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SteveD
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Demon of the Well said:
Another gamebreaking bug here. This is still on SGNSYM122.wad, but I mention it anyway in case it has migrated into the latest version.

This one was a ballbuster for me. Late in my E1M7 FDA, I found the computer area map secret almost by accident.....and then got sealed into it. There is no way out of it once the door closes behind you. I was kicking ass and taking names, too.....



Aargh, the embarrassments just keep coming. My apologies, DoTW, but that was just a Dumbass Mapper mistake -- I only put a door action on one side. Fixed by turning it into a Door Stay line. I'm guessing this means you didn't find the other Computer Map, which is revealed in the battle for the BFG. I put 2 of them in there in hopes that one way or another, players would find the secret Plasma Gun. The BFG does trivialize the PG fight, though, as Veinen's FDA reveals.


Demon of the Well said:
While I'm at it, I suspect that the toxic pit near the soulsphere secret accessed at the end of the long dark tunnel network has no way out of it if the player should decide to jump in, something s/he might rationally do given the 'Computer Station' homage-secrets that appear a little earlier on.



You are correct. I noticed that in Veinen's FDA. It's on the to-do list.


Demon of the Well said:
Edit 2: And again, something goes horribly awry in -cl 2 (still on SGNSYM122.wad), rendering E1M8 uncompletable (as far as I could tell). Just what happens in my FDA is difficult to describe in any kind of concise fashion, so I'll just let the demo speak for itself on this one, once I post them.



That one has me stumped for now. I haven't done -cl2 on this map yet -- things got busy yesterday -- so I don't know if it has something to do with how fast you hit the switch that lowers the Barons or if there's some major problem. I was also stunned that you activated a switch that was behind another sector. The whole thing was a disappointment for me, because I wanted to see how you'd fare in the huge Extreme Caco/Cyber Horror that was about to be unleashed -- and that's only Part One! ;D

On to your FDAs themselves. I was pleased as punch to see how low I got your health in E1M1. I've thrown Cybs, SpiderQueens, masses of Revvies and whatnot at you, and here a few little guys do all that damage, which probably shows more about the type of fight design I'm comfortable with than anything else. But that was nothing next to the edge-of-my-seat excitement brought on by your E1M9 FDA. Tough crowd at The Miley Cyrus Concert, 'ey? I saw it coming when you grabbed that Zerk at the time you did, and then when you got stuffed in the corridor and surrounded, I was actually cheering the monsters on, and there you were, at 1%. All it's gonna take is one bite, one bullet, and at last the dinghy will sink the Warspite! But . . . noooooooooo!!!!!! You snatched victory from the slavering jaws of defeat. I salute you, DoTW. That was some incredible bit of boxing prowess you displayed.

Then there was the E1M6 FDA, which was going well with plenty of damage inflicted until the computer terminal fiasco. A few minutes later, you were able to escape all the enemies tossed at you at the end of the pump room, and how can I view that as anything but a massive fail on the design side? Not everyone will be able to evade those monsters the way you did. Most of us will slug our way through it like Veinen did, but a complete escape is possible. I designed these maps so that players would have the option of avoiding a few of the bigger fights, but nothing this big! ;D I'm trying to think of solutions, and have even considered a massive monster reduction in that leg of the game.

Here's hoping you post some impressions and suggestions.

BTW, so far, I can't make your FDA of my Mega-Project map work. It starts and then bombs out. I might have deleted the first posted version of the limit-removing WAD, unless you FDAed the first version I posted, which played on Map01. I might be able to reconstruct which of the WADs that was. The version of the WAD I have is DMP2013-v_LR_V1 dated 1-5-2014 11:43PM, so that should be the first version. Maybe I need a newer version? I hope you enjoyed it, because "Don't Touch That Dial!" and The Miley Cyrus Concert are a good indication of where I'll be going with the Amiga Demo Party maps, though I'll be putting more work into the appearance. But I want to go in the direction of shorter to mid-sized maps with very high levels of sheer carnage.

Old Post 02-03-14 18:55 #
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Suitepee
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Having come home from work, it's time to get around to covering this public beta at last on my twitch channel right now this evening!

http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee

Feel free to come along (especially SteveD so I can banter with you some more) and see what I think of the wad as I play it. Or just lerk and say nothing. Or mock my poor Doom skills.

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Old Post 02-03-14 20:03 #
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Demon of the Well
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Here is the version of the DWMP 2013 Limit-Removing WAD that I have: http://www.mediafire.com/download/1.../DMP2013LR1.wad
The filename won't match anything from the thread, as I tend to rename WADs with versional appellations to fit my own 'filing system', as it were.

About the catastrophic mechanical failure on E1M8 in -cl 2, after looking at it more closely, I suspect the root of the problem is exactly the same as with the malfunctioning terminal I mentioned in E1M6--the Barons that are up inside of the red pillars are somehow jamming the mechanism. Notice that in the FDA when I hit the switch you can start to hear the sound of a platform sector perpetually lowering, which is just what finally tipped me off to the malfunction in E1M6. I went back to E1M8 and tried IDCLIPing into the pillars to kill the Barons, and sure enough, as soon as each one dies, his pillar lowers as intended. Since the above prevents the Barons from appearing and being killed, the E1M8 special tags can't be activated, meaning that the central cyberdemon never appears, and the thin 'sheath' around the edge of the central structure never lowers, meaning the switch that fills the gaps in the walkway leading to the final area never appears; I managed to hit this switch anyway in trying to jump over to the rim of the central structure, just an unlikely coincidence stemming from the engine's quirky handling of collision detection, blockmaps, thin sectors, and infinitely-tall "use" functionality. The second problem involves most of the walkway itself; in -cl 9, it rises into place when the player crosses a trigger on the 'trident' platform with the Baron-reveal switch; in -cl 2, it appears to try to rise to the same height as the bridge-gaps that the switch behind the aforementioned sheath rest at, which of course at the time the player approaches them are simply at nukage-level, which of course further dooms the mechanism. The rear-right segment of the walkway seems to have some other fundamental issue as well--it doesn't work right even if I clip around to get events to trigger in the intended order--but I don't know what to tell you about that one. Oh yes, one other random observation about this map: on -fast or Nightmare! skill, the cyberdemon that is intended to phase away at the very start is liable to instakill the player before he has any real chance to react (read: the instant the map loads), so you might change his position a bit to preclude this.

Incidentally, I did replay E1M8 on -cl 9, and the caco/cyber assault that happens in the above area is definitely the map's climax. I was able to handle it relatively smoothly with some judicious BFG usage, and by quickly moving to bridge the gaps to the end of the level so I could use those side chambers as safe zones, rather than trying to fight the encounter entirely from the walkway. The final battle, by contrast, is really very easy to simply run away from, even with the outer ring of infinitely-tall cacos running interference. My bloodlust/dimwitted machismo requires me to stick around and kill things (hence why I go back to clean out the installation after running all the way to the exit in E1M6, even without my precious RL), but not everyone plays that way....not sure how you feel about having the final encounter in the episode be highly optional.

As to how I feel about the episode as a whole, for the most part I found it quite enjoyable! Like Dobu, at this point in my DooMing career, I've seen so many KDiTD-alikes with so many of the same recurring problems (e.g. the abysmal lack of gameplay that characterizes most of Fava Beans) that seeing another entry into the genre generally doesn't excite me. Those few entries in said genre that I DO find consistently enjoyable/memorable--of which Double Impact is probably the current crown-prince--generally seem to be the ones that least concern themselves with being authentically 'classic', either aesthetically or in terms of action/progression style. A lot of the problem, I suspect, is that people look back on KDiTD from the vantage of 2014 or whatever it is and see that it's 'easy', and so they consciously make their homages to it easy, failing to take into account that in its own day KDiTD was certainly designed to have teeth.I reckon there's usually going to be a palpable difference in overall feel between maps which were actively designed to be leisurely/unthreatening and old maps which simply no longer seem particularly threatening because the level of skill of the average player has tended to increase in the many years since DooM was first released.

Anyway, I'm getting off on a tangent here. Suffice to say that while the influences/references to KDiTD and Fava Beans in Shotgun Symphony are generally very obvious, manifesting mainly in the occasional direct setpiece/layout homages to those WADs (I felt that the Dawn of the Dead influence was mostly limited to overall texture theme, but there may have been some specific references that slipped by me), it is still very much its own entity in all senses--aesthetics, layout, gameplay--and that is a good thing, in this case. Your propensity for supersizing many of your areas as well as your tendency to lay down expansive maps is something that has always appealed to me, and the unobtrusive 'hub' concept lends the setting a bit more concreteness and a sense of running progression without requiring any real allowances in layout to be made for it. The most important thing, of course, is that the mapset is generally very bloody; while for the most part I was not feeling particularly intimidated, the action was consistently heavy enough that I felt like I was getting a good workout throughout, and as you've seen I occasionally found myself slipping into some rather tense situations....which is good! This is what a 'traditional' E1's overall combat feel should be, to me--a scenario where the player can generally feel powerful and in control of the situation, but one that will promptly put him in his place if he doesn't stay on his toes/maintain a high level of situational awareness. The concept of secret/optional bloodbaths is also fascinating to me; I think that special vistas/scenery and hidden fights are the most satisfying of all rewards for a player that likes to take the time to explore thoroughly and uncover installation secrets, far moreso than actual material gains like ammo or artifacts.

There are certainly some flaws, and some things that I would call 'oddities' that others might refer to as flaws. I feel that Baron usage in the mapset is often rather clumsy. While this is something of an issue throughout, E1M3 kind of epitomizes the issue-- here, you get caged Baron-turrets which are not particularly threatening and not much fun to kill, you get the red-key kiosk Barons which you can either laboriously shotgun or just easily flee from, etc. etc. This monster's high HP and simple attack means it's hard to use effectively; in many cases it just becomes a timesink for completionists and a vague nuisance for everyone else, doubly so in pistol-start gameplay, where the lack of heavier artillery (including DooM II's SSG) in many encounters leaves the player unable to eliminate them efficiently, while the Barons themselves still pose relatively little threat. There is some good Baron usage in the set, however: I like the sneaky Baron who waits for you at the bottom of the lift on a return trip in E1M5, or the duo that sandwich you in the narrow windowed corridor leading up to the rocket launcher secret in E1M7--I think the Baron's key attribute is his high HP, it makes him well-suited to oppress/suppress the player in close-range ambushes, or in other settings where the player's speed is less of a massive asset--doubly so if the player is unable to dispose of the Baron quickly with his present armaments (at several points in the FDAs you probably saw me berserk-punching them to death--this was not me showing off, but simply using my best means for killing them quickly).

As for oddities, despite the big setpiece battles that tend to characterize the later stages of several of the maps, I think a lot of them are really more dangerous early on, when the player is fighting a lot of entrenched/wandering smallfry--this is the classic hitscan attrition effect, made more pronounced by a noticeable scarcity of non-secret armor early in most maps; I probably would have had a rougher time than I did if I hadn't chanced to keep finding secret combat armors and the like.

Anyway, this post is getting hideously gargantuan, so I'll break it off here. I'll have to watch the FDAs and see if I can come up with some individual map comments later. For now, I'll say that my favorites were E1M5, E1M7, and E1M9, with E1M3 seeming to lag behind most of the others in terms of overall 'fun-factor', somehow.

Old Post 02-03-14 21:30 #
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Veinen
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You're more than welcome Steve! And thanks for the kind words, I can't map for shit so I try my best at the playing side of things heh.

I think the two Cybers in the BFG secret in M7 are an adequate trap all things considered. If you can't two-shot the first one, the second will surely be on your ass by the time you're going for the third shot and then it's suddenly not such a trivial battle anymore. I didn't even notice the other one at first so a surprise shot in the back would not have been out of the question either. And yes "some" extra cheese was added to the finale on my part but you gotta cut me some slack here, it was thirty minutes in so dying would have sucked pretty hard and I had just survived a huge scare in the yellow switch area, where my health dropped from comfortably high green numbers to a mere 14 in a blink of an eye :p

Gonna have to replay M5 to see the finale, pretty unlucky that I switched back the complevel for that map after playing through M2-M4 with -cl9.

And no new vanilla/boom wads can escape my FDA-recordings, so you bet I'm on board for Realm of Intensified Chaos as well :)

Old Post 02-03-14 21:36 #
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Suitepee
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/c/3661543 = part 1 of my playthrough.

I find Shotgun Symphony so far to be somewhat of an average-ish wad, although a lot better than 'Fava Beans' that SteveD is seemingly drawing inspiration from in this mapset.

Some nice traps and monster placement abound throughout the levels I've played so far (E1M1 to E1M5, also doing the secret level), and a few hairy moments (the yellow card trap on E1M3, the opening of the secret level) around, but overall on a continuous playthrough this isn't too difficult BUT also not as relaxing as SteveD claims!

The E1M2 texture by the water area needs to be tweaked to look a bit less shitty (the same texture by the water area is disguised better on E1M3), and the end of E1M5 needs beefing up a bit as SteveD himself admitted (I even pitched in an idea or two to make it harder during the stream!), but otherwise I've found Shotgun Symphony to be a solidly average Doom wad thus far. It does enough to keep the player going, even though there's a "Realms of Chaos"-esque draggy/underwhelming feel to it at times.

Am looking forward to see how SteveD ends this one.

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

Old Post 02-03-14 22:49 #
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SteveD
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The latest revision; http://www.mediafire.com/download/a...7/SGNSYM138.wad

This version fixes the inescapable secret compartment in E1M7, and puts teleporters in 3 otherwise inescapable nukage pools, also in E1M7. The Baron columns in E1M8 are widened to prevent them from getting stuck, and the sectors containing the Barons are now 128 units high.

Unfortunately, after numerous fix-it attempts, the floor that's supposed to rise from the nukage on the southeastern quadrant of the Baron area will not rise on -complevel 2. I give up on this one, but if any mapping expert wants to take a look at it, I'll be thrilled. As for now, E1M8 should not be played on -complevel 2. Stick with -complevel 9 to be safe if you're playing with PRBoom. -Complevel 9 is the default. If you use any port other than PRBoom, you probably have nothing to worry about.

It's also worth noting that you can activate a switch that raises more floors from the nukage, even while the switch is hidden behind another sector. If you do this, it can cause an error where the floor rises too high, so don't hit the switch until it's revealed.

Barring some other issue, this is the last revision I plan to release during this phase of testing. Beyond this point, I'm going to do some major revisions in gameplay and fight design in certain areas, based on watching the FDAs and the Suitepee livestream. There's a few sloggy parts and some monster-spamming here and there which only leads to make-work killing. I also plan to remove some more Barons and add some more Cacos and Lost Souls, among other things.

OP will be revised.

Old Post 02-04-14 10:20 #
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plums
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Hi Steve. Haven't had much of a chance to play this yet, but your E1M8 bug sounded interesting so I took a look at it. So strange! I don't know why it doesn't work. However I was able to fix it by drawing a line between the corners of that sector (vertices 1665 & 1654), splitting the sector into two. Some weird Doom voodoo there huh?

Let me know if you can't fix it, I'll send you mine. (I saved it just in case!)

edit: It seems you can even rejoin those sectors and then delete the extra linedef, and the floor raise will still work. So there's something weird with that sector, and whatever it is, DB corrects it when you split it up.

e2: and speaking of problems in that room, the nukage with the lower light level in the south of that area doesn't do any damage.

Last edited by plums on 02-04-14 at 11:47

Old Post 02-04-14 11:28 #
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Suitepee
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A new version? Oh great, now I'll have to pistol start from E1M6 when I resume my playthrough (as SteveD would have wanted, he keeps saying this wad is better from pistol starts!). Thanks for that, Steve!

__________________
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/ = Doom livestreams here!

Old Post 02-04-14 13:33 #
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SteveD
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plums said:
Hi Steve. Haven't had much of a chance to play this yet, but your E1M8 bug sounded interesting so I took a look at it. So strange! I don't know why it doesn't work. However I was able to fix it by drawing a line between the corners of that sector (vertices 1665 & 1654), splitting the sector into two. Some weird Doom voodoo there huh?



Plums saves the day! Thank you, plums, I tried it and it works. I even got brave and angled the inner line so the player has more dodging room on that section, and it still works. I'm keeping the sector-splitting linedef in there, as I have no wish to further challenge the Node Gods. It works, it's done, and that's good enough for me. ;D I'll post the revision shortly.

Thanks again!

Old Post 02-04-14 20:25 #
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SteveD
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The newest revision; http://www.mediafire.com/download/d...z/SGNSYM141.wad


This version uses the fix plums discovered for the E1M8 rising floor bug on -complevel 2. I personally would not wish to play this section on -complevel 2 owing to all the Cacos and Lost Souls blocking you with their infinitely-tall magic, but for those who wish to undertake the task, at least they have all the limited floorspace available to them. Plums also noticed that I forgot to make some of the nukage damaging, so I fixed that, too. OP will be updated with this link as well.

Although this is, hopefully, the last revision prior to the next version of Shotgun Symphony, which will incorporate several changes in gameplay, architecture and perhaps lighting, anyone who is playing this version is still encouraged to submit any thoughts, impressions, and bug reports, or to share any FDAs or livestreams. It all helps. :)

Old Post 02-04-14 20:40 #
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marineController
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Just finished some more testing. I enjoyed the playthrough especially the later maps.
I think these problems are still in the latest version: SGNSYM141

E1M4
Sectors 126, 203, 338, 344, 345, 346, 347, 407, 619, 620 have nukage but don't damage.
Having more than 1 computer area map prevents 100% items.

E1M5
Line 2953 looks odd (when the door opens), upper unpegged.

E1M6
A lot of sectors (approx. 100 or more) have nukage but don't do any damage. I can post a list if you want.

E1M7
Line 2351 (entrance door) alignment looks off.
The player can fall into sector 244 and get stuck.
Line 6239 (light) alignment looks off.
Sectors 58, 60, 281, 467, 529, 530, 541, 544 have nukage but don't damage.
Line 2633 bleeds into floor (perhaps change light level of sector 494 to 145).
Sector 819 doesn't open (cl2), line 4219 needs to be removed from the door sector.
Having more than 1 computer area map prevents 100% items.

E1M8
Sectors 426 to 431 and 433 damage the player.
Sector 489 doesn't lower (cl2). Blocked by thing 238 (perhaps move it +8, -8).
Sector 402 doesn't raise (cl2). Also due to thing 238.

Old Post 02-04-14 21:49 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Gee willikers, I come back after a day and there's already three more versions out! Played on the newest one (141)

E1M2: A slower paced map with more of an emphasis on exploration and secrets. I'm not a big secrets guy so I run past anything I don't need, but I did enjoy stumbling upon the four I had the fortune of unearthing. No real gripes here--only thing I'd do is something to the yellow key/caco fight on HMP to make it interesting, as it was a very rote affair. I like the bright windows overlooking the hub room here the most, felt very quaint and pretty. And it's a personal nitpick, but the way you use the small UAC boxy texture for doors (like on the yellow key door) doesn't really scream "door" to me. To each his own though.

Old Post 02-04-14 22:27 #
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SteveD
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marineController said:
Just finished some more testing. I enjoyed the playthrough especially the later maps.
I think these problems are still in the latest version: SGNSYM141



Another relaxing evening down the drain. Thanks, MC! :P

Dude, if you didn't exist, I'd have to invent you. I'll get on the job with these very soon. Hmmm, it's starting to look like this mapset was in alpha, rather than beta, shape.

I did notice that messed-up door in E1M7 when I watched DoTW's FDA. Funny that I never turned around in testing to check that. ;D And given that 2 Computer Maps in one level prevents 100% items, I'll remove the one in the BFG area. Thanks for pointing that out, I never knew about that.

Some of the errors are intentional, for example, the 2 Computer Maps in E1M4. One of them is actually obtained in E1M5, so including it in the copy-pasted section was done to create the illusion of a giant installation. I thought it would have been cheesy to have an empty pillar in E1M4, and suddenly the map is there in E1M5, although we can consider whether to put something else there, but one way or another, UV-Max in that map will have to take a missing item into account. Also, the non-damaging nukage sectors in E1M6 are part of the "variable toxicity" nonsense I created so I wouldn't have to die in the nukage all the time. The nukage is always completely harmless in the immediate vicinity of the pumps, it only gets toxic as it moves along the aqueducts. However, only sections are toxic, so you can run across the nukage and probably take half or less the damage you would if it was toxic in the normal way. I'll haved to include all this in the text file when it's released.

Importantly, I'm glad you enjoyed the maps. And yes, I do pray that you're here for my next mapset, even if it means I always end up doing more work. ;D

Old Post 02-05-14 01:03 #
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Demon of the Well
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Hmm, if you want all maps to be completable with 100% items, you could just set down a weapon or an armor vest in place of that computer area map instead, and put it somewhere else.

The 100% item thing isn't generally viewed as a big deal, though, and since you've already got one map (E1M1) where 100% kills--which is generally viewed as a much more significant scoring metric than the item counter--is practically impossible, it's probably not something you need to worry too terribly much about.

Old Post 02-05-14 03:03 #
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SteveD
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scifista42 said:
All I can guess is that you've designed these areas, and intentionally refuse to work on them and polish them further. You could, and you knew it, but you didn't. And why? To achieve the Fava Beans resemblance. That's how it feels for me.



Hey, scifista. You certainly speak your mind, don't you? ;D And trust me, I really appreciate it, even though at times I felt like an unruly high school student called to the principal's office for a good scolding. I can just see the enraged principal now, bellowing as he says, "Mr. Duff, you have great potential, yet you continue to submit this terrible, half-assed work, because you refuse to polish it!" ;D

But hey, you made some good points, and I listened.

I'm sorry it took me so long to respond, but I wanted to research my records, in case I decided to send you files to disprove your assertion that I held back on polishing because I wanted to retain a Fava Beans feel. If you've kept up with the thread, you probably realize that you had it backwards. These are, for the most part, not new maps in the oldschool style, but are in fact maps from the '90s being updated to more modern standards. This is a relatively difficult thing to do, actually, much moreso than I thought when I started with those paragons of unrefined mapping, my Realm of Chaos maps from 1996. But in doing these weird renovations, I've practically re-invented some of those maps, especially RoIC Map04 (ex Map22 from Realm of Chaos). Map04 has been so heavily modified that it might as well be a new map. In terms of statistics, it has gone from 356 sectors to 1,138, with double the monster count and a difficulty so high on UV that I gave up after 45 deaths in the latest, as yet unposted, version. UV is now pitched to expert players, thanks to the expert players like DoTW and Cynical who tested it. Even HNTR is more difficult than the old UV. I think that map stands as evidence of my polishing. ;)

Shotgun Symphony is a different project, though, not intended for such an extreme difficulty. These maps were also made after RoC, and I thought they were basically more solid and less in need of major surgery. I mainly concentrated on lighting upgrades, extra wall details, and in some cases, more monsters, at least with the maps that were incomplete.

So here's the accounting of when the maps were made. First, the new ones;
E1M7 was made in December 2012.
E1M8 was made in December 2013/January 2014
E1M9 was made in January 2014, in 3.5 days

The old ones;
E1M1 was started in 1997, shortly after I played Jan van Der Veken's classic Dawn of The Dead. The shadowcasting is the giveaway. The map was complete, gameplay and all, in 1999. The only major change has been in the hub area, which before was much larger and more open, because the Cyberdemon you hear as you approach the exit is part of the story, and originally, E1M8 was going to take place in that open hub area, where you'd fight the Cyb and some Barons, and when the Barons died, walls would descend to reveal another 4 Cybs plus 2 Spider Masterminds. Yes, by not posting a story, I made it possible for players to misinterpret that Cyb. I plead guilty!
E1M2 was also started in 1997, IIRC originally as a Doom 2 map, which I converted and finished in 1999.
E1M3 was started in 1997 or 1998 and was basically complete, except for the last 2 secrets, in 1999. That means the yellow key trap is really that old.
E1M4 was probably started in 1998 and was complete up to the red door. Beyond that was just a big empty area. Also missing was the exit path. These parts were constructed beginning in 2011 or so.
E1M5 was started in 1998 and completed up to the big hallway beyond the yellow door in 1999 or 2000. The water room and the metal wall supports were also in there. The "Quake" room, the big nukage area fight, and the exit are new. Worth noting, the gradient lighting in the secret hallways off the pump room dates back to 1999. Yes, it's true! ;)
E1M6 is another 1998 map that was less complete than the others, maybe about 40% done. The entire giant pumping room is new, made in 2013.

I have the files to back me up if you're interested. ;)

Your views have an impact, scifista, and I really thank you for them. When you play maps that were completed long ago, and get accustomed to them over the years, you just accept some things because that's the way they are. Even in RoIC Map04, it was nudging by DoTW, Magnusblitz and Cynical that inspired me to go a little farther than I originally wanted when it comes to improving that map. Unless someone says something, I might believe I'm done when I'm really not. That's why we beta! ;)

There is one issue where I strenuously disagree with you, the idea that Fava Beans is like an average first 199x map. Fava Beans is legendary precisely because, in terms of architecture and lighting, it is equal or superior to the original Knee Deep In The Dead in many ways. And while I agree that the gameplay is lame, in the maps that were more single-player oriented -- E1M5 through E1M7 -- Birkel and Gates produced solid, albeit easy, action. The famous stairway down to the exit area in E1M6, with its fabulous lighting, is something any mapper should hail as a great achievement, especially by mappers working with a balky editor like DEU. So Fava stands with Osiris as one of the truly great mapping achievements of 1995. SteveD has spoken. ;)

BTW, for a look at the kind of thing I do when starting fresh, you can check this thread; http://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mo...ap-public-beta/

I hope to see you at my next release, scifista! :)

Old Post 02-06-14 01:50 #
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dobu gabu maru
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E1M3: Wasnít digging this one as much. It definitely feels more like classic Doom in layout and map flow, but the gunplay wasnít as energetic as the first two maps. Even the yellow key ambush, which I was expecting a lot of blood from, was quite meager as there werenít any enemies deep in the revealed hallways, allowing you to easily back into one and hold position until everything was full of bullets. Itís not a bad map; just not as strong as the first two.

E1M4: Nice map thatís chock full oí violence. I think there was a predominantly large use of sergeants here but it made me play more cautiously and I had a lot of fun running around trying to recover from any scrapes I got into. I luckily ran into the soulsphere secret at the bottom of the map and had a blast when the cacos popping up during the pole balancing. Only thing Iím not a fan of is the mostly boring outside area, but you at least threw in some meat bags for the rocket launcher to get good use on.

E1M5: This sprawling complex had some tricky moments to it both gameplay-wise and navigation-wise, but nothing too frustrating. I like how the combat changes from blasting fools point blank in M4 to a lot of perched enemies and bulky barons stomping around here, forcing the player to do some smarter thinking on their feet. An alright effort here.

Old Post 02-06-14 23:48 #
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Finished it up.

E1M6: This map gels a lot more with me, mainly because I like grandeur and very memorable areas. Thereís a lot of window/tower sniping a la M5, but the big difference here is the titular Pumping Station with its tall, twisting aqueducts of bile. It doesnít feel very E1-y, and for that Iím grateful. I will say that since you can fall into the side areas with no punishment (I was expecting more nukage) it becomes pretty easy to jump down there and fight off whatever hordes are floating your way, which doesnít make the room as exciting as I think it could be. Itís still entertaining nevertheless, trying to punch pinkies into mincemeat while side stepping lost souls, and I think this room is going to be my takeaway when I think back to this wad.

E1M7: Ah, Shotgun Symphony finally earns its title here with a big, bad, booming complex full of buckshot. I had a lot of fun here mainly because it was tough as nails on pistol start, really pushing me to conserve health and ammo in many encounters. Once I had a formidable supply of munitions it wasnít so bad, and the finale at the end was toothless in this regard as the narrow alcoves above donít lend well to sniping from the sergeants, letting you circle-strafe the horde until they rend themselves to ribbons. A damn good map overall though, with a ton of secrets that still leave me curious as to what I missedÖ

Oh, and this mid texture pops through the floor on both sides. Changing the light/elevation of the inside sector should stop that.

E1M8: An interesting finale here, one Iím elated doesnít feature a baron fight as its climax. I do like how one half of the map was picking up weapons and the other half was the main event, and both portions were more challenging than they first appearedÖ for instance I thought the baron encounter was neat but underwhelming thanks to the BFG, until the big papa cyberdemon reared his ugly face. The only thing that irked me was that the switches at the end force you to run through nukage to hit, which can be severely punishing to a player who just toasted the cybers with only a sliver of health remaining (even if there are a few health pickups around, it's still a bit dangerous). Otherwise it was a nicely designed ďbossĒ map.

E1M9: Great secret map! Quick, bloody and to the point. I think this map has the best use of cacos in the wad, letting the big red balloons hound you until you pick up the right equipment to push them off your back. I think the visuals are lacking compare to your other maps, but itís still sweet to fight through.

So overall, Iím quite pleased. It kept the secret-laden ethos of the wads of yore but also featured more modern, frantic gameplay without delving into the absurd (on HMP) at least. Definitely one of my favorite E1 releases, although I think it's because you kept textures and enemies from the rest of Ultimate Doom on hand. Good job!

Old Post 02-07-14 20:21 #
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dobu gabu maru said:
So overall, Iím quite pleased. It kept the secret-laden ethos of the wads of yore but also featured more modern, frantic gameplay without delving into the absurd (on HMP) at least. Definitely one of my favorite E1 releases, although I think it's because you kept textures and enemies from the rest of Ultimate Doom on hand. Good job!


Thanks, Dobu, and thanks for your playthrough!

I agreed with all your criticisms. A few highlights:

E1M3 - This one seemed a lot nastier back in the day, but natch, it's really about the secret chains in this Toxin Refinery homage. That part is very successful, IMO, but I believe I made a mistake putting so many Pinkies and Spectres in the water. I can't remember the last time one of them damaged me, but I might keep them to harrass the player while adding Sergeants down there to cause damage. I think maybe a different monster mix than Barons and Cacos in the exit room could help, too. Also, some of the rooms have more potential for height variation and combat, so I'll pursue that. Lastly, I agree about putting monsters in the side corridors of the yellow key trap. That's gonna happen.

E1M6 - I actually thought of putting "leaked nukage" on the lower floors of the pump room, so that there'd be irregular pools of nukage down there, with teleporters on raised islands and whatnot, but held back because I thought it might be going too far, and also because I was using nukage as a light source, and it would really complicate the lighting if I stayed consistent with that. But thanks to your comment, I'm gonna do it! And I'll let the leaked nukage be dark, and dangerous. I've also considered adding extra waves of Cacos and Lost Souls, including a first wave to be launched when the player goes towards the Soulsphere and the big dynamo room, because, as in the Veinen FDA, when those swarms come in through the windows and tunnels, the player is in for a frantic fight. I'd rather make that something close to guaranteed as opposed to something that happens by accident.

E1M7 - Yes, the final big fight is more of a jump-scare than really dangerous. If this was Doom 2, I'd have Revvies and Chaingunners to play with, so much easier to create challenge. Oh, well. One weird thought, that fight could be made to reflect the mapset's name, and be nothing but Sergeants. Ah, maybe not. ;)

One more thing to expect in the next revision . . . less health.

Thanks again, Dobu. :)

Old Post 02-08-14 03:16 #
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dobu gabu maru
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^ IMO health was at a good balance, at least for me on HMP since I tend to play a bit fast and loose, so keep that in mind

Old Post 02-08-14 03:23 #
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Cynical
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I played E1M1. Didn't record an FDA because I haven't played seriously much lately, and I figured it would embarrassing, but I got it on my second try.

Holy switchhunt, Batman! I was stuck for literally over 30 minutes because I missed the switch near the start that raises the tan wall that gives access to the elevator downwards (speaking of which, that fight is hugely exploitable if you're willing to be a cheeseball with that lift). Also, I have no idea how I was supposed to find the secret that ultimately lowers the Chaingun pillar, or the one that leads to the blue armor; I found both just out of pure, wallhumping, confusion about what I needed to hit to progress.

The ending... huh? I walk down a hall, and I see a Cyb in the distance in a cage, with some other baddies. And I walk out the exit without fighting any of it. Anticlimax much?

EDIT: Woah, maps in 3.5 days? I've been working the first map of Impure Offering for about 4 months, and I'm nowhere near done.

Last edited by Cynical on 02-08-14 at 05:28

Old Post 02-08-14 05:22 #
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Hey, Cynical, great to see you back! I thought we had lost you forever to those Skull Girls.

Ah, it wasn't that bad a switch-hunt. The map is way too small for that. I reckon you just didn't go exploring down those stairs. As to that lift, it was basically a Knee Deep E1M5 homage, and yer right, you can cheese that fight using the lift just like in E1M5. I've done it, but it's so easy to go down there, fire a shot to the left, and as the monsters converge, shoot the barrels and watch them die. I usually charge right behind the exploding barrels, too. More fun that way.

Those secrets were clearly marked by vertical texture offsets. Go look at them again and you'll see that I'm telling the truth. A lot of my secrets are marked like that, but not all of them. ;) You, and everyone else it seems, missed another texture offset, on the roundy stairway that leads to the Imp columns. That one hides the teleporter that takes you to the room overlooking the little nukage pool. And that room leads to a teleporter that leads to the Backpack and the Rocket Launcher on those demon columns at the start. Expect a lot of chained secrets like that in these maps. I admit that I am being obtuse in that way, but these were conceived as exploration maps and over time I just added more and more monsters to them. ;D

About that Cyberdemon. First, I hope it made you a little nervous when you heard that roar, because there you are with nothing better than a shotgun, not exactly a ton of ammo, either, and there's a Cyb on the first fucking map!

OK, I never posted the story, but the people who've played through know that these maps form one giant complex. Each map exits into the opening area of the next map. In some cases, you can see a bit of the next map through windows. For example, as you approach the exit of E1M4, if you look out the windows to your right, you'll see a Computer Map in a secret area of E1M5. In E1M1, where you see the Cyb, well, that's the exit of E1M7. When I watched Veinen's FDA of E1M7, as soon as he saw that water pool and those Sladwall towers, I noticed a little hitch in his movement. I'm guessing he wondered where the Cyb was. I can tell you now, that Cyb will meet you at the beginning of E1M8. ;)

Yes, I made The Miley Cyrus Concert in 3.5 days -- 386 sectors, if I'm not mistaken. Used to take me over a month to make a map like that in Hellmaker, though in this case, a lot of those sectors are stairs, and I did a lot of copy/paste in the red key area. IMO, it's the best pure action map in the set. If yer rusty, you'll have fun on a pistol start. ;D So you just need to speed up yer mapping a little bit. What;s the hold-up?

Good to see you back. I hope I can get you playtesting Map05 of Realm of Intensified Chaos, to see if we can push UV into the same Realm of Lunacy that you turned Map04 into. BTW, I still haven't worked up the balls to challenge the end of Codex again, but that day will come. I think I've already died like 100 times testing that map. ;D

BTW, I will shortly post a hell map with some large high-tier fights. Nothing as bad as what you have in Codex by any means, but it could keep you busy. ;D

Old Post 02-08-14 06:35 #
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Magnusblitz
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I'll probably take the time to play through these more in detail later, but here's an FDA of me playing through E1M1. First time I've ever recorded myself playing so I rushed through a bit. Nerves? Heh.

I liked the first part, but everything after the teleporter felt very strange (especially hearing the Cyberdemon). Didn't like the abrupt ending, feel like I missed a large part of the map. And couldn't find a single secret either. Skimming this thread, seems like that's part of the design (E1M8 starts in the courtyard outside with the Cyberdemon) but still felt strange at first glance.

Last edited by Magnusblitz on 02-08-14 at 06:50

Old Post 02-08-14 06:43 #
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Cynical
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Nah, the switchhunt wasn't that I didn't go down those side stairs; it was the switch across the way from the green armor, on the back-side of that pillar. It's a switch that's really easy to miss, because your field of view is likely to never end up in that direction, if you run in, grab the armor, and strafe back out.

As for why my progress on Impure Offering (which is the "real" name of Codex; Codex was just a working name, since the layout was roughly based on DM-Codex from Unreal Tournament):

1. Skullgirls. One doesn't play Doom for a decade and leave it for good just because of a new game, heh, but it's certainly a hell of a distraction. I'm sure you know how it is with any competitive multiplayer game; gotta keep those skills sharp and not get rusty, or you'll start dropping combos, and that sucks.
2. I'm naturally a really damn slow mapper. Golachab was quite a bit smaller (not to mention how much simpler its layout was), and took me well over 100 hours over the course of a month.
3. There's a real problem with the Revenant sniper towers as they exist now. They share linedefs with the walls below, but that means I've got a massive blob of one brown brick texture on a flat surface; UGLY. But I can't really break that up with a 32-unit-tall border, both because it breaks up the lines where the fence overlooking the Revenant cage run currently is, and because I know from experience with Golachab that taking 8 units off of each side of the playable area of a room can make a fight really, really nasty (even moreso than I want) (that small bumpyfloor border around the red-key trap used to be 32 units high; it looked a lot better that way, but the fight down there was basically unwinnable). And I can't really make the tower itself smaller to be able to add a border, because the Revs are packed on there about as tightly as they can be without having real "jitter AI" problems. The whole setup looks like ass, and I can't really think of any way to fix it at the current moment.
4. General lack of inspiration- in the one area I actually do have detailed architecturally, I have no idea how the hell I want to light it.

Old Post 02-08-14 07:06 #
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Magnusblitz said:
I'll probably take the time to play through these more in detail later, but here's an FDA of me playing through E1M1. First time I've ever recorded myself playing so I rushed through a bit. Nerves? Heh.



Wow, your Warp 7 FDA was cool as hell, Magnus. Every now and then, I like to play it like that. I'm gonna put some effort into learning how to FDA, so I can do a Warp 7 UV-Max and show everyone how to reach all the secrets.

Yeah, you'll have to slow down a bit to see the texture offsets. ;D I've noticed that a lot of players jet through my maps and there's no way they can catch some of these offsets, or even some of the other secret clues.

I can understand your feeling about the abrupt ending, but at least you got 63% kills. I think I exited once with like 47%. This map is the most extreme one in the set for that, though I believe E1M7 can be be beaten with only 70% kills if you kill everything that's not in a secret area, and depending on how much you cheese E1M8, you can probably manage that kind of number, maybe less. Back in the day, we considered that bait for replayability. ;)

Yes, it's an unusual mapset as regards the connections between maps. When you teleported into the hub, those tall windows look into the area where you approach the exit of E1M2, so bascically, in that area, you see parts of 3 different maps -- E1M1, E1M2, and E1M7. Well, I thinks it's cool. ;D But I have to fess up, I first encountered that idea in my other fave mapset of 1995, the incomparable Osiris, and earlier in the shorter version, I, Anubis. I'm always reppin' the '90s. ;)

Did you use Fraps for that recording?

Old Post 02-08-14 07:29 #
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Magnusblitz
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I did find the texture offset for the path outside to the chaingun, just couldn't find how to actually lower it...

I was going to use fraps, but saw that the free version only allows 30 second recordings, so I looked for a free alternative and found one called Bandicam to use instead. I suppose the watermark isn't too obtrusive since you didn't see it at the top!

Part of the abruptness of the ending was how empty the area after the teleporter was, I think.

Old Post 02-08-14 21:02 #
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Suitepee said:
A new version? Oh great, now I'll have to pistol start from E1M6 when I resume my playthrough (as SteveD would have wanted, he keeps saying this wad is better from pistol starts!). Thanks for that, Steve!


Catching up on the comments here. Yes, John, you'll enjoy these maps much more if you pistol start. Keep in mind, I have to playtest each map from pistol start and beat it with zero secrets. And here's another thing, since these maps aren't pitched to be as difficult as Realm of Intensified Chaos, you are basically too good a player to get the most from these maps on continuous. That, and of course, your infernal freelook that rubbishes so much of the fight design. ;D You are exceptionally good with freelook, so I'm guessing your skill in that area is worth at least 50 health and armor points in any situation, which eliminates a lot of suspense about how a fight will go. But even with that, if you play from pistol, you'll have more fun, I guarantee it.

For example, if you had pistol started The Miley Cyrus Concert, it would have been a somewhat different experience. You'd have had to fight for your items, and ammo would be a little tight at first. More suspense for you because there's more chance of death.

I'll have to practice what I preach, of course, and play more mapsets from pistol starts, the way Sandy Petersen said we should.

I'll endeavor to have a new revision with some architecture and gameplay changes in E1M3 and E1M5 on Monday. One great thing about watching your livestream on E1M5 is hearing you say exactly when the map felt draggy. That happened when you were fighting the Baron, Cacos, Imps and such in that big hall past the yellow door. So all that stuff was grindy, and those fights will be completely eliminated. I also plan to remove all the gallery monsters in the Quake room, and concentrate on beefing up that final fight. There will indeed be teleporting monsters in that one.

So thanks again for doing the playtest, John. It really helps. BTW, a new E1M6 will probably take until Wednesday, although I might decide to do that first, depending on when you'd like to livestream it. The maps I intend to put the most work into for now are E1M3, E1M5 and E1M6, and you've already played the first two.

Old Post 02-09-14 06:27 #
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee

Time to cover the last three levels of this wad on my channel right now, as I intend to do them all from a pistol start as SteveD would want!
I hope SteveD shows up once again so I can give him more wad tips....and you know, rant at him when he kills me with some evil trap or something.

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Old Post 02-13-14 17:31 #
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Suitepee
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/c/3716901 = part 2 on-demand.

Well I managed to cover the last 3 levels of this wad from pistol starts this time (which added a lot of fun to the experience as I enjoy pistol start maps!), and overall I have to say that Shotgun Symphony is pretty decent for an Ultimate Doom wad.

I liked the intriguing trickiness of the massive pumping radiation area on E1M6, I liked the flow of E1M7 with its 500+ monster count not being a slog, and the boss arenas of E1M8 were nicely designed and executed (even throwing in a tribute to the end of the original E1M8!).

I'd give this a recommendation to play, SteveD has done some good work here. And managing to make cacodemons a bigger threat than Cyberdemons takes some doing....

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Old Post 02-13-14 19:50 #
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Glaice
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This was quite fun through all the maps but I did get lost on E1M5 only to find out the spot to progress was in front of me the entire time. I also like how you make a round trip levelwise at the end.

Old Post 02-15-14 16:15 #
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SteveD
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My thanks to Suitepee and Mr. Chris for their comments. I'd have replied sooner, except I didn't want to bump the thread until after I made some gameplay revisions.

Without further ado, here's the latest version, which should be considered a pre-release beta; http://www.mediafire.com/download/7...8/SGNSYM166.wad

Changes were made to E1M2, E1M3, E1M5, E1M6 and E1M7. I also corrected all of the errors marineController discovered in his second sweep.

Summary of changes:
Modified titlepic with my name added.

E1M2 - I followed Dobu's suggestion to intensify the yellow key trap.

E1M3 - Dobu and DoTW both noted that this map lacked a little something. I decided to reduce the number of Barons while adding several Sergeants, including at the yellow key trap. I also modified the architecure a bit, adding a stairway to the room where you choose the normal or the secret exit.

E1M5 - Suitepee's playthrough was very helpful here, because he said exactly when the map felt sloggy, which was in the big hallway past the yellow key door. I removed all the monsters in that area and did some architectural and Thing modifications to, hopefully, build the atmosphere. Not sure it worked, so please let me know. I also vastly reduced the number of monsters in the "Quake Room," which now has only 6 Sergeants, and I simplified the path to the Blue Armor secret. I added a lot of violence to the big nukage room fight, adding a large number of monsters, to a point where I felt teleport traps were unnecessary. It's a pretty huge fight now, by my standards at least, and IMO represents a big spike in difficulty. If anyone failed to fight this room because of the door problem in the early versions, or is willing to try it again, I'd very much appreciate an FDA/commentary. Of course, this is the type of fight that's hectic at first and becomes a mop-up operation once you kill enough of the Cacos and Lost Souls, meaning it could become a bit sloggy before it's over. However, there's ways to avoid continuous combat once the player learns the room.

E1M6 - I followed Dobu's suggestion to add some nukage pools in the lower floor of the pump room. I only added a few of them in the most likely fighting areas, in part because it's a lot of work, but also because it's useful to have some safe areas. But if people test this version and want more nukage down there, I'll consider adding some. Also, after watching DoTW's FDA, I considered adding a lot of monsters, including Cybs rising from the nukage at the exit, or teleporting into the aqueducts, to prevent his mad scramble past all the opposition. However, Veinen's FDA and Suitepee's playthrough convinced me that there's probably enough monsters, and so many different things can happen in that room that I decided to make zero gameplay revisions, at least for now.

E1M7 - the final fight here isn't as dangerous as I'd like, and Veinen showed how it can be cheesed, but short of tossing in a Cyb, I'm a bit at a loss, unless I replace all the Imps with Sergeants. Also, a Cyb could be a real slog for players who pistol-start and fail to find the BFG or Plasma Gun. So for now, I put in 4 monster teleport lines to at least make crowd control a little less straightforward. I tested on UV and, IMO, this didn't add much.

To-do List: DoTW suggested moving the Cybs at the start of E1M8 so they don't instantly kill players on -fast or Nightmare. This is a bit tricky, since moving them can mean they get a shot off on the player in normal modes. I had already moved them back a bit because, when they were closer in the early versions, they teleported instantly in Risen3D without the player even hearing them roar. Maybe I'll need a special Risen3D Edition. ;D

I also need to figure out WhackED in order to put map names on the automap.

So that's it for now. The OP's map link will also be updated.

Old Post 03-02-14 06:27 #
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