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cannonball
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looking forward to the new alpha, good to have you back :)

Old Post 11-12-12 21:56 #
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kildeth
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Ok, I've made the necessary updates and with that I bring you version 3.1 of Nova: The Birth...

http://www.mediafire.com/?72aaaw377fm0it3

Updates from Version 3.0
------------------------
* New music for Title, Intermission and Endgame screens, as well MAPs 06 and 07
* New map by cannonball, entitled 'Power Core', slotted into MAP10, pushing finale 'Extorta Nova' down to MAP11.
* A slight update to MAP03 'Sewage Processing'.

If I find myself satisfied with 'Sensorium' anytime soon I'll include that in version 3.2 along with fixes for any faults noted in this update.

Let the playtesting begin! (once more :P)

Old Post 11-13-12 17:25 #
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dobu gabu maru
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I'll play through it soon and give my thoughts & opinions on each level.

The map I started for this project is ~30% complete, and I know I have a lot on my plate but I'd like to reserve MAP31 for an idea that's been cooking in my head after hearing Paul D's recent composition. I know you have it as the "endgame" theme, but I really think it'd work better as a credits/MAP31 theme, and I want to design a strange, enemy-free level to convey its bleak mood as best as I can.

Old Post 11-14-12 00:24 #
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Unholypimpin
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cant wait to see what you did with my map =D

Old Post 11-14-12 01:36 #
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dobu gabu maru
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MAP01: Great starter map, probably the best pistol-heavy map I've played. Detail and "crampedness" is nice, with no battles being too rough... although, if you don't find/use that berserk pack, the level is extremely lean on health packs. That'd be my only complaint (although it is easy to find it, so it's not absurdly offensive).

MAP02: Ah, HERE we go, this is a level with the "newbie" stamp (no offense kildeth). Layout is somewhat unintuitive and the texture use defies normal convention, leading to a somewhat unique experience. Here are some of my notes:

You can start by going in three directions (!) which is pretty cool for a level, but unfortunately one of the paths (the door you're facing) is far, far more unrewarding than the others. You open it and you're faced with loads of hitscanners and a nasty caco, with no health and little ammo until you activate the elevator. You're rewarded with the chaingun and some armor which is nice, but then you have to go through another section which is likely to eat at more of your health. Compare this with the other path of picking up the radsuit, shells, lighting up the barrels and safely taking out the pack of monsters. And guess what? You're right back at where you would be, minus some armor & the chaingun (but with more health & ammo). It just seems weird to me to make one path ultimately harder with less of an advantage (especially since the chaingun and BLUE armor is picked up shortly thereafter).

I'm not trying to rag on the level though, just pointing out something I think is odd. Otherwise the level plays well, with the yellow key ambush being pretty clever (and I like the acid dripping over the window to the tele). The two different yellow key rooms were a neat idea, especially since one was a mini armory. Also, at first I didn't like how easy it was to run past the PE and flip the exit switch, but I realized he was guarding health which a player might need if they were playing consecutively, which is a good idea. There are some odd texture choices IMO, but hey, variety is the spice of life. Health and ammo are also super tight in this level, maybe too much so for MAP02.

MAP03: Another neat level, with it's most interesting idea being the goodies etched into the wall. Thoughts: At the start, the ASHWALL above the "entrance door" is raised and it looks a bit weird/out of place. In the room with the "POISON" wall warnings the corner near one of the doors is lit up, when it should probably be dark. Also when you return to that room with the red key, triggering the ambush, it is almost guaranteed that the HK and caco will fight, nullifying any sense of real danger.

The room past the red key door is pretty cramped and dangerous, which is always good. On the way to the blue key, the specter can't get down the stairs, so he's a non-threat. The monsters that come out afterwards are a nice surprise, but the following double HK surprise with a pinch of Baron is just too obnoxious to battle with solely the SG and chaingun (baron could easily be replaced with just another HK). The SSG and RL are surprise secrets, so it kinda balances out, although I don't like the idea of having the SSG as a secret. Also, health is nicely balanced for the first half of the level, but it's completely missing near the end which is another red flag for me (since you'd ideally want to give the consecutive players as close to 100% for the next level). Again, health is given out through secrets, so maybe it's just a preference thing. Otherwise it was pretty fun, although ammo was quite superfluous compared to the first two maps (you can exit with like 80 shells; two boxes of shells in the red key room are unnecessary and it's generally a bad idea to overload goodies in secret rooms, like the backpack secret).

Oh, and visuals were okay. The DOORTRAK for the crushers in the poison pathway is a nice touch.

MAP04: Oop, first thing: the bottom of the UAC sign probably shouldn't be the same texture as the ceiling. I ran over and hit the switch to open the walls up to a nasty surprise, but it can be easily ran-away from. After firing, some imps warp in, which was a bit of an odd surprise for me, especially since they weren't much of a threat since I was out of that room. Maybe what could be done instead is set the imps in the same trap room with the chaingunners, but put warp lines directly in front of them so that they warp in behind you as soon as you hit the switch. That way the player has to spend about a second longer wedged between chaingunners.

Next room is okay, although the floor texture change just for the doorway stood out as odd. I kinda subscribe myself to the Purist school of thought, where if you're going to add in floor texture changes, they should usually be accompanied with a height change in the floor (even if it's just two pixels). The following room has a pretty nasty trap, and this is where my gripe with the low health really starts to come through, since you wedge the player between a caco and HK with loads of chaingunners coming in through the front with only a stimpack to heal the wounds. This level definitely feels like it needs at least a medikit in the hallway.

The berserk pack in the following tunnel is a welcome powerup, although having a stimpack right next to strikes me as random. The hallways is jampacked with baddies, with a few specters that you have to catch in the glimmers of light; It's pretty fun, but goes on for a while and since it is a linear affair it's not that threatening. The rev traps are a welcome surprise to the mix, especially since the curve of the hallways assist their homing bullets... there should be a second one in the SSG trap door IMO. AV battle with his chaingunner bodyguards is kinda fun, good to have a supercharge before that.

However there are two more almost directly afterwards which kinda takes away from the impact of the one the player just fought (and can be insta-death, especially if the player hits the switch before dealing with the other like I did). I say take out the one that warps in after the switch, since he's really not that threatening anyway (he spends most of his time rezzing guys you can just mow down, while the other tries right out of the gate to torch you). Next room is alright (the door to it is lowered into the ground by 8 pixels which looks weird), and the last room is yet another ballistics-fest, at least with some backup from baddies outside. Last room also needs a bit more health for the consecutive players, especially since you hand out ammo when the player already has a surplus on bullets.

Also, a note on lighting: if you're not going to have light fade out naturally (like over 5 different layers of brightness), it's best to have it shaped more like a 2D cone instead of a triangle, as there are a lot of "triangle" shaped lights. The twisting hallway would really benefit from it here. Also, the wall texture with the floor lighting is used, and generally it's kind of strange to see it shining so brightly. I generally try to make it +10-25 brighter and encompassing a smaller cone.

And a finally note to all mappers, which I think is a good thing to keep in mind: try not to make any doors that need a switch to open the same texture as DR/D1 doors. It's slightly confusing to the player to have one door need a switch but one right across from them be easily opened.

-----

Whew. With all that said so far, good work guys. I may bemoan some things but I still had fun with each level so far; definitely keep making maps! I'll keep on trucking through the other levels in a bit.

Old Post 11-14-12 08:10 #
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kildeth
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Just catching up with all the comments everyone has made during the past few weeks.

@dobugabumaru - Thanks for your thoughts. The door that you face at the start of MAP02 was designed as a sort of 'trap' since it is probably the first many players will open upon starting the level, causing them to freak out and perhaps retreat to another door causing mayhem on all sides for the player and increasing the action. That was my intention anyway. Oh and it is my very first completed Doom map ever so that explains its newbishness even though I did try and polish it up a little bit. 'Sensorium' will contain a more consistent theme than 'Hazard Facility' and thus will probably look a little more professional.
Your MAP31 level idea sounds cool! Personally, I had an idea for MAP31 but I could always just include it in the regular stream of levels or make it MAP32 instead or something. The enemy-free idea actually sounds like another idea I had for a level as well, but it was going to fill with monsters before the end and just be scenic and moody at the beginning.

@AlwaysDoomed - It's probably not going to be quite as epic as you'd think given the amount of time I've worked on it. It's well detailed but not particularly massive (I actually took out one area and exchanged it with another) and I'm actually thinking of stripping it back a tad to stop it from being all a little 'too much'. As can be expected, I had lots of grandiose plans for it but some just didn't work out and thus will have to be toned down or discarded.

@EvilNed - Feel free to submit as many levels as you want, there is no limit. I'd be quite happy for you to upload all of those so we can take a look at them, even if unfinished. If you don't want them all in the project or want to reserve them for something else, that's cool too. You can always ask for the maps to be removed from the project at a later date if you feel they'd be better off as part of something else.

@Paul D - All the MIDIs you've been making recently sound AMAZING! If NOVA's going to have one thing at this point, it's gonna be a great soundtrack. :)

@Retog - Oops! It's been about two months since you spoke and no-one welcomed you to the project! If you're still interested (and still here), feel free to post up anything you've done in either screenshot/download form so we can take a look. :)

@nubhat - I'd recommend holding onto your level and experimenting with things such as height variation, detailing and lighting and see what sort of stuff you can come up with. As of now it's a bare sketch but the basic layout seems to be there, perhaps it can be manipulated into some sort of semi-decent techbase level?

Last edited by kildeth on 11-14-12 at 11:08

Old Post 11-14-12 10:16 #
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EvilNed01
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kildeth said:

@EvilNed - Feel free to submit as many levels as you want, there is no limit. I'd be quite happy for you to upload all of those so we can take a look at them, even if unfinished. If you don't want them all in the project or want to reserve them for something else, that's cool too. You can always ask for the maps to be removed from the project at a later date if you feel they'd be better off as part of something else.



Well, why not...

http://www.filmklubben.eu/wads/Factory.wad

Here's 4 WIP maps spanning MAP01-MAP04 on doom2.wad. Might be zDoom only, not thoroughly tested on other engines. Works on Legacy as well, I know that much.

Disregard MAP31 and MAP32...

Old Post 11-14-12 19:25 #
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SFoZ911
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I would like to join this project, and I already started making a map for it. I just need to know how to take screenshots and upload it.

Old Post 11-14-12 20:43 #
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dobu gabu maru
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@kildeth: understandable. It does work like that, but maybe I was being too bull-headed and wanted to run through there. Looking forward to your Sensorium map to see how you've grown as a mapper.

@EvilNed01: Did a brief runby and your maps look nice, they have a good layout & monster balance. Only thing is in the first three maps, you need to uncheck the Doom Builder Visualization Mode for the "Easy" "Medium" and "Hard" settings, since PrBoom doesn't like them being there. Otherwise they play fine (something is zDoom only if it uses zDoom features--every trick in the vanilla playbook works in every other port).

@SFoZ911: Just press the printscreen button on your keyboard and crop the picture in paint. Then you can upload it to imgur and link it here (putting the {img}{/img} tag around the url (using brackets instead of braces) or by linking it directly.)

Onwards!

MAP05: A really interesting, super non-linear map. Only issue is that ammo is really plentiful, but it is hard to balance ammo for non-linear maps since you need to account for so many routes. Exit trap is super nasty, luckily the baddies line up outside the door. Texture composition is okay, the layout is pretty strange to wrap your head around, but all the fights play out well so there's really not much to criticize. Maybe the platforms in the RL pit could be a bit bigger, since it's extremely easy to bite the dust down there with low health.

MAP06: The first really challenging map. All the fights were really fun (as traps were well designed), but my biggest problem with it is the ammo. There simply is not enough ammo to make the player feel comfortable at any point past the first five minutes. I wound up berserk punching a whole host of imps and HKs, which was pretty bad IMO since the berserk pack itself is a secret (although a noticeable one). Also the PG is a secret, and I really needed it when I did, so I shudder to think how the level would be if I didn't find it. On one hand the low ammo forces you to approach the level with more caution, but on the other it just feels too overbearing, especially for the theme of this megawad.

Besides my big problem with the ammo, only other thing I saw was a couple instances of texture misalignment, like in the room where 3-4 imps teleport in to the sides of you (also, the imps were very slow to teleport in). And there's a switch texture right across from it which repeats. Texture choice on the other hand is really unique and fits well with the level, and I like how dark the map gets when you descend into its bowels. The SSG room and blue key battles are definitely the best and most exhilirating, although my blue key fight was cut short when I ran out of ammo and had to retreat. The design of the exit room is really neat too.

Oh, more things: at the start there's switches to open up the cubbies to the sergeants in their tower, but its a door that waits and closes, which is a bit confusing since the wall opening up would probably fit better as a "door open stay". Also it's possible to grab the yellow key without raising the acid. And the dual archvile fight is an interesting/chaotic idea, but I find it becomes massively easy to just backup towards the entrance doorway and pummel both of them with the SSG. Having only one would encourage to player to stay in the arena, although it would break the symmetry. And lastly, it's somewhat discouraging to have the player be unable to backtrack (like to the starting area). Ultimately it's up to the author about how they feel about this, but having the player permanently miss previous goodies can demoralize them.

Old Post 11-14-12 21:42 #
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Phobus
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dobugabumaru said:
MAP05: A really interesting, super non-linear map. Only issue is that ammo is really plentiful, but it is hard to balance ammo for non-linear maps since you need to account for so many routes. Exit trap is super nasty, luckily the baddies line up outside the door. Texture composition is okay, the layout is pretty strange to wrap your head around, but all the fights play out well so there's really not much to criticize. Maybe the platforms in the RL pit could be a bit bigger, since it's extremely easy to bite the dust down there with low health.

Good to see the map works for you! The RL pit is possible to navigate with no damage taken with a bit of luck and some strafe-running, but I'm certainly open to making the platforms wider if people think it'd improve the map.

Old Post 11-15-12 13:10 #
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Paul D
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https://dl.dropbox.com/u/39292814/teleportarion2.wad

Here's an update to map 06 (forgot to add music again, oh well)

added a little bit of ammo and made it so you can go back to starting area more easily. Fixed some texturing, fixed some stuck monsters, and fixed a place where you could actually pick up health and ammo through a door before it opened changed a few very small details with the texturing.

When making the map, I figured that it should be very tight ammo on pistol start: in the context of the level set though, you'd probably enter the level with at least a decent amount of ammo leftover from the previous level.

Anyway, I need a little help:

I can't get the lift down to the "hub" room to work when playing in prboom on complevel 2. can somebody help me fix that, and explain to me why it wasn't working before?

Old Post 11-16-12 01:20 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Phobus said:
The RL pit is possible to navigate with no damage taken with a bit of luck and some strafe-running, but I'm certainly open to making the platforms wider if people think it'd improve the map.


I know it's possible, but just remember that when the player jumps down into the hole, they see two mancs on a ledge right next to them and the RL across from them. They'll run to pick it up, which will trigger the rev near the exit to run after them, as the mancs begin firing. It makes for a fun fight, but since the platforms are so small the player doesn't really want to risk running around in the lava to dodge all the bullets. It forces them to run straight to the exit and deal with the rev, then snipe the mancs (or just skip them). I just thought it'd be neat to encourage the player to duke it out in the lava section, and larger platforms would encourage that behavior.


Paul D said:
When making the map, I figured that it should be very tight ammo on pistol start: in the context of the level set though, you'd probably enter the level with at least a decent amount of ammo leftover from the previous level.


You know, this is a really good point, as only this year have I begun playing maps from pistol start (which means I'm not used to the conserving ammo game). And frankly, I was able to beat the level as is without skipping any enemies (well, I came back to kill them). But it still feels disproportionate to the other maps in the mapset so far, and the encounters are already tricky enough that it doesn't feel like it needs ammo conservation to be a part of it. But then again, maybe I was just taken aback since it's MAP06. Perhaps a later mapslot would fit its difficulty curve better.

MAP07: Large maps are really tricky to deal with. The more space you give to present an epic backdrop also provides more room for the player to move around and avoid enemies. The map somewhat balances this fact by scattering very small powerups all through the area, encouraging the player to move around, but once you get the imps, cacos and HKs following you, it becomes a very mildly paced ten minutes of shooting them all down slowly.

Then again, with large maps, it's hard to suggest good ways to fix this, as it will almost always devolve into this sort of play. On the plus side, the map does look interesting and has some nice design, and I like the constant shifting of the ground elevation & texture. Also, the green temple area is really aesthetically pleasing, and has a nice texture combination.

After raising the bridges, the AV trap was a lot less hassle than I initially thought it was going to be. I had to take a blast from one of them because I was too slow to react to their presence, but they were easily subdued, just hovering around the arena. Having the player fight some revenants in that room before triggering the AVs would provide from some nice anxiety, since the player would want to kill them before they go on a rezzing spree (4-6 revs should do the trick, although with 2 AVs, they may be back up a bit too soon; placing down four or so pillars in a square formation may give the player a fun chance to battle them inside that room).

After that the map goes by even slower, since you open up the pathway to two identical rooms which are littered with hosts of specters. They blend in too much with the room they're in IMO, forcing the player outside to deal with them one by one, which is kinda aggrivating. The mancs are fun to fight, but by the time the player is done mopping up ghosties, all of them are coralled into one corner to be safely rocketed to death. Switching the specters to pinkies may let the player safely battle them between mancs, but then again the player may just back out and snipe them all one by one.

The remaining symmetrical challenge is just nabbing the red and yellow keys from the hell officials. It's not really that hard to do, and they can be easily bypassed, with no final challenge stopping the player from exiting. To shake it up a little bit, there shouldn't be a tele out at the end of the room that rewards the player for running past his enemies; instead it should be a switch that opens up the doors again, so the player has to run back across the bridge (which the HKs will occupy if he ran past them in the first place). Oh, speaking about the doors, the doors that open with the switch and the doors to the exit use the same texture, which is confusing. And maybe the doors to the exit should have something significant next to them, like a torch or pedestal so they stand out.

It's a neat looking level, but it's just bogged down in slow, methodical gameplay. It does provide a neat differentiation from the other maps however, which is always nice in a megawad. A couple more things: while using the nukage texture for the floor and not having it be damaging isn't a bad thing, actually giving the floor a 5% damage tag might make the outside area a little more fun: it would restrict the player's movement a little more since they wouldn't want to shave 10% off just running through it. Then again it might make them just duck down into the ravine... although having the nukage spill out all over there might be a good idea too. And even if you don't take the suggestion of making the nukage damaging, at least draw a sector for the green nukage to push against the water, since a waterfall of nukage straight into water is a little unsightly.


MAP08: This level had a pretty good enemy balance overall, with a surprising emphasis on pinkies. It starts out great, nice and cramped in a cargo depot with the brilliant placement of two pinkies at the top. However, right there is something I noticed that would come to plague me the rest of the level: the infamous "door texture used both as SR and DR" I've already pointed out my gripes with it before, but this map runs really rampant with it, too many times for me to count. It also does it for some of the lifts as well. You'd be surprised at what adding two textures on the edges "like DOORSTOP" would do to indicate to the player "oh, this door/lift requires a switch, okay".

Other than that, there's only a few minor hiccups here and there in terms of gameplay, as it plays out quite well. Ammo is really well balanced, and I only needed to punch my way through pinkies once--it was in the room with the acid (removing the left pinky should entice the player to move in & pick up ammo, instead of being bombarded by the two demons). Health is nice, but since there's a surplus of pinkies and low amount of traps, it tends to be quite plentiful in this map (and there are two green armors (one secret and one at the end) that didn't need to be there). Overall it feels a lot like an early map, if not for the PG & BFG giveaway along with the cyber battle at the end. Perhaps removing those two weapons would size it up nicely for a spot like MAP05, although the cyber fight might be too tedious without the PG (so maybe that could stay, I dunno).

It was also nice to see some pretty creative texture uses here, like the scrolling boxes in the beginning and that one door that has half of its texture repeated. Only three things that were nagging at me texture wise: you have blue key textures next to a switch that doesn't require it (I know it allows you to run to the blue door to pick up the key, but the player doesn't know that; ultimately it's up to you if you want to leave it in as it's not egregious, it's just misleading IMO). Then in one part of a level you have the player enter this white building but have impassible lines with no midtexture to block the player (again, fix at your discretion). Finally, in the "library" room, there's midtextures at the top of a stairwell but the player can pass through them, kind of defeating the purpose of why they're there.

The level also has a nice flow & pace to the combat, although it's a bit of a switch hunt, but hey, the more diversity the better. Again I don't mean to poo poo both these levels I played, but it's always best to offer criticism before any official release. They were still fun maps that could probably fit in any other megawad compilation.

Old Post 11-16-12 05:24 #
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Paul D
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Map 7 is pretty fun to run through uv pacifist.

The issue with the map is that there's no real reason to engage any of the monsters- its too big and open for them to really hinder you, so you can just run past them and many of them die in monster infighting.

Old Post 11-16-12 05:42 #
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dobu gabu maru
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That's much more concise and straight to the point than my six paragraphs on the matter, hahaha

Old Post 11-16-12 05:44 #
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Paul D
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and regarding my map, I might expand the outdoor area to make it so you have to go to a secondary facility somewhere out there before you can get into the main station.

But like you've said, the map is pretty tricky as-is. I added a bit of ammo here and there in the version posted a few spaces up, but not sure if it did the trick.

Do you think that if I added a sort of tamer outdoor section with some small support buildings where there's an ammo cache would help the map, or do you think it would upset the pace? Because although I'd really like to make sure this map is a good one, I'd rather concentrate on finishing the two other levels I've already started.

Old Post 11-16-12 07:21 #
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pcorf
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2 Problems in MAP09

1. Two 3D mode starts were left in.

2. Sectors 107, 108 and 109 need fixing in MAP09.

The sky window does not make sense. Open the door and look northwest and you will know what I mean.

I suggest 2 things, replace the sky window with a computer panel or make an outdoor area where you can see the walls along the building outside.

Old Post 11-16-12 09:11 #
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kildeth
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As of today it's been one whole year since I opened this thread! Let's see if we can get this done before the two year mark shall we? In reply to everyone's comments...

EvilNed01 - Thanks for your submissions! They're all good, except MAP04 has an issue with the switch that activates the lift to the red key. You can only hit the switch once, so if you miss the lift the first time, you're screwed. There is also a nukage textured floor under one of the first doors you access in that level which needs to be fixed. MAP31 is good too, although I assume it's unfinished as I was unable to find the yellow key and had to cheat to progress. Do you have names for your maps? I need names if I'm to include them in the next NOVA release.

SFoZ911 - Welcome to the project! For screenshots, try using imageshack, for uploading wads, try mediafire, although I think you may need to register to use it first.

Paul D - Thanks for the update. As for what to work on, do whatever you want. Teleportarium can always be polished later as it'll be awhile before we have 32 Maps to prepare for idgames release. There will always be people commenting on how a level can be improved, if you're satisfied for now or bored with working on just one thing, feel free to put time into something different.

Old Post 11-16-12 09:37 #
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cannonball
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Thanks for the feedback pcorf, I will get onto fixing these soon enough.

Old Post 11-16-12 10:22 #
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Memfis
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Hi, I don't know if this was mentioned already but on MAP02 linedef 343 has a zero tag, which means that if you shoot at it in prboom-plus or any other vanilla compatible port, it will affect ALL sectors with zero tag and fuck up the level completely.

Old Post 11-16-12 11:05 #
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kildeth
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Memfis said:
Hi, I don't know if this was mentioned already but on MAP02 linedef 343 has a zero tag, which means that if you shoot at it in prboom-plus or any other vanilla compatible port, it will affect ALL sectors with zero tag and fuck up the level completely.


Ohh that's my map too! Thanks for telling me, I'll fix it in the next update containing EvilNed's submissions.

Old Post 11-16-12 11:35 #
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EvilNed01
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I'll do some bugfixing over the weekend and resubmit, with names... Does that work?

Old Post 11-16-12 11:43 #
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kildeth
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EvilNed01 said:
I'll do some bugfixing over the weekend and resubmit, with names... Does that work?


Certainly! As for the names, you can just tell me what they're called in a forum post along with the download link. That'd be great. I'll be interested to see how MAPs 31&32 progress as well. :)

Oh and if you want any MIDIs in particular for any of your maps, just tell me. Otherwise I'll just pick them myself from what we have and whatever's on the net.

Old Post 11-16-12 14:20 #
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EvilNed01
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kildeth said:
except MAP04 has an issue with the switch that activates the lift to the red key. You can only hit the switch once, so if you miss the lift the first time, you're screwed.


Could you help me with further details here? I just sat down and worked on these maps, and MAP04 in particular only features the yellow key, and it is not accessed via a lowered lift.

The only map in this wad that has a lift that lowers a key is MAP02, but that works fine for me :x

I just want to be sure I fix this bug, if it's there, before I resubmit.

EDIT: My apologies! I realize what you mean. Found and corrected.

Last edited by EvilNed01 on 11-18-12 at 17:16

Old Post 11-18-12 00:11 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Paul D said:
Do you think that if I added a sort of tamer outdoor section with some small support buildings where there's an ammo cache would help the map, or do you think it would upset the pace?


Personally there's a big divide between the two sections of your level (nice outdoorsy area and the demon infested depths), where giving the player the option to retreat might break the flow, or have them retreat to pick up just one more medikit when they should be pushing on. I say just try to balance the level as is, and keep the adding of new areas to new maps.

MAP09: Little to no things that need changing here; cannonball always delivers really reliable maps. Gameplay is tight and the courtesy amount of ammo & health allow for the player to make mistakes, but continue to persevere. I had a lot of fun.

Only texture slip ups I noticed were ones where a trap door lowers, and the textures on the side weren't exactly parallel. Other than that, there was a stairway that was too tall in the top right portion of the map (making it hard to know if the sergeant at the bottom was dead when I shot him), and I grumbled when I had to take a blast from the AV at the trick exit since there was no cover. Cyber fight was extremely fun since it's balanced on getting the arachs to help you out (which was a fun little feat when me and my buddy finally did it). I guess my only other complaint would be that it felt boxy, but that's generally the nature of techbases. Solid experience.

MAP10: Another great map; much more frantic and difficult than the last. Lotta big monsters here, but there's appropriate weaponry to deal with them. Really like the non-linearity in this one, allowing you two separate paths to trek through the base. Some of the AV use is a bit questionable to me since it has you relying on a quick trigger finger to take them out with, but I made it through so it's not that bad. Nothing else really to add.

MAP11: Good atmospheric outing from fiend... the architecture here is pretty stellar and the layout is very unique. Biggest problem for me is that it was too difficult to get through--I would up putting on IDDQD 500 monsters in since I dug myself into a low-health hole. I usually like challenges but it felt like the odds were just stacked too high in this map for me to tackle right now.

First problem I noticed was how easy it was to miss the SG at the start by making the initial leap. Sergeants appear later, but only after the initially horde. Pointing the player in the opposite direction (and the G switch) should remedy this by letting the player at least see the SG if they're so inclined to run straight forward.

I liked using the lift to jump over the walls, that was pretty creative. In the next two arenas, I noticed the of the patches of "safe" land near the pit in both courtyards are flagged to have a damaging floors, which is a bit unfair (the ones with the medikits). Following battles there play out well.

Once the cybers are out chasing the player though is where it starts to feel overwhelming, as I wasn't a fan of fighting both of them with just the RL/SSG in such a tight area. Running ahead to look for an additional weapon just triggers a massive demon warp in, so it feels like the player is being put between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps giving the PG sooner would be better, especially since it's practically useless in the central arena where it stands (and cell is given outside the arena).

Speaking of which, I think the central arena would benefit from having about 200 monsters cut out of it IMO. Like I said, it's a very bitter fight as it stands since you're being forced to dance around a massive damaging floor as enemies surround all sides and shoot in at you from the outside. Plus since they warp in constantly, you never feel any reprieve and it just brutally continues. Maybe I'm just being a big baby though and need to give it another shot though, I dunno.

Also the automap looks weird since some parts aren't flagged as hidden (and I'm not really certain why anything other than the outer limits need to be hidden).

Old Post 11-18-12 02:06 #
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Stygian
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@dobugabumaru - Thank you for such a thorough critique of my map. I realize that the outdoor area part of my map is very lazily designed and makes for monotonous gameplay. The sheer number of enemies is a result of the large space making it too easy to avoid enemy attacks. I did a poor job of planning the layout of my map; the more detailed cistern area was designed first and the rest was an afterthought, including the placement of enemies. The result is a chaotic "slaughter" map that does not provide a consistent level of challenge.

I will try to implement everything you have suggested in addition to some other modifications. If I could do this map over, I would take a more holistic approach to the design.

Old Post 11-18-12 02:52 #
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EvilNed01
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Version 2 of my maps.

http://www.filmklubben.eu/wads/Factory2.wad

Bugs fixed, the Red Key in Map04 should be accessible as intended. Various fixes and changes throughout. Map03 made somewhat tougher and expanded slightly. More ammo added throughout. Map04 was previously damn near impossible on a pistol start. I haven't given music a thought, so do as you please.

Names:

MAP01 - FACTORY FACTOR, a low tier map. In the finished wad, I'd appreciate it if this map was early on in the sequence. Somewhere between MAP01-07 would be great for me. If not, I'd like to adjust it and make it tougher, but just give me a heads up.

MAP02 - SERVICE STATION SICK, again, relatively low tier map. Depending on where this map ends up in the finished wad, I would like to adjust it's difficulty.

MAP03 - HELL'S FURNACE. Mid-tier.

MAP04 - MAN CUB UP. Lots of mancubus on this one. Mid-to-high tier map.

Maps 31 - 32 removed. Map 31 is already on idgames in the form of the second level of the Ultimate Doom wad ccore.wad, and Map32 was a map I'm just not interested in pursuing.

Old Post 11-18-12 17:24 #
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Stygian
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[UPDATE]
http://www.mediafire.com/?nefk951if9kwr95

I have uploaded a new version of MAP07 "Cistern" with the following changes:

-Nukage now damages the player (10%).
-The watery pit now contains a mix of nukage and sludge which deal 10% and 5% damage respectively.
-The pit also has 100% more mancubi.
-The archvile fight is now a cage-match with pillars for cover.
-The "donut" has been broken into two halves and now contains more imps and demons.
-Spectres have predominantly been replaced by demons.
-The "hell officials" have been overthrown by arachnotrons and the water teleporters has been removed.
-The exit area has been banished to other side of the map.
-Minor changes to item placement have been made.

[EDIT]
-Fixed arachnotrons stuck in walls.
-Cut "symmetrical challenge" in half:
-Nukage is now more forgiving (5% damage).

To do: Add difficulty settings.

Further feedback is appreciated.

Last edited by Stygian on 11-19-12 at 02:06

Old Post 11-19-12 00:34 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Stygian said:
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
http://i.imgur.com/SQSRq.png
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

Old Post 11-19-12 01:44 #
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EvilNed01
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Excellent and wonderful criticism, thanks a bunch.

I'll take all of it to heart, and working on improving the gameplay of MAP04 with the inclusion of SSG early on.

I have a question re: MAP03. In the furnace main hall, which connects the four switch hunts, I've blocked the monsters from entering the bridges by simply marking the linedefs as "block monster", as when I didn't, they would swarm into the bridges and create a bottleneck at the doors. But when I did block the monsters, I found that the battle is just usually a sniping battle from afar, as you can hide behind the doorways and just take the monsters out.

Not sure which is better, of maybe a totally different approach where the player is, at least for the final swarm, teleported back out to the main hall, so he has to face the enemy straight on.

Old Post 11-19-12 10:33 #
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dobu gabu maru
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EvilNed01 said:
I've blocked the monsters from entering the bridges by simply marking the linedefs as "block monster", as when I didn't, they would swarm into the bridges and create a bottleneck at the doors. But when I did block the monsters, I found that the battle is just usually a sniping battle from afar, as you can hide behind the doorways and just take the monsters out.


Yup, I noticed this dilemma when I was playing and I was unsure how to bring it up myself. There most definitely needs to be monsters warping back in to spice up gameplay, but I more or less hung out behind cover, firing shells and rockets at them. Maybe what you could do is draw a line down the middle of central pathway and make that block monster, and every time the player hits a switch on one side (like the left), you warp monsters in on the other (like the right). That way the player has to at least move out behind cover to get at them. You'd just have to check monster composition if you did that, as it might be a bit much to flood half the arena with that many guys still (although some imps on the same side could be fine). And the AV might get too much cover if he just mingles with the monsters.

Also, if you do the block line thing, put down at least a red stripe or something in the floor that indicates where they stop to the player, otherwise it'll look kinda odd.

Old Post 11-19-12 19:47 #
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