Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Ar Luminae: a vibrant UDMF behemoth - big update, most likely the Final version!

Recommended Posts

41 minutes ago, Aurelius said:

There is literally a teleport right there if your turn left after returning back from the artifact area.


I missed this as well -- and also the teleporter that takes you to lower the yellow bars blocking the yellow key area after you do the double bounce onto the switch platform, and the teleporter under the blue armor that leads you to the room with the fountain and the blue and red switches. The size and sheer amount of stuff that draws the eye makes the map pretty challenging to navigate, and there's a lot to be said for directionality and broadcasting of exactly what's happening. 

Share this post

Link to post

@Not Jabba I agree that the progression is not always clear cut, and while changes have been made to facilitate it, like you say there's plenty of stuff to catch the eye and distract a player. This is definitely something to improve in future maps, albeit I personally will try to stay away from working on maps of this scale, due to the sheer amount of time it takes to work, polish and test it. Nonetheless, you make a valid point, and communicating actions and progression to the player will be an improvement goal going forward.

Share this post

Link to post

Allrighty then..finally managed finish this aswell.


Prior to getting into this, from what I had seen of this in the screenshot section, my impression was that it was very reminiscent of Ancient Aliens wich is one of my favorite wads. But beyond the somewhat similar choice of colors and textures the comparisons cease. If anything, this is Ancient Aliens on steroids and DMT. The fights are often hectic and the whole map is very heavy on the colors. Especially the starting hub area, or what I would call the 'lounge area' feels like it could be a place for a loud carnival party in space. 








I must give credit to all the time and work it must've taken to do all the sector work, arrangement, compiling and texturing in order to present everything as is in this gigantic map. At the same time I must also say that due to the sheer variation of textures (and colors) used I happened to find myself confused at times as to what the wad actually wanted to be theme wise. The wad is a constant visual barrage with reds, pinks, purples and blue's as some of the dominant colors.

There are brown ancient structures coated and decorated with pink, purple, yellow or blue future-tech elements, there are high-tech structures and laser fences surrounding it or intermingling with one another. It was hard for me to find what the wad was trying to be in the overall sense once I was navigating deep into it, it almost felt like it wanted to be everything. This is perhaps also personal as I'm someone who naturally enjoys a much more sober, consistent and somewhat more minimal design aesthetic. The wad clearly go's for maximum visual variation and intensity. The natural environments like the caverns and vegetative areas surrounded by waterfalls or lavafalls are usually something I can enjoy in any wad, wich I also did in here.


The fights are constantly tense throughout the whole thing but at some point in the map it did began to get weary with the same repeated formula and pattern of hitting a switch, making a few cybers appear together with a horde of lesser demons, followed by a squad of archviles to resurrect them. Rinse and repeat. Certain areas like the void where you have to cross the gap by using smoke elementals as a bridge was pretty creative but the platforming through the revenants following right after it became such a trial and error that I had to skip that. It would've been much more fun to have just another row of smoke elementals to cross over instead of being c*ckblocked by revenants constantly while the other elementals behind you are already active and starting to close in on you, obviously not too happy that you jumped on their heads.  The fight at the end of the section where you almost get overwhelmed by the green fart elementals was tense but I managed it. There were many such situations and fights in the map where I would be backed into a corner almost being overwhelmed but somehow managed to survive and or escape with bare hp, often due to luck. But also no less thanks to the buttery smooth power of the weapons from the Supercharge mod.


The other section which was challenging and hectic was the spiraling smoke-wheel area. It was pretty fun initially and I managed the fight all the way until the archviles started dropping in. At that point I just used infinite ammo and railgunned them. The fight would have been extremely frustrating otherwise and since the map had gone on for almost 4 hours at that point (and really started to drag) I couldn't be bothered unfortunately. 

I do imagine some shits and giggles to be had on this part in coop multiplayer, especially with the circling smoke-wheel chasing multiple players which could be used as a single map section just for multiplayer. 


Once arrived at the final boss arena it was confusing as to what the goal was, especially since pressing the blue and red switches made nothing happen. If I hadn't read here as to what was required of me I would've probably been stuck there forever. It wasn't exactly clear to me that I had to activate the blob by shooting a projectile weapon. Once the boss was activated and I saw shit spawn everywhere, a huge sigh came over me.


The idea of running around like a chicken to activate both switches (guarded by infinitely spawning cybers after each attempt) and evading countless projectiles while the boss wall would just open for a few seconds combined with the fact that the hp only decreased by one millimetre after each hit, made me at long last pull out a Bob Ross and go "Its time to get crazy". 





Fly mode on, infinite ammo, then pumped the MF'er blob with Quake III quad damage so it went down quickly and smoothly.


Creature Annihilated!


Again, this part might work much better as a single map element or for multiplayer, but in the context of a map where it took more then 4 hours to get to that point, many players will simply be too mentally exhausted to be assed to go through the whole Blob ordeal the way it was intended.


After "killing" it, it wasn't exactly clear as to what to do with the acquired item or where to place it, so there was some wandering involved inside the rainbow space station hub before I randomly placed it on the table where I was like "Uhm, okay..?"


The end was somewhat tongue in cheek and cheesy at the same time.


Again, I commend the time and effort that went into this, and the map is certainly a long and intense experience.

The intense barrage of visual clutter, combined with the hectic fights and the fragile fps made it a challenge in and of itself to just navigate through it smoothly at times while still retaining straight eyes.

The length of the map can also make the map feel weary at some point with the same fights repeated over and over, making me think that even if it was half or two thirds the map it is right now it would probably be just as good in my view. Although the artistic mindset would think otherwise.


7.5 / 10

Edited by OniriA

Share this post

Link to post

I went back and gave some sections some additional attempts. I also placed the statues I found, and somewhere I picked up a Revenant one, but have no idea where I found that.


Also, this map has made me decide that my WIP might not be fine even though I thought it was. Even with my knowledge, I was dying quite a bit. I considered how another player might see it. So I added some armor, and that immediately lowered my death rate - not to zero, but enough that it's probably going to be less frustrating for players who don't have the knowledge I was using for how to move and where the enemies were.


On 11/22/2020 at 12:42 PM, Aurelius said:


There is hardly any "legitimate reason" to use language like you did. I am fine with criticism, and thank you for your more thorough feedback, but calling something "shit" is just being toxic, and benefits nobody.

I apologize for letting some of my frustration spill over.



The first thing that needs be addressed that this map contains a lot of fights that you very likely won't be able to deal with on first try, even on HMP. Whether you find this something enjoyable or not is up to you, but practice is required to nail some of the harder fights. And yes, I have intimate knowledge of the map, but ultimately the knowledge required to beat those encounters you mention isn't related to some secret I know about the map, but is deducible by any player that put the time and effort into it.


I didn't beat many of the fights on my first try, nor do I expect to beat the fights on the first try. That's fine. What I don't like is difficulty based excessively on luck.


I generally found the health and ammo balance on HMP to be very good - there wasn't heaps and heaps of ammo left lying around, but neither was I starved for resources. I left quite a few megaspheres lying around, but that's more a result of my playstyle, which tends to the cautions side. I reload if I do badly or if I think I could do a fight much better, and I keep multiple save files.



Again, as I said, what you are supposed to do in this fight is communicated much better in the latest version. Also, the number of AVs is irrelevant to the length of the encounter which is over in roughly 70 seconds on UV, and even less on lower difficulties. The fight was never trivial for any playtester even when they figured out the gimmick, so you are currently an outlier.


EDIT: I tried the sequence on version 1.3. The signposting of the messages "Jump Pad Lowering" and "Jump Pad Lowered" make the progression much clearer. I don't have any more issues with this encounter. The second Cyberdemon also helps as well.


Of course the number of AV's is relevant. What you are saying does not make any sense. Are you assuming that every single player is going to go in circles for 70 seconds, and then suddenly realize they on second 71 that they can go onto the jump pad? You have given the players a task, to shoot the switches to kill Arch-Viles. Players will concentrate on that task until it's complete or until they get tired. Many players will be concentrating so hard on the current action that they'll forget about the lowering thing as soon as they start their second attempt and won't notice it until they're wondering where to go after killing the last of the enemies.


I didn't beat that on my first attempt,  I did a couple attempts, with shotgun, or trying to focus on the Cyberdemon, before settling on the pistol and reloading. I imagine the reason I'm an outlier is because most playtesters didn't use the pistol. I did because it is extremely accurate, which is what is needed there. I'm also using a crosshair, which helps the aim.


In any case, 70 seconds of going in a circle and shooting switches with the pistol definitely feels excessive. I don't have a save at that point, I can try and speed-run back to that point to try again, but I feel like the sequence lasts far too long. Gimmicks are cool, but can wear out their welcome.



I don't really agree with the notion that environmental hazards are supposed to be used in Doom in a specific way, and deviating from that is somehow "bad design". I'm not going to talk strategy since I already provided one. Your concern for HMP is well placed though, and looking at it again on I could possibly drop the PE count slightly, or perhaps the Haedexebuses since they're the most bulky of the bunch. But the area does not get that crowded if you are constantly thinning the herd, and I still don't quite understand how you managed not to find use for 10 ammo for BFG in that fight.


Then again, if you say you tried a couple of times and then turned God mode on, that's probably more information that is necessary.


I have a save right outside that circular room with 143/170. When I said you took 15 damage, I was referring to your video where you were going a little too fast and brushed the edge of the cloud and took 15 damage. I did a little test and it takes under 5 seconds to die starting out with 200/200, so it's actually a lot more damage than a mere 15.


I do admit that I missed that you can retreat onto the entrance ledge, I made the mistaken assumption that was a one-way drop,  because that’s something used a lot in this map to prevent retreat. But the ledge isn't that helpful because if you get caught in the poison, you are almost completely guaranteed to die before you can get health.


I've tried it a bunch more times. I developed I have a plan for weapon usage – Stomper on the Revenants, Rocket Launcher on everything else until the Pain Elementals show up, then BFG until all PE’s are dead. I still die 8 times out of 10 in the poison phase, and always to being bodyblocked. (Rapid fire weapons are no good because I need high burst damage due to not being able to take any time to slow down and aim.) I need to use all 10 of my BFG ammo on the Pain Elemental wave, because there are a ton of them. Using the BFG on the other enemies didn't seem to do much for thinning their numbers: It's not that the BFG was useless, it just didn't help enough on anything except the PE's. The quirk of the firing characteristics accounts for some of that - unless Supercharge changes that drastically.


The problem I have with this is that it's not a challenge based on my skill, it's a challenge based on the random luck of enemy AI wandering, and one bad bit of luck in that long encounter penalizes you with instant death. That's what I don't like. God mode usage remains justified without regret.


I think that the Arch-Vile fight afterwards needs at least one more BFG/Railgun pickup. I drained my entire stock of 10 on the PE's, and those columns are very thin, which is not a lot of cover to ask of facing 2-3 Arch-Viles at once and a bunch of monsters they raised forcing you out of cover.




The beginning of this fight I can agree might currently be too crowded for HMP, so I will make some tweaks to reduce the number of tortured souls, possibly remove the Diabolist. However the second part of the fight is very much doable. You are provided with two Quads and three cyberdemons to help you deal with the horde, in addition to radsuits that keep you safe from the tortured soul poison. Using the BFG here is beneficial in some circumstances, but not all. When using the Quad, rapid fire weapons against enemies like the tortured souls makes much more sense, and can dissipate the horde much quicker. You can move around the arena using the platforms to keep the enemies busy infighting, and chipping away at the cloud with your plasma / minigun.


I played this again, and with a save going in with 200/200 and a Radsuit active, the first fight was a little easier than my initial impression, so I'll take back some of my complaints on that. I needed to blow 2 BFG shots to clear a little breathing room, and the fight still hurt enough that I needed one of the megaspheres provided on HMP, but the fight was more possible than my initial impression was. Perhaps I was more frustrated with the 15-20 minutes spent searching for the Green Auxiliary Platforms (and I only found out where those were from a stream VOD).


Upon playing again, I agree now: the second part of the fight is also doable. The problem is getting from the first fight to the second fight. Speeding along the tiny enemy-occupied ledges is frustrating, because once again, any single mistake is death. You fall or get pushed by a Tormented Soul, and get teleported back, and then you're stuck in the middle of the horde with no escape and chance for survival.


Getting to the other side is a RNG luckfest. The luck needed to get to the other side is annoying.


I still think that the slowly-lowering column should be removed. This is a fight you should just let the players run from if they want to. It is a 4+ hour WAD, chock full of fights which lock you in. There's nothing wrong with letting the player run from certain fights. It adds a little variety - not every single fight has to be a lock-in. (Some of them do have shoot-switches to let you out, but those are rare and often in the less difficult encounters.) This fight is a prime candidate to let you run.  It's a nice setpiece, with the buildup for the second wave, but once it's triggered, there's no need to keep the player inside. There are no switches for progress, no keys, it's just a place you pass through.



Not even close. If you want to give an accurate review, try to stay away from needless hyperbole. 


I triggered the fight and stood there looking at the enemy counter, without attacking any enemies or moving from the place by the switch. The enemy counter went up by around 190 enemies from before the fight started.



I understand why you might not consider this fight fun, because it's not immediately evident how you should accomplish it. You are right that I as the mapper know the strategy involved, but it is not due to any magical hidden information that makes the fight significantly easier and that only I could know. All the pieces are there for you to put together, and it is up to you whether or not you want to. I have had comments were people have reacted such as you have, but also reactions where people have called it one of the most fun fights they've played. Like you, I don't agree with the notion that a fight should require some really obscure knowledge to complete, but this fight is not one of those. Each piece of the "puzzle" is deducible if you put a little bit of effort into it. And while the cacocloud does provide an unpredictable element, on HMP and HNTR there is a simple strategy to dealing with it that is one of the oldest Doom "tricks" in the book - the invul. There is a lot of room to move around, plenty of powerups at your disposal, and once you nail the strategy and build that muscle memory, it will go very smoothly. If you don't like that sort of thing, then I can only say sorry.


I've seen some of your comments on twitch streams of this map and you seem to have the idea that the fight is an easy, breezy four trips around the loop, no problems, 7 minutes tops. You've even said you do the entire battle once without saving. That four trips assumes that the players have the map knowledge to follow your ideal plan of quad + railgun, and encounter no difficulties. You have enough muscle memory that you can execute that plan without dying, because you playtested the fight a great many times. Players will not have that muscle memory.


In order to develop the muscle memory, players need to be having enough fun to want to stick around. It's not just me - multiple people don't seem to be enjoying the fight enough to want to do that. The way the fight is constructed, with the two 3-switch timing puzzles, the required Quad Damage and the 5 second auto-close window, players are forced into playing the fight in one very specific way, and if they mess up, they usually need to start over. The amount of steps needed requires a lot of luck, because of the sheer volume of enemy fire. Once again, another luck-based encounter.


I think that if the shield stayed down a lot longer, and players could spend more time shooting and less time platforming, more players would be willing to deal with the fight. Something to consider.




There are two teleporters back to the ship before the yellow skull key, and then there are two teleports back after the yellow skull key. The latter area is larger, granted, but you have also less need to get back to the ship. I can look into adding a third one, but I don't see much benefit to that.



The ones after the yellow skull key door are pretty involved to get to - one involves doing platforming over erupting lava platforms, and the other is just a very long walk with a few short jumps. If there was a switch to lower the bars at the place with the teleporter that takes you to the green-keycard, that would solve my complaint, and make players be less likely to forget it exists after the boss battle.




There is literally a teleport right there if your turn left after returning back from the artifact area.


Indeed there is, and I forgot about it, which happens with a long involved battle. But I don't seem to be alone in that. It's probably because that area is not one players are likely to be familiar with because they won't visit it or pass through more than once or twice.




Some people say you described the boss battle as "unconventional". I've got a map which has an unconventional layout/progression: an inverse hub, the hub is the exterior edge of the circle-shaped map and the sub-sections open onto the interior. It is in need of critique because I honestly don't know if anyone but me will like it.

Edited by Stabbey

Share this post

Link to post

With some more or less considerable tweaks, we've finally arrived at a version that can be comfortably called "final". Feedback has been thoroughly considered and things have been tweaked to make the experience better and more consistent. OP has been updated with a new download link, and here is a list of stuff that's changed:

- Removed the teleporter at the end of the hexagon room fight; the switch activates the entire sequence.

- Made the purple skull route easier to spot.

- Made the Quad and Invul in the Stomper room unavailable until you press the switch (to prevent accidentally picking them up too early).

- Added an unlockable shortcut platform to get past the perpetual Diabolist fire platforming section on HMP and lower difficulties.

- Added a transparent hologram to signify where to place the artifact at the end of the map.

- Move the teleport location that takes you out of the artifact area much closer to another teleporter back to the ship.

- Made the shortcut from the green skull key route teleporter back to the cave entrance easier to notice and activate.

- Tweaked the 3 switch mini-puzzle encounter after the UFO fight. Instead of a chasm, the water level is higher and you can now traverse it easier and cannot hide so easily during combat.

- Tweaked HMP and HTNR/ITYTD monster compositions slightly here and there.

- The boss makes its presence known much more clearly once you first reveal it (this might've been mentioned earlier, but I'll mention it here again).

- The timing aspect of the final boss fight has been removed in HMP and lower difficulties. On HMP, the boss will remain visible each time it is revealed until 25% damage has been dealt. On HNTR/ITYTD, the boss will only hide after 50% of damage has been dealt. On UV, the encounter remains unchanged.

- Fixed a few bugs/oddities here and there.


Thank you @OniriA for the feedback, and glad that you did enjoy the map despite some gripes. I addressed some of the issues mentioned in the update. The map has a bit of everything, and it is indeed an intense barrage of all sorts of visual themes and details, so for someone who enjoys a more restrained and focused it might be a bit too much.


Thank you also @Stabbey for the in-depth reviews and putting so much time and effort playing the map. And while we might not agree on many aspects of the map, I still listened to your feedback and made changes according to that. And since you mentioned that you need critique on a map of your own, I wouldn't mind doing that given how much you invested in playing this map. You can DM me about that when you have the time.

Share this post

Link to post

I've played this until almost the very end, I accidently erased my save so I couldn't finish it. I really liked some of the combat scenarios, it's incredibly smart and well crafted. My favorite is the circular shoot switch instant crush arch viles one.


However I don't think I'll play this again to finish it and I must ask this: What kind of fucking rig do you need to have to run  this at 60fps? I'm honestly very confused and I can run Doom Eternal at 144 fps at ultra settings, so somethings really wrong here. I want to see someone get more than 60 fps stable with AO on, 1080p and dynamic lights on...

Share this post

Link to post

Thanks for playing @IvanDobrovski! Sorry for losing your save though, but glad you enjoyed it nonetheless. 


Modern GPUs are much better at handling detailed polygonal graphics, hence why you can't match something like Doom Eternal's detail with the same performance for GZDoom, unless your geometry relied heavily on models. By focusing on indoor spaces you can get better results, but this map has very expansive outdoor areas with sector portals that will cause slowdowns even on the high end machines. With the performance tweaks and options I was able to bring some areas to a much more sensible framerate, and currently most of the really involved fights should have a decent framerate - provided you follow the performance tweaks and suggestions outlined in the OP.

Share this post

Link to post

A big problem that prevents the Doom engine from taking advantage of modern processing power is that everything is potentially dynamic geometry. Modern game engines rely on feeding the graphic card a lot of polygons once and then only updating those that change -- there's always a lot of completely static geometry that does not need to be fed back every frame. This is not possible in the Doom engine because every sector can potentially move (even those that are untagged, cf. stairbuilder actions). The bottleneck is not so much the rendering as the preprocessing of geometry to tell the GPU what to render.

Share this post

Link to post
2 hours ago, Aurelius said:

Thanks for playing @IvanDobrovski! Sorry for losing your save though, but glad you enjoyed it nonetheless. 


Modern GPUs are much better at handling detailed polygonal graphics, hence why you can't match something like Doom Eternal's detail with the same performance for GZDoom, unless your geometry relied heavily on models. By focusing on indoor spaces you can get better results, but this map has very expansive outdoor areas with sector portals that will cause slowdowns even on the high end machines. With the performance tweaks and options I was able to bring some areas to a much more sensible framerate, and currently most of the really involved fights should have a decent framerate - provided you follow the performance tweaks and suggestions outlined in the OP.

That is very unfortunate, I really want to give this another go sometime but getting around 30 or even less than 30 fps in certain areas really bother me. It looks beautiful all around too and losing that also is quite saddening. I did play around with performance settings before I even started playing and none of them helped me much at all, except changing my resolution. That's the one thing I don't want to change at all and I'd assume that'd actually make a difference. I'm too used to my resolution to give up on it though, so yeah...


In any case, the quality of the fights is really good so I'm definitely looking forward to more of this style in the future, with hopefully more affordable FPS values :)

Share this post

Link to post

Small update (OP download link updated):

- Added small messages to the switches when setting up the boss battle, to help guide the player through the process. The messages are absent during the actual fight.

- Added an autosave before the boss battle, in case players want to reset the entire encounter and try again.

Share this post

Link to post

I finally finished this Behemoth. in many places, I really liked the gameplay and architecture in some places, but... But in overall, the level very much loses fps, and performance even in GZDoom 4.5 with Rysen7 2700 + RTX2060super and RTX 3060Ti :)


and here's another softlock, although most likely you already know about it 


9/10  -1 point only due to performance


Share this post

Link to post


Sorry I can't play it on my 10 years old computer but I congratulate you in advance for the cacoward you will have soon. :)





Share this post

Link to post

@Sapfiar Glad you got through despite the performance issues! That softlock has not actually been caught so far, thank you for pointing it out. I'll have it patched in no time.


@Roofi I'm really sorry you can't get it running :( Thank you for the kind words nonetheless, though we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. Most important thing to me is that I had a lot of fun working on it, and seeing people react to all these things in the map and having a good time, whether it's a big satisfying fight or a goofy secret, really is the best payoff.

Share this post

Link to post

Congrats on the Cacoward guys.


Just started playing this, visuals are amazing but I really wish the performance was better - Supercharge gameplay is faster-paced than vanilla Doom and benefits more from higher frame rates IMO. Its far from unplayable, just not as smooth as I would like. Setup is Core i7-9700 and RTX 2080. Lowering the resolution from 1440p to 1080p made no difference, so I'm probably CPU bottlenecked.


Anyway, since this is a GZDoom map, what's the intended setting for freelook? I was playing classic style (no freelook, full vertical autoaim) and then I found out about minigun recoil lol. I guess I can turn the recoil off, but if encounters are designed around freelook I'll turn it on.


Edit: Ok I'm 99% sure that freelook is intended, in one of the early arenas it seems like you have to look up to shoot a switch that opens the exit.

Edited by ginc

Share this post

Link to post

@ginc The performance is definitely not in the solid 60 fps range that one would hope for a challenge oriented map such as this, but with your setup you should be getting 45 - 55 pretty consistently all around (I have a similar one, with the same GPU and a much older CPU). 

Here's the suggestions for improving performance from the OP, in case you haven't tried all of them yet:

  • Set the Max VFX to 1 from SC Options (this will make a major difference).
  • Drop your resolution (for example from 1080p to 720p). If you do so, you can scale the HUD to appropriate size from the HUD Options (if you're using GZD 4.5.0, use the instructions above).
  • Turn on the "Monsters spawn significantly less gibs" option from SC Options. This will basically remove all of the Supercharge gore actors and simplify monster death animations. This can be toggled on/off per encounter and makes a big difference in high monster count fights. Highly recommended for the final fight.
  • During the final fight, you can use the "Corpses fade during final boss fight" performance option (SC Options), but the effect is pretty minimal. If anything, it can make the arena easier to read further in the fight.
  • Turn off dynamic lights.
  • Turn off some of aforementioned visual settings.


And yes, freelook should be enabled. You can get pretty far without it, but it definitely helps with some encounters. Also the railgun you get later in the map will definitely require freelook to be used to it's full potential.


Thanks for the kind words tho, hopefully you'll find the rest of the map equally enjoyable :)

Share this post

Link to post

Hey, well done for the cacoward !


So, I still tried to play your map, but despite lowering the resolution and following your recommendations, I hardly manage to exceed 20 fps. It's unfortunately almost unplayable for me. I will try to continue later but with the lowest skill settings.


Anyway, I played for an hour and it's a total blast. The cacoward is totally deserved from what I played, and I think I only discovered 5% of it !


Also , very cool music choice. I never played BTSX map 31 so I discovered this track with your map.



Share this post

Link to post



Well , I managed to beat that map on HNTR. I took two hours and a half.


I think it's the biggest map I've ever played, which is not totally slaughter (Sunder ...) or extremly conceptual (Nostril Caverns by TimeOfDeath which need at least 4h to be beaten). Anyway, I say bravo, this map is a real titan. I don't know how you managed to make that thing in a few months because it looks like a whole megawad compacted in a single map.


This is the first time I play SuperCharge as well. I like monsters and enemies. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Hud. I would have liked to have the classic stat bar with our doomguy's head but never mind.


Having played in HNTR, I can't really judge the difficulty of a map or rather how fair/unfair it is. In any case it's far from being a walk in the park! I've died a few times, but there are some fights in closed arenas which were , extremly violent. (ex: the gas chamber).


In any case, personally, I liked very much this map for exploration and especially all the ways to make the progression dangerous: platforms, deadly pits, distant enemies placed in height ... 


The level is full of interesting effects. I've never made maps for Gzdoom so I don't know the possibilities with this engine. In any case, there are a lot of ideas that I've never seen, especially when you get the skull keys. My favorite part of the whole map is when you get the red skull key from the void and flying monsters turn around to teleport afterwards.


Another passage that I liked very much: The temple coming out of the sand.


Another sequence: The floating stone structure with the platforms that sink when you stay on them for too long.


Concerning the final fight, I love the look of the boss and the little puzzle just before triggering it turns out to be very nice. On the other hand, for the fight itself, I wasn't a big fan. Doing the puzzle again with a ton of monsters attacking me wasn't really my cup of tea.


In any case, it was an excellent map. I think Ar Luminae marks a new pillar regarding one-map wads. Concretely, I think it will be very difficult to surpass this map in terms of adventure and aesthetics, which are the 2 big strong points of the map. The only problem is that my poor computer can't handle the thousands of sectors populating this kind of map lol.

For the gameplay, I think the opinions will be more divergent. For my part, I don't really have a problem with difficult maps. However, even in easy, you can't expect a relaxing adventure on this map ! Also, you have to like the fights in enclosed places, because there are plenty of them.


In any case, congratulations for the cacoward again! I'll try to find the secrets later but I'm a bit lazy for now..



Share this post

Link to post

So I finished the map the other day, played it on HMP.


Combat: When playing large maps, normally I save before and after big battles. The map is difficult for sure and I died alot, but I didn't feel like I was stuck on any of the fights with the exception of the final boss (more on that below). Some of the arenas might be a tad overtuned, but none of them appeared to be overly reliant on RNG or lucky infighting, which is commendable for a difficult map. I will say that you pretty much need to use everything you're given - for example, you pretty much need to use the Railgun on the first major encounter after you get it, or die to Arch-viles. It feels so damn good to blow them up even when they're hiding behind 50 demons.


Navigation: I happen to like key hunts and don't mind backtracking if the map is nice to look at, so this map worked for me but may not for others. The videos when you hit certain switches are a nice touch, but honestly its difficult to tell exactly where some barrier is lowered because pretty much the whole map is colorful as hell with crazy architectural landmarks everywhere. At least you know something happened though and can hunt around to find it.


Final Boss: Unfortunately I had to resort to save scumming (ie. saving during the fight) because honestly I got tired of missing platforms or getting knocked off before I could hit a switch. Having the platforms reset and having to start at the beginning of the loop again just feels shitty. I feel like the fight would still be just as intense if the platforms didn't reset until you hit the final switches in the loop (the blue or red ones at the top) - I mean, you have to do the loop 8 times and hit 24 switches, so losing progress just seems asinine IMO. This dragged down what could have been an awesome boss fight.


Music: Good tracks, but I feel like the main map could have used another track or two because you end up hearing a fuckton of Jimmy's "Atomic" and the intensity of the track doesn't really let up.


Visuals: Like nothing I've seen in Doom. Some people might find the color overload to be an assault on the senses, but I like it. It reminds me of those late 90s shooters with blatant overuse of colored lighting because 3D accelerators were new and games went nuts with it. Some great set pieces - the dark room with the poison elementals "waking up" is unforgettable for sure. I have a good computer so performance was adequate - not as good as I would have liked, but playable. The minimap, however, just kills your FPS if you have textures enabled.



Must play: if you don't mind key hunts, if you like intense combat and using a huge arsenal of weapons. Or just for the architecture and visuals alone.


Avoid: if your computer struggles with other WADs, if you like short straight-to-the-point maps, if you're a Doom purist that likes mostly Vanilla-ish experiences (this one has a lot of GZDoom features), if you're a fan of maps where everything is shades of brown and grey.

Share this post

Link to post

I played this a few times last month, on HMP, and then on HNTR and UV (which combined were about as long as my HMP playthrough, due to knowing the map). It's generally a good time, if you can run it, even with a slightly choppy framerate.  


Some random thoughts: 


The union of "high and low" stands out to me as one of its coolest, most endearing traits. There is some grand and impressive architecture alongside... sector beds, diskettes, and vending machines. It is a Seriously Designed Impressive Map that is relentless with playful and silly ideas, which are too numerous to count. "Whoa that's cool" was echoing as a mental refrain while playing. It felt like wading a stream of consciousness of the mapper's wacky ideas, which is not normally a thing you'd associate with the "professionalism" of modern design. It even has a lot of one-off "special monsters" that appear and are never seen again.


I think a lot of people, before playing, will guess this to prize aesthetics over gameplay (and playing on too high a difficulty setting or without lowering lots of visual fx won't correct that impression). I think aesthetics are definitely the strong point, but a lot of the aforementioned cool ideas extend to creative fight design too. In Ar Luminae are a bunch of combat setups you're unlikely to have seen anywhere else, along with plenty of strong bread-and-butter usages of the Supercharge roster. The additions to the slightly older Supercharge weapon roster were really enjoyable, especially that railgun, which is my favorite implementation of one ever and seems so simple and obvious now but, yeah, of course it's great fun as a supra-BFG weapon that can nuke anything in one or two hits. Doomspheres, of course, are amazing. 


My impression on difficulties in a way that is relevant to the entire Doom player base, not just more regular players: HNTR is a solid default for people who are comfortable with the median difficulty of modern wads like Valiant on UV, and generally don't want it much harder; HMP is a good "challenge" option if you don't mind pushing far past that, but still want it manageable; and UV is the "Hard Challenge" option that not many should go for even with great hardware. There is no shame in ITYTD either. Relabeling the difficulty names to better capture the actual difficulty of play was a good choice. 


Some (personal) criticism: 


- Despite the fights all being at least adequately designed, the quantity grated on me at times. The last fight in the YSK area (after the stomper showdown) was probably peak "Why?" in my playthrough -- it is relatively easy (and can be cheesed), doesn't have much going for it conceptually, and is also time-consuming. The crystal skull key leadup was also bogged down with undifferentiated fights involving a lot of circling and clearing turrets. This impression extended to the non-UV difficulties too. I could understand the endurance factor being a baked-in part of UV's challenge, but I felt that lower skills could have benefited from a slight reduction in combat relative to UV. (Also tying into the notion of excess, I'm also in the camp of the boss fight generally feeling like work.)


It's not all bad. Sometimes it worked well (like the earliest lava region fight); sometimes it was even essential (there had to be like 3 or 4 fights in the gasbag void). If there's a thing I could point to in the cases I got exhausted by, it's that the fights didn't build off of one another or follow a satisfying arc; it felt like more "press button, get fight" many unrelated times, paired with meaty fights. 
- I didn't think its form was to its benefit. Going through Ar Luminae was like playing a set of hub-linked maps, rather than the megamap that it is. Progression unfolds largely as sequence of unrelated clusters of goals, without much free-form combat in the intermediary spaces. You even return to a hub region numerous times. Obviously the answer to "why is this one map?" is that it it grew uncontrolled beyond all previous plans in a quick span of time, but yeah, regardless of how or why, it still felt like a con and the root behind a lot of its performance issues. The idea of such a huge map is cool but has limited value in itself.  


Overall, I think the sorts of issues I/others might have with it will probably prevent it from taking a seat in the pantheon of household-name all-time classics. But falling short of that doesn't displace it from much wider company as one of the highlights of a given year, and many people will still love it -- its audience will just be narrower, especially until hardware and port optimization catches up. (The experience has also improved meaningfully since the versions that the pre-December playtesters in this thread played.) 


Quick rundown of favorites (probably not a lot of surprises here): 


- Visual design: this area and the adjoining ones.
- Fight gimmick: the turbine of fart. 
- Most fun fight: basically anything with a railgun + lots of cybs or Doomspheres. 
- Moment: surfing on gasbags.
- Design idea: peek into infinite arachnotron generator; the whole vending machine and its tie-in; idk, a lot can go here.


Edited by rd.

Share this post

Link to post



Thank you for playing, and the detailed feedback! I'll comment based on my own experiences and lessons learned from working on this map.


The quantity of combat is certainly up in the excessive department, and while indeed endurance is part of the experience, the map could use some more breathing room. Marrying intensive and arguably sometimes long winded combat with a massive exploratory experience is not necessarily the best approach, as much as I personally like both aspects. None of the initial playtesters complained about there being too much combat, although it did vary whether they liked a particular fight or not, so most changes were made to adjust or remake fights rather than downright remove them. Interestingly the collection of crystal skull fights to me, while generally fun, were also not up to par with some of the other stuff, but it never came up before as a complaint so I considered that players liked them. But in general the point about the quantity of combat being sub-optimal is a relevant one, and duly noted.


The size and clustered nature is an unfortunate side effect of ambition and uninhibited experimentation. When this map was started, we were both still inexperienced mappers, and a lot of the time we were just experimenting what we can do with Supercharge (and ZDoom in general). And due to the map being part of a community project, we took a more casual approach to making stuff for it, and didn't perhaps give things like pacing and performance as much thought as a gargantuan map like that deserves (and it wasn't even supposed to be that big). And frankly, back then I had no idea about all the stuff that affected performance, so I was doing stuff very inefficiently at times. I fixed some of these later in the year, but in some cases there wasn't much I could do. Also while overhauls were made after the Mapwich 2 version was done, there had to be an end to work towards. With a map of this size, testing became arduous as even small changes caused issues in places one would not expect, and so most of the time I had to play the map from start to finish each time I made some changes, just to make sure nothing unexpected had broken. The process was extremely tiring, so it was decided that instead of trying to "fix" things that were inherently part of design choices made ages ago, the worst offenders should be addressed, but otherwise the map was ready to be pushed out.


With regards to the boss fight, I have been working on altering the script to make the walkways stay raised after you press the button, at least on HMP and lower. I had considered it earlier, but decided against it because it would remove the timing aspect of picking up the Quad. But by making the boss visible until you've damaged it enough on lower difficulties already removes any timing related challenges with the Quad, so I might as well make the platforms stay, so you are not punished for falling down mid-loop at lower difficulties. I still have to test it through a couple of times to make sure there are no bugs or oversights (the boss scripts are somewhat convoluted, so great care needs to be taken when stuff is changed). The fight itself has been more divisive than I thought, but all the criticism has been well placed. There is a handful of people who've told me it's a lot of fun, so I guess it's just one of those fights that works for a small quantity of people. I think the duration of the map, the exhaustive nature of it's combat and otherwise somewhat approachable (while still challenging) difficulty that is in high contrast with the final fight amplifies the negative feelings, so making it less arduous on lower difficulties is definitely the right approach.


I'm still really happy to see people have enjoyed the map, it makes all the effort that was put into it feel like time well spent. Due to the way it was conceived and how it changed in the course of development, I never considered it to be a masterpiece that'd go down in history as an all-time great. It certainly has enough controversial stuff going for it to prevent that from happening. I feel it's best described as an unholy union of ideas inspired by a multitude of video games (not all of them Doom or FPS related) that are put into a blender to see what comes out. The map strives to distil these elements to find some new takes on the regular Doom gameplay, encounters that do something unique and thought-provoking, and provide as many of those "wow, that's cool/fun" experiences as possible. Ultimately I feel we succeeded in doing that.


Share this post

Link to post


Beat the map on all difficulties starting from easiest to UV, gotta say this is the best time I've had in Doom for 15+ years I've been playing it <3

I hope you're still updating bits and pieces of this gargant, and working on other stuff cause you're one hell of a good mapper! One thing I fell in love with is of course the arsenal of weapons at our disposal, I know you based it off of Supercharge by Tango (which I hope becomes the new standard in how Doom should be played in the next decade or so) and I was wondering if you could release a ''Weapons only'' version or something like that. We have Supercharge, Quickcharge and Minicharge so far and while they're all good in their respective ways I think your iteration beats them all. The weapons not only look awesome but also feel awesome and monsters too. I'll never forget the spinning reload animation of the assault rifle. Anyway I'd like to play other maps with your arsenal, currently eyeing Bastion of Chaos

Sorry for my bad English and I wish you all the best in future projects, eagerly awaiting the release of... Megacharge?

Share this post

Link to post

Thank you for playing, MrLordi! And for the kinds words as well. Given how massive the map is I'm surprised you found the energy to get through it on all difficulties, but kudos to you for doing that! 


As for the weapons, Supercharge currently contains I think most of the weapons as they are with minor differences, only the minigun and railgun are currently not part of the official Supercharge. I could however possibly create a Supercharge addon pack that contains the two new weapons, once my work schedule eases up a bit and I can focus more on mapping. And Bastion of Chaos is a hell of a lot of fun with the Supercharge mod, so even without the railgun or minigun, I'd highly recommend giving that a try.


As for updates, I have some rough plans for the near future that may or may not come to fruition:


- Return the Zandronum compatibility for co-op play. I think this might be more doable with some fairly recent developments.

- Fix a few bugs that I'm surprised people haven't found yet, heh.

- Look into doing geometry to model conversions to increase performance (the starting area would benefit quite a lot from this).

- Maybe tweak monster balance in a few select areas where they don't serve as much as a challenge as they do as a meatwall.

- Possibly rebalance the final fight even less around timing. I still consider the original implementation viable in isolation, but in the context of a gargantuan map like that I think it'd be better suited to be something challenging but relatively fair. 

Share this post

Link to post

Quarantine provides you with a lot free time lmao

Yes I especially like the new ''secret weapon'', no worries I'm glad that you're still working on the map.
Performance was horrible in the beggining area with those spining pillars or whatever they are, but I could get 50-60 fps outside the main hub, just adjusted the scale in Video Options to ''Lowest Scale'' and it was kinda fluid, although for some it may look to grainy and ugly.

I like the final fight, I mean yeah it's gimmicky and not very clear but it doesn't take long to understand what you have to do, from there on it's just an endurance test. When I was playing on HMP I already knew 90% of the map and fights became muscle memory, the only difference is the final fight just takes longer...

In case of the performance tank I can provide some useful tips fur anyone that might have trouble:

1. I play on Vulkan but your results may vary depending on your GPU
2. Resolution Scale > Lowest Possible Scale (this change is retroactive so you can adjust it on the fly) - this here helped me the most to get to 50-60 fps range
3. Texture filtering > I actually got better results when set to trilinear, some may not like it but I don't think it matters too much
4. Precache GL Textures > YES - okay what this means is longer load times at the start but in return you get much less stuttering while playing
5. Aurelius posted some helpful tips in his OP also

Share this post

Link to post

A surprise update! Well not really, I hinted at it two posts up. I took a long break from this map, and when I finally returned to it I felt the time off helped me iron out some of the more egregious issues, which should make the overall experience better. The download link in the OP has been updated, but I am posting it here as well:


Download map.


I'll list most of the changes here, but I might've missed some small stuff so apologies for that:

  • The final boss fight has been altered significantly:
    • There are no more major timing related shenanigans, but instead platforms stay still and only move if prompted by a switch. The boss is now also exposed until enough damage is dealt to it to move to another phase.
  • The Stomper + revenant showdown now contains a Quad damage on Make Me Suffer (UV) difficulty to remove some of that grind.
  • The UFO fight now contains the teleporting AVs lurking around the perimeter (dormant, don't worry), so that the player can see when they teleport out and can then act accordingly.
  • Some encounters, like the descension down into the valley after the yellow skull key has significantly reduced meat count, again to streamline an otherwise grindy encounter.
  • Difficulty descriptions have been added to the selection menu itself, so players (somewhat) know what they're getting into. The first 3 skill levels are recommended for first time players, but the last 2 only if you've played the map before.
  • Did I say there are 5 skill levels now? Yes, for the sake of legacy, a new "Legacy" difficulty has been added that contains the unaltered final boss fight and stomper showdown, just for the sake of having it for the masochists out there. It has been clearly labelled as not recommended :P
  • Numerous small fixes and performance tweaks that may or may not be visible.

All in all this version is the one I am most satisfied with. If no bugs are reported I will look into finishing that pesky automap (it's quite clean already). Gameplay-wise I am 99% sure there will be no changes.

Edited by Aurelius

Share this post

Link to post

Very cool map. Man, it's huge! Gosh, the details! I played it on UV (probably a mistake, I had to perform a "few" saves during fights), and man I hate the Draugrs. The map is a nice balance between exploration and slaughtermap (which I'm not a big fan because it's sometimes repetitive and frustrating, but they are short and intense in AL, so that's great), and has a ton a cool features.

It has its share of unfair encounters (the hell pit with the Draugrs, the Spider Mastermind with the Draugrs... yeah, I really don't like them), and sometimes it's hard to know whether you need to save ammo for later (like heavy slugs) or not.


The thing I don't like is the platforming. It's not very interesting in a game where you can't jump (IMHO). That's why I really don't like the final fight: repetitive, unfair, and frustrating to navigate.



 - visually gorgeous

 - plenty of places to visit with different moods

 - some epic fights

 - clever level design with areas connecting to each other throughout the game


 - some unfair fights

 - easy to get lost and don't know what to do next (especially when looking for the green skull key)

 - some platforming adding nothing interesting



A well-deserved cacoward

Edited by Ankha

Share this post

Link to post

Finally got into playing this, been a lot of fun so far! A behemoth indeed, I'm on HMP maybe 2/3 through so far (looking for the green and pink skulls). Really fun and intuitive! A big + from the interconnectedness!

Share this post

Link to post

What are the system requirements?  I've tried this on some potatoes that won't even load it, and on my i7 870 with gt1030 it can drop to about 13fps just in the starting area.

Share this post

Link to post
16 hours ago, invictius said:

What are the system requirements?  I've tried this on some potatoes that won't even load it, and on my i7 870 with gt1030 it can drop to about 13fps just in the starting area.


No specific system requirements to share, as there really isn't any data on performance with different hardware apart from people commenting on this thread. For some tips and tricks to make the map run better, check out the Technical stuff and requirements section in the OP, specifically the Performance options part. You can also check out MrLordi's post for some further recommendations. Hopefully some of these will help!

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now