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meapineapple

Saltwater: A single-map Boom WAD

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Is this compatible with gzd? I just played through it and was able to access the exit after about 10 or so minutes and 17% kills. Is the button that lowers down the red pillars and gives you access to shotgun shells and such also supposed to open the pillars at the exit room? That's what happened. Maybe because of gzd? If so, I'll have to download Boom. Really liked what I played of it. 

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52 minutes ago, kknot5889 said:

Is this compatible with gzd? I just played through it and was able to access the exit after about 10 or so minutes and 17% kills. Is the button that lowers down the red pillars and gives you access to shotgun shells and such also supposed to open the pillars at the exit room? That's what happened. Maybe because of gzd? If so, I'll have to download Boom. Really liked what I played of it. 

 

Hm, I guess I need to test things more thoroughly before posting them. I broke a lot of teleport closets by mistake as I was cleaning things up for the release, and never noticed the issue. I've updated the download link in the original post. For posterity, here is the broken first release that I just replaced: saltwatr.2019.09.07.bad.zip

 

Thank you for playing @kknot5889 and I'm glad you were able to enjoy it despite the issue. I encourage you to give it another go!

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Played through on UV and thought it was quite a challenge until I started finding secrets. The rocket launcher and minigun obliterate any challenge present, now I am not saying to remove them as I feel it is the only way to deal with all the hordes of enemies that will be revived by the Arch-Viles. Finding the secrets is not the most intuitive thing in this level due to the lack of any indication that a wall can be activated. Overall I enjoyed what you made especially, with the simple but gorgeous texture use.

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What did my eyeballs just see? This map is visually impressive, wow. The structure of the building is stunning and detailed, extensive use of shadow makes me very jumpy, and it is fun to explore all the nooks and crannies. My only gripe is about the Archviles - horrible horrible things that annihilate my soul and burn my flesh. Otherwise I loved it!

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The texture scheme and atmosphere are just gorgeous and pretty unique, though to my tastes there are a few too many seagulls present in the audio track - I found the rhythm of the waves pleasant, the incessant cries of the gulls less so, especially when trying to sort out significant other noises (e.g. an arch-vile on the prowl, undoing all my hard work) from the cacophany.

 

I do like the "extra lap" setup of the alternate exit, with very little that compels you to seek it out save completionism and the satisfaction of finishing things up back where you started, by your cottage and its adjacent lighthouse, instead of in the depths of the distant seashore base.

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The exit bars are still tagged with tag 6 in the newest version. Moreover, I cannot find any other way to progress, even looking briefly in Doom Builder. Is most of the map secret/optional? I've now done two runs with commentary and running around in confusion; neither approaches 20 minutes.

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2 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

Is most of the map secret/optional?

 

Yep. See TheOrganGrinder's earlier reply?

 

Spoiler:

 

Spoiler

There are two shoot switches you need to find to see the true ending. One is through a window in a room with a rev, one is in the "exit" room.

 

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Okay, well, you never actually answered kknot5889's question, but implied "no," when it is in fact "yes." More importantly, I suggest you change "length: 20-30 minutes," as you can easily exit in 10 without rushing. Your par is 8:00.

 

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Okay, further thoughts here...

 

I think the use of large exit signs (48 units or three lines of text high, on both sides of the "bad" exit switch) over-emphasise this switch when not a lot of attention has been called to the "good" exit switch on the small island adjacent to the lighthouse and cottage, way back at the start of the map.  You've made this bonus objective clear in the level description ("Can you find your way back home?") but it's easy to lose track of it or to lack a sense of your progress toward it while playing the level itself - I don't know that there's anything within the fabric of the level that makes it clear that this is an additional objective or the "good" exit that the player is supposed to strive toward.  I'm playing in ZDoom using an automap configuration that highlights exit linedefs, but without that I wouldn't know what that particular switch did or why (or even if) it was important.

 

I also found that between the distance involved and the placement of the horizontal bars in the railing texture you've chosen to surround the sea fortress, it's actually quite tricky to notice that the pillars providing a bridge from the lighthouse island to the adjacent islet with the "good" exit switch have risen - given that this is activated by a walkover linedef, the player is probably going to be quite unaware of changes taking place back toward the start of the level.

 

I think the story that you're trying to tell here would be communicated more clearly within the gameplay of the level itself if you were to de-emphasise the "bad" exit visually, place additional guidance toward or emphasis upon the "good" exit, and rethink the way in which the player raises the pillars that grand access to the latter exit - maybe a switch located at the end of a peninsula, pier, or walkway extending from the north-west corner of the sea fortress, so that the player should be looking in the proper direction to see the pillars rising?

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Hi Pineapple, I just played this map, pretty nice! This is like the pinnacle of MYHOUSE.WAD maps; I mean this completely as a term of endearment. It's got a good scale that makes it feel tight without being too cramped, and makes the Archviles pretty troublesome just because they can be so hard to get to.

 

I got the normal exit and one secret on my first playthrough, and then went back and got everything. I think it's fine like this, I like that you trust the player, and the map is small enough that it wasn't a big deal for me to start over once I finished the first time.

 

If you do stuff with extra palettes like this in the future, consider using some truecolour textures or even just a GL skybox? That sky texture is nice but there's no way it's going to not look full of banding without abandoning the Doom palette entirely. Also not having the new palette colours arranged, in an order like the normal palette, does weird things to PrBoom+'s coloured HUD numbers. Minor complaint though!

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I'm really glad to hear about your experience @plums. Saltwater isn't a close reproduction of any real-world location, but it is inspired by real-world places I've been. I wanted to make a map that could give a similar feeling as what I feel when walking and exploring old buildings near the ocean. I saw that some people weren't happy with how the "true ending" isn't made more explicit, but I wanted it to be a reward for attentive and invested players rather than a longer slog imposed on players who didn't care so much for the atmosphere. I feel satisfied with the endings being as they are.

 

It was challenging to portray a sunset in a Boom-compatible way, and while I am happy enough with the end result to have settled on it, it was certainly not a perfect solution. Would it have been possible to use truecolor or a GL skybox and still have it be Boom-compatible?

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Interesting map. I found the placement of everything to be quite good and the early ambushes to be threatening, maybe a tiny bit repetitive. I like the option of ending the map early vs. exploring more, that's definitely a good touch. The map has quite a good atmosphere and the textures and the seagulls complement it well. I have only one minor complaint:

 

Spoiler

The Hellknights at the bfg battle can be teleported much faster than they are now IMO. The fight is almost not worth using the BFG over.

 

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3 hours ago, meapineapple said:

Would it have been possible to use truecolor or a GL skybox and still have it be Boom-compatible?

It's been a while since I've played with anything like this but IIRC the GL renderers of both GZDoom and PrBoom+ support GL skyboxes. They both support truecolour textures as well but GZDoom's software renderer will maybe also try to load these and convert them to the normal palette (same with other ZDoom ports), while PrB will just ignore them in software mode. I think? Do you still have the un-paletted version of that sky?

 

The double ending thing would have been frustrating for me on a giant map that takes an hour to finish normally, but for something like this I think it was just fine. Also it's always fun to have outside areas in a map that are inaccessible to a player, but then it turns out you can actually get there if you look hard enough.

Edited by plums

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Hey @meapineapple , I must admit that the map was quite interesting, I really liked having tried it, something hard at first, but then, everything was like a walk in the park, my congratulations for such an interesting map that you have created.

By the way, I made it a gameplay using some mods to make the experience more interesting, and I also added my own edition to the background, so that it gave a little more charm to the gameplay (in my opinion of course), again, it was quite a pleasure to have played this fantastic map.
 

 

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Most beautiful seaside map I've ever seen.   Great ambience!  Got 81% kills, 100% items, 66% secrets so far.   Only suggestions I have so far is let the player walk a little further out into the water at the beginning as it feels too constricted and inside right before soulsphere, that curved shelf with bonuses has some misaligned brick.   I suspect there is a way to get back to beginning (which would be nice if there isn't), since I couldn't reach that switch and shooting it did nothing.

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I love the sky texture, it's a perfect fit for the theme of your wad.

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