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Keeper of Jericho

A Doom II episode

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I've made a couple of maps that cover the first Doom II "episode", meaning map 1 to 6, and before I continued adding more maps, I wanted to get some feedback on these maps first. If the feedback's not crushingly negative, I'll probably continue adding maps.

The maps are all shorter than average (probably even shorter than a Scythe map), so you probably won't spend more than 10 minutes in each map. This was done on purpose, as I like shorter maps, they're easier to make for a beginning mapper and I could pay more attention to detail and balanced gameplay. Difficulty settings work, but even on UV it shouldn't be anything more than a reasonable challenge. Only map 06 may be tough in the end.

The file (download from any of these links):
http://hotfile.com/dl/35242910/61aff48/dmIIe.zip.html
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=B3IU7P1A
http://rapidshare.com/files/369585075/dmIIe.zip.html

The maps and screenshots:

Map 01 - The Library
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpizo/Doom-Screenshots/screenshot_doom_20091219_222039.png
Map 02 - Backyard Fountains
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpizo/Doom-Screenshots/screenshot_doom_20100329_171308.png
Map 03 - Cliffside Complex (the name refers to the complexity of finding all 13 secrets)
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpizo/Doom-Screenshots/screenshot_doom_20100329_171422.png
Map 04 - Storage Outpost
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpizo/Doom-Screenshots/screenshot_doom_20100329_171526.png
Map 05 - Ruined Base
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpizo/Doom-Screenshots/screenshot_doom_20100329_171643.png
Map 06 - The Guardians
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Elpizo/Doom-Screenshots/screenshot_doom_20100329_171701.png

I'm quite satisfied with each of the maps I've made. I'm aware that the detailing may not be up to Community Chest 3 level, or wads like it, but I tried to keep myself limited to the Doom II graphics pack, as well as the Doom II style of detailing (okay, maybe a bit more detailed than that). Aside from this, all is present: keys, monsters, teleporting monsters, traps, nukage...

Map 06 is a personal favorite of mine. It may look a bit plain, or lack thematical variety, but the gameplay in it is exactly like I wanted it to be (a sort of boss level), and the brown bricks kind of suit the atmosphere, IMHO.

There's player starts for multiplayer, but I haven't tested it, so it probably won't work smoothly, if at all.

Thoughts? Comments? What can be improved?

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The shot look really cramped so I'd say widen out the maps (or at least the shots you posted)

but I'll give you more feed back when i get home from college (and play it)

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Please, make more. Your levels pretty much combined everything that I like in doom wads. The length of your maps were just right, I never got the feeling of getting stuck somewhere or losing my orientation (thats the reason why I dislike most of the popular wads like Speed of Doom, the levels are too huge for me). Also, the design was interesting and the way every level connects with the next one at the end was a good idea and gave me the feeling of getting forward.

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I just played through your episode and I liked it very much. I found that you have a good hand of what good gameplay is about (at least for my own taste^^). The detail was good and interesting to look at, which I also liked a lot. I think if you keep at it, this could become a solid wad of good levels. However, I have a few points that you might consider of changing.

General:
- almost every room is too small. You have to squeeze through the levels and you feel like inside a ketchup bottle or something. Make rooms bigger! Most players like strafing, doding fireballs and running in circles around enemies. Here, this is almost never possible, which takes away a lot of what makes Doom so fun. Six levels of small rooms are okay, but if you continue making such small rooms with hardly any space to move around, I fear that the overall quality would decrease and people would get annoyed by that. I would like to see more bigger rooms and large hallways for your next levels.

- all levels were very short. I didn't mind that too much, but you should consider increasing length of the levels as the player progresses. It's a bit confusing to finish map04 faster than map01.

- the idea of having the player start off in the last room of the previous level is good. But I would suggest that the switch in the new level is already ON when you start. Right now I thought that I have to press the switch again to see what it really does, only to find out it's not doing anything. I admit I'm an idiot, but changing the texture would let me know that the switch has been already pressed.

map02: the red key was far too easy to get. The room was so small that I could escape it even before the walls of the trap were lowered.

map03: There was a HOM not far away from the rock pathway after you start the level

map05:
- why was the rocket launcher a secret? It makes no sense.
- If you make hurting floors, please add a radiation suit before you have to enter it. I have lost about 50% health because of the blocking demons just to get...
- a chainsaw? Come on, that wasn't worth it. I would suggest exchanging chainsaw with the rocket launcher in the level ;)

That were my two cents. Hope I could help you in some way with it.

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I liked the maps they had surprisingly good gameplay for the size of the playing area.

I'm looking forward to see many more map made by you

but I did find some bugs

shot 1 hom (on map 3 I think)
shot 2 hom (map 4 I think)
shot 3 why is the marble there

http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv326/Ogerz001/Screenshot_Doom_20100329_162100.png
http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv326/Ogerz001/Screenshot_Doom_20100329_162156.png
http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv326/Ogerz001/Screenshot_Doom_20100329_162956.png

Malinku said:

how I go about checking if my map is cramped
1. movenment form room to room
2. put random monsters in the area and see if I can kill them with the allowed cover/space.
3. fix the thing you find bad (duh)
4. send it off to a tester to see what he thinks (duh)
5. Fix the bugs the testers find (duh)

how I check to see if my map is too large
1. run through it to see if I enjoy running through the layout without monsters (somehow I can find that fun if the layout is good enough).
2. see if a random fight can be fun in the area.
3. Fix thing you find bad (duh)
4. send it off to a tester (duh)
5. Fix bugs the tester found (duh)

This just means a lot of trial and error teating which will make making the map take longer but will normally resuilt will be better


and the above might help you.

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Nice work! they were like little mini-bites of DOOM. very enjoyable. i would indeed work on spacing, as 64 pixel-wide corridors gets old quick.

the levels are really simple (save the final battle, which is medium), and there's plenty of health and ammo. it all looks very nice. keep up the good work and the tasty bites.

NT

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I really enjoyed playing through those levels you made! It'd be nice to see you maybe make some bigger spaces where players can have a bit more space to move around and stuff on the later levels, though. Level length is perfect in my opinion!

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MSPaintR0cks said:

Please, make more. Your levels pretty much combined everything that I like in doom wads. The length of your maps were just right, I never got the feeling of getting stuck somewhere or losing my orientation (thats the reason why I dislike most of the popular wads like Speed of Doom, the levels are too huge for me). Also, the design was interesting and the way every level connects with the next one at the end was a good idea and gave me the feeling of getting forward.

Thank you for your input, I very much appreciate it and I'm glad you enjoyed my maps. I probably will make more until this is a set of 32, but it'll probably take a long time until I'm that far. I'm not exactly a fast worker.

BlueEagle said:

I just played through your episode and I liked it very much. I found that you have a good hand of what good gameplay is about (at least for my own taste^^). The detail was good and interesting to look at, which I also liked a lot. I think if you keep at it, this could become a solid wad of good levels. However, I have a few points that you might consider of changing.

General:
- almost every room is too small. You have to squeeze through the levels and you feel like inside a ketchup bottle or something. Make rooms bigger! Most players like strafing, doding fireballs and running in circles around enemies. Here, this is almost never possible, which takes away a lot of what makes Doom so fun. Six levels of small rooms are okay, but if you continue making such small rooms with hardly any space to move around, I fear that the overall quality would decrease and people would get annoyed by that. I would like to see more bigger rooms and large hallways for your next levels.

- all levels were very short. I didn't mind that too much, but you should consider increasing length of the levels as the player progresses. It's a bit confusing to finish map04 faster than map01.

- the idea of having the player start off in the last room of the previous level is good. But I would suggest that the switch in the new level is already ON when you start. Right now I thought that I have to press the switch again to see what it really does, only to find out it's not doing anything. I admit I'm an idiot, but changing the texture would let me know that the switch has been already pressed.

map02: the red key was far too easy to get. The room was so small that I could escape it even before the walls of the trap were lowered.

map03: There was a HOM not far away from the rock pathway after you start the level

map05:
- why was the rocket launcher a secret? It makes no sense.
- If you make hurting floors, please add a radiation suit before you have to enter it. I have lost about 50% health because of the blocking demons just to get...
- a chainsaw? Come on, that wasn't worth it. I would suggest exchanging chainsaw with the rocket launcher in the level ;)

That were my two cents. Hope I could help you in some way with it.


Thank you for playing, and I very much appreciate your comments. I shall respond in kind:

- I admit that I have a bit of "big room" phobia, seeing as big rooms require more detailing to not seem empty, and with all those high standards going around these days I'm a bit afraid that if my bigger rooms aren't as detailed, it won't be played. With smaller rooms, this is easier to avoid, and it's easier to make. After all, variety is important, and making plenty of big rooms with much varying detail is not easy for a beginning mapper, and I don't feel very confident with it yet. The main hall in map 5 "Ruined Base" took more than a week to complete, and I think that it counts as a big room?

- As for the length of the levels, I do think I'll slowly make my maps bigger as you progress through the them, but (call this weak of me or not), with large maps I tend to loose interest quite quickly. I'm not somebody who plans out his maps before I start mapping, I have a rough idea for a map, how I want it to look, and I go from there. With bigger maps this is harder. But I'll do my best for this, though you probably shouldn't expect any maps the size of map 29 of Community Chest 3 "For We Are Many" (one of my favourite maps ever, but I could never make something like that).

- As for the exit switches, it was an oversight of me, and I apologize. I fixed it already, though!

- I'll probably work about the trap around the red key in map 2. Your complaint was valid.

- It's weird, somebody else also posted these HOMs, but whenever I test my maps, I don't see these. Could this be because of different programs to run Doom?

- I switched the rocket launcher and chainsaw, as you asked, and added a radiation suit in the niche where the Hell Knight is hidden in.

Thank you very much for your input!

Malinku said:

I liked the maps they had surprisingly good gameplay for the size of the playing area.

I'm looking forward to see many more map made by you

but I did find some bugs

shot 1 hom (on map 3 I think)
shot 2 hom (map 4 I think)
shot 3 why is the marble there

http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv326/Ogerz001/Screenshot_Doom_20100329_162100.png
http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv326/Ogerz001/Screenshot_Doom_20100329_162156.png
http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv326/Ogerz001/Screenshot_Doom_20100329_162956.png



and the above might help you.


Thank you for playing. I'm glad you enjoyed my maps. =)

As for the two HOM areas, as I noted above, I can not see these whenever I playtest my maps. I've specifically paid attention to those areas and saw nothing. Could this be because of different programs to run Doom? Nonetheless, I'll try and remap those places and see if that fixes things.

As for the marble, I noticed that when I did faces all around the pilar, the textures didn't flow into each other smoothly at one point when aligning. When having the faces move, this looked ugly, so I placed a different texture there to hide this.

gemini09 said:

I quite liked it too.


I'm glad you did. =)

NaturalTvventy said:

Nice work! they were like little mini-bites of DOOM. very enjoyable. i would indeed work on spacing, as 64 pixel-wide corridors gets old quick.

the levels are really simple (save the final battle, which is medium), and there's plenty of health and ammo. it all looks very nice. keep up the good work and the tasty bites.

NT


I'll do my best for the spacing in further maps, promise. Thanks for playing, and I'm happy you liked the tasty bites. ^^

DeathevokatioN said:

I really enjoyed playing through those levels you made! It'd be nice to see you maybe make some bigger spaces where players can have a bit more space to move around and stuff on the later levels, though. Level length is perfect in my opinion!


I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'll make sure to add wider spaces in further maps, too. And I'll vary and lengthen the length of the map a bit from beginning to end, but nothing too big. So no maps where you wander in for hours and hours.

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Your texturing is spot on, and monster placement was pretty decent too (I liked the yellow key caco), but they were terribly cramped meaning that some monsters were too easy to evade, and others were horrendous to evade (the revenant on MAP03).

MAP02 felt as though everything needed to be doubled in size, and the small size of the computer room in MAP03, coupled with the fact that the player can run over the consoles means the camera is bobbing up and down too much. Again increasing the size of this room somewhat would remove the problem.

All said, aside from scale these maps, although short are looking pretty darn good :)

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Hi Keeper of Jericho, your levels sounded like exactly the sort of thing I enjoy the most, so I gave it a try and I'm pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed. I didn't think it was too cramped at all and thought every level was fine movement-space wise (definitely tighter than your average wad, but I think it makes a nice change), although the early "cave" tunnel in MAP03 was a complete pain to move around in. I think you should make that area "smoother" to walk through, if you understand what I mean.

In level 5 there was a tiny HOM in a broken ceiling light, it seem to be missing upper wall textures. I should have screenshotted it but I imagine it's easy to find, it's in one of the 4 caged areas where the mancubii are.

I'm not sure what I would have done without the BFG on level 6 that I picked up on level 3, but that might be me being terrible fighting arch-villes. On that note, I didn't really enjoy the level 3 secret area, but one single area in an otherwise excellent wad feels like nit-picking. I should probably give each of these levels a shot with pistol starts and ignoring secrets and then see what the difficulty is like. Otherwise, I have nothing to complain about and I really enjoyed it.

I'm looking forward to the finished version of this wad. My only piece of advice would be that you shouldn't feel compelled to have a full 32 levels if you're going to struggle to make that many, just make as many as feels right, as there's nothing worse than a few bad filler levels to make up the numbers. Then again, I have a bad habit of chopping entire levels I'm not fully happy with, which is why you might never see anything completed from me for a long time ;)

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Keeper of Jericho said:

- I admit that I have a bit of "big room" phobia, seeing as big rooms require more detailing to not seem empty, and with all those high standards going around these days I'm a bit afraid that if my bigger rooms aren't as detailed, it won't be played. With smaller rooms, this is easier to avoid, and it's easier to make. After all, variety is important, and making plenty of big rooms with much varying detail is not easy for a beginning mapper, and I don't feel very confident with it yet. The main hall in map 5 "Ruined Base" took more than a week to complete, and I think that it counts as a big room?

I don't care how pretty your work is, if it's fun, I would like to play it.

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Pretty good wad! i certainly love short maps that can be beaten in 10 minutes or less.
I'm confused though. It seems your map was designed with zdoom in mind, since it uses features from that source port (particle fountains, textures as flats and vice-versa) but the linedefs actions are from boom, so which port it was designed for?
If, as i believe, it was designed for zdoom, why not take advantage of the wonderful world of scripting? I know that, since it's a very powerful tool, it's easy to over-use it, but it does no harm either.

Cheers mate! keep mapping!

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