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deathz0r

The /newstuff Chronicles #305

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Hi! I kind of rushed the screenshots because I forgot to take them while I was first playing the maps, so hopefully they shouldn't be too bad and that Bloodshedder can find an usable shot for the front page. Yes, just like that one over there on the right! Anywho, there's twenty-one WADs to go through this month week, so I can't really crap on here for much longer! I am shocked in the amount of WADs that weren't properly tested though. Shame on you all.

  • Buried Friary - Vasek "(The_)Damned" Havranek
    ZDoom - SP - 323kb - (img) (img)
    This map feels very average. The layout isn't terribly interesting and there are some bad texturing errors in various places of the map, but it's not a bad map. It doesn't really stand out as being one of the better WADs this week.

  • DOOM: A Megawad in Two Weeks - Various
    ZDoom - SP - 2.3mb - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    While I do commend the ability to make a megawad in a mere fortnight, the first half of the WAD is simply bland and very amateurish in map design, as some of the levels don't even consider pistol starts. Fortunately the second half is a lot more consistent in quality and some of those maps are great, but it doesn't save the WAD overall.

  • Doom: The Parody - Pawel Zarczynski
    ZDoom - SP - 630kb - (img)
    I personally loved this WAD. It took a while for me to actually crack a laugh, but its over-the-top stupidity eventually gets to you and it doesn't help that a laugh track appears around every corner, since it forces out laughs but that's what makes this so entertaining. It does get dry after playing it a few more times, but it works best when you first play it, so I recommend playing through this at least once.

  • Duelex - DJShrimpy and Mentos
    Skulltag - DM - 986kb - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    This set of twelve deathmatch levels for Skulltag specifically target the Duel gamemode. The maps are certainly appropriate for 1-on-1 action and maybe up to four players in size, but some of the maps are very uninteresting. The detail also seems to vary between below average and very good which can make the experience a bit distracting for anyone expecting a consistent map set.

  • Elegy for them Vigil - Jodwin
    ZDoom - SP - 1,387kb - (img) (img) (img)
    You don't often see maps that use darkness for a tense atmosphere in Doom, and it's fortunate that Jodwin pulls that off well with Elegy for them Vigil. The map makes you rely on the automap a lot more than typical WADs, as it can be possible that'll you get lost in caves or mazes. While some people might not like that, I believe that it works quite well for this map since you have to rely on more than just your memory. It's also quite tough since there isn't much health or ammo available to the player, which means you can't recklessly shoot into dark hallways unless you plan to use the pistol or fist on a few monsters.

  • Extraction - Michael "Bloodskull" Cole
    Boom - SP - 337kb
    DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT

  • Gamarra's soul story: Mission 3 "The Drawer" - Giulio Galassi aka Glassyman
    ZDoom - SP - 278kb - (img) (img)
    I don't find this WAD series funny anymore. It just feels repetitive and gradually unfunny over the course of the series. Give it up while you're ahead, Glassyman.

  • Genesis of Descent - Hobomaster22
    ZDoom - SP - 3mb - (img) (img)
    Screw everything else, this is WAD of the Week. Download it. Now. Everything about Genesis of Descent is just excellent that there's no major flaws to point out, and there's no reason why you shouldn't play it. I'll be surprised if this isn't nominated for a Cacoward. You better be listening to me Scuba!

  • Gravitation - Michael "Bloodskull" Cole
    Boom - SP - 344kb
    DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT

  • Happy Feet TC - DJShrimpy
    ZDoom - SP - 63kb - (img) (img)
    I'm not sure what the hell is going on here, since I've never watched Happy Feet but I don't believe it had homicidal penguins. It's also not even remotely close to being classified a TC, since it only replaces a few textures, maps, the demon sprite and the title picture. That's a partial conversion at best.

  • houses - Hardcore_gamer
    doom2.exe - SP - 217kb
    DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT

  • Kohe 6 - Ruba
    doom2.exe - SP - 50kb
    There's something that feels horribly wrong with this level, like it was generated with SLIGE and very slightly modified.

  • Kohe 7 - Ruba
    doom2.exe - SP - 30kb
    DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT

  • Kohe 8 - Ruba
    doom2.exe - SP - 45kb - (img)
    If there's one thing I don't understand about Ruba, it's the inconsistency of the maps he/she/it has created. This map is far inferior to Kohe 5, which I believed was a fairly decent effort by Ruba. This map is just simply weird.

  • lol. - BASGTA.
    ZDoom - SP - 17kb - (img)
    I never found it funny, or decent for that matter.

  • monlth06.wad. - Richard Wiles
    doom2.exe - SP - 199kb
    DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT

    Which is a real shame, because I really enjoy the previous monlth WADs.

  • Sabbat Martyr Deathmatch - Various
    Skulltag - DM - 14mb - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Wow. I was aware of the development process of this megawad when the thread at the Skulltag forums was active, but I never really looked into it. It's a shame I didn't, since this forty-two level community deathmatch WAD oozes high-quality maps that are suitable for all of the deathmatch-based Skulltag gamemodes. Unfortunately, some of the maps are very symmetrical and a couple are bland in detail, but you expect that from a community megawad. While I would love to give this WAD of the Week, it's very very hard to top Genesis of Descent.

  • Templed - Chopkinsca
    GZDoom - SP - 2.6mb - (img) (img) (img)
    This map lives up to its claim of being non-linear and as a result, it makes it fun to replay the map several times over since there are many paths you can take to get to one location. It doesn't go over-the-top with 3D floors or other flashy GZDoom features, which makes it still retain that fast-paced feel of a typical Doom map. A very solid map that is worth downloading.

  • The Horror Collection - Alexander "Eternal" S. (aka Deadall)
    Boom - SP - 1,180kb - (img) (img)
    This map is the first in a series of planned atmospheric levels by Eternal. Like Elegy for them Vigil, it definitely achieves the dark and gloomy atmosphere, but I had no idea where I was going since I couldn't figure out how to grab the yellow keycard. I pretty much gave up since there was too much switch hunting in near-complete darkness.

  • Valley of the damned - Aluqah
    ZDoom - SP - 1,314kb - (img) (img) (img)
    This WAD has a very strong Hexen feel to it and uses the Monster Resource WAD to add a bit of variety to the level. Most of the monsters are suitable additions, but I find a realistic-looking spider shooting Arachnotron plasma very unfitting for the barren outdoor theme of the map.

  • ZAP 18 Paradox Lost - A.Badorek
    doom2.exe - SP - 90kb - (img) (img)
    I haven't seen any maps from this author before, but this was damn good. It had a typical level of vanilla detail and it had a few tough battles, but it was quite easy and definitely enjoyable. Keep up the good work.

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Wow... an Andy Badorek level!

Curiously I had been looking for levels by him, to play in addition to his MM and MM2 maps.

Neat name there (playing with both that it was meant for Paradox, and Milton's masterpiece)

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deathz0r said:

The Horror Collection - Alexander "Eternal" S. (aka Deadall)
I pretty much gave up since there was too much switch hunting in near-complete darkness.

You are loser and your monitor is broken! Try to save some money for new one! This wad is awesome.

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Great reviews. There were a few great wads like ZAP18 and Sabbat Martyr DM. Genesis of Descent sounds really interesting, but I have to leave soon to take a final exam for my night class so I'll have to test it out later.

BTW, what did you think of the map I made for the Megawad in 2 Weeks Project? (It's MAP12)

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Hmmm..I liked the first few levels of the 2 Week Megawad. At least, I liked it more than my own map (Map 16). I seriously think Vegeta should start his own classic episode.

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kristus said:

Wasn't Genisis of descent released last year or something? Or atleast in March.

It was released at the end of March, but it wasn't reviewed. I probably forgot about it or it was past the cutoff date for when I download WADs during one week.

Lizardcommando said:

BTW, what did you think of the map I made for the Megawad in 2 Weeks Project? (It's MAP12)

It was my least favourite of the boss levels. Sorry.

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Lizard's map wasn't a boss level. It's the first map that takes place on Earth "Water Treatment Facility".

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My bad. I was going through the assumption that MAP08, MAP12 and MAP16 were boss levels. Yeah, that one is a decent cluster opener, but it pales in comparison to MAP09.

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Great review! Thanks for finally getting to Sabbat Martyr this week ^_^.

Sabbat Martyr was recently updated for anyone who didn't know. Some weapon/item placement was fixed in some maps and it is now Last Man Standing compatible.

It was also renamed to sbbtmrtr.wad as to not get confused with another wad called SMDM.wad.

Now on to Sabbat Martyr II! Which will contain two new gamemodes along with CTF, One-FlagCTF, Skulltag, Domination, and Possession maps.

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deathz0r said:

I'll be surprised if this isn't nominated for a Cacoward. You better be listening to me Scuba!

I already have it in my list.

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Looks like some good ole-fashioned atmospheric maps are back on the menu. I'll be eating out toNITE!

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Vulture said:

Sabbat Martyr was recently updated for anyone who didn't know. Some weapon/item placement was fixed in some maps and it is now Last Man Standing compatible.


Since LMS is always just empty maps, how can it not be?

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Deathz0r you should test levels in Boom or Zdoom if they dont work in the intended sourceport particually with your review of Monlth06 by Richard Wiles. It works fine in Boom and Zdoom for me and its an absoulute fantasic level. Monolith part 6 was easily the best level in this new series by Richard Wiles. It had the some of the best gameplay in a Richard Wiles level I have ever played and it was fun and challenging to play with.

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kristus said:

Since LMS is always just empty maps, how can it not be?

The update allowed the two new weapons (NailGun and Karasawa) to be used in LMS games. It was basically just script that gave the players the weapons if the selected gamemode was LMS.

Glad to see SMDM finally got reviewed! I'll have to be sure to check out these other wads as well.

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Deathz0r, no offense dude, but assuming that (no source port indication == intended for doom2.exe) is just plain wrong by 2007 standards.

I mean, you REALLY tried to run them with doom2.exe or Chocolate doom?

I expected that someone would at least make an educated guess and try stuff on -the very least- Boom or a Boom compatible, for there are very few new maps specifically engineered for vanilla doom's limits.

Yeah, you heard that right: mapping for doom2.exe is by now something highly specific which requires, among others, tracking down HOMs and several engine limitations, not something you "revert to by default", like you assumed in many of those reviews. It requires extra effort by part of the mapper, while the "easy path" is to map for Boom. It's, ironically, just like mapping for a very specific source port.

Meh, just my two cents.

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Maes said:

Deathz0r, no offense dude, but assuming that (no source port indication == intended for doom2.exe) is just plain wrong by 2007 standards.

I mean, you REALLY tried to run them with doom2.exe or Chocolate doom?

I expected that someone would at least make an educated guess and try stuff on -the very least- Boom or a Boom compatible, for there are very few new maps specifically engineered for vanilla doom's limits.

Yeah, you heard that right: mapping for doom2.exe is by now something highly specific which requires, among others, tracking down HOMs and several engine limitations, not something you "revert to by default", like you assumed in many of those reviews. It requires extra effort by part of the mapper, while the "easy path" is to map for Boom. It's, ironically, just like mapping for a very specific source port.

Meh, just my two cents.


You just love to whine, don't you?

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lol @ parody

agreed on GoD in full (use of doom64 music is perfect), only complaint is that it's a bit hard.

must try out sabbat martyr if i can get ST working again

also i think maes has a valid point

3:30 am and i didn't get enough sleep last night and i have dylanology in the morning so bye

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If the author does not specify that an advanced engine (source port) is needed to play a map, are you just going to guess as to what port is going to work? How are you supposed to know? Why should you waste your time guessing? And if a map in question doesn't require a particular port, the author should be smart enough to at least mention that the map requires a limit-removing port.

Of course, monlth06.txt does say "This wad is not exclusive to any source port and was developed with zdoom", so I think deathz0r made a mistake in assuming it was for doom2.exe.

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Bloodshedder said:
Of course, monlth06.txt does say "This wad is not exclusive to any source port and was developed with zdoom", so I think deathz0r made a mistake in assuming it was for doom2.exe.

True; it may have deserved some actual reviewing due to that, although the review still would do a great favor in stating that its broken in any assumed target engines, and in what way. With a mere mention of "it doesn't work" we don't know if it merely has VPOs or HOMs (where you can play it in extended v1.9 mode), is broken v1.9 but works in Boom, or broken even in Boom and requires ZDoom.

Nonetheless, situations like this still force reviewers to guess, unless they test it on ZDoom, which in my opinion is bad because it says nothing about possible issues with any other engines. Basic v1.9 and Boom on the other hand are much more widely compatible with engines in general, and in this case the engine does not apparently aim to have Boom stuff.

So I guess I'll try it with Doom2+ to see if it works...

It's a shame Wiles' level is broken (in v1.9), if it is, because he tends to make levels that are appealing to speed runners or fans of classic game play.

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in today's world i'd assume 'limit removing' if nothing was specified, especially if the text file only mentions limit removing ports as engines it was tested with.

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Monolith 6 is quite detailed and probably causes VPOs in Vanilla Doom and Deathz0r possibly reads text files before he plays the wads and plays them in that port and if it dosent work in that port it misses out on a review. This is typical with detailed levels which don't state which source port they should be played with if its limit removing or Boom/Zdoom. But I'm looking forward to Monolith 7 when it comes out because its going to be great (and not to mention a "Bloody Great Battle").

Zap 18 was a very nice map to play too and one that should have no problem running in Vanilla Doom (1.666, 1.9. etc). One of the best levels of the year.

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Back in #290, I wrote this:

After reading Assmaster's reviews last week, I have officially decided to become even more of an asshole and play each WAD in their "intended" port instead of always using ZDoom-based (unless it's for Legacy/EDGE/JDoom/Vavoom, naturally) ports, effective immediately. I will announce this once: If a WAD does not run properly in the "intended" port the author stated, I will not give it a proper review. If you state the wrong map in the text file, I will not review it. This is not my response of saying that I'm sick of doing this: I enjoy doing /newstuff despite of what gets uploaded. This is a response to people giving bullshit "intended source ports" in their text files where it's blatantly obvious they haven't actually tested it in said port. You have been warned.

Furthermore, if you don't state an intended port or any reference to that port (mentioning DECORATE for instance), I will automatically assume that it's a vanilla map. I will test vanilla maps in Chocolate Doom. I will test limitless port maps in PRBoom with Doom/Doom 2 v1.9 compatability. I will test Boom maps in PRBoom. If you state a particular Boom version, I will use the proper compatability level. If you say "ZDoom-based" but no specific version, I will test it in ZDoom 1.22. What is this, my friends? I call it "quality assurance". I hope we will all agree on that. If not, feel free to flame me, but don't blame me for your stupidity.

Granted that I quickly stopped the specific version of Boom/ZDoom rule because it was too much effort on my part, but I've stood to this ever since #290.
monlth06.txt does not mention "limitless port", it explicitly mentions "This wad is not exclusive to any source port" which translates to me as "it will work in doom2.exe". It VPO'd in Chocolate Doom. I'm aware it says "and was developed with zdoom" directly after the previous quote. If you claim it works in any port, I will sure as hell try it in any port.

And before Bloodskull whines about the same thing because I have this pre-emptive feeling that he will, fix your goddamn WAD and check that it actually works in PRBoom. I'll give it a proper review when you do that. The same applies for anyone else.

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Having now played both Valley of the Damned and Templed, I'll have to say that I'd give the wad of the week award to either of them over GoD any time, if only I was doing t/nc (and be glad that I'm not, it would suck anyway). Although GoD looks gorgeous, it's gameplay just can't deliver.

At least, in my opinion.

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We could split hairs here and start arguing that e.g. vanilla Doom (or anything designed to behave within its limitations) is not truly a "source port", at least not in the sense of something limit removing/fixing obvious v1.9 shortcomings etc.

In that case, saying "not specific to any source port" would be an improper way of saying "not specific to any limit removing source port".

However if I was doing nc reviews, unless some mapper dude very specifically wrote:

[CaptainVerbose]
[CaptainObvious]This level has been designed to work with doom2.exe, which is also known as vanilla doom and doesn't have any Boom or ZDoom features and no limit removing features either. And was made by id software.[/CaptainObvious][CaptainVerbose]

then I'd assume he has created his map with no particular limit-respecting in mind, and, using some common sense, I would try it at least with Boom (or limitless v1.9, at the very least).

In other words, I would expect vanilla compatibility to be something that needs strong stating, not an "exclude all other possibilities" fallback.

Anyone who started mapping after 1997/1998 will probably have never heard of VPO/HOM problems, so "by default" everything made after that date should be considered at least requiring Boom, not vanilla.

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In response to Deathz0r's message 3 posts above. It does take a bit of effort to play wads in Zdoom particually with Win XP and no MS DOS prompt meaning you have to create .BAT files but there is a solution as well. Playing wads under Zdoom is very easy in Win XP but you have to be smart. Remember Zdoom is a Windows based port. Go into your Doom/2 directory where Zdoom is located and double click the any wad. For example we are going to click on my Twilight Zone megawad (twzone.wad).

Once you click on a wad a message comes up saying this:

----------------------------------------

Windows cannot open this file:

File: twzone2.wad

To open this file, Windows needs to know what program created it. Windows can go online and look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of programs on your computer.

( ) Use a Web service to find the appropiate program
(.) Select the program from the list

[ OK ] [ Cancel ]

---------------------------------------

Highlight "Select the program from the list" and click OK. You must find ZDOOM.EXE so hit browse and find ZDOOM.EXE in your Doom/2 Directory. Once you do that all .WAD files on your computer are a double click away from playing because files with the WAD extention have all been assigned to run under Zdoom. Double click the wad and choose the appropiate game, etc from the list. Its simple. I keep all my IWADS doom.wad doom2.wad tnt.wad plutonia.wad heretic.wad and hexen.wad in my ZDOOM directory.

The only downside is that you still have to create BAT files to run mulitple wads, or a wad and deh together.

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pcorf said:whole lot of unnecessary work [/B]


Dude, just drag the wad on top of zdoom.exe. sheesh.

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Planky said:

Dude, just drag the wad on top of zdoom.exe. sheesh.


*shameless plug*
Or use a launcher that doesn't even need you to open up your Doom folder in any way at all, like CDL. Unless, of course, the mappers decide to zip a folder including the wad files, which CDL can't cope with (yet)...

*takes note to add that functionality someday*

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pcorf, what's that all about?

pcorf said:
The only downside is that you still have to create BAT files to run mulitple wads, or a wad and deh together.

just select all the files with Ctrl + left mouse button, and drag the whole bunch over to the executable.

pcorf said:
This is typical with detailed levels which don't state which source port they should be played with if its limit removing or Boom/Zdoom.

Maes said:
Anyone who started mapping after 1997/1998 will probably have never heard of VPO/HOM problems, so "by default" everything made after that date should be considered at least requiring Boom, not vanilla.

Not Boom (or ZDoom); Boom should be specified only if actual Boom triggers and editing features are used, because otherwise Boom's physics, algorithms, or fixes may cause it to screw up using Doom or Chocolate Doom (if they apply, since many levels are "limitless"), Boom in Doom compatibility mode, Doom 2+, PrBoom with a Doom comp level, PrBoom using Doom compatibility options, or any other engines using some compatibility options. If you can guarantee that a map works under plain functionality (sans some very odd tricks), you can guarantee the level will work in any solid Doom based port or engine.

For testing standard Doom levels I'd suggest using something with Doom functionality, and optionally also Boom just in case (if both are used, the chances it will fail in any other engine are very slim).

For Boom level, something with Boom functionality, plus optionally one or two other engines that support Boom (ZDoom is usually the first option here).

By functionality I mean near full compatibility (such as compatibility modes or pure ports), not just mere feature support.

deathz0r said:it explicitly mentions "This wad is not exclusive to any source port" which translates to me as "it will work in doom2.exe". It VPO'd in Chocolate Doom. I'm aware it says "and was developed with zdoom" directly after the previous quote. If you claim it works in any port, I will sure as hell try it in any port.

Perhaps it's better to go by the spirit of the law than the letter here; if the author was kind enough to specify what he tested it with, one can assume things like that he exceeded the VPO level, making PrBoom with complevel 2 (or Doom2+) a reasonablly suitable choice. Most smart people will get a hint from the text file that way. In such cases, you could also just say that you didn't play it with Chocolate Doom or such in the review, and that people should be aware it may fail if they do it.

In other words, I would expect vanilla compatibility to be something that needs strong stating, not an "exclude all other possibilities" fallback.

Not necessarily; I don't see why people won't end up trying a level with Doom95, Chocolate Doom or even Doom under DOS support or emulation, if it doesn't specify anything. Also, as you can see by what I'm saying, it depends what you mean by "vanilla". In addition to size limitations there are other things to consider while mapping, that may cause complications if ignored. If it doesn't say anything it's still vanilla, though possibly limitless, and if it says it's only been tested on one engine that's not too pure a port, it may fail under other engines.

pcorf said:
Monolith 6 is quite detailed and probably causes VPOs in Vanilla Doom

I've been playing it on Doom2+ and it's working fine. Great level too, with excellent texture and layout combination and a decent challenge to boot. Haven't finished it yet, though.

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