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Six
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Posts: 353
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This would be my first ever release (although definitely not my first map).

This map was originally going to be part of a megawad but i've scrapped it instead. I didn't want it to go waste as i had spent near enough a month on this map, so instead i thought i would share it with you guys.

I've thoroughly play tested the map for bugs and such (Whether or not i've spotted them all is another thing), although the skill levels have yet to be tested. In this instance you're all beta testers.

Anyway let me know what you guys think! I'm up for criticism and suggestions for future reference. Want to make sure my upcoming maps are properly balanced and sufficiently designed.

Level was designed with pistol start in mind, although difficult in Ultra-Violence.

Only play tested this in Zdoom, but no doubt requires any limit removing port. I wouldn't recommend vanilla.

DOWNLOAD (ID games): http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?id=16955

Screenshots:

http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/1720/screenshotdoom201207061.th.png

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/1720/screenshotdoom201207061.th.png

Last edited by Six on 10-20-12 at 18:42

Old Post 07-06-12 15:07 #
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Chex Warrior
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Looks cool, I'll give this a whirl.

Old Post 07-06-12 15:25 #
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Phml
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FDA; one attempt, dies in an unescapable pit, ending my running around in circles being lost for minutes streak after picking up the blue key.

There was no bug or compatibility issue that I could see, save for a minor one: you have some infinitelytall hanging decorations here and there. None of these blocked a critical location as far as I could see.

I didn't enjoy the map itself very much. It wasn't threatening, at all, which in itself isn't necessarily a problem, but every enemy felt like it was there as a filler, a timesink. You're pitted against 3 or 4 monsters at most and never in situations providing any kind of interesting fight. In many of the rooms you can just wake up stuff and hang back by the door to let stuff come; not that you even need to.

On top of that, the layout seemed cramped, uniform and generic; making it confusing to navigate. What is odd is I actually downloaded the map because the two screenshots you posted looked potentially interesting. If most of the map looked much more like these areas, it would have likely been enjoyable. As it is, it felt like bland fighting and bland environments making for a forgettable experience.

To provide some balance, I didn't *hate* the map either. There was nothing that popped up as overwhelmingly annoying. The closest that came to that was the crate maze platforming part. I liked how you highlighted the way with blue potions, though, that was a nice touch. I would have liked to be able to see the blue key from down below as I couldn't tell if I should persevere despite my falls or if it was just an optional area. Probably a non-ZDoom induced problem as if I had mouselook on I could have done so.

Also, the reason I went into that unescapable pit is that the blinking light and hole seemed to say there was something to check here. It felt kind of cheap to get in there only to be unable to escape.

So, I don't know. It just didn't do it for me. Could be that I'm just not the target audience.

Old Post 07-06-12 16:56 #
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Six
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Fair points.

I have some points to raise however. I'm not sure which difficulty you played (not currently able to watch the the FDA), but i hadn't tested the difficulty levels to see if it was reasonably balanced, so it could either be underwhelming or overwhelming depending on the player, where as in this case it's underwhelming. I placed the enemies with Ultra-Violence in mind and i would then proceed to work around them.

As for cramped, uniform and generic, in regards to some areas i can agree, there were points where i was uninspired, but there were also areas i did try to create that would at least be memorable and distinctive enough for the player to be able to navigate without too great an issue. Granted there may be some inconsistencies but i didn't want the map to be too repetitive in layout.

Unescapable pit, noted. Will make sure to avoid these in future.

Old Post 07-06-12 17:27 #
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Phml
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I played on UV.


As for cramped, uniform and generic, in regards to some areas i can agree, there were points where i was uninspired, but there were also areas i did try to create that would at least be memorable and distinctive enough for the player to be able to navigate without too great an issue. Granted there may be some inconsistencies but i didn't want the map to be too repetitive in layout.


I can appreciate each room is distinctive, and perhaps I am misnoming my perceived issue with too harsh of a vocabulary due to my inability to express what bugged me exactly in a nutshell.

It's likely the problem stemmed partly from the outdoor part connecting them all, with a bunch of doors and no distinct way, to me, to tell where to go at a glance. I would walk into a room, clear it, try to press any switch, step out, and after repeating the process multiple times I wouldn't necessarily remember which part I've been in and which part I haven't; and I think the problem is also that there's no direct visual connection (that I could see; if there is one, perhaps it could be more obvious or perhaps I wasn't attentive enough) linking what you're doing and what is happening outdoors, or to the overall map progress.

In my opinion, it's great to be able to flip a switch and instantly see something lowering through a window, or see a colored door of a certain color and later on spot the appropriate key right when entering a room; whereas while playing through this map I felt like I was just going through the motions trying everything until it worked with no clear understanding of the overall design behind the map. Kind of like a brute force approach that, ultimately, isn't satisfying, you know? Because I feel like a monkey pressing levers and hoping food will drop down into my box. :)

And again, perhaps I'm the one to blame, I'm not always the most observative person. To expand on what I mean by "cramped", adding to the above while not tediously so I did a double take every now and then navigating the inner rooms and that probably added to the macro level confusion due to my attention being focused on the micro level.

I didn't get to the part you show in the second screenshot so it's possible I missed the best parts of the map, too. I roughly cleared the "south" part of the outdoor area, got the blue key, got to a platform with 3 arachnotrons and that's about it.

Old Post 07-06-12 17:50 #
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Six
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Thanks for your feedback.

I did create the opening area with non-linearity in mind, and i made sure to try and create some form of distinction of which area the player can recall entering. I can see that there perhaps needed to be a greater distinction, but in place of this i made sure that there were only a couple of paths available for the player at the time to prevent what would be almost considered a "sand box" style of gameplay, Which in my opinion Doom doesn't fit in with all too gracefully.

Two factors; 'Having progressed' as well as 'actively seeing progress' i understand are two very important aspects, and i can see where i've only implemented the former. The player is almost always told where to go once a switch is activated in most circumstances, but my reason being for this is to prevent players from becoming to often lost as this map is generally large (20, 25 min par time). I could've perhaps made it more visual as you mentioned, then at least i would've given the player the opportunity to see what actions did what, where and why. Later in the map however there is an instances of this, but still not used widely enough.

I'm surprised you found UV underwhelming. My only assumption on this would be that you're used to larger enemy count than placement, perhaps? When designing this map i had the "modern retro" style of gameplay in mind (simple design with sensible enemy count, not too distracting, nor a slaughter fest). I can't really say much other than you're perhaps not the right audience, as you suggested. Thank you for giving it a play through anyway.

Would be great to receive broader constructive criticism (from anyone whose played), what i should do that could make player experience better and so forth.

Old Post 07-06-12 21:47 #
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schwerpunk
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I haven't played it yet, but it's sitting on my desktop, so I will get around to it.

I'm impressed by those screenshots, and I did like what I saw in that FDA (though I can see what Phml was saying - monsters seem to come at the player in a fairly linear fashion).
Though honestly, I found it somewhat intimidating, as I'm just polishing off my first completed map, and my work is nowhere near as cohesive and varied as what's on display here.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to digging into it - maybe I'll make my first FDA, too - is there a tutorial on how to set one up somewhere? A cursory Google search came up empty...

Old Post 07-06-12 22:14 #
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Katamori
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I love everything in Doom related to industry...will be tried.

Old Post 07-06-12 23:05 #
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Six
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Excellent, thanks guys. I will look forward to your thoughts!

I'd just like to note that i've just watched Phml's FDA. Funny enough the only areas visited until the unescapable pit were the less enemy heavy areas (aside from one section in the north side of the map). There's much more to explore in this map, some areas of greater challenge than what was initially viewed.

The route system in this map varies by a large degree, there's a multitude of ways to progress. Some ways make it easier at first but harder later and vice versa. Phml experienced the former to some degree.

Old Post 07-06-12 23:45 #
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Grazza
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Six said:
Only play tested this in Zdoom, but no doubt requires any limit removing port. I wouldn't recommend vanilla.
If a map has only been playtested in Zdoom, then it's very likely to have Zdoomisms. Indeed there is at least one: there's a switch with a passthru problem (just after an arachnotron, coords: -3168, -736). I'm guessing it's a showstopper, so I didn't look for other such problems.

Old Post 07-07-12 00:40 #
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Six
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Grazza said:
there's a switch with a passthru problem (just after an arachnotron). It appears to be a showstopper, so I didn't look for other such problems.


Would it be alright if you could elaborate what this issue is, just so i have a better understanding on how to fix it. What's stopping the switch from activating exactly?

I can idclip a few units towards the switch (almost clipping) through prboom+ and activate it this way, but this is a bit obscure.

Old Post 07-07-12 00:52 #
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Grazza
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The "use" action only activates the closest linedef in the line of sight.

If linedefs are too close together, then one behind another one can never be used (even if the one in front can't actually be "used", it will still "eat" the attempt to use the one behind it). In Boom, you can, while editing, set a linedef to allow uses to pass through it (though this makes the map Boom-specific, which is unncessary in most cases if this is all that it is needed for). In Zdoom, this is effectively set for all linedefs.

The problem here is the remote door linedef number 2165 (tag 16). Move that a bit further away from linedef 2162.

Edit: I've just played it through to the end, and just needed to cheat at that one point. Pretty good map overall - health seemed reasonably well balanced, and the battles were all quite fair. Gameplay-wise, perhaps the best part was the large room with the manc firing down from up above. The main danger though was eating one of its fireballs that clipped through a wall - which would not have been part of your plan, of course, since it doesn't happen in Zdoom.

Old Post 07-07-12 01:03 #
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NaturalTvventy
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I thought this map was freakin' great. I loved the architecture, lighting, use of midtextures, and moving bits. Texture theme transitions worked well, though perhaps just a bit too often. Navigation was absolutely no sweat for me. The middle outdoor area provided for a nice anchor and sense of place. I also had no problem with the crates. I found it a nice little challenge and change of pace.

I'd say it's a fairly casual, fun level. I never died and found all the secrets. Never found a plasma rifle though, despite all the cells. Speaking of ammo, it flows plentifully, and could use a bit of a trim.

Indeed, a few too many doors for my tastes, as battling monsters in doorways is boooooring. But that's about it. Very solid level. One of the best I've played this year. I look forward to more of your stuff in the future!

Old Post 07-07-12 03:32 #
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Katamori
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Tried. Quite a long and very nice level, a bot remembers me of Reverie. I hope it won't be your only map.

Old Post 07-07-12 12:56 #
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Six
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Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated!

I've taken some key points into consideration and will definitely implement them in new releases to make sure playability is more than satisfactory. It's nice to get some positive feedback as well, so cheers guys.

I've updated the link in the OP to an updated version of the map with bug fixes. Thanks Grazza for the explanation, that issue should now be resolved.

This map will definitely not be my only release, plus this one was just a reject so expect more polished material in future.

Old Post 07-07-12 13:53 #
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Sokoro


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I too enjoyed it. I died only once (because of stupid rushing), found all secrets and did not find any Plasma Rifle or BFG, so those plasma cells were useless.
Textures in that computer room on the second screenshot are often bent by corners, but apart from that it was good.
I liked the idea of showing the way on crates with placement of health vials.

Old Post 10-20-12 13:06 #
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SFoZ911
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Great level, I really enjoyed the style and visuals and gameplay was fantastic. I felt it was a little bit on the easy side, even on ultra, but that wasn't a big problem for me.

Old Post 10-20-12 16:48 #
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baronofheck82
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Played it yesterday on UV, I personally quite liked it. Good stuff, keep'em coming :)

Old Post 10-20-12 17:00 #
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Six
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Sokoro said:
... found all secrets and did not find any Plasma Rifle or BFG, so those plasma cells were useless.

This map was originally in a map08 slot, the levels beforehand contained both plasma gun and BFG. At that point they were useful, but at the time i hadn't intended to scrap the level and upon releasing this as a single map, i genuinely forgot to remove the cells.

Also thanks for playing guys. I've updated the original link to go direct to the /IDgames entry for anyone that's interested.

Old Post 10-20-12 18:41 #
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Memfis
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Played it a few days ago, very nice map! You can watch the demo of my playthrough if you want. :) Good luck with your megawad!

Old Post 10-20-12 20:54 #
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cannonball
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I really enjoyed this map, nicely balanced with good use of enemies pretty much throughout. Looking forward to more of your work for sure.

Old Post 10-20-12 21:04 #
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Simp0
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+Nice mapping there dude. All those details...makes me want to delete my project, start over again and do it nicely like you did.
+I played this map +20 mins, so it's a long map. In my opinion.
+Ammo and health was enough to survive.

Nothing bad to say.

Old Post 10-20-12 22:37 #
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