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LightningBolt101

Facility

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http://www.mediafire.com/?8lkof3aua0a8uun

"Completed." Enjoy.

Changes in the change log for the first update.

If the read me says you need Skulltag, ignore it. I forgot to change it and I'm too lazy to do it now. It works completely fine in ZDoom (tested it in GZDoom).

Screenshots:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/848/screenshotdoom201202171.png/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/35/screenshotdoom201202171.png/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/809/screenshotdoom201202171.png/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/6/screenshotdoom201202171.png/

Screen shots are a little old. Map may look different in these areas.

Feedback please.

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Not very fun I am afraid. And it is only hard because you need to conserve ammo somewhat. There is just about enough ammo to kill everything.

The level itself looks very boring and is more or less Wolf3d in terms of layout. No height variations, no clever ideas and has no flow whatsoever. Go from switch to switch without knowing what that switch just did and backtrack to find the next bit that got opened up so you can backtrack some more after that to find all the keys. Then - more backtracking.

Until you fight 2 Cyberdemons in a very dark square room which also has some HOM thrown in for good measure.

Try harder please. Play some actually good maps and next time you make a map try to introduce some kind of flow to it. Less backtracking, less switch hunt. Spend some time to make a nice layout on paper and then go from there. Make it look like something. Doom is not a great game to make real looking stuff, but you can make stuff which looks awesome nonetheless.
Use more than 5 textures. And try to make the monster encounters actually fun instead of annoying. Fighting in cramped hallways gets quite boring.
Also try and use Doom's features. Changes in height, non-orthogonal walls, different brightness in your rooms (good for atmosphere).

And why this needs Skulltag is totally beyond me. You are using NO feature from it for you actual level design which is part of where the player can interact. If all you need it for is to have a super shotgun zombie dude go by on a conveyor belt behind some glass think again if that is worth it to make your potential userbase smaller. Apart from the one script I could detect (opening a teleporter after killing both Cybies) I have no idea why this could not run in Vanilla even. And that end teleporter thing could have been solved in a different way.

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Thank you for the feed back. I'll try and spend a little more time on some open maps and traps and such. As for the textures, I knew they'd be bad. I'm not very good at texture choice, so I'll make sure to work with that.

As for the Skulltag requirement, I didn't test this map in any other source port, so I had no idea how it'd react to others. It was just for caution reasons.

I figured I'd start with the basics. I plan on making a beach-like map with underwater exploration parts, maybe a low-grav zone, lots of monsters, and wide open space. I didn't wanna leap to such a thing with no experience, as many don't (not that I'm trying to defend myself. Your critique is probably all true).

Anyway, since it'd be a little difficult to change the map design now, I'll save that info for another map. However, could you tell me more about monster and weapon/ammo balance? I'd love to hear some feed back as textures and thing placement is easy to change.

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As a general thing I would say do not start with ZDoom and such features right away. Stay in the kiddiepool that is normal Vanilla Doom mapping or perhaps Boom and get familiar with those. They will also give you a wider audience. Then when you are confident enough that you can make your grander ideas for which you need ZDoom or something like that, do that.

As far as ammo balance goes, I had exactly 0 ammo when I killed the last Baron before the Cybers, so I would say that the ammo was tight. I even chainsawed most of the Demons and some Imps I think.

I dunno if you made actual skill settings. I only played on HMP. Either way, to make stuff more challenging you can either lower health items, ammo and such, or you can increase the monster amount. Of course you could do both at the same time, but I think it should be possible to max a level from pistolstart without going Tyson on half the enemies.

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As of so far this map is hard mode only. I was thinking of doing the different modes last as it's rather time consuming, and when changes are made, you may have to edit those which consumes even more time.

As for difficulty of map, I was planning to make the map possible from pistol start without having to chainsaw half the enemies (besides the Demons, that's why I put in the chainsaw). From the sound of it, I could maybe use a tad less monsters and a little bit more ammo to keep the player going.

As for architectural design, any tips you can give? I'd be terrible at knowing which ceilings could use a little more variety, etc.

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I would say just look at some maps by people who know what they are doing as far as detail goes. People who come to mind (there are more for sure) are esselfortium, Vader, Tango, Mechadon, skillsaw to name a few.

Choosing a good colour theme goes a long way as far as textures goes. Just making everything one colour does not help, neither does mixing too many different coloured or different themed textures together.

Having a main colour theme and texture theme (as in techbase, hell, whatever) is a good thing and then you can change things up in certain areas or to add accents and such.

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Okay. I'll make sure to keep this thread up-to-date as I'll probably be releasing a new version every time I've made a major update (not any small glitch fixes).

Also, you mentioned something about HOM in the final area? I'm assuming this means hall of mirrors right now, but I have no idea.

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Well, it is not like Vanilla mapping is a kiddie pool as such, that perhaps is the wrong word, esp since it can be quite complex when you get into hacky stuff.

But I still would say that learning how to make a good map without all the fancy stuff you get in advanced ports is a good idea.

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I dislike Vanilla Doom mapping. It's very simple as everything is just a linedef and there isn't much you can do with it. Scripting can't be done or is no where near as effective as you cannot set tags for items. This has come in handy many times as it's superior to use an item. I don't have to make a line to cross to make a door open any more, I can just use the key itself. That way there's no worries of exploitation as the player cannot escape it. I also needed this for the new grenade launcher trap I have, which would be nearly impossible to do without making a switch and 3 linedefs in the old Doom.

ZDoom/Skulltag in Hexen format is just the best way to start. You aren't forced to use any of the features, but they're always there for grabs. I've learned a lot about the engine because of this map and I love the things you can do with it. Why anyone would WANT to stay on Vanilla Doom is beyond me. It's like purposely making your life harder. Completely unnecessary.

As for any problems texture wise you may be getting (HoM), I'm going to blame your engine. I get none of these problems while running Skulltag in OpenGL, so if there's a texture error, you need to either update to a better engine or use that pretty little OpenGL option as the creator put hard work into that for a reason. I WILL NOT map for other engines as it's time consuming, requires changing of EVERY action, and is completely pointless given I'd have to change 50% of the map, taking out all variety once again. There's nothing clever left to do in the old Doom. Linedefs will only go so far, and as far as I'm concerned, I can do much more with the extra scripting and features.

Also, to the person on my other thread who said that 5-hour map was better than this 20+-hour one AND that I should take it as a compliment.

Not amused.

Structure = Design, my friends. My other map should not be dubbed better because I added a few indents in the floor.

That being said, I should start working on that zero-gravity area now that I know how to.

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LightningBolt101 said:

I dislike Vanilla Doom mapping. It's very simple as everything is just a linedef and there isn't much you can do with it. Scripting can't be done or is no where near as effective as you cannot set tags for items. This has come in handy many times as it's superior to use an item. I don't have to make a line to cross to make a door open any more, I can just use the key itself. That way there's no worries of exploitation as the player cannot escape it. I also needed this for the new grenade launcher trap I have, which would be nearly impossible to do without making a switch and 3 linedefs in the old Doom.

ZDoom/Skulltag in Hexen format is just the best way to start. You aren't forced to use any of the features, but they're always there for grabs. I've learned a lot about the engine because of this map and I love the things you can do with it. Why anyone would WANT to stay on Vanilla Doom is beyond me. It's like purposely making your life harder. Completely unnecessary.

As for any problems texture wise you may be getting (HoM), I'm going to blame your engine. I get none of these problems while running Skulltag in OpenGL, so if there's a texture error, you need to either update to a better engine or use that pretty little OpenGL option as the creator put hard work into that for a reason. I WILL NOT map for other engines as it's time consuming, requires changing of EVERY action, and is completely pointless given I'd have to change 50% of the map, taking out all variety once again. There's nothing clever left to do in the old Doom. Linedefs will only go so far, and as far as I'm concerned, I can do much more with the extra scripting and features.

Oh! I guess that must be why your maps are so much more fun and varied than all the non-ZDoom ones I've played. Live and learn!

That being said, I should start working on that zero-gravity area now that I know how to.

You've basically summed up why starting with advanced formats is usually a stupid idea. You don't understand any of the basics of making a map fun yet, and you're instead wasting time with zero-gravity rooms because you think that port features are the only way to make anything interesting.

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esselfortium said:

You've basically summed up why starting with advanced formats is usually a stupid idea. You don't understand any of the basics of making a map fun yet, and you're instead wasting time with zero-gravity rooms because you think that port features are the only way to make anything interesting.


This is why shit like "Anime Mansion" gets made...

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I'm not one to believe you have to be a master in any venue you choose to criticize, but having tried this map two minutes were enough to know that if you already believe you've got it all figured out, save for a 180 turn in attitude it is unlikely you will make great things in Doom. Here's hoping you prove me wrong, because nobody wins when someone makes bad maps.

Anyway. I tend to agree with your choice of mapping format, if not with the reasons. If you only intend to map for a specific port, might as well use the right tools right away. I think what everyone else was getting at is that sticking to a more limited feature set can be helpful in understanding the core concepts and underlying designs behind great maps. Map flow, fight dynamics and aesthetics can take time to get right even when there's nothing else to take care of. It can be argued having more features makes it easier to get buried under it all and forget about the gameplay, and as essel points out that's a pitfall you seem to fall into.

If you think that's all a crock of crap, well, that'd be your opinion and you'd be entitled to it. I would just suggest you may find a better reception on the Skulltag forums. That isn't to say "get out", not like I'm in any position to say that, but people here seem to be mainly focused on Doom/Boom maps, so you might not find the feedback you're looking for - and you might find feedback you're not looking for if you bash vanilla. :)

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So my effective formula shall be add in shit tons of monster and traps? Because that's all I saw in the maps linked (that I recognized at least. I've never really played Momento Mori).

I can easily do that, but I choose not to as it doesn't really do anything for me. It just tells me the community here is generally for maps that just keep you taking damage 24/7.

I have no idea what the hell "Anime Mansion" is, but I'm not going over-the-top with these features. I'll extend out the map when I can, but these areas are going to be very limited. I only plan to use each once and making it so the player does not have to go in each area more than once. It's not like this map is nothing but special ZDoom features. As a matter of fact, I'm only running six scripts at the moment with two ZDoom features, the Deep Water and the 3D bridge (which isn't something I'd call all too annoying to encounter). This makes me question the validity of your responses as it seems some of you didn't even play the map. The version right now doesn't even have the gravity room. Just the tiny under water part that I plan to change to a sewer once I get other stuff done. All the scripts right now are just for color, monster death events, and trap scripting. This map is by no means "over-the-top" as I don't plan on going overboard.

I ask for critique and I get people who slam my opinion. I'm trying to ask for what needs to be changed, and so far links to WADs have been everything, which do me nothing.

What do you want me to do with the Vanilla engine? I'm asking right now as no one has told me yet. Seriously, do you think none of this map involves the vanilla engine? For the first couple weeks I worked nonstop in Doom format, which is literally just the Vanilla engine with some Skulltag features due to the source port I selected.

So if you're going to tell me to change something or work on something, you need to tell me. As much as "you need to work with it more" sounds helpful, it's not. You're not telling me what you feel this map should have more or less of.

This map is as limited as the community feed back is, and if I don't get feed back about what Vanilla features need to be added, it's not changing. Hell, I could get rid of all the ZDoom features if I wanted and I guarantee you wouldn't immediately go "Wow, this is so much better!"

TL;DR This map's not changing until you tell me what needs to change. I don't plan on adding in a shit ton of traps and monsters because this isn't the feel of the map I'm going for.

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LightningBolt101 said:

What do you want me to do with the Vanilla engine? I'm asking right now as no one has told me yet. Seriously, do you think none of this map involves the vanilla engine? For the first couple weeks I worked nonstop in Doom format, which is literally just the Vanilla engine with some Skulltag features due to the source port I selected.


No one is saying you should make vanilla maps and stick with that forever. It would just be easier for you to learn what makes a map good using a simpler format. Instead of getting distracted by learning advanced features like ACS and polyobjects and colored lighting, you should be learning the basics of flow, navigability, texturing, monster placement, etc. These things apply to *every* map you'll ever make, and not specific ports only.

That's why most here would recommend starting out with a simple port. It keeps your focus on the basics (which are what really determine good maps from bad, 99% of the time, heh).

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gravager said:

Wait, it's not the Facility from Goldeneye?

Strangely enough, the facility from Goldeneye came to my mind also when I read the title, but I didn't expect it though.

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Well, It's good effort I suppose. The best way to put it would probably be "there's a lot of room for improvement."

The main issue I had was the map's 'flow'. I was going around looking for doors that were barely different from the wall, and had no clue what to do after the underwater section and switch flip. The monster fights weren't that bad, I think the map layout was hindering them the most.

The advanced features weren't extremely justified, but I could see how certain ones made for interesting sections. Namely the underwater and the pit of death thing. Also, that jump is barely possible, I gave it three tries before succeeding, and I didn't really want to restart the map and just resurrected myself instead.

The spatial sense of the map was bland, mostly because of lack of height changes and texture changes. The silver walls got boring, the lights were overwhelming almost. The floor was easiest to look at just because it wasn't that "bright". I would suggest adding in the occasional use of that silver texture with the computer panels on it, just to break up the redundancy. And I would REALLY suggest having door textures for the doors, as it sort of clicks in any doom players mind that door texture = door, and helps make progression a bit more fluid.

The monster difficulty wasn't so bad, ammo was tight, and health was even tighter. You have to remember that players going through your map won't know where everything is at first, and stumbling into a room with many chain-gunners will leave them low on health and possibly unable to proceed effectively.

I didn't notice any scripting if there was any at all. So no comment there.

Lastly, the map is kind of cramped. Changing the heights would definitely make it feel less so, but making hallways wider, rooms bigger, etc. etc. would help the atmosphere.

So for the most part, I say keep working at it, you can only go up from here.

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People have told you what needs to change, dude.
Start by making the level less flat. Make some walkways and put monsters on them. Make a route so the player can walk on them too, people like interconnectedness. Add stairs and things like that as well.
Next, make the ceilings more interesting. This can be as simple as adding some girders or light fittings or maybe even just having some rooms with low ceilings and some with higher ceilings.
Then change the textures a bit - give the various areas different themes. Think of E1M1, how the various rooms all look a bit different to each other. This helps the player remember where they are so it is important.
Change light levels to help establish mood and make it difficult for the players to see the monsters. Textures with transparent sections (bars etc.) are also helpful in this regard.
Lastly, curves and bevels. Use them.

As for monsters, being surrounded is more exciting than walking into a room and having a bunch of enemies in front of you. Use monsters in combinations that will make things exciting. Pinky demons force the player to remain mobile, for example, so they can be used to flush the player out of hiding for enemies like chaingunners or arch-viles to attack. Ask people about their favourite combinations.

The reason why people are telling you to play these wads in because that's a good way to learn these things. Think about your favourite levels - what were the best fights? What monsters did they use? How far away were they? Where they on top of anything? Maybe below you instead? What did the level look like? And so on.

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LightningBolt101 said:

I realize this map looks much like a cluster of everything I could add in, but this map is helping me learn a lot. This stuff will come in handy for future maps.

I wouldn't really say that. There's not that much going on in the map from a technical standpoint. Though at the same time, as I played the map I kept asking me what you thought when you put things in. Like the crouch space behind the red door.

LightningBolt101 said:

Stuff

You're asking for a lot of specific information. What we want to see in the map. What I recommend you doing instead, is play other people's maps that you enjoy. Look at them, and see what it is specifically about them that you enjoy. Then take note from that as you move into DB and work on your own maps.

An important part of constructing maps is to think of the reasons, actions and consequences of everything you do in a map.

Why is this crawlspace here? Why am I making this pit here? Can I do something else to better create the effect of what I am after?

What is the consequences of me having this pit here? What do people think, see, expect will happen when they see this pit?

Etc. This goes for every part of your map's production.

I noticed that you called your map non-linear. Which I found to be a misnomer as I played it. And as someone who who puts a lot of effort into, and takes pride in making non-linear maps, a bit insulting. It's very linear, just that you've made it so you have to cross the same junktion and access the same areas several times. But the difference of linear vs non-linear is that in a nonlinear map, you can play the map very differently each time you play it. You can attack an area from several different access points. You can as you play completely ignore some areas if you so see fit. You can do keypoints in different order.

In your map however, there is one route that is the route you will take every time you play it. You can't even access the other areas before you've been to the previous keypoint areas in the map.

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Update: Gameplay changed by quite a bit.
-That God send of a teleport trap has been moved over to a wall behind a door.
-Testing a hint system to see if it helps at all. This is still a WIP, so there are many more hints and other helping text to be added.
-Removed some switches and areas, adding more room, most noticeably in the first yellow key room.
-Changed gameplay so backtracking has been cut down a bit. Unfortunately I feel there's still too much after the switch in the tiny teleport room (which will be changed to the gravity dome later), so I'm open for suggestions on where to move these, or whether I should remove them all together and just try and add on a new portion of map elsewhere.
-Some enemies removed due to map changes.
-Death pits and crouch area (which will be made more important later) added (not sure if this was in the previous version or not).
-Grenade launcher trap and 3D bridge area (with a warning, of course).
-Sewer added with deep water area. This area is going to be much larger in later updates, as I feel that if I'm going to add a feature from ZDoom, it should not be pointless and play a part in the map that is logical, not overdone. Sewer water will be changed to green (nasty) later.
-All secret doors but first changed to regular doors. Door added at beginning instead of passthru wall. Hint placed at first secret door for help.
-Par time lowered to 6:00 as the map is now shorter due to switches being take out.
-Changed to MAP01 again.

Still open for suggestions on where you feel monsters, traps, ammo, and health should be added.

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Also, reading the critic just now from those who recently commented.

I'll be adding on to areas like the sewer which will have some events that spice things up a bit. I plan on making the sewers look much different than the rest of the map, but I'm working on just improving the flow overall at the moment. I wish to move the area with all the enemies in the second conveyor belt room to somewhere else to keep the map moving forward.

Basically I'm taking out the maze part of the map. I'm going to try and thrust the character in a general direction while having to have the players not see the old hallways as much as possible. This makes it easier for me as it gives me more areas to put new traps instead of having to make due with the course already given.

I'm curious as to what you guys think should come after the Baron teleport switch, as I need a new area to open up besides just having a new room accessible.

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Hmm, it resembles a typical mid-90's beginner map with some simple ZDoom stuff thrown in. Definitely needs proper door textures on the unlocked doors, and some simple detail will make it look a lot better (just single sectors with different heights/graphics will do to start with, along with some single sectors in the walls with console textures). Layout is too mazey and linear, but we all start out with stuff like that so don't worry...just try something different next time :P

Ammo-wise it was quite fine (if you don't waste loads ofc), and the grenade launcher trap is a neat idea...but please unblock the baron platforms so we can jump onto them. (it's a bit unrealistic the way it is now)

As for any problems texture wise you may be getting (HoM), I'm going to blame your engine.


The reason the HOM doesnt show up in Skulltag (and other ZDoom-based ports) is because it puts a placeholder graphic there instead (the blue/white checkerboard pattern that the final room is covered in). So yeah, you have a mis-named texture/flat issue there.

There's nothing clever left to do in the old Doom. Linedefs will only go so far, and as far as I'm concerned, I can do much more with the extra scripting and features.


While it is possible to do clever stuff with vanilla/Boom (from 3D bridges and knee-deep water to moving fans and rudimentary scripting), it's certainly more of a hassle (and a lot hackier) to create them as opposed to ZDoom methods. (it's also possible however to make big nasty ZDoom hacks, which I've been guilty of in the past :P)

This map is by no means "over-the-top" as I don't plan on going overboard.


And there's nothing wrong with that. The ZDoom stuff you've used in the map is fairly simple and easy to learn (especially with a wiki out there) and is in no way more "distracting" than the detailed vanilla architecture or Boom engine hacks that are so popular on this forum.

I wouldn't get too carried away though, I'd recommend learning some more detail/gameplay stuff before getting too advanced (low gravity zone is fine though as it's easy to set up).

I ask for critique and I get people who slam my opinion. I'm trying to ask for what needs to be changed, and so far links to WADs have been everything, which do me nothing.


Try to ignore those who say "start with vanilla, don't go with ZDoom", as it's based on their personal preference for vanilla and the tendency for new ZDoom mappers to go overboard with features and make terrible mapsets (and you've already said you won't do that). It is worth listening to the comments about detail and gameplay though, as it will make a difference in the long run.

The wads they linked are what's popular round here (therefore are often used as inspiration for new mappers), but you can learn the basics of mapping just by playing any of your favourite pwads (or iwads) and taking inspiration from those. (eg. what traps do you think are really good, did you find some rooms that you really liked the layout of etc.)

And since you've chosen ZDoom/Skulltag, have a look at the Simplicity series of wads. (as these keep to the classic Doom feel while adding a bit of ZDoom stuff too)

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Did you use resources from 2 iwads? If you did get rid of one because it creates a checkerboard pattern in the cyberdemon room. To fix this one would have to start a server and combine the two wads, which is a big hassle.

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Yeah, it's been said before but there is a missing floor texture in the cyberdemon room and there is a nasty HOM. And yes, I'm using Skulltag.

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Running in TNT would fix the nasty checkerboard texture issue in the Cyberdemon room, but I can fix the HoM by easily just adding another fence texture, I'm sure.

As for the TNT textures, I'll try and find a place holder. I didn't really like the idea in the first place as I was afraid not many people would like running it with TNT (just plain Doom 2 is much more simple).

As for the detail, I'm changing a lot right now. The map is so beta I doubt I could release another update for awhile due to the fact that I'm adding much stuff (don't worry, I'm not talking about more over-the-top ZDoom features).

And yes, I like ZDoom better really for one reason: the scripting. I'm not sure how to script in Vanilla Doom, and I know Boom is capable of adding some cool features (which I believe TNT utilized), but ZDoom is just scripter friendly and makes my job much easier.

As for the crouch area, I've already fixed. Right now I'm trying to lessen the gap so it's easier to jump, but I've given the crouch area a purpose as I added a cave-in effect in the red hallway (which has been expanded greatly). Right now it serves the purpose of a vent to get around it.

Ceiling height is different for all rooms for the most part. I'm not sure if it'll make a big difference as only the giant rooms have some detail on the ceiling. Other rooms like hallways just have raised/lowered ceilings. I'm also working on widening the hallways and adding more traps. Someone told me Doom players like being surrounded, which helps me a lot. It gives me an idea of what's up (which makes me figure the Baron trap is probably most liked right now is it's very tricky). I'm also making some square rooms more round, such as the first Hellknight room.

Textures are place holder right now. After expanding room ceilings, it really shows that it needs new textures. I'll be changing the sewer area to look more earthy and I'll try and look at some good Doom maps for the techno base feel.

Also, I have a reason for making it so you can't jump on the Baron platforms. I was afraid the player might accidentally knock them off as this would have happened a couple times if not for the impassible lines. I'll just set it to block monsters instead (given I have no idea why I didn't think of that earlier).

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