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nicolas monti

Favillesco Alpha Episode 2: Desecration on Thebe

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Another alpha episode from the favillesco series along with "Amalthea's Apostasy". It runs on episode 3 of doom1 and is pretty finished so you can try it for playtesting.
I've tested all the levels from pistol start on UV and without secret items aid as usual.
The goal of this episode is its own theme like the previous one (some will appreciate it and some won't give a fuck). Gameplay will keep you busy but is doom1 so don't expect something revolutionary on that field (the secret map is more slaughter oriented though)
If you suffer from graytall and compohso allergies avoid this wad and if you want to play it with brutal doom some animated flats will be messed up unless there is an option to deactivate those replacing flats.

Mediafire updated link: http://www.mediafire.com/download/i2ui0ja29zgpxvg/faviae20.wad

Idgames link: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?file=levels/doom/d-f/faviae21.zip

updates from the first post so far:

- Fixed multiplayer bugs on E3M4 and E3M6 (unreachable room when player dead)
- Fixed several tracks for volume ballancing (specially E3M2 music)
- Fixed HOM in E3M8
- Fixed wrong texture for switch in E3M3
- Slight toning down of E3M2 and E3M4 traps
- Fixed wrong flagged baron on HMP in E3M4
- Fixed stuck imp in E3M7
- Some elevator texture alignment in NW area of E3M6 and red key no longer accessable by jumping from near bridge.
- Room slightly enlarged in E3M5 trap to give more chances to unaware players (overtested without previously loading the plasmagun or the BFG and with health at 50% so no more toning downs)
- Fixed double marked secret with backpack on E3M6
- Fixed reachable YK on desk without pressing the adjacent switch in E3M1
- Some elevator texture alignment in SW area of E3M7 and toning down of barons trap by slightly enlarging the trap room and replacing a nearby green armor with a blue armor, thus allowing the player to react, take position and change the weapon when unaware.

Maps:

E3M1: Vaw Complex
E3M2: Distillery
E3M3: Main Circuitry
E3M4: Underground Canals
E3M5: Thebe Lab
E3M6: Habitat
E3M7: Ghost Station
E3M8: Renaceré y seré Cenizas
E3M9: Recreation Center

Some pics:










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This certainly does look good, and I like that planet sky, downloading now and will try it as soon as I get back home.

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Yay, more classic Doom goodness from you. :)

I'm up to the beginning of E3M6. Glad to see you still have these curvy and intricate layouts, I got lost many times but it's still fun.

Some minor complaints :
- I've never been a fan of the Doom alpha textures. Most of them look uglier to me than their later counterparts. Oh well, a matter of taste I guess...
- Speaking of which, I had to use IDMUS in E3M2, the music was unbearable ( and very loud after some time ). Sorry. :p
- More importantly, some of the Baron traps are a bit dickish ( I mean those in which you find yourself instantly cornered by two of them in a very narrow room ). It's good to have difficulty spikes, but here it's maybe a bit too harsh. At least you have the required weaponry...

That being said, I've had a very enjoyable moment so far :)
A solid Doom episode, in the same vein as your other Favillesco wads.

The Cyberdemon fight on E3M5 was a nice setup. I'm definitely excited to see the remaining maps.

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The first screenshots looked like glitched-out at first brief sight, then I realized that it's just an unpleasant color combination of textures and flats near the horizon.

I'll definitely play this, I liked Alpha Episode 1.

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Nice surprise! I love the music, especially e3m1 has such a fun happy song and e3m2 sounded great too. I guess you made the whole soundtrack this time?

We found two multiplayer bugs on e3m4: sectors 295 and 57 can block progress if a player dies behind them. Same with sectors 144 and 145 on e3m6. I guess there might be more buggy spots like this, I hope you take care of them.

Once again I was surprised by the cruelty of some baron traps, instant death guaranteed for many players...

btw it seem that all graphics in the wad file are duplicated for some reason?

And I too had problems with the e3m2 music, at the end it had that one very loud and annoying sound for a long time, not sure if it's a bug with my midi player or what.

[WH]-Wilou84 said:
I'm definitely excited to see the remaining maps.

I have to warn you, e3m9 is kinda stupid maybe. :P

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just out of curiosity, do you have an end goal for favillesco, like compiling eps into a megawad? or are you more in tune with the prevalence of episode release in the early days of doom?

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kmxexii said:

just out of curiosity, do you have an end goal for favillesco, like compiling eps into a megawad? or are you more in tune with the prevalence of episode release in the early days of doom?

At first I had planned four episodes with the respective original themes but I'm not a devoted fan of hell maps so meanwhile I decided to make the alpha episodes. The alpha episodes and the classic E1 & E2 are incompatible regarding to patches and flats so they can't be merged into a single megawad. I'm not going to make more episodes for now but I have pending E3 and E4, we'll see what happen in the future.

Memfis said:

Nice surprise! I love the music, especially e3m1 has such a fun happy song and e3m2 sounded great too. I guess you made the whole soundtrack this time?

We found two multiplayer bugs on e3m4: sectors 295 and 57 can block progress if a player dies behind them. Same with sectors 144 and 145 on e3m6. I guess there might be more buggy spots like this, I hope you take care of them.

Once again I was surprised by the cruelty of some baron traps, instant death guaranteed for many players...

btw it seem that all graphics in the wad file are duplicated for some reason?

And I too had problems with the e3m2 music, at the end it had that one very loud and annoying sound for a long time, not sure if it's a bug with my midi player or what.

Thanks, The music is not mine, I've fixed those multiplayer bugs on E3M4 and E3M6, thanks again, I got better with that stuff but sometimes I forget something. About the E3M2 irritating sound at the end of the music track I've edited the midi and now it's safe to listen to :p.
EDIT: I've fixed several tracks for volume ballancing
The barons traps! it's difficult to use barons because they are slow and bullet sponges, that's why the mainstream scarce use of them in maps. In doom1 one he's the bad guy so those traps are intended to give some extreme challenge, I know it's instant death if you don't see that coming but you have the BFG available for those fights.
For the secret map I wanted to make something different regarding to gameplay for the sake of the "secret map" concept, even when I'm not a fan of that gameplay style so it can be stupid if you like :)
several graphic files are duplicated because I've used resources of two alpha versions, 0.4 and 0.5 which have some patches and textures in common and some specific to one of each, I wanted to have all the textures available while I didn't want to mess up the files so yes, some textures are repeated.
The fixed version is already on the same link.

[WH]-Wilou84 said:
Yay, more classic Doom goodness from you. :)

I'm up to the beginning of E3M6. Glad to see you still have these curvy and intricate layouts, I got lost many times but it's still fun.

Some minor complaints :
- I've never been a fan of the Doom alpha textures. Most of them look uglier to me than their later counterparts. Oh well, a matter of taste I guess...
- Speaking of which, I had to use IDMUS in E3M2, the music was unbearable ( and very loud after some time ). Sorry. :p
- More importantly, some of the Baron traps are a bit dickish ( I mean those in which you find yourself instantly cornered by two of them in a very narrow room ). It's good to have difficulty spikes, but here it's maybe a bit too harsh. At least you have the required weaponry...

That being said, I've had a very enjoyable moment so far :)
A solid Doom episode, in the same vein as your other Favillesco wads.

The Cyberdemon fight on E3M5 was a nice setup. I'm definitely excited to see the remaining maps.

Music fixed now, the baron traps I know, but replacing those with cacos or making the room bigger would be piece of cake, so the BFG will do the work. Thanks about the Cyberdemon on E3M5, I put the pinkys just to bother the player while fighting.

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I played the first two maps, I have also played Eviltech back when it came out and I gotta say I don't like the gameplay in your maps. You have a really cool style in mapping, the shapes and how everything is connected but the gameplay in these is not fun whatsoever. You got tons of hitscanners all over the place, too much enemies(almost 400 on the second map), barely any health and annoying pistol gameplay. When it comes to architecture and layout, I really like everything you do with your maps but the gameplay is terrible.

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Oh, can you tell where you got the midis then? I've been listening to e3m1 all day lol.

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SFoZ911 said:

I played the first two maps, I have also played Eviltech back when it came out and I gotta say I don't like the gameplay in your maps. You have a really cool style in mapping, the shapes and how everything is connected but the gameplay in these is not fun whatsoever. You got tons of hitscanners all over the place, too much enemies(almost 400 on the second map), barely any health and annoying pistol gameplay. When it comes to architecture and layout, I really like everything you do with your maps but the gameplay is terrible.

I accept gameplay criticism because it's something that I haven't mastered yet, anyway "terrible" is a bit extreme :)
About the enemy count I have to admit it's a little high, higher than I planned but you have to consider three facts:

1: Most of those enemies are imps and humans.
2: heavy weaponry is given fairly early in the episode.
3: barrels everywhere.

I remember being criticized about the low monster count when I released favillesco E2 so this episode along with the previous one is focused on intense combat and tight armor. Health is available but you have to fight for it, the item placement forces the player to explore, every health and armor bonus counts.
About the pistol gameplay.. it takes only the first half of the first map, the shotgun is available going down the stairs at the north-west room before entering the key area.
About the hitscanners, well, I don't have the chaingunner for doom1 so I had to make use of the most dangerous doom1 enemy, the shotgun guy :P
every player is different and we have to take into account that UV is not mandatory because everyone wants to be happy and entertained playing every wad on UV, I'm not saying that you can't beat these levels on UV, I'm saying that maybe on HMP for example you might enjoy the gameplay of this episode more as long as the monster count is decreased.
Thanks for commenting on the design, I try to make interconnected areas avoiding square rooms, if the layout looks something like guts I'm doing the things right XD

Memfis said:

Oh, can you tell where you got the midis then? I've been listening to e3m1 all day lol.

Memfis I shouldn't tell you that, I'm afraid you die of pleasure, anyway it's your choice:

Map01: Soda Stereo - Cae el Sol (1990)
Map02: Soda Stereo - Signos (1986)
Map03: Enigma - Mea Culpa (1990)
Map04: Soda Stereo - El Rito (1986)
Map05: Soda Stereo - Corazón Delator (1988)
Map06: Art of Noise - Moments in Love (1984)
Map07: Enigma - Sadness (1990)
Map08: Mortal Kombat (Sega Genesis) - Goro's Lair (1993)
Map09: Mortal Kombat (Sega Genesis) - Throne Room (1993)

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I kinda disagree with you here, if you want to do hard difficulty use smart and interesting enemy placement, don't fill your map with enemies. Also I don't believe you need to *fight* for health, health should be scattered around in a map and most of the time in large quantity especially when it comes to deal with large numbers of hitscanners.
And I didn't even mentioned the barons traps...

Obviously we have different styles and ideas behind what considers to be fun and engaging levels in doom. My experience was terrible but I still think that you have a unique style and great ideas. I just wish the gameplay(for me at least) was better.

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I tend to agree with SFoZ911 on the gameplay, and I'm well-known for loving hitscanners. It just seems that in M2 a lot of reliance is made on cheap, turreted Sergeants. For example, if you try to Rambo rooms, you go in to find out that curvy walls behind you have Sergeants placed in alcoves way up high, and they blast you before you know they're there. As with any tactic in Doom, this is not in and of itself completely objectionable, but when it happens again and again it encourages very cautious play, lots of door-camping, and so on that is not terribly fun for many of us. And it's not like you can ignore the monsters on the ground in order to turn your attention to the turrets, because the place is swarming with critters. And it's not like you can run around dodging, because you can't dodge hitscanners. And because the Sergeants are up high, auto-aim fuckery can cause you to waste ammo killing them. Then there is also the issue of distant, elevated Sergeants who blast you from beyond auto-aim range when you're low on heath. And, as SFoZ011 said, annoying pistol work. I was about a third of the way through M2 and continually running out of shells, so I had to keep plinking at Imps with the pistol, and when there's a lot of them, that's about as fun as shotgunning Barons. Pistoling barrels is also time and ammo-consuming since they rarely blow in hurry. Also, I still don't have a Chaingun. I saw a secret Chaingun in M1, but couldn't figure out how to get it, and here I am in M2 with a ton of bullets but no Chaingun. Making the Chaingun more available in maps like these can probably liven them up. Of course, it's nice to have a hard map, and having played the first Favilesco in the Megawad Club, I found that mapset dull because it was way too easy. Okay, now you can do hard, but is it fun or just annoying?

Worth noting is that I have been guilty, in my own maps, of everything I'm accusing you of. ;)

As you said, there's no reason a player has to be able to beat and/or have fun on a map on UV, or pistol-starting, for that matter. I can either play continuous or drop difficulty, since I personally find UV play thus far to be genuinely unpleasant on pistol starts.

Given that this is an Alpha, I suppose the huge number of misaligned textures is already known to you, but I think it's worth mentioning that various floor textures like Floor1_1, or anything with 64x64 patterns can look bad in curvy rooms owing to texture cut-offs.

Anyway, those are my impressions so far. BTW, I really liked the music on M2.

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Thanks for the songs, soon I'll become a Soda Stereo fan with your wads. :) The ones from Eviltech were great too.

Regarding gameplay, when I played this in multiplayer someone said that the maps seem too long and a bit repetitive, which can make you tired after a while. I definitely don't think it's terrible but I kind of understand the complaints. Perhaps the main problem is that the monster placement in these levels is a little too uniform? Like, almost every room is packed with monsters in a similar way, so it feels like there is not enough variety in action. Maybe people want to see more unique encounters instead of somewhat generic monster spam? I don't know, I've never really made long maps so it's not like I'm an expert at this stuff.

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Hey Nicolas! I was a huge fan of the original Alpha episode you did, so I was super excited to see this thread.

So far, I've played through the first four maps. I think everyone's making good points, except maybe the one that you shouldn't have to fight for health -- one of my favorite things about your maps is the tension of being in dire need of health but knowing I have to put myself in danger to get it. About the hitscanners... you may rely a bit too much on shotgunners especially, but the number of them bothers me way less than their placement. Mostly that a lot are packed into hallways behind windows, so they'll pop out, snipe me, and then disappear again. Or I'll think I cleared out everyone through the window, but one shotgunner who stayed hidden will peg me as soon as my back is turned.

Then again, that's just your style. It was the case in Amalthea too, and I grew to appreciate it. It just requires more cautious play, or it forces you to turn the difficulty down. Neither of those are necessarily bad things.

Here's what really bugs me about your maps: the traps. So far I've encountered four traps (two with demons/spectres on M2, one with spectres on M3, and one with barons at the end of M4) that drop enemies in all around you and prevent you from even moving while they tear you to shreds. I can handle your maps no problem on HMP, or on UV with a lot of trouble, but whenever you spring one of these kind traps, the maps become impossible. If I save right beforehand and keep reloading I can maybe fudge my way through eventually, but it's absolutely no fun and completely unfair.

So that's what I'd work on toning down.

Also, I noticed some stuck monsters at the end of M4 on HMP. You have a baron and caco flagged to both appear in the same place on that difficulty.

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Further thoughts now that I've found the time to finish M2. First, my end-stats; Kills - 99%, Items - 93%, Secrets - 40%. End Health - 118, Armor -62. Bullets - 3, Shells - 91, Rockets - 8, Cells - 20. I usually record my death count but didn't this time since I started casually, but I'm guessing I died around 10 times, including twice at the nasty blue key trap. I never got the chainsaw, so I worked through it with the chaingun instead. I also cheated to the exit. I had 392 kills and no idea how to reach the exit across that pool of nukage, and I didn't feel like wandering around in this map any longer, so I clipped to it.

On a positive note, cheers for making zombies scary again. ;) Also, cheers for the map not being front-loaded, because it was dangerous all the way through. A very high percentage of maps can only threaten players until they get their hands on some decent weapons, and after that, whole armies are incapable of bringing players down. I was either killed or seriously menaced at practically every point in this map. Of course, all I had for weapons were the single shotty and chaingun. I actually opened the map in DB2 to find out where the chaingun was, and on my next play, I went for it. That was a tough fight for the CG, too. It's hard to believe this map was made by the same guy who did the Favilesco E1 replacement that was so easy it was like someone's mom made it deliberately to prevent her little sonny boy from getting hurt. By contrast, this is like a map made by the Marquis de Sade! :D Pistol-starting BTSX E2 was way easier for the most part, and those maps were loaded with Revvies and Archies and hell nobles. Another thing you accomplished here is to make exceptionally good use of roamers. I was forever getting potshotted from behind by zombies emerging from areas I had just cleared. I kept thinking, "Where in hell did that jagoff come from?" ;D

Overall, though, this isn't my kind of map. It's a looping, non-linear, exploratory map with a lot of violence. I prefer more linear, combat-oriented maps, and I don't use the automap function very often. I do like the shapes you use, and some of your crazy angles that are meant to give the monsters at least one good shot on you. Then again, I agree with Ryathaen about the dickish placement of several hitscanners. You think you have an area cleared, but there's one more Sergeant around a corner in the shadows who blasts you.

Another thing I encountered fairly often is auto-aim fuckery related to barrels, especially if barrels were in my line-of-sight while shooting at high turreted Sergeants. The barrels would draw fire and the Sergeant would keep shooting me. Annoying. I played using GZDoom, btw.

I agree with scifista42 that several of the Doom Alpha textures are borderline hideous. I think the map would look better using the official textures.

Anyway, you have to do the maps you have a desire to do, and it looks like a fair number of players appreciate your efforts. I'd suggest working on lighting a bit as you polish, but apart from that, your approach is sufficiently far from what I'm into that I think any suggestions I'd make might be more harmful than helpful.

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Cool, expect some video stuff of this posted onto my channel in the future.

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SteveD said:

(... ) Given that this is an Alpha, I suppose the huge number of misaligned textures is already known to you, but I think it's worth mentioning that various floor textures like Floor1_1, or anything with 64x64 patterns can look bad in curvy rooms owing to texture cut-offs. (... )

I know but most of those flats don't bother me aside from some lamp flats I took care of for the most part, The fact is that there are almost no quadrangular rooms in the episode so I had to use the flats I had, but anyway they do not look bad for my own taste. What I did take care of aligning (no autoalign here) is the majority of the textures like support 2, compohso and the alpha 40 unit wide star pannels among many others.

Memfis said:

Thanks for the songs, soon I'll become a Soda Stereo fan with your wads. :) The ones from Eviltech were great too.

Regarding gameplay, when I played this in multiplayer someone said that the maps seem too long and a bit repetitive, which can make you tired after a while. I definitely don't think it's terrible but I kind of understand the complaints. Perhaps the main problem is that the monster placement in these levels is a little too uniform? Like, almost every room is packed with monsters in a similar way, so it feels like there is not enough variety in action. Maybe people want to see more unique encounters instead of somewhat generic monster spam? I don't know, I've never really made long maps so it's not like I'm an expert at this stuff.

Argentinian music sucks ass now but in the 80's there were some cool new wave bands like Soda Stereo. I understand some repetitiveness in gameplay, I was very constrained by the layouts I think, because I tried to make little modifications when putting the monsters, anyway, some closets, alcoves, traps and roamers are there for difficulty. Also remember that I didn't make use of spawn monster traps and non linearity plus windows everywhere make ambushes even harder ;).

Ryathaen said:

(... ) Here's what really bugs me about your maps: the traps. So far I've encountered four traps (two with demons/spectres on M2, one with spectres on M3, and one with barons at the end of M4) that drop enemies in all around you and prevent you from even moving while they tear you to shreds. I can handle your maps no problem on HMP, or on UV with a lot of trouble, but whenever you spring one of these kind traps, the maps become impossible. If I save right beforehand and keep reloading I can maybe fudge my way through eventually, but it's absolutely no fun and completely unfair.

So that's what I'd work on toning down.

Also, I noticed some stuck monsters at the end of M4 on HMP. You have a baron and caco flagged to both appear in the same place on that difficulty.

I know the traps are dickish and I'm aware that this breaks the flow of gameplay somehow, however I took care of giving the necessary health, armor and weaponry to the player in the previous areas in order to make him succeed and the necessary health after the encounters. For example there is a green armor, some medkits and ammo boxes in the previous sections of the blue key trap on E3M2. Another example is the available BFG in E3M5 and the blue armor right before the barons trap. After many replays testing the maps I've learned how to get out of those traps in better shape, for the specters trap the best is immediately put your back on the wall and strafe side to side while firing, another way is to keep shooting the one in front of the switch and then get out. Believe me, The amount of times I die are very few. I'm not entirely sure about toning down the traps, I could take away some specters or replace one baron with another monster but the difficulty would decrease dramatically in that situation.
About the caco/baron sandwich in E3M4 it is already fixed and uploaded in the same link, thanks for pointing that out and for your interest in the series!

SteveD said:

(... )I also cheated to the exit. I had 392 kills and no idea how to reach the exit across that pool of nukage, and I didn't feel like wandering around in this map any longer, so I clipped to it. (... )

You have to press the computer pannel inside the "balcony" near to the exit in the NW outside area, there is a flat with an animated arrow pointing that pannel lol

SteveD said:

(... ) I actually opened the map in DB2 to find out where the chaingun was, and on my next play, I went for it. (...)


I was going to tell you because you talked about the pistol work in M2 in the previous post and in fact the chaingun is not far from the start, it's in the circular SW room :)

SteveD said:

(... )It's hard to believe this map was made by the same guy who did the Favilesco E1 replacement that was so easy it was like someone's mom made it deliberately to prevent her little sonny boy from getting hurt. (... )

Something like that lol, I was too generous with the armor and the easy secrets made things even easier.
Overall thank you so much for the polished analysis of the level and for giving this a chance even when is not your style of map.

Ezepov said:

bug E3M8

Fixed and uploaded, thanks for pointing that HOM, every detail counts!

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nicolas monti said:

I know the traps are dickish and I'm aware that this breaks the flow of gameplay somehow, however I took care of giving the necessary health, armor and weaponry to the player in the previous areas in order to make him succeed and the necessary health after the encounters. For example there is a green armor, some medkits and ammo boxes in the previous sections of the blue key trap on E3M2. Another example is the available BFG in E3M5 and the blue armor right before the barons trap. After many replays testing the maps I've learned how to get out of those traps in better shape, for the specters trap the best is immediately put your back on the wall and strafe side to side while firing, another way is to keep shooting the one in front of the switch and then get out. Believe me, The amount of times I die are very few. I'm not entirely sure about toning down the traps, I could take away some specters or replace one baron with another monster but the difficulty would decrease dramatically in that situation.

I think it's pretty important to note that you say you've learned to get out of these traps "after many replays." Casual players don't play maps over and over like we do when we're designing them, nor do they have the precise knowledge that we do as the designer. The traps may be easily survivable after numerous attempts, but on the first one you're almost guaranteed a swift death. And I think it's a mistake to make your players waste the 15 or so minutes they just spent getting through your level -- not because of a genuine challenge, but because of a trap they simply can't survive without prior knowledge.

Take the baron trap at the end of M4. I survived that far by playing well and staying on my toes. If I died earlier (and I did a few times), it was because I was too reckless or I missed something. But here, since I don't know what to expect, I'm almost certain to die on my first attempt. If I don't immediately realize there's a second baron behind me? Dead. If I don't immediately know how the room is laid out and where I can move to? Dead. If I don't have the plasma gun out when the trap is sprung? Dead.

These encounters bring the gameplay to a screeching halt because it stops being about how well you play and becomes about how well you know the maps' tricks. I just don't think that's good design. Sorry if that sounds harsh. I'm coming down hard on this because I really do love your maps and this is the one thing that's stopping me from enjoying them to the fullest.

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I agree with Ryathaen, I've noticed this in some of your previous maps too. Specially considering the fact that the majority of gameplay in your maps is pleasurably casual, the player accustomizes to that and enjoys it, then he encounters a random fiendish trap and dies.

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E3M3 - This switch doesn't animate, because it's a non-switch texture, you should replace it with a proper switch.

On a side note, I find it kind of inconvenient that you keep changing the link in the OP while keeping the version number the same ("20"). Also, if somebody was about to record demos for you, they wouldn't be compatible with the updated versions, nor there would be any way to keep track of the proper version to play them with.

I'm a few maps deep in the wad. It flows in the exactly same spirit as Alpha Episode 1. There's high monster density but low overall challenge involved, so the gameplay turns out being very repetitive and exhausting (tiring) in singleplayer. However, the maps are very impressive to explore thanks to numerous exotic textures, odd angles and windows between areas, all of which make up a unique while plausible techbase environment.

The decision to leave texture alignment issues in: I can see it as a controversial one. It doesn't provide a good first-sight eye-candy, but it doesn't spoil the beauty of level design, and actually contributes to the "Doom alpha"-style charm - which itself is based on ugli-ness due to unpolished-ness, though. Speaking for myself, I don't appreciate the texturing errors, but I'm able to forgive them - and I do appreciate the level design itself a lot!

I like the wad, except that its gameplay cannot keep me entertained in a long term. Anyway, you're an awesome mapper, specially (but not only!) in terms of architecture. Not because you master polishing techniques and quick-success tricks, but because each of your layouts radiates a sense of creativity and love for making a game, in a way that no automated map generator will ever be able to produce.

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Ryathaen said:

I think it's pretty important to note that you say you've learned to get out of these traps "after many replays." Casual players don't play maps over and over like we do when we're designing them, nor do they have the precise knowledge that we do as the designer. The traps may be easily survivable after numerous attempts, but on the first one you're almost guaranteed a swift death. And I think it's a mistake to make your players waste the 15 or so minutes they just spent getting through your level -- not because of a genuine challenge, but because of a trap they simply can't survive without prior knowledge.

Take the baron trap at the end of M4. I survived that far by playing well and staying on my toes. If I died earlier (and I did a few times), it was because I was too reckless or I missed something. But here, since I don't know what to expect, I'm almost certain to die on my first attempt. If I don't immediately realize there's a second baron behind me? Dead. If I don't immediately know how the room is laid out and where I can move to? Dead. If I don't have the plasma gun out when the trap is sprung? Dead.

These encounters bring the gameplay to a screeching halt because it stops being about how well you play and becomes about how well you know the maps' tricks. I just don't think that's good design. Sorry if that sounds harsh. I'm coming down hard on this because I really do love your maps and this is the one thing that's stopping me from enjoying them to the fullest.

scifista42 said:

I agree with Ryathaen, I've noticed this in some of your previous maps too. Specially considering the fact that the majority of gameplay in your maps is pleasurably casual, the player accustomizes to that and enjoys it, then he encounters a random fiendish trap and dies.

I've made slight changes in 2 traps because at this point it would be stupid to ignore the warnings.

E3M2 specters trap: I deleted one specter and relocated the remaining ones more sparsely in order to give more chances to the player to avoid damage, The trap remains hard but I think the chances of dying are reduced in 50% when doing things wrong.

E3M4 barons trap: I slightly expanded the room in order to give the player more chances to dodge and to get behind the untied-to-the exit baron avoiding to stay between them. I said untied to the exit because one of the barons will remain in front to the switch to avoid a premature escape but at the same time it is an easier target.

I didn't touch the specters trap in E3M3 because there are just 4 specters and unless you are low of health it is survivable and I didn't touch the barons trap at E3M5 because at that point the player is armed with a BFG and a full blue armor so the only chance to die is to be caught of surprise the first time with low health, anyway I cannot guarantee a wad where you'll never die (unless no monsters).

I think these changes are at the midpoint of what I was asked and what I wanted in the first time.

scifista42 said:

E3M3 - This switch doesn't animate, because it's a non-switch texture, you should replace it with a proper switch.

Fixed, thanks for that one, I've noticed that too but I wasn't sure about what was causing it when testing.

scifista42 said:
On a side note, I find it kind of inconvenient that you keep changing the link in the OP while keeping the version number the same ("20"). Also, if somebody was about to record demos for you, they wouldn't be compatible with the updated versions, nor there would be any way to keep track of the proper version to play them with. [/B]

Maybe, but there are no demos so far and I don't think there are so many changes left too.

scifista42 said:
The decision to leave texture alignment issues in: I can see it as a controversial one. It doesn't provide a good first-sight eye-candy, but it doesn't spoil the beauty of level design, and actually contributes to the "Doom alpha"-style charm - which itself is based on ugli-ness due to unpolished-ness, though. Speaking for myself, I don't appreciate the texturing errors, but I'm able to forgive them - and I do appreciate the level design itself a lot! (...)[/B]

I'm still curious about that one, are you talking about the flats or precisely about the textures? I haven't noticed terrible misalignments, Eg: the corroded graytall is weird but I prevented vertical misalignments in windows. Can you tell me about one that caught your attention?
Thanks for appreciating the layouts, I wish there were more maps with these curved and intrincated shapes, I think wads like DTWID started some trend in that style, or at least, there were topics about that stuff.

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As always, awesome classically styled maps from you!

Don't quite understand why some people don't like the gameplay, it's just classic doom with a slightly higher monster count, in my opinion.

Played all Favillesco Episodes and I think the only unfair bit that I've ever encountered was the one in your first alpha episode (can't remember which level, think it was m7 but not sure) where you teleport into an enclosed space of 4 barons and the only way out is to use the BFG and press fire right before you enter the teleport.

Anyhow the level design here is awesome, would be great to see more coming from you.

P.S. You still working on Reticula? Loved Eviltech, just the kinda Doom stuff I enjoy.

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nicolas monti said:

I'm still curious about that one, are you talking about the flats or precisely about the textures? I haven't noticed terrible misalignments, Eg: the corroded graytall is weird but I prevented vertical misalignments in windows. Can you tell me about one that caught your attention?

Both flats and textures. A lot of the ones with distinct tiling patterns are used on wildly shaped floors or walls. Flat bars and computer screens look especially weird that way (look at the very first FLAT computers in E3M1, they're cut off, some of the wall ones too). Also, it might look odd when you make something like a 32x32 pillar, texture it with TEKWALL1 (!) and leave all X offsets to 0. Also, it looks somewhat unpleasant when you put 2 kinds of radically different textures (for example TEKWALL* + computers, or TEKWALL* + pink wall) next to each other without any seam or borderline.

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I'm totally digging the texturing, 90s all the way man. :) Admittedly, even I find some of it a little ridiculous (whaaat is this?) but that just adds to the nostalgic charm and I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Firedust said:

As always, awesome classically styled maps from you!

Don't quite understand why some people don't like the gameplay, it's just classic doom with a slightly higher monster count, in my opinion.

Played all Favillesco Episodes and I think the only unfair bit that I've ever encountered was the one in your first alpha episode (can't remember which level, think it was m7 but not sure) where you teleport into an enclosed space of 4 barons and the only way out is to use the BFG and press fire right before you enter the teleport.

Anyhow the level design here is awesome, would be great to see more coming from you.

P.S. You still working on Reticula? Loved Eviltech, just the kinda Doom stuff I enjoy.

Thanks man! that Amalthea's M7 trap is mean, but I wanted to make the player to figure out the way to beat that trap, and yes, you have to pre-load the BFG and blow the cacos when teleporting. I SHOULD work on Reticula but not this year, I have a busy year and I map only from December to March when I have no classes and only if I have some cohesive idea of the maps I want to do.

scifista42 said:

Both flats and textures. A lot of the ones with distinct tiling patterns are used on wildly shaped floors or walls. Flat bars and computer screens look especially weird that way (look at the very first FLAT computers in E3M1, they're cut off, some of the wall ones too). Also, it might look odd when you make something like a 32x32 pillar, texture it with TEKWALL1 (!) and leave all X offsets to 0. Also, it looks somewhat unpleasant when you put 2 kinds of radically different textures (for example TEKWALL* + computers, or TEKWALL* + pink wall) next to each other without any seam or borderline.

Lol, I understand some substandard usage but believe me, there is a lot of texture aligning in this wad, maybe not so obvious, something unique I did only for this episode is using proto-tekwall1 as support2 in many places, but the offsets are not to 0 but to 48 in the most cases, look at this:



There are some raw usage for computer pannels too:



but I had the delicacy of not cutting the screens :)

anyway, I understand because we are used to very polished alignment, but look at some levels of the iwads, the entrance of house of pain with that misaligned marble texture above the door3 entrance just to name one example.

Memfis said:

I'm totally digging the texturing, 90s all the way man. :) Admittedly, even I find some of it a little ridiculous (whaaat is this?) but that just adds to the nostalgic charm and I wouldn't want it any other way.

yeah, one of the crappiest textures, the alpha browngrn, I love that one, some pillars look vertically misaligned but those are the ones that not lower, aligning those seemed unnecesary to me, I like things how they are this way (I tested the maps with chocolate doom and using vanilla resolution everything looked gorgeous :P)

Glaice said:

That pre-update blue key ambush on E3M2 is just cruel.

Used for the DWP videos of this WAD on my channel, I produced an alternate set of music (MIDI format) for the mapset mostly consisting of Jimmy's non-WIP publicly available songs. Take a look here if interested: http://www.mediafire.com/download/ku48bfxwak6v5s9/thebe_mus.zip

Nice midis, very classic doom, good instrument choices, thanks for your dedication of selecting the tracks for an alternative "soundtrack", I want to see your videos!

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I still find the toned-down E3M2 (BK) and E3M4 (BK+exit) traps to be incomparably more zealous than the rest of the maps, which I don't consider a good thing at all. The mere fact that you're suddenly squeezed among monsters in a horribly small room, literally touching their bodies, and need a powerful rapid-fire weapon prepared at that moment (as switching weapons is too slow), is pretty obnoxious.

The E3M4 BK room has a double-switch wall.

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