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Getsu Fune
formerly Hurricyclone


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MAP08 Frozen Acid

No idea who BigMemka is either. This is a nice level, which to me evokes a "Dutch Devil/Doomer" like gameplay. So it's long and has monsters littered just about everywhere. There's actually plenty of berserk packs which help too. The ice maze about midway through the map can be a mither, though. The ravine afterwards is quite entertaining with many enemies on the ranks attacking, plus two secrets. As far as I know, the megasphere secret requires an archvile jump, haven't found any other way to reach it. Ending room wasn't really much, since the spiderdemon can be rushkilled and the imps can distract the other enemies while waiting for keys. I guess it's pretty fun. One archvile didn't teleport though. I think BigMemka's other maps will be quite intriguing, given the gameplay that this one contains.

Old Post 04-08-14 14:31 #
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Veinen
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More FDAs, maps 06-08 this time.

Map06: Vida Rota by [BoMF]Devived

Holy decorations batman. Devived went a little overboard with decorating here, less would have definitely been more in my opinion. It wasn't too dark at all for me but it was the decorations that provided a "nice" camouflage for the enemies tho blend in, which made things more difficult than they were. Not that this was any kind of a challenge anyway really, once the hitscanners are gone you're pretty much safe. And there's maybe a few dozen of those around so getting rid of them isn't much of a task... No problem with the layout and the non-linearity though, and the combat, while easy, isn't that bad either. The visuals are a bit of a turn-off for me though so it could have been better.

Map07: Ice&Fire by Kashtanka

Well who would have though, a fairly standard Dead Simple map that actually manages to be good. The scene of the bloodshed some sort of a chapel frontyard/tech-base backyard hybrid, which makes no sense at all but it does look decent so it's fine I suppose. The token Mancubus/Arachnotron set pieces are spiced up with an assortment of other baddies, more prevalent in the Arach battle with a Mastermind, a Caco squad and a few Revs making appearances. The combat mechanics felt still very much Dead Simple if you look hard enough but it didn't really mind me much this time. That ammo stash beyond the window though, so cruelly tempting but I just couldn't find a way there. Enjoyable stuff overall, a good one by an author I have never heard of before.

Map08: Frozen Acid by BigMemka

Another good one. Quite complex and well detailed for a speedmap especially, must have been tweaked quite a bit after the contest itself. The map has a good flow and the combat is pretty enjoyable throughout. The lone exception to this is the maze part in the middle which makes for a short moment of boredom. The final battle with the Mastermind and her companions is not a very tough one but one better be mindful of the barrels with all the bullets flying around. Liked the Megasphere "secret" too, glad I managed the AV-jump on my first attempt while recording, even though it's an extremely easy one.

That FDA though, what a surprising turn of events I had when I was about to enter the maze. If someone watches that, it's the part where I seemingly go crazy switching weapons like mad and trying to get HKs infight with each other and such. I have no idea what happened but my game just started spontaneously changing weapons and firing away with nothing I could do about it. Certainly made the maze part that much more nerve-racking. Rockets and tight spaces don't mix very well... Didn't want to quit either since the map was good and I was ten minutes into an FDA already so I pushed on despite the added randomness.

Old Post 04-08-14 20:38 #
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Memfis
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Hurricyclone said:
No idea who BigMemka is either.

Really? http://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mo...-steel-project/

Old Post 04-08-14 20:43 #
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dobu gabu maru
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MAP08: Excellent atmosphere in the map combined with some really mesmerizing locales. Going from the caves to the complex to the forest trek to the prison courtyard was a pretty neat experience, filled with a dark mood I’d expect from a wintry Russian author. Gameplay was more mixed on the other hand, given the amount of chaingunners that fire on you from questionable locales and how irksome the revenants became in twisting corridors. I found myself dying pretty frequently but due to a lack of foreknowledge, especially regarding the sinister forest ambushes.

So I definitely enjoyed scoping out the setting, but found the gameplay not to my liking.

Old Post 04-08-14 20:52 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP08: Frozen Acid
95% kills, 0/3 secrets

And I think we've hit the first of those maps which was finalized "very significantly" after the speedmapping session, as there's an abundance of detailing here, sometimes too much (for example, the first area - too many colors, and stuff like the slime bleeding into the water and the random extra tiles seems overboard). The trees in the forest don't look so hot up close but that's kinda impossible to fix with the Doom engine, and I liked needing to progress carefully due to revenants ambushing you from the trees. The end ambush is good in theory, lots of imps on the sides to harass you from simply just hiding and killing the Spider Mastermind.

Old Post 04-08-14 21:15 #
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Getsu Fune
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Memfis said:
Bloody Steel Project

nope! haven't played that at all. might actually be kinda fun. this is so far my first BigMemka map that I've played. seems he pokes his head around the forums sometimes too :).

Old Post 04-08-14 21:58 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 08 -- Frozen Acid - 99% Kills / 66% Secrets
Hmm, Hitman music. It's the title/briefing track from the original '"Codename 47." It's a cool track (from a cool if somewhat unwieldy game), but it does sound quite badly compressed here. Nevertheless, it's the first of these mp3 soundtracks that I felt really properly fit the map it appears on, going nicely with the map's generally high degree of visual polish. And polished it is, though I'm not without reservations--it does look a bit visually schizoid at points, which I think has more to do with colors than anything...it's beige and green and blue and red and grey and white and a different shade of green and then some yellow all at once, which is a bit much to take in. It wasn't really that overdone, though...I think I just had the reaction to it I did because it's very CC4tex-y, and I really am getting a little burned out on those at this point, they show up in so many places.

I feel like things improve as you make it further into the map, though. My favorite section, both visually and from a gameplay standpoint, was the winding country road with the dark forest looming down from some snowy embankments on both sides, complete with a small but effective bridge/river vista. I liked the pincer move that the two troops of revenants pull here; I sort of half-expected something would come from behind me but didn't think the ones from the other side of the bridge would close in so quickly. The final battle has another decently-deployed spider mastermind, although I felt compelled to save him from getting blockmap'd to death by one of the knights at one point.

Decent map, feels satisfying after playing so many little quickies before it.

Old Post 04-09-14 00:59 #
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mouldy
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Map09 - “UAC Outpost" by Memfis

Nice little base trap-a-thon with a simple and yet interesting close-knit layout. The visuals look cool, you get the feeling that this is a real place the way its details extend beyond the boundaries, and I like how we see the snow thawing here. So, after a touch of infighting monster herding at the start there follows a sequence of key ambushes with low level killing in between. Nothing stood out as being exceptionally tricky, except that I found health to be thin on the ground so any mistakes tended to start adding up. I spent a lot of the time on low hp and died to a couple of unlucky missiles, but all the ambushes could be escaped fairly easily by quick thinking players, in fact the final false door trap pretty much demands it. I have no problem with that, I see it as a reward for thinking on your toes.

Old Post 04-09-14 17:11 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP09: UAC Outpost
100% kills, 1/1 secret

A small base map that's been well-tuned and pretty difficult despite the small monster count, as the health/ammo count is also pretty stringent from a pistol start. It's got a nice look, and unlike the last map, isn't overly detailed, but does have the same problem of too many colors clashing. The main inside hallway, for example, has a vivid blue floor, bright red ceiling, grey and brown walls, and a wall through the window with green and a bright yellow sign. There's three main ambushes through the map. The red key one definitely gave me a bit of trouble, though part of this seemed to be the randomness where the revenants teleported in - if they came on the bottom level I was screwed, if they came in the top level, I was ok. The yellow key one wasn't too bad, especially if you figure out the AV is deaf and so you can kill his friends first. The yellow door one was a bit BS, I'm not sure how you can escape that one without knowing ahead of time - maybe more paranoid players with better reflexes than me can, I dunno. I finished the map with only 30 bullets and 39 cells, so be careful with that ammo.

Old Post 04-09-14 18:41 #
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Veinen
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Map09: UAC Outpost by Memfis

Couldn't come come up with anything more generic than UAC outpost eh? No matter, it's a Memfis map so I had high expectations to begin with and it definitely did not disappoint. Mem sticks with his recognizable style this time, which makes for an enjoyable experience as usual. It's a pretty short affair with low-key combat in between a few claustrophobic set-piece battles. The layout is compact and the visual style very appealing as well. Another plus for well balanced ammo and health, I had just enough ammo to get through with 100% kills without any awkwardness. The exit door ambush is pretty brutal but since I had those lightning quick reflexes I escaped with some scratches only heh. Left with 4% health and 46 bullets so there's that balance I talked about. Nice map overall, liked it a lot.

FDA is dumb, stupid death in the first twenty seconds then went on to survive all the real traps in the next go.

Edit: Posting the demo would also probably be a good idea. Here: https://www.mediafire.com/?00zrwfr1wz875k4

Old Post 04-09-14 19:36 #
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Memfis
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The map names aren't mine, I was too lazy to come up with anything so I asked other people to help. I think Shadowman named all my maps but I'm not 100% sure.

Old Post 04-09-14 20:10 #
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Shadowman
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Memfis said:
================
I think Shadowman named all my maps but I'm not 100% sure.
================
Yes, I named all the maps without names in this wad.

Old Post 04-09-14 21:51 #
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Demon of the Well
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Couldn't come come up with anything more generic than UAC outpost eh?
Heh, I'm pretty sure I've played more than one map simply titled "Base" before.

Map 09 -- UAC Outpost - 102% Kills / 100% Secrets
I think that this is a very pleasant map, aesthetically speaking; wouldn't agree that it shows much of the color-frenetic issues that sometimes hampered the last map. It's true that there are still a wide variety of colors on the palette here (and more CC4texstuffs, but I'll let that go), but apart from the deep azure duo of the sky and the lake the base is sitting in, most of them are more muted, gritty/earthy shades, so they don't clash so much. Granted, the red ceiling in the base's main hallway perhaps looks a mite garish, but for the most part it's very tasteful stuff. It's also neat that the starting overlook provides a number of visual previews of future areas--makes the building seem more believable/cohesive, rather than like a series of rooms where battles take place that happen to all occur within the bounds of the same giant concrete box.

I feel that a lot of this author's recent releases (on DoomWorld, anyway) suffer to a greater or lesser degree from having very perfunctory gameplay, but this one's not half bad. The ammo balance is indeed very tight (at least on UV), particularly in the absence of a berserk pack; giving the player the plasma rifle at the outset establishes a dynamic where one might often be tempted to use it in lieu of the very limited stock of shells and bullets, but it really is best to save it for the end (until after the red door, at least). While there are only a small number of monsters, the lion's share of their number will tend to ambush the player in groups, almost always entirely within the confines of small spaces where quick reactions will be paramount. I'm sure the mostly untelegraphed final trap will have some players trotting out the unfair/Bad Game Design (TM) card, but given that it's such a small/short map anyway I think it's a nice cheeky shot in the arm, rather than anything really untoward.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 04-10-14 at 06:46

Old Post 04-10-14 06:35 #
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MegaTurtleRex
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MAP08: I really liked this map. It used a lot of higher tier enemies but wasn't particularly difficult on HMP, rewarding though. Very detailed map too, it looked really nice. Especially the boss area, the transition towards it was really cool.


Demon of the Well said:
Map 09 -- UAC Outpost - 102% Kills


How do you get 102% kills O_0?

Is it a typo or some oddity of Doom?

Old Post 04-10-14 10:34 #
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Getsu Fune
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102% kills most likely resulted from an archvile resurrecting monsters, it's technically an oddity that's fixed in ZDoom-like ports.

MAP09 UAC Outpost

AKA Memfis takes cues from Unholy Realms.

It's got the action start, the simple design, the two key traps, and a couple devious archvile placements. I avoided the YK door trap with ease. But I really can't say anything else about this short map.

MAP10 Operation 'Blizzard'

My favorite mapper ever returns with this quite interesting affair. It's better than Nord Keep for that matter too. And hey, another map where I can use bots! I decided to use two this time, V234 and Emmily.

Nice hub area, where you can go just about anywhere, and there's enough monsters for the fun value. Those Shadowman carpets are back for more flair. Like other Shadowman maps I know, this one has silly music, but I'm not bothered by it. I decided to use bait tricks on a lot of enemies, for infighting purposes, although it seems my chainsaw trickery has fallen in the past few days. Oh well. Many big monsters around, like the hellknights at the start and many more around the caverns. Can be a difficult map to speedrun though, so I avoided doing that. Ultimately, what I needed was the red key, guarded by one easy cyber and some annoying pain elementals, then go back to the red key switch to trigger the ways to the exit, and lots of revenants and archies come out there.

Did my bots help me out? Well, somewhat. Both of them moved to the room with the YK and RK switches and just ran around there for some stupid reason. But they did attack some of my enemies to distract them, which I liked. They did get killed a few times, usually by archvile, cacodemon, or revenant, but they had plasma guns at the time and thanks to them, I was relatively safe. On the other hand, I really wanted to save my cell energy for the next map, so I tried luring some monsters to them to have them gangbang enemies with me. Oh well, at least the next map has some extra player starts, so I decided to keep the same bots for that map.

Old Post 04-10-14 14:27 #
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mouldy
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Map10 - “Operation 'Blizzard'" by Shadowman

This was very enjoyable, dancing with monsters through ornate chambers of a medieval snow castle. The music is probably the last thing I would expect to hear in doom, but it fit the map perfectly as you waltz around the large open rooms getting enemies to infight and pirouette around pillars to dodge revenant missiles. While the big empty areas could have seemed sparsely detailed, the texturing made up for it I thought. The journey was full of surprises, and the fights were fun where they were easy and interesting where they were tricky. Good ammo balance for me too.

Old Post 04-10-14 15:10 #
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Salt-Man Z
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MAP07: Ice & Fire
44/44 kills | 1/1 secrets | 7/7 items | 9:02
(GZDoom/HMP/continuous/keyboard)

Ugh. I absolutely hated this level. Especially that first courtyard battle; I must have died 50 times. Adding insult to injury was the inability to go back and hunt for ammo/secrets. (I noclipped in to get the secret when I found it on the automap.)

MAP08: Frozen Acid
217/221 kills | 0/3 secrets | 22/25 items | 25:30
(GZDoom/HMP/continuous/keyboard)

Now this is a level. Kinda felt like it could have been part of Sacrament. I died plenty, but it was never frustrating. The only part I didn't like was getting locked into the final room.

Old Post 04-10-14 23:05 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP10: Operation "Blizzard"
99% kills, no secrets

A nice little castle with a classical waltz for music - I must say, quite unfitting title for it. The waltz definitely set the mood, though it started to get a bit grating after awhile. You start in the middle of a hub, though you'll probably need to go in a certain order (tough to tackle the baron/revenant room without the rocket launcher, the chaingun in that room certainly won't do much). I'm a sucker for the carpets running down the staircases, as well as the broken glass skylights. The map seemed a bit short on rocket/plasma ammo, though this might've been my own fault for deciding halfway through the level to just run through it, letting the pain elementals and arch-viles create more meat for me to take out. Also got a little lost after hitting the red switch since there's no real indication of where to go.

Old Post 04-10-14 23:57 #
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Getsu Fune
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MAP11 Short Night

Chaingunner, I believe he was the one who did some short maps in A.L.T. MAP17 and 18 in particular, both incredibly short in comparison to other maps in that set. This one is pretty self-advertising as far as names go, and of course is short and simplistic.

Early level for an IoS setup. Find and trigger three switches to reveal the icon, one of which is a shootable. They are all in some linear fashion though, and with a lot of cells I just spammed my plasma guns. The area where I start became quite flooded when I came back, even two archviles were spawned in, quite unusual given the 10/256 chance of an archie being spawned. There's also a cyber right in the middle, who kept killing my poor bots V234 and Emmily. Fucking spawn camper. In the end though I killed the icon with my BFG when I figured out exactly where I was going. Now the text at the end tells us it's now spring, intriguing. o_o

Old Post 04-11-14 14:14 #
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mouldy
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Map11 - “Short Night" by Chaingunner

this is one of those maps that is quite cool in theory, but i can't say i enjoyed it, mainly because I don't like racing against the clock. I don't like that style of map because you are forced through repetitious trial and error to learn the precise optimum way of playing through it, which is basically stripping out any of the fun i have playing doom to just leave a memorised combination of key presses and mouse movements. For what it is it works well enough, but not my cup of tea.

Old Post 04-11-14 15:37 #
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Memfis
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didn't you make d2ino map30

Old Post 04-11-14 16:09 #
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mouldy
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Memfis said:
didn't you make d2ino map30


Yeah, part of that was an attempt to try and make an IOS map that I didn't hate for this reason. So for example I made it so you could choose several different routes from the start, and that the monster spawners could be closed down in each area. To be honest i've no idea if it worked or not, was an interesting experiment though.

Old Post 04-11-14 16:38 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 10 -- Operation 'Blizzard' - 108% Kills / No secrets
A very Shadowmanly Shadowman map, evident from the word go by the characteristically quirky digital music selection, a stately waltz in several phases. The setting is some sort of abandoned, icebound abbey or temple, featuring an unusual node of reflected staircases (somewhat like a swastika in shape), with the north/southbound ones leading upwards to a pair of grand halls, and the east/westbound ones leading downwards to a rubble-strewn outyard and a spacious natural cavern, respectively. While perhaps a mite sterile in outline and just slightly oddly-scaled at times, it is well-polished and strikes a tasteful contrast between the stately abbey/castle textures and the snow/ice/rock of the natural terrain, no doubt because Shadowman has always seemed to love rendering grand halls and colonnades in Doom, and at this late date has had a lot of practice in doing so. Something about the bits of broken stained glass on the ground from the ceiling-panes doesn't look right to me--a little too thick, I suspect--but this is a small thing. The music selection is actually quite appropriate in this case, I think, because it felt oddly fitting not just for the setting but for the action itself.

The monster population here is almost entirely middleweights, with a smattering of barons and arch-viles, a complementary (some might say 'obligatory') cyberdemon, and only a handful of hitscanners and imps here and there. While there is a specific key-gated sequence later on to go through to reach the exit, the map is surprisingly nonlinear in its simplicity, with most of your various early tasks available to be completed in any order. This, plus the generally large-scale environments and the very direct/unpaced monster placement, makes a good opportunity for playing in a semi-passive way, running all around the various major areas and stirring up a ton of different heated infights as you go. This was the strategy I used right up until the team of arch-viles was set loose near the end (at which point I felt compelled to quit fucking around and start controlling the situation a bit), and I'd wholeheartedly recommend it to those who haven't played the map yet, as it's a lot more fun (and faster) than clearing out each room on your own. It's a case of the devil in the details, I reckon--if you look at each discrete room or area individually the monster/thing placement seems often homogenous and bland, but the overall layout being as open as it is (both to you and to the monsters) gives you the option to create a more interesting/enjoyable scenario out of what you've been presented with if you as player have the wherewithal to do so, and that always counts for something.

Yeah, I'd agree the map needs a different name, though. Hell if I know what it'd be, but all the same.

Map 11 -- Short Night - 100%+ Kills (can't recall the exact total anymore) / No secrets
Now, a lot of these maps are speedmaps, of course, but this one seems even more improvisational than most, like the IoS mechanism was something shoehorned in at the last minute. The idea is to hit three switches which remove three tiny wooden barricades inside of the little rathole in one of the walls of the main area, so that you can stand on an innocuous-yet-convenient basin-lip and fire heavy explosives into John Romero's nasal cavity. Strangely, while it's a tiny map, this oddly contrived ending still manages to feel somehow jarring and abrupt, although the whole setup does have a somewhat interesting, meta-gamey puzzle aspect to it. Once the spawnage is underway the little corridor you need to be in to exit fills up VERY fast, and there's not enough ammo to allow you to make a whole lot of unnecessary kills (or to kill the conspicuously irrelevant cyberdemon in the center of the map), so I found that the most effective strategy seemed to be playing in an entirely pacifistic (read: mute) way up until the last of the three aforementioned switches, which must be triggered with gunfire and thus guarantees that the boss brain wakes up for at least a few seconds....although a few seconds is all it takes to exit once you've figured out where to shoot.

Aesthetically? Well, suffice to say it's not going to win any beauty pageants. Some of the side stuff looks fine (and I found myself oddly entranced by that animated candle-nook texture), but the main area seemed rather ugly to me between its clashing textures, dull lighting, and very cramped/stuffy air. Overall, this is one of those odd-man-out maps where even though I didn't find it very impressive or particularly fun or even particularly aggravating, I somehow suspect I'll still remember it clearly the next time I return to the WAD.

Old Post 04-12-14 02:47 #
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Getsu Fune
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MAP12 Rotten Orange

So now winter's gone now, and we definitely are in spring. Chaingunner once again serves a very mild and short affair. It's probably the second shortest map I've ever played by him (the first being Short Night!) and it's not really too memorable. There however is an interesting gimmick that if you fall on that platformer part, you telefrag a voodoo doll in some sludge for a quick death. Not as nasty as "Save Your Life" from A.L.T. but still it's there. I like the waterfall area too. But again, short and not much for me to say.

Old Post 04-12-14 14:04 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Caught back up.

MAP09: I always enjoy Memfis maps—he seems to have a very smart, natural level design layout that feels “classic” in consideration to Doom. This humble and small base is exceptionally brutal however, especially if you take a lot of damage right off the bat like me. The yellow key trap was the most sinister, until I ultimately decided to use all my cell just to clear out the room before I faced the AV. Perhaps finding some secrets would’ve helped me, but as I stood I had to dart past the final AV and just exit. Great quick map though, holistically the best so far.

MAP10: Watching revenants and nobles infight to this music while I circle strafed around them was oddly majestic. I really enjoyed this map. There were a ton of meaty enemies to chow through and a variety of ways to encounter them with plenty of big space to move around. Some may consider the AV party at the end to be too much but I really enjoyed that segment, trying to blast them away as they summoned forth an endless horde of revs. Ton of simple fun and not bad to look at—definitely my favorite.

MAP11: I usually enjoy a sudden IoS map, but this one was too tightly confined and too confusing to be enjoyable. By the time I figured out what to do my health was abominably low and I only had a handful of rockets left, so I spent a lot of time having to clean the gutters just to get off a few shots. Weakest map so far I feel.

MAP12: An alright map, quite short. Feels a little better than the warm up of MAP02, but Memfis has shown how to make maps short and sweet so far.

Old Post 04-12-14 17:49 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP11: Short Night
75% kills, no secrets

Yeah, not feeling too great about this one. I rarely like IoS maps because they almost always have a not-quite-clear "trick" to them, combined with being rushed by the monsters filling up. This one especially, since there's not enough ammo from a pistol start to kill more than a few bigger monsters (and certainly not enough to kill the Cyberdemon). I ended up just running around until I noticed I could finally see the Romero head at the end of the rathole... didn't even really figure out that the switches did so.

MAP12: Rotten Orange
100% kills, 1/1 secret

Another short map by the same author, but much better. While it's a bit bite-sized, it does look nice (sort of a BTSX vibe with the texture selection) and has a nice waterfall/rock area. Anti-climatic though after grabbing the blue key with no enemies left.

Old Post 04-12-14 18:56 #
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mouldy
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Map12 - “Rotten Orange" by Chaingunner

This was a weird little map. First surprise was the pit of instant death. Bit harsh? The monsters on the other hand.. other than the ninja chaingunner at the beginning they didn't pose much of a threat. There were some pinkies who were helplessy trapped behind a monster blocking line, and after that a switch which summoned one revenant, followed by a blue key guarded by a single cacodemon. This map also featured the most useless red key in the history of the universe. The design was ok, but the gameplay was hardly there, unless this was meant to be a kind of start-of-the-episode map, which I guess makes sense after the IOS of map 11. But yeah.

Old Post 04-12-14 20:25 #
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Getsu Fune
formerly Hurricyclone


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MAP13 Inside Your Mind

Iron Hand, hmm...no memory of him in other Russian projects.

I'm not sold on this one. Almost exactly the same monster count as the previous map, but this one is pretty big. The weird platforming section is kinda neat as is (ironically) the asylum. But pretty much 2/3 of the map is one large maze, with a few roaming spectres that are no trouble for my chainsaw. There is one pathway that has a teleporter that makes it seem like players are running in circles, and one particular long pathway to a soulsphere, where one of the hallways is not orthogonal, which makes the floor tiles look messed up. The blue key trap saves any fall from grace with some revenants popping up. Unfortunately, waiting for the blood walkway to raise up to the exit felt like forever. Pretty darn bland. Maybe the author wanted to psychologically fool us with the title perhaps?

Old Post 04-13-14 14:38 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 12 -- Rotten Orange - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Apart from the nasty sky cutoff that the player starts out looking at, this is a fairly attractive map, with an interesting dirty/damp color palette and an effective juxtaposition of horizontal and vertical expanses, yet it also feels terribly unfinished. Most of the other speedmaps in the set, while often tiny and occasionally downright trivial, nevertheless feel like complete offerings despite their diminutive stature, whereas Rotten Orange seems like a fragment of a larger map that was left half-done.

The action is basic but not unreasonable fare featuring a doorway surprise or two, some ledge-snipers, and then a modest teleportation wave that serves as a delayed response to the player getting the red keycard. All fair enough, but the map just dies after that, with the player going down into the very lightly-guarded ravine to pick up the blue card....and then nothing. Nothing at all. Just an incident-free backtrack to the blue door from earlier (which has the red door right behind it), and then the exit. The fact that the red key's inclusion is so utterly pointless, and that the player gets a combat shotgun and a bunch of ammo down in the ravine that s/he'll never get to use, strongly suggest that the author had more planned for this map, but presumably ran out of time to include any of it. As such, I reckon this map probably would've come off better (from a player's perspective, I mean) if it had been even smaller/shorter than it already is--and I say this as one of those weirdos who often prefers big/long maps to short/punchy ones--probably ending after the teleporter wave near the chainsaw. As it is, that the map keeps going after that, seeming like it's building to something before it abruptly comes to a sudden dead stop, just ends things on a sour note.

Map 13 -- Inside Your Mind - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Now, call me crazy, but I really liked this. Except for one fight and a certain dick chaingunner in the starting area, the combat is paltry to nonexistent, but it's not that kind of map; it's a whimsical little psychodrama that trades on atmosphere and pacing instead of traditional action.

That approach being the case, it's imperative that the map effectively establish a mood, and it does that very well, not only as an individual offering but also in the context of its place in the mapset. We see a fresh batch of textures here, most of which are not to be found in any previous map (or in the original Whitemare, for that matter)--some tiles from Blood, grotesque iron wall-reliefs from Quake, dingy rotting drywall from I don't know where, and so forth. The lighting work is very simple but quite effective; there's very little in the way of sector gradient or other aesthetic niceties at work here, but the light levels themselves are well-chosen and contrast subtly and effectively from area to area, a fine example of why I'm always bellyaching at mappers not to be afraid to make their stuff more persistently dark/dim. Hell, I even really dig the BGM here, the start of the song sounds like it's not going to fit the level very well but it has some unexpected transitions into moodier breaks that work quite well. Anyway, the overall picture is like some quaint townhouse sort of setting that's been raped and twisted by eldritch powers into a hollow mockery of its former self, heavily reminiscent of some of the stuff in BlueEagle's "Unloved" (which I am personally very fond of), now that I think about it....in fact it wouldn't surprise me if the author was consciously making a nod to that project, although some of those characteristic Russian scene tropes are here as well.

As I said, the gameplay is mostly pretty sedate, focusing more on teasing you and keeping you guessing via the actual level geometry and path progression than on delivering much in the may of interesting battles. I particularly like the leap of faith into the mouth of the maze, and I'll even play the apologist for the maze itself to some degree--yes, it's a long, orthogonal maze of switchbacks and viewports with the occasional specter in it (AND one point where an unobservant player could become perpetually lost), and yes, for the most part that's about as thrilling as it sounds, but I think it works because it effectively lulls you into a state of complacency before the blue skull trap springs and gives you a blast in the ticker. A cheap trick, perhaps, but an effective one that puts a nice adrenaline-fueled punctuation mark on an otherwise slow-paced map.

I'm not familiar with Iron Hand, either, but I certainly hope to see more maps from him in the future.

Old Post 04-15-14 05:47 #
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Getsu Fune
formerly Hurricyclone


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oh god, I just realized that music in MAP13 is actually Dream Theater X_X.

MAP14 The Pillar and The Pit

Yet another small and relatively inoffensive affair. At least this one wasn't trap-centric unlike MAP09. Again, I don't have much to say, sorry about that.

MAP15 Floating World

Of all the maps that don't have coop starts, I think Dragon Hunter's suffer the most without them.

Dragon Hunter serves up yet another insanely large map very much contending with his previous "Arctic Heart" also MAP15 in the original Whitemare. This time it's fitted with lots of neat 3d structures (not really) as well as a skull keys sidequest of sorts. Be careful folks, it's a biggun. So it's very exploratory and spacious and will take more than 20 minutes to beat at the very least.

The main problem is, it's too spacious.

It's so spacious, that when on the bridge, all I do is run around letting monsters kill each other. There's way too much room to manuever that it's barely even a challenge. The fights inside the buildings were more fun. I enjoyed the claustrophobia on the left side most. The other building was frustrating due to a bug that prevented my chaingun bullets from hitting monsters (plus an archvile on the top floor without cover). I was facing east BTW, and my shots don't connect, probably because the level's too large. Dragon Hunter probably didn't mean it, but still, it's there.

A bit of platforming later and we're in this nice village overrun by so many monsters it isn't funny. I only attacked the cyberdemon, whenever he teleports in range that is, and ran from everyone else hoping they'd kill each other which they mostly did. But I didn't really kill the rest of the stragglers since there's too much. This village is basically a small slaughterfest where you must wait for the key to lower if you ever want to leave. I just ran in circles around the perimeters killing anyone in my way until it lowered, then I ran further north to the exit areas. Just a number of imps and a spiderdemon guard the boat to the exit and are easily fended off along with the demons running behind me. Oh wait, that's right, skull keys. The YSK is right there, and I already had the other two (one's on a snow floe, the other is in the eastern building, both secrets). Basically, I trigger the last secret and take the NORMAL exit. Taking the secret exit past the skull keys switch nets another big slaughterfest before the secret exit but I believe you are trapped there and FORCED to go to the secret exit when done. Very huge, exploratory, and badly spacious and buggy (blockmap overflow).

Old Post 04-15-14 13:46 #
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