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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: 25 Years on Earth

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Posted (edited)

Like some others, I didn't find MAP07:Rat Run particularly remarkable. Very simple, and besides the encounter with the arch-vile, there wasn't much interesting challenge in the combat. Maybe the revenant at the start would've made the title slightly more fitting on pistol-starts, but I'm playing continuous, so eh. Visuals were sort of neat when you weren't in a maze, but it's nothing at the level of the stuff in the previous maps IMO. There's still something I like about the overall simplicity of the map though, what with how linear it is. The simple visual style has a little bit of appeal to me as well, even if I'd prefer the stuff from the previous maps.

I guess you could say the map is... dead simple!

 

Map ratings:

Spoiler

Maps get rated on different lists (which I'll add as I deem necessary) depending on which part of the map I liked most, and the placement on said list is dependent on what I think of the map as a whole.


Maps I liked for their simplicity:
MAP01:Drop Pod Excursion
MAP07:Rat Run

 

Maps I liked for their aesthetics(visuals & music combined):
MAP02:Bunker Buster

 

Maps I liked for their sense of place:
MAP03:Urban Renewal

 

Maps I liked for their creativity:
MAP06:Destination Defenestration
MAP04:Wasted Luxury

 

Maps I liked for their gameplay:
MAP05:Skylines

 

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MAP07

 

Yes, this one does seem a bit of a half-hearted, token effort. That's not to say it's very easy - I experienced my first death in continuous play here (to the AV), and took two attempts from a UV pistol start as well. In the latter case, the apparent absence of any armour may have been a contributory factor, but otherwise it's fine as far as provisions are concerned. 

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Posted (edited)

MAP07: I must say that I enjoyed the level even if it's a simple and not so inspired linear track where the av encounter was the only interesting part and it manages to be moody at least. This is more like a filler level that serves as an intermission to change from the urban theme of the first part to what the last part of the first episode will offer.

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Posted (edited)

@golbeeze You don't need jumping to get through MAP06, but the step-based platforming is pretty tricky. As you're playing in what looks like GZDoom, with jumping forced on, you've overridden the built-in MAPINFO and also can't see the demo that shows the way through MAP06 (as the demo isn't ZDoom-compatible). I think there aren't many other instances of tricky platforming after MAP06, as the levels tilt more towards action from MAP07 onwards. Incidentally, Argent seems to double the ammo in every pickup, so I'm surprised to see you playing so conservatively!

 

@Summer Deep To answer your question from a few days ago, it looks a lot like YouTube isn't limiting people such as DuckReconMajor from uploading daily videos, so that may be the way to go for any future play throughs you record!

 

 

MAP06: Destination Defenestration

The finale of the urban cluster, and a map that introduces the SSG as a main weapon, as well as the Arch-Vile as something to fear! Even playing continuous with all secrets and knowing what was coming, that final fight is definitely a bit tricky. There's some good places to hide and some precarious ones, but the Arachnotrons shield the AV very effectively and open you up to a high risk of taking damage, so I'm going into the next map just over 100 on health and blue armour.

 

I've wanted to make a map for years where a major feature was jumping out of a window. I guess this is the dream realised! The hovertruck gave me a bit of difficulty here, as I wanted to rotate it a little, off of the cardinal directions on which I built it. However, that kept messing with the road markings and made GZDoomBuilder delete sectors and all sorts of other strange behaviour bought on by the fine line divisions. As a result, it stayed perpendicular to the street, which doesn't make as much logical sense, but at least lines it up more easily for most of the platforming.

 

The platforming was brought on by me playing Assassin's Creed II around the time I was finishing up the first cluster of the map set. I really liked how the buildings being climbable was built in to their appearance, and wanted a bit of that for Doom. On lower difficulties there's more health bonuses on the climbable pipework to hint at progression, and even on UV you've still got my cl2 demo to help you out if you get stuck, so hopefully the fiddly nature of the step from the lamppost to the truck is forgiven! A sensible mapper would've left the crates sat without a bracket over the top, trusting people to not care that the crates seem very unsecured, but I'm evidently not that sensible. The chain of hidden progression to the one secret in the map is partially constrained by me preserving the natural edges of the BIGBRIK texture used in the room - if I'd have not stuck to the lines of the brick work, you'd not need to take a slightly slower step from the free-standing computers to the newly-opened wall insert. I feel like there's some lessons on how to make more intuitive platforming from seeing how people played this map... Although a few players either don't seem to see the health bonuses on top of the lamppost and hovertruck, or aren't interested in how they can be accessed.

 

I wish, when I'd released the 6-map demo, I'd had these first 6 maps ready, rather than just the first 3, as I think this would've made a pretty decent climactic battle, but getting to show off the later range of maps seems to have worked out nicely.

 

The next run of 6 maps ahead are actually from an older, cancelled project. I don't think many people played the demos from Triacontathlon, however, and I've altered the balancing on them to be more forgiving in any case. I'll go into more detail on a map-by-map basis, but you may notice some oddities compared to what's come before and even what comes later. A lot of that is down to the maps being built to various limits, but also a bit of a change in attitude on my part in the intervening years.

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Posted (edited)

MAP 7

 

This level feels like these underground adventurous maps from Alien Vendetta, but a lot more shorter, simpler but with better monster placement (trying to ambush the player instead of killing a stream of HK blocking your way in a corridor.

 

I like the moody atmosphere, and it feels like it's building up into something until you find the exit lol It's not a bad level and it is distinct enough from the other maps from this set, but I still think this map wants to be developed a bit more, maybe some orchestrated setpiece in the finale, IDK.

 

Preference Order:

 

3, 6, 5, 2, 4, 1, 7

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MAP07: Rat Run

 

Short and sweet with a nicely varied set of environments as you crawl your way from one basement or substructure to another via a cavern.  It doesn't make any use of the tag 666 and 667 special effects; definitely no Dead Simple replication going on here, though given the relatively modest monster population I imagine players might expect a battle with mancubi or arachnotrons at some point, creeping through the claustrophobic hallways of the map waiting for the other shoe to drop (it never does).  The preceding level was all about open environments and battles on a modest-to-significant scale so it's nice to have a contrast between that and this more small-scale close-quarters series of encounters.

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On 6/5/2020 at 2:51 AM, Summer Deep said:

I'm not doing another video for a while, as Vimeo has a ridiculously strict limit on weekly uploads and I'm too stingy to pay for an upgrade. Must look into getting a YouTube channel, I think. Do they allow unlimited uploads, does anyone know?

 

Oops I didn't see this question before, but yes, as Phobus noted, YouTube does not give a crap these days. Upload anything and everything (that isn't harming children or some other horrible thing that they're cracking down on, they made you confirm 'not for kids' before you upload now).

In the past on fresh Windows installs I've even gotten lazy and used private YouTube uploads as an MKV viewer! And there's times where I'll record some gameplay or something and upload it privately before deciding whether to post it, just to get it off my hard drive.

The only issue is that the music in the video will get random copyright claims. 99% of the time they just take the few hundredths of a cent your video would have made, but there's a tiny chance they'll mute the audio of that segment.

 

It's funny because I've uploaded Gran Turismo 4 videos lately with actual songs blasting over the car noises that don't get flagged, but I had a claim on one of this month's Unlisted uploads just for having the melody of a song in one of these midis! But I have never gotten muted or anything more than a revenue claim, even when I uploaded a full Price is Right episode unlisted to send to a friend.

 

There might be a new-user wait period, possibly more likely if you don't link it to a Google account (if they still let you do that). But if I remember correctly I made an account a few years ago and uploaded an hour+ video no problem.

 

 

MAP07:Rat Run

glBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4, continuous with saves

 

This is where I'd like to get off the train and say I was unimpressed by this map but I liked it! It's a bit short, which is saying something coming from me, but I loved areas like that metal walkway through the dark watery area.

And the maze part, even with savescumming, scared the hell out of me almost as much as E2M6. A very moody and uneasy atmosphere that yet again makes me glad I chose software rendering this month.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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22 hours ago, Andromeda said:

MAP06: Destination Defenestration (25 Years on Earth)

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

 

 Lots of parkouring to be done here (if you couldn't tell from the title) but fortunately it's easy platforming (tip: for the final jump leading to the secret, try walking instead of running).

 

 

Thanks for the tip - astonishing how straightforward it is when doing it like that! I had to look up 'parkouring', by the way.

 

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15 hours ago, TheOrganGrinder said:

verisimilitudinous

 

Your sesquipedalianism is highly amusing ;)

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MAP07: Rat Race

Not as good as the previous maps I don’t think. This one lacked the openness and visual flair of Maps 5 and 6, being totally underground and honestly pretty corridor-heavy. I didn’t hate the map of course, it just wasn’t as fun as the last ones. When it ended, I was more like “oh, already?” even though I’m used to shorter maps in this set. The lighting in the hallways was really well done.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

MAP07: Rat Run (25 Years on Earth)

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

 

Interesting level. Not as good visually as the previous ones, but it has some great lightning work to compensate. The transitions between areas are a bit abrupt as well, particularly the small maze at the end seems to appear from nowhere. The water area was my favourite, even though the imps by the torches were a bit annoying to kill without a rocket launcher. The maze at the end manages to be quite atmospheric, which is remarkable for how simple it is. I felt the secret was a bit random, not sure if there's a hint to it. Overall, I liked it.

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP06: Destination Defenestration

MAP04: Wasted Luxury

MAP07: Rat Run

MAP05: Skyline

MAP02: Bunker Buster

MAP01: Drop Pod Excursion

MAP03: Urban Renewal

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MAP07: Rat Run (Kills: 100%, Secrets: 0/1, Deaths: 0)

    I got lost 0/10.

 

    I can kind of understand people's impressions of this map as a half-hearted effort but do you guys really want a huge sprawling sewer map? I liked it as a small breather map where the progression is straightfoward. The standout for me was the Spooky maze and here I almost died due to getting stuck on walls and maximum-damage revenant rockets. No idea where the secret was. Texture usage was appropriate. Short review for a short map.

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MAP08, UV Pistol start
100k/100s
Did I cross over into Plutonia? Thematically I mean. This is easy affair spiced by bits of combat against mid-tier monssters, with some hitscanners hiding behind vine-midtextures.
Russian doll of doors was interesting, although quite easy. Could have put there something nastier - the map feels short again, just 50 enemies, although that might work for the wad. It is bit weird after coming from relatively longer map05 and map06. Maybe it'll change...
One last note though, the ammo seems weirdly tight. I didn't really conserve ammo, but I did finish the map with 0 bullets and 0 shells. 

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MAP08: Constriction (Kills: 100%, Secrets: 1/1, Deaths: 0)

    A small 1024 map with a 'corrupted/abandoned base' look to it, with only 50 enemies. I... do not have too much to say about it. It felt okay I guess, the secret Soulsphere was a bit easy to acquire. I liked the absurd door-behind-door part of the map, even if I cannot really see why such a structure would exist in a base. Not sure how one press at the door activates something in the base, and the second one opnes the door. Are there some overlapping lines or is there a one-use line 1px in front of the door? I guess I'd have to open the map in GZDoomBuilder, but I am tired and too lazy for that now.

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MAP08

Definitely an improvement on map07, though I could have done without the corridor of doors and the fact that you wouldn't jump off most of the ledges on the map, forcing backtracking.  This also limited the poor old cacos, as they couldn't float up through the gaps, either.  Nice opening fight, though, and felt more dynamic in terms of combat in general.

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Map 8

It was a fun little level with some close quarters combat. I totally called a revenant before it happened. I was also stumped by the simplest puzzle ever. Apparently pushing a button to lower a platform which you then have to stand on takes more than one attempt. Hrrrrrrrr

 

 

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Doing a little catch-up, here. Played over the last, say, 36 hours, but only sitting down to write 'em up now...

 

MAP04: Wasted Luxury (UV/continuous)

19:41 | 100% Kills | 100% Items | 0% Secrets

This one was... fine? The rooms were kinda neat. The lightswitches were a, let's say interesting idea; seems an odd choice to have the switch outside the door, so you can't tell what it does. (The right-hand door I went through before hitting the switch, so I had no idea that the switch at the end of the room was supposed to turn the lights back on. Not a big fan of the raise-then-lower lift pillar. I also spent way too much time hunting for the SSG, which made me kinda sour when I gave up and left without it.

 

MAP05: Skyline (UV/continuous)

23:44 | 100% Everything

This one was pretty neat. The trap where the water level drops to reveal a pair of mancs was fairly memorable (and panic-inducing!) We have another repeatedly-press-switch-to-incrementally-lift-bridge thing going on, I'm bored of these already. And man, as a keyboarder, making the run to the secret RL teleporter was a major PITA. Also seems kinda unfair that 4 baddies only show up if you find the secret. And in a similar fashion, the 4 imps the 'port in when you pick up the level-end 'zerk are pretty jerky, too; they killed me the first time when they surprised me and I thought i could punch my way out.

 

MAP06: Destination Defenestration (UV/continuous)

15:33 | 100% Everything

Does the author have some sort of obsession with lifts that need to be incrementally raised? 'Cause we've got another one here, although it's unique in that it's a floor trigger that raises the pillars necessary to proceed, and also as near as I can tell there's no need to raise them further? Jumping out the window was fun, though, as was the little war that waited outside, though the way to parkour over the gate to the last portion of the map was perhaps a little obtuse. Still, I liked this one quite a bit.

 

MAP07: Rat Run (UV/continuous)

7:24 | 100% Everything

Just an absolutely linear map with a tiny little maze (the titular rat run?) at the end. Lots of decorations and pillars in corners to snag yourself on (especially on the bridge over the underground lake; not a fan.) Glad I have the SSG from last map, as it made short work of the all the revenants. My time would have been quicker if I hadn't needed to double back from the exit to find the secret I missed. Turns out it was a totally-unmarked crate at the beginning? Meh.

 

MAP08: Constriction (UV/continuous)

6:33 | 100% Everything

This was a nasty little map, and I loved it! Probably my favorite of the WAD, so far. Not a lot really to point, other than maybe the interminable hallway of doors, that maybe overstayed its welcome by just a hair. Great level, though.

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MAP06: Destination Defenestration

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

Nice compact map here, I like it a lot... probably my favorite of the set so far. Fun jumping out the window, and figuring out how to parkour (both to progress to the blue key and to get the secret blue armor) and I'm a big fan of the room before the window jump, for some reason. I think maybe because it hits what I think is the sweet spot for Doom design - not too abstract, not too representationalist (as some of the other maps/areas have been). And the last fight, combination AV and 'trons, is a good combo you don't see very often - at first it might seem like they're too similar (since both can be countered by hiding in cover, then popping out) but their difference in attack styles does overlap their weaknesses a bit (i.e., circle strafing to avoid the plasma streams will make you eat balefire). Like the music too, sounded much more fitting than some of the chirpier previous tracks. My only complaint is that the raising the column bit felt like less of a puzzle (since the 'solution' is immediately apparently after one button press, and some might not even realize you can hit the button multiple times) and more like it was just to use up another linedef action type.

 

MAP07: Rat Run

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

And after my favorite map so far comes my least favorite map so far. One long linear hallway, and it's not even that much fun to look at - the lighting is nice in spots, but aside from that's its far too brown and far too blocky, culminating in a literal brown brick 64-grid orthogonal maze. The monster encounters seemed rather sprinkled in for the most part, though the revenants did work well in the maze near the end.

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MAP08 - Constriction

Aha, Phobus, you and your subtle hidden buttons. This was another fun one for sure. You're consistently throwing me for a loop with my expectations and I'm enjoying the ride. You finally killed me by the way. I was not at all prepared for that sudden Imp closet inches away from the blue key and got my head ripped off. Well played. I thought the enemy placement, spawn points and how they each came into play was very nicely done. Kept me alert, but not unfair. A wonderful balance that I certainly appreciate as a novice Doomer. I also dug the use of the Plutonia textures for this one as well which helped give it some extra personality and challenge regarding enemies obscured by the vines.

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MAP 8

 

Another very short level, but this one was a lot more enjoyable than the last one. I also loved the aesthetics, with branches everywhere in a typical techbase setting. The string of doors was a nice idea and very IWADish too, also something that will remind me of this level haha It's also the toughest so far in the set and I died a couple of times, monster placement was really effective.

 

Preference Order

 

3, 6, 8, 5, 2, 4, 1, 7

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MAP06 :

Things I did not like : that I made a stupid and saved over my DWMC save and had to idclev, so.. pistol start. Also, that parkour section in the middle of the map.

Things I did like : despite the relatively high monster count for such a small level it never felt unfair and the combat was nice. Cool map. 

MAP07 :

Things I did not like : surprise revenant punch! (opening a door and looking at the map is a bad idea, mkay?) 

Things I did like : it's short? I do agree with everyone else it feels kinda.. out. 

MAP08:

Things I didn't like : hum.. hidden imps inside vines tend to annoy me but here there where only a few so it's fine. I think I actually did enjoy this map xD

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MAP08: Constriction

 

From a succession of relativity clean underground spaces we emerge into this overgrown and tumbled-down tangle of a map, some lost and forgotten corner of a tech-base facility long abandoned and given over to whatever festering growths now crawl and climb across any available surface.  It's thematically pretty evocative without succumbing to the temptation toward overwrought microdetail that sometimes arises in deliberately constrained maps like this, and I feel it makes good use of the limited available space, with the player's fixed height and inability to crouch or jump permitting many points at which it's possible to see from one space into another without being able to pass directly between those adjacent spaces.  Combat feels mostly like an exercise in picking the right tool for the job and maintaining situational awareness so that, for example, you don't get pinned in a dead-end by a cacodemon or a noble, forced to endure their fireballs while your super shotgun cycles through its reloading animation.

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@floatRand Pistol starting players seem to get through ammo a lot quicker than I do on that map, and I've not really identified why. How liberal/wasteful was your SSG usage? That, and forgetting a box of shells that had been left for later, seemed to be what caught out FrancisT18 on the video he shared with me - taking on the first Pain Elemental from the other end of a corridor with the SSG, presumably discouraged from closing in by the Revenant guarding the corner.

 

MAP07: Rat Run

Clearly a divisive map for the club, this one! I'm not sure if it would've been more popular in it's original form, but it seems as though it's coming across as half-baked after being adjusted for this set. I think of it as a bit of a "reset" for the first sky-based episode, marking your departure from the urban environment to something a bit darker. The introduction of Revenants here is pretty prominent, perhaps later in the running than one may expect, considering the previous maps featuring other heavy hitters.

 

I originally made this map in something like June 2014 for Triacontathlon (now cancelled and thoroughly cannibalised). As is fitting for that set, it was a "limit" map - in this instance, limited to exactly 25 monsters on every difficulty. It was MAP02, following a Tyson map (Beatdown, from Gimmicky Challenge Maps and Persephone volume 2) and was basically "dick move, the map", with the player limited to a shotgun against more lurking hitscanners and Revenants than the player meets here. Likewise, the railings in the water area were originally full-length MIDSPACE, limiting visibility all the more. Basically, I was trying to ensure that almost any of the 25 monsters could kill the player.

 

I left a lot of the original placement intact, but added an SSG (and armour, on lower difficulties), swapping a Hell Knight in for a shotgunner shortly after, moving the Revenant behind the automatically-triggering door a little further back and swapping the Cacodemon in for a chaingunner (lurking in the dark with good lines of sight from the waterfall). I then switched a Revenant on the ledge in that cave for four imps (on UV), thus breaking the 25-monster limit, and also lit up the ledge so that it was less bullshit. Everything after remained as-is, as the SSG weakens the threat significantly. Lower difficulties also ease things further. The secret is more for continuous, whilst it used to be helpful for if you got low on ammo. It's also signposted on the automap, much to my surprise (if you know what you're looking for) and probably the last chainsaw until MAP16, unless I'm mistaken!

 

I've got mixed feelings about the MIDI for this map. It keeps the more moody theme introduced by "Freefall" in MAP06, which matches the tonal shift from upbeat adventure (of the first 5 maps) to more dark, moody maps that dominates until MAP16 or MAP31 (depending on which one you get to first), but for those who know the original instrumental it's also clipped about 4 minutes shy of the end of the actual track, and can sound a bit discordant or cacophonous depending on your soundfont. I was quite impressed with how @DuckReconMajor's OPL synth sounded, all things considered! It's my least favourite MIDI of the set, but I left it in as the map is easily beatable before the cut happens, and what is there isn't bad, IMO.

 

 

Originally, I wanted MAP07-11 to be a dark, corrupted UAC base that you'd fought to, before making your way into the industrial episode, hence the moody song choices ("Home" from MAP10 was originally intended for a barracks/employee accommodation area), but with the Triacontathlon maps going without a proper release for so long and that project thoroughly stalled, I picked out the "more normal" maps for this set, toning them down to try and fit this set, even though some of the maps (like this one) actually were pushed up the running from their original slots. I rewrote the intermission texts to reflect this and adjusted my plans appropriately - some flexibility that I'm pretty happy with, although it has lead to a couple of weaker map entries as a result, going by the response to this map!

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MAP08

 

Very tight, claustrophobic map, even the outdoor area, but pretty enjoyable all the same. Played this in UV continuous and UV pistol start and died once on both occasions to Cacodemons, which I feel are effectively used here despite Capellan's criticism. The traps in that corridor leading to the blue key can be particularly tricky. I actually got the Soulsphere secret here, woohoo!

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MAP08:Constriction is a decently simple map, but also more interesting to me than the last one. The tight space made fights here a bit more engaging on average IMO. I think I prefer the visuals here as well, I suppose good lighting doesn't do as much for me as verticality. I did like the quirkiness with all of those doors too... "What's behind that door? Another door? What's behind that? Another door!" and so on.

Overall, a fine simple map, and one I prefer over the other ones I like primarily for that reason.

 

Map ratings:

Spoiler

Maps get rated on different lists (which I'll add as I deem necessary) depending on which part of the map I liked most, and the placement on said list is dependent on what I think of the map as a whole.


Maps I liked for their simplicity:
MAP08:Constriction
MAP01:Drop Pod Excursion
MAP07:Rat Run

 

Maps I liked for their aesthetics(visuals & music combined):
MAP02:Bunker Buster

 

Maps I liked for their sense of place:
MAP03:Urban Renewal

 

Maps I liked for their creativity:
MAP06:Destination Defenestration
MAP04:Wasted Luxury

 

Maps I liked for their gameplay:
MAP05:Skylines

 

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Posted (edited)

MAP08: Constriction (25 Years on Earth)

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

 

Another short and linear level, with the difficulty rising ever so slightly. This miniature base shows signs of having been abandoned a long time ago, judging by the strong vines that have engulfed it. The level does a good job at constantly pushing you forward, rewarding aggressive play with supplies to make your life easier. I particularly liked the usage of cacodemons, who aren't constricted by the level's size and can appear where you less expect them to. To me this felt like a Deathless level converted to Doom II, which is good. There's one problem with this level: if you traverse the sequence of doors too quickly, the last door won't open all the way and leaving the level uncompletable. Here's a demonstration video recorded on UV (skip to 1:50 for the relevant part):

 

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP06: Destination Defenestration

MAP08: Constriction

MAP04: Wasted Luxury

MAP07: Rat Run

MAP05: Skyline

MAP02: Bunker Buster

MAP01: Drop Pod Excursion

MAP03: Urban Renewal

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MAP08: Change of theme, and being some maps ahead I like how this hints some things you'll see at the start of E2. Extremely short and condensed but the fights are staged rather well, with the start that has everything in the right place and the corridor of doors that is a fun and silly gimmick needed to add that something so this map isn't another short and forgettable affair even if it's good on its own (imo this is the pitffall of making Scythe'esque wads).

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MAP08: Constriction

Another really short one here in this less hi-tech episode. Some very interesting things here, such as the long hallway with a dozen doors. That was odd, but I like odd things in maps. It’s like a weird Ribbiks layout masked by placing it in traditional Doom II themes rather than abstract color-y realms. Nothing here much stood out combat-wise, level was pretty short for that. Still enjoyed it of course, just a bit sad to see the exit door as soon as I did.

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MAP08: Constriction

glBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4, continuous with saves

 

I read this in the wad and even the text file as "Construction" so in my mind this was an abandoned construction site.

How do they get so much action in 1024 units? The world may never know.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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