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

What kind of sprites? Like a new boss enemy or something like that?

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SFoZ911 said:

What kind of sprites? Like a new boss enemy or something like that?



/me salivates.

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Yup pretty much. I haven't done the dehacked work for it yet, but I've got a good idea on how it might function. Cage was going to look into possibly doing some clay models, digitize them, and then sprite over them. We haven't talked about it lately though and he's a busy guy, but I'm hoping he can still do it.

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Sounds pretty awesome to me. I need to replay Vela Pax once again to test my new weapon mod and because it's just so much fun to play through. I still can't understand how one person can make such large and impressive maps like these.

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I'm pretty sure I've managed to get stuck in Substruct over here:



The stairs are not yet risen (I believe the switch is on the balcony there), the corridor to the left (with a Hellknight and two Pinkies) is still blocked and the bars behind me (leading to the Yellow Skullkey area) are also in the way.

By the way, Substruct finished without dying!

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Whoops, good catch there Touchdown. Yea it turns out I forgot to put in a failsafe there since the key logistics were changed around recently. The blue skull use to be in the area up the stairs and to the right, but that got changed up and now your able to get to the area your in before even raising the stairs OR lowering the pipewall.

I may just need to block off access to that area from the upper-right door. That seems to be the simplest solution.

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Alright, I got a hotfix up for the MAP02 bug that Touchdown reported. Link is the same as before: http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/mekastuff/wads/vela_pax/mek-velapax-beta2p1.zip [19mb]

Instead of removing access to the upper-right room with the Plasma Gun, I opted to give the player a way out of that inescapable area. I had to refresh my memory on the way I had it designed before, but basically I wanted the player to have quicker access to that Plasma Gun if they grabbed the blue skull before building the stairs (which gives the same access, but you have to take a much longer route to get it).

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Just finished Excella, took me about 3 hours but I didn't die once so that's good. I couldn't use the new weapons since I played it with my own weapon mod but they look very cool. This version is a lot different than the last version I played a few months ago. The map has been through a major facelift. Some areas were much darker than before, updated details, updated gameplay, progression changes(much better IMO)new areas and my personal favorite, new secrets. It felt like a different map and I was surprised more than once from some of the new traps and it felt fresh and engaging. I didn't find any problems or bugs during my playthrough except for a corpse hanging from the sky in the new crate maze.

I'll try to play Substruct tomorrow and give my thought which i'm sure will be positive as soon as possible. Great work.

I forgot how to upload screenshots so I hope i'm not screwing anything.

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Glad to hear you enjoyed the improvements SFoZ911 :). It sounds like you played the old beta 1 from a while back, so you'll get to see some big changes in MAP02 when you play it.

I'll have to double check and make sure I'm not losing my mind, but I think there might be some sort of conflict with your weapon mod and the dehacked. That hanging corpse should probably be an alternate dead player object instead of the hanging corpse (although I might have made a mistake...).

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Yea you're right, I messed up the dehacked. I did notice some new decorate things around the map. Probably my fault.

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I haven't actually commented on the changes before so let me just that the monitors with key routes in Substruct make all the difference in the world. It's such a complex level that it's nice to be able to just see an indication and know where you're going. But overally it's cool the maps are actually replayable... What I mean is that the first time around they seem overwhelmingly complex and you're totally lost thinking it's impossible to understand the layouts. But playing them for the second or third time is super enjoyable. That just makes the design even more impressive, so great work. :)

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That's good to hear Touchdown! Your the first person to comment on the key markers in MAP02, and I was hoping they would be helpful. I made those marker textures for the COOP hub rooms, but then realized they could be very helpful for navigating around (mostly just for MAP02 right now).

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Hey mechadon, finally got through the next version of substruct which I enjoy far more now especially with the place building start/end sections. Took me forever to finish this one, but was fun even while trying to simply get a damn key.

Either way my thoughts are with maps this long that maybe you should have more than 6 midis in the final version of vela pax. AKA just added midis on unused maps for extra variety.

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Nice Dime, glad you like the updated version now! I feel a bit better about that map after spending all of those months updating and adding to it.

I feel you on the music, its something I've worried about for a long time now. It's surprisingly hard to find something that works well on a map that is over an hour long on average. I would ideally like some darker, more ambient tracks with some substantial length. But the stuff I would use for that is commercially made so...that wouldn't be too legal :P

I could add more music, but since the current tracks aren't midi, it might end up bloating the filesize. I'll think about it though.

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Perhaps a music "pack" could be an optional setup for those who are fine with large files whilst not alienating those who want to keep the main mapset download small as possible!

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Mechadon said:

I feel you on the music, its something I've worried about for a long time now. It's surprisingly hard to find something that works well on a map that is over an hour long on average.

You could use MUSINFO stuff with music changers. They're supported by all your target ports (Eternity, PrBoom+, ZDoom), so it wouldn't restrict compatibility much (you might just lose on Doom Retro).

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I had no idea that even existed. Thanks for bringing that up Gez, maybe I can do something with it!

Having a separate music wad is something I might consider as well. Better yet though, if anyone out there would be interested and motivated to make some longer, ambient tracks, that would be the way to go for me.

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I recently played through Beta 2.1 with a 2.5 friends of mine this past weekend. I don't really have any criticism for you, but I do have some feedback that might be helpful. Each of the three maps took us about 90-100 minutes to complete. We played on UV difficulty, of course.

General feedback:

The map design in MAP 1 felt very maze-like and claustrophobic. The passageways doubled back on themselves and made it kind of hard to find your way around after you'd uncovered a significant portion of the map, but wanted to backtrack. We found ourselves just suiciding on walls so we could use the coop room teleporters to avoid this problem. It wasn't an issue in MAP 2 and MAP 5 though.

The encounters felt perfectly tuned for us for the most part. Not too hard, not too easy, plenty of fodder to chew through and enough ammo so that we didn't feel like we had to chainsaw too many things. The new chainsaw is pretty great too, lots of fun was had using that on all manner of enemies, such as Arch-viles and Spider Masterminds.

The new weapon balance felt great. None of the weapons were overly powerful, with the exception of the new chainsaw as double the hits equals double the hitstun chance, which made many enemies fairly trivial with it.

Specific feedback here:

First off, the coop rooms are a godsend for this sort of thing. Having people die off mid-map (a common occurrence, we're not super hardcore elite players especially when we co-op) and not have to find their way back from the beginning of the map is excellent and kept the wad from being tiresome. It was also nice for the situations where you split up and wanted to grab keys without needing to retrace parts of the map that had nothing for you to do in them.

I enjoyed that for maps 2 and 5, you could split up and do your own things and not get blocked by a door that you didn't have the key for yet. I'm not sure if is was the case in MAP 1 to as large of an extent, but it wasn't noticable if it is. I did notice a specific lack of direction in these maps though, especially MAP 5, but I can't really complain about that.

As far as traps go, MAP 2 had some sketchy points, which I will spoiler for people who haven't yet played the WAD.

Spoiler

The double arch-vile 'encounter' by the chaingun near the start of the map felt incredibly mean, as we didn't have much to work with at that point. If that's the point, good job! If not, tune it down a little. Arch-viles are a pain to deal with when you don't have good weapons yet.

There was also one point where I rode up a thin elevator to trigger a switch in a very cramped room, which lowered a megaarmour that was sitting on a raised pedestal outside but also released a bunch of revenants. The revenants then proceeded to camp the elevator preventing me from leaving the area as they kept it lowered by hitting their heads on the ceiling whenever it rose. Not sure what you can do to fix that as I didn't examine the geometry in the area but widening the gap above the elevator so that they can't hit their heads would help there.

Nice one with the soulsphere trap early on on MAP 2 too, that one got us a few laughs.

The traps in the other maps weren't overly threatening or irritating, which was a nice change. We'd just played Deus Vult II before this and the traps in that are really silly.

We also found a bug of sorts, the final room with the two teleporters, one that takes you to the meat dimension and the other with the exit, if you find your way into that room without all the keys, you get stuck. We couldn't find a way out except for killing ourselves. If there was a way out of there, we definitely missed it.

If I can remember anything else I'll post more in this thread, but we really enjoyed this WAD and are looking forward to playing it again once more maps are complete.

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Hey ketsuzoku, thanks a lot for playing and for the feedback :). The COOP feedback in particular is very nice since I haven't gotten a whole lot of that after adding COOP stuffs to the map. And I've only had a chance to play MAP01 with some buddies so I haven't gotten a chance to do much personal testing. So thanks for your help!

In regards to the Super Chainsaw, I've been wondering if its double attack speed is too much. Initially I tested out 1.5x attack speed, but that didn't feel strong enough to me. So I doubled it and I think I tweaked the placements of the Chainsaws in a few places. I haven't heard much in regards to it until now though, so I assumed it was balanced out ok.

It's funny that you guys were having problems navigating around MAP01. That's usually the what I hear for MAP02, but I did make some additions to it recently that makes it easier to know where your going. Also MAP02 is more porous than MAP01, so there's a lot more legwork involved to get to different places in MAP01. The flow in MAP01 tends to be more restricted as well, so I can see splitting up in different directions not working quite as well in that map since lots of areas will be blocked off depending on how each player opens up the map. I'm not sure if there's much I could do to fix this though, unfortunately. It might be a case where I need to do some COOP runs myself and try out different routes to see how things work out.

Re: MAP02 encounters

Spoiler

For that early Archvile encounter, this might be intentional because of the UV difficulty, but I will take a look at this. Generally speaking, I tend to make UV a step-and-a-half more difficult in COOP than in single-play.

For the elevator/Rev encounter, I will have to take another look a this. This sounds like a COOP addition that may not have been tested properly (honestly its been a while since the update so I can't remember the details without digging into the maps :P).

For the final bit you mentioned, regarding the teleporters, I assume you mean the end of MAP01 right? It sounds like there may be some sort of progression break there since you shouldn't be able to get into that chamber without having at least all three of the keycards. It could be an oversight on my part though, so I will definitely check this out.

As a general note, Edward850 and Yholl have been giving me some COOP feedback, and they found some bugs on MAP05 recently. I've since fixed these, but I wasn't sure if they warranted another release. However if there are more bugs (ie. the ones reported by ketsuzoku), I might do another hotfix release. At the moment I'm not working on MAP04 though so don't expect that to be finished anytime soon :P

Thanks for you feedback and help ketsuzoku! I hope you guys are able to play the finished mapset and give more feedback (whenever I finished this thing that is :P).

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Yea not sure what's up the host at the moment. It's been having some hiccups lately.

I'll make a mirror on my backup host when I get a chance. Sorry about that!

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Don't get me wrong, the new chainsaw feels really fun to use, and I don't think it should be changed, as there's still the risk vs reward factor there. It's just very very strong in close quarters against enemies with high hitstun chances due to the permastun you can get with it.

The bug I was talking about was indeed at the end of MAP 1 and we were able to get in with only the red card key. I assume the lift that requires all 3 card keys is meant to be a barrier there, but we found a way around it. I don't quite recall how though.

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Mechadon said:

Yea not sure what's up the host at the moment. It's been having some hiccups lately.

I'll make a mirror on my backup host when I get a chance. Sorry about that!

Look forward to it!

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Sorry for the delay, here is a mirror for you guys - Beta 2.1 Mirror. I think the-powerhouse is back up now, but I'll post this mirror in the OP as a future backup.

ketsuzoku said:

Don't get me wrong, the new chainsaw feels really fun to use, and I don't think it should be changed, as there's still the risk vs reward factor there. It's just very very strong in close quarters against enemies with high hitstun chances due to the permastun you can get with it.

Ok, I understand what you mean regarding the Chainsaw. That was my intention for buffing it, and the way I was going to try and get around the situations where it might be too OP was to alter its placements in the maps, if needed. The maps that are finished are also going to probably be the easier ones too, so in future situations with the rest of the maps, the Chainsaw probably will be harder to use on a case-by-case basis.

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Dude... this is one of the most epic mapsets ever. Very hard, but very awesome. :D And... dat music for Apollyon...

I've a question... if I'm playing it Vanilla, the game lags a little. Understandable, since they're pretty big maps... but then I try to play the game with mods like Guncaster or Trailblazer... then things start lagging like hell. As in, to the point of unplayability. And finally, there's Project MSX... which seems to have absolutely no problem whatsoever with running with the mapset (and man, was that beautiful... :D ). There was almost no lag whatsoever, although something strange I found was that firing small (not large) plasma bolts from the Chimera Pulse Rifle would cause the game to lag super hard... but that was it.

Can anyone make any sense of this?

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Thanks for the kind words DoomKrakken, glad you enjoyed it! Also welcome to the forums :)

I haven't done much testing with any gameplay mods (DoomRL is really the only big one), so I can only speculate the exact reasons for the lag. Those mods most likely have lots of extra effects and visuals associated with them, so that's likely part of the reason. On top of that though, because the maps are so massive (and because there are many areas in them where you can view large portions of the map at once), there's going to be some lag in some parts. This is going to vary from mod to mod, so I'm not surprised that some mods might cause more lag than others.

Another reason that I've speculated (with Edward850) that might cause some lag in maps like MAP0 is the lack of a REJECT lump. I'm not sure how much that might contribute to the problem, but Edward thinks it might help them to have proper REJECT lumps. He was working on a tool to generate them for me, but I'm not sure how far along he is with it.

This might not help you much since your playing with mods, but try playing the maps in PrBoom+. The added complexity of ZDoom tends to make the maps more lag prone. But they play more smoothly in PrBoom+ (since, presumably, there's less it has to do, if that makes sense). You won't be able to run those gameplay mods in PrBoom+ though. If your not getting lag with the plain map set in ZDoom though (and you probably won't, barring some specific areas in MAP05) then this suggestion isn't going to be very helpful.

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Got an update for you guys.

I've been doing some more weapon fraken-spriting since the last beta release. My goal is to have new sprites for all of the weapons, excluding the Fist. And so far I've replaced them all. A few frames need cleaning up and I think Cage might be helping me out with that when he gets a chance.

Anyways, I posted up the new BFG and Plasma in other places, so I figured I'd post them here too :)




For the future, I'm looking to do a new public test release eventually. Either after I finish up MAP04, or earlier if the weapon sprites get polished up. There were some nasty bugs in MAP01 that allowed player's to bypass getting the three keycards to progress. So I thought it might be a good idea to get a fixed version out soon.

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These look awesome. I particularly like the new plasma rifle. And the places look nice too.

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I can wait for Map04 to be completed first.I'm excited but I also would love a whole ton of more content.

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