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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: SKULLTIVERSE

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Map15:


No more FDAs for now, I'm expecting these maps to get harder -  I'll upload videos of gameplay with saves instead. And considering the length of this map (blind) and the fact that I died a couple of times, I think that's the right decision. I might record casual max demos for later maps if they're short.

 

I had a great time exploring this one, but the video is probably unwatchable due to the amount of time I spent wandering aimlessly. Combat doesn't stand out much most of the time (still enjoyable), but the blue keycard fight was pretty amusing when I reached the other side of a helpless archvile and had to decide whether I'd let it die a slow death to the mancubi's unintended hits or punch it out mercifully. The sudden time warps were a bit jarring, but I didn't mind it too much, and it was pretty funny when one such warp was used to prevent me from sequence-breaking the map by jumping through a window. The same fake sequence break turned out later to be a secret (the only one that I found), hinted at by the sudden appearance of a blur sphere in that window where nothing had been previously. Definitely one of the best maps so far.

 

I absolutely plan on playing maps 31 and 32, but not tonight.

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MAP16 - Hell of High Water

UV | Continuous | GZDoom and Vanilla+

 

Man, that last stretch after getting the blue skull key was such a pain in the arse lmao. It's another ViolentBeetle map, so naturally things get hot fast and the violence this clever beetle rolls around like a big ball of dung made out of PAIN comes at you in some rather dastardly ways, especially with the use of close quarters a lot of the time. Getting the red skull key also proved to be a tough fight to come out alive in too. I basically had to run my arse of that one after getting fed up with it one too many times. As for the aforementioned blue skull run? Fuck me sideways, that one drove me nuts. Can you tell VB has a thing for Archies? SHEESH!

 

 

Edited by Biodegradable

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1 hour ago, DuckReconMajor said:

MAP16 - Hell of High Water - dsda-doom - skill 4 pistol start many rewinds

 

Wet Dry World in Doom. I love it.

 

  Hide contents

 

 

Basically all of @ViolentBeetle's maps in Skulltiverse did something clever with the engine and I love them all for it.

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MAP31 - "Sanity Control" - Man With Gun (100%K/98%I/65%S):

What is so familiar about this? Just a techbase, I did not find anything special for it to be a secret map, honestly, nonetheless, this was a well designed level, details are all over the top, and secrets fun to get, the hardest part was trying to find all the shootable switches to find the secret exit, then finding a good place to shoot them. No idea how to grab the soulsphere though.
Fights were on point most of the time. Nothing much to say about this map, it's gorgeous to look at, and plays really well, I have a problem with having so many details at the floor, as you may bump a lot, and that makes me a little bit dizzy.
At the end there is a Cyberdemon, he is pretty easy to deal with though.



Deaths: 75 (HMP - PrBoom+)

Order of preference:

Spoiler

 

MAP15

MAP10
MAP31
MAP09
MAP13
MAP11

MAP05
MAP12

MAP03

MAP01
MAP14
MAP04
MAP07
MAP08
MAP02
MAP06

 


 

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4 hours ago, Biodegradable said:

MAP16 - Hell of High Water

UV | Continuous | GZDoom and Vanilla+

 

Man, that last stretch after getting the blue skull key was such a pain in the arse lmao...As for the aforementioned blue skull run? Fuck me sideways, that one drove me nuts. Can you tell VB has a thing for Archies? SHEESH!

 

Dangit, it was my playthrough/playtest that contributed to convince VB to make the escape harder after the blue skull. Oops, I guess.

 

On another note, Map16 reminded me aesthetically much of a Heretic map, the music (midi pack E3M1?) also contributong.

 

I don't have too much to write up level by level, but here were highlights, every map 13-16 and the secrets IMO was good or great:

 

13 - Clear Sunlust influence, very clean visuals, I had some reservations about difficulty level but there have been changes since.

 

14 - I don't mind invasion type gameplay. Excellent aesthetics and beautiful season transformations.

 

15 - Did not play or test

 

31 - Classic DooM II tech/Ultimate DooM E1/E2 style look done just right. My favorite MWG map I've played so far from a gameplay standpoint.

 

32 - Furious map with lots of space reuse and some very nice doomcute.

 

16 - See above, gave me Heretic vibes, good city on the waterfront.

 

17 and 18 - I know this is early, but I may as well just list that I did not play or test these, so 19 will be next!

Edited by FrancisT218

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The arch-vile on the dam is there to keep you from just running by (Per Francis' observation). Arch-vile on the stairs might be an overkill (It's supposed to keep you from running away, but it isn't that relevant).

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Hell or High Water - ViolentBeetle

An entertaining if somewhat unfocused map from ViolentBeetle, which, like a lot of Skulltiverse maps, involves the progressive transformation of the playspace. Was there something in the water (heh) or is this sort of design encouraged by space restrictions? Definitely the latter, I think.

 

Hell or High Water, more so than any other map by the author in this set, demonstrates ViolentBeetle's penchant for scruffy-yet-inventive experiences. While noticeably lacking on the visual front compared with the majority of maps in the episode, Hell or High Water is nevertheless quite enjoyable.

 

The encounter design is, for the most part, pretty good. The central arena in particular is reused well across the various stages of the progression. The main draw, though, is of course the map's namesake shift in water-level. While I am generally left un-moved by spectacle in Doom maps, in the context of Skulltiverse (an ecclectic collection of generally short semi-speedmaps from lesser-known mappers) such sector machinery perhaps stands out to me more than it normally would. It is, in a word, charming, in addition to being well-implemented.

 

Spoiler

Flooded city.

yLWJuBR.png

 

Hey, its like the looming climate disaster but in reverse!

eSJvKmp.png

 

Unfortunately, much like in MAP11, it is the peripheral areas that undermine the experience. While everything to do with the central arena is enjoyable and well-crafted, the same cannot be said of, say, the red key arena, which, while by no means inept, does highlight the map's general lack of polish with its sub-par visuals and slightly clumsy combat. Still, there are more good encounters than bad (my favourite being the three-stage HK/Baron fight).

 

Ultimately, I consider this to be a good enough outing. Unpolished, perhaps, but still enjoyable.

 

Note: I will be skipping the secret maps for now. Keeping up with the daily schedule is hard enough as is, so adding two large-ish maps on top of the rest would be unwise. Conservation of energy is vital on my end, lest the dreaded Salt Mines of Omniatm be reopened...

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MAP31 - “Sanity Control” by Man_with_a_gun

A densely packed techbase offering here, oddly the oppisition tends to fight itself for the most part. That said this was quite entertaining to play on the most part. The blue key releases archviles around the level as well as the first cyberdemon I believe (He is easy to kill though). A solid offering here though I am not privy to what the joke is about in the intermission screen.

As a side note, that is a some extremely mean switches for the secret exit, jeez they are skinny.

 

MAP32 - “The Penthouse” by Shawny

Probably the hardest map so far, that said it probably peaks midway through when you get the plasma gun and then the following fight where space is somewhat restricted. The final fight with the cyberdemons in the mix I found to be much easier given more space and of course having the cyber infight many of the other monsters. 

Now I found myself frustrated at times and died a lot, however I found this to be far more compelling than map14 for instance. Okay this one might be a bit all over the place in terms of visuals and a lot of old skool doomcute etc, but this actually felt more fun to run around in and despite the difficulty probably being a little much for me, I had little issue reloading and trying again.

Good job Shawny, though the position of the map does feel a little cliche (Always Map32 :P)

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The secret maps are a reference to Hellevator, by the way - which was the previous project I organized with conceptually similar maps. They both take place inside a skyscrapper as you go up by using red key. MAP32 in particular is an expansion of Shawny's submission for penultimate map that didn't make the cut because it was too easy to cheese with infighting.

The text screens there constantly complained about horrible elevator music which is what MAP32 text here alludes to.

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23 minutes ago, cannonball said:

Good job Shawny, though the position of the map does feel a little cliche (Always Map32 :P)

Yup, basically MAP32 is map that I made and it is in existence. I guess that sums it up.
So yeah, whatever feelings people have about the map they are probably ALL somehow true.

Also, I quite crunched on this one due to all the areas opening and closing, "orchestrating" encounters and
mostly balancing and playtesing. As somebody who doesn´t even normally make and like these slaughter/esk maps
I had to test it A LOT and got pretty sick of it myself. So I am fully aware about what I have done.
Though I must say I have seen people REALLY liking this one.
Second edit: Despite all I have said earlier, I also like how the map turned out and am kinda proud of it, even though
                   it could have been MUCH better.

Also spoiler for the intermission screen.
 

Spoiler

Map31 and 32 are Hellevator themed and are a throwback/reference to that so if you haven´t played that project
(this one is the sequel to that one) you, naturally, won´t get it.

 

Well nvm. ViolentBeetle was typing at the same time and faster then me.

Edited by Shawny : Great timing VB

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MAP17 - Marble Madness (HNTR, blind, pistol start w/ saves): K 100%, I 80%, S 50% (1/2), T 28:21

 

Spoiler

PS: So the tar-floors are a feature and not a bug :D  Oh god, i really felt stupid for even entertaining the idea.  Yeah, some good stuff in the map, but that's just... had to move this lower in the rankings.  Sorry, it's just not even funny, and colours the whole map in a different way for me. 

 

At first glance, the map looks exceedingly simple, perhaps a first time mapper?? - run forward to grab the BSK, and run back to the skullgate.  My brilliant plan of making a speedrunning WR for the map are ruined by the floor in the room with the BSK going down, and Imps surrounding me.  But the fun begins grabbing the BSK, when the first Cyberdemon of the WAD makes his appearance, giving me a fright at our first sight, as the wall lowers to reveal his presence.  After this, the sound of his march is a constant companion in the map, giving this extremely dready dungeon-like green marble hell a good atmosphere by reminding of who will again at some point make an appearance.

 

Going through the corridors and killing various demons goes well until i come by a corridor leading to the skullgate from the other side of the starting room.  i've no idea if it's intentional or not, but the floor leading to it slows me down to a crawl, making it impossible to run in time to the switch-operated door at the end.  i understand it's probably not time to reach the exit yet, but this mechanism to prevent it is a bit strange, and i doubt it's the intended one?  The same thing happened later in the room where the Cyberdemon makes his final appearance and starts hunting me, and i had a hell of a time to try and run out ahead of him over the presumably malfunctioning floor - it seemed at times to be possible and at other times not.  i chalk it down to a bug, but no idea what really went on in those situations - but they certainly ruined my experience to an extent.

 

Anyway, the level is very complex in design, and while there is always only one place to go, the journey through the layout is long, arduous and dangerous.  Despite lacking the fucking Arch-Viles present in another, the toughest one was in a maze for the RSK, where most of the walls came down, launching an attack from all sides, of Hell Knights, Revenants and Pinkies, killing me a few times.  The level is also incredible atmospheric, even without the lurking Cyberdemon, i think interestingly thanks to the intentionally mostly monotonous surroundings.

 

On the way to the next one was a cute little trap of a marked route over floor covered with rather small tiles.  One small misstep and into the lake of fire you fall - which of course, i did.  After this is the second larger fight of the map, that really should be harder than the first with three fucking Arch-Viles, but whereon i only died once, so... The attack comes in waves, and each wave has its own fucking Arch-Vile with it.  At first it's Hell Knights and Imps, the last one adds Cacodemons and Barons into the mix.  i may have gotten lucky, as there was a lot of infighting and while killing the fucking Arch-Viles the others left me largely alone.

 

The last encounter in the map is against the Cyberdemon, in a small room, where he appears from behind the wall when hitting the switch.  And the floor starts presumably malfunctioning - i just can't believe the slowing down is intentional.  Here it happens when every second row of tiles goes down at same time when the wall comes down, which is same as happens on that earlier corridor at some point, because upon reaching it after this to get to the skullgate, it's arranged like that, and one can actually run through it.  Anyway, the tarring feature seems to vary a bit, and i'm able to get away just fast enough ahead of him, and then run through the corridor of crushers blocking my way to leave him behind, after of course, dying once.

 

The map is really clever and fun to play through, except for the feature of the tar-floor.  Only thing it reminds me of is the bug that sometimes slows down crushers.  Along with the free-roaming Cybie, it was why i was not in the mind to hunt for the last secret after the fact, leaving  for once voluntarily behind an intriguing Soul Sphere behind a teleport line.

 

 

 

Rankings.

Spoiler

MAP15

MAP12

MAP06

MAP01

MAP08

MAP14

MAP03

MAP04

MAP31

MAP16

MAP11

MAP02

MAP10

MAP09

MAP05

MAP17

MAP13

MAP07

 

Edited by dei_eldren : tar-floors feature

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GZDoom/Blind/UV/Continuous/Saves

Map 32 - The Penthouse - Shawny

100% kills and secrets

Time: 25:06

Deaths: 12

Computer freezes cause I left it idle for more than 5 minutes while I ate dinner: 1

 

Shawny contributes what's easily the hardest level so far with this giant penthouse apartment of a level. This feels like a combination of 3 previous maps: both of Shawny's 2 previous maps, plus map 10. There's incidental encounters all over like in map 1, big waves of fights like in map 14, and the map opens and closes up in ways like map 10 did. Like that map, you're doing laps around the map, hitting switches and fighting baddies, with paths closing behind you and new ones appearing, with resources being added to areas you're already in. Honestly, it also reminds me of last month's DWMC, Zone 400, when at the end everything opens up and you can run around the entire map. Unlike Zone 400 though, this level is HARD. I got wrecked twice in the opening room by itself, just cause of the hitscan shooting me from windows. There's no real fight that stands out to me, not because they suck, but because they're all at a similar level of "oh crap I'm doomed". The final fight adds 2 cybies to the mix which is interesting to say the least, and there's a decent amount of archies throughout the entire map beforehand as well. Super fun level, just very hectic. I also suck at dodging projectiles I've noticed. Oh, and I also found the hidden signature room! Screenshot_Doom_20210916_163423.png.a43ade85bc2c525ee56aa020cfbc31df.png 

 

Map 16 - Hell Or High Water - ViolentBeetle

100% kills and secrets

Time: 16:13

Deaths: 3

 

The third map from our project leader, we have a water depository with some more Heretic-ish windows and switches. We've got to mostly lower the water to open up some more paths to go through, while collecting the 3 skull keys. You only lower the water a few times, so that's not the main focus here. My favorite room in the map is the first behind the yellow skull bars. Starts off with nobles and pinkies, then an archie appears at the entrance, and after a minute, the floor begins to raise to different heights, and cacos teleport in. Very cool gimmick there. The red skull trap is pretty evil. It's a very small opening in a cavern that gets blocked by a mancubus as soon as grab it with no room to dodge. Dealing with the horde outside after is less dangerous. The final battle lowers the red column with some goodies, as a bunch of jerks teleport in. Interestingly, so do 2 archies, but they didn't hear me until I saw them. They're both past the yellow bars too, so that was a surprise. I got all 3 secrets pretty easily, even the one you need to hit 3 switches for. Def needed that plasma, that's for sure. Solid level. MIDI was a bop as well.

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Map 16 - Hell or High Water (UV, pistol start)

 

This is a combination of indoor and outdoor area in some kind of vague techbase theme, more like storage than anything else. This music is almost too eerie, but given the map's challenges, they might be somewhat appropriate. There's basically a series of escalating ambushes which can be described as combat puzzles, because you can't really charge at enemies the way you would do in normal situations. Throughout this, you're repeatedly crossing the same ground.

 

When you hit the first switch in the outside courtyard, you fight the first major ambush. But you have plenty of room to move around despite the presence of hitscanners, but it isn't too difficult. It isn't too long however before the first main combat puzzle confronts you. Step behind the yellow bars and come across a multi-stage ambush with an Arch-vile in the middle and a horde of Cacodemons that I somehow maneuvered through despite the extremely cramped ground inside the building. Incidentally, the floor's level changes toward the end, making it possible for you reach the upper ledge of the map you saw before.

 

 When you're on the ledge head up the passage to the right you'll have hell knights on the ledge above you to your left, some Arachnotrons in front and some hell knights in the caves to the right. If you try just firing at the Arachnotrons, you'll be open to fire from the hell knights, and worst, an Arch-vile will attempt pot shots at you. You'll come to dread the presence of Arch-viles every time you see them, and this is no different. Unfortunately, Arch-vile behavior is such that they may well not emerge from the cave in a decent amount of time.

 

Not too long after this comes another large ambush in a rather cramped area when you pick up the RSK: Revenants in a rather small space, and a fair amount of Imps that can help block you in if you don't exit the tunnels ASAP

 

The possibly hardest ambush will occur when you hit the red-key switch, which lowers the platform which contains the BSK.l (I do hope you reached the end of the walk on the 2nd floor because you can a)kill the invisible teleport Revenants which you may well want to do if you don't want to waste time killing resurrects later and b)pick the Megaarmor at which I know I needed.

 

Anyway, Arachnotrons will transport to the second floor water ledge you were just on, with Revenants on the ledge below them as well as on the other side of the river in the south end of the courtyard. Worst, some Cacodemons along with TWO FRICKIN' PAIN ELEMENTALS came from the northeast. They didn't provide the same threat as the other foes, but I died somewhere around 3 times before I realized I'd only survive by switching between camping and moving. At the end, the Arachnotrons were still alive and I was almost completely out of rockets. Now, I'm something of an ammo waster, but I soon realized that ViolentBeetle intended you to be lacking rockets at this point.

 

Exhibit A: Enter the yellow barred-building again to climb the stairs, reach them and be confronted by an Arch-vile that can be quite annoying to kill. You should probably expend whatever plasma you have left unless you want to give them the opportunity to resurrect the Baron. But far worst is the Arch-vile unleashed behind the Archnotrons on the far south end of the blue path. So spend your time shotgunning Arachnotrons and pray the Arch-vile spends some time away so you can rocket them. I died a couple of times here yet again (in addition to my several other deaths, because I don't figure these puzzle out especially quickly).

 

This almost felt like a homage to The Omen in a way because of minor layout similarities in one or two spots. Seriously, this plays like something that probably appears in Plutonia 2 or something. I've no idea what opinion to give because I'm a nororious complainer, but those Arch-viles were incredibly well-placed, however tiring they might be in some respects.

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I have fallen behind a bit. Let's begin with the secret maps:

 

MAP 31 – Sanity Control by Man_with_gun 

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, UV, Pistol start, blind run w/saves

 

Nothing familiar to be found for me here, but I guess it would be if I played Hellevator, Skulltiverse’s spiritual prequel. Probably all maps in the earlier megaWAD were shaped like a + and had those windows looking out into a starry night. There was quite a hot start here to handle with only a pistol and a grabbed shotgun. Moreover, a faraway Pain Elemental was alerted and spawned Lost Souls for who knows what reason. I wasted all my ammo to obliterate that cluster.

Spoiler

325308153_SkulltiverseMap31_01.jpg.3ff576748b79dcf84e65fce17e7de4f1.jpg

Sanity Control was a compact and contemporary detailed tech-base, with a lot of nice areas and some clever touches, like jammed doors and a big door which “deconstructs” after pressing the yellow switch. Finding the BSK was not difficult, but it was heavily guarded and picking it up triggered several pop-ups, including a nest of Arch-Viles who were scattered throughout the level, in places that I had cleared long before. Hunting them down and stopping them before they resurrected everybody was an exciting task. On the contrary, the Cyberdemon blocking the Skullgate was boring to bring down without a proper plasma cell equipment.

Spoiler

1078300830_SkulltiverseMap31_02.jpg.1ed6fb9ceae5920163158252c291eb2c.jpg

The super-secret exit required the RK and lowering its pillar prompted the search of not less than four tiny shootable switches, situated in the most inconvenient locations. It took me a lot of time to find three of them, then the 4th was located by cheating outside game with Doom Builder. I fumbled a lot in the final ambush and lost a good chunk of health, just to discover there were no more medikits around and that the Soulsphere was still beyond my reach. I only hope MAP32 has a gentler start. Besides that, this map was enjoyable, though not very understandable as a secret level if one cannot make the connection with Hellevator.

 

MAP 32 – The Penthouse by Shawny

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

 

On MAP31 I took the “Hellevator” up to the attic and entered The Penthouse. What was in store in the super-secret level? A decorated, oversized apartment full of Doomcute details, sometimes pleasing to the eye, sometimes humorous. There were demons to kill too, just 500 of them.

Spoiler

2015866240_SkulltiverseMap32_01.jpg.f1142d5d0dfa475739295e4793ecdce6.jpg

I confess this is not my favourite take on secret maps and I still regret the day when secret levels were converted from places full of bonuses, gimmicks, and cameos, to the ultimate combat experience of a MegaWAD (or an early warning for more tight maps to come in the third episode). Since I liked his previous two entries quite a bit, I had faith in @Shawny's approach to this inflated, contrived, and self-indulgent style for MAP32.

Spoiler

52392195_SkulltiverseMap32_02.jpg.a0382f2bc78def66da40089f6536b9e1.jpg

I was not let down. The combat was arranged in waves, lots of waves, of increasing viciousness and difficulty. This gave me time to recover, since I left Sanity Control in a bad shape. It also made me gradually acquainted with the penthouse environment and trained me to fend off the assaults in an efficient way. The situations were varied, since the rooms were opened or sealed to suit the combat set pieces, and some of them were tricky, especially in the library where I was trapped at one point because of infinitely tall actors. However, the main issue I had with the combat was its length. It went on and on and seemed to have no end, until I noticed that only one last coloured chip bar was keeping me away from the BSK.

Spoiler

1132119679_SkulltiverseMap32_03.jpg.42bfaa30c3f96da848624b4cf0f29ce7.jpg

I was exhausted and could not stand another wave with two Cyberdemons and every enemy type in the bestiary. I cheated my way out of it but kept the savegame, which I reloaded the next day to see if I could beat it. I did it and I had a blast. I just had no energies left and knowing there was a secret Invulnerability nearby could have helped. I found 2/4 secrets and the author’s signature chamber, which was hidden behind a Doom version of a loose brick. The resources were just enough to kill everything, and I left the level with few rockets and plasma to spare. An overall positive experience that could have been great if it just ended a bit earlier.

 

P.S. The Arch-Vile coming from the toilet room was a classic.

Edited by Book Lord : Corrected MAP31 author nickname

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24 minutes ago, Book Lord said:

One of them I could not even hit, because I disabled mouselook aim in PrBoom+ and its placement did not consider this issue.

You shouldn't need mouselook to shoot those switches. I didn't use it and was able to hit them all.

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MAP32 - "The Penthouse" - Shawny (???%K/96%I/25%S):

Here we are at the last floor of the secret tower, a Penthouse, with many Doomcute things and stuff. The layout is just again another invasion arena, like Shawny's MAP14, this one, though, is one of the most infuriating things I've played in a while. 
I know it's MAP32, but fuck this map, when you start thinking this is a pain in the ass, the map gives you a plasma rifle, to gun down everything that moves, as the map fills entirely with bullshit. It feels so weak to be playing this map without a BFG. I don't like slaughtermaps, this one is not an exception.
Nice doomcute stuff, it's pleasing to look at, but again with MAP14, progression is confusing for me, as I'm trying to circle down areas over and over again waiting for something to happen. The end is just pain materialized, when both Cyberdemons appear. 


Deaths: 101 (HMP - PrBoom+)

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

 

MAP15

MAP10
MAP31
MAP09
MAP13
MAP11

MAP05
MAP12

MAP03

MAP01
MAP14
MAP04
MAP07
MAP32
MAP08
MAP02
MAP06

 



I had too much of this for today, I can't be more stressed than this. That means playing two maps tomorrow.

EDIT: seems like the secret maps were a reference to the Hellevator megaWAD, I've never played that one, but for those who don't know, it's a similar treat to Skulltiverse, a spiritual predecessor.

Edited by DJVCardMaster

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MAP31: "Sanity Control" by Man With Gun

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 3/4 secrets

 

The first secret map sees us in a pretty mangled techbase. I kind of went back and forth on my opinion of the visuals in this one a few times, but I've settled on it positively by now. It's got a touch of that surreal charm of Toooooasty's maps in JPCP, using mostly vanilla textures to an excess degree of detail, mixing it in with some dim lighting. Judging from other comments this map is a Hellevator reference, which I've not played, so it goes over my head unfortunately. The method of finding the secret exit is a little more typical here than in MAP15, simply find the tiny shootable switches hidden around the map and shoot them to lower the red key, which activates the elevator to MAP32. Like Book Lord, I also had to fire up Doom Builder (which I coincidentally downloaded earlier today) in order to find one of them, but overall not too bad of a hunt.

 

Gameplay-wise, I was a little bit less positive on this one. I will say it does have a nice fast pace to it, with a ludicrously hot start and almost every room having ample threats to take care of, but something about the monster placement just felt a little arbitrary and off to me, like me and the mapper are having a conversation at two different wavelengths. I hate to make a criticism that doesn't have a hard observation to support it, maybe it's my lack of mapping experience that makes it hard for me to pinpoint the source of my feeling. In any case, it's a relatively easy map I found. The map does spread archviles all around as well as a cyberdemon at the end, but I found that the archviles weren't able to cause too much ruckus and the complex geometry of the level created any opportunities for cover against them. The cyberdemon seems to be more for shock factor than anything, if you just sit down the hall with the plasma and go behind cover whenever he fires he can't really touch you.

 

Overall mixed feelings, was a fan of the mangled visual style, but didn't really feel the combat.

 

MAP32: "The Penthouse" by Shawny

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 2/4 secrets 

 

Ding! The super secret map boasts an impressive 500 monsters, and the titular penthouse contains an interesting mixture of demonic textures with some techy ones and even a little bit of Doomcute thrown in the mix. There's a bed, a swimming pool, and a kitchen area to name a few of those elements. I'm a fan of the way areas get opened and closed off as you progress through the levels, sort of morphing the layout that you have to work with as you go along and making the most of the map area limitation that the wad has.

 

This one veers more into the power fantasy than the challenge territory for me personally, but a hell of a fun one. You are given an ample amount of resources to deal with the many foes in this map, and the large amount of health pickups ensure that some bad damage here or there is forgiven relatively easily. It's not without a catch though, since areas are constantly being closed off temporarily as you progress some of the pickups will be made inaccessible, so you could potentially find yourself in a situation where you clean out the health in a particular area and then you end up stuck in that area for your next battle. To highlight a single fight in the map, I may as well point to the ending one, where the whole map opens up and you are faced with two cyberdemons and a large amount of smaller demons. Archviles and pain elementals are here that you'll need to take care of, and for the rest let the cyberdemons splatter most of them and avoid catching a stray rocket. Straightforward, but always the kind of thing I love doing. Also, shoutout to the unofficial "Shawny" secret, which I was happy to find.

 

A solid super secret map from the Go 2 It school of super secret maps. Good times were had.

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map31: "Sanity Control" by Man_with_a_gun

 

My single favorite bit of design, and the most consistent with the theme the map title and design seems to be implying, might be this door near the start, along with the mysterious glyph-like patterns nearby. 

 

fF4v1Mi.png

 

I did find a lot of the other hyperdetailing very hit or miss. This all would be really hard to do well because of the time frame, but it's counterproductive to not share feedback because of that, so I'll go into depth about what I mean: 

 

Spoiler

 In a loose sense, two of the main things that can work really well with this degree of detail are: 

 

1) bringing out a very specific theme or narrative (see Dobu's mapping, Going Down, the genre of "Russian realism," etc.) 

2) fitting a cohesive design or architectural philosophy (see tourniquet's mapping, Antares's mapping, Brigandine, etc.) 

 

(Or some mix of both.)

 

For #1: In "Sanity Control," the chaotic design in itself carries thematic weight as something like a warped reality. But it only goes so far in that sense -- because it also is abstract mapping detail that would be very interchangeable with abstract mapping detail in completely different maps. There seemed like a missed opportunity to channel more of the existing work into features like that door-and-symbols above: features that fit a more specific in-universe idea of a warped reality.

 

For #2: There are areas that are extremely hyperactive, but you can go somewhere else and see areas -- the same scale and general type of area (this is important) -- that are very "moderate" in comparison.

 

8GZyW9r.png iejQJZg.png

 

It clashes sometimes -- it leaves a few areas looking undone and a few looking overdone. 

 

(I think the design is pretty consistent with how individual features are used, though, especially with borders and trim. So, well done there.) 

 

A lot of the abstract detailing is quite pretty, though, like these layered tech-arches.

 

zvXWuE7.png fJgFIq7.png


The lighting might actually be my MVP; it's quite good and consistently well done in its gloominess.

 

The combat is generally okay -- a mishmash of chaotic incidental combat and close-range traps that eventually features almost every species of monster. I enjoyed getting things to infight and using lone barrels to blow up weaker monsters, and I thought the traps involving turreted monsters in pure darkness were unsettling and fun. The archvile squad at the end loses some of its bite when you realize the archviles can't navigate this layout all that well. The worst they tend to do is revive a bit of fodder as you take them out one by one. 

 

Thinking of it, this is actually the wad's first cyb. It isn't exactly a dramatic first reveal, but you could do worse than a cyber showing off the majesty of its hefty booty by blocking off the exit.

 

map32: "The Penthouse" by Shawny

 

It wasn't too hard to guess the author pretty early in this one, always a sign of a distinctive style. Along with 31 this is another that uses predominantly stock textures, and it looks a lot like of Going Down, which was the seed inspiration for both Skulltiverse and its predecessor Hellevator. 

 

Rather than the seamless continual pressure cookers of Going Down, "The Penthouse" structures itself more as a series of separate set pieces you unleash when you are ready. Some were exhilarating -- my highlight is the big imp wave in the library with a row of mancubi on the balcony, which later morphs into a double-AV fight as bookshelves rise dramatically for cover. 


The map tends to sprinkle in one or two archviles with lots of big fights, which are used in a similar way -- roaming along with a big horde. While individual cases of that are nearly all fine, the larger pattern seems like a crutch, like a stand-in for more imaginative ideas.

My visual highlights are this kitchen, and especially this creative use of BRWINDOW for the stove. And frenzied combat zones in places like bedrooms are fundamentally hilarious. I also noticed that at least one archvile closet is a toilet lol. 

 

KLZip5D.png U77rGuc.png GuYCHku.png

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@rd. 

Thanks a lot for a feedback, you actually the first who said about this issue that in some places we have a lack of details and in other ones it's hyperdetailed. Just to make it clear, this one was made in hurry and not only because of time limit in rules of project.


The name "Sanity Control" comes from the original idea of map which is 'techbase that slowly getting more corrupted to the point that it will feels more hellish' and as you can guess - i didn't had time to build it in my map because it would take some time for planning.

 

From what i seen in other feedbacks, people don't really feel the gameplay in this map - it is feels really standard and some encounters doesn't work as it should be; i'll say it comes from my main problems in mapping, i dont have enough knowledge in gameplay sense.

Edited by MAN_WITH_GUN

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MAP 16 – Hell of High Water by ViolentBeetle 

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

 

As we have learned while progressing through Skulltiverse, maps by project leader @ViolentBeetle are built around a specific narrative element, conveyed by means of properly arranged engine tricks. In my vanilla naivety, I thought this one featured deep water, a sector manipulation I dislike most of the time. I was glad to be proved wrong by this bountiful concoction of spectacular map transformations and rough, violent combat.

 

The first small room presented the theme of Hell of high water in an interactive way: a quasi-fantasy environment bathed in all but static freshwater. I pulled the lever, and part of the liquid drained off, revealing stairs and the way forward. The Heretic E1M1 spin-off music was the best company I could have for such an adventure, and I happily entered the large, flooded courtyard, destined to become the battlefield for many tough encounters.

Spoiler

614425160_SkulltiverseMap16_01.jpg.a4944d03cad88be255ebfc252c4c00ee.jpg

Rocket ammo and health looked plentiful for what was in sight, so I assumed monster replenishments to take place as I flicked switches and picked up keys, eventually causing the water to sink and submerged structures to surface. What I did not expect was the presence of Arch-Viles in every major fight, often appearing in the midst of commotion and without warning. They were excellent at putting pressure, as typical, but their overabundance felt cheap. The thrilling Hell Noble & Pinkies fight behind the yellow bars, in a room that underwent a major rearrangement for the following Cacodemon spawn, was marred by the AV who popped up and wrong-footed me while I was doing my herding job just fine.

 

The RSK area was one of the first instances in this MegaWAD where I managed to neutralise a trap. The “sluice” keeping off the only sludgy water of the map was meant to close behind me and leave me at demons’ mercy, but I carefully stepped inside and sniped the Arch-Vile and a Hell Knight with rockets and bullets. I entered and easily managed the opposition, included the subsequent Cacodemon + Revenant ambush, by retreating on the concrete ledge and swiping it with plasma gun.

Spoiler

1968486404_SkulltiverseMap16_02.jpg.ee5bc0cd855d9092dc5e8d6a38063df4.jpg

I returned to the main courtyard to lower the red key pillar, which contained the BSK along with useful ammo. I sensed time was not on my side and I did not wait for the pillar to lower. I sprinted to the building on the other side of the moat instead, dodged some Revenants and made my stand there against flying hellspawn. It was a good idea since an Arch-Vile appeared between Baron corpses and must be swiftly dismembered. Arachnotrons were particularly annoying from the elevated water channel, and so was the Arch-Vile meant to resurrect them. I burned all my rockets and plasma and resorted to shells and bullets.

Spoiler

1840604397_SkulltiverseMap16_03.jpg.0f0f778749b001b3668b566a53d60326.jpg

Come hell or high water, I was determined to fight tooth and nail and I finally prevailed. The level was mostly good, less visually stunning than its predecessors, but consistent with Skulltiverse combat style and @ViolentBeetle’s love for conceptual design.

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Map31:

 

An alright map. I had more difficulty with navigation than the combat. The final fight was surprisingly easy for something that teleports about four archviles to various parts of the map to resurrect monsters all over the place; when I played it, few monsters were actually resurrected, and it seems others have had a similar experience.
 

Map32:

 

Skimming the thread made me envision something like No Guts No Glory or Pyramid of Death, so this felt a little tame by comparison (pay no attention to the numerous deaths in the video).

 

I had a pretty good time with this one overall. Like map14, though, I often wished I had more rockets even if, for example, I could have far fewer shells and bullets in exchange. The map would be easier that way, but better aligned with my taste, as I wouldn't feel so inclined to do stuff like 18:45 or 24:00 in the video. That isn't a big deal, though, and this map had its moments.

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MAP17 - Marble Madness

UV | Continuous | GZDoom and Vanilla+

 

Weird Sandwich? More like Nasty Sandwich Filled with Poo! Nah, only kidding. This map's great! Sure, it got me a little heated at some points, but you know me guys, I'm a big ham. For real though, despite the nastiness of some of the traps and fights, I really enjoyed how wild and unpredictable things got and the way the map opened up and looped in on itself as you progressed. Every challenge was mean, but not so damn sadistic that you just wanted it to end. It's the kind of difficulty that I feel I WANT to overcome and gain the upper-hand. Those moments when you can see the end goal in your mind's eye and you just have to keep trying until you get it and the process is fun rather than sheer agony. My favourite maps list has been awfully short so far regarding this WAD, but I can assure you that MAP17 made the list. Good stuff, Sandwich!

 

 

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MAP16 - "Hell of High Water" - ViolentBeetle (100%K/I/S):

Nice Heretic music mix here. Yes, this map has some Heretic things out there, mixed with weird Doom texturing. It's not that good to look as it is to play, it is a fine map. You would expect something else, but it is what it is. There is some nice Boom trickery around here, and that's the best the map has to offer apart for the nice encounters you will find. Secrets are nice to find aswell.

MAP17 - "Marble Madness" - WeirdSandwich (99%K/100%I/100%S):

Oh god, what's happening to the music? Right from the start, I've noticed this will be a gimmicky map, and an annoying one. Heck, I could not stand the music and the silly traps this map had. Marble textures mixed with bad sense of taste has exhausted me even more than said traps. You may have some fun at times, but it is just an annoying map, with a crazy layout, and things that are a no-no in Doom mapping, such as the sticky floors, they are not a threat here, just don't get stuck on one of those. Sorry, I had to IDCLIP once, I can't stand that.
Sadly, for me this did not feel like anything but a jokemap, and an amateurish job aswell.

Deaths: 119 (HMP - PrBoom+)

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

 

MAP15

MAP10
MAP31
MAP09
MAP13
MAP11

MAP05
MAP12
MAP16

MAP03

MAP01
MAP14
MAP04
MAP07
MAP32
MAP08
MAP02
MAP06
MAP17

 

 

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MAP17 - Marble Madness - dsda-doom - skill 4 pistol start many rewinds

 

And I thought MAP10 was mean! 

I guess you can guess how this is gonna go when the blue skull is right in front of you from the start

I was hoping, based on map name, this would have an iconic music track from the arcade game. The one present does fit the bill though.

The traps are indeed very frustrating. But cool bits like the dodge n' roll cyber fight make up for it to me.

Has anyone successfully linedef skipped to the soulsphere?

The 3 pillar archie room was really cool

 

Spoiler

 

 

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16 hours ago, TJG1289 said:

You shouldn't need mouselook to shoot those switches. I didn't use it and was able to hit them all.

You are right. I thought the switch in the western area had to be shot from the ledge where you find the plasma gun, which is too low, but there is another window at the other side of the room which is at the right level. A tricky shot from the distance, but possible. I shall correct my statement, thanks for pointing it out.

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MAP18 - Symmetry Bad (HNTR, blind, continuous w/ saves): K 105% (67/67), I 100% (134/134), S 100% (1/1), T 19:00 &

HNTR, pistol start: K 119% (67/67), I 100% (134/134), S 100% (1/1), T 12:12

 

Spoiler

Nimiauredhel's previous entry, MAP03 Get Rectangular, had some nice understated unique design-features, and this map offers more of the same, with some significant Boom-deviltry used intentionally to create confusion and chaos in the mind of the player going in blind.  My blind run was ok, died only once, but since i really liked the level and wanted to do better in it, much as with maps 12 and 14 before, i decided to play it again today from pistol start.

 

The silent teleporters caused me some confusion on the blind run, especially the ones in the green hallways, while in hindsight it's obvious what's going on, not being very used to in general thinking in Doom's technical terms automatically, it took the action to cease for me to figure it out.  On that run, on the other hand, the fucking Arch-Vile in the second room didn't give me much trouble, even if my health went down i didn't die (thought his view was blocked by the central pillar but i just couldn't see him from behind other enemies), whilst it took me a couple of tries on the pistol start run to survive it - at first i even missed the RL running away from the room.  Throughout the hallways and rooms of the map the combat is truly unrelenting and every enemy matters here, as is sometimes said, even if their count isn't very high.

 

Visually the map is very impressive already from the first room, a large hall of stairs in green marble half in darkness, but also the architecture and texture usage is very good and at times unexpected, while some of the rooms also have unusual angles.  The scene of the final encounter is a vast hall of marble, with a lowering pillar in the middle at the end yielding the BSK and four stone pedestals, whose walls open up to reveal hidden chambers in the walls, harboring enemies and supplies.  There's also a pretty and clever little slab of stone with the map engraved in it in colours.

 

i enjoyed this map a lot on my blind run, but even knowing its tricks, have to say the second run was even more enjoyable.  Was worried a bit also about the final encounter with the three Rev's and limited plasma, but it went well even having to finish them off with the SSG (which was provided only about halfway through the map.)  So whilst my pistol start run isn't technically deathless as i didn't restart after the fucking AV killed me twice, as i maybe should've, i'm still very happy with it, and the fact i replayed the map.

 

Pistol start run:

 

Unsatisfactory blind run for sake of openness:

Spoiler

 

 

RankIngs, with slight rearrangement.

Spoiler

MAP15

MAP18

MAP12

MAP06

MAP01

MAP08

MAP14

MAP03

MAP04

MAP31

MAP16

MAP11

MAP02

MAP10

MAP09

MAP05

MAP07

MAP17

MAP13

 

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MAP16 - “Hell of High Water” by ViolentBeetle

 

The first impressions from this map with this lightly detailed boxy start room are not that good, which is a shame because this is a really good map. As soon as you enter the central area then things pick up very nicely. The outdoor area transforms a couple of times to reveal its final configuration, draining all of the water. The combat is challenging but much more accessible than the last few, meaning you can quite often get on the front foot. The highlight for me is probably the area just beyond the yellow bars. A mixture of timed set piece encounters with the room transforming part way through, very nice. The rest of the map beyond this is solid and the archvile usage is generally pretty good.

Overall a solid map and potentially my favourite so far of the second episode (Though most have been above par).

 

MAP17 - “Marble Madness” by WeirdSandwich

Well this was quite a map....

In general the map is rather flat, though at the very least it is textured okay. There are a lot of gimmicks in this one, some that are actually fairly good and some that are awful.

Now the first cyber fight for instance, I liked the forced up close and personal element to this. It isn't that hard but for around 30 seconds you are on your toes. The fight preceding this is pretty decent as well.

Now for the bad, we have 64 unit wide mazes, some very iffy usage of boom special actions (That said the mechanism of exiting the map is at least different). 

Overall, it is a bit of a turd, however there are a few valuable things that are worth looking for here. The author can clearly come up with some good ideas, but the cohesive package is kind of very mid-90s in execution but with the extra bells and whistles a more open source port can provide.

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Map16:


Looks like I accidentally accessed the secret soul sphere earlier than intended. I was just SSGing a pain elemental and one of the pellets hit a switch that would otherwise be inaccessible at that time.

 

Anyway, this map creatively reuses space with its Wet Dry World gimmick, and I enjoyed it for the most part, but liked it less as it got harder, beginning with the somewhat awkward RSK fight. The BSK fight was the most annoying, though; attempting to stay outside got me killed pretty consistently, with too much shit to dodge and too much shit blocking my movement. It seems that the most effective strategy is to retreat into the nearest building and snipe enemies from inside, which just felt a little lame to me.


Map17:


On the bright side, I'm not likely to forget this map any time soon. Unfortunately, the things I'll most remember are the things I didn't like, especially those awful floors that get you stuck. You can see how confused I was in my first encounter with them at 4:10 in the video. Unrecorded, I went back and found that these floors are much easier to deal with if you walk instead of run, something I normally don't even consider doing unless I accidentally toggle autorun off. Either way, I don't like them, and they were the worst part of the map for me. The first up close cyberdemon fight was cool though.

 

Edit: I've just noticed that those floors behave very differently in GZDoom compared to -complevel 9. In GZDoom, even with "Boom (strict)" compatibility, they just slow you down a lot. In DSDA-Doom -complevel 9 (and I assume any other port that accurately emulates Boom), your movement controls are reversed whenever you are even slightly in contact with that part of the floor, so the "strafe left" key will make you strafe right, etc. Since the effective part of the floor is always presented in narrow strips surrounded by narrow strips of normal floor, it's really awkward to move on.

Edited by Pseudonaut

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