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skillsaw

Vanguard.wad - now on idgames!

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GENERAL:
Vanguard is a 12 level, semi-speedmapped, Boom format episode for Doom 2. Initially, Vanguard was planned to be a 32 level megawad inspired by Speed of Doom's development time and Scythe 2's episodic structure. However, I simply don't have the time/patience/focus to complete 32 levels at the moment, so I've decided the release the wad as-is.

The difficulty ramps up quickly and several maps are slaughter maps.

PLAY INFO:
Vanguard is compatible with strong limit removing, Boom compatible ports. It has been playtested in PrBoom+, Eternity, and ZDoom. Other ports may work but remain untested.

BUGS:
There are a lot of slime trails. They seem to occur much more frequently in PrBoom+ than ZDoom or Eternity. My apologies for the number of these things I couldn't fix!

PICTURES:








CREDITS:
The Vanguard texture wad is based on CC4-Tex and includes graphics by:
NiGHTMARE, Espi, Eriance, Fredrik Johansson, Janitor, DaGGeR, Ola Bjorling, Vader, XDelusion, Esselfortium, RottKing, Nuxius, Afterglow, AgentSpork, Enjay, Huy Pham, SargeBaldy, Tormentor667, Iikka Keranen, skillsaw, GothicDM Team, Requiem Team, Eternal Doom Team, id Software, Raven Software, Rogue Entertainment

If you want to reuse any of the graphics in your own projects, it's probably better to get them from their orignal source. The (crappy)sky textures I made orignally for this project are free for reuse, so feel free to take them. Credit is appreciated but not necessary.

Final idgames link:
http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?id=16463

BETA 2
http://www.mediafire.com/?zxi31hdmpdsh2yz

(OLD)BETA 1 DOWNLOAD LOCATION:
http://www.mediafire.com/?lwxf8ms3op3x22u
https://rapidshare.com/files/460624346/Vanguard.zip
http://www.4shared.com/file/uOy9609f/Vanguard.html

idgames upload will come after I fix whatever errors are found here! Please let me know if you find any bugs, or if you have any suggestions to improve the gameplay.

SHAMELESS SELF PLUG:
Other stuff I've been involved with:
Sector 666 (1998)
Aeternum (2007)
ZPack (2008)
Stronghold: On the Edge of Chaos (2010)

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Thanks for the compliments! Unfortunately, there are only 2 levels in the style of those last 3 shots. My goal with those levels was to give the color orange some love.

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Whoa, this is a nice surprise. But why did you have release this when I'm in the middle of my exams? ;)

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DeathevokatioN said:

Whoa, this is a nice surprise. But why did you have release this when I'm in the middle of my exams? ;)


To have us fail them I'm afraid.

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Holy damn, where did this come from?! :O

Looks amazing, and yes the that orangey sky texture is very awesome. Downloading now :D

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This looks like one of the best mapsets to come out in some time. I have to admit I don't care much for the Plutonia-like jungle tech-brick hybrid look, but I can't deny the artistry involved and the last three screenshots look to be worth the price of admission. I'll definitely be checking this one out.

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Holy jumpin' fuckin' shitballs. That's eye sex.

Downloading! :D

EDIT: This sounds weird, but I shit you not, every time I look at that orange screenshot, my eyeballs burst into flames - that is, it at least feels that way. And that's good. :P

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The orange sky doesnt tile in software mode in Skulltag.

Anyway...VERY impressive. I played up to map 6, then I did some iddqd`ing to have a look. Wow! Def SoD and Scythe`ish! Very nice!

The sound replacements almost made me puke, but I`m an avid sound-replacement-hater, so...;)

Also, I cant believe it myself, but I beat map05 on my first try :) Should have recorded an FDA, but I probably wouldnt have beat it because of the "laggy" mouse when recording.

Kudos, hailz, hooray, whatever for this WAD :) Thumbs up!

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My head feels dizzy. Could be because the food wasn't so great at lunch earlier. Could also be because I just spent two hours playing a fantastic megawad that came out of nowhere.

FDA, played in GLBoom+ v2.5.0.6 with HUD at gamma level 2. No graphic errors of any kind that I could see. I killed myself at the start of each map, to test properly from a pistol start. I went AFK for a few minutes after Map04 as my hand was a bit numb and it started to affect my game too much.

I think I should start with some praise and be done with it, because frankly, this was so great in so many ways, if I don't get it out in one go this post will contain nothing save for the word "awesome" copypasted a thousand times. So, yeah, it was awesome. There is not a single dud in this megawad, and I say megawad rather than mapset because it definitely deserves that name. I really, really liked Speed of Doom - but I think Vanguard is even better. Less speedrunny, but very solid and fun gameplay. Everything makes sense, the graphics, the music choice, the gameplay, the layout, the pacing ; it simply clicks. Some might argue the difficulty is too easy on UV, but for me it's just what I like - a few deaths here and there, room for mistakes, not a real challenge to beat but makes you feel powerful while playing it, and that's a good part of what fun is about in a video game, to me.

The one thing I disliked was that shotgun sound. I've seen it used in a lot of wads, and I always thought it sounded "low quality", noisy.

Specific map feedback :

Map01 - an OK start, good atmosphere. A bit cramped, a bit dark, some unconvenient floor bumpiness (those wood coffins in particular annoyed me).
Map02 - now we're talking. Fun map, great interconnectivity, would have felt at home in the Scythe series.
Map03 - one of the best maps of the wad in my opinion. Archviles were used very creatively each time ; the yellow key fight in particular was particulary memorable. Just a blast to play.
Map04 - cool looking, starting to be a more open, lots of height variations and yet no frustrating fights.
Map05 - the start is a little rough, but in a good way. Reminescent of some SOD maps. One little complaint : the spider mastermind doesn't have much room to play, and gets stuck easily in PrBoom+.
Map06 - berzerk map done well. That's pretty damn impressive.
Map07 - a fun dead simple, once again everything is spot on.
Map08 - I was originally annoyed by the crate maze + hitscanners, but that was because I missed the green armor ; once I got it, the balance was just right.
Map09 - I found infighting a wee bit too easy to trigger safely in the main area. Not a big deal though, a great map overall.
Map10 - felt like a tech version of Scythe Map30 or AV Map26. The opposition seemed a bit light in the red key room, but, again, it's not a big deal.
Map11 - some floor bumpiness in the south area. The switch and lowering wall (linedef 3534) were somewhat hard to spot for me, blending in with the rest of the room. Different lighting or texture could have helped - or a health vial under the switch, something to make it easier on the eyes.
Map12 - a fitting final map. Again, I got a bit lost with the switches, but that was me being not too bright.
Map13 - great bonus credit map. Punching a baron to death with 6 health, I couldn't help but feel this summed up the whole wad : great fastpaced, carefully balanced gameplay. Oh, and punching things.

Incredible wad. Thank you for this release.

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Damn that looks good. Scrolling the replies and I see phml did an fda, had to stop myself reading cause he commented on maps, hahah. Don't want to ruin my own fdas ;p Now if only I didn't have postlabs to do today >.<

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I'm now halfway done. I've loved every map except map06, which I fucking hated. I found the pistol/berserking to be impossibly tedious and unfair on Hurt Me Plenty, and spent basically the entire map having to save and reload every few seconds with barely any health. The shotgun trap killed me a few times even after I knew it was coming. Bleh.

Everything else has been great though!

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Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Phml; thanks so much for the FDA and feedback. I just watched it through and was surprised at how easily you cleared the episode; my own test runs take significantly longer (...and I've played through it a dozen times already). I spotted a few things playing out incorrectly in your playthrough that I'll have to fix (yellow key fight in MAP11 comes to mind. Can't let you wait to start the fight, need the hell knights alive for it to be challenging).

essel; sorry you didn't like MAP06! Tyson flavored maps are an acquired taste I guess. Maybe providing a chaingun and some ammo on lower difficulties would be a good idea.

darkreaver; yeah I failed when I made the sky textures. For some reason I made them 200px tall instead of 240px. FML. I can't seem to find the GIMP image files to work from again either.

Also, I'll remove the shotgun sound before I release a final build.

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Holy crap! I usually don't DL even when i'm impressed by what I see but I'm going to have to try this one. I love giving love to orange.

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Oh man, the slaughtermaps are insane. I might have to switch to skill 2 (.... or 1) to be able to keep going; they're kicking my ass.

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I've only played the first few maps, but so far I am loving it. Challenging but fair (I haven't had any deaths so far, but some close calls), and very creative design. At no point have I found myself thinking "this is a bit like such-and-such".

Map03's yellow key room was indeed a highlight. It kind of felt like space invaders, but I found a safe-ish way to handle it.

Most of all, it's fun to play. I can imagine myself replaying these maps just for the pleasure of experiencing them again.

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Yea I'm up to MAP11 now (the first one with all of the pretty orange colors) and they are pretty insane. I did pretty good up until MAP10; it was the first map where I had to make use of a lot of loads/saves. The beginning of MAP11 is proving to be pretty brutal so far :P. I'm playing on UV but I imagine if the difficultly keeps increasing, I'll be bumping down to HMP. These maps are tons and tons of fun though! The architecture is right up my alley, the detailing accents the architecture perfectly, and the layouts are fun to navigate.

I'm keeping some short notes and taking screenshots of bugs I find. One thing that I noticed overall is that a lot of your wall decors and details aren't made impassible (stuff like recessed lights, etc). When they are at a level where the player can walk into them, it can really disrupt movement, especially when your in a high-stress situation.

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I had lots of fun playing this wad. All maps were of equal quality and had a good balance. The only criticism I have is that some keys or switches are easy to overlook but it's not that big of a deal. My favorite moment of the wad is the cacodemon ambush on the twelfth map. It kinda looked like some sort of firework with all the fireballs flying around and that neat skybox in the background.

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Nice maps Skillsaw!

I'm up to map 8 now. The difficulty is pretty much spot on I think. I've died a few times thanks to myself trying to play rambo. The hardest part so far have been the yellow key room in map 03. I didn't explore enough to get the RL so I was swearing some when the 2 archies killed me for the third time hehe.

Edit: I also agree with Darkreaver that the sound for the shotgun is horrible.

Also: HOM in map 03. The eastern door that leads out to the arach and mancubus. http://i1136.photobucket.com/albums/n487/dannebubinga/doom03-1.jpg

Thank you!

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SCREENSHOTS: I really like the look of those shots, but the item placement could have been done much better

dont place items were no one would place items
bundles of ammo is not found in the middle of a road

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D_GARG said:

dont place items were no one would place items
bundles of ammo is not found in the middle of a road


Obviously people do place items where they want to. Is your post supposed to be feedback?

edit: typo

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D_GARG said:

dont place items were no one would place items
bundles of ammo is not found in the middle of a road



????

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halfway through, so far i liked map02 the most. it has an early scythe2 vibe with smooth gameplay flow, except it's not as boxy in design, hehe.
key battles in map03 are another highlight, all three are fun scenarios. the mazeish middle with archie hide&seek annoyed me a bit. i think i found the same exploit of the YK battle as grazza. i managed to rocket myself out of cover into 2 archie blasts, got reduced to 4%, hid behind the teleporter and didn't take another hit.
map04 feels a bit different, no sod/sc2 vibes. here's a hastily made speedrun (1:03, prboom+) showing two exploits. the rocket boost is reliable and looks cool. :) the switch trick is a bit lame.
map05: okay, sod map23 homage. it's really fun to blast through, however i think you spoil the player on uv difficulty with way too much soulspheres and perhaps even cell packs - i blasted almost everything with the bfg and was left with a huge stack of unused rockets and a two spheres.
map06: great music selection, balance feels alright as i tysoned it (fist/pistol) all the way through on my first attempt. although just barely, heh. i dig the plain style, makes moving so much easier than let's say map01. a chaingun for lower difficulties might be a good idea though.

so far this has been an enjoyable surprise!

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Were I that confusing? I thought of pic#3 in the screenshot post
just saying that pic would have been better looking better if the items were placed differently, I notice when I play other wads that some items are not that well placed, it doenst take much to ruin an atmosphere

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D_GARG said:

Were I that confusing? I thought of pic#3 in the screenshot post
just saying that pic would have been better looking better if the items were placed differently, I notice when I play other wads that some items are not that well placed, it doenst take much to ruin an atmosphere


Now I may just be insane, but I'm fairly certain items like ammo and health are generally placed where they will be most beneficial to the gameplay and not where they look the prettiest.

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