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zodiac

Reimagining Doom - Ground Control!

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Remember how it felt running through the darkened corridors of the original DOOM? The secrets, the thrills, the blood-pumping action?

What if it was redone closer to Tom Hall's original scenario?

In the depths of space, on the remote outpost of Tei Tenga something has gone horribly wrong. You awaken from cryosleep to the blaring screech of warning klaxons - Biosystems is breached, and most of the base is overrun! Inhuman breathing echoes around the corner. You grip your pistol and get ready...

Inspired by DTWID, I present you:

Delos

* Full 9 map episode planned
* Echoes 'Classic' sensibilities
* Smoother difficulty scale
* Widely compatible - tested under ZDoom, PrBoom+, and Doomsday, should work with any limit-removing port.

Newest Map: E1M3 Ground Control v1.2

You've cleared the cryochamber and escaped the lockdown. Now the main base looms before you. Can you force your way in? Download Ground Control!

+ Looks like the demons are moving biotoxins into the base. Blow 'em away!
+ Par is 1:15UV, 2:00 on NM. My record is 0:52.
+ Did you find the secret exit?

-Updated version 1.2 - bugs and textures fixed, Slime Maze damage down to 5% (in case you didn't use protection ;). Moved the Chainsaw switch yet again

E1M1 Cryochamber v1.1

Shocked from cryosleep, you face a demonic invasion. They've got most of your buds. Gear up and make 'em pay! Download Cryochamber!

+ Slow or fast. Take it how you like! Can you beat 17 seconds?
+ What is that out by the wall?
+ Something seems familiar about the last hallway...

-Updated version 1.1 - bugs and textures fixed, revamped the outdoor area


I eagerly await your feedback!

SCREENS:

Ground Control





Cryochamber

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Seems 2012 will be the "classic wad" style year. :) This looks highly interesting judging from the screens, will fire it up later and check it out. But I can already tell you, no objections regarding more levels like this one... ;)

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Screenies look nice, though I'd like to wait until all maps are done and do a blind playthrough of it all. :)

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Not bad. Certainly had that classic feel to it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but might this be you first release? If so, you have potential so don't stop.

My report ...

1. Make use of upper and lower unpegged flags. Useful for lines like 985. When upper/lower unpegging those lines and then changing your current Y offset to -1, it will line up with lines 944 and 1013.
2. All your "doortracks" e.g. line 76, are not flagged lower unpegged. This results in the texture moving with the door. Unless this is your intention ( most authors lower unpeg these lines ) just lower unpeg them.
3. I would not have had sector 209 a secret. Already given at sector 204.
4. Notice that line 1066 in the automap gives a hint that there is a secret here. To not show this hint just flag that line secret.
5. Lines 509 and 575 need a Y alignment.
6. Notice how the brickwork at lines 810 and 1240 do not line up.
7. Line 283 needs an X alignment.
8. Both lines 1167 and 1165 require tag number 2, for sector 223. Untagged GR line 1167 will not work in chocolate doom, probably not in DoomsDay and unless specific compat conditions are met not in prboom+ as well.
9. Player 3 has more than one start.

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more more more!

You forgot to put an exit sign :(

I really enjoyed this!

DuckReconMajor said:

I really enjoy this. I have a thing for wide open spaces in maps. I actually went through and found all of the secrets, which is unusual for me.

That's because the secrets were really well done. I love secrets but more often than not they are not implemented in pwads in an intriguing way the way they are on this map.

Yeah, I really liked this.

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Yeah, I thought this was really good! If this is one of your first WADs I'm rather surprized. I'm no critic when it comes to WADs, but I think it seemed pretty well put together.
Looking forward to the rest of the maps. Keep it up!

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I have played your level last night, and the style is really interesting. The vast corridors and halls make it definitely feel like a starport. More maps with this design will certainly not be a mistake.

If there is something to improve, I'd take a look at that large outdoor area. It looks a bit empty the way it is right now. Maybe add some lava or water pool or whatever comes to your mind.
The missing exit sign also confused me a bit, I ended the level too early without having seen everything before.

Other than that, a great opening map for a (potentially) cool episode!

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Thank you all for your feedback and kind words! The next map is out! :)

The outdoor alleyway was actually my first mapping attempt, but it just kept growing! Fleshed out an touched up, it now rests as map #3. I was inspired by the Konami school of design - a straight run on first glance, a miserable little pile of secrets for the completionist.

Cryochamber's updated for technical fixes and a spruced up the outdoor area.

And don't worry, both maps have exit signs!

Special thanks to Hawkwind for your super-detailed feedback, the unpegged tidbit in particular was really handy! To reply to a few specific points:

hawkwind said:

8. Both lines 1167 and 1165 require tag number 2, for sector 223. Untagged GR line 1167 will not work in chocolate doom, probably not in DoomsDay and unless specific compat conditions are met not in prboom+ as well.

Doh! This was the one that got away! I found this in testing, fixed it, and then... promptly uploaded the old version I was keeping for backup. Sorry!

hawkwind said:

3. I would not have had sector 209 a secret. Already given at sector 204.
4. Notice that line 1066 in the automap gives a hint that there is a secret here. To not show this hint just flag that line secret.

There's a method to my madness here. I'm treating this as a what-if like DTWID, and if this was really the first map I'd want to reward secret finding. Line 1066 in particular is all about the map - it's easier to find using it, and you get an automap as the bonus.

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I see that the new map has the same name as the old one. Does that mean that even though it's supposed to be E1M3, it's loaded as the first level once you use this? Just in order to avoid confusion before actually trying it. :)

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Found some bugs in E1M1, with Chocolate Doom:

1. Start area (cryo pods): turn right 90 degrees and walk to the edge of the big platform that the pods are sitting on, and turn around. Visplane Overflow crash.

2. Start room: after walking down stairs, turn left then go to the corner of the platform and turn around. There is some Hall of Mirrors effect here.

3. Outside area secret: walking around on the edge of the map between the wall and the columns: another VPO crash.

4. In the automap room, on the opposite wall of that secret: this health bonus stuck to the ceiling may have been intended as a clue to the lift secret? (or maybe not)
http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/7273/hohop.png

For VPO and HOM bugs, look into ChocoRenderLimits:
http://www.chocolate-doom.org/wiki/index.php/Chocorenderlimits

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Yes, I usually test everything I can with Freedoom. Sometimes it reveals Freedoom discrepancies, so that's useful (that way they can be fixed). But these VPO and HOM bugs are vanilla engine limitations and not related to the IWAD.

Actually when it comes to just playing casually, I also tend to use Freedoom more often than not. I've grown rather fond of it, even though it still needs a bit of work.

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Very well, then. But where's the new level? Can it be the download link for the new map actually has Cryo Chambers once more? Identical filename somewhat indicates it. Maybe I am also too stupid to get to the new level, but I really can't find it. :)

Otherwise, my opinion about new E1M1 version:
Almost perfect now. I am still not satisfied with the exit sign, though - especially since you also placed it on the other side of the secret area wall (leading outside). This is a bit confusing since it makes you think you have actually found a secret exit. The best idea might be to place only one exit sign, just on the front side of the structure above the exit switch (inside the exit room). Seems like nitpicking, but you really only need one sign. :)
Other than that, this level is now really nice and flows extremely well regarding gameplay. Also the outside area looks better now. I like it a lot, one of the best opening maps for a classic episode I have seen in a while!

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NightFright said:

I see that the new map has the same name as the old one. Does that mean that even though it's supposed to be E1M3, it's loaded as the first level once you use this? Just in order to avoid confusion before actually trying it. :)


Looks like an issue on my end, the link's updated.

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hex11 said:

Yes, I usually test everything I can with Freedoom. Sometimes it reveals Freedoom discrepancies, so that's useful (that way they can be fixed). But these VPO and HOM bugs are vanilla engine limitations and not related to the IWAD.

Thanks for the render limits links! Any advice for working around them?

I know it's the detailing's fault, but I'm not sure what "counts" - I tried removing the tubes linking the cryopods to the wall and it didn't seem to help noticeably on the VP count.

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Warning, entering heavy reading zone:
http://rome.ro/lee_killough/editing/visplane.shtml

Yeah, I don't really understand it... What I think he's saying is that too many visible sectors of different ceiling or floor height, or having different flats or light levels will cause it to happen, because they can't be merged.

I tried putting a door in front of the staircase at the edge of the room (stairs = lots of sectors), but that didn't seem to help. Maybe adding some tall (impassible) partitions on the edges of the big platform would do the trick though, since that's basically where it seems to happen. First try to reproduce the crash in Chocolate Doom though, so you can tell for sure if what you're doing has any effect. :) I never used the ChocoRenderLimits (my maps tend to be ultra-simple) but maybe that will also show the overlow or lack thereof.

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OK, here is my smackdown of "Ground Control" (E1M3):

Technical stuff:
I noticed some texture alignment problems, from what I could tell at least on the door in the secret room with the yellow keycard and on the exit sign. Also, I would put the sign for the secret exit a bit more towards the center of the room ceiling, maybe even to the wall opposite of the door. You can't look up if you don't use mouselook (like I do), so you see this sign really late otherwise.

Style:
What I really like about your level, but also your style in general is how you use secrets. They are cleverly placed, rewarding and fun to chase after. I haven't seen it for quite a while that I was actually eager to find every possible secret there was just to see how to find it and what can be found there. The hidden areas seem to be a specialty of yours, my suggestion is you stick to that!

Architecture in general:
This level flows. You have many options where to go to, but in the end it leads you where you need to be. You don't get lost, but there are lots of opportunities to explore and try stuff. The design of the map feels original and breathes the atmosphere of id's first episode. The center area with the open ceiling and the columns (with the secret chaingun) looks great.
The real highlight of the level is the secret exit. It's challenging, but still very possible to find it without using automap cheats or whatever. Getting to it is a rewarding task, and I just hope the level it will lead to can hold up to my expectations after knowing how to reach it. :)

Difficulty:
I was playing on HNTR and wasn't encountering ANY shotgun guy (and there were 50+ enemies) or Pinkies, maybe that's a bit too easy for the third level of your episode. Maybe you intended it to be this way, though. Can't say much about higher difficulties, but I am sure others can fill that gap.

Verdict:
Besides of the texture alignments mentioned (maybe there are more I didn't see) and possibly the lack of some shotgun guys (on lower difficulties), this is a remarkably well-designed map which stays true to the style you initiated with the first level already. Design is excellent, secrets are rewarding, atmosphere is very Doom-like. This episode NEEDS to be finished. If not a whole megawad.

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... and my 2c worth for E1M3 ...

1. Impossible to get to secret sector 189. To fix - give sector 191 a floor/ceiling height of 80, then give lines 514 and 977 their appropriate fix for now missing textures. So now that the player is not trapped in sector 187 give line 974 type 88 and tag #2.

2. Sector 100 should have had a ceiling height of 128.

3. Note that line 908 is in two sectors with varying heights. This might be worth splitting into two lines or better still, removing line 908 entirely, since line 476 does the job anyway.

4. For ports that allow mouselook, notice the effect when at sector 197 and near line when lift sector 63 is lowered. You see that sector 63 is higher than the sky ceiling sector 197.

5. IMO, sector 268 would look better with maybe the flat DEM1_5, removal of sector effect (since there is no clear "nuke flow" from sector 268 to 267), and lines 1446 and 1450 having a Y offset of -16.

6. Line 116 can be deleted.

7. Lines 1674 and 1676 not lower unpegged.

8. If you want sectors 327 and 100 to have the same light level without actually changing the brightness level for those sectors , just lower the floor level for those sectors by about 200. Do not fill in the now missing lower textures. They will be "flood-filled".

... keep it up !...

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hawkwind said:

1. Impossible to get to secret sector 189. To fix - give sector 191 a floor/ceiling height of 80, then give lines 514 and 977 their appropriate fix for now missing textures. So now that the player is not trapped in sector 187 give line 974 type 88 and tag #2.

Oh, if you mean the secret area in the big hall with the open ceiling (and the chaingun on a pillar), then it's true, that was the only secret I cheated to get into. Couldn't find out how to open that in any way.

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NightFright said:

Oh, if you mean the secret area in the big hall with the open ceiling (and the chaingun on a pillar), then it's true, that was the only secret I cheated to get into. Couldn't find out how to open that in any way.


Found that one at last. The only one I can't get to is the small chamber with the yellow key in it. I can see into the room through a hatch (opened on the way to the chain gun) but I just can't work out how to get in.

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aldiboronti said:

The only one I can't get to is the small chamber with the yellow key in it. I can see into the room through a hatch (opened on the way to the chain gun) but I just can't work out how to get in.


At first I couldn't either. This secret is quite ingenious if I say so myself. At first I thought it was a bug and impossible to get. It is possible to get. I cheated and used DB2 to see how to get that secret ...

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Thank you again for your comments everyone. NightFright and Hawkwind, I've uploaded version 1.1 fixing the technical errors and the chainsaw secret. It was never meant to be that hard!

I'll probably move it again in 1.2 once I hash out level 2 and how it plays into things, but I figure getting it is better than not getting it! :)

NightFright said:

Difficulty:
I was playing on HNTR and wasn't encountering ANY shotgun guy (and there were 50+ enemies) or Pinkies, maybe that's a bit too easy for the third level of your episode. Maybe you intended it to be this way, though. Can't say much about higher difficulties, but I am sure others can fill that gap.

I may add a few, but I'm trying to keep HNTR so a true newbie could play it. My philosophy is that anyone can make it through easy, medium is a good fight for the casual Doomer, and hard is closer to a DOOM II/TNT level for the veterans.

And don't worry, more secrets are already in the pipeline!

aldiboronti said:

Found that one at last. The only one I can't get to is the small chamber with the yellow key in it. I can see into the room through a hatch (opened on the way to the chain gun) but I just can't work out how to get in.

If you've made it that far you're close. Look carefully! ;)

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zodiac said:

If you've made it that far you're close. Look carefully! ;)


... and listen even more carefully ...

v1.1 2nd report.


1. IMO, sector 268 would look better with maybe the flat DEM1_5, removal of sector effect, and lines 1446 and 1450 having a Y offset of -16. This one was mentioned before.

2. Did you intend for the actual switch not to show at line 1623 ? I think a Y offset of 0 would look better.

3. Sector 369 would look better with a floor height of 192 - OR - give lines 1919 and 1921 a Y offset of -4.

4. Note the scrolling lines near sectors 96 and 94. They could do with an X alignment.

5. The back-side lower of lines 677, 1122 and 1127 should also be sladrip3, like line 784 for example.

6. Lines 739 and 1229 are not lower unpegged.

7. Lines 1308, 1384 and 1347 would look better with a Y offset of 60.

8. Line 1447 needs a Y offset of -56.

9. Lines 1448 and 1449 need a Y offset of 8.

10. ... then line 1451 back-sidedef needs a Y offset of 8.

11. Line 94 would look better with being upper and lower unpegged.

... the things one spots 2nd time around ...

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Yeah, you should definitely play these levels with your volume tuned up. Many secrets require a trained ear. :)

I am really looking forward to more maps like these, and it's fun if you can help making great stuff even better.

Maybe you will have to relocate the E1M3 chaingun later as well. If you want to stick to the original episode closely, you were able to get the chaingun in E1M2 already if you found the outdoor secret. But if you want to arrange this differently, I wouldn't object, either.

BTW, have you already thought about a title for your episode? I am already coming up with suggestions... maybe something like "Tei Tenga Incident", "Outpost of Fear" or "A Dismal Awakening"...

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There seems to be a bunch of tutti-fruti bugs in that E1M3 map. The first one is right at the start (first step on the right). When testing, don't trust any engines other than doom.exe or chocolate-doom, otherwise you'll miss these sorts of things.

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