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Hellfest's first 11 levels are finished! Looking for reviews!

How'd you like it?  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. How'd you like it?

    • This sucks big-time.
    • It's kinda bad.
    • It's alright...
    • It's pretty cool.
    • This is awesome!

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EDIT: THERE ARE VIDEO LINKS BELOW! You can now check out the WAD before you give it a shot!


Hey guys. So, I completed the first 11 maps of my PWAD, Hellfest, and I'd like some reviews.

There are some custom monsters, weapons, powerups, and the like. This WAD is compatible with Zandronum, but I've done primary testing on gzdoom, and would recommend you play gzdoom. My rainbow rifle just doesn't show up right with Zandronum, since the beams stay one color, and I don't know how any other source port would react.

Yeah, you heard me. A RAINBOW RIFLE. It is the manliest gun ever, as it sounds, but you've gotta play hardmode to get one. Unless you cheat like a pansy. Anyway, yeah, I need some reviews for this PWAD.

I'm not exactly sure what style the levels are in. But, I tried to force the player into tricky situations as much as possible to keep things interesting. The first seven levels are quick, intense blazefests, and the last four (this WAD is not yet complete, but MAP08-MAP11 are the last ones in the current work done) begin to get longer, but I tried to make them also intense, with the exception of MAP10, which is intense where it matters, but also has a lot more sandbox to it for the player to explore.

All maps have been extensively tested on all difficulties (save Nightmare) from pistol start and continuously on both Vanilla and Brutal Doom, with the exceptions of MAP10 and MAP11, which have not been tested on Brutal Doom, and only on Vanilla. All maps were made entirely from scratch with the exception of the star at the end of MAP07 and the beginning of MAP08, which is from Memento Mori 1 MAP01, and the boat at the beginning of MAP01, which was from Ten Sectors MAP25. Was kinda having trouble comprehending the geometry of those two things.

If you're playing this PWAD, be sure to set some keys for previous item / next item and use item. I prefer T / Y and C. And, if you come across a captured marine, punch them to release them. The switches at the beginning rooms of MAP08, MAP09, and along the roads of MAP10 are to let your buddy marines out. If you don't want their help, don't activate the switches.

Here are some 2D maps:

If you guys have any questions, please ask. I look forward to what you have to say. And, if you do provide a review, I ask that you please elaborate sufficiently on what you liked / didn't like and why.

I'm aware I still need to implement a new music track and new text screens. Among other things.

Here's the DL link: http://www.mediafire.com/download/63fa3x5i438wmk6/Hellfest.zip

Thanks very much!

Edit: Here are some 3D screenies for you. I also added some video links if you want to view the WAD before you DL it.



Kicking off our level set is a fight at the docks of a secret UAC base hidden within a jungle temple. Totally not inspired by Plutonia's secret UAC base hidden within a jungle temple. *cough*

I hope you don't like archviles, because if you do, you're gonna hate them after this map. The one on this map is meant to be an obstacle; the player doesn't have enough firepower to take it down early, so they need to let it live while they do the rest of the level as the archvile follows them, ressing monsters from behind.



Our second level is perhaps the most linear of them all. This is compensated for with teleporting enemies that appear behind the player and a decent pace of progression. Plus, this is the first time you get to use the Hellfest Railgun and UAC sentry turret, on a crowd of imps and demons no less. Hell yeah!



Perhaps the map that can be completed the fastest, Bunker begins in the middle and ends on the outside. Eventually, the whole arena opens up and the player can run in circles around the whole thing.

On ultra-violence, the number of monsters on the map is 69, an easter egg for the way the map is designed where the player can go around the whole arena.



Like the last map, this is an arena fight. However, it's a little different. The player needs to clear the courtyard to win, but that'll release more monsters in the process.



This map ends where it begins. Doors will shut behind the player, forcing them forward. The player must come full-circle to finish the level.

On ultra-violence, the number of monsters on the map is 88, an easter egg for the way the map is designed where the player must go full-circle to finish.



It's possible to get the Beam Rifle / Rainbow Rifle early in a secret on this level. It's a relatively short level with few traps and stuff.



I'm especially happy with how this level turned out. There's -always- something trying to kill the player. To get more ammo, the player has to release more monsters, and if the player tries to play it safe and kill all the mancubi on the ground before proceeding, SURPRISE! The middle opens up prematurely! Muahahahahahah.

This is also the first level where the player gets to see the Hellish Priest / Hellish Hunter monster combo. One scatters damage-increasing orbs all over the place that make enemy attacks more lethal, and the other snipes you with deadly accuracy. Good luck with those guys. They're pretty tough together.

And, yes, those are captured marines in the corner there. You can free them using your fists or the chainsaw. Their AI is my design, but some of the sprites I got from Brutal Doom, and these were also inspired by the Brutal Doom marines. However, -these- marines are for Vanilla. Their out-of-combat pathing leaves something to be desired, but their in-combat AI is the best I could do. I'm still a newb at scripting, but I'm very happy with how they turned out.



This is where things begin to change. We kick off this level with a cyberdemon beneath a crusher. The player has to run cyberdreams-style to crush the thing, if they don't want to blow it up conventionally. They probably don't have that much ammo left, anyway.

If you want to play with your marine allies you freed from the end of MAP07, you can activate a switch in the level that allows them to teleport in and fight with you. Several screenies here depict the marines blowing stuff up.



Here we have a trek through the 'sewers' of a town along the river Acheron. However, it'll be no easy feat passing through here. Once the player steps foot in here, nearby monsters will raise themselves from the dead - you heard me - and start attacking you. Not only that, but most of them are invisible. Some are fast, whether fast monsters is enabled or not. Others will raise themselves from the dead every 45 seconds. Some will do both. Thankfully, these stealthy imps and revenants are not quite as powerful as their visible counterparts; they have reduced hit points, reduced damage, and will often drop little demonic runes that can heal and armor the player as they navigate the maze. And, for five seconds as they're resurrecting themselves, they will be vulnerable to attack.

Taking proper advantage of items washed into the sewers, the player can survive. But, they'd better hurry; with limited ammo and health and infinite monsters, they may be overwhelmed before they know it.



Once free from the murky depths of Town Acheron's Hemoducts, our hero must brave the town itself, exploring its streets and structures in search of a way out. Perhaps he will find his salvation in the chapel... or, perhaps his grave.

With limited cover and some big out-in-the-open fights, the player will need to use everything to their advantage... powerups, items, even other monsters as cover. The hellish denizens of the town are all eager to eat mortal brains tonight.

However, the player will have access to a vast arsenal of weapons, including the railgun, the grenade launcher, even the BFG 10k, if they can find it. Even the beam rifle / rainbow rifle become available on this level quite commonly. And, your marine allies will be outfitted with beam rifles in addition to their former weapons. I hope you enjoy your's as much as they do their's.

If you don't want to finish this level right away, every building is furnished, so please, be my guest. Explore. You might find some cool stuff.



Step into the arena, my friends, and brace yourself; to pass the River Styx, you must defeat its guardian... Cerberus!

Once the fight begins, there is no stopping. Monsters will come in from all sides and the player will need to be very witty to survive... and quick. Don't kill the monsters fast enough, and the next wave will come too early. Unlike before, the player will be alone for this. No marine assistance.* Although, I'm thinking of allowing marine assistance for -after- the bombers are dead. Will need to think on that. However, they will have access to some great weapons and powerups. Just like in MAP07, the player gets to use the Cacosphere again.

Also, I -really- need a new soundtrack.** I'm so sorry The Healer Stalks plays on this level in particular. I'm gonna make it much more fitting when I pick out music for the level.

Good luck.

* - Optional marine support has been added.
** - Soundtrack has been updated. SERIOUS SAM!



And that's that.

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you should provide some 3D Screenshots as well. The maps don't bad from a 2D Perspective, though.

haven't played it yet; I look forward to seeing the masterpiece!

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Pure Hellspawn said:

you should provide some 3D Screenshots as well. The maps don't bad from a 2D Perspective, though.

haven't played it yet; I look forward to seeing the masterpiece!

I'll take some now and edit the OP with the new screenies.

Edit: I've updated the OP with screenies of each level! I included a spoiler alert at the top.

Edit 2: I've updated the HELLFEST link with better mechanics for the MAP11 boss. Please re-download to check out the changes to MAP11's boss fight if you've already downloaded it. If not, the links in the OP should have worked just fine. Apologies for the inconvenience. Here's the link:

Now the boss-boss is more of a threat... among some other minor changes. I fixed a bug for Zandronum that caused arachnotrons to spawn early in the arena instead of the time they're supposed to spawn, modified the armor of citadel guards slightly, and added the option for marine support in MAP11. Just one marine, but he'll come in after the bombers are down and be a good help if you activate the summon-marine switch.

Edit 3: Added some more stuff. Not really game-changing, just gave the MAP11 boss some varied attacks that do the same damage but different damage types, and also changed the music for MAP11. Now it's more appropriate!

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Hey, what version of GZDoom should I be using? With 1.8.4 I get a ton of DECORATE errors, etc. and there's at least one missing sprite.

Anyhow I'm about 3 maps in and I'm not entirely sure what I think so far. It's got some good moments, but I find most of the new powerups etc. more of a distraction than anything else. It seems like every time I find a new secret it's some new sphere who's effects disappear before I can tell what it does. The machinegun sentry thing was cool, and replacing the plasma rifle with the railgun is a nice change of pace. I hate the laser turret enemies, seems like there's no chance to avoid getting hit by them if you don't know where they are.

The levels themselves are OK, difficulty curve is wonky: the first section of MAP01 is quite hard, and then the rest is fairly easy. Though maybe I was meant to use some items right at the start? I don't know.

Anyhow I don't want to sound too hard on you, ZDoom-heavy levels are usually not my thing. Did you post on the ZDoom forums? You might get some more receptive response there. In any case I'll play through the next few levels at least.

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Any version! I get those 'errors' too when I play Vanilla.

I'm aware of the DECORATE errors and the missing sprites. Those are Brutal DOOM weapons - grenade launcher, railgun, BFG 10k - that can be picked up in Brutal Doom and are replaced by the Brutal Doom versions of those weapons. Come to think of it, though, I could probably just put dummy items in there that can be replaced without showing up with all those errors and such...

The plasma rifle wasn't replaced. The player can use both the railgun and the plasma rifle.

Most HELLFEST powerups often only last about seven seconds with additive time. This was intentional, as things just seemed to last way too long before. Some other folks who tested this didn't report any problems with figuring out what the powerups did, but I suppose some are quicker to get an idea of what things do.

Laser turrets are supposed to be unexpected. I intended to keep the player on edge, even if they find a secret area, which is why those turrets mostly guard secret areas. Their beams don't do much damage, and once the player knows where they are, they're easier to avoid than they might seem, but they can be lethal if the player isn't careful. I like to stand behind large enemies - like mancubi or arachnotrons - and let the beams hit them from the other side while I chainsaw them to death from the front.

Did you try and kill the Archvile at the beginning of MAP01 or something? It's not meant to be killed - although it could be - nor are the mancubi, at least at the beginning. They're meant to be obstacles more than anything - player should run past them until they have greater firepower. If they're not trying to tackle the bigger enemies, there should only be small enemies in their way, until they hit the revenants. Then, it's not so hard. At least, that's not what the other guys reported... and I didn't have trouble with it, either.

No worries about sounding too hard on me or anything. I like criticism; it'll help me develop stuff better. Thanks for letting me know you're not big on zdoom levels... that puts your critique into context. I haven't posted on the zdoom forums, but I suppose I should check there.

Thanks for your feedback! I'll be looking forward to more.

Edit: After examining MAP01 again, I noticed one of the things on my to-change list wasn't present. So, to rectify the difficulty, several monsters spawn at less than maximum health on MAP01, including the archvile, both mancubi, and several revenants on UV. They still should be avoided until the player gets the chaingun or something, though. Unless you trip the ceiling turret and chainsaw the mancubus from the other side or something... that's always fun.

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OK, good to know those errors are known. You should do something about the missing sprites I think.

I did kill the AV and the Mancs at the start, wasn't sure if I was meant to but since that's how the wad began, I didn't know if running would just get me into more trouble. Anyhow it certainly wasn't impossible.

About the spheres: a lot of the time I didn't find them up until I'd killed everything else around, and by the time I got to the next set of enemies it had already worn off. In any case, having a very straightforward pickup message might help.

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I'll fix those sprites, but I do like having the little exclamation points there for powerful weapons. Ahh, well...

The AV and Mancubi at the beginning should be easier for people who won't run past them now. At least it wasn't impossible.

Straightforward pickup message? Aww, man, but I like being cryptic!
Since there are normal-timed powerups on each level, the player should learn quickly and early-on that pickups don't last quite as long as they'd expect them to in this PWAD. I don't think it'll be that big of an issue; I even put two crucifi in a secret on MAP01 so people can make opportunity of the second one if they used the first one not knowing it would only last seven seconds.

Thanks very much for the feedback! Please lemme know if you try any of the other levels - I improved my map-making over each level constructed - and if you have any other complaints / compliments. I say compliments because it's good to know what I'm doing correctly, if I already know what I'm doing wrong.

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Oh, thanks. I was thinking "aquaduct" but the liquid in the level is red, so I thought of "hemo" and named it "hemoducts." I guess I'll have to think of a new name for the level or something.

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According to Google, sanguis means blood, aquaduct is υδραγωγείο in Greek, αγωγός means conductor.
Sanguiduct… meh and hemogog… meh too.

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I'll think of a new name eventually, I suppose.

Didja play the WAD? Got any comments on the levels? I just updated the WAD with a bugfix for MAP09's teleporting suicide bombers and MAP11's spiderdemon moving away from the center of the map.

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Gni said:

Any version! I get those 'errors' too when I play Vanilla.

You probably don't use the same definition of "vanilla" as most people on this forum.

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I plan on playing this again soon, I was focused on getting through Nova for a bit.

OK, I just played through maps 6-9. In brief:
6 was fine though pretty basic.
7 was hectic and pretty fun. Interesting choice to do a Dead Simple style map on Map 07 since with ZDoom it can be done anywhere, but oh well.
8 was OK overall, the cyber trap was good, the rest not bad but not too gripping.
9 was great!

In general, like I said before, I find the ZDoom additions more of a distraction, but map 9 actually made use of them in a really good way. It fit the theme and the level design really well, instead of just feeling like they were thrown in to add "variety" or to mask the plainness of the design. Respawning monsters aren't my favourite thing, but it wasn't too harsh with the life bonuses they drop.

Some bugs & things:

I couldn't find an exit on Map 7. Ran out of things to kill and switches to hit in this room. Unless I was supposed to kill the marines?

I got a beam rifle somewhere, but it only shot red. Don't know if that was supposed to be the rainbow rifle... it also seems underpowered compared to the other weapons that use cells. I'm using the latest dev build of GZDoom.
edit: Nevermind, got a proper rainbow rifle later. Cool but seems just as underpowered as the beam rifle?

A lot of your outdoor areas have paper-thin edges, looks quite unnatural. (yes there are some of these in doom.wad as well... no excuse! ;P)

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Map 10 was good, architecture was a lot more interesting than previous levels. Pretty hard, especially the start with things shooting at you everywhere.

Map 11 was a huge jump in difficulty and kind of nuts. I guess it works? I didn't beat it properly, I used god mode in the name of bug testing.

The large beast monster looks quite bad, it looks obviously rescaled from a small sprite. If you're going to do that, at least use a pixel resizer and not a usual resize algorithm. Given the health of that thing, it also wasn't apparent if I was even hurting it, especially since it doesn't bleed or have a pain state at all.

Overall your levels definitely got better as the wad went on, it's still not really the kind of thing I play Doom for though.

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They're not necessary! I threw them in for the hell of it. Just because. Y'know?

Besides questions, did you have any comments? I'm kinda looking for some feedback as well, if you have any.

Mhmm, I know that by now. I'm still learning the ropes around here. I apologize for the misconception and will attempt to be more careful about the semantics of things in the future.

Many thanks for the reviews :D This is the sort of feedback I was looking for!

The exit on MAP07 was the sacrificial star. Stand on it until you die, and you'll start MAP08. Someone said it wasn't clear that that was the exit, so I put the exit sign there, and folks are still having trouble? Oh, boy... <.>

It's strange that you got a beam rifle AND a rainbow rifle... that needs to be fixed. And they're meant to be early-cell weapons, replaced by plasma / BFG / whatever else. I still like to use them just because rainbows, but still.

Yeah, sorry about Cerberus looking all fuzzy like that. I'm not really all that good with spritework... so I didn't really know what to do about that.

I'm intrigued that you found MAP11 to be a jump in difficulty. Playing through it myself, it felt similar to MAP09 or MAP10 in difficulty.

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Gni said:

The exit on MAP07 was the sacrificial star. Stand on it until you die, and you'll start MAP08. Someone said it wasn't clear that that was the exit, so I put the exit sign there, and folks are still having trouble? Oh, boy... <.>

Aha, that didn't occur to me because those kinds of exits are pretty rare, and usually in inescapable pits filled with monsters. Not sure what to suggest if you want to keep it, maybe border the whole damaging area with EXITSIGN?

Yeah, sorry about Cerberus looking all fuzzy like that. I'm not really all that good with spritework... so I didn't really know what to do about that.

Where's the source sprite from?

I'm intrigued that you found MAP11 to be a jump in difficulty. Playing through it myself, it felt similar to MAP09 or MAP10 in difficulty.

Well Maps 9 & 10 were harder than the rest, but on Map 11 the constant stream of suicide bombers are pretty punishing, combined with all the rest of what's going on.

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plums said:

Aha, that didn't occur to me because those kinds of exits are pretty rare, and usually in inescapable pits filled with monsters. Not sure what to suggest if you want to keep it, maybe border the whole damaging area with EXITSIGN?

I like the border idea. Thanks!

plums said:

Where's the source sprite from?

The source sprite is from the Hellhound of Realm667. That was the very first spriteset I ever did work with, and I didn't notice there was a scale function in DECORATE, so I went through literally every sprite and scaled it up in Paint.net. Then, I found out there was a scale function. Yech!

plums said:

Well Maps 9 & 10 were harder than the rest, but on Map 11 the constant stream of suicide bombers are pretty punishing, combined with all the rest of what's going on.

What I meant by that was MAP09's constant stream of monsters concept combined with MAP10's out-in-the-open fight concept. The stream of suicide bombers at the beginning is a reference to Serious Sam - that one's obvious, right? What with the Serious Sam music playing, and the little WAAAAAR sound effect I threw in that starts when the player initiates the fight? - and... yep! It is pretty punishing. :D

To compensate, I put a customized silent landmine meant to reduce monster health under each suicide bomber, several under the starting mancubi, revenants, and arachnotrons, and depending on the mode, more or less under the spider mastermind / Cerberus. I used the same landmines on MAP01's archvile, mancubi and revenants to reduce difficulty. Typically, those suicide bombers have 35 health, but with one of those custom landmines underneath, the player can mow through crowds of them with the chaingun. Which, as it turns out, is perfect for MAP11; I finish killing off those suicide bombers at around the same time the revenants spawn. Not only that, but I also put customized monster spawners in. Unfortunately, in Zandronum and I'm guessing some other source ports as well, the customized monster spawnshots do not work properly, but the customized monster spawners do. They fire those spawnshots significantly slower than normal, and that seems to work in other sourceports, but in zdoom, no archviles, lost souls, or barons of hell will be spawned.

Again, many thanks for the feedback! I can improve future maps with this advice, but I will of course need more from others for alternative perspective.

Check the OP - I posted links to my latest test-run of the WAD for reference!

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Final bump. Still need feedback.

Bumping doesn't break any rules or anything, right? Kinda new to forum stuff. Not sure if good thing or bad thing; have been lurking, but folks seem to have neutral feelings towards bumping.

Anyway, after receiving praise for some of the latter maps in particular, I'm thinking about taking later levels in a Serious Sam meets Doom sort of direction. Would be curious of what folks think of that notion.

Also, just a heads-up: THE OP NOW HAS VIDEO LINKS! If you're just stopping by this thread to browse and don't plan on downloading anything, I request that you please take a look at some of the links. MAP07, MAP09, and MAP11 are all good choices, from what I hear. Especially MAP11. MAP06 is probably my least-interesting map, if you'd like to take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Thanks, all!

P.S. - Aside from the poll, which is only there for reference, I'd -greatly- appreciate written feedback. I'd like to know -what- I did wrong, -what- I did right, -why-, -how-, or -whatever- else might be relevant, and -which- levels, sections of the levels, custom content, or whatever else I did them right about. If that's okay. Thanks!

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