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Underground Tension - 4 vanilla maps

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Posted (edited)

I'll eventually get around to playing these. If vanilla, why the need for the MAPINFO that changes things for ZDoom based ports?

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Here's a video of my first demo attempt of Map 01.

 

The map does keep you on your toes, but unfortunately, I was mightily starved for ammo and died before I finished. I was even proactive by punching out a demon without a berserk. I barely missed anything, got decently lucky on RNG, and still had to punch way too much. Frankly, it took the map from tense, claustrophobic, and enjoyable to downright annoying.  

 

I played it again with IDDQD. I got up in every monster's face and didn't miss once. I still did some punching and finished the map with 12 bullets and 7 shells. 

Initial glimpse of Map 02 does not look much better in this regard.

 

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Posted (edited)

@HAK3180,

 

Spoiler

Ammo is fine imo. You just have to make things infight. The start of map02 for example, making the mancs fight the revenants is essentially mandatory. I don't think I'd ever pistol out a perched arachnotron, unless it was, like, directly in the way of progress.

 

 

This is half-prepped (up to the spider crusher) -- I played this earlier and wasn't in the mood for the "ammo starvation puzzle" element at the time -- and then basically an FDA after that.


On to the map: The blue armor secret doesn't tag because you can't touch its sector. It's also the only useful secret in the map. The hitscanners aren't oppressive enough for the PI to be too meaningful. The secret the spectre is on contains, uh, nothing lol, and the berserk I guess is useful for continuous but there aren't many monsters in this map it's practical to use it on, since you get it at the very end.  

 

I'm kind of liking what I'm seeing. I checked out the starts of the rest and these maps all look like they might be fun light "ammo usage" puzzles. The scale is more cramped than I'd like. I don't like rubbing against walls. I prefer more open spaces that I can just SR40 uninterruptedly around while not fighting. But that's a matter of taste. Design is a mix of simple layouts and architecture with competent small-scale detail. The perched chaingunner in pitch black is hilarious.  

 

It's interesting to see more maps that aren't in line with community tropes. Will check out the rest. 

Edited by rdwpa

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@rdwpa Yeah, it's not hard to skip a few monsters, use the crusher, pistol demons who survive two shells, let some monsters kill each other, etc., but this map seemed to benefit too much from hindsight. I'm not just going to do those things unless I know ammo is scarce. And even if I don't pistol the spider, I probably come back with shells and shotgun it, still not utilizing the much later crusher because I don't know about it. So maybe the goal here is to encourage an innovative tactical approach, but I wouldn't find much of this map's infighting fun, and to me the ammo lack just made it not fun, rather than interesting.

 

But as they say, cuius regio huius doomio.

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28 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

But as they say, cuius regio huius doomio.

Nice. I wonder how many people will try to look up what you meant? (I include myself in this group, since I don't read Latin.)

 

And if most Doomers do read/understand Latin, well, that's a different story.

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Nice little set, I liked the detailing but the places were a bit too much cramped for my tastes. I did pistol starts, which are "doable" but the ammo and the health is very scarce that you are required to do some things in a certain order and to abuse the monster infighting. MAP03 was the worst offender of this. I admit that I missed many secrets and others I found them when I didn't need them anymore, many of them are hidden behind random walls with no clues while the exploration I did around led me to discover optional hidden areas with few bonuses. It seems that you had a rather solid idea of what kind of gameplay you had in mind and it worked well, I think you need to refine more how to reward the players so the things don't get too frustrating. The levels are quite playful with tricks, and I liked it,  but at times it very difficult to react to many situations (also the cramped spaces accentuate this) if don't really know what to expect.

I don't see the purpose of the cacodemons in the blue key room in MAP02, maybe you can "release" them in other parts of the map or something.

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Posted (edited)

these maps are pretty hardcore.  i might got back on hmp to try them out.  for now, here's a uv fda for each map.

noisy_utension_uv.zip (prb+ cl2 uv)

 

edit: btw i read a couple posts about the ammo, so that might've affected my playstyle going in.

Edited by NoisyVelvet

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Thanks for the comments and demos!

 

On 3/20/2018 at 9:47 PM, Glaice said:

If vanilla, why the need for the MAPINFO that changes things for ZDoom based ports?


Yeah, if you don't forget to set a compatibility mode, I suppose there isn't much interest in it?

Should have made a disclaimer on ammo control. It can be frustrating to manage your ammo when you don't know what's coming ahead, or aren't too keen on infighting. It probably would make sense to offer more ammo in secrets. Maybe just more in general for HMP, leaving the challenge for UV.

I seem to have a tendency to make cramped areas. I was also a bit defensive with open areas due to visplane overflows (probably spent a few hours with that on MAP04...). This ended up hurting one of the gimmicks, as pointed out:

 

On 3/21/2018 at 3:23 PM, gaspe said:

I don't see the purpose of the cacodemons in the blue key room in MAP02


The idea was that if you stayed glued to the outer walls for too long, you would get hit by the cacodemons, inviting you to control your position around the room. In hindsight, it's too small for that to be a common situation, specially if you only play it once or twice.

Still, some of these areas were quite deliberate, as they were an integral part of the gimmick (e.g. the start of MAP03 is one I feel worked better).

 

On 3/21/2018 at 6:18 AM, rdwpa said:

The blue armor secret doesn't tag because you can't touch its sector.


Damn those late map edits, they always screw with secret sectors...

 

On 3/21/2018 at 1:20 PM, HAK3180 said:

not utilizing the much later crusher because I don't know about it.


Hmm, maybe if one of the crusher ceilings was slightly lowered its function would be more clear.

 

On 3/21/2018 at 3:23 PM, gaspe said:

I missed many secrets and others I found them when I didn't need them anymore, many of them are hidden behind random walls with no clues


Yeah I admit, some clues are a bit of a stretch, but they are there. It's hard to design these without the obvious tropes (e.g. One of the textures is different, the light is blinking there...).
 

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