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Demon of the Well
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Hmm, I didn't hate map 16, although I wasn't greatly excited by the proceedings, either. That kind of slower-paced exploration map is nice sometimes, although they need a lot of ambience to really shine.

Map 19 -- Satan's Fortress - 100% Kills / 90% Secrets
Here's Cell's biggest map yet, a red brick fortress (although one without a facade) with Inferno-eclectic innards buried in the cold earth. It certainly has that intangible 'End of the second episode' feel to it, helped along by the traditional use of "Shawn's Got the Shotgun" in this mapslot. I've got to say, though, that while there were things I quite liked about the map, it's aggravating to play at several points, as well, which spoils the overall impression. Most of these aggravating points stem from a single issue, that being general cramped-ness and obstructive detailing. Now, at this point in the mapset, it's plain that constricted corridors and otherwise movement-restricted battle areas are a part of Cell's general style; I don't have a problem with this on a fundamental level, and I don't agree with those that have held the position that Cell's previous maps in the set are cramped to the point where they negatively impact gameplay....but here, he went a bit too far this time, methinks. It's not so much small, curvy corridors (of which there are many) that are the problem, but some poorly-considered placement of detail props (esp. torches and braziers) and an apparent commitment to smallness for its own sake that are the main culprits. The central junction, which initially has a couple of arch-viles in the central cage, is a particularly egregious example of this--the four tiny caged daises and the steps leading up to them butt right up against said vile-cage, meaning that moving around to fight anywhere within the area they encompass is awkward and ill-advised (and there's a lot of fighting in this room). So, stick to the perimeter of the room, right? Wrong. The room itself is just barely big enough to contain the 5-cage arrangement, so there's only a narrow avenue around the outer edges of the four daises, and that avenue is clogged up with a bunch of torch decorations! The upshot is that any kind of fluid movement at all is practically impossible in this room, which makes fighting in it feel like using a riding mower on a lawn comprised of fashion mannequins made out of raw beef--e.g. "not fun." Why couldn't the room have been a little bigger? Failing that, would it have really hurt the aesthetic so much to leave out the torches along the walls? This junction is probably the worst offender, like I said, but a similar problem crops up in other areas, as well--the exiting tunnels, the mossy brick corridor near the 'specter cage' (incidentally, another problem, that, as it seems to take them forever and a day to all teleport out, even when the room's empty), the heart of the fortress where the giant skull switch is located, etc. All of this adds up to a map that at several points not only prioritizes aesthetics over gameplay, but actively sacrifices the one for the other.

That being said, it's not without its charms. On its own merits, the attention to detail is noteworthy, although the overall aesthetic theme of the map is maybe a little too eclectic to hit the sweet spot for me, and some particular scenes do seem a bit visually noisy, albeit feverishly spit-shined. The single best thing about the map is definitely its pile of secrets, though--secret-hunting here is a lot of fun, and full of great reward, to boot. The extent of actual gameplay that is tied up in secrets is not as pronounced as it was in map 10, but there's at least one unique hidden battle tucked away in there, in the strange hightech BFG shrine. Many of the secrets are very clever, relying on combinations of classic DooM item-concealment tropes; few if any are in blind wall-hump territory, but many have only very subtle clues to unraveling them, and the satisfaction from doing so is a reward itself. That being said, finding most of the secrets, as I did, will make you extremely powerful to the point where most of the actual big combats later in the map don't pose much of a threat, but given how tricky some of the secrets are, I don't think that's really a fault in this instance.

So, I guess I'd say it was a potentially very good map that was severely hampered in a few places by prioritizing interior decorating over more practical matters. One other thing, I noticed while I was IDCLIPing around the map to remind myself of the texture schemes before writing this post (I actually played it a few days ago) that Cell has built at least some of his monster teleport-boxes, which of course the player never sees, "in character." They're full of properly-aligned red brick, marble face murals, series of iron gate-channels, etc. I found this discovery inexplicably charming.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 04-19-13 at 23:17

Old Post 04-19-13 23:02 #
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SteveD
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Capellan said:


Honestly, I suspect it was done purely to make the player go to both 'wings' of the area. The run is trivially easy for mouse with always run, which I imagine means 98% of players these days. I also suspect that very few modern level designers have walking keyboarders in mind when they make their maps.

It's probably just as well you didn't join us for CC4, as it has a far more egregious use of the gimmick, and would be pretty rough on keyboarders in general. :)



Oh, as if I'd be worried about the running gimmick in CC4. ;D I can turn on Always Run if I need to, but I haven't needed it often to beat these maps on UV. Yeah, I might be a shitty player, but I'm a shitty player with 'tude! :D I would've loved to play CC4. In fact, I should go to that thread to see what you guys wrote about some of those maps which I thought were at least awesome to look at. And if some running "gimmick," as you quite rightly describe it, got too ridiculous, I would invoke the "Mapper Is A Jagoff" Clause and IDCLIP through the offending section. ;D

My problem with Map17 is less that it ended with what Baron might describe as "cheap difficulty," at least for keyboarders, but that it involved such a completely, utterly lame excuse for a fight. Barons that pose no threat to the player? Why? Indeed, by forcing the player to do something silly, the mapper prevented the possibility of making the Barons interesting to battle (not that Barons are ever typically interesting to battle, IMO, unless it's a Chris Hansen map ;D ). I coulda forgiven the Cyberdemon slog, which I realize was sloggy because of my limitations as a player, if the final fight had been good. I would have left the map thinking about the killer final fight. But to get what I got instead, and a running gimmick to boot, was a real letdown.

And no mapper should ever take me, or others like me, however rare we are, into consideration when designing a map. Back in the day, I never devoted one second of thought wondering if anyone else played on Turbo 255. My goal in mapping is, first and foremost, to please myself. I'm sure most mappers do it that way. I hope so. But if players bitch enough about issues in your map -- and I'm very good at bitching, as you have seen ;D -- mappers should consider making some modifications here and there. It could improve their maps.

Old Post 04-20-13 04:58 #
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dobu gabu maru
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20 - OSTOYAE ANOMALY
...You take in deep breaths of the clean, fresh air and feel it cleanse your lungs but the dejection you feel because of the broken communication equipment and your failed attempts to flee the island is not so easily vanquished from your system.

You trudge through the rocky valley ahead of you. At the end is another UAC facility. You remember back to the island map you saw and recognise it's location as a laboratory. Your hope piques. You'd bet anything the UAC has built a teleporter and it may just take you off the island. You hope you find it before the demons do.

Inside the lab it is strangely unpopulated, although the presence of Hell is apparent by the flesh covering the walls, floors and ceilings. Further in, the atmosphere changes darker still. The lab has been smothered by an all consuming organism. The same foul flesh that has creeped over all of this island's constructs like an infection. It's root is here in the lab, spewing endless creatures from Hell into Earth's realm.

In a lab not yet fully consumed by flesh you find a hadephobia sufferer strung up - no doubt the subject of some inhumane experiment. Behind locked gates you find more pods smothered under flesh. You put one poor guy out of his torment and the organism seems to feel it so you find the others and do the same. With the last one dead the organism finally collapses but the monsters keep coming. Behind it is the UAC teleporter but it too has been bent by Hell. Corrupted to bring in the endless army of Hades. You know that going through is not going to take you anywhere good but you can't think of another way to stop it...


MAP20: A surprising map! I thought the music was super eerie for the start of the map as I geared myself up for a large battle, but found nothing of note… until that familiar reversed speech blurb. My panic spiked and I ran around looking for what to do, my confidence dropping as I saw a bunch of key doors blocking my progress.

The map is really tense but provides wide hallways for you to zip past monsters in, incase you’re tight on ammo. The health supply is somewhat fickle but it works well for the map, pushing the player to focus on killing the poor hadephobics instead of trying to clear space. I also really enjoyed that there was no final battle per se, as it keeps the map very centered around the frantic searching. Details were somewhat missing coming off of MAP19, but this definitely had a stronger focus on gameplay. Cool, cool map; might be hard for MAP30 to top it.

Old Post 04-20-13 05:41 #
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EvilNed
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MAP19 Satan's Fortress

My initial impressions are that this was a nice ride, albeit maybe a bit too long considering it doesn't vary itself all that much. It's mostly cramped corridors that sometimes open up into larger rooms.

I agree that the map is too cramp at times, however I never really had a problem with any one particular fight because of this. Difficulty wise, yeah I probably died a few times but I wasn't stuck at any one fight for a long period of time. Except perhaps the Cyberdemon. A slightly different Cyberdemon fight, as unleashing him potentially corners you into a large chamber with flesh and blood coming out of the walls. But the cyberdemon itself can't enter it, so you can shoot him through the windows.

Overall a nice map. The detailing is nice, the layout and design is great. Very hellish. But it's a bit too long, and after killing off the cyberdemon I ran around for awhile not knowing where to go. Some clues would have helped.

Old Post 04-20-13 11:46 #
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cannonball
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MAP19 - Satan’s Fortress - Cell
Too long and too cramped sum this map up. There are plenty of tough battles and the switch hunting isn't too annoying.
The map looks nice which is the least you expect when so much detail has been placed in the map. Found 4 secrets (one of which needed a blue keycard I never found sigh)
It's an ok map but suffers from being long drawn out and excessive wall or obstacle bumping which can impede the player immensely.

MAP20 - Ostoyae Anomaly by purist
There is a spawn shooter which activates when you enter the main part of this corrupt base which spews monsters across the place. You need 3 keys which can be collected in any order to open a series of rooms with hadephobics which you need to kill to open up the exit. I think this map is executed really well with the already set battles which are fun around the keys along with the rest of the base being slowly flooded by an assortment of monsters. The only annoying part was tagging the soulsphere secret which can be frequently blocked by infinitely tall monsters. Otherwise great map and a great way to end an episode.

Last edited by cannonball on 04-20-13 at 13:22

Old Post 04-20-13 12:42 #
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purist
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MAP20 - Ostoyae Anomaly by purist

I was quite keen for Hadephobia to feature boss-like levels at the end of each episode and this is the one that I solely made. The idea was to explain where all demons were coming from after the excavation site and Mastermind in E2 were taken care of. My other inspiration was to take the player back to the start, so MAP20 can be imagined as an expansion of the MAP01 asylum or a similar structure with lab facilities.

Most of the battles took care of themselves with the spawn shooter providing the bulk of the fighting, if you know where you're going the spawning doesn't inhibit you a lot but if you take a while to work out what to do you can find yourself under a bit of pressure. Other inspirations where the cyb/spiderdemon face off in the original MAP20 (I thought I was being cute using a baron and arachnotron at first), the exposed stairway was something I'd wanted to try for a while and the empty build up was an echo from MAP11.

I like this map because it is something very different but I think it's hideously ugly and if I had the time I may have remade it. I think I have yet to make a fleshy/tech crossover are that I was satisfied with. I tried taking inspiration from Ed and Natural Tvventy but it's a bit of an insult to blame them for how this monstrosity looks. Then there's the cheesy sector-based 'boss' itself. I had a few goes at trying to make it look OK but I still don't think I got close.

Old Post 04-20-13 14:49 #
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Capellan
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Map18
I found the keys section of this map a little on the bland side, both action and looks-wise. It was probably better at the latter than the former, though, at least for continuous play.

Once all the keys are collected, though, things heat up a lot on the visual front, and somewhat in terms of action. The titular Altar and the associated church is clearly the centrepiece of the level, and it does an excellent job in that regard. It's great to look at, with a good mix of open space and chokepoints for combat. The four side-sections do make it a little easy to control the opening ambush, though. I retreated down one, killed the few monsters in it, then slaughtered the main room horde as they filtered in.

I did the four 'wings' here in the order cacos/PEs, revs/HKs, cyber, AVs. The first two were pretty easy, as you can repeat the "lurk in a side section and blast everything in comparative safety" tactic. It's probably not the most efficient method, ammo-wise, but there were plenty of supplies. The cyber and AVs? Well, honestly, I ignored them completely and booked it to the exit. :)

Overall a fun level, though it got off to a slowish start and was a little easy to cheese at the end, if you got fortunate with the order you did things (as I did).

I did like that the level let you complete each sub-goal in any order.

Continuous play update: 200 health (found the soulsphere secret in the 3 AV room), 88 armor. 218 bullets, 96 shells, 92 rockets, 600 cells.


Map19
As others have noted, this is detailed to an almost obsessive degree. Stuff like the broken wooden floor when you go right after the blue door, for instance. 18,000 sidedefs, indeed!

This huge amount of detailing does often make things cramped, and led to my getting stuck on decorations from time to time, but I found this less troublesome than others. Maybe because I'm a less good player, so I expect to get caught on scenery and decorations from time to time :)

One complaint I would voice is that the level has several fights where staying to do battle doesn't actually make any sense unless you're obsessively chasing max kills. The revenants in the skull switch room, for instance, seem to exist purely to soak up ammo, as they can' chase you if you leave, while killing them doesn't provide access to any further bonuses.

Overall, however, I enjoyed the epic lushness of this level, with its incredible detail, linear but interesting progression, and fierce fights aplenty.

Continuous play update: 163 health, 123 armor. 376 bullets, 94 shells, 53 rockets, 400 cells. So I used a lot of extra "big" firepower in this one.

Last edited by Capellan on 04-21-13 at 01:50

Old Post 04-20-13 22:19 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 20 -- Ostoyae Anomaly - 411% Kills / 75% Secrets
Ah, Ye Olde 2nd Episode boss/spawner map. Seems like I've been seeing this trope a little more often in recent years--it's here, in Jenesis, in Hell Awakened, and at least a couple of others in recent memory. I've got no particular qualms with the idea, though I feel if you're going to take this tack you need a damned cool map 30 to avoid an anticlimax. Anyway, I'd agree with Purist that this is a bit on the homely side. The flesh/tech blend doesn't seem very smooth (e.g. flesh tends to appear in discrete, self-contained pockets, whereas base/tech appears in other discrete, self-contained pockets); this is hardly a deal-breaker, but I figure the 'ideal' for this theme is generally to have the earthly stuff look like it's being gradually/asymmetrically overtaken by the flesh. In fairness, though, maybe there's a little more of a real blend in some parts than I'm remembering....it's not exactly a map where you've got a lot of time to stand around pondering the aesthetic qualities of cracks in the floor. I also feel the lighting in the main area is too bright (although it's fine in many of the side areas), and that the big flesh-parasite monstrosity could've stood to be, well....bigger, or more fearsome-looking, or both. All of that aesthetic nagging aside, though, I had fun playing the map, which is what matters most. I noticed that the map had a slow/empty buildup to it, just like map 11 did, with a similar group of helpless imps to slaughter while you wait for the other shoe to drop; pretty cool. In practice, it's essentially a puzzle/exploration map of the 'scavenger-hunt' type (since finding the keys is the main task, while the doors to the corrupted labs with Hadephobics in them are all pretty obvious) of course with the added time pressure afforded by the mounting monster count. I think it's more of an intimidating prospect than one that's actually difficult in practice, though--the hallways are generally nice and wide, so unless you have bad luck and keep seeing arch-viles spawned, you can generally move through them fairly well even when they're full of monsters, which gives you lots of room for error if you have a poor sense of direction, or, like myself, an unhealthy propensity for dimwittedly doing pointless battle with the endless hordes. I felt that health and ammo were quite well-judged, with the reliable presence of a bulk cell and a medikit in each Hadephobic lab striking a good balance between giving you the resources to do some fighting with the need to continue to make actual progress; my less than stellar track record for finding secrets in this WAD continues here, although I don't feel so bad about this one, given the presence of certain distractions, and all. Finally, I noticed that this is perhaps the most relevantly height-varied of all the maps in the set thus far, as evidenced by the long ascending path that overlooks the blood pool with the parasite in it, or the view of the great dark metal stairway from the yellow key area, contrasted with the low-ceilinged corridors that lead to many of the Hadephobics. This large degree of height variation, in combination with varied degree of openness in the corridors and rooms and the overlapping tendency of different sections, means that every monster that can spawn has a chance to be relevant, be they slow projectile-slingers or fast airborne attackers, which is important in a map that uses random monster spawners (particularly for those of us who like to do some futile fighting in this type of map).

Again, it might not be the easiest on the eyes, but in the realm of gameplay, I think you succeeded pretty well, Purist.

Old Post 04-21-13 03:46 #
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Capellan
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Map20
This is the closest thing I've seen to a fun monster spawner map :)

Looks-wise, it's got some nice base sections, and the big growth looks neat, but things don't work so well in the other areas where base and hell 'blended'. I put that word in inverted commas because the amount of blending seems pretty minimal. They just kind of get put next to each other.

Gameplay ... well, like I said, it's as close as I've seen to a monster spawner map actually being fun. So close, in fact, that I seem to have enjoyed myself! :)

This was an interesting change of pace, with a different feel to it than most levels. Monster-killing was very much a secondary concern. Just do enough to get to the keys and hadephobes, then sprint to the exit. Wide corridors made this a fun, rather than exasperating, challenge (though they possibly also contributed to the so-so looks, I think it was a worthwhile trade).


Map21
The story file entry for this level is basically "there are monsters, kill 'em", and the level's not a whole lot more developed. It's pretty much just the entry, plus three rooms, and corridors to connect them. Each of the three rooms features a set piece or two, which is where the meat of the level, such as it is, can be found. There are a few monsters noodling around the corridors, but they're just time fillers.

Everything's put together OK in terms of visuals and gameplay - though SteveD is gonna hate the item placement! - but it feels very much a filler level.

Last edited by Capellan on 04-21-13 at 08:39

Old Post 04-21-13 05:16 #
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Magnusblitz
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Still playing catch up!

MAP31 - HELL'S ARMOURY

I find it interesting that purist described this map as a wasted opportunity, and I feel somewhat the same (though maybe for different reasons). It's not a bad map, just bland... but had the potential to be a lot more. If I hadn't seen the BFG mentioned in posts here before playing, I would've stopped looking for the secrets and missed it completely. The hell fortress area with the marines and the secret exit seems oddly tacked on, as well. I feel like this map should've been focused on the two ideas (BFG being a reward for doing the level, and the continuing quest to save the marines), and thus should've located those two things centrally in the map (perhaps visually, but unreachable at first) and build the rest around them. Instead, the player can easily miss both, and it just feels like another level.

Aesthetics-wise, it feels a lot like MAP07 in that it's just a hodgepodge of textures. Some tech base here, box room and tech here, a hell fortress, flesh rooms, etc... doesn't feel like a cohesive whole. Gameplay was fairly boring, though the Arch-Vile fight near the RL/SSG room was pretty fun and a good setup.

MAP32 - SIRENUM SCORPOLI

Quite the adventure... good map for a secret level. The moving blood rivers are pretty cool (how is that done, anyways? I've seen lots of custom linedef in the WAD so far, such as the "yellow room activates when you walk through it" on MAP10, but the river takes the cake here). In a way, this map reminds me of Go 2 It, with a sort of "don't care about being pretty, here's a bunch of areas thrown together with a ton of monsters to fight" mentality. And it works, for the most part... the fights are good, but 500 monsters is a bit of a slog. I admit I had more fun running from the fights than killing everything, and I barely killed anything after the yellow key. The scientist Keen dolls were kinda weird, and completely unexplained by the story... which is a big oversight, IMO. If the story isn't helping to explain the stuff that can't really be explained in-game, why bother?

MAP16 - EISENHOWER AIRPORT

This map is taking it's fair share of criticism, and I can see why. I wouldn't say it's bad, but it seems out of place in the WAD, both story-wise (a huge sprawling airport/town level in-between techbase-y levels and the comm tower?) and stylistically, with it's huge open areas and attempts at realistic designs. I think the realistic designs are what really make the map feel misplaced - not because they're bad, but they're not anything special. I think every mapper has gone through the whole "I'll make tables with food and kitchens and toilets and hotel rooms!" phase, and it makes this map feel dated, like a 1996 era map.

Unlike some of the others, I had no problem with the progression. It certainly could have been difficult, but there's a lot of hand-holding throughout... a switch might open a door far away, but there's also a teleporter immediately next to that switch taking the player to the door that just opened. One "secret" even has about 10 lighted arrows leading the player to it (and then another teleporter taking the player back to the main route). Not that bad. The only time I got lost was in the main "city" with the building that opens in the back of the firehouse, and even that wasn't too bad since I had the compmap pickup and there was nowhere else to go. Gameplay is also really let down by the (lack of) monster variety - most rooms have only one or two types of monsters in them, so there's a lot of "okay, here's the Baron room, now the Revenant room, now the chaingunner room..." syndrome.

MAP17 - COMMUNICATION TOWER

Good map, I liked this one a lot. The combat is really good - I'm not a fan of teleporting enemies, but they were used to their best here; not large hordes slowly teleporting in front of the player, but used to set up ambushes behind the player to supplement monster closets. The cyberdemon fight really caught me off guard ("okay, time to open up this tiny yellow key closet... OMG HOW DID A CYBERDEMON FIT IN HERE"). Last area was good, it was actually quite fun playing tag with the Barons in the red key area, though it's much easier to simply kill them from outside that area (especially with the imps/revenants shooting from afar). I will say that the final room is the weakest part in the map, though. Had to laugh at the last anticlimatic demon, too.

Interesting choice in using BRICK10 throughout, as I rarely see anyone use it for anything other than a sewer level. That's really the type of texture design I like to see, taking a few textures not commonly used together in the original DOOM/DOOM2 aesthetic but still look good together, and using that throughout for a consistent look.

I will say that the story feels like it's breaking down a bit here, while before there was an obvious progression even in the maps themselves (break out of the asylum, go underground, escape in sewers, reach land, go to the dock, get on the boat, fight your way into hell, escape hell and go into some techbases), now we're just getting maps that feel more random. This one didn't feel like a communication tower (everything is supposed to be gone?) Ah well. Still, fun map.

In terms of the blue key being hidden, I would just remove the green vest - there's another green vest in a nearby room, and a blue vest (secret) as well. Plenty of armor.

Old Post 04-21-13 08:59 #
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SteveD
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Map19 – Satan’s Fortress – by Cell – Kills – 95, Items – 66, Secret – 20. Time Sucks (big time!). End Health 198, Armor 199. Death Count – 6

Wow. I was really loving this map at first. I’ve liked all of Cell’s maps so far. I was getting into the exploration thing, although I thought it was too easy for quite awhile. I didn’t even take a hit until after I went through at least the second key door! Well, I did replay fights to make that happen, but still . . .

At some point, things got ridiculous. Press switch, activate trap – 950 million fucking times. Sweet bleeding Jesus fucking Christ on a crutch, I just hated it. I can’t say it’s awful, because it’s far too well-crafted to be awful. It is in fact expertly constructed and, in many places, flat-out gorgeous. But I can guarantee that I will never set foot in this hellhole again. The only thing I can say which makes sense to me is that it seemed wrongheaded, a case of tremendous craft devoted to making a map that is really no fun to play – at least for me. I mean, haven’t players been saying, loud and clear, for well over a decade, that it’s a bad idea to make maps where you get stuck on the “detail,” so why do mappers still do this kind of thing? Boggles the mind, it really does. The icing on the cake was the inward-pointing gates at that clusterfuck of a Cyb fight. Is it possible Cell did that so players would get stuck trying to run past the Cyb? I got killed 4 times in a row trying to do just that. Walking keyboarders ain’t gonna fight a Cyb and the 101st Airborne of Monsterville. I’ll leave that to talented players like, well, the rest of you guys. ;D And you had that PE up there in the Cyb room to block your run, too. When I finally made it through, I bumped into that bastard, then had to run back down into the previous room and try the other side.

I guess I can say this; have you ever seen someone walk around like they had a stick up their ass? That’s how this map felt to me, like it had a stick up its ass. And all these blocking monsters, it was more like being restrained than entertaining Doom fights. Like in a movie where someone, usually a woman, wants to leave and then some jagoff grabs her by the arm and blathers at her, and she tries to pull away but he keeps holding on to her like the deranged psycho that he is.

Ah, I’m babbling. Note to Capellan, I didn’t need to turn on Always Run to shoot past the Cyb. ;D

End-map ammo; 139 Bullets, 50 Shells, 28 Rockets and 203 Cells.

Last edited by SteveD on 04-21-13 at 13:34

Old Post 04-21-13 13:23 #
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purist
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MAP21 - Constriction - Katamori & TrueDude

This is probably my least favourite level in Hadephobia. It's relative short length means it's less of a chore to play through than Satan's Fortress but it isn't redeemed by Cell's meticulous detail work.

To be fair it's not THAT bad. TrueDude did a good job of opening up the rocky potholes and added and decent area directly after these but I can't love the Cyber moshpit no matter how hard I try and for a Welcome to Hell map it's all in all underwhelming.

Old Post 04-21-13 14:53 #
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dobu gabu maru
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21 - CONSTRICTION
...You warp to what seems to be the entrance to a large temple inside a cavern. Once again, you've come back to Hell. Looks like you'll have to kick it's ass one more time...

MAP21: Honestly hell looks a lot like the other mines I was exploring :P

To break the pace from the previous onslaught, this level is a slow, tense burn, forcing the player through very dark and tight hallways a la MAP01. It’s an atmospheric shift that fares quite well, although I still stubbornly say that specters in a dark hallway is one of the cheapest challenges you can add to a map. The big battle for the red key is a nice warm up for presumably what hell is going to be like, but I found it too easy to circle strafe around the hordes once they start warping in, painlessly getting them to bicker amongst themselves… I think the skull pit should’ve been lava to keep the players from touching one end of the arena.

This map also includes a bunch of player’s staple rantings, such a a berserk pack SteveD will be unable to avoid, an unmarked exit Capellan will sigh over, and multiple blackened areas that will flood Demon with delight… it even has that obscene attention to detail I enjoy. A bit of an off-note, but I think Hadephobia’s strongest suit is how well and consistent it handles organic growth throughout each map… not once have I found it cheesy or weird yet, and I’m interested to see how it will manifest itself next.

Last edited by dobu gabu maru on 04-21-13 at 17:23

Old Post 04-21-13 16:37 #
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cannonball
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MAP21 - Constriction by Katamori/Death Egg
Fitting name, quite a few cramped areas with some more actioned packed stuff, mostly the red key room. It's horrifically bumpy though and I died once there due to the cyber changing target to me, second time was a breeze. Not sure about this map, you can either give a breather or offer a continued challenge and you kind of get neither here.
Yay unmarked door exit, why?
At least it looks fine for the most part.

Old Post 04-21-13 16:52 #
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Capellan
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dobugabumaru said:
an unmarked exit Capellan will sigh over


I left the sighing to cannonball, this time :)

Old Post 04-21-13 22:07 #
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SteveD
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dobugabumaru said:

MAP21
This map also includes a bunch of player’s staple rantings, such a a berserk pack SteveD will be unable to avoid, an unmarked exit Capellan will sigh over, and multiple blackened areas that will flood Demon with delight… it even has that obscene attention to detail I enjoy.



I do rant, don't I? :D I must try to keep in mind that a lot of these mappers were, as I think purist mentioned, relatively new, so if that's true, I guess it stands to reason that they would do the kinds of things young mappers do to try and get the player by any means necessary. At least until they become more confident in fight design, or whatever Damascus experience it takes to get them off these tracks. And while playing Map19, a light bulb finally came on over my head, because I kept finding shell boxes in my way, and Medikits in awkward locations. But it occurred to me that the map is tuned for pistol-start rather than continuous play, and perhaps Cell gave thought to speedrunners and other fast-paced players, who like to grab power-ups close by after taking some hits. Maybe I just looked at the design too much from my own play perspective without thinking of other possibilities.

I am liking Hadephobia overall. The maps are very good-looking in most cases, and there is plenty of action, and I'm dying a lot more than I did in 2002:ADO, which is perversely satisfying. One thing is beginning to bother me more than power-ups in front of switches, however . . . the switches themselves. There's too damned many of them. The mappers are leaning way too much on this crutch as we get into these later levels that are growing vastly in size. For me, it's really slowing down the action and interrupting the flow.

Old Post 04-21-13 22:17 #
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Katamori
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I'm gonna be honest: when the time has come for me to make MAP21, I didn't want to do it already. I didn't even tested the map, this is why TrueDude had to finish the map after I dropped it.

There's nothing that can "save" me, it was my fatal mistake.


dobugabumaru said:

MAP21: Honestly hell looks a lot like the other mines I was exploring :P



The sky wouldn't have matched for me at the beginning, this is why I used a different ceiling.

Old Post 04-21-13 23:31 #
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dobu gabu maru
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22 - PRIME MOVER
...As you venture deeper into the depths of Hell, you come across the usual piles of human flesh and - strangely - parts of machines. As you wonder why Hell needs this machinery, whilst blasting the heads off some demons, you meet a not so dear friend: the Baphomet.
So Hell needed all those resources for rebuilding the Gatekeeper? Maybe. But the thing doesn't seem to be alive yet. And it won't be! You need to find some way to destroy it before it wakes up...


MAP22: Probably the weakest map so far. It’s not a knock against NoneeLlama’s effort here, but rather, shows how well each of the mappers contributions have been so far; “Prime Mover” is mostly an innocent, standard affair. Monsters usually come at you from one angle and come sparsely packed, save for a few traps. And even the traps are really managable, like the pinkies after the blue key and the plasma gun room to hide out in from the mancs. Only memorable encounter was the dual archviles, which are easily taken care of as soon as you clear out the explosive debris beforehand.

Visually it’s a tame outing as well, with many boxy, loosely detailed rooms after the starting area. Most interesting piece was the Baphomet sneak peak, which actually gets me hoping that I see that ugly face again sometime soon. It’s an okay level in the end, but with so many maps being really exhilarating or interesting thus far, I don’t think “okay” is quite enough here to stand out here.


SteveD said:
I must try to keep in mind that a lot of these mappers were, as I think purist mentioned, relatively new


I've been trying to finish up some maps while taking into account most of the gripes here, and find myself tempted time and time again to stick powerups/ammo where players have to pick them up to progress. It's not done with any cruel intention, but rather that there's not any other pleasing spot to place them down. It's tricky business.


Katamori said:
The sky wouldn't have matched for me at the beginning, this is why I used a different ceiling.


I just meant thematically, as the next levels are very mine/cavern oriented as well.

Old Post 04-22-13 05:35 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 21 -- Constriction - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
....yeah, it's definitely a filler map, although I guess it's worth mentioning that if it had come in a much earlier mapslot it might not so readily seem that way. Even the story segment is a simple placeholder that delivers the standard megaWAD 20/21 intermission message (read: "Oh, shit, looks like you're going to have to go into Hell to get the job done!") in a totally dry way. It's not a chore to play and it looks fine--mostly! I felt that the chapel room was garishly bright (surprise surprise), and I didn't like the body props in the yard where you start. To be more specific, I didn't like the way that the line of impaled corpses on the left were all twitchers, with the guys hanging over them all still, whereas the line of impaled corpses on the right are all still, and guys hung over them are all twitchers--something about this looks terribly artificial, and was not replicated in other places with body props (that I noticed). That being said, the tight, shadowy corridors and dark ominous chambers after the chapel all look much better to me, with my favorite scene being the room that has the hell knights behind the barred window on one side--particularly like the candelabras and the glowskulls in the flesh indentations. My only real gameplay impression is that this is the first map in the set where I used the berserk fist a lot (in fact, I reckon I used it more than any other single weapon). That's not a complaint--I like using the fist--but it did strike me as a little odd that this was the first map where I felt compelled to use it, given that Hadephobia has tended to be characterized by a lot of tight corridors, and I know many previous maps have had berserk packs, as well. Maybe it's an ammo balance thing? The 'big fight' is clearly the teleportation ambush at the red skull, but as Dobu mentions, you practically have to try not to just let it all take care of itself via infighting. If the cyber survives (he actually had a really off day and lost when I played), you can just pop him one with the BFG from the relatively easy (but not bad) secret.

About the unmarked exit thing, I've been meaning to weigh in on that, but keep forgetting. For my part, I don't have any qualms with the way this device has been used in Hadephobia. From reading the story segments (which I have been doing before playing each map, incidentally), you can usually tell where the exit is as it tends to be described in said segments....but, I maintain that most of the exits here would be pretty clear even with no story text--most of them look sort of "this is the exit"-esque. This contrasts with maps I've seen where the exit being unmarked is a real nuisance, e. g. maps where the exit is some nondescript switch behind an unlocked door that you can reach when you're not even half done exploring. Furthermore, I actually prefer not seeing exit signs in maps with certain themes (e.g. almost anything in Hell); it's just a little aesthetic preference, same way I don't like seeing crosses that aren't inverted in Hell and whatnot. Now, in base/starport/earth themes and the like, fire away with those exit signs, as far as I care.

Old Post 04-22-13 06:50 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP18 - ALTAR OF CHAOS

Hmm. This really felt like a tale of two maps to me - the part with the keys, and then the hellish church. The first part is pretty dull, with fairly bland architecture and bland fights. Gathering the keys is almost too easy. Thankfully, the second part really ramps things up and was quite the blast. Very good monster variety here - for example, the first battle is mostly imps and demons, providing a good mix of ranged attackers and mobile meat shields, but there's also a few chaingunners sprinkled in to keep players on their toes if they just try and play hide and seek with the imps and demons. The Arch-Vile door release after the lava side area was good too. The side areas weren't spectacular-looking, but the church itself was pretty impressive. And I liked having the exploding barrel trick on the generator (didn't I say they should've done that for the generator in Power Up?). Good end makes up for a weak start.

MAP19 - SATAN'S FORTRESS

This one, on the other hand, I didn't like that much. Right off the bat, we have a "suddenly teleport monsters into the room because I didn't want to upset my pretty design" trap, which thankfully wasn't repeated throughout the level. The level of detail is very good, with tons of care being put in every little corner and smidge of the level... but I think this actually turns out to be a negative, as it sort of creates a visual overload. There's so much detail crammed in that it starts to just look busy. My other complaint is that the level is just too damn constricted. Lots and lots of tiny little hallways. It's not that it creates unfair battles, if anything, the combat is easier than it feels it should be. It just makes for somewhat dull gameplay moving through cramped corridor after cramped corridor, blasting down one or two enemies at a time. I also didn't find a single secret until the end, when I jumped on top of an Evil Eye to get the Megasphere (when I was supposed to discover a hidden hallway instead).

Also, after a run of levels with fairly obvious exits (even without EXIT signs) we're back to the completely out-of-nowhere off-guard exit. Hooray!

MAP20 - OSTOYAE ANOMALY

Well, this map certainly won't win any awards for aesthetics, as it is quite ugly (though I did like the area behind/around the monster shooter thingy). Still, using a monster shooter for a non-Icon map is still relatively novel, and as someone who enjoys running through hordes as much as killing them, the monster shooter makes for a decent device to force the player to rush through the map. Unlike MAP32, the Keen dolls (now Hadephobia sufferers) are explained in the story, which is a good thing. Fun little map, and probably the perfect length for what it entails.

MAP21 - CONSTRICTION

At first it feels like an episode starter meant from a forced pistol start, but weapons are given to the player quickly and the action quickly ramps up from a few imps to hordes of Doom 2 monsters teleporting on top of you. Very short level, but still manages to fit a Cyberdemon in you. Overall, not much to say... not bad, not great. Kinda like a harder MAP12. Well, I guess the Arch Viles in the last room felt kinda silly (as its quite easy to just reach out and hit the exit door)

Last edited by Magnusblitz on 04-22-13 at 07:22

Old Post 04-22-13 06:55 #
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Alfonzo
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map32 - 22
http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2188647

I must concede that my enjoyment of the mapset is beginning to wane, although there are still positive qualities that can be relied upon for their consistency. Most notably the progression and adventurous feel that almost every map creates -- something that does justice to (or is indeed made possible by) the story driven nature of the mapset. Map32 and 20 pulled this off quite brilliantly. I was also otherwise pleased with map17 for its punchy size and action.

I look forward to finishing this mapset!

Old Post 04-22-13 07:23 #
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cannonball
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MAP22 - Prime Mover by NoneeLlama
This map feels like taking a trip back in time.
This map has a very 1995 style of clean and simple looks, also helped by a track from Perditions Gate. This map plods along with monsters ahead of you for the most part with a few monster closets which let out a few nasties but nothing too troublesome.
It's an ok map but feels out of place with the rest of the levels as this could have easily fit into the decent megawads of the mid-late 90s.
Note I missed 2 kills due to somehow not triggering monster closets, either I skipped a linedef or the monster closets are broken.

Old Post 04-22-13 10:04 #
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Capellan
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Map22
A more old school look and feel to this level; texturing and architecture is simple but competent. Monster usage is a tad on the simple side, being mostly in front of you and easy enough to deal with.

Like last map, this felt a bit like filler, with nothing terribly memorable about it, and the story elements not really coming through very strongly. It was OK to play, though.

Old Post 04-22-13 11:18 #
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Larzuk
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cannonball said:
Note I missed 2 kills due to somehow not triggering monster closets, either I skipped a linedef or the monster closets are broken.


Yeah, two monsters are impossible to kill in that map as of right now. I mentioned this to Purist awhile ago and am waiting for a new version to come out.

Last edited by Larzuk on 04-22-13 at 12:47

Old Post 04-22-13 12:41 #
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Capellan
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So, about a week left until the end of April. Anyone interested in maybe taking on HYMN next month? It's only an episode, but since it is still in Alpha, the feedback would probably be really helpful to them.

Of course, it's also Heretic, and I guess some people might turn their nose up at that :)

(we could do a Doom/Doom2 episode replacement in May too, to fill up the month a bit better?)

Old Post 04-23-13 03:26 #
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SteveD
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Capellan said:
Of course, it's also Heretic, and I guess some people might turn their nose up at that :)

(we could do a Doom/Doom2 episode replacement in May too, to fill up the month a bit better?)



Don't have Heretic, and I ain't a-gonna get it, neither -- envision nose turned up. ;D

However, given that I'm falling behind on Hadephobia, and I have tons of mapping and other work to do, I second your motion! :)

I further second the idea of doing an episode replacement or two, and given that I'm not really a Doom 2 guy -- the game relies on bludgeoning you, it seems, or at least, PWADs seem that way -- my nomination for an episode replacement is obvious -- Double Impact, a bloody Cacoward winner!!!! And if there's to be a second, the choice is equally obvious, that nice, relaxing classic, Fava Beans!!!! If these were chosen, you'd see an entirely different SteveD than the cantakerous, bitching jagoff you've become accustomed to. Nay, you'd see a generally ecstatic, pleasant fellow waxing rhapsodic over the amazing Doom wonders spread before us. Hard to believe, I know.

Of course, I'll endeavor to play whatever the club chooses, even a slaughter wad, though I might resort to Skill3 or even 2.

I also like your idea of, essentially, using the club to, at least occasionally, do playtesting for hard-working map teams. Imagine, if I could just bitch, moan, shriek and rant about fucking Medikits in front of switches BEFORE a wad was released. Dude, I'm there!!! :D

Old Post 04-23-13 04:25 #
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SteveD
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st.alfonzo said:
map32 - 22
http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2188647

I must concede that my enjoyment of the mapset is beginning to wane, although there are still positive qualities that can be relied upon for their consistency. Most notably the progression and adventurous feel that almost every map creates -- something that does justice to (or is indeed made possible by) the story driven nature of the mapset. Map32 and 20 pulled this off quite brilliantly. I was also otherwise pleased with map17 for its punchy size and action.

I look forward to finishing this mapset!



I enjoyed the hell out of watching you play these maps, and listening to you and Tarnsman was a riot as usual. And I thought I was hard on Map19. ;D I actually liked the look of Map32 and regret missing the secret exit. If I find the time I'll try to pistol-start it before the month is over.

And once again, Tarnsman made a dubious statement about unavoidable items. Specifically, it does not logically follow that making items avoidable must, perforce, result in players searching all over the map for health. Moving a Medikit, previously nut-to-butt with a switch, 64 units left or right will not result in players aimlessly wandering maps wondering, "Where oh where is the health I so desperately need? Gee, this problem is insoluble!" :D

I ain't backing up an inch, though I do understand Tarnsman's reasoning.

Old Post 04-23-13 04:42 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Might be fun to do a heretic mapset, although I've only played through the series once so I'm not nearly as adept at it as I am at Doom. If we're doing it for next month, we might as well throw in two other episodes. I'm behind doing HYMN, Double Impact, and Coffee Break, that way we get some fun Heretic, Doom, and Doom 2 action respectively. Either that or I'm still up for kama sutra/SF12.


23 - GLOOM KEEP
...you come to a sort of hellish, brick fortress surrounded by the darkness of hell itself.
Moving deeper into the fort, you realize something's not right. The demonic bastards seem to be using the fort to spawn new monsters for the final invasion on Earth.
Not on my watch, you think, and walk into the only accessible chamber and lay a few bullets into the spawn switch.
Further down the hall lies a teleport to Earth. You curse out loud, as the bridge is down, and realize that is how the demons are getting to Earth. You figure theres gotta be another portal around here, and continue into the fort.
Eventually you come to a giant, skeletal door. You can only imagine whats beyond it- but this is it. You have to finish this. You press the switch to open the door and walk inside...


MAP23: A great map from Olympus, easily topping MAP12. The majority of the fights this time seem leaner and meaner, with less enemies thrown head on. While there are still some useless demons (like the imps that teleport in on the star), there are a good amount of devious traps that put pressure on the player. Sudden ambushes like the symmetrical blue key room, SSG HK surround and glorious red key AV battle all prove to be tasteful experiences, especially the red key one—I’ve stated that one of my favorite fights is tangoing with two archviles at once, and the red key area with its large pillars and chaingunner corpses is a prime example of how to do that kind of fight right. I did an honorary SSG-only duel with them and had a blast. Visually it’s a nice map too, with plenty of places to go to and little tidbits to see (like the portal to Earth).

Another interesting note about Hadephobia I've mentioned before is its depiction of hell being largely stone temples and dark caves. No superfluous use of redrock or the marble textures (yet) just a lot of tunnels and sandy floors. While I don’t think the aesthetic is strong enough to differentiate itself from the 2nd/3rd episode maps, I do appreciate how it’s being handled so far... a lot of the gloomy, low tempo and slow boil music also adds to its sinister, haunted atmosphere.

Old Post 04-23-13 05:03 #
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Capellan
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dobugabumaru said:
I'm behind doing HYMN, Double Impact, and Coffee Break, that way we get some fun Heretic, Doom, and Doom 2 action respectively.


Works for me.

Old Post 04-23-13 05:07 #
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Snakes
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st.alfonzo said:
map32 - 22
http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2188647

I must concede that my enjoyment of the mapset is beginning to wane, although there are still positive qualities that can be relied upon for their consistency. Most notably the progression and adventurous feel that almost every map creates -- something that does justice to (or is indeed made possible by) the story driven nature of the mapset. Map32 and 20 pulled this off quite brilliantly. I was also otherwise pleased with map17 for its punchy size and action.

I look forward to finishing this mapset!


For the record, I only designed the architecture of the cathedral on Map18 and abandoned it. I thought Nonee Llama did an acceptable job with the map as a whole, and considering that my heart just didn't feel in it, I'm glad something decent came out of it.

Also, I'll have to look into the logistics of gang rape because it's seriously bothering me now.

Old Post 04-23-13 05:13 #
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