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Flesh420
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Posts: 275
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When the mood strikes, usually once a year, I become obsessed with everything Duke. From D3D to TTK to LOTB and of course Manhattan Project.

Old Post 05-12-14 19:38 #
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methy
Warming Up


Posts: 27
Registered: 08-11


New 17maps community episode for Duke Nukem 3D released!
By the Duke4 community

Trailer :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcfRUmEdxvg

MODDB Page, with screenshots and download link :
http://www.moddb.com/mods/duke-hard

Requires a copy of Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition as well as (free) EDuke32 Sourceport

Check the readme file in the download for installation instructions, play information, FAQ, full credits and more misc info!

Enjoy!

I know Doom has 32maps megawads all the time, but for the DN3D community, this sort of big mods or episodes only happens once a year, so have fun!

Last edited by methy on 06-23-14 at 15:12

Old Post 06-23-14 15:06 #
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scifista42
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I like Duke3D, so I've decided to give this mapset a go, as one of my first Duke3D custom mapsets. Mostly I prefer Doom, and I can say why. Doom seems to be generally focused simply on basic architecture structure and fun / challenging gameplay. While Duke (in my view) has always been more about "cheeky realism" and about emphasizing features that stand above the Doom engine. This mapset seems to be like that too - I'm enjoying it, though.

The concept of going up a building is very similar to a currently developed quality Doom mod called "Going Down" by Mouldy, where you continually descend a building floor-by-floor. I find the coincidence funny. Going Down appeals me a lot, compared to DukeHard it has better handled exits and mostly also the gameplay, but design-realism-wise DukeHard wins of course, because the Build engine and Duke's textures are objectively better at that than Doom's.

One decision I'm not really comfortable with is the forced removal of weapons (including pistol) at the start of each level.

So about DukeHard: I'm currently 7 maps deep in. I like the maps. All of them look pretty good in a Duke3D way. However, they're usually not challenging enough on Come Get Some, in the means that there are little interesting traps or combat situations, mostly just defeating monsters coming from one or two directions, with little height variation usage - but not all maps are the same. Also - maps have nice music.

The first map bothered me because of unintuitive key hunting, not enough ammo at the beginning and occasional "random" enemy hordes spawned without much thought (which is a nitpick though). Otherwise it was nice. Map 2 didn't have enough ammo too, although I've been searching for it intensively and finding it at strange places, it was hardly enough. It was also quite badly intuitive, but I find the layout interesting in its compact complication :). Map 3 was too straightforward and not much challenging, but flowed well. Map 4 was structured simply and with a fair amount of undesired symmetry (any repetitiveness is an unideal choice). But it was the best gameplay-wise appealing level for me so far. Even though quite very easy, I found the gameplay somehow "rational" and resembling Doom. Map 5 is my favourite so far, because of its ideas (rotating chambers) and a couple good combat situations. Map 6 was good too, compact and unified and well intuitive, swimmable water pools are a good concept. From what I've seen from map 7 so far, it seems it's not going to be much interesting there, just a crate maze - but I might change opinion after I fully play through.

Good to see modern Duke maps being made, good job, guys! ;)

Old Post 06-25-14 14:04 #
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methy
Warming Up


Posts: 27
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Hey, I'm glad you enjoyed it :) I'll try to answer to few comments you said :




scifista42 said:
The concept of going up a building is very similar to a currently developed quality Doom mod called "Going Down" by Mouldy, where you continually descend a building floor-by-floor. I find the coincidence funny.


I started the idea of the Duke Hard episode (and managed it) and actually it's not a coincidence. When playing the first ep of Going Down I really loved the concept and what he did in some of those maps; and gave me the idea getting the Duke4 community together to do something similar. It turned out VERY different though so only the basic concept is similar. Plus lot's of games did that already, Mouldy didn't really invent it. I forgot to mention it in the readme file though (had so much to do and things turned out so differently that by the end of development I completely forgot about getting the basic idea from Going Down and you just reminded me of that; but we're making a patch to fix minor glitches so I'll add a line about it in the readme).


Going Down appeals me a lot, compared to DukeHard it has better handled exits and mostly also the gameplay, but design-realism-wise DukeHard wins of course, because the Build engine and Duke's textures are objectively better at that than Doom's.


I loved the first EP of Going Down; especially the map in which you have to go AROUND the map at first (using vents etc) while even avoiding a spidermastermind shots; but I was pretty disappointed by EP2 which to me felt like a collection of slaughter maps, except with pretty random enemy placement and confined space/cramped areas which I think doesn't really work for Slaughtermaps. The Gladiator arena map was fantastic though, very memorable; but I think generally the first EP was more interesting and the 2nd completely dropped the theme and had WAY too many enemies (but that last point seems to be a very common trait of Doom usermaps)



One decision I'm not really comfortable with is the forced removal of weapons (including pistol) at the start of each level.



I knew some players wouldn't like this. However, I don't think we had the choice.
This decision was taken to ensure proper balance throughout the entire episode; because every map was built individually at the same time.
Had we have to take into account ammo/weapons/items picked up in previous maps, it would have taken a LOT more time and effort to make the episode, maybe twice as much time; and I don't know if some mappers would have even really bothered or wanted to do it.
Had we let the players keep all his stuff between maps, he would have become WAY too overpowered after only a few maps and it wouldn't be fair and a lot less fun. Regular Duke Nukem 3D episodes only have a maximum of 11 maps, and even then you become too overpowered quickly,running around with full arsenal, 200hp and a full medipack at all times; and this episode has many more maps than a regular Duke episode.
Some maps wouldn't even work if the player kept his gear, like for example map08 "Eat The Rich" since half of the map is only based on the shrinker.

Also for what it's worth I think that ending up overpowered due to items picked up in previous maps is also a very common issue in many Doom megawads, especially community map packs in which mappers build their maps individually (like this episode). I heard some players even force a pistol start on each of these maps when playing those community map packs! So we just avoided the issue, and I don't regret the decision.


However, they're usually not challenging enough on Come Get Some, in the means that there are little interesting traps or combat situations, mostly just defeating monsters coming from one or two directions, with little height variation usage - but not all maps are the same.

The more challenging maps are at the end. But really, every map is different. Some aimed at a more classic "vanilla like" gameplay, some tried new things, some are just cheerful 'shoot big wave of enemies with tons of ammo', etc


The first map bothered me because of unintuitive key hunting, not enough ammo at the beginning and occasional "random" enemy hordes spawned without much thought (which is a nitpick though).


I made the first map, and actually I made it very simple on purpose. Basically, I considered it as a first map, as an 'appetizer' (which is the name I gave it at first). Pick keycard, go to next room and repeat, was the idea; it was meant just to get the player start and get in the episode with the common stuff, and like this the more 'complicated' stuff of other maps will stand out more, too.
As for the respawns, actually they always respawn next to where you have to go. The first respawns are guarding the 2 sides of the room locked with the red key; the 2nd set of respawns are guarding the Laundry, and the last set of respawn show you the path to the yellow keycarslot.
The problem is that respawned Duke Nukem 3D enemies tend to go wander a bit randomly. They're good neither at coming at the player, not at staying where they are (unless you make them stayput, which is restricted to a single sector unlike in Doom, which not only is pretty limiting but which also often make them behave badly as they keep trying to walk to the next sector even if they can't)


Map 2 didn't have enough ammo too, although I've been searching for it intensively and finding it at strange places, it was hardly enough.

For what it's worth neither I nor the 2 betatesters had real ammo problem in the episode , or when they had, we did add more ammo. Also you're also the first player commenting on that.
However, Duke Nukem 3D mappers tend to 'hide' their ammo more than Doom's; we like to make player feel like their ammo is a reward for looking around and searching in cupboards etc
Also, it's true that after 18 years; Duke3D maps are made by people who are very experienced with the game and aims at people who know the game very well (Doom maps probably are the same, too). Since it's the first mapset you play perhaps, you don't yet know all the best ways to get rid of this or that particular enemy etc and that's something people who make usermaps (I believe for any game) tend to forget.



From what I've seen from map 7 so far, it seems it's not going to be much interesting there, just a crate maze - but I might change opinion after I fully play through.

Good to see modern Duke maps being made, good job, guys! ;) [/B]


Map 7 is mostly just crates indeed, but Doom being my witness, rooms filled with crates can be incredibly fun if enemy placement and item balancing is right; which I believe is in this map.

Thank you and hope you have fun with the rest of the episode!

Last edited by methy on 06-25-14 at 18:37

Old Post 06-25-14 18:30 #
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scifista42
Senior Member


Posts: 2043
Registered: 05-12


It's cool that there's actually a connection between Going Down and this. Also, I find this cross-community talk quite interesting, Doom and Duke mapping certainly have a lot in common but also differ in other things. :)

To the weapon balance problem, we in Doom mapping solve it by advising "pistol starts" but allowing a continuous playthrough anyway. Classic continuous player will have it a bit easier (which may be pleasant for them, if they've chosen it). Those who decide to play from a "pistol start" will get an increased challenge and they can also be satisfied by knowing that they're getting the actual intended experience. Forced pistol starts can annoy some people. In your mapset, I was mostly low on ammo so that I'd be glad for preserved weapons, and it wouldn't even break the balance for me too much.

By unintuitive key hunting in map 1, I actually meant that the keycards were hidden too hard and I had problems with navigation because of that.

More thoughts on maps: Map 7 turned out to be a simple linear path made out of crates, which had to be eventually backtracked. Monsters were scattered around randomly, not in a much threatening way. More thought could have been put in, but the map provided a good enough experience anyway. Map 8 was also very straightforward, but interesting. Nicely looped-around-itself layout. Mostly it was easy, except a dickish Assault Commander ambush after I've left a vent shaft. Map 9 had specially impressive layout once everything was unlocked. However, I had often felt confused while playing, because there were switches unlocking a random distant part of the map, which was unobvious (I call this "unintuitive") - but not so bad actually, I was able to navigate there eventually. As a result, I've noticed that the progression was actually consequent in a predetermined way, not nonlinear. But it was an enjoyable map anyway, very easy too. Map 10 was well done in its structure, I liked how I was required to use the ledge around that floor. Fights were often pretty slaughtery, maybe a bit too much, but even that's a way, and they weren't really that excessive as some maps in Going Down. I have to say, these parts with mass-slaughtering didn't turn out to be as challenging as other parts of the map, because the horde of monsters always came from just one direction. Elsewhere in the map, I had to deal with individual enemies from multiple directions, which I've found a slightly better challenge. Map 11 had a different structure (apartments, rooms, corridors), but well implemented, I've enjoyed exploring it. It had some challenging moments too, mainly around the prison part. In my opinion, the Doom midi fitted the level well. ;)

I'll continue playing later.

Old Post 06-25-14 21:10 #
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scifista42
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Posts: 2043
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Map 12 was a pretty strange one. Unfortunately in a way that was more like "meh" to me, than "cool". Maybe the map was supposed to be scary. It succeeded, but probably in a way that wasn't intended. I was only scared of the apparent possibility of random unfair deaths (the dark pits, random teleports), which I'd call a wrong map design then. Although an interesting map with a really strange atmosphere and gameplay, I hoped that I won't encounter any similar one anymore.

Map 13 was a nice one, how it was compact and complex. Enjoyable progression (not entirely linear, but intuitive enough), good setting, and even gameplay moments (for example avoiding turret shots) were somehow challenging. I liked it.

Map 14 was a good map too. I appreciate the nonlinearity and complexity. At first I couldn't find any weapons, though, I had to rob a pig cop of a shotgun after defeating too many other monsters just by kicks. The downside was that sometimes I was confused where to go further. Navigation required a lot of exploration, including crawling through ventilation shafts and jumping out of the building in one place. The button-password sequence: I guessed it by random (didn't find any hint), and had to use pistol to press the buttons, because pressing use or kicks didn't work right, strange way how I was forced to spend ammo - but ultimately the map as a whole turned out to be okay and enjoyable for me. Aside from the start without weapons, difficulty was appropriate, while never really high.

I've started map 15 and it seemed quite punishing at first (short run around turrets and enemies, without a weapon), I wonder how it will continue.

Old Post 06-29-14 10:33 #
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AzaryDoom2020
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Posts: 94
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I loves Dukem Nukem games forever! Yeah! :D

Old Post 06-29-14 13:12 #
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methy
Warming Up


Posts: 27
Registered: 08-11



scifista42 said:
Map 14 was a good map too. I appreciate the nonlinearity and complexity. At first I couldn't find any weapons, though, I had to rob a pig cop of a shotgun after defeating too many other monsters just by kicks. The downside was that sometimes I was confused where to go further. Navigation required a lot of exploration, including crawling through ventilation shafts and jumping out of the building in one place. The button-password sequence: I guessed it by random (didn't find any hint), and had to use pistol to press the buttons, because pressing use or kicks didn't work right, strange way how I was forced to spend ammo - but ultimately the map as a whole turned out to be okay and enjoyable for me. Aside from the start without weapons, difficulty was appropriate, while never really high.

I've started map 15 and it seemed quite punishing at first (short run around turrets and enemies, without a weapon), I wonder how it will continue. [/B]


Hey, again thanks for the feedback. I'll try to defend against some of the points you made :)
About map14, the map (and map15 as well) do require a little bit more exploration but imo nothing too hard to find and it's good for a nice change of pace. Also they're some of the last maps for a reason ;) Having to use ventilation shafts is very common in Duke Nukem 3D, including the original game. So are 4-5 buttons combinaison (without giving the answer to the player) as well as having to shoot at the buttons (again, both used in the original game as well and quite often in tons of maps). There is also more than enough pistol ammo provided in the button room so you can shoot the buttons without risking to end up with no ammo.

As for the start without a weapon, there is a semi-hidden pistol at the start; though the beginning of the map was built with a weaponless start in mind as well. You only have to kill about 3-4 Liztroops with your feet alone (less if you play on Let's Rock) and then you're provided 3 lasertripbombs to get rid of the Pigcop. BTW there is a very easy way to kill a Liztroop foot-only without getting hit, which I thought tons of people would know by now (simply by crouching when kicking the alien bastard). But even if you get hit, there is also enough HP packs provided at the start, as well as a full armor; and if you explore you'll easily find an atomic health. There are even toilets at your disposal to drink water from if needed (though again, no map was thought with the intention of making the player have to drink water).
Directly after that one Pigcop you're provided a shotgun as well as another pistol in case you didn't find the first one.
I think it's a totally fair start and which gives a welcoming change of pace and gameplay, I also like how it lets you use the lasertripbombs which is a very underused weapon.

Hope you have fun with the few remaining maps! Except a challenge from map15 since it's the last one before the boss map (not counting the secret map)

Old Post 06-29-14 15:41 #
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scifista42
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I've just finished playing the mapset. :) I'll say some notes about the last maps too. Let me just say for now, you're right than it's a fair and decent challenge, that map14's start. Also I've been rushing, jumping, crouching around like crazy, but I guess that I found the map difficult because I didn't know the initial position of enemies. It seemed to me that they're many and still coming more. Then I tend to play badly and panic a little. ;) But I'm glad for an actually challenging gameplay moment, of course! It wouldn't be fair from me if I didn't, because I've criticized some of the previous maps for low difficulty.

I still think, however, that at least the pistol should have been preserved between levels, and "weaponless starts" might have been just advised for more hardcore players who wanted the right experience (as I've already said).

Old Post 06-29-14 15:56 #
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scifista42
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So, Map 15 turned out to be challenging quite a lot, as well as full of exploration "beyond the borders" :), and I've enjoyed it. I've even found 4/5 secrets and the entrance to a secret level, that's above my average secret-area findings - and mind you, I've been searching in the maps a lot, and in Doom I typically find secret areas quite well. I liked how the map consequently revealed itself, as I've been unlocking windows. I didn't get the point of translucency, but if it was just to increase challenge, it worked appropriately well. By the way, I find it a real shame that most maps didn't employ height variation in order to increase challenge, by having monsters attacking you from above, below, multiple directions at once... Turrets were okay enough, though.

Secret map. Featured a lot of dynamic fights, which was great. Too much space to move (and avoid enemies) was provided in the parking zone part, I'd personally cramped the map into a smaller size. It wasn't any bad of course, given the setting (parking place needs wide space). Duke maps often "subordinate gameplay to the theme", while Doom maps mainly "subordinate architecture to the gameplay", both approaches have their charms if done right. I've enjoyed this map. The one-time damaging floor run was actually an interesting idea to spice things up, instead of switches or keycards all over again.

The final map, map 16, taking place on the rooftop. Again, enjoyable dynamic fights, a bit chaotic, but it was for the good. The rooftop structure was done well and varied enough. It must have been inspired by Going Down, while it's different of course. I had only a little troubles finding the mandatory switches, but it didn't take too much time or effort. I've safely sniped the final boss into his head from behind the alien control panel - otherwise I couldn't find a safe strategy that didn't involve unavoidable random deaths. Cycloid Emperor is a tricky enemy in this regard.

Overally I liked the experience this mapset gave me, it turned out to be interesting to change Doom for Duke3D for once. I might try other Duke mods too, although I think I'll primarily stay at Doom - Doom's effective simplicity regarding map desing and also map-creating appeals me a lot. Good job to all guys who worked on DukeHard, once again, I'm thankful for the experience. ;)

Old Post 06-29-14 16:28 #
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methy
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scifista42 said:
I still think, however, that at least the pistol should have been preserved between levels, and "weaponless starts" might have been just advised for more hardcore players who wanted the right experience (as I've already said).


The thing is, we did all these maps without adding any extra coding or art. It's not possible to force a pistol start in the original game, only a weaponless start (like in the original game's E1L3).
Then it was up to each mapper to decide whether he wanted to give a pistol with that player start or near it, most mappers did; but then we also have maps which didn't give a pistol right away or even at all which I think makes for a nice and uncommon change of gameplay style.
Like I said I knew some people wouldn't like it though but I think more positive things came out of that than negative ones.



scifista42 said:
Cycloid Emperor is a tricky enemy in this regard.



Yes it's pretty hard to make interesting situations out of the original bosses (I think it's kinda the same in Doom; I can't stand maps which use the Cyberdemon in cramped places or maps which use more than 1 Cyberdomn) but some people manage (both in Doom and Duke Nukem3D). For example, the maps High-Altitude Face Off (one of the boss map of the episode Metropolitan Mayhem) and the recently released singleplayer map "Apprehension Arizona" use the Cycloid Emperor in a very smart way. However, I thought that there wasn't too much space available to make something like that so I decided to concentrate most of the boss map on what comes before the boss itself and leave it simple.

The thing is, each map was built starting the same template; which gave the limits of how big the map would be. That stands for your comment about not much use of enemies coming from various height directions; that's because of the restriction we gave ourselves for the episode at the start. Thoses restriction have their share of negative sides (each mapper should have sticked to a single floor), but it also has its positive sides.



Overally I liked the experience this mapset gave me, it turned out to be interesting to change Doom for Duke3D for once. I might try other Duke mods too, although I think I'll primarily stay at Doom - Doom's effective simplicity regarding map desing and also map-creating appeals me a lot. Good job to all guys who worked on DukeHard, once again, I'm thankful for the experience. ;) [/B]


I'm glad you enjoyed it and let the other mappers know about the comments about their maps.
Even though I do like DN3D more I myself play tons of Doom wads as well, and also made a Doom thread on the main DN3D forum (the contrary of this thread).
As for DN3D maps and mods I recommend :
Duke Nukem Forever 2013, Metropolitan Mayhem, WGrealms, WGSpace, New York Rebellion, Daikarin, The Gate, Brave New World,
Duke Nukem 64, Oblivion, AMC TC, WGRealms2, Starship Troopers TC, Slender's Woods, Sonic 3D, etc.

and you can find tons of quality singleplayer usermaps on the following sites:
MSDN : http://msdn.duke4.net/
Come Get Some : http://www.scent-88.com/
DN-R : http://www.dukerepository.com/ (hasn't been updated in more than 2 years; so anything recent isn't there; but still a great source of old material)
Moddb pages : http://www.moddb.com/games/duke-nukem-3d/addons
http://www.moddb.com/games/duke-nukem-3d/mods
Megaton's Workshop :
http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/browse?appid=225140 (Requires a copy of Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition on Steam)

Old Post 06-29-14 17:24 #
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scifista42
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Thanks, I'll check them out someday. I've only played the DNF Duke3D mod before, plus about 3 other maps plus (now) DukeHard, otherwise no Duke3D custom maps. :)

Old Post 06-29-14 20:29 #
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