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Jacek Nowak (jacnowak)

Hydrogen - new classic map - tell me how it plays

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Hi all,


I came back to mapping after a few years break and made a new map.


Some basic info:
Game: Doom 2.
Format: limit-removing (tested in Crispy and ZDoom)
Designed for classic gameplay.
Please do NOT jump.
Freelook is allowed but not recommended.
Exploration is encouraged!

Approximate play length: 30 minutes
All difficulties are implemented.


HAK3180 and Austinado playtested the preliminary version, I implemented some changes after watching their gameplay videos and decided to release the map today.


Let me know how you like the map, if anyone fancies recording a demo or a video of the released version, I would be delighted to watch :)


I uploaded the map to idgames archive but it will probably need some time to get indexed so I also uploaded it here for now:


I see that the map is already in the archives so you can also get it from there: https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/g-i/hydrogen


A screenshot to get the overall mood:



Edited by jacnowak

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A very well made wad from what I've been able to play so far, albeit one that could do with some changes. The design here is lovely and the map definitely flows well with not a whole lot of "WHERE DO I GO NOW?" in fact, this map is quite linear yet simultaneously non-linear. The map also comes with some fairly clever trap ideas (though not all of them).


A few issues I had however was the sudden enemy spam after the blue key. Was I meant to find a powerful weapon before grabbing it or am I just meant to take down quite a few enemies with the few shells lying about? I'm guessing in-fighting is what you wanted the player to do from what I can tell.


Another issue, and definitely my biggest problem overall is, the lack of health items. There IS health items in decent amounts but since there's a giant pit of slime in the middle, a few more stimpacks would go quite a bit further.


Speaking of slime pit, the pit is needlessly harsh if you accidentally fall of at either side and can easily zap 20-30hp from an accident. Maybe add teleporters to either side rather than in the middle? (or some other means of lessening the blow?)


Honestly I do love your work so far. Please keep this up. :)



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Thanks DynamiteKaitorn for your feedback!


Glad that you liked the map and the flow so far.


Wrt health - most of the medikits aren't in plain sight and not on the main route (although not particularly hidden), I wanted to encourage the player to explore a little bit, but I do agree that the map might be a little bit skimpy on health (although that only holds true if you don't find the secrets).


Wrt monsters after blue key - you are most likely to have chaingun, super shotgun and rocket launcher by the time you pick up the blue key :) It should be sufficient to have 2 out of the 3 to deal with the oposition but even if you somehow end up finding the way to the blue key earlier than to these weapons, monsters are spawned in such way that it's still possible to escape and get at least the rocket launcher before engaging in the fight. If you can, could you tell me which weapons you had at that point and how much ammo? (and what skill level were you playing on) It's always hard to balance that if you have a bit of non-linearity, especially as some of the ammo is in the optional areas.


Btw - the map has already been added to the archive so I updated the link.

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Okay, I took this one out for a whirl and finished it on HMP in just a hair over 37 minutes, 100/100/100, so at least for players at my modest skill level I think your estimation of its running time is about right.


In general I really like the way this map and its gameplay flow, with non-obvious triggers for releases of additional monsters as you progress through the map, reinforcements popping up unexpectedly in areas that you've already cleared.  It encourages a certain methodical approach, notifying the player that changes have occurred in areas that they can't currently see and inviting them to go back and see what new opportunities have opened up.  The start can be pretty rocky and I feel as though the expectation is that the player will charge forward from the start, only to get in over their head and die, repeatedly, until they've figured out where the early-map valuable resources (green armour, chaingun) are and how to get to them without releasing too many extra monsters.


I would say it's fifty-fifty whether the player will have the rocket launcher or not by the time they pick up the blue key, probably a bit less than that since the player is presented with a simple left-or-right choice between the two and it's more obvious that the right-hand path will lead to the blue key than that the left-hand path will lead to the rocket launcher.


Toward the end of my playthrough I found myself wishing for a quick way between the north-east corner of the main area (i.e. the north end of the east-side walkway, onto which the door from the start area opens) and the north-west corner of the main area - getting from the one to the other involves a rather length loop around the south of the map, or through the east and then the north of the map followed by a jump into nukage to lower bridge sector 162.  Maybe consider adding a switch that allows sector 238 to be lowered from the top, or a series of platforms that raises between those two separate sections of the walkway?  I know that taking "the long way 'round" through that section is an important part of the flow of gameplay earlier in the map, but I'm not sure I can figure out a compelling reason that it shouldn't be easier to get between those parts of the map once the initial set of challenges has been overcome.


In comparison to the rest of the map's stylish design and levle of detail, I felt that the triangular arena immediately before the exit was somewhat sparse; as both a sudden shift from an industrial environment to an infernal one, and the setting for the climax of the map's combat gameplay, I found it a bit understated.


Since you've included a computer area map it may be worth considering setting the 'hidden' flag on the lines that make up the "waiting rooms" from which monsters teleport, so that those inaccessible areas don't distract or misguide players looking to find all of the map's secret areas.

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i can't add much to what already been said, except that i have a feeling like it is a three maps glued together. visuals are ok, it's not about abrupt style changes or something, it is more about a flow. maybe it is just not a my style of maps, or maybe i just didn't expect it, but it feels like i have to do too much for one map.


but this doesn't mean that the map is bad, no. i enjoyed it. it is just a small feeling, and it doesn't make the map bad.

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It's a pretty cool map. Apart from the extreme dumbness in the first minute or so, resulting in a death, I didn't really have any issues with health, ammunition or difficulty. Looks like I took the "intended" route wrt weapon progression as I had both SSG and RL when reaching the BK, which did help my cause. i can see how taking a couple of wrong turns might lead to a tricky situation though, if you're underequipped when grabbing the BK. Finished in 17-18 minutes but didn't really go looking for secrets other than what I stumbled into while progressing through the map (and I'm also probably a bit speedier player than the average doomer).


FDA in the attachment, recorded with glboom+.


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This was very fun. (On UV) I didn't work out how to get the BFG before the final fight, but I was able to deal with it anyway. I half expected a Cyberdemon to be behind the final door, and I wonder if that would have been better, also with a slightly larger arena to fight in. The reason I say that is that you've already used Arch Viles a couple of times earlier on in the map, so it doesn't really have the same impact, and there is a decent amount of ammo to play with.


Nevertheless, a really fun map to play!

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I played it too but not as good - I enjoy finding the secrets though and figured out the last one in the editor afterwards. So close!  Great map 




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Haha, thanks @Biodegradable for digging this up :)

And thanks both for playing, I enjoyed watching both your videos, very fun! Glad you liked the map!


@Clippy Haha, indeed sooooooo close with the secret :) You already figured it out in the editor but the secret you missed was the megasphere that you could first see at 5:58 of your video, then you lowered it using the switch hidden in nukage alcove, that you were trying to figure out what it did, then you could see it briefly at 16:45, already lowered and ready to grab - would do good for you as you were at 6% health at that point :)

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