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ElectroSpectre

A short (six-map) episode for Doom II...feedback greatly appreciated!

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Hello! I've been playing Doom maps for a long time now, and after years of being too intimidated to try creating some of my own, I finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. I know I still have a lot to learn about mapping, so I highly welcome any and all feedback anybody would be willing to provide. In particular, I really struggle with aesthetics, so I would be glad to know where I can improve.

 

As mentioned in the title, this is a pack of six maps for Doom II; I call it an "episode," but really, these are just the first six maps I made, more or less in chronological order. They are all designed to be playable from pistol start, and difficulty levels are implemented. The maps are designed to be Boom-compatible, but I mainly tested in GZDoom. Jumping, crouching, and freelook are all not recommended. The maps use the Community Chest 4 texture pack and also feature a couple of custom monsters. The sprites and sounds were taken from the megawads Valiant and Eviternity (the Arachnorb and Cyber-baron respectively), though I implemented Dehacked changes myself. I hope this is okay, and not running afoul of any usage restrictions on these resources! Anyway, I'll just link to the wad now and I have also included a screenshot of each map below.

 

The wad itself! espectre.zip

 

Map 01: The Infested Outpost

screen1.png.9af4dc572e44b81dee80ecdd464c02fd.png

 

Map 02: Geothermal Core

screen2.png.5fb0fe96c4c6110d51431223bdcdd7f5.png

 

Map 03: Toxic Tunnels

screen3.png.b3607699f9a4b7349af7f4c115f310f4.png

 

Map 04: The Moat

screen4.png.10e1c4249b8668cfd63e619d66ea25dc.png

 

Map 05: Blood Crypt

screen5.png.be11342b1270261e8fe7ba16317046ba.png

 

Map 06: Godless Shrine

screen6.png.f40b4e72ce96d46169726eef02ae42ae.png

 

I hope you enjoy!

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I properly played through the first two maps and liked them, and had a sneaky peruse around the other ones and was really liking what I saw. These maps play well and look pretty darn good, especially for 'early career' maps.

 

The use of good custom enemies is a huge plus in my book, definitely keeps gameplay a tad more fresh. If you want to add a bit of polish for ZDoom based ports, you can change obituary strings like "Player met a nazi" to "Player was toasted by an Arachnorb". It's simple, you just need to add a [STRINGS] section to the tail end of your DeHacked file. PrBoom and such simply won't acknowledge these lines so it won't affect cross port compatibility. https://zdoom.org/wiki/Strings

 

Keep up the fine work!

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Thanks for playing the first couple maps! I'm glad you liked them.

 

I also appreciate the tip about the custom strings. I've seen those in other wads but I wasn't sure how it was done, so that's something I will definitely be implementing in the future.

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Playthrough of Map01 to Map03. Personally I would say the maps are not bad, and you definitely put some thoughts into it. However, I hope you have better designs to deal with big rooms being too empty right now. It seems you like to go for big space maps, but quite a bit of those rooms are not interesting enough.

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I definitely wasn't expecting a commentated video playthrough! It was awesome to watch, even as I cringed a bit at some of the flaws that your gameplay brought to light. I can't believe I missed some of the incredibly obvious things, like the door texture issues in map 01, the two Arachnorbs stuck inside each other in map 03, or the misaligned textures in the other maps. But there were also things I never even considered, like putting monster-blocking lines on the ledges in map 02, SR-40'ing to the Mancubus pillar secret, or lowering the switch blocks so they couldn't be used as cover. So those were fantastic pieces of advice.

 

You guessed at one point that the Arachnorbs were replacing the Zombiemen, which was close, as they're actually replacing the SS Nazis. That's why they drop clips. Is there a way to make it so they don't do that in Dehacked? I suppose if not, I could have them replace Keen instead.

 

In map 02, you mentioned the odd texturing past the blue key door. My idea was it was supposed to look like a base built into the cave that was falling into ruin, but it doesn't seem to have come across, so I'll be sure to revisit that section.

 

Your general comment about emptiness in some parts made a lot of sense, as I was getting that same feeling watching your footage. I think it should be less of an issue in the other three maps but I'll let you be the judge of that. 

 

Thanks again for the great playthrough and I'm looking forward to seeing you go through the rest of the levels!

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Yes, not bad. I've played the first two maps, and it's certainly a pretty tough challenge in some parts on UV.

 

By the way, it seemed possible to beat the Cyberdemon near the end of the second map simply by staying in the red door room and hosing him down with plasma from the foot of the stairs. He doesn't appear to be able to fire his rockets into the room because of the angles involved.

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Map04~Map06. Please consider whatever I said is what I would do if I'm going to map. Given the fact that I'm not a mapper, I'm just saying what I'm feeling, so take whatever you think it's reasonable.

 

I can see in these 3 later maps, there are more variety of textures and different type of terrains, which is a good thing. The last 2 maps are into 300+ monsters, and I would say some of the encounters are somehow tedious to fight, especially the last fight on Map05. I think you can well plan out a little bit in these fights. Map06 has quite a lot of fights that take a lot of time, but it doesn't offer too much threat.

 

Here are my suggestions:

 

1. I think next time you're going to map, try to map in a smaller size. I saw quite a lot of details you put into your maps, but when you put the same amount of details into a place, a large space will "dilute" what you did, so the details are not as obvious/nice in a smaller space;

 

2. Some of the fights can be planned out better. The way to change this, I guess you need to play some maps and your own maps in order to have a better feelings.

 

I hope you can put up more maps in the future. Cheers.

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On vendredi 27 décembre 2019 at 3:31 AM, ElectroSpectre said:

I hope this is okay, and not running afoul of any usage restrictions on these resources!

Should be fine:

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 9:58 AM, Summer Deep said:

By the way, it seemed possible to beat the Cyberdemon near the end of the second map simply by staying in the red door room and hosing him down with plasma from the foot of the stairs. He doesn't appear to be able to fire his rockets into the room because of the angles involved.

 

Good catch! I'll have to watch out for situations like this in the future.

 

On 12/30/2019 at 11:22 PM, GarrettChan said:

I can see in these 3 later maps, there are more variety of textures and different type of terrains, which is a good thing. The last 2 maps are into 300+ monsters, and I would say some of the encounters are somehow tedious to fight, especially the last fight on Map05. I think you can well plan out a little bit in these fights. Map06 has quite a lot of fights that take a lot of time, but it doesn't offer too much threat.

 

Yeah, I was disappointed how easily you were able to escape the room at the end of map05. It is indeed a pretty boring fight when you do, so I'll have to consider locking the player in for a bit so they have to play the encounter the intended way for at least part of it. In my own playtesting, I found it difficult to get out of the room due to the pinkies and imps blocking the way, but it's clearly more feasible than I thought.

 

On 12/30/2019 at 11:22 PM, GarrettChan said:

1. I think next time you're going to map, try to map in a smaller size. I saw quite a lot of details you put into your maps, but when you put the same amount of details into a place, a large space will "dilute" what you did, so the details are not as obvious/nice in a smaller space;

 

I was hoping this would become less of an issue in the later three maps, but seeing you play, I could see places where this was still the case. For my next map, I'm definitely going to make a conscious effort to scale things down a bit and make sure the larger areas that are present (since I don't want to go to the other extreme and have nothing but cramped hallways) are adequately populated.

 

On 12/30/2019 at 11:22 PM, GarrettChan said:

2. Some of the fights can be planned out better. The way to change this, I guess you need to play some maps and your own maps in order to have a better feelings.

 

My problem, I think, is that I never really tried to approach encounters in different ways during my playtesting. Your style seems to be much more conservative than I was during testing, so there were a lot of times where you were able to trivialize a fight using a doorway or just by running out of the area. It's something I'll be sure to keep in mind in the future. 

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@ElectroSpectreDuring blind playthrough, usually I'll try my best to make things as easy as possible for myself. I also like to save a lot of rockets and cells just in case there's a big fight, so I don't run into problems (in the same time, I'll probably waste a lot of ammo due to this during blind playthrough). Of course, if I'm playing a map seriously, things may change. Planning an interesting encounter is not easy, I think, so the more you map, you can evaluate an encounter in a more properly and precise way.

 

I'm glad that you found my suggestions useful. It's not easy to start mapping, so please keep doing it. I think there are many other resources you can look for, like Discord about mapping or something. I don't map right now, so I can't really help with the resource thing.

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