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exl

Demons of Problematique 2

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An obvious sequel to Demons of Problematique. No cutscenes (aside from the endings), no new weapons, no new monsters, just Doom. With some fancy effects.

Screenshots and download link to a beta version: http://www.teamhellspawn.com/exl/dop2
Alternative link: http://www.dvdflick.net/storage/dop2

I estimate the total playtime for the experienced player lies at around 40-50 minutes on the Normal skill, 50-60 for Hard. Your kills, item % and secrets % will be shown at the end of the credit sequence.

It needs polishing here and there, but most importantly some proper field testing to complete the gameplay and item balance. What would also be useful to know is what parts aren't fun, what is confusing, what is annoying, and so on.

I'm not fishing for "nice work" and "well done" comments by posting this, although they are appreciated. Feel free to give as much criticism as you want, as long as it is constructive and can help me improve this. However if you just want to play it, go right ahead. It's 98% done in it's current state so hopefully no major errors exist.

It requires GZDoom using it's OpenGL renderer. Using the software renderer will not work well. Looks best with dynamic lights enabled, and shader options turned on (it was designed using these settings, the appearance of levels may not be the same if some of these are turned off). Be sure to turn up the music volume to above the SFX volume; music is used sparingly but serves a purpose other than just background noise. There are plenty of ambient sounds to provide atmosphere during regular play.



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That last screenshot is absolutely incredible. Can't play it right now, but needed to add my .02 on that. Will be playing this later.

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Krispavera said:

That last screenshot is absolutely incredible. Can't play it right now, but needed to add my .02 on that. Will be playing this later.

The same about me. =)

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I'm liking that dark brick and Hexen stuff. And is that a subtle (not as obvious as the 1st shot) pale texture used in the 2nd shot for lighting? Maybe I'm just seeing things.

EDIT: Woops, thought this was a WIP. :P Deleted some stuff.

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Looks awesome agreed, I find some of your floors are rather bland though (mainly in the last pic, which looks really nice otherwise!). At least, in the screenshot they were

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Just played it. Awesome. It kept the core doom gameplay yet the atmosphere was completely different - best of both worlds.

Subjective criticism below, complete with pet peeves and nitpicks.

Spoiler


I assume fog is supposed to be on, I had it off at first and it resulted in some pretty ugly things (windows in map02 for example).

Playing on hard, gameplay was way too easy on the first level (then again, it is the first level), and while it got better after that I never really had to look for health or ammo. I died quite a few times, but it was mostly because I wasn't aware of the surroundings and don't play with much care. Once I knew the layout of each individual spot, I wasn't in any danger of dying.

At times, it also felt repetitive or even boring, moving forward, shooting stuff, moving forward, shooting more stuff, lots of room to maneuver and no real challenge to speak of. Thankfully this is mostly just map02 (although there's some of it in map03 too, the revenants behind alcoves for example).

On the other hand, I liked almost all the fights with unexpected stuff happening. The cacodemons coming out of the darkness and arachnotrons crossing the bridges ; avoiding a mancubus shooting at me only to find out another mancubus is also shooting from the second level. Overall, the fights around 3D bridges and multiple levels were the most fun and interesting in my opinion.

The switchhunting was a bit confusing sometimes, especially as the maps are rather dark. In map02, I got lost for a minute before finding the first switch opening that door behind the revenants... It wasn't really that obvious with random decoration using the same switch "face" (although on marble). In map03, the bloodstains from a chaingunner completely overshadowed a switch, which made me run around in circles for minutes before I found it.

About lightning itself, I tried to play with normal settings (obviously best with such an atmosphere) but finally gave up on map03 and cranked up both brightness and ambiant light level a bit.

Your autosave sprite was a nice idea. Nothing is more annoying in ZDoom wads than getting an unexpected autosave, forcing an access to the HDD causing a slowdown for half a second or more and possibly saving while in a bad situation. The way you did it is a really clever way, giving the player the choice. One complaint, though : that little disk was completely immersion breaking, which kind of ruins the ambiance. It could be better as a crystal or something, possibly adding an explanation about its purpose in map01 before selecting difficulty.

As for the boss "archvile" fights... Eh. That wasn't horrible, but not terribly fun either.

The first one was rather boring, all the waves are the same and with so much room and only projectiles to avoid, it's completely challengeless. The music made me expect an epic fight, and it was disappointing.

The final fight was a bit better (although, for all the feedback I could give you on that, I think my initial thoughts when I saw the archviles again sum it up best : "oh, not again !"). Waves were different, and actually dangerous this time. Still, a bit too much ammo/health if you ask me, and once the archviles are gone there's no real threat from the cybie and the spidermastermind. I think the only health I lost there was when imps walked right into my rockets.

About the ends, the one where you step into the teleporter was stuck endlessly on "You will lead us..." for me ; thought it's the second one I picked and to get there ASAP I just reloaded a save (the saves near the switches didn't seem to do anything for me, as the only save I had was before the whole battle, maybe I didn't cross a linedef) and used cheats, so that could be what bugged it ?...

Overall, it was a blast to play, and what I saw as flaws were few and far between, nothing big enough to ruin the experience. The only concern I have is replayability, many fights being straightforward to the point of being boring sometimes and the maps somewhat linear, there's not much to give intentive for a second playthrough, let alone more than that.

Still, thanks for sharing this. Amazing wad.

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I loves me some exlmaps. I'll have to check this out soon. The one thing I thought was really cool about the last screenshot was how the sky looked in contrast to the building far off in the distance. It's a pretty cool effect, whether or not it was done intentionally.

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Ah, I didn't know Problematique 1 was your work. Good stuff! I'll definitely check this out yet (but maybe not until it's out of beta).

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Never played the first one (should try that I guess :D), but I am really enjoying it so far. Only played the first level, but it was seriously good fun.

The only thing I found felt a bit odd was the disks. I mean yeah sure, they are a clear sign for saving but they felt a tad out of place. Perhaps some sprite that is not a disk but something more fitting into a hellish scenario (nitpick really)

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YES!! There's a second one!! DL'ing this NOW...I will send you feedback when I have the time. Good job on DoP1 btw...

Quick Edit:

Execution could not continue.
Script error, "mapinfo.txt" line 4:
Bad syntax.

Happen to know what's causing this...tried on both GZDoom 2.2.0 and ZDoom 2.2.0. Tell me I don't have to upgrade my source ports...>>

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Khaoscythe said:

Execution could not continue.
Script error, "mapinfo.txt" line 4:
Bad syntax.

Happen to know what's causing this...tried on both GZDoom 2.2.0 and ZDoom 2.2.0. Tell me I don't have to upgrade my source ports...>>

Yep, needs the latest version, GZDoom 1.2.01 (not sure where you're getting a 2.2.0 from, that's just ZDoom).

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Oh crap >.< I didn't see a download! Finally something to spend my last few hours before High School.

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Awesomeness. Only two things bugged me; the arch-vile wave fights, like phml said, are a bit boring, at first it seemed a really cool idea but after I figured out what to do and a minute of killing monsters the music went away and it turned into grinding, and although the arch-vile itself is somewhat easy to kill, the monster placement, especially of those revenants, make it difficult to kill them with rockets then spam the vile to death. The second fight was muuuuuuch better, but the monsters are spawned quite a ways from you so it was pretty easy to take out 2 arch-viles in the first wave.

The other thing was the ending, I'm not used to cutscenes in doom so any cutscene is too long :P Really though, in the commanding the demons ending the ending tally counts all those monsters in the army, which you never have a chance to kill. Would it be possible to make that like the ending sequence which are separate maps with script? If you don't at least make the lines of the giant gathering hidden, I could see them off the map pickup.

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Just finished a play through and it's absolutely fantastic! I love the mixture of Quake like ambiance with Doom's gameplay. The gameplay was strong throughout, as were the visuals. Speaking of which, the amount of detail wasn't overwhelming, yet it looks better than maps with 10 times as many linedefs.

A blast to play through overall. Good job man. :)

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Wow the screenshots look pretty amazing. I'm going to download this now and play it sometime tonight (hopefully :P). I'll let you know how things went. :)

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DooMAD said:

Yep, needs the latest version, GZDoom 1.2.01 (not sure where you're getting a 2.2.0 from, that's just ZDoom).


Yeah I meant 1.1.0 lol...nvm that...Ill get the latest version now.

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ah you're the guy who made dop. can you shed some light on how to get to some of the secrets on your first dop?

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Zomfg, this looks awesome. I'm going to have to download this when I get off work. Only 8 more hours :S

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TheCupboard said:And is that a subtle (not as obvious as the 1st shot) pale texture used in the 2nd shot for lighting?

Yeah. A sort of fake light casting. Subtle but it works.

phml said:One complaint, though : that little disk was completely immersion breaking, which kind of ruins the ambiance. It could be better as a crystal or something, possibly adding an explanation about its purpose in map01 before selecting difficulty.


That's a good idea. How does this look?

As for the boss "archvile" fights... Eh. That wasn't horrible, but not terribly fun either. The first one was rather boring, all the waves are the same and with so much room and only projectiles to avoid, it's completely challengeless. The music made me expect an epic fight, and it was disappointing.

Seems I've severely underestimated the average player's skill :) I intended it to be an introduction, so that the final boss battle wouldn't get too frustrating. But hell, if you beat it on hard without cheating, it's likely too easy overall.

About the ends, the one where you step into the teleporter was stuck endlessly on "You will lead us..." for me

That's where that ends. It only plays that ending when you finish on the Hard skill, on Easy and Normal you will be "rejected" so to speak. The line of text is supposed to be the end of that particular hidden ending. I may add a simple credit fade in\out to it though.

Still, thanks for sharing this. Amazing wad.

Thank you very much for sharing your insights. I've distilled your points down into a todo list to try and improve the WAD.

ArmouredBlood said:Really though, in the commanding the demons ending the ending tally counts all those monsters in the army, which you never have a chance to kill. Would it be possible to make that like the ending sequence which are separate maps with script? If you don't at least make the lines of the giant gathering hidden, I could see them off the map pickup.

The monsters are only spawned when that particular ending plays. Same goes for the normal ending, when a scene starts the monsters are spawned, when it's done they are removed.

Tamashii said:can you shed some light on how to get to some of the secrets on your first dop?

Its been years since that, so I don't remember them off the top of my head. I think it would take you just as much time finding the secrets in a map editor than it would me.

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exl said:

The monsters are only spawned when that particular ending plays. Same goes for the normal ending, when a scene starts the monsters are spawned, when it's done they are removed.

You could do something like this:

Actor EndingDemon : Demon { -COUNTKILL }
Actor EndingImp : DoomImp { -COUNTKILL }
Actor EndingKnight : HellKnight { -COUNTKILL }
And then you spawn EndingDemons instead of Demons, etc.

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That's a good idea. How does this look? [new disk sprite]


It looks good, seems like it'd blend in perfectly.

Seems I've severely underestimated the average player's skill :) I intended it to be an introduction, so that the final boss battle wouldn't get too frustrating. But hell, if you beat it on hard without cheating, it's likely too easy overall.


It may be worth mentioning that although I'm nowhere near as good as the doomers hanging out in the speed demos forum, I like slaughter maps and am used to mouselook ; and, frankly, on -fast it might have been just fine (I didn't try). Ideally I believe you'd want to wait for more feedback on this fight from others before spending time to tweak it.

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That was hands down the best Doom experience I have ever had. Thank you, Exl, for sharing this. This proves you don't need huge hordes of monsters, nor even really over-the-top architecture (though this was absolutely gorgeous) to make a great wad.

If this doesn't get Wad of the Year, I will be very disappoint.

Spoiler

(Also, I lol'd pretty hard at the kicme sign, haha)

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Ok, thanks for all the replies, suggestions and comments so far. I have a few questions left before I go and polish it up;

1. Difficulty level. I feel I want to tighten it slightly across all difficulty levels, but I'm still surprised even the Hard skill wasn't that hard at all.
2. How difficult were the Cyberdemon and Spiderdemon at the very end? The Cyberdemon isn't terribly difficult indeed, but the Spiderdemon routinely chopped me up with it's hitscan attack during testing. Hence the barriers that are raised in front of it, to give some more cover than the tall marble pillars can provide (these block hitscan fire too BTW).
3. I realize the maps are very linear in progression, something I have difficulty overcoming in SP mapping. This means there is also a lot of "move forward, shoot, move forward, shoot" gameplay as Phml mentioned. Would two or three small puzzles spread throughout the WAD help alleviate this a little bit? I'm not sure if it would help much, but I don't think it could hurt either.
4. What fights stood out as good, and which as bad? I'm talking about the smaller fights, not like the ArchVile miniboss. For future reference really :)

At any rate, there's some really useful feedback in this topic already, thank you for that.

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exl said:

1. Difficulty level. I feel I want to tighten it slightly across all difficulty levels, but I'm still surprised even the Hard skill wasn't that hard at all.

I found that, mostly, the hardest part of hard skill was reaching it. But then again, I'm terrible at jumping trials, especially when jumping is disabled.

exl said:

2. How difficult were the Cyberdemon and Spiderdemon at the very end? The Cyberdemon isn't terribly difficult indeed, but the Spiderdemon routinely chopped me up with it's hitscan attack during testing. Hence the barriers that are raised in front of it, to give some more cover than the tall marble pillars can provide (these block hitscan fire too BTW).

I thought it was to protect it from the imps' infighting. Running around in a wide arc, as far away as possible, the imps intercept her hitscans and start retaliating, so she's quickly constantly bombarded by fireballs.

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exl said:

3. I realize the maps are very linear in progression, something I have difficulty overcoming in SP mapping. This means there is also a lot of "move forward, shoot, move forward, shoot" gameplay as Phml mentioned. Would two or three small puzzles spread throughout the WAD help alleviate this a little bit? I'm not sure if it would help much, but I don't think it could hurt either.

I felt the gameplay and progression were just fine. Is it very linear? Yes, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I can't really think of any level in the wad that would have been better with an arbitrary puzzle honestly.

I don't think you should add any puzzles or break up the gameplay if it would make the experience less enjoyable overall.

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First of all, the linearity was awesome. I like a good linear run 'n gun game. The Puzzles weren't too complex to be annoying, and weren't too easy.I like that. My one beef with linear gameplay is that it is vital to create a sense of progression, and that's what put me off. The architecture throughout was superb, but it needed to feel a little more progressive, like I was moving into different areas or something. Half-Life 2 was an extremely linear game, but it created the sense that I was really going somewhere. If you even as much as changed the sky texture, or changed the overal color theme of each level, that would be more than enough for me. My suggestion would be to re-texture the levels a little, and use a different sky for each one to create the effect of moving into something different. I'd suggest that the last level should be frozen over. :P

Other than that, good job!

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