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killerkouhai

[RELEASE] Refracted Reality RC1

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I'm not usually a single-player kind of person, but it has been a good experience working on this and trying my hand at SP mapping. Good job to everyone who has worked on this, and congrats on the first RC!

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Congrats on the release!

I had high hopes for this project for a long time since I first laid my eyes on it.

It's been through a lot and it was a honor to playtest several maps in the set.

Gonna enjoy the heck out of this final product ;)

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Congrats on the release!

 

Question about difficulty levels: are monsters counts unaffected by what you go for?

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Posted (edited)

My map, Paradigma, went through many iterations before it came to be what it is now. When RR started, I had barely even made a map. I think I had made one and a half, the half being my second map which was very NOT good. I didn't know how to script at all at the start, and I had only just learned how to make 3D floors.

 

I joined RR mostly to support Killerkouhai after the project had seen its share of development trouble. I seriously have to thank the project lead and all involved for allowing me to take part in RR considering how much of a scrub I was! The high standards of the maps forced me to really learn the shit. Do I wish I had done things differently in the map from the beginning? HELL YEAH! I am still really happy with it. All things considered, I'm proud of Paradigma and I'm proud of Refracted Reality!

Well done! Plz report bugs <3

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Posted (edited)

I finished all the maps, pretty good for the most part. There are some very boring ones (linear and drag out with not many interesting encounters overall) but for the most part it was good. There are some general issues:

Spoiler

 

- Monsters in exit areas that are easily avoided.

- Monsters guarding keys / switches you can just ignore and run away from. Big offender is the cyberdemon in Cyan Umbra, teleporting in blue switch room. Quite harmless and a bit pointless.

- Some maps don't have proper teleports on the edges around some structures. It happened a lot in Maiestas. (That map looks like a candy bar or something, made me hungry)

- Some of the maps had a habit of pitting you against Mancubus tier monsters with just shotgun. Not a fan of that. While on that, some maps put SSG or RL in rather shaded areas, causing me to miss them entirely. It might help to highlight them a bit better.

 

 

Some map specific issues:

 

Spoiler

unknown.png?width=1194&height=672

Little conveyor like thing in Ravage here. Not sure what purpose it served but it's odd.
 

unknown.png?width=1194&height=671

Ravage again. There's some sort of a weird projectile blocking invisible wall here. Not sure what purpose it serves but it made me blow myself up with a rocket launcher. Is this intended? (Hope not)

 

unknown.png?width=1194&height=671

This Arch-Vile pillar in Elysium's Void isn't blocking the monster, it fell down when I fired rockets.

 

Edited by IvanDobrovski

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, IvanDobrovski said:
  Hide contents

unknown.png?width=1194&height=671

This Arch-Vile pillar in Elysium's Void isn't blocking the monster, it fell down when I fired rockets.

 

Idk how to fricken quote on this site yet but lmaoo at being able to shoot the vile. The real question is why I NEVER tried that when I was testing.

 

And thank you for the feedback :)

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Hmm, the conveyor is a left over artifact I forgot to clean up. Actually the block line in you're pointing out there is also a left over artifact that needs to be removed as well. Thanks for pointing those out!

 

- Monsters in exit areas that are easily avoided.

- Monsters guarding keys / switches you can just ignore and run away from. Big offender is the cyberdemon in Cyan Umbra, teleporting in blue switch room. Quite harmless and a bit pointless.

 

IMO this isn't really an issue. Not every map needs to force you to kill everything to get out, and OG Doom game play often had things you could run past/ignore even for vital items.

 

Thanks for giving the maps a run!

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I forgot to mention another thing. I saw a lot of line portals, sound doesn't seem to travel between them and you can cheese some otherwise hectic entrances easily because the monsters don't seem to react. Is there any way around that?

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I think maybe with interactive portals but I'm not sure, since I'm not experienced with using them. I think I would need to restructure quite a bit of stuff to have them at the same z-level to work that way, otherwise it's just "visual + simple teleport" if you have to do any z-height adjustments. Unfortunately I did not know that before building the areas.

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If I’m understanding the problem correctly, you can make a dummy sector of the “pre-portal” sector outside the map boundary and make another one of the “post-portal” sector and have the two dummy sectors that are outside the boundary be attached. This way, any sounds that should be waking up the monsters will because the engine will say “these two sectors are adjacent so sound should travel between them” thanks to the dummy sectors. I’ve used this to wake up monsters later in the map before the player reaches them.

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4 hours ago, Firedust said:

Congrats on the release!

 

Question about difficulty levels: are monsters counts unaffected by what you go for?

Forgot to address this, I think most, if not all the maps, have adjusted monster count for difficulties in addition to the skill settings. Map03 plays differently on each skill except UV/NM due to key requirements and placements, tried to make it unique for each play.

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Posted (edited)

Had some time to give Ravage by @Decay a spin. Played it on UV (Violent Eternity). I'll put the bulk of the review in spoilers just in case.

 

Spoiler

Visually the map looks really nice, and the layout definitely has that DM feel to it that Decay is so well known for. Most, if not all places have more than one way to get to and it makes the map more fun to traverse. There are some instances where the detail seems to be fixated on one part of the map, or even more locally one part of a room so that the overall detail level is not always consistent. This is not a big gripe, and putting detail where you want the players' attention is of course a tactic in itself, but in some cases I feel some detail "padding" should've done so that the highly detailed parts wouldn't stand out so much.

 

Here's one example of that, where the left side is so much more simple than the stuff on the right that it looks very lopsided:

screen2.jpg.a2a104b1381d680ae31e7450bd39e2bd.jpg

The image is a bit dark, but in-game the left side is very visible and kinda stands out for it's lack of detail.

 

The line portals were an interesting addition, and I liked the experiments that were done with them (I got the sound issues some other people have mentioned as well.) In a lot of cases, however, it felt like they were only there to connect otherwise disconnected parts of the map. I'm not saying it's lazy (and it does work to the intended effect), but I feel like some of these connections could have been made without portals if the layout had been designed to fit the desired interconnectedness from the start. In any case, whether intended that way or not, they do work to bring the whole together. Perhaps it's a matter of taste, but I feel that when using line portals to explicitly convey non-Euclidian space, they should be made more obvious as to disconcert the player. I got confused by the layout at times, but it took me a while to even realize there were portals involved.

 

Gameplaywise it's a mixed bag. The first fight is basically just a pressure bowl where you grab the necessary stuff and get out. Due to it's linear nature, the player is never motivated to return to the original room when they get better arsenal to deal with the situation. Perhaps it was the point of the room, but the map in general has a bit of a habit of rewarding the player to ignore the turreted monsters completely. And this would not be a problem should there be a later time when the player returns to the area through natural progression, but if the area is completely detached, then clearing the room later feels like a chore. More often than not I found myself going to a room, grabbing all the stuff I need, then seeing if there's anything I need to activate, do that, then get out and leave monsters to infight. 

 

Lot's of hitscanners and limited health items makes blind runs a bit frustrating, and encourage door camping. When you play a second time it's not so bad, since you know what to expect, but I'd still add some health to make first time players more encouraged to take risks. The very last fight could also use a megasphere, since the abundance of different monster types makes stray projectiles a real threat, and going in there with no preknowledge might leave you in a situation similar to mine where I was running around like a headless chicken with 4 hp after dealing with the SMs, AVs and PEs, potshotting monsters with the SSG and hoping not to get hit for much longer than I would've cared for. I did survive, but I think a little bit of health and/or armor would make it less based on monster movement and stray projectiles and give some breathing room. This would be in line with the rest of the fights in the map, none of which were too unforgiving.

 

The red key room was a really fun setup, and made me kinda disappointed nothing similar was in store for other keys. But overall the rest was pretty good, though the really large open areas gave much room to just run around and get everything to fight each other and fed into that "go in - grab stuff - get out" mentality.

 

I don't know if this was intended, but when I got past this door (image below), which opened when the Manc was killed, it was immediately closed behind me. I could still open the door from the other wise, but when I waited it to be fully opened and ran back to the side where the bridge and canyon was, the door closed behind me and I couldn't open it again. I could circle around and get back there via another route, but I was wondering if it was intended that the door can't be opened from this side if you happen to run back here?

screen1.jpg.659674121ce04dee28c3555f06528e6b.jpg

 


Overall I liked the map. The visuals were definitely the stand out things here, with the saturated reds and sloped details, and nice hellish void action. I think as a net result I enjoyed the portal elements, even though I had small gripes with them I outlined in the review. Gameplay was simple and sloggy at times, emphasized by the large rooms and hard to reach turreted monsters that made the cleanup process relatively arduous (since a lot of these turreted monsters lost their threat when the ground mobs were taken care off.) There were really good fights too, here and there, and I think the setpieces in general were the most enjoyable part. The layout was also very fun to traverse, so I didn't mind running around searching for secrets and missed resources.

Looking forward to playing the rest. I'll write more reviews should I find the time.

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Posted (edited)

Actually, got through @CyanoBlugron map Under The Thulian Lights, so I'll just post a review for that as well. Again on UV (Violent Eternity).

 

Spoiler

Really fun map, had a good interconnected layout, albeit a bit confusing at times. At a few places when I returned to an already explored area, I wasn't quite sure where to go, and since the visual style is so cohesive that it reaches a point where a lot of places look the same, it made it me wander aimlessly searching for the next switch. I think using keys in this map would indicate more easily where the player should go, for example right before going down the staircase to the last fight (took me ages to find that). Clean texture work all around, and good color choices. At first I thought the visual style was a bit too focused and that some variety might help, but ultimately I think for a short map it's probably better as it is.

 

Gameplay was fun all around, encounters had some variety in terms of the landscape you fought in. Monster were used sparingly and in an intelligent fashion. The map was very setpiece heavy, but it fits the style well and made it really fun to play - chaos dialed to minimum. Also the little platforming bit was a lot of fun. The last fight was brilliant, with the staircase reveal of the phantom monsters and the organs in the background as you descended down - absolutely amazing. Loved the fact that the exit was just that, an exit. That left the last fight on a high note, and I didn't feel like it needed to be topped within the same map.

 

I did find a softlock when I was wandering around and returned to the room with the three arachnoplatforms (image below). The pillars were up from the fights further in, and apparently did not lower at any point so I was stuck there (as I couldn't go back up the way I came.) Couldn't find any teleporters to bring me back up either.

 

screen3.jpg.d31eb88130d14467490dbc8ded256ec1.jpg

 

Also during the last fight, I got hit by a cyb rocket so hard that I flew down and teleported back to an earlier arena (image below). I think here it's best that you can only teleport back to the arena at hand, otherwise there's some annoying backtracking involved.

 

screen4.jpg.8870545b5a86dd130773ee6c8690aec9.jpg

 

Really fun, setpiece heavy map that has a very focused visual style and some really cool fights (and fun platforming too!) Short and sweet, and the only secret in the map was really, really fun.

Edited by Aurelius

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3 hours ago, Aurelius said:

Had some time to give Ravage by @Decay a spin. Played it on UV (Violent Eternity). I'll put the bulk of the review in spoilers just in case.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Visually the map looks really nice, and the layout definitely has that DM feel to it that Decay is so well known for. Most, if not all places have more than one way to get to and it makes the map more fun to traverse. There are some instances where the detail seems to be fixated on one part of the map, or even more locally one part of a room so that the overall detail level is not always consistent. This is not a big gripe, and putting detail where you want the players' attention is of course a tactic in itself, but in some cases I feel some detail "padding" should've done so that the highly detailed parts wouldn't stand out so much.

 

Here's one example of that, where the left side is so much more simple than the stuff on the right that it looks very lopsided:

screen2.jpg.a2a104b1381d680ae31e7450bd39e2bd.jpg

The image is a bit dark, but in-game the left side is very visible and kinda stands out for it's lack of detail.

 

The line portals were an interesting addition, and I liked the experiments that were done with them (I got the sound issues some other people have mentioned as well.) In a lot of cases, however, it felt like they were only there to connect otherwise disconnected parts of the map. I'm not saying it's lazy (and it does work to the intended effect), but I feel like some of these connections could have been made without portals if the layout had been designed to fit the desired interconnectedness from the start. In any case, whether intended that way or not, they do work to bring the whole together. Perhaps it's a matter of taste, but I feel that when using line portals to explicitly convey non-Euclidian space, they should be made more obvious as to disconcert the player. I got confused by the layout at times, but it took me a while to even realize there were portals involved.

 

Gameplaywise it's a mixed bag. The first fight is basically just a pressure bowl where you grab the necessary stuff and get out. Due to it's linear nature, the player is never motivated to return to the original room when they get better arsenal to deal with the situation. Perhaps it was the point of the room, but the map in general has a bit of a habit of rewarding the player to ignore the turreted monsters completely. And this would not be a problem should there be a later time when the player returns to the area through natural progression, but if the area is completely detached, then clearing the room later feels like a chore. More often than not I found myself going to a room, grabbing all the stuff I need, then seeing if there's anything I need to activate, do that, then get out and leave monsters to infight. 

 

Lot's of hitscanners and limited health items makes blind runs a bit frustrating, and encourage door camping. When you play a second time it's not so bad, since you know what to expect, but I'd still add some health to make first time players more encouraged to take risks. The very last fight could also use a megasphere, since the abundance of different monster types makes stray projectiles a real threat, and going in there with no preknowledge might leave you in a situation similar to mine where I was running around like a headless chicken with 4 hp after dealing with the SMs, AVs and PEs, potshotting monsters with the SSG and hoping not to get hit for much longer than I would've cared for. I did survive, but I think a little bit of health and/or armor would make it less based on monster movement and stray projectiles and give some breathing room. This would be in line with the rest of the fights in the map, none of which were too unforgiving.

 

The red key room was a really fun setup, and made me kinda disappointed nothing similar was in store for other keys. But overall the rest was pretty good, though the really large open areas gave much room to just run around and get everything to fight each other and fed into that "go in - grab stuff - get out" mentality.

 

I don't know if this was intended, but when I got past this door (image below), which opened when the Manc was killed, it was immediately closed behind me. I could still open the door from the other wise, but when I waited it to be fully opened and ran back to the side where the bridge and canyon was, the door closed behind me and I couldn't open it again. I could circle around and get back there via another route, but I was wondering if it was intended that the door can't be opened from this side if you happen to run back here?

screen1.jpg.659674121ce04dee28c3555f06528e6b.jpg

 


Overall I liked the map. The visuals were definitely the stand out things here, with the saturated reds and sloped details, and nice hellish void action. I think as a net result I enjoyed the portal elements, even though I had small gripes with them I outlined in the review. Gameplay was simple and sloggy at times, emphasized by the large rooms and hard to reach turreted monsters that made the cleanup process relatively arduous (since a lot of these turreted monsters lost their threat when the ground mobs were taken care off.) There were really good fights too, here and there, and I think the setpieces in general were the most enjoyable part. The layout was also very fun to traverse, so I didn't mind running around searching for secrets and missed resources.

Looking forward to playing the rest. I'll write more reviews should I find the time.

The design philosophy was 100% "ignore what you can." I've never liked the idea of wasting time killing everything in the map and being forced to kill everything in a room has always been extremely irritating to me. Even the final fight only requires killing the cyberdemon, the rest doesn't matter, and even then I debated on making escape time based. Definitely I wanted the player to have fun just running around the map more than anything, emphasizing being flexible in where they could go (bars opening around the castle as they progress). As for the different set-ups for keys, it was too avoid repetition in methods of key collection (again giving flexibility to the player). This is more evident in other skill levels, where only 1 key is necessary to progress (pick your battle type) or if 2 are required you don't have to engage the second area's playthrough (in skill 2 if you grab yellow key first, you teleport to an empty red key area and are given the key, and if you get red key first, you can go in the back way to the yellow key).

 

 "I feel like some of these connections could have been made without portals if the layout had been designed to fit the desired interconnectedness from the start." Yes, this is actually a flaw due to my building process and coming back to different parts to make months apart. I did not know you could easily select all sectors in an area and raise/lower them, so I will probably connect things better for RC2.

 

I'll see what I can do to address some of the other issues (such as making cleanup easier) but otherwise thank you for taking the time to write this out!

 

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I just want to compliment the music selections -- all have been unusually good. 

 

 

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Just played Map 12 of this and started Map 6. If all the maps are this good, this is quickly going to become one of my favorite sets. It is an absolute feast for the eyes and the combat (on HMP) was balanced almost to perfection. I didn't use all of the smaller stimpacks, but I never felt like there was an overabundance of health or ammo and still felt engaged- thanks to lots of creative encounters like the elevator [hats off for doing this right; I have played many Wads with horrible elevator combat and this was actually very fun!] and rocket launcher ambush- without being overwhelmed [I will save Those maps for later when I am in a slaughterting mood]. Excellent job; can't wait to play more later!

Sadly, while my computer was able to run the map without too much slowdown, it can't handle the Hub, Eternity, very well without chugging along. I am very happy this does not seem to affect at least two maps so far. I still loved the confetti, though. :)

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52 minutes ago, 666shooter said:

Just played Map 12 of this and started Map 6. If all the maps are this good, this is quickly going to become one of my favorite sets. It is an absolute feast for the eyes and the combat (on HMP) was balanced almost to perfection. I didn't use all of the smaller stimpacks, but I never felt like there was an overabundance of health or ammo and still felt engaged- thanks to lots of creative encounters like the elevator [hats off for doing this right; I have played many Wads with horrible elevator combat and this was actually very fun!] and rocket launcher ambush- without being overwhelmed [I will save Those maps for later when I am in a slaughterting mood]. Excellent job; can't wait to play more later!

Sadly, while my computer was able to run the map without too much slowdown, it can't handle the Hub, Eternity, very well without chugging along. I am very happy this does not seem to affect at least two maps so far. I still loved the confetti, though. :)

Looks like you had fun with my elevator fight. Be prepared for the other maps though...

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Overall the mapset looks like a great work! I've played through maps 06, 12 on violent eternity and I'd like to give a few comments, point out potential issues and maybe do some nitpicking:

In both maps I loved color themes. They look great and match perfectly with ambient music. The level design is pretty cool with a few interesting encounters. I've had a lot of fun playing these maps.

Some comments/issues/nitpicks (played on UV):

Map 06:
From the middle island the player can go down by jumping on some floating blocks. This path leads to a switch. Not only I couldn't figure out what it does there is a quite strange behavior of the platform next to the switch. It is marked as secret but it doesn't trigger when jumped onto however it may be discovered by falling below the platform and moving slightly under it before being teleported. I suspect that intended behavior of this switch and platform might be different:).

I also think it would be cool if there was a way to go back to the first area of the map from the later parts. The teleport to later parts does not give any hints that it is one way only and some players that like to look for secrets may be disappointed.

Map 12:
Really cool elevator fight! A few comments/issues regarding it:
After I've done the fight I didn't immediately went for the switch and spend a bit of time on pickups and looking around. The platform eventually went down and after pressing the switch to move it up some monsters teleported into the elevator again. For me this behavior is pretty odd. I didn't expect the platform to start falling but I even less expected that I will have to fight some monsters again. Also the monsters that are located in niches teleport onto the elevator in a way that looks a bit strange.

I also pretty liked the encounter on a platform with pillars with several waves of monsters coming in. I'd just like to point out that I've found the last wave definitely easier compared to previous one with archviles.

The yellow switch teleport could be repeatable. First time I got teleported next to the room with archvile it started going the other way and I ended teleporting to the starting area again and I had to go back through a part of a map.

I try to be as critical as possible while giving reviews. Overall the mapset is pretty cool. Keep up the good work!

You should also definitely consider renaming difficulty names as suggested by @Gez . I'm Too Young To Dye is the such a great pun:).

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