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GoatLord

When maps are too hard (puzzle wise) and you don't want to cheat

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About 19/20 times, I can ultimately figure out what to do, but there are some maps that are built in such a way that you have to find a really subtle switch or room that seems somehow nonexistent. I really don't care to just skip to the next level if I can help it, but since walkthroughs don't typically cover wads, I'm at a loss. What do you do when you reach that point?

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Well, the obvious answer is "I look in the editor" but it can leave a bad taste in your mouth. I played MAP31 of Reverie for 3 hours, I put so much effort into finding the secret exit... But at the end I just gave up and decided to find the last switch via editor. Well guess what, I didn't feel like I accomplished anything at all when I finally exited. Because I pretty much cheated.

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Memfis said:

Well, the obvious answer is "I look in the editor" but it can leave a bad taste in your mouth. I played MAP31 of Reverie for 3 hours, I put so much effort into finding the secret exit... But at the end I just gave up and decided to find the last switch via editor. Well guess what, I didn't feel like I accomplished anything at all when I finally exited. Because I pretty much cheated.


I seem to remember that map having a total bullshit puzzle like you had to press a tree or something, so I didn't feel bad about cheating on that one.

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That tree is a crime against decency, heh. Xaser almost did the same in PRCP map15, but it got filtered out in playtesting.

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I had this problem with FreeDoom map31, I was totally oblivious to the fact that I had to press use on the floating skull rock. Took about 1 1/2 hours to figure it out and I only found it by summoning a computer area map.. The map is very small and has only like 15 monsters -_-

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Lol I remember Necron Fortress, played it when I was making a 2001 wad compilation for ZDaemon TNS. Effin crazy teleporters and yeah, looking in the editor only makes everything worse. :D By the way, I hate Boom scrollers for that. Try figuring out how does 1994TU map30 work, for instance. Boom maps with voodoo dolls should come with commentary, just like computer programs.

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That Reverie map was all about puzzles, and the regular exit was available from the start, so I didn't mind the tree. I found it myself.

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If I'm not mistaken, that tree in Metal Mansion is an homage to MAP20 from Eternal Doom (in the same way that Epic 2 MAP28: Ogdoad is an homage to MAP12 of ED), so it makes sense.

About the OP, I almost never look to an editor. If I feel lost or something, I just take a break and come back later (besides, nowadays I can't really dedicate a lot of time to playing, so it usually takes me a long time to finish a big map, even if it doesn't have a lot of puzzles).

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I search around the map.
When searching fails or I when I don't want to spend time on searching, I cheat.
When cheating fails or I when I don't want to cheat, I quit.

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scifista42 said:

I search around the map.
When searching fails or I when I don't want to spend time on searching, I cheat.
When cheating fails or I when I don't want to cheat, I quit.


Quitting is for quitters.

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I don't mind cheating when I reach the point where I can conclude that the problem isn't my own cluelessness but poor design on the author's part. The dilemma is that I often don't know where that lies, since I can be extremely oblivious about what to do sometimes. I recall on TNT MAP18 that I got so lost for so many hours that, after scouring every room and every wall I could, I gave in and opened the editor to find that there was some shootable switch I had to get from a stair or platform somewhere. I was a little miffed that I didn't find it myself but I did put in an unreasonable amount of time before giving up, so it didn't feel that much like a copout.

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I almost always play known projects, so i always find a playthrough in youtube. Best choice to avoid cheating imo.

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If I hit a wall like that (can't remember the last time I did, though, I even made it through that bullshit maze in Cheogsh 2 fair and square), generally I just stop playing and then come back to it fresh some time later, usually does the trick.

I'll only cheat if I suspect the map is actually broken/malfunctioning, in which case I usually try to start small (e.g. IDBEHOLDA, IDDT, etc. to try to determine where things went wrong) and escalate as necessary. Granted, sometimes I vastly overestimate my own cleverness/perceptiveness, and cheating will promptly reveal that the map wasn't broken at all, just set up in a puzzling/unintuitive way....in which case I usually feel, well, foolish. And deservedly so.

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I do what demon of the well describes. I'm usually pretty good about figuring out any puzzle in doom and I'm very resistant to cheating, but I do consider broken or inescapable areas as exits and will quit more likely than clip out of it and continue playing.

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idbehold / iddt, noclip, editor, or demo if available (eternal doom map30 checkerboard chaingunner pit). I used to give pwads more benefit of the doubt but shit like interception having two broken exits has chipped away at my faith in the author.

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Memfis said:

Try figuring out how does 1994TU map30 work, for instance. Boom maps with voodoo dolls should come with commentary, just like computer programs.


Dew will say it's another example of my Rube Goldberg machines ;0)

At some point I will hopefully release updated versions of my 1994TU subs for better multiplayer - mainly fixing player1 voodoo dolls and a certain W1 linedef on map30.

If it would be of any benefit I'm happy to provide some commentary for the setup/progression of the map.

Travers

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Sometimes it's not so much that a map is too puzzly than it being too damn big. I remember a few maps in CC4 where I spent way too much time. I'm usually quite good with orientation but some of those maps made my brain smoke a little.

In any case I'm pretty much like that dude above where I put in an amount of time that I think is reasonable and then resort to cheating. I don't feel guilty about it at all, it's just me playing against myself really and next time I can do a speed run or something else on that map to challenge myself again.

I did use DB for one of Joe Ilya's maps the other day but maybe I just don't know how to use it properly yet, since I still couldn't find the secret exit.

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I usually just keep playing and playing until I figure it out or get burnt out, in which I just try it again at another time.

Almost every time I get stuck and come back to it later, it's something really obvious that was staring me right in the face.

If I do end up feeling the need to cheat, I just look at a walk through just up to the part I'm stuck on, figure out what I'm doing wrong and continue blind from there. That's how I beat Hunted.

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Kotzugi said:

I did use DB for one of Joe Ilya's maps the other day but maybe I just don't know how to use it properly yet, since I still couldn't find the secret exit.

"Find" feature. You can use it to find anything, from linedefs with a specific action to sector index numbers and instances of used textures. ;)

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My answer would be to import the wad into an editor like Doom Builder, but if you don't want to cheat, then I guess the only thing that you really can do is to suck it up and figure it out.

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scifista42 said:

"Find" feature. You can use it to find anything, from linedefs with a specific action to sector index numbers and instances of used textures. ;)

Thanks. So far I just went into the different view modes and studied each item's description. Sounds like using find would be much more effective in my case.

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While we're at it, do you know a way to find secret sectors in DB when their "effect number" is not 9? (They are secret + have Boom specials features such as blink, etc.)

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kmxexii said:

idbehold / iddt, noclip, editor, or demo if available (eternal doom map30 checkerboard chaingunner pit). I used to give pwads more benefit of the doubt but shit like interception having two broken exits has chipped away at my faith in the author.



very much what i do... patience isn't my strong point here. in medium to small maps i can try and find everything the hard way, but if it's a sprawling complex where everything looks the same and can't remember the way i'm pretty quick with typing cheats.

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I fall into the shameful "look in the editor" crowd. I justify it because half the time I'm playtesting something and technically need to verify that the secret works as intended, even though I'm too dumb to actually figure it out. D:

dew said:

That tree is a crime against decency, heh. Xaser almost did the same in PRCP map15, but it got filtered out in playtesting.

I think I filtered it out of my brain, too, since I can't even remember this. D:

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To me, the goal is to have fun, so, basically, I just keep going until it's not fun anymore. Then I check the map with iddt, or noclip, or just use a cheat I added to my port: "end" that ends the level. I think I have another cheat to end the level, and go to the secret level too, but I can't remember what it is now.

I've been considering adding some code that can try to detect what the next step is. It would work with the map, and identify line specials that have not been triggered.

Problem is, that won't catch everything. Imagine a repeatable switch that temporarily opens a door around the corner. This switch would have already been marked "triggered", so it would not be detected. You would almost have to combine the above detection with the detection of sectors not yet visited, or, in the case of that door around the corner, triggered doorways that have not been walked through.

It would take some serious thought to make it effective, but it's a worth-while endeavor.

Of course, sometimes I just get lost, though.

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dew said:

That tree is a crime against decency, heh. Xaser almost did the same in PRCP map15, but it got filtered out in playtesting.


To be fair, that sounds pretty ingenious.

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challenge can be fun, but there's a limit to how much of a challenge a PWAD can pose before it starts getting on my nerves. i'm used to shit like, flipping a switch and running around for half an hour to figure out what the hell it does, but when the answer to beating a certain part of the level is completely illogical (e.g. pressing a wall to trigger an action, or the wall itself is A DOOR), then i just cheat to find the solution myself. sorry, but if you think that opening or pressing a wall to succeed is a good idea of a puzzle, then i bid you to re-consider your design-choice. put some logic behind creating a puzzle, seriously.

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