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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Stomper

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Before you ask, yes it's the 4th where I am. :P

MAP04: Human Outpost

Uhh...this one's actually easier than the previous map, I'm pretty sure. Sure, there's some Revenants and the errant Pain Elemental, but most of the monsters are low-tier and they never seem to be numerous enough to be a threat. I can't recall if I even saw Chaingunners. Huh. And also, the fact that Former Humans sound exactly like Former Sergeants when they fire is really starting to bug me: it'd definitely be a good idea to change that for the final release. That aside, it's a decent map. Found 4 out of 6 secrets.

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MAP03:
I like the Hangar homage at the beginning (and a little more throughout) but this definitely plays different. And I love it. Having played this and MAP04 in one sitting, I am officially in love with Stomper. And this level is fantastic: feels very sandboxy, lots of alternate paths and/or optional areas looping back on each other, plenty of dudes to mow through on the way, and tons of reasonably-challenging secrets to sniff out. There's still too much of everything (ammo, powerful secret items, etc.) but that just means (so far) that I can blitz through headfirst, guns blazing—as is my preferred style—and not have to worry about being killed or unable to recover well. I'm finishing every level with 200/200 and full bullets/shells, which is overkill on UV, yeah, but it means I can just kick back and have fun, and these levels are fun.

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I suppose it would be nice to post in here again, about normal zombie and shotgun zombie sounding same on attack, I THINK I can solve this, I could try giving the sargeant Soulcrusher's SSG sound and it could do it. Same sound could be given to Stomper's SSG as well (It's a mean pumpy sound). So far, been reading through the feedback and fixing the map's visual issues mentioned, the gameplay issues I will need to think about.

Also for those TWO IMPS in map03, they are already blocked from going nowhere, so that's UV-max friendly now hahaha. Hopefully Veinen will now be at peace about it :P.

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Map03 - “Radar Base”

Cool map, had a real e1m1 feel to it, looked like a few homages here and there. I liked how there are so many weird ways to navigate around it, unfortunately I picked a route that had me running through virtually the whole map without any shells and only a pistol to defend myself from various revenants, cacos, mancs and hellknights. The first shells I found were in a secret of all places. Still even with a shotgun thats a fair amount of meat to deal with, so I took the advantage of the generously interlinked layout to run away and explore. Seeing all the secrets that are signposted by misaligned textures makes me wonder if any of the ones I previously reported were actually secret doors. Got the chaingun pretty late in the day, by then i'd found a secret SSG so all those bullets didn't get much use. Does seem strange to keep the SSG hidden with so much heavy meat walking around, but it makes things interesting so I wont complain about it.

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Map03 - “Radar Base”

I like how the shells are held off for quite a while, making the player duck and weave and use the pistol on the lower tiered monsters. The Blue Armor feels like quite the giveaway, could probably lose that. By the end there was almost an ammo glut though, at least with bullets. No need for bulletboxes so close to the exit with basically no fight there. Decent map.

http://imgur.com/a/T5fwf Album of misaligns. I see I forgot to have coordinates activated, sorry. At least it's a small map. For those midtex as I'm sure you know you need to specifically highlight one side only to align it, otherwise the other side will get messed up.

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This playthrough of stomper makes me wonder if you guys will keep finding texture misalignments.

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MAP03: Radar Base
90% kills, 3/4 secrets

Back to Phobos with this one, as the layout and texture use are very KDITD. Opposition continues to be paltry though, I agree with Obsidian that the secrets should probably be toned down... I might need to start playing pistol-starts just to keep myself interested, as it's far too easy to blast everything away and exit the level at 200/200 again. The only thing that gave me any trouble was the blue key "ambush" and only because the monsters were slow in teleporting out and a couple of them teleported on my face when I was going for the exit door.

Not much else to talk about, since it continues the general theme... good looking maps, overpowered secrets and pretty easy combat (again, monster placement is key... an arachnatron or revenant isn't scary if they're placed somewhere it's easy to dodge their attacks).

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Map 03 -- Radar Base - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Hmm, well, what I expected at this point was a reincarnation of 'The Gantlet.' What I got was a reincarnation of 'Hangar.' I still don't think I'm entirely comfortable with the maps up to this point all being paeans to IWAD maps, but the changeup here plays against expectations, which is often a good thing.

This is a decent map, but now we're on the third level and the action is still very sparse/low-key, which I think is going to become more and more of an issue from this point onwards if things don't begin to ramp up a bit. If anything, I'd say this seems slightly less dangerous than map 02, simply because health items are a little bit more readily available, and there's a skew away from shotgunners and chaingunners back towards basic zombiemen. Mid-tier/Doom II monsters continue to be sprinkled around here and there, but other than the mancubus in the caged overlook housing the exit door, they are generally not particularly relevant foes--they either lack access to effective attack angles (like the lone arachnatron), or, in the cases of the occasional lone revenants, fall quickly to the augmented chaingun. What little damage the player does take is handily mitigated by the free combat armor, probably too powerful an item to be given away so readily against this level of opposition. I did appreciate the idea behind the group of monsters warping in to the base after the player takes the blue keycard from the server room, but even with many of them being mid-tier enemies I felt that the overall execution was much too restrained. The great majority of them seemed to appear in the northeastern room that faces the distant radar apparatus near the soulsphere secret; it's a small room with constricted exits, and so most of them got jammed up in there (meaning just ignoring them entirely is a simple thing), with heavy casualties due to infighting. I think the encounter would be far more effective if the monster teleportation were far more widespread, with significant numbers of enemies reappearing throughout most of the compound to try to thwart the player as s/he heads for the exit. They don't all need to be strong enemies, mind you; in fact, it'd probably be better if most of them were just fodder like imps and zombies, because the architecture in the map doesn't generally play well to the larger monsters' strengths. Besides, what better place than a Phobos-style map to spam the hell out of low-level enemies?

On the visual front, we see a little more color in this map on account of the Phobosian propensity for greens, but it's still pretty seedy-looking. The extra color didn't always appeal to me--e.g. the mint-green + sky-blue + filthy brown/grey Phobos composite comprising the opening view--but it's good to know the WAD's not going to be brown and grey for the duration. On the upside, rooms and areas continue to be nicely shaped--functional, simple, but elaborated enough to keep them from feeling too interchangeable, and with enough little features like windows and redundant doorways to allow for small, organic variations in gameplay. One thing I did notice a lot of in this map (and in others, to whit) that seems like it might be an issue throughout the whole set is some lazy texturing in the long computer-bank detail insets in various places (that is, those like the ones on the walls of the alcoves in the room just to the right of the player start point)--oftentimes I'd notice something like a computer screen texture bending at a 30 degree angle to follow a bend in the inset, or in one case a panel with writing on it ("CPU access, auth. pers. only") bending in a similar way, such that the last few letters of half of the words were on a different face of the inset than the rest. Hardly the end of the world, of course, but it does look quite silly to someone who stops to notice it, and is something to consider if you're trying to maximize the project's visual fidelity.

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alterworldruler said:

I suppose it would be nice to post in here again, about normal zombie and shotgun zombie sounding same on attack, I THINK I can solve this, I could try giving the sargeant Soulcrusher's SSG sound and it could do it. Same sound could be given to Stomper's SSG as well (It's a mean pumpy sound). So far, been reading through the feedback and fixing the map's visual issues mentioned, the gameplay issues I will need to think about.

Also for those TWO IMPS in map03, they are already blocked from going nowhere, so that's UV-max friendly now hahaha. Hopefully Veinen will now be at peace about it :P.


It would be much appreciated. I had the "whos shooting me exactly?" issues too.

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Ragnor said:

It would be much appreciated. I had the "whos shooting me exactly?" issues too.

Here we go, I've uploaded this new build of stomperguns.wad with swapped shotgun/supershotgun sounds.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9v46vxmwmnu2ke9/StomperGuns.zip

Basically it replaces the shotgun sound with Soulcrusher's concussion rifle fire sound (which was just a sniper rifle really, but a rifle anyway, sounds good for a shotgun I think) and SSG sound with Soulcrusher's Napalm SSG fire sound.

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Tried the new stomperguns.wad. It's a step in the right direction in that it should be very easy to discern former humans' gunshots from former human sergeants' gunshots with these changed sounds, but IMO the problem you've got now is that the regular shotty now sounds vastly more powerful and meaty than the supershotgun (which it kinda did before, granted). I'd advocate for switching the two report sounds around if possible, though I understand there might be conflicts if a given report sound doesn't synch well with the breaking/reloading sounds on the SSG.

Map 04 -- Human Outpost - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Hmm....I'm going to hazard a guess and say that it's 'Command Center' (that is, E2M5) this time--the weird little secret berserk closet puts me in mind of the shell/imp closets from that map, and there's a lot of unguided wandering around to be done in the map as well--but I can see where someone might interpret this as being a nod to 'Nuclear Plant', as well, particular on account of the small computer maze section. It's harder to pin down the specific IWAD map of influence because that influence is starting to become more and more sublimated as we get deeper into Stomper, which is a trend I certainly hope to see continue.

This is a more expansive map than the first three, but plays in a similar base-crawling way, with a few brief sojourns in some outdoor/naturalistic terrain. The even blend of weaklings with occasional mid-tier Doom II enemies continues; it's reasonable action but still probably a bit too 'classically' understated for my particular tastes. It was here that I first noticed how rare pinkies/specters have been in Stomper up to this point, somehow their absence seems to prop up the 'tech' feeling to these shabby techbases, perhaps it's not such a bad thing. Anyway, despite the generally pressure-free combat, I feel like the way the map is built makes it more suited to this kind of action than the previous maps--while the opposition is still comprised of small numbers of weak monsters, they're more often placed to fire at you from higher elevations, through windows, from the ends of map-spanning alleyways, etc. In the larger areas, such as the start area, they're also more able to approach from different directions and gradually converge on you from all sides, which makes a positive difference in the feel of the action even when it's still largely just puny zombiemen that one is mowing down. Thing balance/secret power is still probably a mite too generous (again, especially the not-so-hidden combat armor--I'd kinda like to see it be a rocket launcher instead, since I don't believe there currently is an RL on this level otherwise), but it's not as overpronounced as in maps 01 and 03, and to be honest I kinda like the way this map shits excess bullets at you, fun with the custom chaingun. Just makes me wish there were more guys to mow down with it.

On that point, I'll continue to reiterate my opinion that you could probably increase the monster counts in these early maps without wrecking the overall difficulty curve or general gameplay style, assuming you stuck mainly to zombies and imps and the like. A side benefit of this in this particular map would be that having a few more chaingunners here and there would give the player a better opportunity to pick up a chaingun no matter which way they decide to travel in from the start--as it is you can end up playing a lot of the map without one, which sort of undermines its bullet-heavy balance. Anyway, the fairly large crowd of monsters that waits for you back in the starting area when you're ready to reenter it from the chaingun helipad is a good example of this; I think these early maps could easily accommodate larger numbers of basic monsters like that more consistently in their main encounters (e.g. the teleporting wave in map 03, the key room in map 02, etc.) to spice up the UV setting a little. Incidentally, I thought being able to climb up the side of the gully to reenter the base from the green armor room instead of the helipad latch was a very nice touch--allowed me to broadside the aforementioned crowd of monsters, more entertaining than the door + lift chokepoint the other path presents.

Visually speaking I'd just be reiterating points I've already made about earlier maps if I were to go into depth on the subject, but I will say that I think this is probably the most appealing map up to this point in this regard--there's a little more color variety between the green central structure and the blue/brown/green contrast in the outdoor sections without the garish contrast that the central yard in map 03 had, and the more expansive nature of the layout gives the map broader scope to more comfortably use a wide variety of different textures. I continue to enjoy the relatively wide range of light levels employed, as well, although there are some wonky sector-lighting choices here and there (e.g. the bright patch under the partition between the western and eastern halves of the start area). On the downside, lots of noticeable alignment and other concourse issues continue to persist--the red key trap room, for instance, is a mine of alignment/cutoff issues on both walls and ceilings, particularly where its computer panel textures are concerned.

There is also a game-breaking bug present in the map in Boom: the door to the 'secret' guard station that contains the SSG and the optional yellow key cannot be opened from the inside if it closes while the player is in there, though oddly it appears as though the zombieman in there can open it when he becomes alerted to the player's presence in the area.....the door stays open a for a while but appears to close after some set amount of time, and you're shit out of luck if it does so while you're in the booth. Not sure what exactly's going on there--some kind of obscure line action in effect, maybe--but it's bad news.

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Demon of the Well said:

Tried the new stomperguns.wad. It's a step in the right direction in that it should be very easy to discern former humans' gunshots from former human sergeants' gunshots with these changed sounds, but IMO the problem you've got now is that the regular shotty now sounds vastly more powerful and meaty than the supershotgun (which it kinda did before, granted). I'd advocate for switching the two report sounds around if possible, though I understand there might be conflicts if a given report sound doesn't synch well with the breaking/reloading sounds on the SSG.

There is also a game-breaking bug present in the map in Boom: the door to the 'secret' guard station that contains the SSG and the optional yellow key cannot be opened from the inside if it closes while the player is in there, though oddly it appears as though the zombieman in there can open it when he becomes alerted to the player's presence in the area.....the door stays open a for a while but appears to close after some set amount of time, and you're shit out of luck if it does so while you're in the booth. Not sure what exactly's going on there--some kind of obscure line action in effect, maybe--but it's bad news.

Your request has been granted on sounds, redownload the file from earlier, I swapped the SG/SSG sounds, no issues occured from it.

As for the secret guard station, that is a bizarre bug, but I did fix it, basically what happened is that the monster walk-over trigger and the use door generalized trigger were 16 units away, normally this would'nt cause issues but it did. I managed to fix it by slipping the monster walk trigger into two and push the center vertex by 32 units. had to push the monster back a bit with his block lines though to make it work right.

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ha! too late for me on the guns sounds, I guess I'll stick with what I have for my playthrough.

MAP04 Human Outpost (Gun Walkin' #4)

Well, yep, there's a lot of former HOOmuns here. And the STRAIN feel continues through my veins as I traipse through this level at a steady pace. The chaingun shines in being slightly faster than normal, especially for a map like this which is very heavy on the little enemies. The berserk secret was also dandy. I found the plasma gun, but didn't use it for this map. Maybe later. Pretty fun, nonlinear adventure map with another Spear of Destiny-like music track (where's Gun Walkin #1 and #3?)

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Map04 - “Human Outpost”

Very nice map, love how much there is to explore, seems like a lot of it is entirely optional as well. Every time i thought i'd seen everything i stumbled on 2 more new places. I found it a little tricky at the start with only the pistol, but gets pretty easy once you are tooled up. That chaingun is very satisfying to mow down monsters with.

I'm not sure about the convention for marking secrets with misaligned textures, it looks a bit pants with certain textures. Maybe its better to use other hints, like not marking the lines secret or something. I'm also not a fan of the way some computer textures are used where they just wrap around corners. I'd suggest if a computer texture is going to get cut off by an edge or corner, add a vertex to where the texture ends and use compspan to fill any gaps.

I just remembered there was a little cupboard in the room with the SSG that you could open, but it was empty. Whats that about? Did i maybe pick up whatever was inside through the wall?

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mouldy said:

Map04 - “Human Outpost”
I just remembered there was a little cupboard in the room with the SSG that you could open, but it was empty. Whats that about? Did i maybe pick up was inside through the wall?

That was the yellow key. Funny, I had problems initially picking it up: I opened the door, saw it there, and moved to get it, and...nothing. I had to back up and get a running start to nab it.

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MAP04:
Not to much to add here that I didn't say about MAP03. The only thing that really stuck out to me was the exit fake-out. That weird lowering door before the "exit" door? I was able to ride it up just enough to hop over the barrier to the final exit path. I thought I had somehow stumbled across a secret exit! (But how in MAP04?) Not sure exactly what the point of all that was, but I would suggest maybe beefing up the "ambush" at the true exit: three lone zombies on their little raising/lowering pedestals was incredibly anti-climactic. Otherwise, another fun, sprawling level!

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Thanks for fixing that wandering Imp issue on map03 alter, even a small thing like that can really ruin the fun if you're speedrunning :)

Salt-Man Z said:

That weird lowering door before the "exit" door? I was able to ride it up just enough to hop over the barrier to the final exit path.


Ha, I did the exact same thing, thinking I was being really clever and reaching areas I was not supposed to. Imagine my disappointment. Anyways...

Map04: Human Outpost

I gotta agree with mouldy on this one; this was actually quite the fun map because of the exploration aspect and all those elaborate optional secret and non-secret areas. That SSG area was especially nice and how it scored me a yellow key and a soulsphere as well. In my first playthrough I completely missed the compmaze and subsequently the PG area and the yellow door. The berserk secret I missed on every playthrough and now that I checked it out in DB I feel extremely stupid for not figuring that out. Visually this is indeed alright, there is quite a lot of texture variety but as the is bigger it doesn't stick out as much and looks a lot more stylish.

I thought the gameplay was better in this map too, a little more to kill and a little more effort needed to avoid getting killed. Not saying it was very hard to stay alive but still. The start is quite easiyl the toughest situation this map has to offer and I think it makes a rather big difference which way you decide to go first. I went to the right side of the map first so I didn't see a Chaingun for the first part of the map and only a few shells for a while. When you know the CG is behind the first door on the left though... those poor cannon fodder have no chance. After that it's pretty basic stuff though, the only spot you could call a trap is the RK fight but it's not much either. Chaingun was my main tool for the bloodshed along with the occasional plasma spam just because I could do it. There's not really any need for the PG but what the hell, it's worth it just for the quick cleanup of the dozen zombiemen & co that gather in the starting room when you get back from your trip to the yellow key area.

Overall I found this to be the best map thus far. Nice layout with a lot of optional areas and secrets that are a little more than just alcove in walls. Combat is still not much to talk about we're getting there and the beginning of the map was definitely the trickiest situation I have faced in the first four maps. The most glaring texture misalignment I found was on right to the left of the start, when sector 342 is revealed the upper texture on the wall gets fucked up pretty badly.

Edit: Also this: http://imgur.com/kDaMbCf

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Lets do map05 too since who knows if I have the motivation tomorrow.

Map05: Fusion Plant

And lo, suddenly there was difficulty. This map really takes things up a notch or two so hopefully it's a sign of the wad changing to second gear. The start especially is a rather sudden spike in difficulty; you've got pretty much nothing in the way of weapons and immediately two Revs and a PE are on your ass. If you know what happens where then sure, it's not that difficult, but in my first try I got kicked around pretty badly. After the peasants in the opening area have been taken care of we enter a... fusion plant? This is definitely not what I imagined the nuclear power plants of our future to look like. In any case, the level action continues to be high in this area as you are pestered with sniper Revs, sniper Mancs and our regular sniper friends, Chaingunners. I say this in a good way though, everything seemed fair and there is a lot of room to move so if you get hit there is little else to blame but yourself. The pressure continues in the side areas as we get "real" traps and combat situations in general that are more interesting and tricky than anything we have encountered in the previous four maps. One slightly questionable spot was those two Cacos in cages in the YK path: it'd probably be better if you switched the Cacos' and Revs' places so that the Revs would be the caged turrets since they are much better at that than Cacodemons.

The basic idea in this map is a hunt for all three keys to open the exit. In the big picture it is non-linear as you can choose the order in which you obtain the three skull keys but the keypaths themselves are linear and in the RKs case, hardly even a path at all. The paths aren't as interesting as the central hub, combat-wise or aesthetically. The Caco room in the BK path is a fairly decent fight although pretty easy. Overall I like the idea of the map though, choosing different routes offers a little variation at least. Visually I think this map is rather rough. I think it's mostly the castle brick texture(s) you used as I don't think it really fits among the otherwise tech-y texturing and it just ends up looking really out of place. The "reactor" looks pretty good but other than that this map is not very interesting visually and I definitely think that it could use a bit more little details to spice up the huge gray and brown walls. Gotta say that the stairs in the reactor are pretty funky, in a good way though. Not hard to create but still a nice effect.

Overall it's a pretty enjoyable map. Gameplay in the beginning and in the central hub area is really fun and in the keypaths decent too. Visuals could use some more work but for me good combat is the number one priority and it's what this map succeeds in. I found unusually many texture misalignments and such too that you might want to fix:

A couple of regular texture misalignments in the opening area: http://imgur.com/a/ZUO01
Not sure why this happens... http://imgur.com/iaXMpFO
Consider changing the lower texture here since this looks pretty bad: http://imgur.com/cTuAp9W
The way this metal cuts into the bricks in the YK path... ugh http://imgur.com/OrOLFyY
Now this is just silly http://imgur.com/VjP9NeU
Same goes for these three (one more on the opposite tunnel wall) wooden textures that seem to be slapped there for no reason http://imgur.com/xEOwXF9

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MAP04: Human Outpost
99% kills, 5/6 secrets

Still bordering on a level of ease that seems on par with KDITD... the occasional Doom 2 monster doesn't make that much of a difference. So, just blasting through the level is fun in a KTITD way (similar layout, similar difficulty), but I also appreciate how many little nooks and crannies and secrets and areas there are to explore, which is really the fun part, IMO. Secrets seem better hidden this time around (such as the berserk, or the yellow key area being in "plain sight"... just hidden with shading and enemies drawing the player's attention away).

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Veinen said:

Lets do map05 too since who knows if I have the motivation tomorrow.

yup. I don't have much motivation to do things tomorrow, sorry bout that.

MAP05 Fusion Plant (Bang Type Job)

Mmm, things are looking STRAIN-like still. Unfortunately it didn't appeal much to me, probably due to having the central hub being uphill and the only connector to the three keys and other things. I tried running from enemies to make the map look interesting, but anytime I was on the ground floor I kinda felt a bit of a grog, as I had to climb up again, and I knew it. Having the exit lower really slowly also made me feel rather queasy. Not a favorite of mine, but I'm sure others will like it more. I did use the plasma gun and the rocket launcher, but overall found no distinct difference other than aesthetics and sounds.

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Map04 - "Human Outpost"

Still really on the easy side. I feel like I'm playing a wad on HNTR. I wish I had more to add. The increased fire rate of the weapons wouldn't feel so overpowered if I were actually being faced with encounters that were ramped up to meet them. But so far things are just astonishingly easy for a mapset called 'Stomper'.

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Map 05 -- Fusion Plant - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Alright, now this is more like it! Where's this action been for the first four maps? It's not like there's been a steady ramping up of the challenge, either, this map is exponentially more lively than anything that came before it...not that this is necessarily a problem, mind you, sudden spikes or even troughs in difficulty can add interest to a WAD as long they aren't too protracted. Suddenly the Doom II monsters are more relevant (especially the sniping revenants and mancubi, and the pain elementals who make nuisances of themselves in the open central area), all of the other monsters have started banding together in larger groups, and Stomper's generally conservative attitude towards doling out healing aids starts to influence player strategy in a more significant way (or at least it did for me, I tend to play somewhat aggressively, which involves risks and thus a certain degree of collateral damage).

Perhaps the most notable change in the pitch of the action, however, is that for the first time the scenario seems like it would present a significantly different experience if played with carryovers rather than from a pistol-start. A pistol-starter will face a tricky situation in the early going, as the 8 shells + shotgun afforded by the deaths of the two sergeants in the opening room are hardly adequate for beating back the revenants and pain elemental that crash the party in the first few moments of the proceedings, especially while the player is unarmored and all of the medical supplies are located out in the crossfire-heavy plant area. This means that you have to play commando-style, forging on into dangerous territory in order to get the weapons and ammo needed for fighting back against the steadily-escalating shitstorm brewing around the rusty old fusion core. If you don't methodically clean out every last monster in the area at the earliest opportunity (which, again, is less of a viable strategy early on from a pistol-start), this furor can last for most of the map, as heterogeneous gangs of infernal miscreants periodically beam into the core area as the player explores the various key-paths. Incidentally, this aspect of non-linearity is appreciated as well; this kind of setup is conducive to the somewhat scrappy, chaotic action that characterizes the main area. The action in the peripheral key areas is less remarkable (or it's proven less memorable to me, writing this hours after actually playing the map, anyway), although I did think that the Nielsen/Worch-esque metal shutter on the blue key path that first flies open to expose the player to an imp-gallery and then later slams shut to form a narrow tunnel where the player is easily bullied by the Baron and his subordinates was a pretty cool idea.

As far as the visuals go, this is the sloppiest map yet, and will absolutely need cleanup if modern-style visual fidelity is something you're aiming for in the final version. It's a very 90s/early 00s -looking map, almost Petersenesque in its discordant jumble of textures. Well, okay, calling it Sandy-looking is probably overstating the case a bit, but there's no denying it's very cavalier as far as texture alignment and transition issues go. It's not something I'd actually call flat-out ugly, in the same way I don't generally think of most of Sandy's maps as being ugly--sloppy, sure, homely, yeah....but the structure of the main area, with its tumbledown staircases and irregular bridge-arms spidering out towards the periphery, is fundamentally interesting enough to save the map from being actively offensive to the eyes. But yeah, it definitely needs a lot of polish. In addition to alignment/concourse issues already mentioned by others, the 'aesthetic indiscretions' that stood out most to me were the alignments of the different steps on the grey/green stone staircase leading up to the exit area, the random strip of riveted metal support texture on one side of the red key arm (looks like a lift, but it's not), the stark transition between dirt/tech on the side of the core's large central arm, and the comically out of place glowing redrock monster closet that some gasbags emerge from when the player goes for the red key.

Aesthetic issues aside, it's a genuinely fun map, I hope to see a lot more like it as the WAD continues.

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Map 03
I do dig the music here. As far as level is concerned, quite lot of ways to go here, somehow makes me remind some E1 levels. Looks pretty good, with all those antennae, maintenance hatches and tech rooms.

As far as I am concerned with the continuous play, I am feeling I get drowned with ammo. Shotgun shells littered everywhere, ammo box tucked there and there... I have no trouble keeping up the ammo filled up. 54 monsters? Not many, but it includes few tough ones, like mancubus and revenants, as an example. Grabbed blue key, got set up with revenant, some sergeants, cacodemons and pain elemental. If you got chaingun and super shotgun here, it is nothing, and them tumbling down the stairs, or peeking behind corners if you decided to move back there, they do not pose significant threat.

I liked this map. But the amount of ammo I keep getting starts to bother me a bit, maybe I start over with pistol start...

Map 04
Catchy music. One way bounds to red key + yellow key if you happen to go down there, and the other one leads to mainframe (by the way, does someone get bothered when computer screens and maintenance hatches are in that 90 degree angle?), watch tower and outside, to cliff area with some outpost. I first got that area, nothing much except a secret or two or three. The red key area is a different one, a linear path that roams through spring area, into another spacious computer room. The ambush wasn't difficult, it is only consisting some imps, demons and hell knight. Oh, and that chaingun? It's a hint of about what's to come.

Also, as a new weapon, we have Plasma Gun. Probably talk about that and rocket launcher bit more when they become relevant. Also, believe it or not, I've grown fond for that super shotgun sound, as atrocious as it is.

I liked this map too. Bit confusing at some points, since I forgot there was a lift in that mainframe, which led to one secret and to plasma gun.

Map 05
Now we're talking, when it comes to gameplay in here. I ran stairs up, slaughtered hell knight, and what I saw? A playground. Revenants on upper parts, along with the few mancubuses, on lower part, some chaingunners with imps and demons. Running around, killing, evading few revenant rockets... Already getting hits, came to level with 200 on each. Got stuck on mancubus, oh heck, already back on 100? Getting sloppy. Even sloppier was that after taking out arachnotron, peeking carefully for shotgunners... Wait, peeking is not allowed! Said hell knight and gutted two times on me, bringing health dangerously low. With that, I begun to play little carefully from now on.

One of the most dickish traps I was set when I was looking for blue key. I go to northern part, I opened door, killed pain elemental (which is nothing more than a speed bump, continued inside, where was four pillars and wall that looked like it would open. Hitting switch, it opens imps behind that wall... And pillars opened with cacodemons inside. Little surprised, but nothing what super shotgun can't fix. Now, there was an elusive imp, didn't wanna fight me. So, running steps up, the wall closes, I becoma slightly concerned, so I hefted up chaingun. Doors probably keep revenants behind them, I guessed. Imp comes around that corner, doors open up same time as I killed imp... then I got really stuck between anvil and hammer. Hell knight in front of me, a BARON behind me. Guess how that ended up?

Decided to take plasma gun for a walk after that fiasco. Looks like it came from some sci-fi movie, looking both gross and endearing on my end. And sounds? Goes pew. At least it's less grating than the vanilla sound.

Didn't like this level much on aesthetic or architectural side, plus the name of map gave wrong impression. :P But for action, this is certainly a step up. And a step up on difficulty, too.

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Hmmm to sum it up so far from all of you guys

- Map01-04 needs less ammo and more monsters, primarly 02/04 need few more mid-tier monsters. They also could use few details.
- Map05 needs a visual check, at least in the texturing/detail regard, which may be troublesome to do considering how the map's laid out.
- The confusion between zombie troops sounds, that was fixed in stomperguns.wad I linked earlier.

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Map05 - "Fusion Plant

This was a blast, i like how the start pressurises you to run out and aggro more monsters while hunting for weapons, although I managed to completely miss the SSG until I had cleared the entire area. The sniping revs are a pain in the bum, they keep you on your toes, but eventually you have to deal with them, and despite getting a free rocket launcher I don't remember getting any rockets, so ended up squinting at the top of my screen popping them with shotgun forever. Anyway, after the initial frantic dashing around we get some side quests. Nothing to complain about, interesting layout and plenty of action. I did seem to find myself bumping into a lot of stuff, either obstacles or scenery. Not a major deal, I'm pretty clumsy anyway. Some of the geometry feels a little jagged and narrow here and there, and some of the texture choices looks a bit ugly maybe. But overall its a cool map.

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I've switched over to the new StomperGuns.wad; I didn't think the existing sounds were a big deal, but I gotta say I like the new version much better.

MAP05:
Yep, the pressure cranks up nicely here. Once again, I'm really digging the often quirky, sometimes awkward, geometry. Yeah, texturing's kinda ugly (even I'm noticing misalignments and such, now) but it's part of the charm of the wad for me; I'll take fun gameplay over immaculate visuals any day. Started the level 200/200 and upon venturing out into the main arena was immediately taken down below 100. There was enough health lying around that I was able to make the exit back at 100; having no supercharge available was a good move. The only time I died was at the blue key trap—or, rather, immediately afterward: the HK-Baron squeeze (totally panic-inducing, nice job!) left me on the verge of death, but still alive—but as soon as I stepped outside, I got mancked! Good stuff.

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Ashstrodamus said:

Map 04 Kills 100% Secrets 50%

YAWN!!!!!! Couldn't figure out the Berserk secret.

Could you elaborate and provide arguments on why you didn't like it? One-line "I don't like it" comment is not really helping me improve this before release.

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alterworldruler said:

Could you elaborate and provide arguments on why you didn't like it? One-line "I don't like it" comment is not really helping me improve this before release.

Way too easy...could use a tad more difficulty. That berserk pack I found in clip mode but couldn't find it normally. I assume you run past a trigger to open it and run back. If that's the case, there needs to be a sound that lets you know something is opening. I don't like having to do triple-somersaults to find secrets either. Other than that, I don't know what to tell you other than I just don't like this level. It just doesn't float my boat. My bottom line is that there is nothing that stands out in this map that makes it any different than any other average map that has been created in the past...it's nothing extra-special. Now, I have played through level 11 so far, so I do have some better constructive criticism when we get there. A few of them I liked, some not so much.

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alterworldruler said:

- Map01-04 needs less ammo and more monsters, primarly 02/04 need few more mid-tier monsters.


I don't think they really need more "mid-tier" monsters... lots of what makes certain monsters threats is how they're used. The mid-tier monsters that already exist in these maps aren't threats because of the easy situations they're placed in (flat ground, usually in hallways with plenty of cover, etc). Adding more mid-tier monsters I think would just slog things up, because they just become blocks of meat. I'd stick with adding more zombies and imps, and just let the player have fun mowing down waves of enemies with the chaingun. If you want to add higher monsters, stick with demons/spectres since they at least create a threat by possibly surrounding the player.

MAP05:
96% kills, 1/4 secrets

Finally, this WAD starts to show some teeth! Combat here definitely takes a jump up, mainly because we start getting monsters high up in sniping positions, or in larger open areas, or above the player. Clearing out the main area is pretty fun, but the key areas are a bit less so because they start to devolve into more linear "run through the hallway to the prize at the end" business.

The bigger drawback, for me, is that this map is lacking visually. Doesn't really look like a fusion reactor... maybe the general layout could be (specifically the structure in the middle held in place with support beams) but the texturing is something completely else: lots of brick, stone, rusty metal, etc. Not really anything techy here, as would be expected. And it's just pretty dang ugly. The biggest offender IMO is combining the grey brick wall texture with the grey brick flat, they never line up well and look pretty bad, especially on the staircases, which just look like a horrible jumble of random lines. There's a LOT of texture misalignments, which seems to be a recurring theme in this WAD... I haven't noticed too many before (likely because the new textures don't leap out to me as much) but it's really noticeable on this map. And why the heck do some of the walls coming from the middle tower have marble skull textures?

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