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Malefication

First completed map - Labs

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Posted (edited)

Spent more hours than I care to admit on this. Meant to be the third map in a set that when finished are supposed to be three episodes a 8-9 maps each. Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3pkvy7x418l6cmd/Labsv3.wad?dl=0

Pics in spoilers

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Built with UDMF, for DOOM2. Only tested in ZDOOM 3.7 and up. Gameplay is vanilla-ish (no infinitely tall actors, but it probably wouldn't come into play on this map anyways), no changes to enemies or weapons. No need to use freelook or jumping.

 

Despite being "E1M3" it uses the slot for MAP01 in this single map upload. It's a full, bite sized level that takes me about 5 minutes to complete at a fair pace. It's not a slaughter map, it has 88 enemies of which most are low-mid tier, but it shouldn't be a cakewalk since your arsenal isn't the best either. No SSG, as I plan to introduce it in map 4 or 5 of the set so it isn't your bread and butter from map01 until the end.

I'm aiming for this to be a fair challenge for novices with risks of dying, but expert doomers shouldn't have any troubles completing the map at all. I haven't balanced for any other difficulties than UV as of yet, so I'd greatly appreciate feedback from anyone who plays the level. Give me all your feedback if you play Labs, and I hope you enjoy it if you choose to try it out.

 

Change log:

  • Vastly improved lighting, probably not perfect so if you play please give me feedback on that.
  • Changed textures in one whole area.
  • Tiny changes to a couple of encounters.
  • Still no difficulty options, sorry.
Edited by Malefication : Updated link

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Oh shit, sorry about that. I forgot to purge unused textures, so the file is bloated due to that. I’ll reupload a smaller version tomorrow morning after I get up. 

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Well I played the level. I think aesthetically it was rather bland and ugly. Ugly is a harsh word but sometimes it kinda was. Gameplay was alright but shotgunning so many hellknights and cacos was kinda ehh

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Posted (edited)

Updated the link with a significantly smaller file (2.25mb vs almost 22).

 

@Bushpig2dope I feel you. I am pretty sure I will do a lot of retexturing later. I just have big troubles... finding the textures that click with me. Do you find the brick area the worst, or is there some other place?

 

There is a secret that rewards you with the ability to kill them significantly quicker (hint, the rocket ammo), as well as secrets that can save you time/ammo on pinkies, but perhaps I should make a rocket launcher available without a secret? I wanted to reward exploration of the map, but perhaps it becomes too tedious without finding it.

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Hey Malefication,

So I've had a play through of the map and these are my initial thoughts.

I liked the main area with the pillars, barrels, and the chasm into the slime. You've got a handle on concepts such as traps and teleporting enemies which is nice to see. The marble room with the imps and hell knights was fun as you are forced to fight in relatively tight confines. I managed to stumble across the secrets on my play through which was handy, although without the rocket launcher some of the later combats against the cacos / revenants might be a bit tedious with only a single shotgun. Not a huge problem but something worth thinking about.

I liked the idea of the 'checkpoint' type area with the zombie men behind the glass, although it is quite easy to 'peek-a-boo' shoot them and the chain gunners beyond. As a minor thing, I would either get rid of the switch here so the player can just open the door normally, or if you do keep the switch have it so the door opens permanently. The only reason I say this is while your fighting in this area and the door closes, you have to go back to the switch to open the door which is a little jarring. Again, I like the idea with the pinkies behind the glass, but because the room is so tight they struggle to leave the sector and are easily picked off. Perhaps they could teleport out to catch the player off guard? 

The chaingun room seemed a bit barren in terms of features, and the stairs going off at a funny angle would have been better as straight stairs here. When creating sectors its worth remembering how the player will navigate through the space as well as the monsters. You want, ideally, smooth movement throughout so the combat is based on dodging around pressure situations, rather than getting potentially stuck on parts of the map / scenery. The best advice I can give in this regard is to play other custom map sets, both recent and old, to get an idea of how they build their maps and to get inspiration for your own work. Off the top of my head Plutonia 2 and Scythe 1 & 2 are great wads to learn from (if you haven't played them already, of course).

Overall this is a solid first map that shows a lot of promise! I'll edit this post if I think of anything else to add, but I look forward to seeing your next maps and how you progress over time. 

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Thank you very much for the detailed feedback, Relinquished!

 

From the few who have had time to play it, it seems I might have too many bulkier enemies for the armaments available (ignoring the secret). I was worried this might be the case, but when making the map I was thinking "at least it's not barons". Do you feel the two hell knights in the marble room are too much as well with just a shotgun/chaingun, or is the somewhat prolonged fight OK there (compared to afterwards with 2x caco and 2x HK)?

 

Happy you liked the idea of the checkpoint. I never meant for it to be super challenging, but rather to pressure novice layers a little if they aren't using "peek-a-boo"-tactics, or if you just go too fast. It'll probably just chip off a bit of health, but it's a small obstacle if you just want to go through the map really quickly. I think I will change the switch. Is it the first one, up the ramp that is your biggest issue, or do you think both should open the doors permanently? I think I initially intended for the doors to close to perhaps catch the player off guard so they can't retreat as easily if they are caught in between. In reality I suppose it's just more of an annoyance, so I will probably just have them permanently opened. Agree with you on the pinkies as well. When playtesting, they sometimes exit fine, and sometimes I basically kill all of them before they can even leave the room. I'll have to test and see what will work best. I think teleporting them out might look a bit odd, buuuuuut... If it's that vs making the door (and possibly container) wider, I'll just have to prioritize what allows for better gameplay.

 

I'll also try to figure something out with the chaingun room (the one after the checkpoint, right?), and definitely just have the stairs go straight. Sometimes it feels like I just bounce between the walls when going up and down, so if it's annoying for others there's no real reason to keep 'em in. I don't want the room after the checkpoint to be too similar to the one right after, but I can definitely see where you are coming from when you find it bland/barren. Will probably take me a while to figure something out, but eventually I'll get there!

 

I have played Scythe 1 & 2, but not Plutonia 2. Never completed the Scythe wads, and it was years since I played them, way before I ever thought about mapping, so thanks for the recommendations. I'll give them a spin (actually already played a few Scythe levels before posting – definitely not a fan of MAP07, so I know I won't include any such "dead simple" shenanigans in my wad). Anyways, thanks again for your feedback. I greatly appreciate it!

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17 hours ago, Malefication said:

Updated the link with a significantly smaller file (2.25mb vs almost 22).

 

@Bushpig2dope I feel you. I am pretty sure I will do a lot of retexturing later. I just have big troubles... finding the textures that click with me. Do you find the brick area the worst, or is there some other place?

 

There is a secret that rewards you with the ability to kill them significantly quicker (hint, the rocket ammo), as well as secrets that can save you time/ammo on pinkies, but perhaps I should make a rocket launcher available without a secret? I wanted to reward exploration of the map, but perhaps it becomes too tedious without finding it.

Yeah also dont get me wrong man I think the may has the potential to look cool and the actual way the player traverses the map is fun, it just seems pretty bare bones detail wise. The brick area probably was the worst yeah. I believe you will be a great map maker and if this is a first completed map then thats great. Keep at it

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I appreciate you taking the time to play the map, @Suitepee. I have been working on it on and off the last few days to vastly improve the visuals (and some other changes as well). It's too bad I didn't have time to finish before you played it, but I non the less appreciate the feedback!

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You seem to have the mechanics down well enough, you've got teleporting traps, walkover triggers for doors etc which is cool. I quite liked the actual lab part of the map. The main issues with the map are the visuals. There's a lot of single texture walls with no detailing. An example of this would be adding a border to the marble room so the skulls jut out / the wall is indented. The texture choice in areas could definitely be improved too.

 

Here's my playthrough:

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hello @Malefication had a play earlier before work, video attached, stupidly died to a revenant I lost track of (I had just woken up 😂)

 

Overall it’s not bad at all for a first map, it’s a good size with a nice central hub connecting everything. As @xvertigox pointed out I do think it needs fleshing out a bit to make it less bland and there’s a few random textures that made me think secrets were behind but were not.

 

Keep mapping i’d be interested to play more and see how you develop, very good start :)

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by beastbludd : Added video

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Gotta admit it was pretty fun to see you get smacked like that, haha. A strong right hook from a sneaky Revenant. I think I'll work on changing the textures as well. I think I won't necessarily remove all "random" ones, but rather increase the diversity where it is fitting instead of just having one odd texture amindst loads of identical ones. It's easier for me to know whether something is behind a wall than it is for someone who hasn't built the map ;)

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Finally done with my lighting changes etc. Download for Labs v3 has been linked in the opening post. If you have downloaded it previously but not yet played, make sure to get the newer version. Much prettier imo. If you want to have another go at it for whatever reason, again make sure to get the newer version to see the improvements.

 

Change log:

Vastly improved lighting, probably not perfect so if you play please give me feedback on that.

Changed textures in one whole area.

Tiny changes to a couple of encounters.

Still no difficulty options, sorry.

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