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Roofi

What do you think about the monsters that wake up as soon as you enter the level?

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Posted (edited)

Hi, I'm going to sleep soon. For fun I've been launching wads and looking at maps where you can die without doing anything, waiting for the monsters to come  and kill you.

 

In some maps, the beginning is quite violent so that you have to react quickly in order not to die. I think the best caricature is map 25 of Kama Sutra where you appear in front of 2 cybers and you have to teleport to another place full of monsters

 

 

So I was wondering if "modern mappers" avoid this kind of level design so that the player can stay still without dying stupidly. For example, I had launched the Eviternity wad and noticed that few maps had monsters that woke up from the beginning, with a few exceptions.

 

What's your opinion on that? Do you get annoyed by unsafe beginnings or do you like them?

 

Edit : OOps , I wanted to post in "Doom General".

 

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I don't like unsafe beginnings and never implement them in my maps, I like to take a bit of time at the start of each level to gauge my surroundings and look at the level stats. 

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1 minute ago, Horus said:

I don't like unsafe beginnings and never implement them in my maps, I like to take a bit of time at the start of each level to gauge my surroundings and look at the level stats. 

I like this as well, however if the map is a "hot start" I find it less annoying if there is a quick escape route, maybe something you need to look around for while taking damage.  You might die a few times but once you know where it is it's easy to get out of.

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'Hot starts' can be exciting if done right. But be careful; I'd advise against ever making these with line-of-sight attacks or hitscanners, that just seems unfair.

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Posted (edited)

Best done sparingly, ideally you double up on it to take advantage of a forced player action (i.e; them being forced to make a noise by firing trips off other monsters down the map), and when you basically want to make action your centerpoint focus.

 

Otherwise, don't do them, especially in levels where you're angling more on atmosphere.

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From time to time I like it. I like it less when it's not so clear what to do o where to go.

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I don't like hot starts. I don't even like "Monsters stand with their back turned at you" very much. In my most recent map you have to pass through 2 rooms before your first encounter, that's how much I dislike hot starts.

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It's kind of annoying when you need to make a save on a new level and you save a little later than intended if you don't anticipate being attacked immediately, denying you a proper "fresh start". A hot start is fine if used sparingly and the beginning isn't dickish requiring ungodly reaction time.

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I love hot starts. Like anything, I think you can overdo it or flat out abuse it, sure, but I generally find them exciting.

 

I remember Valiant used them quite regularly -- MAP15 was one of the more memorable examples, burnt into my mind -- and I really enjoyed what it added to the WAD. I think it helped keep the momentum going, so-to-speak. Rather than meandering around looking for the action to begin 32 times in a row, a lot of maps just said, "hey, you know what's going on here, get crackin!".

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I hate 'hot starts' ... They don't even make much sense to me most of the time.

If it's something more of a 'lukewarm start' where you jump into a hole and then appear in an area with a few easy enemies that can be fought with just the pistol, I guess I'm okay with that.

 

And BTW, I also hate monster 'feeders' -- hidden rooms with teleport lines that keep them monsters coming, often quite randomly, once you trigger something. I absolutely despise this kind of concept as it can make the most beautiful map just tedious and boring.

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I really like ambushes, but this is borderline unfair, if i'm ever making a room full of monsters, at least i'm adding a door and some powerups (Specially Megaspheres).

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Depends on where they're placed and what monsters they are. If they're a bunch of imps and hitscanners near you, hell no. If they're pinkies or imps that are further away, maybe. Just depends on how it's executed I guess.

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Posted (edited)

I had made a megawad a few years ago which use the hot start at least 32 times... It's interesting for small maps, but it quickly becomes wearly for many players when this process is used to each map, even if these maps are very small and no atmospheric. That's why I use rarely this method since some years ago...

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I like to think in Doom like a Terror/Sci-fi/Action game. This said, I like WADs that build an atmosphere like that, start slow, and then escalate litte by little to the climax. IMO, "hot starts" like these don't build that kind of aura.  

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If I ever do it I just put like a Zombieman or two because they are really weak.

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I'm a firm believer that monsters surrounding the player at the start of the level is a great way to maximize intensity. I like maps that tend to be very difficult so I just sort of expect this to be a common trope. I can see why some players don't like "hot starts" though.

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3 minutes ago, Voltcom said:

I'm a firm believer that monsters surrounding the player at the start of the level is a great way to maximize intensity. I like maps that tend to be very difficult so I just sort of expect this to be a common trope. I can see why some players don't like "hot starts" though.

I really hate maps that put Archviles as a hot start tbh. Here's my "Approved" hotstart mob list:

-Zombieman

-Wolfenstein SS

-Shotgunner (1 is ok)

-Pinkies (As long as you are provided with at least a shotgun)

-Damaging floor

 

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I like hot starts generally, also those with combat puzzles, if they're not too long or extremely complex and difficult at the time. But if I'm playing a megawad, I wouldn't like to have hot starts at all maps, as this eventually would become boring for me - I also like maps where I can explore a bit at the start. Fortunately most good megawads I know have a nice variety in this aspect.

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2 hours ago, Maximum Matt said:

I like the ones where you start with a cyberdemon behind you.

That's how you can tell exactly where the rocket goes... ;-)

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i think it kinda enhances the irreality of Doom to have the player just kinda wake up surrounded by enemies, like they just sleepwalked there, or didn't even exist before they appeared in the spot they're standing. there's a lot about the original games' timelines that can't be explained linearly and I like to lean into that

 

Sheer Poison was kinda influenced by the messed-upness of Doom 2 leading to Doomguy being considered a character with suspicious testimony, which is why you start in a small shoddy room, separated from a conventional exit by weird stuff you couldn't really explain to anyone and "decide" to jump down a chute instead which wakes up like seventy monsters lol

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13 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Atmosphere and hot starts are not mutually exclusive, and I'll never understand why people argue that hot starts are not good for maps that aim towards "atmosphere". At the end of the day it depends on what manner of atmosphere you want since atmosphere isn't limited to "this is dark and gloomy, and plays super slow".


This.

It irks me how 'atmosphere' seems to be synonymous with the total and utter lack of anything happening. Um, no? "Everything is chasing me and won't back the fuck down so I gotta keep running" is every bit as atmospheric as "everything's quiet, almost too quiet, and I can't stand the tension" but it doesn't seem to get praised as much for some reason. Hot starts absolutely can be atmospheric and, again, there's not a hard rule for it. Like all tools, use your hot starts AND your atmosphere-building responsibly.

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I don't understand the aversion some players have with taking damage unfairly, as long as it doesn't consistently put you in a no-win situation it is all fair game to me. Start you level with a chaingunner behind me or force me to walk under a crusher if it suits the purpose of the level.

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I love it when a Doom map dishes out the damage, so long as there’s sufficient health to undo the “not so fair” damage you get from hitscanners.

 

I may be wrong to assume this but it seems like some people are expecting to be able to take no damage if they play well. Hitscanners make that a total fantasy, so embrace it and riddle me with bullets. So long as there’s a stash of medikits nearby!

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It is fine for me if used as a gimmick, part of having variety in mapping.

Also depends on how much time you have to react, how dangerous the situation is from the start etc.

On the other hand I would rather not have it than have it *too often.

 

*too often is like 10 maps between.

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Hot starts are one of my favorite ways to get a level going; it forces you to act, relying on your skill to survive a situation before having a chance to plan.  It sets the pace and expectations of a level quickly and it gets the adrenaline pumping.  

 

Hot starts work best with non-hit scanners immediately active upon the level's start with hit scanners waiting in the distance to walk into the scene.  (ie., chaingunner hot starts are somewhat bullshit--but there are ways to make that fair too).  They just have to be do-able by average players and if you're making a megawad then for the sheer sake of variety have differing types of starts.

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If one were putting together an entire megawad, then the variety offered by using multiple types of starting setups (the player is presented with monsters with their backs turned and gets to make the first move, the player explores for a bit in complete silence, the player starts out already being attacked, etc) would probably serve to make things more interesting and less monotonous. And I certainly don't mind taking multiple swings at an intense opening fight when playing a map on Pistol Start, since it's a quick restart with just a press of the spacebar.

 

I guess the one situation where I'd argue that it's in bad taste is if you were designing a mapset specifically for Continuous play. I believe that most players are familiar with the satisfaction of reaching a new level and updating their save to reflect this milestone, then deciding whether they feel like playing one more or whether they're done with this session for now. That "intermission" quality is lost when the player is already taking damage before they can press the Esc key. It doesn't feel right to put the game down when you're right in the middle of a fight, and it sucks to have to go back to an earlier save in the previous level in order to make another attempt at the opening of the new level. You have to click through the intermission screen again for every attempt, and the music is constantly stopping and restarting, which is much worse than the unbroken flow that the Pistol Start player hears.

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