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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Akeldama

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Pretty excited to start this particular megawad. For some reason the theme of "vanilla" in 2020 is my focus right now, and it doesn't get any better than this.

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Hell, after Doom II, then HR2 and Mars War, followed by the classic-styled 25 Years on Earth and now this, I'd say classic/vanilla has been the focus of the club as a whole in 2020.

 

Which is always fun.

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etrn20.png.cfcb6facb921f2ef13941616a6446869.png

MAP01: The Generator (4/5)

Skill: HMP | Time: 7:17 | Kills: 100% | Items: 0% | Secrets: 0%

 

A slightly larger and more stately affair than the fast-paced but perfunctory first maps of the Memento Mori/Requiem series, "The Generator" provides a succession of mostly flat but quite spacious combat scenarios, culminating in a U-shaped hallway loaded with imps, hitscanners, and two cacos that foretells a monster density and combat intensity that rather surpasses the wads that inspired Akeldama. A decent but not particularly memorable opener, though I loved that quirky synth lead in the midi track that kind of reminded me of Planets/Time to Turn era Eloy--which foretells a newschool musical eclecticism to match that combat edge peeking through the homages to Shaw and Klem.

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I skipped through a few levels at random and it seems like the difficulty might be a bit higher than I expected. I haven't decided what mods I may or may not use this time around, but it will be a week or two before I get to it.

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Nice. This wad's pretty cool. Played a bunch of its RC's up to release, and quite liked what I played. It's got a very 90s, early Doom-editing kind of aesthetic, and I love the winter theme. Soundtrack is fantastic as well, and really sells the atmosphere in a lot of the levels. Definitely recommend.

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i'll get started on this in the morning/afternoon.  i already played half of it in coop with a friend and remember the maps being quite long.  i don't know if i'll be able to tough out saveless play but i will do my best!

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HMP continuous, frequent saves, no music.

 

MAP01

Much more sprawling than the map01s of the name-checked inspirations.  Feels a bit switch-heavy to me in terms of progression.  Some of the 'must visit' rooms because there are switches in them would have been better as optional extras I think.

 

The blue key reveal is cool.

 

The large brick hallway with the window pillars lfelt rather too bright and empty to me.  I think more splashes of contrasting shadow or more gaudy decoration would have helped.

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MAP01

 

It's definitely a bigger map than your default MAP01, and the opposition gets strong early, although you might end up chaingunning/single shotgunning a good amount of mid-tiers, if you want to kill everyone. Thankfully, though, the meatier encounters, such as both teleporting ones in the end, are easy to skip. Visually it's a very strong level and the layout flows well, being easy to find your way. Loved the MIDI and the winter + plutonish techbase setting, the rooms are also very detailed and sometimes really large. Pretty cool opener!

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PrBoom+, UV, pistol starting every level that I play, might use saves if I give up on recording FDAs.

 

map01: All kills, 1/2 secrets

FDA

Includes one death and an aimless, overlong secret hunt for your viewing pleasure. I'm sure I spaced out for some of that. Demo length is at least 11 minutes I think. The chaingunner trap near the start got me good, especially since I didn't find the armor until later. There's potential for some fun rocket launcher use, but I didn't take advantage of it because I forgot that I picked it up.

 

Overall, cool map. I must say I didn't expect to die here since it's a map01 in a vanilla megawad. It makes me look forward to the next maps.

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I'll be played GZDoom (I'm back on version 4.2.3 as I have some other saves that I want to continue still), with mouselook (no autoaim) and as many saves as I see fit. I've started on Ultra-Violence, but I suspect that might not stick.

 

I've played valkiriforce's Doom Core trilogy (hell, I even did the /newstuff chronicles reviews for Doom Core and Reverie, IIRC) and am an admirer of his work. As this is an vanilla mapset, I won't expect too many huge views, but I do anticipate some complex maps, and the various 90s styles done bigger and better than they would've been back then. I also anticipate getting really tired of hitscanners really quickly, as I know that was major point in my reviews! As this is a community project, I'm sure there will be some variability. I know valkiriforce has done a big project retrospective post at the end of the thread, so that'll probably be worth a read for some developer insight soon!

 

 

MAP01: The Generator

We're obviously skipping the customary introductory MAP01 in favour of something pretty full-bodied here. I like the icy exterior and industrial/techbase interior themes, and the visual complexity seems to be bumping right up against the limits near enough straight away!

 

I was surprised that the water wasn't damaging (a common enough trope in icy maps, with it being cold enough to freeze you to death), but was glad to hop in and have a look anyway, so I found one secret comfortably enough. The other one totally eluded me, which I think I can chalk up to the level of detail. It's very difficult for anything to stand out in the indoors section as there's a lot of different textures and little detail cut-outs and greebles. Still, my days of obsessively finding every secret are long behind me, so this wasn't a big deal.

 

The fly in the ointment, for me, was the severity and immediacy of the trap when you go through the door into the first building. I got shredded from behind by two chaingunners, died not long after and had to restart the map, which felt rather unfair for a MAP01... Or indicative of a mapset I won't enjoy much on UV. Otherwise I had a good time here, with plentiful health, reasonable supplies (I would've appreciated an SSG about midway through, rather than a rocket launcher with low supplies) and no other nasty traps or surprises. Progression was clear and linear, so no major notes there, and the map functioned solidly, although I did trigger the switch to reveal the blue keycard before I'd officially revealed it by pressing for the door a bit early. Inevitable, in vanilla Doom, with this kind of set up, but the logical thing to do would be to avoid the setup, I guess! As I didn't know what the switch did or where it was (yet), I didn't sequence break, so it's no big deal for me, and probably a speed-running trick in the future.

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MAP01: The Generator

Source Port Used: PrBoom+ | Played on UV | All Monsters Killed | 1/2 Secrets

The first trap almost got me, I able to survive it because I got the armor from the first secret.

 

anyway, cool map opener. I like the layout and the detail of the map. The MIDI is cool, and overall, I like the map. I am looking forward into the next map.

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Let's do it.  ZDoom 2.8.1, Hurt Me Plenty, continuous play with saves.

 

MAP01: The Generator

 

This WAD doesn't exactly softball its opening, with a well-developed first map incorporating a couple of nasty little traps to shake newly-arrived players out of any sense of early-level complacency.  Snow and ice are not unheard-of in Doom PWADs, but they're uncommon enough that their inclusion in the theme here makes the level feel refreshing and novel.  I enjoyed the contrast between the bunker-like structures that dot the early part of the map and the way it opens up into more cavernously baroque spaces later on and further in; the accompanying text file indicates that the structural changes occur at the point at which the map was passed from one designer to another, but I appreciate it as a development of the pacing and setting of the map even so.  I'll admit I was prepared for the water in the map to be damaging, given its icy setting; "the water is freezing cold and will damage you if you take a dip" seems like it would've been a reasonable expectation under the circumstances, so that's a bit of mercy on the author's part (and one which gives way to a secret area besides).

 

One note: on Hurt Me Plenty there are two rockets present in the map, but the level's solitary rocket launcher is available only on Ultraviolence and above.  Should I take this as an indication that map is balanced around continuous play, or should these rockets without a launcher be ignored?

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Posted (edited)

MAP01 - The Generator

HMP | Continuous Play with Saves | Running on GZDoom + Hellrider

 

We are off to an absolutely marvelous start here. The lovely ambient music fits the map so thematically well, I adore it. The map itself is wonderfully crafted and my first experience seeing one with snow! I know I'm still a greenhorn when it comes to community WADs, but this is one of the most gorgeous maps I've ever seen. Just beautiful, I didn't want to leave! Combat was fun and everything was pretty straight-forward as far as progression goes. Not much else to say, I just thought it was a wonderful map and a fantastic first impression. I can't wait to see what's next!

 

I was originally going to play using Brutal Doom again like I did for last month's megaWAD, but since it affects stock Doom textures and the aim of Akeldama is for a more Vanilla-orientated experience as a tribute to the earlier years of Doom mapping, I've gone with Hellrider instead out of respect. It's a well-balanced weapons mod that doesn't affect textures so I can experience the megaWAD's maps as intended.

 

Gameplay footage:

Spoiler

 

 

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Well, actually I have paid attention to akeldama since its beta version was released :) It aims to be like memento mori I & II and it does.

 

I would like to share some max demos and thoughts here.

 

Map01: The Generator

Time: 2m48s

 

Just did this an hour ago. There are some enemies on high platforms and you have to snipe them out which some speedrunners don't like :(

The outside is deadly because there are so many hitscanners. At 0:35 you can use this trick to get blue key faster.

For the RK area, try to save the 2 arachnotrons to clean mobs on the floor quickly.

 

 

 

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@Biodegradable Interesting mod! I like the Build-engine-style blood on the ground and the boot prints that you can track out of them. I hear from your video that you're a fellow Brit (something I was already assuming from our previous interactions), but I also hear your keyboard a lot :P I'm guessing it's some kind of mechanical thing?

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Phobus said:

I hear from your video that you're a fellow Brit

 

Haha, I get that a lot. I'm actually Australian. I just don't have the typical accent.

 

5 minutes ago, Phobus said:

I also hear your keyboard a lot :P I'm guessing it's some kind of mechanical thing?

 

Correct! I love my mechanical keyboard, so expect some light clacking in my footage hehe

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Map 01: The Generator.

UV - LZDoom and Brutal Doom

 

July begins and Akeldama follows!

 

I've had this megawad in my eyes from the moment it came out, but I'm glad I got the chance to play it next to the club. From the beginning it looked like a great and promising project that apparently delivered fantastic vanilla quality.

 

Map 01 starts in a pretty solid way. With a decent challenge, the map gives us a taste of what the upcoming days may bring. It doesn't wait a bit and doesn't grab your hand, from the very first moment it's ''action''. I love knowing that there will also be themed levels, this one starts with a clear idea of ''winter'' which is quite welcome, since after spending so much time in the heat of hell, a little snow doesn't hurt from time to time. In spite of the simplicity of the map and its almost tender design, it follows certain qualities that Romero once established and you can tell that it was made by someone who knows what they are doing.

 

This will be a good month.

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29 minutes ago, Biodegradable said:

 

Haha, I get that a lot. I'm actually Australian. I just don't have the typical accent.

The Aussie contingent is strong on here, but your accent sounds pretty similar to a South London one, so I'm sure I can forgive myself the error ;)

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MAP01: The Generator (Akeldama)

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

 

A more substantial opener than most classic megawads, but with about the same difficulty. The invernal outdoor setting immediately reminds me of Requiem MAP03, although the water isn't damaging and even conceals an easy to miss secret. Indoors are decorated in a sober way but with some neat details, you can definitely see the polish of modern releases despite the oldschool influence. I liked the sector trickery revealing the blue key pedestal. I feel the red key area could've used more roaming enemies considering its size, much like the teleporter at the end that only spits out a handful of monsters. Overall I think this level is a good introduction to the style of the megawad - looking forward to see what's next!

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Posted (edited)

Playing HMP pistol-starts on GZDoom.

 

MAP01: The Generator

I was kinda surprised at the length of this map actually, maybe it was just 25 Years on Earth from last month mixed with me replaying Going Down conditioning me to expect smaller levels, especially early in the game. If this is the length of the first map (not huge of course, but decently sized) then I can only imagine what sorts of stuff comes later. I thought the map was gonna end right when I opened the door to the large base area from inside the little circular building. Opening the door at the start to find that it’s an ice-base map was a pleasant surprise as well. Doom could always use more of that. Eviternity’s ice episode is probably my favorite use of winter textures (and also my favorite episode of that WAD, aesthetics-wise) but this looks really good too. The texturing gives it a much more classic feel than Eviternity’s ice levels. Another pleasant surprise is that they didn’t go super light on me for MAP01. It wasn’t a hard level, of course not, I didn’t wind up dying at all, which is rare. It was still a fun romp with some large groups of monsters that were fun to chaingun. I found the armor secret but not the other one.

Edited by Snikle

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3 hours ago, lirui1001 said:

Well, actually I have paid attention to akeldama since its beta version was released :) It aims to be like memento mori I & II and it does.

 

Just to further clarify - Akeldama was always meant to be its own thing. The inspiration is pretty clearly influenced from older megawads like Memento Mori or Alien Vendetta with the gathering of various map authors to create a vanilla Doom 2 experience, but as with wads like Memento Mori, they were very much a product of their time. Over time the community has refined itself from older map practices and level design tropes that were clear and present in those days, so in like manner I wanted Akeldama to be a vanilla megawad project that would capture this period in time and show what our community currently has to offer.

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New member of Doomworld here, have been lurking for a bit and reading some of the old megawad club-threads. I played Doom + Doom 2 a lot way back in 1994 and 95, and have played for a bit every few years since then (mostly episode 1, I guess). I like playing in short bursts, for half an hour to an hour, just a few maps at a time. I haven't really played any pwads before, apart from a few levels here and there (I seem to remember a Star Wars conversion that I played for bit, sometime in 95 or 96). I just played Episode 3 for the first time in at least 20 years this week, and played the first two levels of episode 4 Thy Flesh Consumed for the first time ever yesterday. So I don't know any of the influences or what tropes and conventions of mapmaking that Akeldama is building on. Just to give you a bit of background to where these comments are coming from - an old player, but a newcomer to the world of Wads. A full 32 level MegaWad seems like a daunting prospect to play through, but I'll give it a shot and see if I can last the entire month ...

 

Playing gzdoom on HMP, continous. 

 

Map01: The Generator

Wow, snow! I like the icy start a lot, accidently drop down to the water, wich proves to be a blessing in disguise. And it's a large level! I roam the hallways, running like a madman, getting the monsters to infight. This is seriously fun, run n' gun play exactly the way I like it. When most of the monsters are down I stop and admire the detailing of my surroundings. Really good looking stuff! I wonder if this is the current standard of detailing that people expect, or if this is something special (on reading other comments on this thread I gather that this is a bit above and beyond). There is also a strong sense of place here, I get a feel for my surroundings and how the different parts of the map are connected (unlike a lot of the levels in E2 and E3), wich is a quality I appreciate a lot. At the end I have 100 % kills, somehow 0 % on items (??) and 50 % secrets. I find myself wanting to charge ahead into the next level, to see what awaits me. 

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15 minutes ago, Ola J said:

New member of Doomworld here, have been lurking for a bit and reading some of the old megawad club-threads. I played Doom + Doom 2 a lot way back in 1994 and 95, and have played for a bit every few years since then (mostly episode 1, I guess). I like playing in short bursts, for half an hour to an hour, just a few maps at a time. I haven't really played any pwads before, apart from a few levels here and there (I seem to remember a Star Wars conversion that I played for bit, sometime in 95 or 96). I just played Episode 3 for the first time in at least 20 years this week, and played the first two levels of episode 4 Thy Flesh Consumed for the first time ever yesterday. So I don't know any of the influences or what tropes and conventions of mapmaking that Akeldama is building on. Just to give you a bit of background to where these comments are coming from - an old player, but a newcomer to the world of Wads. A full 32 level MegaWad seems like a daunting prospect to play through, but I'll give it a shot and see if I can last the entire month ...

 

Playing gzdoom on HMP, continous. 

 

Map01: The Generator

Wow, snow! I like the icy start a lot, accidently drop down to the water, wich proves to be a blessing in disguise. And it's a large level! I roam the hallways, running like a madman, getting the monsters to infight. This is seriously fun, run n' gun play exactly the way I like it. When most of the monsters are down I stop and admire the detailing of my surroundings. Really good looking stuff! I wonder if this is the current standard of detailing that people expect, or if this is something special (on reading other comments on this thread I gather that this is a bit above and beyond). There is also a strong sense of place here, I get a feel for my surroundings and how the different parts of the map are connected (unlike a lot of the levels in E2 and E3), wich is a quality I appreciate a lot. At the end I have 100 % kills, somehow 0 % on items (??) and 50 % secrets. I find myself wanting to charge ahead into the next level, to see what awaits me. 

Welcome to the club, mate, I'm sure you'll love it. A 32 map megawad may seem like a huge task at first hand, but its not if you share your experiences and play along with fellow doomers. Also, its a really good way to start into the world of WADs.

 

This may be helpful:

 

Spoiler

Pretty good recommendations that will def help you grow in skill and also enjoy historic maps.

 

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MAP01: The Generator

prBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4, continuous with saves, no complevel specified

 

Based on this first level and others' comments I considered dropping skill level but instead I'll start out on UV with a ton of saves and see how that goes. I'll drop the skill later if need be.

 

This level looks incredible, I love the snowy textures and the sky. The song here is great too.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Well, this is the first time I'm going to give some opinions from "developer's point-of-view" on day 8 and 24, so I'm felling a little bit nervous.

akeldama.wad "Akeldama":

One of the newest and greatest Vanilla Doom experiences out there, finally released this year, and I was lucky to work on a pair of maps for this project. Snowy landscapes and techbases work really well, and it's a really good throwback to those HR2 or Alien Vendetta times.
As this megawad gets pretty frustrating at times, I will be playing this on Hurt Me Plenty, as I don't want to quit because of my abusively short-fuse. Also I will be playing this the way it should, on Chocolate Doom without any mods, and continuous.
I have playtested some maps before and I really like the looks and gameplay of this, so I'm hoping to see the sum of all things making a really great mapset that stands the test of time as most oldschool megawads.

MAP01 - "The Generator" - Michael Jan "Valkiriforce" Krizik  & Mattias "Waverider" Johansson (100%K/0%I/50%S):

Nice entry from the leader of the project himself in collab with Waverider as the first map that works really nice as an "entryway" sort of level. Here you have two main zones that feel totally different to each other, first, you have the snowy entryway landscape, with a hangar in the middle, with that particular snow tech-base style, and a big cliff at the side, with an armor secret. I really liked this part of the level, the blue key grab is really ambitious, lowering those stairs in such a way that I've rarely seen before at least in Vanilla, making it a really sweet oldschool mapping trick. The other part of the level clearly marks an inflection point in terms of style and gameplay, as this was made by two people, and you can actually recall who made which part, the first one I would assume was made by Valkiriforce, and the second one made by Waverider, as it feels and plays really similarly to his other map (MAP11 which we'll talk about later in our playthrough) with a "brown", "city building" style with squary rooms that feel pretty big and spacious for such small encounters with low tier enemies, obviously this get's a little bit more challenging with those arachnotrons in UV, but nothing that resembles a treat on lower difficulties. I really enjoyed the first bit of the level, but the sudden change would make some people have some mixed opinions on this one, the second part of the level just feels way to big and different to the start. Nothing too bad, but it just feels a little bit as a "frankenstein" map.
For a first map of a MegaWAD, does its job of making the player want to play more of it, so it's a really fine map, but I feel we are going to see some better entries than this, for sure.

Deaths: 0 (HMP Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)

Snowy landscapes is something unusual for Vanilla Doom, and this is probably what I like the most about this mapset, and gave me some inspiration to work on my maps, for some reason it remembers me the old days of playing ZDCTF with friends, probably because of the snowy maps, I guess.

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my data is throttled at 2G speed until the billing cycle resets. can't post demos or anything(can't hotspot yet) but I've been playing. have demos and notes for maps 1 through 5. could say I got a little impatient this afternoon :l

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