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Regular Warren

Assembly Line 1.1 - A warm facility map

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Have to test it later, Screenshots looking great!

Has some Quake 3 Vibe.

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Here is my gameplay video with some commentary/critique [spoiler warning: starting at about 31:30 onward, there are some major spoilers you should avoid watching if you intend to play this map]:

 

 

This is a fantastic, experimental(?) experience that uses some of GZDoom's advanced capabilities to effective ends. I especially loved the dynamic soundtrack, and if you wrote it then major props to you! The first combat track reminds me a LOT of "Somewhat Damaged" by NiN. The sector lighting is gorgeous and melds very well with the OTEX textures you employed. As this map is basically just a series of connected arenas, the layout is entirely functional but not particularly interesting. However, the use of texture detailing combined with the visual geometry still makes it very appealing to behold, even if there's not a ton of variety overall. 

 

Combat-wise, I felt like it was fairly on the easy side, and that's mostly due to how simple it was to circle-strafe most of the encounters, irrespective of which monsters were at play. One positive aspect was the use of GZDoom scripting to play with expectations for how the combat will play out, but I would have liked to see this used more to surprise the player (for example, making the triggers less about completing the waves, and introduce some more dynamics WITHIN the individual waves). I did really like the use of jump pads, and actually wished they were featured more! As a quick romp, it was overall enjoyable to get some hardware, plenty of health and ammo, and be given an excuse to blow away a few hundred demons. 

 

I hope the community doesn't overlook this WAD because I highly recommend it. While it may not really push the envelope in the combat/gameplay department, it absolutely feels like a passion project that will at least make for an enjoyable experience for most players. 

 

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for giving my map such an in-depth review, It really means a lot to me and I'm glad you enjoyed the map overall :D, I definitely understand some of the issues you bring to attention, Layouts both in progression and in individual rooms are my biggest weakness at the moment, which I intend to work on before I release another project. I also have a lot to learn when it comes to gameplay, which again I'm going to work on before another release. This map's development was a huge journey of discovery and I'm hoping to learn more as I continue :D.

Thanks again for playing, It means a lot to me that you deemed my map worthy of your time <3

 

(And yes, the music was done by me. Music and sound design is a big passion of mine and I'm glad I found a creative field that lets me encorporate it)

Edited by Regular Warren

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I am exceptionally green when it comes to these kind of slaughter-arena maps and the first time I played this on UV, it pretty much made mincemeat out of me, though I did manage to get to the final big battle before having to give up. But this map is really damn cool and I wanted to give it another whirl, so I once again took the plunge and made it through by lowering the difficulty a notch. It's a terrific map, mate. While it's not my particular cup of tea, I respect the hell out of it. I hope you find my playthrough useful and I'd love to see more stuff from you.

 

 

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I don't know why, but i think this is something @Major Arlene needs to see.

 

This really looks superbly, with very impressive lighting for a Doom map (Seriously, write a tutorial on how you achieve this look!) and the sky works great. What a great and early contender for visual sublime!

And by a greenhorn in the community, to boot. This is the kind of thing i can immensely enjoy: People who arrive here and maps like these are their statement saying ''This is me, here is my map. Have a go at it.''

 

Impressive stuff, @Regular Warren. Way to introduce yourself :) Please stick around, because if this is just the beginning, i can't imagine what else you can pull off.

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Posted (edited)

Funny you say that, she was a huge help in developing this map. I most likely wouldn't have released it if it wasn't for her.

The way she handles color in her maps is also influenced my visual style quite a lot.

Thank you, This was the first map of mine I enjoyed making and I think it shows in the final product :D

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This is a great debut map if I've ever seen one. The concrete/orange theme is such a memorable look and realized so well, I spent quite a bit of time just running around the arenas, gawking at the architecture. Absolutely stellar work on the visual aspect of this map.

 

In terms of gameplay, I'd have to partially echo what @LVENdead said earlier: some of the encounters feel a bit too easy, because you can freely circle-strafe around the monsters a lot of the time. I feel like this is something the first Revenant/Arch-Vile arena (the one that gives you the backpack) did well to avoid, as the elevated viles will prevent you from just running circles around the revs and rocketing them to death. Definitely one of my favorite fights in the entire map. Neat idea to include jump-pads in some of the encounters as well, as that adds another layer to the combat.

 

All in all, this was a visually stunning and gameplay-wise solid to great map. Not going to spoil anything about the ending obviously, but that was as unexpected as it was awesome. Again, for a debut release, this is incredible stuff. Thanks for sharing it with the community!

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Thank you :D, I'm still learning what makes a good layout both arena and progression wise, and how to do gameplay, hoping to have it by the time I make another release

 

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1 hour ago, Regular Warren said:

I'm still learning what makes a good layout both arena and progression wise, and how to do gameplay, hoping to have it by the time I make another release

 

I would say that this obviously boils down to experience, but you can also try and break this down into a few considerations to try and influence your design thinking.

 

The first thing I would say is to try and not think about the level in terms of "discrete arenas" and instead try to think about how to make interconnected areas that have the potential to ebb and flow between each other. One way to go about this is to try and minimize your usage of doors, because they create a lot of potential for cheesing fights. With respect to your apparent mapping style, I could see this making the dynamic music a bit trickier, but if the scripting allows for it, maybe you can tie the music more to which monsters are present during the fight kind of like how Doom Eternal does it? So like the ambient switches to combat track 1 when the player triggers the first fight, let's say there's 20 imps or something - and maybe after killing 5 imps or so, an arch-vile teleports in and you can switch to combat track 2? Just some random thoughts.

 

The second thing I would suggest is to aggressively root out symmetry from your area design. That is NOT to say eliminate visual consistency - but having even one plane of symmetry in an arena really contributes to that circuit-style design that made a lot of the fights in this map easier than they should have been. But I also mean more than don't incorporate visual symmetry, I mean it with respect to the whole layout. Incorporate choke points, substantial elevation changes, and hazards into an area so that the player has decisions to make about where to go or what to prioritize. Having some revenants on a higher place that the player REALLY wants to get to for a better vantage point/to take out the "turrets" up there immediately gives the player something more to do than "circle strafe while holding down fire to win". On top of that, asymmetrically place monsters in your encounters. Put a lot of hitscanners in one area, and maybe a small horde of pinkies in another, and suddenly the player has extra decisions to make. Do I take out the enemies that will chip down my health (hitscanners) or do I deal with the pinkies first so I don't get spaced into a corner?

 

Finally, I would suggest using the availability of resources (or lack thereof) to force the player to move around and make decisions. In this map, you place a lot of resources in easily accessible clusters, usually at the start of the arena, so there's not much incentive to push around. By putting valuable resources behind the monsters (or deeper into the area/arena), it forces the player to be a bit more aggressive or risk running out of supplies.

 

HAK3180 has a very succinct mantra when it comes to the line of thinking that encapsulates a lot of these concepts: Doom is at its best when Doomguy is forced to make decisions

 

I would not consider this small list to be all inclusive, nor would I expect everyone to agree with it - but I DO think it might contain some useful considerations for your future mapping endeavors. I think if I had to pick a mapper who seems to really master this synthesis between level design and combat design, it's Skillsaw. Valiant and Ancient Aliens contain some of the best combat designs that I've personally played, I would highly recommend you take a look at those maps to see what I mean.

 

 

 

 

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I have noticed that symmetry is a habit of mine I should probably shake, I'll definitely keep this in mind, Thanks for such an in-depth response :D

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The arena combat reminded me a bit like early 2000s Zdoom levels (including my painkiller inspired map from ages ago). From a detail perspective it was pretty nice. Great use of dynamic lights and models.

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Just now, SyntherAugustus said:

The arena combat reminded me a bit like early 2000s Zdoom levels (including my painkiller inspired map from ages ago). From a detail perspective it was pretty nice. Great use of dynamic lights and models.

Thank you :D

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Music and sound design are a big passion of mine, so I jumped at the chance to include it in a map. Each area has an ambient, tension and combat loop (with some exceptions), They're switched out when fights start or end using the SetMusic() action in ACS, the endings of tension and combat tracks are also smoothened out back to ambient using an end stinger, which is done with AmbientSound(). As for the album version, I just took my favorite loops and compiled them into tracks, some loops didn't make it to the OST

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Posted (edited)

As for software, My DAW of choice is FL Studio 20, most of the plugins I use are stock, albeit subjected to heavy sound design. 

The only non-stock plugins I use as of writing this are these:

Damage by Heavyocity

Ample Metal Hellrazer by Ample Sound

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Liking the look of this from the screenshots. Just downloaded, will give it a spin soon enough. c:

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I've been absolutely blown away by the reception this got, I couldn't have imagined how well the release of this project went :D

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Posted (edited)

I'm getting serious QII vibes here. 

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And the video is here. The map looks great and, honestly, the ending part was totally unexpected...........I think I don't have any complaints at all!!!

Just enjoy the video!!!

 

 

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Great work! I played with pleasure, although sometimes it was difficult. The design is gorgeous. I don't see anything wrong with symmetry. On the contrary, unlike most of the maps shown here, which cause nothing but despondency, your work is remembered immediately. Special thanks for the soundtrack in wav format :)

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You've done an amazing job, I can't believe it's your very first map, perhaps you have been mapping for far too long?

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