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The DWmegawad Club plays: Super Mayhem 17

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Posted (edited)

MAP20 - “Transformation Palace” by Argent Agent

This map looks pretty darn cool with its huge scale and usage of height, but my word this plays rather horribly, the section up to the red key is okay on the whole, then things tend to go downhill with pretty much all of the fights becoming a rather tedious grind with a lot of deaths acquired, the worst offender was the staircase where after the previous fight I had very little ammo, the archvile placement is beyond horrid and gaining any foothold is prevented by the liberal use of mid-tier monsters. The final fight I managed okay, but only because of the large stocks of health, the archviles make that fight a complete lottery, if you can distract them you are okay, otheriwse expect a roasting. In the end I really didn't enjoy this map.

Hilariously, despite being a keyboarder, I got the soulsphere on the pillar in one attempt once I dropped from the corridor which led to the red key, just a case of straferunning and hope you land on a pillar, once you have got that far it is just a case of strafing to the end which should be pretty simple.

Given other comments, I agree that the BFG would have been a major help, in fact given the fights on offer giving the BFG at a similar time to the plasma gun would have been a real help in firstly clearing the caco/PE hoarde and also a method to rush some of the hideously placed archviles.

 

MAP21 - “Rainbow Road” by Scotty

Now this was a really fun map. The layout presents itself as a mad colour-fest on a starry backdrop. There are several islands, we have a couple of cybers that can hit you from certain spots on every island, you cannot really afford to take them out as you will not have anything to tackle each of the keys. One key houses an army of arch viles, a couple of BFG shots after hiding from the intial rash of attacks is the obvious solution and resulted in not being hit once, the other two keys house a similar sort of challange, mostly a small arena with a central tower and a cluster of other elevated platforms with a mix of mid to high tier monsters. Again whilst these look threatenining, it isn't too hard to handle. After acquiring the keys you are then allowed to get up close to the cybers and take them out with ample cells which then leaves the exit island which to be honest was a little too easy to clear.

Overall this was a great looking map which whilst has a simple element of progression is certainly very engaging and fun to play. One of the best maps of the set.

Edited by cannonball

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MAP21 Rainbow Road

A setpiece set in Mario Kart's (in)famous Rainbow Road thingie. Yep, another three-key map in a way, dealing with certain areas, different types of combat, and a few nasty hell knight snipers among others. This one should have more dash panels, honestly. Otherwise, pretty darn fun and somewhat of a breather due to the lack of arch-viles present on a certain setting.

 

@tmorrow

 

Quote

Depending on your skill level, there will be 15, 16, or 17 items on the map. Ten of these items are invulnerabilities that are meant to be decorations and thus it is not possible to achieve 100% items on this map.

 

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MAP21 - “Rainbow Road” by Scotty

Sometimes simple, fast entertainment and exciting visuals is all you need.

The arguably most famous map from the mario kart series gets quite a conversion to doom. Everything looks like its totally tripping on some really nasty mushroom, as it lives up to the name by having freakin colors everywhere, helped by generous doses of neon bridges, architecture and invul stars decorations. Everything meshes well, and that music track is great! Gameplay is not anything complex: three separate arenas, each with rather easy to solve encounters and crossfires. Its not dull tho, especially with the cybers in the distance, which you can later destroy ;)

I do kinda wish i could fall off (like the hazard of the original level), but given the limitation, this is really good hectic stuff. Never expected it to be a short one, but hey it works.

Some screenies:

mV93MrQ.png
7QGXNNa.png

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Posted (edited)

MAP22 - “Chocolate Starfish Islands” by Benjogami

An impression is left indeed.

This level departs a lot from doom's normal conventions: its super linear linearness, friction combat returns and is used in spades, and perched revenants turrets! I think it just ticked off every fan of the classic doom's run n gun. But like map12 its incredibly well done. Three challenges, all revolving around how good you can control doomguy's feet. Ice is with the first two, with a small ascent with monsters taking shots at you (!!!) as a freakin savor, and actual fighting plus dodging plus fancy footwork with the latter. You then get to fight with the monsters, but stay sharp because its water that SLOWS you down. The final is conveyor belts disguised as rushing water shoving monsters in your face, and one more rev turret cuz you know you love them. The islands are really cute and smooth (nice curves mmm), and cool transition to the underground (which technically breaks the project's guidelines but who cares), topped with music change.

A level thats hardcore to some, but a wonderfully executed different spin on the beloved game to me. A lovely nod to the nintendo hard platforming era too . Benjogami is one of my favorites now!

Some screenies:

RjVl5aa.png
GCoO90j.png
vfsYpaY.png

 

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Posted (edited)

Map 22: "Chocolate Starfish Islands" by Benjogami 

 

Based on the description of friction I decided not to play this map, so I'll make up a fictitious writeup based on imagined content.

 

Benjogami is one of the preeminent slaughter mappers of this day, and his penchant for crafty design is shown in the first section where you have to herd a few revenants through a maze of voodoo dolls while melee-inducing them constantly, lest the dolls take damage. It's a clever device. Afterwards, the revenants are warped into a cage to be crushed, and a single former human trooper shows up, with a custom texture displaying 'Shh!' and a panel of back-facing archviles. The trooper waddles around peppering you with peas, and you have to take the abuse. The trooper then warps away too. (Benjo comes up with cool experimental techniques, as seen in Emergent, and apparently what's going on here is that every inch of the floor has a monster-teleport linedef, and it leads to a destination that is blocked at first but then the thing blocking it is scrolled out of the way, allowing the monster to warp.) 

 

After this interlude, we stock up on a RL and health in a small little house featuring a sector-detail computer on which there's a Twitch stream of someone named 'MrZzul' playing, and then head off to a set of islands, above which are downward-facing funnels that are shaped like you-know-whats. Overseen by turret cybs, the first wave is standard intro fare against imps and other increasingly tough baddies that trickle into the center. Amusingly, monsters appear to be falling out of the you-know-whats, some invisible floor trickery going on for sure. This fight is really exciting because you have to carve out space with the RL at near point-blank range at times, and you only have the chaingun to desperately fend off point-blank monsters if your carving doesn't go well enough. Fun fight, probably the highlight of the 21st century. 

 

After that, we do some platforming on stilts over an oceanic void, and the stilts get ever narrower as you progress. This part lasts about ten minutes when played at a cautious pace. At the end of these, we teleport to a new void section. This one has lots of razor-thin beams that make the Chasms's bridges look like an eight-lane highway. A few minutes later, suddenly there's a wind effect, and it's unavoidable, and you fall into the nukage. Fuck! So unfair, right? But that's the joke because we teleport automatically to a sector where, what would you know, it's that former human trooper from earlier, with a BFG placed in front of us. Finally, our long-awaited revenge. 

 

0/5 crashes Doomsday on load.

Edited by rdwpa

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5 minutes ago, rdwpa said:

Map 22: "Chocolate Starfish Islands" by Benjogami 

 


"review"

Gee @Benjogami, this is what people think when they hear your name ;) Also can it be made pretty please?

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28 minutes ago, rdwpa said:

Map 22: "Chocolate Starfish Islands" by Benjogami 

 

Based on the description of friction I decided not to play this map, so I'll make up a fictitious writeup based on imagined content.

 

Benjogami is one of the preeminent slaughter mappers of this day, and his penchant for crafty design is shown in the first section where you have to herd a few revenants through a maze of voodoo dolls while melee-inducing them constantly, lest the dolls take damage. It's a clever device. Afterwards, the revenants are warped into a cage to be crushed, and a single former human trooper shows up, with a custom texture displaying 'Shh!' and a panel of back-facing archviles. The trooper waddles around peppering you with peas, and you have to take the abuse. The trooper then warps away too. (Benjo comes up with cool experimental techniques, as seen in Emergent, and apparently what's going on here is that every inch of the floor has a monster-teleport linedef, and it leads to a destination that is blocked at first but then the thing blocking it is scrolled out of the way, allowing the monster to warp.) 

 

After this interlude, we stock up on a RL and health in a small little house featuring a sector-detail computer on which there's a Twitch stream of someone named 'MrZzul' playing, and then head off to a set of islands, above which are downward-facing funnels that are shaped like you-know-whats. Overseen by turret cybs, the first wave is standard intro fare against imps and other increasingly tough baddies that trickle into the center. Amusingly, monsters appear to be falling out of the you-know-whats, some invisible floor trickery going on for sure. This fight is really exciting because you have to carve out space with the RL at near point-blank range at times, and you only have the chaingun to desperately fend off point-blank monsters if your carving doesn't go well enough. Fun fight, probably the highlight of the 21st century. 

 

After that, we do some platforming on stilts over an oceanic void, and the stilts get ever narrower as you progress. This part lasts about ten minutes when played at a cautious pace. At the end of these, we teleport to a new void section. This one has lots of razor-thin beams that make the Chasms's bridges look like an eight-lane highway. A few minutes later, suddenly there's a wind effect, and it's unavoidable, and you fall into the nukage. Fuck! So unfair, right? But that's the joke because we teleport automatically to a sector where, what would you know, it's that former human trooper from earlier, with a BFG placed in front of us. Finally, our long-awaited revenge. 

 

0/5 crashes Doomsday on load.

fanfiction needs more Rocket Dongs and Chaingun Face.

 

Tried MAP22, shot a revenant and a shit ton of Arch-Tards came in on the left while going up the ice thing. Will try again later.

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4 minutes ago, Catpho said:

Gee @Benjogami, this is what people think when they hear your name ;) Also can it be made pretty please?

 

Sounds feasible :D

 

Also, since I'm here...

 

MAP22: Chocolate Starfish Islands

 

When I saw the resource wad for this project, I had to make a map. I'm a big fan of the classic marios, and even the modern 2d marios. Right before I got back into Doom, I was making levels for Super Mario Maker. I was getting pretty bored with Mario Maker when Romero released e1m8b, which was a flick to the forehead like "why aren't you making Doom stuff instead?"

 

So of course when Mayhem 2017 appeared, I had to make a map. While in bed, I tried to think of ridiculous immature map names that sounded like plausible Mario worlds, and settled on Chocolate Starfish Islands. I was going for a Super Mario World "special world" kinda feeling with the difficulty. The SMW special world seemed absurd and wonderful and impossible when I was a kid, which is a feeling that I try to chase in Doom quite often, with varying degrees of determination. I love platforming (in Mario and Doom), and I love Mario ice physics, so this was the time to try it in Doom. This might be the only time I use ice physics in Doom. I don't hate it, and I don't mind that most people do hate it, but the implementation across sourceports is too bad: in PrBoom+ complevel 9, if you save and then load, all friction effects are gone. In GZDoom, the slide is less intense than in PrBoom+ to such an extent that friction that is balanced and reasonable in GZDoom will actually accelerate the player or bounce them backwards in PrBoom+ (which was an issue that hilariously affected early versions of Obsidian's map). Besides all that, I feel like I covered the entirety of the fun uses in this map. ;)

 

Usually the last map that I made is my favorite map that I've made, and this was no exception, but that feeling wore off more quickly than usual. I think it's because a lot of the appeal for me was the humor and whimsy, which doesn't survive repeated experiences as well as other stuff. A lot of the humor is in how annoying it is, so once the humor wears off, I guess it's just annoying? :P Also, it is very rigid and sorta forces you to have a specific set of experiences in a specific order, which hurts replayability. Also! Everyone that I've watched has missed the shortcut pipe that opens after you finish the underground. A simple fix that I forgot to make: when teleporting out of the water, make the TP destination face the pipe. ;(

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Posted (edited)

Map 17 -- All the Monster's Teeth are Perfect - 102% Kills / 50% Secrets - FDA

Is that so? How about a vision plan? The fullbright technicolor-vomit visual aesthetic here is actively offensive (were there actually levels that looked like this in the Mario games? really truly?), and the music selection becomes about as painful as a root canal after a scant 60 seconds or thereabouts. Rarely would I say that it's better for something to be merely boring moreso than novel-but-bad, but this is the sort of exception that proves the rule, methinks. No thank you.

 

It plays fine, though, have to admit. Lots of stuff to kill in droves, all chunky SSG multikills early on seguing into an RL gore-spattering shooting gallery farther in, and a variety of simple-but-effective contrivances (monster warp-ins right next to you, the V-star to prod you to approach the red-locked door, etc.) to keep the player on the move, ping-ponging around the hamster-maze environment which otherwise seems like it might lend itself to a high degree of threshold-camping. Once it became clear that there would be regular little jabs to keep things moving briskly forward, I wasn't really expecting many further surprises, but one still did manage to sneak in there: I was taken aback by the second cyberdemon coming to corner me over by the red key, didn't think the map would show that degree of teeth, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering who handled the thing-placement. ;) Good thing I had found that megashroom just before, no small miracle considering just how hard everything here is to look at, I'd say. 

 

All in all, this is a short map that seems to exemplify the philosophy that it's generally better for something with a relatively limited, directionless layout like this to embrace simple, straightforward fun rather than to try to force challenge or graft on a gimmick or such, and for that reason I'd say it was ultimately a more enjoyable experience (awful aesthetic and all) than m16 prior, which I'd pin (perhaps cynically) as a similar case of speedmap-itis.

 

Map 18 -- C'mon Peach, You've Got What You Want, Now Give This Plumber Cake! - 93% Kills / No secrets - FDA

Quite the title, that.

 

Comparing this to Walter's earlier map, I'd say it's more fun to play casually, on the whole, though it could perhaps be argued that it's not as well-realized conceptually, i.e. the seams show really badly in places (black wall right of the imp staircase before the cyber-bridge, etc.), and it seems very likely to go rapidly from 'amusing' to 'pain in the ass' if you try to max it as opposed to simply try to exit. It's a Disneyland kiddie-kart ride (albeit with about....27.4% more killing than those tend to have along the way) through a Mushroom Kingdom castle dungeon patterned after those found in the original SMB, fireballs drifting in from afar, optical illusion maze, and other trappings en tow.

 

Similar to m17 just prior, probably its most successful idea is not concerning itself with being too challenging (and of course, Walter pretty much never concerns himself with being deadpan serious, in either gameplay or aesthetics), always tooling up the player to forge ahead at a brisk pace. The silent-teleportation 'maze' segment perhaps runs counter to the rest of the design/pacing in that regard, but it's so simple and so short that it doesn't seem like any remotely aware player should find it bogging down the flow much, if at all. In the later segments, more monsters appear in the off-track peanut gallery as artillery, prompting further acceleration towards the exit (sticking around to fight them would be wildly impractical), and before you know it the level's over, scratch another overmatched cyberdemon, just like his brother in m07.

 

I think it's fair to say this level is "cute", and not much more--zero replayability--but it's not a bad kind of cute, for what it is. Also! The authentically dour void + 8-bit dungeon visuals, while not exactly shaking the foundations of the world, are certainly a nice rest for the eyes after the assault of m17. Less overworld, more sublevel, please.

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A little author commentary for Rainbow Road, if anyone cares.

 

This project seemed like the ideal platform to try something really experimental and out there. Once i looked through the texture pack i thought that it might be different if i basically ignored the texture pack and tried to do a map based on SMK rather than the traditional grassy or castle environments of the sidescroller games. Of course, Rainbow Road is the iconic SMK circuit.

 

The next part was the biggest hurdle and that was trying to convert the environment of this floating void race course into something that would work in Doom. I had this idea to completely abuse action 242 fake floors and spent ages examining Ancient Aliens and Sunlust, as some of the trickery used there would work in creating the environment i wanted to here (ie spam sky textures everywhere to give the illusion that all the playing spaces here were simply floating in the space). I spent ages poking around in the editor trying to understand how these actions worked, having not used them before, and there was a lot of experimenting with Boom 242 actions before i got anywhere with building the environment. Even then it was hellish trying to build the map, because how things look the the editor is completely different to how they are in game! I found an old screenshot i took of GZDB when i was making this, and as you can see it's just a complete fucking mess in there:

 

05grqtS.jpg

 

Gameplay wise, naturally i couldn't just have players running laps, that would suck. Given the environmental structure of the map i was architecturally somewhat limited and so elected to keep things really simple, just a bunch of setups on each island that the player can blast their way through, rather than an intricate, morphing map layout. Technically, this map was a nightmare because of tagging everything and making the fake floors work properly - this also meant that nearly every enemy had to be teleported in from individual closets as you enter a new area. The initial zip where you get the weapons was a homage to item pickups in SMK, as you run over '?' blocks there - perhaps too quickly for it to be obvious - which gift you the items (used an old trick from a Plutonia map there ;) ).

 

If i ever remade this map it'd be far more sprawling and open, more similar to how Rainbow Road is in SMK64 - this project had map size limits - i'd implement some crushing Thwomps as a further homage to the SMK circuit, and use some music changing trickery to simulate that last lap music tempo increase you get in the games (i really wish i'd thought of this at the time!).

 

Trivia - i actually started working on a map inspired by the Mario Circuits from SMK but there just wasn't time for it.

 

So, yeah. This map was a pain in the ass to make but i was super inspired during the process, so hopefully that all paid off. This project was really cool to work on and i think it acted as a great catalyst for creativity from everyone involved, i think it turned out fantastically well.

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40 minutes ago, Scotty said:

The initial zip where you get the weapons was a homage to item pickups in SMK, as you run over '?' blocks there - perhaps too quickly for it to be obvious - which gift you the items (used an old trick from a Plutonia map there ;) ).

When I recorded the UVspeed for the demo reel I also noticed that missing the "? blocks" also meant not getting the pickups, which for me personally is an okay move in that situation (assuming one does know roughly what these blocks are supposed to do), but I wonder if that actually was intentional.

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19 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

When I recorded the UVspeed for the demo reel I also noticed that missing the "? blocks" also meant not getting the pickups, which for me personally is an okay move in that situation (assuming one does know roughly what these blocks are supposed to do), but I wonder if that actually was intentional.

 

I didn't really account for it no, but if people want to go out of their way to not have the pickups then so be it :P

 

Thanks for recording the demo btw! I meant to ask who recorded it (wasn't aware of its existence until recently)..

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Posted (edited)

map23: down the wrong pipe, by TMD
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

Our marine has made a big mistake and chose the wrong pipe to go down and is about to pay for that mistake. TMD's second map of mayhem17 is broken up into two sections. First there is an indoor area consisting of hallways and small rooms. This area is used both at the start and the end of the map. The second area takes place outside in a square area, over an inescapable pit with a grass hedge around 3 sides, some monster telepipes, some crushers and some broken stairs up to a pswitch.

In terms of game play this is a vicious and unforgiving map full of tough encounters with little room for error. Ammunition is extremely tight so you have to make every shot count and encourage infighting where possible. Inside you're stuck with super shotgun against archviles and the full range of mid tier enemies. You are forced to fight right up close and personal, with little room to hide.

Once you teleport outside, your life expectancy is reduced substantially. There are cacodemons slowly making their way up from below, chaingunners trying to mow you down overhead, hellknights, barons and revenants shooting at you from a distance, and the centerpiece is a spider mastermind stomping around in the middle and sending a hail of lead where ever you go. Welcome to hell! You do pick up a badly needed rocket launcher through this section. As you follow the outer grass strip, you are repeatedly raped on all sides. Any fall is death to the void below. Your goal is to reach the pswitch and use it to telefrag the spider mastermind guarding the middle. After that you have to take a lift back up and fight your way back, retracing your earlier steps back to the telepipe and return to the first area for a small fight to claim the exit. As a final evil act, TMD throws in a fatal gotcha trap just when you think that the worst is over. The first time you reach this part of the map, you are likely to fall for the trap.

The search for secrets is well worth it, you will obtain a soulsphere and a megasphere, you'll need them both.

Edited by tmorrow

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MAP22 Chocolate Starfish Islands

 

Just because it's all happy happy joy joy doesn't mean it's an easy map. This one is segmented like the previous one, but MUCH harder. A good chunk of this is "follow the blue coins" but a few concepts will get you good. These icy walkways are quite the annoyance, and then the water seems to exhibit friction since I cannot move very well in them (oh and the main water is damaging). First jump to the ice, this revenant pops up behind me, then I wonder where all these arch-viles come from on the previous island. Turns out shooting at the revenant releases them. But how else will I get these kills. The underground area with the music change is all icy but it's not bad, neither is the next outdoor area apart from the rising-lowering platform where the arch-vile is. The ending fight was spectacularly hilarious in both good and bad ways. Watching them get teleported back and forth, then you realize they are actually gonna teleport either on the platforms or will crowd your area. And you could've fooled me on how to jump to the choco starfish on the exit. Really nasty as fuck level, don't honestly want to play it again.

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Map21: Rainbow Road

The design is really interesting; I like the night-time setting and the colours really look neat. The music fits nicely, too. However, the gameplay is shaky at best. The quadruple Arch-Vile trap is simply annoying, even with a BFG, and the Spider Mastermind part is just silly. The Yellow Key fight isn't too bad, though. Even the Arch-Viles in the YK section aren't badly placed. My main complaint about the map is the fact that there are TWO Cyberdemons roaming about, which really bumps up the possibility of being hit by a stray rocket. I think only one would've been enough. Fighting the two isn't TERRIBLY difficult, but very awkward. The final fight is a bit easy, actually, since the enemy variety makes infighting no problem and, also, you should have a lot of ammo. You can also simply run to the exit if you want to. The fact that there's something like 10 Invulnerabilities used as decoration is a bit bollocks. Mediocre, but not AWFUL. I think the map's author, Scotty, has a lot of talent, and I think he could make some great maps in the future.

 

Map22: Chocolate Starfish Islands

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!

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MAP23 - “Down the Wrong Pipe” by TMD

Darn unlabeled pipes! But then why would you jump down a man-sized pipe? Because you are a plumber of course! But how does plumbing in the mushroom kingdom work? They dont look like they function! And then....

.... Enough rambling. I guess ive gone a bit mad ever since my #(insert high double digit) death on this map. You are completely wrong on your pipe choice if you thought this was a breather based on the monster count (which TMD correctly guess). Nope, its a subterranean nightmare. It even starts out with a cramped fight too! And TMD doesnt turn down from there, as after the grounded dirt sections gives way to a void with scrolling... hills that have... eyes (lol mario is weird)(also the section is too cubic, artificial imo, detailing has potential but whats with the black textures mixed with a bunch of bright blocks? I think there are more "convincing" ways to make underground areas. Dirt cave is done nice enough). Very limited real estate and exposure to lots of dangerous enemies is where your grim reaper visits rack up. Thankfully, theres a moment for you to cool down if you can clear them. Exit stuff is kinda exhausting because i somehow dont have any ammo, and there are MORE archvile and barons. Fakeout worked because with a map this unforgiving of course you will jump at the first sight of a exit (another good guess TMD, i guess you should win something?).

I guess TMD enthusiast will enjoy it? I dunno, im all over the place after this :P 

Some screenies:

n5XiV74.png
G7Tyttj.png

 

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MAP23: Down the Wrong Pipe

 

This one's got a somewhat gonzo feel to it, coupling an indoor, underground area which serves a foyer through which the player enters and exits the level, with a black-void platforming section that I think is meant to represent an outdoor area at night?  The latter area is where the lion's share of the gameplay is to be found, with an obstacle course of platforms and traps to navigate, first in one direction and then in the other.  It's just as structured, just as deliberately clever as the preceding map, but it left me with a better feeling upon completing it, perhaps because it feels like the map is playing with the invading marine rather than dictating their actions, so in overcoming the capricious cruelties on display here, the player is left feeling that they've outsmarted the level and its denizens, rather than simply learning as though by rote the dance steps necessary to avoid a gruesome demise.

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MAP22 - “Chocolate Starfish Islands” by Benjogami

Unfortunately how this map turns out seems to completely depend on how the revenant behaves, alas he was a complete bastard, yep he behaved pretty much like they would on UV fast, yep drop to the underground section and before you say "hey is that a homing rocket?" I have half a dozen misiles all bearing down on me with no chance of getting out of their way. This repeated itself for every section of this map, the revenant absolutely trigger happy and to be frank I ragequit the final set piece after finally managing to clear all bar three monsters, the revenant of course, one baron on a pillar and one hell knight that decided after 2 minutes that it would come down the sodding river and stand right in front of my rocket launcher resulting in "Good at doom".

Unfortunately a lot of good ideas can be ruined by the randomness of the source material (alas I seem to be the sap who will land metaphorical snake eyes every roll). I really didn't enjoy this one though i appreciate the ideas that went into this.

 

MAP23 - “Down the Wrong Pipe” by TMD

This map starts off okay, but the teleport into the dark section is pretty darn cruel, I must have died several times in scenarios where monsters could hit me but I couldn't hit them back which was rather frustrating, that said this one wasn't as bad and once I had passed the rocket launcher then everything was fine.

 

I must note that both of these maps I found once very irritating thing, both ended up with weapon pick ups which pretty much seemed designed to screw the player over, on map22 the only location to pick up a shotgun is the end fight where once you pick it up you are almost certainly going to die as you desperately try to select a better weapon, the rocket launcer teleports in a load of sergeants at close range, for which the rocket launcher is probably the worst weapon choice of all. In both instances I find this objectively bad as this just feels like a cheap way to kill the player.

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map24: bowser's daddy dungeon, by Rottking
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

Motherload! You've found bowser's daddy dungeon! After bowser has kidnapped princess peach no doubt he'll be bringing her here for some, er, recreation.

Rottking brings us a mini fortress map. Pistol starters only get super shotgun, chaingun and rocket launcher to keep the beasts at bay. You seem to have tripped an alarm and bowser's henchmen are slowly making their way to investigate.

You are blocked from entering the large central section at the start and are forced to take either the left or right pathways. The paths join up later at a set up stairs at the north east side of the map. You can decide whether to take on the red key path before or after you have picked up the rocket launcher, the latter involves backtracking but makes for an easier battle for the red key. The red key path involves a room that collapses forcing you to platform your way out, avoiding two crushers along the way. A fall here is fatal because there's no way out of the void.

Progression after that takes you into a room with a door teleporter guarded by an archvile. The path into the middle is linear and involves a small puzzle. One you reach the middle you can finally clear out all those enemies that were taking free shots at you earlier, paybacks a bitch! This is your opportunity to climb to the higher reaches of the fortress for a different view of the map. Finally you reach your standard issue green pipe to leap into the final fight for the exit.

The final fight takes place in a large square room covered in lava, with you on a square island in the middle. There is a raised block in the very middle that you can use for cover. There's an archvile that randomly teleports to 4 corner pipes, 4 hellknights guarding pswitches in areas out in the lava, demons and lost souls. Each of the pswitches lowers a slab in the middle and releases 2 revenants. After tripping all 4 pswitches, the middle reveals your final pipe that takes you to outside to a marvelous super mario exit.

An enjoyable map, my favourite part was exploring the middle of the map and the final fight even though it was scripted, it was unique. My least favourite part was the crusher room, a fatal fall here seems harsh to me, I'd have thought a pain floor with a way back out would have been better.

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On 4/22/2018 at 12:19 PM, Scotty said:

(lots of neat, behind-the-scenes, author commentary

 

    I'm interested in this expanded remake.  If the timing works out, I'll even volunteer to playtest.

 

Recognized the music as coming from the SNES Mario Kart Rainbow Road.  The first and original though i like the N64 take more.

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MAP24: Bowser's Daddy Dungeon

 

Well there's a title that fills me with an unusual sense of dread.

 

This one comes with a fittingly rough start, offering up a super shotgun and a barrel of shells readily enough but positioning the player before a castle full of revenants and mancubi in elevated firing positions and also in the middle of a pincer of imps and arachnotrons; there's a little bit of scrambling for cover required before you can take stock of your situation and figure out wher you need to go and what your objectives are.  Like @tmorrow I wasn't a great fan of the crusher room, but the small puzzle involving teleporters and one-way passages in that western wing of the outer bailey was an enjoyable distraction from the somewhat toothy resistance offered by the denizens of the central keep; likewise, there's a sense of the authentically Super Mario about the platform gymnastics involved in the eastern tower.  The final, climactic encounter didn't much do it for me, but arena battles seldom do.

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MAP23 Down the Wrong Pipe

 

Pretty small, but another map to easily fool the player. Rough congested combat, then you get to the platforming area and it's pretty damn frantic. Watch out for all those teleporting monsters, kill that spiderdemon, and look out upon getting the yellow key cause the floor drops to a familiar star shape and I don't believe it's possible to escape from there. There's a juicy secret with an invulnerability (not on UV), and it is possible to use a P-switch to telefrag the spiderdemon. Upon returning, a troll exit that is easily available can easily screw a player up. Remember you have a yellow key and there's a yellow door to find.

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9 hours ago, Crusader No Regret said:

 

    I'm interested in this expanded remake.  If the timing works out, I'll even volunteer to playtest.

 

Recognized the music as coming from the SNES Mario Kart Rainbow Road.  The first and original though i like the N64 take more.

 

Maybe one day I'll get around to it, but I have way too many other projects to work on in the interim....

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MAP24 - “Bowser’s Daddy Dungeon” by Rottking

 

This was fairly tough but never felt truly unfair, there were a couple of cool mini puzzles to get the secrets. Visuals are okay on the whole with monster placement and progression are also well thought out. I didn't mind the crusher room to be honest, there are only a couple of monsters to annoy you. 

Not the greatest map of the set, but perfectly serviceable and playable and most of all fun.

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MAP20: Transformation Palace

100% kills, 1/3 secrets

 

I usually like maps that make a lot of use of moving pieces and floors (something more common in old-school maps that has sadly fallen by the wayside in modern mapping) but given the name I was a wee bit underwhelmed by what we see here, which is lots of stair raisers and that's about it. I do like the large vertical design and the spiral pushing the player ever around and upwards, that's nice and different. I too was surprised by the sudden upswing in monster density by the red key, and found that fight to be equal parts interesting (figuring out how to use the cyber to infight for you, escaping the revenants) and annoying (caco/PE swarm). I do think there's also a small bit too little ammo here, as even after using the cyber to infight I was pretty bone-dry after killing the AVs. This probably contributed to my dislike of the next section, which would've been annoying even with a full arsenal of rockets and plasma, but with limited resources it meant slowly chipping away one enemy at a time, which wasn't fun. The last ambush would've been okay except a lot of the enemies were stuck in the corners, and retreating back to fight three cybers with limited ammo (since the rest is left in the last room) isn't an option.

 

So yeah, not a bad concept but the gameplay needed a lot of reworking IMO.

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Voting for next month should be open. Be a responsible citizen and cast your vote!

+++ A.L.T.

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MAP21: Rainbow Road

100% kills, no map secrets

 

A pretty decent attempt at making a Rainbow Road map. I'd be interested in seeing someone try to make some sort of rail shooter or something (constantly being driven through the level thanks to moving floors?) but I think that'd take a heck of a lot longer than one month to make, and just knowing how many fake floor effects and such were needed for this map is impressive enough. The encounters here are all pretty decent, with maybe the exception of the final room, which felt a bit anti-climatic after getting to kill the two cybers harassing me throughout the map, not to mention I accidentally stepped on the exit pad before killing everything the first time.

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MAP22: Chocolate Starfish Islands

100% kills, no map secrets

 

I only see one chocolate starfish island, quite the misnomer...

 

So this one feels bright and cheerful and with a non-threateningly low monster count, but as soon as you touch the icy blue island you know you're in for some shit. The slippery bit here isn't too annoying, except that the Doom engine seems to feel that sliding effect floors should sometimes make you bounce backwards at warp speed if you hit a wall at the wrong angle, no matter how fast you're originally going. I actually liked the underground area a lot, as the demons make for a good opponent on the slippery floors, and you can use them to help protect you from that asshole revenant. And then the next island, oh god, why does the water slow you? Just annoying without really adding anything IMO. The final fight is hilarious but also confusing, I'm still not sure exactly what was supposed to happen as things would randomly teleport or sometimes appear on the columns or stay put without discernible rhyme or reason, and such RNG could also be deadly (if an AV got on the column it was pretty much game over).

 

It's fine as a one-off experiment, wouldn't want to play it again but also some interesting concepts.

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Posted (edited)

Map 25: "Bastille Bowser" by Breezeep

 

My favorite map in the set as far as layouts go. Breezeep is among the best at designing these flowing, interconnected layouts with angular shapes. The layout actually conforms to the project's size limit, but that isn't something I noticed at all until looking at the map in the editor, because the periphery of the bounding box isn't the border of the playspace itself, and there are also extensive scenic areas, so that is good. One minor flaw of the layout is that the berserk pack secret is awkward to grab early -- stuff can clump up near the bottom of the drop. 


The rocket launcher is the starting weapon, again good, but the monster composition (lots of scattering, fliers, and small hitboxes) is not the sort I find particularly satisfying with the rocket launcher. The thing limit shows itself as being detrimental in this case, as the clusters of low-tiers are less juicy for RL multi kills than they would have been otherwise. The elective berserk and (mostly elective) SSG are there to mix it up, but it would have been nice to have more cell ammo for the secret BFG (BFG + scattered stuff is pretty fun) or a plasma rifle too.

 

Pacifist on this map was reasonably fun. I think it's good that the map doesn't take too many artificial pains to prevent that. The hitscanners scattered around and the arachnotrons on the bridge put up enough resistance that it isn't a total joke, which imo is all that is truly necessary -- making the survival rate of an aggressive pacifist run (one that doesn't constantly backtrack for health) substantially lower than conventional play would be. (Assuming familiarity with the map in both cases.) I guess a good counter would be map 19 of this set. If not for the mancubus behind the red door, 19 would be the best and most well balanced pacifist map in the set, and a pacifist run would still be more lethal and challenging than a regular UV-max. But that manc is just way more of an obstacle than anything else in the map, and I decided there are better ways to spend my time. I think intentional pacifist thwarting is only necessary when the map would be ridiculous without it, as in a map that deploys most of its monsters through teleport closets, or when it's intended to be a challenge map.

 

 

 

Edited by rdwpa

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