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yourlocalchef

Ataraxia

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Hello all,

So I've spent the last few weeks here becoming familiar with both doombuilder and slade, making a few maps and throwing them away. Finally stuck to one map and made a few custom textures that rendered well in the source ports. By a few in this map I mean two flats. That being said I had a few wall textures that would render in doombuilder but not in the source port itself. I exchanged those textures with default walls. I need to move onto the next thing with the programs and work on improvement.

 

Tested in GZDoom, free look required, no jump, no crouch, no difficulties, doom/doom2 format, its a MAP01 replacement. Issues include textures probably being off in some places.

 

Its a mid-sized map. At some points I almost gave up due to the extent of the map. Let me know what you guys think. I hope I've included all the necessary information and uploaded this zip correctly.

 

EDIT: I've fixed as many alignments as I could find and included @wintertowns MIDI track. I have increased enemy counts quite substantially and included teleported encounters. Tried to shy away from the marble texture in certain areas however that texture is somewhat the feel I am going for throughout Ataraxia. Balancing should be coherent with enemy additions. This zip file does include an unfinished MAP02 so you should probably quit after you play the map.

 

EDIT 1.2: So, MAP02 is up and running. I didn't test this with a pistol start but it has all the pickups that could be had for one--most likely in the wrong order and placements. Balancing should be a little on the run and gun style for this one. I did all that I could to improve on what was lacking in MAP01 in terms of static battles. I definitely feel like I'm improving but as I have only made two maps from first line to balance-tweaking I know there's much room for improvement. I have intentions for a more puzzle oriented MAP03 with more subway tunnel/undercity feel to it. I went ahead and changed the name of the post considering it isn't JUST a first map anymore. Thanks for reading and go check out the map, all critique and suggestions are welcome and encouraged, no one got good because they were told they were good from the start.

 

Screenshot_Doom_20181230_105448.png

Screenshot_Doom_20181230_105437.png

Screenshot_Doom_20181230_105318.png

Screenshot_Doom_20181230_105227.png

 

 

 

 

ataraxiatemple 1.2.zip

Edited by yourlocalchef : update/fixes

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Hey there, decided to give your map a shot! First off, I'd like to congratulate you on your first release, it can be daunting putting your personal projects out there for the (doom)world to see. Next, I am aware you tested this on GZDoom, but I'm curious about the format you made this map on. The wad refused to run on PRBoom+, but I didn't see any features in this map specific to GZDoom. Alright now that the prerequisite is out of the way, I'm going to start with the visuals. The map looks pretty good for an early attempt. there are quite a few mis-alignments particularly in areas with raised floors, I recommend using the command ctrl-a to auto align textures that are unaligned (assuming you are using GZDoom Builder and Windows). Other than that the visuals are pretty interesting, especially early on the geometry is a bit peculiar, which definitely isn't a bad thing. It's obvious you are a new mapper, but I feel like you have a unique style and that gave the map a lot of personality. The marble texture became a bit redundant however. Now, let's talk gameplay! I felt there were a lot of static battles in this map. What I mean is that you walk into a room, there's a bunch of monsters, and you clear them out. None of the fights felt dynamic or particularly interesting. Perhaps have walls open up, or monsters teleport in. the worst offender is the mancubus room about halfway through the map where you come up through a raising platform and fight a single mancubus on a sort of pedestal from which he cannot move, a truly sad story, had to put him out of his misery. The poor guy had no backup and was easy pickings for doomguy. On that note, the map wasn't very difficult. Of course, I was not expecting anything too hard, but the visuals do not support this initial belief. A good example of what I mean is that huge staircase about a third through the map. This staircase is absolutely massive, however it is populated by a relatively small sprinkling of low-tier enemies, along with a few cacodemons and a mancubus or two. The structure is grand, but the fight is mediocre, the player reaches the bottom and is greeted by a singular Revenant. Flip the switch behind the demon and two huge doors open, both revealing the same room with about ten imps in it. The fight at the end of the map is pretty cool though,I like that you kind of fight on top of the map, and it was a fun surprise when I scrambled to avoid the hitscanners only to run headfirst into 3 chaingunners. It wasn't a tough fight but it was definitely more of what I would like to see.

 

TL;DR: You've got a great start here, try tightening your visual style and orchestrating fun, frantic, and dynamic fights as opposed to static ones. Keep going, don't give up, I look forward to playing your future maps. :)

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I decided to try my hand at the map too. And man, this is a very good first map. The overall architecture and design was nice, double that with a good level design and you got yourself a good first map here. Marble texture was a little overused and some texture misalignment's, (In GZDooMBuilder, select the textures by clicking them and press ctrl a,). Otherwise I had a fun time playing this one, shows promise for sure.

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I really liked the mood and architecture in this, was inspired to write a midi:

 

Wintertowns - Ruins.zip

 

Your map doesn't play music because of your MAPINFO lump, so I took the freedom and edited it so that it works with the track.

 

ataraxiatemple_WTEdit.zip

 

I think that the map could use some more monsters, and I also think that you could switch the order in which you get the RL and SSG, make RL the secret instead. Health and armor balance felt allright, although it will of course have to be changed if you up the monster count.

 

Screenshot_Doom_20190101_024850.png.19a5dec04d153b32c8a8c922dcc70e6d.png

 

This arrangement doesn't really work, as the red skull sector doesn't lower all the way if you trigger the linedef before the larger, adjecent sector is completely lowered. Maybe it's intentional, but the player wont be able to reach the key. I would suggest making both one sector, or let the player trigger the key sector when crossing into the first lowered sector, but someone else here maybe has a better solution.

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First off, thank you guys for trying out my first map and thank you for the good tips and pointers to look out for when making future maps. I'm also new to the doomworld forums and am pretty unfamiliar with the text formatting for tagging and what not. At any rate, @wintertowns thank you for the MIDI soundtrack it definitely compliments the temple aspect of the map well. I downloaded Anvil Studio to make MIDIs myself but I figured learning the doombuilder and slade software was more important and enough of a challenge. If you have any tips on MIDI making or know of a good resource please let me know. I'm working on a MAP02 replacement to continue the Ataraxia themes I've set out here in MAP01. I would ultimately like to make an entire episode in this style. I can fix the key problem too. It worked for me in my playtest so I don't know what went wrong.

So, @Egg Boy I will tweak the battles to implement a map where the battles are more difficult. I am apparently a bad doomguy-guy and found parts of my map difficult for myself and didn't consider vets that know how to play doom. Texture alignments will be fixed and I will upload it again with my new map so you guys can see what I've been working on. Mancubus in the room was a gimmicky idea to be fair and will surely be updated to make it seem more meaningful instead of just a boring thing to shoot at. In fact, that entire room has a separate secret room behind it, maybe I will just expand the room and make a puzzle in it or a more substantial fight. Really appreciate the kind criticism. Updates to come in the next couple of days. Just graduated from university so I got a good bit of time on my hands aside from my regular job. Btw it was made in doom2 doom2 format, not hexen. @Rhebiz I really thank you for the kind words I spent a good bit of time looking at other first maps and trying to learn why they're stale and essentially used that as a guide to make something else. Anyhow, thank you guys for a friendly and constructive introduction to the doom community. I should find this a pleasant hobby and look forward to contributing.

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1 hour ago, yourlocalchef said:

I downloaded Anvil Studio to make MIDIs myself but I figured learning the doombuilder and slade software was more important and enough of a challenge. If you have any tips on MIDI making or know of a good resource please let me know.

 

If you're not familiar with midi terminology I would suggest that you read up on that a little bit, you could start here.

 

I use this for sequencing (I personally prefer it over Anvil's piano roll editor), then I run it into a synth. Just direct the synth to the soundfont named "gzdoom.sf2" in the GZDoom folder, then it will use the same sounds as in game. If you don't have a midi keyboard for trying out sounds, you can use a virtual keyboard which can be controlled with the computer keyboard. That's the best solution I've been able to come up with, and it's completely freeware. I use real DAW's for other audio stuff, but I find them a bit lacking when it comes to old school general midi programming. You could of course use a tracker for sequencing aswell, if you like that kind of interface better than a piano roll editor.

 

When it comes to building tracks, use your editor/sequencer of choice to open up midis you like, and try to understand why things sound like they do. I think having a midikeyboard, and being able to play it a little bit, helps with finding your own ideas, as well as getting more familiar with the synth sounds you use.

 

Good luck.

 

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Had most of today off and will have all of tomorrow off to finish up Ataraxia MAP02. Caffeinated pretty much the entire time. This is a preview, obviously still being worked on--for those interested. I suspect I will upload the new map tomorrow at some point. I'm new to mapmaking in doom so texture alignments are always a priority and this map will likely be no different. Let me know what's on your mind for now.

 

Screenshot_Doom_20190103_141818.png

 

 

Screenshot_Doom_20190103_142050.png

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_Doom_20190103_233642.png

Screenshot_Doom_20190104_003222.png

Screenshot_Doom_20190104_110612.png

Edited by yourlocalchef

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Some of these screenshot are really ugly, because of, for example, the use of skin and marble textures along with the metal stairs.

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@Juza Thanks for the critique. Still learning all the do's and don'ts of the doom palette and textures so, duly noted and possibly updated the picture you mentioned. Unless you meant the staircase picture in which case I'm going to be overhauling as much of the details as I can tonight and tomorrow.

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Since this is apparently a vanilla wad, you should playtest it in vanilla sourceports. There are many things GZDoom allow that aren't in regular vanilla. I'll give your map a try, later.

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I also noticed no music and the red key being inaccessible. I also loaded this in eternity, because of course I did. The textures didn't show up and the lift out of the red key room wouldn't activate. The red key was grab accessible there, but the lines could not be activated. I also found it rather easy, and I tend to play maps on normal (HMP).

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2 minutes ago, PaquoCastor said:

I also noticed no music and the red key being inaccessible. I also loaded this in eternity, because of course I did. The textures didn't show up and the lift out of the red key room wouldn't activate. The red key was grab accessible there, but the lines could not be activated. I also found it rather easy, and I tend to play maps on normal (HMP).

 

Are you playing the original version? The updated 1.1.1 fixed these for me.

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1 minute ago, wintertowns said:

 

Are you playing the original version? The updated 1.1.1 fixed these for me.

 

Oh, I only played this before any replies were sent. I just got around to commenting now, sorry.

 

I bet the EE issues still persist. Not that I think the author should make this compatible with non-ZDoom engines. I just wanted to point out my ignorance in regards to texture additions in Doom maps.

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Yeah @PaquoCastor I haven't gotten around to making it compatible with any other ports yet. I will do so at some point, however the most recent upload 1.1.2 resolved the key bug and is also my attempt at making MAP01 more difficult and more visually interesting. If it isn't either of those things, forgive my... noviceness. I'm green at mapping. Anyhow, thanks for trying it out even if it was broken.

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36 minutes ago, Tango said:

shots look real sweet :D have you considered adding a custom sky?

As a matter of fact I have. I spent some early days making MAP01 with a red sky but eventually grew tired of it. I am open to something less red. If you have any textures I would be glad to see how it looks.

 

The sky I had I found in a sky texture thread a few weeks back. Its this one if you're curious.

SKY_RED.jpg

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On 1/4/2019 at 9:57 AM, yourlocalchef said:

If you have any textures I would be glad to see how it looks.

 

I think cc4-tex.wad (included here) has a good number of choices, as does Mek's Box o' Skies (thread here). both should have a pretty good variety of sky types and colors, so there's likely something in one of those two that would fit your fancy!

 

 

 

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https://www.twitch.tv/videos/399661153

 

I played this as part of a playtesting session this evening (second map to be played), and whilst I appreciated the wacky creativity of the texture use and some effective detailing, it felt like map 2 was a bit unfinished (having W1 lines on the teleporter in the fleshy stair room, the blue skull bars not opening, some HOM's, etc). I didn't particularly like the "staircase" room either, even with freelook eventually turned on.

 

Some good ideas in here though, just perhaps lacking execution at times.

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@Suitepee Hey thank you so much for play testing Ataraxia. I just moved to a new apartment so I haven't had an internet connection until just now, so, apologies for the late response. You are absolutely right about map02, I definitely rushed it out and did not anticipate some of the shortcomings, mainly the stairs room. I think someone in your chat room said something about first time mapping and not realizing that 'freelook' is not a thing everyone plays with, I do forget that the original form of Doom is static look. At any rate, the W1 teleporter and the broken blue key gate in the second map was just first mapper goofs on my end. I realize that some of the maps are a little more unorthodox but I think that was somewhat where I was headed with my first maps. I drew a lot of inspiration from A.L.T. and was trying to further pursue strange and 'artistic' aspects of what Doom can provide. I have intentions to tighten up MAP02 and I have a MAP03 I have neglected working on in the interim months since the original post. You're review was what I needed to get back on DoomBuilder, I think, and to reconsider some of the concepts I was trying to execute. Some of it was definitely sloppy on my part. Thanks again for posting the link to your stream!

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Hey, very nice maps! There's a certain fresh, experimental perspective that you've taken with these maps which I found quite refreshing. Exploring these grand locations dotted with various fight encounters reminded me of Tomb Raider, of all things. 

 

I enjoyed MAP01 very much, but I encountered a few issues in MAP02, such as there being no music, and being very low on ammo at the very beginning - ammo and weapon pickups seemed very sparse, but I was alright again later on in the level. I got a bit confused and not sure where to go or how to get back to certain areas, as there are many teleport trigger lines that only work once instead of being repeatable, which would be a bit more forgiving for players less skilled with navigating large levels. Many of these teleport events come up quite unexpectedly, while using 64x64 teleport tiles would signpost them a bit clearer. I think you placed a Zombieman inside of a wall where it was unable to move, in the area with the long flesh corridor leading to the switch that opens the blue key area. 

 

I encourage you to keep experimenting! These level show great potential, and you can only improve as you continue!

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@Baratus Thank you for trying them out! I have definitely got to get back to MAP02, I realize a little too late that I rushed to release it. The staircase room was a time consuming slog of copy/paste sectors and I was trying to add more meat to it after that. I didn't play test it as thoroughly as I would have liked.

 

Thank you again for the review! I will tag everyone who has been involved in this for a planned MAP03/04 release, I am going to finish the entirety of this at some point. I'm in between jobs so its been taking a back seat to applications and other goals I have planned.

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