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UAC Enterprises (Full Megawad) Release!

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It's been a year and a half's work, but I finally have all of my Megawad uploaded.

This is the link: http://wadhost.fathax.com/download.php?view.219

All 32 levels are multiplayer compatible (up to 5 players), and a vast number of them are set up with deathmatch options, too.

I know I've already posted links to a few of these levels already, but those are outdated versions. I have since updated them, mostly in terms of fixing small bugs, and in improving design and gameplay elements as well.

This is my very first Megawad release. I know it is far from perfect, but I hope it is still is good. Additional credits go to my brother Brendan for helping create the freeze locker in Level 13, and for inspiration.

Please let me know what you think!

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That may be the first time that I have seen literal screenshots.

You know that there is a button in most source ports for taking actual screenshots, right? Which port are you using?

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I am using Doom 95, with Zdoom. I've attempted many times to take screenshots in-game with the PrtScrn command button, but I have yet to get any to successfully save once I get out of the game. I look in all of my files, but the screenshots aren't anywhere to be found. Or at least I haven't located them.

Sorry I forgot to mention the poor quality of the shots I had to take. Hopefully the levels make up for my ineptitude.

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I dunno if Doom 95 has this feature, but maybe launch with -devparm and hit F1 to take pictures?

...wait, "using Doom 95 with ZDoom"? Huh? You can use one or the other, but not both; they're separate executables.

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Alright, first a message to others trying this megawad out: Don't judge it too harshly by the initial offering. At least play to the second level. There's some definite charm here.

I'm going to assume that you're looking for feedback, even though a project this large is difficult to go back and adjust. After having played only the first two levels, here are my thoughts, by the numbers:

  1. It is fun. And that's the most important thing.
  2. The first sight could really use with some gussying up. Remember the first level is like the postcard to your megawad - I would recommend adding an entrance-like area (like MAP01 in Doom 2).
  3. The gameplay is pretty exciting on HMP. Despite the very wide open design of the first level, you keep the enemies coming at a good pace. It feels satisfying.
  4. Waaay too much ammo, IMHO.
  5. Health seems about right, though.
  6. Not much in the way of detailing - for instance, ammo, healthpacks, even keycards, are left out in the middle of rooms without any map or light features to draw the eye to them, or make them seem significant.
  7. Speaking of detailing, most of your doors are flush with the wall, giving many of them a 'painted-on' look, IMO. I would work on 'nesting' your doors into the walls a bit (although this would be difficult to do right now, given my next observation).
  8. All your walls seems very thin. It's a personal preference thing, but it makes the building seem, I dunno... a bit flimsy? Maybe I'm in the minority, but I like a good chunky base. :)
  9. The water in the first area doesn't look very attractive. I've never played a Doom WAD with water, but isn't there supposed to be some sort of blue fade effect going on? This was identical in ZDoom & GZDoom.
  10. The first two maps flow pretty logically, and I never felt lost. You do a good job giving each room/area at least one defining feature.
  11. In the first level especially, my shots woke up a bunch of monsters in the next room(s). This produced a nice monsters-trickling-in effect, and I got surprised more than once.
  12. There were still plenty of deaf monsters to fight up ahead, though. Oh yeah, and ambushes.
  13. EXCELLENT height variation. I could definitely learn from this.
  14. Also, pretty good use of different light levels, especially on the second stage.
  15. Speaking of the second stage, the marine and stealth monster both seem kind gimmicky... But I wouldn't say that they actually detract from the level.
  16. I don't really know how to describe the overall layout. In a strange way, it sort of reminds me of something Oblige would cough up, in that the first two levels seem very procedurally developed. Although your levels have a heck of a lot more character than any Oblige maps I've played.

Yeah, so those are my first impressions laid bare. All in all, I think your maps show real potential, even if you could use some work on your detailing.

Thanks for sharing! :)

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I guess it's been a long enough time for me to ask.

I'm simply curious what any of you thought of the later episodes of my megawad, as the levels therein are more intricately designed and a lot more ambitious. This is especially true for maps 13, 16, 23, 25, 27, 30, 31, and 32.

I have a feeling there will be mixed results with some of them, as to whether people love them or hate them.

Most likely people won't like level 16, The Hedge Maze, though I've done my best to make it a more fun task than other maze levels (for one, it's inspired heavily by the hedge mazes in Zombies ate My Neighbors, meaning there are portions of wall you can tear down, along with map markers to let you know where each specific key is in the level.)

I'm also guessing map 23, Attic of Anxieties, won't be too popular. But that's just what I think.

My personal favorite of the levels is map 27, UAC Fortress, which has many different ways you can go about it.

Thank you for your time,

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Hmm, this looks pretty nice I'll give this a spin at some point. You do know that if you use ZDoom you can take a screenshot by using F12? Hope that helps but looks pretty damn awesome. Also, does this make use of any ZDoom features may I ask?

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It makes use of quite a few Zdoom features, actually.

Some of these include deep water segments, monsters with modified stats, stealth monsters, bridges, polyobjects (though these are rare), the ability to swim up and down, new obstacles and traps, and even a number of new enemies.

Sadly, I did not design these levels with the abilities to crouch or jump in mind, meaning they will be broken if the player uses those abilities.

Although the wad's story is satirical, the game play stays relatively serious, and is sometimes even scary. Every once in awhile something humorous will come along, especially in the last few levels.

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I figured I'd give this a whirl, what the heck. I had notes for the first two maps typed up when the browser crashed and I lost them...

- Uninspiring start, big empty room with little in it.
- Monster placement isn't great either (for example, shotgunner will kill the zombie at the start simply because he's in the line of fire between the player and him).
- Water part seemed pointless, and weird - felt more like dropping into another room than being in water (no blue tint?) Also the oxygen timer seems really short, I was dying from being under too long before I could pick up all the items.
- Marine enemies have cyberdemon noises?
- Of the marine enemies, the zombie ones seem pointless, but the chainsaw ones are interesting.
- Really bad texture use in the computer room - textures don't match, aren't aligned properly, use of floor flats as walls, switch is nearly in the floor, etc. Examples here and here. Blargh.
- Wait, blue key symbols around something that isn't a blue door? That's a big no-no.

- Is that a pistol pickup at the start?
- Some decent little traps here, like the red key teleport line.
- So I found the beserk pack secret by looking at the automap and figuring "back of the switch is probably another switch" but not having a switch texture makes it kinda obscure. Also it only works once, which is really lame.
- The "imp phases in out of thin air" by the green armor was kinda cool. Is this just a Zdoom thing or something you came up with?
- Is that a door made of boxes, including half a box at the top? Yes, yes it is.

- This is a strange map. Lots of walls moving without good reason, a bit of a switch hunt, etc.
- The row of lamps puzzle took me awhile, mainly because I didn't expect something like that in Doom.
- Texturing is still really bad. Lots of the textures chosen are just ugly, or using walls for floors and vice-versa, and unaligning walls. Ugh.
- And then there's random bits of detail, usually in rooms with nothing else. Example here and here. Just kinda weird.
- Plasma gun marines definitely can catch you off guard.

Overall, the gameplay isn't bad - fairly light, and pretty easy to blast through, which is good. Map design feels very old school despite the ZDoom touches, with lots of abstract layouts, windows into other areas, the trap design, etc. The texturing is pretty dang awful - not only are most of the textures chosen ones I would call ugly, but there's also lots of alignment issues or choice issues. I'll probably keep playing since it's easy enough to get through, though. And I'm just curious to see how the whole thing ends up.

Is there a .deh file for adding map names?

EDIT: Okay, looking ahead, I just idclev'd to a bunch of random levels. This megawad is gonna get really weird really fast.

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- Not much to say about this map. Texturing isn't the stand-out eyesore of the last three maps (but it's still not amazing).
- Only really weird design cues are stuff like this one-way staircase. Reminds me of the Winchester Mystery House.
- Looks like the first appearance of the sentry turrets.
- Pretty sure it's a flat ground, and just a trick of the curvy walls that make it look like the ground is wavy. Interesting.
- Overall, another quick level to blast through. Plasma gun/mega-armor secret seems a bit generous considering it's just one wall to open.

- Another unremarkable map. First appearance of the guard dogs, which just seem to be harder-to-hit demons with more HP. Not sure what the point is.
- Some more texturing mishaps: here and here. The door is likely intentional, but it looks bad since the top of the texture doesn't really blend with the bottom.
- All in all, the level was alright until I got to this gem of a last room. Can you see the imp in this picture? (Can you see anything?)

All in all so far these levels feel like experimentation or a mapper's first rough drafts than something intended to be released and played. The map design is very rough, and there are tons of little things here and there that feel like tests (the one bit of ZDoom water in 01, the couple of rooms with colored lighting scattered around, some of the random details like the wavy room in 04 or the detailing in 03). You could cut all of that stuff out, make it a vanilla WAD and the gameplay would be almost exactly the same. Then again, you said you're more interested in reviews of the later maps, so we shall see...

- Right at the start, a choice. You can't make me! Okay, actually you can.
- Following from my "these seem like experiments" line of thought, the start is riddled with teleporting items/creatures.
- We all get this room where the enemies are stone-still until you go through the teleporter. Kinda weird and pointless.
- I don't think the monsters have a big enough library. Also, fighting the ghostly Cyberdemon in here was REALLY annoying since he blends in with the walls. And the plasma gun is the only realistic way to kill him, and it's hard to see his rockets too.
- So... the ending of this map is grabbing the red key, dropping into a pit, then following some hallways to the end? No red door? Huh?

- Okay, this is where the gameplay itself starts to get annoying. This whole level is basically just one giant box in near-darkness with a light flickering occasionally. This giant box then begins lowering, revealing alcoves full of monsters. It's big and dark and annoying as tons of Cacos and plasma-rifle marines try to end you. Lots of running around in circles at the start until the room finally hits bottom and you can start getting the two keys (which is actually quite quick).
- The lifts are very poorly designed - they move very fast (which is nice) but they're also made with switches attached to them. The textures aren't pegged properly, so the switches appear to do nothing until a couple of seconds later when the lifts miraculously open (due to how fast they move).

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I don't know what to say...

My levels are getting full reviews! Thanks so much, all of you, and please, keep playing and reviewing each level and let me know what you think!

I should point out that the misaligned door texture in level 5 is not intentional. I don't know what it is with that particularly door or the sector it occupies, but the texture within the Doom Builder 3d mode compared to the texture in game are not in the same alignment. I eventually got it aligned correctly on my game, but perhaps difference in source ports caused it to become misaligned again.

The important thing is, my levels are getting reviewed, and I must thank all of you for your efforts to delve into my very first megawad release. It may have its rough patches, but I hope, overall, that it is an enjoyable experience,

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I guess I'll trudge ahead, since it at least seems Obake appreciates it...

- Not much to say, pretty boring map that's just a bunch of very linear hallways and random textures.

- This one really ramps up the ZDoom effects, with a giant sludge pool to swim in, slanted ramps, fireball turrets, whatever the heck that weird flame tower was...
- This level feels a lot more difficult than it should considering the monsters, mainly due to the lack of health and lots of hitscanners.
- Gross hack? Using grey water as the sky actually kinda works for a cloudy effect, surprisingly.

- Fog effect (Hexenish) is cool, provides a good atmosphere. But pairing it with the "slippery floor" effect makes it quite annoying, and makes fighting certain enemies (esp Revenants and Lost Souls) quite frustrating.
- The fog effects are too much in some parts, though. Example here and here.
- The caco fireballs at the start are... interesting.
- Why does the slippery floor effect persist inside the building with the Arch-Vile?
- The first revenant rocket trap is kinda lame, since the player's first inclination is to immediately back up (and die instantly). If you want to trap them, just slam a door shut behind them. The later traps are better and interesting, but still look gimmicky since they look like floating rockets suspended in air (as opposed to giving them landmine sprites or something).

- Start of this map is really rough with all the enemies pouring in, thankfully there's a plasma gun there.
- Mini psuedo Icon of Sin? WTF. Romero head speech but no monster spawner. It's in a bizarre red underwater area (and hard to get down and back the corridor before the oxygen timer hurts you).
- Having doors open only when the player walks over trigger lines that there's no reason to walk over (red key area) is bad design.
- That elevator room with the arachnatrons and the yellow key. Ugh.

- Why even bother with the skull switch at the start? It's obvious, so every player will push it - and all it does is open a closet in the next room with a demon and some ammo. Why not just have a normal door? Making it a switch just makes the player confused.
- The red key area with the dark spots hurting and the flickering areas being "safe" was interesting, but annoying as all hell, especially since the area is already dark and full of monsters.

- Acid trip

obake said:
I should point out that the misaligned door texture in level 5 is not intentional. I don't know what it is with that particularly door or the sector it occupies, but the texture within the Doom Builder 3d mode compared to the texture in game are not in the same alignment. I eventually got it aligned correctly on my game, but perhaps difference in source ports caused it to become misaligned again.

Hmm. I'm also noticing a lot of floor/ceilings that should be diagonally aligned (like a grate on the floor) aren't, and I don't think those would be oversights, so might be something wrong with a source port.

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These reviews are interesting.

I can't wait to hear what you have to say about Level 14: Museum Storage!

The next few levels are definitely a fun set, indeed, though as I said earlier, level 16 will likely get some bad reviews. But who knows.

Level 17 is actually the last level I made for UAC-E, meaning I had more Doom mapping experience than during any other level created for the megawad.

The next few levels after that get stranger, MUCH stranger, indeed. Thanks again for all of the reviews,

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I figure I might as well also give all of the map names, since they don't appear in game:
Map 01 The Basics
Map 02 Recruiting Station
Map 03 Tech Basement
Map 04 Class Section D
Map 05 Outer Lobby
Map 06 UAC Training Facility
Map 07 Mining Shaft
Map 08 Hell Awakened
Map 09 Construction Yard
Map 10 Ripper Avenue
Map 11 Order of the Macabre
Map 12 Halls of Hell
Map 13 The City Scape
Map 14 Museum Storage
Map 15 Industrial Complex
Map 16 The Hedge Maze
Map 17 Horror Awaits
Map 18 Fiends all Around
Map 19 The Ruins
Map 20 Unknown Realms
Map 21 Beelzebub's Canyon
Map 22 Six Feet Under
Map 23 Attic of Anxieties
Map 24 Hell's Theater
Map 25 Sunk
Map 26 House of Fury
Map 27 UAC Fortress
Map 28 Turn Back
Map 29 Headquarters of Hell, Part 1
Map 30 Headquarters of Hell, Part 2
(Secret) Map 31 Grocery Shocking
(Secret) Map 32 Warhead-testing Island

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