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Regular Warren

Astral Abstraction: Episode 1 (Demo) | Build 2

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Very glad to see you've been busy since releasing Assembly Line. Giving this a download, I'm eager to play it!

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Generally good architecture and use of customised monsters; and unusually for a modernistic view and a TC, it does still vaguely resemble Doom. But two things stand out as big red flags:

 

1) Constant ambushes where (a) the doors close behind you locking you in forcing a head-on challenge and leaving you no way to cleverly defeat the demons by tactics, (b) the trap springs even before you pick up the bait just because you moved near it.

 

Since this is a TC, (b) can *just about* be forgiven, but in general breaking DooM conventions is just annoying. However, (a) as well as spoiling the gameplay for people who are not Doom Gods, gets tedious: "Oh look, the doors closed behind me" ... kills demons ... "Oh look, the doors opened again" ... "how convenient!". It breaks the illusion of reality. If you're going to go for this in the final product, please consider having some in-game justification; for example, give the impression that the Big Demon, Sentient Evil AI, whatever, is watching you all the time; for example, obvious security cameras visible and maybe monitors in places with creepy messages.

 

2) Very hard even on HMP in level 2 being spammed by mancs and revs; please respect difficulty levels; this falls into the !CSRE2M2 trap (I think it was that one) in which a cyberdemon is on a pillar that you can lower and you have to shoot him a few bullets at a time before the pillar raises again. Yes with practice it can be beaten, but you will die of boredom long before the demons can kill you. Also, if it's this hard even in the second level, it will only get harder. Doom should be a challenge - not a chore.

 

I gave up in level 2 because of these, which is a shame as it has some promise. Perhaps mention recommended difficulty levels with a general summary of how each affects the gameplay. I'll have a play through on HNTR when I have an hour or so to spare, as this is worth pursuing.

 

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52 minutes ago, Martin Howe said:

Generally good architecture and use of customised monsters; and unusually for a modernistic view and a TC, it does still vaguely resemble Doom. But two things stand out as big red flags:

 

1) Constant ambushes where (a) the doors close behind you locking you in forcing a head-on challenge and leaving you no way to cleverly defeat the demons by tactics, (b) the trap springs even before you pick up the bait just because you moved near it.

 

Since this is a TC, (b) can *just about* be forgiven, but in general breaking DooM conventions is just annoying. However, (a) as well as spoiling the gameplay for people who are not Doom Gods, gets tedious: "Oh look, the doors closed behind me" ... kills demons ... "Oh look, the doors opened again" ... "how convenient!". It breaks the illusion of reality. If you're going to go for this in the final product, please consider having some in-game justification; for example, give the impression that the Big Demon, Sentient Evil AI, whatever, is watching you all the time; for example, obvious security cameras visible and maybe monitors in places with creepy messages.

 

2) Very hard even on HMP in level 2 being spammed by mancs and revs; please respect difficulty levels; this falls into the !CSRE2M2 trap (I think it was that one) in which a cyberdemon is on a pillar that you can lower and you have to shoot him a few bullets at a time before the pillar raises again. Yes with practice it can be beaten, but you will die of boredom long before the demons can kill you. Also, if it's this hard even in the second level, it will only get harder. Doom should be a challenge - not a chore.

 

I gave up in level 2 because of these, which is a shame as it has some promise. Perhaps mention recommended difficulty levels with a general summary of how each affects the gameplay. I'll have a play through on HNTR when I have an hour or so to spare, as this is worth pursuing.

 

I appreciate the interest :D . Most of these issues will become less apparent in the later episodes, since I'd just come off of making my first release when working on this and played it safe.

This also hasn't been difficulty balanced yet because I don't know how my ability and view on difficulty matches up to other people's. One of the reasons I released it like this was to see what I could do balancing wise.

I have a lot to learn and I'm always grateful of a second opinion :D

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Posted (edited)

This screenshots look really good, I need to at least try this 

 

Edit: I'm on Map 2 and I jumped to get the blue key and when all the monsters spawned in there was a sound effect and I did a small jump in my seat lol

 

Another edit: In map 3 near the plasma rifle there are some textures on doors that are supposed to be unpegged

Edited by 1Destro3456

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20 minutes ago, 1Destro3456 said:

This screenshots look really good, I need to at least try this 

 

Edit: I'm on Map 2 and I jumped to get the blue key and when all the monsters spawned in there was a sound effect and I did a small jump in my seat lol

I kinda forgot that the teleport sound stacked when I made that fight heh

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1 minute ago, Regular Warren said:

I kinda forgot that the teleport sound stacked when I made that fight heh

I thought that was on purpose to scare the player for a moment

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3 minutes ago, 1Destro3456 said:

I thought that was on purpose to scare the player for a moment

That's a good idea I might explore though >:D

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Posted (edited)

It's come to my attention that the message in the top right can intersect with pickup messages at certain resolutions and also has a spelling mistake don't look at it D:

If that's the case for you,  you can type "pukename _devbuildhide" in console to hide it

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On 4/4/2021 at 5:04 PM, Regular Warren said:

 

-Jumping is permitted, future builds will feature completely rewritten jumping code.

 

I hope that the future build do have a rewritten jumping code because in map 4 you can skip a fight by jumping to get the red skullkey so I just checked to see if jumping was permitted I guess I won't try to skip something now with jumping even if I could

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5 hours ago, 1Destro3456 said:

I hope that the future build do have a rewritten jumping code because in map 4 you can skip a fight by jumping to get the red skullkey so I just checked to see if jumping was permitted I guess I won't try to skip something now with jumping even if I could

I forgot to blockline that one instance heh, still getting used to designing maps that allow jumping

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Loved the experience! Such clean "minimalist" aesthetics, reminds me of "Portal" or "Q.U.B.E" kinda games, captures that isolated atmosphere so well.

Weapons feel great, and action is literally thrown in your face.

The only thing I would fix could be the "Gatekeeper":

Spoiler

1st attempt he rejected all my rockets, then I died by his mighty fist.

Then I tried the "chaingun" and he couldnt even move, maybe is his only way to kill him? was a bit confusing.

Highly recommended, cant wait for more maps!

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14 hours ago, Soulless said:

Loved the experience! Such clean "minimalist" aesthetics, reminds me of "Portal" or "Q.U.B.E" kinda games, captures that isolated atmosphere so well.

Weapons feel great, and action is literally thrown in your face.

The only thing I would fix could be the "Gatekeeper":

  Reveal hidden contents

1st attempt he rejected all my rockets, then I died by his mighty fist.

Then I tried the "chaingun" and he couldnt even move, maybe is his only way to kill him? was a bit confusing.

Highly recommended, cant wait for more maps!

Thanks :D

Spoiler

The gatekeeper reflects attacks unless they're glowing orange. As for the chaingun stunlocking them, that is a problem. I'll have to think of a way to make that less possible without rendering the chaingun completely useless in that fight

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Build 2 out now: 

New Map 

Spoiler

The new secret level can be found from E1M3

New Weapon

And some reworked level sections + small improvements

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Posted (edited)

I agree with Martin Howe. About the difficulty, while new weapons feel good (inf ammo pistol!), my biggest problem is the damage of projectiles from enemies seems much(?) higher than vanilla, especially Arachnotron can easily one-shot me with full (100) health w/o armor in HMP difficulty. Combining with the scarcity of armor in the game, each arena fight feels something like a bullet hell game to me, with tight tolerance of mistakes in combat.

 

The secret level and map4 are better because of less "shut the doors and kick you inside the arena" fights, and I can backtrack using previous rooms as buffer zones.

 

EDIT: Oh, ok, got my butt kicked by the gatekeeper hard.

Spoiler

I mean, having shields is fine, but reflecting rockets/plasma balls? Should have guessed that when there are enough shells for full ammo... SSG is probably the only effective weapon against him because the little time window he can be damaged.

 

Edited by NovaRain

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8 hours ago, NovaRain said:

I agree with Martin Howe. About the difficulty, while new weapons feel good (inf ammo pistol!), my biggest problem is the damage of projectiles from enemies seems much(?) higher than vanilla, especially Arachnotron can easily one-shot me with full (100) health w/o armor in HMP difficulty. Combining with the scarcity of armor in the game, each arena fight feels something like a bullet hell game to me, with tight tolerance of mistakes in combat.

 

The secret level and map4 are better because of less "shut the doors and kick you inside the arena" fights, and I can backtrack using previous rooms as buffer zones.

 

EDIT: Oh, ok, got my butt kicked by the gatekeeper hard.

  Reveal hidden contents

I mean, having shields is fine, but reflecting rockets/plasma balls? Should have guessed that when there are enough shells for full ammo... SSG is probably the only effective weapon against him because the little time window he can be damaged.

 

Other than the Arachnotron (which will be nerfed in later releases), the damage values of enemy projectiles are identical, the main idea of releasing the demo was to iron out the gameplay so don't be afraid to point out any gripes you have, even if they are minor :D

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Mostly good stuff going on here. A few thoughts though that will be hidden behind the spoiler tag for those who want to play blind:

 



Better Pistol with Infinite Ammo? Makes most encounters long but not that hard, meaning you only reach for the real guns when needed.

 

Why is the Arachnotron way too OP? Fast projectiles that instantly one-shot the Marine (or anything else that happens to infight it)

The Gatekeeper also kicked my ass too.

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17 hours ago, Traysandor said:

Mostly good stuff going on here. A few thoughts though that will be hidden behind the spoiler tag for those who want to play blind:

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 


Better Pistol with Infinite Ammo? Makes most encounters long but not that hard, meaning you only reach for the real guns when needed.

 

Why is the Arachnotron way too OP? Fast projectiles that instantly one-shot the Marine (or anything else that happens to infight it)

The Gatekeeper also kicked my ass too.
 

 

 

Thanks :D

Spoiler

Arachnotron has since been nerfed by a lot. Might take a while to see that though since the next public release will be the full set

 

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Yo. Interesting wad.

 

The spiders were definitely my favorite part - the insta-gib factor is great. I wished that they were used more often because the layouts really lend themselves well to the attack (long straight hallways everywhere). This became very apparent in map04.

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This looks like it's going to be epic I can't wait.

 

Made a video of the first two maps. I used mods so hold on tight universe.

 

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I really appreciate the surge of interest recently <3. To keep you all updated, I just finished E2M2, the project is moving at a steady pace and we might even see a full release this year at this rate.

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