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dobu gabu maru

NOVA II - Ver. 1.2 on /idgames (now with no missing keycards!)

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Pinchy, it's a pretty cool map. I have an issue with the midi selection though, as in the midi is way too short for a map this size, in my opinion.

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I've added something a minute longer but I don't have much I like the sound of that is over 3 minutes.

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Pinchy said:

I've added something a minute longer but I don't have much I like the sound of that is over 3 minutes.


Take a look around.

Also, I noticed that you (often) make walls by raising sectors to the ceiling instead of simply deleting them. I'll be honest, that kind of bugs me :P

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AD_79 said:

Also, I noticed that you (often) make walls by raising sectors to the ceiling instead of simply deleting them. I'll be honest, that kind of bugs me :P


Heh, I used to do that when I started out. Makes doors go a little screwy alongside other things, so yeah, I'd recommend deleting them as well.

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Download: The Descent


Interesting map, certainly classic but not in a bad way. I also like the connectivity. FDA died at the SM encounter.

This lift should be a bit more obvious (switch texture perhaps), i spend about ten minutes running around clueless until i found that one. Other than that no complaints.

---------------------------------
I also tried Pinchys map which is definitely an interesting candidate, unfortunately i wasn't able to get past the starting room. The Ceiling bars are affected by a Floor lower action which won't do a thing at all. Dunno which source port you're using for playtesting but i really recommend to test it in Prboom with the '-complevel 2' parameter to make sure everything works as intended.

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Thanks for the feedback, guys. I'm feeling bad because of your suffering, but nevertheless it helped to polish up things a bit, so thanks for that as well. And hey, isn't being dickish with specters is the point? They're totally useless otherwise.

Made shootable switch more noticeable, added some more health and ammo pickups across the map, made life a bit easier on HMP via some additional/stronger goodies, made further adjustments to HNTR and fixed some minor stuff I noticed while watching demos.

https://www.sendspace.com/file/pjc1x9

Haven't gotten around to resolving texture related stuff yet, but I will. And dobu, do I really have to rename them? I doubt anyone else used q1tex. If it's mandatory - then it'd be cool to have some fancy scripts and stuff for the job.

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I don't mind if you don't rename them, just make sure to remove all unused textures.
Gonna try the new version later.

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Demonologist said:

Thanks for the feedback, guys. I'm feeling bad because of your suffering, but nevertheless it helped to polish up things a bit, so thanks for that as well. And hey, isn't being dickish with specters is the point? They're totally useless otherwise.

Made shootable switch more noticeable, added some more health and ammo pickups across the map, made life a bit easier on HMP via some additional/stronger goodies, made further adjustments to HNTR and fixed some minor stuff I noticed while watching demos.

https://www.sendspace.com/file/pjc1x9


Had a go at this but gave up in the first room. I'd seriously just remove the specters, there's enough other shit to deal with.

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mouldy said:

I'd seriously just remove the specters, there's enough other shit to deal with.


Heh, yeah those bastards work pretty well but i'd disagree about completely removing them(perhaps a few less). I guess the intended strategy is to push forward and get the RL which makes life a lot easier.

@Demonologist: Tried the updated version and it plays a lot better, still not a huge fan of the church part but yeah tastes differ so i'm pretty much fine with this one.

Regarding the pending Beta, i've compiled all updates that have been posted in the thread so far.

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Glad this is actually coming together right around the deadline for once. Next month we'll probably be organizing all the non-essential stuff while doing in-house testing, leaving July open to be our public beta period.

I played The Descent U.O.D. I like it. I feel that your oldschool approach to design is a very welcome and fresh addition to this mapset, especially with all the floor-lowering trickery. The gameplay I'm really torn on—on one hand the enemy positioning is very docile and unthreatening for the most part, but on the other you starve the player of health so that they're always on edge while battling stronger foes. I think a tighter balance of both (trickier enemy placement and more health) would be more "normal", but at the same time it'd lose its distinctive flavor... guess it's up to you. Couple things:

- The bridge that raises in the west-most portion of the map doesn't have a textured backside (and I think if you fall down in the blood next to the wall near it you can't get out)

- I agree with tourney that the lift should have a different texture to be more noticeable. Also, when you hit the switch at the top of it, it should raise stairs to let you out of that little cubby the lift leads to, because the first time I went up there I ran off the ledge and missed the switch, realizing I had to run all the way back to the lift.

- Perhaps when you warp the player back to the middle arena after the red key, bringing over a cyberdemon would help too since fighting a mass of barons is a pretty boring slog.

- The teleporter flat to the MM battle in the REDROCK area needs to be a GATE structure, and needs to have a torch or something next to it to draw the player's eye, as I kept missing it while running through the level.

- The MM battle needs a berserk pack before it and a box of shells. I really like the idea of using mancs for cover (and infighting) but the first time I ran into it I was low on health and ammo so it was a pretty tight encounter.

- Also, I'd advise putting teleporters that lead back to various spots in the level past the YK door, because you always want to provide UV maxers a chance to get secrets they missed before they exit.

- Some more rockets in the REDROCK section would be appreciated, as ammo was pretty tight there (the only secret I found was the backpack one, so I don't know if I missed out on more ammo)

Other than that, fine work!

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I also (tried to) play Bad Console Port Pinchy. Didn't feel it at all. Beyond not being able to escape the starting room, it's just a large, sprawling map with no direction or pull. I think an_mutt's map is a palatable way to handle that concept, while here it's not really intimidating nor adventurous... feels like the visuals were the first priority and the gameplay second. Stygian had a similar problem in the first NOVA, where he made his map so vast that the gameplay suffered for it, and it took him a long time to work out something playable. IMO that big ring map you made is way more suitable (and would fit nicer) into the mapset, as long as it gets some tuning up.

tourniquet said:

Heh, yeah those bastards work pretty well but i'd disagree about completely removing them(perhaps a few less).

I'm still in camp "delete 'em". They work excellently in the post-BK hallway by distracting you from the other enemies, but here it's so dark that they're literally invisible. Given that you need mobility to pick up the shells and get better positioning on the AVs, the specters are easily the biggest threat since they can trip you up and get you killed (plus eating vital bullets meant for other enemies). You could argue the dickery makes the combat more interesting, but like mouldy said it's an added factor to a battle that's already pretty frantic. Plus it makes pushing through to get the RL the absolute best solution, whereas without them you could at least dance with the viles down in the grass. Demons could also serve the same purpose without the "fuck you" factor.

Regarding the pending Beta, i've compiled all updates that have been posted in the thread so far.

Good—I'm likely to stop updating the OP since we're at the point where people are just posting little revisions, and you're technically the only one compiling the wad currently.

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In my opinion, the specters in the opening area don't even provide a more interesting challenge, since you can't see them at all its just blind luck as to whether you get snagged on them. The point of specters isn't to be invisible for the sake of dickishness, its to be more difficult to see so players have to be more observant.

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Good—I'm likely to stop updating the OP since we're at the point where people are just posting little revisions, and you're technically the only one compiling the wad currently.


No prob, i'll pick all future updates directly from the post...

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I rather like the sound of that as well. I can't recall if any music was picked for Legion though. Did anything end up being pinned to that?

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Nope, no music to Legion (or The Descent) yet; I can always provide something if nothing is picked (though I'm sure Obsidian has plenty of ideas)

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dobu gabu maru said:

Nope, no music to Legion (or The Descent) yet; I can always provide something if nothing is picked (though I'm sure Obsidian has plenty of ideas)


I think I'll leave it in your capable hands, I can't really think of a good tune for it at the moment.

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dobu gabu maru said:

- Perhaps when you warp the player back to the middle arena after the red key, bringing over a cyberdemon would help too since fighting a mass of barons is a pretty boring slog.


You know it's interesting that you said that. Originally it was a Cyberdemon instead of 6 Barons but I changed it. The fact that you mentioned it convinces me I was right the first time.

As for the low health and fewer monsters I think I could up the count for both a little bit and rework some monster placement but I wanted to try and avoid monster clogging since the level isn't too spacious.

I'll see what I can come up with.

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@ dobu & mouldy: Come on guys, you two are directly responsible for some devious combat scenarios during the course of your mapping odyssey, and when you see something slightly upbeat in some other person's map - you back off? You can't be serious. Or maybe it's just my humble self that intimidated you so bad?..

I'm willing to reach some consensus here, so I'll swap spectres with demons on HMP in future version (HNTR already has all spectres replaced with demons all across the map), but I love me my shady pricks on UV. I do think that they make the opening fight more fun and unpredictable, and I personally have fun running around at the ground level with an ssg. Then again, as tourniquet mentioned, you could rush to RL and trivialize the fight completely, so I have no idea what's that excess dickishness you're talking about. Having several available options on second to highest difficulty level and start complaining that one of them is not up to their tastes is not what big bad space marines do.

With that out of the way - v3 coming soon when I finally get around to removing unused textures and fixing some misalignments that bug me a bit.

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I wasn't complaining that running to grab the RL wasn't to my tastes per se, as much as it's lamentable that staying on the ground with the SSG isn't a more viable option. And I've always been against fighting specters in the complete dark, similar to how I dislike fighting hitscanners from afar or engaging with AVs without any cover. Again, the specters do fulfill a specific role, it's just that I'm not keen on them in this instance.

@Obsidian Hmm... I actually think MAP22's midi from Zone 300 could work—it's very downtrodden and sullen, befitting of the end of a journey, and at about the 2:30 mark it changes pace which roughly ties into the time when the player releases the horde of orange ogres and the real fight begins. MAP30's theme is also pretty oppressive and terrifying, but it might be a bit hard to hear over all the monsters and BFG shots.

Also "Shitadel" by Jimmy could probably work for U.O.D's map.

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EDIT: Also I was tinkering around with map placement and I'm thinking our final order may look something like this:

MAP01 - "Panic Station" by cannonball
MAP02 - "Rocky Rooftops" by Pinchy
MAP03 - "Deep Water" by KevinHEZ
MAP04 - "Andromeda Sun" by Getsu Fune
MAP05 - "Broken Outpost" by Cyberdemon531
MAP06 - "Water Maim" by AD_79
MAP07 - "Dry Well" by joe-ilya
MAP08 - "Demon Trench" by Jaxxoon R
MAP09 - "Husk of What Once Was" by mrthejoshmon
MAP10 - "Canyon Halls" by Impboy4 & KevinHEZ
MAP11 - "A Plague o' Both Your Shotguns" by Jmickle

MAP12 - "Hop 2 It" by Breezeep
MAP13 - “Monster Dash” by Eradrop
MAP14 - “Purification Plant” by Dave The Daring
MAP15 - "Crumbling Necropolis" by an_mutt
MAP16 - "Red Morning Light" by SFoZ911
MAP17 - "Zebetite" by tourniquet
MAP18 - "Vile Complex” by U.O.D.
MAP19 - "Cry of the Archvile" by KevinHEZ
MAP20 - "Monuments to Thieves" by Egregor

MAP21 - "Red Gas Circle" by AD_79
MAP22 - “Hated Attic” by Obake
MAP23 - "Vindaloo Chronicles" by cannonball
MAP24 - “The Descent” by U.O.D.
MAP25 - Pinchy map?
MAP26 - "Surreptitious Ichor" by cannonball & dobu gabu maru
MAP27 - "Engraved Bones" by Obsidian
MAP28 - “Messe Noire” by Demonologist
MAP29 - "anaemia" by tourniquet & Ribbiks
MAP30 - "Legion" by mouldy

I shifted around some maps here and there (there was an open slot in E1 so I moved joe's map into it), hoping that I avoided placing similar maps close together. I still don't think Hated Attic is a proper E3 map but honestly we're full-up on E2 maps so there have to be sacrifices somewhere. If anyone has any other suggestions or ideas, I'm all ears.

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I've just played Demonologists' map. I'll throw my considerations, in case it helps:

- I didn't mind the spectres in the first room. By the commentaries above, I was expecting way more spectres, in a darker place. I thought it was just dark enough to spectres be invisible most times, but still visible at close range. It felt like you should be able to see them at this brightness level, but you actually can't, making the starting room quite unique IMO (at least I hadn't seen this before). This, combined with the music and the cemetery, provided some nice phantasmagorical feel.

- Although I liked the spectres, I would remove at least one of the Arch Viles at this room. They made this fight too hard, compared to the rest of the map. Except for the last fight, the very beginning is the hardest moment. This inverse difficulty progression is something I think could be fixed.

- The elevators to the Spidermastermind didn't look like elevators. Unless this texture is used all along the mapset, I would make it clearer that those pillars are lifts. This, plus the fact that there were blue door symbols in the first room, made me go back and try everything, press, shoot, until I IDDT'ed to see where the map continued. The secret right after the lifts actually looked more like something I should press then the main path. The Spidermastermind fight was pretty good.

- After this, you must go back to the first room. It felt a bit pointless since there was only an Arch Vile there, the second time I played, it had resurrected two revenants, but that's it. I would add now those two Arch Viles, instead of putting them at the first fight. Then the second time you visit the room would be harder then the first, to avoid inverse difficulty progression, dare I say again.

- The church entrance was a bit of a "camping at the door" fight, maybe it would be better if the whole wall opened, or you could use some monster teleporters, I don't know. I didn't try both entrances, but they had a similar layout, so I think it would happen at the other door, too. There was a funny moment when there were so many zombie corpses near the door, and the Arch vile was so delighted to raise them all, that it didn't bothered to attack me anymore.

- Some rooms, especially the second one (the one with four doors), felt a bit like a square room with pillars, maybe too symmetrical. Although some layout sections were a bit flat, everything looked good, the detailing and texture combinations overall. I really liked the mood and the darkness of the level, especially at the outdoor areas. The music was very fitting.

- I focused at the points that I thought could be improved, but I really liked the map and was compelled to beat it. The fights were good and even if I had to save scum a little at the last fight, I think it's fair for a MAP28 slot. Good work, Demonologist.

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Hm putting 'Dry well' into Map07 was a good idea. 'Hatted attic' sure is a rather odd E3 candidate but i approve the current E2 order so i think it's an acceptable compromise. Perhaps some E3 maps will be swapped again once we've finished the playtesting phase but for now i think it's an efficient order.

I assume Pinchy's map in the 25 slot will be the Big Ring? The dock map would be certainly unfitting for E3.
We should also consider a Plan-B in case Noisyvelvet doesn't finish his part for Map32.

Gonna give 'Hatted attic' another try later since Obake asked for some more feedback in order to improve things.

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Thanks, Darch! Hearing kind words from such a creative person as yourself is quite inspiring I must say.

However, my own creativity as an architect is highly questionable, this is my lame excuse for symmetry, simple layouts and silly detailing. I believe those who happened to see my q1tex maps before could say that I've been using similar tropes again and again. Oh well... Massacre above all, visuals in my maps has always been only a background for that. Maybe one day I'll be able to get over it, who knows.

I personally have no problem with "inverse" difficulty progression (then again, I've done that before, heh), on the other hand. Also deliberately wanted to make some breather before the final onslaught, hence the easy backtracking.

Darch said:

The elevators to the Spidermastermind didn't look like elevators

Hm... well, that's unexpected, I think this texture fits. Then again, I might make a switch that lowers those lifts if it's so confusing indeed.

Darch said:

The church entrance was a bit of a "camping at the door" fight

I tried to alleviate this by restricting ammo and health, but folks were experiencing ammo starvation so I added a bit more, probably it affected things in the end. Still, I didn't want to lock the player up or expose him/her too much, there are always choke points, retreat routes (the only exception is finale) and all that.

Thanks for the feedback, some fair points. Nothing is perfect, heh, improve something - and you'll attract some peeps while scaring off the others...

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Demonologist said:

@ dobu & mouldy: Come on guys, you two are directly responsible for some devious combat scenarios during the course of your mapping odyssey, and when you see something slightly upbeat in some other person's map - you back off? You can't be serious. Or maybe it's just my humble self that intimidated you so bad?..


Invisible monsters isn't devious, its just a pain in the arse. Which is why I never use them. Challenge is fun when you feel like your deaths are your own fault, and you could get through if you played better. When you start taking control away from the player it becomes annoying, such as blocking the player's movement or not giving them enough space to move around in. I often complain about dobu's maps for doing that, so its nothing personal against you. And of course i'm always open to suggestions on my own maps when people find them frustrating.

Anyway, I had another go today and managed to get past that first room with a few attempts. Here's a demo:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/2asia87tnxbev6u/messe-mouldy.lmp
I still think you should get rid of those specters at the start, its too much of a dice roll, especially right at the beginning of the map. It makes the key hunting that comes after seem easy by comparison. I enjoyed the shoot-out in the cathedral, though I totally didn't notice those lifts, maybe they need switch textures..

The final room is maybe problematic, as you will see if you watch my demo I died a billion times. Eventually I made it, but I'd suggest maybe putting some health in there so that taking a couple of unlucky hits isn't the end of the world.

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Demonologist said:

I personally have no problem with "inverse" difficulty progression (then again, I've done that before, heh), on the other hand. Also deliberately wanted to make some breather before the final onslaught, hence the easy backtracking.

Yeah, I feel that the start is a great place for a map to be tricky considering a retry is just a spacebar away. Plus a lone AV would render the battle somewhat moot since you could easily keep a pillar between him and yourself. The cooldown between the final battle and MM encounter is also a good thing to keep.

tourniquet said:

I assume Pinchy's map in the 25 slot will be the Big Ring? The dock map would be certainly unfitting for E3.

Ideally. I was actually playing through some maps last night and I think the Big Ring, while impressive, is a bit too sloggy gameplay-wise. Again, it's likely to need some fine-tuning, which I'm hoping either Pinchy or someone else will work on fixing. As for Noisy Velvet's section, I'm hoping he'll have it ready in time, but if he doesn't we'll just have someone else tweak his portion since there's already a solid base to it. I have some ideas for Pinchy's map but I worry I've already meddled in enough maps as is...

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Messe Noire v3:

- replaced spectres with demons in the beginning on HMP;
- placed a couple of medikits in the beginning and in the finale (behind entry and exit pedestals, respectively) on all difficulty levels;
- made switches for lifts in SM location and in the final area.

Unused textures are removed.

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A Demonologist map in NOVA 2...... oh boy, that should be fun! (shudders at the thought of more strategically placed Revenant swarms)

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Suite's going to be pretty surprised when he realizes the hardest part about that map isn't the revenants...

Anyway, here's the newest version of Surreptitious Ichor. I'm still working on something to replace the cave section between the YK area and the central room, but I don't know when I'll be done with it. If the beta is ready before I'm done, you can just use this version in it.

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I started texturing my maplet today, but my eyes started to burn out so it's still unfinished; I don't think I will have an opportunity to finish by the deadline.

Spoiler

Here's what I ended my mapping session with.

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