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SteveD
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Posts: 1193
Registered: 04-10


Final Thoughts on Realm of Chaos

So Realm of Chaos is finished. After the first 2 episodes, I was prepared to agree with its 3.5 lifetime rating, but even with a pair of rose-tinted nostalgia glasses, I thought there was enough ďmehĒ in Episode 3 to drag it down to a solid but unspectacular 3. Which isnít bad, really. As Tarnsman said, RoC has a lot of mediocre maps that didnít reach their full potential. Still, I thought most of them were clean work. I am, as Iíve said before, a fairly simple soul when it comes to Doom. Doom is a game of rooms and corridors with monsters in them. You go in, kill the monsters, and leave. As long as a map isnít offensive to me in some way, if it gives me monsters to kill and some tense situations, Iíll probably like it. I think most of the maps in RoC delivered on that score.

The RoC mappers were all noobs, but Iím sure we werenít the only team of noobs in Doom history to get together and put out a megawad before we really knew what we were doing. As a result, certain annoying habits stayed baked-in all the way through, such as a tendency for slow-rising platforms, unintuitive progression, switches activating distant sectors, mediocre fight design, and a tendency for maps to be front-loaded because too much health and ammo was given towards the end, making potentially good maps way too easy. Most of the good fights seemed to be against hitscanners, but when heavy meat was tossed in, we went all wobbly and started spraying Medikits, Soulspheres and so on at the players, along with armories worth of weaponry. All this for a few nobles and Revvies, most of the time.

Despite that, there were some clever and mostly good designs which, IMO, are still fun to play. The different mappers also had distinctive styles. Slava Pesatov tended to produce homagey, derivative maps that were sometimes over-complicated and almost always too easy, but he did use a more complete arsenal thanks to his teleport traps, and I liked his clean designs and even some of his puzzles. Antoni Chan also used a fuller arsenal with teleport traps, but he tended towards squinchy spaces and was very tech-base oriented and a little too much in love with hub-spokes. Rob Berkowitz was Mr. Abstract, producing mostly large, peculiar maps with relatively high monster counts. Jason Fowler was a pro who alas produced only one complete map, but it was quality work. Clint Sago took part in only one map, and almost certainly designed the more attractive parts of Map03, but covered himself in glory with 3 great sky textures and some decent mods of the Doom items. Jim Bagrow, of course, was the resident axe-murderer who, with a little more time to develop, might have been a great mapper. And then thereís me, producer of straight-ahead run Ďn gun maps with lots of monster closets.

My favorite maps in RoC, by mapper, exempting my maps, of course, which I'll discuss in a few hours.

by Rob Berkowitz
Map26 Ė Above And Below. This one is ideally matched to my skillset and, on pistol start, delivers tense, exciting gameplay every time. Great ammo/health balance. Drawbacks include the stupid platformer bullshit in the ďBelowĒ section.
Map15 Ė Infestation. Big, splashy map. Not very difficult and not at all pretty, but its epic scale, mixed with a few tense moments, makes it a fun romp for me.

Honorable Mention
Map13 Ė Bloodlands. Some cool concepts and epic scale, plus a clever batch of fights in the wood area, but the map is brought down by a dreadful maze section and an irritating voodoo doll ending.

By Slava Pestov
Map08 Ė Research Lab. This homage to Tricks Ďn Traps had some clever work, some clean texturing and occasionally decent lighting, and a big teleport trap that misfires at least half the time. It worked perfectly when Suitepee played and I had a blast watching him scramble to deal with it. This map is almost too clever for its own good, but somehow I liked it.

Honorable Mention
Map28 Ė Fortress of Death. This homage to The Abandoned Mines has a tight health/ammo balance and some great bits. Slavaís love of gimmicky boss areas is once again showcased, but there was too much annoying switch and rising floor nonsense for this to be as great as it could have been.

By Antoni Chan
Map02 Ė Outpost 27. Small, squinchy, clever map with surprising face-first encounters. I donít know why I love it, but I do. I have always been a Chan Fan and so I remain. ;)
Map11 Ė Mars StarPort. Here we are at baggage claim on Mars! Possibly Antoniís best map in terms of flow and fight design, with opportunities for the player to make clever jumps and also some tasty design work on the consoles.

Honorable Mention
Map20 Ė Teleporter Central. This is an inherently great map with cool early fights if you avoid the giant teleport trap and its dumbass BFG. The BFG and the health spamming ruin the map as you go.
Map25 Ė Castle of The HellKnights. Pretty much the same story here. Grueling early fights and a brilliant Baphomet trick before the bottom drops out at the hub-spoke.


By Jason Fowler
Map12 Ė Home Sweet Home. The most polished map in the megawad, and quite possibly the best of the lot. Super-cool, solid design from beginning to end, with the platform that lowers a Chaingunner at the same time a teleport trap is set off being my favorite moment.

Jim Bagrow
None, but special award for The Map I Love To Hate goes to Map04 thanks to its Fucking Archvile Room! ;D

Clint Sago
Honorable Mention for Map03, Mars Base Alpha, finished by Rob Berkowitz. Itís too bad Clint got too busy for mapping, because the attractive areas here make me sad for what we missed.

In the end, I had more fun playing RoC than I expected. I hadnít played any of these maps, including my own -- except for Map09 -- since probably the year 2000 until I searched for comments on RoC in the forums in 2011, and found all the speedruns. This revived my interest, so I played my maps again, saw the flaws, and planned the revisions. But I wanted a good excuse to play the whole thing, and I thank the DWMC for going along with my crazy scheme.

Even though RoC is messed-up in many ways, I remain proud of the accomplishment, and I wanted a chance to expound on the other mappers while getting mine playtested by experts. I honestly think our two teenage terrors, Slava Pestov and Antoni Chan, did exceptional work overall.

Realm of Chaos was the first Mac-made megawad, and to the best of my knowledge, remains the only Mac-made megawad that isnít a mod or TC, such as the Batman Doom TC, or Laz Rojasís Wolfenstein 3D 2nd Encounter. For this reason alone it was worth a play, and now, The Pestov Platform lives forever! ;)

Old Post 07-30-13 10:16 #
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Demon of the Well
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Posts: 884
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Map 30 -- Apocolypse - 4000% Kills dead even! / No actual secrets
I seem to recall telling Steve during some incidental conversation in a past DWMC thread that this map was my strongest memory of RoC from when I played it years ago. Sure enough, it's just as I remember it, voodoo dolls and all. I certainly don't agree with Capellan that it's particularly ugly by the standards of this type of map or the year it was made; marble, blood and vines are a reasonable combination, and even the neutral-bright lighting is functional in this case. The aforementioned dolls and the in-game credits wall break the fourth wall a bit, but eh, it's no big thing. Berkowitz's affectation grand scale certainly suits this kind of map, I must say. Truth be told, I didn't even notice the misaligned horn that Steve mentioned.

While it's not really evident from a cursory glance, this is very much an IoS map for completionists that dislike IoS maps--played in a pacifistic way, it can be completed with a pistol, no combat, minimal evasive movement, and a functioning spacebar key. Once the lift up to the vantage point for firing on the four-headed Demon Spitter is clear, you can ride it up and dust it with any projectile weapon, no rocket launcher or timing tricks required. I believe one of the cube-throwers never even wakes up at all if you do this.

However, if you fire a gun (or make an offensive hand gesture) at any point, the rate of monster spawnage immediately quadruples, and things become the standard race against time typical of IoS maps. It's still quite easy, of course, but at least things eventually get interesting for those oddballs (like me) that choose to hang around. As I've said before, I like to savor the catharsis that IoS maps represent, and tend to stick around and fight in them for a while before killing the bossbrain. This one's spacious, simple layout matches up well with its accelerated rate of monster-spawning; if you choose to stay and fight, the biggest challenge in maximizing your kill score is generally that the health/armor/ammo refills all quickly become rather inconvenient to reach, given that reaching each requires using a separate long lift, around and upon which large hordes of monsters will tend to congregate. 4000% percent was my best exit score after a handful of attempts; I would've gotten around 5000% once, but I was zombified when a sloppy infight broke out in the small room with the voodoo dolls.

I had some fun here, but of course, I seem to like IoS maps more than most folks do.

**********

Overall, Realms of Chaos is about what one would expect from a 32-map set produced by a team of eager but inexperienced mappers. It's full of all sorts of ideas--some good, some bad, a handful just a bit stupid--with varying degrees and styles of execution. Love it, hate it, or something in between, I reckon most players will agree that it has a lot of personality; indeed, the stylistic differences between the different mappers on the project are so pronounced as to seem almost exaggerated. While this stylistic variance does lead to some unfortunate sojourns into nigh Maximum DooM-quality dreg-slogging, it also helps to keep the mapset's momentum up as one plays through it, very much a boon in this case, as there isn't really much of a difficulty curve per se--I think Steve hit the nail on the head when he said that RoC's degree of challenge/bloodiness peaks somewhere around the appearance of the second text intermission, and more or less plateaus for the rest of game. With a tighter balance vis-a-vis thing placement, some of these maps had the potential to be more compelling on a tactical level, but as it is, it's mostly up to the sights and sounds to carry the player's interest.

That is, not including the Steve Duff maps. His contributions categorically outpace the others in terms of the gameplay scenarios they offer, with each map having at least one memorable, fast-moving fight. I see the most appreciation for Doom's raw gameplay from these maps, and so it's no surprise that he's the one here talking to us about this old mapset, ~17 years after its release. If S.D. was RoC's heart, Rob Berkowitz is probably its backbone, the sheer number and even distribution of his contributions throughout helping the WAD to maintain a relatively coherent identity. From reading over all of the comments, I get the impression that I'm a little more fond of Rob's style than many of the other players--it's true that several of his maps are something like '1 pound of crap in a 10 pound bag' as far as action goes, but it's generally from them that most of the better sightseeing moments come...I dunno, guess I'm kind of a sucker for vistas on huge open spaces, like I said. Conversely, I really can't say I got much out of Slava Pestov's maps (again, barring The Mansion)--most of them I found aggressively boring, and his persistent use of IWAD homagery as a creative crutch is not something I'm fond of, either. I imagine many would argue that Bagrow's efforts represent the set's low points, but I feel that while several of his setups were very ill-advised, and some of his areas unbelievably ugly, his maps are on the whole more interesting to mess around in than Pestov's, which counts for something.

My top 5 for this mapset, in no particular order:
1. Splatterhouse
2. The Prison
3. Home Sweet Home
4. Machine Gun Etiquette
5. Infestation

So, Duff and Berkowitz, with a guest stint by Fowler. I guess I'd agree with what Dobu said about Berkowitz being hot and cold--while a couple of his maps made my top 5, he also made what I'd consider to be the worst map in the set, that being map 07 ('Deathstay'), which is awful and ill-conceived in pretty much every way.

Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention the asset replacements. I liked the sky replacements, particularly the Mars sky, so props to Clint Sago for his work there. The sprite replacements....eh, not so much. I didn't mind the blue ammo, but the tech baubles on the health aids were a bit distracting, and the armor replacements were downright silly-looking, although the new bonus helmet with its prominent ocular enhancement module was a bit better. Seeing the marine cram BLUE shells into the sawed-off shotgun during its reload animation was strangely compelling, however, which is why I kept using rlmsprt.wad all the way through the mapset.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 07-30-13 at 10:55

Old Post 07-30-13 10:45 #
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BaronOfStuff
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Posts: 1251
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Jesus Christ I forgot all about this fucking thing hnnnnnngh time to speed the rest of this shit in the next 24 hours...

MAP08:
Inferior to Tricks And Traps. That's what it's trying to be, and while I suppose it does succeed on the 'Tricks' idea (raising that bridge was pretty cool), the 'Traps' fall flat constantly.

That exit was total fucking shit. Making me run across a one-way series of raising/lowering platforms coated in that green shit with no Radsuit, you insufferable prick.


MAP09:
What's everyone complaining about? Are you not reading the map title? You have a fucking Chaingun; use it!

Normally I utterly detest maps laden with Hitscanners, but this one really didn't seem as harsh as so many have remarked, especially in comparison to all the stupid tedious bullshit we get lumbered with today in the name of 'challenge' (yeah, alright, here's a fucking challenge you boring unimaginative bastards, make a map that doesn't surround you with shit every time you so much as breathe out). Really, it played and looked like some sort of Evilution reject, so Hitscanners were to be expected. It's not like everything could hit you no matter where you were standing; most were enclosed in their own area and I found that there was a fair balance of cover for the most part.

However, I'm also horribly aware that even with the Chaingun, survival in many encounters is really leaning towards the 'luck based mission' category. The main flaw would be the proximity of traps; I kept getting away with it by some twist of fate (for once), but unleashing a box of Shotgun Guys/Chaingunners at 10ft away is no good. Ever. You're relying too much on the shitty and unfavourable RNG; mappers and players alike.

Super Stupid Shit:
Rocket Launcher secret. Really, what the fuck are you playing at with this?
Activating Sector 179. No. Just no,

Everything else? No issue. You could argue that once you acquire the Megasphere (provided that most of the Hitscan-heavy fights are out of the way), things can become too easy.


MAP10:
Yep, this exists. Short and easy, but fun. Nothing memorable though.


MAP11:
Same goes for this one. I like a short murder spree or two to break up the 10 - 20 minute massacres, this and the previous map are well-placed.


MAP12:
Ehhh, going to go against the grain here and say that I didn't really enjoy this one. Too much fucking around switch-hunting with Hitscanners all over the place, and not in any way that I could get any enjoyment out of.


MAP13:
This ending's not clever; the enemies get into a fight and I'm taking damage via 9001 Voodoo Dolls because of horrible enemy accuracy. Fuck off with this shit.


MAP14:
http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/8582/ky8o.png
gg jimbob handbag you made the Red Keycard easily-accessible in an inescapable pit re?

Another Jim Bagrow map, which probably means it's ugly and not particularly well-thought out in any way. Sound pathing? Forget it. The first shot I fired seemed to alert everything on the map, which just resulted in shit following me everywhere and what felt like an endless stream of monsters appearing for the sole purpose of trying to counter my endless streams of gunfire.

Then of course there's this room:
http://imageshack.us/a/img834/8141/w310.png
Fuck this, and fuck you for making it.

Oh yeah, and you can't get back to the main area after going there. Say hello to one of my worst scores ever:
http://imageshack.us/a/img33/140/myzx.png
Jesus Christ. This was shit.


MAP15:
A boring slog through unnecessarily winding halls and big boxrooms with fairly predictable placements. That Red Skullkey cageroom was total horseshit, but would have been so much more tolerable if the outer ring wasn't there. Killing a bunch of shit you can barely see because it's all behind a texture isn't fun.

The Blue Skullkey room was alright; short and to the point with stuff trying to get in the way without boring everyone to tears.

The one thing I did like after all that cack? The Spider Mastermind. While it wasn't a major cause for concern (I have a BFG after all), it was genuinely surprising with nothing building up an obvious confrontation, so for the first two seconds while my weapons were switching I did think "oh fuck". Honestly, I thought it was going to be another fucking Mancubus.

The pyramid... thing... blah. Another case of sitting around twiddling my thumbs while waiting for flying enemies to find their way to me. Berkowitz clearly didn't know anything about Doom's 'infinitely tall' actors, so the first attempts at running off the ledges to stir up trouble was met with denial from whatever fat fuck was blocking me from 200ft below.

*Yawn*

Even then, killing them was more of a problem than it should have been because not only are the paths to each ledge narrow, but they aren't straight either, meaning you constantly get snagged on walls and take fireballs to the face. For fuck's sake, this ignorant design is nothing short of piss-poor.

After climbing the pyramid and grabbing the Yellow Skullkey (revealing an obvious boss, in this case a Cyberdemon), I ended up triggering a teleporter in mid-air, then found myself climbing a bunch of stairways, dodging Imps, finding a cache of Cells, stumbling through a wall to avoid an incoming bunch of Cacodemon fireballs, and revealing the secret exit.

Fuck 100% anything, I can't be bothered any more. This WAD is beginning to overstay its welcome with these pointlessly long and ill-thought maps.


MAP31:
Less than two minutes in and I've managed to get trapped via another case of author-side zero-planning by heading to the SE area before anywhere else. Elevator can't be activated from this side, so I can't get back up. Well fuck you too then, "changemap map32" it is.


MAP32:
Good for completely resupplying, and really nothing else.


MAP16:
Another bag of Bagrow bollocks. Nowhere near as offensive as his previous efforts, but still well below-par with mind-numbing fighting through insultingly narrow tunnels and a one-way teleport. Immediately forgettable.


MAP17:
NO ESCAPE.

Except for that bit when you reach the exit and escape. This one started well, but descended into bullshit darkness and conditions that were way too cramped to be enjoyable.

"RUN"?

No you dickhead, I'll be torn to shreds if I try that. This is dickbrained advice and you should be ashamed for suggesting it whatever your motive. The wild Cyberdemon poncing around outside is probably guarding something fantastically wondrous, but I'm not finding the way out to where he resides. I already found two easily-acquired Megaspheres, anything else can go swivel because I simply don't need it.


MAP18:
That's more like it. Relatively plain and uninspired, but it plays well which is what matters most. Unfortunately I couldn't be bothered to explore the map in its entirety after all the previous crap eroded my motivation, but there aren't many complaints from me regarding this one.

Aren't many?

Okay, there's one. That Mega-Armour under a crusher that looks like a secret area is in fact nothing of the sort, and you have to go there. Maybe it's just me, but stuff like this just isn't appealing; I didn't need the armour, so instead ran around like a cunt until I'd exhausted every path possible and had no choice. A bit of a shitty, but not enough to completely sour the experience.



Well I think that's enough for now; I'll finish the rest later hopefully.

Old Post 07-30-13 15:13 #
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SteveD
Senior Member


Posts: 1193
Registered: 04-10



BaronOfStuff said:
Super Stupid Shit:
Rocket Launcher secret. Really, what the fuck are you playing at with this?
Activating Sector 179. No. Just no.



Glad to see you back, Baron. All this time I've been saying, "I haven't been bitch-slapped by the Baron today, and it just doesn't feel right." ;D

Old Post 07-30-13 17:24 #
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Getsu Fune
formerly Hurricyclone


Posts: 1014
Registered: 06-13



Demon of the Well said:
Map 30 -- Apocolypse - 4000% Kills dead even!


WOW you really slugged that one out didn't you? I did it the pacifist way on a ZDoom port and got 0% kills! Surprising that I didn't get a score from infighting monsters (on ZDoom ports when a monster is spawned from an IoS it adds to the kill count).

Old Post 07-30-13 18:45 #
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purist
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Posts: 2048
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I thought I'd post some thoughts on this megawad overall even though I only got to MAP15 before giving up.

Well, I wasn't a fan as you might guess. I started with good intentions but by the second episode I was looking for excuses to finish.

I did watch the stream to see what I'd missed and although some of the maps looked OK the net quality didn't improve and I wasn't tempted to pick it back up.

Although a lot of the maps looked really ugly my main bone of contention was poor design choices that either got me stuck or cheap shots in place of well thought out challenges.

The worst offenders that I remember are:

MAP04 The Sewers by Jim Bagrow - Inconsistent damaging liquid, terrible mapflow, ugly design. Even without the infamous AV room (I played in HMP) there was plenty to annoy.

MAP14 Die Hard by Jim Bagrow - Not quite as bad until you get to that awful penultimate area.

MAP15 Infestation by Rob Berkowitz - The one that broke me. It's not as bad as the others but those huge empty areas and thin windy passages scream TNT reject. The midbar area is where I threw the towel in.

But it wasn't all bad. I liked that fact that it was made by a small team. These days large projects are usually made by either one prolific mapper or half of the community contributing one or two maps each so it was refreshing to play a set made carved up (albeit unequally) between half a dozen guys. Another reason for team projects to make a comeback! Here are my favourite maps:

MAP03 Mars Base Alpha by Clint Sago and Rob Berkowitz - Has it's dodgy moments but has an atmosphere missing from most of the levels.

MAP06 Splatterhouse by Steve Duff - Port Fury looked better but I never played that one. Steve's maps were generally head and shoulders above the rest but I'd take this one above the slightly broken Machine Gun Etiquette.

MAP12 Home Sweet Home by Jason Fowler - It was a big shame Jason did not submit more maps as I'm certain it would improve the good/bad map ratio. I also liked Hollow Oblivion but I went for the finished article.

Old Post 07-30-13 18:59 #
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SteveD
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Comments on my Maps

My maps could have been a lot better with the benefit of input from experienced playtesters. The same is true of all the RoC mappers. Sometimes, just a few small changes would make an enormous difference, for example if anyone had challenged me on such as the mandatory secret door in Map09, or the breakable pit room in Map23. I donít recall any such commentary back in the day, in part because we assumed that everyone saved and reloaded as often as we did, so that if they got stuck, they could just open a saved game and try again. Iím under no such illusions now! ;D The fact is, you simply have to do things the right way to avoid alienating a community where many different playstyles are represented.

My maps had other silly features, such as using SW2 textures instead of SW1, just because I thought it looked cool, never considering that players might think a switch was already activated and would therefore not press it, leading to difficulties such as Alfonzo getting trapped in Map23ís pit.

Watching the demos and reading the comments, again and again I encountered players becoming confused, not knowing where to go, suffering through backtracking, etc. We just accepted that kind of shit back in the day, even to the point of allowing the possibility of breaking rooms or even entire maps. Memfis was possibly the only player who discovered the quick exit to Map23 this time, but this was a serious design flaw that we knew about back then, or at least, I discovered it at some point. But it went in! ;D

So RoC as a whole is basically kind of a slipshod beta, my maps as much as, and in some cases, moreso than the others. I submitted RoC to the club in part to support Capellanís idea that the DWMC should, at least now and then, serve as a beta-testing team for new projects. Of course, by the time we got to RoC, the DWMC had already performed that service for MMP. Playtesting beta projects can be painful sometimes, but had there been a DWMC for RoC, imagine how much better the maps would look thanks to comments on texturing and lighting, and imagine how much better theyíd play if we had to give up some of the stupid, cheap things we did to add difficulty for the player but instead just added annoyance.

All that said, I thought most of my maps were basically solid and worth revising. After going through all of them with the DWMC, watching the demos, and thinking about the experience, the two maps of mine I most enjoyed playing were Map09, Machine Gun Etiquette, and Map19, Port Fury, because they had the most relentlessly paced action and, in general, the fights that most appealed to me. I even liked the warehouse fight in Map19 that most players disliked, but the big outdoor area in Map09 was my favorite room out of all of my maps.

Map22 and Map23 were a wee bit disappointing, Map23 mostly because of its backtracking and the major mistakes in the pit room. Map06 was my best-looking and best laid-out map, but the action was a bit weak because it was intended as Map01 of a different project. Its look and feel is totally out of kilter with my other maps and the megawad as a whole, and Iím half-tempted to pull it out of RoIC and put it back in Abcess, where it originally belonged. Map27 was my noobiest map and showcased the linear design of all my original RoC maps to a startling degree. So many one-way teleports and other one-way aspects to these designs, and so little flow in the layout. These problems require too much major surgery to be worth fixing, because, as Iíve discovered, itís easier to design a brand new modern map than to try and revise an old map to modern standards. Besides, the idea of revision for these is to keep the oldskool feel. Even so, Map23 and especially Map27 will get rather extensive editing.

Just a few more screenshots of the ongoing revision to close out the commentary.

Map09 now has a Human Wall BBQ;
http://s1329.photobucket.com/user/s...html?sort=3&o=5

I made few changes in Map09ís outdoor area, except to add some Marbface banners. The Support2 boundary will be replaced by Support3;
http://s1329.photobucket.com/user/s...html?sort=3&o=1

Map06 has a revised outdoor area. These are my early ideas, adding heavy monsters and rocky structures;
http://s1329.photobucket.com/user/s...tml?sort=3&o=18

You can get a real shitstorm of fire going with 5 Mancs and 3 Arachnotrons out there;
http://s1329.photobucket.com/user/s...tml?sort=3&o=15

Lastly, Iím trying out a lighting style closer to what Tarnsman suggested;
http://s1329.photobucket.com/user/s...html?sort=3&o=3

So there you have it. Iíd like to thank all of you again for slogging through this and providing insightful comments and illuminating demos. I hope to see you all again when Realm of Intensified Chaos is ready for playtesting, not to mention when Abcess goes up, and also my E1 replacement. Cheers to you all! :)

Old Post 07-30-13 20:44 #
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Capellan
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SteveD said:
Iím half-tempted to pull [map06] out of RoIC and put it back in Abcess, where it originally belonged.


I think this idea has merit, myself. Map06 was my favorite in RoC, but it doesn't feel anything like your other maps in the set.

Old Post 07-30-13 22:15 #
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cannonball
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MAP29 - ďThe FountainĒ by Rob Berkowitz
This map started ok, a bit weird and a bit flat, but I like the fact you need to put effort in to get weapons.
Blue key area is also quite nicely done with such minimal detail.
Then the stuff after the blue door happened. Not amused.

MAP30 - ďApocalypseĒ by Rob Berkowitz
I'm so cool, I killed the icon with the BFG :P
Yeah far far too easy this one.

Will post thoughts on the wad tomorrow.

Old Post 07-30-13 22:47 #
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Getsu Fune
formerly Hurricyclone


Posts: 1014
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Time for my final thoughts...

Realm of Chaos is one of those wads that I will occasionally replay just for the fun of playing old skool maps. Replaying it again also gave me an inspiration in mapping myself (like Cannonball, I might just use a Pestov platform in an upcoming map!) There are ups and downs, just like in just about any other megawad. But in the end it always remains very enjoyable for me.

I will grade by authors:

Clint Sago: Well, he contributed to a map, but that was about it. At least he had a hand with MAP03.
Jason Fowler: Shame that he couldn't map anymore than the quickie MAP10 and the awesome MAP12, as Fowler could've wowed us some more. MAP12 remains a memorable map for me.
Jim Bagrow: Oh yes, this guy. Clearly he made the worst map of the set (MAP14) and was definitely the guy who would fuck over players on UV with the arch-room in MAP04. Bagrow makes it actually much easier for players on HMP though, which is quite interesting in itself. MAP16 would be the only Bagrow map that has any chance of being good though. Visually, he strays from doing anything spectacular (unless he though crazy height variation was spectacular! :p) One other thing, Bagrow used the Pestov platform so much I'm surprised it isn't called a Bagrow platform (three of these in one room in MAP14, two in MAP16).
Antoni Chan: The overall sense of scale is small for Chan's levels. I guess I like his style as I'm one for short levels. MAP17 would probably be my favorite pick of a map by Chan, with MAP11 close behind (sorry guys, I didn't like MAP25 at all).
Slava Pestov: But Pestov used one platform in each one of his maps, with some interesting combat for each one. Love the Pestov battle in MAP28. A lot of homages to Doom II's various levels in Pestov's work. MAP28 would be my pick for best of Pestov, with MAP08 or MAP24 getting a mention too.
Steve Duff: Steve made generally the biggest levels overall. Some cool things like Port Fury's ship or Nova Akropola's prison, and some not cool things, like the voodoo dolls in MAP18 and the SLIME-filled pyramid in MAP27. Combat-wise, Steve kinda makes things samey, with zombies, imps, and demons abound, the occasional hellknight or caco, and some other big monster somewhere. I should note that MAP22 is the only SteveD map with a cyber (unless my memory failed me). Oh well, I had plenty of fun with these maps of his. My favorite pick would be Ancalagon (MAP23).
Rob Berkowitz: Rob seems to be the bread and butter, the one who was quite varied. He had some weird visual styles, and will make rather short levels like MAP01 and MAP32, and larger ones like MAP15 and MAP29. Overall, I enjoyed many maps from Berkowitz, but not all, as I was turned off by MAP13 and MAP21 often. And of course the cybers in MAP29 were asinine. At least the MAP30 turned out quite enjoyable (anyone else got 0% kills?). Plenty of levels by Berkowitz; my pick is obviously MAP26 for its sweet gimmick.

So overall I'd say this is something that's worth replaying, and to me that's what matters in a megawad, replayability. The best map overall would be MAP26, followed by MAP23. The worst is easy enough, MAP14.

Old Post 07-31-13 03:46 #
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Crusader No Regret
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More maps,

Map 9: Out of all the maps I bothered to finish without cheats, this killed me the most times. The rocket launcher secret room got me several times; the rest came in the large outdoor area right after. Got worn down through attrition and scarce health out there rather than dying in the same spot repeatedly so I suppose the intent succeeded. Didn't get bothered by the required secret door; managed to spot the misalignment quickly enough.

First time through, ran for a berserk at 1% and a well placed monster got me first. Diabolical.

Map 12: Found SSG secret; this probably makes my playthrough easier. Has opportunities to defang ambushes with rockets from above.

Map 29: Can't see. After a few deaths, said "%#&@ this" and turned on god mode so I could find the cybers that I kept reading about. Such a map wouldn't hold up well today with the consecutive lifts halting any sort of flow.

Old Post 07-31-13 04:45 #
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SteveD
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Crusader No Regret said:
More maps,

Map 9: Out of all the maps I bothered to finish without cheats, this killed me the most times. The rocket launcher secret room got me several times; the rest came in the large outdoor area right after. Got worn down through attrition and scarce health out there rather than dying in the same spot repeatedly so I suppose the intent succeeded. Didn't get bothered by the required secret door; managed to spot the misalignment quickly enough.

First time through, ran for a berserk at 1% and a well placed monster got me first. Diabolical.



This is music to my ears. :) I've also died several times going for that Zerk, but hearing that someone else died the same way really puts a spring in my step. Thanks for the report. ;)

Old Post 07-31-13 05:50 #
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Hurricyclone said:

Steve Duff: Steve made generally the biggest levels overall. Some cool things like Port Fury's ship or Nova Akropola's prison, and some not cool things, like the voodoo dolls in MAP18 and the SLIME-filled pyramid in MAP27. Combat-wise, Steve kinda makes things samey, with zombies, imps, and demons abound, the occasional hellknight or caco, and some other big monster somewhere. I should note that MAP22 is the only SteveD map with a cyber (unless my memory failed me). Oh well, I had plenty of fun with these maps of his. My favorite pick would be Ancalagon (MAP23).



Several people have brought up the voodoo dolls I put in Map18, and I keep forgetting to say that they were just decorations. ;D If I was to come up with some halfass explanation, I'd say they were supposed to represent your fellow team members all about to teleport into the Swastika Nukage Room, only it turned out they were total jagoffs who wimped out and left you to go in there alone and die. Something like that. ;D

BTW, in my newer maps, the Hitscanner-to-Meat Ratio is much different, especially when it comes to heavy monsters. Not slaughter map ratios by any means, but you will face the biggies in numnbers much higher than these RoC maps.

Old Post 07-31-13 06:20 #
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Magnusblitz
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Okay, time to bring this home. It's still the 30th here!

MAP26: Above and Below

This map really should've been in a mapslot, the music is way too soft/slow for this level's opening! Which I really liked, by the way. Very fun to fall down and run'n'gun with all the monsters pouring in from different areas. Definitely one of the highlights so far.

Unfortunately, after that, it becomes a bit rote and banal. Grabbing the keys and powerups isn't very tough (walk into room, kill a couple monsters, walk out) and the "above" section is Duff-styled hitting switches and raising catwalks. At least the constantly increasing power of the monsters is somewhat interesting. There also wasn't nearly enough rocket ammo, though - I basically ran out on this level. And the chaingunner trap at the end is too slow and might as well not be there. 3/5

MAP27: Venom

And now Steve Duff gives us his Sandy Petersen style attempt. Lots of tight corridors in a strange layout with random texture choices definitely hits the mark, but unfortunately it lacks the interconnectiveness that made Petersen's maps work. Lots of small fry monsters, thankfully, as 270 is a lot (especially when you're trying to just rush through this to finish it up).

The second half of the map opens up into giant rooms which are reminscent of MAP14 and MAP15... which isn't good. I tend to dislike large areas and just rush through them, so thankfully I figured out the "differently-lit panel" for the ziggurat quickly. Also seems like the player could get stuck easily if they don't grab the yellow key at the top... all in all, probably SteveD's weakest map. 2/5

MAP28: Fortress of Death

This map is almost impressively complicated, with its multitude of cramped rooms, tons of switches (most of which are multi-use). Just one of those maps where you don't try to figure it out and just keep running ahead full steam. Made for a fun map too, as there's a lot of monsters to gun down. I actually enjoyed the arena packed with the Cyber, Spider and other big monsters; I like to think I caught the demon ambush by surprise and ruined it all with some infighting. :) So yeah, it's ugly as sin, but a fun romp. I do knock off one point though just because it seems like it's easy to break (and Jayextee managed to) and some things are a bit unintuitive. 3/5

MAP29: The Fountain

If you like vast dark rooms with not a lot of monsters in them, then this is the map for you!

First part of this map is horrendously boring, with some interestly-curved lines but nothing else of interest. Grab the red key and abscond to the fountain hub area. The red door is pretty boring, then followed by another giant dark area that can just be rushed through. (If you want to stay, feel free to rustle up some Arch-Viles that are guarding... about four stimpacks. Worth!) Then the giant red terror, which is very visually...stunning. Sure. Going through the building is a slog (though I liked the chaingunner ambush) and the boss fights after are trivial with the invuln. I had to laugh at the audacity of the cyberdemon swarm ambush though. The one after the yellow key teleporter too; but that just seems pointless as it's quite easy to walk into the exit. Ah well. 2/5

MAP30: Apocolypse

Well, it's an Icon of Sin map. I don't hate them but they don't excite me either. The trick is to not shoot anything. Okay. It works at least, and doesn't look half bad. 2/5

Old Post 07-31-13 07:34 #
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dobu gabu maru
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^ Wouldn't be a club thread without you powering through the final maps in one go ;)

I also have to agree with Capellan that Splatterhouse should be removed from the RoIC set since it feels completely different and wasn't intended for it anyway.

Old Post 07-31-13 07:38 #
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Magnusblitz
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OVERALL THOUGHTS

Well, I actually gave out some half-assed scores this time. So, divvying it up by author:

Rob Berkowitz
Best Map: MAP26 "Above and Below"
Worst Map: Either MAP13 "Bloodlands" or MAP21 "Prison"
Average: 2.1

Antoni Chan
Best Map: MAP20 "Teleporter Central"
Worst Map: MAP25 "Castle of the Hellknights"
Average: 2.6

Jim Bagrow
Best Map: MAP16 "The Wolf's Hour"
Worst Map: MAP04 "Sewers"
Average: 1.33

Slava Pestov
Best Map: MAP28 "Fortress of Death"
Worst Map: MAP05 "Mission Control"
Average: 2.6

Jason Fowler
Best Map: MAP12 "Home Sweet Home"
Worst Map: MAP10 "Hollow Oblivion"
Average: 3

Steve Duff
Best Map: MAP06 "Splatterhouse"
Worst Map: MAP27 "Venom"
Average: 2.85

Sounds about right. Most of the maps were pretty average; some because they were bland but inoffensive throughout, others because they mixed moments of genius with moments of horrendous. Which makes for good variety and fun to review! I guess I'm more of a fan of Chan that most, since his maps were pretty solid, even if he needs to be weaned off his hub addiction. Berkowitz's style was definitely all over the place and he did a good job filling in the backbone of the WAD considering how many maps he did, but nothing stood out. I think there was a clear increase in quality from Pestov as the WAD went on - MAP05 feels like someone's first level, whereas MAP26 feels like someone's 10th level. And I love getting a snapshot of 9-years-ago-SteveD's design philosophies. "Splatterhouse" definitely stands apart, probably because it was taken from a different era of mapping. The rest of his maps feel a lot more like early works, but you can see the potential there. Jim Bagrow... well, at least he only had three maps. Heh. Every WAD has to have "that guy", right?

The average rating I gave was a 2.4, which feels about right. The WAD definitely shows its age (its very 1996) and that it was by a bunch of newbies. But it's very fun to see each mapper's style shine through, and it's certainly not horrendous. Fun to play through and review once.

Old Post 07-31-13 07:55 #
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So this wad
It's a real mixed bag, some excellent maps (Map03,06,11,12) all hit the spot I feel. What I did find is that the second half of the wad tended towards petering out into mediocrity as all the really good maps but also the shockingly awful maps got slotted into the first half. The wad started to grind a bit on me.
Jason Fowler in my opinion was the best mapper out of the lot, even the very short map10 shows some decent design, it just didn't go on for long enough. Map12 was one of the best maps in the wad.
Steve D maps were all competent even with the SS Nazi randomness from time to time, my issue with his maps is that they probably went on for too long.
Worst mapper has to go to Jim Bagrow, man alive :P
All in all an average mapset which is kind of the indie scene compared to the chart toppers like MM/MM2 and Requiem. It's worth a playthrough just for something a bit different. I gave this wad 3 stars.

Added bonus stuff.
I want to add that I was rather impressed with the spritework in this wad, I liked all the item replacements in their quirky way.
Also the Pestov platform will live forever after it's revival over the past month.

Old Post 07-31-13 13:03 #
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Urban Space Cowboy
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SteveD said:
Iím half-tempted to pull it out of RoIC and put it back in Abcess, where it originally belonged.
Please do! If it came down to a choice, I'd rather see Abcess (a "new" map set) finished off than a bunch of old maps polished off.

Speaking of map 6, have you yet managed to dig up Realm of Chaos's original map 6?

Old Post 07-31-13 14:22 #
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Okay, last day of the month so let's get this fucking mess over and done with!

MAP19:
Relatively inoffensive and again, flows readily. The Megasphere 'trap' is of an incredibly lame design though (not least for being so obvious yet necessary to trigger), and the only reason I'm not flying into a rage over it is because the Chaingunner was all too eager to attack, which caused him to get nothing but attention from the Revenant duo, saving me the trouble of fighting back through with my own firepower. Surprisingly he managed to kill one, but the second punched him into fragments. Oh well, left an easy clean up for me.

Alright, so it is pretty offensive. Once you get to the 'port' area of the map, you can't go back to the initial area. So you can't get any items you didn't need at the time. And as we all know, this is fucking dumb.


MAP20:
What the fuck is this shit? A bunch of unavoidable items, one of the most tedious teleport battles in existence, a laughable Cyberdemon encounter and then a (near)death exit after dishing out yet another Megasphere? Fuck you, you're a cock.


MAP21:
Fuck's sake, again? This is getting worse than Scythe's 'suicide-exit' bullshit; a largely unremarkable map with another crappy and unwarranted Type 11 exit.


MAP22:
http://imageshack.us/a/img547/7893/y00.png
Don't you even fucking think about firing at me, you green-haired sack of maggot-riddled shit.

I know your game, Duff. You're putting your maps after hunks of certified shit to make yourself look better! While it's way ahead of the previous two offerings, it's still comprised mainly of bland open spaces that seem to rely too much on using assorted zombies over long distances to create an artificial challenge while you take on the pitiful few mid-tier monsters. Stop holding back for fuck's sake, put the Zombies away and give us Hell!


MAP23:
Goes on a bit, by which I mean for far too long. I wanted to take what appeared to be a shortcut (bypassing the need for the Blue Skullkey), but a feeling of "that's not a shortcut, it's a total fuck-up" meant that I didn't bother. Is it a shortcut? Don't care. The map's technically sound I suppose, but Jesus Christ these higher monster counts bring some pure tedium with them. Zombies, zombies and zombies. Mancubi in small areas. There's no opportunity to kick open a moment of carnage and have a load of stuff rush on into an arena and start tearing shit up while you dust the place with heavy fire to break the monotony at all. It's just a slow, methodical 'kill by sequence' affair with interest fast fading. Agh. The ending was also one boring fucking series of switches which just slowed the already crippled action down to zero. Well done, you cured my insomnia. I'll think of that section next time I have trouble dozing off.


MAP24:
Despite being painfully easy and very simple to get by, this couldn't have been more welcome after so many mind-numbing bullshit slogs taking 15 - 20 minutes a piece. The Megasphere secret just made the whole deal sweeter, so easy to acquire before exiting.


MAP25:
Blah. It starts off with a neat display, but then just turns into a crappy 'shoot stuff in the dark' task. Short but shit, really. Just not that much fun to get through, and there's a fucking unavoidable Soulsphere. I didn't even need 50% of this, you ballbag.


MAP26:
Fuck my uncle, this one was utter shit. The concept was there, but the execution was one of the worst around for any sort of switch-geared gimmick. Just run around on the ground floor capping whatever approaches. Go back up. Systematically erase whatever other bogeymen are released. Fall asleep and dream of a better map...


MAP27:
Fuck, here comes another >270 monsters. Are they mainly zombies? Yes, of course they fucking are. Thankfully it doesn't drag on for anywhere near as long as MAP22 or MAP23, so it can at least be given some credit on that point. Very linear progression, while generally frowned upon, managed to keep the flow going smoothly (aside from that awkward series of events to get hold of the Blue Skullkey). By the end of the map though I was sick of being given so many practically useless Berserks -- items which only served to switch my weapon when I didn't want it to (you're a dick for putting them in places like that) -- so I ended up punching those two fuckwit Revenants 'guarding' the exit into the stratosphere. That felt good.


MAP28:
This is looking likely to be the best map of the WAD; it's tough, it's detailed (for 1996), and avoids a load of convoluted exploration bullshit. It's also got an instance of what looks to be a devastating force to be reckoned with...
http://imageshack.us/a/img801/6894/cboh.png
Looks promising!

I initially thought I could just snag the key and run if I had so desired, but I wasn't about to do that. That would be too easy, and would be an absolute waste of skirmish. Thankfully you can get quite a spectacular disagreement to occur, resulting in an easy victory...

http://imageshack.us/a/img580/6750/686z.png
Hurrrr...

Easiness of this particular cluster of potential pain aside, it's about fucking time that the big guns were let loose so liberally. All too late to save my general thoughts of the WAD I'm afraid, but Pestov has at least gone out on a high with the fiendish series of quests that make up this fortress. It's not without faults; there are bullshit damagesectors before you can even get a Radsuit which always knocks points off, and like so many other maps there are nonsensical inclusions of zombies which just get in the way of everything, but it remained fun to blast through this one all the same.


MAP29:
What is this. It starts off in an area of shitty darkness, leads you to another, then suddenly shows promise with a boss gauntlet of a Spider Mastermind, then a Cyberdemon which is suitably fitting for the penultimate map.

And then just laughs in your face with impossible clusterfucks of Cyberdemons, signalling the time to leave before I get smeared all over the floor. Is this some sort of joke? Oh look four more are appearing well fuck you I'm out of here.


MAP30:
It is what it is. Nothing spectacular, but a reasonable twist by giving us a quartet of ugly bastards spewing their cubic spawns everywhere. Unless you run around waiting for trouble, this one is very easy to get by. A strong finale? Not really, but I've seen, played and read about worse.

http://imageshack.us/a/img32/3209/uykr.png
Hail the 'everything dies' flag! Then laugh at my time.



Overall:
Ehhhh, this one really shows its age and immaturity. Too many of the maps unfold as cluelessly as the authors must have been when making them; Hitscanners over huge distances, tedious single-file slogs through narrow halls, enormous wasted spaces, a general ignorance of Doom's '2.5D' nature (infinitely tall actors), mandatory damagesectors, one-way teleports, unavoidable items, stupid secret areas with monsters in (I've never liked this or seen how it can even be a reward), godawful texturing, and Jim Bagrow. Would I recommend it? Certainly not as a whole WAD, no. There are a few maps that genuinely do shine amidst a general sea of wrecks and turds (go and deflate your head SteveD, your ego's showing), but by and large this one felt like D!Zone: The MegaWAD. A valiant attempt by a team of noobs to make a full 32 levels, but an all-too ambitious one unfortunately which resulted in an overall mediocre experience. In some masochistic way I did like the obvious contrast in styles between authors (as it kept me guessing for the first 10 maps), but not necessarily what said styles invoked gameplay-wise. Oh well.

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/7948/w6aw.png

Old Post 07-31-13 16:06 #
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SteveD
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Magnusblitz said:
And I love getting a snapshot of 9-years-ago-SteveD's design philosophies. "Splatterhouse" definitely stands apart, probably because it was taken from a different era of mapping.


More like 17 years ago, Magnus. ;) And the different era for Splatterhouse was only 7 months later, but you're right, 7 months can matter a lot when you have time to play things like Fava and Knee Deep again and again, and think about what you want to do.

Glad you were able to power through at the end! And thanks for the comments. :)

Old Post 07-31-13 16:21 #
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BaronOfStuff said:


MAP23:
Goes on a bit, by which I mean for far too long. I wanted to take what appeared to be a shortcut (bypassing the need for the Blue Skullkey), but a feeling of "that's not a shortcut, it's a total fuck-up" meant that I didn't bother. Is it a shortcut? Don't care. The map's technically sound I suppose, but Jesus Christ these higher monster counts bring some pure tedium with them. Zombies, zombies and zombies. Mancubi in small areas. There's no opportunity to kick open a moment of carnage and have a load of stuff rush on into an arena and start tearing shit up while you dust the place with heavy fire to break the monotony at all. It's just a slow, methodical 'kill by sequence' affair with interest fast fading. Agh. The ending was also one boring fucking series of switches which just slowed the already crippled action down to zero. Well done, you cured my insomnia. I'll think of that section next time I have trouble dozing off.



Thank you, Baron! I have now been well and truly skewered, and just as I had hoped! You can trust that I will keep all your comments in mind as I add more and more heavy meat to these maps and create a few shitstorms here and there. And yes, I will make it possible to get back to all the areas. Thanks for the bitch-slapping, I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Old Post 07-31-13 16:35 #
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Urban Space Cowboy said:
Please do! If it came down to a choice, I'd rather see Abcess (a "new" map set) finished off than a bunch of old maps polished off.

Speaking of map 6, have you yet managed to dig up Realm of Chaos's original map 6?



OK, that's 3 votes for taking out Splatterhouse. It'll go back into Abcess but not as Map01, it'll be 03 or 04. With luck, that mapset should be ready for playtest in a month.

I haven't found the original RoC Map06. As with Antoni's full Escape.wad and the legendary EEE-Vile 1 & 2, that will have to wait until I get a SCSI-to-USB adapter, and pray that the old Mac HD still functions. Even then, it's conceivable that I deleted the original RoC so that I wouldn't have two different ones with the same filename. It would have been a dumb thing to do instead of just making an Old RoC folder, but it's entirely possible.

I have no idea when I'll get around to this, and I'm not even certain an app like Mac HD can read from super-old OS 7.5.x era HDs, but if it ever does happen, I'll start a thread saying it's available for anyone interested and put up a download link. It can't go on idgames, though, because of its too-close resemblance to E1M9. Slava and his homages! But I remember it being a real nice one.

Old Post 07-31-13 16:46 #
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Veinen
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I essentially agree with pretty much everything cannonball said about the wad. Realm of Chaos is overall a rather mediocre wad with a few really good maps along with a few absolutely horrible ones. Also agree that the first half had more variety in quality, thanks to our favorite mapper Jim Bagrow and his universally hated maps, and while the second half was more average in that sense it also lacked the memorable highlights. My favorite map in this wad was Map12 by Jason Fowler, it's really too bad he didn't contribute to this wad more. Honorable mentions to Map09 by SteveD and Map20 by Antoni Chan. As for the mappers, SteveD was by far the most consistently good and his maps were generally better than those of his peers. Berkowitz's contribution were painfully average for the most part as he tended to make maps way too big considering their monster counts. Pestov suffered from the same but his maps were much more compact and intense regarding combat. Each of Chan's maps were peculiar in some way or another but at least that set them apart from the masses. He did have some moments of excellence, like the visuals in map25 and the aforementioned map20. Bagrow maps were Bagrow maps, I think by now everyone knows what they are like. They were pretty tough though, I'll give him that.

This wad hasn't really aged that well and the mappers' lack of experience shows in many places but still I thought this was an interesting playthrough and I didn't feel like giving up at any point. That said, I doubt I'll be revisiting anytime soon. I'd rate this as 2,5-3 in idgames.

Old Post 07-31-13 16:51 #
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Tarnsman
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SteveD said:

It can't go on idgames, though, because of its too-close resemblance to E1M9.



It's not like there are a billion remakes on there already or anything.

Old Post 07-31-13 16:54 #
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SteveD
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BaronOfStuff said:
stupid secret areas with monsters in (I've never liked this or seen how it can even be a reward)


The reward is the extra gameplay. This is right from id's playbook -- E1M3 in particular. That's one of my all-time favorite maps and I decided to emulate it in a big way. In fact, my newer maps are usually more extreme in this area than my old ones, especially my E1 maps. My E1M7 has enormous secret areas leading to a rocket launcher, a plasma gun and the BFG, and all of them, especially the plasma gun, require significant combat. You can beat the map without all that stuff, but these areas are a reward for players who like exploring (such as me) and also provide replay value for anyone who reaches the end and is bummed that they only have 80% kills or less.

We'll see how that goes over when I put that mapset up for playtesting.

Old Post 07-31-13 16:58 #
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SteveD
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Tarnsman said:


It's not like there are a billion remakes on there already or anything.



That's a good point, and let's face it, Dario Casali's Punishr is up there, and so far as I can tell, that's not an homage, that is actually IWAD Map01 with new areas added and a slaughtermap selection of monsters thrown in. Whatever Slava did had to be much less ripoffy than that. So if I ever find Slava's map, maybe I'll talk to Ty about it. Perhaps he's mellowed on this issue over the years.

Old Post 07-31-13 17:08 #
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Suitepee
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee

Time to wrap up Realm of Chaos right now on my channel! Feel free to join the chat if you see this in time. Going through maps 25-30 and closing out this varied megawad, and hopefully SteveD will be in attendance to provide insights once more!

Writeup to follow shortly after the livestream ends.

__________________
www.youtube.com/JohnSuitepee = I like to Let's Play doom wads.
http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/ = Doom livestreams here!

Old Post 08-01-13 18:56 #
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Suitepee
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Registered: 03-13


http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/c/2675155 = finale of Realm of Chaos on-demand.

So this was it, the grand finale of that Realm of Chaos. SteveD managed to join the fray, and the ol' BaronofHell even made an appearance near the end! A most unexpected treat for me, considering I enjoy his videos. (via his alter-ego DCB mainly)

The last few levels of Realm of Chaos were certainly an interesting bunch, to which I'd expect no less by this point in the proceedings. The difficulty ramped up a little bit on occasion towards the end, in one part due to a bad conclusion on Venom and in one part due to the monster mash at the end of the Fortress of Death (until my moderator Drallkan pointed out a useful tip of staying up high!). Map 30 I managed to beat on my first attempt.......just about, despite waking up ALL the spawners. I died but still shoved rockets into the Icon of Sin's brain to ensure a post-death victory, and kind of liked how the mapper team had their credits conveniently located next to the final tower!

Level rundown in brief:

Castle of the Hellknights: Brief level, liked how the Icon of Sin head had a 'door' at the bottom. Nice small climb up, not much else to say here. Simple.
Above and Below: I bet this map was a pain in the arse without mouselook. Otherwise a nicely executed stroll, got caught offguard with red skull trap due to weapon switching poorly. The traps became a tad predictable after a bit here though.
Venom: SteveD's final map! Was an alright level overall, kind of like his 'Splatterhouse'. Still was awesome to have SteveD around when playing all of his creations! Minor confusion over blue keycard. Managed to end the level badly on 20% health.
Fortress of Death: It's the Abandoned Mines redux! Final Pestov Platform shown! And that horrible monster mash area, which is harder than it looks even though I died twice to it. A nasty level to start out with low health on for sure. Nicely done level overall.
The Fountain: BaronofHell described this as like D!Zone. Opening is a bit cluttered, gets better. The lifts in the red brick tower were a bit tiresome. Liked the ending with the cyberdemon masses being used twice for good effect. Good visual hellscapes here.
Apocalypse: A nice IoS ending. Flick three switches in order, go up the final tower, kill the big nasty monster spawner. If you don't fire a single shot the level is easier, but I used the BFG so I got 4x the spawners. Still beat it on my first try though, very happy I was!

Overall thoughts on Realm of Chaos:

I liked this! The variety of levels was good to see, and one level was certainly not like the other. There were a few dull/too short levels, but for the most part I found nothing but positives in the Realm of Chaos. The traps were instant and on occasion, devilish. The hellscape theme of the last 10 maps or so was nicely played out. It was perhaps a bit too easy for the most part (as SteveD said from the offset), but this was no dull ride for me to play through. Having SteveD in the chat for the entire thing certainly added to the experience, hearing the backstories of the map and its mappers and everything Doom-related from one of its mappers! The ending was also quite different to what I've seen before, yet simple in its execution.

Can't wait for the Realm of Intensified Chaos so I can have the SteveD experience all over again...... :D

So what's next for the DWMegawad Club?

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Old Post 08-01-13 21:54 #
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Tompig
Green Marine


Posts: 34
Registered: 07-13


I vote something new and shiny too keep the balance of classical design and innovation in check.

What about Stronghold: Edge of chaos. (I think that was the full name, the hub based defense one.)

Old Post 08-01-13 22:19 #
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Jayextee
Darth Jrrr


Posts: 1250
Registered: 10-00


Thought we were doing Back To Saturn X: Episode 1 and Favillesco Episode 1.

Then again, I thought it was already August too... :P

Old Post 08-01-13 22:21 #
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