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My maps for playtesting *two maps now ready*

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Greetings! I will be using this thread to upload my semi-complete maps. Please feel free to offer all feedback, even if it's just a chance to get revenge for my reviews.

I'm starting with Panophobia: Temple of Forgotten Gods. I can't remember how to add music to the map so they're separate downloads, sorry!

Any feedback, no matter how nitpicky, is needed. Watch your step in the map - it's a crumbling environment which will send you tumbling into the cold water. You don't want to go there.

Panophobia Project
*rawnwatr_v3.wad* - uploaded 17/1/2014 @ 18:35 GMT
The map is now provisionally complete, pending feedback from playtesters.
- Fixes bizarre game-crashing bug in Boom
- Fixes secrets
- Various game balancing updates (ammo/health removal)
- Blocking decorations in Boom have been replaced with non-blocking ones



WELCOME TO HELL (rawnhell.wad)
Panophobia Project
*rawnhell_v1.wad* - uploaded 17/1/2013 @ 19:15 GMT
The map is now provisionally complete, pending feedback from playtesters.

"Everdream" by Nightwish

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Open up your map wad with something like SLADE, XWE or Slumped and import your music file as a lump. Make sure the music file is named D_RUNNIN or whatever is appropriate for the map you're on. Consult the Doom wiki for Doom II music if you need to find out which track goes to which level.

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Made my way through the map after a few deaths, so here's what I thought about it. I think I must not have been playing on UV because I could barely find any monsters. The initial area with the Cyberdemon looks nice, but was a bit tedious. Dodging the Cyber's rockets while waiting for the platform to go up either went perfectly or was just instant death. On a second play through I was able to walk along the dark gray wall off of the starting platform which completely trivialized this section by not dropping the wall the Cyber was standing behind so that I did not draw his aggro.

I really enjoyed the tightrope while dodging mancubi fire section, although this area was not as aesthetically pleasing as the lake with the Cyberdemon. Too many right angles, I think. Also, other than the rocket launcher at the end of this section I was unable to find any other weapons, despite there being a bunch of shotgun and chaingun ammo.

The next section with the lost souls and hell knights/baron on the cliff looked a bit nicer than the prior section. The eroding platform edges added a nice complexity. Once I hit the switch I found myself walking off of the platform thinking it was bigger. That's because it had been!

And finally the climactic battle against... A handful of hell knights that can be walked right past to end the level! The arena this battle takes place on was pretty neat though. The holes opening up really frightened me. Personally I think some other monster types should be added to kind of spice the fight up and make it more difficult to reach the ending pads.

Overall I think the map could use a few more colors. The blue and dark gray works well for the Cyberdemon lake, but the later areas are a brighter gray which doesn't look as nice. The crumbling landscape was a very fun element to the map, which I think could be explored deeper, maybe in another map. It made me kind of rush through some of the areas to avoid a premature death. Kudos for not pulling a Sandy Petersen and making the cold water inescapable! I hope this review is useful in some way.

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Holy mother of a FETH, I did it again - I left the player start area in the wrong place. I call it The Curse of Rawne.

Give me a minute to provide a new link in the original post. When you play through the level, you should start in a wide open area and have to island-hop while fighting monsters.

EDIT: Thanks for your feedback. Now that the player start is in the right area, you'll find that the Cyberdemon arena is in the last half of the map. You should have the health, armour and weaponry to kill or avoid the Cyberdemon by the time you reach it. The big wall you ran along should have lowered into the sea by this point, so you can revisit the start area of the map if you need to and cannot use the wall to bypass the Cyberdemon.

The "silver road" area is a bit ugly... I'll have to see what I can do about this.

The Knight fight at the end is supposed to flood the arena with Knights but they don't seem to come off the steps. They cannot normally be bypassed due to the number of them in a confined area. However they don't always teleport onto the map straight away. I could beam a few more in behind the player to cut off their retreat.

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Whew, the full version is a lot tougher than the abridged one I played earlier! I'm not sure what order you designed the various areas in, but the places in the first half looked amazing. I'm very glad I got to play those. Great use of pain elementals in a few spots to put the player on a timer. Either get out of this area fast, or kill the pain elemental before you're swarmed with lost souls! Great gameplay through the first half. My complaints about the second half are still the same, although being armed for the Cyberdemon fight made a little more sense! The baron trap right afterwards is pretty mean, too, but I liked it.

I'm not the most experienced doomer, but I was pleasantly challenged through most of the areas. I think my favorite few rooms were the one with the SSG, and the adjoining water area with the imps on the walls. I also think you did a great job with the ammo/health distribution throughout the whole thing. Ammo was relatively plentiful, but you kind of had to go looking for it sometimes. I only found two secrets; the berserk pack after the pinkie/imp room, and the line of rockets in that SSG room. I like those kind of secrets though, where something opens up behind you and it's easy to miss it if you're just rushing ahead.

The room with the mancubi and arch-viles is very well designed. The hole in the ceiling is a very nice touch. Killing the arch-viles was relatively straightforward though, that room could maybe use a few extra monsters, at least on UV.

Anyways, I'm very glad I got to play the full version of that map, as it was a superbly fun one. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for your future maps!

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Wow, what amazing feedback! Thank you!!

I'll work on the second half of the map, which I call "The Silver Road", to try to improve its looks. I'll amend some of the monster deployment to sustain the challenge in the Arch-Vile temple and the Hell Knight arena by the exit.

You can access the beginning of the map from the Knight arena by running over the sacrificial altar, which opens a door on the other side of the broken bridge. Once you get the lift working, you can travel between the start and exit areas at will, just in case you missed some secrets or the Spectres/Cacodemons in the water.

As for the secrets, the map was originally intended to be a sprawling, open-ended exploration map, so have a look around each area but be careful near the water. Every area except the silver road has a secret or two. Secrets are required for 100% kills.

EDIT: The wall which allows you to bypass the Cyberdemon fight now lowers into damaging water before you reach this area. The wall now functions as intended: as it's located right behind the player start point, it prevents you from skipping half the map, then when you naturally reach the Cyberdemon area the wall has lowered and cannot be used to skip the Cyber fight. With the wall lowered into the water, you can access the start area of the map in case you missed any monsters/secrets/items.

EDIT 2: You now need to be doing a speedrun to get past the Knights and exit. EDIT 3: Just added some Revenants. It's now as hard as fuck.

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Hmm I missed the revenants, you sure you uploaded that version? FDA. Music fits pretty well, I liked the parts with detailing but the first area feels a bit weird being so open-ended but having walls at the edges so it's not really open ended. Perhaps in places that aren't part of the intended route you could open those up, make a Wfall 25unit step with block monsters (stupid rebounding cacodemons) and extend the lake out to the horizon. Doing some deepwater tricks could make it more immersive too. There were a couple weird looking things, like the secret in the RL pool room needs its door frame lower unpegged, and the secret near the exit could use an upper texture on the interior ceiling/only raise to next highest ceiling.

Gameplay works pretty well, a bit easy but pretty good for most people I think.

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Here is another FDA for you. You didn't specify complevel, so I went with 2. Of course I know this is supposed to be a Panophobia map, but I couldn't remember what the project specs there are, either, so I just winged it.

Anyway, the hydrophobia concept comes through loud and clear, so good work on that. From a visual standpoint it's pretty clearly an early effort--certainly not going to win any prizes with aesthetes--but I think it works well enough for what it is. Because of the conceptual nature of the play space, it's natural that many of the environments consist of big open spaces with planes of water broken here and there by little sectory bits of terra firma, so from an architectural standpoint there's probably not a lot to be done--most visual improvements will probably have to be in the realm of lighting (I think it's too flatly bright, even if it is outdoors) and things like that. Some of the later areas could probably be improved just by breaking up the bounding walls into bits of artificial terrain, doesn't have to be anything terribly fancy to work. My favorite part was the ruinous structure in the last play area, with bodies suspended from it.

Most of the map's main issues are technical. In the course of the playthrough, I saw some untextured surfaces (including a very serious one near the end), encountered some sections of water not flagged as damaging, was briefly stymied by an infinitely-tall hanging body prop suspended high over a mandatory narrow pathway (well out of sight range for anyone not using mouselook), saw a patch of shadow on a floor cast by nothing under an open sky, redundant/extraneous secret sectors, encountered some inexplicable/entirely unnecessary blocking lines, encountered a few points of interest where spacebar had to be used several times on one spot in order to achieve progress results (although I'll grant this may actually be a design feature rather than an oversight), things like that. The most serious problem I encountered is that the secret involving one of the basins with candles on it catastrophically broke the map and left me with no choice but drown myself in said basin; I'm not sure if this is a complevel conflict or not, but I'm inclined to reckon that it's a tagging error. All of the above issues should be clear in the demo, since I stop to look at most of them for at least a few moments. The water sectors with missing damage flags may be less evident, but the ones I saw were generally in inlets, like the one I fall into while fighting with the small imp/HK groups on the grey stone platforms near the map's end. There are likely others in places, should do a thorough recheck.

Incidentally, I did find/trigger all of the secrets on my second attempt (not counting the fatally bugged one that ended my first, of course), so the design logic in this aspect seems sensible enough. As to the gameplay itself, well, I imagine people are either going to enjoy the map's concept or hate it with a passion, without a lot of middle ground, which will probably be par for the course for Panophobia in general if it ever gets finished, given how concept/gimmick-based in style I imagine it will be. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; you'll have to take more feedback into account deciding how/if to change the combat and other fundamentals of play. For my part, I found it to be quite an easy map, since actual opposition is sparse, resources are fairly generous, and I'm generally pretty comfortable with platformy/space restriction stuff, but it will surely give some players some problems, particularly the parts where you have to fight/move on narrow catwalks while under sustained fire (the best defense in these cases is, as is so often the case in Doom, a decisive offense, but it's bound to feel counterintuitive to some players). Don't let anybody tell you it's unfair, though, it's eminently doable. Most of the fights don't really stand out, which isn't disastrous seeing as how the map itself is really the main enemy in this case, but I reckon the later areas could do with more cacodemons, and I think you could spice up the cyberdemon fight (which is combat highlight as it currently stands) by teleporting in some specters or pinkies or the like to impede movement and further complicate the business of hopping around the little islands while fighting him.

Oh, yeah, one other thing I should note, which you may be able to dismiss entirely depending on the intended complevel for the map, but the number of pre-existing lost souls that appear later in the map means that, under some settings, most of the earlier pain elementals will only be able to spawn a soul or two before they (the elementals) become 'barren' (at least until some souls are killed), like the ones early in DooM II's map 09 on UV.

Edit: Oh yeah, I don't really remember much in the way of revenants, either. The posted file may have failed to update correctly, something like that.

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Some issues I found.

That body blocks the way: http://i.imgur.com/Moxze98.png
That sky on left: http://i.imgur.com/vnEAnqW.png
HOM on right: http://i.imgur.com/cHKMJsh.png
S1 action with tag 0 makes bad things in vanilla doom: http://i.imgur.com/uGsBDKG.png

Overall, max that can be obtained: http://i.imgur.com/rHlTqDH.png

Also, I don't think, that dark sectors under the sky is looking good: http://i.imgur.com/ubz7WUO.png

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Thank you for all the feedback. I haven't tested it in Boom yet (a stupid oversight) so these serious errors have all been missed.

I haven't uploaded the latest version of the map yet with the Revenants and visual enhancements including the removal of the HOM at the end.

I always intended to have an "infinite view" in the start and end areas as the tall walls are very ugly and are never what I wanted, but I guess I'll find out today if I've got the technical skill to implement these in the existing map... I might need someone to help me here.

I'm very concerned by all the faults that occur in Boom and will delay upload of the new version until they are fixed.

EDIT: The map does work properly in ZDoom and GZDoom. I'm going to have to get used to testing in Boom which IMO is harder to do because of the excessive number of things you need to think about. I've no idea which comp level to use, you're just supposed to be able to play it without reprogramming your source port.

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Apologies for the double post.

* I have implemented dual-use switches in the map. It *IS* part of normal gameplay for some switches to require two hits. This will be in the text file. This is to create unexpected changes to the environment without turning the map into a switch hunt.

* The lighting levels seem more uniform than expected in all source ports. Will look into this.

* Many of the errata mentioned as feedback have already been corrected and the final area, the "silver road", has had its looks improved.

* Removed numerous shortcuts where the player could run across the water in the final area and use teleporters to skip parts of the map.

* Removed "block movement" lines by the blue torches near the Cyberdemon. These were just there to stop players ending up in the water.

* Removed/changed some rocket and plasma ammo as FDAs proved there were way too many if you find all the secrets.

* Removed some medikits/stimpaks.

* Changed blocking decorations.

* Game-crashing secret in the water pool room should now be fixed.

* Made more of the exit area either fall into the sea, or it's already fallen, to avoid trivialising the Knight/Baron fight.

* The entrance to the Mancubus/Vile temple should not be multi-click. NOTE: Now fixed.

* Made it more obvious where the player should go at certain points.

Will upload the wad after more playtesting. EDIT: A semi-final version has been uploaded, check the first post. The map should now be fully working in Boom and ZDoom.

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