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Vdaxzter
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Z86 said:
Minor updates for Beta 2:

- MAP12 and MAP13 had their tram areas improved
- MAP17 received a bit more health and ammo, but also some more monsters outside
- MAP29 now has a little better performance
- MAP32 received minor fixes

Thanks for the feedbacks to everyone.



Thanks for releasing this great megawad, but Map 29 is still under-performing in a very serious way.

I am experiencing no noticeable performance improvement between Beta 1 and Beta 2 on Map 29 (testing with two different versions of ZDoom (2.5.0 and 2.6.0)).

I am running a quad-core 3.00GHz Intel CPU, so I imagine that my hardware is not the problem.

Thanks.

Old Post 05-23-13 02:15 #
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jerrysheppy
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I'm up to map12 or so and shit is fuckin' amazing so far. I can even ignore the brown-and-green texture set that normally I would be pretty down on because the sectorwork is so nice and imaginative, plus the occasional 'break' in the form of demonic corruption or excursions to Hell. Based on the screenshots I expect it to only get better from here.

You're pretty much a hero for releasing a project like this into the sea of broken promises and nice but ultimately short maps.

Old Post 05-23-13 08:49 #
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Tarnsman
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Played the first 11 maps so far. Overall: Outdoor = YES! Indoor = NO!. The outdoor areas were nice and big and dramatic and felt like a place and had shapeliness to them while the indoors felt more like detail vomit with a lots of symmetrical hallway based game play and a few large areas to spruce things up. They weren't terrible, they just didn't hold a candle to the exteriors.

Also the sector lighting around the Tech Lights looks hilarious when it stretches all the way up to the ceiling despite only casting a few feet in front of the light.

Old Post 05-23-13 08:58 #
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darkreaver
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I don't have any problems with map29, at all. Software and prboom+ for the win, daaaawgs.

Old Post 05-23-13 10:23 #
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Touchdown
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Episode 2 finished. I'm sorry to say it but E2 was just horrible. There were two decent maps: The Vault and Computer Complex. I didn't like / hated all other maps. The high level of polish, amazing details and incredible flow of E1 is completely absent here as if it's made by someone else / in a completely different period. We'll see what E3 has to offer.


Tarnsman said:
the indoors felt more like detail vomit with a lots of symmetrical hallway based game play and a few large areas to spruce things up. They weren't terrible, they just didn't hold a candle to the exteriors.


It's like you've played a completely different mapset than me.

Old Post 05-23-13 15:28 #
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Z86
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Well, not everybody should like all things, but I agree, E2 had some pretty bad maps that were much harder to touch up for my expected level of quality.


darkreaver said:
I don't have any problems with map29, at all. Software and prboom+ for the win, daaaawgs.


Did you play the Beta2 of it or the Beta1? Because Beta2 is quite a bit faster, especially on software.

I'll do some more playtesting on the weekend, and if there are no more major problems, it is going up to the newstuff as final.

Old Post 05-23-13 16:32 #
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mouldy
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just for the sake of balance, i'm up to map 18 and dont have a bad word to say about anything in this wad. Epic stuff.

Although I did have to cheat to find the secret exits...

Old Post 05-23-13 16:49 #
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darkreaver
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Z86 said:




Did you play the Beta2 of it or the Beta1? Because Beta2 is quite a bit faster, especially on software.



Beta 1. I've never had any problems/lag/performance issues with any map ever in prboom+

Old Post 05-23-13 17:23 #
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Memfis
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darkreaver said:
Beta 1. I've never had any problems/lag/performance issues with any map ever in prboom+

Ever played NUTS3? :p

Old Post 05-23-13 17:37 #
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Jimmy
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These maps are all friggin' awesome, and you've done an amazing job to get this megawad done so quickly when the maps are so impressive and interesting, in spite of real life, no less.

The new maps are fantastic and I love their often frightening hugeness and the really immersive sense of setting they evoke.

From a designer's standpoint, there's perhaps a slight over-reliance on copy-paste for details (and sometimes entire rooms), but I honestly don't care. I'm not bored and I'm loving the gameplay.

This best get a Cacoward. :D

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Old Post 05-23-13 17:59 #
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Vdaxzter
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darkreaver said:
I don't have any problems with map29, at all. Software and prboom+ for the win, daaaawgs.


I tried running in PrBoom+ (software mode). It still lags.

EDIT: Scratch that. Beta 2 runs fine on PrBoom+.

Last edited by Vdaxzter on 05-23-13 at 21:06

Old Post 05-23-13 20:58 #
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darkreaver
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Memfis said:

Ever played NUTS3? :p



Yes, no lag. I dont have the best computer either, so I dunno. Might have to be with the BIT? I run 16BIT software I think.

Old Post 05-23-13 21:22 #
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Pottus
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Jimmy91 said:
These maps are all friggin' awesome, and you've done an amazing job to get this megawad done so quickly when the maps are so impressive and interesting, in spite of real life, no less.

The new maps are fantastic and I love their often frightening hugeness and the really immersive sense of setting they evoke.

From a designer's standpoint, there's perhaps a slight over-reliance on copy-paste for details (and sometimes entire rooms), but I honestly don't care. I'm not bored and I'm loving the gameplay.

This best get a Cacoward. :D



I agree doing maps of this magnitude takes a strong skill set you can't really afford to make many mistakes and have to go over your work again. A bit of copy/paste is understandable it more or less depends on how it's used if your copy/paste just for the sake of having lots of sectors your doing something wrong. The copy/paste in this Wad seems purposeful and thought out so it works well.

Old Post 05-23-13 22:47 #
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Demon of the Well
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I haven't properly played anything here yet (all of my DooM time of late has gone towards either Double Impact or HYMN), but I was curious about the performance issue in map 29, and so I warped there to see what was what.

While I doubt the strength of one's computer is irrelevant, I think the slowdown issues here fall more along arcane map-construction and port-quirk lines; I observed a HUGE disparity in performance between various ports.

PrBooM+, as Darkreaver says, eats this map for breakfast. No problems at all, at any res. GZDooM also did quite well, with just a touch of barely-noticeable lag in some of the peripheral areas. ZDooM, on the other hand, slowed to a crawl in these same areas (the start area actually being the worst offender), with this only being mitigated in a very limited way by going low-res. Lowest on the totem pole, it actually crashes whatever version of Eternity I've been using (I think it's the most recent?) with an access violation as soon as the map loads, which is very strange, as this port handles other maps with gigantic vistas and massive thingcounts as well as PrBooM+, generally. I should probably report that in the Eternity forum or something...

Edit: This was the beta 2 version, I should mention.

Old Post 05-24-13 03:46 #
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mouldy
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interesting, i just tried map 29 in a couple of ports and can confirm what others are saying: prboom seems fine, zdoom totally struggles. My laptop doesnt like gzdoom so I didn't bother trying it on that.

Its a shame cos zdoom is my port of choice, but it totally grinds when you look in that one direction. Bit like speed of doom map 28.

Old Post 05-24-13 19:42 #
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Z86
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I guess it depends on how the port handles sector culling with open skies. PRboom seems to be pretty good at it. I tried it with GZDoom as well, slightly slower, especially when facing towards the middle.

For slower ports, I guess avoiding to face the middle as much as possible is a good practic.

Old Post 05-24-13 20:59 #
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Chex Warrior
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Just got through MAP15 (The Vault) and I loved it. In combination with the PSX music the level was incredibly immersive, a classic decrepit and demon filled tech-base. I can't wait to see the hell levels. Great job Z86!

Old Post 05-25-13 01:27 #
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Touchdown
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Finished it. Overally it's like this: E1 is fantastic, E2 is terrible (except for two, three maps [both mashed, tribute maps were pretty good and having elements from mutliple D1 maps was a good idea]), E3 is better but nowhere near as good as E1.

There were some maps in E3 that felt nothing like Hell. Flooded Archives are a good example, as is City of Pandemonium. Too much brown and green, not enough black. I'm disappointed by a severe lack of lighting variations in E3, it's all lit the same way. Making levels darker and adding more dramatic lighting, more contrasts would improve their look significantly (I'm using GZDOOM with DOOM sector lighting mode). Stygian Depths is probably the best Hell map there.

Gameplay-wise I miss the flow and interconnectivity of E1 in especially E3. There's some of that but not enough in comparison. There's also more switch-hunt stuff there which I dislike. Sometimes it was clear, other times I had no idea what a certain switch did.

Everything taken from / inspired by DOOM 3 is awesome. I'm also glad to know that DXish vibe of Road Canal was not accidental.

Also it's important to note that a good chunk of my disappointment with E2/3 comes from the fact that I was really impressed by E1.

Old Post 05-25-13 13:54 #
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jerrysheppy
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I thought E2 was really good. Maybe not as good as E1, but nowhere near terrible, still among the best Doom I've played. Some of the criticisms about the flow of the maps is valid, but the maps were in general still fun to look at and explore, and that feels rarer to get in a pwad (at least for me personally) than 'flow.' And it's clear that some attention was put into how the player would get around, with teleports or doors opening to provide interconnectivity.

The hell maps are mostly excellent so far (I just loaded into Map24) with the exception of one or two texture/flat choices. I'm talking mostly about the green slime in Map22. It just looks so incredibly out of place, and just going through and replacing it all with blood and/or lava would provide a significant improvement to the already generally excellent visuals of that map.

Old Post 05-25-13 20:52 #
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Z86
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I'm almost done with the new update (while playtesting)and boy there were a LOT of mistakes. I almost did something minor to every map.

Major updates of next version:
- Lots of texture alignments, lighting improvments and the sort on many maps.

- MAP05: redundant secret sector specials removed (actually one of them was impossible to get because it was underneath a lamp - E4M3 all over again :) )
- MAP07: redundant secret sector specials removed
- MAP09: added a teleport that lets you skip a long elevator (useful in coop) - you can actually get into an area earlier than normally this way, but it is not an actual shortcut.
- MAP12: added a teleport between the final room and the room of the switch that opens the exit
- MAP16: the monster horde on the highway (including the Spider Mastermind) now spawns earlier along the road (or if you pick up the keycard)
- MAP17: runway arachnotrons are now deeper in their Illusio Pit
- MAP19: it is no longer possible to AV-jump the bars before the exit
- MAP31: the two last monster waves now spawn. Added official secrets on the map, and some extra ammo
- MAP32: added an invulnerability for the penultimate AV-fight in easy, added a W1 teleport that takes you back to the other side of the hell part to avoid runby

Old Post 05-25-13 23:22 #
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jerrysheppy
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I'm playing through City of Pandemonium right now and since it was called out as not looking like a hell level, I thought I'd offer my own thoughts.

First of all, I definitely see how the mapper intended to make it properly infernal, but I can also see how someone would have their sense of verisimilitude disrupted by it. I think that, like map22 with its green slime, it comes down to a few texture choices that disrupt a generally cohesive design.

The biggest offenders, I think, are the 'exterior window' texture and the brown/gray/black building texture, both of which are too strongly associated with stuff like city levels or generic Plutonia designs to not clash with a proper fleshy red Doom hell. I get that you were probably going for a crowded hive look with the exterior windows, but it feel flat for me in practice. The panel and stucco textures might also be overdoing it in a few areas. That said, I don't think the most basic brown stone and rock textures are necessarily a problem for the infernal look, just the neater, more 'human' ones. I'm not sure what you would replace them with without using custom textures, though, even assuming you wanted to replace them in the first place.

The good: the use of flesh/stone/blood textures, especially where the architecture has been eroded or cracked to show the gory 'mortar' beneath, is excellent and perfectly appropriate for the hellish city. Fire and lava are also well used as decoration--I especially liked the freestanding 'ovens' for lack of a better term with fire visible at their bases. The dock area was cool.

Finally, for context, it might be worth saying that nonlinear city-type levels with 'streets' and freestanding buildings often annoy the heck out of me, and the ones in this megawad have generally been pretty good despite that... Sorry if this sounds like damning with faint praise!


***UPDATE***

I just played Forbidden Archives so I thought I'd offer my feedback on that too.

I agree once again that aspects of it don't really seem to fit into Hell. From a design point of view, I think that the problem is that, while a labyrinthine library of forbidden knowledge is bang-on in terms of infernal flavor, Doom 2's bookshelf texture and the texturesets it's visually a part of are equally if not more strongly associated with human cities and generic Plutonia looks (again). So you need to do some extra work to convince the observer that it's a library in Hell. Right now nearly the only thing doing this is the marble faces and gargoyle switch textures. Some more blood, flesh and fire, evil symbols (on the walls or on the floor), some dark ritual sites (such as altars or the aforementioned symbols), all could go a long way towards fixing it up.

Oh, and lose the blue. All the blue water should go, in my opinion, and be replaced with blood or lava, or maybe a non-liquid texture like snakes, ash, embers, or bone. In the first outdoor area, a red or black floor where you've got water would look right at home with the brown-and-yellow crackle. The blue carpets inside could maybe stay once enough hellish greebles have been added, I'd have to see the result to decide.

Oh, and since I'm making so many suggestions, I want to be clear that I'm offering these ideas in all humility. You're obviously a great mapper, the levels are all very technically amazing already, and you've obviously done enough work on them already that I wouldn't expect you to make large changes based on anybody's opinion, let alone a relative nobody like me. However, the aesthetics of various styles of Hell or Hell-corrupted maps are such an interest of mine that I can't resist analyzing them. :)

Last edited by jerrysheppy on 05-26-13 at 05:04

Old Post 05-26-13 02:01 #
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Not Jabba
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Personally, I find it very refreshing that there's a setting in Hell that isn't obligatorily super hellish and even seems "out of place." Doom Hell is a weird world. The Abandoned Mines and Monster Condo didn't make a ton of sense either. I dig the water.

Old Post 05-26-13 18:32 #
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Z86
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MAP22 has green slime exactly because it was meant to be a break-up from the generic fire and brimstone hell and have a bit more doom2-y doom feeling (even though it has some fire and brimstone areas).

I was very satisfied with the Circle of Death-ish look and it was meant to look like Doom 2 parts blended with Doom 3 like areas. This map basically was made on the blending of two ideas:
- A map like Doom3's Hell in the dark cavernous areas
- A map with slime instead of lava/blood

MAP24 is again a mix of cityscape and hell themes. It was meant to add variety. Here I kept the basic hell theme(red rocks, blood, lava, furnaces), and melded it with a city that has both older and newer parts. I wanted this to be basically a perverted version of an earth city.

MAP26 is once again different for variety. I did not want all hell levels to look the same. The reason I named it Forbidden Archives, because it is a place in hell, that is too "good" for demons to be there, therefore forbidden (ofc Doomguy intrusion is an exception)

The idea is, that almost every second hell map is meant to act as some extra variety amongst hell levels.

Old Post 05-26-13 18:59 #
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Quasar
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Posting here just to make sure this gets back to you. MAP29 is incompatible with the Eternity Engine because of the node format it is using. I do not know which it *is* using, but Eternity only supports vanilla nodes or ZDoom "uncompressed" nodes. These are either compressed, "DeeP" nodes, GL nodes, or just a plain corrupt tree. The map is well over the vanilla limit on segs and sidedefs, so it'll require one of the above formats.

If you care for this being able to run with EE, you should make sure to set your node builder to use the uncompressed format. I may add support for compressed nodes eventually, but since the next release is scheduled for tomorrow, there will not be time to implement them before then.

Old Post 05-26-13 20:02 #
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darkreaver
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I seriously dont get why people "always" tend to want so much consitency in themes and textures in episodes. Lava or blood in all maps? Redrock perhaps? YAAAAAWN!

Old Post 05-26-13 20:19 #
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cannonball
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darkreaver said:
I seriously dont get why people "always" tend to want so much consitency in themes and textures in episodes. Lava or blood in all maps? Redrock perhaps? YAAAAAWN!

This, think about it, all iwads didn't have consistency in the hell episode. I don't mind throwing some random stuff in because it's hell and hell can do what it wants :D

Old Post 05-26-13 20:30 #
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Z86
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Quasar said:
Posting here just to make sure this gets back to you. MAP29 is incompatible with the Eternity Engine because of the node format it is using. I do not know which it *is* using, but Eternity only supports vanilla nodes or ZDoom "uncompressed" nodes. These are either compressed, "DeeP" nodes, GL nodes, or just a plain corrupt tree. The map is well over the vanilla limit on segs and sidedefs, so it'll require one of the above formats.

If you care for this being able to run with EE, you should make sure to set your node builder to use the uncompressed format. I may add support for compressed nodes eventually, but since the next release is scheduled for tomorrow, there will not be time to implement them before then.



Thanks for the info, it is using DeepBSP nodebuilding currently, as I am using that nodebuilder as default (fastest and causes least errors in my experience). I'll try it with alternate nodebuilders, but not many of them can handle a map that large. The other map which causes a lot of nodebuilders to crash or be sluggish or resort to compression is MAP17.

I did not allow nodebuilders to make compressed nodes as I was testing it mainly with PRBoom, and that does not handle them.

I think I'll try to do quick tests with many available ports to test compatibility.

Old Post 05-26-13 20:34 #
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Touchdown
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Not Jabba said:
Personally, I find it very refreshing that there's a setting in Hell that isn't obligatorily super hellish and even seems "out of place." Doom Hell is a weird world. The Abandoned Mines and Monster Condo didn't make a ton of sense either. I dig the water.


darkreaver said:
I seriously dont get why people "always" tend to want so much consitency in themes and textures in episodes. Lava or blood in all maps? Redrock perhaps? YAAAAAWN!


cannonball said:

This, think about it, all iwads didn't have consistency in the hell episode. I don't mind throwing some random stuff in because it's hell and hell can do what it wants :D



It's funny how people keep complaining that 'everyone wants consistency in Hell' whereas I don't see a single person that would actually ever agree with me on that. All I see are people who say 'oh, it's Hell, it can be anything' so I don't really see your point. Also, where are all those boring, red, consistent Hell episodes? Because I don't know many (DOOM I, Deus Vult, Demon Eclipse, that's it). Not to mention it's a double standard - it's ok to have 10 consistent tech maps but having 10 consistent hellish maps is boring.

Old Post 05-26-13 20:59 #
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darkreaver
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Touchdown said:



Not to mention it's a double standard - it's ok to have 10 consistent tech maps but having 10 consistent hellish maps is boring.



No, thats not OK either.

Old Post 05-26-13 21:33 #
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cannonball
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Touchdown said:

Also, where are all those boring, red, consistent Hell episodes?


Episode 3 of Scythe has a lot of maps which consist of only redrock.

Old Post 05-26-13 21:39 #
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