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OrbitalSpaceGarbage

Sandstone [Single Level Tech Base//My First WAD]

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Wow, it's huge

A bit of feedback that could be useful: in the window where the red key is placed, the metal1 on the lower side looks misaligned, press L on it and it will be lower unpegged. Overall good wad

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2 hours ago, SilverMiner said:

Wow, it's huge

A bit of feedback that could be useful: in the window where the red key is placed, the metal1 on the lower side looks misaligned, press L on it and it will be lower unpegged. Overall good wad

 

Thanks for playing :) I'll take a look at the texture alignment on that section. Cheers.

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Aside from requiring to jump in order to access the vent I have no complaints about your map as I found it to be good for a first time level, however, it does have one quality that often is found in newcomer's maps. Too many doors. Doors in Doom originally served the purpose of keeping players from accessing areas before certain requirements were met (i.e. picking up a key) and as a way to save performance, less stuff to render on screen at a time which also lowers the chance of a visplane overflow from occurring. This isn't an issue on modern system using limit removing sourceports which the ones you tested the map in both are. The benefit of less doors in a map is that the player doesn't have to stop and wait for them to open thus keeping a good flow going on. Alternatively waiting for a door to open can be used to prevent a player from simply running away from a combat encounter. I recommend removing some of the doors that aren't key locked or triggered from buttons and see how your map plays.

 

One last thing, the map crashed in Boom because you have the format set to UDMF which is only used by Eternity and GZDoom. Your map from what I can tell uses none of the UDMF features making that format unnecessary for Sandstone. If you want to convert it should be as simple as changing the map format in Doom Builder when loading the level.

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This is a nice first map!  It flows pretty well, although I agree with the above comment about the doors, and has some nice details and lighting.  I personally don't like freelook and played without it.  I never had any trouble because of it.

 

Assorted thoughts:

  • Even when you have enemies teleporting in, the player is usually only being attacked from one direction.  I feel like you could do more stuff with having enemies teleport in/closets opening up from different angles of attack.  This goes a long way toward making combat feel more dynamic.
  • I had intended to go back and look for the two secrets and some kills I missed, but I didn't realize interacting with the door would end the level--I was assuming there'd be a switch or linedef to interact with inside an exit room.
  • There's some misaligned metal textures in the vent near the start.

 

Good work overall, I had a nice time.

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Very fun map, man, I enjoyed it. Combat scenarios are varied with the right kind of spice regarding demon choice and team-ups. I think you could've allowed yourself to turn up the heat just a smidge, but it's otherwise enjoyable. The map's layout and progression are solid and your texture work is pretty dandy too. I loved the addition of jumping to find little secrets. That's the kind of new additions to Doom I wish more people would take advantage of to create more dynamic level design so kudos on that front. Your name may be Garbage, but your map most certainly isn't hehe ;^) Good stuff, fam.

 

 

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Thanks for all the great feedback guys! There's a lot to go through but I'm glad you all enjoyed playing. I'll be looking to remove some of the less essential doors and seeing if that helps it feel a little bit more smooth. Definitely think there's a few too many doors at the start!

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Damn fine work for your first map, although I agree that the required jumping feels out of place in map with such rather oldschool feel. Overall difficulty was on the lower side, too (I played on UV). Either way, I sure hope you plan to expand this!

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Here's my playthrough with some commentary/critique.

 

 

Overall, fantastic showing. I missed the comment about requiring jumping, so I spent more time than I should have wondering about getting up on the boxes. The visuals and actual layout of it are great, and really show a lot of care that went into the crafting of the map. The gameplay itself is enjoyable but maybe not overly noteworthy (but is completely fine for a map 01). I'd say some further experimentation in your future maps will probably yield good results, so don't stop trying to figure out how you'd like to push the envelope for combat.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/1/2021 at 8:05 PM, LVENdead said:

Overall, fantastic showing. I missed the comment about requiring jumping, so I spent more time than I should have wondering about getting up on the boxes. The visuals and actual layout of it are great, and really show a lot of care that went into the crafting of the map. The gameplay itself is enjoyable but maybe not overly noteworthy (but is completely fine for a map 01). I'd say some further experimentation in your future maps will probably yield good results, so don't stop trying to figure out how you'd like to push the envelope for combat.

 

Thanks for the kind words! Definitely a very useful set of comments made during your video - especially about the fight at the end and there not really being a reason to go down back into the main room. 

 

I have been umming and aaahing about whether I should look at making the crate stacks climbable without the need for jumping, but I'm not quite decided on that. 

 

As a side note, are you using any visual mods on that footage? The textures look really nice in your video! Is it just dynamic lights?

 

NEW VERSION

 

I've updated the original file with a 1.1 version. I've tried to act on some of the comments made in this thread. Available through the download link in the original post.

Edited by OrbitalSpaceGarbage

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25 minutes ago, OrbitalSpaceGarbage said:

especially about the fight at the end and there not really being a reason to go down back into the main room. 

 

Maybe you could figure out a way to make the floor drop out when you pick up the red key?

 

28 minutes ago, OrbitalSpaceGarbage said:

As a side note, are you using and visual mods on that footage? The textures look really nice in your video! Is it just dynamic lights?

 

I use hardware rendering in GZDoom, but I have a lot of my settings configured to TRY and emulate software rendering. Outside of that, it's just dynamic lighting, with bloom and ambient occlusion.

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This is a really good map. I'll say this: It's leagues better than my first map. The texturing, geometry, layout, even the music is pretty metal.
Texturing ain't your problem, kiddo, your texturing in this map is way way better than when I first started mapping. It's mainly the gameplay department that could use a bit of tweaking. More on that in the spoiler section below.
 

Spoiler

That secret path in the vent shaft was a really neat touch; adding a more strategic route to other sections that might make encounters easier. Really pulling a Duke Nukem 3D vibe from it, in a good way. Good stuff.

 

With that said, here are some general things that I found about the map that could be improved:

Spoiler

- Some things to note about Boom compatibility:

+ While you can set jumping and freelook in the options menu, most people turn that off for Boom. For the most part, people who play Boom or PrBoom or PrBoom+ are looking for as close to a vanilla experience as possible without resorting to Chocolate Doom. That usually entails turning jumping, crouching, and freelook off. You can do whatever you want, but if you want to make it as Boom compatible for people as possible, I'd suggest making the map with jumping, crouching, and freelook turned off in mind.

+ PrBoom probably crashed for a number of reasons: One might be because it's in the wrong map format, which would need to be set to Boom Format when you create a new map; or it's the amount of visplanes on the map (or about how much geometry the game is rendering at a time). In Doom Builder there's a tool that shows you what the visplanes look like in a grey to red spectrum, like you would see on a weather map. Anything that is at or is past a red color would either tank the frames to an unplayable state or just simply crash. If you really want it to run in Boom, I'd suggest using that tool to make sure the game can even handle it.


Now, onto the meat and potatoes of the map itself:

- Unless all the monsters are chasing you from across the map as soon as you fire a shot, you don't necessarily need to set every monster to the ambush flag. It makes some encounters easier than they should be. If that's the case, then there's probably a open window or a linedef with a midtexture that doesn't have the Block Sounds flag set. Behind a completely closed door, monsters shouldn't be able to hear the player. The ambush flag is for when that's a problem, but if it is then nevermind.

 

- This may be just simply subjective, but the map needs a bit more teeth and by that I mean it needs to be a bit more difficult. If your goal was to create an easy experience that's just fine, but for people who are skilled at the game and play it on UV it's not a favorable goal to set. Not saying that I am skilled or anything, but anyways... I only died twice from me just being stupid, but besides that the encounters were pretty relaxed and, sorry to say, not very memorable. There were also a few spots where I ran out of ammo, but that's not really bad because they were in spots where I can simply punch my way through. One thing you can do is maybe swap out some of the fodder enemies for some of the tougher enemies. That imp closet with the mancubus trap would be much more engaging if you swapped one or two of them for a revenant or a hell knight or even a couple of pinky-demons. It's not just the monster placement that makes a map more difficult, it's also the map itself. Adding some crushers in appropriate places might help, or maybe a damaging floor that you'll have to cross to progress. I never fell into the nukage in this map, so having it be part of the progression would make things a bit more challenging and therefore more engaging to play. Monster closets are ok, but like I said, here they're a bit easy-mode.

 

- The starting area with all the separate little prison cells is a bit unnecessary gameplay-wise. It's fine, but it felt too claustrophobic. Making the doors wider would help make the map flow better. And that green armor ain't much of a secret because it's out in the open. I'd suggest putting it behind a wall or putting it somewhere else in the map that's secretive. Otherwise, I wouldn't set it as a secret.

Now, I may not be the most qualified person to give feedback considering I've only been playing Doom for the last 2-3 years, but I can say this:

 

Balancing difficulty is one of the most difficult things a mapper / level designer / game designer must overcome. Too easy, and it gets boring and won't stick in anyone's mind; too hard, and it's a frustrating clusterfuck of cruelty that no one wants to play. I should know: I struggle with this problem every time I map. I often make maps way too easy than they could(should) be.

 

If you want to learn about how you can balance your maps more, I'll tell you how I learn it: Playing other maps first, then watching other people play it.

Watching other people play other maps may seem a bit boring at first because you're not behind the wheel, but that's exactly why it's a good learning experience. Playing the map is a totally different experience from watching other people play for obvious reasons. One reason being that the viewer notices a lot more than the player because the player has to keep in mind everything that the map is throwing at them (ie. monsters, traps, health, ammo, secrets, switches, navigation, so on and so forth). As a viewer, your perspective is greatly expanded because of that, and therefore you can focus on studying the map itself asking yourself these three questions:

 

1. What was some of the most memorable tricks and traps in the map? The most memorable parts of a map are key to keeping players engaged with the map. if it's simply a tech base with no distinct features or fights that stand out against the others it's not going to stick in anyone's mind and people will forget about it that much faster.
2. How did the mapper pull this trick off? Almost anything that you see of the map in the footage of the gameplay you can make yourself with your own spin to it. Different formats have their own quirks and limitations which may limit how you approach mapping in it. Nevertheless, taking a look at some of the things done in those formats and trying to figure out how the mapper managed to do that may help you learn about the technicality of it all which is important for any part of the creative process.

3. Why did the mapper include this in the map? This question, above all others, is the most important question you must ask yourself. Almost all video games are deliberate in their design, and those that aren't are not received very well (I'm looking at you, DNF). Without purpose, the map will feel empty and not very satisfying to play. Purpose defines us humans, and therefore our actions and our creative work. If it's just a cobbled-up map with a bunch of enemies and items strewed around for no particular reason, there'd be no reason to play the wad. Figuring out how to invoke that purpose through incentives in the level design takes great effort and care to get right. There's a bunch of other more psychological science-y stuff behind game design, but the important part for you to understand is that there must be a purpose to it.

 

That is, at least, how I go about it. You may learn differently than I do, but keeping in mind these three questions is a good way to learn about game design and may help you in your future mapping endeavors.

I know this was a bit lengthy to read, but I think it's important to read through it.

 

TLDR: Great first map. Could be better, but you'll learn as you go.

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1 hour ago, King S P O O N said:

TLDR: Great first map. Could be better, but you'll learn as you go.

 

Wow, this is a absolute rich vein of feedback. Thank you so much for such detailed comments. Seriously, this is a massive help.

 

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Damn solid first map. Visually, quite appealing. Your detailing is nice and doesn't get in the way at all. Combat could use a bit of a work. The ending is fun, that archvile trap was a blast, but in the beginning there was too much empty space and not enough threat. It could do with being a bit more challenging in general. It was still fun, UV difficulty is still on the easier side of most HMPs.

 

Still, I didn't regret playing it. I had fun and that's the main thing. If this is the quality of your first map I think you have a bright future ahead of you.

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On 1/2/2021 at 6:04 AM, whybmonotacrab said:

Damn solid first map. Visually, quite appealing. Your detailing is nice and doesn't get in the way at all. Combat could use a bit of a work. The ending is fun, that archvile trap was a blast, but in the beginning there was too much empty space and not enough threat. It could do with being a bit more challenging in general. It was still fun, UV difficulty is still on the easier side of most HMPs.

 

Still, I didn't regret playing it. I had fun and that's the main thing. If this is the quality of your first map I think you have a bright future ahead of you.

 

Thanks for the kind words, definitely looking to kick up the difficulty on my next map :)

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Resurrection due to a video request! Here it is - like the commenters above, I really enjoyed this and it's a great first map. You're the 200th of these I've done - congratulations :)

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

hi. just completed your map in uv. quite good for a first wad. presented in simple vanilla kind of style. gameplay was fun, perhaps just the right amount for a quick blast after coming home from a long day at work. congratulations for producing such a satisyfing map, and a big thank you for contributing to the doom community.

 

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Edited by saibog

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Great first map as others have said. Only thing I noticed that hadn't been mentioned is that I fell off the rising platform to the exit, and while there's a switch at the top to lower it, I couldn't seem to find a way to lower it from the bottom. Might be worth adding a switch there too.

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Loved it very surprised it's first map - great time - I think you can glitch the lift at the end if you're stupid like me and fall it - hope to see more maps!

 

 

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