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Sprawlbase, my first map, now revised. Feedback requested!

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sprawlbase.wad - a sprawling techbase with a variety of room ideas (file attached at the bottom of this post)


Doom 2 (MAP01), single-player, limit-removing. Tested with GZDoom and Crispy Doom 5.5.2.


I released this map on idgames a few years ago, but was too timid to make a thread for it at the time. I recently dug it out, cleaned it up a bit, and rebalanced all the difficulty levels. It has several "my first map"-isms, but I think there are some fun ideas in there too. Let me know what you think!


This was my first Doom map. I was learning as I went along, and it shows. Most rooms are oversized with lots of space to run around. I was in full "D&D Dungeon Master mode" when building this map, and it ended up being a "funhouse dungeon" containing all my best room ideas, mostly connected by corridors. Architecture is chunky and simple, but I did try to suggest themes for the various rooms (reception, conference area, waste processing, nuke storage, etc.) and use small amounts of detail effectively. If you're wondering what the rocky outdoor-looking area is, it was supposed to be a biodome. Like an enclosed artificial habitat. Anyway, I tried my best to make creative and interesting combat setups using most of the Doom 2 monsters, so hopefully you'll appreciate the variety if nothing else.




More screenshots:







-Time to complete: about 30 minutes.
-Lighting is designed for software rendering mode.
-There's an early exploration/resource-gathering phase, but once you go underground, it becomes a largely linear series of setpiece encounters. It's more like a Half-Life 1 map in this respect.
-There are no hordes. Encounters try to use small groups of monsters effectively.
-There are lots of monster closets and ambushes, but the style I aimed for is "occasionally tricky, but fair". Encounters are survivable if you have good reflexes, can read the environment quickly, and are ready to move.
-I would suggest a checkpoint save when you get each keycard, but of course everyone can play it however they prefer.
-Plasma can be found early on, but the SSG doesn't show up until halfway through the map.
-A couple optional jumps require straferunning. Nothing fancy, just run diagonally.


UV: Medium difficulty. Recommended.
HMP: Easy.
HNTR: Training.


If you see anything good in Sprawlbase, please try Siteline, my Ultimate Doom E1M1 replacement. It's much more compact and refined than this one (I think so, anyway).








Edited by Worm : updated to v1.9

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Finished this on UV in about 30 minutes, with 92% kills and 6/12 secrets.


This was a really enjoyable map. For a first outing, though revisited, there's a tremendous amount of potential here. All in all I'd say the only "first map" giveaway was in the general plainness I felt in certain areas when it came to texture use and detail, but it's far from without some really fun and interesting attention to detail in places (such as some of the key arenas, the standout Crate warehouse, crumbling walls and hellish themes, and I adored the room with the projector -- which it should be said, you seem to have a good grasp at using light levels in a variety of effective ways).


More than anything there was just a great sense of exploring an infested UAC complex, coupled with the fantastic use of that "secret" network of vents that looped you around to different rooms from different heights/angles, I loved the non-linearity of the beginning. Moving into the more linear, key hunting phase didn't bother me at all, as you continued to provide a series of rather engaging and well thought-out traps and fights. Like I mentioned above, I thought the Crate warehouse was a definite highpoint in the map, with a wonderful use of the space. The +300 enemies are spread out across the map, and used to great effect, with a few surprisingly potent ambushes. The final fight with the BFG was a very fitting finale, as well, with a lot of room to move and hide but still a fun sense of urgency.


Sadly, I ended the map with like... 40 rockets and no rocket launcher, which made certain areas quite tough (and a bit grindy), but it actually made for a more interesting experience I think. The large, circular outdoor area with the Mancubi, Arachnotrons and HKs where you get the SSG was pretty intense with just a Shotgun and CG, haha. That was more on me for not hunting harder for a RL though, as I know it was undoubtedly to be found in a few of the secrets I missed (I saw it at one point through a fence in the Crate warehouse, but just couldn't figure out how to get to it). The secrets I did find were always extremely useful though, and implemented quite well.


This was an awesome way to spend 30 mins, and I highly recommend this map. I'm excited to see what you might come up with next! It's always fun exploring a techbase, and you nailed that feeling here.


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Hey, thanks a bunch for playing and the detailed (and kind) feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time to do a write-up.


The rocket launcher is in a corner of the arch-vile room, south of the first big underground room with the arachnotrons. It's not a secret area or particularly hidden, but it is missable. I was trying to create a "scrounging for supplies" dungeon-crawling type of feeling and wanted some of the weapons to be "power ups" that the player would have to explore (and fight) to access, but I did have some concerns about using the RL in this way... maybe I'll put a freebie in the biodome room to help with the meatier enemies, and change that RL secret you saw.


Thanks again!

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19 minutes ago, Worm said:

I was trying to create a "scrounging for supplies" dungeon-crawling type of feeling and wanted some of the weapons to be "power ups" that the player would have to explore (and fight) to access, but I did have some concerns about using the RL in this way...


Honestly I think that works more in the maps favor. There's a very minimal degree of hand-holding throughout the level, and this felt like a huge positive in the overall experience. It does have a strong "scrounging for supplies" feel to it, which made the items I did find all the more rewarding. So, personally I wouldn't tamper with that formula too much. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think you utilized it really well here, especially the way it accents the whole "exploring the UAC facility" vibe.

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levels are pretty big, but with alot to see and do, gives me 'Knee Deep In Dead' vibes. Pretty good stuff

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On 12/6/2019 at 7:33 PM, RonnieJamesDiner said:

I wouldn't tamper with that formula too much.

This is nice to hear. Even if you hadn't liked it, the best part of this feedback is that you recognized there was a formula at all! I knew my detailing skills were not going to be the strength of this map, so I knew it would have to rely on layout to be interesting. It's cool to feel like someone else caught the vibe I was going for. And the crate room is my personal favorite as well.

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