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HAK3180

*2020 HAKAWARDS* I'm Also Looking to Play and Record Your Maps 2 *CLOSED*

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Posted (edited)

Table of Contents

 

@BluePineapple72

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

Kind of a cool start to this one, being exposed and running among the small structures hoping for cover and supplies. It’s a pretty linear map, so it’s easily divisible into parts. I liked the first several. The Gotcha fight was perhaps a little too easy to set up, but maybe it’s more of a spectacle than a challenge. It does have the potential to distract from what’s going on back whence you came. After the invulnerabilities, I didn’t like much here. Flying ornament spam is just filler, as far as I’m concerned and the false walls plus damaging floor plus thing obstacles plus cyberdemons does not add up to fun.

 

Bottom line: a memorable map in mostly positive ways

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On 12/31/2020 at 4:27 PM, HAK3180 said:

@mrbengaltiger1

 

This map does several things that first wads often do not. It avoids compulsive grid alignment, but not in a completely “I’m just randomly drawing lines in Doom Builder” way. The space scale is pretty good. It doesn’t try to throw massive areas your way, and the tight areas are not too tight. The fact that there are examples of both is even a good thing. And the map is not entirely straightforward. You can get the yellow key early or after you see the yellow door. There are some sequencing issues that should be fixed, as I got softlocked twice. The map does feel like it’s designed to played exactly one way. There are some crudeness issues of appearance, usually related to transitions and sharp angles. I do think the combat design is a cut above what you often will see in beginner wads. First wad + lots of higher hp monsters often = boring grind, but that wasn’t really the case here. I hope this mapper will work on polishing in terms of visuals and foolproofing without compromising some semblance of unique identity.

 

Bottom line: Tries to stand out a little but doesn’t try to do too much

Thanks a bunch on your review Henry, I have assessed the mistakes I made and areas to improve on. But glad you enjoyed the ambition of me going for something more unconventional. Even though the starting rooms are like a lot of starting maps, I think it opens up into a fairly unique experience.

Regards ~ (mr)Bengaltiger1

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@BluePineapple72

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

The map title and beginning seem to suggest a concept that was abandoned halfway through upon the realization that it was not feasible. As a result, there’s not really anything special about this map. The encounters are serviceable and not horribly boring, but seem a bit uninspired. The progression is simplistic. It's a speedmap.

 

Bottom line: I’m glad it’s not all Tyson

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@TOVA

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

E1M6

Same old same old. Decent geometric setup, basically competent visuals, but the gameplay becomes unbearably boring when you shotgun everything. E1M4 is the first free chaingun in Doom, and those levels are not nearly as long as these. Underhalls gives you a super shotgun. There’s a reason for that. If you’re going to make longer levels with this many monsters, it doesn’t matter how hard they are. It’s not fun to do the same thing over and over and over. I’ve got to stop beating this dead horse, but it’s remarkable how this wad ever saw the light of day in this state. The crusher gimmick here is not bad. They’re not usually a major factor, but you definitely have to watch out.

 

E2M9

This is like a very simple proof of concept map, but the concept is not really all that unique. Still, the initial wave is fun because you don’t know how much ammo you might have or if you’ll get stuck in a hallway or how many monsters are going to keep coming. Presentation, though, is absent. It’s just grey everywhere you go. Nothing to see at all.

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Posted (edited)

@HAK3180 I feel somewhat guilty for not providing chainguns enough.

Yeah, I revised all secrets, as I said, and also I placed some chainguns and other stuff in much more visible places. This should improve a reception later on.

Last video will be really short, these levels are much shorter.

 

P.S.: I need to remember about DavidN's words said while testing level 4: "Never underestimate player's ability to completely miss a big door on the wall."

Edited by TOVA

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22 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

Kind of a cool start to this one, being exposed and running among the small structures hoping for cover and supplies. It’s a pretty linear map, so it’s easily divisible into parts. I liked the first several. The Gotcha fight was perhaps a little too easy to set up, but maybe it’s more of a spectacle than a challenge. It does have the potential to distract from what’s going on back whence you came. After the invulnerabilities, I didn’t like much here. Flying ornament spam is just filler, as far as I’m concerned and the false walls plus damaging floor plus thing obstacles plus cyberdemons does not add up to fun.

 

Bottom line: a memorable map in mostly positive ways

Thank you very much for taking the time to play through my map and give feedback! Indeed there are some issues and I have already implemented some changes: they will be added to the last updated version of the entire wad when it comes out.

 

About the caco cloud: I had designed the last room in such a way that the cacos would teleport in around the large tree together with all the other monsters that joined in there in the end. The way I had envisioned it was that most players would already have found the BFG by the time they got into the last room, and dash in boldly and have a frantic fight in the room. Then they would get the Red Keycard and return to the big tree to find a horde of enemies teleporting in. I hadn't thought about most players lingering on the doorstep of the last room, triggering the cacos and fighting those piecemeal behind them. I can imagine why it must have felt like 'filler time' to you.

 

I'm adding extra hints to the BFG location, and am trying to find a way to not have the cacos trigger too early. Indeed this is my very first map ever, and the 10 sector limit makes triggering enemies without the luxury of walls lowering etc. quite tricky.

 

Here's a video I made on how to get the BFG and find the other 'secrets':

Spoiler

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hey man got my newest one ready and would love to see your thoughts on it. This map is my release candidate because while it is "map complete" in terms of being playable, I don't think it's finished as far as adjusting and balancing goes. I don't think it's quite reached the "minor tweaks" phase yet and I need more playtesting to help me get there. So I'd really appreciate if you could give me some considered feedback regarding the encounters, particularly the big last setpiece that takes place in the canyon. Let's just say it involves a lot of "moving parts" and I think it still feels a bit cobbled together rather than being a functioning machine if that makes sense.

 

Details: Single map, 300ish monsters, Boom compatible, no advanced movement required.

 

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@BluePineapple72

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

This map gets better as it goes on. I didn’t love the beginning, where the absence of super shotgun was very noticeable as I crossed damaging floors, trying to avoid flying monsters that were often vertically out of my sight. When the first wave of pain elementals is released, you have only shotgun and rocket launcher, so that can easily become very annoying, whether you endure the boredom of killing them slowly or opt to rush on and ultimately deal with lots of their spawn. But after that I had a lot of fun. You run, you shoot, you dodge, you make sure you have suits. And then you BFG some stuff. It definitely felt slaughterish, but there were few enough waves and a low enough density not to annoy me.

 

Bottom line: fast paced fun action

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@BluePineapple72

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

I like the concept, and I like how hard it is not to notice. I think most will realize what’s going on here fairly early and be able to enjoy a majority of it. The principle is such that the map could easily get repetitive, but it avoided that by varying the challenges, the weaponry, and even the progression to some degree.

 

Bottom line: very cool spatial/visual gimmick that was implemented well for a Doom level

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@TOVA

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

E3M9

very basic Doom with more and more hordes of monsters. If sky as floor is going to be a noticeable, let alone prominent, feature of a map, then use one that tiles at the very least.

 

E4M9

I've seen TOVA be a competent mapper, but this is the kind of level you don’t release to the public.

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@LVENdead

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

Let’s start with visuals. It’s a great job using the stock textures. It reminded me early of DMPhobos and then later, which I did not mention, of Soulless. Nothing over the top or overdetailed. It always seemed to be a play space first and something to look at second. Really the only issue I had with the appearance was a common use of natural landscape textures drawn at straight vertical or horizontal lines, which results in fake contrast, and it was often quite noticeable at the light levels used. Gameplay was quite good as well. The styles varied between frantic, slow and steady, all out brutality, traps. I quite like the beginning where you get to explore a bunch of the map as you keep moving to avoid rockets. It’s also cool how those same revenants will probably last almost the entire map. Progression was probably the weakest link here, but I’m not worried about that because the mapper has shown acumen for that, and when I say “weakest,” I really mean “least strong.” But a few moments felt like there were missed opportunities for more organic connections. I love the big liquid level drop reveal to the epic finale, but it felt like a little too much more map to be suddenly revealed on a single switch without any view of it prior. There was also a significant backtrack upon getting the blue key that I felt could have been structured differently. In general, the big opening hub area isn’t much of a factor beyond that beginning, which I found mildly disappointing. But in the grand scheme of progression, it’s perfectly adequate. I guess I just wanted it to be A material, rather than B or B+ material.

 

Bottom line: Very fun adventure with good variety

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@HAK3180 SuperSecret Levels has been made in one or two days total (maybe 4 hrs). I made them in a convention of ROTT's "warp-only levels", as short and not serious maps. "Stupid Door Games" takes an inspiration from one of my previous maps "Door to door". "Air Battles" is a mixture of warp-only levels from ROTT: The H.U.N.T. Begins - "Too Tall" and "Playroom". "FAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL" is like "Gods of Annihilation" from Extreme ROTT, but with 4x more enemies and with 64 000 units tall void.

 

Anyway, thank you for your patience, improvements are going on. I'd like to complete missing 2 maps by the Feb. 2nd.

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@nicolas monti

 

Media Fire download page

 

What I don’t love about this type of map is how it often feels like a series of minimaps. Monti does reuse space here and makes liberal use of arch-viles to help prevent that feeling, but it does completely lack incidental combat, which is almost never a good thing in my book. But who am I? In the end, it’s a well set up arena of different fights and a wild one to end it off.

 

Bottom line: another successful setpiece map

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@BluePineapple72 (Today is the 12th day of Christmas, so one could say I finished this series right on time.)

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

It’s another map where most of your firepower is cells and rockets. It does a pretty good job of dividing up the challenge. There are several distinct setpieces plus a constant threat of different monsters. It’s also a pretty clever map in terms of progression, undeterred by the 10-sector limit.

 

Bottom line: Similar feeling to others, but nice job on the 10 sectors

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@BluePineapple72

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

14

Not really high quality Doom but manages to be enjoyable. It’s straightforward and basic, but you’re not overequipped or underequipped, and there’s not a lot of tedium

 

15

Not much to say here. The first fight is more interesting, trying to prevent the gunners and lost souls from reaching you. The second fight is a quick test of your efficiency, given one invulnerability and tons of cells.

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3 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

@nicolas monti

 

Media Fire download page

 

What I don’t love about this type of map is how it often feels like a series of minimaps. Monti does reuse space here and makes liberal use of arch-viles to help prevent that feeling, but it does completely lack incidental combat, which is almost never a good thing in my book. But who am I? In the end, it’s a well set up arena of different fights and a wild one to end it off.

 

Bottom line: another successful setpiece map

 

Thanks for playing it, I also don't like how the first couple of fights feel detached from the rest, I'll work on that in the next maps.

There is some unpredictability in how the different areas are opened, one of the portions have 2 different triggers you can step on by chance at different points of the map, but anyway the main indicator is something to grab, an item or weapon so you're kind of forced to grab it and that feeds continuity as something new is released.

There is no much room for incidental combat in these kind of compact layouts but I'll see if I can add some spice in the recipee like some distant closets and some roaming during the main fights.

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14 minutes ago, nicolas monti said:

There is no much room for incidental combat in these kind of compact layouts but I'll see if I can add some spice in the recipee like some distant closets and some roaming during the main fights.

Don't force the issue. I don't think the map is necessarily inferior because of this; I just personally prefer some more casual fighting to connect things. When I said "never a good thing in my book," the "in my book" part of that should be emphasized. Nothing but challenge setpieces is a valid approach too. Just a few days ago I read in the forum someone stating very plainly, "I don't like incidental combat." Do what you want to do, and do it well.

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1 hour ago, HAK3180 said:

Don't force the issue. I don't think the map is necessarily inferior because of this; I just personally prefer some more casual fighting to connect things. When I said "never a good thing in my book," the "in my book" part of that should be emphasized. Nothing but challenge setpieces is a valid approach too. Just a few days ago I read in the forum someone stating very plainly, "I don't like incidental combat." Do what you want to do, and do it well.

 

Yeah, it's just that the idea of these maps is the action being continuous, that can be done using very tall lowering pillars at different heights but it wouldn't make sense in maps with visible sky (I constrain myself to real physics most of the time).

We'll see what's next, I want to keep the maps small and simpler as I can.

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Posted (edited)

@HAK3180 thanks for the thoughtful commentary as always man!

 

A few thoughts:

 

Spoiler
  • Daedalus was basically a craftsman in Greek mythology and was the architect of the Labyrinth that contained the Minotaur. He was the father of Icarus, but I'd say your memory was pretty good! I don't know why I picked this specific name, but a semi-related "concept" I was twirling around in my head while making this map is the notion of mankind's "creations" being something to fear. Plus I was balls-deep in Supergiant's amazing Hades at the time, and had Greek mythology on the mind.
  • It seems like it's very easy to miss the early switch that opens the big doors to the cistern area. I don't really know what I want to do about this yet, as I don't want to give the player cover from the Revenants (and by that, the time to look around and see what the switch did), but almost everyone has missed the result of that switch initially. Something to consider...
  • "Psychological warfare" - yes, I wanted to toy with this concept and incorporate it into the map progression. Invoking paranoia, fear, anticipation, weariness, and surprise of course. The pulsing lights "maze" in the sewer is definitely the perfect example of it.
  • "Zombie spam fight" - you did this in probably the most ideal way possible. Find the secret RL, kite the Revs together, and blow them away quickly. If you DON'T do that, all the health in that fight is essential, the zombiemen chip you down super quickly.
  • "Finding the cheese moments" / "reusing the hub area" - I struggled a lot with this. The Archie on the platform is pretty harmless, and what I really wanted was something to punish players who try to flee the Caco trap by running past everything, but it's not working well yet. Additionally, I struggled with deciding how to implement a "refresh" of the area, because it's so easy to just go right to the blue door. Individual monsters tend to congregate at the base of the walkway that leads you toward the RL after the blue door, so they don't end up being very harmful either. You are more than welcome to make suggestions about this ;)
  • "Fake contrast effect" - yep, that is absolutely a symptom of my lack of experience with nuances of the Doom engine. I knew that the engine did this, but didn't really think about it much. I'll end up fixing all those since it bothers me as well
  • Cyberdemon at the end - the rock platform he's on is SUPPOSED to lower town and allow him to cross the linedef which TP's him down to the same level as the player, but it didn't work on your run. I have no idea why. Maybe some kind of complevel setting? The whole thing feels incomplete and I think overall I'm going to need to put some work in retooling that whole area, and especially all the combat after you've picked up one of the keys

 

--- a couple more to tack on, since I typed the first part of this response on my lunch break, mostly about the progression

 

  • Regarding the progression as a whole, I think that's probably what I'm least pleased with in this map. I mean the awkwardness of some of the fights can be tweaked, but the progression was one of the biggest tradeoffs I felt like I faced in this map design. I really wanted to come in at sub 300 monsters, but some of how the map developed towards the end broke that possibility - and so where I'm going with this is that I didn't want the progression to lean too heavily in "repopulate most old areas with new monsters".
  • Influencing that same decision was that I didn't really want the map to feel too grindy (or it loses some of that frantic feeling), and I didn't want the player to feel like I was disrespecting their time.
  • The blue key quest was a major victim of design creep - it was originally going to be some very simple hallways, so the there-and-back was not too long. It would have felt more like a small offshoot from the hub rather than a separate area. On the other hand, I think I kind of like the feeling you get from being away from the hub for so long and then finally seeing it on the other side of the "castle" fence.
  • I actually kind of agree with you about how the canyons are like a whole separate area and it's kind of...weird that you don't even see them until you open them...but on the other hand, I mean how cool is it for the water to drop, and the barrier to open to reveal it's this completely different looking outdoor area? Really kind of bewilders the player for a second (in a good way).

 

Edited by LVENdead

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Hey again, got a new one from the Lunar Outpost, Map09.

[ (G)ZDoom / TnT ]

 

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@ViolentBeetle


download the .zip

 

This mapset doesn’t have a ton of identity. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s only vanilla texturing, without major gimmickry in appearance or in action or in progression. If you do this style well, you should have a sizeable audience, and I would play all 32 maps like this for sure, but one might start to wonder what really differentiates this set. Maybe that’s not the goal and the question is moot, but where it does matters to me is in what I recall to be a pretty consistent use of arch-viles in high profile moments. I think finding other monster combos to star in the show of some of the big fights would go a long way, especially if this is to become a full megawad. Other than that, I like the map a lot. It’s compact and cohesive, with the start area being used/accessed multiple times. You can see all the locked doors from the spawn and have a decent idea how the map will progress. It is linear, but it’s well connected. As much as I had to say about arch-viles always being in the spotlight, the most memorable moment for me in this map was the nukage run to the noble-guarded elevator. ViolentBeetle is capable of setting up some unique stuff, even if the choice is not to use lots of custom/foreign assets.

 

Bottom line: pretty much more of the same. Whether that’s good or bad is largely in the eye of the beholder, but a certain level of quality is undeniable.

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@HAK3180 Thanks for playing. I actually went back to my previous maps and removed some of the viles I felt are unnecessary, same will probably be done with this one on revisions. The arch-vile who teleports after the blue key room switch is probably unnecessary, same with the final one.

Incidentally, the blood wasn't supposed to be safe, I just forgot to tag it when I was mass-tagging nukage to be damaging. But now it might be actually a good idea (Although you were supposed to put on a suit for it to add some time pressure).

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@Kyukon

 

Doomworld forum topic

 

I don’t know if the TNT vibes are intentional, but they’re there and in a good way. I like the large spaces and opportunities for exploration. The very beginning was a very good use of large space on paper shrinking considerably in the actual situation. Other areas, however, exhibited less acumen in that regard and were probably a bit too big and wide open. But the map has a thoughtful layout and several solid encounters. I appreciate how the map’s unfolding both confuses and intrigues. I wanted to figure it out, and I was never annoyed.

 

Bottom line: many TNT-esque positives in one map

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4 hours ago, ViolentBeetle said:

Incidentally, the blood wasn't supposed to be safe, I just forgot to tag it when I was mass-tagging nukage to be damaging.

Hmm, if it's all damaging, that's a clearer signal that you are supposed to have a suit, and I definitely did waste one. But I didn't mind the dynamic of what I played. This fight might actually be most interesting if you come down there without a suit, with or without a safe patch. If I have a suit, I probably just rocket everything long before it expires. But if you go that route ("mandatory damaging floor"), there will most likely be strongly expressed opposition to it. The problem is suits last too long for this fight.

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@nicolas monti

 

Media Fire download page

 

I like how this map allows you to have fun any way you take it. The “cowardly” route of “one by one” is still a challenge and allows you to use each weapon in a setting suited for it. But a player could also go the speed route and open up everything fairly quickly and get into very crowded territory in a hurry. So even though there are distinct encounters, the lines between one stopping and another beginning can be blurred. The map uses the space well, as Monti usually does, creating new fights in old, transformed areas. One thing I thought was too lenient is the cell supply. A couple times I thought the balance was good, only to find another bulk cell. And then the BFG seems entirely unnecessary, especially with as many cells as there are. The plasma gun is prominent, so we may be dealing with the shared cell ammo dilemma, but I would consider removing it altogether, at least from Ultra-Violence.

 

Bottom line: a very accessible encounter-driven short map

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

@nicolas monti

 

Media Fire download page

 

I like how this map allows you to have fun any way you take it. The “cowardly” route of “one by one” is still a challenge and allows you to use each weapon in a setting suited for it. But a player could also go the speed route and open up everything fairly quickly and get into very crowded territory in a hurry. So even though there are distinct encounters, the lines between one stopping and another beginning can be blurred. The map uses the space well, as Monti usually does, creating new fights in old, transformed areas. One thing I thought was too lenient is the cell supply. A couple times I thought the balance was good, only to find another bulk cell. And then the BFG seems entirely unnecessary, especially with as many cells as there are. The plasma gun is prominent, so we may be dealing with the shared cell ammo dilemma, but I would consider removing it altogether, at least from Ultra-Violence.

 

Bottom line: a very accessible encounter-driven short map

Nice advise! I'll test the map without the BFG, putting the megasphere on the pillar as a decoy at the south.

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Posted (edited)

I've been told it'd be a good idea to have an ambush coming out of the red key, which might make the box area come into play a little more, and this video makes me understand why a little more.  Additionally, maybe half of the monsters could be set to ambush down there as well.

 

I test in both GZDoom and Zandronum.  I would use PRBoom+ too, but I've used a few flats on walls in this, and while I've been making a conscious effect to try to stop doing that, I've spent too much time going back on the older levels to justify going back to fix all the instances of that, at least before making more new maps.  (I only recently learned that CONS1_5 is actually a flat, as I thought it paired up as a compliment to SPACEW3 for tek style decorations.)

 

That tip about the temporary block lines is pretty interesting!  The idea behind the Mancs guarding the exits of the western outside area was to prevent an early escape, but I get what you mean about how it's a little strange to have the Mancs behave like that.  A better solution for the northern exit might be to just have some Mancs that aren't deaf stationed at the far end of the northern room, and they can saunter over slowly, creating a similar effect without the awkwardness.

 

It was pretty entertaining watching you kite the Cyber around, haha.  I was just thinking of a Tricks and Traps tribute with that fight, you can get what you need and let them duke it out, or you can mosh pit with 'em.
And yeah I didn't want to be too rude with my first Mastermind after creating a gimmick for her, but that's some pretty sound advice about the combat armor.  I might just change it to security armor on UV.

 

As always, thanks for the feedback!

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