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Demon of the Well
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Ribbiks said:


it's curious that you mention this :p

Coming soon... in 2015...


*Tents fingers*

Exxxcellent.....


Moving on, guess I'm ready for Monochrome now. Taking a look at the project thread and textfile, I reckon this is probably going to be a wildly mixed mapset--that is, I expect there'll be some maps that'll bug the piss out of me and some that I'll think are very cool. One thing's for certain, the project concept is definitely the kind of thing that's going to present a huge challenge for those with enough moxie to map for it, anyway. Incidentally, lots of authors I'm not very familiar with here, so it looks I'll get to become acquainted with some new styles.

For this playthrough, I'll be switching to GZDooM (as it appears to be the only port that can run every map in the set), but my modus operandi will remain otherwise unchanged--Ultra-violence, pistol-starts, few or no saves, etc. etc. etc. Without further ado....


Map 01 -- Dada - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Hmm......well, as a map 01, it does succeed as far as making an impression goes, anyway. My overall impression is pretty similar to what the majority of the other players thus far have said, that being that the map is interesting to look at but that the gameplay is lackluster. Hell, 'lackluster', to be honest, I think it's pretty dire. There are no traps or choreography of any kind; everything is placed directly in front of you, often in a rather haphazard way (e.g. the arachnotrons in that small room beyond some corridors after the revenants-on-platforms room). Not only can you stand and shotgun everything from the "doorways" if thus inclined, in most cases, you can stand there and let infighting thin things out, as well, although the revs/demons room does avoid this by dint of some slight-but-relevant height variation. There's no particular balance issue or anything....the action is just very trifling and unengaging. Seems like it was an afterthought, really. The best thing about it is the chainsaw in the opening room--in the name of fun, I played the map a second time using only the chainsaw (which is more viable in GZDooM with its tailored blockmaps), which made it more entertaining. I pretty much agree with Veinen--I think all of this would've worked better (though it's still not really a fight-conducive layout) if it had been mostly imps, demons/specters, and maybe the occasional zombie.

The stronger side of the map would be the visuals, of course, but in a rather perverse way. Layout/room structure is really quite boxy/bland in general form, but that's not really a crippling flaw in this case, as the strange strobing black/white custom texture comprising the entirety of the level seems like it more or less requires that kind of approach in order to achieve the intended effect. I think it works best in the narrow corridors, particularly where they bend or turn; even when standing still you can sometimes get a slight feeling of displacement, like you're slowly sliding down the corridor. The effect is less pronounced in the larger rooms (although this may have something to do with the combat-related chores that occur in them) and pretty spotty on the sloped surfaces, although it works fairly well in the exit chamber.

Overall: Obviously very experimental. Worth seeing once for the experiment's sake, but hardly worth playing for the combat's sake. Perhaps this was intentional, given the map's name, but from the end-user standpoint that's neither here nor there.

Map 02 -- Temple of Light - 100% Kills / 33% Secrets
This one moves in a different direction, which is good. I hope to see a wild degree of variation in overall style throughout Monochrome, to whit. That being said, I think that as a playing experience this has a similar overall impression as Dada did--notable aesthetic, mediocre gameplay--although I think it improves on both aspects, overall.

Again, combat is very simple and straightforward, although here it falls along more sensible/traditional lines--lots of imps and zombies, some pinkies in tight corridors, a few cacos and lost souls reasonably placed in some of the later cavernous areas. At first I thought this was going to be an ammo-starvation map, to the point where I started punching pinkies to death, but soon enough I came upon a cluster of shotgun guys and other zombies on an overlook that I was able to kill 2-3 at once per shell, and upon looting their corpses I never had an ammo issue for the rest of the proceedings. Things conclude with a fight against two Barons; but unless I'm delusional I believe they are custom Barons. They look and fight exactly the same as normal members of their ilk, but they seem to have even higher HP than usual....which isn't good. Fighting Barons in an open space like this, with just shotgun and chaingun to boot (although my poor secret-finding performance this time might have just deprived me of some better weapons) generally tends to feel like busywork in the first place, and their augmented resilience only prolongs this, without adding any additional danger or pressure. The best parts of the map are the red-lit ledge crawls leading up to the yellow key, where imps and zombies are used from distant firing positions to decent effect.

I did die once in this map, but this had nothing to do with combat; upon first entering the room with the red skull, I immediately noticed the candle placed near the dropoff on the far side. Since it was the first candle I'd seen, I thought it might have been a clue to a secret hidden at the bottom...turns out that candles near ledges are a standard aesthetic motif in later parts of the map, and all I did was fall to my death. Victory!

Aesthetically, this is an incredibly stark, joyless environment comprised of an endless expanse of unfeeling grey stone, with occasional pockets of colored light for ambience (and occasionally as a substitute for lock-identity textures). The earlier sections are blocky and bland, but eventually things pan out a bit, with a more natural cave environment behind the red door. It's minimalist, but I do like the atmosphere to this map--the introduction of red light in the red skull room looks surprisingly ominous (not that there's any payoff in gameplay terms), and I thought that hewn idol face in the last part of the temple was pretty striking. My favorite thing about the map's aesthetic is actually the skybox, though; it gives the impression being a tiny dust mote in an unthinkably vast stone labyrinth. The blinking light in one part of the 'sky' makes no sense whatsoever, and yet I think it works, somehow. I'd almost advocate doing away with the "door" and "button" floor text, as I think this would become evident to most (sentient) players in short order, and they sort of detract from the atmosphere a little.

This is more of what I'd like to see in the aesthetic/atmosphere vein, although there's still a great deal of room for improvement in the gameplay department. I saw a harmless bug as well--the imp on the highest firing position in the center rock formation in the cavern right before the yellow skull room is initially stuck/unable to fire (he's placed too close to the edge), although if you hit him with a bullet it knocks him into place and makes it so that he can move/fire again.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 06-09-13 at 08:34

Old Post 06-09-13 08:08 #
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cannonball
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MAP01 - Dada by Scientist
Oh dear, I hope this is not a sign of things to come.
The visuals are certainly unusual and look pretty cool in a trippy kind of way. The secret could only be described as hidden by an optical illusion which I think is pretty cool.
Gameplay on the other hand was pretty dire. Mancubi and spiders used in awful locations where the player just pop shots them from behind wall. The only one which isn't is in the berserk pack area. I guess the revenants were placed ok but I just snipped them off with the chaingun one by one so they were not a threat.
There are 2 pain elementals which them decided that my enjoyment of the map would literally fall off the cliff by spawning lost souls everywhere which just left me thinking screw this and left the map. Didn't bother with the cacos either, the pain elementals had put me in a bad mood, mainly because when playing the first time I had literally taken just one hit before that room before subsequently being killed by a horde of lost souls trapping me. Not happy.
I hope the wad improves.

Old Post 06-09-13 12:04 #
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Getsu Fune
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I want to join in too, but considering that some of you guys have already started the second wad, should I play that first or try to quickly get through Stardate 20X6 before that?

Old Post 06-09-13 16:03 #
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cannonball
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MAP02 - The Temple Of Light by sawd
Oh dear me, I stopped at the red key because my laptop wasn't having any of this map and went to lagtacular state :(
I guess the gameplay is ok, just small fry from the doom beastary and a few little traps. Most of the health lost came through the game lagging which was quite annoying but of course it's not the authors fault.
Ok map from the amount I played but nothing spectacular.

Old Post 06-09-13 16:24 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Hurricyclone said:
I want to join in too, but considering that some of you guys have already started the second wad, should I play that first or try to quickly get through Stardate 20X6 before that?


You really can't play "quickly" through Stardate, so you should just hop in on Monochrome and if you have time, you can play through Stardate either concurrently or afterwards. Or do whatever you see fit.

Monochrome
MAP02: This is the first time I played a map designed for GZDoom on my mac and it seems to stutter a lot during lighting intensive parts like cb's—the room with the mirror dropped me down to like 1 frame per 3 seconds.

Gameplay wise, it plays well, funneling the player through distinctly lit areas. The chasm area was actually my favorite as I was able to pull the most amount of atmosphere out of that, with the hordes of imps and candles aligning the steep cliffs (minus the lag making me hop into the pit). The finale though? Cool room with a creepy face, but really, two barons with high hp? How was this necessary at all? In a big room they become a chore to fight, and on top of that the shotgun being the strongest weapon I had meant I had to strafe around in boring circles as I wasted all my ammo. Completely unnecessary; this isn’t 1994 anymore, two barons never cut it as a finale, let alone two with more health. Besides that big gripe however, sawd did make a neat level with low-tone ambiance.

Update for Stardate soon to follow.

Old Post 06-09-13 17:58 #
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SteveD
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Stardate 20X6

Map05 – Kills – 85, Items – 77, Secret – 16. Time 50:38. End Health 100, Armor 54. Death Count - 5


I haven’t quit, folks, I just got super-busy. This is something I have to deal with every month. But rest assured, I’m still having loads of fun with Stardate!

Aside from occasionally confusing progression, I enjoyed the hell out of this map. I really liked the height variation and the open-plan layout with all the overlooks. I liked the techbase-meets-Quake look of it, too, which I think was better in this map than any of the earlier attempts at this style. Lots more purple helped, too.

I was irritated by the platformy stuff, but I only used noclip once, after I had already triggered a trap.

A lot of the fights were fairly easy to handle by simply jumping off platforms and rocketing monsters from below, but not all of them, of course. I’d been going along just fine until I ran into the series of red key fights, where not only did I reload a bunch of times to get my numbers up, but I was killed twice. The biggest problem was the nobles, especially when they came from two directions. I got killed once by backing towards the entrance without having killed enough of them first, and the zig-zag walls also led me into several “Good at Doom!” moments. When the Archies appeared, I followed my normal strategy of being an Archie-seeking missile, but the nobles formed meat-shields around them. Luckily, I had plenty of cells from continuous play, and lots of rockets at the ready. Ah, if only I had alfonzo’s SSG skills, but I truly suck by comparison to him. BTW, with only 16% secrets for this map, I’m guessing the Soulsphere in the red key area is the only one I found. I only found that one because I could see it through a window, so I went searching for the tiny switch that Ribbiks diabolically hid in an angled recess. Yes, I’m on record as not liking the approach he took with secrets, and I’m guessing that the 15% of monsters I failed to kill were in secret areas, too.

I was killed 2 more times when I jumped down into the SpiderQueen area. I’ll blame the first of these deaths on watching alfonzo’s playthrough, because once I saw the Mancs, what went through my mind is, “There’s a SpiderQueen in that central area, and unless I stay behind that thin column, she’s gonna gun me down.” So I more or less ignored the Mancs while trying to position myself, and they killed me, at which point I realized you have to hit a switch to reveal the SpiderQueen. D’oh! I disposed of the Mancs easily the second time, but died again after unveiling the SpiderQueen and the nobles. I took a lot of bullets and ended up cornered by HKs, again because I tried hiding behind the thin pillar. On the next try, I immediately began rocketing the nobles, got the SpiderQueen to kill everything on one side, and sailed through.

My final death was at the giant Caco/PE swarm. I was killed by the first Caco-only wave. Maybe that happened because I thought, “This is right up Capellan’s alley.” Yes, just one split-second of inattention was enough to get me cornered and killed. I prevailed, going all the way through on the next try, but it was an exhausting match.

I liked the way Ribbiks did the stairs towards the final area. Very smart use of lighting and color. The end-map fights were frantic, to say the least, and I was again happy to be on ITYTD, so I was able to just keep pumping the rockets and cells, using the SSG only for mop-up operations. But damn, there was an impressive number of Revvies here. Holy shit! I really, truly wish Suitepee had done this mapset. I can’t help wondering at the quality of cursing and even the potential rage-quit that we all missed because he passed this up. ;D

In summary, I thought this map looked great and played great, balancing several styles of combat well. Yes, I hate the approach Ribbiks used for secrets. The only other person who makes me do this badly on secret finding is the Great Satan himself, pcorf!!!! ;D But none of that takes away from the obvious fact that every single map in this set has been an example of master-class Doom design work. Maybe some of the fights have been gimmicky, but so far, I haven’t been much bothered by that, I just take it the way it is and play the hand I’m dealt. And I’m having fun.

Last edited by SteveD on 06-09-13 at 18:22

Old Post 06-09-13 18:00 #
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SteveD
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Demon of the Well said:
kudos to those club members who stepped out of their comfort zones to give a mapset of this general type a shot.


The time had come for me. I joined the Megawad Club to do something I normally don't do -- finish megawads. Why not take another step from there and play maps I'd normally refuse to play, such as slaughter maps? Further, why not play at a skill setting I'd normally avoid, such as HNTR or, in this case, ITYTD? It's all been quite rewarding so far. And now I know that even if, during another episodes month, the club chooses Sunder, which has no difficulty settings, I can still get double ammo and half-damage on ITYTD. ;) So that means I can at least give it a shot.

Old Post 06-09-13 18:29 #
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Getsu Fune
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Alrighty then, I guess I'll have to multitask.

Playing both Stardate 20X6 and MMP on Hurt me Plenty, no jumping/crouching (already disabled by both wads), continuous play with frequent saves/loads on GZDoom attempting 100% kills and secrets

Stardate 20X6 MAP01 Amethyst II

Was quite a cool map overall, with nice progression, but I died three times due to stupidity and too much aggressive playing. Once after I grabbed the SSG I went back and found a plasma gun secret by accident, but wasn't prepared for the revenants (plus no armor). Then I somehow couldn't dodge cacodemon fireballs after pressing a switch. And in the last area with the cyber and revenants I obviously couldn't handle homing missiles well. Then I replayed the map to find out the armor was down in the purple goo. I won't play aggressively on this mapset now. Final time 7:03

Monochrome Mapping Project MAP01 Dada

Wow, am I tripping or something? The moving textures don't appeal to me that much, and gameplay here sucks. I don't like getting a chainsaw to use on Mancubi or Arachnotrons. The sergeant at the beginning at least gave me a shotgun but I had to run around and get ammo. The one area with the revenants on the blocks I simply ran in a circle trying to kill them while avoiding missiles. Another thing, the spectres are almost completely invisible here. So yeah, not a good first impression of the wad, but oh well. Final time 4:41

Monochrome Mapping Project MAP02 The Temple of Light

I guess you had to play this in GZDoom due to the light effects. Bland grey textures throughout with 1994-ish gameplay. More hitscanners, including two surprise chaingun guys after one of the keys, and some okay secrets (I got a backpack which helps). The hellish area to the yellow key was my favorite, and reminded me of Void with the moving to different platforms, although I noticed a stealth shotgun guy at one point. The final area wasn't too bad, but it took more bullets/shells than usual to take down just two barons, which was annoying despite them not being hard to dodge. I don't believe a baron should take about 25 shotgun blasts and still be alive. Final time 7:37

Old Post 06-09-13 20:20 #
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Capellan
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Monochrome Map03: Support Storage
Played continuous from map02, which contributed to making this very easy -- but then also I also accidentally exited the level without completing all sections, which - from a quick glance in DB2 - meant that I missed the PG and BFG, and the potentially nasty ambushes they trigger.

Overall, I didn't think much of this. It has nonsensical, unsourced lighting, and lots of 64-wide corridors. It'd be a less than thrilling environment even with a full suite of textures. Gameplay-wise, it did have quite a few opportunities to stir up infighting, which was quite fun, but apart from that there's not much to recommend it. Playing from pistol start would make it a bit harder (especially if you went down the RL wing first, like I did), but probably not any more interesting - there just aren't any especially interesting encounters or locations here.

Old Post 06-09-13 22:29 #
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Suitepee
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Map 02: The Temple of Light (UV/Pistol start. 100% Kills, 100% Items, 33% Secrets)

http://youtu.be/4ho8Uv6xchI = my playthrough of The Temple of Light.

Sawd's map is a whole different atmospheric change from the last one to be sure. Grey walls everywhere, no music to be heard and a thunder & lightning skybox! Coloured glow lighting seem to be the special trick of this map, since it's everywhere in all sorts of different colours. It's not very monochromatic but it adds something to this map. And it reminds me of Afraid of Monsters: Director's Cut, one of my all-time favourite horror games!

Onto the map itself. A blue skull "door" to the right (shown only by blue lighting) and green undercurrent lighting to the left along the corridor. Then we see the sign on the floor for 'DOOR', in case people got stuck and thought the grey wall would never open. Imps and pistolmen/shotgunners lie within on platforms above, as well as revealing that nice looking skybox! Go through the next "door" (which is actually a lift that contains useful Armor atop it if you ride it up), punch out some Pinkies in the small tunnel part and then acquire the shotgun from a fallen Shotgunner that pissed off the wrong tunnel Imp. Up ahead is a red skull door (again illuminated by colour-appropriate red lighting) and a nice skull lantern decor. Shotgunners lie ahead through the green centre lit door, as do some Imps/Pinkies. This area provides you with the first decent ammo cache from the dead Shotgunners, yay! Up ahead is another blue skull door to the left and another green centre lit door to the right. Go right, tackle more Pinkies/Shotgunners/Imps. Now we're told on the floor that the thing on the wall is a 'BUTTON'. This opens the wall revealing a nice staircase up to the blue skull key, all illuminated by blue lighting. Nice.

Grabbing the key lowers the area around the staircase revealing pistolmen, Shotgunners, imps and Pinkies. Kind of an average trap to be honest, somewhat easily dealt with. Not all that impressive. Now time to go through the blue skull door to a blue lit room with Imps above and Pinkies below, then Shotgunners in front. Boom bam buckshot and death for all! Time to lower two barriers to go through the centre door; the door on the left has more Pinkies in a small tunnel and then Imps guarding the purple/pink? lit button, the door on the right has a mixture of enemies and then a strangely anti-climactic room where you press the button and the pillars don't lower to reveal enemies. Odd, but a nice twist of what you'd expect. The now accessible centre door has a nice 'door opening' trigger revealing the red skull key up a flight of narrow stairs, illuminated by red lighting and candles. (It's like Alien 3 on the Genesis in here!) Down below is a very red lit pit which I smartly avoid; no 'DEADLY PIT' sign on the floor sawd?

On the way back to the red skull door, two bumbling chaingunners attempt to ambush you in the shotgun crowd room. They die fast and relinquish their chaingun prize; woohoo for easy to kill chaingunners! A few enemies also come out lower down from a lowered grey wall, but die easily enough. I find my only secret here on an obvious texture standout, revealing x2 healthkits and bullets/shotgun shells.
Through the red skull door is a chasm and a mixture of platformed enemies and Cacodemons, as well as decent health/ammo supplies on both sides of the somewhat narrow walkway across the chasm. (I actually ponder if it's deadly down this one or just a case of getting trapped...) Candles and red illumination abound, it looks quite nice actually here particularly in hindsight. Through the next door lies what looks like a cave area of sorts, with narrow ledges containing Imps and Shotgunners around as well as a trail around the place. Cacodemons and Lost Souls (thankfully no PE's on this map) also scuttle around, and more candles everywhere! This would have been the visual highlight of the map for me, if not for the ending....
There's some minor run platforming to be done here, which thankfully is obvious and not too painful since Doom doesn't usually do platforming well (especially when jumping is disabled!). One such "run to the other side" area might seem a bit of a close call, but in hindsight isn't too bad at all. At the end of the narrow cave trail is the orange skull key, in a nicely detailed room that again has no ambush/trap for picking it up. A nice mirror teleports you back to near the starting area, where you need to use the orange skull key to access the earlier mentioned blue skull area at the start of the map.

Going back through the opening blue skull door unleashes two more Pinkies at you, and then a backpack with good bullet/shotgun shell ammo around the place. If the ammo is placed like E1M8.....
The final door opens slowly to reveal a creepily placed wall statue head in the distance. This visual impact I liked, and had me both curious and slightly spooked! A well executed visual reveal sawd! The room itself contains two Barons of Hell to fight (E1M8! E1M8 I told you so!), which isn't too difficult but you'll have to avoid being distracted by focusing on one Baron with only the shotgun/chaingun at hand whilst the other fireballs you! (it hurts like it did for me once, and luckily only once) Once the Barons fall the creepy statue head opens its mouth and you walk through a strange mirror showcasing an apparently endless room with grey textures and darkness to end the level.

Overall this map was delightfully average for me, and I felt like with Dada that the focus here was more on visual splendour/architecture with a limited texture/colour palette than providing anything too difficult or massively interesting gameplay wise. I certainly liked the use of coloured lighting throughout the level and the atmosphere that was created throughout the level. I really liked the slow door reveal of the creepy statue head at the ending, a nice touch. However it was a bit meh at times despite the atmosphere, due to the average gameplay. Ammo/health was sufficient enough throughout the level. The map never felt too dull though despite using maybe 1 or 2 grey wall textures, which is an impressive accomplishment of (visual at least) level design in my opinion. It was certainly a different feel from the last map, which in terms of variety I appreciate! What will map 3 bring?

__________________
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/ = Back to Saturn X Episode 2- part 4 stream coming soon....

Old Post 06-09-13 23:48 #
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Getsu Fune
formerly Hurricyclone


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Managed to get two more Stardate levels done. Lots of rockets were flown at big monsters throughout.

MAP02 Mud Bunny
Considering I'm playing more conservatively now, it will be much slower and not as "quickly" as expected, but thanks to this I die less often. In fact, not at all on this level, but I did come close in some occasions. The first really big battle was the teleporter ambush where revs, barons, and knights started entering the arena near where the blue door was. That particular fight was a pain in the ass because the monsters seem to teleport everywhere, sometimes in front of my face as I try to instigate infighting. Good thing I saved the soulsphere. I managed the cyber/manc/hell knight battle a lot easier, instigating infighting to weaken good ol' cybie. After that was the other major trouble, the blue key area, where I really don't know if an archvile attack is any worse than 3-4 revenant missiles from those towers. Again, I saved the sphere for when I needed it.

Overall not a bad level with about two really annoying parts. I ended up missing a secret (the megaarmor one), but I played ever-so-carefully that it might not matter. Final time 18:36

MAP03 Foxhole
It's good to hear Icicles again.

A funny moment happened in the beginning when one of the chaingunners perforated a mancubus. He was later resurrected by the archvile but I cleaned everything up without difficulty. Later on, I actually chaingun-sniped two mancubi, as I might not use the chaingun often in this wad. The first really notable area was the Tricks-and-Traps-esque area on the east part of the map. It was really hard for me to avoid both cyber rockets and revenant missiles coming from two directions; even though neither side attacked me, I garnered two deaths from winding up in the crossfire. Thank heavens for two soulspheres and a berserk (although more monsters would come in when I grabbed that). The final area I actually handled pretty well with monsters infighting (other than a few monsters teleporting right in front of my face again). The pain elementals I handled with the plasma gun and the cyberdemon with the SSG.

Overall much harder than the previous one. Final time 18:45

I think I'll take a breather now.

Old Post 06-10-13 00:48 #
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pfl
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Map 5 on UV, last section: about 150 Revenants :) I entered the place with 70 health. Then, why not, some Pain Elementals. A CyberDemon and good luck.

Well, after a few tries, I got a working pattern and got them all. Was able to get down and bring everything I could for the next one. I was also able to bypass some sections. Eeach level pleases me more than the previous. 6 announces 1000 vs 1. Fair enough :)

Old Post 06-10-13 05:31 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 03 -- Support Storage - 96% Kills / 100% Secrets
Huh. This suffers from a presentational imbalance just like the previous two maps did, but it takes the opposite tack--it doesn't play too badly, but it's a real eyesore.

Seriously, this is one of the ugliest serious maps I've seen in DooM this year. I attribute this mostly to lighting (or lack thereof), although the choice of that peculiar Nestle Crunch Bar support texture from DooM II as the building material doesn't help matters. But, yes, the main problem is how bright/flat most of the lighting is--in combination with the rather Wolfenstein 3D-ish architecture, it's nigh headache-inducing after a while. I guess if there was one thing I did like it's that the really dark, claustrophobic part of the map also seems to be home to about 50% of the actual monsters (probably more than 50% in terms of HP, what with the corridors here being choked with cacos and all), which helps the overall mood a little. Just what is being depicted here? Well, the answer is probably "nothing in particular", but the combination of the unwholesome organic texture theme and the occasional spot of vaguely 'realistic' architecture (e.g. the little sets of benches/lunch tables one finds in a couple of places) does provide a little snack for the imagination, if one is willing to think that hard about it.

As for the layout, well, it's pretty lousy, to be frank--lots of useless narrow corridors that twist and turn and dead-end, few real landmarks beyond the outdoor terraces off of the dark section and the blood fountain in the main hall, and a general lack of space for either the marine or the monsters. And yet, I did say above that I felt it played better than the previous two maps, and I stand by that. I think this map is an example of effective thing placement going a long way towards compensating for all kinds of other faults. The map is genuinely non-linear (although the samey-ness of the environment tends to obscure this fact a little), and while it contains a lot of ammo and weaponry, the vast majority of this is placed deep within infested territory. While most of the monsters wake up and start howling for your blood from deep within the maze early on, a significant contingent of them are deaf. The maze is full of switchbacks and doglegs, almost totally lacking in monster-blocking lines, and many of the areas eventually link up with one another. What this all adds up to is a surprisingly strategic affair (from a pistol-start) where it is very easy to come up against something you are unable to kill, prompting you to flee and explore in a different direction in hopes of finding another box of bullets or a few more shells. Eventually you're likely to find yourself approaching the same problematic area (e.g. the dark section) from a different entrance, which adds up to sort of an ongoing guerilla war between you and the monsters. All the while, monsters you've woken up will be gradually filtering in from the outlying parts of the maze, tending to collect in the central hub, applying more and more pressure to make progress as time goes on. And you've got to be on your toes, because it's easy to walk by a blind alley at an odd angle and have a deaf imp suddenly sneaking up on you.

Well....maybe I was just lucky in how things played out for me. Whatever the case, the actual business of killing monsters here was more interesting than in the previous maps, Ken's Labyrinth layout and all. Other things of note: Support Storage was home to one of the most good-natured specters ever...I call him "Hector the Defector." Hector ran all around the southerly shotgun maze and eventually opened the untelegraphed berserk pack secret for me of his own accord; I probably wouldn't have found it otherwise. I was so pleased I refused to kill him for the rest of the duration, even when he started trying to show his affection by licking the marine's face and jugular a bit. On a more dour note, the lack of BGM here was disappointing, just like in the previous map. In fact, it seems that a great number of the Monochrome maps lack BGM...not cool, dudes. Sure, I can just IDMUS if need be, but this is, in my humble opinion, one of those "it's the thought that counts" sort of deals.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 06-10-13 at 08:19

Old Post 06-10-13 06:41 #
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Alfonzo
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Where's All The Data? struggles to avoid a pun on an E. L. James novel as it tackles the Monochrome Mapping Project.

Part 1 = http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2404690 (map01-12)

My opinion on the mapset is thus far not the best. Some of the problems are simply those inherent in a community project such as the many troughs in quality, but much of it is due to many of the maps failing, in my mind, to recognise what can be achieved with the idea, such as taking the goal of the project as an opportunity to highlight critical facets of map design outside of texture selection. Other maps don't seem to make use of the opportunity at all and simply make a map they otherwise would and strip it of all texture diversity.

Favourites thusfar are The Primitive and Membrain's entries, which suffer only from a lack of different colour selections between maps.

Also, I've noticed that in the screenshots for map02, Temple of Light, the eponymous light emanates from dynamic lights. If that's the case then you can probably disregard that part of my/our criticism in the streamthrough. The rest of the verbal bludgeoning still stands!

Old Post 06-10-13 11:29 #
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cannonball
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MAP03 - Support Storage by Jaws In Space
argh my eyes!!!!
Man what a map. The texture used entirely in this map could be best compared to vomit (no I'm not joking here)
This map is just a maze with no real guidance on the player with monsters filling the space, some of the monster placement seems competent though which is nice and it does give a reasonable challenge.
The combat is fine with a few traps sprinkled here and there but that is probably the one good point. The bad point is the sheer ugliness of the map coupled with the design which is just a maze mostly of 64x64 corridors with no real direction to go by the author finally finished off with an unmarked exit switch. Bad times I had only killed 70% of the monster which I might have wanted to kill as the combat was the only decent thing here.
Oh yeah no music (why?)

Back to map02 - After seeing Suitpee's video I would have the impression that the map isn't too bad.
The lighting is good, the second half of the map is vastly superior as it shys away from the corridor idea of the first half. And there is a good use of atmosphere where the lack of music aids the creepiness of the map. Unlike map03.

Old Post 06-10-13 11:32 #
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Jaws In Space
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Yeah that is a good question why is there no music on a lot of these maps? I was content with the stock Doom 2 music for all of my maps.

Old Post 06-10-13 12:15 #
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Da Werecat
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I'd say all of Jaws In Space's levels in this wad are rather 1994. They're even vanilla-compatible, if you can get through tutti-frutti on two 'silver' maps.

It's both their strength and their weakness.


Jaws In Space said:
Yeah that is a good question why is there no music on a lot of these maps? I was content with the stock Doom 2 music for all of my maps.

Have you expressed that somewhere?

Old Post 06-10-13 12:37 #
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Membrain
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Honestly, I left music out of my submissions so that appropriate tunes could be set for them. >.> On one hand, it's a little barren, but on the other, it's rather appropriate for the style with which they are constructed.

Old Post 06-10-13 14:24 #
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Veinen
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Map 03: Support Storage

Ehh, I have kind of mixed feelings about this map. Visually it looks like some kind of a claustrophobic sand castle (or perhaps a vomit castle if you ask cannonball :p) and like others have said, it's a real eyesore. The design is very maze-y and to be frank it isn't very appealing either. And yes, the lighting could have used some improving too. On the other hand there's more combat to be found than in the first two maps combined and especially the monster-filled dark area is pretty interesting to play and requires some thinking. The map is non-linear which is a good thing and at the same time a bad thing. Good in the sense that you have options on how to proceed but bad because if you're unfortunate enough to venture the wrong corridors in the beginning (like I did), worst case scenario is you'll see the ssg and RL only after 95% of the map is dead.

I actually played this map twice to see how different the gameplay would be if you grab the weapons of mass destruction right at the start instead of grabbing them at the end which renders them useless. With just the shotgun/chaingun combo the map was of moderate difficulty but understandably a bit tedious when the packs of HK and Cacos were introduced. When played this way, I was also encouraged to use the berserk fists and chainsaw which would be a huge plus if the map was intended to play this way. However, grabbing the ssg at the start isn't much of a problem and by judging the way the RL was placed I would think the author intended the player to go that way first. It's actually too bad, because with the ssg the map basically becomes a walk in the park if you don't run head first into every battle. So yeah, despite that the gameplay was an improvement over the first two levels I felt that it had way more potential if the weapons were placed a bit differently, e.g. perhaps hide the ssg in a corner somewhere in the dark area so that the player must shotgun/berserk through the brighter areas and then make a run for the ssg to mow down the tougher enemies in the dark rooms. Maybe it would have been a little too tough for map 03 like that so eh, I guess it's acceptable the way it is. Special mention to the BFG/cyber encounter which is odd to say the least.

Last edited by Veinen on 06-10-13 at 16:25

Old Post 06-10-13 16:02 #
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cannonball
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MAP04 - Abusive by FractalXX
I was bored so played this map as well today.
Did fractalxx make all of this map is my question because here I see 80% of the map is pretty decent and cool looking, then there is 20% which makes me want to mash my face into the table.
The 20% is the lost soul maze for which I was supposed to find 3 switches, except there are only two in there meaning I spent an eternity in there with lost souls spawning in 10s every minute or so. If I knew the last switch was over the other side of the map then I wouldn't have spent so long in there and got very very frustrated. Once I got out of there the rest was plain sailing. A little cramped but ok.
Gameplay was pretty straightforward, probably a bit too much health lying around but hey ho.
So good points are decent gameplay and visuals. Bad point being the awful lost soul maze. It's an all right map in the end.

Old Post 06-10-13 16:30 #
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schwerpunk
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Thanks for the detailed and no-holds-barred feedback, guys. Ironically, we've been looking at our own maps with rose-tinted glasses, so it's refreshing to get some neutral insights. From aesthetic to gameplay critiques, it's all very much appreciated. Also, many of you are already doing this, but a note for future reviews: if you spot any little things that you'd really like to see fixed, it would be appreciated if you could include those in your feedback. We're presently planning on releasing a bugfix update next month, and the input we receive from this thread will be our primary source of bugseeking.

Old Post 06-10-13 17:51 #
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Getsu Fune
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Breather's over, but I only got one done today.

Stardate 20X6 MAP04 Tanagra

Honestly, my favorite map in the set so far. It's nice that you only need one of two keys to get the yellow key but I got both anyway. The fights were manageable, probably since I'm getting used to style, although the hellknights and cybers in the southeast part of the map made me jump. I managed to get monsters to infight here and in the outside area to make my life easier. Only major problem were the revenant/demon combo in the end room but I managed the battle through to the end without a death. Final time 17:51

Old Post 06-10-13 18:27 #
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Veinen
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Map 04: Abusive

Going to be busy tomorrow most of the day so I might as well write my thoughts on this map too now when I have some free time.

Well this is a pretty neat map we have here, looks nice and plays decent. It's very short and very easy though, both of which drag down the grade a bit. Hunting pressure plates instead of switches was a cool and unique feature although finding the two in the lost soul maze might be a tad annoying. Luckily I stumbled upon the plates quickly so the maze didn't affect my playing experience negatively that much. The other "wing" is pretty straightforward, just shoot the enemies until they die, step on the plate and you're ready to proceed. The enemy placement is alright but especially the ammo balance is way off (too much ammo). Aesthetically the map is rather pleasing and it has a fresh and futuristic feel. The custom music also fits nicely and enhances the feeling. Props to the author for good usage of lighting as well.

Can't really think of much else to say about such a short map. It's an ok map, but I'd have preferred it slightly longer and slightly more difficult. And because it seems this wad comes with a token oddity in every map, we have a shitload of unnecessary ammo/health pickups in the final room for some reason.

Old Post 06-10-13 22:40 #
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Getsu Fune
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MMP MAP03 Support Storage

Well this one sucked too, although I did get my big weapons and a berserk. Brown is the color here, and imps seem to be the main monster. It was quite confusing in many places with its nonlinear layout. I punched most of the monsters, good practice, but the level just didn't have appeal. I ended up missing a monster, looked at the map and found out it was a cyberdemon that for some odd reason missed his cue to teleport in. Final time 7:56.

MMP MAP04 Abusive

Kinda cool actually, with the switches and stuff, although in the darkening maze I did what Cannonball did and tried to find that last switch in the maze before getting bored and going to the left. Rest of the map was relatively easy except for the programmed fights in the last room but I managed to get through fine. Final time 3:48.

Stardate 20X6 MAP05 Sector 8

Well this map was a definite pain in the ass in terms of difficulty. Beginning was handled well, but a lot of areas were not. The first notable fight involved a squarish area near the southwest of the map where two archies teleport to pillars and hellknights/barons nearby. Scored about three deaths here, and even fell into the pit several times. Not fun. The spiderdemon fight I handled okay, but a bit bruised. The hellknights/barons seem to be in the way of the spiderdemon so I can smash him with the SSG, although I was pissed that a secret right before the teleporter out of there teleports you to where spidey was. The caco wave was where shit really got me, would be nice if I had a BFG but I never got one on this level. I blasted myself multiple times trying to kill them, and the pain elementals made matters even worse. I managed to escape and get my bearings straight before cleaning up. I went through the other blue key door where chaingunners were on towers and imps teleported. That was annoying, but manageable; I flipped a switch afterwards and lowered a cool purple-colored invulnerability. Unfortunately I couldn't use it for anything since I have all my keys already. The climb upwards the stairs was cool. The revenant/PE horde was rather overwhelming though, I blasted myself several times again trying to kill the bastards. Neck-deep in lost souls too. Thankfully cybie was easy to slay. I ended up missing several secrets and later on looked back at the map in IDDT and only found 4 out of 6 on the map. Maybe one of the secrets is actually two secrets but I don't feel like replaying this level again. Final time 18:25.

Wow that level was hard, I think I saved and loaded more times than ever before, trying not to waste too much time or ammo on levels, and multitasking between wads. I might not be able to play these two wads for the rest of the week as I'll be busy replacing TV and Internet cables for awhile, but that doesn't mean I'm out yet.

Old Post 06-11-13 03:58 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 04 -- Abusive - 95+% Kills / No Secrets
This first map by FractalXX continues the overall trend of the other maps seen thus far, in that its aesthetic/gameplay balance remains markedly one-sided. I can't say that it gives off a "more of the same" impression, though, as this is certainly the glossiest-looking map in the set thus far, by a country mile.

This is some kind of abstract base made out of all sorts of grey textures, with black and silver accents, and some tasteful soft-white lighting punctuated by occasional shadowy spots. It's very (G)ZDooMy in other ways, as well, with a number of slopes, angled support joists, a brushed-silver overhang walkway in the final room, etc. The skybox is a simple grey field with some pixellation in its lower area that vaguely suggests some kind of remote grey cityscape in the distance (perhaps just my imagination trying too hard again, that), and the whole shebang is topped off by a smooth, unobtrusive low-key electro BGM selection. Does it work on an aesthetic level? I think so, for the most part. While it doesn't have anything quite as individually striking as the idol face from map 02, this is the first map that feels like it has fully adjusted to the texturing strictures of the project, as opposed to being limited by them. It's not perfect--the colored plexiglass and colored lighting in the lefthand section are incongruous and make no relevant gameplay contribution to justify their presence--but it feels more like a place (a monchromatic place) than anything thus far.

Unfortunately, as was the case with the previous maps whose best face involved their aesthetics, the gameplay here is still rather bland. As in Dada, enemies of many different types are shoehorned in to what is a very short level, thrown together in front of the player in rooms where they can do little more than inflict casualties on one another.....

....and then there's the lost soul maze. I hope my previous comments on Support Storage showed that I'm not so hostile to mazey setups that I find the idea of there being any good in them to be unthinkable, but this section of this level is flat-out turgid. With their low speed, middling HP, and 100% painchance, lost souls are one of the worst choices for that kind of setup. Their overall lack of effectiveness in that terrain is compensated for by making them perpetually respawn (whether this is triggered by killing a certain number of them or by walking over certain linedefs I'm uncertain), which turns the maze into more of a chore than it needs to be. I feel that using a different enemy type--a small number of arch-viles, a somewhat larger number of Hell Knights, even a group of specters that approach from different directions--would have made the action here more compelling. Of course, respawning these alternate enemy selections would make the area a lot more arduous, it's true....but why respawn them, I ask? When you get right down to it you're just wandering around a small monochrome maze looking for a couple of obvious floorplates. It's hardly profound, so why belabor the point? The same thing can be said about the reappearing enemy teams in the last room--kill the last member of one team, the alternate team appears instantly, and then the cycle repeats (does it eventually end, or is it perpetual?). Was this supposed to be a puzzle, or was this something the author did to make the map more closely fit its name?

This is a very clean-looking map that feels like it more readily embraces the monochromatic theme, but I really can't get behind the gameplay decisions made herein. They're generally less half-assed/demented than the ones in Dada, it's true, but really not any more fun.

Old Post 06-11-13 05:29 #
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Obsidian
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I am very glad my map is last: IoS maps have their uses, eh? ;-P

Old Post 06-11-13 05:57 #
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Demon of the Well
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Monochrome IoS setup, eh? Intriguing. Of all the kinds of encounters one can have in DooM, I feel like IoS battles are one of those most likely to benefit from something as simple as an aesthetic changeup.

'Course, I like IoS maps more than most players seem to, myself....It's straightforward Dead Simple tributes that I'm more churlish about.

Old Post 06-11-13 06:02 #
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Suitepee
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Map 03: Support Storage (UV/Pistol start. 100% Kills/Items/Secrets.)

http://youtu.be/S2Ri0erdQbA = my playthrough of Support Storage.

Time for the first of 6 maps by Jaws In Space for this wad, in which he takes a map and has only one colour running throughout it! Support Storage is of the colour orange, which includes a dull orangey-brown texture throughout the level. Unlike The Temple of Light however, Jaws In Space doesn't seem to do much to make this seem not consistently boring in the visual sense sadly. Also like the previous level there's no music, which DOESN'T suit this map that would have been better off with some midi composition to heighten things up a bit.

The level has different paths to take, although only one is really needed to actually beat the level. The start of the level chucks a few pistol zombies and Imps at you (depending how far in the central area you explore), then you can choose one of several paths. The blood fountain facing the player on startup looks nice, and is one of a few deft atmospheric attempts on the map. I go down to the southern path to the Shotgun and a lying in wait Pinky, which I dispatch with my pistol after trying to punch it from a height/length difference and getting bit for my troubles!
Imps and Pinkies ahead, and the return of "Hector the Defector" as the Spectre immediately opens up the lone secret of this map; a berseker pack room with an odd turn around for two more enemies with no reward, which I find a bit odd. Needless to say I'll be using my fists to deal with the Pinkies/Spectres on this level from now on. A Cacodemon or two gets thrown into the mix further up this tight, claustrophobic area as I fill up on shotgun shells and punch more things out.
It seems so far from 3 out of 3 wad levels that each map starts off with minimal ammo, but somewhat quickly gives the player enough to work with after 2-4 minutes. (Then again I didn't take the RL/SSG route, more on that later)
Around one corner is a chainsaw on a pain sectored blood floor, also containing conveninently placed barrels to blow up the two Spectres and Cacodemon within. I pick this up despite it being mostly pointless at this stage due to my berserker fists. A change of lighting ahead as I enter a darker place (with a bunch of corpses around a skull lantern for atmosphere), followed by the highlight of the map. The area ahead has several windows on the left side containing Hell Knights, Cacodemons and Pinkies. On the right side is three rooms that pour enemies out of them somewhat (including Chaingunners and Lost Souls), forcing the player to carefully tread through the area and get a lot of infighting done. Ammo is plentiful here, with bullet boxes around to indicate the long scrap ahead. Each of the right-hand rooms also reveals an outside location with monsters to boot. The layout here reminds me a bit of 'Quarry' from Icarus-Alien Vanguard. The lighting here is also simple yet nice, and makes this part of the level seem interesting despite the one colour texture. Here I also get my own share of "defectors"; first a Cacodemon kills a Pinky and gets two shots off on a Hell Knight I was beating down, and then a Hell Knight manages to 2v1 two Cacodemons outside. Sure he dies to the very next shotgun bullet I place into him, but the "Bro Knight" will never be forgotten.....

After this area is (thankfully) some armor and health, and some hitscan pests. Swinging around towards the other side of the indoor windows, is three more bullet boxes. This proves useful when a wall lowers and three Hell Knights emerge, also revealing the Plasma Rifle beyond them. A-rat-a-tat-tat, onwards! At the end of the window area on the other side is a helpful backpack and ammo to boot. I am now well stocked for the dangers ahead. A small maze contains a few hitscanners, then it's down into the light again as I go through what I can only describe as "Jaws In Space also really likes E2M2". You'll see what I mean if you play this map for yourself, but the tight corridors, enemy placements and height differentations just plain up remind me of Containment Area from Ultimate Doom here! This also means there's a fair few enemies I'm able to sneak up on with my fists. Another berserk pack lies within this 'maze' part also.

I end up looping back into the central room at the beginning, and take the time to notice the nice 'dining room' area (and killing its Imp occupants) next to the blood fountain I previously ignored. This looks nice in a minimalistic way, and shows the visual potential that this style of map could have had. After a slight bit of confusion I take the top-left path to reveal bullets, armor and a Rocket Launcher. Immediately followed by a crowd of Imps to use it on! Nice enemy placement there. Down a nicely done curved staircase is a couple of Pinkies, then outside to deal with some more Imps and Pinkies. This area is not necessary to traverse to actually beat the level, but through a tight corridor is tucked away the Super Shotgun and a Godsphere......why is there a Godsphere here? I pick up the SSG and ignore the Godsphere, figuring out I need to go back to the previous area and go up the stairs this time.
Going up the stairs shows the outside area I was just in, and up ahead is a cleverly devised ambush of sorts; the walls lower behind you to reveal a crowd of Pinkies, going through to the right corridor reveals hitscanners and Imps are lerking on the left side. I probably make this out to be a bit more difficult in the video due to having what I describe as having a "SteveD moment" and blindly charging into the Pinky crowd before regretting it and blasting out of there, but it's a nice little trap regardless. Past the hitscanners leads a path into a room with a mixture of enemies and what appears to be a more rougher 'table and chairs' decoration, then takes you near the outside part you can see from earlier. At the end of the road is a Soulsphere!

Back up and taking the left path past the Imps, is the final room with 4 Hell Knights and some Imps packed into a tight square room with a few pillars with the bottoms cut off. Rocket launcher away, and that's it for the level since the exit switch is in this room also.
Except that you can keep going back outside on the path and pick up the BFG, which then prompts the sound of a wall lowering. Odd, especially since there should have been some kind of fight for the most powerful weapon in Doom. I wonder what happens if I use my chainsaw to trigger any hidden enemies; SURPRISE TELEPORTING CYBERDEMON!!! Turns out that wall lowering was for a hidden room with a Cyberdemon in it.....which is entirely pointless since you can skip this encounter anyway! Not sure why this was placed here; perhaps if there'd been an enemy in the BFG room that appeared after picking it up to trigger the Cyberdemon early, and perhaps the path lowers until the Cyberdemon is dead, this would have been useful. As it is, it's entirely possible to pick up the BFG and never really fight this Cyberdemon.
One Godsphere and 200 BFG cells later on the Cyberdemon, I flick the exit switch and a Cacodemon awaits as the wall raises up, but the real exit switch is past it. Level done, 100% perfect clearance for the first time in MMP!

Overall, this level was visually unimpressive for the most part and had some average gameplay. A bit more tricky than Dada/The Temple of Light perhaps, but not much more so to be honest; my own stupidity probably cost me more health than the difficulty of the level, especially given the generous ammo count. And the teleporting Cyberdemon/BFG at the end just makes me scratch my head as to what 'Jaws In Space' was thinking; with a bit more tweaking it could have been a dramatic ending but as it stands it's a curious level design oddity. Hopefully the other 5 contributions by Jaws In Space aren't as dull, since there's some good minimalistic design ideas in here, just lacking the overall consistent execution this time around. The somewhat open approach to the level was a nice gameplay touch though. Onwards to Map 4.....

__________________
www.youtube.com/JohnSuitepee = I like to Let's Play doom wads.
http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/ = Back to Saturn X Episode 2- part 4 stream coming soon....

Old Post 06-11-13 15:14 #
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Pure Hellspawn
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Obsidian said:
I am very glad my map is last: IoS maps have their uses, eh? ;-P


you should make more IoS maps - that was awesome. my 2nd fave map in the entire mapset (behind map21)

Old Post 06-11-13 16:12 #
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cannonball
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MAP05 - The Primitive by Da Werecat
This map was...... pretty good actually.
It looks weird visually but for this project it works perfectly. Kind of a virtual reality type look to it. The layout is pretty well done and contains architecture unlike half the maps so far. There are some cool effects like the ssg room for instance.
Gameplay wise was pretty easy on the whole but still engaging and the fact the level has structure to it in height variation and room/corridor shape means the level automatically is more fun to play. The difficulty did spike at the end with the double AV reveal which was my only death but that was fun and fair.
Good job Da Werecat :)

Old Post 06-11-13 16:22 #
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