Estranged - 32 level Boom megawad - idgames release



https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/megawads/estrangd

Description
Estranged is a 32 level megawad that I've been working on/off on for the past few years, it's Boom compatible (tested on Zdoom and prBoom+) and uses stock doom/doom2 textures (not including the skies). Each map can be played through with a pistol start and all difficulty settings have been implemented, there is also "new" music for most of the levels.

This is only the beta version at present, so I'd really appreciate feedback and criticism, a lot of the assets are not finalised such as the title screen and a lot of the music may be subject to change depending on what people think. I think the gameplay may need some changes as well, my intention was to make maps that were fun to play and I'm not sure how well I did (Memfis has played some of the maps and given me some advice which I'm grateful for but apart from that they've only been teste by myself).

Since this project has taken so long to make I'd say that my mapping style has changed considerably over the course of the development time and although a large amount of effort has been made to "modernise" some of the early maps there may be a noticeable quality gradient between some of the levels.

Anyway below are some screenshots (with no monsters on) and the download link, please give it a try and tell me what you think! :)








Final Download:
https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/megawads/estrangd

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Cuz it's probably got a lot of detail and effort put into it. :P

38 mbs isn't that big nowadays for wads.

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The areas on screenshots look oversized a lot, I fear a slaughter gameplay, but I'll see.

joe-ilya said:

Why is this 38 MB?

I'd prefer a zipped download, too.

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Did a quick perusal, no slaughters so far as I can tell, just some really big maps.

E: I'd do a bit of work on map 21 before releasing this. Doesn't have the same detail level or quality as anything else in the set.

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There's some OGG music files in here which may be bumping up the size

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Nice! fresh content to play. Gonna fire this bad boy up.

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Appereantly this has a couple of MP3's thrown into the maps.

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I put it on a ZDaemon server, come if you're bored. :)

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I went through the first two maps, good stuff. Reminded me of your F_EP2 that I have fond memories of, and of ... ObTIC, because of the number of Demons deployed. ;)

One suggestion: get ammo pickups out of the middles of hallways, out of the player's way. It's annoying having no choice but to pickup a shell box when you have 48 already.

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I've finally downloaded the file, falsely hoping that a zipped download will be added at first. I still think you should add it, though.

FDAs for the first 3 maps, the last one failed. I liked the maps, your design style seems to be simple, but very "stylish" anyway. It reminds me of Espi's work, and I guess you also did a lot of polish. Good, fun maps, even if they force taking straightforward paths a lot, as yet - I hope some increased nonlinearity will appear in later maps. I'm all OK with sparsely placed revenants and chainsawing reasonable numbers of demons. Liquid canal over the way near the start in MAP02 is a very cliched theme, heh, but the map turned out to be nice - maybe just shotgunning a lone Baron at the end was a bit lame. MAP03 was impressive from what I've seen of it, but the outdoor rocky area with holes in the floor prevented pinky demons from navigating efficiently - since this is for Boom, you would add some height transfers and raise the holes to fix this while keep it looking the same. Looking forward to play the rest! :)

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After some multiplayer testing I have a lot to say...

Overall

- maps need player starts 2, 3 and 4. In modern ports multiplayer will work even if there is only player start 1 but the spawning will be slow, which is annoying.
- for some reason in prboom-plus the music sounds differently from ZDoom (very noticeable on e.g. map15), I wonder if something can be done about this.

Also some maps need additional multiplayer radiation suits and some ways to bypass the "closed bars" traps in case everyone dies in these traps. Specifically:

Map01 - not very important here I guess but some coop suits would be nice.
Map02 - the bars tagged 6 need some way to bypass them from the outside.
Map03 - could use some multiplayer suits.
Map11 - the bars tagged 7 can break a multiplayer game.
Map13 - really needs coop suits in the SSG area!

Some other observations:

Map04 - sector 19 is a weird empty secret. Also, you can see missing textures on linedefs 3031 and 3032 when it lowers.
Map05 - the cyberdemon telefrag teleport is W1 - intentional or not?
Map07 - something is very wrong with some rocks at the start, here is a picture: http://i.imgur.com/IAj7R3v.png
Map15 - awesome map, I remember this one. A slight annoyance is that all sea teleports take you back to the start, so if you fall off some faraway area you have to backtrack A LOT. Maybe teleporters should take the player to the closest part of the base? And you could make it so at first they aren't accessible (to prevent skipping a big part of the map) but each of them lowers when you reach certain parts of the base.
Map18 - teleport with the tag 17 doesn't lead anywhere.
Map19 - secret soulsphere in the sector tagged 19 can quite easily be grabbed from the outside.
Map20 - in the final area I found it waaay to easy to simply rush to the teleporter without fighting. I guess same applies to the most of Map32 as well.
Map21 - I have to agree with GRB here, this one is perhaps a bit too simple\silly for my taste.

Haven't played all Hell maps yet so maybe I'll be back with more...

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MAP04 and MAP05 FDAs. Both were cool maps with good structure and good fights, but both suffered from a lack of ammo at some point. Specially the beginning of MAP05 was disappointing: I've beaten 3 revenants in an exciting close-quarter fight, only to be overwhelmed and killed by pinkies and lost souls while having no ammo to deal with them.

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So a lot of people say that map21 is a bit naff so I'll probably be rebuilding this level at some point, although it may take a while. If I'm being honest I never considered coop but I think I'll definitely be throwing in coop starts and try and make it so that you can bypass bar traps etc. from the outside. Anyone else finding that ammo is too limited?

Also i'm not sure why the music sounds different in boom than in zdoom but I think you can stop this by changing the preferred midi player under the general options (at least in prboom+).

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More stuff:
Map24 - imo it's annoying how blue torches in sector 241 can block the movement (only an issue when playing with infinitely tall objects). Also, sector 70 is another thing that might get you stuck in coop.
Map25 - the glowing effects in large areas are a bit painful for the eyes, I guess it's a matter of taste though. Also, linedef 2461: should it really have an action?
Map26 - I found it lame... Open fields with lots of monsters and it's sooo easy to just run past them without fighting. It's difficult to make good gameplay in such large areas.
Map27 - love it, I remember how you posted it years ago. Infinitely tall cacos and pain elementals can be very pesky here but that's part of the challenge I suppose.
Map30 - excellent, very challenging and ominous main area and the absence of teleporters in lava makes it so tense. The silent teleporter (linedef 3199) should be WR instead of W1 for coop btw. Also, it's possible to fall to the left of sector 110 and get stuck there without dying: that's not nice.

Indeed, the music sounds correctly if I set PORTMIDI instead of SDL as a music player. Interesting...

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lets see...

not a whole lot to note on MAP01, good job.
didn't like MAP02, as it was just single shotgun action. I played on easy difficulty and the map's only secret had nothing in it.
MAP03 - liked, good sprawling base/earth setup.
MAP04 - the first secret near the start didn't seem to have anything on it. also the ammo boxes near the first room with the mancubus are flushed on the wall.
MAP05 - apparently I forgot about the only armor in this map, and that made things a little tougher but not by much. maybe this map could have more armor but I didn't find it tough. thanks for the secret teleporter so I could telefrag the cybie.
I didn't find much to note about MAP06, except the nice chainsaw action at the beginning.
MAP07 - good, love the vast open spaces. the secret here is to kill the mancubi to get a secret rocket launcher which helps at the end. I accidentally fucked up the exit though because I killed the last two arachnotrons at the same time, maybe there could be a workaround for this in case it happens? also the ZDoom apparently showed this map having a lot of texture errors, although I didn't notice anything while playing. MAP08 had some too but I haven't gotten to it yet. more soon.
edit: played through MAP08-MAP12
MAP08 - interesting three-key map. I found the YK area to be hardest if I went for it first, dunno if it needed an SSG (instead of a chaingun) or maybe more supplies.
MAP09 - hardest one so far for me, took me awhile to figure out how to get the SSG, and I had to get around some mid-tier enemies letting them infight. once I got it though I didn't have any problems.
MAP10 - liked, nothing to note.
MAP11 - also liked. since I played on easy I got the SSG right away (it's in a different area on UV apparently). a really good rnn and gun map that does not OD on snipers.
MAP12 - played like MAP02 with mostly shotgun action, which i didn't like until I got the SSG. from then on it was a little better but I'm not too into it.

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The exit to MAP15 is a one-time lift.
That shit is the reason my FDA for that map ended early.

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Getsu Fune said:

I played on easy difficulty

DOOM has five skill levels. Which one do you call "easy difficulty" and why?

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Hey, Not Too Rough is easy difficulty, easy so that I still take normal damage but I don't feel overwhelmed. I used to play a lot of sets on HMP which was my default setting for a time but more and more modern maps are getting too hard for me so I bumped it down a little.

if this mapset isn't interesting me I can always change the difficulty level and/or play on continuous (forgot to say that I was pistol-starting each map when I started playing).

but as far as MAP02's secret goes, the items are there on every difficulty setting excepting the easiest two (ITYTD and HNTR).

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Here are more FDAs from me, covering MAP06-MAP08 (MAP06 failed, the other two successful) - yeah, I play cowardly a lot. I didn't like the treacherous encounters in MAP06 (see my deaths), they caught me unprepared and I considered them somewhat unfair. Other than that, I liked the maps. I still get the impression that the mapping style is similar to Espi's one - cleanness in simplicity, even though the maps generally tend to have linear progression, and I prefer non-linearity. Ammo is balanced tightly, I guess that you've considered both pistol starts and continuous playthrough, which I think is a right approach and I appreciate it!

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me continues playthrough on HNTR.

MAP13 - oh god this was terrible to pistol start. I had tried different things here to get past the six demons and the only thing I could really do was shoot pistol until I ran out. I managed to kill three before squeezing through and finally picking up a shotgun. apparently there's a chainsaw at the start, but it's not flagged for easy, it could've helped. rest of the map wasn't that good in my eyes either, as it was shotgun action, then SSG action. I actually missed fighting hitscanners on this map. not a good one for me. the teleporter closets in this map were also constructed weirdly, and two monsters kept infinite looping into the same closet, resulting in some missed kills.
MAP14 - a little better to pistol start, at least I can squeeze through the imps and get the chaingun. otherwise, liked, nothing else to note.
MAP15 - whoa, this was awesome. felt like one of Aluqah's maps with the progression. there's plenty of balance with this one, although I did find a stuck arachnotron somewhere in the map that I managed to free by shooting a rocket. the inner portion of the map was much more fun than the outer one, with infighting and hunting for the secret keys. wasn't hard at all, but balanced quite well. my new favorite.
MAP31 - this is a weird one, there seem to be only shotgun guys and one chaingunner normally. I went for the secret exit route by first grabbing the keys, and then did a Hunted-style matchup against some archies in complete darkness, but the provided invulnerability (only on easy difficulty) helped me win. I did note that one archie was unable to get past the exit though. the music track reminded me of the Mysidia theme from Final Fantasy IV.
MAP32 - man somebody is gonna bitch about that soundtrack, but I LOVED it. too bad I didn't like the rest of the map though. this is a slaughterfest map, so for god's sake please inundate it with health and maybe add a few more ammo too. I didn't find much in health apart from some scattered medikits and that had me out in a few runs. the first area, it would be best if the damaging floor wasn't max damaging as well, as that hurt my run quite a bit. second area was better but not by much. both the first and second areas suffer from too many sniper monsters in which some of them could get stuck behind the rocks someplace, and when I managed to beat the map I ended up missing two monsters. third area was a bit better. I think the best strategy would be to kill the spiderdemon first then run around the outside. too many revenants and not enough health though, so I had to get lucky. last area was fun with invulnerability vs. arch-viles. overall, as I said, MORE health for a slaughter map, as that's a necessity to surviving one. looking at it closer, it seems difficulty settings weren't implemented either. but keep the song, I love it. :)

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FDAs for MAP09-MAP20, but I'm sorry, majority of them are failed - the only maps where I've reached the exit were MAP12 and MAP17, I think. I'm still finding the maps nice and fun to play and I like them, but there are a few recurring elements that I dislike: Low ammo, suddenly teleporting monsters behind the player, and corridors that sometimes get cluttered with swarms of monsters (specially if there are Archviles among them).

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still truckin'

MAP16 - this looks really weird for an arena-style map. there were a few interesting fights but not much as I was confined to only the rocket launcher and SSG for the duration of the map. don't like it that much.
MAP17 - a rather cramped affair but I can squeeze through most of the enemies to get weapons pretty easily. the gameplay was good but the design is a bit all over the place. the BFG secret was a hard one to figure out.
MAP18 - this one could benefit if it had a rocket launcher but I never found one. more SSG and chaingun action and it actually got boring. the nukage-filled area with about eight or so cacodemons is where I ran out of ammo. that one area with the switch puzzle (the one where revenants are teleporting in) was awful. the non-secret teleporter near the exit does not lead anywhere, and I missed three chaingunners due to them being in a sector that never raised (sector tag 11 does not have any linedefs with it.)
MAP19 - I had a lot of problems pistol-starting this. from the start all the way to the yellow key I only had a shotgun and chaingun, and I had to deal with a number of mid-tier monsters, worst happened when the caco-hell knight ambush came after opening the yellow key room. I resorted to infighting for most of the way and I had problems dodging fireballs. after that I got the SSG and later found the secret rocket launcher and both helped somewhat, but the revenants before the red key were also difficult for me to contend with. the last fortress area thankfully wasn't too hard due to me having an invulnerability flagged on easy. apparently there's an SSG at the beginning but it's only flagged on hard difficulty, dunno if it needed to be sooner or just add some extra ammo/health for the time I didn't find any.
MAP20 - this one went a bit smoother due to better incorporations of infighting. both of the side wings weren't too hard for me to contend with. the big area with the cyber and other monsters was much harder. good map.
MAP21 - well this was shit. very little supplies, only a chaingun and BFG, and about 15 monsters. again, only resort was infighting, although I did chaingun a few monsters and BFG'd the spiderdemon. not a good one.
MAP22 - I wanted to like this map. at the beginning I ran getting the SSG, armor (triggering the crusher), and taking out the hitscanners on the right. there was some good combat out and about here, and it's made even better with infighting and the crusher killing some of the enemies for me. I guess it's decent enough, but it didn't woo me as much.

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FDAs for MAP21-MAP24. I've completed maps 21 and 23, and failed on 22 and 24. I disliked MAP21, because it failed to provide well balanced combat. Combat is what I enjoy about Doom, not outrunning monsters or shooting into walls of meat. I also disliked MAP24, because it seemed really unfriendly to pistol starters without preknowledge. MAP22 and 23 were hectic, which annoyed me at first, but eventually I've enjoyed these maps and I thought they were good ones.

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Finally, FDAs for the remaining maps, MAP25 to MAP32, for completion. Unfortunately, I gave up on most of them - in fact, the only map where I've reached the exit was MAP31.

MAP25 had good atmospheric beginning with interesting lighting, I only disliked the symmetry of the place. Then there was the strong glowing effect in the main underground area, it was slightly jarring, but OK. I didn't like the map's gameplay, though. Same for MAP26's gameplay, for the same reasons why I disliked MAP21 (see my previous post). Actually, same for MAP27. This map looked better than MAP26, but I just don't enjoy gameplay based around running away from/past the monsters. MAP28 was somewhat more reasonable (even if hectic) and I've got far in that map, interesting one - but eventually still too harsh for me. MAP29 was another FDA-unfriendly map that's not up to my taste. And MAP30... Again, I don't enjoy gameplay which basically forces me to run away from monsters in this spirit. Now the secret maps. MAP31 was nice as a jokemap, I've even survived the Archvile section somehow, but the gameplay wasn't actually impressive (while the environment certainly was). MAP32 didn't appeal to me at all, being an excessive slaughtermap.

The megawad contained a lot of maps that I liked (particularly the easier and less hectic ones near the beginning), but unfortunately also a lot of ones in a style much different from my preferences, and those were the ones I had to dislike. Still, good effort. Thanks for the good parts of the experience.

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We would like to play this in ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival tomorrow (starting at 19:00 BST and usually extending for about 4-5 hours, sometimes longer).

If you have a newer version, we will use that one. But we can manage with the current one too thanks to our scripted teleports and other tricks. Either way, you are very welcome to join us in what will definitely prove to be a big beta test :)

We will be announcing the session today in the evening (Euro time) so if you'd rather postpone it to next week for example, please, let us know within this short time frame.

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rhinoduck said:

We would like to play this in ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival tomorrow (starting at 19:00 BST and usually extending for about 4-5 hours, sometimes longer).

If you have a newer version, we will use that one. But we can manage with the current one too thanks to our scripted teleports and other tricks. Either way, you are very welcome to join us in what will definitely prove to be a big beta test :)

We will be announcing the session today in the evening (Euro time) so if you'd rather postpone it to next week for example, please, let us know within this short time frame.


I'm currently working on making a lot of the changes suggested here and I think that if you waited until next week then I would be able to upload a new version that would be a more fun experience. Of course its up to you but either way thanks for taking an interest.

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Foodles said:

I'm currently working on making a lot of the changes suggested here and I think that if you waited until next week then I would be able to upload a new version that would be a more fun experience. Of course its up to you but either way thanks for taking an interest.

We will wait for next week then :)

I have only got around to play a few maps from the wad so far, but map30 was among them and I must completely agree with Memfis on the main area being a very enjoyable well-rounded challenge. Although MP experience with item respawns might differ significantly from an SP run.

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I'm still around, made it through MAP23-28 on HNTR, thoughts:

MAP23 - nasty start, but when I get the right weapons and ammo most of this wasn't too hard. okay I guess, not too shabby.
MAP24 - I camped most of the battles in the beginning portion of the map. a lot of monsters but pretty much all of them were weak monsters, so it made sense to use chaingun and shotgun. having no SSG though might be a complaint. also, the teleport closet in sectors 20, 32, 35, and 401 is very oddly constructed, so much that if the monsters are moving left, they will never teleport into the map. that definitely needs fixing.
MAP25 - absolutely loved this one. the suspense of no monsters at the beginning. it had a very good TNT feel to it and the two plasma gun traps were quite fun. definitely one of my favorites in the megawad. somebody might bitch about the marble/redrock combination of design though.
MAP26 - fuck, this one's bugged. at the beginning there's a cool choice of two different paths to take, both of which lead to the exit. the back of the exit switch apparently has an SR Teleport action, but there is no sector tagged 11 in the map. I assume it takes you all the way back to the beginning, given the coincidental teleport destination stuck inside a wall that I see. still, if I conventionally play this, I can't get 100% kills or secrets due to the broken teleporter, so that sucks. as for the combat, it's not difficult for me, different setpieces but there's plenty of open space for dodging attacks, so I'm not too into it. but definitely fix that switch behind the exit switch so the 100% junkies can get all the kills and secrets.
MAP27 - another one that I loved, my new favorite. the combat was Serious Sam-style linear ascension, and the music helped fuel the drive. the surprise cacos (not to forget the pain elemental) were surprising. brilliant map.
MAP28 - another great one even though it's big on exposure. the music is kinda weird, but I like it. once I got past the beginning, it was setpiece hell and it had its challenging moments here and there. there's a minor quibble, and that is that sector 448 (the main lava sector) has effect 5. this is fine, but there's a sector 715, which is the lava surrounding the start, with effect 16, so it's kinda weird how one particular lava sector is much more damaging than the other.

hopefully I'll get to MAP29. not sure about MAP30 since I'm not a fan of maps in that slot.

edit: also, I do have to say that I don't like the 10%-20% lava used on a majority of the maps that I've played. MAP26 in particular as there often isn't a way out of the lava in case you fall in.

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