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Serious_MOod

Beta Labs - Alpha Episode

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The episode on the alpha, which I developed together with ChaingunnerX year and a half. For all these year and a half we started on a new wad 4 times, but in the end, all these versions are united in this episode.
Run by Ultimate Doom. Port - PrBoom-plus and higher.







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What is it with people not zipping up their works as of late?

I'll take a look at it after some edits (weapon and monster edits so my RDND mod won't conflict) to what is replaced.

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Have an FDA for E1M1. I've found the beginning frustrating, as I had to face too many meaty monsters with too weak weaponry. And then there were a couple empty rooms later - well, the glowing room was slightly atmospheric, but I've got an overall impression of imbalance. The content replacements themselves were nice, I liked them. The map was simply structured, but after all, it's just a starter. It was very blocky too, which wasn't great. Overally I've found the map okay, I'll play through the rest sometime soon.

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Graphic critiques: I liked all of the non-IWAD texture and weapon graphics. But the evil scepter seemed very odd; its appearance felt incommensurate with its actual value. With such a grand, cool-looking sprite I was expecting more than just a one-HP health bonus. The new armor bonus suffers from this too, albeit to a lesser extent.

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More FDAs (E1M2 and E1M3). I'd say that you've managed to make a good reinterpretation of Doom alpha in regards to what Doom alpha was supposed to be. The maps are atmospheric and engaging when viewed as "real places". From a gameplay standpoint though, they're slow paced and don't feature enough action at all - the weak weaponry, cramped spaces and simple monster encounters are to blame. IMO, if Doom was like this when released in 1993, it wouldn't be any more remembered today than Ultima Underworld was, and it wouldn't attract so many players and mappers / modders. But, for what they wanted to offer, your maps are well made. I like them. The way how the pistol recoils (when fired) is awesome, IMO.

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scifista42 said:

IMO, if Doom was like this when released in 1993, it wouldn't be any more remembered today than Ultima Underworld was, and it wouldn't attract so many players and mappers / modders.

Most of what's being attributed to "trademark Doom gameplay" came with Doom 2. By today's standarts, the original Doom was pretty slow and simple, especially the first episode.

Although I wouldn't say that Beta Labs is the exact equivalent of E1, or Doom 1 as a whole. It has much less supplies, and often relies on rapey monster counts (compared to the amount of space to maneuver).

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@Da Werecat: I consider Doom's E1 fast paced enough: at least E1M5-M7 and E1M9, E1M4 would count too. Also, PWADs that allowed fast paced gameplay have been made before Doom 2 came out. I've randomly found and picked these two as examples, they're ugly and imbalanced and all, but you know what's my point.

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Da Werecat said:

I don't consider maps fast-paced if you can run around like crazy but don't need to.

I consider maps fast-paced if I can run around like crazy and it's comfortable and distinctly more fun and efficient than if I've played otherwise. Even if I don't need to. ;)

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In other words, just about any easy map will do, as long as there's enough space. ;)

By the way, which version did you use for recording? The demos desynch in mine.

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Da Werecat said:

In other words, just about any easy map will do, as long as there's enough space. ;)

If it's too easy, it's not fun, and I said it has to be fun. This is my way to get around exact definitions. =D

Da Werecat said:

By the way, which version did you use for recording? The demos desynch in mine.

PrBoom-plus 2.5.1.4, -complevel 3. I've resized my HUD several times while playing and recording E1M1 and E1M3, maybe it's the cause?

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I'm fucking loving this episode, the lighting work, the minimalistic detail, the layouts and the texture combinations, sometimes the enemies catch you by surprise and you wonder where did it came from, you hear doors opening and closing nearby too. I really enjoyed the style in E1M3 and E1M4. I'm up E1M5 and I got stuck in the red key room, maybe I did something wrong with the compatibility stuff. I'll keep playing this, right to my favourite wads folder.

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If I haven't said it already, I had a fun time playing through this.

Did some edits to the WAD so I can play this with it. I may have overlooked the upside down guy decoration later on in the maps but it doesn't affect anything.

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ChaingunnerX said:

Red key room have hidden switch in brown wall.
http://cs622520.vk.me/v622520898/28cff/lX5kclgas2A.jpg

Nice one, some might say "you should make it more visible" but what's the point? making every wad the same? I like to explore the maps, it's more interesting. I found a secret by pressing a switch hidden on a computer pannel in the dark on the previous level, I use that formula too sometimes, it's great.

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^In this particular small yet detailed room where I got locked, it was natural to understand that I needed to explore it for a way out, and so when I've eventually found the switch, I didn't mind it. Anyway and generally said, "the point" of visible switches is preventing frustration from spending too much time roaming the map in despair and cluelessness, and making the game similarly fair and enjoyable for people who already know where the switch is and for those people who don't.

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