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XenoNemisis

Need some feedback on my maps...

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Hello, I've been working on Doom maps for a while now, but it seems like I can never settle on one map idea, and I always seem to have trouble getting the right balance or design down.

Here are a couple of maps I made spanning about a year or so. One warning is that Hellspawn.wad is meant to be in the style of Hell Revealed so, yeah. Also, most aren't finished, and have some misaligned textures here and there.

I just want a critique on everything possible: Map layout, Monster placement, Balance, everything. Be as brutally honest as you can, I really need some feedback.

http://www.mediafire.com/?k84i6cgucirj6wh

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Oh crap, I didn't even think of that. Sorry, I made them with zdoom/gzdoom in mind. Don't know how they work in other ports, I didn't use any special effects or anything (like particle effects or super detailed scripting), just normal doom stuff.

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I played through your maps, and I feel like almost everything that I could complain about is either a matter of personal preference, or something that must be improved long-term over time as you gain more experience (rather than something that people can just tell you about).

So basically, I enjoyed playing the maps, and I think you clearly have some talent. My favorite level out of these was Hellspawn, while NewAge was second, mostly because it's not finishable yet. Keep making maps. :)

The only nitpicks I have that I believe are worth mentioning are as follows:

- I thought the 8-unit thin rock walls in Halls of the Demon Lord looked a bit too thin; expanding the area and making those walls thicker might be a good idea.

- I think dark areas were a bit overused in Centrafuse, as it seemed like half of the first map was unlit. That's probably an exaggeration, but it's still stuck in my mind after playing all the other wads, which all had much better lighting, in my opinion.

- I think the exit door and/or exit switch in Hellspawn.wad should've been more clearly marked as the exit somehow. I still had monsters that I wanted to go back and kick the crap out of when I first found it. D:

- I noticed a couple spots with missing textures, but given that the maps appear to be at an unfinished stage, I guess that's understandable. One of the maps also had a door without DOORTRAK textures, but I can't recall which one, and I only noticed it on my second playthrough, so it can't have been that bad.


Also, the .dbs files you included are not particularly helpful to players, though they did let me know that you're using ZDoom formats for some of the maps. I'd advise you to remove the .dbs files next time, but to include a text file that says which port(s) the maps are designed to work under, or more importantly which ports you used for testing. I didn't notice any ZDoom-specific stuff aside from the fact that you used textures as flats in a few places. In any case, it's still best to provide this information, as that way people won't try to run your maps in an incompatible engine (or at least they can't blame you for any incompatibility issues that arise from not reading and following your text file).

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Mithran Denizen said:

I didn't notice any ZDoom-specific stuff aside from the fact that you used textures as flats in a few places.


That isn't a ZDoom specific feature. Other ports support texture/flat mixing.

Only one of these maps requires a ZDoom port and only because the author uses the ZDoom's Doom in HeXen map format; all the triggers on the map are copies of Vanilla Doom line types.

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Vermil said:

That isn't a ZDoom specific feature. Other ports support texture/flat mixing.

Yeah, I knew that and could've used better wording, my bad. It's not something that's universally supported, though, so I just meant that mixed flats/textures was the only advanced feature I saw which warranted these maps being designed as nonvanilla in the first place.

Even if not using anything that requires ZDoom features, though, it'd still be a good idea to mention that the maps have only been tested for such. It's easy to let potentially map-breaking ZDoomisms (like tag 0 activation behaviour) slip by undetected, if only unintentionally. If you advertise which engine you've tested them under from the start, then at least we know what to expect.

Of course, a better approach would be to simply test your maps in multiple engines, but that's a little more time consuming.

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I really liked the design of Centrafuse (especially the first map) and NewAge (too bad the map is unfinished!). To be honest I'd like to make such good-looking maps :)
However I didn't really like Hall of The Demon Lords, mainly because I'm not fond of these kinds of hell-looking maps, but not because it was bad-looking.
I enjoyed much Hellspawn which is very fluid and pleasant to play, and rather good-looking.
Overall I think that's pretty good.
However, unlike most of the other members of these forums I'm not able to see small details such as lack of doortrack or things like that. I mean, that doesn't seem important to me as long as the map is good-looking and, especially, fun to play (and yours are).

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XenoNemisis:

Centrafuse was amazing. Managed to capture everything that made Doom2 great.

Strong points.
-Map design
-Lighting
-Monster placement and general gameplay.

Not so strong points.
-Overall 'theme' was really good, but individual texture alignments and stuff could use some polish.
-On the second map, you cannot use a D1 switch unless there is an actual door there, you can't assign a sector tag and have other doors open off it as if it is a switch. But this is a minor thing.

Overall, fantastic couple of maps. Will play the others soon.

P.S. check your PM's.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm hoping that one of these days I'll actually release a finished wad of some sort, so I'll keep working at it.

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I found them very fun and entertaining to play. All though the architecture does seem to be pretty bland. But other than that you got yourself some nice maps here friend in terms of game play.

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I played your maps and really enjoyed them. Texture issues here and there aside, it's blatantly obvious that you have mapping skills which are worth pursuing.
And kudos to you for asking for brutal honesty and for working at your maps properly and not just chucking them together and uploading them to idgames.

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