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Demon of the Well
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Map 16 -- Hell House - 99% kills / 100% secrets
Obviously another map by Razen, author of the earlier "Iron Jungle." The usage of low, tight corridors and perpendicular bends that characterized that map is found in abundance here--if anything, this map is even more claustrophobic than that one....or maybe it just seems that way on account of all of the unpleasant things lurking in the shadows or just behind the next collapsing wall, as the overhead map indicates that this one actually branches out quite a ways in a number of different directions. As in "Iron Jungle", this map does a good job of setting the mood and creating a strong sense of place through a firm (though limited) texture scheme, simple but effective lighting, a moody (and maybe just slightly tongue-in-cheek?) soundtrack, and a handful of small detail spots, like the tiny cupola where the rocket launcher is found, which looks out on nothing but an immeasurable span of that cavernous sky texture, or the crumbling corner of the floor in the room beyond the red door, also revealing nothing but "sky" beyond it--I imagined the setting to be something like an ancient mausoleum built directly into the side of a beetling cliff. The action here is more engaging than in map 10, with a number of interesting scenarios and a consistent theme of dangerous lifts, making it feel like things are bursting out of the walls to attack at times. I handled the very opening by way of a lot of infighting, quietly triggering the lift the two hell knights who begin facing away in the small starting enclosure are standing on without otherwise disturbing them, causing them both to catch caco fireballs in the face. Later, I dropped down into the lower passages flooded with rancid blood from what was apparently a less-than-ideal spot, as I ended up having to fight with a pair of mancubi occupying a dry spot from a disadvantageous position in the harmful blood--the abundance of health aids and the easily-acquired secret soulsphere nearby more than compensated for this bit of unavoidable attrition. The final battle was satisfying as well, albeit easily handled with a well-stocked plasma rifle, though I wish I had saved more rockets in order to more efficiently dispose of the swarm of lost souls that boils out of the floating marble hellcube. Overall, I did like this one, and I'd say it's a more complete experience than "Iron Jungle" was.

On the technical side, I also had trouble with one monster not teleporting out--I believe it was a mancubus, presumably intended to be part of the group that materializes near the plasma rifle alcove when you return to that area holding the red key.

Old Post 02-14-13 07:11 #
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cannonball
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Map16 - Hell House by Razen
I prefered this to map 10, the combat seem to be better fitting with the slightly claustrophobic theme. I feel the trap near the red key door could have done with something more than just 5 mancubi spawning ever so slowly, this is boring rather than anything else. The final fights are a little cramped and dangerous for my liking though the outside area can be dealt with easily with plasma.
Overall good until the red key door then it sort of fell away slightly but it's a reasonable map.

Old Post 02-14-13 10:40 #
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Sp00kyFox
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MAP16
nice cramped maze like map. had some troubles with some chaingunners I overlooked. the start was funny, you can actually lower the flow without getting down yourself and let the cacos and barons do the work for you. since I don't go for 100% kills I blasted my way through the end section with the bfg and to the rescuing elevator. I enjoyed this level.

whoah.. looked into map17, right in my view a cyberdemon and shit coming from everywhere.

Old Post 02-14-13 17:22 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Pretty far behind but I'm trying to catch up.

MAP11: Really nice effort by valkiriforce again, level layout is complex and sublime. Biggest nitpick is that there is a lot of armor, but like his previous map, there mostly needs to be in order not to doom the player... I enjoyed the "two keys to exit" part too, although I luckily found all three. Monster composition and visuals were top notch again too. Definitely a great reference for me if I try to make more open-ended maps.

Old Post 02-14-13 19:57 #
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Phobus
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MAP15: Disappointing, TBH, but at least finding the secret exit wasn't too hard...

MAP31: I like the music, like the theme and enjoyed my play through, even if it was quite chaingunner heavy. Couldn't find the secret exit, but cheated because I was in that sort of mood!

Old Post 02-14-13 21:39 #
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valkiriforce
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Phobus said:
Couldn't find the secret exit, but cheated because I was in that sort of mood!

What a shame; it's actually one of the better secret exits IMO.

Old Post 02-14-13 21:46 #
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Phobus
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Somehow I messed this up and did MAP31 as MAP16, so no real shock I couldn't find the secret exit. As an excuse, I'm drunk. If you don't accept that, fair play, it's a weak excuse and I should know better.

Old Post 02-14-13 22:40 #
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Kristian Ronge
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Map 17 -- Antidote
Large (400 monsters!), sprawling map, tough as nails on UV (playing from scratch without saves). Strewn throughout are a number of dangerous traps and fights, which will test any player's skills. Progression is quite free: collect all three keys and go to the exit, basically. It took me a good 10 or so attempts before I finally got through (in about 35 minutes): all deaths except one was right at the start, because yet again you're thrown into action ; this time with hitscanner hell, with a side order of imps and Barons and a Cyber overlooking everything. What is it with this WAD and ridiculously violent starts? Seriously. Anyway, I happened to play it in the order yellow-red-blue keys which ended up being an okay ride, I guess, although there were enough set pieces and traps to never allow me to relax. The red key AV fight was inventive and put a smile on my face, the blue key Arach/imp triple trap was intense, as was the demon/imp+Revenant/Arach double trap. Arch-Viles are placed here and there throughout to annoy you, but seldom in places where they can wreak complete havoc, thankfully. 4/5 secrets were all concentrated to a single area, curiously, and I really liked how you accessed those air ducts to get to the blue armour and backpack. Ammo is fairly tight throughout, but from about 2 minutes in I was never in serious risk of running out (though, in retrospect, I could have, had I chosen different paths through the map. I guess that's always difficult to predict if you're set on designing a map where the player can roam freely). Thematically it doesn't give off any coherent impression: various indvidual sections look good in an old-school way though. The westernmost part was slightly strange: you're given a fantastic view of a large section of the map, which you'll never access! There are other places, too, where you're given nice visuals for no apparent reason, and entire sections such as the chapel, which serve no function at all. I did like a lot of the action throughout but I'll dock a point for some annoyances (especially the start, and the realization that I wasn't meant to telefrag that Cyber when I reached its elevator) and the disjointed feeling of the map... as if the author focused on some nice locales, set-ups and battle arenas but didn't tie them together. --3/5

Last edited by Kristian Ronge on 02-14-13 at 23:10

Old Post 02-14-13 23:03 #
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mouldy
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16 - Hell House by Razen

I liked the style of this map, it stuck to an architectural scheme in a similar way to map 10 (also by razen) with claustrophic corridors and close fighting, but I feel like this map was far more interesting and fun to play. The multitude of lifts and revealed passageways made it feel like being trapped inside a diabolical puzzle, but wasn't overly complicated to navigate, and the fights had a lot more elbow room than map 10. The start took me a few goes to figure out a plan, but after that it was all plain sailing, and while i was never really that close to death (the confined layout tends to offer up monsters systematically) it was still enjoyable to explore and had a few surprises. I particularly liked the sudden caco swarm on the balcony, and while the overall look of the map was fairly boxy and beige it got a lot of variety out of its limited scheme.

Old Post 02-14-13 23:44 #
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Phobus
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MAP31: Didn't enjoy finding the secret exit here, so I lost interest and moved on to MAP16, which I've already done. I'm sure I could search it out, but just do not have that patience tonight, so never mind!

EDIT: Well, drunk me is rather terse when it comes to map opinions...

Last edited by Phobus on 02-15-13 at 09:17

Old Post 02-14-13 23:51 #
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BlackFish
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MAP31
-Probably my favorite map so far. It has a MAP29 feel without having the big open areas.
-The outside part is even neater. Revenant mob was a bit hectic though.
-I'm sad this is the super secret level.
MAP16
-Another solid map.
-A bit claustrophobic, but it takes advantage of it by creating the "catacombs" that allow the rooms to go through each other.
-Lost soul spawning demon cubes!

Old Post 02-15-13 04:12 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP16 - HELL HOUSE

Similar in design to Map 10 "Iron Jungle" in being very claustrophobic, but I feel the design/gameplay strengths/weaknesses were a bit more average here - whereas I felt Iron Jungle looked great and played lousy, I felt this one looked meh and played decent. The brown brick and sconce theme got real boring real fast, and there's not much to look at (though I did like the small pieces missing from the floor with the sky looking through after the red key door). Other than the start (which is extremely hard if you try to do anything other than dodge hell knight shots in the opening room without ripping the lift), none of the fights were too difficult - just somewhat frustrating with the close quarters. Also didn't like the room with the two mancubi right after the blood corridor, since there's nowhere safe to stand due to the damaging blood - I ended up just cheesing it with the BFG. The fights at the end were easy given the abundance of cell ammo.

Old Post 02-15-13 06:40 #
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cannonball
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Map17 - Antidote by Processingcontrol
Large non-linear map, the start is an absolute bitch, the rest of the map has it's fair share of battles. The theme varies a bit but keeps a sort of hell-tech theme with of course a hospital type vibe. It's a pretty good map and it will kick your butt, especially at the start. Shame really as the action is mostly over in the first minute or so and the rest sort of plods along really

Old Post 02-15-13 08:36 #
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dobu gabu maru
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MAP12: An interesting, somewhat surrealistic map in minor ways. Balance was pretty good and some of the fights were neat (like the curvy area with the revenants or the long elevator down), but some of the annoying parts seem to stick out the most, namely the super dark room with tons of imps and no ammo and the extremely cheap cybie at the end which toasted me four times until I just pushed him into the corner with the BFG. Some nice outer-level detailing here, but otherwise, it doesn't feel like the best follow-up to MAP11.

MAP13: Underearth is a pretty basic map, and I think that's as far as my comments really go. It's a room-to-room series of skirmishes with none of them being too notable, although the architecture is nice in some spots. Definitely has the feeling of a 90s level.

Old Post 02-15-13 17:54 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP17 - ANTIDOTE

This one ramps back up the difficulty in a big way, and I liked it. Lots of monsters (400+), and the start happily plunks you into a room full of imps, hitscanners and a cyberdemon. Maybe I just lucked out, but the start wasn't too bad - I was able to take care of the imps and snipe the chaingunners before they did any damage, and then take out the cyberdemon from relative safety. Lots of later fights are pretty tough and required a lot of reloading because of their surprise, such as the blue key imp/arachnatron trap, the imp/demon one with the cages, or the mancubi in the sewers. One thing that helps create more interesting battles is the large amount of rocket ammo, but relative paucity of shells (lots of 4-packs, few boxes) and cells (none I found) - I wasted my BFG ammo on the Cyberdemon at the start and had to use rockets the rest of the way through, which provided some challenge given the close-up fights. Aesthetics-wise, I liked it - it very much has that old style feel of "I can tell it's supposed to be a hospital" but with lots of abstract design thrown in. One of my top maps so far.

Old Post 02-15-13 20:41 #
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CorSair
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Map 14:
Now, my death count probably took its peak on this map, due to A: 20 in health and armor, because I am a fucktard, and B: tired. Revenants made joke of me, chaingunners at that big cage managed to snuck on me and arch-vile dropped me to my death plus I bumped one on the end and plummeted to death in there. Don't know what else to say, except design is interesting.

Now that it is about halfway, I am not really digging this much. Few good maps, some decent and rest are rather in-between of bad and decent.

Old Post 02-15-13 22:01 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 17 -- Antidote - 101% kills / 100% secrets
This is the last of the four maps that I mentioned I had sampled from Interception's earlier public beta. I greatly enjoyed it at that time, and happily it's still just as good on a replay. Set in a gloomy ruined hospital turned hellnest, it uses a large variety of different materials--blue carpeting, wood paneling, grey cement, fluorescent light fixtures, mossy masonry, stucco, and many others--to convey its theme, which mostly works pretty well. The clean texturing and relatively bright lighting of the upper levels contrast with the various scenes of gore, dismembered bodies and filthy gurneys and beds that dot its expanse, while the far darker lower levels use stone, metal, and torches to suggest a passage under the building leading deep into the earth, presumably towards an even greater concentration of hellish influence. Liberal use is made of unplayable area to create 'diorama'-styled detail, such as the great stone tunnel behind some iron bars hung with countless corpses stretching off into the blackness in the subterranean section, or more glowing redrock pillars, great bloodfalls, and teetering wooden towers visible from the outer deck on the west side (reminiscent of the distant horizon in map 12). For all of this attention to aesthetic, however, at no point does the map sacrifice function to form--so while there are a lot of set-pieces to convey the idea of a ruined hospital, the actual layout doesn't resemble one (or any real-world building) in any real way, allowing for the sort of abstract layout that generally best suits Doom's gameplay.
As far as play goes, much like "The Ocean Outpost" before it, it makes use of a classic Doom progression trope, in that the exit to the map is barred by a series of three keyed doors, and the player gets to go off in search of them in whatever direction s/he sees fit--they can be collected in any order. This relative nonlinearity is also evident from early in the map, where the player can choose to go through the main door into the hospital proper, or drop through a hole in a nearby ruined outbuilding to do the underground section first (I did the latter). It is both more challenging and a lot more violent than any of the maps that preceded it, with a monster count of 400, and featuring a number of frantic battles that require quick thinking and full use of the marine's considerable agility, as is evident from the second play starts, with the terraces full of imps and commandos and the cyberdemon in the tower that can and will fire upon you from the get-go. As I had seen it before I made it through pretty comfortably, but it killed me three or four times when I first played it. Apart from the dangerous opening, there are a number of nasty traps surrounding each of the keys, most notably the nested series of clusterfucks near the blue key. Room-to-room play uses a lot of imps with big monsters like arachnotrons or mancubi firing from vantages, with revenants lurking in many of the tighter corridors. The author's fondness for the rocket launcher, which was a theme of his entry in CC4, is very much in evidence here--unfortunately for those aforementioned imp hordes. The other most noticeable theme in how the action plays out, I feel, is the use of fluidly traversable height variation--so there are a lot of sweeping staircases and convenient drop points, but relatively few lifts, and groups of enemies often attack or approach from a different elevation. The secrets are generally decently well-hidden--I found the combat armor rather clever, prompting you to think laterally about possible applications of bits of apparently aesthetic trim in the environment. All of the above works together pretty smoothly, with the one pace-breaker being that early cyberdemon. Don't get me wrong, he's a great addition to the map--he's what makes that opening fight so much fun--but when it comes time to actually dispose of him, things bog down just a little, as his static position and the player's lack of cell-based weapons (even the hidden plasma rifle has little ammo available) make for something of a grinding exercise. Perhaps some kind of telefrag might've been in order here, as K. R. suggests. Not a big deal in the end, though, I guess.

As is probably evident from the way I've prattled on and on about it, I quite like this map. It looks good, has a coherent ambience, flows smoothly, has several harrowing and interesting encounters, and the combination of a relatively fast pace and an expansive playing field that I so often enjoy. Very much looking forward to ProcessingControl's map 28, and to the rest of the maps as well, as I have so far enjoyed the second episode quite a bit more than the first.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 02-16-13 at 04:03

Old Post 02-16-13 03:40 #
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BlackFish
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MAP17
-400+ monsters, but ends in 20mins of gametime because much of it is imp hordes.
-Hectic start. That cyberdemon is scary. At least I killed it later on.
-Big atmosphere in one of the "rooms" with massive unplayable area. Reminds me of UT3.
-Non linear keyhunt is always a plus.
-I like the archvile wall concept.
-Many imp hordes. Many of them in traps!

Old Post 02-16-13 05:25 #
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Sp00kyFox
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MAP17
wow, awesome map. the visual design is fantastic beyond a doubt. I really liked the starting area. Since I always look for ways to let the monsters infight the cyber demon was actually a great and funny help to get rid of all the barons.
With the massive amount of rockets and a full cell stock (with the BFG) I still had, many parts were easy to master and often felt slaugthery but nonetheless fun. To be honest though I had some real problems to find the blue key. I must've opened a door with a switch but I didn't noticed it and wandered around a few times through the whole map finding what I overlooked.

Old Post 02-16-13 09:45 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP18 - CITY OF BURNING SULFER

I was excited for his map at the start, since I love that red brick texture, but unfortunately the map started dipping back into boring brown. :) Luckily there's still enough brick/marble etc. to break it up. After the tough difficulty spike of the last map, this one is a step down, as rarely in this map will you ever be fighting more than 1-3 monsters at a time (and other than the red key trap, never more than 5). Makes for pretty easy going. The cyberdemon fight at the end is more tedious than anything else; the room is too small to approach him so the only thing the player can do is fire off a rocket or some plasma and then dodge back around the corner to avoid rockets. I liked having doors open up to the earlier parts of the map as you moved through it, but they were pretty unnecessary given how otherwise linear the level is (though one does contain a secret). Overall, nothing great, nothing bad.

Old Post 02-16-13 09:55 #
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cannonball
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Map18 - City of Burning Sulfur by valkiriforce
This is an ok map, linear in nature with connections later on to earlier parts of the level to make any wanted backtracking easier. This map was very easy with the exception of the end which was a bit meh. The map looks nice though and was pretty much devoid of valkiriforce's mapping style. Only one chaingunner trap :O

Old Post 02-16-13 11:05 #
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BlackFish
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MAP18
-Easier than MAP17 by a longshot.
-It felt large, and enemies are stretched out as a result. Felt like a Duke map for a bit.
-Like the little buildings.
-Linear in nature, but much exploring happens if you go the wrong direction first.

Old Post 02-16-13 16:52 #
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Kristian Ronge
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Map 18 -- City of Burning Sulphur
I liked this one. I'm a real sucker for this kind of map: it's a spacious cavern/hellish setting with lots of small and semi-small fights in the cavern itself, side areas, and various buildings placed here and there. Competently done, and with a clear sense of style, it's quite deliberate in all aspects: the secrets are deliberately obscure and difficult to find (I roamed around this one for ages to find them all), the detailing is purposefully restrained (to give the impression that it's an older map), it has a mandatory Cyber finale, and it's made very clear at several points throughout that it could have been a lot more violent. As it stands, even though the monster count is fairly high, the demons are spread thinly over this large area, making the nice views stand out even more, but, alas also making a lot of the fights slightly lacklustre. Progression is delightful: it's still the classic flick-a-switch, find a key, open a door, but the author makes a damn good job of it. Because you get so much breathing room you're never in any trouble; the most difficult part was probably the start. There are some small traps throughout to keep things interesting, but they're easy to survive (I didn't even lose 1% of health at the red key). The fight in the RL building and the fights at the start were very enjoyable, but that also made me think that maybe there should have been a bit more of that. The Cyber finale was a bit of a letdown, too, as it's only natural to fight it safely from the other end of the corridor. This is one of the best maps yet. --4/5

Old Post 02-16-13 17:05 #
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purist
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12 - Alpha Tower by Matt534Dog / Marnetmar / Pottus

I'm still here, just about. Hopefully I will catch up a bit this weekend.

This map didn't do a lot to motivate me into playing some more. It's my least favourite so far. For one thing it's the most ugly map up to now, though I'm not prepared to knock it too much as it at least attempts a grand scale within vanilla limits. Well, I say within vanilla limits but I encountered my first Interception VPO in this map (teleporting back into that horrible hitscan area to pick up some extra ammo).

For the most part the gameplay is OK. I quite enjoyed the revenant trap and the blue key trap did not cause me too much of a problem either but I have to agree with those who didn't like teleporting into a room surrounded by chaingunners with no cover and I IDDQD'd past that awfully placed cyb at the end.

The map was too long for my taste but it was easy enough to navigate. Having optional keys adds some non-linearity but this meant I missed the red key area, which it seems left me disadvantaged in the last area.

Music didn't work on this one and I wasn't quite sold on the atmosphere, though I appreciated the effort that went into making it a story based map - and I really liked the explosion at the exit.


13 - Underearth by sgt dopey / Matt534Dog

I would describe this map as inoffensive but unremarkable. It looks solid without being breath-taking at any moment but has an atmosphere about it due to the building parts and the bloody caverns. The layout was pretty linear and the mapflow very simple. Telelporting for the key was an odd design choice and the catwalk maze was a tad annoying with my chocolate doom mouse setup, but this are minor irks.

The gameplay was quite easy and occasionally fun. I thought the demon swarm and the fights in the bloody cavern were both well executed, though it was it was thematically inconsistent having damaging blood when it did not damage in previous maps. I missed the rad suit fleeing the PE, which made this part more difficult for me. Following this there as an odd fight with some monsters in a lower spot that could not hurt you and an anti-climax fight at the end.

Not a bad map but never got the blood rushing.


I got a save game crash when starting MAP14 - not sure what went wrong there?

Last edited by purist on 02-16-13 at 18:30

Old Post 02-16-13 17:16 #
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Kristian Ronge
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purist said:
I got a save game crash when starting MAP14 - not sure what went wrong there?

It is quite possible that the map can cause a savegame buffer overflow; it's a large map with lots of monsters and items. Play a bit into the map and try to pick up some items, then save your game.

Old Post 02-16-13 18:51 #
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valkiriforce
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Thank you guys a lot for the feedback; I am currently working on some changes and have already made some to the previously-played maps such as MAP06 and MAP11. I am working out on MAP18 right now to stage a better cyberdemon battle as well as making additional changes to up the detail a bit in some areas.

Old Post 02-16-13 19:09 #
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Kristian Ronge
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I rather liked that map 18 wasn't as detailed as most contemporary maps. I thought it was done on purpose?

Old Post 02-16-13 21:30 #
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Demon of the Well
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I don't have time to post a review at the moment, but I have played map 18 (map 19 too, in fact), and it looked fine to me. Light detail (sometimes even to the point where the texturing IS the detail) can look pretty good in Doom when a lot of large, open spaces with a lot of verticality are concerned. All it really needs is maybe a bit more 'mood lighting', I think....and hell, lots of players don't like the dark as much I do, so maybe it doesn't even need that. I also think it could do with a higher bodycount, but again, I think a lot of people will enjoy the relatively low-stress nature of the action, as much like map 11, it seems like a map where a lot the appeal is in navigating/uncovering the layout, as opposed to doing a lot of heavy fighting within its context. And it is an interesting structure/setting, probably topping map 06 to be my favorite Valkiriforce map from the set.

Old Post 02-16-13 22:03 #
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valkiriforce
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Kristian Ronge said:
I rather liked that map 18 wasn't as detailed as most contemporary maps. I thought it was done on purpose?

To some extent, yes, but since uploading it as part of the megawad I've seen some opportunities to improve upon some areas. It's nothing too drastic as it's mostly the same save for a hopefully improved cyber battle.

Old Post 02-16-13 22:47 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP19 - CASTLE GROUNDS

Like the map before it, this is another map that's easy on the eyes as well as the gameplay, with the exception of one decently difficult trap. Aesthetics-wise, it's somewhat like MAP17, in that it's got parts that clearly look like a castle but also some abstract Doom-y architecture to keep it from being slavish, and it uses a wide variety of textures to keep things fresh. Gameplay is pretty uneventful with only a couple of monsters to fight at a time, with a fairly linear progression. I did really like the courtyard trap though, as it 1) caught me somewhat by surprise (I expected one door to open, not a bunch) and 2) was fun to fight, dodging the AV and revenants, but with cover to do so. After grabbing the yellow key, the map really empties out, though. I'm not a completionist by any means but I hit 100% kills/items/secrets on my first playthrough. Even though the crescendo is the middle of the map, still a good one.

Old Post 02-17-13 07:46 #
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