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RonnieJamesDiner

BLOODICIDE ~ 8 Levels for GZDoom

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Very fun and interesting encounters in this one, I will try to play that new version asap. Urge everyone else to do the same. Oh and it looks great, too!

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1 hour ago, elend said:

Very fun and interesting encounters in this one, I will try to play that new version asap. Urge everyone else to do the same. Oh and it looks great, too!

 

Thank you kindly, sir!

 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the later maps, though, there may or may not be more suicide bombers... :3

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Really enjoyed these maps.  They look and play great.  I died quite a bit but in this case it's a good thing.  I never got frustrated and there was always ammo and health available, so it was only a matter of my own skill.  Just really solid levels the whole way through. 

 

Only issue I came across was in the first level with the crushing ceiling near the end.  The first time the crusher came down, it never went back up and I was effectively stuck on the outside.  Maybe I missed something, but after reloading a save it seemed to go up and down on its own.  Otherwise, no issues.  Well done!

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7 hours ago, Squirb said:

Only issue I came across was in the first level with the crushing ceiling near the end.  The first time the crusher came down, it never went back up and I was effectively stuck on the outside.  Maybe I missed something, but after reloading a save it seemed to go up and down on its own.

 

Hmm, I'm not sure what might have caused this. That whole sequence runs on an ACS script, and there's just a timer for when the ceiling raises back up. I've never had that happen, but I'll see if I can duplicate it. Either way, I'm happy to hear you were able to resolve it by simply loading a save game.

 

Thank you for the feedback, and I really appreciate the kind words. Glad to hear you enjoyed the map set!

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Posted (edited)

Played the first five maps. (UV, pistol starts.) So far I'm impressed by the density of ideas -- hardly any conceptual filler in sight. Every moment in these compact maps aspires to count. The combat is brisk and challenging, the layouts flow slickly. Visually, some of the texture combos are perhaps garish, but it's not bad to look at and occasionally gorgeous.

 

What could use substantial improvement: 


1) The modded stuff: It's a mismash of tweaks and assets in need of executive tuning, mostly in the form of paring down. The inclusion of the suicide zombies is weird, thematically. The pistol replacement raising your view is a superfluous mechanic. I haven't picked up the cryo-bow in-game yet, but it looks like something from another game entirely. The text file indicates that the mancubus's HP increases in later levels. If that is not visually indicated (or perhaps lampshaded) somehow, I would do so. Changing mechanics in-game with no indication would be inelegant. The new hell knight projectile speed is overdone; when fighting those, it feels like we're in a different game-mode entirely.


2) The reverb in the cave or outdoor parts: It is cheap-sounding, overbearingly loud, and lacks realism. In map03 for instance, a sound in an open area will not echo multiple times within a few seconds. I spent some time trying to figure out how to disable it entirely, to give you an idea. 

 

One correction to the text file:

 

Quote

Arch-Vile:
    Max Target Range increased to 3000 (from 896)

 

The original archvile target range is known to be 1024. 896 in the code is a magic number added to 128. That also means the new target range might actually be 3128, if you simply changed that number. (No thoughts on how this affects gameplay, because I have not fought an archvile yet.) 
 

 

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Thanks for checking this out @rdwpa, I'm glad you've found some of the ideas/combat to be enjoyable so far.

 

11 hours ago, rdwpa said:

1) The modded stuff: It's a mismash of tweaks and assets in need of executive tuning, mostly in the form of paring down. The inclusion of the suicide zombies is weird, thematically. The pistol replacement raising your view is a superfluous mechanic. I haven't picked up the cryo-bow in-game yet, but it looks like something from another game entirely. The text file indicates that the mancubus's HP increases in later levels. If that is not visually indicated (or perhaps lampshaded) somehow, I would do so. Changing mechanics in-game with no indication would be inelegant. The new hell knight projectile speed is overdone; when fighting those, it feels like we're in a different game-mode entirely.

I did wonder how the tweaks were going to be received, so I appreciate the feedback here. So, the suicide zombies came about when I was trying to fill a role - I wanted a monster that closed the distance very quickly, and was very dangerous once it did close that distance. I tried experimenting with some changes to the Pinky, to make him fit this role, but ultimately it didn't pan out, and the suicide bomber seemed to work for it. It's a shame that he doesn't fit in very well (elend had a similar sentiment).

 

For the pistol, I think you're referring to the slight raise in the player view when firing the weapon? Which is a simple A_SetPitch being called. I can easily take that out.

 

Regarding the Mancubus. The only reason that their HP changes at all is because of their early game presence. Their HP is higher in the later levels to account for the extra damage (rockets, heavy chaingun, cryobow). But, when they appear early, and the player only has an SSG, I didn't want it to be a grind just to kill them, so I made an "early game" Mancubus with lower HP. I wasn't even going to include this information in the text file, because it was more of a "behind-the-scenes", quality-of-life type adjustment to reduce the grind of killing them early on (as opposed to a full-on change in mechanics), but I felt obligated to note every alteration I'm making, regardless of what it is.

 

Regarding the HK projectile speed. This... is something I love, haha. There was a time when these projectiles were a lot slower (closer to vanilla), but it just didn't feel as intense (and fun) to me while testing. That said, I became very familiar with it, and biased to it, so this mechanic might not actually be as fun to others as I think it is. I'm sort of cringing now, waiting for you to experience the Baron... his projectiles are even faster. Whoops! I'll see about reducing those numbers a bit.

 

11 hours ago, rdwpa said:

2) The reverb in the cave or outdoor parts: It is cheap-sounding, overbearingly loud, and lacks realism. In map03 for instance, a sound in an open area will not echo multiple times within a few seconds. I spent some time trying to figure out how to disable it entirely, to give you an idea. 

 

I'm sorry you had so much trouble with this. It was one of those things that I always wanted to use in a project, but if it's at the expense of the players' enjoyment, I'll definitely remove it. 

 

11 hours ago, rdwpa said:

The original archvile target range is known to be 1024. 896 in the code is a magic number added to 128. That also means the new target range might actually be 3128, if you simply changed that number. (No thoughts on how this affects gameplay, because I have not fought an archvile yet.) 

 

I was only going on the Archvile Class page on the ZDoom Wiki for this information, and had no idea that this was different. I appreciate the clarification, though! I am confused however, how you've yet to face an Archvile. On UV, you should have fought two of them at the end of map03, and a total of six of them on map05. If you beat both of those maps without fighting an Archvile, I really really want to know how!

 

 

With all of that in mind, I'm excited to hear your thoughts on the rest of the map set. I really appreciate the feedback, it means a lot and will help tremendously in fine tuning this project.  

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4 hours ago, RonnieJamesDiner said:

On UV, you should have fought two of them at the end of map03, and a total of six of them on map05. If you beat both of those maps without fighting an Archvile, I really really want to know how!

 

I likely broke something on map03, and hadn't quite finished map05 at the time of the post. 

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1 hour ago, rdwpa said:

 

I likely broke something on map03, and hadn't quite finished map05 at the time of the post. 

 

If you have the time one day, and if you don't mind, I'd be really interested in seeing a demo of map03 just to see what might be going on. I get crazy tunnel vision while testing maps, and often miss incredibly simple and obvious things xD 

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https://www.twitch.tv/videos/466810679

 

I play this at 2:58:55 into this playtest livestream. (on HMP)

 

This was hard, and it didn't help that I grew tired as I neared the end, but this was hard. Albeit very creative, and interesting, but hard. The weapons (well ok, mainly the heavy machine gun) were fun to use.

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@DuckReconMajor Hey, thanks for checking out the first map. Sorry you had so much trouble with the Cybie, the close-quarters mixed with the increased rocket speed is definitely an unforgiving combination. It is possible to actually tele-frag him, if you lure him down that corridor to the teleport pad, and follow him through. If you decide to check out the next few maps, hopefully you enjoy them a bit more!

 

@Suitepee Thanks for playtesting. I really appreciate you pushing through to completion, despite the exhaustion (and frustration). The opportunity to watch someone sit down and play through the entire thing from start to finish was tremendously helpful in getting a better understanding of it. I think you put it best at one point when you said, “every fight feels like it’s going straight for your jugular”. I was certainly aiming for a challenging experience, but I think I just lost sight of having a proper ebb and flow.

 

This WAD was a huge learning process, and I’m currently working on a large update which I hope will address some of the issues. GZDoom features and effects aside, I think I have a long ways to go just in terms of general map design, so I’m looking forward to venturing into future maps with the feedback I’ve received from this.

 

Cheers everyone.

 

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This wad is great, I really enjoyed it. It's well designed and I liked a number of the balance changes.

 

A few things:

 

- I do like the use of echoes in parts of it. For instance, I loved it when the reverb maxed out right as crusher finished crushing the pinkies and the music cut out, that was a great moment. Other times, it can be a bit much; I'd just say to be strategic about where you use it.

- The Baron of Hell has a projectile speed of 40. This is way, way too fast; combined with the three-way spread, getting hit is essentially unavoidable if you're closer than 30 feet. I edited the Baron projectile speed down to 25 in my game, and the Baron's became more manageable while still being challenging.

- If a monster's mechanics and stats vary significantly from the original, then I'd recommend changing the sprites to reflect that. I found myself falling back into muscle memory when dealing with the Barons and Hell Knights which lead to me dying a few times. Same with the enhanced Mancubuses in later levels; I kept wondering why they weren't dying to 4 double shotgun blasts. Realm667 has a number of sprites that you could use.

- I love the new weapons, especially the new chaingun, but I can't help but miss the plasma rifle. Perhaps it could be included as well?

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On 8/14/2019 at 8:39 AM, DuckReconMajor said:

I enjoyed it quite a bit so far I am just bad at doom and like to give mappers that perspective lol. Thank you for the telefrag tip.

 

I do appreciate it. It's always a healthy reminder that incorporating the different skill levels - from HNTR to UV in this case - is worth doing (and especially, taking the time to try and make sure that each skill level is still fun and interesting to play, which is challenge all on its own!) In the coming update, the Cyberdemon's rockets will be returning to their vanilla speed & damage, so hopefully that first level gimmick will be a little less ruthless. Thanks again for the kind words!

 

 

@Doctor Nick

 

Hey, I'm excited to hear you enjoyed the map set! Thanks for checking it out.

 

- I appreciate what you're saying about the reverb. There are a few places where I do intend to leave it in, and that opening Pinky pit is definitely one of them. I'm basically just going to be removing it from any of the large, open areas where the player spends a lot of time (and could therefore get tired of it very, very quickly).

 

- So, regarding the HKs and Barons: The plan is to revert both the Hellknight and the Baron to their vanilla state, and add two new enemies (namely, Tormentor667's Lord of Heresy, and Archon of Hell) which will have their attacks slightly modified. The HKs/Barons will return to their standard use and behavior, and the two new baddies will present the buffed, challenging additions to the bestiary. I'll be keeping both the Lord of Heresy and the Archon's projectile speed at 26 (none of this 40 business anymore). The HK and Baron will, of course, be back at the default 15 speed. This whole process has been the slowest part of the update, as I'm trying to incorporate all 4 of these enemies into the maps now (though, this has given me a lot more variety for the different skill levels, which is always a blessing).

 

I appreciate the feedback on this aspect. It's definitely been the greatest point of contention, so hopefully the changes take the WAD in a step the right direction.

 

-  The decision to replace the Plasma Rifle actually came from my own playtesting. What I kept finding was that the new Heavy Chaingun felt like it served the same purpose as the PR (just by the sheer damage output per second that it has), and I hardly ever found myself choosing the PR over that new Chaingun. Basically, I knew I had (or, at least it felt like I had) created redundancy in the arsenal, and I really wanted to use the Heavy Chaingun, so I set out to try and remove the redundancy by replacing the PR.

 

The reasons I went with the Cryobow specifically were:

  • I loved that it served as a direct counter to the Arch-Vile (which is one of my favorite enemies to use), in that the more monsters you kill using the Cryobow, the less monsters there are for Arch-Viles to resurrect (or it can be used to strategically eliminate the very specific monsters you don't want the Arch-Vile bringing back, such as the Baron).
  • I loved that the Cryobow could be used to take down Pain Elementals from a distance, while guaranteeing that they won't eject their Lost Souls upon death.
  • I enjoyed the dichotomy it created with the addition of the Suicide Bombers, especially if you found yourself getting cornered by a large pack of them - one blast of the Cryobow and they were dealt with, with no explosions.

Long story short, I felt like the Crybow served some really fun gameplay mechanics, and (just as crucial) it wasn't redundant with the Heavy Chaingun. 

 

However, in any of the playtesting I've had the opportunity to watch, the Cryobow is woefully underused next to the Heavy Chaingun (people friggin' love that Chaingun!) So, I might end up adding the PR back in, but leave the Cryobow in there as well. It can be a situation akin to the Shotgun and SSG, where both weapons occupy the same slot, but each one serves a different purpose.

 

Thanks again for the feedback, and for checking the WAD out. I'm glad you had some fun, and hopefully the next update will correct some of the detracting qualities. Cheers!  

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