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