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TheGreenZap

Alpha King - a single map

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Posted (edited)

This is my first map and I want to thank @Omniarch for mentoring me along on this one. When I mentioned I wanted to get into mapping, he was happy to help me. So I owe a big thank you to him!

Thank you to @LordEntr0py and @Biodegradable for playtesting and helping me track down texture alignments, giving me tips and other things.

 

Testing by:
@Omniarch
@LordEntr0py
@Biodegradable


Name: Alpha King
Map Format: limit-removing
Ports Tested: GZDoom 5.0. PrBoom+
IWAD: doom2.wad
Map(s): MAP01
Music:  dfd5.mid by @Ribbiks
Gameplay: Single player
Build Time: 3 weeks
Textures: Used basic Doom 2 textures
Requirements: No jumping or crouching. Freelook encouraged.
Difficulty Settings: Yes. This is a moderate difficulty map. I encourage you to try it on UV even. It's definitely doable. But UV, HMP, and HNTR are all implemented.


Story:
This location has been found by the space marines to be a danger to Earth. Aliens have setup base in this old abandoned building and made it their own. The marines have sent special units in before, never to be seen again. Now they are counting on you! What they don't know is that this base is home of the Alpha King, a rather powerful alien that just may be more than you bargained for.


I would love to hear your feedback.

 

Download:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bTW-JJJ3QR1av9WCa7Aa76xhrkM3SzIq/view?usp=sharing

 

Screenshots:

 

 

Screenshot_Doom_20210412_213957.png

Screenshot_Doom_20210412_215447.png

Screenshot_Doom_20210427_183655.png

Screenshot_Doom_20210427_183829.png

Screenshot_Doom_20210427_184031.png

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This was great stuff! I had fun playing through this. Here are my two cents, for whatever they're worth (I'm still pretty new to mapping/giving map feedback, so keep that in mind).

 

Gameplay:

Spoiler

- The map starts out strong with shotgunners and imps in close quarters, all of which were hidden nicely behind pillars and made pretty dangerous by the limited space and weapons. The fight right after that was also very strong. At first, I was thinking, "oh, we have a door problem here," but then immediately took that back after being bitten unexpectedly from a pinky behind me -- excellent setup there with the pinkies sneakily coming in from behind. 

 

- After that very strong start (first two rooms), the enemy placement felt just a bit weaker, with encounters usually having enemies appear in front of you, usually down a hallway or through a door (though there were a few exceptions -- a few cases where you lower down to a room full of enemies both in front and to the flanks). This was not bad for some encounters, though, such as the "fork" area with four separate parallel hallways connected by one hallway at the end of each. But definitely in the last encounter, it felt a bit too easy to lure enemies out of the big room a few at a time, keeping them all bunched up, straight in front of you down the hallway. 

 

- The chaingunner ambush after the yellow key pickup was a good idea, but could be made deadlier by having the chaingunners wake up before the monster closet door opens, so that they start moving toward you as soon as you pick up the yellow key. I'm a fan of ambushers that trickle in from a distance, as this makes things less predictable and so potentially more fun, so I like that you didn't just have them immediately teleport in next to you. As they were positioned, though, they were a bit easy to trivialize -- only coming out of the monster closet a few at a time once you come into their field of view, making it easy to spam SSG shots into the monster closet entrance from the nearby doorway before they get a chance to fire a shot at you.  Another possible solution to this would be to split them up across multiple monster closets, so they're not all bunched up in one spot (or even better, both split them up across different monster closets in different locations and have them woken up so that they immediately start walking toward you once you pick up the yellow key).

 

Aesthetically speaking, I thought you did a solid job. I especially liked the lighting contrasts. You had a good amount of height variation, interesting ceilings, alcoves, and floor details, I thought. Good texture usage overall. The only nitpicks I have on that front were a few cases where there is a bit too abrupt of a texture change without a transition (for example, a corner with brown bricks on one side and green bricks immediately on the other). I like that you came up with a little story behind the map as well (cool throne room at the end). 

 

Overall, again, I had a lot of fun with this. I hope this is helpful, and that you make more maps!

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21 minutes ago, Fiendish said:

This was great stuff! I had fun playing through this. Here are my two cents, for whatever they're worth (I'm still pretty new to mapping/giving map feedback, so keep that in mind).

 

Gameplay:

  Reveal hidden contents

- The map starts out strong with shotgunners and imps in close quarters, all of which were hidden nicely behind pillars and made pretty dangerous by the limited space and weapons. The fight right after that was also very strong. At first, I was thinking, "oh, we have a door problem here," but then immediately took that back after being bitten unexpectedly from a pinky behind me -- excellent setup there with the pinkies sneakily coming in from behind. 

 

- After that very strong start (first two rooms), the enemy placement felt just a bit weaker, with encounters usually having enemies appear in front of you, usually down a hallway or through a door (though there were a few exceptions -- a few cases where you lower down to a room full of enemies both in front and to the flanks). This was not bad for some encounters, though, such as the "fork" area with four separate parallel hallways connected by one hallway at the end of each. But definitely in the last encounter, it felt a bit too easy to lure enemies out of the big room a few at a time, keeping them all bunched up, straight in front of you down the hallway. 

 

- The chaingunner ambush after the yellow key pickup was a good idea, but could be made deadlier by having the chaingunners wake up before the monster closet door opens, so that they start moving toward you as soon as you pick up the yellow key. I'm a fan of ambushers that trickle in from a distance, as this makes things less predictable and so potentially more fun, so I like that you didn't just have them immediately teleport in next to you. As they were positioned, though, they were a bit easy to trivialize -- only coming out of the monster closet a few at a time once you come into their field of view, making it easy to spam SSG shots into the monster closet entrance from the nearby doorway before they get a chance to fire a shot at you.  Another possible solution to this would be to split them up across multiple monster closets, so they're not all bunched up in one spot (or even better, both split them up across different monster closets in different locations and have them woken up so that they immediately start walking toward you once you pick up the yellow key).

 

Aesthetically speaking, I thought you did a solid job. I especially liked the lighting contrasts. You had a good amount of height variation, interesting ceilings, alcoves, and floor details, I thought. Good texture usage overall. The only nitpicks I have on that front were a few cases where there is a bit too abrupt of a texture change without a transition (for example, a corner with brown bricks on one side and green bricks immediately on the other). I like that you came up with a little story behind the map as well (cool throne room at the end). 

 

Overall, again, I had a lot of fun with this. I hope this is helpful, and that you make more maps!

 

I really appreciate you playing through the map!

I thought your comments were very helpful.

 

Yes, agreed on the abrupt transition of textures. I should have put in a type of border to help with that. I will do that on the next one.

Thank you for all of your comments. I am definitely glad to hear everyone's suggestions because it will help me improve as a mapper and your comments were very helpful!

 

Spoiler

I'm not sure why the chain gunners don't come out and come searching, because I do not have them set to ambush and I open that closet when the yellow key is taken. Maybe the closet is too small, I'm not sure. I'll have to investigate that.

 

Yes, I was afraid that might happen on the last encounter. I'm thinking I should have worked that a different way. I will revisit it and see.

 

These are great suggestions and I'm working on another map, so I will definitely be keeping this in mind.

 

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1 hour ago, TheGreenZap said:

 

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I'm not sure why the chain gunners don't come out and come searching, because I do not have them set to ambush and I open that closet when the yellow key is taken. Maybe the closet is too small, I'm not sure. I'll have to investigate that.

 

Yes, I was afraid that might happen on the last encounter. I'm thinking I should have worked that a different way. I will revisit it and see.

 

These are great suggestions and I'm working on another map, so I will definitely be keeping this in mind.

 

Glad you found them helpful! About the chaingunners...

 

Spoiler

Even though they're not set to ambushers, they won't come toward you right when the door opens because the door blocks sound from reaching them. So they won't "wake up" until their door is open and either a shot is fired or you come into their line of sight. There are a few ways you could get around this. The easiest is to make the sector inside the monster closet joined with a sector outside of it, so that sound will reach the chaingunners before their door opens. (Not sure if you're familiar with joining sectors, but what it does is make two sectors into one, even if they don't touch each other. Very helpful both for helping sound to reach monsters you want it to and for controlling how high up/down you want floors to move with "floor lower to highest floor" actions and the like. The default key to join sectors in Ultimate Doom Builder is "j", I think.) 

 

One trick I've learned recently, which might also be helpful in this case and cases like it, is using the IDDT cheat twice to see how monsters move around on the automap when you are in various locations. This can be really helpful in finding bottlenecks or monsters that aren't waking up when you want them to. It might not be necessary in this case, but it's definitely been a godsend for me in dealing with situations like this one.

 

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1 hour ago, Fiendish said:

 

Glad you found them helpful! About the chaingunners...

 

  Hide contents

Even though they're not set to ambushers, they won't come toward you right when the door opens because the door blocks sound from reaching them. So they won't "wake up" until their door is open and either a shot is fired or you come into their line of sight. There are a few ways you could get around this. The easiest is to make the sector inside the monster closet joined with a sector outside of it, so that sound will reach the chaingunners before their door opens. (Not sure if you're familiar with joining sectors, but what it does is make two sectors into one, even if they don't touch each other. Very helpful both for helping sound to reach monsters you want it to and for controlling how high up/down you want floors to move with "floor lower to highest floor" actions and the like. The default key to join sectors in Ultimate Doom Builder is "j", I think.) 

 

One trick I've learned recently, which might also be helpful in this case and cases like it, is using the IDDT cheat twice to see how monsters move around on the automap when you are in various locations. This can be really helpful in finding bottlenecks or monsters that aren't waking up when you want them to. It might not be necessary in this case, but it's definitely been a godsend for me in dealing with situations like this one.

 

 

Ohhhhhhh, this is extremely helpful, thank you! I didn't know that.

 

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Here's my playthrough of your map:

 

 

I think the effort put into this pays off for a first map. It shows off a lot of consideration on your part in how the encounters are setup and what the progression entails, and I think that's a very important aspect to get right. I really like the main hub area and how it was setup, but was disappointed it wasn't reused as a combat space. It CAN get tedious to make the players constantly fight new monsters while backtracking through old areas, but I think it's warranted in more memorable spaces like the hub in this level. The map has some good surprises and gives you several opportunities to engage with some good decision making, and I'd like to see more of that in any future maps you do.

 

We can talk about the more novice aspects of the layout and visual design, but honestly I think that conversation boils down mostly to "just keep practicing". And of course, play a lot of other Doom WADS. Figure out which maps inspire your style, and try to look at what gives them their character. It will also be well worth it to start getting more discerning with your texture usage; being mindful of alignment, border textures, etc. One major tip I'd offer is to consider making the length of your lines congruent with the size of the textures you use. If you use a texture that's 256 units wide for instance, try to make sure the wall's length is a multiple of 256. This also applies to the height of your rooms. That simple detail will go a VERY long way in making your map look tighter, if that makes sense (it also has the effect of helping you more intuitively feel the appropriate size/scale of the spaces you design).

 

You're off to a good start, and I see a lot of promise in maps you make in the future.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, LVENdead said:

Here's my playthrough of your map:

 

 

I think the effort put into this pays off for a first map. It shows off a lot of consideration on your part in how the encounters are setup and what the progression entails, and I think that's a very important aspect to get right. I really like the main hub area and how it was setup, but was disappointed it wasn't reused as a combat space. It CAN get tedious to make the players constantly fight new monsters while backtracking through old areas, but I think it's warranted in more memorable spaces like the hub in this level. The map has some good surprises and gives you several opportunities to engage with some good decision making, and I'd like to see more of that in any future maps you do.

 

We can talk about the more novice aspects of the layout and visual design, but honestly I think that conversation boils down mostly to "just keep practicing". And of course, play a lot of other Doom WADS. Figure out which maps inspire your style, and try to look at what gives them their character. It will also be well worth it to start getting more discerning with your texture usage; being mindful of alignment, border textures, etc. One major tip I'd offer is to consider making the length of your lines congruent with the size of the textures you use. If you use a texture that's 256 units wide for instance, try to make sure the wall's length is a multiple of 256. This also applies to the height of your rooms. That simple detail will go a VERY long way in making your map look tighter, if that makes sense (it also has the effect of helping you more intuitively feel the appropriate size/scale of the spaces you design).

 

You're off to a good start, and I see a lot of promise in maps you make in the future.

 

Hey man, I really appreciate you playing through my map. I am already working on a new map and implementing some of the things I have learned from the this one. You made me think about some other things that I had not thought of before and that's awesome, because my goal is to become a better mapper. So I will definitely be taking your suggestions into my next map and improving. I am a fan of your videos and I appreciate you taking the time to make this one and provide your thoughts on this map.

 

Borders are a huge thing and even though LordEntr0py mentioned it to me, I didn't quite get it at the time. But now I do and have already started to use those in my other map.

 

I'm glad you liked the throne in the throne room. I played in the 90s and I think things like this will come out naturally in my mapping.

 

Thank you!

 

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I tested out Alpha King.wad with GZDoom on Hurt Me Plenty, and I was overall impressed with the map, 71/100. I would recommend Alpha King.wad to anyone searching for a standard Doom II map. The level design is planned out very well, and the map was challenging enough. The first area of the map, I noticed all of the enemies will enter the starting room. The enemies would fight each other instead of the player. Have the monsters appear throughout the map instead of placing all enemies in 1 location. There is not enough room for enemies to move around in these situations. Spread out enemies in the map to have enemy placement appear more randomized. Add more details to your maps, I didn't notice any details that would stand out in the map.

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55 minutes ago, FireWarden1000 said:

I tested out Alpha King.wad with GZDoom on Hurt Me Plenty, and I was overall impressed with the map, 71/100. I would recommend Alpha King.wad to anyone searching for a standard Doom II map. The level design is planned out very well, and the map was challenging enough. The first area of the map, I noticed all of the enemies will enter the starting room. The enemies would fight each other instead of the player. Have the monsters appear throughout the map instead of placing all enemies in 1 location. There is not enough room for enemies to move around in these situations. Spread out enemies in the map to have enemy placement appear more randomized. Add more details to your maps, I didn't notice any details that would stand out in the map.

 

Thank you, I appreciate you playing my first map. Yes, there are actually a lot of issues with this map and I have taken the feedback from others and learned a lot. I am working on my second map now and feel like I am making greater strides in mapping. So be sure to look for it in the near future. One day, I will probably remake Alpha King and improve it. Thanks again!

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Posted (edited)

Pretty cool map! 

 

I ran out of ammo before the part with the

Spoiler

pain elemental

but hey, maybe that's a lesson about economics or something ;)

 

I enjoyed the boss fight, although it's a pity that it didn't take place in the actual throne room. The boss monster came out into the narrow corridors pretty eagerly, where I could defeat it much easier, utilizing the loop-around passage and the secret door.

 

I'm glad I could climb up and "sit" in the throne at the end ;) Maybe there could be even a small reward for that? If the player climbs up to the throne, maybe it's like a teleport pad or a pressure plate that open up a small secret stash of goodies (if this becomes part of a multi-level wad).

 

Edit: oh, and cool music, well done @Ribbiks

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I played this on UV. Great job for a first map!

 

- The pillar spacing with the Stimpacks at the start felt a little weird. The gap is just wide enough to squeeze by from one side, though you can easily get it from the other side. It felt a little... awkward.

- The Armor appears quite late into the level, though admittedly there is quite a bit of health beforehand.

- The RL I think bothered me the most. It's there for the player, and also the ammo immediately afterwards indicates that you should have this weapon, yet it's actually a secret to obtain. That just felt a little off to me, and I did in fact beat the final fight without it and then backtracked to work out how to get it.

 

I also agree with evil_scientist that it would be good to have the last fight in the actual room itself. I got rushed down so quickly that I just fought in the corridor. A different approach to this may be to give the RL earlier somewhere, but turn the current secret into a MegaArmor. Then have some more enemies in the final room, but have a switch on the throne reveal a Blue Key (which you would need to exit) and have that spring an AV trap on the player.

 

But overall for a first map, this is a fantastic start!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Degree23 said:

I played this on UV. Great job for a first map!

 

- The pillar spacing with the Stimpacks at the start felt a little weird. The gap is just wide enough to squeeze by from one side, though you can easily get it from the other side. It felt a little... awkward.

- The Armor appears quite late into the level, though admittedly there is quite a bit of health beforehand.

- The RL I think bothered me the most. It's there for the player, and also the ammo immediately afterwards indicates that you should have this weapon, yet it's actually a secret to obtain. That just felt a little off to me, and I did in fact beat the final fight without it and then backtracked to work out how to get it.

 

I also agree with evil_scientist that it would be good to have the last fight in the actual room itself. I got rushed down so quickly that I just fought in the corridor. A different approach to this may be to give the RL earlier somewhere, but turn the current secret into a MegaArmor. Then have some more enemies in the final room, but have a switch on the throne reveal a Blue Key (which you would need to exit) and have that spring an AV trap on the player.

 

But overall for a first map, this is a fantastic start!

 

Yes, I agree with all of that and thank you for the compliments as well. I feel I could easily fix this now and will probably redo the map down the road. I'll probably redo the entire map. I really appreciate you playing it! I'm almost finished with my second map, so I would appreciate you playing it when it is released.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, evil_scientist said:

Pretty cool map! 

 

I ran out of ammo before the part with the

  Reveal hidden contents

pain elemental

but hey, maybe that's a lesson about economics or something ;)

 

I enjoyed the boss fight, although it's a pity that it didn't take place in the actual throne room. The boss monster came out into the narrow corridors pretty eagerly, where I could defeat it much easier, utilizing the loop-around passage and the secret door.

 

I'm glad I could climb up and "sit" in the throne at the end ;) Maybe there could be even a small reward for that? If the player climbs up to the throne, maybe it's like a teleport pad or a pressure plate that open up a small secret stash of goodies (if this becomes part of a multi-level wad).

 

Edit: oh, and cool music, well done @Ribbiks

 

Thank you for playing it! Yes, I agree, the boss fight needs to take place in that room. At the time, I didn't know how to approach that, but now I do.

I'm glad you liked the throne! That is a really cool idea actually. If I redo this map in the future, I'll definitely do something like that.

Be sure to watch for my second map that I'm almost finished with. I would love for you to play it as well.

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