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Proktor87

Ghosts of Pingfang in progress

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Some assorted thoughts in no particular order:

-Very cool idea for a project. I'd like to see it slightly expanded and with a lot more polish.

-The music was a particularly welcome addition.

-I liked the men hung by nooses submerged in the blood-flooded corridor in the third map. Awesome visual, though I think aspects of that section in general could be given more polish.

-The mixture of art styles feels kind of incoherent. I wouldn't mind all the low-res pixel art if it didn't clash with the doom and Doom3 style of everything else. The basic textures look like Doom 2, but the weapons look like Doom 3, while all the setting-related art looks like it would be more at home in Wolf3D. Overall map design is a little too wolfenstein-esque for me. I could embrace that if this were a project for ECWolf, or if the overall art style was more consistent.

-I'm not sure how you wanted me to progress through the first map, but I got fed up wandering up and down the overly-long, narrow, nondescript hallways, so I cheated to get both the red and blue keys.

-In the third map, I found a yellow key but no yellow door, and a blue door, but no blue key. Eventually, I got sick of backtracking, so after exploring the rest of the map, I cheated through the blue door to the exit.

-The fourth map had a much more naturally intuitive flow than the preceding three. I was never lost or bored of backtracking here.

-The boss map was very underwhelming (even wolf3d had boss fights with more complexity than a 1v1 shootout in a small flat rectangular room), though the ending plot twist was welcome.

-Lots of secrets is nice to see, but having secrets for things as mundane as a single box of ammo seems pointless.

-The old archive photos popping up in the first map is a nice idea, but it'd be cooler if it were just a flash on screen, or if it looked more like "a ghost vision from the past is haunting me!" rather than "that huge rectangular photo sprite is clipping awkwardly through the wall!" If you want to keep them as photos to collect (another cool idea, if it's used properly), why not scale them down a bit (via decorate XScale and YScale properties)?

-The way the message printing scripts are set up (at least in the first map) is kind of clumsy; they're repeatedly triggered when you cross certain lines, so backtracking through the dark leads to you reading the same thing over and over.

-The number of easy-to-miss mines that can blow you up without warning is kind of lame. I have the zdoom resurrect command bound to a key because of annoying gameplay mechanics like this. The suicide button seemed (almost) pointless. It could be cool if killing yourself was actually a meaningful option to gameplay in some sense. Being killed by punching a lamp that (for some reason) explodes wildly in your face is also kind of lame.

-I feel like the maps (especially 1 and 3) should be redone from scratch to incorporate a better sense of environment and a more intuitive flow. Stumbling around in a flat dark maze isn't gameplay that I particularly enjoy, so I used the automap more than I typically like to. If the maps themselves were more fun to run through, this project would be much more engaging.

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I hear ya. If I made level 1 and 3 smaller, people would have bitched about my maps being too small. I do like the pace of level 1 because I feel it's preparing you. The dark places work because it helps the horror atmosphere I think. And objects and sprites are intentionally bright glowy to help guide you through the dark anyway. As for level 3, the keys /doors are there... just out of the way. Personally I like the mix of art design... To me, what was created fits even after creating styles of Doom 3, Doom and Wolf3d. Because it's not too obvious or a major change. The photos I definitely get. May change that. Made the photos large so you can actually see what is on it.... but maybe that can be scaled down. The suicide button to me was not made for purpose... much like the cyanide button in RTCW. Just used to end your life. Punching the light (exam light) does explode, and I wanted it to. The text that pops up was used to somewhat create a brief story... had a hard time figuring out one-time display... Secrets were supposed to be somewhat rewarding, but not all the time to bring challenge. Boss fight I felt can be difficult to some. I don't think this mod needs any more polish and I like how everything came out... I was not going for high detail and these are spirits...
The mines I feel are a good touch and some may run into them very easily, making it more challenging. Appreciate your opinions, there may be some updates and changes soon.

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Proktor87:
I hear ya. If I made level 1 and 3 smaller, people would have bitched about my maps being too small.

I don't think they actually need to be smaller, I mostly think the layouts should just flow more intuitively, and the levels themselves be more interesting to traverse. There are a few too many long, nondescript hallways that lead into small, nondescript rooms for my taste. There are cool areas, too (like the crushing ceilings, or the room full of bodies and incinerators), don't get me wrong.

Overall, my impression is that there's a lot of nifty stuff in this mod that seems minor or mostly inconsequential (using enemies as a human shield, shooting yourself in the head, photos, weapon upgrades, multiple melee weapons, thrown babies, wandering POWs), in comparison to the basic necessity of making sure the levels themselves are well-designed and as fun as possible.

I can set aside the simplistic architecture and overall flatness because it's evident that you're aiming for a simple design style. But, I think successfully going for that sort of simple Wolf3D-esque level design requires a very well-considered layout (moreso than if you were using more open maps with more varied heights), so that the levels flow and loop in an engaging way, rather than sprawling out all over, as these maps tend to at times. Plus, I think it's especially hard to get away with wolf3d level design when there are sections involving mandatory swimming, jumping and crouching.

Personally I like the mix of art design... To me, what was created fits even after creating styles of Doom 3, Doom and Wolf3d. Because it's not too obvious or a major change.


I guess it's largely a matter of personal preference, because the mish-mash of asset styles and design ideas leaves me feeling like Pingfang doesn't know what it's trying to be:



It's full of Doom textures, but it doesn't really feel like Doom, because Doom has interesting pseudo-3D level design with varied heights. Given the setting, it also feels weird to see textures like TEKWALL4 (or CEMENT*), or those big doors, and not find them out of place. The Japanese Army built a scifi techbase in mainland China during WWII? A few more custom textures could go a long way to establishing atmosphere.

The guns all look and operate in the style of Doom 3, but it doesn't really feel like Doom 3, either, because that game's approach to pretty much everything, including horror, is very different. I suppose the Doom 2.5 stuff goes some way to establish the futuristic aspect of the plot, perhaps.

The enemies and new assets are more reminiscent of Wolf3D, and with the WWII plot / theme connection, I think that's the most compelling connection to be drawn. I honestly feel like this would work better as a Wolf3D (i.e. ECWolf) mod.

The suicide button to me was not made for purpose... much like the cyanide button in RTCW. Just used to end your life.

Which is kind of cool, but as in RTCW, I don't personally think it really adds anything to the gameplay or atmosphere.
I did have some funny accidents with it, though, as I have my alt-fire key right next to my reload key. =D

Boss fight I felt can be difficult to some.

I managed on my first try, though I thought the boss map being a flat plain square room was anticlimactic. Wolf3D bosses were mostly encountered in rooms where you could duck behind walls or pillars; aside from being useful in gameplay, the way those rooms were detailed made them less dull aesthetically, as well. Even if there were just a few pillars in your boss map, it'd be an improvement, in my opinion. I think that might add more to the horror atmosphere--having some cover encourages you to run and hide while the big bad guy closes in relentlessly.

I don't think this mod needs any more polish and I like how everything came out... I was not going for high detail and these are spirits...

In no way should you see my critiques or comments as disparagement. I absolutely appreciate the effort and spirit that went into Ghosts of Pingfang, it was a fun little romp.

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Thanks the point of this mod is the possibility that the Japanese had technology way more advanced than WWII... We may never fully know that.That was my message in this. More futuristic but also reminiscent to the past. The soldier looks that way because he is extremely close in view, farther away looks more Doom I think. A plain WWII mod would probably not have been as fun. Ignoring the b and w in maruta 731, the standard style and look wasn't near as fun and it was proven over the years. This may be what I would call a bi-polar mod. An identity that it doesn't know what it is. That's what I appreciate about it. The textures done with floor and ceiling settings was done on purpose... to give more possibility for difference and style. Funny you say, the soldiers and scientist and leader are made from Wolf 3d characters! lol. Boss map will have some more in it and be more difficult in the next patch Which will be very soon. Also will do some work with intro text and photos, and cut out some empty hallways, add more and work with the flow and add heights around the doors especially. This game is weird, sick and original. I love it and I will pop up again very soon with another patch. I am not offended at all dude

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Took out the intro text completely and put a little about what's going on story-wise in the title screen in a small font. Works better. Made the boss level much more tough. Added pillars and breakable walls to crouch behind... Also moved the photos so they don't stick into walls, and they disappear quickly with background noise depending on what's on the picture. You no longer have to walk through the picture anymore to collect it. Just fire and start to walk towards it. Gonna also change the human shield function so that the enemy shoots at others for you when you're holding them hostage. this could be throwing syringes with the radiate scientist or just fire at guards with the pistol if it's the wielder. this will add purpose being that you won't waste your ammo and instead use theirs. May find a way to add purpose to suicide. don't know. Now I'm working on some map stuff and I'll repost the mod after I'm done in about a week or so

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*Clap* *Clap* Congratulations, you are now on top of JohnSuitepee's shit list for the worst wad ever. 0/5

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This wad was awful, the worst thing I've played thus far. (worse than joe-ilya's "Lost Maps 1") It felt like somebody slapped 5 Maximum Doom maps together with erratic lighting/textures all over the place and then overdid it with silly looking prop spam & bad ideas. (having the "upgraded" weapons replace the normal gun, and being unable to switch back unless you pickup another normal weapon? What the heck?!?)

This wasn't atmospheric. This wasn't scary. This wasn't interesting to play. 0 out of 5, go put this shit on the Unity Engine and make some better Doom maps in the future.

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I don't give a fuck about your worst wad list and I'll not give you any attention that you crave either. I uploaded it to get feedback, not hatred. People bitched about the original being black and white... changed that. People bitched about not much action... so I added some. Plus, I am changing map design and more things, so it's not permanent. Yeah, the "hurdles" are beds and they look like beds.

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Proktor87 said:

I don't give a fuck about your worst wad list and I'll not give you any attention that you crave either. I uploaded it to get feedback, not hatred. People bitched about the original being black and white... changed that. People bitched about not much action... so I added some. Plus, I am changing map design and more things, so it's not permanent. Yeah, the "hurdles" are beds and they look like beds.


that kind of an attitude is a big reason this wad fell flat immediately. if you can't handle criticism, then leave and go do something productive.

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Proktor87 said:

I don't give a fuck about your worst wad list and I'll not give you any attention that you crave either. I uploaded it to get feedback, not hatred. People bitched about the original being black and white... changed that. People bitched about not much action... so I added some. Plus, I am changing map design and more things, so it's not permanent. Yeah, the "hurdles" are beds and they look like beds.


this is objectively the best way to respond to criticism

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Proktor87 said:

I don't give a fuck about your worst wad list and I'll not give you any attention that you crave either. I uploaded it to get feedback, not hatred. People bitched about the original being black and white... changed that. People bitched about not much action... so I added some. Plus, I am changing map design and more things, so it's not permanent. Yeah, the "hurdles" are beds and they look like beds.


Feedback eh? Well although my livestream here should provide plenty of that: http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/c/6422305 (around the 3-hour mark)

-I find it absolutely baffling that acquiring the "upgraded" shotgun/smg/pistol means that when you run out of ammo for it, you can't switch back to the regular weapon unless you pick one up off the ground. Surely a better method would be to switch back to the original weapon once the "upgraded" version ran out of ammo?
-The prop spam is ridiculous, and makes it look like something out of a bad wad of the kind that DeimosComaBlack or Tarnsman would play. Nothing more immersive than seeing the same 4-5 props scattered all over the place in that awkward spam-tastic way.
-The "beds" look like hurdles.
-The final boss is a joke. Some build-up to it would have been nice, instead of just "here's a small room and some guns/health/armor, go kill him immediately and then E1M8 your way to an ending".
-The level design. Oh dear god, you really want to town in having long corridors with all the different textures in the world, with all the different lighting in the world without much in the way of interesting variation. It reminded me of joe-ilya's earlier hyperactive texturing style, only somehow worse. And to be honest, some parts of the maps reminded me of Maximum Doom maps that I've seen/played, only with a lot more textures used. The fourth map was the absolute best example of all this.
-The map where you have to crouch to access a series of lifts to acquire a key (E1M3 I think?); the first lift after you emerge from the "vent" is broken and I had to noclip my way up there.
-The "execution" when you grab an enemy looks bad.
-The enemies themselves look pixellatingly bad. Only the final boss was alright, and that was just mecha-Fuhrer.
-The screaming sound of one of the enemies is hilariously daft and probably has no place being used as a constant enemy growling sound, since even if it did initially freak out a player on the first map they'll get used to it very quickly.
-The reloading of the pistol looks bad. And come to think of it, using Doom 3 weapon skins maybe wasn't a good choice either, unless you wanted to remind people of Doom 3 in your WW2-era setting. (advanced technology not being an excuse, didn't want to use some custom weapon skins?)
-The music only starts to become appropriate on the third map. Before that it sounds too funky.

Hope you can accept this criticism and use it to improve yourself as a mapper. Because there is a decent horror concept lying within this wad; it just has atrocious execution.

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Suitepee said:

-The prop spam is ridiculous, and makes it look like something out of a bad wad of the kind that DeimosComaBlack or Tarnsman would play.

Got that gimmick covered...

Anyway, played through the first map, got about halfway through the second, and it's all just an overwhelmingly depressing pile of utter shit. Who, or what, did you contract to design your maps? Are you a chimp? You've got to be a chimp. I refuse to believe that a human being with a functioning brain would create maps like these, then sit back to take a look and say "yes, this is good".

Ugly, tedious, and about as engaging as a bout of narcolepsy.

Ghosts of Ghosts of Pinfang now haunt my Recycle Bin. Jesus H. tapdancing Barry Christ.

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This wad simply makes no sense.

By looking at the livestream of Suitepee, it was hilarious during 5 minutes. After that, I prayed so that John finishes it as quickly as possible.

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AD_79 said:

this is objectively the best way to respond to criticism

Impboy4 said:

that kind of an attitude is a big reason this wad fell flat immediately. if you can't handle criticism, then leave and go do something productive.

While I cannot condone Proktor's reaction, I must point out that "go put this shit on the Unity Engine and make some better Doom maps in the future" is provocation, not criticism. Although, to be fair, Suitepee's follow-up post is far more reasonable.

Disclaimer: I have not played the wad in question. Also, I would take "slapped 5 Maximum Doom maps together" as a compliment. I love all that old stuff. :)

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That is not criticism, that is bashing and if you act like a stuck-up douchebag then I will act the same. You all can chill out. I am removing the executions, fixing the lift, applying more changes and doing map work. It is clear that when people don't like some things here, that they market it as the worst thing they have ever played. When you know damn well that it's not. It's not the design you're used to so you don't like it. And I want you to know, I've been changing things in the mod to get you to like it. You know, not everyone have acted like you have and have given me advice right off the bat without anger and childishness... IT IS POSSIBLE.

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Have you mapped before? If not then I would suggest that trying to develop and build the basics of map design would be better than trying to build a more complex wad such as this.
The premise seems decent enough but it doesn't matter what gimmicks, monsters, weapons or storyline go into a wad, the fundamental principles are the same no matter what and if they are bad then the wad isn't going to be good.

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Proktor87 said:

That is not criticism, that is bashing and if you act like a stuck-up douchebag then I will act the same.

Proktor87 said:
It is clear that when people don't like some things here, that they market it as the worst thing they have ever played. When you know damn well that it's not. It's not the design you're used to so you don't like it.

Proktor87 said:
And I want you to know, I've been changing things in the mod to get you to like it.

You're like a baby crying for praise and attention. If people dislike your work and express it by bashing, you would still handle it reasonably and keep cool, because you would know that they dislike it for some particular reasons, and the reasons are not hatred against you. Instead, you're immediately jumping out with a self-protective counter-attack, which is a wrong, childish way to handle negative feedback.

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I handle bashing with bashing... and that won't change. I'm not crying for attention and praise... but I am expecting a decent friendly critique, which I have gotten some and have to listen to hate to find others. I was not the one bitching and attacking someone here. It's not the problems someone has with the mod, it's how they display that and putting my work out on a stream just to hate on it is immature bullshit

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