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dobu gabu maru
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cannonball said:
Btw If realm of chaos isn't selected I might play it anyway and encourage Steve D to play through my wad in some sort of banter fuelled face off.


Actually, I might change my vote to Realm of Chaos in that case because after taking a peek at it, it looks to be filled with some classic Doom action which would scratch a good itch for me.

Old Post 06-28-13 03:09 #
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Capellan
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cannonball said:
my wad


I'm hoping Concerned will float into contention for the Club once it's ready :)

Old Post 06-28-13 03:26 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 21 -- Paint the Town Red - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
I concur with Dobu in just about every way on this one--it's most definitely a map that gets by on its unique look rather than on the strength/nuance of its fights and layout. My only other experiences with Death Egg's mapping were his Hadephobia contributions, and while there's naturally a much stronger sense of concept to this map, I think it has some similar shortfalls as far as encounter design goes.

The most complex (though not necessarily most dangerous) battle that you will participate in here is the fight to get out of the starting house--the only real weapon available at this point is the rocket launcher, which of course requires care and a bit of finesse to be used safely/effectively indoors like this, and it's possible (though probably not particularly likely) that the hell knights will be able to flank you from more than one doorway. That's over quickly, though, and then it's out onto the streets. For most of the rest of the map, you simply lob ordnance (with a marked tilt towards rockets) at clusters of monsters that approach from some considerable distance over the wide expanses of flat, open ground; the major danger, as others have noted, is that some projectile types (particularly arachnoplasma) tend to be camouflaged by some of the many expanses of solid white, although this wasn't as pronounced for me because I have the default GZDooM translucency reduced a little bit. I think the best part is probably when you come down from the overpass--you get to saw through a pack of specters, and then there's a pretty varied group of monsters all firing from quite some distance away, presenting you with the challenge of closing the distance or showing off your long-range rocket skills. The later battles mostly devolve into basic circlestrafe/infighting exercises, although I did get a little bit of a bloody nose from the stealth-viles in the library (still made it out, though). All of this fills the combat void inherent in most Doom maps, I guess, but most of it doesn't really do much else. Everything is just so flat--literally!

But that's only half the story, the other half being the visuals. This is broadly similar to Monochromatic Nightmare in its use of a city/town setting, but far more representational in its theme and art style. Apart from a skybox that I could swear comes straight out of some old Gameboy title, most of the surroundings--lawns, bars, a boutique, the library, the docks, somebody's garden shed, everything--are rendered in a sharp B & W 'comic book' style, with each texture apparently made specifically for the part of the map it's used on. It's interesting to me that in this WAD I (and I doubt I'm the only one) sort of expected a lot of highly abstract constructions that one would make sense of more through gestalt effect than anything, but it didn't occur to me to think that somebody might take this differing, very direct approach instead. In this sense, I think that 'Paint the Town Red' is the natural companion piece to 'The Primitive', which also depicts a relatively normal real-world setting. They are two sides of the same coin; one direct, the other abstract.

I doubt I'll return to this any time soon, because purely as a Doom map it doesn't build much tension or have much gameplay depth. All the same, however, I am very glad I got to see it this first time, and I will probably remember it for some time to come.

Edit: As I sort of expected, the two main choices for next month's WAD are Hell Revealed on one hand and Realms of Chaos on the other. I haven't voted for one or the other yet simply because I'm having some indecision...I like Hell Revealed a lot and would hardly find playing it again a chore, and yet I'm pretty certain Realms of Chaos would feel a bit fresher to me, simply because I've only played through it about 1.5 times, instead of several as is the case with HR. I'll make up my mind before we're done with Monochrome, though (never mind that the outcome might already be mathematically decided at that point).

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 06-28-13 at 03:57

Old Post 06-28-13 03:52 #
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Capellan
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Monochrome Map 18: Monochromatic Nightmare
With continuous gameplay this is very easy. Map17 lets you leave with 100/200 and full ammo for every weapon, after all.

On the other hand, this is the most visually striking level of the set, with some excellent use of 3d effects. So despite the lack of any real challenge, I had a great time exploring it and enjoying the various clever tricks. Some of said tricks were a tad over the top (the early soulsphere thing with the ooh scary release of 1 whole spectre, for instance), but on the whole, a level I enjoyed very much.

Old Post 06-28-13 10:01 #
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SteveD
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cannonball said:
Btw If realm of chaos isn't selected I might play it anyway and encourage Steve D to play through my wad in some sort of banter fuelled face off.


Well, I did finally get to your mapset, which I've been chomping at the bit to play, only to discover that I'm a beta behind and that you plan to upload it at the end of the week. I'll keep playing, though, until you do that. ;D If worse comes to worse, I will personally nominate this mapset for the next "new megawad" month, which is August. Still, I really do wish I could have been of more use to you before the release.

I'd be up for your "banter fuelled face off" too, though I'd probably have to take a vacation from the Megawad Club to do it. ;)

Good luck on the job hunt!

Old Post 06-28-13 10:20 #
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Suitepee
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Map 17: Zdlightcrap (UV/Pistol start. 100% Kills, 53% Items. No secrets. Death count = 2.)

http://youtu.be/iBIP52Xl5GU = my playthrough of Zdlightcrap.

If this is the style of gggmork known as a "Morkism", I want to play more maps made by him!
DISCLAIMER: This is my first exposure to a 'gggmork' map.

This is the best map of the Monochrome Mapping Project for me to date, trumping The Primitive by a good mile. Right from the start this level created a grand impression of a Doom technical master showcasing how to impress the player! The opening room alone is the highlight of MMP for me to date. Said opening room did however cause slight lags on occasion when it did its "thing" but this didn't affect gameplay for me whatsoever.
The entire level uses only one texture, yet feels varied due to the use of some incredibly well-executed lighting. And it was fairly challenging as well, with two well placed Archviles hidden amongst a mixture of monsters each time that killed me twice. The level is somewhat symmetrical also. Ammo and health is sufficient throughout.
The walls that lower around the place as you trigger linedefs and whatnot also do so in irregular and creative ways.

After a while the opening room exposed a nicely-detailed big opening with a Cyberdemon and some floating friends. This boss encounter was easier than expected, due to the Cyberdemon getting stuck on the opening room 'lifts' twice. But I liked the stage for this final fight.
From this point on the map kind of becomes a 'jokewad'(?) of sorts; first you come across a room full of bouncing items, including 6 keys you'll need to finish the level. Entering said room makes me "bounce-twirl" randomly hereafter for a little bit, with accompanying yellow text. Luckily you'll only fight a few Imps on the way back, which was quite generous of gggmork here NOT to introduce some kind of difficult enemies at this point. Then you open the 'EXUT' door and follow some arrows on the floor, followed by some weird yellow text with a Jerry Seinfeld joke about retards?!? And the 'EXUT' flickers to 'FART'. Weird stuff. Then you go into a small darkened pit and 'BWAST OFF!' to exit the level.

Overall, this is a very bizarre yet technically clever style that gggmork brings to the table on this map. It's both a serious showcase of technical ability and a jokewad at the same time. The visual appeal of this level blew me away right from the off, and the challenge felt just about right. Unless something better on a grander scale comes along in the next few maps, I won't hesitate to possibly declare this the best map of the project!

__________________
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 06-28-13 22:06 #
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cannonball
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MAP22 - Ultramarine Kingdom by CorSair
Blue colour theme, shame the map made me feel blue too :/
There is no logical progression here meaning exploring every nook and cranny is the only option. The rooms which branch off are small and niggly and full of doomworld brand furniture which has a habit of causing some serious harm to the player. inside these rooms were some terrible monster placement. Tiny room, lets put a baron in here lololol :P
There are some good moment though I'm not sure how you can easily tackle the cyber battle without the secret bfg, almost bordering on mandatory secret. Add to that the pointless mastermind battle after grabbing the blue key.
In the end this just felt like the author was going for the visual impact and completely forgot about making a fun and dynamic level. A there which has unfortunately been ever too present in this wad.

Old Post 06-29-13 01:27 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Monochrome
MAP22: This map started out very appealing but eventually wore on me over time. It began well enough—moody music, a murky/sunken atmosphere, and nonlinear layout to delve into. I really like the deep blue look of this map and the continuous water theme, as I burst into apartment complexes and wiped out their hellish inhabitants. However, as I pushed along the left side of the map, something became quite apparent—this wasn’t designed to be a proper Doom level. Many of the enemies felt forced in, many of the rooms felt empty and unrewarding, and the map had a strange balance. To the western-most side was a market packed to the brim with ammunition, while all the buildings and facilities in the middle didn’t feel like there was any particular advantage to raiding them—you often lose ammo just fighting their residents.

In some way however, it does create an interesting stage as you’re exploring more realistic households, instead of how every room is strangely riddled with ammunition in every other map. But like the last map, it doesn’t create the most compelling gameplay, instead sacrificing level flow for mimetic architecture. There are a host of other issues I ran into with it, like hell knights that couldn't get out of doors thus clogging up the battle, the lack of the SSG for all of the map, only one distinct location for each of the weapons, the switch hunt, certain chaingunners lying outside of autoaim range, unfairness of six archviles being aggro’d at once, etc., so overall I’m torn on it. Like I said, I like the premise and feel of the map and feel as though it has the best atmosphere out of the entire megawad, but it just didn’t pull its weight in the gameplay section and felt overtly drawn out by the end.

Stardate
MAP07: I awake to a vast horizon broken by two sharp towers, an assortment of guns aligning the wall and a coiling pit in my stomach—this is it. Unfortunately the midi doesn’t work in ZDoom (or rather, for my save, as IDCLEVing to it seems fine) so I’m left with some very unsettling silence as I pick up my arsenal and proceed to take the elevator up into an arena with HKs standing idly afar from their mechanized overlord. What starts here is only the tip of the iceberg as I descend into the stygian abyss of Magnus.

In all seriousness, this is quite a bitch to get through. Most notably the health is extremely sparse and while there’s plenty of ammo around there’s no end to the innumerable ways one stray missile can ruin your day. There’s not a fight I could tackle cleanly as I crawled my way through the vile complex, abusing saves whenever it struck my fancy (which led to some really tight situations). I’m happy to return from the adventure to confess the entire thing is possible, but it certainly features the most daunting task in the whole episode, cooling off oddly before a very torrid end.

Each battle combines the large scale ferocity of earlier maps with the frequency of the smaller bouts in Vehelits, forcing the player to march on with caution. I’ve always enjoyed how Ribbiks lets the player tackle the key of their fancy first, but the red key potion was far, far more lethal than the blue was. The tunnel section with the cyberdemon presented me with a frightening predicament as I was running out of ammo to fight him, instead having to keep him alive for all phases of its scattered battles which was really difficult to do. That part caused me more grief than anything else in the map besides the infamous finale.

My favorite section was the fight for the blue key, as the initial imp and revenant waves were laughably simple until the archviles decide to play soter and resurrect their fallen sheep. It was fun to deliberate between braving the depths down below or staying up on the mezzanine to rocket the fools from afar, and it didn’t feel nearly as stressful as some of the other encounters despite being tricky to work out. The big slaughter room was the only other fight in the whole map that was oddly relieving, since there was plenty of health, cell, room and a great-super-happy invul waiting for me if things ever got hairy. The arena itself is very impressive, especially once the awe-inspiring glowing chaingunner hive makes its reveal. In the end that room was pretty easily dispatched with (well, in comparison with what is thrown at you), and I skipped merrily through the yellow key door to be met with one more arena.

And oh, the epic fool I was to believe I had braved the worst of it. That finale is Maximum Dumb™ with Archvile overload that becomes laughably impossible when you can’t get them to go the direction you want, and took a solid 20 attempts before I could even get a reliable save in. Afterwards it was just learning where all of them were and how to kill them as quickly as I could, finally pinning it down to just two when I ran out of cell. I ran past the sea of golden corpses to hit the exit button when I saw two foreboding megaspheres and a collection of cell. The ensuring fight from the final switch was truly hellish, resulting in a poor choice of judgment as I darted past the cyber demons to ideally hit the exit button and leave, only finding the panel to lower into the floor. Stuck behind enemy lines I had a series of comical moments as I had to push my way back through the crowd into the pillars with two cyberdemons that seemed to be immune to infighting, focused instead on reducing me to the dust I’ll eventually become.

Despite being mind-numbingly difficult, I actually enjoyed the finale quite a bit, pushing it to my second favorite fight in the map because of the sheer insanity distilled within its design (except for the starting archviles, which I can only explain to myself as Ribbiks’ attempt to map under the influence of cocaine). Magnus certainly is a mighty behemoth to slay in the and, and definitely feels like a culmination of everything you’ve learned dialed up to 10. Oh, and it uh, looks really good too… visually and stuff. Neat towers.

Overall: It has a niche gameplay approach but what Stardate sets out to do it does in spades. While you can argue about whether or not there should’ve been more purple used (I liked it as highlights personally), Ribbiks does best with what he’s most comfortable with, which is creating a batshit RNG experience for the lesser of us and a true test for the dooming gods. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea and as Demon pointed out it can wind up feeling guided and contrived at times (especially encountering each battle on your first attempt), but the joy is in tackling something so remorseless and unremitting that you push your own limits just for that one victory all players seek so hard to achieve. That’s why, for me at least, this has been my favorite release of 2013.

Final time was 3:56, but I would argue it took me probably double that. Bravo.

Old Post 06-29-13 02:48 #
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Ribbiks
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cheers dobu, thanks for playing through (and to the others that did as well)

your colorful prose made for some entertaining posts, and I'm glad you liked the maps :)

Old Post 06-29-13 03:50 #
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Getsu Fune
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MMP MAP22 Ultramarine Kingdom

Visuals - Two words: fucking gorgeous

There are plenty of rooms to go in this nonlinear level, as well as some cool blue places, such as the marketplace in the west end of the map and the cafeteria in the northeast. Also, this is the one level where jumping and crouching were enabled, and I used that to find items and secrets (exception, the CS secret which doesn't require jumping/crouching).

Unfortunately the gameplay is what prevents this from potentially being the best map in the set. Monsters are placed somewhat randomly in rooms and outside as well, sometimes I'm tackling an imp, other times a hellknight, and maybe a cacodemon in another area. Considering these monsters were mostly in rooms, I lost very little health, and most of the combat again was handled by SSG and chaingun. What I was supposed to do then after was to open up the northern section (this area had two chaingunners that were nearly impossible to hit even with autoaim). There's a switch there, but the door it triggers is hidden behind four waterwalls, each lowered by pressing a switch somewhere in the level. By that time I had killed all the monsters, so this was really boring. I only found three switches, and considering the time that it took me to find the last switch I just gave up. Also, I never knew how to get the blue key. I simply used noclip to get the key and get behind the door. <:(

With that over I had a skirmish with some revenants and demons, that was actually less fun than expected because they wouldn't stop firing. Then, the big arena. I could easily tell that I'm getting my ass beaten with several archies supporting the cyberdemon. There's a hole in the middle where if you crouch you can find secret supply depots, not really helpful when battling, especially when trying to exit the hole, so I got the supplies beforehand. Even with the BFG I had some problems getting rid of the opposition (goddamn archies), but I managed to get through eventually, and finally exit this nasty but beautiful level.

The sad thing about this map is that it could have been way more better in the gameplay perspective. Having to find switches to actually progress in a level is nowhere near my forte in playing DOOM, and I simply gave up and used noclip, decreasing the fun factor. The visuals were really stunning though, and actually kinda inspired me to do an aquatic-themed wad (not started yet though). Had it not been for bad gameplay this could actually be better than Death Egg's map. Final Time 18:22.

Old Post 06-29-13 04:15 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 22 -- Ultramarine Kingdom - 100% Kills (I think?) / 75% Secrets
Again, I agree with what seems to be the general consensus--the Ultramarine Kingdom is a rather striking place to be, but doesn't function too well as a Doom map. In this regard it's quite similar to the Temple of Light from way back near the beginning of the mapset, although the overall standard of construction is quite a bit higher here.

My first impression is probably colored more than anything else by the music track--mainly that the map actually has one in the first place, although the actual selection itself meets with my approval, as well. It's one of the most popular (or most widely encountered in Doom PWADs, anyway) tracks from Duke3D, no doubt chosen for its air of cold, quiet serenity. It certainly suits the deep, drowsy blue color scheme of the environs, and the exploratory theme of the proceedings.

The Kingdom has a fairly interesting shape, with a spacious southern shrine, a watery causeway, two curving mainstreets that meet in a castle facade in the north, and a large bridge that connects the two main buildings more directly. The outer sides of the streets are lined with small apartments of varying degrees of luxuriousness, and the inner sides are bordered by public places of varying types, from some sort of tech shop (on the east side) to a bazaar and a movie theater (on the west side). Again, this stands in counterpoint to the other two highly representationalist maps (The Primitive and Paint the Town Red), with a very traditionally DooMy take on realism, e.g. everyday objects comprised of sectors dressed in stock textures that sort of functionally resemble the materials that one would expect to be used. Between the soothing blue theme and the surprisingly complete rendition of a small castle-city, I think it makes for an interesting place to poke around for a bit.

Unfortunately, it also suffers from a classic malady of 'realistic' layouts done in Doom, and in a big way: it has almost no real flow and is generally not conducive to interesting battles with Doom's bestiary. Like several of Monochrome's other maps, it does have some limited gameplay interest in that pistol-starters will have to pick their battles wisely until building up enough resources to plow through, and the fight at the bazaar is vaguely interesting, but that's about where the positive stops. The main goal of the map is to locate several switches that eventually allow access to the castle interior; these switches are not placed according to any particular theme that I could discern, with most of them appearing in fairly out-of-the-way places. This setup means that the player must resign himself to simply methodically clearing out every little apartment and shop on the map, which is a surefire recipe for tedium, especially considering that the architecture necessitates that most fights just become boring doorway-choking. The throne room battle tries to change things up a bit by presenting the player with a potentially extremely dangerous situation, but it's easily defused with a combination of the center pool and the infighting mechanic (the secrets available from within the pool also help). Some will probably resent being made to backtrack to the shrine from the throne room to get the blue skull; since the skull itself is technically guarded I don't mind so much, but I think there should have been some opposition waiting back by the exit gate upon the player's return.

The Kingdom is a nice place for some sightseeing, but it's not really a good place for bloodletting. It probably would have been better if it had simply been an unabashed puzzle/exploration map, as opposed to one that tried to shoehorn standard Doom combat into a setting quite ill-equipped to support it.


I've thought about it a bit, and apart from my mathematically meaningless vote for Vile Flesh, I think I favor Realm of Chaos of the two likely candidates, simply because it's something I haven't seen in a while, whereas I know HR pretty well.

Old Post 06-29-13 05:39 #
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gggmork
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I had fun reading/watching the reviews, thanks. This is like an amplified newstuff chronicles with a magnifying glass on each map.

Old Post 06-29-13 06:57 #
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cannonball
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MAP23 - Good & Evil by Obsidian
This map starts off pretty good, job visuals with some nice effects and the gameplay is pretty tight and decent, maybe a bit cramped but nothing unfair. Stopped when I got to the boss room as at the moment the map is bugged horribly by the telefrag sequence.

Old Post 06-29-13 13:28 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Since Demon is going Realm of Chaos as well, that makes about 5 votes for it and 2-3 for anything else. So July is our Chaos month; hope Steve is ready to regale us with stories of yore.

MAP23: Obsidian’s monochrome finale is certainly something else. It’s another good looking map with a lot of clever details here and there, featuring a handful of short fights that can be quite fierce if you don’t get them under control. The cyberdemon in that small room was the most fun to fight, getting me down to 10% health when he was finally reduced to stubs. Then I got to the final boss which looked really cool and fitting, until he spawned a caco who proceeded to float into a teleport line and warp onto a voodoo doll. Since the spawns don’t change after a save, I was perpetually boned as the caco continued to telefrag me over and over, effectively ending my Monochrome playthrough. Would’ve restarted the map except I saw this as an inescapable problem, so as it stands the map is nigh unbeatable.

Let me say this familiar statement yet again: Was this even properly playtested? Obsidian lists this as a Boom compatible map, so maybe I just needed to change ports… which is a dumb thing to do in a megawad. I don't fully blame him since there was no universal port agreed on since the beginning, but this is a great example of why there needs to be one from the start.

Would’ve been a fun finale if not for that needless insta-death, oh well. I'll post my final thoughts sometime later.

Old Post 06-29-13 17:45 #
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Getsu Fune
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Stardate 20X6 Final Map MAP07 Magnus

Wow, oh well, this certainly was uhhh, frantic.

Words cannot describe the difficulty here; difficulty is almost off the charts even on HMP. I'd be terrified playing UV without weapons mods, cause this was definite slaughter through and through. Design-wise, this is clearly the most dazzling as well. Choosing a key (red/blue) was pretty neat. I went for blue first, and the dark area with pillars with imps was pretty neat, though the fight after flipping the switch lowering the blue key, as dobugabumaru said, was tricky as hell. Red key I actually liked more. There was an area reminiscent of that one particular part of Foxhole (MAP03) but this time with Mancubi on the sides and Imps/HK's coming from the teleporters. Handled that pretty well. Then the dark hallways with several neat fights were cool, though the revenants got on me so many times there.

On to the big slaughter room in the north, that was my favorite section. I get my BFG (and it fires purple too) after smashing some stupid spiders who turned on their mother/father spider (with rockets of course) and tried clearing the mancubi. The arena expands revealing fuckloads of hellknights, cacos, mancs, and revenants, as well as about six cybers. Thank lord there was an abundance of energy cells and megaspheres around the arena borders. After figuring out what triggers what I came up with a strategy. What I do is follows: 1. Run around like an idiot getting the monsters to infight, hopefully this way the cyberdemons would get overpowered (and they do). 2. Flip the switch where the mancubi/revenants came from, hopefully some room has been established so that I could get there without too much effort. 3. Get the secret invulnerability, which the teleporter to access is in the cyberdemon pen, but I had to shoot a switch to reach it. 4. Haul ass to the northern pen which housed the hellknights/cacodemons and grab the yellow key, still invulnerable. 5. Haul ass again to the newly opened pens and BFG the hell out of those archviles and evil, evil chaingunner pyramids, again still invulnerable. 6. Clean up the remaining enemies.

Phew, that was fun, but I wasn't through yet. I didn't know how to get up to where the yellow key switch was (it was behind a block where a mancubus was sitting on. I found a way to reach it by heading up to the wooden floor that the barons were on, flip the switch to lower a nearby lift, and jump to the mancubus's block and up to the next area. Behind the yellow key door, nice towers there. But unfortunately comes the moment that pissed me off so much. I flips a switch, and face off against about 9 or so archviles! Where's an invulnerability when you actually need one!? This took so many tries, one time I was jumped over to the area behind the cyberdemon pillars. Multiple archviles with no cover = not fun. The revenants and imps afterwards, also not fun, but I managed through, then finally killed the three noble rocket kings and blew up the purple rod in the back and I'm victorious. Overall, this was almost 100% frantic and took a lot of tries. Even on a lower skill level I could have been swamped. Thankfully the BFG helped out finally so this isn't too bad overall. Final Time 27:31. Final Overall Time 2:20:14.

I may post my final thoughts on the wad as a whole on the thread on Stardate 20X6, but not now.

Old Post 06-29-13 20:02 #
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Ribbiks
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Hurricyclone said:
Multiple archviles with no cover = not fun.


for the record that entire last arena is made of pillars..

also you can simply walk around the manc block before the YK door.


regardless, grats on beating it :)

Old Post 06-29-13 20:22 #
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Veinen
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Map 21: PaintTheTownRed

Fun map. Really good looking and very detailed for a monochrome map. Regarding visuals, my only gripe is the way the whiteness of the level hides enemy projectiles. It's annoying as hell and partly resulted in me playing very cautiously in the slaughter-section of the map. Just partly though because I played like shit and took so much damage everywhere that I was low on health all the time. But despite that I didn't feel like this was a particularly hard map. I see others mention the start as tough but I don't think it was anything out of the ordinary. Archie fight in the library was clever but with so much room it could have used even more of them to spice things up a bit. I'm not talking about a Ribbiks-like invasion of fifty archies coming from all directions but like 5 or 6 in total so that there's a higher chance of the player getting attacked by more than one of them at the same time. That would make the fight a bit more intense. Looking back, I reckon just running through the slaughtery sections and releasing everything right off the bat would probably be the most enjoyable way to play this map but just mowing down the opposition as they appear wasn't too bad either. Like I said before, the map isn't hard but in a wad filled with easy maps I feel like the more monsters the merrier. I had fun playing this map so it was definitely a succesfull effort by Death Egg.

Map 22: Ultramarine Kingdom

I agree with pretty much everything that's been said about this map alredy. A great looking map with much detail shot down by absolutely fucking terrible gameplay. Needless to say, I did not enjoy playing this map. In fact I didn't even finish this properly because I must've missed one of those random skull switches and I didn't exactly feel like exploring the whole goddamn complex all over again so I just gave up at 40mins and around 210 enemies or so. The only good fight was the fight for the bazaar, almost everything else is very, very tedious doorstep shooting. Can't really comment on the last few big battles since I just quickly noclipped through the areas but they did look a little better though. Also what the fuck is with those two chaingunners near the switch doors? They seemed nigh unkillable. So yeah, not very pleased with this map all in all. Visually one of the best maps in the wad but sadly the gameplay drags this one down a notch or five.

Old Post 06-29-13 20:31 #
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Getsu Fune
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Ribbiks said:

for the record that entire last arena is made of pillars..



Well...I did use the pillars on some attempts, but when they come from two sides...yeah. So I simply rushed to kill them and hoped I was lucky.


also you can simply walk around the manc block


Oops, I kept trying to head around the left side, that's why I improvised. :)


regardless, grats on beating it :)


I forgot to play MAP31, sorry. To be frank, though, after seeing other's comments (and the description in the readme), I'm not likely to play it.

Old Post 06-29-13 21:48 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 23 -- Good and Evil, Black and White - Did not finish.
This had the potential to be a fairly raucous finisher to the mapset, but its IoS battle is horribly broken and, for all practical intents and purposes, unfinishable. The setup used here involves some platforming, the penalty for failure being instant death, achieved in engine terms by using the voodoo-telefrag method from Evilution's "Last Call." Cannonball already diagnosed the problem some time ago, but to recap, the basic issue is that the teleport lines that are used to simulate the fatal effect of falling into the void are A)two-sided in places they don't need to be (since the 'safe' platforming path entails certain redundancies on earlier platforms), and more crucially, usable by monsters. This means that floating monsters will sooner or later (probably sooner) cross over them and telefrag the voodoo doll after spawning. In my case, it was just the same as for Dobu--a cacodemon was literally the first thing to pop out of a spawn cube the first time I played. Even in the theoretical absence of floating monsters, however, unless local compat settings are altered to make it impossible, ground-based monsters getting knocked off the platforms by rockets or other projectiles will also telefrag the doll.

Supposing it weren't broken, it wouldn't be half bad as an Icon fight, though (granted, I generally seem more fond of/forgiving with these than most folks are). The boss itself is more cutesy-looking than I'd like and the battle space is a bit cramped for my taste, but I like the idea of having to throw rockets into the boss's eyes (at some hidden Keens) first in order to remove its brainshield. Kind of surprised there wasn't some more stark-white eyecandy off in the black void just for visual interest, though.

Of course, the map isn't just the IoS fight; there's also a preamble, which plays like a relatively meanspirited pair of 1024 affairs. These earlier areas have the decidedly squarish cast to them that I sort of associate with Obsidian in my head, though they're quite functional here. I was surprised at how eyecatching the visual aspect was, seeing as it's essentially just a bunch of stark-white walls with fiddly sector-relief doodads on them, kind of like magnets on a fridge door--the visual effect seen on lowering the wall to the secret invulnerability sphere was particularly amusing. The fights themselves are basic space-management stuff, although I liked being given the chainsaw for the silhouetted imp pack. The cyberdemon was a bit of a dick move where he's placed, but given that the map is so tiny I wouldn't consider it really untoward.

Well...like I said, there are aspects of merit here, but it's all kind of overshadowed by how broken the main event is.

Old Post 06-29-13 23:38 #
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Capellan
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Monochrome Map 19: Up Town
It made me as sleepy as the monsters in it appear to be.

Old Post 06-30-13 00:22 #
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SteveD
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dobugabumaru said:
So July is our Chaos month; hope Steve is ready to regale us with stories of yore.


Prepare to be regaled. ;D Blabbing about the project and the mappers was my co-equal inspiration to play it again, the other being to take advantage of the Megawad Club as playtesters, since I'm revising all my maps for near-term release. And I'm ready to take the hits I know are coming. ;D

Old Post 06-30-13 02:41 #
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Getsu Fune
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MMP Final Map MAP23 Good and Evil, Black and White

Yay, I get to complete two final maps in one day...well, actually this one I unfortunately was unable.

For starters, I'm just not one for Icon of Sin maps, even if they aren't MAP30. Sorry. Now onto the preshow before the IoS. I noticed there was a secret invulnerability at the start, but I never found a way to it. Entering the teleporter had me pitted against imps in a very B/W type of conflict; it was cool fighting completely pitch dark imps, and my weapons were pitch black also. Combat wasn't too shabby through the next area. And then...

This final boss looked cool, a B/W skull. Unfortunately, that was it. The arena was completely fucked on the perimeters with teleporter lines, in which simply sidestepping anywhere close to the edge results in a voodoo doll self-telefrag. Not only that, but monsters can also telefrag the player! Wait a minute, this isn't a MAP30! I was reading the MMP thread and noticed cannonball's comments on it, apparently an aerial monster like a cacodemon can cross the line and telefrag me (and yes it happened to me too).


cannonball said:
even more hilarious, if a dead monster falls of the map it too can telefrag the player.


Wait, WHAT!?

Yikes, screw that then. I simply gave up here.


So overall, I didn't bother fighting the IoS anymore after having cacos and shit moves kill me over and over. The visuals were in the awesome B/W set, but that's pretty much the only positive. This map definitely needed to be fixed. So unfortunate that I close up Monochrome on a flat note. No final time to say for this map. Final Time from MAPS01-22 1:56:03

I'll eventually post my final thoughts on Monochrome on their release thread, as well as a few apologies concerning some of my reviews.

Old Post 06-30-13 03:53 #
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cannonball
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Right time for the final thoughts of the monochrome mapping project.
It really is a mixed bag with maps ranging for very good to really bad. Not seen this kind of diversity in a long time. Major issues come from the fact that the people who were most committed to this project were the newer maps with less experience, in fact there were very few mappers I had heard of until this project. This perhaps brings the issue of quality control which was not very well implemented at times.
The original goal was to only use 2 textures (flat19 and ceil5_1) which is why a lot of maps had the same sort of visual design before people created their different ideas for the project. One issue is that some maps failed in making themselves properly monochrome which kind of defeats the purpose (some of the offenders were some of jawsinspace's maps, map13, and a few others)
The major issue was the gameplay. It was never very challenging except for the levels where there was some very unfair monster placement. Also the designs of some of the maps were pretty bad with a lot of 94/95 style maps churned out, which I think is pretty bad considering the goal of the wad was to create great layouts and interesting architecture which can shine even without the full spectrum of textures. This is what really disappointed me.
There were some good maps though. My favourites were maps05, 17 and 21. There are quite a few decent maps too (membrain's maps, map18 and a couple of others)
In the end this is a below par megawad which lacked probably some more experienced hands to create some more memorable maps and to possibly ensure there was more quality control and constructive feedback through the development process. On the other hand perhaps partially people like me and the likes of Alfonzo/Tarnsman are to blame by raising apathy to the project whilst thinking that it is an interesting concept. I'm sure if there were a sequel, that more people would be interested in contributing.

Old Post 06-30-13 08:57 #
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Obsidian
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To be fair, it was my first proper Icon map. I'm a bit better at it now. :P

Old Post 06-30-13 09:12 #
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cannonball
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Obsidian said:
To be fair, it was my first proper Icon map. I'm a bit better at it now. :P

To be honest if the issue in the final room was fixed, the map would be probably one of the better maps of the wad :) It has decent visual and some decent gameplay to it.
Also next months wad I might be a little late to the party as I am away Monday and Tuesday (might get a large wall of text Tuesday night though to compensate)

Last edited by cannonball on 06-30-13 at 09:53

Old Post 06-30-13 09:32 #
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Demon of the Well
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I agree with Cannonball on all counts. I consider myself to be open to a wide range of different gameplay styles in Doom, but the unsightly truth is that the greater part of this WAD was very deficient in this regard--mazes, automap-completion tours, box-rectangle-box, Wolfenstein-esque degrees of height variation, and haphazard monster placement all abound, to the point where not even the most stunning (or stunningly weird) aesthetic could've saved some of these maps. My surmise is that many of the mappers, inexperienced as they were, ended up focusing all of their attention on the many possibilities for dressing up a map in monochrome garb (and interesting these possibilities certainly are) that they got ahead of themselves and forgot to make a solid map first, essentially missing the forest for the trees.

The lack of firm direction in the project surely contributed to this to some degree; both from reading the project thread and playing the WAD, it's clear that there was no concrete conception of what the goal of the exercise really was--some few maps emphasize the idea that the monochrome stipulation was supposed to be a handicap intended to make layout and other fundamentals shine, while others treat the stipulation as a pretense for broadbased 'experimentalism' at all levels of the experience, and still others essentially seem to just have applied a monochrome coat of paint to preexisting and otherwise unrelated maps. Some even fail outright at being monochromatic by even the most generous stretch of the imagination! Of course, variety is a very natural (and welcome) aspect of a community project, but at times playing this mapset is like playing two (or more) only superificially-related WADs crammed together with a vice and a lot of sweat and swearing. The crowning evidence in support of my notion that the project's main problem exists on a logistical (as opposed to conceptual) level is that it clearly was not properly playtested before being uploaded to the archive. Things like texture misalignments and whatnot are one matter, and I'd hardly mention them....but several of these maps have very serious and very obvious gameplay-breaking bugs in them. Again, I suspect this is down to inexperience, perhaps compounded by a rushed development cycle exacerbated by the eagerness to get the mapset out the door so that it could feature in this very thread.

The good thing about difficulties grounded in inexperience is that they are self-addressing, as long as all those concerned have the inclination to keep on keeping on. While DWMMP1.wad is a very flawed product, in so being it represents an excellent learning experience that can be applied to future iterations of the Monochrome concept--and it is an interesting concept that deserves future iterations, certainly. The one thing that will be most important for any future iterations, I feel, will be a stronger sense of unified project direction. DWMMP2 doesn't necessarily need to fit my conceptions of what it should be, or those of any other particular individual, but it would likely be well-served in adopting a more cohesive set of design precepts, beyond the level of "be monochrome, whatever that means to you, GO!" Additionally, remember that there's no need to rush--if the DWMC is champing at the bit for you to finish your WAD so we can play it, kindly tell us to fuck right off so that you can finish the thing properly (notice that Tarnsman did this very thing vis-a-vis D2TWiD)! We will all benefit from your patience and thoroughness in the end.

Edit: My favorite maps were 05, 14, and 17. Even if what I've said seems very uncharitable, know that when/if DWMMP2 emerges, I would still be willing to give it a spin, as I'll be interested to see what changes between iterations.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 06-30-13 at 10:45

Old Post 06-30-13 10:02 #
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Suitepee
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Guess I'll be bumping this thread with my updates from now on then, since it seems most of the others have finished.

Map 18: Monochromatic Nightmare (UV/Pistol start. 95% Kills, 87% Items, 50% Secrets.)

http://youtu.be/RaF5L23AGH8 = my playthrough of Monochromatic Nightmare.

Phendrena's map indeed plays as titled, but perhaps not for the reason intended.

The map starts out with a nice optical illusion, with some nice texture warping of sorts. From here on in the map plays out with a monochromatic construction yard motif to it, with some nice B&W brick textures and unfinished building architecture to marvel at. I also liked the 3D floor effects in play here, even though this does make navigating the map a tad confusing at times. One secret is even hidden via this across a not-very-obvious platform leading to some Mega-armor and the chainsaw. The music is nice to hear for a change in a MMP level, but it does get a bit grating after a while. I like how the doors and lifts are marked, and there's the odd bit of humour thrown in involving a Soulsphere 'trap' and a "joke" of sorts that reveals an ambush. The general level aesthestic reminds me a bit of indie game 'Herocore', which was tricky yet awesome. I also liked how this was the first map to include the 'automap' item, an interesting item to place here.

The gameplay is also quite decent for the most part, although I believe I missed an early SSG secret that may have made some parts of this map a bit less tedious to deal with, since I only had the shotgun/chaingun for most of the level. (I didn't check out the rocket launcher by the B&W waterfall until later) The baron teleports in the pyramid was a nice touch. There was plentiful health/ammo around. The goal of the level is to locate three card keys and go through a previously unworking door, so the level has a hint of "Downtown" about it. It was mostly a not challenging map until the end part, and I didn't die for once in a little while!

However, this level had a huge problem for me in store, which sadly killed off the good gameplay flow of the map. Progression came to a complete halt after going through the red key door, where a switch apparently didn't lower a wall as intended. This caused me much frustration in trying to figure out where to go despite having all three keycards and having pressed all accessible switches. I eventually watched st.alfonzo's playthrough (where he ran into the same problem!) and deduced I'd have to NOCLIP through the not-working door to proceed. This is either a serious playtesting bug that wasn't caught, or something to do with the GZDoom engine. Either way, ruined the good vibe....it was a nightmare in fact!

After two doors with "fake" Pinkies (which reminded me a bit of nuts2.wad), you enter a choice of three doors based off the keycard colours, which was kind of neat. I chose red and fought off Cacodemons and company in a tense arena battle illuminated in red with various teleported supply drops, and then a Cyberdemon! After managing to prevail I exit via the lowered Soulsphere.

Overall, this map was pretty solid with some nice visual details (especially the optical illusions) and good architecture, with a good gameplay flow throughout. Too bad it gets marked down for that map bug in the middle, and being a tad tedious if you don't discover the SSG secret, but overall Phendrena has done a good map here! That's three good maps in a row now, can Jaws In Space make it four?

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Last edited by Suitepee on 06-30-13 at 21:44

Old Post 06-30-13 17:50 #
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dobu gabu maru
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^ That's perfectly fine, look forward to hearing your final review.

Overall: This was a very divisive set; it’s a good reminder that playtesting new releases in the club means that we’re dealt a wild card now and then. The most startling thing about this entire megawad was how many releases focused primarily on looks rather than gameplay, when the set began as an attempt to challenge mappers to make fun maps without relying on visual flair. Of course, I understand Membrain’s point on how the project evolved and honestly, I agree that it should’ve stayed decisively bland in order to emphasize gameplay and flow more. However after reading the other posts and watching Alfonzo, Tarnsman, and Pavera go through the set I would say it was torn in concept before release, as the latter trio especially tended to ogle and adore the maps that I wound up passing (MAP01/18/21), while tearing down Jaws’ maps when I didn't mind them in the end (and honestly had some good ol’ fun). Perhaps in the end I just wanted to play something that was “minimalist texture use” rather than monochrome, as it seemed to be heading this way. Cannonball makes an excellent point about how it could be our fault for just peeking at various pictures from Death Egg and CorSair's maps and feeling like this project was definitely going to go to spectacular places, each of us imagining a different idea of what we were about to delve into.

My favorite were Membrain’s three efforts and, undoubtedly, Da Werecat’s map. While Phendrena, Death Egg and Obsidian all stunned with their texture use, their maps were about as fun as Jaws’ efforts in the end for me, not winning them any special awards in my book. Cacowad however wins my rarely coveted Hot’n’cold Hansen award, having a map with my favorite layout in the set (MAP20) along with the most atrocious gameplay in the set (MAP20). My advice to the MMP team for their next outing is:

- Get playtesters outside the authors, as they can come in with a fresh mind to point out similarities, issues, and unbiased thoughts
- Decide on what the concept means prior to accepting maps. Monochrome as in one color? Or monochrome as in one texture? Getting this across is a good idea, and while you guys were uncertain yourself, this doesn’t help anyone looking into the project with ideas already floating around their head.
- Likewise, decide on compatibility early on. Having one map where you have to crouch and jump sticks out like a sore thumb and can turn people off if they see a huge list of ports but need to use GZDoom for something like MAP02.
- The map progression really, really matters for some people, as they’ll often hit a brick wall while playing and not want to go back to it. Spreading out Membrain, Fractal, and Jaws’ maps would’ve been more appreciated IMO, and throwing in a really enjoyable map early in the set can hook people to wonder what is coming next.
- Try not to let a mapper dominate the set. Jaws had 6(!) maps and similar to Gene Bird from Community Chest 2, these maps can really wear down the player if they’re not vibing with the playstyle. In other projects it's okay (like Anders Johnson in Alien Vendetta) but if its largely a community project, I think we prefer more variation (although a full megawad would've likely helped this aspect out too)
- Playtest the hell out of it. Looking back through the thread you guys seemed to be doing a lot of bug squashing and script fixing, which is great, but the set still came across just as unfinished as some maps of Interception felt early on (except those were at least beatable). You may be excited to get a finished product out the door but reworking, fixing, and balancing a map should really take priority over “being done”. It sounds obvious, but many of the maps didn’t feel cultivated, instead bordering on experimental or rushed projects that should play well because "it's Doom".
- For the love of God lay off of the forced fight sections. One or two waves of enemies is okay but otherwise let the player exit (or press the switch so they can exit) when they want—cybers should never be forced on the player with only a shotgun to proceed.

In the end for this month I’ll wind up replaying Stardate undoubtedly (on HMP most likely), but MMP I won’t likely touch outside of walking down memory lane. Here's to hoping MMP2 has a better run!

Old Post 06-30-13 19:03 #
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Jayextee
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dobugabumaru said:

- Decide on what the concept means prior to accepting maps. Monochrome as in one color? Or monochrome as in one texture? Getting this across is a good idea, and while you guys were uncertain yourself, this doesn’t help anyone looking into the project with ideas already floating around their head.
- Likewise, decide on compatibility early on. Having one map where you have to crouch and jump sticks out like a sore thumb and can turn people off if they see a huge list of ports but need to use GZDoom for something like MAP02.



These two points are why I personally didn't map for the project; felt like it, and lord knows I love to map with limitations, but in the end I don't want to have to aim at a moving and/or indistinct target. This is also why I have not, and will not play Monochrome Mapping Project despite it looking very far up my alley.

I would recommend for the team to prepare a set texture pack and go for Boom/Limit-removing for the sequel. And Dobu's other points, they're good too. :)

Looking forward to getting stuck in with you guys on Realm of Chaos. It was my first Megawad, you know.

Old Post 06-30-13 19:10 #
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Veinen
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Map 23: Good and Evil, Black and White

Pretty good stuff apart from the broken finale. Like the map name states, it's a yet another black&white -colored map but not really similar to anything we've seen before. Plenty of little details among the plain white walls to keep the sights interesting. Layout is pretty simple but the space is used effectively with good monster placement. Some good fights at the start, especially liked the way Obsidian encourages the player to use the chainsaw. Chainsawing HK's while invulnerable was very satisfying :p Liked the cyber fight too, pretty intense since there's so little room. Then there's the endgame which is broken to the point of being unplayable so not much to comment there. The IoS fight does look interesting and I hope it gets fixed soon so we can get a deserving finish to this wad.

Final thoughts on Monochrome Mapping Project: It's definitely a mixed bag, maps vary in a wide scale from poor to great and back to poor. The inexperience of some of the mappers really shows but you gotta start somewhere I guess and hopefully those mappers in question take the critique as a chance to learn. But yes, there were some really good maps as well. My personal favorites were maps 14, 17 and 21. For the sequel I would like to see a more coherent approach, this wad really suffered from the maps being so different from one another which resulted in a lack of continuity in this wad. For MMP2, a uniform texture pack or doing different texture styles episodically in the vein of Scythe 2 would benefit this project greatly in my opinion. Gameplay was questionable in some maps too, some more emphasis on that would do wonders.

Realm of Chaos next huh. I don't think I've even played that one before so I'll probably be joining next month too if I can find the time.

Old Post 06-30-13 20:29 #
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