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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: 25 Years on Earth

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MAP11

My favorite map so far.  Looks good, makes more use of angles other than 90 degrees, and while it has some narrow corridor bits, they're not as claustrophobic as the 64-wide rat runs we have had to date (and they look nicer).

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Playing catch-up as I had to leave my rig in the shop overnight to get my C drive replaced.

 

MAP10 - Haste Keep

This one had some great monster closets I must say and, Phobus, YET AGAIN you scared the shit outta me with Mr Spooky Bones using that duo closet, you bastard! lol didn't kill me though ;^) I'm finding my ability for crowd control to be improving as I made good use of infighting here thanks to the cramped space of this map regarding where the demons are placed. Nothing else really stood out to me, but everything flowed nicely and I have yet to given a map that left me feeling particularly underwhelmed. Even the lesser maps have been pretty fun otherwise. This might be because I'm a real greenhorn when it comes to playing through community map projects, but there has yet to be a dull moment on Mr Phobus's Wild Ride as far as I'm concerned.

 

MAP11 - Bloody Denial

Ow, ow, ow, OW! Well bugger me sideways with a rusty demonic spoon, this one beat me blue and bloody for a while there. I think you killed me a good 4-5 times, Phobus. That first encounter with all those Lost Souls and Cacoboys teleporting in made things a right clusterfuck for a bit there at the start. Also, SO MANY SPOOKY BONERS! Still, everything still felt fair if not a tad overwhelming for a new blood like me. I managed to find both secrets, but couldn't collect the blue armour in the first. Second one is sneaky but I spotted it, however the first one... I dunno if I'm doing something wrong, but I just could outrun the timed gate in order to nab the blue armour. Had to leave without it... AGAIN!

Edited by Biodegradable

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MAP11: Bloody Denial

 

And so the second cluster of levels comes to a conclusion here, with a map layout that seems to resemble nothing so much as an inverted amphitheatre, building up to its central arena rather than down, surrounded on its sides by canals and catacombs.  It's at evocative environment, this temple of dull metal and brown brick that's just prosaic enough in its basic style to cast its more overtly infernal details into sharp and delicious contrast.  Combat is... well, given some of the comments above it seems there must be a pretty significant difference in how "spicy" the action is on Hurt Me Plenty versus Ultraviolence, though even on the middle difficulty it's enough of a step up from earlier maps to feel like a fitting and action-packed conclusion to the episode.

 

Like @Biodegradable I couldn't quite get the timing down on the blue armour and I had to leave it behind; neither the clockwise nor the counter-clockwise route from the switch to the bars ever left me feeling that I'd just missed it and would have made it if my navigation has just been a little bit faster and more precise, so there was a definite sense that I was missing some part of a puzzle there.

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MAP11:Bloody Denial of health is a tough one, what with it's abundance of hitscanners and relatively stingy presence of health. Took me a few tries and required me to take a more careful approach compared to what I could get away with in the previous maps. The only secret I managed to find was the blue armor, and I'd imagine the secret(s) I missed would've alleviated at least a few more of my health concerns. That mastermind was surprisingly threatening(although not by too much), but I also didn't bother to take it out because I was concerned about running out of ammo because of it. I'm curious on how you're meant to take it out without emptying your supply, actually(if at all).

 

The challenging gameplay was what I enjoyed most about the map, but the visuals don't disappoint either (not that any of the maps so far have been disappointing except maybe MAP07). Besides the caves I find it just detailed/architecturally interesting enough without being excessive, and there's something about the weirdness of mostly flat, zig-zag-walled caves that appeals to me anyway.

 

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:
MAP11:Bloody Denial
MAP05:Skyline
MAP10:Haste Keep
MAP09:Skulking Death

 

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Having a very busy day today, between work and catching up with demos and the like, so I've not got my MAP10 retrospective yet.

 

@loveless Interesting that you managed to grab the blue key on MAP05 without doing the puzzle. I'm not sure that's something I'll "fix", as it's not an intuitive grab.

 

@Biodegradable and @TheOrganGrinder - that blue armour secret is perhaps a bit too precise. I know that SR40, engaged from near-enough the moment you press the switch, covers the distance. Normal running any route won't be sufficient, but you should be able to squeak in under the bars if you straferun the outer curve of the cave and are quick to get going after pressing the switch.

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If you're using a source port with a WASD keyboard layout (or similar) and "always run" set on, it's as simple as holding down W and A (or D) to move diagonally at roughly 1.4 times the speed you'd move forward at. Of course, you'll be steering with the mouse and trying to keep yourself pointed roughly at 45 degrees to where you want to go, but you'll get used to it. If you're doing things keyboard-only, it's still doable, but you'll probably be contorting your hands a bit, at least if you also want to be able to "use" and shoot.

 

On the plus side, I think there aren't many other secrets (or jumps for progression) that will require that speed in this map set.

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MAP10: Haste Keep (25 Years on Earth)

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

 

This level didn't manage to grab my attention as much as the previous ones did. Too short, despite involving a decent amount of backtracking and largely uninteresting combat wise. While I felt the ambushes were predictable, they at least tried to spice things up a bit. It's saved by the best sounding MIDI so far and the simple but effective looks, otherwise it's quite unmemorable.

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP09: Skulking Death

MAP06: Destination Defenestration

MAP08: Constriction

MAP04: Wasted Luxury

MAP07: Rat Run

MAP05: Skyline

MAP02: Bunker Buster

MAP01: Drop Pod Excursion

MAP03: Urban Renewal

MAP10: Haste Keep

 

MAP11: Bloody Denial (25 Years on Earth)

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

 

The first level where I felt threatened, the demons at the start can bite you easily if you're not careful and the cave section is harder than it looks. I think what I liked most here are the last two secrets, cleverly implemented in order to make fun of the player - the megaarmor requires straferunning to be able to collect it in time (it's usually effortless for me to get this type of secrets, not this time though) and the supercharge is deceptively simple to unlock.

 

The berserk secret seemed to lack a hint, I only got it since I happened to check the correct wall. Enemy usage is very good, they're deployed in a way as to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses - the demons at the start that can corner you easily, the imps above them that pressure you forward, the shotgunners and spectres hidden in the darkness of the cave area as some examples. This paradigm shifts towards the end where the monsters serve as little more than ammo sinks, but I enjoyed killing them regardless. Pretty fun level!

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP09: Skulking Death

MAP06: Destination Defenestration

MAP08: Constriction

MAP11: Bloody Denial

MAP04: Wasted Luxury

MAP07: Rat Run

MAP05: Skyline

MAP02: Bunker Buster

MAP01: Drop Pod Excursion

MAP03: Urban Renewal

MAP10: Haste Keep

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MAP11: Nice music, it fitted well for ending the episode. The level is one of the best so far, I like that from the first part you get a preview of the main room with the blood fountains. The cave part was meh, very generic. It seems that the blue armor secret give you barely enough time to pick it, I was able to do it after some tries. The spiderdemon was weird, it's so easy to skip it (and so I did initially) and on pistol start you don't have good choices with weapons and ammo to fight it. Unless you want to play peakaboo with the SSG. I did that after clearing the exit to see if I had enough ammo to kill everything. The ambush at the exit was nice and it was a good idea to have a double yellow door so if you leave the spiderdemon behind it can still aim at you if you are pushed back on the corridor. Oh and now we also Phobus version of the iconic Plutonia exit pad.

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1 hour ago, Phobus said:

If you're using a source port with a WASD keyboard layout (or similar) and "always run" set on, it's as simple as holding down W and A (or D) to move diagonally at roughly 1.4 times the speed you'd move forward at. Of course, you'll be steering with the mouse and trying to keep yourself pointed roughly at 45 degrees to where you want to go, but you'll get used to it. If you're doing things keyboard-only, it's still doable, but you'll probably be contorting your hands a bit, at least if you also want to be able to "use" and shoot.

 

I don't like rodents, so forgive my ignorance, but are you describing SR-40 or SR-50? It seems like you've listed elements of both.

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21 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

I don't like rodents, so forgive my ignorance, but are you describing SR-40 or SR-50? It seems like you've listed elements of both.

Phobus is describing SR40, but he erroneously mentioned SR50 values. SR50 is only ever used/needed in optimized speedruns or in very niche levels due to being much harder to perform correctly. This page should explain things in a clearer way.

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My mistake - I assumed that it was the simple equation leading to root-two for SR40 and that SR50 would lead to roughly 1.5 times the base speed. The actual source of the naming makes sense with the context of Andromeda's page.

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MAP11

 

Now here's something at last that players can really get their teeth into! The opening section is especially tough, and my one failure came here from a UV pistol start, when the Revenant sneaked up on me as I was trying to deal with the Cacodemons. The rest of it's decently challenging too, though I was expecting a bit more action in the central arena. I did get that blue armour secret, but it took about 15 attempts and it really ought to have incorporated another couple of seconds of leeway. I can usually manage tasks involving SR40 runs and jumps without too much bother (though I wouldn't know where to start with a SR50), but this was just a bit overdone in my view.

 

I omitted to go for the blue armour in the video playthrough, as it would likely have added around 50% to the runtime. It's rather messy and rushed overall, and I was really lucky to survive that error-strewn first area.

 

 

 

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MAP11: Bloody Denial

Definitely my favorite map so far. This one had more (or at least I noticed more) of those tiny details made out of stock textures than the other levels in this episode. I loved those in the first episode and in contrast the earlier levels in this episode looked a little plain. The central blood fountain was amazing, I enjoyed the large rev fight there, even though it did kill me again. The cavern room was very creative I thought, with the walls low enough to shoot over. I enjoyed fighting in there. The area with the curved terraces and teleporter was also fun, and a great place to use the first non-secret (IIRC) rocket launcher in the WAD so far. Exit area was nice too, but lacked the grandeur of the rest of the map. Luckily the RL got rid of the nobles nice and quickly.

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MAP11, UV pistol-start

93k/33s %

Whew, after some shorter maps we get to this intense boy. I quite like the layout and although I did not die in the map, there were few moments that almost got me - and if I hadn't gotten the SR40 secret I probably would have been perforated (although I did get zapped by archvile).

 

Start is easy enough and I managed to find the SSG rather quickly which allowed me to take on some of the middling monsters pursuing me. 

Cavern room certainly reminds me of something, but using the low wall like that is nice - and the archvile afterwards was bit nasty, although there was some cover available (that I overshot) and no dangerous monsters to resurrect - the blursphere was rather useless, although it primed by expectations for some hitscanner ambush: nope, just lost souls and whatnot. At least there were no mancubi... 

Seeing Spider Mastermind free was bit of a shock and I had to take some really careful approach to her due to my lowish health - thankfully got her without getting hurt. I complained about before just telefragging her, but this is real deal - and I think it is rather satisfying, although bit lonely as you can just pop out of cover and head back. The last fight is bit trivial, but if you are hurt after the mastermind encounter, the scant hitscanners and barons can really kill you. 

 

I did only get two secrets, and consequently did not get 100% of kills.

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Well, what a day I've had... Still, I'm all caught up on demos and videos... @loveless didn't seem to "get" MAP06, even though the playing in a lot of the other maps somewhat suggested that you'd read some of this thread and was coming in with a bit of foreknowledge! Good run on MAP11 as well, Summer Deep (for some reason I can't do a second @ mention in this post).

 

 

MAP10: Haste Keep

A speed map intended to be made in 2 hours, back around 2015. It ended up taking more like 2.5 hours, even with the copy/paste entrance, and I revisited it for this set to add a secret (which seems to have been easy for the majority to find!) and make it a touch more user friendly (the red skull pillar previously had a gap above it shorter than the player, so you had to hop off whilst it was in motion. It was also only 16x16 units). Probably ended up being a little over three hours of development time, all in all. Rat Run and Fester aren't much more than that, as I remember it, but almost every other map got at least double that time. I think I added a little extra shotgun ammo near the start and mildly tweaked the monster balance in the players favour on UV as well, but this map wasn't as bad as half of the other ones in Triacontathlon were before getting into this set.

 

Thinking about it, I may have actually made this before MAP09, and then copied the entrance back. Rather counter-intuitive for a speed map, but I was making Triacontathlon by picking off the easier mapping challenges first. If so, I definitely ran out of time around the red key door and ended up with a blocky bit of filler as a result. The name actually comes from this being a speed map, but gaspe's interpretation is equally valid!

 

Anyway, I whizzed through this comfortably - coming in continuous it's almost impossible not to camp the entrance door to take on the initial horde, and the map is simple enough that you don't need to remember it that well to triumph. Unless I'm making another challenge set, I don't think I'll include any more 2-hour speed maps in a megaWAD or episode in the future, as this does feel a bit incomplete. Originally, this was followed by a 10-sector map, but thanks to the exit being a teleporter, little work was needed to follow this map with another.

 

As long as the low points of this megaWAD are down to them feeling disposable, I'll be pretty happy!

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MAP11: Bloody Denial

prBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4, continuous with saves

 

I really like how this one looks. I struggled at the beginning, but getting the blue armor and running into the main center area, the action really picked up, and this became one of my favorite levels so far. 
Really good arch-vile fight.

 

I managed to get both the mega-armor and the soulsphere, using SR50 and the SSG respectively, not sure if the SSG was intended. I saw Phobus mentioned the blue armor was SR40 possible but I gave up pretty quickly on trying that lol.

 

Haven't finished watching Summer Deep's video but I thought it was neat it took us both about 15 minutes through here.

 

edit: oops, i've been saying glboom+ all month, when i've been playing La Piarre boom. 

9 hours ago, Phobus said:

@loveless Interesting that you managed to grab the blue key on MAP05 without doing the puzzle. I'm not sure that's something I'll "fix", as it's not an intuitive grab.

I just watched this and I literally laughed out loud. loveless looked at that key for like 2.8 seconds and said f this and rammed it.

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by DuckReconMajor

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I've been playing along with the club this month, though I haven't had the discipline to do any daily write-ups. I've only played one Phobus map before: his MAP14  of Plutonia Revisited. Undertaker brutalized me with its opening setup of "fight twelve Revenants in a broom closet" (I still consider it a miracle that I managed to clear the map from Pistol Start). So, while a Crispy Doom-compatible megawad sounds appealing, the use of the vanilla textures is beautiful, and the "challenge oneself to find ways to use every action in the game" goal was fascinating, I had my reservations. I had to play ahead at first in order to get a sense of whether I'd be able to finish it this month; I'm chiming in now to say what a strong first impression this mapset makes.

 

I love the way that, over the course of the first 11 maps, the 100%-human environments give way to overgrown, corrupted versions of those bases. I originally interpreted the transition from the representational doomcute style to the more abstract, haunted style as retelling of Doom 2: that the marine had been dropped into a residential area a safe distance away from the starport and that the closer he got to the heart of darkness, the more reality distorted and shifted to be more surreal and possessed. Reading the text file and the intermission screens revealed that this is not the case - that the whole game takes place on Earth and will flip back and forth between visual styles depending on the needs of the individual level. Speaking of those intermission screens: interesting choice to use them simply to describe the settings these levels will take place in. Kind of dry, but functional.

 

-Crispy Doom, UV Continuous

 

Spoiler

MAP01.png.ff298a480da394d579281e4a24958a0e.png

MAP01 - Drop Pod Excursion

 

The midi soundtrack starts off so cheesy that you have to either turn it off or accept the absurdity immediately. I respect the commitment to the bit.

 

The idea that space marines get deposited in drop-pods for precision strikes in hell-controlled areas is something I find very compelling. So is this idea that the demons aren't trying to transform the Earth, they're merely using the existing resources & industry to build some kind of infernal machine, and this is a tactical raid to cripple the enemy's manufacturing capabilities.

 

I know that it sometimes gets called overdone to the point of exhaustion (like Dead Simple clones), but I like a good pistol/berserk Map01. It's only a simple warm-up, but I still like that added bit of strategy when you have to ration your shells to spend them on priority targets.

It seems that the invisible walls are a sticking point for some. I found it intuitive that there was only one house that contained gameplay and the rest were just background decoration; it seemed fair play that the street was just a gussied-up hallway between combat zones.

 

Spoiler

MAP02.png.3684f10802d730a128f3433618e97d73.png

MAP02 - Bunker Buster

 

Loved the texture palette and architecture. If this whole opening chapter is going to be bright & cheery, it's nice to have a bit of industrial grime added to it for variety's sake.

 

I have to praise the use of good old-fashioned monster closets. When the second Hell-Knight tried to sneak up behind me, my impulse to figure out where he came from was rewarded. Monsters drawing your attention to something that's changed is a useful tool of conveyance, since it gives instruction while still letting the player feel like they're exploring on their own terms.

 

Spoiler

MAP03-1.png.da6eb14de9b1020d2b8b264ec38a8801.png

MAP03 - Urban Renewal

 

The way it kicks off by finally giving you a chaingun and launching you into the parking-garage battle was exciting, and the "monsters snipe at you from decorative, non-playable areas" concept was interesting.  I have been very impressed with these earth environments. They're detailed without being noisy or obstructive.

 

Turning the corner to reveal the pile of dead bodies & then their executioners up on the ledge was a memorable moment. I like the way that moodily lit room transformed after traveling back to it, revealing the warehouse and allowing the player to find the lift up to the rooftops.

 

Spoiler

MAP04-1.png.a1a520be2f20bd2970f8230cc30c531d.png

MAP04 - Wasted Luxury

 

I like how the level depicts a realistic setting, but doesn't let that get in the way of gameplay; I never had to worry about any silly situation where I or the zombies are climbing all over the furniture as we fight each other. The way that the light switches punish people with poor impulse-control by making them fight in the dark is cheeky and amusing. I couldn't figure out how to get that SuperShotgun that was locked up behind bars; I had to move on without it.

 

Spoiler

MAP05-1.png.ae75d75338032e13e170c784706042cf.png

MAP05 - Skyline

 

The decorative rooftops of adjacent buildings looked fantastic. The reveal of the monsters in the pumping-station trap and the panicked scramble into the access tunnels were both great, but it was easy to get the monsters jammed in the mechanism as it tried to raise again, and they could be picked off at my leisure. Similarly, the spectacle of all those imps suddenly pouring out as the hydraulic doors opened was a memorable moment (and I respect how the automatic lift throttles their numbers to keep the player from being overwhelmed), but the actual process of grinding down the horde was slow and a little tedious. I liked the signposting of showing the player what kind of bars they were lowering with the switch; it wasn't a big deal in a map as small as this one but the principle is sound.

 

Spoiler

MAP06-2.png.edbcadcc7609dfcef49127b9071af106.png

MAP06 - Destination Defenestration

 

All that platforming to get to the Blue Armor was tricky, but worth it. The bigger outdoor spaces in the street outside and parking spaces inside the walls lent themselves well to bigger battles. The mapset's first Arch-Vile was given a quantity and quality of targets to resurrect (along with his ever-present ability to zone you out so he can get to work). A quality boss fight.

 

I was happy to see another drop pod used as a pillar + decoration; condolences to the marine who didn't make it 10 feet out of the pod. It took a moment before I could see the way to climb up & over the wall, but the health potions helped draw my attention to the correct area. That whole street was densely decorated; it was a nice revelation to learn which decorations could actually be climbed on and were part of gameplay.

 

Spoiler

MAP07.png.e18463ff1f4cebb7ef60cc69f990c5fa.png

MAP07 - Rat Run

 

It didn't hit me at first that this was a short & sweet boss map. Then the Revenants hit me. I know that narrow hallways with 90 degree turns are frowned upon, but turning a blind corner to have a Revenant scream in your face is a classic jumpscare. And I really did find it to be evocative of some claustrophobic, poorly-lit tunnels beneath an industrial facility. When I opened fire, the darkness and disorientation was just right in order to make the chorus of screams I heard all the more blood-chilling. That's an excellent moment of panic: not knowing whether to stand or run, only knowing that they're somewhere out there, and are coming for you. Those were truly some spooky scary skeletons.

 

Spoiler

MAP08-2.png.cab9ad38d02fe1893adfd26bf0d29f93.png

MAP08 - Constriction

 

I really like this overgrown theme: as I said above, it evokes an environment that is being transformed by hell, and those plants look great silhouetted against the sky. The opening was cool in how the delayed deployment of fliers gives you a chance to gear up or pick off some snipers. That overly-long gag with the neverending series of reveals behind doors was pretty funny, in that excruciating "but is it actually over??" way.

 

Spoiler

MAP09-1.png.f6e6895b6f6910515dc539331d1c0d5d.png

MAP09 - Skulking Death

 

I love castles, and I think this one looked great. The opening dungeon crawl terminates in the reveal of an outside courtyard, which was striking, and the resource balance is perfect in that it makes it clear that the player is never going to get anywhere by wasting their ammo on the courtyard's guardian and should be seeking to find a way to bypass it. The blue armor secret was awesome. The way that the monsters guarding the exit trickled their way down the staircase organically (rather than the fight being highly-choreographed) was actually pretty cool.

 

Spoiler

MAP10.png.212635eeaee582ad87c79b3ef9f19b3e.png

MAP10 - Haste Keep

 

The red-key gauntlet down in the ooze was fantastic; it wasn't punishingly difficult, but the added time pressure to get it done quickly made it exciting. I found a secret rocket-launcher, but didn't really have space to use it. I was happy to just do the Continuous thing and hoard rockets just-in-case. I got lucky in the yellow key trap; two of the Revenants couldn't figure out how to get around the rock pillars of that garden and the monsters came at me slowly enough for it to be manageable. That could have turned out WAY worse, though.

 

Spoiler

MAP11-1.png.e6c0260001f98e8bc8b6b2cf4ab7c7f7.png

MAP11 - Bloody Denial

 

This wood + stone structure was gorgeous, and way gnarlier than we've seen so far - decorated with the results of mass human sacrifice. The detour through those dark caves added more variety in aesthetics & pacing. The run to the blue armor took many attempts until I finally avoided bumping into the walls or the torches, but the treasure was worth the time & effort. The rocket launcher makes its proper debut here, and I liked the way that one small wave of Lost Souls was added to the duel with the Arch-Vile to complicate things and make that weapon a bit riskier to use.

 

After MAP09's debut of the Spider Mastermind as a turret, this map raises the stakes by releasing one into an arena and requiring you to both steal the key from its nest & use that key to escape. Exciting, if perhaps a little random. I found the final battle at the exit chamber to be a little frustrating due to the infinitely tall fliers, but I still think that this map was a fantastic way to cap off the "Ruins" chapter before moving on to the next setting.

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@Phobus the keygrab was a bump that i was hoping would work but expected not to.  i also didn't come into this wad with foreknowledge! i've seen the thread but didn't give serious reads, just played cautiously.

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Crispy, UV, continuous.

 

MAP10: Nice and simple keep-style map. I liked how it picked up from the last map. I do appreciate layouts like this where you see both doors at the start and navigate to find the first key that’ll open one, which then leads to being able to open the other, etc. Wasn’t at all keen on the 90-degree-turns hallway after the red door but I at least liked the area with the yellow key itself, architecturally and combat-wise. Nice surprise at the end, too; pretty tame as far as ambushes go, but a nice reminder to never let one’s guard down too much even with the relatively low difficulty of the WAD.

 

MAP11: Possibly my favourite map of the set so far. Nice grim brickwork and blood mood, probably the best texturing choices and most interesting architecture in the WAD yet. I appreciated the lighting, texture, and architecture variety that the lower section added, and the nice movement-centric blue armour secret too, which I'm glad I put some effort into getting. The central blood fountain area was something of an architectural highlight, too. Blasting away at the Spider Mastermind in that particular arena was a bit of a treat, if not particularly challenging (beyond teleporting right in front of it at the start of the fight). Nice exit room too, what with the stairs and hell knight/baron combo dominating the central raised area. Good map, this one.

 

MAP12: I played this and the next few maps in the same sitting and it’s somewhat overshadowed by the maps before and after it I think, particularly in terms of aesthetics and architecture. The flow of the map is fine, and it’s a decent use of a limited number of rooms by having the player run back and forth as doors/etc open up, but the rooms are a bit bland and the scale feels a bit off. Everything feels just a bit too big. This isn't the only map to ever feel that way, and that's arguably just how Doom feels, but there's something about the comparatively plain architecture and texturing, and the huge toxic pit in the second room that just heightens that "off" feeling for me even more. But that's really probably just me. The opening area/room is pretty sweet though, and I enjoyed and the AV when you double back to the area to head to the exit. Adds a bit of a sting in the tail for the unwary/unprepared.

EDIT: The MIDI track doesn’t have any drums, which makes the music sound, well, a bit unpleasant. Not sure if it's something on my end (I don't think it is), but it probably/definitely played a notable part in reducing my enjoyment of the level. Fast, unaccompanied MIDI guitar strumming does not make for good music.

Edited by ironicmoustache

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MAP12

Not a fan of this one, with its back and forth, somewhat arbitrary progress.  A lot of "well, I guess I will see if something changed somewhere" which is way down the list of things I like to do in Doom.  It' also frankly not very interesting visually - the opening area being the best part.

 

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prboom+, no saves, uv pistol starts  
map 11 

 

i felt clever strafing the gap for armor bonuses and rockets. at least until i realized there's a step next to the switch after killing the pinkies with far too much caution. 

 

damn near rocketed myself at the end before giving up on the smm, hehehe.

25years-11-loveless.7z

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MAP12 - Emerald Fluid

Not sure why, but this one had me a little confused for a while regarding where I was supposed to go after pulling switches about, but I suppose that was kind of the point. Let's just say, perhaps it took me a little too long to figure out how to get the yellow key. I only managed to die once because I was ill-prepared for a specific ambush, but got through it the second time thanks to the rocket launcher ammo I've been saving. Had a decent amount of fun runnin' n' gunnin' in this map, though I do feel like it's a bit too big, if that makes sense? Feels like a lot of wasted space that could've been used a little more effectively. Oh, and I did manage to figure out the soulsphere secret hehe.

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@DuckReconMajor You may have uncovered a bug in MAP11, there. I was convinced that the shoot switch for the soul sphere could be hit with any weapon, but it looks like I was wrong. The SSG does thankfully work, but I'll add that as a note to fix before uploading to /idgames. I may move the switch for the blue armour a little closer as well, just to give the player a bit more time to make the run. I'm thinking near the end of the wall, rather than back at that corner.

 

@ironicmoustache I'm not sure if I'd noticed the lack of drums in that MIDI or not, before you mentioned it there! I'm not sure it ruins it for me, but I can't not notice it now...

 

@head_cannon Welcome to the club, and thank you for overcoming your reticence and taking on the map set! Hopefully you don't regret it in the later levels.

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catching up!
MAP09: 

free soulsphere at the start is a sign this won't be a light level, right? But,, te monster count isn't that big so.. Maybe not? Oh a spider snipping at me from far away. And I have no RL.. Let's just forget about the big bad spider until I can get my hands on a proper weapon.. Or not. And then a flame boy and.. the end before I can go and look for the second secret. Wasn't expecting that switch to end the level, ups. Nice level, the spider mastermind is a cool set up :D

MAP10:

 Ok, so one of those "look, the exit is just right here!" maps. I like that. And slime. And the RL! Finally some _real_ firepower. And now the yellow key is in a much too tight space to use the RL :( And those final revenants chipped away at most of my health, luckily I still had some health pickups for a little backtracking. Other one of the short and fun category. 

MAP11:

 A RL just like that? Hum.. Some tunnels here, some tunnels there, a weird two-way street and a death by shotgunner to the face! Let's go again. Nice and smooth on the second run, and then the switch for the yellow key, annoying that I have to go all the way to enter the ledge then all the way back to teleport into a wall of monsters. But at least they are at safe rocketing distance so.. Splosh it is, for them. And the exit is right here but I am three secrets (and 1 enemy) short of 100%... Let's dance around a bit. Soulsphere one is easy. Next.. Hum.. Wouldn't have found the berserker pack without automap cheating.. But then again, I play without sound and the imp inside was likely making some noise. I'll give up on the blue armor (I think I have managed to catch it when I first played the level but I can't recall how. (and while returning to the exit I found the switch for the blue armor but I can't run that fast!)

Nice mini-arena bit to obtain the yellow key!

MAP12:

 And again, a exit that can be seen just as the map starts, teasing me. This first room took away most of the bluesphere's extra health.. Oh well. Let's explore! Finding a berserker pack and ending with less health than before 'cause of the nukage : not fun or optimal. Dear autoaim : stop wasting my rockets on the walls and hit the goddamned imps! Good. only 12 rockets for 6 imps -_- Ok, all switches pressed, I think. I wonder if I can do this jump for the bluesphere? And nop. followed by "no no no" while I run over nuclear sludge. Or whatever that green thing is. UUH I see the switch now :D Way more comfortable than trying to jump :D And now.. Something is missing. oh. I forgot about the yellow key. And I can't get to it. aaah, so that's how. Not so short this one, and a lot* of "what did this button do?" (*actually only 2 ou 3 times) making progression a bit more.. confusing. 

 

more to come, soon.

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Map 06 -- Destination Defenestration - 101% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA

A leap out of a third story (or so) window is as good a thing to name a level after as any other, I suppose. A spate of unremarkable room-clearing in an unassuming industrial base sort of place gives way to a more memorable street scene, which has a lot of neat/amusing touches the closer one looks. On the craft level, there is some nice skyline detail going on here (I particularly like the hanging body between the buttresses on the west side of the inner lot) and more traffic-paint, but the real highlight, in a diegetic sense at least, is the soulsphere's perch. It took a few times looking at it for my brain to register what's going on here, but it seems the sphere is sitting atop the tail end of some kind of vehicle which has been catastrophically Strangelove'd directly into the pavement, presumably by the poor stiff lying in shambles nearby. What on earth happened here? We could imagine the vehicle is some kind of aircraft or drop pod (though it doesn't look much like the thing our protag arrived in back in m01), I suppose, but I like to think it's just a little freight kart or maybe a Zamboni sort of deal, which the poor trainee (RIP Eugenio) somehow managed to ramp directly out of the same window we ourselves leap from to reach the street. Must've been some office party.

 

Other than this cautionary tale of whitecollar misadventure, the most memorable thing about the map is the blue armor secret, which is a satisfying little bit of parkour play. The leaps/hops required are not difficult, but you need a bit of induction and perhaps a touch of intuition to plot out the actual route, and it's nice to have one's curiosity rewarded. The odd pair of little chrome posts + pressure plate you need to manipulate in order to get onto the console bank/out the window are the most arcane part of the process, and read as existing primarily in service to the line-action challenge, though again it's amusing to imagine what role this apparatus might've had to play in that Zamboni being smashed into the street below.

 

Map 07 -- Rat Run - 103% Kills / 0% Secrets - FDA

Yes, not to mince words, this seems like filler, and the map again having a self-aware title doesn't really cover for it consisting basically of a single drab, low-ceiling corridor one walks down in a single direction for a couple of minutes. The best things I can say about it are that the shadowy basement scene which opens the map meshes fairly well with the intro to the midi (the less said about the main part of the midi, the better, though...), and that I like the arch-vile here better than the one from the end of the previous map, there's something that feels a mite unusual about blocking his sight with the body-length hallways made out of thin mortar partitions. The introduction of the revenant enemy in the "maze" farther in seems like the seed of a decent idea -- revenants are fast, it could be unnerving to have several of them closing in on you from different parts of a claustrophobic labyrinth, etc. -- but nothing more, the idea is given no real fleshing out and so the encounter's basically a non-event.

 

This is a tiny and very simplistic map which suffers for (rather than being buoyed by) its tinyness and simplicity. Being a (very) small part of a set rather than a standalone helps to smooth things over, of course -- I don't imagine we'd find very many players who would have their playthrough ruined by a such a map or anything -- but looking at it on its own merits it reads more like a fragment than a complete idea.

 

Map 08 -- Constriction - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA

Not to harp on it longer than necessary, but note the contrasts with m07: this is an equally short and tiny map, and probably covers about the same amount of playable real estate when all's said and done, but it offers more substance, and tellingly, about twice the amount of action (mathematically speaking!) by virtue of using its space efficiently, and in three dimensions. The map's natural overall pace is a lite canter at most, and danger to your person is minimal, but changes in height and out-of-bounds areas that enemies have access to are persistently used to keep you on your toes, which keeps you checking your six -- flying enemies and lost souls in particular can be quite sneaky here, since they can travel outside of the entire compound and sometimes enter the scenario from unexpected avenues. This, in turn, makes what limited space there is seem a lot more credible and a lot more alive, which is a sensation no less crucial to a 3-minute map than to 30-minute one.

 

For my part, I think the chain-of-doors deal is judged about right, for what that's worth. You kind of need a certain number of false positives to help mask the actual traps, after all, and while most are predictable I do think the east wall flying open at the end is pretty clever.

 

The "puzzle" in the exit room is a mite suspect, perhaps. I mean, it takes all of 5 seconds to clear and so is hardly an issue in that regard, but moreso than anything else seen thus far it does smack of being included blatantly just to check an action type off of the list.

 

Map 09 -- Skulking Death - 108% Kills / 50% Secrets - FDA

Mixed impressions. Visually and structurally simplistic, for the most part, with mood carried by lighting and color/asset choice (grey stone, mud, overcast sky make for a rather 'down' impression), though there are a couple of somewhat conspicuous spots of more elaborate spot-detailing, ala the green 'firepit' that marks the path junction or the medieval turnstile fittings at the exit. A couple of scenes also gave me a feeling of IWAD homagery -- the hall of iron face carvings on the northern junction path are kind of "Pandemonium", and the spider yard is vaguely "The Gantlet", and so forth. I don't think this is actually intentional (or indeed, that the similarities are actually as pronounced as they seemed to me at the time), though looked at in this way it does lend a bit of a Plutonia inflection to proceedings, perhaps.

 

The central feature is the spider's yard; I think it's pretty clear from a cursory appraisal that it's 'supposed to be' telefragged, as opposed to sniped, though by this point in the set continuous players could just as well plink away at it to spare themselves a couple of seconds of exposure to potential gunfire. Either way, the creature's a minimal threat and has very little opportunity to significantly harm you, making this setup more of a momentary curiosity than anything of remark. Incidental attacks from other creatures in the back half carry most of the action; mid-tier monsters have more of a presence here than in previous maps in general, so there is a sense of basic escalation if nothing else. IIRC I did not actually play very well here, but it's still very simple combat at this point and so I'm not really held accountable (yet) for my fuckuppery.

 

Edit: Oh yes, the blue armor secret is pretty clever, again. I failed to get it (despite going back to recheck at least once) in the FDA, but it's one of those "oh of course!" sort of headslappers when you do figure it out.

 

Map 10 -- Haste Keep - 108% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA

This map eschews any particular gimmick or concept in favor of straightforward action, which is welcome at this point. The first leg of proceedings (up to the red skull key) is surprisingly monster-dense by the previously established standards of the set, and potentially blends well if you go for all-out aggression. This approach is probably the best use (from pistol-start) for the rocket launcher secret, as this weapon's riskier in the YSK trap (which is effective enough even though it's very easy to see coming, by dint of limited space) and may not be your first instinctual draw in the final trap. On that point, I think the final trap is the best one to appear in the set to this point -- it's well and good I suppose if you're the type of player to retreat to a cleared area at the first sign of any adversity, but if you've got a little more swagger you've probably gotten used to bullying the creatures around a bit by this point, and it's pretty amusing to have that vile warp in and tap you on the shoulder while you're busy strutting around thinking you're hot shit.

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@kalaeth - Interesting stream-of-consciousness report there - I could almost visualise your journey through the maps!

 

@loveless - That MAP11 demo was fun to watch. I genuinely thought you were going to try and take on the Spider Mastermind with your bare hands whilst invisible when you ran up to it!

 

MAP11: Bloody Denial

This map, from some time in 2015 or 2016, was always meant to be a MAP11. The bowing out of the first sky, to be followed by Emerald Fluid, which opens on a shot of the next sky. Originally, it followed on from Constriction, and you started in front of the entrance door, which was walled off with vines. This meant you were at risk from the zombieman to your left (on UV) straight away, and had a hot start with multiple Demons coming your way. I'm sure the peaceful starting room and numerous other difficulty tweaks are very welcome!

 

I like the restriction of having 100 monsters on every difficulty level, as it means you can reduce enemies in incidental combat to make things easier, and then swap individual big enemies for small crowds of mid-tiers (which seems to have gone down very well in the fight for the yellow skull!). The Arch-Vile/Lost Soul fight used to be an Arch-Vile/Revenant fight when you first got up with the blood fountains, which did at least prime the player on the value of those fountains as cover before being fed to the spider, but it was pretty "spicy", particularly if you nabbed the Invisibility Sphere beforehand! In fact, Revenants were a lot more prominent before I toned this down for 25YOE. Triacontathlon was a bit more "Plutonia"-minded for difficulty.

 

As a map that had a fair bit of development time compared to it's peers, this comes off pretty well and I like the MIDI, so I remain happy with what I ended up with. Gutted about that shoot switch, though. In my play through I centred my view and used the pistol to snipe it whilst hanging off of a step in the exit room whilst the door was open, but it needs moving, really. I'll take the note! Otherwise my play through went pretty well. The blue armour secret has been well-discussed by now, but hte berserk secret is evidently a bit too subtle. I used a different variant of the brick texture (with thicker, darker lines between the brick, rather than the faded brick used primarily through out the map) for the part you can press, but the difference is subtle, particularly in the shade and when you're not stopping to look at it.

 

EDIT: @Demon of the Well You may be surprised to hear that the drop pod in the street on MAP06 is actually a rotated copy/paste from the MAP01 drop pod, but with the door that was violently launched off still attached (and closed). Logically, if the door has to blast off to get the marine out, the dead guy would have to be some other unfortunate, and the dropped marine is stuck inside... But I'm pretty sure I was trying to telegraph that a marine had failed his drop-in with the corpse.

 

On a similar note, the MAP08 ending isn't actually made with line actions in mind! The map set has primed you for that behaviour now, though, so I can see why that would be the conclusion. Originally it was to slow you down and stop you closing in on the final enemy (previously an Arch-Vile).

Edited by Phobus

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2 hours ago, Phobus said:

@ironicmoustache I'm not sure if I'd noticed the lack of drums in that MIDI or not, before you mentioned it there! I'm not sure it ruins it for me, but I can't not notice it now...

 

I wouldn't necessarily say it ruins things, but as someone who used to play the guitar, MIDI guitar strumming without drums and other instruments in the mix is... not pleasant haha!

EDIT: reading the post above reminds me that I did get the berserk secret. It's just that I got it when I was going through an empty level trying to see if I could get 100% secrets just because, so it was pretty useless gameplay-wise since I'd already cleared the map out.

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MAP 10

 

Wasn't a really remarkable map indeed, following the theme from the previous maps without having a strong gimmick or visual feature. It plays well, though, and works well as a transition map.

 

Preference Order

 

MAP 11

 

Definitely the most substantial map of the second episode. It's my favorite so far from the set, with a nice central arena (where you'll fight a SMM later) and small skirmishers in the corridors around the big arena. The level of detailing is also pretty good here, enjoyed a lot the map. The timed secret is a bit hard to get, but fortunately I was able to do it.
 

11, 3, 6, 8, 5, 9, 10, 2, 4, 1, 7

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MAP12: Very good start for the 2nd episode. I liked the theme and how the layout makes you go back and forth, the routes are relatively short and each time you have a trap to spice up the things. The caged cacos are most a waste of time to kill though, and the YK pillar can be a bit confusing at first but it's hard to really get lost in this level, it's a linear track after all.

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