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purist

Visions of Hell (WIP vanilla megawad)

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I'm working on a megawad for Plutonia set in four different realms of Hell:





imgur album

I've made an episode of 6 levels so far but it will hopefully eventually consist of 4 episodes and around 20 levels in total.

Since I'm between episodes it seems like a good juncture for some community feedback so I'm putting out a beta of the first episode for bug reports and other suggestions:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1e8r5msx7wgv66m/voh%20e1%20beta.zip

Please note that the DeHacked file (part authored by Obsidian) needs to be run with the .wad to run the levels properly. I've included it both as a lump in the .wad and seperate depending to suit whatever source port preference you have. Also, I recommend playing in HMP in the first instance as UV has been designed for players familiar with the levels in HMP looking for a tougher challenge and speedrunners.

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I've been watching this one in the picture thread. Nice looking stuff, hopefully I'll get some time to give it a whirl soon.

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Cool beans! Are you going to dally around in more exotic styles than Plutonia? Whatever may be, nice to see a large mapset from you.

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Nice positive comments so far. Thanks guys, hope that remains once people start playing!

kmxexii said:

Cool beans! Are you going to dally around in more exotic styles than Plutonia? Whatever may be, nice to see a large mapset from you.


It's the first time I've worked with Plutonia textures and I'm still having a lot of fun with them so no plans to add new resources yet but you never know.

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Cool. I like how this starts mildly, with spacious areas and low monster density. It's like in Jimmy's latest maps. Did you get inspired from him, or perhaps he from you? :)

Haven't played through fully and properly yet, but it looks good and the difficulty managable for me (playing on HMP, as you've recommended). I liked the exploration aspect of the first level, there are even areas not flagged as secret, but you still wonder how to get there - and it's possible!

I've experimented with summoning the new monsters, they don't look like they'll affect the gameplay too much, but that's actually nice. At least a couple monsters becomes a bit more challenging. The invisible incinerator is a great thingy (the one you use in combination with a red evil eye).

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scifista42 said:

Cool. I like how this starts mildly, with spacious areas and low monster density. It's like in Jimmy's latest maps. Did you get inspired from him, or perhaps he from you? :)

Haven't played through fully and properly yet, but it looks good and the difficulty managable for me (playing on HMP, as you've recommended). I liked the exploration aspect of the first level, there are even areas not flagged as secret, but you still wonder how to get there - and it's possible!

I've experimented with summoning the new monsters, they don't look like they'll affect the gameplay too much, but that's actually nice. At least a couple monsters becomes a bit more challenging. The invisible incinerator is a great thingy (the one you use in combination with a red evil eye).


I've never been very aware of my influences, they seem to creep in without me noticing, but I think the spaciousness was inspired by D2TWID so maybe Jimmy and I drew inspiration from the same muse. I've not played Jungle Spirits yet but the pics were quite inspiring. E2 is set in the Wilderness so expect some more of this.:-)

There's a few unmarked super secrets, often in one shot only areas and always very useful in UV.

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Dylan secret maps or GTFO.

PS: Looks good! There can never be a shortage of Plutonia style mapsets - Dime will be overjoyed.

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Weird levels, very big open areas + relatively low detail (dunno if intentional or just due to the limits) = hmmm. It looks unique, I'm just not sure if for the better or worse. Maybe will try to play this some more, it's a new style so understandably it might take some time to get used to.

The spectre arch-vile was good, too bad Doom's AI doesn't work too well with this type of monsters (in ZDoom you could probably make him seek corpses to resurrect rather than head towards the player) but that can be compensated by smart area design.

Seems FDAble on UV btw, I managed to beat the first two maps without deaths at least.

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I forgot to say but FDAs would be great, I'll watch 'em all.

@Memfis: I could add more detail but I was happy to leave them as they are. I think the later levels are more complex visually but it just sort of happened without deliberately deciding to. I tend to detail existing areas when I'm stuck for ideas for new ones so there's that. Hopefully it doesn't come accross too inconsistent.

@Alfonzo: I'm still undecided what to do about secret maps. I have thought about soliciting some guest mappers and some of the first mappers I thought of have already shown up in this thread :-)

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I got through to Map 5 on UV before being killed. The Spectre-Arch Vile combo is potentially a very frightening prospect. Their line of sight power is scary enough without you being able to properly see where they are! Luckily the only ones I encountered were at close range, but at longer distances a couple of well positioned ones could give the player a massive headache.

The main reason I died on Map 5 was the vast area of damaging floors. I felt like I was looking hard enough, but I only found 2 radiation suits (fairly close to each other) and then no more before I died a couple of rooms later on where the Hell Knights and RL are. Upon a quick replay, I noticed I missed a suit in the area of repeatedly descending floors. Given the close-quarter fighting going on there it does seem easy to go straight past it if you trigger the next descending floor before picking it up.

I enjoyed the maps up to there though and I'll probably play through the rest soon.

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here's a fda: https://www.mediafire.com/?d0k9vb62th0ktha

I get to map 5 but then I get stuck because I managed to break the door in the red key crusher trap... thing. idk what happened exactly.

pro:
- some interesting areas, I like the descending areas in map05, bk area in map04
- brutal damaging floor usage, very unapologetic -20 usage in particular. I like shit like that for some reason
- crushers used in fairly interesting ways, which you don't see much
- secrets within secrets within secrets, always fun.

con:
- most doom enemies simply aren't threatening in such large spaces, many areas just felt like a slog as a result
- pretty 'eh' hitscanner usage in some places, I'm not quite a fan of camping hallways and doors and such. Rounding corners and picking off 2 sergeants at a time was never a style of gameplay I found enjoyable, ymmv.
- pretty ugly visuals, hurray triangles and poorly tiling plutonia brownness. Though at map05 it started getting noticeably better for some reason, I'll check out the remaining maps as well.

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Pistol start/UV FDAs for maps 01,03 and 04: https://www.mediafire.com/?la56a513w21114g

Dropped the ball on map02 when the spectral Archie appeared for the first time. He was pretty harmless himself but I was so fascinated by him that I forgot the Cacos outside and got taken out, so no demo. Interesting new enemy though. Map05 was a hitscanner heaven and I couldn't handle the extra-evil eyes in map06 so no demos there either.

This simple visual style certainly has it's charms but I think I would have preferred just a little more detail here and there. I'm not the biggest fan of the Plutonia textures myself so that doesn't really help either, but that's not exactly something I can blame the mapper for eh. Cruel use of damaging floors indeed and I agree that the extra pressure doesn't hurt. Prime example being my map03 demo, quite stressful if I may say so.

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More FDAs for you. These are skill 4, as I usually enjoy a challenge. I finish all maps, though only just barely/via dumb luck in a couple of cases. I think I might have forgotten to specify a complevel during the session where I played the first two maps (I think I saw a couple of corpses engage in some MBF-ery during the map 02 run), but this shouldn't have affected the gameplay or progression at all in this case.

I did see a number of significant visual errors (which should all be very evident in the demos), and a few instances of things that really seemed like they were supposed to be 'secret' but just weren't, but no really serious technical issues. Generally speaking I found it enjoyable; each map feels conceptually and thematically quite distinct from the others despite the relatively limited canvas afforded by the Plutonia resources, so good work on that front. It might look a little plain in some areas, but there's nothing that really stands out as letting the overall experience down, and I quite like the persistent use of open, airy spaces, myself. The new monsters/hazards seem reasonable enough, although it's a bit odd that one of them is apparently completely non-aggressive towards the player yet still is programmed to approach him, that will probably require very careful placement of it in future maps. It was kind of surprising how I never encountered an SSG (although granted there were a lot of secrets I didn't find in a couple of the maps); that and the hitscanner-heavy approach made it seem oddly like the first Doom on steroids at a few points.

Incidentally, it does have a pretty nice up/down difficulty curve, contrasting a lot of easier incidental combat with the occasional trap or setpiece that has some teeth. Dangerous, but usually forgives some dumb mistakes, and I should know because I made a ton of them in this little demo pack. Might have some comments on the individual maps later, if I get time to watch the demos myself. For now, suffice to say I was entertained, and look forward to the rest of the mapset. If this was 'Tomblands', any teasers on what the other three realms of Hell might be?

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Thanks for the FDA's guys, I enjoyed them all. Nice work proving my warnings on UV to be groundless :-)

I've noted 36 bugs or potential improvements spotted in the demos or reported here but it's pleasing that the red key door fault Ribbiks found is the only game breaker.

Me and Dylan did some co-op which we recorded on Twitch. If you're on the fence about whether you want to play Dylan will definitely persuade you not to bother!

MAP01/MAP02
MAP03/MAP04
MAP05/MAP06

Demon of the Well said:

If this was 'Tomblands', any teasers on what the other three realms of Hell might be?


Yeah, why not?

Episode 2 is titled 'Wilderness' or 'The Wilds', I can't decide which. Anyway, it will be Hell-nature themes, like Slough of Despair but visiting a variety of outdoorsy locations.

Episode 3 is titled 'Plague Labs' and could be a bit like how the Shores of Hell mixes up Hell and Tech. MAP05 of this set has some areas that touch on this theme.

Episode 4's working title is 'Purest Hell', if I can continue to stomach such an awful pun! This will be typical fire and brimstone Hell with a lot of flesh, rock and lava as you might expect.

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Oh yeah thanks for reminding me this exists, I need to play it later on today. Sorry about that.

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Thanks for the stream Tarnsman. It was fun to watch and you made some really valid points. I'm pleased you seemed to enjoy it all in all and for the parts that you felt fell a bit flat, Dew may be giving me some tips that will spice them up.

I was intrigued by your suggestion of using a custom palette. If anyone can link me to any good ones that are free to use or even willing to make one up for me, I'd certainly give them a whirl.

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Got through all maps, mostly from pistol start (I think that in one map, I played continuously because I forgot about the pistol start).

I liked the levels. The highly spacious design with low monster density has an advantage which I appreciate, that it doesn't force difficulty. You can advance fast with higher risk, or slower with lower risk, in any way you don't have it all easy (because of traps, hazards etc.) and that's good. I think I can clearly see the inspiration by TWID projects, and Jimmy's mapping too, according to my impression, and I'm not judging so just because of his Jungle Spirits. And the (your) environment actually looks nice and interesting to me, quite well flowing (not very confusing, not straightforward as well), and I've enjoyed the gameplay too as I've already said.

MAP06 with its gimmicky incinerator puzzles was devious, but very interesting for me, although I couldn't beat it without many saves/loads. I actually wasn't downright annoyed by anything particular in your levels, you always employ monsters and gimmicks in a rather rational, fair way.

I've encountered some HOMs / missing textures - mostly on lower textures below lifts (MAP02 lift to red key, MAP02 soulsphere secret, MAP05 revenant cave secret), maybe you already know about them.

Keep up the good work, you map pretty well, which I can judge based on the fun I'm having with your levels (and I don't like Plutonia style much). ;)

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purist said:

custom palette

Doom in glorious technicolor (functional link is on the bottom of the page) fitted your levels the best from the palettes I've tried to apply to your wad. I admit though, not everyone might be keen on that palette. I've also tried Sigvatr's PalPlus and EGADoom from /idgames, Jimmy's recent QPal and Arcadia Demade palette, neither of them looked good to me, because they usually remove or dim colours.

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I gave that palette a try but I honestly don't like it much at all. I didn't notice a huge difference except in fleshy colours, which made the HUD face, gloves and zombie monsters look quite bad IMHO.

I also tried PalPlus because when you mentioned Sigvatr it reminded me that he had a nice palette I'd seen before. I really like this one but I think it might polarise the opinion as some (like me) find the dimmer colours more gritty and atmospheric but others might argue they are dull and muddy.

So far I'm more inclined to go with PalPlus but I will hold off deciding just yet I think.

Thanks for taking a look for me scifista42, I would try the others but I'm not sure if QPal and Arcadia are free to use and EGA is too drastic a change.

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Just for the sake of input, I think this mapset would look good with PalPlus. I do seem to be less averse to generalized blankets of darkness than many players are, of course....

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Katamori said:

Would you mind if I make LP videos about the first episode beta, just like I did with mouldy's Going Down?


I'd welcome it, there's nothing massively game breaking found during the beta yet so you should be safe. I watched most of your Going Down video :-)

Demon of the Well said:

Just for the sake of input, I think this mapset would look good with PalPlus. I do seem to be less averse to generalized blankets of darkness than many players are, of course....


I could always chicken out and include in the zip but seperate to the WAD.

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imo if you think a new playpal would fit, go for it. anyone that doesn't like it can remove it from the wad themselves if they feel so inclined. it's your wad after all :D

edit: played through the first 3 maps, really enjoyed them. in particular I love the shapes and the layouts, great stuff man :D

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