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Malefication

Second ever completed map - Celestial Gateway

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Posted (edited)
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Screenshot_Doom_20190513_212238.png.42ddf6544ae2da3e751231be97cc1d95.png

I'm back, two and a half weeks later with my second finished map. Download (4.5MB): https://www.dropbox.com/s/mqrhoe0szol4vcr/CelestialGateway.wad?dl=0

Spoiler

 

Screenshot_Doom_20190513_212457.png.8ee5640bc8653b44ad64334cb4af549c.pngScreenshot_Doom_20190513_212610.png.bac583fff47ddb4ea7ca2987dcd783e0.pngScreenshot_Doom_20190513_212218.png.8fa6073f0d46ed29dbd3f10e4822466a.png

Screenshots in spoilers.

 

UDMF format, only tested in GZDoom. Gameplay doesn't use freelook, jumping and so on. Infinite height could be noted in a few specific places, but gameplay isn't designed arount it, nor would it break gameplay if it were to be enabled.

IWAD: Doom II

Map slot is MAP01 (though preliminarily intended to be the 4th map).

Uses resources from "Episode 5" and Biotex.

Currently, unfortunately only balanced for UV.

 

It's a single level, much larger than my previous one, but also more linear. Takes me around 16-17 minutes to complete in a normal pace, 100%ing. It is also more challenging and contains more enemies (240), but isn't a slaughter map nor extremely challenging.

For those who played my previous map (especially before the final update), this one should, while definitely not perfect, be much more aesthetically pleasing and less flat.

 

I'd love any and all feedback, but am extra curious about ammo balance and lighting.

 

First changes:

  • Fixed several texture issues where there were none, or there were incorrect ones.
  • Added a non-secret SSG later in the level. Not completely risk free to grab, so the secret SSG is still rewarding.
  • Some ammo rebalance (mostly more ammo in the last few areas).
  • Changed a few secrets and items. One secret gave a Soulsphere; now gives a backpack (should also help with ammo if you find it).
  • Spiced up the pillar arena (I think), as well as made it impossible to exit with just two switches.

Second changes:

A few more texture fixes

Larger enemy and encounter balancing:

  • Some monsters removed and replaced.
  • Some monsters added.
  • Some monsters changed from deaf to normal status.

Up from 240 -> 255 -> 251 monsters now.

Edited by Malefication : Changelog

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FDA (recorded with GZDoom 4.1.1)

 

I finished with 97% kills in ~17 mins on my first playthrough. Quick thoughts:

  • The layout is a bit too linear IMO and adding more branching paths, extra rooms, or interconnecting the rooms would be a nice improvement.
  • The red and blue key doors should be marked as needing the key/color-coded.
  • The absence of the SSG is annoying, especially in the latter half when you're forced to shotgun/chaingun mancubi and hell knights, which gets tedious quickly. It would make the combat more enjoyable.
  • Ammo balance is a bit all over the place. The player has too many shells in the first half of the map, then once you reach the yellow key area you run low on ammo. I had to skip the last two barons because of that.
  • You could remove 1 or 2 of the green armors as they're unnecessary.
  • Most of the battles are too easy because the areas are very wide open and the player can simply back out of the area or bottleneck them at an entrance. Many are also placed behind barriers so they're sitting ducks for the player. The first half of the map is also only trash monsters, which pose little threat and it gets boring if it's just hordes of them. Adding a few more dangerous enemies like in the later areas would spice up the combat.
  • The standout battle here was the room with the four-switch pillar and the monsters teleporting in, which was pretty fun. I also liked the surprise archvile that teleports into the arachnotron corridor.
  • A new, fitting soundtrack instead of D_RUNNIN would improve the atmosphere of your map.
  • I liked the library room, but I'm a huge sucker for libraries in Doom maps :p I also liked the way the secrets are accessed; they're quite creative.

Regarding the visuals:

  • Overall it looks pretty good and you have a good grasp on lighting, although some rooms have uniform brightness and detract from the rest of the map. Generally the map is on the brighter side.
  • Ceiling height variation and more ceiling textures would add more depth to the rooms and be more aesthetically pleasing.
  • A few odd texturing choices, like the use of CEIL1_3 for the bottom of doors/doorways.
  • There are many texture misalignments.
  • A few oddities: 1 2 (not sure if 2 is intentional).

Bugs:

  • You can hit just 2 out of 4 switches on the pillar in the teleporting monster room and still go to the next room.

Overall it's a pretty solid effort for your second map, I had fun playing through it :)

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Posted (edited)

Thanks a lot for the feedback, @Vyre!

 

I definitely missed the blue door. I had all of my texturing up to halfway to the Arachnotron corridor undone (despite saving) after a crash (green what was left, red what was gone) which sucked massively. I can see that I forgot the "DOORBLU" textures despite having the linedefs set up as 16 width around the door... Argh. I was hoping the red banners would be enough (to keep with the wooden library aesthetics), but I will probably make that clearer as well. The CEIL1_3 door textures must have been similar misses when retexturing so much. I'll have an updated version uploaded in the near future.

 

The ammo balance is what I was most afraid of, so thanks for pointing out where it can use an adjustment. I'll also learn how to change music for the maps I make, hah.

 

Speaking of secrets, there is an SSG in the library! Hint: The second last screenshot. Might have to make it more obvious, though, if gameplay is too tedious without it.

 

Oddity 1 was intentional to give it a more "broken down" feeling of unevenness, but it might not be giving the vibe I intended. #2 was intended, but probably a bad idea, heh. Oh, and thanks for sharing your demo as well!

 

Edit: Watching your demo, I can definitely see the ammo issues.

Edited by Malefication

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52 minutes ago, Malefication said:

I definitely missed the blue door. I had all of my texturing up to halfway to the Arachnotron corridor undone (despite saving) after a crash (green what was left, red what was gone) which sucked massively.

 

Oh damn, losing all that work really sucks D:

 

52 minutes ago, Malefication said:

Speaking of secrets, there is an SSG in the library! Hint: The second last screenshot.

 

Ahh I missed that one. You could perhaps consider adding it as a non-secret for the beefier enemies later on.

 

Quote

 

Oddity 1 was intentional to give it a more "broken down" feeling of unevenness, but it might not be giving the vibe I intended. #2 was intended, but probably a bad idea, heh. Oh, and thanks for sharing your demo as well!

 

#1 did confuse me a little lol. I thought the lowering mechanism was broken.

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I had many of the same thoughts as Vyre, except I don't think the four-switch pillar room really works. In fact, I think that is perhaps the most egregious example of the theme of the map: too much space. Consider trying some smaller maps (not necessarily tiny, but maybe ~100 monsters) in which you can really work on details - visual, layout, gameplay details. My playthrough is here.

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Posted (edited)



Here is some gameplay for ya!

I really enjoyed this wad! Like you said not too challenging but not a slog either. I was also able to convoke a lot of infighting. Also, I kind of liked the switch room, broke the pace a little but felt like a mini-game to me. I think like others have said the amount of spacing is a bit of an issue. The revy's didn't feel like a challenge cause I could rush forward around the rockets. Also, that last area with the yellow key did feel anti-climatic. I would say don't be afraid of adding enemies, but I think what has already been said before is solid advice as well. 

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Thanks for the videos, @HAK3180 and @Odorousbag87!

 

Was good seeing both of your gameplay videos, I love watching different peoples' takes on the encounters. Helps opening my eyes for things I miss (like that odd rock thing in HAK's video, I can't even find what the issue is in DBX. Hope it's something I have accidentally fixed, I guess. Extra thanks again, HAK, for all the detailed vocal commentary. I also just learned that DropBox keeps the same DL link for different files if you don't change the names (with regards to the... DOORBLU in the middle of a wall slightly after 11:30 in Odorous's video zzz). I didn't mean for that to be included in the DL file. It's updated now, though.

 

I got many ideas for changes and improvements, and I've got parts of some changes (beside the texture ones, and added SSG that are already up in the link) to spice up a few of the encounters. Actually, I think the big arena has been changed a bit in the current DL link as well. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to finish Odorousbag's video yet, but I will get to it in a few hours when I come back home. Will also post here when I get the properly updated version uploaded (which will be in a few more hours).

 

Current changelog:

  • Fixed several texture issues where there were none, or there were incorrect ones.
  • Added a non-secret SSG later in the level. Not completely risk free to grab, so the secret SSG is still rewarding.
  • Some ammo rebalance (mostly more ammo in the last few areas).
  • Changed a few secrets and items. One secret gave a Soulsphere; now gives a backpack (should also help with ammo if you find it).
  • Spiced up the pillar arena (I think), as well as made it impossible to exit with just two switches.

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8 minutes ago, Malefication said:

Thanks for the videos, @HAK3180 and @Odorousbag87!

 

Was good seeing both of your gameplay videos, I love watching different peoples' takes on the encounters. Helps opening my eyes for things I miss (like that odd rock thing in HAK's video, I can't even find what the issue is in DBX. Hope it's something I have accidentally fixed, I guess. Extra thanks again, HAK, for all the detailed vocal commentary. I also just learned that DropBox keeps the same DL link for different files if you don't change the names (with regards to the... DOORBLU in the middle of a wall slightly after 11:30 in Odorous's video zzz). I didn't mean for that to be included in the DL file. It's updated now, though.

 

I got many ideas for changes and improvements, and I've got parts of some changes (beside the texture ones, and added SSG that are already up in the link) to spice up a few of the encounters. Actually, I think the big arena has been changed a bit in the current DL link as well. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to finish Odorousbag's video yet, but I will get to it in a few hours when I come back home. Will also post here when I get the properly updated version uploaded (which will be in a few more hours).

 

Current changelog:

  • Fixed several texture issues where there were none, or there were incorrect ones.
  • Added a non-secret SSG later in the level. Not completely risk free to grab, so the secret SSG is still rewarding.
  • Some ammo rebalance (mostly more ammo in the last few areas).
  • Changed a few secrets and items. One secret gave a Soulsphere; now gives a backpack (should also help with ammo if you find it).
  • Spiced up the pillar arena (I think), as well as made it impossible to exit with just two switches.


I didn't see a problem with the Ammo honestly, however, if you look in my playthrough I rely heavily on pinky baiting and infighting, especially in the switch area. I am sorry I didn't provide vocal commentary. I normally don't for wad playthroughs as I feel it detracts from keen eyes from the maker. Also, a couple of notes. The archive glitch is specific to smooth doom and smooth textures not being properly ordered with Neural upscale. So it's not your fault. But I did have fun making fun of the poor bastard. 

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4 hours ago, Odorousbag87 said:


I didn't see a problem with the Ammo honestly, however, if you look in my playthrough I rely heavily on pinky baiting and infighting, especially in the switch area. I am sorry I didn't provide vocal commentary. I normally don't for wad playthroughs as I feel it detracts from keen eyes from the maker. Also, a couple of notes. The archive glitch is specific to smooth doom and smooth textures not being properly ordered with Neural upscale. So it's not your fault. But I did have fun making fun of the poor bastard. 

You were lucky enough to play my first (of three in short succession) updates, evident by the middle texture visible at 11:28 (DOORBLU), should be a lamp there instead. I had placed a few groups of shells and a box or two in the end area, so I'm happy there still wasn't a lack of ammunition. And don't worry at all about not providing vocal commentary. I value written just as much (as well as video description). You can probably focus on the gameplay more when not speaking anyways, and the few times I've recorded video playthroughs of maps I haven't spoken either. I'm more than happy to just see a video playthrough, and even just a text reply in the thread without a video is all I could ask for! Chat comments in-game isn't bad either :)

 

Now that I have finished watching your video, I must say I'm impressed with your patience regarding the SSG secret. You were so close at finding the door earlier as well! It's right behind the medkit on the upper floor. I honestly wouldn't have held it against you if you noclipped back up just for your own sanity.Love the sound effect after the Xth fall tho. Must say that Archvile bug was quite interesting as well. They deserve to be made fun of.

 

But yeah, you played the version where I had changed a couple of textures and added more ammo. Since then I've added a few enemies, changed a couple of secrets and added a non-secret SSG.

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Updated the DL file again. This new update contains:

A few more texture fixes

Larger enemy and encounter balancing:

  • Some monsters removed and replaced.
  • Some monsters added.
  • Some monsters changed from deaf to normal status.
  • Up from 240 -> 255 -> 251 monsters now.

(Thanks for ideas HAK)

 

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Hello, i enjoyed playing your Wad. Must say i had some struggle at the time with low ammo, but eventually i managed to overpass it. You keep up with mapping, cheers ;)

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