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bonnie

(10/26 ACCEPTING NEW MAPS) Infernew, a Community Project (but only for a few days)

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7 hours ago, Scypek2 said:

My map is ready!

 

Uncanny Village

Most inspired by: Mount Erebus

Build time: Two days

Music: Sinister (Doom 1's D_E2M6)

Co-op Support: Yes (player starts + respawn-related failsafes)

DM Support: Player starts only

Demo: ...

Screenshots:

infernew-map2_1.pnginfernew-map2_2.png.58db543078058a915588d562e31d84ec.png

 

Description:

In addition to Mount Erebus, the level was also inspired by the pre-release version of Doom 2 MAP07, as well as AReyeP's Wolfendoom E5L3... but it's largely its own thing, while keeping the general inferno aesthetic. I think right now the level is maybe 50% required areas, 50% sidepaths? Also there's a couple of sequence breaks I left in on purpose.

 

The level contains 1 Arachnotron, 1 Archvile, 1 Pain Elemental, 2 Revenants, 7 Chaingunners, 2 Barons, 2 Hell Knights, 6 Cacodemons, 19 Lost Souls, 30 Shotgun guys, 24 Zombiemen, 13 Spectres, 18 Demons and 69 Imps.

 

...So.

 

The architecture is fine, fits the theme very well.  There are some really neat ideas like the "door" that opens up the berserk pack very early on.  Enemy selection and usage, per se, is fine.  

 

But I think maybe I shouldn't try to test any more of these maps, because a lot of them aren't very well balanced for a pistol start, at least not for a schlub like me.  I end up scraping for health, weapons, and/or ammo like I'm picking lint out of the corners of the couch cushions hoping to find a spare nickel or two.  Maybe that's what some people really like in a map, but it's not for me, the same way getting to take a few deep breaths while waiting for a lift apparently doesn't suit some other folks. :D  I have much more fun when the enemies and situations feel substantial, but I also have a decent weapon (whatever that means in a given context) and I don't feel like I have to ration every last shell and point of health.  I guess that probably shows in the balance of my own map.

 

Anyway, Scypek2, you made a fine looking Inferno-style map and if I came to it while I was playing through, I'd probably have no problems.  My only real point of confusion was the various imp huts near the start and what opens them; they seemed to be triggered the first time by taking the rocket launcher but it didn't seem to work again, and it also clearly didn't trigger all the doors, so I'm not sure.  But stuff being obscure and/or one-time-only is perfectly in theme for this project as long as it doesn't break the map, which this doesn't.  (I have a one-time-only secret in my own map, though it's just a single secret lift rather than a seemingly major feature of the area.)

 

Have a HNTR demo.  It's the second one.  My first time I died before ever finding the shotgun or berserk pack and it put me in a cranky mood.

 

 

uncannyvillagev1-jl.zip

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Well, it still says I'm mapping in the OP, but I've finished and posted my map. 

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@Aquila Chrysaetos

I do really like the map layout and how you progress through it but the weapon gimmicks and abundance of barons puts me off, so a more conventional version would be appreciated. The UV version but with more ammo available once you get out into the wings would be great. I don't mind fighting barons in general, but their high health and general low threat when wandering around means in low ammo situations I'd rather do anything else than waste time and ammo on them.

 

@jerrysheppy drx-Jerryr2FDA.zip

I played it again, and I like it a lot more. It wasn't really clear to me the first time that the spine area you reach after the keyswitch hallway is basically the hub for the map. With how the key switches are laid out it felt like they had a lot more importance than simply opening 1/3 of the exit each and the switches that open each of the key areas were all connected with a way back to it. Not being able to jump off those pillars or go back the to the key switches does a lot to make the path forward more obvious. The yellow key fight is also nicer when it's not broken into two chunks. I don't mind the slow auto-lifts in the red key area (I did die there to a caco, but that was more an issue with infinitely tall flying monsters than the lift) but I still don't like the giant one you first encounter. You don't seem to ever need to actually ride it unless you miss the plasma gun secret, but I still think a regular lift would be better there. I said before that the combats weren't exciting and while nothing was especially noteworthy* none of it was bad and this time round trying to push through the level quickly and not getting lost there was constant and enjoyable action. I don't think you should change the spectres in the fireblue maze to pinkies. I didn't mind a dark spectre maze, I just wish it was something less eyesearing than brightly lit fireblue against blackness.

 

* Except the double cyberdemons which I still don't like. At least it's not too hard to ignore them.

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Made a whole new map rather than trying to make my original one better. Sector work is 90% done, still need to play test extensively and do a detailing / alignment pass.

 

aic4ORI.png

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Darox said:

Sacrilege has been updated with a new map, demo & screenshots!

 

 

I rebalanced the three teleporter landings to make them more equal in terms of threats/ammo, reworked the yellow key door, went over all the rooms and polished the detailing/lighting, and did a bunch of other difficulty tweaks. Difficulties are now fully implemented and there's more health and ammo to go around.

Also included: More secrets, more imps, more blood.

 

Tell me what you like, what you hate, and I'd especially <3 your demos.

 

FDA of this version:

sacrilegev2FDAsarge945.7z

 

Thoughts:

  • Ammo is still very hit/miss. You basically have to rely on infighting to get through the start bit, which can be very unreliable at times (like what you see in my third attempt, the manc was basically doing nothing). I am all for low-ammo maps, but we need something to compliment it if we run out (berserk/chainsaw)
  • Despite that, I like having to take a risk to get the shotgun. Unlike last time, I didn't get blocked by the manc. I don't know if you have changed anything there, or if I am just getting better/more lucky
  • That was entirely too many revenants guarding the SSG, especially if you are starving for ammo and have left a bunch of other enemies alive as a result. Green armor is in a good place though.
  • Sorry for not finishing it, I just found it too difficult. Maybe I just suck.

--

 

16 hours ago, jerrysheppy said:

Went ahead and made some more tweaks based on @sarge945's and @Darox's feedback to hopefully mitigate some of the understandable points of frustration.

 

A couple of requests to make the testing and feedback process as pleasant and useful as possible:

 

  1. If you're finding the map to be a miserable experience (overall, not just one dumb ambush or w/e) then please feel free to stop playing right then and post to tell me why you weren't enjoying it, rather than spending 30 additional minutes being miserable.  
  2. Obviously, I enjoy watching demos of my maps (all else being equal).  But in terms of me actually fixing something like you getting lost, it's much more helpful to post something like "After I got the yellow key, I wasn't sure what to do; my thinking was to do X or Y but those weren't working" rather than making me try to figure it out from watching your demo.  

 

Here's what I changed in this version:

  Reveal hidden contents

1. Went ahead and put impassable midbar railings around the switch pylons so that people can't accidentally fall off them and miss seeing where I intended them to go next.

 

2. Made it so you can't visit the yellow key area at all before the yellow key is accessible, to avoid the player wasting time there or feeling like they have to check if something randomly lowered the key (again, before the map clearly directs them there anyway).

 

3. Made a clue much more visible after flipping the switch behind the yellow key door.

 

4.The second gauntlet of automatic lifts (the ones you use to progress onwards after taking the red key) has been changed from seven 64x64 platforms to three 128x128 platforms.  This will both reduce the potential number of platforms the player needs to wait for, and let them better avoid fire without falling off.

 

And here is a spoiler description of the clues that are intended to guide the player after flipping particular switches.  If you are interested in testing, please play for the first time without looking at these spoilers, then tell me afterwards if you missed/misinterpreted these clues, and how.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

(NB: All these "can't miss" features should now be (almost) literally impossible to miss following change #1 above.  Obviously the player can wander past them while refusing to pay attention or enter the newly opened area, but I'm not sure how to address that.  I guess the player could also be walking backwards so that they don't see the new area I opened up/changed right in their path, but again, that seems unreasonable to ask me as a mapper to deal with.)

 

1. After visiting the central switch room for the second time and flipping the second switch (linedef 2149), the player can't avoid passing by the newly opened area (sector 408) and seeing the teleporter it contains.  The teleporter takes the player to the area with the accessible yellow key immediately visible from the player's arrival point.

 

2. After passing through the yellow door and flipping the third switch (linedef 2144), an arrow appears (sector 479).  The player cannot miss passing by this on their way back out of the area.  The arrow points the player to the left/south, where, if they proceed a little ways, they will find that sector 291 has lowered.  This should be especially difficult to miss due to the angry Baron emerging from the opened area.

This is a place where I honestly fucked up.  I originally made the arrow "appear" using a set-brightness-to-255 option, but in practice it didn't actually show up well enough.  I should have caught this in solo testing--mea culpa!  The arrow now appears via a lower-and-change-texture trigger, which should make it much harder to miss.

EDIT:  And i actually fucked this up again by not actually setting the proper linedef type in the version I uploaded, apparently??  (linedef 651 is properly tagged, but needs to also have action 37) It will be fixed for the next draft.

 

3. After getting the red key, returning to the red door, and passing through to flip the final switch behind it (linedef 2150), sector 299 rises.  This should be impossible to avoid noticing as the player leaves the area, since the floor texture is changed to one that contrasts sharply with the rest of the area.  This clearly leads to a previously inaccessible teleporter, which teleports the player to a location facing the now-raised Sector 437, with the obvious invitation to jump to it and continue through the newly accessible area to the northeast.

 

I don't think anything else from that point onwards should give rise to "what the heck did this switch do" questions in the player's mind, until possibly...

 

4. Once the player has all three keys and is able to return to the three keyed-switch hallways that they encountered early in the map, the intention is that they'll then think to return to the prominent set of key-colored barriers that they saw at the very beginning of the map, and which have now been lowered by flipping the three switches, making the exit accessible.  Again, this is one of those things that I show to the player as clearly as possible: the player can't avoid walking up to and stepping on the SSG altar at the very beginning of the map, which means they should see the set of three barriers along with the "EXIT" sign and realize that lowering these barriers is going to be the primary "task" of the map.

 

 

I am certainly not claiming that anyone is particularly stupid for not seeing things exactly the way I intended them to be seen.  But rather than just being frustrated, I hope you'll give me feedback that helps me redesign things so that players perceive them correctly!

jl infernew r2.zip

 

Here's my FDA of this version:

jlv2FDAsarge945.7z

 

Thoughts:

  • The map is a LOT less confusing now, you have done a good job making it easier to figure out where to go. I didn't really get lost, except for a few small times.
    • The blocker preventing access back to the coloured switches area and the MIDVINE blocking the lava room are especially good additions
  • However, I did get VERY confused at the end, and eventually gave up. You can see it in the demo
  • The teleporter that takes us to the Yellow key is missing some textures, so the FWATER flat bleeds
    • I also found a MIDVINE texture that is non-blocking, it's made pretty obvious in the demo
  • I was tripping over Chaingun ammo, but only just had enough Shotgun ammo. I would replace some of the Chaingun ammo boxes with Shells.
  • Overall felt very balanced. While there were some traps, there was also plenty of health
    • I playeed reasonably well, and there were HEAPS of healthkits, I had to leave a whole bunch behind. Either I had a particularly good run, or there were too many health kits.
  • Overall a VAST improvement over the old version, keep at it and it will be a really fantastic map.
  • The big lift near the 3 switches is SLOW!!!!! Almost to the point of being frustrating. Could you make it a regular lift instead?

--

 

12 hours ago, Scypek2 said:

My map is ready!

 

Uncanny Village

Most inspired by: Mount Erebus

Build time: Two days

Music: Sinister (Doom 1's D_E2M6)

Co-op Support: Yes (player starts + respawn-related failsafes)

DM Support: Player starts only

Demo: ...

Screenshots:

infernew-map2_1.pnginfernew-map2_2.png.58db543078058a915588d562e31d84ec.png

 

Description:

In addition to Mount Erebus, the level was also inspired by the pre-release version of Doom 2 MAP07, as well as AReyeP's Wolfendoom E5L3... but it's largely its own thing, while keeping the general inferno aesthetic. I think right now the level is maybe 50% required areas, 50% sidepaths? Also there's a couple of sequence breaks I left in on purpose.

 

The level contains 1 Arachnotron, 1 Archvile, 1 Pain Elemental, 2 Revenants, 7 Chaingunners, 2 Barons, 2 Hell Knights, 6 Cacodemons, 19 Lost Souls, 30 Shotgun guys, 24 Zombiemen, 13 Spectres, 18 Demons and 69 Imps.

 

FDA of this version:

uncannyFDAsarge945.7z

 

Thoughts:

  • You may want to update your description to say that this map is in slot MAP21. I had to open it in GZDoom Builder to figure that out :P
  • The starting area fight feels really tedious for the following reasons:
    • Firstly, finding the shotgun is actually quite difficult. It's out of the way, and you could be thrust into a large fight with imps, skulls and demons with just a pistol if you're not careful.
    • The fight is frustrating because the only way to get the items (armor, ammo etc) behind many of the doors is to run into those rooms while the fight is on before the doors close. Since these items seems to be effectively required (the map/fight is balanced around them), this is a very risky design choice
    • I did not check if any of the items in those areas are score items. If so, it may be VERY difficult to 100% this map.
    • It may make more sense to call DOOR OPEN STAY on all of those doors as soon as we pick up the rocket launcher. This guarantees that we always have at least 1 weapon to use, and lets us gain access to the items we would have otherwise missed.
  • The entrance to the next area is actually quite hard to find, it's out of the way behind a small meaningless-looking door. Make it more obvious. I found it because there was nowhere left to go.
  • Has the makings of an interesting map, so keep at it!
  • I can grab the shells from the soulsphere ledge from below. Intentional? I also REALLY needed them, so if not intended, you may need to look at the amount of ammo on the map
  • The archvile fight SUCKS! Sure, we get a plasmagun, but being stuck in a small room with an enemy that can do upwards of 90 damage in 1 hit, with no cover, and no health, that's a paddling. I would instead teleport the archvile in outside after we pick up the plasma gun, but you can do what you want with it.
  • The health balance may or may not be off. I was pretty low most of the time. Maybe I just really suck.

 

--

 

If possible, I would like some more feedback on my map. Roast me fam! While I consider it mostly "final", there is likely more I can do for it, and there is still time before the deadline. Plus, I can record my own demos now so there's no need to beg for new runs after every iteration :)

 

Lastly, a reminder to everyone that my misaligned flats are available and are usable in your maps if you need them. I remember some people were having trouble with alignments.

 

Edited by sarge945

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15 hours ago, Darox said:

Sacrilege has been updated with a new map, demo & screenshots!

 

 

I rebalanced the three teleporter landings to make them more equal in terms of threats/ammo, reworked the yellow key door, went over all the rooms and polished the detailing/lighting, and did a bunch of other difficulty tweaks. Difficulties are now fully implemented and there's more health and ammo to go around.

Also included: More secrets, more imps, more blood.

 

Tell me what you like, what you hate, and I'd especially <3 your demos.

 

Did an FDA. A bit of sloppy damage tanking from me at the start, but gets the job done. Cool map. Favorite part is easily the outdoor section with the SSG/RL/etc. -- pretty messy and fun.

 

drx-sacrilegev2_rd_fda.zip

 

I promised AC a playthrough so I'll get to that at some point when I have time for what seems to be a longer map.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the feedback guys! This is only my second published map so criticism is extra valuable.

 

--

@jerrysheppy

Demos with deaths are still helpful! Unfortunately your demo doesn't seem to have been uploaded properly, it's <1kb and only lasts for a second.

The difficulty with the starts is fair. There's only a couple enemies removed from those spots on lower difficulties and you effectively start surrounded so a misstep can quickly lead to getting pinned and eaten. Removing a couple more enemies from those spots for HMP/HNTR (and/or moving the chainguns so that you pick them up immediately) seems like a good idea. It's tough to balance different difficulties so I appreciate your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of the map :)

 

@sarge945

It's unfortunate how that demo worked out. I did try to balance ammo so that you wouldn't really have to work for any infighting or ever use your fists. I think those balances are pretty close to being good (the second/third room you go to you don't have your 50 extra starting bullets but can use the shells) but I didn't properly account for the extra two cacodemons who can spawn in when you return to the central room, so a couple more shells seems like the plan. Playing on an easier difficulty is also totally fine, ammo is increased and that revenant trap is much kinder.

 

@Aquila Chrysaetos

The E/W/S landings are given the same amount of ammo and roughly the same total monster health, so it's more a question of which monster set you find easiest to deal with. Personally I find the layout of the southern landing with the yellow door to be the toughest. I'm not too worried about the difficulty of the red key area or picking off the outside revenants. It's possible to run away from most of the encounters and the only part that is seriously trying to kill you is the revenant trap. It's balanced to be reasonable to stand and fight everything, but I'm not really trying to stop people from using those kinds of tactics if they really want to. Thanks for pointing out that MIDSPACE issue, I hadn't seen that.

 

@rdwpa

That was a pretty chaotic and entertaining demo, I liked how you ran through things. That revenant spawn was unfortunate though. A revenant appears on each of the staircases and is supposed to walk into the center in a pincer, but they can't hear you until the initial four are released. The edge of the sound box on those stairways is pretty close to their teleport, so if you run out of the room without shooting it gets ugly. I should have just had them alerted earlier in the map and jump in instantly.

 

--

0/6 secrets across the board though :o

Edited by Darox

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4 minutes ago, Darox said:

0/6 secrets across the board though :o

 

Those secrets are either really awesome, or really terrible :P

 

I purposely try to avoid secrets in my demos, since I am playing the "worst case" for someone who doesn't find the secrets, unless a secret is super obvious. It's better for testing balance IMO because you can't really balance around needing secrets

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I thought at least 3 of them were pretty well signposted, though I can understand not stopping to examine the walls while making a FDA.

 

4 minutes ago, sarge945 said:

I purposely try to avoid secrets in my demos, since I am playing the "worst case" for someone who doesn't find the secrets, unless a secret is super obvious. It's better for testing balance IMO because you can't really balance around needing secrets

That's how I did my example demo as well. It shows that such a playthrough is possible and it doesn't give them away.

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3 hours ago, sarge945 said:

The teleporter that takes us to the Yellow key is missing some textures, so the FWATER flat bleeds

I interpreted that as being like a little shout out to Bloodfalls, which had the same thing, that's why I made some degree of note of it in my FDA, but didn't say anything on it in my review.

About Darox's map, I "found" two secrets, I think, but I never got to them, but I still managed 100% kills on the map. I didn't find it terribly difficult once I knew what to do. I'll get secrets if I find them, it's just a matter of finding them.

 

And you don't have to rush to get to my map, rdwpa, I appreciate it, though.

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Posted (edited)

@sarge945, I looked at your updated map.

Wrong link removed.

PRBoom+ 2.5.1.5, complevel 2, skill 4

 

It's a pretty fun little romp. The Doom 2 monsters don't detract from the Doom 1 feel, and the SSG is a welcome addition.

The berserk being in an early, easy secret was very much appreciated.

I'm ambivalent toward the chaingun/blue skull room with all the souls in it.

the yellow skull room was very clearly a trap, but the way you executed the trap was neat, I didn't expect that.

There were a few misaligned or strangely aligned textures that I tried to make noticeable in the demo.

The area behind the yellow door opening up like that was really cool, and the vile teleporting into the courtyard was definitely unexpected, especially since I was in there with him.

While I was waiting at the yellow door, I realized that it would probably be possible for monsters to open the other side because the far side's automap color was slightly brighter yellow than the locked side, which was quickly confirmed when a baron did indeed open that door. I assume that's intentional so door camping is more difficult, but it might be easier to make the doors stay open.

The ending fight was a little lacklustre for my taste, but it's appropriately E3, so I won't hold that against you.

 

TL;DR: Fun little map with some neat traps. The only thing I don't like is the key doors should stay open.

Edited by Aquila Chrysaetos : Link removed.

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9 hours ago, NaZa said:

Well, it still says I'm mapping in the OP, but I've finished and posted my map. 

Bonnie did make a comment a couple days ago about being busy for a few days, so I'm sure she/he (?) will get that fixed soon.

 

9 hours ago, jerrysheppy said:

because a lot of them aren't very well balanced for a pistol start

Bonnie also said the maps should be balanced for continuous play but beatable from pistol start, so your finding is entirely consistent. And that's also consistent with id's approach, where being forced to pistol start after dying was effectively a punishment for dying (to compensate for removing the "lives" that were present in Wolfenstein).

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How exactly does one balance for pistol start and continuous play? The designed experience is one or the other, usually the latter, since the only way to know in what condition the player will show up is pistol start. Seems like the long and short of balancing for both is put enough supplies and don't put too many supplies. But in a full megawad, this is gonna balloon into an invincible Doomguy sooner than later, because Mapper 21 puts enough ammo for pistol start, but after 20 maps, player has accumulated all the weapons, a backpack and plenty of ammo. This also often makes secrets in later levels much less valuable, because, for example, you've had a BFG for 8 maps already. The nature of Doom does not allow you as the mapper to guarantee that the player will exit the level in close to the same condition he started it in. And even if it did, you can lose ammo and health but not weapons, so the maps would still have to be compiled in an order that you can't carry over weapons to a map that doesn't contain them. And even so, most mappers are not just going to give you all the weapons right away a la Map 30, so even coming into a map with only (some of) the weapons you are going to get anyway will most likely alter the experience significantly. It kinda works in Doom's short episodes, but I think it's very telling that none of the original M8s contains its episode's best weapon.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

@sarge945, I looked at your updated map.

Fortress-of-Despair-AC

PRBoom+ 2.5.1.5, complevel 2, skill 4

 

It's a pretty fun little romp. The Doom 2 monsters don't detract from the Doom 1 feel, and the SSG is a welcome addition.

The berserk being in an early, easy secret was very much appreciated.

I'm ambivalent toward the chaingun/blue skull room with all the souls in it.

 

Thanks! Yeah originally the SSG was in a secret and people complained that killing the tougher monsters was a chore, so I added it in to a regular area.

 

How would you improve the blue key area?

 

3 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

the yellow skull room was very clearly a trap, but the way you executed the trap was neat, I didn't expect that.

There were a few misaligned or strangely aligned textures that I tried to make noticeable in the demo.

 

Interesting. What were you expecting, and how did it subvert your expectations? :P Good to know I can still make a trap to surprise players, when Doom is a game/series full of traps

 

3 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

There were a few misaligned or strangely aligned textures that I tried to make noticeable in the demo.

 

I will have a look at this. Thanks for taking the time!

 

EDIT: Okay apparently your link goes to a pets thread?

 

3 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

The area behind the yellow door opening up like that was really cool, and the vile teleporting into the courtyard was definitely unexpected, especially since I was in there with him.

 

I was going to modify it to make him spawn in at the same time as the barons (but not with them), rather than slightly after.

 

I didn't even realise that. I just used Doom Builders door tool and forgot to change the other sides. Can you describe in more details what you mean by "the doors should stay open". I don't quite understand. Also, wouldn't that sort of ruin the Archvile fight, as it would become the Mancubus/Archvile/Baron fight?

 

3 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

The ending fight was a little lacklustre for my taste, but it's appropriately E3, so I won't hold that against you.

 

Yeah I didn't look at E3 for that, I just wanted to give the player a cool down after the large previous battle. You will notice after every large battle in this wad I throw some easy guys at you for a rest.

 

3 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

TL;DR: Fun little map with some neat traps. The only thing I don't like is the key doors should stay open.

 

Glad you enjoyed it :)

Edited by sarge945

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Fewer souls in the blue skull would improve it immensely, maybe replace them with a few imps to compliment the ones in the cage. Souls are just annoyingly durable, so it was a little grindy to kill them all with the chaingun.

 

You should be able to tag the locked doors "D1 (Blue/Yellow/Red) Door Open Stay" (should be action 32 (blue), 33 (red), and 34 (yellow)) to keep them open. I would apply the same special to the other side (I always do that, even if the player isn't supposed to be on that side with the door closed) so the monsters don't "open" the already open door and cause it to close (thus breaking the door).

 

In the yellow skull room, you saw me look around the room, I was expecting the walls to open with a bunch of projectile throwers and to use the columns as cover, not the columns to lower, revealing monsters there.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

Fewer souls in the blue skull would improve it immensely, maybe replace them with a few imps to compliment the ones in the cage. Souls are just annoyingly durable, so it was a little grindy to kill them all with the chaingun.

 

Sounds good, I think that makes sense.

 

3 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

You should be able to tag the locked doors "D1 (Blue/Yellow/Red) Door Open Stay" (should be action 32 (blue), 33 (red), and 34 (yellow)) to keep them open. I would apply the same special to the other side (I always do that, even if the player isn't supposed to be on that side with the door closed) so the monsters don't "open" the already open door and cause it to close (thus breaking the door).

 

I understand the technicalities of how to do it, I was wondering what your gameplay reasoning was

 

3 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

In the yellow skull room, you saw me look around the room, I was expecting the walls to open with a bunch of projectile throwers and to use the columns as cover, not the columns to lower, revealing monsters there.

 

I would see you look around the room if your demo didn't link to an adorable animal thread :P

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2 minutes ago, sarge945 said:

I would see you look around the room if your demo didn't link to an adorable animal thread :P

Whups.

Fixed. I thought I'd copied the correct link, but I guess not.

 

I hate doors. They're slow and they keep me from killing monsters, so I like doors that are fast and/or stay open so I can spend as little time as possible waiting on doors and lifts and the like. That's my reasoning. They slow the gameplay.

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1 minute ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

Whups.

Fixed. I thought I'd copied the correct link, but I guess not.

 

I hate doors. They're slow and they keep me from killing monsters, so I like doors that are fast and/or stay open so I can spend as little time as possible waiting on doors and lifts and the like. That's my reasoning. They slow the gameplay.

Thanks, ill watch the updated link.

 

I'm not sure I feel the same way about doors, but having the arch vile be able to enter the baron arena might add some interesting gameplay elements, so I will play around with keeping the Yellow and Red doors open. The blue door is off the table though, as it being closed helps to keep you in the Hell Knight arena.

 

Also, you can easily add a link to a file in your post by clicking the + button next to the attachment, which will put the link right where your cursor is.

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An update on the status of my map.

 

  • I had to change a few sectors, so the overall map looks a tiny bit different from what I posted, but the general layout and flow are the same.
  • All the switches, doors, and triggers in my map now work as expected and the switches all visually activate.
    • That was an interesting issue with about half of the switches I had on 1-sided linedefs would work, but not visually activate.
  • I have almost all of the monsters, ammo, and armor placed for the different difficulty levels.
    • I still have to play through them to make sure they're maxable.
      • Hopefully, I can actually finish my own map on UV.
  • I'm about a quarter done with aligning textures and making sure that I don't have the wrong texture somewhere.
  • Visplane Explorer suggests I shouldn't have any problems (although one area is close to drawseg limit), but I need to run through the map with Chocorenderlimits and really try to make it mad at me to confirm that the map is indeed fully vanilla compatible.

 

The bottom line is, I think I'm still on track to be able to post the finished first version of the map by Sunday.

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37 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

How exactly does one balance for pistol start and continuous play? The designed experience is one or the other, usually the latter, since the only way to know in what condition the player will show up is pistol start. Seems like the long and short of balancing for both is put enough supplies and don't put too many supplies. But in a full megawad, this is gonna balloon into an invincible Doomguy sooner than later, because Mapper 21 puts enough ammo for pistol start, but after 20 maps, player has accumulated all the weapons, a backpack and plenty of ammo. This also often makes secrets in later levels much less valuable, because, for example, you've had a BFG for 8 maps already. The nature of Doom does not allow you as the mapper to guarantee that the player will exit the level in close to the same condition he started it in. And even if it did, you can lose ammo and health but not weapons, so the maps would still have to be compiled in an order that you can't carry over weapons to a map that doesn't contain them. And even so, most mappers are not just going to give you all the weapons right away a la Map 30, so even coming into a map with only (some of) the weapons you are going to get anyway will most likely alter the experience significantly. It kinda works in Doom's short episodes, but I think it's very telling that none of the original M8s contains its episode's best weapon.

You're right, it's difficult to balance a map for both pistol start and continuous play.

 

First, you have to make your map beatable from a pistol start. You don't have to make it easy to beat from a pistol start, but you have to make it beatable. That means that you need to provide players the means to get what they need in order to make it through the level. Otherwise, you're basically condemning a player that dies to never being able to finish the megawad without cheating. That being said, you don't have to give them everything right away, and you can force them into ammo starvation circumstances that they wouldn't have had they played through without dying. Look at E3M8, if you pistol start, you get a rocket laucher, 30-something rockets (at most), a plasma rifle, and some cells. This makes it difficult, but not impossible, to defeat the SMM and the other monsters in the level. If you eneter armed to the teeth, it's trivial, but if not, you can still win.

 

Second, you can't assume what a player will have upon starting a particular map. Consider these two scenarios preceding Map 22:

A: The player found the megasphere in the secret after the final battle in Map 17. The player found the backpack in the secret in Map 18. The player found the BFG in the secret in Map 19. The player found the ammo cache in the secret in Map 20. The player found the secret switch that activated a crusher that killed the two barons in the toxic slime pit in Map 21.

B: The player did not find the megasphere, backpack, BFG, or ammo cache secrets, and missed the secret switch. Then, the player had trouble in the final battle of Map 17 and had trouble with archvile and the two barons in the toxic pit in Map 21 and used a lot of ammo.

 

Now, consider how the player would enter Map 22 given these scenarios.

A: The player is armed to the teeth, with at least 75% of the maximum ammo that can be carried, and has very good levels of health and armor.

B: The player has fewer weapons and much less ammo and with low levels of health and armor.

 

If you balance Map 22 for Scenario A, you condemn players in Scenario B (and possibly pistol starters, which is where Scenario B would end up) to a difficult, if not impossible, experience. However, if you balance Map 22 for Scenario B, then, for Scenario A players, you end up with "nigh-invincible Doomguy" which stunts the challenge.

 

Since there's no way (in Vanilla) to set up encounters to occur differently depending on your situation, I think the solution is to balance for a difficult pistol start experience, with the difficulty partially determined by where in the mapset your map will be slated to be. True, you can't know that ahead of time for a project like this, but you can de facto imply that your map should be earlier or later by the difficulty you set.

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Posted (edited)

@Aquila Chrysaetos I have updated my map based on your feedback. I would appreciate you giving it another play. Congrats, you got your beloved "Door open stay" doors, but there's also a twist :P

 

@Anyone else I would appreciate some feedback on the map if possible.

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As for the pistol start thing, the way Doom 2 itself works is that every map is basically self-contained. The way they stop the player constantly getting BFGs is by not making every map require a BFG. The reason we might be having so much trouble is because we might be having a lot of really hard maps.

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@sarge945

FoD-11-AC

The filename should be that, if its longer, it's not the right demo.

It doesn't go to the thread of adorable this time. Unless you want it to.

 

Much better with the blue skull room. More interesting.

I liked what you did with the yellow door room, too, that was very nice.

And I even got my stay open doors, but that twist was really good.

Solid map. No gripes.

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How would you feel if I dropped a mostly completed map from a now cancelled project that just needs rebalancing and some touch ups here? It was for a project that some to make an episode of Pandemonium style levels that disipated, and I reworked it for Doom II for a project I never pursued. I have no time to finish it so someone else would need to.

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2 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

@sarge945

FoD-11-AC

The filename should be that, if its longer, it's not the right demo.

It doesn't go to the thread of adorable this time. Unless you want it to.

 

Much better with the blue skull room. More interesting.

I liked what you did with the yellow door room, too, that was very nice.

And I even got my stay open doors, but that twist was really good.

Solid map. No gripes.

 

Cool! I have added your demo to the archive.

 

I laughed when I saw you grab the red key, run away, then stop suddenly when you realised the door was closed.

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I was afraid the vile would teleport in and I'd have to hide behind those tiny tracks while the barons and fatsos were shooting at me like I might see in a Ribbiks map.

Which would've been an insanely cool encounter, but would also probably make a lot of people mad because of its difficulty.

Glad I gave you a laugh, though.

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@sarge945 @Darox Thank you for giving my map another chance and for your continued feedback.  I'm happy it seems to be improving.  I'm going to let the current version simmer for a few more days before I release another update (in particular, I hope bonnie will come back and be able to tell me what they think).

 

I will note that the missing upper texture on the water flat is intended. Aquila was correct in that it's inspired by Doom II MAP25; obviously not an Inferno map per se, but that particular effect is something that left a lasting effect on me as one of the iconic examples of how id hell Just Doesn't Make Sense, so I wanted to include it. :)

 

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On the whole pistol start balance conversation, my own personal philosophy is to make sure the player has enough, no matter what.  Doom monsters are fun to fight for many reasons that don't involve needing to start a spreadsheet on your second monitor to make sure you have enough ammo to burn through all the HP that are present in a level.  They're fun because of their attack patterns, the positioning of combat, and the time it takes to defeat them (during which more monsters, of course, are closing into position).  Figure that all out, set up all your cool shit, then give the player enough basic resources---stuff like shells, regular health pickups, green armor-- to take them on without it being frustrating (plus, of course, whatever more advanced pickups you intend).  

 

If the player came into your map with 200/200 and a plasma gun with 300 cells, so what?  You can't control that.  Hopefully your encounters will still be interesting on their own merits.  They should be.

 

Here's an example from how I've designed my own map.  Obviously I am still tuning the exact details in response to feedback, but note the general philosophy:

 

The player, almost before they need to kill any enemies in the map, is able to get the super shotgun and a box of shells.  Right near the start.  Boom.  Now I know that, no matter what, they have a weapon that is serviceable against literally any enemy in the game given enough ammo (...except an Icon of Sin, I guess).  As far as the ammo itself goes, they don't have an embarrassment of riches, but it will hopefully be a while before they need to be standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign asking passersby to spare a few shotgun shells.

 

If they already had an SSG and/or a bunch of shells, who cares?  Either way, now I know they have it and can place monsters appropriately.  (or, to look at it the other way around, I considered what enemies I might be putting them up against in my map before they got any other heavy weapons-- stuff like Barons, Cacodemons, etc.-- and decided they should have a super shotgun).

 

A little further on I hook them up with a berserk pack and some green armor.  Now they're set.  They're not living the high life or anything if they've pistol started, but neither will they (assuming the encounters ahead are properly balanced) end up dodging around with fourteen pistol bullets and a non-berserk fist trying to get Cacodemons and Lost Souls to infight so that they can progress a little further into the level and hope that adequate supplies will start to appear.  They're fine.  They're set.

 

Again, all these basic supplies are gratis.  I don't make the player have advanced foreknowledge or find secrets for these.  They will need a bit more effort to find later heavy weapons (the first plasma gun is secret, the second is nonsecret but out of the way, and the only BFG is secret.  Ditto for soul spheres) but the player has a certain baseline quality of life now, which means that I can focus on tweaking the difficulty, if needed, by giving them juicy monsters to fight.

 

That's my philosophy.

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9 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

I was afraid the vile would teleport in and I'd have to hide behind those tiny tracks while the barons and fatsos were shooting at me like I might see in a Ribbiks map.

Which would've been an insanely cool encounter, but would also probably make a lot of people mad because of its difficulty.

Glad I gave you a laugh, though.

I'm evil, but I'm not THAT evil

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