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Fonze

Driven on /idgames! - Encounter-Focused, Non-Linear, Medium-Sized, Limit-Removing, Ultimate Doom Techbase Map... with Rockets and Plasma

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Your first sentence scared me so I did skill 1. Here is my FDA. I got stuck somewhere and couldn't idclip out because I was recording a demo.

 

 

In any case, this level is very fun so far! Great stuff

 

edit2: also I forgot to mention: music is fantastic!

Edited by DuckReconMajor

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Hey DuckReconMajor, thanks for the video! It was very helpful to watch. I'm very sorry for the careless mapping error which led to you getting stuck. I thought about adding an evil eye there just for you since you seemed to like the one earlier in the map ;p but I instead just moved the switch closer to the wall. I think that also necessitates a new version so I've updated the download link.

 

I also changed a couple of platforms for the puzzle to hopefully prevent it seeming like a timing thing; it's meant to be solved casually. Hopefully it will help to make things easier to digest?

 

Thanks again for your time :D

Edited by Fonze

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Hi Fonze!

 

First order of business; this is a gorgeous map. Very well detailed with a nice rusting industrial area vibe. Excellent texture flow and lighting, with much of the latter blazing down through skylights. Room-shaping is top-notch and the sinuous structure hints at a flowyness not present in the map itself, geared as it is around so many huge lock-in fights. There are several places where I was aching to leap out of windows but couldn't. This is not to say the layout is unsophisticated, in fact the opposite is true, but instead to say that leaping from great heights into large battles would, for me, be more fun.

 

Some of the map's detailing can only be appreciated with freelook, for example this enormous ductwork;

DMh1kL5.png

 

There were occasional texture uses that struck me as odd, for example in this shot of Brngrn where the top of the texture is lower then the ceiling, and is not upper unpegged over the barred window;

zd4PkG3.png

 

The gameplay was quite vicious. I ignored your warning and tried UV first, but it was too much of dealing with heavy meat at the start -- Pinkies and Barons with an under-ammoed boomstick -- so I dropped to HNTR. My total death count was somewhere near 20, but the only battles I ultimately chose not to complete were the BFG and end fights. My favorite fight was the Blue Armor lock-in battle, at this location;

o2nqZ7O.png

 

At first, I hated this fight, because i went in with just the Rocket Launcher. Now, from your description, it was guaranteed that a map relying "mostly on the Rocket Launcher and Plasma Gun" was going to be a GAD Suicide Fest until the PG was found, and so it was. 80% of my deaths were either GAD suicides or GAD was the biggest factor in weakening me for the final hit. And to make matters worse, you locked up the teleport in the nukage below and dropped in a new one, so I couldn't teleport outside of the scrum to rocket all that meat to death, but instead teleported back into the fight, where I was promptly killed. That's a level of mean-spirited evil I have to admire. ;) You certainly thought of everything!

 

So after about 4 consecutive deaths, and realizing resistance was futile, I opened a save -- yes, I savscummed! -- and went the other way, where I stumbled upon the PG and one helluva fight for it. Cleared this on my third or fourth try. After my first survival, I replayed the skirmish in order to get through it with better health, and isn't it odd that a slugfest which wiped you the first few times becomes easy once you make a few less mistakes? I went out of there with nearly 200% health. :D

 

Upgunned, I went to the big RL fight near the Computer Map, a bad idea since I used up my plasma torching that mini-horde of Sergeants you teleported in behind me. I'm starting to think you have something personal against me, Fonze, a good quality in a Doom mapper, I say.

 

It took me 4 tries to beat the Blue Armor fight, because I didn't discover the cells until my 3rd try. I used the tactic of jumping into the nukage and teleporting back up in hopes of telefragging a Baron, and succeeded 3 times! Those lumbering jagoffs take up too much space. :D The fight boiled down to reaching enough plasma to avoid yet another GAD suicide, and I did it twice, but the first time, as I was heading towards the lift, I was scratched by a monster. Where the hell was it? I thought they were all dead. Well, take a close look to the immediate left of the SG in this picture. See that Baron head in the floor? It was him that got me. Somehow, he sank into the floor of what appears to be Sector 859. I died trying to kill him.

tBVck6c.png

 

On my next successful run, I found myself under fire from the blue ceiling in Sector 1679! -- I was playing in GZDoom 4.0.0 -- so perhaps I should upgrade. Anyway, Caco spit was raining down from the ceiling itself, an entirely unanticipated environmental hazard. Eventually, the renegade Caco descended from the blueness and was quickly dispatched.

 

There was another irritation in this melee, an Imp trolling me from beyond auto-aim range. If you're gonna do that to me, I'm going to elevate my RL and take him out.

 

"There is also a fun, fairly easy puzzle for the BFG." I live by the dictum that there is no such thing as a "fun puzzle" in Doom. ;) I fully confess this is a personal quirk. So when a mapper thinks it's time for me to play around with switches to raise and lower columns, I try it out for 30 seconds and then clip to what I want. In my view, this whole puzzle could be eliminated and the BFG placed on a 16-high platform. The BFG fight itself involves a hailstorm of teleporting Barons, widely regarded as the most un-fun monster in Doom. Since I never found a backpack, I did an IDKFA cheat to get through it. By this time I was feeling exhausted with the map. That's me, I'm not really the target audience, so pay more attention to the actual slaughter players. 

 

That said, after I watched the @DuckReconMajor video I thought ITYTD seemed like a good idea. I reckoned that most of my deaths were from running out of cell ammo, so maybe I'd survive longer. As it turned out, I totally crushed the map, only dying once at the end fight, which, as it turns out, appears to be optional. I voluntarily fought it after reaching the exit and having to clip out of it.

 

Some other things I noticed: cool cinematic to have Cacos descending from openings in the ceiling. Clever vent work there. I think the Red Key sequence needs adjusting, because both shootable switches seem to be too high for the buckshot, bullets, rockets or plasma to set it off. The first is also nearly invisible unless someone knows it's there, or you're dealing with a hawk-eyed Demon of the Well. I went to GZDB to figure it out, then launched the map and failed to initiate the sequernce after numerous shots.

 

I figured out how to get the Computer Map late in the game and was chagrined that it wasn't a secret. Imagine my surprise when I viewed the map and saw no blue spaces, save one, to indicate secrets I needed to get. Apparently, I had entered every space but one and still missed 5 secrets. The Linedef 8454 switch that lowers 2 columns, one of which reveals a secret Soulsphere, is incredibly obtuse. Too many shoot-switches in this map that are too hard to see. My advice, think of an easier way. OTOH, I was able to make the Invuln column work at the end fight.

 

One more irritation was your Doom Parkour shenanigans to reach the upper platform in this room;

LqPD8ub.png

 

Not much fun for a keyboarder, and just watch Duck struggle with it, too. Give us stairs, Fonze! Natch, I clipped through this.

 

All in all it was a fun ride after I selected the correct difficulty. Great looking map, too!

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Thanks Walter :)

 

Hey Steve thanks for the playthrough and feedback! Great points on the lack of variety in a few areas as well. I'll address just a few things, though all of what you typed was helpful and appreciated:

 

I will draw a new line to put the browngrn above that window on so I can align it to the rest of the nearby browngrn for the next rc after a couple more people play it, though on the rest of the browngrn I'll have to think more.

 

On the general note of ammo and fight structuring and such, this map is actually mostly geared for rocket combat, with plasma as a generally generous means to help in sticky spots and with managing mistakes. I balanced it this way since there is no guarantee that a player will grab either the starting rl or the starting pg, though they will have to grab at least one, so most fights had to be geared towards both being viable without necessarily having the other, depending on proximity to the pickups and the routes they're on. (as an example, your favorite fight of the map cannot be reached without at least passing a rl, but can very likely be reached without finding the pg) On that note, saving enough plasma to use in the fights with rocket boxes all over the ground should make them much easier, if not trivialize them. I balanced HNTR around my play on delta touch using touchscreen controls. It's more about just using the right strategy... or at least hopefully it is, heh.

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

That's a level of mean-spirited evil I have to admire. ;)

 

:D

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

I opened a save -- yes, I savscummed! --

 

Lol. I guess that's a definition up for debate but I would say you're not savescumming to save between encounters. At least not saving during encounters prevents you from saving yourself into a hole.

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

isn't it odd that a slugfest which wiped you the first few times becomes easy once you make a few less mistakes? I went out of there with nearly 200% health. :D

 

Yes, a pattern I've noticed for myself as well in most maps. That said most of these encounters have a strategy which makes them easy to beat consistently, so passing them once gives you a good picture of the steps to take for better consistency. Also, nicely done!

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

I used the tactic of jumping into the nukage and teleporting back up in hopes of telefragging a Baron, and succeeded 3 times! Those lumbering jagoffs take up too much space. :D

 

Lmao fair; unintended but fair ^^

 

As for the stuck baron there; that's been a thing with those monsters on that platform that has cropped up and been fixed or disappeared on it's own a couple times during dev, except only in that one spot of the platform and with a different monster each time. There actually aren't any lines running through where that occurs; that section of the platform is all 1 sector. I suspect it's a node error, but a run of the wad last night and a quick check of the wad just now doesn't show a stuck monster for me, so maybe it's inconsistent at this point? I'm not sure. Given it's not a consistent error at this point I'll prolly have to find a fix for that for the next rc, but still that's heavily unfortunate. Thank you for reporting this.

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

On my next successful run, I found myself under fire from the blue ceiling in Sector 1679! -- I was playing in GZDoom 4.0.0 -- so perhaps I should upgrade. Anyway, Caco spit was raining down from the ceiling itself, an entirely unanticipated environmental hazard. Eventually, the renegade Caco descended from the blueness and was quickly dispatched

 

Ok that's kind of funny. Totally unintentional but funny nonetheless. As for port, that shouldn't matter for this particular thing. What's actually going on is that the blue and other ceilings with lighting effects are all illusory, coupled with some thin, lowered floors around their perimeters to make them work without showing the floor light up using vanilla mechanics. So what's happening is the cacos are for some reason deciding to float up into the sky, since they never hit a ceiling there, being that its raised far above the illusory one. Them deciding to float up in those areas actually has never been an issue in prboom+ during my many tests, so maybe that monster behavior of rising to that degree could be a port issue. I'll have to think if there's a way to fix that, though given the way they work I suspect it won't be possible to change.

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

There was another irritation in this melee, an Imp trolling me from beyond auto-aim range. If you're gonna do that to me, I'm going to elevate my RL and take him out.

 

:( poor unnecessary imp finally did something and now I may have to get rid of him; you raise a good point.

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

puzzle

 

Ah, I understand. Hey at least you gave it 30 seconds tho ;p Some quick things on that: the puzzle is entirely optional if you take a different route around the level and it is possible to finish the puzzle with the ending solution with just one switch press depending on where you approach it from. Somewhat unrelated: this area originally didn't have any monsters; I just thought it'd be fun at the end of dev to have an extra chance to kill stuff and use the secret bfg. Also HNTR may actually be a bit harder than HMP for this one fight, since the numerous barons replace 2 moodemons. I guess it depends on how likely you are to take a bad rocket blast(s) vs a bunch of baron fireballs before being able to grab more health.

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

voluntarily fought it after reaching the exit and having to clip out of it.

 

What did you have to clip out of? There shouldnt be any areas left you can get stuck. If you mean the exit lift, you can hit the sides of the lift from atop it.

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

I think the Red Key sequence needs adjusting, because both shootable switches seem to be too high for the buckshot, bullets, rockets or plasma to set it off.

 

 

If this was a doom 2 map I would have done that to make it only shootable with the ssg, but in this case part of the solution to the secret switches for all secrets in this map is finding where to shoot then from. Some are easier to spot than others, but all require you to stand in a particular place to hit them, aside from one which requires a straight fall towards it and shot in the air as the player drops. Unfortunately there is a lack of variety between secret mechanics in this map. Part of that was wanting to utilize the switches found in areas outside of the play zone to bring a little more attention to those areas, as with the cheeky zombies in the same/similar areas. Maybe I missed the mark a bit on keeping that fun, heh. Something to think about.

 

As for the solution:

Spoiler

After finding all of the secret switches, the puzzle becomes finding a place to shoot them from, both in terms of horizontally and vertically. Most switches are easy to see, but tough to find the right height you need to be standing at to hit them. Definitely not the best mechanic to overuse as I did here, but it is what it is at this point for this map, heh.

 

You have to first go through the YK fight to open the wall to the first switch. From there you run to near the RK where there is a window you can see the switch from. Near that window is a cheeky floor raised up a bit, which when you stand on top of it, allows you to shoot the switch. This is the one sequence (the entire rk sequence) that doesn't show switch effects immediately from the position you shoot the switch from, which is a bit of a shame, but that opens the other nearby switch by the tech pillar, which can only be shot from 2 places that I've found. The intended place is outside the window going towards the start, follow the red lines/lights and you'll see a window by the start on the opposite side of the red door area with a little red light hanging from the ceiling. When you stand on the ledge there by that little red light, you can get enough height to hit the switch to gain access to the RK. The unintended way is to strafejump down from the nearby ledge after hitting the first switch and you can hit the second one midair, but that's no fun ;p

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

I figured out how to get the Computer Map late in the game and was chagrined that it wasn't a secret

 

True, I wanted that to be a secret too, but after moving the backpack from where the computer map is now, I put an invul sphere where the map used to be (the platform above where it is now) and that is the secret.

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

Apparently, I had entered every space but one and still missed 5 secrets. The Linedef 8454 switch that lowers 2 columns, one of which reveals a secret Soulsphere, is incredibly obtuse. Too many shoot-switches in this map that are too hard to see. My advice, think of an easier way. OTOH, I was able to make the Invuln column work at the end fight.

 

That's strange. I mean first off good points on the lack of variety between secrets, but it seems unlikely you entered so many and didn't trigger them. More likely you just saw them and they showed on the automap using the normal color scheme? The SS secret you mentioned is possible to miss just the tally if you clip the pickup and don't run into the corner, since the sector is a bit smaller than player width and diagonally oriented, similar with the invul sphere near the final fight except that isn't touching the corner of the area. Other than that is the backpack secret, the red door secret, the invul by the map, and the bfg itself, all of which you shouldn't be able to pick up the item without tripping the tally counter. Additional thoughts?

 

7 hours ago, Steve D said:

One more irritation was your Doom Parkour shenanigans to reach the upper platform in this room;

 

Agreed, I wasn't a big fan of that either, in particular the spacing of the platforms, but bulls need space to roam free right? ;p It's an optional trial of the map, but still on the beaten path and that may be a shame for it. That said I do like your idea of stairs there; maybe in the next rc I can put in a switch on the platform with the imp mob to raise some stairs from the lower level for players to circumvent that movement test after it's no longer relevant. It's only actually relevant while the enemies in the room are still alive after all.

 

I appreciate the feedback Steve! Lotta helpful feedback and good stuff to think about. Thanks for your time :D

Edited by Fonze

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I agree with pretty much everything @Steve D said

 

In any case, I downloaded RC2 and here is Version 2!

 

Idk if there's a change in gameplay but it was much more intense. Very fun! 

until...

 

I got stuck AGAIN!!!

 

I tried to glide out but alas was unsuccessful

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Ouch. It would seem you have a knack for finding these things ;p Thanks for reporting that; I'll fix it and make sure others nearby are ok in the next rc. It's a large, complicated map, but still I'm embarrassed these have slipped through this far into dev. On your other comment, not much changed between versions and nothing in what you played changed;the new version was basically solely to get rid of that spot you got stuck the first time. Thanks again for your time.

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Just wanted to say that many of Steve's thoughts were similar to mine, but for whatever it's worth, I am a keyboarder and had no problem with the "parkour shenanigans." Between that and a few other multiple switch situations, I enjoyed the little minipuzzles for necessary progression.

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I'll be honest. I recorded my playthrough of this map in the same session as two other almost-hour maps plus another three or four. As much as I'd love to say it's not the case, it probably did cause me to play with slightly less patience. I may have been more thorough under different circumstances. But I guess that's a general truth that could apply to anyone at any time. Anyway, the point is that I went to replay the switch puzzle section. In the video I said I don't love those kinds of puzzles. That's true only if I can't really see what  they're doing. There didn't seem to be any connection between what I was pressing and what was happening. But that was just me being blind, as there's actually a clear visual connection that turned the thing from a mild annoyance that I would try a few times into a fun puzzle that I was dedicated to solving, and probably would have, even if I didn't need the BFG. So yeah, once I noticed that and then thought outside the box just a little bit, I figured it out pretty quickly. And I think it's great. And I wouldn't change anything. I must be the only person who didn't pick up the cue right away. The liteblue's floor sector being the same as the shawn's threw me off ever so slightly, but you've already used the blue and there's probably not a suitable slightly lighter blue. If anything, make the whole area a touch brighter, but that's about it.

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https://www.twitch.tv/videos/464924652

 

I play this at 2:25:55 into this playtest livestream, on HMP. Your name still gets cursed a bit because you still manage to throw in some dickish stuff on the HMP difficulty (as I expected), but I cannot deny the quality of the fight encounters and overall feel of the level.

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Wow Suitepee thank you so much for the playthrough and feedback! It's rather unexpected given your normal reaction to my maps ;p but very much appreciated <3

 

The main thing that I'd like to say is thank you for reading the OP in your stream, not for the parts of me mindlessly rambling about map blah blah details but for the paragraph thanking and recommending Jimmy's services; if that message can be spread around and get him even one extra client, I would be happy for it. That has also reminded me that I have a list of other people I need to thank as well for various things for this map, but had also mindlessly forgotten to do so, so apologies to those great and helpful people; I'll fix that soon.

 

I would like to hear if you have any thoughts on how to make the bfg puzzle more intuitive and quick to understand; after seeing a few people not do so well with it I wonder, is it a case of too many moving parts or is there something else that makes it not resonate?

 

I hadn't really considered much the zdoom family of ports in making this, so I'll prolly add some monster blocking lines on some ledges to reduce chances of another tower of bovine or crowd-surfing mastermind.

 

There's no sense in me droning on about the SM fight, but as that was the only encounter to really give you trouble, I'll mention that as with a lot of encounters I make, I try to make the obvious strategy the wrong one, or at least not the right/most consistent one. In this case, killing the SM is not something you wanna do early as doing so releases the moodemons. That said, while you didnt have to play that fight, you did, and I appreciate that. But I also respect you deciding to move on when you're not having fun anymore, as I want players to have fun more than anything else.

 

I appreciate that you began the playthrough by cursing my name before starting the map ;p

 

Anyway, I noticed some good things that could be changed for the better and this was very helpful to me as a learning tool, and a fun watch to boot, so thanks again and thanks for taking the time to play so many people's wip wads in general and giving them feedback :D

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43 minutes ago, Fonze said:

I hadn't really considered much the zdoom family of ports in making this, so I'll prolly add some monster blocking lines on some ledges to reduce chances of another tower of bovine or crowd-surfing mastermind.

 

That was totally worth the price of admission. Nothing like a couple siege cows trying to mimic a human pyramid. ;D

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Hello Fonze, I played this the other night as well. FDA: ( Uses RC2, played on skill 4 because I am Part of The Problem (TM) )

 

The most important point is that I had a lot of fun with it! It's a mess of wanton violence, but also quite empowering most of the time, provided one doesn't get too careless. A lot of the combats either involve swarming a small space with fairly beefy enemies, requiring you to play 'ring marshall', or alternatively using injections of beefy enemies into a larger space while peppering the player with hitscan/smaller attacks from the flanks and peanut galleries. Given that the weapon du jour is the rocket launcher (with PR as a panic weapon/fallback), in almost all of the fights this tends to behoove the player to soak a lot of incoming damage in trade for a better position, which is always potentially dicey from a balance perspective, though I think that for the most part you've done a good job here and avoided the pitfall of joyless 'overtuning' in this context, supplying ample healing kits and regular armor refreshes to avoid things slowing too far down into guerilla warfare territory.

 

In the demo above I complete the entire map and eventually find all of the secrets, but in hindsight it strikes me just how little of the map one actually has to complete in order to reach the exit, a fascinating trait for a map which is so directly combat-focused, rather than exploration-focused. If I have it right, the simplest (and most likely) route requires the YK (and thus its fight) a single trip through the large southwestern chamber (and thus also its fight), then a quick visit to the barrel room, and hey presto, you can then leave uncontested, without seeing any of the level's larger/more challenging encounters. Interestingly, it also occurs to me it's possible to circumvent the YK/yellow door entirely by taking the long way around, through the BFG's secret area, entering the spider's room from the opposite side, and eventually reaching the switch for the BK that way, before backtracking all the way back out to actually reach its little booth. Several other major points of interest can also be accessed from more than one direction like this, which has a variety of effects on the way they play, most pronounced in the spider's room (which apparently has several layers of exploitation-insulation designed into it?) and the southwest chamber.

 

This web of interconnections is certainly what gives the map a lot of its character, especially for an arena-focused layout, though I did get the impression that past a certain point the conceptual complexity may have started tripping over itself to a degree so far as balance/flow and 'internal logic' goes. The most pronounced example of this I'd point to is the BFG -- if approached through the yellow door (which allows one to skip the puzzle), it completely trivializes what is thereafter likely the last fight in the map (in the northerly 'flower' chamber), which at that point is itself progression-pointless and offers no real reward (other than the enjoyment of doing it for its own sake of course). If approached from the other direction, it not only has no real remaining practical application (other than the little bonus fight tied directly to picking it up, I guess), but is actually kind of a trap of sorts, since using it for its most intuitive application -- to quickly burn down the spider -- actually makes that fight a lot more perilous than it would otherwise be, by activating the cyb-turrets much earlier, when the player is at a much higher risk of being subjected to a potentially disastrous rocket-crossfire.

 

As an aside, I had no problems with the puzzle for the BFG, its basic mechanics seemed pretty straightforward/intuitive to me. I think the way I reached the switch to lower the BFG's pedestal is the intended one rather than a shortcut or exploit; I did also see/grasp while I was there that it was also possible to use the same battery of switches to create a pathway into the spider's room from this side, but doing so at that point seemed like it would be more of a hassle, and so I instead opted to just travel back around to that area's 'normal' entrance instead. Make of this what you will. Apparently accessing that room via the BFG secret activates the cyb-turrets early, as well? I suppose this rescues the BFG as a useful item in that scenario if so (swinging it from a fool's-mate trap back to something which trivializes the encounter), though I can't imagine methodically killing the cybs beforehand from the available vantage makes for a particularly entertaining endeavor, and so in that sense my criticism of the overall flow scheme still stands.

 

I also think that there being literally no repercussion or final encounter to taking the BK and then exiting is a mite anticlimactic any way you slice it, though I can see that the geometry of the whole level doesn't leave much space to work with, conceptually or physically, and just teleporting more enemies in outside of the exit or on the way back might've seemed too token or predictable. Nevertheless it does leave the impression of something not quite finished, which I suppose is a natural side-effect of the level mutating from something originally intended for a more-or-less traditional KDitD replacement episode into more of its own thing, which occasionally shows in the visuals as well, some areas being notably more architecturally detailed than others. Nevertheless, for my part, I thought that the level as a whole remained aesthetically enjoyable throughout, with tasteful texturing (which is a perk of using a tried and tested base theme I suppose) lots of interesting differences in scale (vertical scale too), lighting, and airiness vs. more dank/enclosed locales, and hints at a larger location the player never sees via ductworks leading to 'somewhere' and inaccessible observation booths and whatnot. Hails to @Jimmyfor an excellent new BGM track as well; in this latest age of creativity many of our most established musicians have moved in a more 'experimental' direction (perhaps including Jimmy himself), and while that's all well and good in its own way, it's also comforting to know that there this is still a reliable, good/passionate source for more conventional shortform rock-based tracks which suit more action-packed maps like this one so well.

 

On the conceptual level I quite like the way you implemented most of the secrets as well -- usually, the whole matter with gunswitches begins and ends with recognizing/spotting them in the first place, but here there's another entertaining layer of engagement, since you not only have to spot them but then have to figure out how to get into position to actually hit them as well. This is good fun, and I'd like to see more of it in general. However, at the same time I'm inclined to agree with NIH that the way these are actually presented to the player feels 'off', because while all of these switches can only be hit from very pinpoint-specific positions, almost none of them look like this is the case, being inset/offset into the geometry to such a minute degree that from a distance they look like they can be (or are being!) hit from any number of positions, even at very high screen resolutions. The patent absurdity of the second RK switch, which is like, what?, 1 pixel too tall to hit when you're standing with your nose centimeters away from it, really brings this home, though in a sense I suppose I was glad it was that way because that's what clued me in to the thinking behind the others in the level. For my part I reckon it's possible to do this same secret scheme, with all of the same benefits to fun/engagement, without this weird layer of extra graphical obscurantism atop.

 

All criticisms aside, I was quite entertained, this is something a little different from so much of the other influx of OG Doom stuff that's been made this year, and so is happily filling a niche in that regard. Make a Fonze-does-Deimos maybe....? I for one would certainly get a kick out of that!

 

 

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Wow DotW thanks for the demo and feedback! Between the demo and your astute observations, this has been super helpful to me.

 

3 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

The most important point is that I had a lot of fun with it!

 

<3

 

1 hour ago, Demon of the Well said:

This web of interconnections is certainly what gives the map a lot of its character, especially for an arena-focused layout, though I did get the impression that past a certain point the conceptual complexity may have started tripping over itself to a degree so far as balance/flow and 'internal logic' goes. The most pronounced example of this I'd point to is the BFG --

 

This is a good point in a few areas in addition to the provided example. Originally I had a BA there instead of the BFG, but when rd had suggested it (iirc?) I found weighing the options of BA reward vs BFG reward to favor the BFG for a few reasons, though it also does absolutely throw balance out after it's grabbed as most encounters were made with the RL as the base line. It does trivialize the northern flower-chamber encounter and it also gives perhaps too strong of an incentive to kill the SM in the southern encounter. Still, by that point the player has basically finished the map, so I figure it'll make things a bit more fun for people speedrunning the map in terms of routing for speed vs easier or more consistent fights, similar to with the pg vs just playing through with the rl. It was also a notable shame when I added though, as its presence itself brings on a bit of an anticlimactic feeling in that it's totally unneeded in most places, which is where the secret fight for it came from, so at least it'd have one real moment to shine beyond trivializing the adjacent encounters.

 

2 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

Apparently accessing that room via the BFG secret activates the cyb-turrets early, as well? I suppose this rescues the BFG as a useful item in that scenario if so (swinging it from a fool's-mate trap back to something which trivializes the encounter), though I can't imagine methodically killing the cybs beforehand from the available vantage makes for a particularly entertaining endeavor, and so in that sense my criticism of the overall flow scheme still stands.

 

The lines there should not activate the cybers until after the encounter has begun. There are similar lines on the side of the arena approaching from the YK door. If this has happened then something isn't working properly, though since the approach from the YK door side seems to be working the other side in theory cant be broken? 

 

I suppose the bfg can be seen as a fools-mate trap there given the extra incentive to down the SM quickly, which is a shame, however it is also still useful with the intended strat and helps make cleanup of the cybers faster after the encounter has been mostly cleared.

 

This does bring up a tangential point though in that the entire blue area suffers from a different design perspective than the rest of the map, in that for the most part my goal was to keep players alive on their FDAs while still providing a fun and engaging challenge, however with the blue area I began to have a bit more fun in terms of making the larger encounters, in particular with the SM fight in that I dont expect most players to understand it without a death or three since the mechanic is not typical or expected, which is a massive shame given that the map format doesnt support saves while recording. But again another point in favor of that nearby bfg, plus the smart use of the invul sphere from the red area; I wasn't sure how many people would put that secret together with its intended use, so props there ^^

 

2 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

As an aside, I had no problems with the puzzle for the BFG, its basic mechanics seemed pretty straightforward/intuitive to me. I think the way I reached the switch to lower the BFG's pedestal is the intended one rather than a shortcut or exploit;

 

That was a good solution :) but unfortunately the way you reached the switch to the BFG was an exploit, though not one that'll likely be easy for me to solve unless the switches on ground level can control those (currently) blue light wall-platforms you jumped up on. The puzzle is meant to be solved more casually with no timing or platforming involved. Maybe also the movement check platforming near the BK on approach from the northern route mentally prepares people to look for something more timing and movement based... perhaps that is bad design. The solution is supposed to be: lower the bottom 2, (shawn and compspan) lower the blue lights, lower the compblue, and finally raise the bottom 2 to access either the top or the bfg. From there you just raise the compblue, lower the shawn and raise the blue lights and then you can access both the BFG and the stairway up to the composho switch and from there the ledge to the SM arena. I'll have to see about swapping some platform textures/tags around there.

 

3 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

However, at the same time I'm inclined to agree with NIH that the way these are actually presented to the player feels 'off', because while all of these switches can only be hit from very pinpoint-specific positions, almost none of them look like this is the case, being inset/offset into the geometry to such a minute degree that from a distance they look like they can be (or are being!) hit from any number of positions, even at very high screen resolutions. The patent absurdity of the second RK switch, which is like, what?, 1 pixel too tall to hit when you're standing with your nose centimeters away from it, really brings this home, though in a sense I suppose I was glad it was that way because that's what clued me in to the thinking behind the others in the level. For my part I reckon it's possible to do this same secret scheme, with all of the same benefits to fun/engagement, without this weird layer of extra graphical obscurantism atop.

 

Agreed, some of that design is a bit cheeky and perhaps not for the better; I'll look into raising the relevant ones up to clear up the "graphical obscurantism," which I suppose would mostly just be the two associated with the RK? Idr how much the first one can change, and I did find it a bit weird that bullets seem to hit higher on the wall where the switch isn't, but I'll move it as high up as it can go (if it isn't already) and hopefully that'll help. I'll also do the same for the other one so it'll hopefully be a bit more clear.

 

3 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

I also think that there being literally no repercussion or final encounter to taking the BK and then exiting is a mite anticlimactic any way you slice it, though I can see that the geometry of the whole level doesn't leave much space to work with, conceptually or physically, and just teleporting more enemies in outside of the exit or on the way back might've seemed too token or predictable. Nevertheless it does leave the impression of something not quite finished, which I suppose is a natural side-effect of the level mutating from something originally intended for a more-or-less traditional KDitD replacement episode into more of its own thing, which occasionally shows in the visuals as well, some areas being notably more architecturally detailed than others.

 

Good points and agreed. 

 

Moving on, there arent too many comments for me to make on your demo, but I noted in it that there are no sound blocking lines on the lift for the BK, which woke all the monsters in that room with the barrels, so that's something for me to fix.

 

Additionally, I may rework the encounter in the upper section of the large red area in the southwest; the bulls and shotgunners may be a bit too lenient for UV on preventing quick escape. (perhaps a baron or two in each spot would help prevent that for a couple seconds, til they filter into the arena proper) This is also the case even with just the RL from my own tests and in retrospect it doesn't match the difficulty curve of the rest of the map's main encounters.

 

Rocketing the enemies in the blue area through the gated window is something that I prolly won't change since it costs more time than how much it makes things easier I think? Though your demo did showcase the worst case scenario by jumping directly onto the platform with the rocketed enemies and giving yourself tons of room to rocket the cacos while also negating the bulls' threat, which does trivialize that encounter. Idk I may have to think on that because on one hand that's a shame, but on the other hand it's not like the encounter is that tough to play straight and if people have more fun being clever then maybe in this case that's a minor win?

 

3 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

Hails to @Jimmyfor an excellent new BGM track as well; in this latest age of creativity many of our most established musicians have moved in a more 'experimental' direction (perhaps including Jimmy himself), and while that's all well and good in its own way, it's also comforting to know that there this is still a reliable, good/passionate source for more conventional shortform rock-based tracks which suit more action-packed maps like this one so well.

 

Yes he did such an amazing job; I'm happy to have helped support his craft.

 

3 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

Make a Fonze-does-Deimos maybe....?

 

Lol ty. Maybe one day I'll do more UD mapping, and it has been suggested to me to put this down for a bit and return to it in a while, which is something to think on, but I also want to return to working on the worm map as I enjoy more the mechanical and gameplay elements of map building to stuff like making layouts and detailing, so I'll have to weigh out the options after I finish the final rc for this. (assuming I just release it and wash my hands of it afterward) Honestly I'd be more likely to start up or continue with a larger project like that as a collab rather than solo.

 

Thanks again for all the helpful feedback and the demo, as well as the kind words. Cheers DotW!

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Big bump; new RC(3) is out! I did a lot of little stuff to address as much of the feedback as I could. Big thanks to rdwpa, DotW, DuckReconMajor, Steve D, HAK3180, Suitepee, and NiH for testing, my friend Tayo for testing the bfg puzzle, Xaser for optional RK idea, rdwpa for additional ideas, breaking stuff and pushing me to improve, as well as a massive thanks to Jimmy for the fantastic custom midi track he wrote for this map. This will likely be the last release candidate this map sees before it's uploaded to /idgames. Eventually (like a month or so) I'll record a couple demos for this to pack in and at that point if the wad hasn't changed it will be final regardless.

 

That said, I'm still very much looking for more feedback, so if anybody plays this and has thoughts to share I would greatly appreciate it! :D 

 

On another note, I believe I've caught all of the slime trails and other node building errors, but like a mythical hydra with every fix comes more errors, so if any additional ones are found please let me know :) Cheers y'all have fun!

Edited by Fonze

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Hi Fonze, I just played this and enjoyed it. Went on HMP and it was an appropriate challenge for me, lots of hard fights that were relatively short.

 

Some minor potential issues, nothing serious:

 

* The slime in the YK switch area was a bit annoying, I get why it's there but once that fight was over but I was looking for which way to go I took extra damage once or twice just because I ended up back in that room. Not really a big deal but if there was a way to raise a floor once you're out of that area maybe consider that?

 

* The blue armour and rockets fight (Steve's 3rd picture) can be cheesed by triggering the teleporters without actually falling off the ledge, letting the player go back up the lift and slowly pick things off. I suspect that's not intentional, though you might want to leave it as an option for non-speedrunning? Anyhow I did that fight that way first but then went back and redid it the proper way.

 

* The nonlinearity is nice but also leads to some weird paths like DotW said. In my case I didn't get the chaingun until I was done with everything else. I also didn't get the red key at all, I got the first switch but the second one nearby I wasn't sure how to get to where I could shoot it. Didn't really need it on HMP though, and by that time everything was dead anyhow.

 

Anyhow I liked the layout a lot and the BFG puzzle was fun, though apparently I exploited it too. But maybe that's fine.

 

Is there a copy of RC2 around so I can watch DotW's demo?

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Hey plums thanks for playing and sharing your thoughts! First off, here is Driven-rc2 so you can watch DotW's demo. If you wouldn't mind though, can I get a a bit more explanation on cheesing the BFG puzzle? I assume you rode a platform up, though I had thought I had fixed those; if that's the case, which platform is the offender?

 

4 hours ago, plums said:

* The blue armour and rockets fight (Steve's 3rd picture) can be cheesed by triggering the teleporters without actually falling off the ledge, letting the player go back up the lift and slowly pick things off. I suspect that's not intentional, though you might want to leave it as an option for non-speedrunning? Anyhow I did that fight that way first but then went back and redid it the proper way.

 

e8lgkOF.jpg

 

The thin, red lines show the two ways to get into this encounter; that said I think that you crossed the light green line in this screenshot while still standing on the platform outlined in yellow before retreating; the lines are close enough for that to happen. I did know this was possible but figured it'd be unlikely to occur for most people. I'm not sure there is any way to change this given the context of the area, (the light blue "T" is a teleport destination adjacent to and below the entrance you used and is the other entrance to this area, so it requires a trigger line wall-to-wall to not be skippable) but I'll take another look and see if I can find a good and creative solution. Worst case this is one of those unintentional things I'm ok with. I'm less ok with the non-damaging areas in the nukeage during the smm fight and the skip for the lowering floor after the YK encounter, but the former is a doom quirk wrt what surface the game thinks you're standing on and the latter is probably not possible to fix without redesigning some of the area and I guess all three of these are better than the rj players used to be able to do from next to the lift you retreated up to the exit, heh.

 

4 hours ago, plums said:

* The nonlinearity is nice but also leads to some weird paths like DotW said. In my case I didn't get the chaingun until I was done with everything else. I also didn't get the red key at all, I got the first switch but the second one nearby I wasn't sure how to get to where I could shoot it. Didn't really need it on HMP though, and by that time everything was dead anyhow.

 

Good. Chainguns are bad and nobody should use them. On an actually serious note: I'm actually ok with how this affects the gameplay. Both rk and cg are totally optional to progression and other than the area the cg is found in, I dont actually find myself using it anywhere else in the level, heh. That said it's mostly a comfort item. Each fight in this was designed around solely having a rl or pg and no ammo to start with, so basically everything else is just there for player comfort.

 

4 hours ago, plums said:

* The slime in the YK switch area was a bit annoying, I get why it's there but once that fight was over but I was looking for which way to go I took extra damage once or twice just because I ended up back in that room. Not really a big deal but if there was a way to raise a floor once you're out of that area maybe consider that?

 

Maybe, at least it'd be something to consider. Not sure how I'll go about it off the top of my head though, as placing a trigger in the room would undercut the damaging floor during the fight, and placing it elsewhere would be mostly irrelevant since you don't return to the area for more progression, being only relevant to those players that wander back into the room, of which for them this could be a good thing too. Will consider finding a creative solution to this as well, my previous solution was the medikit sitting at the YK switch, which covers any damage you'll take from the floor, but it might be nice to have something for after the fight in case you end it on low hp. Will look into. Maybe I could make a set of walkover triggers, the first being in the nukeage, to guarantee the player has to get there, and another elsewhere in the room mechanically locked at first to be crossed after the first, which would then raise the floor. This wouldn't help much, but I suppose if somebody finished the fight and then wandered around the room they would eventually cross the second line once its effect is unlocked and that could take away the damaging floor. (could also copy the second line and paste it near the entrance/exit if players come back later) Still, how many times should I suppose that players will have to run through that tiny section of nukeage? Idk will be something to consider, but perhaps adding like 2-3 line triggers and a control sector for the floor would be an easy and nice-enough fix. Will think about.

 

Thanks for the feedback, cheers plums :D

Edited by Fonze

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Okay, I just played this for the first time. I tried it first on HMP and then again on UV. I found no secrets at all on my first playthrough, and on my second playthrough I only found the bfg secret, and that was after clearing the rest of the map.

 

There were some fights I liked, I liked the entire west half of the map, but to be honest, there were some parts on the east side that I didn't particularly enjoy. For starters, on my second playthrough, I got to the northeast section without a plasma gun and it seemed pretty much impossible, so I had to pick up a plasma gun from the west side. If it were my map, I would add a plasma gun somewhere around that area.

 

The SpiderMastermind fight was the one that really annoyed me. On my second playthrough, I think I started to understand the strat. It seems the intended method was to clear everything but the spider, hit the switch, and kill the enemies on the ledge while you wait for the rad suit, all while keeping the spider alive. I didn't understand the raising and lowering bar until the second playthrough. It seemed to me you were supposed to use it to hide from the spider. The problem was, I found that damn bar to be way too small and too infrequently raised to be of any worth. I would just get shot down by the spider. I eventually decided it was just easier to kill the spider and wait while dodging cyber rockets. I think the bar could be like 8 times wider and just stay raised. That way, you would still have to watch your movement while taking out enemies, and it would be much more fun, in my opinion. Or maybe I'm just not good enough for UV. Anyways, I think as it stands, the two choices of killing the spider or leaving it alive are too close in difficulty to make the player choose keeping the spider alive, if that makes any sense (I'm assuming keeping the spider alive is what you want the player to do).

 

Edit: I just realized hitting the switch right away is an option, maybe that's what you wanted.

 

Anyways, that brings me to the secrets. I found none at all, and only found the bfg on my second playthrough after killing everything else, but that's mostly cause I'm stupid. For some reason, I just glazed over the textured switch that lowers it and ran past it, too focused on getting up to the platform. But about the content of the secret, I think it's incredibly overpowered. I feel like having it would just allow me to completely obliterate any other fight in the map, especially with the high cell count.

 

I also found two bugs:

  • You can easily get around the blue bars at the spider mastermind fight by creeping around the edge.
  • On my second playthrough, all the monsters in the middle-north area (the platforming segment room) were woken up when I got there somehow. I was just able to door camp all of them with the rocket launcher. I had cleared out the entire west side before going there.

Overall, I'd say I had fun, though I got frustrated a lot in the east.

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Hey Arbys550 thanks for the playthrough and feedback! I'd like to note first off that I think that a lot of this comes down to philosophical questions on how to balance a firmly non-linear map and I'm sure that many of my design decisions will be questioned, but I also think that in looking at the map as a whole these will stand up. That said I think it is also good for non-linear maps to have routes that are not equal with real, noticable rewards for them. That helps to make a non-linear map more than just a couple/series of linear paths, as 'where to go' isn't the only question, but 'when to go,' and to me this makes routing decisions very fun. Will address a couple things:

 

4 hours ago, Arbys550 said:

I got to the northeast section without a plasma gun and it seemed pretty much impossible, so I had to pick up a plasma gun from the west side. If it were my map, I would add a plasma gun somewhere around that area.

 

I understand where you're coming from with this; that encounter is a very tough one without any plasma weapons, but it is possible while only using the rl. This is also one of the things inherent to non-linear maps: depending on what route you take you may not be as well off as you'd like to be. That said, I think it's better to look at it from the opposite perspective in that some routes may leave you better equipped than otherwise, since I designed these encounters to be beatable with a bare minimum of starting health and supplies. As I stated before, part of what makes a non-linear map fun to me is that not every route should be equal, and some routes should have definitive rewards that really mean something; if I gave a pg in this fight there would be far less of a point and reward to going for the pg pickup in the YK room. That all said, I did add a pg and rl pickup by the MM fight because you absolutely need both to beat it, and that fight is buried far enough in the map for one's starting decisions to not be relevant anymore. I figure if you approach the flower room encounter (the one in question here) from the north, you can have either a rl, a pg, or both, and so that fight is beatable with any combination of these.

 

4 hours ago, Arbys550 said:

Anyways, that brings me to the secrets. I found none at all, and only found the bfg on my second playthrough after killing everything else, but that's mostly cause I'm stupid. For some reason, I just glazed over the textured switch that lowers it and ran past it, too focused on getting up to the platform. But about the content of the secret, I think it's incredibly overpowered. I feel like having it would just allow me to completely obliterate any other fight in the map, especially with the high cell count.

 

The blue area (east half of map) is kinda the end of the map in a large sense, at least as much as it can be given that it's all optional anyway. That influenced a lot of the design decisions of the area, including the bfg placement. By the time you've cleared the blue area you've already finished the map. I suppose likewise with the red area (west half) but the encounters of the blue area are the ones that are going to be the biggest hurdles to overcome; once you've overcome them why not let the rest of the map be a power trip, enjoying the high of the climax and wrapping up quickly rather than building tension for climaxes that will never top the main one a player has already passed? The bfg does present a problem with the fool's mate in the MM fight, though, and that's a bit unfortunate, but kinda funny too, since really it only speeds up the natural fool's mate that the encounter is built upon.

 

4 hours ago, Arbys550 said:

The SpiderMastermind fight was the one that really annoyed me. On my second playthrough, I think I started to understand the strat. It seems the intended method was to clear everything but the spider, hit the switch, and kill the enemies on the ledge while you wait for the rad suit, all while keeping the spider alive. I didn't understand the raising and lowering bar until the second playthrough. It seemed to me you were supposed to use it to hide from the spider. The problem was, I found that damn bar to be way too small and too infrequently raised to be of any worth. I would just get shot down by the spider. I eventually decided it was just easier to kill the spider and wait while dodging cyber rockets. I think the bar could be like 8 times wider and just stay raised. That way, you would still have to watch your movement while taking out enemies, and it would be much more fun, in my opinion. Or maybe I'm just not good enough for UV. Anyways, I think as it stands, the two choices of killing the spider or leaving it alive are too close in difficulty to make the player choose keeping the spider alive, if that makes any sense (I'm assuming keeping the spider alive is what you want the player to do).

 

Edit: I just realized hitting the switch right away is an option, maybe that's what you wanted.

 

Yeah you're definitely supposed to hit the switch to start it off, heh. The switch only controls your timer to escape, so delaying in hitting it only hurts you. Idk that there's a good way for me to change the way the encounter begins, but I will say that a win's a win so dont discount your ability :) As I said above, this encounter is built on a fool's mate principle in that you dont want to do the obvious thing of killing the MM quickly; I love to design encounters that take the typical strategies and turn them on their head, presenting players with a combat puzzle of sorts in that the player hits a point of 'this doesnt work' and has to figure out another hopefully non-obvious solution to solve it from there. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, heh, but that's part of the fun of creating stuff. The little pillar was added later in dev because it's cute; it's not really needed, but it does help at the two points the MM is most likely to hit players, which are at the very beginning of the encounter and near the end, after most bulls are dead, right before you finally grab the radsuit, kill the MM and release the cybers and escape. The MM actually controls the pillar, so the pillar rises when the MM fires, which let's you use it to break line of sight, which then makes the MM move and then lower the pillar so it gives the MM a chance to attack freely again. As such, the pillar isnt meant to protect you for any real length of time, only short moments of reprieve. It's a doomcute loop.

 

4 hours ago, Arbys550 said:

also found two bugs:

  • You can easily get around the blue bars at the spider mastermind fight by creeping around the edge.
  • On my second playthrough, all the monsters in the middle-north area (the platforming segment room) were woken up when I got there somehow. I was just able to door camp all of them with the rocket launcher. I had cleared out the entire west side before going there.

 

  • Thank you for noting this; I've been really debating on fixing it, but I wasn't happy with the things I tried in the past and they got ugly quickly. I'm of the idea of letting most unintentional things slip by in favor of letting players make their own fun, but I think I will try to think of a more creative solution to this, as it is a bit if a shame that the encounter can be so easily borked.
  • Thanks for this! This was a silly thing; there is a closet that lowers/opens in the southwest-most encounter where the mobs inside need to be active when the encounter begins, so I tied them to the massive monster closet that is able to hear sounds from anywhere in the level. Unfortunately when the closet opens this allowed sound to propagate throughout the rest of the map, which at this point only really would noticeably affect that room and the surrounding area that those mobs can walk to. Being in the play space where the player can stand and fire, sound blocking lines didnt work and I had to make a new trigger to block the sound when its need becomes irrelevant, so this has been fixed. Thank you for these important bug reports, as well as the feedback and your time :D

 

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7 hours ago, Fonze said:

can I get a a bit more explanation on cheesing the BFG puzzle?

 

Not as bad as DotW's. The switch that lowers the liteblu4 columns is right next to a liteblu4 platform, so I lowered it and then ran across immediately to the compblue switch. I can make a demo later if that's not clear.

 

7 hours ago, Fonze said:

I think that you crossed the light green line in this screenshot while still standing on the platform outlined in yellow before retreating; the lines are close enough for that to happen.

 

Yeah that's what happened. You could maybe just move the trigger to linedef 10413 in the next hexagon? I think the gap around that line is small enough that it couldn't be bypassed although I could be wrong.

 

7 hours ago, Fonze said:

Not sure how I'll go about it off the top of my head though, as placing a trigger in the room would undercut the damaging floor during the fight, and placing it elsewhere would be mostly irrelevant since you don't return to the area for more progression, being only relevant to those players that wander back into the room, of which for them this could be a good thing too.

 

Yeah it's not very important. Maybe a walk-over trigger on linedef 861 in the slime pit that raised a small section in the nukage, that was deep enough that it took a few seconds to raise, or something along those lines. But it was really a minor annoyance at worst.

 

Thanks for the previous file so I could watch that demo; playing on Crispy Doom at 640x480 resolution, some those gun switches are all but invisible and I would never have caught them...

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4 hours ago, plums said:

Not as bad as DotW's. The switch that lowers the liteblu4 columns is right next to a liteblu4 platform, so I lowered it and then ran across immediately to the compblue switch. I can make a demo later if that's not clear.

 

Ah, that's not a cheese; you dont need that platform to be raised in order to run across and the solution requires that set to be down for the first half of the puzzle. And here I went and changed stuff anyway thinking you were talking about something else lol. I thought you were gonna say you got momentum with an sr-50 then hit the switch to raise the liteblu4 stuff, ran across to the compblue platform and jumped across to the raising liteblu4 blocker, riding that up and over to the compohso platform, which was all tough but doable, but hey at least I stuffed an ugly bandaid over that too now.

 

4 hours ago, plums said:

Yeah that's what happened. You could maybe just move the trigger to linedef 10413 in the next hexagon? I think the gap around that line is small enough that it couldn't be bypassed although I could be wrong.

 

I think you're right, idk I'm debating how much it would bother me that this could be a usable strategy for even serious attempts as I doubt it would lose much time to do over fighting the encounter straight up; it could even speed things up by not putting the player in danger with rocket use. I will prolly change this to your suggestion. Thanks :)

 

4 hours ago, plums said:

Yeah it's not very important. Maybe a walk-over trigger on linedef 861 in the slime pit that raised a small section in the nukage, that was deep enough that it took a few seconds to raise, or something along those lines. But it was really a minor annoyance at worst.

 

It could be a major annoyance to die from curiosity of the teleporter revealed behind the map's entrance door which takes you back to that room, so I went ahead and added a mechanically locked wr trigger on the entrance/exit lift to the yk room which will turn the nukeage to shawn floor and take away the damaging effect only after the player first enters the nukeage then crosses this new trigger line on the lift. I think this will be a good, minor comfort thing to help keep players alive and healthier on their first playthroughs if they find themselves wandering back to this room.

 

4 hours ago, plums said:

Thanks for the previous file so I could watch that demo; playing on Crispy Doom at 640x480 resolution, some those gun switches are all but invisible and I would never have caught them...

 

Np plums! Thanks for your time and thoughts :)

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Bump for the final RC! Check the OP for the download link.

 

This will be the final version of the wad; nothing will change between this and the /idgames upload (other than adding a couple things to the wad itself: demos and titlepic) unless something major is found. This is the version I will be recording my demos with. That said, please continue to give feedback and report any bugs or problems you may find; this map was plagued by node errors literally everywhere and while some I know about and have to just live with there could be egregious ones that I may have missed, so again please report any findings. I love to learn so while feedback may not change this map it would certainly help me continue to develop as a mapper moving forward <3

 

Big thanks again to Jimmy for the incredible midi music, as well as all those who've helped support me in making this.

 

Thanks for giving this wad some time; I hope y'all have fun!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for bumping up since I missed this, and I missed Jimmy's music :P

 

Also, I think I'm also one of the problems out there. I ignored the warning and started on UV anyway. I fairly enjoyed the map even though I personally don't really like UDoom maps (damn... how many times I have to say this), but this map offers quite a bit challenge. Also, I really like that setup for the Spider Mastermind fight even though it's hard. And, puzzles are fun :P

 

Blind Playthrough ↓

Spoiler

 

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I hate to bump this thread with nothing new to share, and this is probably pointless anyway as I don't expect anyone to play this between now and the /idgames release, but I found a strange blockmap/node building bug which allows some zombies to teleport into the smm when it changes states (such as from attacking to walking/chasing) which can lead to easily confusing new players and killing any players at random. (though it seems to always need some time to happen, it will also always happen eventually with enough time) I've fixed this error and I think I have the map back to where I thought it was before this last rc, but this could also push development time back a ways if fixing this has created other errors, and now I have to add this to the list of stuff to check whenever I make a change so I guess hopefully that just won't be the case. As such, if anybody is planning on playing this before the /idgames release, note that is bugged in the version posted in this thread and also note that no demos recorded with this version will be compatible with the /idgames one. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

 

I do also want to thank GarrettChan for the playthrough; watching your run was very helpful to me and I appreciate it! Something of note: this bug happened to you as well, but I couldn't tell what had released the cybers early in your run so I assumed it was something else that had killed you at the time. If this hadn't have also happened to you I probably would have just buried my head in the sand on it, so thanks for unknowingly giving me a push to make things right. That aside, I'm glad you enjoyed the map; well played and thanks again!

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@FonzeHuh, so you mean the Cybies are not supposed to be released during the SMM fight? That place was a little bit messy since I thought it was a Cybie who killed me so I had to rush to the other in later attempts.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, GarrettChan said:

@FonzeHuh, so you mean the Cybies are not supposed to be released during the SMM fight? That place was a little bit messy since I thought it was a Cybie who killed me so I had to rush to the other in later attempts.

 

I see; apologies for that! It probably came up right before I released that version while mucking about with node errors in that area, though apparently far away changes can cause it to come back so idk.

 

Answer to your question:

Spoiler

No; the cybers are not meant to be out that early. (Your initial thoughts on the encounter were actually correct. Was cool btw to see you almost survive it on your first attempt; very well played!) The cybers can be released one of two ways: 1) the smm dies, allowing a couple zombiemen to teleport into its place, who then trigger lifts to release the cybers, or 2) when you escape the arena, regardless of if the smm is dead or alive.

 

Due to a blockmap error, the zombiemen were able to teleport out anyway, but only as the smm changed states; (from my tests) if it were to keep firing without stopping or not fire the zombies wouldn't be able to get out. Such a weird thing to happen; normally if this were to happen you'd think it would be immediate, at least I would, heh.

 

Ironically the fix that wound up working and producing a stable result for this wound up simply being a large triangle drawn outside of the map area. I tried every method I could think of, including manually partitioning off the smm's sectors, but that's the only fix that wound up with something I could work with. I literally drew a bunch of them in hopes it'd fix the problem, then after seeing it did, I deleted them until I found one that worked. This wasn't even the first attempt at drawing stuff outside the map to change the blockmap to fix this problem either. The situation was dire 😂😭 and probably will be more-so if I find any more errors, because based on other fixes I thought worked for this bug, this can come back. It seems ok now though so I'm happy for that, but I was really upset to feel like I was back where I was from months ago through this last rc's release at square 1 fighting node errors again. I hope that's behind me now.

 

Thanks again GarrettChan <3

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@Fonze

Ah, I see. On the other hand though, I actually think putting a timer on the encounter is cool, but maybe a visual cue to tell the player a little bit before the Cybies coming in since they are from the back. Of course, it's just an idea. I know it's frustrating to find out something way after you thought things are finished.

 

I probably should search out your other maps and play them later. Also, don't thank me, thank you for making this, so I have an excuse to practice my speaking English since I haven't spoken too much due to this quarantine situation, haha :P 

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Posted (edited)

Hello, I saw your post in Jimmy & Josh's thread (incidentally I think I just figured out the filename).
The humble tone of your presentation in obvious contrast with the dazzling craftsmanship on display won me over, lol.
Naturally the map was excellent, though I do question some design choices, and bumped into a couple minor bugs after a while.

 

I don't know much about modern dooming practices, so my views might be largely irrelevant.
To make things worse, I don't like hard maps, and I stick to UV regardless (pain over lies, something like that).
Had this been Doom2 I would have stayed away, but since it was Doom1, I thought it's not like anything too bad could happen.
Eventually I completed the map on skills 4-2-3-4. Yay for non-linearity / replay value.

 

Played mostly on ZDoom, with mouselook. I tried keyboard for a bit but urgh.
On ZDoom the monster count is actually 700/714/718 somehow. Though I tried other ports with the correct count and didn't notice a difference.

 

(Apologies for the wall of text. I blame the map's scale & quality. :D)

 

 

 

Playthrough summary


After the initial batch of deaths, I felt like the safest route was to ignore the 1st RL, get the Chaingun, get the 2nd RL, immediately rush the Berserk then the switch next to the blue door, and start cleaning from there (or any nearby safe spot). Like this, in short.

The southwest battle leaves plenty of ammo to now deal with the 2 Barons at start, get the 1st RL, and proceed to the barrels room.
At this point, this was my first time clearing up to path to the green armor fight, and dying far enough to start saving (just in quiet times). I thought you had to use the PG for this fight. I'm not sure I even noticed the rocket boxes all around.
Next run, up to barrels room, PG time it is. But boy is that fight scary (dem cacowalls man). If only I could pick up that invuln sphere, or some extra health or armor. At least I was saving now.

Got PG & backpack, ignored the yellow door (I do keydoors last), and did both the green & blue armor fights with PG. Saving sure speeds things up.
Suddenly puzzle time.
Amazing to find an entirely peaceful challenge in such a brutal place. I felt like I was having my best time since I started lol. Took me a few minutes to notice the texture connection, and a few more to realize you weren't supposed to raise all 3 platforms to cross gaps.

I grabbed the BFG and directly ran away upstairs.
The Spider battle was far too clever for me and my BFG. I figured the lowering switch allowed you to step onto the Spider's platform, so after a few tries I blasted it and crowdsurfed my way out (ZDoom yaaay~) before cleaning up the place. It certainly didn't feel right, but I thought maybe it was a bonus solution, and I would find the proper one on another time.
Seeing the yellow door from the other side, I realized the entire eastern area was optional. I freaking loved that.
I jumped down the computer deco that borders the nukage pool, from where I saw the 2 earlier Cyber bosses that ran out of zombies, and proceeded to accidentally double kill them from a single random teleporter test. As if fate had brought me here for that moment. ;D
I wonder how much of that was actually planned to happen, but at any rate it was delicious.
Got blue key, all kills, and reached the end. Time to hunt for secrets.
I got the Computer Map, but it didn't seem to be meant to help lol. I got the rest with Doom Builder.

 

Next I quickly replayed the map on skills 2 & 3 with different routes. I got scared at first seeing the monster count was about the same, but the pickups do make a lot of difference.
Then I started fooling around on skill 4 again, now much easier with the secrets and some knowledge. I was hoping to make a full run without saving, but the Spider fight remains way too unreliable for that. I'll be interested in seeing a reliable solution. I think I eventually figured everything out (the videos helped), yet I feel like something is still missing. I loved it anyway. Combat puzzles of this complexity is something new to me.

 

 


Bugs


Minor stuff you might know about.


— During the blue armor fight, you can end up in the nukage pool with all teleporters locked up.

It happens when you walk over the barrier of lights before starting the fight. You're unlikely to want to do that but it can happen if you're hunting down the last cacos far away or below the floor.
It also happens if you open the map's exit section and fall from there prior to opening any teleporter.
Not sure what's the best way to fix this, but considering the punishing nature of the map I don't think it matters much. In fact, I wouldn't find it weird if the pool simply had no way out. Though it's always better if it does.
— Also at the start of the blue armor fight, with some luck/skill you can run around the barrier of lights to hide. Doesn't seem to be a very beneficial move though.

If you're playing the area counterclockwise, you might end up falling through the floor where the pinkies rise from.
— If the lift where the blue key is made accessible is blocked from going back up when standing to the side, the middle sector goes back alone.

I suppose this sector is needed for texture alignment of the switch, but well there are other solutions anyway.
— If you try to block and exit the blue key lift when it goes back up, the lift can't be called again from the lower side.

Somehow on first try this also made me grab the light goggles through the wall, though I haven't been able to do it again.
— If you're fast enough, you can grab the Yellow Key and make it back to the lift. Likewise, you can run over the falling platform on the way back. Those are rather funny but yeah.
— A caco from the green armor fight once managed to drift all the way back to unlock the cyberdemons. I was ending the blue armor fight when I got the news from my death message. :'D

 

 


Remarks


— The map is absolutely beautiful. The lighting is perfect, the level of detail on the computer panels is amazing.
I thought the various wood textures were out of place, however. Like leftovers from a previous texturing attempt.
— Congrats also for the huge effort on the architecture. I love the curviness and sweet touches like rounded edges, along with the gratuitous decorations like the ceiling structures and the out of reach little rooms.
— The layout is very impressive, with geometry sprawling in funky directions, excellent freedom, and basically no unused space (much respect to that in particular).
On the freedom part though, I didn't get why some paths were unavailable or one way only, as it doesn't look like removing obstacles / allowing the moves would break anything (could be wrong), only adding more possibilities.
Specifically, I mean:
  > the red floor bars at the 2nd RL (to go up),
  > the lift near the Computer Map (to go down),
  > the windows around the YK room (to enter it),
  > the RK requiring the YK (that one saddens me the most, I don't think the RK switch positionning was worth disallowing getting keys in either order).
— It took me forever to try opening up the first RL with the barons alive, as I only expected to be cornered and die.
In retrospect there's enough space to avoid that (duh), but either way it never occured to me that the barons might teleport out, thus clearing the path to pick up the RL.

It's an important piece of information as the RL enables immediate access to the barrels room, greatly changing the perception of available routes in the map.
(One I like is rushing the BFG to cheese the entire western section, eventually completing the map wtihout using the PG at all.)
A walk line instead of the switch would ensure the player knows early on.
(Also I don't get why the textures are aligned to have the switch touch the floor.)
— I love the cacos' between-rooms ceiling vents. First time I see that.
— I was initially a bit confused that the BFG puzzle didn't require you to raise all 3 platforms to cross gaps, but later on I found it nice that it allows different solutions.
— Didn't mind the anticlimatic end, that's cool in a way. In fact I liked that the blue key / end area remained mostly empty the whole time, like it was not involved in the challenge.

Also I loved the end sign with your name built from the regular texture. Clever!
— The music is excellent, of course. I got Megaman X vibes from it.
I think it fits well with the fast action and the environment, esp. in the larger areas, though from the music alone I picture something more shiny and aerial.
If you were to make another map but from the music this time, I'd love to see what you'd come up with.

 

 


Finally, the secrets.


I didn't try searching very hard, thinking it was hopeless in a map this large and detailed. I was also assuming they would be fairly obvious, in order to help players struggling with fights.

And so, I just kept advancing, expecting secrets or hints to eventually show up like the backpack did, but nope, 2/6.

When I looked up the rest in Doom Builder, my first reaction was that it seemed very unlikely that a player could pay attention to them until they're done clearing around, at which point they're not nearly as needed anymore. (Though it still made sense if they were intended for subsequent playthroughs, especially if trying higher skill levels.)

 

I started drafting a reply about this, but it gradually dawned on me that the problem might just be me making this look harder than it was and having wrong expectations.
I remembered reading Demon of the Well had found all secrets in his run, so I watched how it went... and my jaw dropped.
It's both hilarious and sickening how easily DotW inadvertently (?) defuses some of the map's challenges (special mention for the crazy combo of immediate opening of the southwest teleporter & convenient retreat into the previously early opened RK secret, straight Inspector Gadget material :'D), how easily he finds the secrets (sometimes going straight for them / spotting them right away across the room), and generally how he's never endangered (save for the close call PG fight near start).

Like, man, how could this be a first attempt. If anything it looks like a guide. :'D
At times it really looked like he had foreknowledge (like the spider fight), then again it may just be the true power of a Doom veteran...
Anyway this surely changed my view on how people view secrets' difficulty and how to hunt them better. Real git gud moment there.

 

I still find it awkward to shoot a switch from far away when you can just touch it, but if it's purposely silly then alright. :þ

Still wondering also if the Computer Map is of any use secrets-wise lol.

 

 

Well, that was quite the journey. Saw amazing sceneries, had tons of fun, and learned lots. Thank you very much!

 

(Again sorry for the stupid wall of text. My draft & notes were actually thrice as big. That review was secretly the hardest battle of this map. :'D)

Edited by Cyberia-Mix

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