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Capellan
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Map04
I was a touch annoyed that once you enter the exit room, you can't leave it. Good job I hadn't deliberately left any pickups behind for later use!

Other than that, this was a pretty fun ravine map. The monsters were used in good combinations at times, making you choose between safety and ammo efficiency (I opted for the former). Looks-wise, it is OK. Not as detailed as maps 1 and 2, but does everything it needs to.

Like others, I'm not convinced the fiction adds much to the wad. The continuation from level to level is quite clear even without it, and serves well to make the levels feel connected. I guess the text provides some vague hints as to level progression, but for some people that's probably another strike against it!

Old Post 04-06-13 02:20 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 03 -- The Stench of Freedom - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Yup, it's a sewer, alright....a number of winding corridors, a few metal siftgates, a couple of control points, and a couple of settling pools. It's not anywhere near as carefully detailed as the previous maps, but I think it looks just fine, nonetheless...it's appropriately dim in most areas, and I generally really like that grimy green brick texture, and so don't easily tire of looking at it. The exit pipe looks pretty nice, as well. The one area that might have done with some sprucing up was the main battle chamber where the teleportation attack occurs--maybe some more corpses, or something--but it is a sewer, and so hardly needs to look glamorous. Action is again mostly a walk in the park, though those with slow reaction times might get hurt in the blue key trap--I quickly killed the nearest commando in his alcove and just chaingunned everyone else from in there. A small quibble, but I didn't really feel like the sewage itself should have been harmful (in the story it is just a regular sewer, right?)--I guess it potentially adds a layer to the teleportation fight for players that don't find the radsuit secret, but I reckon most of them will probably just do the tactically sound thing and just retreat into the corridor and chokepoint it, if that's the case. Oh, yeah, I did like the music, as well.

Map 04 -- Washed Up - 100% Kills / 66% Secrets
A pleasant, unassuming river canyon map. The choice of music combined with my general understanding that this was going to involve water put me in mind of "Realm" from Plutonia, but it's nothing like that, of course--it's still mostly smallfry, with the two main enemies being pinkies and commandos, many of which teleport in rather than being found entrenched in the terrain. The inclusion of the chainsaw at the start is what makes the play in this map tick. Between dead zombies and preplaced munitions there's more than enough ammo to clear the map, but being given the chainsaw like that prompted me to use it quite a lot, both indoors and outdoors, on all manner of opposition--given a lot of room to move in much of the map and the relative generosity of health aids, I reckon it's pretty safe to play the killer lumberjack for most of it, especially if one also finds the combat armor secret. The one thing to watch out for is a few delayed chaingunner teleports...I'm not sure if their late appearances were due to the landing spot being blocked at first or if it was consciously designed this way (if so, good work Purist), but at a couple of points I had some commandos teleport behind me after I thought I'd already cleared the latest horde, which kept me on my toes. I did like the way that lowering the dam and increasing the water level was the main progression element, although the last major fight with the replenishing chaingunner alcoves felt a little anticlimactic. Two questions: how do you access the invulnerability sphere (the inclusion of which seems pretty damned silly in this map, to be honest), and is that little black/grey construction behind you beyond an impassable line at the start supposed to pose a trick of perspective that makes it resemble the hospital you came from in the distance?

Old Post 04-06-13 03:48 #
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SteveD
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Map04 – Washed Up – by Purist – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 66. Time 20:50. End Health 106, Armor 167. Death Count – Zero

I really enjoyed this map. I thought it looked great, with consistent texturing, good variance in floor and ceiling heights, varied environments and, again, incredible lighting. In some ways it looks simple, but I prefer to call it minimalist, ala UAC_Dead, and closer in style to "Bloodlands," by Rob Berkowitz (Map13, Realm of Chaos), a vastly more difficult map. "Washed Up" is not overly detailed, and so the parts that Purist wants to emphasize really pop. I especially loved the way the crate room looked, with its gradient lighting and giant windows displaying a nice sky texture that made for an appealing, yet menacing, ambience. I’m also a sucker for Metal2, which King ReOL made good use of in “Sudden Death."

The map gets off to a fairly easy start, allowing many opportunities to promote infighting, but life became tougher when chaingunners appeared. I got a little carried away with chainsawing Pinkies and was caught gunless when Chaingun Charlie showed up and relieved me of about 50 health points. Shortly thereafter, I impetuously attacked some Pinkies and Imps by the blue door only to discover a chaingunner backing them up, and he dropped me to 20%, but luckily, this map is dripping with health and armor, so I soon recovered. BTW, the only sour note -- for me -- in the level’s appearance is the use of CompBlue panels to signify the blue door. If you’re going to use something other than Doorblu for this, use something that looks cooler than Doorblu, not . . . CompBlue.

That was really the only negative for me in the entire map. I enjoyed the water room on the way to getting the blue key. The copy-pasted structures looked cool, and I’m not upset by use of copy-paste as some are. The Baron battle was easy, and getting the Blue Armor was also easy. I jumped into the Imp tower hoping for a rocket launcher but all I got was a lousy SSG, which I already had from Map02. Great for pistol-starters, though.

Going towards the end, the map really starts to feel linear, but the rising water was cool, and the music, “The Demons From Adrian’s Pen,” is one of my faves from Doom, from one of my favorite maps, a true Sandy Petersen masterpiece. I was a bit bugged by the one-way progression in the exit area, since I couldn’t go back to try and find the secret Invulnerabilty sphere. And, seriously, what kind of secret is that for a map like this? ;D

But overall, this was a very fine map, with a nice ramp-up in difficulty, though probably easier than "The Focus."

Old Post 04-06-13 06:16 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP04 – WASHED UP

Big outside brown areas - I agree with SteveD that it definitely is minimalist, but still looks good despite that. (The one downside to ROCK5 is that it has that damn black spot that makes it look kinda bad when tiled over a huge wall, but that's Doom textures for you).

Gameplay-wise, had fun clearing out the main area at first but seem a bit slow after that. The replacement-by-teleport chaingunners at the end is a bit of a pet peeve, but thankfully there was only 2-3 chaingunners per spot so it wasn't that bad.

Also, I might just be a moron, but I didn't even realize the water rose at first, just felt like I was in slightly different area ("this looks familiar... it is the same area right... I don't remember these windows... oh the floor is water now... oh I get it") Purist did mention he wanted to make the "dam" more visible though, maybe that would've helped me out. On second playthrough I noticed the "dam" sign under the green armor I didn't see before. I actually really like the concept behind it (of raising the water to open up the level), and it's done on a fairly impressively large scale... but the way it was setup flew completely by me at first. That might just be me though.

Oh, and yeah, having the end door be one-way is a big no-no. Still, good map for MAP04.

Old Post 04-06-13 07:51 #
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purist
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Demon of the Well said:
Two questions: how do you access the invulnerability sphere (the inclusion of which seems pretty damned silly in this map, to be honest), and is that little black/grey construction behind you beyond an impassable line at the start supposed to pose a trick of perspective that makes it resemble the hospital you came from in the distance? [/B]


A1:
Spoiler:
Press the 'dam' panel then go through the blue door and look left - but be quick. If you don't get it before the blue door closes you won't get another chance.
regarding it's inclusion, it was just to help a speedrunner play recklessly in the last section.

A2: Yes. Too lazy, I mean no time to make a real one. It looks funny if you noclip to it.

Regarding the exit. I didn't realise that, but it's so long ago that I can't remember if it was on purpose. You start the next level in the same room so it would be odd if the door was repeatable in MAP04 but not MAP05.

Old Post 04-06-13 08:58 #
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cannonball
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MAP04 - Washed Up by purist
Nice level, whilst the detail is pretty low it works well and looks nice. The gameplay is pretty easy with a few light teleport traps. Not much else to say about this map, it's pretty good.

Old Post 04-06-13 17:24 #
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LordK
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It's the 6th, shouldn't we be up to MAP06 by now if we're to finish by the end of the month?

MAP05 - my favorite map thus far (and I've played till MAP08). I really like the looks of the level, the nightmarish feeling you get from Hell so severely invading reality. A dock is an under-explored theme in Doom mapping and this one was nicely realized.

Level progression was a little confusing and combat wasn't terribly exciting but this was a memorable map. I liked the story blurb for this section as well (not something I could say about other maps).

Old Post 04-06-13 19:33 #
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purist
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Dunno, I'm a little confused about when maps should be commented on this time so I just wait for someone else to go first...

MAP05 - Rumex Crispus by magicsofa

This is where the project first went off course. Until now all the maps where made within the week deadline and all done consecutively but magicsofa took months to finish this map. I was initially really disappointed about this but retrospectively it doesn't matter much. The first draft of this level was probably better but it had to be toned down in order to remain in sync with the map progression.

That aside, this is a pretty good map. Magicsofa was quite out-there with his map design, which makes it quite unconventional but there is plenty of space and his thematic mish-mash is held up by his story.

Story-wise I remember smelling trouble with this one as it was looking dangerously as though we were going down the cliche'd route of 'it was all in his head'.

The only other thing to mention in this map is the funky music, which magicsofa composed himself. It's one of my favourite tracks in the set.

Old Post 04-06-13 20:17 #
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EvilNed
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Since it's the sixth here, I'm gonna post MAP05 and MAP06.

MAP05 - Rumex Crispus

Great map! My favorite so far. These are the kind of maps I love the most. A well designed open area that holds everything together but with plenty of room to go out and explore. Maybe I'm hyping it a bit too much, as it's not really that non-linear but all the fighting felt really great.

My major gripes are still that I don't like it when people try to do realistic things in the Doom engine. The big ships were OK, I guess, but the small boats didn't really look that great and I could have done without them.

Liked all the hell bleeding over parts. The final fight was fun, as it allowed a lot of room for monster infighting. It was fun to play around with that.

MAP06 - Hull Revealed

A map on a ship. Liked it. After the previous map it felt kinda nice to go out into a tight corner like this. Had this map come earlier in the mapset, I'd probably have been annoyed by it. But now it sits perfectly after MAP05.

No major gripes. The author did not go overboard and try to depict an actual boat. It still felt abstract enough for me to enjoy. Despite the low monster count, the map was pretty tough. The final fight did feel kinda similar to the previous maps fight tho, both being set on the deck of the boat.

Old Post 04-06-13 20:35 #
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Capellan
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LordK said:
It's the 6th, shouldn't we be up to MAP06 by now if we're to finish by the end of the month?


The OP says you can post up to the current date (which would be the 7th for me), but dobugabumaru seems to be only posting the level texts as he gets to the levels? Or something?

Old Post 04-06-13 20:35 #
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purist
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MAP06 - Hull Revealed by Vaporizer

Righto then. This map was another saga in the making. In no small part because Vaporizer had something of a false start and took a good deal of time to recover. I think it took around eight weeks to make from the start if memory serves. Believe it or not the first version was a slaughter map set in a fishing village but it turned out to be a non-starter and I was quite honestly relieved when Vaporizer said he was going to scrap it and start again on a ship level.

Being based inside a ship means it's mainly a return to the claustrophobic first two maps and to further the likeness Vaporizer has a detail style not too far removed from Katamori or Cell, ableit a degree less accomplished than the latter. I liked the baron crusher and the music fits well.

The level turned out to be a collaborative effort as I felt an open spaced, top deck finale would make a good counterpoint to the tight skirmishes in the early stages. Vaporizer gave me permission to do this provided I find an elegant way to implement a silent teleporter room-over-room trick. The caco invasion was inspired by magicsofa's original conclusion for Rumex Crispus and the AV fight was designed to be a step up in difficulty to close the episode with.

Old Post 04-06-13 21:10 #
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Capellan
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Map05
I guess I'll be the off-key note in the chorus here, as I didn't like this much. Nonsensical progression, clumsy efforts to replicate 'real things', what I felt to be ugly aesthetics - and not in a good way - and frankly fairly boring combat once the big post-red key melee was done. That fight was a brief highlight of a dull affair, gameplay-wise.

I did like the damaged pier where the ship had crashed into it. Other than that, this was basically a case of "put my 1996 hat on", what with the engine gimmicks for the sake of engine gimmicks and pseudo-secrets needed for progression.

Old Post 04-06-13 22:08 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Sorry, sorry, been a bit behind trying to work on NOVA stuff. MAP06 is today, you guys are right.


05 - RUMEX CRISPUS
...You listen to the comforting seal of the door kissing the ground. But then, you're struck by the following silence. All you hear are your own lungs, your heart exploding, the echoes of battle still ringing in your ears.

A strangeness creeps over you. A tangible dread sends you reeling suddenly, and you feel as if you may be sick. Then thoughts begin to pour out...you begin to wonder who you are, and whether any of this is real. Your eyes betray a plastic sheen on the walls and the ground you seem to be standing on. It's not real.

As the door ahead of you opens you feel a refreshing cool breeze. You remember that one time, you might have enjoyed playing on the beach. Now the shore just makes you feel vulnerable. There's nowhere to hide on the shores of hell.

What you find outside the door is baffling, but for some reason you feel familiar with it. You feel as if you're on some kind of drug, and you're watching yourself go through the motions of being a soldier.

Progressing among the docks, you start to think the sky is telling you something. You realize you're in a place that nobody can take you out of. The only way is through, through this distorted mess. It doesn't seem to make sense, but you can't help yourself. A primal urgency pulls you forward, while you cut down the demons in a daze. Finally you give up any semblance of restraint and decide to pilot your own ship. Setting sail with no destination, you accept the chaos that seems to be lying ahead of you, on the edge of the earth...



MAP05: This is a very quirky, perplexing level, probably accentuated by the kooky music. Gameplay-wise it's somewhat of a bummer, only having two semi-interesting moments in my playthrough (red key "trap" and red key ship) that really didn't provide enough pressure for me (the SSG makes mincemeat of the lesser demons). However, this map is swimming in exploration and detail, making it a joy to navigate and prod. The ships and harbor are well done and feel quite organic (har-har); my curiosity is peaked for MAP32. I also like the prose accompanying this one.


06 - HULL REVEALED
...Inside the ship, you notice that hell has taken full control over it, and the ship is on the move. Where is it going, you don't know. You could try to get the ship under your control, kill all the demons and go get some help from the big UAC bases not too far from here, but when you come to the ship's control room, some sort of force suddenly teleports you away. While you search for a method to get out, you notice that the crates onboard the ship are open and are full of some kind of mineral. You quickly move on and find a key that will open a way out.

Finally, after clearing the upper deck, you find a second control area - only to find that the destination of the ship has been pre-programmed which cannot be overriden and no manual control exists. Short of jumping overboard you have no option but to see where the ship will dock...



MAP06: Quite a fitting finale for the first episode. The majority of the action takes place in a narrow vessel, offering the player a variety of tight fights, including one with a very menacing archvile. I not only liked how the scenery changed around you, including some amorphous flesh to block you from backtracking, but how textures were used in interesting ways, particularly the exit door as the ship hatches (with scrolling sides!).

Once outside though, the real battles begin, consisting of a swarm of cacos, handful of yellow devils and the final nasty combination of monsters everyone loves (AV guarded by revs). The explosive barrels provided a nice touch to the combat, and death finally found me after five maps of careful playing. This map definitely had the exquisite gameplay punch that MAP05 was missing.

Last edited by dobu gabu maru on 04-07-13 at 00:49

Old Post 04-06-13 22:36 #
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cannonball
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MAP05 - Rumex Crispus by magicsofa
Well sort of catching up here, will do 6 and 7 tomorrow
Well I guess this is nice to look at. Apart from that it's just smashing stuff with ssg and leaving. The red key trap and the final boat fight are the tough, trouble is you can bottleneck both battles basically making it a queue for the sight of my ssg, and well the last map provided more threat despite a lower monster count.
In the end, it looks nice and interesting but the fights lack teeth and any tougher battles can be made trivial by your surroundings.

Hull revealed.... I see what you did there :P
Yeah slow progress for me is due to making a map which is a merging of map31 of plutonia and map26 of hell revealed. Leave you to ponder the result.

Old Post 04-06-13 22:45 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP05 - RUMEX CRISPUS

Like Capellan, I'm a bit surprised this level got glowing reviews at first, since I thought it was a big step down from the first four. First off, the music seemed far too light and jovial, not at all fitting the spectacle of discovering a port starting to be overrun with hell flesh and demon boxes. Also, the aesthetic for the hell-infested port didn't really work for me - the flesh textures just look far too cartoony and out-of-place when used on a large scale and paired with the more realistic metal stuff. The red key trap was a nice moment (facing down hordes approaching from down a long, dark narrow corridor, especially since I started running out of ammo here), but feels like it was shoehorned in from another map. The rest is pretty ho-hum, and the ending was very anti-climatic - just a strange invisible bridge off to nowhere that magically teleports me to another ship for no reason.

MAP06 - HULL REVEALED

Heh, cute name. The flesh bits here at the start look much nicer than the ones on the last map, too. The gameplay itself is pretty boring, as it's painfully linear, a flaw only accentuated by the "one boxy sector with one enemy in it, one door, repeat" design of the whole thing. Being teleported away from the room with the switches and all the corpses was just weird. The caco ambush at the end seems almost trite these days (then again, I hate cacodemons with a passion so maybe it's just me), and the Arch-Vile fights aren't challenging in the slightest - the first two especially is probably the easiest "two Arch-Viles at once" fight I've ever seen. Overall it makes a decent stab at being a level playing out over multiple parts of a ship, but nothing special.

Old Post 04-06-13 22:59 #
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Capellan
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Map06
Narrow corridors, lots of doors. Some of the fleshy inserts worked quite well, but on the whole this had very drab architecture and texturing from a visual perspective, and the boxy, static nature made for fairly dull combat on the whole, too.

Bits of the level close off behind you as you go ... this is OK as a gimmick for single player, I guess (though you'd be cranky if you'd left power-ups for later!), but seems problematic for co-op play, unless a lot of playtesting was done.

The cacoswarm was a fun moment - but then, cacoswarms are kind of a thing for me - but thereafter the level is just a dull trudge to the end. Both AV fights are very straightforward (the exit room AV in particular), and make for a very tepid conclusion.

Old Post 04-07-13 01:58 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 05 -- Rumex Crispus - 100% Kills / 33% Secrets
A strange map. Strange thematically, with lots of pink hellflesh growing on boats out in broad daylight, with one long, gloomy cement passageway, topped off by a variously jolly and boorish music track. Strange story segment, which initially makes it seem as though the marine is suffering a psychotic episode, though the next map in the WAD holds that the flesh and whatnot apparently really, objectively is clumping up on the boats. Plays strangely, too, with the majority of the monster population involved in a single ill-advised mass frontal assault in the aforementioned cement corridor, with light resistance out in the open-air docks occasionally teleporting around on strangely placed monster-only teleport lines. I think I didn't really "get" what this map was going for, as evinced by my uncharacteristically low secret score (only found the backpack at the end, although it felt like the berserk pack should've been secret)), and the only encounter I remember in any depth being the aforementioned corridor attack--everything else is just a vague blur of wandering around in the open shotgunning weaklings. This one encounter worked well enough given the surprisingly large amount of bodies involved, although it probably would have been a little more satisfying if I had had the skill to locate the (presumably secret) rocket launcher. This map was a creative idea, I guess, but I reckon I was more bemused/confused than entertained by it.

Map 06 -- Hull Revealed - 102% Kills / 75% Secrets
Back to very tight quarters for most of this one, like in the first couple of maps, although this one uses some stronger monsters (arch-viles, hell knights, revenants, etc.) and is much more well-lit, which in my opinion doesn't do it any favors, as it does look a bit tacky at points, especially where the flesh growth is concerned. From a pistol-start ammo is pretty tight at the very beginning, but overall it's not a pressing issue--I hardly ever used the chainsaw given to me at the outset, this time. The spaces involved in the ship interior here are generally so tiny that they only contain rudimentary fights, although the arch-vile near the blue armor is a potential threat--his attack actually launched me onto the soulsphere, effectively nullifying it. The fight on the deck with the group of cacodemons and then the arch-viles from the aft control shack was genuinely fun, though, especially given all of the barrels, which can take out cacos in groups if you use enough of them. In contrast to the last map, where I couldn't find the rocket launcher, in this one I forgot I had it until the very last fight, which it effectively neutralized....just as well, as fighting the vile twins with the SSG amongst the crates (with them occasionally resurrecting a caco or zombie) was probably more fun, anyway. Again, I did not find one of the secrets, and I've little to no inkling about its location....I wonder if I'll have trouble with the secrets in Hadephobia as a generality?

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 04-07-13 at 07:20

Old Post 04-07-13 07:14 #
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purist
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MAP07 - Deadly Exploitation by Cell

Things returned to relative normality on the project with this map. I don't think Cell ever let me down in getting a map drafted on time. The start did have to be altered as it was originally designed on the principal of MAP06 being set in a village but that was hardly his fault.

My concern at this point in the project was more to do with the story than the maps. In the first episode all the player learns is that Doomguy was thrown into a crazy house, his Hellish premonitions have come true and he's running anywhere he can with no apparent objective. So, for the purposes of the story, the tech building in this map became an admin centre with some clues about the origin of the invasion. This gives the protagonist a clear objective for the first time.

Storage Basement was the first Cell map I ever played and while I prefer the atmosphere and aesthetics of that level, Deadly Exploitation adds range to Cell's capabilities. His detailing never lets up in density or imagination and the gameplay is generally sharp - which the exception of the crate room, which I maintain is too cluttered to play well.

This map had a few revisions, mainly in thing placement, to make it more appropriate for it's slot. In the original version arch viles where more abundant and the BFG could be found in a secret, but I decided we should reign this in so that the megawad still had somewhere to build to.

Yeah, enjoyable level.

Old Post 04-07-13 08:05 #
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dobu gabu maru
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07 - DEADLY EXPLOITATION
...The ship stalls several feet short so you have to swim to shore. Your curiosity increases as it appears to be bordered by metal fences. Following a rocky path, you arrive in a yard with two huge grey mountains and a blood fountain. The metal gate closes behind you.

You notice that the bigger mountain is actually a built-in base. Once before, humankind tracked this landscape down and it turned out to be a huge locality of precious metal. Now, like the asylum you escaped from, it has been overrun by Hell's minions.

You wonder where Hell's reaches extend to. Is the entire earth once again under attack? You decide you will get your answers accessing the base.

Hell's influence is evident everywhere you look. Tortured miners and Satantic symbolism adorn the base and you must find demonic keys to unlock doors blocking significant areas. One console screen you find has a log of events detailing the invasion. It states the miners unwittingly released a faction of Hell who had seemingly been trapped beneath fallen rock during the first invasion on Earth. It is a brief message intended to be be a warning but it had not been sent before it's writer was killed. Attempts to send it yourself prove futile as communications are out.

You realise that you must make sure this faction is exterminated before trying to finally find a way off the island. This means a trip down the mine and to the source of the new invasion...



MAP07: A non-traditional MAP07, which is always good in my book. It still contains a lot of explosive action, boasting a big number of bulky monsters to feed lead into. The visuals are appealing and there’s a good variety of baddies here to compliment the areas. The block monster lines to the entrance of the tan base were a puzzling choice though, since it meant that the revs were easy pickins. The highlight of my playthrough was going up the red key lift to be greeted warmly by a mancubus, to which the chaingunner behind him shouted “DONT WORRY BRO I GOT THIS” and proceeded to help me out. Had to chuckle at that setup. Only major gripe is that the level overloads you with ammo.

I also just finished reading everyone's thoughts on the prior maps and am surprised to see a handful of you disparaging over the accompanying text. Personally half the excitement for me is to see how the author will describe the map I just played and in what style. It's not really cohesive or well formed but I think that's the point--it's a handful of short paragraphs written by a variety of people attempting to tell a semblance of a nightmarish hell invasion story. While I can see people not particularly enjoying or caring about it, I'm hard pressed to understand the text file detracting from the overall quality.

EDIT: Also my posts may come late to some people because I'm on the east coast of the US, and my 3 AM is Australia's 5 PM.

Old Post 04-07-13 08:17 #
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Vaporizer
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MAP06 went through something of a development hell indeed. I didn't really know how to approach the ship theme, so I went for a shipwreck scene but had trouble with that too. The result wasn't very good, sometime after I was done with MAP08 I restarted MAP06 from scratch this time going with the ship theme. I really like purist's part on this map and how he pulled off the silent teleporter lift. I had implemented a silent teleporter trick earlier in the map but it was in a much easier area. In hindsight I feel this map is too cramped, purist's contribution really helps it a lot, adding a more open section.

As for the changes in MAP07 after MAP06 was restarted: the change was fairly painless. Only the scenery surrounding the actual playing area had to be changed from an open-ended field to an island.

Last edited by Vaporizer on 04-07-13 at 08:34

Old Post 04-07-13 08:22 #
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purist
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Nice to see mappers popping up here to comment on their levels Vaporizer. You're right about the setting change for MAP07 being a small change - it was just a superficial thing.

Old Post 04-07-13 08:43 #
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Demon of the Well
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I think the story's alright. Bearing in mind that it was a piece of 'progressive fiction' that was shaped in discrete stages by many people coming up with many different directions to lead it in on the fly as each had his/her turn, I don't think it aims or claims to present some kind of deep overarching narrative that profoundly impacts the overall level progression of the WAD or the playstyle of each individual map; it's more like a little extra window-dressing that tries to lend some backstory (in a pretty off-the-cusp way) to the unrealistically large variety of locales one finds in most DooM megaWADs. If anything, one might say that the story's contribution to the overall presentation happened as much during the WAD's creation as it does from a player's perspective after the fact, if that makes any sense.... from the end user perspective, it just does the job that is generally left up to players' imaginations in most WADs (not that that's a bad thing, either, mind).

So, no, I'd hardly say it detracts from the WAD. The one downside is that it does have a couple of broad gameplay spoilers now and then (e.g. "there is a cyberdemon in this map", etc.) but that's a pretty minor concern, given that concrete tactical details are always completely absent.

Old Post 04-07-13 09:19 #
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Capellan
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Map07
I liked this map. Cool theme, with the base built into the maountainside, and well-realised visuals. The combat was also fun, with a frantic opening to kick things off and then several more sharp encounters as you reached each key. I also liked the way that the 666 and 667 tags were used in this level - nice variation on the usual map07 thing.

Unlike dobugabumaru, I got no help with the manc at the top of the red key lift, so I beat him by firing the SSG once, hitting the switch to go down, coming up, firing the SSG once, hitting the switch ... was funny experience :)

I also disagree with purist about the crate room - I liked that area a lot, and I found the crates helped me more than they did the monsters: I was able to use them for cover and to snipe at enemies.

All in all, a level I very much enjoyed.



As far as the fiction goes, I don't think it detracts ... but I also don't think that - as executed - it adds anything much, either.

Old Post 04-07-13 10:15 #
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SteveD
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Map06 – Rumex Crispus – by magicsofa – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 66. Time 31:32. End Health 100, Armor 89. Death Count – Zero

I thought this was a fun map. It was very weird-looking. Definitely not a beauty, but not Ugly Kid Joe, either. The “ships” were completely hopeless, says a man with 8 years in the US Navy behind him. I made an effort at such stuff back in ’96 (Map19, Realm of Chaos). At least it was immediately recognizable as a ship. In “Rumex Crispus,” I’d been fighting on the deck for awhile before I asked myself, “Is this supposed to be a ship?

The progression was quite linear, but that’s not a big problem for me. I think non-linear is overrated, and unless you have more than one exit -- and not a secret exit -- is a map truly non-linear? The kind of non-linear that matters to me is “location-optional combat.” This map had a bit of that at the beginning, anyway, and magicsofa kept me on my toes with critters fireballing me from every direction.

As Capellan said, forcing the player to find a secret lowering floor to get the red key is very 1996. Indeed, that’s the year I did a very similar thing (Map09, Realm of Chaos). I was really shocked to see it in 2012, but this was nothing like the shock I encountered in Map06. More later.

As everyone has noted, grabbing the red key unleashes a horde of monsters. I fought them from the platform for awhile until I started taking Caco hits and had to worry about a Hell Knight climbing the stairs behind me, so I jumped into the fight and got the monsters battling themselves a bit before I took them all out. There were just enough chaingunners to seriously reduce my soulsphere bonus.

The only other noteworthy fight is a wave of monsters on the red key ship. The Revvies unnerved me in this one, and even though they never hit me, they drove me into other monsters that did. Especially chaingunners. I was even slimed by a Hell Knight. Overall, I enjoyed this wild melee. For a walking keyboarder, this fight was a blast.

After I found the exit, I opened a saved game to look for secrets, since I ended with Zero the first time. I found the Invulnerability and something else I don’t remember, but I could not find the rocket launcher I knew was there, owing to all the rockets decorating the map. I telefragged a Caco near the Berserk, which was weird, since I had left the Caco up there awhile before following. Shoudn’t it have moved by then?

In the end, this is an odd-looking map with some fun fights.

Map06 – Hull Revealed – by Vaporizer – Kills – 107, Items – 100, Secrets – 75. Time 24:25. End Health 100, Armor 35. Death Count – 3

There’s no polite way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it – this map is hideous. This is the most dead-dog-ugly map I’ve played in years. Doing a ship interior in Doom is not easy, especially if you’re on one of those rare ships with concrete walls. Ugh! Maybe the only visuals I liked were the window effects and the intestine areas.

Seriously, the second I laid eyes on the opening room, I groaned. Ah, exit doors! And no Lower Unpegged on the side textures, and no Doortrak, either. This did not look good. And neither did the lighting, or lack thereof.

I’ll skim through this. I did not discover the Baron crusher until after I had killed the Barons. Too bad, coulda used the rockets and shells later. First death came fighting the first Archie after he revived – what else? – a chaingunner. Dodging the Archie put me in Chaingun Charlie’s sights and I was done. Second death came by Archie after the somewhat enjoyable Caco swarm fight – my favorite fight in the map. I died because the Archie came out of the door so fast that I took blast damage from my rockets. Too bad I don’t play on Turbo 255 anymore. The reason I don’t is because I became sensitive to Doom motion sickness, and at Turbo 255, I’d laser-vomit all over my screen.

I died by Archie again at the same location because I killed two of them only to discover that there were three in there. I was bummed when another Archie emerged behind me atop a crate. This led to a tedious waste of ammo. And finally, yet another Archie – six in all! – backed by a couple Revvies. I took a lot of damage but survived.

I should at least respect a map that killed me three times, but Archie-spamming is kind of a cheap route to difficulty in my eyes, and there was not one thing aside from the Caco swarm that I liked in this map. Well, I did like the clever name.

Old Post 04-07-13 10:23 #
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Magnusblitz
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SteveD said:
Ah, exit doors! And no Lower Unpegged on the side textures, and no Doortrak, either. This did not look good. And neither did the lighting, or lack thereof.


My immediate reaction on seeing the start of the level was the same as yours - "Exit doors? No doortrak? No lower unpegging? WTF?" but I realized that the design was intentional and the reaction is due to years and years of Doom design ingrained in my skull. The exit doors do somewhat look like the sort of doors a submarine would have, with the rounded design, "vault" appearance, etc. And the part that's normally a lower-unpegged-doortrak texture is left with a "piston"-looking part of the exitdoor texture, so it could make sense that it would be moving up and down. So yeah, while its understandable to immediately not like the door that doesn't follow the "normal rules" I think I know why it was done that way.

Old Post 04-07-13 19:09 #
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SteveD
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Magnusblitz said:


My immediate reaction on seeing the start of the level was the same as yours - "Exit doors? No doortrak? No lower unpegging? WTF?" but I realized that the design was intentional and the reaction is due to years and years of Doom design ingrained in my skull. The exit doors do somewhat look like the sort of doors a submarine would have, with the rounded design, "vault" appearance, etc. And the part that's normally a lower-unpegged-doortrak texture is left with a "piston"-looking part of the exitdoor texture, so it could make sense that it would be moving up and down. So yeah, while its understandable to immediately not like the door that doesn't follow the "normal rules" I think I know why it was done that way.



You make very good points, and I did notice the piston effect, which undoubtedly took a lot of alignment work. Again, I acknowledge that the Doom engine and textures are ill-suited to simulating ships of any kind. Anyone is free to take a look at my effort and make fun of it, notably the horrible texture alignment on the hull and the half-assed excuse for a bridge. Just the same, and while I too have ingrained attitudes from years of Dooming, I tend to take the view that one should always err on the side of what looks good in Doom, as opposed to what is more realistic or, "I'm trying to get this effect, so maybe . . . " Sometimes the latter works, as in the case of Doortrak left without "lower unpegged" on lift structures to simulate cables pulling the lift up or down. There are even cases where one can violate Romero's Rules and change floor textures without changing floor heights, but in general, if you violate that rule, or the border texture rule, your map will look worse than it otherwise would have.

I'll admit that my view may come down to unaccountable personal taste. However, in the thankless job of making ship interiors for Doom, IMO it's best to stick with the Metal2 family, Compspan and Blackwall for the bulkheads, and SPCDoor3 for the doors, although the entire SPCDoor family is useful. Compspan, Blackwall, the Gray family (even though it's concrete), Metal2 and a couple more are passable hull textures. I used Tanrock2. There's also things you can do for detailing, for example, military ships have visible cable runs, pipes and ducting, as well as "knee-knockers," which are openings in the transverse bulkheads. These openings are higher than the deck and lower than the overhead, and are rimmed with thick, protruding steel. As you walk through the passageways of a warship, you have to step over them, and sometimes you'll bang your shins on the metal rim, thus the name, though perhaps they should be called "shin shredders" instead. There are videos on YouTube that show this, although it takes looking at a lot of Navy videos to spot them.

In the end, probably the best advice for Doom mappers is -- stay away from ships! Of course, I've just done a ship that looks kinda sorta like the Paul R. Tregurtha, the biggest ore carrier on the Great Lakes and, at a length of 1,013 feet (309m), one of the largest merchant ships in the world. So obviously I can't even take my own damned advice. ;D

Old Post 04-07-13 20:33 #
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Capellan
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SteveD said:
one of those rare ships with concrete walls


My grandfather built a yacht out of concrete. On its maiden voyage it nearly sank a Chinese junk. True story.

Of course, it was like a 40ft boat, not a monster tanker.

Maybe the concrete in the map is supposed to be pykrete? :)

Old Post 04-07-13 22:17 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP07 - DEADLY EXPLOITATION

Fun little map, built around gathering three keys in a relatively small area, each with its own teleporting monster ambush. This one starts to ramp up the difficulty a bit (at least in theory) as we start to get a lot more Doom 2 monsters, Revenants, Manucbi, Pain Elementals, etc. In practice, since there's a wide variety of monsters, it's easy to cause infighting (which I like), which makes the map somewhat breezy.

My main problem with the map is that the design aesthetic seemed to be "how many textures can I use with it still looking decent" because there is a TON of texture variation for such a small map. The outside is green grass and dirt with ASHWALL caverns, but inside we get piping, STAR textures, METAL, boxes, GRAY7, ROCK3, ROCK5, library books, TEKGREN, COMPBLUE... it's all a little cacophonous and kinda prevents the level from really standing apart by having it's own "look". Still, decently fun level - the gameplay is good and there's nothing about the aesthetic that looks bad, just busy.

Old Post 04-07-13 22:20 #
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cannonball
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MAP06 - Hull Revealed by Vaporizer
Haha nice name.
This level is ok, and a solid attempt at making a boat like level. The gameplay ok but suffers from the door-room-monster-door syndrone which might be an issue. The top deck fighting was a little better with a swarm of cacos before fighting off a few archies. Texturing wise it's a mixture of tech/metal and flesh and looks ok.
In the end it's an ok map but suffers just because of the limitations of making a map in this particular style with the doom engine.

MAP07 - Deadly Exploitation by Cell
Good map with a nice variety of open space/cramped fights against quite a lot of monsters. Can't go wrong with the "infinite" soundtrack by Tom Mustaine either.
A few nitpicks, the blue key mancubus is poorly placed unless you find the secret plasma gun as you have no room to dodge his projectiles.

Last edited by cannonball on 04-07-13 at 22:36

Old Post 04-07-13 22:27 #
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Flamen0d
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Posts: 39
Registered: 02-13


Sorry, I'm going to review these maps fast for this post because I'm behind a couple days.

map01: Pretty good, and represents a jail well. Enemy placement is average, but I never felt like I was in danger throughout the map, but maybe that's just because it's map01. The secret is really easy to find, and it's the only one in the level, so it didn't really have that much exploration and nonlinear level design. Overall the map is okay, but the only thing it has going for it is its detail.

map02: Overall I liked this map pretty well. It has as much detail as map01 and also addressed the problems it had as well. The secrets were pretty well hidden but I had to wall hump for one of them. The trap with the 2 chaingunners almost killed me, but I like stuff like that. Maybe it's just me, but the level felt a little cramped. Map 02 imo is a good, solid level.

map03: Again another solid level, but it's nothing too exiting. Enemy placement imo is pretty bland. All the monsters seemed to be right in front of my gun all the time except for that one fenced hallway place before the exit. The overall level design was pretty good, and even though the detailing was a little less than the last two levels I honestly don't care unless it hurts my eyes. The secrets were also in good spots. I was going to say I didn't like that spot where you had to wall hump, but if you get the map from the other secret you don't have to.

map04: Have to say this map is probably my favorite so far in terms of gameplay. The fights are all a challenge and none of them feel really cheap. The only concern is that it's possible to easily miss one or two of the secrets. Also, some of the places can be too dark, almost to the point where I couldn't see my own gun, And it's for no apparent reason. Other than that it's a good map.

map05: This level is very interesting. I honestly had a very fun time playing this level. The enemy placement was, for the most part, pretty good, but there are so many places that the enemies are that it can turn a bit irritating. This might be just me, but I didn't like the music too much. It might be the instrument choice. I also ran out of ammo a lot of times, but that's most likely my play style. Overall this map is very fun, especially with its interesting style and architecture.

Those are my reviews for now. I'll get caught up tomorrow or the day after depending on how much time I have.

Old Post 04-08-13 01:58 #
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