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wesleyjohnson
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I have edited Map01 to fix some HOM and other issues. While I was at it I edited a whole lot of other things too.

File: http://www.sendspace.com/file/xsnkad

I would rather not be editing someone else's map, but they did not seem to be maintaining it, and some fixes needed to be done before the next release.
Please look this over, reply, make further changes, etc...


Map01 CHANGES Rev3, by Wesley Johnson:
Fixed HOM in outdoor area of SKY floor.
Fixed HOM in the twisty stairway.
Added a corridor to the far building, which was previously inaccessible.
Changed teleporter in far building (was no longer necessary) to a
power machine, which can be activated.
Changed walk-on-water solution of crossing the nukage pit to have Deep Water nukage.
Added friction to slow player who goes into the nukage.
Removed broken path across pit, and added fencing.
Possible solutions considered for crossing the pit were excessively difficult
(could not use 3d floors for a walkway) so instead used the existing
twisty stairway (which was not previously used in the solution).
Changed button for raising pit nukage level to a new system with a
raise button and a lower button, and included a pit level indicator.
Gave the stairway door a yellow key, and changed the doors to a door
texture.
Put two yellow keys into the map, one in the far building, and one in the pit. Put health in the pit next to the key.
Fixed some sectoring in the nukage pit, and adjusted the collapsed
roof to be more compatible with my engineering sense (cutting a major
building support column should bring down any massive beams it was
holding up).
Put another room between the second hanger and the pit.
Moved the second exit sign to the doorway to the second hanger.
Added a room with tanks, piping, and pump (with pump noise).
Gave the pump room an exit door using the blue key so it does not
contribute to the solution, but it can be used in deathmatch, and to
backtrack to pickup health.
Fixed exit sign lighting to use light transfer, because the missing
texture trick did not work with opengl rendering.
Fixed the external building heights so they are higher than the inside
ceilings (which fixed some DoomLegacy opengl rendering problems).
Blocked access to unbroken windows with trees and low floor height,
to avoid player shooting through unbroken glass.
Moved the first landing pads outdoors, moved it farther from the
building, and gave it tracks.
Gave the second landing pad tracks too.
Added more health, and some ammo, for lower difficulties.
Adjusted monster positions for building changes.
Added missing textures, and aligned many textures in niches.
Created distant hills with more distance and definition.
Cleaned up sectors used for Deep Water transfers.

Old Post 09-18-13 17:37 #
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fabian
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Sorry, but I consider your version of this map much too complex for a MAP01 now. I especially dislike the journey through the corridor to the far building to grab the yellow key. Generally, I don't think there should be *any* keys becessary in a start map. I also liked the rising and walking over the slime pit variant much better than the current approach.

I do like, however, that someone finally mangled out the technical issues with this map. Could we please keep it that way?

Old Post 09-19-13 17:05 #
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wesleyjohnson
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The previous walk-on-water across the pit is one of the things that was objectionable. It contradicts other levels that are using Deep Water for nukage. If nukage is a liquid and not a solid, then the player cannot be walking across the surface.

The keys are only there because I could not figure any other way.
I tried for two weeks to figure a way across that pit that would not conflict with the Deep Water. An idea of putting floating objects to walk across on is still possible, but would be tedious to setup, and they would not look very much like floating objects (especially if anyone got in the pit and looked at them from below). The best alternative is to put in a fallen bridge. But it is difficult to put into Deep Water if part of it must stick out as the nukage level changes. I know enough about the difficulties to not try that casually.
I would need some greater encouragement. The major problem is that the linedefs that change flats are one use and not reversible.

Getting out the pit at the other end is also a problem. I played with various ideas such as, a lift (but the bottom would have to be solid, and it would have to come up out of the nukage),
some metal wreckage that the player could climb (would have to be solid beneath, and different parts would be exposed as nukage level changes).

With all these technical problems, it was much easier to find some way to use the existing passage around the nukage pit.

Does anyone has any better ideas and are they willing to spend the time and effort to implement them ?

The blue key is there because it allows the blue door to be used for deathmatch, while keeping it closed for single play. I tried other solutions but they had other problems. For design reasons that new room really should have a door to the center court. For game play it is necessary to keep the player from using it, so it is locked.
There are other ways to block it too, but a key was the simplest, and allowed the door to be used in deathmatch.

The yellow key does not have to be in the far building. I did not want to make it too close. There does not have to even be a yellow key, the player could just use the door, but that seemed too simplistic and totally removed the only puzzle in the first map.
I provided a second key. The player can lower the nukage level, jump in the pit to get the yellow key, take the health, and go down the nukage drain right to the door.
The second key in the far building is for those players that cannot bring themselves to jump into a nukage pit.
If you jump into the nukage pit then it does not play that differently than crossing the nukage pit (it still hurts), and you do not have to visit that far building at all. Could move that key around, but I placed it so it looked like stuff had fallen off the far platform. If it is placed too close to the first platform, then the player cannot see the key. The player could also jump from the broken window into the pit, grab the key and continue. They take slightly less damage that way.

This first time I played Map01, I spent 15 to 20 minutes trying to find the path to the far building. That is a frustration that a player should not encounter on the first map. The path may be long, but it is simple. The only complexities are to keep it from being too straight and boring. It could have been a walk across the surface, but that would have other problems with that broken surface, and in play would not have been different.

Last edited by wesleyjohnson on 09-20-13 at 04:01

Old Post 09-20-13 03:45 #
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fabian
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I see your point with regard to the "deep water" nukage.

Maybe it was just that walk through the long straight tunnel to the far building that annoyed me. Honestly, I did not even find the second yellow card in the nukage and thus believed that walk was mandatory. On the other hand, I believe having two identical cards on an early level is even more confusing. I believe I'd prefer if the far building was only reachable via a teleporter secret from the opposite room.

As I understand it, the blue key was added primarily for DM, but it is also present in SP and I was really confused why I should open that door at all - with the exit switch already at sight.

tl;dr: I think the far building should be strictly a bonus secret and have its yellow key removed (and a goodie added, maybe a SSG or RL). The other yellow key should be placed more prominently and the jump into the pit could even become mandatory. I am not sure about the blue key, though, but in general I believe the puzzles in a start map should be kept at bare minimum (c.f. E1M1 or MAP01).

Old Post 09-20-13 10:39 #
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wesleyjohnson
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Here are some more issues that make a difference in providing alternative lines of play for the various kinds of players.
There are various kinds of players, such as snipers, rush-fighters, and explorers. I like to explore, and snipe, and I avoid taking damage like it was a game killer.

When you are trying to explore, teleporting is like a cheap sugar-substitute. It is not satisfying teleporting to and from the far-building, it had to be a passage. Being offered a teleport instead looks like the designer was too lazy to lay down a few linedefs to create a real passage. Because so many levels have used teleports to blindly shove the player into the midst of monsters, I will no longer use any teleport until I have totally exhausted any other way of exploring a level. Rush-fighters may enjoy that kind of thing, but careful-players hate that. Passages are more neutral.

Snipers also prefer the opportunity to shoot from the far-building.
I do not like having to take a lift into monsters waiting at the top, and will shoot them from the far-building first. This does not work if the player cannot get to the far-building before taking the lift.
This is a very satisfying way to defeat this trap that other careful players will prefer too.

Because I prefer to not take any damage, I would have to be forced to jump into that nukage pit, and being forced to jump into damaging nukage would down-rate the level for me. That is why it is important to have an alternative to the pit, .. thus the yellow key in the far-building.
This requires that the far building be accessible before the pit is crossed, or have some way to cross the pit without taking damage from the nukage.

Having to jump into the nukage is like the player not being smart enough to figure out the puzzle.
Jumping into nukage is one of the stupid things that players learn to avoid. There should be a rad-suit nearby, but the original level did not have one and it seemed to be the intent to cause the player to take damage.

Not having a yellow key in the pit would remove the reason for having the nukage level lowered (or raised). So a yellow key in the pit was necessary. Having a button in the pit just does not make sense.

As one of the yellow keys is important to different player types, having two yellow keys is not easily avoided. If they were buttons it would be easier to hide the fact. Having two ways to open a door has been used in many maps before, it is just not often done with two keys. Keys make more sense than buttons opening doors from far locations.

Trying to be rid of the blue key would leave a door that cannot be opened. Even in single play, and even after all monsters have been defeated, an explorer will use that blue key to open the door, and revisit the rest of the map to pickup health if nothing else.
It is satisfying to open that last door, even if it just leads back to areas already explored. Even playing the level again, I cannot leave that last door unexplored, and as a careful-player will backtrack to find any remaining health to prepare for the jump to the unknown dangers of the next level.

IDEA 1: Remove the blue key. Change the blue door to an emergency exit that only works in one direction. Give it another copy of the exit sign (dirty trick, exit and find yourself outdoors again). To stop monsters from opening the door must block it with a no-monster linedefs or some exploding barrels.

IDEA 2: Move the start to halfway up the long corridor to the far building. Then it is not so far up that direction.
Could flip the start area around vertically to work better with that, but leave the position of that falling ceiling where it is.

Last edited by wesleyjohnson on 09-23-13 at 02:10

Old Post 09-20-13 19:40 #
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fabian
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wesleyjohnson said:
When you are trying to explore, teleporting is like a cheap sugar-substitute. It is not satisfying teleporting to and from the far-building, it had to be a passage. Being offered a teleport instead looks like the designer was too lazy to lay down a few linedefs to create a real passage.


I disagree. If the teleporter has to be found as part of a secret, it actually feels like a revard being able to use it. It shouldn't be "just there", though.

Look, when I first played that map, I also got the impression that it should be somehow posible to reach that far building. I ran back and fourth through that level and tried to push everything that remotely looked like a switch or a door or whatever. Then I gave up and idclip'd there, just to find out that it's an inactive part of the level that apparently was not meant to be reached at all. That realization was a bit frustrating, but trying to get there was actually fun!

Now there is a tunnel to that building from the very first corridor. It is just there. No need to explore the level for a secret switch or door anymore. That's less fun IMHO.


wesleyjohnson said:
Not having a yellow key in the pit would remove the reason for having the nukage level lowered (or raised). So a yellow key in the pit was necessary. Having a button in the pit just does not make sense.


That would have been my next question: If we do not have to cross the slime anymore, why should it still be possible to lower or raise it? Does it make any sense to raise it at all? Granted, I did not even see the yellow key card in there at first sight.

Old Post 09-23-13 08:56 #
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Jon
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Hi,

Firstly thanks for taking an interest in improving the level and fixing the issues.

However I agree with fabian that a lot of the substantive changes are not appropriate for a slot in MAP01, imho.

The original map, flow-wise, was constructed to be quite similar to Doom's E1M1. As such it's largely linear with no keys and no challenging puzzles to complete. The stair-well from the downstairs foggy region to the last room was intended to be for DM only, as the only purpose of that stairwell is to improve the flow of deathmatch games. Similarly, the stand-alone bunker thing that is visible from the high-altitude room was eye candy for SP, and a place to drop another DM spawnpoint for DM. The new corridor to the bunker is a bit too narrow for DM play and somewhat long for a single journey in SP, especially since one must return the same way. I don't think MAP01 should offer much in the way of branching routes.

In DM play, all players start with all keys.

Regarding the ooze: Freedoom as a whole has to decide whether to be consistent across all maps or not before it's worth making substantive changes in one direction or the other in the interests of consistency. I would argue that it is much too much work to bother adjusting every map to have deep water slime (or vice versa, but I suspect that solid slime is more common). Take note that, since it's a boom feature, all official maps and nearly all PWADs have "solid" slime, so it's well understood by any existing Doom player, and any new player that plays the official WADs will learn that it behaves in that way too.

Old Post 09-23-13 14:10 #
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wesleyjohnson
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Jon, that last sentence about Boom is a load of BS. I am condensing that from the several pages that I keep deleting. Please, think of something better if you don't like my work.
I was no-clipping through the hidden door of map01 because it would be stupid to jump into a nukage pit.
I just figured the map was broken like some other FreeDoom levels.
It has nice railings, foggy atmosphere, decent details, and then this engine-exploit trick pit crossing from before mappers knew how to do better.

Old Post 09-24-13 22:22 #
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fraggle
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I also concur that these changes make the level excessively complex for MAP01. Key hunts and deep slime are completely inappropriate.

My personal opinion is that the current version of MAP01 is also too complex and too difficult. If anything, we should be working to make the level simpler, not add more parts to it. I analyzed the design of Doom's E1M1 a while back to show how it's such a well-designed first level. I'd love to see Freedoom strive for something like that.

Old Post 09-25-13 13:31 #
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Jon
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wesleyjohnson said:
Jon, that last sentence about Boom is a load of BS.


Please don't be rude.


I am condensing that from the several pages that I keep deleting.


Sorry I don't understand what you mean.


Please, think of something better if you don't like my work.


I didn't say I didn't like your work; indeed I'm grateful that you are spending your time thinking about improving the existing maps. I gave honest critical appraisal and I'd be happy to discuss it more if someone is prepared to engage with it, rather than discount it.


I was no-clipping through the hidden door of map01 because it would be stupid to jump into a nukage pit.


That's an interesting reaction. I'm quite surprised. The raise-the-water-level thing is a well-used technique in quake-era games, in fact I'd virtually call it a trope (also partially responding to Fraggle's point that it's too complex here). I'd be interested to know what others felt on first hitting this.


engine-exploit trick pit crossing from before mappers knew how to do better.


What do you mean by engine exploit? the map is not using self-referencing sectors, which was an engine exploit to fake deep water prior to Boom.

Old Post 09-25-13 21:42 #
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fabian
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Jon said:
That's an interesting reaction. I'm quite surprised. The raise-the-water-level thing is a well-used technique in quake-era games, in fact I'd virtually call it a trope (also partially responding to Fraggle's point that it's too complex here). I'd be interested to know what others felt on first hitting this.


There are exactly two situation in which you have to use your brain in this level: First, when the first door in the first corridor does not immediately open and second, when you need to find a solution to pass the slime pit. Granted, that's two more situations than in the original E1M1, but the level still feels very balanced and gives a nice introduction into the game.

Maybe you like the following idea. I have added a third bridge fragment which (a) makes the walk over the slime gap less painful or (b) provides a shortcut between the outer area and the exit room for those who dare to jump and are not keen at reaching 100% kills:

http://greffrath.com/~fabian/map01.wad

Old Post 10-01-13 20:23 #
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wesleyjohnson
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That one sentence implies things that I do not agree with.
I still cannot reply to it without having to delete everything before hitting send.

Old Post 10-01-13 23:32 #
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fraggle
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Jon said:
That's an interesting reaction. I'm quite surprised. The raise-the-water-level thing is a well-used technique in quake-era games, in fact I'd virtually call it a trope (also partially responding to Fraggle's point that it's too complex here). I'd be interested to know what others felt on first hitting this.
It's a perfectly valid trope to use, I just think it's too much for the first level.

My position is that I think the first level ought to be so simple that (modulo a few monsters in your path trying to stop you) you should be able complete it by just running through it. For an experienced player it really ought to be that simple. It's the first level of the game. Doom E1M1 and Doom II MAP01 are examples of what I'm talking about.

I linked to my analysis of E1M1 in my earlier comment. It explains in detail how E1M1 is a really good first level. I'd really like to see that experience reproduced - not in level structure, but in the careful, gentle ramping up of difficulty so that complete beginners can play the game.

MAP01 as it stands today is a really nice level. I just don't like it as an experience for the first level. As soon as you start the game there's a monster coming for you, you're having to solve switch puzzles and before long you're getting blasted in the face by shotgun sergeants at close range. It seems like too much.

People will point out that FPS games are much more common now than they were 20 years ago, and that's true. But I think the design principles of Doom's E1M1 are still relevant today. There might be people out there for whom Freedoom is the first FPS they ever play (especially as it's in Debian's package repository). There might be people for whom Freedoom is the only free game they can play - given Doom's ability to run on old, low-spec hardware, that's not so unlikely.

First impressions count for a lot. If the first impression as a new player is that the game is too hard, you might not want to play it any further. It's no fun being killed when you're still learning the controls. Maybe I'm completely wrong and there aren't any complete newbies like this even playing Freedoom, but there's nothing to lose and plenty to gain by taking it into account.

Old Post 10-02-13 01:12 #
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wesleyjohnson
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Am I the only one that sees this as leading to another Boom vrs Vanilla vote?
When did FreeDoom become retro-Doom. Are we going to bring back any other warts from the pre-Boom age, just for nostalgia.
One reason for wanting Boom is because it offers much better modeling of water and nukage.

Map01 also introduces the theme of the rest of the wad, and that treatment of nukage is not compatible with what other maps did using Boom water. That use of nukage is not even internally consistent within Map01, as it can clearly been seen everywhere to be flowing like water, even on the sides of the pit. That kind of deception is something for a joke wad. Use it on Free-Ult-Doom if you want a
retro-wad.

Everything complex is caused by having to cross that pit as a puzzle, and just removing or unlocking those doors on the twisty stairs would solve that.

I tried many ways to try to cross that pit and was not satisfied with any of my attempts. The only thing that felt right was when I closed it off with the fencing. It ought to be warning the new player that nukage is dangerous and to stay out of it. That is important to
the levels that follow.
You want to screw up that message for a joke puzzle solution.

Sure there are newbies, and there are people who just heard of Doom.
I met someone who's husband is a Doom player. With so many games there are plenty that won't play past the first map if they see something they don't like. Too many other games that look better.

Last edited by wesleyjohnson on 10-02-13 at 22:20

Old Post 10-02-13 22:04 #
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fraggle
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wesleyjohnson said:
Am I the only one that sees this as leading to another Boom vrs Vanilla vote?
When did FreeDoom become retro-Doom.


Not my point at all. Starting with an easy level that ramps up the difficulty gradually and teaches the player the basics of the game is just good design. As I explicitly stated in my previous comment, I'm not asking to see a recreation of E1M1 in terms of level structure: I want to see the "experience" recreated.

Other games like Half Life teach people how to play by using "training" levels that explicitly teach people the different controls. E1M1 is essentially the same, except it does it implicitly without you noticing. That's what I would like to see.


Everything complex is caused by having to cross that pit as a puzzle
I agree with this, but I don't think your changes are the right solution.

Old Post 10-03-13 15:52 #
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Phml
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I'd be interested to know what others felt on first hitting this.


I remember I was confused at that part and ran around for a while before figuring it out.

Old Post 10-03-13 17:26 #
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wesleyjohnson
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I am completely in agreement that Map01 teaches the basics, and would be better without puzzles and keys. But teaching them to walk-on-water when other maps are going to kill them when trying that, is misleading.

Deep Water is not a puzzle, it is an truer representation of fluid.
The player does not have to figure it out, it behaves more naturally than the "solid" nukage idea, which is the alternative that is weird.

I have no problem taking out that whole pit, or making it totally inaccessible to the player. That will fix it too.

It could also be left deep water, with or without buttons.

Leaving it as ankle-deep nukage without raising the level would also remove the misleading clash, without having to use deep water.

The keys are only there because I was trying not to delete parts of the existing design. Once someone agrees that we will have to make significant changes or deletions in those areas, the keys will go.
I keep proposing alternatives, but all I get are blanket statements
about how complex the whole is, which is of no help at all.

It is much easier if those twisty stair doors can be left unlocked.
Please respond upon that idea.

Old Post 10-04-13 23:34 #
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wesleyjohnson
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Map01 Ver4.

I ended up making changes based on my own suggestions.
The pit is still there and still has Deep Water, it can be ignored or explored. Tested map at all skill levels and deathmatch.

File: http://www.sendspace.com/file/0sl780

CHANGES Rev4, by Wesley Johnson:
Removed keys.
Twisty stair bottom door is now unlocked, and not secret.
Pump room door is unlocked from inside, cannot open from outside.
Pump room door has exit sign.
Pit is obstacle, not a puzzle. Only bodies in pit. Can jump in,
leave through duct, raise and lower level, and shoot across.
Moved far building to shorten long corridor.
Moved start out of sight of any monsters.
Distributed items on stair around map.
Added shotguns, for each skill, around map. Need to get shotgun before must tackle imps. Can also get one from shotgun-guy, except in EASY.
Added EASY and MED ammo in far building.
Spread out HARD skill monsters in first hanger.
Combined sectors and smoothed the tree pit near the start.
Made light linedefs and other clutter lines no-map.
More texture alignment.

Old Post 10-10-13 22:49 #
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fraggle
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I literally have no idea how to download from this site. All I see are adverts with fake "Download" buttons. There doesn't even seem to be a real download button.

Can you please use a different website?

Old Post 10-11-13 18:59 #
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Springy
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I could download it fine, I have re uploaded it to media fire for you. http://www.mediafire.com/download/b...on_map01_04.zip

Old Post 10-11-13 23:49 #
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fabian
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This is not meant as an offense, but how is it possible that this guy [1] releases a full-blown 32-level high-quality mega-wad including music (!) within six weeks and the Freedoom project is still arguing about map01?

[1] http://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mo...d-300-linedefs/

Old Post 10-14-13 10:58 #
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andrewj
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fabian said:
This is not meant as an offense, but how is it possible that this guy [1] releases a full-blown 32-level high-quality mega-wad including music (!) within six weeks and the Freedoom project is still arguing about map01?


Well he didn't make a couple hundred textures, sprites, or sounds from scratch.

Plus people with lots of talent tend to want to work on their own projects, rather than join a big team and blend in with a bunch of less talented people.

Also, the vision of a single person is often better than the consensus of a large committee, especially in artistic fields like mapping.

Old Post 10-14-13 15:48 #
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fabian
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andrewj said:
Well he didn't make a couple hundred textures, sprites, or sounds from scratch.


Of course, and I didn't mean to negate this effort. I was just seriously asking how all of this effort could get finished while there is still no consensus on features as basic as map01.


Plus people with lots of talent tend to want to work on their own projects, rather than join a big team and blend in with a bunch of less talented people.


Well, the histories of Memento Mori, Requiem, Alien Vendetta and DTWID tell different stories...


Also, the vision of a single person is often better than the consensus of a large committee, especially in artistic fields like mapping.


I think this is the major point and also the main reason why huge open source projects tend to become sluggish in terms of development. Compare, for example, the development of x.org versus wayland.


However, back to topic: I like wesleyjohnson's latest iteration of map01 a lot more than the previous one but still have some remarks.

1) I still believe the far building should only be reachable by means of a secret. Maybe the switch that opens the first door in the first corridor could be left in place and a secret door added next to it that opens the tunnel to the far building. A goodie should be left there (RL maybe) that turns sniping the mosters in the opposite building into some more fun.

2) With the twisted stairway accessible by default, it makes no sense to raise and lower the slime pit anymore. I think the pit should be either left empty of full (with deep water/slime effect applied) and one of the switches in the cellar room should be changed to open the door to the stairway nearby. Also, could the railing on the defunct bridge be changed so that it looks damaged (and thus passable) instead of intentionally spared?

Old Post 10-14-13 16:52 #
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Jon
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I've just had a quick run through maps 1-10 from the latest nightly:

  • two maps (7 and 8) have no liquids
  • 1 map had boom water (9)
  • 6 maps had "solid"/non-boom/doom water

So if there is genuine consensus that non-boom liquids are bad, there's a *LOT* of work to do.

Old Post 10-14-13 17:22 #
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wesleyjohnson
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This is not about refusing to use non-Boom liquids. It is easy to use a non-Boom liquid as long as it is only ankle deep or there is some other way to rationalize what is being walked upon. What bothered me was map01 having a direct contradiction to the nukage model being used by other maps. The map forced the player to walk across a deep liquid to finish. There is no possible rationalization that it is some solid block under the liquid. It was not something that could just be ignored by those who want to play doom maps with a little deeper immersion.


I know, the pit seems superfluous now, but it does provide atmosphere.
When the nukage is lowered, there are bodies visible, a warning of what happens to those who venture into nukage.

The controls can be played with, without the action being necessary to solve the level. I usually have a few optional use buttons just to vary from having every button seen be pushed without thinking.
I prefer to make a level that provides options to the player.
This requires that the optional paths and controls are not necessary to finish.

It is tempting to try to tie it into something else, but it always seems to involve jumping into the pit again.

Far building as secret?
Problems:
- I have no secret item to give. The level is too simple to need one.
- It is the first place I go to get those guys on the balcony, because it don't like to take damage when I come up the lift.
- Almost anything I do to hide the passageway is going to add complexity (which was commented on before that map01 should not be complex).
- The whole far building and passage could be shifted to the right and connected to the spiral stairway. That would make it appear later in the play. That makes the entrance very simple.
- Still don't have an idea on how to make it secret. Already have one secret that is exposed just by walking over a line trigger.
- Could it just be difficult to find the door, without being SECRET ?
Could extend some of the lower nukage passages in that direction and hide the passage to the far building along it ??

I would prefer to use SpeedyShare but it no longer works, no matter what browser or combination I try. This site is the only alternative that I have been able to get working with Mozilla on WinXP with a dial-up (I don't know which of those is causing the problem).

Last edited by wesleyjohnson on 10-15-13 at 23:12

Old Post 10-15-13 22:59 #
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Jon
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fabian said:
This is not meant as an offense, but how is it possible that this guy [1] releases a full-blown 32-level high-quality mega-wad including music (!) within six weeks and the Freedoom project is still arguing about map01?


It's depressing to watch Freedoom continue to flail about in this fashion, even if I am culpable. IMHO what the project needs is clear direction, which it never really had. We always ran it as "get to 100%!" the main priority with other concerns largely ignored.

When this MAP01 was originally created, over 5 years ago now, there was no real discussion about what should or should not be present in the first map of the WAD. My guiding principles were to follow E1M1 quite closely it's a very clear homage I wanted to use some Boom effects, I wanted to reference the original, and I consciously wanted to make it a bit more challenging, a bit more difficult than E1M1 or MAP01 in Doom and Doom 2 are, because the audience for Freedoom was, IMHO at the time, people who will have more familiarity with FPS than the audience for Doom in 1993.


fraggle said:
My personal opinion is that the current version of MAP01 is also too complex and too difficult. If anything, we should be working to make the level simpler, not add more parts to it. I analyzed the design of Doom's E1M1 a while back to show how it's such a well-designed first level. I'd love to see Freedoom strive for something like that.


If we had done an excellent analysis 5 years ago like Fraggle has done for Doom's E1M1 and came to an agreement that our target audience was of a particular skill level (not that I agree with Fraggle that it should be comparable to someone in 1993), these principles would have guided the design of E1M1/MAP01 and probably all the other efforts poured into Freedoom.

In conclusion, I think establishing the guiding principles for Freedoom and setting them in concrete now would be a better use of time than continuing to bikeshed the existing resources further.


fabian said:
2) With the twisted stairway accessible by default, it makes no sense to raise and lower the slime pit anymore. I think the pit should be either left empty of full (with deep water/slime effect applied) and one of the switches in the cellar room should be changed to open the door to the stairway nearby. Also, could the railing on the defunct bridge be changed so that it looks damaged (and thus passable) instead of intentionally spared?


I haven't played wesleyjohnson's latest iteration, but I would say one reason to make the slime room passable is for DM flow. If the default SP route was adjusted so you went through the pump room underneath by default, avoiding walking over the nukage, the switch down there opened the (formerly-)DM-only steps up to the last room, then perhaps a switch in the last room could raise the slime level for improved DM flow, or raise a bridge from the slime, which would address wesleyjohnson's concern RE the handling of deep liquids.


wesleyjohnson said:
This is not about refusing to use non-Boom liquids. It is easy to use a non-Boom liquid as long as it is only ankle deep or there is some other way to rationalize what is being walked upon. What bothered me was map01 having a direct contradiction to the nukage model being used by other maps. The map forced the player to walk across a deep liquid to finish. There is no possible rationalization that it is some solid block under the liquid. It was not something that could just be ignored by those who want to play doom maps with a little deeper immersion.


I've had no trouble rationalising it as a very high liquid viscosity, personally.


Far building as secret?
Problems:



Have you ruled out leaving it as a region the player can't reach at all, as it was?

Old Post 10-17-13 14:00 #
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wesleyjohnson
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From earlier in this thread: This first time I played Map01, I spent 15 to 20 minutes trying to find the path to the far building. That is a frustration that a player should not encounter on the first map.

I covered so many of the conflicting issues in the second and fourth posts, that I hate to just repeat all that.

Having the far room be for deathmatch is not a problem, but having it be inaccessible to single players was frustrating, and I was not the only one frustrated.
To be seriously for deathmatch, the far building needs a second exit, and players on the lift need protection from being immediately shot from the far building.

The disconnected rooms off to the right also got attention because they look like rooms. That is why I stripped them of details.


The pit is passable now, but only into the lower level. Trying to put in a stair, lift, or ladder immediately runs into technical problems with Deep Water effects, that could only be solved by other major changes to the pit. That is why I abandoned going into the pit.

To put in a ladder from the pit, the fluid level has to be fixed so it cannot cross any ladder rungs.

I do like the raising and lowering of the level. Because of the technical difficulties with Deep Water crossing rungs on any ladder or stairs exiting the pit, it could only be done on a pit like this which is no longer in the critical path. I would also like to keep my level repeater at the remote switches (the blue post). Neither of these are likely to ever be seen in any other level map.

It would be easier to have a walkway around the pit.
A walkway around would have to either cross the windows, or the existing nukage flows (which would require a jump). That is why I abandoned that idea and opened the twisty stairs with no key.
Or subdivide it into two pits with a walkway between them, (but there would be no way out of one of the pits).

I see no reason to lock the twisty stair door again, not even with a button. The door could be harder to find and narrower, but that idea would require turning the last descent of stairs.

Last edited by wesleyjohnson on 10-18-13 at 20:24

Old Post 10-18-13 20:05 #
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fraggle
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fabian said:
This is not meant as an offense, but how is it possible that this guy [1] releases a full-blown 32-level high-quality mega-wad including music (!) within six weeks and the Freedoom project is still arguing about map01?

[1] http://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mo...d-300-linedefs/

Because of the lack of creative vision. I've written about this before.

Personally I'd be happy to throw away all of Freedoom's existing maps if it meant getting a complete set of 32 maps that were carefully thought out, had a single consistent vision, and good progression of story and (above all else!) difficulty. That's not to say that Freedoom doesn't have some great existing maps: I'm thinking in terms of the overall project.

Old Post 10-18-13 20:45 #
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Jon
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fraggle said:
Because of the lack of creative vision. I've written about this before.

Personally I'd be happy to throw away all of Freedoom's existing maps if it meant getting a complete set of 32 maps that were carefully thought out, had a single consistent vision, and good progression of story and (above all else!) difficulty. That's not to say that Freedoom doesn't have some great existing maps: I'm thinking in terms of the overall project.



I agree completely here. I'd sacrifice all existing resources, not just maps (which is to say: I'd critically evaluate all resources against the consistent vision, should there be one)

Old Post 10-20-13 10:33 #
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wesleyjohnson
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How is that different than starting a new wad project, and just borrowing existing stuff that fits?

How about this for a FreeDoom design direction. Design to modern standards. There have been 15 years of improvements since id did its maps. Let us no longer defend designs based upon some old Id level having done the same before. Any attempt to improve levels is constantly fought against, and it seems to involve "I saw it in some old level map".


I looked at moving the passage to the far building to the lower level.
It would make that passage much longer, which would probably bother fabian. It would hide the path somewhat, but I am not sure how much.
It would be a really roundabout trip to get there before going up the lift to get the armor.

I am starting to think that the last version I submitted is going to be as good as it gets unless there is some give on adding or removing some significant design element.

Look back over this whole discussion. How many of the alternative ideas I have suggested have been accepted or modified in any comment by anyone else ? General rejection I get plenty, mostly leading back to restoring the original level map as it was.

Old Post 10-22-13 04:35 #
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