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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: KINDa

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Map23: Bloodlove video

 

Damn, I could not have been more wrong about this map. I thought this would suck hard based on my blind first playthrough where I got extremely lost and ran completely out of ammo, but in subsequent playthroughs this turned into a really quite the fun "arena" map. It's still really stingy with ammo, not a single one of my exits had anything else but bullets left (if that), but health is pretty abundant thanks to the Megasphere and knowing what to do obviously eliminates the aspect of cryptic progression, biggest problem of the map for blind players. The layout takes you through most areas multiple times so the primary tactic is to skip things initially and create chaos, and clean up later. The biggest issue in that strategy is that it's very susceptible to monsters wandering into weird corners around the map and it's then just a matter of checking the most common spots and not getting unlucky. For the cleanup you have a BFG with limited ammo so better make the shots count; I decided that two or three against the big Arach horde is sufficient and the rest earlier and more improvised based on how monsters bunch up. I got really good couple of Arach infights in the demo, taking down some of the hell noble meat wandering around in the YK side of the map. Megasphere secret requires wasn't that hard to get but does require precise movement and if you bump into the first stairs like I did first you can already tell that you can't make it. Falling into the bloody pit at the BK is an unfortunate blemish in the demo that wastes a few seconds but oh well. The teleporting linedef that takes you the BK is really easy to linedef skip and happened almost every attempt even if I purposefully didn't straferun there. Fortunately the lift is pretty slow so you have to react to that. So overall a tale of two maps really: initial experience was that of confusion, frustration and anger but when you know your way around the map this turns into a very enjoyable one to play!

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I think I can just about catch up before the end of the month, but I’m going to have to resort to desperate measures.

 

You guessed it. I’m switching to Honolulu time.

 

MAP19: Calculator

Spoiler

UV, Pistol-Start, Saveless

 

When I saw the screenshots plastered with BLAKWAL, I had my doubts about this map, but I was wrong to judge it without playing it. In context, the limited texturing gives this level an eerie, dehumanized feel.

But there’s more to this map than interesting visuals. There’s some fun encounter design as well. In particular, the arch-viles are placed well, and, even though there’s a fair few of them dotted around Calculator’s halls, they never seem unfair or unmanageable.

 

Also memorable is the big ambush towards the end of the level. I was expecting an attack after I pressed the exit switch, but even so, as soon as the enemies warped in, everything fell into chaos. I was left running around, firing blindly with my plasmagun, and I only managed to pull through thanks to the megarmor and soulsphere I’d swiped earlier.

 

This level took me quite a few attempts. After all that time crawling through the calculator’s corridors, there was an incredible feeling of freedom when I finally stepped outside into a garden I’d thought to be unreachable. It fascinates me that even in an engine as old as Doom’s, it’s still possible to surprise the player in this way.

 

On a side note, I really wish I’d found the stimpacks stashed inside the columns of the central area earlier than I did. I could have used those when I was stumbling around the complex with 10% health. But that’s my fault for not being observant enough.

 

A fun and memorable level. I’ll rank it just above Toxic.

 

Screenshots:

Spoiler

1444241119_ComputerBank.png.96da4f7578902fbc8b12d4810b228bbc.png5318008.png.1ce6915627677d0ceff6dd38233f4341.pngSilhouette.png.a20d6bdf8c3589dbba33cd5eff041df3.png

 

 

MAP20: Monster HQ

Spoiler

UV, Pistol-Start, Saveless

 

I quite like the starting area here. It has a nice sense of scale. I just wish the rest of this level wasn’t so focused on twisty tunnels. After a while they all start to blend together.

But as a pistol-starter, I do appreciate how many weapons we get handed across this map. True, a lot of them are gated behind secrets, but I found they weren’t too hard to uncover as long as I kept a close eye on my automap.

And it’s a good thing I found those guns too, because this is yet another level where I struggled with ammo. I had to be particularly careful with how I handled the outside garden area. I ran completely dry at that point and, as usual, had to fall back on infighting. Luckily, things only got easier from there.

 

Earlier in the level, there’s an interesting and slightly terrifying part where, after flipping a pair of switches, we discover we’ve unleashed a cyberdemon and a mastermind who were frozen in the courtyard outside. Unfortunately it’s mostly just a callback to Doom 2’s Gotcha and there’s some slightly awkward positioning which makes it difficult to get the pair to infight. But with such limited ammo it’s almost essential to wade right up to the pair and let the mastermind steal a chunk of our health.

 

It’s a decent level, but overall it doesn’t stand out to me as much as some of the others in the wad. I’ll rank it somewhere in the middle.

 

Screenshots:

Spoiler

1765447482_MonstersInc.png.89951094cac447bf76aec87560fa462c.png1189077507_StaringCompetition.png.04b22e77a819e4a4931219ac0b5fe4cb.pngStandoff.png.167ad2aa2945e16aec2915d724b10780.png

 

 

MAP21: Melancholy

Spoiler

UV, Pistol-Start, Saveless

 

First things first, that’s a really nice, ominous sky texture. I know we saw it in the secret maps, but I didn’t really take time to appreciate it back then. In fact the texturing of this level is interesting in general. It feels like there’s an intentional progression from the brown stone and wood, to slime-filled nukeage tunnels, to the rocky outside area.

 

The pistol start is a bit tricky here. Luckily there’s an SSG not far from spawn, but ammo is limited and it took me a few attempts before I could make much progress. In particular, I found the revenants standing above the nukeage pool difficult to approach. It’s hard to get into a good range for the SSG, but they’re a pain unless you kill them early.

 

Talking about ammo, Kinda is doing wonders for building my infighting skills. There’s an outside area filled with enemies on the west side of this level, where if you pop your head out and then retreat leaving the enemies to their own devices, they’ll just kind of murder each other. I was quite surprised when I walked back around the corner only to find a few Hell knights standing on a pile of corpses.

 

There’s a lot of nukeage here but I don’t mind it too much. My usual pace in Doom is very slow and cautious, and damaging floors force me to speed up. True, it can forestall exploration, but I also find it makes levels more intense. With Melancholy’s sweeping corridors filled with pop-up ambushes, this map is well-suited to playing at a fast pace anyway.

 

I’ll rank this level somewhere in the middle. It’s far from bad, but I feel like there’s something lacking and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

 

Screenshots:

Spoiler

1706151064_Oohevenprettier.png.dea4e5916ba90fa62d9f081369cee078.png1513663231_Puttingthemeloninmelancholy.png.e4cf30eb9cbd28b6c7a44c5d76ce629f.pngOuthouse.png.c674af7622b02af37d9caa789bc89aa9.png

 

 

MAP22: Skin

Spoiler

UV, Pistol-Start, Saveless

 

Now we’re talking! An action-packed map which feels very different from every other in the set. It has a slightly awkward start, with Heavy weapon Dudes gunning for us before we’ve got a chance to find our bearings. But after we’ve dealt with them, the map really opens up. We can roam around the arena in any direction we choose and find an interesting challenge wherever we go.

 

And this map is also quite friendly towards pistol-starters. We’re given both a berserk pack and a super shotgun right from the start, which certainly makes a chaotic arena more approachable.

Ammo is once again a concern, but the enemy density is high which makes for plenty of infighting opportunities. And I’m getting fairly used to KINDa’s ammo restrictions by now. I’m finding they’re not as much of a problem as they once were.

There’s still plenty of chaingunners, as usual, but here they seemed to be used more to support the projectile throwers than as the main threat. It mixes things up a little from the usual KINDa formula.

 

I also found progression fairly clear in this map. It’s not that huge a map, and there’s few places to go wrong. It’s just a very action-packed fun level, with some cool, ghoulish visuals. I’m going to rank it in top place, even above Deux.

 

Screenshot:

Spoiler

637377938_Skininthegame.png.1043e665fdf65dcffbccd995b1a68acc.png

 

Ranking:

Spoiler

MAP22: Skin

MAP08: Deux

MAP18: Doomsday Machine

MAP12: Monster Monopoly

MAP16: Patino

MAP19: Calculator

MAP03: Toxic

MAP05: Leak

MAP14: Death’s Dwelling

MAP09: Death Delivery

MAP15: Blackout

MAP20: Monster HQ

MAP13: Blast

MAP21: Melancholy

MAP11: Her Keep

MAP10: Blood and Mud

MAP01: Go

MAP02: Hell’s Cavity

MAP17: Naive

MAP07: The UAC Project

MAP06: Cement

MAP31: Hell’s Party

MAP04: Treehouse

 

I'll abstain from voting.

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Hey all,

 

I'd like to firstly give out thanks to everybody that took time out of their days throughout the month to play the megaWAD, despite how understandably frustrating some of the content was to play through. 

 

I've thoroughly enjoyed watching the videos and reading all the feedback, both positive and negative. I actually also thoroughly enjoyed creating the maps in the first instance - I ended up with a slight addiction for map making, which is way this project ended up with the full 32 maps. I actually had no plans to release the megaWAD at all until really late on. I'm glad I did, though. 

 

Addressing the negatives first, I am in complete agreement with a lot of the negative feedback towards many of the maps. I've said before that I enjoy cryptic switch hunts, low ammo/health and maps full of hit-scanners; however these are not what many players find enjoyable. In fact, I believe some of my choices regarding these ideas (such as the troubles faced in map 13, 14 and 32 for example) were completely wrong and really do ruin the enjoyment of many maps. Your comments and suggestions have made me realise how I can improve and I will be taking all this feedback onboard for future mapping projects, for sure! Being a newbie to the community isn't really an excuse; however I will agree that I was naïve and in my own little bubble when creating these maps, and it shows. 

 

I am really happy to have received a lot of positive comments and shows that not all my ideas came across badly. I do believe that there are various architectural merits within the maps and I feel I've developed my own style of sorts, although it certainly does swing towards the TNT-lookalike ideas. 

 

For the future, I certainly will be creating further content. I did promise a sequel to KINDa as I'm happiest when producing maps when not tied down to a storyline or an episode theme... however... I would also like to perhaps produce a more consistent megaWAD using the TNT iWAD's textures (my own take on TNT, basically). Producing the odd map for a community project or two also sounds like great fun as I'd be able to focus on just one map and hopefully produce something pretty tasty.

 

That's enough rambling! Thanks again all, it's been a real pleasure having you play KINDa!  

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Final Thoughts

There was once a Doom editing amateur, calling himself @TheMightyWhoosh, who worked in the shadows for many, many months... until he came up with not less than a full limit-removing megaWAD. Legend has it that he found the help of kindred spirits, dwellers of the Doomworld web community, who warmly welcomed his efforts, offering him aid and counsel to improve and polish up his magnum opus, before uploading it again on /idgames. This is the tale of Kinda 2.0, a megaWAD appeared like a bolt out of the blue, in a peculiar two-year period that saw old and new authors resume their activities with fervour.

 

I did not check the first version of the megaWAD, appeared in September 2020, but I can guess there were compatibility problems, rough edges, bugs, and other things that only sharing & playtesting could bring to surface. The author took heed of the feedback, showing a positive learning attitude, and reworked the 32 maps for the 2.0 release of June 2021. Regardless of its pros and cons, I see Kinda as an impressive one-man achievement, but also as the offspring of the constructive feedback and encouragements received from the community, a proof of the fecund role played by Doomworld and its more enthusiastic members.

 

Kinda introduces itself as a pure old-school experience, using only iWAD textures and music to create a varied assortment of levels. The maps do not follow a thematical progression, bouncing between tech-bases and hell with nonchalance, but most of them are overflowing with love and inspiration from Final Doom, especially TNT: Evilution. The graphic design and architecture of the maps is pleasing, sometimes rich in detail, sometimes playing a bit more with the size or the lighting effects, but never letting the eyes down. A totally unknown mapper coming up with this visual quality on his first effort looks very promising.

 

I am convinced that the Casali brothers were the technical reference for the author, considering how many of their tricks he has reproduced, with mixed outcomes. However, he never really tried to replicate their tough combat set pieces. An evident shortcoming of Kinda, seen with an up-to-date perspective, is the use of expedients to create the challenge: a combination of many hitscanners and sparse health supplies, while the rest of the enemy roster was confined to marginal roles. If he wants to improve the gameplay and bring it on par with his map modelling skills, @TheMightyWhoosh should resort less frequently to former humans and try to put the full bestiary to good use.

 

There were many hints along the way that the megaWAD was not designed for pistol starts and that continuous play was taken for granted, still other DWMC players proved that the former approach was feasible, if a bit aggravating. I played continuous on Ultra-Violence, with -fast parameter, and savegames mid-level (not during encounters to cheat the RNG or to facilitate anything). The overall experience was fine, but I cannot report many dangerous situations. As expected when playing with -fast, sometimes I died to harsh or unpredictable ambushes, exclusively under hitscanner gunfire, because I could not react quickly enough. Foreknowledge was the key; no complex strategies, movement, or crowd management were required to survive. There was no difficulty curve throughout the map set, since the only thing that increased was the size of the maps. Kinda is not a megaWAD to choose for the challenge.

 

Looking at the extremely varied and uneven reception by the DWMC, Kinda cannot be simply categorised into commonplace WAD archetypes. What is Kinda, then? If you are a TNT: Evilution aficionado and you dig its adventurous attitude more than Plutonia tight combat design, this megaWAD delivers good entertainment. Nice secret areas, switch hunts, and obscure progression are a fundamental part of the experience and will always be the core of gameplay, as opposed to combat. Sometimes the good visuals succeed at creating strong atmosphere and sense of place. The maps I like the most are the ones where combat is not a filler but a thoughtful element; other Doomers might come to different conclusions, depending on how much they weigh each factor that makes up for a fulfilling megaWAD.

 

The author had a lot of ideas and he put everything into the cauldron, without many plans for thematic cohesion (the plot is a joke). The result is as multi-faceted as it could be. Unlike veteran mappers we have seen recently, such as Khorus or pcorf, @TheMightyWhoosh has not found his personal style yet, and he does not implement a safe formula he has developed; therefore, his work is more unpredictable, casual, and experimental, it never feels repetitive, but is nowhere near to mainstream WAD standards. This implies that Kinda is full of obscure design and cryptic level progression, it uses mid- and high-tier monsters sparingly, sometimes even with shyness, and relies quite often on cheap tricks to keep the player engaged.

 

When the author does not behave like a bad Game Master, harassing the player for his own amusement with switch riddles and teleporting chaingunners behind his back, he is capable of entertaining with stylistically accurate levels, offering pleasurable exploration and secret hunting. I was surprised to find the best maps of the megaWAD close to the end of the third episode, when I was about to give up after a streak that was not to my liking. These entries showed more maturity and the intention to integrate combat design into the setting, proving that @TheMightyWhoosh has been constantly learning since he decided to upload his creations to /idgames. I sincerely hope he will fulfil his promise of releasing a sequel, because he has a lot of creativity and potential which were not completely expressed with Kinda. With further commitment and the support of the Doomworld community, he can surely refine his skills and objectives, allowing for his talent to fully reveal itself.

 

Best maps:

MAP 08 – Deux

MAP 16 – Patino

MAP 27 – Congo Control

MAP 28 – Knock Knock

MAP 29 – The KINDa’s Circuit

 

Other standout maps:

MAP 10 – Blood and Mud

MAP 18 – The Doomsday Machine

MAP 20 – Monster HQ

MAP 25 – Her Company

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MAP30 - KINDa:

The Icon of Sin, you'll have to go to the path to the left first, get the red key, take care of the cyberdemons (they'll teleport away from where they are into a cage full of barons, they'll infight and stop caring about you).
The fight is just your regular IOS fight, nothing much to expect here, the last map was the previous one, as usual. This is just a boss fight against a mediocre IOS fight, nothing much you can make in vanilla/limit-removing, sadly.


(UV Playthrough - PrBoom+)

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

MAP09 (Good)
MAP12
MAP22
MAP27
MAP25
MAP10
MAP23
MAP29
MAP08 

MAP05
MAP28 
MAP11 (OK)

MAP01
MAP26
MAP16 (Average)
MAP21
MAP20
MAP17
MAP13 (Meh)
MAP04 
MAP06
MAP14 
MAP19
MAP02
MAP24
MAP15
MAP07
MAP18
MAP03 
MAP30 (Bad)
MAP31 (Awful)

MAP32 (Unrated)

 


TheMightyWoosh has promised us a sequel, so I'm looking forward to it.

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As near as I can tell, the unofficial vote tally for Nov sits thusly:

 

7x Interception 2
6x Community Chest
3x Good Morning Phobos
3x Hexen
3x Oops All Techbase
3x Wonderful Doom
1x Claustrophobia 1024
1x Community Chest 3
1x Judgment
1x Perdition's Gate
1x Uprising

 

I think I'll abstain from voting myself, given it's a holiday month with a family birthday, and I've got a number of WADs I want to try and finish up already.

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MAP25: Her Company (HMP/continuous/saves)

25:58 | 100% Everything

Played this one a few days ago, so the details are mostly fuzzy, though I can still picture the level pretty well in my mind! I liked it quite a bit, though I feel like health was at quite a premium, again. I remember a lot of the teleport ambushes being very slow to trickle in, especially at the blue (?) key. The crusher section was a major pain, though I didn't notice initially that you didn't have to run it a second time on your way back. :) I do remember struggling with progression just a hair, but I obviously managed to figure out it without too much trouble. I do believe I lucked out on the double-teleporter and took the side that accesses the switch first; I only discovered it went two different places when going back secret/ammo hunting at the end...

 

MAP26: Monstrous

51:10 | 99% Kills | 92% Items | 83% Secrets

So this was a nice, big map. Very nonlinear in feel, and mostly, I think, in practice. In fact, it was so linear that I skipped the blue key entirely; I grabbed the yellow key by jumping through the window via the neighboring lift (only took two tries.) Of course, I eventually discovered that once you take the drop beyond the yellow door, you can't go back (disapprove) so once I revealed the exit and cleared the are out, I noclipped back up top and tried to get everything else. I really enjoyed this level, though I will say it felt relatively underpopulated (on HMP at least.)

 

MAP27: Congo Control

28:07 | 90% Kills | 100% Items | 100% Secrets

This is a pretty good-looking map that I found myself getting easily lost in early on for whatever reason. Once I opened up the automap like halfway through, things made a lot more sense! (And the level looks pretty great on the automap, too!) I did not enjoy the chaingunner teleporter ambushes--absolutely nasty, those. As usual, lots of switches to hit that did something, but I don't know what! I did try playing around with the two consoles marked for the red key; they certainly didn't seem like they did anything, but reading above, I guess they did? I should mention the lighting here, too; that was really well done. Oh, and I missed exactly 20 baddies; IDDT showed me a 5x4 block of monsters that never moved, presumably they were supposed to ambush me in the rooms past the blue door...

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Map24: Frontier in Situ video

 

Love it. It's pretty much a big gun power trip against the hapless hordes inhabiting the two fortresses. Take your BFG shots well and there's plenty left to destroy fodder with the PG in between. The Cyber at the beginning is a non-factor apart from the cheeky initial surprise, can help with the Cacos latter but it's slow so I didn't go for that. While the map is quite easy if playing casually, this is just the kind of map that I find myself grinding again and again for an ever faster time, looking for those ideal BFG shots and to see the plan executed to perfection. Sacrificing health at the altar of speed leads to plenty of deaths and I learned to hate a few details in this map: the lift secret that triggers at the PG is I think also triggered by monsters (?) so sometimes it doesn't work like you expect. The two HK's are some of the most useless enemies I've seen in a while, zero threat but garbage to kill as they like to hide walk back and forth the side so half the time they're out of range. But the overall experience is very much positive still. The map really reminded me stylistically of valkiriforce's stuff like Reverie or Doom Core, in terms of both aesthetics and gameplay too. Good stuff!

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MAP30 - KINDa - dsda-doom - skill 4 pistol start - rewinds

 

Skimming through I'll echo what Biodegradable said in that I felt super let down that the KINDa was (or at least is just represented by) the Icon of Sin

I did a double check to make sure something more nefarious wasn't the brain but it's just romero head.

Maybe the crazy monster we saw in Skybox 2 was the tendrils of the Icon.

 

That said this finale was very KINDa finale and I was pleased.

The weapon cache was hidden behind a door that should've been a secret. At this point I cannot be surprised lol

I honestly enjoyed the souped up Tricks&Traps fight. The Barons won which made me happy.

 

Spoiler

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

This WAD will live on in my memory for quite a while. 

Some of these levels made me straight up angry, with the double bite that this wasn't from ineptitude, The Mighty Woosh knows what they're doing and wants you to feel this pain!

There are fans of this style, and I'm super glad to have taken this trip. I think I'm ever close to becoming a fan myself.

Looking forward to more Woosh! May your mapping addiction continue

You seemed to take even the harshest criticism in stride, I hope you absorb whatever things we said that help you better formulate what's in your head

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I was going to report a weird softlock in map29 that I forgot to report yesterday, but upon checking in doombuilder and replaying the map I was unable to replicate this. This was the lift by the red door which for some reason during my first playthrough stayed down and wouldn't rise up again so I had to noclip to the red key door. Very odd but given the switches are SR I can only assume something odd happened my end.

 

So final thoughts;

This was a very mixed megawad, where there was clearly signs of the transition from very 90s era work to something more modern. This was reflected in the varying levels of polish on the visuals, some look sparse but competent to some areas that genuinely look very good. The gameplay also varies, the maps in general use low tier monsters at a far higher percentage than other modern wads, but also deprive the player of health that makes even weaker foes look a lot more menacing. This has mixed results for both casual players and speedrunners, it does however make finding secrets far more rewarding, though some almost border on the mandatory to actually beat certain levels. This also mixed with some secrets tending to be easier to find than the actual level progression.

This later point is the real drawback of the wad, a lot of the maps are really not fun to play and this is exacerbated by some goofy or even obnoxious level progression. That switch for the blue key in map26 killed any feeling for this wad, which I apologise for the rather lackluster reviews for the remaining levels.

Overall the wad felt like a work in progress for the author rather than the levels, as such you can clearly see how some maps were edited, however it still feels like the transition is more in progress than complete. As such despite the clear ambition and shoots of progression, ultimately this wasn't a particularly enjoyable experience and regretfully I will be giving this a below average score.

Overall this is a 2/5 for me. The highlights probably being map16 and 22.

 

Despite this low mark, I cannot stress enough that @TheMightyWhoosh should not be discouraged. Given the clear progress in some areas, I suspect any future work will be much better and all I can say is keep at it and learn from this experience. :)

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MAP29: The KINDa's Circuit

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 2/3 secrets

 

A sprawling techbase with 314 monsters, this one is quite linear as far as this wad goes, a factor that is not too unwelcome. It's even a bit easier to navigate, although the progression is a little confusing around the middle of the map. The first half or so of the map is absolutely brutal for health, but the ammo balance in this level is actually quite generous, owing a great deal to the many hitscanners in the level's halls. Maybe it's because of Death's Bells playing in the background, but there's a climactic feel to this level that I quite liked. It felt quite appropriate for a map in the 29 slot.

 

As stated before the map is quite linear, and combat opts for more incidental monster placements rather than arenas or setpieces. Overall the combat felt varied enough to keep things interesting. I quite liked the final stretch, which has you backtrack from where you are to the start, with enemies repopulating the area for the journey back. You then get to face off against two cyberdemons, and then you get a choice of 3 exits. One exit gives you a bunch of ammo and a megasphere before the final map, one takes you to a hurtfloor that ends the level once your health is low enough, and the last simply ends the map. Neat little gimmick at the end there.

 

Honestly one of my favourites in the set. I thought this was a really good one.

 

MAP30: KINDa

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 1/1 secrets

 

An Icon of Sin map to top things off. There are 39 pre-existing monsters to kill here, but in an act of benevolence Whoosh makes them very easy to hunt down and kill, leaving almost all of the monsters in an area separate from the icon itself, with only a lone archvile behind the icon otherwise. Get the red key by having two cyberdemons get mauled by an army of barons, and use the key to open the door to the lift that you can use to hit the icon. Simple as far as icon maps go, not a lot more to say about it.

 

Final thoughts:

As far as more classic-flavoured wads go, this one had quite a bit of identity in its gameplay. It's a complicated answer as to whether that identity totally jives with me personally, it's definitely not much like most wads that I really enjoy, but it was a cool wad to play regardless. The cryptic level designs were at times fun and at times killed the vibe, I was more a fan of when a map really wore its cryptic elements on its sleeve throughout rather than having a level plug along normally and then be hit with a tricky switch-hunt out of nowhere. It creates a bit of a dissonance where you're enjoying the combat and then suddenly the level just grinds to a halt, which can annoy me a decent deal. But the more consistently batty maps like MAP12 and MAP32 were a bit more up my alley.

 

And of course the other thing to talk about is resource starvation. Personally resource starved maps are not really my cup of tea in general, not that I dislike them it's just that I prefer to have more freedom in that regard. But that's all down to preference so it's not so much a knock against it. I will say that if I do revisit this I will probably have to try it continuously, because pistol starting really felt like I was undergoing a personal challenge at times, especially in some of those maps toward the late middle. Speaking of which, the difficulty curve in this wad was a little uneven. The very first maps had a moderate challenge to them, followed by some far easier maps, then the wad starts ramping up in difficulty again throughout the middle coming to a high in the late teens, but then the 3rd episode is back to being a bit easier akin to the early middle.

 

Overall though, I thought this was a great effort. It's quite ambitious to make a full 32-map megawad as someone newer to the community, and I have to respect the wad a lot for having its identity and TheMightyWhoosh for creating maps in the image of what they like rather than what might be the most hip. The wad had its hits and its misses, but it's something that I'll remember playing for sure. The biggest highlights for me were MAP12, MAP19, MAP29, MAP21, MAP22, and MAP32. The hardest map was likely MAP18.

 

+++ Interception 2

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I hope I can ask here. Out of interest, which would be preferable/of greater interest?…

 

* KiiNDa - 32 maps of random/differing designs, similar to KINDa, but of course with greatly improved gameplay. 

 

* TNTMW - 32 maps using TNT as the main iWAD, so my own take on TNT.

 

Both of these ideas are of interest to me; however I’d like to know which project sounds more exciting from a player point of view! 

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If you have the burning passion for TNT i'd say that one.

How do you feel about Icarus? Maybe take inspiration from both! with maybe some Eternal thrown in 

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KINDa - TheMightyWoosh:

A pretty mixed bag of maps that haven't got a clear continuity between each other, most of them, will be OK maps, some of them are good, some of them will feel pretty offensive for someone's tastes. The good aspects about KINDa may be that texturing is pretty clever/weird to look at, so many texture styles the author could give us with the vanilla-texture set, is something quite amazing for me. Also, there are some really interesting layouts or setups TMW showed us in this map-pack. Most maps felt like copying and pasting some things, but there is as much you can do as a novice map-maker with vanilla textures and a pretty oldschool style of gameplay. This mapset is limit removing, but I think most of this maps would run quite good in DooM2.exe, I think the author could have sacrificed some sector art or lightning sectors to make this be played in Vanilla Doom, as some of those maps don't even exceed the VSP limit, and some quirky rooms that are overly circular, could be reduced to avoid this problem. Most maps look like TNT cuts/rejections, you can really notice these maps where inspired by said mapset, and I think even the author himself can confirm this.
This mapset is not mindblowing by any means, but noblesse obligeeven with its flaws, it is amazing for a single mapper that came from nowhere to pull out such a mapset all by himself, and I'll give it to that. You may enjoy this experience only once in your life if you like this kind of maps, but I don't think you would feel like wasting your time. 
Some problems with this mapset are carried all along from the first to the last level, some of them are supply shortages, convoluted layouts, encounters you can easily skip, weird difficulty balance and overall, cryptic progression. 
TheMightyWoosh promised us a sequel, and I hope he comes back again with his interesting style but with most of the problems present in KINDa fixed.

Best maps:

MAP09 - The best map is nothing that could blow your mind, I just find this one the most simple and fun to play/look at, it worked quite well and represented the "TNT" style the best of all of them.
MAP12 - More of the same than  MAP09, with an interesting layout full of tunnels and secrets, I enjoyed this one nearly the same as MAP09, but I think I slightly prefer the former one.
MAP22 - We KINDa needed an arena map from time to time, so we don't get exhausted by the amount of big maps with long corridors TNT-Style we already had, this map was a joy to play after so many of those maps, this one has the least amount of problems revolving around supplies and confusing layouts. 

Worst maps:

MAP03 - I think I was too harsh with this map, but I did not find myself enjoying this one, it may look good, but its layout is pretty confusing and wants you to take faith jumps into nukage pits, making you run for your life. I've got confused many times with this one, and this one had big problems with supplies.
MAP30 - It's an IOS map, it's difficult to make a good Icon of Sin fight, we've already made everything regarding the basic DooM II engine, vanilla/limit-removing wise, I won't expand too much on this one.
MAP31 - Don't take the secret maps, this is a pain to play, pretty offensive map to traverse, two arenas with many monsters and low ammo to fight them, the big problem here is how much time you would take circling around this map, the spider-demon fight was dumb, and waiting yet again for some easy to miss teleports to exit, is even worse, and let's not talk about the Arch-vile you'll have to tank without any room to hide.

Not played maps:

MAP32 - I've got exhausted by trying to play this map, the layout was cryptic at best, resources short at best, confusing progression again (having to hit a switch behind a bloodfall), and overall a pretty punishing difficulty. I don't think I'm in a mood to give it a second chance, so I won't rate it, it looks good on the outside though, but playing this after MAP31 is a big "no, thanks". Secret maps can be, sadly, entirely skipped.

Score: 56/100 (Average)
 

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Map30 - KINDa

Very simple ending but very effective. I love how creepy the beginning is with the music and the absence of any monsters. I especially liked the jail area. Once things kick off it’s a pretty easy boss fight but still I enjoyed it. A bit disappointed it was another Icon of Sin fight, but not too upset. The flavor text at the end hints at a sequel. To be honest I’d be interested to see another entry, I just hope progression puzzles are dialed back a bit in the sequel.


 

Overall Thoughts - Have very mixed feelings about this wad. On one hand the levels look great, lots of care and detail were put into the levels and it shows. The wad has some very creative ideas/gimmicks that are implemented well. Some examples:

Map05 - Leak with the radiation rooms.

Map13 - Blast with the insane amount of explosive barrels.

Map21 - Melancholy with the toxic waste pipes that you need to shut off.

Map32 - Monster Museum with the cyberdemon exhibits that come to life.

 

Another thing I feel is a strong point is the realistic locations/Doomcute stuff. I love when this is well implemented. Many people compared it to TNT Evilution which this wad finally convinced me to try out (about half way through it now). I especially enjoyed Death Delivery (actually I think I liked most of the techbase themed levels).

 

As for negatives, difficulty feels all over the place. One of the hardest maps is map03 which is very strange. If MtPain27/Dean of Doom ever does a video review I’d be curious to see the weird difficulty curve that we get.

 

Ammo shortage is a huge occurrence in the wad (especially for pistol starters) to the point where it feels like if you don’t have a berserk/chainsaw or have found all the secrets, some maps will be nearly impossible to 100%.

 

The thing that annoyed me most though is the needlessly obtuse progression in some levels, to the point where I ended up cheating Map32 (worst offender of this by far, even though I like the map itself). In some levels it feels like the secrets are easier to understand than the progression, and there’s a lot of times I hit a switch and have no idea what it does. This wasn't so bad in the smaller early maps but I feel like this problem gets exacerbated in the larger later levels. When I was playing through the wad I basically played through the first half of it in a couple days just because it was so fun, but the second half started to drag for me.

 

One of the things brought up was the abundance in hitscanners, I don't really think of this as a negative as long as health pickups are balanced properly to account for their inclusion in the level. If you have a big chaingunner trap and don't put a health pickup in it starts to get difficult to hold onto health fast.

 

All in all I did enjoy it, but there are a number of maps that were not my cup of tea. Still got to hand it to TheMightyWoosh for the impressive scale and detail of some of these levels though.

 

Favorite - Map29 - The KINDa’s Circuit

Least Favorite - Map26 - Monstrous

 

Thanks again for everyone for participating in this month's discussion. Hope to see everyone next month, and big thanks to TheMightlyWoosh for providing developer commentary as well. Happy Halloween everybody!

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13 hours ago, TheMightyWhoosh said:

Both of these ideas are of interest to me; however I’d like to know which project sounds more exciting from a player point of view! 

Both are very interesting to me. I like Evilution (and TNT's wads in general), and I'm probably in the minority for liking it and what it tries to do a lot more than Plutonia, so I'd love another TNT-style megawad. OTOH even though I had very mixed feelings about KINDa I liked some of the maps a lot, and I'd be excited to play something in a similar vein with all the lessons learner. Whichever way you decide to go I'm looking forward to trying out your next work.

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Knocking this writeup out while it's still October here. I've played along with a lot of DWMCs over the years, and finished almost every WAD, but this might be the first time I've played and done writeups for every level in the allotted month!

 

MAP28: Knock Knock (HMP/continuous/saves)

31:44 | 100% Kills | 100% Items | 75% Secrets

Mostly another fine map. The visuals were of course solid (the inset tech details the moved along with the lifts were a lovely touch) though progression was still very much find-a-switch/press-the-switch/what-that-switch-do? After finally retrieving the red key and returning to the start area, I was down to single-digit health, I had to then deal with a sudden mob of chaingunners and revenants. Not fun. The fakeout exit would have been more interesting if I hadn't taken the time to snuff out the revvies first, that's for sure.

 

MAP29: The KINDa's Circuit

39:30 | 98% Kills | 76% Items | 100% Secrets

This is kind of a love-it-AND-hate-it map for me. On the one hand, the concept is mostly fun: a long grueling hike out to the yellow key (visible but inaccessible from near the start!) and then retrace your steps to come all the way back to the yellow door. My problem was, much like so many other levels in the set, that health is really at a premium on the trip out. Very little health to pick up, and any medkit or stimpack I came across would generally last only until the next hitscanner ambush. By the blind elevator up to the blue key room, I was down to like 15% and mostly stayed around there until I finally made it to the yellow key and megasphere recharge. (LOTS of saves used, that's for sure.) The ending was a bit of a letdown; dodge a couple of cybers and take your pick of three teleporters. I saw the two lefthand platforms were marked by a dead marine, so I figured they were traps. I was half right. After saving, I first took the leftmost pad, which was actually a very handy (if totally random) top-off before the next map. Unfortunately, I had saved once I realized it wasn't an immediate exit, and with no way back I couldn't finish of the cybers or pick up all the bonuses to max things out. (I did noclip back to verify that the central pad was a near-death exit.) Rather capricious way to end the level...

 

MAP30: KINDa

4:22 | 77% Kills | 100% Items | 100% Secrets

Oh, look, Just Another IoS for the final map. I started up by going to the right and waking up the KINDa. Luckily, this map allowed for backtracking to the start and also seeing what the lefthand path was: supplies! Knocking out the IoS was at least a simple enough task, which elevates this above a lot of other MAP32s. (I made it a little harder than it should have been by being terrible at timing my rockets, though.)

 

OVERALL:

For the most part I enjoyed my time playing KINDa. Not too a high a bar, to be honest, as there are very few WADs I've played which I look back upon with active dislike. But KINDa has a freshness to it, coming as it were (I believe?) from outside the community, where the author sticks to his particular vision throughout the project. The visuals were at worst perfectly competent, but often far better than that, and you could definitely see improvement in mapping skills as the WAD progressed. The only real knocks against the WAD are progression that is occasionally far too obtuse, and a combination of abundant hitscanner usage coupled with extreme health scarcity. For being supposedly designed for continuous play, it surprised me how often I would finish a level below 30% health, and then have to play some ways into the next map before coming across any medical supplies. Still, this was fun, and I can definitely see some of these maps lodging in my subconscious and making me go, "Wait, what WAD was that map from again?" years from now, LOL.

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16 hours ago, TheMightyWhoosh said:

I hope I can ask here. Out of interest, which would be preferable/of greater interest?…

 

* KiiNDa - 32 maps of random/differing designs, similar to KINDa, but of course with greatly improved gameplay. 

 

* TNTMW - 32 maps using TNT as the main iWAD, so my own take on TNT.

 

Both of these ideas are of interest to me; however I’d like to know which project sounds more exciting from a player point of view! 

 

i'd give just a slight edge to your take on TNT because so much of KINDa was already leaning to its direction so it'd be interesting to see what you do fully committed to TNT style.  And there literally can't be too much TNT inspired WADs.

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Map25: Her Company video

 

Another map that I thought would suck to do and frankly it did for a while until I figured out a very consistent, easy and conveniently timed way to get through the crusher room unscathed. Other than the crushers, this map is actually quite fun and very easy, courtesy of an early Mega-armor and an early Soulsphere which easily carry you through the map. Surprisingly mild hitscanner density this time, the majority of fodder enemies being Imps here for a change. Some of them are of the dreaded ledge Imp variety but there's a shit ton of ammo, relatively speaking at least, and they tend to bunch up nicely so they're easy and fast to dispatch. Ammo and weapon placement kind of encourages you to skip stuff early on and clean up later when you pick up the SSG and the big backpack stash near the exit. Fortunately the wall also opens to reveal the exit from the other side so there's not much backtracking involved. Better leave the two teleport ambushes to trickle in on their own and multitask instead of wasting time waiting around. Like in Her Keep, the SM here is only a marginal threat and taken care of easily with the free BFG. Visually this looks good once again and you can never go wrong with the blood & wood aesthetic. Enjoyable map overall, though really easy for the 25th map of the megawad.

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Yeah, I'm a bit late --- wanted a break, and got sidetracked by Doom Eternal's Horde Mode and learning how to make MIDI music. But every recording of this run started with King Novik saying "until it is done," so I guess I'll carry out that decree. Actually did maps 27 and 28 a few days ago, but screwed up the upload and sat on the footage for a bit.

 

Maps 27 and 28

 


 

Spoiler

 

Map 27 - Congo Control

Yeah, this level was a hard time in terms of navigation, and I remember now why I wasn't super hyped to pick this wad up again for a bit. Not sure if I was meant to get the red key when I did (note to self, maybe back up against chest-high walls to confirm we're not breaking progression - note from future self, you did so in some areas and not in others, and those missed spots made for the only bad experience in a great level later on), but after too much wandering around I decided to just roll with the fact I had it. Will say that when not wandering in empty areas this was decent enough.

 

Map 28 - Knock Knock open up the door it's real

Here we encounter many doors, Ed boy. Cyborg imps, Cacos and Drones are a deadly combination that landed some deaths on me. Definitely missed some switches, and that prolonged the experience. I thought a few levels ago that the switch behind the exit door (the one a Marauder pinned me behind) was the extent of exit traps, but nope, trust no one, not even the blue patties I guess.

 

 

Maps 29 and 30


 

Spoiler

 

Map 29 - The KINDa's Circuits

Came very close to pulling up the console and giving myself the yellow skull after going in circles for so long. That red skull placement was a tad frustrating, not gonna lie, but I can't blame the map entirely for my troubles finding it; if I didn't have the ability to climb ledges I probably would have dropped into that gap on accident a few times over. I dunno, if there was some cue to lure me down that way I missed it.

 

But yeah, from there I was very glad I didn't console my way out of this one, as aside from the red skull troubles I think this might be my favorite map of the wad. Had a long path to the yellow skull, with a solid arena along the way full of enemies to deal with. And after grabbing the skull and having to deal with fresh demons, I realized this was not going to be a speedrun of the map layout, but a battle all the way back against all new challenges. Was so caught up in all of it that near the end of that struggle I realized that I hadn't quicksaved since getting the skull, and while thinking that got pounced on by a Baron. The clench was real, lemme tell ya. Good stuff.

 

Map 30 - KINDa

Pulled out the rocket launcher, jumped a bit and killed the Icon before it could do much of anything. Hmm, let's try that again but maybe the more intended way.

 

So we end with an Icon fight, eh? Okay, neat arena with the spawns being aimed at specific points like that. In hilariously fitting fashion, the solution to victory wasn't dealing with the endless horde of demons, but rather facing my true nemesis in this wad --- the search for the red key. Not a difficult hunt this time, but there was that pressure in the back of my mind knowing that the longer it took me to find it, the worse the shitstorm of spawned demons would be back in the boss room. Found it, opened it, shot it, won it.

 

 

Looking back on the overall experience of this wad...y'know what, I'd say it was good time. A previous post pointed out that this was all by one person and originally made without outside/community input, and honestly I respect that kind of (or kinda, hur hur) independent effort and ambition to make a competent long-form experience like this. I know I got salty here and there on the things I didn't enjoy or couldn't figure out in a level, so let me make clear: Whoosh, you did good. Some things weren't my jam, and I hope I explained well enough why in case you wish to appeal to a more combat-oriented and directionally-challenged player such as myself in the future. Props for taking the criticism in stride, and either way, you do you, as you clearly have the chops to make some good levels.

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Still chugging along here...

 

Map26: Monstrous video

 

It's a big map but hardly monstrous. A lot of ways to go for a blind player but it's turns out to be fairly straightforward if you know your way around a bit. Difficulty is very low, I feel like it's one of the easiest map in the set overall mainly due to the secret megastash of goodies in the middle of the hubstructure. Said stash ends all your potential ammo and health issues pretty much for the rest of the map as in addition to the BFG and the Megasphere you also get to crush the Cyber. Talk about big rewards! Quite fun to run though and I spent a few evenings with this just to push the time down under 10 minutes. It's the kind of map that really mostly follows the plan that I've laid out and the result is more elegant I suppose than some of the more chaotic maps. Love the BFG opportunities too, I think the shot I take at the Soulsphere secret which kills both the Arach and the Manc is one of my favorite moments in the map. Biggest reason for restarts in this map wasn't death but missing monsters, which unfortunately you can't really tell until the very end. The Cacos (and the Pinkie) in the hub roam and often end up near the starting area (you can see me check the right side as I'm going to the BK and I barely managed to see the Pinkie) so they're very easy to miss. There's really no way to tell whether they've succumbed to infighting or just hiding somewhere so a lot of "what the fuck did I miss??" happened. The teleport closets are also noticeably slow but time waste can be mitigated by multitasking. Overall I like the map but I guess a little bit more difficulty wouldn't have hurt; we're pretty much at the final stretch now after all.

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Map27: Congo Control video

 

Not bad, certainly a notch or two more difficulty here compared to map26 thanks to the copious amounts of Plutonic Chaingunner hordes that teleport in at key situations. The texture theme is somewhat Plutonia as well as the map name suggests and there's notably more curves here compared to your average KINDa map, it's a nice little "twist" to the typical style we've experience thus far. Can't say this would still be a very tough map at all or Plutonia-esque in that regard, definitely not so when you find the extremely rewarding secrets. Ammo is also quite fair here, didn't really feel any pressure around that if you just pick up the one shell box at the warehouse in the beginning. Once again the teleport closets could be designed a bit better as like this they result in sometimes painfully slow trickle of the last few monsters. it's not really a problem here in general other than in the tree island where you get to wait a random amount of time for the Chaingunners to show up, ideally they come almost immediately like in the video but often I had to wait up to like 15 seconds for the last one or two to teleport in. You can leave them behind and the will typically follow you into the main map eventually when you're tele'd back to the warehouse with the SSG but I thought it's better to wait for them initially than go looking for random wandering monsters later. Favorite part is probably the final sequences behind the blue door where a fuck ton of Chaingunners get unleashed, suitably chaotic action and of course extremely satisfying to mow them down with the RL. Enjoyable map overall and decent fun to max as well.

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Well, here we go with the last three maps (yes I know, map32 is still left), better late than never. Really enjoyable, classic style mapset overall. You can tell TMW likes their TNT, many maps have that same feel and style.

 

Map28: Knock Knock video

 

An entertaining map and one that was really quite fun to grind for a good time. And grind I did, easily the longest it took for a demo thus far although mostly because I kept lowering my target time as I went. Casually played the map isn't hard but the speedrun route here is deadly, more so than anything else in the entire wad. The first major obstacles are the Manc and the Arach who both are keen to blocking your path and murdering you on sight. If the Manc is blocking it's game over due to time waste, if the Arach does what it did in my demo it's bad for health. And  health is what you really like to have when rushing over the courtyard first time through the spawned hitscan mob as the damage they inflict is invariably significant. Most of my attempts ended in these first parts of the map. The SSG room is easily survivable with minimal health and then you get the Soulsphere soon after which carries you through the rest of the map. The AV at the end as well as the Revs are mere pushovers if you rationed your cells right but at that point the Soulsphere's healing effects are long gone so there's some tension there, especially related to the typical few hitscanners still alive at that point. There isn't really any big opportunities for infights here so this map is all about ammo effectiveness, the BFG especially of course since it's available so early, and again ammo seems overall quite plentiful so you've got some options on how to tackle things. One thing to note is that both the BFG and the SSG are in secrets, although both arguably not that hard to spot, so some players might have a much tougher time with the map if they don't find the secrets. The two Cacos up on the double lift area are comically ineffective, they hardly ever even bother to rise from the ground so you'll just shooting Caco scalps.

 

Map29: The KINDa's Circuit video

 

I think this is a fitting map29 in the set as it's the most ambitious and sprawling one in the set quite easily in my opinion. Monstrous was grand in scale but this is way more complex in terms of architecture and detailing etc, really TheMightyWhoosh's mapping prowess in full display Sceneries switch from typical techbase to wooden library with a couple of brief stints outdoors as well, a bit of a compilation of various ideas seen throughout the wad really but in a cute, classic 90s kind of way. In general the idea of a map like this, where you fight your way through the map to reach a key item, then fight your way back the same route, is interesting but perhaps tough to pull off. The biggest problems are linearity and how to make the trip back interesting, the former not being a big problem in my opinion as the action is pretty much constant but the latter maybe a little bit more so as the areas are considerably less occupied on your way back to the beginning than they were initially. I suppose you can fly through the trip back and think of it as prelude to the climax in the center of the map so ehh. Maxing the map was a little frustrating, for the first few minutes health is scarce and hitscanners plenty which means that you might as well restart if you take > 50% damage in the first few rooms. This wasn't very fun as the beginning is also the least enjoyable part of the entire map and I got to play it over and over again. Only after you reach the first AV does the map start to let up the tension with a sudden influx of healing items, culminating in a Soulsphere. Your reward at the end of the road is a yellow key and a megasphere, so the return journey is a much more relaxed one. The Cyber duo in the finale isn't very hard to deal with although fucking up the run is easy enough with errant BFG shots (which I admit happened a few times to my embarrassment). It's an impressive map overall, although being so linear it's not the among the most fun of the set when it comes to maxing.

 

Map30: KINDa video

 

A short map30 featuring a BFG-fest fight and TMW's rendition of the classic IoS fight. Took me a minute and 17 seconds to finish with 100% kill and secrets, the only real point of interest perhaps the way you can handle the IoS in a single ride of the lift: shoot it once quickly while the platform descends, then the second while it's ascending again and finally the third while jumping down from the platform. Getting the timing right is really easy too since the IoS is so close and the lift moves slowly. Added bonus with that strategy is that the IoS barely manages to spawn anything!

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