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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Hellscape & Preacher & Deadly Standards 2

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Preacher MAP 04 - Dark Tower

 

The random start spot idea came while playing @cannonball's Thy Flesh At a Draft Excluder (https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom/Ports/d-f/draftex): After I died, I restarted at another spot. I thought it was a great concept that fits perfectly with non linear layouts.
But then I died again, and the spot didn't change. And again. So I checked it out, and there were no random starts, I had probably mistaken two different maps. So, I tried to make a map with such system, and it worked. It was map04 (Dark Tower)
This gimmick was kept at all next maps, and the previous two maps were deleted. Difficulty is hard (at least for me), so player hopefully dies at least once, and restarts at another map spot. 


There are videos of the deleted maps:

 


There's a secret at the end that requires a key. This is reminiscent of a concept that was thrown away: every map had a secret exit, and the standard exit was a death exit, forcing pistol start at the next map. You had to find the secret exit in order to keep your guns and ammo. This kind of locked secret will also appear at the next 3 maps, as they where the first ones made, before this concept was discarded.

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A wild plums appeared! Doing preacher only I think.

 

Preacher MAP01

I remember this from back when Darch first started working on it as a ZDoom project. Seems like not much remains of that idea other than the title screen music, which is too bad, but what's here is so far of excellent quality. The start of this wad took me a few tries to find my footing, but once I did it went fairly well. I managed to intuit that the secret invulnerability was probably there for a reason, and let the cyberdemon out while I still had time to run away with it active. A few rocket accidents against the revenants and very low ammo against the arch-vile were a little hairy, but it all worked out OK.

 

Great atmosphere and textures overall, which is no surprise from Darch. Having only the zombiemen and sergeants with sprite edits is a little funny, surely the pinkies could have been edited a little? Not really a big deal though. Player sounds/sprites are all nice, though it took a bit for the voice sounds to grow on me -- Initially I wondered if Darch was trying to prevent the player from wall-humping by punishing them with an annoying sound for failing :p Having the bible as armour is an inspired decision -- you are literally being protected by your faith! Also lol at Jesus loads/saves

 

The random start teleports are an interesting idea, though it seemed from my few tries that some locations are easier to get going with than others. Maybe I had just warmed up by that point? Going to play continuous, pistol start is probably too hard for me when I haven't really played Doom in a few years ;)

 

Reading through other posts, it looks like I missed a BFG? Maybe I'll have another try to look for it...

Edited by plums

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7 hours ago, Darch said:

Preacher MAP 04 - Dark Tower

 

The random start spot idea came while playing @cannonball's Thy Flesh At a Draft Excluder (https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom/Ports/d-f/draftex): After I died, I restarted at another spot. I thought it was a great concept that fits perfectly with non linear layouts.
But then I died again, and the spot didn't change. And again. So I checked it out, and there were no random starts, I had probably mistaken two different maps. So, I tried to make a map with such system, and it worked. It was map04 (Dark Tower)
This gimmick was kept at all next maps, and the previous two maps were deleted. Difficulty is hard (at least for me), so player hopefully dies at least once, and restarts at another map

 

 

 

Those two deleted maps look a hell of a sight tougher than any of the ones I've played so far (first five)!!

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Preacher MAP05

 

I decided to take a quick look at this map after finishing a bottle of Vinho Verde, and ended up completing it straight off with no deaths or saves, 31 minutes, 158/159 kills. In the final room, I was taking quite a roasting from the Mancubuses and was down to 8% health, then stumbled accidentally into a teleporter which took me back to the main playing area. Was then able to restore health and armour to 100/100 before going back to take care of things. There must be some sort of lesson here, though I've no idea what it is.

 

Recollections of the level are understandably hazy. The starting area reminded me of a mid-1990s Ancient Egyptian themed PS1 game called Exhumed (aka Powerslave in certain countries). The map had yet another pathetic 'sitting duck' Spiderdemon - not sure why these things are known as 'Masterminds' when they keep allowing themselves to be used as Aunt Sally props in this wad, LOL. 

 

Still don't have a chainsaw, despite playing in continuous format. Couldn't find one in the previous wad either...

 

Edited by Summer Deep

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MAP05: 40 Days in the Desert (Preacher)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

A change of scenery, we are now in the desert. What immediately caught my attention was the sector art depicting desert insects, like a spider in the starting area and the scorpion on a stairway found later. Gameplay follows largely the same formula seen so far, with the obligatory Spiderdemon fight taking place by the red key. I feel like this level doesn't really bring anything new to the table, unlike the previous ones. At least the protagonist interjections are growing on me somewhat. It's still good, though only really worth seeing for the cute sector art, assuming you've played every level up to this point.

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP03: Sacrificial Altar

MAP02: Babel

MAP04: Dark Tower

MAP01: Pagan Temple

MAP05: 40 Days in the Desert

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I like MAP04, finally got the SSG, too, at the end, yay! (I suck at finding secrets)

MAP05 was cool, too, it felt somewhat easier. Those hooded shotgun guys look awesome!

 

I see MAP06 has a new theme :D

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Preacher MAP 05 - Forty Days in the Desert

 

For those not familiar with christian mythology, there's a passage in the bible where Jesus spends 40 days
in the desert, being tempted by the devil or something like that. That's the reference.


The Spidermastermind fight was inspired by this:


Shadow of the Colossus' dirty / rusty / abandoned locations are a huge influence in this whole mapset aesthetics.
Also, there's a slightly different kind of monster closet along this map: they also change layouts a little bit.
And this was the first map made in an order that later became the standard method: layout - gameplay - lightning - texturing - detailing. I used to place things when everything else was done, but then there was not much room left for for traps and things like that. Now I place things as soon as possible. In my case, that lead to more interactive designs. 

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Preacher MAP05

Another solid offering.  It's still all a bit brown and sometimes the different sections of the map look a bit too similar to each other for easy navigation, but there's good use of height variation, cover and other architectural variation to make for engaging battles with multiple approaches. 

 

This is definitely a mapset that loves its dropping walls and floors: it's a common motif throughout most of the maps, particularly used here to create multiple different locations in which the player might first encounter a particular battle.

 

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Preacher MAP02

 

While highly vertical levels in Doom look great, a frequent problem with them is that you spend a lot of time falling and retracing your steps, often waiting for lifts to come down. And unfortunately I felt this level suffered a bit from that. It's not a huge map though, so it's not overly annoying. Great visually open layout with lots of that verticality made me feel like it was a smaller, gentler version of Sunder, at times. Again I felt that some starts were easier than others, with the one that places you near the berserk much easier to carve out a safe zone than the one that starts you near the RL and in the middle of everything.

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Preacher MAP06

A grey map rather than a brown one this time, but otherwise this is more or less more of the same.  Like map05, it's pretty fun to play, though I did get a bit tired of the floor dropping our from under me all the time!

 

Finding the invuln secret definitely helped a lot, as I rushed back and nabbed it as soon as I triggered the blue key trap.  Very handy for safely clearing out the revs, 'trons and AV it unleashed.  Though to be honest, I maybe could have just skedaddled to the exit, if I had worked out where it was.  That took me a while longer, though.

 

Never did find the red key, but it seems it is optional content, possibly just for the secret?

 

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Preacher MAP03

 

A few strange things going on here. First of all it seems impossible(?) to go back to the starting area, whereas in the previous two maps you could get back there fairly easily, and so I ended up not getting that blue armour bible thinking I could pick it up later. Then there are the lifts which are triggered by walking up to them OR nearby switches, the SSG being a secret while the RL was available at the start and the BFG can be brought from previous maps as well as picked up late in this one, doors as switches so you can't close them manually, the weird music with the VERY LOUD guitars... just a lot of odd choices.

 

I did enjoy the map overall, the openness of the main area with the side corridors provided a variety of encounters and the visuals were great as usual. There were just a bunch of minor quibbles that detracted from the overall experience a bit.

 

I'm also starting to wish the sprite edits were more edited -- soldiers with armour and camo gear but also hoods and masks looks a little odd, really. I'm not bothered by it though, I just think it could have been taken further.

 


MAP04

 

Managed to start this one with 200/150 and it was still kind of tricky for me, so I'm sure pistol start would have been quite challenge. Enjoyed it quite a bit though, it seemed to have a bit more direction while still being generally open and non-linear.

 

Earlier I looked over a few DWMC threads that I had played in where I didn't comment all that much, and now I'm reminded of why: it's kind of hard for me to say "I liked that map, shooting monsters and exploring is fun, good job" in different ways, especially when I'm not taking notes as I play. Though obviously some people manage to churn out novels.

 

This Preacher fellow sure is talkative isn't he? I didn't notice elsewhere, is he speaking a real language or is it just divinely-inspired tongues?

 

 

MAP05

 

Cool spider at the start. Is that foreshadowing? (Answer: yes) The starting weapon selection thing is nice but not overly impactful with continuous play. And I imagine from pistol start it would further emphasize the luck in getting a good starting position, based on what weapon you pick.

 

Nice change of theme here, though the bossa nova music is a bit of an odd choice compared to the apocalyptic soundtrack of the past levels. My usual style of play with these maps has been largely "run around and try to get as much infighting chaos as possible, then carve out a safe spot" but there's too much going on here and too many monster-revealing triggers for that to really work.

 

I didn't find any secrets here until I had already beaten the map. A little much going on, generally while at low health, made it hard to go hunting for them.

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It's voice clips from the game Blood. Some words are latin, some aren't, I think it is a made up language :D

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Oh cool, thanks. I never got very far in Blood, I should fire it up again sometime now that Raze is a thing.

 

On 2/13/2020 at 5:42 PM, Darch said:

By the way, all his voice clips are joined with sounds that play at full volume. (Baron of Hell death sound being the only exception).

Bit late now but you probably could have changed this for ZDoom ports without much trouble. The first time it happened I wondered if there was another enemy making those sounds at me!

Edited by plums

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Preacher MAP06

 

This took four attempts to complete. Quite testing and rather frustrating - I was zapped by an AV just a few yards from the exit point on my third run, so made a precautionary save (which I didn't end up using) just before collecting the blue key next time. The map's very well constructed, huge and complex, and I felt as if I'd have needed to play through it at least 7 or 8 times in order to become properly acquainted with it (the changing restart points also have a disorientating effect on the player).

 

The difficulty is assuaged, as in other maps in this wad, by the generous provision of powerups, particularly Soul Spheres. I also got a brief glimpse of an invulnerability sphere beneath an area of flooring, but couldn't get it to open up again - was this one of those 'single opportunity' secrets (or whatever they're called)? Like Capellan, I didn't get the red key, and didn't even realize that this map had one.

 

Edited by Summer Deep

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MAP05

I did not expect such a turn of events. Something reminded Serious Sam in miniature.
I was wondering why in the beginning there are three cells, but only one is open? Probably coop purposes.

At the level there is a bunch of curved diverse stairs that lead to different heights, including secrets hidden between them.

There was a small incident with me when I approached the three-color-key switch - I did not have a yellow key, which later turned out to be visually blocked by the corpse of mancubus. That is why in my maps I usually enclose keys with lines that block monsters or put them on pedestals.

MAP06

Another transition to another dimension. A good example is when the theme of the level and the sky are combined with each other. Boom (more precisely MBF) format helps to make the sky different in each level, without having to be limited to three.

Now about the small flaws. At each level, the taking of a key is accompanied by an instant ambush - over time, this becomes obvious and repeated; that is why some mappers placing ambushes later/earlier or place baddies in other rooms away. It was also easy to miss blue&yellow bars on MAP06, because they were hardly noticeable, as well as the final sequence can confuse the player and he will wander again.

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MAP06: Noir (Preacher)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

Here we have a level in a monochrome tone. I really like the look of this level, especially the checkered floor sections due to my love for Eternal Doom. I found the BFG9000 quite early, so I used it to kill most of the monsters. Due to that, I felt this level was the easiest so far, maybe my opinion would change if I had to resort to less powerful weapons. The ambushes by the keys are the moments where you have to deal with more monsters, but the threat level is still low, especially if you've found the secret invulnerability. I enjoyed the platforming needed for a couple of the secrets. I think this was a good level, however perhaps a tad too easy. Maybe I'll give it another go in the future at a higher skill level.

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP03: Sacrificial Altar

MAP02: Babel

MAP04: Dark Tower

MAP01: Pagan Temple

MAP05: 40 Days in the Desert

MAP06: Noir

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Preacher MAP07

I can admire the time and effort that went into this, but I have all three skull keys and no idea where I am supposed to go next, so I am probably not going to finish the map.

 

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^ I played the map earlier today - the exit point is in the watery area, just a stone's throw away from the pickup point for the red key.

 

:)

 

 

 

Preacher MAP07.png

Edited by Summer Deep

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On 2/11/2020 at 11:26 AM, Andromeda said:

"Bollocks!"

 

While I'm not convinced that's actually what he's saying, I can't unhear it now.

 

Also @Capellan the key indicators aren't actually visible until you climb the stairs so I can kind of see how you wouldn't notice that that's where you're meant to go.

 

Preacher MAP06

 

It's easy to snipe enemies at the start on continuous. Intentional? I think I'll have to go back and play this whole wad from pistol start, just to see how different the experience is. Also I just realized that the angel statues are actually barrels and you can shoot them, wow.

 

Nice checkerboard layout. Back to the end-of-days style music. Great gameplay and visuals as usual, however the open-ended chaos style gameplay is starting to feel a bit samey: kill a bunch of scattered monsters, get or use a key or item to release more monsters, mop them up, get the next key/item... it's still enjoyable and probably will be for a few maps still, but a whole 32-map megawad would definitely be too much.

 

Unlike some posters above I got the red key right away; I see a ledge, I try to jump on that ledge. Mega Jesus also meant that I started the next map with almost 200/200.

 

More dual-action lifts. Do you not trust us to figure out a lift Darch? :p

 

 

MAP07

 

Turns out I can still two-shot a cyberdemon with a BFG, which is nice to know.

 

Good map overall, I appreciated the fewer key-based ambushes and the ones that were here were suitably different enough. The blue key trap was in particular a nice encounter. Great atmosphere as usual, which I think is this wad's strong suit.

 

I just realized all the MIDIs were done by Darch. Nice work man, quite a variety of styles here.

 

Looks like I'm caught up on Preacher so I'll probably just post about the rest of the maps in a few days.

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3 hours ago, plums said:

 

 

More dual-action lifts. Do you not trust us to figure out a lift Darch? :p

 

 

 

hehe if by dual-action lifts you mean lifts that can be triggered both by walking near them or pressing use on them, that's because I believe things flow better when the lift is already down when you walk into it, but it would be weird if they couldn't also be triggered by pressing use, as it is the standard method. And yes, since I didn't have a specific lift texture, it's easier to identify them if the thing moves by itself. By the way, MAP 05 music is an "arabic" attempt, so it feels like Jerusalem desert instead of western America desert. Not sure if that worked :P

 

Preacher MAP 06 - Noir

This one is inspired by American Mcgee's Alice "Pale Realm" map, and there are even some textures from it:

 

Near the yellow key, there's an "arachnotron tower" with a defense mechanism: it closes when it's shot by hitscanners. It can be hit with projectiles, though. Some players didn't like it, but I kept it, it felt like an RPG where you have to use the right weapon to take an enemy down.

The 3 key secret is reminiscent of the two exits previous system. The "real" exit was once there, and the normal exit used to be a death exit.
 

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It was the lifts that can be triggered by walking near them or pressing a switch near them that I was more complaining about (though not seriously), it's just generally weird in Doom to have a switch that duplicates another action.

 

The music had a really strong Spanish/Latin feel to me. but I thought it was good and fit well enough with the map. It was just quite different than anything that came before (or after).

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12 hours ago, plums said:

 

 

 

Also @Capellan the key indicators aren't actually visible until you climb the stairs so I can kind of see how you wouldn't notice that that's where you're meant to go.

 

 

(MAP07)

 

Yeah, I did a second playthrough of the map today, and this business mystified me for a while, as initially there were no key indicators visible, even after I'd collected all three:

 

1058376639_Preacher7(3).png.4dda5d1ea4b0acc2cab11d8beb9a35a6.png

 

If you then walk from side to side in front of the switch, the indicators begin to rise up, Lazarus-like, to a maximum height of four, presumably after the player crosses some linedefs or similar...

 

1739141506_Preacher7(5).png.d24b4fa7a1b6b72695832ba2dd951ba5.png

 

 

....and the 'EXIT' sign appears after the player drops into that marble chair-like structure!

 

Edited by Summer Deep

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Preacher MAP07

 

Excellent level, all-action stuff, from blasting the hell out of various imps, demons, zombie sergeants and the like on the outer perimeter of the castle, to Battle Of Stalingrad style clearing out of dingy, hazardous chaingunner-infested inner rooms, to stalking (and being stalked by) a couple of Cyberdemons both indoors and outdoors. The only thing I wasn't too keen on here was the blue key trap, which was a bit confusing - wasn't at all sure whether my plasma was effective from inside the cage, and may well have wasted a huge amount of it, and also unclear about the mechanism for raising the bars: was it time-based or not?

 

Some other mechanics of the map remained unsolved as well. Tried to return to the starting area, but it was clearly not possible to strafe jump over the railings. There were also some impressive-looking structures on the other side of the water - I initially thought these were only for show, but then noticed quite a few boxes of rockets on the steps of one of them. Also registered only 223/231 kills, which suggests some unfinished business, so I'm thinking that there's maybe a secret teleporter somewhere in the castle that could get the player to these areas.

 

EDIT: Yes, it is possible to get back to the starting point and the powerups in the ground-level area, by lowering a wall not far from the exit area. And the missing 'kills' are actually accounted for by 8 Revenants hiding behind the walls on that staircase where the Barons are congregated in front of a Soulsphere (quite a vicious ambush, this).

 

Edited by Summer Deep

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MAP07: Sanctuary (Preacher)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

Well, I mildly complained about the lack of difficulty in the previous level, guess the author predicted it because this one is tough! I hadn't died yet in the preceding maps, but bit the dust at least 10 times here (one of them I got killed with 3 monsters remaining, as a silent Cyberdemon shot a rocket behind me, that one hurt). Eventually figured out a strategy to beat this: basically, get all the weapons ASAP, then go grab the yellow and red keys and start clearing out the interior of the sanctuary, then move to the outside and clear each level from the top to the bottom.

 

The secret invulnerability found at the start is really helpful to successfully execute this strategy. The reason why we leave the blue key for last is because it's hard to tackle its trap with enemies roaming around, especially if the Cyberdemon doesn't teleport. Supplies are given in enough quantity to keep you alive but not enough to be comfortable, which I like. Secrets are quite tricky to find but are very rewarding, so do your best to find them. One of the secrets is empty but provides you with a hiding spot in case things get too overwhelming. The level looks really cool and reminds me of Quake (although a bit more colourful :P), especially the section with the crushers for some reason. All things considered, an excellent level and an adrenaline rush from the beginning to the end, very fun to play!

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP03: Sacrificial Altar

MAP07: Sanctuary

MAP02: Babel

MAP04: Dark Tower

MAP01: Pagan Temple

MAP05: 40 Days in the Desert

MAP06: Noir

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MAP 07 - Sanctuary


More ICO references here (pics below): The stair steps have been resized so monsters could move freely. Monster mobility is something has been taken care overall, even with hidden switches designed specifically for monsters, and a few teleports when there was no other way. I tend to play my own stuff a lot while making it, and knowing where every monster was got boring quickly. So maps are designed in a way even I could be surprised sometimes. But hopefully it also rises replay value, along with the random start spots.

 

By the way, this is a berserk punch map. That's why there's no chainsaw so far, it would get in the way when you switch weapons. Pistol starters won't probably survive without punches, but continuous players may not notice it until they got their ammo stripped down. Or not :P

 

 

exemple.png

exemple.jpg

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Preacher MAP08

 

Absolutely crazy stuff going on at the start, with out-of-control floors rising and falling, enemies targeting you from all angles and from different heights, and a Cyberdemon on the loose. My recipe for survival and subsequent victory was to establish a position on the red key ledge (not picking up the key), allow infighting to remove around 30% of the monsters, then get back to the starting point, pick up the megasphere and proceed from there. I saved after 100 kills, and then after every Cyberdemon was dispatched. You only need to deal with one Cyber at a time, and they often get stuck in the blood pits. Terrific fun once again, plenty of ammo, health and armour to get the job done.

 

I returned to the map this morning in order to attempt a clear run on UV without saves, and managed it on about the tenth start, 42 minutes, 102% kills.

 

The next map has 806 enemies and 500 items....

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MAP07

On the first portal pedestal, if you look into the distance, a red blinking square will be visible - this indicates that there is a textureless surface (a map bug or just Prboom+ fooling around). By the way, if you go a little further than this portal, there will be a useful secret - that is why sometimes you should not rush to the portals.

There are also lot of roaming monsters - one-step stairs facilitate their movement. Also boom translucent lines fits well into the level when used with stained glass.

The most annoying place in this map (and probably even in the whole mapset) is a location with a megasphere where you are instantly surrounded by revenants in closeup. Even those who know the map in advance will not always succeed in stepping back so quickly.

In the end, I still did not understand - was there 2 cyberdemons here or was it the only cyberdemon that teleported back and forth according to a pre-planned scenario? In any case, the idea of a trap with a blue key is interesting - if you have a BFG, you can deal with cyberdemon through the bars, but you need more ammunition in that case.

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MAP08: Witch Hunt (Preacher)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

An arena based level with a respectable monster density including four Cyberdemons. Interestingly, it's not really the enemies that cause problems, it's the randomness of the terrain, with (almost) perpetually moving lifts that make it really difficult to reach vantage points. Thankfully, you can unlock the BFG9000 relatively early and can dispatch the Cyberdemons fairly easily. It's hard? Yes, but not frustratingly so. It's chaotic? Yes, but that's what makes it extremely fun! A fantastic and charmingly simple level.

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP08: Witch Hunt

MAP03: Sacrificial Altar

MAP07: Sanctuary

MAP02: Babel

MAP04: Dark Tower

MAP01: Pagan Temple

MAP05: 40 Days in the Desert

MAP06: Noir

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Preacher MAP 08 - Witch Hunt

 

This map takes monster mobility to a cyberdemon size, so cyberdemons can move anywhere in the map. There's a cat-rat chase here (hence the map name):
You start in a small room, along with a Cyberdemon and not enough ammo to kill it. 
Your only choice is to flee out by the teleporter, and the cyberdemon will follow you. So you start as the rat.
After you find some keys, you will be able to grab ammo for weapons 6 and 7, then you can chase the cybers left in the map.
Basically all health is placed at the center of the map, so hopefully you can't camp at the corners for too long.
In the center there's also an annoying platform that allows monsters move in an out those blood pits, but is also about chaos and players not having much control of the environment.

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