dobu gabu maru
If I could do this map over, I would take a more holistic approach to the design.
Understandable. That's often one of the problems when you first start mapping, is you get so excited to make nice rooms and architecture but when it comes time to play the level, it doesn't flow nearly as nicely as you want it to or tends to be more monotonous than you intended. It still was an enjoyable level (I'll take big maps over switch hunts any day), but you definitely have to exercise caution with arenas that size.
EDIT: Interseting changes to the Cistern, but the acid should have a sector 7 effect (-2 or 5% health) because you're essentially taking 40 damage just to hit a single switch as it stands, with almost no health to pick up afterwards since all the demons/imps flood the middle.
EvilNed01, I played through v.2 of your little mapset, and I'm giving feedback now.
MAP01: A nice, bite-sized map that is beautifully balanced ammo wise. I'd say this would fit perfectly in the MAP02 slot, right after PRIMEVAL's map. Couple comments on it.
Texture choice is really great, it always delights me to play a map with some really interesting combinations and recurring themes. Level progress is nice overall too. Gameplay wise, there's a couple of hiccups. Right out of the starting area you run to hit a switch that opens up a door, but reveals a wall of imps behind you. I didn't notice the imps the first time, and happily fought my way through more of the level. It probably would've been better to put them further forward, or have them warp in. It's nothing that needs to be fixed this level per se, but just a consideration to keep in mind, that traps further back in the level only pose a threat if the monsters can catch up to them, which these imps can't since they have to loop around the structure to get to the player (which they won't do as soon as he walks through the door). Also, the shotgun is given in a little descended cubby, making it hard to see. Pulling the sector up and above the floor it's next to will hopefully catch the player's eye better.
Also the player can run around the edge and near the fence, which you might want to consider making impassable lines. Up to you, just a personal preference.
Further along you have a part where the player hits a switch and the walls lower, revealing a unique WR lowering platform trigger and two elevated platforms with monsters on them. Walking of the WR trigger can cause the mosnters to get stuck, so putting block monster lines over them can fix this. Blue key trap is nice. I also like the blue lights for the blue key door area.
There's a section with a bridge you can raise which is fine, but you have a tunnel in the damaging floor that leads to nothing but a stimpack. Considering the player has to battle through a demon and two imps, it's usually good to reward them for exploring, especially when it comes to braving damaging floor sectors. Next is a lift that leads up to the exit walkway, but a pinky spots you very quickly and hovers around the lift, allowing you to just sit back and snipe him. Pull that pinky further back. The ceiling above the exit door also needs to be lowered down by 8.
MAP02: Another solid level, this time having the player run back through the central area which is a good idea. Much more aggressive monster combination, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. Still some issues addressed below:
Specters in that one dark room need to go, or be replaced by pinkies. The room is too dim and the blinking light doesn't help to see them, so it's just a guessing game until either one of you gets hurt. Specters would fit better in the water walkway to the jailcell.
Hitting the switch in the jail and teleporting back to the start to see the window down is a great idea, as it lets the play know they can enter that area. Found a graphical hiccup, past the door though
To fix it, just press the "make sectors button" and click on the door and its adjacent sector, and you should be good to go.
Past the blue key door is a section that's unnecessarily tight on health, since the hitscanners drain it from afar. I say add a couple stimpacks here, and a couple in the trap rooms. Also, you could place an HK along the walkway, like near the armor, since they are great enemies to use on narrow pathways. Inside the building at the end, both of the windows need their textures aligned (unpegging both lower & upper should fix this).
Past the yellow key door is an interesting room. Green armor is absolutely unneccesary since the player will have like 50% armor left over and the level is almost finished anyway. Also, after hitting the first switch, a bunch of the lost souls will get in fights, or crushed, so I'd change their rooms. Everything else works out well, but the final fight feels too docile. I say switch those pinkies out for two HKs and a rev along with a pinky in the exit room, which should spice it up a bit... maybe a medikit in the exit room too for those playing consecutively.
MAP03: Interesting use of DOORTRAK in this level. I really like the dark metal & fire vibe, it makes you feel like you're in some cruel furnace. Resistance picks up here as well, and it's nice to see some tougher monster groups.
Right off the bat, take out a box of shells in the SSG room, as it's completely unnecessary. Rad suit before the furnace is also unnecessary, as there's no reason for the player to go into the pits down below. in that room there's more texture alignment issues from windows that can easily be fixed by unpegging them. Areas afterwards are kinda neat, I like hitting the switches to raise the bridges. Maybe you could have two enemies warp in after hitting the switch in the second switch room, as it just seemed like something devious was going to happen. Putting monsters back into the main room is a good idea too.
Also noticed a similar problem to sgt. dopey's level, where you have one lift that is activated by pressing it, and another with the same texture that isn't. Texture differentiation would help here (fourth switch room). Really like the revs and manc covered in darkness here, but the damaging floor in the middle seems unfair since you can't even see it (or if you want to keep it in, make it brighter to alert the player beforehand).
Afterwards, the player returns to the top for the final fight, but you have a group of imps back near the start that are supposed to flank you, but they're flagged as deaf IIRC. They also have the same problem as the imps in the first level, where they struggle to get around the geometry and over to the player.
The final fight on the other hand has a lot of teeth, and I really like it. There's a nice balance of enemies, and the AV comes in at a great time and is placed in such a painful place that it's tough to deal with him from up top as he works his voodoo. And if you go to pick up more rockets you release more baddies, and the area the sergeants hide in loops back around to the backside. Really, spectacular fight. The ceiling above the exit door needs to be lowered by 8 and a medikit in the exit room would be very welcomed.
MAP04: Not sure how I feel about this one. I liked the nonlinear aspect to it and the constant danger of the acidic floor, but it played worse than the other three maps IMO. A big part of this came from the lack of having the SSG, and being bogged down in corner sniping a bunch of mancs with just the SG.
I took the right section first which was obviously a bad idea. the first trap with the floor that drops you into a manc sandwich is okay, but having the blur powerup right before then turns it into an instant death trap. Take it out.
Further along the path you have a section with a small platform surrounded by nukage, hitscanners and a rev on one side and mancs on a high platform on the other. With just the SG & Chaingun, this fight is pretty unfair since one side or the other is barreling down on you. I found it easiest to just run up, nab the PG, hit the switch, get the key and get out of there.
Past the red key door you have a baron protecting the chainsaw, which is also a major gripe since there's not room to fight him in a 32 hallway without the SSG and practically no cell. Switch him for an HK or pinky (preferably pinky as again, if you backup any you're basically at the start; the other HK was fine). After that the level plays fine, except the final battle with the mancs across that one bridge and the revs that pop in later. The revs don't even follow you so it becomes a sniping battle with the SG, which just takes too long.
Also I don't think there was enough ammo to max the level (well, without chainsawing pinkies).
Last edited by dobu gabu maru on 11-19-12 at 01:54