron's fitness trainer. So tightly congested is the map, in fact, that navigating its hallways can be likened to forcing a golf ball through a drinking straw: Difficult, impractical, and decidedly frustrating, and as we all know only too well, it's this sort of layout with its tight corridors and jagged corners that hinders the player's ability to strafe away from oncoming fire. Although it does open up a bit toward the end, which is perhaps its one saving grace, the map is otherwise irreparably flawed as a result of the these problems.

    Adopt, adapt and improve, Damien! Sir Galahad would be proud.

  • Grayscale - Brandon Gray
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 31584 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    A small map of predictable colour, and also the author's first map. But to be honest, it pulls it off a bit in terms of look and feel. He's managed to get some detail in there, not large amounts, but appropriate to the theme and the tight nature of the rooms and passages. Gameplay is limited as you might expect, but it does manage to throw one or two larger mobs in along with a variety of weapons. Could do with having more of the tougher mobs in there, but not a bad effort for a first map.

  • Huge Slime Reservoir - ElFuzzo
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 98525 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    As the title says, it's a huge slime reservoir full of huge slimy reserves...however, they're armed with allsorts [Ed: Liquorice allsorts?]. Carnage is the order of the day, detail has little place among the bodies. The layout is basic stuff, but with a number of clever set-pieces woven through it (even more so if you don't autoaim). It's always packed with mobs, perhaps a bit too packed in places, but it'll certainly push you hard. Recommended for die hards everywhere.

  • Really Freaking Fast Mapping CTF - Jon 40oz Vail
    Odamex - CTF - 29951 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Malinku
    Here we have a small CTF map. The layout is symmetrical, which makes learning the map easy. Each base has 3 ways to the flag (one requires rocket jumping) and 3 ways out of the flag area. The center area is just a rectangle with 4 square columns. The layout has no random hangups and flows well. The visuals are nice and don't distract from playing. Overall this is a fun, fast-paced map that would work well for a quick 2v2 or 3v3 CTF match.

  • Tweapons - WTG
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 721346 bytes
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    This is a wad with no fewer than TWENTY new weapons for Doom plus a ZDoom-compatible port. Unfortunately, nearly all the weapons are terrible. Some have good ideas, but their execution is mediocre at best. The pistols take way too long to appear on screen, many weapons look the same, some sprites are missing, and so on. There are a few decent weapons, like a Flamethrower and new BFG, but they don't come close to saving this mod. Avoid; there are so many better weapons mods out there to play around with instead.

  • Happy Birthday Esselfortium - 40oz
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 56086 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: st.alfonzo
    40oz is one of my favourite mappers on the circuit at the moment, and his birthday treats really showcase the best of his abilities in the form of small, bite size levels. While not at all dissimilar from his previous maps in the ongoing series (which should probably be reason enough for your wanting to download it), I figured I might offer up a few titbits of my own to give a slightly different slant on things.

    This time round it's Essel's turn to feel the might of the 40oz stamp of mapping justice (you've been branded!), and I've no doubt at all that he will be greatly pleased with this particular present: It's small enough to be wrapped, anyway. The look of the level is contemporarily refined, adequately detailed, minimalist, well textured and well lit in the sense that it offers plenty of contrast. These mapping boons together evoke perfectly a sense of theme (rugged techno/refinery base), and the music does its part to complement the mood and brevity of the level as well. Though it can safely be defined as a level of linear layout and progression, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to stick your nose into, and the gameplay provides a professional application of monster placement, adequate provisions of health and ammunition, and...

    ...there you have it. A review that is just as short and punctual as the map itself. I only wish I could pump out maps of this kind of quality every 3 hours.

    Play it. Like it. There is no excuse.

  • Maybe a Techbase - ElFuzzo
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 204254 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: st.alfonzo
    Well I don't know about you, but the questioning nature of this map's title has left me completely and irrevocably stumped. I mean, I just don't know what to think anymore. Is it a tech base or isn't it a tech base? If it is a tech base, how will we know when we get there? Why do people think it's a good idea to place slices of lemon in my water when all I wanted was ice? And why do I sneeze whenever I think about women after 11pm (discounting time zone differences)? ...I just can't handle this degree of mental strain anymore. The lemon situation is bad enough as it is.

    At least the map is half decent.

    Fresh from ElFuzzo's second foray onto the mapping scene, Maybe a Techbase is a medium length slaughter map with enough monsters to form a small country (or even overthrow the Vatican!). Though the name of the level may very well have been given simply in light of, as is indicated in the text file, the "sorta-tech-basey" type style that it adopts, the misguidance that one is likely to sense from the onset is all but forgotten upon noticing that actually, there's a pretty distinctive design and layout going on here anyway. And it all works pretty well too. The player has plenty of room to move around in for once - almost to the extent that Doomguy's abnormal running speed seems regular and "to scale" - yet at the same time there are hints of realism here and there, noticeable particularly when observing the logically sound layout and sensible use of textures and interconnecting hallways. No, the visuals aren't all that exciting, and they certainly aren't used refreshingly, but the pace of play is quite well done for the most part, and there are even moments, such as in the machine room toward the end, that are quite enjoyable to blast through.

    But with all this having been mentioned, it's worth pointing out at least one of the niggling flaws in gameplay that seem to be all too common among amateur mappers, particularly when discussing slaughter maps. Those who have played wads such as Journey to Hell, for instance, will recall the tendency adopted by the player toward blasting from behind doorways and essentially reducing the Dooming experience to a game of "bottle necking", or funneling constant streams of helpless demons toward your locked, stocked, and two smoking barrels. While not quite the epitome in the regard, much of the intended difficulty in "Maybe" is sheared away if the player chooses to play the level out in this manner. ...Still, I wouldn't let that get in the way too much. The map may be super ordinary, sure, but sometimes a fresh squeeze of standardsauce is all that's required to fully enjoy a meal. As long, of course, as there aren't any lemons in that meal.

    Honestly. As if society wasn't bitter enough.

  • TNT: Renascence (episode 1) - Alexander "Eternal" S. (map10 by Dragon Hunter)
    Vanilla - Solo Play - 1038687 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    And in this sea of E1 replacements that occasionally contains an E2 replacement comes...another E2 replacement, but this one is partial and has the words "Final DOOM" taped to the front. Yes that means Evilution, or TNT, or "that other Final Doom megawad, the one that doesn't really have any replacement wads" or whatever else you want to call it.

    This partial replacement covers the first 11 maps, and like last week's E2 replacement, they have all been reproduced to a certain degree. It's particularly sad in some cases like map 04, which is more or less an exact copy of the original (which itself was lazy by being two identical areas with different textures)...however, in some of the others there's a bit more effort to look different (maps 05, 07, and 08 manage to pull it off best). It also looks better overall, with a bit more detail in there.

    It seems to be harder as well, and despite the backpack appearing much earlier, you won't get huge amounts of ammo until you've finished 4 maps or so. Health isn't abundant either, so it's not a pushover this time. Overall there's too much cloning of the original going on (right down to individual areas and secrets), but it does beat the original in terms of being harder and looking better (and of course it's fun to play). Recommended for TNT fans, and indeed anyone who likes classic-style tech wads.

  • Garden of Delight - Augustus
    Vanilla - Solo Play - 49887 bytes
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    This is an unfunny jokewad, with a misleading text file claiming there's actually a mission when clearly there isn't. All it is is a cleric beating up on a sheep, over and over again, in a square room that supposedly represents a garden. Seriously, that's it. Skip it; there is nothing here that you didn't just read.

  • Friendly Cooperatives 3 - Alando1 (Alan)
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 8719488 bytes
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    This is the third installment in a project to stimulate real cooperative players in solo play mode. This version has more control and more advancement than the last, plus better A.I., and it's almost close to actually playing in cooperative. It's an impressive effort, and worth a go if you want to play co-op maps in single player when no one is available to play with you.

  • Year 2 Kill - Andrew Loly
    Vanilla - SP/DM - 33368 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Malinku
    Here is a map that tries to be everything all at once. It has every gun and is only missing one monster (Spiderdemon). And the texture theme changes more than Hellbent's avatar.

    The first section of the map has you killing hitscanners and imps with the shotgun or chaingun in 3 differently themed rooms. You get to play with 3 Barons and a teleporter, which might get ugly with an Arch-vile on the other side. If you beat that part, you have to touch a skull and lift the wall to claim your prize. *watch out for imp poop*

    After you grab the red skull, you have the opportunity to get cornered by a Baron and his two friends. If you manage to escape the baron you might get the pleasure of seeing an Arch-vile. Now you're off to the awe-inspiring steps. *includes ammo*

    At the top there will be a switch holding a room with ammo. Hit the switch. Now run back down the stairs to get greeted by a few Revenants herding a pack of Demons. After the herding is over, run back to the hitscan TEK room to join the party (complete with blinking lights).

    After hitting the switch, you get to face the final boss in a epic showdown (lift = cutscene). Do a victory dance, winner. Radio tour of Year 2 Kill now over.

    This map really needs more ammo; it's cramped, has horrible flow (gameplay and texturing), and looks like a typical 1994 map.

    Now for some DM: The weapon/player start placement is horrible, but the flow is OK once you open up all the walls.

    I would not recommend this to anyone; avoid.

  • Tuning Contest#5 (aka Freakmapping) - Archi, Beewen, DragonHunter, Guest, Nil, Shadowman, Slavius
    GZDoom - Solo Play - 47458777 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    Here's an interesting one - generate a random map with Oblige and get seven people to make a completely different map out of it with no restrictions. Stick them in a competition...and you get this. The zip also contains the unmodified base map.

    Each map is run separately, usually with GZDoom but not always. Most of them are industrial/tech based, but some of them also contain a twist or two. Each one has a different concept or two - dark missions, single mob type (mostly), all mobs partially invisible, 3D complexes, female zombies, acts of hell, and Half-Life (the exception to this being the classic-style map which contains lots of mobs and detail spam). Some use new monsters, one uses new weapons, and most use new graphics. They're all detailed well enough in their own way; the 3D sections are nice and Doomy without being too complex (it's a pity there aren't more maps being made like this), and there are some neat effects going round too.

    They all play fairly well too (mostly). The dark map is perhaps a bit unforgiving at times with the new monsters (due to the darkness more than anything else), although the new pistol and sniper rifle work well. The single mob map only troubles on its layout, which is confusing at times (some other maps also suffer from this). The classic map is pretty hard going but carries impeding detail in places, the translucent mob map is tricky to adapt to but not so bad after that, the HL map is a bit too stop/start with not much action, and the female zombie map has no skill definition so it defaults to 0 (shame really, otherwise a great map). My favourite though has to be the fantasy map, which (aside from the originality) is pretty hard but with clever mob flow in places and a tough cyber encounter at the end.

    Overall it's a great set of maps that shows what can be done with GZDoom nowadays, and indeed what can be done with an Oblige map too if you look at the original. Recommended.

  • Hell's Arena - XutaWoo
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 8298 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: Malinku
    Here we have a top down scrolling shooter made using ACS. The only map is a hellish hallway.

    The main gameplay is killing waves of monsters with the rocket launcher. Each monster takes at least 4 or more rockets to kill (good thing you have regenerating rockets). The first wave is a demon, which seems faster than normal, making killing yourself twice as easy. The second wave is a hell knight that's a lot easier to kill than the demon. The rest of the waves is a mix of monsters.

    Warning: walking backwards too far will kill you.

    Just look at it if you want to know how to make a mod like this, otherwise skip it.

  • Arcadia Demade - JP LeBreton
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 641726 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: scalliano
    This large single map for Doom2 is a "demake" of the Arcadia and Farmer's market areas from the first Bioshock game, created by the levels' original designer. With a pedigree like that, you'd be forgiven for expecting something a bit special, and I'm happy to report that this wad doesn't disappoint.

    The first thing that strikes you is the custom palette. Everything has been given a pale blueish tinge to enhance the whole "city at the bottom of the sea" vibe and it works really well, adding a great deal of atmosphere to the already very dark, damp and dank surroundings. It's also worth noting that there are NO custom resources of any sort (other than the palette and sky), which makes it all the more impressive that every area will be immediately familiar to anyone who's played Bioshock, having been created entirely with stock Doom 2 textures. The tunnels connecting each area are worthy of particular note.

    As for gameplay, I said already this map is very large and is also very nonlinear in its layout. There is a great deal of exploration to be done, and the architecture is interesting enough to make you want to just dander about and check it out if you do get lost. Monster placement is initially restrained, but very clever usage of monster teleport lines give a real "oh shit, where'd he go?" edge to the gameplay. The monster count increases as you play through, but never gets daft, and the item placement is spot-on.

    All in all, this map is well worth the effort whether you've played Bioshock or not. It's a truly dark, atmospheric wad which doesn't rely on heaps of monsters to challenge you. If you like big levels with a good chunk of gameplay in them, this map comes highly recommended.

    Also worth checking out is the Doom design analysis the author posted as a companion piece.

  • TheEscape - Jack Russel
    Vanilla - Solo Play - 14224 bytes
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    This is a joke map that looks like it's from 1994. Inappropriate texturing is apparent everywhere, and the rooms are WAY taller than would be appropriate. Monsters and gameplay is joke-like too, as there's only big monsters - a couple hundred of them - including Cyberdemons. It gave me a brief laugh, but it isn't my definition of a good jokewad by any means. Then again, with such a small download size, maybe it's not as regrettable as it may seem. I certainly can't recommend downloading it, but the fact that it's so small and it gave me a quick laugh make me unable to scream "Avoid!" either.

  • The Hatch - Raziel Anarki
    Vanilla - Solo Play - 1334319 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    Oh well, this is a really beautiful map made by Raziel Anarki, with some cool ZDoom features (personally I like the "rumbling" rockets effect, the first time I was hurt by a revenant, I think it was a some sort of radius_quake script in that room) like sky boxes, ambient sound, "cinematics" (take a look to one of the screenshots I've made) and the "rumbling rocket" effect I explained briefly before.

    Theme of the map is episode 1, one of my favorite when mapping (after the episode 2 style, obviously!), and this is the first effort for the community from this author. Well done. Oh well, talking about the map, although it is designed for the ZDoom engine and similar (I played this on Skulltag 0.97b and this works perfectly, maybe a few slowdowns sometimes, but it could be my "old" computer), in this map there's no sign of walls\flats mixture, or slopes or anything else you see in other maps for this engine. It looks and feels like a classic, great looking map (in the end I got a sort of esselfortium mapping feeling, don't you think?) balanced with a hard (sometimes too hard), solid gameplay.

    In fewer words, a definitive download, and a great business card from this new entry in the Doom community!

  • 3dbox - Joe Anderson
    Vanilla - Solo Play - 1619 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: lupinx-Kassman
    "If wow.wad had a brother his name would be 3dbox." -Joe Anderson

    However, I do not personally believe that wow.wad has a brother. After all, much like Tommy Wiseau's film The Room, wow.wad's comic value is owed to its overall unintentional crappiness. Imitators of such wads are never really funny, especially if their only call to attention is the attempt at imitating a bad wad.

    That being said, you may now look at the screenshot. See it? You have just played 3dbox.wad.

  • Realm of Cheogsh - Shadowman
    GZDoom - Solo Play - 36211070 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    Random fact: roch is the name of a high-quality series of Duke maps. It's also the name of the 3rd installment of the Cheogsh series...though I prefer the more fitting title of Cheogsh 3. Anyway, it's back with some changes to boot.

    The author has ditched the tech themes seen in part 2 and kept the traditional stuff for the 3 maps here. The first map starts off like Cheogsh 2 did after the preamble, with an outdoor mountain-based venture through villages with a temple at the end. The second is a volcano which does bear some resemblance to the mines of part 2, but the third is something different altogether - an impressive green floating city. The detail is up to par, and the trademark lighting and atmosphere is exceptional as you'd expect, and of course it's very dark - make sure you turn the lights off before playing.

    Gameplay has also changed a bit - out go the long painful switch hunts, and in comes a bout of tactical cover-based combat with snipers. This may be a good or a bad thing depending on how you like your fights...personally I found it refreshing to have something different, but also frustrating due to there being too many soul harvesters. There are also some new mobs and bosses that can trigger a range of frustration levels (from low to high), and some of the barons in the green city wake up at the start and constantly barrage you from the other end of the map...hopefully not intentional. Ammo and health are tight throughout too, so be careful. (especially with bullets)

    Overall it's a mixed bag like the other two...the detail and atmosphere stand out superbly, and the gameplay has similar good/bad levels as the other two, but in different ways. But there's still nothing like these mods, and they're worth playing even if you have to turn the difficulty down.

The /newstuff Chronicles is written entirely by players like you. Visit the /newstuff Review Center to help out. If you are not a member of the Doomworld Forums, please sign up, because it's necessary to submit reviews.

Old Post 09-24-10 02:30 #
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lupinx-Kassman
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Some pretty good ones this week, especially Arcadia demade. It would be cool to see more modern game designers do something like this.


walter confalonieri said:
Theme of the map is episode 1, one of my favorite when mapping (after the episode 2 style, obviously!)


This is pretty rare though. I don't disagree, it just surprised me. =P

Old Post 09-24-10 02:47 #
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joedotts
Warming Up


Posts: 22
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no one reviewed my level, Temple of Skulls??? i knew it was nothing special but it was halfway decent...

http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=16199


since no review...


here is my wad. its my first ever. (well submitting, ive been making levels [but never actually finishing a single one til now] since 1993 when i was 8.



thank you all, its not that bad is it???

Old Post 09-24-10 02:52 #
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myk
volveré y seré millones


Posts: 15213
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Eternal was wise in including a remix for the Map02 music in TNT, as the original piece is really loud and obnoxious.


joedotts said:
no one reviewed my level, Temple of Skulls???
It has nothing to do with quality. If you've looked at the review center, you'll note newer WADs appear as "locked" and people are encouraged to scroll down to review an older WAD that hasn't been done yet.

I merged your double post.

Old Post 09-24-10 03:11 #
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bgraybr
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Posts: 398
Registered: 05-10


I don't remember ever saying that "Grayscale" was my first map (and its not- but close, its only the second map I've thought worthy of uploading). Did it just seem like a beginners map? O_o

Old Post 09-24-10 03:11 #
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lupinx-Kassman
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Posts: 1409
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joedotts said:
no one reviewed my level, Temple of Skulls??? i knew it was nothing special but it was halfway decent...



All of the wads you see reviewed were before July 14th. Yours was uploaded on the 13th of September. Got this from here..

So yeah, just be patient =P.

EDIT: Wow, Myk was quick!

Old Post 09-24-10 03:11 #
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ArmouredBlood
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Posts: 1910
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If you go here, you'll see your wad isn't even claimable yet. It takes a little while for stuff to get reviewed, so when you upload something, expect it to be reviewed maybe in the next month. If you really want feedback, post it in wads/mods. You can upload to a site like mediafire or wadhost and link to it in the post. Since you posted it here, I guess I'll try it ...

E: should've refreshed the page after reading the whole thing ... -.-

Old Post 09-24-10 03:13 #
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Edward850
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Posts: 403
Registered: 08-07


Joedotts, you have only uploaded your Wad this week, you need to wait a bit while other wads that have been sitting there since August get reviewed first.
Edit: Agh. Stupid browser lockup caused my post to get beaten by 3 others.

Old Post 09-24-10 03:16 #
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Malinku
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Posts: 572
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just to let every one know I wrote the year 2 kill review at 2:00 A.M. That is why it's spaced like that.

I had fun doing the reviews, so expect to see more reviews from me.

Old Post 09-24-10 03:53 #
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Snakes
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Posts: 2354
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Bloodshedder said:



Anybody else find this kinda hilarious?

Arcadia Demade was an excellent map. The Hatch was good stuff, too, though I opted to play it with PrBoom, and it worked just as well. Could've done without those ambient noises, though. Cause some weird sound glitches.

Old Post 09-24-10 03:58 #
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Bloodshedder
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Snakes said:
Anybody else find this kinda hilarious?
oops

Also, good news, I have written a tool that will make compiling the Chronicles less time consuming for me. If the reviews came in faster, we could have them more often.

Old Post 09-24-10 04:11 #
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rsl
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Posts: 92
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The Hatch: personally I like the "rumbling" rockets effect


Well, for once it seems this little touch of mine (pkphirsl.wad) hasn't gone unnoticed/unappreciated... :-) Great level BTW!

-- rsl

Old Post 09-24-10 10:56 #
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entryway
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myk said:
Eternal was wise in including a remix for the Map02 music in TNT, as the original piece is really loud and obnoxious.

At least there are two persons who likes it :) You and Eternal. I prefer original sounding.

Old Post 09-24-10 11:13 #
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printz
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myk said:
Eternal was wise in including a remix for the Map02 music in TNT, as the original piece is really loud and obnoxious.
Odd. For me, the background beat is nearly muted for most ports & Microsoft Windows. ZDoom's fmod plays it decently. But the OPL emulation does make it ear-bleeding.

Old Post 09-24-10 11:32 #
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Jodwin
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printz said:
But the OPL emulation does make it ear-bleeding.

OPL emulation makes pretty much everything horrible.

Old Post 09-24-10 11:41 #
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40oz
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I don't mean to sound like a bitch or anything, just curious really. Almost everyone who has reviewed almost every one of my maps describes it as "linear" but they never really seem to go into depth about what I am doing as a mapper to make them linear. I'm interested in creating maps that aren't linear but it seems almost every approach I take still gets described as linear.

I DO read these reviews and try to make maps with avoiding linearity in mind, so I create rooms that can be explored but aren't necessary for completing the map, I make secret areas to search for, I reuse areas that were previously visited, and occasionally offer a few branching hallways that gives you a couple options in choosing which direction to go. What am I doing wrong? Do I need to create deliberate mazes to get around this?

Old Post 09-24-10 12:29 #
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entryway
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40oz said:
I DO read these reviews and try to make maps with avoiding linearity in mind, so I create rooms that can be explored but aren't necessary for completing the map, I make secret areas to search for, I reuse areas that were previously visited, and occasionally offer a few branching hallways that gives you a couple options in choosing which direction to go. What am I doing wrong? Do I need to create deliberate mazes to get around this?

32innail.wad map02 is good example of non linear map for me

Old Post 09-24-10 12:34 #
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Jodwin
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40oz said:
I don't mean to sound like a bitch or anything, just curious really. Almost everyone who has reviewed almost every one of my maps describes it as "linear" but they never really seem to go into depth about what I am doing as a mapper to make them linear. I'm interested in creating maps that aren't linear but it seems almost every approach I take still gets described as linear.

I DO read these reviews and try to make maps with avoiding linearity in mind, so I create rooms that can be explored but aren't necessary for completing the map, I make secret areas to search for, I reuse areas that were previously visited, and occasionally offer a few branching hallways that gives you a couple options in choosing which direction to go. What am I doing wrong? Do I need to create deliberate mazes to get around this?


First of all, you need to differentiate between linearity and perceived linearity. For example, even if your map has optional routes, if the player plays through only once and manages to pick a route that doesn't show off any of those optional areas he'll perceive the map as perfectly linear even if it wasn't.

Perceived linearity is a potential problem with all maps that are essentially linear but only with different possible routes to get from the beginning to the end. On the other hand if you make a map with different "goals" (keys, switches, big weaponry...) scattered around and the player having almost complete freedom in choosing where to go the map will be perceived as non-linear much more easily.

If you're making a map that, from beginning to end, is perfectly linear but with a few optional side areas you need to make the side areas obvious enough that the player won't miss them all, and make them bigger than just one small room. For example (correct me if I'm wrong), I think it was your birthday map for Snakes which had a tiny optional tech-room near the beginning with two imps, a caco and a chainsaw in it. Sure, technically it adds non-linearity in the sense that it's optional, but the area itself is so small and quickly over with that it barely counts. I think E1 as a whole is a great example of this kind of non-linearity done right.

You can also add hints of non-linearity by forcing the player make smaller choices. For example you could give few different entrances to a big arena and give the player a choice of picking the best one for him. Or you could give, say, three weapon caches one with the SSG, one with the RL and one with the plasma and then close the others once the player has picked one (this isn't non-linear map progression, but non-linear weapon progression). Just make it clear that the player has to make some kind of a choice.

Old Post 09-24-10 12:51 #
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Phml
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Almost everyone who has reviewed almost every one of my maps describes it as "linear" but they never really seem to go into depth about what I am doing as a mapper to make them linear. I'm interested in creating maps that aren't linear but it seems almost every approach I take still gets described as linear.


For a map to be more open, you have to give different paths to get from A to B. Easiest way to do that is to scatter keys all around the maps, make a 2 or 3 key door exit and let the player choose the way he's going to go.

Optional rooms, secret rooms are meaningless if the player is still stuck on the exact same path leading to the exact same key/switch opening the exact same door, and then moves on to the same linear key/switch => door key/switch => exit combo.

Reusing areas is a technique that was first used for linear maps to give a perception of nonlinearity ; while not necessarily something to avoid in an open-ended map, it won't make it any less linear by itself.

Don't just make a second path just as linear as the first, though. Given two or more options of being railroaded, the end result is as linear as having just one way to go.

Based on the maps I've played from you (and now I'm going to assume something that might be completely wrong, but if it's right I think it's worth talking about), I think you build your maps on a "make rooms connected by hallways" mentality. The best you can do to make things less linear is to break out of that habit. This isn't to say hallways are inherently bad, but when their sole purpose is to connect one room to another, it can only lead to linearity. Mix things up and think of hallways/stairs just the same as rooms rather than just filler designed to connect two places, give more options to the player.

Old Post 09-24-10 13:11 #
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dew
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to put it bluntly: non-linear levels let you choose different routes for level goals. optional rooms and secrets are cool, but when you have to walk through the critical parts in the same order every time, it's still linear. non-linear maps gameplay changes drastically depending on which part you decide to visit first.

check gusta's plutonia 2 maps, it doesn't get much more non-linear than that.
map17 let's you roam around the whole level and only small rooms are locked - you still need to follow the key sequence, but by that time the whole map could be wiped clean with the exception of key ambushes. it's rather mazeish, but you don't feel like you need a red thread to find your way through.
map18 puts YK right in front of you, but then you need to choose which half of the map you want to visit - one has PG and BK, the other has RL and RK. the keys don't make a difference, you need both of them to unlock the exit, but as you can imagine you have to clear one half of the map with ssg/cg/berserk, then you storm the other with a heavy weapon - but which one? or do you somehow collect the weapons first and only then conquer the keys?
map05 or map09 are extremely open, you can jump off every window and return back to some central area/passage. it's all twisted into a knot of routes, but not exactly a maze - you can see your target well. you can visit almost any part of the map, but you have to ask yourself if you shouldn't search for a RL or at least that soulsphere secret you saw earlier before grabbing that deceptively unguarded BK...
then there's map29 that has you screaming 'gimme a fucking GPS!'

now compare that to t.v.'s pl2 map26. it's an epic, awesome map, but it's also entirely linear. yes, you meet a fork in the road, but one of the doors is YK locked. yes, there's a central area with 3 accesses, but you came through the first one, the second one is RK locked and you can only go through the third one. yes, when you return later, there's going to be a new ambush waiting, but that's still linear, because carefully pre-planned. it doesn't mean 'bad', god forbid that ever crossing anyone's mind! but it means 'always the same'.
an extreme variant would be WOS with it's 4-way rectangle rooms where 2 doors are locked with different colours... it's predictable. the fights may be well orchestrated and challenging, but non-linearity let's you choose when or even how you fight them. i hope my rant isn't too incoherent. :)

edit: wtf did i spend 30 minutes writing this?! jodwin and phml both write faster than me. D:<

Old Post 09-24-10 13:35 #
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40oz
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Being referred to nonlinear maps doesn't really help. I've played maps that weren't linear but I can't really seem to make a formula out of it. Even when playing the maps multiple times and looking at them in a editor view, it's hard for me to determine what can make a map linear or non linear.

However, your replies are very informative. I'm not quite sure how I will manage to map in a non-linear fashion but nonetheless I'll do my best to bear what you've said in mind. Thanks. :)

Old Post 09-24-10 21:20 #
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printz
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When I map I often place side doors on the way that I'll visit later. The problem is that even if I make an octopus map, it will be linear in the end, because I manage to seal up most side doors with locks.

Old Post 09-24-10 21:26 #
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dew
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40oz said:
Even when playing the maps multiple times and looking at them in a editor view, it's hard for me to determine what can make a map linear or non linear.

ok i was thinking about it more... how about this definition: take a map considered as linear and remember hub rooms in your copy&paste clipboard. you will be very likely able to move&stretch the whole level into one long line. there might be optional rooms going sideways and there might be two parallel ways from one room to another, but it will still look like a line. a non-linear level will have unavoidable circles in this diagram, because there will be too many joints between areas to create a line. or perhaps you could draw it as a complicated tree structure... heh. i'd probably make a markov model analogy, but i believe i'm too drunk for that.

Old Post 09-24-10 21:38 #
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All my maps are extremely linear. I re-use and change previously visited areas a lot. It`s a good trick to use when you have a linear map, but dont want the player to FEEL like he is just following a path. It`s more like an "adventure" game rather than an exploration game.

I really need to practise making more non-linear maps, and I just cant fathom how some mappers can come up with stuff like some of the PL2 ones for example :P

OT: I really need to check out Arcadia Demade!

Old Post 09-24-10 21:46 #
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Jodwin
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40oz said:
Being referred to nonlinear maps doesn't really help. I've played maps that weren't linear but I can't really seem to make a formula out of it.

Quadruple Threat. ;) Really, that's the simplest possible "formula" for a non-linear map: Have a "hub", with X paths going away from it that you need to finish all to reach the exit, but you can pick the order of playing them freely.

An other way to add non-linearity (and potentially confusion :P) is to stop and look at your map once you've got some progress done. Look at the different rooms and think to yourself if you could draw new paths between some existing areas. The problem is that since it would be something that you hadn't planned before hand it might end up making the map too confusing, but then again it might not. For example, some of the optional "routes" in Chapel of Chaos were made this way.

Of course, as far as methods of making non-linearity go a lot depends on what kind of non-linearity you want. Want to do a map where the keys are scattered around and the exit requires all three? Well, just make a free-flowing map, drop the keys in different ends of it and you're set. If you have problems with making free-flowing maps, then start creating rooms that have three to four exits/entrances in the center parts of the map and then decrease the number as you get closer to the edges. Once you get hang of the habit of making rooms that have more than a set entry and a set exit then you can add some variety to it.

Dew's "one long line" example is a very good one, you could try making diagrams of your maps where each room is a square connected by lines based on how the map progresses. For a non-linear map you'll want a map with some kind of a mesh or a net of rooms rather than a straight line.

Old Post 09-24-10 22:13 #
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scalliano
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My own attempts at nonlinearity have mainly leaned towards the "tree" format - whereby certain things can be done in any order, but I've only succeeded in this on occasion. Generally, a map of mine may look nonlinear, but in actual fact follows a strict path (in other words, switchhunt :P).

Old Post 09-24-10 22:23 #
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joedotts
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thanks guys, had no idea it took that long. ill be patient!

Old Post 09-24-10 22:54 #
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hervoheebo
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Whoa, bro! Isn't the Arcadia demake pretty old already? Why'd it take so long? And I know the volunteer /newstuff is lagging behind quite a bit, but... or is this one touched up a bit, a special edition of sorts?

Old Post 09-24-10 23:45 #
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scalliano
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I dunno why it took so long to come up, but I was always pouncing on that review!

Old Post 09-25-10 00:07 #
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Gez
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It just took a while for it to be put on /idgames. JPL wanted to make sure there were as few issues as possible.

Old Post 09-25-10 00:08 #
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