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valkiriforce

Akeldama - Beta 5 Released! (03/23/20)

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Cheers @valkiriforce for the update! 

 

Besides the blockmap issue leading to the patch requirement, I received some negative feedback (for instance from @Count651 and @DerFurer'sFace about the original version of my map especially regarding that it was too complex and large. If anyone's up for testing it to see if it's in better shape now I'll be grateful! Please be as constructive and specific as possible, thanks! :) Just as valkiri mentioned, the map in question is Map11.

 

And in return, of course I'm very much open for testing other maps - just let me know in case anyone's got a map you want me to try out! 

 

Here's the full list of things I've changed in the latest version:

Spoiler

 

+ Perhaps most importantly - I've greatly reduced the size of the blockmap which means the map will now run in all ports without the need of a patch. Should be no more clipping issues or potential crashes.
+ All monsters in dual cyber area are now teleporting in, instead of the old solution.
+ Moved away all teleporting monsters so they shouldn't be heard anywhere. Also made all teleporting monster lines hidden.
+ I've now added more surprise/dynamic elements and traps like door closets and monster teleports.
+ The final area is now more challenging than before.
+ Replaced the two Spider Masterminds in the big snowy area with other monsters, which are now teleporting in instead of being fully visible right away.
+ Removed exit platform blue torches so that cyber's rockets won't get blocked. 

+ Reduced the number of trees and objects where the two Masterminds were (biggest outdoor snowy area) in order to reduce chance of overriding sprites limit now that there's more monsters here than before.


+ Removed some rooms behind blue door - this hopefully reduces routes complexity.
+ Blue key has been moved away from the blue door but still in a place where it can't be missed.
+ Added extra DOORYEL textures near yellow bars to hopefully reduce the chance of the player getting lost near end. 
+ Slightly simplified detail in some rooms. Corrected some alignments and light levels.
+ Deleted the big red door as well as area behind and instead have the platform behind small red door always raised. Redesigned big room with dual cybers.
+ Added a red door in the red key vicinity - with a two-way teleport behind it that directly takes you to the small red door near start, in an effort to further reduce tedium as well as route complexity.

+ The "Doom 2 Map08 Tricks & Traps" (cyber/pack of barons) homage area were removed in order to shorten the map and reduce the blockmap.
+ Due to removal of Tricks & Traps homage area - I changed the way the megasphere secret is reached, it should now also be easier to figure out than before.
+ Most rooms between the big outdoor (dual Mastermind) area and the nearby indoor cave were removed. This has shorten playtime as well as further reducing the blockmap.


+ Removed the rooms close to the Tricks & Traps area, those who used to lead up to the switch that raises bridge near red key.
+ Moved the computer map secret that was near a waterfall as well as changing some nearby textures.
+ Removed the switch that raises the bridge leading to red key - this platform is now always raised. This should reduce map complexity and definitely the playtime. Added a way to reach the biggest outside snowy area from the vine area.
+ There's now no longer the need of a strafejump to reach red key - a simple straight jump will suffice.
+ Made some miscellaneous smaller changes not mentioned here.

 

+ So to sum it all up the map is now smaller with less possible routes - the map should now definitely feel less like a maze. General progression should be easier to figure out. And perhaps most importantly - the map now no longer requires a patch to run - I now see no reason to why it shouldn't run without hassle on any port.

 

 

Edited by waverider

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Here is a rather bizarre and experimental midi file I composed back in 2015 named Fishin' For Bass. Feel free to use it in this project.

 

DOWNLOAD

 

Here is the studio version on Youtube.

 

 

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18 hours ago, lirui1001 said:

Still cannot figure out why the blue key is at the edge of the teleporter instead of being in the middle.

 

Which map exactly are you talking about?

 

1 hour ago, pcorf said:

Here is a rather bizarre and experimental midi file I composed back in 2015 named Fishin' For Bass. Feel free to use it in this project.

 

Sounds great! Just need to figure out where I might slot this track - possibly on MAP13. Definitely gives me a good old-school vibe.

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2 hours ago, valkiriforce said:

Which map exactly are you talking about?

 

Map11

 

Played it after the update, but the placement of the blue key still makes me confused.

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27 minutes ago, lirui1001 said:

 

Map11

 

Played it after the update, but the placement of the blue key still makes me confused.

 

Not sure I can come up with a better placement for it. Do you have any other thoughts about the map, good or bad?

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1 minute ago, waverider said:

 

Not sure I can come up with a better placement for it. Do you have any other thoughts about the map, good or bad?

 

Nice one and it's less time-consuming after the update.

 

You can just put the blue key in the middle of the teleporter, or player can grab it by just bumping into the edge of it.

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3 hours ago, lirui1001 said:

 

Nice one and it's less time-consuming after the update.

 

You can just put the blue key in the middle of the teleporter, or player can grab it by just bumping into the edge of it.

 

Thanks for feedback and I'm glad to hear you liked this new version of the map! I'll keep your suggestion in mind about the blue key. I received some criticism about the first location of the key so I'm a bit unsure on what to do.

Edited by waverider

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@pcorfI just tried out Map29, I'll start off with the stuff I liked:

Spoiler

 

- Map starts off real nice, great looking starting room as well as the room right next to it with red ceiling lights! Good gameplay here as well.
- I like the music track.
- Plasma gun secret looks nice, so does the armor/chainsaw secret.
- Also like the look as well as atmosphere of the first outdoor green vine-textured area, nice combat here as well, challenging but fair. Nice arches near sector 174. I liked the library room, both in looks and the combat with the pinkies.
- The soulsphere secret was clever, and also good looking. The computer map and BFG secrets was also cleverly made! A secret that leads to another one, is often a good point in my book. 
- I liked the looks and atmosphere of the blue key room. I thought the red caves were beautiful, both the first set and the second set near exit.
- The final fight was quite intense and challenging but not unfair at all.

- I didn't find any bugs be it texture bugs, hom's or vpo's.

 

I just had some small remarks:

 

- It appears that the megasphere secret is not marked "hidden", as it is now I think it's too easy to find. I'd also recommend marking all lines near BFG hidden as well. Same for waterfall backpack secret and the sector 396 one. Linedef 2616 should be marked secret. 
- There's a couple of other linedefs that should be marked hidden, such as L833, 1524, 362 and 500.

 

 

To sum it up I definitely had a great time with this map, it had fun and balanced gameplay, the map was quite challenging but never too much so at any point. The visuals were great and so was the general atmosphere. Health balance seemed just right. I did have quite a lot of shell and bullet ammo leaving the map but I know I used quite a lot of punching pinkies and lost souls and also infighting at the end so I wouldn't worry about that.


All in all an impressive map!

Edited by waverider

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@waverider Ran through map 11 again with the update, overall the map does feel a lot cleaner and less of a slog. Still very pretty to look at and most of the combat is moderately difficult.

 

Key Points:

Spoiler
  • Not really a negative I suppose. The map's progression still feels very unintuitive and I didn't have much ideas on where I needed to go most of the time. with this being said the map does have a good "non-linear" feel because of this, and idk if its just the path I took but by natural exploration i never ended up lost and always eventually ended up where I needed to be, even if I didn't know I needed to be there. so overall its odd but more good then bad, a note.
  • Not a lot of explanation points really, so here's picture points.

m11_2_1.PNG.b2ae5c9b01e734d3cc4d969f819f9706.PNG

Make the spider mastermind platform walls non-passable by monsters, prevents the spider mastermind from getting stuck and unable to attack like mine did. hard to see from this angle.

m11_2_2.PNG.af11f89329e0a83584fa7709491f5d9a.PNG

I kinda understand the purpose of why this cyberdemon was put here, but honestly feels very unessesary and can be completely ignored since he can't shoot the player by the elevator and you can exit without killing him. I think bars and a switch or two that need to be pressed in that fight area is enough to force a player fight rather than run for the exit.

m11_2_3.PNG.069306f8d347296b959aeaf9dbc6c236.PNG

most encounters felt alright or good, but this was the weakest. I bring it up since I feel this trap has more potential, like caco's and souls spawning at the top when the player attempts to climb. having another archvile spawn behind you might be overkill since its a trick you use often (and well), maybe some pinkies or spectres start flooding the big room behind you. just a though on this area.

 

Overall, not much to say, feels a lot smoother, cleaner, more enjoyable. ammo felt plentiful but i did not leave with a lot extra, fights were good, architecture still looks consistently pretty, and overall much more fun. The "explore and see where it goes" mentality fits well with the map in my opinion. Considering I had 15 screenshots of the first map and now only have 3 shows I found much less error with the map. I like the polish.

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original_midis.zip

 

I can't believe I didn't think to link this earlier. This is a pack of MIDIs composed by myself and my friends, our old band was called the Devilzwork. Most of these have been used somewhere along the way over the years, but many have never been used to my knowledge. There's one track in particular called intro_a1.mid that was originally composed for Revenge of the 90's, but it was never used. It's a pretty sweet MIDI, it would be a shame for it to never see the light of day, but it's kinda short. Everything in this pack is 100% original (with the exception of the Chip's Challenge remix) and completely free to use.

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Very nice selection of tracks @Doomkid, I think ChudBeast would work great as intermission music. We've also got a really good title screen track now thanks to @Viscra Maelstrom!

 

Just to keep everyone updated on the soundtrack, there really isn't much left to be done for it; I know @AD_79 is working on MAP01 and MAP04's tracks, and that only leaves maps 11, 13, 24, 26 and 30. I still plan on using Derived from Unconscious Mind for either 24 or 26, depending on what MAP26 is like. Now with all these new tracks there's a lot to sort through, although I do feel Night Music 3 probably won't get used since there are no techbase-themed maps left for it to be used on. There are a couple tracks that might be good for MAP30 from Doomkid's midi selection (Denied and Wasted) although I fear it might be repetitive for such a long map. It's funny too because just this morning I was thinking of posting here a music track idea for MAP30. I thought this sounded like it could translate really well into a Doom track, if anyone feels up to the task:

 

 

I'm also open to hearing any other ideas or feedback about the remaining music. Anyway, I'm gonna sort through the music tracks again and see if there is anything else that might fit in the remaining slots!

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i may have a track or two lying around that i could touch up for this project if some maps end up lacking music tracks. i'll have to do some digging through files that hasn't been used for anything.

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I'm going to compose a song for that library map MAP24.

 

Fishin' For Bass was kind of intended for MAP13 as that map has a lot of tight action. But no worries if you decide to use another song.

Edited by pcorf

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@DerFurer'sFace: Cheers for taking time to run through the map again! And I'm happy to hear you now seem to be fond of the map! I like the suggestions to the issues you found, will just hold off for a few days to see if I get more feedback and then I'll make those changes. Just one more thing, about the placement of the blue key - is the new placement better than the old one?

 

I'll also give your map a spin, let me know if you want me to test any specifics, otherwise I'll just do it my regular way.

Edited by waverider

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I'd appreciate it since i often thought mine could use some more detail if I can manage, i'm still not great at gauging vanilla limits. I also didn't ask because I thought you already tested it but maybe not. mine's map05 and if you had time, the yellow key sections specifically of map31.

@waverider
I was going to mention the blue key but decided not to since its in a odd spot I think. Personally I didn't really see a need to even have the blue key, however considering it also opens up areas earlier for backtracking it does have some use, so I found its placement generally harmless. Honestly the map would function probably equally well with or without it. If you really wanted to make the player fight for the key, the only place I think it would make sense to put it is by the outdoor section below. It has a teleporter that puts the player back at the blue door and currently only serves as a side path for loot (which si good and fine, but is the best place if you wanted to give the blue key more of a purposeful spot). either in sector 394 or 401 or anywhere in there. I don't think its necessary but would give the blue key more of a purposeful location i suppose, more of something the player fights towards.

image.png.9f3722d482457a4c5a5600f5e32412d8.png

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Just wanna say I thought MAP11 was fine as it is outside of the exit sequence with the arch-vile, and I would definitely keep the blue key. Doesn't make sense to have maps that use all three keys despite being much smaller and have bigger maps that only use two. I do think the loot area would be best for the blue key though if you're looking for a better spot to place it in - likely in the cave in the back.

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@DerFurer'sFace: I'll think about your blue key idea as well, it would be very good one if it wasn't for that this solution would require some redesign of the other paths leading up to the blue door to keep them valid and useful. Otherwise I might just raise the key to avoid it getting covered by a corpse and add some little surprise when it gets picked up. I'll see what I can do.

 

Sure thing, I'll test out Map05 as well as Map31 - I'll keep an eye out for the yellow key sections.

 

@valkiriforce: I'll certainly replace that arch-vile with something else, I definitely wanna give the player a better fighting chance on the first encounter considering the map is still quite large. :)

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MAP24 midi is complete. It is named Yumi Macintoshio. The word Macintoshio generated by the Harry Potter spell generator and it kinda sounded Japanese so I added the name of the Japanese crossbow weapon Yumi to the front hehe. So anyway, another industrial neo-classical song with organ, harp and choir and some cool guitar solos. I'm pretty satisfied with it and I hope you are.

 

DOWNLOAD

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I've got those tracks set for maps 11 and 24, and I've set Derived From Unconscious Mind for MAP26, hopefully it fits that map when it comes out because I really like this track despite not having it set for any maps for a while now.

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7 hours ago, pcorf said:

MAP24 midi is complete. It is named Yumi Macintoshio. The word Macintoshio generated by the Harry Potter spell generator and it kinda sounded Japanese so I added the name of the Japanese crossbow weapon Yumi to the front hehe. So anyway, another industrial neo-classical song with organ, harp and choir and some cool guitar solos. I'm pretty satisfied with it and I hope you are.

 

DOWNLOAD



Works great, already tested it on MAP24, great job, and thanks for providing this track on the map

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@valkiriforce: Just finished feedback for Map30:

 

Spoiler

 

- For starters, great looking view of the ocean and the sky! For a map where you don't want secrets, the starting area secret is a clever solution indeed. The teleporter looks cool.
- The music track is nice.
- General ammo and health balance is great!
- The first battle is intense and exciting without being unfair I thought. I like the look of the spaceship and landing spot a lot! It's a great idea that you will use it later on to escape!
- I mostly really liked the view over the waterfalls near sector 338, just a tad more detail would make perfect imo. 
- The red key room was beautiful! And so was the view over to the starting area from the room nearby! I liked the atmosphere of sector 820.
- I liked the battle with the imps and cacos in sector 720 - also enjoyed the epic feel and atmosphere here - impressive how that works so well in vanilla! The sunrise view is again real nice. I liked the bloodfall. The quartet of cybers and caco army is a cool and challenging encounter!


- The sector 517 vicinity is nicely challenging with both a Mastermind and a cyber. Nice placement of the BFG.
- The sector 263 area is another real epic one for sure! Really digging the openness here. The monster placements are also generally well done, especially the cyber in the "tower" - also nice cyber-telefrag and invulnerability mini-secret! I like how you've mixed different colors and patterns on the textures for the different buildings, that really works wonders, making the entire area look so much more rich in detail. Just one little remark: Wouldn't it be more challenging though if the blood was damaging? Mostly to prevent players from sniping from the bloody areas.
- Sector 698 is in a cool and unusual looking room! The room in S88 looks good as well.
- That tank sure is good looking! :) Sector 631 has nice lighting! Also S653 is a nice looking room.
- I liked the maze, another unusual idea. It was exciting with the arch-viles.
- Also enjoyed the dual Mastermind showdown near end. The room was good looking too.
- Inventive idea with the switch near end!
- 100% all stats was possible.

 

I also had a few remarks:

 

- Like I mentioned earlier, the view at sector 338 is nice, but how about for instance adding some openings in the walls at linedefs 2111 & 2142 with some torches inside or so?
- I liked the feel of sector 820, but I think the area may need a slight detail increase, how about some torches inside the walls for instance?
- Sector 245/246 could be widened a bit more so that the cyber can walk down into S720 if he wants to. :) I managed to get him stuck on S245, only once though.
- The CEIL5_1 flat on sector 517 may make the floor look a bit empty/too clean imo. 
- Not sure about the SUPP532 texture choice in S681 area, I think this texture looks best when it's not applied on wider than 64 unit linedefs - maybe have METAL or SUPPORT3 instead for instance?
- Found a couple of really minor HOM's, but nothing worth mentioning at all, they're pretty much not visible. The only one that was slightly visible was the one at sector 720, I'm guessing that's the you mentioned when you posted the map. It's not really an issue imo.
- I found a VPO in the room with the cyber, mastermind, and 4 arch-viles, see picture: http://www.mediafire.com/view/4k341cq2fjsbmby/akeldama30_VPO.jpg/file

 


All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this map and it's a fitting and well made megawad finale with some exciting twists and turns. I enjoyed the visuals and general atmosphere and most importantly it was quite the epic beast as well - both in terms of gameplay and openness of the areas. It's impressive how you managed to keep it within the limits, save for the slight VPO I found. The map was also tough to beat but not over the top. It was a lot of fun to play!

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Man, that VPO in particular was hard for me to trigger, and I only got it to about 129/130 or so. I hope I can manage to hammer it out so the area is safe enough to explore. Thanks for the feedback!

 

Doomkid has offered to work on an extended version of his midi Wasted for MAP30, so it looks like what's left of the soundtrack is currently underway for completion.

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14 hours ago, valkiriforce said:

Man, that VPO in particular was hard for me to trigger, and I only got it to about 129/130 or so. I hope I can manage to hammer it out so the area is safe enough to explore. Thanks for the feedback!

 

Doomkid has offered to work on an extended version of his midi Wasted for MAP30, so it looks like what's left of the soundtrack is currently underway for completion.

 

Even changing some light levels can help decrease (no more) visplane (overflow) limits, especially if all the light levels are the same or there are less variance in light levels. Different light levels and sector heights count in the visplane limits.

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On 10/4/2019 at 9:10 PM, valkiriforce said:

Man, that VPO in particular was hard for me to trigger, and I only got it to about 129/130 or so. I hope I can manage to hammer it out so the area is safe enough to explore. Thanks for the feedback!

 

Doomkid has offered to work on an extended version of his midi Wasted for MAP30, so it looks like what's left of the soundtrack is currently underway for completion.

 

You're welcome - and hope my find doesn't cause too much headache. :)

 

Since the soundtrack is nearly done, does that mean that the megawad is pretty much done then? Have you thought of a final deadline for the whole project seeing we seem to be so close now? Should I hurry up with the last few things to finetune on Map11 as well as playtesting Map05/31 for DerFurer'sFace? 

Edited by waverider

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I don't really have a deadline for release - at this point I just want what's available polished and ready to go whenever the time is right. I am hoping however to get this out before the year is over, but nothing is guaranteed. Still, for a megawad that was made public at the start of the year I think we did pretty darn good to get it this far into completion. Whenever MAP26 rolls around I will finally post the completed megawad in this thread, however there's still a handful of things I need to get around to including for the official release, such as map names, graphics and possibly some text screens.

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@DerFurer'sFace: I've finished testing your Map05 now, this are my thoughts:

 

Spoiler

 

- Nice starting area. Well placed monsters here inside some nice looking bunker rooms.
- I like the mix of tech base/bunker with the inclusion of some caves!
- I also dig the non-linear design!
- Overall health and ammo balance was very good.
- The sector 71 area also looks nice - with some more bunkers with well placed monsters inside.
- Clever revenant teleportation near sector 9!
- Sector 185 looks good and so does the red key area - I'm especially fond of the metal bar structure near red key - also nice trenches here. Cleverly placed monsters as well.
- Nice atmospheric cave at sector 327 with yet more well placed monsters within bunkers - you could probably tell I like that style by now. ;)
- It was a good decision to add teleporting revenants in the bunkers near red door - it's fun to have something to do while backtracking - (something I was too lazy to do in the first version of my own map), heh.
- Clever soulsphere secret behind the red door. The backpack secret was clever as well - also thought it was cool that it led to a third secret.
- Smart teleportation of enemies in sector 290. Same for the enemies that arrives when the exit door is opened.
- And finally - nice snowy mountains view near exit!

 

I really didn't find much to fault at all, just these two remarks:

 

- Perhaps it's a bit too easy to cheese the blue key fight - maybe have a handful of monsters teleporting up to the ledges above to force the player to jump down? Or maybe add some more flying monsters? Don't think you should make it too challenging though considering it's just Map05. 

 

- Sector 256 has a slight VPO that seemed to max at around 137 visplanes, shown in this picture: http://www.mediafire.com/view/3zw93sj5whmtoxh/akeldama05_VPO.jpg/file
It only shows up if the blue door is open, so it's probably very unlikely that players will run into it unless they're looking for it. There was also the small risk of a minimal VPO near the ammo box (Thing 209) in the same area but that was really hard to even capture on picture. That too can only occure if blue door is open. Just thought I'd mention this, not sure it's the right thing to do, to report it when it's unlikely it'll become an issue.

 


Overall this is a really solid map that has a lot of stuff going for it - fun and engaging gameplay, well placed monsters, nice visuals with high detail, strong atmosphere and a pretty realistic looking theme. So a job well done for sure!

 

I'll be back in a day or two with feedback on your part of Map31.

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