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ForeverViLe
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Soundblock said:


If you don't mind I'd like to try and make a run through it in the original file, to retain the original ammo counts and have the time played tally up right when and if I reach the end of map 30. If I get stuck, I'll check that file, or wait for beta 3. A missing texture or two won't spoil the broth.


EDIT: My beta test report, pt. III:

- map 15 (cont.): There are no items in the secret to the right of the exit room, at least not on the setting I'm playing (HMP). I could really use some ammo at this point, as I was down to single digits in all categories... First level where I had to resort to secret hunting to replenish ammo store. Found 4 out of 8 and moved on.

- map 16: Freaky start, I dig it! Seems the most advanced map in the features section thus far. I haven't played through a map with slopes before, and there's some nice sector effects I'd like to look later, to see how they're done. There seems to be no way out (and no damage taken), after getting blown off the map and into the small red chamber, following stepping on the sky after running for the switch on the wall in the outdoor area (I had reloaded last save to continue). Also note that you currently have to freelook to shoot the switch on the wall - putting the switch down a notch, onto default gun elevation is probably better, at least if encouraging players to use standard controls. The slope texture on the stairs becomes misaligned after you're locked into the room where the red key drops (cool encounter there). Since the map is so nicely aligned everywhere else, how about creating a lowered buffer-sector below the two side-by-side switches (one requiring a red key), so that the currently half-sliced monitors don't go into the floor? Also, how about a revenant in the room next door from there, so that the chair in the control room don't seem out of scale? The map carries a convincing sci-fi setting throughout - I felt like I was in some small UAC orbital space station. A bit like a fully detailed version of the hovering base in Mercenary, if anyone ever played that.

- Map 17: Immediately, nicely detailed and convincing ancient brickwork. Feels like I've time-ported to the bowels of a gothic keep. Hollowed walls and composited tiles set the bar high for expected detail throughout, and it delivers about tenfold. Rich organic caves, on themed with map 08, these type of caves are really hard and time consuming to do in any engine. Best library I've seen I think, and I'm a huge fan of in-game libraries - I've built a few myself. The barons have a lot of personality and authority, always a sign of a good level. A plethora of tasteful special effects throughout - the rusty midbronze style chandeliers are great, to name one. Pretty lenient liberties are being taken with what I'd consider a conventional room count, but with this much atmosphere I'm hardly complaining. Every creature has its function and place in this sooty underground keep, and it wouldn't be out of place if each of them had an NPC name floating over its head. Would love to play a whole episode of this, more RPG'ish, all-intentional playstyle. Generous ammo count - unlike the other map, this actually feels like the HMP setting I'm playing it on. Oh, and was the only archvile in the map _supposed_ to insta-die on teleporting in? That left me a bit stumped. The lack of a big boss fight at the end is quickly amended by being greeted by a Spider Mastermind roar at the onset of the next map. Masterclass Doom mapping on display, I have a lot to learn from maps like these.

- Map 18. Shootfest! After conserving ammo its nice to go nuts a bit. Open and airy map that ties in beautifully with the previous one. I almost fell out of my chair when the barons showed up with their entourage, fastest draw of the BFG so far! This map is the perfect contrast to the previous map, opening up to digestible yet challenging gameplay scenarios.

- Map 19. The thematical pairing of maps is helping this megawad retain its coherency, as with this map's similarity in initial layout to that of map 10. This plays very differently though, and seems almost impossible at first, though it helps that your ammo meters are all maxed, coming in. Is this even doable from pistol? Could be toned down for HMP at least, but it is a very very entertaining fragfest once you get into the fray and start tagging down the big hellions. I would definitely have added more health around the times you get keys/teleps. A frequent death-reloading map, but it is rock solid in design and execution. Tight as the eye of a needle. Good use of foreboding foreshadowing, with the packs of archvile-backed revenants lying in wait throughout. I have to say though; by the time the dynamic duo at the end showed up, I already felt like I had done enough to beat the map and charged for the exitswitch. The 5 Rooms wad kinda goes officially hardcore at this point. I again wave my white flag of HMP difficulty, and hope it is made abit easier on lower settings, to avoid clogging players from the later maps.

- Map 20. First impression: This looks like a better match to fit between current maps 16 and 17. It is green and techy to start with, like the end of 16, and it ends up thematically towards medieval, which is where current 17 is at. At the beginning, the map is by no fault of its own a tad anticlimactic, following on the bloodpounding templestomper precluding it. Once it settles into its own pace, it plays well. The grand hall behind the blue gate is nicely lit, open and spacious, reminding me of Jeff Easley's Monster Manual II cover. Nice bone-headed cybo to take down in there, though I evaded most the chaos by using the blue gate for cover, making sure I'd tagged the Pain Elemental first. I felt like a smart spacemarine, so props. However, the amount of floor-popping monster-sets along the trek around the blue gate structure (also, the path up to the yellow gate) get a bit predictable on the 5th or 6th set of monsters that pop in silently. I would suggest reducing the number of monsters and vary up how they appear a bit. E.g. maybe some of them old-school teleport in (green plasma-puff), and/or have groups be visible in the far distance, then a new set pops-in if you get close in on the ones in the distance. This is of course a general difficulty with large outdoor Doom maps in general, vs. the easier hiding of spawns in a corridor/mazy map, so repeating the same pop-ins can take away from the pace and lean towards grindy. Things pick up though. Fantastic elevator battle to get the red key - its like the Kung Fu Master arcade game of Doom rooms, with sectioned floors you take down one by one. Don't know how you did those up/down elevator switches, but having manual control there is great. In general, this is perhaps the most lenient map in granting ammo and health (minus plasma) so far. The author might want to rein that in a bit. I was regularily dancing over rocket-boxes with 100 in the inventory towards the end, which spells steamrolling on the start of the next map. As far as changing the play order of this map to fit in between current 16/17 or not, I would say it becomes a question of whether to place game balance or theme first. I wouldn't want to create a steam-roll ammocount for current map 17, but visually it sure fits well as a nice gradient transition. The _current_ transition to map 17 feels a bit abrupt, even if the two exit/start areas match up well there (the special start/end gates). But back to this map: If the level is rebalanced ammo-wise, I'd move in between 16/17. Its a good map regardless, but could be a great one if it focused its encounters/pick-ups on the areas where it shines; the dynamic mid-section, the manual elevator and the foresty monster manual II room. Lastly, is the Spider Mastermind area supposed to be marked as secret? It is the only way I found towards the exit. That, and I don't understand the "X" and "v" markings on the exit area, they seem a bit technical, but I jump in nonetheless. In short, this gem could use a bit more polish

- Map 21. Nifty little creepy keep of chaotic evil here. Is that 3D bridge multiplayer secure I wonder? A berserker pack wouldn't go amiss in here, I kept looking for one. Groovy bit of fortress defense neccessary to beat down the monster moats afer you return to the keep from the archvile crypt/encounter. Perhaps put the yellow key in a blackened niche or a glowing sector? I missed it due to hellknight corpses and ran around in circles for a while. Damn near went rogue to jump the stumps blocking the path up to the red gate, but kept calm and did another sweep. Extra health by the very exit-line would be great, and the exit itself could use being mark it with a gate, sign or glowline to help understand when it triggers. Nice craggy mountainous terrain up there...

- Map 22. Woah, perhaps the most convincing outdoor winter setting I've seen in Doom. Crosshairs looks like they might be required in here, though I usually like to play without them, as the paladin player in me think crosshairs smells of playing rogue style. Resisting the urge, I trudged through room 1 the paladin way, eventually winning out this reverse sniping while dodging the packs of hellknights that skulk around the pillar bases like vengeful gladiators escaping the colosseum. The next (VAST, yet free from Moiré patterns) chamber has a really nice subterrenean feel to it, set off by the grand courtyard before it. For reasons unknown I get a whiff of Ultima Underworld nostalgia, and waft around the room dodging fire and taking out immediate threats while looking for clues to solve the key gates. If map 20 was Jeff Easley then this is Gustav Dore. Grand scale and outer edge of range done right, I was constantly looking for that magical auto-aim limit to trigger, and had surprising amounts of fun doing so. The last room spells grandiose and I felt like an ant in there, clinging to my plasma gun like a raft in a flooding river. The very last onsalught though? Ridiculous. I should have gone for the exit like I had a few times before I guess, but I went for it. Emptied my shallow plasma stores + 100 rockets and finished the last 3 with chaingun. Over the top, but optional, so hey. Took an hour and 10 minutes to beat this leviathan of a level. Loved every minute.

- Map 23. Happy to see my map transitions well from the previous location, thematically. Feels a bit empty after the filled up maps that went before it. I see I missed a few maplines on the computer map, and I guess the pit archvile can go back in on HMP. Its certainly not too tough anyway. Here's an updated file, extracted from and built over the beta file, since that already has the right map number.

To be continued.


I'm glad that you liked map 15, wait for map 24 :D
Regarding map 19: I've been influenced by the harder maps of scythe2, alien vendetta, plutonia&plutonia2 and hr2.
I wanted to build a quite small map but a difficult one and I'm glad that it was successful.

Last edited by ForeverViLe on 07-18-14 at 11:29

Old Post 07-18-14 10:45 #
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Cell
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Soundblock:

On the comments of MAP17: I'm glad you liked it despite the fact it didn't load up several textures and some monsters were unable to teleport onto their spots (nevertheless, a mechanism at the very end of the level would've killed them anyway), I intended to do that as beautiful as I can, whilst learning from my severe mistakes made back in the Hadephobia mapset (I guess the term "Cellmap" is already often used for levels nicely detailed, but severe pain in the ass to play through, especially by tight spaces that prevent you avoiding projectile attacks and item/moster placement the player always bumps into whilst dodging/trying to proceed - see maps 19 and 33). I don't know what renders the AV dead, it was alive when I've playtested it (maybe the fault is me testing with ZDoom). Anyways, I eventually feel like it was worth participating in a CP seeing reputations such as this and CorSair's.

On the comments of MAP20: somehow I can see your point, but I begged to KoJ for the slot 17 and so. I assume anyone else wouldn't mind his/her map to be replaced, but I would. Sorry for this.

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Old Post 07-18-14 12:03 #
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Soundblock
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I'll make sure to check out the map again once we're out of beta. Generally, I wouldn't let numerology (Team 17 fan, I wonder?) get in the way of project coherency, but its your sticking point to wield as you will, I only just joined up. The project's hanging together much better thematically than what I would have expected with so many different authors, and for the most part exit/start transitions work really well. Its expecting a lot to have an entire 32 map community wad transition without jars, especially with so many different authors and only a reductionist project description as outset. Even getting close is an achievement.

Old Post 07-18-14 13:41 #
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CorSair
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So, I have another take on my map, starts from map 1. Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/d0g8sp47y...5rod_m25_B1.wad

I have some problems figuring out the gameplay here, so if you got any ideas, I'm all ears.

Old Post 07-18-14 15:42 #
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Getsu Fune
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Soundblock: i'm glad you liked the "shootfest"! (yes i'm Hurricyclone) it's really nice how my map ended up in a different gameplay contrast to some of the other ones, despite being simplistic and flat. originally i wanted MAP20 as well, but this slot is fine :).

Old Post 07-18-14 20:04 #
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Shadow Hog
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Soundblock said:
- Map 20. First impression: This looks like a better match to fit between current maps 16 and 17. It is green and techy to start with, like the end of 16, and it ends up thematically towards medieval, which is where current 17 is at. At the beginning, the map is by no fault of its own a tad anticlimactic, following on the bloodpounding templestomper precluding it. Once it settles into its own pace, it plays well. The grand hall behind the blue gate is nicely lit, open and spacious, reminding me of Jeff Easley's Monster Manual II cover. Nice bone-headed cybo to take down in there, though I evaded most the chaos by using the blue gate for cover, making sure I'd tagged the Pain Elemental first. I felt like a smart spacemarine, so props. However, the amount of floor-popping monster-sets along the trek around the blue gate structure (also, the path up to the yellow gate) get a bit predictable on the 5th or 6th set of monsters that pop in silently. I would suggest reducing the number of monsters and vary up how they appear a bit. E.g. maybe some of them old-school teleport in (green plasma-puff), and/or have groups be visible in the far distance, then a new set pops-in if you get close in on the ones in the distance. This is of course a general difficulty with large outdoor Doom maps in general, vs. the easier hiding of spawns in a corridor/mazy map, so repeating the same pop-ins can take away from the pace and lean towards grindy. Things pick up though. Fantastic elevator battle to get the red key - its like the Kung Fu Master arcade game of Doom rooms, with sectioned floors you take down one by one. Don't know how you did those up/down elevator switches, but having manual control there is great. In general, this is perhaps the most lenient map in granting ammo and health (minus plasma) so far. The author might want to rein that in a bit. I was regularily dancing over rocket-boxes with 100 in the inventory towards the end, which spells steamrolling on the start of the next map. As far as changing the play order of this map to fit in between current 16/17 or not, I would say it becomes a question of whether to place game balance or theme first. I wouldn't want to create a steam-roll ammocount for current map 17, but visually it sure fits well as a nice gradient transition. The _current_ transition to map 17 feels a bit abrupt, even if the two exit/start areas match up well there (the special start/end gates). But back to this map: If the level is rebalanced ammo-wise, I'd move in between 16/17. Its a good map regardless, but could be a great one if it focused its encounters/pick-ups on the areas where it shines; the dynamic mid-section, the manual elevator and the foresty monster manual II room. Lastly, is the Spider Mastermind area supposed to be marked as secret? It is the only way I found towards the exit. That, and I don't understand the "X" and "v" markings on the exit area, they seem a bit technical, but I jump in nonetheless. In short, this gem could use a bit more polish
Thanks for the feedback. The biggest things I'm getting from this are "change up the monsters around the outsides of the blue/yellow-keyed buildings" (I agree wholeheartedly; came back to the map after a few months and I can't really stand how I just threw monsters in there like that, or how they literally appear on top of you) and "less ammo for the love of God" (particularly rockets, which I agree are a little too abundant, although I think I tend to run low on shells/bullets by the time I'm at the red-keyed building).

As far as what slot it goes into, I'll defer to Keeper of Jericho. I did just modify the final room to have an Episode 3 sky after hearing I got MAP20, as sort of a transition into MAP21 (which admittedly I haven't actually tried yet :V). Still, given we have SKY3 usage in Episode 1, it probably wouldn't be a huge deal either way?

Re: final Spider Mastermind:


spoiler - highlight to read:

Re-read the "EXIT" signs. :P

I based this little "puzzle" on a gag suggestion in the "post your picture" thread a year or two ago... if you approach the exit from the correct side, you can finish the level, but if you choose an incorrect side, you're warped to the Spider Mastermind instead. The checkmark/crosses are to indicate which side you're supposed to approach from - although to make things a bit simpler, you're teleported directly to the correct side after clearing the Mastermind gauntlet, so assuming the player doesn't turn around, they can just walk forward from there.

I think my original plan was to actually hide the Mastermind on the exit square itself (hence why it's large enough to hold one), but I couldn't find a satisfactory way of it preventing the player from exiting without killing the Mastermind, so I came up with the EXIT sign puzzle instead.

Not sure if it needs to be marked a Secret, though, since you've got a 75% chance of finding it. I think I marked it as such to incentivize visiting it during 100% runs, but hiding a kill and several items there is probably incentive enough.

Old Post 07-18-14 21:29 #
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Cacowad
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we have two sides here, and i want to thank both for the effort of playing trough the whole megawad.

Soundblock:

glad you like it, i sincerely didn't expect anyone to enjoy that much my map (since, you know, is quite unforgiving). crossair was not even thinked as an option, but i realized that one secret cannot be reached without freelook, so i am going to fix that. i may also resize the last (optional) battle.

CorSair:

looked at your demo attempt, and i could feel your pain playing trough that thing. i don't know if you ever finished it (the demo seems to be corrupted after a while), but i can assure you that a couple of things will be changed.

1) i'm going to change a couple of secrets that contained rad suit, since there are no more damanging floors.
2) rocket launcer will be moved on the 3° room to make HK easier to clear.
3) specters. there will be no more specters on the 4° room, there will be a combination of pinky and imps probably. also i think i will place a block line to prevent monsters swarming the elevator or place a medikit on top of it (or both since mancubi tends to hit you while on the elevator).

again thank you both for your time.

Old Post 07-18-14 22:51 #
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CorSair
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Hm. I managed to make saving work in demos some time ago, but dunno what I did to them. Seems I need to look manuals again. :P

As for the doing demos; I usually want to make them quick, trying to show everything I can and making it entertaining for authors. Attempt to combine these results always in some form of chaos, gnawing my teeth when I realize it starts repeat when dying and taking too much time, or I do stupid decisions when it starts feel boring.

As for the map, I think it is pretty good in looks, but goddamn those hitscanners in first area. Getting pelted all around, made me annoyed, and infuriated, to be honest. (Guess red flashing does that to me? :P) Blue armor would be lot more beneficial in that area, or give green armor right near starting area. As for spectres in that ledge, it would be better not let them near the elevator to avoid them chomping me instantly. But I would keep them there, in UV at least. Or combine spectres and pinkies. Just my cents here.

Old Post 07-19-14 07:51 #
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Soundblock
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Two plays more:

- Map 24. I just beat my first slaughtermap! I've seen them played on YouTube and thought they looked interesting but never actually fired one up before. Fun, energetic stuff, the old rules of no more than handful of cybos are thrown out the window, to good effect.
I actually feel like I'm in some boiling cauldron of hell in his map, instead of at the outlying edges thereof, which is usually the case. Good portioning of items, I died quite a lot, and tried to be careful with the powerup depots, which just lasted me to the end. One question; does the yellow key do anything? I found a lone denizen in there, backtracking after having reached the exit. 30 frantic minutes of gameplay. Being serial-juggled mile-high in the air by packs of archies was unexpected and thrilling, and probably the hardest part of the map.

- Map 25. I immediately like the moody green brick courtyard, with proper ramparts. Feels like a proper keep though it completely dematerialises as you leave the wall. Weird and helly. However, the cross-beamed wood-structure shows HOM underneath it when you climb the blue armor stairs, as does the underside of the switches by the 2 floating archviles. Not a game-breaker, but would be nice with a fix. Nice telefrag puzzle! (by the time I had solved it I had come to realize that the Doom teleport-noise is an ocean wave beating on shore, and that the Baron's death roar most likely is the sound of a dragracer engine) Though I figured the logic of the first puzzle after a while, the second one was more or less just trial and error until I got where I needed to go. The third puzzle initially feels too punishing in that it threw me out before I could get orientated and realize there's a path to follow. Ends up being a load-loop here, most likely, since I owuld have had to solve puzzle 2 again to gain entry to 3. Might be better to leave the player inside the third puzzle once he's there, and make the exit gate a bit harder to trigger involuntarily. Perhaps just trigger the backmost line of the gate instead of the closest one?). Fun stuff btw, partially puzzles 1 and 3. First time I've played a puzzles like that in a loong while, good to see Doom still has trick up sleeve. :) The marble and green tiled pyramid could probably do with another texture choice, as from a distance its got the signature look of the gray/white missing texture pattern. This puzzler was a nice change of pace from the slaughter-play and expands the variation of the megawad.

EDIT: Was my soundcard acting up, or did the at first really subtle ambient music in map 24 change into more upbeat towards the end? It was really cool, but I was so surprised by it that I'm not sure if it was the midi acting up. 1st time I've encountered this...

Last edited by Soundblock on 07-19-14 at 13:03

Old Post 07-19-14 10:58 #
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ForeverViLe
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Soundblock said:
Two plays more:

- Map 24. I just beat my first slaughtermap! I've seen them played on YouTube and thought they looked interesting but never actually fired one up before. Fun, energetic stuff, the old rules of no more than handful of cybos are thrown out the window, to good effect.
I actually feel like I'm in some boiling cauldron of hell in his map, instead of at the outlying edges thereof, which is usually the case. Good portioning of items, I died quite a lot, and tried to be careful with the powerup depots, which just lasted me to the end. One question; does the yellow key do anything? I found a lone denizen in there, backtracking after having reached the exit. 30 frantic minutes of gameplay. Being serial-juggled mile-high in the air by packs of archies was unexpected and thrilling, and probably the hardest part of the map.

- Map 25. I immediately like the moody green brick courtyard, with proper ramparts. Feels like a proper keep though it completely dematerialises as you leave the wall. Weird and helly. However, the cross-beamed wood-structure shows HOM underneath it when you climb the blue armor stairs, as does the underside of the switches by the 2 floating archviles. Not a game-breaker, but would be nice with a fix. Nice telefrag puzzle! (by the time I had solved it I had come to realize that the Doom teleport-noise is an ocean wave beating on shore, and that the Baron's death roar most likely is the sound of a dragracer engine) Though I figured the logic of the first puzzle after a while, the second one was more or less just trial and error until I got where I needed to go. The third puzzle initially feels too punishing in that it threw me out before I could get orientated and realize there's a path to follow. Ends up being a load-loop here, most likely, since I owuld have had to solve puzzle 2 again to gain entry to 3. Might be better to leave the player inside the third puzzle once he's there, and make the exit gate a bit harder to trigger involuntarily. Perhaps just trigger the backmost line of the gate instead of the closest one?). Fun stuff btw, partially puzzles 1 and 3. First time I've played a puzzles like that in a loong while, good to see Doom still has trick up sleeve. :) The marble and green tiled pyramid could probably do with another texture choice, as from a distance its got the signature look of the gray/white missing texture pattern. This puzzler was a nice change of pace from the slaughter-play and expands the variation of the megawad.

EDIT: Was my soundcard acting up, or did the at first really subtle ambient music in map 24 change into more upbeat towards the end? It was really cool, but I was so surprised by it that I'm not sure if it was the midi acting up. 1st time I've encountered this...


I've built the map almost 2 years ago :D
I wanted the yellow key to trigger something but I probably forgot, oh well at least there's one cybie behind the yellow door so the key affects the monster count I guess.
If I'm not mistaken I wanted it to teleport like 80 or 100 cacodemons and 20 pain elementals and another group of arch viles to cause some extra troubles but I didn't do it because one time was painful and frustrating enough I suppose.

Old Post 07-19-14 13:19 #
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Cell
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Soundblock said:
Generally, I wouldn't let numerology (Team 17 fan, I wonder?) get in the way of project coherency(...)

Well, it must be overtaken this time. Slot 17 was booked.

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Old Post 07-19-14 21:15 #
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Soundblock
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ForeverViLe said:

I've built the map almost 2 years ago :D
I wanted the yellow key to trigger something but I probably forgot, oh well at least there's one cybie behind the yellow door so the key affects the monster count I guess.
If I'm not mistaken I wanted it to teleport like 80 or 100 cacodemons and 20 pain elementals and another group of arch viles to cause some extra troubles but I didn't do it because one time was painful and frustrating enough I suppose.


How about putting a pick-up in there, in case the player managed to run out? May I suggest the armor and a berserker pack?


Cell said:

Well, it must be overtaken this time. Slot 17 was booked.


Reading through the thread earlier, I saw you had made this condition about mapslots before you produced the map. Still, I set out to try and find seventeen reasons about change, to convince you to swap slots. I fell a bit short of my goal and only found twelve really good ones. Oh well, I thought I'd share them anyway. I do know quoting is just borrowed authority, and really hope I don't come across as being overtly confrontational. I'd rather have Map 17 in its current slot than start an argument about moving it that would lead to the project being a (star) map short. Having said that:

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.”
- J.M. Barrie, The Little Minister

“Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate.
Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful.
Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion.
Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery.
Read it with hope and you will feel positive.
Read it with humor and you will feel joy.
Read it with God and you will feel the truth.
Read it without bias and you will feel peace.
Don't read it at all and you will not feel a thing.”
- Shannon L. Alder

“The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley.”
- Robert Burns, The Works of Robert Burns

“All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.”
- Arthur C. Clarke, 2010: Odyssey Two

“When someone you love says goodbye you can stare long and hard at the door they closed and forget to see all the doors God has open in front of you.”
- Shannon L. Alder

“Don't let your plans or goals become more important than yourself, or the ones you care about!”
- José N. Harris, MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love

“That's a horrible plan."
"Yes, but I have chosen to ignore that.”
- Christopher Moore, Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art

“As time went on, we learned to arm ourselves in our different ways. Some of us with real guns, some of us with more ephemeral weapons, an idea or improbable plan or some sort of formulation about how best to move through the world. An idea that will let us be. Protect us and keep us safe. But a weapon nonetheless.”
- Colson Whitehead, Sag Harbor

"The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat; how much more no calculation at all!"
- Sun Tzu, Art of War

"Let him that would move the world first move himself."
- Socrates (according to Plato)

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

---


I also played couple of more maps. Here's my rundown on 26 and 27:

- Map 26. Nice mancubus opener, sidestrafing at full tilt to get by. You really have to work for your ammo portions on this one - good stuff.
A stark and really solid looking abode is only marred by some misalignments, mostly just the windowsills. By all means keep the baronfaces, but perhaps avoid repeat-tiling them vertically?
Shockingly hard archvile battle in the interior. Can all the switches on the multiswitch pillar be made S1 instead a couple bing SR, so you can tell offhand which one you've pulled? 35 mins to beat the map and total playtime for the megawad so far just passed 10 hours in the interim.

- Map 27. Wow, looks like the caking magma is creeping down the distant walls on this one, really great subterra! I felt somehwere in the middle of a WWI trench fighter and a mountain guerilla playing through this. The revenant missiles keep sneaking up from behind, they're like little stalkers on this map. A small cluster of HOMs on the lower side of a gray raised rock out of the lava, in the northeastern corner of the map, facing away from the center of the map. You can see them if you stand on the teleporter out of the lava and face towards center. First map to show any signs of framerate drop - wall to wall that's obviously a lot of two-sided linedefs...
The final exit though? Great! I had no idea that could be achieved (without any scripting I suppose?). Been wanting that ability many many a time while planning episodes. Apprehending Map 28 with a bit more nervousness now...

Last edited by Soundblock on 07-23-14 at 20:32

Old Post 07-23-14 01:27 #
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Cell
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Soundblock said:
I'd rather have Map 17 in its current slot (...)

You said. Argument locked.

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Old Post 07-23-14 10:43 #
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Shadow Hog
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Ignoring the back-and-forth on map slots, I've touched my map up some.

  • Tried to tighten up the ammo a bit (significantly cut down the number of rockets, for instance). I may have overcorrected, since I find myself running a bit low by the time I'm opening the blue key door when I do a pistol start, but I'm not sure. Didn't really touch the final room's ammo, though.
  • Also completely redid the monster placement outside of the blue-key-locked building; instead of having tons of monsters literally pop up in your face when you cross over certain linedefs, I focused more on a few enemies doing the more-traditional teleporting-in or ambushing you from afar.
  • Didn't change up the enemies around the yellow-key-locked building too much. The ones inside the individual corners of the room still pop up instantly as you walk inside. The fights outside of the building, however, now pop up when you walk onto the lift instead of when you walk off of it. Basically, you ride the lift up and are greeted by monsters, as opposed to riding the lift up to be greeted with nothing, only to have the monsters instantly pop up as you're walking toward the next lift; a lot more aesthetically pleasing, I think.
  • Lastly, I changed the sky of the red-key-locked room to SKY3 (although that's simple enough to undo should the need arise), changed the Xs at the end into 🚫s (which should hopefully make it a little more obvious what I was trying to convey there), and made the Spider Mastermind room non-secret.

Old Post 07-23-14 19:46 #
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Soundblock
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joe-ilya said:

No it isn't, it almost always gives you two patches to go, sometimes even 3!(The castle entrance and the lift) and there are even bonus places that you can go to if you want.(SSG, LS alcove, chaingun alcove)



I missed this comment the first time around, my bad! Calling your map straightforward I was referring to its toughness, as in a straightforward challenge, and I certainly didn't intend to accuse you of making an "on rails" map, which you didn't. My apologies for being unclear.

On to the climax of my beta experience:

- Map 28. Fabulous mystic keep entrance of great proportions, shriekingly sporting those blues and reds we know so well from the Doom palette. I got my two guns and went for the portal opposite the triple-keyed gate. Loving the fact I had a choice on where to one-way journey. Sneaky archies abound, I don't know where they kept disappearing to, as they kept doing it out of sight, but I eventually managed to corner and dispose of them all, braving the impclad hillsides beyond. Found two texture-glitches in the form of mid-textures drawing into the floor, either side of the entrance to the cyberdemon's lair in this region (top right map corner). Didn't have the health/ammo to fight this guy, and was thus kept on my toes by his distant stomps and odd backdrop cameo as I finished up the red key hunt. Bar his cave, I didn't seem to find a single item of health in the entire red key section? Surely some stimpacks dotted throughout, at least on easier settings? I escaped with 2% health and said cybo on the loose.
On the whole, things have really gotten a lot more complex for solving each map since the lightweight puzzles of the first leg of the wad. The doors in this map don't come for free.
The yellow key area didn't feel quite as tight as the red (didn't lock me in after entry, for one), but fighting to get back control of the harbour area was a great fight. The lava there doesn't tick health though.
First impression of the leap-of-faith puzzle in the blue area was great, especially how it at the start doesn't allow you to skive on cleaning up the end of the yellow key moat. But for this puzzle to retain the funfactor built up so far throughout its own duration, it really needs a hint system of sorts to not become a lottery-chances puzzle that eventually dwindles towards frustration. Some obscure map markings perhaps? A change in floor texture, or a candle placed on the tiles where a turn is necessary? As it is, the methodical way that I find to cross this puzzled path is to save every single step of the way, and after a few dozen tiles that breaks immersion. Still, this has the makings of a unique and fun puzzle, once you understand the logic of it (I was trying to climb around that marble block to begin with). I think a 50/50 chance to make the right or wrong decision once the steps change direction would be fine, but as it stands, I needed to apply "save-scumming" tactics to reach the end of it. Out of the 26 turns I counted in this puzzle, I successfully predicted only one - so I felt a bit frustrated at the end. Falling off the pillars and doing quick load/save reloads was the first time in the playthrough that I resolved to using the idkey cheatcodes, as I managed to save my game just after having attained enough momentum to slip off the edge into the inescapable blackness. I had a previous savegame on the same map, but it precluded this puzzle, so I opted for idclipping back up rather than solving the puzzle again from the start. I know its the third to last map, but still beg for a hint system here. In the final room I fell to the floor of the pitch black without taking any damage and finding no way back up.
This is a map just a few spits and polishes short of being superb. Appropriately placed towards the end of the episode.

- Map 29. Texture pegging on the initial lift-switch, plus two candles are too close to the elevator's edge, and thus snap on sector movement. I've never crowd-surfed on a horde of imps to get out of a mess before, that was crazy fun. Great black castle, clearly this map is one of the capitols of hell, where I'm doing battle against impossible odds... and winning! The map has overpowering scenarios that open up with a bit of work. Good and orderly slaughterstyle gameplay with more specific powerup portioning than the previous slaughterfest.
The secret door in the brightly green/blue decorated atrium has no low-peg on the doortrack textures, AND it locks you in if you don't exit by the time the door closes. If the decorative rows of blue keys count towards item% and there's no way to get to them, it would be best if there was a way to reach them... Also, there's HOM and peel-pegging on the obscure door to the immediate right once you enter the hall beyond the blue gate (leads to the secret up the stairs). The body in that doorway is also left in an unexplainable stance after you've opened the door, floating mid air.
The map requires strafe-running to get to the blue key, which I generally don't approve of, but I guess might be ok for a level 29 map? I like to put in alternate access routes myself, if strafe-running leads anywhere particular. This is a _very_ tough strafe jump, and I could only do it three times in about 50-60 tries. Suggest decreasing the jump distance by a couple of texels.
The secret area with the fast moving river of blood and moving pillars could use a strip of mid-textures towards the pre-yellow key area, in order to help explain why you can't jump down from the pillars and back to safety, once you're on them.
The lava granting megasphere after the secret chaingunner pillar runs is no-hurt.
In front of the red key holding area, a way out again of the lava pool would be nice. How about lowering the redrock lip rim if you press on it?
In front of the puzzle to get the red key, this is the first map where I had to concede to looking under the hood of the wad in DoomBuilder before I could proceed. I had ran, pushed and gunned on everything in sight, spending a good half hour in said room, and after an hour and twenty minutes on the map clock I felt like enough.
It had occurred to me that the row of panels in the area where the red key puzzle is activated might be my missing link to the red key, but after spraying the walls in there (and everywhere else) with chaingun and seeing no effect on the bars blocking the way, a sneaky (yet ultimately erroneous) suspicion of the wad being at fault started creeping in. So I resorted to checking the linedef tags. Not what I'd like to do, but its a beta after all. IMO the existence of this puzzle's opening move needs to be made clearer, and once you open it and hell breaks loose, this further heightens the need for a way out of the lava pool here. I suggest either making in-world hints, like a gun-slot in the mid-fence facing directly opposite the first multi-shootable plate, and/or in mapview (preferably both), to visually mark the areas behind the shootable spots, perhaps with a pentagram, a "broken glass" square, a muzzle-flash icon or the like.
Something that would stand out in mapview, once the player starts zooming around to look for ways out. If you include both these hints or their equivalents, it'll still be a very hard puzzle to locate the opening move to.
A seriously cool map that IMO trips up its fun factor by making the start of its final puzzle too obscure to find.

- Map 30. Finally, the chainsaw! (not that I've missed it, or found any use for it) First impression on the 2nd and main room: B.I.G!
However, in order to win playing paladin-style (original Doom controls only), there doesn't seem like there's a way to get on eye-level with the immediately visible icon-of-sin, nor anything other than adherence to old-school'ness to stop the player from immediately using freelook to win (which quite frankly is way too easy, after the hell I just trudged through).
Looking at the mapview (and avoiding the opening of an editor), I could find no activation-lines for me to use, so my suspicion is that there is no way up there?
Since the finish is easily rogued, and my cheat-bubble has already been fractured by map 28, downright busted by map 29, my motivation for spending a long time to find out how to win this map the original way, wanes quickly at this point.
The map seems too populated to conquer from the outset, and the icon(s) are immediately increasing population as I'm unsuccessfully looking for a way to beat them fairly.
The level looks nice though, the proportions and the ball in the sky are epic stuff, if a bit of a stretch for the engine, but I was hoping to be able to finish this quest the way I started - on my feet, not cheating and not having to rely on anything but the game's original controls to do so.
Also, playing singleplayer I can find no trace of the hallmark 5-room setup that's been beautifully stuck to (some places tighter than others) throughout the megawad.
Going into the final map of 5 Rooms of Doom, I was really hoping for a finale that would use the 5-room format in some hallmark way to conclude itself, but instead there's a rather DoomII formulaic finish, even if a very large one.
The pressure of difficulty and complexity has really built up towards this one, so I think its not unnatural to expect a fantastic finish.
In order to achieve this, I suggest supplanting the currently employed rooms 3-5 (which at current seem just multiplayer-spawning copies of room 1) and instead creating a gradually elevating path towards a vantage point that would allow level-headed, non free-aiming dependent firing at the end-of-mega boss.
Final tally: 13 hours 11 minutes 08 seconds.

I didn't find the secret maps by playing chronologically. I might warp in and try to pistol them later.

Anyhow - that's my beta 1 playthrough for you - I'm honored to have parttaken in an exciting, inventive if rocky-roaded megawad that upon actually playing it has gone well beyond my initial expectations.

Old Post 07-24-14 16:58 #
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CorSair
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Soundblock said:
I know its the third to last map, but still beg for a hint system here. In the final room I fell to the floor of the pitch black without taking any damage and finding no way back up.

There is a hint system. On that area you teleport in, there is a shootable switch that lowers certain wall portion of that structure and shows you the amount of steps and the directions you need, dunno the order, left to right or the opposite.

Besides, that map is very first map I've released. And to add salt to the wound, I think it is the first beta I sent back at the day. :D

If you want, you might wanna test the new map I have few posts back. It is finished in layout and detail sense, but I don't think I got the gameplay correctly here (but it is still playable.)

Old Post 07-24-14 17:11 #
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Soundblock
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CorSair said:

There is a hint system. On that area you teleport in, there is a shootable switch that lowers certain wall portion of that structure and shows you the amount of steps and the directions you need, dunno the order, left to right or the opposite.

Besides, that map is very first map I've released. And to add salt to the wound, I think it is the first beta I sent back at the day. :D

If you want, you might wanna test the new map I have few posts back. It is finished in layout and detail sense, but I don't think I got the gameplay correctly here (but it is still playable.)



Ah, I see. I still don't think a per-turn hint on each location would be a bad idea, in case those blueprints behind this shootswitch are missed... And haha, I've had my filling of playing 5 Rooms for a while, so I'll to pass on further beta testing. :-)

Its nice to have played through a set that's the same number as the original game though. And now I know that I contributed to a working game experience, which is nice. Also, I can playbalance my map to fit better into the set, but I'll likely wait a few days. For my Doom play portioning, I pretty much just downed the equivalent of a full bottle of Tequila.

Old Post 07-24-14 17:29 #
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Cacowad
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update of map 21 https://www.mediafire.com/?vp0u3l2yuke2slo

soundblock: actually you can beat the level (map 30) without freelook, but i made the activation method way too much cryptic (you had to step on the marbface platforms inside the pentagram).

i'm not too satisfied or proud of this map, since it has a lot more problems that it should have... let's see what i can pull of the hat for this one.

Old Post 07-24-14 18:22 #
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Keeper of Jericho
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Thanks for all the beta-testing, soundblock, and everyone else for their map-fixing. Haven't been sitting idle in the meantime, either. I've worked on a DEH-patch so that map names will show on the map even in Boom ports, together with making sure the map names will show up on the intermission screen in those ports as well. Speaking of intermission screens, I made a new one for the wad and I must say I quite like it! Hope everyone else will, too.

Third beta will be out once I've added the updated version of the maps I've been supplied with and have done the final changes to the DEH patch. I think after that we'll be nearing final release and the completion of this project.

Old Post 07-24-14 19:28 #
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Soundblock
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Keeper of Jericho said:
Thanks for all the beta-testing, soundblock, and everyone else for their map-fixing. Haven't been sitting idle in the meantime, either. I've worked on a DEH-patch so that map names will show on the map even in Boom ports, together with making sure the map names will show up on the intermission screen in those ports as well. Speaking of intermission screens, I made a new one for the wad and I must say I quite like it! Hope everyone else will, too.

Third beta will be out once I've added the updated version of the maps I've been supplied with and have done the final changes to the DEH patch. I think after that we'll be nearing final release and the completion of this project.



Welcome. Btw Keeper, do you have the facilities to replace the intermission texts that are interspersed throughout the 32 levels? (6, 11, 20, 30) If so, I could pitch some text replacements for you, if you think that would be preferable to the default texts. Playing the wad, like with most wads, one gets the sense of a parallel story to that of Doom II. Like someone that wakes up after the original fray, to find an even bigger mess, or their own personal hell. I wouldn't want to try and weave the narrative into the existing canon of Doom, but some first-person text to reflect on the journey might lift the experience. That is, unless someone objects to messing with the original lines - even if they don't fit the current map progression perfectly they might be preferable to a story the contributors aren't happy with. Just a thought - thought I'd ask.

Old Post 07-25-14 16:38 #
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pcorf
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Keeper of Jericho said:
Thanks for all the beta-testing, soundblock, and everyone else for their map-fixing. Haven't been sitting idle in the meantime, either. I've worked on a DEH-patch so that map names will show on the map even in Boom ports, together with making sure the map names will show up on the intermission screen in those ports as well. Speaking of intermission screens, I made a new one for the wad and I must say I quite like it! Hope everyone else will, too.

Third beta will be out once I've added the updated version of the maps I've been supplied with and have done the final changes to the DEH patch. I think after that we'll be nearing final release and the completion of this project.



And make sure its a .zip file. Looking forward to playing it.

Old Post 07-27-14 02:39 #
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