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LordEntr0py

The Hate Flow - Epic/Accessible single map release

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18 hours ago, BluePineapple72 said:

Very cool looking stuff! I'll record a video of it once I catch up with my playtesting backlog.

Thanks for the inspiration! And sorry I couldn't squeeze it into your speedmapping event -- I overran a little.

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The Hate Flow

 

Ultra-Violence || Zandronum || Vanilla

 

Status:

Deaths → 10 (1 death was during the middle of the tour, and the other 9 were during the final combat.)

Saves → 8

 

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-170209.png

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-170530.png

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-172615.png

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-172852.png

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-180233.png

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-191001.png

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-202412.png

 

This map was quite large, with many traps which were getting worse as progress was progressing, what I can highlight about the place, was the architecture that had been put in each place, in each room, it really caught my attention as Each of these sites were designed, and the way in which each of the platforms that were seen at the beginning of the map had been structured, and the other thing that would also highlight here, would be the fighting, all extremely difficult to exterminate, but not impossible, It really takes a lot of agility and a good portion of luck to be able to overcome all the confrontations without the poor Marine dying in the attempt, and here there is everything, from Cacodemons and Hell knights, to Mancubus, Revenants, and Barons of hell, I can also say that there are only two bosses on this map, although at this point, things will turn out to get very intense if you want to achieve 100% completion, fortunately you have not and an excess of enemies as seen in other maps, but this Wad is really complicated because it only has very resistant and annoying enemies for the most part. Overall, quite a challenging map, quite crude in some parts, and without a lot of blue armor with which to prevent quick kills, but nonetheless, it was fun to complete without much risk, so great job you've done here partner.

 

Extra:

Spoiler

A very interesting and very curious secret, although to be honest, it does not add much to the hardcore gameplay that the map has.

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-172148.png

 

I found some texture errors while taking a tour again using a game mod.

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-154616.png

 

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7 hours ago, ElPadrecitoCholo said:

The Hate Flow

 

Ultra-Violence || Zandronum || Vanilla

 

Status:

Deaths → 10 (1 death was during the middle of the tour, and the other 9 were during the final combat.)

Saves → 8

 

This map was quite large, with many traps which were getting worse as progress was progressing, what I can highlight about the place, was the architecture that had been put in each place, in each room, it really caught my attention as Each of these sites were designed, and the way in which each of the platforms that were seen at the beginning of the map had been structured, and the other thing that would also highlight here, would be the fighting, all extremely difficult to exterminate, but not impossible, It really takes a lot of agility and a good portion of luck to be able to overcome all the confrontations without the poor Marine dying in the attempt, and here there is everything, from Cacodemons and Hell knights, to Mancubus, Revenants, and Barons of hell, I can also say that there are only two bosses on this map, although at this point, things will turn out to get very intense if you want to achieve 100% completion, fortunately you have not and an excess of enemies as seen in other maps, but this Wad is really complicated because it only has very resistant and annoying enemies for the most part. Overall, quite a challenging map, quite crude in some parts, and without a lot of blue armor with which to prevent quick kills, but nonetheless, it was fun to complete without much risk, so great job you've done here partner.

 

Extra:

  Reveal hidden contents

A very interesting and very curious secret, although to be honest, it does not add much to the hardcore gameplay that the map has.

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-172148.png

 

I found some texture errors while taking a tour again using a game mod.

Screenshot-Doom-20210324-154616.png

 

Thanks for the write-up! I might have been a little too mean with blue armour. Maybe I'll drop some into the final fight since it's such a difficulty spike. You certainly get less health on UV because I give you an extra soul sphere supercharge on HMP/HNTR.

 

And I can't quite figure out where that screenshot of the missing texture was located...

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3 hours ago, LordEntr0py said:

And I can't quite figure out where that screenshot of the missing texture was located...

 

Do not worry, in a few moments I will send another capture that better details the location of that texture error, partner.

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Posted (edited)

Now updated with a few additional minor bugfixes found by playtesters and better signposting (I hope) for a couple of places where players got a little stumped for what do do next.


 

Spoiler


Particularly for the final arena:
finalArena1.3.1.jpg.d46e883fd1d91d958a917d9aa256c763.jpg

 

 

Edited by LordEntr0py

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Good map. Impressive visuals. I enjoyed the difficult fights without relying on an extremely high monster count.

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FDA (skill 4)

(version 1.3.1)

 

In this playthrough, three monsters fail to teleport out (100% killscore is from arch-vile resurrections), either because they never awaken or because their closet is too small/low for them to actually move. Looks like it's the three cacodemons in the small battery just north of the larger closet holding the imps and sergeants for the second switchpress on the western wooden platform (near the 'let the hate flow' secret). No other issues, though it did strike me that the map is very dark, at least for someone playing with no gamma correction/in a port without dynamic lights tied to torches/other props, much darker in comparison than the screencaps shown by yourself and other users in the thread. This is not really a complaint, mind you -- I happen to like it (very) dark, myself, has a certain gritty authenticity and all that -- though it does undercut some of the light-based signposting in this specific case.

 

The map is quite easy on the eyes (darkness and all), for sure; excellent texture selection, appealing complex vistas which cut across different segments of the level, and some simple but very effective 'diorama' work to give an extra sense of space beyond its playable/traversable boundaries. I particularly like the very brief peak at the sky visible from the northeastern gazebo, for instance.

 

As an E4M2 tribute, all of the expected boxes are checked -- turret cyberdemon(s), check, platforming crossfire(s), check, hunter/hunted stone ravine maze(s), check -- but the greater expansiveness inherent in your construction style and the use of Doom II creatures prevents anything reading as to derivative. The original map is actually quite small, of course, and much of its famed ferocity comes from the chaotic feel that its condensed progression invites, as well as the relative scarcity of resources which characterizes Thy Flesh Consumed in general. Your version is less hectic in both these regards, giving more time and space to individual fights or segments, each exploring the theme of hostile/difficult terrain rather than enemies per se as the major source of complication in a different way. Thing balance seems quite well-judged, with an exciting low-ammo opening giving way to relatively generous top-ups between stages, underscoring the more setpiece-oriented design.

 

Concerning accessibility, I found the UV setting to be both very involved tactically, but also very manageable. That is to say, there's a lot of danger, for sure, and your survivability/momentum never becomes so great that you can just tank through tough spots and expect to come out on top (the two soulspheres, one being secret, can both evaporate in the blink of an eye, and neither is anywhere close to the final/largest/arguably most dangerous encounter); yet, the design is also very forgiving in other respects, and many of the hazards can be effectively managed in a safer/more defensive way with the application of a little know-how and critical thinking. For example, penalty for falling off the track is generally minimal (whereas in the original it's bad news, and in some of your other stated influences it's basically an immediate fail state), and indeed, you can flex purposefully falling off into a tactical ploy to allow you ways to pop in and out of the hot zone at your leisure in certain fights. Similarly, the final fight is not nearly as dangerous as it may initially seem if you avoid panic, bide your time, and let the monsters outwit themselves for you.

 

These big seams in the encounter design, which in this case are present even on the 'hard' skill setting, certainly do pitch the level somewhere below the realm of the "actually tough" or the "hardcore" or whatever one wants to call it, but given your primary intended audience I think this is more of a virtue than a failing. High-level play is frequently misunderstood/misconstrued as being about perfect accuracy and supernatural twitch-dodges and all that, but in reality it's often more about reading intentions, foreseeing and predicting developments, managing the possibilities, and generally spotting/using these seams efficiently. Levels like this, which have serious fights that also have some serious 'soft spots', are a good way to help learn and train these subtler skills.

 

Anyway, it's an enjoyable map and a fitting tribute. I certainly look forward to your Deimos episode 'someday', and of course anything else you've got cooking as well.

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10 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

FDA (skill 4)

(version 1.3.1)

 

[epic write-up]

Thanks for this. Really appreciate the detailed analysis of style.

 

Seems like this is ticking the boxes I was hoping it would!

 

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Gave this a playthrough here: 

 

 

Very much enjoyed my time in this map. I'm completely down with your approach here: give us something that invokes slaughtermap spectacle without four digit monster counts. I love the emphasis on footwork in the combat, which really highlights how the map design is much more than just "look at these neat paths". I am curious to know what your overall intent or concepts were for how the fights were structured and what you expected the player to do, as I often found the best course of action was to try and dart around things or backup toward the entrance to an arena or drop down and let infighting do some preliminary cleanup. I'm not really making a value judgment out of that quality at this point, as I enjoyed the thrill of trying to squeeze through or around a dangerous cluster to get to a safe spot or reposition to take a better shot, but it also seemed like some of the arenas would be a bit impossible to just stand your ground.

 

I also love how the overall concept for the map is like this fevered dream of Perfect Hatred, where you remember something about a past experience in this exaggerated sense of its distilled form. At the same time, it really takes on a life of its own, and effectively meshes that nostalgic seed with the monumental architecture of modern WADs like Sunder. There's so much attention to detail and really no spot where corners are cut, I can almost imagine you in there with like an exacto knife and one of those gem cutter's lenses lodged in your eye going through and making sure everything is touched.

 

Got to say, I like your style quite a bit - fun to experience and explore with challenging combat that isn't really outlandishly bogus.

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23 hours ago, LVENdead said:

I am curious to know what your overall intent or concepts were for how the fights were structured and what you expected the player to do, as I often found the best course of action was to try and dart around things or backup toward the entrance to an arena or drop down and let infighting do some preliminary cleanup. I'm not really making a value judgment out of that quality at this point, as I enjoyed the thrill of trying to squeeze through or around a dangerous cluster to get to a safe spot or reposition to take a better shot, but it also seemed like some of the arenas would be a bit impossible to just stand your ground.

When I was making the map, I designed most encounters with HMP at the limit of my ability to comfortably play, then added a few extras (usually the lost souls/pain elementals) at higher difficulties to give an extra dimension of complexity to the encounters. I improved over the course of playtesting it, so I think @Demon of the Well is on the money about this map teaching some advanced skills.

Having struggled through select parts of Sunder on ITYTD (generally the earliest 3 levels, and 3/4 of Map 17 because I loved the design/setting so much), I wanted to design something that allows "hardcore" players to approach it head on, but which granted other players the chance to find alternative easier strategies.

It was a deliberate decision to allow the player to approach each fight as they see fit, and it's a legit strategy in some fights to jump off platforms to trade health in order to get a better vantage point to snipe the monsters from. I've even seen some players exploit the teleporters to deliberately telefrag opponents in some cases.
 

I've seen players skip entire fights, but most of them are designed to make that very difficult to do, and several of them are designed in a way that will make you suffer for it. You can try to leave some of those revenants behind, but they will likely fuck your day up later on in this huge open arena.
 

I have seen players survive without the "alternative approaches", and in some cases can just about manage it myself (with save scumming of course) but at the end of the day, I'm genuinely happy for players to approach the map as they want. I just want people to enjoy it!


Some specific notes:

  • On the platform where you picked up the SSG on UV, where you first encounter Barons along with a bunch of Hell Knights and Demons, the "hardcore" strategy involves skipping around using the two side platforms to dodge around the monsters, herding them back and forth around the platform. Clear out the Demons and spectres quickly and you have just about enough real estate to stay on the platform and face the meatshields head on.
  • There's enough ammo to kill the first Cybie, but I anticipated players trying to leave him behind. Early versions of the map had him escape his turret if you run for it, and he ended up teleporting back and forth between the four pillars where the Mancubi do now. However, that made him unpredictable, deadly, extremely hard to kill and completely unfair. Instead, he merely turns up on the same platform as the second Cybie after you kill that one. I also kinda like the way he snipes from that one distant location if you leave him at first.
  • There are only 4 Mancubi teleporting back and forth. Two on ITYTD/HNTR. Wasn't fun having a Cybie there as originally intended, but Mancubi's fire added to the general pressure and theme of the level, and honestly looks great in the darkness amongst the other lights.
  • That wave of Hell Knights at the end is designed entirely to push you forward along the central platform. You're not supposed to stand and fight them, and I'm not sure if there's enough ammo should you try. Given that you'll have cacoswarms flanking you from left and right, with a few stragglers and a cyberdemon behind you, you'd have a bad time. Luckily pretty much every player I've seen gets the hint and runs on to the final arena.
  • Thanks for finding that one obscure tex alignment I'm sure I've realigned that pillar several times. Hitting auto-align somewhere else must be fucking with it.

 

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Late to the party, I know, but I wasn't sure if I'd ever play this WAD. I think I've delayed it long enough and there's nothing else on my radar at the moment so I figured why not? Honestly, for the most part, you beat the living crap out of me but the challenge never felt too unreasonable until the end, which I'll cover in a bit. Firstly, it's a great tribute to Perfect Hatred, man. Romero would be proud ;^). I found each combat encounter pretty intense and took a fair few attempts, but the best part is that unlike some intense maps I've tried, I think from a newbie perspective such as mine, you've managed to hit the sweet spot of accessibility even on UV because I could see the end in sight. I could sense what was working and your generosity after the really spicy encounters with supplies was really appreciated. Not too much, but just enough to give the player a good chance at what cruelty you had planned next. The final fight is where I have a bit of an issue. For the most part, I actually the hang of it reasonably quickly, but I have just one big complaint: The unnecessary teleporter put in front of the BFG that disorientates you and switches where your facing for no real discernible reason. Was this just a move to be a troll? If so, then you succeeded because it annoyed the fuck out of me lmao. If not? Then I'd prefer that dumb teleporter wasn't there. But yeah, that's the only thing I can say I disliked. Everything else was challenging but exhilarating! Well done, man.

 

 

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Never too late to post a playthrough video of one of my maps!

 

That last encounter is an exercise in using the BFG and the verticality of the arena to avoid rockets.

 

As for the weird teleport, it wasn't a deliberate troll. It was intended to let you telefrag the cyberdemon, but I don't recall seeing anyone actually use it for that, because it's usually died from infighting or careful player behaviour before then.

 

The annoying pillar was a recent addition to provide a little extra cover, but it might not be worth it.

 

Is that the Supercharge mod you're using?

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Hi,

Just played both your maps on stream: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1009881064, wanted play them for quite a while already. 

 

I pretty much liked everything there, except for the AV-fight in the second map, that one was a bit frustrating honestly.

I liked the final fight of the first map. The final of the second map was a bit weak, imo. 

There were some homs here and there in both maps but nothing too critical. 

Not sure if the way I got YK in map 1 was intended.

I liked the outdoor style, though it felt emty at times (which is not bad of course).

There probably some other things I said in the video but don't remember now.

 

Good stuff overall! I want to play more huge maps like this to get some inspiration for my current WIP behemoth.

 

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Thanks! Would have joined if I had known.

 

Not to worry, I'll check out the video now.

 

I have a couple others for a community project. One of them is claustrophobic, but the other has an epic style despite the limited play-space requirement of the project. Both are polished but could use some play, so if you'd like to, please PM me.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, El Inferno said:

Regarding The Hate Flow -- sorry about the AV fight!


Having watched both you and @Biodegradable play it today, and comparing to other people, it's interesting to see how different people struggle with different things.

While Hell's Farthest Shore was an exercise in learning to map on a large scale, I think The Hate Flow was an exercise in learning to design challenging encounters.


Some people struggle with the last fight. Some people blaze through the AV cave without breaking much of a sweat. I've watched some people rage out when they realise they are going to be platforming while under Mancubus fire, and others play on regardless, discovering that the crossfire actually takes the heat away when the barons start teleporting in. Some folks panic and reload the moment they fall off a platform, and others realise it's not a Sunder-style death sentence, even trading a little health on the damaging floor for a better angle of attack.

I thought about changing the spectres in that AV cave for pinkies, but ultimately I'm not going to. I like spectres cornering you in dark places. They induce panic.

Thanks for your playthroughs. I enjoyed watching them, and they were certainly helpful to me.

 

Edited by LordEntr0py

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20 minutes ago, LordEntr0py said:

I thought about changing the spectres in that AV cave for pinkies, but ultimately I'm not going to. I like spectres cornering you in dark places. They induce panic.

 

Yeah, exactly. The spectres definitely help add tension and challenge to that particular encounter. It's a great use of an otherwise mostly useless Pinkie variant.

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7 hours ago, LordEntr0py said:

I thought about changing the spectres in that AV cave for pinkies, but ultimately I'm not going to. I like spectres cornering you in dark places. They induce panic.

 

Yeah, that's a good design. My problem was low health I had there and that I completely forgot that I have like 30 rockets to spare.. But if it was my map, I wouldn't allow going to that corridor so easily and clearing things with rockets (but we have different intensions in level design obviously: my last released big map is basically a giant death pit). So do whatever you want, of course.

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1 hour ago, El Inferno said:

 

Yeah, that's a good design. My problem was low health I had there and that I completely forgot that I have like 30 rockets to spare.. But if it was my map, I wouldn't allow going to that corridor so easily and clearing things with rockets (but we have different intensions in level design obviously: my last released big map is basically a giant death pit). So do whatever you want, of course.

I decided to allow a few escapes in The Hate Flow -- as advertised, I wanted it to feel accessible. Most of the fights have relatively easy strategies, but are survivable without finding them. It's supposed to be a forgiving map.

Hadn't seen the AV escape, but I'm actually glad you found it. It's not fun feeling frustrated. And it's still not easy. You had to survive and get past the spectres to reach it.

The floor that lowered in the AV cave, btw, has an invisible teleport line and is designed to prevent Arch-Viles getting stuck in the cave without following you out. The player isn't supposed to see it. I think the W1 activation line is only 1MP off the teleport line, so I'm surprised you triggered it without teleporting. Should still fix the missing texture, though.

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If the objective was to make the player feel claustrophobic about movement space but also kick ass, this level accomplishes it well despite the sub-300 monster count. Platforming combat levels (Which makes up most of the combat here) will turn a fair bit of players off to this release but it was at least an interesting concept with all the height variations that will keep you on your toes for pretty much the entire map's run.

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