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The DWmegawad Club plays: MAYhem 2019 & Alienated

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That was initially the case, but when you take into consideration that the map has no music and a very obvious gimmick...well, it doesn't really feel like it should be the first impression for a mapset. I can change it around if there's enough consensus, but for what it's worth that's my case on the matter.

 

Also new link! MAP10, MAP13 and MAP17 have been updated.

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MAP05 - “Orpheus Desu” by Impie

 

A Japanese-themed map set in poisonous surrounds, where you need to find the blue key to raise your path to the exit. All maps have played pretty different from each other so far and this continues on that theme. This map is a lot easier than the previous one by virtue of its large amount of space. The skeletons and sniping red imps are pretty easy to pick off. Then you get the flamethrower (and the fuel!), an awesomely powerful weapon that obliterates anything near. I wonder how it would’ve done against the chainsaw dude from the last map. So although you do get bigger congregations of enemies later on, they are pretty simple to pick off.

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MAP05 - “Orpheus Desu” by Impie 100% kills0% secrets

 

We've gone from claustrophobia to Japanese courtyard picnic. Poisoned surroundings hem you in onto platforms and higher ground while glass cannons hunt you down. Using the Blood textures to make vaguely Asian architecture makes for an inviting contrast, as does that awesome MIDI track.

All this space definitely gives you a huge advantage compared to previous maps. Skellies hardly make a dent, the fast imp balls can't compete with your speed across easily undulating hills, and the starspawn in the middle are more or less sitting ducks. I honestly don't mind this, though. It's a fun breather map that still has a couple semi-lethal teleport traps ready to test your concentration. The flamethrower introduction here is quite good, a case where all that running in circles gets you something substantial which you'll use as much as possible. Map does a good job of economizing its space in open air, hurtling you to different parts of the arena when necessary. This one went by fast, but its theme and quick starts make it very memorable.

That said, ammo balance is a bit tight. I expended nearly all my reserves until I got to the exit for some extra shells.

Edited by PasokonDeacon

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Map 05 

 

In community projects with custom monsters, some people are tempted to shoehorn the whole roster into their maps. This map strays far from that, paring down its elements a lot. Where the bestiary is concerned, this is a solid approach considering how haphazardly much of it fits together. You get skellies, imps, and mummies, and hardly anything else. Most of the action is pared down as well. The map is a fatter vein of shotgun jousting and RL hurling, of skelly harrassment and condo-dwelling-imp heckling, of free-range evasion of small hordes. Then there are smaller capillaries of supporting elements (flamethrower, swampcubi, mummies, soft platforming, etc.). Again, a viable way to handle a small map.

 

The risk of this is that appeal becomes tethered to a limited number of core elements. I like the skellies, but action leans heavily on the single shotgun, and those perched imps are scattered everywhere. So the combat usually wasn't my cup of tea, and I much favored running past stuff. 

 

Worth observing is how ammo tends to be withheld, always prodding you deeper into enemy territory while monsters harry you around. This becomes especially evident during the map's biggest ambush, where it makes no sense to delay picking up that chaingun. Throughout, you have lots of room to move, but also little health to recover from mistakes. To make up for that, the map's roster excludes hitscanners, and the nukage coverage is soft, serving mostly as a punishment for clumsy movement. All in all, the map's 'executive choices' are handled well. 

 

Aesthetically, it's serviceable, but bare expanses of rockface such as this could do with, at the minimum, some 'height play' -- that technique where you carve out sectors and place sky horizon behind them. The bare walls look a notch rougher than the rest of the map. 

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Map 06

 

I like how this looks. It is not very 'detailed' in any given spot -- but the shapes, the heights, the clean texturing, the way the layout snakes together, it all leaves a good impression. Favorites are the tiny-Escher stairs area, the northwest region with its garden look, and the central tower chamber. Aesthetically, I much prefer this type of map to the 'hyperdetailed box-hallway-box' look.


The combat is really laidback, apart from a few more intense moments. The more objective issues I had with it:
 

- The satyrs are comically ineffective where they appear. I'm not a strict proponent of the 'all monsters have to be threats' mindset, but these appear in giant spaces where they clearly can never do anything to you. It is like seeing a turreted pinky, only with a lot more HP.

 

- The subterranean barons guarding the rocket launcher are dull.

 

- For a map with 182 monsters, many mid-tier, the map is overtly stingy with the 'good stuff': 15 total rockets, not a great deal of fuel. That seems weird here, and points towards unused opportunities to make exploration or secret-hunting more satisfying. Extra would not disrupt balance -- there is hardly a difference between SSGing a cacolantern or baron in a giant space, and having RL/flamethrower for it. 

 

- Depending on what route you plunge into first, it's very possible to start off without the SSG or CG, or both, for a while. During that period you will accrue lots of shells and bullets. I was at 300 bullets before picking up the chaingun. Shotgunning mid-tiers instead of SSG-ing them adds nothing of value in these spacious areas. Pistoling them is worse. That limits how 'non-linear' the layout functionally is, in reality, and the map hangs its hat on non-linearity. So it's worth considering the merits of adding another copy of each. 

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MAP01: Spiteful Hall

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

I definitely got the same monster-placement-vomit feeling that some others did, in that the enemies here seem (for the most part) strewn around randomly. The sheer variety also is probably not the best for an intro map, as the constant variety (and not having any idea how the new monsters worked) had me taking things pretty slowly. I counted at least 11 different types of enemies, many of which only have a couple that show up. That's almost twice as many enemies as show up in the entirety of KDITD! Some of the placement is also odd - for example, the robed pistol-wielders show up in front of a huge group of bone-throwing skeletons, and I didn't even realize they were different from the robed shotgunners at first. Or the skeletons in the pits in the main area to the west. It's all very hodgepodge-y feeling, which doesn't help since the map layout itself doesn't have the strongest identity. I did like the design the of the start (beginning outside peering into a gloomy building) but the actual areas inside felt somewhat underdeveloped. I do like that there's room to move around in though, especially since that lets the player experiment a bit with the new enemies.

 

MAP02: Murksville

100% kills, 5/6 secrets

 

Four more new enemies here (well, if you count the AV as new... can't tell if they've changed at all) in case you didn't get your fill from last map. This one is basically a micro city level, with two outdoor areas containing a handful of buildings to explore. Nice atmosphere, but yeah, the lack of health makes this one really difficult, especially starting out from pistol start as every direction will just run you into death squads of hitscanners, meaning you'll need to slowly trickle them out. There's some more questionable item placement here, like the chainsaw that will likely be useless (no more dogs after you find it), the two SSGs right near each other, and the stupid invisibility sphere.

 

MAP03: Entry̷͉͂w̶͍͝ă̶͕y̶̛̥

100% kills, 2/3 secrets

 

Well this is an interesting one, starting off in the usual techbase and then starting sudden swaps between the Doom-verse and Blood-verse before finally settling on the latter. The warp gimmick with silent teleports is a little too sudden-feeling in a way, I'm not quite sure how you would stretch it out but sometimes it was a bit off-putting, especially if I backtracked (do they need to be repeatable, maybe single-use trips would be better?)

 

I do agree that it might make sense to make this the opening map, but I think it would need some updating... the opening shot is extremely boring (brown dirt!) and while I realize the lack of music is probably purposeful, it should have something in the music slot (I'm sure you can find a track that's creepy and quiet). Maybe even make the opening a bit more Entryway-like too, to make the opening a thematic 'Doom gone wrong' sorta thing.

 

MAP04: Dull Needle

100% kills, 1/2 secrets

 

Now this is a good one, nice and punchy. Pretty good layout that feels like a traditional modern map that could fit in a lot of different themes, but still makes good use of the provided resources. Good point in the middle where there's a nice big room to let fly with the SSG on a bunch of popcorn enemies, then get dropped into a nice ambush with all the cacodemons. I for one really liked the introduction of the chainsaw zombies here, as hearing the chainsaw purr definitely had me wondering when the Leatherface expy would pop out. One at the exit room got a good chunk out of me too.

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MAP06 - “Chrono” by Worm318

 

Another map that plays very differently from the others. This feels quite like an Eviternity-style map to me, aside from the fact that ‘spooky’ wasn’t a theme in that wad. The map starts by a central hub that separates out four sections of the map, two water based and two blood based. Another new enemy this map, the flying plasma brains. They were pretty cool, without being as threatening as arachnotrons. The pistol cultists were quite lethal in this map, and nearly killed me twice. Otherwise, although its definitely harder than the last map, this is still on the easier side. The different sections ultimately take you back to the hub three more times to lower the door to the exit. This was a fun map to play.

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Map 05 -- Orpheus Desu - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets

A simple but enjoyable little romp, Impie's first map depicts a rustic old village in a vaguely 'Japanese' idiom, overrun by creatures of darkness. The emotional tone of the map is somewhat mixed/odd, as the setting itself has a number of rather grim details -- inhabitants strung up and gutted in a shed, a small quarry on the outskirts with skeletons and a flamethrower in it, presumably used for burning bodies, piles and piles of unearthed bones (or are they simply unburied, given that cremation-pit?) littering the grounds around the desecrated shrine outside of the village, so on -- juxtaposed with an air of general jollity; a nice jog on a crisp fall afternoon, with a somewhat silly but admittedly infectious BGM selection. Odd or not, though, this somewhat self-contradictory impression is not really offputting, perhaps in the way that many horror movies have an unabashedly goofy streak alongside the blood and guts, and maybe even adds a little something-something to the map's memorability (I still have the damn BGM stuck in my head, now).

 

Apart from the jack-o-lantern propped up against one of the tori gates at the outset, the Blood resources are surprisingly adequate for realizing the setting. This kind of efficiency as regards both resource usage and geometry has been part and parcel of Impie's style; most of the layout is comprised of roughly carved out natural terrain, with buildings serving mainly as solid objects in the field, or as visual dressing along the outer boundary, sat up on cliffs to keep them away from the player and downplay their lack of interior space (too many buildings with little/nothing in them tends to hurt the immersiveness of a town/village setting, as we saw to some degree in m02). Texturing is broadstroke and pays little mind to aesthete's banes, like tiling around the cliff edges or the 'hovering' midtex bands used for the shrine building, but the scale and styling of most buildings is suited to minimize these issues there, and the overall setting and elements of the scene communicate themselves very clearly (i.e. 'this is a sort of idealized Japanese farming village'), in spite of and perhaps partly because of the simplicity of the presentation. The lighting is rather bland--room for a lot more overcast light/shadow contrast here--and I was not sold on the use of the stock E1 sky in this case, though this does seem like a deliberate choice in this case rather than a default selection.

 

The play is loosely but intuitively structured, with more of a sense of freedom to run/roam than in earlier maps. From pistol-start, the ammo and weaponry you receive at the outset is not adequate (or, if you really game it, maybe *barely* adequate) to kill the creatures roaming the grounds, and if you insist on fighting everything as it first accosts you you'll be basically out of ammo to fight the reinforcements which materialize at major progression checkpoints. Instead, you are clearly intended to run through the village, firing on targets of opportunity, but largely leaving the monsters to riot among themselves, until the final cleanup. Navigation is initially controlled by fences, which shapes your route but leaves all active monsters 'in play' to some degree from beginning to end; ammo pickups are also strategically placed to inform this track-style layout, though some major caches (mainly rockets) are placed in such a way that they aren't easy to spot at first, which can throw a hitch into/somewhat muddle the sense of flow.

 

The level notably uses a much smaller number of creature types than has thus far been the norm -- skeletons and imps predominate, with mummies as beefier (jerky-er?) muscle to act as limited blockades in the later stages, with a couple of other cameos for color. The flamethrower also debuts as well. This is another fairly familiar weapon in PWADs, and in my experience it tends to either be absolute trash-tier or giddily overpowered; happily, MAY19's version is definitely an example of the latter, and can melt through dense clusters of demonic HP with astonishing speed, rendering the potentially troubling mummy-blockades as substantial as tissue-paper, though its ammo consumption is truly voracious to compensate. Broadly speaking, using smaller selections of new actors/weapons in more pointed ways as this map does seems to give those assets more time to shine than the hodgepodge showcase approach of the earlier maps, both because you've more opportunity to notice individual quirks outright (the skeletons look hilarious while infighting with other creatures, by the way) and because the player has more time to learn/digest and ultimately engage/counter-engage with them in this way. Doom is over two decades old, mind, and I'm not saying that PWADs are always well-served by introducing everything on a drip-feed as though none of us has ever played an FPS before (often this is a recipe for a very dull/flat low-plateauing experience), but this more focused/intentioned use of new stuff certainly helps individual maps assert more of a definite personality, especially in these early-game slots.

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MAP07 - “Mind Screw at the Cemetery Complex” by Redead-ITA, joe-ilya

 

Yes, this is a mind screw alright. If I thought the blue orbs were frustrating in the first map, it’s nothing compared to this one. The first time you see them is fine, they are at a distance and pretty non-threatening. The second time five of them appear right in front of you, and if you enter the sector too fast you’re done for. Must have killed me about 5 times. At least. The third time they appear is generally okay, even if they got me the first time. But worst of all is the last time. One spawns on top of a coil and it’s easy to miss if you’re not glancing to the top of your screen, it just killed me from behind. And then a second time spawned right next to me and robbed me of almost all my health. I’m really not sold on the blue orbs as a monster at all to be honest. They just seem to be a source of frustration, at least at their current 'insta-death' damage levels.

 

Anyway, this map starts nice enough, in a neatly decorated cemetery with another one of those chainsaw guys for company. When you enter the complex though, that’s when the real mind screw begins. As you pick up the chainsaw, the map transforms to an infernal mess, a pretty neat trick. Then you drop down to the other side of the cemetery, when you can either take the open battle, or head inside and attack the monsters as they teleport in. The first time I took the open battle but second time onwards opted to go inside. It’s still not easy because the skeleton attacks and plasma brains are hard to dodge in such a cramped space. Then the map transforms again to a cave area which is pretty cramped and accounted for all of my non-orb deaths. After you kill the last orb the rest of the map is pretty simple. In the intermission screen, there’s a typo on the map name, with ‘cemetary’ rather than ‘cemetery’ (it is spelled correctly everywhere else).

 

There’s actually a pretty good map lurking here. It’s just that in my opinion (and others may well disagree) it needs the orbs gone for it to show.

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Map 06 -- Chrono - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets

Ah, this is a nice change of scenery! Lots of space, and lots of color; a broad palette of both the Blood textures and a selection of others from other sources playing backup creates something which in sum total greatly reminded me of the look and feel of Eternal Doom. The map is arranged into four quadrants, each with a distinct texture theme; the map name might perhaps indicate that these are meant to suggest slices of different time periods, though to me they all communicate something of a grandiose castle/fallen civilization feel, albeit some being decidedly more macabre in tone than others. Another possible interpretation, seeing that the Blood and non-Blood resources are largely (though not rigidly) segregated between two of the four quadrants each, is that the former is meant to represent some kind of corruption or "darkside realm", which seems to be a prominent idea within the mapset thus far.

 

Aesthetically, it is somewhat sparsely-detailed but not unattractive, with sweeping yet largely unadorned architecture that carries a sense of authorial similarity even as the texture schemes differ; I was most reminded of the work of Big Memka, from the Russian community, though the ED impression might be running some interference on my mental radio, there. There's a strong sense of verticality throughout, in that most of the structures are quite tall, and you spend a lot of time traversing or fighting atop elevated throughways with ever-present precipices as a dramatic backdrop, with a recurring theme of some dashing (though simple) leaps from one structure into another, though in practice the degree of actual interplay between the 'high road' and the 'low road' (where you will likely begin your foray into each quadrant, unless you're aware of and actively trying to play against the default progression scheme) is usually pretty limited, in part because of that striking tallness.

 

Nevertheless, the consistent spaciousness, even above and beyond the relatively open track of m05, is a real joy to behold and to scamper about in, in contrast to the more constricted feel of most of the earlier maps. There's a relative openness in terms of available avenues of progression: you pick from one of two quadrants at the start, from there you can prioritize working towards any of the others, though getting expeditiously from one 'blue' quadrant straight into to the other 'blue' (or from one 'red' to the other 'red') requires some map knowledge and is highly unlikely to happen 'organically.'

 

This, in combination with the general spaciousness, is what most defines the action element-- you run through these big spaces, engaging at will as you see fit, maybe letting some larger multi-front combat situations develop, though it's pretty easy to ignore the majority of the opposition and run past them just for the joy of running, if that's your inclination. This kind of passive approach is not entirely without consequence, since a couple of the quadrants are largely peopled by gun-using enemies who'll inevitably make you pay some kind of nominal damage tax for speeding on by, though in sum this probably isn't much different from what you'd soak in a gunfight, and the healing/armor balance writ large is not very punishing. It's not a very punishing map in general, really, which considering the generally 'high-offense/glass-cannon' tone of the new monster set is something of a departure in itself; the biggest issues are that the key weapons are placed in farflung locations which don't really interface elegantly with the general flow (it's a 'one per quadrant' sort of scheme) -- I completely missed the SSG entirely on my first pass through its quadrant, to whit -- though the overall balance still allows the level solid playability (if not ideal tuning) in most conceivable cases.

 

Oh, and lest I forget, another new enemy just sort of casually debuts here as well, some kind of spectral sorcerer/bishop-looking phantom which seems to have a deceptively potent hitscan 'wail' attack (or maybe it's a really fast invisible projectile, not sure) -- rather disquieting actually, if I do say so. It may be a rather low-key intro as far as this map's concerned, but I can see this being a genuinely frightening/intimidating enemy used in the right kind of map, not unlike those lovely chainsaw-wielding maniacs from earlier on. Oh! I also finally found out what The Count does, thanks to the somewhat drab exit-guarding brigade -- evidently he's the new revenant, loosing some homing-bats he apparently keeps up his sleeves! An animal-loving vampire, splendid. Sure to be a popular fellow! :)

 

Edit: and the arachnorbs! How could I forget them? These are broadly similar to the enemy's grand debut in Skillsaw's Valiant (though here they hover/fire indefinitely once they've begun, more similar to a classic 'tron); as usual, it's great to have something that's close to a 'flying imp' in the monster roster, though thematically these little critters seem far out of step aesthetically/thematically with most of the already highly-varied new crew. I could see them fitting well in either some kind of 'mad science' or 'alien invasion' theme, though....

Edited by Demon of the Well

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@PasokonDeaconlooks like part of your post on m05 got mis-pasted/cut off.

 

Map 07 -- Mind Screw at the Cemetery Complex - 102% Kills / 100% Secrets

 

The product of collaboration between a new and presumably inexperienced mapper and.....someone who really ought to have learned more than this by now, "Mind Screw" (sic) is a weak and somewhat disjointed showing all around, depicting a couple of classically Doomcute graveyards abutting a hill, with some anonymous and mostly featureless rooms (presumably the titular 'complex') tunneled into said hill. Quaint and yes, 'cute' in presentation, these two graveyards are the apex of the map's limited structural repertoire, and the poorly-lampshaded monster ambush occurring in the second could perhaps be read as intentionally humorous, but the rest of the runtime presents a budget-rate trot through a series of very bare-bones tunnels and chambers housing a gauntlet of small ambushes which seems to be trying for more of a horror/jumpscare angle.

 

Conceptually, the map's party-piece is that it's based around the notion of switching suddenly between two realities, very similar to that seen in m03 earlier on. While the mechanism is just the same (silent teleporter lines in not-strictly-obvious locations), it's here played much more for shock than for a slow buildup of atmosphere, with most shifts immediately hurling you into danger of one sort or another, often by way of introducing creatures primed to attack much more quickly than introducing or staging them more conventionally within the confines of the generally very stringy/weak layout would otherwise allow. Played at speed this might allow for a series of crash-cuts into combat, though as handled here it quickly becomes predictable (mostly) and rapidly loses impact, and is inclined towards dysfunction in the likely scenario that a player naturally adapts by beginning to move much more slowly, both as regards the actual points of shift and at other points liable to be negatively impacted by this natural adaptation (being infinitely-talled out of the second graveyard if you're not very cognizant of infinitely-talling as a A Thing, etc.).

 

The best of the ambushes actually involves an insta-collapsing floor rather than a plane-shift, but such a brief bit of excitement doesn't really compensate for what is generally a somewhat hamhanded and occasionally rather poorly thought out grab-bag of disassociated ideas. The radsuit + berserk secret is kind of right-brain clever in its way, yet comically useless in its positioning, the RK appears to have no actual application (is it intended to be a 'bait' item, maybe?), etc. Incidentally, the map does actually debut another new enemy of sorts (though it doesn't count as a 'monster' per se) -- a large electrode which infinitely spawns the blue suicide-wisps -- though I did not notice it to be a harmable actor while actually playing, as it's not used well here and was immediately destroyed in the explosions from my shooting the pre-placed wisps which spawn near it in the first appearance, and as fallout from my shooting rockets at stuff on the upper level near it in the second.

 

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5 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

Map 07 -- Mind Screw at the Cemetery Complex - 102% Kills / 100% Secrets

 

The product of collaboration between a new and presumably inexperienced mapper and.....someone who really ought to have learned more than this by now,

Joe-ilya did the monster placements (which i toned down immensely by putting the most troubling for Co-op), prettied up the map a little and gave it a midi, i do admit that i too felt that by the time the compilation first release candidate was released the concept of  a sneaky linedef teleporter might be overused, but it was too late to change it, as for the rad and berserk secret that was also joe's idea.

 

5 hours ago, Horus said:

MAP07 - “Mind Screw at the Cemetery Complex” by Redead-ITA, joe-ilya

There’s actually a pretty good map lurking here. It’s just that in my opinion (and others may well disagree) it needs the orbs gone for it to show.

well i think i can make it work without removing the tesla coil and projectiles by just changing some rules, nothing too crucial, just making the tesla coil more noticeable and make it so you don't impact with the tesla balls in the second encounter with them

Spoiler

instead you impact with something else

 

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Lagging behind a little...

 

Map 04

 

Not much to say here. Could have been another canditate for an opener. Very basic shotgun and chaingun gameplay with a few surprises thrown in.

 

I think I found some misalignments here and there, but otherwise I didn't come across anything that I found "offensive" quality wise. Managed to find what I think should have been tagged as a secret (I think a box of shells and a medkit in hidden cubbies).

 

Window-shopping the cthulu monster near the BK was something I found questionable, since it's basically just camping down a toothless bullet sponge. The chainsaw guys, not much of a threat, unless you pick up a dropped chainsaw on accident, in which case you better put on your fast shoes.

 

 

 

Map 05

Like the theme here with all the open areas. Didn't like the lack of ammo overall, I think the map needs more rockets for when the bigger chunk of monsters warps in. It's just cleaning up monsters that shoot in straight lines while having all the real estate in the world to dodge, so that comes across too spongey for my tastes, and speeding up the inevitable would make this a bit more entertaining from my point of view. Perhaps it's fine if people play continuous and bring plenty shells with them or something, and maybe there's some stuff I missed picking up somewhere, but I am somewhat confident that more rockets would be widely appreciated.

 

The selection of monsters here overall is lacking things with the ability to control areas, like vampires, for example. Just move, and so long as you don't back up into projectiles, or step into the ooze, you're basically invulnerable, which I think might be worth adressing with a few more "competent" threats here and there.

 

 

 

Map 06

 

Definitely something a bit larger in scale. Many of the monsters here feel like they're too heavy on HP. Sartyrs in wide open corridors, but no SSG to make quick work of a non-threat? Later on Cthulu thingies and some more unsavoury stuff, again with lots of space to dodge, but so little firepower to make quick work of the monsters. I know I come across as though I was always in a hurry, but when you look at the larger areas and their population, I think the map needs to be quicker to give out weapons. I'm usually leaning a lot more to "kill everything" kind of plays, but in this case I ended up ignoring most monsters that weren't hitscans for large parts of the map.

 

I quite liked the ""platforming"" (and nobody is surprised), not dangerous or difficult, but very neat visually, as it helps the map convey a sense of scope.

 

 

 

Map 07

 

I liked some of the concepts here, but the vast majority of the combat wasn't very exciting. The run and gun bits in the cemetary sections were not offensively boring or anything, but it's very basic "shoot the scanners first, outrun everything else", besides that I reckon that some of the clumsiers players out there may get stuck on some of the tombstones every now and then, so I guess for some people these fights may have actual teeth.

 

The ambush with a cluster of orbs felt a bit cheap to me. Either nothing happens, or you get atomized, very little in between these 2 scenarios. The ambush involving the vile and the mummy on the other hand was neat.

 

At some point down the line it is possible to move past the gate that previously seperated the 2 graveyards, leaving players with the sight of a midtexture that isn't held in place by anything. Oof... Also, Ashwalls here and there, which look horribly out of place in an otherwise not too shabby looking map. There needs to be a better and more fitting texture that can be put there...

Edited by Nine Inch Heels

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On 10/4/2019 at 10:52 PM, Obsidian said:

That was initially the case, but when you take into consideration that the map has no music and a very obvious gimmick...well, it doesn't really feel like it should be the first impression for a mapset. I can change it around if there's enough consensus, but for what it's worth that's my case on the matter.

 

IMO the problem is that it feels out of place as like, the third map in the set since it was very clearly intended to be the first map. A midi could easily be found for it (the one I used for E3M1 of Joy of Mapping 6 is a good candidate), and even though the gimmick is obvious, it's still a much more gentle and appropriate introduction than just throwing the player headfirst into a new set of monsters via MAP01/MAP02.

 

MAP05: This was a fairly neat map with some… kitschy music. I like that it was constantly pushing you forward in search of new weapons, and the pathing in it is pretty great—I thought the stage was too easy to run through until I found myself at a dead end with flamethrower in hand! Speaking of, this is the first real map where the player gets to play around with that rad new weapon, noting how quickly it chews through ammo but also how powerful it is. Good stuff. I think this is the first map where I don’t have any grudges against any particular parts; it’s just fun stuff all around.

 

MAP06: Oh heyyy I was wondering when we were gonna get our first 10+ minute map! Chrono is a delightful little playground romp where the player can explore however they wish, making their way around its pie-piece annexes. My favorite little bit was the part the checkerboard mountain, as I always appreciate scenery that feels tricky to traverse, having the player jump from platform to platform and looping around. It’s not a particularly difficult map—the only thing you need to look out for is that nasty enemy near the end (that got me a couple times because I saved right as two of them were blasting my ass)—and ammo is wisely doled out, never drowning you in it but keeping you well-stocked so you can fight whatever you meat. I think due to the nice scenery and change of pace, this is probably my favorite thus far. Plus I just like big maps you slowly conquer piece by piece.

 

MAP07: An alright map from a name I haven’t seen in a new name and one I haven’t seen in a loooong time. The first “mind screw” warp works out pretty well as it has the player running into a dead end and turning around to gaze upon a hall of destruction, but that second one feels super cheap as the player is likely to whiz past the shotgunners and run smack dab into FIVE blue orbs. It makes me wonder if there’s anyone this trap didn’t get. Likewise, the trap with the AV and his mummy pal is a bunch of BS—the player is likely to get burned looking for cover from the AV, and if they shoot him first the mummy marches out and just pelts them with fireballs. The mummy is simply too durable to fight with the AV in tow around a corner, and one of them should definitely get removed. The rest of the map is fine; I like the silent tele work here more than in walter’s map, and rocketing a bunch of skeletons at the end is entertaining.

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1 hour ago, dobu gabu maru said:

It makes me wonder if there’s anyone this trap didn’t get

That would be me.

 

Also why are you hating on the AV + mummy trap? It's literally the most exciting thing in the map...

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1 hour ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Also why are you hating on the AV + mummy trap? It's literally the most exciting thing in the map...

 

Because... it's not good? It's instantaneous, has an annoying monster combo for the space provided, and the only strategy is to cross your fingers and hope to suppress the archvile in the cubby or use to stupidly thin pole to your right as cover. It's exciting, yes, but unfair and unfitting for the map. I really don't share the notion that something very hard = the map is fun now.

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Yeah, it's the one trap that works right, whereas most fail mechanically (everything involving the blue wisps in particular) or are prone to misfire based on how the player moves (all of the shots after silent teleports). Intended strategy is presumably to not panic (easier said than done) and let the mummy hit the vile, easy in the initial configuration of bodies. But of course it all goes horribly awry if you flee (which one understandably might), gets hard to manage at that point because there's really no place to go.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, dobu gabu maru said:

Because... it's not good? It's instantaneous, has an annoying monster combo for the space provided, and the only strategy is to cross your fingers and hope to suppress the archvile in the cubby or use to stupidly thin pole to your right as cover. It's exciting, yes, but unfair and unfitting for the map. I really don't share the notion that something very hard = the map is fun now.

 

If you quickly set up shop on the right side, you can survive it every time by hurling rockets when the vile pokes its head out (which should happen basically always, given the speed disparity between it and the mummy). Those rockets will kill it before it gets a blast off.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Demon of the Well said:

let the mummy hit the vile

 

Given the rest of the map's monster placement I refuse to believe that wisely deducing infighting as a solution in a fraction of a second is the "intended" strategy, and more that rdwpa's method of "just back up and rocket it" is probably what joe was going for—which fails since you're not likely to have the RL out in close quarters. The trap is not as bad with foresight, but no trap really is as long as you know what to expect going in.

 

41 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Welp.... Can't wait until something I worked on gets played here... That salt is gonna last me a good while :/

 

The difference is that I know what to expect from you, especially since you & rdwpa have the last map in the set. I'm still going to inevitably groan, but I know to put on my big boy pants before starting, whereas MAP07 was so low-stakes that I wasn't expecting that kind of a trap.

Edited by dobu gabu maru

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1 hour ago, dobu gabu maru said:

 

Given the rest of the map's monster placement I refuse to believe that wisely deducing infighting as a solution in a fraction of a second is the "intended" strategy, and more that rdwpa's method of "just back up and rocket it" is probably what joe was going for—which fails since you're not likely to have the RL out in close quarters. The trap is not as bad with foresight, but no trap really is as long as you know what to expect going in.


Heh, yeah, you've got me there, I guess. In many cases 'excitement' is something one has an active stake in creating for oneself, after all, arguably moreso the weaker (or perhaps just simpler) a map fundamentally is.

 

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3 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Welp.... Can't wait until something I worked on gets played here... That salt is gonna last me a good while :/

 

Methinks that the difficulty curve on this mapset oscillates chaotically. Reminds me of mayhem17 with a quaint little Killer5 submission in the map11 slot.

 

I think I know what map you are talking about - map17. I'm still having nightmares after making the mistake of tackling that map. At the time I was having a quick peek at each map, trying to assess whether I would be attempting to uvmax the entire set. Map17 helped me decide the answer was resounding NO! It was a case of thinking there's a cute little kitten in the basement and after investigating "here kitty, kitty, kitty", discovering it's actually a wild, ravenous, and extremely upset mountain lion instead - roar!

 

I'm looking forward to a uvmax through from the doom gods on that one.

 

I could handle what was being dished out in this wad for the first seven maps, then the wheels started falling off on map08 coming up. I look forward to the clubs reactions.

Edited by tmorrow

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17 hours ago, Redead-ITA said:

well i think i can make it work without removing the tesla coil and projectiles by just changing some rules, nothing too crucial, just making the tesla coil more noticeable and make it so you don't impact with the tesla balls in the second encounter with them

  Reveal hidden contents

instead you impact with something else

 

Yes, that would improve things

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On 10/6/2019 at 11:49 PM, Demon of the Well said:

@PasokonDeaconlooks like part of your post on m05 got mis-pasted/cut off.

Wasn't the case at all. Anyway, here's my catch-up. I'll do MAP08 after I sleep.
 

MAP06 - “Chrono” by Worm318

 

Not a whole lot for me to add onto the other impressions; it's an excellent map, my favorite in the set so far, and one that explores its premise well while integrating seemingly disparate themes with ease. The "watch" design makes for inventive roaming early on, followed by an interlude fronting a tighter, more linear second half that tests your knowledge of interconnections.

Adding some teleport re-population towards the end, perhaps once you're atop the checker-tile edifice, would give extra reasons to deplete some rocket fuel. Also, I only found the SSG near the end after clearing the final quadrant, so it felt rather anticlimactic even after realizing how easily I handled my opposition without it. Good job on ammo balance, environment detail/variety, music choice, and mixing straight combat with hot hopping and more!

 

MAP07 - “Mind Screw at the Cemetery Complex” by Redead-ITA, joe-ilya

 

Oof.

It's on its way to okay, but choose a less repetitive MIDI and work off the others' criticisms. The start had me hyped enough to record an FDA DEMO!, but I had to resist the temptation to skip onto MAP08 after my first two deaths. Clearing out the baddies in the first graveyard, plus finding a well-placed SSG switch secret, segues well into the opening rooms showing off the map gimmick. Then I got past the second graveyard fight--a bit toothless and cramped by the tombstones, but fun nonetheless--and the dumb began. A mix of weak encounter design and dick-ish traps (orbs and the vile/mummy duo) forced me back to the start repeatedly. The map's linear structure and decision tree makes for a tedious experience; polishing my play for maximum resource conservation became the most fun I could have.

I've already voiced my displeasure with the splode-orbs in this WAD, and here's a great example of how not to use them. Both the split-second silent teleport traps and second encounter with the orb spawner later on demonstrate how, with ludicrous speed, you either utterly destroy them or get utterly destroyed. There's practically no telegraph frames for the orbs themselves, plus potential for new spawn to immediately rush at you for the kill before you can react. On the other hand, the first orb spawner dies too quick for you to learn how it works, and you later realize they're pretty worthless at a distance unless concealed or found when you're low on ammo. Here's hoping I eat crow later when someone uses the orbs/spawners well, though it seems like a flawed design on principle without telegraphing.

 

That all said, the map does a lot with its textures already, defying the low sector/line count, and it builds on MAP03 in a convincing, Blood-like manner. Redesigning key parts of the map shouldn't take long, and adding some humorous Doom-cute stuff like an undertaker's office or some kind of preparation room would give this some charm. Still, fix the music please if you're gonna do a cramped, trappy map that takes more time than some might expect.

mayhem2019v1-3MAP07FDA-PasokonDeacon.zip

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3 hours ago, PasokonDeacon said:

MAP07 - “Mind Screw at the Cemetery Complex” by Redead-ITA, joe-ilya

 

Oof.

Well in my only defence the duo trap only exists if you play on hard

on lower difficulties your only issue is just the mummy and thats it

 

i am gonna see to change the music understanding the fact that it's repetitive, was thinking on using a midi from blood but ill see

as for updating the map 

Spoiler

While testing the changes that have been doing, i have noticed something that would make the speedrunners loose their minds (if you tried to skip the second graveyard fight the skeletons would follow you in the second mind screw, and most times than not you wouldn't instantly have the time to get out of the morgue.

23 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

 

At some point down the line it is possible to move past the gate that previously seperated the 2 graveyards, leaving players with the sight of a midtexture that isn't held in place by anything. Oof... Also, Ashwalls here and there, which look horribly out of place in an otherwise not too shabby looking map. There needs to be a better and more fitting texture that can be put there...

The gate walls opening instead of the gate was done for 2 reasons, 1st is because it was made with coop in mind and 2nd because the way joe worked on to make it so that the enemies on the other cemetery couldn't get alerted required to lower the sky on the ground levels 

 

as for the ashwall replacement i might see what i can do

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50 minutes ago, Redead-ITA said:

The gate walls opening instead of the gate was done for 2 reasons, 1st is because it was made with coop in mind and 2nd because the way joe worked on to make it so that the enemies on the other cemetery couldn't get alerted required to lower the sky on the ground levels 

Why not use action 242 trickery to not only hide the lowered the sky ceiling (which you could raise eventually), but to also make the midtexture disappear (assuming you raise the ceiling piece)? I mean, even if that's not something you wanna do, because it takes a few moments to set up, you could also add some posts or pillars on each side of the gate, just to make sure the paper-thin texture remains hidden and "plausible".

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1 hour ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Why not use action 242 trickery to not only hide the lowered the sky ceiling (which you could raise eventually), but to also make the midtexture disappear (assuming you raise the ceiling piece)? I mean, even if that's not something you wanna do, because it takes a few moments to set up, you could also add some posts or pillars on each side of the gate, just to make sure the paper-thin texture remains hidden and "plausible".

well to put it simply, i didn't know you could do that really.

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Map 08

 

...and this time I actually bothered to record an FDA: MAY19_08_FDA.zip

 

 

 

Let's get the obvious things out the way first. Really good texture work that goes hand in hand with the architecture of the whole map. The aesthetic choices here all seem "plausible", and there is a really good sense of location. The lighting does its job to round off the notion that we're in some old underground "Jack the Ripper-esque" system of canals and tunnels, which has become a home to all kinds of nasty creatures. I like it a lot. Some of the detailing felt a bit intrusive to movement, which made me take a good chunk of damage early on while I was trying to come to grips with my surroundings (and waiting for my morning espresso to do its job). More often than not the detailing doesn't get in the way however.

 

 

 

On the gameplay side of things this map has a lot going for it, there's a neat variety of sizes and styles of fights, and the incidental side of the combat is in an okay spot, it doesn't overstay it's welcome. Also, thankfully this isn't as jam-packed with hitscanners as some previous maps, and this map also isn't too slow with giving out bigger weapons for some juicier action.

 

As for the setpieces, I noticed an overabundance of mummies. In particular the RK fight and the final brawl had a bit too much meat for my liking. I spent some time to bunch up the mummies in the former to make sure my "rocket economy" is proper, and in the final fight I basically spend some time waiting for infighting to take off some of the weight, while occasionally pumping in an explosive to speed up the process. Despite my somewhat responsible use of explosives I was always close to running out in some bigger fights, or rather, I did run out in the last fight...

 

...Which brings me to this map's first secret that I missed, which is the necronomicon. Had I found it, I wouldn't have any concerns about the meat, because a single well placed dose of "get rekt bitches!" would have easily made the meaty parts a whole lot less chewy. While the RK fight itself certainly wasn't that big of an offender, I really wish I had that book for the final fight. Speaking of the RK fight, I was glad I finished the mummies off with the SSG, so that I could maybe spend some rockets on whatever would follow, which in this case was a vile. Not that I managed to make the rockets count for much, but I reckon if players run out, and mummies get rezzed, it becomes a tad tedious to deal with. So I'd suggest placing perhaps another box worth of rockets near the switch that activates the arch vile, just to prevent grind. The vile itself doesn't do much to threaten the player since there's ample cover, so the extra ammo won't affect balance negatively. Might make the map a bit more smooth, in case people miss the necronomicon like I did (or maybe don't wanna use it because of its drawbacks).

 

The final fight, as a multi staged encounter seems nicely done. I will say though that I wish it had some more fuel. Without the necronomicon it isn't exactly easy to claim and hold a reasonable amount of real estate (at least not when going in blind), so carving through the mobs with the flamethrower active might be a mandatory play. In fact, when I did that, I could consider myself fortunate I didn't catch a max damage roll, because that would have ended my demo right then and there. Speaking of being lucky, I guess I also need to be glad I stood where I did when the final phase unfolded, because I could get some really good rockets in on these densely packed hordes.

 

One thing to note here, when the last round of the final setpiece unfolds, is that the monsters that are part of it all have an "ambush flag". So until the Big brains show up, it might very well be possible to cut the impact more or less in half. Whether or not this is intentional I don't know, but it is a very "obscure" way to make the fight more managable, assuming that it is indeed intended to be that way (in which case it can be kinda hit or miss, really).

 

TL;DR for gameplay: My gripes are easily done away with, if you grab the necronomicon to make quick work of the meat. If the map wanted to be more friendly towards idiots like me who always miss most of the secrets during their first play, a few more rockets and some more fuel would be nice to have.

 

 

 

Basically, dank map, especially on a second playthrough when you know what's where. My favourite thus far.

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MAP05: Orpheus Desu

73% kills, 0/1 secret

 

Guess we're in Japan now, bit of a weird thematic swerve. Basically a bunch of outdoor areas with a TON of snipers... 90% of this map is dodging skeleton bones and imp fireballs (which really hurt, one took off 50% of my health). Flamethrower is really fun (and powerful), definitely a weapon I wouldn't mind seeing again in other WADs. Ammo seemed okay until I hit the first blue skull switch and released a ton of monsters without any corresponding ammo, at which I point I basically just started running through the map except for a brief dalliance with the chaingun. I suppose I was either supposed to make more use of the fist, or not spend resources on the snipers, or find a rocket launcher somewhere? Either way it was a bit of a disappointment that prodded me to just get start running and get out of the level alive instead of interacting with it anymore, which is a shame.

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I figured I would share an improved version of my map in the thread, not to replace the beta playthrough, but to let those who've already played the beta to see a better iteration. My goal is improved monster placement and more detail. I've especially worked hard on texturing.

 

This new one will (probably) be final in the actual release.

 

Here it is. I hope some of you guys try it out, to see if it is indeed better.

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