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MissMelee

Tora Bora - my first map

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Posted (edited)

On /idgames HERE

 

UPDATED VERSION FOR DOWNLOAD: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zx1iuhsbxnn5hrx/torabora.wad?dl=0

Texture alignment fixes, minor cosmetic improvements, player 2 start added, an imp that I placed inside a wall by accident that nobody noticed has been removed.

 

Hey guys, this is my first map for public consumption. I write comics, and my stance in those is if not enough people are making what I want to see, then I'll make it myself, and I'm applying that philosophy to Doom maps. I like small, short, tight maps that you can beat in 5-10 minutes, like Scythe, Plutonia, and a lot of maps in Czechbox, and I've just not found enough of those to slake my thirst so I decided to make one. I'm a function over form guy so I care more about how the map plays than how it looks but I hope this map doesn't look too awful.

 

DESCRIPTION: This map is a single-level PWAD for Doom II. It replaces MAP01. It has full difficulty level support, although I'm not sure how good that really is. I don't know if I made easy too easy or medium too difficult, so any feedback on that would be very appreciated. I play the map on hard and I don't think it's super hard although there are a few spicy moments, and learning where the secrets are will help you quite a bit. I have tested this map in GZDoom 4.2.4, and PrBoom+/GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4. I think it's vanilla-compatible, but I haven't tested it as such. It's all stock Doom II assets and there's no Boom features or anything like that. If you find any graphical or gameplay bugs, please point them out. I've playtested this a lot and had a friend test it for me too and I think I worked out all the kinks but I'm definitely not experienced enough to say that for sure. I did not design the map with jump/crouch/mouselook in mind and have not tested it with those features enabled. I would recommend playing this map without jumping and crouching, but at the same time I'm not sure you're going to be able to sequence break with them. If you can prove me wrong, please do so.

 

I started making this map on Sunday, 04/12, but it was a completely different idea and I didn't get far, and on 04/13 I deleted everything and started anew with the idea of a base tucked away in a mountain, like the caves at Tora Bora (although unlike IRL, this Tora Bora actually has facilities inside). The first public build of the map was published in the morning on 04/17 and I put the finishing touches on it later that evening after some feedback from this thread. So total I would say 5 days of working on average 1-3 hours per day to make this map.

 

STORY: You are Doom Dude, Doomguy's lesser-known second cousin who gets mistaken a lot for him in airports, much to your chagrin. You have learned of a small base hidden in a mountain valley that was infested by demons from heck. Heavy rains prevented you infiltrating the base before the heck demons took it over. Now that the rains have subsided, you are dropped into a small valley, the base on all sides. You have two objectives: 1. close the heck portal, and 2. activate the base's self-destruct switch to collapse the mountain on top of the heck portal, sealing it for good. But beware: the demons of heck are everywhere.

 

SCREENSHOTS (taken in GZDoom with no monsters):

 

4owBf2E.png

 

 

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IYV6MdU.png

 

oMomIE9.png

 

Ot9TjIO.png

 

Let me know what you guys think!

Edited by MissMelee

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Played your map. It has some really nice fights and ambushes, I had fun playing it.

But it's a pity how careless you worked with the texture alignment. The layout of the map and the gameplay definitely would deserve that you put another half an hour effort into it and align those textures properly. Some DOORTRAK textures were also not "lower unpegged".

 

But as I said, I had fun playing it and the map would be worth to put some polish to it.

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34 minutes ago, Loomis said:

Played your map. It has some really nice fights and ambushes, I had fun playing it.

But it's a pity how careless you worked with the texture alignment. The layout of the map and the gameplay definitely would deserve that you put another half an hour effort into it and align those textures properly. Some DOORTRAK textures were also not "lower unpegged".

 

But as I said, I had fun playing it and the map would be worth to put some polish to it.

Thanks for playing it! I feel kind of silly missing some of this texture issues, like in the library-style room how the bookshelf texture starts repeating before the ceiling cuts it off. I care more about how a map plays than how it looks which is why I missed some things like that. I never noticed those DOORTRAK unpegged lowers so I'll definitely fix those, and try to find and fix all the texture alignment issues I can (there is one misaligned texture that I did on purpose to indicate a secret and I don't want to change that). In the room with the blue key, there's a misaligned texture where I have a secret door that you open from the other side and I left that misaligned deliberately but now that you mentioned the misaligned textures I realize that since you can't open it from the side where it appears misaligned, it serves no purpose other than to confuse or distract the player. I'm definitely going to go back later today after work and fix as many issues as I can find (there's also one room I think I can improve from a gameplay perspective, but I'm not making any promises there). Thank you again!

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10 hours ago, Clippy said:

 

Thanks for playing! The reason why I talk about rain in the story is the brown sludge in the main area is supposed to be mud. I added that because I needed to make the main area a little more visually interesting (originally it was just flat) and I thought it looked cool so I wrote the story around it. I'm happy to see other players being challenged by this map but it not being insurmountable. I always worry that my preferred difficulty is too easy for most, or too hard. I'm sure a lot of people will think this map is pretty easy but I designed it to be challenging yet beatable for someone with my overall Doom skills. Watching you play it and get about 10 minutes of playtime out of it each playthrough is a real positive reinforcement because my goal making this map was for it to be beatable in 5-10 minutes. My personal UV Max on this map is 5:55.

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Posted (edited)

Awesome I had fun playing.  Don't know if I could hit 5:55 but I could def beat this faster if I stopped goofing up and running back for things and practiced it more. My only goal was to beat it without saves after a first attempt and I kept making horrible mistakes ha ha. I still can't believe my last horrible run got me to the finish line 😲

 

That ending is legit. And when that Baron was coming at me in the red key room I think I thought the room was bigger. Almost blew myself up with the rocket launcher lol. 

 

Good times - short, challenging interesting map 💪

 

 

 

 

Edited by Clippy

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Posted (edited)

I have yet to play your level but I can point out many flaws with texturing from the screenshots:

 

Second screenshot: The gray startan are clearly misaligned, with some being lower than the rest; the 'blue door' texture is visibly cut-off; the texture transition from the gray startan texture to the brown brick texture has a rough transition, and doesn't seem fitting overall

Third screenshot: The side of the silver computer texture has a visibly misaligned and cut-off computer texture

Fourth screenshot: The ceiling seems to be entirely made of light flats, and it looks quite crude

Fifth screenshot: A room almost entirely made of the same gray texture, which are misaligned along with the floor and ceiling flats, which I would say are bad texture choices

Seventh screenshot: The bookcase sectors are clearly higher than they ought to be, and thus show a cut-off part of the bookcase texture.

 

These are all common beginner mistakes, so don't worry 'bout it.

 

Post-play comment: As I've played the level now, I can see most of these issues have been fixed. You're improving fast.

 

As for the level itself: It was pretty fun, and has a better and more challenging gameplay than most beginners would have in their first level. I'm very impressed.

Although, at points, it is borderline grindy: The room full of Spectres was pretty bad -- Pinkies/Spectres in a big room, when in no company of any projectile or hitscan-based enemy, are pretty much harmless, and having to shotgun all of them down feels like a waste of time and ammo, for it is the same as shooting moving walls of meat. They aren't threatening.

Another grindy part is that the lack of a Super Shotgun felt unnecessary -- for example, the corridor featuring two Cacodemons and a Hell Knight wouldn't have been any harder or easier had the player been given a SSG beforehand -- it would've just been faster. 

This shotgun-grindness seems to be a recurring thing for the rest of the level, although it isn't as bad for a Rocket Launcher and rockets are provided, but when that is scarce, having to shotgun down multiple medium-tier enemies can be boring if it's all in the same room, without much else to go to.

 

The design of the layout is also typical of beginner levels: small, somewhat empty and very rectangular rooms and with somewhat dull corridors. Still, you're way ahead where most beginners start.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Juza said:

I have yet to play your level but I can point out many flaws with texturing from the screenshots:

 

Second screenshot: The gray startan are clearly misaligned, with some being lower than the rest; the 'blue door' texture is visibly cut-off; the texture transition from the gray startan texture to the brown brick texture has a rough transition, and doesn't seem fitting overall

Third screenshot: The side of the silver computer texture has a visibly misaligned and cut-off computer texture

Fourth screenshot: The ceiling seems to be entirely made of light flats, and it looks quite crude

Fifth screenshot: A room almost entirely made of the same gray texture, which are misaligned along with the floor and ceiling flats, which I would say are bad texture choices

Seventh screenshot: The bookcase sectors are clearly higher than they ought to be, and thus show a cut-off part of the bookcase texture.

 

These are all common beginner mistakes, so don't worry 'bout it.

 

Post-play comment: As I've played the level now, I can see most of these issues have been fixed. You're improving fast.

 

As for the level itself: It was pretty fun, and has a better and more challenging gameplay than most beginners would have in their first level. I'm very impressed.

Although, at points, it is borderline grindy: The room full of Spectres was pretty bad -- Pinkies/Spectres in a big room, when in no company of any projectile or hitscan-based enemy, are pretty much harmless, and having to shotgun all of them down feels like a waste of time and ammo, for it is the same as shooting moving walls of meat. They aren't threatening.

Another grindy part is that the lack of a Super Shotgun felt unnecessary -- for example, the corridor featuring two Cacodemons and a Hell Knight wouldn't have been any harder or easier had the player been given a SSG beforehand -- it would've just been faster. 

This shotgun-grindness seems to be a recurring thing for the rest of the level, although it isn't as bad for a Rocket Launcher and rockets are provided, but when that is scarce, having to shotgun down multiple medium-tier enemies can be boring if it's all in the same room, without much else to go to.

 

The design of the layout is also typical of beginner levels: small, somewhat empty and very rectangular rooms and with somewhat dull corridors. Still, you're way ahead where most beginners start.

Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I fixed a lot of the texture issues after posting the initial screenshots. I think I'm going to redo those screenshots to reflect the current state of the WAD. By the way, there is a Super Shotgun you can get before the Spectre room. I hope you're excited for my next map, which is a giant STARTAN2 room with 500 Cyberdemons and a ceiling that isn't tall enough to accommodate them, with the exit switch behind an impassable linedef. (that was a joke)

 

I also did a slight revision of the map with some minor cosmetic improvements and a few traps modified. I think I'm gonna call it on this map, unless there's any really glaring errors that break the game. I am kind of a perfectionist but also I understand the importance of "finished not perfect."  https://www.dropbox.com/s/zx1iuhsbxnn5hrx/torabora.wad?dl=0

 

Now to wait for the inspiration to strike for whatever my next map will be! Thanks again for the feedback, everybody, it's been a big help.

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Hey, just beat this map. Pretty cool classic style base, I liked the slightly unorthodox fights like the room with the blinking lights and spectres/revenants in it, as well as all the traps in it. Also, I can happily state that it works fully in vanilla :)

 

I found one technical issue, there appears to be nodebuilder issue, which causes HOM on software ports

 

Spoiler

Xuu7Z45.png

 

Deleting this line and then re-drawing fixed the problem:

 

Spoiler

WiIKwcM.png

 

Any way, keep it up. nice work

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Posted (edited)

Other people covered a bunch of good points, especially about visuals and the spectre trap. I also think you could cut a couple of the mid-tiers from the two-caco two-HK hallway. And the SSG is so essential to the map's functioning that I really feel it shouldn't be a secret. It might work to add a bit more teeth to the pinky trap on the 'left' side of the red key, maybe a HK taking place of one pinky. 

 

The rest actually felt unusually good for a first-time mapper, though. Nothing fancy, but monster placement, area geometry, and resource balance work very well. Some parts would be pedestrian if you judged it in a vacuum (like the hitscanners in the compblue corridor) but because of how it played off of everything else, like one piece in a jigsaw of contrasting ideas, I liked it.  

 

I recorded my second playthrough, which I guess makes it look like a very easy map, but the first time, I found it well balanced and thought it had plenty of surprises. 

 

Spoiler

[Re the waiting around at the exit and then not exiting at all, I saw mentions of exit times and didn't want to one-up anyone, which is entirely silly but I didn't think that through or anything.] 

 

I think the difficulty is totally fine. Difficulty doesn't always mean a lot in itself, for two reasons: 1) A map doesn't have to be hard to beat to have a high skill ceiling or reward arbitrarily good play (the existence of speedrunning as an activity is sort of proof of that). 2) Stuff like pace, satisfaction, excitement, dynamism, providing a varied experience (just some examples) matter more than just being hard -- and the map does a good job at that former category of stuff. If you never make maps too much harder than this on an encounter level, you'll be fine. 

 

On 4/17/2020 at 7:48 AM, MissMelee said:

Hey guys, this is my first map for public consumption. I write comics, and my stance in those is if not enough people are making what I want to see, then I'll make it myself, and I'm applying that philosophy to Doom maps. I like small, short, tight maps that you can beat in 5-10 minutes, like Scythe, Plutonia, and a lot of maps in Czechbox, and I've just not found enough of those to slake my thirst so I decided to make one. I'm a function over form guy so I care more about how the map plays than how it looks but I hope this map doesn't look too awful.

 

 

Also re this, if you start a thread, you'll get a lot of good suggestions. (The search function isn't working now otherwise I'd recommend looking for one of those threads. Google might still work.) Of course don't let that stop you from making more maps. 

Edited by rdwpa

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7 minutes ago, rdwpa said:

Other people covered a bunch of good points, especially about visuals and the spectre trap. I also think you could cut a couple of the mid-tiers from the two-caco two-HK hallway. And the SSG is so essential to the map's functioning that I really feel it shouldn't be a secret. It might work to add a bit more teeth to the pinky trap on the 'left' side of the red key, maybe a HK taking place of one pinky. 

 

The rest actually felt unusually good for a first-time mapper, though. Nothing fancy, but monster placement, area geometry, and resource balance work very well. 

 

I recorded my second playthrough, which I guess makes it look like a very easy map, but the first time, I found it well balanced and thought it had plenty of surprises. 

 

  Hide contents

[Re the waiting around at the exit and then not exiting at all, I saw mentions of exit times and didn't want to one-up anyone, which is entirely silly but I didn't think that through or anything.] 

 

That was a great run. You're a waaaaaaaayyyyyy better Doom player than me. One thing I've really enjoyed seeing when watching people play my map is how they play my map differently than I do, both from the blind run perspective (since really, no run I've ever done of this map has been a blind run) and to see how different players handle the same situations differently. In the library room for example, my strategy has been to run straight to the plasma gun room and bottleneck the Revenants there with plasma. Also how you get the most out of the SSG's spread is really inspiring gameplay.

 

I did a lot of learning as I went along making this map throughout the week, and technically this isn't my FIRST first map, last weekend I made a test map that is not ever getting a public release so I could learn how to do basic things in Doom Builder like doors, lifts, stairs, monster closets, monster teleport traps, outdoor areas, etc. But this is the first map I'm releasing to the public. But before last Saturday (but really, last Sunday because I hardly did anything that Saturday) I had never made a map for any game that isn't SimCity 3000 or RCT2 in my life, and it makes me feel really good knowing I didn't totally blow it.

 

You seem to have played a slightly older version than what I currently have in the thread OP as the blue maze room's pinky trap has a third pinky closet now, and the library room's trap is larger in scale now, and there are some cosmetic changes i made like rounding a few corners and such to make the map look a little better. I think at this point I'm gonna upload what I have to /idgames if I can, which is "going gold" as far as I'm concerned. My next map might be smaller in size and enemy count than this, but who knows. I don't have an idea for my next map yet and I'm not gonna force it.

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