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Katamori

I have to confess something about BTSX

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I commend Katamori for his courage in starting this topic. I can see where he's coming from, even if I disagree with him.

As far as hype goes, may we consider a bit of self-generated hype, as in, you're looking forward to something so much that you get your own expectations too high, and nothing can really live up to that? This may not be the case for Katamori, but perhaps is true with me. I'm not feeling E2 as much as I did E1, perhaps because I thought E2 would be tougher than it's turned out to be so far. My death counts are a bit low considering that I suck and I'm pistol-starting every map on UV. The E1 maps were fairly easy for the most part also, but perhaps more suspenseful as well and not quite as wall-to-wall Revvies as E2. And TBH, I might be an outlier, but I really preferred the techbase look of E1.

That said, I still find E2 to be generally excellent work, and my recent absence from the DWMC thread has nothing to do with my preferring E1 to E2, but is instead because the big non-Doom project I wanted to finish in August is not yet finished and is eating-up my time. I'll be back at it soon enough.

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Katamori said:

I'd never start such threads normally, I just wasn't sure that whether I'm the only one.


Couldn't be assed to read and post in either of the other two threads on the subject?

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Never liked BTSX because I never played it and possibly never will play it.

It is not the fact that I think it is shit, it is just the fact that it does not appeal to me what so ever and I have no interest in playing it at all despite how good it looks and how well/ill received it is (I do however enjoy putting my opinions out there which is the only reason I actually posted in this thread).

One thing that gets me is why it is so infamous, it is hardly something that is awful and it is hardly the most over-hyped piece of bullshit in the Doom community (That I have seen at least, here's looking at you KDiZD and Brutal Doom!).

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I played BTSX E1 like about half year ago. Dunno why, but I quit about halfway. Maybe it was personal life stuff, maybe I got pissed off some map, or maybe I got saturated with quality. Probably finish it at some point.

Have my two cents of BS.

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Back through Saturn X is make best controversy because community is of jealous with success of btsx teams.

Also, essel is of brutal dictator who paid with gang of ruffians to making hype in forum. Essel is of dangerous cloud man and possibly assidious!

Long live btsx.

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I think BTSX is great. I also think that we're getting sort of jaded as a community, which isn't the mappers' fault. We've had quite a few megawads at this point that were made by highly skilled mappers with well refined styles. The dominant mapmaking trends, which seem to revolve around a good flow and a very strong sense of place, started sometime around Alien Vendetta and peaked somewhere between Speed of Doom and CC4. The impact gets a little smaller every time, even if the quality remains the same.

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BTSX is completely alright, great and impressive. Anyway, I've halted my DWMC playthrough of it and don't really know why. I've assumed that I'm simply tired at the moment. Tired of... Universally top-notch maps? Dunno. I've enjoyed all of BTSX E1 and E2 so far, I'd immediately claim them to be two of the best wads ever. I don't feel like playing more of it right now, though.

Maybe the maps don't have enough of a personality to immediately appeal to me. For example, Going Down has it, so that I'm really digging the wad these days.

Maybe it's because BTSX E2 is dark. It's a great setting, but doesn't keep my enthusiasm for a long time. I remember how I liked Cannonball's maps the most when they were very bright, with a cheerful Doom-ish atmosphere, and full of inventive texture choices and combat ideas (usually easily managable). I think off his Sparta.wad, Pandemonium remake, majority of CONCERNED, DMP2012 submission and early versions of MAP12 and MAP15 of D2INO. During the years, he switched to darker settings, complex (yet generic) texturing and the most top-notch-effective (slaughter) fights. He's still the same mapper with same style to make architecture and gameplay, he has improved, and I can see the quality of his works. But anyway, old Cannonball's maps appealed to me better (even those slaughter-styled).

Or maybe I'm just subconsciously stunned and jealous by BTSX's greatness, so I need to make excuses to keep distance from it. Though this option is hard to believe for me. I like to see great maps and projects that I can play for free, I admire the mapper's who have the skill to map well (and do it all in their free time), and wish the best to them. It's simply great that this awesome stuff exists and is freely available for download. It's my "problem" that I can't catch up with that with my own skills at all, and it's irrelevant anyway.

Once again, it's great that BTSX exists and is quality. I'll surely finish it and thoroughly enjoy it eventually, and probably replay it in the future.

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One thing that gets me is why it is so infamous, it is hardly something that is awful and it is hardly the most over-hyped piece of bullshit in the Doom community (That I have seen at least, here's looking at you KDiZD and Brutal Doom!).


There was arguably bigger backlash against KDiZD, and the hate for Brutal Doom is unparalleled.

Besides, if you hype something and your PR actually works, there will be more people playing your wad. If there's more people playing your wad, there's bound to be more people disliking it, not proportionally but overall. That's just numbers.

Assholes are also bound to get more negative feedback. If someone posts their opinion and immediately gets flamed by the authors, then there's no discussion, which only reinforces the criticisms people had in the first place and might even create resentment on a personal level.

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Huh, I guess it's time for me to find out what the hell a BTSX is. ;)

EDIT: So, I just started playing, finished Map01. I gotta say, despite the vanilla compatibility, This feels very newschool, which isn't a bad thing. In truth, this made my Doom2.exe and Doom95.exe both lock up, so I played in Zandronum - parhaps that added to the NS vibe a little.

I'm seeing careful attention to detail, a nice moody track - maybe not 100% appropriate for a "serious" Doom mod, but a really nice piece of music - Not hard at all but fun to play through, which is great for a starting map. The textures are very gritty and well detailed, which reminds me of many, many other new-era Doom mods.

Great custom sky, great custom statusbar, all custom gfx are spot-on.

How did you get that bridge to float like that? Great Nilla trick, the thing that really puzzles me about it is how the sector has a 'real' floor rather than just a bunch of linedefs with STEPTOP as the texture. Very nice touch, gonna have to borrow that idea!

Oh, that intermission music, that's a very cute nod to Doom2's. This whole thing has a kinda arcadey feel to it, honestly.

Alrighty, just beat map02. Again, a very nice layout, little harder this time, and the music is quite suitable. I think I'm starting to notice why Memfis and Katamori aren't digging it, though..

Displacement. We have NS textures, NS music (totally different vein than Doom music) but we're using the OS guns on OS enemies. This might sound weird, but I almost expect - want even - a bunch of Blephegors and Hectebi and shit in here, and I wanna blast them with my railgun or grenade launcher or whatever. All the OS stuff feels mostly out of place in this setting.

That's not to say this WAD isn't excellent, I certainly intend on beating it and I'm glad this thread brought it to my attention. I'll definitely be giving it a 5 on idgames if the rest of the episode follows suit.

Anyway, I know I felt a bit of displacement as mentioned above, despite the quality of this work. Perhaps that's what put others off of it? I can understand that, I'm an OS fiend. Most wads like this tend of either use the stock textures/etc only, or go the opposite route and add lots of ZDoom only stuff in. This didn't, and as a result, it stands out.

I'm diggin' it!

Phml said:

If someone posts their opinion and immediately gets flamed by the authors, then there's no discussion, which only reinforces the criticisms people had in the first place and might even create resentment on a personal level.

I agree with this, and by no means am I attempting to defend anyone. However, I've been put in this position a few times. I love negative feedback, it really helps me improve my work, but when it's coupled with garbage like "this fuckin sux, shitty map" or "wtf why did u release this" or whatever, it serves no purpose but to offend the author, and in some cases it's hard resisting the urge to lash out.

You definitely don't strike me as the type to do that, so this is by no means directed at you, but I just had to make a small statement on behalf of authors around here. It's one thing to not be able to take your lumps, but it's another to just be insulted after pouring hours of hard work into something.

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Say what you will about self generated hype, which I suppose can be a problem, but it's an excuse for the nonverbal course of the team's actions concerning their involvement with btsx, as positive cheering had to have been expected. Many of the hand picked members of the team had made some pretty remarkable projects in the past and since the dawn of btsxs development, many of the members output of releases have stalled, haven't participated in other projects, and they have been withholding information on btsxs development, which suggests a serious commitment to it. Excepting the communitys awareness that there was more to come after E1, which is the dangling carrot here, there was very little info surfacing about what was going on backstage. In combination with a yearlong development time and a confidentiality agreement between members of the team to talk about it openly, its a recipe for anticipation to get higher. Especially compared to most projects where a majority or even all of its development process is publicized on the forums for others to observe. To assume were wiping our memories clean preconcieved notions before we play it is a little unrealistic. Were disappointed mostly by what seems to be substandard of what some mappers, both in and out of the team are capable of in much less time, with less team members, and not behind closed doors.

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To be perfectly frank, community- and self-generated hype is still hype. We teamfolk didn't do much advertising but the presence of an existing episode and a promise of a second (and third) are quite enough to get the gears turning in folks' minds. tl;dr: it's there.

[Heck, even if we'd hidden the presence of further episodes and instead dropped "Back to Saturn X 2" (...or would that be "Back to Back to Saturn X?") as a surprise, it'd still have carried weight just 'cause of the predecessor. Action Doom 2 can attest to that. :P ]

Regarding the "disappointment", I don't think there's really we could've done to combat any sort of "I thought it would be 'x' but it wasn't so I'm a bit disappointed" given its nature (i.e. presence of a 1st episode already), except maybe spilling the beans on every aspect of development. That'd upset the folks that enjoy the surprise, though, so it's a lose-lose in a super-pessimistic sense. But again, it's inevitable; just a part of the process and if the wad doesn't "scratch the itch" for some folk, that's just the way it is.

I won't agree that such hype actively hurts the project, though. Some folks are disappointed and some folks aren't, and that's normal. We really have no idea how the wad or the reception would be had we done the PR aspect or development cycle differently; heck, a change to the latter would've produced an entirely different wad in the end. Either way, it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that things would've been "better" had something been done differently without some sort of evidence, I think.

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Doomkid said:

Huh, I guess it's time for me to find out what the hell a BTSX is. ;)


Some type of Dracula, if postings are indicative.

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After going through both episodes of BTSX, I must say the gameplay for the most part is high if not top quality. The music itself, while gay, was excellently crafted and really fits the maps. Finally, the exploratory maps with novel textures produce a vivid and memorable experience that I haven't seen before in doom.

But, much like everyone else in this thread I've come to hate BTSX.

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I'm also in agreement, I too was disappointed with BTSX. Like others are saying maybe I was expecting too much. With that being said, it's not a bad wad at all. The list of people who worked on the wad contains some of my favourite mappers out there, the maps themselves are beautiful and well designed. My problem lies in the fact that I just don't think the enemies are that well choreographed. To me, it almost felt like the monsters were sometimes placed randomly just to fill up the maps at points, rather then designing an area around an interesting fight. So my initial impression is that BTSX is a beautiful set of levels but consists of pretty boring gameplay overall. I've yet to mess around in Episode 2.

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BTSX...

If I had to sum up what I think is wrong with BTSX, (and wrong is entirely not the right word, as there is nothing actually 'wrong' with it,) the word I would choose is sterile.

It ticks all the boxes, but somehow lacks humanity. Maybe ticking all the boxes somehow put such hard boundaries around it that it somehow removed the 'freedom' in some weird way.

Just my 2 cents.

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KiiiYiiiKiiiA said:

BTSX...

If I had to sum up what I think is wrong with BTSX, (and wrong is entirely not the right word, as there is nothing actually 'wrong' with it,) the word I would choose is sterile.

It ticks all the boxes, but somehow lacks humanity. Maybe ticking all the boxes somehow put such hard boundaries around it that it somehow removed the 'freedom' in some weird way.

Just my 2 cents.


That's a great way to describe it actually, but I mean that in the least offensive way possible to all the authors. Were there actually restrictions when creating the wad? That'd explain a lot. I can't for the life of me differentiate one map from the other when thinking back.

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Xaser said:

Regarding the "disappointment", I don't think there's really we could've done to combat any sort of "I thought it would be 'x' but it wasn't so I'm a bit disappointed" given its nature (i.e. presence of a 1st episode already), except maybe spilling the beans on every aspect of development. That'd upset the folks that enjoy the surprise, though, so it's a lose-lose in a super-pessimistic sense.


I really don't think making it a surprise could have any effect on whether it was enjoyed or not.

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This thread! It was made for me! Drr drr drr...

Anyway, I will absolutely agree with Katamori and Memfis on "theoretically it's all good but I did not enjoy it" and will add my own "in the slightest".
Also with KiiiYiiiKiiiA on "ticks all the boxes, but somehow lacks humanity" - very well put.

I think the lack of engagement for some people is just a sum of a lot of little things. For me, it's even stuff like the map names (naming them after songs might be neat but it's astonishingly counter-productive for achieving atmosphere for me). Was there some sort of backstory in any of the txt files? I am one of those people who needs context for what's supposed to be happening around the player character. Then, it's the fact that levels, in both episodes, are almost the polar opposite of natural and organic-looking - and no, that doesn't mean hell flesh or nature environments, but rather looking plausible, which is entirely possible even with Doom's highly abstract and minimalistic graphics - the original ones, and many wads since then managed it. Maybe it's the very obvious strive to make everything as fancy as possible that's hurting it. The music I already talked enough about, I really can't accept most of this music for an FPS like Doom. Obviously I can't speak for the authors but I can't shake the feel that most of them were aiming for different things that I look for in a wad, putting polishing and staging and detailing everything above achieving an immersive experience. I dunno. When it's a techbase, it doesn't look like a techbase, it looks like a all-purpose universally fancy level textured with a techbase textureset. When it's some sort of temple, more often than not it looks like a retextured techbase, sometimes not even fully retextured (one or more of the early levels of ep2 had a generally ancient stone structure kind of look... with bright colorful futuristic neon lights! fantastic design!). Building something fancy and then applying an appropriate texture selection isn't all there is to making a place feel like a place! Especially when you lay club music or cheesy romance movie music some other bizarre track on top of it...
(cue dew having another aneurysm because this post hasn't stopped after the first five words)

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Antroid: oh thank you very much - after the replies I saw at night here, I didn't expect anything good from you (no offense, really). Anyway, I agree with you and with KiiiYiiiKiiiA as well.

Magnusblitz: let me repeat myself: I don't have time for that. I didn't even think that I would find any interesting in the official threads.

Tarnsman: thanks for not shouting my hair out of my head. Well, if there's an actual story then mea culpa. I didn't feel it to have anyway, maps are still too random for me.

Spoiler

BTW, there was an insulting comment from j4rio, but seems to be deleted. I'm happy I don't have to answer to that, no good would have happened from that.

Also, I'd like to highlight that I don't hate BTSX basically, so it's not a hate-thread.

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I havent even played either episode yet, since E1 is in perpetual beta with MORE VERSIONS COMING and E2 is in its first public beta, but a few things put me off instantly. The simple fact the the ENTIRE project pretty much copies and pastes names from this one band for everything from the project name, to the episode titles, maps, and probably the text screens too, instantly makes me feel revulsion, as it feels incredibly lazy, and feels like an otherwise great project with so much work, got an unwarranted kick to the face. And no, I dont care about your favourite band either if thats the intent. Another thing that makes me wary is the way some of the team members are. If this was a paid product by a real company, Dew would have been long since fired for his inability to control himself, im tired of seeing personal attacks from him to almost everyone who dislikes some aspect of the mapset. If it werent for people like Essel and Xaser on the team, who are always helpful and polite even in the face of constant harsh criticism, I would probably ignore the wad entirely.

That all said, I will still play this when its finalised, and due to all the negativity the project both creates for itself and draws in, my standards will be low enough that I'll undoubtedly find it better than I expect. The music alone is good enough that I want to see how each piece fits in to each map.

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BTW, there was an insulting comment from j4rio, but seems to be deleted. I'm happy I don't have to answer to that, no good would have happened from that.


Unfortunately, you're now obligated to answer it since you've already read it. I mean, It was so insulting, I'm sure it rustled you for the rest of your life.

After reading the thread, I'm quite certain there is no way to please almost anybody here, because of all the hilariously nonsensical reasons. Sorry, but after "map names" came up as reason to dislike maps, I just fucking lost it. However, I agree with Kyky, but only in regards to e1. I think e2 should have come out as e1.

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j4rio: I was just surprised because you didn't look like that type of guy who keeps on making joke.

Anyway, I don't care the name of the maps, even though they were strange - I have to agree, it's indeed a "hilariously nonsensical reason". I didn't want to create another one BTW.

I didn't make this thread to make another reason to complain regarding BTSX, even if it sounds like. I've told several times before the actual reason, I don't want to repeat myself. But the fact that I didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean that it'd be bad.

If you enjoy BTSX, then do it! But for me, it's just empty. Good but empty.

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Katamori said:

But for me, it's just empty. Good but empty.

wait no dude each episode has like, 25 maps or something, and a ton of textures!! maybe you didn't load the wad properly?

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jmickle, it's not about the graphics. I'm still having an orgasm because of those beautiful textures. But I've told it in the first post.

I just started playing, and I liked it - it was nice, and played well, but somehow, I got bored. Seriously. I think it's because something extra is missing, BUT IT'S JUST ME.

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When you think about it it is pretty long just for an episode, it would get kind of tiring after certain amount of maps I'd imagine as the variety would be spread out by a fair amount.

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Because BTSX discussion has become such a hotspot for drama, before I say anything else I ought to preface this post with a response to Katamori's confession: There's nothing wrong with not liking something. It's great that Doom has so many different flavors, and that this old game can accommodate such a wide variety of different tastes and preferences as the community continues to grow and evolve over the years.

If BTSX doesn't do it for you at all, that's okay. There are lots of other WADs to enjoy. That's why we're all still here. Speaking for myself, I have no intent of trying to please every one of these tastes and preferences, both because it would be simply impossible to reconcile it with all of the different goals and ideals of different players, and because in trying to do so it would lose its own identity.

With that said, there are some factual things I'd like to clarify in the interest of accurate information.

KiiiYiiiKiiiA said:

It ticks all the boxes, but somehow lacks humanity. Maybe ticking all the boxes somehow put such hard boundaries around it that it somehow removed the 'freedom' in some weird way.

whiteboy567 said:

Were there actually restrictions when creating the wad? That'd explain a lot. I can't for the life of me differentiate one map from the other when thinking back.

Since this has been mentioned before with regard to E1, including even the suggestion of an actual checklist of specific demands that maps needed to meet, it bears repeating that the only requirements given to authors making BTSX maps were "runs in vanilla" and "uses the BTSX textures".

A few maps were altered for vanilla compatibility problems, aesthetic polishing, or other reasons, but the vast majority of levels only went through the same typical playtesting and revision process that occurs for countless other Doom projects. There were no more 'boxes' to tick than that.

Even the episode structure didn't exist when most of the levels were designed: authors were given freedom to create pretty much whatever they saw fit with the resources, which actually caused some problems later on with figuring out how to organize them all for release. A strict set of limitations would have made development far simpler in a lot of ways, but it's definitely not something that we did.

Antroid said:

Was there some sort of backstory in any of the txt files? I am one of those people who needs context for what's supposed to be happening around the player character.

Yup! E1's text file features a backstory for the first episode, and E2 MAP01 picks up right where E1's finale leaves off: after the sinking of the Unsinkable Fats Domino at the end of Tough Skin River, the player was tossed into the sea, and eventually washed up ashore (at Shadow Port) on the dark side of the planet, where the remains of seemingly extinct alien civilizations were being researched. A later release of E2 might include a The Story So Far segment in its text file to make all this clearer, but I think the settings and levels themselves tell the story effectively without needing words to do it.

Obviously I can't speak for the authors but I can't shake the feel that most of them were aiming for different things that I look for in a wad,

Yes.

putting polishing and staging and detailing everything above achieving an immersive experience.

No.

rampancy said:

I don't see the benefit of this type of thread.

If you have a suggestion, make it in the project thread.

This thread really should have been posted in one of the two currently active threads in WADs & Mods already dedicated to discussion of the project, yes. It's probably a bit late to merge it now without making a mess, though, so I'll leave it as-is for now.

If a project isn't up to your personal standards, make something better.

Getting away from the basic-factual-clarification stuff a bit I suppose, I would (without a trace of sarcasm) love to see this happen. BTSX originated back in 2009 with me looking at Darkening E2, a WAD with a concept I found really exciting (vanilla-compatible levels with a Quake 2 influence and a unique aesthetic from all its custom resources), and wondering if I could do something similar or maybe even better.

Taking something that you find interesting in concept but flawed in execution and using it as a springboard to create something new can be a great way to start a project. Show us how it's done! There are enough people here with strong enough feelings about what something like BTSX ought to be that several great projects could come out of it.


obligatory dumb edit:

Ragnor said:

The simple fact the the ENTIRE project pretty much copies and pastes names from this one band for everything from the project name, to the episode titles, maps, and probably the text screens too, instantly makes me feel revulsion, as it feels incredibly lazy, and feels like an otherwise great project with so much work, got an unwarranted kick to the face.

Don't hate me because I'm lazy. Animals dig luxury, baby! This I know, the wheels are turning slow. We will not begin another sin without you, rest assured! These aren't obligations but I want to.

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Ragnor said:

The simple fact the the ENTIRE project pretty much copies and pastes names from this one band for everything from the project name, to the episode titles, maps, and probably the text screens too, instantly makes me feel revulsion, as it feels incredibly lazy, and feels like an otherwise great project with so much work, got an unwarranted kick to the face.


Except nearly every map name was chosen specifically to match the map and not just lazily thrown in for no reason. If you gave me "Everyone Thinks I'm a Raincloud (When I'm not Looking)" I wouldn't just make a random map for the title to be attached to, I'd try and make it match the title. So it'd be something like a secret-santa Essel map.

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Maybe so, but its how it feels to me. I cracked up at "Get out of my stations" up until the point I found it it was literally an album title. Then I just felt disappointment. I'm sure you guys knew the names would get some very mixed reception though. Not many would call a map "Bingo Pool Hall of Blood" for example.

As for "Everyone Thinks I'm a Raincloud (When I'm not Looking)", isnt that just describing Essel :p

Since you guys are going for wordless storytelling, which I do like btw, I would rather not even have level names at all, and let my imagination tell me where I am. If its easy enough, I'll probably actually do this to the wads when I do play it.

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Well the point is to take a nonsensical title - like most of Pollard's work is and make it actually fit the map. Get Out of My Stations features a subway station as the primary hub set up. Tower in the Fountain of Sparks features a Tower as the object you are heading towards the entire episode.

Just be glad that Essel doesn't let us use Pollard's drunk ramblings or you'd be getting Map 11: My Brother is a Better Guitar Player Than Joan Jett

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