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Doomkid

Rowdy Rudy Returns in: POWERTRIP! (Vanilla community project!)

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Oh, this looks beautiful Moustachio! I'll play through it and give it proper feedback tomorrow, very glad to have you on board.

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shameless offtopic: besides being the wad i want to play, it also helps me to fix some dehacked bugs in k8vavoom. so, double win, and double thanks! ;-)

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I finally sat down and played through the (so far) submitted maps. As a general forward, I'll just say that I played each map on Expert, and everything so far has been incredibly fun. I think the end result of this project is going to kick some serious ass! I'm really excited to play the whole thing on a continuous run when it's complete. Also, as a side note, this was a real chance for me to experience the new arsenal with some decent length of time and breadth of combat, and I have to say I'm loving the setup here. The pistol replacement / chaingun replacement combo is just delightful, and I found myself using both almost equally in various situations. Really digging that. The new bestiary is also very fun to face down, with little to be desired on all fronts.

 

Anyways! On to the reviews. I just wrote a quick blurb of thoughts on each one as I played them, rather than diving into a massive commentary on them. If I missed a map/DL somewhere in the pages, I'm sorry. Please feel free to poke me with a stick and let me know!

 

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@Voltcom A solid little map that reminds you just how vicious a lot of these new enemies can be, even in small numbers of low-tier ones. A compact layout that does a nice circle, with some chaingunners seemingly perched in all the right places to be effective. I loved the flamethrower/caco trap at the end! An all around good looking map, as well, that gets the job done and gives a great taste of what’s on offer with this project. The Plasma Gun, while unexpected and possibly unnecessary, was still a welcomed little inclusion.

 

 

@DerFurer'sFace This map starts heavy and doesn’t let up! I enjoyed the action here, with some traps that really demanded quick thought and movement (the one after the blue door especially), and a few well placed Archviles. Found the new Pistol replacement incredibly useful here, and all around ammo supplies seemed balanced quite well – I had what I needed but not an ounce more. Really liked the juxtaposition between the indoors and outdoors of the environment as I progressed through it, and the MIDI choice was just about perfect. I only wish the Chainsaw secret had been something a little more worthwhile, like a Soulsphere or Plasma Rifle. The vending machine secret was a clever idea that made me smile, though.

 

It would also be nice to have that red door open again, at the end. I can understand wanting to trap the player inside for the final showdown (which is a great setup), but perhaps the final switch that reveals the exit could also open the path back up for the player to explore the rest of the map again, should they wish to.

 

 

@DavidN There is a lot of polish to this map, from the detail/texture work, to the layout and gameplay, and I just loved exploring and progressing through it. You used the space very well, and although the combat was fairly casual in nature, there was just a lot of fun to be had here. The general look and feel of the map is something I really wish I could’ve imitated in my own, and I especially admired how you hid secrets – there was always a different kind of clue for each one. I think this map will serve wonderfully as an early one in the set, and both the visuals as well as the flow seemed rather masterful in execution, given the simplistic limitations of vanilla.

 

 

@riderr3 Let me start by saying I love that you made your opening a perfect transition from David’s map, and the difficulty actually does seem to scale quite naturally and believably between the two. This is by far the most atmospheric level yet, accompanied by a very fitting MIDI. The progression here was really interesting (in a good way!), as you slowly explored and uncovered the route through this dimly lit and abandoned cavernous facility. I thought the use of monsters worked very well with some great set ups, and likewise with secrets. I absolutely loved your use of the custom texture set, as well. That truck with its headlights still burning away and a Revenant behind the wheel was beautiful! A really solid, moody level. If I could offer up my two cents on anything in particular, it would be the final fight outside. As is, the monsters are just so prone to infighting the way they’re unleashed opposite each other, that it’s hardly a fight at all (which just felt anti-climactic). See the image in the spoiler tag below:

Spoiler

RR_ridermap.png.dbc8051e63f0b6ca06cfe9a16b3c398f.png

 

 

That said, if infighting was the intention, then this sequence is perfect :D

 

 

 

@TravyB Another really cool level. I absolutely loved the opening segment, winding through the rocky passageways teaming with little hidden cubbyholes and vantage points nestled behind the vines. This was a very neat way of utilizing a lot of the new custom enemies effectively. I also appreciated the hell out of the fact that the first secret lets you get the drop on those Mancubi, which I then later realized was a massive blessing. The map as a whole was pretty memorable and stood out in the set with an interesting theme – as though I were discovering some demon-infested Amazonian temple, home to perhaps a very mysterious and clandestine facility. The gameplay was all around quite fun, with the opening section being a definite standout, followed by the centre chamber trap that lowers (though I almost wished there had been some nastier foes waiting down there). There were a few things I took note of, and I’ll just throw them in a spoiler tag below. The map could probably use a bit of a texture alignment sweep, as well, though this is far from being the end of the world. It was most noticeable on doors.

Spoiler

Monsters had a bad habit of getting trapped on these stairs. I’m not sure how much room there is for you to actually change these, or make them any wider, but I thought it was worth mentioning as it allowed me to cheese the final battle quite easily.

 

RR_travy1.png.72b313ebb9d840806f8330ab9c6b26ef.png

 

 

 

There are no textures on the base of this platform, resulting in an odd visual here. (Though, it's kind of hard to tell in this screenshot, it's very apparent in-game.)

 

RR_travy2.png.5436bde230cc6bb1ae3cd65d07f1e1d3.png

 

 

 

 

@Moustachio This was another sincerely polished map, with great visuals and use of textures, and very satisfying combat. The opening “base” was really fun; it had a great layout and an aesthetic style that I honestly wished to see more of. Then we transition into a small valley of connected tunnels and passageways where, really for the first time in all of the submitted maps I played, I got to see a lot of the new, mini Spider-Mastermind, which was used very well here and – as it turns out – was quite a fun enemy to face. Not to mention a fantastically effective Archvile at the end. Much of the outdoor section was a tad darker than it would otherwise seem as though it ought to be, but beyond that tiny nitpick, this was just a great looking level with an equally commendable use of the new enemy roster. Really fun!

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@RonnieJamesDiner That whole final fight needs a bit of tweaking, as far as I'm concerned, but figured I'd leave that for whenever play-testing began. I liked that the predator imps (I forget their name) tend to, for whatever reason, convene down there and wait for you to kill everything else during the first fight there. I'm guessing their speed keeps 'em from navigating up and out of the stairs properly. 

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@RonnieJamesDiner Thanks for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

 

I made that outdoor area real dark because I enjoyed the Predator vibes I was getting from penetrating a deep jungle. Lighting up the environment with the chaingun is especially fun in this wad thanks to the dehacked work.

 

I hesitated on adding details because I was afraid of breaking the vanilla limits, but now I think I'll revise the look of that area a little bit so that the theme is more apparent and the darkness is more appropriate.

 

I'll also raise the brightness by 8 or 16 just to improve visibility, so everything doesn't become a jumbled mess of vine midtextures and enemies.

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12 hours ago, TravyB said:

That whole final fight needs a bit of tweaking, as far as I'm concerned, but figured I'd leave that for whenever play-testing began. I liked that the predator imps (I forget their name) tend to, for whatever reason, convene down there and wait for you to kill everything else during the first fight there. I'm guessing their speed keeps 'em from navigating up and out of the stairs properly. 

 

Other than feeling a little light on rockets to deal with the Barons, I actually thought that fight was pretty cool, especially with the double Archviles thrown into the mix on opposite ends. Like I said, if it weren't for things getting gummed up on those steps like its quicksand, that whole setup would be quite awesome.

 

4 hours ago, Moustachio said:

I made that outdoor area real dark because I enjoyed the Predator vibes I was getting from penetrating a deep jungle. Lighting up the environment with the chaingun is especially fun in this wad thanks to the dehacked work.

 

I hesitated on adding details because I was afraid of breaking the vanilla limits, but now I think I'll revise the look of that area a little bit so that the theme is more apparent and the darkness is more appropriate.

 

Oooh, I honestly never thought about that / made that connection, but I love the idea! Rather than increasing the light level then, perhaps just raising the height of all the walls to really embrace that look and feeling (and make the darkness a little more believable). I think it was just the contrast of the super bright skybox right in your face the whole time that created the cognitive dissonance for me. Making the canyon just a little deeper might solve that completely, and still leave the Predator vibes of lighting it up with gunfire.

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This is pretty amusing, definitely like the contra\duke 2 esque action hero vibe combined with the wonky ass strain style monster edits. Noticed some stuck minispiders in map04 which I'm sure has been mentioned already and is probably a holdover from placing ordinary chaingunners or forgetting to account for doom builder having internal width values for actors instead of checking dehacked or whatever. Maybe that *should* be checked by DBX?

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8 hours ago, Marcaek said:

This is pretty amusing, definitely like the contra\duke 2 esque action hero vibe combined with the wonky ass strain style monster edits. Noticed some stuck minispiders in map04 which I'm sure has been mentioned already and is probably a holdover from placing ordinary chaingunners or forgetting to account for doom builder having internal width values for actors instead of checking dehacked or whatever. Maybe that *should* be checked by DBX?

Wonky? How so? All the enemies and weapons seem to function well, right? I deliberately tried to make sure that each enemy had a clear purpose and is actually different from the standard roster, so if something about it is shitty please do tell me, I want it to look and feel reasonably polished despite the obvious 90’s mod inspiration. I love STRAIN though so if it’s evocative of that I’m all for it, but I would definitely prefer to be just a notch “cleaner” than STRAIN, if you know what I mean.

 

You guessed right on Map04 too, when I released the first alpha I derpily forgot to thing swap the chaingunners and arachnotrons around (d’oh). When the next (much more fleshed out) beta comes along all of those little uglies will be fixed up.

 

EDIT: Also I totally agree that this mod desperately needs a DB config, but I don’t know how to make them. I considered making a “for modding only” version of the wad that at least displays the correct sprites, but that seemed like such an ugly solution that I didn’t bother - plus important stuff like hitbox size would still be ignored using that method.

 

EDIT 2: Since yesterday I’ve been on the road evacuating from bushfires that are currently covering NSW, it’s insane. I won’t be able to work on this more til I’m at my PC in about a weeks time, but I’m glad I have my phone to at least keep up with things. I meant to thank you earlier RJD for those detailed reviews!

Edited by Doomkid

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Not really happy with the direction of my map. Going to rebuilt small parts of it. I have the start, the first area and the ending where the exit trigger is and those parts I am happy with.

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Quote

 I love STRAIN though so if it’s evocative of that I’m all for it, but I would definitely prefer to be just a notch “cleaner” than STRAIN, if you know what I mean.

 

That's basically what I mean, so you're fine.

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9 hours ago, Doomkid said:

EDIT 2: Since yesterday I’ve been on the road evacuating from bushfires that are currently covering NSW, it’s insane. I won’t be able to work on this more til I’m at my PC in about a weeks time, but I’m glad I have my phone to at least keep up with things. I meant to thank you earlier RJD for those detailed reviews!

 

No worries, I hope everyone is okay, take whatever time you need. That can be pretty devastating depending on the severity of things. Thoughts are with you!

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@Doomkid @RonnieJamesDiner

 

I've got a new version of Mutagen Plant ready for playtesting: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x8uefhvdnflh241/mutagenplant-r2.zip?dl=1

 

I made sure to take care of the aesthetic problems with the jungle/valley area. The darkness should seem more believable now.

 

I also played around with the sky height in the opening area, and I ended up on a really tall base that I actually enjoy the feel of a little more. It makes more sense with the geometry of the computer base and jungle, and gives the map a more unique feel IMO. With the raised sky came more room for detail, so I went ahead and added some more detail.

 

The area around the blue key door now operates differently as well, and the map has been beefed up on HMP and UV (especially UV).

 

h6pvgPr.png

 

EDIT: The nukage on the floor of the base near the start can be removed too, that area is a bit rough to move around in.

Edited by Moustachio

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