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Jimmy

𝐍𝐀𝐌𝐄𝐋𝐄𝐒𝐒 - a single map for GZDoom

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other people: untitled
Jimmy: Nameless

 

that SSG prop shot is amazing

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Good map, thanks for sharing.

"Atmosphere" is probably the defining word here. Vine-covered environments, "underwater" palette, tentacled imagery - all make for a rather unique setting. The only similar map I've played is Arcadia. 

Progression here is a bit too obscure for my liking, but I'm 99% sure it's all "part of the experience", so I don't think you should change anything. Didn't run into any bugs or balance issues either.

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Love those screenshot, especially the ssg shot is super dope. Always enjoyed your maps and i'm excited to try this one. 

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Ah yes The Nameless City. The first H.P. Lovecraft story that I ever read, and what got me hooked back in the day. Truly a haunting tale that chilled me to the core! This looks awesome!

 

Downloading now.

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Wow, a minisode in one map! ;)

 

I think it took me 3 weeks to finish this one, which is weird, because the starting monster count of 387 isn't a lot. At the end, there were 432, so I did okay at best in taking out the PEs expeditiously. All that said, the fact is I'm really not good at meandering, massive adventure/exploration maps. I spent more time looking for the Red Demon Mask than on any other aspect of the game. I had considered making a video of my FDA, but thank God I didn't. I actually had to quit for awhile because I wasn't getting anywhere on the Red Demon Mask search, and finish it the next day.

 

IMO the most important thing to say about this map is how stupendously gorgeous the architecture is. It is tasty and for me, will be quite influential. So many beautiful curved rooms, so many impressive structures. Everything from the castle keep to the natural environments was done exceptionally well. This really looks like a labor of love.

 

I'm impressed that there were so few mistakes in such a massive map. The main one I found is that Linedefs 5895, 5951 and 5973 are missing textures. There were also some horizontal misalignments on one of the rounded walls near a key door, but I forget which one. My bad, I'll try to do a -nomonsters walkhrough to see if I can find them.

 

The combat was about 80% sniper-based, which is not my favorite approach. It was also very hard to see the darker enemies such as Imps and the Caco replacement in the gloom and against the frequently dark backgrounds. I personally found that more annoying than challenging, and I also expended a lot of ammo taking out sniping nobles. At least the snipers never managed to kill me.

 

My first death came at the trap triggered by Linedef 2575. That was nasty! Throw 2 Revvies at me from one side and open a lava pit with a rocket launcher on the other. I died in the lava after falling in, but survived on my next try after I figured out how to escape, and then somehow survived grabbing the RL after I killed the Revvies.

 

Another nasty trap was the one where you grab a key, and then you get locked into the room as an Archie and a bunch of Pinkies teleport in. I survived this thanks to the incredible machine gun, which is my favorite weapon in this map. That thing can stun-lock and shred mid-tiers. It was very useful against the Caco replacement, which was for me the most formidable monster in the map apart from the Cybies. Oddly, I had no trouble at all with the Imps and their fast fireballs, but the Caco spit was extremely fast and those critters trolled The Ancient Keyboarder, killing me at least twice. In the final fight, I was able to do better by getting up in their grill and blasting with the SSG. That was one of the only opportunities I had to fight them up-close.

 

The other noteworthy battle was against the 5 Cybs. I got through the first 3 solo battles easy-peasy, but when I had to deal with 2 at once, I managed to stumble into enough obstructions to die about 5 times. Yeah, quite embarrassing. Very bad playing on my part. And then I find the secret BFG after I kill the Cybs. Btw, I'd been fiending for the Napalm Gun the whole map. At this point, I'd like to mention that several of the sounds, such as the Imp Death Cry, the thump of projectiles hitting things, and the grinding thump of descending lifts and lowering floors, all reminded me of sounds from Osiris. By the same token, when I grabbed my first napalm canister, I knew a flamethrower was coming, so all in all, it put me in mind of a personal favorite.

 

Another note; I found 7 of the 10 secrets. Some were easy, some were hard. I like it when a map has a lot of secrets and some of your subtle clues were a real delight. I also appreciated all the leaping into deep sectors this map enabled, since IMO jumping off precipices is fun.

 

I really liked the textures you used and how you used them. They effectively created the Lovecraftian atmosphere you sought. I also liked the skill setting, "Even Death May Die!" since right away I thought, "Drain you of your sanity, face the thing that should not be." One of my fave Metallica songs, and I'm also a fan of Lovecraft, so alla dat, plus the Osiris vibes, was really cool.

 

This map killed it on the music front, too. @AD_79's title track was fantastic, and your BGM for the map itself was great. I imagine it's not easy to compose a BGM that doesn't get tiresome in a map that will take many of us well over an hour or 2 to play, but you did it. AD's intermission track was also excellent.

 

In short, this map is an artistic masterpiece, loaded with foreboding mood, brilliant architecture, fascinating layout, incredible music, but gameplay that, for me, had too many snipers, though when the action came against multiple enemies, it was a lot of fun. The emphasis was on exploration and mood over combat, and that's fine. All in all, great map!

 

Edit: One last thing in this tl;dr post -- I second @rd. on the SSG prop. Incredibly cool.

Edited by Steve D

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Out of curiosity I booted the map in zdoom and played through the stuff a bit, until facing a barrier if there were any. With some further inspection - ergo, completing the whole thing - I came to the conclusion that your map is fully playable in zdoom with (presumably) no flaws in the way, and that's good to know. 

 

About the map itself, I really enjoyed it. My two most liked features included the colours choices - metallic blue and aqua green reminded me of Arcadia Demade, imo you maximized their uniqueness to excellent effects with shadows and texturing - and the music of course, both AD's and yours. I could hear the inspiration coming from Memento Mori, specifically map 07 (coincidentally one of my favourite Klem midis, and I know you like his songs :p). 

 

The gameplay suits the overarching goal, which I assumed it was to prevail a "haunted" atmosphere, as if suddenly the dead would come back to life at any point - probably why you hinted at NM in the tally screen. The new monsters surely felt creepy, in particular when those cacodemons were lurking in the shadows like lizards. Good to see the snakes and faceless demons back in the game, as I faced them in jungle spirits a long time ago and never again. I'm now wondering if there's any correlation between this map and that wad...

 

I think for me the only point I wasn't too keen on was the second dual cyberdemons, mostly because in practice it was the same deal as the previous two. Maybe a twist to the idea would go nicely, like arachnotrons spawning on the higher ledges or something else instead of "two more cybs"... The large-ish fight at the end can be cheesed almost entirely by simply using the switch and going back where the monsters see you and start infighting - mind that while this is obviously boring and nowhere necessary, I point it out in case you don't want that possibility.

 

The BFG replacement didn't feel as satisfying as the visuals implied - compared to rockets I didn't notice them doing much of a difference in terms of damage output, so not sure if I used it wrong (tried to maximize the fireballs by shooting at cacos nearby other stuff, but they didn't seem to do much). I quite liked the machine gun on the other hand, and while I'm neutral about flamethrowers replacing plasma, the limited range does add a twist and enforces proximity, which is a plus in my book.

 

But to sum up I'm very glad I could play the map because it's really appealing as everything you deliver. Good stuff!

 

EDIT: forgot something, I could strafe here from that higher platform, which makes it possible to "cut off" progression without the proper key to get there, if I'm not mistaken.  

Edited by galileo31dos01

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really really good stuff, jimmy. haven't beaten it yet but thoroughly enjoying. i'm not one for long maps, but the atmosphere is captivating and the pacing is excellent.

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Ooh nice and purple I see. I'll give this a play soon

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On 8/10/2021 at 2:32 AM, Jimmy said:

GZDoom 4.5.0+ required. Only tested in this port/build.

I tried it in Zdoom 2.8.1 and it works. Not finished yet however.

Also I somewhat expected a SECRETS lump that helps to find secrets like it was done in Faithless, but I'm ok with its absence.

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Good map, I hope to see those textures more often.

Why does it have to be on gzdoom though, instead of something that plays like classic Doom? 

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37 minutes ago, game said:

Why does it have to be on gzdoom though, instead of something that plays like classic Doom? 

why not?! Look at how beautiful it is just through those screenshots! I don't know if you'd be able to do any of that in Vanilla Doom.

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You can play anything on gzdoom if you want, but gzdoom exclusive wads may feel like a wasted opportunity for those who prefer to play it on something else. To me Doom on gzdoom is insufferable even on the most "vanilla" settings it can get.

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9 hours ago, game said:

gzdoom exclusive wads may feel like a wasted opportunity for those who prefer to play it on something else

 

Right, but the point of GZDoom-exclusive maps like this one is it allows mappers to go beyond Vanilla limitations and take full advantage all the cool ZDoom features and unleash their imagination to give you a new and unique experience.

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Genuinely asking. I didn't know what those "cool features" are exactly. But on the example of Heartland for The Eternity Engine you can see that it's possible to have such cool features without pseudo-Doom gameplay.

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1 hour ago, game said:

Genuinely asking. I didn't know what those "cool features" are exactly. But on the example of Heartland for The Eternity Engine you can see that it's possible to have such cool features without pseudo-Doom gameplay.

Pseudo-Doom gameplay? What does this map have that is pseudo-doom? I don't get it.

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I am interested in playing this someday but I don't have time yet

 

I'm just wondering what everybody is derailing and complaining about Source ports though ..... Come on 

 

Jimmy makes good maps and this isn't helpful to anybody

 

 

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Thanks everyone for all your feedback!

 

RC2 is coming very soon. Figure that'll be the /idgames upload, all being well.

 

@Biodegradable @boris @Clippy Thank you guys so much for the playthrough videos! Always exhilirating to see first impressions.

 

@Steve D Thanks for your detailed review! The missing textures you saw got hotfixed in RC1 a few hours after I initially posted, haha. They will of course be fixed.

 

I may remove one or two of the more egregious and expendable sniper enemies. The majority of those monsters can be dealt with up close and personal once you've found the progression to their perch, but I definitely see how dealing with all of them before that point can be a bit of a drag. I'll see what I can do.

 

@galileo31dos01 Interesting to know it runs in ZDoom! It is indeed fully compatible with the software renderer, although you may run into the odd slime trail here and there. Some of the vertices are off-grid and this can result in said slime trails. I'm too lazy to address this, lol.

 

Good eye on the Jungle Spirits connection! I lifted a whole bunch of resources from that old set of mine, and I'm glad I did. I think they have more impact here than they did there.

 

The double cyberdemon fight I confess is a bit boring. I need to find a way of spicing that up, and probably a few other key areas. The map is definitely lacking a bit in teleport ambushes so I think RC2 will have a fair bit more nastiness going on on that front. >:)

 

The final room's cheese has been eaten fixed.

 

@game This level actually started out as a Boom map, but my ambitions outgrew the limitations of the format - switching to UDMF allowed me to do things like (1) proper 3D floors instead of fake 3D bridges, which I've always been bad at foolproofing, (2) key-locked switches specifically for elevators and platforms, (3) scripted sequences like the big circular rocket launcher trap room, without the use of voodoo conveyors, and (4) the SSG zombie prop which I was able to add with DECORATE, which I think added some character to the map that would've otherwise been lost.

 

I figure that the task of backporting the map to Boom like I originally intended it would be theoretically doable, though largely pointless. The map exists as it is because my familiarity with UDMF simply made it easier to realise my ambitions without the usual Boom trickery which isn't quite as reliable in my personal experience.

Edited by Jimmy

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Awesome map! I haven't had the patience for long adventure maps like this for a while, but this really took me in. Great gameplay and aesthetic. The music fit the map really well, too.

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Spoiler

image.png.c22569cbc6606bfdf07508d2797cf52f.png

I wanted to set aside some time for this, and I had a feeling UV would be too easy (your maps generally feel easy for me) and I wasn't wrong. I just jumped into nightmare skill and thankfully monsters weren't respawning so that's a good touch. You even put that as a tip at the end, so that's cool. It was an alright challenge at nightmare, not too hard. Some criticism regarding encounters:

 

Spoiler

- You can do away with invulnerability at the end. Also you can press the switch to lower the bars and not jump down, abusing the entire encounter.

 

- I don't like the rocket room trap not because it's hard but because it feels pointless. There is another area with a RL and that area becomes optional. Your only reward then is the megasphere which most of it you can easily lose.

 

- Not a fan of the BFG replacement. Feels like a better RL honestly.

 

- The Realms deep secret, I found it. I think you could've hidden it a lot better.

 

- The overall exploration aspect of the level is fine, but the end section literally turns into a marathon after that where killing enemies thrown at you out of nowhere becomes the norm. It could probably be ramped up over the course but I'm not sure.

 

- I like the ominous theme of the map overall. It's incredibly well done. However I have to question, why didn't you replace the mechanical monsters? I see quite a few of additional monster sprites here, I think you could easily find something for mancubus, arachnotron, SM and Cyberdemon. The feeling of the map suggests some lovecraftian, ancient evil lurks and the monsters being "weird looking" suggest this too. But those I mentioned stick out. It might be a nitpick but I think it'd sell the atmosphere even further.

 

- You might consider cutting back on Soulspheres on harder difficulties.

 

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Found them again in a thread here. Turns out they had two spriters - Turbo, and Finite, who did the original edit.

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7 hours ago, Jimmy said:

Found them again in a thread here. Turns out they had two spriters - Turbo, and Finite, who did the original edit.

 

Sweet! I always find it preferable to dig up original sources rather than nick them out of WADs.

(So I say, but how many sprites and textures do I have floating around that have no known origin? Sigh.)

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