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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact

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e1m4:

i really dig this map. it actually outdoes e1 at awesome, flowy non-linear layout that lets monsters wander around and pester you, or vice-versa, lets you group them for a lovely rocket group death. most importantly it's still very compact. the map is surprisingly small, but you keep looping back or seeing the other rooms through large windows or from platforms... and the secrets are really well done and have a more rewarding feel to them this time, especially since a lot of them reveal new connections in the overall layout. to me this is the pinnacle of cleverly done nonlinearity (along with the undisputed king, pl2 map05).

most of the difficulty comes from throwing big, but ungrouped numbers of monsters in quite open areas. that gives all those pesky hitscanners so many open angles of fire while the player struggles to prioritize the most offending targets. of course the correct way is to dash through madly, let all of them assemble in a corner, then blow them up with rockets or barrels! yay! the barrel placement in the upper floor is really gorgeous, it'd be such a shame to pick off the monsters from a safe spot and not use them, heh. although health attrition is a challenge, yeah.

i also like the nukage area, it's wonderfully unforgiving, but not entirely exhausting a la naturaltvventy's corrosive floor torture. there's a serious dick move tho, i suspect rottking, from a lost soul hiding right under the corner of the ledge leading to the pair of radsuits. it's invisible to you at first, but its infinitely tall hitbox awaits you to make you slide the other way - into the green before you get those fucking suits. goddamit, rottking!

my maxdemo of the map is something you shouldn't try at home. it's extremely risky and therefore doesn't work most of the time.


e1m5:

my personal fave of the pack. it's actually fairly linear this time, but does a good job of looping and interconnecting the layout as the game progresses. there's just so many clever little ideas and cool fights... and of course, the dickweed crushed over the YK. i could hear rott's laughter as it near-killed me the first time i played the map.

i recorded one of the most hardworked, but also best demos of my career on the map and despite the strain and frustration i still enjoyed deconstructing the map and tweaking every situation. the pacing is just right like that. except the jump into the fake wall secret is a bitch when you need to succeed fast.

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E1M5 - Engineering Station
Another shorter map, yet again the strength is with the layout and it's ease on the player to get round the map as quickly as possible. The secrets (well 5 I found) were all well done.
I found this map tougher due to the very limited health which comes across with the thinner spread of enemies which are for me more dangerous than a large group of monsters which soon succumb to the own squabbles. Feeling the doom engine continuously dicking me around by shoving numerous shotgun blasts straight through a sergeant followed by death by a 35 damage blast to the face. Still it's not the authors fault :P
Another solid map. I found the rocket launcher but never felt at ease in using it. a few traps I did find to use it I declined due to lost souls and demons in tight spaces and the inevitable rocket to the face death.

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E1M4: Hydrophonics Station

Seeing the title, I expected some vines and even water (though it's not very E1-ish). Got vines, no water (but some toxic sludge). After the last two slugfests this one seems short by comparison, though bloody at 200 monsters. Large corridors helps give a feeling of openness despite the relatively small layout. Like the other maps, it's quite the onslaught at first, with monsters spilling in from all directions. I liked the non-linearness of the level, as I had seen the yellow door and the first key I found... was blue! Definitely gives me that E1 vibe. Found all the secrets this time, though most were push-the-different-colored wall, and I had the computer map to help me find the last.

Only real drawback would be echoing Demon of the Well's point about the nukeage damage level; I died once on the yellow key due to unluckiness with the demons, so the next time I tried jumping into the ooze only to melt pretty much instantly while trying to find the way out. Seems like a lame way to force the player to stay when it would've provided a more interesting choice (monsters or slime).

E1M5: Engineering Station

Not much to say about this one. Another similar map, though the combat seemed to take a backseat this time as the ambushes weren't nearly as strong. There's a couple that can be problematic (usually involving cacos dropped right on top of the player) but nothing too hairy. Worst part for me was the last couple rooms before the red key since the shotgunners in that area liked to hide behind fences and blast me for full damage. Ah well. Yellow key crusher seemed a bit cheap.

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E1M5 -- Engineering Station -- 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Another relatively concise map, although I think I probably spent nearly as long running around in it as I did some of the larger early maps, looking for the missing half of the secrets--the plasma rifle secret is really clever, and that alcove behind a false wall that has to be jumped into has a memorable touch of the bizarre to it. I didn't find one of the secrets the first time I played this WAD, and so resolved to find it this time no matter what--turns out it's a powerful secret indeed, with a soulsphere and some rockets. I can't claim that I really figured it out, though....just reached it via desperate wall-humping, honestly. In hindsight, that corridor window that looks out on a marine's corpse resting behind a pillar probably should have clued me in that something was out there.

My main aesthetic impressions of this are that it's a little brighter than past maps (although there are still some areas that are more dimly lit), and seems to have some verisimilitude about it--for example, that short drop into the underground killbox that eventually deposits you back in the start room really called to mind some kind of access/maintenance tunnel for a piece of heavy machinery. Outside of these feature-rich areas, I would go as far as to say that a couple of places look bare in a way that other maps in the set don't--for example, the room with aforementioned false wall secret--but this is just an idle observation, as it's not offensive in any way.

Action is similar to E1M3--largely incidental (although with what feels like less of a capacity to let monsters wander around into odd places), but with a few significant traps, which tend to feature cacodemons and demons/specters like the ones from E1M4 did. These all tend to occur in rather tight, low-ceilinged areas, though, so the cacos mainly act as ammo sponges rather than getting to make good use of their flight ability, but this doesn't lessen the danger much, I suppose. Armor is again scarce on a pistol-start (or it would be in the absence of secrets), which makes the entrenched zombies in some areas a little more dangerous. It's not a hard map, by any means, but I think it does encourage cautious play a little more than previous maps in the set.

Overall, I don't seem to be quite as infatuated with this as I am with many of Double Impact's other maps, but it's still a quality offering in its own right. Still doing pretty well on this playthrough, naturally being helped out by some recollection--no deaths yet. That'll probably change when we come to E1M8 (if not sooner), of course...

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e1m3 additional note
Watching Alfonzo play e1m3, I've just realised that the door between the secret red and yellow doors has liteblu trim, not doorblu, and is a normal door, not a key door.

liteblu is, in the circumstances, a terrible texture choice for those lines. If you put three doors together, with red, yellow and blue trim, and the first two are key doors, my instinctive expectation is that the last one is as well.

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E1M6 - Command Center (not suitable for people with epilepsy)
Argh centre spelt the american way, damn.
A little longer this time, the map is linear but plenty of ways to go in this disguised hubspoke map. Yet gain the gameplay relies on survival and yet again the busier area sometimes felt the easiest to handle due to promoting infighting. I found the plasma gun secret after killing everything in the main route which is typical.
The descent into the blood is a nice move and a fair tricky fight but you do have rockets by then so it's fair. The blinky maze on the other hand is horrible. It's not fun I'm afraid and the only redeeming feature is the fact that the trap doesn't include lots of shotgunners to give the choice of brain seizure or lead explosion.
That is the only blip on another fine map.

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E1M6 -- Command Centre ;-)
Some of the strengths I mentioned in past maps are present here: monsters are placed very intelligently, at places and angles where they don't spot you all at once. Soundblocking lines are used generously to make you fight smaller groups of monsters at a time. Some secrets allow you to lessen the severity of later fights.

However, many things struck me as quite odd about this one. I'll list some of them here: the progression here felt a bit haphazard at times, as I could stumble upon parts of the map where I turned the table on the monsters and ran into lots of them facing the opposite direction. I again had killed a majority of all the monsters before I'd even seen a key. One of the secrets allows you to bypass the whole large first part of the map if you want (as well as having to grab the red key), leaving you with only the last part, the yellow and blue key doors. The gameplay beyond those two doors seemed ... experimental. The flashing section, ugh, not very enjoyable, but not disastrous because thank God there're no hitscanners. The blue key section with the pillars just looked weird. Most of the action in the last part was lacklustre and anti-climactic considering the gameplay throughout most of the rest of the map. Some secrets contain powerups which you may well have picked up sooner, or may pick up roughly just as soon (depending on how you play this one) in normal gameplay, anyway. These oddities and more made the map less fun to play than many of its predecessors.

Highlights for me: the excellent lowering-floor trap, also praised by Cannonball, very dangerous... and also, the very finely tuned health balance (for once, the ammo balance was quite generous and I exited with tons of shotgun ammo). --3/5

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E1M3: Lots of baddies spread throughout this map that I didn’t wind up getting to. I really like how half the map is saved for those trying to find the secret exit, but since I’m behind already I think I'll decide to skip it for now. This one had a lot of neat interwoven areas packed with a pretty dangerous mix, as I felt like I was having to hide around corners quite a bit. While the dark area seemed frustrating at first and I was hoping that I could find a switch to light up the place, it was smartly balanced with imps and didn’t last that long, so I’d say it had a positive impact on me. Really shows me how smart R&R are that even a potential obnoxious concept can come off as enjoyable... for me anyway.

E1M4: A fun level that I don’t have too much to comment on. Felt like it had a weak layout overall but it was paced well with a very frantic blue key fight, so I walk away from it happy. Pistol starting it was crazy as I took down about 50 enemies before I could catch my breath. Great balance of ammo and health, although with so many low level monsters around corners I didn't get to use the RL that much.

E1M5: This was a pretty fun one, although not quite as difficult as the last one seeing as I died only twice. The blinking red key fight didn't really annoy me other than the use of spectres to impede your movement (which the pinkies did well enough), and the rest of the map was pretty much smooth sailing. The part where you lower a little platform down into the dark blue/electrical place has been my favorite area in the wad so far, since I feel like it had the strongest thematic design to it. Shame it was so short but I liked the encounters down there (I do gravitate towards cramped areas).

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Fava Beans Catch-Up Time!

E1M4 (Continuous) – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 75. Time 13:06. End Health 171, Armor 185. Death Count – Zero

E1M4 (Pistol Start) – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 75. Time 7:27. End Health 183, Armor 200. Death Count – Zero


Well, at last I’ve managed to clear up some . . . issues . . . and get back to business. ;)

E1M4 is the last map I played on both continuous and pistol start, because I accidentally deleted my saved games, so after this, it was UV pistol starts all the way.

This is a very good map, featuring all kinds of cool construction and sneaky secrets. In the past, I always had trouble getting the PG secret, but as others have noted, it pays to backtrack. The architecture as usual is excellent, and though the monster count is too low, the fights can cause trouble to kamikazes like myself, specifically the RL room with its decent number of Sergeants. I got a bit low on health in this fight by throwing caution to the wind, but was never in serious trouble. I’m speaking here of pistol start. On continuous, I never had to worry about anything. ;D

Probably the coolest thing in this map is the Soulsphere secret thanks to its floor that drops under the edge of a major building to reveal stairs. It’s nifty tricks like that which make me such a fan of this mapset.

On the negative side, monster count is very low, and the Block Monster linedef caging the Cacos is a real buzzkill. Needed at least 2 more Cacos in that location, too. I liked the Knee Deep E1M7 Blue Armor homage, although in Knee Deep it was much cooler. The one-way exit was a bit controversial, and the thing I liked least about the map. Still, with its usual excellent height variation, clean texturing and solid architecture, this maps is fun to blast through.

I did miss that one sneaky little sector secret, twice. Bummer! :D

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Fava Beans Catch-Up Time!

E1M5 – Kills – 100, Items – 97, Secret – 100. Time 17:17. End Health 106, Armor 194, Death Count – Zero


The only Fava map not by Birkel. This is by Ben Gates and, so far as I know, is the only map he ever released. I can only hope I am wrong, because this one’s a beauty.

The start room is just amazing, with its wonderful directional lighting and beautifully aligned Metal1 walls. People who’ve never used pre-Doombuilder editors won’t know what a total misery it can be to align Metal1. Gates put all his vertices on the 64 grid, except for the secret door, which really helps, but there’s also angled walls, yet it all looks fantastic. From a mapping perspective, this room’s an impressive achievement.

I also greatly enjoy the walk through the E1M3 homage area to the red key room. This room is very classily constructed, with the double staircase leading to a switch (homaged in my own E1M1), and the sweet Redwall1 closet holding the key itself. Eliminating this wonderful texture for Doom2 was just one of many huge mistakes made by id, along with the Skullwalls, Lite4, Compute2 and others. Gates also varies the ceiling height in this room, creating more visual interest.

The RK room has a window gazing upon part of the area beyond the blue door. Not enough monsters to endanger the player, but still nice. As always, the Fava maps have a sense of journey about them thanks to all these windows.

Once you get the red key you can grab the secret yellow key as well as the blue, and the secret Backpack as well. At least you get that fairly early in the map. The big secret in this area is the trip through a nukage sewer to grab the plasma gun and, in my case, to kill the Baron, shooting his ass through the window while dancing on slime. Major fun, I thought. I wish there’d been at least a couple more Barons in this map. Another notable feature of the PG room was the light coming through the window, which starts on the slime after a short distance, for a realistic feel. This, IIRC, was very uncommon back then, and made quite an impression on me.

The exit area has been universally praised. Just wonderful work here by Gates, though I’d have at least doubled the number of Cacos. The secret revealed by the yellow key is another E1M3 homage, but all you get is a lousy Blur sphere. ;D

As others noted, this map is flatter than Birkel’s, but it still has an above-average level of height variation. There were some oddities, though, such as the highly undramatic location of the blue key. It’s easy to miss if you aren’t thorough. I watched Suitepee’s playthrough and it was fun to see him encountering some of these things, though just about all these peculiar features can be found in the IWADs somewhere.

One more thing that influenced me was the use of Lite3 in a slit high on the walls of the corridor (Sector 11) leading to the blue door. I usually put these slits low rather than high, and in dark corridors, but this is where I got the idea.

I haven’t said much about the fights. They were an improvement simply because of numbers and throwing in a few heavies. More could have been done for us UV folks, as has been noted again and again in this thread. ;D Still, not too bad considering the overall kinder, gentler attitude of these mappers. I always had something to shoot.

So yet another highly influential map for me, and I still enjoy the hell out of it.

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Fava Beans Catch-Up Time!

E1M6 – Kills – 100, Items – 86, Secret – 85. Time 22:52. End Health 100, Armor 16, Death Count – Zero


Now we’re getting into the masterpiece maps. E1M6 has a very convoluted and occasionally confusing layout that loops in several places, in some ways reminiscent of Knee Deep's E1M5.

There’s a decent little fight at the start, leading to a switch that opens 2 paths, a nice non-linear touch.

This is one of those maps bound to anger the Baron, given all the mandatory nukage dancing you have to do, often without a radsuit. I suppose I agree with Memfis on this one, at least with these maps -- the nukage and the damage you take is part of the combat design, and it's not like the map isn't loaded with health to patch you up, so I like it.

This is a map defined by several highlights. First, perhaps the most impressive area for me was the stairway leading down to the exit area, and the exit area itself. This is all kinds of awesome thanks to its dramatic sweep, excellent texturing and superb lighting. Every time I see this area – even before I kill all the monsters in the two upper guard shacks – I have to pause and just admire it for a second. One thing that has amazed me in reading the thread and watching the videos is when people say, “Generic E1.” No, I must disagree. Areas like this are never generic. This is mapping at a very high level.

Just for fun I kamikazed this area, just like Suitepee did. I think I took more damage down below, perhaps because I was distracted by the nice design of the defenses overlooking the area. Probably my first move after killing all the monsters above and below was to journey towards the locked door leading to the Plasma Gun secret. Suitepee seemed a bit chagrined, but was this not fairly common in the IWADs? Just a signal that something cool is on the other side, and you’d better remember the way back.

Probably the best fight on the map is the one leading to the red door. You have to run through nukage, and then you get swarmed by Imps and Sergeants. I might have been dropped down as far as 22% health here, or at least had my Soulsphere bonus removed. Past the red door is an area with fairly epic scope, and huge windows, and complicated chains of secrets to boot! I just love this room. I managed to get the Soulsphere along with the Backpack and rockets. I also enjoy the way the Bacpack area connected back to one of the upper guardshacks. More of the Romerosesque connectivity this mapset is famous for.

The fights, though better than before, are still not quite what they ought to be. For example, getting the blue key and opening the door to the PG secret was fun, but the trap unveiled after grabbing the PG was less violent than it should have been. I think Suitepee said something like, “It’s the thought that counts.” Or maybe it was another area, but he had it right. The Berserk/Caco area was also underwhelming in terms of violence, but I know I’ve played at other times when the randomness gods made life tough for me here.

All in all, this is a sensational map, though playing on GZDoom rendered the dark areas a bit too dark. I don’t remember it being this bad in good old Vanilla Doom, and Risen3D doesn’t have a problem with such light levels. That aside, there’s really nothing wrong with this map that couldn’t be fixed with another 50 monsters on UV. ;)

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E1M9: Operations
Skill 4, Doom+ longtics, demos attached below.

The secret level is "operations", an area partly infected or consumed by hell that's roughly the size of E1M3 but with a flow of monsters that felt a bit more like that of the original game, and no so much a series of strong traps or ambushes, which are present in any case. The music is the ominous "The Demons from Adrian's Pen". It starts with a relatively tough fight, but it's not as prolonged or encroaching as in the previous level.

The start is rather nonlinear and you can choose between the halls to the north west or the rocket launcher and yellow key section to the north east. From 2011 I remembered there was an ambush in the latter section so I went north west, only to fall into the trap in the wide hall that is beckoning for you to pass in tune with the music. I found that to be the nastiest spot this time. The opposition is only a few monsters, but the imps are a bit camouflaged against the background from where they come (at least in vanilla resolution and lighting), and you can get distracted by the bigger minsters attacking you. I got hurt yet survived, but the jerk guarding the chaingun in that dark alcove did his soulless bidding. Damn him for ruining my Undefeated title for this event! Perhaps I deserved it because I didn't get the stimpack in the bloody cave. The trap becomes less dangerous if you come in from the other side, since the monsters are at the southern side, especially if you kill the cacodemon before advancing. You can also use the green armor secret to clear the room below the halls (with the help of a barrel) and then kill the monsters coming from the north when the trap is activated, crippling the trap. The brown border can act as a warning that there's a trap in the "beckoning hall", but only the very observant or cautious would see it.

I didn't find navigation to be too difficult, but did get confused in a few situations. The first involves the silver switch that lowers the teleporter toward the blue key area. The switch is viewable but doesn't stand out much, and you can forget about it or miss it by being distracted by the demons and spectres that come out to guard it. This happened twice to me, in this attempt and once and more mildly in 2011. North of the switch is a hall that goes to an inactive lift. Next to the lift there's a medusa bug in Doom+, because a multipatch texture (GRAYDANG) is used on a two-sided linedef.

At the yellow key area there's a teleporting monster trap, which hadn't been occurring much yet in Double Impact. The rocket launcher is here, although it's not the best place to use it because it gets a bit crowded. At least the incoming opposition isn't too harsh, so using the chaingun and shotgun will do (with perhaps some chainsawing). The additional monsters beyond the yellow door can also be weakened through the window or filtered through the door that they can't use.

Now with the yellow key, I wasted some time because of the switch I missed, perplexed about the iron column and even what the switch behind it did (the one that reveals the blue door). But once I redressed that I was teleported over to the trap in the green slime area. This place is probably the most threatening in the level, and I died here like three times in 2011, mainly by falling or dropping into the very damaging slime. I didn't handle the trap too intelligently now, but I had enough health and armor to stand atop the teleporter pad area and chaingun the attackers, centered on the cacodemons.

The blue key room also confused me a bit, because I didn't see the key, which is placed into a small nook in the wall. It's visible and in the demo it's evident I passed right by it twice in full view, but it can be missed in the action. Again, this also happened in 2011, but less severely. This could happen with any key, even on the floor where they can get covered by dead bodies, but here I probably didn't expect a key inserted in the wall. It probably seems ridiculous I missed it but perhaps a bit less so in 320x200.

In the interim between missing the blue key and finding it I dropped into the green slime at the start of the area, but I fled to the lift in pain and didn't find the secret... bye bye megaarmor! (But also a possible death.)

The fights beyond the blue doors flow rather smoothly. I used the invulnerability rather quickly because I had seen Ralphis post about it being accidental (I don't read posts about the levels till I've played but I failed to avoid that one), so I didn't feel it was necessary to save it for something special. It seemed smart to use it for the lift, though, because going up a lift is always a bit tense. The fight up there has an interesting placement for the demons, which are hidden from view and will come up against you from behind once you engage the other monsters. It's not evident here because I charged ahead, having the invulnerability, but it was the case in attempts in 2011. Back then I reserved the invulnerability for the red key ledge area, after having died there.

The red key ledge area is ideal for rocket launcher use because when you activate the switch the monsters come from a distance. On the first time I reached the area in 2011, I chose not to use it and I ended up surrounded in the room with the switch, from where I got spammed by monsters I couldn't see well through the partly covered windows, and it was over for me.

After the red key door, I was lucky enough to spot the switch that goes to the supercharge, and navigation was straightforward, so things went smoothly again and I don't have much to say about this part. The final two fights gave me an opportunity to use the remaining rockets, but I felt comfortable against the monsters due to plenty health, armor and ammo. The exit itself surprised me a bit, because I thought it was just a normal teleporter. It uses the silver teleporter flat used in DOOM for exits, true, but it doesn't seem to be marked as such otherwise.

This time around I got a massive 66% of the secrets, mainly because a good number of them are teasing the player yet aren't too obscure to find, and got almost all the kills (98%). It took me just over 43 minutes to complete the level, more than E1M3, but I was delayed by the silly confusion around the silver switch and the blue key. Another good level, perhaps muddled a bit by the medusa and some confusion (can't wager this is the authors' fault, though.)

E1M4: Hydroponic Facility
Skill 4, Doom+ longtics, demo attached below.

The "hydroponic facility" is a rather nonlinear level, vaguely reminiscent of the original E1M4 in general. If you look at the complete automap, its proportions look like a medium-sized vanilla level, but that's an illusion created by its mostly large rooms and wide halls. Its music is the dark and moody "Suspense".

The very start is rather threatening, as you get attacked from multiple sides and get pelted by the gunfire of the zombies. In my playthrough, this predisposed me to be cautious throughout the level, which resulted in a rather slow progression, finishing in over 31 minutes, almost as much as E1M3, but with less action as I explored various secret areas. The slowness was enhanced by excessive demon or spectre punching, although there were some very low ammo moments that warranted a bit of it (but not all, I think!) The monster count is similar to E1M2, but with a good number of cacodemons, which mean more hit points. In 2011 my exit was only about two-thirds that time, but I had made two previous attempts, so I had fresh memory of the map in general back then, as opposed to a more vague notion now.

After clearing the initial part, there wasn't too much of a threat, except in the blue key room, where I had to fight tooth and claw. Back in 2011, my two deaths had been in this room. I my third and successful attempt here in 2011, I cleared the room in a cowardly manner from the lowered ledge. If you stand there, the two cacodemons will come at you and you can chaingun the one to the right while the other remains against the wall of the chute, so they are rather helpless. Then you can finish the rest of the monsters when these die. I did not remember this cheap tactic this time so I used a brasher technique, running up toward the key ledge, moving away from the cacodemons while firing furiously. This had gotten me killed in 2011, but not now because I'm more awesome!

I think that this map works best in cooperative. When we played it first in the coop movie, the map moved us to use different paths, meeting occasionally. This made the larger "general area" quicker to play. I called my buddy when I got to the blue key room lift. I didn't know what was down there, but it felt dangerous, so we joined up to attack that room and survived. We also attacked the yellow key structure together, as well as the exit room. That is, the level encourages coop partners to spread out, and then join to attack the protected areas at the end. We exited in a bit less that 15 minutes and each died like once, or maybe one of us died twice.

I found every secret this time. The secrets are not remote and they are relatively easy to spot because of texture, sound and automap cues. The ledge above the blue armor has a chainsaw at the far end but it's only available in multiplayer. This is a bit strange because the design encourages (lone) players to explore that area in vain. I failed to really make use of the rocket launcher, but only the blue key room felt deadly enough to really warrant it, although it was rather crowded or cramped while most of the fight lasted. There were other opportunities, it's just that I was advancing with too much caution.

dbi_myk94.zip

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Fava Beans Catch-Up Time!

E1M7 – Kills – 100, Items – 81, Secret – 80. Time 28:40. End Health 119, Armor 194, Death Count – Zero


Well, here it is, Birkel’s penultimate achievement. This, IMO, is a staggering accomplishment in Romero-style mapping. In every respect, whether it’s lighting, interconnectivity, the showing of things you can’t reach yet, secret areas that loop back to holes in the wall that you drop out of, and quirky, playful features like a hole in the corner of a room that you drop through to reach a major combat area – likely inspired by Doom 2’s Underhalls -- this map exudes class and the sense of a mapper at the top of his game. This is, quite simply, one of the best Doom maps I’ve ever played.

And yet, it’s still easier than E1M1 of my Doom mapset. I didn’t get killed once in Birkel’s map, but I can die just going through the first door of my E1M1. Yet my map isn’t as good as Birkel’s, which shows that raw brutality isn’t everything.

I watched the playthroughs of alfonzo, Walter and Suitepee, and in spite of that, I still couldn’t find my way to all the secrets, even with the Computer Map! ;D I did get most of them, though.

I started my usual way, by going to the right and grabbing the red key, and enjoying the Caco trap. This is easily the stoutest fighting map in the set, and you get acquainted with that reality early. Good! You then go to an area where you can grab the Plasma Gun by going through a passable Brnsmalc texture. I homaged this entire area, including the rocket launcher secret, in E1M5 of my Doom mapset. By now it should be obvious that my maps are a sort of shrine to Fava, just as Fava is something of a shrine to Knee Deep. Here, I’d like to address something Suitepee mentioned, which is the idea that Birkel may have copy-pasted sections from from Knee Deep and modified them a little bit to call them his own. I can’t say for certain, but this sort of thing has always been frowned on in the Doom mapping community. I never copy-paste Birkel’s actual rooms for my homages. Rather, I re-create them from memory – and sometimes by peeking at the map! – right in the editor. Birkel probably did the same thing. He did a very successful job with his E1M2 homage leading to the exit, for example.

One of my favorite parts of this map is all the craziness that happens when you drop down the hole right in the main start room, and start the battle that leads to the Barons and the 4-lift Backpack secret. I howled over Suitepee’s commentary on that. Personally, I really enjoyed that adventure, though I do object to the Barons being an optional combat. Also, Birkel, while never making items exactly unavoidable, did make some of them difficult to sidestep in E1M6 & 7. But all is forgiven thanks to the fight for the rocket launcher, one of the two best fights in the mapset. I had all kinds of fun turning every which way to fight off the baddies. Most likely, this is the battle where I got reduced to 22% health.

The most notable room, however, is the big one with the Concrete columns and the directional lighting. The architecture is phenomenal, and probably the most amazing thing is that it looks so damned simple in an editor, yet so complex when you’re on the ground. It needed more monsters, of course, but it got good use out of the ones it had. This room also leads to the super-sneaky Blue Armor secret, which I never would have found without the Computer Map. This whole area is such a signature achievement that I decided not to homage it.

This map has mood, atmosphere, good fights and a hard to define character that comes out through its look and feel. I like the several ceilings with sections open to the sky. IIRC, this was an unusual feature in those days, and like so many of Birkel’s techniques, it proved very influential for me.

If all the maps had as much fighting as this one, and preferably more, this mapset would be even more legendary than it already is. Maybe one of these days I'll do an E1 Trauma brutality upgrade for Fava, just for my own pleasure.

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E1M5

A good map but progress is a bit dependent on switches. I actually liked how progress had your path intertwine with previous areas, if only it was more clear what the switches did. I may have hampered myself somewhat by playing this level in two parts on two different days.

I found this level easier than some of the last few. I suffered only one death when I decided to save ammo (despite having plenty) by chainsawing a spectre then getting surrounded. I don't know how I survived the red key area though. The caco fight down there was intense! Possibly the best fight in the WAD so far for me.

E1M6

I think this is my favourite level so far. I can imagine the dark/flashing areas will annoy some but, in HMP at least, mainly projectile/melee monsters are used, which it quite fair. I liked the dark midgrate maze spiked with imps and the surprise drop into the hellish baron pit. The latter is my new favourite moment - the hallways after hallways of phobos were almost worth it for this sharp shock in thematic contrast - brilliant.

I only got lost once this time too, and this time it was entirely by own fault - walking right by the room opened by the switch behind the blue door and exploring the rest of the level.

I found just two secrets, I think. But since they earned me a blue armour and soulsphere I guess they were the pick of the bunch.

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E1M7 -- Waste Treatment
This is more of what I've come to expect of this mapset by now. Another gorgeous E1/E2 techbase with a ton of monsters and secrets. The progression is surprisingly linear once you've run out of places to go and have to go find the red key. Difficulty is about medium throughout with some tough spots: the trap just before getting to the red key, the red key trap, the first yellow key trap, the lowering-the-ooze trap, and the difficult but superb final skirmish, which almost killed me even though I came in at about 160/190, with plenty of saved rockets and having found the plasma rifle.

By now, I've grown used to how the fighting is set up and so I was rarely in serious danger apart from two spots: at the yellow key and at the end. I simply saved rockets for everytime I pushed a switch, or was about to grab a key, and if shit hit the fan, I unloaded some of the rockets to get through. :-) The first "gauntlet" trap at the yellow key was great, and killed me on my first playthrough. I liked how you get no safe places to go once the trap is sprung. Bonus points for some attractively stylish secrets, the backpack window jump secret and the first soulsphere secret especially.

I also liked how there are many subtle gameplay elements and design decisions which help improve gameplay, such as the final trap being partly skippable (should you be low on ammo you only need to fend off monsters for 25 seconds or so), the blue armour secret being reachable even if you happen to have lowered the ooze before realizing the way to get to it (guilty as charged!), the flesh-textured lowering pillar with the cacodemon on it indicating how you should get back when having collected the red key, the second soulsphere secret being indicated by the lift sector when pass that area by at the start, so you can make a mental connection, as you lower the ooze, to go back there.

One or two odd moments: after I got the red key, I found a teleport which I couldn't use and had to run back through the map to the RK door, a long and lonesome trek. I suspect it was meant to teleport me to the RK door because similar teleports appear later on in the map, but for some reason it didn't work, for me at least. Also, the fights after lowering the ooze and before the final area were a bit subdued and toothless considering what you've just gone through to get there. I'm nitpicking here, it's a pretty darn good map, the only major complaint I have about this one is that it goes on for too long. I spent more than an hour for 100/100 (in my 2nd attempt, having made it to the yellow key in my first) and I was ready for things to end way before that. Part of that has to do with the way much of the map "forced" me to play, carefully picking off monsters one by one. Oh, and perhaps the ammo supply is a liiittle bit tight for most of the first half. --4/5

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e1m6:

i like certain rooms, but i find the overall layout a bit haphazard. while the initial dash down the map to get the chaingun OR a stray into one of the siderooms are pretty cool because of monster population, it comes back to haunt you, because monsters just wander around way too much. probably the worst roamer map with monsters to deny you 100% kills just by hiding in an alcove.

the standouts are brilliant though. the baron encounter was an instant classic, the RK fight is also very witty (especially the way you can circumvent/ambush the first half of it). the layered secret leading to plasma, backpack and a shortcut was fun to discover as well, so i'd say the eastern wing of the map is a bit better than the compbase western wing.

i'll agree with the rest of the crowd that the northern/final part is the weakest and feels kinda rushed or unfinished. it feels like rickenbacker if you know what i mean. btw, i also gave rott shit for the horrible, horrible blinky room of death, but since then i've come around and started liking it. it's not that hard when you expect it and people deserve a terrible death by a mad designer from time to time, hah. have a maxdemo if you wish. it demonstrates the evils of monster stragglers, but with a happyend.


e1m7:

the big one that scares the shit out of me. it's exhauting, but always cool and threatening to kill me if i let up for a few seconds. the yellow key trap/maze is what i'm afraid of the most, even though the baron finale is a menace of its own at the end of a run. i'll agree with kristian that the bit between lowering the ooze and getting blue key is surprisingly dull and weak, but maybe we're supposed to enjoy the unusual vista. :)

i wouldn't say the map was too long though. it just may be too long for one first-timer sitting. my maxrun is mere 16 minutes long. :) it's not THAT much longer than full e1m3 if you know what you're doing. oh, the demo is actually not a proper maxrun, more like expert playthrough. it's just not nearly fast and sharp enough for a real max. i couldn't laser focus for that long, heh.

btw, there's a catastrophic bug all of us testers missed - the lift out of the dried up BK area is made up of two S1 lines, so it's possible to get stuck and considering its small size it's a definite inescapable pit for a chunk of coop players if they drop down. oh well.


i'm looking forward to what feedback comes next - and rott&ralph with me, i bet. :)

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Just a quick reminder that I'll be streaming the entirety of Double Impact this evening in about an hour's time from the time of this post.

twitch.tv/johnsuitepee

Feel free to come along and perhaps help me find the secret level in E1M3! I hope to add another great contribution to this triple-header thread.

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dew said:
it's exhauting, but always cool and threatening to kill me if i let up for a few seconds.

Yeah, definitely. I managed to find almost all of the secrets pretty quickly (apart from the blue armour which had me scratching my head for a bit) but without those powerups I suspect I'd have had a much rougher, and less enjoyable, time with it. It's certainly true that you cannot put your guard down for one second... which is not bad per se, but, combined with its length, is maybe why I was grumpier and more tired of it after spending so much time with it. ;-)

Suitepee: I hope you don't have much else planned for tonight, if you're planning to do "Double Impact" in one sitting...

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E1M7 - Waster Treatment
Can't really complain much here apart from the backtracking where there was quite a bit but that's what you get I suppose with big maps. Sporting over 500 monsters you know what to expect.
Gameplay is similar to previous maps with survival mixed with bigger battled. Died once or twice before the final room which killed me a couple of times because I was being cute with ammo. Despite only finding 50% of the secrets and no plasma rifle I disposed the final fight with relative ease in the end leaving me with about 80 shells left.
Good map, perhaps a touch too long, I was over the 30 minute mark here. And too much backtracking but that might be unavoidable here.

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E1M6: Command Center

I played this last night and forgot to write down my thoughts right away, so not much to say. The drop into the baron pit was pretty cool, though. I didn't mind the dimly-lit maze since it was just about the right amount of light and monster balance to be tough but not annoying.

E1M7: Water Treatment

This one seemed to harken back to E1M3 and E1M4 a bit in that it's quite longer, with a long slog of enemies punctuated by a few memorable ambushes. The maze leading to the yellow key was a true challenge with all the hitscanners hidden below, and the other ambushes have the typical good design with lots of monster closets spread out over a fairly large area so the player will try to move and then run into more monsters, which I like. Also seemed to have a level of detail a bit above the last few maps, as well (such as the angled staircases or the lift with 8 textures on it). The vista outside looking at the blue armor is pretty nice, too. Downsides? I admit I didn't really notice the ooze dropping, so when I stumbled across the blue key area I was expecting it to be secret at first. And boy, it's long. Really long.

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E1M6: Like I've stated before, E1 maps tend to blend together in my mind and this is very much the case here. Played it only a couple hours ago but I can barely remember stuff from it. Doesn't mean it was bad—quite the opposite, it's as enjoyable as the other maps. Felt a little more dense this time and the blinking area was more of a hassle due to a larger assortment of enemies there, but otherwise yet another solid effort.

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Fava Beans Catch-Up Time!

E1M8 – Kills – 100, Items – 0, Secret – 0. Time 1:36. End Health 84, Armor 0, Death Count – Zero


And so it comes to this, the sad, tragic end of Fava Beans. As bad as this is, it’s still better than what Jan van Der Veken did in Dawn of The Dead, by taking a mulligan on E1M5. That’s right, there was no E1M5 except for a start room with an exit. So the two most legendary E1 replacements of the ‘90s both had seriously fucked-up aspects to them. And, since Dobu twisted my arm by even asking the question, yes, Map11 of Coffee Break was indeed a more fitting finale. There is literally no way to defend E1M8 of Fava, and certainly, Suitepee’s commentary was hilariously on target.

But even so . . . Fava remains Fava and retains its place as a truly great E1 replacement; and in certain ways, still the best. I can’t think of another that matched the height variation, not even the amazing Double Impact, though it comes close. And, personally, no mapset has ever been so influential on me. This might seem strange to anyone who’s played my maps, because my gameplay concept is basically this; “You’re coming into my house, and eating my food? I’m gonna fuck your ass up!" I want to kill the player, but make them like it. When mapping, I’m a jagoff. I think every mapper has to be at least a bit of a jagoff, because you have to put the player in tense situations that they might not survive, but if they do, they’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment. So, as previously alluded to, my E1M1 is harder than the entire Fava mapset. And that’s just the first map! ;D

But there’s still another reason Fava is so important to me. I started playing Doom2 a couple months after Fava came out, and I kept getting killed in the Chaingunner pool of Map03. I didn’t even know what was killing me, but I kept seeing this horned shadow above my body. I heard that the shareware episode was easier, so I downloaded it as a kind of boot camp. I gave it no real thought otherwise, and when I finished, I was able to deal with Spectres, and I played through Doom2 on HNTR. Months later, while working on my Realm of Chaos maps, I played Fava and for some crazy reason I loved it, but I recognized the shareware episode elements, which inspired me to buy Ultimate Doom to play it again, and all of the original game. And it was on this second go of Knee Deep that the light bulb clicked on over my head. I finally saw the genius of it. The first map in RoC to show this influence was probably Map23, although Map06 was even more in this vein. Alas, it’s probably my worst map in RoC. It was shoved in a year after the original release and wasn’t really finished, but it had to replace the original Map06, which Ty said was too much like E1M9. So it was shove the map in or have the whole file deleted. Anyway, ever since I’ve tried to follow the guiding principles of Knee Deep and Fava.

Now there’s another thing on my mind, all this slagging of 1995 maps. I never did any mapping in ’95, I started in ’96, but I still feel compelled to defend the honor of the ’95 mappers. The problems of Fava are not 1995 problems. The main problem in Fava is lack of good fights, and that’s a Sean Birkel problem. He just wasn’t enough of a jagoff in that area and boy, I wish I’d have been a playtester for him. Other mapsets, such as Dinner.wad and I,Anubis, both came out in ’95, and are more difficult. I, Anubis is an outstanding Eqyptian mod for Doom 2, which was later refined and expanded into the brilliant Osiris. And there’s plenty more. And the other somewhat quirky aspects people bring up were often found in the IWADs first. We just continued the trends.But to close on the issue of easiness, Birkel was clearly capable, as he showed in E1M6 and E1M7, of designing good fights. He just didn’t do it often enough.

But like it or not, Fava lives on, because I’m not the only mapper who was knocked sideways by it. Anthony Soto’s E4M2 of 2002:ADO homaged the opening of Birkel’s E1M2 in a room off to the right at the map’s start. And even in the mighty Double Impact, it seems at least possible to me that the Imps behind the Brnsmal1 texture guarding the red key in E1M1’s Sector 94/177 seem awfully similar to the Imp behind the Brnsmal1 texture in E1M7’s Sector 157/177 of Fava. In both maps, Sector 177 holds the Imps! Crazy coincidence? Probably, because it would take some awesome planning to work that out, although it is possible to assign sector numbers, so who knows? Anyway, Double Impact is brimming with Favaisms and Knee Deepisms, but done the modern way, by guys who want to kill you.

Last thing, as Tarnsman said in the Alfonzo playthrough, what Birkel accomplished with DEU – that’s Doom Editing Utility, Suitepee! ;) – is pretty darned impressive. We faced many limitations back in the mid-90s. There were limitations in the Doom engine – more than 64 Things onscreen at once? They’ll start blinking in and out. Too many visible sectors and 2-sided lines? Hello HOMs and visplane overflows! And what about the machines themselves? In ’95, a Pentium 90 was an exotic power machine, ditto a PowerMac with something like a PPC 604 at 132Mhz. A lot of people played Doom on 486 machines, some even on 386 machines. One of our own Realm of Chaos mappers, Antoni Chan, played on a Mac with a 68040 at like 25Mhz. You can't even get a phone that weak! All of these limitations militated against large, complicated, highly detailed maps, and boy, did people complain about PiXelReX and King ReOL when their maps brought machines to their knees in ’97 or so. And then there were the editors. Imagine doing a 300-sector map with an editor that crashes so often you have to save after every 10 sectors. That was my experience with Hellmaker. On PCs, you normally had to edit with DOS-based apps. It was a whole different world before source ports and Doombuilder came along to save us, and make mapsets like Double Impact possible. I’m not crying, because the maps of the ‘90s are the base of what came after, and there were plenty of fine ones. And Fava Beans is one of them. My thanks to Sean Birkel and Ben Gates for all the fun and inspiration. :)

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played e1m1 of double imapct today, triying to do some some live broadcast on twitch.tv but i failed on it...
died a lots of time, however all can i said is: great visuals, cool details and sky texture, lots of cool details here and there and kick-ass tune....

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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/b/409047317 = my twitch livestream playthrough of Double Impact. (thanks to those who attended!)

Well some 5 hours later, I leave Double Impact with a genuine smile on my face. That was some awesome gameplay I just Doomed through! This wad is the best of the 3 I've played for this thread, even managing to outdo Coffee Break on a consistent basis for me.

Despite the fact that the two wad mappers were stuck using only Ultimate Doom monsters/textures with no custom additions, the levels never felt boring or the enemies any less deadly. You certainly had constant action from start to finish, with lots of monsters to fight in each and every room. And yet never felt like a chore!
I may have figured out the two main kinds of traps they liked using by around the E1M5 mark (a: Open/lower several areas to reveal lots of monsters at once. b: Trap the player with a sudden barrier and then only allow it to be lowered with a switch whilst doing a.), but they never felt dull or any less deadly over time. And they used teleports on occasion also, especially at the end of E1M7. (do you like barons?)
They used their traps well, and not one felt unfair (*cough* Stalker *cough*) as there was always a strategy or a hiding place or the right weapon to use to beat them. The difficulty of the wad was quite interesting; ok on ammo provision, not so much with health/armor. You rarely had the chance to be on 100% health/armor unless you hunted secrets down.
I also liked how they used the blue keycard as the 'secret' door opener in E1M2/E1M3, and how half of E1M3 was basically the hunt for the secret level with 200 monsters in the way. I did get a bit stuck on 3 occasions looking for the way forward, but it wasn't too bad at all even if one switch was hard to spot in E1M3.

The secret level was as somebody else pointed out, a bit like Episode 2 invading right down to using E2 music. The demonic atmosphere was a nice change of pace in said level.
The music was good throughout the wad.

And the finale was simply unique. Maybe it would have been slightly different if I'd had a BFG9000 (if the wad has one in its secrets that I missed), but the idea of having to evade 4 cyberdemons around a fairly open-ended level whilst seeking switches was an extremely tense and well executed finale! Definitely not what I was expecting! Two SM's also enter the fray later on in the level, to act as Cyberdemon bait whilst you duck and weave around the various doors and corridors around the cyberdemons. Then you enter a space shuttle and get the heck out of there, after some cacodemons in a long elevator emerge.

E1M5 was perhaps the weakest level in the wad, but was still a decent level in its own right. The dark flickering sections were a bit of an eyesore, but thankfully in E1M7's 'dark maze' they kindly refrained from using too many hitscanners; a nice touch!

Overall Double Impact was awesome! I hope they made more stuff before/after this that I can try out as well. And this has been one fun thread to participate in; I look forward to the next DWMegawad club thread I can take part in....

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Hey, Suitepee, I look forward to watching your playthrough of this masterpiece. All I need, I guess, is a spare 5 hours! :D

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Double Impact At Last!

E1M1 – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 100. Time 20:08. End Health 104, Armor 87, Death Count – Zero


Playing on UV, continuous, and switching from GZDoom back to Risen3D. I liked GZDoom’s monster and secret counter, but didn’t like the automap or how dark it was. Knowing that lots of dark spaces lie ahead, I’m back on the Risen3D bandwagon. This source port handles dark beautifully and you don’t need gamma correction for it.

My opening statement on Double Impact is that, IMO, it’s the gold standard against which all other E1 replacements should be measured. Adhering to the mapping concepts of Knee Deep In The Dead and Fava Beans, but with a massive increase in monster count, Double Impact is the best E1 replacement I’ve ever played.

On to E1M1. This map is fantastic. The start buildings give a nod to modern mapping techniques with their overhanging roofs, and also with the multi-level outer walls against the sky, but otherwise, it’s a splendid rendition of classic style. But let’s not forget, either, the outside shadowcasting, a technique I first encountered in E1M9 of Jan van Der Veken’s brilliant Dawn of The Dead (1997). You will see a lot of this in Double Impact.

From the first, gameplay showcases enemies attacking from multiple angles, firing at you through windows, and it’s all good. Just a teaser of the mayhem to come, too. Once inside the first main building, you can appreciate the nice ceiling work that varies the height line for visual interest, ala Knee Deep, and the non-linear collection of hallways, stairs and lifts that allows the player freedom to choose their line of attack. Further, as you ascend stairs to higher levels, you alert hearing monsters who begin to hunt you. Can you imagine the smile on my face?

The yellow key area is a magnificent homage to Knee Deep’s E1M3, and it has a nifty outdoor secret area, too. I had also forgotten that pressing the switch opened a Demon closet, and those Pink bastards sent me running because I was low on ammo, and I ran right past the chainsaw secret and back down the lift, and those Pink fuckers came all the way down. What a blast that was!

The other major highlight is the red key trap. Yeah, these mappers are trying to put your ass underground right in E1M1. I love that, because I don’t believe in easy first maps. I’m pretty sure this trap did kill me back in 2011, and though I survived this time, I was reduced to 19% health for a few seconds. My appreciation to R&R for providing the secret Berserk, and in classic E1 looping style. I also really dig the way they used subtle texture differences and nifty tricks to mark secret doors, for example having a Browngrn border on a Brown96 wall. I never encountered that before this mapset, and I think it’s wicked cool.

As noted in my final thoughts on Fava Beans, the red key area has what appears to be an homage to Fava’s E1M7, a really subtle one, where Imps behind Brnsmal1 in Sector177 seem to honor the Imp behind Brnsmal1 in Sector 177 of Fava’s E1M7. If I’m right, this is super cool.

I also loved the exit area. I swear, these guys deserve a Cacoward just for Best Use of Comptile and Lite4. This area was beautiful, with nice fights.

The trickiest secret was the Chaingun. I consulted DB2 to figure that one out. ;)

All things considered, with the quality of architecture, lighting, texturing and combat, this map is a fabulous start to a Doom classic. Loved it!

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dobugabumaru said:
suggestions for the next megawad.


Since it is the 28th, it's probably time we started thinking about this :)

I favour doing a new release if at all possible, since those are presumably from active mappers who would get the most value out of the feedback.

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Capellan said:

Since it is the 28th, it's probably time we started thinking about this :)

I favour doing a new release if at all possible, since those are presumably from active mappers who would get the most value out of the feedback.


That's a good idea, though I favor doing an oldie, Realm of Chaos, because I'm an active mapper revising all my RoC maps, and I would definitely benefit from the commentary. I've got about 3 of them pretty well revised already. Selfish bastard, ain't I? ;D

BTW, it's easier to do a brand new map to modern standards than it is to revise an old one to upgradced status.

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Welcome back, Steve.

E1M6 -- Command Center - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
This map was a pleasant experience for me in a different way from the others. When I first played Double Impact I don't remember liking this one as much...can't really remember why, exactly, but I suspect it probably had something to do with me playing the level in a really sub-optimal order, finding just about every secret and alternate pathway about 3 minutes after they'd have been useful to me. This time, I found it more interesting. In a way, this speaks to one of the map's strengths; while it is essentially a keyed hub setup, as others have mentioned, it disguises this well (and the keyhub setup is one of those things that really stops being much of a bad thing as soon as it has been disguised), by providing the player with a lot of leash even when he's moving in the wrong direction. Indeed, there are even certain benefits to be had in doing so--I played about 90% of this map without a chaingun because of the route I took, but another player might get it very early on by moving towards what is otherwise a dead end at the outset, in the north. All of this means, again, that there's a lot of variance in how the map can play, which is not a bad thing, although for my part I think this one really is a lot more fun once you know some of the tricks of the layout beforehand.

Secrets move in a bit of different direction here, with a lot of them requiring observation of a very small incongruous detail (e.g. opening the very Command Control-esque central kiosk with the semi-useful blur artifact) or simply an inquisitive spirit (e.g. the plasma rifle secret in the nukage trench), as opposed to the discolored pushwall/lift tricks of previous maps. Some of these are really nifty, like the one that allows you to raise a bridge over the nukage trench to skip the red door. Things like this also help to mitigate/disguise the checklist-style progression of a keyhub map, as well.

On the combat front, this one is kind of a grab-bag of ideas seen elsewhere in the set--there are some bluefloored, mildly-blinky computer maze sections ala Central Computing, the lowering floor trap into the bloody flesh cave with some Barons, ala the similar but less pressing trap early in Operations (and granted, the trap is disguised better here), the big room-sized monstercloset trap near the red key, also reminiscent of Operations, etc. The so-called "blinky room of death" is more of its own distinct thing, and is probably why it draws as many comments as it does. For my part, I'm not inclined to call this bullshit; on the contrary, I think it's pretty cool, at least after you hit the switch. Situations like this, where you just know something bad is going to happen (and you may even have a pretty good idea what that something is) but you have to press on anyway, are an important part of the DooM experience, in my view. Granted, maybe it didn't irk me so much because I'd found the hidden plasma rifle by the time I made it there. ;) The other thing I wanted to mention is barrel use--a lot of Double Impact is good about this, but this particular map really uses barrel-based groupkills in a particularly generous way, which is timeless fun, plain and simple.

Another fun map--this time moreso than I was expecting, which is always nice.

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Next month's megawad

I think we're to the point where most of the suggestions are starting to get thinned out and a general consensus is harder to obtain: Capellan votes for DTWID2, SteveD votes for Realm of Chaos, I vote for Hell Revealed, Demon votes for Vile Flesh, Suitepee votes for Monochrome, purist votes for 3 Heures, Magnus is HR or Monochrome, cannonball is anything goes... see the problem?

As a general rule, I like alternating between "classic" megawads and newer ones, and while this month had releases from '11 and '12, I'd say it was a "classic" month. Therefore I side with Capellan that we should play some newer maps. Our three big releases over May have been:

- Doom 2 the Way Id Did
- Monochrome Mapping Project
- Hellbound

If we can allot our votes to just these three we should be able to reach a conclusion. Next month is probably going to be tougher however, but what I might do is let the most consistent/frequent members have priority in their suggestions, as some of us are probably going to keep sticking to our guns making nominations just as difficult.

My vote is torn between D2TWID and Hellbound currently :/ I'll see where the tide is turning and throw it towards one of them.

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