The DWmegawad Club plays: MAYhem 2012 (only 12 maps, so join!)

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New DIIIIIIEEEEEE!

MAP04: Just enough details to make the map look good and finish it fast, good work. Too much gray in the textures tho, i couldn't remember a single texture from the map except the painting. The flow is good, but i'd say that giving at least some rockets would reduce the use of SS. I had 9 or so rockets from previous levels, and i used them against Cacoes and the final Mancubus. I like the diversity of used monsters, especially considering the map's size. I liked the surprise platforming part at the end, but Capellan is right about the Baron, only chaingunners would be better.

EDIT: One more thing, people who found the blue armor can accidentally pick up the inferior green armor which is located right in front of the moving platforms that leads to the exit if they have less than 100 percent of armor left. It also makes the crossing harder if player wants to avoid picking it up.

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Map04 - Eerie Canals By TheMionicDonut
Fun level, found all the secrets. The caco trap can be a little hard to handle and is probably the hardest fight to be honest. The ending is a little unfair as the challenge behind the exit door will make you instinctively jump down into the water which is a litle annoying. Otherwise good level.

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MAP04 is definitely a bit easier coming in from the previous levels than from a pistol start, because you don't need to aggressively push for the ammo. It's definitely one of the nicer looking maps and I still enjoy it, even now I'm very familiar with it. Same complaints as before too! The silently teleporting Demons for the blue key doesn't look right when you're watching it happen; the Imps and Revenant rising out of a solid floor still feels cheap (and I've never liked the trick in the first place); items tend to be in the way, so you probably will waste some ammo, health or armour. I also agree that the Baron at the end is pretty impotent and just a time sink.

All in all, it's probably the best map in the pack!


I'll try and do Iron Industries tomorrow, but if I don't get time it'll be part of my catch-up session on the 27th.

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MAP04: EERIE CANALS

Thought this level would be fairly easy, but that courtyard fight - at least on UV - is plenty deadly. No real cover (except for retreating back into the starting canal), with a mix of Hell Knights, Cacos and hitscanners on all four sides. I think there were something like 6-10 Cacos. Painful; and would not have wanted to try this on a pistol start. After that the level becomes noticeably easy, however - as others said the monster placements of the larger monsters was uninspired. I did enjoy the large amount of cannon fodder leading up to the blue key though; nice to mow down after the courtyard fight.

Biggest complaint would be the lack of lighting variation - there are a few parts (hallway up to the yellow key) but even those are minor, and most of the level is only a shade or two darker than running around with light amp goggles on. I think better shading would've helped the aesthetic a ton (not to mention making it more "eerie").

Oh, and yeah, the silently teleporting Demons on the blue key just looked really bizarre.

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Map05

Yuck.

Bland, square rooms; dull texture use; stupid gimmicks. All suck, all the time.


Edit to add: it's also possible to get HOM from the lift into the 1st secret, due to it being in two sectors. Huzzah!

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Map05 - Iron Industries By Scypek2
A lot of early/mid nineties stuff going on here with lots of gimmicks. The lifts/crusher area is not at all inviting tbh so I stayed clear of it. The room with flashing lights is really off-putting, I personally don't like it. The rooftop area is ok, the voodoo doll death trigger might seem ridiculous but in hindsight it does make some sense.
The end though, makes no sense at all. It's ugly and well radiation suits were invented for a reason. Invulnerabilities just make the final area completely pointless.
Encounters wise, pretty close to non-existent and non threatening. The room with the flashing lights is the closest you will probably come to death, unless you base jump off the building without a parachute.
Lots of gimmicks, but poor gameplay I'm afraid.
If there is any crumb of comfort to the author, this is by far not the worst map I've played in the last 24 hours :P

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Iron Industries By Scypek2

A kind way of describing this map would be a learning exercise. It looks very much like so many early attempts at level making that thankfully more often stay on hard drives than find themselves onto /idgames. Remaining in the spirit of festive good will I'll describe Scypek's submission of this level as brave.

It's not all bad. Scypek frequently displays a willingness to experiment that is worthy of encouragement and, while the excecution of his ideas are never sound, I did not find any part frustrating. He clearly has a taste for secrets too. I finished with only 12%.

Where the inexperience really shows in the appearance. The layout is often large bare and bland, the lava textures frozen, the midtextures used amateurishly and some bad design decisions such as laying liquid flats at the same floor height as solid floor. All in all it was reminiscent of BF_THUD by Chris Klie for all of the advantages and drawbacks that entails.

I've not read the other comments yet and I'm hoping they aren't too harsh, account for the fact that there was a month deadline for the project and that Scypek made two maps in that time. My advice to the author would be to scale back your ambitions in terms of volume but keep your imagination intact. And keep going. Everyone starts somewhere like your Iron Industries (nice name) and I have half a dozen maps on my hard drive that prove it.

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As a thing worth pointing out, due to a lack of Boom-compatible editing knowledge on our part, DeHackEd map naming and an ANIMATED lump weren't made. I put in a ZMAPINFO so we could have at least a stab at having map names in and I think the texture set comes with an ANIMDEFS (again, works in ZDoom), so although maps are Boom-oriented, we didn't manage to get the resources up to par. Likewise, nobody stepped up to do CWILVV## graphics, hence the levels only being renamed in ZDoom (and derived) on the intermission too. As we used WFALL# that animates properly at least!


MAP05 is definitely a beginner map. I personally don't like it (surprisingly hard to get the secrets to trigger too - I think 2/8 of them didn't *ding* for me, even though I found all 8). Too many crushers, ugly mapping and largely areas that are more annoying than fun. On the plus side, it is short and it's a nice touch to have the red METAL2 recolour used when the metal would realistically be heated up by the liquid metal.

Spotted two mapping errors too - the first secret lift is made up of 4 triangular sectors (don't know why) which means you can block parts of it, resulting in HOMs being visible. The secret in the exit room is split into two sectors too (obvious in ZDoom), so really there are only 7 secrets.


I'll apologise in advance for MAP06: The Metal, as it's got chaingun snipers (fortunately not to CC4 MAP07 extremes), heavy opposition right off the bat and a couple of nasty ambushes. I myself will do a retrospective of that, as well as playing MAP07: Red Like Jungle and MAP08: Hells Ravines (IIRC?) on the 27th, due to being very busy over Christmas and Boxing Day.

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Ah, another frosty December day, best time to drink some hot cocoa if you are a successful middle-aged white man like me and the best time to freeze to death if you are worthless homeless hobo of some lesser race. Like Argonian.

MAP05: Not a single interesting fight. Nothing works on this map to create entertainment, not monsters, not traps. The chaingunners in the corner of the lavafall room, the specters in the room with blue key, and especially, cacoes in the last area, all are worthless.

The lava tunnels are pointless.

The moving pillars room. First of all, it's huge. Secondly, it's ugly. Green misaligned hexagons moving up and down. Thirdly, there's no indication anywhere to show what player has to do in that room. I thought there will be an exit somewhere, but instead author gave me BFG. How unrewarding.

The flickering maze is just cheap. You can kill every monster by simply shooting blindly into the darkness, but chaingunners will probably take couple of cheap kills, due to proximity and darkness. The walls of the maze are not displayed on the automap, because they are only single linedefs with middle texture. Was it so hard to place those linedefs on slightly raised floors? There's a very good reason to hide layout on the automap tho, because the maze is just two-bit.

The roof area is such a pointless and empty place.

The last area is simply ridiculous. So i guess the platforms give damage because the whole atmosphere is poison, or more like "evil",yeah? Well, HK and 3 cacoes are not enough to create impression that this area is so evil that you need invulnerability to survive.

Other problems: not enough health at the start, the platform to the first secret creates HoM when you wait for it above. The middle texture with window on the roof of a building near the helipad is protruding.

Some losers where whining about instant crushers on my map, but let me tell you this: insta-crusher creates a deadly trap. Slow-moving crusher that only takes some amount of health while looking like the game is having a glitch creates waffle iron.

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04 - Eerie Canals By TheMionicDonut

Pistol start on this map was a bit of an adventure, I somehow managed to wade through a wall of pink meat and pick a shotgun from a corpse, then dodged everything to get to the outside area where a horde of cacos chased me around for a while until I realised I was going to have to chew through them all with a chaingun. After that things were fairly methodical, to be honest after the initial drama I was glad for a spell of mopping up. Its true a lot of maps are like that, hectic start followed by more pedestrian exploration. I don't mind it so much though, it feels like your reward for surviving long enough to get the bigger weapons, and it can be enjoyable ripping through stuff with ease after a shakey beginning. That said, there wasn't a great deal of challenge later on in the map. Everything behind the blue door could be shot like the fish in the proverbial barrel through the windows beforehand. The only real danger I faced was from the temptation to go rambo. I loved the cheeky music.

05 - Iron Industries By Scypek2

Well, this one was kind of surreal. Bit of a concept map this one, not sure what the concept was exactly. Its a bit like watching a film made from the deleted scenes of other films. The room full of lifts and crushers was a chore to navigate, and the prize was a bfg that you dont need to use. There was a timed run through a maze, which I'm glad I didn't have to spend too long attempting. Wide open areas with no monsters, and a spot of parkour in a lake of lava to finish with. Quirky and thankfully brief.

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MAP05: IRON INDUSTRIES

Cool name, and I had high hopes after the starting area - the hallway and lava spill look nice! After that though, it definitely crumbles. I liked the atmosphere of the pulsating maze; though the switch/maze itself aspect was annoying. The room with the BFG was just weird (and the BFG isn't even needed, even on UV this map is a cakewalk). The rest of the level is strangely empty, with encounters ranging from stuff like "1 Pain Elemental" to "1 Hell Knight next to five backpacks". The Rocket Launcher is tagged as a secret despite being in plain sight. I like the outdoor part as a neat little vista, though it also felt empty and pointless. (The minimal music probably didn't help).

Yeah, this map definitely feels like a test map, or someone's deleted learning attempts preserved for posterity, not a real map meant to be published.

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Map06

Fun!

I liked this a lot. It looks good, with the textures used combining well with the blocky, lego-esque structures used. This is a level where the use of lots of 90 degree angles is a feature :)

Gameplay was good; the very start was quite mild, but you soon trigger the first of many memorable firefights. This had good set-pieces, and it spaced them out over the level, so you always had something to do. I didn't notice the chaingun snipers being that bad in this, despite Phobus's concerns, and I never felt like the level design was being cheap. Battles were tough for "fair" reasons: because there were swarms of enemies and few places where you couldn't be attacked from multiple directions. Not nonsense like "wide open space with untargetable hitscanners on the other side" or the always pleasant "silent teleport behind you".

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Merry Catholic Christmas, you dirty heathens.

MAP06: No-one can destroy the metaaaaal... A map with great atmosphere and good visuals. Encounters are fun, the ammo and health are plenty. In fact, maybe there's too much health at the courtyard and not enough for the plasmagun fight, which is the hardest on the map. I didn't like the use of AVs, they were kinda random and didn't suit the map tone or other encounters.

Small things i didn't like: too many Cacoes at the start, considering the small entrance to the courtyard, the leap of fate down on green toxic looking liquid (considering the amount of health and ammo there, i'd say the liquid should've give small damage), the inability to return to the starting area. Abrupt ending, when i pressed the exit switch i didn't even noticed that it's that final Exit area i saw from below. Shame, cause it looked more interesting from down there.

You didn't have to worry about the chaingunners, the main problem with CC4 MAP07 was their position. High above the player protected by big pool of HURT, they still were capable to snipe him even when he was only near the entrance to that area. On this map, they were much more vulnerable to fire and much closer.

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Map06 - The Metal By Phobus
Does what it says on the tin, a metallic themed map using the various shades of metallic colour given by the textfile pack we had.
Really nice level with a slightly quirky design. Lots of powerful enemies and weapons here. This map can be dangerous at times but nothing too extreme. Really good map overall.

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MAP03: Walter delivers a fun little romp through a series of small rooms after the big lava hall. Not too much to say here, it was an entertainingly simple level overall. AV fight with his bullet sponge pinkies was a nice twist, although I felt like the room could've been accommodated for him a little bit.

MAP04: This map was better than I remembered! Starts off with a frantic fight to snatch a shotgun and keeps tension high and ammo low! The main courtyard was well done since you don't have enough ammo to survive down below to snipe out the cacos, forcing you to go up top and brave the projectiles. Found myself constantly cornered throughout the level and there were a whole bunch of close calls. Like the color and architecture too, felt very natural.

MAP05: An interesting, puzzling level that's pretty low on action. Some of it is hit or miss, like the room of plentiful lifts/crushers, but the rooftops were a very pleasant sight and nice to run across. Ammo was hilariously varied. I really like the return of the gold theme.

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I've actually played to Map 8, meaning to check in here, never got round to it. From memory:

Map 1 - Cute, tiny little level. A lot of action in a small space. Thought this would be a pain after dying the first couple of times, but when you get the shotgun it turns out not to be too bad. Does its job well.
Map 2 - Strange, but fun. I remember thinking I really wanted a super shotgun (maybe the demons?) just seconds before it appeared. While I did like the level, my biggest complaint with it is coming across barons before getting the super shotgun (or rockets). Just a pet peeve, probably.
Map 3 - I don't remember this at all. Which on the positive side, means it didn't piss me off, which tbf is all I want from a level. What other game was it?
Map 4 - That music! Haha, that music. Courtyard was an enjoyable battle.
Map 5 - I can't say I didn't enjoy it. It was just bizarre. The single mancubus appearing on the roof bit amused me. Having read the comments and played ahead a bit, just wait until you see this guy's other map..
Map 6 - Spot on. Nothing remarkable, but I really liked this one. Don't know if the rocket launcher (or plasma gun?) is worth the ambush, left it after a few deaths.
Map 7 - It's a slaughtermap for beginners! Had a good time blasting through this, but at no point was it a challenge. The automap bit made me smile. I assume the invul was meant for the central bit? In which case you didn't get much time to use it. I was just thinking that taking out the 4 cybers was a bit of a chore, but writing that I've just twigged now that maybe those cybers could be telefragged? I thought it was strange that you get fully restocked at the end of the level, only to run into a death exit?

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Map07

90% chopping wood. 9% taking mushrooms. 1% screw you.

Chopping Wood: hordes of hit points, almost all incapable of seriously threatening the player, that you just have to hold the fire button down long enough for them all to be dead. It long outstays its welcome, clocking in at 30 minutes of slaughter. If it had been shorter, the unrestrained carnage would have been fun. With over 70 barons and an equal number of HKs to hack through, however, it becomes tiresome long before it is done.

Taking Mushrooms: a Wolfenstein section. Another area of the level where the automap is a picture of a girl with a bnnch of flowers (and the level actuaally tells you to look at the automap to make sure you'll see it). Just ... yeah. I didn't hate it, but I don't know what thought process went into that, beyond a desire for gimmickry.

Screw you: The voodoo doll ending. Especially as it comes right before a secret which gives you a supercharger.

Without the ending, I'd rate this above maps 02, 03 and 05. But since the ending is there, it joins map05 at the bottom of the pile.

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Map 04: Eerie Canals
Difficulty: UV
Kills: 100%
Items: 100%
Secrets: 100%
Great map. Fantastic layout, ammo balance and good detail. Not too sure if the place where the SSG is should be marked as a secret or not however. Not too easy and not too difficult thoroughly enjoyed it.

Note: Are we supposed to play the levels through one at a time or can we pistol start them like I am?

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Springy said:

Note: Are we supposed to play the levels through one at a time or can we pistol start them like I am?


Whichever you like. The only rule of Megawad Club is not to post about a level before we reach its day (the days are a bit nebulous, due to time-zones, but we're currently on map07, and I'll be posting about map08 in about 10-12 hours).

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Finally went back through and read everyone's impressions. Very interesting to see so many takes on the same levels.

MAP06: My favorite level Phobus level so far--it's just a lot of damn fun. Unlike NaturalTvventy, I love when a level starts by busting your balls and forcing you to work for your starting equipment, and this level is one of the best examples of it (although I do agree that it should continue to get harder). After the starting skirmish you plop down into a sea of green being presided over by a numerous amount of baddies. Again, Phobus displays excellent enemy placement here with mancs on one side, imps on another, an arachnatron shooting down a hallway, chaingunners high above your back and two cacos guarding a very dangerous Pain Elemental. Great, great composition that didn't aggravate me at all through my few deaths trying to understand what to do first.

I felt mixed on the PG room, as it was one with a sublime layout, allowing the monsters to track you as you scurry through the hallways yet due to the 300 ammo you pick up right beforehand, much of the trouble is minimized and by the time you run out there's only hellknights remaining. Honestly, there should have been less ammo above and more hidden in the hallways to force the player to move around more. The red key fight is brilliant too, using the asymmetrical arena again for more of a ground based battle, punishing those foolish enough to ignore eliminating any of the snipers previously... although it's easily broken by running into the hall and letting the baddies bottleneck and eat rockets. Ending is nice too--had to use my chaingun to take out the AV, leading him closer towards me so he wouldn't rez the chaingunners, but not close enough to rez the nearby rev.

This, in my opinion, is how to do an excellent, difficult map without making the player need the SSG. At no point was I frustrated or mad that I couldn't shoot down an HK or caco in a few shots since ammo was plentiful, but still sparse enough that I ran out of it for the big guns near the end. Although I guess another detraction is that the green-red color scheme felt off even though they're complementary colors, probably thrown off by the orange sky above. But man, this was a great. Makes me wish more megawads would go with more than the standard Earth -> Mixed -> Hell themes, as the metallic hive ideas were a welcome change.

MAP07: As I stated in the NOVA thread, large areas significantly reduce the threat of many enemies within them, leaving the player with only tedium to threaten their life. Mancs are great enemies due to the range of their attacks, but they're really not too bad if you can just circle strafe for five minutes to take them out. And then the flood of HKs... oh those HKs... Gameplay-wise, it's on par with MAP05 for just being questionable overall, and the visuals are pretty bare. That's about it for my opinions.

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Springy said:

Map 04: Eerie Canals
Difficulty: UV
Kills: 100%
Items: 100%
Secrets: 100%
Great map. Fantastic layout, ammo balance and good detail. Not too sure if the place where the SSG is should be marked as a secret or not however. Not too easy and not too difficult thoroughly enjoyed it.

Note: Are we supposed to play the levels through one at a time or can we pistol start them like I am?


It totally is. It is activated by gunfire, the trigger was most likely accidentally hit by a stray shotgun pellet when you were clearing out the room, by the time you turned the corner, the secret stood exposed.

Really it was just me playing around with boom effects.

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TheMionicDonut said:

It totally is. It is activated by gunfire, the trigger was most likely accidentally hit by a stray shotgun pellet when you were clearing out the room, by the time you turned the corner, the secret stood exposed.

Really it was just me playing around with boom effects.

Oh right, heh, I never realised or heard any door sound personally that's why I thought it was just intended to be there as it is. Anyway great work on that map you did a brilliant job.

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Map07 - Red like Jungle By Walter C
Err.... finished map by complete accident when the cyber destroy myself and romero. Yeah serious map error there.
Fairly easy slaughtermap with a secret passage to a familiar place (of sorts)
The combat is okay though can drag due to the lack of threat despite the large monster hordes. The final battle is the hardest but can be trivialised by ducking out of the room and picking off the hellknight and barons with rocket launcher before tackling the cybies.
Ok map which looks ok, but there are some problems here and there

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Yeah, I just read all the, let's say, mixed reviews for my map. Well, the map itself was a result of two factors: really close deadline and my unique style. The former resulted with blantant ending, totally empty roof, bugs (damaging platforms at the end are totally not intended) and perhaps the lack of balance. Lack of detail (really? That depends. I could've just bordered the roof with some sort of 64 high fence, for example. And i really dislike overdetail) and "gimmicks" are just what I prefer to do.
While making map08, I felt no time pressure, but I used even more of my specific creativity. So if there weren't anything that you would like in map05, you may probably just hate map08. But if you liked some original features in Iron Industries, Hell's Ravines may fit your taste too. I think I can say it's the most unique map in the set.

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I could've just bordered the roof with some sort of 64 high fence

Ooor, you could've made the roof smaller, added a concrete border like in real life (with optional fence on top of it), added not the one giant metal box-room but a roof complex (you had the space), aaaaaand, most importantly, ADDED SOMEONE TO FIGHT DUH.

MAP08: The map is empty, because someone forgot to put monsters in. Well, at least there is a lot of things that move up and down. Up and down. Or just up. Or only down. On second thought, there's not even that many of 'em.

Visuals are bland, everything is empty. A giant lava plain with 4 towers of different colors. Areas inside are not related and ugly. Cyberdemon used as elevator music. You know, "fight this until the elevator arrives". In the middle of that lava plain. Like throwing a hot dog down the well. Or your mom's vagina.

Author should've combined encounters and moving architecture to create better, more epic, more complex encounters. Here these two parts are equally lame.

Other: i had 200/200 at the start, and the cave ceiling crushers reduced it to only 130/130. My insta-death crushers win again. Fatality.

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Map08

At least it's short.

I IDDQD'd the end of map07, because screw that voodoo nonsense.

Killed the chaingunner at the start without him firing a shot, un-DQD'd, and began the level.

What seems to be a secret on your left as you start, but not marked as such. Then collapsing platforms dropping you into inescapable lava, followed by lowering ceilings that don't actually kill you (though I guess they would if you didn't cheat your way past the last level's nonsense ending) but do trap you and stop you moving.

This is followed by a room of arachnotrons and a cyberdemon. And that's really all there is to it. The ending utilises the monster spawner, but is laughably easy, since you just lower a lift, shoot both switches from it to open the exit, and leave.

So basically, it's got no monsters, and it has a bunch of deadly traps that require foreknowledge of the level not to fall into. And it's ugly.

But it is short. So yay for that. And I guess yay also for having a single level I can point to and say "See that? Don't do that." if anyone ever asks me for mapping advice.

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You know, I'm a consumer not a mapper so I feel bad talking shit about maps that people have taken the time to create, for us all to play. Obviously without mappers there would be no community - thanks to all the mappers for their time and effort.

I have nothing to say about MAP08.

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MAP08: Scypek delivers this little... oddity. It's a fun little race at the start that gets mind bogglingly difficult once you lower the platform with the arachnatrons, as there's not enough ammo and room to adequately deal with them without a little luck on your side. After "saving" myself into a corner, I restarted the level and did a little bit better, managing to topple the fight. Afterwards there's not much else, besides a brief encounter with some ocular monster spawners. At least MAP05 was better than this one.

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Well, why not? Here's what I have so far:

Map01: Fun little whipper-snapper of a starting map. Mildly challenging for a Map01 and entertaining enough, if not necessarily spectacular. I've come to think of Phobus as "Mr. Dependable" when it comes to his maps, as I always find myself satisfied, and every once in a while, having tons o' fun with what he puts out there. Visuals are... well, they're not bad, but the texture pack is something I've never been too fond of.

Map02: Yep, I knew who made this map before I even bothered to look. Walter's always mapped in the style opposite of mine: small-scale detail, some cramped spaces, packs of a single type of monster, and generally, being attacked from the same height. Not my favorite approach, and really not a favorite map of mine. Too... well, mishmashy and linear, I guess.

Map03: AKA Map02: The Re-Waltering... er, that is to say, many of the above comments still apply here. Quirky little map, but nothing worth remembering. I still think Walter's 1024 episode is his best output thus far.

I'll try and keep going through with this one, for a change. I always comment on Map01 before disappearing, so I've already triplicated my quota. Yay me, or something.

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