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Shino1

Let's blind play and improve Freedoom!

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Posted (edited)

So I'm already involved with the Blasphemer project - I instantly gravitated to it because it's not yet playable - but I am overall much more attached to concept of Freedoom. So, I decided to start a series where I blind play the game, try to identify gripes I have with it, and also submit possible fixes.

Watch blind playthrough of E1M1 on YT!

Also when I mention removing and replacing levels, I just speak from what I've seen - I definitely seen levels removed and replaced in Freedoom, and I've also seen threads discussing that. Again, in my opinion iteration on existing designs could produce better results. If I'm wrong about Freedoom level design principles, forgive me for being a noob, then :P

 

I mention in the video that I made a tweaked version of E1M1 - and here it is!

e1m1fix.zip

Full list of changes made in this version:

  • reworked the fight introducing shotgunner and worm so they're introduced separately as a better tutorial for new players, and added cover against the shotgunner
  • removed some of the Serpentipedes in the room that leads to the outdoors area, because it was tedious to shoot them with just the pistol. Also removed some of them that were only present on Hard and replaced them with a shotgunner. Also, added cosmetic orange stripes to corners of this room for contrast. Also changed cosmetics of the blue key door, including texture, to teach player that this texture was a door (first time I played it I had no idea this texture was a door when it was used later in prison segment, I mention this in the LP).
  • in the starting room, the player spawns in a prison cell (the level is called "Outer Prison" after all), and on the opposite side of the room there's a purely cosmetic another prison cell that player can't enter.
  • in the room before the blue keycard, the big round column was tweaked visually, the box on which on of the shotgunners is standing lowers like a lift so you can get his shotgun, added shadows, in the upper area there is the setpiece of the level - there is a serpentipede ambush waiting for you in the darkness.
  • in the blue key balcony, added a different floor texture to lead player's eye to the secret and move the columns so they're correctly aligned.
  • in the outdoor areas, used tricks borrowed from BTSX to add height variation to the mountains so they don't all end at the same height and look more natural
  • also in outdoors area changed the rock face texture to brown so it will look more visually interesting, and changed the blue stripes on facility walls to bright orange, and introduced shadow to the 'caves' - and added a stimpack to the rock pillar that holds a Soulsphere on Easy, but is completely pointless on Medium and Hard.
  • in the angle grinder secret, moved the worms further back, removed one on Medium, and added a cosmetic brown pedestal below the grinder to make it stand out more in low resolutions
  • added a secret flag to angle grinder area

In the video I mention that explosive barrels don't immediately look like barrels. Sure, if you examine them consciously they kinda look like propane tanks, but Doom isn't exactly a thinking game. In addition, if you had to guess which are the barrels, much more obvious candidate are the light columns, which glow green like the waste from vanilla Doom barrels, and they have red on them - first time playing, I assumed light columns are the barrel replacement.

BEXPA0.png.6d067e805c21b6cbdc76b1a392eba893.pngCOLUA0.png.b24de1b2cea71301e029e40e758af0dd.png

I think the fix might be not to replace the sprites, but tweaking them with recolors - red on the barrels signifies explosion to any modern gamer, but also in general draws the eye of the player and makes it clear they're not just decoration:

BEXPA0.gif.2e529f041896ef866e4816fc48f9083d.gifBEXPB0.gif.d3e409f7bb52fe70992513466caf77ab.gifBEXPC0.gif.91e613e180451e0e2502b38aa4149afd.gif (other frames of explosion don't really need changing IMO, but I will do them if that's requested)

COLUA0.gif.d7ac9eba00726d67a595e572b3779f13.gif

I think those look much more like an explosive barrel, and like a standing lamp, respectively. At least in my opinion.

Also, minor issue - I don't think armor bonuses really look like armor. Health bonuses obviously look like some kind of bandaging device, but armor bonus just looks like... a jar of glowing green goo. Here's an edit that hopefully solves that by making them shield shaped:

BON2A0.gif.60f3e895a6ea59c623183f0b8f71553c.gifBON2B0.gif.9fae9716bc36ffd6b6f7f6eec5ff4a8d.gif

Also while I oppose completely replacing content unless it's necessary, I think it might be necessary for the Deadflare, because it simply doesn't fit the theme - while I think the sprite looks really cool, Freedoom is supposed to be a sci-fi game about an alien invasion, so a demonic skull doesn't work. I'm willing to create a replacement (well, when I'm done working on sprites for Blasphemer, which still needs finished Maulotaur and D'Sparil replacements) and eventually for Summoner too, here's a quick concept art:

PlasmaClaw.png.09a2088a41ae8ae3faa75cb70ff1f4c8.png

A burning floating robotic hand would fit the theme of mildly supernatural alien invasion, will still evoke the feel of Lost Soul and I mean, it will look kinda cool, I hope.

 

Obviously my criticism comes from place of love for the Freedoom project and I hope everything I said was a constructive critique, and I didn't breach any unwritten etiquette with this post - again, I'm a noob. And of course I will accept critique myself, if any of my edits are too low quality to be included in the full game, I will happily listen to suggestions for improvement!

 

 

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sometimes i create some servers on zandronium to play freedoom but nobody ever joins them

in fact ive only seen one person join it and they said they were afraid of freedoom lol

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Just now, omalefico32x said:

sometimes i create some servers on zandronium to play freedoom but nobody ever joins them

in fact ive only seen one person join it and they said they were afraid of freedoom lol

Honestly I'm mostly concerned with singleplayer campaigns, I'm not sure why so much emphasis is put on multiplayer when most people will just play more popular vanilla Doom. I mean, it's neat to theoretically have, sure.

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3 minutes ago, Shino1 said:

Honestly I'm mostly concerned with singleplayer campaigns, I'm not sure why so much emphasis is put on multiplayer when most people will just play more popular vanilla Doom. I mean, it's neat to theoretically have, sure.

well i think any iwad should support both though they also have to keep in mind that most player play with respawning items these days for a better coop experience

seeing some super creatures exclusive to mp always makes me smile like the cyberdemon in circle of death and stuff like that

some mp only addition really make for a better experience in coop though not on every level

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Just now, omalefico32x said:

well i think any iwad should support both though they also have to keep in mind that most player play with respawning items these days for a better coop experience

seeing some super creatures exclusive to mp always makes me smile like the cyberdemon in circle of death and stuff like that

some mp only addition really make for a better experience in coop though not on every level

Cool. It's always interesting to see someone else's perspective, personally I pretty much don't play multiplayer at all so that's why I don't care much about it.

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1 minute ago, Shino1 said:

Cool. It's always interesting to see someone else's perspective, personally I pretty much don't play multiplayer at all so that's why I don't care much about it.

i can totally understand that and its no wonder that most of the fanbase doesnt even know you can still play it online since most people are here for the single player

im more for both i spend a great time playing on mp talking to some people i know there and making new friends too but i also like to replay some of the wads and mods i play there on sp to have a more personal experience with it

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Posted (edited)

I was considering making a Dean of Doom-style video reviewing Freedoom a while ago, so I had reviews written of the maps in Freedoom Phase 1's first episode. Here they are, though still written with implied visuals on screen:

 

E1M1 - Outer Prison by YukiHerz

Let's start with the first episode of Phase 1. Outpost Outbreak, being a replacement for the shareware episode of Doom entitled Knee-Deep in the Dead, is meant to introduce new players to Freedoom and provides a uniformly easy difficulty. In my opinion the average level in Freedoom is better than any of the levels in the original IWADs, but Outpost Outbreak doesn't do quite as well as an introduction to Doom gameplay as Knee Deep in the Dead does.

 

Take a look at the opening shot and tell me where you think you're supposed to go. If you thought it was straight ahead into this crevasse, you're wrong. You're actually supposed to go through this door to the right, which is particularly confusing to players who haven't yet figured out what Freedoom's doors look like. Once you get past that, this is an absolutely solid opener that sets the tone for Freedoom perfectly.

 

It's about time you got used to Freedoom's rebrands of the various weapons and enemies. In this first level you'll encounter the Zombie and Shotgun Zombie - you can guess who they replace - as well as the Serpentipede, replacing Doom's Imp, and the Flesh Worm, replacing Doom's Pinky Demon. Your weapons will include the Handgun - the same as Doom's Pistol, and the Pump-action Shotgun, which is self-explanatory.

 

I love the texturing in this level. This hill with the nukage fall is one of the best scenes in Freedoom, and it's rare to the say that about the first level of a Doom megaWAD, and these prison cells look as brutal as they should. Combat-wise, it's what you'd expect from an E1M1 - not very punishing, and pretty easy to get through once you know the basics.

Rating: 8.5/10

E1M2 - Communications Center by acc

I'm tempted to call this level generic because it plays and looks incredibly similar to Knee-Deep in the Dead. Just a short techbase with blue floors and grey walls. The combat is pretty good, though. There are some fun encounters here and there, like the battle up these stairs and this pair of monster closets full of Flesh Worms that can surround the player.

Say hello to the Stealth Worm, a half-invisible Flesh Worm that replaces Doom's Spectre. If this is your first time encountering it, it might be a bit hard to see - this level uses it primarily in dark areas.

 

This level is Romero-esque to a fault, but it has enough good moments that I can't hate it.

 

Rating: 7.5/10

E1M3 -  Waste Disposal by Josef Šustek (Paar)

This one is seriously generic and unmemorable. The texturing is bland, there are very few memorable landmarks, and the combat is mostly unmemorable. The only fight in this map that I found notable was the opening. Be careful not to get hit by the large number of hitscanners, and don't fall into these nukage pits, as there is no way out. The dark area with the perched Serpentipedes towards the end is also decent. This map contains the first appearance of the Angle Grinder, a sick-looking replacement for Doom's Chainsaw, but you won't be using it much. The pathway to the secret exit is a much more boring version of the one in Knee Deep in the Dead.

 

I like this map's MIDI, but otherwise there's very little to say about it.

 

Rating: 6.5/10

E1M9 - Armory by Xindage

Meet Xindage. He's one of Freedoom's most prolific contributors, fixing countless bugs and helping several contributors get their work included in the set. Unfortunately, his scattered contributions to Phase 1, many of which were made around seven years ago when he went by "Protox," are some of my least favorite levels in the set. As evidenced by some of his more recent contributions, he's improved significantly since then, which just makes it more unfortunate that most of Xindage's levels don't reflect well on his mapping skill.

 

If you thought the last level had a hot start, about half of the encounters in this level are mini hitscanner Hells. There are two defining features of this level: big clusters of Zombies and right angles. Sure, it's hard, but it all feels low-effort.

 

I suspect that the texturing for this level was specifically made for an older version of Freedoom, because these door textures do not work well as architectural supports, and these flesh textures do not work well as couches.

 

We're finally introduced to the Minigun, which you can probably guess replaces Doom's Chaingun. I'm not entirely sure this is the first appearance of the Minigun, but it's definitely the first non-secret appearance. The missile launcher, which replaces Doom's rocket launcher, also makes its first appearance in an area that's tagged as a secret but really doesn't feel like one.

Armory isn't the worst level in the episode, but it's not good.

 

Rating: 5/10

E1M4 - Supply Depot by geekmarine

The most distinctive level in this episode. Only E1M1 comes close. The main setpiece in this map is this outdoor crate maze, which looks excellent. Surrounding it is a techbase, which likewise looks better than one might expect. Once you get the yellow key you can access the final area, a walkway above a nukage pit. All of these areas manage to be unique and not blend in with the rest of the megaWAD. The only part I don't like is how far this Hazard Suit is from the nukage you're supposed to use it on, meaning you're likely to have backtrack without a suit. It's not too bad of a problem.

 

The combat isn't amazing, but it's not bad either. One of my favorite things to do in Phase 1 and the original Doom is to one-shot fodder enemies with the shotgun. This map is seriously fun.

 

Rating: 9/10

E1M5 - Main Control by Zok

A massive, sprawling techbase. This level can take half an hour to beat, which is not good for a level in the first episode, and there's so much backtracking it can get tiring. The combat doesn't make it worthwhile; very little of the encounters pose a threat at all, let alone are engaging.

 

This map also sports the most reused MIDI in Freedoom. It appears in both E1M5 and E2M6, both of which happen to be maps whose MIDIs are reused in Episode 4, for a total of four times it's used. This is the only case of a MIDI being used for multiple levels outside of episode 4 and FreeDM. The MIDI isn't bad or anything, but it gets annoying hearing it for 30 minutes straight in this level and again in three other levels. It's so annoying that I took matters into my own hands and made a replacement MIDI myself! https://github.com/freedoom/freedoom/pull/730

 

There are plenty of things I like about Main Control, though. It was quite impressive to me when I first played this how the outdoor areas helped create a sense of place, even though it doesn't convey its sense of place as well as E1M1 or E1M4. It's fairly successful at conveying a large scale, even if that means taking ridiculously long to finish. It's a well-made map, just not one I really enjoy.

 

Rating: 6.5/10

E1M6 - Training Facility by geekmarine

Another solid map from geekmarine. I don't find the setting as compelling as E1M4's, but the combat is greatly improved. It's another enjoyable run-and-gun experience, and a slight but noticeable uptick in difficulty. Particular highlights include the training field where monsters teleport in after you collect the yellow key, and the red key room with shotgunners attacking from above as you make your way through nukage to the red key.

 

The Deadflare appears for the first time here. It's literally just Doom's Lost Soul but poorly drawn; there's not much creativity in this retexture.

Even though I don't like the MIDI I still really enjoy this map.

 

Rating: 8.5/10

E1M7 - Transportation Bay by Archvile46

Kinda wish I could have seen more from this author. This map is a solid techbase with a lot of good ideas. One of my favorite fights is when the Stealth Worms chase the player while Serpentipedes attack from the side in the gray area with the yellow key. I also like the outdoor area that leads to the exit - it rivals geekmarine's levels in terms of compelling settings.

Transportation Bay combines a lot of different styles of techbase, and the result is a solid lead-up to the final boss.

 

Rating: 8/10

E1M8 - Outpost Quarry by Xindage

If you've played the original Doom, you'll remember its boss levels for having good atmosphere, but ultimately being disappointing as bosses. This can be forgiven because it was the first attempt at what was essentially a whole new genre, and in 1993 gamers weren't as skilled. Freedoom has similarly disappointing bosses, but it has no such excuse. It's been in active development since 2001, and it's made by experienced Doom mappers who should have learned from the mistakes that came before.

 

Outpost Quarry provides a sinister atmosphere - dark underground halls filled with suspicious amounts of ammo and weapons to the backdrop of an oddly calming MIDI. That's why it's a total letdown when the four sinister cubes in the level open to reveal four Pain Lords, replacing Doom's Barons of Hell. These four Pain Lords are the only enemies in the level - no Spectres like the classic E1M8 - making this a much easier level by far. You get more than enough missiles to deal with them, and their attacks are very easy to dodge. This level is completely unchallenging and disappointing.

 

Rating: 4/10

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unrelated to all of this but while double impact is a good wad i really think freedoom should have something unique for ep4

something that resamblems more of the gameplay from ep4 of ultimate doom and i dont think double impact fits the bill though finding mappers willing to do it is a hard task and i can understand why they just used double impact

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5 minutes ago, omalefico32x said:

unrelated to all of this but while double impact is a good wad i really think freedoom should have something unique for ep4

something that resamblems more of the gameplay from ep4 of ultimate doom and i dont think double impact fits the bill though finding mappers willing to do it is a hard task and i can understand why they just used double impact

I think it fits just fine. It's a notable uptick in difficulty from Event Horizon, just like Thy Flesh Consumed is an uptick in difficulty from Inferno.

 

Besides, when a pair of famous mappers donate everything (except the music) from an already award-winning PWAD to an open-source project, taking that offer just makes sense. I'm surprised the only Jenesis map that Phase 2 ended up using after Jimmy gave permission for it was Map 18 (Jenesis map 3).

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, northivanastan said:

I was considering making a Dean of Doom-style video reviewing Freedoom a while ago, so I had reviews written of the maps in Freedoom Phase 1's first episode. Here they are, though still written with implied visuals on screen:

 

E1M1 - Outer Prison by YukiHerz

Let's start with the first episode of Phase 1. Outpost Outbreak, being a replacement for the shareware episode of Doom entitled Knee-Deep in the Dead, is meant to introduce new players to Freedoom and provides a uniformly easy difficulty. In my opinion the average level in Freedoom is better than any of the levels in the original IWADs, but Outpost Outbreak doesn't do quite as well as an introduction to Doom gameplay as Knee Deep in the Dead does.

 

Take a look at the opening shot and tell me where you think you're supposed to go. If you thought it was straight ahead into this crevasse, you're wrong. You're actually supposed to go through this door to the right, which is particularly confusing to players who haven't yet figured out what Freedoom's doors look like. Once you get past that, this is an absolutely solid opener that sets the tone for Freedoom perfectly.

 

It's about time you got used to Freedoom's rebrands of the various weapons and enemies. In this first level you'll encounter the Zombie and Shotgun Zombie - you can guess who they replace - as well as the Serpentipede, replacing Doom's Imp, and the Flesh Worm, replacing Doom's Pinky Demon. Your weapons will include the Handgun - the same as Doom's Pistol, and the Pump-action Shotgun, which is self-explanatory.

 

I love the texturing in this level. This hill with the nukage fall is one of the best scenes in Freedoom, and it's rare to the say that about the first level of a Doom megaWAD, and these prison cells look as brutal as they should. Combat-wise, it's what you'd expect from an E1M1 - not very punishing, and pretty easy to get through once you know the basics.

Rating: 8.5/10

I'm not reading the rest because I don't want to be spoiled (since I plan to blind play entirety of phase 1 and 2), but I disagree. Level still works fine if you go straight into the pit - a new player will instantly learn about how lifts work, how combat works, how to open doors, will discover 4 basic enemy types (shotgunner, zombie, serpentipede - imp, pinky) get the shotgun, and will learn that in this game, they need keys to backtrack. Optimal speedrun path doesn't have to be most obvious path, as long as flow is maintained - Doom is somewhat nonlinear and having mutliple approaches to a level is actually good.

 

EDIT: What I basically mean is - an experienced player will explore and go to the door on the right, sure - but inexperienced player will be pushed into a 'tutorial gauntlet'. That's actually really good level design.

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2 minutes ago, Shino1 said:

I'm not reading the rest because I don't want to be spoiled (since I plan to blind play entirety of phase 1 and 2), but I disagree. Level still works fine if you go straight into the pit - a new player will instantly learn about how lifts work, how combat works, how to open doors, will discover 4 basic enemy types (shotgunner, zombie, serpentipede - imp, pinky) get the shotgun, and will learn that in this game, they need keys to backtrack. Optimal speedrun path doesn't have to be most obvious path, as long as flow is maintained - Doom is somewhat nonlinear and having mutliple approaches to a level is actually good.

I guess I'm used to openers having the clearest path forward be the correct one. For example, Hangar (Knee Deep in the Dead), Entryway (Doom 2), and even Phase 2's opener. 

 

You've got some good points though. Like I said, this sets the tone for Freedom perfectly.

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I recorded a series of demos for Phase 1 Episode 1. I put some thoughts in the video descriptions themselves, but here's a quick writeup based on my memory. Note that these are from the perspective of UV Maxing each map from a pistol start.

 

E1M1 - Decent map, though perhaps less straightforward than I would have expected from an opening map (in terms of navigation - the difficulty level is fine in my opinion). Managing shotgun ammo and the lifts in the room to the right of the start is kind of hellish if you're trying to get a good time, but I don't hold that against the map.

 

E1M2 - Not a fan of this map. It's almost entirely linear and the only weapon you get in it is the shotgun, so there's little opportunity for creative routing or weapon usage. All you can really do is chug along shotgunning enemies (many of which are pinkies/spectres).

 

E1M3 - I enjoyed this map, even if much of that is due to the obvious cues it takes from Toxic Refinery. Running through the various paths connecting the secrets is fun, and the introduction of the chaingun and rocket launcher spices up the combat compared to the previous levels. The backtracking needed to reach the secret exit is longer than I would have liked, though perhaps that's something I could have taken greater advantage of in my run.

 

E1M9 - My least favorite level in the episode. At first I thought I'd be able to play aggressively and run past the enemies to reach the chaingun ASAP and promote infighting, but there's just too many hitscanners in open spaces to make that feasible, so I had to shotgun them down the boring way. For a level called "Armory," supplies are remarkably scarce - there's little health or armor to be found, and there's not much weaponry either. There's a rocket launcher at the far end of the map, but only a pittance of ammo for it, and it's not even the first appearance of the weapon in the game. If that was meant to be a reward for finding the secret level, it's quite underwhelming. The layout is mostly large boring rectangles connected one after another. I ended up putting little effort into running this map because it just wasn't fun to play.

 

E1M4 - Good amount of environmental variety in this map (different themes, height changes, etc.), and there are some satisfying rocket opportunities in the map. I don't have much else to say about it, though don't take that as a bad thing - it's a strong entry to the episode.

 

E1M5 - Perhaps my favorite level in the episode, though it's admittedly a bit of an acquired taste. Navigation's confusing on first playthrough (not helped by how samey the areas can look), but after gaining familiarity with it I found it to flow surprisingly well, with a satisfying path that crisscrosses itself a bunch but has little backtracking.

 

E1M6 - I enjoy some parts of this level but not others. For example, I like the big fight in the outdoor area - perhaps the first time in the game you can really let loose. I don't like the red key section and the leadup to it, though at the moment I can't place my finger on why exactly that is. There's also a good deal of backtracking to do here. Overall I like this map, but that impression is carried a lot by the map's highlights.

 

E1M7 - I like the layout and locales presented in this level, but I think it could use some adjustments in the weapons/ammo distribution. Ammo for the chaingun and rocket launcher doesn't last long here, forcing a lot of shotgun usage that I think makes the level feel more grindy than it needs to be. If I didn't have to spend so much of it chipping away with the shotgun, this would be a strong contender for my favorite level of the episode.

 

E1M8 - I don't have much to say about this map. It's a pretty unremarkable boss map, but not outright terrible either. I do like the atmosphere the MIDI provides.

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A little question, I've noticed that the old shotgun sprites had gloves, but the new ones don't, do you know why? I like the gloves

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18 minutes ago, Lol 6 said:

A little question, I've noticed that the old shotgun sprites had gloves, but the new ones don't, do you know why? I like the gloves

Did all other sprites have gloves? Maybe it was for consistency.

 

Anyway, what do yall think about my sprite edits, and my tweaked E1M1? I'm not sure how submission process to Freedoom works exactly.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Shino1 said:

I'm not sure how submission process to Freedoom works exactly.

Can't give feedback right now, but generally after you've gotten and applied feedback from either the forums or the Discord you create a pull request for https://github.com/freedoom/freedoom. If you aren't familiar with Git, there are some people on the Discord who might also be willing to create the pull request on your behalf.

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Just now, northivanastan said:

Can't give feedback right now, but generally after you've gotten and applied feedback from either the forums or the Discord you create a pull request for https://github.com/freedoom/freedoom. If you aren't familiar with Git, there are some people on the Discord who might also be willing to create the pull request on your behalf.

I'm familiar with git, I'm not a coder but I am an artist on some projects that use it. Thank you!

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16 minutes ago, northivanastan said:

Can't give feedback right now, but generally after you've gotten and applied feedback from either the forums or the Discord you create a pull request for https://github.com/freedoom/freedoom. If you aren't familiar with Git, there are some people on the Discord who might also be willing to create the pull request on your behalf.

Hey pal, can you send the discord link?

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Oops my bad, XD

 

Anyways, I have a "Walkthrough" demo, showing the intended path to take in C1M1, hope you like it :)

(As the name of the zip implies, I played in skill 3, cuz I usually play that way)

c1m1sk3m248.zip

 

I just cheked the fix, it's good, it would be good to see it implemented in the Iwad

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6 hours ago, Lol 6 said:

Oops my bad, XD

 

Anyways, I have a "Walkthrough" demo, showing the intended path to take in C1M1, hope you like it :)

(As the name of the zip implies, I played in skill 3, cuz I usually play that way)

c1m1sk3m248.zip

 

I just cheked the fix, it's good, it would be good to see it implemented in the Iwad

Thank you for the feedback! I'm glad you liked it!

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Posted (edited)

@Shinol, I like your changes to C1M1, in particular the prison cell idea (although I would make the second cell accessible, but that's a question of personal taste - I never liked it when an in theory reachable area in a Doom map was totally inaccessible) and I think it also generally plays easier (a little bit less ammo starvation), which is good for an introductory level. I encourage you to submit it. I'm not participating in Freedoom at this moment but I'm observing its evolution, and once I get some experience with mapping I would also perhaps contribute something.

 

I also generally prefer the "improve maps" approach in contrast to the "remove maps and put others into it", as long as the maps aren't complete garbage. For example I had some ideas how to improve some old Freedoom maps from 0.7 and 0.8 but I think they're now totally discarded - just for fun I am (very slowly) working on a "Freedoom Legacy - Slaughter Edition" with hard fights stuffed into these old maps - but I don't know if it will really see a release. ;D

 

About the barrel I have a little concern: the strong red colour could introduce too much "character" too it (the original barrel is pretty grey and "colourless"), so it might not fit with some types of textures or floors. I like the change to the lamp, for the same reason - the strong green is a bit too "colourful". (I hope you understand what I mean I'm searching for English words ... ).

 

The lost soul replacement with a robot hand instead is a good idea, would love to see work on it. The Summoner is the Pain Elemental replacement or the archvile? Because while the Pain Elemental imo could be improved or replaced, the Archvile (the "killing eye" version) is in my opinion one of the best monsters in general of Freedoom so I wouldn't like it to be replaced.

 

@northivanastan and @Shepardus: I agree mostly with your reviews. Some notes (in spoilers for Shinol) :) :


 

Spoiler

 

In contrast to Shepardus I liked C1M2, we are still in the introductory phase so a linear level isn't bad at this stage. And the map gives you some options how to tackle the blue part - while it strongly suggests to use the blue door near the blue key, you can also return to the starting area and take the other blue door (which is funny because you're then assaulting some monsters from behind). Perhaps the blue key reveal could be improved, for example with a hidden passage reaching the key or the switch, but the ambush there is pretty well made.

 

C1M9, in contrast, needs at least heavy reworking, if not a completely new map. The crate area is underdeveloped, here some nice exploration could take place but doesn't. And the looooong hitscanner corridor really needs to change.

 

I also completely agree that C1M8 is too easy and needs stealth worms or other baddies supporting the Pain Lords. 8 and 9 are clearly the weakest levels in the episode.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

spoilers for e1m9

Spoiler

 

11 minutes ago, erzboesewicht said:

C1M9, in contrast, needs at least heavy reworking, if not a completely new map.

Indeed. I actually recently learned that there is a new E1M9 in the works by Mortrixs and original author Xindage: https://github.com/freedoom/freedoom/pull/680, https://github.com/freedoom/freedoom/pull/703.

 

Much better than the original, for sure.

 

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Thanks for sharing the map, I think indeed it its much better than the current one.

 

Spoiler

Perhaps the progression after the yellow door is a bit confusing if you forgot about that strange corridor leading to the exit at the lift, and the secret chain to the plasma rifle is a bit difficult to find (I would place the little switch in a non-damaging area).

 

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17 minutes ago, erzboesewicht said:

Thanks for sharing the map, I think indeed it its much better than the current one.

 

  Hide contents

Perhaps the progression after the yellow door is a bit confusing if you forgot about that strange corridor leading to the exit at the lift, and the secret chain to the plasma rifle is a bit difficult to find (I would place the little switch in a non-damaging area).

 

If you'd like the Freedoom contributors to see this you might want to comment that here:

 

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I do not like the new starting location; it feels tacked on and unnecessary. Just because the map is called "Outer Prisons" does not mean you have to start in a holding cell, especially if it is going to look nothing like the ones located on the other side of the map; in the same line of thinking, just because Doom's E1M1 is called "Hangar" does not mean you have to start the level on a landing pad.

 

The other changes, I am fine with.

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35 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

I do not like the new starting location; it feels tacked on and unnecessary. Just because the map is called "Outer Prisons" does not mean you have to start in a holding cell, especially if it is going to look nothing like the ones located on the other side of the map; in the same line of thinking, just because Doom's E1M1 is called "Hangar" does not mean you have to start the level on a landing pad.

 

The other changes, I am fine with.

i like it

it also helps with a bit more of enviromental story telling especially because your cell looks way harder to escape then the others

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2 hours ago, Rudolph said:

I do not like the new starting location; it feels tacked on and unnecessary. Just because the map is called "Outer Prisons" does not mean you have to start in a holding cell, especially if it is going to look nothing like the ones located on the other side of the map; in the same line of thinking, just because Doom's E1M1 is called "Hangar" does not mean you have to start the level on a landing pad.

 

The other changes, I am fine with.

It was a reference to beginning of Wolfenstein 3D. Hence the dead guard and pistol in your hand.

4 hours ago, erzboesewicht said:

@Shinol, I like your changes to C1M1, in particular the prison cell idea (although I would make the second cell accessible, but that's a question of personal taste - I never liked it when an in theory reachable area in a Doom map was totally inaccessible) and I think it also generally plays easier (a little bit less ammo starvation), which is good for an introductory level. I encourage you to submit it. I'm not participating in Freedoom at this moment but I'm observing its evolution, and once I get some experience with mapping I would also perhaps contribute something.

  

I also generally prefer the "improve maps" approach in contrast to the "remove maps and put others into it", as long as the maps aren't complete garbage. For example I had some ideas how to improve some old Freedoom maps from 0.7 and 0.8 but I think they're now totally discarded - just for fun I am (very slowly) working on a "Freedoom Legacy - Slaughter Edition" with hard fights stuffed into these old maps - but I don't know if it will really see a release. ;D

 

About the barrel I have a little concern: the strong red colour could introduce too much "character" too it (the original barrel is pretty grey and "colourless"), so it might not fit with some types of textures or floors. I like the change to the lamp, for the same reason - the strong green is a bit too "colourful". (I hope you understand what I mean I'm searching for English words ... ).

 

The lost soul replacement with a robot hand instead is a good idea, would love to see work on it. The Summoner is the Pain Elemental replacement or the archvile? Because while the Pain Elemental imo could be improved or replaced, the Archvile (the "killing eye" version) is in my opinion one of the best monsters in general of Freedoom so I wouldn't like it to be replaced.

 

@northivanastan and @Shepardus: I agree mostly with your reviews. Some notes (in spoilers for Shinol) :) :


 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

In contrast to Shepardus I liked C1M2, we are still in the introductory phase so a linear level isn't bad at this stage. And the map gives you some options how to tackle the blue part - while it strongly suggests to use the blue door near the blue key, you can also return to the starting area and take the other blue door (which is funny because you're then assaulting some monsters from behind). Perhaps the blue key reveal could be improved, for example with a hidden passage reaching the key or the switch, but the ambush there is pretty well made.

 

C1M9, in contrast, needs at least heavy reworking, if not a completely new map. The crate area is underdeveloped, here some nice exploration could take place but doesn't. And the looooong hitscanner corridor really needs to change.

 

I also completely agree that C1M8 is too easy and needs stealth worms or other baddies supporting the Pain Lords. 8 and 9 are clearly the weakest levels in the episode.

 

 

 

 

The thing is, I have no clue how to solve that issue. On one hand, you need the barrel to look obviously like an explosive barrel. Red is an obvious choice here. On the other hand, it should look more or less like barrels from old Doom. I can't think of a simple way to resolve this. The best way I can think of is to use glowing green color (which is present in original barrel) to create a large spray-painted stencil saying TNT on the barrel.

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It looks like there's some kind of vanilla incompatibility in MAP15.

 

Recently I played the Phase 2 experimental build in FastDoom, which is a vanilla DOS port geared towards optimised performance on low-end hardware (like an actual 386). I played through the first couple of levels with no issue, but once I decided to check if the demos would desynch or not the game froze on the very first Phase 2 demo which happens to be MAP15:

fdoom_000.png.bb0912f961cc284836915c645026c598.png

At first I thought it was a demo thing, but then I checked the demos in Phase 1, and all work exceptionally fine -- I believe they don't desynch at all.

 

So I warped to MAP15 and the game crashed at the very same point:

dosbox_027.png.dedf3638be832f1fc04a93192f25ae60.png

I am not competent to tell what is causing the error. DOS MBF does not have any issues, but it's not strictly vanilla.

 

I believe FastDoom is generally a good candidate for becoming the "official" DOS binary for Freed∞m so I guess it would be nice to have everything compatible.

 

Also unlike MBF, FastDoom supports Gravis Ultrasound output and Freed∞m music sounds very well with GUS.

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13 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

It looks like there's some kind of vanilla incompatibility in MAP15. 

 

Recently I played the Phase 2 experimental build in FastDoom, which is a vanilla DOS port geared towards optimised performance on low-end hardware (like an actual 386). I played through the first couple of levels with no issue, but once I decided to check if the demos would desynch or not the game froze on the very first Phase 2 demo which happens to be MAP15: 

Did some testing myself on Chocolate Doom. There were issues with MAP15 in an older version of Freedoom that I tested (0.11.3), but in the experimental build everything works fine, both the demo and the map.

 

Meanwhile, Phase 1's second demo, for E2M3, does desync in the experimental version as well as the current master branch. That does need to be replaced.

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