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joe-ilya

First attempt at an urban map.

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This was a decent challenge, and the design has a nice classic feel to it. The architecture and texturing was good, if a bit blocky.

I would suggest spreading the weapons around a bit rather than having them all in a pile at the beginning, to make the player work for them a bit. Maybe put the chaingun at the end of the second street or something. I liked the part where you jump from one building into the next and then out through the window, definitely a Doom-style progression. The only thing I can think to change would be instead of having an impassible fence in the alleyway (the one in the screenshot), make it a barrier that lowers after you get the red key, to make it easier to get back in there if you want to. It's always good to have a map open up as you progress.

Not bad at all, you're definitely improving.

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I played this yesterday - enjoyed it, got as far as the bit with winding lowering hedges(?) before running out of health, plan to replay later when I get spare few mins. I thought the progression through the map was a lot of fun, with some nice inventive ideas. As Megalyth mentions, the jumping between the buildings is nicely done - I especially liked the way you have the player access the area with the imps and AV (nicely signposted) - that area was pretty cool I thought, with all the imps sitting on the rockets. Anyway, good stuff! :)

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Megalyth said:

This was a decent challenge, and the design has a nice classic feel to it. The architecture and texturing was good, if a bit blocky.

I would suggest spreading the weapons around a bit rather than having them all in a pile at the beginning, to make the player work for them a bit. Maybe put the chaingun at the end of the second street or something. I liked the part where you jump from one building into the next and then out through the window, definitely a Doom-style progression. The only thing I can think to change would be instead of having an impassible fence in the alleyway (the one in the screenshot), make it a barrier that lowers after you get the red key, to make it easier to get back in there if you want to. It's always good to have a map open up as you progress.

Not bad at all, you're definitely improving.


I agree with this, it's definitely an improvement over your previous maps that I have played.

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With enough feedback I'll release another version.
(each 5 replies make up for another version or when 2 days pass with less then 5 but more then 0)
Trying to make a perfect map that won't have any bad sides.

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I thought this map was better than your usual standard, Joe. Very orthogonal layout, but it actually resembled a city, and didn't feel like lazy random shapes. Texturing made sense and was aligned rather well, mostly. Contrast of colours also looked quite good, not as jarring as usual. Gameplay flowed well, I don't have complaints. I liked the part with a health bonus in a window, which served as a hint where to go. The part with descending green fences was also a nice and relatively well executed idea. So, overally good job, Joe.

Bugs:
Misaligned texture above a door of the wooden building.
Invulnerability secret sector is thin, player might skip it without touching it.

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I enjoyed this, (the first version, I haven't looked at the second). The trooper in sector 82 was very easy to miss, though.

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Texture alignment inside and around the wooden building still could use a little improvement - the metal parts often clash with wooden parts not really seamlessly, specially around windows. Also the lift of invulnerability secret has a texture flagged both "lower" and "upper" unpegged, which causes the window to oddly "disappear"/"reappear" while the lift is moving. Easily fixed if you didn't use neither unpegging, but an Y offset instead.

These things are all minor, though. I like the map already as it is, for similar reasons for which I enjoy Memfis's maps - the styles seem very close now. I like it for its relative stylistic simplicity, compact while varied-enough layout, colour vividness and nice casual atmosphere and difficulty, also underlined by the music.

I hope that you realize that such a goal as "map that won't have any bad sides" can't be even possible. Your map is rather orthogonal by its nature, which is a slight flaw (because more non-orthogonal structures would catch player's interest better). One could also argue than you use too flat ceilings and not enough of vertical combat and whatnot, these are also the map's slight flaws. But rebuilding the map to "improve it" might not feel right, it'd be a different map, and this one is already good for what's in there. The things, which I mentioned as reasons why I liked this map, might become feeling unnatural and "spoiled" if you just went fixing alleged "imperfections" until the state of "perfections". Better just keep it in mind when designing further maps - make them less orthogonal, employing more height variation during combat, and at least as enjoyable as this one was. ;)

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Perhaps the best joe-ilya map I have played. Which in itself is not saying much, BUT this was actually a pretty decent and enjoyable level. Some thoughts (played the both versions):

For one, I'd like to say that I think this urban theme really helps to conceal some of the usual "flaws" in your maps; orthogonality in a city map is perfectly fine since, you know, real world buildings tend to be pretty orthogonal. There's also a distinct lack of those characteristic zany shapes, perhaps because the urban theme drives you towards orthogonality (to mimic real world buildings) and kind of restricts your "creativity". And this is definitely a GOOD thing and this sensible way is much preferred. Texturing here is also pretty good as you stick with one set of textures per building and I feel this is also something that the urban theme helps with in your case. Combat is alright too for the most part, flows decent and you don't go overboard with the enemy count. It's most definitely Memfis-esque in this regard like scifista points out. And yeah I too liked the health bonus hint before the RK room. Some random suggestions that popped into my mind while playing:

-The Zombieman (Thing 106) in sector 82 seems unnecessary and could be removed.
-I don't think a Caco (Thing 46) is a very good choice of enemy for the small sector 29. He is helplessly non-threatening so maybe change it to a pair of Sarges or something else quickly killable.
-Why is there an Invulneranbility here? This is not really a tough map so there isn't really a need for it, be it secret or no secret. I think you could safely switch it with something else (eg. berserk/Mega armor)
-Adding some small details along the inner walls of the buildings wouldn't hurt but it's not really an issue if you want to keep the 90s feel of the map intact.
-I preferred the RK AV alcove of the first version to the one in the second to be honest
-I think sector 34 is aching for a little more content than just a single evil eye, no? :p
-Of course there is what scifista said about less orthogonality, more vertical combat and also more small and subtle details but you know, baby steps. For future reference though

Probably had more but I forgot them already... Anyway, it's a decent little map and some improvement in overall quality can definitely be seen comparing to pre urban map joe-ilya. So good work, I guess.

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Definitely the best map I've seen from you! Your texture choices are much more logical and pleasing to the eye, and more importantly, the map was fun to play. You kept ammo tight, which is good. I agree, the cacodemon Veinen mentioned is unnecessary, as is the invulnerability sphere. It's cool to see you're trying to grow as a mapper, not everybody does in the face of criticism. Keep going with this one (and others, in the future.)

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This is a really fun wad. I first played it in ZDoom and died on first attempt before finishing it. I then played both versions of the wad on a pure Vanilla Doom 2 setup: Pentium 2, DOS 6.22, sb16, Doom2 1.9 using keyboard and optical ps/2. I blew through it several times before I found the second secret. My only complaint is that the level is not longer with more buildings and more monsters. This map has good flow and high replay value.

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Just one thing, Joe: When a layout is orthogonal-based by its nature, it's not enough to "fix" it by adding rounded corners to everything, and if you thought so, you missed the point. Maps like Doom's E1M3, E1M4 and E1M7 (for example) have not-entirely-orthogonal based layouts. In fact, rounded corners of your city buildings look artificial and unnatural a bit.

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I had terrific fun playing your map, joe, all three versions.

I agree with scifista that rounding almost all corners does more harm than good in general, especially the one you made left to the starting point - it just looks horrible to encounter a non-transition between BIGBRIK2 and MODWALL1. I suggest turning to the opposite, concave if you understand. Also, the view-cutting landscape beyond the brown brick fence with the Chaingun should be redone, those perfectly planted Large Brown Tree sprites just give the impression of overly artificial nature. They should be spread randomly on the ground instead.

One major point that hasn't changed a bit since version 1 was the building requiring the red key. The ceiling uniformity, having CEIL1_1 all over just gives me the freaks. Please, change it at least for the doors - I know you more of focus on gameplay instead of aesthetics shit and so, but it just goes far beyond a point I tolerate.

Nevertheless, still the best joe-ilya map I've ever played, maybe if I exclude 5 rooms' MAP09 which wasn't a weak thing either.

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Based on the comments, I decided to check this out and I must say, I'm very impressed. All I could find to complain about in the gameplay was that the shootable switch seemed to be quite easy to miss. I was quite lost for a minute or two there, and I think the switch is mandatory. Disregard if I'm wrong. The map wasn't very challenging (played on HNTR, assuming difficulties are implemented) but this is fine as the map wasn't boring to play either - it was quite enjoyable.

Visually, quite plain, but this is definitely preferable to a hideously ugly map so I can't complain about that at all, aside from CEIL1_1 appearing on the bottom of doors (use FLAT20).
I didn't even find my ears being raped by some horrible MIDI, another definite plus.

If I had to put a numerical rating on this, I'd probably go with a 7. Good stuff joe, please make more of your mapping output like this.

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