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My First Doom map: Hell's Cathedral (Updated!)

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I have always had my eyes on mapping for Doom, and recently I finally decided to give it a shot. This is the fruit of my labor: Hell's Cathedral.
This was originally going to be a small mapset similar to the WAD Disjunction in that it featured a few maps of varying theme. I did this as I figured working with different themes would give me opportunity to get good at mapping. However, disaster struck not too long into development in map 2, when over-ambition (attempting to work with new textures and flats and such) caused my map to become unplayable in Prboom, I sent it off to my friend for him to check it out and he found a lot of errors that could potentially be hard to fix, and in fact my friend noted that the map boiled down to boring boxes and hallways. I took a good step back, and realized he was right. In light of this, I decided to scrap the project, release the map that did get finished out to the public, and re-evaluate my next projects.

But enough backstory, here's the map!




And some screenshots!



The map is built to run in Prboom (specifically Complevel 9), meaning you can run it in practically whatever source port you want so long as it's not below Prboom.
Credits for added midi and skybox provided in the zip file above.
I hope you enjoy, and I am accepting any constructive criticism and mapping advice you have.  :D
The map is built for UV Difficulty, and you probably wont see much change if you lower the difficulty passed the first half of the map



I have addressed some of the issues that you people stated, such as the rocket shortage and the bugged start teleport. Hopefully that second one is fixed now. Thanks for all the feedback!



Edited by Chloroxite

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First off, your link does not actually take you to the link; it takes you right back to this page. So I had to copy and paste the text rather than actually follow the link.


I used every last rocket in the revenant room. My last one killed the last revenant, or it would have been pistol. Perhaps a few more rockets in there. It was a shame to net zero from that room. Actually, given the quasi-slaughter feel of the map, I would not expect ammo to be an issue, but for me there was a general shortage of rockets and a bit of a shell shortage even by the end


the tetra-vile goes from "how do I even survive this?" to boring grind pretty quickly.


Arch-vile right behind a narrow door is not really a factor.


I like the use of steptop with the lava.

I like the look of the "porch" when you first go outside

I don't think the marble floor and the rock floor look good at the same height right next to one another.

One of the blue skull textures is misaligned.


The outdoor area was rather Scythey, but a little bit bland visually. Still, I rather enjoyed it. Perhaps a nitpick would be the number of distant commandos.


Odd ending.


Overall, a little easy but pretty enjoyable. It could use some visual detailing, especially once you get outside, but there are some nice touches here and there.

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So here's my review:


+ Fantastic use of textures. I love the detail


- You die within 5-20 seconds once you use the first teleporter... seriously, why hell knights, a CYBERDEMON AND revenants so close to the spawn? This map is brutally harsh and is not well made in the difficulty department.


- Missing the blue skull key means you're trapped in a room with just a super shotgun with 4 arch viles... Good design!



If you make a wad where ITYTD is still too harsh then I think you REALLY need to reduce the difficulty. I'm sorry but I really can't rate much higher than a 4/10.

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@DynamiteKaitorn, I don't think you're meant to be able to get the blue key right at the start. You teleport up there later. The pillar probably needs to be a little bit higher/wider.


And this map is not at all harsh by today's standards.

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I would say this is a pretty good looking first map, and the hellish feeling of the whole map is pretty good. However, it seems you didn't put in the Red Skull area as much time as other places. Here are some of my suggestions:


- That teleporter at the beginning in the conveyor room is very likely to be not working properly... Yeah, about 1/2 of the time;


- It very weird that you put the weapons this way. You need to go outside to get the Chaingun and Shotgun. I would suggest putting at least the Chaingun at the beginning. Other than this, I guess having more thought in resource balance would be better;


- The 4 Arch-viles room is sort of a tedium rather than actual difficulty because Super Shotgun is not very good against enemies on a platform, and the player is not very likely to have enough rockets for those;


- Please don't use those doors which are closing after just a couple seconds;


- Quite some monsters are stuck on the platforms;


- (Use Hell Knights instead of Barons).


UV Max in 11:47


Didn't optimize at all, and I went around to get the Armor because I don't want to do things again.

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The enemies being close to spawn was meant to push the player into a "SHIT RUN" state. It caused more problems though that I am not sure how to solve while retaining that feeling of "fuck I need to run"


As far as ammo goes, I kept trying to add more ammo but it never seems to be enough :/


And yeah I will admit the archviles definitely are a bit grindy, but I wasn't sure how to change that to make it better.


Regardless I am glad you did enjoy it, and I appreciate the feedback!

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Hm.. The teleporter fails in the conveyor room?

Odd... In my testing that never happened, neither in Prboom nor in GZDoom

Will look into it, if anything, to figure out what's going wrong for future reference.


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^ If I am making the map, I would:


- Have the Super Shotgun at the Mancubi platform at the beginning;

- Have a Plasma Rifle and a Cell Pack in the 4 Arch-viles room;

- Since there are quite some long range fights in the map, increasing the amount of rockets and reduce the amount of shells would make the map more fun to play.


Forgot to say, it seems my ammo is doing fine in the demo because I route that a little bit, but I was forced to fight a lot of Revs with the Chaingun, which isn't really fun.


Did you run to the teleporter? I failed so many time so I have to make a save after that thing.

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I mean I usually did just to speed it up in testing. I am working on a map right now but I will definitely take a look at that as I said.


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I fixed your link.



SSG room is annoying. Plinking away at the viles is too slow because they're not used in any meaningful way except to make you hide.

Rocket room needs something else done with it. It's too easy to settle into a corner and kill the pinkies with the SSG after killing one or two revenants with the launcher.

I had no problem with the beginning room, frankly.

The outside area is too easy to deal with by camping at the doors.

The doors that closed after one second were incredibly irritating.

The detail Kaitorn mentioned? Never saw it, but that's a back burner problem, so don't rush to fix that one.


Since you beat me to the punch, allow me to offer a suggestion for the vile room.

Take a look at Ribbiks' Stardate 20X7 MAP02. There's a specific room that uses viles as area denial. I think the room would benefit from that sort of structure, perhaps with only two viles instead of four.


Now, I didn't notice any ammunition problem. I had enough to do the job, so I'm not seeing where the others are coming from on that.

The teleporter didn't fail for me (I used ZDoom 2.8.1, Boom (Strict) compatability).

I don't mind the barons, frankly.

A good effort was made, and don't listen to the "it's not pretty enough," because that should take a backseat to the gameplay, which needs a couple tweaks here and there. I, personally, would prefer the fights be more claustrophobic, the rooms a little smaller, and my movement constricted somewhat, but that's just me.

I must also note it didn't seem very slaughter-ish to me. Is that good or bad? No idea. I don't know if that's what you wanted or not.


And @DynamiteKaitorn, play some Ribbiks maps, like Sunlust or Stardate. That first room is no problem. Or, alternatively, play Hydra by CarboxylicAcids. It's ridiculous to say "It's too hard for me on ITYTD, so you need to reduce the difficulty."


@Chloroxite, you've got potential, I want to see you keep mapping, because while I didn't enjoy myself very much, the honest effort was put forth, which is damn good.

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31 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

The teleporter didn't fail for me (I used ZDoom 2.8.1, Boom (Strict) compatability).

I tried on GZDoom 3.2.0 or whatever version, it doesn't fail a single time. Therefore, I would say probably (G)ZDoom has different algorithms to trigger these linedefs. If you try PrBoom+, it does fail quite frequently.

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Just now, GarrettChan said:

If you try PrBoom+, it does fail quite frequently.

If that's the case, then the conveyor/scrolling floor could be too fast. I must admit this came to mind first time I saw it in ZDoom, but it worked like a charm.

I suggest shortening the line that makes the floor scroll and shortening the sector so the floor doesn't scroll too quickly, possibly causing the player to zip over the line without triggering it, which is a known problem in vanilla and Boom format maps.

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Well in any case, thanks for all the feedback. I am honestly happy just to have this thing get noticed, so to receive relatively positive feedback for this being my first map has really made me happy, and excited to try and make more maps in the future. Will look into the issues soon enough, and release an updated version.

Another question though: What was with the link? I noticed it was doing that too but didn't know what was causing it.

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Just gave the map a try, I think it was generally fine, minus the SSG room for the same reasons Garret and Aquila told before. The conveyor part didn't work the first time, but did later. The idea of running away from the spot you teleport should be ok, I did not experience any bad RNG (e.g. the cyberdemon shooting immediately after teleporting there would suck), so I'm not sure at what point is that setup fairly consistent. I also didn't experience rocket starvation, that would be because I found the SSG first, might as well add more in the RL room in case a player didn't go for the SSG first, or else exchange both weapon placements and replace at least two of the viles with arachnotrons or chaingunners, something there could be redone. 


The rest was fine, I guess, big open areas with many snipers don't really appeal to me, this is a personal taste though. Anyway, keep mapping!


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Oh and one last thing, the reason the ending is so odd is because, well, I wanted the map to be UV maxible. If I had had it teleport you back to the spawn room on the other end, there would have been four zombies left you could never get to. 

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Highlight the current link in your post. Click the link icon in the editor ribbon. Put anything you want where it says "link text" ("Grab the wad" or "download here" or the actual URL, whatever) and put https://www.dropbox.com/s/hbhhueuwy5ba6xy/HC.zip?dl=1 where it says "URL." 


Currently you evidently have the proper URL as the "link text" but the link itself is just the topic.


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Pretty fun map. I played it in GLBoom+. I had no issues with ammo and found the SSG after the RL.

The room with the 4-archviles was a bit daunting but the bars open after a duration of time. My fun strat for this room was to cautiously make my way to the door and take cover by one of the pillars on the elevated floor, exposing myself to revenant rockets and trying to lure them into melee range. Room played out well for me after several attempts and had to leave the archviles alive until the end of the map. Plasma rifle might be more fun or fair here than the SSG.

Outdoors after the blue key was fun. The revenants were kind enough to use heat-seeking missiles frequently, causing infighting. I saved a lot of rocket ammo and primarily used the CG and SSG for this encounter.

The rest of the map is kind of a blur, not too memorable. The map feels a bit void of monsters, but the ammo count is fair for the amount of monsters in the map. It could pose ammo/fun problems for players if they don't pick up the SSG. I think adding more height variety in the rooms leading to the red key could help with visual detail. The high point of the map is the beginning and then it sort of stagnates after the fight outside the temple. Overall, not a bad map. It's quite decent.

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I will admit that I am not that great at designing indoor areas. Outdoor areas seem to be a little bit easier for me to do, but I definitely still have a ways to go before I can map well. Anywho, I'm glad you enjoyed the map!

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