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The DWmegawad Club plays: SKULLTIVERSE

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MAP02 - “Regular Base” by Joe-Ilya

HMP - Pistol Start

2 deaths

 

Man am I bad at dodging a rocket coming straight at me. Extremely simple and short, perfectly placed in slot 2. The couple tricks it throws at you keep you interested but it's over before you know it

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Been looking for an excuse to get back into the monthly doom WAD reviewing, and Ive been holding off playing Skulltiverse until its release.

 

MAP01 - Skullgate Central by Shawny

 

a absolutely beautiful opener to the WAD, The seaside port is well detailed and has some great boom effects at use, specifically powering up the base and the secret berserk being a converted regular sector. The building powering-up especially is an effect I enjoy, an effect that can be a rather cool touch in any map but rather underused. Most maps tend to either be in a general state of disrepair or function, where something like is adds to the feeling of "cleaning up the destruction of hell, unlocking that which has been abandoned by the living". Combat feels fine, and the chaingun is a nice and slightly unique start for a WAD. Overall a lot of fun, not much I can add that many others have not already. Personally i'm fine with chaingunning revenants, the only irk I have with the map is that the Revenants in the shipping area would snipe you in the "holding pen" rooms from across the courtyard through dark windows. Im a fan of Shawny maps and much like his later entries this one I enjoyed it thoroughly. 

MAP02 - Regular Base by Joe-Ilya

 

This map is nowhere near as impressive as the first, but I do enjoy playing it all the same. Some people find it maybe "regular" or too simple in difficulty and design, but it has just enough detail and character to not be bland, and I like a quick map every once in a while. Its still fun to explore what is there fits well for a 2nd map. It does come off as a filler map, but for me its one I do like and and remember from the mix.

Also, the gimmicks of the blue skull key and the SSG are goofy and a bit interesting, but I like how nobody has commented on the fact there's a dead arch-vile in the blue key room. Its not a prop, just a randomly added arch vile that dies once you enter the building. Strange but something I notice every time because of how out-of-place it is.

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Map02 FDA (no deaths):

stv02FDA358.zip

 

I liked the starting area with all those items and monsters hiding in crates, even if it did turn out to be easy. Gameplay in the rest of the map doesn't leave much of an impression aside from the BSK that I decided to catch mid-flight. While watching the footage, I noticed the corpse of an arch-vile I don't remember fighting. Wut? Good little map anyway.

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MAP02: "Regular Base" by Joe-Ilya

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 1/2 secrets

 

This one is small, basic, and easier than the first map. It does contain an archvile, but it immediately gets killed by barrels when you walk towards the main building. The super shotgun also makes an appearance in the Underhalls-like section of the map, but it too is a scam as a wall immediately lowers to cut you off from it when you go for it. You're left with the shotgun and chainsaw as your main weapons here, but the threats are overall minimal even when the level goes to ambush you. Love the way the blue skull key just gets spat out of the wall too, by the way.

 

As the name somewhat implies, it's a rather ordinary and alright map.

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I'm enjoying this juked out megawad so far. It has some fun maps and a sense of humor.

 

Map01- Not terrible by any stretch. A container yard? I don't see that everyday, especially with the chain gun right at start. Let's rock! The secrets weren't horrible but I think I did miss the Berserk mentioned by another dude. What few skeletons there were weren't that bad to manage. All around nice build and good flow.

 

Map02--- First off. A sewer. Then its a sewer with a joke. Then its a sewer with a gimmick to get the skull. Then its a gimmick to figure out the gimmick in the sewer that is a sewer with a sewer level joke... From a Doom 2 map that was also a sewer. <<<<------ This is not a rant. This is a joke about the number of jokes I counted in this one level. I was laughing my butt off. Well played and the SSG joke was not wasted nor the catch game with the blue skull. Top notch level!

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MAP02 - Regular Base

UV | Continuous | GZDoom and Vanilla+


It's a cute and unassuming little map that gives us a breather after a somewhat hectic start to the WAD for sure. This also counts as my first time playing a joe-ilya map as well, so I got to be introduced to perhaps a couple of his unique mapping quirks. The opening area with the crates is pretty interesting and I like how it was laid out and gave you a chance to make some cheeky barrel kills. The joke with the SSG got me good and the Blue Skullkey being dispensed from a wall chute you had to run out and catch was rather cute. Lastly, the armour secret with its hidden button was also funny. While it indeed lives up to its namesake, it makes itself rather memorable with its handful of quirky secrets and set pieces. It's all very cute and I like it a lot.

 

 

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MAP02 - Regular Base

UV, Pistol-Start

 

I wouldn't be too surprised if that title was sarcastic. There's a few odd gimmicks dotted around perhaps hinting that Joe-Ilya was aiming for something more elaborate. Unfortunately it's just really not that complex a map so it ends up living up to its name. We start in an outer courtyard area fending off a few small ambushes from the surrounding crates as we battle our way to the nearby control tower. Once up inside, we find a key to the main base leading us to an interior tunnel area which, as other people have already noticed, is eerily similar to the Underhalls from Doom 2 and which ultimately ferries us to the blue skull.

 

There's a few twists to spice things up, most notably a Super Shotgun displayed inside a side room which is snatched away just before we can grab it. Luckily the level isn't too difficult so you won't particularly regret losing it.

 

Spoiler

Though, uh, continuous players might end up cursing Joe-Ilya's miserliness when they come to the next few maps.

 

Anyway this map is competent enough. It's hard to hate because it's quite short and straightforward. The gimmicks are kind of funny. It's just not quite as striking as the first level.

 

SuperShotty.png.1bbb886052477a253b647dde09f440b4.png

 

 

Edited by Haruspex : Minor edit

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UV | Continuous | dsda-doom

 

MAP03: Get Rectangular 

 

MAP01 with it's chaingunners and abundance of revenants had led me to expect subsequent maps to follow suit, but both MAP02 and MAP03 have used both sparingly. Not to say there is no challenge. Putting you 1v1 against a hellknight in cramped quarters definitely felt dangerous, but it hasn't been anywhere near as difficult as I was expecting. I'm not sure if there was some way out to where those caco's visible through a window were (I found all secrets and it wasn't one of them), but had I not been backtracking for ammo I would have missed them entirely. A fun enough short map, but nothing in it to really make it stick in my memory. 

 

Plenty of hitscanners but not a chaingunner in sight 

uc?export=view&id=1JY9loLAqNm2CFZuZba3zt

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by Thrustpeak

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I have to make up for lost time as usual, but I am going to play along with the DWMC as long as I can this month:

 

MAP 01 – Skullgate Central by Shawny

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

This was my first glimpse at the Boom-compatible world and Shawny’s opener made no frugal use of the engine capabilities. This was quite an ambitious MAP01, offering fine visuals especially in the docking bay, where the adventure begins. The overhead crane looked realistic and the remainder of Skullgate Central was full of tiny little details that communicated a strong sense of place. The concept of restoring power was well-executed and the demonic images, appearing on fuzzy screens all around the installation, conveyed the idea of another UAC project gone awry.

Spoiler

1958287129_SkulltiverseMap01_01.jpg.0d8c889789105a3e2d08fee8e82909dd.jpg

The aggression was a bit harsher than I expected. As a UV-fast player I dread hitscanners shooting from the other side of the map or behind windows, where I can hardly see them, while Spectres are running towards me at cheetah speed. This is exactly what happened when I triggered the power switch, and it caused my first death by attrition shortly after. Obviously, I was much more careful and prepared the second time. I had no problem chaingunning Revenants, I do it regularly, and cannot relate any ammo issues. It was a matter of inspecting every room that has opened before going on, which is another habitude of mine. I did not find a way to acquire the chainsaw though, not that I need that weapon for anything.

 

A great way to kick-start the MegaWAD: if hostility escalates from here on, I will be forced to tone down the difficulty at a certain point. Let us see what the map set has in store. The music choice was exceptional and got the strange result of resounding in my ears for two consecutive days. Cannot shake it off, period. I hope for another catchy track to replace it soon.

 

MAP 02 - Regular Base by Joe-Ilya

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

While this map did not fall short of Boom tricks on display, it surely has a much humbler attitude than its predecessor. I liked the open-air warehouse at the start and the monsters lurking behind and inside crates: it made up for a funny stealth approach to this rather small UAC base. The required BK must be retrieved from the watchtower, triggering a small teleport ambush from the Skullgate itself. Inside the building, two small computer rooms were connected by an Underhalls-inspired sewage tunnel. Several monster closets and teleports kept me busy during the extremely short exploration.

Spoiler

111354490_SkulltiverseMap02_01.jpg.f956a4e677ee05a65852007d0a66febb.jpg

Boom features eluded my attention most of the time: I did not notice the SSG had disappeared before I grabbed it and I realised it only later against the Spectre, when I felt like a kid being stolen his ice cream. Playing with -fast monsters makes me crave the SSG, as it relieves the pressure from certain enemies (Pinkies, Revenants and Hell Nobles above all). I found the secret green armour and caught the BSK on the fly as intended. The Arch-Vile corpse left me wondering whether a new prop was added, but no, there was a complex chain of barrels to procure his death while I was still outside the base. I do not know if baffling the player deserved so much work behind the curtain.

Edited by Book Lord

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MAP03 - Get Rectangular - dsda-doom - skill 4 pistol start - rewinds used

 

Quite an adventure this one was. Great music track.
Had no idea what was going on when I hit the switch that raised the platform with the skulls on sticks. The visual aid there (the little window showing the skull stick going up and down) was quite funny

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Well, I was intending to stream all this at one point, but only ended up streaming the first third of it. What can I say, I don't have a lot of free time and I'm not a natural streamer.

While I've already played most of this WAD during testing phases, there are a few maps here and there that I haven't, so I'll work through it this month.

MAP01 - “Skullgate Central” by Shawny

Love this one. Really tight opener and surprisingly challenging. There's a good ammo/health balance and the base lights powering on is an excellent atmospheric touch. I think it serves its purpose as opener map wonderfully.

 

MAP02 - “Regular Base” by Joe-Ilya

It's well put-together and plays great, but some things about this map seem designed to annoy. The disappearing super-shotgun and the flying blue skull key both feel as if the mapper is trolling us. For that reason, this map leaves a bad taste and I can't say I'm a fan of it.

In this particular case it feels like the mapper intended to frustrate the player for their own amusement rather than for the sake of gameplay. I don't think that's good design.

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MAP03 - Get Rectangular

 

Noo, I don't wanna be a rectangle!

 

First thing I noticed after starting this map was the texturing - quite different from everything that came before, but pretty interesting looking

nonetheless. The title made it obvious, but there's a lot of 90 degree angles in this level. I don't really know why anyone would choose that as the main

theme for a map, but the end result is not bad.
The music though, is pretty goofy. Fits the map I suppose. The whole thing feels pretty relaxed and playful, like a map that you're not supposed to take

that seriously. The colorful sights and little things like the plasma gun fakeout also made me think that way. Is the latter supposed to be some sort of

running theme in the wad though? Last map had a fakeout ssg, and this time it's the plasma gun. If not, then that's an interesting coincidence.
Again, nothing exceptional, but the level is pretty fun.

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Map 03 - Get Rectangular (UV, pistol-start)

 

Apparently, the author composed the track just for this map! You probably shouldn't spend too much time here though, as it gets a little annoying to hear after a while. Kind of a less energetic version of what Charles Li did for Icarus in some ways.

 

Anyways, you start on top of the exit portal in something of a receiving area, where the first secret can be found, a box of shotgun shells behind some crates that'll make the opening hallways much easier. I never found the second secret, but I think it's related to the plasma rifle in a hidden raised area,

 

The large hallways successfully convey a sense of scale, very base-like with red and grey-colored hallways everywhere. In a nice twist, different sorts of markings will show you where the yellow and red keys can be used. The doors have this cool run-down slimy appearance that's a little strange with One light-brown room has the appearance of some old-fashioned mainframe, probably complete with deep freeze temperatures. There are also lots of computers scattered throughout, probably mostly for monitoring purposes. On the other hand, lots of the lifts and maybe 1 or 2 other structures seem to have a highly mechanistic purpose anyway.

 

The courtyard towards the end of the map probably has the best fight. While the Revenant teleporting behind you in the previous hallway is a little dangerous, he can be neutralized by the ground-floor level hell knight. So you are set upon by something like 3-4 Cacodemons before you are able to grab the chaingun you see sitting in the middle. Combined with the pinkies and Imps in the grass below, a quite-frenetic fight ensued, though you still have a decent amount of room to move around. To the left is a mini-helipad with a medikit and potions surrounding it. I'll just let that sift. Once you've reached the other end of the courtyard, you'll find yourself in a small room with what seems to be a monitoring station with some broken links. The switch nearby will still activate a lift that you'll need to get the yellow key which was blocked off when you came down this hallway the first time. Exploring down this hallway further will lead to some semi-hidden security armour that you might need.

 

Anyways, the yellow key leads to a darkened room with the blue key on a raised platform. After this comes a fairly substantial hitscanner ambush that you can probably manage, though the entrance door annoyingly closes off. Not to mention if you didn't take care of the Cacodemon pair in the inaccessible central courtyard you can see from a number of other locations in the map, you'll have to consider them as well.

 

This map is still probably less difficult than Map 01 partly because less Revenants but also because ammo proves to be much more freely handed out after a while. You don't even really need to do infighting if you're pistol-starting.

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12 hours ago, Biodegradable said:

MAP02 - Regular Base

UV | Continuous | GZDoom and Vanilla+


It's a cute and unassuming little map that gives us a breather after a somewhat hectic start to the WAD for sure. This also counts as my first time playing a joe-ilya map as well, so I got to be introduced to perhaps a couple of his unique mapping quirks. The opening area with the crates is pretty interesting and I like how it was laid out and gave you a chance to make some cheeky barrel kills. The joke with the SSG got me good and the Blue Skullkey being dispensed from a wall chute you had to run out and catch was rather cute. Lastly, the armour secret with its hidden button was also funny. While it indeed lives up to its namesake, it makes itself rather memorable with its handful of quirky secrets and set pieces. It's all very cute and I like it a lot.

 

 

 

Watching your video, I see that the blue skull key behaved a bit differently for me, just being spat onto the ground instead of looping like it does. Guessing it has to do with my complevel or something (I just used the default one for my run, so perhaps I should specify 9).

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I never explicitly confirmed that, but I believe the entirety of MAP03, beside crates, key markers and maybe some grass is textured with additional textures I've taken from "Post your doom textures" topic.

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MAP04 - Bilis (HMP, continuous w/ saves): K 96% (80/83), I 100% (38/38), S 100% (4/4), D 1, T 11:13

 

Spoiler

Somewhat of a change of location, as this time the sprawling mostly outside techbase is built into somewhere in rocky mountains, with some rooms only carved inside the rock.  The feel of the map is significantly different, as is the look with different type of texturing than before.  A hot start of Imps and hitscanners, and there'll be literal hordes of them on this map.  First smaller ambush is inside the control station, with lots of computer panels, and is triggered with the Green Armor, which would have been annoying if my Mega Armor had been a bit less than 100% but as it wasn't, walking over it to get the room to open up wasn't a problem.  This strange design decision could be because the mapper wasn't thinking of continuous players.  i noted a blue glow from a crack between floor and wall, and the map indeed verified it as a secret, to be accessed from elsewhere.  On my blind HNTR run i found the first secret inside a waterfall (always necessary to check), from which this one is accessed.

 

Behind the next door, getting the RK, as the YK in the middle of the yard, behind whose bars is the BSK in the control station, is unreachable for now, there is a teleport ambush, amongst which is a Revenant on HMP.  Behind the RK door there are some tens of Sargeants, and a path leading to the setpiece area of the map.  A some kind of water reservoir, or a small mountain pond?, over which a bridge is raised.  But before that, there's the incident of two Barons (or Hell Knights, they are far away in the darkness and can't be seen properly) throwing green slime from a room across the pond.  On HMP i had got the secret RL, hidden close to the RK, and softened them up with the four rockets, whilst on HNTR, them being the only mid-tiers of the level, i shot them with the SG, not yet having found the RL.  There's also couple of Lost Souls flying about.

 

After raising the thin ledge to access the last switch, i thought i was being attacked by a Spectre, which turned out to be only the Pinky running amok down below.  By this switch is the last secret, a stash of health bonuses guarded by a Chaingunner.  In the room is also a switch whose purpose i couldn't fathom.

On this run, i forgot the press the main switch, to lower the YK.  Back at starting area is a rather dangerous ambush, of hitscanners, and a surprise Revenant, and here came my first death since the first attempts of MAP01, as i was just a little bit too far away shooting at the monstrosity with the Chaingun, and he shot a rocket directly at my face.  Fair play to him, bad gameplay from me.  Then there's still the small surprise of a few Sargeants emerging from the door to the yard, and if one is in bad health they could mean death if one is facing the wrong direxion.  Finally i still needed to track back to find the switch i'd forgotten to press, grab the YK, and then the BSK.  i like the little space with patterned golden yellow walls in which it was stored, a nice little detail, serving as an aesthetic accent.

 

On HNTR there were two enemies that did not teleport in, and on HMP there were three, so getting 100% kills was impossible on both runs.  Guess it's possible i didn't cross the required linedef on both occasions, but possibly also a bug or a mapping error.  i'm not sure if the room with the two Barons was accessible, at least i couldn't find a way there, and there were no items when checking by iddt, but since all secrets were accounted for it doesn't much matter.  Something was going on there, though, as after pressing a switch, the window started opening and closing (ooh, it was a crusher activated by the secret switch... Curious!)

 

Good map in all aspects, visually, gameplay-wise and layout-wise.  Thoroughly enjoyed it, and more so on HMP.  There is a slight increase in difficulty, but my death was not connected to it.  So far each map has had some design features, little details, that have given them personality beyond being just good maps, and i hope this trend continues.  

 

And on the video i say the last time i saw the patterned golden wall was in 180 Minutes Pour Vivre, but that's of course false, because there was a beautiful large secret area in Doom Zero using only that texture, in an otherwise somewhat frustrating map.  Blame my being awake only for 30 minutes (read: still asleep) while playing for that mistake.

 

 

My blind HNTR run (this is in fact the last map i'll do on HNTR for now):

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by dei_eldren : edit: the secret crusher switch

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19 minutes ago, dei_eldren said:

This strange design decision could be because the mapper wasn't thinking of continuous players.


I confirm that : p

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MAP03 - "Get Rectangular" - Nimiauredhel (98%K/100%I/50%S):

A nice map made dumber because of the music, felt yet again like I was playing some old map from one of those Icarus "simulation" stages. Doom textures made simpler with weird colors at times, nice art style here and there. 
This map follows the design complexity of MAP01, which was more of my taste. Layout, is again simple, and short, and, still easier to our first map. Strange, as I felt it would start getting even harder right from the beggining, and that's why I changed difficulty settings. 
Many hitscanners here, but surprisingly, no chaingunners. The most difficult part of this map would be the yellow key room, as you have little to no space to fight the knight, also, the cacodemon outside can make you get stucked inside by blocking the window with its fatass body. Fucking tomatoes.
Short, sweet, simple, not difficult enough.

Deaths: 1 (HMP - PrBoom+)

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

 

MAP03

MAP01
MAP02

 

 

Edited by DJVCardMaster

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Map03 FDA (no deaths):

stv03FDA749.zip

 

Decent but lacking challenge even compared to previous maps. It's still enjoyable to explore and move around in, but health and ammo are so abundant that it's hard to imagine being seriously threatened by anything except the cramped hell knight ambush at the yellow key, and even that can be instantly escaped (unless you get infinite-heighted by that cacodemon).

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MAP 03 – Get Rectangular by Nimiauredhel

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

The level name suggested a lot of square rooms and hallways, which was exactly what this place was about. The texturing was so colourful and varied, complete with details and props in the right spots, that the simple and partially symmetrical layout did not stand out so much. RK was found in a computer room with analogue recording devices, offering the first real opportunity to kill those all-seeing Cacodemons in the central doorless patio. After tearing away the plasma rifle from my hands just like MAP02 SSG, Get Rectangular sent me to an outside courtyard hosting assorted enemies and a helicopter pad. Everything looked nice and tidy, the combat resorted a lot to hitscanners, but the absence of Commandos was a blessing.

Spoiler

534878716_SkulltiverseMap03_01.jpg.894e3d78816d273880656767c7b71444.jpg

The YK sat on its pedestal, but activating the elevator required a trip to the other side of the yard and some tinkering with machinery. By the key I was boxed in by a Hell Knight, a hand-to-hand situation that I did not enjoy very much without my trusted SSG. However, I was soon back to the start and entered the BSK room. The never-ending wheeze of zombies was a clear preamble, so I first opened the door with the switch, then I approached the blue skull triggering the trap. The teleport was conveniently spread-out to cause panic, but I was prepared after two months of training with Zone 400 and Base Ganymede. I got a couple of unavoidable shots, including a 15% damage bullet by a RNG-blessed Zombieman.

Spoiler

1468623694_SkulltiverseMap03_02.jpg.929b706cc065a500ffd92f19118c4544.jpg

There was a last mob waiting by the Skullgate, along with the Revenant I stirred while walking on the crates at the start. I saw his arm emerge from the crate texture and he even tried to punch me while I was walking over his head. This map was good fun and could be tackled in a cheerful manner, except the trap by the YK. A suitable entry for this slot.

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MAP 04 – Bilis by RataUnderground

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

The hot start setup was borderline irritating. Playing with -fast monsters I can only hope nobody has the wonderful idea of placing a Pain Elemental right in my face, Imps and hitscanners in all directions, and a Chaingunner right behind me. Since I had the shotgun equipped, I died before even realising that I was in an open courtyard with almost no cover. Nobody would play this WAD blindly on UV-fast, would anyone? And good luck pistol-starters, since the only weapon in the area is in the Commando’s hands!

Spoiler

1511982795_SkulltiverseMap04_01.jpg.81760f1e0c21b91df3799153f7063fac.jpg

With carryover chaingun and prescience the situation was still of the irksome kind, but at least I survived. The main open area was cute with all those waterfalls, which I explored thoroughly when it was too late, and the structures had a “lunar base” vibe which I found appealing. The pleasantness was not exactly the purpose of Bilis, which induced me to spit bile on many occasions (did I get the Spanish pun right, @RataUnderground?). The first trapped green armour was expected. The vicious combination of a Demon closet and a massive enemy teleport by the RK, considering the limited movement space, was a nasty surprise.

 

The harassment continued by the inner water reservoir, patrolled by plenty of hitscanners and Lost Souls. There was a squad of Revenants inside a sort of bunker, which I methodically sniped with my hitscan weapons. The switches raised walkways and permitted a slow progression. There was a secret I missed, mandatory for 100% kills and items, offering an alternative way to crush the bunker occupants. I doubt I could survive their rockets for the time required to get to that secret.

Spoiler

119611185_SkulltiverseMap04_02.jpg.cb0497eddb3e34033f13a9545277edb9.jpg

With the YK pillar finally lowered, everything was ready for the grand finale: another huge teleport ambush, which I promptly fled through the narrow door to the former RK area, which was perfect for funnelling enemies. My armaments were inadequate for the open field, so I had to rely on infighting and pot shots through the metal grid. I liked this last messy brawl, and I appreciated the whole map’s visuals and colour pattern. I still found it annoying in many instances, mostly because of unpredictable and hefty attacks by -fast monsters in tight spaces. Mixed feelings for me, nevertheless a memorable level.

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Gonna catch up on reading a bit later.

 

map02: "Regular Base" by Joe-Ilya

 

A lot of what you feel about this one might hang on whether you find all the memey things it does amusing or more total non-events. I fell into the amusing category. I laughed at the blue skull key conveyance device, and all the monsters in hollowed-out crates doing a poor job of being sneaky, and this barrel on the window sill perched perfectly to lure zombiemen over to it.

 

DUKz0KE.gif

 

The traps are alright too, brief injections of excitement around the basic combat. And that is about the entire map. It's really over in a few minutes, which is quite important in this case: it knows what it is good at and doesn't bloat the experience with much else. So this unironically was a fun map. 

 

(Also, the top half of the blue skull artifact is floating in the sky lol. The author is a fan of that move.)

 

map03: "Get Rectangular" by Nimiauredhel

 

Starting with possible areas of improvement: compared to the opener "Skullgate Central," this falls in one of the pitfalls of area restriction and focuses maybe too much on filling all its available space with areas you fight in, neglecting the exteriors -- so it essentially feels you're in a box and the walls of that box are the border of your world with nothing possibly beyond it. The name might be self-deprecatingly aware of that. Jumping off ledges for progression, I sometimes bumped into infinitely tall monsters wandering below. Two pickups, a secret shellbox and a green armor, are placed below stairs where it's tricky to see what you're even grabbing (I didn't realize the first secret was shells until I looked it up later). Two cacodemons in the very center of the map don't add to the gameplay much and might be seen as time wasters for 100% playthroughs. I decided they were the map's pet cacodemons.

 

xF0zWFe.png

(This other caco thinks it's a helicopter.) 

 

On the positive end, I liked all the teased vantages, like how early you see the hell knight you can battle with later, or the yellow key and plasma rifle that is shut off from you as you approach it. Techbases in Doom seem to fall into two common categories re operability: in some state of passive decay and corruption, less functional than when the "humans" were around; or somewhat more rarely, animated by some strange forces that usurp the traditional tech. Here we have the latter, and "Get Rectangular" convincingly plays into Skulltiverse's seemingly building theme of unusual energy hovering around in whatever machinery is present. In this map, the interior skull key chamber, a dark room with an eerie blue glow, kinda feels like the source of that unusual force. The mysteries don't stop there. On your return trip to the exit, you notice that a revenant has decided to stand on a crate in that room (why did it choose that spot lol). 

 

Combat at times felt unguided (enter a room or yard, fight a scattering of monsters that is neither especially satisfying to fight or well coordinated for danger) but also has its moments: the close-range fights, like the hell knight at the yellow key, were exciting, and the squads of warp-in shotgunners at different points offer a fair challenge without being obnoxious -- important considering they appear in spaces with little cover. The plasma rifle gets teased this time around. Skulltiverse is seemingly playing around with many little concepts beyond the major ones. Community projects can sometimes come across like everyone doing their own thing based on the guidelines, and touches like that help unite stuff in meaningful ways and make them feel more like team projects. 

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MAP03 - Get Rectangular by Nimiauredhel

 

a quirky little map, I kinda like the frantic nature of the MIDI for this map, its slightly annoying but i think it fits the map well and I don't really mind, just wish it was maybe longer as it loops a bit too frequently. Combat is fine, a few people are noting that the difficulty in this first section so far is a bit low. The maps were generally designed to have somewhat of a ramping difficulty, the first map was just a bit harder than the next few maps afterwards. Maps 02 and 03 probably could have gotten away with a bit more teeth to them.

I never noticed that coincidentally 2 maps in a row have weapon fakeouts but it is kinda funny, sadly its not a running gag, but that could be a fun idea, a WAD where the player is constantly chasing a BFG that is always out of reach for the player until the very end.
 

I like the map, has a bit of chaotic energy in it with the MIDI and the colorful but apt texture choices. My only complaint is the windows to the cacos in the middle are too small and make them a kill chore rather than a threat.

Edited by DFF

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GZDoom/Blind/UV/Continuous/Saves

Map 03 - Get Rectangular - Nimiauredhel

100% kills and secrets

Time: 8:31

 

When it comes to 4-sided shapes, I prefer the rhombus, but this is fine I guess. Tougher than the last level, but that may just be cause it's larger. Hell knights and cacos are here, and we have no SSG to deal with them, so prepare to shotgun them to death slowly. Like the last level, we have a weapon fakeout, which I didn't notice at first. I thought the plasma rifle went behind the lowered bars, and didn't realized it got crushed until I got to the other side of them and had to deal with a close quarter hell knight. I like the texture usage a lot in this one, with the beige red-key room being a highlight for me. It's a color I don't see often in levels, and having the whole room colored that was weirdly interesting. There's a couple odd things like that in this map, like the constantly raising and lowering platform to the yellow key, and the 2 cacos in a small outside room that are kinda weird to take out. The MIDI is also strange as well. I think it's too quirky for this map, even though the map does have its quirky moments. It could also be longer I think. I do like the fact that the map author did the MIDI as well though. The map is fine overall

 

Map 04 - Bilis - RataUnderground

100% kills and secrets

Time: 9:11

 

This has one of the least welcoming starts to a level I've played in a while, and that's cause there's a pain elemental in front of you looking directly at you soon as you start. I quickly switched to my chaingun and hugged it so it wouldn't spawn lost souls upon defeat, and noticed I was getting shot in the back by a chaingunner. Swell. So yeah, this level isn't really messing around. We've got some decent traps all throughout, like when a few walls lower in the green armor room, and a bunch of things teleport in by the red key. The big fight happens once you lower the yellow key and come back to the starting area, and a lot of enemies spawn in. Run around to cause infighting, and you should be good. You still have to rely on the shotgun and chaingun for the most part right now, so infighting helps big time. So do the map's 4 secrets, of which I found 3 easily. I'm still not sure why some enemies can see you from the soul sphere secret, but whatevs. I was missing the final secret once everything was dead, and normally I'd say screw it and leave, but I had a feeling it had a rocket launcher in it since I found 2 rockets earlier. Sure enough, it did. Still, it wouldn't have been too useful in the final fight, since you'd only have 4 rockets to use, and there's a decent amount of hell knights and revs in that battle. I liked the blues and the grays of this map, coupled with the forlorn MIDI, gave this map a more somber and tense atmosphere, despite the action kicking up. Really liked this one! Also, I found this visual glitch in my screenshot below as I was finishing the final fight:

 

Screenshot_Doom_20210904_003054.png.af73674ee14ebf4d070747fb702b3313.png

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I have no idea how I accidentally fell into following the US timezone again, but it happened and I guess I'll just try to stick to it now lol

 

MAP03 - Get Rectangular

UV | Continuous | GZDoom and Vanilla+

 

Nimiauredhel provides an exception to the rule of not making your maps too boxy by defying the idea completely with great vigour. With new textures we haven't seen yet in hand, Nim gives us a thrilling techno-warehouse adventure brimming with teleport ambushes, some fun room layouts, interesting progression and really fun combat. The kind of combat that instantly makes you want to replay the whole map. It got so spicy at one point, it even came close to claiming my first death of the run... TWICE! I had a ball with this one and am happy to add it as the first to my favourites list. It's quirky, brash and great fun.

 

 

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MAP04 - Bilis by RataUnderground

I regret commenting on episode 1s difficulty, as this map somewhat served me my just deserts.

This is definitely a rude beginning for any pistol-starts, with an interesting hot-start dynamic where the pain elemental takes lower priority over the chaingunner who whittled me down to 5 health. The calm MIDI and the tranquil landscape of the desolate blue (space?) rock is a nice juxtaposition for a map that leaves you a lot of baddies and very few health and limited ammo. I think my average health for the duration of the map was under 30. For the final fight I was woefully unprepared as I had ignored the green armor building, forcing me to cheese (after unsuccessfully trying and dying multiple times) the fight by quickly grabbing the green armor then running into the door going back to where the red key was, then killing the monsters in the chokepoints.

 

Overall a nice but hard hitting map, good fun with a bit of a muted black and blue color scheme.

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UV | Continuous | dsda-doom 

 

MAP04: Bilis 

A cool looking rocky base that kicks off with a pain elemental ahead to draw the attention as a chaingunner ambushes from behind. It felt like the map was assuming continuous players were entering topped off. Otherwise, it could make for a cheap feeling death. Speaking of cheap, while traversing the thin ledge I got stuck on infinitely tall pinkies and couldn't even fight back. Though, after losing my entire secret soulsphere's worth of health I finally squeezed past them and was able to hop down to kill them. The secret at the end of this path had a crusher to deal with the revenants, but I'm not sure why anyone would have left them alive to snipe freely in the first place. Maybe ammo is tight enough on pistol start to force it, but it felt like a secret that would have been far more rewarding at the beginning of the room. It kind of felt like I cheesed the 2 big fights—both red and yellow key—by just hopping into another room and fighting them through the grated wall. By the time I found the secret rocket launcher with the aid of the secret computer area map everything was already dead, but at least i'm playing continuous and can make use of it next map. This map almost felt like it was designed for a second playthrough. The revenant crusher and rocket launcher both feel like they only benefit those that already know of them. 

 

Spoiler

 


 

 

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9 hours ago, Book Lord said:

The pleasantness was not exactly the purpose of Bilis, which induced me to spit bile on many occasions (did I get the Spanish pun right, @RataUnderground?).


Half of it :) . While I like to irritate the player (in a gentle way) and I find "Bilis" fitting, the name comes from the placeholder title of the map, wich was "Melancholy" because the midi track is Melancholy by Doom by despair. Melancholy means "black bile" in latin, so I called the map Bilis because I'm spanish xD.

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Map04 FDA (no deaths):

stv04FDA811.zip

Haha, what a start. Getting close to an isolated pain elemental is automatic for me, and the screen-wipe effect (not seen in the video) gave me enough time to decide what to do before anything happened. From there I just continued hugging the pain elemental and surveying my surroundings to decide what I should do next, and it turned out I could use the PE as a meatshield against the chaingunner. Once that area is clear, the rest of the map doesn't stand out as much, but it's definitely harder than the previous maps, and there was enough hitscan attrition that I was worried about dying in some places.

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