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Khorus

The Warlock's Hearth - Released - /idgames Download

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The Warlock's Hearth is a limit-removing (port must support .ogg music) map for Doom 2 set in the home of a warlock where there are portals open to other destinations. With demons and such. The map's focus is more on fun and atmosphere as opposed to full on difficulty like in speedy shit, but it will still present a challenge. Lots of secrets, too. :)

Here's a link to the /idgames download. Have fun!


Screens!

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5 (sorry for the resolution jump)
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8 New!


Mapshots 1024 grid
February
October
October 2
November New!

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Your description sounds all great and pictures look nice. Your maps have never been disappointing for me, so I'm looking forward to this.

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Thanks, guys! It means a lot. Hopefully won't be too long before release.

I've also been playing with Doomsday's bias lighting using the in-game editor, here's that 3rd shot in Doomsday (large image). It's a lot of fun and looks great, but the 256 light limitation means it won't make it into this map. Might play around with it in Ganymede or make a wad for it at some point, though. Note that actors not being affected and some visual glitches show it's not yet a complete feature.

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Not a big fan of these big stars on the sky texture (too MSPainty feel), the rest looks nice.

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Back in the saddle and making good progress. Aiming for release next month. The map will have a melodic/ambient .ogg soundtrack courtesy of Marco from Decoded Feedback.

Here's a new screenshot and mapshot.

Memfis said:

Not a big fan of these big stars on the sky texture (too MSPainty feel), the rest looks nice.


I think the resolution you have to work with on sky textures is always going to make stars a bit tricky. It's the same sky as Base Ganymede for reference, though without Jupiter of course. ;) Thanks!

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Does the map already require extended nodes due to its size?

Either way, looks very good and worth the wait. :)

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Looks good. Can't beat a good night map. And the screens give a bit of a Master Levels vibe.

I'm going to fire up Brutal Doom for this puppy.

Spoiler

Just kidding.

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Thanks everyone, I hope it won't disappoint. :) Here's another screenshot for the enjoyment of all!

scifista42 said:

Does the map already require extended nodes due to its size?

Either way, looks very good and worth the wait. :)


I haven't encountered any issues yet using ZenNode (normal).

Job said:

Looks good. Can't beat a good night map. And the screens give a bit of a Master Levels vibe.

I'm going to fire up Brutal Doom for this puppy.

Spoiler

Just kidding.


A night sky can certainly give a great ambience to a map setting. And hey, play it using what you want, that's what limit-removing is for. :)

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This map must take a couple of hours to fully beat, given the amount of time spent on it.
I like green too.

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Finished another area off, only the final section left to build. Here's another screenshot and mapshot, all comments welcome. :)

iori said:

Looks great! ZIMMER8 is a sorely underused texture.


Thanks, that means a lot! Yes, the ZIMMER range has some great textures.

joe-ilya said:

This map must take a couple of hours to fully beat, given the amount of time spent on it.
I like green too.


It takes me about 45-50 mins to max so far, though that's hardly speedrunning. Probably an hour and 15 mins or so of gameplay for the average player when it's finished. Green is good. :) I've tried to create a good mix of areas in this map while having a setting that helps keep it consistent.

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After 11 months of hard work, with one part of the map dating back over 2 years and another over 9, it's time to have a release candidate! You can grab it from here. I've only done full map completion runs on Crispy Doom 3.2 so far, so if you really want to play now but with as few potential problems, that's the recommended port. Adventurous testers can run on their favourite port and report their findings before I get around to playing a run through on said port.

This version needs testing and polish, so bug reports, comments on ammo issues, nasty texture alignments etc. are all welcome. Include your port, skill/difficulty (UV has had the most testing so far, feedback on the others appreciated!) and a screenshot or two if it helps. Speaking of which, here's a new shot of the map and the "finished" mapshot.

Hope you have fun!

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Well, what a map that was. I played in Zandronum on UV.

- The lift to get the CG at the start is really easy to miss. I expected the platform to lower when I hit the switch, rather than a tiny pillar to raise.
- More ammo for the SG and CG early on is needed I think as I ran really low before I got to the SSG. Shotgunning lots of HKs and Cacos eats away at the ammo.
- The section that has 4 Radiation Suits as a secret really needs at least one in plain view as you enter that area. I took a lot of incidental damage, especially given the ambushes that appear and the AV that restricts your movement.

I got 96% of the kills and found 2 of the secrets. The only part I didn't really like was the end. You have a corridor leading to a grand entrance, but the switch that opens part of it is in completely the opposite direction. Other than that, despite visiting multiple parts of the level more than once, I felt like there was a clear progression (at times due to parts being inaccessible but having items on it so indicating I would be able to access it eventually) with enough room for exploration. A truly fantastic effort.

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Thanks, glad to hear you enjoyed the map! Your feedback's helpful so I'll go through each point one by one.

degree23 said:

- The lift to get the CG at the start is really easy to miss. I expected the platform to lower when I hit the switch, rather than a tiny pillar to raise.


Yeah, I intended it to be a half secret. Something some perception/investigation rewarded. If you miss it, you can just pistol your way to a nearby shotgun and get a chaingun just an area or two away. Hope it wasn't too frustrating, heh.

degree23 said:

- More ammo for the SG and CG early on is needed I think as I ran really low before I got to the SSG. Shotgunning lots of HKs and Cacos eats away at the ammo.


Fair point, I've taken one of the three ammo boxes in a secret not far from the start and put it near the yellow key bars leading to the plasma gun. Was there anywhere in particular you felt particularly low on ammo?

degree23 said:

- The section that has 4 Radiation Suits as a secret really needs at least one in plain view as you enter that area. I took a lot of incidental damage, especially given the ambushes that appear and the AV that restricts your movement.


I wasn't sure whether to put one in or not, so I waited to see if anyone commented. Didn't take long. :P

degree23 said:

I got 96% of the kills and found 2 of the secrets. The only part I didn't really like was the end. You have a corridor leading to a grand entrance, but the switch that opens part of it is in completely the opposite direction.


Hmm, do you mean in terms of it's hard to tell what the switches in the other area do? I forgot to add some bars lowering near them to give a hint, so I've done that for the next release. If not, I made switches in there as part of opening the exit as a way of giving some pressure to the cyberdemons no matter which direction the player went or if they tried to just ignore them etc. If you kill everything before hitting the switches, I get that it might be a bit boring when nothing happens after hitting them. I could add a few spawning monsters (mancubi perhaps) when both switches are triggered as a solution?

Thanks again for playing the map. :)

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It was more that I went down the corridor to the exit and finding bars preventing me from getting to the door which led me to turn around. The AV/Cyberdemon combo forced me to look up at the AV so I didn't even notice the switch up the stairs opposite the AV until I went back here. Maybe the corridor to the exit should have something that prevents you going through until hitting that switch near where the AV is.

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Here's a second test version ready for download. Includes fixes mentioned in previous posts plus alignment and other general fixes.

degree23 said:

It was more that I went down the corridor to the exit and finding bars preventing me from getting to the door which led me to turn around. The AV/Cyberdemon combo forced me to look up at the AV so I didn't even notice the switch up the stairs opposite the AV until I went back here. Maybe the corridor to the exit should have something that prevents you going through until hitting that switch near where the AV is.



I've also now blocked off the corridor to the exit area, which is now revealed by the same switch that lowers the nearby cave and caco swarm. Any other feedback welcome. :)

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Fun relaxing adventure map for one playthrough. I'm not a fan of teleporting monsters nowadays (often feels too arbitrary\contrived\lazy\overdone\predictable), also cyberdemon distribution was kinda meh (no cybs at all anywhere, then suddenly three in basically one area: weird progression), the rest was nice. Here is my FDA if you're interested in a 1 hour demo.

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Haha, I was going to say based on that mapshot that there seemed to be quite a low number of teleporting monsters for such a big map. I'll give this a shot when my comp setup allows Doom to be playable again.

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Using ZDoom.
So much explore! Such map!

To call this map 'vast' would be an insult to the word vast. Wow. Lots of fun. I like that there were usually at least two areas available to explore at the same time. Helps cut down on linearity. Also that areas had multiple entrances.

Secrets - it took me exactly one hour before I found my first secret. I think part of that is a lack of familiarity with the author's style. Some mappers give obvious hints to secrets. You do not. Yours are much more subtle. Once I realized that, it got a little easier. The secrets are appropriate to the size of the map, but some of them would count as half a map in other circumstances. I liked them all, though. They were all visually interesting and different.

Loved the meme of 'sofas and bookcases'. An out of the way dungeon corner, and there's a sofa. Or a bookcase. Or both. Although the one sofa that hid the secret was a pain because the Doom crosshair doesn't line up exactly with where the bullet hits. Took a few shots.

When I hit the first Spiderboss I thought, "A Spiderboss and I'm only half-way through this? How does this end?" Well, it ends with three Cybers in a short span of time. I can't put my finger on it, but something about that just didn't feel right. It didn't feel like a 'build-up to the final bosses'. More like 'just another obstacle' before the exit. I found it more useful to run and let the Cybers take out the Imps, Cacos, and whatever and clean up after.

Haven't seen that exit door trick in a while. Loved the actual exit under the stars.

Now, the technical notes.

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The music didn't play. I ripped it and used Audacity to convert to mp3 and it was fine. On a hunch, I also re-saved it as an ogg and that played fine, too. I think you used a version of ogg called OGG FLAC, which isn't supported by ZDoom.

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Sofa SE of linedef tag 95 - there's a light level line across it. It's causing a graphic glitch.

Spoiler


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Lines 1560 and 1561 - missing lower textures on the height change from MFLR8_3 to RROCK19 in the curved hall out of the first big room.
Spoiler


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Sector 0; nukage pool with the Chaingun and two Mancs at the end of the previous hall - I walked in and found one Manc attacking the other. I realized there must have been barrels there for that to happen, but the barrels exploded before I got there. If that was intentional, then Brilliant! I've often wanted to walk in and find two monsters ignoring the player and attacking each other, as if they've been locked in combat forever.
Spoiler


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Sector 1863, the roadway N of the secret Berserk - there's a Box of Bullets sitting there, but no way to get it. All lines are impassable. Intentional? Or another unfinished secret?
Spoiler


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One monster didn't teleport in. Sector tag 12 has no teleport landing spot.

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It took me almost 2-1/2 hours to play this, exploring everything. One monster short of 100% kills (non-teleporting Chaingunner), two secrets short of 100% (the first one with the BRICKLIT texture and the blank wall by the second Spiderboss. Way subtle.), one item short of 100% (no idea what). It never felt like a slog, or 'are we there yet?'. Always interesting and lots of fun. Good map!

Edit: Forgot to mention how much I like the music. It started out sounding a little too techno for my taste, but then settled into an Eno/Budd kind of ambient/trance which I really enjoyed. And the girl's orgasm at the end just makes me smile.

Edit2: Added spoiler tags for the pics. Sorry.

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Memfis said:

Fun relaxing adventure map for one playthrough. I'm not a fan of teleporting monsters nowadays (often feels too arbitrary\contrived\lazy\overdone\predictable), also cyberdemon distribution was kinda meh (no cybs at all anywhere, then suddenly three in basically one area: weird progression), the rest was nice. Here is my FDA if you're interested in a 1 hour demo.


Glad you enjoyed it. :) I tried to break a lot of old Doom mapping habbits with this map, but it's pretty hard to shake the old teleports sometimes. And thanks for the demo, I'll watch it on the weekend with a meal most likely.

Seeing as a couple of people have mentioned it, would placing a cyb elsewhere in the map help with the sense of progression?

rdwpa said:

I'll give this a shot when my comp setup allows Doom to be playable again.


Stuck on the old 286 again, eh?

darkreaver said:

Looks mega awe. Gonna play some day soon.


Thanks, hope it plays to your taste, too!

EffinghamHuffnagel said:

To call this map 'vast' would be an insult to the word vast. Wow. Lots of fun. I like that there were usually at least two areas available to explore at the same time. Helps cut down on linearity. Also that areas had multiple entrances.

Secrets - it took me exactly one hour before I found my first secret. I think part of that is a lack of familiarity with the author's style. Some mappers give obvious hints to secrets. You do not. Yours are much more subtle. Once I realized that, it got a little easier. The secrets are appropriate to the size of the map, but some of them would count as half a map in other circumstances. I liked them all, though. They were all visually interesting and different.


Sounds like you were the exact person this map was made for. :) Good to know that you didn't feel overwhelmed with choice in progression but still felt like you had some decisions to make. It was fun putting a lot more effort into secrets than I usually do too.

EffinghamHuffnagel said:

The music didn't play. I ripped it and used Audacity to convert to mp3 and it was fine. On a hunch, I also re-saved it as an ogg and that played fine, too. I think you used a version of ogg called OGG FLAC, which isn't supported by ZDoom.


That's really strange, I was using GZDoom as my Zdoom test port and it works fine. But checking with Zdoom 2.7.1 confirms it doesn't work, so thanks for pointing that out. Had no idea GZDoom handled audio any differently.

The rest of the bugs will also be fixed for the next version, thanks for the report. I've only had the mancubi infight a couple of times in the two hundred+ times I've run through there as I tend to shotgun the barrels while rollerskating through, heh. Cool that it happened. :)

EffinghamHuffnagel said:

Edit: Forgot to mention how much I like the music. It started out sounding a little too techno for my taste, but then settled into an Eno/Budd kind of ambient/trance which I really enjoyed. And the girl's orgasm at the end just makes me smile.


I thought the music fit like a glove, it took months to find something I was happy with for the map. I couldn't come up with anything myself, so I was really happy when I was given permission for this track.

Heh, I think she's saying "Wake up", typically a phrase that's not so good to hear in the bedroom. :P

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Very nice map indeed! I can confirm that the music doesn't play in Zdoom, version 2.8pre-1805 in my case. Apart from that, one chaingunner (thing 397) never teleporter into playable areas. Also, I think there is no way to get into secret in sector 2344 without cheating.

In any case, I really, really hope you plan to make more maps like this.

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This map is fantastic. The architecture and lighting is top-notch. It is large, and I never really knew where I was, but I was always guided well and never felt lost. Combat was superb, with a refreshing avoidance of cheap ambushes or chicken-without-a-head run-around gameplay. Ammo balance is solid, and I enjoyed making use of the entire DOOM arsenal. The secrets are very cool. Levels like this keep me playing DOOM mods.

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Caleb13 said:

Also, I think there is no way to get into secret in sector 2344 without cheating.

If you stand on the crate in the nukage with the chaingun on it and look at the wall, you'll see there are 1-pixel wide steps cut into it.

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Here's the third test version ready for download. All reported issues are hopefully fixed plus I've embedded a dehacked file to change the map name in the automap. Worked in Crispy Doom and Doom Retro, so I don't think embedding it has caused any issues. I did a lot of automap cleaning too, probably a bit more left but I'll go over it again before release. It should be close now. :)

Map fun fact: not a single traditional door in the entire level, just key bars which are all fast actioned.

Caleb13 said:

Very nice map indeed! I can confirm that the music doesn't play in Zdoom, version 2.8pre-1805 in my case. Apart from that, one chaingunner (thing 397) never teleporter into playable areas. Also, I think there is no way to get into secret in sector 2344 without cheating.

In any case, I really, really hope you plan to make more maps like this.


Thanks! Both of those issues should be fixed now. I'd really like to do another large map at some point, I just have to come up with a concept that will let me keep an interesting, varied look and I'll be off. :) I'll be working on my Strife stuff again for a little while though.

NaturalTvventy said:

This map is fantastic. The architecture and lighting is top-notch. It is large, and I never really knew where I was, but I was always guided well and never felt lost. Combat was superb, with a refreshing avoidance of cheap ambushes or chicken-without-a-head run-around gameplay. Ammo balance is solid, and I enjoyed making use of the entire DOOM arsenal. The secrets are very cool. Levels like this keep me playing DOOM mods.


It means a lot to me hearing this from you, happy to hear it gave you a good Dooming experience. :)

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