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Serious_MOod

Episode - Dark Side of Deimos

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A remake of the second episode - The Shores of Hell.
Tested in PrBoom-plus. Format - Boom, due to the new animated textures.
Development was launched February 5, 2013 and was completed November 15, 2013.







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Looks nice, will definitely check it out. And btw, I love your no-bullshit approach; no personal introduction and no unnecessary information on the wad! Just like; here, have this, yeah! And then you put on your sunglasses :)

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I'm currently playing through Doom 1 again. So this is definetly something I'll give a whirl once I'm done with E4 (probably sometime this evening).

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New Episode from out of nowhere! This kept me up late last night. Finished it off today. Played each level from pistol start, no saves, mouselook enabled, regular HUD. Tried for 100% kills and secrets, didn't quite succeed but came close. FDAs if you want them, not the most exciting playing and I get lost a few times but that's how it goes: http://www.mediafire.com/?q1d4h88c5ds44lf

Skill level was good for the way I was playing, a bit easy even but I think you were going for a similar difficulty as the original E2 so it's understandable.

In general I like your design, it feels fairly E2-ish while not being overly derivative. There's a good progression of base->hell like in The Shores of Hell, while still feeling different. You have generally good Baron use, with only one or two in the whole episode feeling like bullet sponges, and a good variety of combat situations throughout. The use of new textures and Doom 1-only textures work very well and make it feel very at home in Doom instead of Doom 2.

Quick map-by-map notes:

  1. Easy map, but it's a good intro.
  2. Easy except for the teleport into the lava area, which was very close to killing me because I went back a second time not realizing it was supposed to be a one-way trip. That's forgivable though. Nice otherwise
  3. For whatever reason I was convinced the "exit" switch wasn't a fakeout, and so I spent a good while running aimlessly trying to find the red key, before giving up and hitting the switch fully unprepared for an ambush. Made for an exciting last minute though.
  4. Solid level, one of my favourites.
  5. I get lost for a while. Eventually I find the secret exit though I'm not sure what I did to open it.
  6. Here's the level that finally gets me, twice in the same place - that spectre trap. The first time it took me by surprise, after I was already seriously hurt failing to sneak by the imps at the start; the second time I thought I'd have enough ammo but I didn't, and lately I'm used to playing ZDoom where punching is easier :P Finally got it when I found the chainsaw. Was expecting a trap at the exit, but there wasn't one! No secrets found here, too bad.
  7. Favourite level of the wad. The growling from the enemies really kept me on edge at times. Had one death at start trying to dodge the Baron. I got a bit lost and had to go back and forth through the lava vat/teleport area more than once, which was painful, and I'm still not entirely sure what I was supposed to do differently.
  8. A single cyberdemon, but surprisingly hard in that small enclosure. Lots of deaths here I am embarrassed to say, first from trying to hide behind pillars and then when I try to lure him out of that room - stairs make for bad dodging. Eventually I man up and just circle-strafe around him to win. I like the look (though the outside ash walls are a little flat) but in dying so many times the intro section started to get very tedious. So, don't die so many times, right? :)
  9. Great looking level, it feels very hellish & chaotic without being over detailed compared to the rest of the wad, which is not so easy to pull off. Very easy level to beat by just running for the exit, quite hard to get 100% kills from pistol start.
Well done with this!

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Nice, a SoH replacement, one doesn't see those as much as E1 or E3 replacements. I'll put this on my to-do list to check it out.

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Ragnor said:

^ I don't think ive ever even seen an E3 replacement.


They're out there, though usually in full megawad replacements like DTWiD or cannonball's Concerned, which has some seriously badass E3 maps, especially E3M8.

As a Doom 1 fanatic, I'll be all over this episode in a couple days. ;)

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I'll give it a look later on. I generally see 9001 E1 replacements, several E2 ones, zero for the others (megawads dont count btw, I mean level sets specifically designed for that episode, and in that episode's style)

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I definitely agree that I feel like I see more E3 replacements than E2 ones (and that, of course, E1 remakes dominate.) I'm not sure why this is, I quite liked the foreboding, half-demonized style of E2. On a slight segue, I feel like a lot of E3 replacements are created with the concept that "id could've done way better on this episode, but the style was pretty cool, so let's 'upgrade' it" or something. Could just be me though, and my personal feelings on that episode. :P

Anyway, I should make a physical list of all the WADs I've promised I'd play when I had the chance, because this will be another one. Looks super promising.

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NightFright said:

There is actually a new Ep.3 replacement in the works already - Bedlam.

If you also add this WIP Ep.1 replacement, you have a complete 3-episode Doom WAD. ^^

I can never get enough of those episode remakes for the first Doom. Just keep bringing them!


Well... Would anyone be up for a E4 replacement then? It´s probably my favorite episode of the bunch.

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EvilNed said:

Well... Would anyone be up for a E4 replacement then? It´s probably my favorite episode of the bunch.


Oh, hell yeah!

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Serious_MOod said:

Yes, do you think, is the third episode to do?


Having really enjoyed Dark Side of Deimos, I'd love to see what you would do for an E3 or E4 episode.

Having said that, the themes of E3 and E4 appear frequently in Doom 2 levels; the gradual "base taken over by hell" progression less so.

EvilNed said:

Well... Would anyone be up for a E4 replacement then? It´s probably my favorite episode of the bunch.


It would be interesting at least to see an E4 replacement that keeps the wonky difficulty curve, if for no other reason than just because it's extremely rare to see something like that. Cyberdemon on E4M6 is mandatory!

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I think we all agree that Serious should just also deliver the other missing three episodes to complete a megawad. Because all maps done by one guy is a guarantee for continuity and (if previous release was good) quality. In many cases. :P

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I've been playing this since yesterday and I have to say, it's very good. Difficulty's not too easy but not too hard, and all the maps are nicely detailed and the lighting's good as well. I encourage you to keep making maps as good as these.

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Well, Serious_MOod, your nick very well describes this mapset. I’ve played the first 3 maps and the main thing I take from it is how nice a job you’ve done on lighting and staging your areas for a sense of menace. IMO, the sense of menace greatly exceeds the actual menace, as delivered by small numbers of monsters and with action mostly ahead of the player (shooting-gallery style). The exception to that is the occasional nicely-designed trap. This is not to say I didn’t get killed, I did, but keep in mind that I suck and on top of that I tend to play kamikaze style. Still, only one of my 4 total deaths in the first 3 maps was from combat. The other 3 – all in E2M2 – were 2 to the lava maze and 1 to the crusher.

Overall, I really like the maps, though I have some gripes, which I’ll deal with as they come up in the individual commentaries. I liked your texture usage and detailing, and especially your lighting. I liked how you made some grand staircases and several double staircases. I also liked the scale of your rooms, many of which were large and grandiose.

I’m playing on UV, continuous, GZDoom, keyboard only, frequent save and reload.

E2M1 – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 100. Time – 5:09. End Health 100, Armor 0. Death Count – Zero

Nice, easy opening map. I had to play it twice, because the first time I lost sound halfway through. Right off the bat, we have nice-looking areas and very atmospheric lighting. The detailing is well-done, too, albeit simpler in this map than the others. Nice job.

E2M2 – Kills – 69, Items – 100, Secrets – 100. Time – 9:53. End Health 90, Armor 91. Death Count – 3

Even better-looking than the first map. Two early gripes are violations of The Floor Texture Rule, where you changed the floor texture without changing floor height – or using a border texture -- in the transition from Sector 30 to 31 and from 193 to 194.

The first teleport trap was a little too easy. The stairs were too tall and narrow (only 32 units) to allow the monsters to come down and get you, so you could camp at the bottom of the stairs and potshot them, while encouraging infighting. A few monsters teleported down but were easily handled. There needed to be more teleporting to the lower level.

The teleport to the lava maze was the cause of my undoing. I usually get owned by these things, and after 2 deaths here I opened the map in DB2 to learn the route. There was no point in doing the maze because there was nothing worth getting in there, so getting out was the best option, which meant leaving several monsters unkilled. Expect complaints from UV-Maxers. ;)

Sector 77 is the first sector of the exit area, and here the set-up encourages door-camping, which is not very exciting. However, the blue key trap was nicely done, the most exciting part of the map. After getting crushed the first time, I opted to let the crusher shield me while the monsters started infighting, and then ran out of the room, leaving all the monsters behind. There was nothing else to get in that room, so not much point in target practice. This is why my kill total is so low in this map.

To sum up, this is a very good-looking map with great lighting and dramatic staging, but the gameplay has a few flaws, IMO. I can see that you’re going for low monster counts, tight ammo/health balance, and easy incidental combat leading up to fairly nasty traps. I personally prefer somewhat more hectic combat, but that’s me. You appear to be going for mood and suspense, and are willing to run the risk of allowing players to avoid large numbers of enemies. Some will be okay with that, some not. I wasn’t bothered. I would have liked stiffer opposition overall, however.

E2M3 – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 100. Time – 24:54. End Health 93, Armor 71. Death Count – 1

The best-looking, moodiest map yet! I especially liked a relatively simple area, the Sector 275 hallway, with Brightness down all the way to 64 – very brave choice! – and Sladskull wall detail with subdued lighting. Brilliant, I say!

This map had the best combat so far, though most of it was still ahead of the player allowing for easy backpedalling and potshotting. This was especially true of the grand staircase rising from Sector 315, which was fantastic looking thanks to the excellent lighting. But this area led to my first combat death because I played the tricky Sector 125 room very badly and got reduced to 6% health. When I entered the Sector 210 area and saw all those hitscanners, I knew I was doomed. ;D I managed to kill all the Sergreants and was potshotting high demons when a zombieboy wandered out and put a bullet in me. Replaying the previous sequence, I did much better and had no trouble when I re-entered Sector 210.

BTW, another violation of the Floor Texture Rule occurred at the Sector 121 to 125 transition.

The Sector 210 area signals a major theme transition to a more hellish style, which you handled very well. Still the problem remains the weak opposition, which was not very challenging until the sudden teleportation of a major monster. Nicely-done, I took serious damage here. The only thing I really objected to in this area was the big Sector 402 lift, because it seemed gimmicky and part of a switch-hunt, giving the player tasks which IMO was just padding.

BTW, I did the same thing as plums and got faked-out looking for the red key.

My time in this map was long because even though I found the 2 secrets, I could not figure out how to access the box of rockets in Sector 100. This area is not tagged as a secret, but it sure seems like one! :D I finally gave up and left.

So there you have it. A nice, fairly relaxing mapset so far, with moments of greater intensity. Very oldskool in that regard. I like how you stay on the grid to keep your textures aligned. Your detailing is also just right, IMO. I do hope the upcoming maps increase the intensity level.

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Played all the episode this noon in HMP, using prboom on complevel 9 (so, i will not be totally sure of the "vanilla\DOS" boom 2.02 compatibility of this episode),died only near e2m6 exit like a dork, and then skipped on e2m7.

Spoiler

I used cheats sometimes, especially on last maps. I'm such a bad person! ^__^



It was a cool wad, the first impression i had trough the journey it was: "Sure, this place is huge!", the architecture is large and spacious, making it looking really huge and creepily desolate. I also liked the original doom tributes here and there...

That's a good thing in doom environment!

However, sometimes looks way TOO empty (e2m5, i'm talking about you!), and when i skipped to e2m7 after the stupid e2m6 death i had to go trough half the map to find a better gun than pistol with 50 bullets against a billion of fucking demons trying to kill me! That's not nice, you know. If a gentle imp wasn't opened that "hidden" door on the redrock hallway with the shotgun, i could be searching guns forever... next time put some ammo bullets near the player to make things easier (or, way better, add a melee weapon like chainsaw or a berserk pack hidden somewhere) and make that door to shotgun room mentioned before more easily to be seen/found.

Also i found this 32-unit EXITSIGN sector, this could be put some texture error on boom 2.02 (always if this working on that port) and i'm not big fan of this room.

At last, this bug in e2m4

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SteveD said:

Oh, hell yeah!


I'd very much like to have a stab at this. So if you're interested for sure, send me a PM.

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Dark Side of Deimos - quite a good mapset, but has its faults which I'll mention later. Your style is unusual and I like certain aspects of it while I dislike some others, I'll tell it all to you.

The light work is excellent.

Atmosphere is a strong point too.

A lot of work was put into detailing, sometimes too much I'd say. It's unnecessary and the result is not always a pleasant eye-candy, but of course I mostly like your detail. The wide-spread use of STEPs and white tiles is done well.

Challenge amount wasn't consistent thorough the mapset, I'd appreciate more, and more thought out gameplay and monster encounters.

Generally, the weak point of your mapping is intuitiveness. Specially in later maps, there was a lot of switches that did something and I had to wander through the whole map to find out the effect. I like to explore, but not to blindly backtrack. Player should be somehow always informed what a switch does, for example to see the effect through a window, hear a nearby door sound, see it right after he leaves the room with the switch, etc. Here's your chance to improve.

The first map lacked challenge pretty much, but was motivating to continue playing. The second map was much better and impressed me actually. Also map 3 was a strong one. At map 4, the bigger problems with navigation started. Since map 5 it started to be annoying, as gameplay seemed to detract in favor of switch hunts. This trend remained to the end. E2M7 was particularly frustrating, because I forgot to press one switch. However the final map was simple yet good, a boss map really doesn't need more, I highly approve it.

I'd advise you a few things to improve on:

  • Make navigation through your map easier. Player should know where to go next when he presses a switch, as he knows it when he grabs a key.
  • Focus more on crafting an interesting challenging gameplay. Remember, a good gameplay is what most of us are after.
  • Avoid making rooms without a purpose and with a dead end. It's important, there were quite a few in this wad, which contained just some monsters and not that much reward.
  • Be careful about teleport traps. Sometimes it took too long time before all enemies teleported, and since I wanted to kill them all, I had to wait. Make such traps smaller-scaled or effectivize the speed of it, add more tele-destinations... It'll add to the gameplay too.
I hope to see more maps for you, any, since it was interesting to see your style, which partially resembles professionality and right then you make a few basic mistakes. You have a lot of potential at mapping I'd say. Good luck in anything you decide to do!

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I must say that I have finished the first episode, but I have not laid out as it is worse in quality, and the maps is rather small, due to the fact that before I had a few less experience ... but if you want, I can lay out.

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Serious_MOod said:

I must say that I have finished the first episode, but I have not laid out as it is worse in quality, and the maps is rather small, due to the fact that before I had a few less experience ... but if you want, I can lay out.

Now when you have more experience, maybe you can return to them and improve them? I'd be definitely interested to see Episode 1 in your performance, anyway.

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scifista42, heh, he was once again improved during development Dark Side of Deimos. The very first version was rather casually made​​, and more like the original doom. The only thing I can do with it - to increase the size of the levels, but I'm unlikely to do so.

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Well, you can maybe add some detail and leave the Ep.1 level sizes as they are. In order to compensate, start Ep.3 from scratch and release everything as a megawad after that. This way, there would also be a development from Ep.1 (beginner) to Ep.2 (advanced) and Ep.3 (-hopefully- pro). ^^

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Time for a bit of Demos Forum advertising, there are two speedruns posted a few days ago in our forums, including some extreme demon dodging on E2M1 - by DidierTranber. Check this out.

I played the first 2 and a half maps from the episode so far, I liked the irregularly shaped silver lift on E2M3 and the fight on top of it.

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