[WIP] Vela Pax - Beta 2.1 out, now with .1 more stuff.

Heh, that's a pretty good idea! I might do just that ;)

The entire area is still really w.i.p., but there will likely be some sort of focused fight thereabouts.

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I really love your hell maps and sky textures, do you make your own sky textures or did you get them from somewhere?

Any chance you will be making a void map for this project?

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Thanks :). I made the skies myself (not completely from scratch though) and I'll release them for public use whenever I finish the project.

MAP06 will have some void-ish segments, probably.

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Hey dudes! I have a question for anyone who might be interested in playing the next public release.

Lately I've started working on MAP04 again after a really long break. But before that I was making some more fixes/updates/additions to the currently finished maps. Those maps in question have been tweaked pretty much since the first public release way back in 2011. But I'm reaching a point where my personal playtesting is hitting a point of diminishing returns, and I could really use some public feedback.

My original plan was to finish MAP04, implement COOP stuff on the other maps, and then make another public test candidate. But these days I map so slowly, and it could be a while before MAP04 is finished. So I figure, in the mean time, I could be getting some feedback on the finished maps. If you played the 2011 candidate, you'll be playing the same maps. Except that those maps have had pretty huge updates since then, so it won't be an identical experience.

So basically my question is, would you guys like a new test candidate now? Or should I wait until MAP04 is done and also implement COOP stuff in the other maps?

If I do a release now, one thing I would really like is feedback on COOP additions. None of the maps have COOP-friendly traps, for example. There are no COOP things or monsters yet, but I am planning on adding them before the final release. I guess the big thing is just general feedback on making the flow of the maps COOP friendly. I do have some COOP feedback via some private testers, which has been helpful. Some more input from a wider audience would be nice though! And I don't want just COOP feedback...any and all feedback is welcome!

Let me know what you guys think. Also I don't really have much to show off right now, but I guess I can leave a wip shot of this weird, underground area.

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I think you should wait with the update until you finish the next map. I already 100% the maps and I doubt there will be big changes in the new version, especially with those gigantic maps. Also I don't play coop so I won't be able to give any feedback whatsoever.

I'm glad to hear that this project is getting attention. I love me some mekwads.

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Thanks for your input SFoZ911! The updates to the finished maps aren't huge, but they have had tons of polishing done to them, as well as some pretty big additions (in particular MAP02 is about 2x as big as the one in the first public test candidate). But overall, you wouldn't be playing completely changed maps, no.

Obsidian said:

Depends how long it would take to finish MAP04, really. :P

I've been "working" on it since 2011 soooo, I dunno how long it will take :P. The problem is I will make really great progress, then completely lose interest or get sidetracked with another project or start remaking entire sections of the previous maps for a few months at a time. Jumping around from different projects really drains me. It will eventually get finished though, hopefully sometime this year.

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Should we continue pestering you to finish it until we're blue in the face, and you storm out of DW because of our childish behavior...

or

Should we wait patiently and pretend we're not so anxious about more of your awesome maps we're tying our testicles into square knots.

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I don't wanna sound like a cockblocker but I still think you should wait until the next map. It would be great to replay it again, knowing that I have entirely new map in the set plus a bigger MAP02 and better polished maps. Also waiting a few months will probably help me forget my last playthrough(which was not so long ago) and I might be able to notice some of the minor changes you made and an overall better experience.

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I actually haven't played the previous version(s?) of this. Wouldn't mind taking a look at the up-to-date build.

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General Rainbow Bacon said:

Should we continue pestering you to finish it until we're blue in the face, and you storm out of DW because of our childish behavior...

or

Should we wait patiently and pretend we're not so anxious about more of your awesome maps we're tying our testicles into square knots.


Are those the only choices? D:


Ok, so here's what I might do. I'm going to keep working on MAP04 for the time being, and see how far I can get in the next couple of months. If I feel like I can finish it (I'm over halfway done with the layout at this point), I'll hold off on the next test release until its finished. If not, I'll do the release then. I don't have a definite timeline in mind though, but it'll probably be around May or June.

If anyone else wants me to do a release now though, just say so. I'm still not entirely decided yet :P

@Touchdown: If you don't want to wait until the next test candidate release, I could send you a private test build. The old test release is also quite playable too if you just want to try that out.

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Really? That would be awesome. :) In that case I'm looking forward to checking it out.

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Hey! So I have decided that even though MAP04 isn't going to be finished for a while longer, I'm going to make a new public test release sometime in June. I have been working on making COOP additions to all of the finished maps and I would really love to get some feedback on them. Right now I'm about halfway finished with the COOP additions, so I figure it'll be sometime in June before that's finished and polished enough for a public release.

There's actually a ton of new stuff besides just the COOP additions. So it would be nice to see what you guys think of that as well.

I was going to hold off until MAP04 was done, but getting some feedback will really help with my lack of motivation right now. I will probably make another release once MAP04 is done though.

That's all I wanted to say for now. I don't really have anything new that's worth showing off right now, but I guess I can post this:

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I will definitely play it. I see you have different sprite for weapons - just chaingun or all of them?

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The view is beautiful. Excellent use of colors! Each of them has a role, and they complement each other perfectly.

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Of all the many, many fine projects I look forward to playing, this one is probably tip-top of my personal list--the whole 'series of gigantic 2 hour maps' deal really appeals to me, I guess, at least since I've had such positive experiences with the author's previous work ;) .

For that reason, though, I've been resisting playing the demos/alphas of this for years now, wanting to wait for a final-ish product. Maybe it's time I get over myself and give it a whirl....

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Demon of the Well said:

Maybe it's time I get over myself and give it a whirl....

I was wondering when you're perseverance would finally break hehe

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Going by my playthrough of map 5 on stream.

-Didn't like most of the archie placement.
-The area where you need to raise the bridge to stomp on the final
icon piece kinda lost for while.
-Final fight was so-so, room was massive for the baron/cybie count.
-I had expected more from the area where you fall into a large lava pit
after picking up series of 3 rockets. Theres a megasphere secret you
can pick up on a red platform (that area)

Aside from a few confusing parts in the last 1/3 of the map I was never
bored and enjoyed 95% of the map. Looking forward to the final release.

Also good music choice, Easy listening even on a 2 hour map adventure.

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Thanks for the comments, and I'm glad to see that you guys are looking forward to this release! I finished up my initial COOP additions to MAP02 yesterday. So all that remains at this point is MAP05 COOP stuffs, quick COOP testing and bug fixing, and more general bug fixing after that. A June release should be easy to stick to.

NinjaLiquidator said:

I will definitely play it. I see you have different sprite for weapons - just chaingun or all of them?

Currently three of the weapons have new sprites. The reason for the new sprites is to reflect some tweaked behaviors that I'm experimenting with. I'll be looking forward to what people think of them once this next test candidate is out. I don't have any plans to replace any of the other weapon sprites though, at least not in the near future (mostly because I am a terrible sprite artist).

Demon of the Well said:

For that reason, though, I've been resisting playing the demos/alphas of this for years now, wanting to wait for a final-ish product. Maybe it's time I get over myself and give it a whirl....

If it makes you feel any better, we can probably consider this upcoming release to be more of a 'part 1' release instead of a test release. As long as I don't spend another year redoing stuff on the completed maps again, that is :P. I'll make another, updated release after getting feedback so there's something more concrete to play while I work on the latter 3 maps.

@Dime: Thanks for the quick feedback! A ton of stuff has changed since that old test beta, so some of it my no longer apply. I know of a couple Archvile encounters that I've either removed or redone, but I'll take a look at the others and see if I can make them more interesting. The raising bridge bit for the icon floor button has a couple extra cues now, so hopefully its not quite as confusing. If you play this new test release, I would be interested to know if my changes have improved your experience at all :)

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It'll be great so long as it doesn't become too choppy. Mechadon maps bringing my computer to its knees! It wasn't too bad aside from looking in one direction.

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K map 1 thoughts,

-The second that everything becomes more constricted, navigation definitely
becomes a little hellish over time. Simply more difficult to make out things
on the minimap and tech-base corridors are less distinct in general over map 5. Not an issue in the first 70% of the map while you're exploring.

-The non-linear nature of map 1 was insane, couldn't decide where to go in
many cases with 3-4-5-6 directions to decide on, I would start running and
then back up and decide if I wanted to go somewhere else.

-The flashing pad for the red key pickup was awesome.

-I never found a rocket launcher even though I had over 60 rockets making
me believe that I missed it but no idea really.

-Felt quite weak in some of the fights due to having no RL/Plasma etc. mostly
the encounter where you grab the soulsphere and 100ish monsters port in on doom
guy.

-Lastly, considering the amount of maps i've played in doom it impresses me
how many incredible interesting rooms/areas you created Mech. Keep it up!

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I've spent the past couple of weeks finishing up the COOP additions for the maps, and I think everything is finally ready for the next test release. So here it is, Vela Pax Beta #2!

http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/mekastuff/wads/vela_pax/mek-velapax-beta2.zip [19 mb]

Check the readme that's included in the zip for more information.

By the way, I cut out a ton of extra resources so the filesize would be smaller (I cut out close to 40mb of stuff). This required me to update my TEXTURE1/PNAMES and other lumps, and I only did really quick testing to see if I broke anything. Everything seems to work, but its possible something is broken deeper in the maps. If that turns out to be the case, I'll either make a hotfix or I'll just release my entire working .wad instead.

Also I'll make updates to this beta as feedback comes in. That way there's something solid for people to play as I work on finishing up the rest of the project.

@Dime: Thanks again for your help! If you get a chance to play this new beta, I'd be interested in hearing more of your thoughts :)

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sure mecha, looking forward to the last 3 maps.

I also went through 2. Was my least favorite of the three mostly for the reason
I was stuck on the shotgun until I killed over 300 monsters.

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oh man, the dilema of playing now or waiting for it to be finished... How much is left to do?

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Dime said:

I also went through 2. Was my least favorite of the three mostly for the reason
I was stuck on the shotgun until I killed over 300 monsters.

Well you also get the Gatling gun and RL pretty "early" ( by Vela Pax standards ).

Map 01 took me like 2h30 to finish, even if I vaguely remembered the layout ( it hasn't changed that much since the first beta, aside from the ending area it seems ). Map 02 almost seemed like a totally new map though, the amount of work you poured into it is amazing... I'm two hours in, 4 keys found out of six. Having a great time. :)

Overall, this set is absolutely jaw-dropping. It plays well ( and you improved the gameplay on map 02, I really liked the Blue key fight with various hordes teleporting in ), it's ambitious, the maps are well interconnected and the amount of eye candy is incredible. It feels like an adventure.

I can't wait to see the new maps ;)

As regards to the new resources, I thought they were okay. The new armors and health items look great ( particularly the blue armor ). The keys look a bit out of place to me though - not the skullkeys, but the keycard replacements.
The new palette's fine, although some yellow tints turn into light red when viewed from a certain distance. It may be a bit confusing on textures like DOORYEL.

As a side note, you can get stuck on map 02 if you jump from here to here without having the Yellow skullkey.

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mouldy said:

oh man, the dilema of playing now or waiting for it to be finished... How much is left to do?

*writhes in agony*

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Better wait for the final release. The shitty part of following projects by downloading betas is that stuff you're already used to gets changed all the time and that annoys you. Like wtf are the new Map01 and Map02 songs, the old ones were so much more atmospheric. Or what's with the unpleasant orangey palette that seems like it was inspired by the Doom 4 reveal. Or why the project went from elegant usage of purely iwad graphics to 90's style "replace everything that can be replaced". Observing all the changes happening during the development can be a painful process, it's much better to just wait and play the real thing without being constantly annoyed by differences from the good old days.

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