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AgentSpork

The /newstuff Chronicles #300

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The /newstuff Chronicles #300 has been long in the making, but it's finally here. I'm Agent Spork, and I'll be your guide for this wonderful week of WADs. (The preceding sentence was sarcastic and not meant to be taken seriously.)

  • Final Onslaught Map 01 - Pawel Zarczynski
    ZDoom - Solo Play - 415kb - (img) (img)
    This is the first map of a project the author apparently couldn't bring himself to finish. The first word that comes to mind when I play this map is "ZDoomy". The author went a bit overboard with the detail, and abused slopes all over the place, which I think the map could have done without. Good texturing and architecture goes much farther than cramming detail in every nook and cranny, my friends. As far as gameplay goes, I'd have to say this map is way too easy, even for what was supposed to be the first of many maps. I managed to beat the map without taking any damage at all. Not recommended.

  • Gamarra Death Match!!!!!! - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
    Skulltag - Deathmatch - 24.2KB - (img)
    Gamarra Death Match!!!!!! is quite possibly the greatest Deathmatch map I have ever seen in my life, both in terms of beauty and playability. Move over Dynamite Deathmatch, this is Skulltag mapping at its finest.

    Obvious sarcasm aside, this map sucks. Not recommended.

  • High/Low 2 - Chris Hansen
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 215KB - (img) (img) (img)
    Before I move on to the actual review of this map, let me just make a little note to the many authors who use ZDoom-based engines to test supposedly limit removing, vanilla, or boom compatible maps: DON'T DO IT. I found I was unable to play this map in Eternity or PRBoom because of texture errors in the map, which does not make me a very happy reviewer. Anyways, crappy testing job aside, here's the review of the map after I was forced to play it in ZDoom:

    Chris Hansen delivers an Episode 2 themed map to the masses with High/Low 2. The map replicates the Episode 2 theme nicely, but really isn't anything to call home about. It's not very visually appealing, but doesn't look bad either. The map is also relatively easy, even though the text file claims it should be challenging on UV for skilled players. Now, I'm not exactly what one might call a skilled player, but this also wasn't a very challenging map, either.

    Overall the map is pretty average, and has its own fair share of bugs, such as being able to get the red key early, and being able to pull certain switches from below ledges. Not recommended.

  • Hell Keep Remake - Paul Corfiatis
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 86.1 - (img)
    I've actually seen several Hell Keep remakes lately. This one, by Paul Corfiatis, tries to make the map more realistic, in addition to making it actually look like a keep. However, the gameplay is almost identical to that of the original, which I personally never liked much in the first place. Recommended, if you didn't mind the original Hell Keep.

  • Railsaw - Jake "The Nutcracker" Stevens
    ZDoom - n/a - 761KB
    Railsaw is a below average weapon mod. The weapons themselves are... bad, using sprites that I'm sure just about everyone has seen before. They range from an invisible fist, to an ultra fast firing railgun thing. Some of the weapons don't even have sounds! Not recommended.

  • Destination Unknown - SkullTag Edition - Stewboy
    Skulltag - Co-op - 1.84MB - (img) (img) (img)
    Here we have a cooperative megawad for Skulltag that is "intended to be fun", according to the text file. Normally, I make maps intending to bore the crap out of people (which I do a pretty damn good job of, I might add), but this guy has decided to raise the bar and try to make something that's fun. However, I think his attempts might have failed. You see, most of the maps in this WAD are highly linear, and involve you shooting waves of monsters that happen to appear right in front of you. In addition, the author made it so that you have infinite ammo on all weapons by default. It might just be me, but that sounds... not fun. Not recommended.

  • DOOM MARIO - KERSEY
    ZDoom - Deathmatch - 1.14MB - (img) (img)
    DOOM MARIO is a series of crappy Deathmatch maps with crappy mario-related resources thrown in. There's not really much else to say about this one. Not recommended.

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Hmm, pretty weak Newstuff this time!
I somewhat liked the Hellkeep remake and would say it's the best entry this week.
I was also looking forward to NMN's map, but sadly I pretty much have to agree with the review of it...

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You shouldn't have reviewed High/Low. I wouldn't have, and neither would dean, because of the DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT rule.

And what a shitty selection of maps to choose from too.

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Wow, what a disappointing 300th /newstuff review. Well, at least the selection of wads available for this review were disappointing. The reviews themselves were pretty good.

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I really enjoyed High Low 2. I would disagree with Spork, I would recommend High Low 2 for a playthough. Visually it's appealing and gameplay wise, it was challenging enough for a playthough.

Three flippers and a snorkel.

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Spork doesn't recommend High Low 2? Not Visually Stunning? So sorry Chris Hansen doesn't go for a simplistic look. Good Job Hansen, quality work you did.

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Agent Spork doesn't recommend newstuff #300. :p

I had hoped for something even slightly monumental to have been released this week. But that apparently didn't happen. :/

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Jan 13 16:45:00 <Tango> I was interested in possibly doing a /newstuff sometime
Jan 13 16:45:11 <Bloodshedder> february 25?
Jan 13 16:45:17 <Tango> Yeah uh sure that works
Jan 13 16:45:25 <Bloodshedder> ok you're on
Jan 13 16:45:29 <Tango> haha ok, awesome
Jan 13 16:45:39 <Bloodshedder> if anything opens earlier do you want me to tell you
Jan 13 16:45:44 <Tango> sure
Jan 13 16:46:20 <Tango> Is there anything I need to read beforehand, or is that taken care of closer to the actual date?
Jan 13 16:46:46 <Bloodshedder> i'll pm you on doomworld closer to the date, just remind me
Jan 13 16:46:52 <Tango> Ah, ok, thanks

Luckily, turns out I wouldn't have had time to do it anyway.

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AgentSpork said:

most of the maps in this WAD are highly linear

... and everyone knows how much you hate linear maps ;)

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Tango said:

Luckily, turns out I wouldn't have had time to do it anyway.

I thought I already told you since I accidentally made you do deathz0r's week that your slot for this /newstuff was given up?

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AgentSpork said:
Here we have a cooperative megawad for Skulltag that is "intended to be fun", according to the text file. Normally, I make maps intending to bore the crap out of people (which I do a pretty damn good job of, I might add), but this guy has decided to raise the bar and try to make something that's fun. However, I think his attempts might have failed. You see, most of the maps in this WAD are highly linear, and involve you shooting waves of monsters that happen to appear right in front of you. In addition, the author made it so that you have infinite ammo on all weapons by default. It might just be me, but that sounds... not fun. Not recommended.


Meh, the wad seemed pretty popular on ZDaemon. I suppose you don't like Coopbuild or Drown in Blood either? If you've heard of them.

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Drown in blood is a joke, coopbuild slightly less so. Too bad there was nothing really special here for the 300th, although I thought the detail in Final Onslaught was pretty cool!

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So where does Highlow2 say it's limit removing? The only mention of a port in the text file is 'tested with GZDoom'. Reading such a sentence alone should be reason enough to assume 'Requires ZDoom or a compatible engine'.

Anyway, isn't it time for the engines that fail this map to be more forgiving toward misnamed textures? There really isn't any reason why an incorrectly named texture has to result in a merciless abort. This was something that has been annoying me 13 years ago when Doom was new and it's still an attitude in any software I can't accept.

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for years i've always defended the use and abuse of detail in mapping, especially when those who rail against it are being unfair and refusing to accept the idea that detail and balance can be in the same map. (i don't understand what people mean by "gameplay" sometimes... do you mean the enemy/item ratio? or are you just bitching for bitching's sake? after all there's only so many things you can do with doom's AI... with the exception of innovative gems like phocas island 2 it's pretty much the same game every time.)

then i played final onslaught map 01. while i disagree with the complaint about monster count (i mean, come on, not every wad has to be a HR clone) the problem i have with it is... there's detail, there's abuse of detail, and there's detail snuff porn.

this is detail snuff porn. jesus christ, even the real world isn't this elaborate.

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Graf Zahl said:

So where does Highlow2 say it's limit removing? The only mention of a port in the text file is 'tested with GZDoom'. Reading such a sentence alone should be reason enough to assume 'Requires ZDoom or a compatible engine'.

Anyway, isn't it time for the engines that fail this map to be more forgiving toward misnamed textures? There really isn't any reason why an incorrectly named texture has to result in a merciless abort. This was something that has been annoying me 13 years ago when Doom was new and it's still an attitude in any software I can't accept.

Or they should finaly insert the zdoom behaviour of using flats as normal textures and visaversa. Shouldnt be a problem nowadays anyway.

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Graf Zahl said:

You will *hate* KDiZD then... :D


I don't think so, as the "detail" differs pretty much from what is present in Final Onslaught (ok, maybe except for M4 wich was mainly build by NMN).
Besides that, Final Onslaught is full of texture misalignments and rather poor texture choice IMO (sorry for that Pawel) :/

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Graf Zahl said:

Anyway, isn't it time for the engines that fail this map to be more forgiving toward misnamed textures? There really isn't any reason why an incorrectly named texture has to result in a merciless abort.

Gotta agree with this one, how this issue's lasted so long I have no clue but relative to all the forward progress made with ports over the years it's like NASA building and launching a new shuttle while forgetting to put glass in the windows.

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Personally, I prefer that Doom doesn't accept that the textures or items don't exist, atleast opposed to how Zdoom does it. How many times haven't we played a zdoom map that have had exclamation marks in them, or checker board textures?
It's not a big deal to fix texture errors. So why not simply do it?

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