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jacnowak

[BOOM] Sulfur - new classic map (~20 minutes play time) [now on idgames]

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Thanks Bio for your video!

I really enjoy watching your playthroughs!

It looks that you took the “expected” route which is good (there is some nonlinearity in the map but I wanted the progression to be pretty straightforward). I was afraid that the “two archviles” trap may be too mean but you jumped down as expected and you survived :) I think I should increase difficulty of my maps a bit. I am not a very skilled played and I’m balancing my maps for my skill level so I think they can end up being a bit too easy for skilled players even on UV. Once you found soulsphere secret I think you had a pretty relaxed ride. Which is not always bad I think but sometimes it’s good to have some challenge.

 

Question for everyone who played - what do you think regarding difficulty? Was the map to easy for you? Or maybe too difficult?

 

A question completely unrelated to the map to you @Biodegradable - I saw that at the point when you picked up the chainsaw, your weapon didn’t change to chainsaw. Is it a setting in GZDoom you can set somewhere? Or is it something that the mod you are playing with changes?

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4 hours ago, jacnowak said:

Question for everyone who played - what do you think regarding difficulty? Was the map to easy for you? Or maybe too difficult?

 

I thought the difficulty was pretty good. You did an excellent job balancing it. Because anyone can set their own personal standards of difficulty levels when making a map, you can make UV feel however you want it to feel. Not every WAD has to be super sadistic on UV. Ultimately it's up to you to decide how difficult you want your map to be.

 

4 hours ago, jacnowak said:

A question completely unrelated to the map to you @Biodegradable - I saw that at the point when you picked up the chainsaw, your weapon didn’t change to chainsaw. Is it a setting in GZDoom you can set somewhere? Or is it something that the mod you are playing with changes?

 

It's just an option in GZ to stop the auto-swap from happening when you pick up a new weapon. Don't worry, nothing's broken!

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Love the look of this map, I'll have to check this out

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This was really fun, and had a lot of good fights scattered throughout. I don't know what the intended route is and I don't really care, the weapons were placed well enough but the monsters were really well used. I was able to find all 4 secrets and I think they were pretty fair and rewarding. Not too much wandering around on my part, I might have gotten lost once or twice but for a 20+ minute map that's not super linear it was very accessible.

 

I liked the aesthetics and music, everything was done tastefully enough and the texture usage wasn't confusing or out of place with expectations (eg using weird shit for doors and switches). The only bugs or issues I found per se would be some random doortracks being screwy, nothing that noticeable. (One spot is in the door leading to the red key, but I think there were a couple others) 

 

Spoiler

-The only time I died was early on in my first 2 runs, but also caught a pair of unfortunate face rockets in the final fight to spoil a deathless run. I started a run once I knew where to find the first couple weapons, and kept paranoia saving 4 or 5 times. However until the last fight I didn't have to reload once, even though I got into ammo and health trouble at times. It just played very fair for the most part and I played pretty well for me, so it worked out to being a very good experience in terms of challenge. Without 100% secrets, I imagine it'd be a fair bit tougher but of course all kills aren't a required goal.

 

-This one has a lot of slow tactical gameplay with little ambushes around every corner as I was exploring, very good at keeping me paranoid. Many of the enemies, especially the archies were tough to kill due to terrain and ammo limitations which made it very important to use good positioning and execute well. I didn't have to chainsaw dozens of enemies although I took the option in a few places. Mostly there were very few monsters in good position to infight too much, which is fine since every fight was pretty manageable with the early weapons.

 

-The BFG secret was very much appreciated, I made very good use of it but it didn't turn the map into a joke either. Its hiding spot was fairly clever but I was lucky to notice it. The megasphere secret was also very nice, although I wished I hadn't grabbed megaarmor just before. 

 

-Very good use of interconnected areas and mostly nonlinear progression, clearing territory became important and made for a good sense of progress.

 

-I like the spread out ammo and powerups, I rarely had tons to pump out but I didn't need to scavenge too much. It made the archvile management and rocket usage matter a lot. 

 

-I was able to cheese 2 fights a bit. I had a few cacos get let loose at some point as happens several times, and hid inside the room where the red key passage comes from. At the bottom area where the dropdown is, the cacos managed to get stuck where they funneled in trying to enter from below. I was able to chainsaw one and unwisely proceeded to do so to the others at the cost of a bunch of health, I couldn't really hit them with melee properly but they did get stuck and unable to shoot me. This was on GZDoom. 

 

-The final fight is also slightly cheesable, once everything is dead it's possible to find a nice position on the right and fire a shitload of rockets and SSG at the cyber in such a way he can never hit you back. Not a huge deal though and I gladly took the opportunity to bully him as he was the final monster. Personally I like having the option since the main challenge of that fight is all the pesky fliers as well as ammo management. 

 

All in all, difficulty wise it was right up my alley on UV, and the length was countered by the fact that most of the fights and traps are pretty fair. I'd say it landed a bit above Plutonia, not reaching early Sunlust tier. I was able to more or less beat it blind without planning or knowing every fight, and making a decent number of mistakes. 

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Had fun with this. I quite enjoy the non-linearity giving the map some replay value. Several of the encounters play a bit differently depending on which way you go.

 

I think the difficulty is good. Not all maps need to super hard, and I think this strikes a good balance of incidental combat, some small set pieces, and some well placed monsters and traps. I like the two sniper arachnotrons. They force you to keep moving in the outdoor area, but also are nice for in-fighting with the cacos. I also quite like the final fight where you have to carefully avoid the cyber while managing the final enemies. I did initially expect the cyber to walk out into the arena, which I think would make it a bit more challenging, but still fair. Because the cyber is in a cubby you can cheese him a bit by moving to the side which prevents him from being able to rocket you. Just placing him on an open platform would also bump the difficulty a bit here.

 

I managed to find all the secrets, though I completely missed the megasphere since I was running low on health from the lava and assumed that the teleported was going to send me somewhere that had the reward.

 

FDA + UV-Max (secret hunting at the end) demos: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hZBJ21jzk4o1mkr59zd74qZdBxRaXIup/view?usp=sharing

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@Lucius Wooding thanks for very detailed feedback! This is always very useful! And I'm glad you like the map!

Spoiler

regarding the cyber - yes, his main role is to block the exit so that you don't escape from the fight with flyers ; I noticed it is possible to position yourself to kill him easily but that's only possible once all flying monsters are dealt with, so I left it that way

 

@ryiron thanks for the demos! I really enjoyed watching them!

Spoiler

regarding cyber - he's there to block the exit so I didn't want him to go out as it would be possible skip the final fight by just going straight to the exit

 

@LadyMistDragon thanks for the demo. Unfortunately it looks that it's recorded using complevel 2. So you either used vanilla/chocolate/crispy or you accidentally specified complevel 2 in dsda-doom/prBoom. Your demo desyncs immediately using complevel 9. And I can see in your demo that none of Boom actions are triggered (this affects not only yellow key, some traps/ambushes also don't trigger). This map requires Boom (because of Boom linedef actions and voodoo doll scripts) so you need to play it in a port that supports Boom and if you play in prBoom/DSDA-Doom you need to either not specify any complevel at all (for casual play) or specify a complevel with Boom support when recording demos (such as 9 but I'm pretty sure things like 11 or 21 will also work although I haven't tested that). Could you double-check what port/complevel were you playing on?

 

@phoo thanks, glad you enjoyed the map

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6 hours ago, jacnowak said:

@Lucius Wooding thanks for very detailed feedback! This is always very useful! And I'm glad you like the map!

  Reveal hidden contents

regarding the cyber - yes, his main role is to block the exit so that you don't escape from the fight with flyers ; I noticed it is possible to position yourself to kill him easily but that's only possible once all flying monsters are dealt with, so I left it that way

 

@ryiron thanks for the demos! I really enjoyed watching them!

  Reveal hidden contents

regarding cyber - he's there to block the exit so I didn't want him to go out as it would be possible skip the final fight by just going straight to the exit

 

@LadyMistDragon thanks for the demo. Unfortunately it looks that it's recorded using complevel 2. So you either used vanilla/chocolate/crispy or you accidentally specified complevel 2 in dsda-doom/prBoom. Your demo desyncs immediately using complevel 9. And I can see in your demo that none of Boom actions are triggered (this affects not only yellow key, some traps/ambushes also don't trigger). This map requires Boom (because of Boom linedef actions and voodoo doll scripts) so you need to play it in a port that supports Boom and if you play in prBoom/DSDA-Doom you need to either not specify any complevel at all (for casual play) or specify a complevel with Boom support when recording demos (such as 9 but I'm pretty sure things like 11 or 21 will also work although I haven't tested that). Could you double-check what port/complevel were you playing on?

 

@phoo thanks, glad you enjoyed the map

I missed that part. For some reason I was thinking it was vanilla format, if limit-removing.

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11 minutes ago, LadyMistDragon said:

I missed that part. For some reason I was thinking it was vanilla format, if limit-removing. 

 

Hah, there is [BOOM] tag in the post title as well as information "Format: Boom" at the beginning of OP and I didn't mention that the map is "limit-removing" anywhere :) But I still completely understand that it's easy to lost count when you are playing many WADs! I'm just sorry that you probably got frustrated whereas otherwise you would probably enjoy the map. I think the problem is that the map *almost* works when played in vanilla apart from some ambushes not being triggered - but that bit with yellow key has some voodoo scripting involved to choreograph a set-piece around it and lowering it is part of the voodoo script. So it has no chance to work in vanilla. Still, thanks a lot for trying my map and making effort to record a demo (I watched it in full although it was quite painful to watch you try hard and knowing you have no way to succeed :P). The demo was still helpful to me.

Spoiler

I realised that the megasphere in megasphere secret is perhaps too easy to miss as players are rushing to the teleporter through damaging floor so I will adjust it to make it a bit easier to find.

 

I am just wondering how to ensure that the map is played with proper compatibility level and communicate it to the player somehow if it's not. As it's quite simple to set it incorrectly, even by accident. In case of UDMF, it's easy as the map would plain not load in not-supporting port but with Boom it's more tricky. It would be good if ports displayed a warning - it's easy to detect linedef actions that don't work in vanilla - Crispy could for example say that it encountered linedef action it doesn't understand and DSDA-Doom could say "do you really want to play with complevel 2 - the map has linedef actions not supported on that level". But what can the mapper do? I was thinking of placing a voodoo doll on a fast conveyor belt and placing a walkover line close to starting area that starts a crusher at the point when voodoo doll starts. In vanilla, voodoo doll would not move so player will die just after leaving the starting area. In Boom, voodoo doll will be already far from the crusher by the time player triggers the walkover line so nothing would happen. Not ideal, as the player may think that the map is just a joke or a terrywad that makes them die instantly after starting but at least they will not be able to get into a situation that they invested a lot of time into the map and they can't complete it.

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5 hours ago, jacnowak said:

I am just wondering how to ensure that the map is played with proper compatibility level and communicate it to the player somehow if it's not. As it's quite simple to set it incorrectly, even by accident. In case of UDMF, it's easy as the map would plain not load in not-supporting port but with Boom it's more tricky. It would be good if ports displayed a warning - it's easy to detect linedef actions that don't work in vanilla - Crispy could for example say that it encountered linedef action it doesn't understand and DSDA-Doom could say "do you really want to play with complevel 2 - the map has linedef actions not supported on that level". But what can the mapper do? I was thinking of placing a voodoo doll on a fast conveyor belt and placing a walkover line close to starting area that starts a crusher at the point when voodoo doll starts. In vanilla, voodoo doll would not move so player will die just after leaving the starting area. In Boom, voodoo doll will be already far from the crusher by the time player triggers the walkover line so nothing would happen. Not ideal, as the player may think that the map is just a joke or a terrywad that makes them die instantly after starting but at least they will not be able to get into a situation that they invested a lot of time into the map and they can't complete it.

You can add a COMPLVL lump to your wad with "boom" (without quotes) as the content. That tells some source ports to automatically set Boom compatibility when playing your level.

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Excellent map! I love when maps have different starting routes and they give you weapons no matter which way you go.

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I'm late to the trend of the thread though it's better than never.  I really like the level design that has several ways to reroute back and forth while collecting items and keys.  The combats are decent; I especially like the open area on the top of the platform where the blue door is at the very beginning, it was quite a hot zone.  Secrets are not necessary but could be handy in tight situations. 

 

All in all, it's short but a fun map.

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Loved this map, the combat is engaging, yet not unfair.
I always love to play with Mods, so I believe this has replayability with many of them.

 

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This was a really fun map. Started in Woof and Nugget, but played through in DSDA to switch it up. A nice challenge for sure and after dying to those damn arch-viles a million times I was able to beat it. It took about 20 minutes so your estimate was dead on. I missed one secret and two enemies so I am already planning on a second shot at this one later tonight :)

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Awesome map, honored to have my MIDI used for it! I was worried that one had flown under the radar, it's actually one of my favorites I've written. Keep mapping! :)

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Thanks @Cammy, your MIDI is awesome! And I think it fits the theme of the map very well!

 

Btw. I need to upload the map to idgames at some point...

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Map is now on idgames. I updated download link in OP. So I consider the release final. I did only one minor change around megasphere secret (to make the powerup less likely to be missed) and I added co-op starts (co-op is not tested though but I think it should work fine).

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