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SteveD
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Map08 (Continuous) – Research Lab by Slava Pestov – Kills – 84, Items – 94, Secret – 50. Time 19:42. End Health 137, Armor 128. Death Count - Zero

Map08 (Pistol Start)– Research Lab by Slava Pestov – Kills – 77, Items – 90, Secret – 100. Time 17:24. End Health 136, Armor 147. Death Count - Zero

Clever map by Slava Pestov, who shows more teeth this time. I’m afraid I have to disagree with the esteemed Alfonzo and Tarnsman, because I found this map to be quite fun indeed, especially on pistol start, where I had a couple of tense moments with the HKs teleporting in, the first of which got a free shot at my back. I thought for sure I’d get dusted by the Chaingunners after that and was very nearly correct. Somehow, I made enough right moves among the wrong ones to survive.

I liked the look of the hub and the blue key area. The stark lighting worked very well and Slava’s texture work was solid and in places very E1ish. The bizarre lift secrets at the corners of the hub were hard to get into thanks to the floor lamps blocking access.

As Dobu mentioned, Slava loves to play with lifts, this time with a continuously moving floor serving as an elevator to three areas. One of them is a surprisingly tense battle for the yellow key as Slava keeps teleporting the baddies at you. This fight made me real nervous on pistol start since it dropped me to 29% health. Following that comes the bizarre teleport ladder. At first, this seems a very unintuitive bit of game design, but I tend to think Slava was diabolically clever, knowing players would look into the nukage, back up, and start the ladder sequence. Unfortunately, it ends in a teleport trap that was completely borked on both of my playthroughs. On the first, in continuous play, several Pinkies came out, and nothing else. I heard nobles and an Archie, and remembered playtesting this puppy back in the day, when it seemed this trap usually worked. So I decided to leave. When I played this area again on pistol start, absolutely nothing came through the trap. This accounts for the difference in Kill totals between my plays. Alas, this malfunctioning trap was the biggest drawback to gameplay in the map.

Luckily, the rest of the map delivered plenty more fun. I really enjoyed the chained secrets leading to the Computer Map, getting more of them on pistol start when I rode the lift up after grabbing the Soulsphere.

Being that this is Map08, who can blame Slava for his homage to Tricks And Traps? It was quite fun, and he even did a good job with the Pestov Platform. I had to kill Cybie the first time, the HKs got him the next time. The pit seems to trap you the first time you jump in, until you find that the whole surrounding area is a lift. I gotta deduct style points for the unintuitive way he implemented this feature.

Slava finishes things off with another teleporter puzzle that’s bound to annoy many players, but I liked it. I can’t help thinking that parts of it were an homage to The Focus, one of my fave IWAD maps.

Research Lab helped restore my faith in RoC. Not perfect by any means thanks to the one iffy teleport trap, but overall quite good. Slava once again showcases clean, good-looking design and strong texturing. I gotta say I’m quite pleased. Definitely one of the highlights so far.

Old Post 07-08-13 07:26 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 08 -- Research Lab - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
I reckon this is better than Pestov's map 05, but it's still not really suiting my fancy. While the cyberdemon/HK pit setup (Now With 100% More Pestov Platform Family Fun!) that Dobu mentioned is the most obvious example, the whole thing is vaguely redolent of Tricks 'n Traps. This impression elides from a number of different things: the aforementioned pit, the blue-carpeted starting hub room with bronze tech doors, areas that you're sealed into after entering, the concept-driven map progression in the tiered teleporter ledge area and the switch/teleporter bridge puzzle, and more. I'd wouldn't call it a Tricks n' Traps 'ripoff' by any means, because it does have its own ideas to go along with its few direct homages, but this is in part because it's a lot more simplistic and underdeveloped than the id map.

Despite the hub, this is completely linear, and only one of its traps is potentially of any real threat (that being the teleporting horde at the top of the phasing ledges, where the timing of the vile's arrival makes the difference between a total pushover encounter and one that has to be paid a little more attention). At its best, the stuff here generally only manages to seem 'cute', if that, and the lack of variability in the way the map can be played makes it all seem pretty flimsy. My favorite part was being given a few more cells sometime right before (or was it right inside of?) the lift puzzle room, letting me BFG the poor little dudes in the cages, which was distantly satisfying. Unusual to see secrets clustered together within seconds of one another like the last three were....not bad, necessarily, but unusual. The bad part is that these are grotesquely overpowered, and I imagine that's true for both pistol-start and continuous play.

Dunno, guess I don't get Pestov's style. Guess it doesn't help that I'm generally not a fan of too much overt IWAD homagery.

Old Post 07-08-13 07:43 #
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Capellan
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Map08
Awful.

Tiresome gimmick-based gameplay coupled with traps that are ridiculously easy to ignore (e.g. the blue key and the yellow key), coupled with an exit area from which there seems to be no way to return.

Sorry Steve, but alfonzo and Tarnsman are right about this one.

Old Post 07-08-13 08:10 #
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SteveD
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Capellan said:
Map08
Awful.

Tiresome gimmick-based gameplay coupled with traps that are ridiculously easy to ignore (e.g. the blue key and the yellow key), coupled with an exit area from which there seems to be no way to return.

Sorry Steve, but alfonzo and Tarnsman are right about this one.



We'll have to agree to disagree on that. No biggie, different strokes and all. I can be a very simple soul when it comes to Doom. Any map that drops me to 29% and generates a feeling that I might get dusted in the next second can't be all bad. ;D Sheesh, I blasted through the first three maps of Doom 2 The Way id Did, and while I won't say they never laid a glove on me, I was never worried about being taken out or even bludgeoned very badly. I'm sure that will change as the mapset goes on . . .

I'll grant you that the teleport ladder is weird, but to me it's a charming idiosyncracy generated by a 13 year old genius. He is certainly a programming genius held in high esteem these days. Here, one can even see the man speak, though if you're not a programmer, it holds minimal interest. But to me, it's just fun to see what Slava looks like now that he's all grown up. ;D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_0QlhYlS8g

Yes, Slava's maps are gimmicky and derivative, but I do kinda like them. Now, I'll grant you that the teleport trap is just, well, pathetic, but here again I have to take part of the blame for yet another epic fail by the Steve & Rob Playtesting Team. We're only 8 maps into this thing and I'm red-faced with embarrassment. ;D

Old Post 07-08-13 09:07 #
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purist
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MAP06 - “Splatterhouse” by Steve Duff

The most accomplished map so far. Texture usage and detailing is clean and the large room & window based layout lends itself to good architecture.

Opposition is quite light for the size of the areas but the level maintains an incremental sort of threat due to the volume of hitscanners, the openness of their surroundings and a distribution of health items that left me with little for some parts and then an abundance in others.

MAP07 - “Deathstay” by Rob Berkowitz

A simple setpiece based map that keeps it's battles separate in contrast to the previous map that instead chips at you gradually

I don't remember being frustrated or challenged at any point of the level. It was nice though to play a MAP07 with only subtle use of the special triggers.

MAP08 - “Research Lab” by Slava Pestov

My least favourite of these three maps. Tries to hard to riff off Doom II's Tricks and Traps without executing any of the titular tricks and traps with the same panache.

Would be pretty inoffensive regardless if it wasn't for the slow perpetual platform (I don't disapprove of them generally but not when you're stuck waiting for it) and the unintuitive puzzle areas connected by teleports.

Old Post 07-08-13 14:05 #
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mouldy
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MAP08 - “Research Lab” by Slava Pestov

This seemed to take its inspiration from tricks and traps. Some of the puzzles were a bit unintuitive, but I got through it without cheating so cant really complain about that. There were some quirky design choices, some might say annoying or a bit silly. I found the slow lift rather tedious, and at one point i heard a whole bunch of enemies including archviles who i never ended up meeting - trouble is I couldn't tell if things were mistakes or just part of the general weirdness.

Old Post 07-08-13 15:37 #
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Jayextee
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MAP08 - RESEARCH LAB
by Slava Pestov

By jove you're all right, this really IS patterened after Tricks 'n' Traps! Not a really standout map, but not really awful either. The Cyberdemon/Hellknight setpiece was totally expected -- and hello Pestov Platform. I will say, the 'teleport ladder' did house the one trap that nearly killed me; a mountain of teleporting enemies featuring an Archvile that managed to resurrect the same Hellknight twice, wasting a bit of my ammo. After that though, the rest was a bit underwhelming, especially the awkward teleporter 'puzzle' ending.

Old Post 07-08-13 16:54 #
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mouldy
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from reading the other reviews of map 08 it looks like the archvile trap didnt work when I played through it... ah well

Old Post 07-08-13 17:49 #
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Tompig
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MAP 08- Research Lab

Now I'm quite the sucker for puzzle maps that don't make my brain explode (I'm a simpleton who enjoys puzzles... great.)

Frankly I enjoyed this, the teleporter ladder was something I was not expecting, and I found the exit puzzle straight forward but fun.

Cybers and hell knights was same old same old but a charming homage.

My only problem was in the first key room, the imp trap triggered and then backfired as they all locked themselves in... derpy imps.

Old Post 07-08-13 18:30 #
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Kristian Ronge
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SteveD said:
My apologies, Kristian. :)

Please, please, no need for that! :-)

Map 6 -- Splatterhouse
Clearly the best map so far. Most of what I felt like saying has been said. Jayextee mentioned that the gameplay is inoffensive, which is certainly true, DotW mentioned the open, classy design, and Hurricyclone mentioned the ho-hum outside area, etc. It's a bit too spacious and long-winding and lacks intense moments, but I didn't really mind. There are a few fun traps thrown in throughout, as well as some genuinely clever secrets (getting to the courtyard wasn't easy!), apart from the RL secret which was unmarked(?), to keep you busy.

I'd probably never attempt a max run here, though, because as Hurricyclone says it's easy to get lost (or at least run off a bit in the wrong direction at times) and there is potential for stragglers everywhere! Action suffers a bit from the oversized rooms and there was a bit too much health, ammo and armour lying around everywhere but I can understand why, from Steve's comments on what this map was intended for. Though easy, ammo and health dispersement is tastefully and competently done throughout (a good example is the rad suits).

I like the E1 theme and the interconnective feel throughout -- being able to spot places you're going to, places you can get to if you find the secrets, and places you've been. Oh, and I didn't mind the abrupt ending, if only because I had 100/100 at the tally screen. :-) --4/5

Map 7 -- Deathstay
As cannonball and DotW note,this one is all over the place visually. Is it a sewer? A techbase? A stone structure? That's my biggest complaint. Like 90% (I guess) of all players, I pushed the switch at the end prematurely and had to play it all over again to get maxkills. But I don't necessarily think it's indicative of horrible design.

Why would you push the switch (even if you're a "macho man" ;-P)? Well, because it's not marked as the exit switch. Is there a reward if you don't push it then? Yes, there is (for continuous play), a big reward. Maybe the idea was that players pushing the switch immediately are rewarded by exiting the level, not having to face the last monsters, and patient players are rewarded with an arguably fun Arachnotron fight and the megasphere...

The rest of the fights were okay, I guess, I mean they're not difficult and I had a bit of fun circle strafing and generating infighting as much as I could. It's a bit awkward fighting those imps in the YK trap (however, as mentioned, the pinkies acting as a meat shield was a nice touch, again rewarding patient players) and the Mancubuses at the end, but the map played fair and the RL secret was fun (other secrets were very bland though). BK area was fun as well, probably the best part of the map. Side note: how many of you got the secret in front of you right away? --3/5

Last edited by Kristian Ronge on 07-08-13 at 20:59

Old Post 07-08-13 20:21 #
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cannonball
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MAP08 - “Research Lab” by Slava Pestov
Nothing particulary awful here, some goofiness perhaps but nothing sadistic like Map04 :P
Hubspoke in the most primitive form. The gameplay is fairly decent on the whole. With some tricks and traps homages, the pestov platform and the weird rocket launcher section which is rather amusing.
The teleport section to unlock the exit isn't that bad. Though that moving lift did catch me out which resulted in a little confusion.

Old Post 07-08-13 20:53 #
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BaronOfStuff
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MAP05:
Ehhhh, nice idea for sure, but not really the best laid-out result as everything just folds before you. The start was a bit 'wat', with relative safety awarded to a curious player (or one who wouldn't fancy his chances in a buckshot waltz), but woe betide reckless Pistol-Starters. The central lift was a nice touch, and I'm going to go against the grain and say that raising/lowering it does work out for consecutive players who don't go around picking things up because they're for the taking. The extra shells from the initial encounter, waiting for me by the end of all this, was most welcome.

The Spider Mastermind was a total fucking waste. 1996 or not, this is one of the least intimidating placements of the beast that I have ever encountered. In some ways it reminded me of the 'Super Tank' boss in PSX Quake II, such is the useless positioning and surrounding terrain.



MAP06:
Pros:
- Expansive map making use of a lot of space with many optional areas and shortcuts.
- Multi-directional fighting.
- Revenant use that isn't a load of complete horseshit.
- RADSUITS.

Cons:
- Some serious pcorf levels of bullshit when it comes to getting all the secrets.
- Not exactly the best flow.
- The constant 'zombie around the corner' fighting got old, fast.
- What the fuck was that ending? Two Shotgun Guys behind an unmarked exit line?



MAP07:
Enjoyable enough I suppose, I did enjoy the 'ha ha no RL for you... yet' moment. Not entirely convinced that ending was properly thought out though, seemed a bit shitty to be honest.

Old Post 07-08-13 20:54 #
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Kristian Ronge
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BaronOfStuff said (about map 6):
Cons:
- Some serious pcorf levels of bullshit when it comes to getting all the secrets.

Oh come on! This is not in the same ballpark as 2002ADO 10th anniversary E2M4... it ain't the same ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same sport! ;-)

Map 8 -- Research Lab
As people have noted, there are clear nods to Sandy Petersen throughout this one. That tends to make the map either liked or disliked... but I'm somewhere in the middle, leaning towards "like" though. I don't mind quirkiness as long as the map plays fair. :-) There are some fun teleport traps here (the AV teleporter trap worked for me but seems to have some design flaws... for me, the AV teleported out in the middle of the monster stream which was intense!), and truly great work with the secrets. Progression, up until the ending, was also very simple and painless. However, as has been mentioned, many of the traps are skippable or easily beatable with a "safe" method, the unbelievably convoluted ending sequene is a moment of pure suckage, and I thought the Cyber/HK setup was very ho-hum and not the climax the author wanted to create, mostly because the damn monsters can't get to you. Hurricyclone mentioned an invuln, but I couldn't spot any... just as well, it would make the fight even more meaningless. Not all that terrible, but not all that good either. --3/5

Last edited by Kristian Ronge on 07-08-13 at 21:39

Old Post 07-08-13 21:32 #
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SteveD
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My prayers have been answered, The Baron has reached one of my maps. I'll do some simple quoting "" to make life a little easier on myself. ;)

The Baron said;

"Cons:
- Some serious pcorf levels of bullshit when it comes to getting all the secrets."

As I always say, never underestimate The Power of Pcorf! Here we can see that The Great Satan himself influenced me 2 years before releasing Death Tormention! Have I not said that this man is pure evil? ;D

"- Not exactly the best flow."

Especially with that blue key, which has been eliminated in the revision.

"- The constant 'zombie around the corner' fighting got old, fast."

You'll be glad to know that the revision has even more zombies, so instead of just one, there might be three or four around that corner, and maybe a Chaingunner, too. ;)

"- What the fuck was that ending? Two Shotgun Guys behind an unmarked exit line?"

That was just flat-out stupid, wasn't it? Have I ever mentioned that the Dumbass Corporation has given me a lifetime supply of Dumbass Pills? I've tried to give them up, but the addiction is too strong . . .

I can't believe you didn't whomp me upside the head over that unavoidable Medikit in front of a switch. But don't worry, there's more to come. ;D

Old Post 07-08-13 22:24 #
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SteveD
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Kristian Ronge said:

There are a few fun traps thrown in throughout, as well as some genuinely clever secrets (getting to the courtyard wasn't easy!), apart from the RL secret which was unmarked(?), to keep you busy.



The RL secret was marked, but I'll confess, I was a bit of a jagoff about it. Being a jagoff on occasion is really one of the fun things about mapping. ;D But anyway, I took the approach of hiding the secret door in plain sight by making the mismatched texture cover such a large area that players might think it was just normal. That is, assuming you're talking about the Starg3 wall in the angled passage, bounded by the Startan3 walls. If you caught that right away, you get the Chaingun secret plus all the ammo and health power-ups. The RL is the super-secret and its Browngrn wall is offset vertically by about 2 or 4 units, but the neigbhboring walls are at an angle, so it's possible to miss that.

One of the things I enjoyed most about watching various playthroughs was all the players walking right past that Starg3 wall without trying to open it. [Fist-pump] Yessssssss!!!!! ;D

Old Post 07-08-13 22:37 #
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Memfis
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08 - -fast demo - very good map for fastmonsters with a plenty of exciting crossfire situations. The use of moving floors is nice and the teleporter ladder is genius imo.

If you watch my demo, you might wonder why I kamikaze'd in the cyberdemon room like that. It's hard to explain: I guess I was kinda sleepy, and for some reason I thought that the cyberdemon is trapped in that pillar and I have to press the switch and release him ASAP to make him kill a lot of hell knights so that I don't run out of ammo while fighting them. Well, and that didn't work too well lol.


09 - -fast demo - now this one was a pain. The problem here was the first outdoor area. It is huge and open, with hitscanners shooting at you from places where you can't easily hit them. Even if you take things veeery slowly, it doesn't guarantee that you'll survive. Ammo management in that area can be problematic as well. Fortunately, once I managed to clear it, I found a nice free megasphere there and after that it was a smooth sail.
I really liked the marble pillar area (very surreal) and... wait, oh shit, there's an elephant in the room! Yeah, the Wolfenstein area... I... actually don't have anything against it, I think? Sure it's bizarre and inconventional but it actually looks pretty imo. And I don't have anything against the Wolfenstein SS guys either. Ever since playing garrulo.wad, I've thought of them as of interesting enemies, like a hybrid between shotgunners and chaingunners.
Interesting level but frustrating on -fast.

Old Post 07-08-13 23:27 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP08 - Research Lab

This one feels like an IWAD level in a few place, especially with the homages to its mapslot, Tricks and Traps. Lots of little puzzles here, with timed switches, jumps, teleport lines, etc. I liked the two Hell Knight teleport ambush at the start, but the teleporting monsters in the yellow key area were a bit overused. Nothing here is very dangerous, as even the Cyberdemon comes with a bunch of Hell Knights to infight. The map is also overstocked with goodies... I counted one green armor, two blue armors, a soulsphere, megasphere and beserk pack. When I'm sitting at 192/198 and looking at the free megasphere thinking "nah" on UV, there might be a problem. There's also a little bit of 1996-PWAD-ness with the slooooooowly raising bridge in the pointlessly-deep chasm at the end, but it's a minor complaint. More annoying are the raising/lowering lifts being part of the puzzle, and an egregious oversight is the fact that you can't return back through the red key door. 3/5

Old Post 07-08-13 23:41 #
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Obsidian
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MAP08 - Research Lab

I love and hate this one in equal measure. :P It looks pretty darn awesome in areas and the gameplay will eat you alive if you're not on your toes. The secrets were pretty decent as well, even the 3 interconnected ones. :P I ran out of ammo at the teleporter bit and just legged it, but apart from that I reckon this is a great map.

Old Post 07-09-13 00:38 #
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sgt dopey
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Map05-Map09 demos

Old Post 07-09-13 01:42 #
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Membrain
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Map07 - Deathstay 76% Kills|33% Items|40% Secret - 5:32
Health 170 - Armor 170 | 0 Deaths

Hmm... okay, yeah. This is a very boring map, visually. While it doesn't make a lot of the newbie mistakes of map04, the rooms are bland and there's not really much in the way of vertical architecture. On the other hand, it's clean enough and, while sparse, it's not exactly bad. The traps were well laid-out and the fight were fun most of the time. Even so, I don't really feel like it had much sense of place or any tangible progression. The red and blue key rooms were good, and the optional fight at the end was kind of fun, too, but not enough really stood out, despite the variance of textures used.

A good map, but not especially great.

Old Post 07-09-13 03:05 #
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Obsidian
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Map09 - Machine Gun Etiquette

Again, blarg. I didn't really enjoy myself with this one: overabundance of hitscanners and disjointed areas don't really do it for me. :-/ Probably won't finish this one.

Old Post 07-09-13 04:23 #
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Getsu Fune
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MAP09 Machine Gun Etiquette

I seriously want to know the backstory behind the title of this one.

Oh, I'm in a bad mood now, more hitscanner mess! Even Hitherto's demo wasn't without flaws. Fuck. Visuals, again don't bite much, but the gameplay got me good. The first part before the teleporter was what I liked to call Stronghold 2.0. It's hitscan hell for me, just like MAP09 of TNT. From watching the demo, I too killed the so-called "cacodemon fucker" in the outside area where the exit belied before actually being there.

Outside area after teleporter (with the nukage): It's blatantly obvious that this is the standout area. Those chaingunners on the ledges were annoying, as were the sargebarges in the building. What I really hated was the "button" in the nukage, heighted just like the nukage and textured like a lift but it lowers the area around the building. Boo. Also, I had to flip a switch as I progressed to get out of here only to realize the inner part of the building has opened with chaingunners and a megasphere (thankfully!). On the walkway, I scored a dumb death trying to hit a revenant with rockets (map should be titled Rocket Launcher Etiquette since I actually used a number of rockets here, could've had some bad spills as well).

Back to the area before the teleporter: Nothing really too exciting other than perhaps a hidden door with a rocket launcher and more fucking hitscan hell and 4(!) secret sectors) and having to open up another hidden door just to progress further into the level (!!).

Nothing really too exciting until the Wolfenstein area where I first meet my first archie on HMP. Ugly. Not only that but Nazis! (after grabbing the key of course). Boo hoo. Onto the exit area, and out without too much trouble, again I used rockets. So, overall, I got pissed off, fucked myself over with rockets, got bulleted several times by nearly every hitscan enemy including the Nazis, and had to unlock a hidden door just to move on. Bad level. Splatterhouse was better. Final Time 7:47 (with lots of save/loads, lol)

Old Post 07-09-13 04:40 #
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dobu gabu maru
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MAP09: For a map named “Machine Gun Etiquette” there sure doesn’t seem to be a lot of manners shown here. Duff plops us into a linear, hitscanner-happy affair with a lot of the aforementioned machine gunners that largely populate the map. The creative, fantastic traps from Splatterhouse are replaced with “gotcha!” style surprises of (sometimes literally) a wall of hitscanners to rip you to shreds. Luckily there are only a few instances where they’re on all sides and you can’t play peek’n’shoot, although that tends to drag down the gameplay. This map would’ve been a pain in the ass if it wasn’t for the generous yet sporadic assortment of health items tossed about the level. You go from picking up an armor and berserk pack at the start to… stumbling on another armor and medikit? And since the walkways are so narrow, you wind up having to obtaining a lot of them whether you mean to or not.

It’s always enjoyable to tackle a somewhat challenging level, but this didn’t have the elegance that Splatterhouse did, resulting in a pretty lackluster showing altogether for me. And it does indeed feel like it was designed by a “jagoff” (looking at you, misaligned wall in a hallway of misaligned walls being needed to proceed).

Old Post 07-09-13 05:50 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 09 -- Machine Gun Etiquette - 101% Kills / 100% Secrets
Another fun level with some good action, but Steve wasn't just being humble when he said that the overall quality of construction here is lower than what we saw in 'Splatterhouse', as this is very clearly an earlier/less experienced work. Many of the same general design elements seen in map 06 are here as well--contrast between big airy open spaces and fairly claustrophobic corridors, squads of hitscanners, earnest use of height variation, lots of pushwall secrets telegraphed by vertically-offset textures, etc.--although most of these are seen here in a less polished form. For example, the vertical offset on the secrets here is generally huge, as opposed to the slight offsets in map 06.

Generally speaking, the map is quite a bit less aesthetically well-rounded; lighting is more simplistic (though it isn't absent), and the map begins to evince a steadily increasing degree of the same random/nonsensical texture theming (or lack thereof) that several of the other RoC maps have suffered from as it wears on, which of course culminates in the much-talked-about blue room. Personally, I don't have a problem with the wolfenstone being casually used as a normal texture, but it looks pretty naff juxtaposed with rectangular flesh paneling and that glowing crackle floor, especially considering the flat lighting. Architecture itself is generally more interesting, with highlights being the large yard with the bloody wooden arch/guardhouse in the nukage pool, the strange marble-pillared slime vat that Memfis mentioned, and the simple-but-devious RL trap room. I say 'generally' because, much like the texturing, things are generally on a fairly rapid downhill slide from around the time the player exits the slime/pillar room and starts getting keys. This map also features another incidence of a group of different secrets all being clustered near/within each other, which seems to be some kind of motif of RoC, much like the Pestov Platform. Incidentally, like K. R., I've also got to disagree with Baron's assessment that the style of secret-concealment in Steve's maps is PCorfian (in either methodology or degree of difficulty); I really don't see much of a resemblance, especially considering that Steve tends to hide significant numbers of monsters in his secrets on top of everything else.

Even though it's moderately hideous by the time it ends, it's still a fun play, though, and Steve continues to pay more attention to encounter design than any of the other mappers have thus far. I think the clear highlight here is the aforementioned yard with the bloody arch; there are several distinctly different ways to tackle this, but monster placement in combination with the significant vertical span of the area generally discourages remaining static for too long and pecking things to death from safety. It also just keeps piling on the action, via a series of different monster reveals in several parts of the area that trigger as you traverse the room in various ways. Unfortunately, much like the aesthetics, the encounter design grows progressively more slapdash as the map progresses, with placement becoming more and more direct as the surroundings become flatter and flatter, but I think the fun parts still outweigh the duller parts, nonetheless. I guess some might consider the last arch-vile to be an unwarranted cheap shot, but I'd disagree; given the weaponry available in the map there's not really a way for killing him that's both elegant and safe, granted, but there are certainly some that are one or the other.

Here's another UVmax demo. It has a couple of somewhat ugly bloopers in it (the main one being the awkwardness concerning the hell knight closet near the stairs, where it hit me too late that I had switched to prBooM+ and thus could no longer leap directly over monsters), but some amusing moments as well, so I went with this one instead of the much cleaner one I also made (the map being fun enough for me to want to play it thrice is worthy of note). Regarding your possible retooling of this map, Steve, I think this demo makes it pretty clear that you were probably too generous with strong powerups. The first megasphere is appropriate, I think, but the later soulsphere and especially the second megasphere are probably excessive. I didn't play very well near the end of the demo, and these powerups allowed me to easily survive where I almost certainly didn't deserve to.

Edit: Oh, and the nazis. If you're going to rerelease this, you might just look into using a simple reskin for these guys--there are a number of them floating around, the most common one being a zombie who closely resembles the standard trooper, only with blonde hair. I don't know why more folks don't do this--the Nazi's actual combat behavior makes for a useful new basic/weak enemy type, it's just his sprites that don't mesh well (or at all) with the normal Doom stuff.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 07-09-13 at 07:14

Old Post 07-09-13 07:08 #
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Capellan
Forum Regular


Posts: 985
Registered: 10-02


Map09
Got 100% secrets. Hah!

Did not like this anywhere near as much as map06. It's visually and architecturally much less interesting, and the progression is definitely a case of "Bad SteveD! No cookie!".

Low-lights obviously include the mandatory secret door (which is not even marked as a secret), and the mancubus-at-the-top-of-stairs fight, which seems designed to exploit Doom's field of vision limits. The blue room, on the other hand, did not worry me as it is goofy enough to raise a smile.

Old Post 07-09-13 08:37 #
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Jayextee
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Posts: 1250
Registered: 10-00


MAP09 - MACHINE GUN ETIQUETTE
by Steve Duff

Well, it certainly lives up to its name given the amount of chaingun action here - either from the enemy itself or me click-click-clicking to snipe far-away enemies with the thing - especially in the large courtyard that seems to take a bulk of the time. The theming on this is all over the place, but somehow seems to work; in the context of a base that has had a part of it destroyed by hellspawn, I guess. I didn't like this one as much as your other one, Steve. But it was alright.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v469/jayextee/doom73_zpsb0551bda.png

The Wolfenstein Room(tm) actually looked kinda good, I think. And although I was expecting it, the loud "schutzstaffel!" as I gunned some closet-imps kinda made me jump. Adorable Pestov Platform ending, although I legged it right past Archie to finish. Didn't like the fact that to get to the yellow door I have to enter a misaligned-texture wall as if I were secret-hunting (I'm not in this playthrough), but other than that it's a fairly enjoyable, low-key, but very linear map.

Old Post 07-09-13 09:57 #
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cannonball
Senior Member


Posts: 2219
Registered: 07-11


MAP09 - “Machine Gun Etiquette” by Steve Duff
Main thoughts were;
"I've got 61 rockets, but no rocket launcher :("
"I've found a secret, wait this was the actual way to go"

This isn't as good as splatterhouse, still the game play is engaging and monsters are fairly well placed. The texturing is all over the place at time though and a random wolfenstein area to boot. Whilst linear there were a few optional areas like the megasphere room which required braving a few traps to get there which was a nice touch.
Pretty good map, wish I had a rocket launcher though, still probably missed it in a secret, I didn't get a single one. I guess there was too much health a well given I was inclined to punch out half a dozen revenants just because I could :P

Old Post 07-09-13 11:08 #
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LordK
Junior Member


Posts: 155
Registered: 09-02



st.alfonzo said:
here's the first 15 maps of Realm of Chaos for your viewing (dis)pleasure.

Part 1 = http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2515533

It's too bad that you decided to no-clip in MAP13. I was starting to get some masochistic pleasure out of watching you fail to revisit the northern room with its Pestov Platform.

On a side note, it's interesting to see how variedly the difficulty levels are implemented. Jim Bagrow maps are almost neutered on HMP (you are playing on HMP, right?), whereas MAP12 for example has almost identical monster population compared to UV.

Old Post 07-09-13 14:29 #
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SteveD
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Posts: 1193
Registered: 04-10


I wanted to do a few shout-outs before I do my write-up.

@Memfis -- Awesome. Just awesome. Much respect for that -fast demo. It was so entertaining to watch. I was wishing I could tell you not to attack the central guardhouse, because that's the hardest path. Once you took the side route, I knew you'd make it. I was truly amazed by your determination. Exceptional stuff.

@Demon of the Well -- That was a super-fun demo to watch, even more fun than the Map06 demo. Your unbelievable secret radar was in good effect as usual. I also really enjoyed the Doom hilarity when you drew a Revvie rocket into the back of an unsuspecting Sergeant. ;D

@Capellan -- 100% Secrets? How the hell did that happen? You know what this means, don't you? That's right, the world is going to end! ;D

@alfonzo -- I really appreciated the Doom hilarity when you got the Revenant to ride up the lift and kill the Chaingunner. Amazing move!

Old Post 07-09-13 15:09 #
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SteveD
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Map09 (Continuous) – Machine Gun Etiquette by Steve Duff – Kills – 99, Items – 77, Secret – 100. Time 26:08. End Health 137, Armor 140. Death Count - 1

Map09 (Pistol Start) – Machine Gun Etiquette by Steve Duff – Kills – 101, Items – 92, Secret – 100. Time 30:51. End Health 200, Armor 200. Death Count - 7

As I said before, Splatterhouse was an aberration, Machine Gun Etiquette is really what I’m all about as a mapper. The design ethic is simple – the player will be under fire from their first step to their last. That fire will vary in intensity, but the design goal is to kill the player in three different places in the map, and to do it fair and square with straight-ahead run ‘n gun action and lots of monster closets. Teleport traps are somewhat uncommon in my maps. Comparing the death counts between Splatterhouse and Machine Gun Etiquette, the older map is a success and the newer map is a failure, at least by that standard. As I was recently discussing with the esteemed cannonball, the target audience of my maps is me. I love the hitscanner game. Not so fond of the heavy monster game. And I like to get killed. ;)

Hurricyclone asked about the backstory behind the title. The easiest explanation is this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AGPgT1BhkU

Ah, the joys of oldschool punk!

Machine Gun Etiquette is probably the third map I ever worked on, and Map27 is the second, and just wait until you see that one. :D If you look at MGE in an editor, it’s very peculiar, because I pursued a “fill in the entire blockmap” approach to design. I’m not positive about why I did this, aside from the typical lack of experience issue, but I’m willing to bet the blockmap exactly filled Hellmaker’s window and that I didn’t scroll the map in any direction. ;D This approach had two unfortunate effects. First, after designing the big outdoor area, I had no room left for cool side areas, and as a result, as both Hurricyclone and DoTW noted, once you get past the marble columns room, the gameplay takes a nosedive. I tried to fortify it by throwing in heavy monsters, lots of HKs, Revvies and such, but too much of that fighting was all ahead of the player and thus a relatively simple affair assuming you have enough ammo. The second unfortunate effect, and one I couldn’t have cared less about back in the day, is that it’s really hard to revise this thing, because in many cases the walls in different areas are separated by 4 – 8 units of empty space. Without a lot of line dragging and room resizing, you can’t add wall detail, so I concentrated on gradient lighting, the occasional sunken floor with a different texture, and Support3 structural beams. That, along with eliminating the many and often hideous violations of – say it, Capellan! – the Floor Texture Rule, plus some saner texturing, really worked wonders. One thing I did in the outdoor area was take advantage of how Marbface doesn’t always tile, so I could put them up as banners held between Support3 columns, which had the unhappy side effect of giving the player 24 units of cover. Oh well.

Highlights of the map for me:

The Start. I just love it. Take a normal step towards that shotgun and you get fired on by Sergeants. You can’t imagine the infantile glee that gives me. ;D Then, when you kill the first Chaingunner, if you go right inside his room, the monster closet opening to your left can distract you just enough for the cruelly placed Chaingunner in the blue key room to blast you to death from behind. Oh, such larks!

The Flower Trap. This is where you get the rocket launcher. If you look at it in an editor, and use a lot of imagination, the central area with the RL could be the floral axis, and all the side rooms could be petals. Bottom line, this is specifically designed to kill keyboard players with my miserable skillset. On my pistol-start playthrough, I got killed 4 times in a row at this trap, which is a Variation On A Theme by Antoni Chan. It uses the simple trick that players who don’t yet have the RL have to leap to get it, and their momentum – except for those damnable mouse players!!!! ;D – carries them across to the next platform, where suddenly a door they triggered opens in front, 2 Sergeants blast them, and from the sides, Chaingunners open fire. The only weapon in the player’s hands is the RL, and the hope is that sheer panic causes the player to press their fire key, whereupon they die in a glorious “Good at Doom!” moment. Dobu said this map has the feel of being designed by a jagoff, and I stand proudly before you today to announce that I am, indeed, your friendly neighborhood jagoff. ;D

Assuming you survive, either because you already have the RL, or you switch weapons fast enough to kill the Sergeants, the trap becomes the gift that keeps on giving because more side doors open right alongside you, and more Sergeants and Chaingunners open fire in a really up close and personal way. On one of my attempts, 4 Chaingunners were blasting away at me, and for the 2 seconds of life I had remaining, the sound of the sheer volume of their fire was able to induce that wonderful “Holy shit!” panic I love so much in Doom. And if you survive and kill those, there’s still more of these bastards, shooting at you from different angles as they emerge from behind doors or shoot at you from across the nukage pool. Whee!!!!!!

To answer a DoTW question, the reason the side rooms were marked secret, instead of, more logically, the RL platform itself, was to encourage players to keep exploring to find the boxes of rockets in the back rooms.

To answer a comment from Dobu, the “hallway of misaligned textures” was actually deliberate offsets, using ideas from the IWADs, and there was a method behind the madness. The three vertically offset textures, in order, was a downward offset to show a spot where a lift would lower, and two upward offsets to show where secret doors would rise. Watching the demos, it’s clear that the downward offset was a bad idea, because players immediately pressed it, and when nothing happened, they tended to not press the others. It’s also clear that having a lift separate from the RL platform gave mousers a way to beat the trap. Memfis beat it brilliantly on his very first try. DoTW used it to time his activation of the trap and get his weapons ready. Weeeeellllllll, there won’t be any more of that nonsense in the revision! The RL platform will also be the lift, but if you fall, your odds of survival are . . . not good. And I am happy that I got Alfonzo, and that Memfis died many times here, but that he survived to win against all those Chaingunners on –fast is just amazing. And I really really hope I killed Capellan here at least once. Inquiring minds want to know. ;) I’m also mortified that Cannonball failed to find it.

My final comment on The Flower Trap addresses a question from Dobu about why the player encounters a Medikit and Green Armor after getting the Zerk and Green Armor just before. It’s because playtesting revealed that many things can happen in the Hell Knight room and the hitscanner room, among them getting hit in the back by a Revvie rocket. I wanted the player to have max health and armor before they tried The Flower Trap. Go in there at 45% and you have to be really good to survive.

The Outside Area. This is my favorite part of the map. It has a lot of height variation, and monsters not only fire at you from all directions but from above, on your plane, and below you. You really have to keep on your toes and do a lot of turning, hiding and corner abuse to win. My only death on continuous play happened under the Chaingunner shack near the big gallows. I got a little overconfident, lost way too much health, and was taken out by a roving Imp.

There is a good jagoff move in here where I make it seem like you have to jump into the nukage to activate the pressure plate, and lower the guardshack lift to reach the other side, when instead, if you peek around the corner of the Chaingunner platform, there’s a very narrow walkway that can take you there. If you see that, you won’t get blasted by the Sergeants above. Then again, leaping around the place from the central guardshack is another source of infantile glee for me, it’s just better to do that after everything in there is dead.

Dobu mentioned the giant hitscanner “Gotcha” trap on the upper side area, after the Lost Soul room. I admit, I laughed out loud the first time Memfis triggered it and leaped off the platform. Yes, that’s a jagoff move, but I direct your attention to IWAD Map09, The Pit, by everyone’s favorite axe-murderer, Sandy Petersen, and the really, really horrifying yellow key trap, where grabbing the key triggers 2 monster closets with 8 Sergeants, and where going for the two rockets opens a big monster closet behind you with, on UV, 13 Chaingunners and 5 Lost Souls. I’m a pussycat by comparison, and my trap is easily defeated if you have a chaingun. ;)

And now, for the more unfortunate parts . . .

The mandatory secret door, which I’ve mentioned fairly often, is a gameplay no-no of such magnitude that it is the main reason I decided to do Realm of Intensified Chaos. Yes, revise all the maps just to atone for this one mega-mistake.

The texturing. I laughed out loud when Tarnsman, upon seeing the Hell Knight/Revvie corridor after the marble columns room, said, “It’s really hard to misuse SP_Rock1, unless you do this.” Ah, that’s the kind of zinger I live for, and he’s totally right, of course. I thought the map was mostly dandy until it started going pear-shaped at this point.

There is much, much work left to do on this revision, and watching the demos, maybe I’ll blow out the map at the SP_Rock1 corridor, just get rid of it and make a new section leading to the lift downstairs.

Anyway, I’ve babbled a bit too much already. Thanks again everyone for the demos and comments! And DoTW, I will look into those Nazi reskinnings, though at present the Wolfies have been replaced by Chaingunners.

Last edited by SteveD on 07-09-13 at 21:52

Old Post 07-09-13 17:31 #
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