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Demon of the Well
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SteveD said:
There were other secrets I never figured out, for example in one of the E1M2 computer maze homages, a Compspan wall was clearly a secret door, but how you get it open is a mytsery to me.


That one is just like the start of the optional blue key leg in E1M3--it's a little button recessed directly into a wall in a nearby room in the same bluefloor/computer area, closer to the central kiosk.

As far as episodes I could suggest, a lot of the ones I was thinking of are in the 9-12 map range, but a couple of shorter ones that I think are are really cool are Exl's Demons of Problematique I (3 main maps + 2 mostly cinematic ones) and II (5 maps), and Hell Ground (7 maps, with one of them being a non-combat intermezzo), which is one of my favorites by DeadAll/Eternal. He actually has a number of worthwhile shorter mapsets, ala Epic, but I didn't actively suggest that one because I was kind of hoping to lobby for the Club to do Epic 2 (which is a full megaWAD) eventually, heh. One small potential problem with these is that players married to a very specific port will have to use ZDooM/GZDooM for the first one, GZDooM for the second, and GZDooM or GLBooM+ (which comes bundled with PrBooM+) for the last one (although all three follow mostly traditional DooM gameplay), but hopefully that wouldn't be too much of an issue.

As far as brand-spanking new episodes go, if it's seen as important that the episode be contemporary like the megaWAD it's paired with, I'm also interested in Ribbiks' new "Stardate" release, which is something like 7-8 maps, if memory serves. I guess apparently it's quite difficult--I've seen it described as being Death-Destinyesque--and moves into slaughtermap territory near its conclusion, but neither of those things is a turnoff for me.

What's Dinner.WAD? The filename doesn't ring a bell, but if it has a proper name I might know of it.

....and as for A Taste for Blood, I played that back around when it came out a few months ago. Apart from ending on a pretty painful anticlimax, it's worthwhile. I most clearly remember a map called something like "Base X Near Lake Therion", which was not just worthwhile, but really excellent.

All that being said, I'd be just as happy to play Hellbound next month, which is a full set that doesn't need episodic supplementation.

Old Post 05-31-13 05:34 #
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dobu gabu maru
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It completely passed my mind that Ribbiks has a new release out--I'd cast my vote towards that as well, keeping with the theme of newer wads released; I figure the less "hardcore" oriented people can use those days as a break. His maps are usually unyielding fierce, so it'll be fun to hop aboard the pain train.

Old Post 05-31-13 05:50 #
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Capellan
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So do we actually have a plan for next month? Or an official short list, at least? :)


Demon of the Well said:
players married to a very specific port will have to use ZDooM/GZDooM for the first one, GZDooM for the second, and GZDooM or GLBooM+ (which comes bundled with PrBooM+) for the last one


I default to PrBoom+, but as long as the text file specifies the required port, I don't mind using others.

Old Post 05-31-13 05:57 #
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SteveD
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E1M7 Ė Kills Ė 97, Items Ė 97, Secret Ė 60. Time Sucks. End Health 128, Armor 82, Death Count Ė 8

According to GZDoom, this map has 587 monsters on UV. According to DeepSea shareware, it has 602. One of them is wrong, but either way, this map has a shitload of monsters.

This map is phenomenal, even though I found it kinda easy except for a couple areas, notably the yellow key trap. You start the map outside, where you are greeted with some world-championship shadowcasting. I have never seen better shadowcasting than in these maps, and Iím surprised so few people mentioned it. This map in particular, with the galaxy throwing down shadows from a structure on a high wall is simply stunning.

Thatís not the only nifty bit of Doom construction. The nukage pool surrounding the blue key shack has some tiny sectors there to drop the nukage pool to 8 units below the lower walkway, just so it looks better when you finally get down there. This is just one of the many bits of expert construction seen throughout this mapset.

The fights are a bit tougher as you go along than in E1M6, with many sneakily-placed monsters to snag a bit more of your health as they emerge from around corners or snipe you from on high. Thereís also a lot of distraction monsters who grab your attention while better-placed buddies pump rounds into you. Itís quite entertaining, though not quite enough to put you in serious jeopardy if you stay alert. Of course, I came into the map in great shape, but I was down to about 100 health when I encountered the red key trap, which dropped me to 69. It was a fun battle, too, with its timed doors. Iíve never used timed doors, but this mapset has me rethinking that.

The yellow key trap was the best fight in the map. It was flat-out brutal. Almost all of my deaths occurred here. Wouldíve been almost easy if I had 200 plasma or so, but I only had 40. The construction of the walkways, stairs and maze was ingenious, and in some places, quite attractive. I only managed to survive when I was able to get almost alone with the Baron and haul out the plasma gun. Getting that bastard was the key to victory, because then I could get a little distance and bring out the rocket launcher. I think I was at 3% health when I finally survived this battle, but happily, because I came into the map with so much health and armor, I had left the place littered with Stimpacks, Medikits and a couple Green Armors. One of the reasons my time sucked is because I spent so much of it backtracking for health and armor when I got low.

The fight in the nukage-lowering area was another beauty, though much easier. This one owned my ass for some reason back in 2011, but with my badass new Always Run skills, I got through it on the first try this time. I also remembered how to get the Blue Armor, because once you press the switch to lower the nukage, you canít access it.

I died once by falling into inescapable nukage, and once in the final battle. I thought about trying to kill everything, but decided, like Alfonzo, to conserve ammo for E1M8.

Overall, this is a superb map and a fitting capstone for Double Impact. BTW, Iíd like to thank Alfonzo for showing me how to get the Soulsphere in his playthrough. I always cheated for that back in the day. Congrats to the R&R team for coming up with something so devious. I also appreciated the greater use of gradient lighting in this map. Lighting has been a strong suit in this mapset, but E1M7 exceeds the already high standards of previous maps.

Old Post 05-31-13 16:54 #
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SteveD
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E1M8 Ė DNF

What a bummer Ė because this map has a great concept and is completely, utterly badass. Unfortunately, 2 things went wrong. First, it was very late and I was exhausted after E1M7. Second, the Baron crushers did not work in Risen3Dís Basic Doom Mode. Having been killed a few times already, and being completely, utterly traumatized after getting cornered by all 4 Cybs, I decided there was no way Iíd pistol-start this puppy in GZDoom! ;D Iíll come back to this someday when Iím closer to Doom God status. Iím not even a Doom Angel yet. ;D

Overall thoughts on Double Impact: This is one helluva mapset. Until someone either makes a better E1 replacement, or someone can point me to a better one that already exists, I stand by my assertion that Double Impact is the best E1 replacement to have seen the light of day. Of course, itís not strictly E1, because it has the full Ultimate Doom bestiary, and it uses some textures from E2 and E3. So itís really more E1ish than truly E1. And thatís fine with me! :)

Double Impact actually has a more hi-tech feel than Knee Deep or Fava Beans, in no small measure because itís so much more detailed. This shows up in all kinds of ways, from the massive number of computer panels, the high-ceilinged rooms with terraced textures above, to the incredible and often very intricate lighting and shadowcasting. In every way, shape and form, right down to the fight design, Double Impact is a master class on Doom design.

However . . .

On this playthrough, I noted some issues. The biggest one is that the mapset is not quite optimized well enough for continuous players. On the first 3 maps plus the secret map, I was rarely above 50% health. From E1M4 onward, I was usually above 80%. I also had plenty of ammo in these later maps, because there are so many Sergeants on UV. True, hi-test ammo was scarce, but by conserving rockets a bit, I always had plenty when needed. The issue with rockets was more one of, ďAll these damned critters are too close for me to use the rocket launcherĒ than it was of ammo. Plasma was the big problem. I wanted lots more of that!

The easiest solution for continuous-play balance, if thereís ever an update, is to ratchet up the Caco and Baron numbers. The later maps were crying out for Caco swarms. Just imagine how happy that would make Capellan. ;D More Barons as ammo sponges, and as threats in squinchier areas, would also be welcome. There was literally never a time from E1M4 onward where I said to myself, ďHoly shit, Iím down to 3 shells! What the fuck am I gonna do?Ē I think we need to have such times. Of course, thereís always a tipping point with Barons, where too many of them make a map sloggy and boring, but Iím confident that R&R can handle it.

Another issue was the tendency for confusion about where to go next. Also, in many cases the keys were not staged well, kinda like E1M5 of Fava Beans. Keys ended up tossed haphazardly on computer consoles, in corners, and so on.

Given that I played continuously, these are my favorite maps, in the order I encountered them;
E1M2 Ė a fast and frantic, highly interconnected romp where I spent most of the map at low health, and of course, the blinky computer maze was the highlight.
E1M9 Ė corridor-shooting dungeon-crawl action at its best; amazing interconnectivity and flow, pitch-perfect set-pieces and traps, a complete masterpiece.
E1M6 Ė who can forget the blinky maze of death? Call me crazy, but I loved it. Fantastic-looking map all around, with the single funniest trap battle for a Stimpack that Iíve ever seen. Talk about an underpowered prize! And the entry to this area was hilarious in Alfonzoís playthrough when he achieved the classic rocket-gib on the Sergeant. I fuckiní howled!
E1M7 Ė big, brawny, brutal, yet also amazingly sophisticated, clever, devious and evil in so many good ways.

So there you have it, Double Impact is a classic modern take on the original Doom themes. All I can say to R&R is, when will you do the rest of the episodes? Iím waiting, and not at all patiently! ;D

Old Post 05-31-13 17:47 #
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SteveD
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Final Thoughts On The Month

This month we played 3 episodes instead of a megawad, and I like the way it turned out.

Playing Coffee Break, a thoroughly modern Doom 2 mapset, in front of Fava Beans, was like going through an Indy 500 car crash before chilliní out at a Caribbean resort with some capirhinas and hotties in thongs on your lap; the difference in gameplay difficulty was that sharp. Then Double Impact brought us back into the land of raw brutality. In my view, each mapset is excellent in its own way. Coffee Break was all about small-map gameplay. The maps were very well-constructed and looked good, and the gameplay was often quite challenging, especially when Matt shifted over into assassination mode for the start of the maps. Fava Beans was very, very easy, and not just by comparison, but just plain easy. However, everything is relative. I watched Walterís UV pistol-start playthrough of E1M7, and he got killed 5 times. I was also reduced to 20% in one of the battles, so whether Fava is easy or not depends on your level of experience. Double Impact is like Fava might be if it had an extra 2,400 monsters. Despite the similarity in look, the feel is so different between these mapsets. Iíd also like to credit R&R for something I forgot to mention before, their excellent use of guardshacks and the various grate/fence textures. Also, inquiring minds want to know if Sector 177 of E1M1 is an homage to Sector 177 of Favaís E1M7. It sure looks that way.

As to my favorite, thatís complicated. My favorite is the undisputed champion, Fava Beans, but not because itís the best. I rate Double Impact as the best, with Coffee Break close behind. One of the main reasons I say that is because in some of the later Coffee Break maps, there was too much fighting in the same areas as fresh sets of monsters teleported in, or new monster closets were opened. I guess thatís one reason I like bigger maps such as those in Double Impact, I want to explore and fight in new environments rather than in the same ones over and over again. But paradoxically, one of the reasons Fava is my favorite is because, being so easy, itís a nice, relaxing way to check out some mad Doom mapping skills. Birkel was really far ahead of the pack in those days, and so was the sadly unprolific Ben Gates.

I also enjoyed watching videos from so many Doomers Ė Alfonzo, of course, but also Memfis, Suitepee, Walter, dew and myk. Watching mykís corner abuse and ammo-hoarding, I kept thinking, ďMan, itíll be hard to take this guy out.Ē As a mapper, every time I watch playthroughs, my mind instantly starts thinking of ways to kill or at least flush out the players, so all of this is really good for me.

A special note to Tarnsman, who mentioned his disappointment that ďno oneĒ in the Megawad Club liked Fava Beans. First, compliments to your taste, second, I guess this means Iím rendered to non-existent status. Have I not been vocal enough in my admiration for Fava Beans? Do I need to glue a megaphone to your ear and shout my praise into it? Just wondering. ;D

Old Post 05-31-13 18:22 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Capellan said:
So do we actually have a plan for next month? Or an official short list, at least? :)


Monochrome is our top contender since it's closest to being finished, unless a bunch of people vote another way. The thing is favorability for Hellbound and Monochrome is split down the middle for each poster, so it more or less feels like something I have to decide since everyone else is fine with one or the other. After that there's a whole bunch of choices we can make, but like I said I'm pulling for Stardate to keep in the theme of "new" wads, and I know at least Demon will join (although if it's just us two perhaps I should change it).

Anyone have any problems with this?

Old Post 05-31-13 18:27 #
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SteveD
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Demon of the Well said:


What's Dinner.WAD? The filename doesn't ring a bell, but if it has a proper name I might know of it.




I've heard people call it "What's For Dinner?" -- space Marine, obviously -- but that's not how it's listed at idgames, so I'm not sure. The file is dated 12/13/1995, and is a full E2 replacement. It's the polar opposite of Fava. Where Fava is beautiful but easy, Dinner is ugly as sin but has very solid gameplay. It would certainly dispel the notion that 1995 maps are inherently easy. Although it is pretty damned ugly, the author, Damian Pawlukanis, got better as he went along, and E1M7 is both a pretty cool-looking -- as opposed to good-looking -- map, and pretty sophisticated, with some interesting gameplay ideas. Looking back on it, I can see that I was inspired by some of the architecture and the general mean-spiritedness of it.

BTW, thanks for explaining that secret. Diabolical!

Old Post 05-31-13 18:31 #
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Ribbiks
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dobugabumaru said:
His maps are usually unyielding fierce, so it'll be fun to hop aboard the pain train.


lower difficulties have been implemented and were intended for those seeking more casual playthroughs. It's still pretty difficult yes, but you don't have to be a slaughter-guru to survive.

It's not too bad I swear :p

Old Post 05-31-13 18:33 #
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SteveD
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dobugabumaru said:


Monochrome is our top contender since it's closest to being finished, unless a bunch of people vote another way. The thing is favorability for Hellbound and Monochrome is split down the middle for each poster, so it more or less feels like something I have to decide since everyone else is fine with one or the other. After that there's a whole bunch of choices we can make, but like I said I'm pulling for Stardate to keep in the theme of "new" wads, and I know at least Demon will join (although if it's just us two perhaps I should change it).

Anyone have any problems with this?



I have no problems. I know nothing about these wads, so I'll let you decide. The only thing I will say is that anything someone might describe as "slaughter" or even remotely like "death-destiny" means I have time off from the club. ;D But I'm sure my absence will be more than compensated by slaughter fans eager to take on the hordes -- literally -- of Hell. ;D

Old Post 05-31-13 18:47 #
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cannonball
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Monochrome and Stardate would fit well, sounds like interesting times ahead.

Old Post 05-31-13 18:48 #
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SteveD
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Ribbiks said:


lower difficulties have been implemented and were intended for those seeking more casual playthroughs. It's still pretty difficult yes, but you don't have to be a slaughter-guru to survive.

It's not too bad I swear :p



Well, if you say so . . .

That means I'd have to decide between HMP and HNTR. If we play this, I'll do preliminary monster-count checks. ;D

Old Post 05-31-13 18:49 #
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Capellan
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Monochrome and Stardate would work for me, and if we do Stardate first it gives the Monochrome people a few extra days to wrap up.

Old Post 05-31-13 21:55 #
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Demon of the Well
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SteveD said:
I've heard people call it "What's For Dinner?" -- space Marine, obviously -- but that's not how it's listed at idgames, so I'm not sure. The file is dated 12/13/1995, and is a full E2 replacement. It's the polar opposite of Fava. Where Fava is beautiful but easy, Dinner is ugly as sin but has very solid gameplay. It would certainly dispel the notion that 1995 maps are inherently easy. Although it is pretty damned ugly, the author, Damian Pawlukanis, got better as he went along, and E1M7 is both a pretty cool-looking -- as opposed to good-looking -- map, and pretty sophisticated, with some interesting gameplay ideas. Looking back on it, I can see that I was inspired by some of the architecture and the general mean-spiritedness of it.

BTW, thanks for explaining that secret. Diabolical!


Hmm, it still doesn't ring a bell. Just goes to show that no matter how many of history's WADs you've played, there's always something else to look at out there. While I was not very kind to Old Man Fava this month, I don't actually have anything against very old WADs (even some of the easy ones), and I'd much prefer ugly-but-bloody to Fava's clean-but-G-Rated thing, so I'd be up for trying that sometime. Ever heard of DARKHELL.WAD? That's a quirky old E2 replacement from 1995 or so that has a special place in the void where my heart should be.

Old Post 05-31-13 22:01 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Capellan said:
Monochrome and Stardate would work for me, and if we do Stardate first it gives the Monochrome people a few extra days to wrap up.


Good idea. I'll throw it up as soon as I get the topic written.

Old Post 06-01-13 00:01 #
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SteveD
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Demon of the Well said:

Hmm, it still doesn't ring a bell. Just goes to show that no matter how many of history's WADs you've played, there's always something else to look at out there. While I was not very kind to Old Man Fava this month, I don't actually have anything against very old WADs (even some of the easy ones), and I'd much prefer ugly-but-bloody to Fava's clean-but-G-Rated thing, so I'd be up for trying that sometime. Ever heard of DARKHELL.WAD? That's a quirky old E2 replacement from 1995 or so that has a special place in the void where my heart should be.



I believe I have heard of DARKHELL.WAD, but I don't remember playing it. I'd be up for it, though. ;)

I was playing a well-known 3-map E2 or E3 set recently, very old, with gameplay that was almost survivalist. It was pretty good, but I forgot the name.

I looked at the text files for both Fava and Dinner. The Fava file said nothing about whether you can modify it, but Dinner specifically gives permission to make new maps based on the file. So I started messing with both. For Fava, the E1 Trauma Upgrade, for Dinner, an appearance upgrade to late '90s/early 2000s standards. I traumatized the first 2 maps of Fava so far, and when you start adding monsters, you can really feel how small the maps are. They get crowded in a hurry. For now, I'm just adding monsters, not closets or teleport traps. E1M2 has become a lot more fun. I spent most of my time between 13% and 40% health and got killed a few times. I'm guessing it would, in fact, be fairly easy to make Fava more difficult than Double Impact, mainly because the maps are so small and there's much less room for dodging once the critter population increases.

I'm doing these for my own amusement, not to release them. I could pass them around, though. I'm hoping that by working in Birkel's designs, some of his height-variation magic will rub off. ;)

Old Post 06-01-13 01:16 #
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Soldat
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It might be interesting how Monochrome would go. Obviously the look of the levels will be just about as much a non factor as possible, so that would give extra room to discuss design and gameplay. What levels can truly leave an impression based on modern design and gameplay alone?

Old Post 06-01-13 01:30 #
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Demon of the Well
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Oh, I wouldn't write off looks just yet. Whatever the texturing/colors will be like, structure itself is still an important part of aesthetics, and sometimes the combination of an interesting structure with an extremely simple color/lighting scheme can be quite striking.

I'm more curious about the gameplay styles we'll see. Given the unusual aesthetic strictures of the project, I wonder if the authors will have been inspired to create some strange gameplay concepts, as well.

Old Post 06-01-13 04:15 #
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SteveD said:
Also, inquiring minds want to know if Sector 177 of E1M1 is an homage to Sector 177 of Favaís E1M7. It sure looks that way.



Nope! It isn't actually.



SteveD said:
Fantastic-looking map all around, with the single funniest trap battle for a Stimpack that Iíve ever seen. Talk about an underpowered prize!


It's funny because it wasn't actually meant to be a joke or anything, I actually thought it was appropriate for the trap, thinking it was easy enough during testing to warrant only a stimpack for health. Looking back on it now though, I realize how ridiculous it is, and should have put a medikit there :P

Old Post 06-01-13 05:39 #
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Ralphis
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RottKing said:


Nope! It isn't actually.



How can you be so...sure...?

Old Post 06-01-13 06:07 #
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RottKing
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Because I made that area?!?! I've never played fava beans

Old Post 06-01-13 07:43 #
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Ralphis
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IF YOU SAY SO rottKING

Old Post 06-01-13 07:57 #
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SteveD
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RottKing said:


Nope! It isn't actually.



Thanks for answering! I guess, then, that this is the most remarkable example of convergent evolution since the wolf and the thylacine. ;D


RottKing said:

It's funny because it wasn't actually meant to be a joke or anything, I actually thought it was appropriate for the trap, thinking it was easy enough during testing to warrant only a stimpack for health. Looking back on it now though, I realize how ridiculous it is, and should have put a medikit there :P



You know, you're right, because it was easy, but it seemed so weird. I've never seen anything like it before. Sometimes, unintentional humor is the best. ;)

Old Post 06-01-13 10:16 #
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vdgg
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E1M4 - Kills - 85, Items - 43, Secret - 14. Death Count - 1. Total Time ~10:30 Final Time 9:03
OK I played this one before, so it definitely doesn't count as a first demo attempt. I remembered the YK bridge, but not much more. It's a good level.

E1M5 - Kills - 89, Items - 57, Secret - 11. Death Count - 11. Total Time well about half an hour; Final Time 10:38
I read some praises about this level and I'm surprised it was well received. I didn't see anything new here (new which wasn't present in the previous maps). I found it quite boring.

E1M6 - DNF
Better than the previous one (layout), too many homages (!?), the baron trap very good. However, when I died there, I switched to the kills HUD, there were about 30 monsters left. I wansn't interested enough to finish this one.

E1M7 - Finished with saves...
Starting room: grey brick with slime, secret. Looks like there's a "grey brick with slime" secret on every level. OTOH, this was the only secret I found :-P

I remember from watching dew's demos the final area with barons. It is good. Some other stuff here is good also. I liked the claustrophobic maze with a baron and gratings.

The blue key was too well-hidden for me(!) I had to use automap cheat.

A level which tries to be epic, and more or less succeeds... Not as good as Espi's stuff (b2b E2M6,E2M7, sid MAP03), not to be missed either. One thing I fail to understand is the logic behind the lighting in this area:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v...zps77827295.png

E1M8 - DNF of course.
I'm getting old. Two years ago I wouldn't probably complain about this one. After all, I recorded a demo on a really shitty E3M8 from end2, with a few spiders, cyberdemons and voodoo dolls everywhere. I totally agree with Capellan about using special tags on special levels. Cannonball, SteveD, you're not from my planet, guys... Congratulations to Memfis and WH-Wilou as they finished the map relatively quickly on their first attempts.

Old Post 06-01-13 21:15 #
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Memfis
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vdgg said:
One thing I fail to understand is the logic behind the lighting in this area:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v...zps77827295.png


Look at the moon/planet on the sky. :)

Old Post 06-01-13 21:27 #
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Doomworld Forums : Powered by vBulletin version 2.2.5 Doomworld Forums > Classic Doom > WADs & Mods > The DWmegawad Club plays: Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact

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