carnevil why do you keep shooting yourself in the foot? it's not that fucking hard man
why do you keep dismissing good criticism as "hardcore doom fans i don't need to cater to etc etc etc." you've read books about fundamental game design and "focus" points & whatever but that's not the point that everyone is making about the level design. here essentially is the conversation i'm seeing (about a thousand times over bc stubborn carnbarn):
doomworld: "the engine seems really neat but the level design is too flat and samey"
carn: "no you're wrong there is a lot of variety look at e1m1 side by side with e1m2"
doomworld: "it's the exact same box with different textures"
carn: "you guys are too hardcore"
attention carnevil, we would fucking love to help you make your game succeed. here we have someone from the doom community who's trying to put himself into the industry, an industry that a lot of us feel too often neglects solid level design (or at least that's how i feel when i play modern games usually, much as i love the gameplay in some of them). so you can bet that we would urge you to right the wrongs that have seemingly become mainstream. you make yourself out to be some crusader against the industry, and like Wrack is some sort of rebellion against the modern fps, but even with an engine that feels more like quake, if you don't stop making boxes and boxes then you're doing all the same things wrong as the genre you're trying to "fix."
half of your audience won't appreciate good level design when they see it because they'll be too busy with "oh this is cool it's kinda like COD but different." but for those of us that do, it'd be nice to be able to play a game (one that we paid for, no less) and go "wow, the stellar level design compliments the fluid gameplay mechanics really well and clearly took a lot of creativity" and not "wow i could pull a better map out of my ass in a week if you gave me an editor."
having an editor is no excuse for lackluster level design in the main product though. ever played little big planet 2? different genre but the same concept applies here i feel. the abilities of that game('s editor) are about as endless as you can get on a console platforming game imo. but i didn't buy the game for its level editor, and similarly, when we think about purchasing Wrack, we hope that we're paying not for the chance to make our own game using an engine you've supplied, but that we're paying for a fucking great game. LBP2 is a great example of game developers including both an endlessly capable level editor and an amazing set of stock levels that show them off. as far as i've played into that game, every new stage (not to mention world/episode) either has a new gameplay element or takes it several steps further than the last level did. the first levels introduce the basics of the engine and running and jumping, then you get into grappling and moving environments, switches etc. further worlds introduce customizeable shooting gadgets, exploding elements, glove powerups, controllable creatures, and things like top-down arcade shooter sequences.
different game, different genre, but if you're boasting about cool new gameplay elements then you better fucking use them and use them creatively. Wrack doesn't need an R-Type sequence in it, but to me something like LBP is a prime example of variety in level design and gameplay and how each one should progress. but if we're paying for a game we expect you to make it as creative and original as possible, and move away from things like this.
imo you should be setting the bar, not telling us to set it ourselves.
doesn't have to be irregular to be interesting, but i still don't understand why even you'd rule out non-square rooms. but ok, fine, i won't argue with that because some things are great with orthogonal angles only, but let's take for example this map from Scythe 2. with a few minor adjustments it would be just as orthogonal as everything in Wrack i've seen, but that layout looks infinitely more interesting (and subsequently is) than Torm-style hallway -> door -> hallway with feeble attempt at height variation via 32 px step down in center of room with 1 monster in it anyway -> repeat. something like the above shot in Scythe 2 is still pretty basic if you think about it. Erik added windows to adjacent areas, waterfalls, stairs, etc etc, AND an imo great "focus" point in the map. certainly i have some bias here because vines, but i think most would agree that Erik knows how to make things interesting while still remaining fairly basic.
A lot of you guys like irregularly shaped rooms - I get it. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's just not the aesthetic of Wrack, so don't be surprised if that doesn't get incorporated.
i don't remember its name, but remember that alpha (demo?) of a colorful shooting game that was posted here a few months back? it looked really cool and i liked the art direction and the shooting elements, but as you would expect everybody was critical of its level design because the author had limited himself to, essentially, Wolf3d capabilities. that seems silly to me and to a lot of other members here, since, you know, there is a reason we're playing doom and not all still playing wolfenstein and modding that. give wolfenstein barrels and red forcefields and a secret explodable wall, etc etc, but the level design is still flat and extremely limited in capability. no matter how many different texture sets you put in wolfenstein, or how many weapons or forcefields, it will still always be flat.
Wrack felt great when i played it and i would really love to see it succeed. i would love for it to become popular and for all my friends to play it so i could say "now you can all stop fucking playing modern warfare 10,000," but unless you start listening to people about level design and stop dismissing our attempts to help you, you're going to end up selling just another Quake engine.
i know you have it in you carn, but for some reason you're ignoring the potential